The Simple Woman’s Daybook

simple-woman-daybook-large.jpgFOR TODAY
Outside my window… the ground is snow covered and more is on the way.
I am thinking…what a very busy week it is going to be.
I am thankful…for the opportunity to have some much needed fun this weekend!
In the kitchen…I used some of the fresh farm produce from the most recent CSA share. Golden beet and fennel soup. Sausage, sweet potato, kale soup. Pepperconi Pork Tenderloin. My house sure has smelled yummy this weekend.
I am wearing…a warm thermal top with some pretty scrappy sweat pants.
I am creating…the life I want to live.
I am going…to soak in the bath tonight.
I am wondering…how I will manage to  get all this school work done this week.
I am reading…My Year with Eleanor from the library.
                            Watershed Year on my Kindle.
                            Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour Bookstore on Audible.
                            A daily bible reading plan.
I am hoping…the weather is not bad in tomorrow morning so that I can get to work without much difficulty
I am looking forward to…completing all the assignments I have this week.
I am learning…to recognize all the new things I do each day.
Around the house…I hear my hubby watching the game.
I am pondering…the vision for this season in our lives.
A favorite quote for today… Rise up. Take courage and Do it. ~Ezra 10:4
One of my favorite things…is to get into my bed at the end of each day and snuggle under the covers book in hand.
A few plans for the rest of the week…it is going to be an incredibly busy week. I need to complete a MAJOR assignment for this class and it is going to be quite complex.
A peek into my day…

Ezra 10:4

Ezra 10:4

First Book of the Year 2015

First Book of the Year 2015Sheila over at Book Journey is hosting a First Book of the Year 2015 party and I have decided to attend. Hop on over and check out the other book lovers who are rockin’ in the New Year and discover the next great read on your list.

I have cevery dayhosen the book every day by david levithan. A friend told me about it a few months back and I added it to my reading list then, given the concept I thought it an excellent selection to ring in the new year.

It is a book written for youths, which I discovered I read quite a lot of…guess I am youthful! Anyway, the protagonist in the book, who’s name is A, wakes up each morning in a new person’s body. In other words A is someone else every day of the year. I thought the concept intriguing. Imagine waking up in the body of your son or daughter, your best friend, mother, father, sister, boss, whoever. Having access to their thoughts and memories for a day. How much insight would you have?!  No spoilers here, I will not be giving you any of the details of how A interacts with the world, you can read it for yourself if you want to find out. I will say that the book is not what I had hoped it would be. It is still intriguing but I would have developed this story very differently if I were the author…just saying. I haven’t finished it yet but it has been a fairly fast read and I am interested to see where the story is going.

Have you read it? Let me know your thoughts if you have. What book is sitting on your bedside stand on January 1, 2015?

Happy Reading in the New Year of 2015

Best Books 2014

Love Books

My Goodreads page tells me that I have exceeded my reading goal for 2014! Yay! It is kind of fun to glance back across the year to see where you have traveled in the pages of a book, or  perhaps it’s a new idea or knowledge you have learned as result of reading, or some simple pleasure has been experienced. Whatever it is, books are a way of transporting us out of our circumstances into another place and time.

As 2014 closes itself out I thought it would be fun to create a favorites review list at the end of the year so that maybe a reader of this blog might be intrigued to pick up something I have read.

I enjoyed a few books in the young adult genre this year. My #1 pick is an old favorite to many.

Anne of Green Gables  Anne of Green Gables absolutely delighted me this year. I chose an audio version and was completely enchanted with all of Anne’s antics. I remember reading it is a little girl but don’t think I was as smitten with it then. I encourage you to reengage with your youth by reading or listening to this book.




Unexpected enjoyment came from a free Kindle read. 600 Hours of Edward600 hours of Edward  was a wonderful fictional story about a guy with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s not a medical book at all so don’t be put off. It is a story about how he deals with the world. And his father. This book made me laugh and cry. It gave me something to think about. It showed me something about redemption.



Storied Life of A.J. Fifry    A story about a book seller this novel caught my eye. It was in my Audible wish list for months prior to actually making the purchase. Once I started to listen I was initially concerned I would not like the story however that soon passed. I adored my time with A.J. and the rest of the characters from Island books.



