Posts filed under ‘Writing Challenges’

Friday’s Fave Five: August 17, 2018

“The easiest way to become richer: being grateful for what we’ve already been given.” ~ Anonymous

This weekly habit of recounting the past week’s fave five, (aka FFF), is thanks to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story. Join up with the richest bloggers ever and share your gratitude list.

ONE. Bible study and potluck. A friend, Rosemary, has an ongoing study at her home for the seniors of our church. When ever they finish a study, (1,2,3 John this time), they have a potluck. She also invites me for both. On Friday, I was able to attend, as was our lead pastor. I LOVED hanging out, discussing, praying, and eating with this group.

Your Turn . . . When you finish up your small group Bible studies, how do you celebrate?

TWO. Card workshop. Another friend, Gillian, is a Stamping Up distributor and card maker extraordinaire. Gillian and her daughter hosted a card workshop. My daughter attended with me. We each created two cards. I believe that getting crafty is like getting an emotional massage.

Your Turn . . . Does crafting feel like an “emotional massage” to you? . . . How do you refresh and wind down?

Part of the charm of a staycation is being able to nap as needed in the comfort of a friend’s home.

THREE. Staycation. My daughter, Elizabeth, and I were going to camp at Mount Lassen this week. But decided to forgo that trip until the air quality and visibility are much better. So we are on a staycation and I couldn’t be happier. Going to local places is such a treat.

On my first day, I spent time with my friend Marsha. We ate at a new restaurant in town, The Mimosa House. Then we divided the rest of the day into finishing The Good Witch series, swimming, deflating pool toys, talking, and assembling dinner.

Your Turn . . .   Have you even been on a staycation? How did it go?

This pint-sized mason jar is the perfect sized cookie jar for two people.

FOUR. Finishing up a blog series. I enjoy writing blog posts. But sometimes, I have a hard time finishing them. This week, I have been finishing up my series on decluttering.  I have only one post left to write (from scratch). I hope to get that done this week.

Your Turn . . . Do you like to write? . . . What is a project that you are finishing? . . .  If you read any of my posts, on decluttering, be sure to let me know what you think. Is there anything I missed?

FIVE. This cookie recipe. Sunday at the first service (9:30-10:30) at my church, is Cookie Love. We will be bringing in homemade cookies. Our task will be to make up plates of treats to hand out to folks who serve us in our community. I.e. First Responders, clerks, wait staff, teachers, babysitters, military member, etc.

I took a break from my vacation to make this gluten-free, low carb, cream cheese cookie. I halved the recipe and put in cinnamon. Next time, I will reduce the amount of sugar. It is a tasty cookie.

Your Turn . . . What creative outreach is your church doing? . . . Do you have a low carb cookie recipe to share? . . . Who would you like to thank for their service?

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 10, 2018

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ~ G.K. Chesterton

In honour of today’s quote, I am sharing 5 things on my gratitude list from this past week. Read the lists of others and link up your own list at Friday’s Fave Five (FFF) at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. Dinner and TV. Marsha and I used to get together weekly for dinner and some TV  (Call the Midwives and The Good Witch). But this past year, we’ve seen each other only one time. So getting together last Sunday night was way overdue. We had a great time visiting, eating, and watching Catherine Bell weave her magic. I am grateful for my friendship with Marsha and time to unwind.

Your Turn . . . Please share the titles of shows you especially enjoy.

TWO. Learning/growing with friends. 4 of us spent the night in San Jose to attend a 2 day conference (Joyce Meyer on Galatians). The band, which was awesome, was Jesus Culture (from the Sacramento area – where we are all  from). I am grateful that we were a compatible group and that the worship in song, prayer, and Word was inspiring.

Your Turn . . . When was the last time you attended a conference? What was great about it?

I am the one on my tip-toes in the back row.

THREE. Book Club. Once a month some gals from church gather to discuss that month’s book. This is the first book club for most of us. We’ve been meeting about 5 months. Most ladies attend because of the social aspect. The second-place reason is a tie: we like reading (in general) and reading these books (Christian) as a way to interact with God. I am grateful for these ladies, their insights, and the variety of books (some I wouldn’t have chosen).

Your Turn . . . Are you part of a book club? If yes, why? . . . If no, why not?

