This photo came across my FB memories feed today. It was from 6 years ago, almost a full year before the world changed for me forever.
The truth in this simple statement occurred to me though this beautiful SC spring morning. YOU are in charge of YOUR own happiness. Not your husband, wife, significant other, your kids, your friends, or even the lack thereof. YOU and only you. So. Get out there and do something today that makes YOU happy (as long as its not illegal that is! 😉😘)
You’re welcome 😉
Where to start? Since I was 10 you were my step-father, but you were way more than that, and frankly, I can't imagine what my life would have been like if you had not been a part of it.
Sure, in the beginning it was hard, what are the chances of the preacher/headmaster marrying the organist/music teacher... in 1976, it sure was scandalous!!! But all scandal aside, after the first couple of rocky years and after leaving Savannah it was all good. You introduced me and my sister to horses, and my love of them has never waivered, and carried on to the girls as well. You took care of us as if we were your own. We didn't see our real father very often, and even when we did, he wasn't much of a role model. He was fun, you were the role model, the person we looked up to.
Anyhow fast forward many years, and I'll never forget the summer we moved to Woodbury, GA from Hilton Head Island. I was devastated... I thought you had ruined my life, when if fact, you saved it. In HHI, a lot of us were starting to go down some wrong paths...but in Woodbury the armpit of GA, there wasnt a wrong path. In fact, there wasnt a path at all - just good clean fun, a house to roll here in and there (including our own once), and cows... lots and lots of cows (cowtipping is a real thing too). So, here 35 years later, Thank you for moving us to BFG, literally.
Thank you for giving me my first real job with Blackbaud, even though it was an accident at first, I had no idea I liked computers so much. That ability is still present today, and my knowledge started there, in a little office in Atlanta, GA, and although I was in administrative support, we all knew my real title was Director of Happy Hour(s) :)
Thank you for loving my girls the way you do and did. Their eyes would light up every time you were around. I'll never forget when you met us in Florence and took baby Madi by yourself back to Charleston for the weekend. Madi loved you like no other, and you were wrapped tighter than a tick around her every finger. Please tell her I miss her when you get there. Not a day goes by that I dont. Squeeze her as tight as you can and tell her I love her soooo much. Hannah loves you too, but you and Madi had something really very special.
Thank you for taking care of mom when she was so sick. I'm not really certain how all all of that escalated so quickly that last night, but I know you did all that you possibly could for her. Please tell her I miss her too. I often think if she were still here, Madi would have been too. Although Madi also had Toots wrapped around her finger, she was terrified of her as well. We all were actually. Again, please tell her I love her and hope y'all all have a group hug. I cant believe it was 12 years ago yesterday that she left us.
I know I've left out a million things, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate all you did for me all the years. I love you.
So, at the end of last year I was asked to do some very special ties, for some very special neighbors, and of course we attended their daughters wedding. Well, it was getting ready for this wedding and when I got this photo, as well as a couple of others back and I looked at them and said, "you have go to do something with yourself. You are totally out of shape, and you have a fat tire and love handles that are just not going to be attractive this year for the fishing photos, just as they were not last year, or the year before. You have to do something, and now, you're 52 years old, and you're not getting any younger, so the time is now." But where to start??? I've never actually DIETED before, ever. And let me back up, I'm small, and small-framed. People who know me will be asking, but you're thin, you dont need to lose weight. Well, I hid that tire very well. Above it's controlled by SPANX, control top panty hose, and a A-Line dress. It's there, and it was VERY apparent in the other 3 dresses I tried on before I decided on this one, as well. The princess waistline one, I literally looked 6 months or more pregnant. It was time to take this bull by it's horns.
So, back to the question of how??? I had seen some signs for a new gym on the island, but it said "Spinning", nope not for me I decided immediately, I was not going to just "ride a bike". Well then, I saw this same gym had those TRX straps, now THAT could be cool, and yoga. Well, the yoga got me (I also don't EVER relax so yoga for one hour a week or so could change that, right?). So message this place called Tidal Strength & Cycle and they message right back, and I signed up for a yoga class. Well, at this time, I didnt realize that they also had total body strength classes, and some HITS classes, and a very wide array of classes. Yes, sign up, you're committed to going now, not just a "I'm gonna go to the gym and workout tomorrow, but I'm going to the gym tomorrow at 8:30am to work out." To me, this is what has made the difference. And a huge difference it's made too! Ive lost a few pounds, but also I've lost 5.6% body fat too!! And I absolutely LOVE this place. So much in fact that I now go every week day AND guess what? I even like the spinning classes too. They add a great cardio workout and the music is great and loud!! There are classes throughout the day and evening classes too! Check out the weekly schedule at www.tidalstrengthcycle.com.
