November 6

It can be a struggle to find a hairstylist that I really like. I have had my share of different stylists due to moving around so much. I am not the easiest customer & I am picky. If you listen, help with ideas & do an excellent job, I will be your most faithful client.

Today I am grateful for my hairstylist Val. She is a young stylist, in her early 20’s and recently married. Her makeup is impeccable, she has jet black hair, with tattoos and piercings. She has a vibe from the pin-up girl era. My daughter Stacy would have loved her!

She listens, follows through and I can tell she keeps up on the latest hair trends. She gives great advice when it comes to color; her results are awesome. She knows how to give an excellent cut. She is attentive and very creative. Val takes her time, I have never felt like she is pushing me out the door so she can get to her next client. She has a great job! Every day she gets to help people to feel good about themselves, including me.

Life is short. You might as well live it with really great hair. – Anonymous

Getting a hair cut & highlighted is not cheap so I expect a high-quality outcome – every time. Val puts my highlights close to my hairline to make it last. She does the same with my hair underneath. Nothing irritates me more than getting home and noticing that my hair underneath is only highlighted halfway up which surprisingly has happened a lot to me in the past.

Her pricing beats any other salon I have been to in the area. She loves to talk and can hold a great conversation but not irritatingly so. I appreciate that she can tell when I just want to relax and sit in quiet. She gives awesome scalp massages which can put me to sleep!

The salon she works in is very cute, clean and modern with great products.

My husband & grandson even approve of her abilities. I have received compliments from strangers & friends on my hairstyle.

I am really happy that I stumbled across Val & her salon. Oh, one more thing – she loves cats to the level I love cats. We are both called Crazy Cat Ladies, how can I not like her?!

I would love to hear about your favorite stylist. Please share in the comments below.

November 5:

Ok, today’s post is a hard one for me. I am challenging myself to put things I like about myself out there publicly. I will be the first to admit that I am my own worst critic. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I am not alone in this department. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

So here goes, 4 things I am grateful for about myself.

I am grateful for my hair – I have a lot of fine hair with a little bit of natural wave. One of my favorite memories of my mom, when I was younger, was her running her fingers through my hair. It has been deceiving for many stylists especially when I get it highlighted. The foils always take longer than first planned. I now tell them upfront that they will need close to three hours to highlight & cut my hair. I sit, try to relax and catch up on work via my phone. My stylists have told me your hair is beautiful, I love working with your hair, I wish I had your hair, and so on. I have tried several styles over the years. I am not afraid of big hair or hairspray! Because you know the saying…

The bigger the hair the closer to God!

Back in the day, I loved the root perm! Am I dating myself? I had long hair for years; I love long, flowing hair – think Farah Fawcett (dating myself again). It seems like my hair will not grow long anymore. Once it gets to my shoulders it refuses to grow any longer. These days I am sporting a short & sassy shag look. I can always trust the shag; I keep going back to it!

My hands are not perfect but have learned to hold on to what is important.

I am grateful for my hands – I am proud to say I have my mother’s hands. While I have no pain and thankfully have not been diagnosed with any type of arthritis, I am starting to form Heberden’s node, a bump on the first joint of my index fingers. My hands are not as smooth or as pretty as they use to be but as I grow older, I see my mom’s hands. I love every scar, crease, wrinkle, age spot, you name it. They are strong, but not masculine. I can open jars and such that others in my house cannot. They tolerate heat. I can hold, move around pots & pans on my stove with ease. Potholder? Who needs a stinking potholder?! I use my thumb as a cutting board when I am slicing vegetables and make my nephew nervous. I hold the veggie in my hand and quickly slice, knowing when to stop and not let the knife go any further so I don’t cut my thumb. Just like my sister and just like my mom. My hands have packed many boxes, dug in the dirt, given hugs, wiped tears. My hands are not perfect but have learned to hold on to what is important.

You can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting. – Pete Doherty

I am grateful for my handwriting – I have always liked my handwriting. I have even received my grandson’s approval! People tell me that it looks unique, I will take that as a compliment! When I was younger, my writing was slow and methodical. I wanted it to be perfect! Well, we all know that perfection does not exist, but I was always very conscious of my handwriting. As I got older, I let up on my “carefulness” and now I just write. I enjoy everything about penmanship – give me a nice pen and quality paper and I am a happy camper! I enjoy writing out greeting cards. People have requested me to address their Christmas card envelopes and I have been paid to do so. I hope they never stop teaching how to write cursive in our schools. Have you seen my logo? My signature is part of my brand and I think it looks great!

