Sunday, May 3, 2020

Signs of the Times


Thanks so much for your kind words about this blog, "The Art of Positive Living," and about my other blog, "Spirit Photographs."

The virus (COVID-19) has taken over so much of our lives that it's hard to ignore. It's on television, the Internet, the radio, and on signs when you go out, etc.

I became intrigued with some of the signs that I had seen, and I photographed many of them.

Most are self-explanatory-

The above photograph reminds me of an episode of the classic television show, Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" in which people were to step on the dark squares only.

This man said he was wearing his social-distancing shirt.

Positive thought: "Tame birds sing of freedom. Wild birds fly."-John Lennon
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, June 7, 2020, Becky

Sunday, April 5, 2020

"Living Positively in an Uncertain World"



(From the Abingdon, Virginia Food City)

What a beautiful time of year!

You can enjoy the beauty of nature wherever you are, your own yard, a neighbor's, on the way to town. "And heaven and nature sing."-From "Joy to the World"-Jennifer Karen Watts/Simon Elliott Varga

Something unexpectedly wonderful might happen, like a neighbor's duck running through your front yard.

Being at home can be a real blessing. Greg and I love our home. We are currently enjoying fixing up our old house. We've done a lot already, but there's still more to do to keep us busy. I learned from  Mama that keeping busy was important for your mental, physical, and emotional well being. (Rest is important, too, however. Moderation in all things!)

Having or developing a hobby is a good thing.

I started art as a hobby, and now I sell my work. I enjoy photography and writing as well as art.

Greg is happiest when he is gardening. Spring and summer are his favorite times of the year.

"I am in charge of how I feel, and today I choose happiness."

Living positively in an uncertain world can be a challenge, but it's not impossible.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
-"Serenity Prayer"-Reinhold Niebuhr

Although some churches are not having services as usual, some churches are being very innovative, like having drive-in services with the church-goers in their vehicles and the minister using a microphone. Also, some local ministers are connecting to their congregations by having virtual church online. Plus, there are some really great ministers on television like Joel Osteen. There might even be some other creative ways to connect with each other and God. And, of course, we can all pray wherever we are.

Remember, light always overcomes the darkness.

Besides staying busy, especially doing things I love to do, and faith, I have other ways to help me feel good every day.

These include:
-Exercise (Remember to check with your doctor before starting exercise.) I enjoy walking, using the trampoline, and dancing. Even just one minute of dancing can raise your spirits!
-Funny DVD's
-I enjoy emailing with people when I can't be with them.
-There are certain websites I like that have positive messages:

Having a sense of humor helps. Just yesterday, I told Greg during lunch that I hadn't seen our cat, Kallie, all morning, and I wondered where she was, and without hesitation, Greg said, "I think she's upstairs practicing social distancing." Also, I love receiving funny forwarded emails.

My personal motto is, "Be positive, but be prepared." Greg and I have had for several years a survival area in each of the houses in which we've lived. This special area has come in handy lately, due to the current shortage of supplies. However, it wasn't perfect, and we're working to correct its flaws.

Especially during this time in all of our lives, we need to support small businesses, at home and online, including those on Etsy.

Also, if you enjoy the paranormal, please check out my book, "Photographic Encounters of the Spirit Kind." (See "Have you read Becky's book?" above.) Thank you!

A Message from One Homeowner to the World

Even with an impending storm, these sheep are calm and serene, and in the distance, birds are singing their sweet spring songs.

"The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it."-C. C. Scott

My brother, Nick, recently sent me an email with a pretty photograph of a bird's nest with blue bird's eggs that he and his wife had found in their yard. He said that "It's a good reminder that life goes on." Amen, Brother!

    (At Food City)

Positive thought: "Life is short. Make it sweet."-From a banner at the bakery at Food City, Abingdon, Virginia
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, May 3, 2020, Becky

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Celebrating in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee

(At Cootie Brown's)

Greg and I are really enjoying being back home in the Southern Appalachians, near places that are familiar to us since we've lived in this general region most of our lives. I'm originally from Southwest Virginia and Greg, from East Tennessee. Right now we're living in Virginia, but we're just a stone's throw away from East Tennessee. We love where we live now. It's a nice central location for nearby Abingdon, Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City, as well as several small towns, some of which we've yet to explore.

