Pickleball | Snowshoes | Don’t Eat Blue Snow

2023 has its own Wikipedia page, and here are some of the things included on the global calendar this year:

  • Luxembourg, Thailand, Turkey, Sudan, Guatemala and at least ten other countries will hold their national elections this year.
  • King Charles will be crowned King of England in May.
  • India is projected to surpass China to become the world’s most populous country.

In my small part of the globe, who knows what the year may hold? But so far in 2023, I have already sampled two new sports: pickleball and snowshoeing.

This is surprising, since I am not a person who inserts athletics into her bio. I favor reading, sewing, audiobooks, and gentle walks.

Pickleball

Since practically everyone in my family is playing pickleball, I wanted to try it — and it is FUN! I took a class on January 2nd, and since then, I have been thinking of ways to play inexpensively at an indoor court. During a cold Minnesota winter, indoor court time is precious, and you must share with others. It’s unusual to reserve an indoor court just for yourself and a friend – it’s pickleball courtesy to let another pair join you.

Before I took the class, my husband gave me a quick tutorial session, and we volleyed with two other pickleballers. 

We played for 1.5 hours. 

Since my body wasn’t used to this (I haven’t used tennis muscles since the 20th century), I left the court with a pulled hamstring.

It didn’t seem right to injure myself in a sport that seems designed for and enjoyed by so many senior citizens. But the muscle is healing, and I will keep trying to find ways to play with other beginners like me.

Snowshoes

Early in January 2023, a foot of snow landed on us here in Minnesota. This made driving difficult, my teenage boys busy, and our tractor a necessity for blowing snow off our long rural driveway.

This beautiful, white, deep snowy landscape was the perfect backdrop to try a snowshoeing class, hosted by the local park system. My two youngest boys and I were glad for a balmy 29 degree day yesterday, as we strapped on our rented snowshoes and followed the leader up the woodsy hill.

Snowshoes have a sharp-toothed metal piece that allows your foot to grip slippery surfaces, and the snowshoe’s width spreads out your weight, so you don’t sink down into deep snow.

Besides learning about how to navigate trails using these simple contraptions, we also learned that you shouldn’t eat blue snow. When you see this, it means that rabbits or deer have eaten buckthorn, which turns their urine a lovely shade of blue.

Don’t eat blue snow.

New Year Thoughts

What will 2023 hold for each one of us?

Colorful experiences?

Strained muscles?

New life seasons?

Deeper insights?

Growth? Learning?

Overcoming? Letting Go?

Some of these don’t seem to arrive without stretching, sweat, or struggle.

Verses I am studying from the book of James remind me that we all go through trials, but trials are not the end of the story. If we let God do His work in us, trials can refine and improve us (but nobody said it was easy.)

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. 

James 1:2-4 MSG

May 2023 be your best year yet.

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better person. ~Benjamin Franklin

Life is short. Stay awake for it. ~ Caribou Coffee

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It Must Be a Good Time To…

As mentioned in my last post, I wrote a short ebook: 10 Action Tips for New or Tired Homeschool Parents.

Thank you for your encouragement– and even some readership and (much appreciated) reviews!

Apparently, my ebook is the #1 new release in one-hour education & reference short reads! Since actual numbers reveal that have been only a few purchases and three reviews, that must mean:

It’s a good time to write your short, education / reference ebook! The market must be rather sparse 🙂

homeschooling

New E-Book

To celebrate the new year, I wrote a short e-book:

10 Action Tips for New or Tired Homeschool Parents.

When I decided to jump in to this project, I didn’t realize what a learning experience it would be.

  1. I have tried Canva before, and I used it to create my book cover. Pretty simple.
  2. I was accustomed to the information-gathering, editing, and rewriting that I had to do. (Even after all that, I know the book is farrr from perfect.)
  3. The process of formatting through Kindle Direct Publishing was stretching, and it included lots of trial and error. After viewing it on various devices, I had to tweak the formatting. You must unpublish the book if you need to edit it— so I have already had to unpublish and republish this book twice.
  4. After listing the book, I found it under another author’s booklist. (Her name is Lisa Luciano, too.) So, I changed my name to include my middle initial, and got the book in the right place.

Looking back, the experience was like taking a class. I learned, practiced, made mistakes, started over, and repeated this a few times. The end project of this made-up, self-directed class was to complete and publish my own ebook.

Notes:

  • I enjoyed collecting quotes from some of my favorite children’s authors. These quotes are included at the beginning of every chapter.
  • Chunks of the book were adapted from other work I have done here on my blog, or borrowed from my other writing projects.
  • My favorite part sits at the end of the book, where I tell a little bit about my personal journey. It’s called: Tired, Crazy, Ignorant and Unrefined: My Story.”

If you are interested in homeschooling, or know someone who is, I invite you to take a look! The book aims to be encouraging and practical for anyone who is new at home education, and it might be helpful for homeschooling parents who would like a few fresh new ideas.

A free copy goes to the first three people who would like to send me their name and email address in a private message!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

–Lisa