A Stretched State

I am trying to incorporate stretches and strengthening moves into every day routines like showering, teeth brushing, checking e-mail, hair blow-drying, reading  etc.  My goal is to put a limit on, and hopefully (eventually) get rid of, the stiffness and aching that some days have me reaching for my big bottle of Advil. 😕

 

One of my favorite things..

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This thick and luscious moisturizing gel is perfect to apply right after showering to help keep skin soft- especially during the winter. I use it very sparingly and then apply one of my Bath and Bodyworks lotions on top.

I’m not sure why this shea and cocoa butter infused product is hard to find at local stores, but it is available at Walmart.com for $7.13.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Johnson-s-Gel-With-Cocoa-Butter-Baby-Oil-6.5-fl-oz/12167331

Works wonders and smells like summer! 🔆

God bless America

 

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There is a video circulating online of a town meeting that was held in Spring Valley, New York. In it, an agitated resident walks up to the mike and accuses the mayor, Demeza Delhomme, of having an affair with his wife.  Yelling erupts and continues for quite some time as the bombastic mayor, who once declared himself “the king of the village,” tries to shut his detractors down while (strangely) recording the entire event on his i-phone.

http://nydn.us/1TA1dtP

The meeting devolves into chaos, most of it very difficult to understand due to heavy Haitian accents. Accusations of corruption and abuse of power are hurled into the already volatile exchanges.

The video, about twenty minutes long, is a unique window into the rapidly changing cultural landscape of America.  When the press laments the inability of congress to “get things done” we would do well to remember that senators and congressmen are sent to DC to represent constituencies, like this one in Spring Valley, that increasingly have very little in common with other constituencies across the country.

To those who claim there are two Americas I say there are in fact hundreds, if not thousands.  At this point and you’d be hard pressed to prove we are “one nation” in any way shape or form- don’t even get me started with “under God, indivisible” or any of the rest..

Little wonder then that Washington is functioning more and more like the United Nations; an over-funded, impotent gathering of leaders representing disparate and competing factions that share very few similar concerns, norms, beliefs, goals or even language – each looking out only for their own interests.

Meanwhile the race for president continues..with Donald Trump giving loud speeches to large audiences pledging to “make America great again” while Hillary sprints from one special interest group to the next promising to take care of absolutely everyone’s diverse, unique and countervailing needs.

Hmmm, wanna guess who’s gonna win?

 

 

 

 

 

 

MUST-HAVE-NAV.

I don’t know where I’d be without it.

I rely on my navigation system every day as I make my way around the city of Charlotte; a huge, sprawling, congested area that I am still wildly unfamiliar with.

One of my favorite things to do is to just drive around and explore. I’m looking for parks and museums, dry cleaners and restaurants..just getting a feel for the place.  When I am ready to head back home, all I do is press one button and I am immediately, safely guided right back to my driveway-

no matter where I am.

GPS-LOGIC

Two days ago I found myself stopped at a traffic light, deep in some section of ‘who-knows-where,’ when it struck me that I had probably strayed into the wrong “neck of the woods.” It may have been the girl in tight pants and heels sashaying in front of the “Relax Inn” that tipped me off.

I didn’t panic, I just pressed “HOME” and followed that soothing voice right back to familiar territory.

My relationship with God is a lot like my relationship with my navigation system. I know He is always there for me and can always be relied on. It is His presence and love that gives me the confidence I need to break through self-imposed boundaries and limitations- push though fear- and live my life in fullness. If I take the time to seek His direction before I set out on my day, I know that I will not run into dead ends and take wrong turns that lead to frustration or despair. And no matter how terribly lost I may get if I’m “free-wheeling it”..I can immediately reach out to my heavenly Father and find the guidance I need to get my life back on track. He is always there.

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God is completely able to direct me out of whatever messes I get myself into.  If I am willing to ask, listen and look, He will provide a clear path and show me His way..every single time.

The Lord is my rock and the compass for my life. I truly would be hopelessly lost without Him.

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The Lord will guide me continually. (Isaiah 58:11)

God will show me the path of life. (Psalm 16:11)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. He will guide me with His eye. (Psalm 32:8)

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.- Deuteronomy 31-6

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photocredit:www.nexgendesign.com,www.pinterest.com,www.todayschristianwoman.com

 

 

Walmart..by the numbers.

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Here are some statistics that are sure to amaze…

Every week, over a third of the population of the United States visits a Walmart store.

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Walmart sells more bananas than any other item. (about 1 BILLION pounds a year) Other big sellers: teen sports wear, yarn and Halloween candy.

