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Yesterday for some reason the topic of washing machines came up. I mentioned to my husband that I really like the one we have now because it sings a cheery little tune when the wash is done.

He laughed, but I insisted that it does make a difference. Our old one would let out a loud “BLAAAT!” at the end of the cycle. And my reaction was always, “Oh, no, the wash is done, now I have to go deal with it.”

Now, when I hear that little tune, I think, “Oh, good, the wash is done!” ūüôā

It’s a little thing. But it does make a difference in my mood. And compounded over time, I’m sure it makes a positive difference in my life – which no doubt ripples out to those around me.

Little things can have big impact. Pay attention today to the little things in your life. Notice how they affect you, either positively or negatively. If the latter, how hard would they be to change?

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Fall windfall

Apples 4-10 002One of the nicest things about fall is…apples!

Where I live in Negaunee, MI, we have a lot of old abandoned apple trees within walking distance of our front door.

Some of them are not much to speak about, but some of the trees have surprisingly good apples. This time of year you can gather them by the bag full.

I really love those apples. Some are sweet, some are pretty tart, but they all have wonderfully complex flavors that you just don’t find in modern apples. And the trees are so generous in sharing their bounty!

Here is my daughter Aster and Hazuki, the Japanese student we¬† hosted for 2 weeks, with Hazuki’s first apple pie. The girls made it from windfall apples they gathered from those old trees, and the pie was AMAZING!

What is your favorite thing about fall?

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Sometimes it’s easier to think about being relaxed than to actually relax – especially when you have work you need to get done.

Being in nature really helps me to center and ground myself. But it’s pretty hard to be out there all the time. There are times when I need my nature fix but just can’t leave my desk.

It used to really stress me out, but one day I discovered that just listening to the sounds of nature while I work is an instant de-stresser.

There’s a guy on YouTube named Johnny Lawson who posts a bunch of nature sounds videos. They really help me chillax into my day! Try it sometime when you have a lot to get done – perhaps they’ll help you, too.

Here’s one of my favorites:

 

 

What helps you through busy days?

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Three red apples watercolor painting

“Wonderful things keep falling into my life!”
One of the nicest things about fall is…apples!

Where I live in Negaunee, MI, we have a lot of old abandoned apple trees within walking distance of our front door.
Some of them are not much to speak about, but some of the trees have amazingly good apples. And this time of year you can gather them by the bag full.
I really love those apples. Some are sweet, some are pretty tart, but they all have wonderfully complex flavors that you just don’t find in modern apples. And the trees are so generous in sharing their bounty!¬†homemade pie from wild apples
Here is my daughter Aster and Hazuki, the Japanese student we hosted for 2 weeks, with Hazuki’s first apple pie. The girls made it from windfall apples they gathered from those old trees, and the pie was AMAZING!
I wish I could share the pie with you, but I’m afraid it disappeared too fast for that. Fortunately, though, I just stumbled on another windfall that I can share – and that is just as sweet as pie.
My friends, Rev. Anne Presuel & Sherry Bowers, are hosting an online giveaway of resources from dozens of top-level spiritual practitioners. These include how-to and informational videos, guidebooks, and even readings, all free and no strings attached.
The offerings rotate daily, but so far I’ve seen ones that address abundance, joy, chakra clearing, and lots of healing and self-healing trainings.
The giveaway is especially geared towards spiritual entrepreneurs, so there are a lot of business-building goodies in there, too. But honestly even if you have no intention of ever being in business you’ll find a ton of valuable stuff just for your own personal use.
This is thousands of dollars of information just lying there like so many sweet, juicy windfall apples.
Worth checking out at least? I think so! You can pick your windfalls here. (They’re good through the end of this month.)

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Cougar tracksLast summer I had to pick my daughter Aster up from language camp in Minnesota, and we decided to take an extra day to camp in the Black River State Forest in Wisconsin on the way back.

We did some hiking, too, and were about a mile in on a remote trail when I looked down and realized that I’d just stepped on a HUGE paw print. Aster looked around and found more. Fresh ones. They were round, with no claw marks, and about the length and width of my outstretched hand.

