Summer Vacation

This time of year typically has me craving the beach. Florida is usually my first choice. With several beaches to choose from and a short flight, it’s an ideal get away for me. However this week has me exploring other options.

This week I had the pleasure of working with the Visit Austin Texas Summer Tour.  Working this tour reminded me of a few of things.  One was Austin Texas is the live music capital if the world.  Who doesn’t like live music? Austin has over two hundred and fifty live music venues making it a music lovers dream.

The second reminder was all the options for lovers of the great outdoors.  Few things bring me more peace than a nature walk or just quiet moments outside.  Austin has plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Zilker park alone is well over 300 acres.

I still love my Florida vacations but this year two or three summer vacations may be the way to go.  For more info on Austin Texas, visit http://www.AustinTexas.org

USPS Strikes Again

I just took the plunge and it was not a smooth transition. Let me start by saying USPS does not like me at all. It is one of the main reasons I am hesitant when ordering anything online that will be delivered via USPS. I placed my first wig order and had no issues at all with the company. The problems arose with USPS. I missed the first delivery. I received notification of their attempt to deliver. That was not a problem. I followed their instructions and scheduled a new delivery date. I missed the delivery on the 27th and scheduled a new delivery for the 29th. All was well again. USPS emailed a confirmation of my new delivery date and I rearranged my schedule to be there to accept the delivery.

On the 28th I was anxious. My first wig by mail delivery was due to arrive the next day…except that didn’t happen. I came home on the 28th to find my package siting on my porch. To make matters even worse, USPS sent me another email on the 28th reminding me that my package would arrive on the 29th…the package that was already on my porch. I was annoyed but grateful the package was still where they left it by the time I came home.

Did you know I actually am a volunteer postal worker? I don’t want to be.  I didn’t sign up to do it but I receive other people’s mail on a regular basis. Sometimes it is mail from people one door away. Sometimes it is mail belonging to someone a block away. Other times it is mail that belongs to someone on a completely different street. So I find myself delivering the mail on a regular basis and not being compensated; making me a volunteer postal worker, involuntarily.  As a matter of fact, I currently have mail in my possession that does not belong on my street.  I guess I will be making mail deliveries tomorrow.  I hope when my neighbors receive my mail (because I know they do) they don’t keep it or throw it away.

The part that is most frustrating is I don’t see an immediate solution.  Complaints fall on deaf ears.  I am not in a position to completely eliminate mail delivery.  I would love to choose my delivery methods.  Unfortunately some companies solely use USPS.  What’s a girl to do?  Vent in a blog I suppose.

Yummm!

I started the year with two of my favorite things; food and art.  I recently escaped to the American Visionary Art Museum where I took in the Yummm exhibit.  I love trips to museums.  They allow me to reset and just be in the moment.  I occasionally need that calm.

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This trip did not disappoint.  The exhibit was both entertaining and informative.  I explored peoples relationships with food and discovered an artist I was not familiar with prior to this visit, Ramon Alejandro.  He is now a favorite.  Below are pieces by Ramon that pulled me in.20170104_14311820170104_143023 20170104_143053

Before I found Ramon, I found humor in these contemporary pieces…

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…emotion in these…

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…and me in this.

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If you have the opportunity to see this exhibit, I highly recommend you do.

 

Effortless Weightloss

Every Fall I decide that I will start working on my Summer body  in the Winter.  This Fall I put together a detailed workout plan.  That’s about all I did.  I never actually started.  Last month I noticed that I was losing centimeters around my waist.  Of course I was not complaining but I did wonder how.

I spent days off mostly in bed.  The dropping temperatures made my bed irresistible.  I wasn’t working out.  I wasn’t stressed.  Sometimes stress will cause me to lose weight.  That wasn’t it though.  I was actually unusually content.

