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Friday’s Fave Five June 23

I am watching 59 musicals this year. Today I watched The Flower Drum Song. Below are some of the lyrics to a song I heard.

♮ ♪ ♭ A hundred million miracles are happ’ning ev’ry day, ♩ ♬ ♯♫ And those who say they don’t agree ♫♩ ♩♭ Are those who do not hear or see. ♮♪

Some “commonplace” miracles that are mentioned are noticed only by those who will hear and see. 

  • Changing weather
  • Swallow eggs that hatch as fully formed birds
  • Toddler learning to walk
  • Creating music

Friday’s Fave Five are (usually) commonplace miracles noticed only by those who deliberately look for them. I looked and want to share my five. Go here to link up your commonplace miracles post or leave a comment at the end of this post.

ONE. Projects. Twice a month (at least) a group of gals (12-80) gathers to sew/craft items for Operation Christmas Child. Lucy (coordinator) and I met to sort the projects so that those who do not use a sewing machine could have plenty to do when we meet.

  • Sew buttons on the “purses” for cloth menstrual pads
  • Stuff doll arms and legs
  • Slip ribbon into casings for pillowcase dresses and marble bags

Related Posts . . . Love in a Box … I Help Because I am a Parent, Auntie & Missionary

TWO.  Underground Tour. I have the honour of over-seeing the PEP 55+ ministry at my church. This past week we maxed out the 11am slot (20 people) for the Underground Tour in Old Sacramento. It was interesting to hear how Gold Rush events impacted that area. Afterwards we lunched. Each car full of folks went some place different. I love field trips and I spending time with everyone, especially the ladies in my car.

Related Post . . . Hospitality Field Trip Refreshes and Teaches

THREE. Quotes. This past week I finished A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson. It is on my Summer bucket list. I don’t remember who recommended it. But once I found out that the main character lived a yearlong “quest,” I KNEW I had to read it. I am fascinated by those types of books. Here is my post that shares my favourite quotes from the book.

Related Posts . . . Why I Put Quotes With My Signature … Favourite Quotes from Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers … Finding Laughter: 15 Quotes 

FOUR. Father’s Day Breakfast. For the past two years. the men from my church cooked a pancake breakfast on Mother’s Day. So this year we decided we should do the same. We had egg casseroles with lots of sausage, coffee & orange juice. Muffins and fruit salad (with whipped cream)  were also offered. Not only did LOTS of people donate food but there was a steady crew of ladies in the kitchen: serving and cleaning. It was a festive atmosphere and people lingered over breakfast.

Related Posts . . . Favorite Quote from Yesterday’s Hospitality Class … French Toast Supreme Casserole for 2 … What surprise ingredient do you put in your eggs?

FIVE. Dinner with Friends. Since I live alone, I spend a lot of meals alone which is okay with me. But it is a SPECIAL treat when I get to have dinner with someone else. And this week I had dinner with two different “groups” of people. Of course the food was tasty. But the special part for me was spending time with friends apart from work related functions.

Related Posts . . . My cooking means someone died? … Hospitality Goofs and Chicken Tortilla Soup

Those are my five faves.

Your Turn . . . Share yours!

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Quotes from “A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman”

Do you have particular books you want to read this Summer? I do. My list is here. I just finished this book A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson. It is FULL of quotes I want to remember.

BEING HAPPY WITH ME  

All is ripely quiet, and I lift my glass to me, a woman turned inside out, no longer wanting to become happy because, finally, I am.

“You mustn’t fret. There is no arriving, ever. It is all a continual becoming.”  (Joan erickson)

When I need centering, I sing a favorite hymn, “Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart,” which also allows me to ease drop on my spirit and pick up on its mumblings. ·

 

 

DO YOUR FRIENDSHIPS CAUSE YOU TO GROW? 

