when the knife lands in your back

knife-in-the-back There are vests to protect vital organs from bullets.

Unfortunately, there is nothing to protect you from words. Words, despite their invisible state, can cut through, and permeate where nothing else can.

Words can be not only damaging, but also virus-like, spreading throughout your thoughts, and impacting your mood and, eventually- your health.

Words,  echoing over and over, fueling themselves, manifesting, invading. Attacking. Spreading.

There is no vaccine to protect you from the virus like words some people choose to spread.

There is no disinfectant for words, no antidote, no antibiotic. Once they are spoken, once they are heard, they are there. You’re infected.

What words are infecting you today?

Lies? Gossip? Rumors?

They may not be infecting you, but are they affecting you?

It’s hard when the knife land in your back. It’s not like a splinter on your finger that’s accessible and removable. It’s unreachable.

When your back has a scratch that’s unreachable, you find someone that will scratch it.

When your back has a knife in it, who will pull it out?

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4 concepts to live with

2013-07-17 09.22.19Balance




Some people choose a word to live by for the New Year, a word to help channel them pass the chaos, and fuel them for each day.  I still haven’t chosen a word, instead I have chosen concepts. Concepts to remember, apply and take with me into each day.

There are periods in life where these concepts seem so far out of reach, you may as well be grasping at the air. We live in a society that can barely keep up with itself. Updating software, updating browsers, updating statuses pelt into our moments like raindrops on a tin roof. The noise of technology, and the hum of social media can be thieves in the stillness.


It’s easy to lose balance, especially if it’s time you’re trying to balance. It seems today everybody is over scheduled, and just plain too busy to squeeze  much more into their days. And, what is the “more” we are trying to squeeze? A home cooked meal? Time to mend a fence? Time to make a phone call? Time to tackle the laundry? Time to share with loved ones? Identify  your time thieves* and arrest them. ( *see time thieves)


Where is the peace? I’m not talking about the technicolor tie dyed fantasy of world peace. I’m talking about the peace that comes from within. The peace that comes when you really cast your worries onto Him, for He cares for you. (1Peter5:7) I have to admit, I do my best to cast my worries, but sometimes I still worry. Especially when I’m working out the household budget. Some concepts are easier said than done. But, when you remember the big picture of eternity, today’s tiny budget holds no impact on who I am, or His plan.


Look around.

Chances are, you’re at a computer or smart phone. You know where your next meal is coming from, you have access to clean water, and indoor plumbing. Maybe you wish you had something  more, maybe you don’t know how long before you’ll get paid again, or what those test results will be, but for now: It’s okay, you’re okay, and He will handle what’s next.

You will get through this.

There is a solution to every problem.

Every moment that holds a problem will pass, and the solution will be revealed in the future.

Be grateful that the  future exists.


I’m happy where I am, because I know where I’m at.~ MK

Even in the darkest of days, I have held on to that motto. Because I know where I have been, I know the darkest of nights in the midst of summer. And, even those nights ended. The sun will rise again. Everyday I find joy in today.

I find joy in today because the pain of yesterday.

Contentment goes far beyond a need or desire- contentment is a state of finding the balance, peace, and  gratefulness in the life you were given. Despite the messiness and mess ups that happen, you matter. You have a purpose, a plan, and a reason to be here. One day, the stories of your trials and triumphs will bring hope to someone. Embrace the hardships as birthing pains to a new vision in your life.

Don’t get distracted by the moment today  to lose your path to tomorrow.




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living intentionally

IMG_7606I had a random lunch date with a friend I hadn’t seen in over a year. It started as coffee, then we got to talking about food, Indian food to be exact- and that turned into an impromptu lunch and some really good stories shared. It could have easily gotten blown off, there were things to do.. dishes, laundry, my dog needs a bath so bad that I’m pretty sure the neighbors can smell her, and of course there is dinner to be planned. But, on this particular day, I said no to whatever was left undone and left it there.

There is always things to do.

There is not always friends to have lunch with.


I’ve come to realize that all the “things” will never be done, and to put off life until things are done is like waiting for the wind to hold still.

And, the funny thing about this particular day was that, in fact… I got a lot done.

I had wanted to spend time with her, and in the hour or so in between coffee and lunch I managed to get the hygienic chores complete: clean dishes, and clean laundry.

Stinky dogs can come another day, so can organizing the paperwork, and de cluttering the kids’ closets can be delegated into other days that lie ahead.

Don’t let your life be too busy to make memories.

Take time to identify the “moment thieves” in your daily routine; is it social media? Is it having to run to the grocery store daily because you have no idea what to make for dinner? Is it the endless pile of laundry/paperwork/dishes/clutter?

