Finding Your Momentum in 2023!

Hello Y’all! Happy New Month & Year; and I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. We had a snow-mageddon in Texas this week, so it felt like the pandemic all over again. Being trapped in the house within proximity to the fridge and pantry was awesome in good and bad ways. But it was good not having to fight my way through traffic and bad because there wasn’t a separation between home and work. But any way, we have one more freeze coming up and we should be done with winter. I missed writing so if you’re reading this, thank you from North Texas!

Let’s chat while I try my hands at a new recipe…..(drum roll) I’m making veggie egg rolls!! Ingredients: Cabbage, Carrots, Green Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Sesame Seed Oil, Olive Oil and Soy Sauce. How to Make: Clean and shred your Cabbage, grate your Carrots, Chop your Garlic, Green Onions and Ginger. Heat a pan and add olive oil. Sautee the ginger and garlic together. After fragrant, add the cabbage, carrots and stir. Add the green onions and let cook. Add a tablespoon of Soy Sauce and a tablespoon of Sesame Oil. Stir for a few minutes then remove from stove and allow to cool. Roll your egg rolls and use a baking brush and water to seal. Spray your air fryer with cooking spray and lay out. Spray the rolls with some butter cooking spray so it isn’t too dry. Cook at 350F for 10 minutes. Use a dipping sauce of choice. Calories are about 70-75 each.

Starting Fresh!

If you read my last post, I did a look back on the past year and areas that I could improve on. This was very insightful for me so much so; I had to share it with you. The year always begins with resolutions, packed gyms, packed libraries, packed learning centers and religious buildings. By years end, its reported that only 9% of the population actually follow through on their resolutions. I like to call them ‘tweaks’. For some reason, the word ‘Resolutions’ just sound unattainable. Here are some of my tweaks for 2023. If I can get myself to move from a 5 to a 7, that, to me is success! Perfection does not exist and if you know anyone who is, they’re probably crazy underneath it all…LOL.

Self-Care – Taking the time to rejuvenate and do the things you love and not just for everybody else.

Slow Down – Stress is the root cause of a lot of the ailments people suffer.

Scale Back on Excesses – Whether it’s unnecessary spending, snacking, drinking, or even saying yes to every request that comes your way. Balance is the key.

Be Mindful of Time – Timing is everything. We can always do better. Something as simple as going to bed an hour early can increase your productivity levels and alertness during the day.

Get Your Work Done – In Texas, we say ‘You need to bite the bullet’ to get things done sometimes. It means sometimes you may need to be uncomfortable for a little while to attain a goal, a dream, task or fulfill a promise.

Rest – Need I say more.

Be Organized – Always position yourself for whatever life throws at you. We have no control but we can always do the best with what we’ve got.

The Gift of Giving – When you step outside of yourself and give of your time and resources, whether it be by volunteering or serving in your community, it makes you grateful for the things you may take for granted. Giving is a two-way street. Both parties benefit immensely.

Positivity is Contagious – Surround yourself with positive people and if there aren’t any around you, be positive no matter what.

Folks it’s good to be back and writing again. Let me know how I did on those egg rolls and what new habits you intend imbibing in the new year. Until I come your way again, be safe, stay healthy and remain positive.

Periwinkle Starr

A Look Back at 2022 – An Epiphany of Sorts.

Happy Holidays and a belated Merry Christmas to all! I hope you are doing amazingly well in your corner of the world. 2022 is at its end and I am resting my way into 2023 but also taking the time to look back over the last 362 days. Taking time off to rest every now and again is so vital to being fit and healthy. Sometimes we don’t even know how exhausted we are until our body breaks down and we’re bedridden and forced to rest. Anyway, I’m warm and cozy, have my hair in a bun, my snacks nearby and I’m ready to dive into today’s post.

I Had An Epiphany….

