NaNoWriMo Camp Time is Near!

It begins again. I didn’t do so spectacularly with the November NaNoWriMo challenge. I blame moving, children, distractions, and not enough Diet Dr. Pepper. So, there.

I thought I’d join this camp, but I’ve come to a curious dilemma: Do I work on the novel I started, or do I work on writing posts (short life-type-stories, if you will) for my blog? I’m not 100% sure of my direction, but one thing is certain – I will be writing!

This effort officially kicks off April 1, 2018.

Usability Tips with Remember the Milk

Your words can be powerful – add tasks by voice!
via Siri or Amazon

Smart Lists give you eagle vision
via searching notes, due dates, locations, and more. Adding tasks within a smart list automatically take on the properties of that smart list.

Smart Add turns you into a wizard
via the keyboard – type in these shortcuts and have a new task with all the desired settings from the get-go

! Priority
~ Start Date
^ Due Date
* Repeat
= Estimate
# List/Tags
@ Location
+ Give to
// Note

Keyboard shortcuts give your fingertips turbo power
to navigate around the RTM app on the web.

Locations: Where you are powers what you need to do, in more ways than one
not only set a location but also set context with tags.

Sorting, grouping, ordering: your filing system now comes fully loaded
via advanced and custom sorting options.

Advanced search makes you faster than a CSI

Managing projects (and holidays!) like a boss: Tasks + subtasks + subtask subtasks?
everything a task can do, a subtask can do too.

Use an RSS feed of your tasks to achieve …anything!

Inbox Zen: BCC yourself to remind you to follow up on emails
via the email to your own personal and unique Remember The Milk email address.

Review what you’ve achieved – productivity hero status awaits!
via smart lists searching completed tasks.

Excerpted from:

I love this list! There are a few on here that I don’t currently utilize, but I might have to work them into my system!


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
— Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Finally, one day, during my time away seeking healing, I begrudgingly opened my Bible to this familiar verse and asked God to give me new eyes to see what I was about to read. I couldn’t see Him clearly in the season I was in. I loved God, but it had been so long since I had sensed His presence. I had almost forgotten what He looked and sounded like. Life can be so unrecognizable in the midst of pain, and yet I decided to look up the word plans. I was surprised to learn that the original word in Hebrew is machashabah; a more literal translation is “thoughts.” God knows the thoughts He has toward me. And His thoughts toward me are good.

For I know the thoughts I have for you, declares the Lord, thoughts for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


The Soda Stop

My sister and I decided to stop at the quick-e-shop to pick up a few bottles of soda. She got her drink, and I got mine. Cool.

As we walked up to pay, a gentleman strolled in sporting an Aggie t-shirt. I said, “nice shirt” with an Aggie ringed gig’em. He grinned and said thanks with a return gig’em. I love meeting fellow Aggies like this – an instant sort of friendship.

After we got to the car, I’m trying to open my bottle of soda. It won’t budge. I ask for my sister’s help, and it still won’t budge. We look up and my sister suggested, “Hey, that Aggie is coming out. Roll down your window and ask him!” We laugh at the silliness, but I seriously could use the help!

So, I rolled down my window and nearly busted up laughing on the spot, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind helping me open my bottle of soda. Yes, I felt a little ridiculous, but that’s part of the fun, right?

He chuckles and says sure! “One Aggie helping another. No problem.” He then struggles mightily to open this soda. He starts to laugh and asks if we are pranking him and where are the cameras.

It’s no prank and that bottle did not open.

He hollers to his adult son to come on out and give it a try. We’re all dying laughing at this point, because “How many Aggies does it take to open a bottle of soda?”

They give up after a few more minutes of valiant struggles. My adorable daughter insisted on trying before I take it back into the store to request a trade out.

She couldn’t open it either. Whew!

I took it into the store chuckling and trying to explain why I want to switch out this soda. The cashier gave me this chagrinned look and immediately tried his best to open this very closed bottle of soda.

It stayed closed.

I switched out my soda with the cashier’s blessing, and the new bottle opened as you would expect. Whoop!

When I got out to the car, Aggie was pulling away with a final gig’em which I returned, of course. My sister is in the car cracking up laughing. She was finally able to relay that Aggie waited until the cashier gave up because he wanted to know if it would actually open.

I’ve never had so much fun grabbing a quick drink of soda in my life.

Gig’em Aggies!

Best FitBit Week Ever!

Moving had been great for my fitness levels! LOL

My weekly report had never looked this good.

I’m motivated to keep this going. I even upped my goals in floors and steps. Of course, I did that Sunday, the day of rest. LOL

I’m trying to keep tracking my food with SparkPeople. I’m not 100% there by any means, but I figure getting my fitness levels up can be nothing but good for me, right? 🙂 I’m heading in the right direction.

The “thing” that’s helped the most is a Google hangout group with my 3 closest weight loss besties. We annoy each other daily with tracking reminders, stickers, and love. A support group is essential to success in this arduous, lifetime journey of better health and lifestyle choices.

We can do it!

Writing with one eye open

I’ve been anxious to get back to my computer to write some more on my novel all day (NaNoWriMo). I’ve only just recently sat down to write, except that it’s been such a long day that my eyes are literally closing as I type out my thoughts. I’d manage to get one eye open, and then they’d shut again. Once that thought got written out, my brain stopped giving me relevant information. I’ll get to 5,000 words and beyond tomorrow!

One reason for said exhaustion: It’s a big day – our kitties moved back in with us! That was a lot of driving and not a little setup. My sister generously boarded them since mid-December last year while our new house was being built. She’s amazing. The cats are so cute exploring the new house only after the kids have gone to bed. I don’t blame them!

Now, I’m done writing for the day. 🙂 Good night!

NaNoWriMo 2017

I’ve got a lot going on in my life right now, but I decided that it was no excuse to not try! I’ve had a novel idea pinging around in my head for some time. It’s time to accept the challenge and write a novel!

This could be fun. I’m debdbuck on if you are so inclined to join me.


I did get my FitBit setup, but I didn’t do very well with tracking my food after the first few days. Back in the old days (maybe 2000-2001), I used a paper tracker with the Weight Watchers program. Tracking was EASY and I had many of my common foods’ points memorized.

I ponder using a paper tracker now, just to jot things down and then log them digitally later. It could work, right?! Gotta try something. I’m not attached to my phone/tablet/computer all day long. Sometimes with the kids, I literally don’t have time to load apps and search things out on my phone. Modern challenges. I’ll get this figured out eventually.

With my FitBit on, I haven’t really done much out of the ordinary. I really do want to change that trend. Since I haven’t though, I found the first weekly email an interesting look at my baseline of activity.

I’m still trying to figure out where I climbed all those stairs! I live on the first floor. I think a goal of 10k daily steps will be a nice starting point. I almost got there one day without thinking about it! Wednesday must have been a busy day.

With all this lack of progress with weight loss, I have actually maintained my weight. I’ll count this as a win, and keep trying!

Starting Again, take #(I’ve lost count)

Morning Notes to Self:

My husband lost 40 pounds over the course of this year, and I’m both super proud and a little jealous. When Harvey hit us, he posted a gain of two pounds over those few weeks. He immediately began working on his plan again.

Whereas, I abandoned my plan long before Harvey.

My husband’s resolve is rubbing off, maybe. I saw my second goal on my SparkPage & it is still unmet.

SparkGuy says start small. So, I’m starting again. AGAIN! Ok. Mini goal: re-setup my FitBit, and go for a walk. Exercise today. No excuses. Just do it today. I’ll set a new goal tomorrow. I can do this. Ok. Yeah. I’m going to do this weight loss thing!

Day One on track

Day in review:

I did not set up my FitBit. I did plug it in to charge, and the day sort of got away from me.

I lost my temper in the late afternoon (long story) and went for a walk to cool my heels. I thought that counted as exercise. When I put in walking for 30 minutes (a generous guess), it said calories burned was 0. I think that means it didn’t count. So, I didn’t track it.

🙁 So my two-part mini-goal is a bust on both counts.
🙂 I did, however, stay within my calorie range. That counts for something! I was a little bummed not to have more room for wine at the end of the day, but I’ll live.

Idea! I’ll pre-track my glass of wine for tomorrow evening so I know how much room I need. Boom.

If you’d like to join me on SparkPeople, please do! It’s free!

When did I get old?

It was after a particular follow-up doctor appointment that this pivotal question occurred to me.

No, really.

When did I get old?!

I have shoe inserts, compressions socks, and an elbow brace now.

How do I combat this creeping feeling that I’m not the spry youth I’m convinced that I am? I get these fly compression socks:

Styling Compression Socks

Yeah, baby!

In a weird way, it also helps me to feel young that I need orthodontia. I can think of cheaper ways to feel young, but I’ll take the silver lining wins where I can get them!

The good news is that I’m the picture of health. I’m just falling apart. No big deal, really. I just gotta keep moving.

Scrubbing Washcloths

I’ve discovered a great time to crochet. While the kids work on their schoolwork, I work on my projects. My current project is making scrubbing washcloths.

I finished a few and perfected my basic pattern a bit to include a button hole for hanging at each corner of the piece. I’m pretty happy with these! We wash and dry them regularly. They work way better than loofas.


Mom: My mom just died LOL
Daughter: Mom, do you know what LOL means?
Mom: Of course. It’s Lots Of Love
Daughter: No! It means Laugh Out Loud
Mom: Oh… really…
Daughter: What’s wrong?
Mom: I just sent that message to all of our relatives
Daughter: LOL!

