​​Blog Post #4 -May 10th, 2021

Smelling like Skunk

So we just returned back home from a week in the mountains with family.  What a blast!!!  There were beautiful warm days, some very cold snowy days and a couple crappy, cold, rainy days.  BUT all and all, everyone had a blast.

My title: Smelling like Skunk. LOL well, I did not catch one dang fish, but I tried my hardest.  That is why it’s called Fishing and not Catching! LOL as my spouse reminds me.   He cannot say much because he only caught one, but as we love to devil each other, he reminded me that I smell like skunk.  (Skunked on the trout stream) yeah yeah….so I did not catch any.  BUT there was around 25 caught by everyone else, so we did get to bring home some fresh fish.

The whole week was so much fun. Nothing better than family.  We ate way too much food, told too many tales and did our share of fishing.  The weather may have not cooperated, but we made the best of it.

This was our annual Joyce Family trip to Summit Lake in Greenbrier County.  One of our favorite lakes & campground.  Primitive camping.  No water, electric or sewer.  You get to use vault toilets and take baby wipe baths daily.  Not to mention smell like smoke from the campfire all week.  Although I was ‘clean’, my hair was not LOL but, hey, I was not there for a fashion show nor America’s Next Top Model LOL

On our way home, we stopped at Rhododendron Park, that rests right along the Cherry River.  We always take pics and do some stream fishing. Well, yours truly was thrashing the waters when I slip on a slimy rock and splasshhh! In I go.  Water to my waist.  COLD!!!  So COLD!!! But, I lived.  My leg didn’t fair too well, slamming against a rock or twelve LOL   Its nice and rainbow of colors today. 
I’m sore but okay, still smell like skunk.  (shrugs) It happens.

As I close this blog post today, remember to spend time with those you love.  Doesn’t matter if the weather cooperates or not. Doesn’t matter what you look like or ‘smell’ like.  The important message here, is to Live like you are dying.  Live each day to the fullest.  We may not get many more.  
Much love & Le’ Pew love!
Mando <3

Blog Post #3 - Dec. 13th, 2020


Well, here we are, right smack dab in the middle of the of the Christmas season.   I'm a planner, so most of my stuff is finished, except a last few minute gifts that I have to finish.  I like to finish up a bit earlier so I can enjoy the couple weeks leading up to the actual holiday.  This year, I planned accordingly, however, my schedule is well, not busy.  Not busy, what I'm compared to, that is.   I'm use to Cantata's, Youth Christmas programs, painting with the local elementary class, playing the Grinch, Christmas parties (Family & church), baking for the Cookie Tray Ministry.   So much was ruined by COVID-19.   Our church is cancelled.  Its hard on those like myself who loves that 'hustle & bustle'.  I love giving back, helping others, mingling with my church family.   Although I'm still managing to meet up with my family & do things, its just not the season I'm use to.   Big difference this year.   As this year is coming to a close, I realize that Covid has slowed things way down.  Families have got to spend more time at home, working from home, parents spending time with their children.  But then there is the jobless, people who lost their businesses due to no sales, etc.  So its definitely a double edged sword.   I'm thanking God that I was able to manage my business through this time, but it was definitely effected.   I am thankful that I'm still a tad busy with things, but also thankful for the downtime I'm given to spend with those I love.   This year I've had to let some people go that I never dreamt I'd have to say Good-bye to, but here we are.  Everything happens for a reason.  As I'm reminded, people come in our lives for a reason & a season.  Some to teach us a lesson, some to bring joy, some to teach us how we don't want to treat others, or to remind us how to love ourselves enough to let them go.   During this "holy-daze", I reflect on the baby Jesus & why He was sent here.  When I'm having a bad day or emotional day due to this years events, I remember what He went through for us.  That's when I pull up my Big girl britches and pay it forward.   As I sit here typing this, I hear Linus on TV telling Charlie Brown "That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown"   Folks...it IS that simple.   Help others, Love them, Do what you can for them.  Spread love & kindness.  Smile when you want to cry.  Forgive those who have wronged you.  Learn to look past the pettiness.  Smile and wave at the haters.   Don't let the hustle & bustle of the holiday put you in a "daze".  Better yet, put your eyes on Jesus.  Focus on the HOLINESS of our Savior.  Merry Christmas from our home to yours.

