A Weekly Recap and Look at Leisure Activities

Today is rest and relaxation day. A day to blog about leisure activities. According to my first post here, where I gave a list of what I would post each day. Ha! That sort of worked.

Before we get to leisure, I thought, why not recap the week that didn’t exactly go as scheduled. At least not on the blog.

Sunday – Should have been the Sunday Tea, where I posted the video I’d done for FB. Did a video, however, it didn’t get posted here. I posted a link to the video, I think. The actual video didn’t get posted. Instead the blog was about starting over, which is exactly what I’m doing. Maybe a video will appear tomorrow.

Monday – Is supposed to be about exercise and moving our bodies. Instead, I posted a picture of a wall and a ladder. Theoretically, the photo could have been encouragement to get out and move more. It wasn’t though.

Tuesday – Is supposed to be about travel. Specifically, right now traveling Oklahoma where I live. Instead that post was about getting past the walls we build up to stop us.

Wednesday – Writing Wednesday, prompts and encouragement to write your story,  your husband’s story, the story of the two of you, or all of them together. That day I got right and wrote about my husband’s passion, in addition to me and the kids.

Thursday – Quote day is scheduled. No quote, instead encouragement to give yourself some compliments.

Friday – Food. Nope. Instead a short post on favorite things.

One out of six isn’t bad. Not good, but at least one day followed the plan. The other posts were all good, they just didn’t follow the plan. Next up, leisure activities.

Weekends, some people look forward to them. They call Wednesday, “hump” day because they are past the middle, the hump and are heading fast to the weekend. For me, sometimes weekends are too busy.

For me, sometimes my weekends loom long. Staying busy during the week is no problem. However, especially in the beginning, by the weekend, most others are involved in other pursuits, and I am left to fill my days.

Currently, I’m spending my weekends going through stuff. An accumulation of things my husband and I gathered over the years. We had planned to sort through everything before we moved to this house, but he died first. When I moved I just boxed everything and said, “I’ll go through it when I unpack.”

Ha! Some boxes and tubes haven’t been unpacked. So, now I am sorting through and discarding items that no longer have any value to me or simply aren’t needed.

My weekends and “leisure” days are cleaning. How about you?

What do you do for fun?

What do you on the weekends?

Is downsizing in your future?

Don’t forget, Ultimate Blog Challenge has a variety of posts topics, check them out or join us.



Give Yourself a Compliment

When was the last time you  complimented yourself? You compliment others don’t  you? Tell someone they look nice.  Someone has a good idea and you comment on it, or does something nice and you compliment them for their manners, both are a form of complimenting. But you? When was the last time you complimented you?

When did you last tell yourself you looked nice, hot even, in that favorite outfit? You prepare a meal for one, and enjoy it, did you compliment the chef? You get the bills all paid, on time or even early, did  you compliment yourself on a job well done? So many opportunities during the day to compliment ourselves and we let them slide by.

In fact, instead of complimenting we often put ourselves down. We don’t acknowledge how nice we look, just remind ourselves we’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too, too, too. When in fact, we look great.

Other opportunities often  also ignored. For today, whenever today is, how about making a pact to give yourself a compliment at least three times just because. Also, vow to give yourself a compliment every time you catch yourself being negative to you.

In case you need some help with compliments for you, here are a few that spell W-I-D-O-W


You didn’t get to the age you are without learning a few things. Wisdom you are willing to impart to others as well as knowledge you use each day. Knowledge that helps you complete your day and reach your goal. You are wise, acknowledge and embrace that aspect of you.


Are you aware how you impress others with your skills and talents? Do you garden, sew, paint, write, clean house, do floral arrangements, listen, babysit, take photos, care for dogs, visit shut-ins, volunteer? Whatever you do is impressive. Not only to those who watch and are in awe, but those who are affected by your talents. They enjoy the fruits of your labor. Compliment yourself of your impressiveness instead of finding fault with your endeavor.

D – Daring



Women in general are daring, not walk on an airplane daring. Although there have been women wing walkers, as well as women pursuing other bold feats. No, simpler actions can be just as daring. Walking into the boss’s office and asking for a raise is not for the weak. Pointing out an error on a bill takes courage. Stepping outside when all you want to do is crawl back in bed is daring. What daring action are  you taking today? Don’t forget to compliment yourself on following through.





O – Opinionated/Original


Yes we have opinions. From breast feeding in public to gun control, and everything in between, we have an opinion. We share our opinions in many ways, speaking out to family, friends, strangers, writing our views in letters to the editor, to our legislature, or in our journal.  We are also original, a one-of-a-kind work of art. No one sees anything quite like we do. Celebrate your originality and opinions.



While we are serious wise women, with strong opinions, we are also whimsical. We build fairy gardens, and create wonderland yards for holidays. We color our hair green or purple. We wear our favorite jewelry while doing housework. When you find yourself being whimsical, congratulate and compliment yourself.



Giving yourself a compliment is good for your mental health. Try it.


When was the last time you complimented yourself?

Will you find a reason to compliment yourself today?

What is your favorite compliment, to give or receive?

Sharing the Passion of My Husband – Writing Wednesday

Writing Wednesday

While this blog skips around and looks for its identity for this month at least, while I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, Wednesday will be Writing Wednesday, where you are encouraged to write and share about you, your husband, and your life, both before he left and after. It’s your story write what you want.

For many widows we want our husbands to be remembered. We want others to know about him. We want his awesomeness shared. Best way to do that is to tell how wonderful he was. Oh, I know he wasn’t perfect. At least I assume your man wasn’t perfect, mine certainly wasn’t. I have no desire to share his flaws though. You can share your man’s flaws if you want, there are no rules and by telling his few shortcomings you will paint a more complete picture of the man you loved and who loved you. The choice is yours.

Wednesday’s will be about writing about our man. Sharing him with the grandkids that never got to meet him, sharing stories about him his children don’t know, and sharing adventures his siblings don’t know.

How does it work? However you want. You can write a short piece and post it in the comments. You can write and post it on your blog or Facebook page. You can be more private and write it in a notebook for your family only. It doesn’t matter how, just what. Share some of the goodness that was the man who loved you and you loved.

Each week I’ll post an idea for you to work with if you want, or you can go off on your own tangent. This week is about his passion. Yes, of course he loved you and your life. What else did he enjoy though?

For my husband it was pigs. Yes, he loved those little oinkers that provide us with tasty bacon and ham, not to mention a few other cuts of pork.

Another passion was kids, he loved his job as an Ag (agricultural) teacher and helping students find a way to excel. He especially loved helping them in the show ring. He loved it so much he continued helping students after he retired.

Some of David’s “kids” grew up to have kids of their own who show pigs

Someone asked him one time what he was doing at a stock show when he was retired and could be doing anything.

He replied, “Now I get to concentrate on the fun part, helping the students.”
Our oldest granddaughter is involved with animals. Although she is only 11 and in 4H she has several sheep and goats that she shows. Her daddy wasn’t our “pig” kid and prefers the goats and sheep. In fact, his wife raised sheep when she was in high school.

My husband wouldn’t care what animal the she showed. The fact that she is in 4H, involved in animals, and showing would have made him smile. That’s why this time of year is bittersweet as I go to the fair to watch our granddaughter show and miss her grandpa being there to “coach” her. Watching her carry on the tradition is heartwarming.


What did your husband enjoy?

What was his passion, in addition to you?

Are you involved in his passion?

Sometimes We Just Have to Start Over

Starting over. Again.

That seems to be something I’m good at, starting over. How about you? have you tried something. Attempted to  implement a plan only to find yourself faltering after a few hours, days, weeks, maybe months?

No fear. Simply start again. Don’t worry about where, when, or why you stopped. Start again.

I don’t always restart a project. Sometimes after I get into it, I realize it isn’t the right project. Maybe it isn’t right for now or for the reason it was started. Why isn’t really important, knowing it isn’t what I should be currently working on. It’s a project that needs to be put away, or handed off to someone else.

This blog is not one of those projects. I believe in it, and believe it has value. That hasn’t kept it from being abandoned. In fact, it has been restarted so many times I can’t even count. It’s had different hosts. It’s had different names and focus. Even now, with the focus to help widows, and others find and pursue their dreams to create their diamond life I’ve struggled with what and when to post.

Back in July, during the last Ultimate Blog Challenge, the planned posts were about decluttering and what was leaving the house that day. The decluttering lasted all month, the posting didn’t. Then, I never got back to posting and this poor blog was left, abandoned.

This month I’m starting, again. Once again, I’m also using the Ultimate Blog Challenge to kick-start my posts and keep me going all month and into next month. That’s the plan. I also have a posting plan, a list of themes or ideas of what to write and post about each day. Now there’s a scary thought, a pantzer (someone who does things by the seat of her pants) attempting to plan. We will see how it goes.

