Advent/Christmas – Stressful or Uplifting?

Advent/Christmas – Stressful or Uplifting?

How often do we push our way through the Advent/Christmas season? Over the years I’ve heard from so many people who find this time of year to be rushed and stressful. Instead of being a spiritually uplifting season, it becomes something to be dreaded and endured. Every year I hear people complain about Christmas being too commercialized. The good news, though, is we get to determine how we are going to celebrate the Advent/Christmas season. We don’t have to “keep up” with how other people celebrate the season.

Mark’s Musings – On Being Thankful

Mark’s Musings – On Being Thankful

Today I heard a question I’ve been asked many times: “Where are you from? I’ve been trying to figure out your accent.” I enjoy this question. Some people tell me they are normally really good with accents, but they are confused by mine. Often times, I respond with: “I have lived in many places.”

Mark’s Musings – The Potter’s Mark of Love

Mark’s Musings – The Potter’s Mark of Love

In the past few years I have discovered a love for collecting ceramics (yes, one of my many collections). It started with Mata Ortiz pottery. Over the years we have bought many Mata Ortiz pieces to give as gifts. My collection started when my eye was caught by a javelina made by master potter Nicholas Ortiz. Several Mata Ortiz potters are represented in my collection, but Nicolas Ortiz remains my favorite. In addition to the javelina, my Nicolas Ortiz pieces includes a rabbit and two turtles. I was totally satisfied with collecting Mata Ortiz pottery, then over the summer I discovered some other potters.

Mark’s Musings – Problem or Potential?

Mark’s Musings – Problem or Potential?

My 1968 Mustang California Special is now in the ugly stage. It’s in the body shop for a complete body rebuild. The interior is out, and they have started grinding off the paint. Bondo and paint applied from previous owners/shops is being removed, and we are looking...
Mark’s Musings – Opportunities in Challenges

Mark’s Musings – Opportunities in Challenges

My body sometimes feels like a mystery novel, where all the detectives have “Dr.” in their title. This last week my appointment was with an endocrinologist. I’m suspicious I should have met with an endocrinologist (it’s kind of fun saying this word!) a decade ago, although truthfully, I was not aware of this specialty. It’s possible some of my problems are connected to each other. Clues include surgeries; chemotherapy; osteopenia; and kidney stones. The first line of action is to do some blood draws. The blood draw for this week will have eleven tests done on it. The blood draw next month will have one repeat test so we can compare numbers. In all of the blood draws I’ve had over the years, this is the first time I remember the doctor giving me a specific time for the draw.

Mark’s Musings-Showing Empathy

Mark’s Musings-Showing Empathy

On Wednesday of last week, I thought I was having allergy problems. My sinuses would not quit draining, which is quite embarrassing when sitting in an Extended Cabinet meeting! On Thursday, it moved into my chest, and a cough started. Medications seemed to keep it under control at the start of the morning, but it didn’t last for long. I was pretty sure at this point I was dealing with a cold, and not allergies.

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