Charlottesville VA.

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Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, Heather Hayer and Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen died in the events surrounding the white nationalist rally Saturday in Charlottesville VA. 

 

 

I don’t have much to say because hate groups SHOULD be something of the past, especially here in the USA. We fought a war here in the United States called the Civil War to abolish cruelty and the inhumanity white privilege held onto, and the side against slavery and white supremacy LOST. We fought a war to prevent bigotry, supremacy and hatred in Germany, and against all odds, humanity won.
There is a fine line crossed with freedom of speech when that speech is a message of hate, discrimination and bigotry. 
#RestInPeace
Heather D. Heyer
Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen
Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates

How to Help in the Wake of Charlottesville

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Dance In That Rain!

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I’ve had a SUPER busy, preoccupied kind of week last week.  I just never seemed to find time to blog 😒 and it feels like it’s been forever. So yeah, the week/weekend took me away a bit and definitely distracted me from some of my goals. But I had fun and spent time with doing good things, seeing great friends and spending quality time with the hubby and that made for a great weekend! No regrets!

I was working on G.I.S.H.W.H.E.S. projects all week. Which was so much fun, and since I’m not at allllll artsy, I chose tasks that were close to heart and made up of all kinds of random kindness. Indeed very me. 

I also went to a picnic in the rain to say farewell to a few people we know who are leaving the area. Surprisingly a picnic in the rain (under a shelter) isn’t half bad. The rain was nice. I spent a few extra minutes in the Jeep listening to rain fall on the roof while hubby went ahead to the picnic.  We have a soft top and I love the sound of the raindrops. I nearly fell asleep lol. We ran into our friends Greg & Jade who we haven’t seen in quite a while. It was awesome to catch up and just chill a minute.

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Saturday we went to the New Breed Championships. They are a jiu jitsu,  muy Thai and general mixed martial arts competition. One of our close friends daughter was in competition there for her team/training dojo,  OutFox. It’s crazy how good these kids are. Dedication and commitment mixed with a lot of heart and love for their sport. Keith and I walked away feeling like we just visited a tight community. We are so proud of Lily’s accomplishments. This was her FIRST real competition and she had to go up against someone at a higher skill set than she was in. She held her own and all and all she did am amazing job for her first real go at it competitively. 

We were going to go to Busch Gardens afterwards but it was still rainy and Keith’s till suffering an ankle injury (rain doesn’t help). So we decided to stay home and just have a lazy weekend spending some quality time together. The week was kind of non stop for both of us between work, working out and events going on. We didn’t even hit the computers much. We just wanted some quiet time to make plans, dream and just “be”. 

Then last night and some baaaaaad salsa. Not a great way to end a beautiful week, but I’ll take it because the rest was magical!

That’s where I’ve been, taking a few days technologically low key. And now a new week begins and so does a new round of the fitness program I’m doing as well as getting back to some run training and tweaking our PCS a little more. 

A Worrier Or A Warrior?

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Worrier or Warrior?

Do you stress over even the little things; things you may not even have control over?        
I was a major worrier, some time still am.
Maybe you aren’t but perhaps you are surrounded by them…
this is often not much better, maybe even worse.
Or it triggers your worry
Or you find yourself in an endless cycle of supporting each others negativity
Worriers spread doubt and oppress our own potential.
Worriers usually think they are helping you, some times even saving you.
When you are facing the big decisions in your life, there is no room for worry.
There is no room for fear. Logic yes, unrealistic or far reaching fears, NO.
Those people will say “well what if you fail?
What if it’s too hard?
What if you are never successful?
You know what you tell them…
What if I FLY!??
What if I am the catalyst that changes someones LIFE?
What if I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
What if I CAN manifest my DREAMS and make them all TRUTHS?
WHAT IF I FEEL LIKE A WARRIOR, not a worrier?
Be the WARRIOR not a worrier!
And let them eat their words for breakfast!

💙 Susan

 

Re-Ignite Your Sense Of Wonder

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I spent the last week with nieces and nephews at the beach, the aquarium, the carnival, eating caramel apples and playing in the sand. It give you perspective on joy, imagination, freedom of expression, imagination and creativity. And I began to think of ways to keep that momentum going seeing as we don’t have kids and our nieces and nephews are hours and hours away now. Hopefully this will help some of you to re-ignite your sense of wonder again 💙🐬🌊💙

“A sense of wonder is the key to agelessness”

Try everything, even things that may not sound fun or appealing to you. You never know, right? I’m sure you’ve tried things you thought you’d love and ended up wondering why you ever thought of doing it in the first place. So why not try the opposite? Never thought you’d want to play an instrument️🎻️🎷️🥁? maybe if you pick it up you’ll find it was one of the missing pieces of your life. The thing you never knew you wanted!

