Posts tagged ‘postaday2012’

These Blessings Are Not Disguised: My FFF

List your five favourite blessings from the week on your blog, on Facebook, or in the comments. Go to Susanne’s place, Living to Tell The Story to link up or read what others have written.

Here are my five faves.

1. I decluttered my bookcases and gave away 4 bags of books. It was hard and it was rewarding to give away these books. I am in earnest about paring down what I own. I want to make room in my life for whatever adventure comes up next.

2. I did a review on what I’ve done so far on my Winter Bucket List. I don’t normally accomplish so much. It has been a blast. Writing these seasonal lists, looking at them, and then doing some of the activities has made me be more aware of my surroundings and the people in my life.

3. I was part of a pattern testing group and made this cute double wine tote. Since I made it for my son, I did not add flowers. I am thrilled with how it came out. And it was quite fun to make especially since a friend and I visited while making it. You can buy the pattern here.

4. I’m still drinking my green smoothies. It has been a consistent 26 days. Today I even bought a bag of Southern Greens Blend. It has greens like collards, mustard, and turnips. These greens are new food-territory for me. I am feeling more brain energy and I’m thrilled that I am finally getting an adequate amount of vegetables into my diet.

5. My brave “Little Man” is still not feeling well. We’ve been to the vet again and had a phone consult. Chip is now on a narcotic pain medication which causes him to NOT want to eat. Unless something miraculous happens, Chip is days, maybe weeks, away from death.

So why is this on my FFF? I am grateful for the memories we’ve shared. And I am especially grateful that I’ve been able to spend time with him every day just cuddling. We start our day and end it in close contact. I Love you, Chip.

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I Am a Declutterer of Books

Of all the categories of my possessions, the book category has the most items. And it is the hardest category for me to purge. When I get into a fret about what to keep and what to give away, my daughter reminds me that I have time. I can take the time I need to do this sorting at my pace.

Books hold many memories for me especially the ones associated with homeschooling. It’s been 11 years since I’ve homeschooled. (11 years? Where did THAT time go?) It really is silly to hold onto these books. I am not going to use them again. I am not a homeschooler any more. It is time to update my (internal) image.

This week and last, I’ve been going though the bookshelves again. I want to and need to pare down my possessions. Bye-bye four bags of books. They were mostly books associated with our homeschooling days.

Don't these shelves look good? It is cool to see space on my shelves. It is cool to see my few knick-knacks. My goal is to empty one bookcase. I have 3 at home.

I have a lot of notebooks: 2 shelves worth. That is my next project. See what's in them: then toss, file, or give the contents away! Notebooks need to go.

NOTE: The middle photo is the 5th photo in my series, A Winter of Self Portraits. When I was brainstorming a list of items for my Winter Bucket List, I came up with the idea of taking 12 self-portraits.

Your  Turn . . .

  1. Do you have a lot of books? Is it easy or hard to manage these?
  2. Is there something that is hard for you to declutter? If yes, what? Why?
  3. Take your own self-portrait and share it with us.



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Because it Helps, I Share My Weekly Blessings

I am doing this Friday’s Fave Five because it is helpful for me to think on the blessings that pass my way each week. You can do the same by going here. Or leave a comment.

1. Because I had to have new front brakes and a new roter, it was discovered I also needed a new radiator. So glad this was found out BEFORE I took my impromptu trip to Berkeley on Tuesday.

2. Because I was feeling down in the dumps (about my car and my dog‘s ill health), I decided to drive to Berkeley/Emeryville be around my kiddos. It was great timing because I got to celebrate my son’s 29th birthday with him, his girlfriend and my daughter.

3. Because my morning was fairly quiet at work, I got to take care of the piles on my floor. Now I just need to tackle my desk. Hopefully that will be resolved tomorrow.

4. Because Chip was ill when I came home from work, I cancelled my plans for the evening. It has been a lazy night which is something I could use after this busy week. The next three days will also be quite busy.

