It’s November. Did you join National Writing Novel Month (NaNoWriMo)?

Fellow blogger JoHawk encouraged me to give NaNoWriMo a try, so I joined today. That is the good news. The bad news is that I am already 5,000 words behind schedule!

NaNoWriMo is a free online creative writing program that you join in the month of November to basically push yourself to write your novel. Everyone who joins is attempting to write 50,000 words for a novel. That means 1,666 words a day.

The reason NaNoWriMo is popular is because they have forums where you meet fellow writers. You can connect with buddies, so you encourage each other on a daily basis. They also give advice on character development, plots, endings and more.

It is a bit of a competition. I don’t know much about this as I just joined, but I’ve read that you can upload your novel on a daily basis and/or at the end. Then the novels are judged  and they reveal a winner.

NaNoWriMo has been offering this program for 20 years. There is definitely excitement in trying to push ourselves to a new level. Reach goals, finally finish our novels and make dreams come true.

Ok, I’ve got to go, I am already behind on my word count.

Here is my first sentence, “Isabella’s fiancé proposed. She should have been happy, but the ring was a fake.”

To be continued…

Donate your LEGO bricks for re-use, IT’S EASY!

Lego DonationsListen up everyone, do I have your attention?

LEGO is going greener.

LEGO just launched a pilot program called, “LEGO Replay” to make it easier for people to donate unwanted LEGO bricks. Here is what is great. This program provides FREE shipping labels to customers for their donations. Just ship your unwanted LEGO bricks to LEGO. Then they will clean and sort the donated bricks and deliver them to after-school programs for needy children.

If you are interested in learning how LEGO got started, here is a short animated video from YouTube that explains the story… “The LEGO story – How it all started

This was a wonderful idea!  Pass the word along, this way everyone can enjoy building with LEGOS.

Being robbed on the train…hide cell phones

C38C7E42-4E6F-43DD-9CB6-00E51BE9A347A few weeks ago I was on the train. A young woman was sitting across from me, when a man came asking for money. The woman and I looked at each other, we spoke through our eyes… we would like to help, but he was a stranger, we did not know where that would lead, so we did not give any money.

Once the man left, the woman said, “I’m afraid to help people now.”

”What do you mean,” I said.

She told me that a few days before she was on the train at 1:30 pm. She had a seat close to the exit, where the doors open. There were probably 10 people on board. She was on her phone texting. A young man got up to exit, when the doors opened, he quickly grabbed her phone out of her hands and was gone!

She was startled, scared, in horror… all the motions we go through when we have just been robbed.

We discussed the fact that when we are on our phones, we are oblivious to our surroundings. We also talked about the sadness in having to live in a world where we feel we need to be invisible, i.e. to not bring attention to ourselves, dress plainly and so on.

This picture from Pixabay.com illustrates how easy it is for someone to pull the phone out of our hands.

I share this story today as a reminder to be aware of your surroundings. We never know when something like this might happen to us. I’ve been passing the word along to fellow passengers myself.

Tell your friends/family, even holding your phone, so it cannot be grabbed out of your hands would be a deterrent. We need to help each other.

On a happier note, we are having Spring weather. It’s beautiful.

GUESS WHAT – snow flurries predicted for Thursday!? We don’t believe it!

Puzzles, brain teasers, word mazes, crosswords, and more…

Puzzle book 1I was looking at books, nothing in particular just “seeing” what was out there. As it was Sunday, I saw some people doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. I’m not good at crossword puzzles, I never seem to know the answers to the cryptic clues they give. Out of 50, I might get five right, which is very disappointing. I always give up.

Maybe, because I was thinking of crosswords, when I went to the books in the sale isle, I came across this “Puzzle Collection” book. Normally, I would give it a glance, nothing more. I saw the dreaded crossword picture on the front cover, but the words “puzzle collection,” caught my attention. I love puzzles. Both the physical ones you put together and the ones where you have to use your mind. So, I slowly took a peek in the book hoping it was more than word mazes, crosswords and sudoku.

I was not disappointed. In fact, as I was flipping through it, I got excited. The book had all sorts of interesting challenges. Lately, I have long boring train rides, this book would keep me busy.

Take a look, this was a fun one, “INTERNATIONAL SPY TRAVELER?!” I was on board with that. I felt like I was becoming “James Bond’s” travel agent.

Puzzle book 2

Then there was this one.

