Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fifteen Minute Freewrite

I am letting my fingers do the walking across the keyboard. I have not done a freewrite in ages and ages. It will be good for me. 

I have had this bag of halloween candy here since Sunday, and I have hardly eaten anything. Unlike other years where I bought the candy too soon and had to go back and get more! That is what losing 30 pounds will do to you! 

I have both my PowerPoints and all my handouts ready for Friday night and Saturday. Now, I just have to pray for God's will to be done in Newberg. I know that He will show up because learning about this is so important.

Today was an unexpected day. I had mercy on Paul having so many things due out at Albany in one day. So, I let him study here for forty five minutes extra and took him out to LBCC. Then I went back via Hwy 20 instead of 34 and stopped at the Albany Snap Fitness. They changed all their Fitness on Demand videos, and I cannot find the wonderful Pilates video I have been using since last December. BUMMER! It looks like they have replaced it with Daily Burn Pilates which was so lame! A bunch of macho people doing these impossible moves which were not really Pilates! They also do not have a good elliptical machine at that facility so I settled for a treadmill and did just 30 minutes.

Then while coming home, smoke started billowing out of my car so I was within a half mile from my car repair shop. Since they just repaired it last week, I figured something did not get tightened dow, and I was right. No cost. 

While I waited, I texted Teala, and she had the morning free. So, I went over there. We went straight to prayer because it was 10:02, and my phone pinged me to pray Luke 10:2 and asked her to join me. We prayed for lots of stuff. It is nice to start off your time with a friend in prayer.

Then, it was BURRITO day at the sorority! So, I had a yummy one on a whole wheat tortilla. Then, she had to Costco, and went and shopped at Fred Meyer. Ran into a person I used to go to church with, and she had left six months ago. What a sad church situation. I know few people who are happy there. Church should be home, and that is what I have at my church. YAY! Twenty eight years was too long to spend at a place that was not home!

Then,  I got craisins for my scones and stopped at Trader Joe's for some Mascarpone Cheese for my Devonshire Cream for the scones. It is FOUR DOLLARS cheaper there than Fred Meyer! Then, I went to T.J. Max to pick up a wall hanging that Teala had in her bathroom. LOVE IT!  

Then, I came here to HOME SWEET HOME. I might run through my Powerpoints one more time and then read my book that is due back at the library tomorrow.

I bet it is fifteen minutes of writing right about now. Let me check. Nope only ten minutes.

I do not have to do it fifteen. My back could use the break from sitting so I am saying GOOD-BYE!

60. Persuasion by Jane Austen



The Book Dames was tired of reading depressing books (Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby were two of our more recent books). So, we wanted to read something happy and settled on a wonderful Austen! I had a major back blow-out and was confined to bed, but this book kept my spirits high though my body was brought low. I love Austen. I really, really do!

I read Persuasion back in 1999 when I read all the Austen books upon my return from two years overseas. This was the only one I had not re-read, and I do believe that it has increased on the list of favorite Austen books! 

This was also my first time listening to it as an audiobook and Nadia May has done it again! She is a fantastic narrator.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

59. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Click this cover for a sample of Three Men in a Boat: (To Say Nothing of the Dog).
From Library2Go Website:-
  • If you've never read anything by Jerome K. Jerome, you'd be well advised to heed this warning by theGlasgow Herald: "It would be dangerous to [listen to] this book in any place––say a full railway compartment––where the reader was not at perfect liberty to laugh as loudly and as long as he chose." And the passage of time has not altered that verdict. Here is a perfect picture of those lazy summer days "messing about in boats."
    After his final trip up the river Thames with his three companions––Harris, George, and Montmorency the dog––Jerome K. Jerome sat down to write his proposed book, The Story of the Thames. But before he could tackle the work in the serious manner intended, his humor took over and gave birth to a masterpiece of unquenchable comedy. This is a classic of English humor, justifiably loved around the world.
About the Author-
  • Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927), English humorist, novelist, and playwright, was born in Staffordshire and brought up in London. Successively a clerk, schoolmaster, reporter, actor, and journalist, he became joint editor of The Idler in 1892 and launched his own twopenny weekly, To-Day. His magnificently ridiculousThree Men in a Boat (1889) established itself as a humorous classic of the whimsical. Other books include The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1889), Three Men on the Bummel (1900), Paul Kelver (1902), the morality play, The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1907), and his autobiography, My Life and Times (1926).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Please Watch This to the End!



I do not condone his anger, but the content is awesome. Please watch this to the end!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Sliding

I think I am sliding into sickness. And Ginny is sliding toward heaven. I hope she makes it to Friday when I am going to go and see her. Lorraine doesn't know if she will make it, but i really want to go and say good-bye to my long-time mentor and friend. She was 90 years old in August (I couldn't do anything about that as my back was terrible that whole week).  I wish I could have talked to her one last time, but she is not talking much now nor eating.

