Thursday, February 28, 2008

101 Things

I just got a new book called 101 Things You Should Do Before Going To Heaven. I have added it to my Reading List for 2008 under Creative & Spiritual. Each of the 101 Things is listed on a page and then the facing page is a brief description of the thing along with some related spiritual way of looking at it. It's quite nice and very readable.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

  1. A good book, a comfy chair, and a warm drink
  2. Evan's grin
  3. A warm spring day with sunshine
  4. Watching the birds at the feeder
  5. An email from a friend
  6. A free afternoon
  7. Having all the bills paid!
  8. Writing in my journal
  9. Creating
  10. Telling family stories

On the SIMPLIFY Journey

This has been a crazy and hectic week already. As some of you may know I am on a SIMPLIFY journey this year. I made the decision right after Chrismtas that I would be quitting my second job. Finanically this may not be the best time to simplify this part of my life but for me it is necessary. The stress, worry, and extra work load is making me unhappy. I have set a goal of the end of June for this. Three reasons the long time it gives me time to finish up with the clients I have and not add new ones, two it allows me to try to work my budget to adjust to the difference, and three that is only two months before my raise for the 2008-2009 school year kicks in (which will make up for some of the difference in income).
It will seem VERY strange to come straight home after school....for 8 years I have worked an extra job anywhere from two-four nights a week. And for the 3 before that I was working on a Masters degree with classes one night and papers and homework the others. I'm not sure I remember how to have my evenings free. Needless to say I am looking forward to it. This is a very real SIMPLIFY for me that has impact on several aspects on my life. But with hubby only drawing 80% of his pay during his recovery I have discovered that THERE are ways to simplify and still have everything we really NEED and a lot of what we WANT. I am also trying to pay down some debt over the next few months and take some other steps to get back on the track of financial freedom. I KNOW I can do it...!

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'm Seeing A Difference

Well I am seeing a difference in several areas in my life and it's pretty exciting.

  • First of all....going on what is it now three weeks? without soda...I've lost track! The cravings for it are less. I must say I have not done quite as good as NO sugar but I have cut way back and my energy level seems to be much better
  • Although I have stayed up too late a couple nights I have been getting to bed earlier and this has helped bunches.
  • Drinking more water for sure not sure if it has an effect. LOL... Other than going to the bathroom more!
  • Following routines better. I can't say I have been following my mornings and evenings routines perfectly but I have been getting some things done and it is making a difference. It's easier to do things around the house when things are caught up.
  • Decluttering more...which is making a difference slowly but surely and I just feel more "in control" of life.

So those are the things...simple, little, but still starting to have an impact. Hopefully off to a great week...hope you all are on journeys toward feeling better, both physically and emotionally! More later!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flea Market Find of the Day

Here he is....the little cutie I picked up for the grand price of 75 cents. Won't he look cute out with my Americana stuff for the Fourth of July?....I know I said I didn't want to add more holiday decor but for 75 cents, who could resist. Now I have to pick out something to get rid of since the rule is one in one out!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Flea Market Journey

Well, tomorrow we are off to the flea market. Yes the roads are covered in snow, with patches of ice but our neighbor is biting at the bit to get to a flea market. He and my dear husband love to go to the local flea markets. The big outdoor one is obviously not started yet but we are going to a smaller inside one tomorrow. I'm not sure why they love flea markets so much as they hardly ever buy anything. I suppose I'll tag along but generally I refuse to flea market before March 1st.
For those of you that have read the front page of Magical Holiday Home recently, you'll know I have up an piece about being frugal, cutting back, repurposing things etc. The flea market is one way I help curb my "decorating" habit. It's so easy to find cute pieces to use at just a fraction of the cost. But even with flea markets you have to be careful or you will go over your budget or end up with stuff that just ends up as clutter. I am working toward limiting myself to things I LOVE...and it doesn't have to be a life time love affair even though some are. If the price is low one can afford to buy something for use for only a short time, a season or two. Then giving it away or throwing it away isn't all that painful.
My house is full of "stuff" and as I continue the decluttering journey, when I bring something in to the house something has to leave the house...and no letting the dog out doesn't count!!! I'll try to post tomorrow and let you know if I found any treasures....might not cause it is early in the game....but the fun is in the hunt. So check back and I'll give you a brief update!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reflections on a Journey