— lifted from the internet somewhere

Everyone Gets Angry

I signed up for BookBub, which has expanded my Kindle library quite a bit! I love all the free book offerings. My kids each have a Kindle fire, and I like to add books to their library as well. At this young age, I pre-read anything I put in their little hands. I’m glad I do, and this book is one reason why! I know that sounds harsh, but we have to be careful what we expose to these little sponges of information. I’m not perfect at this by any stretch, but I sure try!

My review on Goodreads:

Everybody Gets AngryEverybody Gets Angry by Noah Lukeman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What are we teaching these kids?!

My “favorite” is when the dog ate Dad’s dinner, so dad got happy again by eating a cupcake. The idea behind this book is great, but the pictures show very unhealthy anger coping mechanisms if any. I would not recommend this book to anyone.


​”We can be honest with God even when we are filled with anger or despair because God knows us thoroughly and wants the very best for us. Anger may result in rash outward acts or turning inward toward depression. But because we trust in our all-powerful God, we don’t have to be victims of circumstance or be weighted down by the guilt of sin. Be honest with God, and he will help you turn your attention from yourself to him and his mercy.”

-Life Application Study Bible plan on YouVersion

Interrupted Plans

The story about the feeding of the five thousand can be found in John 6:1-24, Matthew 14:13-36, Mark 6:30-56, and Luke 9:10-17.

We talked about a lot of things in Sunday school yesterday, but this brain-wave of what Jesus did when his plan was disrupted struck me. I never considered that the miracle of feeding those people was an act done during an interruption in Jesus’ plan to get away. Jesus and the disciples were trying to escape the crowds and they just kept following. When Jesus realized their retreat had a following, he turned and provided food for their souls and their bodies.

Accept disruptions as a part of the plan.

In the John telling, there came a point when Jesus realized that the crowd was going to force him to be king. That wasn’t just a disruption in the plan. That was a whole different plan, and it was not what Jesus planned to do. He withdrew from everyone entirely.

It is ok to withdraw when the disruption becomes too much.

A little later in the lesson, we discussed our roles in the miracles of God today. I noticed that in all of these miracles, there’s an approach to Christ.

Ask not, receive not. (Paraphrased from John 16:24.)

It was also brought up that miracles turn us into God’s storytellers. We are to share the good news of salvation through Christ, and miracles are a great way to point to Jesus.

In thinking about roles, we touched briefly on talents and gifts. What do we actually do with our lives?

I’m a Mom. My role is largely dishes and laundry. Or it seems to be! Pastor reminded me that it is also raising up my children in Christ.

I’m also a homeschooler. My thinking was to pigeon-hole all teaching (life skills, Jesus, animals, planets, anatomy, history, math, reading, etc.) into that homeschooling box. Disciplining, chores, and bedtime battles all fall into the Mom box.

The thing is… there are no boxes.

We are to live our lives learning, loving, and sharing for Christ while giving thanks in everything.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
— Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

Itch Cream with Essential Oils

Mosquitos are in season! Thrilling.

I’ve made an itch cream with a carrier lotion from DoTerra plus lemon, lavender, on guard (a DoTerra blend), and spearmint. I only used spearmint because I couldn’t find peppermint.

I didn’t really measure drops and stuff. I just squirted a generous amount of lotion into one of my Pampered Chef glass prep bowls* and put around 3 drops of each oil in there. I mixed with my little finger and then applied the lotion as needed.

It smells really great and stopped the itch within minutes. I love when simple stuff works.

*I like those glass prep bowls because they have a cap. I also have several of them. So, using one for this isn’t a big whoop.

— I do not sell DoTerra or Pampered Chef products. My friends do.

Final Hours

Final Hours (Love in Time, #1)Final Hours by Cate Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun, charming, and gripping read. I like the time travel aspect, and how the history stuff didn’t get boring. There was only one drawback: There were a few side characters that seemed off (a little too similar to Kane’s in personality). That was mildly distracting. I gave it four stars because I’d read it again.

Sweet Barbarian

Sweet BarbarianSweet Barbarian by Jayla Jasso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh out loud at times. I loved that there were two antagonists. Sure, there were bits in the story that were unnecessarily long-winded. For example: Do I really need that much info about someone’s beauty routine? Oh well. It wasn’t too bad, and it kind of fit with the whole style of the book. The romance we sweet and tense at the same time.

The reason it didn’t get 5 stars (even though I’d probably read it again):
The work could have done without the crude references. The only other complaint was the difficulty of suspending my belief when it comes to a “barbarian” becoming such a happily domesticated stud with no flaws.

Fantasy is fun though. I’d read it again.