Welcoming the New Year!

Welcome, 2013!

The New Year is always a crazy time of change for me for some reason. Some of it might be the sudden halt we skid to after the build up of the holidays ever since October. I suspect the rest of it is the huge anticipation of the year to come, not to mention looking back on what I may not have accomplished.

We always put so much pressure on ourselves to stick to resolutions! I haven’t officially made any, but you know I have things in mind I want to change, make better, learn…insert any word you want there, really. SO, instead of stressing (like I am usually prone to do) I decided to start my blogging year off with The Simple Woman’s Daybook; it always makes me slow down and appreciate the little things. (If you want to participate, make sure you click the link!)

FOR TODAY – January 2, 2012

Outside my window… it’s already getting dark! I can’t believe how late it feels, but I’m glad it isn’t cold. I am so thankful I moved to Florida!

I am thinking… I am really hard on myself, even though I am better than I used to be. Why is it so hard to be nice to yourself?

I am thankful…for my loving husband, Rob. It doesn’t matter what is going on in my day, he always knows just what to do to make me feel better. That means the world to me.

In the kitchen…thawing out some chicken for dinner. I don’t know how I’m going to top Rob’s BBQ grilled pork chops from yesterday though!

I am wearing…my jammies, still. Ah, the luxuries of being a house wife, huh? Yeah, I don’t do it every day, so don’t judge!

I am creating… undue anxiety for myself. I always feel pushed to get paintings started so they will be closer to a finish point. I always rush myself to learn new things faster than humanly possible. This year, I will really work on allowing myself to be human.

I am going… to keep on trying, even if I don’t get it right the first time. Or the fifth. Everyone was a beginner at some point.

I am wondering… which project to start first!

I am reading… Discover Your Psychic Type by Sherrie Dillard and Spirited by Rebecca Rosen

I am hoping… to find being more assertive easier than I anticipate.

I am looking forward to… learning more about my new camera. I’ve only had it since Christmas, so I’m being too hard on myself about not knowing everything I think I should.

I am learning… to give myself time and space. I’m also learning to slow down and teach myself that I don’t have to finish a project in one day, or do something “right the first time.” It’s hard to remember that life is about learning, so mistakes happen.

Around the house…ugh. I have post holiday clean up waiting on me. Why does laundry multiply exponentially during the holidays?

I am pondering…which photography course to take first. I’m pretty excited about starting this new journey! If you have a suggestion, please share!

A favorite quote for today… Those who wish to sing always find a song. ~Swedish Proverb

One of my favorite things… a warm cup of French Vanilla coffee on the couch with my cats snuggled around me. Nothing much better than that!

A few plans for the rest of the week: in an effort to live in the moment, I’m not going to make any hard plans!

A peek into my day…  I’m learning how to do some interesting things with my new camera. I love the Bokeh effect, so I tried and tried, and I think I finally got the basics down! Now if I could just get my beach pictures in focus…


My First Sea Turtle Nest!

I found my first sea turtle nest on our favorite beach! Ok, so I might not have actually discovered the crawl, or the nest for that matter, but I can still call it my first. I mean, I have never seen an actual sea turtle nest on the beach before…

It’d been a few weeks since I’d had my feet in the ocean, so we headed out to our favorite oceanfront park in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, just up the road from the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Of course, Rob had to stop by the Little Boys’ Room, so I made it to the beach first. It was a gloomy day, and we were there around 6 o’clock, so we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.

While I snapped some pictures and waited on Rob, I spotted a section of sand marked off with tape and cones. I’m sort of used to seeing cones on the beach, since you are allowed (in most places) in the Daytona area to park on the beach. The Winter Haven Park area is a no traffic beach, but there are still cones for the Beach Patrol areas. Anyway, these weren’t Beach Patrol cones.  I ran down to see it it was really what I hoped.

