Wednesday, October 4, 2017

JUST COULDN'T WAIT....

to share these titles!  I usually share about several books I've read just a few times a year but both of these books really deserve a post all their own.  Maybe they are so good to me because of my personal interest in the subjects.  But I think anyone interested in living intentionally and organization would love them.


Notes From A Blue Bike, The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World is the second book of Tsh's I've read and loved.  She's a young mother who, along with her husband, knows what has value for them and how they want to raise their family.  It's about saying no to some things and intentionally embracing what they value.  I am  not a young mother anymore, but many of her ideals were similar to the way we chose to raise our children.  Now I'm figuring out how to live intentionally as an almost empty nester with more free time available.  She vividly shows how to live this out through examples of eating, work, travel, education and entertainment.  They have lived with plenty and with less.  It's a book I would highly recommend to young couples just starting out.

This book is what I was referring to when I mentioned slow food on my last post.  Slow food means a lot of things to different people, but what I'm getting out of the concept is that spending time preparing food with your children and family is time well spent. Buying locally sourced food and even growing your own is worth the effort. Taking the time to enjoy food together is valuable to your relationships.  Tsh addresses this, contrasting her time living in Turkey and then coming back home to the States.  I hope to be able to do more of this after what seems like years of rushing around!




The Organized Mind, Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload, was one I just happened to pick up on the new book rack at the library.  If you've ever felt like you were drowning in information, this book helps clarify how exactly your brain works and encourages us to really think about what we are doing to ourselves.  We can control the use of our cellphones and all that constant information (novel idea!).  It gives examples of how to slow down and even use some old-fashioned methods to gain some peace and control in our lives.  Habits can help us control it.  There's also an interesting chapter on sifting through medical advice when you are thrust into situations and have important decisions to make.  Some of this book was too much for me but most of it was helpful.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

SLOW FOOD...

Slow food is a new/old concept to me.  But one I'm ready to embrace!  When you're at a campfire, you know you're in for some simple food and fun!  Our daughter and SIL had the family over for a weiner roast recently.  He made the fire pit where they had two large rocks close together and he brought more from other areas on their acreage.  I'm loving any time we can do slow food and long conversation.  More about slow food next time...






HAPPY FALL, Y'ALL!


Monday, September 18, 2017

THE DECLUTTERING CONTINUES...

It's nice when you can get some others behind you in decluttering!  The Hubs and I are in the midst of some major home improvement projects!  One of them is the front of our house, which you really can't see and we really haven't seen in the 17 years we've lived here!  Although I love the trees and the tree tunnel you walk through to get to our front door, we realized it was time for them to go.  Maybe all those Fixer Upper episodes played a part in our decision... :)

 Before

 My son and his friend took down 9 trees for us!

 After
 All this trim was rotten after 39 years!

I got to give our home a new Tudor design with arches with the help of our contractor.  I love it!  

The first morning after this was completed I went to the dining room window downstairs and looked outside and thought, "Oh, it's so bright and sunny today!"  Then I realized it wasn't especially bright or sunny, it was just the blue sky showing where all I saw before was the shade of those trees!  

I can't help but make the correlation with our lives - do we let things grow up and cover us up unknowingly?  Does it take a major overhaul for us to realize what we've been missing?  



Saturday, September 9, 2017

LABOR DAY BIKERIDE...

 So far we are keeping up with the challenge we made to bike in every month of the year!  This time we are right in our fair city.   We tried a new section of the West OKC River Trail, connecting to East Overholser Trail, then on towards Lake Hefner.  We didn't go all the way to Hefner but enjoyed the stretch alongside Stinchcomb Wildlife Preserve and by Wiley Post Airport.

The Overholser section was busy with a Frisbee golf tournament and lots of dog walkers.  But the rest was pretty nice and uncrowded.  We also saw some paddle boarders!






I was thinking afterwards how all of this outdoor sport and entertainment wasn't nearly as popular twenty years ago.  To see people playing disc golf, riding bikes, running, walking dogs, kayaking and even paddle boarding tells me we are doing a good job getting more physical activity in our lives.  It's a good thing to combat the sedate computer sitting we do!



Saturday, September 2, 2017

THE DESSERT I UNEXPECTEDLY LOVE...

Avocado chocolate pudding!  Discovered this HERE with my recent interest in clean eating.  

 It's so easy - three ingredients and so good!  Better if you let it set in the refrigerator a while.

Here's my adaptation of the recipe:

Avocado half
1 T. cocoa
1 T. honey
Mix together well.  
Let set in refrigerator for intense flavor.
Eat alone or with a dollop of whipped cream or with fruit.  

Pretty AMAZING!

Monday, August 28, 2017

RISKY BUSINESS...

Maybe I've found the antidote for when you are feeling old...try something new!  Just  take the opportunity, take a risk(within reason), and look at it as an adventure!  Just goes to show you not every old saying is true:  YOU CAN TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS.    

My first time surfing behind a boat this summer!

Walking around, alone, in NYC

I fixed the pool cleaner when The Hubs was out of town!

FEELING ALIVE AND A LITTLE RISKY!  :) Now if I could be like my friend Rhonda and take some risks and make some new friendships for Jesus!



Sunday, August 20, 2017

SUMMER READING...

I've started a funny habit...checking out books that sound interesting to me, then if I don't get hooked pretty quick, I just move on to something else.  So I get several at a time and end up maybe finishing only one of them.  These are the ones I've read this summer that were the best!


Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock  This is a fictional story of two sisters in a rural town and how they comfort each other with an abusive father. A little hard to read at times, but gave me more empathy for people in this kind of situation.  Crazy twist at the end!


