Please note that all posts are copyright. Do not reprint in whole or in part without permission of the author. You may refer to one of my posts in your own writing; simply include the link(s) so readers can be taken directly to my work. Thank you, and enjoy! ~Susan

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

No More Cookbooks!

I have a habit of borrowing a lot of cookbooks from the library and have decided no more for the rest of the year. I've scanned tons of recipes I still need to try, have four binders full plus what's in my e-mail inbox, plus all the cookbooks I own on my bookshelves. It's time to try the many recipes I already have access to!

The only exception to this "rule" will be when/if my book club decides to "read" a cookbook for our December potluck. We did that in 2017, creating dishes from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon. It worked out great.

Friday, 5 January 2018

FMF: Motivate

Earlier this week I read this quote from Charles Price in a Living Truth devotional:

"Our personal experience of God's love is subject to our loving Him back...This means that everything we do, everything our affection is placed on, everything our energy is engaged in and every ambition we hold will, in some way, say, 'I love You, God.' It is a reciprocal relationship in which God's centered love for us becomes the means of His love flowing through us to the benefit of others." ~Charles Price

When I saw today’s word prompt, Motivate, it took me back to this. It’s talking about our motivation – why we do what we do. Price’s words are worth pondering if you identify as Christian. If our affections, energies and ambitions are not saying ‘I love You, God,’ then what motivates us?

I look around and see Christians who are no different from the world. It seems that they have lost their first love and instead of loving people from the love of God that’s inside, they love the things that the world loves: celebrity, immoral entertainment, material gain, status, beauty. They aren’t careful what their little eyes see, what their little ears hear, what their little mouths speak. And it’s not just other Christians either; sadly, sometimes it’s me.

The Bible says we’re to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength. We’re also to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Let these commands motivate us and make our lives count so that when we say we love God it's believable. 
If you'd like to join today's Five Minute Friday link-up, go here.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy 2018 to all my readers! I hope you have a wonderful year, filled with everything you like best! Also, a period of personal and spiritual growth (which admittedly may require some challenges). Let's not stay static. I'm sure we all have ways in which we need to change.

I'm not making resolutions, but I'll continue my pattern of posting here about once a week. I'm not doing the Alphabet Soup Reading or A-Z Blogging challenges this year. I need a break from those sorts of intense commitments. My plans and goals centre on physical/spiritual health/growth, writing and home organization/transformation.

L'chaim - to life!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Right Now

Drinking: I've had one cup of coffee so far today and suspect another is in my future. Other than that, herbal teas and apple cider. 'Tis the season!

Eating: Planning to have a muffet for breakfast. A friend is treating me to lunch at a lovely local cafe with European flair. I'm thinking I'll have the quiche, but will decide for sure when I get there. Supper is all too often TBD these days...

Reading: Still working my way through Girl Meets God by Lauren F. Winner. But also reading Lagom (Not too Little, Not too Much): The Swedish Art of Living a  Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark (creator of My Scandinavian Home). I'm really enjoying it; getting ideas; and it's the kind of book you can read when you have brief snippets of time.

Watching: We watched Wonder Woman the other night. My husband had already seen in in the theater, but didn't mind watching it the second time, with me. It was well done; heavily influenced by Greek mythology, as was to be expected. I've heard so much about Gal Gadot, and I must say she played Wonder Woman fabulously.

Listening: I've borrowed a couple of Christmas CDs from the library, but haven't had a chance to listen to them yet.

Creating: More mess, this time with Christmas wrapping paper and decorations. But also, the Christmas dinner menu!

Buying: Christmas shopping is done, but I do plan to pick up a gift card to go in each stocking. We only do stockings for the "kids" (aka young adults).

