Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving






I made two pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving yesterday. (They weren't as fancy as the one in the picture, but that's how I wished they looked.) I pulled them out of the oven after an hour of baking only to find white spots all over the tops of them.

I had to rush out the door to pick up my husband from work. When I got back I investigated closer and discovered that the white spots appeared to be egg whites that hadn't mixed in very well. So I threw those pies away, went to the store for more ingredients, and made two more pumpkin pies.

Things I'm thankful for: a store that is five minutes away, money to buy pumpkin pie ingredients ... twice, family to eat the pumpkin pies, a car to drive us to the store and to family, and good weather to drive around in.

Happy Thanksgiving, may there be much thanks given along with the delicious food!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Possibilities

"Rather than starting your day with a stressful list of things you have to do,
 try greeting the day with a joyful list of things you want to do!"

When I make a to-do list for the day, I usually title it "Possibilities". Then I include things I want to do along with the things I need to do. 
 
Here's my list for today:

Possibilities
-grocery shopping
-clean bathrooms
-babysit 3-6
-crochet (I'm working on a blanket)
-work on newsletter
-make dinner
-read book
-write blog post!

There's a good chance I won't get around to cleaning the bathroom today, but it's just a possibility, so if it's not done, there is always tomorrow.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good Book Day

I get my avid love of reading from my parents. My mom always has a good book recommendation, like Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini.


In my mom's words, "I've read nearly all of Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek books so I was really looking forward to reading this new one, about Elizabeth Keckley, who was Mary Todd Lincoln's modiste or in other words, her dressmaker. This book did not disappoint. Jennifer has a real talent of bringing history alive. Elizabeth was born into slavery but through sheer hard work and determination, she was able to buy, not only her own freedom, but also the freedom of her son. I was very impressed by her and by her amazing loyalty to Mary Todd Lincoln, who I thought, did not deserve it at times, nay, much of the time. Elizabeth stayed by her side through thick and thin, especially when Mrs. Lincoln nearly went mad with grief with the loss of her young son, Willie. The scene where Abraham Lincoln finally points out to her the insane asylum and tells her she may end up if she doesn't get a grip on herself, which she does, was rather foreboding, as she really ends up in an asylum towards the end of her days. I really didn't know much about the wife of President Lincoln, but I had heard that she was rather a handful and the book proves this right. I was amazed that she managed to amass over $70,000 worth of debt, which is huge now, but would have been even huger then, and over what---dresses, boas, furniture, etc. She was exceedingly foolish in that regard. Poor Elizabeth put up so much with Mary and yet at the end of her days, when she is living in a small basement room and after being treated rather shabbily I thought, she still has a portrait of Mary on her wall. No matter what I think, it is a testament to Elizabeth's undying devotion, loyalty and forgiveness."

Check it out and have a good book day!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Unrealistic Expectations


I was talking with my husband and I said, "I don't know why we think everything is supposed to be easy and that we should always be happy." We would definitely like to be happy all the time and have an easy life, but it's just not realistic all the time.

Unrealistic expectations in life can cause real disappointments. I don't think we should have a negative outlook on life. I'm an optimist, and I enjoy it. There's a psychological term "self-fulfilling prophecy" meaning that if you believe something it can come true. I think that's wonderful!

Pessimism is unbecoming. It is a depressing way to live. Some people say they are pessimist so they won't ever be disappointed and will sometimes be pleasantly surprised. But a pessimist wouldn't be pleasantly surprised, they would just find something wrong.

Being a realistic optimist is what I like. You have high hopes for life, but you understand that bad things can and do and will happen. People die before you think they should, people get sick, people lose jobs, natural disasters happen, human nature kicks in and makes a mountain out of a mole hill. But you can still see the silver lining on the storm cloud, you can still see the good in most people, you can still see the blessings you have in your life.

Plan for tomorrow but live in the present.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Portmanteau Words



Portmanteau words are a combination of two other words to form a new word with a combined meaning. 

For example, blog is a combination of web + log = blog.  

Some other common portmanteau words: brunch = breakfast + lunch, camcorder = camera + recorder, spork = spoon plus fork. 

I recently heard some new fun ones that I might start using: jelly = jealous + happy, and voluntold = asked but also told (expected) to volunteer.

