Saturday, December 24, 2016

Twas the night before Christmas . . .

The night before . . . there are three "night befores" in my life that I have treasured.  The "night before" we left on family vacation as a kid . . . Christmas Eve . . . and New Year's Eve.  All three bring memories of excitement, anticipation, fun, planning, staying up all night, and family.

So on this "night before" my blog post is to go up, I find myself in a different sort of mood as I write.  I am not having the Christmas that I normally have, nor that I planned to have.  That is not necessarily always bad when plans change, but I have definitely learned to adapt and go on the past several weeks. 

First our oldest child, our son Todd, won't be able to bring his family and come up from South Texas.  We always have such a great time when they come.  The house is crowded and I spend two weeks preparing food for the freezer.   We play games, watch movies, sled, shoot guns, invite grandparents over, and occasionally probably get on each others' nerves . . . not so much though. :)
Surgery, sale of house, house shopping, self-owned business, and full-time job are keeping them home for the next few weeks. 

Secondly, my family unit as I have known it for my entire life is once again making a shift . . . as I age, and my parents age . . . we adjust.  Hard things. 

So as I planned to write about the last minute hustle and bustle before 13 people hit my doorstep . . . I am quietly writing to you tonight . . . the freezer is nearly bare . . . but the car is loaded with gifts, overnight bags are packed, and yes I'm feeling excitement and anticipation, and I will probably stay up late just enjoying the season.   We will be off tomorrow to spend a wonderful Christmas with our daughter and her family.  Enjoyed supper out with my parents tonight.  More family Christmas on the 26th and even New Year's Day!  Blessed . . . even in the midst of change, disappointment, and new traditions.   "Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind"  – Mary Ellen Chase.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve!  Read the story in Luke 2 . . . the first Christmas.  Cozy up by the fire with a cup of hot tea and enjoy your favorite Christmas book.   Share a movie with a friend.  Watch for Santa!  Love those you are with. 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Readathon Fall 2016

Welcome to my cozy little corner of the world today in Beloit, Kansas.  It's an exciting morning around here . . . Well at least I think so . . . The hubs and puppy are sleeping soundly down the hall.  Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon . . .

As I said, I'm reading in Beloit, Kansas - and I am really excited to begin reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  A classic!    I love my coffee and later my Diet Coke.  A friend left me a chocolate chip cookie after Bible study class last night - that might be my favorite snack today!  Also thought of sending hubs to the movie theatre this evening for some fresh movie house popcorn/butter!

My husband and I have two grown adult children who continue to be the lights of our world.  We have 8 grand children of all ages and one great grand child.  And I'm only 57!  This time I am really going to focus on reading more than I have in the past. I usually get pretty caught up in reading the website, etc. and unfortunately, napping, but this year I am determined to really make some progress.  Especially focusing on the two books that are on my personal book club list.  The Tavern on Maple Street and Secret Garden.  So thankful my sister Tami introduced me to this exciting life of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Asking The Experts . . .

Too many books and never enough time to read. I should quit my job. Picture Quote #1

Those words have come out of my mouth on many an occasion . . .although I am not your typical book worm.  I didn't grow up reading . . . I was more in to paper dolls and doll houses.    My library finds consisted of The Bobbsey Twins when I was in grade school - shared them with my best friend.  Then we moved on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.  Reading ended for me for a few years - - - until my era of reading Janette Oke pioneer women stories in the 1980's.   Then in the 1990's my sister and I started our own version of Oprah's Book Club - naming it after ourselves and sharing a book a month across the miles.   Now I'm at the time in life when I am much freer to do as I please - and I should be pouring through the books.  I'm writing this blog post because I don't seem to be able to stay motivated (and sometimes awake) enough to read all the great books I have either collected or purchased on my Kindle! 

What is my problem?  I tend to think that I can't sit and read unless certain household chores are done. That's #1.  Secondly, when I do sit to read I find myself being sleepy.

So if my goal is to become an avid reader then I need to fix those things which keep me from it.  Easier said than done - My personality is pretty set in it's way and my medicines make me sleepy - but there has to be some ideas out there to free up more time.  I have friends who read like crazy - maintain nice homes and socialize . .   . let me become a student of them!  So, they have graciously allowed me to interview them with a few short questions. 

Here are their valued responses:

When is your best reading time?

