Thursday, December 19

Where's Pookie?

I have not blogged much in the last couple of years.

2014 Crushed me.
2015 Broke me.
2016 Changed me.
2018 Fixed me. Wellness was my word for the year.
2019 Energized me. Vitality was my word for the year.

So. There you have it. And how's your life? Lol.

This year has been amazing. It required some serious courage, ambition and dreaming. I hope to resume creative blogging in 2020.

For now, I leave you with some of my art from this past year.  I hope your year was full of blessings and happiness as well.

Tuesday, October 15

Everlasting Life

Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. 
Do you believe this?” 

Wednesday, February 27

Oil Pastels

Now that the kids are grown and out of the house, I've resumed my art and have been surprising myself.
 Charcoal portrait of my son.

I joined Sketchbox and get a surprise each month, so that encourages me to try new things -- I drag my feet and need a LOT of encouragement to try new things.

Watercolor of me with my granddaughter, Charlie.

The February 2019 sketchbox contained oil pastels. Ugh. I hate using anything oil. And pastels? Double Ugh. However.... I have to say.... I've come to like them. I actually enjoy using them for certain things.  Here are some things I made with oil pastels.

 Portrait of Sophia, my granddaugher.

 From a view I had in Ireland.

I've discovered that for me, the best thing to do with oil pastels is something HUGE and very colorful.

I recommend Sketchbox.  It's a little costly, but so much fun and will push you out of your comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 23

South Carolina SC / NC Leaf Peeping Tour 2018

I took a leaf-peeping tour across South Carolina and North Carolina during a very sunny two-day road trip Oct. 21 & 22, I thought the leaves would be perfect then. Wrong. There was a lot of green on my trip.

I suspect the leaves will be better the following two weekends. We had a warm fall and I bitterly blame that.

However, let me give you my route because it was perfect. You should try it. You have to navigate by waterways with my directions, though. But GPS can handle it.

Going down I-20 from Aiken toward Augusta, I crossed the lazy Savannah, hung a right near Thompson, gave a nod to Aonia Pass and my GNCC friends, then crossed a mild tip of Lake Hartwell. I crossed the springwaters of Cane Creek, crawled through the parking lot at Oktoberfest in Walhalla and right out the other side, too crowded to park and stop.

I began the ascent to Stumphouse Tunnel on Hwy. 25 where I reminisced with a nod to the melancholy and got some exercise.

I then glided along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway and crossed into North Carolina at the Nantahala National Forest border around 107 and 64. I hung a hard right, crossing Lake Toxaway, skirting past Gorges State Park and took the ol' Rosman Hwy. straight into downtown Brevard, white squirrel country.

Up the next day before sunrise following a night with the squirrels, I drove up to Pounding Mill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see sunrise over the smoky, blue mountains.

looking glass rock
I careened along the Blue Ridge Parkway, over Asheville and rolled that power on. ("but 'cepts" I was in my Jeep and not my former '86 Honda Rebel 450, sadly)

I motored past Mt. Mitchell, but you should stop there, it's worth it. As I was saying, I motored past Mt. Mitchell, stopping only when I ran low on fuel along Buck Creek in Marion, curiously familiar and again, melancholy memories fly.

I gassed up the Jeep, tossed sad memories out the window, kept it down and tooled up the 221-S hills. I set the GPS for home sweet home and danced along the Second Broad and Cathey's Creek, following Cleghorn Creek down to the Broad, the real Broad.

Passing about ten too many Dollar Generals, I steadied on to the Landrum Starbucks, a traditional Maslar family meeting place, short three Maslars.  Caffeine in my veins, I buzzed onto I-26E, arm out in the cold breeze, Bob Seger blaring "I could go left, I could go right, it was all up to me to decide."

I resisted the cloverleaf at Spartanburg and rolled up 26 like a rocket sled on rails, racing the N. Tyger river until she took a sharp turn north, crossed under me and began her flow to the Broad just above Columbia, knowing I'd get there before her.

It wasn't "the dark of the moon on the sixth of June," but I had the hammer down with a nod to the Rubber Duck.

Thursday, October 18

52 Weeks: FASTer Way to Fat Loss

So.... I did it. I signed up for six weeks of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program with Coach Patti Holsenback.  #FWTFL

There is a big learning curve, but Patti is patient and very good with instructions. Also, the first week is all about learning, you don't start the work for real until the second week.

I never had trouble with fat loss until I was in my forties and then it became a real problem. But this program is great, I feel great and am not usually hungry.

Patti also is a certified Pre- and Post- Natal Fitness Coach and Nutritionist. She works to improve diastasis recti, incontinence and more. She also hosts a strong core / strong mom workshop, offers free downloads, writes a column for a local newspaper and has a blog that she occasionally remembers to write on.

Speaking of Right-On!

This wellness thing has been working out great, the year just gets better and better.  I've experienced better wellness all year long, I really feel great.

Monday, October 15

52 Weeks: Max Living Chiropractic Care

So.... I did it. I've started seeing a chiropractor and it has seriously enhanced my wellness journey.

I chose a MaxLiving near me and I lovvve the staff. Max Living promotes five essentials to live your best life.

1.  Core Chiropractic
2.  Nutrition
3.  Mindset
4.  Oxygen & Exercise
5.  Minimize Toxins

I know, right?!  Basically the stuff I've been doing this year in my 52 weeks of wellness. So I signed up immediately to add that chiropractic care to my routine.  They swear a person can get off all medicines under their care.  Now that I still can't quite believe since I have cancer and take chemo.  But.... we'll see.

