Sunday, May 29, 2016

Ode to Rain...

Hello Luvs,

These stones come to life with rain...
Going to take a stab at a poem dedicated to the crazy rain we are experiencing today. I believe that it is officially a rain storm...YAY RAIN! Enjoy....


To Rain.....

Still inside and dry 
I feel you
The gentle thumps and pings
That remind me of LIFE
What we need to survive
With your love they grow
Up strong and plentiful
Never really needing the sought after
Green thumb
While the edge of my ear
Is tickled from the sound
Urging me to look outside
In a straightforward way
To witness you hitting the ground
The possibility you bring
For your drops that will lead
To a time of plenty
Ready for even more green...
I will not curse your arrival
For I know you are temporary
You leave us without a goodbye
But instead flowers
That wave a quick "Hi!"
So keep going, keep pounding 
Doing your thing
I will wait to find out
What tomorrow you'll bring

Til next time,

Kat

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Family Time at The Eno River

Hello Luvs,

Safe travels build we found
at our first stop.
Today finds those of us who reside in the United States in the midst of a holiday weekend. Traffic patterns yesterday conveyed that because going to the store and/or gas station took three times longer. Since we are enjoying day trips so much we only had to experience part of that. Whew....we're glad to avoid it whenever possible. If you are traveling this weekend, "Safe travels."
This beautiful shade of moss
was found throughout the hike.

We are now at the two week mark. Soon we will be departing for Canada. The plan (if oyu are new to the blog) is to stay til the third week in June. From that point we might end up staying longer or returning to North Carolina for one more school year. The trip to Canada will be an official trail of living the experience of home/road schooling. As we do so you will be part of that by either my vlogs or blogs. I might also do some periscopes. If you have yet to follow now is a good time to do so. 

This naturally made 'X
marks the spot' was really
gorgeous...
Next we take on thinning our possessions down even further. Living here has shown us just what we need and don't need. I know speaking for myself...that everytime I do it I feel even more liberated. I really love playing around with fashion, so that is my problem area. For Baby Girl and Boy it is both books and stuffed animals. The Hubster? Well, he has always had few possessions, so he will not need to thin much further...if at all.

The search for crawfish was on!
Saw some REALLY BIG ones!
When discussing what to do today we knew we wanted to experience (that is what it should be...living in the moment and enjoying just being) another outdoor family activity. We all woke up well after 9 (must have need sleep!) and decided to stay closer. It was either going hiking in Duke Forest or checking out Eno River. The Eno won out. 
Now back in Orange County...

Found these interesting...we switched counties!
I didn't realize when taking
the picture that there was
an arc of light. Do you see it?
At first we thought the trail looked a little rough, but once we started down the trail we liked it more and more. There was a significant amount of shade, (brought my parasol just in case) and the distance was just perfect. Just doing the loop found us at almost four miles (not counting water play). We stopped at a few different destinations. The first was Bobbitt's Hole. The water level by the rocks was not too deep. However, the rocks were very slippery. We had not planned for getting in the water, so we did not bring bathing suits or water shoes. Baby Boy seems to always prefer going barefoot so I wore his crocs (yes....he has the same size foot!). They worked perfectly, and I was able to walk around with ease. The spot was not too crowded which was great for us. The other spots were well suited for young children, and there were lots of families taking advantage of them.
The light reflected on the water
made this image surreal!

One thing we like to do is pop into the visitor's center. The one for the Eno was....to put it nicely underwhelming. Both the lack of acknowledgment by the woman at the desk and the actual center were disappointing. Luckily the water spot we hikied down to from there made up for it. There was a rapids area (very quickly moving water) where lots of rocks had settled. I ended up hanging out with a tremendously beautiful butterfly while the rest of the family went in. The little cutie stayed around me til another group came then fluttered away. I was lucky enough to snap some great pictures.

An oasis of green surrounded by
little fish!
The only bummer was Baby Boy slipping forward and getting wet up to his chest. I hesitate to phrase it in a negative light because doing that allowed him to take off his shirt and go all they way in. He was so happy afterwards. All he needed to do was dry off. I don't think he had even after our dinner at The Q-Shack in Durham. Because it was so warm it probably kept him cool. We sat outside and had spicey wings, brisket, creamed spinach, fries, and hushpuppies (I did not have any of the hushpuppies because they have onions). You should definitely pop in if you are in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area. It is lip smackin' good! 

