Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Grumpy Start to a Splendid Adventure

I have a confession… I sometimes get grumpy when life doesn’t go as I planned it in my mind.  But I’ve been really working hard at what I preach….. living life and enjoying those small moments and impromptu  changes. Not easy for a planner like me to do and I have to confess I was inwardly being cranky about a family outing that wasn’t going according to the plan in my head. First with the date mix-up and  our Kellogg condo  getting rented out the week-end we had planned to stay and ride the Hiawatha Trail.(a 15 mile trip on an abandoned railroad  bed that has around 7 tunnels and a few trestles). Then followed by a change in the day we were going due to the grand-angels deciding to play at their softball tournament. Mentally I was just like, we should just cancel, thankfully I kept my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself.

On Saturday, daughter Jen, who helps coach the smaller kiddos softball team asked if I could help with the girls as all were playing, different fields, times etc. sort of being the gofer, get food, cheer on the older grand-angel while she was coaching the younger girls’ teams.  I said sure, no problem and spent all of Saturday watching softball, grabbing lunch for them and hugging on the girls.  Sitting close to the older girls’ teams, I loved how supportive they were of each other when up to bat. I’d hear them say, “you got this!”  or “you’re going to hit a home run so take it home!” … and other positive comments even when plays didn’t go as expected.  I thought we should all be more of a cheerleader in life, encouraging others to do their best. And I would have missed seeing this sweet exchange of a girl gang of pure supportiveness if I hadn’t agreed to hang out at the tournament all day.  Sometimes I am a dolt.

Then the morning of the bike ride… more delays.  First a quick trip to Quick care to diagnose if Zach, Rod’s 19 yoa son, had strep throat (he did) and the sweet young man rallied and went with us anyway.  Jen didn’t have a helmet… a quick trip to Target…next a call from the condo manager saying our guest had plugged the toilet, it had overflowed into the downstairs unit and so on. Ugh..I’m inwardly groaning at what more can happen?  But Rod in his ever-calm manner, called Roto Rooter, we headed to Kellogg to check in on the service tech – he had it under control –  the damage would get turned into the insurance company…so onto Hiawatha Trail it was!!   
A long dark tunnel, it was wet, muddy and wintry cold
Despite the unusually cold temps of the day and us being a bit under-dressed, we rode the trail and it was gorgeous. Along the way we, talked, laughed and kidded each other about fear of heights as we rode over breath taking bridges we had to cross. The girls threw rocks over the bridge, the boys jokingly said they wanted to pee over the bridge…. We left them in peace to do their guy thing and the day turned out splendid. We were tired, dirty and happy.
Me & the kiddos.... heights make me weak in the stomach, I had to sit down!

Jen & the girls - a great photo op

Zach & Jen - we're not scared of heights!

Rod & the girls.... a long way down

Us  =)
As I dropped off Jen and the kiddos at 10pm that night, an impromptu slumber party was requested, so I said yes! We grabbed pj’s and I  took the two youngest ones home with me.

The next day, I cleared my work calendar and stayed home with the kiddos.  That day, at their request, I taught them how to read recipes and bake. We picked cherries and strawberries from my garden, we made Spaghetti Pie for dinner to take back to their house  and I have to tell you, it was a pure grandma bliss.
An intent Miss M pitting cherries

Early morning strawberry picking

Miss N making cupcakes in an ice cream cone cups
Yummy perfecton
 Once again lessons learned when the plan inside your head doesn’t flow like you think it should and yet everything turns out as good or even better than the best laid plans.  It was a splendid adventure where small moments and simple pleasures of togetherness add one more layer in the memory bank of life.  Lesson learned…. =)

As always, thank you for stopping by. Feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email at, as I love to hear from you.  And if your plans run amok like they sometimes do, well I hope it turns into a grand adventure!  All my best, Gayle

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Prescription from the Universe - Self-care, Soul-Keeping & Sun

A fav place to enjoy morning, coffee and devotionals

Self-care, Soul Keeping and Sun. The Universe does a good job of nudging me…. And I”ll explain in a bit.

As I drove home after work yesterday, I was looking forward to changing from the office Gayle persona to the farm-gal Gayle and play in the dirt in complete and absolute solitude.  After changing, I grabbed gloves, seed packets a hand shovel and headed outside.  After planting just two seed packets, I felt exhausted…. And I thought, what’s up with this?  All I had done was sit with laptop in hand and be the behind the scenes guru for a work Retreat.  So I listened to my body.  On a whim I made a plate of nachos, which felt decadent as I don’t usually do that, grabbed a beer, a book and sat in a lounge chair in the sun.  I seriously didn’t move for over an hour, just munching, reading and soaking up some vitamin D.  Pure bliss.