Meanwhile.... I've been thinking about joining a dating website as part of my 52 weeks.  ((nervously bites nails))  What do you think?  I think I'd hate it.

Tuesday, October 9

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Young women are bombarded by too many body-image messages today. Messages from many different types of media and now social media -- how do they know which messages to filter out? Which to follow?

As adults, we learn to turn to God's Word for advice and direction, but sometimes it's harder for a young woman to find the Word attractive or easy to read. Or perhaps the Bible has left them perplexed on being a Godly woman when so many of the examples are about men.

Does your teenage daughter know her true value and identity? Does she have a guide that quickly and easily gives her Biblical examples?

As quickly as a snap, as creatively as an IG post, the devotions in Beloved fit the pace of the twenty-first century young woman.

Each day features a verse, an explanation, a motivation and a question. There's space for journaling and even art journaling, which is all the rage right now.

This book will make an excellent gift for a 6th or 8th grade graduation or a gift to enhance your mother/daughter puberty facts of life talk. It would also be a great gift for the girls in your Sunday School class or youth group. Or -- in my case -- a great gift for my granddaughter.

Purchase your copy of Beloved:365 Devotions for Young Women at Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

Disclaimer:  I work with handlebar publishing to review books on my blog.  I received the book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 26

52 Weeks: Oil Pulling

I've added oil pulling to my routine, 2 x a week or so, in my 52 weeks to wellness.

It's difficult at first. It's so gross. I hate coconut oil to begin with. Then to swish it around in my mouth for 10 - 20 minutes without swallowing is just difficult.

I know that you know this, but I have to say it:  Spit it out in the trash, not your sink as it will clog the drains.

My hints:
1. Do it while watching TV.  For me?  Also while walking around the living room.  If I stand still, I'll swallow some or gag, I don't know why.  Guess I have to keep my mind off it.
2. I have no other hints. Just do it.  Breathe through your nose, don't swallow, spit in the trash. That's it.

Saturday, August 25

The Memory A Nightmare, Chapter One

The upturned nose came bobbing through a field of daisies created a long time before the girl.

The second thing I remembered was the bird.  An owl, possibly, something squat, slightly predatory, definitely out of place, as was the girl.

I finished my espresso and grimaced as it went down, keeping my gaze on the girl. And the bird.

The only other recurring memory I have from that time is that of water dripping.  Amazing acoustics, really, for such an annoying sound.  The tempo kept me alive now that I think about it.

Monday, August 13

52 Weeks: FASTer Way to Fat Loss with Patti Holsenback

This is a photo of my macros on My Fitness Pal app and you can see this was a "Low Carb Day."  I'm a meat-eater so I kind of like Low Carb Day.

In my 52 Weeks to better living, I've engaged in a 6 week program with FASTer Way to Fat Loss and Patti Holsenback.

This requires some time -- meal planning and prep -- but seems like a pretty healthy way to eat.  Intermittent Fasting.  I'm learning as I go, but Patti is a GREAT teacher, coach and champion.

Give it a shot!

Patti Holsenback is a pre- and post- natal fitness coach and runs a Strong Core, Strong Mom workshop that is amazing.  She also leads the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, too, and maybe a few other things.  She's also passed the SC Bar and is a lawyer, but she's a stay at home mom currently.

Thursday, August 9

Short Story Dispensers Columbia SC

Columbia, SC - With the push of a button, Richland Library is bringing one, threeand five-minute doses of literary joy to local readers.
Three Short Story Dispensers are now on display at our Main location (1431 Assembly Street), and eventually, these dispensers are making their way to other library locations and designated community spots around Richland County.
How does it work? The dispensers distribute a randomly printed story from a
catalog of thousands, covering a range of genres. Then, people can save their
short stories, share them with family and friends or leave them in places for others to find. Also, keep the stories going by sharing photos, using SetStoriesFree.
Richland Library is one of four libraries to receive Short Story Dispensers
as part of Public Library Association's (PLA) Fostering Creative Community Connections project. The other three libraries are:

Akron - Summit County (OH) Public Library

Free Library of Philadelphia (PA)

Wichita (KS) Public Library
Currently, there are 150 Short Story Dispensers installed or about to be installed with a goal to promote reading, community engagement, library programs and services, and creative expression from diverse writers.
Stay tuned, Richland Library plans to release details in fall 2018 on how local writers can contribute to future content in the Short Story Dispensers. For questions, please contact Emily Stoll at 803-587-3637 or email
About Richland Library
Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources
and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 11 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library offers a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.

Monday, August 6

52 Weeks: Essential Oils

I've added essential oils to my life and I've really been enjoying them.  I can't say that they actually help with my health though, I can't tell.  But I love using them - they smell good and seem to be beneficial to health just because of what they are.

I purchased a box of roller ball bottles with labels from Amazon.  I purchased this oil diffuser.  This is my second one.  My first had a wood look and was beautiful, but it started making a noise when it was running and I had to get another diffuser.  By that time, the wood looking one had gone way up in price and I couldn't afford it.  So I got this one, which is OK.

After googling essential oil recipes, I've mixed some up and am using my roller ball to apply.  I have one mix for headaches, one for energy, one for immunity aid and one for allergies and colds.  I'll make more soon.

I get my oils from Plant Therapy and once in awhile from Young Living.  The quality of your oils really matters and differs between companies.