What is Saint Patrick’s Day All About

Across the world, March 17th – we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is not just celebrated by the Irish, but also by the Irish at heart. Why do so many Go Green on St. Patrick’s Day, and why is it now an international festival celebrating the Irish culture?

Irish Blessing Irish Blessing



It all started as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland, known as the “Apostle Of Ireland”. Patrick was born an aristocrat from a religious Christian family. He wasn’t born on the Emerald Isle as many people think.  He was sixteen when he was captured in Wales, and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he slaved for six years herding sheep, before escaping to return back to his family. He was 22 when he escaped, walking more than 200 miles before eventually taking a boat across the Irish seas to get to England. It was there he spent  years getting close to God. Patrick said he had a dream from God, telling him to return to Ireland and convert the Irish to Christianity.


Patrick eventually settled in France and studied in a monastery under Germaine bishop of Auxerre for the next twelve years. He had another dream, but this time from an angel, with the same message, that he should return to Ireland to preach Christianity. It was during this training period that Patrick realized his calling was to convert pagans to Christianity. It was then, he began to receive many visions that called him back to the land that enslaved him, Ireland.


Patrick was called to Rome in 432 where Pope Celestine gave him his blessing to go forth in his holy mission to Ireland. He arrived back in Ireland in the winter of 432 where he and his followers went to Tara and met with King of Lapghaire. It was then that St. Patrick reached down and plucked a shamrock from the ground and explained to the King that a shamrock represented the trinity. He explained that the shamrock had three leaves much like the trinity had three persons – the father, the son and the holy ghost, The shamrock became the sacred plant of Ireland.


shamrock shamrock


The King was so impressed with St. Patrick that he gave him total freedom to spread Christianity throughout Ireland. St. Patrick went on to convert many Irishman including chief warriors, princesses, and pagans, baptizing them and thousands of others in holy wells that bear his name today. He set up schools, churches, and educated Irishman on Christian rituals.  His mission lasted for thirty years and he used the shamrock to show the meaning of the trinity and how the three members of the trinity were separate entities, but yet one in the same. Many pagan rulers of Ireland found Patrick to be convincing and were quickly converted to Christianity.


Oddly enough, the color associated with St. Patrick was blue not green. In fact, in most artwork Patrick will be found wearing blue vestments with gold harps to represent the country. The color green represents  Ireland much later, and the name “Emerald Isle” for reference because of the mass of green land and plentiful rainfall.


The shamrock is still a popular Irish symbol, but its a harp that appears on gravestones and manuscripts.

Some interesting facts about the Irish

  • there are more Irish living in the US than Ireland.
  • 34 million American have Irish ancestry, by contrast 4.2 million people live in Ireland today.
  • the Irish fled the country due to constant trouble and turmoil of irish raiders.
  • the Irish were the most harshly treated immigrants to enter the US, forced to build railroads, sold into slavery, and  exclusively made up entire troop regiments during the US Civil War. It wasn’t until 1990 that the Irish began to stay in their native country.
  • the Irish were not allowed to celebrate  St.Patrick’s day in Ireland pubs until 1970. All pubs were closed for religious observance of the holiday. This law was overturned in 1970 when St. Patrick’s Day became a National holiday.

Because of the harsh prejudices against them, the Irish formed and organized themselves politically, by the end of the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day was a large holiday.


The legacy of the Irish are familiar to all Americans, from the folklore tales pot of gold, shamrocks for luck, leprechaun, green, ale’s to the wonderful foods deeply entrenched in Americas culture. Maybe today you will have an Irish dish of corn beef, sausage or sauerkraut.

Happy St. Patrick's Day Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Regardless of your St. Patrick Day plans, chances are – you will encounter an Irishman. If you read this post – you already did so…

Happy trails,

Donna George

The Road Less Traveled

Thinking you might be off the beaten path, lost, or wasting time?

Take the road less traveled

Take the road less traveled

Don’t turn around, keep going. Chances are, you may be feeling uncomfortable, confused or anxious about taking the scenic route when you knew the old way was a sure thing. Sit tight – these feelings are temporary and will pass.

“Life is a journey, not a destination”

Only travelers who have an appetite for adventure will benefit from the this kind of road. Others you might pass on this route are probably dreamers and risk takers. They are not in a hurry nor fearful of what lies ahead. Their radios are blaring and the windows are rolled down. The patrons of these roads are not deceived by the familiar patterns of life that disguises itself as a false sense of security robbing them from the true panoramic view. Instead, these roads less traveled are pathways of opportunity to be embraced, dreams to be realized, and spirits to be awakened.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things”.

The popular, busy, heavy traveled road is frequented by the most. I wouldn’t call it a “happy trail” since most of the drivers are rushing and multi-tasking. How could it have expectations of an interesting journey when it’s referred to as the “beaten path”. Even when overhead flashing lights are blinking for caution and attention, the need to keep up with the pack is the only unction realized. So we stay with the pack, bumper to bumper, fearful of losing our place or God forbid – someone jumps in ahead of us. These drivers are all about following the traffic and conforming to the mundane meaningless trips. Sometimes even ignoring the rules, trapped in the comfort zones and blocked in on every side. Ignoring the danger signs all around them and insensitive to all the open exits available.

Highways choices

Highways choices

Occasionally it’s the detours that force us to the roads less traveled. Other times, it’s the crossroads that changes up the familiar route and provides a much larger view. A view that stirs up a tapestry of images that awakens the soul. Suddenly, in sight is “hope street” that leads to “dream avenue” and merges with “freedom lane”. The views are intoxicating and the everyday mundane becomes a distant memory blinded by a blue sky so big  it conjures up heavenly thoughts. Simple scenes like horses grazing in a field become images burned in our memories. Oceans and rivers absorb our beings with curiosity of where they begin and end. The smell of the salty sea absorbs our senses and releases memories of past vacations and childhood days of building sand castles.

Scenic lavender field

Scenic lavender field

It really doesn’t matter what road you are traveling. What really matters is if you are inspired by your daily view. Are you having fun? At the end of the day when you reflect back on your day – did it contribute to your life or take away. Consider these thoughts;

  •  Be open to take an occasional side road
  •  Be mindful of crossroads
  •  Be aware of the intersections
Use road at own risk

Use road at own risk

The road less traveled takes courage to explore and – know this  – most travelers never return to the mundane highways, but instead, become addicted to the lure of the journey on the road less traveled,

Happy trails

Scenic Route plate blue

Scenic Route plate blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a Winter Wonderland in the Smoky Mountains

The beautiful white snow fell this weekend and it was the first snow of the year in the NC mountains! The landscapes changed from the fall palette of oranges, reds, and yellows to a beautiful “Crisp White Winter Wonderland“.

1sr snow storm 2014

Snow storm blankets the Smoky Mountains

1st Snowfall Smoky Mountains 2014

Season’s first snowfall 2014 Smoky Mountains

Christmas Tree covered in snow

Christmas Tree in the Smoky Mountains covered in snow

This is one of the Christmas Trees at the entrance to my driveway in the Smoky Mountains. The trees were white, crisp, and beautiful, resembling a postcard you would see at Hallmark.

Wooded snow

Snow weighed down the tree limbs

Woodys snow

Glistening pristine snow in the woods

Snow storm 11/14  Smoky Mountains 2014

Snow in the Smoky Mountains

I am always excited to see the snow and never get tired of it. It’s like a special bonus when we’re visiting our cabin and the snow comes to make everything sparkly and magical looking. Here’s a photo of the cabin nestled in the snow.

Cabin in the snow

Cabin in the Snow

Snowy day at the cabin in the Smoky Mountains

Snowy day at the cabin in the Smoky Mountains

Smoky mountain view

Beautiful view of the cabin in the snow

And finally, the last minute snowman. His mouth is a little sad, but stands happy just the same :)).

Us with the blooming snowman

It’s me, with my husband Charles – posing the blooming snowman

So the Halloween weekend ushered in the snow, but our best friends, Ernie and Donna made the weekend complete!

friends with a snowman

A slightly different version of the snowman

Snow in the Smoky Mountains is a treat for your soul, sharing it with friends is a blessing.

Extraordinary days to you ahead,

Donna George


Gorgeous Colors of Peak Leaf Season Change, in The Blue Ridge Mountains of NC

Last year I posted photos of the season change in the Smoky Mountains and I was flooded with emails requesting more shots, so I decided to post again this year. The views were majestic and the colors of the landscape were a tapestry of oranges, reds, burgundies, yellows and purples. All under the big beautiful Carolina Blue Sky. Here are some of my favorites.

Blue ridge mountain view

View from my deck


Blue ridge parkway view

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway Blowing Rock

Sunlight peeks through the woods

Sunlight peeks through the woods and treetops

The trails were gorgeous with the sun squeezing in through the tree tops.

