Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pondering with a Purpose--Stretch

Today's Prompt is Stretch
Stretch in a part of my every day.  First I stretch really big when I get out of bed at 5:00, and then it's off to the gym to do my warm up stretches, exercise, then my cool down stretches.  I also have my day planned out so that all my errands are scheduled so that I can stretch my money.  I love the food sales where I can buy one gallon of milk and get one at half price--that really helps me stretch my income.

I have a favorite pair of jeans with a bit of stretch.  They are really comfortable, but as a rule, I don't like stretch fabric; it seems to lose its shape and nothing is worse than baggy, dumpy shirts.

So it's no stretch of the imagination that for the most part I love stretch.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean. 
This last summer I had the Pacific Ocean mist in my face.  It was majestic.

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?
Tires Screeching, babies screaming, men sobbing.

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?
I never try stuff on.  I know what will fit and what I like.  I know what styles look best on me.

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?
I like pistachios.  They are great in cooking and desserts, and of course, I have to taste test them.

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone?  Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary? 
My life is filled with compromises.  I am glad to come to a middle ground so that everyone is satisfied.

6.  Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?
I have written to my congressmen, and did receive a computer generated reply.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?
I love decorating for spring, celebrating my littlest great-grands birthday--she will be four, and the desert becoming brilliant with flowers.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
This week was my oldest granddaughters birthday.  I can't believe how fast the time has flown.  It seems that is was just a couple of years ago that I would pick her up for the weekend, and we would sing choruses all the way home.  Now she has kids of her own, and they sing choruses in the care when they go to town.  I didn't start the tradition, when I was a kid we would sing all the way to town.  (Mom loved it, cause it kept us kids from fighting)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Quiz about Me

                                                      Acting Balanced

1.  If you could go to any festival or event in the world; which one would you choose?

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico: early October Over 750 hot air balloons take to the skies, some are illuminated at night, and some are uniquely shaped.

2. What is the first sign you see that tells you spring is near?
Sure signs of spring in the desert: balmy weather, nesting birds, budding mesquite trees and - Rattlesnakes.
3. When you were in school did you do your projects as soon as they were assigned or as close to the last minute as possible?
As soon as they were assigned, I hate to work under pressure.

4. Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
I would rather be invisible.  It would be enlightening to see how people act when you aren't around.  Reading minds would just be too scary.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, poses with his trophy and his handler, Ernesto Lara, after winning best in show on Feb. 12, 2013 at Madison Square Garden.
What is your favorite type of dog?
Mine is a black lab.  Second would be American Pit Bull Terrier. I own one of each But my lab is a mix--lab and Queensland heeler

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Attitude

A bad attitude is like a flat tire.  You won't go anywhere until you change it.

Philippians 2:5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (NLT

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of my favorite things this week
Grandson 9th birthday--Skylanders cake, He's happy
No birthday is complete without a pinata
Rain water in my street, doesn't happen very often
Snow on I-10 just a mile from my house.  This is something you never see!


Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:

1. I can’t believe_February is almost over, and spring is almost here. Yea!

2. I never liked the TV Show _2&1/2 Men, it is crass! and comes on way to early for young viewers_

3. If I were a __little bit younger_I would most definitely __save more money, so I could travel more_.

4. I _snore_ when I _sleep, or so my family says, but I think they are lying to me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pondering with a Purpose--Stress

Today's prompt is: Stress
First of all I want to stress that I do no deal well with stress.  I have a strategy that helps me, maybe it will help you too.

I have first to identify the source of my stress.  It isn't always obvious.  Am I stressed before a presentation because I don't feel adequately prepared, or maybe I am tired, or had to heal with my dog tearing up my favorite pillow just before I left.

Sometimes I will journal about the stress.  That helps me more clearly see what caused it, how I felt, how I responded and what I can do to handle situations better the next time.

Here are the four big "A"s for dealing with stress
Avoid the stressor--learn to say no, cut your to do list
Alter the situation--express your feelings, learn to compromise
Adapt to the stressor--focus on the positive, look at the big picture
Accept the things you can't change--don't try to control, learn to forgive.

