Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday's Blessings

As I type, the windows are open and I hear the crickets chirping in the distance and an airplane flying over my house.  It has been a quiet, peaceful Sunday.

This morning I attended church.  My soul needed to be restored for the week.  This morning's sermon was "Perfect Assurance for Imperfect People".  The pastor spoke about our failures and how they can create massive unrest in our souls.  He looked at God's perfect assurance for his imperfect people. When we understand God's perfect assurance, our failures become opportunities for greater faith because grace always means we can stop paying off our past with our future.  I needed to hear those words.

As I am preparing for my presentation this week, I am feeling like a failure.  I am still going over the powerpoint and new materials and I feel that I am not comprehending fast enough.  Of course, I always think everybody else is perfect and they have everything prepared and ready.  I know those are lies.  No one is perfect.  Fear and failure are such robbers of our lives and that is how anxiety begins.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest".

I will claim those words this evening as I finish packing and preparing for my trip to Minneapolis.

As I take time to sit out on the patio and look out on the wetlands, I will count my blessings in knowing that God has already gone before me and He is in control of my week.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hot Air Balloon

The morning sunlight crept through my window to awaken me.  As my eyes gradually opened, I realized I had slept through the entire night.  I felt refreshed and ready to hit the ground.  Today is the day to practice on my presentation for next week in Minneapolis and to pack all the items that will be needed.

In the kitchen, I could smell the coffee aroma and knew it was time for my caffeine fix.  As I looked out into the wetland area and saw the cattails gently moving from the wind, I was thankful for another gorgeous day.

After my quiet time, I put on my tennis shoes and headed to the front door to get my steps in for the day.   As I opened the door, I could feel the crisp, cool air and knew that I would probably need a jacket.

The sun was still coming up over the horizon and the clouds were wispy.  The grass was wet with morning dew.  Cottontails were hopping from here to there.  The Swainson hawks were squawking in the background.  They should be migrating any day now to Argentina.  The swallows were flying all around.

I had only gone a few feet when I looked straight ahead and what do I see in the distance, but a hot air balloon.  I knew it was going to be a beautiful day with a hot air balloon in the sky.  Weather conditions must be close to ideal for hot air balloons to fly.

I don't have the desire to go up in a balloon, but I have always been fascinated with them.  The hot air balloon was the first successful human-carrying flight technology back in 1783.  The balloon consists of a bag that is capable of containing heated air(normally an open flame) with a wicked basket attached to the bag.

Now days, hot air balloons are used mainly for recreation. There are all different shapes and colors of balloons, such as sponge-bob, rockets, castles, animals, etc.  Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest balloon convention in the world, is every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It is a nine-day event and has over 500 balloons each year.

As I walked my eyes followed the path of the balloon and soon it had drifted out of sight.  By the time I got home, I had walked 5,500 steps.  I knew that the brisk walk would give me the energy that I needed to accomplish all that needed to be done.

Another day of stepping out and shining through!

Friday, August 26, 2016

40 Years Later

Today my husband, Kenny, and six of his high school friends left on a 3 day rafting trip down the Green River near Vernal, Utah.  About forty years ago, these guys started canoeing together when they were juniors in high school in Spring, Texas(a suburb outside of Houston).

They were known as the "Texas River Runners" and their favorite river to canoe down was the Pecos River.  These trips consisted of them sleeping on hard rocky grounds, eating pork n'beans out of the can and drinking beer.

I have always been impressed with these guy's friendship.  They all came from strong families.  None of them were from divorced homes.   The majority of their fathers had worked for oil companies. With their fathers being in the oil industry, they had moved around a lot in their younger years.

The strong bond that these guys developed during their high school years is what has kept their relationship together.

When they graduated from high school, they all left for college.  Their freshmen year in college, five of them went to the same college.  After their first year, they began to scatter in different directions. Some attended other colleges and one of them decided to join the Police Academy in Houston.

For many years, they were not able to get together due to getting married, having families and establishing themselves in their careers.

About 10 years ago, my husband decided that the guys needed to get back together and take a rafting trip.  Kenny called everyone and they all said "when do we leave".  He wanted an outfitter that would take just their group.  After making many calls, he finally found an outfitter in Idaho that would take them down the Salmon River.

The trip on the Salmon River was a little different than their first trip down the Pecos River.  The outfitters took care of everything.  They brought the tents and set them up.  They cooked all the meals which included gourmet cooking and various wines.

Since that trip, they have gotten together every two years and have had different experiences with each rafting trip.

