Thursday, March 12, 2015

HUGE Sale on Craftsy Classes!

Are you celebrating National Craft Month? If not, why not?

In honor of National Craft Month, Craftsy is having a HUGE sale with all online classes up to 50% off so you can learn a new skill or just do more of what you love. They also have a money-back guarantee, so what do you have to lose?

And once you sign up for a class, it's forever yours. You can work at your own pace or watch the videos over and over - whatever you want. Since joining Craftsy, I've signed up for 17 classes and every one of them is great! 

But the sale ends Monday, March 16, so get on over there now! You can either click this affiliate link to go straight to Craftsy or you can just type into your web browser.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DIY Fold-down Cutting Board

My hubby recently made an oak fold-down cutting board for his summer (canning) kitchen. Isn't it cool?

He also posted Building a large fold down cutting board on YouTube if you want to see how he did it...

And if you're interested in self-sufficient living, you might enjoy his book, Impossible Beyond This Point, the back story of creating our life in the wilderness.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Words, Resolutions and Intentions by Morna McEver Golletz


Words, Resolutions and Intentions

January 7th, 2015 by Morna
Some of you know that I pick a word to guide and inspire me through the year, to serve as a focus or intention as I face each day. I started this practice back in 2005 or 2006 and have shared this story before. At that time, I was actively practicing yoga and in a class, Kathy, the owner of our studio, passed a basket with words. I chose one, openness, and I didn’t really like it. After all, the woman next to me picked love, which I thought was so much better. I asked to draw a new word and Kathy told me the word had picked me and I was to go with it. I put the paper with the word “Openness” on the computer where I could see it every day. I was not sure what would happen, but I just started seeing all kinds of things around me. I guess I was “open.”

Since that time I have had lots of different words to guide me through the year, including abundance, challenge, joy, consciousness and last year’s word “Trust.” I wanted to trust that I would make the right decisions, that I would not second-guess my decisions, that the chances I took would work out. And, yes, I could see a difference in how my choices played out.

For me, this was a better idea than making a New Year’s Resolution. So, why did I make the switch from resolutions to an intention? It came down to the kind of person I wanted to be, not all the stuff I wanted to do or have. Sure, I could have the same resolutions everyone else made: lose weight, get organized, exercise more, the list goes on. But that did not work because I was still “being” the same person. I had to make a choice to “be” a different person. That is what has made the difference, focusing on being.

So here we are, a week into 2015, and I have been thinking of my “word.” I started by listing a group of words I found appealing: bounty, mindfulness, connections, persistence, gratitude, harmony, possibilities, thrive, awareness, exploration. And, while they resonated, they did not resonate enough. Next, what I did was think about what it is I wanted in my life and my business, and the answer I kept coming back to was to fully experience what was in front of me, whether that was a person, an experience, an activity, a challenge. It was about being present; it was about being connected; it was about being committed; and it was much more. So I just ruminated on “fully experience.” Actually, you could say I slept on it. When I awoke on Monday morning, the word “engaged” just came to me. That was it. I wanted to be or feel engaged. I went to the dictionary and found the following definition: “to establish a meaningful contact or connection with.” Meaning and connection.

Have you picked a word to guide you for the year? If you have not, give it a chance. You just need to think of the quality or direction that you want your year to take. Need some help getting started. Think about what you might have resolved to do and ask yourself what quality is necessary for that? Or try a search online for character qualities and go from there. Lots of people immediately come up with a word that resonates with them. Others need a bit more time. My best advice is think of a word, mull it over, and if it keeps showing up, that’s the one.

