WORDS & LISTS for 2022

Jean over at Chit Chat with Jean is doing a word for the year and also a list of “22” things to accomplish in 2022. I like the way she thinks and realize that 2022 items would be unreasonable and using the last 2 numbers to do 22 items is completely acceptable, reasonable and even doable. Since this is my first time I don’t have any ‘leftovers” from last year and that makes me smile and approach this as even more possible.

After giving this serious thought I decided to join in. Will I be as successful? I’m not sure, but I’m seriously willing to give it a try. I’ll do quarterly updates until the end of the year and then decide about 2023 😀

I took a DaySpring quiz to help me determine my word for the year. A couple of words I considered were Renewal and Restoration before finally deciding.
My word for the year is – DEVOTION – love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. I intend to find devotion in ALL people and ALL things in my life. If I can’t find devotion for someone or something, then it shouldn’t be in my life to begin with.

My list for 2022 is:

  • Do a Happy Homemaker Monday post each and every week. This keeps me more on track and organized about my home life. Doing Happy Homemaker Monday so extensively helps keep me on track as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for this week.
  • Do 1-2 devotionals every day.
  • Follow a nightly skincare regime – I borrowed this from Jean, but because it lined up with the new Clinique regime hubby bought me for Christmas. I have used this in the past, but have been choosing not to spend the money on myself. Fortunately for me hubby didn’t agree. 😀
  • Complete 4 quilts – at least 1 for each quarter.
  • Finish indexing the recipes on my food blog, Savory Kitchen Table.
  • Finish indexing the recipes on my Life blog, Chasing MY Life. When I merged my old blogspot blogs into this single blog it duplicated many things and added an “ALL” category that I am having to eliminate one by one so it’s taking a LONG time.
  • Make a better effort to reach out and connect with friends and family more regularly.
  • Learn YOGA or Pilates or both!
  • Take at least a 2 mile walk daily.
  • Continue to downsize and declutter EVERYTHING.
  • Clean out photo files that date back 13 years!
  • Create shutterfly photo albums for 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.
  • Go through scrap recipe tote and eliminate all the recipes I will never try – they’re just not worth saving.
  • Do more drawing and painting – at least one per month.
  • Focus on rewriting more recipes to work for only 2 with no leftovers.
  • Volunteer at least once a month for a community project.
  • Do a date weekend once a month – exploring a new place we’ve never been before.
  • Clean out old files and recycle or destroy old papers.
  • Clean out craft cabinets and donate craft parts no longer needed.
  • Eat at least 1 piece of fruit daily.
  • Do at least 1 random act of kindness every time I leave the house.
  • Read 36 books. Hopefully it will be more, but I think this is a realistic goal.

What you think? Do you want to join in also?

Live for today, for tomorrow is promised to no-one!

A friend of mine opened his wife’s underwear drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package:
‘This, – he said – isn’t any ordinary package.’
He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box.
‘She got this the first time we went to New York , 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on , was saving it for a special occasion.
Well, I guess this is it. He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died.
He turned to me and said: ‘Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion’.
I still think those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less. I sit on the porch without worrying about anything. I spend more time with my family, and less at work. I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through.
I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses every day… I’ll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it. I don’t save my special perfume for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to.
The words ‘Someday….’ and ‘ One Day…’ are fading away from my dictionary. If it’s worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now….
I don’t know what my friend’s wife would have done if she knew she wouldn’t be there the next morning, this nobody can tell…
I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends. She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I’d like to think she would go out for Chinese, her favorite food.
It’s these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come..
Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.
Live for today, for tomorrow is promised to no-one!


From this Side of the Pond

  • How do you define peace?

I define peace by the absence of conflict, drama and or too much to do 😀

  • November 3rd is Election Day in the US of A, but did you know it’s also National Sandwich Day? Let’s vote, shall we? egg salad or tuna salad? chicken salad or grilled chicken on a bun? peanut butter and jelly or a bagel with cream cheese? turkey and swiss or ham and cheddar? grilled cheese or pimento cheese? roast beef-corned beef-or make mine veggie?

This is a wide open category that depends on the day, where I’m eating and my mood as well as appetite level. From those choices though I pick tuna salad, grilled chicken on a bun, PB&J, grilled cheese and veggie 😀

  • When did you last say (or feel) ‘no rest for the weary’?

4 years ago while working on the rehab of my grandparent’s place, the House From Hell.  The same place that created a HUGE rift with my uncle after he swindled us out of about 75,000 dollars, my health, 3 years of our time and quite a bit of faith in family.

  • This time last year, where were you?

Same day, same time, Same bat channel!

