Saturday, April 30, 2011

Unbelievable Devastation

As most of you know, I live in Alabama…northwest Alabama, to be more precise. If you watch the news, have a Facebook, use Twitter, or, let’s face it, have a pulse then you know about the tremendous catastrophe that occurred to my state (and my area of the state, in particular) as well as many other Southern states.

A very small town just 20 miles north of us, Hackleburg, has been basically wiped off the map. It is so bad there that they have run out of body bags and are having to use blue tarp materials to bag the bodies of those lost in Wednesday's furious storm. One of the main employers in this tiny town was the Wrangler jeans plant…this is what it looks like now:

Tuscaloosa, just 70 miles to the southeast of us, is trying to pull itself from massive destruction. There are still nearly 200 people unaccounted for in Tuscaloosa alone.

My family here as well as my precious sister and nephews in Mississippi all escaped the carnage with our lives and our property in tact. We are so very, very lucky.

This morning is the first time we’ve had electricity since Wednesday afternoon about 4:30pm. Our entire town had no power for 2 1/2 days so everyone here has lost all their refrigerated foods which, in the grand scheme of things is a tiny loss compared to the losses others sustained in this bout of Mother Nature’s rage.

It is times like these that I reflect on what is really important in this life of mine. It really isn’t the ‘stuff’, the things but it is the people that are essential; the rest is just icing on the cake…the extras. It has sure made clearing out and packing so much easier. I started with a closet overflowing with clothes and shoes but with so much need in this area, I had no problem weeding my HUGE amount of clothes, shoes, socks, nighties and purses amassed over years down to barely a sliver of what it began as (48” closet rod that was packed overfull down to about 12-14” of clothes.) The rest has been donated to tornado victim relief.

I will be doing Richie’s closet later today and doing the same with his excess.  Seriously, how much clothing do we really need in life? Or furniture? Or blankets, sheets, etc?

I even realized that electricity, the internet and TV aren’t such big deals to me anymore, at least not like they were just 3 or 4 days ago. I’ve learned in a short time how precious and sacred the quiet and stillness really are for me. I have realized what life would be like without city lights obscuring the stars at night and I actually liked it. It’s the first time in I can’t tell you how long that I have curled up in bed at night, shortly after dark, next to my love, our feet tangled together, hearing nothing but the crickets chirping and his breath as it slows, giving way to sleep.

It has given me time to reflect on things.

I believe this horrible episode of nature’s ferocity has changed me, deeply. I imagine it has changed many people.

For the next month (today through the end of May,) any donations made using that little button at the top left sidebar will be 100% donated to the Hackleburg, Alabama victims fund. Not to the Red Cross, although they are a great source of help, but directly to the victims via the local fund raising sources that will aid the homeless, injured and otherwise damaged folks in this area.

You can donate by clicking here.

I encourage you to reach deep and let’s help out some folks who, in a split second, have been left with nothing, some who now are even without family left (my friend, Leah, lost both of her parents in the storms.)

Many thanks.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

At Breakneck Speed

Hi y’all!

I hope you know how much I have missed being here but some changes have come down the pike and Richie and I are scrambling to get everything sold, donated, trashed or packed. The company has come through with his transfer so we are headed for Pensacola, Florida in 1 1/2 weeks!!! Talk about quick!

Anyway, my days are filled with trying to get things in some semblance of order as I weed through everything at warp speed.

I did want to check in and say Hi and let y’all all know what’s up and why I may be a little absent for the next couple of weeks. But trust me, I will be checking in and sharing all the milestones as we trek through this adventure.

Here’s a little something I wanted to share with everyone today, and I hope you all take it to heart:

You are! I am! *smile*

Take care and I’ll be back soon to share new places and happenings.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Journaling Again

It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but when I looked in my journal last night, I realized just how long it has been. I had even left this page in progress, as though I just paused to answer the door or grab a drink from the kitchen…it was just put on hold, waiting on me to come back.

And I did.

2-24-11 (2)

I’m okay with it so I guess it’s time to move on.

On the Florida move ordeal, we’re for sure going on May 17th at the latest, possibly sooner. I wake up every day and get more excited about getting there, too. I can’t wait to roam our new hometown and get to know places, finding our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, book stores & definitely my favorite thrift stores.  I’m looking forward to sunsets and fresh seafood, relaxing weekends that we spend all day kicked back in the lawnchairs at the waters edge sifting through shells and drinking beers. lol

It feels like Richie and I will get to be honeymooners for the first time, too. We’ve always had kids living with us since we met but this will be a huge change since it will be just us, finally. (I love our kids with all my heart but I’ve been doing the parenting thing for over 26 years and I’m tired.)

It won't be long now, thankfully!  Thanks for bearing with me while I’ve been totally stressed out and completely absorbed by the whole Florida thing. Not that I’m over the having a one track mind about the move but I’ll try not to let it consume me. Smile

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Frustration!

