This morning as I go about my morning routine, I am listening to a conversation between Joel Osten and Oprah on the television. It is all about the power of the phrase that we say to ourselves constantly, “I am.” Now I have heard this conversation before, and so it was one of those, “Oh yes, that’s right I remember this!” moments.
Simply put, I become more of the person that I say I am. “I am tired,” and then I feel more tired, etc. As my thoughts drift about who I am circulating within my brain, I begin to think more deeply on the subject.
It seems to me that more and more these days there is tons of noise and chaos everywhere I turn. Blame it on social media, society whatever we like, it is definitely there. And it is not who “I am”.
I decide it’s time to think about who I am and who I want to be. What better time to start than the beginning of a new month?
And so this is my challenge to myself for November, each day I am going to journal one thing that “I am.” It will be only one phrase, voiced in a grateful, positive light.
And so I start. Join me if like. I will post on my Instagram page daily.
THE PAGE ON THE CALENDAR HAS TURNED, AND WE HAVE STEPPED INTO AUTUMN.
And along with it comes cooler temperatures with more time outside for us Southerners. I for one, am looking forward to getting outside and taking long walks with my dogs after dinner. When you live in a college town, such as Gainesville, September/October means lots of social activities are happening. Not only is sports, aka UF football, front, and center, September/October is also the start of many traditional fall activities.
September/October is that special time pocket of time between the start of school and the hustle and bustle of the holidays begin! Life begins to slow down along with the longer evenings. Octoberfest celebrations, concerts, and charity events are a few of the things we look forward to along with the changing of leaves.
2018 Lemon Ball
The Lemon Ball is a beautiful annual fall evening event to raise funds for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and to fund national research for childhood cancer.
Recently, I have been traveling. In September, our trip was to Ohio for a family visit, class reunion and the baptism of my great-niece. Yes, it was a lot to squeeze into six days, but it was a ton of fun and lots of beautiful memories.
Here is the one and only Marcia, my very best friend since 7th grade!
And here are all my friends from Chaney High Class of 68′.
Fortunately, we were able to make time for some sightseeing and took a short drive to Geneva on the Lake. There we visited a couple of wineries located on Lake Erie.
Indeed, September is a great month to be outside and visiting the Ohio/Lake Erie wineries. On the afternoon after our reunion, a casual get together was held at the local Mastropietro Winery.
And then there is the fall harvest at the local fruit farms. Of course, we made the time to enjoy an afternoon at the Whitehouse Apple Farm while they were celebrating the annual Fall Festival. Lots of tasty treats to eat, just too bad we couldn’t fit some of these gorgeous mums on the plane.
Meanwhile, back at home, it’s the last Saturday of September, and we’re off to a car show. Like I said earlier, “autumn has arrived”! And there are lots of fun, exciting, activities and autumn happenings everywhere.
At last, this is where I am going to leave you today. I hope that you are enjoying my look back at September and will join me here at Distinctly Southern Style next month and see what October has in store for us as far as autumn happenings.
Thanks for stopping by and do be sure to drop me a note in the comment section below. I would love to hear what’s happening in your corner of the world today.
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Summer heat and humidity make wearing white a very sensible fashion choice. Since white fabrics reflect the heat and keep us a bit cooler, it’s a no-brainer that it is a go-to color choice in summer. But limiting the wearing of white only during the summer months? Who came up with this idea and why can’t we continue to wear white after Labor Day?
Ok gals, ready or not it’s here, the season of fall fashions is upon us. Just look at any fashion website or step into the stores, fall fashion is what it all about. Now for us Southern girls, we have many weeks of hot, humid heat ahead of us. It can make us feel like we are stuck in a corner.
So you ask, “What’s your solution? How do we transition from summer to fall fashions easily?” And the answer for me is ” Let’s keep it simple sweetie!”
When we started planning for our Alaskan cruise in June, I didn’t know what to pack and so I started researching and asking everyone that I knew who had gone on an Alaskan cruise. The most common response I got was that it is going to be cold in June and be sure and dress in layers. But, what did they mean? How many layers will I need? I didn’t know and so I overpacked and wore only about 1/2 of what I took. To my credit, I will say that at end of our trip everyone on the bus to the airport was saying that they could have packed one bag instead of two. And so I am going to give you an account of exactly what I wore.
Tops, Bottoms, and Shoes
While traveling I wore leggings, a tunic shirt, sneakers, a jean jacket and carried a tote bag.
Zipper Front Sweatshirt – wore aboard ship on days at sea
Quilted Outerwear Jacket
Backpack – 2 sizes
Be sure and pack a change of clothes in your carry-on. I was so happy I did when I arrived in Vancouver at midnight and my suitcase was in Dallas. Luckily, I had packed an extra outfit which carried me through until my bag arrived late the next day.
Casual tops and sweaters are perfect combinations for dinner outfits. Although you are in a climate-controlled environment while inside the ship, at times I did feel a chill. I was happy to have a lightweight cardigan.
Leaving the ship and taking a variety of shore excursions, we were fortunate to have excellent weather conditions, no rain, and mild temperatures. Jeans and long sleeved tees or lightweight sweatshirts were ideal. My raingear/windbreaker protected me against the wind and added all the extra warmth need.
Different outerwear for different days.
Nearing the Hubbard Glacier, this was one of those days when I needed it all, hat, scarf, raincoat, warm coat, sweatshirt. Like I was told in the beginning, “wear layers”.