Cha-ching! A marked sea turtle nest!! I couldn’t contain myself, I ran halfway up the boardwalk to Rob and started jumping up and down and hyperventilating. I couldn’t regain composure, so I just drug him down to the beach. This nest wasn’t exactly in the dunes (mere steps from the public beach walkover actually) so they had extra cones for added warning.  See the little

Sea Turtle spray painted on the cone? I wish I knew the details, like if it was relocated or what type of turtle made the nest, but I’m just happy knowing there will be baby sea turtles on my beach soon!

We strolled the beach until rain drops began to chase us back to the walkover. I didn’t think that trip to the beach could get much better…then on our way back, we spotted another nest! TWO sea turtle nests on our beach!

We noticed numbers on the markers and decided some of them were dates. One nest was found June 12th, the other June 20th. I hope we are lucky enough to see the babies when they hatch! Sea turtle nests can incubate for anywhere from 65 to 80 days, depending on the species, so I have some calculating to do! How exciting would it be to watch the babies make it to the ocean!!! I think I’d cry the whole time…I’m just like that.

According the the Volusia County Turtle Patrol, our county has 173 Loggerhead and 5 Leatherback nests so far! Woohoo! This ought to be an exciting season! I’m so glad we decided to hit the beach yesterday; I’m sure I’ll annoy Rob every free day he has to return, especially since it’s sea turtle season. At least it’s the beach and not the mall, right babe? Right?

>For Today…May 27th

>It has been far too long since I blogged. I can’t believe it, and I am going to strive to make it not be this long ever again! I have got to start taking time for me! So, the perfect way to focus and be present in the moment is the Simple Woman’s Daybook. Make sure you visit the blog to participate yourself!

Outside my window…the rain has stopped, but I think it may return.

I am thinking… that being positive is the hardest thing on Earth to do most of the time. Why is that?

I am thankful for…my home and family. A lot of people have lost it all in the last few weeks and I know how blessed I am to have a roof, my family, and the things I love around me.

From the learning rooms…the end of school is drawing ever closer for my hubby. I’ll be glad when he finishes because he works so hard at school and work. It’s like having two full time jobs. He’s burned out most of the time and I don’t know how to help. I’ll be very happy for the change and the new things (hopefully) coming after graduation.

From the kitchen…more coffee. Yes, that addition is hard to break! It’s like a warm hug from a friend -something I could really use right now.

I am wearing…jeans and a sweatshirt. No matter how it tries, the weather can’t quite shack off the cool temperatures around here! Get with the program PA weather…it is almost June!

I am creating…well, that’s a loaded question! I have been painting and drawing, but I have also been working on the behind-the-scenes efforts of opening an Etsy shop. Why must fun things be made so difficult by taxes and licenses. So discouraging!

I am going… to take it minute by minute and one day at a time. It’s all I can do.

I am reading… Duma Key by Stephen King. Wonderful so far, but it is making me more and more aware of how much I miss the ocean.

I am hoping… things won’t stay this hard for much longer.

I am hearing…my new kittens making thunder upstairs. So full of energy!

Around the house…same old stuff, different day. So many chores but I put my personal stuff behind other business. Sigh…

One of my favorite things… how soft and warm Charlie and Bean (my new little girl and little boy) are when they beg to be cuddled. They’ve only been here a month and already I’m wrapped around their little paws.♥

A few plans for the rest of the week… see “I am going…”! I’m going to breathe and take things one day at a time.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing… my sweet babies, Charlie and Bean. the story behind Charlie’s name is this: we were told she was a boy, but upon further investigation when we made it home…she was definitely a girl. Charlie really has a rambunctious, tom-boy like personality, so the name still fits her very well! Bean is the sweetest momma’s boy ever, with a curious streak a mile wide! They make me laugh when nothing else can. ♥

Charlie and Bean, our brand new babies…11 weeks old now!

