Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I've finally recovered from Christmas. It took three days of resting and sleeping. I admit that I brought on most of it myself. I was SO laid back and relaxed before the holidays that I waited until the last minute to shop and cook. This shot the stress factor through the roof. Usually I'm through with my shopping in July or August. I like to pick up things throughout the year when I see then. THIS year I was shopping on Christmas Eve. The selection was good and the crowds weren't bad, but the fear of not finding what I wanted really brought on the stress. Stupid, I know.

So then I spend Christmas Eve and Day angry at my family (especially husband) because I have all this cooking to do and they're not helping as much as I think they should. I'll say it again as I've said it many times before, "I'm my own worst enemy." Sorry, my family, for being a grouch at such a special time.

Note to self: Go back to buying gifts all year and finish in the fall at the latest. Start cooking as early as possible and freeze what food I can for the holidays.

During the twelve days of Christmas, through January 5, I'm rereading last year's journals and going over my 2009 Goals. I didn't get as many of them accomplished as I would have liked so will focus my efforts there as well as making new Goals for 2010. Wow! Typing 2010 seems so futuristic. I'm not even sure how to say it. Is it two thousand ten or twenty ten? I guess either is correct. It just sounds so sci-fi.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A New Reading Challenge for 2010


Challenge Button
January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010

Click on the button above to see a fun reading challenge for next year. It's from Letters From a Hill Farm blog. Some of the listed authors will be new to me. I've heard of them but haven't read any of their books.

One thing I love about my bookgroup is that I read books I wouldn't have tried on my own. This challenge will be good that way too. It'll make me get out of my reading comfort zone.

And who doesn't love the movie You've Got Mail? It's filled with books since both of the main characters are bookstore owners. The reading list comes from books mentioned in the movie.

So click the button and have fun!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Additions to last blog post: I'll tell you about Blog Award #1 when I do all I have to do in order to get it! Also, I'll highlight all the blog addresses when Laurel can teach me how. Yikes =-( ! Yeah, I'm pathetic.

One more thing; I didn't notice until the last post was put up that I was supposed to answer the questions with one word. Yeah, right!

Blog Award-Yeah!

My friend Katy @, awarded me with my second blog award! Thanks, Katy!

The way it works is that I answer the following questions in one word, and then pass the award on to five other bloggers.

Here are the questions:
1. Where is your cell phone? On my desk
2. Your hair? Dark brown with slivers of silver
3. Your mother? Amazing
4. Your father? Sweetest man in the whole world
5. Your favorite food? Southern
6. Your dream last night? Don't remember
7. Your favorite drink? Tea
8. Your dream/goal? Balance
9. What room are you in? Kitchen
10. Your hobby? Photography, etc.
11. Your fear? Loved ones dying
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Wiser
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Always content
15. Muffins? Like them if they're healthy
16. Wish list item? Digital SLR camera
17. Where did you grow up? Tennessee
18. Last thing you did? Ate cereal
19. What are you wearing? Cottage jeans, white tee, navy cardigan, houseshoes, scarf
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your Pets? One dog, three cats
22. Friends? Wouldn't want to live without 'em
23. Your life? Blessed
24. Your mood? Quiet
25. Missing Someone? Garrett
26. Vehicle? Yukon
27. Something you're not wearing? A hat
28. Your favorite store? Any used book store
29. Your favorite colour? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today, a lot
31. Last time you cried? This week
32. Your best friend? Laurel
33. One place that I go to over and over? Laurel's house
34. Facebook? Yes
35. Favorite place to eat? Red Lobster (I know, I'm easy)

I'm passing this award on to:
Laurel @
Pom Pom @
Frances @tp://
Laura @
Tonia @

If you don't already know (I didn't), copy and paste this post to your blog then erase my answers and put yours in. I really love all your blogs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two Sweet Things

Here are two of my favorite sweet things; my little cottage all decorated for Christmas, and my sweet daughter decorating the tree. Life is good.

This Could Happen To You

This is what happens when you spend a Friday night alone with an eleven-year-old girl with too much time on her hands. I have one hand painted with ladybugs and the other painted neon yellow with black tic-tac-toe designs. I think I'll shake things up a bit and go to church tomorrow morning like this.

