Category Archives: adventure

21? No way!

Yes, it is true I have a baby girl who turns 21 today. I remember the day quite well. By early in the morning on the 17th we decided she wasn’t coming therefore, why bother returning to the hospital, lol.

I had been admitted on the 16th and when nothing happened, I came home to see my four year old, Darion. Only to return the next morning for more poking and prodding. She was determined to stay, nesting in the womb enjoying mommy singing and walking her around.

It was an amazing day! We were calm upon entering the labor and delivery, had created a plan for Darion to come to the hospital and went in to finally hold this bundle of joy.

I can remember when they held this beautiful child up and said, “Meet your baby girl, Ashby Mae Drake.”

Tears streamed down my face. Of course I was elated, but I was also like that three month old, came out of me? You see, my first child was five pounds ten ounces. However, Ashby broke that record of having teeny tiny babies…she was nine pounds five ounces! Shew!!! She was mad! It was cold and she couldn’t get those screams to form words fast enough, therefore she screamed louder and sometimes in different pitches almost like she was auditioning for the voice, as a two minute old!

Everyone in the labor and delivery were scattered and shattered once Ashby had arrived. I realize that it’s normal for a delivery staff to be chaotic, but it’s how extreme the chaos was. I remember one nurse, who was tending to me, turned and as politely as she could said, “Okay, who is in charge of making sure Miss Ashby is happy!”

Really? Her first few minutes of life and she begins with that? And guess what? They did just that. People were scrambling, passing her from person to person, swaddling her to keep her warm and finally between me, Darion and Meemaw some how she became satisfied.

It was like a snap of the fingers and we are spinning around and she is 21!

The essence of Ashby…she has always loved all animals from snakes & reptiles to kittens & rats and everything in between. There was not an animal she couldn’t tame with a flick of her wrist and pick it up. Spanky the iguana, no one handled except Ashby Mae. She has been a visual artist since I can remember. By the time she was able to hold a pen in her hand, she has been drawing, way before she was walking. Her favorite way to paint from a year old on was in her birthday suit.

One time Eric had unannounced work clients come in from out of town, he called and said, “Some friends are coming over after work can you ask Ashby to dress?”

Her free spirit will take you on a whirlwind, similar to a plethora of Fall leaves being scooped up and dancing along the waves of the breeze. Then other times her vast interest in making the world a better place, but also ensuring all is fair in the world of Ashby, she will be more like a gust of wind.

Her essence of believing you can do anything is magnificent. Her determination to succeed is phenomenal. I remember when she was 15 she told me SHE would be in California by the time she was a Jr. In highschool. Of course, silly me doubted her! Boy was I wrong.

She began that day looking for reputable agents, (not the horrific experience we had at Cosmo, don’t do that). She found Wings in Cincinnati and the whirlwind had just begun. With in months we were attending workshops, meeting with several agents and finally she had decided on Jake Lang, who told her, “I am not sure you can do this.” ( I now know he knew exactly what he was doing).

Next thing I know, we are booking flights to Texas for expo, making new friends and signing on! For what? Oh sorry, of course Ashby was signed and expected to be where? By when? Yes!! California by February.

Those are just a few examples of the essence of Ashby Mae Drake. She has bedazzled us all since the afternoon of October 17th, twenty one years ago.

Thank you for being a great daughter and I love you! You are beautiful. Looking forward to many more!

God Bless

Livelove

What if your paradigm was wiped clean???

Good Morning!! This is my favorite day of the week!! Yes, believe it or not Monday mornings are my favorites, actually the entire day is!!! Isn’t that funny? I wish I could explain, one thing is for sure…it’s my FAVORITE DAY! As I was plugging in to my morning a Teena moment came to me! What if your paradigm or past was obsolete? Suddenly, out of no where…no one knew you and you had no recollection of anyone? What would you do differently?

Let me tell you about a little boy who challenged me everyday, yet said to me one day, “Do you know why I love you Mrs. Drake? Because you always accept me as a new me, the next morning.”

What???!!!! I think he must be talking about another teacher. Because everyday I prayed he would be a new him in the morning. And you can’t imagine how many days I thought, “I love you, but I don’t know if I can make it another day!”

I don’t care who you are, we all have people in our lives like this. Whether it be a student in your classroom or a Co worker, it doesn’t matter who they are it’s who or what you know about them.

After this thought about, your past being erased, I thought of that little boy, who believed in me because he felt like I believed in him! And I did!!!

This thought took me on a fun journey of emotions. Because I now know why that little boy said that!

I had him in 3rd grade and five years later I had him in 8th grade. Before 3rd grade began, I was handed 18 files to read and learn about my students. Their strengths, weaknesses and behavior issues. I read one!!!! (Which coincidentally he transferred out and I never had him). I closed the first folder and quietly walked to the office with all files in arms. I remember the look on our secretaries face (who I adore) when I said, “Can I have a copy of their medical files only? And any IEP’s?”

You know she wanted to say, “Are you stupid? You are holding them.”

However, I think the color still fading from my face and the weakness in my knees, explained it all!”

When I explained how I couldn’t educate effectively if I knew all the other opinions and data from their past. She was speechless. But it never did work with me!!!! My feelings were a great deal can change in one summer. There are so many factors that play into a person/students learning abilities, maturity, behavior ect… Yes this carries on with good or bad signals.

For example: That little boy was a day by day case, EVERYDAY. However, the first three weeks of school, I never knew this child had any trouble at all. He read at a 5th or higher grade level, he was loving, kind and amazing. (And still is to this day).

Then one day he didn’t come to school, then another. When he did return it was like a switch had turned on. His peers were constantly irritated with him, he would poke them, write on their papers…I mean I was in a state of grrrr!

What did I do? Funny thing is I didn’t realize it then, but now I see I did what came natural. I went with what I knew. I had built my own perspective of this child. Therefore, his paradigm to me was an intelligent, sweet, funny and kind child. I knew nothing about his past teachers opinions, his home life or his, let’s call it persistent personality, to ensure his life was as he wanted it. His paradigm was wiped clean as for me. That is why we had the discussion, EVERYDAY, “Tomorrow is a new day! You, my intelligent, well behaved, studious young man will begin again and tomorrow will be even better!”

Yes, we had that same conversation hundreds or maybe even thousands of times from 3rd grade, then 6th through 8th!

Did I change him? Nooo I do know I loved him, as a student. I do believe I helped him see a better him. And if you knew his real life paradigm, you like me, would be tempted to provide him with excuses. However, how would that help him? Or me or anyone else who might struggle with his quirky, nontraditional ways.

Ask yourself, “If my paradigm was wiped clean right now (and I was healthy bla bla bla), what would I want my new one to be?”

It is not to scare you, but just think…if you didn’t worry about the past, if no one had something to hold against you from 30 years ago (yes, people still claim to know someone even if they haven’t spoken to them in 30 years, that’s crazy to me). Not that you live your life based on other people’s opinions, just a fun little thought.

Next time you begin to become irritated with someone or something stop and ensure this is a reaction towards this particular incident and not a reaction based on the past. When you begin to live for or to feel good, life is paradise with a twist.

The twist being those small, quiet irritating moments to remind you of how you want your memories/paradigm, to be in one day, a month, a year or even years.

The pages are unwritten and you my friend are holding the pen!

God Bless

Livelove

&

Carryon

Sad moments will pass too

As moments or fun times come to an end everyone feels a little bit of a let down. At least I do. After vacation I always have a few moments of- I want to return to no stress, dancing and relaxing. However, I have learned that the closing of one chapter, means an opening to a brand new chapter.

New adventures, new destinations, fun times and the creation of new memories!

I sometimes feel like a broken record when I write over and over again. However, my statements are true. If you will wait just a few moments, this too will pass. When you are sad, take time to ask yourself, “Why am I sad?”

Next, allow yourself to be just that, sad. Not to a level of depression, where all you focus on is the sad state of mind you are in, but rather just a little cry, maybe a snack and a popcorn night. The point is allow yourself to feel the emotional attachment to whatever you are feeling down about.

Buttttttt.. set a time for when you are going to be over it. For example: When my daughter, son and Mark left today, I will admit I cried and felt a little lost for a moment. I have just felt a little bla all day. However, tomorrow morning is a new day!

I have set my time to begin a new day tomorrow. I found something to be excited about. In one week we will be heading to Nashville for a bash for Ashby’s 21. My website is in ffw because Rhian is amazing and many other events are evolving.

Could I continue to be sad and think of what is? Absolutely! I could take this small emotion and let it carry over into multiple days and even weeks or months.

Why? Why would I do that? Why? Why would you do that? I am sure some of you reading this could provide me with a long list of whys, how’s, shoulds, could and woulds.

Please read this carefully! It’s okay how long you choose to grieve, be depressed and focus in what is! However, it’s your responsibility to understand the entire world will not stop for a long time to help you pull yourself back together.

As one of my dear friends, who has buried two of their children, explained, “When you suffer a loss so great, which any loss is great, it’s only you who can decide what to do with your life. If I wanted to remember theirs deaths I would/could. But I chose to focus on their lives and create a life surrounded around doing good for others, in their names.”

Life is short. We all have, days and moments where we feel irritable, angry or simply sad. As Jack Cannefield explains, “Event + Reaction = Outcome.”

Please, as our country appears to have so many negatives and the world seems to have taken a nightmare pill, I beg of you to find the good in all situations and focus your energy on just that. Yes, there is always a time for everything! A time to mourn, a time to laugh, a time to pray and a time for cry. But if you want to be part of the solution and not yet another meaningless contribution to more fear being instilled in us, then begin today! Find the happiness in your heart, in your home, in your world! There is goodness all around you, how? Take time to focus in on the good in all situations. Listen to what you speak, does it illuminate the ‘bad’? Does it provide goodness to anyone? Does it create a happy feeling in your soul? If your last two answers were no, please take this message and utilize it.

Not trying to sound preachy or even demanding, I simply want you to understand how much you really do make a difference. You choose is your impact or legacy involving a positive and happy change in your life as well as those around you? If yes, then hooray, keep up the good vibrations. If not, then if not now? When? You choose!

If you are struggling with anything right now, I want you to know I just sent you a great amount of ‘Happy energy’ , it may feel a bit strange at first, but take the feeling and enjoy! That energy was attached yo this reading, just for you. Feel the cool breeze, feel the refreshing thoughts of feeling terrific. Smile really big and now accept your gift!

The song Ooooooo child things are gonna get easier… continues to play in my head as I read, edit and reread this post. It’s true hang on just a little longer it’s going to get better!!!

God Bless!

Livelove

Twenty Five!

