Monday, February 1, 2016

What I Learned January 2016

Last year I kept track of what I had learned each month in my smash journal.  But I enjoy seeing what others have learned because I learn from them.

1. Make note of it.  One of the first things I learned this month is that I have to keep track of who I'm learning from and make a note of it!  There are two things I learned from others this month and I'm sorry that I can't give proper credit to who they were.

2. Workflowy.  I was introduced to Workflowy by reading about it on someone's blog.  Unfortunately I don't remember which blog.  Workflowy is an amazing organizational tool that is great for note taking, list making, brainstorming, planning, and organizing your thoughts and ideas.  Since I learned about it earlier this month I've been using it in bullet list fashion.  I especially like the tag feature which allows me to quickly tag items with a completion date and then find them listed all together so I can stay focused on what is important for that particular day.  I also like the fact that I can access my list on any device I have at hand.  This makes it especially beneficial for capturing or looking up any idea/thought I had/need. 

The Workflowy team has put out a nice video giving an example of how to use Workflowy.

Image credit
3. Miracle Mornings. I learned about The Miracle Mornings by Hal Elrod from another blog (again I don't remember which one).  It's the practice of getting up early in order to have time for Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (writing).  He uses the acronym of SAVERS to help you remember.  If you want to hear a little more about it Hal has a quick little video about it here but there are other videos he has done that go into more depth about it on You Tube.  I've been trying to implement this practice into my mornings.  When I've been successful I feel like my day has gone pretty well.  When I sleep in my day lacks focus.  It's been difficult going to bed early enough to get up early consistently, but I do know that it is a beneficial practice and I'd like to keep working on making it a habit.

4. How to keep a Journal. In the process of searching more about Miracle Mornings I stumbled on to some videos in You Tube by Robin Sharma.  He has a similar take on the importance of getting up earlier in the morning in order to have time for meditation, exercise, learning, and writing (journaling).  On his website I found a post about how he keeps his journal.  This year I've wanted to really write my story, to have more depth in my words and his blog post has helped to give me some clarity and direction so my journals are more than a boring narration of the day.

5. Not all cats are the same. If you've been following this blog over the past month you know that we have a new kitten, Missy, in the house.  You may also know that Missy has some interesting habits that none of our other cats in the past had displayed such as clumsiness.  I can't figure out why she is so klutzy and runs into things due to what seems to be her inability to judge how far to jump or stop before running into them.  There are other times when she plays with her toys and catches and follows them perfectly.  Our other cats were more graceful in their climbing and running.

Another oddity about her not exhibited by our other cats is her love of water.  Whenever she hears the bathroom sink or shower go on, she's there, anxious to check out the water as it goes down the drain.  In the sink she'll play in the water, using her paws to bring the water to her mouth.  Sitting in the sink her fur gets pretty wet and she doesn't seem to mind.  That just seems strange to me after the other cats.

I love learning new things.  

Monday, January 25, 2016

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

December has been an exiting month.  And I don't necessarily mean because of the holiday celebrations.  Around here it has been exciting because we had TWO new babies join our family.  We're growing!

My Farm Boy and his wife had a baby the first part of December.  We could hardly wait for his arrival.  Momma did a great job bringing him into the world and gratefully the Little Farm Boy arrived safe and sound after a bit of a scare.  We couldn't be more thrilled that the Little Farm Boy is now part of our family.

Unbeknownst to me there was anticipation of another baby joining our family.   I was taken by complete surprise when a box was brought in and placed down in front of me.  I opened it with apprehensive curiosity and out nudged the silky head of a black kitten.  She almost showed up the Little Farm Boy as they both came to the house on the same day.  I am the mommy to this adorable, silky, black kitten who was named Missy by her rescuer.

These two little dumplings are such a joy to us and I can't get them off my mind.  I miss  them when I'm away from the house or they're away from me.  I think about them and watch them and I'm a little surprised by some of the similarities and differences I see in these two little ones in various situations.

As I thought about their similarities and differences a song from the past started to roll through my brain.  That Sesame Street Song, One of These Things (Is Not Like the Other), keeps echoing through my head.  So.  In an attempt to  put a stop to this lyrical replay I'm going to get my own version of it out right here on the screen.

One of these things is not like the other,...One of these thing is different from the other.

Which ones are the same? Which ones are different?
Both these babies are the same because they liked to sleep swaddled when they were first brought home.  Although one of these chose to be swaddled in a cross-stitch quilt while I was trying to work on it.

Both these babies are the same because they have a quiet, little, tiny cry/mew.

