Smile at two random strangers…

Well, I tried to smile at people I didn’t know, but I think I may have just scared them.  Between fighting off “something” and needing to grocery shop, mail all those Christmas cards I wrote up and needing to grade another stack of finals tonight, my smile may have looked a little more like a smile from this guy:

Image result for The Joker

which, frankly, may have concerned some people…It was fun to note, however, how many strangers a person can come across in a day, especially when out and about.  I made an effort to smile at the lady at the post office who held the door open for me.  I smiled at the old lady who took a really really long time in the meat section of the market buying a pork shoulder, as I wanted one too, I had no choice.  I smiled at the people in the game store I went to today to shop for Christmas gifts for my husband and there are always students I encounter on a daily basis, who I don’t know, but who I always try to say Hi to and smile at.  

Hmm…many opportunities to brighten someones day with a simple upturn of the lips.  It’s somehow reassuring to have someone smile at you.  It makes you feel like everything, somehow, will be ok.  I think that’s why it’s even better when its a stranger.

So all in all I enjoyed this challenge and hope I didn’t scare anyone with my smile…

Today for getting my finals graded, for broccoli, its a super food and I’m hopeful it will lead to me getting rid of this “something”, for guitar lessons, my recital is tomorrow, and for Smiles…I Give Thanks!


I’ll leave you with this song by “the” legend…


Tape some change to a vending machine…

I didn’t do this…I didn’t happen upon any vending machines today. Our car broke down and left my husband stranded at home with no way to get to work because I had the other car at school. I just finished grading a giant pile of finals. I may be catching “something”, it’s been a day.

Today…for grading my finals, getting our car fixed so tomorrow isn’t nuts…I Give Thanks!


Here’s my giant stack of papers…it actually only took two hours, not too bad…

Donate unwanted used books to charity…

I did this about three weeks ago when we did a major consolidation and room clean up so sadly I don’t have any more to donate. We donated several boxes of books. I love books! I have many books on my bookshelf that I haven’t even read, but I hope one day I will. Maybe, when I finally decided that this will never be reality I will donate those as well. There are just too many books in the world and at the same time not enough. I say this because I have two books I’m working on off and on and in reality are no where near completion. I have two friends who have recently released their own novels and I admire their persistence and willingness to share stories they love with others.

The first is a story called Always Darkest by Jessica and Keith Flaherty. It’s a cool story about a demon and the daughter of an arch-angel falling in love. I really enjoy well thought out characters and character development in a story and you find that here. It was a good read and the next one should be released soon, I think. Here’s a link to buy the book, which I think is totally worth it: and here’s a link to her blog

The second is a story called The Caves of Corihor by JD Shiner. Admittedly I haven’t read much past the first chapter. The premise is the Ca drought has been brought about by terrorist somehow. Like I said I haven’t read it but I find it an interesting idea. I need to read this one soon because part II comes out this summer! Here’s a Amazon link to that book but remember I haven’t finished this one so I’m not sure…

I have two stories of my own that I’ve been working on for awhile. One is about a runner trying to make a come back and the other is about a dragon named Olivia. Sadly, I haven’t had any time to write on them lately and I’m thinking I really need to lay out a plot line. I tend to write free flow, whatever pops into my head and I’m finding that’s just not a very efficient way to actually finish anything.

My husband has a series he’s working on with an idea I find intriguing. As it’s his series I won’t divulge too much but I find the idea really fascinating and he is a great writer, despite what he thinks.

I LOVE books! I enjoy writing as well. In another life I might have majored in English or at least devoted more time to writing but so far my path hasn’t quite gone that route. I think I could spend more time writing if I was more intentional. It seems one life lesson I have learned this year is intentionality and it just occurred to me that may well end up being my One Word for 2019.

Living life with intention. We are working on a family mission statement because we believe our family needs to be intentional about how we live the One earthly life we have.

Today for a nice lunch with Jason, unsweetened black iced tea from Starbucks, dried figs (I love them), music! (Listening to all the recital pieces at my daughter’s piano school, beautiful!), and last but not least for books…I Give Thanks!


Hide a nice note for someone to find…

Well I didn’t do this one but I think I kept the intended spirit. I wrote Christmas cards!!

I think last year was the first year, in awhile , that we didn’t send out a family picture Christmas card. I bought cards and wrote in them and mailed them out. We did do a family picture New Years Card for certain friends of ours that are in our adoption group but not Christmas.