  • SHARE YOUR FAVORITE SONG, VERSE OR QUOTE FEATURING THE WORD PEACE – This is not necessarily a favorite, but most recently heard.


(Taylor Swift from Hillsong Young and Free Folk Lore Album)
You will stay true
Even when the lies come
Your word remains truth
Even when my thoughts don’t line up
I will stand tall
On each promise You made
Let the rest fade away
There’s a peace far beyond all understanding
May it ever set my heart at ease
Dare anxiety come, I’ll remember that peace is a promise You keep
Peace is a promise You keep
You will stay true
Even in the chaos
Your word remains truth
Even when my mind wreaks havoc
I will be still
For I’ve known all along
My Jehovah Shalom
There’s a peace far beyond all understanding
May it ever set my heart at ease
What anxiety fails to remember is peace is a promise You keep
Peace is a promise You keep
You are peace to a restless soul
Peace when my thoughts wage war
Peace to the anxious heart
That’s who You are,…
I’ve found peace far beyond all understanding
Let it flow when my mind’s under siege
All anxiety bows in the presence of Jesus the Keeper of Peace
And peace is a promise He keeps


I hope everyone had a great weekend. Can you believe we are more than half way through this year already? I spent the weekend sorting and packing and have been able to make even larger donation boxes and feel quite liberated by it.  While the weather was better, it was still not great and I can’t tolerate the heat with what’s going on in my body so spent the weekend inside and was able to catch both NASCAR races and watch some Hallmark Christmas movies too.


We’re still having high temperatures in the mid 90’s, but the dew points have dropped making the heat indexes a bit lower so it’s a bit more tolerable even with high humidity.


Nothing as I’m fasting for an 11AM test.


  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads
  • LIVING AREAS… I spent the weekend sorting and packing so have a bit of mess, but nothing I can’t live with.
  • KITCHEN… quite clean, but I plan to make a mess soon.  I’m such a messy cook as I invent
  • STUDIO… Nothing this week
  • YARD… Hubby just mowed so we’re good for now
  • BLOG… still doing some recipe updating and planing for future posts as I re-do some pictures from the blogs I’m combining


Midnight Texas Starts tonight. I have been stockpiling Christmas movies on the DVR all week during the Christmas in July premiere at Hallmark and we found a few more Netflix shows we’ve been trying.

I’m still only half way through with Book #2, French Roast of Ava Miles’ series for Dare Valley. I keep falling asleep LOL. And then there are my summer standards:

  • THE NIGHT SHIFT – I’m ready for T.C. to come home.
  • SALVATION – We’ll see where they go with it.  I’m still undecided.
  • AMERICA’S GOT TALENT – always a fun watch – loving the new softer side of Simon and fun side of Tyra.
  • ZOO – is back. I wasn’t sure I liked the 10 year jump into the future, but am getting used to it since they are using the same characters, just took some adjusting.
  • FOOD NETWORK STAR – I LOVE Jason and Matt and Rusty.  Jason was so funny on the Holiday Baking Championship which he won against professionals.  He is pretty innovative with flavor combos and I just love his country accent and euphemisms.
  • AMERICA’S GOT TALENT – always a fun watch – loving the new softer side of Simon
  • DATE MY DAD – it’s pretty cute and I want to look as good as Raquel Welch does when I’m her age!
  • GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW – I just love this show – they are always so civilized and nice with recipes that make me WANT to be a better baker.
  • MASTER CHEF – there are some interesting characters this season and some I can’t wait to see go home as well as a couple I thought I was NOT going to like that are growing on me. I was quite surprised with this week’s ending, at least with the final challenge and who Yachecia choose to battle against and was impressed that she chose to save 6 others instead of herself.  I really thought she’d pick Jeff. I just don’t care for him and I really thought he should go after yelling at Gordon Ramsay.
  • THE “F” WORD – I love this fun new side of Gordon Ramsay with his funny antics and pranks with disguises.








The first of the four yucky tests is over and the second is later this morning and then I have to wait 5 weeks due to scheduling availability for test three and four which fortunately will both be performed at the same time while I’m under anesthesia by my doctor. Last Friday’s test was a ClusterF**k of technicians and misread orders that left me flustered and agitated.

At this point I almost don’t care what they find as long as the find something that can be cured and cured sooner than later.  This has all been going on for over a year now and it is no way to live!


The older (over 100 in human years based on the current dog years to human years calculator) Gunny gets, the easier it is to do this to him on a regular basis.  He also sleeps through thunder and door bells now too.


Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.









THE BAPTIST WHITE LIE CAKE ~ A little Sunday Morning Humor

I received this in an email several years back and LOVED it!