Or in Missy's case it more like a squeak.  I almost wonder if something happened to her vocal cords while she and her siblings were left in the dumpster.

Both these babies are the same because they're growing fast and exploring their new world with their eyes or in Missy's case, her full blown curiosity.

One is different from the other because one took to water like a fish and we can't keep her out of the sink, shower, water collecting buckets (we're in drought conditions here so we collect what we can), even our water glasses aren't sacred around here and the other?   Well, lets just say we have to call in the troops to give him a bath so there are no hands available to take photos.

One is different from the other because one has more control over its limbs other than gaining control over his little neck muscles and the other can we say this delicately.  There is no way to say it so I'll just come right out with it.  She is a klutz.  The other 4 cats I've had in the past were regal, dignified animals.  Missy is more like a klutzy, floppy puppy.  When you go to pet her she falls on to her side like a cow that has been tipped.  When she climbs and jumps it isn't with any grace whatsoever.  Her climbing looks more like flailing and her jumping down from the bed or chairs is more of a clump,  flop rather than gently lighting onto her feet.  She reminds me of my Farm Boy (daddy of the Little Farm Boy) in that they both run forward while looking backward which inevitably means sooner or later they run into  walls, door frames, or large brick pillars.

Lastly, one is different from the other because now one is living an 18 hour drive away while the other is taking over our house as well as our hearts.  You might be able to see to the left of her and on her nose the tattle tale signs that she has been digging in the plants on the bathroom counter top.   "Who?  Me?" she asks with that innocent look of hers.  "Yes, you, Little Missy!"

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


A new year!

I can't believe 2015 is already over.  I'm sure it was just a few months ago that we rang it in.  How could it be 2016 already?  Sometimes I feel like Rumpelstiltskin.  Like I went to sleep one night and woke up the next morning only to find the month or now a year has gone by.

Now I'm realizing January is almost 2/3rds over already.  How can that be?!?!  Whatever life I've been awake for during the blur of 2015 and January 2016 has all been good with most moments very enjoyable.  At least I can't remember any bad times. 

Am I the only one feeling the flight of time is now on jet wings rather than sparrow wings?

I'm excited about 2016.  It feels epic.

I have my One Little Word for 2016.  This will be the sixth year of choosing a word to focus on for the year.

2011 -Trust
2012 - Grow
2013 - Joyful
2014 - Surrender
2015 - Do

This year my word is FOCUS.  I've been feeling the need to concentrate on certain areas in my life and this word -FOCUS - just kept coming up as I thought about what I wanted to do.

The areas I have tugging at my brain and that need more focus for 2016 are
  • Financial and Estate Planning:  Do ya think that now that I'm in my sixth decade of life it might be time to start doing that?  Proper timing hasn't always my strong suit but I'm so grateful that we haven't caused problems with our negligence.  Although the year I almost lost my husband should have been a a wake up call to do that.  Oh, well.  
  • Organization & Simplicity:  I can't shake the need to clear out the house of unwanted and unloved stuff.  I also want to purposefully make life simpler so life can be enjoyed more fully.
  • Writing my story:  While I've enjoyed working and journal keeping in my smash journals I've been feeling like my words are flat and that they don't really portray me, my growth, my goals, what I feel is important, or what I want those I love to know if they should come across my journals when I'm gone.
  • Spiritual growth:  My spirit needs time to just be still.  I want to set time aside for meditation and time to spend in the Word and prayer.
  • Building relationships:  I typically am a loner and don't mind being by myself.  That being said I have recently been feeling that I need to be more inclusive and letting others into my life.  I also want to let others know that I appreciate them and to let them know that I do think of them.
  • Fitness:  I pretty much slacked off on doing any physical movement over the last year and a half.  I am fortunate in having my father's genes so weight hasn't been too much of an issue.  But I've also been blessed with my mother's genes and her's has a tendency to not build bones very well.  So the plan is to get out of the osteopenia range and to firm up the jiggly parts of my body.
  • Pressure cooker how-to:  I had a weak moment last summer and purchased an electric pressure cooker on QVC.  It was a fluke thing as I haven't seen QVC in over 25 years.  That hour has been the last time I've seen it since.   I just think this pressure cooker and I were destined to meet and since we're together I'd like to spend more time with it and less in the kitchen.  That  means I need to learn how to utilize it better.
This year I bought a  bracelet with my word, Focus, on it.  Just seeing it on my wrist reminds me daily to focus on what I have set to matter most this year.  Also for the past few years I've  had calendars made which focused on my word for the year.  I hang these calendars by my bathroom mirror so I see it several times during the day. 

