Tag Archives: random

Moments – Living with Intention

Greetings and welcome to my little blog full of randomness. I call it my “little corner of the world” as that is what sometimes I think of it as. My collection of thoughts, habits, trips, photos, beliefs etc. So, welcome!

I have worked hard at adopting. different lifestyle the past few years. Life changes and doesn’t turn out the way you had thought it would at times. So it calls for readjustments and sometimes a change of direction. As most of you know who have followed me at all, I gave up my rented home, sold most of my belongings, gave my car to my middle son, and chose to work on a travel basis, usually in hotels in random areas throughout the US. It has worked for me well for the most part.

Moments. It truly is all we have. And when you really look at it, all we have is the moment we are in. You don’t have ten minutes ago, and you don’t have ten minutes from now. You just have now. The moment that you are in. I have thought about this, I have written about this, I have taught this and I have lectured on this. How to train yourself into giving 100% of who you are to this moment you are in. At this moment, I cannot do anything for my kids, I can’t do anything about the patients at work. The only thing I am doing is writing this blog post. So I can assure you, you are getting 100% of my current moments. This is “Living With Intention”, and once it is mastered, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish, how much more quality the outcomes are, how much better the ones around you feel loved, and how much better you sleep, rest, and rejuvenate.

The moments we all collect along our way we can “tuck away in our back pocket and keep forever”, they become precious, they become a part of who we are.

But keep in mind, moments are like currency. They are like money. And once they are spent, they are spent. Unlike money, you cannot earn more. You can’t barter for more, trade for more, or ask for more. You don’t get awarded more just because you are a good person. Once they are spent. They are spent. Period.

What are you spending your moments on?

I hope I have offered you something to consider. Something to think about. If I have in some small way? Then the purpose of this post is complete.

Until next time………be kind……….always,

Polley93

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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

My Undying Fascination with Trees

Greetings! And thank you for spending some of your moments here with me in my little corner of the world. Seriously, thank you!

My fascination with trees. Not sure where it started, but I do remember being on Bourne Park, in Ipswich Suffolk, and there was this one tree. I remember even as a little girl, I would have to touch it. Once on the way in, once on the way out. I have always been attracted to trees. They are majestic, living creatures. I have always wondered the stories they save. Everything about trees is fascinating to me.

So this is my blog post on the random subject of trees. I always photograph them (along with other random subjects such as keyholes, locks, doors, bridges and gates…….) All photos on this blog are mine. Some I can’t even remember where I took them but as memories creep in, I will post what I can recall. Each grouping of photos is preceded by a quote, another one of my random collections.

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” (Warren Buffett)

Photo on left is my dad, on one of his and mums summer adventures. The one on rat right is my son Joe, on his hammock somewhere near Flagstaff Az.

“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. “(Robert H. Schuller)

This is one of my favorite photos, I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. It was in Yellowstone Park, one of the seasons first snows.

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“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves not the breeze of a morning the flutters the leaves, but is own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots
(Jiddu Krishnamurti)

All these were taken at Sequoia National Park in Western California. I went twice in six months as I found it surreal.

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.”  (Albert Einstein)

(Left to right) Hwy 20 from Ukiah to The Coast in Northern California, next is same, sidewalk near Budapest, Hungary. The bottom two is some random drive on the California Coast.

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” (Chad Sugg)

Left is in Charleston, SC. The right is on the Cali/Oregon coastal walk.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now, “(Chinese Proverb)

Multnomah Falls, Oregon. Some forest I found. Sequoia, Sequoia and this was the tree I was talking about (bottom right) is in Bourne Park, in Ipswich

Random post I realize. Who writes an entire blog post about trees? I guess I do. Hope you got a smile or some small pearl you can take with you on your journey.

Until next time…….be kind…….always,

Polley93

The South – Birthdays – Breakdowns – Beauty – Food and a Broken Arm

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world. As always, I thank you for stopping by and sharing some time with me, it is truly appreciated. 

