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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - Do not allow life to pass you by


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Inspirational places - Monte Sano Mountain - Huntsville Alabama

Today is Travel Tuesday and I wanted to write about a very special place from my past.

Monte Sano Mountain - Huntsville, Alabama.

I grew up in a house at the foot of this glorious mountain. Each day I would walk outside and see this magnificent mountain in all her glory! It has always been a special place for me as it holds so many special memories of my life.

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As a young girl - we would take the short ride up the mountain to have a picnic and play on the playground there.  I can still remember my dad pushing on the swing and feeling like I was going high enough to touch the clouds!  I can close my eyes right now and hear the laughter of a little girl begging her dad..."push me higher Dad...higher"

My Girl Scout troop would take trips up to this mountain to help us earn our badges.  It was always so beautiful and breathtaking...with the hidden trails and meandering paths every which way you could look.  There is a huge covered pavilion at the edge of the mountain overlooking the miles and miles of valley below.  There was also a huge rock fireplace in the pavilion where you could have a roaring fire and toast marshmallows.  OOOH...those were the best S'mores ever!

As I grew older Monte Sano Park became my "special go to place" especially after my dad  died when I was a teenager.  Once I started driving I often drove up the mountain to my favorite place to sit and just think.  You see - there is a hiking trail right behind the pavilion that leads downward into one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen.  As I hiked down - I found a rock that jutted out over the valley which provided an incredible life changing view of the valley below.  I would hike down to my special rock and sit for hours just letting go of my pain from my loss and just reflect on life going forward.  It was not only my inspirational secret spot but it was also my way of meditating (I just didn't know at that young age that I was meditating).  It was the one place where all my worries, all my troubles would just disappear and all was right with the world!  I oftentimes found myself writing here as well.  This special place really inspired me!


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I also introduced anyone visiting me from out of town to my favorite spot and they too recognized the tranquility and peacefulness first hand.  We would just sit and not have to say a word...the universe surrounding us spoke all the words that needed to be said as we feasted upon the beauty of the mountains and valley.


Monte Sano is beautiful all year round but I find that Fall is my most favorite time to truly take in all the beauty of this oh so special place.  Mother Nature does her best artwork in the fall on this mountain.  She paints the bold golds and reds that  leave a gently kiss upon the trees and just takes your breath away

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Once I left Alabama I would always find my way back to my mountain each time I visited my Mom.  Monte Sano always called me home with each visit.  It has now been way too many years since I have been to my special spot but oh how I long for it.  I crave it like I crave a cold glass of ice water on a hot summer day.

For the time being...I will have to allow my memories to take me back to my special place until I can once again find my way back "home"


Monday, September 28, 2015

Looking for Inspiration this weekend

I was so very ready for this weekend!.  This week has been a crazy week especially since I currently have 4....yes 4 work projects on my plate right now!

I always look forward to weekends but now...I live for Saturdays...can not wait for Saturday to arrive so I can just forget about the craziness that is known as my job right now!

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The weekend is so very short...not really enough time to run away or to totally unwind...I decided to come up with a few ways that I could find my inspiration for the weekend and motivate myself for Monday morning!

I decided to make a list of things that I could do during the weekend that would allow me just release the stress of the work week.  Here are some of my ideas:

1)  Go to a movie
2)  Shut the kitchen down for the weekend
3)  Read a good book
4)  Not that I would even think about this but there is always retail therapy!
5)  Find a local Bed and Breakfast for a short staycation.  
6)  Make plans to have dinner with friends (this is always a good pick-me-up)
7) Go to park and write in your journal
8) Take a nap


But the one thing that keeps me motivated...gets me through the week and to the weekend is the fact that I find inspiration in knowing that there is something else around the corner!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Is it Friday yet?


So this has been one of the most difficult weeks that I have experienced professionally in a very long time!  Even working 6 weeks in Redmond, WA this summer doesn't even come close the crazy week I have had this week.  I doubted myself time and time again...and wondered what it would feel like to just say..."forget it"  BUT...I can not do that...I know that if I persevere I will be better...stronger because of it.  If I can only take away the lessons of the week and learn from them.  If I can find gratitude in the fact that I survived and learned from this week...maybe it is not all that bad.  The one thing that I do know is that I am going to appreciate this weekend!


