Music in my soul

I grew up on music – from a very young age. Mine was more because my parents both sing all the time…around the house. My mom actually used to play the accordion, both at home and at church. And my dad won’t get in his car without blasting his choice of music…loud enough for EVERYONE to hear.

My youngest memories of music are probably hearing my mom sing and play hymns. My family also camped a lot, so it’s wasn’t uncommon to sit around a campfire and pick on guitars and banjos. We also went to a lot of Southern Gospel events.My grandpa and other family members play guitar – and he always tried to grab my interest but I didn’t quite grasp the concept of guitar as a kid/young adult.

When I was in 5th grade I started playing violin, this starting my own musical journey. I can’t say that I was gifted with a great voice – but I work with what I have. While I would like to say I still excel at violin, because of an accident occurred by my violin, I haven’t played in about 20 years.

That being said, about a year ago I woke up one day and decided I want learn to play guitar. So I went out that day and bought one. And ever since – I have been hooked. Even though it’s a cheap one I still love to play, to learn new things, and even :gasp: to sing along while I play. Granted I play for an audience of one – but I enjoy it nonetheless.

I’ve learned that to keep my stress levels down – I must listen to music. I have may playlists for different moods, and a pair of bluetooth headphones. Luckily at work I’m able to list to music while I do my job. This helps immensely.


Head in the clouds at 16

Sweet sixteen When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

I think at 16 we all had big dreams. When I was 16 I was on on my high school basketball team, serving as a bench warming point guard. I was an aspiring artist who wanted to be a lawyer, and of course I was in love with my best friend Justin. My friends and I talked about aspiring to be in the then developing WNBA…I had high hopes for my future.

I’m pretty sure that all of the plans that I had for my future turned out vastly different than reality has turned out.

Things I thought @ 16+; “MY kid will never act like that”, I as unbreakable, my family was perfect, I’d never get out of Ohio (wanted to go south)

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At 12-14 my aspirations were actually pretty funny. I wanted to be a professional BMX racer (race bikes), I was in love with the lifeguard at the pool (who was probably in his 20s no less; I think it was because I thought he was secretly a BMXer named Pistol Pete because they looked alike), I loved the Cleveland Browns, I’m pretty sure my relatives were just “concerned” with me, I could be any boy in the neighborhood in a BMX or ATV race, and really…I was just in a different world than 12 and 14 year olds now.

Reality; my kid DID act like that, she has Aspergers, I am breakable, I’m twice divorced, I’m single and loving it, live in Indiana, NOT a lawyer (or a doctor!), will never be out of debt, I’m out of shape, and so far – getting by.

Life definitely isn’t easy. There is no promise that it will be easy. I know God is behind me no matter what. He has literally been my rock. If you knew my family – you would understand why I can say that and mean it. But without God and His grace, I wouldn’t be here today. Grace is a gift from God, it is unmerited.

No matter what our dreams are, we can still strive for them. The reality of my 16 year old dreams is they were not God’s plans for me. God has brought me here, to this very place in my life. He didn’t want me to be a doctor or a lawyer. While I was going through an abusive first marriage I wondered why God would put me through that. Because it made me stronger. It gave me backbone. It made me cynical. And it made me survive. Also – had all of those bad things not happened, my daughter and I would not be where we are today. 

Accomplishing my 16 year old dreams is okay. Now I have new dreams – move to a WARMER state, get out of debt, be in a job where God wants me to be (because otherwise I’ll screw it up somehow), buy a house…and probably be in a relationship where I can make someone happy – just by being me.


What are YOUR dreams? And how do they differ from your 16 year old self?



The Uncaring of Caring


Care Packages…seemingly something small, yet so much more meaningful for others.

In my previous church, the youth group sends out college care packages every year to the college students of the church – to prior students of the youth group. Today I was reminded of this when one of those college students posted pictures of his care package and about how great his youth group is. Note about this student is that he grew up with my daughter, and they went to youth group together. That is, until the big “D” – my divorce. When I was essentially shunned from my church, my daughter was also shunned from her youth group. These kids were her friends until about her Junior year of high school – and they essentially all dropped her like she had the plague. Oh…she tried, and she tried, and she tried. But after failed attempts at getting a ride (I was working), attempting to keep in contact with friends, getting taken off the mailing list, taken off the invite list, no longer being invited to youth events, etc.


So I know my daughter saw said “guy’s” post. And she didn’t like it – which meant it hit her heart. Which hit my heart. This was the church my daughter grew up in. The youth group my daughter was a part of. These were her youth leaders and friends. And when it came time to send out care packages there is one they forgot – because of  a divorce.

So naturally, I did  what any good mother would do – I went online and ordered my daughter a care package. Luckily I’m an Amazon Prime member so she’ll have it in two days. While her previous church, youth group, and friends may not love her – I always will.

If you know of any college students, soldiers, families, single parents, widows, or solo people – who are going it on their own…reach out to them somehow. We do get lonely. We do miss people. But you’ll never hear us admit to that. Send them a card, a kind word, or if you can…a care package. Brighten someone’s day – even if it’s a stranger’s. Be that difference. 


<a href=””>Seriousness</a&gt;

The Craft of Minimalism

I’ve decided to make my life simpler…I’ll be honest, I grew u with a lot. My idea of “roughing it” when I was a kid was camping in a motor home with a generator and sleeping on a pull out couch. As an adult, my idea of roughing it has to date been, “camping” in a luxury cabin. As I’m getting older I’m learning more and more that more stuff doesn’t make me happier – it makes me stressed.

I’m trying to pay off bills, prepare for the future, and just live simpler. I will say, that post divorce, I have practically NO furniture. My ex ended up with 100% of it, and 75% of my stuff (and my daughter’s…no idea how THAT works). I’m still learning but willing to give this a shot. A serious shot.

I want to live with only what I need and what I want, not live in excess.
Here’s a “copy/paste” of The Minimalists

A new month is approaching—let’s play a game together:

We call it the 30-Day Minimalism Game.

Here’s how it works…

Find a friend or family member: someone who’s willing to get rid of their excess stuff. This month, each of you must get rid of one thing on the first day. On the second, two things. Three items on the third. So forth, and so on. Anything can go! Clothes, furniture, electronics, tools, decorations, etc. Donate, sell, or trash. Whatever you do, each material possession must be out of your house—and out of your life—by midnight each day.

It’s an easy game at first. However, it starts getting challenging by week two when you’re both jettisoning more than a dozen items each day. Whoever can keep it going the longest wins; you both win if you can make it all month. Bonus points if you play with more than two people.

Win or lose, we’d love to hear about your game on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram#MinsGame.


<a href=””>Craft</a&gt;



Probably my most peaceful place is sitting quietly on the beach, by myself – and getting lost in my own world. Listening to the waves, feeling the wind, smelling the ocean air, smelling the wind, feeling the hot sand in my toes and on my feet, and breathing in fresh air.

music – Going to the local Guitar shop and dreaming about a guitar I’ll likely never have is another way for me to “peace out.” I can sit in Sweetwater and play around on Taylors, Martins, and whatever else strikes my fancy. As none of these are in my budget, I have to leave my desire for a new guitar at the door:(


Nature is my getaway. That coupled with the above stated Taylor guitar – would be magical. It would make this sunset pop even more. It would make this scene even more surreal.


The rolling aisles of the library – always a place where peace can be found.
Lately I’ve been escaping to the genealogy section of my local library which is GREAT!

<a href=””>Solitude</a&gt;


It’s not all about me

Maximizing my new minimalistic life.

I’ve recognized lately that I just have too many things. I’ve been learning about a more simple lifestyle, a more minimal lifestyle. I’ve asked myself what is success? What is important to me? Having too much stuff really just stresses me out. Clutter drives me crazy. For a couple years now I’ve been picturing a more simple life, a more basic life. Now I’m hearing about the minimalist lifestyle and I LOVE it. It’s pretty simple; “have what you need.” “Get rid of things o=you don’t need”.

Right now I’m recognizing that  I need to make some changes. I need to get rid of 6/7ths of my clothes…most of my shoes…a lot of books…knick-knacks…pointless things. Things I don’t wear, things I don’t use, things that are a waste of space. I only want things that serve a purpose.

You can see I have a lot of work to do: I already pulled a lot of things off hangers and shoved them elsewhere in the closet. I have boxes to empty. Altogether I need to end up with 33 ITEMS OF CLOTHING….33. I know I’ll feel better once I get to this point – but getting to this point is difficult. After so many years of having so much – I ‘m wanting to give it all up.




<a href=””>Recognize</a&gt;


Essential oils – the new inhaler

I’ve been sick for going on 4 weeks now, maybe 5 – I’m honestly not even sure at this point. what I do know, is I’ve been through 2 antibiotics, one inhaler prescription, cough medicine – and i’m still not where I should be.

inhaler_red_asthma-261x300                                                                                                        essential-oils-dripping

Unfortunately the inhaler prescription never resulted in an actual inhaler, BECASE THE PHARMACY LOST IT! So – for the last 2 days, I’ve struggled to breathe. I’ve almost passed out. I’ve used essential oils, I’ve used a humidifier – anything to help. My doctor was less than helpful – and the result is night 3 struggling to breathe. I’m about to slather essential oils all over my head and neck, in my diffuser, and in my humidifier – hoping it can help almost as well as an inhaler.

Ridiculous. The scents of oils does seem to help take the edge off.


Needless to say, once I actually GET an inhaler (hopefully tomorrow) I will call it my lucky inhaler

<a href=””>Scent</a&gt;