Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Quintet

As I set out to read 100 Science-fiction books, I decided to read the rest of what is dubbed the Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle. I enjoyed how L’Engle mixed Science Fiction and Fantasy in A Wrinkly in Time and A Wind in the Door. Unfortunately, I think the author’s style and voice were affected by the order in which she wrote the subsequent books and the order and time at which they were published. A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door were great, but Many Waters and Swiftly Tilting Planet did not flow.

An Acceptable Time is supposed to round out the series but it is also supposed to round out another set of books about Calvin and Meg’s family. I don’t know if I’ll read that series or not.

At least these books helped me toward my goal. I have read 12 sci-fi books out of 100. Just 88 more to go :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31

It’s the last day of May and the last day of school here. Parties. Hugs. Goodbyes. Maybe some tears.

It is also the last day of the “May challenge.” I know I learned about myself through this challenge. I learned about my writing schedule. I’m hoping the rest of you got something out it and I’m wishing you some rest and relaxation.

TTFN – Ta Ta For Now!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30

May 30. I am sitting here enjoying the sounds of thunder and rain. The dishes are caught up and the kitchen is actually clean. The craziness of this month is nearly done. June is already booked, most of it fun, and I am declaring the whole month vacation for me so I can enjoy it.

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25

Wow, May is almost over. The school year is almost over. I am looking forward to summer and vacation. I am looking forward to relaxation and recreation. I am looking forward to sleeping in and having a more flexible schedule. It’s a four day weekend here, so I get a small taste of that now before the worst of the craziness hits—the last day of school and an entire week of hectic rehearsals and dance recitals.

Oh well, it will make vacation time that much sweeter, right?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

May 24

A book I recently "escaped" into :)

Attack of the Spider BotsAttack of the Spider Bots by Robert West

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As Scilla, Beamer, and Ghoulie explore the caves under Murphy Street, they discover a miniaturized and animated version of their town. When they try to find out how it got there they meet a reclusive old man, large spider robots, and a mean housekeeper—or is it housekeepers? Throw in some more strange adventures in the spaceship-treehouse and this story is full of excitement.

I think this second in the series is even better than the first and look forward to reading the third. Great for 8-12 year olds, but I’m in my 30’s and loved it!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23

May 23. It’s not that I have been neglecting prayer or trying to save the best for last. I was simply looking for my old prayer stones because I thought they would make a pretty picture.

I have used journals, notecards, stones … to aid my prayer time over the years. I don’t always have a “formal” prayer time where I talk to God for an extended period of time. Normally I pray through my day, while I’m doing my more boring chores such as sorting laundry or doing dishes. From time to time I pray through my runs—especially the longer ones.

Do I think God is offended that I don’t always have a formal prayer time or that I pray through mundane tasks? No. While He is the Kind of the Universe, as a Christian I have the open opportunity, an open invitation to talk to Him as my Father.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22

May 22. I had planned to post this over the weekend, but somehow that didn’t happen, haha.
I’m still thinking about change. We change as we grow. Our tastes change and is reflected in our clothes and sometimes how we decorate. When the stress and chaos are about to send me over the edge, sometimes I wonder if I changed the way I do things, or some things, or even one thing if that could have a positive difference. Could I change something and alleviate some stress? Could I try something new and be more efficient?

How about you?

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 21

May 21. I took some time for fun yesterday. No much resting, but recreation for mind and body: kites, bikes, pool, water guns. The laundry is still there and the dishes are still there but sometimes you just have to have some fun.

Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18

May 18. The chaos, the stress, it’s getting to me. So many things to do. So much that isn’t getting done. While the days are getting longer—in more ways than one—I still run out of day before I get to the end of my to-do list.

Are you seeing a light at the end of the tunnel?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May 17

May 17. No rest for the weary today. I’m being a mom and chaperone. A great example of a time when one cannot find an escape, some quiet, but must remain in the middle of chaos.

So if you’re like me and stuck in the middle with no escape then I encourage you to seek out the positive and take deep breaths!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16

May 16. We are half way through May and my head is still spinning. I am physically and mentally tired. It is like this nearly every year. While exercise, fruits, veggies and water keep me physically healthy; reading and writing keep me mentally healthy. Writing helps me process the info spinning around in my brain; and when I’m doing a lot of non-fiction research, it helps to escape into some fantasy book.

