What’s That in Your Persimmon?

Persimmons (2)

Wives’ tales are one of my favorite meteorological practices. I love the idea of watching for woolly worms’ colors and seeing how much rain falls in the first seven days of a year to predict the potential forecasts for the upcoming seasons. Persimmons also hold a tell tale story in their seeds.

Each fall my kids and I trek across our farm to the various persimmon trees that line our pastures. By this time of October they don’t have many leaves left and their peachy-colored fruits are the only sign of life on the trees. Taking turns, I lift my kiddos up to pick a few fruits from each tree. When we have had our fill of persimmon picking, we rush back to the house to split open their seeds.

Last fall’s findings were a little unclear. The shapes in the centers of the seeds weren’t very distinct. We found some knives with a few forkly shapes. As last winter was a mild one, with a few icy patches, those indecisive centers were a pretty accurate reflection of what the weather was to bring.

Persimmons (1)There were no ambiguous shapes this year. This season we found spoons in the center of every seed.

So what do the clear cut spoons mean for this year? Well, according the wives’ tale, we will be digging ourselves out of snow this winter. This prediction thrilled my children.

While the idea of piles of snow may not please you, I hope you will take time to enjoy activities like persimmon picking with your family. It is a great way to get outside, make memories, and use imagination. Put some energy this week into enjoying time together and maybe telling some wives’ tales of your own.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I am not a licensed meteorologist, so if you do not like this forecast, blame it on the persimmons.

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Start Holiday De-Stressing Now

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Holiday StressSome evil person posted this Elf meme on their Facebook feed the other day and I wanted to unfriend them but they are related to me and I like them.

Unfriending people can add additional stress at the holidays, and this article is all about holiday de-stressing.

 

In keeping with the 12 Days of Christmas, I am proposing 12 Steps to De-stress for the Holidays:

Step 1: To begin take a deep cleansing breath.

Step 2: After you remember to start breathing again, I want you to say these words, “Happiness is the greatest gift I can give. A stressed out me does not make a holiday happy. I will not add unhappiness to my holidays.”

See. Don’t you feel better?

Step 3: Write down one gift you will give yourself. (This does not have to be a material thing.)

Step 4: Make a list of all the other people for whom you want and/or need to get gifts. (These do not have to be material things.)

Step 5: Make a calendar of all events you KNOW will absolutely be on your agenda.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 1 & 2.

Step 7: Establish a budget.

  • How much will you spend on each person?
  • How much do you plan to give to your church or charities?
  • How much should you plan to spend on extra party foods and drinks?
  • How much are your travel costs?

Add those costs up.

Step 8: Repeat Steps 1 & 2. Continue reading “Start Holiday De-Stressing Now”

There are NO Crazy Contest Champions

Crazy Relaxation 1

Recently, in one of my classes, I made a joke about my crazy family. My students laughed and then began shouting out things about their families that were “crazy.” I laughed right along with them for a minute, but, after a few of the experiences shared were a bit too unfortunate, I used my teacher voice and shut down the conversation. “We are all crazy. It’s not a competition.”

Goodness knows my family and I suffer from some pretty cool idiosyncrasies but we are no different than the clan down the road. Yes, we might require dumplings (that are rolled so thin, they really should be called noodles) at EVERY family function. True, we might all suffer from a bit of OCD about things like who has to sit at the kids’ table. We have our share of skeletons in the closet, but the skeletons remain because some of us are too attached to our grudges. (Seriously, guys, let them go!) In all honesty, we are wonderfully loving and crazy in our own right.

The same goes for you and your family. Sometimes family isn’t made up of blood-relatives. Sometimes our families are those we surround ourselves with day in and day out. “Family” consists of those who make you feel loved, safe, and comfortable. They are the ones you know will love you even if you are crazy. Continue reading “There are NO Crazy Contest Champions”

Allergic to Reacting?

Allergic to Reacting 1

So after my proud post about Digging for Spring, I had a few things pop up that were NOT in my flower beds.

Thursday night I had what looked like a blood blister on my middle finger. It hurt and was really ugly. Hubby squeezed it for me until blood and puss came out. Attractive, right? 😉

Friday night my hands kept going numb. It was like they were constantly falling asleep.

After a restless night of tingly hands, my right forearm began itching and a raised hive covered the entire inside of my right forearm. Tiny bumps followed shortly and my hands ACHED. My knuckle joints were very stiff and felt like they were on fire. My nose itched constantly and my lips were tingling. Something just wasn’t right.

I did what any mom/wife/daughter/friend/teacher, who has too much to do, would do. I took some ibuprofen and Benadryl and went about my business.  Continue reading “Allergic to Reacting?”

Worth the Climb

Upward Climb.jpg

54 steps… that is how many steps it takes to get to my aunt and uncle’s lake house.

54 long, tall steps.

From the dock to the house it is 54 steps. That equates to a lot of hard work for a spot that is supposed to be relaxing.

