My Love Letter to my Fellow Bloggers – Yes, this means YOU

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world. I thank you most sincerely for visiting and spending some of your moments with me.

This blog post is a little different than my usual. But then again, what exactly is my normal? I create and post from my heart and soul, and it presents itself as a blog post. I have had this on my heart for awhile, and so here it is.

Blogging is hard work, no doubt. You have to tap into your creative self, find the time, find the space, write what you are hoping will sound relatively intelligent and interesting, take photos, find photos, edit photos, ask yourself if you love it, edit it, schedule it, track it……..well you get what I’m saying.

With that said, what I have found in the blogging world are two main things

The first one is, that it is just as important to support others as it is to support your own blog. By us reading each others content, commenting and being encouraging, retweeting like a maniac in hopes that others will enjoy reading what you just did, and then maybe, just perhaps, you can help their site grow. I have found that this is instrumental to connecting to others. I think of this blogging community as a family. I have believed that the numbers will come. Giving is the secret to true success when it comes to blogging. None of us are islands unto ourselves.

I have gained a lot, learned a lot, and have gotten to know many of you and have grown as a person.

So here is my love letter to you all.

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM YOU – I have traveled with you and learned about all kinds of places I have never been, the south of France, Riding a camel in the Sahara, Disneyland Paris, Slovenia, The Northern Lights, the Eiffel Tower at night, Museums, Sunsets and sunrises, the list is endless. I have learned how to cook a few new things, have learned about facial moisturizers and skin care, different palettes for eye make up and perfumes. I have learned how to scrapbook from magazines, make wedding favors, and the latest fashion. I have learned about Pinterest and I have learned I have a collection of friends who are just as frustrated with Instagram as I am!  I have learned about plug ins, collabs, and creating different websites. I have learned about 30 day challenges, yoga, meditation, and new exercise routines.. I have learned more about Mental Health and the challenges and struggles there in which helps me be a better person. I have learned about new books to read, countless fall ideas, movies to watch, and music to listen to. And I have only been doing this seriously for 3 and 1/2 months. I find that simply amazing.

I have learned all of this by spending hours and hours reading your blogs, You have taught me much and you have made me a better person.

THINGS I APPRECIATE ABOUT YOU – I have appreciated so much. I think I am taken back by the views and comments on my blog posts. I blog because I love to blog. I love what I write about and it is quite amazing that others do as well. It means more than you know. I know that I RT others a lot, I do love being supportive, but it makes me do a happy dance whenever one of mine gets retweeted! Makes me so happy! The true key to blogging success is giving, sharing, commenting and retweeting.

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT ALL OF YOU – I love the creativity and the very wide and diverse topics that are a part of this blogging community. I love the support and the group of bloggers that are focused on retweeting us all, we would be lost without them! I love the fact that whenever I get on the infamous Twitter and read a blog or two, I come away with a “pearl”, which is what I call a little nugget of knowledge. I love the fact that the young and old, the stay at home moms to the career people, the full time bloggers without employment outside of that to the part time bloggers working alongside of it, can all come together on this platform, supporting each other, learning from each other and teaching each other.

This is my love letter to every one of you who have taken the time to read this. You have all been pieces of a puzzle that has truly enriched my life, made me think, taught me much, and definitely has helped make me a better person.

And I sincerely thank you.

Until next time………be kind……….always,

Polley93

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Blogger Recognition Award

Hello! And welcome!

Noteworthy: The blogger who nominated me was very active on Twitter, had an awesome blog and he was very open about his Anxiety disorder and struggle with Emetaphobia. He has literally disappeared. All posts and his Twitter account is gone. I’m sincerely worried. This post was created before his disappearance. I sincerely hope it’s only an internet glitch. I struggled with publishing this, but decided to go ahead.

I was indeed very humbled by being nominated for this honor by the amazing @anxious_Lee. He in his own right is a very honest and upfront blogger, focusing on his journey successfully with Mental Illness. I encourage all of you to follow his blog.

Worrynotdotblog.wordpress.com

The Blogger Recognition Award is given to bloggers, by bloggers, who appreciate the hard work, dedication and vast amount of hours that are put into each and every blog post, as well as keeping their websites updated and current. We, as bloggers, whether full time or part time or just for fun, realize that blogging is a time consuming and dedicated effort.

THE RULES

  • Write a post showing your Award
  • Give brief story of how your blog started
  •  2 pieces of advice to give new bloggers
  • Thank you to who nominated you and include a link to their blog
  •  Select 15 bloggers to nominate

And here we go!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

I actually started this blog back in 2014, the year I started to write my first novel (which is still a work in progress……what an undertaking!!) It started as just a creative outlet, mostly for myself, a few followers, mostly family and friends. I have just recently become serious about the book I started, and decided to really put my heart and soul (and time……lots of time……as I’m sitting here past midnight typing away) into my blog. This is month #4, I have been posting 3 times per week and it hasn’t killed me! And so I go on.

MY ADVICE TO BLOGGERS

There is so much that could be said here, but I’m a bottom line kind of girl so I will say this. Be true to yourself. Period. Don’t try to do what sells, or what gets the views or the numbers. You will burn out. Blogging is not for the faint of heart. There are obstacles and challenges. There is writers block and discouraging moments. We have all been there. But fall in love with your blog. Love what you do and what you put out there. Be true to who you are. It’s a learning curve. We improve with time, with practice, and with learning. Be patient. But?

