Florida 2020

Back from Florida

It’s a strange time to travel. Everyone is walking around with a face diaper, erhm, a face mask on and eyeing each other in anger or suspicion.

We were supposed to be cruising around Northern Europe right about now. But of course, 2020 (or China) had to be a bitch and ruin our plans.

Ruin a lot of people’s plans.

Actually, ruined a lot of people’s lives, let’s be honest.

We had booked this cruise last year. And I really thought, I was CONVINCED, in April that we would be able to go on our cruise by September because COME ON, this nightmare can’t last that long, right? RIGHT??

*SIGH* We had planned on flying to Amsterdam, driving to Rotterdam, catching the boat and cruising to Germany, Southampton, and France. We would have been gone nearly two weeks and I was looking forward to being gone for two weeks.

I was GUTTED when MSC canceled our cruise. Since the cruise line canceled, we opted to apply that money to another cruise with a $500 bonus (which means for us, specialty dinners on board which cost extra and something we would not pay for normally).  It sucks. And I’m trying not to be selfish and bitter about it, but I am feeling selfish and bitter. I’m optimistic we’ll be able to take this cruise next year, but with the way things are going, who knows.

So plan B. We wanted to do something. One, because we wanted to get away and have SOME sort of vacation, however selfish and trite that sounds considering a lot of people don’t even have jobs right now. But two, we wanted to prove to ourselves, and the world, that we were NOT going to allow COVID to run our lives. Not entirely. We’re already being forced to wear masks everywhere and not participate in certain activities anymore. I can’t take any more restrictions!!

We wanted to get away, but where?

My employer, at first, published travel restrictions – if you take a cruise, go to New York or leave the country, you’ll have to be tested for COVID when you return and self quarantine for 14 days when you get back. Which was a bummer because my first thought was Bermuda. We LOVE Bermuda and if you’ve never been, I highly recommend you go, if you get the chance. You will never find a more beautiful beach. Soft pink sands. It’s just gorgeous. But with my employer’s travel restrictions, we knew that was out of the question because one, there is no way in hell I’m getting tested for COVID. Ever. And two, who has the time to be off work for two straight weeks, and/or the paid time off to use for two straight weeks? (Again, I’m sorry if this sounds selfish to all of you that have been out of work – first world problems, I realize. But we all have problems that are uniquely our own).

So Bermuda was out.

We would have to pick something in the states, other than New York.

Kevin and I started talking about when the kids were younger and we would go to the Florida beaches every year. Then we discovered cruising and haven’t been back to the Florida beaches since. I started doing a little research and we decided on a short three-day stay in Clearwater Florida.

We opted not to stay a whole week for two reasons:

  1. Kevin really couldn’t be away from his work for a whole week
  2. The beach is great, but it gets a little boring after about three days.

We ended up staying at the Royal North Beach.

I wrote this next bit when we were actually in Florida.

Travel day –

I wasn’t very hungry before leaving for the airport so I ate half a doughnut and two pieces of toast, primarily because I wanted to coat my stomach before taking an Excedrin. I always take an Excedrin on travel days as it helps prevent travel/dehydration headaches and I tend to get a bit stressed on travel days. (Traveling is stressful, don’t deny it).  I don’t like to drink a lot on travel days because then I have to pee all day, hence, dehydration issues.

Besides, I would eat lunch, it would be fine. (Famous last words)

We got to the airport about 10:00 AM. We bought some coffee, put it in our thermos’s and waited for our plane to arrive, which was a few minutes late. If it had been any later, our whole day would have looked very different.

We got to Dallas just in time to make a mad dash to our next gate, which was boarding as we walked up. We didn’t have time to buy lunch or even water before we boarded the plane. We could have bought something, we technically had time as it was a full plane, however, the food lines were long and looking back, I’m glad we didn’t, because an airline person came on board as we were waiting to take off making note of empty seats and bringing standby people on. The plane was packed. So, if we hadn’t been in our seats they might have given our seats away. That would have sucked.

Which, side note, we absolutely did not social distance. However, it was mandatory that everyone wear a face mask – they wouldn’t allow you to fly, and they would bane you from future flights if you didn’t wear a face mask. Still – it was weird and uncomfortable to be that close to strangers as we have gotten used to NOT being around strangers.

