Where is Your Zen?


When I walked out on my patio this morning, I was wishing I could just sit here and enjoy the cool for a while and listen to the birds sing while enjoying my coffee. Alas, That was not to be, since Thursday is one of my work days. That’s cool though, I love my job. It was 75 degrees though, and I knew it would be brief since the projected high for today was 99!

Later on in the day, it hit me that I neglected to mention in my post yesterday that it would have been my mom’s 85th birthday, something that had been on my mind all day. Maybe I was protecting my family from being sad or maybe I put up my own mental block, I don’t know. Anyway, Dad and I know what all the significant days are but neither of us mention it. We all have our own ways of coping with loss and I guess ours is just being together for each other. It might be my need to heal or mother but I have to say, it is always tempting to say something, I’m always afraid he will think I’m forgetting-as if I could…ever. But I don’t, because I don’t want to make him cry and he is still very emotional, of course.

This evening, when I got home, I walked back out there again and realized I’m creating an oasis of sorts, a peaceful place to relax and reflect, tropical in decor, zen in my mind. At least when it’s not being used for the main purpose, which is entertaining family and friends. I look forward to a long holiday weekend, no matter what we do, and I hope everyone reading has a safe, happy 4th of July! Tell me your plans, what or where is your happy place? Is it a physical place or a place you go to in your mind? Feel free to comment below, I look forward to hearing all about it!

Wednesdays Are For Dad

img_3237 A few weeks after starting my part time job, I started visiting my dad on Wednesdays and we sort of developed a routine. I go over around lunch, we eat, either at his house or out somewhere, we go back and play a few games of pool (more like 10!) and then somewhere in there, I help him fold his laundry. Just a few hours, but they have become important for both of us. Now that my mom is gone, we need each other more than ever and, besides Sunday dinner, this is a block of time reserved for each other. We have become quite comfy with this routine and the hardest part of it is trying to decide where to go for lunch! Today was to a local Chinese restaurant that we have both grown fond of. We end up getting three meals out of it because, with my eating a mostly Paleo diet, he always gets my egg roll, rice, and whatever of his entree he doesn’t finish, not bad for around $11.

Sure, I do other things on Wednesday as well, but I look forward to our afternoons together and I’m sure it’s a break for him as well from the monotony of another day spent mostly alone, save his old chocolate lab named Sophie. Technically, she was my mom’s, but he loves her just as much. My oldest son lives with him as well, however, he works all day during the week and doesn’t see him much. Some weeks I see him more, some less, but now, we always have our Wednedsays. Oh, and as for that fortune I got today, I ain’t buyin it…unless the numbers on the back are the same ones I got on my lottery ticket, and it wins. Fat luck!!

Tuesday's Are Meant For Writing

Except, that’s not what happened, nor does it most Tuesday’s. See, even though I’m “retired” from the medical field and as such, have been trying to become, if not a copywriter, some kind of paid writer, I took a part time job as a caregiver. Besides the fact that I always want to help people, my thought process was that when I get paid, I can pay for writing expenses such as maintaining a website, or taking classes to make me a better writer. However, that didn’t happen either, lol. My pay checks usually go for  helping with groceries, or things that I want to spruce up the patio or some service I want like my hair or nails done. In the beginning I had decided to devote my Tuesday off for writing and Wednesday for hanging out with my Dad. Of course, I try to fit writing in wherever I can.

As you can imagine, days off get filled up with to do lists, most are necessary but some are self imposed, I guess I feel guilty if I’m writing when I could be doing housework or other things, as if my writing isn’t my business. I’m sure I’d be making money by now if I treated it more as such. That, in part, is why I’ve decided to join my fellow blogger over at http://Www.heartseverywhere.com, in taking the 365 day essay a day writing project, starting July 1. At least if I don’t get any other type of writing done, I will be forced to write SOMETHING! That will build my writing skills and hopefully my blogging skills as well. And hopefully, I’ll have my network of fellow bloggers at least, to keep me accountable.

So, what did I do with my day off you might ask? Well, I took my darling Shorkies, Whiskey and Brandy to the groomers, made my hubby a delicious summer squash casserole, went to Ft Worth to pick up some sausage from a friend who was kind enough to get it for us on her recent trip home, washed clothes, ran the dishes and put them up and processed the produce my brother kindly gifted us with over the weekend! image image image image image

I don’t care what anyone says, this counts for some writing today! Wish me luck on my new challenge and please, check out Galina over at Hearts Everywhere, her blog is awesome!

