Category Archives: Inspiration

Last Time / First Time

Recently I came across a question that got me thinking.  On the surface it seemed like a rather easy one… but it turned out it was a little frustrating as I tried to figure out my answer.

The question is this:  When is the last time you did something for the first time?

It was hard for me to answer because I’m a status quo, routine loving guy.  Sticking to schedules and rigid plans leaves little room for new experiences.

That question got me to realize that I need to loosen up a little bit. Live a little and try new things!

Disc golf and family YouTube nights were the two most recent firsts that I could think of.  Competing in an Iowa State Fair contest and rappelling down the side of a building are two upcoming “firsts” that I’ll be experiencing soon.

One thing I also realized is that every new first time event doesn’t need to be a big deal.  It could be the first time trying a new food, listening to a new band, or even taking a new way to work.

How about you?  When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?

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Cinder Block Herb Garden

Inspiration and great ideas are everywhere if you keep your eyes open!  Recently, I got a great idea for an herb garden.

This past Sunday rain was in the forecast so our family outing to the zoo was in jeopardy.  Rather than risk getting soaked walking around looking at animals we decided to make other plans.

We decided to do something new.  We went to the Des Moines Botanical Center.  It’s an often overlooked gem in the Des Moines area.

botanical path

At only 5 dollars for adults and 3 dollars for kids its a fairly inexpensive way to spend an hour or two.

The main botanical area is filled with just about any type of plant imaginable. Desert cacti, tropical plants, even water plants.  We enjoyed taking it all in and plan to come back in the dead of Winter.

Botanical Waterfall

When we were there the temperature and humidity were 81.  That would feel pretty good in January in Iowa.

Off of the main area is a part filled by displays from local Master Gardeners.  That’s where I got the inspiration and idea for an herb garden.

One of the gardeners used plain old concrete cinder blocks to make an herb garden.  They were arranged to make about a 4 foot by 4 foot square.  The holes of the blocks were filled with dirt and herbs.

Cinder Block Herb Garden 3

What a great idea!  You could make a smaller square, a rectangle, even a row.  The possibilities are endless.

I might give this a try next year.  During our recent “clearing of clutter” I ran across several blocks hiding in the back of our shed.

Herbs are something I’ve tried to grow before.  The thought of fresh chives for potatoes or cilantro in homemade salsa sounds great.  The fact the block have natural dividers should help keep things in line.

The last time I tried to grow cilantro it spread like crazy out into our yard.  Then every time I mowed our back yard smelled like a Mexican restaurant… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So, keep your eyes open!  You never know when you’ll see a great idea and inspiration will strike.

Have you grown an herb garden before?  What’s one tip you could offer others?

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Another Random Act Of Kindness

I’ve been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness before. This evening it happened again.

I had just got done working all afternoon at the Iowa State Fair.  I was tired, hot, and thirsty.  Rather than pay several dollars for a drink at the fair I decided to wait and grab a cheap (and considerably larger) fountain drink at a gas station on the edge of town.

On my way into the store I stopped to hold the door for a delivery driver with a hand truck full of boxes.  He went about his work and I filled up my drink and headed to the check out.

The guy at the counter said, “I’m not going to charge you for that today.”  I was caught off guard.  “How come?” I asked.

“I saw you hold the door for that guy.  That was a nice thing to do and every once in awhile I like to reward someone for being nice,” was his answer.

“Wow.  Thank you so much.  Have a nice night,” was all I could reply.

I wish I would have caught his name but I was too surprised to look.

What a nice gesture!  I’d like to thank that gentleman again.  I’d like to thank Kum & Go for hiring employees that would do such a thing.

It’s little stories like this that strengthen my faith in humanity.  It’s also reminded me that a little thing can brighten someone’s day.

Got any good “Random Act of Kindness” stories?  Leave a comment. I’d love to hear them.

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