Sunday, September 28, 2014

Columbia Fall Festival


Columbia, Tennessee starts fall off right every year with it's wonderful "Southern Fried Festival" in downtown Columbia, Tennessee.  This is Greg's and my third year attending, and we believe it just gets bigger and better every year.

The weather was perfect for us, partly cloudy to cloudy with temperatures in the upper seventies.  There was a light breeze with no rain.

The weather set the stage for a great celebration of fall.

There were plenty of things to keep you entertained.

We really enjoyed going through this old bluegrass bus.

There was, of course, country music.

Deputy "Barney Fife" with his patrol car is an annual favorite.

There were plenty of things to keep the children entertained.

Since I love animals, I really enjoyed taking pictures at the petting zoo.

There were lots of arts and crafts, etc. booths.

I found this pretty bracelet for only $4.00, including tax.  I also started my early Christmas shopping here.  You can find such unique gifts at festivals, plus, you're helping out the local economy,

There was plenty of food for lunch (Some of us here in the South still sometimes call the noon meal "dinner"), and snacks.

Greg loves that barbecue!

We plan on returning to the "Southern Fried Festival" next year, if like the old Southern country saying goes "the Lord is willin' and the creek don't rise."


(All of the meals that Greg and I eat at home are mostly organic, and when we go to work, we take our meals with us so that we are in better control of what we consume.  We eat out only one day a week, and then we try to make careful food choices wherever we happen to be.  We eat sweets once or twice a month.)

Check out our photos on iStock:

Positive thought: "Each morning comes with a gift: a brand new day!"-"Woman's World"
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Monday, September 22, 2014

End-of-Summer Fun

And, welcome fall!

Greg and I have been pretty busy lately, hence, the delayed blog post.  One reason we've been busy was we were having fun this past weekend in-Nashville!  Now, that's the kind of busyness I like!

Specifically, we went to the Nashville Farmers' Market which is not your average farmers' market.  This one is really large!  A friend had told us about it several months ago, and we're so glad we finally got to go see and experience it.

Nashville Farmers' Market has several parts to it:

There's the farm side, of course-

There was plenty of produce!

This seems to be a great year for pumpkins!

Then, there's the flea market part-

There were bargains galore!

Finally, there are the Market House restaurants and shops-

Greg and I decided that since it was the next-to-last day of summer, we'd enjoy dining outside in the fresh air and warm sunshine.

Love that barbecue! 

A cupcake for dessert, anyone?

So,come and hitch up your bicycle to a rack, and enjoy!

For more information on this great place to visit, see their website at:

Greg and I now have 100 photos on iStock, and we're adding more every week.  Click the link below to check out our latest photographs.

Positive thought: "Travel and change of pace impart new vigor to the mind."-Seneca
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Variety of Positive Things


I'd like to share with you a variety of positive things on this blog post today.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who engage in positive thinking tend to be healthier.  They suggest that during the day, you:
-Change your thoughts from negative to positive.
-Smile and laugh.  Develop a sense of humor.
-Follow a healthy lifestyle.
-Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
-Say good, encouraging things about yourself.  (Like-"I am a likable person." )

One example of changing from negative to positive self-talk:
Change "I can't do this." to "I will do my best to accomplish this."

Becoming positive is a gradual process.  Just try going in a more positive direction, and you might find yourself being a lot more positive before you know it!

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."
-Abraham Lincoln

Judy Samples and Millie Crum volunteers at the June Tolliver House in Big Stone Gap, Virginia wanted me to announce that they are having a fundraiser for the Tolliver House.  The event is Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM.  You pay just $15.00 and get to make several projects for fall, Christmas, and a gift card envelope.  To reserve a space for a fun time making crafts, call 276-523-4704 or 276-393-7674 for more info.  (P.S.  You don't need any special skills or equipment to do this.)

What a great opportunity to enjoy yourself and to help the June Tolliver House at the same time!

This past weekend, we had a tasty meal at my brother and sister-in-law's house (everyone brought something for the meal), and celebrated three birthdays at the same time!

Happy birthday to Julie, Nick, and Greg whose birthdays are all within three weeks of each other.

Check this out: Yesterday, I put another blog post on my "Spirit Photographs" blog (  It's entitled "Our Paranormal Adventure in a Park-Part Two."

Please click on the link below to see our iStock photos.  (We're putting on more every week.)

Positive Thoughts: -"...spread positivity!"  -"Be helpful.  When you see someone without a smile, give them yours." -Zig Ziglar  (Both quotes from "Woman's World")

Friday, September 5, 2014

Some Positive Affirmations and Quotes and a New "Spirit Photographs" Post


This "The Art of Positive Living" blog post will be a little different.  First of all, I'd like to share with you some positive affirmations and quotes that might help you.  You might want to post them around your home or at work, etc. and perhaps say a few of them several times a day to help keep you in a positive frame of mind.  Then, I'll give you the opportunity to see my latest "Spirit Photographs" blog post from the other blog that I write.

Here are the positive affirmations and quotes that I particularly like:

-"Wherever you go, bring your own sunshine."

