My Dream Vacation

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Have you ever wanted to go somewhere so bad you could almost taste it and you think about it almost daily? Well that is how I feel about Europe, especially Italy.

I fell in love with Italy after seeing the movie Under the Tuscan Sun. There is something about the beautiful scenery that makes me want to stop and just breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the view. The people Italy also seem to have a different view of life than we do here. They seem to be able to relax and enjoy life – not rushing through it and hating it so much like we do in our country.

Where would my first stop be? That is a hard question but I am going to say Rome. Since I love history and there is a lot of it there, that would seem the logical place to start with. I would have to see the Colosseum of course. Can you imagine the size of that place and all that has happened there? There are many museums, fountains and gardens to see like – The Capitoline Museum, Villa Borghese and Trevi Fountain just to name a few. I could go on and on with places to see. 

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Next stop would be Florence, Italy. Recently I read a book that was set there and found out that is where the original sculpture of David is kept. Florence is new to me so it would be fun to learn and explore all of their history as well. I have read there is a lot of history in art in this city. 

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Venice, The Floating City, what a fascinating place that would be to visit.  In Venice you use boats/gondolas to get around the city or you walk as they do not use cars, which I think is very unique. Venice is very well known for its architecture so it would be amazing to just walk the streets and stand in awe. 

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Let us not forget all of the great food I have to try while there. The fresh mozzarella, I could just feel it melting in my mouth. The Pasta – freshly made, traditional Italian pizza, again I could go on and on with my list.

For now I will continue to dream and plan then when the time comes I will be prepared to go on my dream vacation.  I will be visiting Italy often through my many books until I can make my journey.

Where does your dream vacation take you? Do you have your trip all planned out for the time you get to make that journey?

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Obsessions

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Obsessions can be good or bad depending on how you look at them. In my case I don’t consider them bad as I don’t let them consume by life, they just give me something to look forward to. Sometimes I think our obsessions go along with the fads of the times. Let me tell you about a couple of mine.

One of my obsessions is a couple of sayings, that I love. The first is Live, Laugh, Love. I don’t know what it is about this saying but it just makes me calm and think about family. I have many different things in my home with this saying on it. To me this is a good motto to live by. Live Well, Laugh Often, and Love More. The second saying I love is Keep Calm and Carry On. This saying was originally introduced in 1939 by the British Government to raise public morale during the war. I think if you keep this in the back of your mind during stressful situations it will help you out. It is kind of fun to read all the different versions of this saying as well.

If you know me at all you will know my biggest obsession in life is books and reading them. You can never have too many books. Usually I can’t go into a bookstore without coming out with a least one book. I also belong to an online book club (ok maybe a couple, but I am very active in one), I have a database on my computer and phone to keep track of all the books I own, I have a blog to do reviews as well as to keep track of all the books I read in a year, I enter contests to win books on a daily basis, I love talking about books and I never leave home without a book. If you see me you will know a book is not far away. Books don’t hurt you, reading is a healthy addiction, reading can be an escape or stress reliever and books are educational. I have been obsessed with books since I was a kid and will never stop. When I am upset getting a new book cheers me up. If a book is part of a series I have to have the whole series or I get the shakes (ok, not literally). Don’t ever ask me to go without a book or mess with my books or there will be  trouble.

My last obsession I am going to mention is tv shows. I love the Bravo channel’s Real Housewives series. I like to call it non-reality – reality tv because you know they don’t show you everything and the make more drama out of things than is necessary. I even buy magazines as they might have something about one of the wives in there and I don’t want to miss something. Crazy right?

My latest tv obsession is Downton Abbey. Yes I have jumped on the bandwagon. I can’t get enough of it. I am finally caught up to the current episode of the show and find myself thinking about the people downstairs daily and what is going on with them. I have bought two books so far (yes only two) to learn more about the real life Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle). I have even told my daughter I want all three seasons for my birthday and Christmas so I can watch them again. I would even love to write a book about the people downstairs but don’t really know how to go about it. Oh and how about going to visit Highclere Castle wouldn’t that be great. Well for now I will have to dream. I don’t know what I find so fascinating about them.

