Savoring the Last Weekends of Summer

Although I am ready for a change in temperatures I will truly miss the days of summer.  In spite of my complaints about how hot it gets, the mosquitoes, flies, and the endless humidity, I feel so blessed that I have been able to experience another summer.

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Summer is full of activity. Eating outside at restaurants sharing chips, cheese dip and margaritas with friends is a favorite.

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Nothing says summer like an afternoon baseball game at a new ball park stadium…

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Relaxing poolside, toenails painted in fun colors, grilling out…

Spending the day on a nearby lake with good friends on their boat was a generous and relaxing way to enjoy the end of this summer.

Evening dinners and early morning breakfast on the patio…

The charcoal smell in the air, potato salad, corn on the cob, fresh fruit (especially sugar kiss cantaloupe), lighting bugs flickering in the dark, watching fireworks, picnics, star gazing while sitting on the drive way on a moonless night and spending time with grandchildren are times to be treasured!

As Chaucer said, “All good things must come to an end.”  The plants that were once so vibrant, welcoming, and full of color are now tired and overgrown.

Saying goodbye to summer is bitter sweet because my absolute favorite time of the year is almost here ~ Fall!!!

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Savoring an unexpected day off…

means, we can stay up a little later the night before and watch a movie on Netflix!

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We have to wake up so early on weekday mornings to go to work, that staying up past 9:00 makes it extra hard to get out of our comfortable bed the next morning. So having the opportunity to stay up later on a Sunday night is a treat!

I decided to make a new recipe I recently ran across for my breakfast this morning. I usually try to eat healthy, but when I find a recipe like this I just have to try it and I am so glad I did!  It is a yummy, delicious, get your taste buds ready for fall treat that compliments a warm drink!IMG_4483Yes, I am having cake for breakfast, but it is OH SO GOOD!!!

Here is the link if you want to try it too:      Chai Spiced Pound Cake

Cranky, Grumpy

People of all ages can be cranky from babies to old people.

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We all get grumpy and there are times when being grumpy or cranky is understandable.  For example, an incompetent waiter, or an unusually long and unexpected wait at an appointment or restaurant.  Maybe it is the clerk who won’t stop chatting to the person in front of you while you are in line at the grocery store when you are in a hurry to get on with your day.  Hot flashes, car trouble, not talking to a real person on the telephone when I have a question or need help, and short green lights are a few things that are triggers to my “cranky side”.

Sometimes, if someone accuses you of being grumpy it can make you even grumpier!

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Even though there are many things that make can make you feel cranky, a lot of us are able to get over it and get on with our generally happier, more content selves.

But some people seem to be in a constant bad mood. Nothing seems to make them happy.  The slightest things can throw them into full grouch-mode. The thing is, they don’t get over it.

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Getting them to even smile is a monumental task!

I usually can’t tell when they are being funny because the typical cues such as a mischievous twinkle in their eye or the lips curling slightly into a grin just aren’t there.

Perhaps some of these folks were just born with this type of personality.

If it is an older adult maybe this is their way of saying/demonstrating they don’t like being old.  In their defense, I am beginning to see how frustrating and frightening it is to realize your body and mind are declining.  But still!!!!!

After personally knowing some cranky people, and encounters with grumpy strangers, I decided many years ago that I am NOT going to be one of them.

Sometimes, I admit, they can be entertaining.  But mostly, they are unpleasant to be around.

I wish I could tell them to just stop and listen to themselves.  What you say can have such a profound effect on others and it is all in the delivery. Our words are among the greatest tools we humans possess. Stop for a moment and simply think about the words you say and (the key point here is) then how you say them.

It takes such little effort to be both positive and sincere.  If these cranky grumps could only realize that by making others happy and being pleasant to be around, their own happiness could greatly improve.  And (hopefully) in the process, become less cranky!!

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You’ve had the power all along, my dear” Glinda,the good witch (The Wizard of Oz)

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are.”  J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

Summer Blessing

“Good Morning Mimi” “Good Morning Chunks”

Precious words uttered with a smile by my 5 year old grandson every morning as he walked down the stairs and planted a sweet kiss on his baby sister’s adorable cheeks. Oh how I miss hearing his sweet voice each morning!

A new granddaughter joined our family a few months ago and I am so in love!
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I had the unique opportunity to spend most of the summer with my daughter and her family.  The experience of having a peek in to their day to day lives and forming a closer bond was such a blessing.

The energy level of five children in the home is constant. Daily swim practice, bed time stories read aloud, the glorious sound of children’s laughter, out door play, board games, and snuggles on the couch was paradise! We even enjoyed s’mores around the fire pit one evening in spite of the heat! I treasured every moment.

As Lois Wyse wrote, “If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first.”

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A Southern Jewel

I am talking about Amelia Island.

We were in search of a weekend getaway before I start back to school. After finding a nice little place to stay on short notice and considering we had never been here before it seemed like a good choice.

Yes, it was plenty hot, but we sought refuge either poolside or in the cool shade provided by the beautiful oak trees that surrounded our property.  A good beach book and a cool drink was all we needed during the hottest part of the day.

