Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas 2017, Puzzle Pieces & LIfe

Dear Friends,

With 2017 coming to a close, here is a cross between a Christmas letter I had intended to send and thoughts that felt like I needed get them down on paper. As I reflected on the past year, the speed bumps in life landed me right where I needed to be.  How can you go wrong when you let God be the driver?
Not long ago I saw a  sign that said SOMETIMES WHEN THINGS ARE FALLING APART, THEY MAY BE ACTUALLY FALLING IN PLACE.   Very true.  When I was looking back from where I was this exact time last year, it was a hard time, not only physically, but spiritually and emotionally.  I felt it was time to relocate and sell my house, but I didn’t know where I wanted to go, I was restless and felt lost, plus I was on the down hill slide of a relationship that needed to end.  And little did I know that after that long bleak winter that the pieces of my life would start falling together in a perfect harmony that definitely was guided by the Good Lord.  I can remember taking a long walk on a beautiful sunny crisp winter day and having a conversation with God about helping me find my way. ( I know I can be stubborn, hard headed and probably cause our Creator some grief when he has to rein me in with a firm hand)…. Anyway I remember thinking how badly I wanted to find that perfect little house just outside of Moscow, a new place to make my new happy plans.  And seriously, the very next day, the most perfect house came on the market.  And within two weeks, I was signing on the dotted line.  I had put my Genesee farmhouse up for sale on a Thursday and by Saturday had an offer. All I can say is that it was meant to be.   The moving of an entire farmstead  in four weeks, was at best, a dizzy pace that is still a blur in my mind.

My Vintage Beauty
And then another amazing thing happened.... while I wasn’t thinking I needed to be in a relationship, apparently the universe had different ideas.  And a few months ago, I started dating a very special someone and he “gets me” like no one ever has. We’re both extremely busy, so we see each other as often as we can. We’ve started making vacation plans for next summer as well as bucket list kinds of things for the future.  Adventures await!

Plus 6 weeks ago the universe decided I needed another dog too, and I’m happy to report that the new rambunctious black lab mix now happily romps around the fenced 5 acres with Miss LuLu.  

Happy girls

Tonight I hosted a neighborhood social with drinks and appetizers as a way to get to know my new neighbors. We’re all around the same age and everyone is down to earth with a fun spirit.  They have all lived in this area for 20+ years and the camaraderie among them was enchanting.  One of the guys said, “I help all my neighbors, so I’d be happy to help you trim your trees. And I can ride my horse over, bring over an extra horse and after we’re done working, we can ride over and drink beer at Sam’s place…. That is just the way we do things around here.”  Oh my gosh, that was so sweet as well as hilarious (although I’ll have to take a pass on tipping back a beer or two and riding a horse…. Maybe I’ll just hop on the gator and drive over...!)  lol   But it made me realize again that I had ended up in the perfect neighborhood where I would fit right in.  And that that has been the way this year has gone.  All the pieces falling into a perfectly divinely guided puzzle. 

All I can say is I know I am blessed and it humbles me.  And as 2018 is just around the corner, I know there will be changes with some ups and downs as more pieces of the puzzle falls into place. But I know I want to live the upcoming year well. Every day is precious and I need to remember to enjoy the journey and take time to be around those I hold near and dear.

And with Christmas just days away, I’m excited to host Christmas Eve in my new place.  I’m looking forward to having my youngest daughter stay with me over the holidays and cooking the holiday dinner together.  It will be bittersweet though  as Kaitlyn and her wonderful man are moving to Maryland on December 26.  But it makes my heart happy seeing her make new happy plans for their future. My other daughter Jen & her family are close by and we enjoy our time together ( Texas! from an earlier blog post!)  =)

I wish only the best to you and yours and hope you have a truly blessed year where all of your puzzle pieces in life fall into the perfect pattern just right for you.   All my best, Gayle

