New Year’s Eve Goal Review December 31, 2010
Pay It Forward-Give Of Yourself Every Day December 3, 2010
December has a Pay It Forward Day (at least that one pal on my Facebook says–so I’ll roll with that info). I think it is a fabulous concept to carry in our hearts. However, I’d like to challenge all my friends and followers to have a Pay It Forward spirit throughout the year, every day, as we chug along and pursue our goals.
If we are able to pursue our goals, whatever they may be, then we are blessed. If we are educated, able to read, live in a country where freedom is a concept, not just a word, then we are blessed. If we have leisure time, can take time to read a book, cook a nice meal, break bread with friends and family then we are blessed.
If we can walk, talk, breath, sing, dance then we are blessed.
Yes, there are dark days. Yes, we all have tragedies that will occur in our lives. Yes, we will falter. But if we remember that we are truly blessed, we can carry that blessing into the world. This isn’t a religious thing. This is a “gee, gosh darn it you are bloody lucky and fortunate to live in a world where even having the time to read this blog is a big deal.”
Seriously. It is.
So as you pursue your dreams, shoot for the moon, grab for the stars I hope you also remember to share yourself and Pay It Forward every day. Every day ask yourself what you are doing to make at least one person’s life a bit better. I’m talking about strangers, people you meet in random ways, people you might never see again.
Many people want to accomplish BIG things and they go about changing the world. In BIG ways. That’s great. That’s wonderful. But if we can’t practice kindness in small ways, we will never be tasked with big requests from the universe. Therefore I believe it is in the little acts of kindness that we truly evoke big changes in the world. A nice word, a friendly smile, a thank you, a compliment can go a long way to brighten a person’s life. You never know how much of a difference one small act of kindness can cause. It is a ripple effect. The more ripples you gently stir into the waters of humanity, then the greater the waves of goodness will become in our world.
And we don’t have to shout out our good deeds or advertise them. We can be daily living examples of trying to live a life with purpose and kindness and compassion regardless of our religious beliefs, our backgrounds, or our cultures. So I encourage you to be aware of the people around you and to consciously and purposefully choose to act with kindness and compassion in your everyday encounters.
Top Five Reasons Not to Make My Beds November 29, 2010
We are generally a neat and tidy family. Wait. No, that’s me. The other two humans living here aren’t uber neat and tidy, but they are in training. One has been in training for YEARS. The two felines in our house are relatively neat and tidy unless Madam Mischief is stalking socks and dropping them in the hallway, stairwell or in front of Darling Husband’s office door. Dowager Feline Clancy is infinitely neat and tidy being that she is a Duchess of Extraordinary Good Sense.
Yes, I am that person who gets up, makes the bed, unloads the dishwasher and reloads it, wipes the counters, sweeps the floors and straightens up clutter. I am notorious for straightening up other people’s clutter which they think is perfectly fine right where it is till I “lose” it for them. Ha.
But there are days that even I don’t want to make the bed.
|Madam Mischief guards Dowager Feline Clancy.|
|DFC is an equal opportunity nester in my Darling Teen’s bed.|
|Could you disturb her? Not me!|
Blogging on Romance Magicians Today November 18, 2010
I took a side trip to visit the Romance Magicians and blogged about Necessary Losses I incurred in order to pursue my writing dream. Come visit me at the Southern Magic Blog site and share your sacrifices with me.
Wine, Women and Adventures at Arrington Vineyards November 1, 2010
October was a month where I took some time to play and explore my world. Sure, I had to work on getting requested materials out to people. I also had to judge six contest entries for Southern Magic. And I continued working on my WIP in discovery while I learned more about social media and critiqued my other writing friends’ manuscript pages. But I also made time to play.
How could I resist playing when the skies were so blue and the weather was absolutely perfect? I couldn’t! And one thing I really wanted to do was find a winery where the wine wasn’t mashed out of muscadine (read sweet) grapes. I miss my Northern Virginia wineries at this time of year. It was time to venture out and find one that met my needs for good wine, excellent views, and fabulous setting.
|At the entrance leading up to the winery.|
I found one. A friend had recently told me about Arrington Vineyards, located in Tennessee near Nashville. I began investigating the vineyard online. The winery is owned by Kix Brooks of the Brooks & Dunn Country Duo. The website does a fabulous job of describing the history, the location, and the ideas behind starting this vineyard so I won’t reiterate the details.