So. We’re on the flight to Tampa, waiting to take off and neither one of us has eaten much since breakfast. No time for food. We were both fine, honestly. I’m used to fasting and Kevin seemed like he was fine. The no water thing though, that was what I missed the most. And the airlines are not serving any food or drinks during flights right now so … all we had was the coffee in our thermos.

But, shame on us for not having snacks. We’re seasoned travelers and we know better. But we just thought, meh, we don’t really eat snacks when we’re traveling and it’s just extra weight. Of course, the first time we DON’T take snacks is the time we NEED snacks.

Live and learn.

We noticed, as we’re taxiing in at Dallas and Tampa, that there are FLEETS of airplanes grounded on the sidelines. Kevin counted 37 American Airline planes grounded in Dallas. It was sad to see so many airplanes not being used. And that explains why they were packing us in like sardines on the flight out of Dallas – the airlines can’t afford to fly planes that are half full.

We get into Tampa around 6:30 PM. The manager of our hotel, (we stayed at the North Beach hotel in Clearwater), had called Kevin right as we were boarding our flight out of our hometown and told him, due to COVID, the office was closing. Kevin told him that was okay because we weren’t going to check in until around 8:00 PM anyway.

The manager then text us shortly after we landed in Tampa and gave us the key code to room 201 so that we could bypass the office and get into our room. We would then check in with him at 9:00 the next morning.

That took some pressure off us to hurry up and check in as again, we were pretty hungry when we landed in Tampa and we didn’t know if we would have time to get anything to eat before everything closed.

We navigated to the rental car desk, got our car and drove toward our hotel.

(Side note about the rental car. It’s a dark blue 2020 Chevy Malibu and I hate it. The headrests are too high up and every time the car jerks, my head would slam back into the headrests and the clip in my hair would loosen and dig into my scalp. Also, it has an “auto-start” feature. So every time we came to a stop light, the car would shut off! At first, it freaked me out, but it would easily start back up once Kevin pressed on the accelerator. I guess it’s suppose to save on gas, which I’m sure it does, and act more like a hybrid, but wouldn’t continuously shutting down and starting back up wear out the starter quicker? What do I know about cars. Anyway, that was a weird and scary experience, we thought we got a lemon at first. Kevin likes it; it freaks me out. I don’t care for that feature, at all).

We stopped at McDonald’s, grabbed a quick quarter pounder, then found a grocery store and picked up groceries for breakfast and lunch. (Our hotel room came with a kitchenette). We finally got to our hotel about 8:30 PM. It was Saturday night and there was a TON of traffic and lots of people walking around. We had to drive through downtown Clearwater to get to the north side of town to get to our hotel and it reminded me a bit of New Orleans – just the party atmosphere, the closeness of the shops, the number of people walking around.

Once we arrived at North Beach Hotel, we walked through the gate, walked up to our room, (which is a corner room), put in the passcode and voila, we were in!

I was a little worried when we arrived because there were some party goers in the pool and they were loud, but it quiet down about 11 and we both slept pretty good. I took some pictures of our hotel room.

 

Day One – Sunday

It’s raining. Tropical Storm Sally is blowing through – we’re on the western part of the storm, and though it’s not storming, it’s a steady rain. We are literally across the street from the beach but the weather is preventing us from truly enjoying it. Kevin went out this morning to check in and grab some coffees (we didn’t realize the kitchenette didn’t already have coffee or we would have bought some when we went grocery shopping last night). He said that he walked across the street to see the beach and nearly stepped in dog poop. People are so annoying and consideration is a lost art.

He said there were a few people on the beach and a couple was walking out with beach towels – they weren’t going to let a little water RAIN on their parade. (See what I did there?)

Since it was raining, and was due to rain all day, we stayed at our room for the morning and worked on our laptops.

It as a really relaxing day. Our hotel room was set up more like an apartment and it was very comfortable. After lunch, Kevin drove us up and down the coast. We didn’t have any plans, we just wanted to familiarize ourselves with the area and determine if this was somewhere we wanted to come back to on a yearly basis. Just long enough to separate ourselves from “real” life, recharge, regroup. We had to stop at a gas station and pay $1.50 for air (FOR AIR) to fill up a low tire. (It’s a rental … don’t they check that sort of stuff??) and then we stopped at Sand Key Park. We plopped on ball-caps and walked down the beach in a light rain. More of a sprinkle, really. But it was SO NICE. Very few people out. The temperature was pleasant.