I realized that ‘Everything matters’…We are very fond of separating our lives into compartments like work life, relationships, religion, health & fitness, friendships, hobbies etc. But in actual fact, these pieces make up who we are and are intertwined or bleed into every other area no matter how hard we may try to compartmentalize. One area that’s not doing so well affects every other area. ‘Yeah…yeah, we know that already’, I imagine some reader say but take a minute to think it through.

Every step counts. I mean this literally. It’s hard to keep up with a fitness regimen. All the determination in the world will get you nowhere if your body is tired. On days where I can’t drive my tired body to the gym, I can walk through the house, go up and down the stair’s multiple times, do online Zumba, stretch or exercise in place. You’ll still burn calories which is better than not exercising at all.

Hydration is huge part of weight loss. I didn’t know this until a friend of mine who is a fitness buff and competitive lifter shared this with me. Being hydrated with WATER removes toxins from your system, aids digestion, reduces constipation, and improves your skin, brain function and overall health. When I hear medical professionals tell the public to drink 8 glasses of water a day, I roll my eyes because no one and I mean NO ONE is drinking that much water…its soo boring especially when you have zero calorie diet drinks and everything else out there. I know I wasn’t. But to get there, start by buying a half gallon water bottle. It doesn’t feel like that many glasses but trust me that I exceed this quantity in water intake these days. This water bottle changed my life and I know it can change yours.

Sleep is important. If you’re always on the go during a typical work week, take one day on the weekend to sleep, rest, relax and let your body recharge. When you rest, your cortisol levels come down, this signals to your body that you can relax; stress reduces and the craving for salty and sweet snacks go down. Its literally a domino effect. If you have a bad or poor sleep routine, it’s only a matter of time before it begins to take its toll on your life.

Procrastination has an effect on weight loss. Quit telling yourself that you will start tomorrow. You would start walking, start dieting, sign up for a gym membership, join a fitness group, sign up for a personal trainer…..you get the gist. START NOW! Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Opt for a low calorie dressing on your salad instead a high carb option. Opt for a healthy midnight snack or pass on a second serving at meals. What really matters are the baby steps.

You can’t do it alone. There is that 1% of individuals who lose ALL their weight in their basement while livestreaming on YouTube. Well, I hate to break it to you, but those individuals are far and in between. The rest of us who are the 99% need to have a support system, people with similar goals, text groups and accountability partners to motivate us on our down and lazy days. Now, if you aren’t sure where to find ‘those’ people, start with your circle. Find out from friends, neighbors and ask if they’re interested in starting for example a mall walking group, joining a class etc. If that isn’t successful, you can find fitness groups online via social media. There are no excuses. There is a group for everyone out there.

Little Habits = Big Results. Friends, if you’ve been with me on this journey for a couple of years now, you’d notice that I’m very skeptical about instant results especially when it comes to diet, health and weight loss. Not only does it take a toll on your body, but your brain hasn’t had enough time to master or take on new habits. Anything too fast or hastily done in my opinion isn’t sustainable. Start by tweaking the little things and slowly override the old you with who you want to become by imbibing new habits and better lifestyle choices.

2022 has been a good year. Life is seemingly back to ‘normal’. To all the readers of Periwinkle Starr, thank you for being a part of my journey. Thank you for the likes, comments and follows. The new year will be even better. Until I come your way again, be safe, upbeat and have a Happy and Amazing New Year!

Periwinkle Starr

(P.S. All photos are culled from the internet).

Summer Vacation Aftermath!

Hello Y’all! It sure feels great to be back with another post. I hope you are doing well in your corner of the globe. I just got back from a much needed and well-deserved vacation, and I made a vow to myself to not ever go for long periods without actually taking the time to pack my bags and go SOMEWHERE, because stay-cations don’t cut it anymore. I turned off my phone and didn’t give a thought to work all the while I was gone. I did glance at my emails every now and then to make sure no one was harming themselves or getting into any crazy mischief while I was gone…Ha ha! Buy yes, its so nice to come to you with another post. Its amazing how getting time off to rest does wonders for every part of my being.

