Friday Faves - Edition 40

Friday Faves – Edition 40


Today is Edition 40 of my Friday Faves. I feel like I should have a celebration or something. Edition 40 during my year of being 40. Seems special… right?!

Anyway, just know that I’m doing a happy dance to mark my excitement.

I know that might make it seems like my faves this week will be something phenomenal. But, no… it was just a week.

In fact, I have no idea how this day came so fast. Each day I had to remind myself which day of the week it was because I was certain it was really the one before.

When I shared my faves in last Friday’s post, I told you that Miss Sunshine and I were heading down to Greensboro, North Carolina for her final fall soccer tournament. In true teenager fashion, 10 minutes before we were going to head out the door, she discovered that her undershirt (because it was going to super cold!) was at the bottom of her soccer bag and smelled. We ran it through a quick wash and then got it mostly dry and hung it in the car for the drive down. We weren’t really on a timeline. It just gets dark and 5:30 pm and I prefer to travel to parts unknown in the daylight. 3/4 of the drive in daylight wasn’t horrid because the directions were pretty easy.

After checking in to the hotel, Miss Sunshine and I went to eat at Logan’s Roadhouse. I don’t know if you have these where you are, but it’s a chain. There are barrels of peanuts around and pails of them on your table. The shells are thrown to the ground.

This place would be a horror to anyone with a peanut allergy. Luckily, we don’t have that problem. We had a nice steak dinner while Miss Sunshine regaled me with ideas for an invention she must think up as part of an essay to apply to a specialized high school around these parts.

Her first game the next morning was delayed due to the earlier games needing to start later… because there was FROST on the ground. That game was tie. The later game they won 11-0. They needed to keep it a shut out from a point system, but as the score climbed, the players were moved around to positions they don’t often play in order to not humiliate the other team. Sunday was an 8 am game. Ugghhh… This meant that I got up at 5:45 am. I don’t even do that during the week. We watched the sun rise over the highway on the drive to the fields. They won that game 8-0. This meant they would head into the championship against the team that they had tied the previous day.

And they came out the victors!

They won the game 1-0. I’m not going to delve in too deep about the poor sportsmanship shown by the other team during the game. I will say that in the 7 years that Miss Sunshine has played soccer, I have never seen a player stand there at kick at another player’s ankles while they are waiting for a throw-in. Which happened right in front of the sideline. You get injured in soccer. I get that. Miss Sunshine had a nasty bruise on her inner lower leg. I have no problem with that. It’s the unfortunate mishap when two people are both going for the ball. I do have issue with the dirty, sometimes dangerous moves that were happening. The center ref did not have control of the field and we’re lucky none of the girls were seriously injured. And in true poor sportsmanship fashion, the other team did not even attend the medaling ceremony to collect their medals.

But enough about that!

Here’s how I entertain myself while I try to stay warm in the car during her warm-ups.

Aren’t Snapchat filters so much fun! I felt just like a sleepy bear needing to hibernate for the winter. But I did get to pull out that cashmere scarf that I bought in Scotland! FYI- if you haven’t been around the blog long enough to have read about my trip to Scotland, the scarf was Made in Scotland. You have to see those words on the tag to know that it was actually made there. I’m glad somebody gave me the heads up about that before I traveled there.

So…speaking of filters.

Miss Sunshine had a presentation to do in Spanish today. It required photos of the family. This is the one I chose of me. The hubby took this shot while we were at lunch at Mabry Mill. The lighting was harsh and showed how badly my face needed some lotion or some makeup (and maybe 20 years taken off). I did let her take in a selfie of the hubby and me that wasn’t edited, but this wasn’t going up on a Powerpoint in front of the class without some editing.

I don’t often talk about my editing because each photo is different. Some are edited, some are not. Some a little, some a lot. I don’t have Lightroom yet.  That’s next on my list, but my laptop is almost out of space so I need to migrate my photo library to an external hard drive and I get scared about losing my photos in the process

I thought that just for fun I’d tell you how I edited this photo of me.

First of all, here are the settings for the Sony Alpha 7 II:  ISO 250 | 28 mm | f/4.5.

It was shot on Aperture Priority. I was the one who chose the depth of field. I’m a fan of shallow depth.

