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Bacon!!!!

Good evening everyone and happy Thursday! For a lot of us it’s almost over. One more day to the work week. I debated on this post for a bit and then I thought you know what I’m gonna lol. So, I want to apologize from the start for my vegan friends. You probably want to stop right here and just wait for tomorrows post. I don’t want to offend anyone so if you keep on reading then it is your decision lol. Can we just all stop for a moment and admit how much we LOVE bacon? I mean why is it so freakin good? Probably because it is so bad for you. But, I really think bacon, and pork for that matter, gets such a bad wrap. I mean it’s a little fat pig and if we think for one second that a big cow is any better for us then I think we are probably wrong. I don’t know, maybe I’m just trying to justify my love for the stuff.

I grew up with a daddy who was an avid hunter and what he killed, we ate. For that matter he also had a farm and what he harvested we ate. We were introduced to deer meat and fresh sausage probably before we were introduced to baby food. Our dad was a member of a local Rod and Gun Club as well as the Outdoorsmen Club. Hunting, Fishing, and farming were just part of his life and in return was a part of ours. You can rest assured that the foods that we ate were not full of growth hormones, preservatives, or were processed. Now I will admit that I was never able to go “hunting” per say. In fact I will go with my son and take my book just to have a little time with him. But, venison is one of the healthiest most lean meats that you can consume. And if you cook it correctly it doesn’t taste like wild game at all. It’s all in the marinade baby. I remember Dad saying to me when I started having so much trouble with my belly (it’s the devil remember) “if you cant grow it or hunt it you shouldn’t eat it”. Hmmm kinda makes sense. Never mind that he was telling me this all while eating his Treet meat sandwich lol. Y’all I don’t know what’s in that stuff but, I’m betting it wasn’t harvested lol.

Back to the pork dilemma. My question is, why does it get such a bad wrap? I mean its all so delicious. I absolutely LOVE breakfast. I typically don’t eat until 2 pm or after but more often than not breakfast is my go to for dinner. I love eggs and bacon. But sausage and ham, well they all scream breakfast to me. I know that some religions don’t allow you to eat pork (shew glad I didn’t choose that religion) and some people prefer to be vegan but, y’all I can’t. I just seriously can’t. I currently have a coworker who is allergic to pork. He seriously will break out if he eats it. I mean think about that. Think about all of the things that contain pork. I mean that is life without pork bbq, pork ribs, sausage, pork rinds, and of course bacon. How does he survive? Bless his heart.

With all that being said I truly feel like it is okay to have an 80/20 diet. I eat low carb so I can have all the pork I want. But, if you are a person who watches your fat intake or calories, I really think its okay to have something yummy every once in a while. How do you all feel about “the other white meat” lol? Do you have a favorite pork dish? If you do please do me a favor and share it. Just share it in the comments so that we can call benefit. I’m always looking for ways to use my favorite meat. And in the photo below I have shared a very very good way to use bacon. Have a great night and I hope that your morning tomorrow is filled with plenty of bacon ❤️Always

Coat the bacon liberally and bake it in the oven until crisp. Enjoy!

Encourager

Good afternoon and happy Wednesday. I hope that you are all having a great week so far. Tonight I want to touch on a subject that is very close to my heart. Have you ever thought about what you do to encourage others? A good job or a confirmation of something that someone else is attempting is often exactly what he or she needs to be able to complete the task. To me encouragement is different than just being nice. It is an affirmation that you recognize the efforts that someone is putting forth. Every day I see the difference in people that are positively motivated and the ones that are torn down or talked nasty to. I mean I guess there are those folks that do better by getting told off and made feel small but, for me I see better results by being an encourager. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are times that I need a drill Sargent in my life. Like when I want to stop and walk the last half mile of my run, I need someone to yell at me. Even at that I need them to yell “you can do it”, not “you’re a fat ass and you suck”. (Sorry for the language. Oopsie). Or for example when I get an extra plate of food when I should already be full. I seriously need a drill Sargent to scrape the cracker off my tongue and say “put the fork down” lol.