Ok, so there is one more component to this get healthy, get strong lose weight thing. I visited Dr. David Seignious at Maybank Weight Loss Clinic as well. In addition to a healthy workout ethic, I needed a healthy eating ethic. Dr. Seignious & staff laid out a very detailed plan for my new low carb, no sugar, high protein, low fat lifestyle. I plan on using this same journal to share some really great recipes and tricks I've found on my journey to lose this fat tire (im about halfway there after about 4 or so weeks. Whats even better is that my joints don't ache anymore either. I had no idea that cleaner eating would mean my whole body would react the way that it has! I used to wake up every morning and it literally took me 3-5 minutes to "wake my hands up too". I haven't taken an Advil or NSAID in weeks, and this may be TMI, but my IBSD is GONE!!! #guthealth is the best health if you ask me!!! Start looking back often for updates and yummy recipes that will keep you healthy too! Want to know more, go to www.MaybankWeightLoss.com or give the office a call today at 843-557-1111. You'll thank yourself if a few short weeks, just as I am doing. Remember.... Summer is coming!
Please feel free to comment here, or email me if you have any questions, or if you have any recipes to share!
Sometimes people don’t realize how much what they say really takes a hold of others on a certain day in a certain situation. Today, I literally MADE myself go to the gym. I had a horrible trip down memory lane last night and my heart and soul ached and the tears and snot flowed as one. This morning, eyes almost swollen shut I woke up and thought to myself. I can stay here and wallow, or I can get my butt out of the house and do something for me. The person I do the least actually for. So I did. Little bit of cover up under the eyes hid the darkness a bit and hopefully lessened the GOT look. And I went. TRX - we kicked each others butts. But YOGA, the resilience theme meant to speak of muscles really struck home.
Those of us dealing with loss, and heartbreak and the holidays and daily life must be resilient. We must bounce back, albeit to the ‘new normal’ place, not the pre-tragedy place, no matter how, and some days it may be crawling or clawing or baby steps or by whatever means it takes.
In this ‘new normal’ each day you wake up again from a nightmare. The same one over and over again. Each and every day. Well, not me, I actually most nights have real nightmares where Madi is still alive, and then in my dream I realize she’s not, then I wake up and have to go through it all twice. To be quite honest, those days are the worst days ever. Those are the days I create things. Lots of things usually. #whyimakethethings
My resolution for 2019 and beyond is to take better care of me. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I wish the same for you. Remember to take care of you first, because that makes you more able to take care of the ones you love.
Resilience, and letting a few tears roll down your cheeks when they need to, a few fell down mine today and I was thankful for the new hoodie to cover my face in the final rest 🤷🏼♀️😉🙏🏼
~Namaste & thanks, Barbara
Boca Grande, to us its the tarpon fishing wonderland. The playground of the elite during the winter months, or “social season” but during the summer months, it’s mostly abandoned and boarded up in case of a hurricane... we love it down there, and even tho it’s hot, it’s not as hot as Wadmalaw Island.
This year we managed to escape down that way for a week. Enough time for both of us to relax and wind down. To spend mornings fishing or exploring, lazy afternoons enjoying nap time or reading or just lounging, and the evenings enjoying culinary delight after delight.. and ending most evenings with chocolate martinis! But the main reason we were down that way was the tarpon, the silver king, the poon... I’ve never seen so many in my life. Literally thousands rolling and gulping air. We could see them so well on Capt Mark Bennett’s Hummingbird Minn Kota. It was amazing how clear you could see the images and the detail on that thing (now of course B wants one, lol). The 15" Mega is the real deal.
Anyhow, back to fishing. B was the first to ‘hook up’ with one. About a 70#'er.
B, being an amazing fisherman himself, was easily able to get this one to the boat, snagged a quick photo and then a clean release.
Then it was my turn. I asked Capt Mark to make sure he hooked a "little one" for me. Well, he doesn’t listen, and soon I found myself with a 120# Fish at the other end of my line. You’ve never felt anything like the pull of a tarpon. It’s like trying to pull a school bus off the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. And they fight!! Holy💩 do they fight. B actually was holding onto my pants so I wouldn’t get pulled overboard 😂😂😂
After about 20 minutes or so and I couldn’t feel my arms, B helped me for a bit. Then I tried some more and let me tell you. When they jump and get new air and a new lease on life. It’s on like donkey Kong again , the line zings against the drag and they’re another 1000’ away. Anyhow between the two of us, B finally got him to the boat and Jenni got some amazing photos (actually the one of us with the tarpon is one of my all-time favorites. The feeling of catching your first one of these pre-historic fish is overwhelming and amazing. #imhookednow for sure! We also had a nice, clean release on this one.
