The parable of the “Love Cakes”

Love is like a tray of cupcakes.

You wake up every morning with a silver platter full of your unique offerings and take it with you as you walk out the door.

One by one you share your love with those in your life:

your friends

your family

your co-workers

your significant other

even strangers..

and as you do

your  tray gets lighter and lighter until it’s empty

freeing up both of your hands

to live..





Unless you don’t.


You see some of us hold on to love

and we lug around our increasingly heavy tray




and our hands are so occupied with the burden

and weight

of this unshared love

that it becomes impossible

to think of anything else

or serve anyone else

but ourselves.


Then there are times when we are so focused on

one person

one passion

one problem

that we dump every single one of our love cakes onto this

one single area..

day in and day out and..

 until suddenly

what we thought was a healthy offering


a sticky, overwhelming, sickening pile

of unappreciated



Love is like a tray of cupcakes..

 how are you going to share yours today?






photocredit:13 – Drawing cartoons,Pinterest

The Treasure Hunt

Most of us at some point probably envisioned our lives unfolding like a well defined road.  And while we didn’t dare dream that we could never run into issues (traffic jams, engine problems, a flat tire, running out of gas…) we likely believed that the general route would basically stay the same.

And then the trip begins..

and we quickly come to realize that our journeys are a bit more like scavenger hunts than speeding down Interstate 95. Not only are we not always 100% sure of where we’re headed, but progressing down the winding path is completely contingent upon decoding and acting upon the ‘clues’  we pick up at the stops (and blocks) along the way.

Yes, it can be slow and frustrating at times, but as we puzzle over decisions, consider our options and study our maps, we tap into a trove of hidden strengths: resourcefulness, resiliency, creativity, openness, adaptability, courage, patience and yes, a healthy dependency on that which is outside of ourselves..our friends, our family and God.

Life really is a treasure hunt, but the treasure isn’t simply some great reward that we finally reach at some future point..NO!

The lasting and meaningful treasures are the personal attributes we develop along the way.




.,Your Friendly Mormon Neighbor,Mountain Rentals of Gatlinburg

The Red Line

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I watch the weirdest stuff on TV when I’m at the gym, especially if it’s late morning.  Yesterday I got completely sucked into an episode of Hoarders. I don’t know how long this show has been on cable, but I’m guessing they have to keep finding worse and worse examples of hoarding in order to keep the viewers coming back..

I mean seriously, where do you go once you’ve shown the house with the cockroaches, rotting food, boxes and stuff piled to the ceiling? Well, here’s where you go.. you go to the house that has all of those things with the additional roof and septic tank leaks so all of the piles of garbage are wet and covered in “you know what.”

That’s where you go., yuck.

Watching this show actually reminded me of our trip to Charleston a few week-ends ago and a super strange tour we took through one of the historic homes. The Calhoun House belongs to a wildly successful (retired?) lawyer who crosses the globe buying priceless antiques and artifacts. For some reason (taxes?) the man has turned most floors of his home into an official “museum” that is open to the public.

Here’s the deal, billionaires can be hoarders too.  It really doesn’t matter how much the stuff costs, once it reaches critical mass, once it crowds out the rooms, once there is no place to put down your glass of iced know you’ve got a problem.

At one point, as we were all crowded together at a roped off doorway, staring into the over-cluttered study, the tour guide exclaimed, “the owner’s cat is in here!” After about two minutes one of the ladies called out “I see him!” and then went on to help the rest of us locate the sleeping feline who was absolutely invisible amidst all the stuff. I felt I as if I was teleported into a page of “Where’s Waldo?”

Having too much stuff sucks. Whether it’s a collection of crock pots, creepy porcelain dolls or foot stools made out of elephant’s feet (see photo above-it was gross) at some point your stuff starts to own you…

And that’s the red line dear friends, when your possessions start possessing you..








I’ll be honest..when I first heard about the big Oscar snafu I couldn’t help but smirk. These over paid, Hollywood elitists are pompous, self-worshipping hypocrites and after weeks of nasty, condescending, political bloviating it was truly satisfying to see them take this spectacular stumble in front of the smallest TV audience the Academy Awards has drawn in almost a decade.

