Pickin’ on the Ranch

I love junk shows and I have been excited about a type of show new to the Joplin area that premiered this weekend. On this warm, gorgeous spring day, I collected my daughter-in-law Megan and grandchildren Joey, Oliver and Aubrey to check out the Pickin’ on the Ranch event in Carthage, MO. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Picking is the act of selecting items for the purpose of reselling them. This profitable hobby has been made popular by the long running reality TV show, American Pickers. Picking is typically done among vast collections of junk and vintage items that people have stored in their houses, garages or barns. 

Today’s spring pickers market kicked off the first such event at the picturesque Civil War Ranch in Carthage. The barns, outbuildings and open grassy areas provided the perfect backdrop for vendors to display their pickings. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch
This was a fun show to attend. And apparently we weren’t the only ones curious about a pickers market. The venue was packed. As we wandered through barns and booths I enjoyed looking at the many items for sale. These shows inspire my creativity and ignite my imagination. I am always impressed with how clever people are, as they repurpose vintage finds into new items. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch

Pickin' on the Ranch
There was live music on site, food wagons to ease hunger and thirst, and celebrities from HGTV signing autographs. The atmosphere was friendly and casual. And there was even an animal adoption area where people could hold and pet dogs and puppies and perhaps take home a faithful companion as a found treasure. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch
As much as I enjoyed looking at junk and vintage items and crafts, what I cherished most was watching my grandkids take in their first pickers market. They surprised me a couple of weeks ago by showing interest in the event when I mentioned it to them. As the spring pickers market approached, they continued to be excited about it and anticipated attending as well. I was delighted to take them and Megan along this morning. It was a fun outing. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch
The kids were great shoppers. They each had an allotted amount to spend and made careful decisions about their purchases. I was proud of how polite they were to vendors and pleased with how interested they were in what was going on. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Joey helped to keep an eye on his younger siblings, so we didn’t lose anyone in the crowds. He was called a “good man” by a vendor for retrieving an item that had fallen off of a display table and setting it up again correctly. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Aubrey found lots to capture her interest, including these red lockers. I told her that her daddy had such a set of lockers when he was a boy, and that he stowed his police gear in them, items that he purchased or made in anticipation of his future career. Aubrey wanted to show that she could fit within those lockers too. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Oliver made me laugh. The others were walking just a bit ahead of us when he asked to walk into a booth. “Sure, go ahead!” I said. “You’d better come in with me and keep an eye on me,” he quipped. “I think my mom would want you to keep an eye on me.” Amused by his honesty, I was happy to follow him around the booth, keeping an eye on him. He didn’t touch a thing! 

Pickin' on the Ranch
This first pickers market was a great success. I anticipate that the event will continue to grow and evolve into a highly anticipated yearly event. We didn’t make any huge purchases, but we all left with something special. I found a metal pendant and love the sentiment engraved on it…”the journey awakens the soul”. 

What a perfect expression of the day, and of my life. 

Pickin' on the Ranch

Happy Birthday Megan

Today I am celebrating the birthday of another family member, my daughter-in-law Megan. Married to my son Nate, Megan has been a wonderful addition to the family. With their marriage, I not only gained a daughter, I gained two grandsons as well. The two blended their families, Nate’s daughter Aubrey and Megan’s sons Joey and Oliver, into a big, fun-loving group. 

I looked up Megan’s name:

Megan, you care for others with joy. You have a receptive nature and tend to carry burdens for others. You are pragmatic, thorough, strong-willed, practical and stubborn at times. You are hard working, and often a martyr to duty. You appreciate home and security above all and you live an eventful, exciting life. You are versatile and have the ability to learn easily.

Dependable, very down-to-earth and well grounded, you are always looking for meaningful work, a career where you can take pride in your work and do the best job that you are capable of. Your prime desire is to build a protected and secure environment at home and at work. You can be very good at achieving goals and gaining objectives. You are very detailed and possess great organizational skills. Your practical approach to life and productivity makes you a beneficial member of the community.

