Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Gift of Being You

Dear Friends,

It’s been a bit since I wrote and not because I don’t think about you.  I have so many half started blogs racing about in my head…. Where do I begin?

While I don’t like to visit the past, sometimes you have to take a look in the rear-view mirror to see how far you have come.  And so my story unfolds…..

A couple weeks  I attended the Gritman Medical Center Pink Cocktail event. As table captain, I was surrounded by family and a couple of friends who graciously accepted the invitation to attend. 
Denise, Lisa, Jill, Jen, Mom, Edie, Kristy, Me
This event is the stuff that inspiration is made of.  There were a couple of heartfelt stories from cancer survivors and from a radiologist who reads the mammograms.  The stories that emerged brought tears to my eyes as they told their story of surviving cancer and how their mate was there every step of the way. And as I sat there, I was beyond thankful to know I now have a man in my life that would be that kind of person who would help you through those battles. How do I know? On our second date, he told me it was an honor to honor his vows, “till death do us part”  with his wife who had passed away a few years ago from cancer.  He is definitely a keeper in this girl’s book.   And it feels good.  I feel blessed.  Then I started thinking about self-care. And Kara, another good friend sent me a picture with the words  “the trees show us how lovely it is to let things go”.  And it set my mind to thinking and then words started flowing…

Every couple of weeks I get together to chat with my confidante & friend Sondra.  And the last time we talked, it was about SELF CARE and how can something so important can get shoved to the back burner of our souls?  If you are like me, it is easy to say we need to practice it, but hard to do in real life.  Is it a woman thing?  I was raised to be people pleaser and at a young age, I remember understanding the difference of how boys were treated differently than girls. I recall being told, be nice, help others, be a good girl.    In my young brain, it felt that I was held to a different standard than my brothers. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn’t, but it was how I perceived it.   I grew into wanting to be “the everything to everyone”.  In the process I ended up draining the life light out of my soul.  It was a gradual downhill slide; one that I knew was happening and did not know how to fix. I was never happy with me and would create all sorts of life distractions to occupy my thoughts so I didn’t have to think about that goofy girl in the mirror with all her flaws.  I’d volunteer for things, or I’d get asked to do this or that ….. and I’d say yes. My soul would be saying no…. and I’d just push down the voice and think, I can do this, it isn’t that big of a thing to get done.  And it seemed like I’d reorganize my schedule or my life to please others.  I was a poor advocate for myself and wouldn’t stand up for me when I needed to.  Such the life of a people pleaser.

Lately, I've been a bit retrospective…perhaps it is because this month, notably October 3, 2012 that my house of cards came tumbling down and life as I knew it was no longer.  That day was the catalyst of change as  I found out I was going to be single after 27+ years of marriage.  To compound matters, I was consoling my newly widowed daughter whose life had also changed just 9 days before mine had.  And while it was devastating at first, the journey of self-discovery was one of the best things for me. A forced restart on life.  I learned to let go of my past life and move forward on a path that I wasn’t sure where it would lead.  I had to re-create me as I didn’t know who I was.  Fast forward five years and here is where I am today.  I learned that I’m an “outgoing introvert”.  I love people but I also realize I need vast amounts of alone time to recharge my batteries.  I make the “me time” my first priority because I finally learned, you can’t help others until you help yourself.  I ask for what I want. I’ve gotten pretty good about setting boundaries with myself and I’ve learned to say no if the request isn’t what I truly want to do.  When I help others, it is out of joy and of my choosing.   I listen to the quiet voice of my heart and soul and it’s never wrong, it leads me to the right decisions. The authentic me emerged and I like who I am now.  And finally,  I have gotten to the point where I feel whole. And that tiny voice somewhere deep inside me says it is time to begin writing  a book about my healing and where I found strength, hope and inspiration. And that quiet voice also says, yes this will help others too.  It just feels right.

And as you read this I hope there is some nugget of wisdom to know that you matter and to stay true to you.  Only you know what kind of self-care that is right for you.  Let go of the what doesn't work and find what does work for you.  You are a magnificent original, take tender care of you.  Surround yourself with positive people and say a prayer of thanks for the gifts (life lessons)  heaven sends your way.   Sometimes it may not feel like a gift, but when it fully unfolds and you find that God gave you the very best gift of your life, you. 

As always, a heartfelt thank you for stopping by and feel free to reach out at  All my best, Gayle

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Art of Tending

I write because I like to write. Sometimes it’s because words need to surface, other times it just makes me happy putting thoughts down on paper. 

Me in my happy place
I am a “caretaker” of people and things. It seems like I am always tending something.  And I realized I needed tending to as well. After I had entered single-hood five years ago, it forced me to begin the journey of self-care. At first I wasn’t so great at it, but I started getting better at understanding  what was good for me.  I realized I hadn’t respected my body or soul and that I was always putting others first, and neglecting me.  Heck if I would have just listened to the airlines during their safety instructions and took that to heart when they say “put your air mask on first before you help others”…. I may have saved myself some time…. But I”ve always been a slow learner as well as a slow bloomer. Lol… oh well.   