Now: Take a moment and think about a random week in life, what do you remember most about it? Chances are,  the moments that stand out are not the trips to the store, the laundry or the chores.

It’s the moments you shares with family and friends, or  time spent alone with God.

Those moments are what make life matter.

Remember those moment thieves?

Arrest them.

Take back your time, your memories and your life. Make this year count.

If social media is your time thief, set aside ____ number of minutes to scroll, and put it down.

If it’s those random store trips, set up a monthly calendar menu plan (ie; meatloaf Monday, Taco Tuesday) Next,  make a detailed shopping list and stick to it. Chances are, you’ll save more than time, you will save money, too. If you can’t think of menus, there are tons of blogs/sites online that have example plans.

And, finally… the laundry, the paperwork, the clutter. The main reason these areas get overwhelming is lack of maintenance. Unfortunately, these chores will always be there. But, with maintenance, they can be managed into moments of your day instead of hours.

This is where you make have to spend a full day getting caught up. Not fun, but necessary. Once you are caught up, maintain. Break up the laundry into specific days: whites on Wednesday, colors on Monday and Friday. If you have competent family members, delegate days for each member.

And, finally… the chores: Vacuuming, dusting, mopping…the dreaded bathroom.

I have three dogs, three chickens, a cockatoo, and amazon parrot, parakeets, fish, turtles and tortoises, and a bearded dragon, a kid and a husband. Of course, the reptiles and chickens are outside, so…

I vacuum daily.

I like vacuuming.

I steam mop twice a week, and wet mop bleach once a week. (Every other day I mop) I live in a smaller home, so keeping it sanitary is easy. It  takes under  an hour to both vacuum and mop. I suggest you time how long it takes you to do each chore, once you realize that aforementioned chore takes just _____ minutes to do, you will be able to incorporate it into your day much easier.

We tend to procrastinate on chores that appear time consuming, but in actuality, they aren’t that time consuming.

So, arrest those time thieves, take back your moments to make memories and live intentionally.









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summer week one ’14

Every year I attempt to document Summer here, a few years ago it was a daily post, and last Summer it was a round up with an epic fail in between. This year, I am hoping to do a weekly summer activity post,  depending on how much I want to stare at a computer screen.

Sometimes I do. Between Pinterest and browsing all the books at the library, I can be quite content for an hour.

Then the sun comes up and it’s time to start the day.

It’s summer.

I’m exhausted by the end of the day… but- it’s kind of that” happy theme park exhausted”, because this year I decided to make summer different. I want my kid to have happy summer memories, not memories of mommy working behind the computer all day, not mommy texting or checking email on the phone.

So, I leave my computer and phone alone majority of the day. Except for photos, of course…

Gotta have those.

So far: summer in photos:

IMG_1527THE LAST DAY. (Until Fall, at least….)

_DSC1331Homemade mango Ice cream with strawberry chunks…


_DSC1324a nature walk with the dogs… and the dogs got tired.

_DSC1321A little trip to the water park… and some tasty little snacks (that I only allow myself to eat in the summer)

IMG_1616A lunch out for sushi…

IMG_1606and some Thai food, too.

IMG_7100A fishing tournament, and a new friend to hunt crabs with…

IMG_7102blessed with fabulous weather and scenery, and a rockin’ cooler for a prize for winning the tournament division:

IMG_7106IMG_7073Trips to candy stores …

IMG_7080and tasting some pretty weird things… (they were only $1, and more minty than dilly)

IMG_7108Surprising Dad with a few Father’s Day gifts

IMG_1437Outings on the boat…

IMG_7145Kisses from Cockatoos

IMG_7133coloring pages at the library…

IMG_7127and Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas….

This has been Summer.

So far. 🙂




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favorite things-July

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Summer is coming to a close… and our bucket list is nearly complete. Change is in the air, and the scent of new pencils and crayons will soon replace the aroma of coconut scented sunblock and fresh watermelon slices.

Soon the shelves will be lined with large bags of Halloween candy and rows of bright costumes, beckoning for little children to try on. And, I will get back into my Fall studies, complete with my own new supplies and my favorite pens.  Until then, I have the recent photos from July and the peak of Summertime bliss. Enjoy, folks!


2013-07-17 20.43.50There was pizza, ( and lots of it) at Boardwalk Pizza

untitled (43 of 51)There were moments of catching some rays…

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…and lots of parrot hugs

2013-07-16 16.15.16We did some fishing with these little guys… I couldn’t help but release several of them …

2013-07-17 08.57.38I ate a giant cinnamon bun. And life was good…

2013-07-17 08.57.28And, we found the “unofficial” best slice of Key Lime Pie in the Keys.

