Into The Wild: Frozen in Time with Jack Hanna

Jack and Suzi Hanna with Julie

Hanna fam
Jack and Suzi 
Jack and Suzi

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Last night I saw a client and old friend Jack Hanna. It’s my first time to not be behind the scenes for any artist or show. Was it hard?  Not as much as I expected. He IS such a great guy, terrific father and husband, and that has not changed. It was actually a very endearing time for me.

Can’t even remember all the animals I’ve held, thanks to Jack and his assistants. Suzie (not Suzi, his wife!) has been with him longer than I’ve known him and she was with him last night, along with a few others, all new. If you’ve seen him on Letterman or James Cordon or any other shows, he just has that ‘it’ factor.  Top that with his deep down kindness to all, well he IS one of the Good Guys! Read his books for great fun and to get to know him a bit. You won’t be disappointed.

How do we enjoy our past without looking back with envy for where we were, what we had? I’m not sure, but I plan to find out.  Remember Lot’s wife?  She looked back and she became a pillar of salt, frozen in time.

GotQuestions.org tells us The Hebrew for “pillar” refers to a garrison or a deputy, that is, something set to watch over something else. The image of Lot’s wife standing watch over the Dead Sea area—where to this day no life can exist—is a poignant reminder to us not to look back or turn back from the profession of faith we have made, but to follow Christ without hesitation and abide in His love (Luke 17:32).

Every.single.time. I do what is right God covers me.  It may not be how I choose at the time but thankfully is revealed to me later on.

So, how do you move on?  How do I move on?  With no desire to be a pillar of salt, let’s explore this, shall we?

My next posts will be to explore moving on with you.  Painful, but necessary.

  1. FACE your feelings.
  2. Acknowledge how important the times where.
  3. FACE why they are/were so important.
  4. SAY it out loud to a friend, someone who loved you then, loves you now.
  5. FORGIVE yourself.
  6. CHANGE your thinking.
  7. Change what you SAY, read, watch and discuss.
  8. Discover what you love most.
  9. Find your Center; your peace.
  10. What are you hungry for?

Look forward to your thoughts, and any ideas you can share about your journey to the center.

PEACE.

 


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“JOY”

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“JOY”

Christmas Day is almost gone, mine was terrific. It’s my hope yours was too.

I’d been holding my breath for this, my second holiday day without any family. Narrowed down before my Mother died, to just Mother and me. She/We always wanted our entire family here to celebrate, they were unable to be with her, with us.

We did okay, through these times we became closer than I would ever have imagined possible. When she died she was to me Mother, Sister and Best-Friend. Nothing will ever be the same.

Now it is time for new traditions, new journeys.

This year I have gained new friends and managed to keep many great life long friends.  One called me today as we were leaving for the movies – I was so excited to see this film – when I told Stacey what we were seeing, “JOY” she buoyed me further with the reminder  my ‘outside’ the box thinking is why NBC’s Today Show began “Music on the Plaza”.  Forgotten that my pitch to have the legendary “Cathedrals” sing and outside, on the Plaza that early September morning marked a first for the show.  A smashing success, they were booked again for Christmas six hours later.

Stacey

Stacey – Thank you for your 15 + Years of true friendship and encouragement to me.  Stacey and Virginia and and and.  I am a blessed girl.  Going to be telling about why I love each of them so in upcoming posts.  Today?  Today is about the “JOY” of new traditions.

Melissa Batey long-time friend (and former personal assistant from my Nashville years) is relocating to Conway.  We are rearranging my house to make room for her tomorrow, it was Christmas. We did exactly as we desired! She made a wreath for my front door we went to the movies and made a favorite meal of Pasta with Marinara.

BEST of this holiday, unbeknownst to anyone, received my very first invitation from a family from church to join them for a Holiday Dinner.  The Eppersons. This Family, Ruth Ann Epperson will always have a special place in my heart for thinking of me.

New friends, new traditions. I am happy and filled with JOY.

For many of my friends, and those who actually read my blog posts :) — I want to encourage you that things will be better.  Different, but better.

For today, put some “JOY” in your life. “JOY” is a MUST. SEE. If you have ever had an idea (who hasn’t really?) and own your own voice, you will be encouraged, uplifted and motivated to own your dreams too.

