Saturday, December 31, 2011

10 Ways to End the Old Year and Welcome the New

1: What has been your most memorable moment in 2011?

Let's face it, traumatic moments stick with you more, so the most memorable moment is coming home to the death of my doggie.

2: How much have you changed overall in 2011?

I have learned a lot about how to work with my autistic student, learned about new changes in education that made me want to homeschool and, for once, happy that I am not employed as a teacher. I learned about publishing ebooks with smashwords, and how to do some promotion. Something has changed, something has matured. I look back on the past decade and see what my mother-in-law always says: "I would never go back to my twenties! They were the hardest years of my life!"

3: A person who has impacted your life in some way this year.

Just one?? We all learn from each other. I've met some amazing teachers and substitutes. Saw myself in a few of them! I've helped some amazing kids and young adults. Some of them helped me! I hope they all grow up to be caring and considerate individuals. Even the lady and gentleman who cut my hair (I only had it cut twice) this year gave me some advice. There are those that inspire me who are most influential. Those that support me leave marks, but those that love me leave the greatest marks of all.

4: Something you’ve learned this year.

I learned that I can publish ebooks on smashwords that people will read. I learned that I really don't want to be a teacher in this day and age. I want to love what I do, and while I am a good teacher, I can impact the lives of others without the politics of the educational system. I love writing and want to focus on that.

5: Describe an adventure you had this year.

I do a lot of complaining on my blog. Ranting is one thing, being honest is another, but who wants to read a bunch of complaints? When I was looking back for an adventure, I thought, 2011 was supposed to be a better year, and yet here I am dwelling on the things that broke, the stresses, and where was my happiness?

It's easier to write about the bad things that annoy you, to get them off your chest. Life is an adventure. There are bad things. I think the greatest adventure this past year was hiking in Turkey Run state park. Especially when we came up a trail and convinced ourselves there was a shortcut, but there wasn't and we had to backtrack.. Then there was the tornado warning and we all had to go in the basement! Later in the year we went to Holiday World and got rained out and drove home in a wicked storm.

2012's adventure? High school. (In August I will follow my student there.) And at the same time, Kindergarten! (My youngest starts school.)

6: Any words of wisdom/advice for anyone?

Focus on using your words wisely.

7: 10 things you want to say 10 people.

1. I love you.

2. I cherish our talks together.

3. Just because you forget about me, doesn't mean I forget about you.

4. Remember me when you win the lottery!! :)

5. Try harder to save money.

6. Watch for opportunities and don't be afraid to try, even if it seems everything is okay right now.

7. Things often come in threes, or when you are not looking for them.

8. Begin to see the wonder in tiny moments every day.

9. Failure is how we learn, so figure out what to do, or how to do it the right way. Keep trying.

10. You can learn to love life. Sometimes it takes more effort than you think. You have to learn to love yourself first.

8: Things you hope for in 2012.

I hope for.. money saved, words used wisely, a family trip, savoring the small moments, good health, and taking advantage of sunny days.

I hope a friend talks to me that I've been missing.

I hope to get an agent for the book. I hope to finish two or three more books this year.

9: What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Summer break!

10: Anything you wish to say to end 2011/start 2012.

The key to happiness is excitement for the future, so make every day count. After all, you don't know how much time there is.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Personal Discussion on Resolutions

It's that time again: New Year's Resolutions!

I realize I never shared any with you readers last year. I wrote them in a journal, however, and pulled them back out to see if I accomplished them. I have divided them into categories so my left brain and right brain would both be happy.

All goals associated with
the boys were met. I am such a good teacher! No, they are just growing and learning. :) I have a role in their development, sure, but they were going to learn these skills anyway.

Goals regarding my marriage (what, don't you have some?) were often determined by my daily health a.k.a. tiredness. Steady work also makes for longer days, so there's only so much time left for reconnecting and decompressing. We have worked together to find ways to be together, to appreciate each other, and to plan mini dates. The ideas I had in January did not always work out, but I remained flexible and changed them.

Travel goals still remain, partly due to the fact that 4 year olds don't travel long distances in cars well. :) But as he ages, I need to focus on saving for vacation travel so that when he is old enough, I have enough money.

My personal goals almost remain the same! This means that I did not accomplish them last year. They are either too big or I am lazy...BUT it's a new year.

As I pondered what goals I have for this year, I searched the internets for the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions.

1. Spend More Time With Family And Friends
This is our legacy! Of course we want to spend more time with the people we love, because they are going to hold our memories when we are gone. No really, what is it you want most when you are in the hospital thinking about how little time you have left? More time with family, to appreciate the small moments, to impart wisdom, to share those warm bubbly feelings of love.

2. Get Fit!
This is about being healthy. This is where I feel I have fallen short. I don't really know if I have any health issues, for sure, but I think I do and need to have them taken care of. No one knows your body like you do, so if you have concerns, like me, you (and I) should get to a doctor and share them. I think another goal fits in here, anything food or cooking related. And you know exercise is great for other areas of your health, mental and social, so that fits here as well. Which is part of number three..

