Free Your Spirit

This is not the article I intended to write. It’s funny how that happens. You sit down with one thing and wind up with another.
Here’s the way it happened this time.

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  1. Denise says:

    I’m pretty good at lifting my own spirits. I just enjoy everything and everyone around me. Of course there is that occasional time when I try too hard to control things and that’s when I need someone else to reboot my spirits. However I’m dropping you a line to thank you for bringing this up. It seems that a lot of people out there are stressed and I think we should all make an effort to boost others along with ourselves. It is amazing how those younguns can get a smile on your face isn’t it.

  2. CJ says:

    I believe the best thing you can do for YOURSELF to lift your own spirits, to renew a positive attitude and learn better ways of loving life and people is to REACH OUT! Reach out to others to see how you can lift THEIR spirits, encourage them, help them meet their needs. What goes around comes around!!!

  3. Brenda says:

    Hi Rebekah! Spend time with my grands, that will almost always fix my lows. Go shopping with my best friends to the quilt shops for new patterns and fabric. I have a happy stash. Maybe you should make your number 10, fire the garbage man and recycle more. Oh yeah, another happy, read your column in the newest MaryJane Mag. I just got the other day.

  4. Pat says:

    During the summer months, every Thursday evening, I join friends at the Idaho Botanical Gardens in Boise for their Great Garden Escape. We take a picnic or buy something to eat from a food vendor, take a bottle of wine, set up our folding chairs, blankets, etc., and sit back in a beautiful setting and enjoy live music (a different group each week). It certainly lifts my spirits. I take my granchildren also to other events at the gardens, e.g. Bug Day (kids love it!), to see the scarecrows in October and to vote on their favorites, Octoberfest, Christmas lights, etc. It’s a wonderful way to bond with them, and that certainly will lift your spirit!

  5. Kate says:

    There are several ways that my droopy spirits get a lift. Digging in the gardens is one, it is so theraputic to see the plants growing, setting their fruits….
    Another way to lift drooping spirits is dog hugs, nothing like them! Kisses and snuggles from your favorite dog, what can beat that?
    Color also is a great lifter of spirits! Sunny yellow, vibrant orange, serene blues…colors of yarn, fabric, paper then do something creative…..

  6. bonnie ellis says:

    Believe it or not it is going to be 107 tomorrow in Minneapolis, Minnesota tomorrow. That heat is all around the country. When I’m low, I get out my "humor file"(cartoons I have saved) and laugh. Laughing is a quick fix and you can’t be sour while you’re laughing. Have fun all………..Bonnie

  7. Brisja says:

    I took that same trip about 12 years ago and loved it, including the night on the train. I showed my son your pictures today and now he wants to sleep on the train and visit the aquarium. Thanks for reminding me of a wonderful trip that I can take again, this time with my son!

  8. Diane Van Horn says:

    It has been very hot here in the upper midwest, so yesterday my daughter, her best friend and I rented some tubes and floated down the Sugar River. Made sure we had sunscreen and plenty of drinking water. We just floated and laughed and talked. Lifted my spirits and cooled me off.

  9. carla j says:

    Absolute favorite summer fruit dish is the blueberries and fresh sliced peaches together, have to be fresh from the farmers market. Love it and missed it so much while living in South Florida, imported even across the state line is not the same.
    Went 3 summers with no blueberries when we lived overseas, made for long summers. I was born, raised, and returned to live, in the blueberry and fruit orchard areas of western Michigan.
    In some countries they are not cultivated in fields, they are only wild like huckleberries.

  10. Lynn says:

    Music always helps. Blues which may bring on the tears or something upbeat. I love soul, reggae, folk, world and good old rock ‘n’ roll and listening and singing along always help me get out of a funk.

    I loved your pictures from your trip… your daughter is adorable…. what a lovely blog! Thanks!

