Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On my nightstand

The reason I share ‘what’s on my nightstand’ every now and then is because of how much I love getting good book recommendations – it’s as simple as that.  Do I always enjoy the same books my friends or other bloggers do?  No but there are usually one or two I find that way and it’s worth starting a few that don’t appeal to me to find that one I can’t put down.  Because I’m a library girl, I can check out a whole stack of books and maybe only end up reading a couple of them all the way through – and it doesn’t cost me anything!

I do like to read reviews to get an idea what the book might be like before I reserve them at the library but sometimes I know I like an author or it’s one I’ve been waiting for a long time… like this first one on my stack today:

come rain
Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon
The latest in the Mitford Novel series just came out this month.  It’s a wedding!
(Don’t start with this one… be sure to read the whole series!)

wright bros
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
I learned a lot about something I knew nothing about. 
Where was my head during history class?

Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle
I’ve read Mel’s blog for years and didn’t want to miss her latest book.  Not as good (for me) as her previous books on parenting and marriage but full of her characteristic humor!

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
This is the much-anticipated and much-maligned sequel to “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  I’d like to sit in on a book club discussion of this one.  I just don't know what to say about it.

For The Love by Jen Hatmaker
I thought the premise of the book was really good – giving grace.  I’m not sure how all the chapters fit under that topic and my outline-oriented self found it was confusing.  The chapter on church was really good and the chapter on what tweets would be back in the 70’s was funny.

Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
This Chinese woman was put under house arrest in 1966 at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution and ended up spending years in prison under incredibly difficult circumstances after being falsely charged as a spy.  Again, because I somehow failed to retain one iota of information I read in my history classes, I learned so much about communism and socialism through her experience, as well as what impact the cultural revolution had on that enormous country.  Very good.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The other vitamin C

Happy International Coffee Day!

Did you know you can get a free cup today at Dunkin’ Donuts, Peet’s, Krispy Kreme (+ free glazed donut!) and a few others that I’m not familiar with (Wawa and Sheetz Bros. aren’t in the NW where I live).

My love of coffee began when I was in high school.  I took one of those tiny school buses to a student aide position at an elementary school several days a week and the bus driver was a coffee drinker. The wonderful smell of her coffee filled that little bus and made me wish I liked it.  She told me she drank only 'good' coffee (I can't imagine what that was back in a time when MJB and Folgers were pretty much the norm).

I wanted to be just like her, holding a hot mug of coffee with long painted fingernails.  Well, not just like her... I didn't want to imitate her excessive make-up or jewelry but those were requirements for every female who drove a bus, right?  That and a loud-voiced, take-charge personality.

I started out like most people do, I'd guess... with lots of milk and sugar.  Somewhere along the way I cut out the sugar and have had my coffee au lait ever since.  Then Starbucks came along, capitalized on our obsession with caffeine and coffee became the expected ingredient in our meetings, business appointments, social gatherings and get-to-know-yous.  Now we have an International Coffee Day.  Who knew?

Make a coffee date with someone you haven’t seen in a while.  Maybe they need your listening ear or encouraging words.  Or just a good laugh together over a cuppa Joe. 

A joyful heart is good medicine… and coffee is a wonderful way to enjoy it!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Yawda meeter

Have y’all met Sister Pooh?


I first was introduced via Facebook and now we’re friends for reals. 

She’s a school counselor who lives in Georgia and has become somewhat of a sensation on the internet because of the videos she posts – usually filmed in her car but sometimes at the Jiffy Lube – about a whole variety of life’s important topics. 

I’ll show you the first video I watched in a minute but first I want to share a few of her ‘word of the day’ nuggets that are southern grammar at its finest.  She’s been choosing a word each day that’s commonly used in the South and explaining its proper usage and meaning.  I’m learning so much! Most times the word is a way to condense a phrase that just takes too long to say but sometimes a syllable is added to give the word some emphasis.  You'll see what I mean...

yeen: you haven’t even
As in – How do you know you don’t like it when yeen tasted it yet?

eeem: even
As in – He cleaned his plate sa good I dint eem hafta wash it.

annem: and all of them
As in – I was wit my cousin annem.

waymint: wait a minute
As in – Hey now you just waymint.

yawda: you ought to
As in – Well, yawda go to school.

tryna: trying to
As in – He’s just tryna get outa here.

imma: I am going to
As in – Imma spell this for you.

finnuh: fixing to, setting myself into motion immediately to
As in – I’m finnuh put you in time out.

Here is the first time I saw Sister Pooh.  Once you meet her you’ll find yourself checking back to her Facebook page so get more down-home Southern wisdom and insight.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


I know.

It’s inching close to two months since I’ve written anything on here.  And while I’ve been tempted to just insert about 327 links to other people’s blog posts that I know you would love, I decided to explain what I’m going through.  Get yourself a Kleenex, okay?

Listen, I am suffering from SMPD – social media phobia disorder.  This is a condition where you start questioning why you would EVER post anything online.  It’s obvious that other folks are clever and funny and creative but you are not so what do you even think you are doing with a blog?  Or a Facebook page?  You worry about not ‘liking’ or commenting on all of your friends’ posts because you can’t possibly spend the time necessary to respond on everyone’s page so you decide not to click ‘like’ on anyone’s page.  You resort to being a stalker.  Until, in a weak moment, you ‘like’ someone's photo.  Because you are so self-focused you're sure that all the folks whose pics you haven’t ‘liked’ feel slighted.

I haven’t met anyone else with SMPD but if there’s a group I would feel so much relief.  If I’m going to live in 2015 I’ve got to get a grip.  You think I am joking but this is real, people.

