It’s Monday again!  “yeah,” you say, with as little enthusiasm as you can muster. But hey, it doesn’t have to be that kind of Monday. It can be a joyful Monday…a productive Monday…A Monday to end all Mondays!

Let’s make today a Super Monday, beginning with a FIVE MINUTE exercise.


Today, let’s spend FIVE MINUTES on us, creating an Action Plan that we can refer to for the rest of the week.

What would you like to accomplish this week, beyond what NEEDS to get done?

What would make you feel fulfilled, purposeful, or accomplished, if at the end of the week you had done that thing?!

What have you been putting off?

What have you dreamed about beginning?

What new habit could you begin to practice this week?

Let’s make a plan to get ‘er done, an Action Plan.

For the next FIVE MINUTES rest from your other work and let you mind run free.  What needs to be a part of your life this week in order for you to feel that special feeling you’ve been missing for a while now?  Enter that on your Action Plan paper or screen.

It’s only FIVE MINUTES.  FIVE simple, meaningful, purposeful minutes.

What will you do with your FIVE today?


Big Sky Country of NE PA

For my Friday post this week I thought I’d share some of the splendor I see outside my front door in God’s country.  Let’s begin with the big sky pictures.


How amazing it that?  And then there was this…


We got three new trees this summer, so hubs has been babying them along with their own dedicated water troughs.  He took a 10-gallon paint bucket and drilled a hole in the bottom side of it. He fills these every night, which allows a slow, steady, even water stream to escape above the tree root ball over the span of a few hours.  We will be removing these soon, and putting some bark chips at the bottom of the tree to protect it this winter, then encircling the trees with fencing. We have a momma deer and two babies that get the munchies in the winter and regularly come to our yard to satisfy their cravings.  Darn, deer, anyway!



The sun rising over NEPA is indeed a gorgeous sight.  This beauty of a sky predicted rain and it came later in the morning. What is it the sailors say?  Just this, “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailors delight.”


My gorgeous autumnal driveway.  On the upper side of it that third tree hubs has been babying along, and our light house set atop our well head.  Just the other side of the road from this spot is our old donkey, Rosie, and two riding horses that belong to my sister-in-law. She is lucky enough to live on a plot of land adjoining our pasture, so has benefited from the green grasses that grow there almost all year long.

I love my camera. What a great shot!


A red sugar maple growing at the end of the house.  Yeah, she’s braggin’!

I wish the fall colors could march on and on, but I know winter white is headed our way soon so I’m enjoying these crisp cool mornings as much as I can.

What is it like where you live?  What do you love most about the fall?


3 Goals-Oct 13


1  Stay on track with daily exercise and oatmeal.

2  Mindfully eat and write.

3  Create a list of things that fuel joy in my life and share that list.


Goal No. 1:  Okay.  I rank this goal as just okay because while I ate oatmeal half the week, the other half I ate other things for breakfast.  I did do all my exercises all week, however.  I also switched back to a veggie heavy food plan, eating only vegetables at lunch time and concentrating on lots of veggies and little meats and breads at supper time.  I’m feeling better because of the change and I  have less pain.  Woohoo!  A good choice for me and something I will continue this week.

Goal No. 2:  Okay. I’m ranking this goal just okay because while I was mindful about my food intake this week, and switched up things with my POE (plan of eating), I did not write much about the changes.  I’ve decided to restrict some foods right now, and minimize the amount I digest of others.  It seems to be working for me.

Goals No. 3: Rocked it!  I worked on my joy list all week and posted as I went.  Some items on the list were more personal than others, but they all have been known to incite a sense of joy in me.  I was surprised by the amount of items I added to the list throughout the week.  If you want to see what makes me joyful, check it out here.

I’d love to hear about what makes you joyful, too. Include your thoughts in the comment section below.


This week I have decided to concentrate on a three-fold approach to my goal list, all involving a conscious decision on my part to turn away from self and trust my Spiritual Mentor for help more often in my life.  I’m one of those creatures that has learned to operate under the assumption that if I work harder or longer, or more fervently, more things will be accomplished.  Problem being, I’m getting older each year and less inclined to push, push, push all the time.  My body is rebelling, and insists I listen.  While my natural inclination is to push through the pain, this last year has convinced me that is unwise.  I do better when I remember to pray, meditate, and graciously accept God’s help for setting boundaries around my time and energy expenditures.  This week my goals will reflect my new vision of not having to do “it” all on my own, and the challenge to rely on God and others more to help me find balance in life.

This three-fold goal list focuses on self-power, self-protection, and self-provision.


1  Create a list of PROS and CONS associated with self-protecting behaviors I’ve employed in the past. When did they work, and why did they not?

2  Meditate on the benefits/detriments of powering through life on my own, and as time and inclination allow, address how self-powering attitudes might be a set-up for isolation on my part and confusion for others.

3  Look at ways I’ve pushed back on the tendency to provide for myself apart from the help of my Spiritual Mentor, God.  When have I decided to “get it on my own,” instead of waiting for it to be provided?


It’s hard for the hard-working to not work hard!

It’s good for me to think about new and maybe better ways of interacting.

I have more triggers for joy than I thought I did.

I want a heart that’s a work of art.

Pete the Cat is sooo cool!

Politics are a sticky wicket.

I’m ready for this election to be over, already!!!

What goals will you work to achieve this week?  If breaking big projects down into smaller steps is the way to achieving our goals, how come we don’t walk that way more often?