Those words describe Megan well. She cares for others, often going that extra mile to benefit clients, family and friends. Organized, hard working, practical and dependable are all traits that Megan displays. She gardens, she cooks, she cuts hair for family and friends. She’s the kind of person that people turn to, for help, for advice, for a hug and a shoulder to cry on. 

She’s not all work though. She knows how to have fun and she enjoys outings with her family, date nights with her hubby and time with her girlfriends. Megan and Nate attend concerts together, gather up a group for a night at the drive-in theater, and take the kids on fun vacations. They are very present in the lives of their kids, attending sporting events and award ceremonies. 

I appreciate Megan’s love and support for my son, and for the kids. She’s an excellent wife and mom, demonstrating kindness and affection, and offering encouragement with a “you can do this” attitude. She lets the kids be kids, knowing they will grow up soon enough. If they get dirty, they will wash! 

And I appreciate Megan because she is her own person and she likes who she is. She is versatile, unafraid of trying  different things whether it’s a fresh haircut and color, or a new recipe. Life is never boring with this girl. What a great way to model life for her kids, teaching them by example to experience new things and to live with joy. 

I’m so grateful she came into our family. Happy birthday Megan! I love you. 

Journey 290: Maple Leaf Parade

What a fun morning, jump started by a big parade! The air was crisp with a definite fall chill to it and the sun not quite up when I headed east to Carthage, MO. This is the 49th Maple Leaf Festival, held annually in this beautiful Ozark town. The highlight of the festival is the Maple Leaf Parade, touted as the largest in southwest Missouri. 

I marched in this parade while in high school, with the Mustang Marching Band, and more recently walked the route as a realtor. Now I enjoy watching from the sidelines. And today was a special event. Four of my five grandchildren were in the parade. And my son Nate, a police officer with Carthage PD, led off the parade with the Honor Guard. Daughter Elissa, son-in-law Josh, grandson Jonathan and daughter-in-law Megan sat with me on the west side of the square. Greg joined us just as the parade was starting. 

Here are highlights of the parade, captured in photos:


Elissa and Jonathan

 Jonathan sporting his Link costume. 



 Megan and Nate


Megan and me

 Nate was in charge of the Honor Guard, which led off the parade


 One of the winners in the float category


This dog, wearing a hat, cracked me up. He seemed to enjoy all the attention. 

 Grandsons Joey and Oliver, with Tiger Football


Lots of scary floats, advertising local haunted houses for Halloween

   The Flip Shop with their trampoline on wheels


Grandson Dayan with the Carl Junction Marching Band, which sounded great! There were lots of bands in the parade, as there is a band competition in the afternoon. Carl Junction was awarded first place in the parade! Latest update is that they are in the finals for the afternoon marching band competition. 



 Granddaughter Aubrey, and her mom Brittany, Nana Shelby and brother AJ, with the Donate Life float. Aubrey’s Nana is a liver transplant recipient, celebrating her 6th anniversary! 


One never knows where a kilted man will show up!

 Or Darth Vader 😃


This guy was cool!

 The crowd pleasing Dancing Cobras from Springfield MO


Horses and mules signal the end of the parade, with the city street sweepers behind, for obvious reasons! 139 units passed by…bands, floats, businesses and organizations. 

I enjoyed the morning immensely, sitting with family, watching for grandkids in the parade, smiling as I watched my son carry out his responsibilities with dignity and ease. On the way home I found myself humming the song “I Love a Parade”, so I looked the words up. The lyrics are a fitting conclusion to this blog post. 

I love a parade, the tramping of feet,

I love every beat I hear of a drum.

I love a parade, when I hear a band

I just want to stand and cheer as they come.



