Friday, January 27, 2012

The Written Word Worth Re-Reading

I like to read.  1st and 2nd grade report cards noted my voracious reading.  I was in junior high when this same teacher told me she'd finally met a student who loved to read as much as I did.  Any good story is worth my time and with so many available there are few books that make my save shelf to be re-read again. 

Reading many of the book bloggers January appears to be the month to share what's on your reading list.  I would like to share the books that have been on my shelf for many years with the pages well thumbed.

Newest favorite book and most recent shelf acquisition came from my son's junior English reading list:
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, 2002

Favorite buggy & bonnet romance:
Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer, 1983

Favorite time travel:
Son of the Morning by Linda Howard, 1997

Favorite Christian romance:
The Princess by Lori Wick, 1999

These books became keepers because of their dialogue, pacing and ability to keep me turning the pages long past my bedtime. 

Share the titles of your keepers!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Forum and the Super Bowl

A frequent visitor knows I'm a Wisconsin native ergo a Green Bay Packer fan.  At our Friday Forum it was Pick-A-Packer Friday as we brewed Packer's Perc, from Berres Brothers Roasters in Watertown, WI and I wore my Packer's Super Bowl Champions sweatshirt from 1996.  If I'd only had a cheese head!
I talked a lot of smack.  Did some early celebrating, confident the Pack was headed to the Superbowl . . . NOT!  Let's talk coffee.

We've enjoyed both Highlander Grogg and Packer's Perc from my road trip to Berres Brothers Roasters.  Here is what the forum had to say:

E. expressed, “Coffee was delicious as well as N’s cinnamon rolls! I also loved the pepper jelly and cream cheese. Spicy and sweet."  E. is moving on to another job opportunity and will be greatly missed.  We sure appreciate the contributions E. has made to the Friday Forum.

V. shared these words about the Highlander Grogg blend, "Not a fan of the strong ‘butterscotch’ aroma or flavor. There was a time when it would have made me very happy!"

In my quest to learn all things that make coffee great I came across a cause worth mentioning, Coffee Kids.

"Coffee Kids works with coffee-farming families to improve their lives and livelihoods" 

I am a proponent for responsible consuming.  I can't enjoy my coffee at the expense of clean water, adequate housing and good education for the coffee growers.   Please take a moment to read about this organization.  If you love coffee forgo a few cups and help out the Coffee Kids. 

Check out this link on the report of the Coffee Kids organization to ensure responsible giving. BBB report on Coffee Kids.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

The Art of Making a Good Decision

A fortune-teller is an exciting idea.  How great would it be to have someone tell us our future so we could avoid pitfalls or take full advantage of opportunities?  We would never lament, "If I had only known..."

In all honesty no fortune-teller is necessary to predict your future.  You can do a fairly good job yourself.  From where you stand today look back at your life.  If you are a visual person make a Life-line Timeline based on decisions or events that brought you to the place you are today.  Your ability to make 'good' decisions or 'bad' decisions, based on how you rate your current situation, will be evident in your history. 

It is always easier to look at someone else.  For an example you likely don't have to look further than your circle of friends.  Chances are someone came to mind when you read the title to this blog.  Many of us have at least one person we know, and have watched, make poor decisions. That person you have listened to lament their decisions but who continues in poor decision making with or without your advice.  Maybe you are that person.

There is a pattern to decision making that, like a habit, can be difficult to change.  Often times lifestyle or home-life feeds a poor decision making process.  Identifying and making changes in these areas is the first step.

Most decisions are based on 'feelings', feelings that are immediate but often fleeting.  A good decision must look beyond the immediate to the time when that feeling is gone.

Making a good decision is an art.  It is a process that takes thought, planning and self-control.  You must develop your own process, personalized to you.  This is my process for making good decisions:

1. Pray seeking God's guidance.  As a Christian, Christian principles should be my guide.  They are the measuring stick I use against my desires and reasons for the choices I make.

2. Seek wise counsel from trusted individuals.  There are people in my life who I trust will want the best for me.  It is important that I LISTEN to what they have to say as they may not agree with what I'm wanting to do.  I want to give their reasoning due consideration.

3.  My husband must be in agreement or be supportive of my decision.  My husband is my main stay plus any decision I make will affect him and our life.  If he is not in agreement or supportive the decision is not a good one.

Like all good artists, once you have put time and practice into your craft it comes quickly and naturally.  Bigger decisions require more time and consideration.  There are still decisions that are not easy to make but with a process I can be assured it is a good one.

What is your decision making process?

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dating & Mating #8: In Times of Trouble 2 Step Survival

Marriage takes work. It requires give and take from both partners. When the marriage vows are taken a conscious decision is made to put the wants, needs and desires of another person, if not in front of your own, at least on the same level.

Stress, anxiety, sadness and turmoil will affect you each differently but you'll want your partner to understand, or at least be sympathetic, to your particular feelings and methods of coping. Your partner will expect the same consideration.

Troubled times will come. In a world full of pitfalls your marriage relationship will stumble into many. Some are shallow, some are deep, some are very deep. Together you will face these troubles with your individual coping methods but will your marriage survive?

There are two activities that, performed regularly, will see you through the toughest of trials.

 #1: Keep talking. Do not allow a wall of silence to exist between you. The talk may become heated or loud but keep talking.  Generally women are most helped by talking and men are less inclined to share their thoughts and feelings. Keep the channels of communication open and flowing.

#2: Keep loving. Have sex frequently. Do not use sex as a punishment or reward. The loving give and take of your bodies is a right in the marriage contract and should never be withheld or taken for malicious reasons. Loving does not always have to be intercourse. Hold each other, touch one another, kiss for no reason. Men are generally most helped by having regular sex and women are quick to withhold sex in anger or under stress. Keep reaching out to each other and love.

Times of trouble will come, conflicts are unavoidable, but your marriage will survive them and more often grow stronger if these two things never stop.

More survival information: 4 For You, For Men Only, For Women Only

Statements rarely heard by a divorce lawyer:
"We have great sex but I can't stand her."
"He shares everything with me but I can't stand him."   

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