Sunday, July 31, 2022



One way that we as consumers can help out in our local areas is to shop for produce at Farmers' Markets. Our area is lucky in that we have them spread all around our city. There is a very special one just around the corner from where we live and WOW can you tell the difference in his produce vs what you will find at the grocery store. He is in Cordova, Tn just off Macon on C Street before you hit Sanga Road. Each year his business has grown larger. He has a Facebook page and Instagram where he puts up his pictures and weekly menus of what is available. 

Note: There is a very kind young man who carries those heavy melons out to your car trunk!

It is located on a little side street so that parking is easy on both sides of the street. They have bags or you can bring your own recyclable bags. Over the years that he has been open, his marketing ideas have grown with the business. Such as having hours posted on FB as to opening late due to rain, putting up more shaded canopies for customers (as well as for those working the stands - hey, it is HOT out there)!

We go weekly and once we went on a Thursday and went back on Saturday for more tomatoes. He is open Thursday - Saturday and definitely has a steady business. (9-6 Thurs.-Fri. and Sat. 9 till sold out) When we walk up it is hard not to let our eyes do the shopping without thinking that there are only two of us and what will we eat before it goes bad. That is my only warning. Take a look at some of his produce:

I must say that one week I literally overdosed on tomatoes. Is that possible? It is if you bake a tomato pie and have a slice of tomato on everything that you eat for a week (including just a good ole plain tomato sandwich)! I have learned to cut back just a little bit. As good as all of these fruits and vegetables are for us, mix them up some. 

The health benefits, not to mention helping out the environment and finances are overwhelming yet statistics show that only a small percent actually shop at farmers markets. Most seem to still be hooked on grocery stores. Why?

If you shop at the grocery store, many times the food had to be shipped there. So it really it is a better idea to buy locally and when in season in your area reducing the carbon footprints. Also the produce is not wrapped up in plastic as it is sometimes in the grocery. If you think about it there are growing seasons for all fruits and vegetables so when it is time for certain produce to be harvested in our area, that is the time to buy it. It is fresher, tastier and did not have to travel miles to get to you. Everything can be picked at peak ripeness.

Because it is locally grown, it is higher in nutritional value because it is produced closer to us and spends less time in transport and storage. Eating seasonally saves us more money than buying out of season produce where prices could easily spike due to demand.

Purchasing from a local farmer helps our local economy and not some multi-million dollar corporation. It cuts out the middle man. Shopping at a local farmers market gives us a sense of community. We have even met up with friends at our market. The farmer and his helpers even get to know us and what it is that we usually buy.  It is a weekly trip over for us while he is open. 

I do have my own little AeroGarden to plant heirloom cherry tomatoes, miniature peppers and lots of herbs. It is a sad day in September when our farmer is back to work on his farm for the next year's growing season so this is when patience is needed to carry on. It is back to the grocery store at that time and the produce simply can't be compared. 

What matters the most is knowing where our food comes from and supporting locally grown produce whenever possible.

Here's to SWEET FROM THE VINE PRODUCE and the owner Micah McDaniel. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram and please stop in to see them. 

Saturday, July 23, 2022




Let me start by saying that I really do love jewelry, flowers and other really nice things that my love of my life has given to me. However, I can honestly say with all of my heart that it is the day to day little things that makes my heart go boom-boom! It reminds me of just how deep my love is for him. Most of these little things are quiet and simple. 

Some examples of the little things for me is that he makes my coffee each morning and brings it to me as I am dressing and doing make-up and hair. When he traveled on business he made sure that the coffee beans were all ready and in containers ready to go for each day. I know that others do this because this picture is from a friend when her husband goes out of town. It means the world! Such a simple act of love.

Steve would hide little notes, sometimes a post-it note and sometimes a little card that he picked up and hid it in a place where he knew that I would go at some point in my day. It could be in a coffee mug sitting up, or under the decorative pillow on the bed that came off before I went to bed. In my handbag if he knew I was going out...I never knew where. That was the fun of it.

He loves bringing home or ordering special scented candles for me to have on my desk to set the mood for writing, plus it makes me think of him. (an extra bonus)

We both love to cook but it is so special when he puts all of his passion in cooking our meal. I work on being the sous chef. Just watching him makes me happy and I fall more deeply in love with him.

