Saturday, December 21, 2013

Today I Noticed . . .

Been shopping locally - here in Beloit - that's a good thing right? 

Yes it is but two nights in a row - two different stores - my heart was broken.   

Last night a nasty old man was "allowed" to have a little boy with him - I assume it was grandpa and grandson - - - yelling at the top of his lungs at the little boy - about 3 I would guess - - - telling him in many words just how bad he was acting - ordering him here or there - and saying - No wonder your parents never take you shopping!  Oh let's see -I watched - the little boy walked around looking up at the clothes - wasn't running - wasn't crying - wasn't begging for toys or for anything!!  Just being yelled at cuz an old man evidently wanted to be noticed?? make a scene?  I know that I stopped my shopping and just watched.  And listened.  Sad.  

Tonight more of the same at another store - only we were blessed with both mom and dad.  Little girl was crying - guess she wanted something as they checked out.  Probably didn't need whatever it was.  Then came the loud ugly yell "Shut up that crying - shut it up - shut up"  The little girl - oh yes about 3 began to scream - for her mother - as the dad and I use that word lightly - drug the little one - - - Mom was helpful.  "Shut it up!"  I stopped and stared as they all three left the store and climbed in the car.  I looked around the store was anyone as upset as I was?  Didn't seem so.  I moved out from behind the music cd's and peered out the doors of the store - hoping not to see anything more that might have caused this fed up grandma to bolt after them.  

Yes you might ask - "but did you ever take your children shopping and just want to ring their necks???"  Yes I most certainly did - I did and said some stupid things as a mom.  I don't care.  I am infuriated and actually scared when I see adults yelling at defenseless children.  It has taken me all evening to write this post - I am trying to think of something profound to say - but there is nothing I can say.  No comments express how sad it was.   No way to say why someday I may be in the news for chasing down a stranger and kicking him in the shin!

Blessings found?  Another day to be thankful for my parents and grandparents and many aunts and uncles who treated me with kindness and love.  

"Everything our children hear, see, and feel is recorded onto a cassette. Guess who is the big star in their movie? You are."  -- Stephanie Martson - Parents as Role Models.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Today I Noticed . . .

It's Friday and you know I have had a week of noticing some very strange things . . .

This week it has been all about how I see things differently and experience things differently than I did as a younger woman . . . for example:

     Today I noticed that I am cold.  I am cold through to my bones.  I am known for running in and out of work all winter long with no coat.   The most I would do is grab a light jacket or my leather jacket - unlined - and COLD.    Granted, our temps have dropped to single digits this week and the wind has blown.  Moisture has been in the air and ice has been on walking surfaces . . . and strangely enough . . . I have been cold.  I turned up the furnace and put on flannel pants and long sleeve jammie shirt . . . and thought to myself . . . girl you are getting older . . .

    Today I noticed that I am becoming oh just rather a grump . . . I try not to share much about work on my blog - but I may have mentioned before that we have gone through a two year period of computer conversions.  If you are one of my best friends, or one of my sisters, my mother, my children, my hubs, my post man, dentist, or hairdresser . . . I may have mentioned that I am frustrated with work.  I am not a perfectionist, I make plenty of mistakes and I own them.   I work with others at my job and follow the rules my mother taught me - say please, say thank you, keep your word, and be nice.  But mooooommmm,  you don't understand . . . these "people" are rude and lazy and they tell lies and they avoid work at all costs - and other than making my job harder than it need be . . . they really aren't my problem . . . EXCEPT that I have noticed I am becoming a tad bit negative and cynical . . . and I don't like it!!    I find myself impatient with other people in the public who I deem are being rude, lazy and dishonest.  The good thing about noticing this behavior in myself is that I can change it!  Nothing warms my heart more than the UPS man who delivers my Avon at 8:30 at night when the temperature is nearing 0 degrees - - - HE gets my respect and praise - - - as does the cashier at the grocery store who helps me with my groceries - - - and the pharmacist who researches the best medicine for the money for me - - - and the waitress who does a wonderful job at my favorite restaurant.   All people doing their jobs.  THEIR moms would be proud.  

I hope you have a great weekend!  

It's all a matter of paying attention, being awake in the present moment, and not expecting a huge payoff. The magic in this world seems to work in whispers and small kindnesses.”

― Charles de Lint

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Grown-Up Christmas List

Caught this song on the radio recently and it quickly became a possible post idea . . .

When I was a child I would take the Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog and the JCPenney Christmas Catalog and pour over them day and night.     My sisters would take their turn and fold back the pages to mark our favorite things.  We had a "Christmas List"  Somehow I never remember a Christmas that I didn't get just what I always wanted!

The words to this song . . .

   No more lives torn a part
   And wars would never start
   Time would heal all hearts
   Everyone would have a friend
   And right would always win
   And love would never end 
  This is my grown up Christmas list

They made me melancholy and reflective as I listened.  I actually even said this year just recently, "There is NOTHING, that I need for Christmas!"  I guess I have reached that age where I have what I need and I'm not focused on things!   A grown up Christmas list . . . what a thought . . . and if we could write a letter to Santa and ask for those things on our "list"  - mine might look like this . . . 

        Dear Santa,

          These are the things I'd like on my grown up Christmas list . . .

