Climb Every Mountain with Courage (and Cookies)

 dreams thoreau_opt

Three years ago today I crossed the bridge from blog reader to blogger.


covered bridge between Vermont and New Hampshire

Cornish-Windsor covered bridge, Vermont (and New Hampshire)


I was scared, but I had a plan when I published my first post, There’s No Place Like the Prairie.

I wanted to create my author-ly space here on the internet (aka author platform),

A place to hang my quirky creative brand hat

not that I could define it at the time

baby Coleen Patrick bonnet_opt

Mini me wearing one of my first quirky hats 


Oh and I didn’t have expectations

or, if I did, I didn’t know what publishing my thoughts, my books, my photos (hey an audience that doesn’t require a family room and a slide projector!) would actually feel like.

Some of my 1,095 Hey I’m a writer! days were pretty awesome

flower garden Trapp lodge_opt

Flower garden at Trapp Family Lodge (the family that inspired The Sound of Music!!)

Stowe, Vermont 

droopy flower rain_opt

Others, kinda droopy. Seriously.


I like how Kate over at 4amwriter summed up the droop-tastic feeling:

“The bottom line, I discovered recently, was that I never told myself what I would do when I got rejections. I knew I’d get them. What I didn’t know is that they’d lay me out flat. And because I didn’t set myself a specific battle plan, it was easy to turn tail and run.” ~4amwriter


Enter courage (well, after some tears, some dessert, and a perusal of the classifieds).

Trapp Lodge Vermont_opt

The Trapp Family lodge in Stowe, Vermont makes an impressive first impression.


Okay, so courage doesn’t always make a dramatic entrance. Some days courage is one word, one tiny doodle, one smile.

And some days it’s just not quitting.

The creative life needs courage.

Our heads are not just in the clouds, we’re weaving fluffy, silver lined couture garments.


Yeah. Vulnerability is NOT EASY.

In fact, the image from my blog that has been pinned the most is this one:

pinterest courage quote


Oh and my mom’s cream cheese cookie recipe is not trailing far behind.

Some of you may have guessed barns.

red barn Stowe Vermont_opt

Barn nestled on mountain overlooking the village of Stowe.

By the way, thanks to Clay Watkins for tweeting me about his own barn finds!


But I’ll take courage and cookies (and supportive friends like YOU).

They’re great companions for climbing mountains.


Stowe Vermont mountains_opt

Even if you can’t quite make out the mountain. Yet.


Climb every mountain, 
Ford every stream, 
Follow every rainbow, 
‘Till you find your dream.

~Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Sound of Music


How are you mustering courage, or climbing mountains? Or just tell me your thoughts on cookies. I’d love to know.

Happy Weekend!

 Coleen xo


31 thoughts on “Climb Every Mountain with Courage (and Cookies)

  1. Going to be doing a little climbing mountains of my own this coming week – the courage is hoping I have the energy! Luckily, I can drive much of the way. Thanks for the reminder to take cookies – and for sharing your lovely photos! 🙂


  2. I read your post in my e-mail, and then forgot to hop over to blogger. As far as mountains and courage, I’ve been climbing and moving them much of my life.

    I really loved your photo journey of Vermont and the Trapp Family Lodge. Looks like it did when I stayed there 14 years ago. I even see the room we stayed in. It’s so beautiful there, despite the commercialization. I know actress Mary Martin stayed there with Maria for a month or so. But the big question is: did you stop at the Ben & Jerry factory. What a fabulous tour and with free ice cream.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. And your photos are sensation.


    1. Yes! We went to Ben & Jerry’s and did the tour and had ice cream. There must’ve been something special in the ice cream because we also bought souvenirs in the gift shop–t-shirts, mugs, etc. Don’t know what came over us!! 🙂


  3. You are so right. I am just about finished and will be querying in the fall. I’m praying, I’ll get struck by lightning, but I’m not counting on it. I won’t prepare for the worst, but will hope for the best!


  4. Coleen I love that quote about vulnerability, I can resonate with that as I start researching whether it is possible to sell my art. I will keep climbing my mountain as must we all. The single reason I am here is to share my art….. of that I am surer than ever. Lovely post.


  5. I love your picture/text blogs, Coleen! I’ve never even thought about going to the Trapp Family Lodge, but you make me want to. Love the quote, too. But most importantly, mountains are being conquered and cookies consumed!


  6. Every day not quitting is a day of courage. I’ve changed in a million ways since I started blogging, and the fact that I’m now even contemplating pitching to a publisher is proof of that. Cheers to the mountain climbing club, Coleen!


  7. Climb Every Mountain is ba-c-c-k as my ear worm. Shoot! It took weeks and weeks for the Carrie Underwood version to fade. I’ll have the new one into the winter. On the plus side, I like your photos and your attitude. I’m glad you shared your mom’s cookie recipe all those months ago and am gladder you took up blogging. Thanks for the regular shots of inspiration.


  8. Coleen – First, I am glad you decided to blog, three years is a long time and it’s fun to go back in time and re-read a first or second post to see where you were. Sometimes I find I am far down the road and other times I seem to bee standing exactly where I was a year or so ago. Second, thank you for the barn shout out. I had so much fun looking at barns and snapping photos. It was a short trip with little time to dawdle. I could have spent hours, hours I didn’t have, driving around farms and taking photos. Third, you have the courage and the resilience to have your book snapped up. Hang in there, positive thoughts and keep making your days count. You truly do. Have a great week.

    P.S. I read this Friday morning when it posted and got caught up in the vortex of my life and didn’t comment until now.


    1. It’s weird bc I thought my first post would be SO different from now, but it’s really not. Sometimes I wonder if I’m conveying myself here, bc I don’t share EVERYTHING. But re-reading that old post shows me that this is me–even if it’s just a part.
      And you know I always love the inspiration you put into your posts! Thanks, Clay.


  9. Thank you for this encouraging post. I think all of us experience the same feelings, sometimes we forget that the most courageous step was taken when we decided and acted on making this “blogging thing” a reality. I have started blogging a few months ago and I cherish every moment I can finally do what I enjoy- sharing my passion for decorating with others. I guess courage is not stopping and not giving up.

    Dagmara @


  10. Congratulations Coleen! Though a climb, your journey has been inspiring, sprinkled with not just cookie crumbs, but with love and an upbeat note! I need me some cookies. I have been in a slump. And I wonder if I may not be very good at mountain climbing. I am hanging on a rope still trying to find my footing. But it’s because of posts like yours that keeps me smiling. Thanks Coleen for sharing your journey! ((Hugs!))


    1. Maybe we don’t have to be good at mountain climbing. There are A LOT of days that all I feel like I do is take one step. And then there are those backward days…ugh. Hang in there, Karen! Thanks for coming by to support me–I always feel motivated and inspired by your comments, Tweets, and blog posts. 🙂


  11. Congrats on your three year Blogiversary! I’m coming up on my second year soon. It does go by quickly!

    As always, an inspiring post with great pics.

    I’ll also take some of those cream cheese cookies!


  12. Hey! I know this is sort of off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does operating a well-established website like yours take a large amount of work?
    I am brand new to running a blog but I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Appreciate it!


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