Thoughtful Thursday One Step at a Time

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It’s hard to believe today is already December 1st and year is almost over. This is the perfect time to give some thought to the coming new year. As human beings we have the incredible ability to see the end result of something before we even get started. So where do you see yourself in a year from now or 5 years from now?

It’s so important that you envision where you want to be because you’re going to end up somewhere in the next year or the next five but the question is where will you end up? Are you going to spin in circles with no aiming point or are you going to make your dreams a reality? The choice is yours so pave your path to the future you want for yourself. Start by acting as though what you desire is already yours. This will help you envision it more clearly so it will become your reality.

All of your thoughts, actions and decisions have brought you to where you are today. But to get to the future you envision for yourself, you most likely need to make changes. They don’t have to be drastic but start with 1 thing that will bring you closer to your dream. Keep doing that 1 thing everyday until it becomes a habit. Then change 1 more thing and repeat the process.

Before you know it, you’ll be 10 steps closer to your vision. And if you reach your destination and decide it’s not for you or you have a change of heart along the way, then change your path and envision something new. Remember anything is possible but you must take that first step so life can give you the opportunities and circumstances to make your visions, your reality.

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Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Time seems to fly by faster and faster because Thanksgiving is here once more. Hopefully you’re able to slow down a bit and enjoy this special holiday. Take the time to really savor the intimate moments with family and friends and create some special memories.

I want to thank you for your continued love and support and for joining me on this creative journey! It really means a lot to me 💖💖

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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Thoughtful Thursday Fall Essential Oil Blends

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Living in the South you don’t get to enjoy a lot of the autumn colors and scents so I’m always looking for ways to bring the warmth of the season into my home. One of my favorite ways is to use a diffuser and add drops of essential oils to make some of the most tantalizing autumn scents.

The fragrant oils can affect your mood and give you a sense of complete joy and harmony. They may even bring back some wonderful memories. There are a lot of premixed synthetic oils but most are full with harmful chemicals. Plus many people can’t tolerate them and that’s why essential oils are great because they’re natural.

These are a few fall diffuser blends I found online. If you don’t have a diffuser I would recommend buying one. You can check out the websites below for recommendations or Amazon has plenty to choose from with reviews to help you find the best one. But don’t go crazy buying lots of essential oils. Pick 1 or 2 blends from the choices below and start with that to see what you like. Let me know how it goes.

Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by!!

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EssentialOilHaven.com gives recommendations for oils and diffusers.

CountryHillCottage.com gives easy ideas and recipes for living well.

TheOilDropper.com has useful information on using essential oils.

Thoughtful Thursday Bird Rescue

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It’s funny but you would think all the birds in our neighborhood have our address memorized. Whether they’re hungry, thirsty or need help, they know exactly where to go.

Last Saturday, hubby came home and saw something odd in the street in front of our house. When he took a closer, he saw it was a young bird, a fledgling. You could tell he wasn’t doing well because he was slumped over. It was getting dark so we put him in a box in the garage till morning because the rescue center had already closed for the day and mama bird was nowhere to be found.

We tried giving him some water but he refused so we just kept him safe for the night. First thing Sunday morning, we took him to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they rescue over 10,000 animals every year.

I couldn’t figure out what kind of bird he was. I’ve seen these birds a lot on my walks and the adults are gray with a bit of brown and a black patch on the head. They have pointy beaks and are everywhere here.

After searching the internet I finally found a bird that looked like him. It was a gray catbird.

Apparently these guys make a call that sounds like a cat’s meow and thus their name. They are masters at mimicking the calls of other birds and are known for singing beautiful songs. Sometimes they sing for as long as 10 minutes at a time. Very impressive!

I found this short video on Youtube that gives some pretty interesting facts about these birds.

