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.

 

 

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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”

Childhood Chores

chores.jpg

My childhood chores involved babysitting, folding laundry, doing dishes, baling hay, milking cows, and whatever else my parents needed.

We no longer milk cows. My kids are too small to bale hay (and we no longer square bale anything). Many of the jobs that were considered okay for my generation and generations previous are considered unsafe for children to do today.

The thing that is most unnerving to me is not that chores are unsafe, but rather the fact that we are raising future citizens who don’t know how to fold their own shirts.

Recently, I overheard two women talking about their teenage children. They were childhood chore funnydiscussing the fact that they don’t let their kids do the laundry. The reasoning for this was that they didn’t have the patience to teach their children how to use the washing machine and that the kids never folded the clothes the way they (the moms) like it.

Okay?!?

png 1 If we don’t demonstrate patience for our children, how will they know what the skill of being patient looks like? If we don’t teach them how to use the washing machine, who will? Some nice lady at the laundry mat?

png 1 Secondly, how can our children improve their skills, in things like laundry folding, if we don’t guide them? I don’t mind if my shirts are a bit sloppy when folded, at least somebody folded them.

Another time a mom told me she didn’t know how I had the patience to let my kids cook with me. “They are so messy, and I am already tired when I get home. I don’t want them underfoot when I am trying to get dinner on the table,” was what she told me.

png 1 Cooking is messy. Learning is messy. Kids are messy. The cool thing about cooking childhood chores (2)with my kids is that they are learning. They learn how to make food. They learn how to clean up. They learn how to work as a team preparing, making, and serving our meals. Plus, my time with them is so precious in the evenings; it is nice to be able to do something productive.

I am not gonna lie. We don’t cook together every night. I don’t let my kids put the clothes away all the time. Sometimes I am too tired to be patient with them and sometimes they are too tired to work with me. But we still try most of the time. Continue reading “Childhood Chores”

Just One Trash Bag (at a time)

Just One Trash Bag (at a time) via Daily Prompt: Filter

Just One Trash Bag

Recently my friend Cami shared her desire to do a Lenten purge of unnecessary things. Her goal was to filter through her life and remove one bag of unnecessary stuff a day. I thought this was an AWESOME idea, so I borrowed it for myself…

…Only I have failed.

The first day or two of Lent I did alright cleaning out a drawer and a closet, but I have come to the sound conclusion that filtering out unnecessaries takes a really, really, really long time.

How do things add up so quickly? Seriously?!? Continue reading “Just One Trash Bag (at a time)”

What to do with mountains – Wise Words Wednesday

What to do with mountains – Wise Words Wednesday

What to do with mountains

I thought this quote might be appropriate for hump day. 🙂
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”

W-O-W! Wow! Powerful!

Those stupid grains of sand add up fast in life. The worrisome grains that make mountains out of mole hills. The ones that filter past our best laid plans and most dedicated intentions. The stained shirts in the bottom of the laundry. The bill we forgot to pay. The milk carton that got left out this morning. The low fuel light glaring at us from the car dash.

What are we supposed to do with those mountains?

I know I get mad when my kids climb on the mountains of laundry, but hey, at least someone is having fun with the unfolded clothes. The looming bills, chores, and commitments darken our horizons. What are we supposed to do with those mountains? Continue reading “What to do with mountains – Wise Words Wednesday”

When the Tree is Gone

When the Tree is Gone via Daily Prompt: Gone

When the tree is gone.jpg

 

Every year my children and I enjoy decorating our home for the Christmas holiday. Even my husband perks up at the sight of the lights. I try to not put the tree up too early so as to protect the magic its lighting brings. After the feast of the Epiphany (the wise men’s arrival), I dutifully take down all the decorations.

The emptiness created by the absence of tree, garland, and lights gives our home an incomplete feel. The rooms seem stark and the light seems cold. What is it about the time after the tree is gone that darkens our day?

When the tree is gone, the spirit of Christmas is not plainly visible. When the tree is gone, the remembrance of all those Christmas wishes fades. When the tree is gone, the twinkle of Santa’s magic dims and we forget about that whole peace on Earth and goodwill towards men thing. Plus, when the tree is gone, I find it a lot harder to just sit in my arm chair and read a book or watch my kids play. It’s as if the tree is a holiday anchor that holds us in place and reminds us to remain steadfast in the enjoyment of our home and family.

I challenge you to keep the Christmas spirit alive in your actions and words. Take time to sit in your favorite chair and read a book or snuggle with a loved one. Continue in your efforts to bring peace to the lives of those you encounter and yourself. Give the gifts of understanding and kindness in all you do.