As I type, I just imagine them sitting around the bonfire talking about life 40 years ago, as well as life now; fishing during the day; rafting the rapids and sleeping under the stars.

A wonderful treasure to have such great friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Be Anxious for Nothing

People have always been searching for the "fountain of youth".  Trying to find ways to look 10, 20, 30 years younger.  Women are always looking for ways to enhance their eyes, their lips and how to contour their face to look thinner.

As much as we try to take care of our outer appearance, we sometimes forget to take care of our own emotional needs.  One of my emotions is being anxious over situations, events that I am responsible for.  With my personality, I want everything "perfect". 

I can remember the first time that I was overly anxious.  That was the day that I had to stand in front of my Spanish classroom and recite by memory a story in Spanish.  As I type, I can feel the sweat in my hands, my stomach doing somersaults and my breathing becoming heavy.  I got in front of the classroom and I forgot everything.  Tears began to gradually fall on my cheeks.  It was an embarrassing moment.  It is amazing that I even get in front of people and do cosmetic presentations. 

When I begin to worry about a presentation or event that will happen within a few days, I have to stop and pray. Praying gives me peace and calmness.   It seems impossible to not be anxious, to not worry about our families; to not worry about our jobs; to not worry about our health and to not worry about anything. My faith is what gets me through these times. 

One of my favorite verses is:  Philippians 4:6-7 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I am learning that when this anxiety hits, I have to take time to plan out everything so that hopefully there are not any obstacles that will hinder me from doing a thorough job in whatever I am needing to do. 

As I am preparing for the upcoming presentations, I am learning how to trust.  I have heard that all great actresses have stage fright before they go on stage.  My husband tells me that I am a frustrated actress.  Anxiety comes with the territory.  To me this also shows that I care about how I teach and that I want each person to walk away with knowledge and confidence of the cosmetic products.

Taking care of my outer appearance is important, but taking care of my emotions is important as well.  As I prepare my presentations for the next several months, I will make sure that I pray about the presentation.  I will go through my to do list and check it off.  Then trust that my preparations have set the ground work for me to complete my task.

Today is a new day and a new beginning!  I will overcome or as they say in the theater "break a leg"!

Monday, August 22, 2016


The word encouragement is such a powerful word.  How often do we encourage someone?  Every day I meet people who just need an encouraging word or an encouraging smile.

There is a verse that states "encourage one another and build each other up."  For the past two weeks, I have watched the Olympics and it brought a smile to my face to see how the various teams encouraged each other.  Their encouragement was helping each other to swim that extra lap, to run that extra distance or to have that extra jump or somersault.

We all get to the point, that sometimes we don't know if we can do it.  Can we finish a course in school; can I learn that extra material that is needed for work, etc....?

A word of encouragement offered at the right moment can make a difference for a person between finishing a project or giving up.

Take the time to look around and offer some hope to someone.

You will never know what those kind words, or a smile or an extra tip can do to motivate an individual to be the best that they can be.

Today is your day to pass it on!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Terminal

I am beginning to feel as if I should live at the Denver International Airport.  I am back at the airport and I am now flying to Houston to visit family and go to a wedding. 

Being at the airport today reminded me of the 2004 movie, "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks.  Tom Hanks is an eastern immigrant that finds himself stranded at the JFK airport.  The U.S. Immigration Department will not allow him to enter into the United States because the country that he is flying from has been overthrown and the U.S. does not recognize the new regime. There is no air service allowed in or out of his country.  So he has no where to go.  Tom Hanks takes up residence within the terminal.  Throughout his time in the terminal, he makes friends, has a love interest and a rival.  Of course, he changes all their lives for the best.  The war ends in his country & he is able to go back to his home.  It ends with him knowing that he will be able to fly back to his country.

I did make it to Houston and I also had a happy ending!  Seeing the end of the day with this sunset reminded me of the blue water that surrounds the Hawaiian islands; with the cotton candy clouds and soft yellow hue on the horizon.

May your day end as beautiful as my did!  Enjoy your weekend!

Come Sunday, I will be back at "the terminal"!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Accept Each Day

Yesterday afternoon as I landed in Denver, I had 30 minutes to get off the plane, to get my luggage and to get to the shuttle that would take me to Loveland.  I got off the plane and put my walking into high gear.  I got to the luggage area and I waited and I waited and I waited.  By the time I heard the bell ring and the red light come on that the luggage was coming down the carousel I  knew that it was too late and I wouldn't be able to make the 1:30 shuttle.

My body was tired from the past two days of traveling and I was ready to get home.  I grabbed my luggage and went outside to wait for the next shuttle.  I sat down on the bench with three other people.  You could tell that everybody was exhausted and it had been a long morning.