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. – Walter Winchell

I am a good friend – I am very protective of my friends & family which I will never apologize for. When it comes to protecting them or having their back, I can be relentless. Hunter affectionately calls me his “Crazy Grandma”. I always say I am a good crazy, the kind of crazy you want on your side when things get tough! He gives me a look like what the heck are you talking about? I just tell him “Someday you will understand, you’ll know what I am talking about.” I have three older brothers who, when I was younger, were crazy protective of me so I guess I grew up with it. They have let up throughout the years. I am sure they think I am Oz’s responsibility now! Ha! Enough said!

This exercise was hard, but it is valuable to take stock in ourselves. Today’s post took me a lot of time. It did not have that much more content than other posts. I believe I was creating obstacles so I would not have to post something about ME! I kept getting sidetracked & trying to multitask, which I normally do not do. I ran into technical difficulties with my server and had to bring in the big guns. That is why this is getting out later than I originally planned. I felt like it was more difficult because I felt like I was bragging about myself.

How about you? I challenge you to find things about you that you are grateful for. If you feel like sharing, please share it in the comments below.

LuLu & Trixie

November 4:

Today I am grateful for LuLu and Trixie, my feline angels. These two little stinkers stole my heart 10 years ago. They are sisters and I got them as kittens when we lived in Nevada. I adopted them from the Nevada Humane Society in Reno.

I work from home, so they grew up in my office. They are my office girls! LuLu likes to rip paper apart and Trixie loves to play fetch with crinkled up paper. I throw it for her, and yes, she returns it to me. Trixie tries to get the paper from the shredder, she wonders where it goes. She also attends to my printer and watches the paper as it comes out.

I tell people they are the most expensive & high maintenance humane society kitties ever! They are finicky, that is for sure. The food they ate yesterday might not be to their liking today – frustrating, to say the least!

Trixie broke one of her legs when she was little. She went through 3 casts! That was a trying time! Shortly after Trixie healed, LuLu went for a spin in the dryer! That was frightening, I felt so bad! Thankfully she was ok! We now can laugh about it!

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this. – Terry Pratchett

Trixie is naughty and is usually getting into some kind of mischief. She likes to think she is the boss but is scared of her own shadow. Trixie is a sensitive kitty, and her feelings get hurt easily. She loves to snuggle and has my husband wrapped around her cute little paw.

LuLu is 100% pure diva, she is beautiful and she knows it! She has black fur and a lot of it! Her tail is very fluffy and she swishes it around like a feather boa. She does not like to be held but she does like to be close to me. LuLu can put Trixie in her place when need be.

They are not the best travelers but do go camping with us. LuLu & Trixie have lived in Nevada, Missouri, Iowa and now in Minnesota. They have put a few miles on!

My girls keep me company and make me smile every day. I love them!

What makes your heart go purr?

November 3:

Today I am grateful for a few of the conveniences in our home. Sundays are pretty low key around here. Playing catch up from the last week, prepping for next week, and maybe even catching a nap.

But first, coffee.

It seems a good percentage of us have a love affair with coffee. What would we do without it? I love my coffee in the morning and am grateful for my coffee maker. We have the Cuisinart SS-15 and I love it!! You can make a full pot of coffee or a single cup using coffee pods that come in a plethora of flavors. Like a lot of you, I have my morning routine that consists of 2 cups of coffee daily. Very seldom do I have less and I pretty much never have more than that.

It all comes out in the wash!

I am thankful for my fancy-schmancy washer & dryer. You might think I am a weirdo, but I actually enjoy doing our laundry. There is something relaxing about it. I love the thought that everything is getting clean. But don’t ask me to iron! That is a chore that I do not enjoy! Every weekend these machines do their job to get our clothes clean and dried.

I remember my mom doing laundry when I was little. For the first 11 years of my life, she used a wringer washer. I don’t recall the brand; I think it was a Maytag. If you don’t know how this works, basically it was a tub that has an agitator in it to clean and rinse the laundry. You would then feed it through the wringer to squeeze out the water. She would always tell me to stay away and do NOT put my hands near the wringer, so I did not get hurt! We did not have a dryer, so my mom hung everything outside on clotheslines. During the winter she would use drying racks in the house but it had to be pretty cold for her to do that, even for Minnesota standards. She always preferred to use the clotheslines. One of my favorite smells to this day is sheets that have been hung outside to dry!

My husband & I love to watch tv together.

I am thankful for having a really nice tv so I can watch my beloved Vikings play football on Sunday even though they didn’t win today! I curl up in my comfy chair and cozy blanket while watching TV, I am grateful for them too.

