Smells Like Love

My daughter left yesterday to spend the weekend with her Dad. This morning, sitting where we usually sit together, I had an odd thought. “I’m gonna miss hearing, “I love you.”

I had an appointment to get to, but when it was over I Googled the nearest location of Bath and Body Works. When my daughter gets home Monday, I want her to know I was thinking of her. A couple of weeks ago, she walked into my bedroom and said, “Wow! It smells so good in here!” It was a new Wallflower of one of my favorite scents, but I unplugged it and put it in her room. It is now empty.

I’m really big on smell. It’s important, and it seems to be a large part of who I am. From giving people a hug, to someone walking into my home, it brings me joy to hear, “Wow! You smell good!”, or “It smells so good in here!”

It’s a combination of things. Our lotion is made by a woman locally, and smells amazing. Every now and then we wash our clothes in Tyler Wash, and that’s like washing them in perfume. It takes time for this to happen, but it’s pure magic when a room envelops a fragrance, and it fits that room. That is what happened when I gave my daughter the wallflower. It was my favorite scent, but became hers.

You want to stand in her room and inhale deeply.

Standing in front of the display of Wallflowers, it took a while to find the right one. Scanning the display for the name of the fragrance, my gaze froze when it landed on this. A candle was sitting to the left of the display, and I picked it up to purchase without even smelling it first!

iloveyou

Photo cred. B&BW.

Now, I can walk by the candle, see those words, and say it to myself. Smelling the candle burn, it sure smells like love.

To Be Inspired

To get in the habit of writing again. Taking time off becomes easier, and soon, you find yourself not writing. In speaking with a friend this morning she said, “Write about coffee!”

My daughter returned from Boston with a brown bag of goodness. Out of all the things she could have brought, she knows my heart. It was a bag of Blue Bottle coffee beans.

The way I view coffee has evolved over time. What used to be my morning ‘wake me up’, is now a magical moment.

chemex

The coffee bloom and a Chemex.

My relationship with coffee became quite serious this year.

Visit local coffee houses, (not franchises), or the coffee booth at a Farmers Market, and ask questions like…

Where do your beans come from? When were they roasted?

When you purchase whole bean, check the bottom of the bag. It should have a roasted date stamped on it. Beans stay fresh for two weeks before they start losing their freshness. Only grind the amount you are going to use.

I used to made my coffee at night, and set the machine to brew automatically for the next morning. Stumbling out of bed, after the beep was the start of my day. I didn’t realize what the machine was doing for me is actually a magical moment. Moments aren’t timed or automatic.

Moments are deliberately made in the present moment.

I placed the coffee maker on a shelf to give away, and pulled out a french press. That is how I made my coffee each morning, but eventually I knew there was more to learn. My daughter taught me the magic of a pour over. It took time to get it just right, but what a challenge to learn!

When my daughter brought home Blue Bottle, I graduated to the Chemex. This has been the most challenging, yet rewarding of all! I don’t have it mastered, but I keep trying.

chemex-at-home

The Chemex.

My daughter has the Chemex down to a science, and an amazing cup of coffee is a science. A Burr type grinder crushes each bean, instead of emulsifying them with a blade, so they are uniform. You can weigh the grinds, (my daughter would), but I don’t go that far. Even after using a French Press, Blue Bottle taught me how to improve. To time the steep for 4 minutes, and no more. Then press the brew, and how much resistance the press should have.

In the heat of the summer, cold brew is refreshing in the afternoon, so today I ordered a bottle to make it myself.

There is always something to improve upon. I went from having ‘just coffee’, to altering my morning routine for this moment. Now when I awake, I drink a bottle of water to give my body time to wake up. The Chemex is complex, and it’s early, so I wait for my daughter to appear. She makes a Chemex, but if she’s not here, I do a pour over, or French Press, and practice with the Chemex after I’m fully awake.

My friend asked me this morning, “What inspires you?” Well my friend, you do, along with a really good cup of coffee.

 

Once is Enough

Last week, I deleted my Facebook account.

It’s been on my heart to do so all year. One of those last things to ‘let go’ of. The key to doing something like this, and be filled with peace afterwards, is to do it a non emotional state. Sitting calmly in front of my laptop, staring at the number of followers, I let go, and clicked deactivate.

Two weeks ago, I almost got myself fired from my job.

One of my virtual assistant employers asked if I would receive their incoming calls, and I agreed. They were forwarded to a cell phone, and it took a couple of weeks to discover why they wanted them forwarded. It was like politely fencing with a sales person every time the phone would ring. By week three I was done taking those calls.

My salary might decrease, but my joy will increase!

13-Motivational-QUotes

It’s okay to let go of things that are no longer fulfilling.