Tami (my sister) - I read most consistently in the evenings.  My husband and I have very different taste in television viewing, so I sometimes escape to another room to read when I don't want to listen to his shows.  When I'm home alone, I read rather than turning on the TV.  It has been a standard practice at our house to read before bedtime for our entire marriage.  Reading in bed has become more difficult with age because of restless legs, aching back, etc., things that interfere with comfort.  But I still rarely go to sleep without picking up a book - even if I only read a page or two.

Carol (friend and co-worker) - Any time night or day is my best reading time!  However, I find myself reading most, in the mornings, sitting out on the deck with my coffee.  Another best time is when I cannot sleep and get up about 3 a.m. and read for about 3 hours!  Well, and another favorite time is late afternoon, again out on the deck, sitting in the sun!  (Yes, night or day!)

Mary (Tami's friend) - I read before I go to bed . . . not in bed.  If I don't have a book to read . . I am rather miskanbobbled . . . LOL (Oh wait . . . it is just worse when I don't have a book to read . . LOL)

Is it easy for you to sit and read if there are household chores you could do?  If so - tell me your theory on this!

Tami - Yes and No.  I'm not a terribly finicky housekeeper, so I can ignore a certain amount of housework.  Again, it's easier in the evening.  I established a plan when my kids were young that gave me 9:00 pm. cutoff for housework.  Anything not done by that time, I was allowed to put on hold for the next day.  I would have an hour or so to myself, and I usually spent it reading.  I sometimes read in the afternoon, but it's more difficult to ignore household duties then, so I play games with myself:  One chapter, one chore; or 30 minutes of reading, 15 of housework. 

Carol - It is usually pretty easy!  Sometimes I do have thoseh chores crossing in and out of my mind.  My best theory is, though, that those chores will still be waiting when I come to a good stopping place in my book, or, I come to the end of the book . . . and I'm not ready to start another one!  A proven theory is that "things will get bad enough" and I will definitely have to put those pages down!

Mary - What I do when I feel like reading during the day and I need to get work done, I treat myself . . . like when the living room is dusted and vacuumed . . . then I can read for a few minutes, then off to the next project.

What is the one thing that will keep you from sitting and reading?

Tami - Restless legs!!  I asked my husband his opinion on this one and his immediate response was "TV!  It's so much easier to stare at the television and it's a habit, I think."    Since we usually eat in front of the TV (another bad habit) it's harder to turn it off and pick up a book.  For me, it's my phone - Facebook, Pinterest, games . . . I can get distracted for hours.

Carol - Social obligations!  (And when "things get bad enough")!

Mary - Not much if it is a really good book . . . well maybe going to work . . I have not figured out how to drive the school bus and read at the SAME time . . . if I get that figured out . . . I will let you know!

What is your biggest benefit from the reading that you do?

Tami - There are many benefits.  Reading has given me a broader perspective.  Reading has increased my vocabulary, my knowledge, and my interests.  There are many places and events that I know about only because I read it in a book.  Reading has introduced me to a much wider assortment of people than I could meet in reality.  But the biggest benefit has got to be escape.  I have gotten through stress, boredom, sadness, and even fear by escaping into the fantasy world of a book.  Even when there is nothing in my world that I want to get away from, reading lets me escape to old friends or totally new characters; a mystery to solve, or a mind to explore; real life events or a little magic.

Carol - I don't think I can limit it to one!  Here are some benefits and they all seem big:  Entertainment; escape; learning about new things and old things, and places, and increasing my vocabulary.  Books are full of tidbits!  A big thing that people who don't read miss is this:  Reading the story of someone else, true or fiction, can benefit the reader with different perspectives on different situations, and in turn, the reader may learn to have more understanding and tolerance for those around them (and more empathy for themselves as well)!

Mary - It has increased my vocab a lot . . . not that I use the words but I know what they mean . . . when I was much younger and I came across a word in a book I didn't know, I would look it up . . . don't have to do that so much anymore . . . and I think it is relaxing . . . even a good suspense book!  I wish it made me a better speller but nope!

Thanks ladies for your thoughts! 

I also did some of my own research and found a few tips that I will try as well!

One reader said to set a goal per reading session - determine that you will read 15 pages before laying the book down.

Another piece of good advice - ignore what you "should" be reading - and read what you like!  As my sister often says, "Life's too short for bad books".

