Saturday, February 28, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 03

BookThe Daniel Plan.

Author: Rick Warren, et al

Info: Copyright 2013 by Zondervan

Where acquired: Gift from a friend.

Why:  Several years ago when Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California (also home to the Celebrate Recovery Program) introduced the Daniel Plan, I gathered with a group to take the video course.  Unfortunately, the course left me a little high and dry.  It gave a lot of dos and don'ts, but not many how tos.  Once the course was over, not many stuck with it--OK no one I know of stuck with it and the leaders of the course didn't follow through.  When a friend of mine excitedly gave me the book, I thought Why not?  My hope was that the book had more meat to it than the video course and reveal the secrets of lasting change. 

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags):  # # # 1/2

What it's about:  Warren and company presents five keys to total fitness (faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends) and expounds on each one and how they work in concert.

Favorite Quotes

"What you do with your body sets the tone for everything else." - p. 17

"Health comes from recognizing and using God's power in your life and treating your body and mind with the care that He intended.  - p. 33

"When I run, I feel God's pleasure." - Eric Liddel - p. 42

"Being overweight or unhappy is as much a ' thinking disorder' as it is an eating or mental disorder." - p. 202

"Trying to change everything at once almost inevitably invites disappointment.  Don't try to change dozens of unhealthy habits at once.  Start with a few vital behaviors--the ones that will have the biggest immediate impact--and go from there."  - p. 252

What I Liked:
  • A majority of the ideas are practical--there was no "one size fits all" approach.  As long as one sticks to the 5 basic essentials, methods of achieving the desired result can differ.  In other words, if you hate running and gag on broccoli, it doesn't ruin the entire program for you.  There are lots of choices.
  • The examples of success weren't sensationalized and all the participants weren't cookie cutter examples. 
  • Scriptural encouragement and examples were cited much more than in other supposed Christian based literature and programs I've dealt with.
  • I liked that their use of the "aside box" contained useful information, rather than simply repeating what was already said in the main text.  HOWEVER...
What I didn’t like: 
  • Whoever decided to put light grey/green lettering on top of a light lime green text box wasn't thinking about the reader.  Squint city.
  • I never knew who was speaking.  Chapter one is listed as being written by Rick Warren.  The other chapters do not identify the author(s). This made some chapters bog down with awkward sentence structure.  In other words, having pronouns running around without knowing to whom they refer confuses the daylights out of the reader.  Hello, Sybil!
  • Too much "voo-doo science."  Yes, we all need to eat cleaner and exercise more.  However, there were a few unnecessary pieces of tripe hype thrown in.  Things like implying that getting healthy prevents global warming (James Spann would be cussing right now), and trying to invoke shame by saying "humans are the only species who drink milk after weaning."  So?  We're the only species that can cook and put on pants too, but I'm not going to stop doing those things just because the rest of the species aren't doing it.  There's enough bad information out there without ruining an otherwise good book with more of it.
To sum up

The Daniel Plan is a great jumping off point for establishing healthy routines for spirit, soul, and body.  I've already been working on my health for a while, so this is not a new "diet" I'm trying.  This is another piece of arsenal in my recovery process.

I would recommend the book to anyone interested.  I would, however, caution the reader to take some of the information with a grain of salt (the "voo-doo science" I mentioned earlier).  I would also caution not to throw out the entire program because of something you can't or don't want to do.  Take it a piece at a time.

So, how is everyone's "Full Shelf Challenge" going?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The White Stuff: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