Have you every thought about how much time it takes to "get ready" to go on a journey? The list making, the packing, the maps, the reservations etc? Seems like it's almost more effort than it's worth. But the journeys in our lives can be just as complicated. In fact sometimes I take more time thinking about a journey (bill paying journeys, writing a paper journey, clean the house journey) than just taking off. You know where you just jump in the car and start driving...see where you end up.
I remember one spring when I was about 14 and hanging out with friends...we decided to take a road trip over to see the river which was flooding. It was about an hours drive. We just hopped in the car and took off. Yes, I had some older friends who could drive and nope didn't ask my parent's permission. Back in "the day" , living in the middle of nowhere, you could do such things without fear of turning up a missing person.
We drove with the windows down, not overly fast...we were RESPONSIBLE back then! The warm fresh spring air blowing in the windows, listening to the radio, and talking with friends (both male and female) I remember distinctly that feeling of wild freedom. As if the world was ours for the taking. As if no matter what the wonderful feeling of freedom would last forever and the days lay before us like a golden path. I wonder if young people feel that now days or if the crazy fast pace of the world has robbed them of that rush!
Well anyway I transgress....journeys.....take as many as you can...the real ones (trips) and the other kinds (adventures). Live life and enjoy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Here's to the friends in my life.... both online and in real time/place. Weave a tapestry of light and color, leave others with a smile, and always believe that you are a treasure. Because YOU ARE!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Week: New Journey

This is going to be a hectic week for me, with lots of evening appointments, so to keep my sanity, I must make sure I follow my morning routine, get meal stuff ready ahead of time, and organize my clothes for the week. Now that's sort of hard with the way the weather has been lately...very unpredictable. I will stick to my evening routine as much as possible also but have to realize...there's only so many hours in a day.

girlsinmo had an awesome goal for herself which is about recognizing that effort is more important that results. Boy, can I sure use that one this week. Lately without feeling well, I started to become overwhelmed. Can't give up, I kept telling myself. In home (not really work) I have always struggled with letting things pile up and then wishing I'd stayed on top of them. It's just so much easier when I do keep on top of things daily. I have made a lot of progress with this in recent years but there's still lots to do and learn. So this week my journey is toward forming habits...things that just become second nature. So onward with my efforts! Wish me Luck!


Thanks to Mrs. Soup and SmilingSandra for their book and author recommendations. I checked the library data base and they have quite a few Joanne Fluke titles...I have for sure added the Candy Cane Murders to the list...and also On Strike for Christmas and also the Valentine Murder. I need to finish the books I have and return then so I can put in a request for the next ones!!! Looking forward to reading some new authors!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Triple 8 Reading Lists for 2008

I just realized I needed to update my list for reading...I still don't have all the categories filled but I'm doing a little better.

Category One: Creativity and Spirit

  • God is in the Hard Stuff
  • Hugs for Grandma
  • If Life is A Game These are the Rules
  • Simple Abundance
  • Live And Learn and Pass It On
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA

Category Two: Favorite Authors:

  • The Sixth Target: READ
  • At Risk: READ
  • Book of the Dead
  • One Shot
  • The Hard Way
  • Back Luck and Trouble
  • The Mephisto Club READ
  • TBA

Category Three: New Authors

  • Ark Angel: Alex Harwicks
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA
  • TBA

Category Four: Mysteries/Thrillers


Category Five: Eight from 2008


Category Six: Read it Again/Old Favorites

  • ALL TBA (but I have some in mind)

Category Seven: Holiday Themed Novels

  • Trick or Treat Murders
  • Turkey Day Murders
  • Valentine Murder
  • On Strike For Christmas
  • Candy Cane Murder

Category Eight: Non Fiction

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Straight Talk: Joyce Meyers

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Journey Toward Healthier Eating

Okay last night I posted the word Exhausted....with explanation to following this evening. I have been really tired of late and so have wanted to re evaluate several things in life to hopefully bring back some energy. First of all I know my sleep schedule is off track. Second I am eating way too much sugar....about three years ago when I completely eliminated sugar I could not believe the difference in energy level. Third I just need to eat healthier food in general.
So today's entry is my pledge to healthier eating habits. I am on day three of the journey of eliminating soda. This is day three with no So here are my journey goals for healthier eating.
  • Sleep: Get into a regular schedule.
  • Sugar: Eliminate as much as possible.
  • Soda: none
  • Healthier foods: more fresh fruit and vegs,
  • Water: 8 a day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New Blogger

Let's welcome MammaDuke to the world of blogging. You can see her blog: Mammaduke-story
She is just getting it started but let's all give her a warm welcome to the world of blogging. She joins us at Magical Holiday Home and here at blogspot from My Merry Christmas.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Journey Back To Work

Today back to work after being off two weeks. Work is both a joy and a pain. Being at work doesn't bother me. I basically like what I do and get some sense of identity from it. No the pain of work comes from the fact that TIME becomes a huge issue. Never enough time to do all the things I want/need to do.