I could be bummed that the weather was not cooperating, but what good would that do? The fact is, we’re not home, we’re staying in a very comfortable hotel room/apartment, right across the street from the beach (even though we can’t see the beach from our windows) and it’s quiet and soothing. Royal North Beach hotel is right on the outskirts of a residential area so it feels a bit like we’re part of the locals. We’re away from the mega hotels and it’s just … cozy. Did I mention it’s quiet??

After walking on the beach for a bit, we got back into our (lousy) car and located Pier 60, which was what we wanted to visit tomorrow and then went back to our room, watched Back to the Future two and three, ordered Domino’s pizza and just vegged out.

This is the kind of vacation we wanted. We didn’t want to have to be anywhere at a certain time. We didn’t want to have to get up at the asscrack of dawn, hurry and get ready, hurry out the door, to participate in an activity. (Like an excursion on a cruise). This place is awesome but the only thing to really do is the beach which again, is what we wanted. We just wanted a nice, relaxing, chill, do-what-we-want-when-we-want kind of vacation.

I am hoping for some sunshine at some point while we’re here.

I’m really glad we didn’t book the whole week because honestly, three days is about all we can handle – a whole week might have been a bit too much for both of us.

Day Two – Monday

Still rainy. Tropical storm Sally was determined to stick around. In fact, the Weather Channel made a lot of comments about how slow moving she was. We got off lucky though, it could have been pouring the entire time we were there. It did rain quite a bit, but there were periods of time when it either stopped entirely or just sprinkled. We took advantage of this to walk down to Pier 60. It was a little over a mile to get to the area. We got sprinkled on but it was actually nice and cool, until we left the coastline and started walking between buildings, then it got to be hot and humid. By the time we got back to the room I was dripping sweat. I get so annoyed with myself whenever we go any place tropical – I just can’t handle the humidity. It’s like it triggers my body and I just start perspiring like crazy.

We did stop to get some ice cream and it was nice to eat ice cream while looking at the ocean. Another check on the trip list.

When we got back to the hotel, it was still only sprinkling and was actually lightening up a bit so we donned our swim wear and headed to the beach. We spent a very relaxing two hours on the beach. You wouldn’t think sand is hard until you don’t have chairs and are forced to sit on the sand for a few hours. Kevin napped and I just sort of zoned out on the waves. It was so relaxing to just sit and veg out. I didn’t have to be anywhere, I didn’t have to worry about … anything. I was totally relaxed. It did sprinkle on us but again, it was nice. It was cloudy so we didn’t have to worry about being too hot.

Kevin and I walked the beach for a bit and he hunted Abalone shells – he wants to use them in a “project” though he doesn’t know what he wants to do yet.

We ordered pizza Sunday night and we made it last for three meals. So, we had pizza for dinner Monday night, too. Again, not exciting but very relaxing.

I’m quite sick of pizza.

Day Three – Tuesday

Another rainy day. Disappointing because once again, I was hoping for at least one sunny day but alas, Sally just wouldn’t move on and bother someone else. So. We slept in, had a relaxing morning at the hotel and then it started clearing up. We finished off our pizza (honestly, I can’t even stomach thinking about having any more pizza at this point – I’m so pizza’d out). We ended up spending the majority of the afternoon on the beach again. I tried to read but it sprinkled so I worried about that affecting my Kindle. Kevin went walking for Abalone again and when he got back to me he said he found a place where we could rent chairs and an umbrella. So I packed up our stuff and walked down to the pier (about a mile), rented chairs and we wanted an umbrella, but they were so slow that I think the guy thought he was doing us a favor by “upgrading” us to a cabana, though I wish he hadn’t. It stifled the air and we would have preferred an umbrella. But it was nice to actually have chairs to sit on and we enjoyed a solid two and half hours on the chairs before the skies started darkening again and we walked back to “our” section of the beach.

We got cleaned up but it was 5:00 PM by this time and I really didn’t want to put on a full face of makeup that late in the day so we Googled nearby taco places, found Taco Bus, went on to their website and ordered dinner.

We went and picked it up. It was a cool restaurant. It was made to look like you were ordering from a food truck from inside the building. Kevin got beef tacos, I got a chicken bowl and we got some rice, beans and chips/salsa. It only came to $21.00 but we had so much food we couldn’t finish it. It was delicious though.

We spent the remainder of the night watching “Storage Wars” and “Deadliest Catch.” We only watch those shows whenever we go on vacation because we’re too cheap to pay for cable. Actually, neither of us like watching much TV so it just doesn’t make sense to pay for something we’ll never use.