Every woman should have a mentor – not her mother, but someone who doesn’t have a stake in how she turns out, who encourages her to risk, who picks her up when she falls flat on her face. Joan prods, pokes, and coaxes me each time we’re together. ·

“Want to get into some trouble today?} What did you have in mind I ask, smiling at her devilishness. “Oh, I don’t know – just getting out and gathering up some experiences!” ·

 

 

BECOMING WHOLE BY PAYING ATTENTION 

Of primary importance now is for me to retrieve the buried parts of me­-qualities like playfulness, vulnerability, being at home in my skin, using more of my instincts. Like so many pieces of a puzzle, I need to find a way to create the whole once again

I have learned to pay attention to my instincts and take notice when I feel anxious – to remove the pebble from my shoe before it blisters, get the chicken bone out of my throat – in short, to be mindful of feelings and emotions and work with them, not run from them.

Related Post . . . 8 Thoughts on Living Well  … What If The Wholesome Words Were Bleeped?

 

DOES YOUR LIFE HAVE ENOUGH LAUGHTER? 

What do you want? We usually answer with some material object. Imagine If we said something like a better state of mind, or togetherness, or simply to be surrounded by laughter.

Sitting here alone is satisfying enough, but the night would be far better if shared with another-with someone whose mood meets mine, who relishes moments, whose wonder remains untainted, who appreciates simple things and says so, who laughs much, indulges heartily, is spontaneous in spirit, is quick to embrace, and sees joy as a duty.

Related Posts . . . Finding Laughter – What I Learned From a Funny Friend … Laughter Quiz  Laughter Has My Gratitude

LIVE A FULL LIFE

I am no longer just passing through the world, but digging deep and collecting moments.

“Vital lives are about action,” Joan Erickson tells me. You can’t feel warmth unless you create it, can’t feel delight unless you play, can’t know serendipity unless you risk.” I’m trying to bring more of the spontaneous beach back to the cottage and incorporate it into my everyday life.

I must live a little each day, watch the sun as it rises and revel in its setting, swim naked, sip coffee and wine by the shore, generate new ideas, admire myself, talk to animals, meditate, laugh, risk adventures

 

Related  Posts . . . Live in the Day: a To-Do List … How 20 Wishes List from Fictional Book Helps Me Live Today … Do More Than Count Blessings, Be a Blessing

AGING WELL

Pam with Christmas Lights

“Why am I more cautious as I age instead of the other way around? I wonder if it’s all tied in to failure. I tend to forget my gains and remember only the losses. The failures have piled up, wreaking havoc with my confidence until, as an adult, I’ve become afraid to take chances.”

“I’m coming to see that life is not a lesser thing than I imagined it to be,” I say, thinking out loud just now. “Rather, it holds more than I have time to seize. The big secret is that everything doesn’t happen in youth.”

Related Posts . . . Singles Thanksgiving Bucket List … 3 Ways to Encourage Others Year Round … 16 Ways to Comfort Yourself

Your Turn . . .  

  • What quote from this book strikes you and why?
  • What’s on your summer reading list?

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5 Reasons Salad is a Bother

What is your opinion of salad? I know it is politically correct to like it and eat some every day. But for the moment, I am not going to be politically correct. And in fact I will be a little petulant.

Below are my five reasons that salad is a bummer, bore, and bother.

ONE. Teeth. Things, as in green things, get stuck in my teeth. And do folks think to let you know of your unfortunate enamel decorations? Not typically. So at the end of the day, when you take a bathroom break and you notice the green-toothed buggers, how do you feel? I feel stupid and ugly.

TWO. Comfortless. Salad is never said to be a comfort food. Healthy, light, crunchy, cooling? Yes, yes, yes, and yes! But never is it called a comfort food. And life is stressful enough that I need comfort food, often.

THREE. Carbless. This means no croutons. No sugared walnuts. No jello concoctions. No salad greens drenched with sugared dressings. No dried fruits. No rice, pasta, or potato salads either. And you know what all this means, no fun!

FOUR. Tummy. For whatever reason, my digestion is not the greatest. And so I have a hard time digesting raw foods. Unfortunately raw food is basically the types of salad I can eat to make my blood sugar happy. When I eat raw salad my blood sugar is happy and this means that MOST of my body is therefore happy, healthy and likely to live a little but longer. But my tummy is still not happy.

FIVE. Time. Eating a salad takes a long time. Every time I order a salad, which I do almost every Tuesday, I am the LAST person (at our staff lunch) eating. This is so even if I eat quickly and hardly talk. I always feel a little embarrassed to always be the laggard.