Vacations for me mean that ALL diets are off or in some way reduced to the barest medium. One thing I did as soon as I returned was to take a dose of a gentle laxative to clear my gut of any and all the junk I ingested,….in many ways, giving my digestion somewhat of a fresh start. Also drinking a lot of fresh clean water to rehydrate my body is something I’m incorporating.

Staying Focused and Loving Every Moment of It.

Culled from the internet

Some of the things I am incorporating post vacation have been helpful to me and my hope is that it helps someone else enjoy their time off without guilt but also get back in the saddle when they return home.

Big Volume, Low Carb Foods. The list is long and instead of just listing the foods on here, I’m including links to some of the youtubers that have been tremendously helpful in steering me in the right direction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIOk6o5_xS8; and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvaJfRtrJxg

Walk at least 10,000 steps a day. You can build up your resistance to do more. In my case, doing one loop around my favorite trail gets me 5000 steps so my goal is to do two loops and try to build my stamina as I go. It’s so hot in North Texas this period, my plan is to walk indoors…..instead of burning in the heat.

Don’t Deprive Yourself. Find healthy alternatives for the treats you love. I recently found a GF chocolate cookie mix and I’m going to try it out.

Try Dry Packaged Soup Mixes. These are not only healthy for you, but they are easy to make and keep you full for longer while supporting your weight loss goals.

Never Compromise on Sleep. People gain weight when they are stressed. Cortisol levels rise and the body goes into hibernation mode. This stems from the early man having to weather all kinds of hardships to survive – like harsh winters, famine and only God knows what…maybe fighting off dinosaurs? LOL! At least 7 to 8 hours will do great for your body, your mind and your emotions. If you can’t afford to sleep that long, consider taking short 30 minute to an hour-long nap during the day. That will help tremendously.

Get Your Fiber Intake Up. A diet rich in fiber helps with weight loss and an overall balanced diet. The times I’ve seen myself pack on the pounds was when I was eating a lot of high carbs, starchy and sweet foods. Fiber helps speed up your weight loss.

Stay Positive. You are what you think and if you believe you can, you will. Real and healthy weight loss takes time and is not a quick fix. It slowly gives your body time to adjust instead of the shock the body receives when you cut corners. Unless its life threatening, I’m really concerned about surgeries, or those trips people make to developing countries to get all kinds of procedures done.

Having Courage to Deal with Emotional Baggage. Sometimes, weight gain may be due to natural causes – a slow metabolism, thyroid issues or more. Other times, it could be due to an unresolved issue that triggers incessant snacking, binge eating or not eating at all. Doing the best to face up to any emotional issues clears me of any reasons I have to not lose weight or maintain a healthy body and instead focus my attention on resolving any medical issues or underlying conditions.

Folks, it’s so nice to be back home and writing again. Please like, comment and follow. Until I come your merry way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Getting Back on the Wagon!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing great in your corner of the world! Its Mother’s Day in the States so I am wishing a happy celebration to all the Mums out there …most especially mine. The good Lord knows that many of us would not be alive today without our mums and it’s something we ought to be grateful for. It’s been a busy time but I’m glad to be back and writing again. We are in the month of May and it’s time to check in on my weight management plan.

Drum Roll!!! Drum Roll!!! Drum Roll!!!!

Let me just say that the scale was not very friendly to me when I stepped on it. I fell off the wagon with my diet even though I remained gluten free…. like that helps any. It started off slowly, skipping workouts, snacking a little later each night, not tracking my meals, not moving, not swimming…NOTHING! All I could do was scream…..NOOOOO!!!

Not today…..!

