If You Were Here With Me In Las Vegas – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

Weekend Coffee Share

Hey there, glad to have you here again for coffee. Do you like this cup? It is one of my own designs, and yes, you can take it home with you.
I hope you do not mind that I will use your visit as an excuse to stop organizing my Zazzle stores for a moment. I did not bake anything this week, too busy, but I bought us some streusel cake.
So this week had been another busy one. I am trying to get ready for a few things, first the above-mentioned stores have to be ready for the upcoming holiday season. I have given them and myself a week to make them just the way I want to. By next Saturday, they better are that way.
Also, NaNoWriMo is only a month away. I want to have the first draft of a book finished by then and use that month to edit the mess I wrote. I say mess because the first draft is always a vomit draft – just a bunch of stuff written on paper – it is the subsequential stages that carve out a true story. Apparently this story will the intro to the town most of my Paranormal fantasy series will be centered in. So the details have to be right at the end. And they will be – hopefully.
Amazon is launching an Etsy-like business section for homemade products, and I am trying to find out as much info as I can. I really love the idea, and will be writing about it on the blog, whenever I get info about it. This will be interesting. (P.S. saw some of the pre-launch selection of some stores and darn they look good – impressive stuff)
If you were here  with me, I would tell you all of the reasons I do not like living in Las Vegas – the gambling in the grocery stores, the groves of homeless people in the parks, just a little bit away from tourist section, the dirtiness of the city, the personal stories of loss and addiction I have been listening to. It is a hard, dangerous city that takes so much out of so many people. On one hand, I see tourists and people with money (as obvious by their clothing, and expensive cars), walking around and partially stepping over people with no place to live. Poverty is everywhere in the US, but I have never seen it so much in your face and seen so many people act as if it is okay. It is not okay. But for me, a temporary resident only here to work for a few months, there is not much I can do. And that is what is killing me. I do what I can, donate where I can, listen to people’s stories and give a kind word or two. As I worry about the content of my next blog post, they are worried about what to feed their children or themselves. It took me a while to learn that I can not rescue everyone – an affliction my husband and I seem to share – so we do what we can to help. I just don’t feel like it is ever enough.

Okay, I’ll stop with the depressing talk, turning back toward my usual more upbeat self, hoping that you enjoyed your coffee, and I will bid you farewell with a blessing of prosperity and happiness, hoping that you and your loved ones will always have what you need, and wishing that you would share with those who do not.

Blessings!

P.S. Please check out all of the other wonderful people who write as a part of the “Weekend Coffee Share”. Give them some love!

Celebrate The Small Things – Las Vegas Edition

 

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I am happy to back blogging, and to be joining you all in this weeks “Celebrate The Small Things” Blog Hop, hosted by the wonderful Lexa Cain.

We finally completed  our move to Las Vegas, which was not just relocating ourselves but our entire business, and as you can expect that took some time, especially considering that we are also in the midst of expanding. So I am grateful to be sitting in my apartment (albeit small) typing this post and connecting with you all. Thank you for all of the encouraging words and well wishes we received since we announced our move, and throughout it. This meant a lot to all of us.

I am also grateful that the pets (two dogs and the cat) did well on the trip from Tampa to Las Vegas. We drove, so this took a while, but they all adjusted fine to the trip, and are now comfortably resting in our new place.

The people in our neighborhood are very friendly, so that is also wonderful. I am grateful for everyone greeting each other, as well as for the some short conversations I had with fellow dog owners. Our place has a special pet court yard which has grass (a luxury in the middle of the desert), and there is a dog park within two minutes walking distance (thank you to the neighbor who pointed that out to me)

It’s almost fall time, and I am so grateful that I can switch my attention from summer decor to fall decorations. I am launching my home decor and lifestyle blog within the next few days, and I am looking forward to sharing some of the beautiful finds, I have already run across (and of course I had to purchase some of them, I just can not help myself).

Hopefully all of you also had a great week! It will be fun reading what you guys wrote, and if you have not joined in with this group of wonderful bloggers, but would like to, just follow this link and add your blog to the list!

Till next week!

Claudia

A Moment Of Gratitude – A Celebrate The Small Things Blog Post

It is time again to join Lexa Cain for her weekly blog hop “Celebrate The Small Things” You can join this ever-growing list of gratitude practitioners there. Remember, when you look close enough, you will always find something to be grateful for.

This week I am grateful that our move is now in it’s final stages, and we are actually getting on the road on Tuesday. I am looking forward to finally moving out of here, and toward the West, something we all have been looking forward to for a while now. Las Vegas, here we come!

I am grateful that I am getting better at moving efficiently and in a more organized manner. This will come in handy in the near future again, our stay in Las Vegas is limited to about 6 months. So, basically as soon as we unpacked, we are going to re-pack. I better have that down to a science by then!