The South. I have never but driven through and it is one area of the US I would love to fully explore. My sister did her “Time Share Magic” as we have been trying to spend our birthday week together every year. Life gets hectic and we have purposed to spend this week together no matter what. I told her I didn’t care where we ended up, I can literally go anywhere for the first time and make it an adventure. She found an availability at Hilton Head, South Carolina and we decided to go to check out the Island, Charleston and Savannah Georgia. Mum *the little British gnome* was invited as well, so there you go. Girls trip!

Hilton Head

Our place was lovely, nice and big and water right outside the window. The island was easy to get around, very pretty and lo and behold, a couple we met last year on our Budapest trip lived there! So our stay included a quilting bizarre and a home cooked shrimp boil….southern style. We went to the water (pretty nippy that day but lovely!

We were there for a week, and I am not kidding when I say we had seafood literally every single day, combined with jambalaya. (Did I spell that right?) The food there was to die for and we could not get enough of it. Tried it all, then tried some more.

Exploring the Cities

I found the cities, especially the architecture to be fascinating. There was old mixed with new. The preservation was really exceptional. We took a trolley tour through Charleston and loved every minute of it.

Walking Through History – and a Major American Scar

This next part was very difficult for me. I am an empath, and for those of you who are unfamiliar with that, I will be posting about that soon along with the many challenges that come with. I tend to be drawn to historical sites, and walking in the footsteps of those who walked before me sometimes can be very emotional. Sometimes disturbing. Sometimes both. This one was both.

We visited a plantation. Now the antebellum south is extraordinary. It is truly “the south”. It is beautiful with trees that are etched with time and memory. The history of this place was in the breeze that would catch me off guard and stop me dead in my tracks. I broke out in silent tears, many times, not understanding why. I can only imagine that I stood in the same place as a child back in the day, or the same area that something inexcusable took place. I was surrounded by breathtaking beauty. It was everywhere. But my heart felt like a piece of lead in my chest. And I had a huge lump in my throat. I spent a good deal of time shaking. I got nauseated. Very. It was something out of my control. I stood in a few places where the feeling was so overwhelming, that I couldn’t move. I was thankful that I was separated from mum and sis. I’m not sure they would understand. This happens to me a lot.

The beauty in the place was obvious. You could smell the “old money” in this place. The mansion, was exactly that; a mansion. The entry road getting to the mansion was very long, and tall trees stood proudly, or perhaps sadly, I’m not sure which. I am sure those trees have stories to tell. They lined both sides of this road. I can only imagine the thousands of feet that walked on this road. The horses, the armies, the fancy carriages. The stuff you see in those movies. But this wasn’t a film set. This was real. Real shit happened here. A lot of it.

img_1148And the mansion stood proudly, perhaps arrogantly,  at the end of this long and very dramatic entry road. The photos don’t do it justice. It was large, ornate, preserved well, but definitely smelled of old southern money.

The grounds were gorgeous. The miles of green. The interesting footprints of history sprinkled throughout the endless walkways and stops along this wonderful property.

But with every positive, there is an equalizing negative. There is a forward and a backward. There is a winter to every summer. A north for every south. An ounce of love for every ounce of hate. And what I experienced next, truly shook me to the core. I get emotional again, trying to create this post and trying to do the next piece of this story justice. I fear that no matter how pure my intentions are, no matter what words I choose, it just won’t be enough.

It is one thing to read about slavery. We read books. We read blogs. We see marches. We see injustices. We listen and we learn, I hope anyway, that we learn. I have read many novels about that time. About this place. Being a white woman, it is impossible for me to understand. Impossible. I remember standing in the crowd eager to walk through this mansion. The original furnishings were inside. It defied reality. And reason. And I remember feeling physically ill over it, knowing what was outside just a few hundred yards away. It was hot and I felt ill. It felt smothering. Beautiful, yes. But I felt like I was being suffocated. Get me some air!!! I lasted one room, didn’t even get upstairs and had to get out. I just couldn’t breathe. My mind was filled with visions of fancy balls, and gorgeous dresses with hoops and food and drink for days. But my mind kept being pulled to the area a few hundred yards away.