  11. Shery says:

    Ohhhh, you lived one of my "bucket list" dreams!! Staying in the train car made me 77 shades of green. How fun for you and your daughter will remember it all the days of her life.

    I used to ice skate like a fish swims. Used to. Being from the south isn’t the only thing that hinders a person. At age 55, I no longer have Olympic visions. Oh wellllll :o)

    Love your candor and wit. You always make me smile and today, you gave me a real & true endorphin rush……the train room pic. Sommmmmmeday. shery j

  12. Debbie says:

    Hey Rebekah!
    Looks like a wonderful time and I love love love the train room! What sweet memories made with your daughter!
    Ler’s see, laughter always lifts my spirits. There’s nothing like a good healthy laugh! Time in my Garden, the beach and on the back of a horse… Number three is third one is long over due!
    As always, love your posts!
    Deb ( bfgblogger )

  13. Keleen says:

    Rebekah, so very glad that you had a great time in Chattanooga, TN–my hometown! Even though I grew up there, I never went to Ruby Falls until after I got married–my mom didn’t like caves! And it wasn’t the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, but my parents took my sister and me on the last passenger train run from Chattanooga to Athens, TN. It was the close of an era. Oh, and if you’re down, just sing a few lines of "The Chattanooga Choo-Choo", it’ll lift your spirits! "Pardon me, boys, Is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo….."

  14. Vicki says:

    When I feel stressed, I have about three things I can do to get me out of it. Ride my bike, clean my house, or go outside and pull some weeds. Especially the last one. you can hear the birds singing, watch the hummingbirds buzz by, take a break and watch the clouds. I love your blog. Also, loved that train car room.

  15. Nan says:

    I love this. The cave was beautiful, but — if you went *down* a thousand feet, that means you had to walk *up* a thousand feet. Erk. (I’m out of shape lately.)I’m trying to think of my fun things.Thank you.

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Discomfort Zones

Dang, I’m sore. It’s painful getting out of your comfort zone, isn’t it?
Have you been outside your comfort zone lately? Won’t you leave a comment and share with us how you’ve stepped outside? Or maybe you’re thinking or planning some stepping out? Also, check out the POLL at the bottom of the post. Join in!
I think it’s interesting how we each develop our own unique, personal comfort zones. Yours is different from any one else’s. Where and when we feel comfortable is impacted by our experiences and environment. It’s molded by what opportunites we’ve had and the ones we take advantage of. It’s molded by our genes: what we are inspired and motivated to do; what we fear and avoid. My own personal comfort zone is very different from say, MaryJane’s, who lived in the wilderness. Or from my Grandmother’s, who raised ten children on a farm. I’m totally comfortable with confrontation or public speaking, but I generally stay in a fairly “cushy” (and cushion-y) setting, with my feet in shoes and firmly planted on the ground.
But. This weekend I decided to step out of my comfort zone and boy! Am I sore! Actually, I decided to push my whole family out with me too.

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  1. meredith says:

    OK! you had me laughing till I thought I would wet my pants! Thinking of you and Cowboy and the bird feeder! GREAT POST-thanks for the comic relief- we are getting ready to leave our comfort zone and head to Kansas City for the the Hereford Junior National Expo with 4 head of cattle- Thanks for providing me with a few minutes of laughter to ease the pre-trip panic! 🙂

  2. MaryFrantic says:

    LOVE your roof! Which of the "green" colors is it?…Seems like I remember Green Frost and Evergreen …and…?
    I’ve only been on a horse 3 times. I could not wait to dismount. I have NO immediate plans to try it again!

  3. Lora says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us! I haven’t been on a horse in 35 years, my best friend from high school still rides almost daily. We live about two hours from each other now, and she’s always telling me to come up and ride anytime I want … well, I want to, but I’m terrified! And I used to ride all the time, so I can imagine how you must have felt … thanks for giving me courage … I may just take her up on her offer now next time I’m up that way!