5. Because I kept Saturday free (just in case my boss asked me to work at the marriage seminar we are having at church), I am free to do something else he asked me to do. William Jessup University is having  a 3 class seminar on book writing/publishing. I will take notes for the both of us at this first class and then we will go to the other classes together.

Your Turn . . . What is something that has blessed you this week?

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14 Memories Involving My Dog

In 7 1/2 weeks Chip and I will have a birthday. Yes, we celebrate on the same day.

These last 2 months have been especially hard on Chip health-wise. I have been taking a lot of photos of us together. I am hoping this helps prepare me for his passing.

He will be 20 and I will be 54. In people years, however, Chipster will be 140 years old. Wowser.

In this photo we are at the vet’s office. He has not been eating or drinking much this past week.

This is probably selfish of me, but I hope he rallies and gets back to taking food and water. I am not ready for him to go.

Chip has lived with me for almost 14 years. I have many good memories of him. Here are 14 of them. One for every year we’ve been together.

  1. Relief. When we lived in Colorado, Chip loved to walk to the mail box with me. Besides doing a lot of sniffing, he LOVED to pee on the post.
  2. Tricks. He does tricks like shake, sit, lie down, twirl, find Elizabeth, and walk through the rack (the one used to corral pool table balls). On command he can point to the cupboard where his treats are. However, Chip pretends he doesn’t know how to rollover. He HATES doing that trick.
  3. Kick you. Chip has a peculiar way of telling you he wants to play. He turns his back-end to you and then kicks you with his hind legs.
  4. Bite! The only way Chip really played was to bite your hand or play tug-of-war. As he got older and lost his teeth, he didn’t play so much any more. We think his first people never taught him or encouraged him to play with toys or fetch.
  5. Walk me. Taking walks is the highlight of his day except when it is cold or rainy out. He is more agreeable to going out, if I hold an umbrella OVER HIM. 🙂
  6. Last. When we took family walks, Chip had to be the last one. He would have a fit and keep trying to get to the back of the line, if we wouldn’t let him be last. It was as if this little squirt was trying to protect us by guarding the rear.

    I love how Chip’s tongue is hanging out of his mouth. He is sitting next to the toilet paper tee-pees that my daughter made.

  7. Hold Me. Chip is definitely a lap dog. He wants to be on a lap at all times; or laying RIGHT next to you in the bed. For a 12 inch long, 3.7 pound dog, he’s quite the bed-hog
  8. Amiable. Chip has always been a good-natured animal. He let my nieces dress him up in dolls’ clothes and parade him around on a pillow. And I keep learning more and more ways that my children teased Chip. I.e. One time my son “tied” Chip up by wrapping some toilet paper round his body. But Chip was persistent and smart enough to get out.
  9. Yummy. For some reason he LOVES to lick my daughter’s feet. I think that’s gross.
  10. Kisses. He is good at sneaking a kiss every now and then.
  11. Escape. He once escaped from the back yard and was gone for 3 days in San Francisco. My son put posters on the doors in the neighbourhood. Turns out Chip was only a couple of doors away. The people didn’t want to return Chip. It’s a good memory because he was found.

    When Chip doesn’t feel well, he curls up under my neck.

  12. Wiggle-butt. I love how Chip gets all excited by wiggling his body, twirling, and yelping whenever someone he likes enters a room. He also tries to give them a lick or two.
  13. Nicknames. Nicknames are a sign of affection. Since Chip has captured our hearts, we have nicknames for him like Chip Buff-Dog Symington, Chipster, Viejo, and Little Man.
  14. Facebook. Chip has a Facebook account (Chip Wright). There are some cute photos of him there. Because of his poor health, Chip hasn’t been very good about posting regularly.

EDITED TO ADD: Chip passed away January 29th, 2012.

NOTE: This is the 4th photo in my series, A Winter of Self Portraits.

Your Turn . . .