Right now I just have the Sony FE 3.5-5.6/28-70 mm OSS lens. I want to add a 50 mm f/1.8 so that I can have an even shallower depth. The issue is that the Sony lens costs 3x more than a Nikon or Canon one. You can buy adapter rings for those lenses to fit…so it’s just a matter or deciding which route to go.

But back to the editing.

I edited this photo in the Snapseed App on my phone. Sometimes I also use the VSCO app or A Color Story app for certain things, but I predominately use Snapseed.

Miss Sunshine needed to get this into her Powerpoint, so I needed to edit quickly. I’ve never used the “looks” part of Snapseed, but I checked out Smooth. It made me look fake. I did not want that (heck, I left all those forehead wrinkles that show up when I raise my eyebrows. Ok… they sort of stay there even when my eyebrows are in a normal position. 36 years in the Florida sun with fair skin will do that. Add four more years of dry, cold Virginia winters…and…yeah). The portrait “look” was a more realistic filter so that was what I used. Under Curves, I added U01. I liked how it added a tone reminiscent of an 80’s film photograph. Then it was time to tune the image and make it a little more unique than just laying filters on it. Here’s what I chose: brightness +4, contrast +2, saturation +7, ambiance +5. I actually start from the bottom of this list and work my way up, adjusting to my preference. Sometimes I may work with highlights and lowlights after that, but not always.

And there you have it!


I picked up a new journal this week. Not because I needed one, but because I thought it was pretty. Sometimes you just need pretty. I haven’t decided what I want to fill its lines with. Will it be a story? Will it be lists? Will it be thoughts?

Big Mr. applied to his first college and is working on a few other applications. Mr. D becomes a solo driver tomorrow. Each of those things makes me realize how close we are moving to them flying from the nest.

As I think about the leaves that are now falling from the trees, I recognize a new season approaching.

Both in the weather and in my life.

The song I chose this week is by the Australian, Xavier Rudd.

I made the executive decision this week to push my 5k goal into the spring. The cold and I don’t get along and I want to enjoy my first race.

This presents a training issue. I gave up my yoga classes to run…and I miss them. I don’t want to give up my Pilates classes either, so I’ll have to rethink my schedule.

As I sat today, in day 48 of meditation, I realized that I often make my life more complex than it needs to be.

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend. It’ll be my first without a soccer game, but Miss Sunshine has to finish up a project for Science so I’ll likely be around the house. Sounds like a good time for some book reading. I need to make some headway on Middlemarch.

In any given moment we have two option: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. - Abraham Maslow

Let your light shine!


Friday Faves -Edition 39

Friday Faves – Edition 39


It’s that day of the week where I share some of favorite highlights from the week. It’s also the time when I try to catch you up on what my week has been like. Sometimes it’s one of those weeks where this time of reflecting on the good really helps shift the focus from the things during the week that were…how should I put it?…crap.

I thought I’d share some of the not so awesome happenings as well, since I’m working hard at keeping it real.

Tuesday and Thursday were migraine days for me. I don’t know my triggers, but I try to avoid most common triggers. My migraines start with an aura that usually last about 20 minutes. Two ibuprofen usually staves off the pain, but not the nausea and brain fog. I am lucky in that I can still go about and function during my day, albeit at a slower pace. What I cannot do with the dull ache and other symptoms is go for a run. Remembering that I have a goal of participating in my first 5k before the end of 2017, this is an annoyance. Tuesday and Thursday are my running days. The hubby and I joked that I must be allergic to running since those were my migraine days. I suspect it had more to do with the gray, rainy weather.

I’ve lived in 8 homes over the past 18 years and have never had a broken window…until this week. At the moment, the hole is tape closed while we assess the best path to repair. It’s double-paned and both panes are broken and is added to the growing list of household things that need repaired.

Not to be outdone by the window, the refrigerator decided that this morning one of the shelf holders on the door would break. Not the shelf, mind you… I’ve already replaced one of those and it’s broken again…no the actual plastic part of the fridge that the shelf slides down into. If you’ve followed my blog since the beginning (January of 2016) then you already know that was when I bought this fridge. We ended up with one similar to the one I mention in that postit just has french doors instead. Anyway! Why in the world are appliances…major appliances…made to break so easily. Oh..I know…but I digress.

So now that you know my pain, you can see why I really need to share some good!

I did make sure to take the time to pamper myself in the midst of a chaotic week. Afternoon coffees or sometimes smoothies (you’ll see smoothies feature prominently in my November Challenge this week. I needed easy).

