books

authors and books I like

Do You Hear What I Hear?  

We have probably heard the song “Goin to the Chapel” and “Ding, Dong , The Wedding Bells Are Gonna Chime”. It’s wedding season in Florida. The mild spring temperatures, especially in Florida, gives us the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor venues before the heat and tourists descend on our beautiful beaches. I hear they are very popular spots for weddings.

. Pensacola Beach

As a native I considered several parks and indoor/outdoor locations. A beautiful oak shaded round gazebo surrounded by historic buildings. Across the street a 650 year old church neatly kept behind a white picket fence. Whatever your dream location, I know how quickly the sunshine turns liquid here, so mine had both indoor and out.

Take a Beautiful Step back in Time

As we celebrate 14years this Tuesday, so even though it’s not always rosy, we’ve made it this far. We must be doing something right if we’re still happily together and happy 14years later. I would say our stubbornness, patience, and positive vision has served us both well over the years.

As I look back almost all our squabbles, they have stemmed from miscommunication. He speaks apples, I speak oranges our stubbornness keeps us going until we figure out where the issue is. Our patience with each other runs from infinite, to really short, yet here we are. 20 years ago I would have said some very different qualities make for a good, lasting, happy marriage.

The last five years humor, patience, fortitude, and hopefully Grace have seen us through.

. Dinner for 2

Do you cook up something special, or let him treat you to a favorite? I save new recipes for occasions other than this. I’ve done this before so no anxiety during cooking. I try to surprise him. I’ve tried several themes over the years for these special evenings. Do your hair, makeup, fragrance, and decorate and or dress according to your theme. We’ve traveled for candlelit dinners in France, picnics on the beach, or English countryside. My goal is to make it memrable. A rustic country picnic with the family, might be right, or a sultry night with Spanish flair. Lower the lights, move furniture, get creative, choose a soft music to reflect your locale and theme. Without leaving our home.

Special for 2

Did our marriage happen like a romance novel not exactly. 14years strong, is a testament to our faith, love, and humor. Even more important the ability to adapt, meet life as it comes and never let those forces tear us apart. To the man I love twice as much today as when we first fell in love, Happy Anniversary. I love you, today, tomorrow and always.

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Managing Your Year

Facing the rest of the year ahead.

If you’re like me we look at the year ahead and try to put habits in place that will make it easier to handle. My Pintrest boards are getting lots of added ideas. Every thing from recipes to holiday ideas, and don’t forget to update the calendars. I take this time out to both show myself some love, and get organized. Anyone who knows me has seen me go a little OCD when being organized. I try to start with the basics. Holidays, Anniversarys, home and garden, Birthdays and finance, parties, and other projects throuout the year. I start with the basics.

My planner/engagement/brain for the year. I like a full desk size book. Why paper you ask? In the digital world we live in things like smartphone, tablets, smart tv, and even the laptop & desktop give us access to technology at our fingertips. Paper and pen are still my go to medium. I will probably add it to my digital devices, but for my main list I prefer paper. It’s where I start from. If you’ve ever tried updating or creating a note when you were fast asleep you’ll know why I still keep my pen and paper.

I enjoy daily/weekly/monthly views in my planner. It helps me stay on track with both what I need to do today as well as looking ahead in the week or month. There are a lot of free pages available that can be printed however knowing myself, I would probably take a page out and loose it as I become involved in what ever project I’m currently working on. The last several years I’ve turned to Cat Naps.

It is wire bound so I can leave it open atop my desk for quick daily checkins. I have important dates, appointments, moon cycle, holidays, and contact info that I transfer yearly into everyone. I usually purge or make changes as I go. I know your reading this and saying I have all that in my phone. I do too, but the tangible works better to help me stay on track.

As the bills arrive by mail I enter the due dates, and mail by dates. Jot gift ideas as I come across them by person. I often hear people say I wish I had this or that, if appropriate I make a note of it and the name. As my husband and I do not have 9 to 5s it helps track both income and expenses.