3. Lose Weight
This is the general label we place on our resolutions, but I think number 2 is much more important. This may be why this goal fails. Stress can lead to weight gain, depression to overeating, so if you aren't addressing the mental and social aspects, you won't achieve the weight loss, nor have the motivation to make the lifestyle changes necessary.

4. Quit Smoking
Not an issue for me.

5. Enjoy Life More
This is about getting a hobby, going to the theater, taking vacations, and all those fun things you always wanted to do. This goal takes financial and health planning. This goal could also just be a social goal, playing with your children, joining a club or team, or going out with friends or on mini dates. :)

6. Quit Drinking
Also not an issue for me. I'd give advice about 4 and 6 but you'd not believe me.

7. Get Out of Debt
Again, financial planning. I read an article on this titled something like Live Debt Free, and it was just a candid story about people who did. No tips, the only advice was to pay off your debts as soon as you can. Hmm, most people accrue debt because they have to, like the 7,000 dollars in water repair this past year, or 13,000 in student loans, or 1,700 for a used car. Or how about a house? Of course, paying them off is ideal, but in order to do so, you have to budget. For me, the water debt is immense. Student loans have programs in place to help deal with them. The water debt has no programs. I don't expect to get out of debt. As soon as the water is paid off, the house will need a roof or central air. That's how it goes. Unless we get pay increases, we will be accruing debts to pay for these things. The trick is so keep it manageable.

I decided to go see what Dave Ramsey thinks my budget should be, so I went to onemonthtolive.com, signed in, clicked on the financial health tab, and went to the budget calculator. One you enter your amount, it spits out some numbers. Firstly, the only thing we come in under budget is our house. I said we got a great deal! But upon further examination, he allots 5% for utilities. Does he LIVE in America?? What electric bill is 5% of your income, let alone water, gas, or phone and internet?! Good grief, my utilities easily take 10% or more. There are some months where it is less, but when I have to pay the expensive months, other things are not in the budget, like clothing, medical, and savings. There is no clothing budget, ever. That's what GIFTCARDS are for, and birthdays and Christmas. We also shop at Goodwill and yard sales. 25 cents for that? Sure!

8. Learn Something New
This was something I wanted to do last year. The things we want to learn are supposed to be fun. It's just that often the lessons we learn are not the fun kind! Be careful with this one.. Perhaps this should be amended to "remember what lessons you have learned", because I'm sure I learned some new things in a year, but I do not recall them right now.

9. Help Others
Ample opportunities abound for this one. If this is number 9, why aren't more people out there helping?? If we are to give 10% of our income to charity, as Dave Ramsey says, what would you give it to? What about our time? I give a lot of my time to my church.

10. Get Organized
Perhaps the best way to do this is to SIMPLIFY. Here's my half-baked idea that I won't follow, but if you can, more power to ya and I want to hear about it! 1. Empty a room of your house, a closet, or nook. 2. Place items back in the room that you need, furniture, appliances, toothbrushes until the room looks like one of those pictured in Better Homes and Gardens. 3. See all the rest of that stuff you didn't put back?? Get rid of it! Put it in a yard sale and save up for a vacation!

So the truth here is that people set these goals and NEVER follow through. (See me for an example.) Why?

You know why! Laziness, unmotivated, excuses, etc.

So what advice is out there to finally do it this year? 2 options:

Option one
1. Choose your goals
2. Break them into smaller steps
3. Get support
4. Make a routine or schedule the event in

Option two
1. Create a plan
2. Write it down
3. Think year-round
4. Remain flexible

I go with option two often. It doesn't get me anywhere and is quite
right-brained. The left-brain is furious at the right-brain when it does this. The two sides can shake hands over step 3 of option one. THIS is what I have been missing. SUPPORT. I have to SHARE my personal goals with others so they can cheer me on, do it with me, or at least hold me accountable. I often skip this step and make a schedule that I don't follow or flake on the routine because I don't hold myself accountable.

So what are some more realistic and achievable resolutions?

Speak positively about others.
Take time to relax.
Learn a new recipe. Preferably something healthy..

And here is the correct way to actually Achieve them, by Richard Wiseman. He follows Option One.


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Blessings

October has flown by!

It's my favorite season, and this autumn has given us some FABULOUS weather, so I've been trying to enjoy it!

And this fall's TV lineup is awesome! I have to admit I'm watching more TV than writing (thanks to hulu) and I feel some guilt, but as October draws to a close and November sneaks up, I am putting down the headphones and trimming my fingernails back for a frenzy of typing! National Novel Writing Month! Woot!

My blessings this week.

One: We finally got our water fixed after a month of having bacterial-iron-filled yellow, stinky, nasty water that I refused to wash anything in. Blech.