Here's another little thought to ponder: " I've learned that to accomplish much is to accomplish a little each day."

And so it is in my life...a little each it housework, my Triple 8 challenge, daily writing or whatever.

So those of you that struggle with the daily writing challenge...remember a sentence or two counts!!! Even a word that describes your day!!! It will get us all thinking if we see just a highlighted word for the day and we will want to know the mystery surrounding that word.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Journey to Old Age

Yes it's something that I try to avoid thinking about. But with each passing day, we all grow a day older. Today as I was pondering what to write about here on Ginger's Journey, I opened up Live and Learn and Pass It On Volume II

This little book by H. Jackson Brown Jr is a gem. As I flipped through the pages I decided I would write about the first one that resonated with me. And here it is:

"I've learned that old age is not a defeat but a victory, not a punishment but a pivilege." page 15

So it is, so it is. A few years ago a young male teacher in our building was talking with me in the hallway. It was his first year in our building and somehow the year of highschool graduation came up. When I said I graduated in 1976. He asked me if it bothered me that I had graduated from high school before he was born. I told him that it didn't bother me because you either have to grow old or die young. Since I was still enjoying life I thought I'd stick around for a while if God allowed. By the way, his wife just had their first child last month, and I still rib him about "making me feel old"! It's always a good laugh at staff gatherings.

Recording Progress

My Write Daily Challenge Started Feb. 1st 2008
Progress 10/10

Yesterday (Sat.) I did manage to get in my write daily entry, just on a different blog. Month x Month.

I'll be poppin back in later today and writing a bit of new stuff for Ginger's Journey. Don't give up.....KEEP BLOGGING. I am loving reading all the blogs!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thoughts about Life, Love, and Why

LIFE is the air we breath, the water we drink, the dreams we slip into each night. Life is about common things and extraordinary things. Common things like filling the car with gas, taking a class, doing the dishes, and cooking, even when it seems more of a chore than a labor of love. Extraordinary things like the delicate petals of a rose, being in the right spot at the right time so as to avoid an accident, and holding on to good qualities when the rest of the world seems quite mad.
Thursday evening in Kirkwood Missouri about 40 minutes from my home, a lone gunman ended the lives of two Kirkwood police officers and three city officials before being shot and killed by police. He also wounded a reporter that was covering the city council meeting and the mayor, who is still listed in critical condition. That my friends is life in 2008. As reports unfold about the long standing disagreement between the shooter and the city of Kirkwood, it is easy to feel the frustration and mounting anger that preceded this event. Not that anyone in particular is to blame. I wonder if there were rights and wrongs on both sides of the feud. In the end that hardly can be used to justify this horrific act. It just brings us to a great sadness.
Which brings me to LOVE. On Thursday, not one family member of those killed had one iota or inkling that as their loved ones left for work and meetings that it was the last day of their life. None of us will know that and so LOVE is the one thing that is constant and can not be ignored. It is one reason I am a strong believer in CELEBRATING! Life on earth is not a given and it is not forever. Use every hour, every minute wisely. Speak the truth, celebrate life, and express love at all levels.
Finally it brings me to WHY....every tragic event is always broken down, examined, analyzed and never can anyone say for certain what key turning point resulted in the events that unfolded. The factors involved in this tradgedy will be no different. Put it under a miscroscope and you still will not be able to definatively answer WHY.
Since I'm normally upbeat, I don't want to end this post on a negative note. Instead the focus should be on the fact that each of the people that died (even the shooter) were part of the circle of life, contributed to the ebb and flow of this world, were loved by others, and will be missed. It can be said that it is not for us to know the why but to move forward, doing the best we can with both the common and the extraordinary aspects of life.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Triple 8 Update

Currently I'm reading a novel by Lee Child called Trouble and Bad Luck.

