Vending Machine Jackpot!

Vending Machine Jackpot

When something great happens, we just have to share it!

I put in the appropriate amount of change, typed in the assigned number (305), and pressed the “Select” button. As I waited the spiraling of the dispenser stimulated my salivating taste buds. When the spiral had reached the end of the shelf, Woohoo! TWO packages of peanut M&M’s fell into the dispensing tray. I HAD to take a picture of my vending machine jackpot. (There is no better inspiration for a post than free candy.)

Great things happen in our lives everyday. Surprises and blessings occur when we least expect them. Keep your heart and mind open to recognizing these “jackpots.”

I shared my winnings with my friend Christina. Sharing my story and the candy was my second double bonus of the day.

If you find yourself with a vending machine jackpot, a lucky penny in the parking lot, or stumbling across a shareable success, double your money and deal out some luck to someone else. Be sure to share your loot with someone who could use a win. 😉

png 1 Have you ever hit a vending machine jackpot? What did you win? How did you celebrate your victory?

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. The candy really did just fall out. I did not shake the machine or anything.

P.P.S. Personally, I am scared to shake vending machines because I am afraid they will set off an alarm and everyone will know I was trying to rob the vending machine.

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Digging for Spring

via Daily Prompt: Bury

Digging for spring is something I find myself doing in the fall. Most Octobers or Novembers I scramble to clear out dying plants and add a few bulbs to my flower bed, but this year I am showing some real ambition for spring. I have extended one flower bed and added another in front of our home this week. (We’ve lived in the house 3 years and I am just now getting to these beds. Don’t judge.)

Tulips and daffodils are my bulbs of  choice this year. Hopefully I will have the chance to enjoy plenty of new blooms come spring, but for now I get to look at fresh turned dirt and mulch, while feeling the pain of more shoveling than my shoulders are used to. 😉

Digging for Spring (3)Even if you are not a gardener, you can appreciate the need to dig for a more beautiful future and maybe that requires us to bury somethings that aren’t so pretty. My favorite things to bury are guilt and worry. I want to stick them deep in the ground and pray that they fertilize something much more enjoyable in the next season of my life.

Digging for Spring 5In addition to the bulbs, I have added a few mums. Mums are my favorite perennial because they bloom for a long time and come back every year. There are plenty of perennial elements in our world and I encourage you to celebrate and give thanks for recurring pleasantries. Whether that annual awesomeness comes from birthdays or anniversaries or more frequently, like weekly coffee with your BFF or breathtaking sunsets each evening, relish the dependability that blooms in your life.

Right now I encourage you to dig deep for intents that will bloom into beautiful moments and memories. Bury ugly and unfruitful practices, habits, and influences and let their absence make room for more fruitful experiences. Planting positivity always blooms grace, gratitude, and joy.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Fertilizer is stinky, but so are guilt and worry. Don’t use too much of any of those. It really burns up the joy in planting.

 

 

The Gift of Giving

 

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After reading You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I was inspired to read other publications Jen recommended in her book. Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life was one of the books recommended by Sincero. In her book Walker tells the story of how a prescription of intentional giving and journaling has helped her battle the pain and hindrances caused by her multiple sclerosis. It is a powerful story and really propelled me toward a stronger giving purpose.

Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge was a positively impactful experience. For 29 days I intentionally gave gifts and journaled about my giving. The act of giving and reflecting on the impacts made through giving made my life more meaningful.

Excitedly I joined the 29 Gifts Community at http://www.29gifts.org and began to follow Cami Walker and the 29 Gifts page on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/29Gifts/. Both of these connections inspired me as I saw that there were many others who had taken the 29 Gifts Challenge and were motivated by the book’s message. Continue reading “The Gift of Giving”

If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings

Unhurt feelings

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Often when I mention my blog, people tune me out. That’s okay. Many times when I invite people to read my blog, they smile and say, “That sounds cool, but I don’t have time to read,” and then they tell me about something else they read on Facebook. It’s okay.

If you don’t read my posts, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.

I write for myself and for those who do need the messages I compose.

I write for the opportunity to share my experiences and the lessons learned in daily events.

I write for other educators and farmers. We have the toughest careers there are. Someone has to get our message out there.

I write for the moms and dads who find joy and frustration in the role of parent and hopefully provide comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our parenting struggles.

I write for those who suffer from self-doubt, worry, and guilt. We need to let that stuff go and hopefully my posts help others (as well as me) move on from that negativity. Continue reading “If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings”

Opry Dreams – They Do Come True

Opry Dreams 3Singing has always been an important part of my life. In particular church and country music have played prominent roles in what I felt moved to sing. For this reason the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee has always held a very special, almost sacred, spot in my heart.

