resolution success


I’m still working on those New Year’s Resolutions. During my quiet time with God today, I was able to write-down some concrete ideas that I felt God was inspiring. I’m anxious to share those with you in the future. But not today. (Sorry for the tease.:) )

But I did read something I want to share as it makes good sense. It appeared in our newspapers weekly magazine. I accidentally tore off the author’s name so I can’t give her credit.

It’s titled: Three Ways to Set Yourself up for Resolution Success.  (I’m paraphrasing).

1. Find your motivation. The author suggests that the more intrinsic our goals, (meaning, the more we pursue them for our own integrity and not for other’s approval), the more apt we are to keep them. Ex. (mine), weight loss. Our goal for losing weight should be because we want to feel better and be healthier not because we’re succumbing to the world’s view that everyone should be a size 6.)

2. Remove the obstacles. This means if skipping lunch makes you hungrier at dinner, don’t skip lunch. (my example). If you want to get your day started earlier, set your alarm. (my example). If you want to read more, have books sitting out in front of you. (my example.)

3. Watch your words. This is my favorite. Use affirming words. I WILL do this. Rather than I “should” (my least favorite word) or “I’ll try”.  You’ll often hear me write about the importance of the words we use. But I hadn’t given much thought to words in connection with meeting our goals.

Anyway, hope this helps.

there’s something about being snowed in


I live in Michigan, about 1/2 mile from Lake Michigan. This has been some winter and it’s only officially begun December 21st.  This week-end, in an  eight-hour span, about six inches have fallen. Then there’s the  wind chill factor coming up. Like about -25 below zero for Monday and Tuesday.

The grocery store was packed this morning with people stocking up. It’s kind of funny. Hum…. This is Michigan and this is winter. DUH! (No, I wasn’t stocking up. Just what I normally buy.)

My hubby and I kind of like a bad snowstorm. We can’t go anywhere (we use the weather for an excuse). So we’re watching marathon tv and turning up the electric blanket. It’s all kind of fun.

I have a cute hot chocolate gift from x-mas and some gingerbread marshmallows from a friend, I intend to open Sunday and enjoy  a steaming cup in the afternoon. Sure wish we still had our hot tub. We used to love to run from the backdoor and sink into the hot water while the snowflakes fell on us like a blanket. The hot tub sat about ten feet from the back door so that made it even more fun. There’s something crazy exhilerating about being in a hot tub in a snow storm.

ALL SET FOR A FRIGID DAY

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I have some projects lined up, like organizing all my yarn and knitting needles and planning some projects for the next few months.

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I love this purse/satchel thingee above. Keep thinking I should get rid of it but it’s so darn cute, huh? T J MAXX-five bucks.

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Two sweater projects (beige and green yarn below) that have been sitting around for at least that many years.SO MANY NEEDLES.

Below, some pink Homepsun yarn that was earmarked for a shawl.  Should’ve read the comments. Everyone had trouble with it. Could fit a little child. But I do have plans for it. Searched Pinterest for hours and finally came up with a pattern I think will work. (By the way, one of my favorite books and favorite authors in the background.)

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I’ll work out on the elliptical too because I can’t ski or snow shoe because of the ankle thing here and here. That’s kind of a bummer because I would love to take a walk while my hubby is snowshoeing. We came up with a plan, though. I’ll go with him and walk along the road in our wonderful Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon, MI, and enjoy nature while he is in the woods. Then I’ll sit in the truck and read and have something hot to drink and wait for him. We’ll see how I do.

You should know, the pictures of the yarn are not entire cache. There are at least 20-30 skeins in the basement. Much of it is fuzzy type yarn that I’ve lost my affinity for. My goal? If I can’t figure out what to do with it all, Goodwill will be the recipient and I will be happy knowing someone else will put it all to good use. (By the way, anybody got any ideas? Don’t want to knit them into anything but would like to use for another projects. Let me know.)

Might clean out some closets and some drawers as they are in need of a major overhaul. (Nope, no pictures. Do you think I want to humiliate myself?)