Life Lessons     This book is not going to be for everyone. It is authored by 2 physician’s who work with the dying, one being expert Elizabeth Kubler Ross. The chapters each cover a topic learned from those who are facing death. It is not a morbid book whatsoever quite the contrary, it is meant to show the living a perspective of what is important as seen through the eyes of the dying. I probably learned more from this book than any other this year.



Extreme Medicine     Fabulous. Interesting. Captivating. The life experiences of Dr. Fong fascinated me. It is a medical book but not so complex that the non-medical reader could    not enjoy the book for what it is, a fascinating illustration of the title’s proclamation, “extreme medicine”.



Five Days at Memorial    This is a book about 5 days at a hospital in New Orleans at the time of hurricane Katrina. The research behind this book is top notch. The story is one of the most thought provoking I have ever heard. As a nurse I was completely intrigued by the circumstances and decisions these professionals faced during a serious crisis. For the first time I truly appreciated just how deserted the people of New Orleans must have felt at a time of such catastrophic devastation. We completely failed as a nation. Our healthcare setting was completely unprepared to handle a crisis of this magnitude. I don’t know if we are better prepared today than we were then. I know this book impacted me personally and professionally like no other in a very long time(perhaps ever). Definitely worth reading or as I did, listening to.


Elephant Whisperer    Sometimes a book just reminds you why you love to read, travel into the lives of others becoming immersed in their world. This book was that reminder for me. Who would ever expect a story about a conservationist and a pack of elephants could enchant the way this did? I was moved by what the writer learned from his ventures with the elephants. I was drawn to the bush of South Africa with each chapter. I learned about a world I had no understanding or appreciation for prior to these pages. Another Audible listen, the narrator with his accent was wonderful, adding to the story drawing me in.



The Golem and the Jinni     Probably my favorite book this year. It is listed as fiction, fantasy, historical and is the debut novel for author Helene Wecker. This book was pure enjoyment for me. The narration was great. The storyline draws the listener into the setting of the early 20th century. The characters are extraordinarily well-developed. It’s a long story but I didn’t want to see it end. I hope the author has other inspiration to delight readers for years to come.

 Where are you Reading

My list is varied. Something for everyone I think. In 2015 I plan to join a few reading challenges on blogs I have recently discovered such as

What about you, did you read any of these novels? What books did you enjoy in 2014? Share a comment or write a blog post and link back. The love of books transports us to new places and experiences. Sharing them with others just expands that enjoyment.


A Time Such as this

Invention of Wings

It wasn’t until the end of this audible book that I realized the Grimke sisters were not fictional characters but true abolitionists, that fact certainly made the story more impactful. One thing I truly enjoyed was hearing how Sarah discovered her purpose in life. Kidd does an excellent job on emphasizing this fact as Sarah walks through life. The sisters were truly infamous women leaders, paving the way for the abolition of slavery and invoking revolutionary thoughts on women’s rights.

As I pondered their courage and accomplishments while listening to their story I was reminded of the line of scripture from the story of Ester when Mordecai says to Ester that perhaps God has brought her to the palace for a time such as this. Sarah and her sister Nina growing up in a southern slave owner’s home were exposed to the realities of slavery as young girls this upbringing shaped their viewpoint and when the time became ripe God launched their ministry.

We are all born for this time. We are all here for a purpose. There is a lifework looking for our unique signature. Sarah Grimke didn’t step into her purpose until her 40’s and said “No” to other potential distractions but joys along the path. We must do the same. We each have a call upon our life and shouldn’t stop short until we hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant.”



Purpose Discovered

Last night my favorite guy and I enjoyed a meal out together. alive-copy.jpgFriday night dates have become one of my preferred moments of the week. Spending time, usually alone, with my guy after what is typically a full and busy week is always special. Many times our dinner conversation unfolds the week’s events and how we see God moving through these events.

The conversation at dinner covered a lot of territory. After an hour or more of sharing back and forth I found myself telling my guy that I have realized that I am truly, fully alive for the first time in my life. I feel and touch every aspect of my day along the path. The people that I touch as part of my God given job are a blessing to me and I to them…I am working using all the gifts and talents bestowed upon me to bring Him Glory. Simply put I have found my purpose and it feels so good. And what’s more amazing is that all I really did was follow Jesus-he brought me here. Even more exciting is the fact that I know the journey I am on with Him is ongoing. He has great and marvelous things planned for me. My job is simply to do as He asks and when I do this He shows up and does the rest. I’m not going to say that it is easy because it is not. My struggles are mine just as your struggles are yours. What I am going to tell you is that since embarking on this journey, a purpose driven journey, I have discovered new meaning and significance in every thing that I do, all of which I turn back to God for His Glory. It’s a great joy.