As I sat there, I closed my eyes to relax.  As my eyes relaxed, I could feel the gentle warm breeze blowing my hair across my face, as well as gently feeling the wind move my blouse.  With my eyes closed, the noise around me seemed to come alive.  There were people moving around.  I could hear the buses engines roaring; brakes clinking to stop and the voices of people speaking on their phones.

As my mind began to relax and I was able to breathe gently, the morning devotion came to mind. These were the words that I had read "accept each day just as it comes to you.  Do not waste your time and energy wishing for a different set of circumstances.  Instead, trust God's strength to yield His design and purposes.  Remember that nothing can separate you from His loving Presence."

I thought how true were those words.  That bench was exactly where I needed to be!  To be still and to feel and to hear my surroundings.  By the time that 2:30 shuttle showed up, I was more relaxed and ready to conquer the rest of the afternoon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bucket List

Yesterday, I added another state to my bucket list of going to every state in the United States. That state is Wisconsin.  I am conducting a Training Seminar in Milwaukee.   

Wisconsin is the 30th state and was admitted into the Union on May 29, 1848.  The capitol is in Madison.  The coastlines are on 2 Great Lakes, Michigan and Superior.  Wisconsin is known for its forests and farms.  Milwaukee is the largest city in the state with a population of approximately 600,000.  People love Wisconsin for it's breweries; Harley Davidson Museum; and their football team, the Green Bay Packers, which is based in Green Bay. 

Out of the 50 states, I only lack 2 more states to step foot in.  Those states are Alaska and West Virginia.  Hopefully within the next year, I will be able to add those 2 states to my list. 

Every state has something unique to offer with its beauty; National Parks; mountains; rivers; vegetation, charm, history, etc.

I am looking forward to discovering what Alaska and West Virginia have to offer!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Life Is What You Make It!

It is amazing what people will tell you.  Today as I took a shuttle to the airport which is about 60 miles from my house, the driver was definitely in the mood for talking.  Within the hour, I found out that he was divorced; he has 2 grown unmarried sons; he grew up in St. Louis, Missouri; fought in the Vietnam War; had a business for 32 years in Wyoming; has land in the Midwest and he has lived in the Ft. Collins area for the past 4 years. 

Five years ago this man took scuba lessons.  He had always wanted to scuba and never had the opportunity in Wyoming.  His first scuba trip was in the Caribbean and he fell in love with Belize City.  He is leaving for Belize on Thursday to find a house, buy a boat and begin a business taking people out on sunset cruises. 

As I sat there and listened to this man, I could feel his excitement in beginning a new adventure and doing something that gives him joy.  He said what do I have to lose. He is going to keep his house and lease it out.  If it doesn't work out in Belize, then he will come back to Colorado. 

As he dropped me off at the airport, I told him that I was happy for him and I knew that he would be successful in his new adventure.

As I walked into the airport, I knew that it would be a great day.  This man's excitement helped me to see that there are so many possibilities out there.  Life is what you make it!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

What Restores Your Soul?

Here it is already the middle of August and I can feel autumn in the air.  Even though it is 91 degrees, I can feel a coolness in the breeze.

My morning started off nicely with attending church.  I enjoy the church that I attend.  There are three pastors that share teaching the messages on a weekly basis.  Their messages always seem to hit home with me.

Today's message was "Remember the Rhythm".  Cultivating a day of rest and restoring our soul. This is something that I have to work at.  Finding something to help me relax and to give me a peace.

We live in such a society that there really isn't a day of doing "nothing".  Everyday is filled with something from going to work; running errands; attending sports activities and the list goes on.

I remember in the 60's when stores and a lot of restaurants were closed on Sunday.  As I take road trips, it is always nice to go through a small community on a Sunday and notice that all the shops are closed.

One of the verses that comes to mind about rest is Genesis 2:2-3"By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working.  He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a special day, because by that day he had completed his creation, and stopped working."  So even God rested. He wants us to take one day to restore our soul.

The Sabbath was made for us.  For us to become whole again.  We forget that our body needs time to get rejuvenated so that we can be rested and ready to seize each day.

The pastor stated that "God placed a rhythm in his good creation.  We see the rhythm in the way the day gives way to night, in the way the summer gives way to fall, and in the way waves climb up the beach and then recede back again.  In the relentless busyness of our lives, we often forget the rhythm between work and rest.  So today is about remembering the Sabbath day and discovering how we enjoy it."