While I didn’t watch the actual awards show, I did tune in to about ten minutes of red-carpet fashion commentary right before it started.  But after hearing “Oh my God” and “I love it” about fifty times I couldn’t take it anymore and had to move on… to mixed martial arts of course, right Meryl? 😏 There’s just something about high-frequency fawning that turns my stomach. I actually read that Leonardo DiCaprio flew a “specialist” in from Australia to trim his eyebrows for the event. Yes, there’s Mr. Climate change himself adding more pollution to the atmosphere cause he can’t pluck n’ brush.  But what do I know, maybe the eyebrow specialist flew to the United States on the back of a migrating bird.

Ugh..can’t take it.

Anyway, so like I said, I was chuckling a bit just thinking about how embarrassing the whole best picture mix-up was until I saw this picture:


..and then I started to imagine how this must have felt..going from extreme elation and happiness to utter disbelief, confusion and shock within minutes. In fact you can see all of these emotions in this one photo- clearly the news hadn’t reached the man smiling at the mic..but it was about to wash over him like a tidal wave – how horrible.  It’s easy to be hating on a large group of anonymous people, but when you study their faces and think of them as individuals it changes how you feel. Let’s face it, the Oscar is the most prestigious award you can receive in this field, and winning it changes the trajectory of everyone’s career from the director to the make-up artists. It’s about so much more than a statue on a shelf, and for two long minutes, EVERYONE involved with this film was living the dream until it blew up in the most humiliating way possible, in front of millions of people.

That just sucks.

I dare say there are many of us “regular folks” who can relate ..whether it’s an unexpected end to a relationship, the sudden loss of a job or any other awful situation that catches us by complete surprise.

No one likes to be blindsided.

I did though take note and really appreciated how the director of this movie ‘took the wheel’ as the crisis unfolded and steered his stunned crew out of the deepening  sink hole. He stated clearly what had happened, firmly accepted the reality of it, graciously  announced the “real” winners, and reassured everyone with his calm, controlled demeanor that everything was “OK”…everything wasn’t great, but everything was going to be OK.

And I guess that’s the right formula to get us through the tough times:  An acknowledgement of the situation, recognition that it cannot be changed, identification of a path forward and an understanding that we will be OK.

We will be OK.

It was, in the end, a strong performance..

truly worthy of an Oscar.















In a rut?


I was driving behind a tanker truck the other day on a busy highway heading to Charlotte. As the trucker pulled into the left lane to pass the car in front of him, he accelerated but overshot by just a bit sending all of his left tires off the road and onto the dirt and gravel.

The huge truck bounced and shook violently as he made several attempts to get himself realigned with all his wheels back on a flat surface.  Big chunks of earth, grass and rocks flew across the highway. Fearing the worst, I put as much distance between him and myself as I possibly could.  Thankfully, and before too long, he was “back on track” most likely a bit rattled by the close call.

Oftentimes we think of being in a rut as this quiet, passive, solitary experience, but more often than not, being in a rut looks more like the truck with half its wheels off the road. It can be rough and bouncy with lots of collateral fall-out that affects those around us and requires later clean up.

So how to get out of that rut?

  1. Look ahead..don’t focus on the ditch you’re in, train your eyes on a goal, make a gentle course correction and confidently drive towards it.
  2. Make adjustments right now! Staying in a rut too long means you are more likely to sink in. Ever seen someone sunk in the muck spinning their wheels? Yeah, waste of time, makes you look silly, waste of energy, realllly messy- don’t do that.dont
  3. Don’t overreact. Yes, it sucks, but stay calm and grab the steering wheel. You have the ability to put yourself right back on to a smooth road that actually leads to the place you want to be. If you freak out you’ll swing back too hard and wind up in another ditch on the other side.
  4. Check for damage. Once you get back on track, spray off any residual dirt you may have collected and hammer out the dents. The past is the past. While it’s important to know how you ended up in the ditch so you don’t make the same mistake again, don’t dwell on it..”keep on truckin’.”
  5. Always wear your seatbelt. The road of life can be beautiful, but it can also be curvy, slick and unpredictable. Be cautious.. but remember, this is YOUR one and only car and your one and only “ride”…make sure you enjoy it!