Tuesday Ten: Ways To Prepare For Winter Weather

Photo Credit Jason Durham
Photo Credit Jason Durham

It’s Tuesday and at the time of writing, our meteorologists are predicting another winter weather event here in the Tri-State. Our most recent winter weather event was Sunday afternoon/evening when we received about an inch and a half of snow. It’s been a winter full of wintery weather…which seems to keep surprising everyone! Admittedly, it has been a lot more snowy days than Henderson, KY usually experiences, and the kids have been out of school for eight snow days already.

Here’s what I know: You can’t control the weather! You can curse about it, hope about it, sleep with your pajamas on backwards or complain all you want. If it’s coming, it’s coming. Here are ten ways to get ready (that you probably won’t read about on your local newspaper’s website):

1. Stock up on coffee. Or tea. Or hot chocolate.

2. Dig out your fuzzy socks and pajamas.

3. Fill your bird feeders. Your feathered friends need to eat and inclement weather makes it harder. Plus, it’s fun to watch the birds gather in your yard while it snows.

4. Be sure you have good reading material.

5. Find a crock pot recipe that will go well with snowy weather and get the ingredients.

6. You’ll have to think ahead about this, but clean windows sure do make the snow look better! Call up your local window cleaner and make an appointment! If you live in or near Henderson, I know a guy!

7. Get a good DVD, playlist or On Demand cardio work out ready. You can save on heating the house if you have a way to warm up…and if you’re stuck in the house, you’re gonna need a way to get moving. Or dancing.

8. Make sure you have a dog. Dogs keep your feet warm and keep you company. They don’t judge you while you sit on the couch drinking coffee, reading books and writing blog posts about what to do if winter weather is coming.

9. Pray and look for ways to extend kindness and care to those in need. Remember people who have no choice but to be outside when bad weather strikes. People who have no permanent shelter, people who drive the plows and salt trucks, people who serve us in a variety of ways that do not allow for snow days.

10. Embrace the snowiness! Complaining won’t do anything except annoy your snow-loving friends and keep you from being joyful. Remember: you can’t control this mess, but you can make the most of it!

How do you get ready for snowy weather?

Tuesday Ten: Things That Are Great About Girl Scouts

Keep Calm GS Cookies1. They sell cookies. Good cookies. My troop is selling them now. If you’re local, you should probably order some from us. If you’re not local, you should find a Girl Scout.

2. They grow into girls of courage, confidence and character.

3. They are wildly creative.

4. They aren’t afraid of hard work. Girl Scouts work to earn merit badges and awards.

5. They are community minded. Girl Scouts will do millions of hours of volunteering and community service this year.

6. In a world where it can be so easy to tear each other down, Girl Scouts are a team. They support each other and help each other achieve goals.

7. They are leaders in their troops and in their communities.

8. They leave no trace.

9. Girl Scouts do fun activities and can even get patches for their uniforms that represent these fun activities.

10. They can be found in almost every city and community and all over the world.

Interested in being a part of this great organization as a volunteer or as a parent of a girl? Visit girlscouts.org to find your local council!

Tuesday Ten: Thanksgiving Traditions

Christthanksmas 021Ten favorite Thanksgiving Traditions:

1. The Turkey Trot (Presby Church at 9:00 Thanksgiving morning)

2. Sweet potatoes

3. The Macy’s parade

4. Turkey

5. The ornament exchange after dinner at Jason’s aunt’s house

6. Post-Turkey Trot nap

7. Time with family

8. Coffee all day long

9. Picking out our Christmas Tree

10. Everyone’s thankful attitudes

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Tuesday Ten: Things For Which I Am Thankful

loucon2 138It’s a month when my facebook feed is full of things that my friends are thankful for and it seems easier to remember to count blessings. Here are ten of mine:

1. Words. I love words–reading them, hearing them, using them, learning new words.

2. Leaves. Yes, I know, some of you are at war with yours, but ours are pretty on the ground and we’re leaving them there for now.

3. Coffee. I don’t really feel a need to qualify this one.

4. Lip Gloss. I have about 73 tubes of lip gloss. Which is almost like I’m about to run out.

5. My Bibles. I also have about 73 of those, but I love Bibles and I just gave another one away over the weekend, so I suppose that means I can shop for Bibles over at Amazon?