BE TRUE TO WHO YOU ARE.

NOMINATIONS:

@niamhrblogs

@TaraOSullivan

@Rachaelhope90

@hellobexa

@happyystar

@lukehstyle

@MrBlogPosts

@SingleMomStron

@whereareweofft1

@DJ_247_96

@RootsWingsBlog

@BGBloggers

@liaequalsstars

@30days30ways

@justmominit

All of the above blogs are SO worth following! I encourage you to do just that!

Until next time…..be kind…..always,

Polley93

My Random and Lofty Bucket List

Greetings! Welcome to my little corner of the world and my random blog where I post about random subjects. Today, I am writing my infamous bucket list.

Now not everyone believes in doing such a thing. Silly some say. But I do believe in dreams. I do believe in reaching out for the almost impossible. I do believe in my “passion plan”, and I do believe in reaching just beyond what is realistic. It is quite amazing what you can do, where you can go, and what you can accomplish if you j just let your mind go and consider the possibilities.

We all have heard of that infamous quote “Reach for the moon…….if you miss you will land amongst the stars”. I believe this to be true. I aim high. I work towards it. But even if I fall short? I am way ahead of where I would be without the lofty goal to begin with.

Hence……a bucket list. A list of dreams. I list of possibilities. I realize accomplishing the list could be impossible. But I can tell you this……I will hit most of them!!

My Bucket list (no specific order…..and as you will see……the majority of it is travel destinations and experiences. These are the “things” that enrich life, broaden our world view, and make us better people. This I believe. Will keep it to twenty.

1. LIVE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY FOR 3-6 MONTHS – I have been fortunate enough to have been able to travel quite a bit, but it will never be enough (as you will see in the upcoming list) I would like to be able to stay long enough to immerse myself in the culture, really get used to the food, and make a few friends that will stick. Would be great material for a book, yes?

2. TAKE A THREE MONTH TREK ACROSS EUROPE – I have wanted to do this my entire life. Trains, buses, trams, and a different city every few days or week. I have though about this, written about this, bought books about this. And one day…..I will do this. I have a bullet journal that I add to whenever I learn something new about doing this adventure…..solo……backpack only.

3. VOLUNTEER IN AN ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN THAILAND – does this really need an explanation? I think not!

4. BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR – If I could have my dream life, it would be to live in a cottage or villa by the water and be able to write books all day. I have written for years, and will be published someday.

5. STAND BEFORE THE ACROPOLIS IN ATHENS, GREECE – Wow. I know this is on this bucket list, but it has been on a bucket list of mine long term, so I don’t feel like I’m cheating, but? I’M GOING IN DECEMBER!! CRIKEY!!!

6. CONQUER THE WALK ACROSS ENGLAND TO ROBIN HOOD’S BAY – I have wanted to do this for years. It’s about 125 miles or so? In 11-13 days. I would live to just walk that whole trek with a group doing the same thing and photograph the entire journey. More book material?

7. GO ON AN AFRICAN SAFARI WITH MY CAMERA – This certainly is a lofty goal due to the basic issue of money. I just simply have to see some of those magnificent animals before they are gone forever.

8. SEE THE AMAZON IN ECUADOR AND PERU BEFORE ITS GONE – There are group excursions that do this, where you experience the Amazon, in canoes down rivers, eat with indigenous tribes, explore jungles and learn about the medicines created there. MUST DO THIS.

9. RIDE A CAMEL IN THE SAHARA DESERT – Morocco has been on my list of must-go’s for quite a while and I’m not even sure why. It just looks fascinating, so colorful and totally different than anything I have ever experienced. This is top three on my must see list, and I may even be able to pull this off next year? Time will tell.

10. OWN MY TINY HOUSE ON MY OWN LAND –  I live pretty minimally and don’t need a big space. I like small, compact, low maintenance, I have researched tiny homes for years. I would like to live mostly off grid, in a peaceful place, in Northern Arizona

11. STAND IN FRONT OF THE STATUE OF DAVID IN FLORENCE – One of the most spectacular pieces of art in the world. It is said that every angle gives a different view that it is so perfect. Just have to see this.

12. SPEND AN ENTIRE WEEK IN LONDON TO EXPLORE – This has always been something I have wanted to do. I would want to go in the Fall just when it is starting to get chilly!

13. OWN A GREENHOUSE – Grow some of my own food? Oh yes please! The picture in my mind is my tiny house, about 400sqft, to the left of it is a small working structure, just for writing, my photography, etc. My workspace apart from my living space. And a greenhouse, with yummy things I can grow and eat. My dream.

14. READ 52 BOOKS IN A CALENDAR YEAR – One of these years I will do this….the closest I have gotten so far has been 32.

15. HAVE A PICNIC WITH THE EIFEL TOWER IN VIEW – A sandwich, or baguette, a drink, on a blankety of some kind, looking at that magnificent structure. Oh yes!

