Messy Creating

Messy creating
Creating cool stuff can be messy!

I love this picture because I see a determination to create no matter how messy it gets.

Creating cool stuff can be messy!

Take children for example. My first baby turned 32 this week! Four more followed after her. I’ll be honest, I’m ecstatic to have that season of my life behind me. Being a stay-at-home mom was my career for 25 years. I LOVED my kids and my job. When the youngest was a senior in high school, I went back to college–for fun. One thing I loved about being unemployed was the ability to control my schedule. I don’t plan to ever give that up

Creating and recreating this blog has also been a bit messy! But I have things to say and to share. I LOVE writing, and this blog gives me a chance to create written images, explore ideas, and share experiences. Those of you who have followed me over the last few years, Thank You!

Things that have changed:

  • Tumblings is the new name. I decided I liked writing whatever spilled out of my mind onto the page. Now every post will be a Tumbling!
  • More topics! Lean on Me: Healthy became too narrow a focus. I still have a lot to say about working together to become who we want to be, physically and spiritually. But I’ll also blog about empty nester experiences, writing projects, roles in life, and fun outdoors.

What has not changed is my desire to have this blog be a safe space where we can collaborate together on the messy creation that is life.

Please share your comments below and share with your friends!

Drawn Out by the Light

Amazing what a little light will do to boost mood! Winter officially ended over a month ago, and nature is greening up all around. The fields around our house are almost blinding they’re so green. The buds on the trees are popping. They don’t want to miss the party!

Country Lane

On sunny Spring days, I look for any excuse to be outside. Last evening, Sam and I walked next door to his parents’ farm with three of our children, their spouses, and our six grandchildren. The grandkids LOVE playing at the farm! And it holds many happy memories for our children as well. We’ve had the family together at the farm every Sunday evening for over thirty years.

There’s so much light in this!

The cherubic-faced granddaughter who innocently and joyfully played in the mud wearing a sparkly, gold, tulle-skirted “princess dress.”20170423_212452

The three kids shouting “Push me! Push me!” to my beleaguered son as he tried to keep
three swings in motion with only two hands.


The red-headed, four-year-old grandson who steered the motorized Barbie Jeep into a mud puddle while showing off for his less experienced older cousins. They all laughed and went on having fun.



The smiles on the faces of my children and children-in-law as I asked them to shuffle to the right a bit so I could take pictures without shadows across their faces.

20170423_173425One of the littlest ones pitching a fit when her parents said it was time to go. She was bone tired but didn’t want to go home.

Days like these make me happy to be alive and spending time with the people I love the most. We can get through the gloomy, humdrum, and miserable days when we know there will be days like these, days of LIGHT!

Share your feelings about Spring and/or Light and how they positively impact your life in the comments section below. I love it when you do!

This is a Tumbling, officially, which means the words just tumble onto the page with minimal editing.

It’s All About the FEET!


Did you know that the first day of Spring has already passed?!

It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter, and it’s time to get excited about warmer weather.

Pam-Ashley-kids on a walk-run
Excited for Spring!

This morning I decided rather than go to the gym I’d enjoy the brisk Spring morning by doing a walk/run on the road I live on. My daughter and three of her children joined the fun. We ran, walked and even raced to the mailboxes!

There was one problem. The tires on the running stroller had no air in them. It didn’t stop us from having fun, but things would have been easier if the stroller had been ready to go when we wanted to use it.

This reminded me that early Spring is a GREAT time to prepare for the increase in outdoor activity that warmer weather brings.

Pump up, tune up, polish up and get ready to go. 

It’s time to take out your fitness gear and prepare to enjoy your favorite Springtime activities. Whether you plan to ride your bike, walk, hike a mountain, play tennis or play a pick-up game of blacktop basketball, it’s time to pull out your gear and see what needs to be tuned up, repaired or replaced.

Where do I start?