What lies beneathTime at the lake house is so refreshing. We eat, sleep, drink, and play there with no other purpose than to get away from the exhaustion of everyday life. As we head from the house to the dock, we pack everything we can into our arms and hope we don’t fall forward on the descent. (Did I mention it would be 54 long, tall steps down?)

Once on the dock, time seems slower. The sun shines brighter. The breezes massage our worries away. The fish and birds provide breaks in the calm of the waters. The occasional boat or jet ski add speedy bursts of entertainment to the scenery.  It makes those 54 steps worthwhile.

There are a lot of things in life that are worth effort. I would like to extend an Intentergy effort challenge. Choose a task that challenges you but will make your life easier in the long run.

  • Consider cleaning out and organizing a closet or cabinets.
  • Make a To-Do list and do the things on your list.
  • If there is something you participate in that is NOT worth the effort or frustration, eliminate that unhealthy practice from your life.
  • Fill in your calendar or planner with all your obligations and use it to keep appointments straight and help with timeliness.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time; this saves time and money.
  • Make a change that you have been putting off. Change is the first place to start when you need greater positive energy.

Just as climbing those 54 steps gets my heart racing, hopefully the challenge you choose will fill your heart with energy and excitement. Whether it be heading down those steps or up, I always know that where I end up will be a good place to land. Know that you will have the same optimism if you choose a challenge that is impactful for you. So take a deep breath, grab all the stuff you will need to make the change, and take that first step. It will be worth the climb.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Take a flashlight if you go before dusk. Those 54 steps can be scary without a light. (or be smart enough to turn on the outside lights before heading down)

P.P.S. Check with your physician before climbing 54 steps a whole bunch of times. Some of us are a bit out of shape and may need to ease into the process. 😉

 

 

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”

A New Sheriff in Town – Defining What the Position Means

New Sheriff in Town

I have been doing a lot of thinking about lessons learned and it has been harder than I thought because I had done my homework on the issues and/or problems. I gathered data and information for a couple of years and set a course of direction to move the agency forward.

PastorSheriff_3_t_w600_h475.jpgLessons learned – “means an event or events that were not anticipated or a plan that failed for some reason unknown and you learn the hard way.” (Mike Bonham’s personal definition)

I think that, personally, I have a lot of goals for this agency and it seems to be taking too long, but in reality we are on track. I believe that this is in part because I really want the citizens of the county to be proud of their Sheriff’s Office, but the focus should not be ME, it should be the OFFICE as a whole.

png 1 Lesson one – People try to make it about the Sheriff. And I get it; I’m looked at as the leader. (Still hard) 

png 1 Lesson two—I push hard, the employees and myself to move to perfection and to hit the goals that have been established… (Slow down we will get there.)  

png 1 Lesson Three—With so many projects and initiatives, some can get lost in the push. My hope in is having a handle on prioritizing:

  1. Health and Welfare of the employees
  2. Biggest impact on safety and security for the citizens of the county.
  3. Keep spending within Sheriff’s Office Budget

 

Like I said, this has been a lot tougher assignment than I thought it would be. Thanks for the challenge.

The following I released after a 60 day review:  My hope is you can see the consistence and planning.

Bonham 1.jpgI took office in December, this week and we reviewed the first 60 days on the job.
We wanted a “no drama” transition from the leadership of Carl Fowler, who served as interim sheriff.
We Intensified communication — internally and externally — as we have marked the first 60 days.
We have used Facebook, and a soon an updated website, YouTube videos to push information. We credited the media blitz with leading to the arrest of a fugitives, as a direct results.
“We’re looking for ways to distribute information. It’s a work in progress.”
We have stepped up efforts to arrest dealers, save users who overdose and educate the community.
But, my office has yet to engage the medical community in an effort to reduce abuse of prescription narcotics.

What’s to come:

• Crisis Intervention Training:  to prepare all deputies and staff with intervention methods for dealing with citizens suffering from mental illness crisis. Three staffers will complete the 40-hour training, scheduled in May.

• Increased community outreach with a town hall meeting in Linn and other events. The restructured Community Services Unit , the chaplain program, and the Jr. Deputy program.

• Restarting the “Reserve deputy” program, which allows retired law enforcement officers to volunteer. They must have the same training as full-time officers and can work in a range of activities.

“I’m just pleased to report that we’ve hit the marks on our first 60-day plan. “This is not to say we’re done.”
It is the staff that have been working quickly and professionally to meet my expectation. Turnover has remained low, with only minimum changes — retirements and resignations — since I took office.

“The deputies and men and women of the sheriff’s office have been working hard and I’m proud of these accomplishments. We will continue to work hard to produce a professional, competent and compassionate law enforcement agency the citizens of Osage County can be proud of.”