And I also want to stress that you have to make time for yourself, eat well, exercise and have fun, learn to laugh at yourself.  These things have helped me deal with the stressful situations in my life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. When were you last 'on a mountaintop'?  You may answer in the literal or figurative sense.
Literally it was this past summer when I hiked in the Olympic Mountains in Washington.  Figuratively, I'm currently in a valley and am looking forward to a good up experience.

2.  Do you establish and maintain a strict budget in your household?  What is one piece of financial advice you would offer someone just starting out on their own? 
If you are just starting out--save something every payday, even if you can't afford it.  I am on a budget, I spend what I bring in--this covers bills and a few treats and a tiny bit of savings.

3.  Cherries-yay or nay?  Cherry pie, cherry cola, black forest cake, or a scoop ofBen and Jerry's Cherries Garcia...pick one. 
Love cherries.  What could be better than a cherry pie.

4.  Should you ever discuss religion or politics with people you don't know? 
As a rule no.  If I am asked a question about religion, I am comfortable stating what I believe.

5.  When you take a road trip do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?  Where were you headed on your last road trip? 
Since I usually go alone, I drive.  On a road trip with my girl fiends, I would just as soon be a passenger.  The last road trip I took was to Prescott to visit my daughter.

6. If we peeked inside your closet, what color would we say is most prevalent?
Aqua and red, although there are a lot of basic browns.

7. Who's your favorite senior citizen and why are they special?
Since I am one of those of the geriatric crowd, most all of my favorite people have passed away.  Now the younger people--one of my favorites is my Prescott daughter because of her courage and good heart.  She took on the responsibility of raising her three young nieces and nephew, in addition to three step-children.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
On this winter day, it is raining here, but up north it is snowing.  The great grands are having a lot of fun.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

President's Day

As I sit writing this on the evening of this President's day, I am thankful for the leadership what we have had here in America, that has guided our country from a rag-tag group of colonists, to one of the mightiest countries on earth.

I hope that we remember the lofty principles that our country was founded on and the leaders who helped fashion us. It is understandable why we give these presidents the lion's share of our affection. After all, one is the father of our country and the other preserved the union. But each president -- in ways large and small -- has contributed to this republic and made America what many of us believe her to be: exceptional. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


                                                      Acting Balanced

1. Who was the last person you said 'I love you to?'
Daughter, today as I was leaving grandson's birthday party

2. What was the last non-kid friendly movie you saw?
Can't remember back that far.

3. When was the last time you got angry about something that you felt silly about later?
Locked myself out of my car, then remembered keys were in my pocket.

4. Where is your favorite object at this moment?
My kindle is just waiting for me to finish this post as it sits right in front of me.
And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  Tomorrow is a legal holiday in the US--President's Day.  Do you have special plans for this extra day off?
Me--I have a doctor appointment in the morning, and then plan to finish an art project.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Meditation-Acceptance

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The LORD protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid." (Psalm 27:1 TEV)
The fear of rejection is based on two things. First, we all need to be loved. That's a fact. We all desperately need massive doses of love in our life to be healthy individuals. God says, "I want to love you." God is love, and he knows you need to be loved.
But, second, we develop the false idea that our need to be loved is solely dependent upon one person or a group of people. When you expect someone else to meet 100 percent of your need for love, you're asking for trouble. You're setting yourself up for hurt and opening the door for the fear of rejection. When you look to any other person besides God to meet all your love needs, he or she can't. There is no human being alive that can love you as completely and as fully as you need to be loved, and there never will be. Only God can do that.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

SEAL of God

This is the story of a young man who is naturally gifted athletically. He achieves levels others only dream of and then gets bored--seeking the next thrill, the next bit of excitement. He frustrates his father by never sticking with anything. 

