Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mandala Monday

At long last, ready to download here. I'm sorry about missing last week. My mama has been in the hospital since Monday, 11/17. Thankfully, she was released today and is doing much, much better.

Friday, November 14, 2008



Lovely visit to the labyrinth today. Despite it being nearly 60 degrees, I was bundled in my winter jacket, hat and gloves. The crisp, riverside breeze cuts right through me, so I came prepared. I'd much rather be too hot than cold, but know full well that I looked like a fool.

There were only two of us on the path today. Always nice to have a travel companion. I love that we meet here every other week. However many of us can show. Although we arrive at the same time of day, it's different there... somehow, always different. No church toll or tunes for this full moon walk. This visit, only silence.

This photo captures the mood there today ... beautiful, blue, and barren.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala is ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mandala Monday

This week's mandala is ready to download here. Let's put it to good use.

Before you start watching the election results tomorrow night, please print off two or three or a dozen copies of this mandala. Set them aside for the moment. You'll come back to them a little later. Now draw yourself and slip into a nice, hot bath. You're casting a vote for yourself right now. Take five, ten, maybe fifteen minutes just to breathe and know that, regardless of the outcome, you are going to be just fine.

Now make yourself something warm and comforting to drink. If you can find something nourishing on which to nibble, that's good too. No, please put that gallon of ice cream back in the freezer. We're not going there this week ... at least not yet. *wink* Last but not least, go fetch the mandalas that you printed and your crayons, markers, and pencils. It's time to color.

Then and only then should you even think about turning on the television. Keep it low. Find the mute button and experiment. And should you decide to keep the television turned off altogether so that you can color in peace, all the better.

Blessings and happy coloring!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Magic Beans and Money

Three years ago, almost to the day, my husband was unexpectedly laid off from his job. It took him two years, almost to the day, to gain permanent full-time employment. In between, we took each day as it came with the money that we had available, but there were waves of fear and frustration that kept us both awake at night.

Needless to say, the past year that he has been back to work has been a relief and we are filled with tremendous gratitude. Mostly because we’ve changed. Originally out of necessity, but it stuck. We now think before we spend. And we now work together every month to craft a budget.

Yeah. I said it. That dirty word. Budget.

And so begins the post wherein I gush about a program called YNAB Pro. Not because I get a kickback from doing so ... but because I love it. It isn’t so much a program as a system. Maybe even a way of life. It is simple. It is affordable. And it has the potential to change your life for the better. Promise.

My husband and I have been using YNAB Pro since April and budgeting our income for the first time in almost 17 years of marriage. We are no longer living paycheck to paycheck. We are planning ahead for Murphy visits, so that we don’t get caught by surprise. For example, last week, we were able to pay cash for a $3600 repair to our sewer line which, otherwise, would have been applied to our home equity line of credit before we knew better. We are paying down our debt and we are setting goals. I swear to you that the sky is bluer, food tastes better, and we sleep like babies. It’s really that good.

I hesitated about posting this, since it is a bit off-topic for this blog. But I have talked with more and more people lately who are trying struggling to get a handle on their spending in these uncertain times. They just don’t know where to start. If this is you, please, give YNAB a try. At least check it out. It may very well be the best $49.95 investment that you’ve ever made ... and you are so worth it!