               Peace on Earth . . . well I'll settle for Peace in my family's heart.

               Healthy babies in the family when the time is right.

               All technology in my life to work.  Always.  

               Parents to stay healthy and happy.  

               Children to grow in love in their marriages and closer to God.

               No child or woman to be hit.  Ever.

               A simple cure for cancer and Alzheimer's.  Or a not so simple one would do also.

               Weight to drop off as I talk about losing it.

               The worst thing to happen to a child at school - a broken finger - like me.

               No car accidents.

               And lastly, I'd like time to read the books that I bring home from the library.  

               Oh and, I'd like library late fees to be reduced.  

I joke about some - I take to heart some - I'm thankful and blessed that I do have what I need and that what is most important to me is not things.  

Enjoy the song!





Friday, November 29, 2013

Today I Noticed . . .

This was not a peaceful week and I NOTICE that when my mind is wrapped up and focused on work issues - I forget to pay attention.  It's easy to miss those moments.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and so I paused to reflect.   Have the weekend planned with family and so I am thankful for that and for many blessings.

Once again at work today and I notice that the day after a holiday can be very peaceful and quiet here.  Although we have a short crew - we have had a quiet day and my mind is at rest and I can remember things. 

So - Today I Noticed . . .

Finding an old text on my hubs's phone from our son - simply saying "How is mom doing after surgery?" was so sweet - He had asked me - but so much cooler that he had asked his dad also.  Weird mom thing?  Maybe so.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie - from scratch - still beats a store bought one.  Especially if the home it's made in is my mom's. :)

A house without a dog is extremely quiet and a bit lonely. 

 (catching a urine specimen from said dog requires agility and skill and patience)

Nothing stops an argument faster than when one person is too tired to argue :)  I think this is actually a famous quote by someone - but I discovered it to be so true this week.

How has your week been?   Did a moment come when you just paused and thought - aha! 
Please share and I promise to be more in tune next week!  I'm done with frustration, stress and arguments.  You heard it here first - - -

“Our culture encourages us to plan every moment and fill our schedules with one activity and obligation after the next, with no time to just be. But the human body and mind require downtime to rejuvenate. I have found my greatest moments of joy and peace just sitting in silence, and then I take that joy and peace with me out into the world.”

― Holly Mosier

Friday, November 22, 2013

Today I Noticed . . .

It's Friday and time again for "Today I Noticed . . . "     My new weekly fun post!

The idea behind this is to make me more aware and to pay attention to what is going on in my world. It is a little challenging to find something in each day that makes you just pause and "take note".

And when I say "today" well I really mean this week - - - but - - - you get the idea.

Today I Noticed  . . .

That in this day and age of nearly all communication done at the tip of your fingertips - emailing, twitter, blogging, texting, buying online, or on the go cell phones . . . it is really NICE to be invited into someone's home and asked to sit at the kitchen table and chat.  My Avon business has brought back some old memories of when I had an Avon lady back in the 1980's and when my mom used to buy from the Beauty Counselor rep who was a close friend of the family.  Sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee, chatting about the latest!  Sometimes it is just nice to visit face to face.

That at the age of 54 years I can no longer work a fulltime job - 8 hour day - and go to an event in the evenings.  I cannot do it.  I have no desire.  I have nothing to give to anyone after working all day.  Through the years, I have spent many evenings at ballgames, school programs, meetings, Pampered Chef parties, Bible Studies, etc. and loved it!!   I have started new Bible studies numerous times only to drop out or let it go by the way side after a few years.  Doing the day time night time running around is really expected of women. You work either inside the home or outside the home all day and then the night time job begins!  I'm here to say - at age 54 I now declare that I am done with that phase of life.  I will go to my job and work hard at it and give it my all.  I'm even open to working some from home when it is required on weekends or nights.  And sadly this week, I decided to drop out of a weekly Bible Study that I have been in for several months.  We are at a fairly new church for us and it has been a good way to get to know a small group more intimately.  Not for me.  I find myself unable to keep up with the homework that is required and when Wednesday night comes around - I am too tired.  I feel much better after explaining and apologizing to the leader.  And I realized this week that it's okay.   So . . . you will find me happily at home each evening either cooking, exercising, playing on the computer, reading, crafting, watching TV, and occasionally selling Avon, or any other chore I choose to do!  Or hey - - - just plain resting.  

That it's exciting around the office when a winter storm is brewing.  We all huddle together and brew up some more coffee and watch the sky and get texts from our husbands on the latest weather update.  Don't ask me why - I didn't say I would explain all of my randomness!

That is for this week!  Please leave a comment and tell me what you have noticed!

To realize The value of a sister:
Ask someone Who doesn't have one.

To realize The value of ten years:
Ask a newly Divorced couple.

To realize The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize The value of one year:
Ask a student who Has failed a final exam.

To realize The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a still born.

To realize The value of one month:
Ask a mother who has Given birth to a premature baby.

To realize The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize The value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to Meet.

To realize The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize The value of one-second:Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

To realize The value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has
Won a silver medal in the Olympics.

To realize the value of a friend
Lose one.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'd like to teach the world to sing . . .