By: Sheriff Mike Bonham

Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

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Osage County Fair 2016

 

P.S. Last July my children met Sheriff Bonham at the county fair, when he was still running for office. After he shook my five year old’s hand, my son asked, “Why does he want to be the sheriff?” I told him, “Mr. Bonham wants to keep us safe.” My son’s reply, “Okay, I guess we can vote for him.” 🙂  Sheriff Bonham has worked hard to keep lines of communication open with people of our county and safety in the forefront of his tenure. Thank you, Sheriff Bonham, for your willingness to share your personal lessons learned this year. Best of luck to you as you continue to meet these goals and protect our community.

Accident-Prone? – Is Clumsiness Genetic?

Accident-Prone? – Is Clumsiness Genetic via Daily Prompt: Roots

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Friday night my four year old was screaming at the end of the hall. I ran to rescue him and found that his toe was stuck under the door. 😦

My daughter cried a short time later because she missed the last step coming downstairs and hurt her leg.

My six year old provided a presentation of the bruises he had gained during the week, as we put on his pj’s.

Hubby laughed and said, “I don’t think they got any of my genetics. They got all that clumsiness from you.”

My gracious reply was, “How do you explain their ability to forget everything they are supposed to be doing when the TV is on, the day ends in Y, or the sun is shining?” (Then I stuck out my tongue.) His response, “Maybe they did get one thing from me.”

png 1 Do genes impact one’s clumsiness? Do our parents pass down accident prone propensities? Continue reading “Accident-Prone? – Is Clumsiness Genetic?”

Fairy Garden Dreams Become Reality (pixie dust not required)

Fairy Garden Dreams Become Reality (pixie dust not required)

fairy garden love

Three years ago my children saw the Tinkerbell movie and began planning to make a fairy garden. Well, this year we finally made it happen!

This is one of those magical projects that brought my kids and I together in a successful collaboration of creativity.

The local dollar store provided adorable and affordable garden decor and my good friends at Dudenhoeffer’s Countryside Gardens offered the sweetest little plants for our flowery festivities.

Even though each of my children started out with roughly the same tools and supplies, fairy garden girlthey each created a unique and whimsical fairy garden. The garden of each child was an terrific representation of their personalities.

There were two things that I really loved about this project.

  1. My kids played in the dirt and made something cool. It doesn’t get any better than that!
  2. I was able to witness my children’s imagination at work. There is nothing more inspiring and motivating than pure, childlike awe and excitement. I honestly wish I had made a garden for myself. Tapping into that innocence and creativity would do anyone’s heart some good.

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While we know fairies aren’t real, it is important to remember that nurturing the ideas and wishes of our children is a very real and necessary element of life. Providing opportunities to dream and create is something that benefits all of us.

The fairy gardens are beautifully displayed along our front walk. They bring smiles to the faces of everyone who comes to our home and provide a tremendous sense of pride for my children. I have caught each of them peeking at their gardens wondering if the fairies had visited. Their awe and wonder is so sweet.

I encourage you to take time to create something with those you love. Share your dreams and imagine together. You don’t have to build a garden to create something that lasts. The longest lasting part might be the memories you make, but those memories are magical. They can appear anytime you choose.

Believe in the magic of time spent together. Allow yourself to be inspired by the imagination that is shared. Put your intent into building energy that grows love and memories. It doesn’t require more than a little faith and trust (pixie dust not required.)

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I really do want to make my own fairy garden someday.

 

Life is a Hammock. Rock It! – Wise Words Wednesday

Life is a Hammock. Rock it! – Wise Words Wednesday

Life is a Hammock

Seriously, there is no end to the rocking of my hammock! Everyday I make a list of what I believe is a do-able amount of objectives. Everyday my list outgrows what I can do and I often find myself going to bed at 11:00 p.m. still reeling from the turns my day took.

png 1 Can you relate?

Hammocks are supposed to be relaxing and fun. Life is not relaxing and fun at times.

Often we are faced with choices we did not see coming. The choices that swing us in new directions are meant to teach us something. Life is a hammock. We have to rock it or rock with it.

Last night my son’s team had their first practice. I printed drills and an agenda for the coaches (hubby and buddy J.). I printed copies of the schedule for the team on blue paper (so it would stand out). All the gear was in a tub and sitting in the hallway (so we wouldn’t forget it). Supper was made early. All three kids were dressed in clothes for the ballpark, with socks and shoes on their feet!

Hubby came in 20 minutes before we needed to leave. He needed a shower and wondered if we needed keys for the supply closet at the field. 😦  After a quick phone call, a set of keys was located. All I had to do was go get them….wait a minute… my son couldn’t find his bat. Okay, I would drive to get the keys, while hubby showered and the kids sought out the bat.

I got the keys and returned home. Bat was found. Hubby was showered. Hubby couldn’t find his glove. We were already 2 minutes late to set up for practice. Continue reading “Life is a Hammock. Rock It! – Wise Words Wednesday”