Environment

Happy Wednesday ya’ll!!

 

As it turns out, my consistency here will start with the once a week mindfulness post I mentioned last week.

Straight off the heels of cultivating MORE mindfulness in my life, today, I am going to talk about how I work to create a successful environment for myself.

 

 

I don’t have it all figured out but have learned what works for me, so, here goes!

 

1-Support: From the moment I began to really work hard on taking care of myself, this has been the biggest and most valuable tool in my arsenal. For me, it looks like several individual connections that create my tribe. Being seen and heard are the biggest game changers in believing in yourself. Embrace vulnerability, let others see/hear it and watch how much you grow. Let yourself learn to love YOU and let others do the same…you’ll LOVE even better than before. My mental/emotional/physical/spiritual corners have all been helped by sharing the journey with people who walk with me, no matter the terrain.

2-Rituals: For years I had a morning/evening ritual. It began and ended with a beverage. It didn’t seem to matter if I even fed myself, I had to start the day with coffee and end it with hot tea or a glass of wine. I don’t know why it took me so long to connect the consistency of it to other areas of my life but one day, earlier in the year, I took that idea and added some healthier options to it…As I take my morning vitamins, I put out my evening vitamins so that they are always ready…I have a 64oz bottle of water on my counter so that I always have my hydration supply within reach and portable…I try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, even on my days off, so that my body clock doesn’t get messed up…I have learned I like creating patterns, I like it a lot! It takes the guess work out of the rest of my day and lends itself creating a lifestyle out of something that started so small.

3-Preparation: Uggggggggg, procrastination and the unexpected thrill of getting something done under a crunch time plagued most of my adult life. Call it a combination of being SUPER laid back and the fear of failing even before I started but I just couldn’t work it out. Last year, when I found the meal program that became my life, my BIGGEST success followed being ready for what was ahead. Yep, meal prep…Blah… I know you are asking yourselves why on Earth a 36 year old can’t go to the grocery store and the eye roll is justified BUT what can I say…for most of my adult life, I lived with wonderful roommates who either made it a group event or did it for me (thanks Chris <3). It wasn’t fun for me and I no interest in caring about it…until I did…My only goal when I started that meal plan was to only have in my house what met those needs so that I couldn’t be tempted by other things…I mean, I can dig some take out BUT once I’m home, I won’t get back in my car to go get it 😉 It wasn’t always perfect but believe me, the weeks I went into not having to think about how I was going to fuel my body, were the weeks I saw/felt the greatest changes in it.

4-Every Day Is Brand New: I, originally, didn’t plan on a 4th note BUT I wouldn’t be here without this mindset. Do NOT GIVE UP on yourself, EVER. We are human, we are going to  stumble, fall, fail, hell even jump into the pits sometimes…We can’t stay there! My friend Janet and I really helped each other see this when we were in the thick of maintaining the meal plan changes. Each time we thought we screwed up, we would remind one another that this thing we were doing was creating a lifestyle and you don’t just give up on that because you think you mess up for a moment. Learning to be kinder to yourself is freedom my friends, trust me!

 

I have sighted health/wellness examples for creating an environment of success in my life but I hope I have been able to convey that once you apply something to one area of life, it starts a ripple affect to the other areas too 🙂

 

Have a great Wednesday everyone! Thanks for stopping by!!

 

~CC

More Than Nothing Mindset

Not long ago, June 10th actually, I embarked on a new fitness adventure called Street Parking. A friend of mine suggested I follow them when everything went to chaos earlier in the year (don’t need to really give that any more time here). I did and, at first, thought to myself, that looks fun but am I ready for it?

A few days before I joined, they shared the 30lb transformation of one of their members. After losing 50lbs over the last year and 30lb additional pounds being my BIG goal, I knew I had to give it a shot.

The SP catch phrases of #morethannothing and #consistencyiskey lowered my intimidation level to ZERO. I told myself I could do those two things, at the very least, and see where I was after a few months.

Well, it only took a few days for me to realize that not only was this something I could commit to…I WOULD ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!

