~ Saying Goodbye, Once Again - and Forever - to More Social Media Sites ~
God Bless You.
In the beginning… And in the very, very end…
You - and only you - are accountable to yourself. No one else can truly hold you accountable - to your actions, your beliefs, and to your own integrity.
So, how does one maintain accountability in this wild and crazy technological era, this day of non-stop scrolling, in this data-driven age? An era where seemingly anything, and everything, goes. Laughter and madness reign equally supreme. Until they don’t...
Whom holds who accountable?
The answer - always - begins, and ends, with yourself.
Believe it or not, your actions, do matter in this world.
You are your own measurement of success. And failure. And mistakes. And misgivings. You know your own heart - and no one else needs to know it like you do. And thus, you own your knowledge, education, and accomplishments too. You are your own person. You are who you believe yourself to be. And ultimately, you are a product of your own actions.
And you, and only you, can take the action to decide to be on social media, or not. To be a part of all the laughter and the madness... The boredom and addiction of the scroll... the insanity of the comment section…
You decide whether you want to be associated with these companies. This is a very personal decision that only you can make.
And here’s my personal decision:
Today, I left social media. Yes, I’ve now said even more Goodbye’s.
I suppose I’ve said a lot of goodbye’s lately - piles and piles of goodbye. Earlier this month I informed y’all that I had deleted my two Twitter accounts. And by the way - I don’t miss them ONE FREAKING BIT!
Also earlier this month, in anticipation of today’s actions of closing the accounts altogether, I had deleted the apps of all the social media sites I was on as well.
So today, I went ahead and I did a whole heck of a lot more deleting. And I’m writing it all down right here. To maintain accountability - with myself. To boldly hold myself in check. To document date and time stamp. This post is my record and documentation of fact. My accountability to my own soul.
Today, Monday, March 22, 2021, I deleted social media and internet accounts and apps from my phone, my browser, my Macbook, and from my life. These sites include some of the big, main social media sites, plus some many more random apps and sites and bookmarks and memberships.
Why? You ask?
Because of everything, and anything.
Because if I don’t hold myself accountable, I cannot hold companies that I conduct business with accountable. And if you are on social media, you ARE conducting business with those media empires. And, most of them, they ARE empires.
I believe social media is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to hang out. In a way, it’s kinda like the wild, wild west of our time. Everything and anything goes. Amidst all the drama and divisiveness and anger and hate and censorship and blocking and cancelations and deletions. All that wildness all still happens - before it goes ahead and gets itself canceled. After all, something has to actually happen, before they can unhappen it, right?
I am seeing these vast media empires setting extremely dangerous precedents, one after another. Including the old originals and largest and most popular social media sites. And I won’t even get into the newer platforms that are continually growing beyond their elders and taking over in terms of membership numbers. Plus, social media sites seem to be joining up with the actions of many other very large corporations of our time. Partnerships. Mergers. And they are all seemingly going in one direction. They’re all targeting one thing:
Reaching for more and more data:
Each time we click, scroll, accept, and check, we are giving away a piece of ourselves:
And they continue to invade more and more of our privacy:
Our very souls...
Will they be coming for our intestines? Track our bowel movements?...
I shouldn’t speak too soon, should I?
But the scarier part of these precedents, is that they don’t seem to care about the precedents they themselves are setting. And I cannot, in good conscience, support - any - of these companies any longer.
The only thing left, and it’s hanging on by a thread - and I mean a very thin thread - is my personal, and private, Facebook account. And that’s as of this writing. And believe me when I say, it’s weighing on that good conscience. I do believe Facebook has been in long decline for quite some time now. It’s all the negativity, all the data breaches, all the arguments. And I’m hanging on, just barely, without the app, logging on for extremely brief periods of time, through browser only, without bookmark, for right now. But sadly, I’ve seen too many relationships destroyed because of Facebook. And I don’t see the good of it outweighing the bad much longer for me.
Let me tell you - None of this is easy to do. I LOVED that infamous grid style imagery platform. It was my absolute favorite social media. And I’m proud of every single photo I had once displayed on the site. I love photography, and it was a swell venue to showcase my adventures snapped via camera. My grid consisted mostly of flowers, doggies, and donuts - silly, yes - popular, no - but mine. Or was it?
But, in the end, I had to make a choice. A choice I knew I was edging toward with each passing day. Deleting and canceling my membership was as difficult a decision as was my act of deleting my entire Etsy shop last year. But if I can’t stand with my integrity intact, I will not stand, because my integrity means as much to me as the action of standing up. I, therefore, cannot support the companies I disagree with in any way, any longer. And I’m not perfect, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve made as many mistakes as have these companies. But, I know my own integrity. And I don’t really know theirs. And like I already stated, I’m still on Facebook. So - there is that. Make of it what you will.
But basically, I have reached a point that I’m not going to humor these places anymore. I’m not going to join along. I’m done playing their games. And I’m not going to be another number. One more person, contributing to the degradation of civil society. I am doing my part. By getting off their platforms. Before they can banish me into the dark and desolate forest, simply because I sneezed in the wrong direction. And if you think I’m exaggerating, then bless your delicate little heart. Because that’s exactly what will happen. Someone will literally sneeze in the wrong direction, and then… may God save their soul from the wrath of social media bots and bunnies and banishers.
And It’s all THEIRS. Not mine. I don’t own anything I do while visiting their institutions. That question of personal data sharing should concern every human being on this planet. If the data they take from us is not concerning to you, I am then and now concerned for your own safety, privacy, and well being.
I’m done selling myself - body and soul - and I’m done giving away my data to them. After all, these companies have reached a point where how much more data can they possibly want and attempt to extract from us all? Next, someone will come along and say we need rectal swabs to get on airplanes… oh wait, that is actually happening in 2021.
Like I said - our intestines.
So now, with my own accountability in check - I am really one less. One less bunny bot contributing to the complete and utter destruction and annihilation of civil society. By deleting the apps. By deleting the accounts of my choosing. All and each stemmed from specific reasons that shall remain private. But each one was picked and chosen for very specific reasoning.
So, because of Everything, and just maybe because of how you treat literally Everyone - Goodbye - And Good Riddance to social media. And God Bless you, too. ~
~ A Film Just Before Its Time ~
If there ever was a film I was terrified of upon its release - it was this one.
Just the other day, I recently re-watched “Contagion” - the now infamous film from 2011 - starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon, amongst many other notable actors and actresses.
I had seen Contagion ten years ago, upon its release. And I remember thinking at the time how scary of a film it truly was.
To me - Contagion was a horror film.
An apocalyptic film.
A sci-fi film.
A nightmare scenario.
Eerie. Very eerie.
A film that scared the living daylights out of me.
It shook me - to the core. But, why?
I could never really understand that. Why? Why did this film so severely affect me at the time of initial viewing? Was it a sense of foreboding? A sense of truth in terror? A feeling that fiction is reality? Or can someday be?
Can all fiction someday come true?
And what about historical films? Can history repeat itself? Was there ever a film made about the 1918 influenza outbreak? If so, did anybody learn anything from it? Or were we just doomed to have it all happen all over again, no matter what film was made, or not? No matter what happened in the past, does history always repeat itself?
I also remember thinking at the time that I could NEVER, EVER rewatch this film. It was too horrific for my brain to process this storyline more than once. A note to self - once and done. If this film happened to reair on cable tv years later, I would NOT be viewing it. Remember - CONTAGION.
Well, little did I know that I’d actually watch it two more times in the next ten years.
Was I crazy or something? Why would I purposely subject myself to a film that so obviously had shaken me?
At the very beginning of the Covid 19 outbreak, just a bit before it was formally declared a global pandemic, so a little over a year ago now… I went ahead and rented Contagion from the Jacksonville Public Library.
Something told me it was time to rewatch this scary film. There were things happening in the news that sounded awfully similar to what I had watched all those years before, on screen.
What the heck was I doing?
I brought home the DVD, carried it in the house, and I let the disc just sit there on my console table. I was thinking - contemplating…
Should I rewatch this horror?
But I was curious. Very curious.
And - By this time, nine years had gone by since I watched the film.
It was the year 2020. I had turned 39. Nothing scared me anymore. Nothing.
I had changed A LOT in those nine years since first viewing the film.
Now, I actually LIKE watching horror films. Apocalyptic films, sci-fi films, suspense films, thriller films, you name it, if it keeps my brain utterly and totally occupied, I’ll watch it. And I enjoy them all.
So, as the world was getting closer and closer to a nasty and evil and very real pandemic raging outside our walls, I had Contagion sitting there - waiting for me to view it once again.
So as the real life nightly news began preaching more and more about washing hands, using sanitizer, and cases of this novel coronavirus spreading widely, my curiosity peaked.
I ended up putting the DVD into the player, and I hit play. On a lovely evening, after a very busy day at work, and with a tv dinner in hand, my husband and I rewatched Contagion - for the second time.
This time, I watched it from start to finish - with the backdrop of a real life, strange, and mysterious virus standing just outside my door.
This time, I watched with an open mind.
This time, I watched to see how the world handled itself in this fictional crisis and war-like situation.
Well - of course - the world went crazy. Completely and utterly crazy.
On this fictional Earth - There were protests and riots, destruction and houses broken into. There were gunshots. There were bare store shelves, military on the streets, quarantines, and gloves, and hand sanitizer, and blockades, masks, and treatments, studies and vaccine research. And there was isolation, and school closures, contact tracing, and even discussion on how to allocate and distribute those precious vials of potential immunity. This list does go on.
It was all there.
It was scary, yes.