In 2 weeks we will begin to spend our precious Friday nights differently as we host a weekly small group in our home that begins with a shared meal and ends with discussion and fellowship focused on Rick Warren’s best selling book, Purpose Driven Life.

PDL  We had read the book when it was originally published about 10 years ago however in     anticipation and preparation of the group we have worked through it again. I must admit it is rich with insight and challenges the reader to new heights in reaching God’s purpose for their life. The new edition released last fall has several addition chapters and offers multimedia on your smartphone. I have had the opportunity to listen to several of the short and a few longer messages and found these to be power-packed.

We are looking forward to beginning the group. I see it as continued growth as I(we) move     along in our purposes in God’s plan for our lives in His kingdom. I am confident that as we step out in faith and share our journey with those He brings to us, God will to bless it and we in turn give it all back to Him in Glory.

I hope to share some of the Purpose Driven Life groups journey and revelations here with some regularity. It is my hope and prayer that you might pass something you learn or enjoy reading here to others. May your day be blessed with riches.    ~Paige

A Book that Changes You

Every once and awhile I read a book that changes me, I mean changes me at the core of my very being. I am not sure how The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom escaped my reading list all these years but I guess I can accept the simple fact that the time for reading this marvelous book was now.

The Hiding PlaceThe inspirational book shares with its reader’s how God is Always in control, even in circumstances that in our limited human perspective we cannot see or understand what He is doing.

The Ten Boom’s are a Christian family living in Holland when Germany invades the country. Biblical living has been the way of life for the Ten Boom family. Daily the family and employees from the watch repair shop they own, gather around the dining table to read from the bible. Prayer and serving are a way of life before the war, so it is only natural that God would use these talents at a time of great need.

When Corrie and her sister Betsie are put into Ravenbruck for aiding and abetting the Jewish people of Holland their faith story continues to change lives. As I read this book I found myself marveling over God’s protection of His plan and purpose. I reminded on page after page of how He takes care of His people, providing for ALL our needs. The problem of course is US. We think that we simply cannot live without the newest piece of technology, car, clothing, home gadget, etc. But the bible tells us, He knows our needs. (Mat 6:8). Help me Lord to do better here!

The story shows us how the Love and Peace of God can shift atmospheres as evidenced by the changes in the behavior of the women in the sleeping quarters. When the sisters first arrive the room is full of hatred, fighting and meanness. However as the love of God penetrates the women through prayer and daily bible reading palpable changes in how they treat own another are observed. Help my Lord to shift atmosphere’s around me!

When Corrie cannot find the strength within herself to forgive one of her captures who asks for forgiveness, she finds God faithful one more time as His love overpowers her and helps her to forgive the unthinkable. Help me Lord to constantly walk remembering what your forgiveness has done for me and help me to share it with others!

The Hiding Place will go on my top 10 best books of all time. It has changed me forever.

What book have you read that has changed you?

“when we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus”
Corrie ten Boom

Time is a funny thing

11-22-63My pastor and other bible teachers will tell  you that God created “time” for us. We require the ability to break it down into smaller, bite size chunks. Imagine for a moment what the world we be like without “time”. A chaotic mess would exist, don’t you think? And time is a funny thing too I think. Sometimes it drags, like on a Friday work day. Other times it flies by; most weekends for instance. Earlier this week I was driving down a road that I last traveled on a beautiful sunny day last fall. As I passed by the location where I spent several hours on that October Saturday morning before heading off to meet a dear friend for lunch I thought to myself–that was 3 months ago already–yet in some sense it seems as though it was just last week. How about that eerie de’ja vue experience? I know it happens to all of us, right?

