Thursday, September 29, 2011

If It's Worth Having...It May Be Tough

Every path hath a puddle.  ~George Herbert

Are there times when you want to give up?  Times you wonder if you are on the right path and doing the right thing? Times you question your situation because it is tough and not going the way you dreamed it to be?  This is adversity.  I believe that through adversity and challenge we become stronger and anything worth having may be a tough road to get there.

It would be great if we got what we wanted in life and faced no tough roads along the way...but that is not reality.  Easy isn't always best. We have all heard "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Think about it, when things are hard, it is time to dive in and show your true character.  It is time to tackle the challenge.

It is easy to give up, change direction or make excuses...but will that get you where you TRULY want to be, or where you are just SETTLING to be.

As parents sometimes we face this with our children in school, sports and their future.  It is hard to not just want to fix everything and make things easy for our kids. By doing so we are not helping, we are enabling.  It is important to learn that life is not meant to be easy and just because it is not easy doesn't mean it can't be rewarding.

The feeling of accomplishment when you have tackled a tough situation and succeeded and you are where you want to be is an amazing feeling of accomplishment.  You worked hard and you achieved.  Through adversity and challenge you became stronger.

From personal experience, I would say that giving up is not the answer.  There are a new set of problems and challenges down every road.  If by chance you find that "perfect, easy road" is it really what you wanted and where you want to be? Or...are you just settling? Give your situation a chance.  Look for positives in every situation and make the best of the situation you are in.  Work hard, be strong, pray, have faith and remember that sometimes if it is really worth may be tough.

I should put a disclaimer that this is meant in general terms, obviously there are situations that are not safe, etc. that need to be changed. I just believe that a lot of times people give up too soon, I know I have.  Believe in yourself and know you can tackle adversity.

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.  ~Frank A. Clark

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


If you can't forgive and forget, pick one.  ~Robert Brault

This picture was on many people's Facebook posts today...I had to take it...Forgive me!  When I saw it I could only think how true it is. 

How many people do you hold a grudge against or have chosen not to forgive for some reason?  I have learned the hard way that holding a grudge and not offering forgiveness can be just as detrimental to you as the other person. Harboring that negativity inside is not good for your mental or physical health.

I heard a sermon many years back that has always stuck in my mind. Forgiveness is not making something okay or acceptable...It is releasing the burden to God.  Since it is not our "job" to judge, by forgiving, we are handing it over to God and taking a step in moving forward. By forgiving and saying NO to a grudge, you are saying YES to hope, peace and joy.

Forgiveness is personally deciding to let go of thoughts of resentment and revenge which may eventually lead to feeling of understanding and compassion. People often feel like if they forgive someone, they are saying that the action was acceptable.  This is not the case, you are only saying I am ready to move on, you are not excusing the act. You are simply letting that act lose it's grip on you.

Forgiving someone can be challenging.  It doesn't mean there is reconciliation. Forgiveness doesn't mean a person will change.  Forgiveness does mean that you will not allow that act to have control of your thoughts, emotions an life any longer.

Life is too short to hold a grudge...let it go...turn it over to God...He will handle it! You have bigger joys waiting and a wonderful life to live!

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.  ~Paul Boese

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Take Some Time to Watch the Leaves Turn

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.  ~Stanley Horowitz

Fall is in the air.  The mornings are brisk, the leaves are turning and the harvest is abundant.  Fall is a beautiful season and one of my favorites.

I am an "off season" person.  I love the spring and the fall, but I would have to say fall is my favorite.

Why?  So many reasons. I was born in the fall and I was married in the fall.  Some of my favorite sports are in the fall, football and volleyball. Mostly, fall symbolizes a time to start slowing down.

Life gets pretty crazy sometimes.  During the spring and summer, life kicks into high gear. It is when fall edges around the corner that I start to feel a sense of peace and feel like it is okay to relax a little.

It's a feeling that is hard to explain, but I can definitely feel it.  When I watch the colors turn, feel the change in temperature and hear a football game on television...I am happy.

Welcome fall! I am happy you are here...take some time to watch the leaves turn, slow down and enjoy the beautiful canvas that God has created.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

Quiet, talkative, over packed, fast, slow, nice, rude...what kind of traveler are you? What kind of travelers do you observe?  Over the last few years we have had a lot of opportunity to travel.  Half of the fun is observing.

Over the last five days, we have been in four airports...Reno, Phoenix, Omaha and Salt Lake City.  Each one with a personality of it's own. There were three of us traveling, so I was usually the one sitting by myself next to someone I didn't know.

I try to be friendly.  I have only run across a few people that have sat next to me that share that sentiment.  I figure, why not visit a little?  It makes the situation more comfortable.  I have sat next to people that put on a sleep mask and put in ear plugs; people who look out the window the entire time; people who instantly go to sleep; and a few people that actually talk a bit.

So, what kind of traveler are you?

Instant Friend Irene...share details about your family, possibly show pictures, tell about your vacation and ask a lot of questions

Leave Me Alone Larry...You are the one who puts on your music, gets involved in a book, looks out the window or goes to sleep.

My Carry-On Will Too Fit Mary...How much can you fit in that roller bag anyway? It may have started out close to the required dimensions...before you filled it. You will continue to stuff, push, pull and tug to get it in the overhead....

Gate Check Gary...You don't want to pay the $25 bucks to check your bag, but you are more than willing to "gate check" your bag when they ask for volunteers. This way it's FREE and you don't have to deal with your bag.

Slow Poke Sally...You take your time, your connecting flight is two hours away. You are in no hurry to get off the plane...NOW you want to visit.

Fast Feet Freddy...You are in a hurry...your flight connects soon.  You move fast and everyone knows to get out our your way.  Sometimes this traveler doesn't need to be in a hurry, they just are.  They want to be the first in line, the first on the plane, the first off the plane and the first to baggage claim.

So, which are you?  The funny thing I was writing this, I realized we are all one of these at one time or another, depending on our circumstances.  I really can fit in ANY one of these categories.  With that being recognized, I have respect and admiration for all travelers....whichever you are for the day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Am Blessed With My Family

You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to you, 
as you are to them.”

Short and sweet...I am blessed to be spending the weekend with my family and am enjoying every minute of it.  There is no greater gift and I am so thankful for my family. 

I hope you are able to spend some time with your family today!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

If You Live in Nebraska...You Better Like Red!

I forgot how much I like this place.  Every time we come to visit I am reminded of why I enjoy it so much. We are in Fremont, northwest of Omaha, a long way from out northeastern California home. The great thing is, it feels like home here.  

This is the third year we have been coming out here.  It really reminds me of our rural home.  There is agriculture and open ground as far as you can see.  There are thousands of acres of corn and soybeans.  It is really a beautiful place.

The best part is the people.  I have never met more genuine and nice people in my life. We have made some very special friends and always look forward to seeing them.  We keep in touch throughout the year and have established great friendships.

When we arrived yesterday, we got to take our son and some of his friends out to dinner.  This included two offensive lineman, a defensive player and our fullback son...we didn't eat salads!  What a great time and great young men.

Grocery shopping for our son was next.  That is always fun.  He is a good shopper, he learned a lot from his mom...comparing prices, quantities and value. He doesn't buy junk food, we had no cookies, candy, chips or soda in the shopping cart.

This is a great place. The town is just the right size with everything you need and a great old town with cute  shops perfect for "mom" shopping. Omaha is only 30 minutes away for the "big city" fix.

I will say though, I have never seen more red in my life.  These people are passionate about Cornhusker football.  People drive red cars, wear red clothes and proudly display the colors of their state team.  If you live in Nebraska, you better like red!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Woke Up in Nevada...Will Go to Sleep in Nebraska

I woke up at 4:00 am in Reno, Nevada.  It is now 4:00 pm central time and I am in Nebraska.  Two airports later I am 1700 miles away from home...and I couldn't be happier!

We left last night and made the 3 hour trip to Reno so we could be there for our 6:00 am flight.  Traveling is not easy, but it is definitely getting easier. We know the routine and we have our packing down to a science.  We are prepared with our 3 ounce liquids in a zip loc bags, we have learned to wear shoes that are easy to take off and on and we know what things will slow us down in the security line.  

