Monthly Archives: August 2016

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 79

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 79


As the summer is winding down, it is time to focus your efforts to the end of the growing season. Time is a commodity now, so don’t waste it. It is time to finish what you started in the garden, not switch gears. Work on caring for what is left on the vines to ensure the best possible outcome. Continue weeding, watering, and nourishing your plants and their bounty.

I love using the acronym FOCUS as goal fruition closes in. Follow One Course Until Successful. This is a good reminder to keep your focus on what’s important – in the garden and the garden of life!

You are closing in on this growing season for your goals set back in June, too. Focus intently on what you want to finalize or accomplish in the last 20 days of summer. Focus on activities that are absolutely necessary to achieve that goal.  Do not waste time on the little things around you, if they are NOT helping you achieve your goal. The high-pay off activities are the ones that bring you closer to your desired result. Success is 10% vision and 90% execution. It is important to continue writing your goals daily, to keep that most important goal in focus!

Today’s Challenge: Decide what you absolutely, positively must finish by the end of the summer! FOCUS! Do not give up or deviate from the goal! You can do it!

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. ~ Alexander Graham Bell

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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized


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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 78

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 78

Three weeks left until the end of summer, and the end of our 100 Day Challenge to a Fruitful Summer! I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the challenge, and met or closed in on some of your goals.

Today’s gardening portion of the challenge is a bit of a stretch…or maybe a big stretch! Oh, well. It works for me!

Growing up I remember watching the Popeye cartoons. Popeye’s strength came from eating spinach. Canned spinach, I believe. No, this is not a push to get you to eat more spinach. Especially canned spinach! My point is about Popeye’s catch phrase. “I’m strong to the ‘finich’ ‘cause I eats me spinach”… Yes, Popeye has been persuading people to finish strong for years.

popeye i yam

With three weeks left, I am sharing one of my favorite stories with you, about finishing strong.


At 7 P.M. on October 20, 1968, a few thousand spectators remained in the Mexico City Olympic Stadium.  It was cool and dark.  The last of the marathon runners, each exhausted, were being carried off to first-aid stations.  More than an hour earlier, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia–looking as fresh as when he started the race–crossed the finish line, the winner of the 26-mile, 385-yard event.

As the remaining spectators prepared to leave, those sitting near the marathon gates suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles.  All eyes turned to the gate.  A lone figure wearing number 36 and the colors of Tanzania entered the stadium.  His name was John Stephen Akhwari.  He was the last man to finish the marathon.  He had fallen during the race and injured his knee and ankle.  Now, with his leg bloodied and bandaged, he grimaced with each hobbling step around the 400-meter track.

The spectators rose and applauded him.  After crossing the finish line, Akhwari slowly walked off the field.  Later, a reporter asked Akhwari the question on everyone’s mind:  “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?”

He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race.  They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.” Wes Thompson


With that, my lovelies, I leave you to move toward your goals with renewed passion and speed!

Today’s Challenge: See how close you are to the finish line, and vow to finish strong!


Posted by on August 30, 2016 in Uncategorized


Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 77

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 77

Early to Rise…

With the extreme heat that occurs in Kansas summers it’s important to take care of your plants and garden early in the day. It is important to the health of your plants and yourself. Watering in the morning before the full heat of the day prevents burning the plants, known as ‘heat scald’ and keeps the water from evaporating as quickly. Watering in the morning also deters slugs and helps prevent rot. It is also important for your own health to not be in the sun at the peak heat times. You are more susceptible for heat stroke and sunstroke, as well as dehydration during the middle of the day.

Many people believe that the most successful people are also the people who are taking care of business before the heat of the day. Really, before the sun is even up.

Founding father, Benjamin Franklin, is credited with the phrase, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Many of the world’s most successful people are early risers. Some of those people are Apple CEO, Tim Cook; Disney CEO, Robert Iger; and First Lady, Michelle Obama all wake up by 4:30 a.m.

I am not claiming to be one of the most successful people in the world, but I do subscribe to the early to rise theory. The reason I choose to rise early is to get in my workout, meditation and breakfast all before my morning shower. I can get all of these things done without interrupting the schedule of anyone else in my house. I can take care of myself the way I want and need to, so I can better take care of the people and things I need to take care of the rest of the day!

Studies have shown that morning people are more proactive, get better sleep and are happier. They also tend to be more productive, more creative, have decreased stress levels and increased fitness levels. I attribute these last two to the same thing. Most people who are early risers workout as one of the first parts of their day.

Another key piece of waking up early, is to ensure that you are still getting ample sleep. Falling short on sleep is unhealthy and counteracts the positives of early rising.

While 4 a.m. isn’t for everyone, it is at least interesting to see all of the people who are part of the early morning club.

Today’s Challenge: Get up 30 minutes earlier tomorrow to do something productive or enjoy some extra quiet time.

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” ~Robert Whately

“The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years”. ~Thomas Jefferson


Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Motivation


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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 75

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 75

Quote of the Day

We’re all farmers…Thoughts are the seeds of action & action is the seed of Life. What seeds are you planting right now? ~ William Paisley

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Posted by on August 27, 2016 in Uncategorized


Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 73

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 73


Have you ever forgotten to water your houseplants? Or possibly forgotten that you even have houseplants? I’m not saying I have done either of those things, but let’s just say I’m grateful that my husband remembers.

I decided to look into what might exist in the wonderful world of gardening to help ‘forgetful’ gardeners. I was amazed at all of the products out there designed to help the Forgetfuls…

There are helpers for forgetful ‘indoor’ gardeners (houseplants) as well as outdoor flower or vegetable gardens. For houseplants you can buy self-watering pots and planters, including a pot made from sponge. It looks fun and funny. There is a product called ‘the droplet’ that you insert into the dirt of a houseplant and it signals you with a flashing LED light when it needs watered. Or, there is the self-watering ‘Aqua Globe’; a glass bowl /container at the end of a glass tube. The bowl is filled with water and the tube inserted into the soil of your potted plant. You still have to remember to refill the bowl, though. There are also fertilizer sticks so that you take a lot of the guess work or time from measuring various nutrients.