It’s funny that I didn’t notice the symptoms of weight gain…. Well, I take that back. I thought I could cheat, and my body would do what it has always done and bounce back from all those calories and bad habits, but this was not the case. This makes me think of all those people who get on those extreme diets and loose the weight but somehow the old habits slowly creep in and before you realize, it’s a downward spiral all the way down to the bottom and they are in some cases heavier than when they started off. Well, I felt exactly the same way. I knowingly did it to myself. These were some of my habits:

  • Excessive snacking – buying salty and sweet ‘gluten free’ snacks when busy, working or traveling. Come to think of it, gluten free snacks actually have more calories than a lot of regular snacks. I think this happens because manufacturers have to add ingredients that hold the condiment together which ends up with more calories in what appears to be the same quantity of food.
  • Heading to the couch and grabbing the remote after getting home – instead of heading out to the gym – even if for just an hour of cardio, Zumba or a couple of laps in the pool.
  • Late night meals, snacks, sweet treats. Guilty as charged.
  • Not being active…. ENOUGH!
  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • Poor stress management.

Getting Back on the Wagon Again!

Not a real wagon..lol!

Just like everything in life, when you get into a funk, its ok to be down, feel down and to just soak in it for a bit. The end goal is to not stay there forever. Get back up and get back into the fight to be and stay (in my case) healthy and at a healthy weight. Life happens folks and every now and again it’s easy to get out of sync when we are balancing so many spinning plates. But checking in on myself every now and again was very helpful. I find that there will always be something going on somewhere and our control as human beings is very limited. So, I had to re-strategize. Here’s what I came up with.

  • Take stock of where I’m at. How I arrived here. What I did right or didn’t do enough of; and how I prioritized my time on a daily basis.
  • Admitted failure especially in areas that need improvement. Admitting wrong is the first step of growth. Denial keeps us stuck.
  • Came up with a healthy plan – a positive and sustainable way forward.
  • Sticking to it – No more excuses.

I know this looks easier than it actually is but less is more. I’m off to the gym to do a couple of laps in the pool and get my body back in shape again. Until I come your way again, no matter where you’re at in your life or how long you’ve fallen or neglected vital components of your life, you can always make a determination to get back on the wagon again. Rome wasn’t built in a day and anything that is rushed is very rarely sustainable. Be happy, stay safe and healthy. I’ll be back before you know it. Please like, follow and comment.

Periwinkle Starr

Anxiety and the Gluten Connection.

Hello Y’all! Its Super Bowl Sunday!! I hope you are doing well in your corner of the world. As promised, I’m back at you as I said I would. The year 2022 is going to be a year of ‘doing’ not just saying with each post being unique in its own right. My posts could be happy-go-lucky and running through a field of flowers and another be down to business and about life’s moments and experiences. It’s pretty much any way the wind blows or where my spirit soars. At the end of the day, I write to share my experience with others. Besides, what good is living if you can’t share and learn from each other’s experiences. Disclaimer* Today’s blog is to share my experience and is in no way a cure for any mental health ailment. So, stay with me.

The Gut, Our Second Brain

Medical scientists have called the human gut our second brain. I learned about this phenomenon recently and it made perfect sense. Our gut is a combination of our small and large intestine that contains microbiota and bacteria that aid digestion but are also a pretty good indicator of the condition of our health…whether good or bad. Awareness about this connection became available only very recently with many suffering with various gut related issues for decades. I remember growing up, if I felt nervous or suddenly frightened by something, I would get the feeling of instant diarrhea. The situation was obviously processed by my brain but for some weird reason, my bowels were connected. Or having mood swings after certain high carb meals or being susceptible to certain skin conditions.

If you are a millennial, you know that a good number of us grew up in households where as long as you weren’t in pain or bleeding you were alright. Well…a lot of gut problems were flying under the radar as a result; with symptoms that would start out mild but over the years would develop into bigger issues as they slowly eroded our digestive system and eventually affecting our overall health.

Let’s Look at The Science.