>For Today…March 29th

>     It feels so good to have a minute for myself, to sit down and round up my thoughts! I think I may have only blogged once this entire month, not counting today, and that is not OK for me. I really need to carve out more time for myself.
     I have been trying to do just that as far as my art! It feels amazing to be creatively active again on canvas, and I have big plans coming up, if I can work out the logistics. It’s such an exciting time for me right now when I stop to think about it. I’m painting again, my hubby graduates in six months with his degree in Biomedical Electronics, which means we are that much closer to finding another place to move as he applies for placement in his new career…no wonder I feel so wobbly. I don’t know about you, but the change of seasons, coupled with daily life occurrences,  always makes me feel like I’m in a tailspin. Meh…that could just be my weird mind at work too, though. Who knows!
     I thought this would be a great time to start my Daybook up again. you know, sometimes a list to fill out gets the creative juices flowing. It’s sort of like meditating. It gives your mind something to focus on! So, with no further ado, here’s my March daybook:

Outside my window…it is bright and sunny, finally! A bit misleading since it is only 26°F out today! I can’t wait for warm weather…

I am wearing torn up jeans and a tee. Getting ready to paint!

I am thinking… short term. I need to live more in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. While those close to me know, I never stop worrying, trying to just think moment to moment is getting easier all the time. 

I am thankful for my loving, supportive husband. I can’t say it enough! I’m also super proud of him for his hard work in school. My A student is really going places!

From the kitchen… coffee! French Vanilla, you are my warm and comforting friend.

I am creating… again! It feels wonderful. I have a process,which really is a moody one, but as long as I keep plodding forward in the process, I always work it out! I love mixed media, so I’m trying to get more into that realm as much as I can.

I am readingDuma Key by Stephen King. Thought I’d give this one my free time since it’s about a painter! I just finished Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster. You simply must pick up one or all of her books. She is so hilarious! Oh, and follow her blog. Do it now!

From the learning rooms… my hubby is on the cusp of his next school term! After this next term, he starts his extern-ship, and we are super duper excited about the wonderful company he will be working with! 

I am hoping…I can make my plans a reality soon. I don’t want to jinx it, so no hints right now.

I am hearing… The Bold & The Beautiful. Yeah, guilty pleasure. I grew up watching that and The Young and the Restless with my mom. I like to watch them…feels like girlie time with my mom. Is that weird?

I am going…have a great day today. I will, I will, I will!

Around the house…laundry,dishes,general tidying…repeat. 

I am remembering…taking time for me is not a luxury. We all got that idea somewhere along the way, and it isn’t true. Taking time for yourself is so important for your mental health. Believe me, I know!

Quote to commit to memory… “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” ~Gandi

A few plans for the week… finish up this piece on the easel and start at least one more, then just general duties about the house (made easier because we got the dryer replaced! Yay clean laundry!)

One of my favorite things…glue and paper on canvas!

Photo for Thought…I have been so excited about painting again. I’ve been a busy bee, so I thought I’d share. I don’t really have a theme, I just paint things I love or that I feel drawn to at the moment. Anyhow, these are what I have been up to since February!
I did a portrait of a good friend’s cat, Bandit, then went out on a limb with an abstract. I then painted one of my favorite places in the world, The Angel Oak in Charleston, SC.

     Thanks for stopping by today! If you want to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook, head on over to the site and get to writing. If you don’t blog, but love reading, you can read other women’s daybook entries there, too. Enjoy and have a wonderful day!

For today…October 17th

Outside my window…the sun is going down and it’s getting chilly!

I am wearing…jeans and a long sleeve tee shirt. might have to get a scarf when I head out to pick up my hubby from work!

I am thinking… about my up coming trip to South Carolina. I’m glad I get to see my family for a bit! It’s the airport and the flying alone before I get there that is getting to me!

I am thankful for…my wonderful, loving, sweeter-than-honey hubby. We just celebrated our second wedding anniversary on October 11th! The best 2 years of my life, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

From the kitchen…well, I’m making cookies. I shouldn’t be, because I eat them…yet they are baking as we speak!