Don’t Forget To Pack These Items
Hats, gloves, and scarfs. It is going to be cool, damp and windy. Especially when you are on boat tours and near the glaciers.
Over the past few years, we have had groups of both friends and family visit Alaska, and they all loved their experience. And so I was excited for this trip and a chance to take an Alaskan cruise up the Inside Passage.
On June 13th, we boarded our cruise ship – The Seven Seas Regent Mariner – at the port in Vancouver and departed the next day for a north-bound trip up the Inside Passage, headed for Seward, Alaska and ending in Anchorage, Alaska.
Since our arrival on the ship was late in the evening, we were happy to be welcomed with a light snack and a comfy bed. The next morning we excited to have the day open for exploring the sites and shops in the city of Vancouver.
Begining with our evening departure from Vancouver, we started our Alaskan cruise northward through InnerPassage and a relaxing next day at sea.
After a previous day of cross-continent traveling and four different time changes, the magnificent scenery, delicious food and a multitude of shipboard activities were a welcome fulfillment of our second day.
Cruising The Inside Passage
Early, on the third morning of our cruise, we arrived at our first port, Ketchikan. Also, known as the “Salmon Capital of the World.”
To begin our day at Ketchikan, we start with an excursion to Silver King Lodge for a hike through the Tongass Rainforest and a tasty Seafood Fest lunch. At the beginning of our adventure, our small group enjoyed an excellent bus tour of Ketchikan. Excitedly, we drove through the countryside to the bay from which we were to start our outing.
As our small group traveled by boat through the winding waterways, we experienced fantastic views of the deep dark waters and snow-capped mountains surrounding Ketchikan. It was a great Sitka summer day…no rain and plenty of sunshine. The thick evergreen forests, winding waterways, and scattered islands are breathtakingly beautiful.
And that is not counting the wildlife; we witnessed eagles soaring overhead and sitting nestled high in their nests. On the return trip to Ketchikan, the theatrics of a group of whales swimming alongside our boat provided our entertainment.
Once on shore, we took a hike into the Tongass Forest and viewed the various species of trees, greenery, and wildlife. The experience of being in Alaska is remarkable. Either on the lake or in the forest you are in the middle of the wilderness, and the silence and stillness of these places are deafening.
Once we returned to Ketchikan, we spent the remaining afternoon walking around the town, exploring the shops along Creek Street, and generally wandering around aimlessly.
Next up, Sitka and it’s Happy Father’s Day!
Sitka is quaint town rich in Tlingit, Russian and American influence. It is also one of the world’s best places to view wildlife. The surrounding waters provide a vital feeding grounds for many species of whale, Sea otters, sea lions and other marine wildlife. And so that is why our shore excursion was the Sea Otter and wildlife quest first thing in the morning and touring the town later in the afternoon. Neither, of our choices, was a disappointment. The abundance of wildlife is incredible, and the performances that they provide is so entertaining. (Certainly, this is not a zoo or sea aquarium.)
I found the town charming and my favorite port for shopping the shops and spending the afternoon.
Wildlife: Sea Otters and Eagles
A “Whale” of a show!
Shopping With The Bear
The next day finds us in Juneau. I’m excited we’ve got lots happening today. We are visiting the Mendenhall Glacier and hiking down to Nugget Falls, visiting the Glacier Gardens Rainforest and time left over for a visit to the Red Dog Salon.
The end to another perfect day with a stop at a local hot spot before boarding our ship and sailing away again.
When we woke on our last day of the cruise, we were sad to realize that a dense fog had rolled in overnight. Today was to be our day for viewing the Hubbard Glacier. Our captain did his best to ensure that we would able to see the glacier, but that was not to be. Not being able to see the Hubbard Glacier was the only disappointment of our trip.
After, enjoying an entire week witnessing the grandeur and majesty of nature, how could we not be accepting of this is the way Mother Nature works.
Thus we have a schedule to keep so onward to Seward with one last fun-filled day at sea.
Seward – Anchorage
Our final cruise-related activity was a cross-country bus trip from Seward to Anchorage. The feeling of melancholy leaves as I watch out the window at the passing views of the beautiful Alaska scenery and reminisce over the fantastic experiences of the past week on our long anticipated Alaskan Cruise.
For now, it’s been a lovely cruise. We both enjoyed it much more than we had anticipated. Now it’s time to go home.
Many thanks for joining me on this little journey down memory lane while I share my Alaskan cruise memories.
I hope that you have the opportunity to experience the wonders of Alaska too.
Another adventure is checked off my intention list!
Today I’m sharing snapshots from my iPhone of our Distinctly Southern Style Saturday.
One of my favorite Saturday morning pastimes is to visit the local farmers market. Fresh foods, flowers, and coffee are all the makings of a delightful Saturday morning. Now bring the boys, Jake and Rex along and its perfect. They love the fact that they get to come along for the ride and they always receive tons of attention from everyone they meet. Plus there are lots of other dogs for them to socialize with too.
Now, let’s get started with more pictures and fewer words.
Here we are together again at this one moment in time, so let’s all take the time and enjoy! Let’s appreciate the little things in our lives. Our morning cup of hot coffee, the dogs waiting for their treat, the sweltering heat, the unexpected rain, whatever is happening in our world, let’s all stop and appreciate it.