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Merry Blogmas FAILURE

FAILURE. I’ve not made posts for several days now. Honestly I have been feeling like absolute SH*T for the last few days. I spent the weekend with my mom and sister which helped a little but today I’m completely out of sorts, crying my eyeballs out into my cup of tea. Don’t ask me why. I couldn’t tell you. That’s the thing about anxiety or depression that sucks. Sometimes you can’t even answer the why as to WHY you are feeling the way you are. I tried to get up and stay busy, but even that hasn’t really elevated my mood.

I was super discouraged that my blog isn’t really being read either, but I mean I guess I can understand. It hasn’t exactly gone the route I hoped it would.

So this is short and sweet. I’m alive, I’m not feeling like blogging. I’ll try to finish the challenge and maybe knock the ones I missed out in one fell swoop. But until then, I’m going to try to stay busy and beat this funk.

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Alabama Gulf Coast · Christmas · divorce · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Merry Blogmas! Day 6 #shopping and Wishing Well Wednesday

We are 6 days into December and 6 days into my Merry Blogmas 30 Day challenge. Just as I mentioned yesterday, the weather is total crap. It would be a perfect day to be #shopping but I am #broke. This whole not having a job thing is definitely getting the Christmas Spirit harder to be in the mood for. Yes, I know that it’s not all about presents but I’m a giver and not really a big receiver. It makes me happy to see others enjoy a gift I’ve given. This year it’s going to be a little tough to make that happen. On a happy bright note, my kids ARE coming in for a few days around Christmas. I’m so excited!

Not only is is Merry Blogmas Day 6, it’s also Wishing Well Wednesday. Today my wish is that I would actually hear something back from the nearly 200 job applications I’ve filed in the last 3 weeks. It’s hard to find work here unless you are in retail or a shipbuilding career. I’ve started placing my applications in to retail and coffee shops. If I don’t hear something by the end of the week I’ll start putting resumes in for restaurants. I’m not being picky about where I work at this point. I just hate to see the education and experience I have go to waste. I actually have an even bigger wish for this Wishing Well Wednesday. I wish that the nonprofit that I created in New Hampshire would be revived here. There is such a need all over the country to provide job training to veterans. I’ve always believed there was healing in agriculture. The peace I saw it bring the veterans who participated in Veterans Chapel Farm, an agricultural training program that Ken and I founded in New Hampshire. I wanted so badly to see it grow into an actual US Dept of Labor apprenticeship program. With that status, Veterans could use their GI Bill to earn certification in an agricultural field. There are so many grants available to nonprofits in this sector, especially ones who work with veterans. I just don’t even know where to start. I put my feelers out to a local farm only to be shot down with a “we’ve had several organizations contact us and they all have big promises but really they are after the money.” I haven’t responded because I can’t think of a way to nicely say what I want to. I do understand where he is coming from though. We saw this in New England as well. I’m definitely not in it for the big bucks. That’s not where my heart is. But, if I could change the lives of veterans and their families by teaching them how to get into sustainable agriculture and how to apply to resources to help them, you bet I want to be involved.

So back to #shopping…..

Today isn’t exactly a day to be out in the weather, so I wanted to share some of my favorite online shopping sites. Stitch Fix would be number one. I had a subscription to Stitch Fix when I was working a professional job and needed to dress business casual. I had no idea how to pair items. I am not the fashionista in any sense. The site was really easy to navigate and I was able to fill out a style profile. My stylist did a great job because I only sent a few pieces back over the year that I had the subscription. I hate clothes shopping so it was really nice to have the items picked out. I also loved being able to try them on at home. Stitch Fix now offers shoes, something they didn’t have when I was a subscriber. I’d love to renew my subscription with them. You can even set a budget to make the items in your “Fix” affordable. http://www.stitchfix.com

Etsy- I love homemade and vintage everything. Etsy is a great place to find quirky, fun items. I’ve ordered everything from home decor to winter hats from them. It’s also a great place to showcase your own handmade items. Maybe you’re a knitter or have some mad woodworking skills? Sell your items on Etsy. The process for starting a seller’s account was a little difficult to navigate but once I figured it I had no problem listing my items. Remember they have to be handmade or vintage items. This is NOT a resale site like EBAY. http://www.etsy.com

Amazon- Ok so Amazon has become my absolute go to site! I mean you can seriously shop for ANYTHING with them and now with the Whole Foods purchase I can buy my groceries as well! It’s so easy to set up Ava’s dog food on a monthly delivery. I don’t ever have the “omg I’m out of dog food” moments now. The same could be said for those other necessary items that we tend to run out of like toilet paper, dish liquid. Why these things never seem to end up on my shopping list stoops me every time. Yet, I almost always get home and discover I have to run back out to grab something I forgot.