  • If you know Chip, would you share a memory about him?
  • What are some good memories you have about your animal?
  • What have you found to be helpful in regards to grieving for your pet when you know his/her time is near? For after his/her death?

Related Posts . . . 

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7 Traits of a Successful Tea Hostess

People with the gift of hospitality genuinely enjoy being around others. Your smile, good humour, and other-oriented manner make you a people magnet.

CNC’s women will soon attend their annual tea. Many details are organized in order for this event to be successful. One detail is recruiting hostesses for the tables.

We still need a couple of hostesses. The Tea is Saturday, February 11, 2-4 pm at CNC.

Wondering if you have what it takes to be part of this elite group of women? Read on to see if you, too, have the 7 traits that help make hostesses shine.

1. You have an awareness of visitors. It’s like you have a radar as to who is new to a group. There is no new person who is not a friend in the making for you. You tend to make a beeline in their direction because . . .

2. You have a desire to make people feel welcome. New social situations make most of us uncomfortable. You don’t want guests to feel this way, so you intervene. You are able to do this because . . .

3. You are attentive to the needs of visitors. You have the ability to give special treatment or say the right things so others feel more comfortable. You do what it takes to meet their need at that moment. Because you are good at networking them into social circles . . . 

4. You are good at helping people become part of a group. Everyone has a need to belong. Your hospitality skills help guests and the “group” to relate well to each other from the beginning. Because you are not pushy . . . 

5. You respect the boundaries of your guests. You are good at not being aggressive in your words and actions toward visitors. You gently lead and let them decide for themselves what actions they will then take. People respond well to you because . . .

6. You enjoy people. Your body language, words, and actions all point to your interest in others. You are sincere and have fun in your relationships. You make the encounter about the other person and not your own needs/wants. People are drawn to you because . . .

7.  You smile at people. This shows that you have a friendly, welcoming attitude. In addition, you are able to emphatically relate to others making them feel understood and liked.

I am thinking of several CNC women who embody these traits and haven’t signed up yet. Come on, ladies, you know who you are!

Contact Michelle White (Tea Coordinator) today to become a hostess. She has a letter of suggestions. If this is your first year as a hostess, don’t worry, Michelle will be there to guide you. In fact, since she, too, has the gift of hospitality, you will be taken care of well.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Have you signed up as a tea hostess yet? If not, what is holding you back?
  • Have you ever done this at CNC? If yes, what encouragement do you have for ladies who are thinking about being one?
  • Would you share a time a hostess helped you feel more comfortable at one of our teas?

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Peaceful Ending to a Wonderful Day in The Land of the Long White Cloud

‘Surfing soothes me, it’s always been a kind of Zen experience for me. The ocean is so magnificent, peaceful, and awesome. The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m on a wave.”  Paul Walker

This peaceful scene greeted us after dinner. The gorgeous sunset brought an end to another magical day.

While I am not a surfer – and due to my innate clumsiness I should never be allowed on a board – I can understand about Walker’s awe for the ocean. I, too, crave the peace it brings.

The rest of the world disappears for me when I’m walking the beach. The loud, unceasing crash of the water upon the sand stops all thoughts in my head. I zone out, peacefully existing. My heart beating and blood pumping in time with the ancient pounding waves.

Walking along a beach that is lapped by the South Pacific Ocean: Orewa, New Zealand.

Time walking the ocean’s shore is too infrequent.  But when I do, I come away rested in body and spirit. I think this is because my mind has rested well. I came home from New Zealand refreshed, in part, because of the beach time.

 Schedule for Day 8 in New Zealand: The front part of the day included visiting a glow-worm cave, seeing sheep dyed pink and blue, walking along the Goal Island Bay Marine Reserve, and eating dinner at Muldoons in Orewa. We ended our time walking along the beach of Orewa.

Plucked clean shells littered the beach.

5 Facts about Orewa

1. It is on New Zealand’s North Island.

2. It is on the Hibiscus Coast.

3. It is 40 kilometres north of Auckland.

4. It is a popular tourist spot.

5. It had the most beautiful beach I saw during my 17 day vacation. If ever I could retire in New Zealand, I think this town is where I’d live. And I would walk the beach ever day and night.