Your Turn . . .  What would you add to this list on why salad is a bummer, bore, and bother?

Related Posts . . . 

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Friday’s Fave Five June 16, 2017

Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture. – Kak Sri

I have not had adversity this week, so I will keep this quote handy for a day when I do. And I can also use gratitude to paint my week even in more lovely hues. Please read on for my week’s most grateful memories.

ONE. Visitor. My daughter spent the weekend with me. I always have a TON of ideas of how to spend our time. One thing we did was to make three new recipes – all salads. I need more salads in my life and was happy that Elizabeth was cool with my agenda item. I wrote this post about salads and linked to the three we tried. And I must confess that 3 new food loves were part of these salads: kalamata olives, blood orange balsamic vinegar and mango peach salsa.

TWO. Celebration. Last weekend was also a time of celebration. One friend finished high school (Jordan) and another (Marsha) celebrated her 70th birthday (at the zoo). I am part of a community and I LOVE that I get to be part of celebrating milestones in the lives of my friends.

Beautiful tiles capture the beauty of the various plants

THREE. Field trip. I don’t think that I will ever be over the excitement of going on a field trip. My team and I organized an all church trip to the Davis arboretum. The age range was wide (7-80 years old). The activities were varied: played cards, walked, loved on the dog who came, photographed the beauty around us, chatted and chatted, and climbed trees.  And we all ate lunch together. FUN time. But I forgot my kite!

FOUR. Vacation plans. Several months ago I got a GREAT deal on airfare and cruise. I mean a STEAL. So did two others and we are looking forward to our trip in the Fall. Yesterday I got together with Scotti. We are narrowing down our excursions and finalizing details (packing list, fancy clothes, suitcase requirements, etc). I am grateful for this vacation and the folks I will accompany.

FIVE. Read. Last week was so busy that I didn’t get to read at all. I made up for it this week. And I got a special treat. I have been waiting for Elly Griffiths newest book, The Chalk Pit. I am 11/24 on the library’s waiting list. A friend, Marsha, mentioned that she has the book because her book club is reading it this month. Marsha surprised me with the book, knowing I could finish it before she needed it this weekend.

Your Turn . . . What is on your gratitude list this week? Join in with your own list in the comments. Or go here to find out what Friday’s Fave Five is all about.

I am linking to Friday’s Fave Five at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

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7 Reasons to Eat Salad

Best ever taco Salad. There was delicious FLAVOUR in every bite. We didn’t miss the chips. You could eat this at every meal.

I don’t prefer salad. Left to my natural inclinations I will go for the junk food: Cheetos, ice cream and Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut Chocolate bars.  Or I will go for the easy food: oatmeal, microwave popcorn, and McDonald’s burgers.

BUT I have diabetes. And if I want to keep control of this awful disease, I NEED and WANT to eat differently. Therefore, I have ventured into the salad-making and salad eating world.

I’ve thought about “why” eat salad. Thinking about this why helps me to keep on making that a key focus in my food repertoire. I know that salads are full of fiber and good nutrients. In addition to those ideas, below is my why list.

  1. A salad is easy to put together. Most days I don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing meals. So I really need and want easy. I usually buy the bags of precut veggies. And sometimes I buy the bags of already prepared chopped salads. Buying these types of foods takes away any reluctance or time to chop. And thus it is an EASY meal to prepare.
  2. A salad is a complete meal. This also adds to the easy factor. I buy already cooked protein or prep it myself and toss it into the vegetable/lettuces mix. I frequently have raw nuts and hard-boiled eggs on hand for such purposes. Sometimes I add a few beans (garbanzo

    I love it when my fridge is filled with this kind of jarred goodies.

    is a fave). Avocado is a must. And I love adding either strawberries or blueberries.

