Friday, May 13, 2016

Grow: FMF

If you'd like to join in on the Five Minute Friday... click HERE


Oh boy, I've done a lot of growing as a person, my kids won't stop growing, I'm growing a business and the natural progression of all of that is that I grow as a blogger.

I've been quiet lately, but I've been busy busy busy getting some things in the works for my readers, for my blog and for my business.

The kids are continuing with school and I still have a house to manage (sort of manage)... so life moves on.

There are some other things that fit with "GROW" around here... I'll share some pics.

Avacado is growing

Bity girl is growing

Chickens are growing

My egg stockpile is growing

Daylilies, Peonies, and Irises are growing

Front patch is growing

Rose bush is growing

Neighbors lilac is growing over the fence
Yup... things are really growing around here...

Friday, May 6, 2016

Miss: FMF

Oh I love these little prompts!
If you'd like to join in with us click here: Five Minute Friday

Minnie and Harry Moneypenny
In Laramie, Wy.

Years ago, when I was young my grandparents lived in the mountains in Albany, Wy. This was their retirement, and it was wonderful for them, and for us. I grew up in Laramie, Wy. Each weekend (most weekends that I can remember) we took the 40 -minute drive to go visit. It was a magical place for a kid. In the snowy months, which lasted from fall until spring, we parked below the cabin at a bar and grandpa would come get us with his snowmobile and a sled. In the summer, we could drive right up to the cabin. 

Harry and Minnie Moneypenny at the cabin in Albany
I miss my grandparents, I miss that cabin, I miss the snow that was so deep in the winter that there would be steps carved into them to get down to the front door, which was a step up from the ground in the summer. I miss the time I had with my sister in those days, playing in the woods. I miss going there to hunt colorful Easter eggs in the snow, I miss laying under the trees looking up at the clouds moving in the sky, I miss hearing the train and running out to see it as it passed so close. 
I miss the snowmobile rides, the motorcycle rides, sledding down the hill. I miss even the boring days of looking through the Penny’s toy catalog, worn and dog-eared, and the coloring books that littered the floor when we thought we had nothing better to do. 

Digging out an Easter Egg
Yes, that is actually me...
I miss hearing the adults play cards and chat away, I miss the smell of the house, the old wood stove that garnered many a warning for littles “HOT, don’t touch!”. The blanket with all the states with birds and flowers on it over the bed where we napped. Sitting on grandpa’s lap with my head against his chest as he talked.

Harry Moneypenny holding Toni (my sis) and Maxine (me)
I think we must have been getting ready to leave.
 I miss watching grandma sit with her coffee and cigarette laughing at a story someone was telling.  Listening to warnings and stories of the “speedball” who drove past the cabin every so often, of the “sisters” that lived up the road. 

Minnie Moneypenny
in the cabin at Albany
I know memory can be a funny thing, it could be that we didn’t spend near as much time up there as I remember, but I wouldn’t give those memories up for anything. I miss my grandparents and all they gave us. I miss all the stories I didn’t pay attention to and all the questions I never asked about their lives. I have pictures and bits of stories, but as an adult, I can appreciate just how much of them I didn’t know.

This one... we don't know why she was dressed in that uniform. George was in the service. 

George and Minnie
(Grandma and her brother)

Just over 5 minutes.

And since it is nearly mothers day, and I do have some of these pics handy because my momma was missing her momma and shared them on Facebook it only feels right to say.

Thanks mom! Thanks for keeping us close to them, for taking us there pretty regularly, for the memories, for the fun, for all the experiences that came along with all of this. I'll talk to you on Sunday. :)
Happy Mother's Day
I love you. 

Mom at the cabin in Albany
Me, mom and Toni

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A few favorite words...

Another prompt, another post – this could become a habit.
My #rockyourhandwriting prompt today was "favorite words" and although I rarely get to use most of these, how glorious are they to look at and say? 

I admit the first one is made up… but it’s still fun. 

And what would a favorite word list be without 

Thrive – of course, it’s on my list. But not just because of the business, but also because it is my vision for my life. 

What words would you put on your favorite word list? 
Is the word marvelous synonymous with Steve Martin for anyone else? 
Am I spilling on my age? 

