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.

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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”.

 

🙂

Blunt The Knives

AHHHHH the unexpected party…

For someone who just wanted to eat his dinner in peace, Bilbo sure got more than he could ever bargain for when he opened the door at the first bell ring.

C-C-Can you not do that? You’ll blunt them!
Oooh, you hear that lads? He says we’ll blunt the knives…

Blunt the knives, bend the forks
Smash the bottles and burn the corks
Chip the glasses and crack the plates
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!

Cut the cloth, tread on the fat
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat
Pour the milk on the pantry floor
Splash the wine on every door!

Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl
Pound them up with a thumping pole
When you’re finished if they are whole
Send them down the hall to roll!

I remember watching each of the dwarves come in to Bag End and getting increasingly nervous…I don’t blame Bilbo for being so uptight! I mean, I LOVE spending time with people but having 13 strangers come in and literally make themselves at home is more than a little unsettling.

We know they sing and poke fun at Bilbo but in the end they clean up after themselves and then all gather round the table and get to the business at hand.

It got me thinking about tables…and gatherings…

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When I stop and think of all the tables I’ve found myself seated at lately, it brings a great smile to my face.

At the holidays, my family gathers around, now multiple tables, to laugh and share a meal.

Every few months, my good friends invite me over and the three of us play the new tabletop game they’ve purchased.

I’ve sat across from my niece and nephews as they color me a picture for my fridge.

Twice, I’ve gotten to lend my voice to a podcast.

I’ve shared early morning coffee chats and LATE evening chats

Dreams were dreamt, space was held, and lives were made just a little better and brighter…all by having a seat.

So, whether your company gets as rowdy as 13 dwarves, or it’s just one person, keep welcoming people to your table and accepting invitations to sit at others’. Relationships happen all over Middle Earth and you never know when one could lead you on your next GREAT ADVENTURE!!!

Cheers!

 

Writing, what’s that!?

Greetings my lovlies!!!

and now let’s take a big>>>SIGH<<< together.

 

If you had told me that when I sat down to write this that it would have been 2 months since I last wrote, I would have gotten really defensive…BUT I’d be wrong.

Plans, OHHHHHHHHH, the plans I had (have), which if I am honest, feel like excuses sometimes…BUT transparency is one of the names of my game here, so, listen up!

 

I have been working two jobs this FALL season to prepare myself for a SET schedule in 2020 and that INCLUDES writing! There have been many a Sunday (currently my only day off) where I’ve wondered how smart my idea is BUT the horizon is so close, it doesn’t matter anyways 😀

I knew that outside of journaling, October wouldn’t have much writing in it because I set it aside to join a movie challenge from Epic Film Guys  and the sketching challenge Inktober  with the idea that I am going to have to “DO” more, in order to write about more. There will be posts on both of those things, soon! I am sorry they didn’t happen on Oct. 31st as originally intended but I promise that I will post them anyway!

 

November, ahhhhhhh, November…this month was suppose to be a CELEBRATION of the blogs 1 year Anniversary and the fact that it’s now the 16th and this is the first post, is completely my fault. The biggest lesson my anxiety has taught me this month is that you can be excited to the point of procrastination, and, whew, have I been.

In addition to catching up on neglected corners of this space, I also planned to read a book(s) on the craft of writing this month with hopes to alternate the fiction and craft readings so that I can, hopefully become a better and more diligent writer. There are only a couple of weeks left in the month but I do plan to read the, highly, recommended book On Writing by Stephen King before the month is over.

December is going to be crazy with my second trip to Ireland coming up AND the Holidays of course BUT I have so much content coming, all the chaos will be worth it.

Thanks for sticking with me! I really look forward to re-familiarizing myself with every room here and making it a cozy place to be!

We’ll chat again soon!

 

~Candice

Saying “I Love You”

What can I do, right now, in this extremely contemplative moment (besides still be drinking coffee at noon)!?

WRITE…ok, cool, I know a place 😉

 

 

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My, Today Love Showed Up journal

 

Five days in to year 37, on one of the MOST heavy/light weeks of the year and lessons are already  pouring in…it was bound to happen, right!?

