Posts Categorized: Self-Control

Knowing What to Do and Knowing What You’re Doing? Two Different Things

I know the mechanics of putting up a toilet paper holder and a towel rack. It’s just not something that I do all that often. Or, actually, ever. But when our house got painted, at the suggestion of the guy who wrote up the contract, I did remove all the door and drawer knobs and handles and took down the wall-mounted towel racks, hooks, and toilet paper holders. My doing that (and replacing them when the job was done), saved lots of time for the painters. So I very much understand about how those racks go up. There’s a metal plate that gets attached to the wall. Then, the arms of the racks are slipped over those plates. There’s a tiny little set screw that gets tightened up against the bottom of that plate, and that holds the ends in place.

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Tidy, Tidier, Tidiest—(I Wish)

220px-CheaperByTheDozenJoAnne says that one of the most influential books she’s read, and she read it as a child, was Cheaper by the Dozen (not anything like the movie with Steve Martin). It’s about Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their family of twelve kids. The Gilbreths were Motion Study experts, pioneers in the field of being efficient at work and creating a work environment that eased physical stress. Books about being well organized have been popular best sellers for years. And still, lots of us struggle to reach that elusive goal.

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Happy Easter Weekend

I thought that Kevin and April (and PETER!) weren’t coming for Easter. But, then, they decided to!!! Which made a good weekend even more anticipated, more delightful, more satisfying.

I had Peter all by myself on Friday. There was a little shopping. A little napping. And a surprise! April’s birthday is coming up soon, and I thought we could make a surprise for her. I planned to make treats to serve on Sunday. However, when a three-year-old prepares a surprise on a Friday, you just have to have that surprise on a Friday. I asked what kind of cupcakes he thought Mommy would like. White. And what kind of frosting? White. With sprinkles. So that’s what we did.


Saturday was a beautiful day.



Peter was the first one who arrived with flowers.

Peter was the first one who arrived with flowers.

Sunday morning–We have a large cross that stays in the Worship Center all the time.

We have a tradition of putting fresh flowers on it on Easter Sunday morning.





I handed Peter over to David when I arrived at church. Then I went on along to my Sunday School room to prepare for preschoolers’ arrival. As I was rushing around the room, suddenly, something seemed a little odd.

Of all the things we do at my church, and maybe ever have done, my most favorite is how we do baptisms these days. Instead of sitting in our pews and watching from afar (well, it’s not that far), we gather forward. Kids in front, so they can see well. The rest of us packed behind them, on the platform, on the steps, pressed together.

Welcome, young lady. Welcome into your faith family.


“Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ That’s the message.”

Matthew 28:7 (The Message)

Christ is risen. Christós Anésti, or Χριστός Ανέστη. (We have Greek relatives.)

Let’s face it, for people who love Jesus, every weekend is a happy Easter weekend.

How to Not Sleep Like a Baby

My mother took a nap every afternoon. When we were home during holidays and summers, we had to be quiet after lunchtime, with no noisy activities (I couldn’t play the piano), and no friends could come over. I used to take naps, sometimes, but I don’t any more. I have too much trouble waking up from an afternoon nap. I’m cold when I wake up, and I’m fuzzy-headed. And, I can’t go to sleep that night. So, I don’t nap. (Well, I’m not going to pretend that I never doze off in front of the computer or a book, but that’s not really a nap. If I fall soundly asleep in front of the computer, I fall off the chair. And that knocks the sleepiness right out of me.)

Because I don’t want to nap, I drink high-caffeine tea. All day. It’s not gallons and gallons. But I run the tea maker at least once a day (which is just a half gallon). If I do get sleepy, there’s always housework and yard work for taking a non-sleep break before sitting down again. I found Hi-Caf teas at a store in Fort Worth. They have a chart that shows their caffeine content-MORE CAFFEINE THAN COFFEE! Now that I know to look for it, I’m finding the caffeine content on other kinds of tea.