According to Wikipedia, ‘In industrial production, a slurry of wheat flour is kneaded vigorously by machinery until the gluten agglomerates into a mass. This mass is collected by centrifugation, then transported through several stages integrated in a continuous process. About 65% of the water in the wet gluten is removed by means of a screw press; the remainder is sprayed through an atomizer nozzle into a drying chamber, where it remains at an elevated temperature for a short time to allow the water to evaporate without denaturing the gluten. The process yields a flour-like powder with a 7% moisture content, which is air cooled and pneumatically transported to a receiving vessel. In the final step, the processed gluten is sifted and milled to produce a uniform product. This flour-like powder, when added to ordinary flour dough, may help improve the dough’s ability to increase in volume. The resulting mixture also increases the bread’s structural stability and chewiness. Gluten-added dough must be worked vigorously to induce it to rise to its full capacity; an automatic bread machine or food processor may be required for high-gluten kneading. Generally, higher gluten levels are associated with higher overall protein content’. End of Quote

It’s a known fact that the industrial revolution changed the world for ever. Food became plentiful. Mass production ensured that there was enough to go around but it also has led to new diseases and ailments that weren’t as prevalent back then. Gluten is a protein found in grain including wheat, barley and rye and comprises about 85% of the protein found in bread wheat. Everyone is unique and our bodies have varying reactions to different things. For some people, gluten can trigger adverse inflammatory, immunological and autoimmune reactions. Some of the ailments that people intolerant to gluten range from celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten ataxia.

The Problem with Big Pharma

It is a known fact that the big pharmaceutical companies don’t necessarily want you well. Instead of advising on a change of diet, removal of excess sugars, weight loss and a healthier diet, a lot of people are placed on medication to deal with issues that stem from food sensitivities. Their goal in many circumstances is to place people on an assembly line where you keep coming back without getting a permanent cure for the ailment. In this case, these conditions can only be resolved by eating a gluten-free diet. Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food‘ and that is so true. And until we get back to eating healthy, nutrient rich food, we will continue on this assembly line of medication that corrects one thing and destroys ten other things in your body. If you don’t believe me, just listen to one of those drug commercials on TV.

Getting a majority of gluten out of my diet did wonders for my skin, my digestion, my emotions, my energy levels, clarity and alertness of mind and overall health. But in today’s world, it’s very difficult to be 100 percent gluten free (I must say) but getting most of it out of your diet will do wonders for your health. The game is still on, and I hope the Cinci Bengals win the game, they haven’t in the last 31 years, and being a proud Ohioan living in Texas, my money is on them. Please like, follow, and comment. And until I come your merry way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

An Amazing New Year!…Pandemic or Not.

Hello Y’all! Happy belated New Year to you from North Texas. I’m so glad to blog today and I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. It’s been cold here lately but thankfully it hasn’t snowed, and we haven’t lost power…at least not where we’re at. The year 2022 took off like a horse at the races so I’m not surprised that we’re at the end of January. The pandemic is still on with worldwide chaos on mandates, rules and the division that comes with trying to control a large group of people. Friends of ours in other parts of the country are experiencing shortages and scarcity on certain items and services but still, we have to keep on living life the best way we can.

I was hoping that by this time, we would be skipping along with the pandemic somewhat behind us but NO NO NO….we now have Omicron. which is more contagious than Delta and even has a shorter incubation period. Some clown posted a statement saying ‘I’m going to sleep. Wake me up when Omegatron hits’. I literally fell out of my chair because it hit me that we may never get back to life as we knew it….and this may be a weird kind of normal from now on. Heaven forbid! But we still have to weather this 2+ year storm somehow. Here are some of my strategies that I’d like to share with you so stay with me.

See the source image
Culled from the internet.

Talk about it. Getting with friends and family and just talking about everything that’s going on has been a tremendous stress reliver because you know that you’re not alone.

Stay healthy. whether it’s eating better, exercising, keeping fit, staying connected with friends and family.

Wear a mask when needed. Folks, this pandemic is real. Many have lost their lives because of it. There’s no shame in this game. You owe it to yourself to protect your body and health. This may be contrary to some people’s belief system but it’s better to prepare for a catastrophic event that never happens than to be caught unawares.

Take your vitamin supplements. This boosts your immune system and fortifies you against any nasties.

Keep on living! We humans are resilient. We have always been, and we will always be. We are still here….so let’s enjoy the gift of another day that we have been given.

