Stress and the Press

It is Summertime, they said.

Old Wisteria vines and shady seating… To classics beckon on a sultry summer afternoon.
Old Wisteria vines and shady seating… Two classics beckon on a sultry summer afternoon.

This is such a relaxing season, they said.

Not feeling it, friend? Neither am I, some days.

Most likely, you are looking at your calendar and thinking something along the lines of, “Egad! Summer is halfway over!”

You probably have mixed feelings about it, from “I have not done nearly what I should do” to “I have not had nearly as much fun/relaxation/time to ______ as I had hoped to do”.

Continue reading “Stress and the Press”

Influencers: More on “You Like What You Know”

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“….so, be careful what you know! “~ Susan Wyatt, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina

 

Awareness of one’s influencers helps to focus on what is really important, what should be pursued, and what might best be left behind.

What are your influencers? What do you “know”? Have you ever really thought about who, and what, your influencers are? Do you reevaluate this occasionally? Continue reading “Influencers: More on “You Like What You Know””

Have a Summer with No Regrets (….or, at least, as few as possible!)

September first: “What did I do with my summer? Where did the time go?”

Too many summers end with a not-so-satisfactory answer to that question. But what to do?

  1. Make lists: Things to do. Places to go. People to see. Repairs. Purchases. Health goals. Relational goals (see below for more on this one). (( If it helps to have a nice or fun pen, and a groovy notebook, fine, but do not let getting all of that distract you! ))
  2. Now, go back and prioritize what you have written, even if only with underlining or stars.
  3. Put some of those things on the calendar. As many as you can!
  4. Write action steps for your priorities.
  5. Do at least one of those things NOW!
  6. Every night before you tuck in, look at your list and write down a few action steps for the next day, as well as any comments about the day, especially satisfying or encouraging ones!
  7. Laugh! (maybe this should be number one)
Bridal Brunch - a highlight of any summer! Always room for creme brûlée!
Bridal Brunch – a highlight of any summer! Always room for creme brûlée!

Relational Goals

Relational goals may be the hardest to set. You may dread all of the family time, or realize you only have limited time with family and friends and want to maximize it.

Engage.

Continue reading “Have a Summer with No Regrets (….or, at least, as few as possible!)”

Lemonade ~ Limeade: Your Easy Go-to Natural Sugar-Free Summer Refresher!

 Sweet summertime! Keep spirits from wilting with these cool summer refreshers.
Sweet summertime! Keep spirits from wilting with these cool summer refreshers. McBryde, Ian, and CJ drop in to Emily‘s grad party  ~ photo courtesy of the fabulous Lori Milford

This past week we were in the mountains of North Carolina near Asheville at a conference. The weather was in the 70s with a cool breeze blowing fairly constantly. Bliss!

Fast forward to this weekend: 100 degrees and projected same for the next week! My plants are wilting, the grass is wilting, and I am wilting!

Never fear: in five minutes I can have a pitcher full of citrus-y goodness to cool, energize and heal!

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I make this literally every day when we are home, and often take my blender and stevia and strainer when we vacation! Refreshment for pennies, and it is good for you!

Continue reading “Lemonade ~ Limeade: Your Easy Go-to Natural Sugar-Free Summer Refresher!”

Wonderful Warm-Weather Wear, or Why Seersucker is So….Southern

Resurrection Sunday 2016
Resurrection Sunday 2016

Seersucker. Madras. Linen.

To some, these are luxury fabrics.

However, in recent years, with the onset of inexpensive, quality clothiers and the explosion of thrift and consignment stores, this is no longer the case. These natural-fiber fabrics – in addition to cotton, of course – are more than available to smooth your passage from Resurrection Sunday (or the Carolina Cup, whichever comes first, if you are a diehard) to Labor Day.

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Resurrection Sunday! Breaking out the linen and whites…although many of my friends were already in them, as the Carolina Cup came before Easter this year, and so began it all early.

(Or, in the Deep South, we wear muted colors in these fabrics from warm March until early October.  Hold your condemnation.  It is really warm down here, and air conditioning only works inside. ) Continue reading “Wonderful Warm-Weather Wear, or Why Seersucker is So….Southern”

Know What You Know…. And LET IT GO!

Ian capping Senior Spring with graduation pictures. Headed off to gain some more knowledge for the journey of life.
Ian capping Senior Spring with graduation pictures. Headed off to gain some more knowledge for the journey of life.

Graduations and election years remind me of a couple of important truths:

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton espoused that truth, regarding amateurs versus professionals, especially regarding hobbies and things of the family. Continue reading “Know What You Know…. And LET IT GO!”

Finals and Cookies and Puppies, Oh, My!

Desk goals.
Desk goals.
I thought  I would share a sweet small-school thing that happened today.
Anderson University‘s President, Dr. Evans P. Whitaker, and his wife, Diane, are super engaged in the student life.
Family and Friends gather on the beautiful Magnolia-and-Oak bedecked front lawn (the "Sacred Six" acres) as we await the graduates of 2015.
Family and Friends gather on the beautiful Magnolia-and-Oak bedecked front lawn (the “Sacred Six” acres) as we await the graduates of 2015.
Every Christmas, Mrs. Whitaker bakes thousands of cookies – big ones – and opens their home the first afternoon and evening of finals so that all of the students may come, have milk and cookies, and chat with the Whitakers, or with their friends, in the coziness of a home, around a fire, in the midst of homey and elegant Christmas decorations.

Continue reading “Finals and Cookies and Puppies, Oh, My!”

Let’s Get Engaged!

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Special events can make memories, and give opportunity to revisit memories. Here, two lifelong friends rejoice at the marriage of a sister.

I receive many requests to write on certain topics, and try to weave those topics in and amongst what I write wherever appropriate.

One subject, however, has continued to press upon my heart and mind, and I see it as the core habit change needed in our society today.

Mealtimes are wonderful times to connect.
Mealtimes are wonderful times to connect.

I have seen so many relationships fritter away, die a slow death, rupture, explode, freeze – in other words, approach a position of hopelessness when something can be done!

Take courage: it only takes one person to start the healing process, or to enrich an already good life!

Unless you are fine with living with needless regret and the guilt of negligence and wasted time, you must GET ENGAGED.

Continue reading “Let’s Get Engaged!”