Two: We fixed our blower motor in the central air unit so we have heat now. Some of those nights are getting pretty cold!

Three: Hubby's truck is fixed and runs better than ever. My car is in for repairs (in the garage at home that is.)

Four: I have two jobs, tutoring and being an aide. It is hectic, but we have worked it all out with carpooling, daycare, and having an income right now that keeps us afloat, plus work to keep me sane (I can talk to adults!), is all worth it.

I miss my writing friends! And often I miss writing, but as I pointed out, and want to point out AGAIN, is that it is almost NANO!

If you are clueless, go to nanowrimo.org and check it out!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So Busy Earning Dough, Yet the Monies Disappear Just as Quickly

It's good to be busy. When I am idle, I get really testy. Being busy quells the wanderlust. You'd think I'd be so busy right now I could really save moolah. But alas!

So what's been going on?? Well, for starters, I had the pleasure of watching my two nieces for two nights and two days while their daddy was in the hospital. Boy was I tired! I'd forgotten what it was like having really little, less self-sufficient children around. Oh the joys of naptime!

This was followed up by the decision to carpool, necessitated by the breakdown of hubby's truck and gas prices too high to warrant the use of the jeep. It seemed like such a pain, but once we got into the routine, it turned out to be very beneficial for us. We saved a lot of money, (spent elsewhere) got to talk to each other for the 30 minute drive to work and back, and we both began exercising!

I've been walking the trail at school which goes into the 'woods' and winds around beside a retention pond that is sorta scenic.. I can walk for 30 minutes a day, about 3-4 laps, and it is great conditioning for the Covered Bridge Festival coming up that requires a lot of walking.

Attended the local Cory Apple Festival, which was great practice walking, and bought apples there! As many times as we have gone, we've never bought any apples the festival was named for.. ironic? Yes.


My mother called to talk about Christmas lists. We have to plan early and start shopping now. I am going to make a shopping date with her, and she wants to go one day to the Covered Bridge Festival with us, so we can talk and shop at the same time then, too! I'm excited to have her come, because I always see things to decorate her living room and never know if she would like them.

In less happy news, our water was correctly diagnosed as having bacterial iron and steps are implemented to fix the problem, or at least conquer most of it, but they are going to cost us even more. *sigh* The joys of homeownership?? That's what they all say. But to have this house, I'll take it! It's better than what we have lived in or with before!

The electric bill should go down since our blower motor is still broken and we have the system off. There's always firewood if it gets really chilly, but it hasn't yet.


Have I been writing? Yes and reading, too! I used some of my tutoring money to visit Borders/Waldenbooks when it was closing to save massive amounts on a few books. These occupy my non-walking times and some of my down time when I am not writing. They also make good bedtime reading for those nights I am not yet sleepy.

This is my current life. One day I will look back and reflect. I wonder what I will think?

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Generosity: Small Steps


I recently read 'Five Practices of A Fruitful Congregation', technically AFTER my church did, but I digress. Many of the beginning Practices outlined in the book I have mastered, and still do. But much like my health triangle, my Practices triangle is a bit obtuse. (We have a graphic posted in our church of the Five Practices and it makes a triangle)

Anyway, the point is, I'm not Generous!

So I tried to begin today. I made 10 copies of a Thank You card on Word and signed them and handed them out at school to the 10 teachers and aides I work with.

Firstly, I made them with all good intentions. I have a very hard time saying thank you when it is needed. I just sometimes think my gratitude is implied. Why I think that, I have no idea, and it has gotten me in trouble in the past.

Thus, when I got to school, part of me wanted to pretend I hadn't made them and just end the year in silence. I didn't get to write in a personal note to each one. They were not store bought or fancy or really special. They felt weak, and I began to get embarrassed.

But I decided to push through, covertly handing out two cards on teacher's desks who were out of the room. Then I wandered to another classroom and did the same. I was feeling better, like a Secret Santa, on some mission of behind-the-scenes gifting. I enjoy doing things to make people feel good that I don't have to own up to.

In the third classroom, the teacher was present. CONFRONTATION! I began to feel my cheeks grow red and I planned my attack. Swoop in, look at floor, say a phrase to make little of the gesture, exit.

Surprisingly, the teacher said, "Oh you are so kind! Usually people hate me because I yell at them."

Floored, I began to wonder how many times she was thanked in her life. I had to reply. I made a lighthearted comment. "It comes with the territory!" So true. I meant that the students she has are often difficult, but I guess that could go for staff, too.. I considered this. Then I stopped considering it because that would require me to cast judgment on the other faculty. That only causes trouble. I do wish this teacher would praise the students more, however that's a style difference.

I then handed out the rest of my cards in person, with the phrase "I made a little thank you card for everyone." I received small thanks in return, as is custom and polite. It was all over. I finished my lunch.

