Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hello dear friends. Recently I finished reading "Panic Room: Living Beyond Fear" written this year by Curt Simmons, the pastor of Friendship Church which I have been attending. The editing wasn't spectacular, but the content is very good stuff. It is a very encouraging book. I have more fear to deal with than usual right now with less than a month before the Saint Jo Rodeo, and only TWO WEEKS before the Riding Club's first playday of the year. I want everything to go well. I want everyone to be happy and have fun. But is that realistic? Some things will likely go wrong, and some folks are bound to get upset about something, so I just need to not be afraid.

I experienced a little fear of the unknown last weekend when I went to San Saba to visit my friend Marcy at the TDCJ unit there. It's a 4-hour drive, and after getting down there in time for church at Hill Country Bible at 10:30 AM, I went over to the jail to find all of the visitors out in the parking log. Long story short, there had been a gas leak in the new boiler in the laundry room, and some of the inmates and guards had gotten carbon monoxide poisoning. The warden told us that she hoped to have it all resolved in time to let visitors back in (visitation only happens Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 5), but after sitting there for a couple hours watching the ambulances and firetrucks rolling in and people going out on stretchers, we were told that visitation was cancelled for the rest of the day. Of course they couldn't tell us any details about what we really wanted to know - were the people that we came to visit okay?? So I had to drive the 4 hours back home without seeing my friend and without knowing if she was one of the ones who needed medical attention. I don't think that's really the kind of "Panic Room" situation that Pastor Curt was really talking about, but I do know for sure that the whole ordeal would have been pretty much impossible to get through without some faith that God had it under control. In church that morning, Pastor Russell was preaching from Ephesians 1:3-6 about how God has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing. We are as blessed as we can possibly be - that is impossible to comprehend - and how we have been chosen, predestined and adopted. I heard all of these great and encouraging words, and was immediately worried when I saw all the drama going down at the prison. But I did not need to worry. I'm not sure that I believe that God had a purpose for my 8-hour drive without getting to see my friend, but maybe His reason will come to light eventually. I'm always looking for the deeper meaning in things when sometimes the reason is very simple. And simple can be beautiful.

The next day she called and told me that she was okay except for a headache and a long, uncomfortable day of sitting in the gym waiting for their living area to air out. I hope we can all learn to live beyond fear. Faith really does change your life.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

And a couple of months later, I finally finish reading a book that probably only takes 4 hours to read. But, hey, I'm a little proud of myself for finding the time at all considering all of the Netflix shows that I HAVE to get through! I should spend that hour or two in the evenings reading instead, and hopefully I will start doing better. This one, "Protector" by Diana Palmer (2013), is another one that Momma G passed down to me, and I have to say, "Eh." It never really got me engaged with the story. I do find it fascinating when female writers try to create male characters... I dunno, Hayes Carson falls a little short of the ideal man, if ya ask me. Not to mention the fact that he's just not all that manly. Anyhow, it's just supposed to be for fun, and I didn't hate it.

In other news, my life has been incredibly busy lately. When 2016 hit, the workload seemingly tripled. Being busy isn't so bad, but when you add the work with my Secretarial duties for the CCRW and my Presidential duties for the SJRC, I'm wondering how I'm going to keep all of the plates spinning. But today is fairly worry-free. I'm about to head to church, and then I get to make a quick trip to Allen to take Syd home since Mel is down in San Saba. It seems like I was just down in the Big City yesterday...but, no, it was Friday - I went to pick up John & Donetta and Nick from Dallas Love Field. But I guess tomorrow it'll be back to business as usual.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I borrowed this book from my mother quite a while ago - maybe at the beginning of Summer - and it has taken me a long time to finish. "The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help Is Not Enough" was written by Sharon A. Hersh in 2008. The main premise is that the last addiction is our thought that we can fix it ourselves. The book is written with a Christian perspective, but it doesn't stay in the spiritual realm the entire time. I did like this book, and the author's own story of her battle with an alcohol addiction is quite interesting. Folks probably would assume that I have no addictions since I seem to be functioning relatively well in my little world, but I would consider #1 my struggle with eating more than I should. #2 would be an addiction to a particular way of thinking in my mind - the despair and hopelessness. Even this book that covers a wide range of different addictions doesn't consider how depression is simply a series of bad mental habits. At least that's how I see depression. It's an addiction to a certain way of thinking. But I am going deeper here than I intended. I am happy that I have finally finished another book and that it only took me about a week to get around to writing my review this time. I also finished another book - something about Minnie Mouse and waiting for puppies to be born - but I can't quite remember the title. It was just as good as this addiction book, so that's my double review for you. Two for the price of one.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Nope, I was not impressed with this "book". I won it as a door prize at a CCRW (Cooke County Republican Women) meeting. "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" by Ann Coulter (2007) is really just a collection of her meanest quotes about people. The zingers, the ones that have made "the news" for being so insensitive. Sure, most of her views are on the Right side of wrong, but... I mean, I even kinda like Ann Coulter, but I don't like the Ann that comes across in this book. I do NOT recommend it. Zero stars.