 

In Mid July, they announced an August challenge…something a former version of me would have excused my way out of BUT I signed up the first day, not fully knowing what I was getting myself in to.

Here I am, DAY 2, already knowing that this challenge will be a GREAT thing for me and look where I am!!!! Here!!! Sharing it with you!!!!

Not only are the SP catch phrases great for health and wellness motivation, you can apply them to other areas of your life and I’m excited to get my creative energies back in shape using them!!

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And NOW…the reason for this post!!

One of the weekly Points goals is a sharing mindfulness post. This week we are asked to talk about what we think our biggest challenges will be with the goals set aside for us.

  1. Supporting Teammates
  2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
  3. No Alcohol
  4. Veggies

 

There have already been so many, incredible and vulnerable posts about this topic and I am thrilled to add mine to the mix.

If you had caught me a year ago, the only thing I would say I had no problem with is cheering people on because one of my strengths has always been believing in others 🙂 and as I mentioned earlier, my overall health has taken an upswing, so, the hydration and veggies are no problem and my alcohol has been on the decline for years, though I doubt it’ll ever go away completely 😉

So, in thinking on what I would add to this weeks challenge, I realized I could focus and speak to the word “mindfulness”.

  1. Supporting my Teammates- Yes, I am a natural cheerleader but am I actively listening to what my teammates are saying!? Is there something else I can offer besides a like or high five?
  2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate- For MONTHS I have thought, JUST GET IT IN and GET IT DONE! I am going to add a prayer of gratitude to each sip I take, knowing that it is doing great things for my body!
  3. No Alcohol- I’ve, admittedly, had a “I do what I want” approach to this for over a decade now…What, exactly, have I been trying to prove? I am not sure but for the rest of the month, I am going to try to figure out why I’ve had an attitude about it and LET THAT SHIT GO!
  4. Veggies- This is another area where I’ve said “it doesn’t matter if you like it, get it done” and that is not really fair to the food is it!??? I get bored but stuck in my head and in patterns. I am going to try and have fun with this…Actually enjoy adding more green to my life. It’s my favorite color after all.

 

AHHHHH! I knew it! In getting all of this out of my head, I noticed something! Do you see it!?!

If I get stuck in a pattern, sure, I am completing tasks BUT am I present in the moments, realizing how good I feel and how good it is for me!? Am I remembering to smile and bring all of that increased energy to my heartspace!?!?  AM I REMEMBERING TO SHARE THAT JOY!?!?!?!

 

OK! I think I’ve got my game plan now!

Thanks for follwing along! Have a GREAT TUESDAY!!

One Foot In Front of The Other

From this mornings Facebook post…

Scrolling here isn’t what it use to be, I think we can all agree with that…I’ve been searching for words…I seem to always find them with music.

“I’m your king of nothing at all and you’re my queen of nothing at all”
“Our hearts a mess but it’s the only defense to brave the wilderness”

Whatever “they” we are aligning ourselves with, what are we fighting for if we lose the ability to look, individually, at a person and say “I’ve got your back and you’ve got mine” “one foot in front of the other”

This life is about SO much more than what we are saturated with right now….OH, I DO get it, ALL of it and all emotions within it are completely valid…

I’m just hoping that when/if the chaotic dust settles if we will remember that all the kings and queens of something have an agenda and will use “we the people”, the kings and queens of nothing at all to see it through, if we let them. Division is such a tool.

I still live in a world where I hope/pray all the people I’ve grown to love will still love me, no matter what our differences are, because we’ve made it this far.

I hope I get to meet new people with that same hope and love and so on and so on.

I hope that’s what we are teaching kids in and around this chaos…

It might be a fools hope but with all the name calling going around on here, I guess I’ll take that and wear it proudly!!

I love you, I mean it sincerely, and the vision of my spirit will be of us “taking it one step at time” and trying to hold on to each other and the Light!!

What I’m Hoping to See

I just spent about an hour looking through almost every photo on my Facebook page. So far that only spans about 12years but every now and then there was a throwback Thursday trickled in…

I’ve decided to not worry about a massive word count this time, although we all know I have the words in me, and get right to the guts of this one.

