Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday, Monday!

Another Monday morning!  I headed to the airport early this morning!  A full week of traveling and presentations were before me.

When I think of Mondays, I always think of The Mamas & The Papas and their song "Monday, Monday".

The lyrics are "Monday, Monday, so good to me.  Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be... It's here to stay.  Oh, Monday, Monday."

There will always be Monday's so we need to learn to enjoy them.  Monday's are what you make it.  It is going to be a good week.  I will make the most of it.  I will do my best.  I will encourage others.  I will seize opportunities as they come.

Instead of looking at Monday's as bad, embrace it.  Know that it is going to be a good week!

"This is the day that the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalms 118:24

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lessons We Learn from Geese

Life lessons are learned from our surroundings, especially from nature.

I enjoy the outdoors because of the beauty and the creatures that God has created. There is also the feel of the warm sun rays or the coolness of the air or the wind blowing in my face.

There are days that I am out walking and hear the honking of the geese as they fly over.  The honking reminds me that they are encouraging the stray geese to stay in formation.  This is one of the lessons that we learn from nature is to encourage others around us.

The "V" formation increases the flight efficiency by 71% compared to one bird flying alone.  This shows us as the geese work together as a team that they get to their destination quicker and easier. We need to remember this when we work with others.  We can reach our goals faster with a team, instead of going alone.

When the leader of the geese gets tired, he goes to the end of the "V" formation and allows another goose to take the lead.  If only we could remember this.  It is okay to share leadership.  We should have a respect for others, share tasks and that we should share our talents and resources.

By encouraging each other, we are motivating and assisting each other to rise above any challenges that may bring them down.

Next time you are outside, stop and look around and you may learn a life lesson from your surroundings!

Monday, January 23, 2017

On The Road Again

Morning came early.  A beautiful sunny day to begin a new season of traveling for work.  My job entails traveling to different cities to train the beauty consultants within the retail stores.

As I am traveling to the airport to fly to Newark, New Jersey to attend "Train the Trainers" meeting, the song that comes to mind is "On the Road Again" sung by Willie Nelson.

"On the road again.  Just can't wait to get on my the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends.... Goin' places that I've never been.  Seein' things I may never see again..."

I may not be vocally singing or playing an instrument, but I am singing my own tune and making my own music.  All of us have something to share.  Once you find out, your life will never be the same.  We all have a gift or a talent.

My talent is educating consultants on product knowledge.  When I am standing in front of a room, a different me comes out.  A person who feels confident & knowledgeable about what I am sharing.

As I travel from city to city, I do see things that I would have never seen.  It opens up new avenues.

I encourage you to find your song.  It could be singing, it could be being a friend, it could be teaching.  It could be anything.  We each have our talent. Discover it!  There is a world out there that needs to experience what you have to share.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Snowy Mountains

As I went on my walk this morning, I looked to the west and I could see the snow covered mountains. I am still in awe of the beauty that is before me.

The song that came to mind as I looked at the mountains was "Landside" by Fleetwood Mac.

"I took my love and I took it down.  I climbed a mountain and I turned around and I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills 'til the landslide brought me down.  Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?  Can the child within my heart rise above?  Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?  Can I handle the seasons of my life?  Well, I've been afraid of changing, 'cause I've built my life around you.  But time makes you bolder.  Even children get older and I'm getting older too.."

Nature inspires so much in us.  The snow covered mountains inspired Stevie Nicks to write the song "Landside".  She was at the end of her rope with money, relationships, etc. and these words expressed how she felt.

When you are searching and needing an answer, take time to be in the outdoors and allow God to talk to you.  If you are still, you will hear Him as he whispers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Magnolia Market/Fixer Upper

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in Waco, Texas.  The night before there were severe thunderstorms in the area.  I slept well with the rain pouring, wind howling and flashes of lightening.

After putting the Christmas decorations in the attic, my mom and I headed to Magnolia Market. The marketplace is a retail store created by Wacoans Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Products that are featured on the HGTV show, "Fixer-Upper" are sold at the store.

