Monthly Archives: August 2013

Giving the Life List a Face Lift

Today’s my 33rd birthday!

I’m not quite sure what to make of my 32nd year on this planet. I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a year of “change” like last year was for me, more that this year was a year of…closure.

I saw closure in a couple of areas, some brought freedom & some brought tears (and stress). But all of it brought a finality. I closed the door on a few chapters of my life & am (learning) to open new doors of trust & opportunity. This doesn’t come easy for me.

Recently one of my favorite people on this planet (ego-boost to her!) Pastor Heidi Strickler wrote a blog about her vision for Women’s Ministry at our church, Oasis ( & how it came to fruition after the idea first appeared on her top 10 list. This, of course, got me reviewing & revamping my own Life List; something I first started working on when I was 16.  lifelist1 My Life List would contain the top 100 things that I wanted to accomplish/do/see/invent/visit with my time allotted on this planet. As of today, my list has 73 items & I’ve checked off 34 of them. Not to bad! If I was better at math I’d figure out the percentage or do a pie chart (mostly because I like to make things colorful & pretty), to fluff up the completed items. Heidi’s list, however, only contained 10….10. 10 seemed like such a small number to me. 10 things that you REALLY wanted to accomplish during your life…in the course of your WHOLE life??? Only 10??? Now that seemed to be unrealistic to me, to have to narrow down my potential 100 to only 10. I could NEVER do that!

But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I’ve reviewed my Life List more in the last few days & weeks than I have in the 17 years since I first started keeping it.

Once I started looking over my Life List & questioning if I really thought my life wouldn’t be of value unless I visited New York City at Christmas time (#23) or if my life would be considered a waste if I didn’t attend a taping of a movie or television show (#47). The answer was a definite NO!

While I’d love to see Paul McCartney in concert (#6) & a dream would be to see whales swimming in their natural oceanic habitat (#17…of course, that also involves my get over water fear, #4. Double-check-off-whammy!), am I really going to think of my life as stamped with “Failed” if those don’t happen?


I started narrowing my list down to things I felt I HAD to do & that was when I realized that nothing on my Life List I HAD to do because in the grand scheme of my whole life, none of those petty things matter!

top10What I ended up doing was a top 10 list that didn’t include anything on my original Life List (except travel to Africa on a missions trip). In fact, it ended up not even being a list of things to “do”, but a list of what I want to be known for; how I want to be remembered because of the way my life was LIVED & not from items checked off. Even though it does include things I hope to accomplish, those things are not active/physical things, but spiritual things. When my time on earth is over & I stand before God, I want to be able to stand before him with a clear conscious knowing that I represented Him & the family I came from, well. Surprisingly, what began as being a little overwhelming with deciding to narrow down 100 items to 10, I ended up rattling off my Top 10 in about 5 minutes; after I realized that what I wanted to do with my life wasn’t “stuff” but a “legacy” that’s left.

This is a very fitting lesson for me right now.

I can feel God doing something in my life. Something big that He’s working on. I’m not saying this to be pompous or to elevate my ego, but I can tell he is. Just from what he’s working on in my life; the bondage being broken, the “issues” I’ve had to work on & through. And from past experience in learning to recognize His direction & voice more & more (even when I think it’s not there!) its guiding me away from my comfort zone. I’m learning that God doesn’t like me “comfortable” & every time I start to get “comfortable” He begins to make me “uncomfortable”. This isn’t a bad thing & I’m finally at the point in my life where I don’t view it as a bad thing. Change is good! And when its God-Change you can move forward in confidence that its going to turn out great. I don’t know what adventure he has me moving towards, but I know that I’m not where He wants me to stay. And I’m okay with that…well, semi-okay 😉

god's plan

I’m not quite sure what send-off to give my Life List, its been deeply personal to me for almost  20 years. But now I feel like it’s constricting; a road map with specific destinations & that’s not what I want in the next leg of my journey. Just tossing it in the trash or shredding it seems to diminish the important significance its had in my life, but I know if I keep it I’ll fall into the same old trap of fulfilling the desire to check things off (fellow obsessive List Makers will understand).

Even though I’m pretty open & try to not keep things hidden, my Top Ten is probably the most personal thing I’ve ever written for myself. So personal that I won’t even share it in my blog. Nothing against you lovely readers (whom I love & appreciate) but its something that is between me & God. I’m hoping that when he created me, this list is what his intentions for my life were. It’s a list that I’ve prayed over & asked Him to let me know if anything on the list is something that I should not focus on & so far nothing has been brought to my attention. It just feels right!

I come into my 33rd year full of expectancy, hope & faith that this is my “peace & settling” year.



1 Comment

Filed under *SMILE*, Being Caretarian, Faith & God, Family, Fun-ness Aplenty!, Giggles & Laughs!, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Memories, Quotes, Random Questions, Some thoughts..., Words...

Some advice from an old farmer…

I cannot take credit for this, I found this on a country living Facebook page I follow. The author wasn’t credited, but I just fell in love with it that it HAD to be re-posted in my blog.

Good advice must always be shared!


Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.
Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Don’t pick a fight with an old lady. If she is too old to fight, she’ll just kill ya’.

Leave a comment

Filed under *SMILE*, Faith & God, Family, Fun-ness Aplenty!, Giggles & Laughs!, Inspiration, Life Lessons, Memories, Quotes, Some thoughts..., Words...

What would your “Last Supper” be???