My digital lifesaver is a financial program I read about in a top app review… from

I love it!!! There are lots of competition in this area, probably including your regular bank.

Prism is a safe and secure way to not only keep up with but pay my bills as well. “Prism is the easy personal finance app for managing and paying bills. • “Love, love, love this app! For those of you stranded by Mint Bills…..This IS your life preserver ..”

It gives reminders, schedules payments, income and current balances of both bank accounts and credit cards. It saves me a great deal of time, stamps, and energy. Unlike some I don’t have to go between apps to get all the info I need. it does take some time for initial setup but so worth it! Even locks the info on your phone if you left it up. Keeps prying eyes out of your personal information yet with a pin code it can easily be synced to all your devices.

With these two it’s easy to control the chaos in my world. Well time to finish this up because according to my handy book it says I have more to do before hubby gets home from his job. Weeding recipes for collection cookbook to be ready for Mothers Day, Plan Easter Family Gathering, and take some free time to catch up on my to be read pile of books. What do you do to stay on track in your busy life?? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Looking Forward

New Year, New Hopes

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365 New Days, 365 New Chances

As we look forward to the new year, many of us are planning changes in our lives. New Years Resolution are the theme of the day. I am resolving to take better care of my self. Diet, weight loss and more exercise will go toward better health. I’m also going to obsess over organization. I’m following a strict schedule for blog and writing. I am also embarking on rigid physical therapy to regain my mobility.

This will keep me very busy especially when combined with household redesign and organizing. Above all I want a lot less trips to the hospital. I have found lots of tips and tricks and hopefully great suggestions to stay on track. I’m starting with basic rules when setting goals.

  • Make the goal acheivable. Unattainable or very hard roads to successfully completing often lead to failure.
  • Break larger goals into smaller parts. It will make them more achievable and provide a sense of wellbeing when completed.
  • Smaller completed goals encourage embarking on the next. Just like children that sense of accomplishment spurs us to keep going.
  • Celebrate Victories even the small ones add up to progress. Rewarding your Victories reinforces your resolve to complete even more.
  • Make the reward something you really want. Loss of a few pounds can be rewarded with a favorite dessert, or a glass of wine. Bigger victories need bigger rewards. So keep that in mind when choosing both the goal and reward.

Most of all make it fun. This along with reward upon completion will keep me on track the whole year through. So as we raise our glass of Champagne to toast the arrival of 2018, have your goals, defined and scheduled with rewards defined to spur us to finish.

Video clips from Sex and the City Movie (I do not own any of the music, video, or titles. I make no profit from these items and all belong to thier respective owners.)
Here’s to the fun and accomplishments to be had. What are you striving to achieve in 2018?

More like this?

New Year, New Adventures

New year, new you?

It’s Beginning to look A Lot Like Christmas

Ahhh as the song says break out the Holly .  As everyone gets ready Christmas.   Lights up outside,  tree with all the ornaments.   My first we’re kept and passed down to me so when additions to our family arrive it’s sure to be on a list.   At 37 my first halmark rocking horse holds a place of honor.   I find my self really missing my dad this time of the year.   Every year after my parents bought this house my dad took great pride in decorating the outside with lights.   For the last several years it was a special memory that we shared.

I would take my regular day off and meet early for breakfast,  then spend the day getting them up.   I climb the ladders , he hands them up and helps with ground level,  and the front porch.   As grown children we all have our own families,  so usually we would be finishing when my mom got home work . She would cook something wonderfully homemade,  my husband would join us,  for a nice quiet evening to admire our hard work. 
I thank God everyday for the time i got with my father before cancer took him from us.  
“No more lives torn apart,  everyone will find a friend,  right will always win.   This is my grown up Christmas wish list”.  It hits home at this time of year .  I was lucky and reminded at my brothers wedding when I watched my brothers wife enjoy her father/daughter dance. 

