Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 94

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Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and Ellen of 15andmeowing provide four fill-in statements, and on Friday we post our answers and join their  link-up to share our responses.

The fill-ins for this week are:

1. My favorite president is                       because                      .

2. This weekend, I have plans to                        .

3. I                   my                     .

4. I believe                         .

Here are my responses:

1. My favorite president is Abraham Lincoln because he was truly a man of the people, who showed great wisdom, leadership, and perseverance in very difficult times. He conducted both his public life and his personal life with integrity.

2. This weekend, I have plans to attend a play at the Globe Theater at our local college. They will be doing a performance of The Miracle Worker about Helen Keller.  I haven’t been to a play in a long, long time. Papa Bear enjoys plays as much as I do.

3. I love my new writing table that I found on Let Go and bought for $20 this week. It is long and narrow and fits perfectly in my writing room. The long part is necessary to accommodate a cushion at both ends for furkids who like to keep me company while I write. Today Tiggy and Gracie are here beside me. 

Until now I had been using a small desk that my mother had made for me when I was sixteen years old. That almost qualifies it as an antique! 🙂 I am going to refinish it and use it as my sewing machine table, and maybe start a sewing project, something I haven’t done in a long time.

4. I believe that learning to be kind to one another, and to discuss things calmly with an open mind, could solve most of the world’s problems.

Come and join in the fun at Friendly Fill-Ins!

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Sparks #20

IMG_5238 (1)My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

The Spark I chose to share today makes me smile, because it seems to be our human nature to want to improve upon others in the way we see fit, often expending more energy on those efforts than we do on improving the person we see in the mirror. It is easy to think we have clear and simple answers for everyone’s life, yet we struggle just to implement a few basic changes in our own lives, which is where our focus really should be.

It’s not only that it is difficult to get other people to change, it’s that it really isn’t our right or our job to try to change them. If someone asks for input or help, awesome… go for it; but other than that, become a good listener and encourage them as they work to effect the changes they want to make in their lives and to become the person they want to be.

None of us really has the answers for anyone else, we all have our own journey. The very best way to help others is to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, that way we will be an awesome friend and everyone will be a lot happier than if we try to push our agenda for improving them.  Accept people as they are, love them as they are, and that will encourage them to grow and become more!

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there, and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 93

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Each Thursday, Annie of McGuffy’s Reader and Ellen of 15andmeowing provide four fill-in statements, and on Friday we post our answers and join their  link-up to share our responses.

The Fill-ins for Week 93 are:

1. My Chinese zodiac animal is                     .

2. My zodiac sign is                   .

3. Income tax season                   .

4. In hindsight,                         .

Here are my responses:

1. My Chinese zodiac animal is a wood horse.  The characteristics of a wood horse are supposed to be “irritable and sentimental, with an abundant imagination and insightful analysis of issues.”  I guess that fits me pretty well.

2. My zodiac sign is Aquarius.  The characteristics of Aquarius are supposedly “truthfulness, just, curiosity, affectionate personality, frank and imaginative. Also, unpredictable, detachment, tendency to go off-track, and inefficiency.” I am a cookie-cutter Aquarian, this description fits me to a T.  I have yet to meet an Aquarian that I couldn’t relate to.

3. Income tax season wasn’t as bad as we anticipated this year. We were blessed with enough of a refund to be able to pay some bills, and we are happy about that. Our refund arrived yesterday…. and it was gone by bedtime.  Such is life.

4. In hindsight, there are many things I wish I would have done differently in my life, but I learned a lot from each of those decisions, so in the end it’s all good! 🙂

Come and join in the fun at Friendly Fill-Ins!

Sparks #19

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My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

The Dalai Lama said “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” I think that sums up my Spark for today perfectly.

Unkind people can be so difficult to deal with, especially if they hurt us.  We want to fight back, to retaliate.  But that never improves the situation, and it never resolves anything; it only creates more conflict and more hurt. So often the person who is being unkind is doing this from a place of being hurt or damaged inside that we can’t see and aren’t aware of.  We never know what someone else has gone through or is going through that is causing them to be unkind.

I think it is very possible to respond to all situations with kindness.  That doesn’t mean we have to accept being treated badly, or approve of someone’s behavior if they are being unkind, but we can show them through our response that there is a better way, a higher way, the way of love.

You never know, our kindness might just make a difference in their lives or at least give them something to think about,  and it will most definitely help us keep in line with the kind of person we want to be… unruffled by people and events in the world around us.

When you find yourself in conflict with someone, stop for a moment and ask yourself, “Am I being kind?”

