Monthly Archives: February 2015

How Do You Fight the Blues?


Happy Wednesday. Happy hump day. How are you surviving the long winter?

I specifically asked for a HappyLight ( this past Christmas, and I got one. I know myself, and I know that sunless winters get very long for me. Last year’s winter resulted in my overwhelming need to fight the drear with a new kitchen paint color. I  NEEDED light. My kitchen is now bright orange. I have not yet initiated my new light, but I think this may very well be the week.

What do you do to beat the winter blues, defeat the doldrums, and fight the funk? A good game of alliteration is fun, but the pleasure is short-lived.

Lots of folks find solace in their pets. I am not a pet-in-the-house kind of person, but my family has found a way to make that work. Our little Chiweenie (, which we purchased from a lady in the Aldi parking lot was the only furry one in the bunch. He had fleas, but was the cutest of the group and has been lots of fun. He is in his home within our home. He stays in his kennel unless on our lap or outside for play, and he is happy to hang out in there if he is in a room with us.


It should be noted that this precious nugget sings every morning on our commute to school. He enjoys Bruno Mars, Michael Buble, and Jeremy Camp.

Now, for any in the area… There will be a super cool dog show on Saturday, May 23rd. Our time is not yet determined, but we will have drawings, doggielisious prizes, freebies, and more. Plan on bringing your four-legged friend out to help support Spring Branch Helping Hands 4-H Club’s Relay for Life team. I’ll share more details soon.

That was a word from our sponsor. Okay, advertisement over.

So, there are therapeutic lights and our pets. What about a good exercise session? That’s a good way to keep one’s mood in check. I have not done much physical activity lately, but I do know that’s a good way to combat the blahs. What is your favorite exercise routine? I had a love affair with Zumba for a while, but that fizzled a few seasons ago.

How about a bit of retail therapy? That’s not always a viable solution, but it works pretty well at a dollar store or at second-hand shops.  You know that may be a good future post… A list of all of the “thrift” (aka “trift” stores as my German mother-in-law calls them) in the area might be a fun little research project. To be honest, I am not much good at shopping consignment or second-hand stores. I am not snooty, but I just don’t have the eye to find the treasure among the trash.

Going back a moment to German language, here’s a link some might find interesting, especially if you have German ancestry or like the sound of languages. We laugh about it often at my home:

I, like our little Chiweenie, am a mix, but my husband is 100% Kraut.

A fun craft, a day spent scrapbooking, a lunch date, an escapist book, and even a winding, chain-of-consciousness mind ramble can add a bit of fun to cold, caught-inside days.

It’s your time to share now. What is your secret for surviving winter?

Have a Blessed Wednesday!



Valentine’s Day Options and Observations


Warning: This post does not take a straight line.

When couples are dating or newly married, we girls want our mates to come up with special gifts at birthdays and holidays. We hope that our partner will just know what would be the most romantic, spot-on, perfect gift without hints or instruction needed.

As we “mature” together as a couple, we women come to realize that this may not be realistic. We then begin to hope our counterparts will be observant enough and listen sufficiently to notice when we express a liking for something, and that they will remember that when it is time to present a… present.

That is sometimes a lot to ask as well.

I have been known to simply shop for myself. This past Christmas, however, my husband presented me with a unique gift of a Date Night at Dierbergs School of Cooking. It was something that I had never asked for, but he thought it would be an experience we would enjoy. He was right. I tend to be much more about experiences that objects like jewelry or clothes.

In January, alongside seven other couples, ranging from twenty-something’s to senior citizens, we prepared a meal and ate together during the two-hour evening at the Bogey Hills store in St. Charles, MO.

Our instructor Nancy and her assistant were great hostesses, and they shared some cool cooking tips. We were given some brief instruction, and each couple was tasked with an assignment to complete. Once the meal was ready, we ate, visited, complimented one another, and left with a set of recipes. The people were nice, food was great, setting comfortable. A victory for Tim!

blog - VD - Feb. 2015

Nancy surveyed the group, and I think that in every situation the evening was a gift from the male spouses or boyfriends. So, with a few days left before Valentine’s, this may be something to hint around about. There may still be a few openings available. Here’s the link:

Now, let’s shift gears just a bit to movies. I know everyone is talking about a certain very controversial movie that releases this weekend. I have read lots about this movie and the book it’s based on, as I am sure many of you have as well. I have not read the book, but I confess that a fellow book club member shared a couple paragraphs aloud from her kindle at one of our meetings. Bloggers have presented perhaps 50 reasons why this is not a movie we should see, and I can’t contribute anything new to the conversation.

Except I will say this:

I remember when “The Bachelor” first aired in 2002. I sat appalled at the premise of the show. I found the idea of one man being sought by all these women to be insulting and chauvinistic, and that was without knowing how the relationships would play out during the “dating” process. Somehow, over time, I began to accept the show and watch it regularly, and, quite frankly, the series now is much more scandalous than it was in early seasons. My point is that we all become desensitized to what we see. What was once trashy or abhorrent slowly becomes commonplace. And, we are all subject to this. So, we should guard against it. No judgment, just an observation.

Another direction now…

I would like to offer an alternative to the highly anticipated movie that I described above. May I suggest “Old Fashioned.” You will find it about one tenth the number of theaters that will be playing the high-profile film. But it you seek it out (it will be in the St. Louis area, BTW), you may be pleasantly surprised. Here’s the link:

So, here’s how I became aware of the film. I had the opportunity to preview a Christian movie to be released on March 20th. That movie preview was on Thursday evening, February 5th, and it is titled “Do You Believe.” This is a movie made by the creators of “God’s Not Dead.” There are numerous notable actors in “Do You Believe,” and I recommend this movie to your family or church group. The link for this film is:


We saw several previews, viewed “Do You Believe,” and completed a survey about the movie. My intention was to bring this post to you last Friday (for Fundays). I have categorized it there even though I am coming to you later.

I planned to write this after coming home on Thursday evening, but, as I left the theater, I saw I’d received a message that my first cousin had suddenly lost her 59-year-old husband. The two of them were married 37 years and raised four amazing children. Theirs was a fruitful and happy marriage. I didn’t feel right writing this before today. Please pray for my cousin and her kids, and all those missing sweethearts and loved ones.

Life does not take a straight line.