January 19 2018

Intentional (Five Minute Friday)

It is not intentional when I stay up a tad too late most nights. In fact, I tell myself almost daily that I will get to bed early or at least at a decent time. But I find so many things to occupy my time and it just flies by and before I know it I look up and it is midnight or even later. I usually berate myself for the fact that I just cannot seem to get my sleep or the lack thereof under control. I also promise myself that tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I WILL get to bed early.

It’s not that I don’t want to sleep. I just want to do the other things I am doing more. What am I doing you ask, when I should be sleeping? Oh, lots of things. Tonight I was listening to an audiobook on my phone, GOD Speaks Your LOVE Language by Gary Chapman. It is great! I never thought of my relationship with God that way. I read the 5 Love Languages book years ago and even got hubby to take a quiz so we could figure out that we spoke different love languages. I’m not sure if it helped him much, it’s hard to tell with men, but it did help me to understand him a little better. The book I am listening to has me thinking about love languages and how God might use them to express his love to us. Some nights my brain is spinning and it just won’t settle down so I can sleep. So many thoughts to think!

Sometimes I am up late working on the blog or writing up a post. Tonight I just had to look to see what the Five Minute Friday word prompt was for the week. Making the graphic to use in the post was intentional. What I didn’t intend to do was actually sit down to write the post before going to bed. I just wanted to know what the word was so I could think about it overnight and while I work tomorrow and then sit down to write my five minutes when I got home tomorrow evening. Well…the best-laid plans…I think I should have waited to make the graphic until I saw where this word would lead me. I intended to talk about tea, but that will have to wait for another day. My squirrel brain went down a different path before I could stop it. Oh well, enjoy the graphic anyway. I think it turned out kind of cute.

I highly recommend both of these books. The links above and below for the books are affiliate links which means if you happen to purchase anything using one of the links, I might a very small commission at no additional cost to you. You can also just check them out of your local library, which is free and also highly recommended.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Intentional
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

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January 13 2018

Simplify (Five Minute Friday)

When I read the prompt (Simplify) late Thursday night, I just filed it in the back of my mind, to mull over as I slept. Friday, I decided to go ahead and get the graphic made while I had a minute and get it uploaded so it was ready to go when I write the post to go with it. Funny thing that. When I made the graphic, it said Simplicity. Today (Saturday), when I sat down to write and grab the correct links at the bottom of the post, I realized my error and had to go back and Simplify the word on the graphic. I got a good laugh out of my mistake and figured I now had a direction for my post.

How many times do we make something simple into something complicated when there is no reason to do so? This is the perfect time of the year to take a closer look at our lives and simplify. Are you overcommitted? Look at your calendar and make a list of the activities you regularly participate in. Are there too many? Could you take a minute to number the list in order of importance? Not importance to others, but which are most important to YOU? Could you cut the list down by just ten percent? That would simplify your calendar a bit. The next step might be to learn to say “No.” unless you are really ecstatic about a new opportunity that has been presented to you.

Now, how about household tasks? Do you find yourself perpetually behind on tasks like dishes and laundry? Have you considered the idea that you just might have too many clothes and dishes? Consider what you pack for a week or ten-day trip. If you have just ten days worth of clothes, even if all the laundry is dirty it won’t take that long to get it caught up. If you have enough clothes to last for weeks or months and you let it all get dirty before you wash it, you have a much bigger mound of laundry to tackle, don’t you? I bet you see where I am going with this. If you simplify your wardrobe even by just ten to twenty percent, you can simplify your laundry chores too. I can’t take credit for this idea, but there are famous people who basically wear the same “uniform” every day. If all your clothes were black, like the late Johnny Cash, laundry sorting would no longer taker up precious moments of your life. I use a multi-hamper system where the clothing gets sorted as it is taken off so I can always grab a load when it is getting full. This is how I simplify the task of laundry.

If you have a house full of kids and they are constantly grabbing a clean glass out of the cabinet with each drink they pour, consider getting each kid a different color of the same style of glass, then having them rinse it after each use and put in the dish drainer until they need it again. When you get ready to run the dishwasher, grab them all and load them in. If one turns up missing you know exactly which kid to speak to about it, which again simplifies the task of tracking down the missing dish. It will also cut down on the number of dishes you need to wash by hand or the frequency you need to run the dishwasher.

The more stuff you have, the more time you will spend taking care of your stuff or working/walking around your stuff. More is not always better. You can simplify your life by decluttering your excess possessions.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Simplify
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

January 5 2018

Motivate (Five Minute Friday)

This time of year seems to motivate everyone to think about their goals for the new year and what they would like to accomplish. I too struggled with what goals to choose and what word I would pick to motivate me throughout the year as the word FEARLESS did in 2017. I chose the word CONFIDENCE to be my 2018 word of the year. It was very hard to choose this year. You see, last year was the first time I had done this word of the year thing and though I went into it half-hearted last year I tried my best to think about being fearless whenever I found myself with a tough decision to make. I think I allowed the word FEARLESS to guide me very well last year and it only seemed fitting to follow my year of being FEARLESS up with a year of CONFIDENCE.

