Single Compliment = Double Joy – Wise Words Wednesday

Compliments - Twain

“I can live two months on one good compliment.” – Mark Twain

In the cafeteria line yesterday, Donnie (a neighbor and coworker) told me he really liked my story on “those Charolais cattle.” Donnie raises Charolais himself, but I never took him to be a reader. I was so honored that he read my post. My joy was enhanced as he said, “I like what you said. I’m gonna read some more.”

My head was so big; they had to add a second line to the lunch cue.

Donnie reminded me how important it is to share our appreciation for the efforts of others.

As in Mr. Twain’s quote above, I find greater inspiration when I know my work has been enjoyed.

What motivates you to create, write, or work harder?

Continue reading “Single Compliment = Double Joy – Wise Words Wednesday”

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Intentergy Turned 2

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On February 14th I celebrated the 2nd Anniversary of Intentergy.

While the last few weeks things have been quiet on the site, my writing has been anything but silent.

My family took a terrific trip that has no fewer than 15 posts in draft. My students continue to provide me with love, learning, and laughter that I promise to share. As always the farm has me on high alert for lessons that can only come from caring for livestock and the land.

To celebrate my 2nd blogging anniversary, I would like to share links to some of my favorite posts from the past.

curve ball (2)Curve Balls – A story inspired by the curve pitch and how to handle the figurative curve balls in our lives.

Zone Defense for Your Attitude – Today, if you find yourself crowded by grumpiness or fouled by foulness of others, put up your positivity defenses.

For the Love of the Game – A post inspired by my father’s practice of watching games without sound. Sometimes the quiet allows us to know what is really going on in life.

Angelfood Cake – A Tradition of Grace – A story inspired by our parish dinner. The angel food cakes I bake are not in my honor but in honor of Miss Grace Jansen.

Not just a pieWhy is it Easy as Pie? Pies are Hard. – Another story inspired by parish picnics reminding us that effort can lead to tasty rewards.

Emergency Room Enlightenment – A visit to our local emergency room helped me to see that it really is a small world and my efforts as a writer were helpful to others.

You Don’t Have to Have It All Figured Out – I really don’t have life figured out. None of us do. This was a reminder that we don’t have to have it all figured out.

The OTHER Serenity Prayer – A tribute to a modified version of my favorite prayer

29 gifts and meMeeting Cami Walker – Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge – After reading 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, I was inspired to start my blog and have since had the chance to become friends with its author Cami Walker.

Signs of Faith – Visiting the local ambulance district served to provide an very important reminder about those who serve our communities.

No Bull - communicateCommunication is Important – No Bull! A story inspired by the purchase of some Charolais cattle by my husband that led to a breach in the happiness of our home. (Happiness was definitely restored and the cattle are enjoying their role on our farm.)

Overalls and a Pocket Watch –The story of remembering my Grandfather and his special things that left their mark on my heart.Grandpa Frank

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Intentergy is energy with a positive purpose. I hope you will put energy into being positive today.

P.P.S. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, or shared my blog during the last two years. Your support has made all the difference.

 

All in One Bite?

Bite

Chocolate covered strawberries are a treat that many of us enjoy. My father-in-law loves to make this special treat for the kids. He works hard to use perfectly ripe strawberries and make them look extra delicious. Every time he drops the special strawberries off he can’t wait to see the kids dig in.

The problem is my kids LOVE strawberries and they LOVE chocolate, but they won’t eat them together. They methodically pick the chocolate off the berries, eat the strawberry, and give the chocolate to me (because it touched a strawberry).

What is wrong with eating them all in one bite?

Do you eat chocolate covered strawberries?

I guess those tasty cocoa-covered fruit are a blend of two enjoyable things. Some people enjoy can only enjoy them separately, while others find the combination irresistible.

I have the problem of finding the combination of being busy and needed too irresistible. I love to be busy. I love to help others. I live to feel needed and appreciated. The problem is I sometimes drown myself in being busy and fail to find that perfect balance of needed and healthy.

Do you ever do this?

Continue reading “All in One Bite?”

Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday

Opportunity Visits

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor”Into the Woods

These words always seem to pop up in my life at just the right time.

For the last month, I have not been writing much (the whole, “I’m too busy” thing). Each day that I don’t write separates me from the messages I wish to share and the healthy practice of jotting down my thoughts and experiences. Those thoughts and experiences may not come again. Reflecting on this quote from Into the Woods, I find myself with renewed vigor for writing and encouraging others to share their own thoughts and works.

What talent or passion have you been neglecting?

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

I have wrestled with finding time to take a break for myself. Creating opportunities for quiet, peaceful time with my family has also failed to make its way into my schedule. If I don’t instigate those calm, restorative moments with my family and for myself, who will?

Please take time for yourself and those you love. Peace has to begin in our hearts and homes before it can be found all over Earth. Continue reading “Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday”

Knotted Fun = Not Fun for Mom (Sometimes)

In Knots 1

My kids have been dragging home loops of knotted yarn. They spend hours of their day trying to make patterns including: Jacob’s Ladder, teacup, spider web traps, Eiffel Tower, bow and arrow, and other geometric shapes with the yarn between their fingers.

Hours, I tell you!Hours they should be cleaning rooms, doing homework, practicing basketball, or being productive in some way.

The hours of employing imagination and making yarn shapes are really not what get me worked up. It’s the random yarn loops lying around EVERYWHERE and the knock-down-drag-out fights over who has whose “special” yarn loop.

Seriously, it’s a knotted circle of string!

In Knots 2The knotted fun for my kids has not exactly been fun for me, but I am always seeking the positive in situations so I thought I would share what I discovered after researching the knotted fun phenomena. Continue reading “Knotted Fun = Not Fun for Mom (Sometimes)”

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.

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

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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. 😉