I called the Wildlife Center to check up on the little guy and they confirmed he was indeed a gray catbird. They did everything they could but sadly weren’t able to save him 😥

I was really saddened by the news because I had high hopes. We gave it our best effort and sometimes that’s just how it goes. That’s life I guess. I will say that I keep my eye out for these catbirds on my walks and really appreciate their beautiful songs even more.

I hope that you get to enjoy these beautiful birds in your neighborhood too. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Yellow Crested Night Heron

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Yellow Crested Night Heron Fledging

I was very blessed this spring to watch these beautiful birds make their nests high up in the oak trees that line our streets. A few years ago we started with only 1 nest and now we’re up to 5 nests in all. As I went on my daily walks, I was eagerly watching each nest as babies began showing their heads one by one. These new birds have now taken up residence in our neighborhood and I see them often by the lakes.

When they were very young we would come home at night to see them walking in the middle of the street. I guess they were still trying to figure it all out. They would even visit me in our backyard every now and then.

These herons forage for food at dusk and into the night. However, you may also see them foraging during the day. They tend to walk slowly on land or in shallow water and will sometimes stand completely still waiting for dinner to come to them.

Yellow Crested Night Herons are primarily found in the Southeastern parts of the United States. Adult herons will lay anywhere from 2-8 blue-green eggs in a nest. Both parents will incubate the eggs for 21-25 days. Once the eggs hatch it’s up to both parents to feed the babies. They haven’t been studied enough so there is no data as to when they take flight and leave the nest. Fully grown they measure 1 ft 10 in to 2 ft 4 in. They are simply beautiful and amazing to watch.

I hope your enjoyed this little snippet about the Yellow Crested Night Herons and are able to see some. These are some of the photos I was lucky to get on my walks.

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“Beyond even the darkest clouds the wide, open blue sky goes on forever. Trust, let go, and allow yourself to take flight. So fly! Only then can you soar.” ~Martta Karol

Baby Mocking Bird Rescue

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You never know what the universe has planned for you. It always amazes me how the timing has to be so perfect in order for things to happen. Yesterday morning I went on a walk with my hubby. On our walk I was busy looking up in the trees for our new herons. Thankfully, hubby was looking on the ground and saw this tiny little chick just sitting in the middle of the road.

We quickly scooped him up and got him out of danger but weren’t having any luck finding the nest or mama bird anywhere. He was too small to be on the ground and on his own, especially on a busy street. We ended up taking the little guy to the South Florida Wildlife Center where they will care for him and release him when he’s ready. This also gave us the opportunity to donate to the center for all the great work they do. I love their slogan: “Saving Wildlife in our Urban Jungle.”

Sadly I’ve seen quite a few birds that have died this summer. The National Audubon Society sent out an email blaming the extreme heat for killing lots of babies. Although there’s no one better than a mama bird caring for her young, the odds were stacked against this little guy and the staff at the wildlife center agreed we made the right choice to bring him in. It was a small deed but nevertheless a good one and it felt great saving this little life!

I was surprised that we still have little babies like this in the middle of summer. Always thought this was more of a spring time event. Do you have the same where you live?

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Thoughtful Thursday Social Interaction

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I walk about 2.5 miles a day, 6 days a week. On some days I walk by the kids waiting for the school bus. It didn’t dawn at me at first but then I noticed something odd. It was super quiet and there were about dozen or so kids there.

When I used to wait for the bus there were about 8 of us at the bus stop. We were loud, laughing and carrying on. We told jokes or talked about the latest events going on at school. But all of these kids had their faces buried in their cell phones. They wouldn’t make eye contact with each other much less me as I walked by.

As human beings we crave interaction with others, yet here all they all were in absolute isolated silence. It makes me question if the use of cell phones especially at a young age is beneficial. As a parent I can say they do come in handy with changes in scheduling or for any emergencies. But we all got along great without them for years.

Texting on the phone, surfing the web or hanging out on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is not the same as interacting with others. It’s kind of a form of isolation. Studies have shown that isolation can cause depression, anxiety and low self esteem.

