Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Loose Ends * Avoid-the-Holiday-Craziness Edition

October is one of my favorite months.  You, too?

Flip flops vie with sweatshirts, but leggings are saving the day.  Russet leaves and warm mid-day sunshine compete with hurricane force rainstorms.  Fresh routines, the upcoming holidays, and much earlier sunsets remind us that the year is careening to a close.

Meanwhile, for sanity's sake, I'm doing everything I can to take life slow.  Be sure to read Erin Loechner's needed reminder below ...  we don't have to make our way through these upcoming weeks like we're ricocheting through crazytown.  We can, indeed, choose slow.

1 Essential Question to Ask Yourself Before the Holidays Descend has been one of your favorite posts over the years, making an appearance in 2014, 2015, 2016.  Well before the potential madness begins to descend, I hope you'll click on the link to read why.

And if you've suffered loss this year, be sure to click on the Surviving the Holidays Seminar link below.  Such good stuff for those of us who are figuring out how to navigate this season in the midst of sorrow.  Here's Why You Might Want to Serve S'Mores on Thanksgiving is our family's story on how we switched up our traditional Thanksgiving routine a few years back after the sudden losses of my dad and our grandson.

And if you're longing for some kind of Norman Rockwell scenario but you know it's just not gonna happen, please do sit with When You're Looking at a Bittersweet Christmas.  You, my dear friend, are not alone.



I'm snacking on ... 

Lydia's Protein Bites
These are our 16 year old runner's go-to snack.  But the fact is most of the family is noshing on these babies more days than not.  I feel so healthy popping one in my mouth.  I wouldn't call them attractive, but they ARE filling and nutritious and yummy.

Combine & roll into 1" balls:
2 tablespoons honey

2/3 cup peanut butter

1 cup oats

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup ground flax seeds.

Store in fridge.  Lydz says to DOUBLE recipe.  I couldn't agree more.

I'm sharing these superb links ...


Lesley @ Life in the Spacious Place

Erin Loechner

Kate Bowler

Preston Ni

Carey Nieuwhof

I'm wandering around outdoors ...

a rainbow of pumpkins

purple sea glass 

 aqua sea glass

weird trees

I'm anticipating this Christmas movie ...

I'm thinking I found my favorite book for 2019 ...

I can't stop singing this song ...

I'm trying to figure out what Thanksgiving should look like for the {gulp} 24 of us ...

Let's talk about your autumn discoveries, holiday survival hints, favorite snacks, outdoor joys ... and feel free to link up your best October post or end-of-the-month review!  
Bless you, bless your home, bless your people ~

 Nope, it's not too late to jump right 
into our Autumn Book Club!


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  1. Thank you for the recipe! I will give it a try. I am always looking for ways to get more protein.

    Your sea glass photos remind me of my great aunt, who used to live at the Jersey Shore. She used to take me out hunting for sea glass when I was a little girl. Her favorite was blue sea glass. We used to find a lot, but when we found a bit of blue, it was a special day!

    1. Oh Laurie, don't you wish we had picked up all those beautiful bits and pieces of glass we ignored all those decades ago?

      What an incredible collection we'd have today!

      I think I'll go eat a bite of protein ...


  2. Our holidays get cray-cray,
    but still, they're lots of fun;
    just like a Southern Sunday:
    church and chicken, shootin' guns.
    Uncle Ed has brought a rile
    for any elephants the might pass;
    .577 T-Rex is no trifle,
    and will knock you on your a**.
    Joe and Bubba got singin' voices
    that make it more the pity
    that their party choice is...
    wait for it..."I Feel Pretty."
    Some come on over, grab a seat;
    there's some folks you oughta meet!

    ".577 T-Rex" (officially the .577 Tyrannosaur) is a very large 'African' round for dangerous game, and yes, the recoil can knock you flat.

    1. Yeah ... no rifles around here! Yes to church, poultry, and lots of off-key singing.

      From my house to yours, Andrew, happy holidays!


