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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Canton Treasures

One of my favorite ways to usher in the fall season is with a trip to Canton, TX for the First Monday market.  It's become an annual tradition for Valine and I and something that we look forward to for months.   This year was certainly no exception.  I guess that school has been in session just long enough for me to really need a break and being outdoors on a beautiful day is just what the doctor ordered.

Valine came up on Friday and we did a little shopping in Shreveport before driving over to Kilgore for the night.   Let's face it: being an hour down the road the next morning is definitely an advantage. After checking into our hotel, we got some suggestions from the front desk clerk for some picturesque buildings to photograph for one of my photography prompts.  I was in search of a country church, but we never really found one.   We did find a couple of others and while they didn't work for my prompt this week, it was still fun to be "on the hunt".
We walked over to Chili's for dinner and even enjoyed an adult beverage---something I rarely indulge in.  Can you guess whose was whose??

Saturday, ended up being a nearly perfect day at Canton.  The weather was absolutely beautiful!! When we arrived, there were already so many people there that we had to park way out in the boonies---a first for us.  After getting our carts out and ready, Valine locked the car up . . . or at least attempted to lock it.  Repeatedly.   We examined the doors, the locks, the buttons,  . . . but still no luck.  THEN, she realized . . . the car was still running.   ;-)  

It was cool enough for a light jacket in the morning.
By noon, however, I had shed the jacket and enjoyed the sunshine and gentle breeze while perusing the variety of interesting goods.
Unfortunately, I experienced a "wardrobe malfunction" late in the day, requiring me to don my jacket again until we reached the car.   As we walked along through the booths, I suddenly felt a "pop" from the clasp of my very favorite, front-hook bra!   Thinking at first that it had somehow come unhooked, Valine shielded me while I attempted to re-fasten the silly thing.  Instead, the whole hook just fell off in my hand!!   Luckily, there are no photos to document that particular event and I will be returning it to the store where it was purchased!!

Neither of us were looking for anything in particular and it seems that can be a dangerous time for our pocket books.   We managed to find several fun things for ourselves and for others.    For the most part, the crowds were spread out so that we never really felt crowded.
As we loaded our booty into Valine's car, the turkey platter, that I'd found for such a bargain, slipped off of a box and fell to the ground, breaking into several pieces.  Sooo sad!

After a full day of browsing, we headed to her aunt's farm in Henderson for burgers with the family.   It was our first time to meet Pam's brand new grandson, Samuel.  What a sweetie!!   The food was great and it was so nice to relax and visit with everyone for a little while.  How lucky am I that I have been able to get to know Valine's extended family over the years and call them "friends"?!
As we left Henderson, we stopped for gas, only to be startled by a man peering into the car window and asking for help.  We were thankful that it wasn't our car that needed help this time as he used it to unsuccessfully try to jump-start their car.  After it was clear that it wasn't going to work, he thanked us and we went on our way.
While the weekend was not without its obstacles, I got to spend it with my best friend, so "Life is Good".   ;-)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Instagram Challenge

I can hardly believe that September is over and October is here!   In September, I tried something different with my Instagram prompts:  they were not date specific and you could post each one on whichever day you wanted.  I don't know about you, but I had such a hard time remembering which ones I had done and which were I had left.   So, this month, I'm back the old day-to-day format.

If you are interested in joining along, please jump right in!   The only rule is to remember to use the hashtag #MTOctoberShots2015.    Other than that, post when you can and don't worry if you miss a day or need to switch things around.  Leave me a comment, too, with your Instagram username, so that I can follow you as well.  It's a great way to make new friends and be inspired with others' interpretation of each prompt.  (You can connect with me on Instagram by clicking the small icon to the right under my picture)
P. S.  I save the image above to my phone so that I always have it with me.

Day 30 - A Little Chat

Wow!  I made it!  I completed a post for every single day of September.  Sometimes I wrote them ahead of time and scheduled them for posting, but I had one for each day!   The Blog-Tember Challenge was a great way for me to get back into blogging on a regular basis.   Now it's time to sit back with a cup of coffee  cup of Zipfizz and some granola and reflect on the month.

I am really busy from day to day, but not all of it seems very "blog-worthy" in my opinion.  I've never considered myself to be much of a writer--I'm much more comfortable creating than putting words down on paper, so it was great to have a prompt for each day:  some of them were difficult for me, and others easier.   I'm pretty sure that I was one of the "older" participants, but, the prompts were general enough for the most part that they could be applied to anyone's life.

I think that the most difficult prompt for me was the "Letter to my 16-year-old Self".  It was also one of my favorites.  That prompt required looking back at a time that is difficult for most teenage girls and kind of re-live some of those feelings, however, this time I had the advantage of living through it and experiencing life for many years afterwards.  I've even lived through that age with two daughters as well!   They say that hindsight is 20-20, and it really is true.

This Blog-Tember Challenge motivated me to finally get a brand new look--one that works better and is more in line with what I want my blog to portray.  While I created the header and signature graphics, I bit the bullet and bought a professionally designed template and I am very pleased with it!

Last, but not least, I have found some new blogger friends and look forward to following their journey in the days and weeks to come.  In yesterday's post, I looked forward to October and set out some goals to post about over the next 31 days.

