A Little Romance

Hello Readers and welcome to a newly renovated room On Wanderwood Lane!

My dear friend Renae and I met a little over 15 years ago and became fast friends, nay, kindred spirits via many, many things but one of our favorites was reading.

At that time we both worked 3rd shift together on a big and busy floor of the hospital. When the majority of the patients were asleep and in between call bells, we would chat about things like, travel destinations, our favorite times in history and, well, love.

It didn’t take long for us to begin to trade books. My Mom was really into historical romance at the time, so that was the theme for us also and though I don’t know the exact number we read, by the time other co workers got involved, it was pushing 100, I’m sure.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. I was fresh off my binge watch of Bridgerton and I immediately told Renae about it. It took a few days for me to realize it was based off a book series (hey, I’m off most social media, how would I know?) but when I did, I went to my local used book store and bought out their stock!!!

One train of thought led to another and I decided to ask Renae if she wanted to read the books along with me. SHE AGREED!!! Then my brain went in to overdrive and excitedly got the idea of starting a book club with her.

As most of you know, or perhaps don’t, I read a whopping two books last year and though they were good, I had zero momentum to read. Once I got myself back in to romance mode, a genre I hadn’t read since that earlier time with Renae, I realized it would be the perfect gateway to a more steady reading momentum…mostly because I know how fast I can read a good romance AND there are some pressures I actually thrive under!

Now, we didn’t start with the Julia Quinn series, because at the time there were only three weeks left in January. So, we decided to re-read one of our favorite series by Nora Roberts.

This is one of two NR series that will show up throughout the year as we make our way through an island off Massachusetts, the TON, Virgin River, Draycott Abbey, Ireland and MORE.

We hope you will enjoy turning the page with us and whatever you are reading, we hope you find great joy in it!!!

~CC & RA

new year, new things

Hello Dear Readers,

Please forgive the couple of weeks I’ve missed in my postings BUT I am back!

What have I been up to???

Well, if you sensed a Lady Whistledown flair to my intro (and you know who that is) then you will know that I fell, delightfully, down the Bridgerton rabbit hole and haven’t quite resurfaced.

I’m off of most social media these days so I had no clue the series was based on a series of books by Julia Quinn. I was so excited by that fact that I went to a local used book store and, although, it wasn’t this particular series, I bought them out of their stock! While asking about it, the kind clerk also pointed out that Virgin River is also a (rather large) book series…so I also purchased several of those.

Getting back into one of my great loves is something I wanted to bring to this new season of life and after having a book related chat with one of my dearest friends (and fellow page turners), we decided to start a teeny tiny book club.

Two Sisters Book Club was born out of deciding, with only three weeks left in January, that we would start with re-reading one of our favorite series by Nora Roberts, Three Sisters Island Trilogy.

We are very excited about it and I will tell you more about that in the introduction page.

Freshening up the blog to include an update of what’s to be included is also one of the things I have been up to these past few weeks. I still have several older trips to tell you all about and I am working on organizing all of those photos in between regular adult life, reading and working on other posts. Suffice it to say, more of my photography will continue to be added and I am excited about continuing to develop my craft over the next year as I begin to start taking my camera with me everywhere I go again! Stay tuned to Tookish Travels for those updates.

For years, I had been going to writer meetings, workshops and found myself friends with most of the local writer scene and the sound advice seemed to find a commonality in reading and writing going hand in hand. While I haven’t put any real work into my book series in about a year, I have great hope that all the reading I’ll be doing this year will have me aching to work on my own project! Here’s hoping!

Let’s see…outside of still working (and enjoying) my full time job, daily household chores and keeping up with friends/family, I think that is about it!

I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll see you here again soon!

~CC

Bring me that horizon

It’s 4:52pm on December 31st 2020 and I just started a pot, yes I said it, a pot of coffee.

I had my freshly re-written notes in preparation to start another, hopefully, dazzling piece of blogdom BUT they are now in the garbage.

See, while watching sappy Holiday movies these past few weeks, I had pen/paper beside me, jotting down the things that really made me say “YES” and was super stoked about sharing the wisdom I found there, only, once I sat down, it wasn’t what I wanted to talk about at all. So, I tossed them.

We are all waiting for this day to mean something HUGE, right!?!

We need the literal end to 2020 to literally usher in the HOPE and PROMISE in 2021, right!?!

Don’t we always need that though? Something craptastic to end so that something brand new can replace it?

