September 10, 2017

Old School

Yesterday, my husband and I spent the day together.

We began the day picking up some secondhand camera lenses. Bargain of the day, great investment.

We shared breakfast at Cracker Barrel, picked up some groceries, attended the memorial service for a dear friend of mine and did a bit of shopping.

We drove on back roads, twisting through small towns, enjoying the autumn breeze and absolutely perfect weather. On our way back home, we stopped in West Concord, the town where my husband attended grade school. The original school building, built in 1902, has since been converted into a community center and historical society.

Walking around the partially dilapidated building, I asked my husband to share memories of his childhood with me. He showed me where the cafeteria was, places kids on the playground hung out, and the room where he learned to use his very first tool. A hand saw. If only that teacher knew how important introducing that hand saw in kindergarten would be to Keith's future.

Old brick calls out to the photographer in me.
I am eternally grateful that my husband allows me to primp and pose him in my photographer's mind's eye. Occasionally, I even get a shot that makes me smile.

Love the ones you're with.
Never forget where you came from.


September 6, 2017

Number 9

Today is wedding anniversary #9 for my husband and I. As a general rule, I do not speak details of my personal relationships on Facebook. My opinion, old school as it may be, is that one person's intimate life details are not eligible for another person to publicize on social media.

Drama, please...

The one clear and purposeful exception I make is in the explanation of love I have for my husband Keith. I could mush on and on about him all day. He never stops surprising me with new ways of showing how much he loves me.  And honestly, after nine years, I love the guy more every day.

I tell you these details, not to make you believe we live a fairytale life. But to show an example of what getting back up after being knocked down looks like. We've both been married before, that will give you enough trust issues to float an ark. But it's different being in a marriage with someone who wants the same things you want, who you can openly communicate with without fear of retribution, who you trust with your biggest fears and failures, who lays down his pride for you and has vowed to give up his life for you...

That's my husband.

If you're one of our neighbors, you've likely heard him screaming cuss words in the driveway while fixing a motor. You know how sorry I am. Thank you for not calling the police. I promise, he's harmless.

If you're in our family or one of our friends, you've likely experienced an episode of PTSD or anxiety with Keith. If you have, you know. If you haven't, you will. There's nothing you can/can't do or say to manifest this. Again, he's harmless. Treat him like a human being and he'll act like a human being. If you ask, he will also sit down and tell you about his PTSD, the symptoms he has, how this affects his everyday life.

Today, I get to share my overflowing love for this patient man.

About once a week, I'll ask him if he knows how much I love him. Monday afternoon, he was seeming kind of cranky so I sat down next to him on the couch.

"Do you know how much I love you?" I asked. No response, not even an eye blink.

[Sidenote: Keith has hearing loss from years of repetitive weapon fire. I am an expert at determining deafness from selective hearing.]

I asked again, a little louder this time, "Babe! Do you know how much I love you?" 

"Huh?" He looks at me like I'm nuts (which perhaps I am,  interrupting Game of Thrones).
I repeat myself once more, and he presses pause on the remote control. 
Here we go... 
He turns his entire body to face me and in a mostly sarcastic voice says, "Now, what is it that I can do for you?"

I proceeded to have a face-to-face conversation with my husband about how much I loved him, his meaningful place in my life and the universe. Then I asked him if he believed me. And did he believe I would love him with my entire heart until my dying day. 

His answer...? Meh. 

Most of you who know Keith know he was messing with me at this point. I knew also. But in that moment, when your spouse has taken the time to stop his TV show, something has been making him cranky, and he rates your love as a lukewarm 3/10 on the eternal scale, kidding or not, you keep talking. As my husband learned, it's difficult to be cranky with your wife in your lap, holding your face while you speak. I literally can only stay mad at him for anything, three hours max. Which includes the time he realizes I'm angry. 

Maybe communicating through hardship seems like conventional relationship advice. Not texting or tweeting. Face to actual face, phones in another room (gasp!) conversation. I know, no time. There's always time until there is no time. 

Some people think if your first (or second, or third) marriage didn't end up gloriously, you "settled" when you married again. I'm calling bull$hit on that, which is part of the reason I share this.

Wherever you are in your life, right now, you probably have some plan in mind for your life. What your future looks like in school, your career, with your family, traveling, hobbies and adventures.

Then something traumatic happens. Completely and totally unexpected. You thought you knew pain in this moment. Then pain came to haunt you. The unimaginable changes you.

We all have something. That thing that has knocked us down, kicked us in the gut, left us feeling like the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes more than once. That doesn't mean you're worth less as a person, deserve less, feel less, hurt less. It is your responsibility to decide how to get back up when something or someone knocks you down. Trust me, getting back up is completely worth it. 

Happy anniversary to my husband, Keith. In good times and bad, sickness and health, I hope you'll always know how much I truly love you. 

March 23, 2017

Free Amazon Prime 30-Day Trial

Saving money is in my DNA. My grandmother taught me a boatload of valuable life skills, one of which was how to save a few bucks here and there. Call me thrifty, cheap, a bargain hunter. Call me what you will, but don't dishonor the family tradition of frugality by turning up your nose. I rarely pay retail. For anything.
One of the ways I make my money work for me is by stretching every dollar. I've had an Amazon Prime membership for several years, and I love it. Here's your chance to check out the benefits and try it FREE.
Sign up for an Amazon Prime 30-day Free Trial.
Only $99 annual membership program earns you special benefits:
* Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes
* Borrow Kindle books
* Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

SIGN UP HERE --> Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Complete Amazon Prime Benefit List (as of March 2017)
FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits.
FREE Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes.
Prime Now: Get FREE two-hour delivery or scheduled delivery on over 10,000 items, from groceries to electronics and more. Plus, get free delivery from your favorite local stores. Available in eligible zip codes only.
Restaurant Delivery: Get FREE one-hour delivery from popular restaurants with Prime Now. Available in eligible zip codes only.
FREE Release-Date Delivery: FREE Release-Date Delivery on eligible pre-order items delivered on their release date to ZIP codes within the continental U.S.
Prime Video: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Prime Music: Unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage and enhanced search and organization features in Amazon Drive for you and the members of your Family Vault.
Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box. Prime Pantry orders cannot be shipped to addresses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon's own line of everyday essentials.
Amazon Dash for Prime: Never run out of your favorite products with Amazon Dash Button.
Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on
Kindle Owners' Lending Library: access to members in the U.S.
Prime Reading: You can borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or the Kindle reading apps for iOS and Android.
Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks.
Audible Channels for Prime: Get access to Audible Channels, a $60/year value, for free. Audible Channels includes unlimited listening to original audio series and playlists handcrafted for every interest. You’ll also receive access to Prime Exclusive Audiobooks, a collection of streaming audiobooks including best sellers, family favorites, celebrity-narrated classics and more. Just download the free Audible app and sign in with your Amazon account to start listening.
Amazon Music Unlimited: Prime members can get discounted Amazon Music Unlimited monthly plans and there are annual plans available exclusively to Prime members.
Video Add-On Subscriptions: Members can purchase Video Add-on Subscriptions to premium content providers. Browse available Video Add-on Subscriptions, or manage your existing subscriptions.
Deals and Discounts, Compliments of Amazon Family: These include 20% off diapers through Subscribe & Save and 15% off eligible products from your baby registry. For more information go to Get 20% off Diaper Subscriptions or About the Completion Discount.
Twitch Prime: Members get exclusive discounts on physical games pre-orders and new releases. users who link their Amazon Prime account get ad-free viewing on Twitch, a free Twitch channel subscription every month, and exclusive access to free game content.
Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits. For more information, go to About Amazon Households. If you have a paid Prime membership under your personal account you can share your shipping benefits with your Amazon Business user account.

Amazon Prime isn't available for customers who purchase products for the purpose of resale or use Amazon Prime to ship products to their customers or potential customers.
Some items are not available for Two-Day Shipping due to special shipping characteristics and instead will receive free standard shipping, which delivers in 4-5 business days.
Your Prime Membership may be subject to sales tax in some states.
Customers who receive a Prime free trial through Amazon Student or are guests of another membership aren't eligible for the following benefits unless they are eligible through their Amazon Household: membership sharing, Kindle Owners' Lending Library, Prime Video, Prime Music, and shopping discounts provided by Amazon Family such as 20% off diapers and 15% Baby Registry Completion discount.
Customers who are guests of another membership aren't eligible for Prime Photos.
To use Kindle Owners' Lending Library, the Kindle device must be associated with the Prime account that's eligible for the benefit. may change these benefits occasionally as provided in the Prime Terms & Conditions.

SIGN UP HERE -->  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

If you have any questions, please let me know. I'd love to answer anything I can.

March 1, 2017

Smile, Sunshine!