  4. Pam deMarrais says:

    What a great way to start my morning! I was laughing until I started wheezing, and enjoyed every word! I could really relate to your story of the wandering horse. My daughter, a trained rider, got her first horse for her 10th birthday. He was a sweetie, but he was not to be pushed around by an amateur like me. I did take a few riding lessons, and I learned how to "post". That didn’t keep me on the route I wanted to take. Not long after I left my property the horse decided he had had enough of me. He started turning around to go back to the house, but I thought that I could get him to see that I wasn’t ready to go back. He turned into another farm and wouldn’t budge. When I tried to get him to turn around he reared up! Of course my neighbor, a seasoned rider, was watching me. She couldn’t believe that Yankee [I was living in New Hampshire at the time.] was being so disagreeable. But then again, he weighed about 1500 pounds, and he knew he could. He could tell that I was a bit unsure of myself, and didn’t ride anything like my daughter…so it was back to his home after a five minute ride! I am glad that you got past the initial fears, and got to feel that joy of being a cowgirl. I am more happy that I chose to start this day by reading your story! You are a great writer!

  5. gwen Quon says:

    You are a brave girl and I know you gave your family a wonderful day and memory. I bought my first horse at 53 and now I am 59. I ride five days a week and my horse is my best friend.
    He is ever faithful to carry me on a trail or ride like the wind in my big arena. I understand why people are afraid of them because of size and speed. I too, was very afraid of them until my son wanted a horse. He has been riding since he was eleven and now at eighteen is a competitor in the sport of Eventing. I bought a horse for myself so we could ride together and I wanted to challenge myself. I have never been in better shape physically or more at
    peace because of my horse. He is happy because he is cared for and has a purpose. I am blessed because he takes me to places I have never been.
    Thank you for your post and you gave your family a beautiful day !! It just could be the start of a beautiful thing!

  6. kathy schild says:

    Rebekah, I love that you left the work and purposely sought an adventure. That’s truly the balance in life, is it not, and what we want to pass on to our children. I, too, love horses. When I was a little girl living in the suburbs, I used to follow a girl who would come riding down our street on her horse. I had the biggest lump in my throat and ache in my heart when I saw her coming. Then, when I reached fourth grade, we moved to a couple of acres, and I got a little beauty of a POA named Dolly. Oh, the horse stories I wrote about her! I moved on to a faster, more sophisticated Arabian horse named Misty and took up barrel racing. Misty and I were one, whether we were racing the barrels competitively or , barefoot and bareback, swimming through ponds in the pasture. Times change, girls grow up, and college beckons. I’ll never forget watching through my mother’s bedroom window, tears flowing, as the new owners of Misty loaded her up in their trailer. Fast forward many years, and I’m 48. I still love horses as much as ever, but I’m back in suburbia for NOW (there’s still the dream!). I must tell you that my gentle, affectionate, athletic, playful female standard poodle, who is the size of a small horse, is a pretty amazing substitute. Unlike a horse, who must remain outside, she is my constant companion, always by my side, ready for a walk or nap – tis no matter to her as long as she is with me. Such a blessing.

  7. aurelie higgins says:

    This was too funny! I have been out of my comfort zone for a couple of weeks. It is a long story but I have made friends with an Amish family that live in apple creek ohio, about an hour from me. I have since learned how to milk a goat, feed a horse, (flat handed of course, don’t ask) and watched a the wife baked 9 blackberry pies before seven am while I was still on my first cup of coffee. With eight children, five boys, who work on the farm and plow with as horse she assured me that the pies might last two days.
    They also invited me to an all Amish auction, a sea of white caps, blue dresses and straw hats. Thank goodness I wore a longish blue jumper and white blouse instead of crop pants which would have been my first choice. The family never ate a regular meal all day…just homemade ice cream which was delicious but I could hear the calories and cholesteral courseing through my veins by the end of the day. I never saw so many quilts in one place in my life, so may horses, or buggies, or so many hard working honest people in my life. I felt like a slug. At the end of the day we went back to their house and six lines of laundry had been done and on the life…done by a 15 year old with a hand operated wringer washer. As I helped her fold clothes off the line she told me of her dreams, to find a good hardworking man, to have many children and a home of her own. I thought about this alot on my way home and looked at my life. 44 years as a nurse, working my way up to management, two college degrees, serving as a Pastor, and always striving to be more than I perceive myself to be. Discontent over trivial things in life, fear of the future, and always looking for the next thing to add to our happiness and then at them. This girl sang as she took in the laundry, the family laughed together on the front porch, and not an unkind word, foul laungage, or sign of impatience with the other was heard either at home or at the auction. There life is not simple or easy, they work hard pray hard, and love each other hard. By our standards they seem backwards, simple, disconnected to the world. But after spending the day with them I found myself, not wanting to be amish, but to examine what my world is, how I live and what is really important. The whole day was out of my comfort zone but somehow I think that it is my fault that it is. Perhaps we all have much to learn from those that have chosen a simpler understanding of life and let that simplicity not control but affect how and why we exist in society.

  8. Carol in NC says:

    Sounds like everyone had a great time. I’m glad you ditched the work to have some fun! I really miss my horses and believe it or not, we’re looking at acreage again. I can’t breathe in town! Well, that’s not entirely true, and city living has its perks (my tennis game has improved), but I do miss the quiet. Besides, I want a cow!

  9. Rebekah says:

    Thanks everybody!! I’m not quite as sore this morning-thank goodness!
    I’ve put up the results of the Farmgirl Horse Survey at What fun! Here’s the link. I’ll keep the stats and respones current, so join in if you haven’t already.
    Mary, the roof is the Evergreen Blend. I adore it!

  10. Cindy says:


    Oh my, this reminded me of the last time I rode a horse…last time I will too! It was about 20 years ago and we were on a trail ride, up and down hills and such, like your ride. My horse refused to move with the rest of the group. It would stand there, then when everyone got a nice distance ahead of us, he would take off running to catch up. He kept doing this no matter what anyone did to try to make him keep up with the pack. He had his own mind made up he was going to run that day. I was scared to death. They are beautiful big creatures and I love them. I love standing by them, scratching their nose, and whispering sweet nothing in their ear. Not riding them!

    Cindy Bee

  11. Cheri says:

    WOW- I love your blog and the comments just as much.

    Aurelie- I live in centerburg and have an Amish farrier, as I also quilt- I love to see their work and think that spending more time with the Amish wld be just amazing.

    HORSES- I have been riding since i was 10. And was completely horse crazy before that. I finally realized my dream of having them in the backyard when I was married to a very amazing husband who GOT what it means- which also means he gets BIG toys. While I ride hunters and dont really compete- we are active in 4H and my daughter drives our dartmoore pony. You shld try DRIVING. It is a blast and you get to go along with a friend. You can jsut do pleasure driving- not the wild combined driving that they have in the Olympics. We have 3 horses at home now. They are a huge part of my life and dont take much time. We just put up hay and that isnt my favorite part- but it sure does smell like heaven.

  12. Martha says:

    I’d had horses almost all my life, but was without for 15+ years or so. Bought an Arabian who was pregnant. Then discovered Paso Finos!! A glass smooth ride, a SHORT gaited horse, stocky enough to carry me as long as I would ever want. I now have the Arabian’s filly (Pinto) plus 11 Pasos!! My ‘best’ mare (they’re ALL my best) just had a smoky cream filly I’m thinking of naming Creme Brulee. She is gorgeous with startling blue eyes!

    I raised Oberhasli dairy goats for 25 years and they were a LOT more work than the horses ever are.

  13. katie says:

    Love the green roof….good choice.

    Now riding a horse would be waaaay out of my comfort zone.

    Spoke at a memorial a few days ago, guess that would
    be my most recent "out of my comfort zone" experience.

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