No answer from anyone about the where and when of Richie’s transfer…and no resignation from Richie, either.

We both know that they’ve got us in a bit of a squeeze. We badly need the health insurance and, as Sharon pointed out, jobs are not so readily available these days either so to resign and move with the hope of Richie finding a job could really be a bad move at this point in time.

Neither of us know what to do; it’s frustrating & getting really old, too!

Being in limbo sucks.

This whole thing sucks.

*sigh*

Barb

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Deal

So, this is the deal…my husband’s employer has become wishy-washy. All I ask is for them to say what they mean and mean what they say. They have made us promise after promise to us about our move to Florida. Once again they have reneged on what they gave us as law just last week.

We are once again in limbo…and it is stressing me to the max!

How do you pack and plan when you don’t know where you’re going much less WHEN you’re going? It’s impossible. It’s beyond impossible and it’s highly frustrating.

*Huge Sigh*

So, we’ve made a decision…if they don’t have concrete plans for us by tomorrow (Friday) by the close of business, he’s going to tender his resignation. This flip-flopping us around is for the birds. There are over 1,000 auto parts stores or car dealerships (Parts Management) in the Tampa and Clearwater areas, where we really want to be so we’re willing to take our chances.

I really believe they will give him something concrete in the morning, though, but we do have Plan B in case they don’t.

I have already started weeding through things to streamline and simplify our belonging for the move.

We are really going to go minimalistic for this new adventure and I am finding it VERY hard to weed down my art supplies. I feel like everything is a necessity. lol I really gotta get stronger about this, I know…but it’s soooo hard.

Anyway, our winner of last weeks giveaway (Somerset Life magazine) never contacted me so be the first one to let me know in a comment and it is yours.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Maybe more tomorrow between weeding and packing.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Projects and We Have a Winner

I have been quite the busy bee over here!

Since the move is getting really close, although we are still not sure of an exact date, I decided to get some projects done that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

The first project is this chair:

photo

I had already taken the seat cushion off and was getting ready to start painting when I thought to take a before photo.

I love the lines and decorative scrollwork of this chair that I’ve had for years…but the dark colored wood and formal fabric are definitely not me/us. And with the move to the beach, it wasn’t the kind of thing we wanted to put in our ‘new’ house, either.

So, this is what my talents turned that dark, formal old chair into so far:

Photo1

Sorry the picture isn’t better, it’s late and I just got it to this point and had to show it off so far. I still want to distress it some and I have some blue cording to put on it, too…I think the distressing will bring out the scrollwork better so the wood isn’t some sea of white.

Doesn’t it look beachy?

I am just loving it!

I’ll take a final after photo tomorrow in much better light. Oh, and I can’t forget to Scotchguard all the fabric parts. With white in the fabric, if I don’t it will get dinghy quick!

And we can’t forget that I promised a giveaway tonight, didn’t I? lol No, I didn’t forget, either. I had seven comments on the entry but Phoenix Peacock commented twice (glad that you did, girl, no problem) so I used the random number generator to pick a number between 1 and 7….

Capture

So, the winner is…

Carolyn S. Nehring said...

Soon your toes are going to be in the sand :) That's a good thought right? I'm so jealous! I hope you have an easy move..and love it there!

April 5, 2011 1:36 PM

Carolyn, I will be so glad to get my toes in the sand…yay!!! Now, send me your address so I can get your Somerset Life out to you!

If you weren’t a winner this time, be sure to subscribe to my blog and read each post…I have a ton of things to give away before we get this move underway. Art supplies, some original art maybe, possibly some jewelry…who knows what I’ll come up with? Just be sure to stick around.

What kind of projects do you have lined up for the weekend?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sunshine & Starfish

The past two days have been beautiful here in Alabama. In fact, yesterday was such a nice day and I know that I need to get outside more that I went outside and spent over three hours on the riding lawn mower.

Talk about making me feel good!

Today I should have spent time packing and sorting through stuff. Notice I said should have?

Wanna see what I managed to accomplish after starting to go through my jewelry supplies?

 

photo(1)

Yeah, I kinda got distracted by these cute little starfish charms and then a bit side-tracked when I went through my Swarovski crystal stash. lol

I’ll do better tomorrow.

I hope.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Honesty & Inspiration

I find inspiration all over the place…and I’m not just talking about inspiration for my creative endeavors, either. I am talking about LIFE inspiration, those things that you run across every so often that give you pause and make you think (and rethink) how you go about things or even how you see or think about things in your own life.

Beach

One thing I’ve come across lately that has been very Life inspirational for me…Shannon at Nourishing Days gave me such a feeling of, for lack of a better way to describe the feeling, the “It’s not just me” ahh’s with her post: Of Home, Grime, Me & Contradictions. Read it and I bet you’ll feel the great sense of relief that I did with her wonderful words and photos.

Oh my, how I love it when something drops into my lap that just makes me feel good, nourishes my soul, lifts me up.