With all that is happening around our city, as well as the country, it is not always safe for a woman to go out to get her own gas. It takes eyes all around to be careful not to get your car stolen, or things in your car. So he always wants to be with me to fill up my car with gas. Luckily, I am not in it alone very often so it does not use a lot of gas but when it needs gas. He is there with me. Taking care of giving my car a full tank.

Some jobs around the house I just take care of like Roomba and using the Swifter but others, it is amazing to see how fast he empties that dishwasher and takes out the trash. I try to help by breaking down boxes (at least the ones that I can work on). I can also grab the new bag to put in the kitchen. So it is called team work for each other.

Letting each other have a turn at sleeping in is a great little treat. could be him or it could be me? We both share at this gift.

Occasionally, a nice sweet and gentle foot rub hits the spot for me or Steve enjoys a gentle pedicure/manicure from me. He would never go out and get one. 

We both enjoy sending texts to one another. Whether it is our "stars" (astrology) for the day, especially since we are both Sagittarian. Interesting! Or other sweet texts like, "You looked beautiful in that outfit today, Darling." Wow...that puts me on cloud 9 for a while. Makes my heart melt. And a text back to him letting him know how that made me feel is just as special.

The old fashioned way of sending a love text is when he is in the shower, I love it when his back is to me and I can make a heart on the shower glass that is all steamed up. 

So you see...It really is the little things that matter to the heart.

Saturday, July 16, 2022



What if I told you that there is a magic pill that you can take that will help in losing weight? Well, I would not be telling the truth. There is no magic pill. There is no magic to losing weight at all. Once, when Oprah was a daily tv show, I remember her weight going up and down like a roller coaster. She stated that if there were some magic pill out there to help lose weight she could afford to buy this to help her. This was not in bragging, it was just the truth. One of the wealthiest people in the world and there was nothing that she can do to shed her weight that we are not able to do ourselves. 

How many of us have gone on those "fad" diets and the weight melted off only to come right back on and then some. That is what happened to her and to me and to countless others?  The problem is that once the weight is lost we move into the real world. No guidance to eating a healthy lifestyle once you are off the program, even though many of them claim to have a maintenance program. Not to mention some of the dangers of the chemicals that you are putting into your body. 

I will not name the national diet company that I tried and wow did I lose weight. About half-way through the program I started to have these crazy wild zaps of pain in my head. It lasted about 2 - 3 seconds and was over. I finally went to the doctor and he discovered that what I was taking was affecting nerve endings and that is where the nerve endings were reacting. As soon as I stopped the program the zaps of pain stopped. Thank goodness there were no other side effects.

Let me start by saying there are painless ways to lose weight in a healthy way. At some point, and no one but you can make that decision, you know something has to be done. I was uncomfortable. Each person must do it for no one else but for themselves. Why? Because they want to become more healthy in their lifestyles. It is time to stop avoiding all high calorie treats and working out like a maniac. Really it does not take some super hero to make these changes. Go ahead and share a cupcake or ice cream with someone you love.

First, I started with adding, not subtracting foods from my meals and snacks. Deep red cherries, juicy grapes or crunchy snow peas...a handful of almonds are all things that I would keep with me for snacks instead of reaching for chips and things that just are not good for me. I use FitBit to journal my food and keep track of my calories, as well as my carbohydrates, fat, protein and sugar. I worked first on lowering my carb intake but even there one must be careful because calories do count. I became a label reader. Does this mean that I did without? Sometimes. A great way that I used was to watch and sometimes weigh my portions. Also, to share a meal or get an appetizer for my meal. 

All easy ways to help cut back and still lose weight. So it may not be as fast as some of the fad diets but it will change my mindset of what I am choosing to eat for the rest of my life. Also, just a small amount of exercise is better than nothing at all. A walk around the house, a 10 minute ride on a bike, dance moves while cooking - just to get up and move. Right now I am doing physical therapy exercises to help with arthritis in my knees. That is not going away but I can make my knees stronger and get in exercise at the same time. This has really helped. A 5 minute walk around the house is still a 5 minute walk. Every little bit helps. 