This was taken in the area
that was tot friendly.
Now we sit down for a movie together. It has been an exhausting/refreshing/joyful day, and I would not have had it any other way.

Til next time,

Kat

P.S. I will be sharing more pictures and some video on other social media sites. So, if you do not follow me please consider doing so. That way you will not miss a single moment. The information is below.

twitter/instagram/periscope- @katsmeoww11
facebook- www.facebook.com/katsmeoww11
pinterest- www.pinterest.com/katsmeoww11

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Why is it easier for us to pass the buck than take accountability for our mistakes?

Hello Luvs,


Entrance to rose paradise!


Many sit and enjoy the
divine smell.
Wowzer....another week flying by! I think getting ready for our summer is part of the reason why. We are almost prepared (passports, dog records, lodging, etc.) but still...when traveling so far you want to make sure you do not forget anything. Anyone who has traveled to Quebec recently I would love any nuggets (even the smallest will do) of wisdom and/or guidance.


The fountain is so beautiful and
has a mellow sound.
The blog today takes on why the buck is passed so quickly in regard to missteps. Where most people would rather do that than say "My bad!" and take accountability. We are all fallible and Human. Mistakes will happen from time to time. It is what we do in said situation that defines where we stand in regard to this. 


Perfect spot to take it all in!
I find it refreshing and heartening to witness others say they made a mistake. I have passed the buck before. I can tell you that I have felt guilty after doing so. Nowadays I will take the responsibility even it I am not the one who made the mistake. But is that a mistake also? Probably.... Once again navigating societies pitfalls takes a toll.
Mr. Bee hard at work!


The color of this rose is spellbinding...
So what do you do? When the reprecussion might be slight (or boulder sized) do you step forward to say that it was your mistake? Do we all think about the example we set for our children and others regarding owning your mistakes. 


Bushel of pink!
Now, in this time in my life, I feel that if you embrace life's lessons you grown from those mistakes. You simply cannot grow if you do not acknowledge that there was a mistake and learn to pay attention to what it telling us. Then we are more apt to not repeat that same mistake. You see where I am going?
Varying stages of bloom.


As always, thanks for popping on...trying to increase my follower count. If you know of someone who might dig the blog please pass it on. If you have yet to follow I would love for you to do so. Until then, you can also check me out on the following sites.
Perfection in pink!
By our exit of the park.

Twitter/Instagram- @katsmeoww11
Facebook- www.facebook.com/katsmeoww11
Etsy- www.etsy.com/shop/katsmeoww

Til next time,

Kat

P.S. The photos throughout the blog are from the Community Park that is next to the Bolin Creek Trail. They were so incredibly beautiful that there was no filter needed. The Hubster and I took our morning hike there. Can you smell the roses?

This link takes you to video taken while on the trail....


https://goo.gl/photos/VmfSkbjEaqRwAiaU6

Monday, May 23, 2016

I Feel You....

Hello Luvs,

Today finds me reaching the 13,000 hit mark in a leap and bound! Huge thanks to you for continuing to visit and read my ramblings. This is indeed a vehicle of expressing my frustrations, fears, joy, sense of community, and love of all the wonderful things this life has to offer. It doesn't just start and end with music. There is art (performance art included), nature, relationships, interactions with people in passing, and the charge we feel when we are able to do what we truly love.

I thought I would try to offer up my ode to this way of being. To the others around who feed me their energy...whether it be positive of negative. As always...the words are my own, and I never truly know where they will lead. With your permission I will take you along with me. ENJOY!

I Feel You....
As in nature, we grow toward light
and it illuminates us.

On the back of my neck 
Runs the line that you left
Clear across the room
I can sense your gaze
You wonder what I see
What you could possibly need
From me...nothing more than 
A friendly "Hello"
All your thoughts 
Begin to water down
You try to hold it in
To no avail
But no matter Luv
For when we look
We both see the promise
Of freedom, expression, and being
Being the person you long to be
Not what seeps and forms
Into the knot others left to bleed
Because you see
I feel you....
I know the dreams
That bring a smile
The lightning bolt
That comes straight down
To the heart of the matter
That you are worthy
Of ALL you could possibly seek
And I will help
When you express the need....

Til next time,

Kat

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Can We Actually Sense Negativity in a Room?