B has been fishing with Capt. Mark & Jenni for over 20 years now, sometimes they're like #brothersfromanothermother. There are always lots of great stories, some about fishing, some about life, they always catch tons of fish, and Jenni is an awesome first mate and photographer. Details & Links at bottom of blog post.
If you want to fish with them, my suggestion is that you book early. He fills up FAST.... and make sure to ask him about his shoes! lol
Our second favorite thing about BG is the FOOD!!!! Always amazing, delicious, and most have a great view, or a great story behind them. We ate at Millers Dockside the first night, which is a tradition. On the waterway, and at the marina. The tuna tacos were delicious. Night 2 at the beach, to watch the sunset at South Beach Grill, where we left our mark on the directional sign of 531 Miles back to Wadmalaw along with several others. Night 3, PJ's Seaside Grill, which was delicious, but we were informed that this was our last meal there, as they were closing after 31 years. Night 4 Third Street Bistro. So delicious, grilled shrimp cocktail and out of this world fish. Super cute little restaurant. Definitely going back there. Night 5, "The Temp", aka The Temptation. always outstanding. and our last night tradition... "The Pink" aka The Pink Elephant. Simply amazing, the service here is the best on the island. We had some great servers during the week, but here, it's top notch. Here are some photos (when I remembered to take them)
And for a few random shots of the interesting sights and the streetscape... and we ended up taking the "big rig" down there, talk about country come to town, and we don't smoke, but lol, how long has it been since you've seen one of these babies? the Temp has one by the bathrooms.
All the deets...
Place: Boca Grande, FL 26˚ 44'56" N 82˚ 15'43 W
Charter Captain: Capt Mark Bennett www.tarponsnook.com
Tarpon Fishing Photos: Jenni Bennet www.jennibennett.com
But most of all, thanks, B for another great trip to Boca Grande, and sharing your love of fishing (especially tarpon now), and this crazy fun filled life we have with me!! 💕
Why slap 'yo Momma? Cause it's that good. Here's what you'll need to craft this masterpiece:
First you start with raw chicken, either bone in, or boneless, and if you want to add some dark meat too, do it! But do not use canned chicken. I only say this because one time someone asked me what brand I got in the can. Ummmm??? Chickens do not come in a can, and neither does this chicken salad recipe. It comes from the heart.
So first things first, you boil the chickens. I usually bring mine to a hard boil, and then reduce it a bit, and if you spoon off that nasty white foam is froths out, you can save whats left as clarified chicken broth, if you don't spoon if off tho, you end up with all the fat and icky stuff so just throw it away. I usually cook my chickens at a pretty good simmer for about an hour. Til they fall apart, or fall off the bone. Next you chop your chickens. Chop them as good as you can. But do NOT put them in a food processor. It kills the texture. It should look like this:
Next I separate the nuts, if you can't find this mixture, it's UNSALTED almonds, cashews and dried cranberries. Separate the nuts and the berries. Smash the nuts in a baggie with a meat pounder, and then chop the cranberries up some, like this:
Next add about a Teaspoon of fresh grated ginger. I usually use fresh and peel it and chop it, but our local store was out of fresh, so this looked to be a decent replacement (and it wasn't disappointing). Then chop some cilantro and add that too.
Thats about it, except for adding some mayo and sour cream. I add a little more sour cream than mayo, but do it to your taste. You can also add a bit of salt & pepper at this point.
Then just mix it all up, make sure you're happy with the outcome, maybe add a little more of something to your taste and enjoy! But please, don't slap yo momma.... she brought you into this world, and she can take you out!
the worst dreams are the ones where I dream that it was all a dream. That all is right in the world again, the ones where she’s back and it was all just a horrible nightmare. Last night was that night. But worse even.
Madi was back, she was fine. She just needed a really long nap. I was holding her and telling her how horrible it was. Especially when I dreamt that it was a dream and I had to wake up from the nightmare twice. I was telling her this in my dream when I work up. Cue tears...
Another question? What do you answer when people have you how many children you have. These days I say one. I have one child. It’s too weird to meet someone and have to explain it all, then their sorrow and lack of words makes an awkward silence.
Just some random weird thoughts for early on an otherwise happy Saturday morning, some of you may wonder why I post this personal stuff here. But it’s reality, and it’s why I do it all in the first place.
