Imagine being a child again and going to the world’s biggest playground. There is an unlimited supply of high flying swings, exhilarating slides, and magical merry go rounds. Everything you could possibly want is in front of you.
Our minds are just like that playground. Continue reading
My Mom used to tell the story of when I was around three and kept asking for a “Toot –Toot” for Christmas. It took my parents quite a while, but they finally figured out that I wanted a corncob pipe so that I could be just like my cartoon hero Popeye. Continue reading
You asked for more, so here it is. The response for my last Friday Favorites post was overwhelmingly positive and I’m happy to share more. Here are some of my more recent favorite things: Continue reading
This is my first winter outside of California and I am learning a lot about the seasons and cold weather. I’m still not comfortable driving in snow and icy conditions and am grateful that I work from home and can stay in on those days. My CA friends are experiencing an unusual amount of rain and feeling house bound too.
Wintry weather makes me want to sit on the couch with a cat in my lap and read novels or binge watch Netflix. It feels great for awhile, but I can only sit for so long before getting antsy and wanting to find something to do. Something productive or fun that doesn’t involve putting on a coat or chipping ice off my car. Continue reading
For years I was a single mom. My son and I would consider bean burritos at Taco Bell a big night out. I learned to be thrifty out of necessity and now that I am in my 60’s and still wanting to save money for my future, those lessons continue to serve me well.
Some might say I’m cheap, but others like minimalists, extreme couponers, or the guy who writes the blog: Things I Find in the Trash, might think I live extravagantly. I feel like I have found a nice balance between enjoying life and protecting my finances at the same time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the same money fears that plague most of us. Continue reading
My son started celebrating Christmas early this year, trying to convince people to “Get Their Christmas On” long before Thanksgiving. At first I thought he was crazy, but then I could see how happy he became with this new focus on the holidays and their meaning. Continue reading
I do not have the benefit of family nearby to spend my Thanksgiving with, but don’t feel bad for me. I have a nice long visit with my loved ones coming up. I also have invitations for breakfast and dinners with other Thanksgiving misfits. And, sometimes I choose to spend this special holiday alone as a restful, self-nurturing day.
Whatever my day looks like, there are a couple Thanksgiving practices I never miss that fill my heart and feed my soul. I feel more grounded in the meaning of the holiday because of them. You might enjoy them, too. Continue reading
My friend Traci and I drove from California to Missouri with 2 cats in the back seat of my car. We took I-15 and then I-70 straight across the country, joking that it would be less likely we got lost with such a direct route.
We experienced California deserts, the glitz of Las Vegas, a tiny tip of Arizona, the dramatic red rock of Utah, majestic beauty in the Colorado Rocky mountains, the big sky of Kansas, and finally arrived in Missouri on the third day.
We were in awe of the scenery before us and even experienced a sunrise that brought us to tears.
Common themes in our conversations were:
- Our country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
- How God’s hand was clearly evident in what we were seeing
- Respect for the courage of pioneers who traveled through these lands
- How blessed we were to be experiencing it all
Looking back at the photographs I took it is hard to believe I was actually there. Even though the photos were taken through the car window and the quality is questionable, they still bring back those magical moments.
I would like to share a few with you:
Now just imagine the colors brighter and clearer, because they were.
Can you believe I was actually there? I saw these miracles with my own eyes?
I feel so humbled and blessed.
Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk
Living the Small Town Life
One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food and stimulating conversation. She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.
As she was losing her ability to speak, she loved writing letters to us. I came across a few of them recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.
Eventually, she lost her ability to write or type her own letters, and the ones she received from others became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.
As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.
Since then I have been writing letters from the heart. As I write them I am flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I am writing to. Their responses are incredible. They cry. I cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.
My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of writing letters from the heart. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special.
Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
Return to Gratitude
4 Ways to Attract and Keep Great Relationships
Giving Gifts from the Heart
When I first read Marie Kondo’s book about tidying up I wasn’t all that impressed. It felt too harsh, rigid, and maybe even a little OCD, but for some reason I felt drawn to checking out her next book called, “Spark Joy”.
One of the things she suggests with her Konmari method is to hold each thing we own and ask ourselves, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, we let it go.
While making us joyful is a pretty high standard to hold all of our possessions to, the real value of this question is that it opens the door to awareness and allows us to make conscious choices about what we fill our lives with.
Perhaps we should be asking ourselves if what we do sparks joy in other areas as well.
- How we spend our time
- What we do with our money
- Commitments we make to others
- Our schedules and calendars
- What we do when we have free time
- Our relationships, friendships, and alliances
Maybe there is more to this tidying up trend then I realized. By letting go of things that no longer serve me and focusing on what brings me joy, my life is becoming richer and more meaningful.
Care to join me?
Don’t forget to leave a comment! I would love to hear what you think about tidying up our homes and lives.
A Sense of Order Soothes Your Soul
Moving to a Small Town in Missouri
My Experience Letting Go of Stuff