Friday, December 12, 2014

You are Invited ...

Brooch by Kat's Creations

to a birthday party for Jesus on December 25! BYOC: Bring your own piece of cake, or even a cupcake or cookie will do. You won't need a candle because He is the Light, and His Light will never be put out or go out or burn out.

First, steal away by yourself for a few moments this Christmas, or even better, engage your whole household if possible, and have your cake with you, ready for His birthday celebration. You may greet Jesus with a prayer if you'd like, or just say hello, and He'll be there with you.

Second, present Him with a gift. What will it be? That's entirely up to you! No need to make it costly in time, effort, or money. (You can if you want to, though). Right at that moment, give what you can give with a cheerful heart and without burden. To my notion, birthday gifts ought not to be burdens.

Sometime during the next few months: Could you take cookies to a neighbor? Shovel a sidewalk? Drive someone to an appointment? Call and have a phone visit with someone you've been out-of-touch with too long? Send an old-fashioned letter to a friend or relative? Give a kind remark or praise to a frazzled clerk? (Compliments and encouragement are free, readily available, and are enjoyed by the recipient for hours or days!) 

Perhaps you can pick up a shift at a soup kitchen or food bank. Donate wholesome books to your local library or lightly-worn clothing to Goodwill. Volunteer as a greeter for your church or hospital. Give a little money to a worthy cause. Or ... maybe it's time for you to give Him your whole heart! The list is endless.

What comes to mind that you can give to Jesus this year? Confirm it by giving it to Him (telling Him) at His birthday party (be sure to follow through!). Then thank Him for the gifts He's given you. Best be brief, tho! No holding up the party!  :O)

Third, sing the following in that lovely voice of yours:

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus,
Happy Birthday to You!

Finally, smile great big and eat your birthday treat! There. Now you've actually, truly, celebrated Christmas. How awesome would it be to continue the celebration in your heart all year long?!

I could not live without Him, and I would not dare die without Him. If you have received Him, you are blessed beyond measure.

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the 
least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.' "
Matthew 25:40    

Happy Birthday, Jesus!
PS: I wasn't sure as to the actual order of events for most birthday parties; it's been too many years since I've
been to an official one!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Prayer Journals and a Break

Purchased from Walmart; 7" x 9.5"; the color in this photo is truest.

I have fairly recently begun two prayer journals. This is nothing new to most people, but it's something I've never really done, i.e., devote an entire journal to nothing but my handwritten expressions of prayer. So I think this will be "The Year of the Prayer Journal" for me.

Already, writing in them has been so cathartic, and I believe I'm even having deeper sleep again. One is for my general prayers for anything and anyone. I'm trying to write every day, but it's averaging about every day and a half. Much is repetitious: I record prayers for my small but cherished family every time I open my journal to pray. And then, of course, I also pray for whatever I'm led to by the Spirit.

The bottom journal (Hallmark) is the one I'm using for a prayer journal for my job.

The second journal I've only used a week, but I think it's going to be helpful. It is a prayer journal I've entitled "Embracing My Job." In it I began with my reason for the journal (I've been struggling some with the workload on my newish job), and will pray about my concerns, my joys, and will also pray for the people I work with and come into contact with as a result of my job. I'm hoping to put a positive covering over my mild frustration by turning my "need to share" into prayers. Because all in all, it's a wonderful job.

This photo shows the inside of my job prayer journal; it's a bit larger than 5" x 7".

This past year I have also written out a scripture a day in a journal (not shown). It's getting toward the end, but will probably have room to run into 2015. I began with verses I knew by heart (which didn't last as long as I would have liked), but then recorded any verse that spoke to me that day. One more thing that turned my thoughts to Jesus.

I think I'll take a break for the holidays, and most likely won't post again until after the New Year. Although- you know us bloggers: If we've got something to blog about, we've got to blog! :O) I will still update "I've Been Reading" and Pinterest, and I'll be visiting you as time and energy allow.