And that brings us to now and my final thoughts.

The hotel: We stayed at the Royal North Beach hotel and we really liked it overall. It was convenient, cheap, and more of an apartment than a hotel room. We had a full kitchen, complete with a kitchen. We bought groceries and were able to eat breakfast and lunch without having to stress where we were going to eat everyday. And of course, we bought enough pizza to last three meals. We saved a ton on food this trip.

I REALLY liked how housekeeping left us completely alone. They never came in to make our bed and we didn’t have to stress about getting out so they could do their thing. When we needed fresh towels, we put the dirty ones in a small clothes basket and put it outside our room. Housekeeping would then exchange fresh towels, a trash bag and toilet paper. So we never, not once, saw anyone from housekeeping. That may not be for everyone, but I LOVED IT and think more hotels need to implement something similar. It just took a lot of stress of being out of the room so they could do their thing.

I also really liked how we didn’t have a room key. We had an electronic keypad that we input a code for and that’s how we got in/out. So again, we didn’t have to stress about making sure we had a room key with us whenever we left the room and we didn’t have to worry about accidentally locking ourselves out of our room.

The only thing I really didn’t like about the room was that the floors were FILTHY. The whole apartment had tile floors, which was good, but they were so gritty and nasty that I had to literally wash my feet before getting into bed at night and/or wear flip flops to prevent having to wash my feet. I get that it’s probably really hard to keep the floors clean because of everyone tracking sand into the room, but this wasn’t just grit from the previous occupants, it was clear the floors haven’t been mopped in quite some time. I think I was especially sensitive to that because I have a thing about clean floors anyway.

But other than that, we really enjoyed staying there and would stay there again. There are four hotel complexes in a row near our North Beach hotel and I think we are going to try and stay at Hotel Cabana next time as we have decided that we are definitely going to stay in Clearwater again. We really enjoyed the area and how our hotel was just on the outskirts of the “busy” area so it was super quiet and we sort of felt like a native of the area given we were so close to residents.

We really want to find a place we can go to for a few days to enjoy the beach every year and Clearwater is definitely a contender.

It was really nice to see Kevin relax for a change. He’s the kind of person who NEVER relaxes, he’s always doing something. He’s one of the most productive people I know (I always joke that I married the female version of Heather, my doctor’s PA as she’s one of the most productive people I know of the female sort). He napped and was FORCED to do nothing but relax. In turn, that relaxed me. In fact, Kevin brought a little PS2 game console thing and he has spent a good portion of this trip just playing that. (And when we return home, he won’t touch it again until next vacation).

We had to air up our right front tire on our rental car several times. We came out one morning and it was 14 pounds of air! That was super annoying but I suppose that’s a risk you take when you rent a car. So, the low tire was always on our minds whenever we used it to go anywhere. (Which was only twice, the first day when we drove up and down the coast and when we drove to Taco Bus for food).

Now, we’re currently sitting in the Tampa airport waiting for our flight to Dallas to board. We have about a three-hour layover in Dallas so hopefully we don’t have to stress about getting off the flight and running to our gate in Dallas. But you never know how it will go, I suppose.

We’re being smart about this this go around and we bought water to put in our thermos’s, which was another smart thing to bring along with us, too.

I think we spent the perfect amount of time at the beach though Kevin says he wouldn’t have minded staying another few days. He really responds to the beach and feels like he could easily live on the beach. He used to CRAVE the beach when we were first married and the kids were younger but then we got hooked on cruising and we just sort of forgot about going to the beach. Now, because of COVID and who knows when the cruising industry will be up and running again, we’re back at it again. I have a feeling that this trip has re-awakened Kevin’s passion for the beach.

They are getting ready to call our flight so it’s time to wrap this up. I already miss it.

So that was our trip. It was short, sweet and wet. Again, the weather could have been so much worse so I feel like we were lucky to just get some sprinkles now and again. And the cloudy weather actually made the beach more comfortable than it would be if it was sunny the whole time.

We have so many frequent flyer miles built up that we’re talking about taking another small vacation in the spring. Maybe. It really all depends on what happens after the Election and this COVID nightmare.

But for now. It was fun to get away and thumb our nose a bit at the pandemic disaster.

Can We Talk?

September 17th Thursday Thought

Today’s question is …

The most surprised you’ve ever been….

I don’t like surprises. I like surprising people but not don’t surprise me. There’s something about losing that small bit of control over myself in the split second that I’m taken aback by something.

