Archive for the ‘October Challenge’ Category

I did it! I mean WE did it!

My friend Don and I took this challenge together and we both managed to write every day this month. I’d like to think we’ve created new habits and formed new neuro-pathways in our brains that will spur us on to seeing the world from writer’s eyes, compelling us to share our visions with our readers. Not that we’re all about the numbers game, but both of our readerships have increased with our consistency. Fluke? I think not.

There is such satisfaction in seeing this challenge through because I’m not a great finisher. I’m a great starter, but I quickly lose interest and find the next thing to start. For instance, I have a new challenge for November. It’s a weekly challenge rather than a daily one, and I’ll announce it here tomorrow. Gotta keep the momentum going, but for today, I feel a sense of accomplishment and I’m going to bask in that for a while.

Go visit Don’s blog and read his rebuttal (not really) to my 2011 De-cluttering Challenge, and congratulate him on seeing the post-a-day challenge through to the end. I know there were many days that neither of us had the time or energy to blog, but we pushed through anyway.



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Have you ever heard of a Virginia Auction? Neither has Google, but our school holds one every year.

Virginia Auction [ver-jin-yuh] [awk-shuhn] noun  1. An event held each year to raise money for the scholarship fund at Family Academy of Christian Education. Families buy tickets to bid on new and gently used donated items. Whoever has their name drawn out of the bag next to the item, takes it home. Tickets are .25 each or 5/$1.00 with a maximum of $50 per family. Items are donated by families and local businesses.

My favorite was a $30 gift card for Texas Roadhouse. Sadly, I didn’t win.

What I did do was donate several items for the auction. I grabbed a box and raided the school stuff first. Electronic educational toys, a desk lamp that no one was using, stickers, children’s books, and a cute backpack all went in the box. Then I scavenged through the kitchen and decided to donate our kettle corn popper.We hardly ever use it and we prefer our air popper, but it made one of the other families very happy.        Let’s see…there were a few items I had bought on clearance for a quarter each, 3 cd players, a Spiderman table-cloth, 3 board games, and some other miscellaneous things. I haven’t heard how much was raised, but I know my family only brought home 4 items, and the item I won, I gave to a friend. Yes, my de-cluttering is still going strong. Now if only I could figure out what Virginia has to do with the auction.

Are you still de-cluttering too?

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Yesterday I got a text from a friend who had heard about a stabbing in Boulder involving 3 homeless men. She wanted to know if we knew them. I read the article and looked at the thumbnail picture of the suspect and was thankful that no, I didn’t recognize the face or the name. But one of our other street friends posted something on Facebook today that made us investigate further and we were shocked to find out that the suspect was in fact our friend Eddie. I hadn’t recognized him because he wears his hair differently than the picture and because you couldn’t enlarge it to see it better.

Eddie, who plays the guitar left-handed on the mall. Eddie, who has 2 sweet little girls that live with their mom. Eddie, who Tanner met when he was here for Spring Break and reconnected with this summer while he was here interning with us. Eddie, who visited church with us and wept through the service. Eddie, who is grateful for everything he has. Eddie, who I happily introduced my parents to last Sunday. Eddie, my friend.

Benny is doing his best to get in to see Eddie, but we have heard, and the newspaper has now run this as well, that he claims it was self-defense. He is not a violent guy and the other street people know this too. Many have given that statement to the police. It is still under investigation, and I would appreciate it if you’d pray for my friend. Even if it wasn’t self-defense – and I believe in my gut that it was – I would stand by Eddie through this process.

Being homeless isn’t easy, and it’s not a choice for everyone. I’ll end this now before getting on that particular soapbox. I’ll update this when I know more. Thanks for praying.

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It’s been a few days since I posted Part 1, so I thought I’d have time to think of other hobbies I enjoy. You already know that reading is at the top of my list. Browsing book stores and libraries would be a close 2nd. I love thrift store shopping and going to the movies by myself, but I don’t think of them as hobbies.

That’s it. I couldn’t think of anything else.

Does that make me mostly hobby-less?

Wikipedia says, “Hobbies are practiced for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward. Examples include collecting, creative and artistic pursuits, making, tinkering, sports and adult education. Engaging in a hobby can lead to acquiring substantial skill, knowledge and experience. However, personal fulfillment is the aim.”

I’m not a collector of anything anymore. I do enjoy a creative artistic project now and then, but I’m not consistent. I can’t think of anything I enjoy making. I’m not a tinker. I haven’t played sports since college. I do like learning new things. I wonder if I’m just in a busy season of life and for right now, I don’t have time for hobbies? (Other than reading, of course.) Or maybe it’s so easy to be a hobby chameleon because I don’t want to find a hobby of my own? I’m not sure. I just know that I don’t get excited about any one thing like a lot of the people in my life do. (Other than reading, of course.)

Maybe that’s enough. Maybe I’m putting way too much thought into this subject.

What are your hobbies?

Maybe I’ll join you…;)

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I just got home from the class I’m taking on Thursday nights and was preparing to post here when Karen, my best friend here in Denver, texted to say she’s at the hospital with her dad. I don’t have any information to give about him, but I love my friend and I’m going to be with her. I’ll be back tomorrow with blog stuff. Please pray for him – God knows the details. Thanks!

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My friend Sarah and I decided we should get together to make some jewelry soon. Her family was robbed this summer and all of her jewelry disappeared. I told her I have lots of jewelry making stuff that I never use because it was a hobby that I took up so Angi and I could enjoy it together…over 5 years ago. Tawnya and I stamped together because that was her thing. My mom and I baked together because that was her thing. I tend to do that, take up hobbies of friends because I enjoy doing the things they enjoy doing – when we’re together. When we’re not, those hobbies lay idle in the top of my closet.

What are MY hobbies? What could I waste spend hours doing ? If I had an afternoon to do whatever I want to do, I wouldn’t choose jewelry making, stamping, baking, scrapbooking, quilting, etc. There is only one thing I can imagine listing as a true and genuine hobby of mine: Reading. I know, you’re not surprised, right? 😉

I like to think that while I’m engaging in my friend’s hobbies with them, I’m not only enjoying their company, I’m also producing something beautiful. But the same is true of reading. Something beautiful is being produced when I’m holding a book in one hand and a cup of Chai in the other: rest, patience, adventure, and more. It’s been such a long day and I can’t keep my eyes open much longer, so I’ll pick up here tomorrow. In the meantime…


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The pumpkin butter I made this week turned out pretty well, but the pear butter? It was amazing! Pears are at the top of my favorite fruits list, so learning how to make this, the queen of all toast toppings, was really a necessity. 😉 I found this recipe at recipe4living.com, and began with Bosc Pears which I got for free. Bosc is great for cooking and baking. The flesh is firmer than most varieties and has a sweet-spiced flavor.Yum!

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but  did reduce the sugar because pears are so sweet already. I canned them, which I’ve never done before, so yeah for me acquiring a new skill! Of course, I’ll be popping a jar open for breakfast tomorrow.

What is YOUR favorite Jam, Jelly, or Fruit Butter?


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