No birds were seen as walked along the shore, but it was evident that a large crew had been scavenging. Perhaps they were there at the same time Trish and I were eating dinner. We had Fish and Chips.

Besides being covered in just-cleaned out shells, many sand dollars were stranded on the shore. Trish had never seen this many before. It was fulfilling to toss them back into their life-sustaining home, the ocean. True, we didn’t make a huge difference in terms of ecological balance. But we made a difference to the few we did save.

A sand dollar is purple when it's alive.

Another “peaceful”quote is fitting to end this peace-filled day. “So let us welcome peaceful evening in.” William Cowpter

I am retelling the New Zealand adventure I took in March of 2011. I visited and toured the North Island with my Kiwi friend Trish. I am finally doing something with the 2000 plus photos I took.

I linked up to the weekly photo challenge sponsored by WordPress. This week’s theme is “peaceful.”

Your Turn . . .

  1. Where do you go or what do you do to get that peace-filled feeling?
  2. Have you ever thrown a sand dollar back into the ocean?
  3. Where is your favourite beach?
  4. Where would you like to retire? Why?

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A Blue Ribbon Cookie Recipe: Orange Dark Chocolate Chip

The 3 types of orange in this cookie blends perfectly with the dark chocolate. K and I like our cookies crispy.

This cookie recipe is a  blue ribbon winner from the State Fair. My niece perfected it several years ago after 8 or 9 revisions. She was accidentally entered into the open age category and beat contestants up to 18 years old. She was 13 at the time.

K’s first prize win earned her the coveted Blue Ribbon, a huge sack of C&H sugar, and $50.00. She gave permission for C&H sugar to reprint her recipe on their sugar bags. I haven’t seen it there yet, but I do check the bags at the store.

Today we baked a batch together. Not only was it fun spending time with K, the end product was quite delicious. I hope you enjoy this cookie as much as I do.

California Orange Cookie with Dark Chocolate Chips

I needed the zest (orange rind) from 2 medium/large oranges to get 4 Tbsp of rind.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 4 Tbsp fresh orange rind
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 4 drops red food dye and 10 drops yellow food dye
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips


We spooned scant tablespoon fulls of dough onto the cookie sheet. We decided we wanted medium-sized cookies instead of large ones.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter cookie sheets.
  3. Beat butter with sugar until smooth.
  4. Add in juice, rind, extract, and food dyes and mix well.
  5. Add egg and beat well.
  6. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl.
  7. Add flour mixture to orange mixture and stir completely.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips.
  9. Plop orange dough onto prepared cookie sheets.
  10. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  11. Immediately place on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath.
  12. When completely cooled drizzle on the glaze. Because the cookie sheet is underneath, all the excess glaze goes into the pan instead of on the counter.
  13. Makes 18 large cookies or 2 dozen medium-sized cookies.


If you put too much liquid into the glaze, it comes out faint looking. This glaze is perfect.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1  tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk (can add more of needed)

Mix together all glaze ingredients. Consistency should be like syrup.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Have you ever entered anything into the State Fair? Any fair? Describe your experience, if yes.
  2. Have you ever created a cookie recipe? Any other recipe? Did it turn out well? How about sharing your recipe with us?
  3. What was the last creative thing you did?
  4. Do you ever create with someone else? Why or why not?

Related Posts . . .

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Skating is Off My Winter Bucket List

I fulfilled one of my Winter Bucket List items this week. I went to the temporary ice skating rink in my city and took some photos. It is part of our history; this is the first outdoor rink here.

I still have another day or two before they take it all down. I hope to catch a ride on the Ferris Wheel before then.

I entertained  fleeting thoughts of joining the youngsters on the ice. But when I saw how slippery it was and remembered how hard the ice is, I decided against strapping on the skates. I did not want to end up looking like this again. (#5 at this post.)

