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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 100

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 100

We made it! Yesterday was the 100th day of the 100 Days for a Fruitful Summer challenge! Today is the first day of fall!

Over the past 100 days we have grown plots of earth or areas of yard from bare patches to complete fruition. Some may have grown a multitude of crops or flowers to be harvested and saved or shared with others.  Whether you climbed fruit trees to gather fruits or stayed with your feet firmly planted on the ground this has been a season of growth.

The rewards of gardening or planting are many. Aside from the actual harvesting of crops, which is the main reward for most people, there are intangible rewards, too. I’m sure the rewards are different for everyone, but here are some of the unexpected rewards that I got!

I got to spend extra time with my family, especially my daughters. From picking fruits to planting seeds and then baking the fruits into amazing treats and preserving the foods for later this is time that we would otherwise not have spent together. I got to spend some extra time with my mother and a couple of my brothers.

I was rewarded with an increase in my Vitamin D from the time outdoors that I would normally have spent inside the house. (I did use my sunscreen!)

I was rewarded with knowledge; I learned so much about gardening and landscaping that I can now have an almost intelligent conversation with green thumbs! I also learned more about canning and freezing foods. I learned more about cooking and baking with fresh fruits and vegetables.

I was rewarded with the joy that came from all of the other rewards that I received!

I was rewarded with a sense of adventure in gardening and landscaping that I hope to expand upon every summer!

I was rewarded with an appreciation for dirt that I never had before.

I was rewarded with the knowledge that I was doing something good for the environment. Big rewards there!

Those are just some of the rewards and benefits I reaped during the 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer challenge. Yours may be different. Oh, and those were just the rewards that I got from the “actual” gardening!

On your climb to the top of the tree of success I hope you realized some tangible and intangible rewards yourself!

I experienced rewards as I climbed toward my goals, too! Some of my goals I reached and some I just moved closer to. I will not stop reaching for new heights and greater rewards on all of my goals!

What is so important for today is that you recognize your accomplishments from the past 100 days. Take note of where you were 100 days ago and where you are today! Reward yourself for your accomplishments! You should always reward yourself in some way when you reach a goal. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for accomplishing what you set out to do. Give yourself something as a reward for that achievement. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a pedicure or massage. It can be a new book or cool pen. It can be a vacation or piece of jewelry. I like to gauge my tangible rewards (massages are tangible) based on the level of my accomplishment. Oh, and try not to reward health related (weight loss) goals with food. This is a hard one for me. Food is ‘my thing’. I love it! (Not a news flash – I know) However, rewarding a health goal with food doesn’t fit in with the neuroscience surrounding healthy habits and rewards. I want to train my brain to associate health goals with non-food rewards, like new shoes or new clothes!

Today is a day of recognition, rewards, and celebration! Take this day to love yourself and be proud of your accomplishments! Do one nice thing for yourself (reward!) for every one goal you accomplished over the last 100 days! Oh, and make sure to do one nice thing for yourself for every one major shift or forward motion that you had toward the fruition of your goals. Some goals just cannot be met in 100 days. They need a little more time. So reward yourself for your growth!

Today’s Challenge: Reward yourself! Celebrate! Have an excellent day! Be happy!

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” ~ Oprah Winfrey










Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized


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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 97

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 97

With all of the gardening we have done, it’s important to make a point to stop and enjoy the sights, smells, or sounds –slow down and take things in rather than rush by and take things for granted. This can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, in addition to other health benefits.

I enjoy on my weekend mornings taking the time to savor a cup of coffee, watch the sunrise, and listen to the world wake up. Taking this time is a simple way to slow down and be grateful. It is also a good time to remember that life is a gift. Everything in it is a gift. What we do with that gift…is up to each and every one of us in every single moment.

So, today – my wish for all of you is that you savor life! Savor all that there is to experience and be in this universe we live in! Bask in the luxury of the sunrise or the taste of a cup of coffee (unless you don’t like coffee, then have tea – or whatever you like)! Enjoy each moment as if it is a precious gift, because it is! The awesome thing about it is this: we are all given gifts like this every day. It is entirely up to you what you do with the gift. Some people ignore it. Some people untie the ribbon and think that is all there is. They don’t take the time to unwrap and embrace the gift! The Gift is given to us in every minute of every day. Our challenge is to rip open the gift with all of the enthusiasm of a three-year old on Christmas morning! (or any holiday or birthday)…That child embraces their gift with excitement, hugs it to their chest, and exclaims “I LOVE IT! It’s just what I always wanted!” Have you opened your Gift today?

That is today’s challenge…Open your gift!

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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Uncategorized


Fruitful Summer 2016- Day 96

Fruitful Summer 2016- Day 96

We are so close to the end of the 100 Days Challenge! I’m going to give a 2 for 1 today! It’s 2 short posts combined into 1!

I am still moving toward the finish line with all of the passion with which I started the summer! I have not lost sight of my ‘what’s’ or my ‘why’s’ and am determined to stay focused to the very end!