I am grateful that I have chosen to take the next few days off, and that I am flexible enough to do so. It is so much harder when your schedule is dictated by a typical job. I am glad that I am in charge of my own schedule.

I am grateful that found some baby pictures of my daughter, I did not remember we had. Somehow they got mixed in with some tax papers (I don’t know how that happened), but they are adorable, and put a smile on my face. I can’t wait to tease her with them later on today.

Speaking of pictures, going through all of our stuff, I also came across my own basic training pictures. Now there is something to scare the kids with. Is it a bad thing to be grateful for having been hurt bad enough in basic training to receive a medical discharge? Well, I am, because it brought me to this time and place, something that might have never happened would I have actually been physically able to stay. I guess it is possible to be grateful for torn ligaments and improper medical treatment after all. Was not that much fun when it happened, though.

What are you grateful for this week? I hope you take the time to write a blog post, and join the hop, or create a list in your journal. Gratitude is a practice that should be held sacred by everyone, no matter which spiritual background or the lack thereof  one comes from.

Have a great weekend!

Claudia

P.S. I will not be a part of next weeks hop. Monday will be the last day I will be on this blog until end of June. See you in July!

Stumbling Through The Darkness

"Dream On" by Avalon Media http://goo.gl/XS6xHj

“Dream On” by Avalon Media http://goo.gl/XS6xHj

unknown path ahead
yet I stumble through the darkness
one step at a time

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

This is what following your dreams sometimes feel like: stumbling through the darkness, not knowing where the next step may take you, just aware of what is at the end: the goal.

It is what scares many people off in following through, not knowing how to get there, and only be able to plan a little bit, having to let go of certainty. Any creative endeavour surely is about letting go as well, allowing the process to unfold.

The key is to not allow fear –  which is natural, especially in the beginning, before any momentum sets in – to take so much hold on you, that it stops you in your tracks. Pushing beyond that fear, through the darkness will eventually get you where you want to go. But there is no other way then through.

Our move is somewhat like that. As I mentioned yesterday briefly, we are letting go of most of our possessions, taking with us only the things most dear, and the irreplaceable. There is a good reason for that. When we first moved here to Tampa, to be close to my recently widowed Mother-In-Law, it was only temporary. It ended up a few years longer than we expected, but it was nevertheless a short term solution for the sake of our family. We did not add fancy furniture or expensive items to our dwelling because our heart was on the other side of the country – our goals set to move to Los Angeles.There are no friends to leave behind, no ties to this community, as they were never made in the first place. So we made due with the necessities, and less luxury and comfort than we all would have liked to. None of this temporary life (with the exception of our extensive collection of electronical gadgets and consoles) will come with us. Our journey to get what we really want, how we really want to life will begin in Las Vegas, and end in LA. Something I am very much intending to write about.

But it means letting go of everything, of anything familiar. If we would let fear stop us, we would not be able to see all of the beauty that is about to be in our lives. Hanging on to yesterday, would keep us from enjoying a new and better tomorrow.

Whatever your dreams are, whatever goals you have, do not let your fears deter you from following through. Change and progress might be temporarily uncomfortable and scary, but that is a temporary state, on which’s other side lays the reward for having taken a chance.

Keep on dreaming.

The above image is available as a poster in various sizes in our Zazzle store. You can find it here.

“Feathered Friends” – A Haiku

Just for a moment,

my life should be this easy.

Watching feathered friends.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

Hustle – A Haiku

bloody knuckles in
the midst of hustle to gain
ground – fight for your dream

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2015

This post was inspired by today’s Daily Prompt: Enough is Enough, but instead of writing about giving up, I wanted to write about going on, despite failure, and obstacles. Fight for your dreams!

Fancy Little Things – A Haiku

Eaton Canyon Waterfall

Eaton Canyon Waterfall

fancy little things
surrounded by luxuries
comfort and content

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton

This Haiku was inspired by today’s Daily Prompt “Feeling Fancy“, asking us to contemplate a day of luxuries, if money was not an option.

Well, here is a list of a few things that would have to be a part of my day (of course I would take my daughter):

Start the day with a trip to the Beverly Hills Hotel Spa, they have an “Ultimate Indulgence” Spa treatment, which would take about two hours.

Then it is time to swing over to Cafe Gratitude, and eat myself through the menu (hey there stuff is healthy, so I can pig out, without feeling guilty – well too guilty).

If weather permitting, we’d go hiking – there are some really cool hiking trails in the Hills (Hollywood Hills that is), that I want to check out. Got to work off all of the food we just downed. And we can take our high energy dog (this would be too much for our little one, but Athena would have a blast)

And to end the day, we will hang out in our backyard and grill – hopefully jump in the pool (again, weather), if not, just enjoy the sunset together.

The ultimate luxury for me, personally is not one that I can get in one day, it is having our home there, in the Hills. And that is not a dream, it is a goal which we are actively pursuing. The rest is just detail.