Journey 172: Father’s Day and Poldark on First Day of Summer

What do Father’s Day 2015, the BBC series Poldark and the first day of summer all have in common? Not a thing…except that they all fell on today’s date of June 21 and they were all part of my lovely journey today.

summer fathers day poldark nate megan and aubrey

Father’s Day began with surprising my son, Nathanael (Nate to most people), by joining him, his wife Megan and daughter Aubrey at their church this morning. Nathanael’s lovely wife set this surprise up and it was fun to watch my handsome son’s face as their car pulled up next to ours in the church parking lot. I have a silver Toyota Camry. There are lots of cars like mine and Nathanael didn’t think anything of it when they pulled up alongside a silver car. It took a few moments before he saw his dad and I smiling at him from my car. I enjoyed sitting with my son and Megan, singing praise songs, listening to the associate pastor speak this morning. I am so proud of my son. He is a wonderful husband and father, son and brother, police officer and man. Watching him with his wife, seeing him spend time with Aubrey, Oliver and Joey, knowing how he works to serve and protect his community, fills me with joy.

summer fathers day poldark linda nicole and kids

After church, Nathanael, Megan and Aubrey followed us to Golden Corral where we joined my mom and stepdad Walter, sisters Linda and Debbie, niece Nicole and her children Weston and Lola, and Linda’s granddaughter London. Aubrey and London got to sit together and giggle and chat like the best friends/sisters/cousins that they consider themselves to be.

summer fathers day poldark dinner

summer fathers day poldark debbie

It was a lively and fun lunch, with lots of trips through the buffet line. (When you are helping children fill their plates, you really do go through often!) My stepdad is a quiet, wise man who stepped into a ready-made and growing family when he married my mom. I appreciate him and his good nature and giving heart. I am typing this blog and just realized that in the rush to get to the restaurant, I left my stepdad’s Father’s Day card in the car, where it remains! He will not be surprised.

summer fathers day poldark mom and walter

I thought of my dad often today. He stepped into eternity five years ago. I think of him every day, sometimes with a sense of disbelief still that I can’t pick up the phone and call him. I know he is near, just around the corner, just in another room, and that we will be reunited someday. I talk to him often, sense his presence. When I look at my son, I see the strong resemblance between grandfather and grandson, and it reminds me how very near my father is. He is, and will always be, my dad. I believe he is proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

dad e

To finish off this beautiful start to summer, this day when sunlight lingered the longest, I enjoyed watching the BBC series Poldark. I have been anticipating purchasing the DVD of this series, which completed its first season in the UK. I didn’t know until recently that the series was going to air in the US, starting tonight! I’ve been so excited. Aidan Turner, who recently portrayed Kili in The Hobbit trilogy, plays Ross Poldark.

summer fathers day poldark aiden turner

Set in the late 1700’s, in Cornwall, England, Poldark is the story of a young man who returns home from the American Revolution to a changed world. His father has died, his family and friends thought he was killed in the war, his home and properties are abandoned and crumbling into ruin, and the woman he thought he would wed, is engaged to marry his cousin. With nothing to lose, Ross Poldark, who is considered a rebel, rolls up his shirt sleeves, assembles a group of friends, tenants and house servants, and begins the huge task of restoring his property and providing for those under his care.


Aidan Turner was amazing, as was the beautiful English countryside and the costuming. Like his fellow actor from The Hobbit, Richard Armitage, Turner has brooding down to an art and he is a joy to watch. I look forward to catching the next seven episodes on Sunday evenings.

What a wonderful day, this trio of special events that merged into one lovely journey. All changes of the seasons should be so perfect! Perhaps, if I view them as such, they all will be.

summer fathers day poldark

Journey 129: Nate and Megan Get Married

Wedding Mr and Mrs Moore

My family loves to celebrate…birthdays and the birth of babies into the family bring us together to rejoice. Weddings not only allow us to celebrate the happy couple and dance and feast together, they allow us to enlarge our family. Tonight, my family grew again as my son, Nate and his sweetheart, Megan, exchanged vows in front of a teary eyed crowd.

wedding Joey Oliver and groomsmen

wedding vows

Nate and Megan said “I do” in the beautiful Amelie in downtown Joplin. It was the perfect backdrop for this elegant yet festive wedding. Gathered around tables with candle filled lanterns as centerpieces, we watched as Pastor Robin and Nate led the way to the front of the room. Five groomsmen and five bridesmaids walked together toward them and then came the children…Oliver and Karleigh, Joey and Aubrey, the girls dropping flower petals as they walked arm in arm with the boys. We stood as Megan, radiant and gorgeous in her dress, slowly walked down the aisle on the arm of her father, her shining eyes on her waiting groom.