You make ask yourself why I need confidence, after all, I am writing and putting my work out here on the blog for the whole world to see. Continue reading

December 15 2017

Different (Five Minute Friday)

If there is one thing I have always been, it is different. I was never thin like the other kids in school. I never really looked like my siblings, at least not in my opinion. We all had differing hair colors and heights. I have never had the same hobbies as most people, especially my siblings with the exception of reading. I have always loved to read, but I used to read very slowly. When I went to high school, rather than take the required speed reading class for a single grading period like most of the kids, I had to take an entire semester. It is probably just as well I did because it did help me to read much faster.

I never liked dressing like all the other kids, not that was really a choice growing up since we were too poor to buy the “in” clothes. I have always enjoyed going to Goodwill or some other second-hand store and choosing the clothes I liked because they were different. I have never liked the idea of being a cookie cutter and going along with the crowd. I wear what I want, what I like, what fits at the time, what I could find cheap that fit my budget.

I even raised my kids differently than most parents at the time. When they got to have candies like Skittles or M&Ms, they couldn’t just eat them like other parents let their kids do. Nope, we sorted them all out by color and made bar graphs out of them. Then we talked about how many would be left if you ate two blue ones. We discussed which color had more and which had less. We did all sorts of fun things with them as we ate them.

We read to our kids, we read with our kids and had them read to us. We let them see us reading and enjoying reading. We let them take books with them when we went out to dinner. The only rule was that they had to close the book while the waiter or waitress was there to take our orders and once the food arrived, but they could read again once they finished eating their dinner. We almost always took them with us when we went out to dinner unless it was our anniversary. We would eat out usually on Friday nights and we took turns choosing where we would eat. The kids knew they couldn’t choose any place that was expensive or fast food, but pretty much anything else was fine. We taught them to read the menu and choose their own food, but they had to eat what they chose and it had to be a balanced meal. We made them try new foods, usually, the rule was that they had to eat the number of bites of something that matched their age. A four-year-old had to try 4 bites before getting off the hook.

We took our kids on vacations with us and we usually went to science museums or children’s museums because that is what they wanted to do.

Being different isn’t always bad, sometimes it is a good way to get to know yourself and an excellent way to raise very smart kids.

Embrace your different-ness! It makes you unique and memorable.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Different
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

December 9 2017

Only (Five Minute Friday)

Today’s Five Minute Friday word is only.

I only need to write for five minutes. I only have a million things to do. Not that I will do them because I am only writing. I was making the graphic to go with this post. I really enjoy doing that and seeing how different I can make them while keeping them looking similar in style. I’m only a novice at it but seeing them makes me proud because instead of paying only $1 for some of the photo backgrounds that Canva offers, I take my own. Whenever I am out and about and see an interesting texture, I snap a photo with my always-present cell phone. I zoom in so the texture is all you see filling the screen and sometimes I zoom in even more. In case you are wondering, today’s graphic is only denim, I thought the orange would go nicely since it reminded me of the thread color on many faded pairs of jeans I have worn over the years. Often, I only have one pair of shoes to my name, only a couple of pairs of jeans. Who wants to have two weeks worth of laundry piled up? If you only use what you have until it wears out, only have the bare minimum of things, you can never have too much to wash when everything is dirty, right? I only have a couple of loads a week most of the time.

I have learned a lot by being a blogger. I only need to know what I need to know today, tomorrow’s problems will present themselves soon enough. I teach myself how to do only what I need to know how to do at the moment. I used to use PicMonkey to create my graphics because it was free. I got pretty good at it, but then it suddenly wasn’t free anymore and since this blog has yet to earn anything for me, I try to get things free when I can. So I used Canva instead because again, it was free. I was frustrated because using Canva wasn’t the same as PicMonkey and it was new and different. There are still things about it I don’t understand, but I only had the need to try it when PicMonkey got greedy and decided I couldn’t save my graphics unless I paid. Thanks for the opportunity to learn something new. PicMonkey pushed me out of my comfort zone and I only learned more because of it. I still think of myself as only a newbie blogger, but then I find someone who is way newer to the whole thing than I am and I can help them so much by sharing the mistakes I have learned along the way. Maybe I am no longer only a novice. By continually stretching myself beyond my comfort zone, I continually amaze myself with the new things I am learning each week. Many weeks I feel I am only writing for myself and the spammers who seem to be the only ones to leave comments. I get enough of those that sometimes I don’t trust the honest to goodness real comments when they do happen. I am only me, so why do all these spamming people from so many other countries want to spam my blog? Do they read it and decide it is worthy or does some bot find my little old piece of the web and deem it worthy of posting a spammy comment to? Only God and the spammer really know.

I only do what I do and try to share some of the lessons I have learned the hard way in my half-century inhabiting this planet. Remember, it isn’t always that deep, sometimes it is only denim!

I forgot to set the timer and once again when I get to writing the words just keep spilling out onto the page. So you, dear reader, get an extra long ramble to read.  Remember I post new content every Thursday and whenever I get the Five Minute Friday prompt written, ideally on Friday. Until next week, I am only your humble rambling writer. Have a great week and subscribe so you can be the first to see what I post next Thursday.

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Only
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.