I should sum this up by stating something that I learned, but I won't. I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone a tiny bit and have a tiny story about it. Nothing huge happened, no vast emotional bridges were crossed and burned, and I don't feel a strong sense of accomplishment.

This is just a stepping stone. Let's hope I keep taking small steps like this because one day I will be able to turn back and say 'See how far I've come?'

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Autism- and A Book Review

All the work we have done, all the tricks I have learned to do my job so that my student can function as 'normally' as possible in a general education setting have not gotten me into his head quite like the book I just finished reading.

Wow.

It's simple, heartwrenching, and from the point of view of a girl with Asperger's. (If you didn't know, Asperger's is on the Autism spectrum.) She shares similar traits with my student. For instance, abstract concepts are more difficult for them both to understand.
They both have odd behaviors not acceptable in public. While their behaviors are odd to us, they clearly come from a need inside them that we can't even begin to associate and draw parallels to triggers in their lives or environment. They both have unique skills that they excel at.

In MOCKINGBIRD, Caitlin thinks the world revolves around her. She learns about empathy, manners, finesse, and closure; all very difficult things for an autistic child to grasp. Reading this book brought clairvoyance and understanding of the way my student's mind is wired. Things are literal. The world is a place of only his feelings. Sometimes it's more than too just loud, too colorful, too stimulating, and the only release is to return to the comfortable places that make sense.

Katheryn Erskine paints a vivid picture of grief, the stresses of childhood, and the ways society behaves towards special needs. Every character is believable. We all can relate to the feeling of needing something and not knowing how to get it. Advice abounds, but like many times in the book, we just don't 'Get It', so we can't follow any of the advice.

This book is a quick read, but don't let that fool you. Your heart will go out to Caitlin and you'll see others in a different light after experiencing this story.

Yes, I said
experience.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Turkey Run


This weekend we got away from it all in Turkey Run, a large state park located around Sugar Creek. With all the rain and flooding, the creek was high, but Saturday was dry enough and temperate for a long hike.
Normally, hubby has issues with bridges, especially suspension bridges, but he did great both times we crossed this one, even telling me to get pictures from it's height. Such a brave man!


Which path do I choose?? On the left, the man-made bridge over a ditch, on the right, a log from a fallen tree. So many great dilemmas to philosophize over in this picture, so little time!

We hiked for 2 hours, viewing cavernous holes, rock formations, and even some wildlife.I nearly stepped on this little snake!


But mostly, his trip was about our anniversary and us being together, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! We have decided that this is a great place to bring the boys, as long as we add in a canoe trip and not hike quite so far! We'd make it a one day thing. This park is an hour's drive from my home.

..Oh, and we must remember to bring change for the arcade.. :)



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Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Magic is Love

May is always such a great month for me! *deep breath, huge sigh* Ahhhhhh!

  • The weather starts to behave; I plant flowers.
  • My anniversary arrives; I write poetry and renew my commitment to my husband.
  • Mother's day brings me cute hand-drawn cards and maybe more flowers; I get hugs from my boys.
  • My birthday reminds me I'm not a youngin' anymore; I make new resolutions.

The focus of this post is on Love. I've been thinking a lot about the different kinds of Love, how to be pure, what Love means versus grace or forgiveness, and how hard it is to accept Love because it takes faith and vulnerability.

Sometimes we only think of Love as passion and that butterfly feeling in your stomach and fire in your loins.

Rush of water full of noise
cascading, ricocheting, refracting
Wisps of vapor curling high
Blurring, obscuring, enveloping
Fresh clean scent of Ivory soap
Wafting, invigorating, enticing
Single translucent shower curtain
revealing, concealing, alluring
Sharp intake of breath escapes
unnoticed, uninhibited, desired
But this kind of Love doesn't last for many people and when it changes, they feel out of love and hurt. They harbor painful memories of the break-ups and neglect. It makes it hard to get back into a relationship.
“You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” she softly stated, staring at the tiny whitecaps behind him.
“Then why do you push me away?” He pulled up his pants and buckled them.
She studied his form; watched him pull on his shirt. “Because I don’t want to have my heart broken.”
“I don’t plan on breaking it. Look, you can’t love someone completely and protect yourself. Love takes sacrifice and vulnerability.”
She smiled at him. Some weight began to lift off of her chest. She suddenly felt free and joyous. He was right.
And she loved him.
She ran to him, her joy carrying her into his arms, and he caught her momentum turning it into a spin. The embrace was warm and true.
“You always know what to say to me. That’s what’s in this for me.” She smiled and let him lean down to kiss her; a kiss which she returned wholly.
The last sliver of sun disappeared behind the waves, but a new relationship had dawned.
Hand in hand, the two sauntered off into the perfect evening.

Sometimes the best parts about Love are discovering the ways you and another person can coexist in harmony. Sure, there are many moments when the two of you collide, finding your agendas crashing into one another. The best thing is to say to yourself, or to them, "I love you, but I don't like you right now." Explain how you feel, or what you were expecting and why you are upset.