I think some obsessions can be healthy just don’t let them become so overwhelming that they take over your life then you will be ok.

So what about you? What are some of the obsessions you have? Do you let them consume you?

Lemons into sunshine

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What do you do when life hands you a heaping bowl full of lemons and disappointments?

My lemons have been a messed up paycheck, stressful work environment, my dad not doing well/still on the mend, headaches almost everyday for me, a series of disappointments and just generally feels as if nothing can go right at the moment. 

Well what do you do, first I had myself a nice cry. Ok who are we kidding I had many nice cries and just felt sorry for myself. Now what?

As Jo Dee Messina’s songs says – 

Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war 

This is how I felt on Friday – so when I got in my guess what I happened to have this song in there and listened to it about five times and sang along and tried to take Jo Dee’s advice in the song. Here it is: 

I’m not gonna let it get me down
I’m not gonna cry
And I’m not gonna lose any sleep tonight (’cause)

Tomorrow’s another day
And I am not afraid
So bring on the rain

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Good advice right? Well I think it is time to make some changes. Let’s see what I can do.

I am trying to change the job situation whether it be a new job, a raise, and doing some things from home in the evenings to supplement my income. 

My dad is getting stronger and better – I just have to remember he will have some bumps in the road along the way and not dwell on those but look at the good progress he has made. 

As for my headaches, I need to try to work on not letting stress get to me as much and maybe some of the headaches will not happen. 

Until the changes can all come around I need to learn to lean on friends for help with the positive thinking, use their shoulder to cry on and their ear to vent to.

So here goes, I am going to think of the positive things in my life: I have a family that loves and supports me. A roof over my head and food on the table. Friends who let me rant, rave and cry as needed and not judge me. Cute and cuddly animals at home. My love of books and great authors that let me review their books. I win lots of books or receive them from publishers and authors. I am alive and have no major health issues. When you start looking you will find that you have many things to be positive for. 

What are some things you do when you are down that can bring you back up? Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses or whatever flower you love. Keep your chin up!

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Love is …

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Love is many things to many different people. For some it is easy for others not so much. Since February is known as the month of love I thought I would share a few of my loves with you.

The number one thing on my list is my family. I met my husband 24 years ago and love him more now than ever. I don’t usually say sappy things like that but as you grow together so should your love. There are times he drives me crazy but I know he will always be there for me when I need him. I am blessed with two great kids – I would do anything for them and if push came to shove I know they would for me too (as long as it is not cleaning, lol). What can I say about my parents but thank you for being my parents. You have helped more than you should have had to at times and I have always appreciated. My sister and brother – yes we may fight but we also laugh a lot and that is the best thing to do. My nieces and nephews I would not trade one of you for the world – be yourself and enjoy life.

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The number two thing on my list is my love of books. Books have taken me many places and to meet many people.  Some I have loved others not so much but I am glad for the experience. I know I will never read all the books I own but they are a comfort to me and are a huge part of my life. I love history and through books I have learned lots of history and got to experience it through the eyes of others. Books have also helped me to meet people. I have been able to connect with authors and book lovers alike and made some good friends this way.

The number three thing on my list would have to be dreams. Without dreams your life would be boring. Your dreams can be something small or something grand. One big dream I have is to travel to Europe some time in my life. I may never get there but in my mind I will and I can plan until my heart is content. A smaller scaled dream of mine was to see both of my kids graduate. I have one child who has graduated both high school and college and another who is well on her way. I also hope and dream my kids get out of life what they want and deserve.

The number four thing on my list is my memories. I love remembering the good times of my life. The big 4th of July celebrations my grandpa loved to do, the great Christmases my parents gave us, the neighborhood cookouts we had after we bought our first house, the Halloweens, fun with our church family, and memories of relatives that are no longer here but are greatly missed.

What are some of the things you love and hold dear to your heart? Please share I would love to hear about them.

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