Share Your World

I rarely do these challenges, but I really liked Cee’s Photography’s “Share Your World – June 12, 2017” post. I am a little late to the game this week because I was traveling, but I thought I would play along and share a little bit about me.

What do you do when you’re not working? If you are retired, what do you that is not part of your regular daytime routine?
Well I work a lot! However, my free time is spent volunteering – I am on the board of a local food pantry Good Samaritans of Garland (we are currently trying to raise funds for much needed building repairs) – and I volunteer for my leadership alumni group. I also enjoy working out, photography, blogging, reading, cooking, gardening, and traveling.

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Garland Gives Day 2017 at Good Samaritans of Garland

What would you do if you won the lottery?
First, I would splurge on a new computer and camera! But first and foremost, I would get our finances in order so that my daughter’s college was paid for and then my husband and I could retire. I will have 20 years at my job in September, so I am eligible to retire then, but my current goal is to retire at 25 years. We would look for a house with some land so that we can both enjoy the things we love to do – gardening, photography, cooking for me; working on cars, forging steel for knives, gardening for the hubby. And he wants chickens so we can have farm fresh eggs all the time. 🙂 And retirement would give me much more free time for volunteering, so I can give back.

What makes you laugh the most?
My husband, my kids, and my dogs always make me laugh. Like Cee, I too love Friends reruns and the nerd in me loves The Big Bang Theory, but my current summer guilty pleasure is binge-watching Bones on Netflix. Emily Deschanel as Temperance Brennan is pure gold.

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What is your biggest pet peeve with modern technology?
As an IT professional, you would think I have the latest and greatest. But my peeve is that technology changes so rapidly, and I like things to last! I use my 8 year old iMac for my blogging, and it has been painfully obvious for a year or so that I need to upgrade! 😦 Where’s that lottery payout?

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I am grateful for the fact that I have a job that affords me the opportunity to travel to conferences for professional development and was able to visit Philadelphia for the first time. I saw some wonderful places I have never seen before, although I had to cut the trip shorter than originally planned. This coming week I am looking forward to some test results. (More on that in another blog installment.)

Cheers!

Cynthia

Reblog: Fibro Friday #128

Loved this quote that was shared on the Fibro Blogger Directory‘s weekly link-up, so I thought I would share it. Sharing is caring, after all. I often link up my relevant blog posts here (although there haven’t been many lately!). You will find many great bloggers who write about fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, et al. I hope you will check them out!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength
to body and soul.”
~ John Muir

via Fibro Friday week 128 — Fibro Blogger Directory

Cheers!

Cynthia

Quote: Soaring High

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Soaring High

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”

~ William Blake

I took these pictures while on vacationing in Oregon this past January. We took a day trip to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, visit the Tillamook Dairy factory, and stop by Cannon Beach and the famous “Goonies rock”. This day was special because it was one of the few days we got to explore Oregon — we spent the next two days of our trip snowed in!

Cheers!

Cynthia

Better than Unicorns

Excellence is a habit – 5 tips to be a better you.

I have this quote from Aristotle on my desktop at work to remind me that it takes practice and consistency to get better and achieve excellence. Getting better to me is making incremental improvements, either in health, talents, or habits. Small acts done consistently over time become big habits.

Excellence

Continue reading “Better than Unicorns”

Evoking Childhood Memories

While I know my great-grandmother’s garden is long-gone, I can only hope some of the golden poppies, purple daisies, or fuchsias still remain.

Do fragrances ever evoke memories for you? Our sense of smell is in close proximity to our memories in the brain. For me, certain floral perfume smells remind me of the beautiful and fragrant flowers growing in my Great-Grandmother’s garden when I was a kid. I am a “California girl living in Texas,” having moved to Texas over 20 years ago, and oh, how I miss my home state. If I could live anywhere, I would probably move back to California near the coast.

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My mother grew up in Pacific Grove. My grandmother taught at the elementary school for years. My great-grandmother had a little house there with a big garden. I think that is where my love of gardening and growing flowers and looking at things bloom and thrive comes from. It seemed like my great-grandmother could grow anything IN anything. I remember succulents growing in old shoes and frying pans! She grew succulents way before it became trendy and cool.

She was still tending her garden, even into her 90s, when she passed in 1974. And in the winter of 1975, an article was written in the San Jose Mercury News California Today section called “Moods in Haiku” by Peter DiVenere. He took several wonderful pictures of my great-grandmother’s garden and her tending to it, and wrote the following haiku:

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Gold long forgotten
Beauty and riches remain
California poppy

Flowers everywhere | In the garden a painting | California poppies

Wild upon the hills | As in days long gone today’s | Poppies embrace you

The garden path ends | She gathers blossoms with her smile | Autumn of the year

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Thorny thistles thrives | Old post reflects all past glory | Purple beacon shines

The tale of Genji | The charm of his disposition | Lady Murasaki

By the garden fence | Purple clusters feel the breeze | Safe from the mower

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Pink blossoms aglow | Anticipating stories of | Far flown places

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Hanging from a branch | Fuchsias are doing nothing | On a summer day

Tiny little fuchsias | Dangling from tender branches | Just before the dawn

I would love to go back to Pacific Grove to see where my grandmother’s house was, to see if the old brick wall surrounding it still stands. And to go to my great-grandmother’s house to see if any of the flowers remain. While I know her garden is long-gone as the lot was sold to build another house on after she passed, I can only hope some of the golden poppies, purple daisies, or fuchsias that she tended to still remain.

In so many ways I am like my great grandmother. We were both only 5’4″ in a family of tall people. My mom now thinks her grandmother also suffered from fibromyalgia. It would be interesting to find some genetic link to this condition.

Oh, how I wish we had kept that property and still had my great grandmother’s beautiful garden…oh the memories that can be stirred up from a scent of a flower or of a perfume…

Picture of the original article I have had tucked away

Do perfumes or smells bring back memories for you?

Cheers!

Cynthia

via Daily Prompt: Perfume

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Choose Happiness

Today, March 20th, is the International Day of Happiness and it’s not too late to join the movement. Visit the link, sign the pledge, and help spread happiness. I believe happiness is a choice. I choose to live my life deliberately and intentionally. I choose happiness and joy. You can too!

“I will try to create more happiness in the world around me.”

There are ten key aspects to living a happy and fulfilled life, according to research. All ten of these things are within our control:

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It’s a powerful thing to recognize that your happiness is controlled by you, and your actions and choices. Continue reading “Choose Happiness”

Pushing Through the Pain

For years I was one who tried to suffer in silence and push through the pain, rather than share my ailments with anyone who will listen. But I started blogging as an attempt to verbalize life with fibromyalgia and share those things that I find helpful or inspiring in my every day life. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been absent from here for a few months as I try to deal with a new pain in my neck. Literally.

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I had surgery five years ago to fuse a disc in my neck, and I am again suffering. Even though my neck surgery gave me immediate and lasting relief from the pain, headaches, spasms, etc., I haven’t been completely pain free. My doctor says that for every year post surgery your chances of degeneration on the discs adjacent increases about 5-fold. I recognize that I will have some level of chronic pain for the rest of my life between fibromyalgia, chronic lower back pain, and my neck. But the severity of the pain and side effects has become unbearable the last few months. Continue reading “Pushing Through the Pain”