Think about all the activities you’re looking forward to doing in the next several months. Which of them require the use of your feet? Probably most of them. Why not start there?

You use your feet and legs all day, every day, and comfortable, supportive shoes are a must. My husband is fond of saying, “Life is too short for uncomfortable shoes.” He ONLY wears comfortable shoes. For occasions that require a suit and tie, he wears black sneakers, not dress shoes.

“Life’s too short for uncomfortable shoes.” 

Fitness instructor Nicole Nichols points out that “your feet work hard every day, carrying you colorful sneakers.jpgthrough your daily tasks while you walk, stand, carry, lift, climb, clean, work, and exercise. If you neglect your feet–especially during a workout–then your feet with have to deal with swelling, blisters, and lasting discomfort on top of everything else. . . .To improve your workouts, look for a high-quality shoe with a good fit that is made to support the activities you do.”1

Nichols recommends finding activity-specific shoes and talking to someone who knows how to make sure the shoes are comfortable and fit the way they’re supposed to for maximum performance:

“Although most people buy running shoes even if they have never jogged, the shoes you buy should be specific to the activity that you will be using them for.

Running shoes have additional cushioning to absorb shock as your foot hits the ground, which helps to reduce blisters. They are flexible and light. Running shoes are designed for forward motion, so they don’t support you well when you move in other directions (like during basketball or step aerobics).

Trail shoes have added traction for running and walking in grass, mud, or trails.

Walking shoes tend to be stiffer and heavier than running shoes. These provide more support since your foot rolls from heel to toe more slowly than when you run.

Cross Training shoes are great for people who have a varied workout routine or play different sports. This is the most versatile athletic shoe, designed to give more support for changes in
direction and impact, making them an economical choice. They’re heavier and less cushioned than running shoes and not recommended if running is your main mode of training.

Specialty shoes exist for weight lifting, cycling, hiking, tennis, basketball, soccer, and more. If you engage in these activities several days per week, consider buying childrens-shoes-hiking.jpga sport-specific shoe to fit your needs.

Lifestyle shoes are not made for athletic activities, even though they are made by the same manufacturers who make running and workout shoes. These shoes have flat soles and a sporty look, but not enough support for workout. They’re fine for running errands or casual wear, but don’t make them part of your exercise gear.”1

You can find help at stores that specialize in the kind of activity you want to engage in. For instance, a sporting goods store employee should have a better idea about running shoes vs. walking shoes than would a Wal-mart employee. Also, a store that specializes in selling equipment for the activity you want to do will have more informed employees and, in many cases, better shoe options.

Spruce up your gear, and get out there and have FUN!

Let me know in Comments what fun outdoor activities you have planned!

1 Source:, “If the Shoe Fits Wear It!,” Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor and Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

5 Reasons You’ve Gotta Have People

“I want to be with my people.”


Sam and me with our five children


Jessica, my youngest daughter (second from left), often told me she just wanted to be with her people when she was at college in Idaho. In the middle of all the struggles with roommates and other challenges of college life, she felt that being with her people—her family—would comfort her and give her strength to continue on.

church-group-pexels-photo-159935I believe God planned for us to live in families so we would have people to take care of us. People we belong to and who belong to us. But, even a family has to rely on other people for help.

Take, for example, our churches and our schools. These can provide additional support to the family, and we can find people in these communities to mentor members of our family in ways we’re not able to.

My sister-in-law Sue was in high school when she joined a 4-H group. 4-H is an organization devoted to helping young people realize their full potential. Sue wanted to sewing-machine-pexels-photo-111147learn how to sew, but no one in her family knew how to sew well enough to teach her. Her 4-H leader, Mrs. Gibson, recognized her potential and provided encouragement and support, even sitting with her at home as she worked on a difficult sewing project. Sue went on to win awards for her sewing at the local and state fairs. Without someone like Mrs. Gibson in her life, Sue may not have learned that sewing was a hobby she’d enjoy and that she could excel at.

5 Reasons You’ve Gotta Have People

Together you can…

  1. …engage in conversations and activities related to your common interests.
  2. …encourage each other to improve and learn more.
  3. …support one another during setbacks and discouragement.
  4. …help each other remain accountable for goals and deadlines.
  5. …motivate each other to show up and keep going.


Your Healthy Living People

I created Lean on Me: Healthy Living because I know we will be more successful at living a healthier life when we work on it together. “We all need somebody to lean on,” is not just a line from a song, it is a universal truth that is basic to our success.1 Human beings need a sense of community. We need a place where we belong. We need our people!

I love working on this blog. And I love reading and responding to your comments. You help me keep going. You’re my healthy living people. Thank you for being here and joining in with your comments and ideas. We need each other.

1 “Lean on Me” written and recorded by singer-songwriter Bill Withers in the 1970s

Please join us and enjoy the benefits of being part of a positive and supportive community. Click “Follow Us!” in the contents bar down the right side of this blog and enter your email address. Thanks!


A New Tumbling


I haven’t posted a Tumbing in awhile. This one is right off the cuff, very little editing.

I weighed myself yesterday. Usually, I only allow myself to be weighed when I go to the doctor’s office. But, I’ve been diligently working on my healthy habits for a little over a month, and I wanted to see if the progress I felt was real.

First, I’ll tell you that according to the scale at the fitness center I lost six pounds. Suspicions confirmed!

Second, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing in case it will help you. There are three, no four, important reasons for the progress I’m experiencing.

  1. I started exercising at least 5 days out of 7.
  2. I track my calories in and calories out with the myfitnesspal app.
  3. I eat 16 oz of veggies and 4 oz of protein (2 oz if it’s hard cheese) at lunch and dinner, most days.
  4. I make sure to include treats every day.

That’s it. All four of these health practices are ones I’ve had success with in the past. I don’t feel restricted. I do feel like this is right for me and that I can maintain these habits for a long time.

The key is that I’ve figured out that these health habits work  for ME. Whenever I get off track, they help me get back to where I want to be.

lean-on-each-otherA fifth habit that’s been a GREAT help involves sitting here at my computer reading your comments and creating posts for this blog.

Let us know in Comments what great health habits you’ve had success with. Let’s lean on each other!

Do We Really Need an IDEAL?

I’m reading a fantasy, sci-fi novel titled Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. In it a band of heroes is fighting to dethrone the evil ruler of Newcago who has the power to turn inanimate objects into steel. He’s also almost impossible to kill. Megan, a member of the band, objects to destroying Steelheart because life is better under his rule than it is any other city in the country. Prof, the band’s leader, argues, “Everyone talks about how great Newcago is. But it’s not great, Megan. It’s good by comparison only! Yes, there are worse places, but so long as this hellhole is considered the ideal, we’ll never get anywhere. We cannot let them convince us this is normal!1

This passage jumped out at me. I hadn’t thought much about the need for an ideal before.


What would life be like if there were no ideals, no standards of excellence? Everyone would play to lowest common element. That hasn’t worked well in our society. People who try always to bring other people down to their level sink lower and lower. Progress and innovation slow to a crawl. Eventually life becomes meaningless and hope is lost. We need a pinnacle to look up to, to strive for.

Our society has fed us a twisted, distorted ideal when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Society focuses mainly on appearances, using supermodels and elite athletes as the standard. Those may be ideals for models and athletes but they aren’t ideals for regular folks.

So, what IS the ideal, the pinnacle of health, we’re striving for? To start with, I know that it involves Mind, Body, and Spirit. Not just body.

I want to hear what you think. Let’s talk about it!

What does the ideal healthy lifestyle look like to you? When you think of optimal health, what do you think of?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below. We’ll figure this out together.

1 Sanderson, Brandon. Steelheart. New York: Random House, 2013. Print.

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