Friday, September 30, 2016

Introduction - Write31Days 2016

It is that time of year again!  The leaves are changing; the weather is cooler; and there are thousands of writers getting ready to share their thoughts in a 31-day writing challenge!

This will be my third year of participating in this annual challenge.  And, for the second year, I will be joining the five Minute Friday writers, using the Free Writes from Kate Motaung, hosted by Christina Hubbard at CreativeandFree.

I am excited to be joining this challenge once again!  For more information about the "write31days" challenge, check it out here.

I am also excited to announce the "Five Minute Friday" Book of which I am one of the many contributors!  This collection of stories have been compiled from last year's over 100 of the FMF Family members!

All profits from the sales of the book will be divided equally between two special ministries in South Africa:

To order your own copy of the "Five Minute Friday" book, and help support these two ministries, go to CreateSpace, or Amazon.

Lisa Jo Baker says about the FMF Book:  "We threw caution to the wind and we wrote our guts out!"  @lisajobaker, #FMFbook

And, Kate Motaung says:  "All it takes is five short minutes.  Set a timer, and set your fingers free." @k8motaung, #FMFbook

Don't forget to check out my daily posts for this challenge, beginning October 1st!  They will all be listed here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Today for my "Word Wednesday" post, I am excited - and honored - to share the joy of a new book that launched on Monday!!

And, not only is this shared joy a "double joy", it is a "150 times or more" joy!!

The "Five Minute Friday" Book released on Monday, September 26th!  

This collection of stories from the FMF Family is an amazing compilation of over 150 contributors - and is the first in the history of the Five Minute Friday community!

And, I am honored to be one of the 150 contributors.

Though I am familiar with many of the names of contributors from the "write31days" challenge and the weekly Five Minute Friday posts, there are still many new writers I am getting to know through their words in the book.

Each of the posts included in the book have been shared during a Five Minute Friday weekly link-up, or during a "write31days" annual challenge.

What is Five Minute Friday? you ask.  It's a weekly link-up where a word prompt is given at 10:00 pm (EST), and everyone participating writes their post using that word ... in only five minutes!

That's right!!  Only five minutes, no editing, no worries about grammar or sentence structure or  ... even making sense!!

In the Forward of the FMF book, Lisa-Jo Baker confesses that it took her more than five minutes to write the forward ... well, I also must confess to "running out of time" before "running out of words" during many of the Five Minute Friday posts I have written!!  But, that is quite alright!

Just imagine hundreds of people writing a post using the same word prompt.  The posts could go in so many directions; and, then again, they could almost mimic each other!  And that's what makes this challenge so ... challenging!

The Five Minute Friday word prompt idea joined with the write31days challenge in October 2014, using the free writes word prompt for each day's post.  This year will be my second year to join the FMF family and the third year of participating in the 31 days challenge.   

I, personally, am so very thankful to Kate Motaung and Susan Shipe for their hard work in getting the book put together and published ... and for the FMF link-up and Facebook "survivor" group!  Check out this group 31 Day Survivors/We're Better Together - a virtual "support group" for those of us who have "survived" the 31 day challenges!

I am also excited to announce that the proceeds from sales of the FMF book will be supporting two ministries in South Africa:

Be sure to check out these ministries at the links above; and order your copy of the "Five Minute Friday" book at Amazon.

So, pick up your pen and paper, or sit down at your computer and write on!  You might even be encouraged to join the FMF family!!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Five Minute Friday - FIVE

It has been quite a long time since I've followed the Five Minute Friday prompts; but we have been challenged by Susan Shipe at HopeHeartHome to write on this week's word .

And, since the "write31days" challenge is only a week away, I have decided to accept Susan's challenge, to get into practice for a month's worth of writing!  For this year's challenge,  I will be following the FMF "free writes" following along with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday writers.

So, here goes my post for this week's word:


Five?  And I thought bacon was a hard one in last year's Five Minute Friday free writes for the "write31days" challenge ...

But, it turned out to be one of my favorite prompts!

In fact, when we were invited by Susan Shipe to submit one of our posts for an upcoming book, the post on bacon was the first one I thought about ...

And, here it is!  Scheduled to be released on Monday, October 26th; and I have just received my advance copy!  How exciting is this?!

I think, perhaps, it took only FIVE days for me to receive this book ... actually, I think it was more like four - I'm stretching it here to get five minutes worth of writing in on this number!!


Growing up, there were five members in my family: my parents, two brothers, and myself.  My brothers and I were two years apart; I was the oldest.

When I married my second husband, and we had a child, our family grew from four to five members: my husband and I, my son and daughter from first marriage, and our daughter.