Did you watch The Oscars? How many of the Best Picture nominees have you seen? (American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash)  Do you think actors should use their acceptance speeches as an opportunity to promote their political and/or social agenda? Does that sort of speech make you more or less inclined to change the channel?
No, I didn't watch the Oscars.  The only Best Picture nominee that I even heard of was American Sniper, which I have not seen.  I quit watching the Oscars years ago because of that very reason--every nominee was from some obscure movie I'd never heard of.  Plus, the winners are usually based on politics and butt kissing rather than artistry and content.
As far as promoting social/political agenda in an acceptance speech, cut the crap and get on with it.  The fact that the Oscar broadcast is longer than a Major League Baseball game in extra innings is already a pain; let's not gum it up with hyperbole and inane diatribes on issues these people were told by their publicists to care about.  I think everyone should just do what singer Billy Ocean did when he won awards--simply say "thank you" and get off the stage!
Speaking of the movies... are you comfortable going to a movie alone? How about dinner in a restaurant (not fast food, but an actual restaurant)? The second half of this question was posed by Carrie who blogs over at It's Not Easy Being Queen. Thanks Carrie!
I've not done that, so I'm sure if I would be comfortable with it or not. 
What's the last home repair or home improvement project you had to pay someone to complete? In hindsight was this a project you could have done yourself? 
Does an appliance repair count?  At my old apartment, I had my washing machine repaired.  And, no, I could not and would not have attempted it myself.
Have you ever had Indian food? Like it or no? If you're a fan, what's your favorite dish? Have you ever prepared this yourself at home? Is there an Indian restaurant in your current hometown? 
I think I did once, but I don't really remember.  I would like to try it enough to actually remember.  As far as I know, we don't have any Indian cuisine anywhere close by.  I think I'd have to go to Birmingham for that.
A song that reminds you of your parents? 
This was my parents' love song.  I remember them throwing parties when I was a kid.  At some point they would put on the 45 and slow dance.
The 26th of February is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day. What's your favorite, or one of your favorite, fairy tales? Do you have any childhood memories associated with a particular fairy tale? 
I really wasn't into fairy tales as a kid.  They were too  depressing.  Even as a young girl, I couldn't relate to them.
What's a problem you solved yesterday? 
Can't think of anything. 
Insert your own random thought here.
Everyone is freaked out because there's a chance of snow in the forecast today (goodbye bread and milk).  I'll be glad when it's over with.  I'm ready for spring.
I'm trying to decide if I want to bite the bullet and go to the gym.  I got caught in the ice storm last year and had a hard time getting home.  I live six miles from the Community Center, so I would have a heck of a time getting home if I get caught out this time.  BUT I need to work out and I'm trying to get my mileage for the month.  What to do, what to do. 
I just looked at the radar.  I better stay right where I am.  Don't need any of this...
Trying to get home in last year's ice storm.
I'm also ready for spring because I feel the "blahs" trying to hit me again.  Winter was better for me mentally this year.  There were some rough patches, but not paralyzing depression.  I'm starting to get cabin fever, plus it's been 3 weeks since the weather cooperated with my workout schedule.  I'm like a kid denied recess for too long.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hey Look, A Squirrel: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, February 22, 2015

Outside my window … Woke up this morning to the sound of the birds chirping in springtime.  The rest of the day has been rainy, but not cold.

I am thinking... about whether it is counterproductive at best, or arrogant at worst for me to read books on leadership.  I know that the basic definition of leadership is "influence."  However, since I'm not actively leading or mentoring anyone, should I bother reading any of this stuff?  The books are great, but dreaming of being a leader and being one are not synonymous.  BTW--when I say leader, I'm not talking about being a "boss."  There's a big difference.

I've been commanded by bosses and mentored by leaders; leaders get the best work from me.

I am thankful... I got my score and new lesson from the Bible Correspondence Course.  I got 100.

In the kitchen...  Cooking ahead seemed to work very well.  I'll try the same thing this week.  On that note, does anyone know how to make brown rice with some flavor?  I tried cooking my brown rice in low sodium chicken broth, yet the rice still had no real taste.  Surely, there's a way to get tasty rice without adding a ton of salt.
I am creating... A better environment and comfortable spaces.  When I first moved here, I just stuffed things where they would fit.  Now, I'm going through and getting rid of what I don't need (Really?  Can you believe I have anything left to pear down?) and making spaces more inviting.  In just moving my bed and bookshelf, I've got a more comfortable and brighter place to sit and read.

I am going...  to work on getting the rest of my miles in for February.  To keep pace with MAD x 2 (mile a day x 2), I needed 63 miles this month.  So far, I have 40.
I am wondering... What my fellow Anniston Runners Club members mean when they talk about "foam rolling."
I am reading... I'm nearly finished with The Daniel Plan.  Yes, I know I said I would finish it this week, but one section really bogged me down.  I should finish it this week and start a new book.  When I'm doing housework, I'm listening to The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  This book makes this brief harsh cold snap we've had here in Alabama seem like child's play; they had seven months of blizzards and nearly starved.
I am hoping... to have a good week, to get in all my miles, to get the office and pantry organized.

