Monthly Archives: August 2016

What I’m Reading, August 2016


Busy month around here. My college kids are off for another semester.  Soccer season is in full swing for my youngest. First day of school and all that jazz.  I was able to get two bushels of peaches in the freezer, but not many pages turned lately.


Seabiscuit Buy now from Amazon


Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is one my all time favorite books.  Seabiscuit wasn’t nearly as inspiring, but still a good read.

I feel sorry for the the life of a jockey.  This was my first time to get an inside look to what that’s like.  Loved the historical backdrop so vividly painted.

TheAlchemist Buy now from Amazon

The Alchemist

I found this parable to be intriguing.  More of a life philosophy than novel, there was a lot of great food for thought.  Why do we keep pursuing our dreams?  How do we keep going after loss?  What is true treasure in life?  What is worth the sacrifice?

The story is about a young man trying to make his way in life and wrestling with all of life’s big questions: love, loss, meaningful work and what really matters. Five stars.


The Nest

Well, I abandoned The Nest half way through.  I should’ve known when I saw the word “dysfunctional”.  I was intrigued by the premise of the book: a huge inheritance with strings attached and adult children clamoring for a payout. I liked the complexity of the plot with lots of characters and lots of backstory.  Even though it was more graphic than I prefer, I stuck with it until the immorality, especially the homosexual couples, finally got to me.

It’s hit home to me recently how rare traditional values are in our society.  I didn’t go to public school for most of my growing up years.  My kids have been fortunate enough to have not gone at all.  So, I’ve been out of touch with main stream American culture.  Traditional values are scarcer than I realized.

I’m wondering if I’m going to have to give up present day novels altogether and stick to reading the classics that still portray traditional morality.  I’ve heard that Beth Moore is releasing her first novel this fall.  I’ll have to check it out.  Some great writers don’t cross genres very well, but I know her stuff will be wholesome.



Buy now from Amazon

Inspire Bible

This is the most gorgeous Bible I have ever seen.  I love the trim design.  Honestly, pictures don’t  capture the beauty of this Bible.

I have not jumped on the adult coloring bandwagon, but this Bible might change my mind.

What have you been reading lately?

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What I’ve Learned, July 2016: Night and Day, Change is Hard


Morning Tasks and Evening Tasks Make a Difference of Night and Day

In the ongoing drama to manage my life, it’s recently become clear to me the difference been morning tasks and evening tasks.

Really, managing my life isn’t a matter of managing my time.  It’s a matter of managing my energy.  It’s even more complicated than that, though.  It also has to do with managing my will power and my finite decision making ability.

Case in point:  processing mail at home.  At the end of the work day, my energy, my will power and my decision making ability were all depleted.  I couldn’t face sorting through the mail every evening so it would stack up, day after day.

Not until I switched that to a morning task–one that took 3 minutes or less daily, was I able to get on top of the paper clutter piled up in my kitchen that resulted from incoming mail. It made a night and day difference.  Ha.

Pairing that three minutes with a task I did every morning–cooking breakfast–meant I had a mental trigger every morning that reminded me it was time to process mail.  I found turning the heat down under my eggs down and setting the stove timer for three minutes worked well.  In three minutes or less I could pitch the junk, file the kids’ mail and prepare bills for payment.

Granted, I’m in a stage in my life when I’m not fixing breakfast for the family any more.  It’s every man for himself at our house at breakfast time.  I also fix eggs for my breakfast almost every morning.  This plan would still work with oatmeal in the microwave.


I could beat myself up for not figuring this out till I was 49, but I’ll give myself a break.  During the time we lived in Mexico, we didn’t have regular mail delivery.  There was lots of other stuff to adjust to, but daily mail processing wasn’t included.

That’s more than you wanted to know about my routines, but I’ve found other people’s experience helps me.  Maybe you’ll find this helpful.  I love figuring myself and my life out and making things work better.

On the flip side, exercising consistently in the evening is working for me.  I’m shocked.  I figured the depleted will power would work against me.  I don’t know if it’s the summer schedule or what, but it’s actually working.  Go figure.


Change is an Uphill Climb

Every time I try to implement change in my life, I learn something whether I succeed or fail.  Here’s a few insights I’ve gained recently:

  • Disappointments are closely tied to expectations.
  • It’s hard to set realistic goals.
  • Sixty six times in a row to establish a habit.  Not 21.
  • Trying to implement too much at once causes loss of focus.
  • Gaining insight into yourself is always a win
  • Don’t forget to reward yourself.  (I do, a lot)penguins
  • Celebrate the small wins.
  • When you’re making progress in one area, don’t beat yourself up for areas you can’t concentrate on.
  • Setting yourself up to win is critical.  Understand what your obstacles are.  Work to get the people around you on board.
  • Be patient.  There’s lots of time to implement slow change.
  • Don’t lose heart.  This is one of my hubby’s theme songs.  He doesn’t get discouraged very often and he repeatedly reminds others not to lose heart.

I’m about to launch into the umpteenth “life improvement plan” .

Gonna take my own advice to heart.

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