Wednesday, November 22, 2017

40 Days of Gratitude 2017: Day 01: The Weekly Hodgepodge

This week, Mrs. Joyce, is using the acrostic THANKS  to ask our hodgepodge questions.

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up! tightly do you cling to tradition when it comes to holiday gatherings and celebrations? For instance do you always do the cooking, never eat at home, always go to grandma's, never miss the parade, always watch football, never change the menu, always eat at 2 PM, etc.? Have you ever celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving away from hearth, home, and family? How did that feel?

I've not yet had the opportunity to establish my own holiday traditions.  There were things I did back home that were habitual, but they were for the benefit of others.  My Colorado friends don't understand why I'm OK with going through the holidays away from family.  For the past several years, work schedules and distance have kept me from family gatherings, so we've all grown accustomed to my not being there. it easy for you to ask for help or are you a do-it-yourselfer? How is that a good/bad thing?

I've had to work on getting up off my fear and pride and asking for help while preparing for the possibility of either having to take care of it myself, or it not getting taken care of at all.

Abundance...what is there an abundance of in your kitchen?

Cereal.  I was given two boxes of cereal to go with the unfinished box I bought a couple of weeks ago.  Now that I can cook whenever I want, cereal is the "I'm too tired to cook" food. 

Name...the smallest thing you're thankful for? the biggest?

Smallest?  I'm thankful that my apartment has a ceiling fan in the living room.  That's going to come in handy in the summer.  Biggest?  My increasing health.

Key...What do you think is the key to living a more grateful life?

Remembering where it all comes from:

James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Remembering that being ungrateful is the beginning of backsliding.

Romans 1:21-23 - Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 

State your own random thought here.

Day 1:

Today, I'm thankful for my ability to read and write.  It's a gift that I never take for granted.  From childhood through my undergraduate years, reading standard print was physically painful for me.  I was at the mercy of finding available large print or audio book libraries.  Now that reading is much less difficult--praise the Lord--I'm devouring all that I can until I leave this earth.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 27

BookThe Women of Christmas.

Author: Liz Higgs

Info:  Copyright 2013: New York:  Waterbrook Press.

Where acquired: Library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭

CategoryImpulse Read:  The ladies' Bible study I was involved in before I started working were doing a study on this book.  Since I couldn't attend, I decided to read the book.

What it's about:  Higgs focuses on the principle female characters of the Christmas story.  Taking a verse-by-verse journey through the account of Jesus' birth, the author zeroes in on Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna.

What I Liked:
  • The book was a short, easy read.
  • The Kindle edition had real page numbers.
  • There were no aside boxes in the text.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The choppiness of the text read like a quick cut-and-paste of the author's notes and a few salient comments from her Bible study group thrown in.  Reading it was like being part of a Bible study where all the participants knew each other, but you were the newbie who didn't understand all the inside jokes and nuances of the group. 
  • The study questions at the end just didn't do it for me.  It still felt like I was sitting as the lone "dunce" in a class full of teacher's pets.
  • While I applaud her use of various Bible versions to further amplify the meaning of some passages, the manner is which they were done was very disruptive to the already choppy flow of the narrative.


Years ago, I read Higgs' Bad Girls of the Bible and really enjoyed it.  While I didn't expect this book to be written in the same style, I did expect a more in-depth text that would inspire me to dig deeper.  It didn't.  Maybe studying it along with others would have been more helpful--but maybe not. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fall Festival: 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:  Monday, November 20, 2017

Outside my window  Another cool, crisp, Colorado morning.

I am thinking...  
  • ... about doing another 40 Days of Gratitude blog challenge.  It will start on November 22nd and take us through the end of the year.
  • ... about the holidays and how I'll celebrate them in this new place.  We've already had a couple of fun Thanksgiving celebrations at work.
  • ... about decorating plans for my apartment.  I've got lot's of ideas and it will be fun to experiment.