I learned how to ice skate when I was 7 when we lived in Anchorage, Alaska. In the winter, we’d ice skate at recess. I had skating lessons for a while. Being a dare-devil and stubborn helped me learn quickly.

I also learned, rather quickly, NOT to lick the frozen tether ball pole. Just because it looks like a popsicle does not mean it acts like one!

I never progressed passed some fancy footwork and skating backwards. Even then I had to concentrate on what I was doing. My skate toe picks would catch on the ice and I’d tumble. Back then girls did not wear hockey skates.

I could never multi-task like the girl on the left is doing. During my 15 minute stay she texted at least 5 times. I saw another young girl doing the same.

We don’t have to worry about Big Brother watching our every move. Cell phones do that just fine with their easy access to posting texts and photos to other phones and social media outlets like Facebook.

I love the social aspect of skating: Crack-the-whip, chase, couple skate, line-skating. Or even holding hands just because you need the steadying influence (real or pretend) is a great reason to skate. 😉

I am getting stronger and healthier this year. I have a goal to step out on the ice come December. I want to feel the wind on my face as I glide around the rink – backwards.

And if you have a camera phone and want to photograph that moment – I say, bring it on!

That’s a moment I’d like to record – before I trip on the toe picks.

Your Turn . . . 

  1. When was the last time you ice skated?
  2. Would you join me on the rink in December? Why or why not?
  3. Could you, would you text while skating?
Related Posts  . . . 
My Winter Bucket List
5 Reasons I Love Winter

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5 Blessings for Friday’s Fave Five

Friday’s Fave Five is here again. That’s when I look over my past week and share five blessings. If you’d like to do the same, share in the comments or write a post and link up to Susanne’s blog at Living to Tell the Story.

This green smoothie is purple because I added blueberries. It is so yummy.

1. For years I have needed to take control of my eating, especially my night-time eating. The last week in December I decided to not eat after 7pm and to have a green smoothie for breakfast. I have been consistent on both since then. In fact it seems easy to do these. I attribute the change in mindset to answered prayer.

2. I tend to follow the rules in a black and white kind of way which was hindering me in getting X’s. You see I mark on the calendar how well I do each day regarding my morning smoothie and no eating after 7pm. A couple of days this past month I’ve gone to a party that had food. I made allowances in my food plan and did not over eat. I wasn’t sure if I could legitimately get a mark on the calendar. Then a friend asked, was the goal to not eat after 7 or to not have a wild night of overeating. Well, it was the latter. That simple conversation helped me to clarify how and when I get X’s.

3.  This week I was feeling the need to get with my sista’s family to play a game. Turns out they felt the same way. We played Scrabble. I haven’t played that game in y-e-a-r-s.  It was such a lovely evening. Even though I came in last, it’s a game I understand and can do (unlike many of their video games).

One of my nieces helped me create winter scenes in 2 children's classrooms at church. The snowflakes we made turned out so well.

4. I am not a winter lover. This week I decided I needed an attitude adjustment even though our winter has been very mild! So, I wrote a post on 5 reasons I love winter. It was a great reminder that there are plenty of reasons (well at least 5) to rejoice in this season.

5. This month I’ve been working in the nursery on Sundays at church. I don’t typically do that. Besides getting to visit with the other worker, I have been able to love on and be loved by the little ones, hear a great Bible story, colour the corresponding Bible page, and we even played with the musical instruments. It has been an enjoyable time. And I know that working there is more than fun, it is important.

BONUS. Another answered prayer. I have been recruiting folks to work in the nursery. I mentioned this to one of our volunteer receptionists. She said, “I used to be on the substitute list, but no one has called me in a l-o-n-g time!” “Oh,” I said. “Would you like to be put back on the list and would you like to help out this week?”  Her answer to both was “Yes.”

Your Turn . . . Take some time to think and then comment here on what blessings have been yours this week.

Related Posts . . .

