Conversations with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone

Looking at ourselves and the world through the lens of the 21st century.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Sorry, Not Sorry!


Last Monday, I blew off a doctor’s appointment so I could sleep in. And not just any doctor…it was my cardiologist. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? We all know we should go to the doctor regularly, but there’s something that we dread about doing it. I don’t know anyone who wants to go to the doctor. Do you?

I once complained to my therapist that I was tired of having to go to so many doctors’ appointments. She promptly scolded and corrected me with, “You get to go to the doctor so you can take care of your health. This is a good thing.” Perspective won that argument. I reluctantly agreed that she was right, and since then, I’ve tried to remind myself of that conversation any time I feel inconvenienced by anything health related. It mostly works. 

The sad thing is that I wasn’t feeling inconvenienced by this particular appointment, in fact, I was looking forward to a follow-up that would confirm that my previous issues had been caused by a change in medication that was rectified quickly and that I haven’t really had that problem since. My only complaint was that the appointment was at 9 AM on Monday, which is a day and time I would have never scheduled if I had been allowed to choose (and why wasn’t I allowed to choose?). Monday’s are one of my busiest days of the week because it is not only my cleaning and laundry day, but it is also my first day back to work after the weekend, and there is always a ton of work to be done, emails to answer, and phone calls to make. Even still, I was all set to go, and I set my alarm for the crack of dawn so I could get there in time.

But when my alarm went off Monday morning at 6:30 AM, after I’d had a busy weekend with very little rest and only 2 ½ hours sleep Sunday night, I just could not face getting out of bed, running through my morning routine, and then spending an hour in morning rush-hour traffic. I wasn’t even sure I could stay awake enough to drive. So I killed the alarm, tried to leave a voicemail to let them know I wasn’t coming, and promptly fell back asleep until almost 1:00 PM. I guess I really needed that sleep.

Afterward, I did not feel particularly guilty about missing the appointment. It happens sometimes. And in this case, I think that catching up on my sleep was a lot better for my heart than a stressful drive when I’m exhausted. The doctor will still be there next week, the week after, or the week after that…that sleep was necessary “now”.

Do I advocate missing doctor’s appointments? Not at all. I have seen hard evidence of what happens to someone who ignores symptoms, refuses to go to a doctor, and/or rejects a doctor’s advice. More than one of those people eventually died because of it. All because they didn’t want to face what the doctor might (or did) say. They didn’t want to know the truth. They tried to pretend nothing was wrong because they thought the treatment was worse than the disease, or maybe they just didn’t think they could afford it. Maybe they went to a doctor who didn’t take their concerns seriously enough so they never went back or went for a second opinion. 

Whatever the case, finding the right doctor is the most important part of treatment, tied equally with just getting there in the first place. Whatever the circumstance, finding a doctor that you trust is the key, because when you trust your doctor, you’re more likely to show up, listen to their advice, and do what they tell you to do. And part of finding the right doctor for you means knowing what kinds of doctors there are, which can be confusing on the best of days. And that’s why this week’s podcast is all about doctors – “M.D.s vs. D.O.s: What’s the Difference?” I hope you’ll join us. Even Christen, Amber, and I learned a few things.

Modern Musings: Conversations with the Maiden, Mother, and Crone” is available on PodBean, Google, Apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes drop every Wednesday. Watch for our episode about doctors airing Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Friday, May 19, 2023

100 Episodes!

We are so excited to celebrate the publication of our 100th episode this past Wednesday! Thanks for listening, and thanks for stopping by to read our blog!

Thursday, May 18, 2023

My Intentions Are Good


Farmers have been doing it for centuries, planting crops by the new moon, and harvesting when it’s full. The moon phases are even named, such as the Buck Moon, the Harvest Moon, and the Hunter’s Moon. We make resolutions on New Year’s Day, which is timed to the position of the Sun. Even the Farmer’s Almanac, that much-revered guide that was first published in 1792, has whole sections and calendars devoted to sowing crops and doing household tasks based on the phase of the moon. So when I say I set my intentions by the New Moon, why is that such a surprise?