Love requires sacrifice. It may mean you open up to another. It may mean you trust someone for the first time. Perhaps you give up a lifestyle of carousing, or compromise over furniture and paint, or study a new religion, or live in some other part of the world you never had before.

The person that Loves you will allow you to be you. They will love you for who you are, and help you achieve your dreams. They may offer sound advice, provide a stepping stone, or even play devils' advocate to your dreams, as long as it overcomes barriers and builds you up.

That's how I see it!

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stress, Art, Love, and the Ugly Truth

It's been a stressful week.

In happier news, my Aunt, in frustration with her job, wisely sat down and made a 5 year plan. She decided, her boys, my cousins, were grown and she wasn't dead yet, so she'd better take the time to LIVE now and start doing what she wanted to do. This takes some deep soul searching and gumption. Kudos to her!

It got me thinking about where I am going. I certainly enjoy my two jobs, but they do take a lot of energy that I cannot give back to creativity through writing. I deeply desire to work on projects for self-pubbing this summer as well as a novel for querying later on. They are bubbling just under the surface, waiting for the right moment to run over onto the screen.

I made a picture today, because at work, I am going to art class every day with my student and lately I have had the overwhelming urge to color. :)

Yin-yang salamanders in Aboriginal Line Drawing style with colored pencil on black construction paper. The paper was fibrous, so the color couldn't come out as strongly as I wanted. Oh well. One salamander is dark, one light; they accept and help one another. The light and dark colors are repeated in the water and rocks and corner suns. Arcs are repeated also in the picture, making the world go round. :)

My quote this month: "We all want someone for whom we'd be a better person." More in the next blog post!

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Road Home

No, I didn't travel, and even though next week is my Spring Break, I am not planning a trip then either. The Road I am referring to is explained in this edition of..

Things That Made My Day This Week:
4. The little one finished his indoor soccer season. He often spent his turns on the field off in lala land, not wanting to chase after the ball because the other kids were bigger and faster. He wanted his own ball! He just didn't get the concept of playing with a team. It was like "Who are all these people on MY court?!"

3. My aunt and uncle came to visit from Texas, so we had an impromptu family reunion for an hour one evening. They had never met my kids, nor my sister's, and also never had met our husbands. It was a nice visit.

2. I walked into a class with my student charge and the substitute that day asked, "Are you seventh graders?" Now, I don't know if she realized I was a teacher until after she got a chance to look closer at me, but I'm still taking it as a compliment! I still look young!

And the number one thing that made my week:

I was called a 'road' by my close friend and co-author. "She's my road,"he said. This reminded me of the saying "all roads lead to home." So, not to put words into their mouth, but I want to believe that I am home. I am a lodestone, a magnetic center, a compass for this person, to lead them to the right path. And that path is metaphoric. Basically, it is the knowledge that I am more than appreciated, I am needed and loved.

We all want to feel appreciated, needed, and loved. Sometimes we take our spouses and friends for granted who love us every day. This was the jolt I needed to remember to love all of them back!


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Monday, February 14, 2011

Uplifting Song for Valentine's

Since OuterHoard's comment to the previous post indicated that this song was about his impression of me, and since I've been so open with you about who I am in the 30 days of blogging pieces in January, I feel confident in posting this.


THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED (Coleman and Bartle, Sunrise After Tilling)
-----------------------

My friend walks the road less traveled
An unsealed road of discipline
She's sometimes led and sometimes driven
Sometimes hungry, sometimes fed
While we, the many, walk a highway
Lit so bright it must be true
She walks lanes that too few enter
Where tiny lanterns dot the gloom.

My friend turned her back on power
She chose another mobility
She finds peace in smaller places
For weakness is the source of grace
While we, the many, ask for praises
Through pride we're watered, so we grow
She avoids the kiss of culture
Down into the silence goes.

My friend walks a track that's stony
An uphill climb to God knows where
Sometimes she's touched by an ache so poignant
Sometimes she's driven to despair
While we, the many, skirt the painful
We, the many, anaesthetise
My friend looks, she seeks her darkness
She digs to find the better prize.



I think this song is saying a lot. And on days like Valentine's, we need to hear things that uplift us and make us feel special. It's nice to think that all the digging and despair is getting me somewhere; that it makes me a unique individual, the hardships mold me. Thoughts like that can give a girl strength.

I hope this song has reminded you to keep trudging through to reach the prize.


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Friday, February 11, 2011

First Song and a Plea; What Can I Try That's New?

For Christmas, I received a personalized mix of songs from a friend in Australia. I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to figure out why he chose each of these songs and what his impression is of me, or just become more cultured by the various musical elements. He assured me that it was for inspiration.

The first track is a nice ballad with acoustic guitar. It's not chick rock, but I enjoy it. :P

Painted Rocking Horse by Coleman and Bartle, cd Sunrise After Tilling.

