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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Financially, 2020 sucked for me and my family. It seemed as though every penny we made had to be spent on different things. Each week we would have to budget just to make sure we had money for gas and food and bills.

By the time Christmas rolled around, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. Since there was not a lot of money to spend, buying Christmas presents was almost out of the question which took away any Christmas spirit I had.

I was miserable.

If you look up different ways to save money, there are so many out there…


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photo by author

This last spring I threw down some sunflower seeds right outside my carport. All summer long, as soon as I stepped outside I was greeted by beautiful colorful flowers.

But what about winter?

When all the beautiful flowers die, and it’s cold outside, everything is drab and brown. As an outdoor person, winter can be hard to get through. There are days when it seems as though spring will never come.

My saving grace?

My Camelias.


We Miss Dead Gary.

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I think growing up, everyone has that one mean old neighbor who gets pissed off at the littlest things.

For me, it was our next door neighbor. If you even stepped on his lawn he would threaten to call the cops. We used to do it on purpose just to piss him off and wave as we took that one step onto his lawn before laughing and running off.

Well, I think I’m turning into that neighbor.

We bought our property a little over a year ago. One of the things we love about it is how quiet the area…


Being Aware of All the Blessings

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photo by author

It’s strange how different this new year is from all the others for me.

As soon as I woke up and went outside, a sense of hope and gratefulness filled me as I sipped my coffee. It was so profound, that I wished that every day was started that way.

That’s when I realized, it could be, if I wanted it to. It’s all in the mindset.

That first day after spending time with the family, we gathered around the fire and sat silently, watching the dancing flames. …


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Photo by 𝔥𝔦𝔩𝔩𝔞𝔯𝔶 𝔭𝔢𝔯𝔞𝔩𝔱𝔞 on Unsplash

My mother was diagnosed with early-onset dementia years ago. I first noticed when I talked to her one day, and the following day we had the exact same conversation word-for-word.

It’s heartbreaking watching the strong woman who lived for teaching and taking care of children to be so physically healthy, yet her brain slowly started dying off.

It was heartbreaking when her pride took a hit and she didn’t want anyone to know, including her own siblings. Even though we explained that it’s not something to be ashamed of, it was something that was kept a secret for a while.


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Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

One of the reasons I love writing so much is because I love reading so much. There is something special about getting lost in a story.

What I noticed this past year as I look back on the stories I’ve written are that my favorite ones are ones that tugged at your heart strings. One that comes to mind is:

This story is so not what I was originally going to write, but it’s where the characters took me. I think I was close to tears as I finished writing it.

Another story was one written about a family during…


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Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash

So, checking my dismal stats after the first day of the new year, I wasn’t expecting much. My views and reads were just about normal, yet the amount I made was…

$.04

What the hell is going on?

Now, I know I need to do more to get my stats up, but really? How exactly does 19 reads equate to $.04?

This is not the way I want the year to start.

At this rate, I’ll make enough to buy a coffee from a gas station. Wait, not when you consider the $5 membership fee. …


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Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

Every year, I look back on the previous year to see where I failed and where I succeeded. This helps me plan my yearly goals.

This past year was a bit of a crap shoot. I wouldn’t say it wasn’t a success, because in many ways it was. It laid down the foundation for what I want to achieve in 2021.

But while most people make resolutions, I do not. I make goals. What’s the difference?

Goals are adjustable.

I take my yearly goals and break them down into monthly goals and then further into weekly goals, daily goals, hourly…


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Photo by shifa sarguru on Unsplash

I’m not going to lie, 2020 was a shit year. And when there’s a shortage of toilet paper, that’s not a good scenario.

Looking back and reflecting on it though showed a different story. I always look back at the past year before I sit down and do my goals for the upcoming year, and I’m pretty pleased. Let me start at the beginning.

January. A month where I spent bringing in and taking out dozens of baby plants started. I lost about half of them due to freezes, the wind knocking them over, or me forgetting to water them…


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Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

After a crazy year, it’s nice to look forward to the one that’s quickly approaching.

I had so many plans and goals for 2020. We worked our tails off, and we did get a lot accomplished. With the world-wide pandemic, it shifted our priorities and brought was was honestly important to light.

Some garden beds were quickly established, a chicken coop erected. Freezers were stocked and the pantry was filled.

We got through the shutdown and before we knew it, we were back to work, trying to get used to the ‘new normal’.

Then we got slammed by not one…

Stefani Vader

Lover of reading and writing. Hater of retail work. Small fish in a big pond, learning as I go.

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