But it was still so fictional.
The film was still so out of touch with reality.
It was still sooo sci-fi.
We finished off the film. And went to bed. And went back to normal and not so crazy life. But, I guess, little did we know at the time that normal life wouldn’t be so normal anymore. Just a matter of days and weeks later. All that crazy - was coming our way.
As I slipped the DVD in its case and then slid it through the return slot at the library… the world outside went ahead and changed on us all.
So then the pandemic came. Once upon a time in a not so distant world. A virus plagued us all - IN. REAL. LIFE.
The fictional world of Contagion came true.
With shocking and detailed accuracy. Even down to conspiracy theorists influencing millions of people in various ways, and people wearing bubbles around their heads.
So as the one year anniversary of the plague came around, I found myself the other day, in contemplation, yet again. Over the film - Contagion.
Something told me I had to rewatch this horrific film, yet one more time.
How would I view Contagion, after experiencing a real life one?
So, for now the third time, I rented the film from the local library.
And I did my now usual hesitation - but this time just for a split second. I laughed. And I popped the film into the DVD player.
What on Earth is there to hesitate about at this point? Have we not seen it all in this past year?
This now silly and comedic film couldn’t possibly scare me now! Ha! As I laugh at our messed up little globe. The problems humanity has to deal with couldn’t scare me out of my mind. Nothing could shake me - to the core - after enduring what we’ve endured.
So, last night, at the age of 40, and ten years after its release, with a dinner consisting of frozen pizza and club soda, we rewatched Contagion, yet again.
Gosh, Matt Damon looks a lot younger there! - I thought as the film began.
I laughed as they tried to identify the virus - it’s ‘novel’ said the CDC.
And I remembered how a year ago I kept asking myself, why are they calling this virus a NOVEL virus?
I gasped as panic set in, similar to the real life panic.
My jaw dropped at the bare store shelves. And the fight for food and survival.
And I flat out had to press pause as all of societal order - began to break down.
It’s easy to look back and think all this was coming, and coming fast, and that we simply weren’t prepared. It’s easy to think of the should haves and could haves - now.
But how could we really have been prepared for the apocalypse? How does one prepare for a meteor to hit the planet? Not everyone has MRE’s sitting in a climate controlled basement bunker, patiently sitting there and waiting for their time in the limelight.
I hit play again and continued watching. They spoke of people leaving their clothes at their front door upon return home from work. So as not to contaminate their house.
Matt Damon’s character repeatedly hands his daughter hand sanitizer after they touch objects outside their home.
His daughter spends basically a year at home, sitting in her room, and texting her friends. Growing increasingly sad, anxious, and desperate for the end to this worldwide ordeal. When would she go back to school?
Well, as in all good end-of-the world films, the saga did come to an end. They found a vaccine - not necessarily a treatment - from what I understood of the ending, anyway. The world moved on. People started to venture on with their lives, slowly, and hesitatingly. And the story closes following a bird and a bat and a pig and raw meat and a chef and bare hands, and then - a handshake.
I think the very end of the film is always what scared me the very, very most about it.
While Contagion was completely fictional. Seeing it for the third time shook me again - this time to the core - again. Yes, the entire film was a work of fiction. But what was nerve-wracking and shocking to me, now, with this third viewing, was how true to life the entire storyline was. How did this film predict all that was to come? How did this story come true - down to a T? To the finest detail?
It was as if real life over this past year was scripted to match this film. Or was it that the film had been scripted to match the future real life? It all was just so eerie to watch. It was truly scary. Can fiction really become reality? And you know what? It was probably more difficult to watch the film for this third and final time. That’s right, I finally don’t need another viewing. Three and I’m done. I’ve lived through the film and I’ve lived it in real life. Next in line for viewing, please.
What was it about it for this third viewing that was so shocking to me? Why did the film originally shake me to the core ten years ago? Why was I so scared watching a piece of pure and utter fiction? Why did the bat and the pig and the raw meat imagery stay in my mind for all those years?
Maybe, just maybe, it was because I knew, ten years ago, deep in the back of my mind, how real and possible and true this piece of fiction could become, if we just gave it enough time. ~
~ Happiness in the Midst of All Adversity ~
I was driving down 1st Street yesterday - March 10, 2021 - and a sign above a local bar captured my eye:
‘A YEAR AGO THIS WAS OUR LAST NORMAL DAY AND NOBODY KNEW IT’
What a sign, right?
Our last normal day...
Yes, Goodbye to normalcy. One year ago.
That’s because, today - one year ago - a global pandemic was formally declared.
And with that formal declaration, the world as everyone knew it… changed forever.
Whether or not that nasty and sticky little coronavirus touched us personally, every single human being on this planet has been affected in some way or another. And we all continue to be. The ripple effects - monstrous. The waves - continue.
But there’s just something strange about marking one year. One year of anything life changing, really. It reminds me - in a very somber way - of the sad and solemn anniversaries that come round each year on September 11th.
But while, every year, on September 11th, I am extremely sad - today, I am not.
Today - I am happy. Truly happy.
Religiously - happy.
Happy to be alive.
Happy to have survived this past year intact.
Happy for everything I have learned.
Happy with how my life has changed over the course of the pandemic year.
Grateful for everything.
Grateful for everyone.
Thankful for everything and everyone I said hello to. And met this past year.
Thankful for everything and everyone I had to say goodbye to over this past year.
So, today, just for kicks, and since I deleted Twitter just the other day, I went ahead and removed some apps from my phone that I was - well - pretty sour with, let’s just say. While I deleted Twitter entirely, I deleted the following apps today and still have accounts as of today - Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Facebook Business, and Facebook Messenger.
I decided the benefits of having the apps themselves did not outweigh the risk. I decided I will need to reach all these sites with a browser, and not an app any longer.
But these are very easy decisions for me. Because I’ve said Goodbye lots of things these past years…
Hello masks and face shields and gloves.
Goodbye toilet paper.
Hello hand sanitizer.
Goodbye in-person meetings.
Goodbye Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant, Kenny Rogers.
Hello Dr. Fauci.
Goodbye job. Goodbye Etsy shop.
Hello new job.
Hello new neighbors.
Hello new friends.
Hello new routine.
Hello new entertainment.
And - Goodbye 2020.
And now that we’re well on our way into 2021, and seeing this beautiful new year unfold before us, I wonder… What will we see Goodbye to this year? What miracles await us? What excitement awaits? What dreams will fall from the Heavenly clouds and into our minds and hearts?
So, while September 11th will always and forever be sad to me, and the tears always roll down my cheeks, no matter how hard I fight them. Today, March 11th, every year, I will always remind myself to be happy.
Because happiness reigns in my heart as I mark this one year anniversary. And happiness is what I have made of this past year.
Because, if there’s anything great, noble, big, and phenomenal, that this pandemic has taught me... it’s that nobody can take my happiness away. No matter how bad the world gets. I am in control. I know the course I’m headed. With Mercy and Comfort in my heart. Faith - intact. And my beliefs - unwavered. I am the one who makes ME happy. I am the one who steers my own ship. And I am the one who lives my life. Nobody else can do it for me. Nobody else is going the same way. And nobody can take any of it away from me ~ unless I let them.
So, as they say - COME AND TAKE IT. ~
~Saying Goodbye to The Most Destructive Social Media Platform on the Planet~
Today I finally deleted my Twitter accounts. Accounts - plural - because I had two accounts… a public Twitter, and a private Twitter.
But either way - they’re both gone as of today. So, goodbye - and good riddance - Twitter.
I have had an on again/off again sorta relationship with Twitter for a few years now. But today, we formally broke up. Forever.
Like - We are never, ever, ever getting back together babe.
The main and exact reason for my breakup with Twitter will always be private and, thus, I am not going to share that with you here today. But I am very happy, indeed, to share that the relationship is over. OVER! And if anything I have ever written is deserving of an exclamation point in my writings, it is the previously typed one word sentence.
We are divorced.
Our union - dissolved.
Irreconcilable differences - Checked.
But - THIS - is not bad news.
THIS is good news.
Very good news, in fact.
You see - I am now one less person on the vast, and seedy, and quite despicable platform. One less is a sea of millions. One less droplet of water in a vast ocean of destruction.
And gosh, the waves were strong.
Like hurricane force winds taking place. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. OF EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Don’t get me wrong, here. There is a whole lotta good taking place on Twitter. Like - oh, let’s just say - local weather reports. Or, maybe even announcements of the special flavor of the day at the local ice cream shop. And, maybe even a Tweet from your favorite author sharing with you the title of their next and upcoming book.
But the loudest voices in the room seem to be filled with hate in their hearts. And I just don’t have time for hate.
My private Twitter account was the one I really enjoyed the very best, and is, sadly, the one I will miss the most. It was there, behind lock and key, that I followed all my favorite people in the world. I read their daily musings and followed along as civilized society fell apart around us all. I considered it a private diary of sorts. Where I was brave enough to declare to my private little world who I really ‘had a crush on’ at the moment, and who I ‘loved’ deeply. Who would I go to the ends of the Earth for? Only my diary knows that. And the few people whom I allowed to view that sacred, private diary.
My public Twitter account, on the other hand, was very simple. And not very exciting. I had, oh, I would say, roughly about three followers, and I followed about seven public accounts - including a few bakeries. If I read an interesting piece of news, it was here that I would tweet out a link to said article. And it was here that I would find the donut of the day, and coffee of the moment. It was here that I would be informed of a 99 cent sale on medium iced coffees after 3pm at Dunkin. For goodness sake, if there isn’t anything more important in the world than to know about that sale, I don’t know what is.