Green tree

A lone green tree in the mix

Linville Trail

Woodsy Trail as Linville Trail

Gigantic tree root

Gigantic tree root

clouds and colors smoky mountains

Clouds and colors



The New River winds around western NC, VA and much of WV. With 3120 elevations, it’s one of the nation’s American Heritage Rivers and despite its name – New River, it’s one of the five oldest rivers. Oh, and there is plenty to do on the New River: fly fishing, white water rafting, swimming etc.

New River

New River

New River

New River

The trees are simply beautiful, Look at the brilliant colors.

Changing foliage

Changing foliage

Salmon foliage tree

Tree with salmon pink foliage

Red trees

Red trees

Golden trees

Golden trees

Shades of fall

Shades of fall

Blood red spotted foliage

Blood red spotted foliage

And here are a few photos of Linville falls that you loved last year. Unfortunately it was foggy the day I visited, but still breathtaking.

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Linville Falls

Liville Falls

Pristine waterfall at Linville Falls

I hope you enjoyed the photos. Happy Autumn from my house to yours :)).

Happy Autumn

Happy Autumn

Have an Extraordinary Day! Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Trails

Donna George

Tips to build a wardrobe, without a stylist

Tips to build a wardrobe, without a stylist

Loose fit tank

Mango black pants
$25 – mango.com

Jane Norman pants
$64 – janenorman.co.uk

Hello Summer!

2014-06-06 16.13.22

Summer 2014 is here! There is something about summertime that stirs up the nostalgic, awakens the spirit, and sparks the desire to head outdoors. For some of us, it’s a trip to a lake, or a walk by the river, but for most of us it’s the beach. And this is where the fun begins and memories are made. Summer days at the beach are like silent tongues in my head, reminding me of the nostalgic smell of the air and the feel of liquid velvet as the ocean falls over me.

My most vivid memories have always included the beach as a backdrop, simple things like floating on the waves, spending hours in a beach chair with my buddies, even the Coppertone suntan lotion in the brown bottle that reaps of coconuts and oils. Being surrounded by surf boards, huge blankets, coolers and radios blasting sounds from the past like Journey, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Oh, and the competition of who would catch the most rays that day.

The seagulls. The pretty compact white and gray sea lovers that continue to mesmerize me with their song and beauty. I never tire of watching them or feeding them snacks from my hand. BTW, they love Cheetos.


photo (74)



Summer is about getting outside in the sun, experimenting and creating new interest. Unplug from social media and get outside with a camera. I take a camera everywhere I go, there’s so much I want to remember and journal. If you don’t like to explore with photography, use your phone. There are great apps available to add creativity and depth to your pictures.

Here are 3 of my favorite ones.

overgram – this application allows you to add text on your photo. (Color and font options).

Pixar Express – filter, overlays, borders, images with a professional touch.

diptic – build amazing collages, jumbo, fancy, classic, fun shapes and designs.

Still not interested in taking photographs, that’s okay, save it for a later day.


It’s all about “hot fun in the summertime”. Here are some fun things to do in the summer.

  • Ride a bike on a new trail. Explore.
  • If you have the room and a dog, set up a doggie spa area to pamper your pet.
  • Go to an outdoor movie under the stars.
  • Eating outdoors with friends
  • Swimming, skiing, paddle boarding, motor boating and boating – anything on the water.
  • Amusement parks and roller coasters.
  • Read a book in the park.
  • Go somewhere and people watch.
  • Try belly laughing.

The list is endless! Try something new and have some fun. Do you have any summer favorites?


Summertime has a way of firing up the taste buds for sweet treats. Some of my personal favorites, cotton candy and funnel cakes with white sugar on top, candy apples, watermelon, hot dogs and many more. I bet you have some too. What’s your summer treat favorite?


2014-06-11 19.49.06


Hello Summer! So glad you are finally here. Enjoy your summer and make every day count!


Here’s to the Extraordinary Days Of Summer

Donna George









7 Best Selling Books On Happiness: To Recharge Yourself


With Springtime here and Summer close on the radar, I gathered a list of the best selling books on Happiness for your consideration. Everyone desires to be happier, and to seek personal improvement in one way or another, so maybe a tittle on this list might interest you.

Whether your reading preference is hardback, paperback, downloading to Kindle, Nook, or audible – here a few options.

1. Transforming Negative Self-Talk: Practical, Effective Exercises. July 2012, by Steve Andreas.

2. Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional. March 2012, by Dale Archer.