I am thankful...  Oh, for so many things.  So many things have fallen into place since we first planned this move out West.  Only God could have orchestrated what has happened.  To Him I give the glory.
From the Workshop...
Auntie's Workshop is on temporary hiatus as I furnish my apartment with the necessities.  As soon as I have a suitable workspace from which to create, I'll be right back at it.
I am reading...  
The Women of Christmas by Liz Higgs
The Last Bus to Albuquerque by Lewis Grizzard
Books I've completed since my last Daybook:
  • Real Artists Don't Starve by Jeff Goins.  The review is here.

I am learning...

On my job, I'm learning new procedures, new computer programs, and new equipment. 

In my new city, I'm learning where things are and how things work.

Favorite quote(s) of the week

"Scripture doesn't call for us to lay out our lives without any semblance of a game plan and in defiance of mathematics and call it 'trusting God.'" - Dave Ramsey

"Genius tends to happen in community, not isolation." - Marshal Ferrell.

"Promotion isn't something an artist avoids; it's an essential part of the job." - Jeff Goins.
I am looking forward to... 
  • A few days off for Thanksgiving.
  • Saturday's Iron Bowl.  #RollTide
  • JSU's first playoff game in December.  #FearTheBeak
  • Going back to IKEA.
  • Volunteering at the Christmas Shop ministry the first Saturday of December. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Excuse"

Romans 1:20 (KJV) - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

We are in a world full of excuses.  However, I believe for some of us, our efforts to not be excuse makers does us harm.  As I mentioned here, in trying not to make excuses for not keeping up with my runners club back home, I was neglecting my real needs.  My physical health was suffering from not getting enough rest.  My mental health was declining into a depressive mode of disappointment at not reaching someone else's idea of mileage I should be getting.  My health goals were going into the toilet because mileage was overshadowing progress I could have been making in other areas of fitness.
While not making excuses is a great virtue to shoot for, the goal is not to worry about what everyone else thinks.  The goal is to maintain integrity.
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Five Minute Friday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 26

BookReal Artists Don't Starve.

Author: Jeff Goins

Info:  Copyright 2017: Nashville:  Nelson Books

Where acquired: Library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭

What it's about:  Author Jeff Goins tackles the notion that a creative is only a "true" artist if he is constantly behind the eight-ball financially and must succumb to the image of the starving artist.  Through extensive research of both historical and contemporary examples, the author elevates the creative from starving to thriving. Woven through this volume are instructions and examples on changing one's mindset, marketing one's work, and dealing with money.

CategoryImpulse Read:  I was watching a video interview of the author on Michael Hyatt's Facebook page. I'd never heard of Jeff Goins before, but his description of he subject matter hit home and I was immediately curious.

Favorite Quotes:

"We must not only use our stubbornness to succeed,--we must harness it and apply it toward the right things, turning it into tenacity.  Otherwise, what helps us succeed can also be the source of our undoing.  p. 55

"When you're playing a game you can't seem to win, sometimes the best thing to do it not try harder.  None of us want to spend our lives playing by someone else's rules.  When the game is unfair, change the game you're playing.  Move to another city, create a new art form, get a different network.  If the group you want to be a part of doesn't want you, create your own."  p. 97

"Genius tends to happen in community, not isolation."  Michael Farrel, Quoted on page 111.

"Promotion isn't something an artist avoids; it's an essential part of the job." - p. 124

"Creative success is about getting to do your work without constraint.  Money is not the point, but it is part of the road we must walk to become professionals.  Charging brings dignity to our work.  It validates our offering to this world and allows us to keep working." - p. 139.

