Saturday, January 5, 2013

Simply Saturday My One Word

Do you know about My One Word?

I'm not sure how it started. I've heard several folks take credit for it. My guess is that someone preached the concept, it caught fire in the hearts of simple folk and spread.

A watch-fire.

A flickering flame of hope. Of change. Of faith.

I love the concept because it's focused and easy. You pick ONE WORD and concentrate the year on making choices that reflect that word.

No diets. No money. (Although there is a book out now and you can buy it HERE.)

I'm doing a list for Seekerville.   A list of peeps and their "one words". We'll post it on the website once it's complete and that way we have a reference point.

In May you can go back and check your word when you've forgotten what it was.

In August you can reflect on your word.

In October you can do an examination of conscience and see if it helped...

I love focus. I believe in the ripple effect, that each small pebble dropped... each stone skipped across the quiet face of a sleeping river... each tiny snowflake, seeking friends.... makes a difference.

So our tiny beginnings of change and betterment make a difference too!

If you have a word you'd like me to add to the list, just say so... I'll tack it on.

For 2011 mine was "Forge".  I wanted to forge ahead... but also to become more solid as a person, forged in the fire.

For 2012 my word was "Embrace".  My thought was that learning to embrace change, different people, peace, forgiveness, others' thoughts would make me more open to goodness.

For 2013 I've chosen "Gladden".  I love that word! It makes me smile to see it, to say it, and that's the effect I want to have this year. To make more people smile. To inspire those smiles with humor, faith and love. Hugs and cookies help!!!

And for those of you who think I'm wriggling out of Simply Saturday recipe time, I shake a motherly finger and say, "Uh, Uh."

This week my little peeps and I made Rosie O'Shea's Killer Oatmeal Cookies. (RECIPE HERE, CLICK ON COOKBOOK!!!) This recipe is from Tina Radcliffe's debut novel The Rancher's Reunion.

My buddy and helper Casey made these on Wednesday.


Occasionally we have an EPIC FAIL in our kitchen.



These cookies are crisp, delicious, chewy and the texture is marvelous. And they loved adding packets of instant oatmeal to the recipe and that made me laugh.

Here's a pic of the finished product. We did cheat and added Hershey's Cinnamon chips to half the batter

and decided that we liked them even better (if possible) with the cinnamon chips.

And here's a gratuitous pic of Seth and Logan (father and son) playing in the snow... You Southern gals will love this!

Feel free to "dish" on My One Word... Or cookies... Or snow.... (big smile here).... Or taking down Christmas.

I always wait until Twelfth Night to put away Christmas decorations.

Some years I'm tempted to get things in order before then.

But I wait because I think the beauty of Christmas is the fulfillment of the Advent season, the constant protection of the Christ child from adversity and the command to those wise men to go home by a different route... a road less traveled, a concept many of us can embrace.... and tell what they'd seen.

They didn't have Facebook.

There was no Twitter.

No TV or Radio waves known to exist at that time.

Word of mouth for a hungry heart, crossing barren land.

And look what's come of it!

 "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon Thee, and His glory shall be seen upon Thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in Thy light. . ."

Isaiah's words, come to fruition.

A story of acceptance and embracing. I love it!


  1. Hello, Ruthy.

    So much to comment on in this post.

    I love the whole one word thing. Mine is perseverance because I really need to learn to do that in everything. I want to persevere in deepening my faith (especially during this Year of Faith), I want to persevere in being the best teacher I can be, and I want to persevere in my writing because as my favorite quote states - "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." Richard Bach, O he of Jonathan Livingston Seagull fame.

    So, I did One Word with my class today. It was interesting watching 9 year olds try to grasp the concept and dig deep enough to come up with words that were big enough. After a few false starts with words like XBox and Basketball (LOLOL), they finally seemed to get it. We ended up brainstorming a list of words that included Learn, Discover, Adventure, Create, Imagine, Think, Healthy, Hope (that one struck a note with one of my students who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy), etc.

    So much fun to see them really get into the spirit of it. I told them to choose their word and then make a poster out of that word, decorating it in some way that reflects the meaning of the word. Can't wait to see what they come up with.

    So about those cinnamon chips. I simply MUST find someplace down here that sells them. Hmmmmmm Cinnamon is my most favorite food group. Yes - a food group. :)

    I blather on. Must be time for bed. See you in the morning.

    Oh - one more thing. My church bulletin had a lovely insert explaining what we should leave Christmas up longer. It's too long to type out, but it ended like this =

    "Let your home be a place where Christmas is too big to be restricted to one day. Let the spirit of the season extend into the New Year, spreading its joy that Christ is born for us." from Paul Turner (Christmas in January)

    1. Mary, what a wonderful idea to do One Word with your students!!!! The Xbox made me smile. I can't believe you're back already. Our schools start up again on Monday.

