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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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January 20, 2022

Simplify Your Health Habits

Sometimes I start to lose it. My mind, that is. Eat this, don’t eat that, depending on the podcast of the day. (Or the food fad of the day.) And if

January 13, 2022

How Great Can Today Get?

A colleague of mine made a post-it note to remind her to ask this important question each day. I like it. “How great can today get?” So, w

January 6, 2022

Resolutions vs. Aspirations

Made any? Have any? What’s the difference and why am I even writing about this? New Year’s resolutions are a thing. People make them. Most break t

December 30, 2021

What Color is Your Mood Ring?

I heard a song today that had a line that went something like, “She’s wearing her mood ring and it’s never the same.” Remember the mood rings

December 22, 2021

The Case of the Missing Goat Milk

Last Saturday I made a special trip to the grocery store to purchase a can of evaporated goat milk. I needed it to make my nutroll. Of course, I remem

December 16, 2021

Can You Really Have Too Many Cookies?

Sometimes, yes. It is possible. Perhaps you hosted a festive holiday gathering and overbought or overbaked. Or your guests all had the same hostess gi

December 9, 2021

Holiday Survival Tip: Christmas Cookies vs. Exercise

‘Tis the season of amazing Christmas cookies and so much more.  What’s your mindset these days? A. It’s the holidays so I’ll eat whatever I w

December 2, 2021

She Fell for the Gingerbread Men and Last Call for the Cookie Bake

December. Holidays. Parties. Gifts. Puppies. The commercials and ads portray this as a wonderful, gleeful, joyous time of year. And it is, for a much

November 25, 2021

Last Minute Shopping

As hard as I tried, and as much as I planned, I still ended up at two grocery stores the morning before Thanksgiving. Even the best made plans… Ther

November 18, 2021

5 Tips to be Buffet Savvy

It’s that time of year. Buffets and holiday gatherings abound, and they’re all centered around delicious food and drink. LOTS of food. The setting

Avoiding Holiday Eater’s Remorse

One week before the beloved holiday of Thanksgiving, and the official kick-off of a one month food fest.  How do we get through it without adding an additional ten pounds of holiday around the waist?  

Make the decision today to simply raise your level of awareness about what you decide to eat.  Be conscious.  What typically happens is that we just go along for the holiday joy ride and choose to think about facing the music of health and fitness come January.  (Just so you know, I will be here to support you and will not utter any words such as “I told you so.” Promise.)

Sugar is one of the biggest bad boys this time of year.  Between all those delicious sugar cookies, the stress of buying the right gifts, lack of sleep, cleaning the house, change in schedules, and more, our immune systems take a beating.  We get a cold at the most inopportune time. 

Plan to enjoy some of those cookies, but be conscious of that choice.  Fill your days with lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.  When you have a fun event, enjoy a moderate amount of those special holiday foods you love, and really savor those moments.

Sticking with your exercise routine is also a great plan.  This will alleviate some stress and help offset the extra indulgences.  If you don’t have a routine, now would be a great time to begin.  (As long as you have clearance from your physician to exercise.) 

We are all in this together.  Let us support and encourage one another to take care.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  3John 2 NIV

The Art of Slowing Down

“Sometimes you have to go slow in order to go fast.”

How many times have we heard this phrase?  This thinking has been cited by many; however my quote today is from Chris Brady in his book A Month of ITALY Rediscovering the Art of Vacation.  This is a great read about family, Italy, food, travel, and the art of slowing down.  So much of our life is spent going as fast as we can to get to the next event, job, task or soccer game, that we lose sight of today.

Yes, we all have commitments and schedules and responsibilities.  These have a tendency to rule our lives.  The challenge lies in breaking the cycle of crazy to enjoy the moment.  I have watched loved ones get so caught up in the stress of day-to-day life that it caused illness.  The best antidote?  Slow down; take a vacation; RELAX. 

If you are at the breaking point, schedule some time away somewhere.  There are so many great getaways not far from home, no matter where you call home.  Make a plan and go.  It doesn’t need to be Italy and it doesn’t need to be for a month.  Although, that would be delightful!

Even as you go through the day, schedule some time to sit outside and bask in the warmth of the summer sun, take a walk, or sit on your front porch.  Look around and simply enjoy being.  Slow down, and see what a difference in makes in the grand scheme of your day, of your life.  Have you ever heard anyone at the end of their earthly existence wishing they had worked more? 

“We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory.”  Georges Duhamel

Much Ado About Tulips

I am in a quandary.  Recently I learned that the proper way to care for tulips is to dig up the bulbs once they have finished blooming and the tops are beginning to dry.  (Which is right NOW!)  Yes, dig them up.  Every last one of them.  Then the bulbs are to be stored in a cool, dry place so that air can circulate around them over the summer.  To be very proper, one should put the various colors together and label accordingly.  When fall arrives, take said bulbs and plant them again.  I was told from an authentic Dutchman that this is what authentic Dutch folks do.  This technique would explain why the Dutch are known for their amazing tulips.  They really work hard at it! 

Ok, so back to my quandary.  I carry around a very authentic Dutch name.  Translated, Slager means “butcher,” which is probably why my family will have no part of ever becoming vegetarian.  I get that.  But, this tulip thing is an overwhelming task to say the least.  Do I go along with proper gardening practices because of my last name?  My dear husband reminds me how much we all enjoyed the gigantic tulips that I freshly planted last December.  Breathtaking they were!  I tell him that in my family (Irish, German, Slovakian mix) we keep adding new bulbs every year and it works out just fine.  Then I get “the look.”  

So, while I discern the tulip dilemma, I will plant some annuals that have been waiting so patiently for the rains to pause.  I believe that somewhere between the dirt, weeds and worms, I will find my answer.    

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV

Less Really is More

It is gardening time in Indiana.  I love it!  My tulips have just completed a beautiful round of glorifying my yard and even my husband commented on their brilliance.  Never mind that it was a temperate day last December when I planted the bulbs.  Yes, the rest of the neighborhood was hanging their Christmas lights that day, but I was not intimidated.  Perseverance pays. 

As I prepared to plant my annuals and vegetables, I decided that some extra nutrients were in order to have a successful growing season.  I loaded up on lots of organic matter and some fertilizer that said “twelve-twelve-twelve” on the front.  A Master Gardener (which I am not) friend of mine suggested some “ten-ten-ten” to help my vegetables thrive, but the “twelve-twelve-twelve” was what I found, so I figured it must be better.  My non-gardening husband agreed with that thinking. 

Fast forward to today.  It has been about three weeks since I planted some of my annuals.  With each plant, I added the fertilizer and the organic matter to the dirt.  Some of the plants look happy, and a few are now dead.  Gone.  What went wrong?  In some cases, the plants are neighbors!  How could this be?  Turns out, according to the expert gardeners (again, not me) I overdid it with the nutrients.  The soil was simply too rich for those little flowers.  I now know that I should choose one or the other, not both.  Some lessons are tough.  In this case, less is more.  I do believe that this thinking is best in many situations.  Seems to me I say those same words every December when we hang our Christmas lights.  Happy planting…

“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.”  Wendell Berry