Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Slice of Life: Stuffie Jeopardy Jumpstarted my Slice!

I'm trying to write a slice each week, in preparation for March which will be here before we know it. With no ideas about what to write, I resorted to a tactic I often use during March. I started reading slices from other people. And sure enough my slice found me!

Sunday morning found me teaching daughter's Sunday School class. (I volunteered to fill in because she was going to Costa Rica, only she didn't get to go because her husband got Covid, and in spite of being extra careful and isolating him from the rest of the family, one child got sick four days later, she got sick three days after that, and another child tested positive on Sunday morning.)

The class warm-up activity is High, Low, Buffalo! Each class member shares a high or low from their week, or a buffalo (a random fact about themselves). I used to do Roses and Thorns with my Sunday School class twenty+ years ago. I could have used this idea because there was always that kid who couldn't think of a rose or a thorn. We could have dubbed it Rose-Thorn-Candy Corn! (But I digress.)

My grandson, the only member of his family still testing negative, is in his mom's Sunday School class. He diligently wears a mask at home and school. He said his high for the week was a new game he and his brother created, Stuffies Incorporated. If you've read Stacey's slice for this week, then you'll know her Stuffie Jeopardy Fever jogged my memory about Stuffies Incorporated. 

The boys spent a large part of Sunday organizing their store and pricing the Stuffies. The store is on the upper bunk and big brother is the boss of the store. Once you select a Stuffie (prices range from $6 to $300), you can opt for a note to be included with the Stuffie at no additional cost. Then the Stuffie goes to the lower bunk where it's prepared for delivery by the younger brother. 

My husband and I did our shopping on Monday via FaceTime. He opted for the puppy and I chose the otter. They are wrapped and ready for delivery as soon as everyone at their house tests negative for Covid. I can't wait to see what's written on my note!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Slice of Life: This Is Progress?

Normally I do not answer calls from numbers I do not recognize. For some odd reason, I picked this one up. It was from a pharmacy I've never used, asking for my address so they could mail my prescription. 

I replied, "You're not my pharmacy."  

They countered, "Your insurance covered it. All you have to do is pay $15."

I replied, "Cancel it. I did not order medication from your pharmacy."

At this point, I connected to my chart, virtually, to look at my preferred pharmacy list. My mail order pharmacy and my local pharmacy were not there. Instead, this pharmacy that called me was listed on my chart. 

In an attempt to be a good digital citizen, I drafted a message to my provider, explaining the situation. But the "powers that be" would not let me to send the message.

Sigh! Back to the telephone.

After looking up my new provider's phone # (and entering it in my contacts), I called the office. 

Lucky for me, it was not a long wait until someone answered. I explained the problem, she replied that she saw my two pharmacies on my profile, and I insisted that is not what I was seeing on my end. 

After a bit, she replied, "Oh, I see what "she" did."

With a few more back and forth comments, my preferred pharmacies were changed back to the correct ones. Now let's hope that "she" doesn't access my chart any time soon.

More than half an hour after I had donned my coat to take a walk, I finally pulled the door closed behind me. I heard a message ding, glanced at my phone, and saw that my mail order pharmacy had received the order.

Whew! Sometimes I long for the good old days.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

SJT: A Redux for 2024

I refused to join in the OLW (one little word) reveals for Tuesday's Slice of Life, choosing a slower, gentler approach to the new year. I was startled to realize that Thursday's Spiritual Journey theme was (you guessed it!) our OLW for 2024. I toyed with connect and more (I do love that rhyming phrase, More in 24!). It didn't take me long to realize that I wanted more  time with gather. It got stuffed into a moving box as we prepped for our cross country move from Washington to North Carolina and then stashed in the attic as we focused on unpacking essentials, finding new health care providers, and
learning our way around our new community.

I've enjoyed showcasing my words for each year in this poem-in-progress. This is my twelfth year to choose a word for the year.


Listen to the stillness,

Savor the present moment,

Stretch to grow, and always 

Abide in His love to 

Nourish my soul and reach out in love. 


Delight in small moments and simple pleasures,

Try, a gentle word inviting growth and change.

Light becomes a beacon during diff icult times,

Comfort wraps me in a year of coping with loss,

Clear leads to downsizing challenges and big changes.


Gather gets lost in a cross country move,

Gather stands firm to find its new groove.

-Ramona Behnke


I've never reused a word, but gather deserves more space in my heart and life. Here's the poem I composed in 2023 that I'll keep with one line added for 2024:


 What Will I Gather in 2024

Words, Moments, Stories

Wonders, Revels, Enchantments

Photos, Empty Boxes, Loose Ends

Friends, Loved Ones, Ancestors 

Hope, Goodness, Faith

Laughter, Love, Light

- Ramona Behnke


I can't step away from 2023 without highlighting a delightful gathering of friends for a book club trip to mark 25 years together. I wrote about this November gathering here.

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting our gathering for this first month of 2024. I'm arriving three days late. Pop over to read posts of fellow travelers sharing their spiritual journeys. We welcome all to join us.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Slice of Life: A gentle beginning to 2024

I glanced through the posted comments today and see that many slicer friends are ready with their new word for 2024. I'm not one of those people. I'm still waiting to settle on this year's word.

This post must be short, so I'll share some meandering I did today, collecting words that resonated with me during this year:


I snapped this poem from one of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's posts:  

I love this quote so much that I had to stop and copy it into my journal of favorite words:

This was my last read of 2023. If you haven't read it, move it to the top of your list:

Happy New Year, my friends!

May your year be filled with

good friends,

perfectly ordinary moments,

daily delights,

and books you yearn to share.