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Girl Time in Waco Texas

Watching it snow,  I’m all tucked in by the fire and it hardly seems like it was this time last week I was  in Waco, Texas.  Texas had the arrival of an unexpected snowfall and  it had people excited.  I was excited for a different reason, in that after a year of planning, my mom, oldest daughter, granddaughter and I were actually doing the trip we talked so much about.  I’d packed everything from short sleeve T-shirts to fleece as I didn’t know what to expect. Let’s just say fleece was a good thing.
While the main purpose was to go to the Magnolia Silos, we took a city tour, and well….. I was enchanted.   I have to admit that I am a sucker for feel good stories of inspiration and good works.  That kind of stuff just sings to this farmgirl’s soul.   Our tour guide consisted of two men, Chase and David, (, each man had a great Christian perspective that bubbled up when they shared stories of people in their town who were working very hard to make changes for the better.  We heard several stories, and my favorite was about the owner of Lula Jane’s, a fabulous bakery/coffee shop.  Not only did that owner, while having a great business, took it upon herself to begin a school and a volunteer mentoring program to help the reading level of children, plus she has recovering addicts live with her as they reenter the world of sobriety.  Ms. Lula Jane chose to listen to her heart when others said a start up school  couldn’t be done, but she did it anyway and in two years and had achieved success where she now has the support from the Bill Gates Foundation and this school is ranked 7th in the state for reading proficiency.  There were stories of others, and it warmed my heart hearing about  people wanting to make a difference for their community, thinking outside the box and pursuing their vision.
The B&B we stayed in. Oh so charming
And of course, Chip and Joanna Gaines, was another success story.  Nothing thrills me more than seeing a passion get turned into a success story. The Gaines are smart and their  success has gone well for them, as  well as for City of Waco.
Daughter Jen had found a B&B that was one of the “Fixer Uppers” and we were able to rent it.   It made me wish I was doing my B&B again….  I loved that small side business that I had. 

The girl time with mom, Jen & Brinley was special.  The first morning, my mom is telling us she scared herself in the middle of the night when she realized her sparkly painted fingernails glowed in the dark, and that she fell out of bed.  Luckily no injuries and we giggled as mom recounted the story. She wasn’t trying to be funny, she just seems to be a natural magnet for goofy stuff that happens to her.  She was (sort of)  a good sport as Jen, Brinley and I went to thrift stores  in our search for treasures.

All in all, getting to see and hear about inspirational people who strive to make their town a better place and spending quality girl time with my family is the stuff that sweet memories are made of.
As always , thanks for stopping by. I’m always available at for comments and thoughts.  All my best, Gayle

Friday, December 1, 2017

Organized Chaos

I love my old vintage truck and it looks and fits perfectly on my new farmette

In the early darkness this morning (think 3:08am) the thought came to me, that I live my life as “organized chaos”.   Just enough organization that life flows well, with just enough crazy that it keeps it interesting.  And I hadn’t really thought of my life in those terms, but it fits.  And those 2 words, as opposite as they are, basically describe me.  Maybe it resonates some with you too.  What two words describe you?  I’d love to know and I hope you will take a moment and think about it, and then share it with me.

Looking back from December, 2016 to December, 2017, this has been a year of many changes. Major changes,  such as packing up my entire farmstead in four weeks and re-establishing it in another town 14 miles away.  In the process, there were relationship changes too, where it went from leaving a-not -so-great love relationship and  then a few months later meeting someone that is this girl’s “rock”.  His name is Rod and he is an unexpected blessing that that just sort of appeared in my life one day.   A friend recently told me that the other person was put in my life to help close the doors to my old life and that it helped pave the way for where I needed to be, today.  And it’s true.  

So in a few hours, Rod will drive the 90 miles to see me, and he is bringing me a Christmas tree that he cut down from his property.  He says he found the perfect tree.  So when I get home from work, I’ll put on some great Christmas music, pour a glass of wine, put dinner in the oven and we’ll decorate the tree. Sounds like a pretty good way to end the week if you ask this girl.

And the other thing that I plan to do this week-end is write a letter to myself of what I hope and want for the upcoming year. I’ll ask Rod to do it too, then we’ll read it next New Year’s Eve.  I think that is a great plan. Sometimes you can plan good things, other times the good things happen at the right moment.

As always, thank you for stopping by. And if you feel like sharing what your “2 words” are that describe you, let me know. I would love to hear from you.  I’m a click away at .

All my best, Gayle