I think 😉 1,000 thoughts, and probably more came and went today as I made my way through it. The seesaw of what should be (should’ve been), could be (could have been) and what will be played over and over and over again. When the door to my little Hobbit hole closed behind me, I, tearfully, realized how exhausted of it I was. Still “trying” instead of “being”…UGHhhhhhhh

What if, for the rest of the day, I didn’t take notes, didn’t make any plans, I didn’t reflect and I didn’t wish for anything…what if I’m just tired.

As soon as I sat down to say whatever came off my fingers, this song came into my head and I’ve been able to listen to it about 5 times while getting the rest of this out…and it’s the absolute cry of my heart!!!!!

Live It Well

Take the burden from my arms
Take the anchors off my lungs
Take me broken and make me one
Break the silence and make it a song

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you’re the one I’m living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah

I wanna sing with all my heart a lifelong song
Even if some notes come out right and some come out wrong
Cause I can’t take none of that through the door
Yeah, I’m living for more than just a funeral
I wanna burn brighter than the dawn

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you’re the one I’m living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah

I got one life and one love
I got one voice, but maybe that’s enough
Cause with one heartbeat and two hands to give
I got one shot and one life to live
One life to live, yeah
And every breath you take is a miracle

Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell (one love)
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you’re the one I’m living for (the one, yeah)
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you’re the one I’m living for

(One life) One life, one love
(One love) One life, one love
(One voice) One voice, yeah
(And that’s enough) And that’s enough, oh
(One heartbeat, two hands to give)
I got one shot and one life to live, one life to live

It isn’t about making it to midnight…it’s about everything that comes after it!!!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR ya’ll!!! LIVE IT WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lessons from a gratitude jar

I am sure you are probably thinking to yourselves…this’ll be a quick one CC…we know what you learned from your jar…You are FULL of Gratitude!?!?!?!?!?!

HAHAHA…well, you aren’t wrong…BUT…I observed so much more!!!

Keeping a block of post it notes beside the jar made it VERY easy to jot something down and throw it in and while I had a pretty good idea of what I would find when I looked back over them, I was stunned at the lessons echoing there.

So, I’ve wrestled with the “not knowing” of things for years, 2020 was no different. In all of this I realized that feeling has a lot of different names…uncertainty, anxiety, impatience, fear, self doubt, obsession and even paranoia. ALL of those words come with some pretty unmatched baggage.

I opened SO many post it’s that read things like “awakening”, “figured out”, “got confirmation”, “finally understand”…to…”30 days”, “60 days”, “334 days”, “6 months” etc…NONE of those made me FEEL grateful. They made me wonder why I bothered measuring anything when I clearly had a hard time soaking in the seemingly same AH-HA moments. ONE of them said “hamster wheel” and I got hit right in the gut with the fact that I’d been creating that very hamster wheel, over and over again…all year…

B O O M…

Now, not all of them were like that. I managed to write down some pretty incredible moments, moments that took the subtle but constant frustration in my heart to that place of quiet joy and warmth, the kind of place that turns the corners of your mouth UP in genuine appreciation…maybe I didn’t miss it ALL in being in my head SO OFTEN…maybe…

I ripped almost all of 2020s gratitude up and threw them away, praying that as I did, I would put away the part of me that gets so caught in the Doing that she isn’t Being…that I wouldn’t write a single thing down for the sake of “keeping up with it” but instead pay attention to the FEELINGS…that I would write down nothing but the times that made my heart sing SO LOUDLY that I’d want to literally bottle it up…

Folks…The bottom line here is, the only thing(s) I am good at start and end with living from my HEART. I am a lover, giver and server. That’s gotten twisted and manipulated (by my own self and others) so many times it seems impossible BUT it’s the first place I go when I want to truly understand…anything outside of that creates that season of my soul where I TRY TOO HARD, which creates inauthenticity, which creates uncertainty, self doubt, fear, obsession, paranoia and frustration. Does that hamster wheel sound familiar to anyone else.

God wanted me to get this before the year is over and I am 100% sure of it because I had post it note proof of it…

There isn’t any value in what we keep up with if it doesn’t ultimately feed our souls…so, for me, that means a lot less keeping up with days/dates/times/weeks/months and more “how wide did my smile get that time”, “wow, that cry felt really amazing”, “I am SO into this moment I forgot to capture it on social media”, “Gosh, I love them”, “I hope there are 1,000 more days like that one”…

Please don’t get me wrong here, shit happens and I am not saying I’ll glaze over what’s put in path to continue to stretch and grow me…what I’m saying is that I am done dwelling there.