I would love to know what things you have been fruitful in this summer! With only five days until the end of this 100 Day Challenge it’s time to decide if your goals have come to fruition, if the goals you set at the beginning of the summer are goals you want to continue with for the next season, or if you need to replant those seeds or choose new seeds to plant for next season.

Today’s Challenge: Share your fruits with me! Decide where you are on your climb to success, and if you are going to continue climbing for these same fruits!

“One that would have the fruit must climb the tree.” ~ Thomas Fuller

A little retro inspiration today. I love listening to my Sirius satellite radio and throw it over to 80’s on 80 every once in a while. This song from a popular 80’s movie came on and really pumped me up! As sometimes happens the song stuck in my head.

I looked up the words and want to share the first few with you:

First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind
All alone I have cried, silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone

Well, I hear the music close my eyes, feel the rhythm
Wrap around, take a hold of my heart

What a feeling, being’s believin’
I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life

As the 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer winds down listen to this song and look at these words. Did the dream take ahold? Did you follow your passion?

I don’t think any of us are wanna-be dancers working as welders in a steel mill (who’s holding back some cool info?)… but the other parts can be true. What start as slow glowing dreams can come to fruition if you let it take ahold of you and you believe it, they come alive. Conceive, believe, achieve!

Today’s Challenge: Follow your passion and make it happen! Oh, and sing and dance a little bit – it feels awesome!

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman















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Posted by on September 17, 2016 in Uncategorized


Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 93

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 93

We are 1 week from the end of summer. We are one week from the end of the 100 Day Challenge to a FRUITFUL Summer!

This is so very exciting to me for a number of reasons! The first reason is because we are so close to saying “Yes! I did it!” Also, we are so close to fall I can smell it. I just LOVE fall! Oh, and of course, there are all of the awesome things that were accomplished this summer! What an amazing summer!

With one week until the end of the challenge there is still time to work on the goals that you set out to achieve.

With that said, this is the time of season for the gardener to put the finishing touches on the garden, harvest what is done, and start the preparation for wintering the garden.

Another way to phrase that is to repair the garden from the summer planting and harvesting. One of the most important pieces to repairing and preparing the garden for the rest of winter is to clean it up. Remove the debris left behind from the plants if you have not already done this. These can be taken to the compost. Turn over the soil by hoeing or tilling. This exposes bugs and other pests so that they are not content to winter under your soil, and the birds can happily remove them for you. It is also a great time to test your soil, and add lime if necessary.

This is also a great time to clean up your flower beds and landscape. Again, remove the debris from dead foliage and plants. This helps prepare your yard for next year, and also removes bedding for pests like mice.

As this season of personal growth comes to an end take time to repair yourself for the next phase of growth in your life.

This piece of repairing myself is from an especially hard couple of weeks when I did the first 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer Challenge. While it is time for me to repair from this summer, it hasn’t been as physically punishing!

The past two weeks at my job have been physically rough and exhausting! Last week (the one prior to the one we are ending now) I drove over 740 miles. That put quite a strain on my back and neck. This week I worked 3 – twelve hour days and one fifteen hour day. That doesn’t include my driving time and the time from getting up to going to bed. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of Thursday. I took Friday off. I slept in until 8:30! That never happens! I had a light lunch with my mother before heading off to a massage. It was so incredibly awesome! I felt like a new woman! Repaired! Just like removing the debris from the garden and landscape I removed the stress debris from my body and the toxins that were bedding for pests like a stiff neck! At least it wasn’t mice!

Today’s Challenge: Spend time repairing yourself from this challenge. Relax, get rid of the old debris, and start to prepare for the next phase!

“It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.” ~Josh Billings


Posted by on September 14, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized


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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 92

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 92

I know that I have been neglectful in posting this week. I apologize that it took so long, and apologize that it’s a bit lengthy.  Please forgive me.

This was written by me a few years ago, when I did my first Fruitful Summer Challenge. I’m sure it will be new to many who read it; if not, maybe you will gain something new.

During some online searches for information about gardening I stumbled upon something new to me. It is the creation of the Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut, Lebanon. The Garden of Forgiveness is designed to be a place of contemplation and reflection. The idea for the garden came from Alexandra A in 1998. It is inspired by the great human struggle to forgive, particularly in light of historic cycles of violence.

A Garden of Forgiveness is also being planned in New York near the site of the WTC.

I have read about college campuses and individuals creating their own personal Forgiveness Gardens, as a place of healing as well as a place of reflection.

While this is not the kind of gardening I have been learning about or writing about during this 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer Challenge, it does lead into a very important topic: Forgiveness.  Forgiveness is a key element in peace building. When I read that sentence, which was part of a larger sentence and paragraph about the Lebanese war, and forgiveness being a key element in post-war peace building…

I pulled out what screamed at me from the page: “Forgiveness is a key element in peace, building.” Forgiveness is a key element in peace and re-building. Forgiveness is a key element in inner peace and re-building the YOU that needs to forgive and be forgiven.

