(Excerpt from #365ReasonsNotToGiveUp, to be released in October 2014)

We raised chickens once (key word is ONCE), when our kids were young. It was an interesting experience to say the least. There is nothing more intimidating than to be eye to eye with a chicken that is staring you down. I remember one cold winter’s morning finding one such chicken lying seemingly dead at our back door. (It brought new meaning to the words ‘frozen chicken’.) The kids were upset that the poor chicken was so cold, or should I say so dead! It was kind of hard to explain that concept to them, as they carefully picked it up and carried it in by the wood stove to get warm. (A soft blanket was involved.) I had NO idea where this whole scenario was going.

As time went on, the chicken (who apparently was NOT dead after all), thawed. (So many chicken jokes I could insert here…) It shook snow and ice off its feathers, raised its head and looked at its adoring, cheering fans! (And you ask, now what!) I promptly marveled with them in the miracle of the chicken that came back to life in their care, and then had them quickly return it to its pen. The moral of this story is: don’t judge a chicken by its frozen feathers. It just needed a little loving care (and some heat) to revive it back to its original state. Don’t we all; don’t we all?! (wink/wink) Image




courageI just left home. No, I am not 18. I am 57. 🙂 I am moved 3000 miles away. AND it’s my first time ever, to live on my own. My journey thus far ~ from a family home to college. From college to marriage. From marriage to 6 kids. From there, loss of husband, and now empty nest. There is my life in a very small nutshell. So, nope. NEVER lived on my own. Till last Saturday. Just me. 2 heavy suitcases, and 2 carry ons, and “20 seconds of insane courage”! haha! (Favorite movie quote from ‘I Bought A Zoo’.)  🙂

20 seconds to walk on to the plane, to move 3000 miles away. Is this a forever move? Probably not. I am guessing it’s just another chapter in the book of my life. Am I excited? yup! VERY. Am I scared? yup! VERY. Did I  chicken out? NO. 🙂

Telling anyone this, just to say ~ sometimes the only way to break out of your comfort zone, is just to do it. It is so easy to do the easy thing; to stick with what is familiar, and secure. And for sure, there is nothing wrong with that. There are times and seasons where we are meant to stay put, and others when we are meant to do something different/change/move. It takes wisdom to know timing.  If you are a mother of 6 kids, you just can’t decide to up and move away on a great adventure. Definitely NOT time. But, when your 6 kids are on their own, sure! Another quote from ‘I Bought A Zoo’ ~”Why not?”


There are days. No. There are weeks. No. There are YEARS, when you can feel like you just don’t fit in. Period. It is such an insecure place to feel like you just don’t belong anywhere. I think we all feel that way time to time. There are tragedies that can completely change the landscape of your life, and make you feel lost in a place that used to be wonderfully familiar.

I have had some events in my life that have left me unsettled and uprooted, and feeling like I was a random misplaced piece of some random 500 piece puzzle, in some random dusty attic. You do not choose to feel that way; it literally just happens. 

Today it hit me that I am NOT a misplaced piece of a  puzzle. I am a MISSING piece. And not missing from some random puzzle. There is a 500 piece puzzle out there missing just one piece to complete it. Yup, that’d be ME. Somewhere I fit and no one else can fill that spot but me.

The same goes for YOU. We all matter; we all belong; and we are all important. It’s NOT just any random puzzle in some random dusty attic. You were made to fulfill one specific purpose, and to be the piece that links all the other pieces together. Do not ever for a minute think you are not important. If so, you need to go buy a 500 piece puzzle; take ONE piece out and throw it in the trash. Then take a couple weeks to finish the puzzle (in your spare time…), and see how the picture looks, with ONE. MISSING. PIECE. I think you get the picture (no pun intended 🙂 )Image


There is a history for me, about the little # key on our keyboard. I am a very theme oriented person; just ask my kids about such things as Scooby Doo, Veggie Tales, reels of film, Hello Kitty, and all the hundreds of other subjects I would run wild with, if any one of them merely mentioned they LIKED it. Oh, you like Scooby Doo? I will search out every last item known to man, with that on it. And fruit snacks, and shampoo, boxers, rugs for the inside of a car. Yes, I overdid it. My holidays, birthday parties, classes I taught at school, and pretty much any gift I ever gave, had a THEME.  When social media exploded, I could barely figure out how to use an answering machine, never mind when computers came out, I always had a fear of deleting the whole system. Fast forward to now, I don’t need an answering machine anymore, and I am pretty good on a computer. And, I have a blog but I do not Twitter. That’s not to say I won’t , but not yet. Okay, so WHY did I name my blog #hashtagsforlife ? Aren’t hash tags only for Twitter? No. Before Twitter, hash tag had its very own definition. And, it is SO who I am, and how I think. Ready for this? Hash tags were often used in information technology to highlight a special meaning in 1970!! Thus, it’s a THEME!!!  It is a word or short group of words that describes the subject matter. While I may learn to utilize it down the road, and tweet out some inspiring words; for now, if you see a # on my writings, it is the THEME of whatever message I am trying to convey.