Anticipating: At this time of year it's all about Christmas! So, remembering to focus on the Christ child - why He came, what He accomplished. Looking forward to the Christmas Eve service under the direction of our new pastor. Looking forward to having my daughter home from school, my mom visiting from Toronto, my in-laws (parents, aunt and uncle) coming for Christmas dinner. I'm planning to do some baking this weekend and also hope to prepare some of the dinner items so it's not so stressful on the 25th.

What are you making for Christmas dinner? (Or what do you make for Chanukah, Kwanzaa, etc.?)

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Right Now

Another little snippet of my life!

Drinking: Just finished my first coffee of the day. So tired this morning, it has barely done anything to perk me up (pardon the pun!). I'm working most of the day and will have herbal teas, including eye-popping chocolate peppermint, at break and beyond.

Eating: Oatmeal with berries (breakfast), chickpea salad wrap plus 16 grams of potato chips and a clementine orange (lunch), supper is to be determined.

Reading: Just finished the amazing Kisses From Katie: a Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie J. Davis. She keeps her promise that the story is all about God and not about her. I highly recommend you read it.  Currently I'm reading Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life by Lauren Winner. Lauren was raised Jewish but compelled to follow Jesus as a young woman. Both of these titles are for this year's Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

Watching: My husband and I watched Cat Ballou (1965) the other night and enjoyed it. I've also recently watched a couple of episodes of the Beat Bobby Flay cooking show and find it fun. Beating Bobby Flay isn't easy. Even if desserts aren't his thing, he usually finds a way to fight off the competition.

Listening: I don't currently have anything in the CD player.

Creating: Apparently, a messy house (insert sad face). It's been really busy lately and I haven't had much time to clean or tidy up. We have guests coming over Saturday evening, so it's going to be a bit of a mad rush to get things in order and prepare the meal. My husband has to finish painting our entryway and I'm hoping to get our Christmas tree and other decorations up on Friday. Thankfully he has Thursday and Friday off this week.

Buying: We're still working on saving up for a replacement vehicle, but we did buy a futon for our office/guest room. My mom is coming for Christmas, and when she visits, my daughter usually winds up on the basement couch (not really designed for sleeping). We thought a futon on the main level would be helpful. Also, of course, I am buying Christmas presents.

Anticipating: The beginning of the Advent season. Looking forward to meditating on what it means and how transformative it is to be a Christian and have the joy, love, peace and hope Jesus gives. I hope that is something you know and experience as well. If not, you certainly can! Click here to find out more. And may this be the beginning of something new and beautiful in your life.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Right Now

Drinking: I've just had my first cup of coffee with almond creamer and a little maple syrup to "yawn and stretch and try to come to life." I'm trying to stick to one coffee a day, so remaining beverages will be herbal teas and water.

Eating: Breakfast was a bowl of oatmeal with ground flax, hemp seeds, chopped walnuts and cinnamon topped with a little maple syrup and almond milk. Lunch is to be firmed up, but I'm thinking tuna with vegan mayonnaise, a garden salad and garlic Naan bread. Supper is pasta and baby carrots with hummus. I'm at women's Bible study this morning, so snacks will be whatever's on offer plus fruit later in the day.

Reading: I had to return J. Warner Wallace's Cold-Case Christianity and am still plugging away on Tony Dungy's A Quiet Strength. It's not that hard to read, but I'm not a football fan to begin with and I'm still waiting for the "lessons" to spotlight. Confession: A Quiet Strength is my "Q" book for the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. It's not looking like I'll successfully complete the challenge this year, though I may be able to substitute on my original list alternate titles I've read.

Watching: Too busy, but we did watch Maudie the other night. This is the feature biopic of Maudie Lewis, Nova Scotia artist. Ethan Hawke was excellent as her taciturn husband, Everett, and Sally Hawkins, not familiar to me, was amazing in the title role. Quite a story!

Listening: I've borrowed a couple of Christmas CDs from the library (yes, I know it's a bit early), but haven't had a chance to listen to them yet. Matthew West's Heart of Christmas and Reba McEntire's My Kind of Christmas.

