Strong Woman vs Woman of Strength


I know I said the next blog was relating to food, but what fun is sticking to a schedule?  I recently experienced a moment that stopped me dead in my tracks; and  took me back to a place of inspirational memories.

I was looking for my written eye prescription, which I tucked away in a safe folder. While looking for the accurate folder, I opened one containing poems which my Grandmother, Norma June Butler Higley, had saved. She went by June, but I called her Grams and June Bug.  June Bug once told me that knowledge is an intangible gift that we carry with us to the afterlife, so we should learn as much as we can while maneuvering this crazy life.  **please don’t be frightened, this is not a religious plug**  It has been a while since I reminisced through the poems she kept, but while browsing through papers I was strongly reminded of her wisdom about knowledge. She left behind some wonderful poems, articles, inspirational quotes, etc. that always leave a big smile on my face and glow in my heart.

June Bug was a tough cookie. Her and my Grandpa literally built their house on farm acreage.  June Bug mixed mortar and tooled joints while my Grandfather lay bricks. All the while raising three kids and living in a trailer. During that period they had no running water of electricity. June Bug states that once they had running water she never took a warm shower without giving thanks.

In their autobiography my Grandfather quotes “We love our old home that we built ourselves. June is not very big, but she is strong and tough. She had to be tough to survive the trials and tribulations of developing a new farm from sage.  I don’t know if any other woman could have hung in there in the adversities that we sometimes faced”.

I remember when I was young (grade school years) she was picking apricots from a tree to can, as she did every year, and fell out of the tree! She continued to power through  her chores and responsibilities–never missed a beat. I’ve never heard her swear. She always said, “OH! For Pete’s Sake!” My cousins or brothers may tell something different.

Of the inspirational poems I found, the following sticks with me today. Although there are many more referencing how we need to build each other up rather than tear each other down; basically inspiring the betterment of those around us and ourselves, I chose to share the following. *Please note my Grandmother did not claim to have written the poem. It is simply words copied on a piece of paper that she had. It does not state an author.




Strong Woman vs. Woman of Strength

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape

But a woman of strength looks deep inside to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything……

But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her……..

But a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman avoids mistakes and avoids the same in the future……..

A woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be blessing and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure footed…….

But a woman of strength knows when to ask for help.

A strong woman wears the look of confidence in her face

And a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…..

a woman of strength has faith that it is the journey that she will become strong.

I could go on forever about the amazing lessons and accomplishments my Grandparents left with us. They taught us early on that hand-me-outs were not an option. I knew better then to ask for material items (toys, clothes, etc…) they taught me to ask for chores. My Grandparents would put my cousins and me to work on the farm, even from a young age.  I have literally had a job since I was 12 years old (summer work on the farm and a paper route before junior high in the am in Spokane, WA) because I understood if I wanted something, I had to work for it. I would give just about anything to find the handmade sling shot my Grandpa made each grandchild. He was a bullseye for hitting the pop can or beer bottle placed on a post. I don’t recall shooting mine more than a few inches ahead of me.

A young woman in the community couldn’t go to a dance because she couldn’t afford a dress. My Grandmother (without request) sewed her a gown  and arrived at her front door unannounced to give her the dress. I was an abundantly energetic child, to the point I’m certain she thought there was a mix-up when the stork delivered a  tasmanian devil instead of a granddaughter. To remedy, she bought me a plastic, blow-up, Donald Duck punching bag to help expend my energy. That punching bag lasted a few minutes under my reign.  She banned Pee-Wee’s Playhouse from the television because “it makes you kids jump on the furniture”. I laugh at these memories and look back with a smile.

I miss her sass. I miss her spunk. I miss her laugh. No arrangement of the most profound words can describe what a woman of strength she truly was. That’s the beauty in her and what she left in my heart; it’s so special that it cannot be described but I can only feel it. Not only did she take her knowledge with her but she also left it behind to fill my heart with hope and love. Thank you for leaving your knowledge, June Bug. I too hope to serve, love, and exemplify a woman of strength in the way you did. I love and miss you.


The poem/picture below was printed on her memorial flyer. It is the perfect description of how she lived life. PERFECTION.



All I really need to know I learned watching Super Bowl 50.

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Although delayed, I hope you had ample time to get some hot sauce in your bag-swag. Here is yet another Super Bowl article, because you haven’t scrolled over the previous one million in your feed already.  Most of the things I need to know about how NOT to live, what NOT to do, and how NOT to be, I learned during Super Bowl 50.

A lifetime supply of Papa John’s pizza and golden fountains of flowing Budweiser await at the apex of the metaphorical mountain, known as the Lombardi Trophy. But sitting on the shag carpet of my living room:  Here are the things I really learned.


Watching and studying the important stuff in life.

  1. Share Everything.

This includes the Super Bowl Stage and other major life events. This applies to everyone. *cough, Beyonce*

2. Don’t Take Things That Aren’t Yours.


Let me know if this makes sense. If not, I may not be qualified to help you.


3. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything at all……


…..except booing, because “booing” isn’t technically “saying” anything.

4. Mind Your Manners.


Always! Even if you think nobody’s watching.


5. Know When to Leave. 


It can make a difference in your legacy.

All the while it is true: no matter how old you are or where you are in the world; life is one big game.  You may as well smile & play until it’s over. Besides, it can’t all be Papa John’s pizza and Budweiser……or can it?


Until next week.


All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Super Bowl 50

General, Uncategorized

From Granola to Guns-in-the-Sun

IMG_3662First, let me explain that I have absolutely no idea how to use a blog. The sheer fact that I had success in posting this image is a small miracle in itself. *note to self: it really is the small things in life that count.

From my “Granola” life in Washington State* to my “Guns-in -the -Sun- Lightening Brimmed” life in Florida.

This blog is a reflection of adventure, passion, growth, strength, love. Inspiring health, fitness, healing, food, fun, laughs.

With my relocation from coast to coast, the past year was stable as an oscillating richter scale.  I was blindsided by the unexpected downs; looking back it feels I was completely lost. I was more unprepared for the blessings which cultivated from the soil of hardships that fertilized with tears of pain.

Throughout the painful growing season a common denominator remained: WELLNESS. I use this term to encompass the eight components of wellbeing, which will be discussed in future posts.  However I continue to give priority to the physical, emotional, and social components of wellbeing.

My life as a bouncing smile.

*Not to be confused with Washington DC. I’m talking Washington STATE:  Macklemore and Russell Wilson, people!