Did you have a favorite post from Blog-Tember?
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 29 - Blog Topics

After posting every. single. day. in September, I can't just drop the ball now.  While I can't guarantee daily posts, I do hope to get at least 10 posts up and running during the month of October.  Maybe more, who knows.   So what will those posts be about?   Most likely you'll see some of these:

1.  October Instagram Challenge will be posted - While I feel like I am running out of new, original ideas, I find that having a prompt helps me to remember to take a photo every day and I really like that.  Plus, I really enjoy seeing what others who are playing are doing!
This is the one from last year:
2.  A fun trip - There's not much better than a trip with your best buddy, and I have one planned very soon.  I can hardly wait!!!
3.  My healthy lifestyle journey - I've been working for the last few months are getting healthy and staying that way.  It's time to share how it's going.
4.  A huge event that I am in charge of at church - I'll be a nervous wreck that week before, hoping that everything goes smoothly and that the event is a success.  Looking forward to having it behind me!

5.  Halloween costumes - What's an October without a Halloween costume post?!?!   This year, I am making costumes for at least 4/5 grandchildren.  The selections are constantly changing for at least one of them, so stay tuned to see how they turn out.  (here are the ones from last year)

6.  Art Journaling - I am going to be leading an art journaling class in the next few months, so I really want to dig in on my own.  
7.  A post about my mom - Her birthday is this month and I'd like to do a bit of reflection.

8.  Crafting - I don't have any specific plans for this right now, but, as usual, there are tons of ideas floating around in mind.

9.  Halloween Memories - A few memories from my childhood and perhaps more recently, as well.
10.  Project 52 Update - While I haven't been posting lately about this project, I have still been taking photos each week.  Hoping to post an update during the month of October.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 28 - Typical Day

My typical day is beginning quite early these days---generally about 4:30 a.m.  I always his "snooze" one time, but then make myself climb out of bed when it goes off again.  Once I get up, I'm good to go, but getting up certainly is difficult some days.

After slipping on some workout clothes, I head to Camp Gladiator for a full hour of high intensity boot camp.   I come home drenched in sweat, with the sun just beginning to rise, and energized for the day.
After a shower and breakfast, I'm ready to head to work.  Being an itinerant teacher means that my schedule is not the same every day.  Each day is slightly different, so I try to be sure that I check my calendar each morning for the possible conference on change in schedule that might come up.
I usually have lunch at my office, while catching up on my emails.  This year, I am trying very hard to bring my lunch to work each day rather than resorting to fast food or picking up something at a convenience store.  So far, so good.  Fridays are the exception---on Fridays, a couple of us generally try to meet for a quick, healthy lunch at Jason's Deli, Panera or some place like that.
After school, I sometimes have enough time to run to the grocery store, post office or other errand before heading home and switching gears.  Some days, I pick up baby D from Mother's Day Out and always love bringing him home with me.  Lately, we have been playing outside on the grass, practice his walking or play with the dogs until Callie picks him up.
Ron gets home an hour or more after me and we spend a few minutes chatting about day and reading the mail. Sometimes, I have a meeting at the church or a project to work on, but generally I fix dinner and we eat in front of the TV---I want to return to eating at the table, but it's just so easy to eat on the couch.  Lately, I have been cooking more, but at least once a week, we go out for an evening run---usually to practice on hills---and we eat out on those nights.
Both of us are tech addicts, so we almost always spend the evenings perusing the internet while we watch tv.   Because the morning comes so early for me these days, I have been going to be bed VERY early . . . or at least, I begin getting ready for bed early.  There are always some distractions and it takes me a little while to wind down and finally fall asleep, but my clothes and shoes are ready and waiting for me to jump into the next morning.
Sunday, September 27, 2015

Day 27 - Wish List

What's on my wish list?   Well, I have a Pinterest board devoted to this very thing, so it was pretty easy to come up with my top contenders.  Besides the obvious "world peace", etc. here are few things that I wish for . . .

The Passage Ring, by Lisa Leonard.  I love her jewelry and would really LOVE to have 2 of these to stack--one in gold and one in silver.
Pine Cone Wind Chimes  I don't currently have any wind chimes and think these would be great hanging on the back deck.
Vintage Locket - Another favorite of mine, by The Vintage Pearl, that I would love with a picture of some of my special people in it.
Microplane Herb Mill - Not that I cook every night, but when I do, I often use some of the herbs from my herb garden.  
Kantha Throw Blanket - Not only are these luxurious and beautiful, but they are hand-made in Bangladesh by women who were formerly living on the streets or working in the sex trade.  Someday, I am going to splurge and have one for myself!
Shower Wrap - I've made shower wraps before.  I've given them as gifts.  But, I have never had one of my own and I think I would enjoy one.  Especially now that they come in such pretty, plush patterns.  
That's it for my list.  Feel free to forward it to my husband.  (hint, hint) 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Day 26 - To-Read

What's on your "to-read" list right now?  I always keep a running list, just waiting for the opportunity to sit down, uninterrupted, and soak it all in.   It seems to be difficult for me to make the time to do it during my regular work schedule---if I get wrapped up in a book, I have a hard time putting it down to go to sleep and then I am really sorry in the morning.  I really need to schedule a little reading time into my schedule!  

Here's what is on my list right now:

1.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo.
I keep hearing/reading about this book, and this point, I am pretty sure I NEED to read this book.  So, today I purchased a copy for my iPad.

2.  Daring Greatly - Brene' Brown.  
I purchased this book a while back and still haven't made the time to read it ---- but still want to.

3.  Seven - Jen Hatmaker.
After reading two of her books and loving them both, I think I'm ready for this one now.  Even though I haven't read it, it might go very well with the "tidying up" book.

4.  Beach Town - Mary Kay Andrews.
I love reading her books---fun, light-hearted and entertaining.  And sometimes, that is all I want.

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