I have had a job from the time that I was 14 years old. I mean my daddy didn’t raise no lazy children. We worked. All four of us. We still do. Like mad. My very first job was a hostess/waitress at a local, family owned Italian restaurant where we frequently ate. My dad was friends with the owner and Mr. Amato put me to work as soon as daddy told him I needed a job. He was a kind but stern gentle old italian man who taught me so many things. In the evenings, after all of the customers had left, he would make me a plate of food and we would sit in a booth and I would just let him talk so that I could listen. He had the heaviest italian accent and I loved that little man like my grandfather. He was an encourager. His son on the other hand was just the opposite and even though I learned a few things from the younger Amato, I will never forget the lessons taught by his gentle father. I definitely responded much better to the encourager.

For years I worked in the dental field where I was a dental assistant and then a bit later an office coordinator. I worked at 3 different offices over my 23 years in dentistry and let me tell ya the difference was huge. I went from my first being a huge encourager who taught me how to save and how to go for the gusto. He was a poster child for the saying “you can do anything you set your mind to” to totally different. The second was totally the opposite but, even though we fought like sister and brother I stayed with him for 11 years. Although he could control your day by what his demeanor was when he walked in the door, he still taught me loyalty and how to check it at the door when you walked in. The last practice that I worked for was a father/son office. I’ve known these two for a very long time and I love them very much. Even though they were a lot alike they were also extremely different. At the end of the day their hearts were made of gold.

What I am trying to get you to see with all of that history of my working life is that people are all different and sometimes when you feel like you aren’t being treated the way you would like maybe, just maybe you need to try to be the encourager. In this case, your boss may be a poo but, maybe he or she hasn’t had a single ounce of encouragement in many years. I mean they are the boss they are suppose to encourage their employees right? Um, wrong. I can tell you that many times when my dentist walked in the door and I felt a sucky day comin on, I could walk to his office and say something positive and “encourage” him to do the same to the patients or another employee. 90 % of the time it worked people. To find something that they do really well and remind them of it is a game changer. Now I know the last thing you want to say to a big poo is something positive. I get it. It isn’t easy. But, just once, try it. It will make you both feel better.

For the rest of the week I challenge you to be an “encourager”. Every day find someone who appears to need it and let them have it. No negative. Just encouragement. Let them know what they are great at. And if you cant find something then just compliment their outfit or shoes or something lol. Also, think about yourself tonight, What are you good at? I bet if you think about it you are great at so much more than you give yourself credit for. I hope that you have a wonderful night. Many many blessings. ❤️ Always

Netflix series worth watching.

Have any of you all gotten hooked on a Netflix series? I wish I could say that I hadn’t. I find that I only watch about two cable channels anymore. I’m just not a huge fan of reality shows. I typically stick to HGTV and Food Network. My husband on the other had watches EVERY sports channel available. I mean seriously to the point that I’m not sure if Eli Manning hit a homerun for 3 points from the foul line lol. Obviously I have no idea what I’m talking about. We subscribed to Netflix through our Roku box about a year ago. For the longest time I didn’t even know how to use the remote lol. Let me tell ya I love Netflix. First off there are no commercials ( I know you have to earn your money but do you have to show 15 commercials every 10 minutes), second I can narrow my search to the type of program that I like to watch, and third there are always Christmas movies on there to choose from

My husband absolutely loves all of the investigative discovery programs offered. But, I must say I fell in love with two series. First is one about a Sheriff living and working near and Indian reservation. This series is not extremely long and I believe that my son has watched it about 5 times all the way through. There is obviously some violence and police situations in this series but other than that a some mild language it is great. No nudity and adult situations. I just loved it. If you have netflix and have some time, go and watch Longmire. We absolutely loved it. Like I said, it is not a ton of episodes and you could pretty much binge watch it in a weekend. You won’t regret it. I promise.

