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

Friday, July 11, 2014

One Way to Be Happier and More Positive

Welcome!

I want to share with you what I've been more actively working on the past few weeks, and that is to become a lot healthier through what I consume and surround myself with every day.  I believe that is one sure way to be happier and more positive, because if you're not healthy, how can you have optimal happiness and a positive attitude?


Seeing people we love and care about being really sick and dying has been a wake-up call for Greg and me.  I believe we'd all like to live long and healthy lives.

Also, I want to try to tell others, including our loved ones, what I've learned from my recent research.  At this point, I'd like to make a disclaimer that I'm not an expert on the subject, and it's up to the reader to determine what's best for him or her.  This blog post is merely offering suggestions.

First of all, it's essential in my view to completely eliminate GMO's (genetically modified organisms) from the diet as they can cause allergies and are toxic!  A great website for info on this is www.seedsofdeception.com.  On this site you will find a movie with a powerful movie trailer, "Genetic Roulette," by Jeffrey Smith which tells the truth about GMO's, where they are and how to eliminate them from your life.  He also has related books, brochures, DVD's, CD's, and a newsletter.

One of my favorite websites is www.foodbabe.com which has extensive info about GMO's and harmful food additives.  She also gives tips on feeling and looking your best.  I signed up for her free newsletter and downloaded the "Non-GMO Shopping Guide" she has on her site which is great!  She even tells how to "Eat Organic on a Budget."  This site really helped me end the confusion on all of this.

Other helpful websites (in no special order):
-www.crisiseducation.com
-www.justlabelit.org
-www.skindeep.org (which I have used quite a bit for checking for healthy cosmetics and shampoos, etc.)
-www.ewg.org (which tells how healthy cleaning, etc. products are)
-www.eatwellguide.org-Here you can check out restaurants, grocery stores, etc. in your zip code or any zip code where you might travel that has local, organic, healthy food.
-www.eartheasy.com (for non-toxic home cleaning)
-www.anniesheirloomseeds.com (for non-GMO seeds)
-On Green Polka Dot Box, you can buy organic on the Internet.
-Eye-opening book, "Wheat Belly," on Amazon

More quick ideas, tips, and observations:
-By choosing certified organic products, you will avoid exposure to GMO's.
-I look for the "Non-GMO Project" seals with the picture of an orange butterfly on product boxes, cartons, etc. before I buy.
-Also good-I look for "USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Organic" on products.
-Greg is now studying "The 4 Foot Farm Blueprint" we got online to grow your own food.  (Greg is the gardener in our family.)


Greg with his tomato plant.  These little tomatoes are delicious!

-I'm now visiting our local farmer's market.  Local is generally better for you, and tastes better, I think, but also note that local food does not always mean organic.  Ask to find out.


Question: Why is it that many countries are banning dangerous food chemicals, etc., but the United States is far behind in doing this?!

If you have any other helpful websites, etc. on this subject to share, please do.  I'd love to hear from you.

Positive thought:  "The groundwork of all happiness is health." -James Leigh Hunt
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky










Sunday, July 6, 2014

There's a Lot to Love about Bonnie Kate in Elizabethton, Tennessee

Welcome!


Greg and I had driven past Bonnie Kate in Elizabethton, Tennessee several times before we found some extra time to stop by a few days ago, and we're glad we did!  What is Bonnie Kate?  It's a cafe, a pub, and a theater, all in one building!



Dining outside is available if one is so inclined.

We were there for lunch which we thoroughly enjoyed.



Greg had a cheeseburger and French fries, and I had chicken salad with fresh fruit.


One thing we really love about the Bonnie Kate cafe is that they try to use farm-fresh local organic produce.


They also have homemade desserts.  Yum!


As an added bonus, the staff is friendly and helpful.  Pictured in the foreground is Whitney.

Interesting facts about Bonnie Kate:
-Bonnie Kate was established in 1926.
-They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
-It is ranked number one out of 62 restaurants in Elizabethton by TripAdvisor.
-It received the Certificate of Excellence for 2014.

The theater is being renovated.  (Donations can be made online or in person.) It is really beneficial to the community as, in addition to concerts, it is also available for recitals, meetings, dinners, reunions, parties, etc.

We'll have to go back another time to take in one of their live shows.


Show times and other info about the cafe, pub, and theater are on several related websites.  See F.Y.I. below for details.

F.Y.I.
Bonnie Kate (Cafe, Pub, and Theater)
115 South Sycamore St.
Elizabethton, TN 37643
(423) 297-1054 (cafe)
(423)543-1933 (theater)
www.thebonniekate.com

Positive thought: "Be in love with your life.  Every minute of it." -Jack Kerouac
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Travel Locally

Welcome!

I really appreciate reading your comments.  This blog post was inspired by a comment someone made about my last week's post about the RC-Moon Pie Festival.  She wistfully said that she would have loved to have been there if it weren't so far away.  It was a wonderful festival, (and as an aside, I'd like to add that before we got there to the festival, they also had a foot race and a parade).

