Fall is one of my favorite seasons. As I walked around the property this morning, the sun was just peaking through the trees, the morning fog was still present here and there, and the dew was glistening on the grass. I was savoring the changing of the season. I found myself reaching down picking up different colored leaves as I walked.

As I made my way back, I stopped in front of the barn and started arranging the leaves in a circle on the wooden planks. I smiled and thought what a beautiful representation of a circle of life...


(Cue the off key singing)  🎵 "In the circle of life..." 🎵

We live in the country, it's OK, no one heard me. Yes, yes, now the Lion King song will be stuck in your head all day to...sorry!

Bear with me though, take a moment and read the lyrics below before reading on.

Circle of Life

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the Sun
There's more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give

In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars

There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the Sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

Songwriters: Elton John / Tim Rice

I have always loved that song. The Lion King is a favorite in our house. Our son still loves to hold up our little dog above his head, like Rafiki did to baby Simba on Pride Rock, mumbling something completely incoherent that makes us laugh every time...and he's 25!

I guess my point to this post is that we all step into this world and find ourselves as a single leaf on a collective circle of life. We trudge through, some finding our place right away, soaring to the top; others make mistake after mistake, feeling as though we are never getting any closer to our purpose. There will be some that fall and pick themselves up, and others whom are overtaken by their surroundings. Some that figure it all out right away, and some that are still trying to figure it all out.

Faith and hope are always being spoken, patience is always being tried. We look for acceptance, we look for growth, we often fight change. We search for redemption, forgiveness, and renewal. Sometimes we feel crowded and sometimes we feel utterly alone.


Bottom line, we all make mistakes, but growth comes from mistakes, and change is inevitable.

As you go through your circle of life, remember that you are not alone. Embrace the season that you are in. Enjoy the simple ordinary things in life. Stop and make a leaf circle, sing out loud, dance goofy, give out more hugs, be kind, smile, help someone, follow your dreams, never stop searching for your purpose, and love every minute of life.

Remember, it is never too late to start over and change can be good.

Some things may be out of our control, and while we are responsible for our own leaf, we are also in this beautiful circle of life together. How awesome is that?!

Come on...sing it with me! 🎵 "In the circle of life..." 🎵





You've heard the idioms before...

Actions speak louder than words

A penny for your thoughts

Ball is in your court

Every cloud has a silver lining

Not playing with a full deck
(Oh yeah we all know a few of those!)

Watch where your going not where you've been
(Wait, I said that to my kids when they walked into something.)

Anyway, last week while out at the chicken coop gathering eggs, I looked down at my basket and chuckled. My mom's words I had heard so many times while growing up echoed in my head...

Don't put all of your eggs in one basket...

Ha! I couldn't possibly carry all of these at once! (No worries, I'm usually the only one that gets my jokes.) I stood here looking at this basket full of eggs, grinning and it made me think...


Sometimes, you just have to go all in don't ya? I mean, sure be diversified with investing your hard earned cash, don't rely on one single stream of income, don't tie up all of your money in your house, blah, blah, blah, being an adult is so boring sometimes.

But if you never go all in, never put all of your eggs in one basket and just go for it...you'll never know! Wow, I was walking back to the house feeling empowered! Ready for an adventure!

I did mention in my last post about feeling the big 50 quickly approaching and the empty nest looming over me in the not so distant future.

So we went to the RV show over the weekend...of course!


What if we just sold it all?! Maybe buy a small house (not a tiny house, I'm not that far along yet!) and bought an RV and just traveled around the United States!? I have always envied those people, they pack up their lives in a couple of backpacks, and trek out into the unknown. Those adventures always look so amazing!

I mean, sure, it is like Facebook and Instagram amazing, but it must be all sunshine and roses right, social media like never lies about that stuff. So why can't we do that? I mean, really, why not?

Oh wait, because my husband reminded me on the way home, after the high of seeing all the cool RV's wore off, that we don't always do so good in cramped spaces. Being confined in an RV together would most likely end in divorce or someone getting "left behind" and not making it back from the adventure.

And you know, there are a few of those "things" I have grown so attached to; the chair I fall asleep in every night, two closets (sorry Sam!), my fall boots! I mean, yes I need all of them! The five drawers in the bathroom filled with necessities, boxes and boxes of pictures that I am going to put into a scrap book....one day...some day...OK probably never. Boxes of undeveloped film dating back from like when I was 20! (I'm waiting on a coupon of course.)


Just in case you thought i was exaggerating....this is one bin!