What do I want to do to bring in income? I’m not sure, but I’m staying open to whatever God has in store. He’s good at signs, and sometimes he has them printed out on neon paper, and hangs it on a door. That occurred last week.

There was a ‘help wanted’ sign on the door of a local drugstore I walked into. I’ve never thought about working at a drugstore before, but it makes sense. The people coming in there want to feel better. Maybe they are going through a Cancer journey of their own, and I can relate.

I don’t know the reason, but I responded to the sign.

I filled out an application, and they called the next day for an interview. The only real experience I have is customer service, and I care about people. It’s been 30 years since I ran a cash register, and they look a tad bit different today!

I’m excited about doing a job I’ve never done, and plugging into community! The application process has been lengthy, but God keeps nudging me along. I’m encouraged that it hasn’t been easy, but it’s moving quick. I’m just waiting for the papers to go through, and they will give me a start date.

I told my daughter this morning, “Here I am again, living in the unknown.” The unknown is beginning to feel normal.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Welcome to Chillville

I’m not used to feeling this relaxed in the middle of the day!

My daughter just looked at me feeling all chill. My limbs are still feeling the stretches done on the mat this morning. My posture is on point, and I’m cradled in contentment.

yoga1

I fell in love with the practice of Yoga a few years ago.

It was not something I would have done if my daughter was little, but the first time we went to a Yoga class, she was a teenager. Being a single Mom, sometimes the only way to do something you want to do, is to take that child with you!

It’s good for them, and you. They get to see what makes your heart happy, even if it bores them to tears. They should want a Mom that takes care of herself, so she can take better care of them. At this moment, my daughter could ask for anything, and within reason, she would probably get it. (Except a puppy) I’m that freakin’ chill!

yoga

This class is only available Sunday mornings, and the Yoga studio is right down the street. I’ve tried doing online Yoga, but I’m sorry, it doesn’t compare to an actual class. The vibe from being in the studio, with an instructor, and the other participants is rejuvenating, and healing within itself.

The class is called Chillville for a reason. It’s an hour and a half long, and you hold a pose for several minutes, sinking into the mat, watching your thoughts float by, until you’re completely present.  The first time I took this class, I was so fidgety, I was ready to leave about halfway through!

My body couldn’t be still because my mind was racing.

It was the most challenging Yoga class I’ve ever taken.

To stretch and hold the pose. Today, my mind eventually slowed down, and became in sync with my body! It took time, but I could feel myself becoming one with the mat. It was a magical moment, and I’m hooked on this class.

It’s was the best money I’ve spent in a very long time.

If you’re a single Mom, you look at every dollar before spending it. This class is the longest, and most expensive class the studio offers. It’s $13.00. The other classes during the week, are half that much. Do you invest in yourself?

My daughter was home this weekend, and not at her Dad’s. I invited her to come to the class with me, but she said, “Mom, that’s your thing, and you should go.” She chose to sleep in, and then planned to go to her fave coffee shop with her new book. We both did something good for ourselves, but the day is half over, and I’m still in Chillville.

Watch Your Step

My daughter thinks my LG Health app is hilarious.

I’m pretty sure it thinks I’m not real. This app is on my business phone, which stays on my work table, until it needs recharging. I’m encouraged by this.

Screenshot_2018-06-20-10-51-48

Just 8131 more to go!

This app encourages phone attachment, but it’s confused that I don’t carry it around with me. Most days I don’t even know where my personal phone is! At least now, having a business phone, I can call my personal one to find it!

I helped a friend in her house cleaning business for a month. She taught me how to make every step count. She encouraged me to put everything needed in my cleaning caddy, and carry that from room to room. The mop, and vacuum were by the front door, because they are used last.

The tool caddy, and apron are designed for efficiency.

I still use what she taught me in my own home.

Instead of running around the house grabbing what is needed at the time, I look around in the area of the house I’m standing in, and see if anything needs to be done while there. After pulling the trashcan down the driveway for trash pick up day, I walk across the street, and get the mail.

Just like running errands in our vehicle, we can focus on our steps. Instead of feeling physically worn out at the end of the day, you will feel accomplished! Make every step count, and be productive instead of busy. Watch your step.

Be the Love

My daughter left Saturday for Boston, and will not be home until Wednesday. Her father took her to see Harry Styles in concert. If you don’t know who Harry Styles is, he was the member of One Direction with the massive head of hair. If you don’t know who One D is, I don’t know what to say.

Harry-Styles-HD-Desktop

Harry!

Here are some things I learned while she’s been gone.

*Kick up the self-care a notch. Take the Yoga class already!

*Buy the t-shirt you fell in love with the minute you saw it.

*Go to the coffee shop that re-opened, and encourage the owner.

*Start a Google search, and follow the trail. It leads to a book you wish to read during this quiet time. Call the local bookstore to see if they have it. They have ONE. Drive.