The Voice, County Music Awards, Blake Shelton Concerts, Manheim Steamroller at Christmas, Praise songs in worship have all made me realize that I enjoy music!   Walking on the treadmill is much easier when I have my ipod cranked up and I'm stepping with ease to the tunes!  I think I have a really beautiful voice - or at least that's what I tell myself when I am rolling down the highway with the radio cranked on high - singing along!

I would be sad in a world without music.  The new phenomenon called The Voice has taught me many things about other genres of music!  I was with my granddaughter a few weekends ago and she quickly set me up with radio station 97.5 out of Junction City - and all of the songs the entertainers on The Voice have been singing - I was hearing on this rock music station.  You know some of those songs are very very pretty!

So - here is one I will share with you today:

Matthew Schuler, who blew away the judges on The Voice last week with his impassioned version of "Hallelujah," did not disappoint again on Monday night's show, taking on the Labrinth (featuring Emeli Sandé) love ballad, "See Beneath Your Beautiful," as a song of hope for future romance, noting he was single but keeping his eyes open for a wife.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

Time of the year to grab a shoe box and fill it up!

Samaritan's Purse is my favorite mission field.  I became more aware of it when my good friend's son and family worked for the organization in a hurricane devastated area in Louisiana.

I became hands-on with the organization when our former church began to collect shoe boxes in Sunday School and would head to Dollar General with the kids and have a shopping spree.  The idea being that the boxes would be packed with practical items like toothbrushes and toothpaste, underwear and socks, clothes, and fun items like dolls, cars, balls, games, colors and coloring books.  These boxes are then collected locally and shipped to the headquarters where hundreds of volunteers work each year going through the boxes, adding lesson material to teach the gospel message to the children in their language, and sending the boxes to many different countries throughout the world.  

Since then I have used OCC as a fun project with my family and of late, my granddaughter Elaine who is now nearly 11.  Every year in November I let her choose a boy or girl to buy for and an age range.  This year she chose a 2-4 year old girl and a must-have for each box is either a sweet little doll or a soft cuddly stuffed animal.  

Today I introduced the idea to my preschool/kindergarten Sunday School class.  It always amazes me how although they are children themselves and what child doesn't want something new, they never ask for a gift to keep.  There is something about showing them the video of where some of these kids live and telling them that these children get NO gifts that brings out the sweetest little need to give.  I always ask them, "How many Christmas gifts do you think you will get this year?"  And I usually hear the normal 5 or 6 or 20!  Then I explain that these boxes we are packing are the FIRST and ONLY gift that many of these children will get.

This year - even though we will miss this year's pick up deadline - I am taking two OCC Shoeboxes to my daughter's house for Thanksgiving and as a family I want us to shop for an older boy and an older girl.  

If you are interested in this great tradition - check it out on and click on Operation Christmas Child.

This year - Operation Christmas Child has a new fan!  Duck Dynasty's Robertson Family are sponsoring OCC and even Uncle Si has a great message to share on the importance of this ministry!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Today I Noticed . . .

Welcome back to my blog family and friends . . .

A few weeks ago I was driving down the street from work and I noticed something and it caught my attention and it was just a special moment where I thought to myself - ahhh I never NOTICED that before . . . for the life of me . . . I cannot remember what it was that hit me and I said to myself - that would be a great blog idea - - - listing things that I notice!!

So here goes - and even though I can't remember the unique thing that inspired my new post idea - I have decided to call it "Today I Noticed"

And so every Friday I will be back to share with you!

Today I noticed . . .

Wearing a ring on my right hand . . . which I never do - - - feels totally awkward!  Why is that?  First of all my right hand ring finger is larger than my left side - so most rings won't fit - but this week I found a ring that became too loose on my left hand and fits rather nicely on the other.  All day it knocked against my fingers - and felt uncomfortable.  Since I am one who likes to feel "comfortable" as you remember from this post - - - I guess I just won't be a decorated two handed ring person.  Bummer.

That going into work at 6:30 a.m. is very nice and conducive to getting organized for the day before the busy-ness of it takes over.

What I learned in early grade school about the 26 letters called the alphabet and alphabetical order and the numbers 1-10 that I became aware of in first grade or before - would stay with me for life and be EVER so important for so many reasons.    Not everyone was present in class the day I learned such things, evidently.  I'll say no more.

Meeting new people and learning about a new business is very good for a 54 year old mind - - - I am having a great time with my new business of selling Avon and met some wonderful women this week at my first district meeting.

This is what I noticed this week folks . . . crazy and random I know . . .

I'd love to hear from you - - - What did YOU notice this week?

Take notice of whats in front of you cause did I mention you're about to miss a good thing...


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Business Bug has Bit ...

A good friend/sister recently said about me, "you always seem to enjoy having a little job on the side".  And she is of course right.

I guess it started as a child - I loved to sell "seeds" every spring to earn a special prize for myself.  One time I earned a watch.  I don't remember what magazine this came out of but I did it several years.  You could either take money for yourself - or order a prize.   This is what I remember:

Then I picked up the door to door selling or "home party" fun again in the late 1970's  when I began to sell Tupperware.  I got started on it by a lady I babysat for.  I also worked parttime at my present job but I loved Tupperware and loved setting up and hosting a party.

