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Friday, January 27, 2012

New software, late evenings, and England



This week has been a different one.


Work, for me at least, has given me a breather.  We are in our so-called "downtime" which just means the phones are not crazy off the hook.  Everyone around me, though, has gone nuts with our new software installation.  Our days at the office involve answering phones and taking orders. My main directive at the office is to answer phones, and direct customers to their account reps.  I check routes, and make sure all the drivers have their papers in order.  This new software gets rid of the old order-taking system and installs a new one.  Needless to say, it's going to be a big change.  I can't say, though, that I'm excited to go in on Monday when it actually goes live.  I haven't learned the new system thoroughly enough to be comfortable with it.  As tech savvy as I am, I loved the old system - but know that the old must fall away sometimes to make way for the new.  


Life will move on whether I'm ready or not - new software here we come.  I've felt slightly out of the loop because I haven't really been trained to use it.  Here's hoping I pick it up quickly.  


George has been working evenings this week painting at Kline's Service Center.  It's a tight squeeze in there, so he agreed to work in the evenings.  He's been working til nearly midnight some nights, and is hard at work right now on a Friday night.  He's going in tomorrow also.  He's a pusher, and gets the job done.  It's January and he's working steadily - thank you Jesus.  


It's been weird without him here in the evenings.  I have all sorts of time to catch up on things, and all I want to do is sit here and browse, read a book, or catch up on TV.  When he walks in the door I'm ready for bed!  We've been sitting up drinking coffee while he gobbles up any food we have laying around.  It's hard for him to wake up in the mornings - but work is work and you just adjust. 


Our lives are the same.  Sailing smoothly along, not veering too much off course.  I've been enjoying writing my new column immensely.  It seems I've stored up all sorts of thrifty tips over the years and they are all coming out of my brain at top speed.  This is good.  It gets me writing more than I ever have at one time and is pushing me.  I need to be pushed, because I want my writing out there.  This may give me the confidence I need to try to get more articles published in other publications.  That is my goal.  


Realistically, I should set aside a time once a week to write a new article and send it around.  I need to network it baby. 


N.e.t.w.o.r.k.


I'm signing off here so I can settle in for some Netflix viewing.  I decided it's time to watch Downton Abbey - which is straight off of PBS Masterpiece Classics.  I've heard so much about it and that it's a hoot to watch.  I have it ready to play and on pause as I type.  I guess all this time that George is away I should do the things I never do.  If that means watch PBS, then heck yes.  


I'm off to jolly old England.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Chocolate Wednesday

You can go to Pinterest here to find links and recipes. They are part of my decadent dessert pin board. 




Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday style and wishes






Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Poetic Wednesday

I found this poem from Thomas Merton on Rachel Held Evans blog.  She is a refreshing slap in the face at times, and I have found her blog to be quite delightful.  She has altered this poem to the feminine - I think it's awesome



There must be a time of day when the woman who makes plans forgets her plans and acts as if she had no plans at all.
 

There must be a time of day when the woman who has to speak falls very silent and her mind forms no more propositions, and she asks herself: Did they have a meaning?

 
There must be a time when the woman of prayer goes to pray as if it were the first time in her life she has ever prayed.  When the woman of resolutions puts her resolutions aside as if they had all been broken, and she learns a different wisdom.  


Distinguishing the sun from the moon, the stars from the darkness the sea from the dry land, and the night sky from the shoulder of a hill.




Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting that monster out.

Slightly pensive today.  Watch out. 

I wish at times I could hold in my feelings.  I know I seem happy and smiling most of the time - and I am.  But as I've gotten older, I realized that I won't hold things in anymore.  If there is an injustice, I need to say something about it or somehow get my viewpoint in.  


That's not always a good thing.  I will probably do it anyway.  


People don't always want to hear everyone's viewpoint.  I'm no different.  If someone tries to tell me that I'm doing something wrong, I probably won't listen.  I really should sometimes.  Maybe I'm too abrasive?  Maybe I'm too one-sided?  I like to think that criticism, in its finest form, is a way to better oneself.  I believe that firmly.  It still doesn't mean I won't bristle when I hear it!  We all do.  


Working in an office, I've learned to take constructive criticism way better than I used to.  When I realize the person isn't doing it to attack me, then it makes it all better.  It's been a hard learning process.  Life is a hard learning process.  One with which I struggle every day.  


Right now, it's my day off.  For the love of Pete, I'm so excited to be here - alone in my house - for the first time in over a month!  Days home alone, with no sound to distract me, are like a mini vacation to me.  My husband and kids are the world to me, but some days I just don't want to hear anyone. 