This question automatically sends my mind to thoughts of death row inmates. While I don’t know the future & would never even attempt to predict how my story is going to run, I’m going to guess with confident assurance & say that I’m most likely never going to hear, “Dead Man Walking” as I’m handcuffed between a bunch of men in uniform toting sidearms (unless my fantasies count *wink wink*).  I’m not real familiar with my state execution laws, does the state of Ohio even execute woman??? Let’s just stick to a quick Google-search on that one & not try to find out first hand, shall we?

Anyways, I’m choosing to look at this question & think of it in a different light.

“If you knew Jesus was returning tomorrow, what would your last supper be?”

A much more flattering way to look at it!

I can be pretty eccentric & extroverted, however, at my basement core I’m pretty simple. My final meal really isn’t that far off from what I eat every chance I get, which is what’s really cool about it. If you love something, stay true & loyal to it even up until the very end.

I’m a person with an addictive personality (shocking, I know!). If I love something, anything, I tend to love it hard & not waver.


Specifically a Beefsteak garden tomato!


That’d be the very first thing to go on my Last Supper list.

Right now Ohio is in the beginning of garden vegetables being ready to harvest (I just love the word, harvest, don’t you?). I have eaten fresh garden tomatoes for every meal for the last four five days. I’ve had some variations, but not much. For instance, for breakfast yesterday I had a sliced tomato with garlic salt & basil…lunch: 2 sliced tomatoes with oregano & onion powder…dinner: (this is where I got creative) an Heirloom & Tomatillo tomato sandwich with vegan mayo, iceberg lettuce & garden-fresh cucumbers. (and for breakfast this morning, the remaining Heirloom & Tomatillo mixture, diced with cucumbers & mixed with Italian dressing & salt).

As you can see, lover of tomato’s here!

freshbreadFresh baked Italian bread would be next on my list. Just out of the oven, warm & smothered in fresh-homemade-sweet cream butter. Mmmmmm…don’t tell me you didn’t just drool a little.

I bake all my own bread & haven’t bought store-bought in months. You’d think I’d be sick of it by now, but again…loyal. Not even close to being sick of it! The fact that with every new loaf I bake I can taste how much better it’s getting, well that’s enough to keep me in the kitchen baking. And if you’ve never had farm-fresh sweet cream butter, I mean fresh-out-of-the-vat & onto-the-table-fresh, YOU HAVE NO I.D.E.A!

For drinks, gotta go with some hot loose-leaf green tea & a glass of Red Wine Sangria

(I’m not picky, I’d take the bottle too!)

I’m a hot green tea drinker, drink about 4-6 cups a day (addictive personality….you seeing it yet?). I don’t drink loose leaf tea very often, mainly because its time-consuming to make (not really, but usually my tea making/drinking is on the way out the door or while at work). Drinking loose leaf tea is an art form, one that I only indulge in on my days off. I use an actual stove top tea kettle to warm my water, pour it steaming hot over my tea leaves & let it steep for a perfect 5 minutes before straining.

Pure *Bliss*!greentea

Loose leaf tea drinking gives me a false sense of fancy. I drink it while reading, journaling, blogging, or doing my Bible devotions. It remains my favorite way to start my day off in a calming mood.

And red wine is my favorite way to end the day!

I’ve only recently (within the last few months) been introduced to Sangria. I’ve always loved red wine (merlots, burgundy, chardonnay) but I avoided sangria assuming it’d be to sweet for my taste buds. Wrong, very, very wrong!

wineFortunately my favorite brand, thus far, hails from a local winery in my hometown & happens to be not far from where I live now. Paper Moon Winery & Vineyards is (literally) right up the road & the wine is also sold locally at various locations.

Instant access, my favorite!

Wine drinking is an addiction that I do try to keep in check, surprisingly excessiveness (word check please) in this addiction might result in some negative consequences! And with the availability of cell phone video cameras, I try to not end up a YouTube star!

And last but not least, I’d have to round out my meal with dessert! Or maybe start, who knows! A Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake & my Grandma Martinez’s homemade pistachio muffins.

dairyqueenAn original ice cream cake (not one of those Blizzard cake nastiness) with the ooey-gooey fudge & cookie crumb center…yowza! It seems like DQ’s are fading away (at least in NE Ohio) & if that company goes bankrupt one day the United States will suffer one of the greatest downfalls of our society; right behind The Civil War & the Great Depression. Altho, now that Pinterest is around I’m sure the cake will somehow live on in pinning infamy. And may I just add that whoever at DQ headquarters that came up with the idea of the DQ ice cream cake, CUPCAKE is nothing short of a genius. My thighs & hips are grateful for the reduced caloric size because I could feasibly eat a whole cake without having a cupcake option.

My Grandma’s pistachio muffins=nom nom heaven!


I first found these little gems while vacationing in Pinehurst, NC several years ago. My Grandma in her infinite ability to re-create dishes at home after eating them out, was able to copy these muffins. She’s not known for following recipes or writing them down, so I have yet to receive a handwritten copy of my favorite. She adds, she takes away, all depending on what she remembers goes into them. That’s okay with me because every time she makes them they always turn out divine.

*SIDE NOTE* Grandma if you’re reading this, it has been awhile since you’ve made a batch. (just putting it out there!)

So that’s my list…pretty simple & totally doable. And I can almost guarantee this would probably be the same list I’d order from room service on my first night in heaven. room serviceDo you think heaven even has room service???

Leave a comment

Filed under *SMILE*, Faith & God, Family, Fun-ness Aplenty!, Giggles & Laughs!, Healthy Living, In the Kitchen, Inspiration, Memories, Random Questions, Some thoughts..., Vegetarian