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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Rainy Sunday Morning

It’s a dark, wet morning. The sound of a downpour of rain on the roof and tapping on the windows makes me feel extra warm and cozy in bed. Knowing it’s Sunday morning lets me pull the covers up and breathe in happy contentment. The experience of being warm, cozy and relaxed with no reason to have to get up. What a wonderful way to start the day.

Soon the Possibilities of the day start nudging me. “Hey!,” they whisper, “You can write, read, draw, play with the cats and more today!”

Oh yeah! I say to myself, stretching, waking up more.

Then the Shoulds speak up. “You need to dust, vacuum, pay bills and more today.”

Ugh! I curl back up and hide under the covers.

Then Common Sense and Logic step up. “How about if you get up now? Then you’ll have time to do a little of each? In fact, let’s start with something nice. You know, ease into the day.”

That does it. I’m awake with my head full of all this day can hold.

Now I’m sitting with a hot cup of green tea, a book, the occasional raindrop running down the window, birds on the feeder outside, the cats watching eagerly with tails twitching, a notebook, favorite pen and these words.

A day full of possibilities.

I hope you have one too.

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.

The Power of Creativity

Orange SparkDo we create in order to have some control of our lives in a world that dictates much of how we live? In a world of cubicles or ‘How may I help you?’ from the back side of a counter does our desire to create come from the desperate need to have some personal freedom? And does everyone feel this way? Or are some people totally content in accepting the 9-5 grind? Or the swing shifts or the ever-changing schedules of retail? Are there people for whom that is enough?

Much of our world does not reward creativity and often punishes or demeans any spark of individuality or independent thinking.

So for those of us who find this way of life draining we crave to be creative. On our own limited time we have the desperate need to write, draw, sew, design, paint or build. We wake up early or stay up late to work on our own creations. We spend hours dreaming, visualizing and ultimately bringing our ideas to life.

And doing all of this empowers us. We feel more in control. We get recharged. We are happy that we get to create.

If we had lives that we could create all the time without limits, what would that be like? Would we lose the desperate feeling of needing to create? Would we settle into a peaceful contentment of working on what we love all of the time? I can only imagine.

For those who can only do the dreaming and the visualizing but never get to manifest their ideas must be the saddest of all.

To live a life flat, sterile and devoid of passion would be the worst.

If you have the craving to make something; do it. Start small. Start tiny. Jot down a few words. Make a rough sketch. Take some measurements. Then see how you feel.

Excited? Scared? A spark of … something?

It’s a start.

Think of it as an adventure. How can you take the next step?

Grab on to your creative spark, add a tiny bit of kindling and blow gently. Nurture your idea; your vision. Feed it a few minutes at a time.

Little by little your dream will come to life and you will benefit from the boost it will give you. You will thrive in a tough world.

When you are in your cubicle or ringing up an order at the register, remind yourself that you have a creation in the works which will make you smile and give you something to look forward to. Something to love.

Use your power of creativity. Let your imagination shine!

Believe and Focus

2017. What a year!

I was really struggling in the last quarter of 2017. I’m usually a pretty positive person and for the short times when I’m not, I can pull myself out of it and move on. I wasn’t able to do that as well as usual. I had a sense of anxiety that didn’t seem to be caused by any one thing. That was unnerving. And scary. And for those of you who suffer from severe anxiety on a regular basis, I have a new respect for what you deal with on a regular basis. And I’m so glad there are a variety of treatments out there.

I knew that I needed to keep searching for a solution and an answer to why I was feeling this way. But the more I thought about it the more I worried and the worse it got. So I stopped questioning why I felt the way I did and shifted my focus. 

This all sounds very deep and wonderful but I’m also a bit stubborn so I sometimes overlook the obvious. After a week or so (maybe it was longer) I was in a store looking at Christmas ornaments and I found one that had the word ‘believe’ on it. I realized that I had been seeing or hearing the word ‘believe’ over and over again for weeks! I mean a lot. Like a ridiculous amount of times. I finally really saw it and knew that this was my sign, my word, and I was on the right track. I bought the ornament and hung it on the Christmas tree at eye level, (which is pretty low because I’m short) so I could see it as a positive affirmation every day.

Just focusing on that one word a few times a day made a difference.

For me, focusing on believing that things happen for a reason and that it will all work out was what I needed to get out of my funk. Mostly. It’s a daily practice. Sometimes it’s hour by hour or minute by minute. It depends on the day.

So that brought me to the word ‘focus’. Our thoughts are powerful so we need to focus on what we want in our lives and not all the craziness in the world around us. I know this sounds like a cliché but it’s true.

If I can focus on finding something beautiful, positive or inspiring every day it’s amazing how much better life is. It never fails. It isn’t easy, but it works.

Like what?

Like the miracle of the tiny Juncos that visit my feeder in this frigid weather. The fact that these tiny creatures can survive outside when the temperature has been in the teens during the day and in the single digits at night amazes me. 

Junco hanging on a windy, frigid day.

Or the soft touch of my cat’s paw resting on my arm at night. And that gentle look of contentment on her face.

Or the giggle of a toddler at work.

Or helping someone anytime and anywhere. It doesn’t have to be big. Just seeing someone smile or say thank you because of something I did is huge.

When I focus on these things then I can believe that there is good in this world and if we choose to focus on that instead of all the terrible things the media throws at us then I believe that 2018 will be a better year.

I wish everyone a positive 2018.

Happy New Year.

Change of Season Inside and Out

This summer seemed to be a perfect growing season. We had a lot of warm and humid days with just the right amount of rain.

My focus was on the outside. Gardens and traveling. Getting together with family and friends.  Going all the time. Focusing on other people and other places.

The farm fields were bursting with life and growth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen corn so tall. Some of the roads felt like driving between tall, green walls of cornstalks. Most of the wonderful views were hidden until now, as row by row crops have been harvested and it feels like the world has opened up again.

With the change of seasons I find myself drawn inside more. Both inside myself and indoors. Time to bring my attention closer. Like the views, my mind is opening up. Maybe it was growing season for my thoughts?

Soon there will be snow drifting over the open fields. It’s time to make my home a cozy haven for the cold months ahead and explore what has ripened in my mind.

Oh, if I could be more like a tree on this Sunday morning

This is a beautiful post from one of my favorite blogs. Please visit Live & Learn by David Kanigan. Happy Sunday.

Live & Learn

See how the trees
Reach up and outward
As if their entire existence
Were an elegant gesture of prayer.
See how they welcome the breath of spirit,
In all its visible and invisible forms.
See how the roots reach downward and out,
Embracing the physical,
The body and bones
Of its soul of earth and stone,
Allowing half its life to be sheltered
in the most quiet and secret places.

Oh, if I could be more like a tree on this Sunday morning,
To feel the breath of invisible spirit
Touch me as tenderly as a kiss on the forehead.
If I could courageously and confidently
Dig down into the dark
Where the ground water runs deep,
Where shelter and sanctuary
Can be had and held.

Ah, to be like a tree
With all its bent and unbent places,
A whole and holy thing
From its topmost twigs
To the…

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