I knew I had to go. I knew I had to see. I knew I had to walk through those doorways and FEEL the anguish and fear. The confusion and pain. But also the incredible sense of unity, of family, and of faith. All in the slave quarters.

The Slave Quarters

There is no way with my mere and lame verbiage, that I can do this experience the justice it deserves. I can only describe what I saw. What I felt. And how it affected me. That is all I can do.

The slave quarters were heart wrenching. Simple. Preserved. Disturbing. But real. I took my time. I walked up makeshift steps and crooked wooden doorways. I stood in the middle of one roomed “homes”. My eyes traveled slowly across the floors. Over the walls. I sat in the chairs. I looked at every little detail. Every one. And I walked through every single one. My fingers ran across the bricks. I felt the ghosts. They lingered in the air. Hung there like the heavy feeling you have in your head after a good cry.

I spent a lot of time here. Alone. I was separated from mum and sister. I cannot fully describe the cold and almost painful chill that repeatedly crawled up my spine. Simple is an understatement. It was bare minimal survival. I sat on one of the beds for what seemed like forever. I pictured too many people in this small cramped space. I imagined being thankful for something hot to eat, made in a big iron pot on an open fireplace. I imagined too many bodies cuddled on this rock hard bed I sat on covered by a blanket of some kind. I thought of winters where the bitter cold must have traveled through the ill-fitting wooden door. I thought of how safe this oddly comforting room probably felt to those that lived here. Perhaps died here. Bore babies here. Raised children here. It was safe in here. But not outside that door.

And a few hundred yards away. The endless food, and drink, and fancy ballroom dresses with hoops.

Warm tears, and lots of them, rolled down these cheeks of mine. I am not sure why I felt pangs of guilt. I have never been one to see color. I have always looked at heart. And character. So, this whole experience clashed with that. Just clashed. Like a ten car  pile up on the freeway.

I will not ever forget that day. Ever.

The Random South

Plenty of “random” in the south……with accents……..

Honesty and a Total Breakdown

I am not one to hide behind a curtain, and not every trip is rainbows and unicorns. It was my birthday and I just simply broke. Broke. Into a million pieces. I believe it was because of a few major life events over the past year and I just broke. Spent two days in bed. Felt hopeless. Cried two oceans worth. Didn’t eat. I worried my sister and mum so very much and for that I am very sorry. I got through it. Worked hard when I got home, and am happy to say I’m good. I did salvage the rest of the week. I guess life happens. Life happened.

And a Broken Arm.

I wish I had a great story for you. But I didn’t jump in front of the car to save the child. I didn’t save a kitten from a tree. And I didn’t slip on some amazing hike.

img_1229-1I tripped on a carpet. Yeah……that happened.

All in all, it was a great trip. Loved it for the most part. Learned a lot. Brought a few memories I will tuck away in my back pocket and keep forever. Our girls trip. We learned a lot about each other, some good, some bad, but all real. The bottom line here is family. You either are born with a good one, or you create your own, but it’s family.

FAMILY

And after just one week. The food, the quilting bizarre (me? at a quilting bizarre? Who would have thought that?) the coast, trolleys, a broken arm and a major emotional collapse, feeling ill at being white in a southern mansion, and spending quality time with the ghosts of my brothers and sisters of the past, we came home to this.

img_1242-1Daughter, dad, brother, brother-in-law, nephew, family friend, from 3 different cities, and we landed after 9pm, with signs and flowers and hugs all around.

Now THAT is what I call blessed!

Hope you enjoyed my post on the South. I didn’t expect it to be more than a week without work in a nice place, but came away a better person. And for that? I am truly thankful.

Until next time……..be kind………always,

Polley93

Top 10 Binge Worthy Shows

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world. Here in my blog, you won’t find perfection here. What you WILL find however…..is real. Just me, my thoughts, opinions and experiences. Everything in this blog is my own, and if it’s not? I give credit where credit is due. At the end of the day…….I just do me.