With that said, I haven’t been surprised often in my life. I think it’s largely due to the fact that the people in my life know that’s a sure fire way to piss me off so they don’t do it.

However, there have been a few times I’ve been pleasantly, and not so pleasantly, surprised in my life.

When I was pregnant with Blake and my water broke at 3:00 AM eight weeks before he was due to be born. I was in denial. I convinced myself I was NOT in labor because it was way too early and I just sucked it up and went back to bed. (My water broke on the toilet – a little TMI for you). When the contractions became too much to bear I finally cried uncle and called my doctor’s office at 9:00 AM. Whey they heard my story they told me to immediately go to the ER – Blake was born nearly three hours later – a whopping 4 lbs and 12 ounces. (He spent six weeks in the NICU because his lungs hadn’t fully developed). That was an unpleasant, and pleasant, surprise. And it shows how incredibly naive I was. To be fair, it was my first pregnancy and I was clearly clueless.

This next surprise was in our first house together. It was a rental house. Somehow, and I still can’t believe he pulled it off, Kevin hid a HUGE curio case in our spare bedroom. He covered it with a quilt, or something and I just never saw it. I know that sounds crazy, how can you not see a huge curio case? But I never went into that bedroom, we used it as storage and it seems like there were quite a few other big pieces in that room and I just never … realized that it was in there. He unveiled the curio case on Christmas morning. I had wanted something to put all of my Precious Moment figurines in, I was getting quite the collection and no place to put them, and he was tired of seeing them accumulate, I suppose. Anyway, I was GENUINELY surprised, and impressed, that he managed to pull one over on me. I’ll never forget that Christmas, it was fun. (Side note: Speaking of Precious Moments – are those still a thing? Kevin and I were talking about them the other day. I wonder if they are worth anything? Because I have quite a few to get rid of if that’s the case).

One of my most unpleasant surprises was in 2010. The kids were at school, Kevin was on his was to work, and I was pattering around the house when I got a call from an unknown number. Of course, I didn’t answer the phone because 1. I hate talking on the phone and 2. I especially hate talking to salespeople. But I (thankfully) checked the message right away). It was from a man I didn’t know telling me there had been an accident. I could hear the sirens in the background. He said that Kevin had been in a motorcycle accident and they were taking him to the ER. Kevin had asked the man to call me. I have never experienced such raw fear before that moment. I immediately changed into presentable clothes (because of course, I had been cleaning house and looked like something a dog would have dragged into his master’s house) and raced to the hospital. Kevin had shattered his pelvis and they were shipping him to a medical-teaching school for specialized treatment. (i.e. to put the bag o’ glass back into a pelvis – that’s how the ER doctor described his pelvis to me). I will never forget that stomach dropping, nausea-inducing, moment in my life.

Maybe that’s why I don’t like surprises overall, because the surprises that I remember are not GOOD surprises. Hmmm ….

Your turn.

Podcast

Podcast: What is a Conservative?

 

Episode description:

Do you know the difference between political “party” beliefs? We thought we did until we did a little research and discovered that question is a lot more complex that we first thought. Listen as we break down the different political parties and what each party believes. What party do you identify with?

TueSLAY

TueSLAY – September 15th

I AM …

I am from hardy stock.
I am from hard-working, honest parents.
I am from humble beginnings.
I am from a loving environment.
I am from a varied work environment.
I am from the Ozarks.

I am still in the Ozarks.
I am strong.
I am stubborn.
I am cynical.
I am healed.
I am renewed.
I am loud in sneaky ways.
I am a strict mother.
I am a devoted mother.
I am a daughter, sister, and aunt.
I am a faithful wife.

I am a computer nerd.
I am a reading fanatic.
I am an Introvert.
I am happiest when quiet.
I am blazers and turtlenecks.
I am hiking boots and clunky heels.
I am books, coffee, and comfy sweats.

I am a fiction writer.
I am an aspiring writer.
I am a writer who never finishes her thou…
I am a healthcare worker.
I am a multi-tasking aficionado.
I am a devoted Christian.
I am not your typical Christian.

I AM BLESSED

Time to go SLAY the rest of the week!

Life-condensed

The Silence is Deafening

I have a new night time routine – I listen to rain or beach waves while falling asleep. I’ve also been listening to various YouTube ambiance videos while writing or working at my new desk. It relaxes me. It helps me focus.