In him we live and move and have our being.
Acts 17:28

So Happy Holidays, Dear Readers, and may God bless you and yours,

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pretty Magazines and Pretty Kitty

I thought the above was a pretty Victoria cover. It's November 1993. I like the color used around the name Victoria. I'm behind on perusing my old copies, so I have yet to read this issue and the rest that follow! Once I've read through December's issues as well, I will take a break for a year or more, unless I read something on a blog that makes me want to pull out a particular issue. They sure did have pretty covers, especially the ones around ... oh ... 1993 to 1998, give or take. I remember being horrified when one year, 2000?, they published horoscopes, and then being disappointed when Hoffman, at first, printed cover titles like "106 such and such", as if Victoria were on par with a Family Circle or Good Housekeeping. I have not purchased all the 2014 issues. It was time to wean myself off them because of no more space to keep them. But all in all, they have been a treasure to me.

We had our church Thanksgiving Dinner today, and the turkey was as good as the above one looks! We've also had our first snow; nothing to write home about. But it's very cold around these parts! Thankfully, we are supposed to warm up a bit after tomorrow (Monday).

While I was quickly taking photos of the magazines, Sweetie was on the table. She is the most difficult little kitty to get a good photo of. She's always moving. Her coat is full of static today. Below is an older photo of her front. 

She pesters me several times a night to get under my covers for the warmth. I let her! She's so cute: She lightly paws me, I lift the covers as high as my arm allows, under she goes and then she turns around and comes back up so her head and upper body are out of the covers. She thinks she's people. She often sits next to my laptop while I blog, too. Really, I've never owned such a loving cat before. It was probably a plot to wrap me around her little finger toe.

Cropped from November 1993 Victoria cover.

Always give thanks for everything to our God and Father
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 TLB

Stay warm, Friends, and have a great week! 

Grateful for you,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Evening Chatter

The above is from the other evening. The sky was even prettier before I managed to pull over, get out my phone, and snap a photo. Seems to me some of the most gorgeous sunsets happen in November, and I'll be on the watch for them. I love to look at the sky. When the jet stream is a certain way (whatever that is), we get the air traffic, and they leave wonderful trails across the sky. 

Soon the sound of large flocks of geese, or even just two geese at a time, will be heard in our neck of the woods. We are in the Central Flyway, well, for both birds and planes. It's a wonder the big birds come, what with so little water around, but come they do. Most just pass through, but some of the geese stay for the winter.

On the ground can be found, even in town: foxes, coyotes, deer, raccoons, possums, skunks, wild turkeys, squirrels and bunnies, and probably more that I don't want to know about! Over thirty years ago a deer crashed through a window at the clothing store I worked at (it was closed at the time), then rammed a 3-way mirror trying to get out, before it was caught. Fortunately the poor thing survived and was taken to the zoo to convalesce.

Just my random thoughts on this shockingly cold November night! Ah wellcold nose, warm heart!

They began telling each other how their hearts
had felt strangely warm as he talked with them
and explained the Scriptures
during the walk down the road.
Luke 24:32  TLB

I appreciate you,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Jekyll and Hyde?

Pages from Devotions for the Beach by Miriam Drennan

For some reason still unknown to me, I had a strong compulsion to reread a devotional entitled Devotions for the Beach ... and days you wish you were there, by Miriam Drennan. The book is copyrighted 2012, so I probably read it only a year or two ago. But I dutifully searched for it in my stash and have just reread the first two devotions so far.

It's an odd time of the year to feel compelled to read such a book with its beach theme, but perhaps there is something in it God wants to use to help me or to help someone else. We shall see.

My little watercolor is "supposed to be" Sunset Bay in Upper Michigan.
It needs fixing, but I will probably just try again so I don't have a total blob.

Beaches not only differ vastly from one location to another, but the same beach scene can change drastically depending on the weather. You might say a beach is a regular Jekyll and Hyde.

Of course, to be accurate, beaches are being affected externally, while a true Jekyll and Hyde has internal "polar opposites" taking place. Good and evil. Moral and immoral. Kind and cruel. Patient and impatient.

