Thursday, August 23, 2012

Saving a Summer Day

Summer is slipping away!  I'm retired now and I suddenly missed my students today.  I was a school library media specialist at a high school in a small town in South Carolina.  The students were great!  Many came by everyday to tell me about the latest movie or what they bought for their e-reader.  The young men always had a funny story and the young ladies always had drama in their lives!  I miss them.

Suddenly I realized I was going to miss "today" if I didn't get out and take some pictures of what is left of this summer.
I spend a lot of time just swinging in the morning in this swing that DH built for me.  Do you see the white impatiens in the pots in front of the swing?  They are beautiful at night when the clouds separate and the moon shines bright.  The pots seem to glow in the moonlight!
These are my welcome red impatiens.  They hang by the front gate next to the driveway.  The large hook makes me think of something to tie off a horse. (Ever the romantic!)
Here is one of my favorite places!  Back at the far edge of the yard is my clothes line where I dry sheets, towels, and blue jeans. ( and underwear). I love to look at the sky and clouds as I pin the fabric.
The wind and sun are in abundance here.  It is a special place to me.  
The geraniums by the sidewalk to the front door takes a lot of sun. 

The butterfly bush is blooming by the front door.

 The petunias are blooming by the deck.

The black-eye Susan is holding it's own.
 A Lady Slipper has appeared in the back yard on the path to the clothes line.

The lamb's ear is soft and healthy.  I can still see my two year old son petting the lamb's ear.  He is twenty-eight years old now and lives 250 miles away.  I still love lamb's ear...
 I'm never alone in the garden.  Not only do I have the wind and sun and clothes line and swing and flowers and an angel boy, I have my sweetheart, dear Sardis.
Sardis goes everywhere in the yard with me.  He is always watching, watching, watching.

He especially watches while I swing.  What a wonderful summer day to save with Sardis!

Now, time to start exploring and see what I can make of this life called retirement!  Thank you for saving the day with me!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Inspiration Cards - A Smile Goes A Long Way!

I went out-of-state last week with DH to check on the renovation
project on Miss Willie's House.  He was very busy and worked
hard!  He really accomplished a lot!
 I, on the other hand, had not planned to make this trip and
found myself with nothing I could start-to-finish.  I tried
reading while DH was working, but all the reading material
available had to do with cars or NASCAR.  Not my cup of
tea!  But wait... there was a book under the others that I had
given DH for Christmas many years ago.  It was Jay Dennis's
Leading with Billy Graham: The Leadership Principles
and Life of T.W. Wilson.  What a great book!  I read half of it
on our trip and I underlined passages to make inspiration cards.
Next time, I'll put some 3x5 cards in my purse. One quote in the
book by Winston Churchill stood out in my mind.
"I have no secret. You haven't learned life's lesson very 
well if you haven't noticed that you give the tone or color,
or decide the reaction you want of people in advance.  It is
unbelievably simple. If you want them to smile, smile first."

Then I realized that people were doing this to me!  I kept
a record of one day of smiles.

1.  I walked in a library that is 250 miles from my home. I
haven't been there in over a year.  The librarian came out
from behind the desk and "patted" me on the back.  She
smiled and said she was glad to see me again!  (I smiled
and told her I was glad to see her again, too, although
I don't remember ever seeing her in my life.)

2.  When I checked out at Wal-mart, I matter-of-fact
asked the clerk how she was?  She gave me a big smile
and said, "Marvelous darling!" Her expression made me
laugh and I announced I was marvelous, too! (Really I was tired
and in a bad mood, but I didn't let her know that!)

3.  DH and I went to a plumbing parts house to find a
"plumbing part thing".  While DH was showing the "thing" to the
man, I was sizing up the man.  He was an older gentleman who
was bald, covered with freckles, and a little out of shape.  As he
tried different parts to match up with DH's part, I came to the
conclusion that the man had probably never married and still
lives with his mother.  Then the man found the right part and
looked over and smiled!  Wow! He had the most beautiful,
blue, twinkling eyes!!!! Wow! Wow! Wow! Like blue diamonds!
(If anything breaks down again of plumbing nature, I'll be
sure to ride down with DH to the plumbing parts house.  I
asked DH if he saw the parts man's smile, but he said he
was just focused on finding his part.)

4.  We were picking up breakfast at the drive thru at Burger King.
After taking our money, an older lady with curls pinned on the
top of her head, smiled and wished us the most sincere best
wish for a wonderful day!  (I'll come here again for breakfast!)