Drawing, writing, just being creative in general is one important key to my happy place. Are you finding your 'keys"? 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Love Always Wins

Today's creative lettering prompt:


Always Wins!

And because Love Always Wins and God IS Love and because:

I am blessed with:

Just a few things I had on my mind today! 

Remembering all of this makes it much easier for us to find those blessings, and find how to be happy with them even in the chaos and struggles of life.

Even when you are trying to do the right thing and it turns out wrong, when the changes you are making to improve backfire and that snowballs, when everyone else around you seems to not understand, when the house is a mess, when there is far more on your to-do list then you have the desire to complete, and when you JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND the way things went down...

Love Always Wins!
Psalm 89:1
I will sing of your steadfast love, OLord, forever; with my mouth, I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

~My~ Chicken Fajita Salad

~My~ Chicken Fajita Salad
Serves my family of 8

4 - 5 chicken breasts
4 T. olive oil
2 lime juice
spice to your taste (I have used a mix of: garlic sarachia mix, cumin, cayenne pepper and black pepper but will use others depending on the taste)
1 onion
6 red, yellow and orange peppers
1 can sliced olives
1 can black beans
2 avacados
greens (here I used spinach but my favorite is romaine)

In a baggie: mix 3 T. olive oil, lime juice, spice and chicken breasts. Mix it all together so that chicken is coated. Put in refrigerator for as long as you can stand it. Of course, the longer you marinade it the more flavor it will have. I have done as little as 20 minutes... but longer is better.

Heat frying pan on stove top, add 1T. olive oil and chicken breasts. Fry until done through and browned.

Slice onion, slice peppers, open olives (drain), open black beans (rinse and drain), cube avocados, rip greens.

When the chicken is done put it onto a cutting board and let "rest". In the same pan cook onion and peppers until done but not mushy.

Slice chicken.

Get everything onto one counter and assemble each plate according to taste.

If you use the peppers and onions you will not need a "dressing", some of my kids do not like the peppers though so they use a ranch dressing on top.

The really awesome thing about this salad is that you can allow your kids to leave those bits they don't like off the salad. Everyone in my family likes this one (and that is rare around here). It's healthy (except I tend to eat too much of it- shame on me). And you can add things to your own taste depending on what you have on hand. I'd like to add sunflower seeds some day - but always forget to get them.  Pinion nuts might be good too, we can't because of food allergies... but it sounds good.

Enjoy, and tell me how you'd change it up.
Let me know if you make it and how you liked it. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

5 Problems With Social Media

I don't have any fancy letters behind my name proving that I'm an expert in such things but I have used a lot of social media so I figured that much count for something right?

1. Social media allows us to get up close and personal without getting up close and personal.

It is so easy to throw an opinion out there and not feel like you have to use any tact what-so-ever. 
It is also easy to put a comment on someone else's opinion again without using tact. 
The problem with this is that it often leads us to say things we would never say to someone if we were face to face with them. That face to face conversation has a filter, or tact, that keeps us civil and friendly even when we disagree.
I believe this had come full circle in our society, however, and I believe that because of the tactless conversations we have on a day to day basis on social media we have lost the ability to remain civil even in our face to face conversations. If you watch how people talk when the disagree in a face to face conversation, you can see some of that social media tactless-ness come out.

2. Social media is not secure.

It's the internet, it's out there, it's not secure or safe and we must take precautions to make sure that we are safe in the real world while using social media.
They give you all kinds of privacy settings, give you a space on the internet you can put YOUR name on and even have little icons of locks on your page. But in order for you to maintain some security you need to stay aware, and take precautions when you post on social media. You need to look over your pages now and then and see the page how othes can see it. Most social media sites allow you to "see as" others do when they click on your page.
The information you put out there is your's to place. If you choose to give your address, or phone number, that really is up to you but be aware that you are doing it and make sure you maintain some common sense in the real world.

3. Social media takes us out of the "real world".

No matter how little or much time you spend on social media that is time you are not spending with your family and friends. Now, that does not mean that social media can't have a place in your life, but it really is up to you to regulate how much time you spend there. Think I'm crazy? Take a timer, switch it to "stop watch" then for one whole day, without clearing the time, click start when you get on social media and stop (without clearing) when you get off. You will be surprised how a few minutes here and a few minutes there adds up. Get back to the real world, want to touch base with a friend? Give them a call and ask them to coffee, don't just do a drive by "hi" on their timeline and call that staying in touch. 