    2. We went back on Wednesday, Kav. Our vacation almost always ends on January 2nd.

    3. I love that your church talked about that! I truly believe it, right alongside you.

      A season, not a day.

      A frame of mind, not something to be accomplished.

      So sweet, Mary!!!!

      Kav, ours go back the day after New Year's too. Do your parents and teachers up there like the extended days? Or is it done to keep the heating bills down? We did that a few years during austerity way back when the dinosaurs roamed upstate. :) They extended Christmas vacation at the schools and state universities to cut the heating bills.

    4. We always have two weeks off over Christmas and I think the general rule is that we start up in the new year the first Monday after January 1. So if New Year's Day was on a Sunday then we'd go back on the 2nd too. But our school year is longer then yours. We go right to the end of June.

      I got all the ingredients for the cookies -- I'm about to embark on a baking adventure. Wish me luck! No cinnamon chips though -- I guess my liver enzyemes are happy about that. :-)

    5. Mary, that's so cute about your students. I just love the words they settled on once they "got it."

  2. Mary--


    I'm so glad you're a teacher. Have I said that before? once or twice?

    And that quote is perfect. :)

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. Sharing that kind of brain-enriching concept is a wonderful thing, Mary.

      And do you guys know that lower Manhattan along the East River is still all on generators? Huge generators are lining the streets with electric cords into high-rises to try and give people enough power to live in their apartment buildings. Mary, do you have any specific places people could send help? Local churches? I wonder if we could "Adopt-a-family" from Hurricane Sandy like we did for Christmas... Can you be our bloodhound?????

    2. Mary, you are a teacher above teachers. The public school teachers I've known have been more cheerleaders than teachers, and children need someone bigger than a cheerleader in their life. They need someone to stretch them, challenge them, bring out their best. You give me hope :)

  3. Thanks for the reminder I choose Gratitude and want to keep a gratitude jar and had a couple of things to add plus make the jar.

    I saw the word peeps and think peeps the candy you see Cheryl Wyatt sent me some and it is so yummy.

    1. I love your word choice, Jenny. And the gratitude jar is such a great way of keeping on track.

      PEEPs. Love me some peeps. Well, I used to. I've been addicted to them for years, but I must be getting old because now they just make my teeth hurt.

    2. Mary, buy Sensodyne toothpaste and then eat Peeps.

      It will help.


      Fellow Peepster!

    3. I love that Cheryl did that, Jenny!!!! SUH-WEEEET!!!!

    4. Did I tell you guys that my beloved friend Jeff (you'll see why Jeff got an INSTANT UPGRADE in a minute!!!) got to go TOUR THE PEEP FACTORY?????

      Jeff's a buyer for a large, widespread awesome grocery store "Wegmans" and part of his job is in candy sales and promotion... which means he takes my opinions on candy to heart!!! :) But first he brings me this and that to sample, since I have such a discerning taste an' all. Anyway, he said it was fascinating. Truly eye-opening and marvelous. And this from a big, strong guy.... he was really impressed.

      Gotta love us some peeps!!!

    5. My daughter has a Norwegian pen-pal -

      At least, at one time we'd call them pen-pals. Now they tweet or something.

      Anyway, she sent her Norwegian friend some Christmas peeps - the friend was ecstatic. Peeps are international love.

    6. Cheryl sent them here first after a seekerville post and i commented what are peeps. Oh the christmas ones were so yummy, wish we had them (well maybe not all year round since i would buy too many) will have to get some when i visit the states.

      I think i would love your beloved friend too Ruthy.

    7. Hahaha! Jenny, you would love him!

    8. Oh my gosh, are y'all going to hate me if I say I don't like peeps??! (I did when i was a kid, though). :)

    9. Missy- We can form a club. Peeps are gross!

      My sister is a Peep fan and when she gives us Peeps, we stick a toothpick in them and put them in the microwave facing each other. After 10 seconds, one of them hass 'won' the duel!

      Or sometimes neither of them.

  4. I love the One Word concept. And love that you're making a Seekerville list of them! Mine is Restoration.

    Jenny, I love the idea of your gratitude jar. I might just do that even if my word isn't gratitude.

    And boohooo -- no cinnamon chips up here in Ontario. That I can find anyway. Going to try the Bulk Barn today. I need some back to school cookies.

    1. I'm making notes of the One Words you guys are posting here to either add to the Seekerville list or just confirm that we have them there.

      I will not tell you that I'm PAYING my daughter to browse nearly 2900 comments, LOL!!!! She's a young mom... I'm an old writer... It's a win/win!!!!