2013-07-17 13.56.52I almost got a great photo of dolphins…

2013-07-17 09.22.19And found a bird that was in need of a dryer.

2013-07-16 16.16.57And, I got to see my kid catch herself a snapper. *(we let him go, too)

I hope each and everyone is having a blessed end of summer… I personally am looking forward to the pumpkins and apples being in season….mmmmm!

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summer bucket list epic fail

You know my big summer bucket list? You know, the one I made that had all the fun adventures me n my kid wanted to do? Well, my planning just ran into a few epic fails. Okay, maybe epic is a strong word, but hey, it got your attention, right?

Recent epic fails on the #summerbucketlist

Event #12:

This past school year, my daughter had a school trip to Ci Ci’s pizza, and wanted me to go there with her. (I think I had gone to one 20 years ago…) Since the price was right, we went. So did four bus loads of sweaty summer camp kids. We walked in to a small room packed with assorted kids in color coordinated shirts, smelling like oregano and a mixture of sweaty socks and cheese. Ewww.

Amazingly, there was one empty table.

So… we sat down and attempted to get our share of the kill  pizza.

What is it about kids without supervision and unlimited pizza that turns them into raging hyenas?  My daughter and I felt like little vultures, watching as crowds of kids piled 5, 6, 7 EIGHT slices on their plates. We watched, waited, and hoped that a camp counselor would approach one of them to remind them that it’s a BUFFET, and you can GO BACK for more.

Instead, we watched as each kid took away half a pizza each until the only pie left was a spinach and artichoke.

That’s when my inner mama bear came out.

I went up to the most managerial looking employee and stated me concern for the lack of proper food for my young. But, I was nice and they brought out a special pizza for us to chose from before the hyenas. ( My germaphobic self is cheering at this point)

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So, we ate our pizza and made it though the pack to even score second plates.

So, why is this event falling into epic fail status? Because, when we left so did the camps. So, mental note to myself: DON”T GO WHEN THEY FIRST OPEN.

More epic fails:

By the time my daughter wakes up and has breakfast, half the morning has gone by and it’s too Africa hot to do anything but swim or stay inside. All those outdoor plans on the list? Untouched.

By the time we get out of the house to go to a destination it’s either: lunch time or naptime. She’s perfectly content everyday to play at home with her toys and play with her bird, draw and swim at the neighbors pool.I offer movies, the zoo, the museum… you name it. Then she tells me she doesn’t like the crowds. My kid inherited my husbands dislike of crowds. Great. Back to the bucketlist.

So… now it’s “uncrowded event” planning, like visiting off season touristy spots, pet shops, nature centers, and flea markets. We also managed to make cookies and bring it to a fire station, which was a feat because each time we went there they were out on a call… it got to the point that my husband suggested we call 911 and say we had a fire so that we could deliver the cookies.

2013-07-09 13.38.00We didn’t end up calling…we finally found them at the station during a break and they gave us a personal tour. It was awesome…( I got to see the kitchen) And they were having massive steaks for supper later that night.

There was even a female firefighter on duty, so guess what my daughter wants to be now? Just like her.

That’s my girl 🙂


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as summer goes on

Despite the somber occasion that began this week, we are moving ahead in our summertime existence. We had a wonderful weekend prior to Monday, and we are all anticipating the addition of a new family member later this summer or fall. No, not a baby (never say never) at least not a baby human… but another baby parrot. I’m sure there’s an egg out there somewhere with our name on it.

Some visual highlights from last week, there was some treasure hunting- we scored some “new” ponies that all have their hair! Her current pony supply was handed down from big sis, who had given them all Mohawks when her biological mother decided she wanted a Mohawk. It’s nice to have a collection that’s not as mutilated, lol.

I scored myself some new heels for church. ‘Cause I’m short and I can’t see if someone taller than 5’ stands in front of me. Oh yes, and a bamboo steamer… I’ve been wanting one of those for years, nice to find one for under $3. We laid everything out to snap a pic, then the ponies and shoes got doused with Lysol and the steamer was washed, (although it appeared brand new)

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I made some tasty vittles recently:

To celebrate Father’s Day, my husband surprised me on Saturday by saving up his lawn mowing money (true story) and taking us all out to eat. He even surprised me with a fruity flowery drink that my daughter insisted on photographing.

