A New Story


I have always loved stories.

When I was growing up my favorite hobby was reading. I would curl up on my bed or out on a blanket in the lawn and read for hours.

Today, I’m starting a new story…in a new place…in a new home…with a new attitude.

I’m letting go of my old story. The story that plays over in my head and messes with my heart. A story of old habits and mind games.

It’s been a crazy two months since I’ve updated this (and the personal) blog. We’ve helped welcome two new grandsons, sold and bought a house, and somehow filled everyday with cleaning, sorting, organizing, rocking, changing, eating, drinking, playing, and praying.

So, will the new story be different than the old? Not really, and totally. I’ve loved my story thus far. Most of it, anyway. There is some work to do. There are some habits to change. It will take me a tad longer to connect with old friends. There will be some new friends. There are churches, doctors, dentists, and coffee shops to find. There are walks to take, strollers to push, and bikes to ride. I’m determined to get healthy mind, body, and soul.

And so I begin, again.

A new story.

Dreams Come True

I wrote a children’s book. It’s been a dream of mine since I had children in the 1980’s. There’s some work to do yet, but it is closer than it’s ever been.

Indiana, the farm, being raised in a large family, church and the bible will always be a part of my story, so I’m positive this will morph into a children’s book series. I can only dream.


Keep on dreamin’

Write the book

Travel the world

Start a business

Sell the business

Lose the weight

Build the muscle

Sell the house

Buy the truck

Audition for Survivor

See the northern lights

Publish the book

Dreams come true


Lessons I've Learned

Some of these are Winnie-the-poohish, kindergarten-ish, pinterest-ish and some are tongue-in-cheekish, but lessons learned despite the simplicity.

16 lessons learned and a video montage from the Senior Living Trailer Park ‘19. (Even tho they were, at one time, manufactured, it’s still a trailer park. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

In no particular order except I liked the “less-wordy-to-a-bit-more-wordy” style.

Goodbye Palm Village Residents

Goodbye Palm Village Residents

  • Never underestimate ripple effect.

  • Make new friends but keep the old.

  • You can’t do “Key West” in one day.

  • There ain’t nothin’ gonna steal my joy.

  • Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

  • Give it away, put it away, or throw it away.

  • Remember, we’re seniors, but not high school ones.

  • Do more things that make you forget to check your phone.

  • If someone says, “We’ve always done it that way!” Let them.

  • When you stop talking to someone stop talking about them.

  • Smile and be nice to everyone. Karma never loses an address.

  • If you have a dream, pursue it … we’re runnin’ out of runway.

  • Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s as simple and difficult as that.

  • Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.

  • In our family we don’t hide crazy, we put it on the porch and give it a cocktail.

  • Ask people questions and listen to their answers. Aka, stop talking about yourself.

  • In life, it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and let them be wrong.

It’s like saying goodbye after a great week of summer camp…we love you all and miss you already. Make it a great spring, summer and fall. We’ll see you in 2020.

Let's Do This

We only have a handful of days to enjoy our time in Florida, this year. I’ve decided to tackle each day with a bit of friendship, quiet time, reading, writing, sunshine and a renewed vigor of eating healthy.

Let’s do this.

Yesterday, I landed on the beach with Rachel Hollis’ book, “Girl, Wash Your Face.” I was sold before the 2nd chapter. Sometimes I start things and don’t finish them. Here’s her take on the lie, I’ll start tomorrow…

“We talk about the things we’d like to do, be, try, and accomplish, but once we get to the moment of actually doing it, w fold faster than a card table after bunco night.”

I love her style and will give y’all more of a review when I finish her book. And I will finish it.

So, here’s what I’m gonna do.

I’m gonna stick to the plan.

I’m gonna read and write.

I’m gonna find adventure.

I’m gonna love on the family.

I’m gonna smile and be nice.

I’m gonna be happier.

I’m gonna keep on minimizing.

I’m gonna delve into a deeper relationship with my creator.

I’m gonna get more honest and personal on this blog and on social media. It won’t always be pretty.

Let’s do this.


Let's Get Healthy

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Spring and summer are coming. We’re on the backside of winter. There are lots of decisions and plans to make. This grandma is getting two more grand babies, right around April 19 & 20!!!! I want to be healthier than I am now when they arrive AND I want to dance at their weddings in 25 years or so.