Opry Dreams 2In early June, two of my sisters and I took our mom to Nashville to celebrate a very special birthday. As part of the trip we enjoyed a show at the Grand Ole Opry. It was fantastic! There was even a special guest appearance by Alison Krauss. Lori Morgan was the closing session’s host and we were introduced to the sounds of an AMAZING gospel group called The Whites. (You have to hear them!)

The next day I thought I purchased tickets for the four of us to tour the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Gaylord Hotel. When we made our call to confirm our tickets, we learned that the tour had actually changed two days earlier (but it hadn’t been edited on their website) and instead we would be visiting the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Wax Museum. This was NOT a happy point in the trip.

To make a long story short, my sisters ditched the falsely-advertised tour. Mom and I went on the tour of the Grand Ole Opry and skipped out on the wax museum.

Our choice to take the Opry tour led to my dreams becoming reality. Continue reading “Opry Dreams – They Do Come True”

Experimental Birthday Gift

For my birthday I received an experimental gift… an iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner.

I have wanted one of these robot vacuum cleaners for a few years, but hubby isn’t too certain we need one. While I am feeling spoiled by Uncle Glen’s loaner vacuum, I am also aware that there are terrific lessons to be learned from his generosity.

Uncle Glen gifted the vacuum to me so that I might have the opportunity to see if I even liked it. The vacuums are costly and hubby is afraid it will damage things in our home so I haven’t pushed too hard for the purchase.

After a week and a half of utilizing my borrowed gift, I have compiled as list of lessons taught by my iRobot:

png 1 The iRobot really helps in picking up hair and dust. It is not so great with bigger crumbs and sawdust from the farm. Just like life, you can’t get rid of all the yucky stuff; some of it takes manual labor to remove.

png 1 The iRobot takes away from my time sweeping and vacuuming, but runs for a long time and is kind of noisy on the hardwoods. Progress can be noisy.

png 1 The iRobot has made my kids very aware of how dusty the floors can get and therefore they are more eager to have them cleaned. (Hubby is afraid of what the robot vacuum will break; I am more afraid of how soon the kids will break the robot.) Continue reading “Experimental Birthday Gift”

Stop Watering Those Weeds – July Positivity Challenge

“Stop watering the weeds in your life and start watering the flowers.”

Weeding 2

 

Here is the metaphor for this Intentergy Positivity Challenge:

Flowers = good stuff in your life

Weeds = bad, ugly, life-sucking stuff in your life

This month we need to stop watering the weeds and provide for the flowers in our lives.

Pull out, remove, mow down, stomp out, and destroy the elements of your life that are stopping you from smelling the metaphorical roses and skipping through those figurative daisies.

Debt, negativity, self-doubt, waste, bad habits, tardiness, or lack of attention are all weedy subjects and have the ability to be lessened in our lives.

 png 1 To make your weeding worthwhile, you need to establish a measuring system.

png 1 Set goals.

If you plan to weed out excess spending, make a list of the items or services you don’t need. Establish a budget and determine what you will do to water your success. For example, if you save X amount of dollars, treat yourself to a milk shake or a ticket to the summer box office bargain movie.

When working up the roots of negativity and self-doubt, get ready to dig deep. Eliminating the source of depressing or downbeat influences can be harder than removing the tangible “weeds” in your life.

png 1 Need some tools for weeding out the negative? Try some of these positive practices.

  • Weeding 3Surround yourself with positive people. When you knowingly spend time with individuals who are negative, you allow their negativity to pop up in your thinking too. Go for the happy-go-lucky friends and positive energy will abound.
  • Rest up. Exhaustion is fertilizer for negativity. Take a cat nap here and there. Do what you can to get those 8 hours of healthy sleep a night. Having a happy sleeping space leads to happier mornings and healthier days.
  • Water your body and your positivity. Our bodies work better when they are hydrated. A hydrated body leads to healthier complexion, better digestion, and more efficient absorption of nutrients. Hydration aids in metabolism and provides necessary fluids for muscle function. If your muscles ain’t happy, ain’t no”body” happy.
  • Let the sun shine! Getting plenty of sunshine is integral to a sunny disposition. Vitamin D from the sun does so much for our body, including reducing depression and negative energy. (Don’t forget the sunscreen though. Nothing dims your shine like a sunburn.) 
  • Play DJ Positive. Roll the windows down and blast your favorite tunes. Dance in your kitchen to your favorite songs. Swing your kiddos around the livingroom jamming out to a fast and fun beat. Science has proven that music improves mood and heart rate. Create a positivity playlist and weed out those sad songs. Flowers aren’t the only ones who grow better when music plays.
  • Positive AttirePut on your positive pants. Wear gear that makes you feel good. When you are confident or comfortable in your appearance, there is less room for self-doubt to sprout. Look good and know it. In the words of the late, great Audrey Hepburn, “Happy girls are the prettiest.” (This goes for guys too but it makes you more handsome.)
  • Say “NO” to drama. Turn off the reality TV. Walk away from the ho-hum timeline posts and tweets. Weeding 1Nip the gossip root in the bud. Quit breaking your back to make someone happy who is never going to be happy. Drama is another negative nutrient that we don’t need.

