the daily



Apart from watching lambing videos every morning on Instagram I have been a busy little bee.  There is so much to look forward to with the coming of Spring and the chasing of dreams!  With three days of sixty degree weather I managed to clean out the old kennel and rabbit hutch, build a garden box stand, attach a rain gutter to the garage (thanks Dad for the help with all of those!), clear the thorns out of the lilac bush, clear out the rubbish from the plants in the front and side yard and even start to take apart the old swingset!

Now we’ve been returned to chilly, rainy, windy days and those first sweet Spring reminders are a blissful memory.  The good news is THE MAGNOLIA TREE BLOOMED!  After two years of late winter ice storms killing it off, it is in its magnificent glory!  It was touch and go there for awhile and I honestly stared up at the buds so many times hoping for a miracle.

Ahh, the joys of Spring when color enters the world again!

With the onset of this chilly weather, it means tucking back into the house again and with that comes the dreaming part!  I’ve been busy studying for my upcoming veterinary assistant class (how many times can you write diarrhea, let me tell you).   I’m also taking an  Ornithology Biology course through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  I know I have told you before to check out their bird cameras.  I am especially watching the red-tailed hawks right now.  BR (Big Red) and her mate Arthur have been swapping out time in the rain, wind, and snow sitting on their clutch of eggs, such partnership and dedication and seriously all I can think is how bored is BR right now?  Also, don’t miss the Blue Tit family filling their nest box on the Wildlife Gadgetman page!  They are simply gorgeous!

Enough of the birds, both inside and outside my window.  The other focus right now is writing and with a strong lunge out the gate in creating this website and getting back into the routine of writing every day, there have been some fits and starts and frustrations.  I wasn’t really sure of the tone of this blog and I think I am still trying to figure it out.  It’s not just a writing blog, or a diary blog or an inspiration blog, it’s just going to have to be a bit of this and that, like everything else in my life.

Writing-wise, I am all over the board.  I’ve been working on some diary entries for a journal called “Chickadee Morning”. I’m still plugging away at my inspirational romance (five chapters left of the first draft) but really lately I’ve been taken over by a cast of characters in a little town called Woodville and they JUST WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE!    To take the pressure off writing  “A NOVEL” I am going to tell their story in a monthly letter format and then let it grow from there.  I’ll post Mrs. Pennamore’s monthly penpal letter the first of each month here and I’ve set up a Twitter page for her as well, so if you are on Twitter definitely follow her to see what she is getting up to!  Lastly, I have been kicking around the idea of sending letters to elderly homebound or residents of nursing homes, but couldn’t really come up with anything too excitingto say, so I am thinking of sending out the Mrs. Pennamore chronicles via mail.  I call it the writing ministry to go along with my bird ministry!

More details on that, but look for the first installment on May 1st!  You can get a preview on Twitter and updates on my Facebook page, so stay in touch.

In the meantime, we have to go shopping for PROM SHOES!  Hard to believe my daughter is going to be seventeen next week!?!?!?!  This week she made the front page of the paper, passed her driver’s ed exam and got accepted for her Cosmetology internship.  Great things ahead for this girl and I am obviously so proud of her!  Don’t let the naysayer’s fool you, homeschool kids can do anything!

miracles of new life




This morning’s routine was interrupted by lambs and chicks. If you don’t follow Wing and A Prayer Farm on Instagram, please do. I impatiently wait for Tammy’s new video stories each morning, especially now during lambing season.   Next came hawks taking turns sitting on their eggs on the Cornell Bird Cams.  Then finally right here, the sparrows were checking out the birdhouse in the maple tree.

It’s Spring and with Spring comes new life and with new life comes hope.  It’s easy to get cynical, to become downhearted with all that is going wrong with the world, but there is one place you can look to see things going right as planned.  The animal kingdom.

The birds and the sheep, they are not distracted by worldly things; they only know what is in their nature to do and that is bring about and raise their young,  It is their only focus and they do it so naturally.  Rarely, do you see the ewe stressing over her lambs.  She’s not trying to do it all.  She’s simply present and doing what she was created to do.

I will forever be in awe of the miracle of birth.  Even if you didn’t have faith, I don’t know how you can see birth and not believe in the mystery of the Creator.  From the most microscopic of beginnings, new life is created and there is no other hand that is needed.  Without any conscious effort cells divide and a new life is created.  A heartbeat starts to flutter and growth begins.  All the mother must do is keep safe the life within her, all else will go according to plan, even birth is something we cannot easily change or stop.  The body knows when the time has come.

