Write your memoirs as your personal background check.

Find your Weak Spot in the 66-Day Experiment

49 days down, 17 to go in the 66-Day Experiment to Redeem Time

       Investigation reveal:

Exercise is my downfall.

Last week’s challenge was to pick one of the areas we’ve targeted—meal planning, Bible time, or exercise—that you might try at a different time to see if it works better in your day.

Meal planning allowing for shifts in one day or another, depending on what comes up and devotion in evening is working fairly well for me, BUT…



I’m not exercising. I’ve tried scheduling time in the morning, but that cuts into my creative writing time. I tried scheduling at 5:00 pm during the afternoon slump. That didn’t happen. Tried for 1:00 pm last week, cause that time pretty well worked when I last belonged to a gym. That didn’t happen either. So back to the drawing board.

What I know: The doctor suggested treating exercise as if it were an appointment. Before I started writing, I exercised consistently in the morning before I took a shower. Nice, cause I was done for the day–no stopping and changing clothes or getting sweaty later in the day.

The key is before I started writing. Since early morning is my creative time before the busyness of the day sets in, I feel I must write then. After lunch the afternoon sleepiness sets in. Logic tells me to exercise then.  So what’s the barrier?











I consulted The Mayo Clinic Diet book (an excellent resource) for advice:

Their answer to “I don’t have time to exercise,” (which goes right along with this experiment to redeem time) is that perhaps you have more time than you think. I should consider time watching TV, surfing the web, running minor errands—there is bound to be extra time during the day. (I shouldn’t forget multi-tasking—exercise while watching TV or reading or writing while walking on the treadmill.) AND here are some additional suggested strategies:

If you can’t find 30 minutes during your day to exercise, look for 10-minute windows. (Exercising 10 minutes, three times a day is also beneficial.)

Go for an early morning short walk. Walk for 10 minutes during your lunch hour.

Take stairs instead of the elevator.

Take regular activity breaks. Get up from your desk to stretch and walk around.

Develop a routine to do at home.

Okay, so here’s the challenge for this week.










Do you have a downfall area? Are there any of the three areas–meal planning, Bible time, exercise–where you can make improvements? Identify one, look at your next week’s obligations and set a goal, specific and measurable, to see if you can do better.

For instance, my goal for next week will be to workout using the 25-minute exercise DVD (Debbie Siebers’ Slim in 6), Monday-Saturday at 5:00 am. I have morning appointments Monday-Friday, so I will block off writing time as 11:00 am-5:00 pm with a lunch break. (Meal planning for the week will be Sunday afternoon with any shopping needs on Monday morning. Bible time and prep for next day, 10:00 pm every evening.)

Let me know how you’re doing! Comment here or on the 66-Day Experiment FACEBOOK private group page. (You can join here.)

Check with me next Sunday, October 22, to see how things went.

Ezekiel’s Object Lesson

Investigating Writing and the Bible

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:16-17


God often commanded Ezekiel to use material objects as symbols—a clay tablet; an iron pot; wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt; and a sharp sword.

In Ez. 37:16, Ezekiel is to use two sticks in an object lesson

…take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him,’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.











37:17 Join them together into one stick, so that they will become one in your hand.


The object lesson Ezekiel presented using the written word was a powerful visual of God’s intention for Israel to be one nation.


Create a Legacy with a Play

Continuing to Investigate Ways to Leave a Legacy

video camera 2

Write a play and produce a video. Cast family members to play the parts and you’ll have a family treasure to enjoy for years to come.





     There were six cousins and their parents went on a cruise, so they were staying with their Grammy and Granddaddy for a few days.

     Ethan whined, “I’m bored.” …


Our oldest grandchild wrote The Cousins in the Mysterious Sound a couple of years ago. Family members played the parts and now we enjoy watching the video when we all get together on special occasions.

The Wedding Letter

As a PI, this blog is dedicated to investigating ways to pass on family heritage and traditions.

hand writing

When our son and daughter married (three weeks apart) in 1999, my husband and I wrote a nostalgic letter to each of the them. We emphasized fond remembrances of their growing up years and expressed our emotions at seeing them ready to launch their new life.

We presented The Wedding Letter the night before they married.  A lasting legacy we hope they will hold dear.

A Teddy Bear Legacy


On this page I’ve been encouraging you to work as a PRIVATE EYE and spy out ways to leave a legacy.

You might leave a written memoir, but I’ve also been sharing other ideas to pass along for future generations.

As a lasting legacy for each of my grandchildren, I fashioned original teddy bears using materials that had some family meaning.

Aiden's Teddy Bear front view

The latest Teddy bear creation for my grandson,

who just turned a year old.


