{ Blunders, Blossoms & More }

 

 

 

This week, I finished two things.

  • I finished a writing project– an 1800-word health article. The problem with writing about health supplements is that when I complete one, it gets me thinking, “I need some of that!” So, the jar of herbal supplement pictured above came from Amazon this week. It’s supposed to suppress my sugar cravings?
  • I finished the book The Willpower Instinct, which I added to my Winter Reading Contest list.  What I liked: The author gives lots of practical tips on how to overcome bad habits. What I didn’t like: Modern scientist authors usually present evolution as a logically accepted, scientific fact. Interesting…because macro-evolution is not science.  It does not follow the scientific method, not being observable or repeatable. That said, other than these kinds of assumptions, I really liked the book. 🙂

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On Monday, we took a rare field trip to a local ski hill, since it was Homeschool Ski & Snowboard Day.  We were the first ones that showed up, arriving 1.5 hours before the chairlifts started lifting. Mark this day down in history.

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To go skiing, I wore the LL Bean jacket that my husband gave me 20+ years ago.  One lady remarked that she liked my vintage jacket.  A little girl asked me, “How do you take that thing off?”

I’m just glad I didn’t break any bones wearing it.

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Here I am with my two beginning skiers: Gianny & Marco.  They started their beginner lesson at 10:00. The teacher shooed the parents away, so I took to the hills with my 13-year old Ava.  After 20 minutes, I thought I’d go check on the boys.  We were halfway down a hill when I heard a familiar voice yelling, “Hi, Mama!”

Words cannot describe how surprised I was to see Marco on the chairlift, seated beside two strangers.  I had left him safely gliding down the bunny hill, supervised by a team of ski instructors. But now here he was, 20 minutes later, waving and smiling confidently from high on the chairlift.  A few thoughts went through my head:

  • Did he leave the hill and follow us without permission from the teacher?  
  • What is he thinking?  
  • How can I hurry up there and help him down the hill before he tries to ski down alone?

Then, Ava and I watched him sail down the hill like an expert.  The truth was: Marco did so well with his beginner lesson that the teacher graduated him early and told him to head to the chairlift and enjoy the hills. Whaaaa?!  After I recovered from the shock, it was clear to me that he was capable and fearless. It made me giggle to see his little beginner body cruise down the hills with ease. I still smile to think about it.  He’s got good Scandinavian blood, no fear and the faith of a child. 🙂

 

 

 

So, yesterday I didn’t make dinner. (Almost as rare as a day at the ski hill.)

I ate out with my younger children. because Chik Fil A was giving free sandwiches if you wear your MN Wild hockey jersey.

Later, I came home to a few grumpy, hungry and bewildered young adults that couldn’t seem to hunt and gather food for their dinner.

(These are the same young adults that are often out and about and don’t eat the dinner that I regularly make.)

The cupboard was a bit sparse, but we had eggs, milk, bread, butter and cereal.  And a few other things.  Let’s use our imagination?

Sigh.  Mama got mad and started to bang pans around in her bothered haste to make some food. Then she walked into her room where one of said young adults had, one hour earlier, gently laid three flower bouquets on the desk with a loving note attached.

Tears. Laughter. More tears. Hugs. Repentance all around and smiles.

After this, I happened to read through Dolly Mama’s blog post and shed more tears.

So…that was a slice of my life this week.

 

{ Chicken Pox Christmas }

Fourteen years ago, we were starting to get ready for Christmas…and then six of my children got the chicken pox.

We have photos of everyone reclining on sofas, trying not to scratch.

We didn’t go shopping, didn’t play outside and didn’t visit friends.

Instead, we listened to audiobooks, like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Treasures of the Snow.

That was a quiet and special December. I was present with my children, listening to the stories, offering liquids and resting while they napped.

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Maybe that’s the quiet, restful spirit I was yearning for when I broke out The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on Monday. I listened with my two youngest — and of course, cried at the end of this hilarious, touching story.

Now we’re listening to Treasures of the Snow – another one of those stories that adults can learn from, too.

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Armed with cranberries, we made a cheerful chicken pox snowman that year.

First Photo credit: Josh Boot

{ Books in 2017 }

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The following books have had a percussive  impact on my life in the last year:

grieving

What Grieving People Wish You Knew…About What Really Helps and What Really Hurts By Nancy Guthrie

When do we ever take a class on how to help the grieving?  We don’t.  Yet, we can be pretty sure we will encounter grieving friends and family members throughout life. 

My husband and I listened to the audio and we were both very inspired. It’s a touching, gentle primer on the art of friendship to the grieving.  We now consider it an important book for every family member to digest and practice. 