With the advance of media and the plethora of streaming, downloading, and subscription services, watching shows that last seasons has completely changed. One no longer has to wait for your beloved show, to see what happens next and then wait an entire week to solve the cliff hanger you have been left with. We all have our “go to’s” for one reason or another and I definitely have mine. Life gets hectic at times, and I have never been the person who can do something every single Tuesday at seven o’clock. It is that afternoon I take for myself where I can binge to my hearts delight.

So…..here you go. My all time top ten binge watchable TV shows. Choose any one of the following list, and you can bet I have watched them through, from beginning to end, more than once.

 

#10 LUTHER

img_1697(2010) 16 Episodes (thus far)

A British cop show that my sister asked me to watch after several reminders! I’m so glad she won this battle! Idris Elba plays an emotionally impulsive detective that is tormented by a past and choices he has made which result in a cascade of consequences. You immediately fall in love with this detective as he is as human as can be and adds surprises around every corner. This is one cop show that you will never figure out, which makes it very addictive to watch.

#9 DOWNTON ABBEY

img_1689(2011)  Six Seasons

A British drama series featuring the Aristocratic Crawley family and their devoted domestic servants This is truly addicting as the character development is done so well  The viewer almost takes for granted that the rich would be the bad guys and the poor would be the good guys. But it truly comes down to character, as there is a mix on both sides. You come away feeling very attached and this alone keeps you watching. True historical events of the time are interwoven into the story

#8 THE SINNER

img_1700(2017) Six Episodes

This one was the dark horse of my ten. I wasn’t expecting this to be so intriguing but this was one time I truly set an alarm so I wouldn’t miss an episode, as there were only six. The beginning sequence sets the tone for an unbelievable and thought-provoking series. An obviously happy couple, with a young child, on a beach blanket on the shore. The woman, played by Jessica Bell, is carving up a piece of fruit, when al of a sudden she leaps up from the blanket, holding the knife, and attacks an unidentified man on a blanket about 20 feet ahead of them. She killed him. Over and out. Then the story begins There is no doubt who did it. She absolutely did. But the story here is WHY she did it. Intriguing and a very different take on a show such as this.

#7 SHARP OBJECTS

img_1696(2018) Eight Episodes

This was just on, and I literally just watched an all day marathon that was repeated on HBO. Wow. This is a total of eight episodes. Amy Adams plays a journalist who is asked by her editor to go back to her home town of Wind Gap Missouri to cover a story of a missing girl. There was a murder of a young girl four years prior and the question was were they connected. She obviously has some dysfunction and an extremely dysfunctional family. Without a spoiler alert, this covers so many important subjects, Mental Health, cutting, psych wards, healing, friendship, manipulation and deceit, the list goes on. You must find this and watch it. It has a lot to say. under a very dark story.

#6 BREAKING BAD

img_1699(2001-2013) Five Seasons

Walter White is a high school teacher, married with a disabled son and a baby on the way when he receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer. It is when Walter decides the he has to make as much money as he can to take care of his family before he gets to sick to work and eventually dies. He is a science teacher and hooks up with Jesse Pinkman who is portrayed somewhat as a loser. They decide to cook and sell Meth. This is a journey through right and wrong. The line between rational and irrational. Legal vs Illegal. Conscience and the lack thereof. It takes you on a journey justifying something that is socially unacceptable, but the writers are so good that you feel like you are on the side of the wrong doers. This is definitely worth the journey. Again, many underlying subjects that cause you to think.

#5 24

img_1695(2001-2010) Nine Seasons

Ahhhhh. Jack Bauer. Love him or hate him, Keifer Sutherland was the man in this long running show. This was a political show, a lot of action Jackson kind of stuff, sprinkled with relationships, good guys and bad guys. This show was truly different, as the entire show was in real-time, and each show covered one hour. Different story lines but all falling within the same hour. Was a very interesting way to watch a show. I found watching it when it was on weekly was very frustrating. But fast forward some years later? When I could binge watch it? You bet! I most certainly did.