All of you must be busy, too, because only one person has responded so far this month with what you could stop doing or what you could start doing! I hope each of you finds a healthy way to deal with the stress in your life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15

May 15. My older daughter was complaining that she didn’t want to grow up. As a mom I was caught between reminding her “enjoy being a kid, don’t grow up too fast” and “you need to grow up and take on more responsibility.” She can’t imagine a life without the toys and things she has in her room now. I reminded her that I used to have cars, legos, and stuffed animals but my tastes changed. Her response—she wishes I still had my toys because I’m boring now.

I suppose she’s right in a way. Paying bills and keeping house will tend to do that to a person. But my tastes have changed and hers will, too.

Changes. Adjustments. They can be hard and frustrating. They can lead to something different, something better. I finally let go of a chair this weekend. It was one of those items we gratefully accepted as newlyweds when we were short on money and furniture. It was several years old when we got it so when I donated it this weekend it was pushing 40—in furniture years this is old.

The chair served its purpose well. I had rocked each of my daughters in it. I had slept in it. It is time for a change though.

Maybe there are other things I need to change. Maybe I should consider more seriously my daughter’s words. Have I changed so much that I’m boring? Can there be a balance between growing up and staying young?

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14

We all get distracted from time to time. We go into a room to do one thing and end up doing another. We get on the computer to look up something at least somewhat important, see a new email and forget what we needed to do in the first place.

Then there’s the times when we don’t forget—we know full well what we SHOULD be doing but we don’t want to. Making an appointment. Writing an essay. Research. Yeah, we’ve all procrastinated at some point—more than once even!

What are you procrastinating?

I suppose I should go now, too … shouldn’t put it off any longer … yep, this is me going to do what I should … going … now

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 13

Ssshhh. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When things are going crazy, at times the best thing is to get quiet. I like to have a cup of tea, sit in a comfy spot, maybe listen to soothing music or nature sounds, and be still. Quiet my mind. Breath. “Quiet time” doesn’t have to be silent. The point is to calm down. Quiet your mind. It can be hard to think in the midst of chaos. I know you can’t always escape and find some quiet. I can’t either. But on occasion I have to remind myself to try to find a bit of quiet to clear my mind. Afterward, hopefully I can deal with the craziness better.

Can you find a little bit of quiet today?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12

I want chips, cookies, chocolate, fries, soda, candy. I should eat fruits and vegetables instead. No, I’m not a vegetarian. I love meat and cheese, but when it comes to snacking, fruits and vegetables are a better, healthier choice than those things I first listed. There’s nothing wrong with a yummy treat now and then even if it isn’t technically healthy.

I’m going to go have an orange now INSTEAD of a cookie. What healthier choice can you make today?

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11

Distractions. They can be good or bad. When you’re waiting for an appointment and you’re staring at the clock, counting each tic and toc, a distraction might be a good thing. However, if you’re supposed to be doing your chores or homework but you’re distracted by Facebook, that’s a bad thing.

Do you need to be distracted today or are you being distracted?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

May 10

Time isn’t the only thing I have trouble organizing. That could be because I have too much stuff and I don’t know what to do with it or how to organize it. Sometimes one method doesn’t work and I have to find another. Other times I need to go through what I’ve got, keep some, donate others—declutter. As a recovering packrat, this is hard. I think “I might need that someday.” Often it’s best to let go, “share the love,” so that someone else who needs it NOW, can.
Mental clutter has to be organized, too, sometimes. That’s why I make to-do lists. But occasionally what’s on our minds can’t be organized on a list. We’re worried about something we have no control over.

Do you have physical or mental clutter you need to let go?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 9

I knew setting out to blog each day, being accountable for my focus and goals, would be a challenge—but I didn’t realize how much of a challenge. Taking a few minutes to write each day shouldn’t be a problem, right? And then there’s laundry, dishes, exercise, chauffeuring my kids, fixing meals … and before I know it my day is gone without writing—unless you count the occasional email or facebook responses. Not very good for a wannabe writer, huh.
Anyone else have trouble with time management?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 8

Frustrated. Busy. Non-stop. And with the threat of rain, I have a major headache. Yet, I look over at my dresser and see the bracelet I received made by those who take care of AIDS victims in Uganda and suddenly my fruitless search for a dresser (for my daughter), the demands on my time, and even this headache seem to shrink in importance. Someone will always have it better than me and someone will always have it worse. Keeps things in perspective, don’t you think?

Do you need to adjust your perspective today?