Working on myself (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) has been a near constant thing for about 5 years…this last year being the time the physical started to catch up with the rest of the progress. It’s ALL hard work and it can be messy BUT I’ve found the reward absolutely monumental!!!

Where’s the problem???

Oh, yeah…It appears I make one up when there isn’t one.

For YEARS it was financial peace and once it was attained, I started to hate the career that got me there…

For YEARS it was peace of mind/soul and though I found may way back to my faith, I doubt at the most confusing times…

For YEARS I didn’t cry, because of the time I was made to fear my tears and though crying (happy, joyous, empathetic, angry, sad) is what I do to release, I still fall back into that fear…

For YEARS I put my physical health on the back burner to work on all the rest, FINALLY took the steps and made the progress and most days I can’t see it.

 

TRUTH…I’ve turned over a LOT of stones these past few months and that should feel great, except when I hear myself make certain comments about myself and wonder when the hell I started worrying about that…

Recent examples are my smiles lines, the little wrinkles in my cheeks, the pocket of skin on my neck where weight use to be, my hairline/part/thickness, and large pores. I have to laugh as I type this because I literally spent so many years focusing on things that really mattered that I have resorted to this…and it’s so vain, I know…

Now, back to the beginning of the post…After combing through those photos, I learned something pivotal. My truly happy/joyful face is absolutely stunning, no matter it’s age/size…do I notice the other stuff eventually, yes, but the first thing I notice is the joy…

AND THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON…MORE JOY!!!!!

It baffles me that currently my life has the most collective potential for JOY and I’ve been (unintentionally, of course) zapping most of it out with all of this noise going on in my head…

AND I WANT TO BE DONE WITH IT!!!!

So, I’m going to keep taking my supplements, using my new skin care/hair care regimens, praying, sticking to my meal plan and doing my new workouts, because those things have been SO good for me BUT outside of that, I’m going to give myself a damn break 😉

If this is something any of y’all struggle with, I hope you give yourself a break too! Let the LOVE & JOY flow!!!

 

Also, the things that I’ve nit picked the most about myself lately have always been there…so…perhaps I better just embrace them 😀 😀 😀

 

Take Care out there!!!

 

 

West bound and into a ghost town.

On today’s edition of Tookish Travels, Brandon and I take our first Roadkill inspired road trip to the mountains of North Carolina

 

and

 

SPOILER ALERT…it’s a complete success.

 

Take a look!!

*****

 

Now we’ve been talking cars since we met because a) he’s a car guy and b) literally everything he drives is a conversation starter!

So, when I noticed what I would later refer to as “junk yard magic” (thanks to David Freiburger) in my neighborhood, I knew Brandon could help me identify it.

Plymouth Fury
This was taken, stealth mode, from very far away with my cell phone because I haven’t worked up the nerve to knock on the door…as you can see there are more vehicles past this one.

It didn’t take long for me to start asking car related questions…especially about the older ones, because I am a just a HUGE fan of getting to know other people’s interests and I have a deep appreciation for older, sometimes rustic, neat looking, nostalgia inducing things.

A few weeks after I noticed the Plymouth Fury above, and gladly consumed every re-build video Brandon would send me…I received my first episode of the show RoadkillIt was Episode 4, the Extreme Elco Engine Swap and I adored IT!!!! Having almost zero real car knowledge aside, I was hooked, BIG TIME and the pup in this one didn’t hurt either!

Yes, I know it’s TV but if David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan can do anything, it’s make me laugh hysterically and feel a little bit better about just getting out there and trying stuff without feeling like it’d be the end of the world to, possibly, F-up…and I began to see why I was being sent these videos 🙂

Episode 4, led to Ep 23, which led to Ep 31…AHHHHHH…that’s the one where they get to comb through 75 acres of junkyard and I see Freiburger with his camera for the first time. I thought to myself…”that’s brilliant”.