Chad winds up making a connection with a retired Navy Seal that changes the course and shape of his life forever. The story of his determined preparation and the relationship he has with his mentor is a study of his determination.  Then the tragic loss of his mentor in a brutally attack in Iraq serves to cement Chad's desire to be a Navy Seal. His SEAL training was a  grueling process of preparation both physical and mental. One of only 13 from a class of 173 to make it straight through to graduation, Chad served his country on SEALTeams One and Seven for five years, completing tours of duty in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iraq.

That accomplishment, great as it was, only served as the vehicle for the real change and achievement in Chad's life. The real story within the story is how he came to faith, how he grew, how that faith was challenged while he was a Seal, and then provided the opportunity for him to take that same level of determination and turn it into full-time ministry.

Chad Williams, this former Navy SEAL, served his country proudly from 2004-2010. Now engaged in full-time ministry work, Chad uses the training and experience he gained as a SEAL to help communicate the Gospel to others. Chad and his wife, Aubrey, live in Huntington Beach, California.  

Although this might be considered a "man's" book.  I was totally engaged with the path that this teenage boy traveled to manhood, and the problems that he faced that are common to so many of us.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of my favorite things this week
Plenty of Jelly Belly jelly beans
A beautiful iris folded card in red and gold foils from my friend


Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1. Sometimes I _feel lonesome_ that is why_love to read_____

2. All I _need _ for _finishing my current book_ is __an order of pearl paint_.

3. I _need coffee_ therefore _I am on my way to the kitchen_.

4. McDonalds’ is _making me mad cause their latte machine is always broken_ and __so it's back to Dunkin Donuts for lattes_.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pondering with a Purpose-Live

Today's prompt is: Live
I don't know about you... but I am really enjoying this double word meaning rhythm we have going here.

I want to live life live.  I want to be in real time, experiencing each moment as it happens.  I want to feel the happiness and the joy as they swell and then break over me.  I want to know the sadness and pain as they surround me like an ocean wave, so I can then feel the release as the hurt ebbs.

Memories are wonderful, but they are just a shadow of the live experience, just as moonlight is a shadow of the sun light.  They lack the intensity of the real thing. 

So for me live is the only way to live.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. This week marks the beginning of Lent...will you be giving something up or adding anything to your life during this season of the year?
Traditionally, I try and live a more centered life, focusing on the great love that God has for me.  I try and spend more time in praise and prayer.

2. The day before Lent is Shrove Tuesday... tradition states you eat pancakes on this day. In some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is actually known as 'pancake day'. How do you like your pancakes? Or don't you?
I love pancakes.  Breakfast for supper is one of my favorite meals, and I-HOP one of my favorite eateries.  What could be better than a fluffy pancake drizzled with hot maple syrup? 

3. I'm sure there are many, but what's one love song you really love?
I love Anne Murray's "You Needed Me".  Click to watch on You Tube.

4. What are some things you do to let others know you love them?
Tell them, send a card or give a remembrance for no special occasion.

5., pink, or do you prefer another color? Can you recall the last time someone gave you flowers? Given your choice would you like to open the door and see a dozen red roses, a dozen purple tulips, or a dozen pink peonies?
I love roses--especially peach ones.  I received a bouquet last year from my brother.  Not long ago, I also received a bunch of "flowers" that my granddaughter picked for me.

6. President's Day will be celebrated in America next Monday. Does US Presidential history and trivia interest you? Many Presidential homes are open to the public and offer guided tours...Monticello (Jefferson's home), Mount Vernon (Washington's home), Montpelier (James Madison's home), Hyde Park(FD Roosevelt's home) and The White House (home to the sitting President) to name just a few. Of those listed which would you be most interested in touring? Why?
I would love to visit them all.  I love history.  Monticello especially interests me because Jefferson was such an unusual man.