Anyway, it’s starting to snow. Here’s some pictures from sitting inside my sunroom and looking out.

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Love the bench. Looks great covered in snow. Not so great looking in summer.

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Poor birdies. Birdhouse about ready to fall off tree. It’s those darn squirrels.

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My dad built this birdhouse for me years ago. He is since gone but I always think of him when I look out the window. It will go with me if we ever move.

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finally some pictures


CONE FOR TREE

Finally some pictures. The picture above is a cone I made for covering with yarn.  We were at our cabin in the fall and my hubby was hunting so I got busy. I had the paper and had just been to a local mission store where I bought the green cord you will see. I had white yarn leftover from earlier project and as luck would have it, I had left it at the cabin.

I secured the edges with masking tape and then simply began winding yarn. I forgot to take pictures of the white tree in progress. Also, my husband had put up plastic film on our cabin windows and there was the leftover tape you use to secure the film. It’s double-sides and SO MUCH EASIER to use than the kind of double-faced tape you buy for scrapbook projects. I merely wrapped around the cone in a spiral pattern to adhere the yarn at various points. Didn’t matter if it didn’t lie flat because the yarn covered it.

MASKING TAPE TO HOLD CONE FORM TOGETHER CORD USED FOR YARN TREE WRAPPING CONE IN CORD TREE WRAPPED IN CORD

YARN TREE

Isn’t  this pretty? I also found some metallic ribbon at the same store and I separated the strands and just adhered it however I could. I forgot to mention I bought red cord as well. I paid a quarter for each skein. This church mission store is near our cabin and I shop there every chance it get. I found a lace tank top last summer that they wouldn’t even charge me for because it had a black stain. They told me to just take it. I did and would you believe the stain came out easily. The following pictures show the completed project. I love how they look in front of the window at “teeny, tiny, red cabin.” here and here.. There is also a wonderful bunk house called La Cabinette next door. Following this are the final pictures.  DSC00282

GOOD VEIW OF WOODS IN  FRONT OF CABIN final pictures.  DISPLAY COMPLETEDYARN TREE COMPLETED11-IMG_468710-IMG_4682

New Year’s Ramblings


google images/yesterdays

google images/yesterdays

January is a great month. At least I think it is.

I know we can start anew anytime we want, but January seems such a perfect time. In Michigan the days are long and cold and dreary for the next two months. Unless you ski, which I can’t, it is a great time to reflect.

For me that means examining  my habits, my relationships, my desires, etc. It also means looking back and figuring out what brought me joy and what didn’t. What were the situations that rocked my boat or caused me angst. What can I do in the future to avoid that? Are there attitudes I need to change? Are there people I need to distance myself from? Are there people I need to draw closer to? In what ways do I need to expand my life? In what ways do I need to draw my life in?

Even as I write, the questions and thoughts flow from my mind right to my fingertips and right on this keyboard with little conscious thought on my part. I love that. I love how blogging seems to be almost magical for me. I write things I didn’t even know I was thinking. Blogging is perhaps the most efficient and self-revealing activity I do. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it isn’t. It always worthwhile however.

So today I encourage all of you to take time this month to think through this past year. I’m a firm believer that life worth living is the life that is examined now and then. Why stand still when we can grow? And let’s be sure of one thing.  We are generally either moving forward, moving backward or remaining stagnant. Stagnant anything is usually “stinky”.

Remaining stagnant is not being at peace. Some people confuse the two. When we are at peace, we are not stagnant. Peace requires decision and decision is an action.

One resolution I made last year which was to let a couple of friendships settle into a natural rhythm rather than me trying to make them something they’re not,  I have done a pretty good job of keeping. It wasn’t easy and even today I’ve been reminded that this resolution will be carried into the year 2015. But this year, I hope to accomplish it with even more grace and acceptance.

Anyway, that’s my New Year’s Ramblings for today. As I progress through this month you will be updated as to  my final Resolutions for 2015. I may not keep them all. They will probably be redefined as life changes, but they are always a good place to start.