Fur used in the ears and feet are from his two older brothers’ bears. The muzzle is from fabric used in his cousin’s bear, the heart from a vest I made for his mother, the shorts from curtains in his daddy’s childhood bedroom, and the red trim on the shorts came from decorations used at his parents’ wedding rehearsal dinner.


INVESTIGATE bits and pieces from your past that might be good to pass along as a legacy.

A Legacy Book

Investigating -Writing Memoirs:


Product Details

For those of you investigating memoir writing, my husband’s book of life lessons learned, Umbrellas Make Poor Parachutes, is now available on Amazon.  The book is  a collection of his colorful stories from growing up on a farm, serving as a Marine, working in law enforcement and so many life lessons along the way.

Christmas Nostalgia

Investigating Christmas nostalgia:

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of the Christ child,


and to reminisce with family traditions–like these handmade Christmas stockings my mother made for every grandchild.

Christmas stockings


To add to the nostalgia of handmade ornaments, attach a note as to the who, what, when, where, and why of  the decoration to keep the memory alive when unpacked by family members each year.

Christmas ornament


What’s Cookin’ Thanksgiving?

Investigating Thanksgiving Family Recipe Traditions

This Thanksgiving while investigating family traditions and items to pass along, I ran across this unusual recipe in Grandma’s Whitman’s Sampler candy box recipe file. She had a variety of recipes. Some in booklets and newspaper clippings, some on note cards  or slips of paper, and one on the back of a bridge score sheet.

grandma's spatula

Using this old spatula I retrieved from her kitchen, I enjoy trying out some of her recipes. This is an interesting one for fried tomatoes that has a sauce.


Old Fashioned Fried Tomatoes

4 medium or 3 large tomatoes

¼ c fine dry bread crumbs or flour

½ tsp. salt

Dash pepper

Bacon fat for frying


2 Tbsp flour

1 ½ c. milk

½ tsp Worcestershire sauce


Cut tomatoes into thick slices, about 4 to each tomato. Combine bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Coat tomato slices on both sides. Fry in hot fat about ¼ inch deep, turning carefully to brown both sides. Remove to hot platter. Pour off all be 2 Tbsp. fat. Blend in flour. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly until thickened. Add Worcestershire sauce. Pour sauce over tomatoes. Makes 6 servings. (Bacon fat adds flavor, but other fat or oil may be used.


Try it for Thanksgiving—you might start a family tradition of your own!



Thanksgiving Tradition

I’ve been investigating family traditions and items to pass along.  With Thanksgiving approaching,  I thought I would pass on some recipes  from the Grandma’s Whitman’s Sampler  candy box that held her recipe collection.

Whitman recipe box

When Grandma passed away, the grandchildren were given to opportunity to select items from Grandma’s house that carried meaning for us. Her recipe box was one of my picks along with this interesting item from her kitchen.

Know what this is?

grandma's cherry pitter

It’s is a cherry pitter, and here is a recipe from her box where the pitter comes in handy.

This recipe makes pretty individual salads for Thanksgiving.

California Special Salad

(From The New Jell-O Book of Surprises, 1926)

1 pkg. lemon Jell-O

1 c. boiling water

1 c. cherry juice and cold water

¼ tsp. salt

1c. pitted cherries, finely cut

½ c nuts, coarsely cut

½ c. celery, diced

Hellman’s mayonnaise

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add cherry juice, water, and salt. Chill. When slightly thickened, add cherries, nuts, and celery. Turn into individual molds. Chill until firm. Unmold on crisp lettuce. Garnish with Hellman’s mayonnaise. Serves 8.


Halloween Nostalgia

Halloween Nostalgia

Investigating Family Traditions—the way it was:

Halloween pumpkin '82

In the 1950’s we lived in a much safer world. We hand-carved pumpkins, lit them with candles and set them on the front porch. We knew the families in the neighborhood and adults felt comfortable for us to trick or treat with our friends without adult supervision.

We didn’t have the sophisticated costumes sold today. We gathered items around the house and got creative— a ghost from an old white sheet with holes cut to see through, dad’s old shirt over jeans with a broom stick and pillowcase attached became a hobo. We didn’t use fancy containers for loot, a paper sack would do.

There was no fear of poison candy or razor blades in apples.  Some neighbors were even ready with special homemade candied apples or popcorn balls.

popcorn balls

See recipe below:

Popcorn Balls Recipe

2 cups white sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

½ cup butter

¼ cup water

Salt to taste

1 tsp. vanilla extract

5 quarts popped popcorn

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water. Stir and heat to hard-crack state or 300 degrees F. Remove from heat, add vanilla, mix well. Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 5 minutes and shape into 3 inch round balls.