The website enticed me. The winery has real wines like Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays and more. Oh, be-still my wine-loving heart. The distance looked manageable from Madison, AL. Only an hour and forty minutes. So when I learned that my husband was golfing on Friday, I called up his golf buddy’s spouse and asked if she’d like to head out on an adventure with me.
She said yes. I promised a yummy crock pot meal afterward at our place for all four of us when we returned from our daylong adventures. She made everyone picnic sandwiches (golfers had their lunch and we had ours) and the day unfolded just as I had hoped.
|The wine-tasting building. So pretty!|
No longer trusting Tom Tom completely and not wanting to introduce Garmin into the mixture, I printed off a map to the winery. I picked up my friend in Meridianville and we up to Tennessee from her house. The trees were in full color, the skies were clear and bright, and the conversation was non-stop. The time flew by and we arrived at the winery with an appetite for tasting wine and enjoying the beautiful setting.
|Great view of the vineyard.|
|Many wines to try and buy!|
|Cute house with autumn decorations.|
|Plenty of places to sit and visit with friends.|
We tasted 7 different wines. We fell in love with four of them. After purchasing a bottle for our lunch (no we didn’t finish it LOL), we sat in the sunshine and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. Again, more chatter and a walk afterward to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. We stayed over two hours. I think we could have stayed longer, but we had an hour plus drive ahead of us so off we went. But we’ll be heading back again. And I will continue to look for places like Arrington to visit in the future. After all, if I don’t take time to play and discover new places, I may run out of things to write about!
|Want to stomp some grapes with me?|
|More breathtaking views
If you live near Nashville, I highly recommend going to Arrington Vineyards. Who knows? You might even run into Kix Brooks on the deck!
Positive Peer Pressure October 29, 2010
You’ve embarked on a journey toward a goal. One you believe in and want to achieve. You tell someone about your dream. That person laughs, asks if you are crazy, rains on your parade and tell you it is unattainable.
Now, if you are a 70 year old and you’ve just told your wife you’re thinking about becoming a circus high wire act despite the fact that you have no coordination then you might deserve the above scenario.
Yes, dreams should be realistically attainable.
If your dream is realistically attainable, and someone in your life says you shouldn’t try to attain this dream, then you need reevaluate your relationship with that person.
Tip for the Day: Surround yourself with positive, supportive people as you pursue your dream.
I wrote about my own journey from solitary writer to writer with a wealth of support here. I’ve heard the negative comments. One close relative said “you’ll never get published” when I told her I was writing a book. Do I share my dreams with her now? No way because I believe I will get that call. But it’s more than my own faith in my dream. I want the people in my life to be excited for me because I’m doing something I love. It feeds my soul in ways that I never expected. The end result? Publication? That’s just part of the dream. I am living my dream. I am a writer. I write. I am happy because I am writing.
Here’s the thing: people who are negative about your dreams and your goals aren’t happy so they don’t want you to be happy either.
Trust me. I’ve learned this lesson and it has served me well. I repeat: when someone is mean or nasty to you and rains on your parade it is because that person doesn’t want you to be happy and fulfilled.
I am writing because it brings me joy. Sure there are days that I want to drop kick my laptop to the ends of the earth. I get frustrated. I feel the sting of rejection and throw personal pity parties (for a finite amount of time), but I keep on writing because that is when my positive community of support comes into play. These are the people who remind me about how much fun it is to do what I do. They encourage me. They lift my spirits. They make me laugh. They drink wine and eat dark chocolate with me while they tell me YOU WILL SUCCEED.
Surround yourself with positive peers who celebrate your dream and encourage you to keep working hard to attain the prize you seek. These are the people who must be in your world as you pursue your dreams. They are the people who want you to be happy and fulfilled. They are the people who want you to have joy in your life.
And when you reach your dream? They will be first in line to celebrate your victory!