Continue reading “Stop Watering Those Weeds – July Positivity Challenge”

Vacation Food is…better

 

Sunny Salmon and Aspargus Salad

Sunny Salmon and Asparagus Salad from Bahama Bistro in Osage Beach, Missouri

I LOVE food. My BFF loves food. We always love food, but on vacation…food is just better.

The beauty of vacation eating is that it is usually:

a. fresh

b. made by someone else

c. free of dish washing duty

d. something you don’t usually get to eat

As we embarked on our annual girls retreat, my BFF and I savored the menu planning portion. (Did I mention we love food?)

Our dining plans included two new recipes (guacamole and brushetta), picking up fresh eats from the local deli, and taking in the tastes of local restaurants.

Most of our snack and meal choices were healthy, but we made sure to pick up the necessary sweets to add to the vacation’s taste value. Continue reading “Vacation Food is…better”

Hot Girls Read and Other Boutique Lessons

Hot Girls Read

If it’s printed on a pencil case it has to be true.

Hot Girls Read!

On a recent trip with my BFF, I found this awesome pencil case. I also discovered some positive lessons from the boutiques and gift shops we visited.

  1. Hot Girls Read…I am a girl and I read, THEREFORE I am hot. (Because you read, you are hot too.) Seriously, if it’s on a pencil case, it HAS to be true.
  2. Everything has the potential to be “darling” or “gorgeous,” if you are in a shop with cute little, old ladies or a very excited, boutique sales clerk.
  3. People will put anything on a sign and sell it. One of the signs I read said, “I HATE stupid signs.” (I kind of wanted that sign.)
  4. Potpourri and scented oil stuff is EVERYWHERE! (My nose hurt after visiting all those shops) The positive here is that some of those scents have hilarious names. Poo Pourri had some of my favorite.
  5. Sometimes it’s nice to hear you are “darling” or “gorgeous” from little, old ladies and excited sales clerks. We all want to be “gorgeous” sometimes.
  6. “Darling” and “gorgeous” can be really expensive, but it feels great to find a sale and pick up a little “gorgeous” for yourself.
  7. People-watching is the best in small spaces. Seeing people try to check out prices on the sly or hold up something they would NEVER wear (but trying to do it with out anyone looking) makes for some great entertainment.
  8. I can always find something that makes my BFF cringe. The gift shops provide a tremendous selection of items she finds repulsive or obnoxious. (Love ya, BFF!) I am positive we make for some pretty funny people-watching ourselves.
  9. Daily Sign

    One of my all-time favorite birthday gifts from my BFF

    They are called “gift shops” for a reason. You can find the BEST presents in the little shops and boutiques. In fact one of my all-time favorite birthday gifts came from the Yankee Peddler, one of the shops we visited.

  10. Small businesses really do appreciate your business. As we made our way through the area, many of the shops we have visited in the past were now closed. Small businesses are the heart and soul of those that run them and their communities. The service and courtesy shown in the shops we did visit was so nice. The clerks and owners were genuinely interested in what we were looking for and sincere in their thanks when we purchased something. Support small businesses. It can make a big difference.

Continue reading “Hot Girls Read and Other Boutique Lessons”

Abandoning Time

Abandonded time

Time is tough to abandon but it sure is nice to let it go sometimes.

Playing in the creek is one of our favorite summer pastimes. Throwing rocks, building bridges, hunting crawdads and tadpoles, fishing, and picking wild flowers are the best ways to forget that there is a life too full of demands waiting beyond those creek banks.

I think my favorite thing about the creek is that it provides us with “rush free” fun. We are able to abandon our watches and phones. We are able to abandon the worries of dishes, laundry, and bill paying. We are able to abandon the stresses of schedules and calendars. We are trying to abandon time.

Rarely does a day pass when my kiddos fail to ask if we can go to the creek. They understand and appreciate the fact that when we are at the creek, they are free to play, work, and dream right along with those currents. The fact that the water, animals, and plants are all there naturally makes it the perfect place for us to play and grow. The fact that the creek never reminds us that we have to be somewhere else is magic.

On our last trip to the creek, my son caught some amazing crawdads. (They were huge!) He put them in a bucket and dutifully added rocks and fresh water to the bucket to make the crawdads happy. When it was time to leave, he cried. Oh, how he cried! He did not want to release the crawdads.  Continue reading “Abandoning Time”