Self-Help: How’s It Working For You?

Arrive by Alice Popkorn

“Arrive” by Alice Popkorn on Flicker Courtesy of PhotoDropper (

Hubby and I got to talking about self-help the other morning and it opened the door to a deeper discussion than originally expected. Thought I’d share my heart feelings with you.

When we’re stuck and things feel out of sorts, a lot of us go to friends/family for answers, seek counsel or look into self-help. At least, that’s the way I thought it worked. It seemed so easy when they’d say pray or just meditate and think positive thoughts.

I looked at how it’s been working for me down through the years and often wondered, “Why is it so easy for them and not so much for me?” Maybe, if I really, really tried . . . hardernope! I’ve never felt more stuck than what I feel right now at this stage of my life. But this time is different and I noticed it after our talk. I’m making it harder this go-around mainly because I’m no longer doing the dance fooling myself into thinking I’ve got it all figured out. This time, I’m finally getting it and it feels good.  Continue reading

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Greatest Gift of All: #Story


Ornament Photo © 2013 by Pat Ruppel

Ah, it’s December and officially the time when we turn our attention to giving and the holy magic of love. Once again, in the spirit of Christmas, I’m honored to be Susan’s guest over at “Finding Our Way Now” with my final contribution of this month’s story.

I hope it will warm your heart and tickle your soul as I remembered a childhood gift of long ago and a special Christmas. Enjoy!


Greatest Gift of All

In the U.S., we’re in the heart of the holiday season having just enjoyed the festivities of Thanksgiving. Now, it will soon be Christmas. The hustle and bustle is beginning as families around the world prepare to celebrate their special traditions.

Make no bones about it, somewhere in the middle of it all, no matter the culture, there’s bound to be a gift or two.

That got me thinking about gifts and the ones I’ve received down through the years. As hubby and I were talking about it, I tried to remember the gifts I received and only a couple came to mind from long ago. (read more)


Thank you and I hope you’ll go over to Susan’s site and spread the love.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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Time to Give ― Be Grateful ― Reflect


Fall Colors in the Rockies © 2013 by Pat Ruppel

Time to give, time to be grateful, time to reflect ― it’s almost Thanksgiving in the U.S. and, like most, we’re busy planning and preparing. But, this year will be a quiet celebration for hubby and me. We’ll be hanging around home eating, watching football games and old Hallmark movies ― just the two of us.

Sounds traditional, but not really, I can already feel the closeness of home and energy of gratitude. I cherish these times together and remember it was just last year when hubby took ill suddenly and was in and out of the hospital a couple of times between Christmas and New Year’s.

It’s hard to believe the holidays are upon us and another year’s end is rounding the corner. I guess when you’re in your golden years, time really does seem to go faster.

I’ve always pictured it as chugging up the hill the first half of your life until you reach the top. Then, the 2nd half of your life you’re flying down the other side.  But, on the way down, it’s different. What you may have missed on the way up becomes more significant on the way down and precious. You try to hold on as if it’s the last chance you’ll ever see it like that again.

Perhaps, it is like John Koenig says in “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” and portrays in the video “Avenoir(the desire that memory could flow backwards):

“We take it for granted that life moves forward. But you move as a rower moves, facing backwards: you can see where you’ve been, but not where you’re going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you. It’s hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way…”

No matter which way we go through life, facing forward or backwards, I don’t want to miss it and the upcoming holidays speak loudly of that. It’s too precious and these special times won’t come around again in exactly the same way.

I hope this Thanksgiving finds you surrounded with love and blessed with the laughter of family and friends. Take time to hug more with a pause to give thanks in the moments of happiness.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

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Poppies Honor Lives They Would Have Led

Every year, on the 11th Month ― 11th Day ― and the 11th Hour, we pause to honor and pay tribute to those who now serve and those who have paid the ultimate price for keeping our countries free and safe.

Poppies I

Poppies I Photo by Charlotta Wasteson (

It is fitting that some 4 million people have visited the Tower of London to view a sea of 888,246 erected ceramic poppies, one for each fallen British soldier of World War I. It was supposed to be the war that ends all wars.

From the NBC National News comes a report by Brian Williams on “Tower of London Poppies Honor ‘Lives They Would Have Led’

How moving ― lest we forget ― how great a price. I wonder how the world would have been if they had lived. What gifts did we lose in their passing? What would we have learned from them? We will never know.

Paying Tribute to our Veterans on Veteran’s Day!

Perhaps, we will learn someday — I pray that we will. Maybe war is not the answer we’re looking for but, instead, it’s a condition of the heart. What are your thoughts?

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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