Busy…the new four letter word!

Lately, when asked how am I doing? My response has been a four letter word…Busy!

Sometimes life just takes over…and busyness begets busyness.  I like being busy! Being busy at work makes the day go by faster. Keeping my hands busy keeps me from snacking.  Reading a good book quiets my mind and helps me to forget about what I should be busy doing. I do not enjoy being busy for the sake of being busy...However, sometimes busyness takes over and takes on a life of its own.

When given an option I would choose a quite evening spent with my best friend, my husband, in front of our outdoor fireplace.  I would choose a slower paced drive across the country over rushing through an airport to catch a flight.  I would choose relaxing in a hammock under the oak trees over a crowded street fair.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy street fairs or traveling via the friendly skies. It’s just that life is busy enough all on its own…the daily grind of being plugged in and connected 24/7 promotes busyness.  That comment alone could get me on my soap box for hours…but that would just add busyness to my day.

When I started writing I felt compelled to write every day for the sake of writing. I put unnecessary pressure on myself.  Then when I couldn’t keep up the pace I felt guilty.  My love of writing became a chore of busyness.  It lost its shiny new luster, all because of the need to be busy about the business of writing.

I have friends that are so busy running their kids from one activity to the next, arranging after school activities and summer camp programs that they need a personal assistant to keep the calendars organized. I have friends who have traded their busy work life for a busier retired life.

I wonder if being about the business of being busy is really worth the toll it takes on our health and well-being. I wonder what effect it has on our relationships.  I guess that would depend on who you ask…

At some point you come to a time and place in your life where quality becomes more important than quantity.  Can you have both? I am sure some people can and do and their life is full and complete.  I am not one of those individuals…I prefer smaller more intimate settings, dinner parties of 12 or less, lunch ordered from a menu not from a buffet line, food eaten on a real plate and my drink in a real glass, not out of a paper sack or in a foam container.

When did busy become a four letter word?

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Filed under Life..such as it is

Rainbows…

I understand the science behind the optical phenomenon of reflection and refraction of light through water droplets resulting in a rainbow.  Nevertheless, rainbows are a magical experience.

Did you know…A primary rainbow arc shows red on the outer part and violet on the inner.  On a double rainbow, the second arc has its colors reversed.  I know the second rainbow is barely visible, but I think I was lucky to see it at all.

double rainbow

According to Genesis, after Noah saved the animals from the Great Flood, a rainbow appeared. As the flood had killed all other living beings, the rainbow came to symbolize God’s promise that he would never send another flood to destroy all of the earth and that never again would all living things be killed in the waters of a flood.

As much as I believe in the existence of rainbows, I also believe the Biblical story of the great flood to be true and accurate.

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Filed under Faith, Life in Texas, Nature

Christmas in July…

With the temperatures in the 90′s I couldn’t help but think about Christmas…Sounds crazy, right?   What better way to escape the repressing heat than to daydream about crystal icicles, frosted snowflakes, shiny orbs, sparkling beads and glittery pine cones.

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Going to the Chapel…

This is known as the Garden Chapel.  This chapel is situated on the grounds of the Big Cedar Lodge.

The ChapelBig Cedar Lodge is a very laid back vacation spot. There is a quiet, un-hurried atmosphere.  The chapel is the epitome of that feeling.

Chapel EntranceAt first glance your eye is captured by the simple oak pews and wood plank floors. The warm wood gives way to the freshly painted white walls and elegant Gothic windows.

Rich WoodThe windows offer beautiful views of the Big Cedar Lodge property.  As your eye moves past the windows and up the walls you notice the craftsman style lighting fixtures.

The ViewThe most breathtaking view is through the window at the front of the chapel.  The view looks over the rolling hills and Table Rock Lake.

Kiss the BrideHowever, the thing I like the most about this simply elegant chapel is when the bride walks down the aisle and stands at the front of the church…there will be no stained glass windows projecting prisms throughout the chapel.  There are no statues or fresco paintings to draw the attention away from the beautiful bride and her moment…

On the wedding day, all eyes should be on the bride. With all of the time and attention she spent having her hair and makeup done deserves to be observed and admired by those in attendance. Her flower bouquet was specifically designed to complement her ensemble.  She chose her jewelry very carefully.  She may have selected a family heirloom or spent days looking into jewelry cases for the perfect pair of earrings.  We can’t forget her shoes…the shoe must have the right heel, be the perfect shade of ivory and fit like a glove.   However, the piece de resistance..the dress…yes her dress…whether she has chosen for her dress to pouf out beneath her or glide down her curves the dress will be what everyone will talk about.  The bride deserves to be the center of attention!