"The point is not to make a fortune or become famous, but to do the work.  We are all looking for a way to share our gift with the world without worrying about making a living.  That means building a life that allows us to keep creating." - p. 202

What I Liked:
  • Goins has an entire section of references.  In other words, he gives proof that he thoroughly researched the subject and didn't just make this up off the top of his head.
  • He doesn't advise quitting one's day job and just diving in.  That's usually the formula for the starving artist.
  • Though it was scholarly research, the author's writing style wasn't dry, but read more like a mentoring session.  He also shares examples from his own life.
  • Goins taught me a piece of Black History I never knew about; the Florida Highwaymen:  a group of painters of color who sold unique landscape oil paintings starting in the 1950's.  This group of creators sold art in a time and place where their actions defied cultural and racial norms.  I want to learn more about these fabulous trailblazers.

What I didn’t like: 
  • I would have preferred that the author not to refer to reaping inspiration from our influences "stealing."  I understand that he's not talking about plagiarism, or presenting someone else's artwork as one's own, but his wording makes it sound that way.

I relish books that give me solid information that leads to a complete paradigm shift in my thinking.  This book ranks right up there with how Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course changed my views on money and Dan Millers 48 Days to the Work You Love podcast shifted my attitudes and techniques on finding lucrative, meaningful work.  Like many others, I had also been taught the myth of the starving artist without knowing how this apocryphal story became an assumed fact.

This book revealed my mistakes as an artist while providing steps to avoid other pitfalls.  My attitude about my own artwork is changing; hopefully, my strategies for getting more of it out into the world will grow as well.  I plan to purchase a copy of Real Artists Don't Starve for future reference and inspiration.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

You Ain't From Here, Are You?: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
What takes you out of your comfort zone?

It's not really one particular thing.  Like many others, I fight the Imposter Syndrome--the feeling that I'm not as good, talented, or smart as those around me, and that I will be "found out."  It's a terrible feeling that isn't unique to my new situation; I've dealt with this level of insecurity most of my teen and adult life.

Your least favorite spice?

OK.  First, I'm not sure of the difference between an herb and a spice, so I may be answering the question totally wrong.  


Of all the spices/herbs I've dealt with, I don't care for raw cilantro; it tastes like soap.  With that being said, I've had a dish with the cilantro cooked in it and liked it.  Maybe the cooking removes the soapy taste???

What's a small change you'd like to make?

Getting my total fitness program back to where I want it.  I'll be spending the rest of the year working on that.

Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been? Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA) Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

I'm not sure.  The only historical home I've visited was George Washington's home in Mt. Vernon.  This was during our marching band's trip to DC.  It was such a whirlwind trip that I don't remember much of it.

What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

Probably my cell phone.  Hopefully, I'll learn how to use something newer by then.

Insert your own random thought here. 

Now that I have moved into my own place, I can tell you the saga of getting there.

Don't worry, it's a brief saga...hopefully.

As many of you know, housing in Colorado is crazy.  There's more people than available housing and new homes and apartment buildings are being built any and everywhere.  This does cause price gouging in some areas--especially around Denver where I am.  Surprisingly, I found several places within my price range.  Not surprising, some contacts came with issues.  One guy was so creepy that I didn't care how much the rent was, I didn't want him being my landlord. Several never responded to my communication.  But these weren't the worst experiences I had.

The one place where I actually got a call back was actually promising...until I went to look at it.  The problem wasn't the place; it was small, but nice.  The problem was the attitude of the landlady and manager involved.  In short, they took me out of the running for the place because I wasn't from Colorado.  The manager actually said to me, "Oh, so you're not from Colorado?  You're not here for the weed are you?"

Apparently, my "no, sir" wasn't a good enough answer.  The fact that I work at a Christian college and couldn't smoke pot even if I wanted to didn't matter either.  He gave me this speech about how he wished all the potheads from out of state would go home.  Apparently, he believes there aren't any potheads native to Colorado.

Yeah, right!

Every time I called to check on the status of my application, the landlady kept fiddle farting around and changing her story about the place.  Evidently, she has the same attitude about "foreigners."  Well, I hope she found some nice Coloradians to take the place.

God had something better for me.