Then there is the stuff my husband, our daughter, and the older two have to keep. I have stuff from all three of the kids in the basement, safely tucked into boxes they will probably never open.

How many times have I gone through the same boxes in the basement, hoping to get rid of, sell, donate and cut it all down by half only to walk to my trash can with a single bag of garbage and a deflated feeling of accomplishment. Or moved the same unused stuff from house to house. It all has sentimental value!

Ahhhh so much stuff! We are a few boxes short of being hoarders.

I couldn't possibly pack up everything into an RV anyway, who am I kidding?

Not to mention all of the animals meandering through our property. Who would we get to feed our small zoo?

But it would be an amazing adventure. Right?! Heck, we would probably make a great reality show. What all not to do when confined in a small RV trekking across America on some hair brained adventure you decided to do during a mid life crisis. Holy crap! That's it, I'm having a mid life crisis! How's that for Facebook life vs.reality folks!

Perhaps it's best if I stick to collecting literal eggs in my basket and keep everything else the way it is for right now. Someday, I will take the leap, Steven and I will get rid of the "stuff", put all of our eggs in one basket, and trek off on an adventure. Most likely once the empty nest arrives...just not today.

Can you believe all of this came from collecting eggs out at the chicken coop? Think twice before getting chickens my friends...think twice!


Walking around the property this morning I came across this tiny nest that must have fallen from the tree above.

So much care was taken to weave it...colorful twine, fur for warmth, it was a perfect little home. But here it laid on the ground...empty.



Time goes by incredibly fast, too fast. I guess I am starting to feel the "empty nest" creeping up on me in our own home. Yes we still have one at home and yes she's only 12, but she is quickly growing into a beautiful young lady before our eyes. One day she will leave us with an empty nest. ((Sigh))

(However, based on the completely unreasonable dating rules we have set for her, that shouldn't be until she's 30.)

Oh how I wish my mom was still with me, to hug her once more and to tell her that she was right and that I finally get it. All of those milestones I just couldn't wait to reach; "I wish I was 10, 13, 16, 18, 21..." Those have quickly turned into, "Wait, what happened to 30?...40?..."

Now as I look at this empty nest laying on the ground, I think ahead to the ever so quickly approaching chapter 50 in my life. How did it fly by so quickly?

It's a gentle reminder, a reminder that I am blessed with another chapter. And also a reminder that tomorrow's wishes, those things you always wanted to do, the places you said you would always go...it's time...time to do it all. Time to start on that bucket list!

Let me tell ya, I plan on making the second half of my life book a page turner full of family, friends, new adventures, and lots of laughter! Bring it on!


We have gotten pretty attached to our "creature comforts" around our ranch. Oh sure, the home we live in is great, but it's the creatures that live here and visit that I'm referring to. 

In our family, it doesn't take much for an animal to win over our hearts. Basically we meet them or they walk onto our property and we are hooked.  That is certainly apparent from the growing number of these furry and feathery souls occupying our barn and home right now. 

From our beautiful horses...

Tessa giving Roxy a flower makeover



Snuggling with Tanner

Our herd...Half Shy, Roxy, Rocket, and Tanner

Rocket, Roxy, Tanner, and Half Shy

Our energetic dogs...

Gracie playing in the water

Z and Gracie taking a break on our hike


Nina and Nikki
To our spoiled rotten barn cats...and I do use the word "barn cats" very loosely - they are great mousers, but do love their creature comforts.

Max and Lulu snuggling on Dad's chair
Max eyeing a bird in the tree

Lulu (And now I know why my plant wasn't growing)
And of course, you can't forget our chickens...

Our dear friend Kathy with a few of our chickens from our flock - they love the attention
 and our bunnies...

Our rescued rabbit Prince, who is pushing 10 pounds now!

Prince's buddy...Captain Jack 

To even the unexpected visitor that will stop by now and then...

We have several turtle saves a year
My husband found this little guy in the garden. 



This little goose just wandered onto the property one day, extremely friendly and hungry.
He spent some time with us and off he went. Hoping he comes back for a visit soon.
We get excited to meet each and every animal that has come into our lives. We never take for granted even the littlest of our visitors. We feel blessed to have encountered each and every one of them. 

The barn swallow babies struggling to learn how to fly, the occasional salamander on a rainy night, even the unique caterpillars, butterflies, and bugs that drop by. 

Fledgling Barn Swallow

Saddle back caterpillar

They build such amazing webs!