I am creating…I finally got around to making the fall memorials for my mom’s headstone today. Yeah, I’d rather it not be memorials, but it was really nice to get back to my flowers again!

I am readingHealing Mind, Healthy Woman: using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, and Henry Dreher. I just got 49 books at the local library sale though, so who knows what’s next! Gotta love the bag sale! I got all those books for $3!!!

From the learning rooms…I’m still learning to take life one day at a time.

I am hoping… that I am making a difference!

I am hearing…the tv. I love America’s Funniest Home Videos!

I am going…to remember that I am one person and I just can’t please everyone at the same time.

Around the house…the laundry is folded, but not put away. The dishes are washed, but not put away…I think there’s a pattern developing here!

I am remembering…well, trying to remember everything I need to write on my “Going on a Trip” list!

Quote to commit to memory“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” -Buddha

A few plans for the week…gotta mail this package, make sure all the things for my trip are in order. Getting close now!

One of my favorite things…warm homemade chocolate chip cookies and a coffee.

Photo for Thought… this is our first full autumn season here in PA and I am just loving the fall weather! The leaves are just gorgeous here…so I took a stroll and shot some pictures around North East. I hope your fall is beautiful where ever you are!

For Today…September 29th

Outside my window…chilly and rainy, a great day for a nap!

I am wearing…jeans and a long sleeve tee shirt. Thinking about getting a sweater though…

I am thinking… how I really need to get back to being more disciplined with following my Weight Watchers again. What is it about Fall that derails a diet? Oh, I know, the amazing food!

I am thankful for…a husband and friends that comfort me and truly care. you guys don’t know how much you are appreciated.

From the kitchen…well. Coffee first, then I think I shall have a bowl of Cheerios and a peach yogurt.

I am creating…I made a header and background for my sweet hubby’s new blog! I’m also going to work on the memorials for my mom’s headstone today. Gotta get the fall colors out. One of my pet peeves is when people leave old, out of season flowers on a headstone…big no-no!

I am readingHealing Mind, Healthy Woman: using the Mind-Body Connection to Manage Stress and Take Control of Your Life by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, and Henry Dreher

From the learning rooms…my hubby just started his new term at school. He is doing so well and I am SO proud of him!

I am hoping… that I am making a difference.

I am hearing…the tv…ever notice that the morning news shows are more positive? Why can’t the afternoon and evening news do that too?

I am going…to remember that I am one person and I just can’t please everyone at the same time.

Around the house…well, with two part time jobs I feel like I let the house go! Getting caught up on laundry today, seems to be piled to the ceiling!

I am remembering…to breath deeply and take a time out when life gets to me.

Quote to commit to memory“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Teilhard de Chardin
A few plans for the week…just plodding along. Hopefully I can get out and maybe take a few pictures of the fall leaves.

One of my favorite things…warm, 2 blanket naps on chilly, rainy days.

Photo for Thought… this past weekend was the 29th Annual North East Wine Harvest Festival here in town. It’s only the biggest event of the year around here, since our little town is known for grapes! These are just a few shots of grapes I got while taking a drive through the countryside…it smells SO good here in the fall! Hope these help you feel a little Fall where ever you are!

The North East Wine Harvest Festival!

Well, I finally made it to Wine Fest this year! I’ve known my husband for nine years and we have never made it to North East for this special event…but this year we live here, so we had no excuse! The weather was supposed to be worse, but thankfully, we chose the right day to venture out. It had been back in the 80s the entire week, but Saturday, clouds funneled in and the temperature didn’t crack 60! It was beautiful fall weather, perfect for a harvest festival!

Some beautiful local grapes!