I am looking forward to... The community band concert on March 5th.  Then, Mr. Alpha Male can have it.  I'm also looking forward to my first 5k race for the year--the Parker Memorial Pancake Run.  I'm sending off my entry form tomorrow.
I am learning
…  I actually learned something new and useful about marriage at church today.  Out of all the sermons I've heard about marriage, I've never heard anyone say that marriage is supposed to be a representation to the world of the love Christ has for the church.  It's never been given any spiritual significance, only presented as the only usefulness for a female.  In the book Fight Like a Girl, Lisa Bevere says that the purpose of a woman is to "complement men."  Need I say more about why the marriage message has been so warped?
Around the house...  Hopefully finishing up the organization.
I am pondering...  A quote by Dave Ramsey, "Children do what feels good. Adults devise a plan and follow it."  He is speaking specifically about finances and I've heard him say it many times, but it hit me this week this quote could refer to how I view eating and food.  Do I want to be a grown up and plan ahead for more success, or just grab what feels good like a baby does?  Baby eating = baby rolls, which are cute only on a BABY.

OK, not every baby.  BTW--that's me at 6 months old
(before you think I'm being mean to someone's kid).
A favorite quote for today... 

"Other than wrong notes and bad intonation it wasn't too bad." - Dr. David L. Walters, retired band director, Jacksonville State University.

"Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action." - Oswald Chambers

"Oh, I'd have got a PhD!" - Greg Burgess on if his college had offered Fermentation Science as a degree.

One of my favorite things... Cold Cream.  When the Dollar Tree gets theirs in again, I'm buying several jars of it. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:   More organizing, more reading, more planning.

A peek into my day...  

I don't know what was going on with me today, but I swear I ate Stupid for breakfast.  I forgot stuff, was fidgety, had ADD moments during worship (squirrel!), dropped stuff, and couldn't concentrate.  I don't think I got enough sleep this week, or something.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Almond Joy: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

When did you last have to interact, either by phone or in person, with someone in a government run agency? On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the experience? (10 being fabulous and 1 being pass the Tylenol)
My last face-to-face interaction with a government agency was with the Housing Authority in Jacksonville.  I wrote about it here.  Let's just say my experience was a -13!
The current governor of Wisconsin is considering a run for President next time around. Walker attended Marquette University, but never graduated. In terms of any candidate running for the office of President (not asking here if you agree or disagree with Scott Walker's politics) would the lack of a college degree influence your vote or no? Would that be a factor in your support of any candidate running for public office, even a role less weighty than President?
I don't care if a candidate never went to college.  How many politicians have graduated from prestigious universities, yet have never held a real job and have no common sense?  Several.  How many have the sheepskin but no character or morals?  Several more.  I would, however, I prefer that the Commander in Chief have some military experience. 
When did you last visit a place or site named for George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, and what was that place or site?
I visited Washington DC with my high school marching band my senior year.  I want to go back and take the tours again.  We went through them so fast that I don't remember much of it, nor did I get to stop and ponder the history.
February 16th was President's Day in the US, but did you know it was also National Almond Day? I didn't think so : ) Do you like almonds? If so, what's a food/dish/recipe you enjoy that contains almonds?
No, I didn't know that.  I really enjoy eating almonds.  I haven't tried any recipes with them, but I like to eat them plain, or slivered and sprinkled on a salad.
The television program Saturday Night Live celebrated it's 40th anniversary this past weekend. Were/are you a fan of the show? If so what has been your favorite (or one of your favorite) skits, sayings, or characters that came out of the program?
I was an off and on viewer of SNL.  One of my favorite skits was the More Cowbell Skit.  Strange thing is, I didn't see the skit until someone shared the link to it on Facebook.  My favorite skits I saw on their original run are James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party, Buck Wheat Sings, and Chippendales.
Anything purple within ten feet of you? What is it?
A couple of shirts, a hat, and of course, yarn.
Back in December I asked you to submit a question for a future HP as part of a giveaway I was hosting. I grabbed this one from those entries, submitted by Zoanna who blogs over at Penchant for Pens. Thanks Zoanna!  She asks, "How often do you make your bed, and how do you like to make it-pull the covers all the way up over the pillows, tuck the covers in around the pillows, or place all the pillows on top of the covers?" 
I don't always make my bed (gasp!), but when I do (sounds like "The Most Interesting Man in the World") I place the pillows on top of the covers. 
Insert your own random thought here.
Last night's band practice was great.  Dr. David L. Waters, who directed the JSU Marching Southerners for 30 years, is walking us through one of his original compositions.  I marched the last year of his tenure as director.  Seeing him brings back some good memories...and some not so good ones.  But Dr. Walters was and is a great man. 
Dr. David L. Walters
Photo by Heather Gaines

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Prep Area: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, February 15, 2015

Outside my window … The cold gray sky of that last gasp of winter that says, "You thought I was gone, didn't you?"