4. Related to #3, Social media is a time suck.
You get up in the morning, head to the kitchen to mix your lifestyle mix and click social media on your phone. Your intention is to mix the shake, and jump on the treadmill, but before you know it you've been sucked into story after story on your timeline and then an hour has passed you by and now it's time to get the kids up and moving and you have just missed your opportunity for a workout on your treadmill. 
Be deliberate with your time on social media. If you are stopping in for "just a second" don't, it will never be "just a second".

5.  Anyone can make a page and anyone can write a story.
I have noticed that since social media has come along I have seen many more stories that turn out to be false. They look real, they seem plausable, but when you get into the meat of them they are just made up bits and pieces. It's just too easy, especially with social media to make it look real. 
And thanks to social media and the ease of sharing etc, there is a whole new wave of "satire" news pages. Some of them have gotten very good at turning the rediculous into a seemingly everyday news item.

Now, before any of my REAL LIFE friends looks at this and says "wow, pot calling the kettle black", yes, I am very aware that I fall right into all of these categories of social media problems.  Knowing the problems does not mean one does not contribute to the problem.

What I can tell you is that I have set some definite goals for myself in the last couple of months. As I have shared with you, I have gotten involved in some challenges that will help me with those goals and I have noticed that in order to accomplish those goals I have had to stay away from social media during specific times of the day.

It's funny how social media has become such a huge part of our lives, and it's not all bad. I do feel there are some good things that come from social media. My extended family can see what is going on in the lives of my children easier and quicker on social media. I have acquired some friends because of social media that I might not never have met otherwise. I have been able to stay informed in some areas easier on social media then I might have.

Here are some steps we can take together (yes, me too) in order to make sure that social media is less of a problem in our future.

1. Take that stop-watch test for one day. You'll be surprised at how much time you spend on social media.

2. Take a look through your social media sites once a month and make sure that you don't have any information out there, that you don't want "out there".

3. Be kind! If you make a comment to someone, write it out, read it, then ask yourself if you'd make that comment if you were face to face with them. If no, delete it. If yes, go back to "be kind". As I said before I think social media has skewed our idea of civil conversation.
4. If you choose to share something from social media, either verify it or be ready to be "caught" sharing something that isn't true.

5. Be kind. Because it is worth stating twice.

What have you seen is your biggest problem with social media?
How much time did you spend on social media when you did the stop-watch test?
Was it more than you thought?
If you stayed off social media for one week, what do you think you could accomplish?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pass: FMF

Five Minute Friday... where you get a prompt and write for five minutes on that prompt.
Join in here. 
Today's prompt is: Pass

How do I know? Because all of these pics were taken on a short drive to the chiropractor.
With my daughter driving.
Because time has passed all to quickly.
April 2016 

Because just yesterday...
She was 8 years old and was holding trying to hold the world in her hands even then.
December 2008 Olympic Training Center Colorado Springs, Co

This too shall pass. All too quickly, with just a blink of an eye.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Happiness with a twitch of my nose

Day 30!!!! Last post for the 30-day blogging challenge.

I will do a review tomorrow, but I wanted to finish the challenge with the topic I found more focus with during the challenge. Finding happiness! I've said it before, I'm not a perfectly bubbly happy person I have to work on it every. single. day.  And because I have worked on it for a while now, my life is MUCH better for it.

Ready. Set. Go.

If I could twitch my nose and have anything I wanted to happen be so, what would I twitch for? What would make me instantly happy?

I would know how to communicate effectively, without any misunderstandings.

I would never see the "resting bitch face" in a picture of me, ever again.

I would have more money.

I would have more land around my house.

I would be thin and fit.

My husband and children would know how much I love them without a doubt, EVER.

Common sense would make a comeback.

Someone would do my housework and shopping for me.

If you could twitch your nose and have anything you wanted, what would you twitch for?
Write a list before moving on.

Go ahead write it out.

5 - 8 items...

You can do it...

You'll thank me.

I'll wait.

Done? Ok, read on.

We all know this is fantasy. There is no such thing as the Samantha twitch that we can learn or acquire. So what do we do? Just suffer through it?