A song for the worrier. A song for a person who is holding back. Scary opportunity is knocking on the door, adventure, change, and all they want to do is stay in their comfort zone. They dream about the adventure and how they totally rock while in the adventure, and then wake up to worry about the opportunity possibly passing them up and them being stuck in the same comfortable spot, same old job, same lifestyle, whatever. Been there, done that!

I ride a painted rocking horse and I'm too frightened to let go
There's a holy stallion stamping at the door
And if I ride the wild horse tonight, well I wonder where I'll go
Would he leave me broken, bleeding in the snow?

'Cos it might all come, all come tumbling down
'Cos it might all come, all come tumbling down
But if I never go, how will I ever know?

The horse I've been riding never asks for exercise
It's just a lazy rock, a gentle walk inside
But the stallion asks for more than this, he's impatient for his bride
But my rocking horse and I just won't decide.

'Cos it might all come, all come tumbling down
'Cos it might all come, all come tumbling down
But if I never go, how will I ever know?

In dream I rode the nightmare, and in dream my heart was strong
I was lifted by the stallion and his song
But it's light and I'm still haunted by the winter of a fear
Of a stallion gone forever and I'm still here.


This is a worry I have had, for most of 2010! That's why I am resolving to try something new (gulp) in 2011. In January I tried for a new job, a career change, but that didn't work out. This month I got a job, but it's not new. I got new clothes, but they hardly count. The only thing I can think of to try is to do my hair.

I hardly ever change my hair. I've only temporarily dyed it before, never permanently, and I've only had it cut really short twice in my life. I shouldn't be afraid, it's hair, it grows. The well water makes the ends of my hair change color anyway, so I'd like to even it out. That's not bold enough? How about red?

I know, I'm not thinking very hard. Help me out here! Leave a comment with suggestions for new things I could try!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cheering Myself Up: Favorite Things

New tires, and snow instead of ice, and I am on the road again.. whee!

But now I am sick. Boo!

So here I am with a gift card and coupon for Kohl's, and an appointment to switch our insurance provider to save bundles of cash, and I keep sneezing and leaking from my nose and can't breathe.

Why today?!

I spent yesterday inside, cleaning! I thought that was the worst of this sickness! Gah! Even the fish tank got a long awaited scrub! My laundry is all done! Exclamation point overuse alert!

So, to cheer me up, here's a few Favorite Things this week:

1. Netflix! We signed up for the live streaming. New jobs, new modes of fun. So many more choices than hulu movies AND we can stream it to the big TV through the Wii or PS3. (If you want to use your 360, you have to have a Gold account, which is stupid to pay twice for movies in my opinion, unless you use your gold acct. for other things, which we don't)

2. Butt-toning Shoes! I bought the cheap ones my Dr. Scholl's so I am Gellin' too! I wore them on the weekend as we trudged in the melting slush to Lowe's and Wal-Mart and by the end of the day my thighs were screaming. Go shoes! I'm going to wear them at school in my new job.

3. Advil Cold and Sinus! Even the generic CVS brand is better than Tylenol Cold on my sinus symptoms. I have taken a generic tylenol version and it worked for all of 30 minutes and cut out on me. I need the Sudafed stuff that they moved behind the counter due to meth-heads! Walmart was out of the GOOD stuff. Off to CVS!

4. Car Parts! When I got my new tires, I was supposed to get an alignment at the same time. But they refused because my front lower ball joints are worn out. Hubby picked up the entire knuckle and will be replacing them both so I can go get my alignment. Every little fix makes me more confident in my vehicle. Increasing it's stability is awesome! Sure, there's plenty more to come, but it's a step in the right direction.

5. Shopping! It's clearance time! And I need clothes. Except I'm sick. So the plan is to get some Advil C&S in me and get to Kohl's and TJ Maxx and the Mall. Yeah! Go me!

6. Comments! I received a sort of mediocre comment on my work that I took to be worth much more. It put me on Cloud 9. Not only that, but the commenter then chose to sequel my work, which means it inspired and touched them, which made me feel that I did take the comment as seriously as as it was intended. I think I have found my writing niche, though if I write and submit in this area, I'm going to have to BRING IT to be unique and get signed.

7. Inspiration! I'm working on a blog post all about it, I promise! I'm just catching up from a weekend spent out of the house, then inside painting, reorganizing, washing, and improving. The laundry room is almost 100% done! We have a new door and new faucet and trim! I'm getting things done to make room for more projects and it feels good. Life should be inspiring.

8. Friends in chat that grow closer! I had a great chat with a friend last night that truly brought us closer together, even though an ocean separates us geographically. Technology is so wonderful!

9. Tissues. Thank goodness they were invented, because I am going through about a box a day!

10. Comfort Food. I haven't had any yet, and I'm about to! Yum.


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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weathering the Storm

Well, all said and done, there is about 3 inches of ice out there, making the driveway, the yard, and the gravel road an ice rink. The major highways are clear, but the side roads are slick.