But I’ve always been an advocate for silence. Silence is under-rated and rare. When is the last time you stopped and listened to … nothing? Even if the TV is off. No videos are playing on your computer. The room you’re sitting in is quiet … it’s not really silent, is it? For example, I’m by myself, at my desk and I hear the ceiling fan, my typing and the occasional car drive by outside. Even though it’s quiet, I”m comfortable. Because there is SOME sound around me. When you stop, shut off the ceiling fan, stop typing, close your eyes and listen … the silence is almost uncomfortable, because it’s so unusual… unnatural?

I’ve never heard my blood rushing through my veins but when you close your eyes, put in ear plugs and hear nothing but your heartbeat … it’s almost humbling.

I’ve always said our world is way too noisy. I crave silence. I crave quiet. I get overstimulated when there is too much sound, too many things going on at once. Yes. I’m an awesome multi-tasker, but only for a time period. Too much stimulation for long periods of time EXHAUST me. I mean, bone-weary, can’t keep my eyes open, exhaust me. It’s like my body shuts down.

This Ted Talk about silence and what it can teach you about sound is really interesting. I think we all need to learn to be more comfortable with silence. Shut it down, world, we need to recharge.

 

Abundant Life

God Gives People the Responsibility of Governing Themselves

Now more than ever it’s important to be involved, and/or at least aware, of what our government is doing, or trying to do. More and more I hear people say, “Oh, I don’t pay attention to politics.”

Truth moment – I used to be the same way.

I think people, as they get older, naturally start paying attention to government more because policies affect older people more. If we don’t pay attention to what our government officials are doing, then we wake up one day and realize that half our paychecks are being taken from us to pay for government programs that are inefficient and worthless or we have less freedoms to live our lives because an elected official makes decisions for us because they “know what’s best for the people.” *snort*

We have to pay attention and vote for the best person to represent US, the people. And if they aren’t representing the people, then we vote them out and get someone in there who will.

It amazes me that people like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, continually get voted back into office and for what? What have they accomplished other than pit people against each other and chip away at our rights?

(Or any government official for that matter, regardless of the party affiliate, who consistently does a bad job).

We, THE PEOPLE, have a responsibility of voting these power-hungry idiots OUT.

It’s time to wake up and #walkaway

Happy Sunday, by the way.

Can We Talk?

Something Big Happened on September 11, 2001

Remember 9/11?

There is a whole generation of people who were never taught about that fateful day.

And I think a lot of people who were alive on that day have forgotten.

History is not being taught to our children. Progressives want to erase history so they can re-write it. History is necessary so that we can learn from it and not make the same mistakes again.

This video brought tears to my eyes. I will NEVER FORGET that day. I was on a shuttle bus, on my way to college campus when the bus driver suddenly turned the sound up on his radio. It took a few minutes for people to stop talking and start listening. It was shocking. I made it to campus just in time to watch the second plane dive into the second tower. The busy campus was silent. Everyone stood stock still and stared. Walking through campus after that was like walking through a graveyard. People were zombies. Many were crying. It was horrific to think of all of those innocent lives being burned in the towers.

And then, watching them fall and people running to try and escape the huge, toxic smoke clouds chase them down the street.

I have to wonder, would Americans have the same reaction today? Would something like this unite us once again, or have we eroded our patriotism down so far into the gutter that people would actually cheer?

I’m afraid we all know the answer to that question.

I truly don’t understand the riots and the violence right now. I guess I could at first because people were thinking (incorrectly, I might add), that police exist to hunt black people down. Police exist to maintain law and order. It’s easy to understand – don’t break the law. And if you find yourself in a situation where the police have been called, don’t resist arrest. Fight it out in front of a judge.

These brats that riot, loot and execute people who don’t agree with them need to be shipped off to Cuba, or Africa, or China, where they don’t have rights and they exist to serve a communist government. You think America is unjust? Try stepping outside her borders.

September 11, 2001.

NEVER FORGET. 

Can We Talk?

September 10th Thursday Thought

Today’s question is …

In what ways would you like to change the world?

Opinions. I’d like to teach people to listen with an open mind, to weigh all of the options, from both opposing fences, and then to come to a fair, logical and informed decision.

Too many times, people are only getting one side of the story. Whether that’s from media, from friends, from family … how many times have you listened to a friend complain about a spouse, or something that happened at work, or a time when they got into trouble and you based your opinion on what that friend told you? You reared your righteous indignation on behalf of your friend and automatically rallied for your friend’s predicament or side?