As great as the festival was, there are hundreds of other festivals throughout our country every year that are just as much fun.  They may not have the "world's largest Moon Pie," but they all have other interesting things that are unique to their particular areas.

Enjoyable things to do are not just limited to festivals either, for there are so many other things to see and do in our own areas, like landmarks, museums, restaurants, shows, libraries, parks, fairs, etc.  You don't have to travel miles and miles to find something to do, just look around where you are.

In fact, anytime I'm at a place that has brochures, I gather a few that seem interesting.  I found out about Bell Buckle and all of its festivals including the RC-Moon Pie Festival through a brochure.  Also, talking to other people is another great way to discover what's going on near where you live.


Magazines, brochures, newspapers, and the Internet are all helpful for finding out about an area.  Also, I really like it that our town often displays a banner in the town square, announcing the next special event such as a pancake breakfast or a music festival.

It's amazing that we don't take advantage of what's in our own backyards.  For instance, as incredible as it might seem, very few local people have ever seen the wonderful outdoor drama, "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, but people from other states, or other parts of the state travel many miles to see it.

Greg and I try to do something a little different each week, and once or twice a month, we try to have a little adventure, by doing something really special.

I guess you could say, investigate and explore where you are now.  You might be amazed at what's right around the corner in your own hometown.

Positive thought: "Adventure is worthwhile." -Aristotle  (I might add that adventure doesn't even have to be far away!)
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Celebrating Summer with RC Cola and Moon Pie!


Welcome!

The first day of summer, what better way to celebrate than with RC Cola and a Moon Pie, or better yet, why not attend the RC-Moon Pie Festival in Bell Buckle, Tennessee where there are RC Colas and Moon Pies galore!


Bell Buckle

Today, Greg and I had a wonderful time at the 20th annual RC-Moon Pie Festival.  You could just feel the excitement and positive energy throughout the whole festival.  We took lots of pictures to share with you, to give you an idea on what it was like to be there.


Here was our day, in pictures-

People got there using different modes of transportation.



Some used the festival's transportation after they got there.


The festival even attracted the famous-



I can see why-

There were all kinds of booths with all kinds of interesting things for sale.





Nostalgia
And, then, of course, there was the food!



The Stars of the Festival

There was entertainment-


The winner!  This woman balanced two open cans of RC Cola on her head without spilling them!  Amazing!

Presenting the world's largest Moon Pie-


We had a wonderful time, and no doubt, so did everyone else who was there!



New friends were made.


There were all kinds of bargains.  This was only $1.00, on sale!


All kinds of delicious food was consumed.  What is this?  (The answer is at the end of this post.)*


It was all fun, but gotta go home.  Can't wait till next year!

Also, earlier in the day, on the way to the festival, we stopped by our neighbors' house to attend a bake sale which was a fundraiser for the Pregnancy Centers of Middle TN.  Nathan and Andrea were the coordinators, but some of the neighbors and others also baked all kinds of goodies for the sale.


Nathan and Andrea

P. S. The baked goods were wonderful.  Can't beat homemade!

*Answer to the above question:  It's a fried Moon Pie!

Positive thought: "Wherever you go, bring your own sunshine."
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Inspiration

Welcome!

I guess these days many of us could use some inspiration, so I decided to have a blog post about the things I have found that inspire me.



One of the easiest ways for me to be inspired is to watch Youtube videos.

My all-time favorite inspirational video is "Susan Boyle First Audition" on "Britain's Got Talent."  Try to watch that without getting a lump in your throat or tears in your eyes.  It's about the little guy winning, overcoming the odds.  At the time of the audition, Susan was 47 years old, unemployed, and had a background of being ridiculed as a child by other children, but she overcame it all because she believed in herself and was determined to use her God-given talent.

In addition to the Susan Boyle video, there are some other great Youtube videos including those featuring "Random Acts of Kindness."  If you've ever lost faith in humanity, just watch ones such as these to see that there are still a lot of wonderful, caring people out there.

I love "Woman's World" magazine because it is so positive and inspirational.  Every week there are several sections that deal with inspiration-
-It's "Seven Days of Inspiration" has sayings such as "You are one of a kind and wonderful" which you could easily turn into an affirmation to say throughout the day, "I am one of a kind and wonderful."  (This is not being narcissistic, but instead, it is helping you to build up your self esteem in order to make you feel better about yourself so you can more easily face the world each day.)
-"You Deserve Good Things" is another short but inspirational feature.
-"My Guardian Angel" is a section where readers share their stories such as this week's story about Jeanne whose father (that had passed on) sends her lucky pennies.  These stories are commented on by angel expert Doreen Virtue.

Speaking of fathers, I'd like to wish all fathers everywhere a very happy Father's Day.  Greg and I send special Fathers's Day wishes to our fathers who are in Heaven.

Positive thought: "Every moment is a fresh beginning."-T. S. Eliot
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky