GPS Lazy

We’ve all heard the saying, “I’m showing my age.”  Truly, I’ve forgotten what “directions” sound like! I remember resisting GPS while driving, thinking, “How can you stand not knowing exactly where you’re going?” “What if it misses a turn, or loses signal?” “How can you trust GPS?” Then I tried it. Now, I’ve even been known to say to hubby, “Why would you ask for directions? —we have GPS!”

Hubby and I are heading to a cabin tonight in “Someplaceburg Pennsylvania” that doesn’t have GPS capability. Here are the directions:

  • Get to Nowwhere’sville, PA.
  • Turn Left on 733 or 833, I forget which number, but you can’t miss it.
  • You might have to make two lefts, you’ll see. If you miss the first one, take the second.
  • Go to top of Mountain
  • Go to bottom of Mountain
  • Go to top of next mountain
  • There will be a horseshoe and really small town
  • Look for pretty stone bridge
  • 200 ft.  Turn right
  • Look for Red Gate
  • First cabin

I think I’ve gotten GPS lazy. If I don’t blog for a while, please ask the hunters to look for me during hunting season.

Enjoying the Adventure (which might truly be one today!)

Dr. Dink!

Please check out my new blog!  Nail in My Pocket Adventures in Frugal House-Flipping

smartphone car technology phone
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After the Storm

I’ve wanted to experience one of the intense Sonoran Desert storms and finally got my wish! We plan to move to Arizona in a couple of years. We will live is in the desert highlands north of Phoenix. It is wild, beautiful country. One thing that my daughter has noticed living in “The Valley of the Sun” is that many of the storms in monsoon season are “up north”. Oh was I up north when this one hit!


Anticipation grew as we watched the storm slowly move toward us. It rains very little in the desert, but when it does, LOOK OUT! It will make up for lost time! When the storm finally hit, it was a total wash out. We couldn’t see beyond 50 ft because of the solid white wall of water. Thunder and lightening were loud and plentiful and then, before you knew it, the storm ceased.

After the storm passed, I was told go out and look quickly, it won’t last long –what I experienced was beautiful streamline waterfalls flowing down our cliff. They looked like shiny little precious silver necklace strands. There were so many! I wish I had a better camera to help them show themselves off! Within a few moments all that water gathered into the creek below and once again there was a loud roaring sound. The sound wasn’t thunder this time but from the flash flood. I’m just glad as I stood taking this photo from our house-pad that I was 300ft above it all!


Then the most glorious sight of all happened. The sky began to show off toward the west as the sun began to set. I was in the middle of majesty, surrounded by ocotilo, giant saguaro cacti responding immediately to the water. The cliffs even seemed pronounced. I was in complete awe. I found myself running from one place to the next to experience such beauty.

Ocotillo Cactus after a good drink of water!



Giant Saguaro Cactus at Sunset — King of the Sonoran Desert

What analogy do I give this wonderful, scary, exhilarating experience? Should I leave it for the beauty that it provided? Should I compare it to the storms of life? I know that this same storm wreaked havoc further southeast and homes were flooded in a few communities. For me what brought excitement and beauty caused stress and insurance claims for others. Isn’t that the way it is sometimes?

I think that being someone who has suffered a few of life storms, I am tempted so say that sometimes, and I repeat sometimes, it is possible to have something of great beauty when the storm has passed. Maybe the beauty was there all along and the storm just helped enhance that beauty. I’ve been a part of people’s lives as storms have raged and watched them thrive. I’ve also seen the opposite. So, I’m not naive enough to say that all your storms will be something that leaves beauty behind. However, I think it doesn’t hurt to have hope. A new day is coming.

That Simple

My daughter was cutting up small pieces of paper, of course, I had to ask. She motioned to the fireplace mantle and said it’s a gratitude jar. That simple.

I remember cuss jars at work. If you let a 4-letter fly, you were to put a quarter in the jar. But that was in the day of having change in your pocket! (Obviously, if you read my blog, I don’t mind so much having no quarters in my pocket!)