I'm enjoying my new place.  There's not much in it yet, but I'm sure that will change quickly.  I'm going to have so much fun decorating and creating.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Silence"

Habakkuk 2:20 (KJV) - But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
Today at our monthly campus-wide Strategic Objective Workshop, we heard a stirring presentation by Dr. James Emery White.  His topic was "A Mind for God," based on his book of the same title.  I purchased the book, and if it's anything like his presentation, I'll most likely finish it in a weekend.

One of the points Dr. White made was that many people do not take the necessary steps to cultivate a healthy mind because they are unwilling to deal with silence.  From an overload of technology and media to internal stressors, the noise from without and within prevent us from even doing the basics of scholarly pursuits and learning how to think for ourselves.

One of the benefits of my move is that my new place doesn't have internet.  Yes, I'm not purchasing it for now because of budget.  However, I want to use this technology break to spend more time in quiet study and creativity.  Don't worry, I'll get on enough to post blogs and the necessaries, but I'm gong to enjoy the silence.
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Five Minute Friday.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

In the Groove: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
In a rut, in a jam, in the groove, out of synch, off balance, out of touch...which saying best fits some area of your life currently (or recently)? Explain.

In the groove...and it's all been God's doing.

What is it about somebody else's style of work (coworker/employee/shared volunteer project/household chore) that makes you crazy? Why?

It's not really someone's style of working, but their style of not working.  That's not much of a problem on my new job, but in other situations, it mystifies me how some people work extremely hard to get nothing done.  Sometimes I feel like this guy...

What's a tradition that always makes you feel at home

Watching or listening to college football.  That's how I've brought a little piece of home with me to Colorado (Thanks TuneIn radio).

A favorite song with a girl's name in the title or lyrics? Any reason why this is a particular favorite?

The instrumentation is what makes this jam one of my favorites.  One day, I'd like to learn to play this song on both bass and drums.

Share a favorite quote, verse, or saying relating to gratitude or thanksgiving.

Romans 1:20-21 (KJV) - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

I know that seems like an odd one to choose, but in it's context it's a warning that the root of backsliding starts with being unthankful.

Insert your own random thought here.

This time change has totally wrecked my sleep.  Monday, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep.  Tuesday, I woke up at 4:30 and thought I was on the mend.  Then, this morning, I woke up again at 3:30.  Once again, I had to remind myself that I don't work for the YMCA anymore and don't have to get up at the butt crack of dawn.  Let's hope it works.  Technically, I've gone through the time change twice.  This summer, I had to make the adjustment from Central to Mountain time; now this.  Reminds me of a quote:  "What is daylight savings time, and if we're saving so much of it, who's got it all?" - Mike Warnke.

Well, on to good news.  Tomorrow I sign my lease and move into my new apartment.  My daily long commute is over and I'm getting back two hours a dayfor more constructive use.  Praise the Lord.  Once I've got the keys and get settled, I'll tell more of the story.

See y'all next time.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Need"


Philippians 4:19 - But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Need is everywhere.  Having need is not anything new.  Seeing those in need is also nothing new.  The change is that for the first time, I feel like I have a chance to do a little something about it.

Our church has many wonderful opportunities to serve those in need.

God is taking good care of my needs because, quite frankly, I'm doing a better job of getting out of the way and letting Him.

Something else that's needed is healthy, adult discourse.  An online acquaintance posted a video about "white privilege."  I knew I shouldn't have commented, but I'm so tired of this discourse, I felt a need to try to add some sanity to the conversation.  I know, don't say it.  Of course my comments that it wasn't about race but about making wise choices were removed.  The claim was that the post wasn't about "white privilege," but that's what the video implied.

What I need is for my white friends to stop being made to feel ashamed of their race.  I also need my black friends to stop shaming each other when they make the wise choices that bring success.
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Five Minute Friday.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Smile: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
What does/did Halloween look like at your house this year? Did you decorate? Pick pumpkins? Carve pumpkins? Expect trick or treaters? Wear a costume to a party or event? Make a costume? Feel glad you didn't have to come up with a costume? Cook a Halloween themed treat? Eat all the leftover candy?
None of the above.  Maybe next year.