Once you come up with your word or intention, what do you do with it? Here are three tips:
  1. Write it down where you can see it. I put mine on a sticky note and attach it to my computer where I’ll see it every day.
  2. Share it with someone else, especially if the person will hold you accountable. Over the years I have shared mine with some of my mastermind partners or family members, and we talked about why we chose the words we did.
  3. Do something that lets you take action on your intention.
What word did you end with? And, if you picked a word last year, how did that make a difference? Share your word below to make that commitment and see what you can create in 2015!
Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at
I think I'll pick "simplify" as my 2015 word... 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

The following editorial first appeared in the New York Sun in 1897 and was written by the late Mr. Frank P. Church:

We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in The Sun it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O'Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. 
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Embracing Autumn

Autumn at home - photo credit Karen Horn
I've never really cared much for autumn but I'm so looking forward to it this year. After a long, dry summer here in drought stricken far-northern California, the recent bit of rain (and more that we anticipate in the coming week) provides welcome relief. Driving to town yesterday, I noticed that some of the grass along the road has even greened up, which provides a nice contrast to the turning colors of the leaves. And the cooler daytime temperatures, light breeze and crisp-ish night air are sure appreciated.

Then I realized that I am now firmly in autumn in my life seasons, as well. Hmm... How did that happen? Where did summer go?

Two things have happened recently that have made me think more about the seasons of life.

First, I've been spending some time visiting at a rehab hospital that also includes long-term care, which has given me more than a glimpse at life's winter season. Not pretty for many but as with other seasons, each person's experience is largely based on attitude. While some folks choose to continue to live their life despite failing health, others choose to simply exist. When I reach winter, I want to be in the first group.

Secondly, a woman I've known several decades just died unexpectedly at the young age of 71. Although I intend to live to 100, you just never know how much time you really have left. Rather than being depressed by this fact, I'm reminded of how important it is to really live each day.

So... I'm embracing autumn. Care to join me?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Advanced Age at 65?

In researching specific risk factors recently, I discovered that "advanced age" is 65 or older. Say what? I'm less than a decade from entering advanced age? I thought reaching advanced age wouldn't happen until in the 80s. Maybe even the 90s. For some, I guess it could be 75 or so. But 65? This just can't be right! Fortunately, right after making this shocking and horrifying discovery, I happened upon Grandma Gatewood's Walk.

Have you ever heard of Emma Gatewood? A few years before I was even born, this woman hiked the Appalachian Trail...when she was 67! Not only did she thru-hike the whole 2,000+ miles way back in 1955, she did it with just a few items stuffed in a homemade denim bag thrown over her shoulder.

Wearing Keds and packing a change of clothes and a few other necessities (she didn't even have a sleeping bag!), she's the first woman to make the journey and the fifth hiker to walk the trail end to end. And did I mention she was 67?

If that's not impressive enough, she actually thru-hiked the AT three times before she turned 76. Now that's a lot of walking!

A few years ago, I posted about Grace Small, the Hitchhiking Grandmother. These women are such an inspiration! Not that I aspire to follow in their footsteps, mind you. But it sure reinforces that age doesn't have to dictate what you can accomplish and "advanced age" at 65 is just a bunch of BS.

NOTE: Book image is an affiliate link. As I've said before, this is the easiest way I know to include photos in blog posts. If you're signed up with Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free like I did. Otherwise, check your local library.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kindle Unlimited is...NOT

I accidentally signed up for a trial subscription to Kindle Unlimited and was considering continuing on for $9.99 per month after my trial ends in early October but now I'm not so sure. You see, despite the name, "Kindle Unlimited" really isn't unlimited after all. Yep, that's right. NOT unlimited.

What do I mean? Well, as soon as I got my welcome email after my unintentional signup, I quick-like downloaded a novel I've been wanting to read. Then over the next few days, I downloaded some nonfiction that sounded interesting. So far, so good. Then yesterday, I tried to download another title and got the following message:

Sorry if it's a little blurry but you get the idea. If I can only have 10 books at a time, in what universe would this be considered "unlimited"? Hmm. It's making that $9.99 per month for unlimited books way less attractive...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

99 Days Until Christmas Tip-a-Day Action Plan

What? Only 99 days until Christmas? Geez, it didn't take much to get me back to blogging, did it?

Well, anyway, come September 18th, there will only be 99 days until Christmas. Want to join me in getting ready this year?

99 Days Until Christmas is FREE on Amazon right now so go grab a copy. But if you miss the free period, it's part of a 99 Tips for 99 Cents series so will cost less than a dollar when it's full price.

Let's get ready for Christmas!

(BTW - this is an affiliate link beings that's the easiest way I know to get an image to an Amazon item.)