Yes, I did just put October and Thanksgiving in the same heading. The reason for that, is due to continuing to run into people across the US that I meet online, who don't know that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October.
Thanksgiving was a very lean affair for us this year. Even moreso than in some years in the past, due to how lean work has also been this Fall. I thought we could try an o'dourve-style meal this year, with our usual spinach salad, a couple dipping sauces, and some apple-cinnamon store-bought cake for dessert. My body told me that was too little in the way of nutrition. I don't think we'll be doing that again in the future. The lack of carbohydrates and proteins totally did me in that evening.
But the celebration of Thanksgiving is about so much more than food. . . isn't it? Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving later in November, so I wanted to spend a little time in this newsletter just sharing some of the things I'm thankful for.
Paul says in Philippians 4:11-12 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Learning to find the blessings in the midst of want goes a long way to helping my kids and I understand that we have been blessed by so much more than material goods. Over the years God has brought surprising blessings our way, from boxes of gifts at Christmastime when the kids were smaller, to homes within walking distance of the lakefront. We've sorted through bags of clothing and purchased very few coats as a result. God has led us to surprising deals while grocery shopping, and we're positive He's gone ahead of us to the Salvation Army Thrift Store on more than one occasion. I've watched the gas tank needle occasionally travel much farther up the gauge than what I knew I'd just paid for at the pump.
This Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for understanding landlords as I've struggled to pay the rent. I am thankful for their prayers and their encouragement in the Lord. I am thankful for two grown kids with jobs who are paying room and board. Without them, I'd be really bad off! One's room and board helps ensure rent is covered while the other's room and board ensures we have groceries through the month. I call her my walking wallet now. I am thankful for the ability to walk to most locations where I need to do business. This gives me the exercise I need so badly, as well as saving gas in the tank. I'm thankful for the work that has come in, although I am desparately praying for more. I'm thankful for the strides in my health, and praying that the setback I experienced this fall won't last. I'm thankful for a community gospel choir to sing in, and for the outreach opportunities we've landed for the upcoming Christmas season.
Is life perfect? Do we live in material or financial abundance? No to both those questions. But as Paul said above, the key to being thankful is not in how fat your bank account is or how many possessions you have to look after (there is another verse that talks about being a slave to your possessions), the key to being thankful is found in your ability to look around you and see all the ways God has blessed you that money can't buy.
Why not reply to this newsletter and share what you are thankful for this season? I may share your comments either in a blog post, or on my social media feeds with just your initials to keep you anonymous. It would be great to hear from you!
Photos for Sale!
Sometimes I like to play around with a camera. I rarely if ever take pictures of people, which might be one reason why I'm so bad at capturing moments with the family, but I love landscape or cityscape photography. I realized earlier this Fall, that one of the features people can create on places such as cafepress.com or zazzle, are greeting cards and prints.
Thanks to a website plugin called Fotomoto, I am now able to offer some of my photos in the four seasonal categories, for sale in the form of either 5x7 prints, greeting cards, postcards/invitation cards, downloads for use in screensavers or desktop wallpaper, and even for use in sending free e-cards to your friends.
When you click this link here, choose the season you wish to browse. When you see an interesting thumbnail, click on it and give the page a moment to load. Once the page has finished loading, you'll see the fotomoto bar under the image with options to purchase or send an e-card. The fotomoto purchase screen has a "more sizes" button that will let you see all sizes currently available.
Photos For Sale Part TWO!
While I was promoting my little recipe ebook, "Pumpkin Pie From the Ground Up! (Well, sort of!)", I realized I could have some fun and make household or office-related items that featured the pumpkin theme! Then as I was preparing my fotomoto area of the website, I realized I could turn those photos into products too. Not all photos looked good on all potential products, so some photos have more of a representation than others. I haven't done the summer photos yet either. So this is still a work in progress. But some of the photos honestly did surprise me with how well they took to being applied to various household items. It was the same level of surprise I got when adding artwork related to "Dressed for Eternity" and "A Year in Prayer With Jesus". If I could afford it, I'd have my entire bathroom and maybe even my bedroom, done up in "Dressed for Eternity" while having my kitchen and office done up in Fall photos! I also discovered that the Thermos brand products are at par or cheaper than two stores I shop at in town here in Canada. So that was encouraging. Check them out and if you see something worth sharing with others, go ahead. If you see something worth buying for yourself or as a gift for someone else, jump in! Cafepress has a 60 day return policy if you are ever unsatisfied, so I don't get paid till almost 3 months after you make your purchase, just to be sure you like what you bought.
Photos and cafepress were not the only updates and discoveries happening this month. When you visit my blog next, you'll notice the right-hand sidebar has expanded and some things have been moved around. This is due to the discovery that many of the places where my books are sold online, have affiliate programs. I've done my best to give equal representation where possible down that right-hand sidebar. If an outlet that you normally shop at is present in that sidebar, feel free to throw me a few pennies by clicking through that link before doing your shopping next time. Perhaps Canada got rid of the penny, but it only takes 5 fictitious pennies (only paid by debit/credit/online transaction) to make a very real, physical nickle, and nickles add up.
While I was in the process of discovering these various affiliate programs, I also discovered a few more places where my books are being sold online. As a result, the Where to Buy Around the World page has been updated with a few more locations not just on the North American Continent, but in Australia and other places as well. So if you haven't checked out that list in awhile, you might want to do so in case your favourite retailer is now carrying my books.
So it was a quiet front as far as any book promotions, book sales, etc were concerned. It was a quiet front as far as work went as well. I managed to get three weeks worth of the "A Year in Prayer With Jesus" prayer cards. This is a tedious task copying and pasting. I'm creating a tweet list while I'm at it, as the book is quite tweetable.
I am grateful for a couple book sales this month, two of my ebook "Practical Thoughts on Becoming an Author", one of "Pumpkin Pie From the Ground Up! (Well, sort of!)", and a paperback copy of "Becoming the Bride of Christ: A Personal Journey Volume One". If you were one of those buyers, I want to offer you a HUGE THANK YOU! I'd love to hear what you thought of the book you purchased. The "Where to Buy Around the World" page also has a list of places where you can leave reviews about the book you purchased. This not only serves to encourage me as an author, but also lets others know what you thought of the book. Your words may encourage someone else to pick up a copy.
To all my Canadian readers, a happy post-Thanksgiving! To all my American readers, a happy early-Thanksgiving! Tell me what you're thankful for!
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