  3. "These are our 16 year old runner's go-to snack."

    My word ... what kind of preservative did you use to make these snacks last 16 years without going mouldy or bad? In our house they would not have lasted for 16 seconds.

    God bless.

  4. There are so many goodies here, Linda. :) I always love your photos of sea glass, and I think of you whenever I see a blue pumpkin. :) The links, too, are great. I have been enjoying Lesley's Dear Younger Me series. The protein bit recipe has the same ingredients as the energy balls I make minus the flax seeds. The grandkids love them. So what does flax seed do to them besides making them more nutritious? I can picture some grandkids, one in particular, turning up their noses at a new and different recipe! :) Love and blessings of special strength and comfort as your heart grieves at the missing places!

    1. Thank you for joining me in celebrating the bits and pieces of these transition weeks, friend!

      And oh, look at these 10 health benefits of flax seeds -

      #9 is good enough for me!


  5. Linda, what a bunch of timely and helpful resources you've shared here. Those protein balls sound good. Chocolate? Yes please!

    And your pictures of sea glass are so pretty! I love where I live, but I know there's a whole different kind of beauty in your corner of the world.

    I'm saying prayers for your family as you enter the holiday season, friend.

    1. I'm with you, Jeanne! If it's got chocolate, I'm all in.

      And I appreciate those prayers. Thank you, thank you. This is a tough one ...

  6. A beautiful gathering of finds for us, Linda. Thank you for nurturing our hearts and souls.

  7. I have absolutely got to try that recipe, Linda - sounds so delicious and nutritious!
    The holidays are toned down around here - no overdecorating or over-buying - just time spent with family, so yes, we've slowed our pace considerably.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. I hear you, Martha ... the 'overdecorating and overbuying' years are over. Thankfully! The simpler, the better. Yes, yes.


  8. Such a great selection of links and photos here! The protein balls sound good - if you can eat chocolate and count it as healthy I'm in! Thanks for sharing the link to my series.

    1. I'm honored to share your series, Lesley. Sometimes looking back does nothing but propel us forward with more clarity, focus, and joy.

      Thanks for going there with us ...

  9. Oh, my! That recipe sounds so yummy! I love that Michael W. Smith song, too. This is how we fight our battles - all glory to Jesus, even when it is hard to praise! He deserves all honor and praise and glory! So nice to visit with you today, Linda. :)

    1. You said it well, Cheryl! All glory to Jesus, no matter what the battles. Without Him, the show is over.

  10. Those treats sound yummy. I'm going to have to try them out. Sounds like a good way to rationalize eating chocolate. :)

    1. I'm a huge fan of rationalizing chocolate! Go for it!

  11. That recipe does sound good. I've been meaning to look for some healthier snack options, and I'll keep this in mind.

    At the end of the day I look back and wonder why I didn't get more done, where all the hours went. Yet I just cannot live feeling pressured and driven all the time. So I am seeking that balance between using my time more wisely yet in a slower, measured, non-frenzied pace.

    I couldn't read all of the influencers article without subscribing to the site, but I wondered at the use of the word authority in the first couple of paragraphs. I think of the blogosphere--at least the part I am familiar with--more as a fellowship, as neighbors gathering over the back fence, than as anyone trying to set up authority. When I was growing up, women regularly got together in the daytime for coffee klatches. When my kids were young, young moms got together for walks, trips to the park, etc. With more women working and away from home, and the tendency in our day to cocoon inside rather than getting out to know our neighbors, we seek that fellowship online.

    I am looking forward to LW, too. I was surprised to hear of it since a new version was just on PBS a few months ago. But it's a beloved story, so I am glad to see new versions, though my favorite in the Wynona Ryder one from a few years back.

    My end-of-month post is here: https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/end-of-october-musings/.

    1. ' Morning, Barbara!