#4 THE TUDORS

img_1688(2002) Four Seasons

This was the first show I have ever binge watched and I watched it with my mum (who I affectionately call my “little British gnome”…….we quickly became obsessed!) The story of King Henry VII who took the throne of England when he as an 18-year-old wild child. The four seasons cover his entire life, all of his wives, a few wars, and a wonderful period piece complete with the language, costumes and castles. I truly loved this and then there’s Jonathon Rhys Myers……..yeah……that.

#3 – LOST

img_1694(2004) Six Seasons

This series was in a word, brilliant. The premise of the story was a plane crash occurring on an island and the survivors.  Each of them has a past of mistakes or unresolved issues. There is so much hidden in this story it is unbelievable. There are bible references, Mythology, Magic to a mild degree, and so m any questions that linger just below the surface. To try to explain this is absolutely impossible. There have literally been books written about this and what it all. means. Life, death, afterlife, and do we really die at all? Very highly recommend.

#2 – DEREK

img_1687(2012) Three Seasons

Ricky Gervais. Love him or hate him, you can’t argue with his creative genius. He created this series from experiences and memories from his own childhood  The story is about Derek Noakes, an extremely simple man who works and stays in a nursing home. The staff is small and very connected. Derek loves animals, is nothing but kind all of the time, and his simple ways make very big statements. He thinks or speaks ill of no one, and he literally lives Kindness. This one truly touched my heart, have watched it several times, and highly recommend for any and all ages.

#1 – SONS OF ANARCHY

img_1692

Number one with a bullet! This is not something for the faint of heart. It can be violent, has sex scenes and definite language. Basically it covers the lives and lifestyle of a Motorcycle Gang in Northern California. The character development is done so well, and you are drawn in so deep to these characters, that you are always on their side, even though when you step away to think about it, they are doing some pretty bad stuff. The hero of the show is Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam, and the main characters are the love of his life, Tara (a Doctor and a love story about two being from opposite side of the tracks) his mother Gemma (don’t mess with Gemma……) and the rest of the gang that you get to know along the way.  Jax struggles with the good vs evil. Which one was he? The husband and father trying to do good, or the man embedded in the illegal activities, guns and bodies along the way. It takes seven seasons to answer that question. I won’t give any more away, some of it was difficult to watch, but in the end, it was truly the BEST binge watchable show I have ever seen, And if truth be told, I have watched it through, three times. yes, all seven seasons.

Do you agree? Disagree? What would be on your top ten? Leave your list in the comments!

Until next time…….be kind…….always,

Polley93

Feeling a Change in the Wind

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world.

Blog direction. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I have seriously struggled with this. I started this blog back in 2014. It was truly hit and miss. I knew I loved photography, travel, impromptu road trips and writing. So that is where I started. It was mainly for my family and friends, had a few that read it, and I wasn’t consistent at all.

Fast forward a couple years.

I started my first book, again a little hit and miss. Much going on with my family and career and the blog wasn’t a priority. I did become more active on Twitter and found many Indie authors and I kind of “went to school” as I had no earthly clue what I was doing writing a book! I just knew I loved writing.

Fast forward again.

Now I am active on Twitter daily and committed to that end. I have also committed to my blog, as I love writing more than just about anything. I have re-energiazed my book and am focused on that again. I feel I have “grown up” so to speak and am ready to commit and see it to its completion. I’m thinking first draft should be sometime early next year, It really has become a labor of love, and somewhat of another child of mine.

As for my blog, I’ve heard about choosing a niche. Making it an income. I just know I love to write. I have thought long and hard about a niche. And up to this point, I cannot do that. I love writing, I am writing a book, I am passionate about Mental Health both for professional and personal reasons, I will always love travel, road trips, and my amateur photography, I am a busy healthcare provider with many opinions, and have an opinion, thought, or experience on just about everything.

