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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A Bridge We Can All Cross

I have discovered so much about myself in the last 5 years. I have found out I can continue to grow even when heartache lives inside my soul. When I lost my daughter almost 6 years ago, I wondered how I would go on. I have discovered that I can center myself in what is happening in my life now instead of what might happen or might not happen. For instance: I was devastated in 2014 when the murderer of my daughter was given probation instead of jail time for her death. There are really no words for heartache like I felt and still feel about the outcome. I read every single day people who get sentenced appropriately for the same kind of crime, but I also read stories like mine where a corrupt judge lets the killer walk. I entered 2015 with a mindset of anger over the outcome of the plea deal he got. I was extremely vexed as my daughters date of death approached in January and the killer Christian Cvitanovich was putting photos up on his Facebook page showing him drinking and without a care in the world. He even lists his occupation as ‘retired’. I would not be human if I said I could forgive and forget. I can’t, I just can’t. However, I have moved on with my life. I have lost a child, and I have moved forward, so if I can do it we all can. It is a bridge we all can cross no matter what our personal problems are: that bridge leads us to a better way of living. Her death has taught me to be a kinder more loving human being and to live my life with substance and integrity.

So, let me share some thoughts about my year 2015 with you my readers.

These are my Truisms from Colombia.

  1. No matter what you must live your life the way you want. Do not let anyone else influence your belief in yourself. I have progressed, not regressed. It is not easy, I have had many sleepless nights these past years.
  2. Walk your path in life the way you want. I have lost touch with some people in my life, including my brother. He doesn’t approve of my move to another country that he thinks is dangerous, yet here I am 5 years later with a Bed and Breakfast. Colombia just made the Forbes list of the 14 coolest places to visit in 2016! It does make me sad that my brother is not in contact with me, and I continue to send him notes, they go unanswered. All that I  have done has begun to heal my life and the suffering I have felt. Sometimes, we will feel we are not doing the right thing based on other’s beliefs…but we are actually where we should be!
  3. I think at Christmas we give too much to our children. They expect too much and have no idea about the hardships all over the world, including the United States. Why not do something like give your child a pen pal from another country? Join the Christian Children’ s Fund or another worthy cause and let your child write the letters to the child you are helping? What a good way to show compassion to those less fortunate! The cost is minimal and the lesson is wonderful. Your child, grandchild, or family member will learn a valuable cultural lesson. Not everyone receives a large number of gifts under the Christmas tree! My own son CJ actually wrote me and asked I give my gift to him for Christmas to the charity of my choice. I was so proud.
  4. Working hard for something you do not care about is called stress, but working hard for your passion is called peace.
  5. Stop looking at what others are doing for your definition of happiness! I can attest the internet is full of a lot of bullshit. I started my own personal Facebook page when my life was going downhill. I would put photos up that looked perfect but they didn’t tell the real story. I can guarantee this is true for 99.9 percent of the internet.
  6. Stop holding grudges over silly things that happen with people in your life. I had a friend, someone I adored and loved for many years. When I retired I gave all my uniforms to her. She came to my house to get them. We had wine and I opened my mouth and said “the last time I flew with you, you were horrible to another flight attendant. You were wrong, he was a great worker, perhaps you are making this job too much of your life.” I was wrong for criticizing, but she is wrong for giving up a friendship that was 3 decades long over that! She left (with the uniforms, LOL) and 30 years of friendship went with her.  Always apologize, because there are always two sides, which I did, and let go. If someone reaches out and apologizes accept that apology. I haven’t heard a word from my daughter’s murderer, perhaps if he apologized I could go on to forgive. I will never know because he hasn’t ever acknowledged any responsibility for his crime.
  7. Look at any obstacle in your life as an opportunity! I believe hardships are in your life for a reason and they show you what is worth fighting for! I am living a lovely life now, but I still have bumps along the way. I get past them and so can you. Do not let fear get in your way! There have been many times where fear of the unknown has kept me awake at night. I always remind myself that I have so many possibilities that are in front of me.
  8. Believe in your dream! I did and was recently published in International Living (scroll to page 8). Now I am adding a bar to Villa Migelita because I believe in my abilities. If you don’t try you will never know what you can accomplish. No one is entitled to success, so you must look for ways to find it.
  9. Be happy with what you have. If you have food on the table, clothes on your back, a place to live, then you are doing pretty well considering there are people all over the world who can barely get by. Choose simplicity and try to appreciate what you have instead of wanting more.
  10. Stop being a material person, our lives are defined by not what we have but what we go after. A sense of accomplishment is the best gift you can give yourself.
  11. Travel more, experience a different culture, learn a new language!
  12. Get the drama out of your life! I have stopped anything that can lead to negativity in my own personal space. What a relief it is not to have it around me. Even when I feel hurt by another person’s actions I try not to react.
  13. Have a plan for your future, a vision. It will get you through tough times!