I do forget how to rest.  I always feel that everything needs to be completed before I can go on to the next task or before the day is over.  With my personality, it is mentally difficult to to not complete something at that time.   I am reminded that God is in control and I may be in charge, but I do need to be still and to listen that there is a day that I need to rest.

As I am getting older, I am discovering that resting is not too bad.  And yes, I do feel better mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually when my body does have the rest that it needs.

Find what will assist you in "restoring your soul".  It could mean napping, reading, visiting friends, listening to music, laughing, playing, etc."  Once you discover your means, you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Quiet Day

It was a quiet day at home.  I enjoyed the cooler temperature and the steady breeze that felt so comfortable to the skin.

The day ended with a beautiful colorful sunset with the Swainson hawks shrieking in the distance. The blazing coral clouds that lit up the sky made me thankful that I got to enjoy a day of solitude.

Some days it is nice to do nothing.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mistaken Identity

Today was a good day.  A day of checking things off my list.  Trying to get ready to fly out next week.  Items on my list consisted of pick up photos from Walgreens; purchase new tennis shoes; do expenses; make flight to Cleveland, Ohio; write notes, etc.  It felt good to get everything off my list. It is Friday and I want to relax this weekend.

This evening, my husband and I got comfortable in our chairs on the patio to enjoy the cooler weather.  We know that we need to enjoy our time outside before the colder weather and snow hits this area.

As I was sitting and watching the hot pink sunset, I noticed movement over on the purple petunias. It looked like a moth, but it was larger than one.  It almost looked like a hummingbird, but it wasn't. My husband preceded to google "a moth that looks like a hummingbird".  Up came the information, that it was probably a "Hermaris thysbe, the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth".

It is one of the most common cases of "mistaken identity" in nature.  It is about the size of a hummingbird and feeds like one as well.  It also darts from one flower to the next.

Fortunately, I had my phone with me and I was able to capture a picture of it enjoying the nectar from the flowers.

Seeing this moth and thinking that it was a hummingbird, made me realize how often have we mistaken something or someone.  In criminal law, the phrase "Mistaken Identity" is used when the defense claims the actual innocence of the criminal defendant, claiming that the witness saw someone else.

So often, we are quick to judge others before we know the truth or reason behind their behavior.

Next time before I point the finger at someone, I will reflect on the Hermaris thysbe and the mistaken identity as a hummingbird.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What Birth Order are You?

For the past several weeks, I have been reading the book The First Born Advantage by Dr. Kevin Leman.  I enjoy reading self-help books.  I want to do whatever I can to improve myself.
Dr. Leman does have some good insight on the birth order, especially the first born.

While reading this book, I am thinking these characteristics are so me.  Some of the characteristics of a first born are: they tend to be list makers; they are black and white thinkers; they have a sense of right and wrong; they are leaders and want to achieve;and  they are well-organized, reliable, conscientious, compliant and nurturers.  Some people even refer to a first born as being "bossy" because they take charge and they know how to solve a problem.

Also as a firstborn, one tends to be more critical about themselves. they put themselves under great pressure; they are serious about things and tend to do too much.  Reading about all these different tendencies, helps me understand myself better.

If someone was looking at a family of three and the ages were close, they would be able to pick out the firstborn, middleborn and the lastborn(the baby).  As I stated, the firstborn is the achiever and wants to accomplish things.  Some firstborns are Harrison Ford, Ulysses Grant, Jacqueline Kennedy; Martha Stewart and Neil Armstrong.

The middleborns tend to be more of the mediator and  negotiator(they keep the peace between everyone).  They tend to be more middle management or the worker bees.  Middleborns are very loyal to their family and friends. Some middleborns are Steve Forbes, Peyton Manning, Bill Gates and Jennifer Lopez.

It is interesting to look at the lastborn.  They are normally the comedians; they are the great talkers and are very persuasive and they have never met a stranger. They are normally the top salesperson. Some well-known lastborns are Jay Leno, Chevy Chase, Jim Carrey, Martin Short and Cameron Diaz.

In my family, I am the oldest, my sister is the middle child and my brother was the baby(who is now deceased).  These personalities are right on target.  These facts do help a family understand why we do what we do.

As you can see, each child does play an important role of the universe.

There are different variables that also play into the birth order.  The variables are: are you from a large family; are you male or female; is there an age gap of 5 years or more; any physical challenges or are you from a blended family.  So as you can see, these dynamics could change your behavior. But overall, one does normally follow the order.

This book is not gospel, but it did open up my eyes to look at my traits and why I do the things I do. It also helped me to see that I am in control of my actions and I don't have to allow negative tendencies to take over my life.