FOUR. Special night with my daughter.  She called  on Thursday to remind me that I needed to be home by 4:30pm as she had plans for my car. Turns out it was plans for my car and me. We picked up 2 pieces she commissioned from a friend’s Etsy shop. We had frozen yogurt (Menchies) and opened our Time Capsule that was sealed in 2015. And then we had cauliflower crust pizza for dinner. Yes, we did have dessert first. I am grateful for my daughter’s creativity and the heart-warming time we had together. I am also grateful for presents. 🙂

Your Turn . . . Have you had a cauliflower crust before? This one was delish (from Mod). . . . Have you ever done a time capsule? I will write a post this week about what our’s held and tips to improve it. . . . What was the last just-because present you received?

My present from Sarah’s Etsy shop DecorMadeModern

We filled this can in 2015 with photos and notes about our life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIVE.  Facebook video messenger. I used this function twice last week. On Wednesday mornings, I call Michelle, a high school friend from Fort McMurray, Alberta. We use our hour to catch up and to share what we’ve done on our 60 items lists. We have way too many lists to accomplish before our birthdays (Michelle – November, Me – March). But it is fun to talk about our progress. I am grateful to have Michelle as an accountability partner as well as a long time friend..

The other call was to my three grand daughters and their sweet mama. It was mainly silliness. I am grateful that mama helps me stay in touch with these precious girls. And I am grateful for technology that lets us see each other while we talk and play.

Your Turn . . . Do you use Skype, Facetime, or video messenger? If yes, which one is your favourite platform? Why?

BONUS: I am grateful for a home air purified. My state is burning up all around us. We are 2-5 hours from fires in all directions.

While the sun looks cool, the air is unhealthy.

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Friday’s Fave Five – August 3, 2018

“When we aim for gratitude right now, we become more positive, tolerant, and generous.  Above all, we open ourselves to every day happiness, and that openness will eventually change reality.” ~ Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

As a way to change my reality into something more positive, I strive to participate in Friday’s Fave Five (FFF) at Susanne’s place (Living to Tell the Truth). Go to this link to read what our favourite moments from this week are. And be sure to link up your own gratitude post. Below are my five faves.

ONE. Library privileges. One of the best things about modern libraries is that we can borrow books digitally from the comfort of our homes, no driving necessary. And I don’t have to go to the library to return my selections. I borrowed the eBook, Longbourn by Jo Baker. It is the group read for Austen in August.

Your Turn . . . Do you borrow eBooks or audio books from the library? What is a title that you suggest?

The cocoon nestled here for a week.

The butterfly stayed on this branch for a whole day before flying away.

TWO. Beauty of nature. My son, Tim, saved a swallowtail cocoon from certain destruction by cutting it off the corner of a building (in a busy area of town) and super-glued it on a branch at home. While I was there, the butterfly emerged. It was a true blessing to be so close, and for so long, admiring the colours.

Your Turn . . . What item from nature have you enjoyed lately?

THREE. Talking with my adult kiddos – We stayed up way too late on Saturday night – actually we went to bed at 12:40am Sunday. And I woke at 5:30 to go back home. But it was lovely, fun, and entertaining to spend two hours talking with Tim and Elizabeth. Usually our time is spent on my grand-kids, so this was a rare treat. I wished Daniella, my daughter-in-law, could’ve joined us, too.

Your Turn . . . Who have you had an unexpected conversation with this week?

FOUR. Walking activity at Church. Last Sunday during our first service time we had options (instead of the sermon, which happened at the 2nd service only). It was a morning for biking, running, walking or singing hymns. I was part of the walking group. The five of us braved the barely okay air. It was fun to talk to folks I don’t normally talk to.

I love that we had a diverse group.

Your Turn . . .  Do you ever walk with a group of folks? Is you church doing anything new this Summer?

FIVE. The yield from my garden doubled. LOL. That really isn’t so grand, since I only picked one thing last week. Yesterday, I picked one zucchini and one crookneck squash. (We had them in a stir fry.) I still have lots of yellow flowers among these two plants. I did as Marsha suggested and Googled why I don’t have more growing veggies. It turns out I have an overabundance of male flowers. I need to be patient for female flowers to grow. .

Your Turn . . . What garden fresh veggies have you enjoyed this week? Did you try any new recipes with them?

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Friday’s Fave Five – July 27

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.

  • It turns denial into acceptance,
  • chaos to order,
  • confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ~ Melody Beattie

I want to express gratitude for five favourite things from this week. Join us at Susanne’s place to read other lists and to link up your own list.