Wish- If you have time to wait on an item (because their shipping is iffy) You should check out wish. They have some of the most random items on their website. They also have really really low prices. Everything from jewelry to electronics are listed. http://www.wish.com

I wanted to list EBAY but honestly I haven’t had a good experience with them lately. I used to sell my girls fancy dresses on them. One time this lady who got angry over something completely stupid blasted me in the ratings. I didn’t sell anything for awhile after that. Reviews are everything on EBAY so you want to make sure you keep people happy. On the flip side, I like that I read reviews and get an idea on who I’m purchasing from. So take Ebay as it comes. It survived the 90’s so that has to mean something right?

Time for me to brew myself a cup of tea. This weather has me just wanting to grab a book and curl up with my tea. Even Ava isn’t feeling it today.

Merry Blogmas everyone!

Oh and I had promised to snap a finished picture of the Lamb Roast. Unfortunately my parents loved it so much that they couldn’t even wait for me to take a pic and literally were pinching pieces of the roast off while I whacked their fingers with my wooden spoon. But seriously, that’s one you should make!

Alabama Gulf Coast · Christmas · divorce · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Merry Blogmas Day 5: #TodaysTemperature

I am sitting outside in the swing drinking a glass of iced tea. Does this give you an indication of what the current temperature in south Alabama is today? It’s warm, slightly humid but in a pleasant way. There have been passing clouds all morning eluding to the fact that a major cold front is just to the west of us. Tomorrow our high is only in the 50’s, which for here is chilly.

Weather like this makes me slightly reminiscent and homesick for winter in New Hampshire. Well, at least this time of year. It’s Christmas time and there will be no snow or sleigh bells here in the sunny south. I guess I’ll have to settle for the sound of the rigging tinkling on the sailboats. Santa is going to require a margarita instead of hot chocolate this year! I miss the snow right now. I miss the way it smells, so fresh and clean. I couldn’t get over how quiet the world is when it snows. It created such a beautiful sight that captured what my childhood idea of Christmas was supposed to look like. Postcard Pretty.

With stormy, chilly weather on the way, I decided to make something a little special for dinner tonight. I headed to Whole Paycheck, erm, I mean Whole Foods (just kidding this is my FAVORITE grocery store) and to my happy surprise lamb was on sale. LAMB folks! I love, love, love lamb. I had never had it until I moved to New England. I tried lamb chops for the first time and it was so incredible! Sadly, it’s usually so expensive I can’t afford it. I certainly couldn’t afford to feed a family of five on it, but now that it’s just me I can splurge a little. Besides, it’s more than one meal for me. If I split it up as leftovers than I can justify it. I snapped up the lamb, grabbed some red potatoes, and my favorite Seaweed snacks that just so happened to be on sale as well. SCORE! So tonight we are having Slow Roasted Rosemary Garlic Lamb Shoulder. Literally my mouth is watering as I type this. The roast is accompanied by onions, carrots, and I’m going to make Crunchy Roast Potatoes and a salad. Wish I had a glass of wine to go with it……

I’m hoping the weather will roll in just as the roast is rolling out. I love stormy weather and eating a nice meal and then curling up listening to thunder sounds just about perfect.

Do you have a favorite weather related meal?

Here is the recipe for Slow Roasted Rosemary Garlic Lamb Shoulder. I hope you’ll give it a try sometime! I’ll post pictures of the finished roast tomorrow 🙂

2-3lb Lamb Shoulder Roast

3 cloves of garlic

3-4 carrots

2 Onions

8 Sprigs of Rosemary

1 tsp Black pepper

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tbsp. Salt

1 tbsp. Black Pepper

2 tbsp. Parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 425. Place onions and carrots in bottom of roasting pan. Slice garlic horizontally. Take a sharp knife and poke 12 holes in roast. Place garlic slivers and rosemary sprigs inside punctures. Rub salt, pepper, and oil over roast. Place in dish on top of veggies and cover with lid or tightly wrapped double layer foil. Reduce heat in over to 320 and roast for 3 hours. Let roast stand at least 20 minutes before serving but can stand for an hour.

There you have it! Easy!

I hope the weather where you are is something you enjoy, whether it’s sun or snow!

Mery Blogmas Everyone!