 

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Love Does by Bob Goff

This will make you laugh, cry and rejoice that you got your hands on it.  Listen to the audio version, read by the author. 

It’s funny and moving and spiritual in a fresh, exciting way.  Get ready to become “secretly incredible!”

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The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols, Phd.

This is one of the most helpful books I have read this past year.  I have opportunities every day to succeed (and fail) using the ideas I’ve found here. Listening is an unselfish gift you give to your friends and family.  Listening can be hard work.  When you listen with all you’ve got, you will often be rewarded and not bored, even if people drone on.  If you think you’re already a good listener, this book will encourage you; if you know your listening skills need work, this book is a great place to start.

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What Would Judas Do? By John Perritt

I am still finishing this one.  Simple but profound, the book explores how each of us, deep down, can relate to the ultimate traitor. Examine yourself with this book: am I a true believer, or just along for the ride?  It’s humbling, insightful, and suitable for a family devotional read.

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Why Nobody Wants to be Around Christians Anymore: And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Faith Magnetic by Thom and Joani Schultz

I found myself in this book.  I mean, it was like looking in the mirror when they mentioned unloving Christians.  Ugh. 

But it didn’t stop at that, and the book wasn’t condemning. It prompted me as a follower of the ultimate King of love to want to truly love others.  Not just as a project, or in a surface way. 

If you know me, please be patient with me as I seek, powered by God, to see people and treat people the way Jesus would.

writing tools

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

As you see on this blog I am trying to write regularly to learn to write well. It’s slow going.  

This book helped by giving me some unique things to try.  Unlike a dry textbook, the expert author made his tips easy and fun to read.

I read it a few months ago, though, and I feel like I am forgetting already – maybe I should review a chapter every now and then!

My Bible

This is what I read the most — the living, breathing, inspired Word of God.  Its prophecies have been fulfilled, though the gap between the giving and the fulfillment took hundreds of years, and were written by authors who never knew each other.

This book will never be boring and I will never outgrow it.

I see myself in its pages and Jesus is there from start to finish.

Try it 😊

© Lisa M. Luciano

Word Prompt of the Day:  Percussive

Definition of percussive

1: of or relating to percussion; especially: operative or operated by striking

2: having powerful impact

Photo credit: Eugenio Mazzone

{ Nancy Drew Wisdom }

Nancy Drew will forever be 18, titian-haired and wholesomely attached to her boyfriend, Ned.

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Except for a brief falling out in The Twisted Candles, Bess and George will always be her best friends and loyal assistants.

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In the world of Nancy Drew, men with shifty or piercing eyes will always be the villains.

And Nancy will always be the heroine (even the police and the FBI consistently admire her intellect and fortitude.)

Yes, the iconic Nancy Drew was created and promoted by a writing syndicate, but I think she still has something to teach us…

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  • Helping People is Rewarding

Whether it’s a child that she rescues from near death, orphans depending on a missing inheritance, or a poor immigrant, Nancy’s always there to help. Her efforts are almost always rewarded with new mysteries to solve.

  • A Good Reputation Opens Doors

Usually by accident—Nancy never tells people herself –folks learn that she is the daughter of Carson Drew, prominent River Heights lawyer. This connection usually amazes and awes strangers. It also lets her in to places closed to other people.

  • Ask Dad

As smart, capable, and independent as Nancy is, she often asks her Dad for advice.  I love that.

  • Stop and eat real food.

Even if you are in the middle of a grand mystery or an intriguing endeavor, make time to stop and eat real food.

  • Show gratitude

The people Nancy helps usually give her a token of the solved mystery.  It’s something small, or simple…but meaningful.  Nancy also surprised people with practical gifts or the gift of time or help. Gifts say what words can’t always say.

  • Manners matter

Good manners are for everyone. Being kind, gracious and forgiving are always welcome and appropriate.

  • Old Lives Matter

Elderly people have wisdom to share.  Nancy asks for help and insight of many old folks in her mysteries. I should too.

  • Be a Feminine Renaissance Girl

Nancy can fly a plane, play the bagpipes, decode messages, and scuba dive.

She wears dresses for most of it.

(Not the scuba.)

Girls can be versatile, capable, strong and smart without giving up their femininity.

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Lastly,

  • Make sure you have a will.

Not having a legally approved will may cause lots of problems.  If it’s hidden in a clock, or your treasures are secreted in the walls, your heirs may not receive the benefits they deserve–unless Nancy Drew comes along to help.

 

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

Dedicated to Eileen!

 

Mystery

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mystery/