Friends, I plan on getting better at posting on a regular. As soon as the dust settles, I’ll be back. Please like, follow or comment if you found this post helpful. Until I come your way again, I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Healing Your Body…Post Pandemic!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are fine and doing great in your part of the globe. Its been a minute since my last posts and it’s been fun but also very intense. The weather is soooo nice in North Texas. I almost don’t want to say it before we wake up one morning and it’s literally back to hell again. LOL. From what I heard, we should be gearing up for another very cold winter and I just cannot wait to layer on. There’s literally a countdown to swapping out my summer wardrobe for Fall but I’m not quite there yet.

We made it to the ember months and it’s something to be thankful for. With the pandemic, the craziness of life and all the other things in between, if you’re reading this post, you’re here and that matters. Looking back at the past months, I would say that 2021 has been a year of getting healthy-er and doing right health wise. I began by making minimal changes. These changes were difficult and still are but the longer I stick to it, I must say that it gets better. Just because it looks like the world is ripping to shreds doesn’t mean we take our focus off living life and doing the things we must to remain in tip top condition all around.

It’s almost baking season! I’m not sure if there’s any such thing as healthy baked goods but I’m going to try. And if you happen to have discovered a way to enjoy baked good that don’t make your body pack on the pounds, please send them my way.

Still staying safe despite the pandemic. Folks, it’s not over and staying in good health, taking your vitamins and being physically active is the way to go.

Get out more…in open spaces. Go hiking, work out in the park, go golfing. Being out in nature exposes you to negative ions that are good for your body and overall well being. Have you met anyone that went to the beach or a waterfall or lived out in the country that didn’t feel at ease or calm-er than us city people? Trust me, it wasn’t the farm animals LOL. Don’t just take my word on it, look it up for yourself.

Get back into your hobbies. Doing things that you really love. Getting back into reading, baking, kayaking, taking dance classes, learning to cook, visiting coffee shops with outdoor seating if you’re not comfortable being indoors. A friend of mine told me about couple who haven’t been seen in over a year. I kid you not. They both work from home, have everything delivered and use facetime for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. No judgement here. I can understand the fear but if the world was ending, it would have ended a long time ago. We truly live when we do the things that we love, so take baby steps if you must but you’ve got to keep on living life…or a semblance of it as you once knew.

Take a deep breath. A lot of times people think that once you’re healthy you’re good but being healthy is a broad term that encompasses every aspect of life. Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one wakes up in tip top health just because they made a decision the day before to take action. Folks, it takes baby steps, little tweaks, cheat days until you no longer feel the need to do so (hehe…myself included). So until I come your way again be safe, have fun because the festivities are just around the corner!! And…it will only be a little while before its another Christmas. Smile…because you’re still here!!!

Please like, comment and follow for more. I remain

Periwinkle Starr

Poetic Weekends!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing great where ever you are in the world. We are in Fall but it sure feels like a long hot Summer. But no worries, in a couple of weeks, we will be layering on again and then comes Winter. Its been one heck of a busy time but I’ve also had time to reflect on a few things. I haven’t had time to write in a while but I woke up feeling poetic today so here goes. Feel free to share your thoughts, comment, like and follow. Enjoy!

Its Beautiful Because I Said So!

Life is beautiful. Its one big maze. From the first time we open our eyes, until the last time the light fades out into nothing. Just like a caterpillar has to wiggle around in it’s cocoon until it breaks free and feels its very first rays of sunshine, so is the struggle of life.

The struggle to be. To drown out all the voices and dare to dream for yourself. The strength to be resilient in difficult times and to be level headed in good times. The courage to be you. The boldness to stand up for what you believe in and to not be afraid to be who you are. The grace to brace yourself against the currents and storms of life. Because they will come.

Knowing who you are and why you’re here is the key to life’s purpose. No one can define that but you. In the stillness and quieting down of your soul, clarity comes. The superficial become unimpressive and the intentions of the world around you become clearer.

