Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Steel Magnolia

I guess the first thing I think of when reading this title is the movie, Steel Magnolias. I absolutely love that movie.  It gives us an intimate look into the lives of  six southern women, It allows us to witness the bond that they share, the highs and lows in their lives and the private things that most people would never see
Being from the south, born and raised in the best part of America, I can tell you for a fact that movie is accurate. We Southern women have a unique way of seeing and dealing with life. Do I consider myself a steel magnolia? I guess first off you would have to know exactly what that means. 

The following is the definition given by the dictionary. 


Noun(chiefly Southern US) A woman who exemplifies both traditional femininity as well as an uncommon fortitude.Origin: Combining the contrasting images of steel, a hard metal, and magnolia, a flower.(plural steel magnolias)

A Steel Magnolia is a woman who has dealt with issues in her life that would have knocked a weaker woman to the ground.  She is strong, resilient and able to deal with tremendous amounts of pressure.She will stand up for those she loves and fight to the death for them. She is stubborn, hard headed and sometimes just plain ornery, but we love her anyway. She can have a mean streak two feet wide, fight with the best of them and work just like a man. She stands facing the storms of life, ready to do battle against whatever may come.  That is what makes her steel, but that is not all that she is.  She is also soft and tender.  She has a loving heart and can be easily hurt.  She is compassionate to the plight of others and always willing to lend a hand, even if it causes her emotional hurt in the process.  She is outgoing, kind and eager to make a difference in this world.  She will love her family even when they are wrong. She may seem tough, but she will shed tears when she needs to.These are what makes her a magnolia. 

How is it possible to be both hard and soft at the same time?  That is something that really can't be explained, it is just how it goes.  I guess now I can say for sure that I am a Steel Magnolia, raised in a family of Steel Magnolias. In fact I would have to say most of the women I know are Steel Magnolias, even the one that lives up north.  

So ladies, you don't have to be the let them walk all over you type. You can be tough if you need to be, but still gentle and loving at the same time. You can be a Steel Magnolia. 

As a side note: For any of you who haven't seen the movie, I suggest that you watch it.  It is one of my favorites and also one of the best ever made. Of course, that is only my opinion. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Objects in Mirror.....

As the 11th anniversary of my 29th birthday draws closer and closer, I have begun to look at life in a whole new way.  I have always been one to look for adventure and opportunity in the everyday, but just something about this birthday year has made me look at things even deeper.  I guess the thought of turning the big 40 kind of puts things into perspective.

Riding down the road one day I looked over at the side mirror on my van and saw the writing, "Objects in Mirror are closer than they appear."  I know that is a warning for us to make sure we are paying attention.  It is a statement that lets us know that things are a lot closer to us than they may seem.  Of course, reading that got me to thinking about life and how close certain events are to happening, which of course led to the writing of this post.

So, I decided to do was make a list of the "objects" that are close to happening or happening right now in my life and my thoughts on them.

1. I am turning 40 this year! What? How is that even possible? It feels as if I was just in high school last week. The years have truly flown by, but at least I have done a lot of living and made a lot of memories along this wild and crazy journey.

2. My oldest daughter is graduating in two years and going to college in three! Yes, you read that right and if everything works out like she has it planned she will be taking online college classes for her final two years of high school. It seems like only yesterday that I was holding that little new born in my arms. The years have been quick and I do get a little teary eyed thinking about her not being home with me, but at the same time I am so excited about what the future holds for her. We know all too well that life is not certian for any of us and we are very thankful that she is still alive.

3. I notice more "crinkles" than I use too! When I look in the mirror I see these fine little lines around my eyes. I refuse to call them wrinkles! Everyone of those little lines reminds me of time when I was happy and full of laughter. They may not be what society considers beautiful, but to me that indicate my full and happy life, which is a thing of beauty.

4. Losing weight and maintaining that loss are much harder to do! I would never have thought that my weight loss would be so difficult.  It really is true that your metabolism drops as you age,  but thankfully I recently discovered a program that has allowed me to lose thirteen pounds. It is not only an exercise plan,but also a meal plan. Hopefully it will teach me how to eat healthy and to take care of my body.

