Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Positive Mixture of Things

Welcome!

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 Nuts.com. (www.nuts.com)  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!

Check out our latest photos on iStock:
www.istockphoto.com

*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 (www.anh-usa.org) 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.

www.istockphoto.com

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

Welcome!

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:
www.juicebeauty.com
www.desertessence.com
www.kissmyface.com  (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:
www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/stories/make-your-own-housecleaning-products

For an all-around terrific website that has "Inspiration and information to help you thrive in our toxic world," be sure and see:
www.debralynndadd.com (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!"



F.Y.I.
June Tolliver House
www.junetolliverhouse.com

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

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


Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Amish in Tennessee

Welcome!

I just wanted to share with you what Greg and I have been doing recently.  It's something I would hope everyone would get to do, as it's an educational experience.  We just recently got to visit an Amish community in Tennessee near the town of Ethridge.  It's the South's largest "old order Amish settlement."


An Amish Horse and Buggy, on a Trip to Town, Which Are in Sharp Contrast to the Telephone Poles and Wires Which They Don't Even Use in Their Community

We got to go on a tour of Amish farms in a horse-drawn wagon .  We're glad we got to do this as we learned so much more about the Amish than we'd ever known before.

  
We went to the Amish Welcome Center in Ethridge to take our tour.


On the tour, our driver did a great job filling us in on all of the interesting details of Amish life as she actually lives near their community.  She said that the Amish helped her out with two traumatic events in her life, more than any of the "English" (the name the Amish call non-Amish people) did.  The Amish really take good care of each other, too, from cradle to grave.

Before we went on the tour, we ate a delicious dinner at The Red Rooster which is in the back of the Welcome Center.  It's good country cooking, and plenty of it!



After dinner and the tour, Greg and I looked around The Welcome Center, as well as other nearby shops, which have various Amish wares, souvenirs, etc.


Greg, Taking a Break from All That Shopping!

Earlier, on the tour, we got to stop at several farms, to not only watch them go about their daily lives, but we also had an opportunity to buy some of their items, anything from fresh produce to jewelry to baskets to fried pies, etc., right there on their farms.  They even make sturdy furniture.


Apple and Peach Fried Pies

We plan to go back again sometime on our own to visit some of the other 250 plus farms we didn't get to visit on the tour.  This was truly a wonderful experience.  In fact, I'd have to say, it was one of the most fun days of my whole life!

F.Y.I.
Amish Welcome Center
4001 Hwy. 43 N.
Ethridge, TN 38456
931-829-2433
www.amishwelcomecenter.com

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

Positive thought: Scatter kindness!
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Merridee's Breadbasket Is a Favorite

Welcome!


I just wanted to let you know about a great place to go for breakfast, lunch, or dessert.  It's called Merridee's Breadbasket in Franklin, Tennessee.  There's just something about the place that makes you want to go back again and again.


Greg and I have been there twice, once for a delicious lunch, and recently, we popped in for dessert*as we were just quickly passing through town on our way to somewhere else.  That won't be our last time there as Merridee's could easily become addictive.  I'm sure we're not the only ones who feel this way, as it's been crowded both times we've been there.  It seems to be a favorite spot for a lot of people in the area.

In addition, Merridee's Breadbasket has been written about in "Southern Living" magazine and has had other honors, as well.  For all of the details, visit their website.  (See F.Y.I. below.)


It's a charming place, decorated with what else?, but...


pretty baskets, of course.

It's comfortable, because of the atmosphere and the friendly staff.


A Cozy Corner

And, the food is wonderful!





Italian Cream Cake


Mocha Fudge Brownie

(*Greg and I treat ourselves to sweets once or twice a month.)

The breads and desserts are made from scratch and baked fresh.

"I judge a restaurant by the bread and by the coffee."
-Burt Lancaster
(Bet Mr. Lancaster would most certainly approve of Merridee's Breadbasket!)

F.Y.I.
Merridee's Breadbasket
(since 1981)
110 Fourth Avenue South
Franklin, TN 37064
615-790-3755
www.merridees.com



Positive thought: "The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight."-M. F. K. Fisher
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday (a busy weekend coming up!), Becky




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love of Photography

Welcome!

Today, I'd like to let you know what I've been really involved with (more than usual) the last couple of months-photography.

As many of you are probably aware, photography has always been a big part of my life.  I've always enjoyed taking pictures, even as a child.  My earliest recollection of taking a picture was at a family get-together on my mother's side of the family when I took a group photo around the age of eight.  (Later, however, after we'd gotten our pictures back from being developed, I was a little upset when I realized that I wasn't in a group photo! I bet that any of you that take a lot of photos have had that happen to you occasionally.)

I come by this love of photography from my father who was an avid photographer when I was little (before he became very involved with art).  I loved being his little model as I posed for his pictures many of which I have, and cherish to this day.


"Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still." 
-Dorothea Lange

Greg and I must have 80 photo albums depicting the events of our lives.  A couple of years ago, I went through those many albums and found all of the paranormal ones and put many of them in my first book, "Photographic Encounters of the Spirit Kind."

That brings me to the reason why I've been so busy with photography lately-I now have over 40 photos ( Greg has some, as well) on a stock photo website, iStockPhoto by Getty Images.  It's taken a lot of work, and I had to jump through hoops to be accepted, but I'm glad to be a part of it for it's a great website.  It's been a slow process getting pictures on there as every photo is carefully checked for quality, etc.  To be discovered by the public, you have to have a lot of pictures on there, and Greg and I are working toward that goal every week.

If you'd like to take a look at the photos we have on there as of now, just click the link below.  Hope you enjoy them!

http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/11749126/?facets=%7B%2225%22%3A%226%22%7D#9e54a29

Positive thought:  "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." -Confucius
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Positive Odds and Ends

Welcome!

I'd like to share with you today what I would call "positive odds and ends," a mixture of different things that happen to be positive.

First of all, I'd like to update last week's blog post (7/11/14) entitled "One Way to Be Happier and More Positive" which was about being happier and more positive by being healthier.

I asked readers to let us know of any more healthy websites, etc. that they might add to the ones I mentioned.  I was happy to hear from our savvy sister-in-law Cris who is an avid health advocate.  Cris sent me an email about the Center of Food Safety (www.centeroffoodsafety.org) that is a wonderful resource for the public.  One recent post concerned GE (genetically engineered) crops, a toxic herbicide, and the EPA.  You might want to check it out.  Thanks, Cris, for the great info!

A couple of other updates that I'd like to add to last week's post are:
(Disclaimer: Greg and I are not health experts.  I am just sharing what we do.  These ideas may or may not be right for you.)
-We don't drink water from plastic bottles as there is controversy about this now.
-We only use soup and veggies from cans with non-BPA lining.

I'd now like to share some positive quotes I came across this week-

"The mind is everything.  What you think you become."
-www.BestMotivationalQuotes.com
"A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."
-Nelson Mandela

"Find joy in the ordinary."
-www.weheartit.com


Photo by Greg Arnott

"Something beautiful is on the horizon."
-www.placeboeffect.com


"I don't have time to be negative."
-Venus Williams
(I love this one because I believe if you stay busy with positive things that you really don't have time for negativity in your life.  I got this from my mother who taught me from her example.)

Speaking of my mother, she just celebrated a big birthday with a party that several of her family and friends attended.  We all had a wonderful time.  Love to my special mother, Jean.


Positive thought: "If you're feeling low, don't despair.  The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning." -Dolly Parton
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky