Mud Sale

What is a mud sale? I had never heard of a mud sale either until I moved to Lancaster County.

Mud sales are a way for communities to raise funds for local fire houses which are run by volunteers. Since the annual sales begin in early March and are held inside and outside, the ground is often muddy; mud sale.

There are numerous auctions going on at the same time both inside and out. There are also vendors that you can make purchases without bidding. 

You can buy almost anything during a mud sale. Furniture, new and used, quilts, crafts, farm equipment, plants and the list goes on and on.

It’s exciting how this tiny village comes to life for the mud sale! There are even games being played, like corner ball. 

We walked up and were amazed with all the sights and sounds. And more Amish than I had ever seen in one place before. 

So much excitement in the air. People greeting others they knew, the smell of delicious food cooking (and I mean delicious food!) and so much to look at!

There are great bargains to be had and knowing that anything you buy helps the community makes it even better. If you need help getting your purchases home, there are endless young men with their wagons to give you a hand. 

My words can’t seem to do it justice so I’m thrilled to be able to share the amazing photography of Bob Devonshire. I’ve only shared a few of his photos here. Visit his sites linked below for more. He very nicely gave me permission to share with you. His photos capture the day beautifully.

Please visit his site here: Bob Devonshire

and his Facebook page here: Photo-5 Imagery

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The Wisdom of Kittens

It was a long week so I looked back through some of my posts and this one still makes me smile. I can’t believe my kittens are almost three years old! They still show a lot of wisdom about life and are a joy to have. I hope you enjoy this too. 

Just for fun, this is a small list of watching kittens exploring the new world they find themselves in. We can look at the world like it’s all new again when we watch the young do this.  I hope you enjoy some of these things in your own life. What would you add to this list?

-Look at anything new that crosses your path with curiosity and wonder. Then play with it!

A box and tissue paper. Amazing!

A box and tissue paper. Amazing!

-Play a lot.

-Remember to notice even the simple things in life. Take nothing for granted.

So that's the sky!

So that’s the sky!

-Enjoy the comforts life offers like a big warm pile of laundry. 

Warm clothes.

Warm clothes.

-Sometimes you just have to run at full speed because you are so full of the energy of life! Plus its fun.

-Play until you can’t keep your eyes open for another second.

-Eliminate the negatives in your life by swiping at it, slapping it, shaking it until it can’t hurt you anymore.

-Get plenty of rest.

-Cuddle with a friend. 

Cuddling

Cuddling

-Take care of the ones you love.

Taking Our Time

One of my greatest pleasures in life is having a day to take my time. Those are rare days.

People in this world always want us to rush. Everyone is always in a hurry. Time is money but maybe we have it backwards. Maybe we would get more satisfaction in life if we didn’t have to rush for everything. If we put value in quality rather than quantity.

I’ve always done things slower than most people. I like to savor things in life. I eat my meals slowly. I like to read every word in a book and not skim. I like to take my time to make sure I am doing something right.

And while the world makes us rush, I know that I can make myself rush. Like when I have a whole day to do as I please, I find myself running around trying to cram in everything. That takes away from enjoying it. I end up jumping out of bed and rushing to get to as much as I can. There is something much different about rushing because you want to rather than outside influences forcing you to do something your heart isn’t into. Yet even when we rush ourselves, we are missing something. That isn’t the best way to go about things.

At the same time it seems time is limited and if we want to do all the things we want to do in life, we have to hurry. There is a sense of urgency to life. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to take our time?

My best days are when I wake up in the morning with a clear picture of what I want to get done that day and make a point of doing each thing at my own pace. My own pace is the key. Then I can relax and enjoy whatever I’m doing.

I feel like time favors those who are truly in it and appreciate exactly what is going on; really being in the here and now. The entire feeling of time seems to shift. That feeling of being in the flow happens and isn’t that what life is really about? Being and enjoying exactly where and when you are and what you are doing? Appreciating every breath? Looking around and realizing that there is no place else you would rather be?

I wish I could do that all the time. It’s harder than is sounds which seems silly.

Maybe hobbits have it right and we should just have more mealtimes? Good food with good company makes time just right.