Let’s get healthy … they say it only takes 30 days to make a new habit. Start one today and stick with it for 30 days.

When the dark of winter closes in around you, find your light and let it shine. When light enters the room the darkness scatters. Always.

There’s always hope.

If you’re in the middle of a storm, hang on.

If you are distracted, refocus.

If you are thinking it’s all just too hard, hold onto hope.

If you need to, once and for all, care for yourself first, do it.

If you feel overwhelmed, make yourself a daily schedule and stick to it like your life depends on it.

If you’ve run out of steam, take a day or even an hour to rethink what you want.

What do you want?

Spring is 30 days away. The flowers will bloom. The snow will melt. The sun will shine.

Use today as a turning point. Decide what you want and go for it. Make good choices. Smile and be nice.

Hope springs eternal.

Quiet My Space


How and when do I quiet down? Mind, body, and soul?

Here I am at Sunday in week one of 2019. I’ve got a van load of “goodwill” waiting to be dropped off.

I sorted dishes, decor, and desktops.

I purged clothes, clutter, and accumulations.

I scaled back the refrigerator and the recycle tub is at the curb.

Books and photographs are next. Delete, delete, delete.

I’m 12-stepping my social media addiction.

I’m making a menu, a schedule, and a reading plan. Starting with my friend’s book “Life Is Good, Fragile, Precious.”)

I will quiet my space … mind, body, and soul.

I will choose to fall in love with simple … in my home and my health.

Here I Go


What must I do to get healthy, aka, lose weight?

Let’s throw it all out and start over. What happens in 2018 stays in 2018! I’m convinced we’ve made getting healthy way too difficult. We talk about it, talk about it, talk about it, think about it, think about it, think about it, and we try this and try that. Some say, nothing works.

I say everything works.

Keto, Paleo, Noom, Weight Watchers, Vegan, Slimfast, Isagenix, Trim Healthy Mama, Low carbs, Protien shakes, Pink juice, Cleansing, Fasting… yada, yada, yada. They all work!

Follow me on a journey this year to simplify our getting healthy goals.

Use this blog to stop thinking about it and talking about it and just do it. I challenge you and me (gonna try to write in 1st person to keep it real) to get motivated by “Three Little Words.” Follow along on Instagram for the latest TLW’s.

So, Here I Go.

Today, Dec 31, 2018, write down what the scale says, take a selfie, and then repeat these three little words to yourself all week. Here I go.

Don’t wait until the clock strikes twelve tonight.

While heading to the store for last minute items … here I go to the produce aisle

While preparing our appetizers for the party … here I go without taste testing.

While partying … here I go starting up conversations.

While adult drinking … here I go with watering down and drinking water all evening.

It’s my turn. I’m focusing on results not resolutions. I can do this. I will do this. Grandma’s getting healthy.

Here I go.

Take The Day

Most want to hear the words… “Take the day off!” but that’s not how to get where you want to go.

Everyday is a gift.

When does a gift become yours?

It’s only when you accept the gift, that it actually becomes yours!

Take the day. Accept it. Open it up and do with it what you will. It’s yours.

It’s the middle of December, and my challenge to us today is, walk intentionally through the next 15 days. Let the adventure begin right now.

We can find all kinds of excuses why this will not work. These next two weeks would be the perfect time to float. It would be so easy to let the adventure begin on Jan 1.

Let the rebel in you laugh in the face of New Year’s resolutions.

Take the day to plan some menu’s. (Failing to plan is planning to fail)

Take the day to go for a walk. (It’s gonna be 40 as high as the 44th parallel)

Take the day to give back. (Find a cause and feed it)

Take the day to make a friend. (I’m looking for some tribe members to walk with me … sign up on the sidebar.)

Take the day to keep the “negative” at bay. (Watch yourself, what is in your heart flows out through your speech)

Take the day and own it.

Today is a gift.

Open it.


Enjoy The View


I just made the above photo my desktop photo. It’s my virtual view, because, even in Michigan, a white Christmas possibility keeps dwindling. We’re all on the slippery slope to Christmas Day and I’d like to challenge you to slow down and enjoy the view.

Maybe your view is Tuscany, maybe it’s another day of laundry, work deadlines, or overwhelm.