But, while the public realm of Twitter can be filled with innocent coffee and donuts, and surveys about which drink is your favorite - the caramel macchiato or the peppermint latte - Twitter can also be filled with a lot of destruction. At the exact same time. There may even be a hate-filled answer to an innocent survey question about what your favorite drink happens to be. if there is any place in the world that can turn a simple comment (Tweet) into the end of the world - it is on Twitter. The Hate was real people. Real.
And I’m guessing that as long as you haven’t been living under a rock in recent history, then you know as much as well.
Somebody always misinterprets someone else. Somebody always hates what someone else has to say. I’m not even referring to myself or my own Tweets here. I’m just referring to what I have witnessed across the entire platform. And it seems Hate breeds Hate. And the loudest voice in the room gets louder, and bigger, while the smallest voice, or the most quiet voice, gets quieter.
My own footprint on Twitter was small. Very small.
And I’m sure not one person on Twitter will miss me there.
And guess the heck what? I certainly won’t miss that blue little bird either. Bless his little heart.
I don’t think there is one single thing I will miss by not being on Twitter - except, maybe - the weather reports.
It was Twitter that I have relied on during almost all previous hurricanes that have come through during the past few years. It was Twitter that stayed on strong, and kept going, if the internet service was bad to nearly non-existent. It was Twitter that I could pop on and see what the latest forecast was from a local or national meteorologist - up to the minute reports. What was the governor saying? What was the mayor’s latest press conference? Had the river flooded? Was 1st Street under water? Twitter would keep me updated. And help keep my mind at least a little bit at ease, as I watched a storm churn and whirl past us.
So, I guess I’ll just have to get my hurricane weather updates elsewhere. Of course all of this is easy to say right now - in March - when the ten day forecast ahead of me is ten glorious days of sun. Easy for me to say now, when the upcoming hurricane season is still a few months away.
Many people have survived many hurricane seasons without Twitter. I’ve been one of them before. And I guess in 2021 - I’ll be one of them yet again.
I said goodbye to Twitter for many reasons. Many, many reasons, in fact. And as I said already, I won’t name the reasons themselves here. And the reasons shall remain locked away in my very own private diary. But, I am overall ecstatic to share this news with you. The news of saying Goodbye. The news of hitting the DELETE button. And I’m happy to share this news with you right HERE. And NOT on social media.
Alrighty then - I’m gonna go eat some Munchkins. And drink my large Iced Latte from Dunkin. And I’m really gonna enjoy another blustery and wintry day on my barrier island. And I don’t need that little Blue Bird to tell me the weather forecast today either. Because I just looked up at the beacon of sunlight staring right down at me. Beckoning me to get my daily dose of naturally derived Vitamin D, as I sit down to read a good book - by my favorite author.
So, Goodbye Twitter.
Tweet Ya Later. ~
If you enjoyed my ramblings and babblings, you may also like:
71] My 69 Week Break From Social Media ~ Why I Left & Why I Came Back
~Finding Peace Amidst A Simple Morning Walk~
Thought I’d post my usual (daily) Instagram image right here today - instead of actually on the social media platform I just mentioned.
Because Christine’s Floridian Dreams lives in - well… Christine’s Floridian Dreams.
And while I do love Instagram, I also loathe all social media platforms.
So as I watch the world seemingly crumble - and desperately attempt to continue onward - around me...
That world cannot crumble me - and I continue onward as well.
And I remain optimistic.
As my focus goes inward.
And I go for a walk.
Sipping my steamy, hot, morning coffee.
And I hug my furry baby.
The world is at peace. Or so... it seems.
While I enjoy a blustery, winter day on the coast.
So today’s post - including the image, caption, and any relative hashtags - lives here, and here alone. On my website. And in MY dreams.
I’ll see you again tomorrow Instagram. But for today - you don’t get even a slice of my time.
~ Cheers ~
2020 ~ A Year of Art, A Year in Imagery:
The End. ~
There’s an old Irving Berlin holiday tune that has some of my favorite lyrics ever written into song. It’s quite a simple and basic little melody, and of all the old Christmas classics played on repeat each year, it is definitely not one near the top of the list, nor is it as well known as some of his more famous songs. But has a lot of sentiment, and, to me - it’s quite nostalgic. It goes a little something like this:
‘One minute to midnight
One minute to go
One minute to say good-bye
Before we say hello.’
So - How do you say goodbye?
How do you say Goodbye? To 2020. And how does one say Hello? To 2021.
How do you welcome the new year in? Particularly, this one.
After such a year that we all had. After such sadness and such joy. After challenge and triumph.
And after thriving success and ultimate failure.
After surviving a tumultuous year.
Because if you’re reading this - you DID survive 2020.
My favorite lyrics continue:
‘Let’s start the new year right
Twelve o’clock tonight
When they dim the light
Kissing the old year out
Kissing the new year in.’
So - How do we all move on? How do we all proceed forward? What are the next steps you wish to take? What will you kiss goodbye to? And what will you welcome in return?
I’m not a fan of new year's resolutions - because I’m a definite fan of making changes in the moment - not waiting for a defined day. A date as far into the future as an unknown January 1st could be.
Basically - while I do make goals each new year, I don’t really “resolve” to do anything - I actually act.
I do believe actions speak louder than words.
So, How did I act - last year?
I worked instead of wishing. I took steps instead of standing still. I produced instead of wavering. I painted instead of crying. I wrote instead of longing. And I filmed instead of pacing.
2020 was the best year of my life.
So, no, of course I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to say goodbye.
But I knew I had to.
And I knew I had to move on.
My dearly beloved song then concludes:
‘Let’s watch the old year die
With a fond good-bye
And our hopes as high
As a kite
How can our love go wrong
If we start the new year right?’
So, yeah, um… what can possibly go wrong, right?
If we do all the right things… and make all the right decisions… and keep our chins up. And all carry on.
Yes, what - my dears - can possibly go wrong? During this bright and breathtakingly beautiful new year?
If world news and national events are used as a predictor, then it’s already looking like 2021 will be the very best year of my life, once again.
Because - With great sadness comes great opportunity.
With terrible actions comes the possibility of reaction.
With traumatic surroundings comes probability and junctures.
For the option of turning a new path.
To go ahead and take that fork in the road.
To aim high - and aim for that awesome and completely unknown road stretched out ahead of you.
And while you’re looking at the distant horizon, scared and standing - now - in strange and foreign territory. Go ahead and keep hoping… keep loving… and blow a kiss at everything which is now behind you.
So, I blew a kiss.
And I did say Goodbye. And then I said Hello.
Cause basically, what else was I gonna do? I kinda had no other choice, right?
Sigh… As I waved goodbye to the old year...
Sigh… As I kissed the new year in.
And as I kissed, I thought of it all. A year in review. A year in imagery.
The goodbye to my Etsy Shop. The goodbye to jobs and income. The goodbye to that which does not need me nor want me anymore. The goodbye to dreams. The goodbye to assurance. The goodbye to friends and family. The funerals not attended and the sympathy cards sent instead. Goodbye to sickness, and politics, and news, and coffee shops.
Goodbye to my Hamilton tickets. Hello to my Macbook Air.
Goodbye to magic - Heck I even had the opportunity to stand in front of Cinderella’s Castle on the very day Walt Disney World shut its doors to us. The biggest goodbye The Mouse has ever seen in his entire life. I stood there, and I said goodbye, and knew I would miss it all so very terribly.
The closure of nearly everything safe and comforting in this world.
Goodbye to dependency, Hello to risk.
And once risk enters the scene, then Hello to more risk.
Hello to hesitance abound.
Hello to skepticism.
Hello to mystery.
Hello to new conflict.
Hello to checks directly from Uncle Sam.
Hello to my Youtube Channel.
Hello to paddleboards, gimbals, and beach cruisers.
Hello to nights grieving for my country and for the state of our nation.
Hello to some of my favorite and most meaningful paintings I’ve ever created.
Hello to writing that came from 2020 - lived.
Hello and rejoicement to the best doctor’s appointment and hospital visit I’ve had in ten years.
Hello to sharing that news in silence. With no one.
Goodbye to age 39,
And Hello to age 40. A new decade of life.
And as I said all those Goodbye’s.
As the sun set on the final day of that tumultuous year we all called 2020.
As dusk turned to dark - one last time that crazy year.
And as I watched the horizon line blur, while the ups and downs faded away.
The roller coaster of emotion… of journey… of countless peaks and valleys.
And, gosh my gosh - There was death on that horizon.
There were tears flooding that horizon, forming a ferocious mirage.
There was fighting, and there were bombs, and there were arguments, and bullets and lasers and bricks and fire and sand bags and Hate.
As all of that faded away - I noticed something strange.
I noticed - that HATE didn’t fade.
As everything came to a close, and as the sun sunk low under that line, Hate stayed. And Hate hovered. Hate lingered. And Hate was proud.
Hate was going to survive through to the new year. Holy freaking crap! Hate was going to welcome in 2021 - standing right beside me.
As I looked out at the road ahead, Hate stood right next to me - eyes gazed upon the same horizon line mine were currently looking at.
What a scary realization, right?
Hate stayed with us and Hate stayed with us strong. Heck - Hate had literally crashed my New Year’s Eve party and I couldn’t throw him out. An unwelcome guest for sure, but a guest that wasn’t leaving, any time soon.
The sky grew darker. As the clock inched closer to midnight.
The fire of Hate grew more intense - the closer to midnight - the brighter the fire and light.
As the bells rang. And as the ball dropped.