I know someone who seems almost two people in one, a split personality. Totally harmless, thankfully. Then I wondered: What about me? Where am I like a Jekyll and Hyde? Sadly, I could think of some instances of disparity in my own conduct. Patient one time and then impatient another in similar situations. Frustrated one time and then calm another. Confident some of the time, yet insecure other times. Kind, and then snippy.

I might be able to blame a little of such behavior on post-menopause and wacky hormones. But not all. At any rate, I don't want to be a Jekyll and Hyde. I want to be stable, loving, serene, peaceful, calm, collected, kind, patient ... all the best fruit the Spirit has to offer.

I'm going to work on that. With God's help, of course. And if the Spirit led me to my beach devotional for a particular reason, I'll let you know.

Do you want to be emotionally stable and consistently content? Meditate on God's Word and make sure your thoughts are in line with it. Stop concentrating on wrong things, and start thinking: No matter what is going on in my circumstances, I am able to remain calm and loving while I trust God to take care of everything. 
Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.
My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
James 3:10

Have a serene weekend,

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sharing Some Links

New teacup(s) thanks to my s-i-l.
(Photo taken by my new SmartPhone; I'm finally moving into this century!)

Just a couple of links to share today that you may very well already know about. The first is ZooBorns. It shares all the new zoo babies from around the world. They are precious, and I had no idea some of the animals existed.

The other is a site where one can learn about all the cozy mysteries out there. There seem to be legions of them! I have had the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series on my radar for some time, but haven't read one yet. My s-i-l sent me the Magical Cats series by Sofie Kelly, and I am just beginning those. I've only read one Tea Shop Mystery. Cozy mysteries seem to be dialogue-driven, at least from what I've read so far. Great writing they are not. But I'm getting into them because they have many of the same qualities of the English Village novels I favor. They take place in small or quaint locales, have a few charming characters, including animals, and they are low on profanity, sex, and violence. And there's a theme for everyone, see here.

Here's something I just happened across watching The Andy Griffith Show while eating my breakfast one day recently:

Goober tells Andy:  "You know why it's a nice day? 'Cause you're feeling good. My theory is we all carry our weather around inside us."

Ain't that the truth!!!

Words kill, words give life;
they're either poison or fruit - you choose.
Proverbs 18:21   The Message

The same is true of our thoughts! Blessings to you and yours,

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back to Coloring

I've shared from this little 6" x 7.5" Betsey Clark Coloring Book by Hallmark before, here. That was when I didn't have a decent camera, and today's photos aren't a whole lot better. I did use auto correct in Microsoft Picture Manager to brighten the color, otherwise the colors barely showed. I have done twelve pages out of sixteen designs, and this is the first one I colored with yellow hair. At least the original is yellow, if it doesn't look so above. I guess I had been trying to make them all soft and "mousy" like the cover:

The cover has turned brownish on the edges.

Here's a page done in 1974:

And another done in 2014:

I use colored pencils and as light a touch as possible. I haven't tried markers because I don't think I have the control in my hands for them. I also recently pulled out a Dover coloring book I had and this is my first attempt to color in it:

Forgive the shadows from my sheers, but pulling them aside would have been even worse! Here's the cover, and this book is 8.5" x 11" with thirty designs (designs are on both sides of the pages, unlike the Clark book which has designs on one side only):

If I share more, perhaps next time I'll just try taking photos with the dreaded flash, under lamplight.

I thought this was sweet:

Our Father in heaven,
we thank thee for this day,
for light, for work, for friendship,
for this beautiful earth,
and we ask your help in everything we do.
A grace said by Lady Bird Johnson as found in the Victoria September 1993 issue:

Speaking of work, I'm expecting an especially busy week ahead, so I may not be able to post until next weekend or so.

If you need a soothing, easy way to relax, try coloring! I'm hoping your week is delightful!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Prayer, My Desire

Royal Dover Bone China - Made in England

The hymn below has been on my mind lately. Well, just the first line, since I couldn't remember the words until I looked them up. Wow. No wonder God brought it to my mind. It is exactly what my prayer needs to be these days.