Find the good in every thing.

Don’t let the mundane take you down.

Take a look at your schedule and rearrange and readjust until you see some good.

Change your mindset to see the beauty in your view.

Think of others and brighten their day.

Look through old photos and reminisce.

Write a letter of encouragement to yourself.

Dream about future adventures.

Plate your dinner and change your screensaver.

Don’t let yesterday’s choices affect today’s possibilities.

Live intentionally. Make smart decisions. You can do this.

There is beauty everywhere, find yours today.

Now's The Time

Stay with me now. January 1 will be here before you know it, and everybody will jump on the “lose weight” bandwagon. And I mean EVERYBODY. Don’t be one of them. Do it now. Stay on course or get on track. Today is the day!

I was going to title this post, “Deck The Halls,” but I couldn’t really see us repeating those words all day or week long to help us get healthy. Besides, I’m positive most of us have already hauled out the holly and the halls have been decked for a few weeks, now.

Now’s NOT the time for Christmas decorating. That time has passed.

Now’s the time for making memories and cookies (to give away).

Now’s the time for cozy evenings, gathered ‘round the hearth with family and friends.

Now’s the time for planning and preparing healthy recipes and ways to get thru the season without overindulging.

There is coming a time when it’s too late to send out those Christmas packages (Dec 14 according to the USPS) and make that final Amazon order (Dec 17 for Standard shipping Prime according to Amazon)

This week, while doing what needs to be done…repeat these Three Little Words to yourself.

  • Now’s the time to stay on track.

  • Now’s the time to eat whole foods.

  • Now’s the time to start over.

  • Now’s the time to pass on the empty calories.

  • Now’s the time to make a festive dark green salad with some wine red cranberries.

  • Now’s the time to drink more water than wine.

  • Now’s the time to forgive yourself for eating that sugar cookie, having one too many adult drinks, and letting the conversation turn to politics. Ooooops, did I say that outloud?

Now’s the time.

Fast away the old year passes.


See Ya Tomorrow

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When my daughter traveled the world with “The Young Americans” we coined the phrase, See ya tomorrow. It did not matter if she skyped from across the globe, we ended our conversations with, See ya tomorrow.

In today’s world you can take this literally. Google the world’s longest flights. Within 24 hours, one can fly almost anywhere in the world, depending upon connections.

As I began an Advent reading in She Reads Truth I discovered the “O Antiphons.” These are seven prayers based on biblical prophecies about Jesus. Each prayer begins by addressing Jesus with one of the titles used for Him in Scripture. When read in reverse, the first letters of each of these Latin titles spell “ero cras” which means “Tomorrow I will come.”

Even tho, we’ve lost some of the meaning and traditions (I did not know about the “O Antiphons” until this morning) this season is all about relationships and the anticipation of reuniting, gift giving, and reminiscing.

We’ll book flights and take the shortest route over the river and through the woods.

We’ll put on our santa hats and wait at baggage claim while keeping an eye on the stars and rooftops.

We’ll stay up way too late wrapping presents which will take a nano second to tear open.

We’ll exchange gifts, keep the receipts and roast the chestnuts.

We’ll trim the tree and sweep up tannenbaum needles.

We’ll tell all the old stories on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere.

A hush will fall over the earth and the bells will peal more loud and deep.

God is not dead, nor does He sleep!

With all the partying, shopping, reunions, eating and stressing, let’s remember the Reason for the season and tune our hearts and souls to others and most importantly, to the baby who was born to die, so that, we could live.

As I write this post, I’m not sure how I will draw weight loss conclusions, but the tagline reads Grandmas Getting Healthy mind, body, and soul. So stay close and follow along, because I’ll …

See Ya Tomorrow.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~ The Old Testament

Do One Thing


I went for a walk yesterday in my small town hometown. When I started out, I noticed several families on their porches and yards untangling light strands and getting ready to decorate for the season. For some people it’s an all day tradition. As with any project or task you start out by doing one thing. You can’t just throw the lights up on the porch willy nilly. You must do the do. Untangle. Replace bulbs. Measure out. Wrap around.

Do one thing.

