Brand Spank'n New!

Dear Sisters,

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had a warm and happy Christmas with your loved ones. We had a festive holiday season with our nearest and dearest here on the shorelines. Today, I’m writing to you from my cozy basement office with the fireplace going and a delicious cup of hot English Breakfast tea. YUM! We are in the middle of a STORM WATCH on the eastern seaboard. Keep your fingers crossed we don’t lose power while I finish this post! Tell me, how are you feeling about the new year? Optimistic? Hopeful? Worried? Fearful? Anxious? Excited? Over joyed? I think we’ve all had years that we were happy to leave in the dust. Illness, death of a loved one, ( human or 4 legged ) losing ones job, relationship challenges, moving…These kinds of life changing events can drag even the cheeriest of farmgirls under leaving her gasping for air, and rightly so.

If any of you had one of ” those “ years I pray 2014 goes easier on you. In fact, I’ve got 10 ways for ringing in a Brand Spank’n NEW YEAR with a focus on the positive no matter what the weather! Come what may! Let’s welcome in 2014 together!

Now that the last of the Christmas decorations have been stowed away and you’re (hopefully) feeling rested and recharged do you find yourself already DREAMING BIG for 2014? Or are you still in a fog from all the seasonal hubbub? Whichever it is, dust off your beach chair, it’s time for a sit down with dear old Deb!

Here, I’ve got a few extras!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m a HUGE fan of dreaming BIG…I always like to give myself something to grow into! Trouble is, I have so many creative things I want to do all at the same time that I’m finding I need some help with making some logical sense out of it all! In other words… I’ve decided to make it a personal goal to get my left and my right brain working together this year. At the moment they are perfect strangers! Some folks have the opposite problem. They are so logical and analytical that they often fall into the trap of not being able to move foreword creatively. The thought of jumping into every creative fancy sends them running for safety to their Excel Spread Sheet program which btw, gives me heart palpitations and hives. Does this sound like anyone you know? I think we naturally feel better about ourselves, our loved ones and the state of the world around us when we make time to focus on our creative aspirations.  Agreed? But, how do we do that on a daily basis when life pulls and tugs at us from all angles? It’s easy to feel as if your rowboat is going in circles rather than paddling in any one direction with purpose.

I say enough of that! We can still be busy farmgirls who wear lots of hats ( gloves and work boots too) and get something D.O.N.E. at the same time. That’s one of the things I love about working towards my Farmgirl Sisterhood badges. It gives me focus. I learn something new and I have something fun to show for it at the end! Perfect for those of us who are end result driven and want to have FUN at the same time!

Another way to stay on task is to keep a journal. The kind of journal you keep is up to you. You can keep it neat and orderly by making lists with check off boxes or you can get wildly creative about it and create an art journal collage filled with magazine cutouts, pencil illustrations, doodles, stickers, stamps and more. Large framed chalkboards and bulletin boards are also a great way to keep your ideas and creative aspirations front and center where you can glean inspiration from the daily visual of seeing your dreams in pictures!  I used to keep a journal during my rocky teen years but I gave it up when I became a career gal and after becoming a mom I was just too pooped to keep a journal for many years but I’m feeling the urge again.

What better way to start a new year than paving the way to making your creative dreams a reality?

I made a list of 10 things YOU CAN DO to start the New Year with your emotional bank full of enthusiasm and excitement ( with some learn’n on the side) sure to get you moving towards your BIG farmgirl dreams too! I believe its never to late to start your own business. And if you’re like most farmgirls your either incubating some wonderful ideas or about to hatch ( launch ) your creativity in one way or another. I’ve got so many ideas my right brain is bursting with excitement but my left brain is scratching it’s head trying to make some order out of the creative chaos. I’m feeling the conflict between the two so this workshop couldn’t come at a better time for me. Maybe that’s true for some of my sisters too!

For starters, I’m going to take a Virtual Workshop from the Center for Joyful Business with Laura West and I’m so excited about it I wanted to share it with you too, just in case you want to join in! This online workshop is called Creative Business Planning for 2014. My farmgirl pal Debbie Tegart ( Farmgirl Unleashed Blog ) has taken it already and raves about it!

It starts January 9th! Maybe I’ll see some of you there! Doesn’t it look like fun? Did you know that learning to write ( or create ) a business plan is part of earning MaryJane’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Merit badge?

Images from Center for Joyful Business ~ Laura West

To stay on track I made up a list of 10 things WE CAN DO right now to start the New Year with our emotional banks full of enthusiasm and excitement sure to get us moving towards your BIG farmgirl dreams too!

KEEP A JOURNAL~ Free write, make lists, vent your emotions, draw, scribble, press flowers, feathers, write goals, clip inspirational pictures inside, name your idols, you get the idea.

EXPECT Good Things ALWAYS ~ Inside each of us is a little light of wonder and hope. A spark that is ours alone. It can tell us a lot about our purpose and direction if we feed the flame on a regular basis. But, we can quickly dampen it with cloudy and muddled thinking. So, each day,  no matter what EXPECT GOOD THINGS ALWAYS.