Hello Luvs,

A Mind at Peace....
Happy Sunday to you....! I was going to do a blog about our trip yesterday to Hanging Rock State Park, however I thought I'd blog about something else. I will definitely share pictures (a few throughout today's), video, and a rating for the Park (in regard to how family friendly it is) throughout the week. So don't fret...and read on.

Instead I would like to quickly give my two cents about how the energy of a room can affect you. Have you ever had a time when you walked into a room, store, coffee shop, etc. and felt the energy stop? Not only did it stop, but it ran over and promptly slapped you in the face! Where you know (obviously) that everyone is not talking/thinking/reacting towards or about you and that you did not introduce any of this into the room. Still, it greets and surrounds you. 

I ask this because I feel that the energy of others can have a positive or negative affect on you. You walk into somewhere and it seems alive. People are at a comfortable level of interaction and you can feel it in your bones. When this happens to be a negative (and yes, you can call a vibe) which makes you want to be anywhere but there. No one can fool themselves into thinking that they can change everyone around them or change the energy that existed before? Right? Well, that is the big question!
Panoramic view from one of the overlooks at the top of our most challenging climbs. WHEW!
I have experienced both sides of the coin. Where the person comes in and they bring with them an overwhelming sense of light. I have also been in situations where there is a person who seems to suck the energy right out of the room. Most of the time the person does not realize they are doing this....while some know and thrive on it.

Natures bird bath.
So, what are we to do about this when we find ourselves knee deep in it. Whether it is positive (there can be folks who are waaaay over the top) or negative I have found that it helps to step away. Whether you choose to go outside to get some fresh air, transfer yourself to another side of the room, or split it all depends on just how sensitive you are to it.

I am affected to a small extent while the Hubster is extremely sensitive. Finding a balance so both of us are comfortable is tricky. More times than not we follow the Eckhart solution and not surround ourselves with someone we know tends to offer up their own brand of negitivity.

How do you handle it? In this tricky thing we call life the decisions we make can affect us both mentally and physically. Ultimately, WE ALL need to find ways to navigate in the best way possible for ourselves without leaving that contrail of judgement behind.

Til next time,

Kat


P.S. Like what you've read? Please follow!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

North Carolina Botanical Gardens...

Hello Luvs,

I almost skipped the blog today, but as I went to put the computer away I realized just how much I wanted to share the beauty and serenity I experienced. Dependning on where you are located geographically you might be reading this in the am. If you are I wish you good morning. 

In my part of the world it is almost ten in the evening. So, I will keep this blog on the short side. Because there were so many beautiful things to take in I thought that the blog would simply be me sharing some pictures with captions (and yes, the titles are not the real ones). More than likely you will see them again more in depth when I share them on Instagram/Twitter (@katsmeoww11) or facebook (www.facebook.com/katsmeoww11). Following me would be the best way to ensure that you do not miss a picture/video down the line.

Here are the pics:
Small pine trees cry raindrops
that gleam in the morning light.

The path that leads to our
winding circle.

















The bridge video can be found on instagram/twitter
@katsmeoww11





You saw our entrance...now we come to the heaven within.




This beauty is from The Long
Leafed Magnolia Tree
The smell? DIVINE!
                                                                     
                                         
The historic Paul Green House just down the path.





I see...'Hands Toward the Sky'




My friend unmasked then reborn?


No filter needed!


The wood grain reframed in the mind...  

                                                               
Now for the SCULPTURE GARDEN!

                                                                    
Danny...can you hear me?


                                                
        Look at that METAL face/head! Seriously wow!

The pitcher plant....





There is sooo much more...I will share soon!

Til next time,

Kat











Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pay Attention

Happy Wednesday Luvs,

Hope all is well. I do want to thank you for popping on. Knowing that others are reading and possibly sharing these posts does a heart good. Yes, this blog is for me to vent, inspire, share questions/statements about this crazy thing we call Humanity, and express my mood through fashion. Knowing someone else is possibly going through something similar helps each of us feel that we are not alone. Instead we are united through circumstance and life experience.

So, I am going to take a stab at writing something along that vein....as always, I would love some feedback in the comment section or through other social media outlets.

www.facebook.com/katsmeoww11
twitter and instagram- @katsmeoww11

Here is goes.

