Snowy Sunday

A lovely post from The Ravenously Disappearing Woman.
“I think the secret to life is as simple and pure as the snow gently drifting in my driveway”

The Ravenously Disappearing Woman 2.0

We’re under yet another winter storm warning, but I’m not complaining.  I think my husband and I need a day to relax. I’ve realized, since my weight loss, that I’ve become quite accustomed to my days being filled with a constant flurry (no pun intended towards the falling snow outside my window) of activities.

In fact, with my birthday being a month away, I was mentally comparing my life now to a year ago:

  • Nearly a year ago today, I was excited to be wearing a brand new pair of size 18, skinny, jeans to my birthday party.  This was a welcome change from the size 24 pants that I’d worn to my first weigh in at the bariatric center.
  • As only a  three-month veteran of my weight loss program, I cautiously approached every sip, or bite, of food that I ingested and monitored every calorie I burned at the gym.
  • My self-confidence was a newly burgeoning entity experiencing so much for the…

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Hand Over Hand – by Mike Smyth

At the edge of hopelessness, when all seems to be lost, the universe throws into your life the right person at just the right time. The knot at the end of your rope which provides the encouragement to start climbing and to not look down into the interminable abyss. A voice that is right there with you cheering you on, telling you,” You can do this, one hand over the other, don’t look up, don’t look down, just one hand over the other, that’s it, keep going!”
Inspired by a, Long Distance Love Bomb

This photo was taken at the Great Wall in Beijing, China by our 14 year old daughter while hiking in the area with a group of students and fantastic teachers.

This photo was taken at the Great Wall in Beijing, China by our 14 year old daughter while hiking in the area with a group of students and fantastic teachers.

My husband is participating in a writing class. Out of the class and encouragement by so many, his writing has evolved into more than just beautiful words. Today, his post on FB was so encouraging to me that I decided to share it with you (with his permission of course). Please enjoy.

Yes, I Walked Out on Him

This morning while driving the girls to school I was listening intently to the radio. The discussion this morning was surrounding the question, “Have you ever walked out on a situation”? Ha! I started laughing out loud and thought, yes, I’ve had one of those situations. My daughters of course were looking at me as if I had lost my mind rolled their eyes and went back to their devices.

So let me tell you when I walked out as I remember the evening plain as day as if it had just happened yesterday. It was and has been one of the funniest moments in my life. Although, at the time I was furious.

A little over a year after my divorce, I decided it was time to stop hating men and possibly start dating. I wasn’t sure if I was really ready to date, I only knew I was ready to start meeting people. I joined a site called eHarmony. It started as a joke or as a, what the heck, why not type of thing. Well, through the site, I did meet a lot of nice people, but no one that had caught my interest long enough to dedicate any time for further discussion or meets.

After a couple of months I met John (not his real name). John had a sense of humor and was easy to talk to through the computer. A few weeks after we had been talking we met in person for the first time at a restaurant. I had made the rules of the meet and had decided we would go dutch as friends would do rather than a date and have one of us pay. He was excited and agreed. Dinner was ok. A little tense as he ended up being a little more shy in person. After dinner we decided on a movie.


Photo credit to:

He asked me to pick the movie and so I did. I picked Jackass, it was supposed to be funny, a guy movie, and well I just thought he needed to loosen up a bit. We stood in line making small talk. We get to the theater window, he looks at me, smiles and says I’ll get the movie. I thought, awe he smiled, maybe this will be ok after all. He seemed more relaxed. He had a beautiful smile and smelled really good.

The lines to the concession stands were long and we decided to find a seat first. After about 10 minutes he asked if I wanted popcorn or a drink. I said sure of course that would be nice. As he was getting up he turns to me and says, “You know Maria, I usually don’t spend money on women unless its going somewhere”. Yes! Yes, he did say that. Spend money on women? Really now, you just paid for the movie and you were just getting popcorn and a drink. Spend money?

I sat there for a full 10 seconds. Stunned. Shocked really. I got up and walked out. When I got home I just deleted his profile from my list and never heard from him again. So, have I ever walked out of a situation? Yes, yes I have and thank goodness.

It’s been over 10 years since that incident and I can laugh about it now and I repeat the dreadful dating story to everyone. Even though this was not really supposed to be a date, it was.

What about you, have you ever walked out of a situation?