Amongst all the kissing - Hate was a cloud above us all. I could still see HATE - all fiery and bright - in the darkness of that all important midnight.
Amongst all the fireworks - lighting up that midnight sky.
No one else noticed - was I was looking directly at.
No one else noticed - it wasn’t just sparkles lighting up the black darkness.
No one else noticed - the fiery glows in the distance.
No one else noticed - the Hate all around.
The evil hovering - in the fog.
The evil hiding - in plain sight.
The evil - celebrating right alongside me.
So, gosh, I thought. Is everyone cheering for Hate? As the pots and pans were being banged? It was just so obvious to me that Hate had crashed the party. How could anyone else not see this?
Is Hate something we must live amongst, forever?
Does Hate ever go away?
How do we say goodbye to Hate?
How do we push it all away from us?
How do we push Hate out of our lives?
And if you have the answer, the more power to you.
Because I have no idea. Other than to keep living the good life you are living.
To Love and be loved. Live and let live. Be and let be.
Will Hate always be there? A cloud in the sky, that never dissipates?
If history is to answer, then I guess the answer is - yes. Because the funny, or rather not so funny, thing about Hate is that it seems to hover... in the background… quite strategically and amazingly skilled. Camouflaged into any scenery it finds itself. Just waiting to pounce.
I think maybe it can never be wiped off the face of the planet. It’s too sneaky, and destructive, and quite quick at breeding as well. And even if we separated from Hate here on Earth, Hate would still be somewhere else trying to catch up with us again. Like the forces of gravity spinning us round and round. I’m not sure if there is a way to ever unlink humanity from Hate.
But if history and the cosmos is the answer, then I guess we know what we have to do - too.
Yes - We MUST keep living that good life.
We MUST keep trying.
And we MUST keep loving.
We even have to give love when it’s the very hardest thing to give. When it’s the last thing we want to do. We still need to give. And we need to forgive. And - We should most definitely still Love the one we Hate.
Because if love triumphs over evil - just like in all the fairy tales we’ve ever read - then Love must be Lived to truly succeed. It cannot just be words. It cannot be just wishing. I cannot just be pacing. And it cannot just be longing.
And it cannot be resolved and aimed for. It must be practiced in real time. Not waiting for a better day that never comes. It must be lived and lived now. Through chaos and destruction. Through foreboding and mourning. Through fire and screams. Through all the rain and clouds and snow and sleet. Through the wildfires out West. And through the snow storms out East. Through the hurricanes in the south. And through all the rough oceans and the highest of high seas. Through patience while waiting for that better day. It must be lived now.
Love cannot wait for another day… sometime in the future. When you have more time. When you retire, or when you have the day off work. Love must be lived today. While you are at the grocery store. And before you even punch in to work. And it must be there well after you punch out as well.
Love must truly be Lived in order to thrive. And breed. And renew, and grow. And strengthen. Maybe it’s just that Love takes longer to multiply and spread - because it is so very, very delicate. But Love, in abounds, can surround Hate, and make it less noticeable.
I think that thought and realization is what I took away from 2020 - when I blew my kiss into the air.
So, if you are questioning how to transition. If you are questioning how to proceed. And how to move forward. And how to say Goodbye. While at the same time saying Hello. The answer may be quite simple indeed.
Simply kiss that new year in, and keep on keepin’ on...
Yes - and do it before you even feel like doing it,
So - start before you’re ready.
Begin before the word Go.
March before you feel like it.
And Love before you want to give it.
Live that beautiful life that you and only you have been called on to live.
Live now. And live proud. Kiss the new year in with joy in your heart. Cheers to new beginnings.
Live loud. And live gloriously.
And, as my very own take on one of my favorite old songs so goes:
Let’s let the old year die
With a fond goodbye
And our hopes as high
As the sky...
Kissing the old year out
And wishing the new year in.
What on Earth can possibly go wrong
If we start the new year right? ~
Christine Pieper is an Artist, Lifestyle Blogger and Vlogger - living, writing, painting, and filming in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, with her hubby and nine year old puppy. She made a major life change in 2017 by uprooting and moving from Illinois to the Sunshine State, and has been living her best life in Florida since - detailing all her many and varied adventures living and traveling the Deep South to share with you here. Her mission is to help you live YOUR best life - by getting out there, going for it, and making that big change you always dreamed of. Christine will inspire you to get over yourself, show up for yourself, and get out of your own way. The only one stopping you - is YOU.
*To catch all of Christine’s Floridian Dreams, just bookmark this site, and check out her YouTube Channel while you’re at it - why don’t ya?
Hey there friend - Go ahead and check out some of my other ramblings by clicking the links below:
36] The End Of A Decade & My New Year’s Wish To You ~
49] A Picture Worth A Thousand Words ~ Happy Valentine’s Day, World
What do you see... that is still the same today?
What do you see… after nineteen years have flown by?
What do you see… by the dawn's earliest pink light?
What do you see… as we continue our perilous fight?
What do you see… looking down at two holes in the solemn ground?
What do you see… forever searching and maybe still not found?
What do you see… nineteen diligent years later?
What do you see… as you peer into those deep craters?
What do you see… from an airplane’s crash?
What do you see… past all the fire and burned ash?
What do you see… past the smoke and dusty air?
What will you believe… as people begin to not care?
And do you still hear… that valiant band playing through the quiet air?
And will you bear witness… to those fighting still and forever as they must?
As the next round starts... and we have to keep rolling past all the dust.
What do you see… through twilights shining gleam?
What do you see… past all those forces unseen?
What do you see… through those shining bright stars and breathtaking broad stripes?
What do you see… through the horror of all those bombs bursting this very night?
What do you see… through pollution and the reddest of red blood?
What do you see… as free men - and women - stand here in the mud?
What do you see… past Liberty’s smile?
What do you see… from sea to shining sea all those miles?
What do you see… though concealed fighting to be disclosed?
What do you see… as foe’s strike their continual battle blows?
Do you see there is proof?
That our flag is still there?
Oh Say Darling Can You See… her most beautiful story?
As she stands here - proud… in all of her glory?
Yes - I do.
I do see it all.
Yes even in war’s havoc and confusion and nineteen years later.
I even see Heaven on Earth and God our Creator.
I see that reflection shine above all and very tall.
I see Angels in the sky… And God in our hearts as we bawl.
I see reflection bounced off millions of broken chains.
Forever more - unconfined.
I see all those who paved our very way.
With their very lives - they all gave.
Yes, I see those next pages of her remarkable story be flipped.
As her bright blazen stays now - and forever - lit.
And, I STILL see the land of the freest of free… and know that this is God’s Country home, of the very, very brave. ~
~ So Long Summer Sabbatical, Hello Sweet September ~
Remember when you had to learn - or rather, memorize - the dates of seemingly countless historical events, while growing up in school?
I mean - does anyone ever really forget that the U.S. Civil War took place from 1861-1865?
Or that World War I lasted from 1914 until 1918? Added on to that one - y’all know the historical significance of November 11th, right?
And let’s never forget that our country was founded in 1776? July 4th - to be exact.
Throw together just a few more for the heck of it...
How about World War II lasting from 1939 until 1945?
How many of y’all know when we first landed on the Moon?
Or let’s go even farther back here - way back. When was Jesus born? When did He die? And - why did the event of His death have to happen in order for humans to be where they are today in God’s image???
Are any and/or all of those dates burned into your memory at this point in your life? Whether you ever spend a moment thinking about them throughout your daily activities, or not?
They - and an infinite number more days, periods, and good ol’ fashioned chunks of time - helped change the course of human history.
All those dates, and every infinitesimal thing in between - they were, and are, all moments in time. Placeholders in time. Bookmarks in time. Moments of time that were simply one page... of a much grander, and larger, novel.
If you flip to page ninety-nine of a very thick and heavy, weighty and bulky, five hundred and forty page Tom Clancy book… but you read only that single page - you’ll definitely not understand the context of what came before, and will never know what happens later on. Or - even much, much later on. And let’s not forget about those lucrative sequels. What will happen to our beloved hero then?... Once a new book deal is signed.
If Jack Ryan has to jump out of a burning building on page two hundred, but the story doesn’t explain why he’s doing that until you flip to page two hundred one… and all you’ve ever read was page two hundred... You’ll never find out that maybe he was escaping a bomb explosion. A small fire bomb that would be igniting an even larger bomb. Or that he may have been jumping from the first floor - and he’s just fine to continue on with his work after the jump. The spy operation that he being in the middle of - would make no sense to you - the context - having not read earlier chapters.
Context is relevant. To every story. And context is relevant to the entire story of humanity.
So, ohhhhh... with all that being said - Can you believe that Memorial Day weekend was over three months ago now?
I can’t, really. Do you remember that weekend? And the days… weeks, and trials we’ve all had to face, since then?
Memorial Day seems like it is one of those placeholders to me. The unofficial start to summer fun. Just as Labor Day is another placeholder - or bookmark. The unofficial end of summer, and the beginning of the autumnal season and beauty and grandeur of fall. Along with a change of routines, school days, and pumpkin spice and apple cider.
A whole heck of a lot has happened since this last Memorial Day weekend - in this, the grand and mighty year that is, our dearly beloved beast - 2020. This summer was loaded with pages of a massive and thick and complicated novel. We all witnessed a different sort of start to the summer season, we then witnessed a completely different summer altogether, and now we are beginning a different sort of autumn. Yes, it’s been a definite year, and we’re not nearly through with it just yet. I mean - what else can possibly come next?
Yes - my dear friends - Aliens. With all that has happened - I would not be surprised by such a blurb in an upcoming news reel.
So much has changed. And then, quite sadly, so much is still the same. But - the context of the events that are taking place is imperative to the story at this point.
That Memorial Day holiday weekend started out as any other. And, my hubby and I ventured out to a lovely meal during the patriotic and memorable date.
We chose a local German restaurant - the German Schnitzel Haus, located at 13475 Atlantic Boulevard, in Jax. And, just because… well - for no reason other than because I wanted to, I went ahead and vlogged the experience for you.
We ended up enjoying our meal, the entire patio outside to ourselves, grabbing some monstrously sized dessert afterward at Whataburger, and then made our way over to what I call The Bridge.
Jacksonville is a city by the water. Ocean, rivers, creeks, swamps, intercoastal, etc. - so bridges are everywhere throughout town, and I absolutely love them all. And really, I just seem to call every bridge and any bridge in town - the bridge.
I’m quite a huge fan of bridges - by whatever name they happen to go by though. They absolutely fascinate me. Their structure, color, height, curvature, where and what and whom they are branching together in their arch, and then, even what happens to be hanging out underneath them... it’s all equally exciting and thrilling to me.
So we went to The Bridge after we ate. And we just - hung out. Utilizing the shade from the structure, we relaxed. We watched all the activity taking place beneath the massive structure. And I captured a bit of this and a little bit of that, on video, for you.
But since that fateful weekend, America has not been settled. She is very sick right now. She is broken-hearted. And my heart breaks - for her - and with her.
Sure, I saw many, countless precursors to the actions that are currently taking place. I read, and understand the context of the previous pages. But I believe it was that weekend - Memorial Day Weekend - 2020, that helped ignite a flashpoint.
I’ve previously discussed this event with you. I’ve even questioned if we are a world at war with one another?
But when one is at war - the actual name of it is actually quite irrelevant at the time. After all, are we at war today? Does anyone know the answer? Many say yes - and many say no. Are we at war today if people deny it?
Some say it's a cultural war. Some say a revolution? My brain is trying to tell me that all wars are unique. They all have a different appearance. They all have their own reasoning and context. And with any war - there will be those who it doesn’t affect as much as others. Could our national heartache and upset actually be such a fight? Taking place, right now? I really don’t know.
But I do believe wherever we are - that we are at a tipping point. I do believe we’ve been in a lead up to THIS for a very long time, though. This - being whatever THIS is. And I’m talking years here - not days, weeks, or even months. I’ve seen the writing on the wall, and I’ve read the pages.
And, sadly, yes... I do believe we may be currently living on the razor’s edge. I believe we are about to cross the event horizon line of a black hole. And we may be about to go past the point of no return.
And just like a real black hole, way out there in outer space…
It’s size, shape, power, grasp, and gravity…
Some will never see it.
Some will never understand it.
And many - will never even read the books written about it later.
But whether the books are written and read, or not, may be irrelevant to whom and when it is actually taking place. Because, when you’re being sucked into a black hole, your most likely only concern at that point is for your own survival. And as happens with every single thing that is sucked into a black hole - there comes a time, just before reaching the event horizon line, that one can still escape from its force. It’s that moment I am referencing here. With an extreme and heightened awareness of one’s immediate surroundings and what is happening. But it also may be very confusing. As such a force is so powerful and vast, that up close and personal, things may appear quite strange.
Kinda like right now...
What’s happening all around us - is literally and actually happening all around us.
But - What’s been done is done. And we have to figure out how to continue onward.
And it’s up to people to choose to see it. Or not.
And people can definitely turn a blind eye.
And people can deny all they want.
And far into the future, many will just remember the numbers: 2020. And maybe not the significance of all that has occurred in that time period and during this exact time.
And the event horizon line I’m talking about here is FORGIVENESS.
Remember how I asked you earlier WHY Jesus rose from the dead?
It seems there is currently a vast lack of forgiveness taking place in this world right now. We left forgiveness outside the black hole - if we did indeed cross the event horizon line. It didn’t join us on the next pages of our journey. We need to find forgiveness in our hearts - once again.
And it is this lack of forgiveness that makes me question this relationship we have with one another.
Once forgiveness is lost, there’s not much left to keep us tethered together. As a People. As a Nation. As a community. As global sovereign states and neighbors. And as a civil society. As peaceful patrons inside a grocery store.
When someone does something or someone wrong, we have a very civil way of handling the situation. It’s pretty basic… and it’s called an apology.
And after the person who wronged another apologized, this very basic and very humane thing usually occurs. And it happens on the opposing side… The other side of the wronged - by the person or persons who were wronged.
This is where Forgiveness always factors in. On the side of the wronged is where forgiveness always matters the most.
And forgiveness is sometimes, and most of the time, the more important part of the transaction amongst two beings.
And if it happened today - right now - would that be a miracle? Because, is it forgiveness that has been lost?
I see the anger. I feel the sadness. And heartache. But to top it all off - everyone wants everything in the entire world fixed overnight. Seemingly and literally.
But real and lasting change doesn’t work that way. Who can solve such complex issues?
Only you can bring about real change. Yes, that WHO - is YOU.
You - hold all the power.
You - hold the answers deep in your heart.
You - have to understand context and reality.
And - You - HAVE to give… You have to forGIVE. And that’s the only way out, and that’s the only way forward. Forgiveness.
But, beyond forgiveness, there is something much bigger, larger, grander, than any one human - of which you also have to give. And yes, you have the power to give it.
You have the power to give... the gift of Time.
These are big Asks. They are monumental. But wars and revolutions and cultural change and new ways of living are never won easily. And not without great sacrifice.
And you have to do ALL THAT - while having the strength and will power and patience and diligence to sit through the five hundred and forty page novel... And keep reading. While you’re tired. And when you don’t want to. And even when it gets really boring. And really, really sad.
The gift of TIME is a powerful thing. Of all the aspects in our technologically advanced society we are now home to here on Earth - Time is something we have yet to master. It is something that our infinite universe even doesn’t have the power to ultimately control. And it wants to - really bad.
As space and time unite in other worlds, and time itself is bent around curvatures of distant planets and stars and galaxies. Time is still there. It just flows differently. We may not recognize it there if we stumble across it way out there. But it is there. And it never ends. Time is in itself indestructible.
And TIME - holds many - and ALL the answers to this here little problem we are facing today.
So as the summer season began this year, in this year - 2020... And I beared-witness to sadness and heartache throughout the world with my own eyes and ears… I decided to give to myself - and you - something very special.
I gave Time.
I gave myself Time. I watched Time pass. I let Time flow all around me. I blew a wish into Time. I cursed in the face of Time. I yelled at Time. And I cried many tears - over Time.
But I also relished Time. I took advantage of Time. I used Time. I made deals with Time, and I placed bets with Time. I bargained with Time. And I even tried to manipulate Time to my advantage. I talked to Time. I listened to Time. I willed Time. I pleaded with Time. And ultimately, I let Time take over all five of my senses.
And I let come what may.
All through the passage of Time almighty.
Yes, it was because of both national and global events that seemingly ignited over that holiday and the days immediately afterward, that I stepped back from my online presence in the world for a while. A lot of people have asked when I’d be writing once again. As it has now been three months since my last publication to y’all.
I guess you could say I sorta closed up shop for a bit.
And I enjoyed a Splendid Summer Sabbatical.
Away. Away from publication. Away from deadlines. Away from technology in a sense.
Sure, I’ve been on social media. Yes, I’ve been perusing the internet - probably the same as most others in the world. Of course, I’ve been checking the news. I’ve been chatting with friends and family on Facebook. But it’s all been very brief. And as I escaped from technology on one hand, I delved deep into my new YouTube channel with my other. I gave my very own website a little break. And for some strange and unknown reason that God understands, I now crave the art of filmmaking. Of pasting together clips, to summarize a story. To show viewers the beauty that lies on the other end of my camera.
But for the most part, I lived entirely and exclusively OFF-line for a chunk of time.
I worked. On myself.
Yes, I still wrote. I still planned, and plotted. I filmed. I painted - and I painted with intention. And passion. And I painted purple. I painted “Blooms of Wartime” the nights of national and international heartache. The paint and color pouring onto the canvas. My reprieve from sadness overflowing in our world.
I prayed. I exercised. I sweated. I read.
Lots and lots and lots of books. Books of all sorts. Books made from paper - printed on wood from a tree. I read - not by the light of a Kindle. I flipped the pages and smelled the scent of ink and paper. And I rested my eyes far less on the blue screen, and more so on the invisible air around me.
I’ve done this all before. And I’ll do it all again. I’m not sorry in the least for stepping back. Because - Sometimes, you just need to go a different way. To regroup. Refocus. Reset the internal compass… to True North.
I lived my real and true Summer Sabbatical.
And I watched everything taking place around me.
And I highly recommend it.
In fact, I stayed so far away from the online world that I literally let my Macbook Air sit in a corner on a bookshelf and collect dust for quite some time. It sat there, for weeks upon weeks. It powered down. It lost all its energy and strength. I touched it not once.
It literally gathered wispy dust bunnies on top itself. As if a magnetic force. Trying desperately to maintain its power in this world, and to suck life out of the room, and life back into its own body. Dust pooled on top the shiny gold and reflective apple.
Yes - my precious and trusty laptop gathered as much dust as she could reasonably handle… until one day -
She finally screamed at me.
And I picked her up. Like a piece of sunken treasure.
And I plugged her into the wall.
And I breathed life back into her body. And began writing, once again.
So... yeah, while months ago I said goodbye to the online written word... And for someone who runs a website in 2020 - the internet is a very crucial thing to be nestled safely amidst. It was definitely risky to say goodbye to all that. But I love risk. And I loved saying goodbye for a while to the daily digital grind… of website maintenance.
I said goodbye to that oh-so-fancy, and lucrative, techy word - engagement.
I followed no statistical numbers on how my website was doing. I didn’t check my likes, my hearts, my comments, for quite some time.
And while I said goodbye to all of that and then some - I gave myself something in return. Something huge. Something as powerful as a black hole. I gave myself that funny thing called: TIME. The gift of Time.
I personally needed to process everything that was taking place in the world. In my own way. In my own Time. In my own head.
And none of that abides by a publication schedule. So, what the heck... I said goodbye to that while I was at it, too.
I know, I know, you’re saying that as a blogger I need to publish according to schedule. But - just because I wasn't on a publication schedule, with normal posting dates and times, doesn’t mean I couldn’t write. And didn’t mean I could no longer publish. It simply meant I put the ball even more so in my court than it was before. I won!
Yes, I won myself over, and I do win here, in a way. And I’m winning - while America is currently losing. And she’s losing - real bad.
I ache for what is happening in our beautiful and breathtaking and magnificent country. The country I write about. The air I breathe in. And the magnificent melting pot of people who live here under the flag of freedom.
I don’t have any answers to any of America’s problems right now. But I know one thing we can give her…. And we can give her this graciously…. Time. She needs Time.
Have you ever wondered why the Civil War did end up lasting from 1861 to 1865? Why did the war have to last that many years?
Wars are not won overnight - you say?
It took from 1861 until 1865 because the world needed from 1861 until 1865. Period.
What was solvable in 1865 had no context in 1861.
And as I mentioned way back at the beginning - context is crucial to any story. We don’t even know if we should be rooting for Jack Ryan - as he jumps out of the burning building - or not - unless we read the whole story. Is he the hero - or the villain - at that time? Is he jumping from the 98th floor, or from the 1st floor?
There is no magic wand that puts ideas into heads of the past. Thereby granting them the magical power of hindsight - to solve their worldly problems overnight, instead over the course of years.
But today - living in this digital, instant, speed-of-light lifestyle that humanity has enveloped itself in and gladly swallowed whole without checking for side effects first, there’s not a whole lot of room for TIME to actually do its thing, at the same time - no pun intended. Its - almighty and ever-powerful - thing - that may ultimately help - something. Anything.
We need time. Yes, and we need patience. We need MORE patience. We need to respect the virtue of patience more. And the only way to learn that is to give - yourself - time.
There’s an old saying that you may have heard in one form or another…
Fast change leads to no change. Or - Fast change is not lasting change.
In other words…the other old saying...
Slow change is the best change. Or - The only good and lasting change... is slow change.
And I’m not saying I necessarily agree or disagree with those sentiments in some way. I’m just saying those sayings are old because they themselves have withstood the test of their time.
And I am saying a new way of thinking is required to get past all of this heartache. I am saying risk and change are both good. But I am also saying that by stepping back for a few months - I respected that chunk of time. What I am writing to you today, I could not have written to you in the middle of the night, crying myself to sleep, three months ago.
After only one night grieving for our nation… no ideas were in my head to solve any of our problems that we continue to face.
But after three months of grieving for our nation… I have now - new - perspective. I have hindsight. I have reflection. I have brainstormed. I have contemplated. I have lived. And I have new thoughts. And ultimately, I have new ideas - only because of that precious and miraculous gift of time.
If you check my YouTube channel information page, you’ll see the date of release of my channel was just before all this sadness began in 2020. After the beginning of the pandemic - but just before our further national upsets that have triggered so much heartache across the world. And if there is one thing at all that 2020 has taught me, as well as my amazing life in Florida - that is to never give up. So, Memorial Day weekend came and went - my channel had just started publication - and then I punched out for that lucrative Summer Sabbatical.
BUT - I did NOT close up shop.
I did NOT delete everything I worked for. No…. No…. And that’s definitely something the old Christine would have done. I would have given up. And I would have hit the delete button. But, I have since learned of the power of perseverance. The power of patience. And most imperatively, that forgiving power of TIME.
So I did not hit DELETE. And I did NOT give up on my dreams.
I merely put the oxygen mask on myself first. And then simply breathed for a while as my airplane found a safer flying zone - so to speak.
Yes - I’m in this for the long haul. My website and branding and channels and social engagement is all still alive and there and breathing. And I respect the time and patience my dreams need in order to grow. Just as I value time itself. I value my very new and very small channel and my precious eight subscribers on YouTube. I am in no rush here. Nor would I want to be. I value where I am at presently, as much as I value life itself. And I will continue to give myself the gift of time. All. The. Time.
And I’ll do it again any day, and twice on Sunday.
Even if it's risky to my business. Even if I risk everything.
Because TIME is imperative.
And because, ultimately, my personal and business goal and my real DREAM of Christine’s Floridian Dreams - is to help you in any way to make your very own dreams come true. To kick you in the behind with some soft, yet, tough love, and persuade you to get off your couch. To pull off the covers… and get out of bed. Well before you want to. To: March Before You Feel Like It. And take your own action in this world. To live your very best life. Each and every single day. - And, yeah, twice on Sunday - just for the heck of it.
So, after three months of my summer sabbatical coming to a close, and after three months of thought and reflection and glancing into outer space... Dreaming of black holes that lead to other magical and distant worlds. I look out toward the sky and ponder…
There may be no better gift in the entire world for us to give to one another… as that seemingly magical gift of time.
So it is my hope for America today - that we all will grant her some time. That we all can exude the patience of saints. As wheels turn and flowers bloom. And as we sprinkle pumpkin spice on top of our latte foam.
America needs time to process everything, just as we all do. And just as I couldn’t do it all on night one, neither can the rest of the world do it in a few months. Everyone will have all their own ideas, at their very own pace, and at their own time.
We all have to make sense of things. We all have to process. We all have to give.
You may not see much giving in front of your own eyeballs right now, but know it’s there. Just as I know that black holes exist but I cannot see them for myself - I do know there is more goodness in this world than bad. More love than hate. And more forgiveness than we think we have within us to give.
So go ahead and give yourself some time. Shut down that iPhone. Say goodbye to your blog subscribers if need be. Say hello to a new way of doing business.
Yes - close your laptop - a very needed tool in our dearly beloved 2020. Close it up and let it gather a bunch of dust bunnies if need be.
Stop receiving - stop Receiving texts and likes and hearts and follows and tweets… and Give instead. Give to others in the format of real life. And NOT with the Like button.
How? In your own way.
Give… to yourself. And Give… to America. And the world.
And after a new chunk of time - time far into the future from right now and today - I can only hope that we will all look back upon this time period. And we will have that new perspective. A perspective unavailable today due to the vast and mighty power of time. And it is my sincere hope that I have been all wrong here. That we are NOT really at war with one another, or on the verge of. That the shot heard round the world of today has not been released from its trigger. And that war was not in our future together. And that instead we all came together. And we saved burning forests and trees and buildings. We salvaged all the plastic in the oceans and the baby sea turtles thanked us by swimming freely into the ocean. We breathed clean and non-suffocating air. We made true and lasting and realistic reforms to challenges that we are currently facing. That school children twenty, fifty, one hundred years from now will study the numbers 2020 in mesmerization of what we SOLVED - together… Oh so very long ago. And we all walked down the street hand in hand. And not gun to gun. Weapon to weapon. Evil to Evil. Hate to Hate.
Heck - I’ll still welcome those aliens I mentioned earlier, with wide open arms. Besides, those aliens... they do come in peace. Duh!
No it’s Love to Love that I’m rooting for inside my brain.
But, as an old adage and quite familiar saying so goes… Only time will tell, my friends. Yes - Only time will tell. So give her some time, why don’t ya? Just give all of it and then some - Time. ~
I’ve written to you before about telegrams.
For some unknown reason, that maybe only God understands - they absolutely fascinate me.
But really, they were just another form of human written communication. Of their age.
We used to write STOP. Now we write with Hashtags.
It has been around forever. And it will never die.
Just as cavemen wrote on earthen walls back in the day. The Blogger, of today, writes on a website.
And just as much as governments, and those in positions of high power, try to censor human communication. There will always be those who fight the censor. Always those on the side of freedom of human expression.
Writing is an art. Not a science. Writing is a freedom of expression. Writing is freedom of speech.
And I write this…..
I write this as America burns.
I write this to say ~ Goodbye.
I never knew where 80 posts would take me. I never knew what would be coming. In my wildest dreams I couldn’t fathom writing this 80th post for publication. Or, even moreso, I could never imagine the subject of the content that I am sharing with you today in this post.
Looking back, I never knew what I could and would be posting about on this date into my blogging future. I never could even imagine or wrap my head around it. Because, you see, each and every day, each and every post, I merely let the writing itself drive me. I was in the passenger seat half the time as my other half drove the car. Maybe it was God who was in the driver's seat. Yes, that’s who it was.
And we took my car to many, many places.
Boat rides. Air planes in the sky. Southern Living House. The Keys. Christmas. Baking. Recipes and lots of cooking. Markets and shops and fairs and fests and parties. And now, a global plague... A Civil War.
80 intentions to spread inspiration, hope, love, and something else.
Tough love. True Grit. Self-Determination. Motivation. Movement. Momentum. Massive Action. In that exact order.
To inspire YOU - to give yourself a kick in the behind, and get yourself out there. To Live.
Because tough love and true grit makes one stronger.