I also needed to break things up with some laughter. Both Joey and Mackenzie have commented on how insanely hard it is to open the Talenti gelato jars. And they aren’t the only ones. I’ve been admiring the little tubs for some time at my grocery store so I decided it might be funny to record my process of opening it.

How did it turn out?

Watch and see…

I still find it funny because I was expecting something totally different.

I wish I could join everyone in their love of gelato and I’m sure it tastes amazing…if you like milk.

Well, duh! It’s made from milk. I can have milk in recipes, but I can’t stand the taste of milk. It’s probably my body’s way of getting me to avoid it since I have some level of lactose intolerance. The gelato was tasty, but the milky aftertaste required water to wash it away. Oh well… more for ya’ll!

I found these cute votive candle holders that are bark and steel. They seems so perfect for the autumn weather. They actually reside on the fireplace mantle, but I needed them closer together for photographic purposes.

I also had to do an order of some clothes for the boys. Mr D.’s jeans were getting too short and Big Mr. had worn all of the life out of his. Given his inseam, we have to order them for Big Mr. In case you’re wondering about some jeans for a 6’6″ man with thighs like tree trunks… the only ones he’s been happy with are American Eagle’s Original Straight Extreme Flex Jeans. The extra give in the thighs mean that it will actually go over his leg. We found them when he was 6’4″ and have been buying them since. Of course, if I’m going to do an order.. I needed to see if there was anything that I wanted.

I did need some jeggings. I wore them in Europe and Scotland and was happy enough with them to invest in some more. I buy my jeans in long. I prefer a little cuff with the boots. The regular length comes above my ankle and I know some people love a crop jean.

I just cannot do it.

After spending my entire life with jeans that were too short (because they didn’t come in different lengths when I was in high school) and opting to wear men’s Levi’s in college just I could have a longer inseam, I have the hardest time with buying jeans that are too short.

The kimono was a bonus. It was just too cute. It’s one size fits all so I suspect Miss Sunshine might steal borrow it on occasion.

I had a vision for this photo since, unlike in my teens and early 20’s, I don’t enjoy being in front of the camera. Instead, you get a post-Pilates topknot and I’m wearing sunglasses because I don’t have time to put on makeup.

Always keepin’ it real (my words…there is a filter…it’s freezing cold and I tried to tone down the red in my face. It didn’t really work. No. Don’t go back up and check for the redness).

Miss Sunshine and I head down to Greensboro, North Carolina this weekend for her final fall soccer tournament. It’s supposed to be cold! Like brrr… cold. I will be packing the gloves, beanie, down coat, and afghan for sideline living.

The band I found this week is a duo with a love story that would make you swoon. They “met” while perusing Soundcloud. Originally they thought they’d collaborate musically, but they also fell in love and end up married. Oh yeah… and they have amazing voices!

I hope that you have an amazing weekend!

Be on the lookout for a post on how my October Challenge went.

The hardest step she ever took was to blindly trust in who she was. -Atticus

Let your light shine!





Friday Faves – Edition 38

It’s Friday!

I hope that you all have had an amazing week. Mine has been jam packed.

I’ve had deadlines for Big Mr.’s Senior year. I had to pull together his Senior Ad… which meant finding the photos I wanted and, because I’m Amy, I had to hunt and hunt and hunt for the perfect quote. I also had to order graduation announcements and his cap and gown.

Eek! It’s happening too fast.

I’m a serious procrastinator, but deadlines are always met. I work pretty well at crunch time. That’s why my house is always cleanest before I host people.

Perhaps I should host more people and then my house might stay clean…. Hmmm?

We made a round #2 attempt at the Haunted Farm for Miss Sunshine’s 14th birthday (which meant the house was reasonably clean two weekends in a row!).

The hubby and I went with Miss Sunshine and 6 others girls.

The boys had been the week before so they forewarned about the area that might trigger my claustrophobia.

…and it did.

If you look up Haunted House props, they are literally called claustrophobic tunnels! I kept my arms fully extended like a victory sign to keep it off of my face. I was doing okay

…sort of. Then the line ahead got backed up and I was stuck in the tunnel. It was pitch black and I had no idea if I was 3/4 of the way through or only 1/8 of the way through. I just focused on keeping breath calm and made it through!

The rest was mostly creepy, but induced no sense of panic.

Miss Sunshine had a soccer game early the next day, so no sleepover.