5. There is a time to give up on some dreams and find new ones. Unfortunately for all of us there are those times when we have to give up on something. I know for me this dream was a part of my life for so long and leaving it behind was very difficult.  I hope and pray for each of us that as we have to say goodbye to those dreams that God will replace them with other dreams and give us peace in our goodbyes.

6. Everyone that I know is also aging! So many that I have known personally or those I have grown up watching on TV/listening to on the radio are passing away.  It seems as if I spend more time now at funerals or funeral homes than I ever have, that each day another piece of my childhood or youth is gone and each loss is felt more keenly than the one before.

7. And that life really is like a box of chocolates. Forrest Gump's Mama was absolutely right. In life you never know what is coming your way, you just have to take each thing and make the best of it that you can.

I don't want this birthday to bring me down or make me sad. Have I seen and done everything I wanted to do? No, not by a long shot, but I have seen some amazing places and done some pretty awesome things.  I am ready to celebrate my 40th birthday. I want to take some time to look back over my 40 years of living and then I want to start looking forward to what the next 40 will bring.

"That's my "two-cents worth",  what's yours?" 

Bucket List: Part 2

A couple of months ago I shared with y'all my plan to accomplish one thing off my bucket list for each month of 2016.  As of the end of February I had checked off three items, making me one month ahead of schedule.  Well this is just a little update for y'all on my progress and what I have done since then.

In March my youngest daughter and I signed up for and took a Bob Ross painting class. I have been wanting to take one forever and my youngest loves anything to do with painting or drawing so we went together. We had so much fun, even though it was very difficult at times and somewhat frustrating. We put our heads and hands together and made this painting.

We had such a good time and enjoyed ourselves so much!

Also in March we decided to take a little out of town trip. This was our spontaneous road trip.  We had no idea where we would end up. We just flipped a coin (about 6 days before we left) and discovered we would be heading east, which put us going toward the coast. Then we flipped the coin again to decide which part of the coast. That flip put us going toward the northern part and we stayed two nights in Kill Devils Hill. There was only one hotel that was pet friendly so that is where we stayed. Even though our trip was only for a couple of days we had such a good time. The neatest part of the whole thing was just seeing where the coin would take us. 

My oldest showing our dog Dixie the lighthouse. 
Cape Hatteras 

It was so peaceful and quiet at the beach

The Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk

On our way home we also stopped in the small town of Bath, the oldest city in the state. This was another opportunity to check something of my bucket list. I have always wanted to visit the oldest city in my state. Bath is reported to have been one of the homes of the notorious pirate, Blackbeard.

April was  a month full of all other things so I didn't have any time to "knock" anything off my list. Hopefully May will be a month full of bucket listing.

Turns out May was a good month for bucket listing! I started off the month by walking in my first Color Run. Yes, I walked. This body is not made for running, unless something is chasing me.  Ha Ha Ha!  Anyway, several of us walked together and the money raised went to support my high school.  It felt good to not only cross off something on my list, but to also be helping my Alma Mater at the same time.

The following week was our anniversary and my husband asked me what I wanted to do and I said go shooting at an indoor gun range.  At first he was surprised, but then he got into the idea. He says that I am a pretty cool wife. I knew that was something on my bucket list and something we could do together. It was an amazing experience! We shot about 450 rounds of ammo and my shoulders were very sore the next day. 

 Just one of the targets I shot up. 

This month I also managed to get my very first story written and published. No it wasn't with a publishing house, but I wish it had been.  My daughter told me about a website that you can use to write and publish your works to the internet. Other people can read them and if the right person sees it, you could become published. This is the link if y'all would like to check out my work. The story is called The Journey. 

Already this year I have managed to cross off 8 things.  I am looking forward to what the rest of this year holds for me. I have a lot of things that I might get to check off this summer, if everything works out right.  

I know not all my things are what others would want to do and that is fine with me. We are all individuals who have our own "list".  I recently had a conversation with my oldest in which I told her, "Don't sit around and wait for life to come to you. I want you to go out, find life and grab it by the horns!"  I give the same advice to you my readers,go out and grab life by the horns, the tail,  or what ever you can catch it by. 

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"