And we need strength in this world. Resiliency.
With what and how was I going to do this?
By showing up for myself.
Paintings. Many of which were gifted to loved ones. Painted from my heart. Specifically swiping every stroke for the person I gifted the piece to. And many others were painted equally from the heart, passion onto canvas, and placed up for sale on my Etsy Shop.
Dining reviews. Breakfasts. Lunches. Dinners and Diners.
And donuts. Ohhh, all those gosh darn donuts...
I certainly ate a whole heck of a lot of calories - especially carbs - purely for the benefits of my readers. For the sake of the written word - but of course.
Because, I guess I was trying to tell you, that the ADVENTURE of visiting a donut shop, is the
Adventure of life itself.
The adventure of waking every day, and you deciding what to make of the day, is life itself.
The small things are the important things. And there’s just no way to say that to you in words.
Sitting with the best of friends, poolside, having a laugh.
Meeting others for dinner.
Talking to loved ones on the phone.
Ladies exchanging little trinkets and jewelry and candles for birthdays and Christmas.
Men sharing a beer and talking ‘shop’ by the barbecue grill, while all the women gossip about other stuff.
Spending the Fourth of July celebrating the birth of pure freedom. Independence. Liberty.
Watching your nieces and nephews and God children grow up.
A simple text exchange with forever friends and kindred spirits, on the hardest days of your life.
And, yes, even being Facebook friends with your friends and family.
I could go on all night.
I could pull out creative wording and imagery to convey what I want to say.
But I don’t want to.
And I don’t want to spend the time on it.
Because, this week, I’m still out there living. I’m still out there showing up for myself. And, I’m still not letting anything stop me.
And this post is... what it is.
It’s the middle of the night.
We are in a Civil War.
My heart is broken in half.
And I’m crying.
The “Goodbye” in the title of this post is… what it is. But it’s also something else.
The “Goodbye” is the real thing. And the “Goodbye” is the creative wording and imagery I’m trying to convey.
Specifically, the “Goodbye” is aimed directly at my Subscribers.
If you are a Subscriber, you, and only you, have received emails from me, twice a week. In those emails I have greeted you with a great, big -
“Hello, My Bright & Shiny Sunshine Friends!”
Happy Monday, I’d say.
Happy Friday, I’d say.
Ohhhh, the secrets of the CFD Subscription is out of the bag now - the benefits of being a Subscriber of Christine’s Floridian Dreams! I tried.
I really did my part to help inspire you with those words, didn’t I?
Did I inspire you to love your brothers and sisters?
Did I inspire you to love those brothers and sisters back, who don’t even love you? In return?
No, probably not. I suppose.
But, maybe, just maybe, I inspired you to get out there, and live your life…
Maybe, I inspired you to visit a Krispy Kreme, and try a hot-off-the-fryer donut. Or to go to Dunkin and get some munchkins. Or drive through Starbucks… and get a puppuccino for your own furry angel. Or to go out to dinner, and order some fries.
And, if I did inspire any of that? Great…..
If I made you cry a tear. Great.
If I made you laugh. Great.
If I inspired you with a post that you loved so much that you actually passed it along to someone who you thought may benefit from it in some way. Great. I suppose that I, then, at that point, technically speaking, really did my job as a Blogger well - if you shared even one of my posts in some way with someone else. For someone else to benefit from, who you thought could use the words. My words. My writing. My telegram - of today. And for that, you’ll never know how much that action means to me, and I am eternally grateful.
Cause, I did my job well. As a Blogger. If for that reason alone.
And - basically, what else I’m trying to say, is that, if you have consumed even one donut in the last year because I have written about them, then I have done my job successfully.
And today, my job - is to say Goodbye.
The good news of this Goodbye… and yes, there is good news… is that the Goodbye is only to my Subscribers. You know, those bright and shiny Sunshine Friends? The ones I mentioned above. Who maybe don’t love me or think I am bright and shiny - but, maybe - they received an email from me twice a week.
To those Subscribers, and to those Subscribers who love me… this Goodbye is for you:
And here’s the meat of it -
I am saying Goodbye because I intend to stop emailing you. Twice a week. Once a week. Whatever it is. Whatever it was. I will not be sending emails on behalf of Christines’s Floridian Dreams out any longer. Your inbox will not arrive with a stamped letter. You will not be receiving a telegram from me any longer.
But - and here’s the good news….
That’s the only gosh darn thing that’s changing.
You will still be able to reach out to me - any time - at:
Plus, @beansfldreams on Instagram and Twitter. As well as a Pinterest board and a Facebook page at Christine’s Floridian Dreams. And now a YouTube at Christine Pieper.
Christine’s Floridian Dreams is still alive.
Christine’s Floridian Dreams is still breathing.
Christine’s Floridian Dreams is bright and shining in the sun?
Who in the H E double hockey sticks knows. Other than God.
But, either way, my point is that my website is not dying.
My website is my home. My website is my property.
My (only) little piece of property, that I and I alone - own - on the Internet, is alive.
I just won’t be emailing you any more.
Why? I don’t want “Christine” flooding your inbox twice a week anymore. For many reasons.
And for all the oh-so-experienced Bloggers out there... if you’re reading this... you’re probably gasping from that one sentence in this article that ultimately destroys my online business. You’ve probably spit out the drink you’ve just swallowed. You’re probably laughing your donkeys off at me. She’s making the biggest mistake out there, I KNOW you are thinking. What a rookie - you’re thinking? How pathetic can she be?! Hahaha. Stop taking subscribers? Stop emailing those subscribers? That’s less clicks. That’s less page read through. That’s less communication. That’s less engagement. Less ways to know what content your subscribers love and what they hate… That’s less time on her site. Ha haaaa. She’s over. Going out of business sale is on. Come and get the clearance items. There’s a great deal going on in the purse department.
Yeah, well, call it whatever you will. Call it just another small business failing you say. Call it being a victim of the plague, or this mess of the hate in the aftermath. Call it a soldier down in this War. Of the anything, and everything, going on out there. This moment. Today. Did I mention we are in a Civil War? - Call it all what you will. I know why I am making this decision for my business. And that’s the plain art of this paragraph.
I do know that this post will probably be shared around the Internet on Blogging Tutorials… As the prime and number one example of What Not To Do To Grow Your Blog.
A Blogger searches out Subscribers, right? A Blogger lives and dies by Subscribers, right? Well, I’ve never been your typical Blogger... and I don’t ever intend to be, either.
And I say “Intend” because I mean to intend. I mean to continue. I’m merely not emailing out the content anymore. But, I still will be creating content. And I still will be publishing content.
You see, the great thing about property ownership - is that I can do it all.
You know, it’s sorta like how if you’re renting a house - you can live in the space, and breathe in the space, but you can’t really remodel the place? You can’t paint the walls pink without checking with the landlord first. Or, ya know, like, let’s say - take a jackhammer to a wall, and blow it out. Or, ohhhh - What the heck. Add a second bathroom, why don’t we? Take the bathtub and move it to the other side of the house?
Sure, good luck with all that - if you’re renting.
But when you own it, you actually CAN take that bathtub and move it from the bathroom to the living room and place it directly in front of the fireplace, why don’t we? Sure. Whatever, who cares. My decision. I own the house, I can decorate the living room any way I choose. Heck, I have the power to hire a plumber and redirect the pipes. If I wanna take a bath next to the television. My choice.
So, as with my domain, my website - I own it. I decide on the content. I can be the writer. I can be the editor. I can be the publisher…. And in the end, I can be the moderator of my site, too. And - I can decide if I want to continue putting a stamp on the next envelope, lick the flap, and drop it in the blue box, or not.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m still doing my investigative research, I’m still writing my reports, I’m just not broadcasting the resulting content out over the AP any longer. I’m not visiting the Telegram Office.
And on a side, but related note, that I’m slapping atop this envelope with a yellow post-it - I have decided to terminate my Etsy Shop today, and effective today, also. All art, craft, and creation, may be going up for sale under my own website domain that you are already familiar with, at some point in the future. Some paintings will not go back up for sale at all though. And this decision regarding Etsy is already final, and already in effect.
And - If you know me at all, you know how stubbornly and fiercely independent I am as a human. I know what I want. And what I don’t. And I am assured in my decisions. So I can tell you this was not a decision I made lightly. Each and every decision I am announcing today came from my heart and soul. And I can tell you with great and sincere confidence, that God directed me toward this path today.
He, and He alone, is guiding me down my journey in this life. Since the day He saved my life, the rest of my life has been, and will forever be, devoted to Him. It is with His help, that I just, moments ago, closed my Etsy Shop. And it is with his footsteps in the sand, carrying me, right now, as I send this letter to post. And then, I’ll hop back down to solid ground, and keep going myself, after you receive my last and final email.
So, to sum it all up in some creative or word-flowy and imagery kind of way… basically, if you like Christine’s Floridian Dreams, and if you enjoy checking out my strangely arranged living room, it’s still there for you to see. You’ll just have to drive on by yourself, pull up into the driveway, get on out of the car, and ring the doorbell.
And, after you ring, it is then that you will see if I’m home, or not. And even if I’m not home, even if you missed me, even if I happen to be at Dunkin having some Munchkins and a large Iced Latte while you stopped over, just by visiting, you'll be able to enjoy the garden that’s on display in my front yard.
So, if you want to see my dreams, you can simply type in the letters w w w . c h r i s t i n e s f l o r i d i a n d r e a m s . c o m …. Into your browser, and you can find me there.