  1. How I’ve been tracking these two goals
  2. I’ve been consistent for 12 days.
  3. 5 Reasons I Love Winter 
  4. “5 Reasons I Love” Series
  5. 10 Reasons Why Involvement in the Nursery is Important
  6. 10 Actions Parents Can Take for a Happier Morning at Church

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12 Days Drinking – And It’s a Good Thing

I am already a breakfast eater so having this food has been easy and soooo healthy. It's purple today because I added blueberries.

Since the last week of December I have been drinking green smoothies for breakfast. I am doing this so that I can get more vitamins and superfoods into my diet.

I have been tracking this new habit since January 1st. You can read more about it at this post.

NOTE: This is the 3rd photo in my series, A Winter of Self Portraits.

Related Posts . . .

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Taking my Hobbies from Plans to Implementation to Finishing

It is not good enough for things to be planned – they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation,” (Walt Kelly).

At one time this octopus was a drawing on a page. It was on someone's to-do list. Luckily for us, the artist did more than plan, s/he expended energy and launched this plan of carving this ancient Kauri tree into art.

Oh, I am good at planning. I have pages of plans. For me that is the most fun part of a project.

But, as Walt Kelly said above, energy has to be expended in order for them to become reality.

As I noted, I have pages of plans. I am excited about many opportunities. This post talks about the many hobbies I have been into over the years. As you can see there are so many that it is hard for me to narrow down the list to just a manageable few.

I start this and that project and oft-times, they don’t get finished before I am on to another project. (Luckily this tendency does not stalk my work habits.) This is more true of projects that take a long-term commitment. I.e. Knitting a scarf will get done, but an afghan is harder for me to finish. While working on the project I start thinking about what else needs starting and what needs finishing. Or I become paralysed by these thoughts and don’t do anything creative. It is all very exhausting.

Here I am hugging a turtle carved from an ancient Kauri tree (New Zealand 2011). Some of the literature says these tree trunks are up to 45,000 years old. No matter how you do the dating, they are OLD!

No more! This year is the year of focus. I will narrow the field of my activities.

This week I read a blog post by Katrina from Callapidder Days about Hobby Focus. Katrina said she’s been a dabbler, not becoming proficient in any one hobby. I can echo that.

Katrina is doing something different this year too.

“But I decided that this year, I want to spend some time going a little deeper in a few of them. I want to bring a bit more focus to my hobbying.”

Katrina hopes to become more proficient in a few hobbies, to see if she’d like to pursue them long-term, and finally to discover if dabbling is more to her liking.

What am I hoping to gain by narrowing my activities?

A close up of the turtle carving.

First, I want to finish what I start. By knowing there will be only a few hobbies to pursue this year, I am hoping I can stop my hobby-hopping and concentrate on the few. I am hoping this thought process will bring a freedom to finish because there will be time (later) to work on what’s next.

Second, I want to concentrate on what I am doing. By keeping my thoughts on the present, I hope to better learn the mechanics, enjoy the process, and feel the peace that comes with being satisfied with doing that one thing. There has got to be less stress if I am not bombarding myself with thoughts of past and present projects.

And third, I want to discover what hobbies are a good fit for me now. I realize that as I go through my list, I will find that some hobbies I used to enjoy will no longer interest me. I want to let go of expectations of pursuing them and get rid of any of its hobby-related items.

Trish "swimming" with a dolphin. We did go out on a boat for the purpose of swimming with dolphins. However, they did not slow down enough so that we could join them. This dolphin was obliging & photogenic.

The top three hobbies (besides blogging) are cooking, photography, and sewing. I don’t have a set plan for how I will engage in them. I will most likely jump from one to another. But here are the goals I have for them in the coming months.