16. VISIT AUSCHWEITZ – This is a somber subject for a Bucket List but I simply have to go. I have read hundreds of books on this time in our world history, and I truly believe that if we don’t learn from our history, it is bound to repeat itself. I have always been drawn to these things, as I am classified as an “extreme empath”, so the trail of tears and the Native Americans, the cemeteries, the slave quarters on Southern plantations. This is something I must do.

17. SPEND A MONTH IN THE CITY OF PRAGUE – I fell in love with this city when I visited there last year. My sister and I sat on hotel beds late at night and talked about coming back but staying for a month. Definitely will do this.

18. CUTTING DOWN TO WORKING ONLY PART TIME – This is a must. If I can work hard for a few more years and cut down my career hours, then this list will be much more doable!!

19. DUBLIN PUB CRAWL – I have always wanted to visit Ireland, and for all the times I have been back to England I have never been. This simply MUST chang!

20. Ok, so there’s no way  can keep it to 20, so this one will be one long sentence – Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, See the Canadian side of Niagra Falls, Visit Macchu Piccu in Peru, See the hand bridge in Viet Nam, Touch the Berlin Wall, See the Cherry Blossoms in Japan, See tulips in Amsterdam and the windmills, Stand on the mountains in Austria, Visit Russia, Listen to the Sea Organ in Zadar, Croatia, See an Opera in Vienna, Take a Thermal Bath in Budapest, Visit Bruges, Lake Bled, Slovenia, Carriage ride in Krakow, All day in art museums in Paris, Quebec City Canada, See a live Broadway show in NYC, Ride the red Tain through the Alps, Own a dog, Sit on a beach all day and read in the Mediterranean. 

What’s on your bucket list?

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Don’t forget to dream!

Until next time………be kind………..always,

Polley93

Top 5 Favorites – Books

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world. Thank you for stopping by and spending a moment or two here with me. I truly appreciate it.

Today I will be reviewing my top five books, but I must be honest. I could not narrow it down to five. I am a chronic reader, and I tried and tried, but could only hone it down to eight. So here are my top five (not) favorite books. I have read them all, more than once, and highly recommend them all. They have become staples in my library and I could pick any of these up at any time and read them again. I will just give an overview without any spoiler alerts necessary.

BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE BY DEE BROWN

This book is one of the most interesting “history” books I believe I have ever read. This is a major scar on American history. It is the story of the holocaust of the Native American. It is written tribe by tribe, event by event, and leader by leader. It is heart wrenching but real.

TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE BY MITCH ALBOM

This book has literally become my bible. I remember years ago when my kids were in bed, I was washing dishes with the tv on in the background, and Ted Coppel was on. This was a late night news kind of show. I remember being drawn to this interview with an old man in a bed, and he was dying. He knew he was dying and what he spoke of was literally profound. This is the story of second chances. His favorite student, and author of this book, Mitch Albom (Morrie was a college Professor) met up again years later, and they ended up meeting every Tuesday so Mitch Albom could write his story. It was one final class. It was a lesson on how to live. I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this one. My number one favorite book of all time and I read it at least twice a year.

EAST OF EDEN BY JOHN STEINBECK

John Steinbeck. A classic and fantastic American author. This is a deep novel about morals, right and wrong, good vs evil, family, and redemption. This is hands down, a must read. It has so much interwoven into the story, that if you read it again, it gives a whole new perspective.

WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME BY DAVID PERLMUTTER

This was a random find. I started writing my first novel in 2014 and was on a frenzy finding other novice authors on the infamous Twitter. I found this book and literally could not put it down. I contacted the author, who was very helpful and we became friends. Since then, this book has been promoted and bought worldwide and is currently being made into a film. It’s a true story and is mesmerizing. Highly recommend.

SAPIENS BY YUVAL NOAH HARARI

You would think that a book written about the history of humankind would be……well……kinda boring. Not in the slightest! I have never read a book about such in depth subject matter that was so reader friendly. It is one of those “surprises” that you had a difficult time putting down. I learned so much from reading this that it would take me a week to explain. An added bonus was the pages were shiny and different, and I loved that! If you are ever drawn to read this book, do NOT hesitate, just do it. I have one word for this brilliant work. WOW!

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON BY DANIEL KEYES

A definite must read. This isn’t a terribly long book and you can get through it in a couple  of days, but oh my! Does it have a lot to say and make you think. The story is about Charlie, who is mentally retarded but is reasonably functional. He has a job at a bakery as a janitor and delivery person. He was chosen for an experimental surgery to enhance his intelligence and befriends a mouse who had the same procedure done. The main theme of this story Is; Is it better to be intelligent so you see the harshness of reality in a sometimes cruel world? Or is it better to be simple so everything seems beautiful. Simply a must read.

UNBROKEN BY LAURA HILLENBRAND

This is the story of Louie Zamperini who as a child was always in trouble. His solace was running which he became proficient in and ended up on the 1936 Olympic Team. WWI broke out and he went to war, his plane was shot down, he spent 47 days afloat in a rubber raft and was captured by the Japanese and ended up in a labor camp full of injustice and terrible abuse because of his notoriety. This is a story of redemption and strength. It was simply amazing. A true survivor story.