Your Turn . . . Any ideas on how to get the blossoms to turn into veggies?

ONE. There are three 4 foot high gardening containers at work. I got permission to use them. I planted broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, chives, zucchini, lemon cucumber and yellow squash. The last three veggie plants are growing big. They’ve been growing for 6 weeks and have lots of blossoms. Today I harvested a cucumber. I am going to eat it in a little bit with tomatoes from a friend’s garden on a bed of greens with a balsamic drizzle. I look forward to more produce.

Your Turn . . . Which Austen book should I reread?

TWO. Next week the Austen in August Reading Challenge starts. I am looking forward to checking some Austen books off my list.

THREE. I’ve been silent since Lent. I am finally back into blogging. The five posts below are what I’ve finished.

Your Turn . . . Are you happy with your blogging? Share some posts that you’ve written this week. I’d love to have a read and comment.

Your Turn . . .  Have you been to Donner Lake? What was your favourite activity? . . . This is Zig Zag Trail and it was a blast to hike.

FOUR. I spent time in Truckee with family last weekend. The weather was cooler especially after spending time in Donner Lake. We also hiked and ate good food. I LOVE the time with my grand children and of course time with the rest of the family. . . . This was my first time to Donner Lake. I am a native Californian (living in northern CA). How is it possible I never knew about it or went here before?

Your Turn . . . What is a must have for when you go on a mini adventure?

FIVE. I recently was gifted a day pack. (I cat sat for two lovelies). I used it last weekend when we hiked. It was the perfect size for wandering along the trails. And I know I will use it when Mary and I go on our monthly fun run/walks. (We walk.) I usually use a full size pack. This mini really is the perfect size for mini adventures.

BONUS. I LOVE this twist on “What If” thinking. What’s your opinion on it?

Thanks for reading. Please, be sure to leave a comment. Also let us know, what is one (or more) of your faves from this past week.

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Friday’s Fave Five – December 1, 2017

It has been several weeks since I have participated in Friday’s Fave Five. I’ve been on a vacation and then settled back in. Now I am settling back into the routine of writing my Fave List. To join us go to Susanne’s blog, Living to Tell the Story.

One example of something beautiful. I hope to do a post soon of fave sights.

ONE. Vacation. I don’t normally take an extended vacation in November. But I had the pleasurable opportunity to spend time in Madrid, Barcelona, and on a cruise in the Mediterranean.                         Highlights of the trip included Scotti’s skill in finding us unbelievable deals for airfare and the cruise … architectural and historical delights in each place we visited … making friends on the cruise … eating delicious food withOUT gaining any weight … spending time with Scotti and Cheryl (a new friend) … and time away to grieve the loss of a long time friend. I am grateful for these new experiences, time with friends (old and new) and time alone.

Mary and I were thrilled to be a part of this ministry and opportunity to strut our stuff.

TWO. Thanksgiving. In the morning, my walking buddy and I walked a 10K in Run to Feed the Hungry with 29, 117 others. Then we went home to our families.                                                                  Like many others, we had delicious food (some old time faves and a new recipe: Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free) and time with loving family. Everyone was able to be at my sister’s home this year and that is always meaningful. I am grateful when we all visit to play, catch up with life and get to know each other better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THREE. Grandma time. I was able to spend a full day at my son’s home. We did an art project, visited a nearby carousel that was decorated for the holidays, and then decorated their home for Christmas. I am grateful when I get to participate in their life.

We had this treat at San Gines. It is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

FOUR. Auntie time. While in Spain we had hot chocolate and churros (twice). I brought back chocolate for my sister’s three girls. On Sunday we made up a batch of the hot chocolate. My daughter and I brought over Taco Bell churros and french fries for their family and us to try with the hot drink.   The taste experience was a fail: the chocolate was not THICK like we had in Spain and the churros were not great. This was the 1st time I’d had an American churro. In Spain they are salty and doughy.             But the time together was FUN. And I am grateful when I get to try new things with them.

FIVE. Decluttering. I am continuing on that goal. When we put out the Christmas decorations, my daughter helped me to rearrange my priorities (declutter) regarding the boxes and boxes of decorations. I am mostly done with that task. I read that more decluttering happens at the Holidays than any other time. I am grateful my daughter is able to help with the decluttering process and that she likes to decorate for Christmas as much as I do.