I am about to head down to Tolar, TX, today for a Yosten family reunion. Happy Labor Day Weekend to all of you out there. I may have to work a little bit tomorrow, so it's mostly a regular weekend for me. I wish I had some life updates to give you, but there's not much new in my life. I'm just staying very busy and am trying to keep my sanity, although I'm not sure why. Thanks for visiting this site - please come visit me in person when you get a chance!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I'm not sure what I did to win this book - attendance maybe? Anyway, I won "Good Deal: More Satisfying Meals for Le$$ Money" in a drawing at a Weight Watchers meeting a while back. Yes, it's a cookbook, and yes, I read it cover to cover. No, I did not try any of the recipes, but I do think I learned some things and got some good ideas. It was just published in 2014, so it's pretty new. I celebrated the end of my 2nd year of Weight-Watcher-ing on April 29, and I have lost 90.4 pounds since I started back in 2013. I have about 30 to go, but I'm very unsure about what that will look like. I mean, I know I CAN do it, but I just don't have the motivation at the moment. I'm still plugging along, but there's not much "umph" behind my efforts. Hitting the 100 lb. mark scares me a little, too. My aim is to be at my goal weight by the end of this 3rd year - April 2016. It seems impossible right now. But maybe if I look at it financially... WW is $42.95 a month, so that's about $516.00 a year. So I have already spent $1,032.00 on this weight loss endeavor in the first 2 years. Every month that I'm lazy and unmotivated I'm just throwing $43.00 away, so I need to keep after it and finish sooner than later. And when I do get there... Well, maybe we'll be crossing that bridge in a year or so.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This Sunday I went to Friendship Church in St. Jo. I will probably go back again at some point. Anyway, they were giving out copies of the pastor's book (although I got my copy from the Hunts on Friday when I stayed over to avoid the flood waters), and I read it pretty quickly. "The Deep: Keys to Dynamic Faith" was written by Curt Simmons in 2012. I'd say it's an encouraging little book with some good insights. If you were interested in the church, it would help you get to know the pastor's thoughts, so that could be handy. Friendship Church may not exactly be my style, but I'm glad that St. Jo has it as an option.

So I noticed that I've said "life is tame" in both of my last two posts. I did that without even reading the older post, so that is kinda weird, I think. I suppose we like tame things...

How do you catch a unique rabbit?

"You 'neak" up on it!

How do you catch a tame rabbit?

Tame way, you 'neak up on it!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I have fallen a little behind in my book reviews, but I will fix that now. I'm pretty sure that the only book I read over the winter months was "The Summons" by John Grisham. I suppose it was a good story, but I've noticed lately how all of our entertainment...stories, TV, media...is so full of LIES. I mean, this is a fiction story, so of course it's not true, but there would be no story if the two brothers hadn't started out lying to each other from the beginning. Or maybe they were just keeping things from each other - lying by omission. Either way, it's the lies that make it interesting. Or... Would it be interesting without the lies? I'd like to turn on a TV show just once that didn't feature a lie as the main driver of the plot. I'm tired of 'em. So this was my 2nd Grisham book, and I'm pretty sure that I liked "The Street Lawyer" better.

So life is fairly tame these days. Work was slow for awhile, but now it's not again, so I guess that's nice? I have been without Internet in my house for almost a week, I assume because of the storms, and so that has given me a little extra incentive to read. So hopefully I'll have another review ready for you tomorrow!