My name is Julie.
I am a 63-year-old woman who has recently found herself divorced and starting life anew.

I am the mom of an only child who is now a grown man and successful at not only business but more so as the father of two young children.

I am an adoptee as well as a retired educator.

I taught and was the Instructional Coordinator of Fine Arts for almost 31 years—
working within the same school system my entire career–
of which was quite an honor and privilege.
I served as the chairman of the Fine Arts Department and taught everything from introductory
course work, upper-level classes in Painting, Drawing, Ceramics,
to AP Studio Art–I was also IB (International Baccalaureate) certified and
even had a stint at coaching girls track.

However, it was because of my dad, who was first diagnosed with the early stages of
Alzheimer’s Disease/ dementia that lead me to the decision to retire after 31 years in the classroom.
At the time, my then husband and I decided it was time for me to be able to be both
more flexible and available to my dad and his growing needs.
When Dad was diagnosed with inoperable bladder cancer in the late summer of 2016,
our journey and struggle intensified but our hope never diminished.

Dad endured his battle with a quiet fortitude…
the same quiet fortitude that has marked his generation as that
Greatest Generation.

Dad passed away on March 19, 2017.

I was adopted when I was still an infant and my parents, “mom and dad” who I often
write about or refer to, are who I have always considered as being my parents…
despite the fact that I actually came into this world as someone else’s child.

As a teacher and when I was still in the classroom, as an Art Educator,
I greatly enjoyed the creative process—I possess an appreciation for art history
with a keen interest in Byzantine, Medieval and early Renaissance art…
as well as a fascination in the creation of Eastern Orthodox Iconography.

I am also a very deeply spiritual individual who embraces my Christian faith very seriously.
As I age, growing older, and having more experiences of life that
are good and bad, happy and sad, painful and joyous–
I continue to marvel in the single fact that
I am the created and not the Creator.

I also possess a tremendous passion for travel as I feel traveling helps to make
an extremely large and diverse world a little friendlier–
as it calls for understanding and empathy which are results of spending time
in someone else’s “world”—
as all of us on this planet share a very similar human history and relationship—
the things that make us more alike than different are those ties that bind
together rather than separate……

And so, now, here I am wanting to “blog”—not so much about aging parents,
or disease, or dying, or adoption, or retirement, or motherhood, or even about divorce …
but because of all of that and then some…
so I thank you for deciding to come along with me on this adventure.

COPYRIGHT regarding my pictures and posts:

All text and photographs are © Julie Cook cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/,
“Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without the express and written permission
from the author of this blog is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used,
provided that full and clear credit is given to Julie Cook and cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/
with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.”

92 comments on “About

  1. Abby Couch says:

    I have been keeping up with your posts and they have all been as inspiring as they have been comedic (especially your reflection about the passport snafu)! I look forward to reading more! Keep the creative thoughts coming!
    Love Always,

  2. Julie, I am 55 years old and of the Eastern (Greek) Orthodox faith. I too love icons and have quite a devotion to them. My mother (Katherine), who is 83 yrs young, is recovering from a serious illness and I am leaving my full time job to help care for her. I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half and just love it. It is nice to meet you! Joanne

    • Thank you Joanne for touching base–I will certainly be visiting your blog! I am glad knowing that you are Orthodox–I will probably have many questions. I hope that things will go well for your mom–I think the time you will be spending with her will no doubt be very special—
      Blessing for Easter and thank you for sharing about your belief in Grace–

  3. opreach says:

    I’m glad you are able to be there for your father. Thank you for following! Blessings.

  4. catnipoflife says:

    Hi, Julie. I found your blog via comments you left at 09History. I am also a retired educator (28 yrs + 11 with Railroad Industry)…I say retired…I left the school system in 2008 but still do educational consultant work via Florida DOE. My husband and I moved from Florida to Georgia in 2011 back to home roots!

    If you get a chance hop over to catnipoflife (http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/) and her sister site Awakenings (http://awakenings2012.blogspot.com/). Catnip is more inspirational and Awakenings is about America. Some of my Awakenings postings are scooped to catnip but not all. Would love to ‘see’ you stop by for a visit.

    Looking forward to perusing your blog!