BONUS: Instead of shopping on Black Friday, my daughter, a friend (Rachel) and I went for a hike. We celebrated #OptOutside and #GreenFriday. I am grateful that I tried something new and that it was an active something new.

Your Turn … Please share what made your list this week.

What I Wrote Last Week … Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free) … 40 Days Until 2018 – What Will You Do?

What I Finished Reading …  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Year of No Clutter: a memoir by Eve O. Schaub

Related Post … Decorations Can be Emotional Bombs

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Friday’s Fave Five October 27, 2017

I am going on vacation on Sunday. With packing, finishing up things at work, decluttering, writing my decluttering and #wWrite31Days posts and dealing with asthma/allergies, I thought I didn’t have time to write my weekly 5 Blessings post. I am glad I rethought that idea and put this together. To join us for Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five, go here.

ONE. I finished my series of 43 gratitude prompts. Go here to see why I was grateful for this writing endeavor. I am going on vacation and won’t be back until mid-November. So I decided to do my gratitude project early.

These are the boxes I collected for this year. As you can tell, I LOVE this ministry.

TWO. Operation Christmas Child Boxes. Since I am going on vacation on Sunday and coming back after our church collects the boxes, my OCC sewing group met to finish up odds-and-ends for the boxes. We also made sure the boxes were FULL and put the rubber bands and labels in the correct spot. Our OCC group made enough items and our church collected enough items to fill 47 boxes. This is even before individual church members fill up their own boxes.

THREE. Last movie of the year. Every 5th Tuesday (which happens 4 times a year), the senior group from church watches one of Pastor Mike’s favourite movies. This past Tuesday 20 of us watched Breaking Away. While the language is naughty, there are some worthwhile themes to ponder. We also laughed, chatted and ate some tasty snacks together. We had our movie on the 4th Tuesday because of scheduling conflicts.

FOUR. Decluttering. I have stayed true to my 31 minutes a day of decluttering. I am actually seeing progress. Now I am getting down to the hardest layer to declutter: Christmas items, books and art/crafts supplies. Since I am going on vacation, I will finish up my decluttering series for #Write31Days in mid-November. I can’t write them ahead, because I need to declutter for each post, too.

FIVE. Unexpected time with family. I have been advertising on my Facebook page what our OCC group is collecting and making for this year’s boxes. Two folks not associated with my church contacted me and donated items. One lady is my precious niece, Jennifer. We haven’t seen each other in a year. So we met up at Chick-Fil-A, made the handoff and the five of us had linner together. She is a patient, happy mommy and has a caring, generous heart.

Your Turn . . . Share what tops your gratitude chart for this week.

WHAT I WROTE LAST WEEK . . . 

#Write31Days Series

43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

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Friday’s Fave Five October 20, 2017

“Old age is dark and unlovely, Sally” said Mrs. Adams.

“Still,” said Sally, “you have much to be happy about.”

“True,” agrees Mrs. Adams.

~ (This short conversation came from an episode on John Adams.)

Yes, old age is dark and unlovely. And yes, there is still much to be happy about. Right now I am going to list five things that gets my gratitude. Join us here to do the same.

ONE. Celebrated Emily’s Birthday breakfast and dinner. My niece turned 16 and we had the required birthday waffles and ice cream breakfast and then the birthday person’s choice for dinner (lasagna, bread and salad with cheesecake for dessert.) Emily is smart, athletic, funny, loving, godly, and dedicated. I am blessed to have her as a niece.

TWO. Completed another 5K Fun Walk. Mary and I have finished four 5K’s now. This one was along the American River. There were only 40ish people – mainly running. At least we weren’t the last folks done. It was a lovely day and the money went to a cause we both believe in: the Children’s Receiving Home.

THREE. Decluttering is still going on. The thing I am happiest about is that the porch is empty. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so I had a huge incentive to get this area done.

FOUR. Car was donated. I’ve been trying to figure out what is wrong with my old car but wasn’t having any luck. With some help from my daughter, my car was donated today. It feels good to help a non-profit. And it feels good to cross off a majour item on my to-do list.

FIVE. Decorated a bulletin board. Cheryl helped me to put up new information on our PEP 55+ bulletin board. The gal who normally takes care of changing out the advertising. is not feeling well. So Cheryl helped me and we think we did a nice job. Plus it was fun spending time with Cheryl. And we even got in a few minutes of prayer together.

Your Turn . . . Please share something from your list.

Related Post . . . 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

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