Workin' Maint'nence

"Mom! Can I go help Trevor?"

I heard his little voice from across the parking lot.

One of the families who lives and works at camp has four kids- and the two boys in particular, well, they really like to follow my husband around.

The boy sprints across the gravel toward the golf cart; a wooden sword, pushed under his tiny little belt, knocking against his knee as he runs.

Trevor waits for him to catch up, then pulls an extra rake out of the back of the cart, handing it to the breathless little boy.


Blessings this Week: 3.24.2016 Edition

Sharing the little blessings in my life, even the ones that are speckled. (Like the snow. But we'll get there.)

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Last Saturday brought about a really great opportunity for me- I got to go to my very first blogging conference. (!!)

There was a ton of information- I'm still mentally sorting through it all- but even better than all the things I learned were the relationships I made.

I loved talking to other people about blogging- I loved laughing with them and seeing people who I only knew through words and pictures in  a real-life, face-to-face setting.

It was a wonderful day. 


The Binder: My Blogging Calendar

The Binder: My editorial content calendar. It's not fancy, but it works!

In the blogging world, I'm what you would consider a "free spirit."

I use Blogger as my platform, I don't have a site designer (did it mah-self!), I don't use stock photos, I don't pay for hosting, and I don't have a "niche."

I don't do about 90% of the things that the big bloggers recommend doing. Because <stomps foot> I just don't wanna.

The first reason I completely ignore most advice is that I still have trouble identifying with blogging. I don't call myself a blogger. Maybe I should. Maybe it's time. I mean, after all, I've certainly been doing this long enough.

I also don't don't follow those "90-Thousand Rules to Have a Popular Blog" because so many of them just aren't me. And when I do things that aren't me, I don't have nearly as much fun. I get burnt out, I write poorly, and everyone suffers.

(By "everyone," I mean me, and my mother, and occasionally a co-worker-friend or two. Hi!! Nice to see ya!)

There's only one tip from the blogging powers that be that I actually follow.

And that's a content calendar.


Lent in Leviticus: A Way Out of Debt

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A while back, there was a show on TV called "What Would You Do." I think it's my favorite reality TV show. (Well, maybe. I also really like "Dirty Jobs.")

The premise is to see what real-life people would do when presented with a difficult choice. Sort of like "Candid Camera" (remember that?), the people don't know they're meeting actors and being recorded until the end.

The show often makes me cry. (Which often solicits a eye rolls from my husband.)

The latest tear-jerker was when an actress in line at a busy grocery store "forgets" her wallet. With tons of groceries on the counter, she searches her purse in vain, and ultimately presents the person behind her with the challenge- what would you do?

Some people grumble, some choose a different line, and then (this is the one that gets me) some people pull out their own wallets to pay her way.



Blessings this Week: 03.18.2016 Edition

I've been noticing the small things this week, as well as the big ones. And somehow, in the noticing, I open myself up to gratitude, to contentment, to wonder.

All about recognizing and giving thanks, friends.

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This past weekend, I had the chance to go on a women's retreat through church. Lots of laughter, lots of great food (seriously, great food), and stronger friendships as a result.

Not much sleep, but lots of laughter, and lots and lots of food.

Seriously, having this community and this church family has been an incredible blessing to me. I am learning so much about what it means to walk in faith, about the power of God's love, through the lives and relationships of these wonderful women.

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Featured Farmers: Daisy's Story

Today's Featured Farmer is Daisy of Adventure Acres.
Welcome, Daisy, and thanks for joining us!

1. Tell us a little about yourself! 

My husband and I moved to his family's Iowa acreage the spring of 2014 and are working to restore it to a functional homestead and raise a seventh generation of Adventurers here. We have three children - two daughters, 11 and 8, and a Little Farmer Boy who just turned 3.

We have a laying flock of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Easter Eggers and a Welsh Harlequin duck. We have some champion Broken Satin rabbits, three cats and a farm dog named Rufus. (And plans to establish a waterfowl flock this spring because duck eggs are AWESOME in homemade bread!)


Lent in Leviticus: A Way to Be Clean

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My now-husband, Trevor, and I were still dating when I learned of a quirk of his.

He likes things clean.

Well, not "things" so much as me.

He likes me clean.

While we were dating, I did an hour-on-a-train, eight-hours-on-a-bus, two-hours-in-a-car routine every time I visited him (thanks, long-distance dating!). Sometimes the bus schedule would align perfectly and I'd get to his apartment at seven in the evening. Wonderful.

And sometimes, I'd get there at two in the morning.

I have memories of the first time the 2 AM arrival happened. Blurry and sleep-deprived memories, but memories all the same.

We got out of his tiny red Geo Metro and ascended the stairs to the dorm-like housing at the Bible Camp where he lived. I almost tripped up the stairs a couple of times. You know that dream-like state of exhaustion where everything is a little like you’re watching it in slow motion? That was it.

He showed me the room where he'd prepared a bed for me for the weekend. I set my backpack down on the worn-out, brown carpeted floor. I was just done. Ready for bed, thank you. Wasn't even gonna brush my teeth.

"Aren't you going to take a shower?" Trevor asked.

"Um, no. I'll take one in the morning. Goodnight…” was my groggy reply.

"But, well, you have... bus germs."


Blessings this Week: 03.12.2016 Edition

Counting my blessings helps me to recognize them, to name them for what they are, and to give thanks for the One from whom all blessings flow.

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Other Stuff You Should Be Reading, and Yes, I Started another New Project.

Maybe you've noticed (or, you know, maybe you haven't...) that there's a new tab in my menu bar.

If you noticed, gold star for you. 

If you didn't notice, the new tab is for a new project I started without thinking through completely. I do that.

But it was one of those things that has turned out so very well, and I'm glad I didn't over think it and talk myself out of starting it.


Lent in Leviticus: God Makes a Way to Be with Us

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Some of my favorite childhood memories have a common setting:

A sticky tabletop with mismatched, well worn chairs that scraped against the blue-and-tan flowered linoleum floor.

It was a good thing we are all so short of stature, because we wouldn't have been able to fold long legs under that table. It was tight.

I remember my sister falling asleep at the table nearly every night, occasionally falling face-first into her spaghetti, but more often, she would fall off the chair and whap her little chin on the edge of the table.

I remember asking my dad about what baptism means, anyway. I remember beef stroganoff (or, as we called it, "gray stuff"), and the no-singing-at-the-table rule, and family devotions, and reciting lines from movies- laughing hysterically until milk came out of noses, and bumping the table to make the wax drip down the Advent candles.

There must have been fights. Conflict. Tension. I just don't remember any of that.

Somehow, in my memories, the kitchen table is always the center of everything being right in the world. The relationships were never strained. The laughter flowed, and I felt right where I belonged.

Food, shared together, smooths over all those hurts and the non-sharing sister and the parents who are overworked and overtired.

Meals have a way of doing that, don't they? Of bringing people together and making things right.

There's a reason people go to dinner together when they're dating. There's a reason that friendships flourish around pizza parlors and coffee shops.

Food builds relationships. 


Blessings this Week: 02.26.2016 and 03.04.2016

Counting my blessings helps me to find the joy, claim the adventure, and remember the moments.

Here's what I've been counting the past two weeks:

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It may seem like a laundry basket, but it's so much more than that.

I've spent the past three weeks complaining about the flimsy handles that had snapped off this basket, leaving sharp corners. And then, on laundry day, what did I find?

The laundry basket- reinforced with tough wooden handles, and sharp edges sanded down. So grateful for that man who loves me, even when I focus on the problems and not the solutions!