I started setting specific intentions a couple of years ago, using the format of my One Little Word project and my Cultivate What Matters PowerSheets, but it wasn’t until last year that I started doing so in a ritualistic way. What is my ritual and why ritualize it, you might ask? Allow me to share…

Setting my intentions by the new moon is a reminder to check in with my goals now and then. I try not to miss a new moon, but if I do, it’s okay because I know I’ve done it almost every other month. I like keeping in touch with my goals; sometimes I need that subtle reminder to get to work on making them happen, and it’s always good to refresh those goals and realize I’ve made some good progress.

My rituals are pretty simple – I try to find a nice quiet place to do some meditation first. It’s good to clear my head of all the distractions so I can really concentrate on what I want to achieve. I sometimes add a candle or some ambient music, but not always. A comfy chair is a must. I do like an occasional cup of tea, but coffee works, too. I start out with some breathing exercises and try to relax all over. Once I’m in a good mental and physical space, I start thinking about what I might want to manifest. I imagine it in as much detail as possible, and once I have that full picture, I can start to write it down. 

I write my intentions in a composition notebook that I covered with pretty scrapbook paper. Before I ever wrote my first scripting in it, I wrote my manifesto where I stated that my intention for this book of intentions was “to do only good and to do no harm.” That part was very important to me because we all know the phrase “be careful what you wish for.”

Sometimes my scripting is long. Sometimes it’s very short. Sometimes it’s in paragraph format, and sometimes it is just a bulleted list, but I mostly write about the same things, such as my intentions to spend more quality time with my family, to strengthen my relationship with my husband, to grow my business along with this blog and our podcast, and to be a healthier, happier person.

Is there a right way or a wrong way to do it? I don’t know. I’m still very new to the whole idea, but I figure it can’t hurt, right? Christen is much more knowledgeable about scripting and setting intentions than I am. Everything I know, I basically learned from her. In fact, I’m looking forward to learning more about it when we go on our GreenMan Holistic cruise in October. One of the classes being offered is “Journaling for Magical Purposes” (Scripting), and I’m excited to see what new things I can learn from our expert, Arthur Graye. Until then, I guess I’ll just keep doing it the way I’ve been doing it and hope that it’s working more than it’s not.

Do you script or journal your intentions? We’d love to hear about it.

For more information about our GreenMan Holistic cruise, click the link here: Cruise Info

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Online Inspiration

I’m usually very leary about tips and tricks that I see on the internet, so don’t ask me what possessed me to tempt fate by testing out an actual recipe that a friend posted. Maybe it was because it just sounded like it would be good, but I had to try Mississippi Pot Roast the first time it showed up in my Facebook feed. I’ve spent years searching for the perfect pot roast, so a stick of butter and a couple of gravy packets seemed infallible. It was.

While the pot roast has become a family favorite (a huge thank you to the friend who posted it), another weird hack I discovered helped make my hard-boiled eggs slide right out of their shells. That one boils down to adding ½ tsp of baking soda to the pan of water and then dunking the eggs in an ice bath the second they come off the stove. They come out perfect every time!

Granted, I’ve had a few failures. Like the Christmas card I found on Pinterest a couple of years ago that turned out to be sized for European envelopes. Oops. I didn’t realize the problem until I had cut out all the parts for 100 cards. I quickly had to resize everything to fit the standard A2 envelopes I normally use.

I will say that some of my best successes have come not from “hacks” but from Pinterest projects. In fact, most of my daughter Christen’s wedding was planned using Pinterest and other internet posts and hacks. I’ve shared a few of them below.

The chandelier I repurposed:

Pinterest board of our wedding projects: View

The pins that inspired them (and a few more): View

I love getting inspiration from other crafters and cooks via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Seeing what others are working on helps me imagine things that I can be working on, too, and encourages me to take those projects one step further to make them truly my own. I hope some of my projects will inspire you, too!

