Trying to be better…

Better PeopleI believe we can make the world a better place by being better people.

By “better people” I don’t mean better than someone else. Most of the problems in our world have been caused by one group of people thinking they are better than another group. As I see it, we are each only as good as we strive to be.

None of us is in any position to tell the rest of us how to live. We all have an inner dialogue that tells us right from wrong. Whether you refer to it as your conscience or the spirit of God, in each of us is a certain knowing when we are doing something bad and when we are doing something noble. We know how to be better people. We choose whether or not to act on that knowing.

Yes, some of us are pitifully far from the mark. We are an earthbound, petty species that fights for scrap and thinks far too much of our own existence. Too often we are more concerned with getting, but the more we scramble and grab the more empty we become. We are trying to water our desert with a mirage.

I’m trying to make my world better by being better, but I often fall short. I’m petty, selfish and judgmental. I think mean thoughts all the time, especially when driving and shopping. I laugh at things that probably shouldn’t be funny.

Most of the time, I fail at being the person I would like to be, but failure is temporary. I have to maintain hope that I can, eventually, make a positive difference as long as I continue to try. It’s what keeps me going despite my frequent mis-steps. I have to keep trying.

I have to believe that I can help make the world a better place despite my shortcomings. I have to believe that we can be better… in spite of ourselves.

 

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Class sign up begins…

I’ve had quite a few questions about the two classes I will be teaching this fall at Northwest Florida State College. I will be teaching Social Media Basics and a creative writing class on Mondays on the Niceville campus. Sign up is through the college’s Personal Enrichment Program. Here are the details for all those asking:

Screenshot_2016-07-20-17-59-41   (2016-07-21T02_44_17.814)

Click photo for full size

Find Your Story, Use Your Words – Release the story you already have hidden within you beginning Monday, September 19 until October 24 from 1-3 p.m. in Building 400, Room 300 on the Niceville campus. Class costs $50, registration is through the college’s Personal Enrichment Program. CRN #: 12127

 

Click photo for full size

Click photo for full size

Social Media Basics – This class is for those not familiar with the maze that is social media today. With a focus on using Facebook, we will cover online safety, posting and sharing photos and videos and managing settings.

Class begins Monday, September 19 and meets every Monday until October 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Building 400, Room 309 on the Niceville campus. Class costs $35, registration is through the college’s Personal Enrichment ProgramCRN #: 12128

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HWA Poetry Showcase Now Available in Paperback

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 11.30.52 PMI’m pleased to announce that my poem, “Death Waits,” is included in the recently published paperback version of the HWA Poetry Showcase Volume III, available on Amazon and Createspace. The book is also available for Kindle.

From Amazon: This third volume in HWA’s highly acclaimed poetry series has more than 50 never-before-published dark poems, including work from featured poets Bruce Boston, Chad Stroup, Corrine De Winter, Kathryn Ptacek, and Michael A. Arnzen.

Paperback on Amazon

Paperback on Createspace

ebook on Amazon

 

 

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The Insanity of Going Simple

IMG_20160814_082133July 4 we decided to buy a camper, get rid of most of what we own and live a simpler life in the country. Then things got really, really complicated.

It wasn’t just that we were trying to reduce a three bedroom house with Florida room, formal dining room (a.k.a. junk room) and 2.5 car garage into a 31 foot RV. That went relatively easy thanks to a massive Craigslist liquidation, my daughter’s help and many charity drop-offs.

Even the car breaking down midway through the move, and then my daughter’s car breaking down, leaving us all vehicle-less as we relocated 20 miles away wasn’t a deal breaker. Thanks to the help of friends with a truck we managed to continue to move while our car was in the shop.

As things settled down for us we got things settled for the small flock of chickens we had all started a few months ago. We had electricity installed for the RV, Mr. Smith learned to ride his motorcycle on muddy, dirt roads and we fiddled with carpooling schedules and composting toilets. My scooter tire went irreparably flat, then all the bike tires in our household went flat. I decided to go into menopause to make things even more interesting.

I won’t say that during all this we didn’t have any temper flare ups, but I am happy with how we all maintained our sanity. I think things were hardest at the end when we had gotten a taste of normal life but couldn’t quite enjoy it. We were all worn thin with the challenge.