I continued to go over my actions and  inactions in an attempt to figure out the cause of this welcomed weight loss.  Then it hit me; breakfast.  That’s what I had been doing differently.  I was eating breakfast mostly every day.  Some days it would be as simple as fresh fruit or cereal.  Other days I would prepare a hot breakfast but I ate breakfast mostly every day and I lost weight without an exercise plan. Imagine what I could accomplish if I actually start my exercise plan.  I am still working on that.  In the meanwhile I am thrilled with my effortless weight loss.

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Healthy Decor

Fresh flowers are one of the easiest ways to brighten a room. Nearly five years ago I made the decision to always keep fresh flowers in the house. Not only did the flowers transform every room they were in but they also put me at peace.  Even the upkeep relaxed me; changing the water, trimming the stems and leaves.  I kept this up for a while.  Then life got in the way as it tends to do.  I didn’t always make time to purchase flowers.  When I didn’t I could fall back on bouquets that were occasionally gifted to me as well as my garden; depending on the season.  That too came to a halt.

That’s when I realized I could get the same satisfaction from something that is always in the house, fruit.  I filled my crystal with fruit and put it on display.  Just like the flowers, the fruit brightened the room and improved my mood.  Red or green apples, tangerines, mangos, lemons, or limes; whatever was in the fridge went out on display.

Additionally, the decor encouraged me to eat fruit rather than cake.  For me it was a win win.  There are no candy dishes in my home.  However, my guests are welcomed to whatever fruit is on display.

Social Awareness

Those of you that have been following this blog know that the topics are fairly light.  I have plenty to say but this particular platform is specifically for lighter topics.  Recently, however, I have been contributing articles and essays to Formation Magazine focused on social awareness.  Below are excerpts from two of my recent articles:

When Is It Okay?

 A Public Display of Antipathy

A recent trip to the grocery store left me questioning my moral compass.  It has been days since the incident and I am still wondering if I did the right thing.  I arrived at the store just minutes after it opened.  The store was practically empty.  I passed only one other customer my first few minutes in the store.  Then I passed an elderly couple.  The couple was stopped at the end of an aisle.  They appeared to be in the midst of a quarrel.  It happens.  No big deal right.  Then I saw it.  My peripheral vision caught the man swat the woman across the face.   By the time I processed what I saw I had already passed the couple.  I was, however, heading towards a store associate.  I told the associate what I saw.  She without even so much as looking at me told me I need to tell a manager.  She clearly was disinterested. 

A Simple Choice

I have a basic guideline with most of my life decisions.  The method is in no way fail proof but I believe it works pretty well.  Most people I know have a clear idea of how their lives are supposed to play out.  The short version is get an education, establish a career, marry, start a family, and of course live happily ever after.  What though if you’re sidetracked? What happens if you are thrown a curve ball? If you have spent your life depending on one plan you will likely lose it when something falls out of place.  People often need to be reminded that there is more than one path to every destination.  Missing one step does not dictate doom.

If you would like to read more visit http://www.formationmagazine.org for the complete articles.

Eating My Feelings

I have yet to decide if biting my tongue as much as I do is healthy. I do it because I know words cannot be taken back. I also know that some people will hold on to those words for a lifetime.  Anyone who has spent a good deal of time with me knows I really am a person of few words.  My thoughts, however, are tremendous.  I am extremely selective of what I share and even moreso who I share it with.

Another reason I choose to bite my tongue is I am relentlessly honest.  Some would say mean.  I know that everyone is not receptive to the truth.  Besides my face tells on me at times.  That comes in handy.  It has been a great tool in sharing what is on my mind without opening my mouth and releasing those words that can’t come back.

So here’s where the problem lies.  Holding back protects the would be recipient but could be damaging to me.  I cannot help but wonder if an implosion could be imminent.  I can’t have that so I eat.  Sweet and salty distractions take me to another place.  It’s a place where people can be as foolish as they want and I remain unaffected.  I don’t react.  I don’t risk imprisonment.  The foolish bask in their oblivion.  Everybody wins…or does everyone lose….

Anyway, this lovely distraction got me through yesterday.

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I don’t even remember what I was in my feelings about. 😊