Sorry for the blurry pics. It was hard to hold the camera with one hand and get close enough to see the details.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Contemplating Structure

More from Music of Silence-"As the shadows lengthen, we have intimations of the end of the day. We notice the limits and boundaries that give our lives structure. The hour of None (3 p.m.) wants to lead us to the right understanding of limits; to see them not as prisons, but to face them and work within them. And if they are arbitrary limits that inhibit our genuine growth, then we must overcome them.

Our lives have many structures-our jobs, our families-because it's only within limits that anything meaningful can happen. If all possibilities were available at all moments, if there were no limits, no boundaries, no definitions, we'd be lost. People mistakenly think that happiness comes from removing all limits. The lesson of the lengthening shadows is to forgive and to live to the full within the inherent limits and boundaries of our lives."

Schedules and boundaries in my life have been on my mind a lot lately. Laurel and I both laugh at how we love to make very precise schedules committed to paper and then find it impossible to stick to them.

I've found that the only time I can keep to a rigid schedule is if I stay home all day by myself and have no interruptions. How often does that happen? Maybe once a year. So for the rest of the time I try to stay on schedule and be flexible if interrupted.

But I'm not satisfied with this method anymore. I want less boundaries the older I get. I need more time for contemplation and for soaking up the moment. So I'm trying to arrange my days a little differently.

I'm keeping Darcie on her schedule, because she has schoolwork to finish in a timely manner and places to be at certain times of the day. My early morning time will be the same as it has been for the last thirty years; worship from 6-7 and exercise from 7-8. Breakfast, cleanup, getting dressed, and light housework from 8-9. The difference will be from 9-6. I'm not breaking it into tiny pieces anymore. I'm writing down a list of what I want to accomplish every day and numbering it in order of importance. I'll work away at #1 until it's done and then go on to something else.

Or I might do #5 first. I'm a rebel that way. Anyway, it's a more laid-back approach to living that I hope will still allow me to get things done but with more mental leisure.

I'm beginning to see that the quest for balance is as illusive as joy in the midst of chaos. Both are worthy goals but probably not attainable for very long in this lifetime. Or maybe it's just me. Has anyone out there achieved balance or joy for long periods of time?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Streams of Mercy

This is the face that greeted me at 7:00 this morning. He was singing at the top of his sweet little voice, "Come Thou Fount of Every Bwessing, Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Pwaise!"

What a great way to start the day and put a smile on my face. I don't care what everybody else says about two-year-olds. Around here, they're the best!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Music of Silence

I've begun a new book called Music of Silence, A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day. A little from the back cover says: "a noted Benedictine monk shows how to incorporate the sacred meaning of monastic life into our everyday lives. He demonstrates how to "be here now" by following the natural rhythms of the hours of the day.

This is from the chapter Vigils, the night watch. He's talking about affluence and how it always demands more. "The word affluence suggests that whatever flows in never comes out. Our affluent society stays affluent by making the containers bigger when they are just about to overflow, like a fountain with its lovely veils of water spilling over. The economics of affluence demand that things that were special for us last year must now be taken for granted; gratefulness is taken away from us. But if we make the vessel smaller and smaller by reducing our needs, then the overflowing comes sooner and with it the joy of gratefulness.

The less you have, the more you appreciate what you've got. With the extraneous stripped away, you begin to realize how you are being graced by life's gifts. This is at least one sense in which the poor are blessed. When your needs are limited, your vessel is easily filled, and you can delight in the overflow.

Monks experience the overflow sooner; poor people experience it sooner than wealthy ones, because the vessel is smaller. With monks, who by custom have few and simple possessions, it is artificially made smaller, and so the joy of overflowing comes sooner. If you normally have just soup for your meal, and all of a sudden you get a second course of potatoes, that feels like a wonderful gift, a blessing, and you are thrilled."

After my last bout of decluttering, I begin to see how true this is. I still spend way too much time going through papers, magazines, etc. I don't want to be a chronic paper shuffler. I want to be able to turn more outward and help the less fortunate, the young mothers, my grandchildren, and anyone else that needs me. And so the decluttering continues... will there ever be a time when I'm not a slave to paperwork? I hope and pray so.