Alabama Gulf Coast · Christmas · divorce · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Merry Blogmas Day4 #Joyous: Learning to find joy

My 30 day blog challenge presented a bit of a problem today. #JOYOUS is the theme and honestly, joyful, joyous, jolly don’t exactly describe where I’m at presently in life. Marriage is ending, children have left the nest, I’ve been unemployed for 2 months now with not a great deal of luck in the job market. I’ve felt extremely alone the last few weeks despite hanging out with family. It’s a tough season in my life right now.

Here’s the thing though. You have to find joy sometimes. Life goes on whether you want it to or not and it’s our choice to live it joyfully.

I was out on my afternoon walk with Ava when that thought hit me like a ton of bricks. I have to find joy? Yes! And sometimes it’s going to come from the most mundane or unexpected places. I really began to consider what I have to be joyful about. I unclipped Ava’s leash and she leaped, did a full back roll, grabbed a stick and ran around as fast as she could. That my friends is joy. I smiled as I watched her run with complete abandon, saw her tail wag and thump the ground as she begged me to play fetch just one more time. When we finished the game, she touched her cold, wet nose to my fingers and looked at me with her head tilted as if to say “See, it’s all going to be ok, Just live!”

I realized that I feel joy when my kids text or call. I miss them so incredibly much but knowing they love me and are thinking of me brings a smile to my face. My middle daughter, Kendall, sent me a picture that she’d snapped of herself today. That picture made my heart swell ten times! What a blessing my kids are!

You see, sometimes you have to stop and re-examine your thoughts. It’s really easy when you are already feeling down to let your thoughts pull you in even further. Being in a destructive cycle sets a pattern in your brain that cause negative thoughts to often become negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and stress. Sometimes my thoughts are so dark that it feeds my depression. One of my favorite Bible verses of all time is Phillippians 4:8 ” Whatever things are true, Whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.” If I think of all the negative things in my life, I will be negative. If I stop, re-examine my thoughts and find good things, lovely things, then yeah the negative things still exist but I can find joy despite them.

Find joy in small things, the cup of coffee you have in the morning and how it brings warmth to your hands, a happy conversation with an old friend. I know some days that’s so hard. There are days when literally the best I can do is repeat to myself over and over “this is just a season of sadness, there will be joy” I have to find it in things like the wind and how it whips my hair when I’m out on the boat, or watching the dolphins as they dance around the bow. I find it in my silliest Kate Winslet “Jack I’m flying moments” as I lean over the bow and dip my hands into the water below. This is life. This is feeling alive and you know what sometimes that includes all those negative things I feel too.

So, get out there and be #joyous

Merry Blogmas!7d0dfeeb20981c0f13576b45a55ebbba

Alabama Gulf Coast · Christmas · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Uncategorized

Merry Blogmas Day 3 #RED

 

Merry Blogmas everyone! Day 3 and I’m really not feeling the “Christmas” spirit just yet. I did however go out shopping with my Mama again and we picked up a Christmas Tree and ornaments. She is WAYYYY more in the Christmas mood than I am, but I think she might be trying extra hard for me.

Today’s Merry Blogmas Challenge was something red. I shot random red pictures throughout the day. As I went through the pictures I began to wonder why exactly is red associated with Christmas. I did a little research this afternoon while curled up with my FAVORITE Harney and Sons Tea, Cinnamon Sunset. Seriously, get out and buy this tea. It’s sooooo good! Red has never, and I mean NEVER been one of my favorite colors. It’s so in your face loud that it’s used to warn you or order you to do things like STOP on street signs, or DANGER near electrical lines. Yet here it is associated with a time of year that is accompanied by thoughts of peace on Earth and all that jazz. Red has also been connected with the modern view of Satan (insert visual image of horned red demon) Not exactly Christmasy there huh.

Apples were used to decorate the paradise tree in medieval times. It represented the fall of Adam in many Christmas plays of the era. Holly and it’s beautiful red berries had been used to deck the halls of many a home in PreChristian Europe. When Christianity spread throughout Western Europe, it was adopted by these new followers and called Christ Thorn. In Pagan cultures it was thought that Holly was  a male plant and Ivy female. Whichever plant was brought into the home first determined who would rule the household. It was unlucky however to bring the plants in before Christmas Eve. Red is also the color of the Bishops robes. St. Nicholas, also known as Father Christmas would have worn these robes in his service to the Church.