Modern Mindfulness by Rohan Gunatillake  This one gives you exercises to think about as we manage all the information coming into our lives on a constant basis.  I'm constantly looking for ways to simplify!



At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider  An account of a family of five as they take a trip around the world.  Her thoughts as she struggles between the love of adventure and new experiences but longs for home. Loved her insights but I no longer think I would like to do a trip this long.  :)



Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu   Basically what this book said to me was to let others do things - so what if they don't do it just like you? Drop the perfectionist tendencies.  Good for leaders and Moms.



Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth  This book is  a guide based on the teaching in Titus 2 about the older women teaching the younger.  It examines the character traits from the passage and gives questions at the end of each chapter for older women and younger women to help them examine their lives.


The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon  The true story of a young woman in Afghanistan and how she provided for her family during a difficult time under the oppression of the Taliban.  I gained a lot of understanding about their culture and how this war has affected their families.




Monday, August 14, 2017

HOW ABOUT YOURS...



How's your routine?

Sometimes we feel we are just going through the motions. Our heart is not in our work. I am constantly striving to make my life a fluid movement with God as the Master Teacher.  Still, sometimes I stumble and fall out of line…

I was able to join my husband on a business trip to New York City recently, where we attended a musical production.  It was fabulous to say the least!  Gifted, well-rehearsed performers in a beautiful theatre with gorgeous costumes, music and lights put on a wonderful show.  It was a thing of beauty.  I’ve watched a lot of high school productions, too, as my children performed through the years.  I loved them all – how can you not when it’s your child and their friends?  Some of the kids were gifted performers and excellent with the choreography, some were not.  Some reminded me of snappy cheerleaders; some like a herd of elephants!  But with time they became more confident and the movements become more natural and beautiful.  They gained stage presence and became something truly enjoyable to watch.  Their heart was in their performance and it showed in their smile. 

How about your life – your routine? Does your heart match your movement?  No matter what comes, we can be confident as we live life, because as believers we have the actual Spirit of God helping us. Galatians 5:25 reminds us “if we live by the spirit to keep in step with the Spirit.” We keep in step by paying attention to the Word, listening to the Master Teacher, and practicing! Rely on Him to make your routine into a thing of beauty.

Sometimes I wish I was a dancer; with beautiful movements to match the music.  But even more, I hope my heart for God shows in the rhythm of life as it comes. 





Sunday, August 6, 2017

NYC SOLO (MOSTLY)...

A business trip came up for The Hubs in New York City recently, and I had the opportunity to go, even though I would be on my own most of the time.  I jumped at the chance, since it had been 9 years since I'd been there.  I have to say I had a little apprehension, but all went well and this is one time I have to admit I love technology!  I used TripAdvisor, Mapquest, Uber and Google Maps a lot!

 I did a lot of things, but my favorite thing was the Original Greenwich Village Food Tour.  Not only did we stop in a lot of shops/restaurants to taste different foods, but we also learned a lot of history about the neighborhood.  Our guide was funny and knowledgeable and the three hours flew by!  He also had our names memorized before the tour began and was really good at engaging the group and encouraging friendships among us.  I only wish I had done this tour the first day so I could have gone back and eaten lunch or dinner at some of the places!




Another thing that was special was meeting a friend's daughter for lunch!  She has lived up there for 3 years, part of that time earning her Master's degree.  We had a good visit and she recommended a free exhibit at the Fashion Museum that I went to after lunch.

There's an area called Chelsea Market that is a great old Nabisco factory turned into a little mall of specialty shops, food booths, and restaurants.  I walked through once with The Hubs and decided a return trip was needed.  One morning I went and I was buying something and started visiting with what turned out to be the owner.  She was so sweet and said, "I have a gift for you!" She proceeded to give me furniture oil and butcher block oil from the same maker of the notecards I bought.  She said it wouldn't sell because their customers were all young people with IKEA furniture - Ha!  Anyway, I accepted the gift and managed to get home with it by checking it in my luggage.  Who says New Yorkers are unfriendly?  Wasn't my experience!

I also visited the Guggenheim, took the wrong subway to get there, so had to call Uber to rescue me!  That was a wasted 30 minutes and $33!  The Tenement Museum was a great hands-on history lesson but I think I would have enjoyed it more had I gone in the morning.  I was pretty worn out by the time I got there (had to go at 3 p.m. due to early tickets being sold out).  Live and learn!

With our love of outdoors, we managed to do several things together that were fun and great exercise too - walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, walk the High Line, and bike along the Hudson River to Battery Park.  The bridge walk was really crowded but the other things were great!



Being solo was a little out of my comfort zone for exploring NYC, but I do feel like I have a new confidence in myself.  It's always good to stretch yourself!  What better place to do it?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

WHEN YOUR KIDS INVITE YOU SOMEWHERE...

WOW, How fun for the tables to turn and all of a sudden YOU are invited someplace by the kids!  It's started happening with Mother's Day at my daughter's house and now a weekend lake trip with my son and his sweet wife!  

We stayed at her parent's mobile home that had a gorgeous view of Lake Tenkiller.  It was a great time of reminiscing for us, especially since my parents owned a lake house and boat there for many years before my Dad's death in 2001.  At that time they sold it all and despite our best intentions, we've only visited a couple of times since then. 

Ready to check out the lake - including Tucker!











 Happy 26th birthday to our son!


Beautiful sunset from the deck of the cabin! We enjoyed this special time with our kids.  Kinda fun to not be in charge but just going along with what they had planned.