Posted by: Judy | July 2, 2020

This Week in Beauty…

Proverbs 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, an giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

I see this as she takes care of those for whom she’s responsible.

I’ve never been married or had children. I have cared for my parents, a dog, and a horse. I’ve endeavored to meet responsibilities given to me.

Time and counseling has seen improvement. I suppose I could look at this as taking care of myself. I’m not particularly good at that, but I am learning. In order for me to care for others, I need to learn to care for myself.

My grocery shopping has changed significantly, including more fresh veggies and fruits and less in the way of pre-prepared foods. Nowhere near perfect, of course, but much improved.

In my head, I understand the importance of fulfilling my responsibility to those I owe…perhaps my previous work fits this. As a medical transcriptionist my job was to type out tapes and return the records the following day. I couldn’t be lazy and just put it off a day or two. I had 24 hours to complete my work. Sometimes, they’d need a record back the same day. Interestingly enough, I thought I was lazy and needed to be prodded to accomplish anything. I proved myself wrong. For around 17 years, I completed my work on time, every day. The only time I missed was when I herniated the disc in my back and I was slow returning my work, by an extra day, twice. I went on vacation for about a week, three times.

This still needs work, but I’m not an utter failure.

Posted by: Judy | July 1, 2020

Gifts July 2020

Reminder: Word of the year is Beauty

I want to be better. If you don’t know what it means to be better how will you know when you’ve become it? If I don’t define it for myself, the world will define it for me. Guarantee: The world will get it wrong.

14 Try dyeing clothes with food scraps


13 Create a Dream Book ~ I let my dreams die rather than watch them starve and wither. I need to make a change in my perspective: My old dreams don’t fit anymore; I need dreams that fit me now that will help me grow into who I want to be. Done

12 Set up my author page on Amazon: It’s time I accepted responsibility and pray God helps me with my frustration with such things. Not yet

11 Nap. If I’m feeling munchie, ask myself if I’m tired. If I’m tired, lay down. Improving

10 Instead of stressing about leaving the house or doing something I’m afraid to do, now, I’m going on an adventure! Working on it and liking it.

9 Learn to love my body Working on it

8 Work on forgiving myself Working on it

7 Give away/let go of 1 thing every day for Lent. I loved doing this last year. With the whole stay home thing, which didn’t change things much for me, but I decided to go through books. More than 40 items gone. Done.

6 Make it through Valentine’s Day Done

5 Regain control of my budget Improving

4 Beauty Secrets of the Bible ~ My perspective will never change if I refuse to confront the lies. Done

3 Guest on Hallee Bridgeman’s blog Wednesday 8 January ~ I’m honored to be a guest on her blog, as she’s one of my favorite authors and a genuinely nice person. Done.

2 Publish A Promise of Possibilities ~ Having this done will open the door to being able to move on to the next book. Deep edit is done. Final read through.

1 Lose weight 6 Jan 260.2 lb starting point. Instead of measuring weight every month, I’m giving the starting weight and the end of the year weight. In between I want to track what I do to eat healthier. For example, I’m eating at least 4 fruits a day 5 days a week, up from 3, something I added in November 2019. Eating healthier is more important than losing weight. It helps me feel better, so I’m better able to do what I need to do, and clears my mind. Eating healthier. End of May up 5 lb.

Writing ~ Novellas and novels ~ Schedule deadlines and follow through ~ I want to finish Christmas Lost and the Anthology, write four novellas for another anthology, and outline a four-book Regency series with the first book written.

Creating a home ~ Clean and clutter ~ Vacuum, bath, sweep, dust, throwaway or giveaway to bless someone else. I want a routine I can regularly accomplish. The house is not mine, but I do live here. Nothing can stop me from making things nicer.

Reading ~ Fiction and non-fiction ~ Balance and reduce my TBR pile. I’d like to read 100 books.

Finances ~ Budget, spend better ~ Ledger. I want to be able to meet my financial responsibilities and have a little leftover for fun, while not scrimping on self care.

Faith ~ Bible study, prayer, church ~ War Room ~ I want my habits to be more mindful.

