The Fall Season is a busy time of reflecting on the current year!


Reflection is always a good way to sort out what is relevant to our present day.

Hello Sunshine. I currently live in a rural area of Indiana. I grew up just south of here about fifteen or so miles. This time of year is about getting the crops in from the fields and canning all the wonderful things grown in the garden and out of the orchard.

I admit that I do not preserve foods these days. I used to freeze our fruits and vegetables many years ago. Our children are all adults and have their own gardens. Some of them do preserve stuff. Yes, my mother stills cans a little bit. She is awesome and I enjoy everything she shares with me.

Fall activities are in full swing around here. Pumpkins are in all the Fall decorations. Field trips to the pumpkin patches and and apple orchards. Preparations for Halloween coming up around the corner. Fall flowers are in full bloom. Sports are starting to wind down. It seems like every other day my husband raking and blowing leaves to be mulched by the mower. It gives him something to and helps to keeps him busy.

As the leaves start to come down and the weather begins to get a little, or a lot colder, I begin to anticipate Thanksgiving with the family. Yes and Christmas. Side note, I LOVE the CHRISTMAS SEASON! I asked my husband if I could put the Christmas tree up, mind you it was October 1 when I asked him. He said NO, but he tells me know every year. Some day I will talk him into October or maybe even July!

As the temperatures have dropped into the 30’s it is time to switch out the summer wear for winter wear. This year I took an initiative to clean out my closet(all closets). I was truly amazed at what I had in the closets. I routinely clean out my closets about every three years or so. It was time. I also managed to sort through a dresser that I keep extra clothes for the grand youngins. All together I filled 4 bags with clothes to take to the shelter.

On my way to drop off these items to the shelter I mentally made a note to self; as to how blessed I am in these days of loss and confusion. We do not have the best of everything but then stuff is not my thing. My thing is my family, kiddos, our grand youngins and close friends which I am truly blessed and grateful for. Years come and go. Our family is ever growing.

Reflecting on this year we have been placed in lock down, county to county. We have had family and friends diagnosed with cancer. The Corona Virus of 2019 is still running through out the world. We have had babies born and people pass. I cherish my time with our family and true friends. We pass through this life but once and we leave footprints upon all those we meet.

I read a book by Matthew Kelly, where he writes about being the best version of yourself. It doesn’t matter who you are or were you come from aspire to be the BEST version of yourself. If you fall short, as we all do, start the next day with the Best version of yourself. Remember life is really to short.

As we go into this Fall season go with an open heart and a opened mind. Who will you be grateful for? What makes you grateful? Take time to reflect on the important things in your life. Be the BEST version of yourself!

Where the Family Gathers.


‘Not a perfect family but it is yours.’

Holidays are a time of gatherings. Families large and small sharing food, laughter and stories of times past and present.

I come from a fairly large family. My mother is one of eleven children, three boys and eight girls. There are twenty-eight plus cousins just in my generation.

When my Grandmother was living it seemed that at least once a month we gathered at her house, be it for Holidays, Birthdays, Wedding and/or Baby Showers. Church on Sunday mornings and dinner by noon. Forty plus family members each month with food, games and lots of laughter.

At some point in time Grandma had a 3 car garage added onto the house with a storage room built on for housing holiday decorations, 8-10 tables and rows of chairs. We had out grown the house years before, so much so that that the families had to rotate an in and out system during visits.

Grandma has been gone for about15 years now. After her death the gatherings stopped. You know ‘for this reason and that reason’. A few times we did manage to gather for a Christmas or two. Those that were able to come had a great time visiting.

We are still blessed to have the Labor Day Celebration. It has grown into a celebration of two great families that are able to still gather for a great time.

So Many Memories

As youngins we looked forward to the gathering at my Aunt and Uncles farm for the Labor Day Reunion. It was a full day of adventure from 11 AM – 11PM.

The food was awesome. The reunion was ‘pitch-in’ style. Which meant everyone brought a dish, consisting of dishes of fresh cut garden veggies from the garden and pasta salads, an array of casserole dishes of beans, homemade mac and cheese, barbeque meats, cheesy potatoes, and many desert dishes of cakes, pies, brownies and maybe some no bake cookies that my mom made. My Aunt, the hostess of this gathering, always made a large bowl of potato salad using my uncle’s family recipe.

Our family has quite a few hunters and fishermen in it. There would always be hotdogs, bratwurst, beef and venison burgers on the grill as well as fish cooking in the fryer. If you went away hungry it was no ones fault but your own.

There was so much food, volley ball game in the backyard, a full on baseball game in the field across the road from the house, Cornhole Tournament, music and (2) 5 mile hay rides. We rode in one of the two wagons.

Each wagon was lined with rows of straw covered with sheets and blankets. We would joyfully load on to the wagons with my Uncle driving the tractor and my Aunt by his side traveling along talking, laughing and waving to those we passed along the route.

