Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

#WeekendReflections 12/9

Looking outside...it's cloudy and cold. It's currently 22.

Listening...to Christmas music. The Doctor is home from seeing patients. The boys are up and about. We talk and laugh a lot. I love it.

Loving...Thursday and Friday evening, the Artist participated in the Theater Showcase at school. All of the theater students presented the projects they had worked on this year for district competition. The Artist did set design, an ensemble piece which was a scene from the musical Chicago and a pantomime. 

I loved watching him on stage. His solo pantomime is amazing. And his ensemble scene was awesome. I love observing him with his friends and peers. He has made good friends at school and more in his theater classes. It has been a joy watching him overcome some of his natural trepidation in performing. 

Thursday night after his pantomime performance and after the show was over, he was so hyped and excited. It was a delight to see. And I am so impressed with all of these kids. Seriously. there are some talented students and some truly fantastic pieces performed.

Thinking...that I really need to get my Christmas shopping done/ordered/wrapped.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. They have a peppermint flavor that is amazing, especially if you add a Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffle to it... Not sure about dinner. 

Wearing...fuzzy yellow minion jammies, black turtleneck and black slippers.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it.

Today...I am working on a handmade Christmas gift and paying bills. The Artist is going with Grandma and his cousins to buy a toy for Toys for Tots. Each year, she takes the grandchildren to the store and gives them each a set amount of money to buy a gift and then they give it to the very nice Marines who are standing at attention near the donation boxes. The Artist loves doing it. The Boy is working this afternoon/evening. The Doctor is at the office, but we have office business to do this afternoon.

Quoting...“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee

Feeling...tired. Still weary, but working through issues of my own.

I have decided that expectations suck. We all have expectations. You can deny it all you want, but you have them. I have them. We expect people to behave in certain ways. We expect our children to do specific things. We plan activities or events and we expect that they will follow a precise pattern. And then, when those expectations are not met, we are angry. It's hard to let perceived slights go. We lash out. We hold grudges. We get feelings hurt.

Do me a favor the next time some of your expectations aren't met. Ask yourself why you are reacting the way you are. It's unlikely that the person who didn't meet your expectations did something heinous. They just did something that you didn't want or anticipate. But did they even know that you had assigned an expectation to the event or their behavior? Probably not. So ask yourself why you're so annoyed and then let it go. I'm trying to do that and it's difficult. But I am learning that finding the Why in anything is important. I have my husband to thank for that. He has an amazing way of helping me shift perspective.

I don't think there is a person alive who doesn't have some kind of personal or emotional issue to work through. Everyone has them. Every family has them. There are no perfect people. There are no perfect families. No matter what people portray on social media or on Sunday at church. Trust me. No one's life is perfect. 

Someone's trials might seem petty or trite compared to your own, but to them? Those trials might be overwhelming. And you probably don't know the depths of their struggles. You're just on the outside looking at what might be the fragile pieces of their sanity, still holding together a shell of calm, despite the fractures that keep appearing in it. So if they didn't meet your expectation? Step back and give them the benefit of probably having a good reason. Like I said, I've been trying to do that more. Sometimes the self-reflection that follows isn't always comfortable.

Have we become so selfish that we think everything is about us? A post on Facebook by a friend or acquaintance suddenly seems like a personal attack. When, in reality? It's just something that person posted. A thought or experience that radiated with them. It has nothing to do with you. If you think it does or it resonates with you, ask yourself, "Why?" and reflect. You might not like what you see, but hopefully you will learn something from it and gain a better understanding of someone else. And, you don't have to comment on any post you disagree with. Did you know that? You can move past it. Try it some time. It's not easy. I actually did it yesterday, because I realized that the reaction I had to a comment I made, was my own and the person replying wasn't directing anything towards me. But, it's not easy.

If you invite someone to an event, don't be offended if they don't come. It's likely not about you. They may have another commitment; they may just need a break; they may just not want to be around other people. Accept that they have the right to do that and move on. 

And if you're concerned or really want to know why, just ask. Don't assume. I assume way too much and it's never a good thing.

And these weekend reflections? These are my rambles. My thoughts. They help me work through issues or ideas or thoughts I am having. If you see something in them that resonated with you, ask yourself, "Why?" And then reflect and you may gain a better understanding of yourself or compassion for someone else.

Planning...this week. Christmas seems early this year. I've struggled in finding my Christmas spirit, but I love that my boys have it.

Gratitude...for a wise husband, who through his own struggles and learning has gained wisdom and knowledge that he shares as he counsels and helps others.

From my world... 

Hoar Frost is surreal to see at a distance, but absolutely beautiful up close.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

#CoverCrush: The Bridge

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.

I love the bright sparkly Christmas cover. And it's a bookstore! A bookstore at Christmas? That. Is. Awesome. Who is this couple? Why are they in a bookstore? Did they just meet? Are they old friends? What is their story?

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's CourtFlashlight CommentaryA Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary VacationOf Quills and Vellum.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Books I Have Forgotten

Each month I revisit some of my past reviews. One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I found that I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.

Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!


The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop
1/5 Stars

"I know that life on the frontier was difficult and full of harsh realities. The famous blizzard of 1888 is well known and horrific in its aftermath. Yet, with so many stories of the pioneers and those who came west, there is hope amidst trials along with love and joy in family. In this story, there was never any hope. These characters had difficult, horrible lives and experiences that left them bitter and angry. The mother/daughter relationship didn't inspire me, it frustrated me.

Some will find it inspiring that forgiveness and understanding come almost when its too late, but I just found it sad and depressing."

I don't remember anything about this, but it doesn't sound like I missed anything.

Perfectly Invisible by Kristen Billerbeck
2/5 Stars

"This is a sequel to Perfectly Dateless which I haven't read. I don't know if it is intended to stand alone, but there are references to past events and I always felt like I was missing something. I never connected with any of the characters and quite frankly, didn't even like them. I couldn't understand Daisy and Claire's friendship, especially since Claire isn't even very nice to Daisy. The book is full of high school drama and the Christian elements are light. Perhaps I'm just too old for Teen/YA books now. I don't know.

Still, I think that fans of Kristin Billerbeck will probably enjoy this, especially if they've read Perfectly Dateless. It was cute, but not one I ultimately enjoyed. "

I have no memory of this one either. Sounds kind of fun, but nothing that was memorable.

Shadows on the Sand by Gayle Roper
4/5 Stars

"While they've known each other a long time, Greg and Carrie are drawn to each other when Greg begins helping Carrie attempt to figure out mysteries occurring with her staff. Murder, a mysterious religious cult and twittering senior citizens make for an interesting and entertaining story. Add Greg's and Carrie's respective pasts and baggage and you have Shadows on the Sand. But, put it all together and it works. The plot moves along well and I enjoyed watching Greg and Carrie come to terms with their feelings for each other.

... I did wish for more details/depth about Carrie's relationship with her Mom. I wanted to know what had happened to her Mom during their separation and what turned her around? As this is apparently the first in a series, hopefully we will learn more back story as the series progresses. An entertaining read. I look forward to more from Gayle and Seaside. "

Apparently I enjoyed it. Quite a bit. Wish I could remember.


What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

#WeekendReflections: 12/2

Looking outside...it's cloudy and cold. I think it's currently 28.

Listening...to Christmas music and the dishwasher running. The Artist is watching something on his tablet. The Boy is asleep, because he worked late. The Doctor is seeing some patients this morning.

Loving...hot cocoa, thick socks, sweaters and scarves. 

Thinking...that I really hate the administrative side of health care. Each insurance company does things their own way. There is very little continuity. Medicare still can't get it together to be consistent about anything. 

I am realizing that there are many, many things that go wrong with billing, and how many people just pay their medical bills without actually questioning them. 

And I absolutely abhor the word, "deductible". I always did, but I do even moreso now. The word "deductible" is simply an excuse for insurance companies to not pay for anything. "It goes towards your deductible." Like that helps anyone or anything except greedy insurance companies. So, on the doctor side of it, we get patients who expect their insurance company to cover their costs (and insurance companies really don't like chiropractors), so when they don't because "it went towards your outrageously high deductible" and then the patient receives a bill, they're not happy. 

And because I know what it's like to be stretched for money, I will even accept payments. I wish other doctors would do that (especially all you greedy dentists who just say, "We like you, but not enough to let you make payments, so come back when you can pay the full price"), so I will work with you to make them to us.

In my kitchen...We're grilling burgers for dinner and watching the BSU game.

Wearing...black skirt, burgundy turtleneck, black cardigan and black boots. What? It was chilly this morning!

Reading...Seriously, what's that?

Today...We got up early so the Artist could go into town and meet his bus driver. The bus company is doing a charity drive this week that benefits The Ronald McDonald House of Boise. The Artist came home with a flyer about it and suggestions of items to donate.

Ronald McDonald Houses are one of our favorite organizations to support. When The Boy was born and transferred to UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco for his heart surgery, we were offered space in the Ronald McDonald House near the hospital. We were so touched, but ultimately decided that because we lived within an hour of the hospital, we would go home each night and not take away space from a family who truly needed it.

But, ever since then, when we have the opportunity to donate or support Ronald McDonald Houses, we do. The majority of donations go to the houses, not administration. It's a fantastic organization.

The Artist understands this, but he also just simply has a giving heart and when presented with an opportunity to serve others, he takes it. We gave him a budget and some suggestions towards items to purchase and went shopping. In addition to canned food, items suggested were towels and sheets and toys/gifts for varying ages of children, from babies to teenagers.

So today he took his gifts to Kirk, his beloved bus driver, so they could "Fill the Bus"!

As a parent you think your kids are amazing, even as you also try to understand that they aren't perfect. It warmed my heart today to see Kirk as happy to see The Artist as he was to see Kirk. And then to hear Kirk tell us that The Artist is such a great young man and he wished that he had a bus full of kids like him.

Quoting..."Oh, the joy that fills our hearts and makes us see...Cause that's Christmas to me. I've got this Christmas song in my heart; I've got the candles glowing in the dark. And then for years to come we'll always know one thing; that's the love that Christmas can bring Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me". -- That's Christmas to Me by Pentatonix

Feeling...tired. Still weary, but working through issues of my own.

Planning...this week. Lists for the office, gifts and plans for Christmas. 

Gratitude...for a comfortable home. It's not grand, but it's ours and is warm and meets our needs well. I am grateful for my fireplace, for electricity and gas, appliances that work, and cars that run. I am grateful to be able to work with my husband as we build this practice.

From my world... 

I am grateful for people who are good influences on my children. I am grateful for children who not only serve and help others, but who look for and recognize those opportunities.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?