I am thinking... about art projects, spring, workouts, spring, cleaning the car, spring, rearranging my bedroom.  Did I mention spring?

I am thankful... For new opportunities, for the start of a new week, for a new chance to get it right.

In the kitchen...  I'm planning on doing a few meals ahead of time for days when I'm really busy or don't feel like cooking..  That way the thing I grab that is fast and easy will something nutritious.  I'm also going to try cooking my brown rice with chicken broth instead of water.  Maybe that will give it some flavor.
I am creating... Pondering and setting up for March projects.  I've got several paintings and another quilt-ghan in my mind.

I am going...  It's going to be cold all week with a potential of snow and ice Tuesday, so I'm only going out when I have to.
I am wondering... I'm drawing a blank.
I am reading... This week, I finished The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin Sr.  My review can be found here.  This week, I plan to finish up The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren et al and hopefully start a new book.
I am hoping... to have a good week.

I am looking forward to... Getting my score and next lesson back from the Bible correspondence course I started ages ago.  I finally picked it back up, reread the materials, took the test, and mailed it in.  I should know something by the next daybook.
I am learning
…  I learned a lot about prayer through reading the Hagin book.  I'll learn more as I apply what I've learned.
Around the house...  I'm considering rearranging my bedroom.  The problem is making sure I've got enough workout room.  Time to get out the tape measure.
I am pondering...  I've been given an opportunity that I'm pondering over.  I'm not pondering the yes or no, I'm pondering how it's going to work or if it's going to work.

A favorite quote for today... 

"If you are waiting on the President or Congress to fix your life. Your life will continue to suck." - Dave Ramsey

"Unsuccessful people are always talking about what they deserve. Successful people look around for opportunities to earn it." - The Total Solution Twitter page.

"When people are babies spiritually, somebody has to carry them. Somebody has to feed them. Somebody has to care for them." - Kenneth Hagin Sr.

Speaking about Kanye West not having a degree, "You don't need a degree to be a jackass." - Greg Burgess

One of my favorite things... Organized work space (yeah, good luck with that one).

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Like I said, I'm leaving the house as little as possible.  My plan is more reading and more workouts.

A peek into my day...  

It was way too cold to walk outside today, so I got in 3 miles at the Community Center track. It's one of "those" days.  It took me nearly an hour and a half to do 58 minutes worth of work.  I slowly got in three walking miles on the  track plus probably another half mile going back and forth to the bathroom. Yep, the return of the TeePoo 5k.  Anyway, 3 miles done slowly is better than none.  I only got in 8 total miles this week.  Hopefully this week will be better.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 02

BookThe Art of Prayer.

Author: Kenneth E. Hagin

Info: Copyright 1992 by RHEMA Bible Church

Where acquired: Part of correspondence course curriculum.

Why:  Although this is part of a curriculum, any books that help improve my prayer life are much appreciated. 

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags):  # # # 

What it's about:  Hagin looks at the various types of prayer and the rules that govern them. 

Favorite Quotes

"It seems God is limited by our prayer life–that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him." - John Westley - p. 1

"...all they taught in  Pentecostal circles in those days was how to get saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost.  Then they turned you loose.  We just had to stumble upon anything beyond that." - p. 120

"When we take our places in prayer for each other, we are helping the entire body come into maturity." - p. 136

"When people are babies spiritually, somebody has to carry them.  Somebody has to feed them.  Somebody has to care for them.  This is one place where prayer comes in.  Older believers need to hold them up in prayer as they are learning to walk." - p. 140

What I Liked:
  • This book was a pretty good introduction into various types of biblical prayer.  It didn't answer all of my questions, but made me want to know more.
  • It is always enjoyable to read an author who personally experiences the lessons he is teaching rather than mere theorizing.  It's not enough to just tell me it works; let me see it.
  • The book had short chapters that were easy to read.
  • Hagin was very encouraging; the book made me want to pray even more.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Some of the chapters, though short, were very disjointed.  I had a few "do what?" moments reading this.  Some passages seemed to be headed right to the heart of the teaching, then either abruptly ended or took a rabbit trail unrelated to the lesson without ever getting back on the path.
  • The author occasionally assumes his experiences to be law--the way everyone should do it.  Scripture doesn't always back up his claims.  He's not being false, but a tad bit presumptuous at times.
  • Some of the scriptural passages presented as examples of the lesson made absolutely no sense.  This may be an editor's error, not necessarily the author.  There are also typographical errors.
To sum up

Prayer does not change God; He is always the same.  Prayer changes people and circumstances.  We need only to ask.