There was some pumpkin carving over the weekend. Miss Sunshine carved the first two, Mr. D’s girlfriend caved the third, and Mr. D carved the last.

We couldn’t put them out the first night because a cold front was blowing in and it was super windy.

They looked nice out and festive out on the front porch.

While the teens were carving pumpkins, the hubby and I drove up to Roanoke Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was very blustery and the temperature was dropping, but I wanted to capture some of the fall colors.

I shared one of my favorite shots in Wednesday’s post.

This was the first year that we did not have a child to take out trick-or-treating. We opted to stay home and watch Stranger Things. Miss Sunshine really wanted to dress Maverick up for his first Halloween. She found her Halloween costume from a few years ago (she covered a set of scrubs to look blood covered and splattered blood across her face.)

I was surprised by how content he was wearing clothes. The hubby is always saying that Maverick wants to be a real boy…

Do you celebrate Halloween?

Do you still dress up?

This week also was the start of the November Challenge.

Here’s an idea of how Day 1 went….

Yeah, that berry mixture was on my shirt, splattered across my face, on the other side of the counter almost to the back door. There are still remnants on my laptop. It really was only a tiny amount, but liquid has a way of spreading!

The recipe also called for cinnamon sticks. They were jammed so tightly in the bottle that I tried to pry them out with a spoon. The jar broke and cut my hand. It was a tiny cut, but still!

It turned out tasty though. Which is more than I can say for today’s recipe!

I will probably do reviews of the recipes that I’ve tried a few times over the month and then do the overview at the beginning of December. I think trying to cover 30 recipes in one post may be a little too much.

I don’t get to Target as often as I’d like because it isn’t as close as where I lived in Florida. However, I do love the Method hand soaps and All-purpose cleaners.

I am picky about smells so I am that crazy lady who removes lids on cleaners, candles, and deodorants to make sure that the smell doesn’t make me ill.

I thought this limited edition was a great collaboration. It features designs by artists at Creative Growth, a non-profit arts center for adults with disabilities. I ended up purchasing the cloud faces because the scent is Vanilla Sky.

After the remodeling of the front entry decking, we needed a new entry mat. The old one had long ago outlived its lifespan. It was here when I bought the house and I’ve been in the house for four years. I’m a believer in taking the time to find what you like and so we’ve been some time without a front mat. Over the weekend, I finally came across this one and moved one step closer to completion of the feeling that I want to convey as somebody come to my front door.

Since I look for meditation music on YouTube, it was a little harder to sift through and find a new song this week. I’ve shared this singer in a post a couple months ago, but I think his new song is so good. It’s about being there for somebody… really being there when things aren’t going well…leaving a light on for that person

…perhaps being that light.

I hope you have some beautiful weather this weekend and are able to go out and see the magnificence that nature has to offer.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the the mirror reflecting it. -Edith Wharton

Let your light shine!



Friday Faves – Edition 37


It’s so nice to see you again.

Fall has officially settled upon the Blue Ridge portion of Virginia.

I’m hoping that I’ll have some moments to get out and capture some photos this weekend.

If you read Monday’s post, where I announced my November Challenge, then you know that Miss Sunshine woke up sick on her birthday. No soccer, no party..just pain and sleep. Saturday meant everything I had was dedicated to trying to keep her hydrated and soothed. Even after our return from the clinic, there was a period of time where I was debating a trip to the emergency room because the breathing was becoming more labored. I have no nursing skills, but I was monitoring the color of her nails and lips. I am not new to health concerns of children. I am well-weathered in this department. I have had my share of experiences with the 17, 16, and 14 year-old. It was a nasty viral infection and left her with laryngitis for the few days.

Monday, it rained all day. It was bringing in the cold. Miss Sunshine felt well enough to head to school on Tuesday.

And I went and got my hair done!

I always wait way to long between appointments. Mainly due to the fact that I’m still not good at my putting myself as a priority.

Are there certain ways that you make yourself a priority? Massage? Pedicure? Soaking in the tub? Spending hours reading a book? Something else?

When I was looking for a book on meditation, I saw this book, 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I wasn’t going to check it out because I had just finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had been in a pattern of reading non-fiction and had decided it was time for some fiction. In fact, I realized that I don’t think that I’d ever read Hemingway and that to be a cultured person, I should. He is the hubby’s favorite author so he recommended that I read The Sun Also Rises. 