6. Water. We were under a boil order for several days last week and it made me remember yet again what a blessing clean, flowing water in one’s house actually is.

7. My crock pot. It’s a magical device that cooks food for me while I’m gone and everything it produces is hot and fantastic.

8. Ropes Courses. High or low, those courses produce amazing interactions and self-revelations.

9. My camera. I love whoever came up with the miraculous technology that allows us to capture moments on film so we can remember them always. It’s one way we have to travel through time.

10. Spotify. So many songs on demand. I’m spoiled.

What things make you remember to be thankful?

Tuesday Ten: Words I’m Trying Not To Say In Conversation

Magnetic PoetryThere are a lot of words I won’t say in conversation with others. You can guess what some of the four-lettered words are. I also don’t say that things are “retarded” or “gay” and I don’t use slurs of any kind because that’s ignorant. But here are ten words I’m working out of my vocabulary now.

1. Busy (as in “How are you?” “Busy.”)

2. Hate (an unnecessary word if there ever was one.)

3. Um (thanks, Toastmasters!)

4. Nice (as a descriptor. All the words in the English language? I can do better than “nice.”)

5. Just (as in, “I’m just saying” or “I just think…” or “I’m just a…” When we do this, we diminish what we are saying, I heard someone say one time that women are prone to say they are “Just this” or “Just thinking that” because we’ve been taught not to assert our thoughts and opinions.)

6. Awesome (I just say it too much.)

7. Stupid (another  unnecessary word.)

8. Crazy (my Halloween costume posed a problem with this, so I resorted to saying that I was a Ferociously Feline Obsessed Female.)

9. Actually (as in “Actually…” when someone has said something that I’m tempted to correct.”)

10. Should (I learned this from LouAnn Clark at Decided Difference–and in my circle of friends, by the way. Be jealous. We should stop saying “I should…” and “You should…” Go listen to her podcast. It’s fantastic.)

What word or words do you try not to say or what word or words would you do away with if you could?

Tuesday Ten: Why People Bully

Arnold and his friend talk about being afraid of "The Gooch." ("Diff'rent Strokes")
Arnold and his friend talk about being afraid of “The Gooch.” (“Diff’rent Strokes”)

Last week, the news was full of stories about Rebecca Sedwick, a twelve year-old girl who jumped to her death after she was bullied by classmates.

It’s reported (by dosomething.org) that approximately 160,000 teens skip school daily because of bullying and that 90% of 4th -8th graders report to be victims of bullying. Whenever I talk to young people of almost any age about bullying, they have a lot to say about it. There are stories upon stories of things that they have seen, things they have witnessed and even about how they have bullied others. As an adult, I remember clearly several instances from my own childhood and teenager years when I was the victim of cruel words or actions.

I asked my sixth grade Girl Scout troop why they think people bully other people last week. This is an important question, really. If we can help young people understand what it is that motivates people to bully others, we might be able to teach them better ways to deal with their own impulses to bully others or help them understand how they can react when others bully them.

Here’s what seven sixth grade girls shared about why they think people bully others:

1. They think they are better than everyone else.

2. They are jealous.

3. They were bullied by someone else.

4. It’s how they are treated at home.

5. They feel badly about themselves and want others to feel the same way they do.

6. They want attention.

7. They don’t like how a situation is going and they want to put the focus on something/someone else.

8. They think no one loves them.

9. Their parents treat other people that way and they learned by watching them.

10. They think it’s fun to hurt other people.

Visit websites like dosomething.org or stopbullying.gov for more information about bullying and what adults and caregivers can do to stop this trend!

Tuesday Ten: Things That Would Be Helpful Given Our Division

the-campaign-movie-reviewThat title is a mouthful. Basically, I’m discouraged. We are a nation divided. We are a humanity divided. In some cases, we are a family divided or a marriage divided. There is a lot of “us” and “them” going on. I’ve never taken a political science class and I can barely keep up with what’s going on, but I know I’m tired of the fighting, the name calling and the growing gap between us.

Here are ten things that would be helpful during this time of great division.

1. When you are inclined to speak, write or post about a topic that will cause conflict (the shut down, our government, our President, etc.), be sure that you have done your homework and know what’s true and what’s opinion.

