Dreams and the calls of the heart.


I recently turned 47 years old. I have a hard time even as I type that believing it. I don’t feel like I am a few short years from 50. My mind still believes I am somewhere around, oh say,  34 maybe. I like to believe I have so much time to do all the things I dream of doing.  Yet, there are very clear signs I am aging and not the young girl my mind would believe me to be.

This past week was a little chaotic. Just as I was having a moment of questioning can I do all of this, the universe, God, call it what you like, sent me some pretty clear messages. Even a dear friend of mine I am set to have tea with this weekend would be like who, your getting neon signs.  Some have been so perfectly timed I have to laugh as tears are rolling down my face. I then am able to breath in and push forward.

One recent “neon sign” was after a long day at work, I had locked up the kitchen, said goodnight to our porter and was walking to the front door. The night security guard was on and we had our usual small talk. I don’t see him often and he doesn’t know tomuch of what is going on in my personal life.  We were honestly talking about something mundane when suddenly he told me I needed to make my dreams come true and enjoy my life more. I had to catch my breath.  He gave me a short little talk and then laughed and apologized. Said he wasn’t sure where that came from but he had to tell me.  He’s a gruff older gent who is a Veteran who’s traveled the world.   So this was sort of out of character for him. I laughed, said no it was needed and confirmed something calling me deeply lately.  He smiled and said good I wouldn’t think he was a lunatic.  We laughed and said goodnight. I got into the parking lot and said “message heard universe”.

Another one that came was this quote from Elenore Roosevelt.  It was on the email from the Chopra Center’s 21 Day Meditation.  I laughed as I saw it. I was sitting on my deck on this lazy morning enjoying the morning sun and the sound of the birds.  I thought how beautiful are dreams. I also thought how loud mine are becoming as I get older. So loud I can’t ignore them.

I’ve read and heard that as we age, especially women who are close to or in menopause, that suddenly our desires, truths and dreams bubble to the surface and get in your face untill they can’t be ignored.  If you don’t listen they will manifest in health issues, aches, pains and good old emotional eating as we try to stuff them away and silence them.

Sometimes these dreams cause us to change as we realize we have to live them out or regret it deeply.    I can say I see it myself.  I use to wonder what the hell was wrong with me when out of my mouth came a truth but it wasn’t sugar coated and put nicely like I once would have said it.   I find myself taking inventory of my life and even my possessions and riding myself of things I no longer find use for. That dress I think I’ll fit into again one day, those craft supplies I will never use, books,  friendships that are one sided, toxic people , guilt, self doubt and feelings of not being enough.   I crave less drama, less chaos, and more tranquility.

I am happy to say that I have knocked a lot off my so called bucket list.  I hate that term to be honest. We have to come up with a new one.  sometimes as a dream unfolds I find myself so overcome with emotions I can’t help but have a few tears roll down my face. I use to think “sappy old lady, your letting your age show”.  Now I realize it’s my soul saying thank you. Thank you for working to make this come true.

Do your dreams call to you? Do they wake you up in the middle of the night? Do you stare at the stars making wishes? Are you too getting older and hearing them more loudly?   I’d love to hear your  thoughts. Leave them in the comments below.




Cast Iron memories & the nest empties

My oldest son moved out this weekend. A few friends told me I should be use to him not being around. He left home to live with his new band of brothers , the USMC, two short months after he turned 18. He lived on base states away and deployed. He at one point told me he was never moving back to Connecticut, he loved the south to much. I ate my way through those times. I cried a lot too.   Things happen and life tosses curve balls and after 4 years he was loading up a car and heading back to our home. Two and half years later, he’s nearly done with a good chunk of college, has an amazing girlfriend, a great job and just found an amazing deal of a home to rent with for mentioned girlfriend. So off he goes to start his life. I am happy as can be but I admit, I am a little sad but it gives me a chance to pass things on.

Both my daughters have moved out. Of course being women of our blood line, it was with the historical drama that comes with being women with broken history of female relationships.  I am convinced the pattern of this is actually years of karmic baggage. I use to think it was a curse. I see it is just a right of passage in our family.  The short of it,  there was screaming, and tears. More on my end.

For both I packed up what I had extra around the house and sent them into the world with a few things. Purchased what I could for them. Looking back I see it is always for the kitchen. I firmly believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. Growing up my mom rarely cooked but when she did, it felt like home.  Maybe it is me, memories of all of my family are around food. Not a bad thing. Some of the food was not the best but the memories crack me up. My mom burning fish sticks and putting the burnt side down, as if I wouldn’t see them. Me, hiding them in a napkin and later tossing them out the bedroom window. Plants grew well under that window. Places my dad and I always ate when I came to visit. My paternal grandmother’s cooking that still is hands down the best I ever ate. Her jars of strawberry jam looking like jewels as they cooled on the counter. The first dish my husband ever cooked for me that made me think “this one is a keeper”. Teaching my kids to cook so they could learn math, history, and geography.