I actually feel like a pro at the flying thing.  Today, was a busy day at the Reno airport.  I couldn't imagine where all of those people were going at 6:00 in the morning. There were a lot of "rookie" passengers...not prepared with their zip locs, laptops still in their bags and forgetting to take off their sweatshirts and jackets. 

In Phoenix, the crowd wasn't any smaller.  Our flight from Phoenix to Omaha was full.  I had to wonder why all of those people were going to Omaha.  The flight was uneventful for the most part...Until I thought we hit a deer in the air! I was sound asleep and was promptly awakened by a jolt that felt like the plane was break in half.  Not sure what that was all about...but it sure woke me up!

I have to laugh at all of the people that push the limit on the rules of travel. Suitcases that are HUGE and being carried on, passengers needing to be told to turn off phones and put up tray tables after the announcement was made and people just thinking rules do not apply to them. I am a "rule person", I follow rules, so I guess I notice when others don't.

All in all, I am so thankful for our safe trip and happy to now be in Nebraska...eagerly awaiting for our son to get done with football practice so we can see him.  

It is a great day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Being Your Own Dog...Bulldog that Is...

School spirit and pride is sometimes a thing of the past.  There are a lot of teenagers that, simply put, are "too cool" to have fun.  There is often the worry of "what will other people think of me?"  Or..."I can't have too much fun or I won't be cool enough." (I have NO idea if "cool" is the current word to use for this example, but it's what we would have used "back in the day".)

There is a school in Northeastern California where school spirit and pride is alive and well.  The home of the Fall River Bulldogs is home of the famous volleyball "Fan Club."  If you have never seen these boys in action, you need to.  It is a priceless experience.

In they walk dressed in what looks like the findings from an 80's yard sale.  Really, they have been into the boxes of retro uniforms at the school and have chosen their favorites. Yes, it is mostly form the 80's...short shorts, polyester and big bold stripes.  The mix and match, the unique combinations and the perfect accessories make this group a perfect photo opportunity.

The best thing about these boys is that they have fun!  They don't care if anyone thinks they look ridiculous, sound obnoxious or seem uncool.  They are their own dog...bulldog.  They are amazing!

This has gone on for many years now and Fall River has become known for their extremely LOUD fan club. They aren't rude in any way...they are funny and enthusiastic. They are notable for doing the "seat shuffle" in the bleachers if things aren't going right for their team.  They cheer for the "Hat Trick" and will let you know when the ball gets away..."Ball,ball, ball, ball...."

At the end of each match they have a cheer for the girls, win or lose.  They form a tunnel and the girls run through in circles...three or four times.  Then the fan club, the team and other students and alumni gather on the floor and sing the Alma Mater. It is one of the BEST demonstrations of school PRIDE I have ever seen.

So here's to the Fan are amazing.  Thank you for being willing to be your "own dog" and have fun.  The future of the Fan Club is bright with the example that is being set throughout the years.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's Wednesday...It's already been a long week and I am speechless.  Hard to believe...I know. Today has been full of meetings and I have two more to go....So, Here I am trying to write a blog and all that comes to mind is.....Hmmmmmm.

Hmmmmm....what do I write about?
Hmmmmm....I have so much to do in the rest of this day
Hmmmmm....Where do I begin?
Hmmmmm....Can't it be tomorrow yet?
Hmmmmm....No Words....

But just like last night at our volleyball game, I HAVE to say something!  We finished the game and it wasn't pretty.  I told the girls that I had already said everything I could think of saying...many times over.  I wanted them to go get together as a group and talk it out and figure out what they thought was the problem.  

They went over, sat down....and even though I said I didn't have anything to say...I did.  I had to tell them that even though they didn't look real good in their game, I know their capabilities.  I had to let them know I believed in them.

So even though I don't have the time to develop some deep thoughts here...I had to let everyone know I am thinking about you.

I hope you all have had a wonderful day...We are on the downhill side of the week.

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.  ~William James

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Positive + Positive = Positive

Attitudes are contagious.  Are yours worth catching?  
~Dennis and Wendy Mannering

A negative plus a negative will never be a positive.  A negative plus a positive can be a positive.  A positive and a positive is always a positive. 

