Friday, June 29, 2012

celebrate Canada Day with a Canadian book

 Sunday is Canada Day! What better way to celebrate than with a book by Canadian authors? A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is just such a book. I highly recommend it.

The book's cover description is followed by my review (first published in Faith Today earlier this year).

The much-anticipated sequel to Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul.

• A unique collection of inspirational stories, poems and articles
• Real stories, real people, real faith
• Great writing
• Honesty and vulnerability combined with hope
• Well-known, experienced writers and passionate, new writers
• Gentle humor, warm encouragement, and stimulating challenges
• Attractive, gift book layout

My review:

Some books surprise you with their ability to take your breath away. A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is such a book. This anthology of 51 short pieces (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and even a play) was written by 37 members of The Word Guild (a Canadian organization of writers, editors, publishers, and speakers who are Christian).

I was impressed with the honesty, transparency, and raw life portrayed, especially in the true stories. We meet a host of fellow Canadians—our neighbors—whose lives are as unpredictable as our own.  A mother of young children gets a diagnosis of cancer. A 36-year-old magazine editor has a stroke. A man who is forced to take early retirement asks, what’s next? A woman prays for patience and a few days later breaks her back. A man tries to surprise his wife with a five-day bathroom renovation. What binds all the pieces together is a cord of faith as we see how God is involved in the very real circumstances of life.

The book is wonderfully Canadian with its representation of writers from across the country. It reflects Canada’s mosaic-like population with its pieces from the First Nations perspective to the home-born Canadian to the immigrant, the young to the old, the urban to the rural. Though the writing styles are varied, the book was skillfully edited to preserve the individual voices while providing a smooth read with few technical or stylistic distractions.

The short selections makes this a perfect book for even indifferent readers. It would be a fabulous addition to an office waiting room, your beside table, briefcase, backpack, or purse.  But be sure to buy more than one, for you will probably have the urge to share this gem of a collection with others.

Find about more about this series on the Hot Apple Cider books website.

Title: A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit
Editors: N. J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles
That’s Life! Communications, 2011
336 pages
$19.99 (paper)

This  book is submitted to Semicolon Blog Saturday Review of Books, June 30, 2012 where links to many more book reviews are available.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My wooden toy collection


Thursday Challenge

Next week: BEVERAGES (Tea, Coffee, Wine, Beer, Water,...)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"...retirement a great mistake" says centenarian doctor

One hundred-and-one-year-old Dr. Ephraim Engelman is still working! He loves his work of treating arthritis patients and doing research.

At the time of his 100th birthday (March 2011) he gave some advice on how to live a long life. Among the things he said:

"Exercise is totally unnecessary. The use of vitamins? Forget it!"

SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle) ran the article "Dr. Ephraim Engelman going strong at age 100" also in March 2011. In it he shares some of these Tips for Longevity:

"... choose the right parents, choose the right spouse, do crossword puzzles and, above all else, keep breathing. Among the things he recommends against are traveling by air, taking vitamins, falling down and doing the type of activity that leads to falling down.
"I don't exercise," he says. "That's one of the commandments."

Almost as important as not exercising is not watching what you eat. Right up there, too, at Commandment No. 3: "Enjoy your work, whatever it is, or don't do it."

Read entire
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Monday, June 25, 2012

june treats (1016 to 1023 of unending gifts)

"Flowers ... have a mysterious and subtle influence upon the feelings, not unlike some strains of music. They relax the tenseness of the mind. They dissolve its rigor."-Henry Ward Beecher
My list of unending gifts continues...

1016. On the 19th we celebrated our 31st anniversary. We've come a long way baby! The photo is of us on our wedding day (top), and us earlier this spring (bottom), against a background of the anniversary roses I got from my sweetheart.


1018. I am so enjoying my hanging baskets. I think our cool weather is agreeing with them. Here's a little comparison: what they looked like when I first put them up on May 8th and now.

1019. My yellow lily bloomed! It's my Mother's Day gift from son last year. I love it when gifts keep giving.

1020. I found out the name of the trees that grow along the path behind our house. They're Hornbeam trees.

1021. It's strawberry season. We bought a flat from Driediger Farms. They are some of the juiciest berries I've ever had—such a treat. For a potluck tonight I'm making Strawberry Trifle (I'm trying out this recipe).