We get so many hummingbird visitors each year, and every year some manage to get trapped in our garage..
We have become experts at getting them out. They are always so grateful they usually pause for a photo. 
There is always a new creature making it's way on to our ranch and into our hearts. (I could do without the snakes, but...they do eat the barn mice, notice no pictures of those.)
It always so much fun walking the property and encountering a new creature just hanging around. 

Fence Post Lizard

Praying Mantis
Having friends and family over to share in our blessings make it all the better. Watching someone interact with our flock of chickens, pet the velvety nose of one of our horses, or get licked by one of our extremely excited labs (or horses) makes our souls happy. 




Watching their faces light up is a reminder of what a wonderful, beautiful, and blessed life we have and how much we enjoy sharing it with others.

  


Rocket is a bit of a lover...
Our barn doors and our hearts are always open to those creatures that want to visit, both animal and human. ;) We will feed them, love them, and miss them when they move on; but we will forever be changed by their presence and grateful for the time we spend with them. 

Each and every creature, every person who has stepped foot on our property, has forever etched a place in our hearts and our family.










During a sun shower the other day, I tried capturing the beautiful rainbow that appeared in our backyard.



I wasn't able to get my camera going quick enough to capture it at its vivid peak, however if you look ever so closely you can see the faint colors that remain.




As the rainbow started to fade away and the dark skies took over a bit, I went to our front yard to capture the moment thinking it would make a nice contrast against our home.

I just started snapping pictures. When I went back inside to look at how they came out, I was in awe.

Maybe you won't see it, but just above the center of our home, to the right of the very faint remnants of the rainbow is, what I think looks like, an eye looking upward.



Now, I know it's cloud playing tricks on my perception of it, but when you pray for God's direction, His divine guidance in your life, and ask for Him to show you his will...and He not only brings a sun shower to wash away the doubt, but He gives you a rainbow, and to me, a clear picture of what I should be doing...looking upward...to Him.

Wow! God is good!

And for those that can't see it, maybe this will help...



Just because you can't physically see something, touch it, or speak face to face...doesn't mean it isn't there.God loves us, He is always with us, even when our skies are their darkest...He wants us to look to Him.

Have a blessed day!




Oh what a wonderful time of year. Everything that was once at rest is now alive. The gray and lifeless trees are sprouting new growth. The earth is rejuvenating and cycling back around.


Walking through the property I get subtle hints of sweet fragrances...lavender, hyacinth, and fresh new grass. It awakens my mind from its wintry slumber. My eyes are taking in all of the bright new colors that surround me as I watch the earth slowly come back to life.



I am always left in awe at the beauty all around me and find myself walking, arms outstretched, smile on my face, looking up to the heavens thanking God for all of this wondrous beauty that brings such joy to my spirit.



The trees, the grasses, the flowers, and yes even the weeds. 


Dragonflies are making a comeback...


Bees are busy pollinating the flowers 'er weeds...but that's OK! They are doing what God made them to do, and I am thankful for all of those dandelions blowing in the wind. 
(Maybe not so much for my husband) 

The smell of the earth, the sound of blue birds chirping and building their nests, I can't seem to get enough! Sigh...


May your day be blessed, your spirit be touched, and your eyes be awakened to the beauty that surrounds you. Today is a gift, open it and enjoy it.







My kids have made fun of me (on more than one occasion I might add)... "Mom look there's a leaf...you better take a picture of it!" Well, I usually do.


I am in awe of nature and find beauty all around me. Quite simply...nature is cool! 

Whether it is the dew on the fence...


or dew dripping on the wildflowers like diamonds...


I see beauty everywhere I look. Yes even in the water trough.


We set out on a hike one day and I was giddy with excitement at all of the cool mushrooms I found! One more beautiful than the next!






On a frosty morning I find beauty in those little frozen crystals.



Nature even makes the best patterns!



Nature provides beauty in every season...

Spring and summer give way to vibrant colors and lots of interesting creatures.








Fall holds onto the colors as long as it can before its winter nap...










  And even in winter, and among all the white snow and barren trees, you find beauty...





Take time to explore your surroundings, you won't be disappointed. 

All of the pictures on this post are just from around our property, I feel so blessed to have so much beauty all around me just waiting for me to find it. 


Take time to breathe in your surroundings...





Every sunrise and sunset...








   

Every cloud in the sky...






Even the stormy skies hold beauty...





God gave us a magnificent world, and you do not have to travel far to admire it...
for me and my family...it's our own backyard. 

  
 




 I challenge you to go out today and find out just how cool nature really is!