Have you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this, especially all of the ladies who bake for church events.

Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church Ladies’ Group in Tuscaloosa, but forgot to do it until the last minute.

She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets, found an angel food cake mix & quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack up for Scout camp.

When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed, “Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake!”
This cake was important to Alice because she did so want to fit in at her new church, and in her new community of friends.  So, being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake. She found it in the bathroom – a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing.

Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect. And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work,  Alice  woke her daughter and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it opened at 9:30 and to buy the cake and bring it home. When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone & called her mom.

Alice was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know! What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed! All night,  Alice  lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice  promised herself she would try not to think about the cake and would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member and try to have a good time.  She did not really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa, but having already RSVP’d , she couldn’t think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south and to Alice’s horror, the cake in question was presented for dessert!  Alice  felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake!  She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor’s wife said, “What a beautiful cake!”

Alice, still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say, “Thank you, I baked it myself..”

Alice smiled and thought to herself, “God is good.”



As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized the importance of  living my life as if every day is Christmas or better explained, to carry Christmas in my heart ALL year long. I just think life goes smoother if it becomes a way of life ALL the time, not just seasonal.

As a Christian woman I believe life is all about change and that learning to cope with it as it happens will help you through life as you help others. I believe in Murphy’s Law, the Domino Effect, Payback’s a Bitch, and Karma. I also believe that Pay It Forward and living by the Golden Rule go a long way to keep the former from happening to begin with.

I believe everything happens for a reason and that life is one big adventure. I try to see life through rose colored glasses and be as tolerant as possible. My glass is always half full, as well as refillable. I am an optimist, extremely positive minded and usually a really upbeat person so anything goes within reason.

Lent is another of those seasons that I try to carry in my heart ALL year long. The traditional purpose of Lent is preparation through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement, and self-denial. Many Christians commit to fasting or giving up certain types of luxuries as a form of penance. Many Christians also add daily devotionals and praying to draw themselves near to God.

Traditionally Lent is described as lasting for forty days, in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. These 40 days are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigor during Lent are prayer – justice towards God, fasting – justice towards self, and almsgiving and forgiveness – justice towards neighbors. In these more modern times, observers give up partaking in vices and often invest the time or money saved in charitable purposes or organizations. I choose to do this ALL year long, it just makes life easier and happier.  It takes so little to be a good person ALL the time.



An email I’d never seen, but made me laugh…

The Stranger 

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on. 

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger… he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind. 

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.) 

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home – not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.


My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!)
about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.. 

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave. 

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures. 

(Note: This should be required reading for every household!)
His name?…. 
We just call him ‘TV.’ 

He has a wife now….we call her ‘Computer.’ 

Their first child is “Cell Phone”. 

Second child “I Pod “.


Revival of Common Courtesy ~ Thank You Notes

Emily Post has an entire chapter dedicated towards the art of communication and correspondence. There are some steadfast rules for common courtesy though and I will try to highlight those here.

Despite our busy lives, we should never omit graciousness from them.

Dinner Party
If you are the guest of honor
Appreciated by the host, but unnecessary if you thanked them when leaving
Overnight Visits
Always – except family and close friends whom you see often. You can call them instead.
It is always appropriate to send a note in addition to verbal thanks.
Anniversary, and
Christmas Gifts
Always – except family and close friends whom you see often. You can call them instead.
It is always okay to send a note in addition to verbal thanks.
Shower Gifts
If the gift giver was not in attendance
Many like to send a written thank you in addition of the verbal thank you
Gifts to the Ill
As soon as the patient feels well enough
Send thank you notes to all hand written notes of condolence
All personal messages need to be acknowledged
Form letters from firms need not to be acknowledged
Wedding Gifts
ALWAYS even if the giver was in attendance
Thank you gift that arrives after the event
Should be acknowledged so that the giver knows the gift arrived safely

I have a few great resources to leave you with today.
1) The Art of Thank you:Crafting Notes of Gratitutde by Connie Leas who believes, “Writing a thank-you note is a small but gracious way to repay kindness with kindness…”
2) Personal Notes: How to Write from the Heart for Any Occasion by Sandra E. Lamb who believes, “What’s so often missing from our lives today is the richness of shared humanity, those moments when we feel really connected to other human beings…”
3) The Little Red Writing Book This is an amazing book that covers so many topics regarding writing in general. Page 81 starts the chapter about choosing an appropriate tone that I felt helped tremendously.
4) The Thank You Book For Kids by Ali Lauren Spizman, an amazing book written by a 14 year old. Contains hundreds of fun and creative suggestions for writing memorable thank-you notes.