What are you waiting for? Elaborate
I'm waiting to hear from the apartment I applied for.  I'll know something by Friday.  So, Lord willing, I'll be moving this weekend.

Do you wish you were friendlier, braver, more creative, more athletic, or something else? Explain.
I'm always longing to be more than what I am.  From this list my top two are more creative and more athletic.  I feel like both are at kind of a standstill right now.  I believe the coming year will see vast improvement.

When it comes time to paint are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone? What was the last paint job completed at your house? What room most needs painting now? How do you feel about wallpaper?

Since I do not yet own my own home, I've not had the joy of picking out paint colors for the walls.  When I do get to that point, I'm hiring someone.  I can paint a landscape or still life on canvas, but I know nothing about painting a wall without making a mess of it.

What is one specific thing you felt gratitude for in the month of October?

I only get to pick one?!  Not a chance.
  • A good church.
  • My new job and great coworkers.
  • The friends I've stayed with until I could get on my feet.
  • Safety on the road during my commute.
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm so spent after my 31 days blog challenge that I think I've run out of words for now.  So, I'll just share a song.  See y'all next week.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Hurry Up and Wait: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
What's surprised you most about your life or life in general?

I started to say that how well things are going was surprising, but that would be a lie.  It should be this good, and better.  I've prayed.  My friends have prayed.  God continually reminds me of His Word and asks me to trust Him.  His plan is good.  I'm the one who's been screwing it up.

Any of you who've read my blog for any significant length of time knows that God has brought me through many hard times (some self-inflicted) and helped me overcome so much crap that should have killed me, or at least made me stark raving crazy (again, some self-inflicted).

God's word says in Romans 8:28 that He works all things together for my good because I love Him and am called according to His purpose.  I've been calling that one in.  It's my time.  It's time for me to do Him more good than harm.  It's time for me to work and have something to show for it.  It's time for me to fulfill God's purpose in my life, rather than just sit and dream about it.

Sweet potato fries, sweet potato casserole, a baked sweet potato, a bowl of butternut squash soup, a caramel apple or a slice of pumpkin have to order one thing on this list right now. Which one do you go for? 

Wait, no sweet potato pie?  The wheel is rigged!

What's a famous book set in your home state? Have you read it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 is fantastic) how many stars does it rate?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is set in Alabama.  I was forced to read it in high school and I give it a one out of five.  Just as I said when the sequel came out and everyone was peeing themselves over 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.
 There are 60 days until Christmas...have you started your shopping? How do you stay organized for the holidays?

Are you kidding me?  My goal is to get approved for an apartment, get moved, and have something in my new place besides an air mattress and a box of light bulbs.  I'll deal with Christmas NEXT Christmas.

October 26th is National Tennessee Day. Have you ever lived or spent any time in Tennessee? Is this a state you'd like to visit one day? The top rated tourist attractions in Tennessee are-The Great Smoky Mountain National Park (Gatlinburg area), Elvis's Graceland (Memphis), Birth of the Music Biz (Memphis and Nashville), Dollywood (Pigeon Forge), Tennessee's Military Heritage (many battlefields), The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home), The Parthenon (Nashville), Oak Ridge American Museum of Science and Energy, Chattagnooa and the Tennessee Valley Railroad, Downtown Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, The Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge), The Museum of Appalachia (Clinton), and The Lost Sea Adventure (Sweetwater).  How many on this list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?

When I was in Girl Scouts, we went to the now defunct Opryland in Nashville.  When I go back to my neck of the woods to visit, I'd like to go to the Tennessee Aquarium and go to Gatlinburg to play in the artist shops.  It's only a few hours from my hometown.

Insert your own random thought here.