I love that about the Holy Spirit. In trying to deal with a frustration or two, I wasn't getting anywhere. So He reminded me of what was needed. Awesome. I'll be memorizing this song so that I can have it with me always:

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.
Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart by George Croly, 1867

I love Verse 4: the rebel sigh. I'm afraid that's me more often than I care to admit.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen,
the life of the Spirit, let us make sure
that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads
or a sentiment in our hearts,
but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
Galatians 5:25  The Message

Again, forgive the reruns on my photos (although cropped). But this way my newer readers will get to see them, and I like seeing them again, too. I am trying out the Verdana font instead of Georgia. I think the Georgia is prettier, but the Verdana is probably easier for most to read. (Oh my, I sound just like Brick on The Middle tonight!) I like italics, too, but not everyone does. In case you haven't guessed, I don't care much for change! Quite often I decide on the way I like something, and that's the way it stays, often for years at a time (such as with cupboard, dish, and furniture arrangements).

If you didn't already, I hope you'll take the time to read the lyrics above and ponder them.

You are loved,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Looking Up

Facing west in the evening sun.

I don't have any beautiful fall color to share with you, but today was a gorgeous day. There's nothing like the blue of an October sky.

Facing west northwest in the evening sun.

My maples have been suffering the past three years. They have a lot of dead in them now. At first I thought it was the drought, but with plenty of rain this year, they are still struggling. If I were wealthy, I'd do all in my power to save them. But as it is, I will just have to see what develops.

I think this was shooting pretty much overhead.

Look at that sky. There was no sun in the house anymore, so I took my camera outside to capture sunny leaves and sunny skies. The tree below is a neighbor's. I don't know what kind it is, but it turns a lovely yellow, which the photo didn't bring out very well.

Facing east in the evening sun.

We do have some pretty color around town, just not in my yard! After a hard day, it did me good to go look at the pretty sky and sun on the trees, even if just for a few moments.

When we have a trial or a burden, we must remember: This too will pass. I'm counting on it!

Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.
(from my kitty perpetual calendar)

Let's not forget to look up. It's beautiful up there.

Look up at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above you.
Job 35:5

Thanks to all of you who write such wonderful blog posts and/or comments that make life that much sweeter.
Blessings to All,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Sentiments Exactly

The pins were my grandmother's; wish the one was really star sapphires, but it's not!

Just a very short post to share this Victoria cover. That's an art easel on the left. But I just love the sentiment: The Pure Joy of Being Home. All I can say to that is a resounding Amen! And I haven't even read it again yet.

I have two copies of this issue (probably because one or the other of them is missing pages), and on the one that was originally mailed, those were the only words on that month's cover, which I found interesting and quite sufficient!

Our homes: gifts from God and a little taste of Heaven to come.

The hibiscus is still blooming, but judging by the lack of new buds, I think it may be going dormant - for awhile at least. Do they bloom inside during the winter months?

Wishing you sweet dreams tonight,

Monday, October 13, 2014

Friday's Child

A gift from my mother in 1972: Zenith Delft Blue, Made in Holland

No, it's not my birthday, but I'm desperate for post material because I'm too worn out to be creative at the moment.

Monday's child is fair of face;
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe;
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving;
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

If taken as true, being a Friday's Child comes with a big responsibility to others. For many years now, much of my time has been given over to serving others, which can be beautifully rewarding but tiring. It's also very humbling. At times my selfish side (my "flesh") screams for more "Me Time," and I must admit I try to protect it when possible.

How about it? Does the poem fit you? Of course, I think all of us are really a mixed bag of each day- and more. I guess the poem was based on fortune-telling, which would be a no-no for Christians. But now it's just a nursery rhyme, albeit a rather strange thing to tell children. Children need hope and deserve to be hopeful. I think we're all like children that way.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them ... Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example
that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:12-15

Welcome to my new followers. And many thanks to all of you who stop by. I appreciate your support!