Let go of ego ☯️. Let go of your competitive side. Let go of the need to be the winner, the best at, and being number 1. Striving for perfection is tiring and can lead you down a path of defeat when you’re trying to experience new things. Worry about actually running 🏃🏽 before ever being concerned with beating your last PR.

Travel 🚙🚌✈🚆! Somehow when you set your feet in places you’ve never walked your mind is wide open for new experience. When your senses are awakened , your mind interactive and your eyes wide open 👀 you can sometimes learn new things about yourself and how you fit into the world. This can also open you up to new paths 🐾 to creativity and invention.

Volunteering. Putting yourself outside your own ego and self can be quite liberating. It can also allow you to experience life in new ways. This could be just the ticket to being inspired or motivated forward.

⭐Be an entrepreneur⭐. Having to rely on yourself and creating a business environment that puts you completely in charge of your own destiny is scary for sure. But it’s also mind expanding and creates an atmosphere of movement and change in your life. When you take on being your own boss you realize your own potential and can see it through your own eyes, not just through some boss in an office somewhere. You become more thoughtful, and more creative in your pursuit when you are doing something you wholeheartedly believe in. You can discover all of who you are and all that you can become!

 

Meditate ✌️🏽. Shut things down and out and just go within. To often the world tends to put constant chatter in our heads and we need to recharge and make it all stand still for a time so you can think fluidly again. Meditation will also bring you closer to your true self and callings because you are looking within as opposed to the world around you.

Let your inner weirdo out. Yes! Get down on the ground and do some sidewalk chalk. Go to a karaoke️🎤 place and belt out your favorite song. Do your hair 💇🏽that rainbow color you always wanted. Be a child again from time to time. If you let that inner wild one go, reclaim him or her and go and play, be weird!

 

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Visit your local craft store and browse everything!! As you walk the aisles something will call to you. It may be a color, or shiny baubles or maybe even that blank canvas will inspire you ✂🖌! You don’t have to know what you’re going there for, just browse.

👶🏽Hang out for a while with kids. Round up your nieces and nephews. Remember what it was like to imagine🦄. To use your imagination to ride the skies with 🐲 dragons and silly animals 🐤🐛 from play-doh. Again, we tend to lose that inner child as we grow up and are submerged into the adult world. We lose our sense of wonder, reclaim it!

Create a vision board. Vision boards are awesome because it can start with a couple things and then when you start envisioning things you want to do and see, more and more is revealed. I actually realized my dream of one day playing the violin ️🎼️🎻️🎶through doing a vision board. I finally found a great beginner violin and I’m now pricing out teachers!

Put yourself in positions to meet new interesting people. As we go through our day to day we tend to meet the same or similar kinds of people. Moms meet other Moms at PTA, office workers hang with fellow office workers after work, etc.. Sign up for a painting class or floral arranging. Maybe a cooking 😋🍪 class or learn to tango 💃🏽🕺🏽. Get out and meet people who are different from the norm that you meet. Not because the norm are bad. But cultivating friendships with different kinds of people from different walks of life and interests will be inspiring for you.

Release that which is no longer serving you. From clothing to jobs. Try reinventing yourself. Stop holding onto the past. My biggest hmmm 🤔 is wondering why people hold onto eras. Instead take some from an era and move on and become and eclectic soul.

Doodle, ✏draw those silly flowers 🌸and smiley faces 😛. Doodling can have a calming effect, similar to meditation. Mandalas are sometimes drawn in repetition within a meditation. It will help relax your brain and rejuvenate your though process. Coloring books are also super helpful and fun!

Eat brain healthy foods; Blueberries, nuts🥜, seeds, avocados🥑…. Keeping your mind fresh and alert helps keep the creativity flowing.

The Arts.  ️🎧Music is a release and also can be inspiring. As well as art for some people. Some can find walking through a gallery very inspiring and thought provoking. So go see the ballet, your favorite band, or catch a play️ ️🎭!

Play video games, read comics, letting that inner child have some fun again 🤣

💤Sleeeeep💤. Catching enough zzzzz’s will help your mind to function better, as well as your whole body. This will help you be more creative, inspired and ready to expand your horizons.

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Point Pleasant NJ Family Vacation 2017

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Day 1 🌞🚙🌤️🍕

Thank you Mom, Dad, Tori and Barry for making this all happen!