And because it's technically possible - be prepared digitally across all your mobile devices - Ipad, smart phone, and of course Kindle - to read the same book wherever you are.

Sacrifice something. You’ve got 24 hours in a day. You spend 8–10 hours (hopefully not much more) working. You spend 6–8 hours sleeping. You’ve got family and friends to spend time with every day. All of this doesn’t leave much time for other interests, like reading.  So . . . I have determined that in order for me to make strides in my TBR list in 2017 I will be more "intentional" about my reading.  9 p.m. seems to have been the most popular hour of the day to say - - - I'm done for today - - - I will read now.  For me that means that TV will be sacrificed.  Shows can be recorded and watched at another time - but not after 9 p.m.   Then I will hit the sack and get some extra sleep - the best solution for my sleepy eyes!

Thank you again to my friends who shared their secrets to reading success . . . I admire all three of them in the books they have read and what they know!   I thought it was very interesting that "my experts" all had some of the same feelings about reading.  Tried and true advice . . .

Everyone make sure to sign up for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon coming very soon - Saturday, October 22!  I can't wait! 

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.” — Charles William Eliot

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Readathon Ready!

I have started to feel about the "night before Readathon" similar to the excitement I feel on Christmas Eve!  Anticipation!  Like Christmas, I have a list of "prep" to do before the big day comes.  I like to have the house cleaned so that can be ignored on the weekend . . . I like to have my favorite drinks in the house - flavored coffee - and Diet Coke . . . Snacks . . . And meals planned for myself and the hubs.   Do you have a special "to-do" list in honor of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon?  See you October 22!  Sign up now!

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fall begins . . .

Actually not until September 22, do we get to officially settle into Autumn 2016.  I start early.  I love Memorial Day to Labor Day - my favorite time of the year.  Now I'm starting to enjoy Labor Day through New Year's Eve about as much.  Seasons bring about special memories for me and make me think of my favorite things for each time of the year.  Fall is the season when I discovered flavored coffee's, Book Clubs, Readathons, and Kenny G Christmas. 

My sister Tami moved to Beloit, KS in Fall of 1999.    We had really started to bond together as best friends around that time and we did it from a distance - - - we did it with a book club.  I've written about it several times . . . it's named after me . . . and Tami . . . T & T Book Club - the debate is still ongoing whether it's Teri and Tami's Book Club or Tami and Teri's Book Club . . .We used it as a way to keep in touch every month.  We took turns picking a book for the month - sharing the book announcement excitedly.  We would both read and then discuss and sometimes carry out special projects in honor of the book theme.  As I said, Tami moved here in 1999 and the book club has always continued - however, when we lived practically next door to each other for a few years, the book club took a less important role in our lives.  Also during that time period, we gathered for French Vanilla fresh ground coffee after school.  We had never lived in that close proximity and we made the most of it!  It is still one of my all time favorite memories.  We listened to Christmas music and christened Halloween as the official start of the Holiday Season.

That time period ended sadly for both of us, but the book club and love of books has continued  between us ever since.  We do read different types of books and that does make it tricky to share a book - we have also gotten busy with jobs and families and life . . . and the book club has been hard to keep up with.  But don't count us out!!  We have once again revived it as of September 1, 2016.  We have our old determination back - and have committed to a book a month - and we will take turns picking.  We each made a list of books we have on our TBR shelves and will pick from them.  I'm officially underway with book #1 and will post about it when I'm done. 

This brings me to my next favorite thing about Fall - - - Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.  I often heard Tami talk about it - 24 hours of reading with other bookaholics - snacks - prizes - challenges - cheerleaders - all sounded very new to me - and then I tried it.  I was hooked! 

I am already making plans for the October 22, 2016 readathon.  They are held twice a year in October and April.  You can check it out online for the history and details.  Sign-ups should start soon.

What season is your favorite?  And why?  Does the readathon sound fun and would you like to join?  If you are in a book club - I'd love to hear how yours works! 

Here is to a healthy fall, full of reading, enjoying some outdoor activities, good coffee, prayer and devotion!  Tami intends to fire up her blogging skills a little more and that challenged me to do likewise.  This is still a good place to come for some quiet reflection and sharing my blessings . . .