LIFE IN A JAR BY JACK MYER

I have always been a little obsessed with the Holocaust and the stories of survival that came from that horrific time. This is one of those stories. It is about four school girls who had to do a history project somewhere in Kansas when they ran across a little blurb in one of their history books about a woman named Irene Sandler and how she had saved 2500 children from their demise from that time in history. Very little information was available about this person so they went on an information hunt. Ended up writing a play performing it, and found Irena Sandler over in Poland. Who, indeed, had saved over 2500 children. She wrote each of their names on a slip of paper, put it in a jar and buried it under an apple tree in hopes of someday reuniting them with their families after the war. The girls were able to get to Poland and meet this amazing woman. She died nine days after this, she was 98. Poland declared 2018 as “The Year of Irena Sandler”. This is an absolute must read.

Honestly? I could have a list of a hundred must reads. But for now, these are my top eight. I say “top” as I could pick any one of these books up, at any time, and read them again without hesitation. I promise you, you will feel the same.

Until next time……..be kind……always,

Polley93

Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been nominated for this award a few times, and sadly by the time I settled into my blog time I was a complete mess trying to find the posts and get it done. At times blogging can feel overwhelming, and I do apologize if I have let anyone down, truly never my intention. Thankfully @niamhrblogs and @itsmycrazybeau1 recently nominated me again and I’m “growing up” as a blogger so a little bit more organized in this vast world of blogging.

I highly encourage all of you to subscribe and follow the two fantastic bloggers who nominated me. Her posts are lively and fresh and definitely worth keeping up with! Niamhrblogs.wordpress.com

Itsmycrazybeautifullife.com

The Sunshine blogger award recognizes those who spread a little sunshine around the blogging community and are supportive of others. I can honestly admit, that I spend as much time (if not more) of my blogging time reading blogs and leaving comments all over the place as well as retweeting…….which is so important for all of us to learn and grow together.

RULES FOR THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

  • Once nominated you must like and RT the blogger who nominated you and read their post and answers.
  • Share the love! Like and retweet the post and follow their blog.
  • Then it’s time to write your own post and answer the questions you have been given.
  • Choose 11 bloggers to nominate and create 11 questions for them to answer.

Here we go! (Since there were two nominations – will mix the questions up a bit)

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Living in my Tiny House. Writing. Working sporadic assignments. Traveling.

2. If you could own any car – what would it be?

I would get another Jeep Wrangler. I’m all about my adventures!

3. Cats or Dogs and why?

Oh my goodness I would love to have either. I’m just too mobile to have a pet at the moment. But eventually I will own an English Bulldog named Buzz Lightyear.

4. Who is your best supporter?

That would be one and only sister. Hands down. She’s always had my back and is my biggest cheerleader.

5. If you could interview anyone for your blog – who would it be?

Nelson Mandella. His story is so fascinating. How he could be wrongly imprisoned for most of his life and come out so humble and still wanting to make a difference and ended up being President of his country. Simply profound.

6. If you could donate to any charity, which one would you choose?

I donate to two charities at least twice a year. Water.org who is working in clean water access to impoverished nations and Musicforrelief.org that helps those stricken by national disasters.

7. Hands for feet, or feet for hands?

Hmmmm. Is this a trick question?

8. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be.

World hunger has got to go. Inexcusable how any human being can die from starvation. No one should have to go hungry.

9. First Album you ever bought?

Jackson Five – Greatest Hits

10. What do you hope to get out of blogging?

If I have added anything positive to any of my readers, I will consider myself successful.

11. Instagram or Twitter?

No contest. Twitter hands down. Instagram feels fake. Too many unfollow games. I don’t see a lot of quality. Twitter feels like family.

My Nominees are:

@JoanSenio1

@awcblogsarah

@onemorelightLB

@Arosetintdworld

@ourcarpediem

@SetladiTumiso

@MollsCatherine

@Lifeathome4

@ThoughtswithN

@SaharasDreams

@thestoryofjs

My Questions For You To Answer:

1. Single? Married? Partner?

2. You have a round trip all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world for a week with the stipulation you go alone. Where would you go? Why?

3. Where do you picture yourself in five years? Where will you be? What will you be doing?

4. Favorite childhood memory

5. Coffee or tea? Beer or wine?

6. Describe your perfect day off

7. What is your biggest pet peeve?

8. Sunrises or sunsets?

9. Your biggest goal and purpose for blogging

10. Favorite color and why

11. The best thing you love about yourself.

And by the way, the bloggers I nominated are well worth following and subscribing to their blogs. Definitely! Don’t hesitate! Follow them now!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for participating. And again, my apology for coming late to the party!

Until next time…….be kind…….always,

Polley93

Get Organized With Me!

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world. I thank you for stopping by and spending some moments with me.

I have been asked to write a blog post about how I organize my time. We all have different lives and responsibilities, and must plan time accordingly. This post is simply how I do it for my life and hopefully you can pick up a pearl or two to add to your daily life.