5.  On our way through Atlanta, we stopped at a QT convience
store for gas and a 49 cent cola.  A lady in line in front of me
with only three items, stepped aside and told the clerk to take
me first!  I told her I didn't mind waiting in line, but she smiled
and insisted I go ahead of her. She was a total stranger but I
have never felt so honored by anyone with just a smile.

All that in one day!
The inspiration cards are making me look at life a little deeper.
(SMILE!)  Hope you are having a great day!

Winston Churchill

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Happiness File - Inspiration Cards

Several years ago I read Pam Young and Peggy Jones's book The 
Sidetracked Sisters' Happiness File.  I found it a few days ago
when I was dusting my book shelves and picked it up and started
reading it again.  I reread the "inspiration" card system and thought
what a neat idea!  I bought a 3x5 purple card box for $3 and found
a yellow pack of 3x5 cards in my desk.
 ...... from The Happiness File
This ... is the place where you will keep all of the things 
that  elevate your thoughts and feelings: words of wis-
dom, scriptures,  and quotes that touch you personally.
Don't let anything  inspirational get away from you. 
When you sit down to read a book, or listen to a sermon,
have a pen and 3x5 cards with you so that you'll be able
to record the things that uplift you.... don't limit yourself
to ordinary sources.  Profound truths  can come to you 
from a child, the butcher, a neighbor, nature, or your own
spiritual wellspring.  What's more, the act of writing them
down will enhance their authority over you.

We have found that our collection of inspirational
writings never loses its power.  It stirs our emotions each 
time we read from it, but had each piece not been written
down, it would be lost in the black hole of insights gone
by.  Whatever moves you in the first place will move you
again, perhaps a little differently each time, but the
impact will always be there.
                                       -Pam Young and Peggy Jones

So I decided to make some inspiration cards!  I read "The Road to
Lasting Health" in the August issue of Prevention.  I marked
passages with a yellow highlighter and then wrote seven cards.

1.  You are in control, and you have the 
ability to improve your health, starting

2. Couples who play together, stay together.

3.  You can't predict what you're eating at
a restaurant, but when you make it 
yourself,  you can.  Plus, it tastes better.

4.  Find your stress-relief valve.

5.  Be gracious and caring.

6.  Make health a joyful goal.

7.  Focus on the future.

I'm happy to try this card file system.  I pick up all kinds of
wonderful quotes from your blogs everyday.  Now I have a
way to keep them.  I would also appreciate it if you would
share some of your inspirational quotes with me.  I have
a 100 yellow 3x5 cards in this pack.  I'm going to do this
at least until I use up the 100!

Hope you are having a great week ahead!
8.  Life is what you make of it.  ( Dad's favorite saying)
9.  Life is life.  ( song)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mediterranean Zucchini "Pasta" w Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes

I found this great summer recipe in a magazine yesterday and
realizedI had all the ingredients on hand! I showed it to DH and he
got out achopping board and in 20 minutes he had put together this
great dish!Instead of pasta, you slice a large zucchini into strips. 
My whole family loved this dish, especially my grown men sons!
I think they loved the shrimp and feta cheese.  Enjoy!

Mediterranean Zucchini "Pasta" With Shrimp and Cherry Tomatoes

Makes:  5 servings
Serving Size:  1 cup
Prep. Time:  20 min.

1   garlic clove, minced
2   Tbsp. olive oil
1   large zucchini
1   cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2  lb. cooked, peeled, and deveined medium shrimp
1/4  cup basil
1   Tbsp. small capers, drained
8   sliced pitted black olives
2   Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese ( We put in 2 oz. crumbled)

1.  In a small dish, combine the garlic and olive oil, and set aside
for 15 minutes.

2.  Slice the zucchini lengthwise into thin strips.  (DH used a carrot
peeler.)  Then slice the strips into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, shrimp, basil,
capers, and olives.   Fold in the zucchini "pasta" and feta cheese.
Drizzle with the garlic-infused olive oil, toss gently, and serve.
Per 1 cup serving:  Calories 140, Fat 8 g (Sat. Fat 1.7 g) Carb. 5 g

This dish was absolutely delicious!  However,  this was all I ate
for dinner and I was hunger in a couple of hours.  Best to add   
some rolls or crackers.  Lottie

Recipe from the August issue of Diabetes Forecast
by Robyn Webb, MS, LN