Peace be with each of you ~ Mando <3

Blog Post #2 - Nov. 30th, 2020

Snow Peaceful

So I catch a lot of grief over loving snow.  "Its too cold, its too wet, its just blah, its messy, I get salt all over my car, I can't get outside, I freeze to death, blah blah blah"   Just some of the many excuses I hear when people refer to snow.   Ya either love it or hate it.  There is no in between really with the fluffy white stuff.  Either you are a snow lover or a snow loather.  

You know that feeling you get when slipping your toes in to the sand at the beach, feeling that beach breeze off the water, the smell of salt in the air?  Wonderful ain't it? Or how about that first cast of a fishing pole in that moving mountain stream, listening to the babble of the water over the rocks?  Refreshing huh?  So let me explain WHY snow means so much to me.  The first flurries gives me that euphoric sensation you all get when putting your toes in the sand. That brush of coldness on my cheek is the same feeling as that warm breeze off the ocean.  That smell of icy coldness is the same for me as you smelling the salt air.   Waking up to a blanket of untouched snow, the pureness, that is what I crave.  Its like walking on an undiscovered beach for ya'll.   We love what we love.  Whether its cold or warm.  Whether its tea or coffee.  Whether its chocolate or peanut butter.  We all have those 'things' we love & dislike.

As I sit here at my kitchen table, sipping my Highland Grogg that some sweet friends brought me back from TN, I look out my french doors to it raining.  KNOWING that rain can change to snow at any moment.  Its like a kid at Christmas. I kid you not.  I love it.  I love to be in it.  I love to smell it, taste it and play in it.  I NEED it like an addict needs their fix.  I MUST HAVE SNOW!! Thing is...I don't want it year around. I love the outdoors. I love all my seasons & experiencing them all.   But there is just something about that SNOW HIGH I get when I see it sticking on the ground.  Those flurries falling.  The smile on my face goes ear to ear.  It brings me such comfort and peace.   It is "snow peaceful" outside......Mando **** (Snowflakes)****

Blog post #1 - Nov. 29th, 2020


Howdy folks.  Well, here we are, at the end of November.  WOW.  Hasn't 2020 been a total crap show?  Dang!  Here we go head on into the holiday season.  As the world commercializes Christmas a tad more each year, I TRY to reflect on why we celebrate.   Of course, its because of our Lord and Savior's birth, who was sent here as that tiny baby, to bring hope and joy to the world.   JOY TO THE WORLD!   Doesn't seem to feel like much "joy" going on at the moment, huh?   That's where we have to look harder & dig deeper, my friends.

Today, I sat on my couch in my pjs, cup of coffee, cat in my lap watching our Pastor's message on my Ipad.  I'm so eternally thankful he still manages to bring us a message after having to shut down due to Covid.   Yes, better safe than sorry.  Absolutely.  But I'm the type of Christian that NEEDS her church family.  I NEED my interaction with my brothers and sisters.  I need to be held accountable daily.  Yes, I know....the "church" isn't a building.  It's the body of believers.  I'm fully aware, but this ol' girl needs her 'church' building at times.  I need to sit in my pew, I need to hear the laughter, the teasing, the sniffles from conviction, hear testimonies, praises and prayer requests.  I need to hear the Lord speaking to me through our pastor's message.  I need all of that.   

Today was a different kinda Sunday though.  I am thankful we've been able to have church since reopening back in June.  I'm grateful.  Truly.  I am a creature of habit, what can I say. I don't like change too much. :) 

Today, my message to each of you is simply to FIND THE JOY.  Choose Joy.  Look for the silver lining.  Look for peace. Look for happiness.  Stop wallowing in self doubt and misery.  Life is too short.   Although I couldn't sit with my church family in a building today, I was able to communicate with a few of them via technology.  Messenger, FB, Instagram, texting.  I'm thankful for that.    Today, I chose to find joy in a quiet day at home.  Instrumental Christmas music softely playing in the background.  Christmas tree lit up, the sound of bells and familiar carols playing.   Today I choose JOY.

Joy to the world....for the Lord has come!!  Mando 'JOY'ce

A collection of thoughts, stories, tips and more

Mando's Blog