I am a very busy healthcare provider seeing at least 20 patients on any given day. I usually get to work between 7 or 8 in the morning and stay until about 7:30 at night I am in the middle of writing a book and I post 3X/week on my blog about various subjects. I live alone so all the details of life are my responsibility. I have a very busy family but we are spread all over the US so that is a challenge of its own. There are some things that are very important to me personally like eating healthy, so I meal prep my meals a week at a time so I can bring breakfast, lunch and dinner with me to work. I like to exercise 5X/week, I meditate daily, I read at least an hour per day. I have to set some time aside just for me to stay reasonably sane. I like to write letters and not emails, and so somehow I have to organize my time or it would feel like a mountain that is impossible to climb.

First and foremost, I believe in WRITING THINGS DOWN. We all have thoughts, ideas, plans etc, but if they are not written down? They usually remain just that. Thoughts. Ideas. Plans.

I believe in planners. And I have used this planner for the past five years. I would be lost without it. It is a “Passion Planner” and I am simply in love with it. It comes in two sizes, dated or undated, academic calendar or the usual Jan – Dec. (and no, this is not a paid promo……it’s just what I use)

One thing I absolutely love about this planner is at the very beginning it helps you create your “passion plan”. A roadmap if you will to get you to where you want to be. You dream, let you mind go, and consider possibilities. You think this out, start breaking it down, and it gives you the timeline to get some of these things accomplished. It is because of this tool I have been able to travel abroad, get a good chunk of my first novel written, and run a reasonably successful blog. I am healthier, happier, and love having a plan to follow. I have plans to have a tiny house built as well. Without a passion plan? It would be a fleeting thought. But my Tiny House is a plan. Pretty exciting!

Monthly pages as with any planner, but this one actually has some extras that I love. A quote that is very motivating. Place to mention what the focus of this month is, a place to mention good things that have happened, personal and work lists, and a place of “infinite possibilities”……which is pretty awesome!

Weekly pages for the month that are broken down into half hour time slots. Amazing what you can get done in a mere 30 minutes if it is planned and written down. Again a motivational quote, to do lists both personal and work and “infinite possibilities” again. Just seeing that in the morning makes me think anything is possible!

So now I have my planner. I have completed my passion plan. But now? The hard part. Now this might seem time consuming at first, but believe me…..it works. I have a lot on my plate. And there are some things that are very important to me. I usually write it all down on post it notes and start to figure out how much time each task is going to take, think about my week, and start prioritizing.

I start with my month. And yes, I know we are pushing the halfway point in October, but November is set for me finishing my first draft of my novel so it would look a little boring. I write down all occasions (birthdays etc), Choose a day to grocery shop and meal prep (I prepare my meals one week at a time to free up evenings after work and eat healthier, highly recommend), my blog post days to stay on track, any trips or conferences I have to go to, and of course, the infamous work schedule. Of course things will come up, and I add them as they come.

Now here is the biggie. The big things that were on the monthly calendar I transfer over to the weekly. And I love color!

PINK –  my have-to’s (work, meal prep, laundry.)

BLUE – all things blogging and/or writing

GREEN – all things personal (exercise, meditation, letter writing, reading)

ORANGE – Self Care Time Just For Me – believe it or not, this must be PLANNED. If it is planned and written down? I look forward to it. It makes that patient day on Tuesday not seem so difficult. If I feel myself getting work out or drained? I know that time is coming and I can even nap it away if I want to!

So here you go! My typical week. I have become a master at using my “pockets of time” and this is where I can get a letter written, support some fellow bloggers, send an email or two, take a quick ten minute walk.

I do this every single week. Each night I look at the upcoming day, set the alarm accordingly, and I know what the day will hold (for the most part). It definitely works for me.

If you decide what’s important to you, what you wish to accomplish, break it down, and write it down, you will get more accomplished I promise you.

 

I am hoping that this was helpful in some way. I just know that it works for me. I don’t watch television too much except for maybe a football game when I’m working on my blog on Sunday afternoons.

Bottom line is this is what I have learned. Get in touch with what is important to you. We all have the same 24 hours. That isn’t going to change. But it is how we SPEND those 24 hours that counts. How much time are you wasting? Can you give up a few time sucking activities that are not in line with your long term goals? What is really important to you and what really isn’t? Have you really thought this out and adjusted accordingly? Time is fleeting. And when it’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t let time fly by you and wish you had started this days, weeks, months or years ago. There is no time like the present.

Until next time…….be kind……..always,

Polley93

 

London

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world. As you are probably aware if you have followed my blog, I was born in England, so she will always have a special place in my heart. I have been back several times, and each time I fall more in love with London. It has got to be one of the world’s most fascinating cities. It has everything. The people, the old, the new, the history, the castles, the pageantry, the pubs, the food, the quirkiness. It has everything. You can say I am in love with London,

As an American, being in London makes you feel like you have stepped inside of a fairy tale. From the moment you step off the plane, see Unisex toilet signs, hear the accents, and see those black taxis……well you have stepped inside of page four. You have Queens and castles. You have football teams and colored scarves. You have fish and chips and beer and pubs. You have double decker buses and people speaking English words but you have no earthly clue what they are saying. The money is cool, the food is great, the people are friendly, every corner offers a new surprise. It’s endless.

Note: All photos are my own.

HYDE PARK

One of my favorite places in London, It’s a beautiful park. Wide walkways, endless views, statues, Italian gardens, THE Peter Pan STATUE!!!

