Once a Month Habit

Another WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Once a month I take a trip to the big city to visit my eye doctor. He’s an expert at helping people keep their eyesight, and he knows one important factor in his job is to check my blood pressure.

After my visit, I make another visit, this time to my favorite eatery, Julie’s Deli.

Get the Julie's Deli Habit!

Get the Julie’s Deli Habit!

And if my blood pressure tested really good, I reward myself there, with coffee and dessert.

Today, I had pecan pie.

Because the cheesecake was all gone.

For more reading about habits, check out some of these:

  1. Habit How-to: Beginning
  2. Habit How-to: Repeating
  3. Habit How-to: Reminding
  4. Habit How-to: Requiring

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

This is my new mug.

Companionable Mug

My Companionable Mug

You can plainly see it has ice water in it and not coffee. Why have I done this?

Well, several health care professionals in my life have been after me to drink more water and less coffee. They’re wrong, of course, but what can I do?

So I’m trying. And I thought dirtying another vessel after my only cup of coffee would just be more work, I put my secondary and tertiary drinks into the same beloved mug.

Water is tertiary.

And I discovered something.

I just discovered how much loving coffee also has to do with loving the mug. This one is earthen, red clay, and hand-made by a lovely lady just up the road. And I owe her a debt of appreciation.


  • The balance of the weight of this mug is perfect, full or empty. The drink inside stays hot or cold longer than with ceramic.
  • The handle is comfortable. I can only explain that by asking you to notice the way it has an indentation for the thumb, running down its length.
  • It is not tipsy. That fact is so important when working at a desk. It has saved my life at least once.
  • The glaze is textured. It feels good in the hands.
  • It has a thin lip, as thin as glassware, preventing the spill we often get from another favorite mug.
  • The bottom is completely flat, allowing it to dry in the dishwasher with no top-rack puddles to dribble on the dishes below.
  • It is wider at the bottom than at the sides, so if I whip cream in the bottom, more pops to the top when I add coffee.

It’s just the perfect mug.

And if I have to drink water, at least it comforts me about it, reminding me of better days, and holding promise of that one cupful tomorrow.

It’s like a friend.

If you need to drink more water, maybe making friends with a companionable mug will help you, too? Think?

BE the friend she needs, instead of collecting friends. Be the adult in your friendships!

To Befriend or NOT to Befriend . . .

Okay, you know her name and that she has three children and came from Peoria, and she attends your church when she bothers with attending.

You even know what she and her husband argue about. She lives just down the street, after all.

You just do not feel very close. Oh, sure, you’ve given her a ride when her car was in the shop, you watched her children while she painted a room, and you took her some soup when they all had flu. She lives just down the street, after all.

She is what the ancient Hebrew called anesh-shalom and the ancient Greek called hetairos. These words referred to acquaintances that we work with, live with, even depend upon, but yet are not necessarily of our choosing. Examples are Jeremiah 38:22 and Matthew 20:13.

BE the friend she needs, instead of collecting friends!It would not yet be wise to trust her, but how do you befriend her?

You take food to her, help with her children, and give her rides; that’s how.

While you are at it, show interest. If you are only a helping hand, she will feel like a charity case. A person usually cannot open up to another unless there is a trade, a give and take, like a dance. If, over coffee or tea, you ask to see the paint job, ask her for a ride in return, or ask if her children would feed your cat while you are gone, you will deepen the relationship.

You will earn closeness that allows you to ask better questions than, “How are you today?”.

Questions like:

“You look tired—bad night?”

“So, how do you like the neighborhood? Are you meeting folks?”

“It was good to see you Sunday—Have you decided to join us, or are you still looking?”

Her answers will open doors for new conversations that are more meaningful. Conversations are the building blocks of true friendship. Slip in a hug, when appropriate, and you add the cherry on top: You add value to her person.

Realizing that each person on this earth is needy is the key to all relationships.

We once lived next door to the wealthiest family in town, totally out of our league. The wife one day asked my permission to help plant my rose bushes. The part she really wanted to do was pick the grass roots from the soil, so it would not grow back so quickly. Her daddy, she said, used to make her do that chore and she seldom got a chance to show her expertise at it, anymore.

When we got thirsty, I brought out ice water in my old jelly glass tumblers. We sat on the edge of the terrace, on a railroad tie, and chatted as if we were just a couple of women who liked playing in the dirt, in our grubby clothes. We talked about our mothers-in-law and about the neighbor’s cute grandson. You know, normal stuff.

She needed to feel normal.

And haven’t we all been there.


Read more?


care to share a cup

Care to Share a Cup?

I just finished the most wonderful week, followed by an amazing weekend, and how exhausted I am! Does that ever happen to you?

A new friend visited me for a whole week. She stayed in our guest house and helped me with cooking and canning. One night I spent the night with her. What fun to talk like college girls until 2 in the morning! I say “like college girls” but really, we shared from the Word and from our lives like NO college girls I ever knew. I may be a bit too old for such a schedule, but it probably was for only one time, and was over too soon.

After lunch with an old friend that Friday, I caught up on shopping, found a new purse on back-to-school sale. No more BTS for me, but the sales are still a great idea.

Then it was off to our son’s house visiting with him and his lovely family, lunching on burgers and outstanding carrot cake, teasing and loving grandchildren, playing games; lengthening and strengthening the bonds we built in our son’s childhood.

Came home to view a large column of smoke rising from the woods about 4 miles from our house. Fire’s out, now, thank the Lord.

Then came Sunday, the day when we rest only from our own stuff, but highly concentrate on the Lord’s work . . . How I love the little church that has tripled in attendance since having a pastor, for a change! And how I love the one-hour drive to it, when I share my husband and he shares me with: NO ONE. Our talks have been so good.

That was yesterday, and we had a lovely visitor to grace our home for the afternoon. Made nachos and just relaxed together. So good.

Now it is just me, just this home. Such peace. Bed made. Laundry started. Cats fed. Chickens out. Headed for 105 degrees IN THE SHADE (that’s right at 40 C), today, down from the recent 110-ish week, with humidity from a brief rain last night. Air conditioner, set on 80, has run several times, already, this morning. Garden dead and tilled in. Jars of food all rinsed and stored in the basement.

Pear harvest waiting to be pear butter.

Second cup of coffee sitting at ready.

Join me! Bring your best knife and I’ll share some pear butter with you–it’ll be fun!