5 :: hopespoken


one:: hi, i’m barb, and i’m going to the hope spoken conference! whoohoo! i am so blessed to be able to go. this is a picture of my mom and i from a few weekends ago on a family visit to south haven, michigan (which is an AWESOME coastal town on Lake Michigan that you should visit if you ever get the chance).

two:: i’m a student again, studying graphic design, and it is challenging me.  some days are hard, and some are so fun.

three:: i am a little nervous about my ability to talk too much and get sweaty because i realize that i’m talking too much. also, the real thing that makes me nervous is leaving anyone out. i hate leaving people out.

four:: something i am hoping to take away from the conference are more friendships, more connections, more security from God that this is the path He wants me on.

five:: i also want to let you know that i am a little random in my interests: i consider myself a hippie-cowgirl-sport lover who wants to own her own farm one day, even though she grew up in the burbs. oh, and i love everyone. and carbs. i love carbs, which is hard since i have given up gluten for health reasons (stomach problems stink!), and so sometimes dream about sesame seed bagels.

i hope to see you at hope spoken, and please give me a hug and say hi if you are! (sorry if i’m sweaty during the hug! 🙂 but now you’ve been warned).

i’m linking up with casey, one of the sweet hostesses or organizers or hopesters? i don’t know what to call her, her awesome blog link up for us is here!


leroy and his journey

some of the lovelies while we were waiting to start our trail ride!

fact:  rl is colorblind.

fact:  i believe in naming objects like cars, bikes, and machines.

fact:  i have bad luck with cameras.

in fact, these are all random facts.  but, my life is a series of random, hilarious facts that get jumbled together into my story.  here’s one of them:

i have LOVED horses for as long as i can remember.  i love their silky manes, their gorgeous eyes, their strong, beautiful muscles.  i often talk to them from my car when i pass them on my drive home, and especially try to converse as rl and i ride chili on the backroads.

rl wanted to surprise me with a horse back riding adventure for quite a while.  he knows how i would LOVE to one day own a horsie of my own.  (big dreams equal big dream clouds).

he decided in september to make that come true for me.  a day with horsies (or at least an hour).  he knew it would make my heart soar.

i was a little excited to say the least.

cameras.  i have dropped and broken at least two.  rl has been swimming with a non-water friendly camera. i lost one in chicago.  are you keeping count?  that’s four already, and i am only recalling the last five years.  i have pretty much convinced myself to never buy one that costs more than one week’s worth of pay, because frankly, there is not camera insurance for klutzes.  if there were, i’d be the first to sign up. we got leroy as a promotional gift.  he is tough.  he is red.  he is fierce.  i named him leroy, because i’ve never met a human or dog named leroy that wasn’t legit.

and he takes fabulous pictures.

so he stays safe, i only travel with him when i know i will have both hands available.  i will be safer with leroy than the cameras in the past.

he is my rock and roll camera.  my buddy.  y’all, meet leroy.

before i start getting congrats cards in the mail, for my beautiful baby boy, just know, i dropped my camera off a horse.  he was three days old.

the camera, not the horse.  the horse’s name is bella.  she is a beauty, and also a naughty girl, because she kept trying to eat the greenery while we were on the trail.  i was wearing a loose hoodie, with pliable pockets.  i was upon a horse, and not quite sure of how to “be tough with her” to get her to stop dipping her head, and getting snacks.  leroy was in my pocket.  guess where he ended up?

on the trail. in the brush.  three days old.  poor leroy.  sweet, tough, young blooded leroy didn’t know how awful a life on the trail could be.  neither did i.

we did not realize that i dropped leroy until the ride was over.  let’s just say, to be nice, that the staff was less than helpful in trying to locate said baby boy camera.

we returned a few hours later after the last ride, and were told that we could walk the trail if we wanted.  it was dusk, humid, and i was wearing a cute cowboy inspired outfit.  sure, let’s excercise!

such beauties.

so, it is dusk.  we are in normal, non woods walking clothes (i am wearing my cowboy boots y’all.  it was appropriate).  and rl is colorblind, and also, doesn’t have the best eyesight.  i am distraughtly searching.

but…the staff underestimated our determination.  it would have been lovely if they offered to help us look.  or, let us use a horse to spot leroy (as the height difference would have helped us notice his red shiny body).  this did not happen.

alas, it didn’t matter.  as a mama bird hears her baby’s cry, or a mama bear forages the river for salmon for her cubs, i was DETERMINED to find my leroy.  young, sweet, tough leroy.

beautiful bella girl.

so, as we neared the VERY end of the trail, i spotted him.  and i cried. (remember, i cry about everything good and bad, so this should be no surprise).  there was leroy.  he was alive!  he was not broken!  he was not covered in horse poop!

view of where i found leroy.

i hugged rl, i cradled leroy, and i couldn’t wait to tell the staff (who were so clearly concerned) that i had located leroy.  we walked the final 1/4 mile, and realized that the staff had locked us in.  with the horses.  bella recognized me from our ride.  she literally turned her head to me while i was talking to her and telling her i found leroy.

i laughed.  what an adventure.  besides, if your trail ride doesn’t end with having to swing your legs over the cattle fence while wearing your cowboy boots, cradling a red tough camera, and a new equine friend saying sayonara, you have not been living.

this has been one of thousands of similar “it happened to me, no really, it did!” stories.  hope you enjoyed.  and get out there!  there is adventure to be found!  🙂

have a sweet saturday my friends.



copper connector, railroad conductor

i am not sure what the path that God has chosen for me except that somehow i’m a connector.

love more

i am the railroad conductor.

child, sister, mediator. long term-er.

