Monthly Archives: June 2021

A Surprising Benefit to My “Favorites” Notebook

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on

Years ago I bought an 11×8½ spiral notebook with a photograph on the cover of a creek running through woods.  I decided that notebook would be my “Favorites” notebook. On the inside I wrote, “Favorites—things I liked when I saw them”. 

My “Favorites” notebook starts off with the poem “Refuge” by Lew Sarett, and is followed with passages by Faith Baldwin from her book Living by Faith, and Robert Traver from Anatomy of a Fisherman. The notebook includes other poems; bits and pieces which stuck out as I read different books and articles; newspaper clippings about nature, history, movie reviews; song lyrics, and people stories—people following their creative muses, and people acting in commendable ways towards people and animals. 

I have a few scrapbooks, too, but those I meant to keep in order, and that order got lost in the shuffle of the years (and never taking the time to sit down and arrange photos properly). Most of the scrapbook pages are faded, and not appealing to work at. Somehow it’s easier and more pleasing to me to keep my favorites notebook going. Plus spiral notebooks are meant to be written in, so I can add my thoughts to something I read. The scrapbook pages are not good for writing on.

I found a surprising benefit to keeping a favorites notebook: when I’m in a bad mood, my nerves are on edge, or my spirits are low, taking the time to look through or work on the notebook improves my disposition, calms my nerves, and raises my spirits.

©P. Booher


Filed under Country Ripples, Creativity, Tips to Manage Stress

Re-blog: The Kind of Worshippers God Seeks

I liked this, and thought I’d pass it along.

Davids Daily Dose

Sally, from Theology of a Newfoundland Housewife shared a post yesterday, Praying Twice, about an enthusiastic singer at her church who was regularly off key. As often happens here on Word Press, this brought to mind my own memory of a monotone worshipper who God used to teach me a valuable lesson.

As a singer in my church’s choir, I always keep my eyes and ears open for potential members. One Sunday, as we walked in to the sanctuary (singing the first hymn), I noticed a man on the second row—singing and praising God with great fervor. “O boy, we’ve found ourselves a new member!” I said to myself. But when I passed by the gentleman, he was TERRIBLY off key. “How embarrassing,” I thought.

I know, that wasn’t very nice of me. God didn’t think so either. Because after we got to the choir loft, the Holy Spirit said…

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What I’m Enjoying Now

A list of good stuff, of blessings and things which give me pleasure (in no particular order)

  1. a good cup of tea, either hot or iced
  2. the feeling of satisfaction when I mow grass, do yard work or housework, and see how much neater the area looks
  3. reading a good book, either for fun, inspiration, or education
  4. some spiritual victories
  5. growing in the ability to make a writing piece better
  6. seeing the flowers bloom (it was the peony bush, now it’s wild daylilies) By extension, moments enjoying God’s Creation, simply enjoying it, and being lost in those moments.
  7. finding a way to solve a problem, especially one that’s bugged me for awhile
  8. time spent with friends—ones I’ve known, and ones I’m getting to know
  9. being able to pass on some encouragement
  10. a Bible translation I enjoy reading
  11. the car passed inspection
  12. faith to realize that good things happen in each day
  13. knowing God is for me
  14. looking forward to more personal growth, so I can give more to others

©P. Booher


Filed under Country Ripples

Diving Into A Sea of Books–Hemingway’s Cats

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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 you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and way over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

A couple weeks ago my computer/internet gave me fits; it was too warm and humid for me to do anything outside; I was grumpy and my nerves were on edge; I wanted—no, NEEDED—an escape from my world. I picked up a novel I bought a couple weeks before: Hemingway’s Cats by Lindsey Hopper. Immediately my mind landed in Key West, Florida, where Ernest Hemingway’s house is located. Besides being the museum and house of the well-known writer, the grounds are famous for the large number of six-toed cats which freely roam the place.

Laura Lange goes to Key West to work as a tour guide at the Hemingway House. She finds a far different life than she ever knew back home. The weather is one quirky element; another is her co-workers, landlords and other residents, including chickens. The cats display their idiosyncrasies as well. 

As the novel develops, various questions pop up: will Laura fall in love with one of the guys who thinks she’s “hot”? Are the rumors swirling around about assorted characters true? How will Laura deal with her ex-boyfriend back home who keeps texting her? And the question which involves everyone, human and feline—will Key West get pounded by a hurricane?

Hemingway’s Cats is a light, entertaining read. Romance and humor abound.  The characters have their good points and bad. The characters’ motivations are realistic. The cats are as involved in the novel as the humans are.

Language and other cautions: “H**l” and “D**n” used by some characters, but not every other word.  Numerous references made to characters drinking and going to bars as a social event. No graphic bedroom scenes.

Title: Hemingway’s Cats

Author: Lindsey Hooper

Publisher: Kensington 

©P. Booher


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Friday Photos–Plants with Unusual Characteristics

Tall Hens and Chicks

A friend gave my mother some succulent plants commonly called “hens and chicks”. One grew exceptionally tall, about a foot high. (It is in the bottom part of the picture, in the middle, with what looks like a head on the top.)

These houseplants, commonly referred to as “snake plants” around here, don’t usually bloom in our area, though I understand that in warmer climates they bloom regularly. Years ago one summer was unusually hot and humid, and to our surprise, the snake plants bloomed.

©P. Booher

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