Episode 18 was the one that sealed the deal for me…I absolutely love that, above all, these guys have FUN in every single episode. So, before I pushed play on the episode that started it all, I sent Brandon a text that said “that’s it!!!! I want a long road trip with potential for junkyard magic!! I think it’d be a great photography project!”.

I had NO idea that I would get my wish the very next day…but someone else did 😉

 

*****

Our version of something a kin to a Roadkill Ep, because Brandon has all the actual car knowledge/skill and I am just an enthusiastic helper with a camera.

It was forecasted to rain (and we’d be driving into it), we were under a particular set of rules given the current national situation (meaning very little opportunity for food/beverage, socializing and even less chance of an open restroom) and our ride wouldn’t have working windshield wipers…Yep! We were starting out perfectly.

Vicki

Our ride for the day was this, full of character, custom built beauty, appropriately named 2006 Crown Victoria police car with a ’75 Ford F100 body, built by Brandon.

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This is my favorite detail of the car! That bucket is where this gas tank is!!

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We all know by now that I am not the expert here BUT given that she has the seats and dash from the car, I think she rides pretty great and I actually preferred her rumbling while Brandon and I talked to being able to hear the music 😀

 

About an hour into our drive, we hit a little magic just inside the Shelby, NC, city limit and we pulled in. I am not traditionally bold when it comes to my photography (I get nervous and chicken out of many, many opportunities) and was instantly grateful to have someone with me that both knows these kind of places and enjoys encouraging me in my craft.

L&L U Pull It had just what we were looking for, and it was in the front lot!!!

Now, please be aware that if we had gone in to explore, we would have never reached our destination. I spend hours in antique malls, hours…I can’t even imagine letting myself loose in one of these places (you know, where you can’t really break anything).

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I’ll admit I was a little giddy that I had just watched the Ranchero episode and found this ’63 first!

 

Stories and conversation are a big part of the Roadkill episodes and this trip wasn’t lacking in either of those as a large part of my Mom’s side of the family lived in the areas we drove through and Brandon did come racing around the corner from where we captured our first finds.

 

It only took about an hour more to reach our destination but that didn’t stop us from taking a break to stretch our legs at a covered bridge and for me to get a shot of Vicki under the pines.

 

Our destination, this trip, was Chimney Rock Village, where you are greeted upon entry by Lake Lure and roll on to a State Park and Hickory Nut Falls Campground. The surreal but “beautiful in it’s own way” part was that no one was around. I don’t think I’ve ever been to this area and not been stuck in the traffic the tourism brings. It provided an opportunity for photos that I’ll never be able to get again.

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We were able to find a parking space close to about the only place we’d be able to get lunch and we jumped out to explore the riverside.

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What we were able to see of Hickory Nut Falls Campground

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After exploring the river for a bit, we were hungry and we finished the short walk back through town and ordered some burgers!!!

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It’s very out of character for me but I hardly had my phone on me during this trip so, alas, I didn’t take a selfie by the cars, rocks, or of the SUPER delicious food (next time though, for sure). The only thing missing during this stop was a beer and would you believe that neither one of us thought to ask for it!?!?! Lol

We were in and then we were out. Aside from physically staying at home, we managed to be socially distanced the entire day (except when ordering food, of course) and found ourselves on the road back home about 45min after we arrived.

The trip back was a bit more quiet…it’s amazing how tired riding can make a person BUT it was just as fruitful as the drive up.

On a country highway, we found a small yard with some BIG treasures in it!

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’73 Pontiac Firebird

 

AND Brandon absolutely HAD TO turn around so that we could grab a photo of a tractor that we passed, once we both, almost simultaneously, said it looked like a “cow” from the Cars movies 😀

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And naturally, Vicki had to have a photo op too

There were a couple more detours but that’s for another post, or maybe just us, who knows…

All in all, WE MADE IT safely back to our neck of the woods, using only about 3/4 of a tank of gas and having no need for the wipers!!! Now, that’s a little less drama than Freiburger and Finnegan usually have but I think they would be totally down for the rumble of Vicki on the Interstate, the way she handles mountain curves (and the condition of the roads in general), our drivetime shenanigans and the overall spirit of the trip…or at least we hope so, as we find them great inspiration for road trips.