Well, the first apartment I applied for fell through.  Well, fell through isn't really the right term for what happened.  I'll tell the story of what happened later--after I'm for sure settled somewhere.  I found a larger place even closer to work, and I jumped on it like duck on a Junebug.  I'm just waiting for my paperwork to be approved.  When that happens, the place is mine (I paid to hold it).  I'm believing for God's favor and that the process runs smoothly and quickly to get me moved in.  Keep praying, y'all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Which Way Did He Go, George?: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your sense of direction? 1=can't find my way out of a paper bag and 10=if I've been somewhere once I can find it blindfolded ten years later.

When was the last time you looked at/used a map you could hold in your hand? (phones don't count!) 

Back east, down south, out west, up north

Choose one of these directional expressions and tell us why you chose it.

OK, this is the three questions in one.  Isn't that cheating, Mrs. Joyce?


Part 1:  Since I'm finding my away around a new town, I'd say I'm around a 7 on the scale.  Once I have a good base of directions, I can find things relative to the base.

Part 2:  The last time I used an actual map was when I worked for a moving company.  That was only because the computers were down.  Honestly, I'm much better with a GPS and an online map site.  For me, those maps are easier to understand.  I wouldn't have made it across the country without them.

Part 3:  "Out west."  Well, it's where I am.

Did you do more talking or listening yesterday? Is that typical? Describe your yesterday in one word.

Listening.  I endeavor for listening more to be typical of my behavior.  Yesterday in one word?  Exhausting.

Time, money, water-power-resources, opportunity...which one on the list are you most guilty of wasting? What might you do to change that?

When I was younger, I wasted a lot of money with debt and stupid decisions based on a poverty mindset.  Now, I'd say I struggle with wasting time.  At present my biggest time waster is my commute to work.  Hopefully, a solution is soon coming.

Did your family take regular vacations when you were a kid? Tell us something you remember about a family roadtrip from your own childhood.

Like I said here, our family couldn't afford vacations, so I don't have a good answer for you.

If you could grow anything you wanted, what would you grow? Why?

If I could grow something that is impossible to grow, I would grow a money tree because I'm ready to be out of debt and I'm ready to be a better giver.  If I could grow something that's possible to grow, I'd like to grow some of the fussy plants I've not had any success with.  I have a green thumb, but if a plant is too complicated to maintain, I kill it.  Things like African violets, poinsettias, orchids, and geraniums.  I guess I just learn to paint them in order to enjoy them.

Insert your own random thought here.

Well, Saturday, I go to view an apartment to possibly rent.  If it the right place for me (and I hope and pray it is), I'll be moving the first week of November.  I'll keep y'all posted.  I'm ready to move closer to my work.  We had our first snow Monday and my long commute was not pleasant.  Pretty, but not pleasant.  Plus, I'm ready to be settled into my own place.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Loud Love: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!

Have you ever spent time on a farm? Tell us a little bit about it. Have you ever grown your own pumpkin? Been on a hayride? Driven a tractor? Milked a cow?

The last summer I thought preschool full time, our class visited a farm.  For many of the children, it was the first time they'd seen a live chicken or cow.  Part of the fun was taking a hayride around the property.  Personally, I've not grown my own pumpkin, driven a tractor, or milked a cow.

My Thunderbabies' trip to the farm in 2007

What's something younger you would like about you now?

I'm much healthier than I when I was younger.  Spiritually, I know much more about the Lord and His Word.  Mentally, I experience much more joy.  Physically, I enjoy exercise and experience far less health problems than when I was younger. 

What are three things you'd like to do more often? Three things you'd like to do less often?

More often:
  • Get outside
  • Pray
  • Listen to more music
Less often:
  • Worry
  • Ignore my own needs
  • Squint

What's on your nachos?

Cheese, salsa, sour cream, chicken, sliced black olives, and avocado.

What's the most random thing in your purse or wallet? Does it need to stay there?

A set of earplugs.  My church gives them out in case the music is too loud.  It isn't, so I need to return them.  Their sound people do a great job.  I've been sitting on the front row, and the music is excellent, but not overwhelming.

Insert your own random thought here.