I started the week, and this journal, on Monday, my birthday and was SUPER excited to do it. Not only was my BIG goal for the year to recognize and appreciate love in all of it’s forms BUT one of my daily goals was to make sure I say “I Love You” and I was READY. Ready to feel it and to say and I thought it was going to be easy…I was wrong.

Monday was incredible…I literally floated ALL day, basking in the reciprocal flow of LOVE as so many reached out to celebrate my life and remind me why it matters. That day, it was very easy to start my journal and fill the page with all the ways love showed up.

Tuesday was easy too. It was World Suicide Prevention Day, a day that has come to mean a great deal to me and though has the potential to be crippling, through my incredible community of fellow light chasers and hope seekers, I was able to find love around every corner I turned.

Wednesday met me with a moody scene and brick wall. Being a part of the mental health community often means that good news/unpleasant news travel in the same caravan, even though we hope, wish and fight for it not to be true. The heavy news of another death by suicide was all I could read. I did not know the person but in this community, the impact is no less because of that fact and I am grateful I can FEEL right alongside my tribe on this…That day, I did not trip and fall over love…I had to read the words of my friends and let the love I have for them and the love they have for their friends well up in me and move me. I also had to get out of the space I do my best thinking in (home) and search for signs of love showing up, outside and off the internet. It worked, if only for a few hours…I sat and watched friends interact with each other, a husband playing for the crowd but singing directly to his wife, a tiny dog wanting nothing more than to sit in the lap of her person and even a few hugs from people who recognized me. I was able to write by the end of that night and I was grateful!

 

Thursday, in spite of my best efforts, felt like what I imagine climbing a very high mountain would be…the kind of feeling where you can’t take a full inhale because the oxygen just isn’t there. I started the day off in gratitude and with prayer but could not find that feeling I was looking for…Worry was heavy on my mind. The more familiar or (in tune) I get, the more I feel and most of the time that isn’t a bad thing but on days when I can’t get my own head above the water, I know I am going to re-learn how to tread that water. In my efforts, I found a few smiles, a few laughs and a few hugs, all which had the warmth of love but it didn’t feel real enough to put in the journal. I felt utterly spent, at day 4…what the hell am I going to do with this journal now?

 

Friday. As guilt ridden as I get with taking a day off (especially, when a trip isn’t involved), I knew I needed it today. When I am not asleep, I am thinking…and thinking…and thinking. It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around such a, seemingly, easy thing to do BEING so difficult sometimes. I met my daily goal of saying “I Love You”  BUT my quest to witness how it shows up is DIRECTLY connected to where my head/heartspace is. If I am feeling disconnected, things like friendship/kinship/love feel very far away. I can’t feel/see what I am not open to. How in this world can a lover like me, continuously shut herself out/down!?

 

This is my headspace, even as I type now…and I don’t have an answer but the reminder that I don’t have to is refreshing. There will be days when non of us get it right (or wrong) and there are days when there isn’t a right/wrong…there is just, IS. I am known for saying “I am here for it all” because I know that even in the “???” moments, there is room to grow and I AM here for it.

Showing up is what it is all about…

 

We’ll get outside for sunsets, for exercise, for hobbies, and friends. We’ll come back inside to rest, because we’ve learned we need to rest.

We’ll keep showing up. We’ll keep checking in. We’ll keep saying, “I love you.” We’ll keep being honest. We’ll keep asking questions. We’ll keep listening. We’ll keep learning. We’ll keep seeing people. We’ll keep reminding people they are priceless. We’ll keep reminding people that life is worth living.

We’ll believe the air in our lungs might also be a gift. We’ll live as long as we possibly can, finding and sharing every good thing. We’ll be surprised along the way, by love and joy and wonder, by people, and by things that feel true.

We’ll make today better.

You make today better.

 

My friend (and one of my all time favorite, vulnerable voices and hope chasers), Jamie Tworkowski knows all about those headspace moments and somehow found the words I needed.

Check the full blog out here…

https://twloha.com/blog/well-keep-showing-up/

 

 

Let’s promise to keep saying “I Love You” and to keep showing up for each other AND ourselves!!

 

<3<3<3