Showing posts from 2012

More on decisions

I posted a blog awhile back on decision-making and I came across another article about the topic and thought I would post the thoughts since they, like the previous post, are very good. This summary appeared in the May, 2011, edition of O Magazine written by Catherine Price. Here goes:

Identify your goal. As David Welch, Ph.D., professor of political science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and author of Decisions, Decisions: The Art of Effective Decision Making, explains, "People who aren't self-reflective are going to end up making bad decisions because they don't really know what they want in the first place." Before you switch jobs, ask yourself: Do I really want a different career? or do I just want a different boss? Don't make a decision based on the wrong problem.Eliminate choices by setting standards. If you're trying to buy a digital camera, list the features you'll actually use. Any camera that has them is therefore good enough for you; i…


Every so often I go on binges and I'm not referring to a diet binge. My binges center more on projects. My latest binge has been to clear stuff out that I've been carting around forever and finish them. In the last month I've completed 4 large jigsaw puzzles, finished an afghan, started another, emptied crates of yarn to sort them out, and finished a counted cross-stitch piece. All this on top of working, resuming playing the bass and taking lessons as well as playing in community orchestra and being gone over Labor Day. I listen to audio-books while I'm doing projects so I feel like I'm getting two things done at the same time.

It feels really good to get stuff done and out when I've finished. I still have a lot of projects to finish up but it definitely feels good to get stuff done and out of the way.

What causes these binges to perk up in me? I've always been occupied with projects and stuff, but why does a "binge" start? I never know how long …

Comfort Food

I've been to several workshops on Stress Management over the years and I'm not alone in attendance. They are always one of the most popular sessions around. The topic is appropriate for almost everyone and it also gives conference attendees a chance to focus on something besides the career topic (in my case education). It truly is a break which is always like a sigh of relief. Besides that, most of the people who attend these sessions are looking to have some fun at a workshop and there's usually lots of laughter and good-natured discussion.

One session I was at several years ago brought up the topic of comfort food for stress relief. I had never consciously thought about comfort food being a stress reliever but since that session I've thought about it quite a bit and realized how true it is. The workshop stated that the top 4 comfort foods were chicken soup, mashed potatoes, grilled cheese sandwiches and mac & cheese. I don't know where the session presenters …

The Decision Tree

A few post's ago I entered something I read from the book God's Abundance. Here's another one that is too good not to share by Carl Westling.

Decisions can be complicated enough, even when a crisis is not at hand. Regardless of the pressures, it helps us to think like a chess player. This is another brick in the foundation of our abundant life.

Tournament class chess players pride themselves on their ability to think five, six, seven or more moves in advance. This preplanning allows them to avoid potential pitfalls that would not show up in just a few moves. The winner of a tournament is generally the one whose moves are planned farther ahead than their opponent.

This same logic can be used in daily activities that involve making multiple decisions. One simple way of doing this is by building a decision tree. You may choose to experiment with this concept before applying it to real life.

Here is how it works: Let's assume you have been offered a job in another city. First,…

The Little Things

I think all of us, at one time or another, forget that it's the little things that are often the most fun and memorable. For instance, my parents, hubby and kids LOVE our tradition with Christmas stockings. It's something that makes our holidays. It's a little thing but we all have fun, lots of laughs and look forward to it each year.

Well, I recently came across a little thing that was lots of fun. I picked up a book several months ago titled The Pulpwood Queen's Tiara-Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life. The book was written by a fellow Kansan, Kathy Patrick, and describes her life but uses books she has read as a springboard for various topics in her book. It's fun and enlightening to review her list of favorite books at the end of each chapter. She writes in a conversational manner and I felt like she was talking to me in a one-to-one conversation as I read the book. The cover alone draws your attention with a group of women laughing, wearing tiaras and dressed…