What birth order are you?  Take the time to locate one of these books on birth orders.  It will definitely give you a laugh as well as give you some direction on being successful in your life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

At the end of the Rainbow

Today was another long day.  Up early and to the airport to catch my flight back to Denver.

When I arrived in Denver this afternoon, it was sunny and 95 degrees.  Several hours after getting home, I noticed that dark clouds were rolling in.  There is something about a storm in the middle of the afternoon.

Sitting in the living room, the room had been filled with rays of sunshine and within minutes the room had become dark.  The wind was getting stronger. I could hear the sound of the metal chimes clinging against each other. Looking outside the window, I could see the cattails in the wetland area swaying back and forth as if they were waves in the ocean.

There was lightening in the background to brighten up the area as it flashed through the sky.

The one thing about storms in Northern Colorado, they don't last long.  The rain passed through within minutes leaving behind the fresh aroma of the air.

The final signature of the storm was the colorful rainbow that was left behind.

This storm appeared and disappeared within minutes.  This reminded me of life.  We have challenges, heartaches and disappointments and we feel that this is the end of our life.  We wonder how can we handle these storms?  They are put into our lives to help us to grow and to build the character that is needed for us to be that better person.  These struggles are opportunities for growth.

Just like this summer storm that passed through so quickly, these situations will also pass.  We just have to be willing to ride it out because there is a rainbow waiting for us.  We think that God has abandoned us and we are at the mercy of the situations, but in reality God is sovereign.  He wants to calm the storms for us, if we will only allow Him to do it.

The next time a storm comes through your life, take the time to thank God and ask Him what you need to be learning from this situation.  You will be amazed of the "pot of gold" that will waiting for you at the end of the rainbow!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

At the End of the Day!

Six a.m. came early this morning!  I slept well considering I was sleeping in another hotel bed.  I needed to be downstairs by 7 a.m. to begin the set-up for the room. There would be 19 new consultants in attendance to learn about the Elizabeth Arden products.

The consultants showed up on time.  It was a very long, intense day learning about skincare, foundations, color and fragrances.  At 5 p.m., the training ended.  I packed-up and printed out new UPS labels to send the products boxes on to the new destination for next week.

I was amazed to learn that during the seven hours of training, I had completed 6,000 steps.  I must have walked around the room a lot to complete 6,000 steps.  I was impressed!

After my dinner, I decided to step outside to get some fresh air and to walk.  As the doors opened to the outside, I could feel the humidity(71% to be exact).  Temperature was at 84 degrees.  Living in Colorado, I am not accustomed to 71% humidity.

As I proceeded to walk around the hotel, I noticed the half-moon rising in the south and the sun setting in the west. The colors of the sun were a soft pink and soft yellow .  The pink color reminded me of the pink from the Victoria Secret's ad and the yellow reminded me of cheese. As I observed the sunset, the lyrics from "Fiddler on the Roof" came to mind.  "Is this the little girl I carried?  Is this the little boy at play?  I don't remember growing older.  When did they?...Sunrise, Sunset..." 

In the distant, I could hear the cicadas in the background.  With the air-condition units roaring and the cicadas chirping, I could barely think.

Walking around the hotel, I could feel the sweat dripping down the center of my back.  Nothing was going to stop me, I was determined to get in my 10,000 steps for the day.

As the sky was getting darker and I took the elevator up to my room and proceeded to my room, I could feel my FitBit buzzing letting me know that I had completed my 10,000 step.  A beautiful sunset and my 10,000 steps was a great way to end my day!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Thankful for my Citizenship!

Today has been a day of traveling. It has been a long day.  Cars, buses, planes and taxis! 

Arrived in Kansas City, Missouri and then took a taxi to the state of Kansas, which took over an hour.  The driver and I had time to talk about where he was from and how excited he was to be an American citizen.  The tall Ethiopian young man had graduated from college in Ethiopia with an engineer degree and had won the lottery to be able to come to the United States of America. He felt he could have a better life in the United States.  He arrived here about 8 years ago and lived in the Washington D.C. area for 4 years. His cousin encouraged him to move to Kansas City where it was more affordable to live.  This energetic man is going to college in Kansas City and providing for his parents and two sisters and three brothers back in Africa. 

The sacrifices that this person has made to have a better life always encourages me to be excel as an individual.  To learn a different language; to adjust to a different culture and to be 8,000 miles from family and friend says a lot about his character and integrity.

Once again, I have taken my American citizenship for granted.  I forget about the sacrifices that men/women have fought so that I can be the person that I am and to do what I do.