Life well lived. She is my hero. 
Ginny, Me, and Lorraine

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) Reading Guide

Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald): Our Reading Guide for The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald includes a Book Club Discussion Guide, Book Review, Plot Summary-Synopsis and Author Bio.


Friday, October 04, 2013

58. Silence, Solitude, Simplicity: A Hermit's Love Affair with a Noisy, Crowded, and Complicated World

This book was absolutely precious to me. To hear from an octogenarian nun who had lived this kind of life was very powerful. Her wisdom is unparalleled compared to some of the "wisdom" bestowed in some of the popular Christian books today by people who just want to write books and speak out of ignorance and immaturity. She walks her talk. She has lived the life of pressing in closer to our God! 

I had borrowed it from my retreat center library; but when my hand got tired of writing down gem quote after gem quote, I ran down to the retreat bookstore and bought it. (I only BUY books when absolutely necessary and usually just borrow them.)  It is all marked up now.

It is about monasticism, but it is about going to the desert in order to emerge with God's love and compassion for others. 

In quoting Gregory of Nyssa, she writes:
Speaking of Moses' desire to see God, Gregory writes: "And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire asks this: to enjoy the beauty not in mirrors and reflections, but face to face." God's response to Moses: "He would not have shown himself to his servant if the sight were such as to bring the desire of the beholder to an end, since the true sight of God consists in this, that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire, " Gregory concludes: "This truly is the vision of God: never to be satisfied in the desire to see him. But one must always, by looking at what he can see, rekindle his desire to see more." (p.6)
More of her own thoughts on Moses: 
Then don't I need to be tested in the desert, challenged, purified, to become aware of my frailty and God's strength, of my infidelity and God's unending faithfulness, to be healed of my enslavements and set free at the heart of my being, to learn to trust deeply in the God of promise? I need to learn not to try to program God, but to believe in divine love, the divine will and capacity to care -- I need to rely on it and accept it as gift. I need to leave it to God to choose the time and place where, like Moses, I meet God and come to know divine love in direct communication. Must I not, like Moses, ultimately come to God healed of my radical self-centeredness, and with deep compassion for others and concern for their needs? (p.67)
AMEN! YES! YES! WOW!

Another favorite quote:
A favorite image of the monastic person in the modern world is as sacrament -- an outward and visible sign to others -- of desire for God, for God's reign, for the nurturing and extension of God's life and love in the world. It is so easy to have desire eroded, to be diverted or enticed away from that central hunger of our being. We have to keep it alive. And how much the church and the world need free men and women of desire, who truly, effectively believe that God seeks them in love and desire, and that they will be found. Such persons -- whether inside or outside the monastery -- communicate a constancy of hope, confidence, and joy -- not a shallow optimism, but the living fruit of faith. Thus they become, as well, sacraments of thanksgiving and gratitude. (p.10)
Thus why, since 1980, I have taken regular, extended times of solitude with the Lord: to press in closer. I hold no illusions that anything I do "for" Him is because of my doing. I am just a conduit, and those times of pressing in help me to make sure all the plumbing is working correctly in order to ensure a free flow. 

I highly recommend this book. It is so precious to me that if someone doesn't like it, I do not want to know!



SCC Reading Group 2013-2014

OCT: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
NOV: A Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick
DEC: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
JAN: The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers
FEB: Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
MAR: The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn
APR: Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Prior
MAY: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
JUN: God and Stephen Hawking by John Lennox
SUM: Where River Turns to Sky by Gregg Kleiner

Thursday, October 03, 2013

57. Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas


From page 73-74: 
I was bearing witness to an ancient ritual that I felt I'd seen in a previous lifetime. I was being reacquainted with the images processed by a million eyes before me, reveling in the privileges of the great human experience. Money, prestige, possessions, a home with two and a half bathrooms -- these aren't the guiding lights of the universe that show us our path. How can we dedicate our lives to such things when we can see the impermanence of everything above and below us, in the flicker of a dying star or the decay of a rotting log? The statues, the paintings, the epic poems, the things we buy, the homes we strive to attain, the great cities and timeless monuments. In time, they'll all be gone. And the names of the great kings and queens who shook the world will be forgotten, carried away like crumpled leaves for autumn limbs. Stare -- really stare -- into the womb of creation, and it will be impossible to dedicate your life to mindless accumulation. When you see the aurora, the only logical choice you can make is to spend the rest of your life seeking the sublime.