I'm so glad I stumbled several years ago onto this method of Ali Edwards '.  (I bought my bracelet through her website this year).  It has helped me to hone in on what I want to do for the year and freed me in my goal setting. Each word I've chosen is still a part of me and has special meaning to me.

How do you focus on your one little word?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


I bought my candles and lit the first week's Hope candle last night.  Love it.

Also started listening to some Christmas music.

I've especially enjoyed  hearing the music from the talented Piano Guys.  I thought you might enjoy watching this video as the Piano Guys perform Angels We Have Heard On High.

I also enjoy this one.

Hope you're having  a hope filled day.

Sunday, November 29, 2015


It's going to be Christmas!!!

It's coming soon.

I'm excited!

I haven't felt this deep down soul excitement about Christmas for a very, very, very, very long time.   Did I mention it has been a very long time that I've felt this way?  My now grown and married kidlets were teenagers the last time I felt this way.  Anyway, I.  Love. This   Feeling.

This feeling is letting me know that my heart has been healed.  The heartache, discouragement, and bitterness has been taken away.  God is good.  He stayed with me even when I wasn't so sure about Him or if He even cared about me or my situation.  How selfish of me, I now see.

Unfailingly He manifested His love to me each day in giving me a new sunrise daily and a reason to get up and to try again.  To try and recognize His love through blessing, beauty, and His Word and that He was there the whole time.

I have been reading up on Advent and different advent traditions and advent wreaths.  In the past I've had a very simple advent calendar inside by the front door and another Christmas snowman who is outside counting down the days till Christmas.

 But this year I want to do something more meaningful for me.  Something that will offer an experience with God in looking forward to the awesome gift of His Beloved Son.

Advent traditionally starts today the first Sunday of advent with the lighting of the first candle.  Tomorrow I plan on purchasing my 5 candles and pondering each night during the following weeks as I light my candle(s) about the coming of Christ; the Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that comes because of His birth, His Gift, and His Grace.

This season may you be Hope filled, have a Peaceful soul,  have a Joyful heart, and Loving arms wrapped around others and Loving arms wrapped around you.

How do you celebrate your Christmas season? 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November is Here

Yup.  That's what the calendar says.

As I flipped the calendar page this morning I was thinking about November days to come and I got the idea to make a couple of 30 days of Gratefulness booklets for a couple of special people.

It isn't anything very fancy because, like it's November already and I just barely got the idea this morning.

I threw together some magazine pages, book pages, discarded envelopes, scrap paper and a few pocket page cards and sewed them together into a signature of 32 pages.  This way they can quickly jot down whatever they are grateful for that day.

I plan on doing the same only I'll jot it down in my smash journal.  This has become a tradition for me which makes for a good transition into the holidays at the end of the month and into December.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Is Here

Fall means Harvest Time.

The harvest of the fields.

The harvest of your labors.

My Sweet Pea and her hubby picked 170 pounds of tomatoes at the nearby pick your own produce fields and brought them to my house to can.
She made salsa which was very tasty.
In addition to the salsa she canned whole tomatoes

She was  thrilled with the fruits of her labors even though she was dead tired when it was all done.   

It was a joy to see her work through canning all those tomatoes and the patience of her sweet husband as he helped.   Since they were in my kitchen I also got involved in the canning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Journal Peek

I love working in my journal.  
There is something about handling paper, smooshing paint, and stamping
 My book is getting so full and chunky.  
I love it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

No Excuses

No time for excuses.  No time for guilt.  


Finding joy in times of quiet.  
Finding joy in the anticipation.
Finding joy in trying new and resurrecting the forgotten activities.
Finding joy in relationships.
Finding joy in the season.
Find joy wherever you may be.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Notice Me

Imagine that those you see are wearing an invisible sign which reads, "Notice me.  Make me feel important." (Life's Little Instruction Book by Brown)

Hello My Darlings,

I'm sure you have walked by people who totally ignore your presence.  Either they are so wrapped up in their troubles or social calendars to acknowledge your presence or they're feeling so unimportant to make any difference in the world.

You all know the difference it makes when a person passes by you and smiles or greets you with a simple hello.  They don't even have to know you but, that you have been acknowledge by another lifts your spirit. 

I want you to start today to smile or greet others who cross your path.  Make a game of it if you have to, but let others know that you see them.   You have something to offer them, your smile at the very least, and they are important.  One little smile from you can create a big ripple in their life and the lives of others.  If you want to be adventurous, when you catch the eye of a fellow commuter on the road, give them a smile as well and you'll see what a difference it makes on your commute.