May every day feed your hope (Jeremiah 29:11),

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Book Talk: A Jane Austen Education

An Amazon Associate Link; click for more details.

A Jane Austen Education - How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship and the Things that Really Matter by William Deresiewicz:

I just finished reading this 2011 book, and "Reader, I liked it." :O)  It didn't always get good reviews, but some of the few I read were complaining about the very things I thought the author explained and wrote very well. In fact, this book I checked out from the library by chance (don't you love that about libraries?) is worth another read to me, perhaps even worth owning it someday.

Deresiewicz is intelligent, there's no denying that. But rather than being "arrogant," I felt he was forthcoming and self-deprecating. Rather than not telling his own story well, I thought it was done very well, and I enjoyed his memoir sections almost as much as the Austen summaries. 

So if you're an Austen fan, you might give it a go and see what you think. But I think it has to be read carefully, and I suspect many of the comments were from readers who just skimmed the book or else how could they miss what was so clearly there? 

Chapter Titles: Emma: Everyday Matters; Pride and Prejudice: Growing Up; Northanger Abbey: Learning to Learn; Mansfield Park: Being Good; Persuasion: True Friends; Sense and Sensibility: Falling in Love; and The End of the Story. All but the last are very long chapters, but then they'd have to be! (And for the most part, the author only touches on the aspects of each novel that particularly taught him something meaningful he could apply in his own life.)

I'm taking the liberty of sharing a few quotes about the books Emma and Mansfield Park, below:

Writing about Austen's characters in Mansfield Park:  

So poor was Mary in any kind of inner resources, Austen was telling us, any ability to dwell in her own mind - to read, to draw, or simply to sit still and think - that her spirits couldn't survive a few hours alone indoors. Perpetual amusement, the privilege of the idle rich, leads only, it seems, to the perpetual threat of boredom. Being able to get whatever you want, Austen was showing me, leaves you awfully unhappy when you cannot get what you want.

Fanny, I realized, was not just different from the privileged people around her; she was their exact opposite. They had everything and wanted more; she had little and was willing to make do with less. Instead of responding to adversity with petulance and spite, she handled it with fortitude, resilience, and, when necessary, resignation.

But the novel's most important word of all was "useful." ... Because Fanny had to work hard, set aside her feelings, and sacrifice herself for others - to be, in a word, useful - only she possessed the moral strength to rise to the challenge when circumstances arrived ...

Writing about Emma:

... Austen was asking us to pay attention to the things we usually miss or don't accord enough esteem, in novels or in life. Those small, "trivial," everyday things, the things that happen hour by hour to the people in our lives: what your nephew said, what your friend heard, what your neighbor did. That, she was telling us, is what the fabric of our years really consists of. That is what life is really about.

Emma was always looking in the wrong direction ... While she plotted her schemes and dreamed her dreams, her "daily happiness" was right there in front of her, in "affairs, arrangements, perplexities, and pleasures" - the hourly ordinary, in all its granular specificity. The novel had a name for this gossipy texture of daily life, a word I stumbled upon again and again. "Many little particulars"; "I am impatient for a thousand particulars"; "She will give you all the minute particulars." Not just particulars, but "little" particulars ... Life is lived at the level of the little. 

Of course, the terms "affairs" and "making love" (just throwing that one in) did not have (solely, if at all) the same connotation in Austen's day as they do now.

Are you a Jane Austen fan?

Enjoying a beautiful weekend, and hope you are, too!
*Based on the famous quote from Jane Eyre (not an Austen book): "Reader, I married him." Dereciewicz also plays with the quote. Also, I have no connection to the author or publisher whatsoever, and have not received compensation or a book for this brief review.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Still Blooming

My hibiscus has been brought indoors for the winter, and it's still blooming. Seems like it only gets at most one to three flowers open at a time, but then they are so pretty each bloom can be thoroughly appreciated that way. This photo was taken by a different camera than the first I shared here.