Good for the Soul

I've been reading a daily devotional entitled God's Abundance--365 Days to a More Meaningful Life edited by Kathy Collard Miller.The reading for April 2 was so good that I wanted to pass it on. This particular day was submitted by Kitty Bucholtz and titled "Lenten Sacrifice." I know that we are way past Lent and the entire Easter season but this article is just too good, in my opinion, not to pass on. I've been thinking about it since I read it and thought you might enjoy it, too. Here goes:

During the Ash Wednesday message last year, the priest challenged each of us to give up praying for ourselves for the entire Lenten season. We were to pray only for others, or in Thanksgiving. At first, I resisted the idea. My husband and I were having some severe financial hardships and had just begun new jobs. It was flu season. I could not imagine giving up praying for myself.
As a child I memorized the Bible verse about praying without ceasing, and over the years it had bec…


I'm convinced more and more that a lot of people should be living in pig pens and not let loose in the world. This becomes more and more apparent to me at restaurants and theaters.

After a movie (and my hubby and I go to LOTS of movies), the theater is littered with cups that often spill, popcorn, candy wrappers and other disgusting detritus. It's disgusting. I've seen beautiful new theaters reduced to looking like garbage dumps. Why don't people pick up their trash and take it out of the theater. At the door of every theater we've been to there are large trash cans crying out to be filled. Why don't people use them? To me, it's no different than littering on the streets/roads/highways. That is now against the law? People have to dump their trash at the next gas station or rest stop. Why is theater behavior so different?

Now, I can imagine what you're thinking...the theater hires workers to clean up. That's true, but isn't there some level of co…

To everything there is a season...and this includes books!

There's a well-known scripture with words summarizing that there is a time for everything. It is also a well-known song from years past. I think most of us would agree that it's true. My focus today is how it also applies to books which may not seem that important but I think it is.

A few years ago Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Eat, Pray, Love was on bestseller lists and it was so well liked that it was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts. I read a synopsis of the book and the reviews. It sounded interesting, so I bought it and started reading it. Arrgh! I read the first few pages and was disappointed. I forced myself to keep going and gave up. I couldn't seem to get through a single page without forcing myself and couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Nevertheless, I left my bookmark in place and set the book aside. I'll try again later.

Later came several months after the first attempt and the "Eat" part of the book was so appealing that I coul…

Grieving is a funny thing

Over a month ago my oldest daughter posted on her blog about her grandfather's (my father) death. She talked about other deaths in her life and it got me to thinking (or perhaps I should say wondering).

I went to my first funeral when I was 4 or 5 with my Nanna. It wasn't anyone I knew but a friend of hers. Since then I've attended many numerous family funerals (father, grandmothers, great-aunts, uncles), close  friends, and, unfortunately the funeral of children. Once I was the soloist at the funeral of an infant. I can still remember the pall bearer (there was only one) carrying in a coffin about the size of a shoebox since the infant was premature. I was asked to to sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children," and it was the most difficult song to get through because everyone in the congregation was crying and I was, too. Every adult there could only be thinking, "That could be my child," and the horrible sense of loss that would have followed.

But I digr…

Hunger Games--Is there something else going on?

I finished book 2 of the Hunger Games trilogy on my way to work this morning (I wasn't driving). The two books I've read so far are compelling reads and I will start the last one tonight (I can't wait!).

This trilogy is the Harry Potter series of young people today which has me puzzled and maybe a little concerned. The Harry Potter world was magical and finding children and adults interested in it wasn't a big surprise; the world of fantasy has always intrigued humans. I'd love to have a flying broom like the students had at Hogwarts. Talk about a "green" solution to getting around--no gas to buy and/or exhaust to mess up the air. I suppose if everyone had brooms, there might be broom traffic jams. LOL

However, the world in Hunger Games isn't magical; it could be very real even though it's set in the future. Why are young people so fascinated with this series? Is it just the writing or is there something more? In the books, the people in the 12 di…


Yesterday my hubby and I celebrated our tenth anniversary. Hubby did all the planning and we had a lovely day together; we toured the Crystal Bridges museum in northwest Arkansas which was the most beautiful art museum I've ever seen. We plan on going again next month when a new exhibit arrives. Then we ate supper at Ruth Criss' steak house. We ate filet and lobster Rockefeller. They were both sublime. The day was leisurely and beautiful. What a memorable day!

