Fire 🔥 Word of the Year 

“You’re fired,” is that a period or an exclamation point? In my head, I hear a very loud exclamation point. I never sought out to watch the Apprentice years ago, but back then, you could hardly turn around without seeing clips of the infamous “you’re fired” being spouted by Donald Trump. 


I never imagined that one of the first reality television moguls, now turned President of the United States of America, would be spouting those same words to members of his staff in the Whitehouse. I wonder if our political system has turned into some warped reality television series leaving the viewers sitting on the edge of their seats wondering WTF? The news continues to rehash the American drama on prime time. Why not? I’m sure the ratings are climbing. 

Under fire…” this morning’s breaking news described gunshots being fired at a Virginia baseball field on the Republican congressional baseball team. Seriously!?!  Has the world lost its collective mind? It’s a ballfield. Its summertime. It’s a place of play not a damn warzone! I hear the exclamation clearly this time. 


A London tower emblazed in fire burns so swiftly accounts of children being thrown from the building is utterly heart wrenching. What desperation those poor souls must have felt in a moment of pure terror? I don’t even pretend to understand that crisis moment. My gut twists just thinking about the loss and devastation. 
And its only Wednesday. It’s only June, mid-year. It’s the year of the Fire Rooster. But does that mean that it’s ok to burn the world down around us? 

Fire.

It’s a harsh reality. But like the phoenix rising from ashes, may we too, as a collective, rise from this horrific onslaught to become a better, stronger society, turning away from violence to embrace peace – happiness – tranquility. This is my prayer for all of us.
 

 

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Flower 🌺 Power

“A flower does not bloom for itself, but for the world; do likewise.”
– Matshona Dhliwayo


Happy Monday, Friends!

On Sunday’s, I’ve developed a little HAPPINESS habit, I drive to Trader Joe’s and buy myself flowers (they have an awesome assortment). This week I selected a bouquet 💐 of beautiful pink and white roses. 

I place the bouquet next to my bedside lamp, letting their soft fragrance lift my spirits in the sterile hotel room that has been my home for 6 weeks now. 

What makes you happy?

Cheers!

❤️

By the way, go check out Cees Showcase of Photography for more inspiration! 

Revelations Aren’t Always Easy

And when it happens, it can be sometimes hard to swallow. Like learning little things about yourself that is a bit uncomfortable. Now it doesn’t have to be the drama-life-altering-kind of revelation. Oh no.  In my opinion, it’s all the teeny, tiny revelations that can pile up into one big aha moment. 


I took myself out to a country bar in Katy, TX , called MO’s Place. It’s a little early, only 9pm. But if I stayed in the hotel room any longer I would have just crawled into bed and called it a night. Which I tend to do – a lot. But sometimes I think it’s important to remember I’m single and it’s Saturday night and I need to get out once in awhile. 
But it’s tougher here since I don’t have any going-out-kinda-friends and I’m not exactly  comfortable walking into a bar in Houston on my own. I know – the revelation has me confused too. 

I’m a seasoned traveler. I’ve stepped into foreign pubs, Vegas night clubs, and hole in the wall gems without much thought. And here I am triple thinking my decision to come out to listen to some live music and watch dancers circle the floor at a popular country bar. 

There’s something different from visiting a place to knowing that I now live here. I’m a little more cautious. It’s as if I’m skirting around the edges of the city, dipping a toe into its waters, uncertain which way the tide is flowing. Is it safe? Am I doing the right thing? It’s a dangerous city (don’t watch the news here!). I’m alone. I’m always alone. 

But the night is young. I step into the cavernous dance hall, pay the cover and find a seat at the end of the bar near the stage. I’m sipping a club soda, watching the place fill up with pretty young things in sparkling jeans and preening young men in cowboy hats.  The mating rituals have begun. It makes me smile. I feel extremely ancient. 

I can do this.  The knot in my stomach won’t relax. 

The band is about to start. An hour. I’ll give myself an hour.  

A man asks me to dance. It’s a simple two step. 

It’s time to adult. 

Let’s do this. 

Cheers

❤️
Daily Prompt Instructions: Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Follow the link

 

Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat. 

The violence we do to ourselves is unforgivable. Remember we are made of God Stuff.


There are moments, okay, sometimes days that morph into weeks that turn into years that are so challenging to navigate. They weigh heavy as a long winter night that I don’t know if I can lift my eyes to face another wallop. And then smack down! 

But I’m made of sterner stuff – God stuff. And I breathe in. I breathe out. And I pray. And then I do it all over again. 


Does it get easier? No. Yes. I honestly don’t know. I tell myself that life isn’t that hard. We make it hard. But we don’t have to. This is what I tell myself. This is what I’m telling you. 