Do you like to take your time? Do you get to?

Zelda Obsession Confession

I have a confession to make. I’m obsessed with the Zelda games. I play a few video games but Zelda is the one I’m obsessed with.

The first one I played was The Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess. Being able to explore the world of Hyrule and solve puzzles and make progress so much fun. The game was huge and I loved exploring it. Then came the Skyward Sword and this one was even better. I’ve been playing these games for years on the Wii.

I would love to say that I played right through these games as fast as I could but no. For me exploring every inch and solving puzzles and side quests is just as fun as the main objective. Losing myself in the world of Hyrule is the point. While I’m concentrating on those games, I’m not thinking about anything else. It’s a true escape for me.

This Christmas my husband totally surprised me by getting me the Nintendo Switch. Colorful fireworks background Free Vector I was beyond excited. This was the best present I’ve gotten in years! Some women want jewelry or nice clothes. Not me! Give me a game system and I’m in heaven! I know, I’m weird that way. And this is the first game system that was just for me. Obviously I share and like to play games with others but I feel like a kid who just got their heart’s desire and didn’t even know that’s what I wanted! I’m thrilled.  

Nintendo Switch

He got me the MarioKart 8 game to play on it which was great because I played that on the Wii too and have enjoyed it.

Zelda Breath of the Wild

Then my son gave me the new Zelda game! Cue the angelic choir! Zelda! Zelda, Breath of the Wild.

I immediately set it up and couldn’t wait to get familiar with how it worked. I behaved and I let the family all try it on Christmas day. But I couldn’t wait try it by myself, to get to know the controls so well that I wouldn’t have to think about them and just play. I couldn’t wait to be back in the world of Hyrule again!

The great thing about the Switch system (And no, I am not a spokesperson for Nintendo. I just happen to think this system is convenient for me.) is that I can play it on the TV but it also has a hand held console with a screen so I can play the game on that when others want to watch the TV. I can set the screen on a table and play or I can play it right in my hands. I can take the game with me! Anywhere!

Uh oh. This could be dangerous!

So here we are three weeks after Christmas and I am thrilled to be back in Hyrule again! I’m exploring and learning. I think this is the best version of the game so far. You can go anywhere and do just about anything. And when the character dies because of my making a bad move, which happens a lot for me, it just picks up at the last saved place. It auto-saves or I can save it any time I want to which is fantastic because I’m terrible at these games so I save all the time.

So what is the point to all of this?

It’s the feeling of the excitement of a child. Its the ability these games give us to be childlike and explore and just go for it. Knowing that we are having fun without real life consequences is exhilarating. These games are an escape from a tough world from time to time.

And as long as I’m going to work and fulfilling my duties in the real world, then what harm is there in playing?

I think that’s why I’m having so much fun. We all need to find that something that lets us play like a child. And if we forget how to play what kind of life are we living?

What do you do to feel like a kid again? How do you play?

Play Day

I need a play day. Being a grownup is a lot of work and not enough play. As a grownup I find that I don’t make enough time for fun. When this goes on too long and I don’t pay attention then usually I end up getting sick. So really a play day is a good health day.

Today I’m trying to take a play day. I started the day by taking my time which in itself is such a wonderful luxury! I sat and had more than one cup of tea and the one I’m having right now is a delicious specialty blend that I bought at a tea shop. It is cocoa caramel sea salt tea and how can I possibly feel like a responsible adult while sipping on this? I can’t!

While sipping my tea I watched two (two!) episodes of Star Trek, Next Generation instead of the news. Yes, I’m a Trekkie. I have been all of my life. Watching a fun show makes me feel like a kid.

I have discovered that I’m not very good at play days and I have to work at having one which seems ironic. Despite my best intentions, I still have things that I have to get done whether I want to or not. So in keeping with the childlike frame of mind I want to maintain today I am doing a lot of grumbling and whining about having to do my chores. Little by little I am getting things done like laundry and stuff. Ugh.