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - May 10, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E19: Did This Internet Hack Work?

  • Christmas Card Fail: Pinterest
  • Birthday Cake:
  • TikTok Enchiladas:
  • Pizza Dip: Pinterest
  • Mississippi Pot Roast: Facebook
  • Pumpkin M&M Cake Fail:
  • Clutterbug:
  • Inspiration for Christen's Wedding:  Pinterest
  • Christen's Wedding Crafts: Pinterest 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - May 3, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E18: Memory Keeping

  • HP Sprocket Photo Printer: On Amazon
  • Project Life:
  • My Modern Story:
  • Brene Brown quote: 
    • “One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else's survival guide.”


Monday, May 1, 2023

Keeping Memories Alive


This Saturday, May 6, is International Scrapbook Day, and if you’ve kept up with any of my blog posts, you know that it’s definitely a holiday I do celebrate. This year, I’m planning to hang out with Christen here at home, documenting memories while watching history unfold in the coronation of King Charles III. I’ll probably scrapbook that, too. English breakfast tea, anyone?

People often look at me in surprise when I mention scrapbooking. “Do people still do that?” they ask. My snarky answer would be to ask them if they still have memories, because, of course, they still do, but usually I just happily answer, “Yes, but you just don’t hear about it as much because all the scrapbook stores went out of business when everyone started shopping at mega stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and In all honesty, there are a lot of people who quit traditional scrapbooking when smartphones became our go-to for a camera, photo storage, and memory keeping all in one. Most people don’t print their photos anymore, they just post to Facebook or Instagram, therefore they have no need for a physical photo album or scrapbook…or so they think.

I want to go back to my first answer. As snarky as it sounds, it’s actually a valid and very important question. Do you still have memories? Are there parts of your life that have never been documented by either photo, diary, or /journal? Is your entire life up in the cloud? What will happen when that technology becomes obsolete like 8mm film, Betamax, VHS, and 8-track tapes? Will your family be able to see and keep those precious photos you took on your phone? What about that movie of little Billy making his first touchdown in a high school football game? And what will you do with all your memories of Aunt Etta’s award-winning chocolate pie and Grandma’s penchant for sneaking candy to all the grandkids when Mom wasn’t looking? Who will remember those things if no one documents them?

We’ve talked about the importance of documenting our stories many times on this podcast, both with photos and in writing. When we document our lives, we are preserving precious pieces of history that will not be remembered when we are gone – but they deserve to be. People have been documenting history since the beginning of, well…history. Early man created pictographs on the walls of his cave to tell the stories of his generation. Egyptians painted hieroglyphs in the pyramids, and much of the early history of the Jewish people has been documented in the sacred texts of the Torah. And lest anyone think that their story is not important, I must ask, “How do you know?” Did Anne Frank imagine that her little diary would someday be read all over the world in many different languages? How would you feel today if you found a personal history written by your grandmother or great-grandmother? 

There are many different ways to document your life and the lives of your family. We’ve discussed many of them on the podcast and here on the blog (I’ve included links to a few of them below). If you are a beginner or have little experience keeping journals or scrapbooks, it might seem daunting, but it really can be as simple as you’d like. To demonstrate some of the different styles (and hopefully inspire you!), I've created a video walk-through of different methods which I’ve posted on my Crafty Neighbor YouTube Channel. I hope you’ll check it out. And if you do decide to start documenting (or if you already do), please tell us about it in the comments below or start up a conversation in our MMC Chat Facebook group.

Modern Musings blogs and podcasts about memory keeping:

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Should I Get Another Dog?


I have a conundrum. I want a dog. I already have a dog. I want another dog. A lap dog. A cuddle bug. Something cute and fluffy and loveable. But I have a dog. She’s big, hairy, very smart, and she doesn’t like other dogs…most of the time. She’s also more attached to my husband, Mark, than to me. As the alpha female in our household, she respects me, but her love goes to her Daddy and no one else. So I want a dog. A little dog. One that can sit in my lap and lay next to me on the couch. One that might give me a lick of affection now and then (but not too much). One that’s soft to pet and brush.