Life has its peaches but also it’s darts. Learning to lighten the burden is the key to traveling light and finishing well. There’s so much to learn, so much growing to do…We will take it one step at a time.

Until I come your merry way again, be safe, upbeat and hydrated.

Periwinkle Starr

Down By The Bay!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world. Its the fourth of July here in the States and its a somewhat a quiet one this year. The last couple of days have been so beautiful with lower temperatures in the mornings which has been heavenly outside especially on walks without the humidity and sweltering heat. I’m not sure how long this is going to last but it’s Texas…who knows? I was in the Bay Area recently and it’s been one of the places I had never been to so I was looking forward to it. I had heard a lot but did not know what to expect.

One of the things I do when I go to new places. I love to mentally start out fresh on a clean slate and let the city write it’s own story and frame my experience. For a Texas transplant, I have pretty much gotten used to big spaces, big cars, wider roads, big EVERYTHING. So, getting into the city and seeing cookie cutter terraced homes with multiple stories literally perched on the edges of cliffs or on top of each other; or sidewalks with slopes that would leave an accessibility specialist dumbfounded was odd for me. Oh….did I mention that it felt like Winter in Summer? It was cold and windy. We were 10 minutes from the coast so according to friends, that’s the cold part of the city.

My Experience & Thoughts.

It’s the most expensive city in America! I kid you not. I saw houses that weren’t anything to write home about just by looking on the exterior but I quickly learned they were worth millions of dollars. Rent is through the roof and a lot of people live outside the area and come in for work because the cost of living is so high.

It’s cold. If you packed your bathing suit and planned on re-enacting those ‘Bay Watch scenes of running on the beach in the sun….in slow motion, I have to stop you right there. You may not make it back if you do LOL. Its not only cold but also windy. People were dressed for Winter in Summer. And I mean winter jackets, boots, scarves and hats.

The service was awesome! There’s a level of etiquette that I don’t get in Dallas at a regular restaurant. The waiters were more personable, very attentive and didn’t treat patrons like your typical assembly line fast food place. The service we got would only be received at high end restaurants in the DFW Metroplex.

There’s so much to see. Any person looking to do touristy things in San Fran needs about a full week to get it all in. It sounds long but it will be worth it in the end. From Wharf 39, the Pier, Alcatraz, bus tours, boat rides, restaurants, historic gardens, museums, the golden gate bridge, the Hippie area and so much more. It would be worth your time, I promise.

Earthquakes are the norm around there. The ground is constantly moving so the logical part of me is wondering why everyone and their neighbor has their houses perched on the edge of hill looking out to the ocean. I’m concerned that the ground has to literally cough and those structures may come tumbling down.

Never Get a rental Car in San Fran. The cost of parking is so high it’s not even funny. Taking a taxi, Uber or Lyft is the way to go. The city has a land scarcity issue which doesn’t help when finding parking. Driving around looking for a spot to park your rental is not a problem you want to have in an area you’re not familiar with. Uber it was for us!

The homeless situation is real. I was having breakfast at a diner with a full-on window view of the city, traffic and people going about their day. There was a building across the street from the diner with a recess along the exterior wall. Not too long after sitting down for breakfast, I see a homeless guy walk up to that corner and pee right there and keeps walking. I see a janitorial staff come out with a cleaning buggy and hoses down the area and go back inside the building. I kid you not, in less than seven minutes, another homeless goes right to that corner and pees and keeps walking. I see the janitorial guy AGAIN come out and do the same thing. I’m thinking to myself ‘what in the h**l is wrong with these people’? It’s not uncommon to see extreme wealth and homelessness on the same block.

Drug Addiction is a serious problem. I saw people shooting up on the sidewalk facing ongoing traffic in broad daylight. I mean…out in the open with the needle in their veins – where you could see blood and whatever drug they were injecting…And people just walked on by like it was the norm. That scared me a little. There were people lying on the sidewalk nodding off, some looked dead…and I kid you not, people just walked on. A friend of ours told us to be mindful how we held our phones out in public, that it could be snatched.