The current “plan” is to post on different themes or ideas each day of the week:

Sunday – Tea Time – With any luck this will be a video, also posted on Facebook. Today’s: New Foods:

Monday – Moving our bodies and exercise

Tuesday – Virtual travel, come and travel around Oklahoma with me.

Wednesday – Prompts and ideas for writing your story.

Thursday – Quotes

Friday – Food, yes, I know I talked about food today on Tea Time, but these will be posts about easy, inexpensive, foods we can prepare

Saturday – Leisure Time, What do you do on your day “off”? Ideas, suggestions, and hopefully some interaction.

There you have it. My restart and plan for the month. See you tomorrow and we’ll discuss exercise an eight-letter word that usually means “yuck.”

Do you have a project you’ve restarted, or are planning to restart?

What helps  you restart a project you believe in?

Have you abandoned a project because it wasn’t the right time, or the right activity for the time?

I look forward to hearing from you. Please leave a comment.











Six Things I Learned This Month


What did I learn this month? Before I look share some of the tidbits from my Book O’Edcuation, a couple of observations from the last two days. Not necessarily something I learned, but somethings I was reminded. Like there was a reason for the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Like

  1. Being prepared means less worry. Had I written a couple of blog posts ahead, today’s post would be no problem. Just post an already written on.
  2. When sick, even foods I’m not fond of taste good. I had made a Fall Harvest Soup last month, it wasn’t my favorite cooking attempt. However, since it wasn’t all bad, I went ahead and froze serving size portions. Good thing, it’s what I ate this weekend.
  3. I can prepare soups, even if it isn’t “soup” weather and freeze it for days when it either is “soup weather” or I just don’t feel like cooking.


Now, some of the things I learned this month in no particular order of importance or happening:

  1. Ink does not flow well in cold weather. I bundled up and tried to do my morning writing out on the front porch. It’s harder to read than normal because of all the ink skipping. Lesson: write indoors when it’s cold out.
  2. Learned a friend of mine is going to receive an award from a group where we are both members. More information on that when she receives the award. Don’t want to upstage the presenters.
  3. Stories work best with 8 or fewer important characters. A writer friend shared that information from one of her mentors. I can’t think of a television show, movie, or book that had more than eight important characters. Maybe THE HELP.  I’d have to go back and check.
  4. A candle warmer (have one of those?) makes a good tea warmer. Okay, or coffee warmer. That’s what my writer friend Jennifer McMurrain uses hers for, she’s the one who gave me the idea.
  5. I learned how to put 4 squares, or rectangles, on a page for a sheet of pictures, or cards. The explanation will take a whole blog post. I was so excited I could get my affirmation cards on one page to make a printable. It’s not ready yet, but hey, I made progress.
  6. This is important. If I let my licorice tea steep for the full 5 minutes it has a more “licoricey” taste than if I cut the steep short to the 3 minute minimum.

Sometimes there was a lesson, sometimes not, either way I added to my storage of information. The problem is, the storage file is stuffed, so for every new thing I learned, or old idea I remembered, according to someone (I forget who) somewhere (I forget where) we forget twice as much as we learn.

Does that mean the files in my brain will soon be emptied of useless information, and make it easier to retrieve the valuable stuff that’s already there, or gets added? Doubtful. Sometimes important information falls out of my brain and has to be reinserted.

Oh well. At least I learned some new information this month. How about you?

Did you learn anything interesting this month?

Do you purposely set out to learn or  do you just accept new information as it occurs?

What is something you learned (or re-learned) recently?

Once more, I am joining the Ultimate Blog Challenge.






Learning From Other Bloggers and a Short Story Review

One advantage of doing a blogging challenge is the opportunity to meet other people and visit with them via their blogs. Another advantage is the easy learning. Just the other day while cruising around blog-land, reading blogs that are part of the Ultimate blog challenge, I learned about the “Deal Me In” short story reading challenge. Since:

1). I love to read and

2). I haven’t read enough in recent months, I thought, why not?


Vidya Tiru, also known as Lady in Red, at My R and R Space, shared the reading challenge on her blog. Since I’m just now learning about the challenge (where have I been?) I don’t know if I can officially be part of the challenge or not, but I can follow their guidelines for my own challenge if necessary.


The idea is to make a list of 52 books, then assign each one a playing card value. Each week draw a card and read the corresponding story. Sounds easy enough. With any luck my list of stories is here. Concentrating long enough to read one short story shouldn’t be too hard.