Saturday, March 5, 2016


That's what Saturday's should be for right?  Rest and relaxing.  However, they have always been used for going about being busy!  I picture the Bible time women who worked to prepare for the Sabbath.  All of the cooking was done ahead.  I think of the pioneer women who worked every day to prepare the food they needed and to keep their homes satisfactorily clean to prevent illnesses, etc.  I'm not sure Saturday has ever been intended as a day to rest and relax.  So taking a day out like I am today to have fun online and read might seem wasteful to some.  I'm guessing that we all can do both!  I know I have rested and relaxed, both in the body and in my mind.  I also know that I have taken care of some details around my home, inside and out . . . And some very important cleaning tasks in the corners of my mind . . . So I think the Lord is pleased.

My final Spring Fling post and challenge is rather colorful . . .

Meaning that for the rest of the day and into the evening indulge yourself with color . . . That may be painting, crafting, sewing, knitting, but for me it will be simpler . . . Adult coloring books.  I am hooked on them and so is the world it seems.  I plan to relax with my pencils and books this evening.

Take the challenge:

Paint, design or color a rainbow . . .

     Paint, design or color a garden of flowers . . .

                Put together a spring wreath using only supplies you have around the home . . .

                              Arrange a centerpiece big or small with an Easter theme . . .

Winner of this challenge will be selected from the picture you send me that highlights how you spent your evening and what you designed!!!   Simple or complicated - all are equally welcome!

Prize will be a brand new box of Crayola Colored Pencils!!!


Books to Read this Spring!

How is your reading going?  Maybe you are lucky enough to live where you can read by the pool, or by the ocean, or on your front porch.  I live in Kansas and early March usually means you will need to be in the house with your favorite winter blanket near by - - -

Today I am reading from my recliner in the living room - - - one of my favorite spots because I can gaze out the front window and see pretty trees and the sky.  (Especially when the window has been freshly cleaned)

I wanted to share with you - Top Spring Books for 2016

Disclosure:  I have not read them . . . just want to look in to reading some of them . . .

Challenge #3 - Look the list over and share if you have read some - - - special prize to the person who has read the most!  Share what you are reading today!  Why did you select it?


Also!  The winner of Challenge #2 is Tami Erwin!!  She has spent more than l5 minutes out in the fresh air cleaning up around the farm and putting storm windows back on their home after replacing window sills!  Definitely needs this next prize . . . One of my new favorite things . . . A Diet Coke and a 100 calorie Dove Milk Chocolate Bar!  A wonderful rewarding but yet healthy enough treat!
Thanks for participating!

High noon - lunchtime!

Hope you are enjoying our Spring Fling - I have spent the last two hours washing some windows and letting the sun shine in . . . I also planned to do a little cooking for today also.  Lunch will be just me . . . Hubs is working and refused food . . .

Next on the menu is some smothered chicken for a potluck church dinner tomorrow.  Fix now and in crock pot later.  Also on the menu for supper tonight . . . Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. 

Challenge #2 - - -

Grab the tennis shoes and head outdoors if your weather permits . . . I understand it may still be cold or wintery in your home town!    Spend fifteen minutes walking about your yard or neighborhood . . . enjoy the sunshine . . . and the hope of spring!   Be ready to come back here and post your favorite sign of spring!  

Then grab your favorite refreshing drink and it's time to do some reading - - - the part of the day I've looked most forward to!

Be sure to check out Tami at Just One More Thing . . . She is joining in today with pictures of her spring planning and some challenges of her own.  She also is the lucky winner of the Garden Challenge!  Sharing a picture of one of her marigolds!  She will receive a pretty pair of gardening gloves!!

See you back in a couple of hours - enjoy your walk!

10:00 a.m. challenge . . .

I hope you enjoyed the devotional thought on spring cleaning our homes, but more importantly our hearts!  Just for fun before we move on . . . 

Can you complete this quiz?

And now moving on . . .

I am not a gardener . . . I totally rely on my sister Tami to supply me with fresh farm grown tomatoes each year and also "grandma's homemade chili sauce", salsa, and awesome plum jelly!  I do, however, love me some flowers!!

Each summer for years I filled my planters with annuals of all kinds - marigolds, petunias, spikes, vincas, geraniums, alyssum, and many others!

Last summer I slowed it down to a red, white and blue theme only.  Geraniums, wave petunias, and the nearest thing to blue I could find . . . really a shade of purple . . . and the name escapes me. 