I’ve been thinking about dogs for a long time. Mark and I had been wanting a Great Pyrenees long before our beloved Sophie dropped into our life. As I mentioned on the podcast yesterday, we had thoroughly researched the breed and even stalked the Pyr rescue sites looking for the “right” one. We always said we’d know when we found her because “she would find us.” And that’s exactly what Sophie did. She’s been a great dog, and I’d definitely love to have another Pyr – they’re smart, independent, great guard dogs, friendly, and of course, beautiful. But I grew up with small dogs that could lay in bed with you, and whenever I’m around Christen’s three small dogs, I start to daydream about having one of my own.

At first, I wanted a Shih Tzu like Arya. Christen’s oldest dog is the sweetest little lap dog you could ever want. Her long fur is soft and strokable, like human hair, and she loves to cuddle – it’s what she was bred for. Whenever I mention it, Mark tries to dissuade me. He would prefer a Maltese, but then he reminds me that Sophie is nervous around and sometimes aggressive towards other dogs. I think her behavior is directed mostly to big dogs and any kind of black dog, especially since she whines and cries when she sees another Pyr, but the subtext behind his comments is heard loud and clear – he doesn’t want another dog, and especially not a Shih Tzu.

A few years ago, I started following a lovely crafter on YouTube and Patreon who goes by the handle “Dearly Dee”. She had an adorable little dog named Lily or “Lil” for short. Lil was a Maltese mix, an older dog, and so adorable I just couldn’t stand it. So then I started thinking about Maltese dogs. They are quite cute. A bit larger than the Shih Tzus, but they still have that gorgeous long hair rather than fur. That’s a big plus in my book because Sophie sheds so much (literally buckets of hair daily). A Maltese would also be white, so that might negate the “other dog” issue, especially if we brought her in as a puppy. So I’ve been thinking about a Maltese or some kind of Maltese mix, and I’ve mentioned it several times to Mark, but he doesn’t seem that interested.

I’ve even entertained the idea of another Pyr, and part of me thinks Sophie would accept a dog of her own breed, especially (again) if she came to us as a puppy. Mark agrees that a Great Pyrenees would be a good dog to have and we certainly have a yard big enough for two, but a Pyr is not a lap dog by any stretch of the imagination. And then we have all that fur. I mean, Sophie is basically one giant floof. I think it might drive me insane to have to clean up after two of her. But then it happened. Someone showed me a Pyr being fostered at our local rescue group, and I started thinking about her, even though I’m trying not to. Is it crazy to want another big dog and my little lap dog?

I know that if I think about it long enough, the decision will be made for me. Someone will adopt that pretty little girl from the rescue site, and I will quit thinking about the Pyr that got away. As for the Maltese, as long as no one presents me with an actual dog, the idea will remain a mere possibility and nothing more. I can keep thinking about it, imagining what it would be like, and wishing for the day when I could have one, but I don’t actually have to face the reality of making the choice, of actually searching for and adopting the dog, or even facing the decision not to get one at all. Christen asked us in the podcast what choice would we make if there were no consequences at all. I think it would be simple – I would choose both. I’d rescue the Pyr and I’d find my little lap dog and enjoy them both. It’s a possibility. I’m sure both the dogs and I would be very happy. I’m just not sure I’m ready.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Heard it on the Podcast - April 26, 2023


Did you miss a link we mentioned on the podcast? Here's a quick post we do most Wednesdays to share any links or information from the podcast. We'll also keep a running post on the "Links from the Podcast" tab so you can refer back to any previous episode. Here's the links for this week:

S3E17: Choosing a Family Pet

  • April 30 is National Adopt a Pet Day
  • American Kennel Club (AKC): Information about dog breeds, pet insurance, training, expert advice and more:

    Saturday, April 22, 2023

    10 Great Lessons from William Shakespeare

    How does a non-English major write a blog about William Shakespeare? Uhm…you don’t. At least, not about the literary aspects of his work, or even about the bard himself. That’s all been done before by thousands of others who are more knowledgeable than me. But what I can write about is a selection of life lessons I have gleaned from his writings. I’m not talking about the obvious stuff revolving around trust, communication, and rash decisions (although there is quite a bit of that to be learned!), but rather more subtle messages I’ve found in his more notable quotes. Here are ten of my favorites:

    1. "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt."
      Don’t let fear of failure keep you from success! We’ve talked about this a few times on the podcast when it comes to procrastination. Sometimes we don’t start a project because we’re afraid we’ll fail. Afraid we don’t have the skills, or the resources, or the support…. Don’t let that fear stop you from doing something great. If you try and you fail, you can always keep trying, but if you never try, you can never succeed.

    2. "Nothing can come of nothing."
      The context of this line from King Lear alludes to the fact that you can’t get something from nothing. If you want something, go for it. Work for it. Put in the effort. Don’t just wish for the good to come into your life – you have to make it happen. 

    3. "How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."
      Many of us get discouraged by the state of the world and we feel like we are powerless to make a difference. But the truth is that even a small kindness can
      affect the most powerful change, and even a small act can send ripples across the world. Never let the size of your contribution be the reason you don’t. A dollar may not be much, but one dollar given by 100 people is $100, and one can of food donated by 100 people is 100 cans of food. Do what you can and never doubt that your small part has made a big difference for someone.

    4. "This above all; to thine own self be true."
      Be your own authentic self. Shine your light. Never dim to fit in. And for goodness sake, don’t lie to yourself! 

    5. "Talking isn't doing. It is a kind of good deed to say well; and yet words are not deeds."
      Don’t just talk the talk! Walk the walk! It’s all well and good to talk about the change that needs to happen in this world, but it all means nothing if you aren’t willing to do it yourself. 

    6. "Words without thoughts never to heaven go."
      Don’t just give lip service to people either. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It doesn’t do any good to talk about what’s right or fair if you aren’t willing to practice what you preach.

    7. "If we are true to ourselves, we can not be false to anyone."
      If we can’t be honest with ourselves, then how can we be honest with anyone else? Sometimes we make excuses for our behavior, we make up stories, or we try and pretend things are one way when they are really another. But deep inside we know the truth – and if we are willing to lie to ourselves, then is anything we say or do honest and real?

    8. "Expectation is the root of all heartache."
      Oh, boy, is it ever! All disappointment stems from expectations. This has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever had to learn, and I’m still learning it. Learning to accept what is and let go of how I think it should be has helped me learn contentment. I can appreciate the now. The next time your expectations fall flat, try taking a step back and appreciating what is right in front of you. Find the good in every moment. After a while, those expectations don’t really mean all that much.

    9.  "Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting."
      Self-care is another topic we’ve covered quite a bit on the podcast. It’s important. It’s necessary. It is not selfish. Before we can take care of others, we have to first take care of ourselves. And before we can love others, we must first love ourselves.

    10. "Don't waste your love on somebody who doesn't value it."
      I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to friends bemoan their efforts to keep a man who doesn’t appreciate them. Heck, I’ve done it myself. It took me a long, long time to develop the self-respect I needed to realize that I deserve better. You do, too. Don’t sell yourself short. He (or she) is not the only fish in the sea. You can and will find someone who deserves you, but only if you can find your own self-worth. 

    I hope you’ve enjoyed my little take on a few Shakespearean quotes. Can you think of any others? Please share them in the comments below, or start a conversation on our MMC Chat group.

    5 Ways to Manifest Your Best Life

    Hi there, and welcome back! Since we have been heavily focusing on goals and planning, I thought we should discuss manifesting. I love this ...