The skies cleared, but it so cold, nothing will melt.
My hands are tired from working a sledge hammer to free the dog's chain from the ice. I can't grip my thumbs to my index fingers. It's not too cold for the dogs to be out, and I'm tired of shoveling poo from the garage when they refuse to go when I walk them! You had your opportunity! I had to sledge the ice. But I will pay.

Being iced in means I should be doing things around the house to not go stir crazy. I haven't.
I made a writing challenge on ficly.com.
I played my DS.
I hosted my family members who have not had power for almost 2 days.
I did dishes and laundry and mopped and chased the kids, making them pick up their toys.

That's good, right?

So, tomorrow my thumbs and inner arms are going to be SORE. I'd better do some chores today so I can rest tomorrow. I have no idea when I'll be able to drive my car again. Bald tires and no warm up in sight.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

counting my blessings today

The ice started accumulating last night.And continued until the wee hours of the morning. There is more on the way!
We are supposed to get up to 3 inches. As you can tell, this is just a fraction of an inch.

The power is still on, but not for everyone. 1, 2, 3. We have heat and water and shelter. Three blessings, all of which we have lacked during the past year at one time or another!

4, 5. Hubby made it to work safely in this. He has good tires and good steering in his truck. 6. Thank goodness we have a garage so he didn't have to chip into his vehicle and let it run for an hour to thaw.

7. Having a school related job means I get to stay home with the kids when school is closed.

8. I am thankful for pajamas! Such comfort to lounge around in when it is icy outside!

9. It's wonderful to have children who entertain themselves, but also for board games to play with them.

10. Hot cocoa is a great thing too!


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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Why AreThere More Questions Than Answers?

Day 30: Your Highs and Lows This Month

This month started out with a lot of hope. It's a new year, there was a new baby in the family, my niece, and sometime we were hoping hubby would get hired on.

I had the bright idea to attempt to get a decent job with a salary. I subbed in the meantime and planned my son's 8th birthday.


Then I went to my interview and was so nervous, I think I totally bombed it. This plunged me into three days of walking depression. Even though I threw a party and brushed off the interview fiasco like it wasn't bothering me, I couldn't be a wife to my husband, nor a great mom for a few days. Finally I convinced myself that it just wasn't meant to be and at least I tried. If I choose to repeat this process, I will have learned something from it.

Hubby finally heard he was getting hired on January 31st. He starts tomorrow. Thing is, I haven't really celebrated this wonderful news. We did go out to eat. But in my heart, I haven't let the joy in.

And then I found out about a full time position as an aide for a 7th grade student with autism whom I had worked with before. I was a shoe-in. The principal and assistant principal of the school would have hired me that very minute. The interview for this job was completely different.

The only thing about this job is that I know what I am in for. I know the stresses and pitfalls that WILL come with this job. You'd think I'd be prepared, but I'm afraid I'll fall for them the same way I fell for them before. My goal is to stay positive. But more importantly, to keep looking for other jobs, to use this as a foot in the door. I'm going back for a reason. I just don't know what that is.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

January Is Over??

Day 29: Goals for the Next 30 Days

1. Try Something New (at this point I'm thinking it may be hair related)
2. Post About Inspiration (among other things)
3. Car Maintenance
4. Edit something
5. Finish series' on Ficly.com
6. Make a Dance Mix
7. Stay Positive At Work (and remind everyone I have a license to teach)
8. Eat Healthy (my job requires walking up and down stairs a lot, so it'll help me start to lose my 2010 fat)

And that's what I have so far..



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This Blazé Mood Just Won't Do

Day 28: Something That You Miss

Right now, I miss writing. I haven't done much more than blog (and you can tell that's been every other day lately) and copy over a story with multiple POVs to one singular first person Point of View.

I haven't been on my favorite website!

I miss the feeling of completion when I finish something epic and hit that submit button.

I miss the elation at getting a new comment on my work, even if it offers up a critique.

I miss the zone I go into when I am typing up a scene. Much like reading, stepping away from the piece back into reality is surreal.

At least during Nano I was writing every day and felt this bliss often. It's just been a long week, and I'm facing another long week, so I just want to crash and do nothing and wallow in my own self laziness.

But then I wouldn't have clean clothes.

And my yucky mood would last longer.

We can't have that.

(Usually what I miss is having a real girlie friend to shop with, but I'm not in a shopping mood.)

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is There A Happy Balance?

Day 27: A Problem That You Have Had

I've been struggling with my role. Yep. I want to work to support my family financially, however, that has been troublesome. I apply and maintain my resume and try, but nothing comes to fruition.

I want to also keep my home tidy and healthy for my family, and enjoy sleeping in, or choosing what days to work and when to be lazy as a substitute.

I can't have both.

Do I want to work or do I want to be lazy?