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Walmart, the largest company in the world, earned $485.7 billion in 2014, No. 2 Exxon Mobil earned $103 billion.

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Walmart is sued more than any other company in the world, about once every two hours.

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If all the Walmart parking lots were “quilted” together, they would take up an area greater than Tampa, Florida.

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Walmart has 2.2 million employees which makes it the biggest employer in the world after the U.S. Department of Defense and the Chinese army.

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The best factoid about Walmart is that their prices really are great.  I order all of my shampoos, soaps and other non-perishable supplies online and have them delivered for free right to my door.  And while it’s obviously not as interesting as going to the store in person..it’s definitely an easy way to keep the closets stocked.

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Credits: Fortune.com,Business Insider.com,trending.report,www.pinterest.com,theawesomesight.com,www.youtube.com,www.pinterest.com

 

“You’re good.”

 

When I moved to the US at the age of 16, one of the things that took some getting used to was how friendly strangers would be. The cashier, the taxi driver, everyone kept asking “How are you?” Of course I figured out over time that most questioners really didn’t want a full on, long winded, honest answer – especially at let’s say, a busy  Burger King …

“Oh, thanks for asking, I’m doing well except for some lingering sinus congestion and that C- I got on my chemistry exam and…”

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“How are you?” was less a question and more of an extended greeting- but still, I liked it..I thought it was sweet.

When I moved to North Carolina a few months ago at the age of 53, one of the things that took some getting used to AGAIN..was how friendly strangers could be. “You’re good” is a term I hear at least five times a day- and I’m also really starting to like it. Never before have I been reassured about my state of “goodness” as much as I have been in Charlotte.

“You’re good” is the encouragement you hear if you are ever concerned about being in someone’s way, sitting in the wrong seat, wondering who’s next in line, where to put your bag or asking if something’s OK. It’s just one more charming attribute of Southerners that has endeared them so to me.

The entire concept of “you’re good” got me thinking…

Couldn’t we all benefit from the sense that “we’re good;” that we’re fine and safe and positionally where we should be today?  You can’t clearly forge ahead with plans for tomorrow if you’re situationally unsure of where you are today. Knowing where we are  at this present moment gives us the ability to chart the course ahead. Even if things are hard personally or professionally right now..you can still be “good” if you know you are taking steps down the path you’ve laid out for yourself.

As I surveyed our town home that was completely torn asunder last week, I had to keep telling myself that we were still “good” and almost nearing completion with our downstairs remodeling. When life gets chaotic it takes some reminding that all things are working together towards a desired outcome. Below is a photo of the one room I can say is completely finished except for maybe a picture on the wall. This is our downstairs powder room that for some reason had a shower in it.  We turned the shower into a much needed closet, painted the walls, bought new fixtures, the barn door and of course laid new flooring.

TP basket- Pottery Barn, Mirror- Ashley Furniture-lighting, barn door- Home Depot, new faucet..I forget where I got that..online somewhere.

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So… when it comes to our downstairs bathroom…“YA’LL…WE’RE (finally) GOOD!”

 

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photo credit www.fool.com

 

 

 

“Nose blind”

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There’s this great ad on TV for Febreze air freshener where they pose this simple question,

“Have you gone nose blind?”

I’m sure the whole idea is to make you the consumer paranoid about the possibility that your house smells like rotting fish, wet dog or cat litter and that you, my friend, simply don’t know it!

This idea of having a blind spot really resonated with me yesterday after I heard the Pope criticize “people” (Americans) who build walls to keep other people out.

I am 100% sure this smart and wonderful man knows that his residence, situated within the confines of the world’s smallest, independent city state, is surrounded by a rather humungous, tall, thick and hard to ignore wall.

Maybe he’s just become “nose blind” to it.

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Not only is he surrounded by this massive physical structure, he is also continuously under the protection of the elite swiss guard,

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the Rome police forcerome-police-620x413

and of course his own security detail

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…as he should be!

I’m not a Catholic, but I think the Pope is a very nice guy.  He doesn’t live behind walls guarded by police and secret service and swiss guards because he hates people, it’s for his own personal safety and so that the vatican can function in an orderly fashion.

It’s kind of the same way with countries that have walls, borders and guards..they need to be able to function in an orderly fashion as well.

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Wall at the US/Mexican border
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Vatican wall

 

No one likes it when order breaks down..

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Nope, not even the Pope.

 

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Photocredits:blogs.reuters.com,www.stylepinner.com,www.theblaze.com,www.usatoday.com,www.uvm.edu,harrytravels.blogspot.com,coffeeformom.com,religion.trendolizer.com,www.freerepublic.com