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Thursday, September 24, 2015

How I Faced Fear and walked away Victorious

Fear is a powerful opponent!

When I was a young girl growing up in Alabama I was taught to be fearful...yes it is true.  I was taught to be fearful of so many things...people...places...you name it and I was taught to be fearful of it!


It impacted the way that I lived my life in so many ways even into adulthood.

I was afraid to go by myself to the grocery store...and heaven help me - I would NEVER go to a movie or a restaurant by myself!


My fear kept me from enjoying so much that life had to offer.  I decided that it was time to let go of that opponent known as fear...but I had to do it in baby steps!


First baby step was to go to a restaurant by myself so I did.  I packed a book and ventured out to my favorite Mexican Restaurant.  All in all - it was not so bad.  I read my book...enjoyed my food and the bonus of going by myself?  All the chips were MINE!!!!  I was so excited when I paid my bill and walked outside to my car!  What an accomplishment that was.  I was on top of the world.

Now on to the second baby step - going to a movie by myself.  I selected a good ole chick flick because I felt certain that I would no look out of place if I entered the theater alone.  Best part of going to the movie alone?  Do not have to share the popcorn...yet another bonus!  I happily completed this baby step.

With each new step - I found myself looking forward to doing something new by myself.  I worked myself up to traveling by myself which also resulted in a rental car, maps, GPS and getting lost a lot but know what?  Getting lost did not scare me anymore...it actually opened my eyes to new adventures.

Some of my best  memories are of places that I discovered while getting lost.

Now in closing...I am not going to say that I have 100% conquered my fear...but my fear no longer controls me.  I am now able to identify fear and address my fears with a reasonable solution!


Today - am I free of fear?  Oh no way but at least I am able to recognize fear and not allow it to paralyze me.  I do not run away from my fears but I try to face fear head on.

Here is hoping that you too can take a baby step today to overcome fear!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Trip of a Lifetime


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If you could travel anywhere in the world...where would you travel?  Would you want to run away to the beach - to soak up the sun...feel the sand between your toes...feel the salty tropical breeze?


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Or would you head to the moutains?

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Where you feel the snowflakes fall gently from the sky...while trying to catch one on your tongue?  Ending your day in front of the roaring fire?

For me - the decision is quite simple...just point me toward Alaska...to feast my eyes upon the glory of the Northern Lights!

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I am not sure what the tugging is to see the Northern Lights but it is truly #1 on my Bucket List.  I know that there is truly magic and inspiration to be found when first setting your eyes upon this glorious feast of colors!  I know that words could never truly describe the beauty of seeing this for the first time but I would like to have that chance!

If you could travel to any one place in the world...what would be your travel destination...your dream trip?


Monday, September 21, 2015


I had to read this several times in order to really grasp the meaning of this...I mean after all we all get up each morning and do what we need to do...but we really do what we want to do?

What can we do different to bring purpose to our day?  

Maybe it is something as simple as smiling at someone and saying hello to them.  Maybe it is as simple as being nice to someone that it can bring some happiness to someone who was really having an awful day?  

Having a meaningful life doesn't mean that we have to have tons of money to bring meaning in our life.  It means that we see the special something in our surroundings, we see the person sitting next to us, we offer someone a helping hand.  

 


Sunday, September 20, 2015


Have you ever noticed that each and every time that you are grateful for something..no matter how small - you begin to see the other many blessings in your life?  It is true!  I know without a doubt when I stopped complaining about the little issues in my life - my eyes were truly opened to the many wonderful and positive things surrounding me!  I try to take time at least once a day to be grateful for even the smallest things in life.  I then find myself rewarded with many more things to be grateful for.

Be thankful for one small blessing today and see if it doesn't multiple!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Shine your lights!


Have you ever met someone who tried to find fault in everything that you were doing even the smallest little thing?  

