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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Love Small Town Life

I love living in Lebanon Kentucky.  I especially love that we have Adams Pharmacy on Main Street where you can still get a cherry coke, a chicken salad sandwich or a bag of sugar baby candies at their soda fountain.  Plus they always have a smile for you!  #makesmesmile

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Quieter Shades

Sometimes the heat of summer isn't quite so suffocating.  The Kentucky humidity is still there but doesn't leave you feeling as if you've had a hot bath after walking outside. Last night was one of those times.

I wasn't out for long.  Just a walk around the yard to find Dennis for supper.  The girls we're at my parents house and he had gotten home late from doing a class on succulents at work.  Hens and Chick's are my preferred name, but I know there are more than just those of course.

I walked round the yard and couldn't help but notice that while the photographer's sunlight had past, or maybe just hadn't shown up, despite the lack of illumination and subtle spotlight there was still beauty to be found in the subdued shades around.

Dennis was oblivious to my presence as he made his rounds to pull a weed or two and tuck in his plants with a drink of water.  I was struck that beyond the birds we seemed the only two people around on our road.

Soft skies, vanilla skies I've heard them called.  Clouds tinted slightly with the remains of a bit of bright yellow from the higher sun, the brightest heat of the day. Like meringues with "good" vanilla. For all my searching for the "right" light, the crisper colors, I think sometimes I overlook the beauty in the quieter shades.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sweet Sunday

So vacation week has come to an end, wrapping up with Father's Day.  We're all experiencing different degrees of sunburn and peeling, I'm still finding sand in various places and items. Of course I also still feel like I need a second week of vacation to catch up after vacation,  but work is about to envelope me again. End of year reporting, grant applications and a possible building project are going to take hold and I have a feeling I'll be running with them full out for the next few months and more. Kind of feel like I need to take a big gulp of air before I jump into Monday.  I'll survive though.

I always have baking at least!  I ended up dumping the last day of vacation blues into a coconut cake for lunch at my parents today.  Nothing fancy,  but it is one of Dennis's favorites and I think my Dad was pretty happy with it too. 

Easy to make: Bake up one boxed vanilla cake mix 9x13 pan. I did change it up a bit by using a stick of melted butter in place of the oil and adding a bit of extra "good" vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

Next, in a mixing bowl,  combine a can of creme de coconut (found in the drink mix/cocktail ingredient section at the grocery store) with one can of sweetened condensed milk. Poke holes into the cake with the handle end of a butter knife. Pour coconut/milk mixture over the cake and allow it to absorb completely.

Top cake with whipped cream or whipped topping.  I know it's not fancy but whipped topping will hold up better on this "very" moist cake. Then top with sweetened flaked coconut. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to serve.

Like I said it's not one of those from scratch deals but Dennis has loved it since childhood and sometimes those are just what you want. It made for a pretty sweet Sunday.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Less Is More

The past months have been blowing by me, around me and carrying me along with them whether I agreed to it or not. I suppose they always have, it just seems like it's getting ever more evident that I need to either get on board with it or dig in my heels and finally call halt. But just what does doing that entail? Can't stop time after all lol!

Funny really,  for all the plans you make it comes down to whether or not you truly mean them. What you're saying you wish for, is it truly in your heart or just your head? If you really want something that bad then wouldn't you do everything you could to try and get it? Time really is just a manner of checks and balances we often use to determine if we're getting to where we say we want to be.

I think sometimes you can go so long telling yourself that you want a certain thing that all the convincing can eventually leave you numb in a sense. You keep moving forward with a goal even though you've long forgotten what joy it was that you thought you would find in reaching it.

Maybe it's time I ought to take stock, what would I want if I were to sit and list my real joys in life? When I'm at my happiest and most myself is it ever anything more than the most simple and pure moments? 

I relish quiet, laughter and hugs from my daughters, time with them, my husband, truth, sincerity, kindness,  the freedom to not second guess or doubt love and a person's intentions. If I began to weed out all the soul sucking worries and idiotic thoughts that it's wrong to want a life that is so much simpler and so much more full all the same, if I took away the empty droning ways of the world, I can only imagine how much more my life would be in that sparseness.

I suppose in many ways the Shakers said it best.  "Tis a gift to be simple,  tis a gift to be free, to come back down where we ought to be. " I think maybe I'll try that for awhile.  Simplicity. How crazy is it to think that you keep trying to fill a void with more and more stuff and distraction when what you've really wanted all along is less?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Finding Myself

I think too much.  I always have.  I worry constantly,  I doubt, second guess,  I beat myself up and I think whether I admit it or not I beat others up, at least mentally, for all of the doubts I super impose onto them. Real or not.

It's a tiresome thing really, to be constantly allowing your worries to rule your world. It gets to the point that you second guess yourself so much that you are left not really sure who the real you is anymore.  Bizarrely enough you can also start to feel guilty for even wanting to allow yourself the freedom to be the real you.

All the real world responsibility that we face each day, paired with the constant worries, can leave a person trapped by the notion that you have to do things,  to live, a certain way.  You can get in this rut of a way of thinking and begin to believe that, that, this false view of the world,  is the only way. You can begin to form these rules for how life has to be lived and trap yourself and those around you by the structure of them.

I'm sorry to sound cryptic and if this seems a little down.  Bizarrely,  on the contrary,  I am not down.  More so finding a little perspective I think this morning.

I can't look to others to make me happy. I have to allow myself the freedom to find my own happiness and not feel guilty for doing it. Of all the roles I play they are each a part of the whole that surrounds the core of the person that I am ultimately left alone with in the middle of the night.  If that part, the center,  isn't allowed to be...well just "be" then the rest of those parts will suffer and weaken.

So basically, I gotta be me. And I've got to allow myself to do it without being gui
lty for it. I also have to give others the same freedom without making them feel trapped by those rules of my own making or guilty either.

So that said I think I need to start finding out who me is at this point in life. Disclaimer: The previous words have been brought to you, I think,  by the fact that I am turning 40 soon Lol.