February is usually a month of celebration for us, not only because of Valentine's Day, but because it's also my birth month.

We started celebrating early this year, when the "Tri-Cities Storm Tracker 5" weather team came to the new Food City in Abingdon, Virginia the first of the month. It was food and fun.

Getting Autographs from the Storm Tracker 5 Weather Team
(Greg Arnott Photo)

Then, came Valentine's Day-

We decided to celebrate by going to a new (to us) restaurant in Abingdon.

 We loved the arty look on the outside of "Luke's Cafe."

The inside was just as interesting-

It had a retro decor featuring celebrities from the past such as James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and even Al Capone!

And, the food was very tasty!

Since we were so full from lunch, we decided to wait and have dessert somewhere else later...

like Anthony's Desserts.

We're so glad we decided to stop by. The place was all dressed up for Valentine's Day, and the shelves were full of goodies.

We decided to divide a piece of this luscious-looking berry cream cake, and we weren't disappointed. 
It was absolutely delicious!

After being out all day, celebrating, we later celebrated at home with valentines and flowers.

A couple of days later, came the birthday celebration...

at Cootie Brown's in Bristol, Tennessee.

We met with some family members to celebrate my cousin's and my February birthdays.

Cootie Brown's is a fun place to go, and the food is great!

They even let us bring in our own birthday cake!

Before leaving, we had to get some of  Cootie's famous key lime pie to take home with us.

And, a big wish of mine came true the last day of February when we finally got a big snow. I really enjoyed taking pictures of the beautiful snow-covered landscape around us.

One of Our Cats, Mitzi, Looking Out the Window at the Snow

Winter has come.
 "...can spring be far behind?"
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Spring has already sprung at "Evergreen" in Kingsport, Tennessee!

Spring begins March 20 this year. Happy spring, everybody!

Positive thought: "Make each new day a celebration of life."-Pinterest
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, April 5, 2020, Becky

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Hidden Gems, Fancy Gap & Cana, Virginia

Welcome to this blog post, and also...

Greg and I first learned about Fancy Gap when we were at an upholstery shop in Abingdon, Virginia. Greg saw a lion statue they had outside the shop, and we asked where they had gotten it. They told us there was statuary in Fancy Gap and Cana, Virginia.

Greg wanted a lion statue, and we also wanted to see what else they had in these two towns since we are new to the area.

Fancy Gap and Cana are over an hour from where we live, and we decided we'd be there a whole day, and really enjoy our trip.

In Fancy Gap, our first stop was" Mountain Star Gallery" where they have all kinds of beautiful, local handcrafted items.

"Mountain Star Gallery"

Another neat shop is "The Nest & Hive Shoppe."

Gloria Brown is the personable owner of the shop.

 It's beautifully arranged and decorated, and all ready for Valentine's Day!

Also, there are some other neat shops, like Carolyne's that has locally-made, delicious candy, as well as quilts and other items.

Before we went on to Cana, we decided to stop by the highly recommended restaurant, "The Gap Deli" for a quick lunch.

It was great! It was a large salad for me, and a meatloaf sandwich for Greg.

We topped it off with a piece of fantastic hummingbird cake which we shared.

This is the beautiful view of the Southern Appalachian Mountains from our first stop in Cana...

Towe's Country Store...

which has all kinds of wonderful things, like Amish canned goods.

We had one more stop, the main reason for our trip...

 "Poor Boy's Variety" which has all kinds of pretty statuary and other items for the yard,

and the one item that Greg had wanted is now his, a lion, to stand guard at our new house.

Fancy Gap and Cana in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia are two hidden gems that are just waiting for you to discover. Take a chance; try them out. Bet you'll be glad you did!

Happy Valentine's Day!

(At "The Nest & Hive Shoppe")
Positive thought: Always remember: "Don't let anyone dull your sparkle!"

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, March 1, 2020, Becky