But synchronicity being what it is, I had read something recently about 10% Happier, so I decided to check it out. I thought it was really good. In fact, I had trouble putting it down. Interestingly, while reading 10% Happier, Light Watkins, who is leading the meditation challenge that I am doing through Wanderlust, mentioned a quote by Dan Harris (I think it was on day 16 of the 21 day challenge).

Since I am new to meditation I am learning and still have lots to learn. One type of meditation that Dan Harris mentioned, which I had not heard of, was Metta Meditation. After a particularly hard parenting morning (teenagers…need I say more), I decided to try it. I found one on YouTube that I really liked. I have a hard time with “actual” visualization, but found this specific type and that specific day, I was able to see the person in each part, clearly in my mind.

Not to worry, I did finish and am back to reading Hemingway. I had a hard time with the story in the beginning because he introduced so many characters at the beginning that I was struggling to keep track of who was who. I’ve got it now! Plus it’s a short read. Another book that I heard everyone should read was is Middlemarch by George Eliot. I put it on hold at the library some time back and of course it came in while I have all these books going…and it is by no means, short. Then, my library has a display of “stranger reads” for Halloween. How could I really walk passed a book titled The Queen of Bedlam? So I checked out that rather large book by Robert McCammon.

I think I may have a problem.

Another problem that I have is that I LOVE shoes.

I think that my favorite shoe style of all may be boots. I don’t wear boots in warm weather.  I’m not even sure that I ever wore boots when I lived in Florida. I prefer sandals when the sun is beating down. After the move to Virginia, I started wearing boots during the colder weather and I always keep my eye out to add to my collection. Now it’s fall, glorious fall, and I can pull out my boots.

I think autumn is my favorite season.

Crisp air, bright colors, another page turning.

What is your favorite season?

YouTube once again did well with recommending a new band to me. I had a hard time choosing which of their songs to share. The band is Hollow Coves and they are out of Brisbane, Australia. In the end, I’ve chosen “The Woods” for many reasons. One of those reasons is because I read that the song is about escapism…about how we often get caught up in distractions and forget to enjoy the important things.  So much of my public journey has been about learning to be mindful and not so distracted. Even my blog name was created from a concept of stopping to recognize the beauty around even when everything seems as though it is in chaos.

I hope that you all have had a wonderful week and that you have a beautiful light-filled weekend.


Let your light shine!


Friday Faves – Edition 36


Time for a round-up of my faves from the week.


I haven’t actually carved pumpkins yet.  This is a throwback. My trees only have faint traces of color here and there and that specific tree is still bright green


cooler weather has arrived!

Also Miss Sunshine’s birthday is tomorrow and this photo reminds me that I have to travel to a haunted farm and try not to cry while we walk through it.


I’ve been working at cleaning up my photo files.  My startup disk is already full on my mac. I know that I need to move all my photos to an external hard drive, but it seems so scary. I don’t want to lose them in the process. Adding Lightroom is on my list, but I need to sift through old photos first because my computer is extremely sluggish.

The fun part about sifting through photos is when you stumble upon ones that you’d forgotten about.  This photo was from this past summer. It was taken when we visited the North Carolina Aquarium in Fort Fisher.

Most of the week has been spent trying get the house presentable enough for company. There were some highlights of the week though:

  • Miss Sunshine had a good soccer week
  • Big Mr. was inducted into the BETA Club.
  • Mr. D finished driving school. Next month he’ll be able to drive on his own.end.
  • I had to have a vein looked at that was causing me pain when running. There wasn’t a blood clot. Yay!
  • My cousin had his baby. It was a boy! The Aunt who travelled with me to Scotland is now a grandma!
  • My meditation is still going strong. I find myself using different mantras that I’ve learned in the challenge.  Like whenI awake at night or to keep my mind focused when I’m running or when I’m frustrated.


The colder weather really challenges my body to remain warm. I’ve taken to having a cup of tea in the afternoon. Some days I enjoy the teas that I brought home from Scotland. On other days, I enjoy my Yogi teas. I love that they have a little message on the tea bag.  The one that I’ve been drinking recently is a Berry Detox.

Do you have a favorite flavor of tea?

The song that I’ve chosen this week came up on my recommended list. I think it’s because I watch the TV show The Vikings. Given that I’ve been going through Game of Thrones withdrawals, I’m excited that the next season of The Vikings starts at the end of November.