So in an effort to satisfy my blog challenge #red, here’s what I came up: D8C328EB-737B-4F87-9A54-2ECECF9CC914

These are teacup roses. They look pink but they are actually a lovely red blush color. They are planted all along the seawall and bulkhead here at the apartments where my parents live. Like regular roses, they have thorns. Thankfully, they are tiny and not nearly as painful. Ask Ava how she knows……

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I worked at Starbucks from 2007-2011. I fell in love with their Christmas blend coffee, blended with my favorite Indonesian coffees to give it a great nutty spice. I look forward to it being released every year and would hoard my free pound to give as gifts. A friend gave me this bag as a gift along with a super cute cup and reusable K-Cup. LIFE CHANGING! And my mama is thanking them for the savings to her wallet instead of drinking up all her K-Cups.

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For my final #RED, I snapped a photo of the red wine section while shopping at World Market. It’s one of my favorite quirky stores. Filled with international foods and crafts, I love to browse their aisles. They have one of the best wine selections I’ve seen and who wouldn’t LOVE wine for Christmas!! I personally adore Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Whether in a glass or for cooking, there is nothing like a good bottle of red wine.

#RED and Day 3 is in the books. I hope you’ll share your #red posts with me!

Merry Blogmas!!!!!

Alabama Gulf Coast · Christmas · divorce · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Merry Blogmas: Day 2 #FavoriteHolidayMovie

Good morning! Ok, so I know I technically missed a day, but I have a great reason why! Merry Blogmas Day 2 is #FavoriteHolidayMovie. When I really started thinking about what my favorite holiday movie was, I realized I hadn’t watched these movies in years. So yesterday was spent in my pj’s,  binge watching Christmas movies with my Mom. She hung in there until we hit The Polar Express and then decided she’d had enough.

My favorite Christmas movies aren’t exactly “Christmas” per se, but they take place during the holidays so that has to count right?

1) The Holiday-   I love, love, love this movie. I can TOTALLY RELATE to the characters! To the point that I’ve dreamed about doing what the leading ladies did in this movie. I just need some gumption! The movie is sweet, full of hope, and will make you fall in love with little old Jewish guys and piano playing nerds.

2) Love Actually- The multistory line in this movie had my head spinning. If you are an anglophile like me, you’ll appreciate the cast (Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Liam Nielson, Kiera Knightly etc etc) Although not every story line ends happily ever after, this movie will give you all the warm fuzzies of a great romantic comedy tapered with some true realities when it comes to love. I’m really loving the whole Prince Harry/Meghan Merkle memes that are currently all over the place. Watch the movie and you’ll understand!

3) The Polar Express- Ok so there is ONE real Christmas movie amongst them! The Polar Express became a family tradition for me and the kids. On Christmas Eve, we let them open one present, which was always Christmas Pj’s. Then we’d make hot chocolate and peppermint popcorn and snuggle while we watch this movie. The songs bring me to tears every single time as it captures the innocence and magic of Christmas.

There, you have Day 2 in the books. I highly suggest all 3 of these movies!

Share your favorite holiday movie with #FavoriteHolidayMovie

Merry Blogmas everyone!

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Merry Blogmas Day 1 #YOURVIEWTODAY

Merry Blogmas Day 1 is in the books. Today’s challenge was #YourViewToday. Yesterday I was hit with the news that my husband had finally filed for divorce after complete radio silence for the last 8 months. To say that I took it hard would be an understatement. I guess I knew it was coming though. I slept in till nearly 9am, something I don’t normally EVER do, and pretty much just felt sorry for myself all morning. Around 10am, Ava began whining to go out. I’m thankful that she did because I don’t know that I would have gotten out of bed. That’s how depressed I felt.

The sun was shining and the landscape was dotted with tiny yellow flowers. They looked like a carpet all along the seawall. Ava trotted happily along, glad to be outside and promptly found a stick to chew on, quite possibly her favorite pastime. There was no wind and Mobile Bay stretched out like a glass surface. It was peaceful. That peace was interrupted by my phone ringing. My mom, who was very concerned about me, had decided to take the rest of the day off from work. She asked me to tag along while she did some Christmas shopping and I’m glad she asked me to go. It was a crazy, happy mess. We went to Home Depot, Hobby Lobby and finally Walmart. The holiday cheer was scattered across aisles. We finished our shopping and I felt slightly better.

My mom decided to make one of my favorite childhood dinner, Taco Salad and my friend called and asked if we could do a little night fishing. So I’m off to catch the big one! Hope you all had a great day! Share #YourViewToday on Twitter and Facebook! @WayfaringWagger