Pay Attention


Wake up!
I tell myself
This nightmare has no end
I read 
Then cry
Than smile
At the growth unmeasured then remeasured
By most
When I pay attention
I know that you are hear
The Looking, whispering, and judging
But is it me or
Our sons
For more often 
Than not
I see examples
Of a better flowing stream
Headed for pitfalls
That threaten to erase
The bad
That's been done
Bright souls who look
At the past as
A turnaround
And instead head west
Embracing a setting sun
That promises a different
Tomorrow
One where flowers grow and
Inspire the soul
To lean toward
The nightmares reborn
As that ideal of NO
Is unspun


Til next time,

Kat

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Morning Freestyle

Hello Luvs,

As we get closer to our departure date I am feeling a tremendous amount of excitement. Going to explore a new place is beyond appealing. We will do lots of hiking and outdoors activities (which we do now to some extent) before traipsing down to the city.

My plan is to periscope and/or film short vlogs in addition to by blogs here. If you are not following the blog please consider doing so now. Following me on instagram/twitter/facebook (katsmeoww11) also would help both of us. 
Picture by Baby Girl...

We will do one more purge of items before we depart. I cannot tell you just how liberating it is to remove items that really had no hold on us. To know that you can be free to follow what is best for your family is a gift. Will we come back to where we are now at the end of summer? Maybe...but, with both children excited about road schooling we have options.

For now, I thought I would build on a sentence (or stanza) that came to me this morning while walking Goldie. Hope you like it!




Sunday Morning Freestyle

What a funny thing you see
The sun smiling down at me
Long before many will rise
Wiping the sleep from their eyes
I feel a calmness inside
My being letting go of pride
I once wore as a badge of honor
That still denied what I am her for
The chill I can feel on my right
While blanketed through the night
I can tell this is very different
Than what I told myself I meant
Still I remember the sun shining down
Beckoning me to turn around
Offering to warm my back
To replace the coziness I lack
Yet I still find no reprieve
From the wind causing a cold breeze
I can feel throughout my chest
Though my jacket is zipped up to my neck
But it reminds me of one thing
That I breathe and can still feel longing
Longing for something I know
Will come and cradle my soul


Til next time,

Kat



Friday, May 13, 2016

30 Minute Meal with Minimal Chopping Necessary PROMISE!

Hello Luvs,

If seems as if the week decided to knock me down and roll right over me! Did it feel that way for you? Of course it was chuck full of wonderful memories and moments...but it still seems like it is only Wednesday!

Anyhow, I am deviating from my recent blogs because I felt the need to share with you a quick meal that anyone can make. It is both healthy and filling. With a small trick you can make it cascade and look restaurant prepared. Don't believe me? Well, keep readin'.

Lately I have found myself shopping at Aldi more and more. There are many organic (and reasonably priced) options for meat and non-meat eaters. The produce is pretty good on a consistent basis (also reasonably priced options available) and the salads can be just what the doctor ordered. However, I do pick up my tofu elsewhere because we did not care for the taste of the tofu sold there.

The meal I made tonight was a veggie stir fry with toasted tofu over a bed of rice. Below is all you need to make this wonderfully delicious (no NOT Lucky Charms!) meal in under 30 minutes. I walk you through it step by step. You might find me going off on tangents, but please bear with me....

-1 1/2 cup jasmine rice 
Rice-so easy to make and extra fluffy naturally.

-3 cups water
-1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil/ additional tablespoon for stir fry
-half block of extra firm tofu (more if you tend to like lots. If you do then double the amount of oil)
-pepper (grinder or preground)
-salt to taste (usually add just a pinch to mine)
-1 tsp garlic
-package of frozen vegetable stir fry (I usually buy a large package to use with the other half of the tofu block)
-sauce pan w/lid
-large frying pan
-small frying pan
-cutting board
-knife
-measuring cup (I used the 1/2 cup)
Next up-tofu...starting to brown!

Pour rice in sauce pan, then add water. Let it come to a slow boil then cover with lid for 20 minutes. I usually set the timer for 10 minutes then start to cook the tofu when it goes off. Reset the timer for an additional 10 minutes.

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in the small frying pan, then add the pepper, salt, and garlic.

While waiting for the oil to warm cut up the tofu into cubes. That is your only chopping Luvs! 

Side Note: I usually buy the at Trader Joes. But you should try to find it wherever you can, at the best quality, (meaning no words you cannot understand because that is just so wrong on many levels) and at the best price you can. Most stores have a section that offers options. The plus is that I have enough for an additional meal! 
This stir fry has tons of yummy veggies and noodles!