What were some highlights from your week?

I hope that you all have lots of love and light come your way this coming week.


Let your light shine!


Friday Faves – Edition 35


For many people this symbolizes the end of the work week. A time to spend relaxing over the weekend.

For me, it’s symbolizes the end of my large spaces of quiet time. The weekend is often a time spent cheering from the sidelines of Miss Sunshine’s soccer games. A time spent driving to said soccer games. Finding those moments to make sure that I am connecting with my sons while they are out filling their weekends socializing with their friends. Taking time to sit and talk with the hubby without a timeline.

Last Friday, Miss Sunshine and I went to Richmond for a soccer tournament. That night we met a friend and went to Dave and Buster’s (kind of like Chuck E. Cheese for the older crowd…better food…and beverages). It was a lot of fun. I even remembered to ask for “no straw” for my water and when the waitress brought out my Strawberry and Watermelon Margarita, she brought it sans straw. Score!

Richmond has a zillion ways to get to an end location. I thought I had specified the way that I wanted the GPS to go…. I hadn’t. It decided the shortest way was a toll road that I’d never been on so the other mom was putting the address into her GPS as well just so we could make sure that we weren’t heading to some random place. It was fine. We got back to the hotel. I was proud of my merging skills…and relieved that at 10:00 at night, the roads were surprisingly empty. I do love these days of map apps talking me through my turns!

Saturday’s games were actually in the afternoon, so we had a relaxing morning.  Miss Sunshine even joined me in a 10 minute meditation session. They won both of their games for that day. We had a team dinner that evening, rounded out by Miss Sunshine’s favorite….


Chocolate Ice Cream.

Her final game was at 10:00 am on Sunday. Quite often, the set up of games depends on how many teams are playing. Miss Sunshine is a U15 and there were six U15 teams at this tournament. Three teams are separated into Bracket A and three into Bracket B. Saturday’s games determine when you will play on Sunday. Unlike many of the tournaments that she plays in, this tournament did not do a semi-final (where #1 of Bracket A plays #2 of Bracket B, and reverse) and then have a a championship game. This tournament, the #1 of each bracket immediately played each other. This meant that we knew the girls would medal.

The question was…1st place or 2nd.

And they won the Championship!

After our long drive home, I relaxed and did my meditation. I decided to sign up for the meditation challenge that I mentioned in last week’s post. That started on Monday. I’ve been very pleased with it so far. It’s also crazy to me that I have meditated for 13 days straight.

The hubby had Monday off, so we had a semi-lazy day and went to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment, so my week was still out of sync at that point. Ahh…Wednesday, I finally made it to Pilates! And Thursday, I finally it back to the treadmill for my run. I was worried that the time off might have been detrimental, but I ran 3.13 of the 3.2 miles without stopping.  That’s the farthest I’ve run without needing to walk for a minute in between spaces of distance. Keep your fingers crossed that I can do it again on my next run!


I have had some ideas for a novel rolling around in my mind for the longest time. Fear that my words won’t be good enough always makes me just not pursue. After reading Big Magic, I’ve finally committed to at least trying to put my words to paper. Each day I sit down with that black journal and sometimes the words spill from my mind and through my fingertips onto the paper and other times I sit down and they roll round and round in my head, but refuse to be coaxed onto the paper. I have come to a space of peace with that process. If it wants to be written, then eventually it will.


I’ve also had some luck on a semi-mystery for which I was once seeking answers. In watching the DVD’s of my grandmother, it made me interested in once again trying to look up a person that she mentions. My grandmother, Reva (technically Violet Reva, but she always went by Reva), was named after the midwife at her birth, Reva Boan. I also knew that she was a Native American.

When I first joined, I tried looking up her name. I’m pretty sure I spelled it Bowen…and had no luck.  This time I tried a search where I estimated how old she may have been and looked in Superior, Arizona (which is where my grandmother was born). This time it brought up a 1930 census of a Reva Boan married to a Butler Boan. Making it even more likely that I had found the correct person was the fact that Butler was listed as  a machinist at a copper mine. My great-grandfather, William Everett Van Hoose, was also a machinist at a copper mine at that time. A little more digging and I found the Dawes Census Card for Anna Reva Tyler, born October 11, 1905. She was 1/2 Choctaw. She died in 1975, having remarried and become Reva Silverman. I could discover no children.