  3. You can make a week’s worth by putting them in mason jars. When I am feeling energetic or have some programs to get caught up on, I’ll buy a bunch of salad foods and pep them while watching TV or listening to a TED talk. I don’t put dressing in mine because I have a bottle at work. Having these salads prepared in advance helps me save money and helps ensure I have at least one salad a day.
  4. There are TONS of recipes to try. I don’t have to get bored eating them. It is easy to find salad recipes that are healthy for me and that fit into the diabetic guidelines. My daughter visited last weekend and we tested three new (to me) salads: (1) Citrus Crab Salad  (2) The Breakfast Salad and a (3) Paleo Taco Salad.
  5. My blood sugar numbers always go down after eating one. This is a marvel to me. My body adores salad. Of course I make sure that I have healthy ingredients (no dried fruits, croutons, added sugar, etc) and that I don’t slobber the salad in dressing. The dressing is usually vinegar and oil.
  6. Salads are versatile. I can (and do) eat them for any meal. When I am at a restaurant for breakfast. I’ve been known to order a garden salad with two eggs “over easy” on top. I get stares. And I also get a good for me breakfast.
  7. Salads are crunchy. Now this may seem like a silly reason to eat salad. But to me, this is important! I can’t do many all liquid meals as I NEED to feel like I am actually chewing. And the crunchier the better. Chewing this type of food helps me feel satisfied and full for longer.

Your Turn …

  • What is your “why” for eating salad?
  • Do you have a fave recipe or two? If yes, share that recipe.

Related Posts . . .

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Ministry Flash Mob Gives Love

Here is some of the “flash mob” crew holding the TAPED SHUT, goody-filled shoeboxes.

The setting . . .

a subway, waiting room, hospital lobby, food court, any local space

Quietly a prepared group of people infiltrate the scene. On an agreed-upon cue, the group starts singing. The crowd, startled at first, begins to enjoy the planned musical numbers. After finishing their last song, the group members flow unnoticed and unhindered into the crowd.

Have you ever wanted to be part of a flash mob? I have for a three reasons.

  1. I like the practice of getting together with a like-minded group to perfect our gift of music.
  2. I like giving to others with no thought of return (on their part).
  3. I like giving others some beauty and a moment of feeling special.

Our 10 member group who went to India in July/August 2013 was part of a flash mob. But our gift wasn’t music; it was filled-to-the-brim, taped-shut-shoeboxes.

Our flash mob was a ministry flash mob.

Nomadic boy clutching his unwieldy shoebox

Our like-minded crew assembled and stuffed the boxes with snacks, hygiene items, school supplies, and toys. Actually it was the younger folks who assembled the 500 boxes. Annie, Andrew, Christina, Jonathon, Kadie, Katey, and Matthew did the hard work while having fun together.

The leadership thought us more mature women (Jenny, Merrily, Tricia and me) needed to go back to our hotel rooms to “stretch our backs.”  We had been involved in running and speaking at two full days of a women’s conference. My mind really wanted to help, but my body was very tired. So I gratefully acquiesced to having a rest.

It was awesome to be part of a team that gave to others without thought of return, without any stipulations.

We passed a box up to a boy in a window

We gave out 500 shoeboxes. We gave to four Buddhist schools, two nomadic tribes (YES, nomadic tribes), to kiddos alongside the road in villages and to four children in the scoop part of a digger-type truck.

What were their reactions?

  • One girl kissed her box
  • One boy cried while hugging the box
  • One mom put her child’s hands around the box. The child SMILED and so did her mom – the child was a blind girl in a wheelchair.
  • We were even mobbed at one point which was a bit scary!
  • One woman who was a teacher walking alongside the ride of a village asked, “Why are you doing this?” Our reply, “Because we LOVE the kids.

I wasn’t asked this question and I don’t normally think/answer quickly, but I hope I would’ve added, “Because Jesus loves your children, the beautiful children of India.”

Aren’t  “Just Because” presents special? In a way, they are more special than Christmas or birthday presents. We gave our mobs a moment of beauty and of feeling special with these “Just Because” presents.

This is one of the schools we visited.

Our intent was to love on the kiddos of northern India, the most poverty-stricken part of India.  Operation Christmas Child does not give out shoeboxes here; at least they didn’t in 2013 and the years before. But because of the generous giving of people (and many from Cordova Neighborhood Church), we were able to give away 500 boxes in a variety of settings over hundreds of miles.