Red Hearts: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

Have you ever written a love letter? Have you written one recently? Had one written to you? Did you keep it?
No, on all counts.
What's a movie that ends in a way you especially love?
A Christmas Carol,  I love the fact that Scrooge's change of heart led to his generosity instead of him merely trying to appear generous to make people think he's good.  In other words, he's not being good try to get into heaven; heaven came to him (in a manner of speaking) and he showed his gratitude by learning to love others.
Something that makes your heart sing? And for those of you who are parents, I mean something besides your children that makes your heart sing?
The worship of my Lord, the beauty of a spring day, seeing someone receive Christ, the laughter of babies,  etc.
What's the last event you had to attend, phone call you had to make, routine task you needed to complete, or meal you had to prepare, that you did do, but only half-heartedly?
One of my biggest temptations is to go through most of my life half heartedly. When things aren't going so well or I'm not feeling up to par, I'm tempted to back off into survival mode just to get through the day.  When things are going well and I feel great, the thought of "OK, how long is this going to last?" niggles in the back my mind.  Then the temptation is to not try so hard so that I'm not disappointed.  Weird, but I'm working on it.
Tuna fish salad-yay or blech? If you said yay, how do you like your tuna salad prepared? Hey, this is the Hodgepodge, right?
Blech!  When I was a teenager, the big weight loss thing was to eat tuna fish and boiled eggs.  I ate so much tuna that I got sick of it.  I got past hating boiled eggs by cutting them up and putting them in potato salad and chicken salad, or making deviled eggs.
What's something you 'know by heart'?
Thousands of songs (the words and/or the bass chords).  Lines from my favorite movies.  The layout of Wal-Mart and Hobby-Lobby (until they change it again).  Bible verses.  The eight principles of Celebrate Recovery.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, what two or three word phrase would you write on a conversation heart for someone you love? That someone could be a spouse, child, parent, cousin, bestie...anyone at all whom you love.
Insert your own random thought here.
I promised myself that I wouldn't do an extended diatribe about V-day.  If you've read my Mother's Day blog post, from 2014, then you know how I feel about this whole "holiday."  I'm not anti-marriage and family by any stretch.  However, I am against single women past the age of 18 being treated as worthless because they have no husband or children. 
Now, for something pretty.  In case you don't read my Daybooks, I finished a crochet quilt this weekend.  It's called "Peony" and was inspired by an Eleanor Burns quilting show.

I also finally finished my first book from my full shelf challenge.  The review is here.  I hope y'all will join along.
Thanks for reading and have an awesome week. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Elite Mockingbirds: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, February 8, 2015

Outside my window … A gorgeous warm evening.  I read on Jon Acuff's Twitter: "We live in the South because occasionally a 65 degree day will sneak up and give you a hug in the middle of February."  Thank You, Lord, for that hug.

I am thinking... about the next week: what projects to start and what I can get accomplished.

I am thankful... For the beautiful weather, for a great walk today.

In the kitchen...  restocking and rethinking.  My new mantra is "You are not a garbage disposal." 
I am creating... Finally finished the quilt-ghan:

It's called "Peony" and was inspired by quilter Eleanor Burns' Egg Money Quilts series.  This one will be going to this month's senior citizens' dance as a door price.  I plan on starting another large project in March.

The month of February will be more of a literary creation month.

I am going...  to get in as much outside time as I can.  The weather forecast looks favorable for most of this week.
I am wondering... about why people are so excited about the news that Harper Lee may write another novel.  I know I mentioned this in my Wednesday Hodgepodge, but not everyone reads that.  This is what I had to say about it.
My friends are beside themselves absolutely drooling because they want another book like To Kill a Mockingbird.  Why?  Why would people want more of a story like that? For those who've never read the book or viewed the movie: It's the story of a country lawyer who defends a black man falsely accused of rape.  The man was convicted, sent to prison, and was killed in prison for trying to escape.  Oh yeah, we need more literature like that.  No thank you; one forced reading in high school was enough.
I'm still mystified by it.
I am reading... This week, I finished Big Girls Don't Whine by Jan Silvious.  My review can be found here.  My plan this week is to go back and finish The Art of Prayer by Kenneth Hagin, and start The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren et al.  I'd started the Hagin book last year and received the Warren book as a gift this week.
I am hoping... to have a good week.