Magnolia Market is more than a retail store.  There is something for everyone.  As I walked on the lawn, it was fun watching the children throw bean bags, kick balls and play on the swings.  Because of the rain the night before, there was mud all around the swings.  Children were taking off their shoes and were playing in the mud and water.  It was great seeing kids being kids!

The food trucks were stationed around the marketplace.  I grabbed a bite at the Cheddar Box and then a delicious cupcake from the Silos Bakery.

The landmark for Magnolia Market are the silos.  These two 120-foot-tall silos were completed in 1950.  Waco owed a great portion of its success to the cotton industry.  In 1900, cottonseed was second to lumber.  These silos have remained even when cotton was no longer in demand.  Chip and Joanna love to take old homes and restore them back to life.  This is what they have done with the Silos.

If you are ever in Texas, you definitely need to stop by Magnolia Market and enjoy the surroundings!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Each Day is An Adventure

Happy Saturday!

I read this devotion this morning.  I thought this is so true.  Life if an adventure!

Sarah Young wrote:
"Try to view each day as an adventure, carefully planned out by your Guide.  Instead of staring into the day that is ahead of you, attempting to program it according to your will, be attentive to Me and to all I have prepared for you.  Thank Me for this day of life, recognizing that it is a precious, unrepeatable gift.  Trust that I am with you each moment, whether you sense my Presence or not.  A thankful, trusting attitude helps you to see events in your life from My perspective.

A life lived close to Me will never be dull or predictable.  Expect each day to contain surprises!  Resist your tendency to search for the easiest route through the day.  Be willing to follow wherever I lead.  No matter how steep or treacherous the path before you, the safest place to be is by My side."

May 2017 be filled with adventure and that you allow God to guide you through each step even when you feel it is too hard or too rough.  You will miss out if you give up!  It is the challenging times that assists us in growing and enjoying life so much more!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Good Friends

Today I read this quote "Good friends are like stars.  You don't always see them, but you know they are always there."

I thought how true.  I have moved a lot in the past 5 years.  Every time, I move into a new city, it is starting over in building relationships.  Someone that you can go have coffee with, go to a movie or someone that you can talk with about nothing.

I am thankful for my friends that I have developed in the past sixty-three years and for my new friends.  I know that they are always there.

Treasure your friends and always remember that they may not live in the same area as you do, but they are always there for you.

Remember to have friends, you need to be a friend.

Today is the day to pick up the phone, text or write a letter to a friend that you haven't seen in a while. Just let them know how much you treasure their friendship.  Make a difference in their life, like they have yours.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chinook Winds

I woke up early to the wind howling outside.  I knew the chinook winds were here.

Due to the snowy conditions and -10 temperatures for the past few days, I had not felt like bundling up and exposing myself to the outdoor elements.

After being in 80 degree temperatures, this below freezing weather was a little shock to the system.

This morning I did begin to add layers of clothing.  That wind can go right through you and I wanted to be prepared.

Chinook means "ice-eater", but it is really the name of the people where this was first derived.

After living in Wyoming and North Dakota about 20 years ago, I am familiar with the chinook winds. The warming winds blow in and can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day and the winter temperatures can change from -10 degrees to 50 degrees within hours.  This is literally what has happened in our area.

It is wonderful to see the snow melting and to feel the warmer temperatures.  It is still winter, so I know there is more snow ahead.  I will enjoy today!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Beginnings in 2017!

Has it only been a week that we were in Noumea, New Caledona and we were celebrating New Year's Eve?

As I close my eyes and reflect on last week, I think about how different last Saturday was vs. today.

Noumea is an island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean where it is hot and humid.  There are palm trees, white sandy beaches and blue/green water.

Loveland is surrounded by mountains and snow and the temperature is 14 degrees(F).  The plants are sleeping and waiting for those warm temperatures to blossom.