When I was in elementary school I had a piano teacher that was fcritical of everything that I played.  She almost broke my spirit and I finally talked my mom into letting me quit taking lessons from her. Thankfully my love of playing the piano was so strong that I was motivated to find  another piano teacher.  When in high school I found the most incredible teacher - Mr. Cooper - that allowed me to find my light again so much so that I now have a degree in music.  He believed in me and encouraged me.  I learned more from him during my short time with him that I ever learned from the 6 years with my first teacher.  Mr. Cooper helped me recover my love for music and my light was shining bright!

Here is hoping that you do not allow another to dim your lights and you find someone that helps your lights shine even brighter.  I wish that you too may find your Mr. Cooper and your light once again shines brightly!

Friday, September 18, 2015

What is your dream job?

Today a light bulb went off...


As I reflect on my upcoming loss of job due to "right sizing" I wonder if this is not truly an opportunity to find a job that would be completely different from what I do today.  You see - I am in the IT world and it is very busy, constantly changing world.  

How wonderful would it be to find a job doing something that I really enjoy doing....like reading!  I love to read...and always have my Kindle by my side.

How fun would it be to just have to read and review books every single day?  Just think of all the fun places you can work:

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Or how about here?

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For someone who loves to read - wouldn't this be a great job?  Now...wonder how one goes about finding a job like this?

In closing today - always follow your heart and may you love what you do each and every day!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Don't be afraid to take a chance


Have you ever stopped to think about how many times you wanted to do something but was just too afraid to do it.  I am so guilty of this!

It is important to make the decision to live a purposeful life - to look back and have no regrets. Speak the unspoken words, do that which scares you and laugh - laugh hard and often - each and every day. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Travel Tuesday

Well hello there!

Today is travel Tuesday and while I had a great blog planned for today I decided to go in a different direction.

You see - I have an itch to travel.  It has been several months since I have ventured out on travel.  Traveling introduces us to new and exciting places...it expands our mind...it enriches our soul.  I find traveling to be so inspirational...even when traveling on business I try to find something that truly motivates and inspires me.  It could be a beautiful sunrise over a new place I have never been...it could be a great cup of coffee.  Just waking up in a new place inspires me! What inspires you today?


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Monday, September 14, 2015

A Monday Morning Attitude

I.LOVE.MONDAYS!

At one time in my life I didn't really care for Mondays...matter of fact I would pull myself out of bed counting down the days until Friday.  What a waste of time that was.  I was wishing away an opportunity of what wonderful things could happen today!

It is amazing how much better my Mondays are once I recognize it as a new beginning!  Today is the day that I can close the door on the past...and I am given a new day to start over again.  How often do we have the chance to start over new each and every week?  Well...today is the day.  Let us embrace this day as it dawns fresh and new.

Good morning Monday...I am excited to see what awaits me!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Where to find Peaceful Inspiration

As I get older I find that I seek those special places that make my heart overflow with peace and gratitude.

I see it in many things...a glorious mountain...a babbling stream....I hear it in the early morning hours as the birds serenade one another...and in the early evening hours..when the sun has partially set and the crickets begin their evening lullabies.

I so enjoy traveling to new places and exploring the wonders of each new city...I love uncovering those special places that bring a smile to my lips and peace to my heart.

But know what?  You can find your peaceful retreat anywhere.  Just look around you and you will see what I mean.  Don't get so busy that you forget to close your eyes...breath deeply and just be at peace with yourself.

I just want to share some places that inspire me to slow down and enjoy that peaceful calm that I often cheat myself of!

Enjoy and here's the wishing you the inspiration to find your own peaceful place!


(Source - Kristina Falcone)

Mt. Rainier (Source Unknown))

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(source unknown) How wonderful is it to take a walk along the beach at sunset...with your toes digging into the warm sand!

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Gratitude


(Melody Beattie)

 I am thankful each and every day...grateful for the many blessings and gifts in my life.  This is not to say that I do not have a bad day from time to time...but I find that the more grateful I am and I consciously recognize and realize gratitude each and every day I find myself in a much better position of handling those little bumps in the road from time to time.