The definition of Negative is:
Lacking positive qualities; marked by denial, prohibition, or refusal, marked by absence, withholding, or removal of something positive, marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development.

In comparison, the definition of Positive is:

Expressed clearly or peremptorily,  fully assured, independent of changing circumstances, relating to or constituting a motion or device that is definite, unyielding, constant, or certain in its action, indicating, relating to, or characterized by affirmation, addition, inclusion, or presence rather than negation, withholding, or absence.

Big definitions for a simple philosophy...being positive in all aspects of life will only bring more positive.  Just as being negative will only continue to emphasize the negativity around us.

When in a difficult situation, try looking for a positive.  It may be a small glimmer in the person or situation, but if you focus on that...things will change.  Put on your rose colored glasses!

When dwelling on what is wrong, we will only continue to see what is wrong...things probably won't get better.  What it right?

A attitude can make a big difference, whether it be a positive one or a negative one.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.  
~Winston Churchill

Here are a few things to remember:

-Positive thoughts attract positive results.
-Positive attitudes attract positive reactions from others.
-Positive appearances attract positive impressions.
-People enjoy being in the presence of positive people.
-Positive people expect good things to happen to them, and through those expectations, they generally get what they expect.

-Positive expectations combined with positive actions will certainly result in more success than negative expectations and actions.

-A batter who expects to strikeout most likely will.
-Negative attracts negative.

Happiness is an attitude.  We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.  The amount of work is the same. 
 ~Francesca Reigler

Monday, September 19, 2011

Do You Like My Hat?

What are you looking at?  Do you not like my hat?  This walk today is pretty long.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have made this walk.  Back and forth...back and forth.  I always seem to be bringing up the tail end too.  I guess I'm not a spring chicken anymore. It is worth it though.  The rancher always takes us to a nice new green field just about the time we are running out of pasture.

I have plenty of excuses for being slow.  I have been down this road before, so why do I need to get in a hurry.  The grass will still be there when I get there.  The thing these young cows forget, is that the rancher holds is in the corner before he lets us in the field.  So it doesn't really matter who gets there first, we all get let in at the same time.

Besides, I am getting older, I have had a lot of calves and a couple of sets of twins in my day! You should try raising two calves at once...there is no time to rest!

As for my hat...I picked this up along the way.  It fits on my horns perfectly.  It provides lots of shade and I think it looks pretty good!

Enough jibber-jabber, it is time to head out and get a bite of this fresh green grass then go take a nice rest and chew my cud under the big oak tree.  There I will sit and all of the rest of the cows will surely be jealous of my hat!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Sunday Morning (Cattle) Drive

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and the perfect day for a drive...a cattle drive that it!  We moved the cows to this morning to the other ranch, something we do several times each summer.  It is always a lot of fun, but today I noticed a few different things....

Nana got to go with us and she had such a great time.  She wanted us to move the cattle before she had to leave.  She was sure to tell me she wanted a few pictures so all of the family would believe she helped move cows.

I rode up through the cattle so I could get a good picture of nana with the cattle.  She proceeded to take off her sweater.  I said, "Nana, are you too warm?"  She said, "A little, but I can't be taking a picture with this city sweater on!"

Hopefully no one was in too big of a hurry today.  There's nothing like driving to town and getting held up in a herd of cattle.   I would rather that any day than being held up in traffic and stop lights.  A lot of people come through that are from out of the area.  They have never seen anything like this.  We usually "take the cars through".  Today, we had a couple of cars that chose to hold back and follow behind.  They said, "We don't see thing like this every day."

Some just got stuck in "cattle" traffic...

I also get a kick out of watching the cows.  They definitely have personalities!  

We  saw Tanner's cow, Bessie...

Some get out and move fast, others take their time.  Others even pick up a new hat along the way!

When all was said and done, the cattle drove at 6 miles per hour, they ended up in a beautiful green meadow and everyone was happy....

The dogs worked hard and needed a rest...

We learned the horses liked cookies and wanted a treat too...

