Monday Mood– Grateful

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It’s the week of Thanksgiving in the US. It’s one day a year we set aside to think about all the things which make us thankful. Indeed, many people on social media do an entire month of gratitude posts. No matter the historical reasons for the holiday or the clear drawbacks of subsequent shopping the day after, I love the idea behind Thanksgiving. I think we need to be grateful every day!

The other day, I went to the grocery store with my kids. We were buying items to fill up for a box to take to our church to give to needy families for the holiday. We were ONLY buying for the box. About half-way through, my daughter wanted cookies. I told her no. She started getting upset and I had to remind her that she has more than enough food. She gets treats probably too frequently. We were here to make this box for the needy and if she couldn’t be grateful then I’d take her home and she wouldn’t get a treat for a week. (Just for total transparency, she would have pitched a holy terror of a fit before we started trying out new medicine for her ADHD. That stuff has made these situations much more typical. All those parenting advice books and articles are actually right when the parts of her brain are speaking to one another.)

The event made me realize that I don’t think I talk with my kids enough about gratitude. It really hit home because it cost $60 to fill up. There were times in my life when $60 was more money than I had for groceries for the full month. There were countless times as a child when I had to rely on food from churches as well as a host of other means of assistance. I wondered about the people who packed those boxes. Did they know what good their food would do? Did they think, maybe, that it was pointless and didn’t make a difference? Did they in frustration think that they pack them every year, month, week and yet people are always asking for more? To whoever those people were all those years ago, or if you’re one donating food now, I want to thank you and tell you to keep it up. You won’t see it. You’ll never even know it. But it DOES make a difference! In those low times in my life, I couldn’t ever imagine having enough so where I could give to others and bless them. However, because other people did give, I had the strength to keep going. My body was nourished and my soul saw the goodness in people. Belief in that goodness has kept my heart afloat long after concerns for food died away. Now, I can give back too.

There’s a million things for me to be thankful for, but this year, I’m most thankful that I can give. What are you most thankful for?

PS: If you’re wanting to know how to give to your community this holiday season, I do recommend asking at your church, a United Way, YMCA, the hospital, or schools. There are many other fine charities as well but you’d have to look more into if they have a location near you. Next on our list is Toys for Tots. I anticipate this could be difficult as the kids might not want to donate whatever fun toy we buy and I will NOT be buying them a toy to soften the blow. For them to truly understand the act of giving, I want them to not get something in immediate return. I know if it’s difficult this year, then next time will be smoother. This will be the first time in several years that we haven’t just moved over the holidays!

Monday Mood– Book Hangover

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I’m sure I’ve posted about this at some point in my years on the blog. I regularly have a book hangover. Now, I’ve never been drunk from alcohol so I’m not quite sure how it compares but there’s always a bit of self-loathing and regret. However, I know I’m powerless to stop.

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Thursday evening, I started a new book. I finished it Saturday afternoon. I don’t know about you, but there’s always a feeling of WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE NOW??? when I finish a good book.

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So what is the most sensible thing to do? Start another one by the same author even if it’s after midnight, of course!

Now, what’s the lie all of us book-a-holics tell ourselves? We can stop any time we want! Just after one more chapter!

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And so around 4 am, I finally convinced myself that enough was enough and Margaret and John would be perfectly fine if I left them alone for a few hours.

I’ll admit that I read in the car on the way to church and in the sanctuary as we waited for others to arrive. Side note: we’re trying out a new church and apparently no one else goes in until the very minute service is supposed to start. If I didn’t know my husband and I were a bit anti-social before, that was confirmation!

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Usually, on the weekends, I spend some time with my family, church if we’re able, and do schedule some blog posts. Not this weekend! I did have family and church time but work? Nope!! No, work was not as important as this book. While I type this, I have pried myself away for just a few minutes after John and Margaret are married. I anxiously await the honeymoon and other matters. My eyes glance to the clock. It’s already 10 pm. Can I finish before bedtime? If I push it, that’s 2 more hours. Kindle app says I am at 73%. No, I don’t think that will be enough time. It’s a hopeless cause. I REALLY should be a responsible adult and go to sleep early tonight to make up for the late night before. I’m really just too old and in too ill of health to keep doing this to myself but…

Tell me I’m not the only one completely powerless over this book addiction. Now, I haven’t read this compulsively in a long time. I usually have a stern “no new books after 9 pm” rule…but I chose to break it and now I’m having to deal with the consequences. The irony is all the better because if I had begun this book today instead of last night, I would have been at a better stopping point. As it is, if I don’t finish my brain will probably be up most of the night trying to guess what will happen next.

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This might seem like a long-winded complaint, but it’s really not. I love it when a book enthralls me so much that I must live and breathe it. As a writer, I aim to do the same. It is the highest compliment when someone tells me they stayed up late to read my book or couldn’t put it down.

What was the last book that gave you a book hangover?

Monday Mood– Pumpkin and Spice

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It’s that day again. It comes every week. Sometimes I’m ready for it but most of the time I’m not. Yep. I’m talking about Monday.

Well, this week, I have to admit I’m in a pumpkin spice mood. Yes! I’m one of “those crazies” who start craving pumpkin and clove when the calendar first switches to a month ending in “ber.” I moved across the state of Virginia in June. During the summer, it was exciting because we are now closer to the beach. However, now I’m quite over all things summer and want fall! Bring on gold leaves and cool breezes. I want to wear sweaters and scarves!

Ok, to be honest the mountains of Virginia didn’t require sweaters and scarves in the fall. And not very often in the winter unless you would be out of doors for awhile and let’s just say me…I’m an indoor girl. Now that we’re in an even warmer climate, it’s unlikely we’ll really get “fall” at all. I’m told it might cool off around January. Ugh! January?!!

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Well, no matter what the weather says, I can officially start enjoying pumpkin spice flavored things without being a weirdo. Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed it year-round before. During my first pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes. I couldn’t buy the prepared pumpkin treats because they had too much sugar. I had to make my own. There was a national pumpkin shortage. Yes, apparently that was a thing. The only pumpkin I could find was a case of 48 cans of organic pumpkin. It’s a good thing it took a few years for them to expire because I was still using them 3 years later. But hey, don’t get between a pregnant lady and her cravings!

So, anyway. This Monday, I’m in a pumpkin spice mood. It still feels a bit hot for coffee but I think there’s pumpkin spice creamer at my grocery store now and I can have it with my iced coffee.

What mood are you in this Monday?