Health ~ Sleep, meals, exercise ~ Consistency and try new recipes. I want to be able to walk up a flight of 14 stairs using alternate feet. Right now, I mostly have to step up using my left because my right has a bad habit of buckling. With slow practice and training, I know I can change this, as long as I don’t hurry things along too quickly, which always sets me back.

Fun ~ Friends and clothes ~ Meals and Holy Clothing ~ I eat breakfast with my sister on Saturdays. I have lunch once a week with octogenarian friends and about three times a month with other friends. However, it’s important for me to acknowledge and celebrate these times.

Posted by: Judy | June 30, 2020

SM musing

Who are you? More important: Whose are you? Choosing Jesus demands commitments, change, submitting to His will. I’m learning to seek God’s will every day. A tough lesson to learn but I’m finding it well worth learning. God is good. ~ Laurel Hawkes

Posted by: Judy | June 29, 2020

15 Years Later

Remembering Operation Red Wings

“Lone Survivor,” the first military autobiography I read, and it changed everything.

Posted by: Judy | June 28, 2020

Inspiration for always

Posted by: Judy | June 27, 2020

Silly Saturday Email…

This email was sent to me 16 years ago.

It still makes me laugh.

OD Victim

A friend of mine sent this to me, and I just HAD to
pass it along!

I’m not sending you this picture of an overdose victim
for shock value.

Rather, it’s in the hope that all of
you that are on my list will hopefully have a frank
discussion with your friends about respecting
moderation, knowing their limits, and knowing when to
just walk away.

When you view the picture, remember,
this did not have to happen….


Posted by: Judy | June 26, 2020

Good News Friday

*Yummy lunch and delightful conversation with friends from Kneaders

*Turkey sandwich on Country White and eclairs

*Walk and breakfast at P.Croissant with my sister

*Breakfast sandwich with ham, sautéed mushrooms, and American cheese with hot chocolate and whipped cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle

*Good conversations with friends and family

*Pizza, with pineapple, bacon, and mushrooms

*The Lord helped me catch Zippy the spider, who explored my room for a few days, and release him outside, followed, 15 minutes later, by a daddy long legs wandering in the kitchen.

*1/2 dozen croissants from P.Croissant, Bavarian Cream, Lemon, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, and Apple.

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | June 25, 2020

This Week in Beauty…

Proverbs 31:14 “She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”

The grocery store isn’t that far, but I don’t think that’s what this means. Okay, so this is really the scriptures according to Judy. This is me trying to figure out how these Bible verses apply to me.

A merchant’s ship is not meant to stay in the harbor. It goes in search of various kinds of treasure to bring home and enrich the owner.

We are blessed with so many varieties of food. I’m learning to explore taste and preparation. Learning what I like and don’t like is a part of this. When “Runaway Bride” came out I preened because I knew how I liked my eggs. Do you see the fall coming? I didn’t. I still conformed to whoever I was with, blending in, playing a chameleon. Going home and being angry with myself for essentially lying.

When did all that change? I can’t pinpoint the beginning. The change was gradual. However, I do remember a specific decision I made to explore my preferences. I’ve written about it here, but it’s been a while. Like many, I had a habit of saying that I loved chocolate, any and all chocolate. Except I didn’t. I wasn’t a fan of dark chocolate; it was too bitter. So…I didn’t love all chocolate. It took years for me shift through the clutter in my head. I had to learn to experiment. One day, I went grocery shopping and picked up one of every chocolate available at my favorite store, totaling 18. I didn’t include bars with additional ingredients like nuts, caramel, and coconut. To my shock, I discovered my favorite was Dove Dark Chocolate. I learned that I could be happy with a single piece, while several bars of another variety left me feeling unsatisfied.

Cookies were the next target, followed by pancake mix, instant potatoes, soup, spaghetti sauce, and other pre-prepared foods.

Choosing to eliminate soy from my diet required more experimenting but with far few choices. However, I’ve discovered I’m happier with my soy-free choices than I ever was with my previous choices. Unexpected.

I’m also learning to choose wisely and not waste. I used to throw away a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I’m learning to buy what I enjoy eating instead of what I should eat. If I don’t finish something one week, I don’t buy more until it’s gone. I may even take a break.