3. Awakening Joys: 10 steps That Will Put You On The Road To Real Happiness, 2010, by James Baraz & Shoshana Alexander.

4. The Creativity Cure: A Do It-Yourself Prescription For Happiness. May 2012, by Carrie Barron & Alton Barron.

5. I Can Make You Happy. 2011, by Paul McKenna.

6. The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying To Sing In The Morning, Clean My Closets,Fight Right, Read Aristotle, And         Generally Have More Fun. 2009, by Gretchen Rubin.

7. Flourish. 2011, by Martin Seligman.

My personal favorite is The Happiness Project. I stumbled upon this book in the airport one day and since then, I have recommended it to many friends. The author, Gretchen Rubin does a great job sharing her personal pursuit of happiness while engaging humor on her process. The book is packed with tips and offers a manifesto to follow. 

Of course we have our own way of pursuing joy, but occasionally a good read can help shed a light on ways to enhance our thinking and behavior patterns into habits and nudge us along our merry way. 

Have an extraordinary day

Donna George

What Are 5 Great Gifts To Receive Or Give For Valentine’s Day

Love it or hate it… V-Day is here. A day commercialized around pinks, reds, hearts and chocolate, with high hopes of expressing love. It’s the relationship status that passionately influences opinions about Valentine’s Day, but there is no denying, that February 14 comes tagged with high expectations.



There is plenty of pressure to be romantic and passionate, bubbly and light-hearted, even willing to set aside differences for the all famous cupid day. After all,  it is the day, every relationship is put on a pedestal for measurement and  close inspection.

What really sparks the magic of Valentine’s Day varies big from one couple to another. There is no “made to order” perfection in creating a perfect V-day, no matter how much time you invest. What I have found to be true in my happiest Valentine’s celebrations were not at all about the sparkle, glamour or the candy. The extra fluff is exciting and fun, but very temporal and short-lived. Superficial.

My husband and I have been married for a long time, practically my whole life, since high school, try 37 years of Valentine days. We have shared many great Valentine’s Days – this story will be a best seller one day :)). I will leave it at that for now, to give you some time to anticipate my book. It will be the one in the store window that says “the everlasting love story” with no dirty words. If you know me, you know I hate ugly language. I see it as a lack of skills to express yourself, laziness to find the right container to cradle your thoughts. My friend calls me a “Wordsmith”- a lover of words. I say, she knows me well. Words are everything, yet simply nothing, without action.

love story

love story

So what are the 5 best V-day gifts? This is my list:

1. Acceptance and respect for each other as an individual, as a partner, and in all things touching our lives.

2. Trust and forgiveness, it’s a rock foundation that must exist. We all need Grace & Mercy.

3. Recognition and support of knowing whats important to each other, making what to buy for each other as gifts  easy, because you really know each other,  you’re engaged in each others life.

4. Writing long cards and notes that are meaningful, not just words. Sharing sentiments that are real, raw and exposed. Just sitting down and listening to each other, really listening and not criticizing. Keeping your heart out there, open to keep filling up with more.

5. Keeping holidays, birthdays, important events highlighted with sentiments of celebration. Making dinner reservations every week and sharing turns at favorite spots. Making it all about the other person’s contentment.

A few things I learned a long time ago, no one can buy you happiness or support your happiness, no matter how magnificent, they are as a person. Set the backdrop for what makes you happy and notice what excites others. Identify in your mind what keeps you content.

I keep fresh flowers in my house all the time because flowers are special to me, so there is no pressure for V-Day flowers, My husband walks around and gathers fresh flowers from the roadside when we;re spending time in our mountain cabin, that’s 20 minutes from town. I like that, it makes me happy. So on Valentine’s day, a single bouquet of flowers would not make me excited, but a bouquet in several rooms could work.

And hear we are

And here we are

You see the picture, I believe it’s the consistent gestures and engagement process that enables us to really know others, that keeps everyday special, not just Valentine’s day. Being a wife or a participate in a relationship is not just a label, it’s a responsibility to be involved in the details of that relationship from day-to-day.

I hope my list helped with your quest for the perfect and best gift. What are your Valentine plans?

Happy Valentine'd Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Donna George

Simple Random Wisdom

Did you ever wonder how some people seem so much wiser than others? There is a reason, its called LIFE.





 Examine Your Life, extract the best parts, and share it with others. There will be all sorts of dynamics in the best parts that will help others, like:

  • happiness &  joy
  • storytelling
  • belly laughs
  • secrets
  • difficulties & trials
  • awkwardness & hard talks
  • honesty
  • tears
  • fears
  • victories & success
  • failures & loses
  • choices & decisions

Someone out there needs to hear your story. Share.

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