At first I wasn’t going to take the time to assign a card to each story. However, at the last minute I did because it will make the reading order truly random. Except for the first story.

This story was already on my Kindle, and I hadn’t assigned cards to the stories yet, so I guess you could call this one a wild card or bonus. As part of the challenge we can write a review on our blog or not, the choice is ours. Very casual and easy going, this challenge. I have opted to do reviews, because authors not only like reviews, they need them.

Although, with short stories, the review will be short and sweet because I don’t want to give anything away. The goal is to post the reviews here every Saturday. We’ll see how long this lasts.

AMORE by Jennifer McMurrain

As the name suggests, this is a love story, a slice of life love story.  It’s easy to forget this is just a fictional story with the emotional pull and vivid descriptions. Jennifer McMurrain did a wonderful job of sharing a heartfelt story of love.

Jennifer is a member of Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. which is where I met her. She’s a prolific writer living in north east Oklahoma with her husband, daughter and a couple of fur babies. More of Jennifer’s writing can be found on her author page. Linking up with the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Do you read for pleasure often?

Do you prefer short stories or articles or books?

Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction? Share your thoughts in the comments.  





Four Books, Day Seven



Four Books

Today is day seven in the, “Ten Posts about You” series. Day seven is to share four books.

Nope, not going to happen. The rebel in me is coming out. Instead of four books, I’m going to share four authors I enjoy reading.


Nonfiction is my first love for writing, curling up with a fiction book is my relaxing pleasure, which is why I’m sharing four fiction authors. These four authors create characters I enjoy spending the day with, even if it means no housework gets done.

Tammy Hinton  


photo via Tammy Hinton. TammyHinton.com

Tammy is a member of Women Writing the West, and Western Writers of America. Guess what she writes? Yep, western/historical. Her first book, UNBRIDLED was based, loosely on her ancestor’s story from when they settled in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. RETRIBUTION followed and is the story of a young woman looking for peace after the civil war. JUDAS STEER, is a modern day western/mystery.  Her newest story, SHE-DEVIL JUSTICE goes back to the 1860s. Tammy is a member of the McWriters Critique group, which is where I met her.


Mariam Kobras

Photo via Mariam Kobras

I first “met” Mariam online. She had decided to try writing the stories in her head. I fell in love with the characters, Naomi and Jon in her first book, THE DISTANT SHORE. A contemporary story. It might be considered a romance, but for the most part it’s just a good book.She didn’t lose her writing mojo in her subsequent books,UNDER THE SAME SUN (book two in the Stone Trilogy),SONG OF THE STORM (book three in the Stone Trilogy) THE ROSEWOOD GUITAR (prequel to the Stone Trilogy) and, WAITING FOR A SONG (prequel 2 to the Stone Trilogy) I had the lucky opportunity to meet Mariam when she traveled to the United States last year.

Rhonda Gibson

Photo via Rhonda Gibson. RhondaGibson.net


Rhonda is a contemporary romance writer I met last year when she was visiting her mother and dropped in on the McWriters. Rhonda has written too many books to list, you can find them all here. Whether, historical, mystery, or contemporary, Rhonda always includes romance. I bought several of her books when she was here, all were historical and enjoyed each one of them.

Marcia Preston

Photo via Marcia Preston. Marciapreston.com

Marcia is an Oklahoma author, her first two books were: SONGS OF THE BONES and PERHAPS SHE’LL DIE, were mysteries. She then moved into mainstream books: THE WIND COMES SWEEPING, a story about two women, and their strength, TRUDY’S PROMISE, a mother abandons her child to protect him, then moves heaven and earth to get him back, THE BUTTERFLY HOUSE, the story of three women, connected by friendship, family secrets, and an incident that binds them together, THE PIANO MAN, a story of life. This book has a special place in my heart because one of the characters is the recipient of a donated heart. I have one of my grandsons today because of the generosity of another family and a donated organ. Sad to say she is also a widow. When her husband died she pulled away from writing for a couple of years. To the delight of her fans she is back at her computer sharing the stories that make us laugh, cry, veg out, or think. Her newest book will be available soon and she’s back to sharing her writing knowledge. She will be one of the two featured speakers at the Fiction Writers Retreat in June.

There you have it. Four authors among the hundred or so I enjoy.

Who is your favorite author?

Is there a book you enjoy rereading?

What is one of your favorite books?

Linking up with Ultimate Blog Challenge