This evening I am looking at life a little different and thankful for this great country that I live in!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Early Mornings

This morning as I opened the front door as I headed out for my morning walk, I could feel the crispness in the air and hear the squawking of the young Swainson hawk.

As I stepped onto the dewey grass, I looked up into the sky and saw the morning sun rays trying to peep through the cloudy sky.  By seeing the sunshine rays and the cotton white clouds, I knew it was going to be a beautiful day.

It has been a very peaceful, enjoyable day.  A day of rest and relaxation.  A day of visiting with friends from Texas that we hadn't seen in several years.  A day for getting ready for a new week.

May your week be filled with joy and happiness!  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Tetons Are Waiting!

This morning when I opened up Facebook, a picture from 5 years ago popped up.  At that moment a smile appeared and wonderful memories came to mind.

You know the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words".  Just looking at the picture I could feel the coolness in the air and smell the fragrance of the red and purple wildflowers in the distance.

Seeing the wooden cross reminded me of the verse from the book of Proverbs "we may make our plans, but God has the last word".

My husband had driven his Harley-Davidson from Houston, Texas to the Grand Teton National Park, the summer of 2011. The 1,500 mile trip took him about 4 days to get there.  Over a long weekend, I flew to Jackson, Wyoming to meet him.  This was not our first trip to this area.  About 25 years ago, we lived in Casper, Wyoming and had the opportunity to go to the Tetons, Yellowstone and Jackson many times.

My husband loves the mountains and less crowded areas.  In the summer, it is a different story with the crowds.  People are like ants.  They are everywhere.

We enjoyed about four days in Jackson and driving through the Tetons and Yellowstone.  This one particular day, we drove up to this rustic log church, The Chapel of the Transfiguration.  It is an Episcopal church, which was built in 1925.  Services are held here from late May to early September. It is also a beautiful location for weddings.

The large window behind the altar allows you to view the powerful Grand Teton Mountains.

That same day my husband and I were discussing places where we would like to live.  He said he had always loved Jackson, Wyoming and would like to make this place his home.  By that afternoon, we had called a realtor and arranged a time for the next day to see homes in that area.

We looked at five nice homes in downtown Jackson that had beautiful views of the surrounding mountains as well as of the Elk Refuge. With the real estate information, we were able to begin to look at the possibility of making a move.

That next week in Houston, we called a realtor to put our home(that we had resided in for 16 years), on the market.  We were going to get the wheels moving and see what would happen.  Four weeks later, the cosmetic company that I worked with asked me if I would could consider moving to New York.  This was a dream come true for myself.

After some discussion, my husband and I decided that I should take advantage of this opportunity. With our house already on the market, we began to pack and get ourselves ready for New York City.

While we were in New York City, my husband was asked to move to Colorado for a job change.  Here was his chance to be close to the majestic Rocky Mountains.  So for several years, he lived in Colorado and I lived in New York.

We are now under the same roof in the foothills of the mountains enjoying the pink cotton candy sunsets; listening to the screeching sound of the Swainson Hawks and smelling the fresh air around us.

This photo will always put a happy face on me, as I reflect on the year, that Kenny's and my life began to change.  We were dreaming of new possibilities, but God was also dreaming for us and He had something different for us beside living in Jackson, Wyoming.

The Tetons are waiting for us!  We will continue dreaming and allowing God to work in our lives!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Loving My Parents

There are many things in my life that I am thankful for and one of them is that I am 62 years of age and my parents are still living and in pretty good health.

My mom and dad have been married 57 years.  My mom married my step-father(who will always be my dad), when I was 5 years old and my sister was 2 years old.  They met at my aunt's house and 3 months later they were saying "I Do" and my mom was moving my sister and I from Dallas, Texas to Waco, Texas.

My mom will be 82 this fall and my dad will be 86 in a couple of weeks.  One of the things that keeps them going is raising their 12 year old great-grandson(my brother's grandson).  My parents have been raising Dylan since he was almost 5 years old.  He gives them a reason to get up in the morning, to have a schedule and to make plans for the future.  They have all been good for each other.

My mom plays bridge at least once to twice a week and continues to keep her house in order.  She loves shopping and she has a flare for fashion.  She is the one who keeps me abreast about the latest styles and what I should be wearing.  She is a very giving person.  I can't begin to tell you how many pieces of jewelry or sunglasses she has given away to others because that person made a comment of how much they liked that particular accessory.