In seven days, I'll be attending a scrapbook retreat; but it will take me at least the five days leading up to the retreat just to get my stuff together!  And, then I will have four days to work on several projects, once I figure out what they will be.

I'm stretching it here, but I think I have exceeded my five minute time frame anyway; but, I wrote it!!

Challenge Accepted!

Now, won't you check out this amazing weekly challenge with the Five Minute Friday family; and the write31days that is scheduled to begin on October 1st...

Then, be sure to check out the Five Minute Friday book ... You can order one for yourself here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - September 19, 2016

For Today
September 19, 2016

Looking Out My Window
Cloudy, thunderstorms expected; and, though they could help to cool things off...

They didn't!

It's still in the high 80's and low 90's.  I am so ready for much cooler weather!

I am Thinking
About my role in this life I am living.  As a caregiver, I need to "embrace" that role; yet, it's hard to do that in the face of one who doesn't treat me in kindness...

I am Thankful
For family and friends who will let me vent; give me encouragement and hugs; pray for us...

And, just be there for me whenever I need them.

One of My Favorite Things
Looking back at things that happen, and thinking:

I am Wearing
A pair of denim capris, a blue, white and gray striped shirt and my slippers.

I am Crafting
I completed three Halloween tags and a door hanger last weekend:

I also completed a Back to School ATC for a swap:

I am Reading
Just started reading "Sunset" by Karen Kingsbury...the fourth book in the "Sunrise" series...

I am Learning
That I need to "embrace" my role as caregiver...

It is what my role is in this season of my life; and I need to be the caregiver that I have been placed here to be.

But, it is hard!

In My Kitchen
Rotisserie chicken and potato salad; and I think I may be ready for some soon!

Shared Quote
"Even if we cannot seem to walk that mile in someone else's shoes, we are still capable of standing beside them to be a supporter until the day they learn to smile again."  (Hannah Brenchen from the Lewy Body Dementia Association).

A Moment From My Day
On the way home from babysitting yesterday, I decided to stop at the used book store to find a new devotional book to use in my morning quiet time.

I spent a few minutes standing and searching the titles; found one that was a possibility; then I sat down in the chair in front of the next shelf...

All books were by or about C. S. Lewis!  And, right on the edge of the shelf, right in front of my eyes...

"A Year With Aslan"!  I have been wanting this book for quite a while now; and there it was, just waiting for me to pick it up!!

And, if that wasn't enough of a sign that I needed to buy it?

When I was checking out, I discovered I had a credit of $7.50!

So, of course it was meant for me to have that book!!

Closing Notes
This week's Simple Woman's Daybook is being written on Tuesday evening.  This may be my normal time for writing since I am babysitting my granddaughter every Monday morning!

Have a blessed week, and join me again next week for another look into my "daybook", or my life as a retired grandma!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

WORD WEDNESDAY - The Joy of Cats

The past few weeks have been quite busy, in one way or the other; and I haven't written a Word Wednesday post...

In fact, I've found it rather hard to even think about joy, much less write about it!

But, as I was browsing Facebook, and some of the posts from my online friends, I spotted one that always posts a "Cat-urday" picture of her cats on Saturdays...and shared "The Joy of Cats" as a source for more photos!

So, I thought why not lighten up this joy feeling by sharing a few photos of my cat!

Because, even if I'm not really feeling very joyful, she is always there to cuddle with and help bring a smile to my face.

When I am at my computer,
this is where she lies...
most of the time!

She would like to think
this was her bed;
it isn't!

Just let me drag out the suitcase,
and she knows something is up!

She loves boxes
as much as I love Diet Pepsi!

And, that's my joyful post for this week's Word Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - September 12, 2016

For Today
September 12, 2016

It is hard to believe that 15 years have passed since the events of September 11, 2001...

We, as a country,
Will Never Forget.

Looking Out My Window
Well, babysitting on Monday mornings has put a major delay in my posts for Simple Woman each week; but, I plan to continue writing it whenever I can...

This week, it is Tuesday evening; in fact, it's 5:00 pm and time to consider what we will be eating!

It has been an over-cast and rainy day; it took us over an hour to get to our monthly breakfast outing...but it is cooler than it has been.

I am Thinking
Seriously?  I am trying to get my thoughts together for the "write31days" challenge starting October 1st, which is approaching very quickly!

I am Thankful
Always thankful for my family and friends; and on this few days after the anniversary of 9/11, my thoughts are on those who lost their lives on that day; those who responded in so many ways; those who have lost their lives since 9/11; those who serve and are ready to jump in and do what they can for our country...

Thank you, God, for all!

One of My Favorite Things
Spending time with my grandkids; and now that I get my 2-year old granddaughter one day every week...all to myself until mom gets back home...

I am "in Heaven"!