We sang this at church last week and I can't (and won't) get it out of my head.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rocky Mountain High: 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:  Saturday, September 30 , 2017

Outside my window  Today, Annie's family took me on a nice hike at Dedisse Park up in the mountains in Evergreen, Colorado.  The views around the lake were gorgeous.

I am thinking...  
  • I'm considering doing the 31 days of 5 minute free writes this year.  My mind is in a much better place than the other times I've participated.  Slide on over to my sister blog tomorrow, October 1st, for the first entry.  The plan is to complete each entry based on one of my art pieces.
  • I'm thinking about my new job and what it will be like.
  • I'm pondering the subject matter of my new Pastor's podcast Discipled by Jesus.  After four episodes, I'm still completely lost.  I don't think it's him;  Hopefully, when I hear the next episode, something will click. 

I am thankful... 
  • For my new job.
  • Thankful that I've gotten my car back and that the repair was relatively inexpensive.
  • Thankful for my nine year chip at Celebrate Recovery.  Although I'm not an integral  part of the program anymore, I still live the principles and collect my yearly chips when I can.  Blessedly, my new church has a CR.

From the Workshop...

Found a really cute crochet boot cuff pattern.  It works really well for knee high boots.  I managed to convert it to an ankle boot pattern also.  I'm thinking of selling them for about $10 a pair.  If you want a pair, let me know what size and color at

I am reading...

Currently off the shelf (among the pile):

Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell

Talk to Me by Lynette Hagin. 
I am learning...
  • Once I move, I really want a Keurig.  Where I'm house/cat sitting has one, and I'm enjoying being able to brew one cup of coffee or tea at a time.

Favorite Quotes of the Week...

I'll just leave this here.

I am looking forward to... 
  • Church tomorrow.
  • Starting my new job Monday.
  • Bible study on Wednesday at work.
  • Finding a place to live closer to my job.  Distance isn't the problem; traffic is.  It takes me an hour or more to travel the 17 miles to and from work.  Not an efficient use of my time...or nerves.
And now for something totally different...

Five Minute Friday Word of the Week:   Depend

Friday, September 29, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Depend"

Psalm 121:1-3  - I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Isaiah 49:15-16 - Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.16Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Who likes to be dependent?  Get that hand up.  Anyone?  Anybody?
Most of us don't like to depend on someone else.  I don't.  I often fight thoughts that I'm being too needy, that I will be forgotten or let down, or that it shows a lacking on my part.  I spent my early years with no choice to be dependent on others.  Even when people understood why I needed help, they often threw it up in my face.  Some of it I deserved; some I didn't.
In Girl Scouts, we used to sing this little chorus:
No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man's joy is joy to me,
Each man's grief is my own.…
I tried to understand it, but often found myself alone to suffer my own grief and brief joy.  Again, some deserved, some not.  As I grew in my relationship with Christ, I was often confronted with the fact that God created us for community, but still I often balked (or at least chaffed) at the notion.
The Lord has used all the changes from this year to show me that I can depend on Him.  He has used people from South Carolina to Colorado and beyond to show me that His love and help knows no bounds.  He's shown me that desiring to be independent of His people is to attempt to be independent of Him. 
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Five Minute Friday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Animal Farm: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

I had a few goldfish in a tank at one point.  They lived a short while.  I gave up after flushing the last one to the Mississippi.  I was given a couple of finches when I was in high school.  They were fun to have...until trouble started.  The male pecked the female to death and stomped the eggs she'd laid.  A few weeks later, he died.  It's just weird, I'm good with animals.  Apparently, I'm better at keeping other people's pets than maintaining my own.

What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?

Nothing.  I had no "have-to-do's" today (Tuesday).

Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

I was back in JackVegas.  I had just "retired" from teaching preschool, and was seeking a new job. 

September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi...which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

Didn't know there was a National Dumpling Day to celebrate.  Chicken and dumplings would be on my list.  I've tried to make them, but wasn't successful.  May be a dish I'll try to make again when I've got my own place.