2013-06-15 19.34.58Cheers to that. (I’m pretty sure that the grandpa in the background wanted a sip)

2013-06-15 12.30.50The neighborhood kids had a lemonade stand, and the little girl was in love with the spout. She press it, then say “Ticky?” (aka sticky in toddler talk) And, the lemonade was soooo good, I gotta get the “secret” recipe. 😉

2013-06-14 12.10.01We had a picnic at the pool, and ate the best c antelope ever. I’m pretty sure it was grown by angels.

2013-06-16 15.06.01And, finally on Fathers Day we went to the beach after church. My stepdaughter had been with her grandmother out of town for the past week, awaiting the birth of her biological mothers second child. So, that’s why it’s been just the three of us. In case you were wondering, someone always seems to be looking for what’s missing, you know. 😉

For instance; what’s missing in the picture above?

An umbrella. NEVER go to the beach in 94 heat without one. (The red thing is a chair)

Friendly service announcement from yours truly.

Today we’re (hopefully) going on a bike adventure, although my daughter just informed me that we need to go look at baby birds. hmmmm.

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old fashioned summer days

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Most of you know I love making “Summer Bucket Lists” actually, I love making any sort of list…I’m a list maker. Out of all my lists, the “Summer Bucket” is by far my favorite. It’s basically a list of all the fun stuff that there finally is time to do, and things we want to do before summer ends. The  list also helps us figure out what to do with all the free time we have. As a bonus this year, it has also helped my kid to keep her room clean. She knows that we don’t leave unless the house is tidy so she makes sure that her room isn’t the “guilty room” to make us miss an outing. ( Yeah, I’m kind of morbid in the sense that if something happens to me while I’m out, I don’t want anyone to come home to dirty dishes or stuff lying around.)

Of course, this is just the first week of summer… let’s see how long her clean room will last. I’m sure a week from now I will be saying the opposite.

Last summer, our bucket list was interrupted by midday swimming lessens, (a necessary inconvenience) but this year… it’s a blank canvas.

Recently, we were able to do some of the stuff I did as a kid in the summer:

untitled (48 of 48)For instance, the ice cream man came. (I’m not too sure why my kid is preparing for a karate move in this picture, either….)

I live in a neighborhood where they seldom come… but, maybe since he made a few dollars on our street he’ll add us to the route. A few years ago, we used to have a “produce man” come every Friday afternoon- he’d come with assorted vegetables, and fruits and sometimes meat, fish and eggs. I’m not too sure what happened to him, he just stopped coming one week.

There were also puddles to play in- summer storms leading to big refreshing pools in the driveways along the street

untitled (69 of 73)And, summertime means that yes… we can go to the playground today:

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But, I have to say my favorite summertime thing to do is the beach…

untitled (1 of 5)Because even I never seem to have time for the beach, unless it’s summer.

I hope all of y’all are having an awesome summer.

Today, my kid suggested something not on our list. When I asked what we should do she said: “Let’s preach all day!”

I said: “Okay, do you want to read your devotionals and stuff?”

She said: “No Mommy, let’s go to Target and tell people about God and Jesus”

Note: I’m not sure where she is getting her evangelistic ways. We are not “that” door-to-door family. We drink beer and play frisbee in the front yard. We go to church and bring our friends, but not strangers from Target.  But, then she tells me:

“Mommy it’s what Jesus said to do.”

I know she’s right. There are lost people, they don’t need religion or church they just need hope. And, He’s not about religion, He’s about hope.

I’m not too sure how to respond, so I say, “Okay, well… are you going to do the talking, or are you going to get shy on me?”

She said she’ll probably get shy and I’ll have to talk. Hmmm. I decided that yes, we will go to target (I need some things anyway) and yes, I will talk to someone IF someone is “placed” for me to talk to. But, I have to also say… we didn’t have this on our bucket list.



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summer ’13 days 1-3

As I write this, I am nursing the worst headache I’ve had in months. I took an Advil, (no, this isn’t a sponsored post) and I’m hoping that by the time I finish writing, I can get out of my jammies (tank top and shorts) and continue with my days’ plans. I need to find a palm for our patio, buy some mulch, buy some detergent ’cause I can’t avoid laundry with that excuse anymore,go to the post office, and pay some overdue fines at the library. I’m dreading the last part because I always get a lecture from the librarian about the easy ways to avoid the fines. I know I can renew online… I just wish I could pay my fines online as well to avoid the dreaded lecture. ( Note: This post was started on one day, completed two days later)

Anyway, funny thing about life.

