Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Slice of My Life


I wanted to write a new post, but could not think of a thing to write about. So I'll just share a few random thoughts.

Housekeeping:

Like everyone else, I have been attempting to thin out a few items I no longer need or want. Mostly from my utility porch which over the years has served as overflow storage. You would think I could do this efficiently: clear an entire shelf or surface at a time, clean it, and be done with it. But no, not I. I do a little here and there, as I can and as I want to. 

The realization came to me the other day that I love doing it that way. It makes me happy to do it that way. Eventually it will all be gone through and disposed of or donated or simply dusted. Goodwill has benefited, the library has, and perhaps the trash man kept the carpet sweeper from the trash. Or not.

List Making:

In early December I began making daily lists in two small notebooks. One is for a daily menu plan for me alone; the other is for three or four usually small tasks I'd like to complete, in addition to everything that has to be done on a daily basis, to which being a caregiver ups the ante considerably. (Some days just the usual required daily tasks can plumb wear me out.)

The menu planning is extremely helpful, but I haven't lost a pound. At least I haven't gained, though. So far this plateau has lasted six months, so I've taken out the big guns: tracking my sodium and sugar in addition to calories, plus my intention is to ride that exercise bike every day. Ha!

The list of extra tasks to do has been more successful. Things are getting done- eventually. Sometimes it takes writing it down a few days first. I used to be a prodigious list maker. I had to be. In my college days (I was older by a generation!) and in my paralegal days there was so much to remember to do that I would have gone insane without my lists. 

I had given up list making for a few years but felt my days were getting a bit aimless. I love Joyce Meyer's take: "Live your life on purpose for a purpose." My little To-Do book helps me do that.



Old Photos:

For the present, it is much easier on me to share an old photo or two, than to take new ones. For example, my living room and hallway currently look nothing like these snapshots. Everything has been rearranged to accommodate medical equipment, as I have said before. I think it's good to recycle photos anyway since new readers most likely will not have seen them. That way I get to enjoy them again, too.

Writing and Priorities:

I have a light romance I wrote in the early 1980s (back when I was interested in romance, fortunately) that I have been inputting into the computer. I told myself to type and rewrite two pages a day (pages previously typed on an old mechanical typewriter). Alas, I would get lost in my Kindle for PC or just surfing, and the result would be I was too tired for my writing work.

I made a pact with myself to input the two pages first before I allow myself to go elsewhere on the computer. Except for Sundays, a day off. So far setting that priority (after and around my caregiving duties) is working out beautifully. Chapter One has been entered! But oh my poor book, how outdated it seems. I really don't recall just what I might get into. So the rewriting part will go more slowly than hoped. When the book is finished, I plan to put it on Amazon. That will be book #2. Some of my poetry will be book #3. I'm just doing it because I might as well and because it's fun. So grateful to live in the age of Kindle Direct Publishing!

I have been reading a variety of genres to see what I might like to write next. I don't foresee writing another romance, but I won't totally rule it out. I am not interested in detective, thriller, fantasy, or science fiction books. My forte is probably as an essayist, but I have my blog for that (and my devotional memoir). I'm leaning toward a cozy mystery, with the emphasis on cozy, or a "slice of life" novel in the same vein (but not league, of course) as Miss Read.



Singing:

Last night and yet today this refrain has been running through my head:

Just a closer walk with thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea, 
Daily walking close to thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Guess I managed to come up with a post after all. Thanks for slogging through it!

Sending out loving thoughts to my precious family and to each and every one of my wonderful readers! 

May you be blessed,
Bess

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Reassuring Word


I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16

If you're struggling with unwanted negative thoughts, I invite you to check out my sidebar (scroll down a bit and then a little more) for tips on ousting self-defeating thinking. The top three posts listed contain my main points.

Think happy, be happy, and be blessed,
Bess 

Monday, January 16, 2017

January According to Miss Read


The first days of the New Year were mild and still. The naked trees stood motionless against a grey sky ...

Indoors, bowls of hyacinths and tulips gave hope of spring to come ...

It was a time to relish one's home. In the dark of the year, when curtains were drawn between four and five, and the long evening stretched ahead, the people of Thrush Green turned to their fires, books, knitting, needlework and, sometimes, television to amuse themselves. Domestic comforts became doubly precious: a warm bed, a hot drink, the snugness of curtains shut against the night's chill, all brought comfort in the dismal days of January. From Celebrations at Thrush Green by Miss Read







Hygge anyone? I've read only two of the many books on hygge, but as I read them I couldn't help but thinking that any of us who have loved the cottage life and the simple life for years have known hygge all along.



Alas, sometimes nature makes herself known even in our cozy surroundings:




Tons of tree damage here, with loads of cleanup to be done. My yard isn't too bad, though, and so far our power has held so we are grateful.

I pray that January's storms will be kind to you and that you'll have many cozy days throughout.  Be blessed!
Bess

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Comforting Word


I have a rock that I keep on the windowsill beyond my desk and laptop. It's my Ebenezer stone so that every time I look at it, I recall the help that God has given me in times past. It helps to reinforce my trust that He will continue to help me in the days and years ahead. 

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 
1 Samuel 7:12

If you're expecting ice or other bad weather this weekend, stay safe!
Bess

Monday, January 9, 2017

Miss Read First American Editions



I've borrowed both of these books from the library and thought you might want to see the original First American Edition covers of what became known in later years as The Caxley Chronicles.

I have read The Market Square (American 1967), but for some reason I never got to The Howards of Caxley (1968). So I'm rereading the first to refresh my memory.

As I have said before, I am so grateful for our library system. If our local library hadn't had these, they would have found them for me somewhere. Going through my library saves me sooooo much money and space. And I have donated beaucoup books to them for their shelves or book sales over the years, making for a very symbiotic relationship!



This teacup was one of my mother's: Royal Crown Arden, Staffordshire England. The plate is perfect, but the cup pattern came out flawed. No matter, and I'll be ready for a cup of tea any minute. Will I last until after this is posted? 

Sometimes when I'm reading the posts on other blogs, I come across one that seems like it will be so wonderful that I stop and tell myself, "This is going to deserve a cup of tea!" I prepare my tea and return to sip it while I enjoy reading the post. And for some reason, those posts are always wonderful! Is it my radar ... or the tea? 



For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end.
Psalm 48:14

Enjoy your day!
Bess

Friday, January 6, 2017

An Encouraging Word



Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3,4

~~~~~

May you have a scrumptious weekend!
Bess