THIS my wish and prayer for each of you this day.

***disclaimer PLEASE forgive any grammar or other mistakes.  I wanted this post to be as authentic as possible so I’m forgoing edits.  It was such a great day & don’t wish to be tied up in what is minutia for me.


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Chicken and Dumplings

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Last night I made traditional Chicken n Dumplings  ‘thinking’ I was getting back to basics using a frozen package of  prepared dumplings.  This is as close as I am ever going to get to authentic dumplings — unless you come over and make them for me!

These dumplings, while authentic were still not as good as my aunt’s.

I asked myself “why was I feeling the need for this dish anyway? I prefer grilled foods and , have never made chicken and dumplings in my life.”

Then I remembered my aunt – Odean – making dumplings.  She had just discovered the newest, most clever fast food version of homemade dumplings!

Odean Floyd Reynolds was standing at her stove, pot of chicken broth boiling as she looked over to me, eyes twinkling, telling me how happy, proud to make dumplings not from her tried and true recipe, but from cutting up tortillas and adding them to the broth.

I’m smiling and a little teary-eyed,  remembering that precise moment in time.  It’s as real to me, being there, in her kitchen on Ridgecrest in Little Rock as if she was actually standing in that kitchen as I write this.  You’ve had this feeling before, haven’t you? At least I hope you have.  Such warm memories.

10863789_10153484565231487_8376278462805336207_o-2George Marvin Reynolds Jr.  and his wife, Odean Floyd Reynolds.

Am I wishing to go back in time for her Chicken and Dumplins?  No.  I’m wishing to go back in time with her and for the warmth of the moment.  It’s a joy, tho’ bittersweet as I recall Aunt Odean  in her element – cooking for others.  I’m loving this sweet moment with her even tho’ she has no idea now.  Can’t really call her, it just causes her confusion and that’s not fair.   So I capture moments as best I can, significant memories in my life.

I know since my Father, then my Mother’s death,  life has never nor will it ever be the same.

When Parilee Croft, Art on the Green’s Artist-in-Residence showed me her commissioned watercolors of her family recipes, I was immediately in love with this work. These  commissioned watercolors, albeit the size of a postcard, are a really sweet way to remember another, and a specific moment in one’s life.

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My own Mother, beloved as she was did not really love cooking until later in life.   She didn’t have time to learn but she had  pockets of great moments with recipes we still cherish.  Cookbooks by groups and churches help preserve, but it’s the original watercolors, framed and in a place of honor in one’s kitchen that really singles out those special moments.   My Mother made the best chili on the planet and I’m still trying to track down that recipe.  This is why I think every family needs one original watercolor for each family cook.  Preserve the moment — it’s not the recipe that’s so important it’s the moment.  Who has given you a moment?

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Parilee Croft with her beloved Kep

I do not have the recipe for her my Aunt’s dumplins, and wish I could look at a small watercolor, framed in my kitchen to preserve that moment. But I don’t.  I would even be happy :) with her chocolate cake recipe or the chicken and rice casserole she served at a dinner party when she forgot to debone the chicken! Yes, we laughed and laughed!

Odean and my uncle George had no children, and were always entertaining in their home.

She’ll be making Chicken and Dumplings when He comes . . . .

But this is what I AM doing – Having recipes by close family members preserved with an original watercolor.

Recently another aunt – by my request – sent me several recipes on index cards. For a long time I’ve had the privilege of making her homemade sweet pickles, enjoying the rave reviews as if they were my own!  (Who said ”steal from me, steal twice?”)

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For Christmas I commissioned a watercolor of the Sweet Pickles to give my aunt.  I wanted her to have as part of her original art collection.  Now, she can pass along to her son or anyone else in the family.  Probably her daughter-in-law,  Hannah Robinson who puts Martha Stewart to shame with her Mom and work skills.

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Hannah Robinson

As I contemplate which recipe to preserve next, I wonder should it be the disaster German Chocolate Cake I made for my nephew’s birthday that was finally served in parfait glasses?  He might remember anyway, but I don’t want to take the chance.

What kitchen memory do you hold dear?

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