But what if everyone would just grow the duck up? Just be responsible? Make their life the best life possible? Look forward. Don’t look back. Make this moment happy. The best moment possible. It’s just a heart beat.  It’s a smile even in the darkest of darkest night. 


Breathe. Breathe again. And again.  

Cheers!

❤️

Restless Nights Make for Bumpy Mornings 

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book (A Series of Unfortunate Events)


Driving over 60mph on the on ramp to I10, due to a demanding vehicle behind me, wasn’t good enough. Nope. Not here in Houston. The impatient person revved their engine and flew around me, barely keeping it on the road…then breaked suddenly due to the heavy merging traffic! I slowed down amazed at the antics here, trying to not blast the driver with negative thoughts. 

Breathe…. just Breathe…


Good morning, Houston. 
With the time zone change I fielded late night, early morning phone calls from Alaska. Let’s just say that this move is rough on everyone. A little sad, a little frustrated, I finally rolled out of bed and got a very early start praying for everyone, including myself! 


Have you ever had days that make your eye twitch the very first thing? I’ve tried patiently to muddle through things but right now I’m just going to admit to everyone right here, right now, that life is rough at the moment. 

Pray. Breathe through it. Pray some more. 

Stepping onto the 28th floor way too early for most folks, I was greeted by the vultures perched just outside of my cube’s window. It’s time to start the day, the scary vulture eyes watch me. I’m going to name him Moe. 

I ignore Moe and say another prayer. 

Good morning, Houston! 


Cheers!

❤️

Audacious – A Texas Wine Begs You To Relax


http://amzn.to/2ruSUcn

I am blessed to have my car back in my possession. To celebrate I pulled up the TexasTravel website and searched for a day trip and discovered a handful of wineries within easy driving distance. Scanning the list I settled on one and navigated my way to Hwy 290. 

If I had given it much thought I would have looked for an alternative route since I’m not a big fan of 290. But once on the construction laden highway I was committed. Following Siri’s directions  I barreled along with a slew of others escaping the city for the day trying to avoid concrete barriers and rocketing vehicles screaming down the road. 

90 minutes or so later, Pulling off the highway onto a rural road, I felt myself relax into my car seat, letting the country road guide me past ranches towards a tiny vineyard tucked away in the rolling hills. To be honest I have no idea where I am. Am I the only one that sometimes still misses old school paper maps? But where would we be without the marvelous Siri navigation?!?


I finally found the slice of heaven in the Texas Hill Country at Peach Creek Vineyards. Stepping into the cool, dim interior I was warmly greeted and the rules of the tasting deftly explained. 


Choosing to sit outside on their covered patio I selected 5 wines to taste while enjoying the easy rocking chair and letting the view of the vineyard wipe away the stress of 290. 

If you get the chance this is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  I indulged in a cheese plate and sipped a few wines. For $8 you can taste 5 wines from the menu. I made it through  3.5 reds and was pleasantly surprised at the flavorful reds. 

Sadly I had to get back on the road so I didn’t partake in the last tasting. Im a firm believer in drinking responsibly, especially if one is driving! Saying goodbye and tucking the complimentary wine glass and bottle of wine I purchased in my trunk I headed back towards Houston, pretty satisfied with my first exploration of the Hill Country. Can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner! 

Cheers!

❤️

Mister Carwash and Other Houstonian Rites of Passage


My car finally arrived after journeying thousands of miles on boat and truck. It desperately needed a bath. 

Over dinner my girlfriend told me about Mister Carwash on Gessner.  It sounded like the perfect Saturday morning plan. She warned me to arrive early because it gets pretty busy and I’m happy I did. Cars were already lined up and it was only a little after 8a.m.

Mister Carwash has over 30 locations, so the nice guy told me, while convincing me to sign up for the monthly car washing service (with the promise I can cancel at any time). No wonder most of the cars here are shiny! 

In Anchorage, cars are dirt encrusted most of the year and no one blinks an eye. Our roads conditions in Alaska are a bit more rough around the edges compared to this bustling Texas city. 


With coffee in hand, I left my car to be vacuumed and washed, wiping away the evidence of the long journey it had just recently traveled. From the comfy waiting room I can watch the cars glide past the wide windows, the hard working employees working their magic. 

I’m impressed!

You have no idea how  happy I am to be reunited with my car. It’s a small chunk falling into place, reminding me how wonderfully blessed I am with this new chapter in my life. I’m so very blessed and grateful for all that God has given me. Good and bad, it’s been a bit of a challenge but through it all I’m treasuring the days as they unfold. 


My mantra for today is “be present”.  

Be present in all the little moments. Even a Carwash. 


Cheers!

❤️