BE GRATEFUL~ Be happy to wake up to a new day, every day. Be grateful for the gift of life. Then ask yourself. What will you bring to the day to make it even better!

MOVE~ DANCE, ZUMBA, YOGA, WALK, RUN, RIDE, SWIM, PLOW, HOE, RAKE, DIG, STRETCH, …. just move some everyday. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you for it.

PAMPER~ Go for a massage, soak your feet, have a girls night, glamping weekend, or create a PAMPER GLAMPER of your very own!

SHOW LOVE~ Don’t keep it all inside… Give it out freely and smile a lot. You’ll just feel better. I promise!

TAKE CREATIVE RISKS~ Wait, I’m talking to farmgirls here… NEVERMIND… 🙂 Just keep doing what you do… It’s all good!

EXPLORE: Take small outings, go to new places, or plan the adventure of a lifetime. If not now, when?

ENCOURAGE SOMEONE ELSES CREATIVITY~ We’ve all met people who are a bit unsure how to let their inner artist out. Any chance you have to build up, prop up and shout out a fellow creative sister do so. It’s a kindness that will reverberate the world over.

If you could choose one word for 2014 what would YOUR word for 2014 be?

Heal, inspire, patience, hope, faith, love, share, observe, ponder, charity, cook, grow, learn, excel, soar, fly, rest, nurture, cherish, create, family,…Feel free to choose one I haven’t included here and tell us why that’s your word right now.

I tried so many different creative things in 2013 that I’ve started flying in my dreams with my arms out straight leading me wherever I want to go! I’ve gone my entire life with only having one or two and now, suddenly I’m having them twice a week! SOAR is my word for 2014!

I’m excited to see where we’ll take ourselves in the coming year and to share it all right here on the shorelines! We’ve got a busy, fun and SUCCESSFUL year ahead of us! I just know it!

Until our next shoreline visit~ Make a promise to yourself to spend more time with people who believe in your BIG DREAMS and aren’t afraid to see you stretch and grow! You know you can always count on your farmgirl sisters for encouragement!


Sister Deb

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  1. Joan says:

    Wheweeee you are on busy GIRL!!! so good to hear that you aren’t letting anything get away from you. My family say that I make them tired just looking at my bucket list – and I keep adding, oh well keeps me out of trouble. Love the saying that Sylvia shared – hope to remember that – oh I will print it out and hang it in my craft room so I can read it every day. Thanks Deb Happy New Year!!! God bless

    Happy New Year Joan! Glad to hear you keep your family on their toes too! LOL Great idea to hang Sylvia’s saying in your craft room! Think I’ll do that too! Blessings Joan! xo Deb

  2. Brenda says:

    Happy New Year to you also! I still have not worked on my farmgirl badges. I have and do so many of those things to earn them I am not sure why I do not get around to writing up what I need to write up. One of the problems is I have already done so many of the starter things that I have a hard time going back to the basics to get started what I have already accomplished. How do you think I should start out with because of that? Love all you ideas.


    Hi Brenda! Like you I also had already completed some of the first steps to some of my badges. I still submit them and just click the date that is closest to when I completed them. When you write your description in your application you can always include when you started and completed each step too! I’ve done this and so far I’ve still been awarded my merit badges! Good luck Brenda… I’m way behind in submitting some of my badges too.. I think I have AADD ( Artist Attention Deficit Disorder )! Oh, well… the little rabbit trails life takes us on are just too fun to pass up sometimes! Love and farmgirl hugs! xo Deb

  3. Pam deMarrais says:

    Hey Deb! Your blog is so energizing! I love your enthusiasm and excitement for future endeavors. I have lots of projects waiting in the wings. It is time for me to make a little list to get me focused on where to start. I am right brained, so I have the creativity; just not as organized about I could be.
    Enjoy your virtual course. Have a great New Year!

    Hi Pam! So nice to hear from you! Wishing you a wonderfully creative New Year as well! Hope to see you next time you come " home" to the shorelines again!!! xo Deb

  4. Debbie says:

    SO excited you are taking the workshop Thursday. As long as the ice doesn’t keep me on the road trying to get home on Wednesday, I will be there too! I think my word for the year may be "Be". Be me, be grateful, just be, etc. I am always doing and sometimes I miss the being part! 🙂 I will keep you posted as the month goes on as to my inspirational word that I land on. Looking forward to sharing farmgirl fun with you in 2014!

    Hi Debbie!

    Oh fun! Be careful traveling home… I like your word! Here’s to a great 2014!  Looking forward to more farmgirl fun with you too!



  5. Adrienne says:

    I’ll share a few of my favorite quotes for the new year:
    "Do or do not. There is no try." Yoda

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in that gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

    2014 was plotted by Thanksgiving Friday 2013 and as new items emerge, they are added to the activities for Mind, Body and Spirit each day.

    Have a wonderful 2014!

    Happy New year Adrienne! Great quotes indeed! I especially like the second one… 🙂 All good things n 2014. I look forward to hearing more from you here in the coming year! xo Deb

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