I’ve learned what keeps well and what doesn’t. As much as I enjoy fresh fruit and veggies, I also have canned and jarred, just in case. Things I wish I’d had when everything first shut down and I couldn’t find, I bought as soon as they were available again.

I’m practicing using what I have in different ways and proper storage.

Side note: I tried substituting duck eggs for chicken eggs. Nope, nope, nope. I ate one egg a week and gained almost 10 lb within less than 4 weeks. I skipped my weekly egg and dropped almost 5 lb. Food allergies affect cravings, kind of insidious. Live and learn.

Posted by: Judy | June 24, 2020

Reading List 76-80

76. Lone Star Homecoming (Texas Justice series book 5) by Justine Davis contemporary romance. The last book in the series and a satisfying end to the series.

77. Kept Secrets by Traci Hunter Abramson contemporary Christian suspense romance. This was a stand alone story, though there was a reference to the Guardians. I’d place it in my reading lineup before the Guardian series. I love her stories.

78. Operation Mistletoe (Operation Romance! series book 1) by Elizabeth Maddrey contemporary Christian romance. I’ve read this one before but am happily reading it again in the box set.

79. Operation Valentine (Operation Romance! series book 2) by Elizabeth Maddrey contemporary Christian romance. A sweet second chance story. There’s a brief mention of Season’s Bounty, from the Taste of Romance series. A fun crossover.

80. Operation Fireworks (Operation Romance! series book 3) by Elizabeth Maddrey contemporary Christian romance. I love her redemption themes.

Posted by: Judy | June 23, 2020


I never thought I’d say this, but I miss church. Granted, going to church is not something I’d say I actually enjoy, but I miss it.

I’ve heard and read a lot of people saying how much more they prefer church at home, watching live stream or zooming or listening to a podcast. Being an introvert, I prefer not being around crowds. I should be one of those happy to be home. I’m not.

Being home requires little effort on my part, very little effort.

Going to church requires me to prepare on numerous levels. It feels like I’m making an offering to God. I’m putting aside my creature comfort to join other followers in worship.

First, I have to mentally and physically carve out the time in my day, time that isn’t flexible to what I want to do. Even grocery shopping is flexible. Earlier or later, even by 15 minutes, doesn’t matter. Church starts at a specific time. Being on time requires me to make getting there a priority.

Second, I need to make sure I have something appropriate to wear. In all honesty, most of what I own is appropriate. I’ve some T-shirts I wouldn’t wear because they’re more work clothes than worship. It’s about preparing my mind and heart. I also wouldn’t wear any of my Renaissance Fair outfits. They’re nice, but they’d make me the center of attention instead of me making worship the center of my attention.

Third, I really have to prepare myself mentally to be surrounded by people. Ignoring them isn’t an option, not like grocery shopping when I can lose myself in my thoughts. I have to pay attention. This can be extra difficult when I’m having trouble hearing and have to read lips to help me understand what’s being said. It would be too easy for me to become completely isolated. That isn’t how God intended us to live.

Fourth, I need to be prepared physically, since I end up not sitting for most of the meeting. I stand at the back and rock on my feet, the way my physical therapist taught me to help loosen my back. The chairs and pews are miserable, torture devices, cutting off the circulation across the back of my legs and straining my back.

Fifth and most important: Attending church is my offering to God. It’s me showing God He is a priority in my life. It’s easy for me to fall into being so laid back I’m inattentive and easily distracted. Church is a sacrifice, an easy sacrifice. God isn’t asking me to give up my life or go to prison; He’s only asking me to give Him a little focused time one morning a week. My study time during the week is often interrupted with distractions, but I always return to it. The purpose of the one morning a week is to help train me to better focus. It requires self discipline.

When I was going to the physical therapist, those once or twice weekly visits were to help me make sure I was progressing and not straying from what my therapist taught me. Sometimes, I’d get a little sloppy, and those appointments helped me clean up my therapy, making it more effective. Church helps me focus on cleaning up my life, every week, making sure I’m living more closely in accordance with God’s teaching.

So, though I’m not a fan of large groups and uncomfortable seating, I’m looking forward to returning to church. I have a sneaky hunch God is laughing at me and shaking His head, but He loves me anyway.

Older Posts »