I know there are times when things go wrong.  It is not a perfect world we live in, but so many times it goes right.  Too many times and in such ways that I know it cannot be random.  Our hearts beat, our eyes see, our ears hear, our soul longs for the connection of the one who created us.

Spring brings hope in new life.  It reminds us there is a plan and an order to this world.  It speaks to us of how the original plan would work if we humans weren’t always stepping in and messing it up.

It reminds us that even in the midst of everything else, miracles happen every day.

{P.S.  You can also follow me on Instagram.}

slow mornings



I wouldn’t say I don’t do mornings.  I do mornings.  I just prefer to take my mornings slowly.  I like to lie in bed awhile and greet the morning.  Not a long time, but maybe twenty minutes or so.  Notice the softness of the sheets, the sun breaking over the field, the cat lying on my legs.  I don’t want to rush to get dressed and run through the cold to the car and then be accosted by bright fluorescent lights and the complaints of my co-workers first thing in the morning.

I like to come downstairs and put the kettle on.  Feed the birds.  Feed the cats.  Enjoy a morning walk before the rest of the world wakes up.  Have a hot cup of tea and watch an old television show, peruse my social networks.   Then I am ready to start the day.

Up at dawn, the dewy freshness of the hour, the morning rapture of the birds, the daily miracle of sunrise, set her heart in tune, and gave her Nature’s most healing balm.
~Louisa May Alcott

I am a much happier person when I  have my slow mornings.  Simple acts to welcome the new day such as putting the kettle on or stepping outside into the morning sunlight can make a remarkable difference to our approach to the day.  In the month before I quit my job, when I was at my most stressed and unhappy I carved out 20 minutes to read my book before I got dressed.  There was something about sitting in my robe with a cup of tea and my book that let me put aside the worries that bombarded me upon waking just a little bit longer.

Slow living is one of my goals during this next stage of my life.  I am frankly just exhausted from running around for the past twenty years.  Years that included being a married mother of two little girls and a single mother of two growing girls.  I wish that I had listened to my body sooner all those times it was screaming for me to just rest awhile.  Mornings for me are the best time to give myself this gift.  Even if it is just for fifteen minutes.

Do you take time for some stillness in the mornings?  What is that one small thing that you give to yourself? And if you don’t what will you do to give a gift to yourself?

I would love to hear!  Please leave a comment by clicking under the title of this post.

what happens when you quit


We all know that old saying that when you shut one door another one opens.  But sometimes shutting that door can be really, really hard. Two weeks ago I quit my job of nine years and I was terrified.  You see, I did not have a new job.  I was putting my faith to the test that everything would work out.  Now we aren’t destitute; I have a good bit of money tucked aside.  But more than anything I was terrified of what my family would think.  Surprisingly, but not at all once I thought about it, they were supportive.  They knew what the change in my job over the last nine months had done to me.  And here now, after forcing the break, I am seeing those other doors at the end of the hall open just a crack to let some light shine through.

Here is what I lost when I quit my job besides my paycheck.  The pains in my chest everyday that I thought were panic attacks/heart attacks and the actual panic attacks as well.  The negativity of a customer service environment.  The evening drain of energy.  Eating cheap fast food for emotional comfort and convenience.  Trying to reconcile my morals with the changed ethics of my employer.

Here is what I gained.  Sleeping soundly at night.  Waking up at 5:30 am and not wanting to hit the snooze button.  More time to write.  The opportunity to go back to school and learn how to care for animals.  More time with my homeschooling daughter.  More time to care for my grandmother.  The ability to watch the deer in the back lot and the birds in the hemlock tree in the morning.  Wearing comfortable clothes.  Saving money.  Losing weight.  Cooking real dinners for my family.  The house being clean.

I had a week of mourning.  Realizing I would no longer see the members of our credit union that I had grown to love and who felt like family.  Faced with a new routine, or lack thereof, I felt really lost that first week when I thought I would feel welcome relief.  That stunning realization of what I had done, the second guessing myself in the darkness at night.

Now though I am enjoying this freedom and the gains it has brought.  I am at peace with my decision, welcoming this time of reflection and freedom to explore what comes next.  Most importantly  besides what I have have gained and what I have lost there is what I have learned.

Sometimes it is okay to quit if what you are doing no longer serves  you.  Sometimes quitting is winning.  And sometimes even in the midst of fear, faith wins.