No, we take a second look at our list. And make a plan.
Here's my list again... but with some ideas of how to fit my "twitches" into a plan.

I would know how to communicate effectively, without any misunderstandings.
This is something you can learn. I CAN LEARN this. It isn't as if communication comes naturally to every person, there are classes, self-help books, blogs etc. I can learn this. 
1. I will research avenues to learn this.
2. I will pick one of those and make a plan to spend some time each week to improve my communication.
3. I will invite some people to learn with me and hold me accountable.  

I would never see the "resting bitch face" in a picture of me, ever again.

1. This is also something I can learn. Practice smiling more often, eventually my "resting face" will be a happier face. 
2. The proof will be in the pudding. I will be held accountable by the pictures that show up.

I would have more money.
Ok, granted this one is really broad. So with this one I need to narrow it a little. 
I would like to make more money with my blog, my jewelry, and my Thrive team.  
1. Work through the blog challenge emails. Yes, it was 30 days. Yes, I learned a lot. Yes, I think I implemented some of the tasks and lessons given. NO, I did not take full advantage of all of the information. There is a lot of information there. I didn't fully understand all of the information - that is on me. I need to learn more. 
2. Be more present with the beadwork, get it out there, find a place to put it in a storefront.
3. The big one... I know what I need to do with this and steps have already been taken. Basically I have three things I need to focus on.
a. calls - make more, listen to more, hold more.
 b. build my team. 
c. focus on my goals.  

I would have more land around my house.
This can come later, when the money comes. I can pay attention to land prices etc. but really this is a long term goal that can be put on a vision board for future use. 

I would be thin and fit.
Seriously... this does not need a nose twitch, it needs a whole body twitch. 
1. Make goals for exercise and stick to them.
2. Make food goals and stick to them.
3. Get a group and be accountable to them.
While doing this challenge I also started a challenge for exercise. I found that having those ladies posting their progress and the exercises for the day really did keep me motivated to keep on track. And that laughed with me floundering my way through it... that was the best. More of that will definately help me keep up with the exercising and food changes I need to make.  

 My husband and children would know how much I love them without a doubt, EVER.
This will just take purposeful effort on my part. This one is all on me. My family sees and hears only what I show and tell them. It is up to me to make sure that I am giving them the right attention and plenty of it. 
Common sense would make a comeback.

I can use my voice to make a dent in this. AND I can make an effort to really think through things leaving emotion on the side table. I think this can snowball. 
Someone would do my housework and shopping for me.
1. I have kids to do my houswork. 
 2. Grocery stores will either get your stuff together so you can pick it up when it's ready OR they will deliver to your house. I just have to research and organize enough to make it happen. 

Now, go at your list... what can you do to change your wishes for twitches into a productive goal list so that your life is exactly what you want it to be?

In the last 30 days have I inspired you in any way? Made you think? Given you any usable tips? Leave me a comment. I really want to know what you think. Be kind, but be honest.

Thanks for joining in with me on this.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The death of a tree today...

Ok, I'm not really the tree hugging type. I don't want to see all the trees gone, but I'm not going to strap myself to one and starve.  We had a little tree when we moved in it was about as tall as me. It was a crab apple tree... and for what ever reason it died. Not 100% dead but it was on it's way. Then we had the heavy snow... and then the bark all started to fall off. 

Anyway, since I seem to have writers block today... but it's day 29 and I refuse to let today be the day I flop. Here's a few pics... of our tree. 

I can't find my really early pics of the tree, but here was when we did the oldest's grad pics.
You can see it was a bit shorter.

Lots of fun was had in the shade. 

 We've had a few nests in there too. 

 That was a good year for blooms, but it really was pretty like that until last year. That was when we noticed it starting to die off. 

 Even in the winter I liked getting pics of the branches.

 Then this year... dumb heavy snow. But I think it was worse because the tree was already worse off then we suspected. 

 He started from the top, because he would have liked to save some of it. 

 Unfortunately, it was just too far gone. 

 At this point... if I had the extra dough, I would have gotten someone over to do an eagle out of this.

 We'll have to dig it up eventually... but this is how the day ended. Makes me sad, maybe we can get a more productive tree. Apple maybe? Guess we shall see.