Seven o-clock in the evening is my caffeine limit. After that, I have to switch to non-caf tea or I won’t be able to sleep. I own several varieties of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea. Celestial Seasonings makes several flavors, but I think those make better hot tea than cold or room temperature tea, and I only like hot tea when it’s really cold outside, and/or cold inside. I think part of it is holding that hot, hot mug right on my breastbone to warm up my body, and feeling the steam waft up towards my face. But I do like their Black Cherry Berry Caffeine Free Tea at room temperature. Teatulia makes a Lemongrass flavor that’s good at room temperature, too.

A couple of weeks ago, at Barnes & Noble, I saw a blueberry-flavored tea. I was interested and asked the barista if I could smell it. He happily opened the tin on display and let me inhale. Oh, that did smell good, and I purchased one. I was glad to add to my non-caf choices.

Sometimes, in the evenings, I lose track of time, and seven o’clock comes and goes without my thinking about it. If I suddenly realize that I’m still swilling the Hi-Caf tea at 7:30, I think oh, it’ll be all right. And it is not all right at all. I pay the price by not being able to fall asleep. I lie there and lie there and lie there and promise myself that I will pay attention to the clock and will not have any caffeinated tea AFTER 7 O’CLOCK, EVER AGAIN!

A couple of weeks ago, two nights in a row, I found myself unable to fall asleep. The second night, I finally gave up at 3:00 a.m. and got up, and quietly worked on things until daybreak. The second night, though, I began to wonder. I was certain I had stopped the caffeine at 7:00, and started drinking that delicious new blueberry tea. I checked. NOOOOOOOO. It’s green tea. Black tea and white tea and green tea all contain caffeine. Herbal tea is caffeine-free. (I was seduced by the wonderful aroma. I neglected to read the words that were right there on the front of the container!)

I’m back to sleeping more soundly again. And paying closer attention to the labels on the tea packages I purchase.


One of the most interesting things about writing this blog is choosing Bible verses and comparing the translations. There were just too many choices for this verse from the famous passage in Proverbs 31: 10-31 about the good wife. I just couldn’t winnow down the list any farther than this. So here is Proverbs 31:17, and you can decide for yourself which one suits you best. Or go to BibleGateway and read from another translation that you like.

She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms. (New King James Version)

She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence,
    and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand. (The Voice)

She is energetic, a hard worker. (The Living Bible)

She girds herself with strength,
    and makes her arms strong. (New Revised Standard Version)

She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks. (New International Version)

And my own favorite:

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
    rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. (The Message)

And, in my case, she also picks up a glass of highly caffeinated tea.



I saw this tea and was intrigued. Of course, it’s tea and not Hot Chocolate (there’s no milk and no sugar). But I thought I’d give it a try. Why not. It’s not for the days I just want a big glass of room temperature tea. But, for those cold mornings and afternoons, for a hot cup of tea that warms my hands as well as my insides, it’s pretty good (not, of course, for evenings-caffeine content of just a little less than 6 oz. of brewed coffee). It contains Yerba maté, an ingredient I’d not heard of before.

Super This! Super That!


superbowl50I’m a Texas girl. I grew up with Friday Night Lights (before it was a book and a television program). Well, in Junior High, it was Thursday Afternoon Lights, but football mania is pretty strong here in Central Texas (and beyond). From my preschool days, Daddy listened to Baylor games on Saturday afternoons, until there was enough money for him to get season tickets. I went with him to a Baylor game just a couple of months before he passed away. And, of course, he watched Sunday afternoon professional games-mainly as a Cowboys fan. I remember the Ice Bowl (1967 NFL Championship Game-Packers vs. Cowboys). I remember when Dallas won its first Super Bowl (1972 Super Bowl VI-Cowboys vs. Dolphins). I remember lots of ups and downs and blowouts and squeekers. We watched games, but we didn’t, well, celebrate. There weren’t big listening or watch parties, and no friends were invited over for Super Bowl get-togethers. We were the quieter, less celebratory, fans.

So, I’ve never made football-shaped cookies, frosted in the colors of my favorite team. I actually have put Ro-tel tomatoes in melted Velveeta for cheese dip, but it was when the kids were home from school and their friends were coming over, for some other reason besides football. I’ve never purchased football-themed plates and cups and tablecloths. But, I’ve always enjoyed watching games, even when I didn’t care about the outcome.