It got me to thinking of other anniversaries in our lives and how an ordinary day can become significant to us even if it's not significant to anyone else. For instance, I remember the days I graduated from high school and college, May 28 and May 13 respectively. Our birthdays are anniversaries of our birth. These are fairly major milestones. But I also remember the day my oldest daughter took her first step, the day I fell and broke my ankle, the day I had lasik surgery on my eyes.

What's interesting about these…

Time in a Bottle or book or storage tub or...

I've been going through all my keepsakes and trying to finish up projects. As I look at stuff, I think how each little thing/object has some meaning to me and is a part of my life and I began to think about what a life really is.

I think we often state Tom Cruise is an actor, Meryl Streep is an actress, Mozart was a composer, Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine and so on. However, I'm sure there lives are much more than that.

Most of us can identify ourselves by our careers. For instance, I would say I'm an educational administrator since I've done that for 22 years of my career after college graduation. But in saying that, I'm barely scratching the surface of my life. As I look through the stuff I've collected over the years, I can recall event after event, activity after activity and person after person who have all been part and parcel of my life. The little notes, cards, tickets, brochures that I plan for scrapbooks, the photos of families and the various…


From the time I was in first or second grade I have had a textile art activity in my hand of some sort. Whether it was sewing something on the sewing machine, crocheting, knitting, crewel, needlepoint, counted or stamped x-stitch, quilting, my hands have rarely been idle at home.

I often ask myself why it is so important to me and I'm not sure I know all the answer(s). I think it is mostly centered in leaving something behind--a kind of legacy long after I'm gone. When I go to needlework shows, there are usually displays of antique needlework pieces. I find myself wondering about the life of the person who made it; were they happy? Does the choice of design tell anything about them? Why did she (I can use the choice of "she" without bias because it was so rare to have needlework done by a man in years past) make this particular piece? Were they hoping someone would keep their piece and cherish it long after they were gone? Who knows? As I look at the pieces I have ma…

Scraps of Life

Several years ago (probably about 20 years) I made a quilt using the traditional log cabin design with a pink/red center square representing the heart of the home. I didn't hand or machine quilt the pieces when finished. I hand tied it to finish it more quickly. Well, over the years the back of the quilt ripped and tore in several places. I mended it several times but over the years I realized that it had more mends and patches than whole parts. I put the quilt up saying I would mend it someday. I started to replace the quilt back last fall and am finishing it this weekend.

As I've mended the quilt top and taken the time to attach the back, I've had plenty of time to look at the hundreds of pieces making up the quilt. It is like a "scrap"-book of my life from years ago. There are scraps from dresses and blouses I made (I used to make almost all of my clothes) when I worked at the library. I can still remember what those dresses and tops looked like. Then there ar…

It's 2012-wow!

At the beginning of a new year, a fairly common tradition is making New Year's resolutions. Many are made and, statistically, few are kept. Here are my New Year's resolutions and they will be a blessing for me to keep. There's no point in beating myself up for resolutions I made and didn't keep. These resolutions will make me feel good every day.

1. Love and treasure my family--Hubby, parents, brother and sister-in-law, All in-laws on my hubby's side, children and step-children, children-in-law, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, aunts.
2. Be thankful for the many blessings I have.
3. Be thankful for the friends in my life. A true buxom friend is rare but a delight!
4. Be thankful every day that I can get up and go to work. I have the physical ability to get up and the brains to get through the day.
5. Enjoy the beauty around me whether it's nature, music or art. I will "stop and smell the flowers."
6. Be thankful that I have enough food to eat and a …