Whenever I drive out that way, I take a drive past the farm. It is still there. I spend time remembering all those countless adventures. I can not count how many hayrides I have been on over the years (I always rode both times). I have been blessed to share these experiences with my children and a few of my grandchildren.

Does your family have gatherings? What is your favorite Gathering story? Everyone has at least one.

Life is often to short. Tell someone how grateful you are to have them in your life.

Photo Albums: past and present


Hello sunshine, what type of camera do you use? Do you own a real camera? I do. A few different ones. None of our seven children own a camera. They take pictures on their latest phone.

I will admit that the newer cellphones do take great pictures and that they are convenient for talking and traveling. Yes, I do use my phone to take pictures of the grand children(a lot). The question is still ‘do you own a camera?’

I have a few different ones. I did have a 110 film Kodak camera until one of the youngins lost it on a trip. It was my staple camera for years. Why? It fit nicely into my purse.

Mind you this is back when you had to send in by mail or through the local drug store the film roll from the camera. Not knowing what pictures you took. Or if you cut the tops off of your loved ones heads. Yes many families have these pictures in their family albums.

Our family was large. We gathered for every occasion: Holidays, Birthdays, Wedding, the kiddos ball games, Where two or more were gathered we took pictures.

Camping 2020

I am the official picture taker in our bunch. Yes, I always have a camera and a phone ready for any occasion. We as a family go through them often. The grandchildren like to laugh at the way their parents looked when they went to school. Then there is always a call put in to me for photos of loved ones for a remembrance.

To Print or To put onto a Disc/Flash Drive

I print pictures out about every 4 or 5 months. Somewhere around a 100 or so. I use the 10 cents a picture coupon for a 100 or more photos. I it is a great deal!

Do you print pictures or just put them on a disc/flash drive? I do both. All pictures get put onto something each year. It makes for easier retrievals and filing for when asked for copies.

I suggest that you put your pictures onto something tangible. Once lost they are gone. Example: My children wine that I am old fashion(maybe) about saving moments in time. My daughter would always tell me ‘Mom they are on my phone’. After every grand youngin event I would say, ‘ Did you print them or at least copy them on to something’. Again it would be with the ‘they are on my phone!’ About three months ago I get a frantic call, ‘Mom my phone is broke. They can not access my phone to get to the photos!’ Mind you that she had 12, yes, 12 years of photos on her phone. Wedding, birth, football, baseball, gymnastics, dance, cheer, holidays, and things in between. The ‘I told you so’ was not the right come back at this time. Luckily two days later our eight year old granddaughter was playing house with it and it came on. I instructed my daughter to go straight to the photo lab and transfer ALL the pictures to a flash drive. She did and 12 years worth at $48 later her family history has been returned. Side note: the phone went off that day and has not ever came back on.

Photo Album or Digital Album

I personally prefer hand held photo albums. I am old fashion remember. But on special occasions I will put in a disc or flash drive and let it run during a family gathering. Yes this is always an entertaining look into the past and a great conversation starter…

What is your take on Cameras and Photo options? Do you have photos on your phone? I strongly suggest that you do something with them. They are moments in YOUR history.

SCABBLE is a word game.


Who is up for a game of Scrabble?

Besides my family, does anyone play the board game Scrabble? Some of my earliest memories of the game are watching my grandmother, mom, and my aunts play during visits. We played various games of cards, dice and scrabble most competitively. My grandmother won most of the games as she was an avid reader and loved to learn new words form the dictionary.

Now that I am grown, I play with my mom and my sister(they are very competitive). My niece, nephews, my children and older grandchildren play at our family gatherings. Our 6 year old grandson was excited that he knew how to connect words on the board.

Our goal is to learn new words, have fun and to win. Not shy here, we will challenge any unrecognized word.

Our daughter bought a used scrabble game at a thrift store and created a work of art for my mother. She took and glued all the names of the grandchildren and great grandchildren’s names on the board. Then she had a frame made for it. My mother just loved it. Noted- we had to add a few more letters to the board as their are 7 Grandchild and 7 Great Grandchildren.

What are some of your favorite games of childhood? What games do you play with your family and friend today?

What makes you happy?


Hello Sunshine. In the midst of the chaos around us my question for you today is “What makes you happy?” Maybe that is the wrong question. “What makes you feel joy?” I believe that there is a difference between being happy and being filled with joy.

What is it that brings you joy? Joy for me would be time with my children and grandchildren. Joy would be waking up to a good cup of coffee and drinking it on my back porch with my husband. Spending quality time with at my parents. Thursday evening’s with my Women’s Bible Study Group. Making pancakes and treats for my grand youngins. My list is compiled of everyday things that are sometimes taken for granted and often pushed to the wayside in our business.

Life does not need to be without JOY. Take a few minutes to think about what actually brings you joy on this day.