I'm a firm believer that empowered women,
empower women.
Huckleberry Row celebrates not just women, 
but all those who empower others.
So here's the deal...
This is a safe place to share your thoughts, 
experiences and feelings with others. 
Please. Be nice.
The world is full of enough hatred; 
negativity here will not be tolerated.
Share what you like.
Positivity breeds happiness.
So smile, Sunshine.
You are worth it!

February 21, 2017

Backstreet's Back


To anyone out there, wondering why their sweetheart, friend, mother or nephew has been hooked on the same boy band since the 90's. Just watch.

I used to think I would literally die if another girl even looked at MY Backstreet Boy. No favorite. I wasn't fickle, they were all a bunch of hotties.

Now 25 years later, I'm watching them happily kiss their wives and sing about how in love they are.

Gotta tell ya, nothing hotter.

Never question why the love of your life still crushes on boy bands. They're making it easier for you. And at the end of the day, you are. The One.

June 30, 2016

Team - #22KILL

Team #22Kill 

Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. started the #22KILL movement in 2013 after learning about the staggering statistic that an average of 22 veterans are killed by suicide every day. HCC has committed to researching and understanding the genesis of this epidemic, and educating the general public on the issue. #22KILL is a platform to raise awareness not just towards veteran suicide, but also to the issues that can lead them to suicide; these issues stem primarily from mental health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, and stresses of transitioning out of the military. The solution is veteran empowerment. One of the biggest challenges veterans face is finding a sense of purpose after service. #22KILL directly supports veteran empowerment programs that help veterans maximize their talents and understand their value outside of the military. #22KILL also continually provides support for other veteran organizations, community events and project.

  • Research and learn about your local veteran service organizations and what their missions and needs are.
  • Focus on veteran strengths and challenge negative attitudes around veteran “issues.”
  • Advocate for veterans in a positive light in any platform you have.
  • Raise awareness to the issues of veteran suicide, but follow up with the positive solution of education and empowerment through programs offered from your local nonprofits and veteran service organizations.
  • Believe that veteran’s are America’s greatest asset and you will strive to love them unconditionally.

Learn More Here ------>>>  Team #22KILL - 22KILL


May 5, 2016

Romans 1:12 | Share Your Faith

I set out on an adventure today to find an arbor for my garden. This great arbor hunt started from a Facebook post in a community group I belong to, accompanied by some fantastic photos that really reeled me in. After my afternoon errands were finished, I headed to the edge of town and found a quaint farm. I expected to find some neat stuff because of the photos I had seen online, but what I hadn't expected to find was the truly enjoyable, relaxing peace that this farm held.

Upon arriving, I met Brenda who was working on pricing and organizing her amazing collection she had amassed from traveling throughout the country. I had no qualms telling her what a fantastic picker she was! Brenda and I shared an easygoing conversation about topics from animals to children to death to God. In my humble opinion, when you meet someone who believes, it doesn't take long for you to recognize that in each other and begin speaking of God and His precious son.

Brenda told me about some very special plans she has for her farm. She would like to have a sale like this two-day sale about once a month, a petting zoo, a farm run. And a memorial garden where people can come to relax and enjoy nature. Brenda shared more about the reason behind the memorial garden and I immediately got goosebumps. "Those are Godbumps" Brenda said. "They're how you know when God is talking to you."

So very true! Whenever God is talking to me, wants me to know He is there or especially wants me to pay attention, I get those same Godbumps. They can be surprising, but for me are typically comforting and reassuring. Brenda and I sat down and chatted for awhile. My husband called, and Brenda was able to thank him for his service to our country personally, which she had previously asked me to do. There's something truly special when my husband is able to have someone thank him for his service. It means the absolute world to him.

I gave Brenda my business card and told her if she needed help with anything, Huckleberry Row could assist with everything from organization and to photo shoots to hair and make-up. Brenda had been looking for someone to fill some of those needs in her life. Although I'll probably go out and visit Brenda again to see if she needs help, to chat and offer my help however I can.

Oh yes, I found a few fantastic pieces for my garden as well! Pictured are some of the amazing items Brenda has for sale at her farm sale. She still has tents full of items that haven't even been revealed to the public yet. What a blast!

If you live anywhere near the Faribault, Minnesota area (or want to travel), you'll have to check into when Brenda is having her farm sale. Details are still in the works, but comment on this post if you're interested and I'll give you the latest info available. You will love it!

That is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
Romans 1:12 NIV