I can’t believe it! Twenty five years ago Eric Drake, mommy and I, at four in the morning were driving to Kings Daughters Hospital in Madison Indiana. It was a cool, crisp, October morning and I can remember thinking and praying, “Lord, help me thru this and Please Please let me be a good mommy! It was 1992, I was six days shy of my twenty first birthday, Eric was 22 and working his butt off to make ends meet. I remember thinking this pregnancy can’t be over! (I loved being pregnant). It was similar to a journey down a path with another spirit, yet you can’t see them. She was always with me. Responded to my every move, she helped choose what we ate each day, she continued to push me to take care of myself. When she began to force her way out, it almost felt like she was ripping my insides out with her, but she was ready to see this earthly life. She was ready to create her own experiences, live, love and enjoy her life. The afternoon before our trip, to the hospital was beautiful, although I was really aggitated. Mommy called and I demanded she come meet me at the house. I whined so much Eric took me for a ride, on the back roads. Tim Perkinson, Ricky White and Jarod Stark were at the house, when we returned. Oh mommy as well. One look at me and she knew! Mom watched me cook supper, work around the house (which didn’t need to be cleaned), and breathe heavy, occasionally. It didn’t take long for her to look at Eric and say, “We are having a baby tonight, you need to rest up!” Eric turned white as a ghost and almost immediatly went to bed. Poop (Tim’s nickname) stayed with mom and I, to watch the rest of Fried Green Tomatoes. Oh and we can’t forget, we ate marshmallow cream and peanut butter. I was now having contractions 10 to 15 minutes apart. (We all acted like it was no big deal) The next part was hilarious! I don’t know why, but I decided I would drive Tim home. Why, either of them let me drive I will never know. Probably, I was super stubborn and demanded to drive. (Hmmm that sounds about right). It wasn’t that far! I remember the sky was almost black, with a few cirrus clouds, glowing with the reflection of the gigantic full moon! As we slowly creeped up the hill, where the headlights beamed, straight ahead, I had one of the worst contractions, I had ever experienced. About that time I slammed the gas pedal down, forcing my car to almost ramp the hill, heading down to his house. Mom and Poop screamed, then immediately stopped themselves only to hold their breath, in hopes of survival of the small, but tedious road trip. I almost came to a stop, when yep, it hit again and a repeat event happened! When Poop jumped out of the car he was terrified, his face was almost transparent, and all he could say was, “Goodluck, I will see you tomorrow.” The next four hours were touch and go! Until I began hitting the wall and rocking back and forth. Mom went to get Eric and we were off to the hospital! The next morning we had a beautiful baby girl! She was our surprise gift! Our family and friends came to support us. And our lives changed forever! It was an amazing day. You know, as I reflect and visualize for the future, I always want to share with you. LIFE is… What you make it! Eric Drake and I has no idea what we were doing October 2nd 1992! We had very little money, little life experience and yet all we knew is we loved this little human/spirit/baby girl more than words could express. She had colic for her first six weeks of life. I can remember we would trade off sleeping one hour at a time. We had our electric shut off once and our water a couple of times! However, Listen up!!! We made it! Twenty-five years later all those struggles are now funny memories! If you are struggling, right now…Please remember take everything in twos. I know most people will tell you, “One step at a time!” I do agree, but for me it has always been twos. If you can take one step why not two! If you can make it thru two seconds, two minutes, two hours, two days, two weeks!!! You can make it! I know you have sad times and struggles, but you got this!!! I have looked back over my twenty five years with this beautiful young lady and all four of our children and realized the difficult times become diluted and almost more cherished, because they always illuminate a growth period of awesomeness! A time where we all came together, depended on each other and were grateful for the good times!

Life is meant to be lived. You will struggle, you will have losses, but no matter what if you will stop, wait and focus forward in whatever ‘two’ realm you need, at the time; you will be like me and look back over twenty five years in amazement and visualize the future as even better!!! Here’s to you kid! Thanks for the greatest journey from October 2nd 1992, until now! Looking forward to many more adventures and living! I love you Darion Alley Drake!! Thank you for being an amazing daughter!

I think I can; I know I can…

Most people have read the Little Engine that could. I know, I would even refer to it while educating eighth graders or teaching sales associates, how to reach their personal quota. However, this past weekend, my experience, cleared the muddy waters or concepts behind this fabulous story!

You see, anytime I was coaching I would say look at the end result and go for that finish line. Which is one hundred percent normal for a coach. As we timed each runner in their event we would refer to their ending time and ask, can you beat that? After all, Track is all about who crosses that finish line first. I would run as fast as I could and cheer, “I think you can, I think you can…Come On You can do it, just look at that finish line, it is right there!!! (Ending with) I know you can! I know you can!”

Exasperated, I would check with John or Dad, for time and let them know where they were and where they needed to be! Does this sound normal to you? Of course it does as a coach you are to bring them up to their best potential and motivate them to complete the task, improve upon the last one and visualize the positive results is your job. However, if I chose to do that type of coaching again I would reverse their thoughts and my technique.