-"Don't forget to be awesome." (You could say, "I am awesome.")  (Don't feel as though you're being a narcissist, for you're just trying to build yourself up!)

-"I am special."

-"This is your life...make it beautiful." (Pinterest)

-"Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it."  (Brian Tracy)

-"Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you." (Madeline Bridges)

-"Adventure is worthwhile." (Aesop)

This last quote is leading into my new "Spirit Photographs" blog post on my other blog which I just restarted after a four-month summer break.  On this post, I tell about a paranormal adventure my husband Greg and I had in a park on a trip to West Tennessee.  I briefly mentioned that park on my 8/25/14 "The Art of Positive Living" post entitled "A West Tennessee Adventure."  This new "Spirit Photographs" post looks at that park from a different perspective.

My latest "Spirit Photographs" post, entitled "Our Paranormal Adventure in a Park," is here:

Also, please click on the link below to check out our latest photographs on iStock.  We're putting on new ones every week.

A Final Positive Thought: Look for the positive in every day.
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Positive Mixture of Things


Today, I have a positive mixture of different things to share with you.  First of all, I'd like to continue with some more healthy ideas from Patricia, my friend from Tennessee, and some ideas I have incorporated into my life to make things more positive.*

The following is from an email Patricia sent me:
"To promote a healthy, tranquil environment, we think it is important to surround ourselves with nature.  We are completely dependent on the earth and the earth is dependent on us.  From the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe, nature is our lifeline...Air is something we must have to stay alive, but in 2,014, the American Lung Association reported that nearly half of all Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of pollution."  (She went on to say that "NASA did a study and found that houseplants actually clean toxins from our indoor air" and that some are better than others at doing this.  She also cautioned that some plants can be toxic to pets and that some children and adults could be allergic to specific plants.  Therefore, research, etc. would be valuable before obtaining any indoor plants.)

Patricia went on to say, "Scientific studies have proven that being connected with nature is vital to human health.  College students perform better on tests if their dorm rooms view green spaces.  Children with ADHD have fewer symptoms when allowed time in outdoor activities surrounded by trees, grass, and bushes.  Public housing complex residents have better family interactions if they live near trees.

We eventually suffer physical, psychological, and social breakdown if we live in unnatural environments.  It is good to integrate plants, flowers, or a bowl of fruit or vegetables into every room, making our home a more tranquil, beautiful and inviting place to live."

Well stated, Patricia!  Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful insights with us.

I don't know about you, the reader, but after all this talk about nature, Greg and I decided we'd go celebrate Labor Day (tomorrow) in a beautiful park.

Now, I'd like to mention a couple of things that have made a positive difference in my life.

One thing is a new website I discovered, and that is (  They sell bulk nuts, dried fruit, snacks, etc. by the pound.  The item I ordered was of good quality, and it arrived in only a couple of days.  They have some organic and gluten-free products.  The people who own the company have a great sense of humor, and their clever packaging proves it!  I smile every time I look at the package I ordered.  Things like that make life so much more enjoyable.

Also, I tend to be the world's number one procrastinator on things I must do, but don't really want to do.  I should correct that and say that I used to be a procrastinator, because I now have something that motivates me to do things I should be doing, and I'm actually doing them.  How?  It's a simple idea, but it works for me.  I'm really impressed with the Home Depot ad on TV that shows a bucket with "LET'S DO THIS." on it, so I wrote the words down and put them in a prominent place that I see often.  It's a visual cue that puts and keeps me on track, and I love it!  Whatever works!

Please click on the link below to see our latest photos on iStock:

*Disclaimer: As always, I want to say that I am not a health expert.  The ideas, etc. presented on my blogs may be right for me, but I'm not responsible for the results of anything anyone tries as a result of reading my posts.

Positive thought: Have a happy Labor Day!
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday (or before or after), Becky

Monday, August 25, 2014

A West Tennessee Adventure

First of all, I'd like to offer an apology for this belated blog post.  Not only have we been out of town, but also, our Internet service has been down!  As they say, however, "Better late than never!"

I have a little adventure to share with you today.  Recently, Greg and I had the opportunity to visit an interesting city in West Tennessee, Jackson.  As a boy, Greg had briefly stopped there with his parents, on the way to Texas, to visit a cousin.  I, on the other hand, had never before been to Jackson.  My only prior connection to Jackson was that I used to have an aunt who grew up there.

First of all, Jackson is named for war hero and former U. S. President Andrew Jackson.  It was a big railroading center in the 1800's, and it's main claim to fame now is the late Casey Jones, a heroic railroad hero that they honor there.  If you don't know much about Casey Jones, you will by the time you finish your visit.

We went to the Casey Jones Village which had changed a lot since Greg first stopped by there.  The Village is a complex of different shops, etc. built in the style of the period of Casey Jones.

When we first got there, it was time for dinner, so we visited The Old Country Store's Dixie Cafe for our meal.

We're glad we did, for the Southern-style food (Greg's and my favorite type of food) was great.

Loved That Catfish!

The old-style decor was really well-done.

Next, we looked around the gift shop.

In addition, there is a beautifully-decorated, authentic ice cream parlor for anyone who'd like to have a delicious treat.