Only to find out later, that there were TWO sides to the story and lo and behold, your friend wasn’t as “innocent” as he/she led you to believe?

Or you listen/watch a news story and you get worked up over THE INJUSTICE of it all, only to find out later that OOPS, that news outlet didn’t exactly give you all of the details and maybe, just maybe, it’s not as cut and dried as they (the news outlets) wanted you to believe.

Nothing – NOTHING- irritates me more than to not be given all the facts.

Another example: teaching evolution in schools. Okay. Fine. Teach evolution, but also teach creationism. Then leave it up to the individual to make his/her own informed decision. It’s insulting to only give one side of the story and then to expect people to just blindly agree with that side.

Facts are pesky little things, but they’re also necessary little things.

So, moral of this post? Get ALL the facts, THEN make up your mind.

Your turn …

Podcast

Podcast: Uproar Over a Tweet Taken Out of Context

 

Episode description:

We sort of hate to board the crazy train from President Trump’s tweet this week, but we couldn’t resist giving our two cents worth. All of this crazy actually came from a portion of President Trump’s tweet and when you read the entire tweet, the portion everyone is up-in-arms about was actually taken out of context and does not mean what everyone is trying very hard to make it mean. Is anyone embarrassed? We think they should be. Also, don’t try and make something out of nothing, context is key.

Bullet Journal

September Bullet Journal

Welcome to another mediocre bullet journal post.

Moving on to September …

Here is my cover page:

Feel free to download it and use it for your journal. The image is an A5 size if you have an A5 journal. I get the pictures from Unsplash, a freely-usable image. I can’t draw, I’m certainly not an artist, but I do like pictures. I picked this picture because we will be traveling to Florida very soon.

*gasp* Yes. We are daring to travel. Don’t worry. We will be cautious and will be socially distancing as we’ll be spending the majority of our time on the beach.

That’s pretty isolating, overall.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about that trip soon.

I’m really digging my new spreads.

I like this book template a lot. And my overall mood and step tracker. Nothing new there.

I’m sticking to one color and black throughout the month. I’m liking the consistency and it looks more uniform and less messy.

Still doing the weather tracker (I’m doing a weather tracker primarily because I want proof to refer to when people start commenting on “this is the wettest summer we’ve had on record” or whatever the case may be because then I can go back and say, “Um … actually …”)

I changed up my sleep tracker. I wanted someplace to document the amount of sleep I’m getting and on what days. I don’t really sleep that well so I’m trying to track a pattern. I’m liking the layout so far.

Got my travel plan and my packing list for our trip to Florida. (Notice the travel details are blocked out because … well … it’s the Internet).

My journaling pages so far.

And the most fun tracker I’ve done to date – a productivity tracker. I DID A DUTCH DOOR! Not very well, granted, but still, not bad for a first attempt. Not sure how often I will do dutch doors but I do know that if I’m going to do them again I need an X-ACTO knife because it’s near impossible to cut close to the page without accidentally snipping the binding, that would suck.

I’m sure my activities will change from time-to-time but for now, I tried to incorporate my most common activities. There are more activities on the back of the dutch door. Those are more housecleaning and general entertainment activities.

Anyway, I was immediately intrigued about the productivity tracker the first time I saw it was a “thing” and knew I would have to at least try it once. So far, it’s been pretty fun and also sobering. I’m not really that busy, anyone who knows me knows I’m one of the most boring people on Earth, but it DOES motivate me to do more just so I can put an icon on my productivity tracker. And that’s really all I want it for – to motivate me to BE more productive in whatever I’m doing.

If you would like to know more about what a productivity tracker is and how to set it up, I recommend you watch this video.

I’m pretty happy with these spreads and I don’t really see myself changing them or adding any more on, but you never know. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to post anything about my bullet journal at this stage as it’s pretty straight forward and not very pretty to look at, but if I change things up or start adding calligraphy at some point I might post periodic updates.

I highly recommend keeping journals. Not necessarily bullet journals, but just someplace to write your innermost thoughts. It’s therapeutic in a lot of ways and helps clean out the clutter in your mind. I think journals have been very helpful to me because now that my blog has been discovered in my “real life”, journals allow me a space to write what I’m REALLY thinking as I can’t really do that on this platform because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by my “honesty.”

Anyhoo, I hope you’re having fun with your journal journey!