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Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 20: “Teach Us To Delight In Simple Things”


When I was teaching, there was always a time in the lesson, or the week, or the chapter when I knew we needed to make a connection.

I am sure there is some sort of 2014 educational term for such a method.

When I started teaching high school English in 1975 at Van Vleck High School in Van Vleck , Texas, that method was based solely on instincts.

I just knew we (the teacher and the students) needed to pause for a moment and re-group.

And so I followed that instinctual system for the next 32 years of my career.

So where are we today in this process of writing for 31 days?

Is the message still clear?

Everything I write at White Spray Paint conveys one simple message:  finding and enjoying simple things.

Rudyard Kipling said it best.                 
"Teach us to delight in simple things."

For the four years I attended and graduated from Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, this quote as the school’s motto, was everywhere.

As a 14 year old girl , I mistakenly thought enjoying simple things was a goal, or something you learned.

Why else would it be the motto at a boarding school?

I was wrong.

Enjoying simple things, whatever they may be, is a state of being- not a goal.

In my experience, I can’t make that happen.

The paradox is that even though I can’t make that happen,  I can achieve it quickly and easily, as long as it is

a feeling I PREFER – over all of the busyness and seriousness of life.

I hope that is the message you hear here- in all of the quirkiness and ‘you’re not going to believe what happened to me’ things I share.   


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 19: If We Were Having Coffee

Perfect white coffee cup with steam isolated on white; Shutterstock ID 111159347; PO: aol; Job: production; Client: drone

If we were having coffee one morning this week, I would ask you a multitude of questions about things that are on my mind.

These are not earth shattering questions, but they are on topics that confuse me.

Does anyone understand their cell phone bill without calling their adult children, who then become irritated?

Does your brain shut down when your ATT agent tries to explain their cell phone plans?

Do you have Direct TV or cable?

We have cable. 
Have you ever been on the phone with a technical support person and you are missing
an important football game and you can’t see which cord plugs into which hole so you get a flashlight?

Have you ever talked to an insurance provider about Medicare supplemental plan options and realized they are more confusing than cell phone plans or cable television issues? 

Did any of the things above make you want to stick a needle in your eye?

Just checking.

Do you still want to come for coffee?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18: Circling Back



I woke up this morning thinking about words I had previously written (in March of 2009).

I searched for them in my post archives and found that post.

True breaking blogging rules confession:  I don’t write with anything more in mind than the need to write it. 

There really is no artifice here.  This is my quirky, simple and usually enjoyed life for all to see.

Here is that post I wrote that I needed to read this morning.


At the flea market Saturday morning, the following things caught my eye:

a round chafing dish, an enormous book on gardening, and a wicker chair.

I walked away-no intervention necessary .

I walked away from them all, but I couldn't resist My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year by John Henry Jowett, first published in 1912.

I paid 50 cents.

I was fascinated by the title, particularly the word circling, but truth be told I was first

attracted to its color.

It is raspberry pink.

Sometimes God sends up flares, even from as far back as 1912.

A portion of the forward reads:

"The title of this book sufficiently interprets its purpose. I hope it may lead to such practical meditation upon the Word of God as will supply vision to common tasks, and daily nourishment to the conscience and will. And I trust that it may so engage the thought upon the wonders of meditation, as will fortify the soul ..."

I am relieved at this idea of circling- as in circling back.

It makes me think of the importance of this luxury and blessing in real life.

As in-

I can go back, without stopping.

The year continues as does God's grace.

I can circle the wagons in my life as I need to.

For some crazy reason the word makes me think of the wagon train journeys of pioneer days.

I can hear someone in authority on horseback saying, "Let's circle back."

Jumping ahead in history, I can see in my mind's eye a brave soldier saying to another, "Hold on, wait here, I'll circle back. We can’t leave him."

These imaginings give 'circling' a powerful historical context

Sometimes I think I have to try so hard at things- including the Biblical and the spiritual-

when in actuality, I can simply enjoy and learn from the history of it all.

This Godly circling is everywhere.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 17: Simple DIY Projects



I have imagined often that if my mother were still here, and we were talking about DIY projects, she would laugh and say,

”Well, who else is going to do it?”

I have written many posts poking fun sharing some of my own DIY projects.

If you’d like a simple, real world, practical approach, read these.

* Anti Paint Tutorial

* Smokey Eye With Chalk Paint

* Faux Twitter: Hanging a Gallery Wall

* Learning to Knit is Like Pulling a U-Haul Trailer

Please don’t misunderstand.

I LOVE doing things myself on a shoestring, shopping the house, and my favorite-

with a can of White Spray Paint.

It is one of life’s simple pleasures.

Day 16: Dear Daughters, Simple sleep

blue and white bedroom 3

Dear Daughters,

You come from a long line of nap takers.

Papa has taken a nap every single day since forever.

And now guess what?  Research shows that getting enough sleep is essential to good health.

You may also remember that many years ago, after a long day of teaching, I often collapsed for a short little nap before it was time to cook supper.

The point?

You have to have enough sleep.

This is not to say that it is something to add to your list of worries- there are so many other things the world does to cause worry.

You can be intentional about getting enough sleep with a simple method my college friend and roommate Debbie always suggested.

Go to bed by 10 pm.

I love you ,


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