TOWER OF LONDON

Seriously? King Henry VIII, the beefeaters, the gate where Anne was transported to her prison before she lost her head. You realize its not a Netflix film or a story, it is REAL. The ghosts are everywhere. Amazing Amazing place. Truly.

QUIRKY SIDE OF LONDON

London has a unique personality. Ton of different neighborhoods that are all different in their own right. You always run into things that are just typically London. Especially the pubs.

TOWER BRIDGE

Just the coolest bridge ever. It’s great to walk across the whole thing. No photo shot of this bridge is a bad one. It is a towering example of majesty.

BRITISH FARE

No words necessary.

London at Its best

There are endless treasures in London. Ive been there several times but have barely scratched the surface of the endless city. I will have to go back. I’m not sure when, but I will return!

After writing this and hunting down photos, I am homesick. I would love to hop a plane, eat fish and chips in the rain, sit on a park bench in Hyde Park all day with a notebook and pen and write, find a pastry or two with a hot cuppa, find fruit pastels and eat them until I’m ill, and those traditional English breakfasts? YESSSSSSS.

I need to start researching possibilities and start putting more money in that jar!!

Until next time……..be kind……..always,

Polley93

Random Acts of Kindness – Reaching Out to the Homeless

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world. Thank you for spending your moments here with me.

The homeless. A big subject. And I feel there is a definite stigma to this whole thing. Similar to the stigma that follows Mental Illness. The stigma usually lives within the ignorant. The ones who sit and judge things that they haven’t taken the time to get beyond the lack of knowledge about. Without knowledge comes lack of empathy. Without empathy follows judgement. I don’t know a single person who chooses, or enjoys being mentally ill. It is a daily struggle, feeling alone, no answers to match the thousands of daily doubts and fears that come with.

Being homeless is no different. Who would want to live homeless? Sleeping on street corners and park benches. Being looked down upon, and being so hungry you hold up a cardboard sign on a street corner. I have heard statements such as:

They should work like the rest of us.

I won’t give them money, they will just use it on drugs.

They are just lazy.

People walk by, judging, elevating themselves as “better”. Better than what? Most of us are a paycheck or two or three away from being homeless ourselves. Add mental illness to the equation and you have many unmedicated, unsupported, poor, hungry, people literally living on the street. On the STREET. No where to shower, use a restroom, just rest their bodies. Rest their souls.

Nobody should live like that.

Now, none of us can save the world.. Fix the homeless catastrophe. Many believe if they can’t do something big, worthy, notable, well then……they just do nothing. I have always believed it takes many to do a little, as opposed to a few doing it all.

My mantra: Do what you can. With what you have. Where you are. So I have adopted this ideology into my daily life. No matter what town I’m in, what I’m doing, not being dependent on how much extra money I may or may not have. I can always do SOMETHING.

So here’s what I have started to do. My little contribution. May not make a difference to the masses But I know it has made a difference to the few. I collect things on sale and save it in a box. I get quart sized ziplock bags and fill them with some randomness, a few necessities, and a love note. Letting them know that someone cares. With a positive quote or whatever strikes me at the time.

Here’s an example of things I put in my bags I hand out to strangers. And I have to admit, some have become friends. I have learned more from the homeless people I have hung out with than I could ever impart. It has been a life habit I am thankful I have adopted. It’s just my little contribution.

I have bought a loaf of bread, sandwich meat and cheese, turned it into sandwiches, fruit and small bags of chips and hung out at a homeless park. The pureness of heart and the absolute gratitude by sharing simple sandwiches is overwhelming. To hear the stories, of how they got to where they are, their hopes and dreams are not too different than mine. To be accepted, loved, and to feel safe. And I have never done this where I wasn’t offered to share what little they had. One time I got a rock. A rock! But it was a “lucky rock” that a man had carried in his pocket for over a year. I still have it. Precious to me.

I lived up in Ukiah California, which is about an hour and a half north of San Francisco in a hotel. As I walked to my car, I noticed a man with a bike, rummaging through the trash. Heartbreaking. I went to a restaurant across the road and bought two breakfasts to go and two coffees. I went back to the parking lot, and he was still at it. I walked over to him and said hello. He immediately looked at me, with shame, and guilt hidden behind his eyes. I introduced myself and shook his hand. I asked him what he was looking for. He just said two words. “I’m hungry”. I invited him to come sit on this small wall with me that was in this parking lot. I offered him breakfast and we sat there for over an hour. We ate, we shared stories, we laughed, we cried as well.

I’m nothing special. I struggle just like we all do. I have a busy job, and I’m alone most of the time. But I do what I can. With what I have. Where I am. And I’m telling you, it makes a difference. He probably gave me more than I gave to him that day.
His name was Elias. And he is my friend.

I am hoping that if your eyes have reached this far, that you can collect a pearl to take away with you. Perhaps something to think about.

Until next time……..be kind……always,

Polley93

Writing A Book

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world. Thank you so very much for stopping by and spending your moments here.

Writing a book. As always, there is a story behind this. A “method to my madness” so to speak. I have always loved to write. I have always loved to read. I educated myself along with my children, and thought I would write a book about what it was like to be a Healthcare Provider in a very broken healthcare system. I had visions of research and graphs and all kinds of amazing data. I thought I couldn’t do it from simply an Arizona perspective so I started traveling out there to different locations to see how Healthcare was in different areas of the country. It was the same. Broken. So now I was ready to write a book.