'There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don't.' William Trogdon
So which kind are you?

It depends.  I don't mind good adventures.  Now, unpleasant surprises?  I'm not very fond of.  I've had enough of both this year.  I need some calm normalcy for a while.

Insert your own random thought here.

Well, it's official, I was offered one of the job positions I was up for.  I go for orientation tomorrow (Wednesday).  I also got my car back today (Tuesday).  The problem wasn't the gas; it was a faulty old as Methuselah crankshaft position sensor.  I believe it will now run well until I can get something newer.  Again, God provides!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Watching and Waiting: 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:  Monday, September 25 , 2017

Outside my window  Cool and rainy skies.  Fall is definitely in the air.

I am thinking...  about the Bible study I'm involved in at my new church.  It's called Proven by Jennie Allen.  Because of the high probability of starting a new job, I won't be able to finish the study. However, I am gleaning everything from the study I can.  It's based on the book of John and focuses on Christ's sufficiency amidst our insufficiency.  Sure, it sounds like a cliché, but this study is anything but 8 weeks of trite Christian phrases.  It's also not a mommy-central study; it really does hit to the heart of everyone.  Many of us at some point in our lives, feel like we have something to prove.  The problem is when we feel that we have to prove the things that Christ's sacrifice have already proven out.  I'm just a guilty; I try to prove my worth when the blood of Jesus has already shown my value.  I work way too hard to try to be something I already am, to earn something I already have.
I am thankful...  for God's grace, favor, and provision.
From the Workshop...

(Photo courtesy of Joyce Daley at From This Side of the Pond)

So, my big crochet project is now finished.  Mrs. Joyce chronicled her and her sweet husband's home build out on the lake.  They have moved in and have shared many enjoyable (and some not so enjoyable) moments from living in their dream home.  I stitched this afghan as a housewarming present.  That's why I couldn't share it earlier.  Thanks, Joyce, for doing me the honor allowing me to create for you.

I am reading...

Currently off the shelf (among the pile):

Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau

The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell

Talk to Me by Lynette Hagin. 
Books I've finished since my last Daybook:
  • Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen.  My review is here.
  • I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It. by Charles Barkley.  My review is here.
  • Whatever Tomorrow Brings by Lori Wick.  Book #1 of the Californians Series. 
  • As Time Goes By by Lori Wick.  Book #2 of the Californians Series.
  • Sean Donovan by Lori Wick.  Book #3 of the Californians Series.
  • Donovan's Daughter by Lori Wick.  Book #4 of the Californians Series.
I am learning...
  • My car problem may not be the gas, but we still don't know exactly what it is.
  • I'm cat/house sitting for a friend.  Today, I learned how to scoop clean a litter box.  It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
Favorite Quotes of the Week...

"E-mail, telephone, and alcohol are the three primary ways people get brave." - Charles Barkley

"If someone has the power to offend you, they have the power to control you.  Forgive and LIVE in freedom . #grace "- Jeremiah Johnson, Pastor, GracePoint Church, Georgetown, KY.

"I've been doing art since I was young."  - Beatrix Rim, age 5.

I am looking forward to...  new possibilities.

And now for something totally different...

Five Minute Friday Word of the Week:   Accept

Friday, September 22, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Accept"

Accept is kind of like the word tolerance.  Everyone thinks it means one thing, but it means something totally different.
The dictionary definition of accept is: "consent to receive (a thing offered)."  To be accepting does not mean that I have to consent to receive everything offered.  Everything isn't good or healthy for me.  I can't accept every situation, every teaching, or every relationship that comes along.  Acceptance can include the word "no."  If I say no, that means, I'm accepting that something isn't good for me to receive.

This prompt also reminded me of the first part of the Serenity Prayer:  "God, grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know that difference."  This isn't a fatalistic view of life; it just means that we can't control everything and must trust God and put things in His hands.  That I can accept.
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Five Minute Friday.