    • Hi cantnipoflife–welcome to the blog–and yes, I love yours as well—I really like the story about the buzzard, the bat and the bumble bee—so true!!! Good for you to be working with Florida’s DOE–brave soul 🙂 Looking forward to sharing with you and reading your lovely postings–bessings catnip—Julie (cookie)

      • catnipoflife says:

        I was visiting your site when I saw the notification come through. Started following you, too! Left you another link you might be interested in visiting 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the story!

  5. Hi Julie! I love looking at the world through your eyes. Your blog is both interesting and inspiring. I, therefore, award you with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which is a fun way of building community: http://dreaminginarabic.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/a-great-way-to-build-community/

  6. Julie:

    Thank you for your note and your follow on my blog. I am glad that I found your wonderful, rich site. You have an outstanding artistic eye and your photography skills (and eye for natural art) is amazing. I can really appreciate that talent as I am lacking in all these areas:-)

    It sounds like you have traveled similar spiritual journeys. I enjoy your insights and look forward to the continued journey.

  7. Zen Doe says:

    What a lovely, funny at times, warm, rich, and inspiring blog! Beautiful photography! Thank you for visiting the Wind Horse Blog so that I could find you here!

  8. Hi Julie! I have nominated you for the “Shine On Award”. I really enjoy following your blog, keep up the wonderful work! I enjoy your beautiful photos and all you write about, Emma. For more information visit http://addyourpieceofhistory.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/award-time

  9. sfoxwriting says:

    Hey! im happy to announce that ive nominated you for two awards, they are because of your lovely comments and general positive nature , please collect your awards and the images to use on your site here ! http://sfoxwriting.wordpress.com/blog-awards/

  10. Hi Julie, I saw you stopped by the blog. Thanks for introducing yourself!

  11. doncharisma says:

    Hey Julie, thanks for dropping in on my blog, I would like to learn more about art as wasn’t an opportunity that I had in school, will have a look around here 🙂


    Don Charisma

  12. ItsRonEvan says:

    Hi Julie, loved your writings and article. You are truly inspiring for kiddos like me.



  13. Hello there Evan–thank you for your kind words—I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading some of the posts. Please feel welcome, at all times, to visit and read along. Blessing to you–Julie

  14. Thanks for sharing your amazing world. Your blog is full of inspiring , beautiful thoughts and images. A breathe of fresh air , a place to calmness.

  15. Hi Julie, you are truly inspiring, thanks for reminding me that ” I am the created and not the Creator.” your words are truly inspiring. and I share the same passion for travel. I travel to get out of my comfort zone and be reminded of how beautiful our world is, to be thankful for the opportunity and to simply love the life our Creator gave us. I look forward to read more from your blog.

  16. Prasad says:

    You have an interesting blog running here. Loved some of your write-ups. Its very subtle . I guess I will be hanging around here a lot. 🙂

  17. Prasad says:

    Hi Julie,

    With immense pleasure, I hereby nominate you for READER APPRECIATION AWARD! Its a great blog that you run here. So good luck. Hope this little recognition gives you the extra little kick to come back every day and share your thoughts with the vast world awaiting to hear you.

    Please find the information on the below link if you choose to accept the award nomination.


    Keep inspiring!!

    Lots of love,

  18. lljostes says:

    I have several good friends who are currently art educators–no wonder I enjoy your blog! I’ve always enjoyed being around creative folks who take great joy in the world God’s created and in creating art of their own. God’s blessings as you care for your Dad and as you continue to share thoughts and images here!

  19. Jackie says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I appreciate it very much. 😀

  20. […] early 19th-century model estate-worker cottages in Romantick rustic style These pictures for Julie and […]

  21. Y. Prior says:

    glad I found this blog – I enjoy your posts very much. 🙂

  22. Please, permission to use your photo of the church in the woods on a CD album called “Hymns & Offerings”. I produce my own CD’s by making sound tracks on the computer and recording my trumpet. I would be glad to send you a CD as payment. Chester Caswell – Principal of Charleston SDA School, and owner of Caswell on Selmer. I need to publish these by May 2.

    • Hi Chester–I am assuming you want the image of the chapel at Callaway Gardens?
      You may certainly use the image if you will credit the church, the location, as well as credit it as my image.
      I would love to have a CD
      Thank you Chester—Julie

  23. Thank you for stopping by Storyteller. — Ray

  24. Hi Julie! My name is Cameron Von St. James and I had a quick question for you! I was wondering if you could email me at your earliest convenience at cvonstjames AT gmail DOT com 🙂 I greatly appreciate your time!!

  25. Aanchal says:

    Hi Julie

    You have a great blog. Loved it..


  26. dafricanlady says:

    Is it possible to have an email address, I would love for you to feature in a blog.

  27. Luggage Lady says:

    I’m thrilled I found you, Dear Julie…Love everything “about” you, but the second to last paragraph literally took the words out of my mouth!!! I look forward to reading your posts!!! ♥

  28. I look forward to following you on this journey. 🙂

  29. Peter says:

    Hello Julie

    This is a lovely blog you have created here. So readily accessible with the wonderful photos (your own I gather) along with meaningful quotes, poems and Bible verses.

    It is such a nice place to visit. Thanks for your efforts.

  30. Yours is a lovely blog. I am particularly touched by your decision to retire and take care of your father. It is usually said a child is the walking-stick of the parents at the latter’s old age; but not all children are that to their parents. You are a great example. God bless you!

  31. dawnlizjones says:

    Yea! Just caught up with you via Wally Fry’s site. So nice to meet you! Looking forward to more!

  32. oneta hayes says:

    Julie (cookie), I read you poem on Dawnliz’ page. It is powerful and so true. So I came visiting. Hope you will visit me in return. You seem very knowledgeable and write well. I think we share concerns for the condition of our world. I will be following you.

  33. What an inspirational blog! Thanks for blessing us with your writing Julia.


  34. Thank you for browsing in your great blog, Julia! You are well-centred, as it seems!, kind regards, Paul

  35. archaeopteryx1 says:

    CS has declined to print my last comment to you, in response to yours to me, and since we have rather much brought the conversation to an impasse, I brought my final comment over here:

    It is my belief that each of us will have our own road to Damascus…

    That story has always bothered me, Julie.

    First, What was Paul doing on the road to Damascus? He worked for the Jewish Sanhedrin, whose jurisdiction stopped short of the Sea of Galilee (which is one reason Yeshua spent most of his ministry there, out of their reach), yet Paul was on his way, walking, to Damascus, Syria, for no explicable reason.

    Further, many reputable neurologists have diagnosed Paul’s symptoms – blinding light, falling down, auditory hallucinations – and determined that he suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy, and was not the recipient of some supernatural experience. Being scientifically ignorant, he had little choice but to give a supernatural explanation to a natural experience.

    I can’t imagine you’d wish that for me.

    Good luck.

    • well my friend–as we had no neurologists back in the day to check on this sudden case of supposed epilepsy, I won’t wade out into the what ifs of diagnoses waters…as we’d be grasping at straws…and I realize that you in turn will tell me it is I who is grasping at straws…and well that may be…I am not a biblical historian nor theologian…but I know getting knocked off my feet when it happens…so forward I go …with or without you Arch..as I have seen the light of His Truth. I suspect it will be without as we are, as you say, at an impasse. Arch I am not the debater as, say, Wally and CS are—that’s what they seem to like, that’s what they are good at (despite you’re cry to the contrary), and it is their “ministry” as it were. Me, I just share my heart of where I’m at with this whole journey thing. My heart and eyes are fixed on the cross of Christ—plain and simple…and you can try to persuade me otherwise, debate, argue, fuss and cuss till the cows come home…but He is my Savior Arch, God is my God…and I commit my heart and soul to Him—it’s as simple as it comes.
      So I can’t state it any more plainly than that—and for me there is no real discussion as I’ve stated my position—there is no swaying anymore, no refuting–I’ve found my Truth.
      Peace be to you Arch

  36. archaeopteryx1 says:

    there is no swaying anymore, no refuting

    I wouldn’t even try, Julie – pax vobiscum.