I am looking forward to...
 Hearing Richard and Dara Cobb's testimony again on Friday.  They lead a Celebrate Recovery in Decatur, Alabama and are so passionate about helping others.  They will be sharing their story at my CR.
I am learning
…  I'm not sure how to answer this.
Around the house... Not much.
I am pondering...  The cycle of "Elite Nights" is beginning.  Reminds me of what I said in a daybook about this last year:
I've heard the phrase "elite weekend" thrown around a lot by my internet tribe.  Their little darlings are going to their dances this weekend.  I thought I was making unnecessary assumptions about what that meant until I looked up the definition of elite:  "the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons."   Really?  Telling your kid that they are better than everyone else is to be celebrated?  Kind of gives the middle finger salute to the "non-elites" doesn't it?  Geez!  What a lovely image to present to our children.  "No children, don't work hard and study hard, your good looks will get you everything you want."  Double Geez!
This year's "elite" come complete with certificates marking their achievement of being better than everyone else.  Triple Geez!

A favorite quote for today... 

"If you're born with puffy lips, that's what you need. Don't add 'em! Cause if you add 'em, you look like somebody punched you in the face." - Greg Burgess

One of my favorite things... Petunias. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:   I don't have anywhere special I need to go this week.  My plans are mostly about workouts and reading I want to finish, and some projects I want to start.

A peek into my day...  

Leah M. and I walked 6 miles on the Ladiga Trail today.  That my furthest session so far this year.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 01

BookBig Girls Don't Whine.

Author: Jan Silvious

Info: Copyright 2003 by Word Publishing Group

Where acquired: Library book sale.

Why:  Ever since I taught preschool, I've established a "no whining zone" around my body.  However, this zone is for small children, but the author is referring to grown women.  What's up with that?  I got curious and took a small risk and purchased the book.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags):  # # # 1/2

What it's about:  The term "Big Girl" is not a description of the physical size of a woman, but the size of her spirit and heart.  Silvious makes a distinction between immature and mature behavior and offers some practical (and some not so practical) steps to Christian maturity.

Favorite Quotes

About being a good friend:  "Big Girls let others feel what they feel without judgment.  They celebrate differences and learn from one another without condemnation" - p. 113

About mentoring:  "Too often, age is an excuse to sit back and 'let the young folks do it.' When older Big Girls step up to the plate and serve and share their lives with Big Girls in process, everyone wins." - p. 155

What I Liked:
  • The author made an attempt to address ladies at every stage of life.
  • She used her own life as an example of both mature and immature behavior.  In other words, she's lived this, not just theorized about it. 
  • Yes, the book is geared toward women, however, men would benefit from reading this book also.  Knowing what a mature Big Girl looks and sounds like may help him avoid heartache. 
  • Silvious was very encouraging on the subject of mentoring.  She gave some alternatives to traditional mentoring.  These are things that I can readily apply.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Though the author devotes a chapter to single women, nearly every example and encouragement in the book was from the context and experience of a married woman.  It was like she was saying, "We know you single ladies are out there.  Be content, but this is how it REALLY is at best.  So we hope you get married soon." 
  • This is most likely the editors doing, not the author's, but I really dislike what I call "aside boxes" in writing--those little boxes that repeat a phase you've just read.  I may feel a different statement meant more to me.  Use those boxes for pictures, illustrations, or information not already contained in the text.  Otherwise, they are a distraction that  makes the author look very narcissistic.
  • There was a reader's guide with questions to ponder.  Too bad it wasn't mentioned in the introduction or early in the book.  Otherwise, I may have known about it sooner.  That guide would have made the experience much richer.
  • Although I liked the book, to me it ended on a rather depressing note.  I won't spoil it, but it left me rather deflated at the end.
To sum up

Growing to maturity isn't easy for anyone, but it can be an enjoyable journey.  The key is to pass on what you've learned so that others don't suffer needlessly.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pink Hearts: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