  5. A warning about cinnamon. Don't overdue it. I mean like cinnamon added to your coffee daily, a side effect of too much cinnamon is elevated liver enzymes.

    But a cookie a day and these are my favorite, is a wonderful thing.

    1. Saints be praised and Lord have mercy, Teeeenster, did you just give us a CINNAMON WARNING?????

      Surgeon General Radcliffe.... oy, do not taketh away the spice of my life!!!


      Can you imagine those peeps that work at Cinnabon?

      They're probably tested daily. Monitored. And that's Makara Cinnamon, a highly potent, strong variety. But what a way to die!!!

      Okay, kidding aside, I always listen to Nurse Radcliffe because she's:

      A. Bossy
      B. Smart
      C. Did I mention Italian????

    2. Ruthy, there's WAY more sugar than cinnamon at Cinnabon. :)

  6. Mary, how delightful you are doing MY ONE WORD.

    I love that!

  7. My One Word is discipline.

    I need discipline to keep to the schedule I've given myself, discipline to limit my internet time, discipline to keep walking six days a week, discipline to keep writing in its place and not stealing time from my family (except when deadlines loom...).

    And Christmas in January? Of course.

    We took the decorations down on January 1, but that doesn't mean Christmas is over. Our church has a long tradition of not celebrating Christmas (it was outlawed in Scotland until not too many years ago), but not because they're Scrooges. Quite the opposite - the idea is that we don't want to limit the celebration to just one day. The first advent of Christ was a one time event that we celebrate every day of the year, and we don't limit that celebration to Christmas trees and lights.

    But at the same time, the Christmas season refreshes everything :)

    1. Jan, that's such a beautiful take on the holiness and greatness of the feast. You are living Christmas.

      That is truly a wonderful thing.

    2. Jan, I'd never heard that about not celebrating Christmas since it should be celebrated continually. :)

    3. Jan, we had a babysitter that belonged to a church like that. Her mom explained it this way:

      For them, they wanted to preserve the awareness of the persecution believers had gone through so when Christmas came they celebrated just as deeply, but in very small ways. A candle here or a little bough of holly there.

      It was a neat concept and very eye-opening when think of generations celebrating Christmas but not able to show it outwardly.

  8. Oatmeal cookies... January's comfort food! But I can't find cinnamon chips here, either Kav (BC, western Canada). I have a friend who lives in WA. I'll have to check with her and see if she can smuggle some my way!)

    I'm still waffling on my one word. It was "Joy" last year and I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up. But Joy seems just a little selfish now... perhaps a bit frivolous... and I need to get serious this year. I'm thinking DETERMINATION might be a better choice. I need to "determine" some goals and then use "determination" to work towards them. I'm not getting any younger, y'know, so this dillydallying has got to stop. So yes, I'll choose DETERMINATION. Thanks for helping me make the decision.

    Now I'm off to find me some cinnamon. Maybe sprinkled on a latte. :)

    1. I have absolute faith in your determination! And no cinnamon chips by you, either???? Pshaw, this is a serious lack of international diplomacy!

      Can they be smuggled?


      I think that answer is YES.

    2. Carol, I like that choice. I'm still thinking on mine. But Ruthy, I'll get one to you soon. I want to be included!

      Also added cinnamon chips to my grocery list! I hope I can find them. I'd never heard of them until someone mentioned them here recently.

  9. I can't narrow it down to one word :-(

    1. Susanna, when you do, just tell me. We'll add it to the list whenever!

  10. Speaking of Peeps - we were, right?

    Have you ever googled Peep images?

    There are some seriously insane projects that people do with peeps.
    The Washington Post runs a contest each year.

    1. Oh, Mary, that's hysterical! Dying laughing!!!!!

  11. Love your "One Word" - Gladden! =)
    It makes me smile.

    Your cookies sound so good!

    My word for 2013 is Faith, and I shared it here

    1. Melissa, what a fun blog! Thanks for sharing that and I love the "Faith" icon. Beautiful!

      And I'm so happy that "Gladden" makes you smile!!!

      Me, too!

      So now we're smiling together.... holding hands, skipping along the sidewalk, pigtails bouncing! (Is there any image cuter than little girls skip-running together, loving life?)

  12. I'm new to this blog,happened onto it through Ruth Hernes' Amazon page. Enjoying all the comments and the ONE WORD idea as I have done this for years. (The last 2 years my word was Balance)My word for this year is Renew. Feeling alittle tired and worn out in several areas. I like the suggestion of the gratitude jar, but mine will be a Renewal jar. Each day I'm going to try to do one thing to renew my strength, physically, spiritually or emotionally. Thanks for the idea. Such a fun group!

    1. Tracey, we're so glad you found us! I hope you'll be back again.

      I love the idea of a renewal jar!