We’ve been waiting for this kind of vacation a long time! And the family was waiting for this reunion for 12 years! That was the last time they were all together as a family. So this was super special. The ride there was beautiful. And you’ll hear that word thrown around a lot in this blog post 😄 So we drove from Virginia Beach to the Jersey Shore (Point Pleasant NJ/Beach) and we had great weather for the drive and very few stops. We were just excited to get there.

 

When we arrived, not everyone was there yet and wouldn’t be until Tuesday. We stayed at the Sand Pebble Motor Lodge in the Victorian. We were upstairs in a three bedroom suite (which was in itself two floors). We stayed with Keith’s parents, his brother Barry, sis-in-law Tori and their two littles (kids). The place was HUGE. His brother and fam was on the second floor of our suite, they had a massive bedroom with a king size bed, a huge bathroom with tub and a HUGE walk in closet that was actually used as the kids playroom, yeah it was that big. We think it may have originally been a small bedroom that they converted into a massive walk in closet. We were downstairs, where there were two bedrooms and a HUGE bathroom and kitchen. The living room was pretty big too. The kitchen was fully equipped and stocked with utensils, pots, pans, dishes, etc…. Keith’s big brother stayed downstairs in another suite (the steps in the first pic below show the entrance to their suite, we were on floor 2). Their suite was also roomy, a big two bedroom with large kitchen. 

We arrived around dinner time and so we just had pizza and enjoyed time with family. After dinner we took a walk down to the boardwalk (which was open till midnight) to walk around and get some desert.

 

 

Day 2 ☀️⛱👙🌊 🚂

Sunshine and blue skies! Time to hit the beach!!! The beach was nice. When staying at the Sand Pebble you can get a discount for tickets to Jenkinson’s Beach. Now this was something I had never heard of, people owning parts of the beach and you paying to get on their beach. Here is VB we don’t have that. We either have public beaches or private beaches that you can only access if you are staying someplace on that beach. 

The beach ended up being $2 a day per person after the lodge discount. Not bad I suppose. It pays for having a clean beach, and lifeguards everywhere. You feel pretty safe at this beach. It was beautiful!!

We went our own way for a bit and ended up at a cozy diner, Beach Diner and had a quick dinner while watching the trains go by. 

Afterwards we headed back down to the boardwalk for the kids to all ride rides (lots of good ones for the kids), play carny games and get desert at the The Black Anchor Coffee House, which was delicious!!!!

 

Day 3 🌤️📷🥗

Most of this day was just very family oriented. We took family photo’s and just spent time reconnecting and connecting. The day before Aunt Kate (Keith’s Mom’s sister) and her hubby Uncle Mike also came down and joined us and took family photo’s for us. 

 

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Aunt Kate & Uncle Mike

We all went out to dinner at Frankie’s. I had a salad and was disappointed they didn’t even have bread sticks let alone bread. But my salad was good! And everyone just enjoyed spending time with each other. After all, for some it had been 12 years since they last saw each other. Keith (my hubby) had not seen his oldest brother Scott in 12 years! Scott and Nauko’s oldest was just a baby boy when he last saw them. And I had never met them. They live all the way in Washington State. So this really was a special time for all of us!

 

Day 4 🌥️📷🐸🦉🐧🐢🐠🐡🦐🐍🌦️⛈️

Jenkinson’s Aquarium was how we spent most of the day. It was a pretty laid back day with a few raindrops. And the start of some thunderstorms. It was a good day for an indoor experience. 

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To be honest, I really thought the aquarium was just going to be a roadside afterthought kind of place. I was even worried I would see mistreatment,neglect or bad conditions here. But it was the complete opposite. They were cleaning all the time, the animals looked happy and well fed. And happily I found this place to be very conscientious about animal welfare and sustainability. They had displays everywhere for conservation, animal protection, rescue, preservation and keeping the waterways clean of debris. I was pretty impressed with this little aquarium. They care a lot about their residents and the animal world. 

ps….their seal, Luseal wasn’t always alone here. Luseal is a rescue and so was the other resident seal. Sadly Luseal’s companion passed away recently. From what they said they are hoping to be able to take in another rescued seal.

 

Day 5 ⛈️☔💦🥙🚂

Rain, thunder, lightening, downpours! But it was still a pretty awesome day. We hung around the house for a while and hung out with family and then met with one of Keith’s old friends and her hubby for dinner. We had met once before and have been Facebook friends, but I haven’t seen her since Keith and I first got together! She even got married since then and moved out of Jersey to PA and then back to Jersey. So it was time to catch up! Unfortunately for whatever reason, we completely forgot to snap any pictures. But it was a fun evening playing catch up at Beach Diner with good friends we don’t get to see often enough!

