Perspective and a Mexican Fisherman

Sunset Hand

Where are you going?  This is something that I’ve been reflecting on here recently as I think about the fact that my children are getting older; one in college and one in high school.  I technically have three years left with kids living at home full time.  This is surreal.  I want to soak up every last minute; every last second with them.  I want to slow down my life.  I want to slow down time.

At the same time, it’s exciting to begin thinking about and planning the future with just me and the hubs.  What will our lives look like?  Will we live in a cute cottage on a big piece of land?  Will we live in an old Florida home near the ocean?  Will we travel around part-time or maybe even full-time in an RV? There’s so many questions and so many unknowns.  It’s exciting.  I love daydreaming about these sort of things.

Today, a lady at work shared the following story that completely touched my heart and certainly put into perspective.  We must be sure to focus on what really matters in life.


A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I have a full life. I play with my children and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs….”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well my Friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” said the Mexican.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings doing what you like and enjoying your friends.”

“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what I am doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Mexican.

Know where you’re going in life… you may already be there.

Lace it Up :: DIY

Lace Trim Shirt Looking Down Lace Trim Shirt Looking Up Lace Trim Shirt Laughing

Want to dress up a plain tee?  Why not add a simple trim of lace.  This was probably the easiest and quickest project I’ve ever done and I love the results.  Plus, I can actually get away with wearing a t-shirt to work.  Woo hoo!  That’s a huge win. Hey, it’s all about the little things. Below are the steps to recreate.

  1. Simply measure the lace to go from seam-to-seam across the front of the tee.
  2. Pin the lace to the tee.
  3. Sew the lace onto the tee.

Viola! It’s as simple as that.

 

Mid-Length Skirt DIY

Skirt Side Laughing
Skirt Hemmed Edge Skirt Elastic Pinned Seperate from Material Skirt Material Pinned to Elastic Skirt Sewn Finish Outside Skirt Sewn Finish Inside Skirt Looking Down Skirt Side View Looking Down

This past weekend was a full on craft fest.  I hadn’t dedicated any time recently to sewing, projects or crafts, so it was past due.  This skirt project cost a whopping $4.50 to make!  Below are the steps to make this easy flowy mid-length skirt.  Enjoy!

Materials:

1 yard of fabric (your choice)
Elastic to match your fabric
Straight pins
Thread ripper
Sewing machine and thread
Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Double fold one long end of your 1 yard of fabric and sew.
  2. Cut the elastic just long enough to fit around your waist, slightly stretched.
  3. Fold the elastic in half and mark the center with a pin. Then fold each half in half and mark each quarter point with a pin. Fold each segment in half again and pin for each 1/8 point.
  4. Repeat the same process along the top edge of your fabric.
  5. Match up the pins on the elastic to the fabric, gathering the excess fabric between each pin.
  6. Sew the elastic to the fabric stretching the elastic as you go.  The stretching will create a natural “gather”.
  7. Sew the two edges together.
  8. Double fold bottom of skirt and sew hem.
  9. Optional: Use thread ripper to remove pocket from a men’s button-up shirt and sew onto the front of the skirt.

Perspective

Palm in the Sky

It was spring but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and the great outdoors.
It was summer but it was fall I wanted: the colorful leaves and the cool dry air.
It was fall but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the Christmas season.
It was now winter but it was spring I wanted; the warmth and the blossoming of nature.
I was a child but it was adulthood I wanted; the freedom and respect.
I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated.
I was middle -aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit.
I was retired but it was middle-aged that I wanted; the presence of mind without limitations.
My life was over but I never got what I wanted.

-Written by a fourteen year old boy (yes, fourteen!)

House or Home

Grannys Ring
cooking with grannyMS Welcomes You20140324-195403.jpg
My grandmother’s wedding ring. It signifies a 56 year successful marriage. I never get tired of looking at it. I wear it proudly and think of her every single day.