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there,  and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Ten Things of Thankful – 2/09/18

Ten Things of Thankful

Tomorrow Papa Bear and I are heading out of town for an overnight at a nearby city, a birthday/valentine get away that is relaxing for us both and involves crab legs, my favorite! 🙂 So, I thought I’d get my TToT post written and linked up on a Friday for a change. 🙂  Usually Friday is a quiet day at the TToT, so I was happy to see Missy already there and waiting for us to join her! 🙂

I am not a big sports fan, but I make an effort to stay somewhat aware of what’s happening with Papa Bear’s favorite teams (all teams Texas of course), and my son’s (who’s been cheering for Boston teams since he was two years old.) You might find it rather strange then, that my first thankful this week is that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl.  It was an interesting match up since my son cheers for the Patriots, and his father was born and raised in Philly and is of course Phildelphia loyal.  I was thankful the Philly’s won because my ex has waited his entire life for his team to win a super bowl and he is sixty-nine years old!  I was very proud of my gracious son who texted that it was ok if the Philly’s beat his beloved Patriots because they played better and deserved the win.  I am thankful for my son’s maturity and always gracious heart.  I am also thankful that over the years I have learned to be happy for someone when good things happen to them, even if I’m not particularly crazy about the person.  I know that my ex’s  team winning made his day.

I am thankful for the photo updates I received of both my kids this week.  Getting pictures from them can be like pulling teeth!  My son shared a really cute one of him, his girlfriend and her son in their Patriots t-shirts ready to watch the game, and my son-in-law sent a beautiful one of my daughter that he took while they were dining out at their favorite place.  I have awesome kids, and they have awesome partners, I blessed and I am so thankful for all of them!

I was thankful, and very relieved, this week when our monthly electric bill arrived and had returned to the normal amount.  We live in an all electric home, and last month our electricity provider began using a different utility source which resulted in an electric bill twice our normal rate, “due to the change over”.  We were not happy, it was a big chunk of money we didn’t have laying around, but they assured us it was a one time thing and this month would return to normal (we use an averaged payment plan which stays the same all year long).  We were worried that the higher rate would be the new norm, and weren’t sure how we were going to afford that.  It was a tremendous relief to see it back to the right amount!  I still think the whole switchover excuse for the double amount last month was kinda crappy and not really justifiable though. Oh well.

On much happier notes, I celebrated my sixty-forth birthday this week, a low-key day by choice. I am thankful I am alive and well, and God has brought me safely through another year.  I always celebrate birthday, I think everyone should, I’ve earned every candle and gray hair and I am proud of them.  I am a survivor!

I am thankful that Papa Bear surprised me and took Wednesday off work to spend the day at home with me so I wouldn’t be alone.  That was extra nice! ❤  He is thankful that we will be the same age for the next four months (until he turns sixty-five in June), so I can’t call him “old man” for the time being. :-))

I am thankful for the many birthday greetings I received on Facebook and in the mail. Facebook makes birthdays so fun! I am thankful for the awesome gifts I received from family and friends, I felt very spoiled. ❤

I am thankful for the beautiful birthday cake my daughter ordered from our best bakery here and had me pick it up. It was/is delicious!!  We indulged in a sugar overload and have several pieces wrapped and in the freezer for treats later on (though I doubt they’ll be there too long). Papa Bear loves sweets as much as I do and this was a real treat, and such a kind thing to do.  I also got restaurant gift cards for nice dinners out.  My kids are the best!

I am thankful for the Amazon boxes that my furkids love to play and nap in. They get so excited when a package arrives at the house, and each one has to try out the box, sometimes waiting their turn patiently and sometimes not so much. 🙂  Sometimes our house is an obstacle course of boxes, kitty trees and tunnels and toys.  I am certain that my father is grumbling about it in Heaven. 🙂

I am thankful for a two hour phone visit with my younger sister yesterday.  I am not a phone visitor, so we visit daily via text or Messenger, but only connect by phone once a month or so to catch up on the longer stories in our lives.  The afternoon passed quickly and it was fun to catch up.  We are so different and yet the caring between us is strong, and we grow more in the understanding of each other as the years go by.

Last but not least, I am thankful for friends who trust me with the important issues and concerns in their lives, just as I trust them.  That kind of support is immeasurable. When you have lived much of your life without any close friends, having them is a real gift.

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other links and add your own…


Sparks #18

IMG_4180My friend Annie at McGuffy’s Reader started a wonderful blog hop called Sparks with the intent to share an inspirational thought each Monday, and she’s invited us to join her. I think this is an awesome idea, and a great way to start the week!

I think the above quote is something so important for us to learn, and to teach our children. We tend to feel that we have failed every time something doesn’t go as planned, but in reality those “failures” are just learning lessons, teaching us what to do differently next time.

Sometimes it might take several “failures” to figure out the right answers, most certainly the case of my previous marriages.  I had to ask myself what I was doing wrong,  and I discovered in large part that I was choosing wrong. So I made a choice to make change  my way of thinking and what path I wanted my life to take.

We can apply that life lesson in big and small ways.  If something isn’t working out, ask yourself why, and discover what you’ve learned from the failure. Then do something different!

The only true failure in life is when we stop trying to figure something out and give up. Did I fail at my previous marriages? Yes, I did. But I learned many important things from those failures which enable me to have a very good marriage to a very good man now, so I am grateful for those life lessons.