*On the way to the bookstore, stop at places you haven’t stopped in forever. Encourage the owners of the business, and the people working there. Tell them, “I appreciate you.”

*Smile at people. Be kind, and leave them with a smile.

*Hug someone when they least expect it.

*If you invite chaos into your life, take it back, and leave it.

*Use your voice if your heart is not happy. It may begin an avalanche, and your world may fall apart for a bit, but it will fall back together even better than before. Trust me.

*Clear off the giant coffee table, and use it to work a puzzle.

*Just be what you want to see. If it’s love, then be the love.

20 Habits To Stop Negativity From Your Life

Simply said. Beautifully executed. ❤

My Gorgeous Life

Don’t Think About The Past.

Don’t Argue With The Negative People,

Or Get Drawn Into Their Drama

Don’t Gossip or Listen to Anyone Gossiping.

Live Your Life, Not Theirs.

Stay Clean and Organized

Say “Thank You”

Cut Negative Things Out Of Your Life.

Take Up A New Hobby.

Tell Someone You Love Them.

Recognize When You Are Falling Into Negative Thinking Patterns.

Don’t Feel Guilty about Cutting Negative People

From Your Life.

Get a Gratitude Journal and Write Three Things You Are Grateful For Every Morning.

Practice Replacing Negative Thoughts With Positive.

Express Yourself.

Distance Yourself From Negative People.

Eat Healthy and Do Regular Exercise.

Remind Yourself of what is Good in Your Life.

Do Things That Have a Purpose.

Reduce Your Social Media Time.

Stop Complaining.

View original post

Feel the Music

Driving home last night, this song came on the radio.

The one thing that can change my mood rapidly is, hopping in my truck, and driving somewhere, even if it’s just down the road 10 minutes away. It doesn’t have to be a long drive, just long enough to hear the right song.

There is something about being in my faithful truck, on a road, and hearing a good song that feeds my soul.

As I listened to the words in this song, it reminded me of why I write. To give hope. I’m not sure I’ve written anything to save someones life, but God will work through our writing to help change people’s lives. It’s His job to save.

I will tell you what you need to hear, and that you’re not forgotten. My hope is you can see a God who is more than all you ever wanted. We all need hope, and if you’re here, you’re not alone. Maybe God has called you to this Blog, and you will read something that will change your perspective, which is a good step toward changing your life.

Fill Yourself Up

I’ve been a Virtual Assistant for a friend in California for 5 years. I take care of one of his businesses online every weekend. It’s not a hard job, but I do it because I value him as a friend. I’ve known him for 20 years, and this job allows me to stay home with my daughter, and earn income. He was my mentor years ago, and taught me phone skills.

The job I do for him doesn’t require phone skills. It’s all online. This new job is because of my phone skills, which haven’t been used in 10 years. It’s fun dusting them off.

Everything we do, if we do it long enough, gives us a skill.

I mentioned in yesterday’s Blog post finding the unopened motivational CD in my briefcase. It has since been opened, and listened to, and I’m listening to one as I type. If you’re young, we listened to inspirational CD’s before podcasts.

You see, if you are a leader, you have to feed yourself.

My daughter mentioned she doesn’t have a lot of friends who encourage her, but they look to her for encouragement. She is learning about being a leader. I told her about the CD’s, and said, “Encouragement is widely available, but sometimes you need to go find it.”

Read a book, listen to a podcast, or just tell one of your peeps, you need some love! People don’t think the leader needs encouragement, but we do. We don’t expect it, and we’re not the best at receiving compliments, but the encourager can run low on encouragement. If you feel like you’re running on empty, take time to go fill yourself up.

50-motivational-leadership-quotes-6-638

Not Too Late

Last week, I was called into the office, and had to knock the dust off my briefcase, literally! It’s classic Hartmann, and is what I carried 15 years ago. It matched my luggage, and for some reason when I left my marriage, two pieces of Hartmann came along. I’m  grateful to still have it because it doesn’t look like Hartmann offers it anymore.

hartmann

Do you ever go through something that hasn’t been used in years? Maybe it’s a piece of furniture before selling, a purse from last summer, or a jacket you only wear once a year.

Do you check the pockets? If so, it will reveal where you were in your life the last time that item had attention. The piece of me I found in this briefcase had been forgotten, but it’s an important piece. It was a set of motivational CD’s.

It was laying inside, unopened. The cellophane around it was still intact. Leaving it in the briefcase, I listened to one on the way home. It brought back a feeling I carried with me years ago. It’s not too late to get that feeling back. I wound up listening to all of the CD’s that weekend, and went on to find another set that had been buried as well.

The pieces are laying there waiting. They may need some dusting off before we get to use them, but it’s not too late.

day4