Sunday, November 26, 2023



 What exactly is Thanksgiving all about? In general, I would think that it is a large group of us in the United States that believe it is a long list of things such as:

food, food, and more food




Macy's Day parade

decorating for the holidays


Black Friday shopping

Those are some of the things that come to my mind. I do remember my first Thanksgiving with Steve. I asked him, quite innocently, about what did his family do for the Thanksgiving. Without a blink of an eye he said that they celebrated because they sent all of the 'Yanks' off in ships to America. 

I fell for that one BIG TIME. He graciously always celebrated Thanksgiving with me and my family. Sometimes it was just the two of us and other times it was a very large crowd. He even joined in by making some of his own unique British dishes, such as real roast potatoes. They quickly became one of the favorite dishes of everyone at our gatherings. 

Over the years we tried many different ways of celebrating. Some traditions we kept, while others were tweaked here and there. 

I miss our Thanksgivings together. I miss being with him - just plain and simple. All the times together. Now we have new celebrations in different ways. Still good and I still hold him in my heart always. Thinking how he would get a big kick out of his granddaughters and his daughter and sons. His granddaughters all remember him and mention him in such sweet ways and their own memories. 

He would have enjoyed watching the four granddaughters playing outside when the weather permitted. Going on the long walk with them around the lake with the dogs. On the rainy day we all headed for Neon Memphis Monster Miniature Golf. Inside neon monsters based on the Memphis music scene - right up his alley. Probably he would have joined me staying home when they headed to the new Troll movie. I enjoyed just having a little quiet time and preparing a pot of chili for the rainy gray and chilly day. We also had quite a few good leftovers so it was a free for all kind of night for dinner.

Lots of football to watch. Kids played games. And then by the actual day of Thanksgiving they had to get back home to New Orleans and we headed out to even more family for a big get-together. This time there were eleven humans and six dogs. We brought our two and others were there also. The food was wonderful and everyone was having a very grateful Thanksgiving. We all had a lot to be thankful for. Blessed? Yes! 

It was a gorgeous Fall day. So most of us were outside enjoying the sunshine, with our lightweight jackets. The dogs were totally having the time of their lives, just running around and being happy in the big fenced yard. However, we all witnessed a crazy little "love" thing going on. One very handsome golden retriever named Finley seemed to fall totally in love with our goldendoodle, Maggie Mae. He followed her everywhere, kissing her on her ears, watching her every move and never leaving her side. 

After eating, watching football, watching the dogs and kids playing we headed home for some quiet time. The next day we planned on decorating and decorating we did. Everyone got involved. Craig took care of the outside lighting and we worked on the inside.

Just as we had a special place for Steve's stocking with our Moms' stockings, we decided to put Davis' stocking on the stairs with the other two dogs. He was with us last year but we lost him not long afterwards. It really brings tears to my eyes when I think about the wonderful memories of the holidays before they left us. And, that is how Steve would want it...tears of joy and happiness in remembering and sadness. Easier said than done but I am working on it. The good memories are easy. Wanting more? Yes, I do. Is that selfish? Maybe. But these are my honest feelings. To still want hugs and kisses and talks and hearing and saying I love you...They must be in my heart and dreams and they always will be.

When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them but to live with the love they left behind.



Sunday, November 19, 2023



At this time in my life, I know that I am making my tomorrow self proud with what I am doing today. It is totally awesome to feel this way. Why? It makes me happy. Happiness in all of our lives is so very important. It has been proven as a factor to help in living longer. Add that to what I am working on for my own health? Now, I am hoping to at least be more comfortable within myself. Losing 80 pounds is a really good start. Not only do I feel happier; let's just say I feel the weight of the world off of my shoulders...and my knee joints, and my back, and my feet. The list goes on and on.

If I start from the beginning, about 7 months ago I made a commitment to myself to do something about my weight. It was making me so UNHAPPY. Finally, the clothes that I had in my closet no longer fit. I was needing to go up to the next category - what I called the 'Big Mama' clothes. I can say that for me it was a wake up call. I do not mean to offend anyone who is in that category of clothing. It just was not for me. I will never judge anyone else and I expect the same from others concerning me. Others never know about what may be going on in the lives of other people unless they have walked in their shoes.

For me, I had a little weight to lose before the love of my life passed away unexpectedly. Not a whole lot of weight. I knew that I could work on it and actually had already started watching the carbs and such to work on. Without even realizing what I was doing, I went into an emotional eating disorder. Those are my words now as I look back. If anyone had said anything to me, I can assure you that I would not have listened and would have been in total denial. It took me, myself and I to finally see the 'LIGHT.'

It took me a while to get on board with my journey for the rest of my life. I had a very good friend who took the journey three years earlier and looked fantastic. I never realized that she had 45 or so pounds to lose. She did not appear to be overweight to me. Of course, I was looking through my rose colored glasses. Plus, the second amazing thing was that she had kept the weight off now for over 3 years. That was the key. Learning a lifestyle of eating habits. It is a matter of not living to eat but eating to live.