So as the shopping , decorating and general merry making goes full speed ahead,  make time for the special moments,  yes even adult children should hope to have them while parents and grandparents are still here.   I’m working on a family cookbook full of favorite recipes from mom, grandma, aunts and cousins before they disapprare.  I’m including photos and memories disks.  I look forward to baking with my mom every year it’s one of those special times .  I hope my nieces get to join in the fun.  You can be assured that powdered sugar and flour will dust a lot of surfaces,  and the adults will have “spiked egg juice”.   That’s eggnog according to my five year old niece .  So here’s to family recipe’s,  and Holly,  whatever the tradition share your favorites.   Enjoy every moment for time and those memories are what we take with us always.   In the meantime I know my dad will always live on in our hearts,  and what we pass on will shape them and our world in future years to come.

Hurricanes!  What you need to know.

Most media forget to tell people that you have to be prepared to take care of yourself and family without government help for at least three days after a major hurricane.  I grew up in Florida so we are very accustomed to hurricanes every summer.  First off the media likes to fuel hystaria!  Most category 1 and 2 should only concern low lunging areas and people who live in manufactured homes.  Unless you are hit by spinoff tornado, our regular storms are worse than these storms.  At 3, 4, and 5 long term locals start paying attention to local weather stations.  National new services are not able to give details and help to locals especially our smaller towns.  A great resource is a place called crownweather.com oddly enough they hail from Maine.  With a little preparation they are easy to deal with and you can reduce stress with hurricane party.  I’ve prepared an emergency list that you can print for easy planning to keep your family safe.  Three to five days is the minimum you should be able to survive on your own.

  It will take agencies like FEMA, or Red Cross to get into the area to help provide things like ice, water, and MRE’s, or medical help.     You may choose as we have after touring a medically needy shelter to take advantage of the electricity guarantee, or with adequate preparation we stayin home.  Our home generator and ample supplies made taking care of our selves the better choice.  My hubby is diabetic and cannot wait 3 hours for a bologna sandwich. We weathered Ivan at home quite comfortably.  The shelter had several difficulties procuring supplies. 

 Remember these must be multiplied for all family members sheltering with you.  Pets, children and the elderly have more specialized needs. For children make it a camping trip.  Add fun camping supplies to keep children occupied.  Camp songs and games keep little ones happy and on fun adventure until normalcy returns.          
Poncho with hood for rain
Emergency survival sleeping bag
Swiss Army knife (with can opener)
FM radio w/Batteries
Pen and paper for notes
60 feet Nylon Rope
Pliers~ to turn off utilities
Duck tape to shelter in place
Dust mask (N95)
Leather palm working gloves
Rolls of toiletpaper paper in Ziploc bag
Hygiene kit-tooth brush paste, wet wipes & femine items
Mini hand sanitizer
Garbage bags and ties for sanitation
Complete First Aid kit with Prescription medication for all. You need emergency supply to last 1 week without refill.
Shovel – to dig sanitation holes
Several flashlights with extra batteries  I also add several lanterns both battery and oil to illuminate lager areas.  Candles, lighters and matches serve well in dinning room and living room to provide light for meals after dark or old fashion board games.  
24 hour light stick
Waterproof matches
Food hard-working high in calories and don’t need to be cooked
Backpacks if needed to move or carry supplies
Solar charger for electronics
Generator with reserve fuel
Manual charger bank for cell phone
Car charger plugin for phones
Car converter to plug in laptops or other small appliances
1 gallon water per person per day
Clothing for 3 – 5 days per person both hot and cold

                      I. Important documents (I keep ours in 3 ring binder)  contains birth certificates, marriage license, copies of driver licenses, and social security cards on all.   Insurance documents both policy and deeds.  Bank account information, Usernames and passwords, list of credit cards, and numbers.  Account numbers for all utilities and services. Tax returns, and anything else I would find important if starting over again.  Don’t go crazy but, I keep all in one binder so if fire or flood I can grab it and go.  I try to update several times throughout the year. Irreplaceable family photo’s should have a book of their own…consider making scans stored on non destructible DVD Rom disks.
Florida in particular the gulf coast has 1 more essential hurricane party must have…

Make mine a double!