What I really need are some suggestions for new books....I like mysteries. I also need a few books with a holiday theme....I want to read The Trick or Treat Murders but I haven't bought it yet. I was hoping the library would have it but no luck!

So if you have any suggestions for new books to try, mysteries, holiday novels, or even inspirational ones....please post a comment with title and author so I can get going....Time's a ticking and its February already. I've only read 31/3 books this year so far!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Okay my Write Daily entry for today should be easy. I will respond to being tagged by cathymac Now I have to tell 7 weird things or facts about myself and tag seven more people....

1. I grew up on a haunted farm.
2. I hate spinach, asparagus, and mushrooms.
3. I am addicted to writing and blogging (well at least it's a "good" addiction)
4. I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
5. I HATE romance novels.
6. I love the ocean but hate sand.
7. I love autumn and spring more than summer.

Okay now my tags of other bloggers...hehehe...this is the best part...

Smiling Sandra
Tales From the Fridge
Christmas Creations Corner
Whimsical Mom
Uncommon Artistic Endeavors
Practically Pink

You have all been are the rules:

1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person that tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3.Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Journey with Cooking

Through the years I have struggled in my JOURNEY with cooking. I enjoy cooking but have encountered lots of detours and more than my share of deadends. Here are some things that have created roadblocks in my journey.

  • Time: I enjoy cooking. I even like chopping fresh, colorful vegetables but not at 6:00 pm on a work night after a hectic day.
  • Ingredients: Did you ever notice that most of the yummy ingredients that really "make" a dish are not low cal? Also the expense and availability of quality ingredients have caused more than one turn around and go back on my journey.
  • Spices: How can 1/4 teaspoon full of basil or garlic salt make or break a recipe? For years I would skip these tiny add ons. Sometimes because of expense or sometimes because I was in the middle of a recipe to find my spice cabinet bare. Lately I have started to appreciate the finer points of spices. And YES....a 1/4 teaspoon can be the difference between a good dish and an awesome one.

So the journey with cooking has been like wandering lost in a desert. I have found a few oasis along the way but am still searching for that paradise. In other words, my journey continues.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Write Daily Update

We have several bloggers that are participating in the write daily challenge. How exciting to know there are others than enjoy the writing journey as much as I do. Someone once said that "writing is the path to the inner soul". What a wonderful journey along that path! I have made several entries on blogs today and then suddenly realized how difficult it is going to be to keep track of my goal with so many spots to write. The problem of a true blog addict! So I have decided to revise my approach a bit, but feel free to set yours up however you deem fit. For me, I have decided to limit my Write Daily to my personal blogs. Here's the reason, my personal blogs are....well....more personal! They are truly my voice. Not that my other writing isn't but the personal blogs tend to be more reflective in nature and therefore fit the challenge better, at least in my mind. So my daily writings will appear on one of the following blogs.

I will post updates on progress here at Ginger's Journey....feel free to add comments to let me know your progress and I will hop over to your blogs as much as possible to get some inspiration to keep me going!

Start Date for My Write Daily Challenge is February 1st.

Goal=4/4 days so far.

Don't forget to post your start date on your blog or in a comment here...and at least once a week post an update....

Friday, February 1, 2008

My Writing Journey

Along with the Triple 8 Reading JOURNEY and the Artistic 8s Creative JOURNEY, I have decided to embark on a Writing Daily 2008 JOURNEY...the challenge is write something every day. NO my "to do" list doesn't count! I thought of this idea by watching some friends take and accomplish the LOAD (Layout a Day) challenge during January. The things they learned along the way, the determination, and the accomplishment they felt at the end...exciting energy! Writing Daily 2008 should produce some creative energy for me. I love to write but doing it on a daily basis is always a challenge. No one to know whether I accomplish my goal except ME. Here's a list of things that will count toward my Writing Daily Challenge...if you like to write be sure and join me...just post a comment to this post with a link to your blog.
  • Writing on any of my personal blogs
  • Writing on any of the Magical Holiday Home blogs (forums don't count)
  • Writing in my journal
  • Writing things for my Celebrate Me art journal
  • Writing any drafts of stories/articles on my home computer

If I think of other writing that "qualifies" I will update the list later. So all you writers...join me in this 2008 writing challenge!

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