I did some early decorating before heading down to help my parents … It was cold and I used the basement as my work station to separate all the lights, wrap them in the garland and attach the red bows. Then I bundled up to wrap the new porch columns and call it Christmas, because what goes up must come down. I took my “Do One Thing” advice literally.

Today, I debated not taking my walk. The temperature was 10 degrees cooler than yesterday. The sun was not out. The wind had picked up and the weather app notified me that “Bruce” was on the way. So I grabbed my winter coat and headed out the door.

Do one thing.

I’ve cut out wine. Yup. I’m not saying I’ll never have another glass but what I did was stop drinking one (or two) every day.

Do one thing.

I’m writing a book, because one thing I know for sure, a book cannot write itself. I am writing/tweaking a chapter a week, so I’ll let you know when preorders are available.

Do one thing.

I’m limiting my carbs. You know, I know, we all know… we eat too many carbs. I am not going crazy here, just cutting out a potato, some rice, and mainly the bread.

Do one thing.

Is your task at hand overwhelming? Do you get discouraged in your weight loss journey? Have you given up? Today…

Do one thing.

When I finished my walk today, some displays were already twinkling in the almost dusk afternoon hours and I’ve already had two out of three kids send me a photo of their decorated tree.

“Is your house on fire, Clark?  No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.” ~ A Christmas Vacation

Tune My Heart


I love music. Especially Christmas music, namely, Christmas carols. Not to mention, hymns. {One of} my favorite hymns, is “Come Thou Fount” which features today’s blog post title. {Listen below}

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing your praise …

Three more little words in this song haunt me: “Prone To Wander” and I’m preaching to the choir today.

I may need this post more than most, so going to go with the “my” pronoun.

Tune in today.

Fast and pray.

Guard my heart.

Listen to the small still voice.

Stay on track.

Play music.

Feel the feels.

Live in the moment.

Feed my soul. Now reading She Reads Truth

Encourage someone.

Tune up time.

Start Your Engines

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There are so many messages.

The latest fad diets can send you down unhealthy rabbit trails.

If it sounds too good to be true, I will click on it.

Self-help gurus are everywhere.

Ted Talks. Too Much.

This is what I know, for sure (about dieting, anyway). Don’t do it. A “diet” takes away food … and therefore nutrition.

We need to add nutrition to lose weight and stay healthy. So, in keeping with my “Three Little Words” mantra:

  1. Protein is key.

  2. Carbs are fuel.

  3. Drink more water.

  4. Fruits and Vegetables.

  5. Oils are essential.

  6. Serving size matters.

  7. Walk it out.

  8. Pace your race.

  9. I can help.

I could go on and on, and I will, but for today give these TLW’s top priority. Start your engines.

Get started somewhere. I encourage you to up your protein. Did you know you should have 20-40 grams of protein every 3 to 4 hours … all day. I listened to this podcast yesterday and sketched out a protein pacing regime which is actually quite simple and doable. Start packing in the protein!

I’m such a fan of simple … it’s why I LOVE my Isagenix. I feel better…mind, body, and soul. I let Isagenix do the heavy lifting and the research. Ya gotta trust some things to the experts. What has sold me is the mental clarity, convenience, and weight loss! In that order! Knowing and sticking to the plan has freed my time to concentrate on my soul goals.

I’m not going to stalk you or turn every conversation to weight loss, but wanted to share this part of my story today. Take it and do with it what you will.

Ladies and gentlemen … start your engines.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12 ~ The New Testament

Moving Right Along


I was hoping to jump on here on September 1 and do my traditional "Happy New Year" post. (As a mom, I felt September 1 vs. January 1 was the first of the year) but instead, I went on a 15-day Monument Valley, Disneyland, Wedding, and National Park vacation.

We hiked almost 75 miles. We danced at a wedding. We saw glorious sunsets and quiet sunrises. We rode roller coasters and virtually soared across the world at Disneyland. We stayed at mostly Airbnb's and dined at "Mom & Pop" restaurants.  We drank in the indescribable scenery. And we slept on the Navajo Indian Reservation. I will eventually post photos but for now, enjoy this "Forrest Gump Point" photo from Monument Valley and let these "Three Little Words" guide your footsteps today.

Move right along when the negative thoughts overwhelm you.

Move right along out of the kitchen.

Move right along and link arms with family and friends.