I think she’d be proud of me for what I’ve accomplished out of my grief. It’s ok to wallow, but you can’t wallow everyday. Get out and do something that makes a difference today. No matter how great or how small.
Happy Saturday y’all! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤
Wallowing... that’s what we call it. The overwhelming feeling of grief, heartbreak and the pain that goes with it of losing someone. The part where the tears and snot can’t come out hard enough and you’re hearts so hurt and broken that it feels like someone has actually taken it out of your chest, beat it with a mallet and then put it back for spite.
Fact is, you need to ‘wallow in it’ sometimes. Sometimes can be an hour a morning or a day even. But you can’t wallow in it every day. You have to find the good and Happy places and gravitate towards those places, those people, those activities.
"You need to take the time to Wallow in it. But not every day. You must move forward."
Me? I still have periods of wallowing. A FB Memory will pop up, (Many mornings I get a txt simply, ‘don’t look at FB memories today’), or I have a dream, or a deja vu, or run into a friend and the memories flood back, or a song on the radio (especially the songs). Sometimes you can control these micro-memories and put them all in their little ‘place’ where they don’t hurt too badly for a little while. But then, for me there’s the ‘straw’ and the dam of suppressed memories floods back and you need to wallow for a bit. It’s ok. It’s normal, it cleanses your soul. It’s like a good hard rain and everything looks fresh and new again for a while.
The oftenness of the wallowing is decreasing now for me. Holidays, birthdays, special days, or anniversaries of special occasions or events are when it usually gets me. Her birthday always gets me, April 6th losing her, and then Cowboy exactly two years later ALWAYS gets me. But I get through them or past them and it’s getting better. They say time heals all wounds. The wound can heal, but you're still left with a scar a hurt and a grief that never really goes away, You actually need to let yourself remember. But you can’t do it every day. It’s you alone who has to make the mindset to let yourself grieve, be sad, cry, Wallow, let the tears and snot flow. Then ya gotta go on. Stick your mangled heart back where it belongs and March on.
We cant change the past, but we certainly can make the future better.
Just my two cents ... and ps... as a wise woman told me it gets worse before it gets better but it never goes away.
I haven’t written anything in a while, mainly because I’ve been busy. But after the events that unfolded on Sunday in Vegas, I feel compelled to put my feelings somewhere where they can be shared. I don’t care if you agree, or disagree. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.
What happend end in Vegas is horrible. For 59 families, possibly more. Their loved one was taken away by a heartless cold blooded killer. For 500+ others who were maimed or injured physically I am also sorry. For the 20+thousand in attendance, your lives have also been changed in a way that you never expected. For Jason Andean and the others on stage, just wow, along with the others not physically hurt, emotional scars are a real thing. A mad man casting round after round into a faceless crowd of people and will it ever stop? The police to find him and hence cease the raining of bullets as quickly as they did was amazing. He was obviously not expecting them to find him so quickly, and had many more thousands of rounds planned. To the people who were in the crowd who were able to help others - these are the ones to be proud of. All of this apparent hatred and division of color and party disappeared in Vegas. People helped people. Humans helped one another. People went out of their way to do the right thing in the face of such a tragedy. The truth of why and how regarding the madman will eventually come out. But the real truth came out in the late hours of Sunday evening and the wee hours of Monday morning. People do care. The media needs to stop, this country is going to implode if we don’t.
We are all Americans. Let’s act like it.
Another friend lost a child to addiction this week. The feeling hits home all too well. Although Madi's addiction was not nearly as bad as this young man's i.e. I don't think she had ventured down the opioid/heroin/meth road, but I really don't know. What I do know is that it's becoming epidemic among the 18-30 age group and they're either dying from an OD or taking their own life, which I realize is an oxymoron.
Parents, you need to wake up! So many kids these days play sports at a high level. Everything is so competitive. Parents, kids, trainers, gyms - bigger, better faster or you're done, no college scholarship for you. This is one of incubators of the addiction. Bigger, better, faster usually leads to some form of injury, which leads to opioids, which are highly addictive. When those run out, and your prescription is also done, and your friends are also missing prescription drugs the easiest most efficient means is street drugs. And they're literally everywhere. Even your honor student can get them. Private school? The worst. More money = more and better drugs.
The more disconnected and distant we become with our kids the more they rely on the interweb to guide and embrace them and guide their decisions.
Anyone can show up when you're happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, and can help you put that mangled thing back where it belongs, they are your true friends. I have this man, we are this family. I am thankful and blessed.