My dad worked for almost 40 years for a Plumbing Supply Company and provided for his family.  He use to enjoy getting out in a boat and fish all day long without catching anything.  He was content just sitting and thinking.  He no longer goes fishing.  He has a hard time hearing, but he still enjoys sitting outside and watching the birds or squirrels. Most afternoons, he will drive down to the lake, which is only ten minutes from their house, and just sit there and watch the boats drive by.

I have learned to not take my parents for granted.  Several years ago, I was upset with mom over something and I made a comment to a friend about the situation.  She looked at me and said "at least you still have your mom".  Since that day, I have enjoyed each moment with my mom.

Throughout the years, I have also learned my parents at times still see me as there young child and they want to tell me what to do.  I have been on my own and supported myself for over forty years. During those times, I just take a big breath and know that they are probably reflecting on those years when they were young, vibrant and full of life.  It is hard getting older, but we know that is the process of life.

I treasure our time together at the beach and just being with them!

These are the parents who taught me to "step out and to shine through" each day of life.  They taught me to dream and to go after those dreams!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Chimes of Your Life

Last night as I sat on the patio looking at the beautiful clouds, I could hear the chimes above my head.  The sound was so soothing and peaceful.

I began to think how my life is so much like those chimes.  I googled making chimes and this is what I found out.  Chimes are "a cluster of similar objects(metal tubes, seashells, glass pieces, lengths of bamboo, or fragments of pottery) that hang from a central support and tinkle when moved by the wind".

When I read more about chimes, I discovered the history.  Chimes were used in religious settings to attract kind spirits as well as drive away evil spirits.  In Bali, the bamboo chimes are used to startle birds and animals, as well as charming the spirits.  During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Western world used them for decorations as well as for the music that chimes make.

The raw materials that are used are brass, bronze, copper, bamboo tubes, pottery, etc. Paint, glue, strings and hangers are used as well to put the chimes together.

The designs of the chimes come in every size and shape.  The quality of the sound is also very important.

Durability is an issue as most chimes are designed for outdoors.  Being outdoors, they must endure wind, sun, temperatures and precipitation.

After reading about chimes, I know that I march to the beat of my own drum or to the clinging of the the metal pipes.  My raw materials and design consists of my tall body, dark hair and olive skin.  Just like the components that make the sound of the chimes, my components that make my sound are in the areas of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  When those are balanced, I can hear my own chimes of gentleness and loving-kindness.

I have learned to be durable to life.  Everyone around you has a different personality and temperament.  As you mature, you begin to learn how to work with those different temperaments. It is those different personalities that shape a person.

As the chimes "tinkle" when moved by the wind, I have discovered I am moved by the people in my life.  This is one of the reasons why I have always enjoyed being with all different nationalities. Their stories are what keeps me dreaming and being thankful for the things that I have.

I will continue to be in tuned with my music of my life by being passionate about learning; looking at both sides of an issue; being available and to enjoy each day.

Today take time to be still and to listen to the chimes of your life!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Swainson's Hawk

This morning as I opened up the front door to head out for my walk, I felt the coolness of the morning air.  It was so refreshing.  One of the things that I enjoy about living north of Denver near the foothills is the variety of birds that I encounter during the year.

I had only gone a few steps when I heard the screeching sound of a bird.  Not just any bird, but it was the Swainson's Hawk.  This hawk is about 19 to 22 inches in body length with a wingspan of 4 to 4.5 feet. There are currently about 800,000 of these hawks.  They are migrating through as they head to Argentina.  Traveling about 6,000 miles each way.  They undertake one of the longest migrations of any North American bird.

The Swainson's Hawk is a friend to farmers.  These birds of prey enjoy being in a freshly mowed field, feasting on grasshoppers and other insects that destroy the crops.

This one hawk has a nest in a large cottonwood tree near my home.  About 5 weeks ago, as I was out for my walk, the hawk was chasing birds away from it's nest and the birds swept past the back of my head and I could feel the wings of the hawk.  It was a surreal moment.

I captured a picture of the two hawks this morning and even got a video as it flew away.  There is something about experiencing nature.  God created all the different birds.  The verse that comes to mind is "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Once again, I am reminded that worrying does nothing for me, but destroy me.  Worrying can damage my health, consume my thoughts and also take away the trust that I have in God.  Today is a new day and I place my life in His hands knowing He has already taken care of all things.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Joining the FitBit Craze

I have always been conscience of what I eat and I do walk a lot.  As you get older, you forget that your metabolism slows down and you seem not to exercise as much and your food intake seems to grow. So what if you had that extra bowl of ice cream at 10 pm?  And before you know it, you are wondering where did those extra pounds come from.