About two years ago I began to feel like I was highjacking Jesus’s holiday. I spent so much time looking for the “right” pictures, etc…I felt like it was taking away the reason we were celebrating. I remember I was talking to Jason about all the little ways the reasons for Christmas had been taken and changed and I remember saying, “We’ve even taken Jesus off our Christmas cards and replaced Him with us and news about us.” We both looked at each other and were like, hmmm and ya. In our view, not good. We are Christians so it’s probably a good idea to keep Jesus at the center and so last year and this year I took our picture off our cards and put Him back. My hand hurts after I sign them all and I try to write a short little note inside. For family who are nearby I invite them over for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. I try to write something nice in each card, even if it’s just a wish for a good holiday season and a happy new year! But you know what, for whatever reason last year and this year I found it was a lot less stressful and the cards are done and ready to put!

Anyway, as someone I know would say, it’s not a salvation issue, putting ourselves on cards instead of the one we celebrate, neither is doing a catch up letter like many people we know do, it’s just our issue. We want to remember why we celebrate. We will do New Years Cards again for our adoption friends and a few others who I want to touch bases with but who don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas but for now I think I’m going to keep doing a more traditional Christmas card.

Today, for finishing our Christmas cards, for Sunday breakfast with family, Gingerbread house decorating, watching Arthur Christmas (love that movie), getting to see our neighbor who is recovering from open heart surgery, broken vertebrae in his back from a fall, the loss of his wife, dog and cat (pray for him if you are a praying person, he looks strong but that’s a lot of loss for anyone) and for getting our house lights up…I Give Thanks!


Here’s a picture of a funny church sign down the street from us. My husband, a Star Wars sign thought was hilarious. Another of little God-Son working on his Gingerbread House. he’s very determined. He also thought the “glue” was tasty!

Be kind to yourself…

Does getting new socks count? I got some comfy cozy new socks because I really like the brand. I didn’t really need socks so I guess I’m going to count this.

Today we did the annual Jingle Bell Run in our town. Fresno, Ca has a lane that is pretty popular, it’s called Christmas Tree Lane. It’s in an older neighborhood with million dollar homes and really old, tall, beautiful pine trees. They drape lights on the trees and practically every house on the lane gets decked out. Local high schools have provide murals that are displayed and home owners put up their own decorations as well. You can find all of Santa’s reindeer along the lane as well. The run is a 5K and today I felt really good. Before the run my husband and I ran six miles in our neighborhood so we ran a total of 9 miles today and I felt good! It’s so nice to be running without hurting again. I just have to remind myself not to get too excited and push too hard or I might find myself back where I was, miserable and in pain.

I love to run and since the half we always run was cancelled this year because of wild fire smoke, we have signed up for a different half on January 6th. It’s on a route we train on almost every weekend so I think it will be okay. I’m feeling strong, which also keeps me sticking to eating healthy. Well today we did go to a rib place and had at least one side that wasn’t the greatest but for the most part we stuck to the plan.

Well, for a fun run today with our daughter, for a fun horse drawn carriage ride in the afternoon, for love, life, and family…I Give Thanks!


Here’s a picture of a house on the lane from this morning and a couple of the lane in the evening :-)!!

Tell someone a joke…

I accomplished this by telling not one, not two but three jokes!

Picture this, a room full of bleary eyed teenagers and their wide awake teacher ready to start the day…

Class, I have a joke for you:

What did Gold say to Copper in saying good-bye?

A: AU CU later…

Bleary eyed teens: Eye Rolls and a few smirks…


Ok, how about this one:

What did the doctor say about the sick element?

A:Well if I can’t Curium guess we’ll have to Barium.

Bleary eyed teens: Eye Rolls and a few actual smiles!

Teacher: Ok, Ok you will love this one…

I told a Chemistry Joke

A: I got No reaction

Bleary eyed teens: actual real laughs and eye-rolls! Teens are a tough crowd, gotta love them…

Today, for being a teacher, for a nice dinner with my brother in law and his family, Pieology Cauliflower crust piled high with veggies and no cheese…tasted so good, a beautiful mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, health and getting home safe…I Give Thanks!


Donate a gift to a charity…

Easy Peasy…my daughters school adopts a family every year. This year my husband and i handled all the behind the scenes paperwork and assignments for all the classes :-)! Done!

Thanks for today:

For my daughter, who was blessed as a Campus Minister at Mass today…I love that she loves Jesus…for our Camp Fire Meeting going ok, Camp Fire is like Girl Scouts, for lunch with my husband, for the day off so I could attend my daughters investiture, for my health, my parents and the gift of music…I Give Thanks!!