Just wanted to clarify that when I write about negative thinking, depression, anxiety, and so on, that doesn't mean I'm presently having big problems with any of those. They come and go, but mostly I'm fairly content these days. But at times my thoughts are too many to put in a short comment or email, so they become blog posts! :O)

From This Day is the Lord's by Corrie ten Boom:

Faith is an activity; it is something that has to be applied. 

Absolute dependence is the essence of the faith of the angels; it should also be ours. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may ... find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (as found in the above book)

Keep blooming ... wherever you're planted!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thoughts on Anxiety, Especially Job Anxiety

A jigsaw puzzle my dad and I put together. He put a backing on and preserved it.

I'm no expert, and my thoughts in this post are based on my personal experience, but I don't think too many people will argue with me when I say anxiety is no good. It's about as much fun as getting a root canal all day, every day.

My dad holds me, and my mom holds my older brother.
Aren't I a chunk?! Talk about fat cells! ;O}

Anxiety differs from depression in that it's being in a state of relentless agitation (a lack of peace). Often it's mercifully understated, but it's there nonetheless. Left unattended, the tension spring winds tighter and tighter. Sometimes it screams to be sure we're paying attention. "Do something!" it demands. What it means is "Do something different!" because the same-o, same-o isn't soothing the anxiety beast and releasing any pressure build-up. Years ago I had to leave a job because my extreme anxiety and stress didn't subside one whit over evenings or weekends (vacation was non-existent); it just kept building. The workload was utterly impossible. When it gets like that, Friends, it could very well be time to get out while you can walk out and not wait until "the big one" sends you out the door on a stretcher.

A watercolor done by a classmate of my grandfather.

However, anxiety is like depression in that if one needs medical treatment, one best seek it out asap. For instance, mitral valve prolapse has a strong connection with anxiety. I'm sure an online search would turn up many more medical connections. (So if you're experiencing anxiety, please be sure to talk to your doctor about it.)

And being that these are anxious times we live in doesn't help matters. If we think we're not anxious about anything, ever, we'd better pinch ourselves to make sure we're alive. 

An unfinished painting in acrylics done by my mother.
The kitty was named Holly because she was a Christmas present.

I wonder how much anxiety folks of old felt ... in fact, folks clear up to just before the information age maybe. I mean sure, if we're being chased by a bear, we're terrified until said bear lumbers off. But constant anxiety? I think in part it's so bad now because we've been robbed. Well, that's my theory anyway. Robbed by the busyness in this day and age of precious time and quiet to pursue activities that produce tangible results. Results we can look at as often as we like and say to ourselves: "I made this."

A sweetie, even with her unfinished face.

It seems to me we need an outlet that's a good distraction, something totally different from our job, that will "take us away" from our work and daily stress (no, not even Calgon is enough help!). I'm liking the visual arts because then I have something tangible to keep and show for my time. And there are soooo many options. Once we find the one or two or maybe three hands-on activities that are so enjoyable to us we lose track of time and our anxiety, we don't feel so "defined" (or pressured) by our jobs, but defined more so by the wonderful things we enjoy doing and look forward to doing in our free time. (I guess if one is fortunate to find "the one thing," that makes it a passion, and a couple things can become our bliss. I've never been able to whittle it down to one or two things, but I've come to accept that about myself!)

My beautiful mother (and handsome father and younger brother) at my 4th birthday celebration: 1956!

There are always going to be deadlines and stressful days at work, concerns for loved ones, snarled traffic jams, crummy weather, financial and health challenges ....  IMHO, the best tranquilizer is to be crazy-in-love with Jesus (whether one is male or female because it's a pure, chaste, "brotherly" love; also I'm not the least bit against tranquilizers if one needs them and takes them appropriately). But maybe the next best tranquilizer is finding a creative outlet that makes you feel on top of the world! Trying out the possibilities is part of the fun! 

A little woodworking.

Please tell us about your hobby or passion in a comment. 

From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward.
Proverbs 12:14

My love to all, especially my precious family!