Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Looking Forward to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away. It’s a time when we look back over the past year and celebrate what we’re grateful for. One thing I’m most grateful for is my family.  It’s changed over the years with the grandkids getting married and having kids. Now some of the great grandkids are married too.  

We gather at someone’s home and everyone brings something for a potluck of everyone’s favorite foods.  Turkey (of course), stuffing, cranberry sauce, both canned and homemade (there an on-going debate in my family as to which is the “real” kind),  mashed potatoes, an appetizer, rolls, fruit salad, deviled eggs, and several pies.  

Festivities typically start around noon that day, with people arriving

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5 Tips to Make Thanksgiving Travel Less Stressful

photo courtesy of pixabay
I always enjoy Thanksgiving.  It’s the one time a year my whole family gets together. It's also the busiest day of the year for traveling. Since that can be stressful, I’ve come up with a few ways to make it a little easier.

Plan ahead. One of the worst stressors in traveling is having to make sure you have everything. One week before you leave, (instead of the night before) write down everything you’ll want with you while you’re gone.  Making a list has a couple of benefits. First, you can actually see it on paper.  That helps you organize your thoughts instead of thinking you’ll just know it all when you leave. It also reduces your stress level because you don’t have to remember everything.  It’s there for you to see when you pack. The third advantage is that you have a list to check things off as you pack, making it more likely you’ll have everything you need.

Medicine. When you make your list, remember your medicine, if you take any. The most obvious thing we think of in packing is, of course, the clothes we’ll wear. But medicine is even more important. Depending on where you go, you may not have access to your doctor. We can’t just run across town to get another prescription when we travel, so we have to make sure we have it all before we go.  Make sure you take everything with you. 

Pack two days before you leave.  Once you’ve listed and laid out everything you need, pack your suitcase(s) two nights ahead of time.  This gives you an extra day to double check that everything’s in there.  If you’ve forgotten something, you have time to stick it in there without rushing at the last minute. 

photo courtesy of pixabay
 Are you flying?  If you are, take a carry-on with you and check the airline’s requirements for what’s allowed and what’s not. Check the weight limit for each suitcase you plan to check.  Weigh each bag at home and adjust whatever’s necessary before you get to the airport. Most flights limit the amount of liquids allowed in a container in a carry-on (a few ounces) and allow only one quart-size, transparent, resealable bag per passenger.  You’ll have to show it to an employee, so keep it out of your bag until you get on the plane.

ALWAYS pack your medicine in your carry-on.  You never know if your luggage will get lost somewhere along the way. Several years ago, I flew from California to Washington D.C. My luggage went to St. Louis instead, so I was left without clean clothes.  The humidity, combined with rain there in the middle of July, made me miserable for 3 days before I was reunited with my luggage. Fortunately, I had my medicine in my carry-on so it was just an inconvenience. 

These are my thoughts.  What other tips would you add to the list?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Reaching Out in Friendship

I'm fortunate to have a close family.  And my mom is the best. She means the world to me and is more than just my mom. She’s a close friend and I treasure our relationship. 

She means a lot to her friends as well. She’s been in a bowling league for many years now and has met a lot of people she wouldn’t otherwise know. Click here to read about how she's reached out and helped improve some people's quality of life.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Write Conversation: Thoughts on Handling Challenges as a Writer

I just read a blog post providing #encouragement for writers that applies to life in general regardless of your profession.  The Write Conversation: Thoughts on Handling Challenges as a Writer: "As long as you don't quit, it will get easier—and harder." -Lynn Blackburn by Lynn Blackburn  @LynnHBlackburn My fam...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dinner Out Every Week

I’d finally gotten out of the hospital after four months.  I’d come home but was very limited in what I could do.  Walking with a walker and quite slowly at that, it was discouraging, even as I improved each week.  Unable to drive, I was cooped up in the house, other than doctors’ appointments and physical and occupational therapy. 
One of my friends recognized my need and asked if she could take me out for dinner one night.  "Sure!" I said.  I'd get out of the house and spend time with a friend.  What an opportunity.

Today's the second Monday of the month, so I'm posting on Small Acts of Kindness.  I'd love it if you'd pop on over and read the rest of the story.

Friday, September 8, 2017


I’m not sure who was more surprised—him or me, but I just had to laugh. I had just finished my breakfast and taken my dishes into the kitchen. I put the dishes in the dishwasher, walked back to the dining room, and stopped short. There was a piece of food on the floor near the chair I’d been sitting in. “Huh? I don’t remember a piece of food there. That’s weird.”

I bent down to pick it up and it hopped. “What in the world?” I said. Food doesn’t hop. My eyes widened and I jerked my head back. I bent down to take a closer look. Gray with a dark gray spot on its back, it was a toad!
Why is there a toad in my house? “When did you get in here? HOW did you get in here?” I shook my head. I bent down to pick him up, take him outside, and set him free.

He hopped under the table, afraid of me. I’d gotten a paper towel from the kitchen to wrap him in to get him outside. I figured it was big enough to cover him from both sides so he wouldn’t escape, but I couldn’t reach him now. I stooped to get under the table. He heard me and jumped further. I peered under the sofa, and spotted him just on the other side. Paper towel in hand, I walked around the couch and bent over. After two more tries, I succeeded. I’d caught him. I covered him from both sides so he couldn’t escape.

He tried to jump out of my grasp, but I had him this time. I went outside and released him on the deck but he didn’t move. I wondered if I’d hurt him when I picked him up or when I carried him, but soon enough he hopped forward and away he went. He must have just been scared.

That’s the 3rd time I’ve had a wild animal in my house here. Read about the other times with a bird here and here. I at least know where the birds came from and how they got in, but I have no idea how that a toad managed to come in.

It reminds me of how I can get into the strangest of places or situations at times. Places where I don’t belong but have adapted to. When someone sees me and tries to help get me back where I need to be I may try to escape. Just like that little toad, I’ve gotten used to where I am and change is scary, especially if I don’t initiate it

Eventually, and it may take quite a bit of time, I may decide to relax a bit and see where it takes me. Usually, it’s to a better place. It can take some time to adjust to it, but with time, (sometimes longer than I’d like) I see the benefits outweigh the costs. 

How about you? When have you been in a place where you needed help but had to trust someone in order to get it?  Share it here.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Where is God?

I was regretting the past
and fearing the future.

Suddenly my Lord was speaking:

My Name Is I AM

He paused. 
I waited. 
He continued:

"When you live in the past
and its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard.

I am not there. My name is not  I WAS.

When you live in the future,
with its fears and problems
it is hard.
I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.

When you live in the moment
It is not as hard.
I am here.
My name is I AM.

                                                              Helen Mallicoat

photo courtesy of Dmitri Otis Images

Saturday, August 19, 2017

God, the Sun, and the Solar Eclipse

The solar eclipse in the U.S. is less than a week away and Greenville, South Carolina, will be directly in its path. In the middle of the day, the moon will pass in front of the sun, blocking its light for approximately 2 minutes.

photo courtesy of pixabay

There’s been quite a buzz about it over the last few months. It’s all over the news, in the papers, and online.

It’ll begin to get dark in early afternoon as the moon begins to cross between the sun and the earth.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Today's the second Monday of the month, so I'm posting about  on  Small Acts of Kindness.  Read my story here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Everyone's Gifts Are Important

 If the only tool in your belt is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Abraham Maslow

I heard this quote one day and later realized that it reflects how we go about most things in our lives. We tend to see circumstances through our own lens, which is relatively small, and we react the only way(s) we know. The opposite is true as well. When have multiple “tools” in our “belt” we can better determine an appropriate solution to any given problem.