Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where Do You Blog???

Are you sometimes curious to see where other bloggers do "their thing"?  Well, when I found the link to this "Where Do You Blog? Party", I had to check it out.  You can drop by the party by just clicking here.

There are some really fabulous home office spaces....and some shots of the corner of the living room sofa, or a barstool at the kitchen counter....I even saw a lawn chair on the patio!  Bloggers find all sorts of places to get creative. 

Well, here is where I have my desk and work area tucked away....in the back corner of our guest bedroom.

I love this room.  It's the only "girlie" room in our house and I have claimed it as my own!  The windows on the east wall get the morning sun, filtered through mesquite trees out in our backyard.  The single window on the south side gets some nice, bright afternoon sun.  This room is filled with light most of the day! 

The desk was a find in an antique shop in  New Braunfels....it travelled home in the back of my Explorer one year after vacation.  I believe it is called a "piano desk" because the top can be folded down over the work/storage area - just like the cover over the keyboard of a piano.

I already had the bedding and green-painted furniture, so I went with a soothing turquoise on the walls in here.  The green sheers on the windows were a steal at WalMart for $5 apiece.  They frame the windows
and still let in the light.   And, for me at least, they somehow tie all the colors in the room together.

Although this is my dedicated work/computer/study area, I have to admit.....you're just as likely to find me out in the rocker with my laptop on the front porch most days.

But, I am working really hard to develop good habits and sit in a proper chair while I am on the computer.  Honestly, I'm trying to be a grown-up and work at this desk - I am! 

And the dogs are helping me out by keeping me company this evening...Jake and Pepper, right under my feet....

And Scout on her pillow beneath the window......

So, there you have it....this is where I blog.  And I wouldn't have it any other way!

How about you?  Where do you get creative on the computer?  Or, are you like me, a "anywhere I can sit with my laptop" kind of person???

Until later....


Friday, August 27, 2010

My Children Are Grown...UnBeLiEvAbLe!!!

Summer is officially winding down - school has started.  For the first time in 22 years, I do not have a child beginning a new school year!  It's such a bittersweet feeling because part of me still feels like they're "my babies".....

But, I am so thankful that my children have grown up and are now productive adults.  They are entering new chapters in each of their lives....

Sam, who graduated from high school in June, is working as an electrician's apprentice.  He started talking months ago about a career as an electrician.  This evening he shared with us over dinner how exciting it has been to learn so much since he started working.  He now truly knows this is what he wants to do and is making plans to get the training and experience he needs to make it happen and eventually be a master electrician and contractor.  Way to go, Sam!!!

Ben, after three majors in three years of college, begins his new job at Blue Cross Blue Shield on Monday.  He is eager to get working - I think he has truly grown weary of just "hanging out" and being a broke student all the time.  He is very motivated to get moving and start making some money so he and Sam can get their own place.  Way to go, Ben!!!

Bonnie is truly on her own now.  Her divorce was final a couple of weeks ago.  She and the kids are all settled in their new apartment and she's gotten them started on a new school year.  She is a very strong person and a great little mother and I know they are going to do just fine.  Way to go, Bonnie!!!

Yes, it's kinda wierd to have grown children.  But, it's also kinda nice.  Now that they are adults, it is so pleasant to just spend time with them, talking and visiting, laughing and hanging out.  It's a shift in the dynamic of our relationship, but a part of the natural progression of parenthood.  Yes, I still occasionally feel the need to "parent" and get my two cents in.  And, thank God, they still ask for my advice - probably more now than ever!  I love this place we are in our lives, even as I miss those days of wiping snotty noses and hearing the pitter patter of little feet way too early on Saturday mornings. 

I'm thankful for my children, just as I have been at every stage of their lives.  They are truly a blessing to me!

If your kids are near to you today, give them an extra hug.  If they are not, say an extra prayer for them and pick up the phone and call to let them know you love 'em.   


The Body Part - Summer '10

I can't believe it's only been three months since I joined Hendrick Health Club, but what a difference those three months have made.  For those of you not familiar with local gyms, HHC is the gym at Hendrick Medical Center here in Abilene.  I was immediately impressed when I visited because there was such a wide variety of people working out there - all age groups, all body types, all fitness levels.  I felt comfortable with it right away. 

Once I made the decision to join, I jumped right in - with both feet!  I have a friend who was already attending BodyPump classes, so I went to my first weightlifting class with her that very same afternoon.  And I was hooked!  We looked over the class schedule and decided to come back the next day for BodyFlow, which is a one-hour class of TaiChi/Yoga/ Pilates.  Although the workout was very different from Pump, it provided a discipline and calmness that was downright addictive, so it became my alternating class of choice.  Pump helps build muscle and stamina and Flow keeps the body stretched and fluid - perfectly complimentary!  Trust me, there are many moves that challenge me in class and the instructors are always quick to give alternate moves for anyone who is having trouble.  Everyone just works to the level of their ability!

My body immediately took to the routine and started  "wanting" more.  Now, the gym is just filled with all sorts of terrific equipment, but the coolness of the mornings beckoned me to step outside and walk in my very own neighborhood.  So, early one morning that first week, I laced up my sneakers and hit the asphalt.  I walked...and walked...and it felt so good!  When I first started, my legs would burn a bit, but I pushed through it and quickened my pace.  After about 40 minutes of brisk walking, I would return to the house, sweaty and panting and feeling better than I can describe.  Now, after having developed this routine, my body doesn't feel quite right if I don't do it.  I know when the weather turns cold, I will probably seek out a treadmill at the gym for these walks, but for now I am enjoying being outside!

