Over the years I have met a lot of people, made a lot of friends and lost touch with just as many. Often you wonder what happened...why didn't we keep in touch, why where they here for such a short time, or why did they have to move away? While others, are there with you through thick and thin and you may not understand how you know, but you just know they will always be there.

There are so many reasons for people coming and going in our lives. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When they enter your life for a reason, they may be there to fill a need you have at the time. They could be there for you physically, mentally, or spiritually. Often these could be unintentional meetings or chance encounters. You may not even know the reason yourself. Once they have filled the need, they move on. Depending on the relationship, this could be hard to accept or a welcoming change.

Some enter our lives for a season, or as I like to call them, chapters. Some chapters are better than others. It could be a real page turner that leaves you sad when the chapter ends, one of those suspenseful chapters that you just never know which way it will go, or a traumatizing chapter that builds character, strength and perhaps tests your abilities to overcome. Once the season or chapter is over they either leave you feeling fulfilled, wanting more, sad, or perhaps glad the season or chapter has ended.

Then you have those that enter and are there for a lifetime. Some you may see on a regular basis, some once a month, some years may pass, but you pick up right where you left off. They would be there in an instant should you call, they understand all that you have been through, they tell you the truth whether it is ugly or beautiful. Or...they just know too much at this point so they have to remain in your life. ;) They are there at your darkest to help pick you back up and help you through. They are there at your best when you are shining your brightest to congratulate you and cheer you on. And undoubtedly, they will be there again when you fall back down. They enter into your life at all different times, but no matter when they enter, they stay with you throughout.

Regardless, if they enter your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, it is those friendships, meetings, and chance encounters that make up the chapters in our individual books of life. Everyone's life is different, unique, and wonderfully written. Every book holds many chapters and some are better than others, but they are our chapters.

You do not have to let everyone into the most private parts of your life. But remember, that as you go through life, embrace each chapter, all the happy, sad, funny, exciting, stressful and wondrous chapters that are yours. Welcome new friendships, live your life embracing the possibilities, and always leave the door open.

Centering thoughts...Inner peace...Living in the here an now.


Oh yea, much easier said than done!

With everyday life going past us in a high speed blur of appointments, work, kids, family life, the unexpected, stress, priorities, financial burdens, you name it. Multi-tasking!

Deep breath in...and out... Whooooo!

OK, so how do we prioritize? Separate what's truly important? Focus on the here and now?

I have no flipping idea!

I recently started a mediation course and what I am learning is that I am spending way too much time worrying about "stuff". It's supposed to be a 20 minute course once a day, for 21 days, I get through 10 minutes!

Living in the here and now...I don't have time for "that!"

I just found myself doing 4 days in one because I got an email saying they missed me. Ugh! So, I rushed through it, took notes, breezed through so I could get caught up, skipped over the actual meditation part and then sat back and went...wait...that's not how I was supposed to do that!

But I was in such a hurry to get back to my "tasks" for the day, I just couldn't take time for me.

How is that relaxing? How am I tuning into my inner self? How am I living in the here and now?

I'm NOT!

It's like sometimes I'm going through my day tuned into the wrong radio station, or somewhere in between where it's all fuzzy. I need to find my station and tune myself in.


So, what do we do? How do we tune into the here and now? It's not that easy.

I cannot tell you how many times one of my kids is trying to talk to me and I have unconsciously tuned them out. Not because I don't want to hear what they have to say, but because I'm not really "with them" right then and there. I'm on that fuzzy station again, you know that loud annoying voice in our heads.

Earth to mom! Did you even here what I just said?

Ummmm yes...no...OK can you just repeat it?

I'm either in the past beating myself up for the mistakes I've made along the way or thinking about the future and how I can't control what is going to happen in my life. Focusing on my past mistakes or worrying about the unknown, it's not a great place to be.  It shouldn't be that hard to tune in and focus on the here and now. So why is it?

Everyday tasks, listening to that noisy voice that is non stop in our heads, not our inner spirit. We are filled with self doubt and anxiety of what we can't control. It pulls us away from what is truly important...living for today, this moment...right here!

It's time to yell it from the mountain tops...I'm living in the moment from here on out! I'm tuning in folks!

Part of the meditation series I'm doing, although I haven't truly committed to the meditation part yet, is listening to some inspiring words prior to taking the time to meditate.

My excuse, "I don't have enough time to do that." When, actually, time is all we really have. It's just how we choose to use it. Whether or not time controls us or we take control of time and become in sync with it. 

Starting out taking just 10 minutes a day to do something for you, something centering, something to get you grounded in the here and now. Let the outside world melt away and focus on your inner peace.

For me, I need to start a routine, maybe 10 minutes in the morning with no distractions or interruptions, not on my phone, just being in the moment. Maybe that will lead to me taking the time to actually "meditate" during my meditation series and take the full 20 minutes. I mean come on, 20 minutes, for me, that's not being greedy or selfish, but I tend to feel that way sometimes.

What naturally tunes you in? What gets you grounded?

For me it's several things.


When I am meandering around our property, taking a walk in the park, or enjoying a quiet moment outdoors, everything else melts away and I am able to focus and enjoy the moment.

Now, I might pause to take a lot of pictures, but that centers me. The unfinished tasks, the unpaid bill I was worrying about, the unknown future, just doesn't seem as important anymore. I just don't do this often enough.


Two words...unconditional love.When I'm having a hard day, I always know going out to the barn to visit the horses, taking the dogs out for a game of catch, just sitting with a cat in my lap for a few minutes....they just melt my anxiety away.

However, often, I don't just enjoy the moment, I find a task to go along with it. Shovel stalls instead of just enjoying the beautiful creature in front of me. Pick weeds in between ball throws with the dog. Constantly multi-tasking, constantly distracted...squirrel!

My family...

They keep me grounded...they complete me, they make me laugh, they bring me joy, they make my heart full, and I am my happiest when we are all together. But with lives going in so many different directions, it is not always easy getting the quality time with them (or alone time with my husband) that I crave. But I treasure the moments we do get.

I am a constant work in progress, just ask my family. But as the years go by, the older I get, I am realizing more and more that I am in control of a lot more than I think.

I just need to train myself (and my husband!) to take more time, even 10 minutes, focusing on being in the moment, living in the here and now. Not multi-tasking. Tiny steps toward inner peace.

It's learning to say no to all the stuff that is taking up our precious days, hours, and minutes. Those things that are not truly what you are being called to do. Listening to our inner spirit not the noisy voice in our heads telling us to do this or do that, bringing up old hurts, or making us focus on the future that we can't control.

Putting time back on our side and leading a fulfilled life based on our inner spirit and not the outer world. Finding what grounds us and not being controlled by time but being in sync with it.

Wow, that sounds incredibly hard when I see it written out, but I'm going to take it 10 minutes at a time (20 once I start the actual meditating part!) and make a conscious effort to truly, live in the here and now.

Who's with me?!

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.