Wedding first dance

wedding Mimi and Nate

wedding daddy and daughter

Weddings make me teary eyed. Seeing two people publically express their love and devotion for each other undoes me. This evening, I should have brought the tissues. Megan and Nate wrote their own vows for each other and I was so touched, so moved by their expressions of love to each other. Listening to them recount their first meeting and first date, hearing their pledges to care for each other, listen to each other, be there for each other, reminded me of all that’s good and right in the world. My tall handsome son, who serves and protects as a police officer, spoke from his heart as he promised to protect his bride, foremost and forever. Megan, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, told Nate he was her best friend, and promised to cherish him as well.

wedding cake

wedding three kids

The evening continued with toasts and dancing, laughter and food, photos and hugs. Two families before the ceremony, blended into one, with Nate and Megan and their three children, and with the Nate’s extended family and Megan’s, one large, boisterous, happy clan, united by choice and destiny. I’ve gained a daughter and two amazing grandsons. I’ve also embraced a wonderful group of people, Megan’s family, to celebrate with in the future.

wedding champagne

I danced a very special dance with my son, so proud of the man he has become, while Megan danced with her father. I looked into my son’s eyes and still I could see the boy there, smiling, trusting. The man is ready for this next great adventure, with his woman by his side. I know he and Megan will have a beautiful, wonderful life together. They are not unaware of the challenges life can bring. But they will not be defined by them. Hand in hand they will journey, onward and upward, throughout the rest of their lives. Congratulations to you both and God’s blessings be on you. I love you!

wedding parents dance

Journey 41: Happy Birthday Nate

Nate honor guard 2e22

Today is my son’s birthday. Nathanael (Nate) is a fine young man…smart, handsome, creative, musical, dedicated to his family, a loving husband and father. He excels at his chosen profession, being a top rate police officer who helps to keep his community safe and trains other officers. He is continually learning so that he can teach others. It has been wonderful to see him achieve what he’s wanted to do ever since he was a young boy. I am very proud of him.

Today, although it was one of his scheduled days off, Nate taught a class for other officers. Which meant, I got to pick up his little daughter from school. Because it was her daddy’s birthday, she quickly had an afterschool snack and then wanted to shop for a card and gifts for her father. Since the boys weren’t with us, Aubrey became the “designated shopper” for the kids, a role she took quite seriously.

Aubrey and I dashed into Target to make her purchases so we could get her home before her daddy arrived. I love shopping with young children. They are so earnest, so heart-centric, in their desire to gift a loved one. I give them free reign on making purchases and rarely have to offer guidance.

Aubrey looked at a couple of cards and then asked where the cards were that played music when you opened them. I pointed her in the right direction and she immediately found the perfect card. It had Spongebob Squarepants on the front, and when the card is opened, the quirky sponge sings Happy Birthday. Aubrey was delighted with her choice, and opened the card often while we continued birthday shopping, giggling every time Spongebob broke into song. It was even more humorous when I remembered that a week ago, I embarrassed this sweet child by singing that very same song for a free meal at McDonald’s!

nates birthday t shirt

Next were gifts. Aubrey very thoughtfully chose a gift card to a restaurant for her dad to use while he’s patrolling and needs a lunch break. And then she headed to the T-Shirt section. Aubrey found the perfect shirt. On the front were Minions, from the Despicable Me movies, with the phrase Ba Ba Ba Ba Banana on it. She loved it. I’m sure her dad did too.

Aubrey signed her name to the singing card and Joey and Oliver added their names as well when we arrived at the house. I know Nate and his family had a very fun evening, celebrating his birthday. And I know Nate celebrated his family, because that’s the type of man that he is. In fact, as I drove home after dropping Aubrey off, I was reminded of a tremendous gift that Nate has given his little girl. It is a story that Aubrey has asked to hear many, many times, and now shares with others. She loves to tell how her daddy hoped for and wished for a daughter, and then she was born and his wish came true. I am so proud of my son for giving this true and enchanting story to his daughter. It is so vital to the heart of a young girl to know that she was wanted and then that she is seen and appreciated for who she is. It is so important to know that being a girl is perfect, in her father’s eyes. That tender story brings such a look of fierce pride to Aubrey’s face that it brings tears to my eyes. Nate’s gift will carry his girl into adulthood, and she will always know that her dad wanted a daughter, and was proud of the girl that she was. I have no doubt that he will be proud of the woman she becomes.