Today I return to my sanity. I ran agin, the first time in three weeks. I was slow but it felt really good. I traveled along dirt roads in the company of no one but a few roosters and some crows. The air was cool, clean and bright. With each step I counted my blessings.

The new life and the old life blended to become the present… a now full of gratitude and appreciation because we had to work so hard for it. Today, I am flooded with peace.

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Tickets Still Available for Night at the Museum

Night at the Museum

A Panhandle Focus: There are still tickets available for one of the finest evenings of entertainment around. Each year the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida hosts their annual Night at the Museum event with food from local fine restaurants, wine, silent auctions and and the Emerald Coast Theatre Company with historical presentations.

Commemorating the City of Crestview’s centennial year, the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida is proud to present “Night at the Museum – Hub City.” This fun, fast-paced event takes guests on a group tour that combines history and theater, with a food and wine tasting, silent auction, raffles and more…

The talented actors of the Emerald Coast Theatre Company will bring history to life portraying people such as Congressman Bob Sikes and other historical figures such as Celeste Mapoles. Her husband, W.H. Mapoles, came to life during last year’s event.

Silent auctions will include items from Comfort Suites,  Touch of the Orient,  Wind Creek Casino & Hotel,  Shalimar Pointe Golf Club,  McNeill Hotel Company, Ramada Plaza Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, Gift Baskets, Original Art & more…

​Experience “Night at the Museum – Hub City,” a unique event unlike any other on the emerald coast!

Event costs ​$40 per person, $35 per Museum Member and $29 per person for groups of six or more. Groups must be paid in one transaction. For more information visit the Museum online at heritage-museum.org or call 850-678-2615.

Cafe Bienville is a casual, fun, counter-service cafe serving sandwiches, soups, and salads, including our popular seafood gumbo, muffulettas, and red beans with andouille sausage. We have a different special every day. We have Italian style sodas, draft root beer, espresso drinks and gelato. Our menu includes several vegan options including our grilled portabella and vegetable sandwich. Watch the sun set over Boggy Bayou. To go orders accepted. Free WiFi available.

Cafe Bienville is a casual, fun, counter-service cafe serving sandwiches, soups, and salads, including seafood gumbo, muffulettas, and red beans with andouille sausage. The menu includes several vegan options including our grilled portabella and vegetable sandwich.  Free WiFi available.

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Open House and Ribbon Cutting at New Sacred Heart Outpatient Clinic

A Panhandle Focus: Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast will host an Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. to formally announce the opening of a new outpatient clinic at The Market Shops in Miramar Beach, which is located at 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway West at the entrance to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

Attendees will be given a short tour of the facility and the NICU transport ambulance will be onsite for viewing. The new clinic features pediatric and adult primary care services, lab and x-ray services, and rehabilitation services for physical, occupational and speech therapy. The clinic will also provide a pediatric after-hours clinic seven days a week beginning later this year, which will be backed by The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, Northwest Florida’s only hospital solely dedicated to the care of sick and injured babies and children.

Physicians at The Market Shops

Several Sacred Heart Medical Group physicians will see patients at the new clinic, including:

  • Dr. Patrick Ferry, Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Matthew Kinzelman, Family Medicine
  • Dr. Mikael MacKinney, Family Medicine
  • Dr. Mollie Smith-Sowell, Pediatrics
  • Dr. Stephen Bolduc, Pediatrics

SPEAKERS will include:

  • Susan Davis, President and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System
  • Roger Hall, President of Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast
  • Henry Stovall, President of The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart
  • Blessing by Father Michael Hartley – Pastor, St. Rita Catholic Church

WHEN:          Thursday, Aug. 4 at 10 a.m.

WHERE:        The Market Shops in Miramar Beach, which is located at 9375 Emerald Coast Parkway West at the entrance to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.

CONTACT:   Mike Burke, Public Relations Director, (850) 969-1319

For more information, call 850-416-7000 or visit online at www.sacred-heart.org.