Come and check out Sparks, find your inspiration for the week there,  and maybe share something too!

untitled (51)Many of you are familiar with the “Thought for the Day” posts on my Facebook page that carry more messages of hope and encouragement. I post a new one each morning, drop by and check them out.  🙂

Ten Things of Thankful – 2/03/18

Ten Things of ThankfulTaking advantage of the nice quiet Saturday morning here to focus on gratitude and put together a TToT post. I’ve been saving up things on my phone notes each day and I’m happy to see that I already have more than ten without any effort on my part, so much easier than staring at a blank screen when it’s writing time.

I would like to be able to report that we have sailed into the new month with ease and the prospects of more good things happening for everyone.  Sadly, we know that life is a mixture of good and bad, and this week has been no different for several people that I care about. For today though, my attitude is going to be to focus on the positives, and reserve the sadness and worries for prayer time. I’ve found things tend to work out much better that way. 🙂

First off, I am thankful for the great TToT turn out we had last week. It’s nice to see participation!  I am also thankful for Clark requesting the HTML code so he could share the link-up on his post, and then for Kristi who also wanted to add it and was able to tell me how Lizzi shared it with them in the past.  We got it working, and Val was also able to add it to her post!  From now on the code is available to anyone via email request; sharing it on your blog post helps get the word out to more people to come and join us!

We had a really big blessing come our way this week in the form of a cash bonus given to Papa Bear at work, which was (miraculously, but not surprisingly) just enough to cover our annual property taxes due this month.  Business has been booming and his boss was kind enough to share the benefits of their long hours and hard work.

Another awesome blessing was learning from our accountant that we would still get an income tax refund, despite the penalty for having no health insurance (which is unaffordable to many people in our age group. Extra funds always come in handy.  Add to that how grateful I am that Papa Bear will turn 65 in June and be able to receive Medicare coverage.  I have another twelve months to go, but getting there.

I am thankful for being led to a wonderful non-profit kitty rescue organization operating in Odessa, the nearest city, where Papa Bear works. The two ladies running it are doing a fantastic job of providing a place for homeless and unwanted cats, and finding them suitable new homes.  They are also working with the local city animal shelter to rescue cats that are potentially adoptable, and this makes me so happy.  I got to meet the director last week, and her love for cats is amazing. I will be happy to help in ways I can, and my Amazon Smile charitable donation is now going to their rescue. Every little bit helps!

I am thankful for the new electronic check register app I was able to find for iPad. I’ve been using an older one on my old laptop for several years but it crashes frequently which causes no end of frustration.  That program was not available for my Surface, which has limited apps available.  So I checked on apps for the iPad and found the perfect one, without all the extra bells and whistles we don’t need or use.  I love electronic check registers, no messing with calculators and finding five-cent errors! It took me a couple hours to get everything set up and the January data transferred over, but it is so much faster and more reliable than what we had before.  Wonderful!!

Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest difference!  I found a simple detachable hand strap for my cell phone on Amazon which makes it possible to hold the phone without finger grip, and without dropping it if reading in bed, or trying to shop for groceries.  I like this one because it isn’t bulky, the phone still slides easily into a pocket, purse, or car holder; and it can be easily removed or repositioned. The best ten dollar purchase I’ve made in a long time, and I am noticing the positive effect on my old finger joints as they spend less time clinging to a cell phone.

I am thankful for a day this week that found me with the stamina to run several errands in town and cover a bunch of small shopping that needed doing. Usually after a couple stores my knees and back are worn out and protesting, so it felt good to get more accomplished and still have energy remaining to put it all away when I got home.

I am thankful for friends who shared their recipes or ones they have tried, so if you make it, it’s going to be good!  Val shared her Easy Recipe for Cream Puffs  this week, and with her well-written notes and photos, she made it sound simple.  I haven’t made cream puffs in many years, but Papa Bear loves them, so now I will! 🙂

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the old friends and new friends that have been turning up in my life with great frequency this year.  What a blessing it is to reconnect and to form new connections! In each case, it is not something I have sought out, but something God has brought to me.  I’m not sure why yet, but I am loving it!  Being a home body, my online friend connections are so important and uplifting!  God has also placed a couple more “assignments” in my Inbox, people that need a little TLC to brighten their days, and I’m working on that too.  Caring for others makes me happy!

Last but not ever least, there are two ever-present blessings in my life that I can never share often enough…. desperate prayers answers in ways so wonderful it made me cry tears of  joy, and my beloved Papa Bear who loves me so much that he makes everyday good no matter what we are wading through together.  He is truly one of God’s best examples of how to be a wonderful, supportive friend and husband, and a man of true integrity.  I am so blessed to share my journey with him!

Bonus thankful: As I sit in my writing room tapping my thoughts out on the keyboard this morning, each of our furkids has come to join me and I am surrounded by napping and purring cats, all within arm’s reach.  I am always amazed that they want to be close by and will follow me room to room to share my space.  What a bunch of sweeties! ❤

Blessings to  each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

Click on the blue button below to view the other TToT links and add your own!