The other series that I just love is much longer. In fact, I am no where near finished watching it all. I just keep coming back to it. Every night when I go to bed it’s just what I want to turn on. Actually, don’t watch it at night or you will be like me. You will look up and it’s 3 am because you have gotten so consumed. Does anyone remember or LOVE the movie from the 80’s Pretty In Pink? It was and is still today my favorite movie of all time. I literally have watched it so much that the DVD is almost worn out. I could quote the lines. Well if you are a fan of the movie like me do you remember Steph? You know the preppie asshole that forever gave Andi and Blaine crap about wanting to be a couple? Well he is one of the main characters in what is my favorite series to date. And if you remember him as the jerk in our favorite 80’s movie, he looks nothing like he did but still has the same demeanor. Only this time you will completely fall in love with him. To me he is the same just older……..and bald. I can still see that young handsome face from the “Steph” that I always knew. People, if you haven’t watched it you MUST watch “The Black List”. I think we are in season 2. I can not stop watching it and have seriously considered staying in my pj’s for a day, ordering pizzas and having a Netflix and chill day. It’s just that good. Fall in love with “Steph” in a different way as he portrays “Raymond Reddington” in The Blank List. I want to warn you, you won’t be able to cut it off. You can thank me later.

Do you have a Netflix series that you just couldn’t stop watching? One that you watched more than once? Were you having a Netflix and chill quarantine? If so please comment and let us know which ones you loved. I am sure that everyone is curious as to what to start watching next. I hope that your weekend has been absolutely fabulous. Thank you for reading todays blog. ❤️Always

Good keto/low carb soup

Welcome to the weekend!!!! Oh how I live for them. One thing that I do on the weekend is cook. I cook during the week as well but usually I throw something in the crock pot so that it’s ready when I get home. I work three jobs (yes, I said 3). I work a 40 plus hour week at my “regular” job as well as 2 part time jobs. No complaints here. I love them all. I just don’t have a lot of time to cook a big meal. And. I absolutely love cooking and being in my kitchen. On these cold winter night’s one of my favorite meals is soup. It warms my insides. Soup is sooo good but most soups are full of carbohydrates and even sugar. Broccoli cheese soup is one of my favorites but there is about 25 carbs in a cup and a half of the goodness. All I could ever ask myself is why cant there be some soup, besides broth, that isn’t so full of carbs and that tastes good? Over the last year I have searched and searched for low carb soup recipes and folks they are few and far between. Actually let me rephrase that. There are not many that tase better than mud.

A few months ago after some trials and searching my favorite go to information site (Pinterest), I finally found one that I love. Before I had tummy issues and I didn’t care what I put in my body, my favorite place to go to dinner was Olive Garden. Pasta and bread and I’m ready for my food coma. I mean I would walk outta there with my sweater looking like a busted can of biscuits lol. The one item on the menu that I HAD to have every visit was the Zappa Tuscana Soup. My mouth waters right now just thinking about it. It was full of sausage, potatoes, kale, and yummy broth. I would let them pile about a half a pound of grated cheese on top of that deliciousness and dip those salty, garlicky bread sticks in and clean the bowl. Now, did that give you a visual? Is your mouth watering yet? If you haven’t tried it take a cheat day and RUN don’t walk and get some. Well a few years of eating meals like that and I found myself at 210 pounds. Then I found a low carb lifestyle and my road therapy. Soon I could see my feet again. I missed Zappa Tuscana soup way too much.

Well beautiful people I finally found it. The best low card Zappa Tuscana soup that I have ever tried. The best part of it all, you throw it in the crock pot and let it simmer all day. Y’all, it is so good and it tastes just like the original. You would never think that cauliflower could taste like potatoes but, it really does. Sometimes I cook a ton of it on Saturday and eat it all week for lunch. Without further a due the recipe is listed below. I promise you will love it! Give it a whirl.

Are there any amazing but better for you soup recipe’s that you love. If so please post them in the comments. As always we are all here to help each other. Have an amazing weekend. I hope that you get to spend it with your amazing family. ❤️ Always

Married to the drummer.