 

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Super Hero’s Have Heart…

You can be someone’s Super Hero. It doesn’t take special powers, lightening speed or x-ray vision. All it takes is heart!

Super HerosWishing you a Super Hero weekend!

 

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Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, encouragment

Bathhouse Soapery

I love to travel. I love the adventure of discovering new places and meeting new people.  If I had to choose my favorite part of the entire experience it would be keeping it local. When my husband and I travel we seek out locally owned businesses.  We stay, eat and shop local.

Check Me Out

It doesn’t take long to figure out you have met someone who is following the desires of their heart.  All you have to do is ask a simple question about their business.  Their eyes light up and they almost bubble over with enthusiasm over the simplest request.  I understand that big box companies serve a need in communities…but small businesses draw communities together and they are what make America great!

Welcome

On a recent trip through the Ozarks we stopped in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  The weather was perfect for a little pedestrian activity. Hot Springs is known for their…well, Hot Springs! In the early 1900′s a beautiful row of stone bath houses were constructed. The remaining structures are now part of a National Historic Landmark District and represent the grandest bath houses in North America.

Choices Abound

After walking through the bath houses we decided to do a little local shopping.  Directly across the street from bathhouse row I discovered the perfectly placed Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium. The place was buzzing with activity. I was about to get my shopping therapy on….

As I meandered around the displays touching and smelling all of the soaps and lotions I eavesdropped on a few conversations…now before you go judging me…it was only so I could get a feel for how people felt about the product.

Upclose

I discovered most of the patrons were regulars…although this business is strategically located to capture the tourist dollar, most of the people in the store on this busy Saturday were repeat customers.

Soap Bars

At first I was drawn in by the simple window display and the activity going on inside.  The soft color palette of the walls, the chandeliers and fixtures were visually appealing.  The depth of the color of the soaps and scrubs reminded me of the display case at my favorite Gelato shop.  Finally, the girls working in the store were genuinely friendly and exceedingly helpful.

Bath Bar

Needless to say, my shopping experience was memorable.  I selected a half-dozen luxurious handmade soaps; cloud, Moroccan vanilla, peppermint rosemary, honey almond and vanilla oatmeal.  They were individually wrapped in pretty paper and hand labeled.   I created my own blend of scrubs, dripping pear and Cleopatra.  They were mixed and packed in sweet little jars and labeled. I love that each item was labeled so I can re-order my favorites. Maybe even join the soap of the month club…well I don’t think they have one but I could start my own.

Soon, I will plan my own personal spa day, complete with luxurious soaps, scrubs, scented candles, a cup of tea and a terry bathrobe.  All purchased on my travels across America, made by true artisans, sold in locally owned shops.

Street ViewHappy Shopping…Keep it Local!

 

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Filed under Made in America, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots

Historic Bathhouse Row…

Hot Springs Arkansas is home to Bathhouse Row. This row of buildings are a beautiful collection of eclectic architecture in the neoclassical, renaissance revival, Spanish and Italianate styles. Bathhouse Row is a National Historic Landmark and part of Hot Springs National Park.

Buckstaff-BathouseAre you thinking about planning a Spa vacation…you might include Hot Springs in your list of potential spa experiences. The hot springs are known for their therapeutic healing minerals.

Quapaw BathsThe Quapaw Baths and Spa offer a unique way to experience the hot springs mineral baths. The name comes from the local Indian Tribe that once resided in Arkansas.

Quapaw 2The architecture of these buildings is stunning…Most of the bath houses began to fall into disrepair in the 1960′s when therapeutic bathing began to decline in popularity. Restoration of the baths began in the 1980′s by the parks service. Currently the renovated buildings are leased out for commercial enterprises.

FordycePeople have been enjoying thermal baths for centuries.  Thermal baths are well-known in Europe but are also found in Hungary, Canada, Mexico, Iceland, England as well as many locations in America.

Superior BathsWishing you safe travels!

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Filed under Made in America, Travel, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots