Home Sweet Hyden

When you walk down the streets of Hyden, it feels like home. Stone sidewalks lead you to such places as the Red Light Café where I stopped for lunch and enjoyed their decor and the Veterans Square which honors and remembers all residents of Leslie County whom have served for our beloved country. I also dropped into the Leslie County Public Library viewing some black & white photos of the old Hyden. The librarians were eager to help, pulling out binders and history books in my quest for more information about their town.

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More explorations of the city lead me to the Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster Memorial, erected in 2011, the memorial is in remembrance of the 38 miners who lost their lives in an explosion on December 30th, 1970. Only one survived, Mr. A. T. Collins, who was blown over 60 feet out of the mine. The memorial is lined with miners hats with each of their names. They lost their lives to the darkness of the mines.

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Miners hats line the walkway at the Miners Memorial.

A new addition to Hyden is the Kentucky Veterans Cemetary South East, it is the 5th one of its kind in the state. Construction has just been completed and the flags are flying high. This revered space will serve Southeastern Kentucky veterans and their families, showing tribute for their service of the nation and commonwealth. It’s a quiet, peaceful place in the mountains. I’m sure many loved ones will be thankful for such tranquility while remembering their treasured veterans.

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Kentucky Veterans Cemetary South East is located on Kentucky Highway 118 just north of Hyden in Leslie County.

A huge part of Hyden’s history is Mary Carson Breckinridge, a nurse-midwife who founded the Kentucky Committee for Mothers and Babies which became Frontier Nursing Services after realizing the need for midwifery. I met a retired school teacher, Mr. John Perry, in front of the courthouse and we talked about Breckinridges journey and the struggles she had in the beginning but also the great need for her in the city and surrounding areas. She would ride on horseback through town, taking up donations and rode those same horses to deliver babies, day or night. The local hospital is named after her and is located on Mary Breckinridge drive.

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Beautiful statue of Mary Breckinridge and small child on the drive named after her.

One thing I noticed most of all about Hyden was the friendliness of everyone I met. From the café to the library to the local coffee shop, The Well even to the Mom & Pop burger place, Goofy’s. I felt welcome anywhere I went. The people of Hyden are very proud of their small town and they have every reason to be, it’s a great place to visit and seems like it would be a wonderful place to live.

Thank you to the city of Hyden for amazing hospitality and for giving me such a great story for my cities of Kentucky series. I look forward to visiting again!

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Grab a burger and shoot some pool at Goofy’s.

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My albino turtle drink from The Well.

Oh Cynthiana

It’s not often a city captures my heart but Cynthiana, Kentucky has. Years ago while living nearby in Georgetown, I visited Cynthiana occasionally. It wasn’t impressive to me at that age, I was sailing through life not knowing how to appreciate the small things. Upon my visit with a paranormal team, I became intrigued by its old buildings and ghostly stories so much so that I took a visit back a week later to absorb some of its history.

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If you are Walking Dead fan you may know that the series creator Robert Kirkman is from this lovely city. In 2016 they hosted Walking Dead Day and turned the entire city into a huge zombie apocalypse complete with overturned cars and cardboard walls.

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During this visit, I discovered the Cynthiana-Harrison County Museum. This place is packed full of pieces of the city’s history given to the museum by the residents. As soon as you open the door, you are greeted by smiling faces and warm stories. Below are just a few of the pictures taken while I was inside. There is so much more to see there!

 

You sense a kindness as you walk past antique stores, boutique clothing shops, and JJ’s coffee. Everyone seemed genuinely happy to answer any questions I had & offered plenty of suggestions on what I should do on my next visit.

Take a day trip or make it a weekend visit, this city is well worth exploring. You will not walk away disappointed.

The Sun

23155123_10212620119151106_5985716247357349157_oDriving home today in the dreary, cloudy weather, I see the sun pushing its way through the clouds. It was bright and determined to make a path between the surrounding gloominess.

I began to think about life and how we should be the sun, persistent and strong. Darkness is a part of life, we must accept that but we don’t have to remain there. Choose to be the sun, full of light. Push through and be strong from the inside.

Life changes everyday and so can you.

 

 

Late Night Thoughts

It’s 3am and I must be lonely. 

Not really but it’s a great Matchbox Twenty song. 🙂

I often wake at this time, some call it the devil’s hour, but I like to think of it as my thinking hour. The world is sleeping and all it quiet for most part. I plan my day and mentally list the things I need to accomplish, my mini-goals. I think of new recipes for my meal plans while dancing donuts pop into my head.  I ponder on friendships and how many are true. I think about the past and wonder why things happen the way they do.