Let me know what resolutions you are considering. I would love to hear from you.

Happy New Year.

. .

Baby God


ws_Merry_Christmas_1440x900

According to my four-year old grandson, “Baby God” was born today. Not Jesus, Baby God.

Funny, huh?

On second thought, I love it. The Israelites weren’t allowed to speak the name of God so God’s son could not possibly be called “Baby God”.  Jesus was His earthly name but “Baby God” says it all.

Too often we separate Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and we forget they are one in the same. This is definitely not going to be an essay on the Trinity. Are you kidding me?

On this Christmas day, think what it might mean if you rethought the name “Jesus” and substituted “Baby God”. Would it possibly change how you feel about God? Would you see HIm in a more approachable way? Would you realize that He isn’t the angry God you might have been led to believe? Would you see the love that He gives evidenced in His voluntary time on earth?

Sometimes a four-year old has a better understanding of God than the rest of us.

Merry Christmas

Getting closer


Wow. Christmas is literally just around the corner. By ten this morning I had cooked chicken for White Chicken Chili and browned ground beef for Spaghetti sauce. Got all my Christmas cards ready. (That’s another story. I bought them weeks ago and can’t find them. As luck would have it I had just enough various left-overs to go around. I’ll find the other ones after Christmas.) My family is coming this Saturday and will be here for five days. The more I have done ahead of time, the better I feel and the more I can just enjoy the season.

Last night I completely organized my pantry because I know my daughter is going to want to decorate Pretzels and this way I’m all set. I know where everything is.

I got a little package of cookies and hot cocoa mix ready for our mail carrier. We are gone a lot and she does a great job of keeping track of all our “hold mails”.

Made a darling paper star wreath last night and wound yarn around a number of the gold Christmas trees from Dollar Tree. They are just adorable and you can vary the height by placing them on different sized candle holders etc. I’ll bet I’ve made at least twenty this year.

Working on my grocery list today. I live in Michigan and this winter, we’re learning to shop between snowstorms. Another one heading our tomorrow and a mega storm this week-end. We live on a hill. Need I say more?

I hope to make my mother-in-law’s nut roll today or tomorrow. I searched the internet and her recipe is truly unique. I want to be able to hand it down to the next generation. Of course, there is no recipe so I’m just going by “a little of this” and “a pinch of that”.  I’ll let you know.

Hubby just back from cross-country skiing. I’ve got to check the freezer to see what I already have on hand. Seriously, I should own stock in our local grocery store, (Meijer’s.)

Anyway, I just thought I’d share with all you women out there the wonderful busyness of this Christmas season. What a contrast to the days Mary experienced leading up to the birth of her Son. And yet I find that being excited about Christmas and being crazy busy just makes me appreciate that gift of peace even more.

Truly Christmas is a time to enjoy the “fullness of life” that Christ promised.

God bless and hang in there everyone!

(ps. I just “pinged” these posts listed below. I hope I have time to read them. They look very interesting.)

an unexpected gift


Crop of original painting "Anbetung der H...

Crop of original painting “Anbetung der Hirten” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(For those of you who follow both my blogs, I’m posting this to both of them today. I don’t usually do this, but I felt it as appropriate to both.)

I’m just getting ready to spend some quiet time with God but I wanted to post before the day gets beyond me.

I don’t know about you but the closer I get to Christmas the more I think of all those projects I wanted to complete but didn’t. All those Pinterest DIY’s that beckon me and awake my creative juices. Making presents for the people in my life is one of the highlights of Christmas for me.

This year it was flannel plaid infinity scarves for the women. It was jute wrapped bottles with the word, “love” spelled out in separate letters on each bottle. It was adorable “HO, HO, HO,” wall :”thingees” I made for friends. Yes, I took pics but honestly doubt I’ll get them posted. I don’t know how everyone is posting Christmas tours of their homes. I have to say mine is beautifully decorated. It’s an old, old house so it lends itself to Christmas anyway. In fact it was during the Holidays that we decided to buy it. But whether you ever see the pics is in question at the moment. But I certainly enjoy those pictures that others have posted. Makes me feel I know them.

