If you can’t think of anything kind, you aren’t thinking hard enough

The 40 day challenge has been going really well.  I must admit, I was concerned about doing some act of kindness e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y for 40 days in a row, but I have been something every day. I used the planning calendar and tips from the Positive in Purpose website and was able to easily come up with something to do for all but eight days.  Today, I still have four days that don’t have a designated act of kindness written in, but I am not concerned.   If you are around others, there will always be an opportunity to do something kind for someone.

Things come up.  An acquaintance and Facebook friend, put out a plea to help her family with college expenses for six family members all going to college at the same time.  A senior citizen dropped her credit card in the bank and it went under a table where she could not reach it.  I read about a need in my community that I was able to fill.  Just be observant and do what you can.

if you can't think of something kind


Kid President once said, “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.”  Giving a sincere compliment is an act of kindness, but I’d like to stretch that sentiment a little to include other acts of kindness.   If you can’t think of anything nice to say or do, you’re not thinking hard enough.

Primed and Ready

I am ready to begin the Caring and Kindness 40 day challenge!  My planning calendar is almost full; only a few more dates to fill-in. I can’t wait to see what others are doing and hope I get some new ideas. Join me in showing caring and kindness to others.


It’s not too late to Register.

On the Charts

Thank you to everyone who listens to my music on Reverbnation and N1Music.

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Lake Lure for Thanksgiving

Fall is a wonderful time to visit the mountains: the air is crisp but not too cold, the water is still and peaceful, and the foliage is brilliant.

November is at the end of the fall season, so many might think this would not be the optimum time for a trip to the mountains. It could be too late to see the turning of the leaves and too early for a saturation of snow.

This year I decided to go to Lake Lure, North Carolina for Thanksgiving. I am glad I did. We stayed at the historic and beautiful Lake Lure Inn and Spa, built in 1927.

hotel front

As you can tell from the photograph, the weather was bright. Early mornings were between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, while days were in the mid to high 60’s.

Each year the Inn hosts a very generous Thanksgiving buffet. In addition to the four meats at the carving station (beef roast, ham, pork tenderloin, and turkey), this year’s buffet included baked haddock, bacon wrapped scallops, twenty four feet of warm side dishes, salads and other cold sides, and an array of desserts.

Parts of the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed on the property and F. Scot Fitzgerald often stayed in room 316. It is a lovely walk around the lake and the area is quaint. You are only a few minutes from Chimney Rock and about an hour from Asheville, where you can visit Biltmore and the trendy  downtown shops.


Simplifying Life

I began by purging closets and drawers.  I pulled everything out and in very little time separated clothing, electronics, and toys into three categories: keep, trash, and donate.  BUT I am still left with papers I have not gone through to determine what to keep and what to trash.

Pacoffe table with storagepers aside, there have been other accomplishments toward meeting my goal.  I have made specific spaces for storing materials for all my activities: writing, sewing, music, jewelry, painting.  Glass top furniture pieces have been eliminated or replaced with easier to keep clean pieces.  The glass and wood coffee table is now one of those all wood lift top tables with storage.  Nick-Nacks that require tedious dusting have been removed.


Even the outside of my home is being simplified.  No more painting and staining the deck and porches.  Wood has been replaced with composite decking.


Once I have the house done, it’s on to the storage shed.

Now, back to those papers.


The past few months have been very busy.  I have published the second addition of my first children’s book and written a second.  Both are inspired by and written for my grandchildren.  Some of the best stories come from real life.  And we all know how entertaining young children can be.  They are generally the center of attention whenever they are in the room.  I love my grands.

Vacationing with Mom

I took the week of September 6th to take my mother on a small vacation.  She has been wanting to visit a few friends and family, so this week she got that opportunity.  Although I didn’t nap much, I did get to sleep in.  My average awakening time was between 8am and 9am. I drove north to get to mother’s on Saturday evening so that we would be ready to depart on our adventure Saturday morning…not too early.

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We left after breakfast.

First stop was the Russell Stover’s candy outlet.  Everyone we visited got a box of candy.



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We met one of Mom’s friends and had lunch at Cracker Barrel where we picked up some of Bob’s peppermint candies while there.

sep 7sep 7 Karen Next stop was Virginia Beach to visit with Tracy and Karen.Karen makes a mean fruit salad.  Tracy was out on the deck cleaning fish caught in the lake earlier this day.  It started to rain, so I wasn’t able to jet-ski.  (Sigh…sad face)



luray museum of the civil war (2)This is the Virginia Museum of the Civil War.  We stopped here before going on to Luray Caverns where my daughter and granddaughters joined Mom and me.

sep 11 stalactitiessep 11 stalactities reflecting in pool

The underground caverns were beautiful.  We learned a lot about calcium deposits, stalactites, and stalagmites.



Going back to Mom’s, we took the scenic route north through Shenandoah Park.  As we drove up and down around the curved mountain road, this black bear decided to cross the street.  Sorry, I wasn’t fast enough to get a good picture.  He only looked in my direction once. luray bear crossing road (2)


When I was in South Africa, I saw this goat house…

But I have never seen goats in trees…


Tree goats in Morocco.  Filmed by Michael Chinnici

Fully Retired

Well, it has been almost two months since my official retirement date.  It didn’t seem any different until last week.  As a school teacher, I always had summers off for vacation.  This summer was just as it normally is for a summer vacation other than everyone asking me what I was going to do now and what it felt like to be retired.  What did they mean?  What was I going to do… anything I want to do or nothing at all.  Isn’t that what retirement means… ceasing to work?

Anyway, last week summer vacation ended and students returned to the classroom.  Now, retirement is real!  Now, I feel fully retired.  I miss the cheerful greetings and hugs from returning students.  I miss getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of new students and creating ways to use the first to overcome the latter.  BUT I don’t miss early rising, late evening, and bringing work home.  I don’t miss thinking about going to work sick because it’s easier than making lesson plans for a substitute to follow, especially knowing that you will probably need to teach or reteach the material you left because the substitute decides not to follow your plan.  I don’t miss working lunches.  And I don’t miss the meeting where teachers are introduced to the next educational trend.

Now I just need to decide what I will do …BetweenNaps in circle-1