Summer of 1977 and the Gulf of Mexico welcomed our tiny entourage of friends into San Felipe. From the rough concrete pad, we'd sleep on for the next three nights, I watched grey waves crashing hard on the shore, and digging away shallow canals in the sand as the water made its way back to wild ocean.

I was a new bride, just twenty, with my heart still open and forgiving and eyes wide in hopeful expectation.  But here, this very day, I could feel all of my dreams ebb away.  Long strands of my hair blew crazily in the breeze as I stared out over the horizon and wiped away a tear, just another of so many I had already cried in just 2 months time. But little did I know, I'd cry so many more over the two decades to follow.

A beach walk I was excited about taking together quickly disintegrated into a predictable verbal barrage I'd have to ignore or defend.  Just more criticism and hurtful commentary. I stopped walking, my toes dug into the wet sand, but it was an inevitable end when he turned back to camp and left me to walk alone. I continued adding shells, sea glass and sand dollars into my plastic sand bucket and carefully stepped around tide pools of starfish, carcasses of dolphins and other unfortunate sea life dotting the shore. I paused looking up toward the dry deep sand part of the beach and walked in disbelief toward the skeletal structure of a beached whale.  I stared up inside of it and stood there motionless for several minutes.  It was as if I had stepped back into a prehistoric time.  Then blinking, I breathed in the rancid stench of the whale's rotting flesh and choked back the vomit pooling in my throat, suddenly suffocating under a blanket of grief.  I ran to the water's edge to escape, but the volume of my agonized wail competed with the ocean's crashing waves.

The following morning, we rolled up our sleeping bags, loaded our mostly empty cooler into the bed of the truck and drove north for home. I watched out the streaked passenger window and held my precious collection of shells in my lap. I couldn't trust them to him.  I knew he'd break them like he was breaking me.



This morning dawned cold with a bright blue sky.  It was 20 degrees and the fresh snow had a layer of ice on top and crunched beneath my feet.  But it was the air was clear and dry and it energized me.  My love affair with winter continues. 

I have never stressed out about the "flu season" or getting sick.  I have the "glass half full" mindset and believe that my emotional well being has a lot to do with my physical well being.  I focus on the upside of life and make lemonade out of lemons.

That being said, I usually get one cold every winter and this season, I caught one earlier than usual.  I woke up on Christmas morning feeling icky.  Tired, worn out and not myself.  Thankfully, we were not entertaining, so it was a stay in my jammies, next to the fire, under a blanket sort of day and we ate finger foods all day.  But we were traveling to the West Coast two days later, and I wanted to enjoy our visit with family and friends (and not get them sick), so I began to double my attack against the virus. 

I added multiple doses of Airborne and Emergen-C, was diligent taking my supplements including D and C, and used my roller bottles of oils (DoTerra OnGuard and Breathe mostly) many times a day.  The day we flew West, I felt like a zombie and dreaded my week in sunny San Diego.  Let me be blunt.  I felt like crap.  I loaded up my arsenal to take with  me as well as lots of tea bags of my favorite tea Good Earth brand Sweet and Spicy Tea (to make me feel better) while I was sick.  Hot tea is my go to for comfort when I am sick.

Though I battled this cold the whole 6 days we were there, I am thankful and happy to report that my symptoms were abbreviated and I recovered quickly rather than suffering for the whole two weeks that I usually am sick.  By the time we got home, I was well.  I never got that nasty lingering cough that usually plagues me for a month or more after all of my other cold symptoms have ended either.  THAT was a miracle.

I believe that eating well, staying on my supplements and battling with my oils all together were the key to my success in kicking that cold so quickly and efficiently

I have been using my oil education to continue to keep my immune system strong.  I am certain too, that our Keto way of eating (and not eating processed foods) was key in helping me boost my immunity.  After all, your immune system begins in your gut. 

My goal is to continue to stay well for the balance of the winter season.  The sun is shining bright today and I am going to throw on a jacket and go outside now and get some straight up Vitamin D! 



The snow stopped falling last night and clumps of snow began melting and falling from the laden branches on our property as we shoveled our driveway and walks for the second time this storm. I actually enjoy shoveling snow. 