Nate and Aubrey

Nate is also an awesome stepdad to his two boys and his quiet strength and authentic love bolsters their confidence in who they are and will accompany them on their journey to manhood. It is equally as important that boys have someone to look up to, to mirror, and to learn from. They need to be seen as well, and applauded for their accomplishments and taught how to use their awakening strength.

Well done, Son. I am honored to be your mom. You teach me by your example. I love you. Many, many more happy birthdays for you!

Nates family

Journey 16: Family Friday

family dinner quote

If I described today’s journey in one word, it would be FAMILY. A week ago today, I had a birthday. I got to see a few family members throughout that day and Greg and I enjoyed Keltic Knot at the Woodshed in Carthage, a real treat for me. With the varied schedules among my adult children and their kids, it was a whole week before we could gather for a meal. Today was a Family Friday.

I spent a portion of the day with two family members who are very dear to me. Harry and I accomplished so much today and enjoyed chatting in between our many errands. Those interesting talks in the car as we drove to various appointments were priceless. Such an amazing young man. I got to love on Jeff too, giving him a hug and sharing lunch together. Jeff is a sweetheart. A grown man with a boy’s heart and enthusiasm, his way of looking at life and enjoying the moment teaches me to do the same. When Harry and I returned late this afternoon from our last appointment, Jeff greeted us and wanted to know where we had been. I loved how he studied us, determining whether we had been off having fun without him, even after Harry assured him we had NOT been having fun. Harry is so compassionate and so very good with his uncle. Watching them together warms my heart.

family dinner Jeff, Mindy and Harry

Because I failed to snap a pic this afternoon, “borrowing” one of Mindy’s fb pics.           
Harry, Jeff, Mindy

This evening I joined all of my children and all of my grandchildren for dinner at El Vaquero on Main Street in Joplin. This is a rare enough occurrence, having everyone present, that it qualifies as a high celebration! Greg, my mom and stepdad, and my sister Linda made us a lively party of 16. That created a bit of a dilemma for the staff at my favorite Mexican food restaurant as they sought to seat us. They found two oversized booths close together and we divided up. Greg joined the adult children and their spouses and significant other, and I gathered the grandchildren to me, along with Linda, Mom and Walter. We declared our table the fun table, and indeed, it was! (Although hearing laughter ringing out from table 2, I did peek over and they appeared to be having a grand time as well!)

family dinner side one

family dinner side two

Table One: Jonathan, Joey, Cindy, Aubrey, Linda

Walter, Mom, Dayan, Oliver

I have five grandchildren, ages 15, 9, 8, 7, and 6. Dayan, Jonathan, Joey, Oliver and Aubrey, who is the youngest, and the only girl. They are each unique and gifted and precious in their own ways and I enjoyed talking to all of them and listening to their stories. Dayan could easily have joined the adult table, but I’m so glad he sat with us. The conversation was animated, and not just because of the kids. Linda and Mom joined right in. Poor Walter rarely got a word in, but he smiled and he won the cool hat award.  And I learned a new tech tip. Dayan taught me how to use the pano button in my iPhone for taking wide angle pictures.

I am so grateful for my family. Grateful for Harry and Jeff. Grateful for Elissa, Josh, Dayan and Jonathan….Nathanael, Megan, Joey, Oliver and Aubrey…Adriel and Nate. Grateful for Greg, Mom, Walter and Linda. Each juggled their schedule around or made some effort to be present with me today and this evening. I couldn’t ask for a better family. I couldn’t feel more loved!

family dinner table two side one e

family dinner table two side two

Table Two: Greg, Elissa, Adriel, Nate

Josh, Megan, Nathanael

Day 359: Christmas 2014

christmas 2014 logo

I love Christmas time….the magic of the season, the deeply spiritual meanings, the time spent with family…all bring joy and peace to my heart. This year, in keeping with the theme of new experiences, we had a different type of Christmas.