I just completed an audio book by the masterful storyteller, Stephen King, titled 11/22/63. The entire book is focused around an ordinary guy who goes back in time through what he calls a “rabbit hole” to right the terrible wrong that occurred when JFK was assassinated. He discovers however that when you change that past a whole new future is created, seems obvious huh? As the narrator reads the tale aloud I found myself reeling at the changes in the world since 1960. At one point the protagonist’s girlfriend asks about the future and he responds by telling her that a black man is president. She is stunned. This is before desegregation so to hear that less than 50 years in the future a black man would hold the highest office in the country was amazing. And it is, don’t you think? Time is weird. In some ways we can look back across the half a century and be blown away by the speed of  progress yet when we look at the age of our now young adult children we can wonder…how did it go past so fast.

The Cost of Care

I really like the new reader page over on main page…I have discovered many new blogs using the category search for topics I am interested in. My searching left me wondering something about my own writing though. Way back in my early writing I shared a post about my vocational call to nursing. I close that post stating that being a nurse is really the at the core of my authentic self. What I have been pondering is why I have written so few posts on healthcare and nursing. While I do not have an answer to my question, I have decided to write on this topic today.

Should Hope have a Price Tag?

Should Hope have a Price Tag?

As with so many books that get added to my reading shelf something in the books   description captured my eye. Most likely the fact that the author, a lifetime & well known journalist, penned a book on two topics near and dear to my heart too. Cancer and the cost of healthcare. The book is really a love story and the lives of Terence and Amanda would have remained unknown and unnamed had it not been for his terminal diagnosis of kidney cancer. They live an adventurous life. Her journalism career and his love of learning brings creates a grand backdrop for the novel.

It is always insightful for me, the oncology nurse, to climb inside the patient’s perspective. To hear how confusing our healthcare system is for people, hence the need for nurse navigators(the role I have been carving out since August 2011). But it is more than that. She writes about the huge swings in costs she discovered as she researched for the book after Terence’s death. In the seven years he was ill, they lived in four different states and had four different health insurance policies as a result of her job changes. Each insurance contract has a different negotiated rate for the SAME test. The hospital or other facility gets paid based on those negotiated rates. And if you happen to be one of the unfortunate American who are uninsured you will pay the entire cost–kind of like the sticker price on a new car–the better someone negotiates, the less money s/he can expect to pay.

Sadly, we in the US do not even know what all this care really costs. If you walk into the dry cleaners and want to have your shirt cleaned, at least in Connecticut where I reside, a sign must be posted disclosing the cost for such a service. In my husband’s automotive shop a huge sign hangs indicating the cost of  hourly labor. In addition service he is responsible for calling the customer and discussing a quote before proceeding with the suggested repairs. Yet I walked into the Ear, Nose and Throat doctors office for an exam. No sign hanging. I was however asked for my insurance card. A month and a half later I received a bill in the mail for $685.00; the amount I would be responsible for paying after my High Deductible insurance plan reduced the charges based on the “negotiated” rate. I have got to tell you I find this amount preposterous! I was sitting in the exam chair for about 15 minutes. There was no prior disclosure. Whoa…wait a minute…does anyone out there beside me think there is something wrong here?

We met a woman last week who offered to send us a health insurance quote for one of our young adult children who is presently uninsured. In her email with the quote she tells us that the preventative care is FREE! I respond back–that care is NOT FREE–it comes with a cost.

Thanks dear readers for listening to my rant. If you reside in the US I would urge you to give consideration to my writing. Our consumption of health coupled with our unhealthy lifestyle and our desire to live forever(well maybe not forever but we certainly have a hard time excepting death) is going to bankrupt our nation.

Book Review- Icebound by Jerry Nielsen

I finished this audio book on this mornings commute. The book was read by the author, Dr. Jerry Nielsen, and I suspect she is a far better doctor than narrator. The story would have been even better had I read the book.

I was completely enthralled with the story of the emergency department physician leaving her comfortable life in the US to serve for one year in Antartica. Jerri gives plenty of facts about how living happens “on the ice” which I found fascinating. Most impressive however was her experience of “being truly alive”. She describes her life there as being taken to the edge of herself and experiencing life for the first time.

The unfortunate development of breast cancer and the challenges of treating it in this remote location should be an encouragement to all. Some of the medical descriptive is quite technical which for me is not a problem having worked in both an emergency department and as an oncology nurse caring for breast cancer patients but others may find it too advanced.

Overall I think this story is one of adventure, community and hope. A absolute must read.