That was short lived and then I began working fulltime - raising a family - and we jump forward to 2009.  I told my bff that I thought I'd sell Avon.  She, being a long time Pampered Chef consultant said "oh no you don't - you should sell Pampered Chef!"  So I did!  I learned a lot from this little hob job - I learned more about cooking - about nutritious meals - about economical meals - the difference between nonstick skillets and stainless steel - and I even pretty much mastered cooking with a stainless steel skillet which I still love!  Did I make any money?  Probably not - you see the fun part was how interested my family seemed to be.  Although the hubs called it Pampered Crap - I could tell he secretly enjoyed my interest in this.  Our two children seemed very interested also - in both the products and the fact I helped them stock their kitchens  - and also pride in their mother that she had "her own business".

Soon - - by 2011 my job had become very busy and demanding.  I was learning all kinds of new things at work and lost my drive to keep up the business of PC after hours.

If you want to check out The Pampered Chef - see Rebecca at her website.                                                
Maybe you might say - I'm a little flakey??   Don't stick with things??  You would be right.  But its okay.  I figure I have learned some things from each endeavor.

So - - - here we are two years later in 2013 and guess what??  Avon came back into my life.  I hired a lady to work in our department at work and she was an Avon lady - she quickly got us all hooked on the make up and perfumes and we had our own little beauty consultant!  What fun that was!  One night I just decided I would click and pay 10 dollars and sign up myself.   So for the next couple of months I began the process of switching the products I normally use - over to Avon products.  Just to see if it could be done.  I really enjoyed the products and I liked the idea of taking care of my skin, hair, and nails, at my age.

But again - I decided - well I have no customers and this is kinda silly - I can just order from my friend at work - - - so I stopped placing orders.  Avon is very patient - but they will drop you after several "campaigns" of not ordering.   I'm not sure why but I really missed getting the products and then a new perfume came out for the holidays - beautiful bottle - and yummy rich scent! Passion!  I decided that this time I should re-register and be "under" my coworker - she would be my boss!  And the business I come up with will also help her!  Win-Win!!

By this time you might be shaking your head and smiling.

I'm officially back in business and with a plan.  Avon is online so I can build clients that way and also I will introduce myself to all my new neighbors on Highland Street and see if I can get them as excited as I am about Avon products - after all - all women have to have make up right? and body lotion?  So why not Avon!   I will not be selling to my coworkers - they belong to my Avon director who got there first!

I plan to have fun with it and be creative in ways to sell.  Avon is affordable and I feel like the quality is really in line with other name brand cosmetics.  I asked my husband what he would call my new business??  He hasn't answered me yet :)  But he did agree to drive me to The Avon Store in Salina yesterday so I could just soak up the whole shop!  Selling Avon is just the complete opposite to my full-time job that I go to every day and I think that is what I like about my little "side-shows".

What experiences have you had in owning your own little business?  Have you ever thought that your hobby could become your business?  I know many creative craft ladies and quilters out there who love to spend time with this - could it become a profit for you?

Maybe not - but I'll let you know how this works for me - and so put the coffee on - I might show up at your door - - - ding dong . . . Avon calling . . .

Check out my personal online store!  Lots of Christmas ideas!  

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's not just about a taco . . .

I had my youngest granddaughter here for the weekend as you know and one of the things she wanted to do was learn to make tacos.  Tacos are one of her favorite foods.  In Texas, with her dad and step-mom Gloria - she has experienced true tacos!  A favorite of all is Gloria's "breakfast tacos".    Perfectly fried diced potatoes with scrambled eggs and put in a tortilla.  Yummo!!

So I wasn't surprised that Elaine wanted to learn to make tacos.  We made Kansas tacos.  You know the hamburger, seasoning, cheese, onions, salsa, lettuce in hard shells or soft tortillas.  Not like the authentic Mexican food we have experienced in South Texas.  And actually I thought well how much of a cooking lesson will this be - just browning hamburger . . .

Then I went into teacher mode:

     Wash your hands.

     Choose a skillet - non stick or stainless - I have both and the right size skillet
     for the job was the stainless.  So - I explained the differences and we used a little
     oil in the pan to brown the beef.    Then came opening the hamburger package and
     how to handle raw meat.  Explaining about bacteria in uncooked meat and after
     getting it in the pan - how to clean up anything the meat touched.

     For a 10 year old with a hot stove and a little hot oil I felt the need to explain how
     to hold onto and stabilize the skillet with one hand while browning the meat and turning
     it with the other hand.

     So hamburger is browning.  That's it.

     No - I explained, part of cooking is then preparing the rest of the ingredients while
     parts are cooking.  So we got out the lettuce (already shredded in the bag), onion, cheese,
     homemade (Aunt Tami's) salsa, sour cream, and the shells.

     Elaine asked if we could heat the shells in the oven so we prepared that and continued
     to work with the browning meat.   A few times hamburger was flying across the stove top
     because for a petite 10 year old - a heavy stainless skillet is quite a bit to manhandle!!

     During this process it struck me - blog idea - - - making tacos  - - - cooking a meal - - -
     is about much more than just the finished product!  Things started coming to my mind
     that my mom taught me all through my life - and the things I learned in Home-Ec - and
     all the hints and ideas and tips I have picked up from the Food Channel!!