Add the tofu to the oil and stir gently until the cubes seem to be covered with the oil. Turn/stir occasionally until you notice that the tofu has started to brown along the edges. When it does...reduce the heat to low and continue cooking

Once tofu is added...
While the tofu is browning a little more and the rice is still cooking follow the directions on the packaging of the stir fry. When the vegetables seem almost warmed through add the tofu and continue until cooked thoroughly.

Basic item transforms the dish!
Check rice...it should be done around now. I lean it to the side and watch for water to come from under. If there is then cook for 1 additional minute at a time. If done...you are ready to plate your meal.

Using the measuring cup scoop out rice evening it out on the inside of the pan. Place over plate and turn over. Your rice should come out onto the plate in the shape of the cup. Spoon tofu/veggie stir fry onto the rice starting from the top and allowing it to cascade to the side.

Absolutely delicious!
There ya go....have fun making this meal! I will share others when the urge arises. If you have any requests (my frittata or enchiladas maybe?) please reach out.










Til next time,

Kat








Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday....Possibilities!

Happy Thursday Luvs,

And yes...there was cleavage....
Not done often...and YES is was noticed!
This poem is dedicated to the Hubster. I do not typically do a Throwback Thursday post. However I decided to share a picture from our engagement party. It is where we were given a vacuum.... Now, the friend who gave it to us as a gift KNEW just how much I WAS NOT domesticated. She is in shock and awe when witnessing my parental skill (haha!) and fairly good cooking. Who would have thunk???? Definitely not me! Oh, and I am so animated BECAUSE I knew how funny they were trying to be.



Possibilities

With a deep breath
I leap...
Toward unchartered terrain
I am lost in your arms
Immediately I was there
Located in our future dream
Of things still unseen
For they had potential
To be more than
They seemed....
For I know now
The palm read
Back in time
Led me down this road
Where life has endless
Possibilities...

Til next time,

Kat

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Never Too Late...

Hello Luvs,

This ode was brought about by a conversation I had today with a complete stranger who believed that she had no chance to change things. In response I told her that I feel that it is never too late if you truly want to be a better person.
As we glow from within and float with the wind...


Never Too Late

A heart full of possessions
Is not full at all
And blows with the wind
Truth is....it's hollow
But if this heart seeks redemption
It's never too late
Because you now believe
There can be beauty hidden within

I live by the motto that my life is and will forever be an endless lesson. A lesson that teaches us how to navigate through the world (which includes interactions with others, empathy for your fellow Human Beings, and the footprint we leave behind for future generations). As a village of Humanity it is our repsonsibility to never stop trying...never subscribe to the belief that we are lost causes, and to contstantly pay it forward in a way that hopefully leaves the world a little better because you were here.

Til next time,

Kat






Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How Nature can help us be in the moment....even when we try not to be.

Hello Luvs,


Nature's umbrella....!
Today was a day when my mind rambled on. Focus was difficult to find...even though I meditated in the morning I still caught myself thinking of moments in the past that had a different outcome. Not sure why, but i am sure the reasoning will come when it needs to.

Imagined in winter
In the past I have found that being out in nature seems to quiet this mind. Being forced to be in the moment. I am away from checking social media, emails that call at me to return them, and the bustle of either cars or buses. Tonight as a family we will most likely go back to the outer trails surrounding the Botanical Gardens. It will be a reprieve for me.

Twig buck lying down to rest.
So, what helps to calm your mind and worries? Does hearing birds and the wind blow the trees to and fro make you look up and around? Will trying to navigate around mud spots left by recent rainfall cause you to look carefully at the placement of your feet and balance your body? Would trash left behind my others appeal to the part of you who wants to keep this special place beautiful for future visitors? If you answered yes to any and/or all of these then you are(were) in the moment at that particular time. It happens when what you are focused on whether it is touch, sound, or caution you have no choice but to be in the moment. What a wonderfully glorious thing the mind is!


Add raindrops=ART!
I leave with this...when driving think about how your hands feel on the wheel. When you are walking focus on how the pavement or path feel beneath your feet. When sitting at your desk pay attention to the breaths you are taking. For example, the rising and lowering of your chest or stomach. When lying in bed focus on how your head feels on the pillow. These will help...I know that for me, once I decided to do these things I very quickly felt calmer and more serene. The world did not slow down by any means, but I became more available to notice and take it in.




Til next time,

Kat