I did look, with interest, at the Sunday paper’s ads and coupons a couple of weeks ago. There were recipes and suggestions and coupons for pizzas, and wing sauce, and pizza bites, and loaded potato skins, and chips, and so on. Interestingly, there were also coupons for Prevacid and Benefiber and Gas-X and Ex-Lax and Perdiem. In other words, “buy these foods and eat them and eat a lot of them, while you’re watching the Big Game,” and “we know that you’re going to need to buy these things a day or so after the Big Game, because you’ll have really messed up your digestive systems on Game Day.”

It seems somewhat honest, doesn’t it.

Last Sunday, there were coupons for special Game Day treats for your pets. I don’t really know what that means.

When we were first married, David was in the Air Force, and we were living several time zones away from Super Bowl game cities. And, back then, those Super Bowl games started at regular game times (well, what were regular game times back then, which was early afternoon). So, the games would be happening mid-morning Sunday, when we were in worship service. There was an Air Force colonel who had spent a lot of time on the flight lines, without ear protection, in the days when no one realized that could cause hearing loss. He wore hearing aids, which, back in the early 70’s, were somewhat larger than they are now. In the fall, there would be a lot of interest in this kind colonel, among the school-aged boys. Sometimes, one (or more) of them would find an opportunity to sit near him, or on the pew right beside him, during Sunday morning worship service. They had seen the things in his ears, and supposed that he might be using earphones connected to a radio, to listen to the Big Game (or to earlier, not quite as big, games). He was kind and gentle and really amused by this, and would never give anything away, pretending not to understand why he was so popular during football season.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:7 (New Revised Standard Version)

January 29, 2012--April is finishing Waco's Miracle Match Marathon

January 29, 2012–April is finishing Waco’s Miracle Match Marathon

There are several biblical references to athletes and races. Some of them mention the training and the preparing and the winning. I like this one that talks about the satisfaction of competing in and completing a race. Some of our races are literal. Some are symbolic. I’ve stood at the end of a Marathon. No one I saw was unhappy that they weren’t first. They all seemed really gratified to cross that finish line. That’s how we should feel about all our challenges. We did our best. We finished. And maybe there were cookies.


Out with the Old and In with the … NO! NO! No more coming in.


I just found the best quote about New Year’s Resolutions. The quote is Mark Twain’s, and he says, “Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual New Year’s resolutions. Next week, we can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

I’m not a great one for making resolutions. Well, that’s not quite true. I’m not a great one for following through on resolutions. As is, apparently, Mark Twain. But, I often get a few things done at the beginning of the year. Some I plan. Some I just stumble upon.

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Who in Their Right Mind Would Go to the Grocery Store Three Days Before Christmas?!?

Note the late date of this e-mail, and the lack of suggested deadline for answers.

Note the late date of this e-mail, and the lack of suggested deadline for answers.

Who would do that? Well, maybe it would be someone who waited until the last minute to ask family members what specific kinds of food they want to have during the holidays. And, if someone is going to ask the question, then someone feels a little bit compelled to prepare/provide those foods. Since she asked. If she’d been thinking more clearly, she’d have asked weeks ago and given a deadline for responses, but alas, she did not.

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Ollie, Mollie, Gollie! NOW What?!?

I have a lot of doctors. A few, like the gastroenterologist and the cardiologist, are specialty guys that I only see for special occasions, like the super-special colonoscopy, and that sort of thing. Others, I see often enough that I ought to be sending them Christmas cards. There’s:

my Primary Care Physician (at least twice a year)

my Ophthalmologist (every 4 to 6 months)

my Retina Specialist (also every 4 to 6 months)

my Dentist (um, I really need to make an appointment)

the kidney guys (every 3 to 6 months)

and, my Podiatrist (every 3 to 6 months, unless …) And we have had a recent “unless.”

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Imagine That!

I had imaginary friends when I was a little girl. (The more current term, in educational circles, is now  “imaginary companions.”) I don’t remember them, but my parents told me about them, and Mother wrote their names in my baby book. Linda and Lulu. Maybe after the comics character Little Lulu? I don’t know. But I did have an actual friend named Linda, so maybe when she wasn’t around, I just conjured up an imaginary Linda to play with. Anyway, all I know about them is that once, they got left behind on a bus.

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