I invested in a new laptop and got all organized and started writing. Lo and behold what came out of my fingertips was not educated and PhD’ish and graphs and data. It was about a little boy who woke up in a different land. I kid you not.

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Whaaaaattt???? Where the hell did this come from? I honestly have no idea. None.

This has been a work in progress. I have picked it up and put it down more times than I can count. Every time I pick it up and read it, I can’t believe I wrote it. I get inspired, write a few more chapters and repeat. I still don’t have any idea how this story will end or what will happen, I truly don’t. I just know that there are people, personalities, beliefs, quotes, places etc from my life that is woven, unintentionally, into every page, I find that pretty amazing.

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I will be participating again in NaNoWriMo this year. I started this book during that back in 2014 (thats when I started this blog, although it was in a coma for almost three years, just gave the blog CPR and am committed now) I am considering finishing my first draft during November. Considering.

And so here you go! My preface and the beginning of my book. About Eli and his adventures. It has a little bit of everything in it. It literally has become may fifth child. Please leave a comment with criticism if you would. For us novice writers, that is the  best gift in the world. Sometimes we are way too close and cannot see the forest for the trees.

264 MOONS – PREFACE

Eli laid on the soft mat he called his safe place for all of the circles of life he had memory of. His mat was flush with the floor of the awkward structure he called his home. It was only he and his mother residing there. One single thought of his mother filled his heart to the brim with that overflowing feeling of warmth. The feeling he could only describe as safe, comfort and love. Eli had lived nine circles. He was facing a small window to the side of his mat looking at the moon and letting his thoughts float without direction or purpose. It was the 264th moon. Usually this was a good thing. Looking at the moon at the end of every day was something special he and is mother would share every night together. They had gazed upon hundreds and hundreds of them together as they shared their thoughts and dreams in the quiet. The orange moon did not happen often, but when it did, Eli thought you could almost reach out and touch it. The orange moon was so full, round and big that it seemed to kiss the earth and linger there. Eli loved those nights.  It was on those nights something special happened. the light and color of that orange moon skimmed over the hills and the huts and made everything glow and almost sparkle. The moon could keep you company on those nights where sleep stayed distant and thoughts ran wild. Eli learned to depend on the moon. For some unexplained reason, he would feel comforted just looking up in the dark and seeing it hanging there. Different shapes at times, but faithful.

Eli loved the moon. but not this one. Not the 264th moon during the ninth circle of his life. Eli thought if he shut his eyes tightly enough perhaps he could drown out the light of that dreaded moon. Why did it have to be this way? And why him? He wasn’t special. Just a boy with a mother who had lived in this land for all of the circles of his life. Who created this life changing rule that on the 264th moon, a boy with only nine circles of life behind him, could possibly wake up in a new land, knowing nothing about it, and knowing not a soul? There were only three other lands that were spoken of and they all sounded frightening. Were there other boys that were in their ninth circle of life laying on their mats having similar thoughts? Are they afraid? Will they miss their mothers as much as he would miss his mother every single day and with every moon he gazed upon at night? Eli had never lived even one moon of one circle without his mother. As his eyes became heavier, and the more he fought, the closer he got to drifting off to sleep. Then the light of that 264th moon would creep in through his window and he would slowly open his eyes; and shudder.

Like I said…..work in progress.

I don’t know if I will self publish. I don’t have any idea about book covers, marketing, or next step in this process. I think I basically need to get this first draft completed (November 30, 2018 – Thanks NaNo!) Edit it. And get some beta readers to cut it up, slice and dice it. Then I will figure the rest out!

Hope you enjoyed a teaser of my first novel. I would so much appreciate a comment from you some criticism, anything to help me move forward with this literary journey, where I literally am flying by the seat of my pants!

Until next time……..be kind……..always,

Polley93

Minimalism – What is it?

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world. As always, I thank you for stopping by and spending a few of your moments here with me. I have always maintained that the most precious thing we have, is our moments. Once they are spent, they are gone. So I appreciate you. And I mean that.

Remember always……you are enough. You always have been, you always will be.

I was out visiting my son a couple of years ago, in Denver, and he suggested a Netflix show. Honestly? It didn’t sound too interesting to me, but I trust my son and went with it. Minimalism. What the heck was minimalism and what was I about to spend my next who knows how many moments on? He told me “think you’re really gonna like this one mom”. Trust took over. Cue up the show. Get comfy. Press play.

The opinions in this blog are simply my own. Just how I choose to live my life. No more and no less. Keep an open mind!

Little did I realize my life was about to change.

This documentary touched on so many things I believe in. Primarily consumerism. The rat race. The hectic race to get to nowhere. The thought that when we get that house we can be happy. When we get that raise then all will be well. When I can afford that new car life will be better. Keeping up with the insanity of fashion that is programmed through advertising and social media to change literally every seven days. So good luck keeping up with that. We need to afford better food, a nicer garden, a club membership, new furniture, the latest makeup break through, that new work out program, that vacation way over THERE. Bigger and better. Keep up! Keep up! Don’t be left behind! Keep the hell UP!