There were two spots for the fun. Gibson Park, right in the middle of North East, was full of local crafters, food venders, and people enjoying the day. Gravel Pit Park, only about a half mile down the road on the edge of town, was the place to be for wine tasting, fine art and crafts, live music, and loads of food. I was good…I shared a small fried grape pie with my hubby. I decided to forgo the funnel cake this time. Nothing tastes as good as thin feels, right? I ended up with a small hot dog and fries though, because you simply can not eat healthfully at a fair. You just can’t. Anyway…on to the grapes!

Here in North East, we are known for GRAPES! There are vineyards everywhere. You really can’t turn around without seeing one! During the harvest, the air is heavy with the smell of grapes of every sort. And that is intertwined with the smell of pears and apples as well. This town is like a huge fruit basket, really!  Speaking of…this was just one of the fruit offerings at the festival. So pretty!

We had loads of fun walking through the crafts, looking at the award winning wines. But there was only one thing I really wanted to do. I wanted to stomp some grapes! My hubby had told me for years that they offered this opportunity at Wine Fest, but we never made it. So this year, I was on a quest. I even wore a skirt so I won’t have to roll up my jeans… I was prepared! My fantastically imaginative brain had this huge scene all worked out. If you have ever seen A Walk in the Clouds, you all know what I mean! I could just see a huge barrel with thousands of grapes just waiting for a group of people to jump in. Well, it was a little different than that. There were two modest barrels, maybe big enough for two people.

And there were loads of people in line. I’m not pushy, so when I was cut in line by like, twenty kids under the age of 10, I bit my tongue, watched, and quietly moved to the shorter line for the second barrel. (Don’t worry, the rant about the lack of manners today will be saved for another time.)
It was SO much fun once I got in the barrel. I was even cheered on by the crowd for not holding onto the railing! I can’t really explain what it felt like. All I can really say is that it felt like cold jelly…well, preserves I guess, because of the bigger, un-squished pieces!


I had a blast, and now I can mark this off my bucket list! After I washed off my feet, we returned to watch more people take their turn squishing and squashing. You couldn’t stand too close…some of the participants really wanted to make it more like a theme park ride and were intent on getting grapes on everyone!

The last few ladies were hilarious though…making Lucille Ball references and the like! They were doing so well that the MC asked them to get in a bucket together and have a little friendly competition with the Erie County Apple Princess! They got quite a work out, and let’s just say they beat some Apple Princess butt! They were so awesome, I had to get their picture after their victory!

Montrae and Eileene after their victory over the Apple Princess!

After walking around both parks most of the day, we decided to hit the closest winery to our house…we didn’t really want to get on the shuttle with people who’d been tasting for hours, if you know what I mean. I don’t drink, so it was my hubby that was looking forward to the tour. We actually made out better than tasting at the festival! They were selling tokens for $1 for a one ounce taste. Well, the South Shore Winery (sister winery of our favorite Mazza Vineyards!) was offering five different wines to taste for the same dollar! Plus you got the fun of listening to the lady teach you about different wines and their individual qualities.

Yes, she has corks for earrings. I loved them. A lot. And yes…you haven’t had too much drink, that is a walking bunch of grapes pouring the wine. I’m sure that got some of the more tipsy tasters! The hubby likes sweet reds, but he gave a few dry selections a try. The tour guides before the tasting had told us their best selling bottle of the weekend was the Honey Mead. We were intrigued. Luckily, the Honey Mead was on the tasting list! It, in fact, was one of my hubby’s favorites that we will have to return for at a later time.

My favorite part of the tour was the building. The owners bought the house and, just a few years ago, discovered that there was a cellar underneath completely filled with dirt! After excavating, they discovered a beautiful cellar and it’s dated back to the 1860s! It was breathtaking, and I honestly can’t believe it’s only a half mile from my house! You can read more about the history here.
So needless to say, ending at The South Shore Winery and seeing the cellar was the highlight of the day. Besides the grape stomping of course! OH! And I can’t close without sharing this… nothing like a little dry wine humor (ha ha, get it, dry?!)…