Art of Words

Yeah I believe in words, I believe that words can inspire. I believe that word can divide. I believe that words can unite. I believe all art has the ability to do this…..I believe we all need to find our medium to connect with each other!

A quote by Mike Smyth

Thinking Man

Changing Our Name, Sort of….

I woke up this morning in a blah mood and no inspiration what so ever. After speaking with my husband, I was so inspired, I decided to do something with my blog. Perfect timing I’d say since the assignment from The Daily Post, Michelle W., says, “Say Your Name.”

My blog has been in a rut lately. There has been so much, and I do mean SO MUCH, going on in our lives that I’ve neglected my blog. I personally love to blog; although, you wouldn’t think so from the lack of activity.

My first post in the boosting direction is to change the title and tag line. I’ve decided to go with Still Times – Capturing Glimpses of Times With Words & Photographs and a tag line reading, “Because everyday should be filled with laughter, joy, tears, and a sense of fulfillment.”

Why the name? Well, that’s me, I try to be positive and look at the positive or beauty of all things and people. I’ve always tried to post with a good attitude. I’ve failed at times; however, for the most part, I feel I do a good job of posting with a joyful heart. I love laughter, I feel as if when I laugh, I am in a way cleansing myself of bad thoughts or impurities of the heart. The joy and tears go hand in hand for me, I can laugh and cry at the same time for both good and bad reasons. I’m a sympathetic crier and will cry when I see someone crying (not kids though). At the end of the day, I like to feel a sense of fulfillment or accomplishment. My to-do-list grows faster than what I cross of as completed, but every check-mark I make is an accomplishment.

Why the change? We’ve moved from China to the great USA! We are living in Indiana for now. I’ll write more on this soon. Although, I’ll still post about China as I have an archive full of wonderful photos to share. My Indiana canvas is empty; but, I’ll soon change that as well. Untitled

The year has started out rough and so very busy. I’ll be sharing soon all the changes we’ve made in our family. It’s a journey for sure…. Cheers to you!

First Stop In The USA

Our first full day in the USA and our first stop was a toiletry stop at Kroger’s. What’s the big deal you might ask? Well, it seems that at 7:13 in the morning there are no cashiers available. We were told we must use the Self Scan machine, followed by the question,”Do you need help using it?”

What’s happening to our world? Why is cash not acceptable for renting a car? Why can’t I have a cheerful friendly cashier ring up my order?

I’m driving 5 miles over the speed limit yet people are passing me and looking at me as if I’ve done something wrong.

Ha! I’m ranting and don’t mean to be. We are a family of 4 who has had very little sleep in the last 24 hours.

We’ve been in China for a full year with no breaks in between. We are all looking forward to these will be blissful 30 days.

Our month long vacation/journey begins now!!


The Handwritten Note – June 1884

There’s something to be said about a handwritten note. The sentiment behind the note littered with emotion and character makes a handwritten note so much more appealing, inviting, and attractive. Sure, the note takes longer to reach your recipient; but, what a smile it brings! It does take longer and more effort has to be made. After all we are forced to use the old fashion pen and paper, stuff it in an envelope, buy a postage stamp and send it via snail mail.

In this microwave era we don’t make time to actually pen a note. We want everything quick, easy, and convenient. Everything is and has to be faster. The quicker the better. It’s an obsession! The more technologically advanced we become the further away we get from creativity and imagination.

When was the last time you sent a card in the mail? No, not that awesome app that you send the picture to and it creates a card for you then sends it out to your loved ones. I mean when was the last time you actually sat and wrote out a note or card and mailed it out via snail mail? When was the last time you didn’t rely on spell check and grammar check to ensure your notes were properly composed?

I spent the first part of July traveling throughout Maine, USA,  and visiting different antique shops. I wanted something vintage to add to my collection of, “Old” things (no punt intended towards my husband ha ha) I happen to open a journal of sorts and saw the following note. It’s a simple note; but, the sentiment is beautiful.

An Autograph

A note from John E. Milton from Danforth, Maine.
June 1884



A side note: One of the most romantic things to receive besides a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or flowers is to have a love letter accompany such a sweet gift. Or a , “remember when”, card. Well, when it’s for your loved one of course. As a mother and wife, I love to receive cards and letters of all types. When the note is from my children it’s especially touching when its handwritten.