7. Are you good at keeping secrets?
I am very good at keeping secrets.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I am working on my A-Z April Challenge posts.  I decided that they would be about my character traits both good and bad.  It sometimes has been hard to be honest.  I would like to skim over the bad ones (yes, I do have a few--hard to believe, huh?), but I am starting to feel that this is a very good exercise in self-awareness.  I am seeing things about me that I am sure others have been too kind to tell me.  It is a growing experience for me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

                                                      Acting Balanced

1. Do you tend to be more logically or emotionally driven in your decision-making?
Although I am an emotional person, I have learned to make decisions on a logical basis.

2. Do you take vitamin or other supplements?  Do you feel that they actually work? 
I take Fish Oil, Vitamin D3, and a multi-vitamin per my doctors instructions.  Personally I don't notice a difference in how I feel, however I haven't had a heart attack, so there is something to be said for that.

3. Have you ever kissed someone and just knew they were not the right person or vise versa?
Yes, there just was no passion or tenderness.

4. Why shouldn't the woman pay for a Valentine's Day date?
It is a grace to be able to receive a gift of love.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  What would be your favorite Valentine gift?
Mine--something that would last, like a trinket or jewelry.  It doesn't have to be expensive  but must show some thought.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Friends

We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.

Philippians 1:3  I thank my God every time I remember you. (NIV)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy

These things brought me happiness this week:
Helping my littlest granddaughter make beads for braclets
New comforter for my bed
Basil, my sweet American Pit Bull is one year old.


Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:

1. When I am on the phone I have to _turn the TV off, or I won't pay attention ___

2. I have a _new silk comforter--see the pic above.___

3. I started blogging to __record happenings in my youth, that would be the "olden days"

4. My worst habit is _not finishing a project before I begin another one.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pondering with a Purpose--Race

This Week's prompt: Race
I have a love/hate relationship with race.  I love to watch a NASCAR race, and stock car races.  I love the speed and the sound of the high powered engines as they thunder around the track.  But I hate to have to race anywhere when I am driving.  I get frustrated with traffic snarls and rude drivers.  I follow my mom's philosophy:  If you are on time you are late.  So I always leave in plenty of time so I don't have to worry about the time deadline.

Sometimes I race around the house when I am having unexpected company.  It's amazing how much work a couple of dogs can make for me.  I might even have to race to the grocery store to buy some treats.  Because of this my pulse will race.  So I do hate when this happens.

I am a laid back person and do not participate in the rat race of trying to keep up with the Jones's next door, (In my case that would be the Perez's or Sanchez's), which makes me realize that I am the minority race on my block--the token white.  But my neighborhood is peaceful, not fueled by hate of the race difference.

So, I will close and race to get a cup of fresh coffee, a highlight of my morning.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 10th, and 2013 is the year of the snake. When did you last see a snake?  Are you okay around snakes or do they give you the shivers? 
I saw a snake on my vacation this summer.  It was a harmless water snake.  I grew up around snakes--diamondback rattlers whose bite can be very toxic.  I learned early to carry a stick, make noise, and know that they are the boss.  Snakes don't scare me, but they certainly aren't my favorite things.

2. The color red in Chinese culture usually means good luck.  Do you believe in luck? 
Some perceive luck as a matter of random chance. But I believe that all things are controlled by either the will of God, the will of Satan, or the will of man. That leaves no room for luck.

3. Sledding-ice skating-building a snowman...if given a choice, which activity would you choose?  Which of the three have you done most recently?  
I'd build a snowman.  It's been a while since I have been in the snow.  Mostly, I just admire it on TV.

4.  Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited as saying, "The years teach much which the days never knew."  Where have you seen this quote played out in your own life?  
Emerson presents a memorable argument in his essay "Experience" for the idea that experience cannot be reduced to the smallest observable events, then added back up again to constitute a life; that there is, on the contrary, an irreducible whole present in a life and at work through us.
I find that all the seemly unrelated things that I have experienced have laid the ground work for what I have become.  I was in a bad relationship, endured hardship but because of that I have been able to council others and let them know that I survived and they can too; and live a happy fulfilled life.