  37. rcottrill says:

    Hi Julie. A quick question. Recently I was asked a question I was unable to answer. A blogger wanted to know how to set things up so he would receive my new blogs when they were posted. I don’t have a clue. Can you explain it to me? -Robert

    • Hi Robert–I’m not certain—but if they are not on wordpress to begin with—I think you could copy and past a post and send it to their email—when they go in to see it, the can opt to follow…but since they are not on WP they can follow via email—which will post to their email each time you post

  38. Deborah says:

    Hello Julie my name is Deborah and I live in Australia. I really enjoy your posts on your blog. I have seen your most recent one about the shop. I am praying for our faithful God to bring something good out of this situation for you and all of your family. May God continue to richly bless you with His overwhelming, vast love and peace that passes all understanding overflowing your heart and your mind today and always- love Deborah.

  39. atimetoshare.me says:

    Julie, just checking in. I’m sure your engulfed in work, stress and tons of other things, but when I don’t see you on wordpress for a couple days, I worry. You can PM me at kmb55418@yahoo.com

    • Gregory and I have run away 😎
      Well actually I ran and he came along– took a long weekend to the Gulf– torrential storms coming down Thursday then gale winds and cold yesterday as I sat on the beach tied down so I wouldn’t blow sway in a sweatshirt and jacket-/ today better—but I haven’t yet touched the computer 🤠

  40. Christine says:

    Julie! I’m trying to figure out how to follow your blog. I’m not seeing a follow button (help me out). I’m glad I found your blog again! I’ve been gone for a year or so, decided to come back and try again. Always enjoyed reading your posts!

  41. rcottrill says:

    Ah! New picture. Very nice. And a touching article about the bird. God bless.

  42. Hello, Julie! I am so delighted to get to know you better through your “about.” And I feel you are a kindred spirit. We share a great many things in common. I also taught IB. And I cared for my mother in our home as she suffered and eventually died from cancer. You can imagine, then, how much your words here resonated with me. I look forward to following your faith journey here. I’ve so enjoyed the posts that I’ve already read. God bless you big time!

  43. mwitasblog says:

    Written so long ago – but I still enjoyed reading it again today. There is so much of Christ’s life in you. Thank you.

  44. Cathy Bonner says:

    Cookie, I too am related to the man in the picture. The painting of this picture has hung in my childhood home and still does. We are cousins and I want to meet you and talk. The stories you recount are the stories I have heard all my life. We do have beautiful letters that major Crenshaw wrote to his 24 year old wife that I am sure you would love to see and read. They are beautifully written and so sweet. My brother found this blog. My father who passed in 2009 was your umcle. He was Viola Ruth crenshawss son. Thank you for your timeless efforts and interest, Cathy Crenshaw Bonner 985-966-4536

    • YAY Cathy—I’ve found you too!!!
      I emailed Rob Frank (yep that’s how I remember him) last night.
      I have missed you guys all these year but have tried keeping up by asking Harriett (Uncle Paul’s and Aunt Mickey’s daughter) who stays in touch with Monty, how ya’ll are—I told Rob Frank about the great memories I have of visiting ya’ll in Monroe.
      You probably already know…Uncle Paul died about 8 years ago with dad passing away a year ago this past March…
      Dad always spoke of his “cousin Frank” and how much he missed him.
      This calls for a reunion!!!!!!

  45. It’s wonderful to connect with you here Julie!!

  46. I work in biodiversity conservation. I’m preparing a talk that involves the importance of blueberry blossoms as food for pollinators. Would it be OK to use some of your photos and credit you?

  47. There’s a lot of theological depth to Byzantine iconography too (it isn’t just art for show 😀 )

  48. Hi! My name is Ashley Billings. Another blogger suggested I get in contact with you! My email is ashbillings1718@gamil.com I would love to hear about your adoption story, I am also adopted and what I write about!

    • Ashley, I tried the email and it bounced back— here was my note:

      Hi Ashley—
      Oneta reached out to me earlier today about being on the lookout for you…she’s familiar with the latest saga of my adopted journey.
      I have so much I want to share with you —we had to to Atlanta today in order to pick up our two year old granddaughter because her one year old brother is sick— since I’m babysitting a wild one, I can’t write you the email that needs my full attention and time.
      I’ll try to do so tomorrow when I can get her down for a nap!!
      Until then, if you can go to my blog and search adoption posts, you can get a little background to my story—
      I am so happy to share my journey with a fellow adoptee! ☺️
      Until tomorrow— take care —
      With a hug— Julie

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