     From picking the right skillet - to knowing what temperature to have the burner - to turning
     it down at the right time - to setting oven temperature - to draining grease - to seasoning
     meat - to prep work - to use of pot holders - to getting plates and forks - - - and on top of all
     getting everything done at the same time and ready to serve!
Soon we called Grandpa to come eat and we ate and went on a bike ride - who needs to do dishes??

That's a lesson for another day :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Readathon Fun Part 4

Well Readathon Friends - It's 5 a.m. and I just woke up - after a great day with Elaine and maaannny activities including 2 miles on the bike and 3 miles through a corn maze - I couldn't stay awake even past midnight.  Elaine said, "Grandma I'm gonna stay up all night with you - but I'll let you read".  I said girl I don't think I can do it and she said, "Let's go to bed."  

Now after a little snooze - I will read some til the end - and although it wasn't a typical Readathon for me - it was time well spent.  I realize how many people know so much more about books than me.  I admire those of you who have your blogs just to review books.    If anyone would ever doubt that reading makes you smarter - I can attest that I see it does!  I have been challenged dear reading friends to make it a higher priority in my life from this day forward!!  

Spring Readathon cannot come soon enough!!!

Thanks to all of you who made it happen today!!

I like best to have one book in my hand, and a stack of others on the floor beside me, so as to know the supply of poppy and mandragora will not run out before the small hours.”  - Dorothy Parker

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Readathon Fun Part 3

The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs.

Liz Curtis Higgs has written several children's books - parables of sorts - and I own every one!  I used the book with both of my kids as an alternative Christian message for Halloween and during the fall season.   Today's next to last reading assignment for Elaine is to read me this book - and that is what she is doing at the moment!

We just had a short road trip - I knew I couldn't expect a 10 year old active girl to read for 12-24 hours :) so we headed to our local Depot Market, at Courtland, KS.  My memories of this were skewed a bit by an Apple Orchard that we made a yearly favorite stop when Elaine lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  So I was a little disappointed that there were no rides for the kids - no trains or hay rack rides and no face painting.  There was a hay maze though and she enjoyed racing through it time and time again while Great-Grandma and I timed her and one of her new found friends.    The pumpkins were worth the trip as they were gorgeous!!  And no more is it just orange pumpkins - but white and green and "pink dolls".

Elaine and Great-Grandma - after the hay race!

Continuing on with some more reading - and my "secret plan" is to really have some alone time later tonight to spend reading :)   Catch you all after bit!!

Readathon Fun Part 2

Following a morning of reading and some activities with dogs - including playing in the yard with our two for a bit - we made a quick trip to the local library - I love it that Elaine enjoys doing that!  It's unusual in a way with all the tempting technology - that a child still finds a building full of books interesting!

Elaine's choices:  

My choices:  

And who hasn't read Anne of Green Gables, right???   Me!  I am starting with the Prequel to Anne of Green Gables - written after the original series - a long ways after.  Has anyone read this?  How does it really fit in with the original stories?   I also stepped across my comfort zone and picked up a fun mystery!  My sister Tami at Just One More Thing loves a good mystery of any kind - - - I gotta expand my brain!!

It's nearly lunch time - sloppy joes on the menu and then along with "The Pumpkin Patch Parable" book we are heading to the Pumpkin Patch/Apple Market a few miles north of here.  We will check back in later!  Happy Reading!

Readathon Fun Part 1

Elaine and I are checking in with all of you dedicated readers!  We have had a good two hours of reading fun - Elaine has finished 3 books:  The Mitten, Benji Fastest Dog in the West and Dogs.  She had an idea for one of the mini challenges - posting a video or name of song that matches what you are reading!

We are off to the local library in a few minutes - taking a break to pick out some more books.

Dodger enjoys Dog Books too!

Read Read Read Read Read Read Read Read Read Books!

Oh wow . . . that post title is strange and unless you are a Blake Shelton fan - - -

Anyway the 24 hour Dewey's Readathon is here!!!  It's been exciting to see how many readers have signed up and are reading along with me today!  I am probably not the only readathoner to add a twist to the day as I would imagine any moms out there who plan for a day of uninterrupted reading will most likely have some (welcome)  interruptions.  My interruption is welcome and chosen - but then I'm a grandma . . . and I can sit and read any time I choose.  This weekend happened to be the one that worked out best for our youngest granddaughter to come and visit.  We plan a trip to the zoo on Sunday but for today we will read and craft amongst some other activities.  Elaine is 10 and loves to read - but with other things on our list for the weekend - I have planned some special Readathon activities to keep her interest.

 I planned to read for a couple hours while Elaine slept . . .

     Here is how the day REALLY started . . .

Alarm sounded . . . and I joyfully headed for the coffee pot because I don't have to go to work today!

7:00 a.m. -- Good morning fellow Readathoners!

Starting my day with coffee and devotions from my Bible Study called Celebrate Freedom!  It's all about weight loss which is a big issue for me always - - - I told my granddaughter Elaine - today we get moving!!  She is willing and excited about bike rides throughout the day!

This year besides adding Elaine to the readathon - I also decided to be a Cheerleader and so I will be visiting my assigned blogs to commend and cheer on my new friends!  One of the things I hope to gain from the day is to add some great blogs to my list to follow!

I'll get to reading now and check back in shortly - Enjoy everyone!!

I loves quotes about as much as books - so for our first reading quote . . .