Do you wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your emotions tucked in tight?
Keeping my emotions tucked in tight has caused me to wear my emotions everywhere but my sleeve;  my hips, my belly, my thighs, etc.  For someone who constantly heard "you shouldn't feel that way," I'm on the hunt for balance.
How did you meet your closest friend?
I'm not sure who that would be, but most likely, I met him/her at church.
Pink lemonade, grilled salmon, cotton candy, pink grapefruit, a strawberry milkshake, or raspberry sorbet...of the pink foods listed, which one is your favorite? Least favorite? Which one have you most recently consumed?
Out of the items listed, my favorite would be the strawberry milkshake.  I've never had grilled salmon or raspberry sorbet and I like pink lemonade but haven't had cotton candy since I was in grade school and have only eaten yellow grapefruit, so I can't pick a least favorite.
Speaking of cotton candy... 

When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.
I substituted at the preschool for the past couple of days.  Little kids always crack me up, so they kept me tickled all day.
Are you a fan of television talk shows? Daytime, nighttime, or both? What's your favorite?
I used to be.  Daytime talk shows that actually talk about something interesting and have good guests were my favorite.  Nowadays, those are few and far in between.  My favorite nighttime talk show was The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson but he quit hosting the show in December.  I'll probably just watch reruns of that on YouTube.
When was the last time you wanted to ask a question, but felt too foolish to do so?
I daily have questions I wish I could ask, but feel like such a numbskull I don't dare ask.  It gets frustrating at times.
My favorite __________________right now is _________________.
My favorite pants right now are the stretch jeans I bought at the thrift store.
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm flabbergasted as to why people are so excited about the news that Harper Lee may write another novel.  My friends are beside themselves absolutely drooling because they want another book like To Kill a Mockingbird.  Why?  Why would people want more of a story like that? For those who've never read the book or viewed the movie: It's the story of a country lawyer who defends a black man falsely accused of rape.  The man was convicted, sent to prison, and was killed in prison for trying to escape.  Oh yeah, we need more literature like that.  Sure, let's foster more unnecessary hate and division.  No thank you; one forced reading in high school was enough.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sleepy Hollow: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, February 1, 2015

Outside my window … The dreich skies of Scottish winter have returned to Calhoun County, Alabama. 

I am thinking... about what my next move is.

I am thankful... For whomever is putting up old sermons on YouTube.  Many of these are ministers and sermons I heard after I first became a Jesus freak.  I've got my own Campmeeting going on here.

In the kitchen...  I'm working on learning to enjoy eating.  I want to eat without emotions, guilt, or shame attached to it.
I am creating... I'm still trying to finish up the quilt-ghan.  I'm in the home stretch though. 

I am going...  back to sleep after I finish this.  I came home after church and slept all afternoon.  I got up just in time to go to music practice.  Unfortunately, I do not have a workout in my bones today.
I am wondering... about why people have the need to feel important by belittling someone else by treating them like they're stupid...and why I'm always the person they pick?  Ugh!

I am reading... I'm in the home stretch of Big Girls Don't Whine.  I've also been given a copy of The Daniel Plan to chew on.
I am hoping... for a good week.

I am looking forward to...
 spring (no, I said that already),  Race season (no, I said that already).  You know, it kind of bothers me that I struggle with finding something to look forward to.  I want real things to look forward to and not merely pipe dreams.
I am learning
…  How much a miracle of God my teaching years were.  I subbed a couple of days and realized that I could never successfully teach preschool full time again.
Around the house... My roommate and I are trying plan what we want to do to spruce up the front and back porches.  As soon as the weather is remotely warm enough, we want to get started.  We're hoping to have some help with a couple of things.
I am pondering...  how to have a good year.
A favorite quote for today... 

"Anyone who says only crazy people cuss at inanimate objects has never owned a computer." - Me

"We celebrate birthdays where all you have to do is not die for 365 days, and yet we let people who have made our lives better walk around without knowing it." - Drew Dudley

"Satire is a messy thing. And like hot dogs, you don't want to see how it's made." - Greg Proops

One of my favorite things... Stretch blue jeans.  Whoever invented those is a genius.

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Doctor appointment Monday, all the normal weekly activities the rest of the week.

A peek into my day...  

Today seemed like a hard day for everyone.  We all seemed so sluggish.  Worship was also difficult.  Sometimes musicians and ministers have to fight "the wall" where it seems that words or music are only getting about a foot away, slamming into a wall, and hitting the ground.  It's like it never reaches the congregation.  Hopefully, the wall will be torn down by next Sunday.