Then, yesterday, I was thinking about how I hadn’t told my mom that I had found her and my phone rings and it’s my mother. During the conversation she needed to run inside an office and call me back. When she went to call me back, her screen was on the number to call my grandmother (if you’re new to the blog, my grandmother passed away in November of 2013). I decided perhaps I should dig a little deeper. It turns out that she became an artist. One snippet indicated she may have once had a painting hanging in the Smithsonian. I do not know if that was factual. From what little I can find, she was perhaps well known in the Phoenix area from the 1940’s through at least the 1960’s. In this age of the internet, you’d think I could find at least one of her paintings to be able to see it. So far I haven’t had any luck. I know that she was very active in the Arizona Artist’s Guild, so I may reach out to them. As a side note, if you’ve ever heard of the artist, Reva Boan aka Reva Boan Silverman aka Reva Silverman, let me know.

The music I’ve been listening to while I run is a 90’s music channel…. so I’m throwing it back this week.

So that was my week….

How was yours?

No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away. -Terry Pratchett

Let your light shine!



Friday Faves – Edition 34

Who else is excited that it’s Friday?!

I should be packing because Miss Sunshine and I are heading to Richmond for a soccer tournament….but I have a tendency to wait until the last minute when it comes to packing.

Remember how in last Friday’s post, I mentioned that I had a day of exploration ahead?

Well if you saw Tuesday’s post, then you know that we explored the Blue Ridge Parkway. Next week I’ll be sharing more photos and tales from our outing.

But I thought you might enjoy this photo of the countryside. There was a segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway that was being paved. This meant that we traveled very slowly through that area and I was able to snap a photo of this farm from the Jeep.

On Saturday, Miss Sunshine and I had to travel to Mount Crawford for her soccer match.

Sunday was a gathering with the hubby’s family. His oldest brother recently got married and they traveled up to see the family. The three brothers had not all been together since my father -in-law passed away at the beginning of 2013.


I was able to get some photos of the brothers along with their mom.

After eating, we embarked on the family tradition of setting up the projector and watching some slides. We stumbled upon some slides that most of us hadn’t seen. I was in awe of the photos that my father-in-law had taken of during the time they lived in Morocco. The lighting was magnificent. Lighting is one of my biggest struggles in photography and those slides reinforced my wanting to learn it because it can add so much dimension to a photo.

Wednesday would have been my Grandmother’s 88th birthday.  Those of you who’ve been following me for some time know that she was an amazing voice of wisdom in my life. My mother interviewed her back around 2009. I have copies of those DVD’s and usually watch them a few times a year. I decided to video a couple of her memories for those of you who like to put a voice with a face.


These are just two snippets from her memories of being a teenager in Los Angeles.



The entry deck is complete! My photo does it no justice, but you can see that we left the railing open in order to let in light. I wanted a white-washed feel to the decking. The house is gray so I wanted gray tones to the white wash. After looking at numerous choices, I opted for Behr semi-transparent in Cape Cod Gray.  The photo makes it look like there is much differentiation in colors than in actuality. I’ll probably try to take more photos of it in the future, but I’m just so happy that it’s complete!

In yesterday’s post, I shared how I fared in the September Challenge. I’ve finished six days of the October Challenge and am really enjoying it. In my need to get on the road last Friday, I neglected to mention an interesting event. After I posted about my October Challenge, I left to run some errands.  I checked my email when I returned and had an email about a meditation challenge! Synchronicity?! Quite possibly.  The challenge actually doesn’t start until October 9th. It runs for three weeks. 15 minute sessions. It’s free. It happens to be lead by Light Watkins, who I had noticed leading a meditation challenge at the MindBodyGreen website. I didn’t join in that time. I haven’t signed up yet for this one, which is being offered by Wanderlust TV. I will be perusing the information on this one once I make it to our hotel in Richmond, but I just wanted to let you all know about it, in case you have any interest.  You can read more about it here.

I am enjoying the meditation process so far. Learning how to quiet my mind just a little more each day. Which is such a peaceful feeling in this chaotic world.

A friend of mine introduced me to the song that I am sharing this week.  There is so much hatred in the world, but there is also much love.  Sometimes we just have to look a little harder through the chaos to find it.

I hope that you all have a beautiful weekend.  I’m sending smiles and beams of light across the miles to each of you. I hope that you’ll take a moment to send the same to others over the coming week!

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions"

Let your light shine!