Cafe Bienville is a casual, fun, counter-service cafe serving sandwiches, soups, and salads, including our popular seafood gumbo, muffulettas, and red beans with andouille sausage. We have a different special every day. We have Italian style sodas, draft root beer, espresso drinks and gelato. Our menu includes several vegan options including our grilled portabella and vegetable sandwich. Watch the sun set over Boggy Bayou. To go orders accepted. Free WiFi available.

Cafe Bienville is a casual, fun, counter-service cafe serving sandwiches, soups, and salads, including our popular seafood gumbo, muffulettas, and red beans with andouille sausage. We have a different special every day. We have Italian style sodas, draft root beer, espresso drinks and gelato. Our menu includes several vegan options including our grilled portabella and vegetable sandwich. Watch the sun set over Boggy Bayou. To go orders accepted. Free WiFi available.

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Teaching creative writing, social media, this fall…

Here are all the details for the creative writing and social media classes I will be teaching this fall beginning September 19. The classes will be at the Northwest Florida State College, Niceville campus, on Mondays. Sign up is through the college’s Personal Enrichment Program.

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Panhandle Focus Update

Panhandle Focus thumbPlease be advised that the Panhandle Focus will change publication format beginning August 1 and will move from a PDF community news publication to a blog format.

I still welcome your news items and invite you to submit them to angelayurikosmith@gmail.com.

The news items are now published here under a Panhandle Focus tag and can be found at http://dandilyonfluff.com/category/panhandle-focus/.

The PanhandleFocus.com address will soon lead to a page where archives from the past year may be downloaded for free.

Calendar events continue to be posted at http://dandilyonfluff.com/panhandle-focus-calendar/

The info@PanhandleFocus.com email will be closed by Friday, July 22 and I can be reached at angelayurikosmith@gmail.com.

Thank you, it has been an immense pleasure working with you over the past year and I hope I will continue to hear from you.

 

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I’m on RednecksGoneWild.com…really!

A clip from the RednecksGoneWild video, "Fishing & Making New Friends."

A clip from the RednecksGoneWild video, “Fishing & Making New Friends.”

A chance meeting with Kevin from RednecksGoneWild.com the other day resulted in an appearance by me on his channel!

I had just come home from work and was walking the dog. The day was hot and muggy, and I just happened to be wearing one of my loveliest work shirts, complete with bleach marks.

IMG_20160716_095236If I’d have known I was going to be on Kevin’s channel with all his 25K+ subscribers, I’d have worn a clean shirt!

I’ve embedded the video here. I make my debut at about 15 minutes in, if you are in a hurry, but the whole video is worth watching. My favorite story? The bees wielding instant karma :)

How funny to think I ran a successful YouTuber while on a muggy walk with my dog Cheeky (who also makes a cameo appearance).

As for my own channel, new videos are in the works but things have been delayed while Mr. Smith and I finish the transition from three-bedroom-house to 31 foot RV. All the details in will be up soon for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, thank you to Kevin from RednecksGoneWild.com for including me in one of his recent videos… even if I was caught at my worst!

Posted in Minimalism, Working out, Writing Life | Tagged | Leave a comment

Roadside Blog Post

Alone in a dead car next to a railroad track along a sparsely traveled highway parked in the weeds... STORY INSPIRATION!!!

Alone in a dead car parked in the weeds next to a railroad track along a sparsely traveled highway… STORY INSPIRATION!!!

I was all excited to share one of the latest Rednecksgonewild.com videos which I happen to make an appearance in, but as fate would have it I am busy spending my evening stranded on a country road in a town (?) called Mossy Head, a.k.a. redneck country.

My normally dependable car has overheated so here I sit, waiting for roadside assistance. This is our first night in our new RV. Despite the obvious inconvenience I am enjoying the challenge.

No one is injured and cars can be replaced and fixed. I have a rare opportunity to sit out here on the side of the road in the country dark, listening to things squeak and rustle in the grass.

I’m across the highway from a train track and the moon overhead is nearly full. The scene seems ripe, like a romantic interlude in a spooky story. Without competition from city lights, the stars burn with a ferocious joy.

Under the big sky, I find that I am grateful that fate has chosen to force me from my path to experience the secret life that exists on the side of the road.

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