May 6&7

It was a crazy busy weekend. I could have spent it being negative and depressed, but I remembered to prioritize and focused on the things that I could and DID get done. That also meant blogging did NOT get done. There was a lot of cleaning that went on though.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 5

May 5. I haven’t read the book Kisses from Kate. Maybe someday I will, but knowing that the jewelry made through Amazima’s vocational program benefits hard working mothers and supports the feeding of over 1600 children in Masese was enough for me to buy a necklace. To me it seems like such a small gesture to buy a necklace. How long does it take one woman to make one necklace—cutting up old magazines, rolling the pieces, letting them dry, stringing the beads? How far does the sale of one necklace go? When I see this necklace today, I pray that at least one child gets to spend a few more hours without being hungry.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4

May 4. Water. We can’t live without it. Most plants can’t live without it. Most animals can’t live without it. Few of us drink enough of it. We may take for granted having indoor plumbing complete with flushing toilets and faucets with running water. We may even take water filtration for granted—both the ones outside our homes and the additional ones we can install inside. The movie Erin Brockovich opened our eyes to contaminated water here in the U.S. Overseas the majority don’t have indoor plumbing and have to risk their lives walking for miles to obtain any water at all—much less clean water. Today, instead of complaining that I don’t like water; I will drink my water, cherish it, and pray for the safety of those who don’t have it. What can you do today?

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Some very interesting and insightful blogs on females in society:

May 3

May 3. This bracelet was handcrafted in Thailand. It is part of a project that helps protect vulnerable girls from exploitation. I have two daughters and I try to protect them—without being overprotective. Sometimes that can seem like a fine line and I’m sure I’ve crossed it and will again. I love them.
Today as I see this bracelet I hope I have helped protect someone else’s daughter.
Are you going to do something different today?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2

May 2. Yesterday I admitted that when I get stressed, I eat. When things get crazy, the first thing to go is my eating habits. The next to go is my fitness. Yes, I resort to that age-old excuse—not enough time. There’s too much going on. There’s too much to do. But the truth is one of the best ways to deal with stress is with exercise or some kind of physical activity. So today I will prioritize, make time for some kind of exercise, and work out some of that stress. What about you?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1

May 1. The first day of May. I am already facing a busy schedule and I’ll be honest—when things get crazy and stressful, I usually look for comfort in food. This is a bad habit. Not just because summer is around the corner, but also it’s just an escape, an avoidance. Food does not deal with the emotion that will return after the snack is gone. No, I didn’t get everything done on my list yesterday, but I did cross a few things off. Even though my schedule is busy, it means opportunities—opportunities not everyone has. This glass bead necklace was handmade in Thailand. I received it through World Vision as a reminder of those around the world who may not have their needs met. Today, when I go for that extra snack, I will see the glass beads on my arm, remember those who made them and focus on what I can do and not what I can’t.

Friday, April 27, 2012

May Challenge

May tends to be a crazy month for me—birthdays, end of the year parties, field day and getting ready for recitals. It’s easy to get stressed and off track under these circumstances. Fasting typically refers to abstaining from food, but what if we thought outside that box? What if each day of May we chose something to fast from, abstain, avoid? Would it be an extra snack? Cigarette? Coffee? Soda? Picking on someone? Negative thoughts? Thoughts of suicide? What can we do instead? Pray? Brainstorm solutions? Positive thoughts? Drink water? Walk? Each day in May I will post what I am “fasting” from and what I will do instead. This will keep me accountable, focused and on track. Will you join me? Will you post something you are avoiding OR something positive you still do instead OR even both?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Great song!

I love this song:

"I am that Girl"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Speaking debut

I have now spoken twice at my church! It's one thing to write, it's another thing to get up in front of a room full of women and talk about it with a mic! You can hear me here:

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Real Ruth

The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the RulesThe Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve heard that some approach this book cautiously, unsure of the “startling revelations.” Having grown up in the church, I took the book on more boldly, almost saying, “Startle me, I dare you.”

What I found was relief. The Gospel of Ruth is a refreshing and enlightening view of a small book that has been traditionally preached as a fairytale. I for one am tired of that approach and cannot relate. James shoes us the real Ruth—gutsy, courageous, and even a bit defiant. She has become my hero and my permission to also be a strong woman of God.

View all my reviews

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whole nine yards

The origins of this phrase are uncertain but seem to trace back to a military reference.

1) It could go back to the Vietnam era referring to the nine Montagnard tribes or “Yards”

2) Or it may refer to a drill where soldiers were trained to cover nine yards in three seconds before diving to the ground to avoid sniper fire

Friday, January 20, 2012

Different ball of wax

Have you ever wondered what this means or where it came from? The origins of this phrase can be traced back linguistically to the word "bailiwicks" which means "sphere of specialized knowledge." Bailiwicks evolved into our present day "ball o' wax." So a "different ball of wax" means it is a different sphere of specialized knowledge.