Finally, we all had a minute to stop, visit and relax after a beautiful morning of moving the cattle.  Taking in the beautiful surroundings, enjoying great company and enjoying a simple part of life was a Sunday blessing from God!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Time Out

This channel (blog) will take a "Time Out" today...for a little Midland University Warrior football...

....And some Fall River Bulldog Volleyball!

Have a wonderful weekend...may  it be watching NFL Flag football, Junior High Football or Volleyball, High School Volleyball, College Football or NFL tomorrow!

Friday, September 16, 2011

There's Always Time to Dust

I look around this morning over my coffee cup
Everywhere I look stuff is piling up
Stacks of mail, socks, shoes and more
Seem to clutter every space... the table, counter and floor

I try to get the ambition to tackle this big mess
But I have a game to go's just gonna have to wait I guess.

My last child has less than a year, then to college she will go
My time will be harder to all you mothers know
I choose to spend my time with family, not a broom
When you come to visit, look at me, not my room

I will do my best to keep things neat and tidy
But if a game, activity or family time is happening, that's where you will find me.

I want to be a mother, wife and a  friend
There will always be a mess to clean up clear til the end.
Go ahead, clean your house if you must
Just remember your children grow up fast and there's always time to dust. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tent Angel

She stood there exhausted but full of joy.  She had completed her first day...20 miles.  She was handed her gear, including a pink tent . "How am I going to get this tent put up?  I have never put up a tent in my life." 

She started talking with God, "Ok God, you brought me here.  You led me to do this awesome event.  You said you would take care of me.  Now, how do I get this tent put together?"

You see, she is a city girl.  She now lives in a rural area, but she is still not a camper.  As cute as the tent was...bright pink and girly, it still didn't set itself up. The challenge still remained.

She was tired, but in a good way.  She had decided months earlier to participate in the 3-Day for the Cure.  She trained for months, raised the necessary funds and was well prepared to walk 60 miles over the course of three days.  What she wasn't ready for was this tent!

About the time she was ready to give up...She literally looked up from the bagged tent, turned to her right and standing there was a sweet lady dressed with angel wings on.  "I can do that for you," the winged lady said. "Go get your shower and when you get back your tent will be set up."

Wow! God said he would take care of her and He did.  The tent angel set up her pretty pink tent, she was able to get to the showers before the long line assembled and came back to a nice place to rest.

At the end of three days, she had to take down her own tent.  She got it down and back in the bag....well, sort of.  God is good!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Greatest Gift

When your birthday or Christmas approaches do you have something that you really want?  Have you ever received a gift that you really cherished? Some gifts we receive last a short time.  Some gifts we receive last a lifetime.

I received a gift the other day that I will cherish forever.  In 1966, the year I was born, my great-grandfather gave my grandparents a small black leather covered devotional, The Daily Light.  As far back as I remember, that devotional sat on the table at my grandparents house and my grandpa read out of it EVERY DAY without fail.  For 45 years he read that daily devotional.

The small book is worn and obviously well read.  I had always told my grandpa, I hoped to have it someday.  This week, my grandma is visiting and the other morning she came out and gave me this devotional book.  The marker in the book is on July 30...this is the last day my grandpa read.  He went home to be with the Lord that night.

The devotional he had read last was from Colossians 3:1, "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." This is the way my grandpa lived his life and his example was a gift to us all.

This gift I received this week is priceless.  It is not just the physical gift, but all of the lessons, memories and guidance that came with it. Thank you nana and both are a gift to us all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Will Erica Do Now?

September 23 will be the end...No more lunches shared with cast of All My Children. Since 1970, this Soap Opera has been on the air.  I admit, I have watched it for a long time. I have never had to watch every day, it is easy enough to catch up if you miss a week or two.

I have watched Erica Kane from a young character...

To her current character...

I can remember most of her husbands....

She has been married to Jeff Martin, Philip Brent, Tom Cudahy, Adam Chandler, Dimitri Marick (twice), and Jackson Montgomery. Her invalid marriages were with Mike Roy twice; their second was an informal recitement of vows on Mike's "death bed" in 1985, Travis Montgomery (twice) and Adam Chandler (their second ceremony was actually a renewal of their vows, since they had 
never been legally divorced years earlier). P.S.  I had to research this, I am not so dedicated I remembered all of those dates!