Also, we enjoyed going through an old Pullman railroad car.

We then got to go through the Casey Jones Museum and home.  (The house was the only Casey Jones thing that Greg saw on his first trip to Jackson, as all the other things were added years later.  Little did he know then that one day, he and his wife would get to enjoy it together.)

We got to climb up in this replica of his engine.

After being so immersed in all-things Casey Jones, we decided we needed a change of pace, so we headed for the great outdoors, Cypress Grove Nature Park where you can view birds and wildlife from a 6,000-foot-long boardwalk and an observation tower which overlooks a 25-acre lake.

Our day was quite an adventure.  We had so much fun, on the way home, we planned our next one!

"My favorite thing is to go where I've never been."
-Diane Arbus

Healthy tidbit from Patricia from Tennessee:  (This is a mini-continuation of last week's blog post, "Helpful Healthy Resources" [8/17/14].)  (I really love how Patricia expressed changing to a healthier lifestyle.)  "...there is so much to learn, and the process takes curiosity, research, patience, and time.  It is wise to make healthy living into an enjoyable hobby, taking it on 'one day at a time.' "

I have a little healthy tidbit to share, as well.  The Alliance for Natural Health-USA ( sent me an email saying that they are working to try to keep the FDA from taking away our supplements right now.  You might want to check this out!

To see Greg's and my latest photos on iStock, just click the link below.

Positive thought: "There is no end to the adventures." -From "Our House on a Mountain" (Pinterest)
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, (hopefully!), Becky

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Helpful Healthy Resources


For those of you who are interested in living a non-toxic, organic life, I have some really great info for you today!  (Disclaimer-I am not a health expert, just a person who wants to share with others what I have become aware of, in trying to live a healthier life.  I am not responsible for anything anyone tries from reading this or any of my blog posts.)

"Take care of your body.  It's the only place you have to live."
-Jim Rohn

In a couple of my recent blog posts, on 7/11/14 ("One Way to Be Happier and More Positive") and 7/20/14 ("Positive Odds and Ends"), I mentioned several things that Greg and I had been doing to try to be healthier.  One of my loyal readers and friend, Patricia from Tennessee, as a followup to my healthier-living posts, sent me several great resources that she and her husband use that help them live healthier lives.

Patricia sent a lot of wonderful info, some of which I'll share with you today.  The rest, I'll gradually put on some of my future blog posts as a special feature.

Patricia says that they now use:

"-Organic Foods
-Organic / Natural Ingredients - body lotions, shave cream, deodorant, soap, moisturizers, make-up
-Organic  /Natural Fibers - 100% linen, organic cotton, wool, or silk for all clothing, sheets, towels, dryer balls, etc.
-Natural Fiber - rugs, pillows, upholstery, etc. (wool, linen, organic cotton, soy, hemp, etc. )
- Solid Wood - furniture, cabinets (no veneers, plastics, etc. )"

She sent some website addresses that they use:  (Most of these I checked out, and they look great!)

For natural, organic personal-care products:  (I already use several Kiss My Face products.)

(Also, I make my own natural face lotion/mask which I apply once a week.  "Woman's World" always has natural recipes for a healthier you in every issue.  I'm toying with the idea of making my own "hippie hairspray" which consists of sugar and water, but I haven't been brave enough to try that one yet!)

For non-toxic housecleaning products that you can make yourself, check out this website Patrcia recommends:

For an all-around terrific website that has "Inspiration and information to help you thrive in our toxic world," be sure and see: (which has a free newsletter, toxic free talk radio, and lots of links to things non-toxic).

Patricia said that their change to a healthier lifestyle has been over a six-year period.  I can see why, because even though a lot of us would like to throw out all the toxic stuff and start over, that's not a feasible option for most of us.  Even changing over to a healthier diet has taken Greg and me several weeks, to find the organic stuff, and to gradually phase it into our diets.  Now, thankfully, almost every meal that we eat is totally non-GMO/organic.  There are still a few herbs and spices that we're replacing with the organic ones as the old ones run out.

Thanks to local health food stores, farmers markets, and some chain grocery stores, we have found fresh, frozen, packaged, and even non-BPA canned food that has helped us have a healthier diet.  One of our recent meals consisted of cheese, boiled potatoes with butter, corn on the cob, broccoli, and toast, all of which were totally organic, and it was all delicious, and not because I'm any great gourmet chef!

I really appreciate Patricia for all the work she put into sending all of this valuable, healthy info and for helping to make this blog post possible.  People like Patricia make life so much more enjoyable, happier, and more positive for the rest of us.  Thank you so much, Patricia, for sharing!

Be sure and check out my next few blog posts on various topics, along with more informative tidbits from Patricia!

Also, Judy Samples, president of the June Tolliver House in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, wanted several of us to make a special announcement about wine tasting with wine from the Mountainrose Winery at the Tolliver House on August 23 (the last night of "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" outdoor drama for this year).  Judy said to "Come and share a glass of wine with friends and neighbors, then see the show!"

June Tolliver House

To see Greg's and my latest photos on iStock, just click the link below.

Positive thought:  "Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners." -William Shakespeare

Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky