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Posts Tagged ‘joy’

Daylight Saving Time begins TODAY! I am thrilled, dear reader. Crossing this threshold of the year is the kick in the pants I need to get moving and grooving, especially after the challenges of COVID, Hurricane Ida, and the dark, wintery season. I am ready to tackle the remaining days of this school year, to get back walking on a more regular basis, and to announce some changes in my life that will be taking place soon. Frankly, I could not be more excited about the time change.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Helen and I went to the movies to see The Batman. This is the film where Robert Pattinson plays Batman and has to outwit the Riddler. It was awesome, and I love Pattinson as Batman. Do you know what is more awesome than the movie? Helen has officially moved back to Louisiana after living out of the state for 12 years. YES! In addition, she lives in Hammond, which is super close to where Shelly and I live, so we get to see her all the time. We have all been friends since high school.

This weekend, our area experienced a cold snap after weeks of warmer temperatures. Normally, I would be bummed, especially since I just put my plants back on the porch last weekend. However, it gave us a pleasant opportunity for my hubby to build a fire in our fireplace. This is the first weekend, this entire winter season, that we could enjoy a cozy fire in the fireplace. When Hurricane Ida caused the tree to hit our house, it knocked off our chimney stack. We just got it reinstalled this past Tuesday. What an unexpected treat!

The day is young, and I am looking forward to accomplishing a few tasks, attending a Baby Sprinkle for my friend Melissa, and going for a walk in the beautiful sunshine. What are your plans on this Sunday, dear reader? Whatever you choose to do, I hope it brings you some joy. Happiness!

“With the coming of spring, I am calm again.” ~ Gustav Mahler

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After SIX long months, Andrew is FINALLY back in his bedroom. My hubby and I moved some of Andrew’s furniture into his room on Thursday while he was at school, so I took a few pictures to send to him. On Friday evening after eating dinner at my mother-in-law’s house, Andrew officially moved back home. I am overjoyed and grateful that he is home. I am extremely thankful to Mrs. Billie for letting Andrew stay with her. I am extremely thankful to my Daddy and my husband for all of their hard work getting the repairs completed on the roof and the bedroom. Kudos to my boys for assisting any time we asked them to help with repairs, clearing debris, and yard work. Last but definitely not least, many thanks to you, dear reader, along with friends and family who offered up prayers and sent positive vibes during this ordeal.

Last night, Barry and I had drink night at Shelly and Kerry’s house to celebrate their daughter Aubry’s 21st heavenly birthday. Aubry was stillborn about four months before Andrew was born. It was a heartbreaking time for us all. I hated seeing my friends hurting at the loss of their angel. I make a point every year to acknowledge Aubry’s birthday. On Wednesday when I texted Shelly and Kerry, I suggested that we have a drink night and toast Aubry on what would have been a milestone birthday for her. Kerry, our bartender, mixed Angel’s Delight Martinis, and Shelly prepared Heaven on Earth (yummy dessert made with Angel Food cake). Shelly’s mom Mrs. Carol and her bonus dad Mr. Mike (my Godson) and our long-time friend Helen joined us for the celebration. Mr. Mike even brought over mini muffulettas and a cheese/meat tray. I thought it was a wonderful way to spend time with friends and remember Aubry.

Barry and I are steadily moving forward in March and continue to make progress on the house. The inspector for our mortgage company came on Friday, documents and receipts have been uploaded to our mortgage company and insurance company, and a fence company has been hired to put up our new fence in three weeks (provided it does not rain a whole lot between now and then). We also need to purchase new gutters and clean up more tree debris in the backyard. I am confident that both will happen in the next few weeks. At this moment, our only real hiccup is getting the roofing company to send someone to the house and fix an error on the roof, so we can reinstall our chimney stack. The roofing salesperson is not great at his job, so I am not sure when and if this will happen any time soon. We have been promised twice that someone would come (Friday and Saturday) to make the adjustment; no one has shown up, and the salesperson has not called with an explanation. I am NOT surprised, and my expectations are low. However, I am determined not to get upset and pray it will get resolved in a timely manner.

My life seems to be settling down a bit, dear reader. Since Andrew is back home, we were able to move a bunch of his belongings out of the living room and other areas of the house. What a wonderful feeling to have more open space! I am excited, yes excited, to do some spring cleaning, decluttering, and organizing. I want to get my house back in order before the end of this school year. I get the stitches out of my mouth (where my tooth was extracted, and a bone graft put in its place) on Thursday afternoon. Daylight saving time is next Sunday (woo-hoo!) which means more evening daylight and a happier, more motivated me. Also, Easter break is six weeks away, and the hubster and I will be on vacation together again. In the meantime, I have all sorts of interesting and enjoyable activities on my calendar to keep me busy until the break. Happiness!

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free 

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Last year, I recorded my “Year of Gratitude” through pictures on Instagram with the intention of creating a physical scrapbook. I still fully intend to create that scrapbook; however, it may take me some time. In hindsight, I should have scrapbooked by the month to keep up with it. I am a SLOW scrapbooker. HA! It will include all the people, places, things, books, and experiences that I was essentially grateful for in my life during 2021. In all fairness to myself, I was not really sure how my project would evolve or if I’d even keep up with posting a daily picture. Now that the year has ended, I have some ideas.

As part of my #Read21in21 Challenge last year, I read Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee (December). I realized shortly after reading it that the pictures I posted for my gratitude project were of people, places, and things that brought be a great deal of joy and provided me with lots of happiness boosts. I loved documenting my Year of Gratitude so much, I decided to do another project for 2022, Year of JOY.

Now, I have been taking joyful pictures since the new year started, but I am a bit behind on posting them on Instagram. I will catch up in the coming weeks. I recently read a post, “JOYSPOTTING 101” on Lee’s blog called The Aesthetics of Joy where I downloaded her Joyspotter’s Guide for free. According to Ingrid Fetell Lee, “Joyspotting is a simple practice of tuning your attention to the joy in your surroundings.” Additionally, I joined her 7-day Joy Jumpstart program. It is self-guided, so I can work on it at my own pace which is generally a snail’s pace. Furthermore, I have requested to join Lee’s FaceBook group, The Joyspotters Society. I think this group will add more joy to my year.

In addition to joyspotting, which is physically seeing something you could not see before, I will also be joyfinding. What is the difference? For me, joyspotting is finding joy in the wild. It is unexpected, a joyful surprise. However, the more joy you SPOT, the more noticeable it will become in your life. Whereas joyfinding, in my opinion, is something acquired or that you already own (a physical object); it is already a part of your life (a person, a fur baby, your home), or it is something abstract like love. You basically FIND joy interacting with people, places, or things that already exist in your life or expecting to experience at some point in your day, month, or year. Either way, the goal is to experience more JOY in 2022.

Dear reader, you bring me joy every time you stop by to read my blog posts. I hope your year is off to a spectacular start. It is hard to believe that January is almost over. I finished my time-tracking challenge scheduled for 10 January-16 January but decided to track my time for an additional week which will end tomorrow night. I will share my results with you soon. Also, if anyone is interested, Kelsi and I will be hosting our live discussion on Misery tomorrow 23 January at 2:00 PM CT. Click the link below to set a reminder. In the meantime, I hope you have a joyful weekend. Happiness!

“You have a whole world of joy right at your fingertips. There’s no method you need to learn, no discipline you need to impose on yourself. The only requirement is what you already have: an openness to discovering the joy that surrounds you.” ~ Ingrid Fetell Lee

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Happy Easter Blessings, dear reader! Jesus Christ has risen today and on such a gorgeous Sunday spring morning. It will be a low-key kind of day for me. My hubby drove my Daddy to Kentucky where they are visiting my Uncle Manuel for Easter. Son #1 will be celebrating the day with his girlfriend Kayla and her family. Since it is just Andrew and me, we decided to celebrate the day with a Mexican fiesta. I will be cooking bacon ranch chicken taquitos and tacos. We also plan to have chips and queso. Afterwards, Andrew will spend some time at his girlfriend’s house while I plan to watch a horror movie related to Cinco de Mayo. I admit it is not our traditional Easter celebration; however, it will suffice for this year. Additionally, I will not be attending Mass this morning because I attended the Easter Vigil last night.

I have a Godson! Since the end of September, I have walked with Mr. Mike (Shelly’s bonus dad) as his sponsor on his journey to becoming a Catholic. Last night, was the end of our journey together and the beginning of his journey as a member of the Catholic Church. Mr. Mike, along with five other catechumins and one candidate, entered into full communion with the Catholic Church last night at the Easter Vigil celebration at St. Margaret Queen of Scotland Catholic Church in Albany, Louisiana. Mr. Mike received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. I am overjoyed for him and all the others who made the commitment to walk with Christ.

The Easter Vigil was a beautiful celebration. Fr. Jamin and everyone who participated made the evening really special for the congregation and the newest members of the Church. Thankfully, Shelly and her husband Kerry attended the Easter Vigil as well. She took a bunch of pictures of Mr. Mike receiving all of his Sacraments. In addition, Mrs. Carol (Shelly’s mom) sponsored her niece Danielle who also became a member of the Catholic Church at last night’s celebration. What a wonderful evening!

May your Easter season be filled with joy and a renewal of hope, dear reader. Enjoy this special day with a song of love in your heart and peace in your soul. Happiness!

“We proclaim the resurrection of Christ when his light illuminates the dark moments of our existence.” ~ Pope Francis

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Happy Birthday, Aunt Carolyn!

Typically, November is the month that plenty of us pause and reflect on our blessings. The celebration of Thanksgiving stirs up the soul to think more deeply about who and what we are most thankful for in our lives. 2020 has been a challenging year for many with the global COVID-19 pandemic, numerous natural disasters, and the presidential election in the United States. I’m sure there are some who would scoff at feeling grateful amidst so much suffering and loss. However, counting our blessings every day, not just during the month of November, is a wonderful way to navigate through a stressful period of uncertainty. 

I chose November 2020 to visually count my blessings with a gratitude project on Instagram called A Month of Gratitude. If you are interested in my project, you can follow me on Instagram @katherineloyacano. Each day, I post a black and white image of someone or something that nurtures my grateful heart. I am fully aware that 30 days will not cover everyone or everything that I am most grateful for in my life, but it is a wholehearted starting point towards being more mindful of the gifts I receive daily. Today, I am grateful for my Aunt Carolyn who is celebrating her 80th birthday. What a terrific person! I wish I could be with her today celebrating such a huge milestone. She has a special place in my heart. 

Undeniably, there is a great deal that stinks about 2020. It has been a year of loss in so many ways. Loss of life, loss of jobs and financial stability, loss of hopes and dreams, as well as the loss of security to name a few. Nevertheless, when you peel back that layer of discontentment, worry, and fear brought on by loss, there is a fresh layer of hope ready to replace all those negative feelings with comfort, calmness, and contentment. This year also celebrated babies, marriages, graduations, and birthdays. In addition, this year has shown us resilience, living in the present moment, and our true priorities to ourselves and others. Those are all something to be grateful for during uncertainty.

It is never too late to develop an attitude of gratitude, dear reader. It is a simple habit that costs nothing to cultivate. With a little time, you will immediately reap the benefits. A grateful heart is rooted in joy. Take some time today to plant some seeds of gratitude and see how your life blossoms. Happiness!

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Sophie Kisses

Sophie Kisses

Despite the sorrow that is lingering over me like gossamer since last Tuesday evening when my family and I said our final good-bye to Sonic, our beloved male German Shepherd, I am finding moments of joy. While I have temporarily abandoned healthy eating habits and have actively avoided the scale during the quarantine, I have maintained my walking streak. Walking has helped me stay sane, catch up on Levar Burton Reads, and develop a tan. Along with the tan, I also have very distinct tan lines. I look like I am still wearing my socks when bare-footed and that makes me smile.

Purple RainVisiting friends also makes me smile. I had seen a recipe on Facebook during the week for an adult beverage called Purple Rain and tagged my BFF Shelly. We live down the street from each other, but we have not seen each other in weeks. She texted me Saturday morning and invited my hubby and me over for Purple Rains while practicing proper social distancing protocol. Barry, Andrew, and I drove over to her house after dinner and had a delightful time with her family. And, the Purple Rain concoction was rather tasty thanks to her hubby’s bartending skills. I consumed two.

Andrew and JadeAndrew and I decided to adopt a Senior from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. We chose Jade, who happens to be Andrew’s friend, former art classmate, and fellow traveler to Ireland. I was extremely excited to gather items she enjoys to make a basket for her. On Sunday, Andrew and I set out on quite an adventure to drop off her basket of goodies. A twenty-five minute drive turned into an hour when my car’s GPS took us down a long winding gravel road with nothing but wooded areas on either side of the road. Needless to say, when the kind lady on the GPS informed us that we had reached our destination on the left and there were woods and no house, we knew we were lost. After going down another wrong road, meeting a very loud dog (that would not move, so I had to drive back down the road backwards before finding a safe place to turn around) and its deaf owner, and a brief phone conversation with Jade’s father, we finally made it to her home and delivered her gift. Andrew caught up with Jade while I visited with her parents. Thankfully, we made it home without any other detours. Seeing the smile on Jade’s face and her appreciation was a huge happiness boost for me.

Peace CardYesterday, I received a card in the mail from a friend who I love dearly, but I have not seen in person in many years. Helen and I have been friends since high school. She now lives in Colorado; thankfully, we keep up with each other through Facebook. It was a pleasant and joyful surprise to receive her card full of peace and love. The message on the front of the card and her personal message to me inside the card were a perfect way to set the tone for this week. And, when this COVID-19 pandemic decides to subside, and we can safely travel, I want to start making plans to visit Helen. It has been too long since I’ve seen her in person.

I was hoping the “stay at home” order would be lifted this Friday. Unfortunately, the order has been extended until May 15th; however, restrictions on certain activities appear more relaxed than when the order was originally implemented. It is confusing to me, dear reader, so I will continue doing what I’ve been doing the last five weeks to stay healthy and safe. In the meantime, I’ll find joy in unexpected ways and continue working on my tan. Happiness!

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ Lao Tzu

 

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Easter BasketAlthough this Easter will look a bit different from Easters of the past, the fact that Jesus Christ has risen today remains the same. And, that brings about a peaceful feeling for me. Even though we did not celebrate Easter Mass at a physical church this morning; we still celebrated with a FB LIVE Easter Mass with Fr. Jamin, pastor of St. Margaret Church. The Easter Bunny still made a stop at the Loyacano household. Instead of hanging out with extended family today, I’ll be hanging out with the hubby and Andrew. What we do today doesn’t really matter to me. We are alive, well, and ready for a rebirth.

My walking streak continues. Because of the threat of impending bad weather, I chose to walk early this morning. I encountered a few sprinkles at the beginning of the walk and right at the end. I am still walking daily with Levar Burton (skipped Thursday with Levar to finish listening to the latest episode of Office Ladies). This will be the routine until I catch up with the episodes or start run/walking, whichever comes first. This week I listened to episodes #49 – #54. As always, I enjoyed all six stories; however, “Shoggoths in Traffic” (nod to H. P. Lovecraft) and “Cuisine des Memoires” were my favorites.

#49: “The Simplest” by Nicky Drayden
#50: “Shoggoths in Traffic” by Tobias S. Buckell
#51: “Cuisine des Memoires” by N. K. Jemisin
#52: “Small Medicine” by Genevieve Valentine
#53: “Face Value” by Sean Williams
#54: “Blur” by Carmen Maria Machado

Lily

My friend Ming sent me a photo of her beautiful lily.

Each day I feel as if I am improving with my productivity. I have been sifting through and discarding old paperwork. I have started to clean out my master bedroom closet. I ordered some dies for scrapbooking; therefore, along with my new grid paper, I really am hoping to get some layouts completed in the next few weeks. I completed the book of short stories (Full Throttle) by Joe Hill, and immediately started a collection of four short novels (Strange Weather) by him. I learned how to ZOOM and zoomed twice with some of my teacher friends. My hubby and I purchased a new dryer since ours gave out last Sunday. He was able to order one from Lowe’s and picked it up on Thursday evening after work. He is officially on vacation, so I am hoping we can complete some projects around the house during the upcoming week.

My Easter wish for you today is to have an enjoyable day, dear reader. May your Easter Sunday be filled with joy and a renewal of hope. Happiness!

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair: We are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.” ~ Pope John Paul II

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On Sunday morning I ran later than usual, so I had the opportunity to experience a beautiful sunrise. I decided at that moment when the first rays of light were coming up that I prefered sunrises. Naturally, this is not set in stone because I can imagine a sunset in the right place can be quite beautiful, as well. At this point in time, I’ll stick with sunrises. For me, a sunrise signifies more than just a new day. It is hope and a clean slate. Whatever mistakes, shortcomings, or failures the day before seem to have faded away. The sunrise caused an intense feeling of gratitude within me. I was given another day. Another day to spend with my family, stay connected with friends, and enjoy the many blessings of the day.

What do you prefer…sunrises or sunsets? Why? I would love to know. Leave me a comment below.

If you noticed, I am a little delayed in posting this week. It was not my intention, but time just slipped away from me. On Saturday night I directed the Showboat Auction at WYES-TV in New Orleans. It is one of my favorite places to work because some of my favorite people work there. I went to sleep later than usual Saturday night, which meant getting up later on Sunday morning. I got caught up in the day’s activities. Sunday came and went. Monday came and went, as well as Tuesday. I had plans to blog at BAM on Wednesday; however, received an early morning call to substitute for Kindergarten. I agreed. You agree to crazy things like spending the day with twenty-one kindergarteners when you need income. They are like ants. Always busy. It is Thursday, and I’m at BAM blogging away. Honestly, I haven’t been blogging the entire time. I’ve been checking e-mail and movie times, while stealthily eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. Okay, stealthily is a bit CIA; I just didn’t make direct eye contact. HA! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good information. However, there is an early showtime this Sunday for the new Alex Cross movie coming out this weekend.  

Update on Mission Weight Loss:

At Sunday’s weigh-in, I was 132.5 pounds. No loss or gain for the week. As for my run/walk schedule this week, I graduated to running a full thirty minutes. Essentially, this means I can run three miles. I ran both Monday morning and Wednesday morning this week. I always warm up with a 10-minute walk and cool down with a 5 to 7-minute walk. I’ll stick with being a 30-minute runner for a while. I haven’t found a race, yet. I’m thinking it may be early next year. It would be fun to run the Crescent City Classic in 2013. I haven’t run that race in many years. Although it’ a 10K race,  I have plenty of time to train. However, I would like to do a couple of 5K races first. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself.

I also wanted to share with you that I have become quite passionate about red seedless grapes. In the past, I’ve always eaten green seedless grapes. Last month at the teacher preview party for the school’s Book Fair, I ate some red seedless grapes. YUM! No more green grapes for me. Now, if I could just get my hands on some satsumas.

Oh, my wonderful readers, enjoy the remainder of the week. Find joy each day, even in the simple things of daily life. For today, sipping on a Skinny Mocha Latte brought me joy. Happiness!

“He who kisses joy as it flies by will live in eternity’s sunrise.”  ~ William Blake

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