My son, who if you ask me, loves to cook just as much as he loves to eat, and also has a girlfriend who cooks amazingly well. I sat listening to him at dinner one night and decided the right thing to send off with him was my 20+ year old cast iron Dutch oven.


My Dutch oven has been my favorite kitchen tool. I’ve cooked many a gumbo, stew, and chili in it. I’ve braised oxtail and cooked chickens in it. I’ve deep fried and baked in it.   We took it on camping trips when the kids were small where it cooked up “mountain breakfast” and even baked a cobbler over an open campfire. We have even used it over in our firepit in the backyard (that this son built for us) when we have lost power due to a hurricane.

I have a lot of memories and happy thoughts when I look as this hunk of black cast iron. I see silly faces of little kids waiting for dinner. Teaching the how to care for cast iron and the crazy looks of “don’t use soap mom?”

I hope this old but well loved and cared for Dutch oven will give my son many more memories and years of service as it has me.  I also hope that maybe as he cooks with it, he will remember some of the dishes I cooked and he and his siblings helped me with. Maybe it and him have many adventures together.


Got a weight loss goal? Simple tips to help.

imageIt’s the new year and a lot of people are looking to lose  weight after a holiday season of eating, drinking and being merry.  No reason for feeling guilty for the fun you have had. Look back, smile and move on. Yesterday is over, tomorrow isn’t here , you only have today, this moment and you can make a few small changes right now that will show results later on.

Here’s my list of easy steps you can take to lose weight and have more energy:

  1.  Water- Drink more water. It’s simple, easy and most of us have easy access to it everywhere. Hate water? Add lemon, lime or other fruits to give it a little flavor.  If your one who drinks a lot of soda swap out one soda a day for a week with water, the next week do two and so on. Using mineral water with fruit is a great soda swap.
  2. Stop the sugar dance-  A lot of folks have the idea that fats cause people to get fat. While there are some fats you should avoid, sugar is the true enemy when loosing weight. Most people are not even aware of how much sugar they eat and drink.  Some folks can easily cut sugar and for others it is harder. If you’re in the harder group find easy places to drop the sugar. If you’re a sugar in your coffee person. Opt to add spices like cinnamon (which helps with stabilizing sugar levels) , nutmeg, cloves, ginger to your coffee instead.  Read labels and find products with less sugar or no sugar or sugar alternative added. Like pasta sauce. Who needs high fructose sugar in their pasta sauce?
  3. Chew- I know you chew your food but do you just chew enough to get it down your throat as you have the fork waiting with the next bite to cram down your throat?  I’m guilty of this. Especially when I use to work a job that had me on the go and my break was not as relaxing. I found myself bringing my shovel my food down my throat routine from work home with me. Chewing untill your a total of 15-20 times (I know that sounds crazy) not only helps your body digest it easier giving you the nutrients you need from your food, it also slows you down which gives your brain and stomach time to communicate letting you know when you are really full. You will notice less feeling overly full if you try this out.
  4. Move- Yes, I am going to tell you to exercise . Thing is find something you like. Last year when I joined my local gym I was offered a free training session. I decided to do the session. I think the trainer was awesome but what I noticed is he did the same session with everyone, with just a few small tweets. So while my son loved the session, I was sure I would never do it again. To this day, I have not stepped foot in that part of the gym ever again.  He did give me lots of great info and I have used the things I like. While Yoga was my main reason for joining this gym it was suggested I try pilates. When I met a woman who invited me to try the class with her I found I really like it. I have yet to try the Zumba class. I am more of a Masala Bhangra girl. Think Bollywood meets Zumba.  Walk, skate, dance around your house. Whatever that will get you moving, do it. 20 mins a day is best.
  5. Meditation- Meditation has proven to cause relaxation. it helps with stress, anxiety and that in turn helps with cortisol levels that  pack on pounds that sneak on even if your eating really well. You don’t have to find a guru and have a special room to meditate. Just sitting quietly for 20 mins will work. You can chant a mantra or you can stare out the window or sit at the beach. There’s even proof that the new craze of coloring is equal to meditating. I can believe that as chopping vegetables is soothing to me.  Taking quiet time will put you at more ease during your day and help you with making better choices for yourself.
  6. Speak Kindly to yourself- I had planned on only doing 5 tips, so this one is a bonus. Please, please, drop the negative talk about yourself.  Learn to speak kindly and lovingly to yourself. Speak to yourself in the way you wish you to spoken to. No matter where you are on your journey. Love the curve of your hips, the softness of your belly, the extra junk in your trunk.  Love your body. Focus on health not numbers on the scale. Focus on increasing your energy levels and not what you can’t fit into. Tell yourself how wonderful you are . For you really are wonderfully made.


I wish you a very happy new year and may you have a year filled with love, laughter and lots of wonderful memories.




*If you are interested in working with me as a health coach please send me an email at Shellyowens88@gmail.com.