Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year 2015-Focus on here and now

Each year we all celebrate the end of one era and the beginning of another with a bang. We dance, we eat, we drink, we stay up late and send messages to our loved ones far away.  Even if we don't do all these things, we are always happy to toast and welcome the new year with the expectation that it will be better than the last and that we will be making changes to improve upon our bodies, minds, and attitudes.

This year it was difficult to celebrate the last week of the year.  On December 23rd 2014 seven of my family members were traveling from New York to Florida to celebrate the season.  Among them were my younger sister Clarabel, my older sister Alba and her husband Juan, their two kids Juan Carlos and Danielly, my aunt Maria and her son Luis.

You could not find a happier, funnier, more lively group of people with whom to spend the holidays.

On this fateful day they were involved in a tragic car accident where of the seven, only three survived.  My older sister Alba and her kids Juan Carlos 23 and Danielly 19.  My sister sustained a wrist fracture and knee injury, she will have a full recovery; Juan Carlos had a shattered hip and dislocated knee, he will also have a full recovery after 6-8 weeks and physical therapy. Danielly suffered a head injury that will require more extensive, long term care, therapy and a lot of time, patience, and dedication on the part of her caregivers.  We are still praying that she will, in time, recover so that she may be able to continue her education and reach her career goals.

As for the deceased, they are sorely missed.  I can't begin to describe the emptiness in our hearts. The desire to send them a text or a quick call to see what they're up to. It's hard to wrap my mind around the facts, it's hard to believe they are gone never to celebrate with us again.

I had the pleasure and amazing opportunity to visit with my little sister Clarabel this past October.  She came to my home and stayed with us for a week of exercise, my crazy kids, fun in the town, and some quiet time just sharing life stories in general. I loved our time together and I am thankful we had this time and did not put it off to do "some day" because as we have learned this past week, some day sometimes doesn't ever come.

In memory of my loved ones who are now angels in heaven I promise to focus more on the here and now and less on the "some day" that may never come.

The family has a hard road ahead, emotionally, financially, and physically. Recovering from this accident will not be easy but we are strong and have the support of our amazing community.

If you find it in you heart, please say a prayer, make a donation, and remember to always wear your seat belts, no matter what seat you happen to be in the vehicle.

Have a safe New Year!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Blue Monday- Blue Heron in the Lake

We are finally out of winter weather and into spring and I could not be happier.  SMILES each and everyday I see the sun or even the rain just as long as I'm not cold or scraping snow or ice off my windshield.

So much has happened, so much to share, so little time...

I've started walking around the lake more often these days and can't help but feel lost in the beauty of nature. There's always something new or different along the same paved path.  These days I feel I need to walk around with my Nikon instead of just my iPhone camera.

On our walk today, my friend Wendy and I spotted a Blue Heron sitting along the side of the lake. Contemplating and taking in the evening sun.  It was just beautiful.

Here he is meditating :-)

...and now showing off his wings!

It's a great day to share the blues with Smiling Sally and her crew!

Smiling Sally

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Home: new paint job

We have lived in this house for a little over a year now and since moving in we've remodeled a bathroom, repainted just about every room in the house and rebuilt the deck.  A lot of work.  However, the part that leaves me feeling not so great are the main kitchen, family, and general living areas.

This is a split level with a sunken family room, an open kitchen with view to the family room and a really high ceiling in the upstairs hallway/landing.  The walls seem to go from room to room to hallway with little to no distinct division.  When I started painting I figured I could just take the color from one wall and felt like I had to keep going to the next.  I did that and soon after realized that wasn't going to work for me. Visually it was not comforting to have everything in the same shade of green.

I love the green in the dining room but not the hallway and certainly not into the family room and all other walls ...UGH!!!  So I decided to invest a little money had a consultant come tell me what I already knew.  He said to neutralize as many of the walls as possible, build my own division of walls, and most important, paint your ceilings a bright white. Low ceilings make rooms feel smaller than they are.  White flat paint will make the colors richer and the room will feel less small... hmmmm good idea.

I took his advice and decided to start with the ceilings. Oh My Goodness!! this is harder than painting walls. Yikes.  But I do see the difference.  Anyway... here's what I'm working on.  I hope to keep posting as I paint and hope to get any tips you all may have.

This is the right side of the family room view from the kitchen. That wall will be neutral as well.

wall from the kitchen flowing into family room, color: butter yellow/keeping that color
upstairs and downstairs hallway, three of the family room walls and adjacent green wall will all be a neutral color, something called oyster shell from Behr, I think.
downstairs wall with fireplace and windows will be my accent wall, can't figure out what one color I will have in that room... love green but the room lacks natural light so have to be careful what I do there.

a brighter white on the ceiling... I know it almost looks the same as the old, trust me, it's not.

By the way, did I mention I don't like painting ceilings.

OK Off to finish that kitchen ceiling already. Wish me luck and feel free to throw in your two cents on one accent color for the family room.