Thus, I have been absent from the blog.  I really thought of calling it quits.  But the thing is, I really do enjoy it.  So, for now anyway, I am hanging in there with Have A Cup and we’ll see what happens.

We had all three of our girls home this summer, though not all at the same time unfortunately. 

We celebrated Miss Hadley’s birthday…


and got some baby time too!


We’ve weathered the hottest summer in Oregon ever.  I think the only thing that equipped me to handle it were my years in Palm Springs.  The lawn is dry as dust but the flowers are thriving and the tomatoes are sweet!

And now, it is officially pumpkin candle/soup/football/sweater season, even though the thermometer says otherwise.  If you’re looking for a wonderfully scented pumpkin candle that doesn’t cost $12, look no further than your local Walsmart.  That 'easy peel' label means it can almost look like a premium brand!

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today.  If you too suffer from SMPD, let me know and I’ll meet you for a cup of coffee.  We need to stick together.

Monday, July 27, 2015

On my nightstand

Cold Tangerines

by Shauna Niequist
I love Shauna’s writing… it’s approachable and vulnerable and invites you to join her in finding joy in our everyday stuff.  This is the second book of hers I’ve read.  Perfect for summer!

A Year of Living Prayerfully
by Jared Brock
I can’t remember how I stumbled on this book or why it interested me.  Jared wanted to grow up in his prayer life so he embarked on a pretty bizarre journey all over the world to research how people pray and what prayer really is.  I almost put it aside several times but I’m so glad I didn’t.  I learned a lot!

father's daughter
My Father’s Daughter
by Hannah Pool
Hannah was adopted from Eritrea as a baby by a British couple and in this book she tells of meeting her birth family many years later.  It’s pretty raw and emotional as she processes all the things she thinks and feels as a young woman who has struggled with her identity – as most adopted children do at some point. Again, I learned a lot!

Mrs. Pollifax mysteries
by Dorothy Gilman
This is three books in one and was a perfect summer ‘take me away’ read.  Mrs. Pollifax is a widow with grown children who gets bored with her quiet life and decides to pursue an old desire to become a CIA agent.  What begins as a seemingly easy assignment turns into danger, espionage, kidnapping and murder.  These are great fun to read!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Links you’ll like

I’m Grateful That Lady Forced a Bible on Me
The other day, I arrived at the bus stop where four Asian ladies were indiscriminately passing out New Testament Bibles.  When one of the ladies offered me a Bible, I tried to decline.

Seven Subtle Symptoms of Pride
This one’s for me.  And it stung to read it.  But, as the author says, Pride will kill you.

Internet Outrage, Public Shaming and Modern-Day Pharisees
Many contemporary people feed off of feeling 1) right and 2) wronged. "Outrage Porn" resembles actual pornography in that it aims for a cheap, temporary thrill at the expense of another human being, but without any personal accountability or commitment to that human being.

download (1)
Senior Discounts
Who is brave enough – shameless enough – to ask for these?  I was actually surprised to see how many there are and how some of them start at the young age of 50.

How to Clean a Toilet
You thought you already knew, didn’t you?

Like That Garden
This app is so great for anyone who loves flowers… simply snap a photo of any plant and it identifies the flower as well as providing helpful info.  Also available for iPhones.

Here's just for summertime fun... I love so many things about this.  The song.  The cool set with checkerboard ramps!  The awesome dance moves of the french horn guy.  The sideburn/back flip combo.  Turtlenecks and nehru collars.  The drummer showing off his skillz near the end.  Everything about it is just so groovy!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Checking in

Hello.  Remember me?

I have a silly, direction-less blog that I occasionally abandon completely because a) I have nothing of any meaning or worth to say or b) I get too busy/distracted/otherwise involved.

What have I been doing in the almost month since I last posted? 
Good question.  Let’s see…

Suffering through a hotter than average summer here in Oregon.  You’d think that after 16 summers in the desert of Palm Springs I would laugh at 99° temperatures.  But you would be very wrong.  I truly have no idea how I survived those years because I am a heat wimp.  It’s cloudy and cool this morning and I (along with my fellow native Oregonians) feel alive again. 

Begrudgingly settling for technology connections instead of face to face time with my granddaughters.  Facetime is no substitute for real life but it has been my touchpoint this last month.  Yesterday while I was talking with Lisa on the computer I heard my tablet ‘ring’.  At the same time, Lisa realized that Hadley had found their iPad and was calling me on Skype.  Yes, my not-quite-two-year-old Mensa prodigy has seen her mommy do it many times and can now find the Skype icon, choose a contact and make a video call.  Do you think this is the 21st century equivalent to my kids being able to insert a video cassette in the VCR?  We laughed and laughed.  I feel sure Hadley felt her mommy was hogging Facetime and wanted her own connection to her Nammy.

Trying to determine what God's will is.  How do you find direction from God?  Here’s what I KNOW:
  • He wants me to ask Him - He loves to help me – just like I love to help my children. 
    You don’t have because you don’t ask.  James 4:2  

  • Knowing Him is more important than knowing exactly what to do - He wants shared life with me.  He shows me more and more of what He’s like through these times of decision-making. 
    My determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. Phil 3:10 

  • He can help me avoid wrong choices - Bottom line? He is always in control.
    The Spirit did not allow them….. Acts 16:6-7 

  • Fear can never be the basis for a decision - I need to look deep down to see if fear is determining what I choose to do or not do.
    God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.  2 Tim 1:7 

  • Obedience leads to closeness to Him and great joy - Why do we think doing God’s will means difficulty and pain?  What father doesn’t give his child a blessing for obeying?
    Even more blessed are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice!  Luke 11:28
  • I can trust Him to lead me - He is completely worth trusting because He will never fail me!
    You have not forsaken those who seek You.  Psalm 9:10
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