My Crock-Star, I mean Crock-Pot!

I love my crockpot and am so thankful for how easy it is to use. It provides an easy way for me to cook without having to give it a whole lot of attention. I just put all of the ingredients in it in the morning and when dinner time rolls around we have a really good meal. Plus, the roast inside smells wonderful!

I would love for you to share with me what your faves around your home are, just post below!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

November 2nd:

We’re Married…We’re Happy! This is the greeting you heard when you got our answering machine after we got married in 1999. I know, it’s sappy but true! We had so much fun recording it. I still chuckle about it.

Today I am grateful for my marriage to Oz, we have been married for over 20 years. Before that, we dated for the better part of 4 years. I don’t know where the time has gone but it sure has flown by!

Oz & I were older when we got married. I was 35 and he was 43. Both of us were both set in our ways! We were used to being on our own and doing things our way. This was a learning curve for us, but we got through it!

I have learned along the way that marriage takes a lot of work. It is both one of the hardest things and one of the easiest things I have ever done. Does that make sense to you?

We have learned to be patient with one another. Communication is key. To forgive each other (this is a biggie). To respect & appreciate each other. To laugh a lot & have fun together. To let go and move on. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Trust me when I say life has the ability to bring you to your knees. Oz & I have lifted each other back up more than once.

So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me…every day.

  – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

We are both Type A, strong-willed Taurus’. When we disagree, it can be explosive! We are both stubborn, he thinks I am more stubborn than him. He says he can literally see my heels digging in! Ha, I don’t know…he is probably right with this one!

I am sure you have heard the saying “Never go to bed mad at each other”. It is both true and false. There might be times when you are still ticked at each other but discussing this at night while exhausted, angry and probably unreasonable is never a good idea. At least for us. Things can spiral out of control quickly; you might say something you didn’t mean; those zingers can come out. Just go to bed. Sleep on it, you might not sleep well but hopefully, you have calmed down by morning. I guess my point is to know when to pick the right time to discuss topics that may be stressful.

Some of the many things I love about my husband:

  • He is supportive of me
  • He can fix anything!
  • He holds my hand
  • He is committed to our marriage
  • He gives the best hugs
  • He always compliments me by telling me how beautiful I am
  • He kisses me goodbye every morning while I am still sleeping
  • He opens my car door
  • He is good to his mom
  • He is the hardest working man that I know
  • He is a great provider
  • He makes me feel safe, I know I am protected in his arms

We have the innate ability to drive each other crazy but at the end of the day, we always have each other’s back.

Isn’t Love is a beautiful thing?

 

 

God is Good

November 1st:

I am grateful for the good Lord. Why? Well, he chose to make me! How crazy is that?! If you stop and think about it, he made every single one of us. Right along with all the other spectacular things on this planet – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. All of the amazing animals, the beautiful birds & butterflies, the fragrant flowers, the emerald green grass, the baby blue sky, the deep blue waters, the sun, and the moon. God created the heavens and the earth. He took the time to make sure that everything came to life. I am here, he has given me my life to live!

My life and your life are a gift that should not be taken for granted.

 

God has a plan for all of us. God has granted me salvation and oh my, what a wonderful gift that he has given me! No matter how many times I have messed up, all I need to do is give it to God, accept Jesus as my savior and by the grace of God, I am forgiven. Hallelujah – what a wonderful gift!

Growing up I went to Sunday School every Sunday and I was confirmed in the Lutheran church. From my family farm, I heard the church bell ring. This memory makes me smile. I attended Bible School for a week every summer and I loved it. I miss it to this day.

As an adult, my attending church is irregular. There have been times when I attended a church and did not feel welcome. Sometimes the minister, staff, and attendees were too pushy. I do have other ways of going to church and I know some may disagree. However, when I am outdoors, amongst Mother Nature, going for a walk or on a lake or a river I feel like I am attending church. There are times when I have been riding down a two-lane blacktop with my husband on his Harley and I feel like I am attending church.

I sometimes wonder if I am praising God the way I should be. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right? I can tell you that I pray a lot and I talk to God a lot. I am sure he shakes his head at times wondering if I will ever shut up.

OK, I am just going to say it, I like to be in control.

 

Good, now it’s out there. The funny thing is I think I am in control. Ha! This is far from the truth! With that being said, how hard do you think it is for me to surrender everything in my world to God? This is an ongoing struggle for me. Like I mentioned yesterday, I am a work-in-progress.