In 2021, I want to follow the road up/down/and around the bend with (as someone very dear to me once said) no rear view mirrors and I want to dump out my giant sized jar at the end of it and say “YEAH GIRL, YOU LIVED!!!”

We’ve Got a long way to go and plenty of time to get there

VACATION, all I ever wanted…

My new (old) polaroid

My vacation destinations over the past few years have been adventure seeking, ocean hopping, home escaping, breathtaking trips to places like Ireland (twice) and Italy. Everyday had a fun filled itinerary and I eagerly (though still often times anxiously) awaited there with my camera/phone/notebook ready to not miss a single thing and share almost min by min. They were incredible and though I had no plans at the start of 2020, I was hoping I’d find one like those…

I don’t think anything could have prepared any of us for the the lessons we’d learn this year, least of all me and least of all how many…

…BUT I sit here with MASSIVE gratitude that this BIG little trip found me, exactly when it did…somewhere in the middle of immense happiness, insecurity, joyful anticipation and exhaustion.

Let me tell you about it.

It’s a real place 🙂

The day after Thanksgiving, B and I hit the road around 4:30am, destination Texas, with an ETA of about 8pm that night. We were on our way to stay (for me to meet) with friends of his and hang out for the week. Not having it mapped out was new for me but I’d been working on being ok with not knowing every detail, so I rolled with it.

Our route took us into the Tennessee mountains around sun up and for a hundreds of miles the misty fog and sunlight played hide and seek. Somehow it made me breathe easier and I began to daydream, to even think about writing for the first time in half a year.

The soundtrack was a super eclectic mix of songs B has introduced me to in the time we’ve been together and though I assumed we’d talk most of the drive, I found great comfort in just listening to him sing them as we rolled on. He likes to make me laugh and I did that a lot, relaxing us both, I think.

I’d say it felt it took forever to get to the much anticipated city of Texarkana but I was enjoying the ride so much, it almost went by too quickly…And for those that aren’t super aware (like me, sadly), Texarkana is made famous in the movie Smokey and the Bandit (one of B’s favorites) and though up until then I had to be reminded of that, I won’t forget it again 🙂 In fact, we even watched it one of the nights we were in TX.

I am without a doubt a landscape lover and this drive from NC over through Tennessee, down through Arkansas into Texas did not disappoint. I may have taken like one photo because I was just so into taking it all in. BLISS

After several hours of dark, peaceful, long and winding roads, we arrived in our sweetly lit destination city and were warmly greeted by our hosts for week, where we spent the remainder of the evening sharing lots of laughter.

Our hosts for the week happen to run Monster Trucks Wars , so though I was very intimidated by my lack of general knowledge, I was VERY excited to be around something new.

As sad as I am to say, it usually takes a trip to get me behind my camera these days BUT I’m excited that I got it out and explored the first day.

My Dad and both grandfathers were truckers so while waking up to horses running through the fields was stunning, it was the rig and trailers that had me in my feels. It took me right back to when my Dad took me to work with him and let me climb up in the truck with him…you know, the kind of memory you let fade sometimes. For about half the morning I thought about how cool it would be to learn to drive it. I’d never have the nerve in a parking lot but something about that field made it feel possible. I never said anything. I regret that.

After a while, I followed the guys into the shop, where they gave me reign to photograph.

Up until this point in life, I’d only seen a Monster Truck on tv, so, it was a pretty freaking cool thing to see three of them, up close and personal. Seeing them on BIG tires and in their glory would have been neat but I wouldn’t have gotten to climb up in one and get a small taste of the drivers seat. PRICELESS

I don’t think it was a coincidence at all that I fit into the Sheriff car with Tombstone on the side.
Can you tell I am excited!?!

This would be another moment when my imagination would get the best of me and I’d wonder for a moment if I’d be brave enough to drive it around the practice track outside. I never said anything. I don’t regret that one.

I didn’t really learn much about the trucks themselves but it didn’t keep me from imagining them crushing cars to the sound of a roaring crowd or laughing excitedly as they cranked one up for me! I’ll see one in person one day and it’ll be SUPER cool to say “Oh yeah, I know that guy”.