Do you know have any portmanteau words you like?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

To Love At All


The heart is vulnerable, but it also brings the most joy. Everyone will have their heart broken for some reason or another during their life, probably multiple times. But if you can find someone or something that can fix your heart, you will be much happier and live a fuller life.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good Book Day

"He never speaks. He never makes eye contact. No one has ever touched him. They say he’s retarded. Autistic. Strange. his name is Smitty, but everyone calls him “The Alien,” and Ginny is intrigued. She’s been feeling like an alien in a strange world since she and her family moved here from the West Coast. Against her first impulse, Ginny vows to make contact with Smitty. To be his friend.

But still waters run deep. And Smitty is like the ocean. Ginny soon finds herself being sucked under – going out too far. But Smitty is the one who could drown. Because the world he‘s created is safe from love, from pain, from everything. There’s no room for anyone else. At least – till Ginny comes along...." (website)


I read The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen Randle at least five times when I was in high school. I also read select parts of it many times more. I worked at the public library in high school and there was a copy of this book that someone had marked up- underlined the best parts. Once in a while on my break, I'd grab that copy and read the underlined parts. I eventually bought my own copy of the book.

This book isn't a science fiction book, it's about feeling like an alien in this world, especially as a teenager. I don't know that I felt too much like an alien, but every teenager does to some degree. Even as adults we still feel like that sometimes. This book resonated with something inside me. It's a good book for teenagers and adults to see the world through someone else's eyes. That often helps us see our lives in a different way.

Check it out and have a good book day!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Perspective

My daughter had a cold over the weekend with a lingering runny nose. It kept her up a lot one night, and we've used a lot of tissues.


My husband and I are sad for our little girl because it's always hard when kids are sick, especially if they can't tell you what's wrong.

Then I talked with someone else who mentioned their same-age daughter was throwing up all weekend and had a fever over 100 degrees.

I felt better about my daughter's cold, just needed a little perspective.

When things seem bad, it can help to realize how much worse it could be. It's good to remember to be thankful for what you have and grateful for what you don't have.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lifelong Friendships


I have some good friends that I've known for over ten years. I have some good friends that I've known for less than five years, but I'm pretty sure eventually it will be ten years, then fifteen.... I have other friends that I used to spend a lot of time with that have drifted away.


Sometimes I wonder what makes some friendships last, worth the effort of keeping while others seem to require too much effort to hold onto and so they float away.

Were the floaters just friends of convenience, of right time right place, but now it's not the right time, place, or convenience? Was it still a true friendship? I think it was still a true friendship. Sometimes we need people at certain times and don't need them later. Our life lines crossed but went different directions. It's not wrong or bad, it's just life.

The good friends that stick around for over ten years, that you still love to hang out with even if you haven't seen them for a month or two, must have something deeper and more solid in the friendship, even if you can't define what it is. They are the friends who just don't care what you look like or who you know or how much you can give them. They are the friends who can tell you the silly things they did because they figure you probably did them too, or at least would understand why they did it. 


Maintaining these friendships doesn't seem to require as much effort, though distance can make it harder to see each other physically. There are still phone calls, texts, emails, blogs, and social networking to stay in contact. These friends make you want to stay in contact, to make an effort to hangout. But they also know if you don't call them for a month you still love them and are just busy with life.

I'm grateful for my good friends, grateful that I have multiple good friends, and grateful that some are family also. I know everyone doesn't have long time friends, but everyone can become a long time friend by being a good friend and caring about others. Hold on to the friends that will last for years.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Small Adjustments

 TBSM

Sometimes, like yesterday, I realize that though I'm not in a bad place, I'm also not exactly where I want to be. Nothing is terribly wrong, but it's also not terribly right. It takes just a couple small adjustments to get back on the right track so I end up where I want to be down the road.

It's simple steps like just doing the dishes instead of jumping on facebook for the second time that day. Picking up the thing on the floor that I've walked past five times already. Organizing all the papers that seem to accumulate on the counter while I watch a tv show. Putting on a jacket and enjoying the weather and beautiful fall leaves before it gets too cold. Or taking a couple minutes to cook some broccoli for dinner while the rest of dinner is cooking.

It's easy to get lazy and skip steps that don't seem important. But over time those add up and you have to kick yourself in the butt to get going again. I am the master of my time. I choose when to work, when to play, when to watch tv, when to read, how much time I spend on the computer, how much time I spend cleaning. It's my choice, it's my responsibility.

So today I will empty the dishwasher, clean the kitchen counters, do two loads of laundry, and cook some broccoli to go with dinner tonight! What are you going to do?