Even though I have many blessings, that does not mean that my life hasn’t been hard at times. God has tested my faith more than once. Trust me, there are times when I struggle with being thankful. Why did this happen to me? Here’s a doozy one for me – why are certain people taken from my life? Or, why haven’t my prayers been answered over and over again? Or, why do some people work hard and never get anywhere but things come easy for other people? God never promised us that life would be easy.

Being ungrateful to God is a sin. God commands us to be thankful. I know have been blessed at times and never gave thanks to God. Looking back at all of those times makes me feel ashamed.

I am loved, I can feel it. This song takes me back to my days in Sunday School & Bible School. It is one of my favorite songs to this day.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Refrain:
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, “Let them come to Me.”

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

How many of you are singing or humming this song now? Hee, Hee!

I would love to hear from you about how you give thanks to God. Just share in the comments below.

 

 

Tomorrow is the first day of November and I am kicking off my 30 days of Gratitude in honor of Thanksgiving. I have seen others do it in the past and I always say to myself that is such a great idea, I really want to do that! So now I am taking the time to acknowledge what I am grateful for, although I really try to be grateful year-round.

What is gratitude? This is a word that has been floating around quite a bit lately. I see it posted on Facebook & Instagram and other blog posts.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of gratitude is:

The state of being grateful; thankfulness; a feeling of appreciation or thanks.

The opposite of gratitude is thankless, unappreciated, ungrateful. Just typing those words makes me feel icky & miserable and I know we all have experienced both sides of the coin at one time or another.

Being grateful certainly makes me feel happy and it is a choice that takes practice. I get to choose if I want to focus on the good in my life or to focus on the bad in my life. It’s up to me.

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what you are thankful for. Each day does not have to be a novel. Heck, there are days where I am grateful for just having a good hair day!

Grab your journal & your favorite pen and start writing.

 

A journal can be a regular notebook, or you can find a nice one at a bookstore. You can also use your phone or computer to journal your thoughts. I personally really like to put pen to paper. There is something about physically writing it down that makes me happy.

When I journal, it makes me slow down, really think about things and to stop taking life for granted. It reminds me of what truly is important in my life. It makes me think about all of my blessings and to think of others. Not every day is hunky-dory; I have had many struggles and losses in life. I hope to learn from them and to make me a better, stronger and more compassionate person.

Don’t know what to journal about or how to get started? I suggest that you find some quiet time, grab your favorite beverage and write down whatever is on your mind at the time. You may surprise yourself how easily your words will flow onto the pages. Don’t overthink it, this is not supposed to add to your daily stresses. You are documenting your life! There is no wrong way to do it.

You may find yourself wanting more than one journal based upon a topic. There are many subjects that you could write about. Some topic ideas are:

  • Gratitude Journal – As I have been talking about in this post, only things that you are thankful or grateful for are entered into this journal. Your writings should make you happy and have a positive vibe.
  • Prayer Journal – This is a journal that I have started. My relationship with God is constant work in progress. I truly believe that if it were not for him in my life, I probably would not be here since I have not always made the best choices in life. I like to write as if I were speaking directly to God. Asking him for his help and guidance in this crazy world we live in and to be a better person. I also write about family & friends who I pray for that may be struggling with illness, addiction, hard times or just need to be watched over by the good Lord.
  • Garden Journal – I started this journal years ago when I first began gardening. I keep track of what I planted when, how the plants performed, where I bought them and what I want to do the next season. I tape the plant description tags in the journal. Also, I track the time of day and where the sun hits, so I know what to plant where. I track the weather and more. I have really enjoyed looking back at past entries. This journal is dirty, I write in it as I plant so I don’t forget anything. I love digging in the dirt!

I hope you join me on my Attitude of Gratitude journey for the next 30 days.

You too get to choose if you want to focus on the good in your life or to focus on the bad in your life. It’s up to you. 

I absolutely love what I do. I live a pretty great life and I am surrounded by people who love me and support me.

I have the opportunity to truly change people’s lives through the work that I do, I absolutely love being a Lifestyle Manager. I am very passionate about helping people live more organized lives, be more productive at work and feel confident that their home is being managed properly. It brings me such great joy when I am helping someone learn to live a less stressful life by letting go and taking back control of their surroundings.

I am here to serve my clients, I am here to help make their lives better and I work hard to build a relationship of trust and respect.

Are you ready to finally stop with all of the excuses?  Are you ready to get serious about reaching your lifestyle goals?  If you think you’re ready to break through whatever it is that has been holding you back then let’s chat.  Click here to get in touch with me.

I want you to love, love, love your surroundings!

Happy Valentine’s Day!