A few weeks ago, I got the urge to ride a bicycle - not easy to do if you don't have a bicycle.  So, off to the store we went and I selected a beautiful shimmery aqua bicycle that made me smile just to look at it.  It's so true what they say about  never forgetting how to ride a bike - it just all comes back to you so naturally.  Now, I enjoy pedalling around the neighborhood, and beyond, on my shiny new bike, feeling the breeze on my face.  It honestly makes me feel like a kid again, particularly when I go down Blair Street and by the house where I grew up!  There have been moments when I've nearly wept from the joy of simply riding a bike down my old street. 

I have learned alot about my body this Summer.  I have learned that just because I have previously had back and knee problems and been told I have arthrities doesn't mean that I shouldn't exercise and strengthen my body.  Quite the opposite!  In the beginning, I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to do anything - and during an evaluation session with a trainer early on I honestly could not do one single push-up.  (Talk about embarrassing!)  I had a terrible fear of injuring myself.  To a certain extent, that is good because it leads to using caution when exercising.  But, fear shouldn't be an excuse not to try an exercise program.  My chiropractor had been telling me for a couple of years that strengthening my core and back muscles would HELP my back and possibly prevent another herniated disk - he was so RIGHT!!!  Now that my muscles are stronger, they protect my spine and I am growning more flexible all the time.  Sometimes I am amazed at the positions I can get into during class just by warming up properly, stretching and breathing and allowing those muscles to work. 

Another thing I have learned is to listen to my body.  This is crucial, downright critical.  My body will tell me when I am not giving it what it needs.  If a particular muscle group is sore or tight, I try to pay attention to that and adjust accordingly.  If I'm stiff and tight, a session of Flow never fails to loosen me right up and restore that "balanced" feeling.  I'm so fortunate that I have access to a gym where each of the classes I love is offered at least once a day, so I can usually adjust my schedule and fit it in. 

Also, I have learned to pay attention to the little signs that tell me I'm not eating right.  If I go too heavy on carbs, I will feel bloated and sluggish.  If I am not taking in enough calories, I will feel weak and shaky.  These are little signs your body is trying to give you so you make modifications.   I have a secret little weapon that helps me "listen" to my body - it's called an Exerspy ( and I will share more about this wonderful little gadget in another post). 

I always thought it would be too expensive to join a gym, but this place is actually quite reasonable.  I pay $49 a month and all the one-hour classes I want to attend are included in that price.   I have access to tons of equipment and someone to show me how to use it correctly, and access to fitness and nutrition experts when I have questions.  I think it's a bargain!!!  And the best money I've ever spent - because I am investing it in my health!

How about you?  Do you have a fitness/exercise routine that works for you....that just lifts you to another level?  Do you prefer a treadmill or the outdoors when you walk?  Whatever works for you - keep doing it!!!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reflecting on Summer, 2010...

What a Summer it has been!  As the days get a little shorter and the sun takes on a different slant, I have to pause and reflect on what's been going on in the last three months...

My blogging has been sporadic at best this season.  I mean, c'mon, I think I posted three blogs in three months!  That's downright pitiful in the blog world.  But, my attention has been focused elsewhere and that was a very good thing for me. 

First off, I committed to making a turn-around in my life from a physical standpoint.  I joined a wonderful health club and totally immersed myself in a routine of exercise and healthy eating!  And it is paying off - in more ways than one!  Not only did I meet my goal for weight-loss for the 12-week period, I developed some really great habits that will continue to make a difference for me as I grow stronger. 

Now my day doesn't seem complete without a brisk walk in the morning and plenty of phsyical exercise.  I've sweated my way through weightlifting and tai chi/yoga/pilates classes and gained both lean muscle and flexibility beyond what I imagined possible.  The benefits are immeasurable - both physically and mentally!

The time spent working out has helped me to focus on me and my goals.  It has become a time to nourish my own body and soul - and this is something that was sorely lacking in my life before. 

Secondly, I started studying for a totally new career.  And realize that I said "career" and not "job"!  I am nearing the end of a 7-class educational program to qualify to take the state exam to get my real estate license.  And now that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am even more excited about the possibilities!  Everything about this just feels right for me at this time in my life. 

Finally, I have been able to really spend time with family since we now all live in the same town.  Whether it's "junkin" with Mom, helping my boys prepare for getting their own "first place" or playing in the pool with my grandkids - it's all become a part of the daily threads weaving my life together. 

And let me just take this oppurtunity to say that this season of growth would never have been possible without the tremendous support of Eddie.  He has put up with working around my exercise classes, eating healthier and what some would consider my "self absorption" without complaint! 

As Summer winds down, I'm excited about what has been accomplished - even though blogging was sorely neglected.  Everyone needs some time when they focus on getting their lives back on track once in a while.  A time when they nurture themselves so they can nurture others, in turn.  This was one of those times for me.  And one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that it is important to make time for self in order to be the best person you can be for your loved ones!!!

So, tell me....what have you been doing this Summer?  How has this season impacted your life?  I would love to hear what you've been up to!


Capturing a Magical Light

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