1022. Scenes from the mighty Fraser flood of 2012. Yesterday we went to check out one of our favorite trails—the Fort to Fort from the Heritage House to Derby Reach. Here's E. on the path. Any more rise in water level and that path will be gone. The last little bit of the path into Derby Reach is under water.

But that's nothing compared to the campsite. Here we are at the picnic area.

And this is the campsite. Each pole designates a camp spot.

1023. And this is my 2000th blog post. That is another reason for thankfulness!

Now to tackle the last week of June! What are you up to this week? And where is the time racing to? 

This post is linked to the "Multitudes on Mondays" meme at  A Holy Experience.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012


Birthday sparkler


Thursday Challenge

Next week: WOODEN (Furniture, Buildings, Crafts, Trees,...)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

you're not 'too old'!

"Thunderstorm" painting by Grandma Moses (1948 - at 88 years).

  • My friend Mel started running triathlons shortly before his 60th birthday.

  • My cousin Len began studying Punjabi at 77 so he could talk to his neighbours.

  • Lucille Broderson wrote her first poem at 60 and had her first poem published, in Poetry Magazine, at  73. At 95 she's still feisty, writing and publishing her prize-winning poems. Here she is reading poetry in her home city of Minneapolis Minnesota

  • At 95 Nola Hill Ochs is one of the the oldest people ever to graduate from college. She graduated from Fort Hays State University in Hays Kansas  in 2007 after a career as a student that spanned 33 years (she first enrolled in a correspondence course in 1930). A CBS interview of her shows her with her granddaughter, who graduated with her.
Nola Ochs: "There's a great satisfaction in finishing what you start."

  • Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson: September 1860 - December 1961) took up painting at 76, after her arthritis made it too painful to carry on stitching the embroidery pictures she loved to create. In 1938 art collector Louis Caldor discovered her work. An Encyclopedia of World Biography article about her talks about her meteoric rise to fame: Her first one-woman show was held in New York City in 1940 and immediately she became famous. Her second one-woman show, also in New York City, came two years later. By 1943 there was an overwhelming demand for her pictures, partially because her homespun, country scenes brought about wonderful feelings and memories for many people. (See more of her paintings here.)
"Quilting Bee" by Grandma Moses (1950 - at 90 years)

All that to say, whatever your age, don't give "I'm too old" as an excuse for not working to fulfill your dreams.

(Do you know of more seniors who have accomplished exceptional things? Please tell us about them in the comments)

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Monday, June 18, 2012

life's gifts don't stop at 1000 (1003-1015 of gifts unending)

"Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it." - John Hughes

Believe it or not, I've been missing the weekly ritual of reviewing my gratitude list and posting updates of my life! I was thrilled to reach my goal of 1000 a few weeks ago, but now ...  what? So I've decided like some others, to carry on past 1000. May finding things to be grateful for become my lifestyle!

Since I put up my last 1000 gifts post (almost a month ago) here are some blessings I've recorded:

1003. Dr. Charles Price visited our church on his publicity tour for Living Truth. Another couple joined us and we found seats in the second row. Dr.Price ended up sitting right in front of me. (I felt like reaching out and touching the hem of his garment—just kidding!)

1004. I took courage and set up a Facebook page to help me publicize my soon-to-release novel. The process was smooth. It's here, if you care to visit it. I'll be posting book events on it plus other writing-related stuff.

1005. On the subject of the book, I got the proof copy of Destiny's Hands last week, checked it over closely and found no typos, weird spacings, pages missing etc. Whew! So it's on to the print phase.

1006. I love spring's continuing flower show. My camera wants to own! Here are a few mementoes.

1007. We celebrated a couple of milestones. A sad one was my cousin's funeral. He died suddenly in his sleep one Saturday to Sunday in May. I didn't know him well so his memorial service was like getting to know him. What an incredible man who made a huge impact on many people. Memorials always get me thinking too... What will people remember about me?

1008. A happy milestone was a friend's 60th birthday party. He's taken to running triathlons, reflected in his beautifully decorated birthday cake.