I’m winding down now knowing that many of the things I wanted to do aren’t going to get accomplished. But I’m OK with that.

Mary and Joseph were only thinking of one thing, the birth of their Son. That’s what I’m concentrating on today. How the birth of Jesus is meant to impact my life and how I relate to others.

Does Christ make a difference in my life or not?

So today I take time from a very busy day and reflect on a birth I don’t understand. I mean, seriously, a virgin birth? And yet I believe. And what amazes me at this very moment, even as I write, is that if I can believe something as “out-of-box” as a virgin birth, why do I question God in other areas?

Why do I ever question He hears AND answers my prayers? Why do I ever question He can perform miracles. Honestly, until I started writing today, I never made that connection What an unexpected gift of insight I’ve just been given.

Some will scoff at my beliefs. It doesn’t matter. Belief and faith are intensely private and personal. Besides, everyone operates from a belief in something. Everyone.

an alphabet of thanks “X”


porticos

Oh, my gosh. X. I had a hard time last year with this one but not as hard as this year. If I do this next year, I’m in big trouble. My husband suggested I use “x” as in boyfriends, spouses, etc. I wonder if he knows it’s “ex” not just “x”. Anyway, I went down a list of “x” words and I found one..

It’s xystus. It’s a long portico. In Rome it was a covered garden walk. I love porticos. I think it’s great to visit a famous garden and walk under a xystus.  🙂  And when it rains, I’ve been very thankful for them.

That’s all I’ve got.

an alphabet of thanks, “Q”


Noise?
Noise? (Photo credit: AGrinberg)

Quality, qualify, quake, quarrel, quilt, quiet, quirky.

Today I am thankful for quiet. (Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise.) I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.

Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray.  Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet. When even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.

There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor in the world. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago because life was, well, simple. Of course we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to. Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for uneasiness.

When we are quiet, the chatter in our head subsides to a whisper. That’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.

Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth.  Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice.  Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves will prepare us. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to be a serene contented 20, 30, 40, etc year old person.

The future always begins with the present.

an alphabet of thanks “P”


English: Red Pinterest logo

English: Red Pinterest logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(This is a re-post from last year but it’s still works for  “P”)

There are no options to pick from for the letter “P”. I’ve had this one settled on since the beginning. It’s PINTEREST-YEA!!!!!

Here’s how my descent into the Pinterest “abyss” began. It was October, 2011, when my daughter remarked, “Hey, mom.  I’ve found this neat website I think you might enjoy. It’s called Pinterest. Here, let me show you.” She pulled up the site and showed me how it worked.

“Hmmm”, I said. “I don’t know if it’s something I would like but I’ll give it a try”.

It was downhill after that. I plunged into Pinterest “hell” almost immediately.  I was hooked. I pinned non-stop for days. I needed an intervention but none was forthcoming. I had to go cold turkey. It was hard but after a few days, I was back to normal.  I have slowed down since then but I’m still somewhat obsessed.

Why do I like Pinterest?  For one thing, by paying close attention to what I was pinning, I realized that my true decorating style was not reflected in my home. I learned that I love white with touches of black. I love yellow-green paired with pale sea foam blue. When it came time to redecorate some bedrooms, I didn’t have to think at all.  When it came to the living room and dining room, it was also easy. Lots of black and white.

Pinterest has brought me back to the things I love. I love DIY projects but had gotten away from it for awhile.  I’m b-a-a-a—a-ck. I’ve yet to try a recipe that hasn’t been successful. I love the photographs and the art work. I love the inspirational sayings. There really isn’t anything about Pinterest that I don’t like except it’s addicting lure.

I ask everyone I meet, “Are you on Pinterest?” If they say no, I explain it to them and tell them. You really should check it out.”  Oh, no, I’m sending someone else over the edge.  I should be ashamed.