You're never alone when you're reading a book.” 
― Susan Wiggs


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saturday Challenge

Once again I'm focusing - no wait - refocusing on health.  My health.  Stupid to spend time on telling you about my slip ups - but after losing 30 pounds and becoming more fit with exercise than ever in my life - - - I managed to put back on 15 pounds and stop moving.

There is no condemnation . . . The Bible says that - and although I may be stretching the true meaning - I have moved past blaming myself.    I made bad choices - so now I have to make good choices.  And I am always a student - so a new book caught my eye at a quick shop today - called "You Are What You Eat".    I grabbed one for myself and for my sister Tami.

We are all dietetic sinners; only a small percent of what we eat nourishes us; the balance goes to waste and loss of energy.  ~William Osler

No that didn't come from the book - but I believe Mr. Osler.  And the one thing I did learn while losing my weight was that the glycemic index is important - basically - keep your blood sugar running level and you will not be as hungry.  

So as I refocus on my health I am issuing a challenge to myself and to Tami - and to any of my readers for today!  

     Get moving!  Walk four miles (not all at once) or ride bike 10 miles (not all at once).  I am
     doing this because I have an entire day at home today with no plans.  Well I plan to clean
     house a little and prepare for our granddaughter's visit next weekend.  But I am on my own
     time frame and I have the most fun when I can run out jump on my bike (which I LOVE and have
     not done much of this summer) and go around my 1.5 mile path. (twice) and then stop and rest.
     Kansas/Nebraska winds predicted to blow 50 miles per hour - may have to go to the treadmill
     in the basement for the 4 mile walk instead!  Either way - I will be moving!!

Join me!!  I'd love to hear what blessings you found in a Saturday work out!

Order your copy here!       (Tami don't!)

   Eubie Blake At Age 100
If I'd known I was gonna live this long. I'd have taken better care of myself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon with a Twist!!

I am so excited for the Fall Version of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!  24 hours - favorite coffee brewing at 7 a.m. - snacks on store - Diet Coke/Diet Sprite - Comfy chairs/blankets - Stack of books - Relax - Read - and oh yes - a 10 year old granddaughter alongside!

This will be my third or fourth readathon and I'm excited to join in with hundreds of others including my sister, Tami and my daughter, Casey.    

Soooooo . . . I had a decision to make . . . Readathon which I have looked forward to for a month already or picking granddaughter up on Friday night and having her to myself for the entire weekend!  Readathon vs. Granddaughter.     Believe it or not I weighed the two - well at least for fifteen minutes - - - little girl won.  

I prepared to tell my sister the disappointing news - - - but then we came up with a great idea!!!  I will involve Elaine in the Readathon!  She loves to read - always has at least two books in her back pack when she comes to stay and she gets excited about doing just about anything with Grandma!  So I am making special plans to enjoy the readathon at points during the day as well as spend precious time with her.  

Here is my plan so far:

7 a.m. - I will get out of bed and start the coffee.   Granddaughter will sleep.

I will have some time to read and check in on the blog sites for the first couple hours.

Then I have planned for some reading fun with Elaine.

     I will have her bring a book along that she will want to read.

     We will go to our local library and she can pick out some books to read.

     I will have her pick out a few books from "Grandma's Library" in     
     the basement to read to me.  

I also plan for some crafting fun!  

     One of my favorite books is Jan Brett's "The Mitten".  I think it will be 
     great fun for Elaine to read it to me and do a new craft technique I am 
     just learning called "Zentangles".  I found a cute Pinterest mitten sample 
     of Zentangle.   


     I have several other cute Zentangle designs that she can work on also.   
   If you want to learn more about the art of Zentangles - read here.

   Another book choice I will make is for Elaine to read her dad's favorite
   childhood book, "Benji, Fastest Dog in the West" and I thought this cute
   puppy craft would be a hit.

One last reading assignment will be to try reading on the Kindle!  I will let her find a book online and try her hand at e-reading.

After reading and crafts along with some cheerleading for fellow bookers we may have to take a time out for some outdoors play.  Last time Elaine visited we didn't have time for a lot of bike riding and so this time a few short rides are planned along with a picnic lunch down at the airport a couple blocks away.  There sits this picnic table and I think it looks like an inviting and interesting place to hang out!  

I will share with you the books I plan to read.  I have a mixture of Bible study, two novels to decide between and a short book on leadership that sounded really interesting!  I'm not planning on reading from my Kindle as little one will probably find a better use for the Ipad!

Here is hoping you join the Readathon!  A great 24 hours of fun!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

October Pin-It/Do-It Challenge

The summer heat has died down and cooler days abound.  Fall has arrived!  This time of year draws me back to more indoor activities and so I was thrilled to hear about Trish's Pin-It Do-It Challenge once again!  The idea is to pin some ideas from Pinterest for October crafts, activities, etc. and then choose some to actually DO!

When we moved to Beloit a year ago last July I had scaled down on many things, including household decorations.  All I need for Fall is my scarecrow wreath, fall floor rug and my Autumn flag I fly!  Not interested in building anymore decorations.

