22 April 2018

How to be the best you

A herd of wild turkeys—three toms and eight hens—shows up every morning at first light here at the Idaho cabin, gobbling to wake the dead. (And you thought roosters were the only big birds that welcome in a new day with noisy energy.)


Photo: Marlys


Continue Reading

15 April 2018

What’s the big deal about repurposing?

Several of you may know that my dream house would be sturdy, old barn repurposed into an open-beamed, warm, welcoming home. With mountain views.


Photo: Houzz.com


Continue Reading

8 April 2018

10 practices of lucky people

According to Mark Banschick, MD, my 15-year-old grandson and I had a lucky week.


Photo by Irene Dávila on Unsplash


Continue Reading

2 April 2018

Why people trump projects

Being the organized, neurotic list-making, project-oriented girl I am, I need this refresher course from time to time: People always trump projects.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


Continue Reading

25 March 2018

Meet Marni, world changer

When Tyler Henderson was diagnosed with brain cancer, Marni brought their two sons home for online schooling so they could spend as much time together as a family while they still had the hours, the weeks, the months.

Turns out, they only had fifteen more months together. Which wasn’t nearly enough time.


Tyler and Marni


Continue Reading

18 March 2018

11 habits of successful people

Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player ever to fly the planet, had this to say about success:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.


Photo: sneakerbardetroit.com


Continue Reading

12 March 2018

Things that take my breath away

There’s a difference between appreciating something and having something take your breath away.

I appreciate that I have a dependable vehicle. But I find myself holding my breath over certain strains of music. Or wildlife in my backyard on a snowy day.


Wildlife and wild color in my backyard (photo: Marlys)


Continue Reading

5 March 2018

Cancer as a gift? No, thank you.

I walked beside my husband, Gary, with late stage prostate cancer for ten courage-filled years. The experience taught us to pay attention to life and its simple pleasures and the astonishing people who surrounded us in love.

There are numerous folks dealing with cancer who have suggested it is a gift … and countless others who would never refer to it that way. “Would you re-gift it?” someone once asked sarcastically.


Photo by Natalie Collins on Unsplash


But consider this thought from one of my cancer-fighting friends …

Continue Reading

25 February 2018

Meet Katie, world changer

When Katie Strumpf was diagnosed with leukemia, there were no online resources or publications to offer guidance to a 10-year-old kid dealing with cancer. She endured chemo, spinal taps, and bone marrow aspirations.

While still going through treatment, Katie told her mom that someday she would write a book for children with cancer, offering encouragement and practical advice from someone who’s put up with doctors and medications and hair loss.


Katie Strumpf-Rackley


Continue Reading

21 February 2018

3 insights from a four-legged friend

Charlie the yellow lab has been human-sitting me this past week. In the process, she’s reminded me of a few important lessons that we humans tend to forget.


All photos: Marlys


Continue Reading

About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson. I’m a cancer widow, author, speaker and blogger. I love getting outdoors; would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for repurposing old junk into cool new stuff. And an even greater passion for showing people how to navigate life’s challenges. Tenaciously. And with heart wide open.

Read More