The beginning of 2016, my sister and I decided that we needed to do something about our increase of pounds.  Either our clothes were shrinking or we were eating more.  Of course, you want to blame the dryer for shrinking your clothes or maybe it is the dry cleaners? 

The first of January, we joined "Weight Watchers".  This was a new experience for both of us.  My sister lives in Texas and I live in Colorado.  We decided that we could encourage each other long distance(826 miles to be exact).  And that is exactly what we have done for the past seven months.

There were so many things that we both enjoy about "Weight Watchers".  The app is great!  The weekly meetings are encouraging and you feel like you are not on this particular journey by yourself. Weight Watchers has definitely reprogrammed our way of eating.  We are being mindful of our portions and our intake.  We are walking more, etc.

In the past seven months, I have lost approximately 30 pounds.  I will say, I do feel more fit, more energized and more confident.  I don't look at food as a reward or something to comfort me during stressful or sad times.  I look at food for what it is.  It is to give my body the vitamins and minerals that it needs to keep me going.

I have also increased my walking and adding on weights, stretches, etc.  About two weeks ago, my husband surprised me with a fitbit.  At first, I thought I don't need this.  I know exactly what I need to do.  I was surprised.  The fitbit has changed my outlook.  I am now more committed to exercising. I would say, I am now addicted to it. 

The fitbit starts everyone off with a 10,000 step goal.  I have risen to the challenge.  I get up first thing in the morning and get in at least 40 minutes of walking and then the rest of the day I am able to get in all my steps.  It does make you conscience of how much walking you do daily.

My best day of steps was when I was in New York City.  I did 20,000 steps in one day.  Wow!  I did take taxis and subways on that day, but I also did a lot of walking.  I just didn't realize how much walking I was doing.

I am getting older and I know that my intake of food and exercising will be what I need for the best health insurance.  The health insurance to keep my blood pressure low, to keep my cholesterol low and to keep the pounds off.  

My sister also has a fitbit.  She enjoys it, but she is not possessed by it.  Her forte is yoga and pilates. She is an instructor at the YMCA.  While we were on our Galveston trip, she taught my mother and I yoga positions.  I have attached a picture of her instructing my mom.

The Weight Watchers and the fitbit is a new journey for me and it is helping me "to step-out and to shine-through".

Gotta go.  Got to get in my 10,000+ steps for the day!

Monday, August 1, 2016

"Start Spreading the News..."

What a week!  Last week I had the opportunity to be in New York for work and to visit friends.  I lived in NYC for 3 years and during that time I nurtured some wonderful friendships.

In 2011, the company that I worked for asked me if I would consider moving to New York.  This was a dream come true.  Over the past 25 years, I have traveled to New York almost yearly to see Broadway Shows, to sight-see and just be a part of this fast-paced city.

New York City is a unique city.  It consists of 5 boroughs:  Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island.  The population is approximately 20 million people.  One can understand, why there is so much energy in this area.

When one thinks of NYC, these are icons that come to mind:  Empire State Building, Time Square, Stature of Liberty, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge and World Trade Center.  These are only just a few things to do.  One could spend a week and still wouldn't see everything.

The weekend before, I spent sometime on Long Island, which is where I lived.  Long Island consists of Brooklyn and Queens and the counties of Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  Long Island extends 118 miles from New York Harbor to Montauk Point(from west to east) and 23 miles between Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coast(from north to south).  When I lived there, I explored from one end to the next.  I could begin to understand why people who lived in the city would travel to the Hamptons, which is on the eastern end of Long Island.  The Hamptons is definitely a place to get away from it all.

I love Broadway Shows!  On Friday, I sat on the 6th row, in the middle, to see "On Your Feet".  This was a musical based on the story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan.  The audience was captivated by the performers and the energy that they had. Gloria is the most successful Latin crossover performer in the history of pop music.  Her husband, Emilio, was instrumental in shaping and developing stars such as, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and many others.  This a musical that you would enjoy.

Over the weekend, I stayed at my nephew's 200 square foot apartment in the Village area.  He was out of town, so this gave me some room to stretch-out.  On Saturday, I walked along the cobbled stone roads that are lined with trees and observed the brownstone homes with a neighborhood feel. As I walked along, I reflected on the early 1900's and wondered about the people's lives and what they were experiencing during that time period.

If you never have been to New York City, put this on your bucket list and experience this hustle and bustle city.  As you are sight-seeing, hum the lyrics from "New York, New York".

"Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York.

These vagabond shoes
Are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York....

I want to wake up in a city
That never sleeps......"

Give my regards to Broadway!