That doesn't mean I can't pin and do!!  Here is my plan:

     Trip to Apple Depot with my youngest granddaughter Elaine. (Pinned it - 31 Days of Fall Fun)
     Glow light lanterns - Just too cool not to try!
     Zentangle Mittens - an art project to go along with the reading of The Mitten by Jan Brett
     Fill an Operation Christmas Child Box with Elaine. (31 Days of  Fall Fun)

     Then ... I have planned for myself to do several more items from the 31 Days of Fall Fun

          Make mulled apple cider (sugar-free)
          Sit by fire pit with friends
          Start a new book
          Decorate a simple inexpensive pillar candle with cinnamon sticks and raffia.  Maybe 2.

This totals 8 pins and I guess that makes me an obsessive pinner??

     The Levels:
Timid Pinner: 1-3 Pins
Pinterested: 4-7 Pins
Pin Obsessed: 8+ Pins

Please join in if you would like and check out Pinterest - find some things you'd like to try!
You can sign up here on Trish's blog.
Happy Harvest!
Happy Autumn!
Happy Pinning!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Crossing The Red Sea

Sunday School again - - - new class this fall - and some new students of course.  I teach Pre K and Kindergarten and these new ones are 3 and 4 year olds.  Soooooo interesting.

Today's story - God led Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land.  We have already learned how God had a plan for baby Moses to be rescued from a floating basket in a river.  Now we learn that God protects all of his people - even us!

First on the lesson plan:  Build an obstacle course that the kids can follow each other through as they "travel through the dessert".

Today we learn that as the people fled out of Egypt - the bad people followed right behind and tried to catch up with them.  All of a sudden Moses and the people arrived at the Red Sea where they panicked and got angry - wondering why God led them that far and then left them to die at the Red Sea.  Of course God had a plan - he created a loud wind to blow (swooooosh - whiiiiiii - swoooosh - ssssssssssss - and other "wind noises" inserted here.)  The sea opened up and a path of dry ground  was there for the Israelites to hurry through.  Once the Israelites made it through the Red Sea the winds blew again and the water came down and covered the army of Egyptians.  Then Moses and his people rested and then praised God with celebration and singing.  So at the end of OUR obstacle course were musical instruments to bang on and sing with!  Praising God!

Step two on the lesson plan:  Sit down at table and hear story and work on fun sheet.    Had several questions to ask them:  Who takes care of you?   The usual:  Mom, Dad, Grandma.   How does God take care of you?   Interesting:

     "he gives me food"  "when i fall down he keeps me from getting hurt"   "he helps me when I fall
     down"  and then . . . "one time i was uh i was uh one time i did i was one time i was riding     my
     bike my scooter and it wrecked and uh well uh one time I fell and even when I fell one time and
     he he he one time i fell off my bike and he he I didn't get hurt."

Whew!  Step three of lesson plan:  Picture it . . . and yes this was in the teacher's manual.  Take
a shallow dish and  put some water in it.   Give each child a straw.  Let them take turns  blowing through the straw on top of the water to create ripples and waves and parting the water!!

"No you can't drink the water"

Pretty soon all four kids were blowing on their straws at  the same time - water was blowing everywhere . .. .. "Is this okay if we do this?"   I replied, "Sure if you don't mind  getting wet!!"

Finally  - I mean soon - class time was over   - and  I sent them on their way  - -- -

So I ask you . .  How does God take care of you?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Meet you on the front porch!

Perfect weather for sittin' on the front porch again!  What I mean is time to join in one of Everyday Ruralty's Chats on the Front Porch . . .

Patrice asks us:

  1. What's  the one thing you feel is the biggest waste of  your time during an average week?
  2. When was the last time you baked a pie?
  3. What do you want to spend time doing that you aren't right now? 
  4. What do you do with old clothes?
  5. If we were having lunch on the porch today, what would you bring for the potluck styled lunch?
And here we go . . . 

1.  What's the one thing you feel is the biggest waste of your time during an average week?

     Well I had to think for two days about this and honestly I could not find anything that I do
     that is a waste of time to me - I know for sure that some of my friends would be able to 
     identify several obsessive quirks I have as a waste of time but for me - not so.  So I considered
     all areas of my life  and hmmm well I finally came up with one huge waste of time for me every 
     day of every week - - - Calling the IT department at work when my department has a problem.  
     And that is all I will say about that.    

2.  When was the last time you baked a pie?  

     We will have to travel back in time for the answer to this!!!  Back to the 1980's.  When first
     a wife and mom I felt it was just part of my duties - to learn to bake a pie.  My mother
     makes phenomenal pies and would have gladly taught me - but I doubt if I ever wanted to
     learn.  I remember that I used this new pie crust recipe that was the hit of the decade and it
     used vegetable oil instead of shortening.  I made a few fruit pies with canned fruit.  Decided
     I didn't like pie that much.  I got through the high school days of having to provide pies for
     school events by making brownies instead or purchasing the frozen store bought ones.
     Now my big secret is to have mom bake me one or hire my best friend!  Delicious!

3.  What do you want to spend time doing that you aren't right now?

     That is easy for me and that is READ more!  I have no good excuse for not reading as much
     as I would like.  I have plenty of time to watch TV and movies (which is my #1 fav) so if I
     would go somewhere quiet without the TV I could be reading.  My other problem is reading
     words on a page can just lull me to sleep instantly!  Maddening!!

