Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’


Log Rhythms: Cabinets at the Cabin…

As you may have noticed, I have a “particular vision” for this cabin and I don’t compromise that, easily. Part of the “vision” was to have very, very simple farmhouse cabinets. And while I’m sure the hubby could have made cabinets for our kitchen, laundry room and bathroom, it was just too time-consuming for a guy who is regularly on the road.

Thus, we elected to use a local cabinet maker. The hubby selected the cabinet maker he felt would do the best job. Unfortunately, I am a very “visual” person–I have to “see” what something is going to look like before I can tell you if that is what I envision. Our cabinet maker chose to very roughly sketch how the cabinets would look and the drawings were not to scale. The hubby convinced him this was necessary to get a final okay from us.

Then, he wanted to put crown molding on everything.


Homeostasis and Change…


As part of my Heartpaths assignments, I’m currently reading the book, Mastery by George Leonard. It’s not a particularly “religious” or Christian book–Leonard merely outlines what’s necessary in order to master anything we choose to master.

In Chapter 10 he discusses one of the realities that can derail mastery–homeostasis. Homeostasis exists for a very good reason: to create stability. The problem is that sometimes we need to shake up our homeostats in order to change for the better and master whatever we choose to master. That’s the only way permanent change takes place.

When we succeed in shaking up our homeostats, these pesky little things urgently try to return us to “normal.” Leonard feels that this is why we backslide on New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more and eat better. He adds that sometimes people can also be homeostats–trying to get us to return to a former state as well.


Slow Reader Thursday: 20 Books…


Warning: Get your favorite beverage first. 

Since I’m such a slow reader, guess what?! I’m not done with a book about being inadequate. Yes, I’m serious. Well, sort of. So, today you’re getting an FB favorite while I spend some time with my visiting niece and the DD and DSL. Yes, it’s Spring Break at the MIP household. Perhaps next Thursday I will get my act together. Sort of.

Several years ago FB was “personal survey happy.” In other words “Answer these questions about yourself and then tag all of your friends and ask them to answer the same questions.” While many of these became quite irritating and nonsensical, there were some that actually did merit a response. One of these was, “Pick 15 books that have always and will always stay with you.” If I were to answer that prompt today, I would list the books below, in no particular order, but add five more! Please feel free to add in your 20 favorites, with or without explanation. This will allow others to add some books to their “reading to-do list.” And yes, I hope one of these “others” will be me.

1. The Bible…obviously. Right now, I’m rather partial to the version by Mr. Peterson (The Message)…it makes reading this for the 49th time much more enjoyable and “user-friendly”.

2. The Shack…My copy’s autographed…how about yours? And mine is dog-eared and underlined repeatedly! I hate crying and this book makes me cry for reasons I don’t fully comprehend.  That just doesn’t happen when I read.

3. The Purpose-Driven Life…I disagree with some of its premises, but overall…a good way to live.

4. Loving God…the best defense of why the Bible is true, written by a crook. 🙂 His boss wasn’t…at least according to his boss.

5. The Screwtape Letters…I always like when someone puts a twist on writing a book and this one is from a very different perspective. Written by someone who didn’t believe in the Bible at first.

6. Little Women…about a woman writer when it wasn’t cool to be a woman writer…’nuf said. Oh, and it’s free on Kindle. Yes, I said free.

7. This Present Darkness…and all the sequels…again…another take on things with a different twist.

8. The Mystery of the 99 Steps…my introduction to Nancy Drew…horrible writing, but fun when you’re 10 years old…I read all of them in 5th grade…I could read 4 of them a week and she never kissed Ned once. Then I read the entire collection of the Hardy Boys…then I read all the Bobbsey Twin books. Yeah…I was a nerd. And there wasn’t much else to do in Bridgeport, WV back then.

9. God is an Englishman…very obscure book with a very interesting title…for adult readers only…in other words…it wasn’t about what I thought it was about. (How many of you just looked for it online? Caught ya, didn’t I?)

10. Cheaper by the Dozen – pay special attention to the section on bathing. If Kyle takes another hot water heater draining shower, these methods will be employed at the Arnold house very soon.

11. Gone with the Wind – this is a primer on cheesy, ridiculous dialogue, but I love it.

12. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fishno surprise here, if you’ve been reading my recent posts! My very first book and my mom probably could recite it flawlessly without ever looking at a page…I requested it every night, along with Fox in Sox for 3 whole years. (My mother was a saint.)

13. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families – this ought to be required reading for anyone expecting a kid. Just tell the mom (when she’s 9 months along) she has to cross her legs until she has read it…it’ll get done…I guarantee it.

14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – see # 5…the man has an imagination and puts it on paper well.

15. Brave New World…it’ll make you think twice about the government requesting more and more invasion into our personal lives.

16. Heaven is for Real…when a book is written by an 11 year old boy and is his eyewitness account, I tend to listen…and read…word-for-word. So reassuring for us Christian types and yet so surprising.

17. QuitterI have read numerous books on writing and pursuing your ridiculous, impractical dreams, but none have affected me the way Jon Acuff’s book has.

18. God’s Little Miracle BookThis book just reminds me why it’s still important to pray.

19. Left Behind (and the rest of the series)…Of course, it’s just two people’s take on what could happen when Planet Earth comes to an end, but it sure is interesting to envision the modern world trying to cope with the book of Revelation.

20. Born Again, Texan…This is just too hilarious for words and too true and still rather informational.

Your turn.


Slow Reader Thursday: God’s Little Miracle Book

water into wine

After my mom passed away in 2003, her younger sister, my Aunt Lois, learned of my crazy passion for writing and encouraged me to contact her author friend, Sally Jadlow. I did so and while Sally was very gracious in encouraging me to get busy with my writing, I don’t think I was quite ready to fully commit to the discipline of writing (And yes…I am well aware that my writing seldom resembles anything disciplined.). But, even so, I have followed Sally on Facebook and she has written several books, all of which seem to get published at the precise moment I don’t have time to read. So, I am just now getting around to reading one of her books (I told you I was a very slow reader!): God’s Little Miracle BookBecause I am so slow, Sally has also written a sequel to this book which I hope to “schedule” onto my reading list sometime this year. But, since I have about a dozen books on the list ahead of her sequel, I may be discussing it around the time she publishes # 3!

And for those of us plagued with reading every single word of a book, Sally makes it very easy for us to read God’s Little Miracle BookIn 2 to 3 page vignettes, she tells us, time and time again, how God continues to yield large and small-scale miracles in our everyday lives. What? You didn’t know this? It’s not in your newspaper? I’m not surprised. Our present excuse for a press is seemingly bent on writing about the shocking inactivity of our government these days and while that is important, I do wish that we would give God a little more press from time to time, too.

Thankfully, Sally Jadlow takes care of that for us. With the recent popularity of the History Channel’s The BibleI am hoping that someday, someone will undertake to make a film or show about Sally’s books, if only to give some credit where credit is due–to the Creator of the planet who, for some crazy reason, still seems to want to have a relationship with people who can’t quite seem to get their acts together all the time.

So, when you have to sit in the doctor’s waiting room or you’re waiting in the carpool line at the school or soccer field, or the latest vampire sequel gives you nightmares, take a literary “walk on the wild side” and read Sally’s books. God’s Little Miracle Book reminded me of the importance of a solid faith and praying when life sends you some “storms” that seem overwhelming. And right now, faith and prayer may be the only things that get us through an inactive government, a negatively-bent press, and a recessionary economy.

Tomorrow’s Post: An FB Fave: Things I Can Now Say Because I’m Old…


Love Letter To…Myself???



In reading Quitter (that I now have at the top of my best sellers’ list), I learned of a web site called At you can write yourself an email and schedule it to arrive pretty much whenever you want, in the future. (You do have to send it to yourself at least 30 days out.)

So, this gives you an opportunity to do many things:

  1. Hug yourself. In fact this is the kind of message I hope you send yourself today and every day. Tell your “future self” what you did today that you thought was really awesome. Why? Because we tear ourselves down way too often and unfortunately, people do not always notice when we overcome our bad or self-defeating habits, moment-by-moment, day-by-day.
  2. Give yourself a goal and then set a reasonable date to achieve said goal. This provides a measure of accountability and if you find that you didn’t meet the goal, it gives you a chance to cheer your future self up about it. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to ask yourself why you didn’t make it—was the goal really reasonable? Was I lazy? Was I fearful? Did I not take into account all of my tendencies and scheduling issues to meet this goal? If so, then send another email further out to see if you can achieve that goal with more self-exploration and most important, more time!
  3. Dream a little. Tell your future self what you’d like to do with the future and then see if merely stating it to your future self helps you achieve a little piece of the dream.
  4. Take a “temperature reading.” Sometimes it’s good to just see where we were in the past, emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. Are you happier in the future or sadder? Why? What needs to change to improve things? No self-loathing allowed…this is merely a measuring stick so you can “adjust your sails” to take full advantage of the “prevailing winds.”
  5. Wish yourself a happy birthday or a Happy Easter or a Merry Christmas. Why rely on others to give you the wishes you want to hear? Give them to yourself.
  6. Tell a story. What was in the news on the day you wrote the email? Sometimes it’s just fun to see what was so “all-fire important” on a day in the past and then realize it wasn’t quite the emergency the world thought it was.
  7. Define “enough.” What if future opportunities sidetrack you from what you really want to have and accomplish? Prevent that by deciding, now, what you would like to ideally have when you consider yourself a “success.” Perhaps you’ve already attained that? Great! Remind yourself of that!


And finally, you can make your emails public! So, after you post an email to yourself, take a moment to read what others have written. In fact I invite you to do that on 3/10/13. If so, you might find an email just for you. 😉

Tomorrow’s Post: Meet “Mattson.”


Slow Reader Thursday: Quitter



In case you had not noticed, I’m gradually working towards writing certain things on certain days of the week. Today I introduce you to “Slow Reader Thursdays.”

From the time I learned to read and up to the present day, I have been a slow reader. No, I do not have some sort of learning disability that causes me to read slowly. It’s that I choose to read Every Single Word on the written page. If an author took the time to write a book, it is most likely something very important to them. And as a fledgling writer, I try to respect that.

Yes, there are times in my life when I scan. How do you live in the 21st century without scanning?? But, when I receive or buy an actual book to read, I chew on every word deliberately. There’s only one problem.

It takes me forever to finish a book. This means I may be reading books published decades ago as opposed to the “latest best seller.” This seems lost on a world that can read fast. And it used to bother me and my elementary school reading teachers, but not anymore. I enjoy taking my time with a book and digesting the poignant nuggets of truth and fiction written just for me to discover. Okay, so it was written for others to discover, too. But, that’s the way it seems to me.

So, today I am happy to discuss my first “Slow Reader” book. I first learned of Jon Acuff while taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University last fall at my church. Dave introduced him as, “the author of Quitter” and since unusual book titles have always fascinated me, I was instantly intrigued. And then I heard Jon speak. Jon is all about people pursuing their dream jobs. And so, it felt like Jon was talking right to my heart, since writing full-time is my dream job.

Jon (I talk about him as if he’s my buddy or something and that just is not true!) quit a pile of jobs because he always felt like he was not in the job he was meant to be doing. Gee, that sounds familiar. My resume looks like the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, minus the numerical codes.  And that was because he was trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing. Same for me. Jon just figured it out much sooner than I did.

But, even if you’re not into writing and your dream job is something far different, I recommend reading Quitter. Because Jon has taken the time to chock the book full of useful questionnaires, inspirational thoughts and checklists that will help the reader discover what their passion or dream job is, when to leave the day job to pursue it, and how to know when you have “arrived.” The latter is something we seldom see tackled in a book on pursuing your passion and achieving it…to actually define what is “enough” now, before one is forced to make some very enticing choices when success starts to appear on the horizon. For instance, Jon recognized that he needed to ensure that he spent time with his family on a regular basis, despite many offers to speak publicly. And because he defined his “enough” early on, he scaled back his speaking schedule to make more time for his family.  If more successful people did this, perhaps we would not be reading about their devastating declines in the press.

So, if you’re ready to identify your passion, if you’re ready to figure out when it’s time to take a “leap of faith” and jump into that passion full-time, or if you’re wondering what you need to work on as you pursue that passion full-time, read Quitter. Even a slow reader like me can read it very quickly and it’s worth that amount of time for the tips and quotes alone. In fact, get ready for Jon’s quotes to appear on my Quotes page very, very soon.

There’s only one thing errantly stated in Quitter. He says I will forget all the advice he gave in the book. I plan on surrounding myself with his wisdom (literally—I have his quotes and thoughts on my office bulletin board.) until I reach my definition of “enough.” That may make Jon Acuff and his book a little difficult to forget.

Tomorrow’s Post: Love Letter to Myself…Yes, Myself