Favorites like Tad and Dixie, Adam Chandler and the Martins have been staples on the show for years.  I have heard people speak of these characters as if they were real. For over 40 years viewers have became a part of Pine Valley.

So the questions now will they show end?  Will Jack and Erica finally get married? Will Angie see again?  What has David really been up to?  There is talk of an internet version coming out next year, in which Erica will not be a part of...So, what will Erica Kane do?  Become a guest host on The Chew?  

The Great and the Least,
The Rich and the Poor,
The Weak and the Strong,
In Sickness and in Health,
In Joy and Sorrow,
In Tragedy and Triumph,

Visit my web page full of fun, positive, inspiring people, ideas, stories and more...take a peek.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Am So Proud of My Nana!

I have spent the best morning getting some work done on the computer.  Sitting across from me at the table is my nana...using her computer.  

Nana is 89 years old and has a very nice laptop computer.  She has had it for a short time and is having a lot of fun learning how to use it. Every so often, she asks me a question about how to do something. I am so proud of her for diving straight in and learning!

She is staying with us for a while and wanted to send out a little update to her friends and family.  I was so impressed as I watched her send an email out detailing her visit.  

I know a lot of people that are very intimidated by computers.  It can be scary to move away from the pen and paper to an electronic keyboard.  The funny thing is, I remember when I was young, my nana taught me to use the electric typewriter.  We are now full circle.

The next projects on tap are setting her up with a file to start typing her recipes in.  I want to put together a cookbook with all of her recipes.  Next, our daughter is going to help her set up a Facebook...there are a lot of family and friends on there she wants to connect with.  

As for time away from the computer, we will be moving cows soon ans she is going along in the mule....she wants us to be sure to take a picture so she can put it on her Facebook! 

My nana has taught me a lot in life....the lesson she is teaching me now is to always keep learning!

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.  ~Chinese Proverb

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Turning Fear into Love - The 10 Years After 9/11

Ten years ago today it seemed as if our world quit turning.  Disbelief, fear, unrest and every other negative emotion captured a moment in time.  In the next moments, days, months and years....we have seen that hope can overcome fear, love can overcome hatred and the compassion and love in the American heart cannot be measured.

In an act that was meant to harm our country and instill great fear, American people rose above expectations and became stronger than ever.

Our pastor gave a great message today about how love can make amazing things happen.  Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loved us.  The way love was put into action after the tragedy on 9/11 is a great example of that kind of love.

Endless examples of heroic acts, individuals showing acts of selflessness, strangers putting someone else's life ahead of their own and the overwhelming compassion demonstrated in the days to follow were what I believe Jesus was talking about.  When we come to the place where we are more concerned about someone else than our self, we are loving like we are supposed to love.  

Heroes of all sorts emerged from the 9/11 tragedy and were willing to risk their life to safe another.  The fear that attackers had hope to instill in people was overcome by love and unity.  An act meant to tear us apart, brought us together.

The loss of so many precious lives can never be replaced nor forgotten.  The tragedy will always be remembered....but ten years later, we have seen a tribute to those lost through the hope, compassionate spirit and the true love demonstrated by so many individuals.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:12-13

Friday, September 9, 2011

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Are you just hanging out swimming with all of the other fish?  Stuck in your same old routine?  Too afraid to try something new?  Stepping out of your comfort zone is a big deal.  Especially when your are perfectly comfortable right where you are.

Stop and think about it though.  Is it getting a little crowded?  Is the water getting a little stagnant?  Maybe it's time to take a jump into a fresh pond.

I find it easy to get complacent and content with where I am at.  It is easier to swim with the other fish than to venture into unknown waters on my own.  I may be missing a lot though.  By stepping out of our comfort zone, we often find opportunities we never knew of.  

I don't really believe that things are just "dropped" into our lap.  I believe we see hints of opportunities, chances are presented to us and hints are dropped right in our face...but we have to be willing to further explore those opportunities. Having our eyes and heart open to what may be ahead.