Happy Friday night y’all. I hope you’ve all had an incredibly great week. With the topic above I’m sure you’ve guessed what tonight’s blog is about. But, I want to talk about it a little deeper. Last nights blog about road therapy was about what we do to help calm our mind and anxieties. I wonder if any of you use music as your feel better? I’ve talked about music this week with several people that I know. We discussed what an impact it has on our daily lives. I can’t imagine going through a day without music. Isn’t it funny how at most every gathering it typically has food and……you guessed it, music. Yes, I am married to a drummer. He is a pretty great one at that if I must say so myself. Although he seems to really enjoy bike riding with me I know for him being at his drum kit is where his therapy lies. Give him and hour or so on the drums and he is like a brand new person.

I’ve been a church goer since I was about 3 years old. My momma kept us in church as much as possible. It was just what she felt was necessary. I have a little confession about it. The biggest benefit that I get from a church service is the worship. I mean the sermon is okay, but the music gets me right in the gut. If the music isn’t good then it really drags on for me. But, put me in the middle of a church with an awesome worship “band” and I am a soul on fire. It gives me chills and I feel the Holy Spirit all over me.

I don’t have to listen to religious music to get that feeling. I love so many music genre’s and I listen to pretty much everything. I just love talented voices. Now, back to the drummer. My husband has played drums for about 35 years. He is self taught. Which proves you can do anything that you set your mind to. He has been in quiet a few bands but took a break for a several years. Until last year. Along with some very talented friends, he formed a band which has been such a hit in our area. They are a “cover” band with a great mixture of 70’s – 90’s crown pleasers. Although I could talk about his band all night, what I really want to focus on are the crowds that they draw. Although things have halted due to Covid, they had many many weekends prior of playing gigs. I just couldn’t believe the numbers of folks that came out to listen and dance. The one thing I noticed about all of these precious people are the smiles and looks of true happiness. Just being able to be out with their friends and for them to sing and dance. That is the payment for the band in my opinion. When you stand on the stage and perform and you see people truly enjoying themselves because of a little something that you give them. That is priceless.

With all that bragging being done. Yes, I was bragging a little on my husband. We’re allowed to do that lol. I just wonder what music has done for you? Are there certain songs that just seem to identify with your life? Are there singers voices that just make you stop and close your eyes? I think we can all say yes. I encourage you to listen to music. Turn it up and enjoy it. Listen to it with your friends, family and especially your kids. When this pandemic is over get out and support some of your local bands. It is so much fun. Go to the symphony. Catch a concert. Just enjoy the music. If you feel like it comment your favorite line in a song and tell us why it means so much to you. Happy listening and have a wonderful night. ❤️Always

Look at that smile. That’s what music does.

Road therapy.

Good evening friends. First I want to apologize for all of the grammar problems with my collectors blog. I had to sort of rush at the end. When I went back and re-read it after posting it I realized I looked as if I had a 5th grade education lol. This one will be better I promise. Tonight I want to talk about what you do to get rid of your stress. So, what do you do to get rid of your stress? I know that’s a loaded question. Life is so full of stress especially right now. We all need something to take the edge off. There are so many things that you can do to help tame those bad emotions. I’m sure after all of this quarantine, pandemic period we all feel a little cabin fever and anxiety. The rate of domestic violence and suicide are up right now and I really feel like that it is because we cant get out and be “happy”. Sitting in and just worrying is enough to drive a person mad. Add that with the stress of folks losing their jobs and worrying over sickness and you have the recipe for a disaster. Let’s give each other some ideas for keeping our minds and emotions occupied.

I will never forget the morning that my daddy passed away. It was a cold December morning and I was with him when he passed. I remember feeling this huge void inside. It was so intense. My emotions were all over the board. I was so confused as to why this happened to him at a young 69 years old. I was so mad. I was hurting. And my heart was broken. It was like I had just lost my strength. A little while later that morning, after the shock sort of wore off, I put on a ton of clothes and just started running. I sort of felt like Forrest Gump. I ran hard and I cried. I had to stop several times and I know that the people that passed me in their cars thought I was an escapee from the mental facility. It was “road therapy”. It helped me get through that day. It has helped me get through so many days. Doing something physical for me helps. It causes me to use my energy for more than just what is bothering me. It fights my anxiety and depression.

