I’ve read/listened to some interesting books lately.

1. Cinderella Ate My Daughter – I’m guessing you won’t agree with all the premises of this book (I certainly didn’t), but what is interesting is the study of the way corporations market to girls. (Like did you ever notice that when all the Disney princesses are together – they don’t look at each other?)

2. My Lucky Life – the autobiography of Dick Van Dyke. Ok, we all know him. We’ve all watched his shows. He often repeats that he wanted anything he played in to be family fare – yet a lot went on his life that was not family fare. Kind of paradoxically moralistic or something.

3. Kisses from Katie – fascinating story that is still continuing over in Uganda. This is the story of Katie Davis (homecoming queen etc.), who at 18, left her comfortable family, her college plans and much-loved boyfriend and went on a missions trip to Uganda and basically never came home (except for visits). She now runs an organization (Amazima) that feeds and educates hundreds of children – and has adopted 14 of those children herself. She is now 24.  As you read, you are constantly amazed at how she spends her days and what she’s accomplished.

If you choose one book out of the three to read – make it the last.



Been a busy weekend and have done several new things -well, met several new people.

But here’s an interesting experience I had today.

I randomly started talking to a couple that were visiting church … and turns out they are really, good friends of my daughter-in-law’s parents. Which when you consider that both the visiting couple and C’s parents live out-of-state – is rather very small worldish.

Anyhow, preparing to do a book recommendation post soon.


OK – Today is January 25th and yet according to the kitchen calendar, it is still December.

Each year I get five calendars –

1. The Jeopardy Desk Calendar (an annual gift from a friend for the past 28 years or so) which goes on my work desk.

2. The Mensa Desk Calendar (also a gift) which  goes on my work desk.

3. The Ruth Wick calendar (the one she illustrates for Friends of Israel) which hangs by the at-home desk and is the official “birthday” calendar with everyone’s birthday duly noted.

4. The wall calendar at work which is usually one I make from my own pictures – but doing those is expensive, so I haven’t done one this year.

5. The kitchen wall calendar which is usually a purchased calendar of somewhere I’ve been (like last year’s was Scotland) or somewhere I hope to go (like New York City).

This year, as usual, I have the first three – but not the last two.

I didn’t think it would be difficult to find one half price at the bookstore after the New Year’s, but the only calendars left were those displaying pictures of frogs or Marilyn Monroe – neither one excited me.

But I knew sooner or later I would have to take down December in Scotland – so I checked out Amazon and found a calendar that works for me – The Reading Woman Calendar displaying artists works of ladies with books.

And today it arrived. Ah … now I know for sure it is January.


Sometimes the new “somethings” just pop out at you.

Like today.

Fun dinner at Smashburger tonight with Kris.

(Happy Birthday!)

We actually both had chicken sandwiches rather than burger – burgers.

Mine had avocado and bacon on a piece of grilled chicken.

Kris had the basic grill chicken sandwich.

Oh, and I also got some fried pickles which were interesting AND salty.

My sandwich was very good even though you know going in that a place called Smashburger will not be known for is elegance.




This morning I introduced myself to someone I should’ve met a long time ago … which, I think, counts for my something new today. Wasn’t totally out of nowhere – there is a round about connection to her so introducing myself wasn’t odd or anything but it did take some courage on my part (still have that shy streak inside of me).  All went well.

Ok – so I am listening to a book on CD, a non-fiction book by a well-known, New York Time Best Seller list author.  I’m not overly familiar with her books, but have seen a couple movies based on her novels. The book I’m listening to is, again, non-fiction and about the importance of kindness.  I was surprised when she started out with Scripture and then continued to use Scripture to back up her points. Made me wonder where she was coming from – Is she a Christian? (Her books aren’t Christian fiction, as such.)

Then she says, “Because of my traveling for my books, I don’t get to work at my church as much as I used to, so I make an effort to teach at our church’s Awana Club as much as possible.  I like telling stories to the kids.”

Interesting. I’m doing some investigation and will let you know if I learn more because I’m sure some of you have read her books or seen her movies.


I have not given up on doing something new every day – and in fact, today I did something new – I finished taking down my Christmas decorations which is about four weeks after I usually do it – so very much a first for me! December 26th? Get rid of the glitter and the Christmas music. Still having pine boughs sitting around late January? Not an option.

But the past couple weeks have gone from a walk under the palm trees in Orlando to watching eight inches of snow fall and in between time LOTS of work.

CPC always has one evening that they call Dinner on the Town – where  you can choose which restaurant to go to in Downtown Disney or one of the parks. Five of us headed for Epcot with Disney-lover Michayla being our guide. This was her seventh or eighth time at the park – the most recent – just a few weeks ago. This was my third – but they had been spread out over several years. Anyhow, Michayla knew exactly where we needed to go and the most efficient way to get there so we covered just about everything worth covering.

While eating in Italy, two other ladies from the conference joined us – one a lady who grew up at Des Plaines Bible with me. Talk about two totally unrelated parts of your life colliding – this was it.   But fun – and fun meeting her friend, too.

Oh, in Italy, we had thin-crusted pizza – different taste, but good. I think all of us liked it.

We then headed for Soaring which I don’t think I’ve been on before, but was lots of fun – you take a hot air balloon ride “over” California.  Water was actually falling off the Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite which it hasn’t been doing the two times I was actually there!

Anyhow – here are a few pictures.

The next day – Friday – was workshops until two and then some specialty workshops which could also be used for an hour or so of free time – except I was pulled into the “Present Awana” workshop as one of the presenters. Not a big deal, but rather unexpected.

That night, Beth Guckenberger spoke about the orphanages she and her husband have opened in Mexico … and then Jamie Grace gave a concert.

Saturday morning more meetings – a quick lunch at Downtown Disney and then to the airport.

That night we arrived home to eight degrees and frozen cars.


Truly, I am not trying to spread the Florida trip out over many, many weeks (like I have done with most of my trips).

We were there to work and work we did – except for Thursday night which is the Dinner on the Town night when five of us went to Epcot.

I am in the midst of a busy few days, however, so all I have time for is to show you one of my Epcot pictures … one I’m guessing you don’t usually see when looking at pictures of your friends’ trips to DisneyWorld.

The nine-pound lemon …