It didn’t take long at all for me to realize this trip was going to be a different pace than most others, that I was going to have to find rest and though it’s uncomfortable for me to slow down sometimes (because that’s when the mirror shows up), I leaned into it and started by putting my phone on Do Not Disturb (it’s still on it :))

In between the roar of the truck/other engines, the tinkering, the smell of shop fluids I still can’t name, my walks/workouts around the property and an occasional nap, we were treated to some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. From homestyle buffets, to BBQ, Tex/Mex, to pizza and burgers to a gas station croissant, EVERYTHING I tasted was fantastic, seriously everything.

This was the second time that I’ve been able to be in a completely new place during Christmas time, so my only ask was to see lights and once again, I found myself too enamored to take many photos. It might seem silly to get so emotional about lights but they connect us all…NC/TX and the rest of the world and that made me smile.

As quickly as our arrival came, so did our departure but not before taking the long way home, via a pit stop in Oklahoma. I had no idea exactly what we were getting ourselves into but B had me at old cars and more time on the road with him!

A lot of names came up on our visit with Harper and I didn’t know any of them (of course B did though) but Darryl Starbird fit the theme of the trip so we headed to the Darryl Starbird National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum

There was so much to like about this stop. It’s as far off a beaten path as you can get…well, maybe not in Oklahoma ;), it was the perfect break from the rainy day, we were the only ones there AND it was opened up, just for us by Darryl’s wife. It’s not everyday you get to meet the people your admittance fee goes directly to and to me you can not match that kind of personal experience. It made the rest of the tour that much more enjoyable.

We would have been there for hours reading the walls of magazine and newspaper clippings of the inductees but we happily took our time combing through the cars. As you can see, there is indescribable (at least for me) craftsmanship showcased there, that I am unlikely to see again. INCREDIBLE

And OH YEAH…On the way in/out these guys greeted us!

We laid our, at this point slightly achy heads, down at a neat rustic hotel in Missouri. The perfect ending to a truly great trip.

It rained on two of our travels days but the sun came out for the home stretch.

I’d like to say that I was glad to be going home but with each mile we got closer, I realized that the same “things” I was in the middle of where still waiting for me…

So, what do I have for you all after a week of reflection???

7 Days of wide open space and a different pace was a game changer…though I may not have fully seen it while actually in it.

You don’t have to know a single thing about what you are looking at to be in awe of it. You can get a stupid wide grin in just the excitement of someone’s else’s passion. Don’t for one second miss getting that kind of contact high, you’ll be happier for it.

You can be a talkative person and a good listener/observer at the same time, and you should.

It’s ok not to share every single minute of your trip with people who aren’t there. ENJOY the people who are there and catch everyone else up when you get back. Do Not Disturb saved me from so much anxiety while I was away.

No one can read your mind. It’s ok to say what’s on it, even if you think it’s silly.

You are created to be uniquely you and whoever that is, is enough. I literally lost the only ring I wore that had this engraved in it on this trip because I needed this reminder. Trust me, after too many years spent learning this one over and over and over…it’s actual easy to “Just Be”, especially when everything else is stripped away.

It’s ok to laugh, really, please, don’t take things too personally or seriously that you miss an opportunity to release tension that way.

It’s ok to feel things and for the love of God let yourself and explain the tears, suppressed emotion is no good for anyone.

If you’ve got a good driver/copilot/teammate, appreciate them.

I can dig Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash but Willie, not so much.

This year has magnified every, single normal stress that anyone can have.

This year, of all years, we shouldn’t need reminders to love, give, forgive and serve each other more…to appreciate more than we try to possess…to be “in” and write every good moment on our hearts and let the rest go but here we are, writing blogs about it, huh!?!?

Life isn’t easy…we are going to rise and fall a thousand times and we have to remember that it isn’t about the falls, it’s about rising and who we have in our corners to help us get there 🙂

See you down the road!

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!!

SPKB

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.

IMG_2731

IMG_2733
This is my favorite detail of the car! That bucket is where this gas tank is!!

IMG_2748

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).

IMG_2708

IMG_2711

IMG_2712

IMG_2713
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.

IMG_2735IMG_2737IMG_2740

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.

IMG_2744
What we were able to see of Hickory Nut Falls Campground

IMG_2745IMG_2757IMG_2759IMG_2764IMG_2769

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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!

IMG_2781
’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 😀

IMG_2787

IMG_2788
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