Fall has always been one of my all time favorite seasons, ever!

Once I purchased a home (with many trees on the property), I soon began to feel dread at the sight of falling leaves. How was I gonna get this mess cleaned up?

The first year, my neighbor so kindly cranked up his leaf blower and proceeded to blow the leaves off of his lawn into nice neat piles over onto my property line for me. How thoughtful (slightly grinning).

I remember feeling so embarrassed at the amount and the piles and thinking how I was not able to get it raked and bagged in a timely manner. My yard was the worst on the cul-de-sac.

The second year, I vowed to outsource for the job and avoid the embarrassment. The folks I hired took over a week and $400 dollars later I found myself vowing to never pay that again!

The Third year (this year), I decided to start raking early and get a method to the madness by having the leaves processed as they fell. Even if this meant I had to rake several times, I would use this time as exercise… What was I thinking?

This season I am vowing to invest in a few items of equipment that will solve this once and for all, allow me to do the job myself and use my time more wisely without so much strain on my body.

I am going to purchase the following:

  1. A Mulching Mower w/ Bag
  2. A Leaf Mulching/Blower Combo w/ Bag
  3. Flower Bed Rake (for small spaces)


Pictured above (lower right corner) is a leaf disc, this is a great investment for a small yard. This awesome tool forms into a taco shape, you rake leaves into it, pinch it at the top and slide it right into the trashcan liner and boom, done and ready for the next load. I would definitely recommend it for a smaller job! I may use it for flowerbed rake outs next year to make that job easier/quicker.

If you have ideas on additional equipment that will help me with this awesomely fun fall task of leaf disposal for a party of one to complete alone, please comment below with your recommendations!

Now… let’s move on to snow and shoveling! NOT !       Signature



Solitude Time


Enjoying time in solitude is a ‘rare’ commodity these days…

I have a full life and I am very thankful for every single minute of it however, a little solitude is essential in order to recharge in this ‘busy, do more’ kind of world.

I recently had the opportunity to get a way from it all – I thought of all kinds of places that I might go from the Amish country to a Casino Resort… and then I found Hueston Woods Resort Lodge!

Preferring more peaceful environments in general, because they make be feel the best… I decided on Hueston Woods Resort for this years solitude time.

I ate delicious food, watched movies, relaxed poolside, participated in lite exercise, filmed videos, took tours, met really interesting staff and by going, found a new place that I never visited before.

I am very thankful for the first solitude time of 2014!

Happy New Year!


First Weekend of Summer (2013) !


 YAY for longer daylight hours, the sparkling pool being ready, having good times outside with friends and family by the grill, taking short and long trips to the park and eating ice-cream without getting the ‘chills’!

Oh Summer! There you are!


I also know the mosquitos are waiting for me and spiders spin their webs around my flowers and trees and dogs are doing their business in the yard right where I plan on spending time in the shade… BUT I am ready and armed! I have repellant, brooms, and doggy poo bags… nothing will stop me this year!


In an Instant …


Sometimes things are changing and we have no idea until it is too late.

Sometimes… we overlook the most obvious when it could have been simple to notice.
Sometimes… there is just no excuse!

Recently, I was looking for a place to cut a bell pepper and the counters were full of ‘stuff’ – so I decided to place the cutting board on the stovetop and just continue to cut up the bell pepper from there.

I began to heat up a skillet to sauté an onion and that bell pepper and started to smell something that was not quite right… I just kept on chopping…

Then, I began to see smoke rising from under the cutting board!
I turned on the wrong burner and now the cutting board is melting just under the knife. Nothing I can do now … and so it is….

In an instant everything can change, one minute you are fine and the next you are ruined… Sometimes, there is just no excuse and no way to explain why…

In an instant…


I dropped a lot of coins on the grocery store floor this evening because I forgot to zip that portion of my wallet… Why… Oh Why…did I forget to zip that up? It is a question only answered by my wondering mind.

Approximately 25 coins fell clinking to the floor … nothing moved but those coins, my arms and the mouths of the laughing. Those by-standers… I envy them for not being me, for watching the attempt to at least catch a few as they went flying downward. Oh what a bad juggle it was because somehow my hands had holes in their palms …


I am sure it was quite amusing to witness… but I was not laughing –
I was just released from a day where I was frowned at, complained to and where it was implied that I was ‘not so smart’ – Oh what a day it has been… and now these coins.

I feel like I want to fall through the floor from embarrassment, to just disappear or to be that by-stander watching this from a different perspective.

I manage to get a few coins back into my wallet from a half fisted ‘catch’ effort and turn my back on everyone watching. I’d been ‘Coined’ and somehow, I will never be the same.

I will help anyone who drops something, even if it is 25 coins – I will go where the coins roll. I will help that person who wants to fall through the floor, he who had a bad day and the one who is forgetful. I will not laugh, frown, belittle or treat them in any way to make them feel less than.

From this experience, I am glad I was ‘Coined’ for the term in part, is defined as “to make into” and I welcome the opportunity to be morphed into something better… even through my own pain.

Written by: Beverly Stephens, 2013