I think of clowns and their makeup. Thoughts of Christmas and a warm fireplace jump through my mind. What would I do if I won the lottery is something to ponder at 3am. Craft projects and care packages. I look at my cats, all warm & furry and feel sad for all the animals who are alone and hungry. I think about bills and pat myself on the back for being independent and doing it on my own.

Work. I pray for my sleeping family and friends for each to wake safely and secure. I reflect on how far I’ve come in my weight loss journey and how much further I have to go. Shirt ideas for my friend to make. A birthday present I need to buy. Cards I need to send with straws and confetti inside. A huge stack of pancakes with butter and hot syrup. Laundry I need to fold.

I know I’m not alone with my scattered thoughts it’s a late night bond some of us share from the corner of our bed.

Do Not Wait Until I Am Gone

If you are ever going to love me,

Love me now so I can know.

Sweet and tender feelings,

Consuming your heart from which they flow.

Love me now while I am here,

Do not wait until I am gone.

Do not put your loving words on an ice-cold stone,

Please tell me now.

If you wait till I am gone,

I won’t hear you.

Let me know while I am living,

Do not wait until I am gone.

 

 

 

 

Better Late Than Never

In August I set a goal for myself to complete a 31 day blog challenge and guess what, I failed miserably. Between work, gym, family, friends and being sick, I simply ran out of time. My Grandma didn’t raise a quitter so here is the blog to finish out the challenge. 🙂

11. My most proud moment has been losing over 60lbs since January. I’ve lost weight before but always given up before completing my goal. This time has been different and it’s been a great journey. Check out my Instagram page, positively_unperfect, created specifically for my weight loss meals and tips.

12. If I won the lottery…I would buy a huge farm to take in all the stray animals and give them care and love. I also would buy the biggest Louis Vuitton bag I could find. Hey, a girl has to treat herself.

13. Favorite quote: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” (Theodore Roosevelt)

14. What’s in my handbag? My wallet, lip glosses (a lot), Carmex, fingernail clippers, a compact, VS body spray (Scandalous), a teasing comb, mini hairspray, bobby pins, coupons, work badge and random receipts.

15. My average weekday looks like this…Work, gym, nieces sporting events or out to eat with friends then home to relax before doing it all over again.

16. My dream job would be to work with animals in some capacity. Maybe a fulltime foster Mommy, nurturing the broken back to health.

17. Don’t laugh at this but my favorite childhood books really aren’t books. I grew up around my Grandparents & Great Grandparents so I read a lot of Guideposts and Readers Digest. I was around 5 when I started reading the mini mags.

18. I’m most afraid of losing people whom I love, family or friends.

19. My worst habit is over thinking everything. Although I may not voice my thoughts, my mind is constantly turning and analyzing things. Sometimes I really have to take deep breaths and force myself to stop thinking so hard and just enjoy the day.

20. In ten years, I would be perfectly happy being exactly where I am today. I have a good life filled with some amazing people. I am blessed.

21. Something I miss…I miss the days when things were simple and not hurried. When I was younger and didn’t have so many things to do and bills to pay. 🙂

22. My ten favorite songs: Borderline (Madonna), I’ll Make Love To You (Boyz II Men), September (Earth, Wind & Fire), The End of Heartache (Killswitch Engage), Hold On My Heart (Genesis), Truly Madly Deeply (Savage Garden), Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke), I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston), Halo (Beyoncé), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen).

23. My biggest pet peeve would have to be people who drive slow in the fast lane. MOVE! lol

24. The most difficult time in my life was losing my son. He was stillborn and although I rarely talk what happened, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. I wonder what life would be like with a 6-year-old, what his favorite things would be and what type of personality he would have.

25. My best physical features would be my eyes. I was once told that they look supernatural, I’m not so sure about that but I do get a lot of compliments about them.

26. My top 5 favorite blogs are as follows:

https://daphantomblog.wordpress.com/

http://www.nicolettemason.com/

http://www.sarahpluslife.com/

http://www.glitterandgingham.com/

http://www.somethingsnarkly.com/p/keto-thug-life.html

27. My two furbabies always make me feel better. I can have a rough day and I walk in to their soft purrs and my mood instantly improves. Everyone needs a pet or two!

28. The last time I cried was yesterday while I was cleaning out my guest bedroom closet I stumbled across my son’s memory book I created after his passing. At my baby shower, we had guests write down some words of advice for me, along with their thoughts about his weight and height and a place to say something to the baby. I read some of the sweet words from my family to my son and I was overwhelmed with emotion.

29. Top things on my bucket list. Honestly, I really don’t have a bucket list. I take each day and each adventure as it comes. I’m up for anything!

30. My favorite comfort food is chocolate and not just any chocolate. Dark, bittersweet chocolate. Yum!

31. Weird quirk of mine? I speed read everything. It’s good at times but often I have to go back over something to see if I missed anything.

That’s it folks! Thanks for reading my condensed version of the challenge!

 

 

 

Choices

Every day we open our eyes is a blessing. It’s up to us to make our day the best we can. The choice is yours to be happy and take life as it comes or be miserable and wallow in self-pity. Not every day is going to be perfect and that’s okay. How we choose to deal with our life struggles is our foundation.

Friendships, relationships & jobs can all come to an end. Regardless of whose fault it is, choose happiness and moving on instead of driving yourself crazy with thousands of “what if” scenarios. Be strong and realize you may have done your best but sometimes things aren’t meant to work out.

God has a bigger plan for all of us. We have to have faith and trust in him. Trusting him to know that those doors he allowed to close could mean better ones are opening.  He will never fail you. Learn to be happy where you are and God will take you where you need to be.

Crunch ‘n Munch

 

Box of Crunch ‘n Munch in hand, I sit outside the gym in my car. Normally, I love working out but on that day…I do not want to go in. I would rather eat the sugary popcorn.

I see a car pull in beside me and an elderly lady gets out. She is small with gray curly hair. Behind my tinted windows, I watch her grab a gym bag and head through the double doors, slowly but surely.

In that moment, I look down in disgust at what I’m putting in my mouth and realize something. I’m over 30 years younger than that sweet lady and here I was making excuse after excuse. I grabbed my bag and trash the box on the way in, eager to start my workout.

Point learned that day, you never know who is watching so set an example in all that you do. Be mindful of the impression you are leaving on individuals. Be a better person. Live in a way that is worthy of being looked up to. Be an inspiration to others by always being kind and considerate even when going through life’s joys and struggles.

I found my curly-haired inspiration in the gym that day, introduced myself and thanked her. She looked at me in puzzlement. I smiled and simply said, “For being you’. 🙂

Volunteering Matters

You’ve never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

I can’t take credit for that line, I found it on Google but it fits perfectly as to what my description of volunteering means. Simply giving your time and energy to make someone’s day better. Lots of us donate our money to causes we find worthy but what about taking an hour or so a week to see what kind of difference it can make. Pick a cause and make it a family fun day, it’s never too early to teach your kids the satisfaction of giving back!

Pick a cause you are passionate about. I love animals and volunteer frequently at the local animal shelter. There are many small tasks that have to be done such as bathing puppies, setting up litter boxes or taking the dogs on a walk. Just 15 minutes could make a big difference to a poor dog who has been left abandoned and is eager for a human touch. Seeing their eyes light up when you walk in to pet them is one of the biggest rewards I receive!

Another passion of mine are elderly people and their well-being especially those in the nursing homes. What is really horrible to think about is how many of these loving souls have been left behind by their family or may simply not have anyone left to visit or take care of their needs. I have signed up to give my time to a local nursing home and am awaiting clearance on paperwork but I am looking forward to doing whatever it takes to put smiles on some sweet, wrinkled faces.

You may not be passionate about either of these causes but there are plenty of volunteering opportunities available. Do some research in your community or simply search “volunteering opportunities” for your town. It’s a great way to make a difference, you’ll feel appreciated and needed. It also provides an opportunity to give back what has been given to you. You may find out by helping others that the person you may help most will be you.

 

Forever and A Day

I love my friends. All of them…even the ones who are unhappy and jealous, they are the ones who need my caring and understanding the most. I want my friends to be successful and happy. I want to be there for each loss or gain with a smile and a word of encouragement. A friendship has no room for negativity and bitterness. As you move forward in life, you may have to cut loose some from your circle of friends. It’s all part of your personal growth.

I cherish dearly the people who are there for me, regardless if we speak daily, weekly or once a year. True friendship doesn’t have an expiration date. One of my oldest friendships started in college and although we seldom speak, I know she will always be there for me without a doubt.

There have been times when I’ve been a horrible friend, I’ve canceled plans and gotten into arguments with people who were only trying to help me. I’ve not always been an easy person to get a long with but in the end, I’ve realized my mistakes and corrected them. A real friendship isn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows, it’s going to have its ups & downs. Make sure you understand where the other person is coming from and realize they may have a valid point too. Just agree to disagree, don’t let something minor turn into something major!

Best friends should make you laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a lot more. They should defend you even behind your back. They should encourage and uplift and motivate you. They should respect you. They should need you. They should love you even when you aren’t very lovable. They should love all of you…the confused you, the weird you, the imperfect you, the crazy you.

How long will we be friends? Forever and a day. 🙂