Yes, I agree, that it is nice to enjoy a good meal of some of our favorite foods. Spacing those 'good foods' is the trick; along with portion control. 

One way that I try to make my tomorrow self proud is by working on something challenging to me (such as taking this life journey of healthy eating and losing extra weight). All the while focusing on my purpose for doing it vs. indulging in self-doubt. It can be a matter of practicing gratitude and reaching out to connect with others. I have discovered there is a whole community of others who are following this journey that I have chosen for my health. 

At the end of the day, what really matters isn't what others think of me. What matters is how I feel about me. That is when I know that thinking about my future self is helpful because it changes my perspective and increases the timeline so that I am able to see the impact of my actions. I know that I want to be healthier so is it worth it to drive my car through the drive-thru window and get some fries? My tomorrow self shouts out a big fat, "NO!"

Words such as create, inspire, balance, smile and progress, along with so many others are words that I reflect on as I think about continuing my journey and are what help to make me proud of me.

It is all about changing up my overall lifestyle. A new mindset, so to speak. And then to be proud of the changes. 

Sunday, November 12, 2023



There are people in all of our lives that just fill us up with positive energy. They uplift us. They are fun to be around and give us support and love. I am sure that everyone could name at least five people who have this characteristic. They can be people that you work with, people who are neighbors or friends. They can be people in your family. 

These people all have similar traits such as being understanding of your feelings, always looking on the brighter side, quick to forgive, understanding and encouraging.

In other words, they build our energy levels up high. We want to be around them. It is always good to share in this endeavor. Why? Because we do live in a self-serving, self-centered, and self-obsessed modern day society. Everyone rushing here and rushing there. It is always a good idea to try to differentiate  ourselves in this kind of world. If we all try to become more people oriented then I believe that is where we will start to build a better world - one person at a time.

Start with working on learning how to be happy yourself. Once you are then you will not want to be around people who make you feel anything less.

People who support and love us make us feel happier. It is a circle of happiness. These are the kinds of people that we all want to be around. It also is what each of us should strive for. Our inner atmosphere either fuels others with energy or drains them. Which would you rather be?

We all have known people who are like a dark gray cloud hanging over us. It almost seeps inside of us if we allow it to. It is much nicer to feel the sunshine.

To do this it is important to know what signs to look out for when others are energy vampires.

How do we survive energy vampires? First, look out for those who don't take any accountability. Often, they are very charismatic and know how to slink out of trouble with their charm. They tend to always be involved in some kind of drama and find themselves in the middle of a major catastrophe quite often. They try to drag others around them into the drama with them. Know anyone like this?

Another type of energy vampire just never seems to have good news. If you asked them politely, "How are you today?" Don't expect a short answer. They will go into lengthy health details of everything that is wrong with them. If you allow it to happen, they will drain your energy levels and cause you the stress that has built up in their bodies and minds.

The bottom line is that we all need to be able to recognize these behaviors in others and put an end to it in order to protect our own health and well-being. We all have choices to make and their burdens are not ours to bear. Adjusting our expectations will help and establishing the boundaries. 

Have you ever had a check in time with yourself just to help you to know where your own energy level is? That let's us know if we need to adjust it. Asking ourselves whether we wish to be the uplifting friend or the energy zapper vampire - then choosing who it is that we want to be around. It sets it all into motion.

Here is a quote that is a great reminder:

Sunday, November 5, 2023



That statement seems to be very positive. And it is. It also is sometimes easier said than done for many. Really, it is all about knowing what has been found as the key to happiness. A Harvard study that has been going on for 85 years discovered that it is not money, not achievements, not success, and it is not even about where you live or the number of sunshiny days that we have. There may be some people who would argue that last point. There are therapists who see people who have legitimate depression and are prescribed seasonal therapy lamps for those who need help through depression based on lack of sunshine.

The study found that the #1 contributor to happiness is having strong positive relationships in your life. When I stop and think about it, my happiest moments are when I am with other people. The people that I love. The people that make me feel good. These people can be people in my family or neighbors, or co-workers. In general, they are people who make me feel good and hopefully being around me makes them feel good too. It reminds me of the song that Barbra Streisand sings: People Who Need People Are the Luckiest People In the World. And who is going to argue with those words. Why? Because it is true.

Some of my most happiest moments were most definitely with the love of my life. It could be alone time with him or together with him and others who made us happy to be around, whether it be family or friends. When we were going through the pandemic, we were together constantly, as many families were. It definitely was better than being home all alone. At least we had each other. And it made us happy to be together. 

When you are with those that make you happy, of course they give you peace of mind. Not so much 'the things' that will make us happy but 'the things' that people bring to the relationship. That is the true feeling of peace of mind. I know that when I no longer had Steve in my life, physically, the hardest part of healing was working on recovering "the me" that went away with him. In order to be happy this was something that I had to work on. It is a part of the grieving process. It is different for everyone. No time limits on each step of the way. It is important thought to eventually get to finding the 'you' and being happy. Our loved ones would want it that way. So let's just end on that note: