Sweet, Sweet Summertime

I love summer. I always have. The days are long; the nights are short. I spend tons of time outside and I don’t sleep as much and don’t mind at all. There is something so wonderful about summer mornings that I have a hard time putting it into words. Even with going to bed later, it’s still not hard to get up and enjoy the start of the day. I especially enjoy exercising early. There is something inspiring about an early morning bike ride, walk, or run.

I love the sunshine, the look of a freshly mowed lawn. I love the delicious fruit and vegetables that are readily available. I love swimming, hiking, biking, laying out in the sun. I love road trips, drive-in movies, and reading good books. I love the smell of sun tan oil, cut watermelon, and the freshness of early morning air.

I love lemonade or ice tea in a sweaty glass. I love seeing fireflies at night. It never fails to thrill me the first time I see one. It’s then that I know it’s summer. I love my toes in the sand and my face turned to the sun. I love stargazing, picking flowers, and running barefoot in the grass.

I hope that each and every one of you will carve out a little time just for yourself to enjoy summer in a way that pleases you.

Not sure how much I will be blogging this summer. I don’t plan to be online much. Please know that I hope you are well and happy.

Have a sweet summer!!


The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, most of us start thinking about what we should get for our moms and what we might want for ourselves. Several years back I started a Mother’s Day tradition with my children. I told them all I wanted for Mother’s Day was for them to write me a hand written note or letter. I keep them in an album.

It is so much fun to look back and see what they wrote and how their handwriting and ideas have changed over the years. Their notes and letters mean the world to me. There is something about seeing ideas and thoughts put down on paper that makes it seem real and lasting. Don’t get me wrong, I love gifts, but their words are priceless to me, and the gift lasts. Every year I read over what they wrote from the years past. I am very grateful.

In a world that sometimes seems to be moving faster and faster, knowing that someone you love took the time to slow down, think of you, and honestly tell you how much you mean to them – that’s a pretty wonderful gift.


Recently my husband and I spent the weekend in St. Louis. This picture was taken in the English Woodland Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was so beautiful and peaceful there. I was filled with a sense of hope and happiness and peacefulness.  I love the way I feel when I am surrounded by nature. I have always enjoyed being outdoors.

It often seems I am happiest when I am appreciating life’s simple joys.

Here is a quotation that I have had for a long time and it amazes me that the problems we deal with in our present day are the same as those who have lived before us.

“We are so overwhelmed with things these days that out lives are all, more or less, cluttered. I believe it is this, rather than a shortness of time, that gives us that felling of hurry and almost of helplessness. Here is a good New Year’s resolution for us all to make: To simplify our lives as much as possible.”

~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Have a beautiful week!!


A Thoughtful Graduation Gift


Just in time! I think this is a thoughtful gift to give to high school graduates. There are so many benefits to writing in a journal. From stretching your IQ to sparking your creativity. See this article from the Huffington Post: 10 Surprising Benefits You’ll Get From Keeping a Journal.

Starting college starts a new chapter in a young person’s life. There will be all kinds of new experiences. This journal can capture thoughts, goals, dreams, achievements, hopes, etc.

What a wonderful gift that is fun to receive now and even better in the future when one can look back and read all that he or she experienced that first year of college.

You can find this journal on Amazon.

Try It, You Might Like It!

I love having teenage daughters for a lot of reasons. For one, they are great help with technology. Last week I noticed that some people on Snapchat had animated characters as their profile pictures. I thought that was cool. I asked one of my daughters about it, and she told me there was an app and she would help me.

We had so much fun! We laughed a lot. She took me to the app store on my phone. (You just type in Bitmoji.) Of course the first thing I asked was, “Does it cost?” It does not. So, I proceeded.:)

By the way (BTW), you can get this app at the App Store or Google play.

It’s very easy. You just go through each step. You choose the shape of your face, skin color, eyes, nose, lips, hair style, etc. You even get to pick out an outfit!

I ended up having both teenage daughters help. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of their comments and questions:

We need to add the crow’s feet.

Do you have lines on your forehead?

I know you have the line between your eyebrows.

There isn’t a skin color that’s tan. It looks white or brown.

This isn’t the right color of green for your eyes. They don’t have a “:dirty” green.

Medium build? Broad or regular shoulders?

That’s not the right nose. Choose the one I chose.

Wavy or straight hair? Medium? There’s not medium hair pulled back….

We did our best creating my personal emoji. Now, I have to face the temptation of using it too much.

There are all kinds of expressions, stickers, sayings, etc. It’s a lot of fun!

I hope you try it!

Below are a few more examples.

And, last but not least, I compared my actual photo to my Bigmoji.


What I Damn Well Please

It’s human nature to ask others what they do. Often when my dad was asked this question he would respond, “Whatever I damn well please.” Which, quite frankly, was kind of true. He owned his own business, his own plane, and he was kind of a renegade.

I’d love to answer the way he did. I’m not that bold (yet).

Recently I ran into someone I use to work with. I asked her how she was enjoying retirement. She responded by saying how much she had to do and not knowing where the time goes every day. She didn’t mention one fun thing she was doing. She didn’t even give the impression that she was enjoying herself at all.

It’s not that I thought she would be happy just because she was retired, but I hoped she was enjoying herself. After all, that is a goal for a lot of people: work hard, retire, enjoy yourself.

After I walked away, it really made me think about how we spend our days. How much say do we have in how our days unfold? Are we using our time wisely? Are we having fun? Enjoying ourselves?

I certainly hope so.

The weather has been beautiful in Kansas this week. I hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am.

Have a terrific week!


Lessons of the Turtle – Book Review


“Turtle slips and slides and finally ends upside-down, certain he will die. But while on his back, he learns valuable lessons about how to manage his life. He learns that things really can be different.”

What a delightful book! A friend of mine donated a box of books to our local library and said I could read any before they were donated. Lessons of the Turtle: Living Right Side Up is one of the books I chose to read. I am glad I did.

The book is of course based on a parable but the story teaches us, “our lives do matter. We can be truly happy. We can make needed changes. And we can live fully – when we decide to live right side up.”

The book has six lessons illustrating the acronym C-H-A-N-G-E. The letters stand for:

* Choice




* Goals

* Energy.

This is a sweet, uplifting book that reminds us that we make choices every day that affect the lives we live. It also reminded me that often if we take small steps every day, we will eventually reach our goals.

Another thing I enjoyed was writing down my aspirations. The author lists 8 life areas and then invites the reader to write an affirmation (a dream or wish of what you want for that topic).

Here is the list:


*Work & Finance

*Spiritual Life

*Service to Others

*Mind & Body




If you have the time today or this week, try it. Write down what you wish for each topic. Just write down what you dream of.

So many times in my life I have written down things, forgotten about them, and then later realized what I had dreamed of became a reality.

Have a wonderful week!

Too Much Pressure

Just a girl, sitting with her dog on the back steps, soaking up the sun. Feeling like it was the best part of the whole day.

This was me a few weeks ago. As I sat there, the thought came to me clearly You put enough pressure on something and it will crack.

Several years ago I worked with a horse trainer who told me this. It was one of those sayings that stuck with me. First of all, the moment I heard it, I felt the truth of it. I quickly understood that this idea wasn’t only in regards to working with horses. This truth applied to all kinds of aspects of life.

On this particular day, I was trying to juggle too much. I had my usual daily goals but I also had research, class work, accounts to balance, tax prep work, groceries to pick up, writing, editing, family/home needs, etc.

When I opened the door to the backyard to let my dog out, I could feel the sun kissing my face. I just paused with the door wide open and thought about how I wanted to bask in that sunshine. So, I did.

I just sat right down on the steps. I took a deep breath and I realized that I could change the plan I had in my mind. Some of the things I was working on could be done tomorrow, some things could be made easier, and some things I enjoyed so that part didn’t feel like work at all.

Soon I felt something touch my foot. I opened my eyes and saw my sweet dog resting right beside me. He was the picture of love, calmness, and assurance. I sat awhile longer taking in this very happy moment.

After awhile I felt a sense of contentment and peace I hadn’t felt all day. I got up and went inside feeling thankful and balanced.

I am thankful this thought came to me right when I needed it, and I hope it helps you the next time you feel pressure or stress or simply that life just feels like too much in that moment.

Take a breath,

lighten up,

change your plan.

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself.

Dreams Come True

Something exciting has happened in my life. I have an author page on Amazon!!

Tomi Rues – Author Page

I have six theme based writing journals for sale on Amazon. (They are all under $10, and I write in mine every day!) If all goes well, I will have my first creative nonfiction book Being Happy Now available this summer.

I started my book project in November of 2015. It’s been life changing. I am thankful I had the courage to start it. I’m excited to see what the finish project will be once an editor gets done with it.

Thanks for reading this and thank you for all the support. I really appreciate it.



Spring has arrived and with it

the hopes of flowers,

gardens and warmer days ..

Bicycles find their way out of the garage

& hiding spots..

People remember why they planted pear

and red bud trees ..

you hear the laughter of kids playing..

And if you live in a two-story house

and the windows are open

the birds are sitting in the trees

making sure you don’t sleep in…

Spring, the gateway to loving

the outdoors ..

Along with the anticipation

of thunderstorms.

With only 70 days left

to  Memorial Day..

So dance to the first day of spring !!

-Chris Warren, author