1010. We've been enjoying spring scents on our walk—the sweet perfume of wild roses and the spicy scent  of Dame's Rocket.

1011. We pass a favourite dogwood every day on our walk. I've been documenting it in all its phases.

1012. The salmonberries are ripe. Here is one, photographed just before I ate it.

1013. And how about this curious bloom on a shrub (also seen on a recent walk)?

1014. Father's Day in Vancouver. Son lives just off Main Street where they were celebrating Car-Free Day. The street was a big party / stroll. We had a delicious Greek food at The Main. Happy Father's Day to the man in my life.

1015. This very handsome flicker posed for me this morning.

To discover who had the idea to start listing 1000 and more gratitudes, and to find links to many more such lists, go here.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Vintage "Spirit of the Skeena" plane on display at the Langley Airport 


Next week: HOT (Fire, Burner, Candle, Day, Hot Springs, Hot Air Balloon,...)


"Spirit of the Skeena"--its 50-year journey

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

who is this woman in the mirror?

Here I am with my beautiful 90+ Auntie. Talk about a beautiful smile!
If you've watched any TV or browsed through women's magazines lately, you've probably been bombarded by some or all of the following messages:
~ Grey hair is always best hidden (unless you're a man).
~ Wrinkles must be made to disappear.
~ We should all aspire to look like our teen or twenty-something daughters.
~ We'll want to consider product x, y, or z to plump up our lips, erase the bags from under our eyes, and tone the flabby flesh on any part of us.

By marinating in these messages and many more, we've come to hate our bodies when they betray is by greying, sagging, drooping, generally aging. (Who is this woman in the mirror with the puckers around her mouth and the crepe-skinned upper arms?!)

Of course we can't stop implications like these from coming to us through the media. But we can counteract them with a different soundtrack.
  •  We can start by familiarizing ourselves with what makes a woman beautiful in God's eyes. One such depiction is in 1 Peter 3:3-4. Here it is in the Amplified:
3 Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] [a]interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;

4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

  • We can read the writings of others that affirm the qualities Peter talks about. One such writer is Dale Hanson Bourke.  In Embracing Your Second Calling she writes:
"He (God) wants us to know that the best is not behind us. God is calling us from others to him. He wants more of us than we can even imagine because he wants to do more through us than we could possibly know .... If we can understand what God is calling us to and can turn away from those voices calling us to stay attached to our youth, we will be given a power and purpose beyond anything we have experienced" - Dale Hanson Bourke, Embracing Your Second Calling, p. 7,8.

Bourke goes on to suggest some things we can mull over in our minds and act on, to shift our attention away from our disintegrating exteriors to things that really matter. Try some of these this week:

"Consider how you are different today than you were in your twenties, thirties (and I would add forties, even fifties). List in your journal at least three things that are better about you today" (Embracing Your Second Calling, p. 5).

"Make a point to really look at women who are your age or older and notice their beauty. Go out of your way to compliment a woman on what she is wearing or her smile" (Embracing..., p. 6).

"What has been significant in your life so far? What do you consider successful? As you look to your future, do you wish for more success, significance, or both? How do you distinguish between the two?" (Embracing..., p. 7).
If you'd like to share your answers to some of these questions in the comments, that would be great!

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Friday, June 08, 2012

promptings potpourri: money and smell edition

If you're a senior or love one who is, these articles may be of interest:

  • Are you a caregiver? "If you are looking after someone with a serious or terminal condition, you run the risk of being pushed to the limits over time, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and challenged both mentally and physically," says Dr. Jacqueline Brunshaw.  Read about aspects of caregiving (including six things you can do for yourself and ten signs of caregiving burnout) in  Dr. Brunshaw's  National Post article "Giving too much: 'Compassion fatigue' is a real health risk for long-term caregivers."

  • David Mainse, founder of 100 Huntley Street, the popular Canadian Christian TV program, has begun blogging. 100 Words - is a daily walk-through-the Bible blog written by this 75-year-old. He began posting June 1st, 2012.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012


 Mugs of coffee... does it get any better than that?


Next Week: BIG (Building, Mountain, Sky, Animals, Vehicles, Tree,...)

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