Oh, we gathered together as a family, and as always, we had a wonderful, cheerful time. For the first time ever, one of my children was not present. She had the opportunity to spend Christmas in Georgia, with her dear friend Nate and his family. And I’m so glad Adriel, who loves tradition, stepped out of her comfort zone, and accepted their invitation. We gathered at her house anyway, Nathanael and Megan, Elissa and Josh with sons Dayan and Jonathan, and my sister Linda. I’m pet sitting for my daughter while she is away and she gave us permission to celebrate in her home, as we have the last couple of years. We had a non-traditional Christmas dinner. Greg picked up a variety of smoked meats from Rib Crib and we had appropriate sides such as baked beans, mustard potato salad, rolls, a veggie tray with ranch dressing, deviled eggs (thanks Megan!) and a relish tray. The meal was finished off with Dutch Apple pie and pecan pie.

christmas 2014 adriel and nate

Nate and Adriel in Georgia

Just as I was missing Adriel, Elissa had the brilliant idea to Facetime her and Nate. We spent a hilarious 10 minutes talking to Adriel and Nate as they peered into the phone. We all waved and chattered and the phone got passed around so we could wish our absent family members a Merry Christmas! I love that technology can keep us closer and I’m so grateful for the ability to see people as we talk, who are miles and miles away. We missed Aubrey, Joey and Oliver, who were spending the evening with their other parents. I’m so glad I got to see them last night and spend a few minutes with them.

christmas 2014 elissa talking to adriel

Elissa on Facetime call with Adriel

After opening presents, which I won’t speak of, since Adriel and Nate have not received theirs yet, we chatted for a while, laughing over stories. Dayan’s recent hilarity at his high school musical is probably the family’s top funny story for the year. Nate shared a recent tale about Aubrey, complete with a picture to illustrate it. I love that our family laughs so much together. I love that we can be so easy and relaxed with each other. Love flows as richly as conversation and storytelling and laughter. I am deeply blessed.

christmas 2014 megan and linda christmas 2014 the guys

Megan and Linda                              Josh, Nathanael, and Dayan

Greg surprised me with special gifts that relate to my word for next year. He gave me a box of chocolate covered cherries, which I have always loved, and have nothing to do with next year. And he gave me a hand lettered sign with the word “journee” on it. He was concerned that I would think he didn’t know how to spell “journey”. I knew immediately the significance of the word. Journee is the Old French word from which we derive our word journey. It literally means “a day’s travel”. This word is from the Latin diumum meaning “daily portion”. I love that. More about my word, theme and symbol for next year on January 1, however, I am thrilled with the sign. He also gave me a gift card to Books A Million with the Dr. Seuss quote, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”  Again, an acknowledgement of my path for next year. I am grateful!

christmas 2014 jonathan e


(forgive the poor quality of my iPhone pic!)

When I was a child, the day after Christmas was the saddest day of the year for me. A whole year to wait until Christmas rolled around again. I no longer feel sad after the holidays. I keep the spirit of Christmas alive in my heart all year. Each day brings its own gifts and blessings, mine to receive. I am content with the journey, and Christmas will arrive again, at the perfect time.

christmas 2014 gifts

Oh, the places I will go, indeed!

Day 285: Joey’s Tailgate Party

tailgate party

What a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, with family at my first ever tailgate party. Grandson Joey’s final football game of the regular season was played today, postponed from yesterday due to a very soggy football field. That worked out perfectly. My sister Linda and great niece London was able to join us today. Five year old Aubrey and four year old London were long overdue for a play date.

The overcast day was chilly but remained dry, perfect weather for jeans and hoodies. Joey’s third grade Carthage Tigers football team hosted an end of the season tailgate party complete with grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, chips, drinks and homemade cookies. I gathered with Linda and London, my son Nate and his fiancé Megan, and the grandkids, Joey, Oliver and Aubrey. We parked on a picnic table and enjoyed food and fun. The kids lined up to have their faces and hands painted, in blue and white designs and tiger orange and black paw prints to show team spirit. While the kids ran off energy, the adults chatted and kept an eye on the antics of the children.