That day is today.  


I think I've been snippy lately.  I can feel it.  Everyone is getting on my last nerve and I'm not sure why.  Do I need to shut off the internet connection, which is so readily at my fingertips with this new laptop?  Maybe I do.  I think it's become a distraction, this easily bridged push of a button to the world wide web.  


Yet, so many ideas have been brewing - some that are coming to fruition - that I need to work on on the computer.  It's a doorway to what I can accomplish.  I guess I need strict working hours and defined browsing hours.  I need discipline in this area.  


I've gained much discipline in the getting healthy area.  I'm on a roll since October 29th and I'm not getting off.  I am pushing and striving to get through.  As my wise sister once said, "It's not a race."  I'm hanging on to that when that brownie is staring me in the face.  Thing is, I can have it if I want, it's just a matter of rearranging the other things I eat.  I'm loving this new way of life. 


I love succeeding.  


But if I'm succeeding at one thing and failing at another that what am I doing wrong? Some days I want to get off the world and let it spin without me.  If my husband and kids feel I'm never here for them then what can I change?  What can I do differently?  I found this blog posted on one of the blogs I follow: 


http://simplemom.net/beware-of-these-marriage-killers/


It's a great read and worthy of your time.  If I'm spending my time unwisely, I need to change it.  But I also don't want people being greedy and wanting me there at all times just because.  I need to DO and FEEL and ACCOMPLISH the things I have in a mental list.  Things that have been biting at my ankles.  For so long I've helped others accomplish their dreams.  Mine are on the backburner - indefinitely bubbling away until the pan turns dry.


I feel like the dry pan right now.


I read this series on time management and discipline:http://moneysavingmom.com/time-management-101-series  Good Stuff.   


I'm happy.  I love where I am.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE writing my column and blog.  I know I'm in the right area - it's where I'm supposed to be.  What then, is this crazy thing in the back of my neck making it stiffen and grow tense?  


I want what's mine, but I'm afraid to succeed.  I'm afraid to start.  I'm satisfied where I am and maybe that's the problem.  Maybe I just stay rooted in safety because it's easier.  This post has turned into a monster that I never meant to create.  


Alone time can do that to you.  It can bring out what's been stirring all along.  Maybe it's time to get this monster out so I can finally succeed.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blog Post Love

I found this lovely post from a fellow blogger that I just had to share.  Check out her blog at Hannah, just breath...  The imagery is so beautiful that I fell in love with her style of writing.  Take a gander...

I just want to splash through puddles all day long.





My father used to make my sisters and me breakfast every morning before school. It was his time with us, while my mother stayed burrowed beneath the covers in the quiet darkness of their bedroom. He’d whip together pancakes or eggs and bacon, sometimes cinnamon buns, sometimes waffles or oatmeal. Always a tall glass of orange juice, oftentimes a plate of grapes or sliced bananas, and, once a year, homemade doughnuts.






We’d stumble downstairs one by one and fall into our seats at the table, red-eyed and rumbling to get out the door to school, and my father, God love him, would quickly place steaming plates or bowls before us and give the weather forecast and ask questions about the day ahead.






What I remember most from those mornings, though, is the songs he played. John Denver, Juice Newton, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, perhaps some Mozart or Bach. This music alerted me to the day’s arrival long before the rich smell of coffee or the salty sting of bacon frying in the cast iron skillet on the stove. It was always the music that woke me, fully.






I thought of those long-ago days, and of my father, and of Stoneyway when I was a child, as I sped into work this morning. Juice Newton’s “Angel of the Morning” shuffled its way onto my stereo, and suddenly, I was back in my parent’s kitchen, sitting at the wobbly oak table, and insisting Juice was saying, “Just brush my teeth before you leave me, baby!”






My parents howled when I first asked them about this lyric—I didn’t understand it. Why would Juice need someone to brush her teeth for her?! Was she not able to do so herself?! How strange! Was Juice okay?!






Of course, eventually, I figured out that she was really saying, “Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby!”






Ohh, the innocence of childhood.






It is raining again this morning. I always think of my father when it rains—he has never let a few showers stop him from gardening or working on the house or getting a little muddy. Usually, I love a good downpour, too, but after last night’s slog home following a thick, heavy, and difficult yoga class, and given the mountain of work I must complete before the weekend, and considering my scattered thoughts, today’s gray, wet skies aren’t helping much. Where are the blue skies hiding when you need them?