There are some similar products available for large, outdoor gardens and there are some self-watering tools that you can make yourself. Garden cones are one way you can self-water your garden. Soaker hoses are another tool you can use, especially in conjunction with a timer. You can set the timer to turn the water on and off for you .

With that, the very best way to tend your garden is by NOT being forgetful. If you are diligent in caring for your garden (vegetable, flower, houseplants) almost all of the time when you do forget to water one day, your plants won’t wither up and die. They may lose their pep and perk a little bit, but they will not die.

The same is true for other parts of your life. Have you ever forgotten to do something you needed to? Stood up an appointment? Forgotten to eat?

forgot to eat

There are some wonderful apps and tools that can help you remember the things you need to do. I still use an old-fashioned paper calendar, but I also use my Google calendar. Both of these work best if I remember to add my appointments and then if I remember to look at them. I also use a written “To Do” list every day to help me remember the important things I need to do! If we don’t remember what we need to do it will be mighty hard to accomplish our goals!

What tools or apps do YOU use to help you stay peppy and perky in your daily life, as you work toward your goals or just go about your day to day?

Today’s Challenge: Understand that forgetfulness is human nature and most forgotten things are not life ending! (please remember to breathe!)

Blessed are the forgetful; for they get the better even of their blunders. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 72

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 72

Behavior never lies!

Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?

In this old nursery rhyme the answer is “With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row”. For me to know how your garden grows I can ask you, or I can look at your garden. You may tell me that your garden is doing superbly and that you have the plumpest, reddest tomatoes in town. If I look at your garden will I see plump, red tomatoes? Or will I see weeds and clods of dirt and sad looking tomatoes?

Or, what if you say to me, ‘Katherine, I have done all of the right things this year and the weather has been so horrible that my tomatoes just shriveled on the vine because we didn’t have enough rain and it was scorching hot in late July’.

If I see weeds in your garden and big clods of dirt I know that you weren’t diligent in tending to your garden. Also, if you live in Kansas and say that it was too dry and too hot to grow beautiful tomatoes I know that can’t be the truth, either. I’ve seen plenty of gardens with lovely, ripe tomatoes – and boy do they taste great!

Behavior never lies. The words we say may not reflect what is really going on in life. We don’t honor ourselves or our commitments by being dishonest about what we have accomplished.

This is true not just in gardening, but in all aspects of life. As we continue our personal growth toward the fruits we have planted earlier this summer it might seem easier to say that you’ve made changes or reached goals. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Or possibly, the proof is in the pants-size; or the bank account; or the clutter. Whatever the goals you set for yourself…if you say one thing and the truth is something else.

There are several issues that can arise when words and behaviors do not match. The negative implications can be both internal and external. Internally, the repercussions manifest as confusion, frustration and disappointment. The external problems can be even greater. Trust can be broken, doubt creeps in, and reality gets distorted. Relationships can be damaged.

It is vital to your success to balance your words with your behaviors. This honors your commitments to yourself and to others.

“Your behavior is a reflection of what you believe to be true about yourself”. ~ Gary Ryan Blair

So, the next time someone asks you ‘how does your garden grow?’ will your words match your behavior?

Today’s Challenge: Take a step back from your garden (or your goals) and look through the eyes of truth and commitment at the reflection staring back at you. Are your words and behaviors a mirror image? If the answer is yes – YAY! If not, align your words and your behaviors!

“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Posted by on August 24, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized


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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 71

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 71

Although most people I know think of them as 100% nuisance and pest to Daughter Number 2 dandelions have always symbolized wishes. When our lawn would get a little out of hand in the summer, and the dandelions were more prevalent than anything else, she would always exclaim, ‘look at all of the wishes’~. Yesterday she started her Senior year at the University of Kansas. As she finishes this chapter and looks toward a new journey in her life, I wonder if any of those dandelion wishes were the results of her hours of blowing the fluffy white seeds. I know that her dedication and hard work has brought her this far and will take her farther; her dandelion wishes didn’t hurt.

Another reason I chose to write about dandelions is because, whether you like them or not, dandelions are one of the most successful plants in existence. They have been around for more than a thousand years, and their uses have been chronicled by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greek and Chinese. These plants are masters of survival.

Also, as unassuming as these ‘pests’ are, they have so many positive attributes that go mostly unnoticed. Dandelions are still used to help remove toxins from the liver, gall bladder, and bloodstream and as a diuretic.

The survival skills of the dandelion are related to the following properties: They can take root in places that seem little short of miraculous, like through gravel and cement. They are impossible to get rid of not just because they are fast growers, but they are also long-lived. Their growth cycle from bud to seed is a mere matter of days. They spread their seeds for miles on the gentlest of breezes. The longevity aspect is also testament to their survival. An individual dandelion plant can live for years. The dandelion root sinks deeper over the years, and can go down 15 feet. Also, the root clones when divided; a one-inch bit of dandelion root can grow a whole new dandelion.

For us, reaching for the fruits of our success, survival skills are necessary. We need to emulate the dandelions ability to grow fast, last for a long time, and sink our roots deeply into our ‘what’. Oh, and we also need to remember to make wishes from time to time!

Today’s Challenge: Work on your survival skills, and take time to wish!

No creature is fully itself till it is, like the dandelion, opened in the bloom of pure relationship to the sun, the entire living cosmos. ~ D.H. Lawrence


Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Uncategorized


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