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

If aches and pains keep you up at night, please read this..

For the last four weeks, I have been sharing my pride and joy at being able to keep three small goals; taking all of my vitamins every morning, drinking 68oz of water each day and working out three times a week. I have been feeling so good about sticking to these resolutions, but there was one area in my life that was becoming increasingly unmanageable: pain at night.

I’ve had a pinched nerve in my elbow for a few years and depending on how I sleep it can hurt pretty bad, but lately the pain has been off the scale.  It wasn’t the traditional pain I was used to either, it was a deep aching from my shoulder to my finger tips..and sometimes in BOTH arms!

I told my husband last week-end that I was actually at a point where I didn’t want to got to bed anymore because I knew what was in store for me. I have an appointment scheduled with the doctor, but it isn’t for two weeks. I was starting to feel despondent.

So I hit the internet..and then it hit me.

The only thing that had drastically changed over the last few weeks was the water I was drinking..not just the amount, but at what time I consumed the most. You see I hate being inconvenienced by having to run to public bathrooms, so I did the bulk of my guzzling in the afternoon and especially in the evening when I was at home.  Long story short, not only was I having to get up at night to use the restroom, but I truly believe that my electrolytes were completely out of balance by the time I hit the sack.

So I decided to try something new; I would drink all of my water before 6pm (most of it before 3pm) and then have a small glass of gatorade with dinner for a quick infusion of electrolytes.

Guess what? I slept like a baby.

Could it really be that simple? Only time will tell.  I’m certainly no doctor but I am curious to see how the rest of this week unfolds.




Monday “go-getter” / Wednesday “forgetter”

I laid out three small expectations for the week..

Don’t laugh, these are seriously small goals, but I know how undisciplined I am, and I had to start somewhere.

#1 Drink 68 ounces of water every day

#2 Take my vitamins- all of them-every day.

#3 Challenge my heart at least three times this week.(not emotionally 😉; physically through exercise.)

So here we are on Thursday and (shocker) so far I’m not only on task, but I’m doing even more than I hoped.

You see my problem isn’t ability; it’s consistency. 

I’m  a Monday go getter..


but a Wednesday forgetter.


That in a nutshell is what I need to address

and nothing is as motivating as





photocredit:Fitness & Wellness News,Runner’s World





Dementia Patients Are Nursing Abandoned Kittens Back to Health

This was way too precious not to pass along. (From Good Housekeeping)


Before they got help, the staff at Pima Animal Care Center in Arizona didn’t have enough resources to save the kittens that needed around-the-clock care and bottle-feeding in order to survive. Now, all of that has changed thanks to an amazing collaboration.

The residents of Catalina Springs Memory Care, a nearby senior living facility that provides care for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, are working with the shelter to foster ailing kittens, according to the county’s website. The seniors recently saved the lives of two kittens named Peaches and Turtle, who weighed a mere seven ounces each when they were rescued. After a few weeks of bottle feedings every two hours, the kittens’ weights have doubled and they are on the mend.

The new partnership also has given 30 memory-loss patients an immense amount of joy. “To some, it may seem peculiar at first, residents who are in need of around-the-clock care themselves, given the task to care for these young kittens,” said Sharon Mercer, the retirement home’s executive director. “But there are skills, emotions, and needs that do not just leave a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The desire to give love and receive love remains. The kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents.”

The results have been amazing so far. “Many memories have started to resurface just by the act of caring for these babies,” Rebecca Hamilton, the facility’s health services director, told ABC News. “People began to bring up long-forgotten memories of a cat or a dog they had as a child.”

Just look at the smiles on their faces! It’s pretty obvious that both the kittens and residents love this new partnership.

(h/t ABC News)

From: Country Living

Knock, knock – Who’s there?


Yesterday morning I attached a verse from the bible to the end of my daily post; it was 1 Peter 4:10.


What followed was a super busy day as we had been gone all week-end visiting our daughter in Virginia. At 4pm, after I was finished with all my running around town, I went to the gym.  Our YMCA has a large bowl at the front desk filled with little folded strips of paper, each with a verse from scripture. I always grab one as I head out the door after my work-out, and yesterday was no different.

What are the chances, with the thousands of verses in the bible,  that I’d pull out a strip of paper with the same exact verse from my post earlier that morning?


Well, that’s exactly what happened.

I feel like God may be “knocking at my door” with a message He wants me to hear..

I’d better go answer, huh?








Reaching out with both hands


The video is hard to watch. A woman lays passed out in the aisle  of a grocery store in Massachusetts while her toddler cries and tries to revive her. The fact (learned later) that the mom had overdosed on drugs makes the scene especially sad, but what makes it even more tragic is hearing the voices of the “spectators,” including the person video taping  the event.

No one reaches out to comfort the distraught child who is seen pulling at her mother’s clothes and trying to lift her head. No one tries to soothe the little girl who is obviously frantic and frightened.. and it goes without saying, other than calling 911, no one offers to assist the mother.

Dear God, at what point did filming a crisis become more important than responding to it?

I actually believe there are two things going on here:

One is the desire to be famous; to be the person who captures and uploads an important moment receiving credit and comments, attention and accolades.

The other, more concerning aspect, is that the act of filming ostensibly relieves us of our “duty” to react to what we see.  We are like Nature photographers out on the African Plain, dispassionately documenting an orphaned zebra as it starves to death.  Intervention is not our job. We want to be part of the action, but not involved in it.

As with any technology, there are good and bad aspects, but I fear the raised cell phone has become a symbol of both our detachment and narcissism.


Bystander takes selfies after police biker crashes during Olympic Torch relay in Brazil


Ironically, it may take a video like the one at the grocery store to help us recognize how our cell phones have impacted the way we interact with others. Maybe it will cause us to tuck them into our pockets when a crisis arises and to reach out to those who need us…

with both hands.









The potato chip trap

Can you eat just one potato chip? Can you bust open a bag of those salty, fatty, tasty disks of one and simply walk away?


Not me.

If I put a chip to my lips- I’m a goner.

I thought about that  the other day as I struggled with my early morning commitment to take a long power walk. I had my sweats and sneakers on but bailed out before I made it to the door, sitting down for a third cup of coffee and a political morning show instead. It didn’t take long to be washed over by a wave of guilt. I felt lazy and yucko, and before I knew it, it seemed like half the day was over and I never recovered from my original disappointing decision.  In fact that first poor choice led to another and then another..  It was kinda like opening up a bag of potato chips…I kept going and going, sliding further and further into the depths of that dark, slippery bag.

It’s hard to stop at one..whether its potato chips or poor choices. I didn’t walk, so then I ate too much for breakfast,  I felt tired, showered late, put off some projects, flopped around aimlessly..and by the time my husband came home I literally didn’t feel well- probably because the only truly successful endeavor of the day was searching for, finding, and eating the chocolate he had hidden from me.  What a wasted day that was.

The next morning I got up determined to make that first choice a good one.

I went for my power walk (Good decision #1) and when I came home had fruit for breakfast instead of my usual less than healthy stuff. (Good decision #2) One good decision led to the next and then the next and continued on throughout what turned into a super productive and empowering day. I was on a roll again!

So clearly, that first decision of the morning has the ability to set not only the tone for the day but put that momentum train in gear. Whether it’s the choice to get up earlier, pray, walk, stretch or eat a good breakfast, you can be sure that (good or bad) you will build your day on the foundation of that first action. Depending on what you chose.. you can end the day in a happy heap having just crossed over the finish line..



or all alone licking the chip dust off the shiny insides of an empty bag of Ruffles.


How’s that for a visual?