However, I am determined to play. How? Well the great thing about being a grownup is that I have a lot of options! I can play video games, I can color, I can read, I can write, I can watch a movie; all of which sound fun and best of all none of which I have to do. I think that’s the key. Finding something fun to do, something enjoyable. Doing something that I think about doing a lot and keep telling myself that I will when I have time. And how often does that time come up? Almost never. 

I have been given a lot of coloring books to choose from. Fun!

I have been given a lot of coloring books to choose from. Fun!

So I am making time today. Playing enough to take my mind away from all thoughts about what I should be doing. Forgetting about time for a while. Doing something so enjoyable that I will realize that a few hours have gone by without my noticing.

What do you do when you play? What brings out the carefree kid in you?

Wish me luck! Because I am going to go play before I think of something I should be doing!

Super Bowl Confession

I’m not really a football fan. I know! I can hear your collective gasps of shock! I happen to catch bits and pieces of a game when somebody else has it on the TV during football season. And I hear who is going for the Super Bowl. And I even know which teams are playing this year! (The Falcons and the Patriots) Otherwise, I really don’t care.

However, what I do like about the Super Bowl is how it pulls the country together in a big way. I love how it is so American! I can’t help but get into the excitement. I enjoy seeing people excited about this game and the fun rivalries that happen. (It is a game, people!)

I love the rituals. The flying of the flag, the singing of the National Anthem, the fly-over of the Thunderbirds, the coin toss and the first kick-off and play of the game.

I admit that I look forward to the commercials; the only time I can say that.

I love the half-time show.

I enjoy empathizing with the players knowing that this game is the dream of a lifetime for all of them and trying to imagine how that feels. We get a glimpse of that when they show their excitement when a play goes their way.

I also find it fascinating that there is a primal level to this game. The love of a battle and winning at all costs. The adrenaline you can see in the players’ eyes. This game is a wonderful outlet for those primitive urges.

As far as the entire game goes, I usually listen to it and glance at it when it seems there is a big play happening.

I love that people gather for parties, food and camaraderie.

There is a feeling in the air of fun and patriotism.

So even though I’m not really a big football fan, I do enjoy the Super Bowl.

No matter who wins, I hope all of you enjoy it. Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Coloring

As I’m sure most of you have noticed there is a lot in the media about adult coloring and the benefits of this activity. Just type in ‘benefits of coloring for adults’ in your browser and see all the results that show up. Coloring helps you relax, focus and be more mindful. We could all use more of that! 

Fish

Fish

First I have to say that I’ve always colored and have adult coloring books from years ago before it was the ‘in’ thing to do, so this is nothing new for me.

What I do like is the wonderful variety of good quality coloring books that are being published now. Have you looked at any? And the variety of topics is almost overwhelming. But fun!

I got one of these new books last fall when we were in the middle of moving. The only change I made is that I treated myself to a big box of colored pencils and a cheap sharpener. I know some people use magic markers, some use watercolor pencils and some still use crayons. Why not combine a few of these tools and see what happens?

Since last fall, I have been given four more of these books. I now have enough coloring books to last me for years!

I agree with the experts that this is a great way to relax. I don’t watch a lot of TV and when I do I feel like I’m wasting time but coloring while watching TV is a great combination. Or while listening to a radio show or podcast.

Forest Stump

Forest Stump

One thing I have learned is that you can’t rush these things. You need to slow down and take your time. Take your time in picking out an illustration that attracts your attention. Then look at it for a while and see if you can imagine what color would look the best in each area. When you do start coloring, have fun experimenting with the pressure you put on the pencil. Start out light and increase the pressure which makes the color more brilliant. Try combining colors. Do some shading to give a more three-dimensional look to your picture. Experiment!

Some of these pictures are very intricate so don’t rush it. I’ve only finished a few so far but there is no time limit on these. Take your time.

I’ve found that having a piece of scrap paper nearby helps to sample the colors before you use them. Or do what I do and scribble little samples on the edges of the last pages in the books if you have one that has blank spots for this use.

Whale

Whale

Don’t restrict yourself to making the subject look real. Who says an elephant has to be gray or the sky has to be blue? Go crazy and make it your own!

Remember when you used to lie on your stomach on the floor as a kid and color for hours? Find a comfortable position or chair and start coloring.

Most of all, have fun.