Creating: Continuing to write personal experience stories and to work on the novel. Also picked up a couple of "guided writing" books, 500 Writing Prompts and Complete the Story. Great exercises to stimulate the writer's brain and creative juices and to help overcome writer's "block."

Buying: Looks like we're buying a new-to-us vehicle in the nearish future. Our 2008 Tucson died in the driveway Tuesday, having blown a timing belt. How did we know? We had it towed to our mechanic's and he diagnosed the issue. It was either say good-bye to the vehicle or spend $1000 to replace the timing belt, perhaps only then discovering that a complete engine job was needed. Apparently blown timing belts can do quite the damage. To us it wasn't worth throwing a thousand dollars at, given the age of the vehicle. Like the mechanic said, we'd be rolling the dice. Better to save that money and invest it in something new(er).

Anticipating: Taking the bus for the next little while. Not a bad experiment for our first-world family, so accustomed to hopping in the car and going wherever, whenever we want. Yes, it's a bit of a hassle, but that's life. We just get too comfortable and spoiled. It's the difficulties that grow and shape us. And we'll need time to research the vehicle we want as well as to add to the coffers. Don't worry, Hawaii, I am still coming to you next year. We'll figure it out somehow!

How are things in your little corner of the world? Any surprises?

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Right Now

Drinking: At this very moment I'm boiling the kettle for a cup of mint chocolate rooibos tea to give me a boost of energy for the day. I had a cup of coffee earlier, with almond milk 'creamer'. Forgot to bring my water bottle to work, unfortunately. I guess I'll be having more tea at break.

Eating: I just completed the 10 day McDougall diet challenge. Very similar to the 7-day rescue diet I tried back in February, it calls on you to eliminate several things from your diet, including sugar and oil. The first half of the challenge went fairly well, but I did end up cheating in the last half and didn't lose any weight. Still, a good reminder to eat more healthfully.

Mind you, I could puke oatmeal right now.

Reading: Cold-Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace and Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. Trying to finish at least one of them this week so I can stay on track with the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.

Watching: Timeless, Season One. What a great show about time travel and preserving/changing American history. Lots of action and suspense. Who, or what, is 'Rittenhouse'? What is his/its goal and is it intended for the good of the country - or not?

I was disappointed when someone told me NBC cancelled it after one season, but my husband looked it up and they are bringing it back sometime in 2018. Woot!

Listening: My husband is the real blues fan, but I am enjoying Jonny Lang's new album, Signs, a great deal. Some fantastic lyrics and wailing guitar. If you like blues, you should love this.

Creating: I recently completed a photo book for my daughter, called Annika's Book of (Mostly) Godly Wisdom. It was supposed to be a 21st birthday gift, but she is now 22.5 and I wanted to get it to her before Christmas. She absolutely loved it, and I hope she will take the wisdom (offered by family, mentors and friends) to heart. The photos show the advisors with or without Annika, and I included some quotes from Scripture and well-known people as well. There are a few photos from places we've traveled; among them Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Florida.

I did the book using Shutterfly (thanks for the recommendation, Susan F!) and had great success. I did miss a couple of typos (grrrrr). Perfection is a goal, but not often a reality.

There were 20 pages to work with (I didn't want to pay extra for more, nor did I have the time) and already I'm envisioning a follow-up book. I warned Annika that as I worked on it, I kept thinking of additional advice!

Buying: Groceries and the odd Christmas gift as I see things on sale. Hubby and I are trying to save money for our planned trip to Hawaii next year, so I don't want to spend a lot on Christmas. That's not what the holiday is all about anyway.

Anticipating: Attending a workshop this weekend on spiritual warfare. It's led by my friend Lisa. Pray for us!

Questions for you:
  1. What are you up to right now?
  2. What advice would you give someone as they launch into adult life? What do you wish you had known/someone had told you when you were 21/22?
  3. What's your favourite 'new' television show?