So I suppose?

My “niche” is just doing me.

So my blog won’t be focused in one area. I had considered making a certain day a certain topic, but trashed that idea as I felt pressure and restraint. I have committed to blogging three times per week (if it doesn’t kill me) and the subjects will be what they are. I am also very passionate about supporting and promoting my fellow bloggers in this wonderful blogging world.

I have always believed that we all must be true to ourselves. And so I have decided my blog will be exactly that.

Until next time……..be kind………always,

Polley93

Why I Love Arizona

Greetings! And welcome to my little corner of the world. I have been asked over the years (by people of course who have never been here) why on EARTH would you love Arizona? Its “just” a desert. I was born and raised in England, I  have lived in New Mexico, Texas, California, North Dakota, Connecticut and have visited and experienced every state in this Union except for a dozen. So? Here are the top reasons why I absolutely love this beautiful state of Arizona and keep finding myself coming back here.

The World’s Greatest Wonder

I have heard some call this “just a big gaping hole in the ground. Well, if you consider a color filled, mile deep, 277 miles long, carved over millions of years by a single stream of River “just a hole”…..

Then you obviously haven’t been here. It takes your breath away.

The Majestic Desert

The desert is a unique environment. It appears rugged at times, but at the same time, very welcoming and beautiful. I think the one main vibe I get from Arizona is the feeling of strength. Of survival. It amazes me how gorgeous the views are and how much can grow here considering…….well…….it is a desert.

Sedona, Arizona – A Living Postcard

This place is…in a word….magical. Everything about it. To the quirky coffee shops to the endless hikes to the jeep excursions to the postcard views. This place really should be on your bucket list. (photo cred to bottom right picture to my son Joe)

The Saguaro Cactus

Arizona is the only place in the WORLD that these proud creatures stand, keeping watch over the land. They can grow to over 40 feet tall and live to over 150 years. It takes at least 75 years to grow one arm. It is illegal to harm these in any way, and they are home to several desert dwellers.

IMG_0427

You Just Can’t Beat Arizona Skies

I think this may be my second most favorite thing about Arizona – the sky. Talk about blue! With sunny days over 325 days out of the year, you can just look up and “Ahhhh”. The Monsoon season (rainy season, in the summer) turns the skies all kinds of purple and the lightening storms are something to behold.

It’s Got A Quirky Side

From Native American historical dwellings, to haunted hospitals, to old western preserved towns, to towns each with its own unique style, personality and flavor. There is something for everyone in this state. It is not only desert……you have forests, mountains and even snow in the north. This is the only state in the union that has every type of land and landscape short of a coastline,

Endless Adventures

If you love weekend road trips, or a grab your sandwich, your keys and go kind of personality (like me) then this is your place. There are so many things to explore. Slot Canyons, the Petrified Forest (yes a forest made of stone), three separate and definitely distinct main cities, professional or college sports of any kind, rivers to tube down, lakes to boat in, mountains to scale, A Grand Canyon to stop and take in, and many places to “find”. Arizona is………endless.

The Best Part of Arizona? FAMILY

The #1 best thing about this state is my family. My brother and parents are here in Tucson, my sister is in the Phoenix area as is my daughter, and the rest of us keep being pulled back here for one reason or another. No matter where I go, or where I end up working for a few months, one thing is for certain…..

I will always end up back here in Arizona!

Thank you so much for visiting today. My blog site will be changing in the next week or so. And here are the. changes:

Sundays will be like this, random trips, adventures and stories. Wednesdays will be lifestyle topics. and I will be starting coverage of Mental Health Issues on Fridays including a 12 week expose with guest bloggers and guests sharing their stories, experiences, and insight. I am hoping to do my part to end some of this stigma and open dialogue. If you are interested in taking part, please feel free to email me at any of the folowing:

Lifeinsuitcase2014@gmail.com or Twitter: @Polley93

Until next time…….be kind…….always,

Polley93