Monthly Archives: December 2013

New “Day’s” Resolution

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  I find that I usually don’t do too well with them.  I go good for maybe a couple of months and then gradually fall into my old habits again.  Not that I really have any bad habits that need breaking, but there’s always room for improvement right?

I think what the problem is is that I’m not much for setting goals in general.  Now, before you judge me and label me lazy and aimless, let me try to explain…

First of all, my real “New Year” is on my birthday.  That’s the date on the calender I consider that a new year of life begins for me, and that is when I think about where I am and where I’m going; what changes I’d like to make in my life,  call them”goals” if you will, but I don’t really look at it that way.

People are all different and at different places in their journey, so it stands to reason that there are many different strategies that one can use for self-improvement.  For some, I suppose making New Year’s resolutions may be just the thing they need to spur them onto greater things, onto a better way of living and being.  But for me… I need a deeper meaning than just a date on the calender to motivate me and to help bring about real change in the areas of my life that need it.  Otherwise it just feels inauthentic.

Don’t get me wrong… a new calender year is a perfect time for reflection, for looking back, looking forward, and so on.  I am quite often aware of various dates on the calender throughout the year that hold special significance and cause me to contemplate things in my life, and New Year’s is no exception.

But I have found that I’ve been changing over the past few years in the way I think about things.  Maybe it’s because the rug of my entire world got pulled right out from under me in one big swoop, but I tend to now look at each new day as a new beginning, and I set out each day with “resolutions” of sorts.  Going too much further into the future just seems impractical to me.  We are not guaranteed a tomorrow; let alone a next week, next month, or next year.  All we truly have is today, right now, this moment.  We can make our plans, our “goals,” and some of them might succeed, but in the end we don’t really have any control over the outcomes.  We like to think we’re the masters of our own little mini universe of our lives, but the control we think we have is all just an illusion.

But I do have this moment, this day, right now, and I can make a “New Day’s Resolution” to live it in the best way I can.  And aside from all of the stuff in my life that I should consider changing (fill in the blank), as I simply purpose in my heart to live each new day with joy, with love and with gratitude, I truly believe all of those other things will fall in line.  Eventually.

I absolutely love this quote, it pretty much sums it up where I’m at right now…

“Waking up this morning, I smile:

Twenty-four brand-new hours are before me.

I vow to live each moment fully

and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”

 ~ Thich Nhat Hanh



This is not all to say that I won’t still be waking up on New Year’s morning trying to start the new year out on a good foot.   😉

Peace & much Love to you all in the coming new year…

May Your Christmas…


May your Christmas be filled with warmth and Light

with Peace and Love and all that is bright.

May your heart taste Joy with childlike delight

and shine with the Hope of that blessed night.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013



Peace & Love…

and Merry Christmas!  ♥

Invisible at the Mall

Have you ever felt invisible?  I never really have.  Until yesterday.

I had a strange experience while at the mall yesterday with my daughter and it has me feeling a bit contemplative.

Ordinarily, whenever I go out anywhere I’m used to actively interacting with the people I encounter along my way.  I tend to be a bit outgoing in my personality and so I usually engage in conversation with just about every person I come in contact with.  I genuinely like people and I enjoy feeling a sense of connection with others.  Some days, of course, if I’m more up in my head, out on a mission to accomplish a 101 tasks in a day, or just plain crabby, I may be less conversational while interacting with people, but there is still usually eye contact and a friendly exchange that takes place.

But yesterday I felt invisible to nearly every person I came in contact with at the mall.  You see, it wasn’t just any mall that I went to, it was The Mall of America.  The Mall of America is a HUGE fricken mall, and because of it’s massive size it requires quite an effort to traverse.  Because my knees have been giving me so much trouble lately, we decided to bring along my Mom’s transport chair for my daughter to push me in to help save me from all of the walking.  A transport chair is similar to a wheelchair, but lighter in weight and maneuverability.

I am nowhere near disabled, and I felt a bit self conscious being pushed around in it, but I figured what the heck, if it helps, why not use it.  My daughter felt a little self conscious pushing me in it as well and didn’t feel entirely confident, but it was her idea (the mall and the transport chair) so she toughed it out like the trooper that she is, and we made an adventure out of it.  She nearly crashed it a few times and we laughed at our combined awkwardness.   “Those crazy women drivers!”   😉

But here is the invisible part… at nearly every store we went into, the sales people didn’t even acknowledge me, it was like I wasn’t even there.  They greeted only my daughter, told her about the various sales that they were having, asked her if there was anything they could help her find, it was absolutely bizarre!  I felt totally invisible.  I have never experienced anything like that before.  I didn’t like it.  😦   And it makes me wonder…  is this how disabled people are often treated?  Is it because we’re taught as children not to stare at people in wheelchairs, so then we avoid looking at them at all?  Is it because people in wheelchairs make us feel uncomfortable in some way?  Was it because I was giving off a different energy because I was feeling a little self conscious about being in a wheelchair?  I don’t think it was that ~ a little self conscious or not, I was still being my usual friendly self and I was in an excellent, joyful mood.   It was all just so blatant, I was completely disregarded, like I didn’t even exist.  One sales person did say the words “Hi ladies” when we came in, but she didn’t look at me when she said it, and then she proceeded to tell my daughter about all of the special promotions the store was having without as much as a glance my way.  I’m not used that.  At all.  The whole experience was so disconcerting.

Interestingly, when we sat down to lunch, our waiter, unaware of the transport chair that was folded up against a wall, was treating me like “business as usual.”  Meaning that the majority of the interaction that took place while he was serving us was between he and I.  Maybe he knew I was in charge of paying the tab and was looking for a good tip, or maybe being a waiter, he’s used to dealing with people who are always seated anyway and so even if he had noticed the transport chair it wouldn’t have mattered.  I don’t know, but it was interesting to notice that I was back to existing and no longer invisible while not seated in the transport chair.

I like to think of myself as a socially aware person, but all of this made me realize that I want to be sure that whenever I encounter a person in a wheelchair,  I acknowledge them so they don’t ever feel invisible like I did.  It was a terrible feeling…

Despite my feeling invisible to the people at the mall, my daughter and I had a truly wonderful and memorable time together, and my heart is filled with gratitude.  ♥

Hold close those you hold dear.

Oh, and let me share the one photo I took while we were there.  It’s a bit blurry because he was swimming…


We ate at the Rainforest Cafe and they seated us next to the fishies.


Peace & Love…

Let Go


Let go of your sorrow, let go of your hurt

let go of your aloneness and sense of low worth


Let go of your inhibitions, let go of your fears

let go of the familiar, and how safe it appears


Let yourself go, to fly free on the wind

it’s a time of new beginning, this isn’t the end.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013



Peace & Love…

Hopeful Anticipation


Keep your chin up

lift up your eyes

in hopeful anticipation

of good things to arise.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013



Peace & Love…

Frost Flowers

I discovered these gorgeous frost formations on my window yesterday and I couldn’t stop snapping pictures of them!  Omygosh sooo pretty!  I LOVE the swirly design, it reminds me of flowers!  How wonderful of nature to provide me with these pretty “frost flowers” to look at and enjoy in the winter when the green and growing ones are no longer blooming out in my garden…








I’m so thankful for eyes that see.  ♥


Peace & Love…

Snowflakes on My Window


 Snowflakes on my window

instead of falling from the sky

A display of graceful  patterns

the beauty of winter fills my eyes

© Julie Rehnelt 2013



Glad I’m inside though ~ woke up to -11 temps here in Minnesota this morning! {{{BRRR}}}

Peace & love…

Cuckoo for Coconut Oil

I’ve been playing mad-scientist again and concocting more magical potions, this time it’s with coconut oil.

My sis has been singing the praises of coconut oil for years, but it’s only been recently that I myself have began looking more into all of its wonderful health and beauty benefits.  And many there are!

To save me from typing it all out and rambling on too much, please just read this article by Dr. Mercola about the Countless Coconut Oil Uses and Health Benefits, it’s very informative and interesting.   And you may also like to pay a visit to MissHappySpiritsKitchen, a fellow WordPress blogger (and lovely person) who wrote a nice little post about coconut oil earlier last month.

But before you go, look at the pretties I made…


Coconut oil deodorant, body scrub, and eye cream, all of which are amazing!  The deodorant freaks me out at how well it works and the body scrub leaves my skin so unbelievably smooth and silky, seriously… wow!   And I scented both of them with lavender essential oil so you know they smell completely divine!   ♥


I’m also still on my adventures of experimenting with other herbal remedies too.  I made an absolutely fabulous face toner the other day and it’s made a world of difference in the overall appearance of not only my skin, but my daughter’s as well.   She came into my room the other morning and her face was glowing!  It looked like she was wearing makeup, her skin tone was so even and polished looking, it was crazy!  And here’s the kicker… it only contains 3 ingredients ~ witch hazel, crushed comfrey leaves (made into a tea), and patchouli essential oil.  So basic, and yet so marvelous!

This adorable little gal has a great video about all the beauty uses of coconut oil…


Yep, I’m cuckoo for coconut oil!  And with the long, cold (and skin drying) winter weather ahead, I’m going to be taking full advantage of nature’s perfect moisturizer ~ coconut oil!  Try it, you’ll like it.  😀

Peace & love…

“For all its internal health benefits, pure coconut oil is also a wonderful all-natural “anti-aging” moisturizer when applied topically. When absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple. It also helps exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother.

Physiologist and biochemist Ray Peat, Ph.D. considers coconut oil an antioxidant, due to its stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation. Besides that, coconut oil also has potent antimicrobial activity. (About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid that your body converts into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Capric acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, also has antimicrobial activity.)

All of these features make it a good choice for skin applications. Coconut oil is perhaps one of the most useful ingredients you can keep in your house. A previous article by Delicious Obsessions lists no less than 122 creative uses for this household staple, including 21 DIY coconut oil skin care recipes. For example, you can use it as a base for body scrubs, homemade deodorant, toothpaste, hand and body cream, lip balm—even bug repellent.”