This weekend has been a bit tough emotionally. I found out that my grandparents house, the place where I grew up, is being sold (my grandmother passed away one year ago this month).  I know it’s just a structure; just a building and I shouldn’t care, right? Well I do. I can’t help it. My entire childhood is wrapped up in that structure; on that property.  My baby footprints are stamped in the foundation.

We went on vacation March of 2014 to visit Granny (you can read post HERE). Little did I know at the time, that would be the last time I would set foot in that house.  It was the last time my Granny was well and able to live in the house by herself.  She cooked and cooked and cooked.  She was in here true element.

It’s so hard to think that I’ll never set foot in that house again, but maybe that’s for the best. I thought that I might want to go back and see it one last time,  but being in that house without Granny means that it is just a structure. It is just a building because my Granny is what made the house my home.

I miss her.

Sixty

60 sized

This sweet mama is 60 today!  This is certainly a day worth celebrating.  One thing I will never do is take her life for granted.  I will celebrate it and what better time to do it than today.  Join with me in a big celebration of this amazing lady’s life, God’s miracles and grace all around.  She is my miracle mama and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for her life.  She is truly a blessing to all of us.  Happy birthday, mama!  I’m so glad you are here bringing us your sweetness and that beautiful smile each and every day.

One Year

Rose and Earl George at TableRose Mardi GrasRose and First New Car Rose and Glen Granny Recent

One year ago today, I lost one of the most influential and monumental women in my life; my Granny.  This amazing lady was not just a grandmother to me, she was a second mother.  I was her girl; her “baby girl” to be specific.  She called me this every single time we talked.  You see, she had three boys, but always wanted a girl. Then I came along. This changed her world. I was special to her.  My Granny loved me with a special kind of love that I’ve never experienced anywhere else and never will again.  I could do no wrong in her eyes.  We had such a special bond and it was irreplaceable.  I had the special privilege of growing up next door to her and lived there my entire childhood.  I spent just as much time at her house (or more) than I did my own.  Her favorite story to tell was the day I “ran away” to her house with a paper bag filled with one pair of underwear, one shirt and one shoe.  I think it made her feel so special that I wanted to be at her house rather than at my own.

My Granny taught me what hard work looks like by working in seafood factories, sewing factories and even working in my grandparents own seafood business where my Gramps caught blue crabs and she picked them to sell to restaurants.  She taught me to never give up.  My Granny did this manual, difficult work up until the day she got sick (and even afterwards at times).  She taught me what true marriage looks like.  Granny was married to my Gramps for 56 years.  I will never forget the one line of advice that she gave me at her kitchen table (that’s where all the good conversations happened).  She said that a successful marriage is made up of two things; compromise and selflessness.  If you can do these two things, your marriage will last forever and she was right.  My Granny taught me what true sacrifice looks like.  She gave absolutely everything for her family.  She never went to the doctor or took care of herself in order to focus on everyone else.  Granny served her husband and took care of him and the entire family.  She was the glue that held everything together at home.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my Granny and miss her dearly. There is a hole and emptiness that will never be filled but I do have the memories, joy and the incredible influence that she had on my life. She will truly live on forever in my heart.

Autoimmune Paleo Trial

AIP Ketchup

Most of us have heard of the paleo diet but what you don’t hear much about is the Autoimmune Paleo diet (also known as the Autoimmune Protocol diet or AIP). I happened to run across info about this diet on the internet while down one of those deep dark rabbit holes that you tend to find yourself in when one search leads to another, to another and yet to another.  The word “autoimmune” caught my attention right away.  You see, I have two autoimmune diseases one of which is vitilago.  Vitilago is a disease that causes you to randomly lose pigment in your skin leaving patches of white spots all over your body.  See my previous post HERE with pics.