A couple of years ago I was upset with someone for something they had done. It was just eating at me and making me miserable. I had been doing some personal growth work and had listened to a Tony Robbins CD about forgiveness. I was still upset with ‘the thing’ and ‘the person’. I tried talking to The Hubs about it and he was very supportive. He told me that I needed to forgive and (not forget) get over it. Move on. He then explained to me that I hold on to things that I should let go of. I was pretty well convinced that he was absolutely incorrect and tried to tell him as much. He very quietly and politely told me that I am the only person in the world who holds a grudge against a piece of gum that ruined her shoes over 10 years ago. To my credit, they were really nice shoes.

I immediately started working on forgiveness with great passion. I contacted a pastor about how to forgive. His recommendations were things I had tried in the past, yet I tried them again. Write down the “thing” or the name of the person that has hurt you, or that you want to (need to) forgive.  Then burn the paper, or shred it in the shredder, or bury it in the yard.  Announce forgiveness of the person or thing (if it’s a piece of gum). That was a good start in the forgiveness and healing process for me. It was not the ‘fix’.

I came to realize that there is more to it than forgiving the other person or the acts or things that hurt me.  I realized that I also needed to forgive myself.  I spent a good part of a week doing a major forgiveness cleanse.  I went through my life and thought of the things that I have done that were hurtful and the people I have done them to.  I then thought about the things that have hurt me and the people who have hurt me.  I listed them out.  I talked to Source, God, Spirit, Universe about the things that I have done that hurt others.  It was a painful and humbling process.  I asked forgiveness from the Universe (et al).  I then gave myself permission to forgive myself.  Then, I was able to forgive others.

The next step was meditation. I found some guided meditations that aided me in this process.

Once I had forgiven myself, it was so much easier to let the other stuff go!

That was several years ago. Forgiveness is still an ongoing process. When I read about the Garden(s) of Forgiveness and the words screamed at me from the page…the true link came to me. Forgiveness is just like gardening. It is an ongoing effort. It takes all of the thoughtful planning, care, and nurturing that a garden does. It takes vigilance to keep the pests out; bugs, weeds, bunnies, and more. It takes the deadheading and pruning. It means getting up in the morning and turning on the water. It means plucking the ripe fruits and putting them by for later use. It takes doing the work even when it seems too hard, or too time-consuming. Continue digging in even when the ground seems so hard, and the rows too long.

Remember this: Not forgiving does not usually hurt the other party (or the gum). It hurts US, the unforgiving. It eats away at pieces of our souls. Let it go. Forgive yourself and forgive those who have hurt you – to rebuild your soul and restore your inner peace!

As for me; I am going to start weeding the garden of forgiveness. I might also start a Garden of Forgiveness of my own, so that I can work in it and work on me at the same time.

Today’s Challenge: Forgive yourself, and then work on forgiving others, for past hurts.

“Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you.”  ~Dodinsky


Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized


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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 88

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 88


A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea. ~ John Ciardi

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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Uncategorized


Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 86

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 86

I have read quite a bit about landscaping (not that I have really done much with that knowledge) and even subscribe to a couple of online landscaping newsletters. As I was reading some information it said to start planning your landscape or gardens from inside the house, looking out. Sit at places where you can look outside, and decide what you would like to see from that vantage point. Blew my mind. Completely. The next time I am doing the dishes I am definitely going to think about what I want the backyard to look like from that vantage point. Oh, and I am also going to look out the front from the chair I like to sit in and ruminate. What would I ideally like to see when I look out from there? I am just so excited about that concept. It had never occurred to me to start from the inside, looking out!

After I read about landscaping, or even vegetable gardening from the Inside Out, I did one of those “Oh, A-Ha” things. I stopped and shook my head back and forth just a bit. “Oh.” “Ah, I get it.”

As is in gardening is in life. I need to sit down and look through the windows at what I want it all to look like when it’s done. I need to evaluate where to plant and what to plant from INSIDE before I start looking at it on the outside. “A-ha.” While this is not an entirely NEW concept (find your ‘why’, follow your passion, etc.), in the origami of life it unfolds a little bit differently.

When looking through the window glass of life, are you planning what is most appealing to you for your lifetime? If not, make some quick adjustments to finish this season and get ready for the next! Are you living your life with passion and purpose to fill your cup to the point of overflowing? If the answer is ‘no’, then ask yourself ‘why not?’~

One of the best ways to discover the answers to those questions is through meditation. If you are not one of those new-age-touchy-feely-granola types, well then meditation is probably not any the less for you… There are some very good beginning meditation series on Youtube. I am very fond of Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations. Meditation quiets your mind and puts you in touch with the true you. Looking at the windows of yourself through meditation is a good way to discover what you want to see outside those windows; what you want the garden of life to look like from Inside and Out.

Today’s Challenge: Ruminate. Meditate. Look out the window and back in…

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung

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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Uncategorized