Cougar tracks.

Of all the times to forget my camera in the car!

We scuttled out of there and I reported the experience to the Wisconsin DNR. Unfortunately it rained before they were able to confirm the tracks, but I did learn that cougars have been sighted in the area.

I can’t decide whether I was sorry or glad not to have seen the animal itself!

North America’s biggest cat¬†Mountain lion

Cougar, Puma, Mountain Lion, Panther, Catamount – no matter what you call it this animal is a powerful symbol of…well…power!

At 6 to 9 feet in length and typically weighing 75-175 pounds, Cougars are one of the largest animals in North America. They are completely carnivorous. Solitary hunters, they bring down deer as well as smaller animals such as rabbits, squirrels, and even porcupines!

Like all cats, cougars are supremely graceful. They are capable of making great leaps – up to 15 feet straight up or up to 40 feet forwards. They are solitary and territorial, but interestingly they don’t tend to defend their boundaries much, preferring to let other cats pass through unmolested. Cougars have been known to roam for hundreds of miles before staking out a territory of their own.

Another distinctive thing about the mountain lion is its voice. It’s been described as chilling and bloodcurdling, like a woman screaming, and can be heard from quite a ways away.

CougarCougar as a Power Animal

If Cougar has entered your life, pay close attention to your own reaction. Are you excited? Scared?

It’s pretty normal to feel fear when face to face with a large predator, but if you find yourself obsessing over the idea of cougars, or if just looking at a picture of one makes chills run up and down your spine (but at the same time you feel compelled to keep looking), it could indicate that you have not yet come to terms with your own personal power.

On the other hand, you can consciously bring Cougar energy in when you need to be focused and take swift, decisive action Рespecially when patience and proper timing are also required.

If you carry Cougar energy you will probably exhibit a certain amount of restlessness and wanderlust. You will probably enjoy travel, but guided group tours won’t be your thing. You’ll have more fun discovering your own secret haunts. You might end up moving a lot, or changing careers.

At work, you’ll do best when you have a great deal of creative freedom. If ¬†a job doesn’t suit you, you’re more likely to quietly walk away than to stick it out in misery. You may even start your own business – but unless you have strong influences from other power animals you’ll probably be happier as¬†a solopreneur rather than managing a team of people. (Or, hire a trusted¬†person to do the managing¬†for you.) You are capable of great leaps of insight and decisive action – but remember to be patient and look before you leap.

One characteristic of Cougar energy is quiet power. This is especially evident where¬†communication is concerned. A few words from a Cougar person can shake mountains. Remember that old TV commercial, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen?” That describes Cougar energy very well. A Cougar person may not say much, but when they do open their mouth, look out. If their power is well-balanced¬†their observations can catalyze incredibly powerful positive change in the world. If not, their words can be cutting, hurtful and destructive.

I could write a lot more, but will save it for another day. Perhaps you would like to add some observations of your own? Share your thoughts in the comment box below! ūüôā

A to Z blogging challenge

photo credit: by Tambako the Jaguar via photopin (license)

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Negaunee and Ishpeming are two towns in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are about 3 miles apart, separated largely by woods. In the winter, you can ski between them on a section of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

If you do, and if you look for it, as you approach Ishpeming you will see a handmade sign that someone posted next to the trail:

"god, sin, you" poster

“Holy crap!” I exclaimed the first time I saw this sign. “I think they are in need of an editor!”

Fortunately, I’ve done some editing in my day. As it turned out, all it really needed was a little help with the spacing and punctuation:

"God's in you" posterThank goodness for Photoshop! ūüėČ

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Anne Michelsen artist website screenshot

So pleased to announce that my new art website is now live!

I’m using Managed Artworks, a web developer that creates sites for artists and galleries. I couldn’t be more pleased with their service and product! My site is a work in progress (aren’t they all?) :-), but they are a pleasure to work with and have thought of everything an artist might need!

Check it out, and if you have any suggestions for improvement I’m all ears!

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