Now go and have fun.

I love you to the moon and back!!


Monday, May 11, 2015

What I learned in April

Hello My Darlings,

The months are flying.   It's almost the middle of May and I am just letting you know what I learned in April.

I learned  how drastically rising 4,000 feet in elevation can affect the temperature of the weather.  I can be pretty cold.  When we left the desert floor of Albuquerque the temperatures were a pleasant 65ish degrees.  It felt pretty good. 

When the doors of the tram opened and the wind blew in I soon realized that my long sleeved  tee-shirt and clogs were insufficient for the weather and terrain.  Even with my ill preparation I managed to stay warm enough and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I seriously believe it was my sister's jacket keeping my butt warm that made all the difference in keeping the rest of me warm.  I wish that you all have a sibling that "has your back", so to speak.  In this case it was almost literally that she had my back.

I learned about The Power by Rhonda Byrne.  I found this audio book interesting.   There isn't anything new in the book, but listening to the passion of the author as she reads it and her ideas of how to implement bringing happiness, joy, and a positive outlook into your day was helpful. 

I learned how protective the men at work are of us two women who work there.   I love that there are so many men out there who are watchful and helpful.

I learned that people, including My Mann think I am pretty naive.  I admit I have lived a sheltered life and I feel like I haven't been around the block much, but I don't know that it has hurt me in any way.  I've had people in my life who protected me and/or my spirit from those situations, words, or places that would hurt my soul or physical body.  I don't wonder if my sheltered life has saved me at times.  I would wish that same blessing for you in your lives.

I am learning what I need to do to have peace and joy in my daily life.  It has been enjoyable practicing what I have learned.  What I love is that the results are pretty much immediate.  I intend to not forget this lesson.  I want to keep it close to my heart and continue to practice bringing and giving joy because it is so much more fun than the alternative.  Just one thing you can begin today is to practice gratitude.

Now, go, and keep on learning.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Amazing Adventure


"It is an amazing adventure to be born upon this wandering island in the sky."  Dr. Fosdick

Hello my Darlings,

Every year, every day, every hour is a new adventure into a strange land.  Keep that sense of wonder and it will take you far in life.

For my birthday last week I wanted to take the tram up to the top of the Sandia Mountains.  There I hiked a trail that had many twists and turns.  Some of the surprises around those twists and turns were beautiful vistas overlooking western Albuquerque way below, interesting wildlife, fields of snow that I was not equipped to tromp through (the mountain trails and elevation required different footwear than that of the desert floor of Albuquerque), there was the wind rushing through the trees which reminded me of waves rushing up beaches that are so familiar to me, and a silly snowman left by another for those following to enjoy.   At one point I realized that my mind was fully awake and questioning as a little child, "I wonder what's around the next corner?"  Life is the same.  "I wonder what is around the next minute, hour, day, week, or year?"

There may be some steep or treacherous trails but when we persist and reach the end we may have our breath taken away by the view.  In life we will have some hard trials (never noticed before the small difference a switch of the "i" and "a" make of turning trials into trails).    Just the same as on a mountain trail as we persist through the trial when we reach the end and realize how far we've gone it will take our breath away when we see how much we've learned and see the growth in ourselves.

There may be turns that you'll enjoy and others that will test your stamina.  But.  I can promise you that in between those twist and turns there will be others that make you smile for the much needed comic relief.  Enjoy life.  Try not to get too hung up on the hard things.  And.  Keep.  A.  Sense.  Of. Wonder.

I love you to the moon and back!!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Thoughts in the Morning.


Hearing mourning doves cooing
Memories of sleep overs at my auntie's house.
Hearing the tick tock pendulum swing and the chimes ring
Memories of the same clock in My Mann's parents' home.
Looking at myself in the mirror
Memories of fewer creases on my face.
Memories of things that are no longer but remain in my mind.

Wishing you a memorable week.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vacation Smash Peek

I've been playing with "scrapbooking" my cruise last month in my smash journal.  I love that it is all in one place with the rest of my life since it all makes up my story.

On the fold out page I added an envelope where I was able to add the journaling about how my sister and her husband surprised us on the cruise.
On the back side of the fold out I made a pocket by recycling an envelope.  In this pockeet I added airline and cruise information along with other ephemora.
The additions of pictures and my thoughts allows me to give more of a glimpse into my story.
I used a Studio Calico 4x6 card to hold a 3x4 journal card where I typed additional thoughts about Grand Cayman.

Just some ideas and glimpses into what I've been doing.