My second go to is riding my bike. In the area that I live we have what we call a “Greenbelt”. It is a 10 mile stretch of path that runs along a river. It is paved and there are picnic areas. It’s beautiful really. In the spring, fall, and summer I spend a lot of time on that Greenbelt. I love riding my bike. I love sweating and pushing myself. There’s nothing like the feeling of my legs burning knowing I am doing something good for my temple. My husband and my sister ride with me. They have completely gotten on board. Typically we stop in town for a smoothie or a bite to eat afterwards. We have a great little family owned smoothie shop in our downtown area. Let me just say, the feeling that I get after completing a run or a bike ride is unbelievable. Now its a love hate relationship. I sort of hate it while I am doing it but once I finish it I’m so happy and already planning the next outing. Give it a try. Get moving. I promise you will feel like you can overcome anything.

What do you do to help with your stress? Do you have cabin fever from being so coupled up? Like I said get moving. Get some road therapy. If you aren’t able to be active there are so many more things you can do. Grab a good book and feed your mind. Adult coloring books are absolutely fabulous. I mean I love them. Fella’s give some thought to woodworking or a manly craft lol. There is so much that you can do to focus your thoughts and drive away stress, worry, and depression. Um, blogging helps my mind to not wander. Every day is so precious. Every moment in this life has meaning. You are here for a purpose and a reason. Find that purpose. Find that reason. Embrace it and live your life like no one is watching.

Do you have more ideas for “therapy” for our friends? Please comment below how you like to occupy your mind. It just might help someone find their nitch. Have a wonderfully beautiful evening. Blessings to you and yours. ❤️Always

My crew and I on the Greenbelt riding
My little and I running in a Appalachian monsoon lol

The collector.

Good Wednesday evening beautiful people. I hope your day has been full of love and blessings. Mine sure has. Today I was thinking about items that people collect. Do you collect anything? Have you known anyone that collects anything? Maybe its something completely off the wall. Sometimes I wonder when it gets to the point of no longer “collecting” but, “hoarding” lol. Ugh that makes the think of that T.V. show about hoarders. Lord help me when I watch it. It makes me itch all over. I am married to a wonderful, severely OCD man who literally can’t sit and watch it lol. I think that “collecting things” is brilliant. I mean think about it, if you have a little something that you like, everywhere you go you will be looking for that particular item. Trying to find it in various colors or materials is so much fun. It also makes it super easy for others to buy for you. I mean how easy is it to buy an odd coffee cup for someone who loves collecting coffee cups. It’s a no brained. I bet if you think about it you are a collector even if you don’t know it. Ladies, do you have a bunch of shoes? Bam, there you go. You are a shoe collector. Fellas do you have a ton of tools? Boom, you are a tool collector. I mean they aren’t great collector items but you are a collector lol.

When I was a little girl we would visit my aunt and uncle quiet often. They never had any children so the 4 of us were their kids. My uncle had a den in the basement that was always super warm. For some reason I remember visiting in the winter more than any other time. The den had a huge television ( he always watched nascar, golf, or football..he still does), a bar, and cozy seats. He was a collector. And it’s a little strange but he collected hats. He had hats from everywhere handing all over that den. It was so neat. I mean they were baseball type hats but they were from old auto garages and restaurants from everywhere that he visited. I will never forget those hats. Isn’t that neat? A collector of hats.

My momma loves Christmas time. I guess that’s who I get it from. When I was living at home I remember her just piling the icing room full of Santa Clauses. And not the cheapo ugly ones. Nice one’s made of ceramic and glass. My daddy bought them for her all of the time. He was thoughtful. I looked forward to it every year. I still look forward to home at Christmas. She’s moved on from the Santa’s and now has that amazing village that I talked about and showed pictures of a few blogs back. She was a collector of Santa’s and now a village collector. And I must say she’s pretty great at it. I bought her a village piece for Christmas this year. See it makes it easy.

