Inspire a Fire

The Lost Art of Writing Christmas Cards. (And Some Things We Should Maybe Lose Instead)

Right now, I could be writing my Christmas cards. Instead, I’m going to write about writing my Christmas cards. Except this post is not really about writing Christmas cards. Pay close attention. You see, I’ve always loved writing Christmas cards. (It’s the writer thing, don’t judge.) I used to spend a solid two weeks writing…

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Simple Thanks: Here is your Reminder

Usually I wash, dry, and remake the bed all in the same day. Only occasionally do I pull spare sheets from the closet to rotate them. This means that when a sock gets caught in the fold of the fitted sheet, it could be months before it is rediscovered. Usually by then its mate has…

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The Speed of Change

I was reading an article the other day on the Catholic Synod that started earlier this month. If you aren’t familiar, this “Synod on Synodality” convened bishops from all around the world to pray for God’s direction for the Catholic Church. Through a series of meetings, this global gathering will culminate in a document of…

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How to Handle a Hatchet (AKA, How to be Scared and Unafraid)

If you stumbled across this blog while looking for information on how to handle a hatchet, I recommend this YouTube video I discovered the other day. That video might get you closer to what you’re actually looking for. But while you’re here, you might be curious what kind of rambling connection I’m going to make…

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Peace, Sock Lint and How There is Nothing New Under the Cover (Except there is)

“Peace. Be still,” Jesus said. He was talking to a storm at the time, but I’m pretty sure he tells me the same thing quite often. “Storm” could be middle my name some days. I like this verse, even though I don’t abide by it very often. I used to do an annual camping trip…

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Beauty in Brown: An Alaskan Remix of an Old Proverb

It is amazing how much stress we carry with us when we do not fear being eaten by a bear. I’ve been chewing on a quote that is widely cited as a Byzantine proverb: “He who has bread has many problems; he who has no bread has one problem.” I’d like to provide an updated…

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If February Doesn’t March, April May

Springtime lessons from my favorite nonsense quote. I have a friend who is rapturously joyful at the first bug of spring. I about drove off the road once trying to ascertain her sudden gasp until she finally sputtered, “It’s a bug! It’s the first bug of spring!” To me, this foretells mosquitos, biting flies, no-see-ums,…

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Easter Vigil When You Don’t Feel Like Celebrating

“It’s a celebration!” “For some,” I wanted to say. But I didn’t want to be seen as a downer or as though I didn’t appreciate the significance of this special day. I merely tried to smile, and nodded, and walked on. If you’re someone who also struggled to reflect the joy of Easter this year,…

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Seven Minutes of Stillness

A few weeks ago I entered a yoga class after a several year hiatus. This was not the death by planks class of my foolhardy younger years, but a softer, just-enough-to-feel-good variety. As the instructor welcomed us onto our mats, welcomed us to notice our breath, welcomed us into a place of stillness and ease,…

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So You Think You’re Tough?

I like to think I’m tough. Here’s how I know I’m not. The other day I was re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy. I love reading about these hardy pioneers. I mostly love to read about them while sipping tea in my fuzzy slippers. Now these folks were tough. Back then, it got so cold…

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Meet Janet!

Janet Beagle, PhD is the founder of The Mustard Patch. She divides her time between the Midwest and New England, and if she’s not writing, she’s probably out hiking with her 2-and 4-footed friends.