That post certainly did just that for me.

Heart in Hand

I think we all know how down I’ve been over the past few months, it’s quite apparent in my attitude in my blog posts…I’m depressed. I admit it. I keep trying and I always will but it’s a chemical thing for me and it gets terribly worse during the winter. I think it’s one of the reasons this move to Florida has me so excited…I won’t be facing cold, dreary winters so maybe I’ll feel better.

Anyway, I went to the psychiatrist today.

It’s like I’m making some crazy admission by posting that here but I know there is no shame in seeing a psychiatrist. I gotta do what I gotta do and I’m trying to get a handle on this depression of mine and where it comes from, too.  I cried about two buckets full of tears today.

heesh, why do I do that? I cry so easily; always have.

Anyway, another way that I get my heart smiling and my soul lifted to new heights these days (and today I really needed it!!!) is through the tremendous love I feel through the Goddess Circle. If you don’t know about Goddess Leoni, you should…her spirit is so infectious that you can’t help but feel better just by reading her words or watching one of her videos. You should really think about treating yourself to the Goddess Circle, I promise you won’t regret it!

It’s helping me in ways you can’t imagine.

Since I’m being all full of honesty here today (might as well get used to it, it’s my goal that honesty is going to be the new way of things around here)…anyway, ya know how I was talking about how some artists and creatives do all this fabulous traveling and living the high life in my post the other day?

I know that none of those that I’m talking about do it without a whole lot of hard work, dedication and a little bit of luck…and I said I wasn’t being jealous but, after looking at it really hard, I think I was being jealous in a way. It was a comment left by a wonderful friend that made me realize that about myself (thanks, Kelly.)

Hey, I’m just being honest.

But…BUT…I also realized that I haven’t put the hard work, dedication and time into things as they have. I know this. I am aware of that fact. (Honesty, remember?) If I want any of those things that I admire and, yes, am a bit jealous of, then I must put in the time, the long hours and be 100% dedicated to achieving my dreams cause they won’t just fall into my lap.

Leonie is helping me to see that, too.

So is my psychiatrist.

So, how do ya like this honesty stuff? I’m not sure if I do or not. lol

Peace & Love,
Barb

P.S. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a comment on THIS blog post for a chance to get a free copy of Somerset Life.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Journaling & a Giveaway

We finally got some great news today…we got the official assignment for Richie’s transfer, he’ll be taking over a non-productive store Fort Walton Beach, Florida!!! So we can live there or Destin, Florida which is basically joined to Fort Walton Beach. Yay!, now I can finally look for a house and start packing and planning.

Not to mention all those dreams that have been swimming around in my head…dreams of sun and sand and surf and delicious salt air filling my nostrils on a daily basis.

Ahhhh…I’m so excited!!

Before we got the news this morning, I had completed an art journal spread last night. It’s on a background that I did ages ago but it didn’t draw me in until late into the night last night and then I couldn’t make myself NOT do it.

4-3-11

I did this background and inked in the tree months ago…I’m glad it called out to me last night. It’s all over the place but that’s how I was feeling so it fits. *smile*

Also, in my rush through the bookstore last week, I picked up the latest issue of Somerset Life magazine. I like it okay but it isn’t the one that I meant to get, Somerset Apprentice. So, my haste is someone else’s gain.

Leave a comment on this post and tell me something good…that’s all you have to say, just something good…and I will draw a name from the commenters on Thursday evening and whoever wins, I’ll send you this great issue of Somerset Life for your enjoyment.

Cool!

I’m looking forward to it.

So, what do you have to tell me that’s good?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Case You Wondered…

…where I’ve been, my little sister had surgery on Friday and needed me there to take her for appointments the day before, take her in for her surgery, and be there with her and take care of her through and after surgery.

My sister and I spent too many years not being as close as we should be but now she is one of my very best friends and there is nothing I can’t confide in her about. I love that she asked me to come and be with her…it just makes my heart sing.

We acted through it all like we always do, like total clowns. We had the nurses and even her doctor cracking up. I know for sure that no one on the women’s floor of her hospital won’t soon forget the two of us. I even posted a pic of her bright blue urine on facebook…she wouldn’t know what to do if I didn’t embarrass her a little here and there. lol

But now she’s home, resting and being waited on by my nephews (her sons) so I came home late this afternoon. It always feels good to sleep in your own bed, doesn’t it? So, tonight she gets to sleep in her bed and I’m about to curl up next to my sweet hubby in my bed.

Anyway, I just wanted y’all to know that I’m still here, I’ve just been really busy with family. And, let’s be honest, what better is there to be busy with than family, right?

I do have lots that I have on my mind to share but it’s late and I’m so tired that it will have to wait until tomorrow. It has to do with admissions and being honest and that kind of thing…but more, tomorrow.

I hope your weekend is a wonderful one.

Peace & Love,
Barb

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