NEW SERIES ALERT! Rekindle, Renew, Inspire

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​Every fall, I spend some time on self-reflection. Part of that is my annual fall religious observances, part of that is the back to school mindset that I still have with kids in school, but also probably my slight obsession (I don’t have a problem, I can quit anytime) with school and office supplies. And in that self-reflection comes changes to my website. I let things go for months to see what works, what doesn’t, what I personally like regardless of response, and what evinces reader response.

Beginning later today, and running every month during the first full week will be two (so far) new posts as part of this year long series. One (probably posting on Mondays) will include a photograph that speaks to me, a quotation, and perhaps a personal goal. The personal goal is not necessarily to end at the conclusion of the month, and it’s not particularly a mantra, but it is something to think about in a meditative way, and I hope that others will join in and reflect on their own in relation to these personal prompts. The second post (on Fridays) will be about food. We all love food, and many of us have complicated relationships with several aspects of food. It may be a recipe, a memory, a recommendation. We’ll see how it evolves.

Join me on this new adventure, and please let me know what you think about the idea of this type of post as well as any of your own adventurous reflections.

Summer Vacation, Week 1

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First week of summer vacation is getting used to everyone in the house again.

We spend more time home than out, which is a double edged sword. There is no money for an away vacation; that’s been for several years now. All our “vacation” money goes for trips to see Grandma.

In addition to money, one edge is that I can’t be in the sun. One of my blood pressure medications makes me very, very sensitive to the sun. Even the slightest sunbeam sends me into a scratching frenzy that lasts all day. This year, it is actually much worse than in the past. My skin is dry and flaky and there are some tiny scars left behind. I find my best friend is hand cream.

The other edge is that my husband works at home, and is often in meetings on the telephone. The kids are a little noisier during the summer than the rest of the year; the main reason being that they are actually home and not in school.

Our first week is usually very laid back. It’s a level of laid back/lazy that would put a sloth to shame.

We see who can sleep the latest, who can stay in their pajamas the longest, who can watch TV more, and we really test the batteries on our tablets and Kindles.

It’s our Braveheart call to freedom.

To coincide with my summer blog format the kids are looking forward to new foods to try, weekly movies with popcorn, one or two ‘field trips’ plus summer programs at the local community center and vacation bible school. They’re not terribly fond of it, but I’m excited for the youth minister running this summer’s program. Next year it will probably be back at my home church, and they liked the week it was there. It’s not torture, and they can’t sit around the house all summer. That’s just bonkers.

Dad will take them bike riding, and they’re old enough to play in the backyard on their own for a couple of hours at a time.

In August we’re gearing up for GIshwheS. Check the gishwhes tag to see last year’s posts.

We do have online plans as well as my daughter reclaiming her fashion blog.

On a personal note, I’ve had some motivational issues in getting to mass. I’m not sure why. When I go I enjoy it, and I get a lot out of it. It may have something to do with how busy the last two months were in getting ready for two of my kids to graduate from their respective schools. I may have needed a break; from everything.

The other night I sat and said the rosary. I may add that to my daily thing. The kids interrupted with hugs and kisses for bedtime, but that didn’t bother me. In fact, it seemed to fit in nicely with the prayers.

I usually give myself a retreat in the spring and/or fall. I don’t see anything on the calendar for the Dominican retreat house that I enjoy this summer, but I have been lucky to have discovered an online retreat (Ignatian Spirituality) for the next five weeks; I expect to share those reflections with you as I complete them.

Every season I try to start again. That gives me at least four times a year to regroup and re-energize and recharge.

Summer is my least favorite season, so I need that extra little motivation to get going. Any suggestions on activities, readings, foods and movies, let me know in all the ways.

Summer Changes

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Since last fall, I’ve been trying to find a format for this site that works both for readers and for me as a writer, publisher of content. At that time, I came up with a daily posting format with a break on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In the spring, I added a weekly reflection on Friday, and I also introduced weekly themes at about the same time.

For the summer, and beginning next week, I’d like to change it up a little.

The format since the Fall/Winter has been Monday through Thursday: prompt, photo, quotation, and recs. For summer, the Monday through Thursday lineup will change to:

Monday’s Good for the Soul (something spiritual, possibly photos, reflections, Scriptures),

Tasty Tuesday (tasting new foods, offering food and kitchen tips, recipes),

Movie Wednesday (a movie and popcorn, possibly with a review or other related fun stuff), and

Thursday Travels (a visit somewhere not in my house or yard.)

There will probably be a larger assortment of Kids Say posts, and a promotion of my daughter’s fashion blog as well as a five week online Ignatian Spiritual Retreat that I expect to share with you.

Remember that the first week in August is GishwheS , and I am on a great team. Putting our team together early has been a wonderful experience as we get to know each other and offer encouragement for the last couple of months.

I’m also open to suggestions on topics or food to taste or anything else you want to talk to me about.

While the weekend won’t have a formal format, I still plan to post things that come to me as they come to me. I also have plans to get my pages in order and actually useful to my readers as well as organizing and completing a subject index to find resources and stories.

I’m looking forward to an exciting and writerly summer with all of you!

KB