This afternoon’s game was against the Webb City Cardinals, who are always tough competition. I watched Joey’s team run two touchdowns and hold the opposing team to a single score. And I applauded not only their efforts today but the marked improvements the boys have made, playing as a team. Joey ran and carried the ball and made impressive tackles. Oliver served the team as water boy today and he performed his tasks well. It was especially touching to see him carry a Gatorade onto the field for his older brother and trot alongside him Joey drank.

Aubrey played with her cousin until it was time for London to leave and then joined another friend in practicing cheers. I loved her enthusiasm and self confidence. She stood before the bleachers, calling out cheers and kicking her legs and waving her arms. When the girls ran out of known cheers, they sang the ABC song! Adorable.

It was a fun day. I enjoyed sitting with my sister, son and his bride to be, watching the game, cheering and chatting between plays. With this win, it was a near perfect season for the third grade Tigers, and a perfect end to the weekend. Below is a Magisto movie of the day. Enjoy!

Day 214: Open to Receive Day

I-am-open-to-recieve e

This morning, as I sat in the garden, I considered what I might do for my first today. I had several options. As I enjoyed the sights and scents around me, an idea came to me. A simple idea. Stay open all day to receiving. I turned the idea over in my mind and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I didn’t ask for anything or expect any particular gift. I decided to stay in the attitude of openness and be aware of all the blessings that I received.

Once that decision was made, my awareness shifted immediately. The first gift I received was the beauty of my surroundings. I rose from my chair and slowly walked along the pathway that winds through my garden. I stopped to touch several plants, and admire how they give so freely of who they are. Their fragrances wafted about me. They didn’t give to me because I asked anything from them. In their being, they offered, and in my state of being receptive, I accepted.

The cats joined me in the garden and I was the recipient of their love and affection. I laughed as they wound around my legs, vying for my attention and purring as I scratched behind their ears. Back in the house, as I prepared to head to the office, I drew a random card from my homemade deck of affirmations. I draw a card every morning, from the 100 quotes and sayings I’ve written down. This morning I drew the card that reads, “I am willing to surrender”. How appropriate for today. In allowing myself to be open to receive, without expectation, I could surrender the need to know how I would be blessed this day. I surrendered worry that I wouldn’t receive anything. How could that happen? So many good things had shown up already. I surrendered planning out how the day could go so that I might receive more easily. I simply surrendered….and fully opened to allowing.

The day was lovely. A few of the blessings I received today included a large yellow and black butterfly that fluttered around me as I walked to daughter Adriel’s house, her loan of a very nice camera for my trip, visitors to my garden who got to view it for the first time, and offers on properties. I engaged in great conversations today and learned from watching author and speaker Thomas Moore on YouTube as he spoke of art and dreams. He shared about the healing properties of the color blue, which is my favorite color, and I smiled as I looked down at my long blue T-shirt dress that I wear around the house.

Via email I received an invitation to write articles about my trip to Scotland to include in the Clan Maitland publication. I was also given information about visiting the burial site of many of my Scottish ancestors and was told how to “open doors” on my journey. A friend blessed me with her email also, and the amazing energy from her words could not be contained as it flowed over me. I will carry her well wishes with me as I travel. Another friend surprised and inspired me with a text full of pictures from her own lovely flower gardens.

This evening I received greetings and kisses from my grandchildren Aubrey, Oliver and Joey and warm hugs from Nate and Megan. For a couple of hours I was blessed with seeing the world anew through the eyes of those precious children as we walked to the cul-de-sac, or rather they outpaced me on their scooters while I trailed behind. Holding their small hands and hearing their stories blessed me so much.

Songs on shuffle on my iPhone touched me, grace surrounded me and total strangers gave me the gift of their smiles and kind words. Abundance comes in many forms, and today, I was on the receiving end of joy, beauty, kindness, love, family, friends, great clients, affection, opportunity and well wishes. I am grateful for my “Open to Receive” Day and all that flowed to me. I am blessed, indeed.

Cindy is open and ready to receive e