All posts by ruthsoaper

Word of the Week -Week Three

Our word of the week is:

Perseverance – it is defined by Merriam Webster as: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. 

It is how we learn, how we grow, how we succeed.

When I think of perseverance I am reminded of this poem.

Don’t Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
                                                      Don’t give up though the pace seems slow.                                                     You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
He learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.


                                                            Success is failure turned inside out.                                                            The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
                                                       So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.                                                         It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Word of the Week – Week Two

Our word of the week is Tranquility.

Tranquility – is a noun.

It is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as: a peaceful, calm state, without noise, violence, worry,  etc.

When I think of tranquility my first inclination is to close my eyes, clear my mind and block out any noise. I take a deep breath in then relax my body while exhaling slowly. I might visualize a deep blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds drifting by.

It is a place of peace, comfort and contentment, where everything seems right with the world.

At times I find it when I am enveloped in nature.

Tranquility is often fleeting – lasting only a few short moments. While it is impossible to live in a constant state of tranquility, I think that embracing those tranquil moments is perhaps the antidote to the barrage of, stress and anxiety causing, news and noise that have become so prevalent in our lives.

I pray that you find much tranquility to embrace this year.

Homemade Christmas Gifts 2020

If you know me, or have been following my blog for very long, then you probably know that much of the month of December I spent making Christmas gifts.

In early December, with a plan in mind, I ventured to Joann Fabrics to get the supplies that I would need. It was a fun outing because I met my youngest daughter there. She wanted to pick out some fabric for a project that I am now making for her. She also helped me select fabric for the gifts I would make for Jackson and Addy.

For Jackson and Addy I decided to make fleece bathrobes.

I also made them each a pair of flannel pajama pants and a stuffed puppy to match.

I was quite pleased with the way everything turned out.

The puppies were a little more challenging that I expected.

For my daughters, who are all dog lovers and puppy parents, I decided to make paw print scarves. I also crocheted them each a pair of slippers since it had been several years since I had made them any.

Somehow I neglected to take a picture of the four scarves all of which were the same pattern as the one above but in different colors. At least when I realized this I still had one scarf and pair of slippers that had not been delivered yet.

It wasn’t until I saw Addy putting on the slippers that I made for her mother that I realized that I wasn’t quite finished with the outfits I made for the grandkids. Can you guess what I’m crocheting now?😉

Word Of The Week – Week One

When I woke up yesterday I planned to put the finishing touches on my word of the week post that I had prepared the day before. It is a lovely word and I thought it would be the perfect way to start of the new year. I would then have my husband, who is my chief editor and partner in crime (LOL!), proofread it and then I would post it.

Suddenly a different word came to my mind and just wouldn’t leave. It nagged at me until I decided I had no choice but to write a new post. It is a word that is very fitting, not only because it’s my birthday but because we are just coming out of the holiday season. So without further ado our word of the week is:

Celebrate

I found many online sources for definitions of celebrate but I chose this definition from https://www.macmillandictionary.com because it seemed to offer a broader definition than some of the others. It defines celebrate as:

to do something enjoyable in order to show that an occasion or event is special.

or

to show admiration for someone or something in a piece of writing, music, or art or in a ceremony.

Even in the best of times January, in northern parts of the world, is when the winter blues set in. Perhaps a good way to combat the winter blues is to keep that holiday, celebratory, spirit alive. In others words celebrate life. I suspect that most of us have good things happen daily that we could be celebrating. We don’t have to have a big party or formal ceremony to celebrate. Maybe just a small treat for ourselves or expressing our happiness to someone who cares.

Now if you simply can’t find anything or anyone to celebrate remember this – everyday is your birthday (if you count your age in days). You can hop on over to this site to find out how (many days) old you are. (Today I’m celebrating my 20,454th birthday🤣)It’s a great reason to eat cake! (just leave off the candles LOL!)

Why wait to celebrate?

Happy Birthday! 🎈

We would love to celebrate with you this week. Please tell us what you are celebrating.

55 Things Follow Up and What’s Next

Now that I have completed my 55 things series for 2020 I thought I would do a follow up post.

Why 55 Things?

Last January, when I first announced the 55 things series, my premise was that since I was celebrating my 55th birthday I would, over the course of the year, publish 55 addition posts. The truth is that there was something else that brought about my decision to create this series. I just wasn’t ready to blog about it at the time. It wasn’t until April that I finally published this post where I wrote about the issue that prompted me to write more – Parkinson’s disease.

After receiving the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in December of 2018 I began paying closer attention to things I was experiencing physically – beyond the tremors. I identified several things that are likely related to, or as a result of, Parkinson’s disease. The most disturbing of these was that I was often stumbling over my words when I was speaking. If someone asked me a question, even though the answer was clear in my mind, it took a moment and some effort to translate it into spoken words. Sometimes this would also happen mid sentence, the words would get trapped, and I would struggle to complete my thought. Losing my ability to communicate is a very frightening thought. I also noticed that the same was happening with my writing. The thoughts or words are clear in my mind but they seem to get trapped and it takes a lot of effort to turn them into printed words.

I am extremely happy and grateful that my speaking seems to have gotten better, but I still find myself struggling with writing. It takes me much longer to compose a piece than it use to. I have always enjoyed writing and view it as valuable form of communication. I don’t want to lose my ability to write, so last December I decided that I must use it or lose it. I needed to write more and since my blog is where I do most of my writing nowadays making a commitment to blog more was the best way to accomplish this. Thus my 55 Things series was born.

The Outcome

After completing all all 55 additional posts I did a bit of an evaluation to see how I may have benefitted from it. Here is what I discovered:

A. First of all a small confession: As I looked back through all 55 posts I discovered that I somehow skipped # 43 (oops!), but as I continued to scroll through I discovered that I had two posts for # 8 (phew!) so there are still 55 posts in this series. I just can’t count. LOL!

B. I am still struggling with writing. This condition hasn’t gotten any better but I don’t think it has gotten any worse. If I can maintain I am good with that. 🙂

C. This commitment kept me motivated to write in times when the worries of the world threatened to keep me from blogging.

D. Statistically my blog has done well. In 2020 I published more posts, had more views, more comments, and more likes than any other year.

Over all I am quite happy with the results. I am most grateful for those of you who take the time to read and especially those who have encouraged me through your comments on my posts, or telling me in person that you enjoy reading. I truly appreciate your support.

What Now?

55 Things is certainly done, but with so many positive outcomes I don’t want to just stop. I need another challenge or commitment to keep me on track for this year. It is true that I will turn 56 tomorrow but “56 Things” is just not doing it for me. After thinking long and hard about it I have decided to do a Word of the Week series. Words, after all, are what writing is all about. Like last year these will likely be short posts. I will select a word, give the definition and share a thought or two about the word. Again the goal will be to keep me writing and you reading.

Thank you so much for being with me through 2020 and please continue to visit as we all strive to make the best out of this next year.