I know y’all are wondering if I’m gonna tell you about my collecting because you know I do. Well yea! Of course I am going to talk about it. I’m a big collector. Of three things in particular. Yes, I might slightly be on the side of hoarding lol. But, not in a messy r nasty way. Remember I’m married to the OCD guy. One, those Santa’s that were ought for my momma have now made their way to me. I add one every year. I LOVE them. They bring back tons of memories for me and I just love that little long haired beards man. Two, I collect salt and pepper shakers. Old ones in particular. I love going to antique store and flea markets and looking for them. My son and I had a date day right before all the Covid mess and went to antique stores in two cities near us. I get them for gifts for my birthday and Christmas and I love it. See I’m easy to buy for. And finally number , number three. I collect old Pyrex. I love the odd colored or patterned ones. My son works at an auction house so it makes it easy to buy. I find them at antiques stores as well. People have no trouble buying for me. Pick one of the three and I will love it and you forever.

I want to encourage you to become a collector. If you aren’t already find something that you really like. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It can be as small as a thimble. Let the joy of looking for these item be yours and let other know so they can enjoy shopping for something that you really like. I also want to encourage you to ask other people what they collect. It may surprise you what others collect. It will help you learn a little something about them. Besides that its so fun! Or course I attached a few photos of my favorites out of my collection. EEEEKKKK it’s so fun. I hope this little post jogs some great memories for you. It sure did me. Please comment and tell us all what you collect. I would just love to know. Have a wonderful night. ❤️Always.

Just a few of my salt and pepper shaker collection.
My two favorite Pyrex
About half of my Santa collection.

Differences

Happy Saturday I hope that you have all had a day full of blessings and family time. I know that I sure have. This evening my husband and I are lounging in the living room watching some football on t.v. I don’t know if you are like me but, I typically scroll social media and look at Pinterest while we are winding down for the evening. I catch a minute or two of whatever is on the television but, evening is usually my time to catch up on what everyone else has posted for the day and to troll Pinterest to get ideas on a gazillion things I would like to do. I need to quit looking at it really. I am not a millionaire. I can not afford to do all this business lol. Tonight I caught myself just putting my phone down and not wanting to pick it back up. Have you noticed the many opinions your friends have on social media? Tonight I got caught up in reading some comments on a friends political post and I truly wish I hadn’t. I scrolled on after getting frustrated and then found myself reading more comments on another friends post about the Covid 19 vaccine. All I could do was just shake my head. Not over the yay’s or nay’s commented about each post but, the negative, judgmental tone to the comments. Wow.

When I was a little girl, and I mean a little 3 years old to be exact, my precious momma had me at our little church on Sunday mornings. Although I can honestly say that I don’t remember a lot about what we did every Sunday I do remember one thing in particular. That memory was the teaching of unconditional love. Tonight as I read the comments of some people that I have known for very many years all I could think of was that teaching. Now this isn’t a religious post. As I have said from the beginning of my blog site, I am a Christian and am not at all ashamed of that but, I also believe in the right to feel or believe whatever is right for you. Lord knows I have had more ups and downs than most can count and my little bumps in the road have been sometimes like mountains. With that being said, I am in no position to judge anyone. Honestly, none of us are. No matter what you feel or believe I hope to always treat you with respect and to love you for you. Let me just say there is not a lot of love or respect for that matter, going on in some of the posts that I am reading.

This past year has been filled with so much frustration and fear and struggle for us all. In my opinion most of us aren’t really even certain what to do right now. Do we take a vaccine or chance it? Do we believe everything that we read or completely ignore it? Do we get frustrated over the current political situation and lash out or stay quiet and be called meek by others. It’s sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of world that we are living in at the moment. (Sorry for the potty language but oh well). I guess what I am trying to say is, at the end of the day, no matter what is happening in this big world, I am still me and you are still you. Nothing is going to change that. I am still a momma, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an employee, and a child of God. And so are you. We all get up every day and we put our pants on the exact same way. We brush our hair the same way. We chew our food the same way. I am no better than you and you are no better than me.