We also enjoyed exploring the island during the day and saw The Ritz Carlton and the Omni Plantation have beautiful locations on this small island.  There appears to be five golf courses as well.  Amelia Island is only 13 miles long and 4 miles wide.

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Most of the streets, on the part of the island where we stayed, were shaded and cooled by majestic oak trees.

 

      Morning walks on the beach along the Atlantic Ocean was a wonderful way to start our day!

We spent two of our three evenings in the charming and very walkable downtown area of Fernandina Beach. We browsed in unique upscale shops, dined on delicious seafood and was treated to live music each evening at the Green Turtle Tavern.

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On Saturday morning we wandered through a local farmer’s market.  The atmosphere was pleasant as the crowd mingled to the eclectic sounds of a guitar player. A local resident would often steal the show as he played bluesy tunes on his harmonica. Vendors proudly displayed fresh baked goods, homemade jewelry, lots of fresh vegetables, homemade jelly and marinades, gorgeous fresh flowers, and other whimsical items to highlight a few of the booths here.

 

We could not resist this lovely plant and carefully brought it home with us in the car! It survived the long car ride home and now our fingers are crossed it will continue to thrive in our soil.

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The lack of crowds and traffic usually found in beach destinations this time of year was a huge hit for us.  We enjoyed our time in this lovely area of the south and so glad we visited!

Either I am getting older or I am not as young as I used to be! ~ Wine Snark

Change is good, but enough is enough!

Each time I look in the mirror I cannot believe the older face and body reflecting back. The person inside this body “feels” the same as younger days, so how come sometimes I don’t even recognize myself?

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When did this happen?

When did I suddenly get …… old?

Menopause with its hot flashes, weight gain, and insomnia came on gradually at first, and then began to roar like a lion.

My hair is getting thinner and my waist line is getting chunkier.  A little more exercise, fewer sweets, and not so many in-between snacks would probably help.

Brown spots are popping up in various locations on my body, which my dermatologist said was caused by sunburns attained during my ignorant youth when I chose not use sunscreen.  In my younger days, I actually thought I wouldn’t care about my looks as I got older.

Wrinkles have crept in. Have I waited too long for the”anti-aging” creams I am using to work?  Still waiting on those results!

Injecting my skin with products to smooth wrinkles or alter my appearance is something that not only frightens me, but just doesn’t seem natural; it’s like going against nature. Going gray seems pretty trendy at the moment, but I cannot embrace that idea just yet.

In spite of all these natural “aging” occurences, I am actually very thankful to experience this phase of my life.  Changing my mind set and not focusing on the negatives of the natural aging process is getting a little easier.  Having the opportunity to maintain a healthy diet, exercise more, keep up with what is going on in my community and the world around me, and simply laugh more (especially when I look in the mirror) are just a few of the things I am beginning to appreciate more each day.

“Things will never be the same, that’s just the way it is.”  Tupac Shakur

The Beauty in Differences

The dinner party was fun! There was soft music, much laughter, lively conversation, delicious food, fine wine, and a superb dessert.  When it was over ~ I was pretty worn out.  I could not understand why as I had not over indulged in anything that evening.  Then I had a very interesting discussion with my daughter.

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The beautiful table our hostess set!

My daughter and I have had several discussions about introvert and extrovert behavior. She seems to have a better grasp on this whole topic, but here is my takeaway from our discussions as well as personal observations.

As I reflect back on the couples dinner party, I began to mentally identify the introverts and extroverts.

The extroverts were good at capturing and maintaining the attention they received. They were a delight to be around and I enjoyed their lively and quick witted humor. They were masters at keeping the conversation flowing.  As they shared experiences, I marveled at how many other friends and acquaintances they have and how often they seem to stay connected with these friends.  I can see why this personality type is often viewed as a positive trait by our society.  I am truly thankful for friends like these.

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From the introvert perspective (speaking for myself) I was more comfortable when I was engaged in one on one conversations.  It was an opportunity to express myself better and got to share what I wanted to say.  Otherwise I tend to sit quietly and do what I do best…listen.  I did my fair share of listening that evening but, still had fun laughing, listening, and talking to the other guests.

This introvert enjoys the company of other people, I just need to recharge with some alone time after being with them!

Surprise is often the reaction when people who don’t know me well find out I have said or done something out of introvert character.  I tend to act differently around different people. My comfort level with the situation as well as the people involved are the main reasons. I act differently around family, very close friends, and the children in my classroom than I do in my book club and social situations where there is a large group. Is it possible to possess qualities of introversion and extroversion simultaneously?

I found the following quote and think it is a beautiful way to contrast extroverts and introverts:

Extroverts are bright and colorful rainbows, immediately capturing people’s attention with their beauty and shine.”

“Introverts are the gentle wind in the trees that touches your soul in profound, contemplative and peaceful (though less visible) ways.”

How enjoyable is it to embrace all of the beautiful rainbows and gentle winds that enter life.