I do love playing outside
Here is what I have learned.  I am an “outgoing introvert”.  I love being around people, doing things socially, and my love language is “act of service” but I relish my alone time. That is what recharges this girl’s batteries, quiet time.  And I have to balance it with my urge for helping others.  That is the tricky part.   And how I spend my moments in the recharge mode is dictated by the weather.  Time spent outdoors enjoying the beauty of the Palouse or puttering about indoors in the cozy confines of my farmhouse is pure bliss. I have finally felt that it was okay to give myself permission to not feel guilty when I just need my own space and set boundaries. You would think coming from a life where I spent a good part of it in the Ag industry, that it would dawn on me self-care is exactly like taking care of the crops.  In order to grow and prosper, you have to have the essential elements. I guess sometimes when you are down in the trenches that you forget to look up.   When I look at other amazing women that I know, I wonder if they have or had the same struggles that I did. Maybe it’s a conversation among us that I need to start.

This week I took care of my mom after her surgery. She says she is independent but I see her getting frail in body despite her strong spirit.  I wash her hair and she smiles.  She is recovering from a hand surgery and doesn’t like to admit she has to rely on help from family and has dubbed me “sergeant”.   I’m afraid that nickname may stick.

This weekend I’m taking care of the little grand-angels so their mommy  and daddy can get away for the week-end. Sometimes parents just need a break and I’m here to make sure it happens. So the little ladies and I will make up plans of what we want to do for two whole days.  It will be busy, messy, chaotic at times, but I’m looking forward to having the three grand-kids, plus their two dogs just for added chaos.

And since I’ve been able to take care of me, my internal happy season is in full bloom.  When I choose to help others, it is because I am willing to do it, not because I felt I had to do it.  My move to a new home in a new town has been just what I needed.  Life has a funny way to putting certain people in your life to help you learn as you go.  I am grateful and even thankful for the good and hard lessons that came about.  It got me here, a place where I need to be.  I took another chance on love and found a contentment that I haven’t ever felt before.  And I think certain, people, places, events had to take place to help me understand and appreciate what and who is in my life.  

This is the room where the "cozy thoughts and conversations" will happen

As I see the first of the leaves around my place start to turn yellow and red, I see the season of cozy warm sweater time starting. And that will most likely prompt more heart and soul kinds of conversations and thoughts.  I’d love to hear your thought too and you can always reach out and say hi at or leave a comment on the blog.

So ole “sergeant” is here to tell you, if you aren’t respecting your body and soul, please be gentle with yourself and start those steps, even if they are baby steps to be good to you. You deserve it, trust me on that one. 

As always, thank you for stopping by.  All my best, Gayle

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Blessings in Life

My Vintage Beauty

Today in the hallway I ran into a colleague/friend and after a bit of chit chat, she looked at me and out of the blue, said “your house is good for you”.

And I realized over the last four months that a slow but good change has been happening in this girl’s world.  For starters, I feel comfortable going on a solo girl date (just me) and sitting outside to enjoy downtown Moscow in the late afternoon at my fav Mexican restaurant.  So, on any given Wednesday you most likely will find me sitting outside enjoying a nice cold one while either reading, writing or people watching.  A small but glorious indulgence.   

A couple of times I have even slipped down to the historic Kenworthy theater to catch a second run movie.

Sunrise over a wheat field by my house

And with the start of harvest this year,  I have not felt an emptiness or any depression.  I see the whirlwind of activity happening around me and I  still love the smell of harvest.  Now viewing it from a neutral setting still gives me that needed farm fix, and  I find harvest a thing of beauty rather than a painful part of seeing my old life happening without me.  I haven’t gotten to the point where I can see my own farm being harvested, but maybe someday.  Farmer Joe and I have settled into a more comfortable amicable relationship and he fills me in on what is happening on my farm.  He also patiently answers my questions and gives input when I need technical expert advice when putting together an article for the magazine.  I think we both are in very good places in our personal lives and just that in and of itself is a healing feeling.

It's old, in need of repair.. but I love this barn
I’ve started dating again and found a very special someone.  He is an unexpected bit of blissful happy for me and is so good for me in so many ways.  We are slowly introducing each other into our each other's lives.  It has just worked out that I see more of his world than he has seen of mine, but that will change.

Here is what I’ve found.  Change can be good for the soul. And sometimes life will change the road you travel and how you choose to travel that road is your call. I’ve seen enough sunrises and sunsets to know I have and am living a good life. I’ve felt the small little arms of my baby girls around my neck, I still enjoy hugs from the grand angels, I continue to be surrounded by a loving family and know I have the kinds of friends who are loyal and have my best interests at heart, my dog adores me, I’ve laughed so hard I’ve almost peed my pants and I’ve also felt despair and sorrow. Through the peaks and valleys of life I know that the good Lord has always been there, helping and guiding me through it all. And for that I am blessed.  And from all that has come down my pathway, there are so many life lessons that continue to impress into my heart and soul that I wonder if I’ll ever have enough time to share what I see through this girl’s world.  

As always, thank you for stopping by.  My goal is to start blogging more on a weekly basis.  As always, it does my heart good to hear from you ( , so let me know how you are and I’d love to know what resonates “happy” in YOUR life or what simple pleasures that you indulge in.  All my best, Gayle