Unless you just love doing these crunches, go for the movement of walking, leg lifts, riding a bike, etc.

Just a little side note, Oprah did join and is promoting Weight Watchers, which is most definitely a healthy program because members get to choose what they want to eat based on points. For me, I choose based on the nutrition/calories. Either way, is a much more healthy way to lose weight.

Hydration really does help. To make it more friendly to the environment, I managed to get me some great water bottles in all colors. It helps me keep track of how much I drink, too. I save the purchased plastic bottles when I am going out and can slip the bottle in my handbag. 

I learned that I had to hook up to what works for me. It was and still is trial and error. I try different things. I must admit that I am addicted to the scales. I try not to be but at least I have become friends with my scales. 

Who can gain 6 pounds in one day? That would be me. And yes, I know it is not going to be there the next day or even the next. Something goofy in my body? I am not a doctor and don't know if I possibly had more sodium one day vs another? I just stopped being frustrated over it. What matters? 

Clothes keep getting too big and I must go down in size. Oh, how good that feels, not to mention when others notice and say something. Still...I am not doing it for them. I am doing it for myself. I feel better, I have more energy and stamina and just a healthier outlook on life. 

Last words from this blogger...Find what works for you and just do it. Everyone has their own unique needs, likes and dislikes. It is all in the mindset.

Saturday, July 9, 2022



Just as John Lennon wrote and sang, we all need to give peace a chance. Peacefulness is not something that we bring into our lives, it is a quality that we find within ourselves. As I have discovered we can move to the mountains to find solitude but if we have not learned to cultivate peace from within ourselves, it is only a matter of time until things happen beyond our control and we lose our sense of calm again.  I read someone else's visualization to help cultivate his mind is to hold the vision of a monk sitting calmly in the middle of an earthquake with everything trembling around him, he does not let what is happening in his environment affect his inner state of being.

Life is always changing and is unpredictable. It can bring us happiness even if we can't always hold onto to it. This is what makes it hard to keep some situations pushed away in a special place because they will affect our peace of mind. No matter where we are, it is necessary to learn how to deal with life's ups and downs and stay centered no matter what is happening all around us. Rather than wishing a difficult situation to go away, we can move through the experience more easily if we take the opportunity to learn as much as we can from it. How? 

Here are some ways that I have discovered and use in my own sometimes chaotic life:

Reminding myself to 'just breathe.' In a tense moment it is not always the easiest thing to do. That is when our breathing becomes restricted so it is wise to sit still and take 2 or 3 or more deep breaths. This releases tension and helps to center myself again. Then it becomes easier to express feelings in a calm and coherent fashion. It helps to bring a peace of mind to me.

Sometimes we have no control over what is happening around us. What we can control is how we respond to any given situation. This is the time to practice acceptance through breathing and expressing our feelings calmly so that it is easier to go back to peace of mind vs. struggling through it. 

There are times such as when in a conflict with another that it might become necessary to set your own boundaries. There are times that you can just say no and walk away if you decide it is not beneficial. When we give ourselves the space to reflect on an incident it can bring us a sense of relief. I will caution that these times are usually in our personal lives. Not with a supervisor who has given you a task that you don't want to undertake. This is the time to breathe and move on and not allow another person to control your emotions. 

When stress is taking over it just might be time to get up and move your body. Simple yoga moves or stretching exercises work wonders on a body both physically and mentally. Just move, even if it is a walk around a hallway at work.

When a certain situation is causing confusion it may be time to try talking to yourself or even getting support from family or friends...major problems could even lead you to a support group. There are many of them out there if you live in a metro area. 

When troubled, this is one of the best times to be sure that you are taking time to take care of yourself. It is not being selfish. It is a way to nurture yourself back to peace of mind. There are many little ways to do this such as a DIY spa day or one with a specialist. Practicing yoga, reading a good book, painting or another kind of art work...just some YOU time. 

There is something to be grateful for in every life situation. This is the way to help us return to a path of peacefulness. As John Lennon wrote and sang,

"All we are saying is give peace a chance."

Monday, July 4, 2022



Lucky enough to have two sons, one daughter and one daughter-in-law and 4 granddaughters to celebrate the holidays and two birthdays all together!

Next week will be a fresh new blog!