connector.  like a copper wire of sorts, weaving my way around, making sure the electricity is on between folks.

i utilize this copper with a sense of urgency, then, restraint.

i rearrange this metal hoop, with which, i cannot jump through without affecting another human, someone’s child,- perhaps, someone’s aunt.

should i make stuff to sell on etsy?

move closer to alex, get a new job, a new home?

remain in tact at a job that i’m slowly building confidence and regard to usefulness?  make paintings of my poetry, hoping to gain extra income to stash away for blue bears farm?

i know that i will not stop dreaming and believing in this blog.  a blog that has been a dream for over two years, that i don’t update nearly enough, and that i obsess over & OVER who reads and follows and likes.

i know that i am not the same kind of dreamer you are.  we don’t work the same or react anything alike.  i don’t like photos of myself, and barely know how to keep a home running.

but i love.

with all my heart.  every single minute.  the people and breathing living things around me.

they feel it.  i know they do.  even when i feel guilty for calling a friend at exactly the wrong time every.single.time.  they know at least i thought of them.

and i break.  a lot…my compass of what’s right, and what’s too much to say or worry about is often in the shop.   BUT…

i know i can make this blog work.  somehow it will generate interest enough.  it will liken someone to know how to be nicer.  more sensitive.  laugh louder.  eat more bread. (y’all know i’m a carbsLOVER, right?).  maybe someone thinks i’m kooky for laying this all out there.

but me?  i’m only doing what i think is right.   a connector of worlds.  step-mamas, singles, marrieds, old, young, cranky, hippy, artsty, muscially inclined to fall in love,  sportsy, overweight, undervalued, book worm, sassypants, bike riding, motorcycle passengering, river fishing, middle of the long road, different path taken people.

i believe i have the power to connect them all.

diy life

1. be born.

2. make it through middle/high/elementary life while being awkward.

3. discover your path does not align with “well, on paper it’s perfect”.

4. realize that this is exactly where & when you’re supposed to be((hear))

5. fall down, fail, get tragically uninspired by comparison to your-friends-peers-others.

6. realize that you hate this path, pray, choose another.

7. understand that what you thought you would be at age 3/11/18/21 will always change based upon changes around you.

8. realize that life happens.  your problems are more or less the same as others, except there are worse, & there are more/less.

9. surround yourself with love, laughter, & the occasional drink. repeat.

10. hold babies & loved ones as if it’s the last. especially repeat.

11. realize that even though your parents may not understand or appreciate your path, all they really want is for you to be happy, because, they are wonderful people. & they love you to the moon. same with your siblings.

12. fall in love.

13. fall out of love >> cry at rdiculous movies that are not real life. << repeat

14. buy new “you” clothes.  << repeat

15. eat ice cream. repeat, especially in place of dinner(sometimes).

16. work hard, & do not understand why. then understand that life is not recess all the time.

17. be irresponsible. learn. repeat.

18. make others proud.

19. make yourself proud. repeat.

20. dance. in the rain, in sweaty ridiculous clothes, at weddings, on the street, in your unders.

21. find love, real love. accept it, cherish it, show it to others.

22. make mistakes. forgive yourself.

23. learn.  (bike riding, monopoly & experiencing softball through a girls’ eyes help).

24. understand love/be kind to animals.

25. meet expectations while demolishing expectations.

26. create. make messes, repeatbeat yourself up, learn, heal, create. repeat.

27. FAIL.  fail again, and again, and again.

28. learn.

29. read. lots, read lots & lots. the classics, the mags, whatever makes you wonder. don’t forget #5 & then #26.

30. discover that friendships will sway, & bend, & melt, & become stronger through lapses of time, & space & the elusive cheap airplane ticket.

31. take pictures, write vague and meaningful statuses, upload, download, load & reload music. don’t take yourself too seriously.

32. listen. to everyone & everything. toss salt.

33. try to understand that this life is yours, & yours alone, & as long as you are always striving to be happy, spread love(not hurt), & keep the right view of grace in tact, you will be okay.

you will be okay. you will be okay.

doing without the stank

what happens when you forget to empty the trash?

the fridge?

the leftovers bag gets leftover in your car?

the stank.  the stank is what happens.


what happens when you leave your dreams un-fulfilled, or at least unruffled in your heart?  do you hear them?  do they decompose inside you?  are they clogging up your brain space because the slow deteoriation of your dreams is getting filled with other more “responsible-keeping-up-with-the-next-doors”  brainwash nonsense?

we are told:  you should be responsible and go to bed at 9. eight hours of sleep.  eight glasses of water. 

*if only there were eight days a week.

you are told:  you should eat green vegetables and only organic. 

*yes, &  i would if i could afford them all the time.

i am told(albeit by myself):  you should attend church – find your religion, and religiously revel in it, and be wise with it. 

*trying, trying, & always trying.

what is lost is this, in being so responsible, in seeking what we are told, in following the band director, instead of your own toe-tapping melody  ::: 

your dreams.  without being told.  to you or to anyone for that matter.

if you had or have a dream that you have left to rot inside,

                            how is that going to smell?

better yet, how is it going to feel? 

without our dreams, we are like the mushy celery and bananas taking up space in our crisper drawers.  and believe me, i have plenty to clean out…just ask alex reese. 

i only have one life… and in it, i will make be forever lovely successful, and i will one day own blue bears farm with rl, & we will make a difference in kids lives, including my little alex. (these are my two biggest dreams).  *probably with a little water, a lot of broccoli (some organic) and mucho faith. like LOTS of faith.  but, as long as i am trying,  at least i won’t be attracting fruit flies.