The opposite of judgement is love. Wow! That’s powerful. Think about that. THE OPPOSITE OF JUDGEMENT IS LOVE! Why would anyone chance losing a friendship over judgement. I’m sure you, like me have seen friendships and families fall apart because of people not accepting others for who they are. That is judgement. Good or bad, agree or disagree, that is judgement. Sometimes I have to sit back an take a long look at myself because I have judged. It hurts my heart, but I have. We all have. So as I say to myself “don’t be a drama llama” and try to think before you speak (I am telling myself this too). Are you getting ready to bless the person you are responding to or are you going to hurt them. Sometimes we might need to put ourselves in their shoes for a moment.

My wish for all of you tonight is that you see the best in others. I wish I could cross my arms and blink my eyes like “I dream of Jeannie” and make it all better. But, I can’t. If you are looking at the good it is so much easier to look over the differences. This little precious life that we live is so fast. In a blink it is over. Think about that. I pray that we all spend it in peace and without regret. Appreciate every day. It’s your story, go write it. Love on as many people as you can. We all need it. Especially right now. Blessings and love to you all. ❤️ Always

Wow. Just wow!

When toys were not electronics.

Of course you know what this post is going to be about. I am absolutely in love with my childhood and nostalgia. This week the weather has just been blah where I live. January and February are just yuck. No pretty colors, nothing blooming, everything is grey, and its just yucky. It leads me to think about anything except that current situation. I am a firm believer to fill your thoughts with positive to keep from being blue. On that note, do you remember something that you just loved as a child? I am talking about a special toy. Maybe an object that you just had to have for Christmas or your birthday. Well obviously I am a girl so of course my favorites were dolls. There were 2 in particular that I just will never forget. I want to tell you I could do nothing more than smile earlier as I was googling for photos to post with this blog. Those little reminders filled my heart with so many memories.

I was born in 1978 so most of my childhood memories come from the 80’s. I was and am still an 80’s baby. It’s still my favorite era and I listen to my 80’s music every day. I may be a little partial but, I believe that this was the greatest time as far as toys for kids. Not a ton of electronics because we weren’t allowed to sit in front of a video game. Our momma and daddy put our rear ends outside to play. My little sister rode her bike from sun up to sun down. That’s why her legs are so beautiful to this day. That’s another story for another day lol. There were no video games in our lives and to be honest we didn’t even have a television in our rooms until high school. Kids now would freak out if they had just a radio, some coloring books, and their sibling in their room. It seemed to make us appreciate non material things. Oh, to go back in time.

Back to my favorite toy from my childhood. Both of these were wished for and given to me as Christmas gifts. I still have one of the two. My number one favorite gift as a child was my Cabbage Patch Doll! Yes, I LOVED him so much. His name was Mitchell. My parents bought one for myself and my sister. I wanted a boy because I always imagined that if I ever had children they would be boys. FYI I had one child and he is definitely a boy lol. My favorite thing about Cabbage Patch Dolls were the adoption papers. For those of you that have never had this wonderful experience, each doll came with its own individual outfit, accessory, and adoption papers which gave them their name. It was so exciting opening the box to see the name that was picked for your new baby. They had a first and middle name. I hate to say it but I can’t remember Mitchell’s middle name. He was a cute little bald feller just like the one in the picture that I included. I’m not certain if you can still buy these little angels at “the walmart” anymore but, my older sister has informed me that they are made in Helen, GA and you can go to the factory and adopt one. They have a nursery and everything. EEEKKK! I may have to con my husband into a little weekend getaway. You know a romantic one with a nice dinner and a visit to adopt a Cabbage Patch baby. Who else had a Cabbage Patch Doll? Didn’t you love it? I still have my little Mitchell and tons of memories that go along with him.