5. When was the last time you ate a cupcake?  
I had an apple cupcake on Saturday.

6. What's something you can't say no to?  
A plea from one of my grandkids to come and play.

7.  Are you a doodler?  
I do doodle on the church bulletin, on my class notebooks, on cards I make.  Give me a writing instrument and a piece of paper and a doodling I will go.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  
Talking about doodling, reminded me of this morning.  I had to deposit a check at the drive through at the bank, and I couldn't find a pen or pencil in my purse or anywhere in the car so I could endorse the check.  I absolutely had to get that check in the bank, finally I found a lip liner and soon the teller will see this check with a rose signature on the back.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Where I would Rather Be

Today in Phoenix it was 76o, and right now at 8:30 p.m. it is 65o I had my doors open, with just the screen door closed to keep out the bugs and keep in the dogs.

The high today in Yellowstone Park, near where I grew up, was 30o, and right now it is 22o.

This was a typical scene from my youth.  We loved the snow.  Back then I thought it was fun to make snow angels and my brothers made snow forts.

But somewhere along the line, I became less enamored.  Maybe it was when living in northern Michigan, I had to hang diapers outside and they froze before I could get the clothespins on them.  Or maybe it was when it was having to dig out of drifted snow after a blizzard in Minnesota.  But for whatever reason I wouldn't trade living in Phoenix in the winter.  A visit to snow country is all that I need to remind me of those cold days of long ago.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

                                                      Acting Balanced

1. Are you good about going to the doctor?
Yes, but with working with doctors for over 25 years, I had many lunchroom consults.

2. What do you think about the practice of restaurants adding automatic tips for large groups or specific events?
I can see adding a tip for large groups if paying on one check, however, if individual checks, then I think that I should have an option of how large a tip I want to leave. (BTW--I am a generous tipper)

3. When was the last time you went out for dinner?
I went out Saturday with friends and had a delicious cod dinner.

4. What is your best budget saving tip for recovering from an unexpected expense or planning for one?
Cut out the Starbucks.  Seriously, I always try to have emergency funds set aside.  I try and add to them on a regular basis, even if it is only a couple of dollars.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around.

5.  Did you have a super bowl party? If not what did you do.
Me--I didn't even turn the TV on.  I worked on an art book that I am making, and then read for awhile.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Possible

God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity that we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.

Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (NIV)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt

This was a hard book to read, not because it was boring or poorly written, but because it addressed an issue that I had lived through. So many of Christi's thoughts were mine, her heartaches mine. Not only was it a chronicle of her journey, but the appendixes give resources for others who need help, and ways to work back toward rebuilding a sound self image.

"Like millions of other women, CNN’s Headline News and truTV’s In Session anchor Christi Paul blamed herself for the emotional abuse heaped on her by her first husband, whose violent, profanity-laced tirades left her feeling as though she had no value, no self-worth, and nowhere to turn for help.
Then one day, when Christi was taking refuge in a church parking lot, the verse “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” popped into her head. In that moment, she realized she did have someplace to turn after all. Holding fast to her faith, Christi began the arduous process of rebuilding her self-image and regaining control of her life.
Now happily remarried and the mother of three girls, Christi feels called to share her story in the hope that other victims will find courage to seek the help they desperately need and deserve.
Written with great candor and poignancy, Love Isn’t Supposed to Hurt chronicles Christi’s personal experience of dealing with emotional abuse and shows how—with God’s help, some unconventional therapy, and the support of family and friends—she was able to break the cycle of abuse, regain her sense of self-worth, and discover what true love is really all about."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy

These brought me happiness this week:
Lunch with a friend at Joe's Crab Shack

The moon yesterday morning

My mom made this cross stitch sampler for me years ago.  It brings a smile to my face.  I made the miniature quilt.

Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!

This week’s statements:
1. I was probably the only kid in the world who _had read every book in our school library by 4th grade.

2. _Fresh squeezed orange juice_ is my favorite juice

3. I never thought I would__been comfortable speaking in front of people__until I_took a high school debate class__

4. I have always wanted to_explore Austrailia____ but__never have had money for the trip_