Just because there isn’t a tree standing in your living room doesn’t mean you have to become a scrooge. Find joy in the simple elements of each day and you won’t have time to miss that silly old tree.

When the tree is gone, continue to shine as a light for others each day. Put some holiday in your heart and let your Intentergy keep the spirits of others alive and well.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. If you still have your tree up, that’s cool.

My Family’s Addiction to Adhesives

My Family’s Addiction to Adhesives

via Daily Prompt: Maddening

Adhesive Addiction.jpg

My family has a lot of problems. One of the most maddening problems we have is our addition to adhesives.

We don’t eat or sniff the glue. We just really like to tape, glue, affix, and stick things together.

Just last week my oldest son super glued his fingers together. He knows not to play with super glue but did it anyway. When my husband asked, “Son, why did you glue your fingers together?” His reply was simple, “I just had to see how it feels.” We unstuck his fingers but the glue remained on his skin for few days.

This past May when school let out, my daughter brought home her bag of unused school supplies. In the bag I found a few markers, crayons, folders, paper, notebooks, and about a dozen glue sticks. Eight of the ten glue sticks had the names of other children on them. When I asked her about the glue, she said, “I just couldn’t let them throw good glue away.”

My husband buys duct tape in the economy case and has rolls of the multi-purpose stuff everywhere; in the truck, laundry room, workshop, machine shed, each of the turkey barns, his hunting pack, my car, the tractors, and his fishing boat. We are never at a loss for duct tape. Never.

My youngest son is the WORST. He LOVES transparent tape. He will go through a roll a day, if I would let him. He covers his toy trucks with it and says they are being fixed. Every piece of paper he colors, cuts, or draws on MUST be hung somewhere in the house and he believes each 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper requires 8 inches of tape to hold it in place. Wrapping Christmas or birthday gifts with him is like packaging the royal jewels with tape serving as the first line for the security’s defense. He actually put tape on his Christmas wish list because I told him the only way he could have any more tape this month was if he got it as a gift.

I am as guilty as the rest in that any time I see tape on sale; I buy it. You never can have enough tape. Right? I have two hot glue guns and order my craft adhesive by the 6 pack for making cards and scrapbooking.

We have an adhesive addiction.

I am sure your family has something that you all can’t live without or use in excess. As we begin a new year, consider finding alternatives to your wasteful usage or ways to not use your vice as much.

Whether it’s tape, toilet paper, or leaving on the lights, put your energy into smart and considerate usage of the things you take for granted. Let your family’s idiosyncracies hold you together and allow making change to be the bond that holds you strong as you love one another in 2017.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Please do not give my 3 year old any more tape. He has had enough.

 

 

 

 

I’m OK With Being a Bench Warmer

I’m OK With Being a Bench Warmer

Bench Warmer

This student bench is my newest antique find. (Thank you, Craigslist and Nancy!)

A small bench was just what I was looking for to add to our home. Something I could set flowers, crocks, or books on. Something to add just a little more coziness. The fact that it is a bench from an antique student desk makes it perfect (me being a teacher and all).

I have big plans for warming this bench.

Since making the decision to take a step away from full-time teaching last spring, I have struggled with my role in the lives of so many people I love. I feel strongly for my former students and their families. I want to be there to help them succeed, but since school started this fall I have had a few more minutes to myself and I am realizing that it was a very healthy decision. I’m OK with being a bench warmer. Continue reading “I’m OK With Being a Bench Warmer”

Socks are the Enemy – The Struggle is Real

Socks are the Enemy – The Struggle is Real

Socks are the Enemy

There are very few households that can boast an affection towards sorting socks. There are even fewer individuals who voluntarily admit to liking sock folding. Socks are the enemy.

We usually need two socks per day. Most of the time those socks are expected to match. These expectations lead to the struggle.

Washing, drying, and finding the matches for those necessary stockings are the strategies for conquering the footwear fight.

I recognize that socks are the enemy, but in the name of positivity, I want to give three good reasons for folding socks.

  1. You are able to meet the social standards for wearing matching socks.
  2. You are validating the notion of “sole” mates. We all have a match out there somewhere. (pun intended)
  3. Folding socks can be therapeutic. Yes, there may be a few strays at the bottom of the basket, but you have just made organized sense of your foe. You have systematically and successfully sorted, matched, and put away that big ol’ mess. Your family’s feet can thank you for your service, and now you don’t have to look at that pile of perpetrating socks for at least two or three days. 🙂

Fold away, my friends, fold away!

By: Melanie A. Peters