I also want to make it known that I love my part time job and my client Stephanie, we have lots of fun times together. Why, just this weekend, we had her over for some swim time and Sunday dinner before going back to her house for a sleepover, which included mini-facials and some Big Brother viewing. She is a joy to work with and handles life head on, even though she has a disability. Some of you may know from past posts,for those who don’t, she has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that affects her balance, coordination, hearing and vision, among other things. Her strong faith gives her the positive outlook she has and her spirit is away so friendly and cheerful. I love her to death and speak of her often. (I have her blessing to do so, lol.) Here we are chilling in the pool. image


When Change is Good

Old door

Last year we changed our scenery from the south east coast of Texas to the place we call home, North Richland Hills, Texas. We came back be close to our families following the deaths of my mom, David’s dad, and then tragically, his older brother. Coming back here was a good change. We needed to be with our people, and they are glad we are home.

Last year, right before the holidays, we bought our new home. We thought we wanted a move-in ready home, but like all the homes we’ve lived in since we got married 31 years ago, this one needs a few changes. Like today, we changed the French doors leading to the patio to a shiny, new sliding glass door. This too was a change for the good.

New door

Of course, it needs trim, but it works beautifully, and I love it! As we age, we become more resistant to change, kind of set in our ways. So far, I’m not like that, I embrace it. Of course, I am more adaptable than most, since I moved around a lot as a child. Then, after high school I joined the Army and moved around some more. Since David and I have been married, we have moved ten times! I guess I’m a bit of a nomad, but for me, change is good. It’s a new beginning, a fresh slate. It sparks my imagination and makes me want to create.

We like making fresh new changes to the places we call home, we make them our own. Sometimes they need changing, like that door that didn’t work properly any more, sometimes, we just have a better idea or use for the space. Like the time David created a beautiful archway into the area off the living room at our second home (the first time we lived here in NRH). Or like in this house, he built a special platform in the corner of the living room to mount the tv on. I’m always so proud of the work that he does, and just like coming home, that’s when change is good.

Life is short, let’s not get stagnant, let’s embrace change and keep moving forward toward a shiny, new tomorrow.

Home Improvements

As we sit on the patio, awaiting whatever will become of our Friday night, I’m happily checking out my newly painted fish and “coral” that I finished and hung this afternoon.


I don’t know what it is about looking at a new creation or finished craft that produces a kind of high for me, let’s just say, even though these were gifted items, I’m proud to have given them a new look and its an exciting feeling, like I’m finally getting the decor more like what I want it to be. As we make more improvements, I’ll post more pics.

My goal is to have a comfy place for us and our friends and family to hang out, visit, and feel close to the beach-even if we’re not 😉.  Much more work is to be done but just having the new furniture, a few plants and pics and this newly finished project makes me feel that much closer!

For now, it’s time for a tasty beverage with my man, happy Friday everyone! Be seeing ya later, on the patio!

Work in Progress

So, today I thought I’d share a couple of the decorations I’ve been working on for my patio. Since we have only been in our new house a few months, it has taken me awhile to decide what I want for my patio to look like. My sisters-in-law have been helping me plan and the folks who lived here before us left some nice wall art, so….we decided to make it look like coral. Then my sister-in-law gave me some metal fish that look similar to the metal that will become the coral. Here is a preliminary look at what I have so far.



So there you have it, before and after, however, the coral needs a second coat and I only have one fish done. That’s ok, there’s always tomorrow! Maybe when the whole patio is done, I’ll post the pics and I’d love to get your feedback. It’s kind of a beachy, tropical theme and I also incorporating flip flops.

In the meantime, I need more paint and some new plants, among other things. It’s coming along though, all in due time. We are working inside the house as well, so….as time and money permit, ya know? This is how I spent one of my free days, and I’m happy with it!



imageWelcome to my patio, a place where we can relax, be ourselves, and talk about whatever we want. I’m sitting here on my brand new furniture, enjoying the morning with a hot cup of “bulletproof” coffee and thinking about what to transplant next. My sister-in-law gave me some new pots, and I’m just dying to fill them. I want to stick to a more tropical look, a feat since I live in north central Texas, where the heat and humidity are completely different than when we lived close to the coast in Groves.

Anyway, I want to invite all my former readers to stay with me here, and if you want to follow the old site, Essentially Paleo Life, it will find a new home at www.kimsmyth.org. There, I will continue my Paleo journey, as soon as I get the site designed and ready to go live, or I may change my mind and start something new. Here, I’m established already and I do hope to keep you engaged with new, fresh stories and posts. Let’s have some fun, dish about plants and anything else that crosses our minds, and let me know what your interests are. What do you want to know more about? What kind of plants do you like? How do you want your yard and/or patio to look. Do you like to cook, write, or dig in the dirt-because I do, and I love to listen to my favorite music while I’m at it (except for when writing that is), cause music makes everything better. Feel free to contribute ideas and ask questions and I’ll be seeing you, on the patio!