4.  What do you do with old clothes?

     Oh dear I may get slammed on this one!  I do not have a very large wardrobe EVER - I wear
     the same small choices over and over and so when I am done with them they go straight to
     the trash can!!!  Sorry to those thrift store fans or to those of you who donate to charity!
     Both are great options but I just toss them!

5.  If we were having lunch on the porch today, what would you bring for the potluck styled lunch?
     Barilla Veggie Farfalle with Tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
   1 box Barilla® Veggie Farfalle
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
1 teaspoon thyme chopped
1 tablespoon chives chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes halved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese diced
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese shredded

Preparation 15 minutes preparation + 20 minutes cooking
1. BRING a large pot of water to a boil

2. COOK pasta 1 minute under cooking instructions and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil

3. PLACE on sheet tray to cool down

4. In a large skillet SAUTE garlic and thyme in 2 tablespoons olive oil until slightly yellow in color, place off to the side

5. In a small bowl, COMBINE remaining olive oil, cooked garlic and thyme, chives, cherry tomatoes, and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper

6. TOSS pasta with marinated tomatoes and mozzarella and top with cheese


Thanks again for joining me on the front porch and please comment with your replies or come back and leave a link to your blog with your replies!  Thanks Patrice - the chat was fun!  Now I think I will head to my front porch for another cup of coffee!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Opposites Attract

No - not what you think - not going to talk about couples - like my hubs and I who are opposites in many ways - but yeh I kinda like him and have kept him around for well a long long time :) . . .

But stealing the idea from my sister and fellow blogger Tami - - - see her most fun post called Happy Happy Happy where she makes a great list of things - not big life changing things that bring joy - but the small every day things that make you sigh and smile . . . She challenged us all to make our own list.

So - now - - - I'm going the opposite direction.   As I work through a book about managing our emotions - I ask - what makes you mad?  Not angry enough to throw things (which hopefully you don't anyway) and not even the things that get under your skin and causes your blood pressure to come up notch by notch - - - but just those tiny little life events that make you sigh and not smile.    I have a few of those things and am learning to react differently to all kinds of frustration . . .

Finding out a package I am excitedly waiting on didn't arrive.

Coffee pot turns off and coffee is luke warm.

Carrying a purse that is too heavy.

Newly mopped floor with little doggie tracks in it.

Stopping everything and running to the phone and it's a telemarketer calling.

Renting a bad movie.

A hot bubble bath when there isn't quite enough hot water left.

A bad book.

Stale chips.

When the vacation ends.

I'd love to hear the small things that cause you to take a deep breath and sigh . . . Leave a comment!

"My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration:  set the kitchen timer for 20 minutes - cry, rant and rave, and at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual."  Phyllis Diller

Monday, September 2, 2013

Spa rage ...

The hospital where I work sent me to a meeting in a nearby city this last week.  It was a wonderful meeting and just the break I needed from everyday stress at work!  It was a great review and I got a lot of good information to take back to work with me . . .

Best part of the day away - when the meeting was over - I headed to my favorite spa for a pedicure and nail fill.  It had been 3 weeks since my last visit there and was I ever surprised with some big changes!  The usual little girl who owned the shop was gone and one of her workers had bought the place and made some very nice changes.  

The new owner has a unique story.  He (Randy) is a recently retired Marine Gunnery Sargeant.  He and his family have traveled the world and now settled in North Central Kansas.  Sargeant Randy spent 3 months in nail school and passed his boards.   Now he and his wife manage the shop and their oldest daughter is waiting to receive her license in the mail any day now.

Back to my relaxing day away - - - you know how it is when you find yourself with "time" to spend the way you choose?  It doesn't happen often, that you don't have something to get to next - some place to be or someone else is waiting on you to be back - - - but this afternoon - - - I actually felt like I just had the rest of the day to myself.  After finishing up a great pedicure with brightly painted orange toenails  . . . I moved on to my nail fill - - - That's when things got a little crazy . . .

Managing a new store with only yourself to do all of the work - and in a business where "walk-ins" are encouraged - - - scheduling can be tricky I would guess.  Mr. Sargeant Randy had a lady return at 3:30 and by now it was 3:45 and I was just beginning my nails - - - I noticed - the lady whose hands were soaking for her manicure- - - she was getting impatient - - - watching the clock - - - turning and looking at us - - - shaking her head - - - and then came the comments . . . "you told me 3:30 and now it's 3:45 . . . ".  I'm sure that his training with the Marine Corp gave him plenty of "leadership skills" and "anger management skills" . . . I mean how could this unhappy ole gal even compare to the stress he has been in from time to time??   Pretty soon - I had had enough - - - I didn't have his patience for rudemess - - -   I said, "If you want to go take care of her because she is having a hissy fit - you can - I am in no hurry"   "Oh, do you mind?", said Sargeant Randy.  Off he ran to keep the customer happy and before long she was relaxing and laughing and focusing on herself - cuz you know - it's all about her  . . .

The lesson in this?  Not sure if there even is one - but it made me want to try and live more and more with the feeling I had that afternoon of not needing to hurry through life - - - not worrying about being home or to the next meeting or to work, etc.       It's a peaceful feeling.

The nail salon appreciated the chance I gave them to keep all customers happy and coming back by giving me a free salon spa pedicure - that was sweet of them  . . .