Exhausting. And what is it all for? You work hard, get the house, the car, the membership, the wardrobe, wearing the latest makeup, going on the vacation that you are too exhausted to enjoy, freak out at the balance on your credit card, and repeat. By this time, the newer versions of your car are advertised, the fashion has changed and your closet is outdated, the makeup is taking up enormous room in your bathroom, and the race……..the race continues. You see? It’s created that way. To be an ongoing race. So that we are made to believe we need more. We deserve more. So we spend more. Get an extra credit card, I mean, we deserve it right?

Wrong…….so wrong.

img_1716Minimalism. A new concept for me. Living with less. What does that mean? I watched the Netflix documentary at least a dozen times. And it resonated with me in a big way. Why do we need so much “stuff”? Why is it that when I go into a store I come out with ten more things than I went in there for? Shrinking my life down sounded really good to me.

I had already given up my rented home, stored my belongings in a 10×10′ storage unit, gave my car to my son, took a job traveling to different locations (mostly outlying as I like to treat the poor and homeless), they put me up with somewhere safe to live, and a rental car to commute back and forth to work. So I felt after learning more about minimalism, I had a good start without  even realizing that was what I was doing. The next big thing I did was get rid of every single recurrent payment, membership, and bill I possibly could. I cancelled my makeup monthly deliveries (most of it I was giving away or using once and it found its home under the bathroom counter) cancelled Netflix, gym membership, several other monthly memberships I had myself convinced I “deserved”. Everything. I am proud to say the only bills I have now is a cell phone bill, my storage bill, and the IRS (thats another blog, don’t get me started on how corrupt the American IRS is……..)

So? It began. I started really thinking about what I NEEDED. Different concept. I started with the concept of going through almost everything, every little thing, and ask myself “will I use this in the next 30 days?” If the answer was honestly “No” I put it in a box. What was left I asked “will I use this in the next 90 days?” Again, if the answer was “No” I put it in the box. Everything that was boxed was either sold, given away to charity or pitched out. And I mean I went through everything. My clothes, makeup, books, (bought a Kindle and store all my books on it) personal items, everything down to my sock drawer. Do I really need a full drawer of socks? Nope. I kept my four favorite pair, the rest went.

After that I did “30 in 30”. On the first, I got rid of one thing. Perhaps a pencil or a pen. On day two I got rid of two things. And so on. It got pretty difficult after the 20th. But I finished the month.

The next thing I did was pack up like I was moving. By this time, I’m traveling and living in each location for 3-6 months. I packed like I was moving. I didn’t realize how much crap I brought with me! I packed everything. And I took out what I needed. After 30 days if I didn’t wear it, use it, or need it. It got donated. I have to be honest and say that parting with some items was difficult. But not impossible.

Now what is the purpose in this. I will tell you. I learned that there is an ocean of difference between “want” and “need”. I don’t need eight coffee cups. I don’t need twelve pair of jeans. I don’t need fourteen boxes of stationary and forty pens. My life has been recreated to have what I need. And every item I have I love. Everything. Down to my coffee cup. My shoes. Every outfit. My limited make up collection that I actually USE. For me? I feel free.

I buy what I need at the store. I use what I have. I don’t have “fluff”. And so what has this done for me?

No debt.

Lots of money at the end of the month instead of too much month at the end of the money.

Ability to help my kids, with life, with extras, with whatever.

I can travel. To those far away places, enjoy every moment. As Im not spending time figuring out budgets and payments and cleaning dishes and putting stuff away etc etc. I am going to be able to take my daughter to Greece for two weeks in December. Who would have thoughts a single mom could travel like that?

I have more time for me. That down time. That Me time. It’s always there. Because I’m not spending my time with clutter. Physical clutter. Emotional clutter. It has shrunk down to a crazy busy chaotic existence to a place of peace where I have time to choose. To invest. To spend the way my heart desires to.

I have learned that living with less is more. I realize this isn’t for everyone. But I’m so thankful for that day when my son mentioned some random documentary that I watched. And watched it again. It truly changed my life.

Im not a perfect Minimalist. There is no recipe or right or wrong way. It is simply a different way to think. To live. To use. And to step away a little bit from consumerism and its hold on most of us.  It definitely is a process. But my journey is well on its way. I am planning on getting a Tiny House built. As I won’t need more than that and it will be perfect for my simple life, All I need is a place to write! When I travel I don’t buy a ton of trinkets but one postcard from every city I travel to. It will serve as great wallpaper for one of my walls in my tiny home. Call it a goal.

Highly recommend watching this. Netflix. They have books out as well. Worth the read for certain.

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No, I’m not crazy. Well……not that crazy! I have adopted a different way to live, and it is a beautiful thing. I hope you have been able to grab a pearl somewhere within this blog to save for yourself.

Until the next time……..be kind……always,

Polley93

Decided to give up my home and travel to unknown destinations providing healthcare to the underserved. Also an Indie Author and Amateur Photographer. Take my hand and travel along with me, let's learn from each other and somehow make this world a little better. All photographs on this website are my own. Sincerely, Cathy aka Polley93

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