Each day I start my morning with a list of 3 things that I am grateful for and I end each with gratitude for the happenings of the day.  Some days it is much easier to be grateful than others but as long as I look for the good things in life I find myself experiencing more and more to be grateful for.

I would like to challenge you to find something to be grateful for today!

As funny as this sounds...I sometimes even mutter my gratitude for making a green light at that especially long light!  See - even the smallest gifts in life...even a green light is a gift!





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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Thoughts- Facing Unemployment

Hello y'all!

When I first started this blog in 2010 (has it really been that long?)...my goal was to share my daily thoughts and family events.

Then in 2011 the company that I had been working for since 2004 had a reorganization (such a politically correct word for downsizing...isn't it?) and many of my friends and co-workers were among the ones being impacted by this re-org.  At that time I did not know my fate and if I would be one of the ones that would soon be unemployed.  I decided at that time to redirect the blog toward a more inspirational/motivational format.  Not only did this provide an uplifting vehicle for my co-workers who were like family members it also kept me positive especially since I was not aware of my fate at that time.

Fast forward to  September, 2015 - and I have managed to make it through many more "right sizing" efforts of my company but alas my time as come and now I face the reality of after working non-stop in corporate America for over 25 years and with this company for over 11 years....I will soon be facing unemployment.

I just found out today and to be honest I think that I am still processing the news- maybe I am still in shock?  I am actually surprising myself as I am not freaking out...I am not going crazy with worry...I think that I have been preparing myself for this for several years now.  I believe that my blog has also helped me tremendously as I do not see this as a bad thing...I am looking at this as an opportunity for a new beginning.

I think that I am 75% optimistic and 25% frightened!  I have kept my resume updated *very important to do no matter what your job situation is*, kept my LinkedIn profile updated, joined several job recruiting sites including Indeed, Career Builder and Monster.  I feel like while I do not have any power over my current job situation I can at least prepare myself for what the future may hold!

 I will not allow fear to define or paralyze me!




Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tuesday's Travels - Inspirational Journey in Northern California


I am a firm believer that sometimes we just need to be quiet and listen to where our heart leads us.  This is truly the case on a visit to Northern California.  Such is the case when I was in the San Francisco area on a business trip.  I was staying in Half Moon Bay, CA which I love...love...love...beautiful and peaceful!  I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for that special place...away for the masses...a place where you can visit with your camera...your journey and find your zen state!

This is truly one of the most wonderful places that I have ever traveled.  I found such a calming presence surrounding me and all I could do is pull my car over and just take in the beauty that was right in front of me.

Half Moon Bay Beach at sunset:




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Another  quiet and peaceful spot at Half Moon Bay where you can just leave all your worries behind! With each visit that I make to this beautiful, white sandy beach I am truly surprised at how few people that are present during my visits.

There is also a well known restaurant in Half Moon Bay that is reported to be haunted!  I must place this on my bucket list to visit next time I am in the area!

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Doesn't this look like a great place to enjoy some great food?  And who knows what else you might see!



 There is also another wonderful place to visit if you are looking for that inspirational getaway!  Check out where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County...breathtaking!

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I could sit here for hours just being hypnotized by the flow of the river as it meets and joins the Pacific Ocean.  I might also add - if you so desire - you can find tons of great California wineries on your way to this site!

Last but not least in my list of favorite inspirational sites in Northern California is the coastal area known as Pacifica, CA  It is one of those other places that I "accidentally" discovered.  Although I have to wonder if by just listening to my heart I was lead to this beautiful and calming place.  It is worth the drive on the curvy Hwy 101 just to behold the glory of this special beach!


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I hope that you too have been lucky enough to find your way to your special inspirational place.  Please feel free to share that special place with us!


Monday, September 7, 2015

It's Here - Monday


Good morning Y'all!  Guess what?  It is Monday yet again.  It seems that they come around quite often...don't you agree?

I have a philosophy about Mondays!  I believe that the way you approach Monday will also be the way you approach each day of the week.

So with that said...what type of Monday are you having?





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I am making the choice today to have a week full of potential!  How about you?