This is about the journey of a 20-something who got into debt while getting a liberal arts degree at a four, and the crazy way he gets out of debt and learns life lessons along the way.  

There is some unsavory language and sensuality, but Ken is a beautiful writer and makes some very astute observations about the beauty of living in simplicity.  I really enjoyed this book. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

State of My Life Address

Heart/Soul

I had some up and down dips in September that were well-documented here, but thanks to others who pray and listen, I am great. I think that "greatness" was cemented with my Mt. Angel 48 Hours of solitude, silence, and supplication. I love it up there. I need to do overnighters twice a year. I just did a day up there in March, and it was great but curtailed because I was with someone else. That is good because I was exposing them to the wonders of SSS, but I need my solitude. I am at heart an introvert, but I need to feed that beyond just being at home. 

I read this new book: Silence, Solitude, and Simplicity that I will be reviewing here shortly. So yummy. Just one quote to wet your appetite:
It is so easy to have desire eroded, to be diverted or enticed away from that central hunger of our being. We have to keep it alive.

These days of retreat help me keep it alive, keeping the main thing, the main thing. God has given all of us "central hunger" for Him, but we are confused in how we meet that hunger by all the trinkets of life in this world. I know that very well! It is so good to go there and have all the distractions stripped away to the simplicity of just pressing in to knowing Him (Hosea 6:3 was a central verse that I meditated on. That and Psalm 42:1-2.). 

So my heart and soul are satisfied (Psalm 63:5), and I know there is so much more to knowing and trusting Him. 

I came back wondering where I fit in to church women dynamics. I went to SCC Book Club, and I just felt like I did not belong there even though I think all the women are just lovely, and I love the books they presented for the coming year. I had great connection with Donna, Donna, Jane, and Ilene (she has done Bible Book Club, and she will do it again next year). I just think it is too big for me. I like the intimacy of the Book Dames more (smaller, and I know the women better), but I want somewhere to connect with women at SCC, but I guess I do not have the time, and my life with women is more with those outside the walls of the church. I want to go to the Fall conference, but I usually walk away feeling lonely, and I do not like that feeling when I know that I am not. I just do not like a sea of chit-chat rather than deeper and more meaningful relationships. Sigh. 

But I go back to my solitude, and I know that YOU are calling me to my own special thing. I have a strength of networking relationships that goes beyond the church, and I feel like the church is supportive of that. I just need to not think they are disappointed in me for not being more involved with the big activities. I always think I can go to things, and then other things push it out of the way. 

Lead on Lord. I do not need to be distracted by all of that, but it is good to communicate it.

I am trying to schedule regular time with like-hearted people. So I may do Thursday mornings with Teala and then Yumm bowls or burritos with her for lunch. She has to go somewhere at 12:30, and that might be really good for me to have an end time to get back home. I am also trying to walk with Kim and go out to tea at least every other month. We are going on the 18th. YAY! 

The next week I may go up early to Seattle and have George join me, but I would really rather just go with George there so we have time together to talk. We are going to Rick Steves' Travel Conference on the 26th since our 25th in 2015 is going to be in Europe, and we want to start planning now! But we have a commitment on Sunday morning at church. SO maybe not. I am so confused.

Anyway, my heart is good. Must press in to the Papa this morning though. 

Mind

Walden on Wheels is my latest read. It has some foul language and sensuality, but it is so interesting to find a 20-something who hates debt as much as I do! 

Strength

I did not do heavier weights for three weeks, and I had NO PAIN or TIGHTNESS this last weekend! I did do back exercises, Pilates, and some very light weights. I did some heavier weights yesterday along with Pilates and belly dancing, and my back was tight this morning. FINE LINE for me in all of this, and I must learn the balance.

I did not watch my calories for September, and I overate 225 calorie average per day for a two pound weight gain in 31 days. This is how it happens people! Just a little bit of weight month by month, and in five months, you have gained back 10 pounds! I should say that I am still under my ideal weight, that is why I shoot for a lower amount than my medium frame weight (172.6). So if I gain two pounds, I am still under (1.2 pounds under to be exact). 

That is why my goal is MAINTENANCE this year. Still trying to find that sweet spot of eating where I am not counting every calorie but also maintaining at least my medium frame weight. I am back to counting and reporting for the whole month of October to do just that. I want to get a bit lower so I have wiggle room for the holidays! :) I am done with my daily accountability commitment on December 20 when I started daily reporting (even though I was not doing daily calorie counting). 

It helps that I do not allow my morning chai tea if I am over 173. I thought that had a nice ring to it, "No chai TEA unless under one seventy THREE!" I am so weird. 



13 - Food and Fitness VLOG - Accountability!




Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...