2. Do not treat opinions as though they are facts (and vice versa, I suppose).

3. Verify the things you “share” or “forward” with snopes.com or hoax-slayer.com. Please.

4. Those hi-larious graphics that malign the “other guys?” Only hi-larious to the people who think just like you do. Very rarely is one actually helpful in creating good conversation.

5. Choose your media sources carefully. If everyone behind the desk  probably votes the same way you do, there might be some bias in play. Listening to other viewpoints doesn’t have to make you change your mind, but sometimes it’s helpful to hear a different “spin.”

6. It’s okay to be friends, to respect and even to sometimes agree with people who think differently and vote differently than you do.

7. Name calling really has no place in civilized society.

8. Personal attacks are not a good way to prove a point. Ad hominem, you guys! What would your elementary school English teachers say?

9. Remember that our two party political system provides a type of check and balance, but also provides for “winning” and “losing.” I know, I know, you want everyone to get a trophy, but the fact of the matter is that we vote or they vote and majority (or some formula of majority) rules.

10. Please consider that there is more to life than politics, elections and our government. These things are important and it’s okay to be passionate about these things, but we are all God’s children–red, blue, purple or green. You get me?

In short, rather than saying or doing things that only serve to widen the gap between us all, maybe we could do things that foster conversation and a chance to find places we might be able to stand together.

Am I just being an idealist as usual? Are we doomed as a nation, or will this get better?

Tuesday Ten: Questions That Will Make Small Talk More Awesome

Sixteen-Candles-2I’m not a big fan of small talk. I love to meet people, but discussing the weather with relative strangers makes me feel incredibly lame. Another thing I hate to ask, “What do you do?” in a way that implies “to make money” is the unspoken ending of the sentence. People are about more than their occupations, really, and it can be awkward to answer if one is between jobs or working a job he or she does not really enjoy.

Anyway, I’m here to help. Here are ten questions that you can use to make your small talk conversations much more interesting and fun. Or wait–these are probably things you don’t know about some of the people with whom you converse on a regular basis. These questions can make regular conversation more fun as well!

1. What is your favorite salad dressing?

2. Have you ever slept in a tent?

3. What was your favorite “required reading” book in high school?

4. Would you rather go skydiving or spelunking?

5. Where would you go on vacation if you had unlimited time and resources?

6. What was your very first job?

7. What color is your toothbrush?

8. What was the last thing you cooked?

9. What is your favorite form of artistic expression?

10. If you could travel through time, back to any day in your life, which day would you choose?

Pick a question and answer it in the comments!

Tuesday Ten: That Cozy/Comfy/Homey Feeling

Ten things that I really enjoy about our home, especially as the temperature drops and winter draws near:

419345_2827645694323_1354493417_32156046_906477541_n1. A fire in the fireplace

2. The smell of coffee in the air

3. Good lighting for reading

4. Sam’s warm head in my lap

5. The couch in Jason’s office–perfect for curling up with a book

6. The crock pot and the miracle meals it produces

7. Our dining room table

8. Windows that look out into the backyard, which is pretty no matter the season.

9. My fuzzy blanket

10. My family all home together

What makes your home especially cozy?

Tuesday Ten: Ways To Share Grace Today

A picture that, for me, also demonstrates God's grace. What a beautiful place on a beautiful day! (Taken at the BIAC over the weekend.)
A picture that, for me, also demonstrates God’s grace. What a beautiful place on a beautiful day! (Taken at the BIAC over the weekend.)

Ten things you can do to let others know they are loved and valued today

1. Stop and listen to someone’s story today.

2. Tip everyone who is tippable today (servers in restaurants, hair stylists, window cleaners…)

3. Write an encouraging note to someone who probably needs to be encouraged. Bonus points if it’s the kind you mail.

4. Donate even a small amount of money to a good cause.

5. Smile at strangers.

6. Forgive someone who makes a mistake that affects you.

7. Forgive someone who hurt you long ago and let them back into your life.

8. Help a parent of young children who is feeling overwhelmed by providing a meal, a cup of coffee or an hour of babysitting.

9. Remind people that they are loved (by God, by you, by others).

10. Ask a child to tell you about the best thing that happened today, and then listen to her/his answers.