And just today, I realized that one episode of Roadkill is just enough time to get a heck of an Elliptical workout in and since I’m still on the early episodes, that’s a LOT of work to put in.

The bright side!? Maybe by the time I’m completely caught up, I’ll be ready to find a piece of junkyard magic of my very own and, just maybe, Brandon will help me make it operational 😀

 

Hey, a girl can dream 😀 😉 😀

~CC

 

 

 

 

 

Concerning Hobbits

When I started this challenge, I had NO idea (because I didn’t read ahead), that two of my favorite tracks would be back to back and I am thrilled to be taking on this one today!

Hobbits are my very, very, very favorite race of Middle Earth. From the moment Bilbo describes his hobbit hole in The Hobbit till he describes hobbits in Fellowship of the Ring, I have felt a kindred connection to them.

Both film trilogies start in The Shire and for me that is where my emotional connection begins. Middle Earth is full of beautiful places and spaces but The Shire is perfection. As the camera pans down the round doors, over/under the hills and the lanes, watching the gentle folk, farm, do laundry, shop for goods, laugh and carry on with each other makes my heart well up!

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This IS ME!! 2020

Concerning Hobbits is my favorite track in the entire movie catalogue, which I know is a bold statement, because it’s a brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT catalogue BUT this track embodies every single amount of my emotional connection to the story. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I can hear it and immediately be taken to those rolling hills, the lush growth of flowers, gardens, trees, and animals…I am taken to warm hearths, comfy chairs, tables of food, fine ales and lots of laughter…life…simple, comfortable, content life. That brings a smile to my face that not much else in life does, truly.

Home, the entire reason both Bilbo and Frodo leave such a wonderful place…One to help a group of dwarves reclaim theirs and one to, hopefully, save his and the rest of Middle Earth’s. Home is what I find when I listen to Concerning Hobbits and if I listen close enough, I can hear all the hope those Baggins’ had too!!

Take a listen yourselves, via the amazing Taylor Davis

I See Fire

This is easily one of my favorite songs in all of Middle Earth. Not only am I am MASSIVE Ed Sheeran fan, He is a MASSIVE Tolkien fan…which in my opinion is very evident in I See Fire…a song he wrote, if I am remembering correctly, in three days, before he had to perform it for Peter Jackson.

Oh, misty eye of the mountain below
Keep careful watch of my brothers’ souls
And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke
Keep watching over Durin’s sons

If this is to end in fire
Then we should all burn together
Watch the flames climb high into the night

Calling out father oh
Stand by and we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side

And if we should die tonight
Then we should all die together
Raise a glass of wine for the last time

Calling out father oh
Prepare as we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side
Desolation comes upon the sky

Now I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me

Oh, should my people fall
Then surely I’ll do the same
Confined in mountain halls
We got too close to the flame

Calling out father oh
Hold fast and we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side
Desolation comes upon the sky

Now I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me

And if the night is burning
I will cover my eyes
For if the dark returns
Then my brothers will die
And as the sky is falling down
It crashed into this lonely town
And with that shadow upon the ground
I hear my people screaming out

Now I see fire
Inside the mountains
I see fire
Burning the trees
I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze

I see fire (oh you know I saw a city burning out) (fire)
And I see fire (feel the heat upon my skin, yeah) (fire)
And I see fire (uh-uh-uh-uh) (fire)
And I see fire burn auburn on the mountain side

 

Whew…such powerful lyrics!

He really captured the kindred brotherhood of the dwarves and the emotion of the Desolation of Smaug that had been and would come again. It’s a tragic but beautiful picture of the solidarity Thorin’s company had in this story. Did 13 dwarves really think they were going to make it to the end of their journey!? It kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Since the past few videos have contained imagery from the movie, I am sharing the video of Ed Sheeran, performing all instruments, because he’s amazing 😉

 

Ok, I may have listened to that about 3 times before coming back to the post!

