Enter into This Book’s Own Little World.

Do you ever finish a book with a feeling of regret because now you have to leave its world? That’s certainly happened to me many times, and my son said once when he was younger that he wished he wasn’t such a fast reader, since he sometimes didn’t want a book to end. Yesterday, because of a memory brought to mind of a phrase from a 1960’s detective novel, I loaded up the audiobook version of A Clutch of Constables by the New Zealand mystery author Ngaio Marsh. I had returned a couple of audiobooks to Audible.com that I knew in my heart of hearts I was never going to finish and so had some credits to spend. Constables wasn’t available as a download through the library, so I went ahead and spent a credit.

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Covey Gleanings

photo credit: Wikipedia

I am plowing through the Covey book, and maybe you should, too.

I’m at the beginning of chapter 13, so only 95 more to go. Mercy! I can’t even begin to imagine what he can possibly go on about for that long, but at this point we haven’t even gotten to the first highly effective habit; he’s still hammering away at his introductory stuff.

I’ve said several times already that the book is boring, but that’s not quite the right word. It’s just very, very dense, and he has all these proverb-like sentences that make me feel that I should be writing them down, or cross-stitching them, or something. I just cheated and went onto BrainyQuote to look at ome of his sayings. Follow the link to get a sampling.

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In Which I Decide to Focus Less on Things I Can’t Change . . .

. . . and more on things I can!

Almost exactly a year ago, on July 4, 2016, I started posting about the upcoming election on my personal Facebook page. I had never been particularly interested in politics before but had become greatly exercised about the possible outcome in November. My goal was to change a few minds or at least open them a crack. (I don’t post directly about politics on this page or on my author Facebook page

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My Personal Clean Slate

Have you ever heard the proverb “Begin as you mean to go on”? It means that beginnings count. How you start is how you’ll continue. New beginnings are a way to start over. Gretchen Rubin (there she is again!) calls it “the strategy of the clean slate” in her book on habits. (The link is to a video she did on the subject.)

So, although I didn’t plan it that way, I started out in our new life here at Lowell & Jan’s with a clean slate about food: I just wasn’t going to eat any sweets.

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In Which I Am a Bad Sport about a Small Problem

Ain’t that just the way it always is? You finally solve a problem after weeks or even longer of delay, but one little thing is still wrong. So what do you focus on? That one little thing, of course.

Yesterday morning the second set of carpet installers arrived and immediately showed that they knew what they were doing. I mentioned to the guy before I left that they needed to check all the thresholds, which he assured me he would do. Arriving home after a great morning of Bible study and fellowship, I allowed myself not one second of enjoyment before going to the kitchen threshold and checking to make sure it had been done.

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Read about a Sick Girl–and Count Your Blessings!

Both images are from their respective Amazon pages; click on the image to be taken to the appropriate page. I used my two available Audible.com credits to get these books in audio form and am almost finished with Sick Girl. 

I’m not going to write much in the way of commentary here because it’s not needed. The book covers should tell you all you need to know about the worth contained between them. For those of us who are reasonably healthy, it’s good to be reminded of how precious that health and life is. It’s also helpful to be reminded of how utterly tactless we can be to those who are suffering. Even doctors and nurses–maybe even especially them–can add to the patient’s pain by their manner and words.

For an interesting and informative interview with Amy Silverstein about her second book (and her second heart transplant), go–where else?–to Gretchen Rubin’s recent blog post:

“I Simply Have to Put All My Energy into Hope and Life, Rather Than Trying to Avoid Doom and Death.”

That article will sell you on the books if nothing else will. You can get paper or digital versions at your library if you’d like. I was not able to find the audio versions at mine and thus went through Audible.

I Am Happy to Be an American!

If you read my personal Facebook page you’ll know that I’m not exactly happy with the current resident-in-chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But you know what? I’m happy to be an American just the same. I get to voice my opposition freely, and loudly, and frequently. No one as yet has come pounding on my door.

Yesterday Jim and I helped out at a big community/church event for which the neighborhood was invited for games, 

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Just Keep Plugging Away.

Well, Jim did something I wouldn’t have thought of doing about our whole carpet kerfuffle: he called in another carpet installer to give us his view on what can be done to get us over the finish line. This guy, whose full name I don’t know, had every reason in the world to tell us some big hoopty-doo about what he could/should do to help us out. But instead he assured us that the problem was eminently fixable. Yes, he said, it would have been best for all the old flooring to be completely removed and the new install to be over a clean concrete surface,

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Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.

Yes, I know these aren’t really monkeys. They’re baboons. (Although I didn’t know it until I saw the title on the image.)

Wish I could take credit for ferreting out the above clever proverb (little animal joke there), but it’s from the Gretch and Liz “Happier” podcast episode from yesterday. Once again they’ve hit the mail squarely on the head, albeit about a principle I’ve been mulling a lot lately. I just had never heard that particular proverb before. (It’s Polish, and the original says, “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.“)

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A New Productivity App for You to Try

You don’t have to use any kind of digital tool to keep track of to-do lists and your time. If you have a system that works for you, then more power to you! I remember reading some time ago about a consultant who met with a very busy executive (I think she was a realtor) who used paper to-do lists and calendars to keep track of her tasks and schedule. She had Post-It notes stuck on her computer, pads of paper on her desk, and a duplicate set of lists for her assistant. It all looked very cluttered and low-tech, and she wanted to change to a computer-driven system.

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