Puzzle Book 3

I have to say, “I was hooked!” Had to get this book. Better than crosswords, for me anyhow.

THEN I thought, I’ll get so engrossed in a puzzle that I will miss my stop to go home! If I took Amtrak, I could end up in San Francisco or New York. The book was worth the risk!

It’s good to challenge our minds.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Surprise someone today.

hear in cupHappy Valentine’s Day. I wish you all a beautiful day!

Let’s ALL surprise “someone” in a special way today. I’m going to send a “thank you” card to my Dentist. He did a fantastic job on my tooth the other day, showing kindness and waving his consultation fee. A friend of mine was engaged, last week things didn’t work out, engagement broken, I will surprise her today. I sent surprise chocolates to three friends in the mail last week.

The St. Jude card my girlfriend sent me, that arrived as a surprise in the mail, reminded me that it warms our heart to know “someone” is thinking of us. So, it was my turn to pay it forward and brighten other people’s day.

This heart in the cup was a clever idea. However, as I am half asleep when I make my coffee in the morning, I bet I would have poured my coffee over the heart.

Which would have turned my “coffee” into an “espresso – hot chocolate!”

Isn’t that how Chefs invent new specialty drinks — by accident!

MORE GOOD NEWS – weather in Chicago today, mid-40s!

Means flowers / chocolates won’t freeze before we deliver them.

Have a GREAT day!

St. Jude… HE can make you listen!

BEE0C1FC-0997-4847-BD39-438E5B1A736DRecently, I came across some books on “coincidences” and “synchronicity” in life. We’ve all been there where something happens and we shake our head, because it’s an incredible coincidence… how could that happen?

For years now, I have prayed to St. Jude. He has helped me through some tough spots. Oh, I pray to God, but somehow I always go back to St. Jude. If you are familiar with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital then you know the wonderful story of actor, Danny Thomas, who prayed to St. Jude, “Show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine.” And build a shrine, Thomas did! St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital celebrates its 60th Anniversary in helping children with cancer. If you do not know story, you will be moved when you read it.

For a while now, I have been praying about my job search. I went to St. Jude and told him I was “tired,” and if he had a “heart” he would hear my prayers, help me out, send a sign! WELL, I did get a job offer, but the salary was so low I could not accept it.

On my way home, I was like a little kid – I was SO ANGRY! I really gave St. Jude a piece of my mind. I told him I was fed up with praying and asking for assistance. What a horrible joke he played on me. If I wasn’t meant to find a job yet, OK, but WHY get my hopes up and then embarrass me with an unacceptable offer?? Obviously, I was meant to learn something from this, but I was NOT seeing what it was.

Then I teased St Jude, I said, “Hey, and WHY do I keep finding LUCKY PENNIES, which remind me to “Trust in God,” if when I “try” to “Trust in God,” I see no path, no results. So, I VERY STERNLY told St. Jude I was taking a break from praying! I would NOT visit him anymore. I felt like a little child who tells their parents “I don’t love you anymore,” which isn’t true, but we want to see how they would react!

Well, this is HOW St. Jude reacted!!

St JudeI got home from work and checked the mail. I saw a small package in my name. Strange, I never get packages. Nowadays everyone just sends an email to communicate.

I did say to St. Jude, “You see, take a look, SOMEONE does CARE about ME!”

As I opened the package out fell a BIG RED ROSARY. I could not believe it. I had to smile, a “rosary??” THEN I looked at the outside of the card and it said, “The National Shrine of St. Jude!” SAY WHAT – a message from St. Jude through my girlfriend?

My girlfriend, who does not believe in God, had sent me a New Year’s gift. She had been in Florida and found this Italian rosary, which made her think of me. She admires my Faith in God. Also, she knows I pray to St. Jude and made this special card for me.

2CD4B989-53FA-43BC-8C5F-ABF4FAD52517Well, you can imagine… I got a good cry and a good laugh ALL at the same time.

St. Jude, he outdid himself! Perfect timing, such a coincidence.

So, next day I stopped by church, rosary and card in hand to light a candle by St. Jude. There is a book at St. Jude’s feet, where we can write a message.

I wrote, “Ok St. Jude, you’re not out of the woods, I still need a job, but you redeemed yourself and made me laugh! You worked a miracle in reaching out to me, I’ll give you that. I will pray to you… just a little while longer…”