Monthly Archives: February 2020

What I Want More of in My Life This Year

I know, I know–we are almost through February, and I’m still thinking of New Year’s resolutions! What can I say–it takes me awhile to gather up my thoughts.

Here’s my list:

  1. to be more thoughtful of others
  2. to show more concern for others without being judgmental
  3. humility
  4. maturity, especially in more control over my emotions
  5. writing, in quantity and quality
  6. enjoy the outdoors more
  7. exercise (whether stretching, doing yard work or housework, or walking)
  8. resilience
  9. being intentional
  10. confidence
  11. a thicker skin, to handle criticism better, especially of my writing

If a store could hand these out, I’d be first in line! 🙂 As it is, since God is the only One Who can help, I’ll add “more prayer” to this list and see what God does.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–Million Dollar Dilemma

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration, or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”—one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

Million Dollar Dilemma by Judy Baer is a novel about a single woman who wins part of a multi-million dollar lottery drawing. She thinks she’s putting her money in the office kitty for another co-worker. The collection is really for a lottery drawing. The office wins, big time.

Most people probably would be extremely happy to win millions of dollars. Cassia Carr, however, considers it a huge aggravation. She tries to find a church to give it to, but runs into another problem with that idea.

As the novel unwinds, Cassia becomes increasingly attracted to the new neighbor with the feisty cat. She isn’t quite sure if he feels the same, and if he does, why does he? She still has the problem of what to do with all that money, and life seems more uncertain than it did before.

Her problems and questions are resolved in a surprising, satisfying way.

Note: Million Dollar Dilemma is in a genre known in publishing circles as Christian chick-lit. It is a romance, but “clean” in matters of romantic relationships and language. At least one of the main characters has a strong or growing faith in God, and that faith is central to how the character approaches life.

Million Dollar Dilemma is a fun read. Most of the time I don’t care for reading romance; this story has enough of a mystery in it to make it enjoyable for me. It’s a book I’ll read again.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

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The Abby Chronicles–My Humans are Entertainment Directors

abby-ready-to-write

Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter XV

We cats are intelligent animals. Any intelligent creature, such as cats, humans, ( and those slobbery, loud creatures known as dogs—ugh!) can become bored. I get bored, and then I get into what the humans I live with call “trouble”. I don’t call it “trouble”; I think of it as “amusing myself”.

Eventually the humans had enough of my antics, so now they are my entertainment directors. One of them brought out a catnip-filled sock, which is good for sniffing, sleeping on, and occasionally kicking vigorously. The other human produced a catnip-filled toy about the size of a mouse. Unlike a real mouse, this toy is tied to a stick. The human takes the stick and jerks it in the air or moves it across the carpet. That’s when the real fun begins. I give the toy some swift paw action, just to let it know who’s boss. I jump up in the air or stand up on my hind paws to swat it. Sometimes I bite it. I pretend not to realize the other end of the stick is held by a human (but as I wrote, we cats are intelligent).

Humm—I just realized something. As the humans are entertaining me, I am entertaining them!

Abby

©P. Booher, secretary

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A Different View of Accomplishments

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My idea of a to-do list used to be like the one pictured above. Sometimes it still is. I still write a list, and some days I accomplish quite a few items. Most of the time the items on the to-do list spill over into the next day, or even the next week—or two.

In the past year or so my idea of accomplishments changed. It broadened to include not only things you see on a list, but also things you can’t see, like victories over discouraging  thoughts and worries. Recently I engaged in a fencing match with the thought, “Your life isn’t worth much.”  You can read about that battle here. Last week or so I boxed with the impression, “You’ve fumbled badly in your work, your finances, and every area of your life.” Then a picture flashed through my mind of falling flat on my face. Not something to give a person confidence, is it?
I prayed, and once again, Faith came to my rescue, saying that I haven’t fumbled badly, and even if I have, God can and is willing to help me. I’m not alone.

These interior victories show me the most meaningful accomplishments aren’t ones you can cross off a piece of paper. They are ones achieved inside you.

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Photo Credit: Micaela Parente, Unsplash

Resources:

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psalm 31:24, KJV)

“Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” (Psalm 60:12, KJV)

©P. Booher

 

 

 

 

 

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A Life-long Learner

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Years ago a family member said to me, “You just want to be a professional student!” He didn’t say it in a complimentary way.

While I have an idea why the person said that (getting a formal education costs a lot, and you can never be sure you’ll get a job that makes that education worthwhile) his statement still hurt my feelings. The person was right, though. I enjoy learning facts—can’t help it. When I was eight or nine years old I used to sit and leaf through a book from our big set of encyclopedias, or even get lost in the dictionary. Now I sit in front of a computer and take online courses in writing; I get lost on the internet reading articles on diverse subjects such as Niagara Falls, the story behind the 1997 movie “Titanic”, and service dogs. It’s all good, and it’s all fun for me. It makes the little gray cells in my brain jump up and down for joy.

My family member’s comment aside, writing and other activities in life show me it’s valuable to have the mindset of a “professional student”.  I need to be humble enough to be teachable. I need discipline to keep myself learning. I don’t think it’s possible to improve in writing, or in a lot of other endeavors, without that type of mindset.  I’ve found an unexpected benefit of such a mindset is it adds richness to life. You get to see how the process of learning affects you, you figure out ways to learn things you need to know that you may not be naturally proficient at, and you see how facts are intertwined.  Yes, being a professional student costs, but the rewards are without measure!

©P. Booher

 

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Lights, Camera, Action! Off to the Movies–Little Women

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A couple friends and I saw Little Women, the latest movie adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s book about the March sisters. I don’t go to the movies much, but wanted to get out of my routine, so when a friend suggested it, I jumped at the opportunity.

I never read the book, so the movie was my first acquaintance with spunky sisters Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth March.

What did I think of it?

First off, I give Little Women an A++ for decency. There was not even a hint of sexual innuendo, which I greatly appreciated.

Secondly, the acting was good. The people portrayed seemed real, not characters in a movie. I cared about what happened to them.

The film shows people considering their beliefs and values, wrestling with consequences of their humanity, and making decisions and taking responsibility for their lives.

The movie did a good job of showing a writer’s life in following Jo’s setbacks and triumphs in her writing career. As a practicing writer, I identified with Jo in those scenes—her exhilaration when a story sells, her almost single-minded devotion to writing, and her frustration when writing dreams are threatened.

Set in the 1860’s, the film gave a view as to how people lived then—their customs, circumstances, concerns, and perspectives. It was a history lesson you got by osmosis.

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