True, there were no religious tracts, tent meetings, or follow-up cards in the boxes. The recipients didn’t know that LINC Ministries and Kashmir Evangelical Fellowship made this drop off happen in the name of Jesus.

  • But I am certain that our prayers will make a difference.
  • I am certain that those who’s hearts are opening to the ONE TRUE GOD will have further contact from those who come in the name of Jesus.
  • I am certain that some who are in our photographs will meet us in heaven.
  • And I am certain that our fearless leader, Leonard Lee, is following God’s plan for ministry in that area.

When we get to Heaven we will find out that the money, time and prayers given made an eternal difference. We were faithful to do what God asked us to do. God will be faithful to the furtherance of His Salvation.

I used to be worried that folks in 3rd world and developing countries wouldn’t have access to the Gospel and to His love. Not any more.

God’s Word and my experience in India have given me hope.

  • Not by might, or power, but by the Spirit. Zechariah 4:6
  • How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them who bring Good News. Isaiah 52:7
  • Your WORD will not return void. Isaiah 55:11

Your Turn . . . 

  1. Have you ever been part of a musical flash mob? Is it as wonderful an experience as I imagine?
  2. If you’ve been part of a shoebox ministry, why do you do it?

Related Resources  . . . 

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Summer 2017 Bucket List

This list is from 2011. Read the post to see what I want to experience this summer. What’s on your Summer bucket list?

School is out for 10 weeks. And even though I am not (currently) attending school, I still look at the school summer holiday as THE summer. Therefore the name of this bucket list is My (school) Summer Bucket List.

I want this summer to be memorable. And I tend to do more when I write things down. So I made a list of what I wanted to do. Then I narrowed my list down to 8 areas, some fun and some serious.

My (school) Summer Bucket List

ONE. Craft 10 times. I ENJOY crafting – by myself and with others. I want to make this a regular activity. This list includes art projects with my granddaughter, Operation Christmas Child projects, knitting, watercolour, making cards, and learning to crochet.

TWO. Do 6 coaching sessions. Recently I spent a week in Seattle attending a coach training course. Now I need some “guinea pigs” to practice what I learned. Let me know if you are game.

THREE. Finish 6 unfinished tasks/projects (aka UFP’s). This will be from a variety of areas: writing,  cleaning, financial, home, health, car.

In October 2014 I did a month of posts about finishing UFP’s. Here is the link to the landing page with the table of contents and my why. It was an eye-opening month and it was COOL to cross off so many items on my list. I was surprised I had so many. This month I will only pick 6.

FOUR. Have 6 friend dates. All too often I neglect to make time to meet up with friends on a regular basis. I am going to make this a priority this summer.

How do you maintain contact with friends? 

FIVE. Lose weight. This is my most important goal. I have had varied success with combatting my diabetes.  I have finally decided, this is it! It’s time to get on and stay on the healthy eating track. Plus I want to prove to my doctor that healthy eating, exercise, and other GOOD lifestyle choices WILL positively impact my blood sugar numbers.

My ideal goal is to lose 15 pounds. But since I am very insulin dependent that might not be possible; so I’ll be happy with 5 pounds. I’ve taken my measurements and a photo.  I’ll compare these with where I am at on August 11.

SIX. Read 6 books. The books are as follows …

  1. Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain & Do Everything Better by Wendy Suzuki, PhD
  2. No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life by Jason Mitchell
  3. The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway series #9) by Elly Griffiths
  4. Power Healing by John Wimber
  5. Romans
  6. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson 

What is a Summer must read?

SEVEN. Study Spanish 3 hours a week for 10 weeks. I have plenty of resources. So the first thing I will do is make up a syllabus for myself. However, if you have any tips, please share them.

I will be going to Spain in the Fall and it would be really COOL if I could actually have conversations while there. To be more more precise, I want to engage in conservations more in depth than, “¿Dónde está el baño?”

EIGHT. Watch 5 musicals. My goal is to watch 59 musicals by March. Go here to find out my why. I hope to see at least one live musical. And in any case all of the following are on DVD’s from the library.

  • All That Jazz
  • Flower Drum Song
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

Is there a musical or two that you recommend?

Your Turn . . . Do you have Summer plans? If yes, share them.

Related Resources . . .

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