Moving right along causes momentum. 

Move right along and you'll get to where you want to go.

Move right along there's so much to see.

Move right along, because the journey IS the destination. 

Moving right along into the next season.

Move right along and live your dreams.

Moving right along, until we meet again.

Plain And Simple

Gonna shoot straight with you today and let the potato chips fall where they may.

Plain and simple ~ If not now, when?

Plain and simple ~ Take care of yourself.

Plain and simple ~ Stop emotional eating.

Plain and simple ~ Enough is enough.

Plain and simple ~ One can hardly get needed nutrition in today's grocery stores.

Plain and simple ~ You are what you eat.

Plain and simple ~ Practice The Golden Rule.

Plain and simple ~ Change is inevitable.

Plain and simple ~ Put down the phone.

Plain and simple ~ Become your own best friend.

Plain and simple ~ Tend to your soul.

Plain and simple ~ Have a nice day.


It's Go Time


You can say these Three Little Words

You can say them here

You can say them there

You can say them anywhere.

But there's more. You can't just "say" these words. You have to live them. You live them here, you live them there, you live them anywhere.

You can live them in a tent

You can live them with a friend... 

Ok, enough of my Dr. Suessness ...☺️

But seriously, it's go time. Where do you want to be on Sept 1? 

Last year, around this time, I had the responsibility of helping my parents move from their farm to a small house in town (including one final event in the party shed...more on that in another post). This was not your normal move. It consisted of 2 families, 2 houses, 2 garages, 2 attics, 4 barns, 3 acres of accumulation, hundreds of heirlooms, and thousands of memories.

It was go time from April to November. Sometimes I would tell myself, "Just do one thing today!"

Somedays, I walked around in a daze, trying to feel the feels, organize, pack, and reminisce all at once. Trust me, I'm not a multitasker.

Somedays, the weight of everything involved overwhelmed me.

But most days, I pushed on. It was go time. 

Again, I ask you...

Don't like your situation? Go do something, even one thing, to change your circumstances.

Want to move? Pack a box.

Wanna travel? Make a reservation.

Tired of being tired? Go to bed earlier and/or take a nap. Give yourself a break and stop racing rats.

Need some new friends in your life? Reach out.

Stressed? Go for a walk.

Unhealthy? Change your diet.

  •  Time to go.
  • Get up and go.
  • Make a decision and go with it.
  • Keep going.
  • Go for it.
  • Go after your dream.
  • Go the extra mile.
  • Go.


I Need Less


In keeping with my keep-these-three-little-words-front-and-center-today blog update guidelines, I will use "I" as my personal pronoun today instead of "you".

But you do need less, too.

Ok, let's use "we."

We need less in our lives. Less is more. 

I'm starting to shop and pack for our trip out west in less than a month. I do not want to buy or take one thing I don't use. I'm scouring Pinterest for packing ideas.

I'm mixin' and matching clothes to wear to a wedding, national parks, Disneyland, hiking, and swimming.

We'll be staying in Airbnb's, some mom and pop motels, and a teepee, so I'll need to have along my shakes, a coffee press, and minibar sized wines. 

Our itinerary is jam-packed, but I don't want to have to sit on my suitcase to get it shut.

So I've been obsessing over these three little words, not just with packing, but in a few other areas of my life. 

I need less empty calories.

I need less Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, and TJMaxx.

I need less of me and more of others.

I need less busyness.

I need less fake and bad news.

I need less tchotchkes, and mind clutter.

I need less negativity.

I need less misunderstanding.

I need less information about celebrities.

Let these "three little words" stay in the forefront of your thinking today. 

What do you need less of?

Create A Legacy

Time to stop and smell the flowers/coffee/wine! It's almost middle summer. It is! I heard the cicadas singing already, the stars are ready to play baseball, and the dogs are having their days.

Keep eating healthy food, plan a trip, exercise, stay in school, and drink your milk/water! But make sure you're making lasting memories along the way.

I'm fixin' to start Instagram Stories, but I've been telling stories for years over at www.greybarnstories.blogspot.com

See you soon, with more Three Little Words posts.


Walk With Me


June 12  Daily Reading in Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling"

"Let Me help you get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning  and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to man and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings."

Give it a go.

Walk with Him.