I am Wearing
A pair of tan capris, a light tan shirt with pink flowers, and my very comfy slippers that I keep forgetting I'm wearing and almost walk out wearing them!

I am Crafting
I have a lot of ideas!  But, have a few projects I need to finish before I get those done...

Spent the last couple of days stamping a few of my dolls to send to someone who doesn't own any of them!  Sharing whatever way I can...

I am Reading
I am a bit more than half-way through "Someday" by Karen Kingsbury...the third book in the "Sunrise" series...

I am Learning
The best way to keep things less stressful is to just remember - he is not always right in what he says; and just letting it go over my head instead of correcting him sure does help!

In My Kitchen
We ate a late, big breakfast; and I had some toast with peanut butter around 4 pm (lunch?).  But, I am beginning to get hungry again!  Can't seem to get enough to eat...

Not sure what's on the menu for dinner; probably leftovers!

Shared Quote
After hearing an inspirational story on the Christian radio station I listen to in the car, the announcers were talking about life's storms and how God uses them and is with us through them.

One of them said, "God doesn't take away the storms; He just helps us get through them."

How true this is in my life!  Now, if I could just remember that when I go through the storms!

A Moment From My Day
I love spending time with BiBi (our nickname for Bijou, my 2 year old granddaughter)!  We read and color and have lunch and sometimes watch educational shows on NetFlix.

But, when mommy gets home, she is #1.

As soon as she walks in the door, what does BiBi say to MeMaw?  "Bye, MeMaw"...of course, I don't leave right away!  I hang out for a little while to talk with my daughter before I leave them.

Out of the mouths of babes, you just never know what they are going to say!!

Closing Notes
And, so ends another post for Simple Woman's Daybook...

And, the beginnings of a busy week...

Have a blessed week, and join me again next week for another look into my "daybook"...better known as a "planner" for some folks!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Simple Woman's Daybook - September 5, 2016

For Today
September 5, 2016

Looking Out My Window
I'm writing late today since I decided to take today (and tomorrow!) for crafting days at home!!

The weather has actually cooled down a bit; instead of the high 90's, we have the mid 80's...and that's quite alright with me!!!

It's a little breezy and sunny and just plain beautiful; but I've been inside all day...that was my plan and that's what I am doing!

I am Thinking
About my "calling"; I think I am supposed to be learning something from all this ugliness I get from my husband - the one I "care for" in his dementia and hearing issues.

God has me in this place at this time for a reason...if I'm not learning a lesson, perhaps I'm teaching one?

Not sure... and that's what I'm thinking today!

I am Thankful
For my Family, and the times we are able to get together; and those times we try to be together, but are not able to because of circumstances beyond our control...

Like Hurricane Hermine!

Although my daughter and I did not get to attend my granddaughter's wedding, we were able to watch a (not-so-good) live video of the ceremony; and several people have posted photos on Facebook.

Isn't technology great?!

Pre-wedding Photo

                              My son Chris and Sophie                                                  Saying their Vows

Mr. and Mrs. Aaren Austin

One of My Favorite Things
Well, after that last prompt - I am thankful for...

A fave would be connecting with family - and friends - via the computer!  That's where we all seem to be; and from there can share our photos of the good times we have together...

Whether we are physically together or not!

I am Wearing
A pair of gray shorts, a blue, white and gray shirt, and my black bedroom slippers.

I am Crafting
I decided today would be a craft day!  I stamped several dolls and clothes to make a few Halloween tags using the new "Cat Girl" doll I purchased the other day.  So far, the dolls are done; now to get the tags made!  {And photos will have to come later because they are not "complete"...

I am Reading
"Someday" by Karen Kingsbury; the 3rd book in the "Sunrise" series...continuing the story of the Baxter Family; a very inspirational series!

I am Learning
That I am not really learning the lesson; I have not been able to accept how life is at this point...

Every day is different; it's hard to know how to "be" to act/react to things he says and does.

I have been spending more time at home and can still do things I love doing - crafting, reading, writing/blogging - but need to work on things we can do together.

I am learning...perhaps one day I'll know!

In My Kitchen
Dirty dishes in the dishwasher; two loads of towels already washed, dried and put away...

And leftovers in the fridge for dinner!  And, it is time to go fix something to go with those leftovers!

Shared Quote

I just pray I can remember this and trust that God knows what He is doing in my life!

A Moment From My Day
In the evening, when we sit together and watch "our shows"; I think these are the closest we seem to get to doing something together!

Closing Notes
Well, another week's post for Simple Woman's Daybook...

Hope everyone has enjoyed their "extra" day off from work and the "normal" routine of life!  Join me again next week for another look into my "daybook"...

Have a blessed week!