From my daily observations, these kids didn’t appear happy. They were more numb and zombie like as they clicked away mindlessly at their phones. Would it be better to limit the use of the phones to certain times of the day or maybe just for emergencies? Or maybe go back to not having them at all but then kids want to be like everyone else and simply blend in.

It makes you question what will these kids be like when they’re grown. Will they be well rounded adults who talk to others and learn from life? I’m not sure but one thing’s certain, they’re our future. To really appreciate and live a happy life you need to be involved with your world using all of your senses. Trying to live life through your phone leaves you feeling rather empty and and unhappy.

Many times I’ve even seen families out to dinner and everyone is busy on their phone. There isn’t much interaction between them. This can’t lead to a balanced life filled with joy. Maybe, as adults we should lead by example and use the phone less and interact with our kids and surroundings more.

What are your thoughts?

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Photo by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again. The weather has gotten a little cooler, thank goodness and the leaves are changing. But this is a time of warm gatherings and welcoming family and friends into our homes with lots of love. It’s a time to reflect back on the year and give thanks for all that we have.

More importantly it’s a time for you. This is the time to slow down and take in the beauty around you. Catch your breath and nestle in for the winter with warm soups and hot cocoa. Take time for yourself this season to recharge your energy. Find happiness in the simple, small everyday moments. Allow your soul to linger in the joy and peace of the season.

I want to extend a sincere heartfelt “Thank You” to all of you for your love and support. It’s greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John F Kennedy

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Thoughtful Thursday – Mirror Neurons

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What are mirror neurons? Mirror neurons are the part of the brain that cause us to mimic or reflect back what we are seeing in another person. For example when you see some one hurt themselves, you may winch and feel their pain. Or when some one yawns, you’ll have to yawn yourself even though you’re not tired. The same also holds true for when some one is in a bad or good mood. Their mood may rub off on us. This is because of the mirror neurons in our brains.

When I first started my morning walks I’d smile at strangers and most often I didn’t get much of a response, much less a positive one. But I didn’t let this stop me because I was determined to share my happiness.

As I continued my walks day after day, I’d smile bigger and longer. If that didn’t work I’d follow that with a twinkling wave and a cheerful “Good Morning!” I completely understand that not everyone wants to be happy and that’s ok.

But smiles are contagious and are universally understood. If you smile at some one long enough, you’ll most likely get a smile back due to the mirror neurons. Whether you’re in a good mood or not, the fact that you’re smiling instantly raises your energy and you can’t help but feel uplifted.

After a couple of weeks something magical started happening. These strangers who were not the happiest little campers suddenly became friendlier. I began to get big smiles, twinkling waves and morning shout outs of “Good Morning!” So much so that some would go out of their way to greet me. It made me feel even happier that I was able to share my positive energy with others. I may not have changed the world, but I changed my corner of it, just a bit.

Imagine if everyone tried to “Share the Happy” with those around them. Life isn’t always perfectly happy but when we put more of that positive energy out there, it will surely come back to us ten fold. So what are you waiting for, get out and share a great big smile with some one today 😊

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“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha

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Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird fledgling

I have to share with you the progress our baby Mockingbirds are making. There were 3 babies born around March 25th. Both parents have been feeding these ever so hungry little ones nonstop from sunrise to sunset. Last Friday we noticed the babies had left the nest but could hear them scattered in the bushes in the front of our house.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to witness one of the parents feeding this hungry little one. It was quite a show with the wings spread and the mouth wide open, waiting for food. The tail feathers in the front are from one of the parents coming in to feed. The babies long tail feathers haven’t grown in as of yet.

In between feedings, the parents are teaching the babies to fly. You can see them sputtering about in front of the house. They fly for short spurts and safely land back in the bushes where they’re completely camouflaged.

It amazes me how much they have grown in 2 weeks. The parents started by feeding them little worms and small insects. Now we see them coming in with large dragon flies for the babies to eat, it’s just incredible.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird fledgling