There are approximately 80 different autoimmune diseases currently.  Autoimmune disorders include hundreds of medical conditions that are due to the body’s own immune system attacking its own organs.  One of the most frustrating things autoimmune conditions is that there is no curative treatment for them.  By using food as medicine, AIP followers are able to reduce troublesome symptoms and heal underlying imbalances by decreasing inflammation and healing gut dysfunction. The diet focuses on a nutrient-dense intake and eliminates inflammatory and allergenic foods to support the body in cooling down the immune system (which is what’s going awry).

So what does this really mean?  It means no gluten, no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, no eggs, no spice or peppers, no nuts and seeds, tomatoes (SO hard), and no alcohol with keeping fruit to a minimum (which I’m not doing so well with thus far – baby steps).  Basically, you can eat meat and vegetables with caution to oil and spice.  Here is a great beginners guide with a chart.

Why go through this…what appears to be a somewhat horrific experience? Well, I have been gluten free for almost eight years and doing this initially made a huge impact on my first autoimmune disease but didn’t have too much of an impact on the vitilago.  Although, after going gluten free, most of the white patches on my face re-pigmented, thank GOD! However, it is still spreading fast and furious on my hands, feet, and knees.  This disease, while not painful physically, is very painful emotionally.  If there is a chance that I can heal a portion of all of the vitilago through diet, why not?  I have nothing to lose at this point.  I’m going to give the diet a trail run from 30-90 days to see if any re-pigmentation occurs.  Many diseases can be healed through diet.  They say you are what you eat, right? Well let’s see what happens.  Stay tuned for more.

* The pic above shows two jars of nomato ketchup that I made over the weekend.  You can find the recipe HERE.

Thoughts on Nature

Orange Lion King Sunset Caution Everglades Sign Bird Diving Orange Lion King Sunset over water Orange Sunset Road Glades on 1 Side Bird Flying over Everglades  Sunset with Palm Boys on a JeepOrange and Blue Sunset

I am a sucker for nature; pretty much any kind.  Being emerged in the beauty of the outdoors brings me peace and tranquility like nothing else.  As I sit there soaking it all in, I lose track of time and all worries of this world.  Nature is one of the places that I easily connect with God.  I see him everywhere; His majesty and wonder surrounds me. Florida sunsets are simply the best! What a great way to end an awesome weekend.

Mexico :: Day 4

Nell Yellow House Hand Up Small Caribbean Couple Small Nell Top of Tiki Lifeguard Stand Small Steve Mimosa Bar Small Nell and Steve on Wall over Beach Small Nell Close Up Small Steve Standing on Golf Cart Small Carnaval Dancers Purple Small Kissing in the Caribbean Small Barefoot in the Streets 1 Small Nell & Steve Up Close Beach Bed Small Steve with Mexican Man Statue Small

Last days are always hard; soaking in the final bits of your destination before you head back home to reality.  We took in as much of the island as possible.  One really cool part of this last day was sitting on a second story balcony of a little Mexican cantina watching the super bowl in Spanish on the TV while watching carnaval parades on the streets below during commercials. Well this was cool until the following morning.  I knew not to drink the water in Mexico.  It’s a well known fact that the water is not at all drinkable.  This was ingrained in my brain.  Little did I know that the ice in my drink at dinner while watching the super bowl (and carnaval) was not filtered.  I woke up the next morning stupid early to the sound of an alarm feeling all kinds of horrible.  I didn’t realize right away what was wrong with me.  I literally vomited my way back to the U.S.  I threw up in the airports multiple times and had to repeatedly jump out of the customs line to run to the bathroom to vomit.  When in the United States customs line, you see signs everywhere stating all these different symptoms and their related diseases.  I made sure to force my happy face when getting to the front of the VERY long customs line in the U.S. I did not what them to suspect anything strange.  I just desperately needed to get home to my bed.  Needless to say, it was the worst travel experience I’d ever had.  After thinking it through and talking to a few people who had traveled to Mexico, we narrowed it down to that one glass of ice.

Isla Mujeres was quaint, authentic and breathtakingly beautiful.  I would go again in a heartbeat but will NEVER have ice in my drink again!  Adios!