      Re - Kate's article - some women might be looking for authority or power, but most of us are yearning for a place to use our gifts, to pour into community, to make an impact, to love and to lead, if that is one of our gifts. It was an interesting article ... free, I think, to log in to the Christianity Today site.

      Like you, I see the blogging arena as a wonderful place to form and nurture community and relationships, to be a student, to be a mentor, to write and sometimes be a bit creative.

      I'm so grateful you're a steady companion along the way.

  12. Ok, 24 people for Thanksgiving????? Holy cow that is awesome, but a lot of food! And dishes. I say you use paper products, no body's got time for all the dishes that come after with that large of a feast! :) Fall is my fave time of the year too. I love the cooler temps and the beauty of the leaves turning, plus the grass still remains green and it looks like we are walking around in a painting!

    1. 'Walking around in a painting!' What a beautiful image that is, Nicki!

      And yes, the days of china and crystal and silverware are long gone from this family's gatherings when everyone descends. We keep it simple, use crockpots for whatever can't be whipped up ahead of time in the little kitchen, and I try to leave my perfectionistic tendencies at the door.


  13. Our Canada Thanksgiving has come and gone, so the Christmas season is on! I actually picked up 4 Christmas novellas at the library recently. :) And baked a batch of chocolate cookies with red, green, and white chocolate chips. They are already eaten up! haha.. I hope to be slow and savour the holidays this year by starting now to enjoy all things Christmas! Love the snap shots of your October life!

    1. Lynn, I'm really resonating with your idea to savor Christmas long before it starts instead of trying to jam it all into one month. Yes, this works for me ...

      I do like to take things slow and easy and take the pressure off.

      I appreciate you going there, friend!

  14. So much good stuff here, Linda. Twenty-four people for Thanksgiving sounds amazing. We're going to see the in-laws in North Dakota for Christmas, but I can't make up my mind about Thanksgiving. We've always had a lot of relatives, either at my house or my dad's (the last two years). I kinda just want to hunker down at home with the four of us this year. Watch the parade, eat some green bean casserole, work on the ongoing kitchen renovation. But how to put that out to the people who usually come who might feel, well, I don't know what they might feel. Ugh. Didn't mean to take this comment down this complicated path, but I guess this is real life right now and I know you understand. Hugs, friend. I am thankful for you this Thanksgiving season.

    1. I fully understand what you're saying and really admire that you appreciate what will work for your immediate family in this specific season, Lois. Chances are, extended family won't mind switching things up a bit {maybe just gathering for dessert?}

      As you say, who knows what other people are feeling or will feel ... and immersing ourselves in that uncertain scenario isn't usually helpful in making decisions.

      I'm praying right now that you and your husband and your girls will know exactly what the best thing is ... and will be able to live it out with a sense of joy and freedom.

      Keep me posted ...

  15. Linda, what wonderful resource links that you have shared, thank you! It is always a joy to visit with you and thanks so much for the healthy recipe.

  16. Linda,
    I'm going to read Erin's post so that I'm not "ricocheting through crazytown" during the holidays. I love Fall and I want it to linger longer so as to delay entering the holiday crunch. One thing I do during Advent is I put up a Jesse Tree and I read Ann Voskamp's book "The Greatest Gift" which is a wonderful Advent devotional countdown to Christmas. It helps me be in the moment in preparing my heart for Jesus' coming. Joining with you in looking forward to "Little Women" movie!!
    Bev xx
    ps. Recipe looks yummy!

    1. It's interesting that the week ended up in crazytown ... and I didn't live up to what I had written!


      Yes please to what you said about loving fall and wanting it to linger longer. No truer words were spoken, Bev ...

  17. Wow! 24 at your table! I hope you have sufficiently recovered to sing a quiet carol and begin the waiting.

    1. Yes, I am in recovery! Amazingly, the biggest help toward regaining my senses was writing the next e-zine.

      Go figure.

      I hope your day was splendid, friend ...