And we did make tentative plans to get together some time during the holidays! And next time, we will take pictures!!

 

Day 6 Headed Home….☀️😢🌊⛴

All good things I suppose have an ending, or at least a, till next time. And we’ve already decided there will be a next time. We have solo trip plans and plans that involve group vacations back to Point Pleasant. We also determined that we can’t let so much time go by with us not seeing the littles. Keith is godfather to the two littlest niece and nephew and since they are in New Jersey and us in Virginia, we decided we need to start meeting at some half way points, even if only for weekends here and there so we can all see each other. Time slips away and we may ourselves eventually move further away so we have to find the time and take the time to spend with family while we can!

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Look close, there be a dolphin swimming! We saw dolphin pods and I saw a whale!!

We grew closer to family who are in Washington State too and we may even move there one day soon, who knows. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to live and Keith’s job could potentially come up with a transfer there.  But either way we have to make it happen that we see each other more. Kids need family bonds and although it’s hard when people are so transient now and tend to live in other states, or even countries, to make the effort to remember that kids needs to know family.

We all had a quick lunch together back at Frankie’s and then a quick run back down to the boardwalk for us to grab this massive apple (we had at the beginning of the trip, soooo good!) and some taffy, as well as a new wall hanging for our ocean(esq) living room!

It was especially nice for Keith, Scott and Barry’s parents to see us all, and see us all together. Time keeps moving and before you know it, 12 years have gone by.  I think we all learned a valuable lesson while having a beautiful and memorable family vacation!

💙Till next we meet….

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Trading ego for true power

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When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the
cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like
burnt paper.

– D.H. Lawrence

Be Alive!

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We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.<<<

Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Yoga and a long beautiful walk through the Botanical Gardens…

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Saturday the hubby and I had a morning yoga session at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The gardens host quite a few different community projects as well as certificate programs in Floral Design. It was a gorgeous cool spring day and a perfect way to spend Saturday morning together! The class was very beginner friendly and the instructor, Charlotte was amazing! She also teaches Yin Yoga at the The Space Above Yoga Center

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After yoga, we received free admission with the cost of the yoga class. What a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning, yoga to restore surrounded with nature’s beauty. It was a magical day! 

 

It was peaceful and kind of meditative at times. Even though we’ve live in this area nearly 9 years, my hubby’s never been to the Botanical Gardens before. So this made the day extra special.

 

 

I’ve been to the Gardens with visiting friends during the height of tourist season and it was beautiful. But it was hot and can get crowded. I’ve always recommended people travel here during off season. No lines, hotels are less expensive, and events are less crowded. So plan two trips to the area. One for relaxing and one to take in all the tourist vibe events! 

 

So now come take a walk with us as we explore the

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

 

“There is unspeakable beauty and potential to be found in nature. It entices me and is an invitation I just have to accept.”  ~Jil Ashton-Leigh 

 

 

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~Albert Einstein

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“It is no longer sufficient to describe the world of nature. The point is to defend it.” ~Edward Abbey

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
~George Gordon Byron

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“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’ …

‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine, and things pushing up and working under the earth.'”

~Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. … There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

~Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

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“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

~John Muir, Our National Parks

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“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

~Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

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“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  

~Henry David Thoreau

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“Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.”

~Chinese proverb

 

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As we walked through the Enchanted Forest, the birds became hyper aware and greeted us as we passed by! It was magical!

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

~ Lao Tzu

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Sadly it was closed, the Butterfly House is a summer event.

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But the Butterfly Garden was blooming!

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In a field of roses, she is a wildflower.

~Unknown

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“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ~William Shakespeare

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“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.”

~Claude Monet

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The Rose Garden

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“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”

~Dale Carnegie

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“Take time to smell the roses.”

~Proverb

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. We highly recommend it for a low key, long walk kind of day filled with beauty. 

💚

Susan & Keith

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The First Of May

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May Day
May Day is celebrated on May 1st. It’s primarily a northern hemisphere spring tradition and in many areas is a public holiday. Celebrated with spring festivals, decorated maypoles, spring flowers🌺 left for neighbors on their doorknobs, dancing and decorations in spring colors and blooms! In some countries kids go door to door giving flowers to the neighbors and toss pennies into wishing wells. In Germany they plant trees and in Hawaii May Day is transformed into Lei Day adorning each other with gorgeous lei’s🌸 and maybe even a kiss on the cheek 😘 
May Day to me is a celebration of springs approach and arrival and taking a moment to let the stress go, enjoy good company, good food and celebrate life!