My second favorite gift was from my grandparents. It is again a doll and I may stump some of you on this one. I bet a lot of you won’t remember this at all. I will never ever forget opening up my little red headed Hugga Bunch doll. She was so perfect. There was a Hugga Bunch cartoon that I use to watch at my grandparents house on the weekends when I would spend the night. I loved watching it. My little papaw would snarl his nose when I would turn it on. You see they were a one t.v. home and he loved watching his wrestling. My Hugga Bunch came on during his N.W.A. Wrestling. He couldn’t fathom missing his opportunity to watch Dusty Rhodes spit all over the place lol. That could be another story as well. He may have snarled his nose but he completely remembered to buy me that doll for Christmas. I can’t seem to imagine that little old man walking into the store (probably Hill’s Department Store) and asking for a Hugga Bunch lol. As far as my doll, I do not have her any longer. I sure wish I did. I just loved her.

I hope that this blog post helped you remember a gift or toy that you received in your youth that you just loved and can never seem to forget. It has made me just giddy to think about it. Although these were my two favorites there are so so many more that get high praises. I wish I could talk about them all but I am not trying to write a book lol. I want to encourage you to think about happy thoughts especially in the times we are currently living. We all need joy. We all need to smile and feel happy. Memories are what do that for me. Please feel free to comment and share your memories of your favorite gift/toy. Especially if you are an 80’s baby like me. It may make me think of something that I have forgotten. Stay safe, heathy, and happy my beautiful friends. Have a wonderfully blessed night. ❤️ Always

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I had Tickles the little red head.

My Favorite Place To Be.

Is there somewhere that you like to vacation that just feels like a second home? A place where you long to be when the days are busy and stressful? I think we all have that get away that we just love. My husband and I sometimes lay in bed after a busy day and talk about our favorite destination just so that we can wash away the cares and worries in our minds. Isn’t it great that we can take a little time out from all of the stress that day to day life brings to us. No matter if your favorite place to be is at a destination hours away or in a small little reading corner of your home, it’s nice to just be still and dream.

Several years ago I had a coworker whom became a great friend. She was quite a few years older than me but, so full of knowledge and stories. Her name was Bernadette and she was born and raised in France. In her 20’s she met an Army man with whom she fell in love with. Eventually she moved America where she married her man in uniform. Over the 8 years that we worked together she shared many stories of her home country. Her french accent was so strong that many times I would not understand the words that she was trying to say but, I didn’t care. I found myself looking forward to our lunch hour sitting together while I listening so intensely. It was almost like a book on tape. So many times I would close my eyes and just visualize the scenes in France as she explained them. The passion that she had in her voice just exploded with love for her home country. Many times she would refer to it as her favorite place to be. To this day, 12 years later, I miss those talks and I miss my friend.

Isn’t it interesting what people fall in love with at their favorite places? I know that you are wondering about mine. Now, I live in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee. I personally think this is one of the best places in the world to live. We are a stones throw from so many beautiful places. We have so many areas to hike, bike, explore, and be at peace. Although I love my mountains, my favorite place to be is Hilton Head, South Carolina. Yes from the mountains to the ocean. For me it’s a little slice of heaven. Here’s the kicker, as much as I love the ocean, I literally don’t get in above my calf. I can’t swim. In fact I am scared to death of water. To me there is nothing like just sitting in the sun, feeling the ocean wind, and taking a walk on the edge of the water with no more than my feet and ankles submerged.

If you’ve ever visited Hilton Head you know that it is not near as crowded as some other beaches. That’s a plus for me because I’m just not in to crowds. It is an island which makes it very easy to travel from place to place on a bicycle. There are bike paths literally everywhere. All restaurants and shops have bike racks out front. I also love that you can ride on the beach. Hilton Head has such a calm, laid back, private feel that I truly don’t want to leave. The “special” of Hilton Head to me is deep rooted as it is where my husband proposed to me. It was completely romantic but, that’s a story for another time.

Now that you know my favorite place to visit/be, what is yours? Where is the one place that you go to in your mind that takes away all of the cares of the day. Where do you go that you begin the “countdown” months earlier? Where is your favorite place to make memories? I encourage you to think about it. Talk to your significant other about your memories in your special place. It’s a great way to start a conversation and to move away from negative. Please feel free to comment your favorite place to be. I love hearing stories about your adventures. Happy thoughts and a blessed evening to you. ❤️Always

My beautiful evening walks.
My daily runs couldn’t be more beautiful.