Then there is writing. When I am all flustered, not a word comes out. When I am busy with work and housecleaning, I can't even read and leave a comment on my favorite website! If I want to write, I have to not work.

Am I a writer, or a worker? Can I find a happy balance?

I think if I get a consistent job, I can work around my schedule and fit chores and writing in. With this inconsistent schedule, I never know what I'll have time for.

Yes, there is a balance. Consistency brings harmony.

Getting there is the struggle.

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Crying: Cast Your Vote!

Day 26: Crying: Strength or Weakness?

Sometimes crying just has to be done. After a stressful event, crying helps get those emotions out. There are tears for joy as well as sorrow. Most of my tears are from frustration. Or maybe pent up emotions that just boil over.

I hate to cry in view of any other human.

But I am reminded of a time when I was dating my now husband and my aunt had passed away. He said he'd rather I cried on his shoulder, with him, than without. He wanted to hold me and feel like he was doing something to comfort me. So in my crying times today, I remember I don't have to hide my tears from him.

Strength or weakness? I must personally view crying as a weakness, otherwise I wouldn't want to hide it. Even though I know that it is a necessary function, a path to emotional health, I still don't want to share.

What do you vote: strength or weakness?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Love One Another

Day 25: Someone Who Fascinates You and Why

Mentally ill people.

I don't mean this in a bad way. I have friends with mental illnesses, and have worked with several people that have them. I find them fascinating because they are a puzzle. How much of them is the illness and how much is them? What triggers them?

I enjoy learning the aspects of their personality. Maybe somewhere inside I think I can help fix them, but really, I often find bits of myself in them. How do you diagnose someone, calling them not quite normal?

What if I am crazy too?

What is normal?

We all have some sort of complex, mine is inferiority. I function in society, so I am normal, right? How many people do you know say they have OCD about something?

What I enjoy doing is getting to know them, as people. it's far too easy to stare, or look away. It's much harder to smile and offer a friendly hello.


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Moments Like These

Day 24: What Makes You Smile

Random moments when the 3 1/2 year old looks at me, sighs and says "I Love You!" then gives me a kiss. What did I do to deserve this?

A clean house.

An organized desk.

Sunshine, but not when it's snowy and reflects into your eyes making you blind, but rather when it's 78 and breezy.

Trips to someplace new, or someplace fun. I enjoy anticipating something with excitement. Who doesn't? It's like Christmas!

Christmas!

Satirically funny movies. Like The New Guy or Drop Dead Gorgeous.

And lastly, laying by the fire with hubby. :)

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hottest Post Ever!

Day 23: 5 Famous Guys You Find Attractive

Andrew Lee PottsSeen in: TV mini series Alice. He played Hatter.
Loved that character, sort of a bad boy.

Alex O'LoughlinSeen in: TV series Moonlight and currently on Hawaii Five-O
Definitely a bad boy, but wants so much to be good, it's like scolding a puppy! Look at those eyes. He's got smolder.

Johnny DeppWho doesn't like Depp???

Alan TudykFrom Firefly and Serenity, and also Knight's Tale and a host of others.
My favorite-est red-head! If only it has stayed as red as in Knight's Tale..

Scott Cohen
He's a bit older, but I LOVED his character Wolf in The 10th Kingdom. I always enjoy his cameos in other shows.

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How Have I Changed In The Past 2 years?

Day 22: How Have You Changed in the past 2 Years?

I went back to read over my first blogs here on this site. Wow. Some of them are so embarrassing.. I deleted a few posts. *cheeks burn with shame*

It's obvious I have matured as a writer, as well as a mom and wife, by reading back over those. In 3 years, this blog hasn't had much of a purpose but to share a little bit of my life with you. Though I was disappointed in the scattered content at first, I realized that's just me, and I'm not going to change. While I do have ideas for future posts, they are going to be a varied as the songs my soul sings.

In the past 2 years I have:
  • owned 3 vehicles
  • gained one dog
  • been a wild turtle rescuer
  • had some great and not so great teaching experiences
  • been published
  • made some new friends and said good-bye to others
  • bought a house!!!!!

Some of my views about the world have been tested and opinions solidified: issues in education and gay/lesbian rights, specifically.

Reading back over my blogs, many of the laments I had about my job are now reminders of lessons learned. Some things never change, and others are just hallmarks to avoid in the future. I am just as hard-headed, and at times impulsive, as ever, still sometimes falling for the same lines, making the same mistakes. Maturity means I'm either recovering quicker, or stopping myself before it gets too far.

One thing that stands out to me: I had forgotten what my son was like at 5 and 6. Remembering his behaviors is a warning to me about what's to come with the younger one! Maybe history won't repeat itself, but as humans, we tend to go through the same struggles at the same ages.


But most importantly, all the bad stuff that shaped me seems to dissipate, the hurt feelings numbed by time. It's the good things I remember most.


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