All in all, San Francisco is beautiful and different in it’s own way and I look forward to exploring other parts of California in the future. Please follow, like and comment. Until I come your way again, stay cool and hydrated this Summer!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr

The Shrewdness of Time!

Hello Y’all! I hope you are doing well in your part of the world? Summer is officially a couple days away but the heat isn’t waiting till then. Its time to slather on the sunscreen, sun hats, sun shades and the short shorts because the proverbial ‘Texas Burn’, is on!

So I tend to get pulled into watching numerous clips of TikTok videos streamed on YouTube about dogs…especially when bored or just looking for something to distract myself. The funny antics or despairing experiences they’ve had and their journey to recovery and being loved back into the loyal, furry little friends that they truly are bring back memories of growing up and having litters of puppies every now and again. I come from a dog loving family so its in my DNA.

There was always a big pup among the litter who was the bully, cried the loudest and stayed on mama tits long after the others had dozed off for the night. Yes, I’m referring to that one. I remember one time when I had to feed them in separate bowls because this cute little rascal would literally eat everything before the others even got a head start. So one day, something happened. I had just got done serving up their food and I was sitting in the kitchen watching them eat. The little rascal finished his food and looked up at me and then at his brother eating a couple of feet away. I knew what he was thinking LOL. He knew by now that he wasn’t supposed to go near his siblings plates during meal time so this is what he did. He pretended to be sniffing something on the floor and walking around the room….all the while closing in on the nearest pups plate. I was watching him intently but he was oblivious to me. In this pups mind, he was smart…very smart if I might add. All this time, he was pretending to sniff something on the floor, he was inching closer to his brothers bowl. In this pups brain, all of this was going to go unnoticed…..WRONG!!! I was unto him from the moment he looked at his brothers plate. I could literally see the wheels turning as he was trying to figure out the most stealth way to steal a couple bites of food without me knowing. I share this to say that…..

Life is a playground and you’ve got to get on it and play. You will fall down, You will learn from it and hopefully get back up and in the game again…literally. With time and experience, you learn and you grow. You don’t fall for the same tricks as you once did. You aren’t as gullible as you once were. You tend to question things – by asking ‘why’ and by anticipating the outcome of things whether good or bad. There is a sharpness, a seasoning that comes to you that cannot be acquired in any book or crash course. Life itself is THE school.

Time makes you shrewd.

*If you apply yourself to the school of life, you can spot things from a mile away.

*You aren’t quick to react as you were in your early days.

*You are more observant.

*You listen more…not just to what is being said in the moment but how it’s said and when.

*You become better at reading motives and intentions.

*You become intentional and more clear on what works for you and what doesn’t. What you want and what you won’t accept.

*You realize that you are human and you DO have a choice. Nothing is set in stone. There are no absolutes…someone just hasn’t discovered a way yet.

In my opinion, life is a playground when you are young. You fall, you get scraped, heal faster, learn from it and get back on the playground. I believe this is the time to train yourself because when you’re older, you get stiffer, you’re becoming brittle, you’re not as quick or you don’t heal as fast. But its meant to be that way. This is when you can sit back and pour into the younger ones who are willing to listen. Those who understand the invaluable pearls of wisdom being bestowed and who want to ensure that they don’t fall into the same ditches you did…literally. A timeless saying that rings through is to ‘never cast your pearls to swine’ is one that I often heard growing up but honestly did not grasp the depth of until much much later.

Folks, these are the gains and rewards we enjoy when we actively participate in life. Some of us took a fall and are now watching from the sidelines, afraid to get back on this playground called life. I speak to you and to myself as well…’Don’t be afraid. There’s only two directions it’s going to turn out: Good or Not so good’. That’s it! It’s better to try and not get the outcome you want than to not have tried at all. Until I come your merry way again, please like, follow and share your thoughts with me and the other Starr readers around the world. Have a fabulous week ahead!! I remain,

Periwinkle Starr