Why? You ask? Becuase although we had several qualify and attend state, once we arrived the goal or end result became overwhelming and several of them struggled.

Back to My lesson and then you will understand. As Eric and I rode bicycles, we would come upon some steep hills. He would shift down to second or even first gear and ride like the wind. (Of course he was demonstrating how necessary it is for me to have gears) Me, on the other hand, would begin pushing, panting, standing up and usually stop mid hill, exhausted. Though, I will say, I never walked and pushed my bike. Instead, I would look right in front of me about two feet and begin pedaling.

Pedaling, pedaling, pedaling slowly sometimes almost coming to a complete stop! Wobbling back and forth…hang on! I would say you can do this, you can do this.

My pep talk or phrase to myself became almost like a cheer/chant/song I would say out loud.

“You already know the end, all you have to see is, two feet & your free!”

I know that seems weird, but in the midst of the struggle it became, “2 feet in front of me is all you gotta see.”

Over and over again I would chant/cheer, “Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see… (push the pedals with all my might) Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see… (again, but a little louder)…Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”

I tested it time and time again. We would approach a hill and if I would ride, starring at the top; I NEVER MADE IT, without stopping! However, if I glanced at the top (or end result) I would take a snap shot of the path, quickly glance where others could be, ensure I could avoid any Big surprises and proceed. (All of that preparing was not a strict plan it was just a glance. So if I had to veer off the path, I would still arrive at my final deatination)

Next, I would look two feet ahead of me, glance behind me and take off!!! Push with the right, then the left. Breathe…inhale, exhale, inhale exhale. Focus on your breathing, Teena. And when I thought I couldn’t go anymore, I wasn’t strong enough, I would push even harder and cheer, “Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”(again)

“Two feet in front of me is all I gotta see…two feet in front of me is all I gotta see!”

Sometimes I would throw in the full mantra, but mostly I just concentrated on turning the wheels two times and moving two feet.

Isn’t this true in everything we do! I never understood why @The Little Engine that Could, began with, “I think I can.”

I do now! If he had looked at the end result the entire time he might not have made it to the the toys, on the other side of the mountain. Instead he began with just right then, right where he was at that time. He didn’t transition to, I know I can, until he had reached at least one major hurdle and enjoyed the journey along the way.

Anything you want to do big or small! Know the end result or goal, feel it for a split second. Then begin to take one step, then the next. You do not want to miss the delicious journey along the way, so you can bask in the glorious warmth and good feeling at the top.

Back to track. I love track as a sport! Because it focuses your brain to improve you for your own personal record. If you are a coach try not to focus on the end quite as much, but rather visualize the end and improve by only seeing two feet ahead, two days, two hours, or even two seconds!

You can get thru, accomplish or achieve anything you want! If you are depressed, struggling with addiction or just wanting to pedal to the top of a hill, you can do it! The key is to see it and break it down into smaller, manageable pieces!

God Bless!

Livelove

I know, I have been talking, instead of doing…

Hey everyone sitting at the doctor, waiting like everyone else. However, my brain is running like a marathon runner about to win a race and to be first out of thousands of runners!

Teena Drake, they call out! I waddle back, “Mrs. Drake your BP is high for you. Is there anything going on?”

“Ummm, noo, but you would not question me if you knew what was running through my brain! It’s crazy, gigantic and important. I don’t have time to catch you up, but I promise I am okay!”

I simply replied with, “No, I am fine.”

Anywhoooo, it’s all good!

Here is why my BP was up! I had a CRAZY THOUGHT!!! Driving down here!

Ever since I have been watching OperationBBQrelief.com I have had the strongest desire to jump in my car and drive South. However, if you don’t know, at this point of my life, I don’t think I would be much help at all!!!! I still waddle or wobble, a bit and I have to be very careful, not to get an infection, until it is healed. Ugh!!! What to do, what to do? Think, think, think, Teena!