Life is a lot like this.  One day everything is like summer and seems to be going well and the next day is like winter.  You feel as if you are resting and everything is moving at a slower pace.

In the book of Ecclesiastes 3, it says "Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses...."  At the end of the chapter, it says "He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what he does.  So I realized that all we can do is be happy and do the best we can while we are still alive.  All of us should eat and drink and enjoy what
we have worked for.  It is God's gift."

Timing is so important.  The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept and appreciate God's perfect timing.  God wants us to enjoy life.  We begin to discover that real pleasure is found in enjoying whatever we have as gifts from God, not in what we accumulate.

So as I begin a new year, I will remember that my steps are in His hands and that I need to be sensitive as He directs my path.  Knowing that each journey, each situation is to help me grow closer to Him.

New years are all about new beginnings!  May 2017 be the year to step out in faith and know that God can make a difference in your life!

Happy New Year from
Custer and Dakota!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Final Leg of the Trip

Finally arriving at home with thirty-six hours of travel and no sleep, we were greeted to 10 inches of snow and a temperature of 4 degrees.

Yesterday, our day had begun sunny and warm temperatures in Sydney, Australia.

We arrived at the Sydney airport with people rushing here and there to get to their destinations.

Departing on time, after about seven hours in flight, the captain informed us that we would be diverting to Honolulu so that a passenger could be taken to the hospital.

Fortunately, we were able to stay on the plane and we took off several hours later to San Francisco.  Unfortunately, we missed our connecting flight to Denver.

The next several hours in the San Francisco airport were spent waiting for our new flight.  The flight was delayed due to maintenance issues.  While waiting, we noticed that other flights were being cancelled or delayed due to the weather.  We began to have flashbacks of our outward bound journey to Sydney.

The plane left and arrived to a cold and snowy Denver airport.

Our last tackle was to get on the shuttle from the airport to Loveland.  We just wanted to get home.

Without anymore incidents, we were thankful to arrive home to a warm house.  We began to unpack and to discuss "what would be our next journey?".

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Farewell to Sydney!

This morning, we woke up with the Dawn Princess anchored at White Bay Cruise Terminal in Sydney, Australia.

Our twelve day cruise had come to an end.  We spent yesterday and last night saying our farewells to our new friends.

This was definitely a trip of a lifetime with many wonderful memories.

Leaving the terminal, we headed back to the Hilton knowing today would be our last day in Sydney.

We spent the day enjoying Hyde Park, as well as touring St. Mary's Cathedral.

Hyde Park is a 40 acre park in the central business district of Sydney.  It was named after the original Hyde Park in London.  We walked through the park enjoying the summer temperatures.  Children were laughing and playing with giant soap bubbles.  Men were playing chess on the lawn with over-sized chess pieces.

We followed the path of the beautiful colorful flowers to St. Mary's Cathedral.  The large cathedral was begun in 1868 and completed twenty years later.  Its' size and architectural design is beyond words.

We look forward to visiting again.  It is truly a remarkable country!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year from the Dawn Princess!

New Year's Day was spent at sea!

It was a beautiful, sunny and easy sailing day.

There is much to do during a sea day.

The top deck is open with swimming pools, hot tubs, shuffle board, walking track, a fitness room and a big screen for movies.

On other decks throughout the ship, there are many other activities occurring throughout the day and night.

The crew of approximately 800+ people keep the ship moving like clock-work.  The crew is comprised of 54 different nationalities of various ages and length of service.

The crew has their own accommodations throughout the ship.  It is apparent that their great service is what keeps people coming back.

Our stateroom steward, Heinrich, is from the Philippines.  He is married with two older children.  He has been working for the Princess Cruise line for 18 years.  He sails ten months and is off two months.

Ruel, our dining room steward is also from the Philippines and is not married.  He has been working for the cruise line for 16 years.

I would highly recommend a cruise if you have never been on one.  A cruise in the South Pacific on the Princess is a one of a kind experience.