Everyday Life & Practical Tips

Grinning through Hurricane Harvey and Beyond

My guest blogger today is Kathy Carlton Willis, the Grin Gal. Kathy wrote this before Hurricane Harvey hit the town where she lives in Texas, yet if you knew her, you’d have solid evidence that she does live what she says. Kathy grinned her way through a week without electricity and water, which means without air conditioning in the Texas heat. She continued to look for positives, even when dealing with health problems and more in the midst of the storm. Where Does that Grin Come From? by Kathy Carlton Willis I’m often asked, “How can you keep grinning despite […]

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Savoring the Not-So-Perfect Life

by Michelle Rayburn When I was young, my mother cooked most meals from scratch, baked six loaves of bread every week and canned enough vegetables to feed the neighborhood if we ever had to retreat to a bomb shelter. But on occasion, we had TV dinners when she worked the evening shift at the hospital and my dad had to feed us three kids. September 10 is National TV Dinner Day, and it has me reminiscing about those foil-covered aluminum trays with frozen mystery meat and gravy, blobs of mashed potatoes, corn and chocolate pudding—because who doesn’t cook their pudding […]

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Do You Know Your Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

My month of guest bloggers begins today with Joanie Shawhan, who is a member of a group of writers I belong to, called  WordGirls. Joanie is an ovarian cancer survivor, and September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. My mom is also a 22-year survivor of ovarian cancer. I find it interesting that the color used for the awareness ribbon is teal. It’s a color I’ve been drawn to for so long and now I have another reason to love the color! It represents the work that is being done to save lives. Check out these ovarian cancer resources after […]

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When Life Hands You Crumbs…

I saw this basket of cookies at a place called Mana Sushi Teriyaki Wok in Port Orchard, Washington and it made me smile. The “misfortunate” cookies are broken fortune cookies wrapped in plastic. Isn’t that a perfect example of what we can do when life hands us crumbs? We can choose to get upset, feel discouraged, or quit. Or, we can turn it around into something clever. That’s a #repurposed and #upcycled life!

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How Many States Have You Visited?

Have you ever calculated how much of the United States you have visited? I just returned from a long road trip, and thought it would be fun to do the math. I’m not certain if I traveled through additional states as a child, but these are the states I have visited as an adult. Someday, I will visit the East Coast! Create Your Own Visited States Map How about you? Where have you traveled?

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Five things I figured out in Branson, Missouri

This month, I had the opportunity to take a bus ride to Branson, Missouri with the music students from our local high school. It was an opportunity to learn how puffy my feet could get and how stiff my back could become during an all night, all day ride. I learned how to operate my iPad, dig through a backpack, eat a snack, pick up a dropped cell phone from the bus floor, and more while keeping my elbows within my 18-inch allotted space. But, that’s not all I figured out during the five-day trip.1. Despite statements people might give […]

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Becoming, Not Finding a Soul Mate

I met my husband when I was 15 years old and we started dating the summer I turned 16. We were young, and immature, but our relationship is nearly three decades old. How did I know my husband was the right one for me? I didn’t know from the moment our eyes locked across the church sanctuary. Nor was it love at first date.I ran across a blog post recently in which the author declared that her husband is not her soul mate. The author’s observations about marriage and the daily commitment it takes are precisely right. But the concept […]

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Is College Worth It?

With college costs on the rise and job opportunities limited, many college students face a dilemma. Is college the best option? If so, which one? Ivy League? Community college? Technical school? If not, how can they gain the skills needed to be gainfully employed? So many questions with so much riding on the answers. As the mom of two sons in college, I know the dilemma all too well. One son is a perpetual student who doesn’t mind the idea of being cooped up with a pile of books in a dim library for the next twelve years, or whatever it […]

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A Foot of Snow in May!

We had a foot of snow in Northern Wisconsin today. The problem with that is that it’s May 2nd. What’s up with that?Here’s how I turned that trash to treasure:Built a Snowman  Poor snowgal. She lost an eye before I snapped the picture. It was snowing so hard, I couldn’t keep the snowflakes off the lens.I took artsy photos of the snow. My poor T2T yard decorations!I shoveled. When you see treasure in the flea market trash, you start looking for treasures in the “life” trash too. The good news…it’s supposed to get in the 70s in a few days […]

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