As I made my breakfast here at work, as I stood in the bright, sterile kitchen of my office, washing off grapes and brewing coffee, envisioning my to-do list, feeling the stress and anxiety growing, I thought of my father again. I missed him, suddenly and sharply. A surprise batch of hot tears bubbled up in my eyes.






In my distraction, in my clumsiness, I dropped a handful of grapes on the tiled floor.






And then, because it’s a watery, slick world out there today, and because my father appreciates imagination and silliness, and because I stood there feeling like a small and frightened child, in need of strong arms and reassurances, I toyed, for just a brief moment, with the idea of stomping all over those grapes, like a child splashing through rain puddles, muddying herself, if only for a moment, before being taken inside again, and rinsed clean.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teary, but happy!

My latest offering for my online blog at The Bargain Hunter left me a little teary.  I'm a happy mom, though, my kids are the best.  Read away and let me know what you think and maybe tell me some of your own stories?  




It's her now.


What do you do when all the tinsel is packed away, the last Christmas ball is found under the couch, and the sparkly white lights on the porch shine their last hurrah?

What do you do when it’s time for your child to fly away into the vast gray skies back to their life in a faraway college town?   

You hitch up your boots, hug them hard, and say goodbye.

Christmas is long gone, safely ensconced in the annals of time.  New Years has come with all its glitzy once-in-a-lifetime craziness.  We ushered it in and watched it leave, as we slept the day away and filled ourselves with pork and kraut.  As the days grew closer to that inevitable trip to the airport, each hour and second that passed were denied in the only way we know how to do – ignore them.  

Up until that last second when you know it’s time they start packing.  Start putting everything in that little green suitcase that was deemed worthy of the trip, and find a place for the new treasures that were selected and offered as gifts.  

This life, this trail of jet fuel that snakes its way ever southward, connecting us through not only the receiving, but the taking away - this is what has become our reality.  We embrace it for the goodness that it has brought, yet want to shake it off for how far apart it makes us.  

You left a little girl, searching for that life that disconnected you from us.  Anything to get away from this small town that grew you, yet stifled you.  This is not a negative thing.  Every child needs to break the umbilical cord that stretches, unseen and unwanted, from parent to child.  That cutting is what makes them grow.  Still attached, it makes them stay children.  Oddly bound, unable to shoot in the direction they must go.

The rending of my heart, though, never quite heals. 

Technology has afforded me the luxury of being in touch with you at all times.  

Facebook, text, Skype, and even Words with Friends – all let me enter your world without invading it.  You call me as you’re biking to work or school, while babysitting, or before a big test.  I wait for these connections, and without fail, every day they occur.   

I don’t look at it as “she needs her mama” – I look at it that she’s deemed me worthy or her day.  Her life.  The information she shares with me is proffered – like an invitation to the big dance.  I take this and hold it close to my heart.  I can no longer tell her what she can and cannot do.  I can offer her my wisdom and my thoughts – but she will, in the end, decide what to do with them.  

Her father’s heart has had a harder time letting go.  He still wants to tuck her under his wing with his words the only ones she should hear – but too many others have now entered it.  A dad never really wants to let his little girl go.  He does, though, and talks of independence and clarity come about.  Talks of what direction she should go, what she can do to surge ahead, what she can do to succeed.  These are what satisfy him, as he once again sends her back.  A sometimes not so gentle pushing, back and forth, for two minds that are so alike.  She will succeed because he is behind her, and he is also in those brain cells that fire away with the need to forge ahead and make it.  She will make it because for 21 years, he has pushed her to make it.  That sharp-edged hardness comes out when she needs it.  

Today, though, I head to work knowing that when my day is done, it’s time to head to that place where huge engines fire.  Where my grown up daughter will buckle herself in, and head back to the place in the sun where she still has a little time to learn.  Another year and a half of books and knowledge.  Another period of time to grow. 

I don’t know when I will see her again.  The Christmas parting is the hardest.  She won’t come home for Easter break, or even for spring break.  The distance is too vast to just hop on a plane every other month.  I will steadfastly hug her goodbye, and wipe her tears away – that just recently started appearing when she leaves.  I will wait for the text that tells me she’s on the plane, that tells me she’s made it to her connection, that tells me she’s made it home, and that finally tells me she’s made it to her apartment.  

Only then will I shed a tear.  And I will just as quickly wipe it away, for her life is good.  Full of good things yet to discover, places to go, places to explore.  I want it all for her, and for that, I would never wish her here.  This world is hers.  It’s her now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Encouragement For The Week

Encouragement For The Week

From a beautiful blog called Clover Lane...