If we never choose to step out of our comfort zone, we may miss a people, new places, new activities and new experiences.

I have a lot of admiration and respect for students that leave our small community and go somewhere completely new.  A place where they don't know anyone and they get to start fresh. This is an amazing chance to see what life is about and figure out what is out there for them.  When our son decided to go to Nebraska it was a big deal.  Even bigger was when we dropped him off there, got in the car and drove back to our comfort zone leaving him to explore a big new world.

Don't be afraid to step out, even if you have to take baby steps.  You many be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are. Max DePree

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Who is on the Team?

We have all heard it...there is no "I" in team.  A team is a group of individuals working together for a common goal.  A team divides the work and doubles the success. A team is less "me" and more "we".

Is a team only comprised of those who get on the field or the court? Is a team the starting lineup or the ones that were in the game when the contest was won? Definitely NOT! A team is comprised of athletes working together at practice, preparing for games and supporting one another throughout the process.

My husband and I are both coaches.  A message we always try to present to our players is that ALL of them comprise the team...not just the ones that get in the game.  Often times players feel like they are not a part of the team if they don't get to play a lot...that couldn't be further from the truth.

If an individual comes to practice each day with a positive, hardworking, team player attitude, that builds the team.  If the individual works hard to become a better player, to earn a spot on the field or court, that individual is pushing someone else to work hard and become better.  This process is motivating and inspiring each individual on the team to be better...making a better team.  On game day, the team is better prepared to compete because of the efforts of each individual at practice.

It is common to hear people ask, "Did you get to play?"  Many times spectators, family and friends gauge success on if the athlete has a starting spot, how many points scored, yards passed or rushed, or how many minutes the athlete was in the game.  Yes, that is a nice bonus, but being on the team is success in itself.

A lot of hard work goes into be a member of a team and each player has their role.  Their role may be a starting athlete in the lineup or it may be the one that pushes that starter so hard in practice that it has made him or her better.  The role may be the one that slaps everyone one the hand as they approach the bench and keeps the team momentum and enthusiasm up.  Each teammate has a role and is an important part of the team's success.

A challenge to us all as athletes, coaches, parents, spectators, family and friends, is to recognize each team member for their contribution and always remember the team would not be the same without every person on it...together everyone achieves more!

"One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team." Kareem Abul-Jabbar 

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Apple a Day...

"Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits." -- Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples

"An apple a day will keep the doctor away."  Is there truth to that old adage? Apples are in abundant is time to get busy and not let them all go to waste.  There are many benefits and uses for the common fruit.  There is also a lot of interesting information. 

There are thousands of varieties of apples, over 7500 to be exact.  The apple tree originated in Western Asia.  China is the world's top producer of apples, followed by the United States.  Over 60 million tons of apples are produced annually.  The most common types of apples are fuji, gala, red delicious, golden delicious, granny smith and braeburn.

Some suggest an apple should be eaten every day.  Medical research has shown apples can benefit your health in many areas including bone protection, asthma, Alzheimer's  cholesterol, cancer, diabetes and weight loss. 

There are many creative ways to use apples.  Salads, baked desserts, stuffing, sauces and plain apples are examples of how to get an apple a day into your diet.

Here are some tips when buying apples....

  • Good color indicates full flavor.  Don't be turned off by russeting a tough reddish brown skin on part of the apple: this will not affect eating quality or flavor..
  • Apples should be firm and free of bruises.
  • Early apples are best for fresh eating, salads, fruit cups and desserts.   Refrigerate them and use them within 3 to 4 weeks - they do not store well.
  • Apples bought in bulk should be stored in the hydrator or in a covered container in the refrigerator to maintain proper humidity.

  • Nutrition:

    Some apple facts:
  • Americans eat approximately 19.6 pounds of fresh apples annually.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples are available year-round.
  • The most popular variety in the United States is the Red Delicious.

And...did you know that fresh apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.

So as I look out my window and see my apple trees loaded with apples, I am reminded it is time to get busy making some apple sauce. The deer appreciate what I let fall to the ground, but I must make an effort to harvest s many as I can.

                 When the apple is ripe it will fall.~ Irish Proverb

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