This summer I plan to stick with wave petunias and some green filler like a spike or a fern.  Red and white it will be.  I have six planters to fill and one hanging basket.

Why do you spend the money on flowers?  Spend the time to plant them and then the time to water them?  

I assume you are like me - - - I get such a great joy at looking at them - the colors are so bright and they look so inviting.  Most of my flowers are on and near my patio.  One of the most peaceful places I go in the summer. 

Challenge #1 - For the next hour spend some time in "planning" either in your mind or actually on paper - your garden!  Be ready when you hit the greenhouse to go directly to the items you need . . . or it's just like grocery shopping . . . I end up with some beauties that I really don't have a place for!  I can't resist!  Then come back and reply in the comments how your planning session went and share what you hope your garden (flower and vegetable) will look like!

Happy Gardening!    Eligible for prize drawing if you can share a picture of your favorite flower or vegetable or a picture of what your garden has been in the past or your hope for this year!

Whose pretty porch is this??

Let the sun shine in!

Morning blogging friend(s) . . . Do you have your coffee brewing and are you ready for a fun and relaxing day?

First things first . . . Please check your email and you will find a devotion called Spring Clean Up: Christian Women's Devotional.  Spring Clean Up for the Heart and Soul!

And if you aren't my sister . . . Check out


I'm allowing us the first two hours to have our quiet time with God  - but add a comment about the devotion when you are ready.

See you back here then around 10 a.m. I'll have our first challenge!

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spring Fling Kick-Off

It's Friday and it is 11 a.m. - - - I have much to get done but am taking a break long enough to post about the Spring fun that is coming our way tomorrow!   Please join me!

I'm celebrating with Spring fever early . . . Saturday, March 5!

8:00 a.m. - - - Coffee and devotions - - - I'll share a morning devotion with you . . . of course you are on your own for coffee!

Going to shower quickly and be set for a relaxing day!

I am really focusing on two things for the day.  #1 Reading and #2 Cleaning windows.   

I'd love to have you join me and share about your day!  How do you prepare for Spring?  Do you decorate your home?   Do you plant a vegetable garden or flowers?  What is your plan? 

Check back tomorrow at 8 a.m. for a Spring devotion and then at 10 a.m. for the first Spring Challenge!

Hint . . .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spring Fling

It should be illegal to not blog post for over two months!  Especially when I blogged January 3 and said I was going to allow much more time for fun this year!!  Fun for me includes reading, blogging, coloring, and relaxing.

I'm declaring this Saturday Spring Fling - - - Spring does not begin officially until 3-20-16 but I am in a hurry and I'm having Spring fever.  I have been spending about half an hour every night after work in the back yard with the puppies - to my surprise my youngest puppy has learned to play fetch really well!  I have never had a Boston Terrier who would agree to give up the ball or bone or etc.  But Libby is doing it perfectly! 

First on the list I need to wash windows - - -fun? - - - no - - - but necessary for me to enjoy looking out!

Then for Spring Fling I started to collect ideas on Pinterest - under Spring Fling!  A new wreath for my front door - ideas for Easter baskets - and a spring cleaning challenge.  So . . . this Saturday I plan to work on the new wreath as my project.  The rest of the day will look like this . . .



                                                   Coffee                                Blogging

Would you like to join me in my Spring Fling?
Please do!
Check in with me on my blog where I will be posting fun challenges for ways you can enjoy a "Spring day"

3 prizes to be drawn for!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

And the fun begins . . .

Happy New Year again and as I blogged on New Year's Eve one of the biggest changes I want to make this year is to make time for some relaxing fun projects.  It will be divided between reading and crafting.

Sewing is my first order of fun . . . oops I almost said first order of business . . . but that would sound like it is something on a "to do" list . . . although I do NEED potholders and I love the ones that I learned to make several years ago.    If you refer back to this post - you will see my sister Tami and my mom spent some time one weekend with some sewing projects, baby blankets, and the pot holders were a hit for me and my daughter.  She and I both are needing to restock.  So this afternoon . . . I cut l0 inch squares in preparation for a "Sister Weekend" coming soon in January where I will get some "instruction" again on making these.  

Cutting is one of my favorite parts - - - what is your favorite sewing project - - - or your favorite part?

Share pictures if you'd like!

Happy Sewing!