After 79 posts, and then and now this, my 80th, I’ll reiterate right here that there will be a post 81 - probably. - At some point. For any of you who are looking forward to it.
Because that’s where I live. And that’s where I’ll be dreaming. I don’t know if I’ll be bright and shiny. I don’t even know if the sun will be shining. But I do know one thing, and one thing only,
Oh yeah - and Happy Wednesday! To all my bright and shiny Sunshine Friends!
Don’t forget to get out there and make today the best day of your life. And then, do it all over again tomorrow.
Hashtag God Bless America. Stop. ~
When you come to your next fork in the road, what way will you go?
There’s a favorite Seinfeld episode of mine - where George Costanza does the complete opposite of what he usually does throughout the entire show’s running.
For example, if George would normally be shy in front of a woman, he does the opposite. So, in this episode, he would go right up to her and ask her out on a date.
He says that he always orders tuna on toast at the diner. But, he ponders, nothing exciting ever came from tuna on toast, for him. So he’s going to go ahead and order the exact opposite of tuna on toast…. And see what happens.
And, if he normally does absolutely and literally nothing, all day long, then he now would do the opposite - meaning he would do SOMETHING!
Whatever it is in his entire life that is his usual REACTION - he decides he will now go ahead and do the absolute opposite reaction.
And in turn, he gets a whole heck of a lot done, accomplished. It may not have all turned out the way he wanted, but he was acting, living, and most importantly, trying. I tend to think that George considered himself a failure in life, most of the time. But in this episode, as is usually the case in sitcoms, everything changes, for a single show.
And Jerry tells him, “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.”
With this realization, George gets out there and kicks some major behind.
And for 22 minutes - George is living his best life. He is successful. He is alive. Because doing something, he realized, was better than doing nothing. And making that hard choice was better overall, than making the easy choice. The usual choice.
So, maybe go ahead and watch that episode, or even just some hilarious clips from it, online, if you have a few moments to spare. Or even if you have a pending decision to make.
Because there’s a Seinfeld episode out there about every single decision in life. And this one is a Hallmark Classic.
Bringing me to the question I have for you today…
When you are at a crossroads - which way will you go?
Which way have you gone when reaching crossroads in your past?
When you reach the very next junction in your life… Do you know which direction you will be choosing?
I’m here to remind you of that tiny, little voice inside your own head… directing you… to….
If you do the absolute opposite of which you have always done, won’t you theoretically get the opposite results from which you have always received?
Thus, leading your life in a completely new, and foreign, and challenging, direction? Stimulating growth, new ideas, and therefore, completely new results, in your life.
And it is with that question in mind, that I hope you enjoy this week’s vlog of Christine’s Floridian Dreams... My newest YouTube video that I’ll be sharing with you later this week.
In it, I’m merely taking you along on a little, minor, daily adventure. For some small, and simple, choices in daily life. Where do I go that day… where will we eat… what do we order? What dessert location should we go to? And - how will we get there?... Because - There are multiple bridges to cross along the way too. And sometimes, it’s the actual bridge that becomes the best part of the day. Not where you have gone, or where you are headed to next, but simply stopping along the journey, and enjoying the junction itself.
So, what direction will you choose - at your next fork in the road?
What way will you turn, and therefore, which route, will you take, at your next crossroads of life?
When that fateful question begs inside your own head - Maybe it’s time to consider the absolute opposite of tuna on toast - to you - and choose that. ~
*What’s your favorite Seinfeld episode? Do you always order tuna on toast, like George does? I’d love to know. Drop me a comment down below:
Also, if you’re enjoying my Floridian Dreams, adventures, writings, ramblings, poetry, challenges, and reviews, you can go ahead and check out some more, right here:
77] The Lost Art of the Phone Call
75] The First Supper @ Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill
73] What I’m Missing Right Now
71] My 69 Week Break From Social Media ~ Why I Left & Why I Came Back
68] A Sunday Stroll
63] Mercy & Comfort
62] PERSPECTIVE @ Seaside Sculpture Park
61] Bean’s Idea List ~ 15 Daily Activities For Well Beyond 15 Days
59] REACTION ~ To World War 19
57] First Watch on the First Coast
56] Shell World ~ Key Largo
51] Life Is Full Of Pasta-Bilities ~ Bean’s Red Sauce Recipe
*Part of - Bean’s Kitchen - series
46] Key Largo, Montego, Baby Why Don’t We Go?
40] Visiting The Florida Cracker Kitchen ~ Jacksonville
36] The End Of A Decade & My New Year’s Wish To You
All 2020 9/11 A1A Acrylic On Canvas Adversity Alan Roberts Al Carius Amanda Moon Art Amelia Island America Angeletti Cookies Angies Grom Angies Subs Another Broken Egg Cafe Appetizer Art Atlantic Beach Atlantic Ocean Autumnal Equinox Autumn In Florida BabylissPro Hair Straightener Bacon Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Beach Boulevard Beach Diner Beach Diner Ponte Vedra Beach Beaches Art Fest Beaches At Vilano Beaches For Australia Beaches Go Green Beaches Green Market Beaches Museum Beaches Oktoberfest Beaches Town Center Beans Baking Series Beans Basement Bash Beans Best Award Winner Beans Coffee Shop Challenge Beans Recipes Beef Stew Before And After Beignets BEPREADY Black Friday Blue Angels Blue Bloods Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine Breakfast Review Breezy Coffee Shop Brewery Review Bryan Pieper Cafe Du Monde Cantina Louie Cat Cafe Celebration Celebration Florida Cell Phone Chaunies Coffee Truck Chicago Food Chicago Pizza Chili Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies Christmas Decor Christmas In The South Christmas Pop Up Bar Christmas Tree Cinottis Bakery Jax Beach City Of Jacksonville Florida Special Events Civil War 2.0 Clover Coffee Coffee Plantation Cafe College Columbia Restaurant Comfort Compass Contagion Corinne Crabtree Corona Coronavirus CoVid19 Crane Island Crock Pot Cross Country Cummer Cafe Review Cummer Museum Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens Daily Activity Danny Reagan Daschund Daylight Savings Time Deck The Chairs Delicomb Dessert Dining In Atlantic Beach Dining In Jax Beach Dining In Ponte Vedra Beach Dining On The Water Dining Review Dining Review Vilano Beach Disney Springs Dog Days Of Summer Doggie Stroller Dog Life Donuts Driftwood Jax Beach Dunkin Donuts Easter Edens Leaf Naturals Eleven South Review Endless Summer Every Damn Day Fitness Facebook Faith Fall In Florida Family Traditions Film Review First Watch Floating Generation Florida Florida Cold Front Florida Cracker Kitchen Florida Winter Flowers Frank Reagan Grape & Grain Exchange Guy Fieri Hampton Inn Happy Holidays Happy New Year Hawkers Asian Street Fare Hemingway Holiday Holidays In Jax Beach Holidays In Neptune Beach Holly Berry Hotel Review Ice Cream Intracoastal Intuition Ale Works Review Ireland Isle Of Eight Flags Jacksonville Jacksonville Beach James Bond Jamie Reagan Jarboe Park Jarboe Park Christmas Tree Jax Beach Art Walk Jax Beach Coffee Shop Jax Beach Vintage Flea Market Jerusalem Jesus Jimmy Johns John Glaude Joy Key Largo Key West Key West Half Marathon Kilwins Krispy Kreme Life Before Facebook Lifestyle Lime Bubly Love Lumi Bean Candles Manatee Massive Action Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Florida Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Clinic Mayport Cats Metro Diner Mexican Food MFPMilestones Millennial Generation Minestrone Soup Mourning A Loss Muffins MyFitnessPal Nemo Park Neptune Beach Never Forget New Orleans New York City Nine Eleven NOLA Obese To Beast Oceanfront Dining Olivia Shore One Ocean Resort Orlando Overseas Highway Pain Rehab Clinic Palm Sunday Palm Valley Palm Valley Outdoors Bar And Grill Pasta Pasta Party Pastries Peanut Butter Bubbles Peterbrooke Chocolatier Petes Bar Petes Bar Thanksgiving Morning Gathering Pet Friendly Pet Loss Phit-n-Phat Phone Call Pink Lemonade Pollyanna Ponte Vedra Beach PRC Pumpkin Spice Race Expo Recipes Red Sauce Restaurant Review Ritas Jax Beach Riverside Rockaway Garden Routine Sago Coffee Jax San Marco San Marco Bookstore San Marco Town Square San Pablo Island Sea La Vie Jax Beach Seaside Sculpture Park Sea & Sky Jax Seinfeld September 11 Shamrock Shell World Sheltie Social Media Sous Chef Southern Grounds Southern Living Idea House Southern Swells Starbucks Statue Of Liberty St Augustine St. Augustine St. Augustine Nights Of Lights Staycation St. Johns Town Center St Patricks Day Sugar Cookies Super Bowl Sunday Supper Club Take Out Dining Teresa Echols Thai Food Thankful The Boathouse The Caffeinated Cat The Dis The Mini Bar The Reach Resort Key West The Reef Time Savings Tinis Martini Bar To Do Downtown Jacksonville To Do In Celebration Florida To Do Jax Beach Tonys Turkey Trot Review Train Ride Twistee Treat Twitter Uber Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry Ulta Products Universal Endless Summer University Of North Florida Valentines Day Vilano Beach Vlogmas Volunteer V Pizza V Pizza Jax Beach Walt Disney World Weight Loss Weight Loss Success Weight Maintenance White Christmas Whit's Frozen Custard Whits Jax Beach Wicked Lick Williams Sonoma Winter Meals World War 19 World War II Year In Review YouTube