  • Cooking – I want/need to get back into healthy cooking. I enjoy baking. It will be fun and relationship building to cook with my nieces, even if only once a month. I want to put family favourite recipes on my blog so that I don’t lose them.
  • Photography – I am going through my photos from New Zealand. I will post some on my blog and/or Facebook each week. And I want to make a photo album with my photos. I have like 2,000 pictures.
  • Sewing– I have some quilts I want to make. A friend, Theresa, is going to show me

    Close up of a dolphin carved from a Kauri tree.

    how to use a rotary cutter next week (next week). I also want to make a wine tote or two.

    I will have time to launch many projects. But I will have time to only finish a few. Therefore, I need to carefully craft a plan that will launch these projects into action.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Can you relate to either Katrina or I regarding our hobbies?
  2. What kind of hobbyist are you? A dabbler or a pro in one or two areas?
  3. Do you finish all you start? Or do you have UFP’s (unfinished projects)?
  4. Do you have a new hobby plan for this year? If yes, what is it?
  5. Do you have any (kind) advice?

Related Posts . . . 

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5 Reasons I Love Winter

Winter is not my favorite season; in fact, I think it is a bother. But, this site is called Fruitfulwords. So, let me think and see what there is to love about this three month period of time.

I realize that by living in California I don’t have much right to even make such negative proclamations. I do not live where WINTER is a formidable force most of the season. Although I have lived places where WINTER included zero windchill and loads of snow (Colorado, Alaska, and Canada).

But in due diligence and fair hearing of all the seasons, I am going to dig deep and see what there is to love about winter – at least in CA.

1. Soups. I enjoy the comfort of a steaming bowl of soup especially when it is cold out. It is filling, tasty, and not much is needed in terms of preparation and clean up (assuming it’s pre-made). In the past, I haven’t had much luck with making a good soup besides chicken tortilla soup. But I am learning to make some other ones that taste just fine. My current favourite is Fall Harvest soup. You might want to read 7 Reasons to Eat Soup.

2. Settle on the couch. Since evenings get dark earlier, this is a built-in excuse to cuddle on the couch for the long evening. I settle in with Chip (my 19-year-old, miniature, toy poodle), blankets, a mug of something hot to drink, with or without a book – dozing, thinking, reading. This is also one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

3. Sound of rain. Winter in CA usually brings the rains. No need to turn on the radio or TV.  I like hearing the rain when I am all snuggly at home. This is a soothing sound whether I am dozing on the couch, working on a project, or cleaning the apartment.

My niece and I made snowflakes for 2 classrooms of the Children’s Ministry wing at church. It was fun to do this project with her. And it turned out so nicely!

4. Snowflakes. Did you know that no two are exactly alike? Their shapes are delicate and amazingly beautiful. Snowflake Bentley is my favorite book about snowflakes. When I am around a snowfall, I love to stick out my tongue and try to catch snowflakes. Disclaimer, I do have to travel about 30 minutes to see such a snowful.

5. Stay home. Like I already mentioned, winter is normally a rainy season. I don’t like to get wet from a cold rain. (It probably wouldn’t be so bad if I’d wear my raincoat, mittens, and scarf.) So, I tend to limit my errands during the winter-wet days. Which is all good because then I get to do more of #1.

Your Turn . . . What are your feelings about Winter? List some of your favorite things.

This is the 16th post in the “5 Reasons I Love . . .” Series. Go here for the original post which explains how this idea came about. The next and also the last post in this series is 5 Reasons I Love Spring.

Related Posts . . .

My Winter Bucket List – I’ve made a list of items I’d like to complete this winter. Writing and following this list has made me more in tune with the opportunities and people around me. What’s on your winter bucket list?

10 Must Haves on My Winter Survival List – Susan from Between Naps on the Porch lists 10 things that help her get through the winter months. She lists things from Books to Wooly Socks. The most surprising item is static guard. Go have a read and see if you get a new idea.

50 Reasons to Love Winter– Sarah, from Pink of Perfection: a thrifty girl’s guide to the good life, came up with 50 reasons to love winter. There are at least 2 dozen more reasons in the comments. I love her #2: dogs in sweaters. Reading this list will brighten your mood if you are down.

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