Shoveling snow is a perfect workout.  I can breathe the fresh cold air, push the snow, lift and toss, walk and let my mind run free at the same time.  It is a great way to escape everything else.  

And here is something else. With snow shoveling,  you can clearly see all the results of your labor.  Long cleared walks and driveways. Unlike vacuuming, where you know you have done the work but really can't see it the same way you can when you have shoveled snow.

I love winter. I believe it was 28 earlier this morning and our high today will be 36.  I love the cold temperatures, and wearing layers and scarves and boots.  I love cozy blankets, fuzzy socks, and sipping mugs of hot tea!  It is here for only 3 months and then it is gone and another season will come.  I embrace them all with joy.  It is part of why I love living in Virginia.

I also love cooking winter meals.  I am making some kind of soup today for dinner.  I am not sure what kind exactly, but it will be hot, hearty and delicious!  

I'm back inside now, cozy  and warm under a fleece blanket enjoying our snow covered woods view from my window and thinking about a mug of hot tea.



After much preparation for days for the big storm, it began to snow last night at 6 p.m.  This morning we awoke to about 5 inches of white fluffy snow covering rooftops, trees, cars, driveways and walks.  Good morning gorgeous pure white snow, cold temperatures and gray skies.

We got notifications that church was cancelled, businesses closed and our trash pick up a day delayed.  Snow plow trucks cruised up and down our neighborhood road.  We watched, cradling mugs of hot coffee, as tiny snowflakes continued to fall softly in a dance like fashion. And when it stopped mid-morning, Bruce shoveled our driveway and walkway and I headed into the kitchen and prepared the pork shoulder to go into the crock pot for a Carnitas dinner. 

As our dinner cooks, while we stay warm inside, under blankets, with the TV as background noise, I am setting today as the day to continue to fine tune my schedule for the new year.  I began a workout routine last week and I admit, it was a slow start for me.  But, as slow as it was, it did help set a foundation of purpose for me for my health goals.  A beginning.

I am excited after seven months of seeing the health benefits of  KETO way of eating, to now be weaving into my new lifestyle, a schedule for exercise, a routine that will include heavy resistance training with HIIT cardio sessions.  I am also making a daily schedule for consistent writing and am working on meal planning, too.

I am happy making the most of our snow day inside. 



I escorted the end of 2018 out by conquering my biggest fear and living out my word for the 2018, FEARLESS.

I have (for years) been terrified of the idea of flying in a small plane (mostly, crashing) which seemed like an inevitable end.  I was even reluctant to sit in the plane (on the ground), as it gave me tremendous anxiety.  It was a crippling fear that made my palms sweat and my heart pound uncomfortably, anytime I even thought about it.  I was certain that if I flew in a small plane, it would crash and I would die.  For the past 12 months, I have worked on diffusing this fear and by early Fall, I told my brother that I would go up in the plane with him before the end of the year. I committed to it and continued to work on it

We were in San Diego over the holidays, visiting family and my brother called the day before we were to go spend the day with them and invited hubby and I to go up in his plane. I had a slight moment of hesitation, but I felt ready.  It was December 30th.  YES. I flew and sat in the co-pilot seat in my brother's plane (a Cessna 182) above San Diego's back country.  The day was perfect.  Clear skies and no wind.  I loved it!  It was such a breathtaking flight.  I will admit, a tiny bit of anxiety crept in as we began coming in for the landing, but I shook off the overwhelming fear that has limited me from flying with him.

I worked on other areas that I allow fear to hold me back and realized I allowed it to stifle my creativity.  I entered 2019 feeling more confident and sure of myself in the areas that FEAR had held me captive.

2019 brings a new word.  One that has been pestering me for some time, but especially in the past few months. It has been lingering in the back of my mind, and I have had many discussions about it.   PURPOSE.  What is mine, and how am I to live it out?  I also am choosing to live with PURPOSE, on PURPOSE this year as well.

I know that writing is a huge part of my PURPOSE and most of my focus will be on becoming disciplined in daily writing time.  The venue in which to direct my writing will also be part of my challenge for my PURPOSE for this year.

PURPOSE.  A blank canvas for me to create and make my own.