To lighten the post up a bit, I am going to share a photo from my personal collection.

SmaugBilbo

While we may not be big Smaug fans, I am a fan of dragons…so when Funko came out with the golden version, I had to have it!

The Bilbo artwork is by the amazing Nick Comparone.

 

Thanks for stopping by for Day 5 of Middle Earth March

 

 

 

Song of the Lonely Mountain

It, perhaps, shouldn’t be surprising as I complete the posts that I am, in fact, a HUGE Tolkien fan…please notice that I said fan and not scholar. I was introduced to Tolkien via the movies and while I have gone on to read a lot of the written word, I have SO MUCH LOVE for the movies that got me there (it was the LOTR franchise in the case).

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as with FOTR, is quite emotional for me. Watching the company (Fellowship) grow closer in bond as it is constantly tested makes for many a tear filled moment.

SPOILER ALERT:

At the end of Unexpected Journey, right after the eagles drop the Company to safety and Thorin has to eat a bit of humble pie, they all look Erebor and are awestruck and then we (the viewer is allowed to see it).

 

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Mountains have a majesty that, to me, is like no other. At this point in the journey, they still had so far to go but looking at in these moments offered them respite and hope. Hope is exactly what they needed!!

If the Lonely Mountain could sing, I believe it would sound exactly like Howard Shore (who I absolutely adore) imagined it.

Neil Finn was also the perfect voice for it!

I didn’t intend to find videos to accompany these posts, but I then again, why wouldn’t I make it a bit easier to join my musical Middle Earth journey.

 

 

 

The addition of the forging sounds to this track really helped drive the emotion for me! It’s just so good!

Enjoy!

 

Down in Goblin Town

Imagine being asleep after an already weary journey only to be woken by the sound of the earth cracking and a horde of goblins coming down on you.

As brave as I’d like to dream to be, I’d have likely passed out then and there.

The company of Thorin Oakenshield had to endure that and MORE as they were taken from their slumber to the throne of the The Great Goblin.

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Walking across these rickety, suspended bridges would have been enough to put great fear into anyone’s heart BUT to top that with the cracking of whips and clinking of chains?? I am certain the company knew that their fate was sealed.

Why a song here? I found myself asking and why did the movie have to make it so catchy?

 

Simply put, these goblins had just hit the JACKPOT and they knew it!!! They were about to chow down on some tasty ponies and throw this band of dwarves onto all the torture devices they could (couldn’t) handle.

I suppose if that were what my life was made of, I’d have to come up with a song too!!

My favorite part of this scene from the movie is when The Great Goblin sees Orcrist and cowers away, though he towers over the rest of them. That’s real fear!

 

It’s safe to say that I am very glad Gandalf showed up just in time to save them all!!

 

Misty Mountains

Hearing the dwarves sing Misty Mountains in the movie, gave me chills. I think the arrangement really set the tone simultaneously for what they lost and what they were about to dare achieve.

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This is from my copy of The Hobbit and is only the first page of the song 😉

The imagery in this song is amazing! As good as the scene in the movie was, Tolkien knew how to paint a picture with words. The pride the dwarves took in their creations can be felt here as well as their sorrow for what was taken and destroyed.

The amount of courage it took to even attempt the journey will always amaze me!

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This map is my favorite thing to look at when I feel like I need a bit of perspective. There are ton of motivational memes about “If Frodo can take the ring to Mordor…” but look at what a long journey can do…

Without a doubt it, presents challenges, often extreme difficulty, opportunity to change/grow, gets out of your comfort zone and can maybe even turn a bunch of strangers into comrades.

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The very talented InTheReads  created this Middle Earth inspired map of North Carolina and when I saw it, I just had to purchase one. I know that it’s the way topography works but it always make me smile to see so many lakes and the Blue Ridge Mountain Range when I look at this!!

Though I’m not reclaiming a homeland or destroying a ring of power, every time I drive toward that high country horizon, I say “I want to see the mountains again, MOUNTAINS Gandalf”.

 

🙂