Plan early, be prepared and stay safe friends and enjoy your summer!

Ready, Set,Go!!!…

Ok, kids are headed back to the classroom, school shopping done! Back to the world of conversing with people you can actually see, without bending double.

Take a deep breath, a mini spa stay and start getting ready for the back/busy half of the year. Work, kids school projects, meetings, sleep overs, and Holiday traditions on the horizon.

Me, I love fall!! Temperature drops, colorful falling leaves, Labor Day, Football Season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and if you were wondering what people do when it’s too cold outside and the internet is down you should see the list of Birthdays in my family. Especially if they live north of the Mason Dixon Line (assuming you can find it)! So here’s to hot chocolate, sweater weather, cute boots and the extra caffeine I claim is needed to spread the love during the hectic seasons just around the corner.

So, my posts have been very erratic lately as my Charlie kitty has been sick, I’ve been down with minor health issues. Have you ever tried giving both oral antibiotics and eye drops to a cat? I’m trying to put together, a very personal family gift for Christmas, along with other diy for Birthdays, and Holidays to come. I find early preparation and organization, let me spread cheer and not be overwhelmed. This year has also added intense physical therapy as I regain my ability to walk.

So I’m asking for some help. I want to create a one of a kind cookbook. I’ll be chiding our top family favorites, traditions, and some new to try. I want to include both the memories they invoke like Mom’s Pizza and pictures if available. So what makes the top of the list in your family? Help me choose from the recipes I post. Have you tried it? What are your thoughts? Do you have a Holliday tradition that you love to share? I strive for the feelings of love that warm even the coldest months of the year. Like my childhood memories filled with hugs, more food than is possible to eat and extra kisses under the mistletoe in my grandparents foyer chandelier. My dad would take us on a holiday light drive since we did not put up one of our own. The only interruption, hot chocolate, from his favorite doughnut shop. My sister-in-law started the Halloween Decorations, which have bloomed into my Birthday/Halloween party.

Don’t forget football season! Use any and every excuse to show some love and never regret giving enough!

Happy 4th of July

As we celebrate this weekend and Tuesday the 4th of July, let us remember in our hearts and family cookout why we celebrate.  The last number of years have divided the right and left to such a degree that we are seeing people on both sides moved to violence.  With that in mind I remember this clip being important enough for my grandparents, and father all whom have served.  I find my self looking to this explanation, that we seem to be loosing sight of as the next news scandal breaks.  I think this is the true meaning as it should be for all who call America home. 

 These “trivial” things like our Flag and Pledge belong to all who shelter in her borders.  Immigrant or natural born our Citizens and our commitment to unify behind our Flag and Founding documents are what makes this country Unique.  American covers the great diversity to meld, join, and support both our differences and beliefs that  “All men are created equal.” As a woman I believe it covers me too.  This country was formed of the belief that we can find ways to come together to focus on our strengths not be divided by our differences, and if need be set them slightly to the side if only for a moment to the good of all.  With the rules of law upheld by we who live, work, and create families here.

https://youtu.be/Red Skelton The Pledge of Allegiance

While this is my fondest wish, I also live in the world of today.  I see parts of both here in reality land, and my honesty, usually relegatess me to one side or the other.  My biggest wish for the generations my family and friends currently foster will get to live in my vision of what ‘American’ should be. So as we enjoy moms homemade potato salad while, the men handle ‘The Grill’ all the way to the fireworks shows after dark… I hope we pass on the essence of America and how special we are.  Bought and paid with lives of the fallen to give us the peace we have today.  To come together, to be free!  Let us remember the difference we can make in the world with that vision both here and abroad.

I hope it does not take an Independence Day for us to see the true path here in America, and around the world.  Happy 4th! Be Happy and Safe. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share.  See our latest on Facebook, Google+, Pintrest, Twitter, and of course here! Jens Perspective.  What’s your family tradition? 

A special Thank you for posting video.

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