Sometimes, God removes people that are unhealthy to us, and we may not even realize it. Relationships end. People grow apart. In all the heartbreaking agony that sometimes trails these situations, it helps to reflect on circumstances in the past where there was a loss… it may be the first “love” at 15 and he/she smashed your heart like a ketchup packet, it may be the “best friend” that didn’t prove to be that when she stabbed you in the back at prom… whatever the loss or situation was, when you look back on it, you realize it was all for the best. And, in turn, it saved you from destruction.

Now, I’m not writing this because I’m in dire straits at a loss. I’m perfectly content with my current “loss”.  Sometimes it’s okay to rejoice in the removal of people that you always felt didn’t really “like” you all along. And, there is freedom in that. I’m not talking about harboring hatred, or malice toward someone either…. because that’s outright wrong. However, boundaries are not wrong. If someone triggers emotions or unhealthy attitudes in you,  establish a peaceful distance in the relationship. Peaceful distance is the object here.

Sometimes you might need to be the trigger man to establish a boundary, sometimes the other person might help it along. Either way, if it needs to happen, be content, and be at peace.

After all, nothing in life is permanent.

In the past I have lost many people, that end up resurfacing years later bigger and better than before. It’s a blessing.

So…. that was part of my personal first day of summer. As far as activities go….

2013-06-07 09.45.28

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Science Center & Aquarium, being a “foodie” I was thrilled that there was (FREE!) food for everyone. There was even bagels, cream cheese, yogurt and croissants…mmmm

2013-06-07 10.09.00There were also cake pops, but they didn’t stay on their stick very well.

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We marveled at the prehistoric skeletons, and gazed at the creatures from the sea…

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Then, we went home and the rains came again. It has been raining here for days on end… the grounds are soggy and there are several flooded roads, so much for “The Sunshine State”

So…. we made doughnuts:

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(It happened to be national doughnut day) I NEED a calendar that has all the national food related days/months/weeks. Because it seems like I’m always finding out it’s national _______ day too late.

The next day, it rained once more. So, we opted to go on an indoor adventure with Dad.

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We had a hard time deciding on toppings.

Me: “Hmmmm, how about mushrooms and olives?”

Her: ( see face above)

Me: “Pepperoni and cheese?”

Her (see face above)

Finally: (a decision was made)

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We were totally blessed because we had ordered a small (4 slices/$8.50+toppings) and the waitress brought out a medium that they ended up making on accident. But then she said the magic words: “We won’t charge you for it, though”

Oh yeah! Woo-hoo! Love saving me some $$$$$!

Then we went home and I had made a poolash earlier. In case you don’t know what a poolash is, it’s basically an aged yeast mixture for making crusty, chewy bread. (Think Panera)

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I made a olive & thyme bread. I’ll post about that and the doughnuts over on The Village Cook  

For now, I’m in scrapbook/blog mode. I’m scrap booking my summer and blogging all at once. I know that there is a company that can print your blog posts and bind them in a book, so I can always do that one day if I need something to hold, but for now, this works perfect for myself.

So, I have wrapped up the first three days on Summer so far- the fourth day was spent at church where my husband finally officially became a member. (I had been one for years already) It was a nice event, they had a gorgeous breakfast set up (I forgot to snap pics) and some local donuts that were out of this world…. mmmm .

I have to share how excited I am that he’s finally walking the walk with me… but that may be a whole new blog or series in itself. The amazing changes that have taken place in his heart and mind- things that could not have ever happened without a divine intervention. I have been blessed by being able to witness this extraordinary event first hand.  It’s pretty cool, to say the least. 🙂



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almost beekeeping

Last week, a swarm of bees showed up in my backyard. My husband frantically said,  ” Get the kids and dogs in! ” Then, we watched from the screen porch as the swarm began to settle 12 feet up in a tree in our yard. After 24 hours, I began to grow concerned with their presence and my mind began playing scenes from grade B 1970’s horror movies. So, I started calling people. I was surprised to find a lot of people wanting to do the job for free, I left messages and sent emails and finally, got a hold of a man named Jim.

When I asked Jim if he’d be willing to remove them, he said:

“Sure I can, but why don’t you just keep ’em?”

I explained I had kids and dogs… he said that was fine.

He went on to tell me all I need to do is spend about $200 dollars on equipment, and I’d have myself 40 pounds of free honey every year. He didn’t sell the equipment, but he said it would be easy to find.

Forty pounds of free honey intrigues me briefly, so I said, “Well, I’ll have to talk to my husband first.” (That’s my favorite line to use to end any conversation, by the way. 😉  )

Then, Jim stated; “Well, you better decide quick. Sounds like them bees are just a restin’ there. They probably be gone soon.”

And, just like that, they were.

I never even got to talk to my husband.

Maybe next time.

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