So there you have some of my thoughts on the last year. I have learned from my past and can talk about my future like it has already happened. I have learned to trust myself and the decisions I make without need of anyone’s opinion. I have used the struggles from my past to shape my future. Sometimes taking a risk is worth the journey.

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A New Bar at Villa Migelita

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/oops/”>Oops!</a&gt;

Everyone who follows my blog knows I live in Colombia, South America and own a Bed and Breakfast called Villa Migelita. I opened it last year and we are doing pretty good without a lot of advertising besides my Facebook page , Twitter, and Instagram account. I never post oops pictures because of my business, all has to look great of course!

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Before anything was done at Villa Migelita
Villa Migelita photos 002
Villa Migelita in 2015

Villa Migelita is adding a bar next week. I have a partner who is a designer. He has made my farm into a beautiful place. We were recently featured in International Livings Incomes Abroad 2015 ( scroll to page 8), and it was an honor! So now business is picking up and it is time to not just be a house but a real hotel! We are quaint and cozy. Guests wander the grounds and our house freely. I have even woken up at 5 AM to smell coffee being made in the kitchen by a guest. I love it! They feel “mi casa es su casa” and it is true, my house is their house. We offer very personal service to our guests. The way Villa Migelita looked when I first bought her was a place with potential. It has been four years of constant work and updates.

Yesterday we went looking for wood for the new bar. It has to be in keeping with the plan and design of my house which is  minimalist. The bar will be simple but functional. I took some pictures yesterday at the place I had bought furniture before, but they weren’t ‘post worthy’ …LOL. I stayed in the truck because it saves me money. If I am seen, gringa that I am, the price can go up significantly. I took some photos from my vantage point and they were not great, but I am going to show them.

As you can see it is not pretty nor can you tell how beautiful the furniture will be.

Therefor, I share a photo from my house of what this old wood turns into. I must add because I am a nature person and do not believe in cutting trees down for no reason this furniture is very old, thousands of years old to be correct. They dig into the ground for old tree trunks that have died and fallen by themselves. Perhaps through mudslides, or rotting but not just taken down for no reason. I see this often on my hikes here in Colombia. These last photos are a preview of the furniture and how it looks when I have a good picture.

So next up is the bar, which I will share at some later date. Just for grins I will show you the empty spot where the bar will be. It is another photo just for me, but since you want oops here it is. Empty space for new bar

No photo shop, just the beauty that surrounds me. I am very excited to see it all put together. Maybe this is the start of another venture. Not just a bed and breakfast but a place for Colombians to spend a bit of time and dance a little salsa.

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Image tagged in gifs

via Image tagged in gifs.

Merry Hummingbird Christmas from Villa Migelita! We have hummingbirds year round. Come visit beautiful Colombia and stay with us at Villa Migelita. We are a personalized Bed and Breakfast with superior service to our guests. Relax and enjoy our hummingbirds while being surrounded by nature and mountains. If adventure travel is your idea of a good time you will love it here! We have many fun tourist activities that we can share with you, along with a Spanish/English speaking guide. Book today for the holidays. Click this link  to see the Gif I made of one of my many hummingbirds!