I like this idea of a special place set aside for gratitude. A reminder. I believe gratitude is the basis for all sorts of positive reactions to life.

Begs the question . . . what are you grateful for?

Enjoying the Adventure! (And grateful to be on it)

Dr. Dink

I’d love to hear your comments and questions & promise to get back to you quickly!

You are welcome visit my other blogs:

Nail in My Pocket            —-Adventures in Frugal House-Flipping

Down to Earth Positive   — Looking at positivity in everyday life

Brown Bag Letter            —-Antique Photos and family folklore preserving personal history.


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No Guilty Pleasure Here!

How did I go from writing daily to skipping two weeks? I have no idea because I love writing about positive things in a negative world. I love being the promoter of good and beauty.  Maybe I’ve been holding off for that special thing?

The Arizona sunset?

My Grandson’s . . . existence!

Possibly that random kindness received by a stranger?

None of the above!  I usually wake up around 4 or 5am. However this morning I rolled over, I got deeper under the blanket. After 10 days in Arizona, this Pennsylvania morning is “chilly”. Or let’s face it, it’s COLD!

When I came downstairs all bleary eyed and looked at the clock, I had to check twice. It was 8:14. I’ve not slept this late in YEARS! Coffee is brewing. Nope, I don’t feel the lease bit guilty! Have a wonderful day!

What is your NO-guilty pleasure?

Enjoying the Adventure! (feeling quite spoiled)

Dr. Dink


I’d love to hear your comments and questions & promise to get back to you quickly!

You are welcome visit my other blogs:

Nail in My Pocket            —-Adventures in Frugal House-Flipping

Down to Earth Positive   — Looking at positivity in everyday life

Brown Bag Letter            —-Antique Photos and family folklore preserving personal history.


Perfect Representation

I have one primary reason for trying to promote a more positive world. This one reason actually represents many people, possibly even multiple generations and I take this silliness that I write about everyday very seriously. This photo is of my grandson. He literally owns my heart and always will. I never understood why my friends who became grandparents were so weird about their little human beings. I now know. He and his generation are what drive me. Like most grandparents, I want him to grow up in “a better world”.


This child is a curious little bug. I remember seeing the world as something new all over again when my kids were his age. It didn’t matter if it was something gigantic, or as simple as a rock in the backyard, everything was fascinating. Our children (and grands) mimic what they see. When this young, they don’t quite fully understand vocabulary, but they watch every move and sound you make, and of course, repeat your vocabulary at the most in-opportune times! I think that the photo my daughter took of him on the USS MIDWAY in San Diego is the perfect encapsulation of the curious learning sponge that a toddler can be.

Jake in San Diego

He is about two stories up, on a glass floor, looking into the belly of the ship. I wish I was there, so he could tell me what “he sees”. But at this point in his life, all that excited talking sounds like gibberish. Oh, and does he talk. He also listens, and watches, and observes, and copies. I’ve not written much in the past couple of weeks, first I was away and had no internet, imagine that! Then, it was just plain to hot & humid to think. Not really, but it sounds like a valid excuse. However, I think the glass floor photo is what has had me in a writing quandary because I want the words to be “just right”. This child gives me such hope, and joy, and yes, even fear. This child makes me want a better world. I want a lot of things for him, you know the typical ones, health and abilities, the awareness of his place among others in the world. I hope he makes good choices. I hope that he is safe from harm.

There is one particular thing I hope for this child. I hope he can see beauty around him, and not loose his curiosity. I think all the other stuff, for the most part, may fall into place if he can see, hear, smell, touch and experience beauty. I believe that if we are able to fill our senses with an attitude of looking for beauty, no matter where we are, it will change our mindset. That attitude will give us hope of something better, it will bring us to a place of creative energy that enhances all of our senses.

In my hope for his future, I will recycle as much as I can. I will be cognizant of ways that I can preserve rather than consume. I will have high expectation of leadership that will affect his life. I will do whatever I can to teach him what I know about life and getting the best out of it. For example, I will encourage him to care about the natural environment, but also teach him about the environment of the tongue.

In consideration of the future, and let’s face it, our current reality, let’s do what we can to promote beauty!

The beauty of Nature

The beauty of Relationships

The beauty of Creativity

The beauty of Words, both spoken and written

The beauty of Learning

The beauty of Living life to it’s fullest

As we look for the beauty of life it really does have an effect, first on our selves in present time. It is difficult to get involved in all the negativity when you are looking in a different direction. Your quest for beauty will also affect others deeply, even into the future. You never know how a seemingly little positive thing we do can have great effect as we gaze into an unknown future.

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other blog: The Brown Bag Letter



Patterns are everywhere. They are amazing. I’ll get to that, but first, let me tell you about my disease. That’s what I tell folks when they say to me, “Karen, you’re so creative!” I guess I am, I do have an ability to “see things” that aren’t there yet. Some might think I’m a bit nuts, but that’s OK. For instance, I see shelves in a nasty old piece of wood. I see a beautiful necklace in a rock and when I see a pile of doilies — Oh my, enhanced clothing, bedspreads and sometimes sitting on a table under a lamp at the perfect angle.

The worst of all the things I see is the potential of an old piano or pump organ. The cabinets of these gorgeous instruments are incredible with fancy woodwork and carvings. Yet, let’s face it, most pump organs are over a century old, so they are tired and most have lost their voice. Pianos too, unfortunately, “free stuff” on Craigslist always has pianos. Pump organs are heavy, but pianos, they weigh in at around 400-500 lbs., we need help getting one off the truck, but, imagine me and my husband, at a combined weight of 287 lbs. moving these buggers around because Karen wants to take it apart! All that to say, I am fascinated by the mechanical engineering masterpieces inside these instruments that all work together so that one light touch of a key makes (or used to make) incredible sound.


Did you know that there are 7 to 8 steps of hinges and movements before the piano hammer touches the harp strings? Each step has various carved wood pieces involved. There are too many to count, and so many screws and dowels for each key. There are 88 keys on a piano requiring least a thousand or more screws when all is said and done. The precise cut of each piece is ridiculous, not to mention made without electricity, without lasers, just old fashioned craftsmanship. Precise, beautiful craftsmanship. One error and guess what? Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, or chopsticks ain’t gonna sound so spiffy!

And here I am, ripping them apart! Well, it’s better than seeing them in the dump! Here are some of my favorite crafts from old pianos and organs. Anywhere from Key-holders to shelving, I’m working on a desk now.



My favorite pride and joy is the shelf that is made completely from piano parts, all 88 keys were in perfect shape and they cried out for something special. The wine rack above is made from the key cover of that same piano. It is now displayed in a beautiful Victorian Bed and Breakfast, The Queen.




Same Piano enhancing kitchen cabinets in house we flipped:

OK, so yes, I sell stuff, and even do commissioned work, so if you have a piano or old piece of furniture of Grandma’s & you want something pretty that isn’t so freaking big in your house . . . drop it off! Here is a memorial piece I did . . .


But I’m not writing today to gain more pianos, organs or any of the other things this eccentric weirdo finds fun. I’m writing about a fascination of mine. Patterns. It just happens that the craft of making a piano or an organ are both incredible examples of ability, artistry and craftsmanship. However patterns are everywhere. They are in nature, in plants, animals and rocks. They are in man-made creations, buildings, bridges, art and jewelry. Patterns are in words, music and wildlife calls. What does this have to do with positivity? Everything.

Patterns are wonderful to observe — it can be even meditative if you allow. It may be the pattern of artistry in something as intricate as a piano, or a motherboard, or the delicacy of a flower. It may be your own pattern of living that gives you peace. (Possibly the negativity of our current time is due to an imbalance of patterns?) ((OUCH)) ((and again, OUCH)).

Let me ask a question or two . . . what patterns bring joy, peace and dignity to your life? What patterns are out of whack and bring turmoil? What can you do to make that change? When I take apart a piano or organ, it is a complete and utter disaster of messiness, that is, until screws are bagged, broken wood burned, and pieces put back together again in a different order.  I know that I can be impulsive, eccentric, eclectic, undisciplined and off-the-wall. However patterns bring clarity, ability to see “something new” and stability in a crazy world.

I encourage you to look for and appreciate the patterns of life, of art, of nature, and of man-made things. Appreciate what makes things the same and different. I believe it fascinating, and doing this will either drive you crazy, or give you a sense of appreciation and positive awareness. I hope the discipline of “seeing” the intricacies of patterns brings you joy!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.


Life in a Berry Patch

An analogy for life.

It is black-raspberry season and we have been picking daily. I’ve frozen about 10 bags so far and I’m sure we’ve eaten about the same. Yesterday, as I went to pick this lovely one, I see a familiar pattern. There are actually 7 days or more of picking on this cluster. Those berries, one by one will present themselves ready. They change color and when ripe will easily roll off into your fingers. If they aren’t ready . . . they will fight you. Black-raspberries that aren’t ready can be quite stubborn. If you stick to picking the ones that are “ready”, you more than likely won’t get pricked by the thorns either.

We only have a couple more weeks of picking, then blueberries will be in season, followed by wild red-raspberries.  Summer is fun, eh? Everything in it’s time, during it’s season.

If you ever get the chance, try going to a pick-your-own farm. I find picking berries meditative. Once you get into the mesmerizing flow of it all, it is very relaxing. You hear the birds, feel gentle breezes, or the hot sun on your back. Sometimes the berries can give you insight.

We live in a world of quick news, quick results, microwaveable-pre-cooked-filled-with-bad-for-you-shit-meals. We live in a world of quick judgement, and quick words (especially if they are not nice). We live in a world of, “If you don’t meet up with MY standard, then . . . “. Therefore, maybe it’s time to learn a lesson or two from the berry patch!


Berries grow in clusters, but they mature differently.

Berries are sour until they are ready.

Berries come in all sizes, shapes and colors, yet they are called “berries”.


Berries thrive growing along with all kinds of weeds.


Berries have vision, they reach out into the unknown for their future.

Berries protect their future, those plants that produce fruit sweet enough to eat off the vine and eat for desert will rip you open in a heart-beat!

Image result for poison ivyimg_20180706_104001107~2-11347926299..jpg




Berries require some wisdom, not everything that looks the same is the same! These two leaves look rather similar but one is entirely evil, the other as sweet as berry-pie. #1-Poison Ivy, #2 Black-raspberry.


Berries dry up, wither and die.

The seeds drop and a new generation

has opportunity to grow.

Oh, and then there are the bugs. They bite you when you pick, they hide in the leaves, they chew on the berries, and sometimes —- you eat them! Yuck.

OK, life is life until you die. We all are in different stages of life, each stage beautiful. If we enter into life each day knowing that we are surrounded by those just like us, by those who are different, by weeds, by bugs and all kinds of negative influences, we can survive, not only that we can thrive in our season.

That’s it, life lesson from a little fruit, written by an eccentric fruit who is going to go pick some now . . .

Enjoying the Adventure, (Especially when it tastes so good!)

Dr. Dink



Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

–a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!





I received the nicest surprise yesterday at the grocery store. I saw a lady as I was walking down the aisle, looking at a product. She had a hair-style that reminded me of a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. Smiling, I walked past her thinking of this friend. I was surprised to hear the lady say, “I just love your hair!” So I turned around to thank her . . . Imagine the girly “in the aisle” conversation we had about coincidences, and hairstyles. I thanked her for the memory she brought forward for me, then we parted ways to continue our shopping.

The lady turned around at the end of the aisle, looked at me and said, “You are very pretty!” I think I kinda blushed and said, “Awww, that is so nice of you! Thank you!” She was smiling too as she continued on down the next aisle. What a nice encounter, I joked with my husband when I told him about this, “Gosh, look what happens when I actually have on clean clothes and I don’t have dirt on my face!” We have been working on replacing a roof in the hot summer sun. So, in the past couple of weeks, I have been a mess. Every now and then, my husband will look at me and chuckle, pointing out a smudge here or there, usually on my forehead. So it was nice to have this random encounter at the grocery store.

What a great way we could all bring positivity into the world. . .

What if we were to be intentional about saying something to others, even to random strangers, or that person sitting in the room with you everyday that would make them walk away with a smile and a little boost? What if the next time you have a chance conversation, you ended it with a compliment?

You are pretty!

I love your sense of style!

I really enjoyed talking with such a sweet person!

What you made

What you did


box cheerful color cute
Photo by Pixabay on

Let’s shower the world with pre-meditative-random kindnesses that cause people to walk away from us with a big smile! That random, nice, personal expression can be to someone you love, or someone you’ve never met before. I guarantee you will walk away from that encounter with a smile and a boost too.

Please let me know how it works out for you!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter –a blog of stories celebrating “personal history”. You will find antique anonymous photos connected to stories people have shared with me about their grandparents and family folklore.


I Love Broken Things . . .

It’s true. Broken things have a story to tell, there are character marks and lines. Last night, I bought the most amazing piece of furniture at auction. The closing bid? $30. Newspaper is stuck to the top, there are scratches, little pieces of accent missing and a door, not only off it’s hinges, but split right through, AND I LOVE IT!

screenshot_20180530-203740688949455.pngEven in the shape it is in, this piece is gorgeous! But with a bit of love, a lot of sand paper and some creative woodworking —-it will be a piece to celebrate! I’m even thinking of designing my entire kitchen around my “new wine bar”. (Don’t you see a wine bar?) I see two tones to pull the detail. The problem with a creative mind is you “see” the finished piece, surely, it has to speak to me as I begin to strip & fix, but I know she will be beautiful.

I’ve been broken myself, quite a few times over. Maybe that is why I like old houses, old furniture, old quilts and I could care less that my dog doesn’t have a pedigree. Brokenness is a part of life. You know what I mean, don’t you? Brokenness brings character lines and scratches that when they first happen feel like they will destroy. Brokenness is difficult to go through, but can bring beauty, caring, empathy and yes, even joy eventually. When I’m broken, it is difficult not to look back at other scars. When looking back, hopefully you can see hope as you realize there is a scar, but you lived through it. You can help others in similar situations. You are beautiful, scars and all.

Living in a positive world is not being naive to the brokenness of life, it is looking at that broken thing and realizing that with a little help (sometimes a lot of help), things can be better again.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Dr. Dink


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Photo: 5.30.18

Hope for the American DREAM!

When I was in Arizona, I did a lot of walking. There was one car that I saw frequently, that is, until I decided to take a picture of it. Thus, a photo from their website. This business helped me to understand that if you are creative and can sit back and notice what “might be” a service that people are willing to pay for . . .


Isn’t this the cute-est-ness-ly painted car you’ve ever seen?  Flowers, puppies, it’s just sweet. The first time I saw it, I was like, AWWWWWWW! Then I saw the logo: “We Scoop Puppy Poop!” It got me to thinking, the American Dream is still alive and well! A business like this in Central Pennsylvania? Not so much, but in the suburbs of Phoenix . . .yup. The way I see it, if you can make a living off of other people’s dog shit . . .

Anything is possible!

Enjoying the Adventure!

Dr. Dink

PS– You’re welcome for the free advertising!

Here is their Website: Arrowhead Scoopers!


Please visit my other Blog:  Brown Bag Letter

I encourage you to visit other bloggers at the following sites. You’ll find almost everything imaginable that can be written, in every form, from all over the world!

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Daily Post: Juxtapose