Childhood Pleasures


Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie, who’s not ready, hollar “I”!

Do you remember that game we played when kiddos?  Hide and Seek!  I personally played it in the hay field, under the pole light, around the back of the house and in the bushes on the farm.  I played it in the corn field and in the side yard at gramma’s house, and by the river bank where I learned to swim.  I played in the front yard of my neighbor’s house, and in the snow drifts along the side of his garage.  The hay mow, the back forty, the upstairs bedrooms on rainy days–any place was the right place to play hide and seek because it was that much fun!

We’d giggled and ran, and jumped and hid, and we never tired of the constant entertainment hide and seek provided.  It was grand fun!

This morning, though, I’m wondering about my hiding ways.  When did I become so good at isolation?  When did pulling back become more important than pushing forward? When did parsing out my words and being careful about what I say become more important than running and giggling, and engaging in fun with my friends?

Back then, we didn’t scrutinize each other before playing hide and seek. If you had a voice, two legs, and interest in the game, you were “in.” Nothing else mattered, except for the location of the best hiding place ever.  I smile even as I write those words, because I once found a hiding spot that nobody discovered and there I sat, alone, silent, forgotten while the game progressed.

While that place behind the milk house seemed like a good hiding spot, in reality it wasn’t.  It was too remote, too dark, too out-of-the-way to be considered, let alone found. And it was too far away from goal for me to run out of that spot and home, before being “caught.”

It was a bad spot I found myself in behind the milk house.

Today, I’m remembering how much fun it was to get out there and play without many rules, without much discrimination, and without a Master Plan.  We just were: kids, having fun with other kids, for hours.

I wonder?  Can I recapture some of that mystery of childhood and apply it to my life today, as an adult?

Will it work? What do you think?  Leave your comments in the section provided below.  Let’s see if you can hide a little child-like wisdom there for me to find.  I love hide and seek, and I love, love pumpkin pie. How about you?

Did you enjoy playing Hide and Seek as a kid? Where was your favorite hiding place?



Transformation Tuesday

Transformation is not for the faint-of-heart, this I can say with certainty.  Bending steel takes strength. Likewise, bending the will takes determination and grit.


A changed life manifests itself in a lot of different ways.  I have observed that change taking form in these ways…

Purposeful renewal and altercation

Disease and rehabilitation

Death and beginning again

Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional shifts

Digitally and Vocationally

A FEW CHANGES            

This past week mister and me wrangled with several changes across various platforms. Among them, these:

We hosted two wee ones for four days.  It was both heavenly and taxing.  Any shift in our routine affects our sleep and living habits, of course, and for me more than he, but him too.  We were paid for our troubles with hugs, kisses, and smiles that would melt your heart, so the trade off was worth what we forfeited to make it happen. We came away from our weekend feeling joyful, after changing our quiet home for the hustle and bustle little boys always bring in their wake.

Our daughter-in-law lost her grandmother this week, to a stroke.  A shift in family dynamics is inevitable when death occurs, and those left behind are powerless to do anything about it, but adjust.  Death is no defender of the status quo.  It comes, it changes things forever, and it leaves us with dim memories to satisfy our longing.

Two of our three vehicles are now out of commission.  The third is hanging on by a thread.  We joke about our house being the last stop for cars before the junk yard, because we squeeze every ounce of usable energy out of them. We literally drive them into the ground (or at least pieces of them).  If there is one area where we are extremely frugal, it is with our automobile purchases.  Coming from a farming community, I learned as a child to fix what you have until you can’t any more, then borrow the neighbors.  I think there might be a new car purchase in our future, like it or not.

My rehab for the back/leg is producing some good results. When I rose this morning, it was without pain!  In fact, I didn’t have much pain until about 2:30pm today.  There have been other days when I held off taking pain meds, but felt pain all day.  Today, the pain didn’t start until early afternoon.  Hoorah, progress!  A much-needed change in my physical status.


I don’t have pictures to share regarding my minimalism project today, but will post them tomorrow as if they were posted today.  My project this past week was to paint the metal bed frame we have in our guest room and begin de-cluttering that room and getting rid of superfluous items that have collected there.  This will be a work-in-process for a few weeks, since I have to think about what will replace the shelving units we presently have in this room and figure out what to do with all the bedding I purchased because we had extended family come to stay with us one time and I didn’t have enough sheets and blankets to go around.  That has never happened again, and it was probably nine years ago now that it did happen.  Time to get rid of all those extras that we don’t need, don’t use, and don’t want to store anymore.  Someone will be blessed to have them, but I just want them gone.

When the kiddos were down this week it felt good to have more open space to spread out.  The uncluttered counter tops were filled quickly enough by them, but when they left, so left the clutter.  We are now back to clean lines and easy cleaning.  I am loving this newly evolving minimalist life!

What changes have you seen taking shape in your life recently?  Are you happy or sad about them?


Things that Bring Me Joy!

I will be adding to this list throughout the week…

The sound of two little guys giggling while trying to go to sleep.

Saying bedtime prayers with those same lil boys.


Discovering new things.

Sexual oneness.

Freshly baled hay.


Christmas Eve Services.

Neck sugar.

Old photographs.

A made bed.

Discovering new truths.

Encouraging others.

Perfectly fitting shoes.

Slow, wet kisses.

Being in the zone.

Good friends who laugh freely.

External validation.

Answers to prayer.

The smell of laundry fresh off the line.

New recipe tries that go right!