That’s when it hit me!!! (It seemed to really hit me hard) As I was driving over an hour to my doctors appointment and listening to music at the highest level possible, with the sunroof open, wind blowing through my hair, and singing- Whoomp, there it is, I thought hmmm, what can I do to help others, who are suffering, bored, and misplaced from their home, stuff and comfort zone?

I got it!!!! I will begin to video and post. Problem is the little brain in my head continues to criticize me. Saying things like, “You know your ADHD will kick in and you will flutter off! You can’t sing! And you want to sing! What are you thinking?”

Then, like everything else, it hit me!!!! (I can’t ever get ideas quietly in my sleep). I remembered this funny statement from Kendal (you will meet her on one of my videos) she looked at me while we were standing in the longest, boring line at the airport in Mexico and said, “I would never mind standing in line with you. If I had to be stranded on an island, I would want it to be with you!”

WHAT? ME? I thought to myself! (As Eric shifted his weight back and forth and seemed more agitated than ever.) It might have had something to do with us singing in line and doing our hand clap…this, that…this this…that that! Or the eductional rhymes I was teaching everyone in line! One lady stopped me (as we attempted to move four steps ahead) and said, “Lady, I agree with your little girl (she isnt mine, but I will claim her). If I was stranded on an island I would want it to be with you! You are one of the most entertaining people, I have ever seen.”

In my mind I thought, as we approached the security/ passport lady, “Tell that to my husband! Giggling in my head, due to his aggravation!”

Then what happened next is HILARIOUS TO ME! NOT to Eric! We had been standing in line for two or three hours and I think it was my fault, but we- only Eric and I- were sent to security!!!! “What? You are kidding, why?”

We never found out the reason why, but Eric has and will always blame me! He swears, they were scared of ME! Lolololol, I still laugh hysterically, everytime he tells that story.

I don’t believe that, but I do believe my inspiration has hit. With all the crud going on in the world, with many children missing school for an indefinite amount of time, I am going to do it! I am scared to death. I criticize myself constantly, when I watch my videos, but for the sake of YOU, I am doing it!

My vision, heading into the doctor’s office, was clear and concise. They won’t be perfect, but they will be educational and entertaining. I am not sure if anyone on the islands will be able to read or watch this, but when you can, check it out. I realize electricity being super scarce, You Tube will not be easily available 😔.

Please note, I am sending all those affected by natural disasters a BIG

heart full of love and I want you to realize, we are all in this together. I Love you all and want you to Livelove On! You can do this, you can and will rebuild!!!

God Loves you no matter what!

Livelove

Why do we question ourselves?

As I ventured out today the wind provided a natural wispy environment, not so harsh as to blow me over, but more like a dancing motion. Perpetuating the leaves to do something similar as the beautiful Tango. I suddenly came to a cross road, which way do I turn? Before deciding, I look forward. Straight ahead was a golf course. That’s when it hit me!

Why are there always golfers on the golf course mid day? Do you know why? Is it because all golfers are wealthy while everyone else is broke and working longer hours than them?

I wonder why? (As I appear to be creepily starring at the golfers with a pink bike, pink Flamingo on my back, a bright neon shirt and my sparkly sunglasses on, that if the sun hit it just right, would blind a golfer from doing what they do).

Anywhooo back to the question, why does there always seem to be golfers on the golf course? After close examination, it’s because golfers LOVE to golf. Just like anything else, you will work a job, create a career, or find another way to be happy and do what you love.

This topic came to fruition while I was battling with myself, about not working harder, but rather working smarter and having fun while I am doing it. You see the majority of people are hitting the hammer over and over again before they know what they are building!

If you hated to golf, would you plan to spend you only few hours of free time playing a round? Of course not. Nor would you begin building a house without a plan. Your life is the same way.

Begin today to notice the small things in which you felt happiest. And do more of that! As I work closely with Debbie and Rhian, I realize our new company is being put together by love and faith. Everytime I have said, out loud, a need for my company someone has appeared!!! I continually live in awe and expect the best for me in all situations.

God Bless

LiveloveLLC