Me, my awesome executive officer's, Stephanie & Sue
When the shadows started creeping in over the patio, I put the book down and just sat and looked at all of nature’s beauty.  It dawned on me that my emotional bank account was drained.  In the course of the day, I had learned that a close family member was facing some serious health issues, I had been taking care of all my council people during the day as well being “on” all day,  and I had received a sweet text from my daughter Jen,  who confirmed she is now starting a new chapter in  life as a single person.  I thought to myself, yup your body said ENOUGH! I need food, sun and some respite… the beer was optional but oh so tasty. Lol.  The short down time was  exactly what I needed to recharge this girl’s soul  and my energy was back.   Self-care is a practice that has come with a price from lessons I’ve learned on my path, and I realize isn’t a luxury, but a necessity.  I know this and most days I give myself permission to be good to me when I need it.

As for Jen, well she is coming into her own power and her life light is burning brightly.  This makes her momma’s heart happy.  This has been a hard journey for her and I know exactly “the road” that she is on, as I have been down it. I also know from here on out that there will be more ups than downs – and that she will bravely navigate the speed bumps of life.  I can show her the roadmap and can be her beacon of light should she need it.  Her other sister, Kaitlyn can as well, we are here for my beautiful girl.

And as you navigate your own speed bumps in life, remember to slow down, and take the time to recharge. And I have to share today’s lesson from my daily devotion books…. June 12

June 12 caption says it all

 “Recharge your Battery”.  Then in my other book, the quote “the art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness form common things" ~ Henry Ward Beecher.     Okay Universe …. I hear you.  =)

As always, thank you for stopping by and I’m here if you want to drop me a line at or leave a comment.  Enjoy the gorgeous day, do what you need to do to take care of you so you can move those mountains for others if you need to.  All my best, Gayle

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Seth and Maddie's Wedding - Life Lessons

Seth and Maddie's Wedding
The groom's side - LtoR, Brandon+Sarah, Bridgette+Bill, my brother Doug + Edie, Seth+Maddie, Kyle+Kayla. A beautiful crew I must say!

At a family wedding last week-end two very important life lessons were once again and wonderfully demonstrated.  The first one was sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, to have faith that it will work out in the end.  The second was try to live your life through the eyes of a child – embrace fun!

Last Saturday, it was a beautiful warm day and the forecast was perfect – balmy 70’s and no rain forecast.  A postcard event awaiting!    I texted my sister-in-law the same thoughts, saying so glad the weather had gotten the crazy rain storm out of the way on Thursday and Saturday looks like a gorgeous day for a wedding!  And as the four o’clock hour drew near, the guests were seated for the outdoor wedding ceremony amidst the backdrop of a beautiful barn in the countryside.  And within minutes the clouds rolled in, thunder exploded and huge raindrops started falling.  Everyone ran inside the barn, then in true celebration of the moment, we enjoyed an impromptu cocktail hour as we listened to the roar of the rainstorm which had then turned into a semi flash flood.  Ugh. 
Rod & I during the impromptu social hour

Jen, Rod & me

 After about a ½ hour the rain abated, water was swept out of the barn and we could see the storm passing through.  The sun came out, the chairs were wiped dry and the wedding went on as planned just an hour later. It was beautiful and it reminded me that once again when unexpected storms show up in your life, to take shelter, wait it out and know that it will pass and the sun shine once again.   

And after the wedding as I was walking around the grounds, I was dodging the multiple puddles when I noticed a toddler who was joyfully splashing in the water.  I smiled to myself and thought, this sweet little child didn’t see the mud and chaos of the storm, he saw the fun in the pure bliss of playing. Looking at life through the eyes of a child.  I need to do that more.
okay... so I couldn't pass up a chance to photo bomb Rod and my mom... I'll chalk it up to playing like a child!  lol
Isn’t it funny how simple little things will remind us to not take life so seriously and to trust that it will all turn out okay in the end?  And what a memorial event for Seth and Maddie - That they had the experience of their newly married life to trust that storms will come and go and that in the end it will all be okay. Plus a daily reminder to this gal....  to live in the moment, enjoy those around you and relish all the moments of your life. (like celebrating the high school graduation of nephew, Zach's - a full and joyous day!)

And with that, take care and thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a word or two (  as I love to hear from you.  And as always, do share the blog post =)   And hopefully in the next day or so, I’ll have to share a new recipe I tried…. Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles.  It is pure chocolate decadence, but I want to tweak the recipe a bit. =)  All my best, Gayle