Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Worry ... Be Happy

It was a hit song in the late 1980's. The message is so simple. But the follow through is hard.

Don't worry.

I have managed to turn off my worry button for much of what is out of my control. There are so many wait and see scenarios that a person must endure in life. You simply cannot foresee or prevent everything that life throws your way. So it is logically a good idea to hand over the big stuff to 'the powers that be' ... if you can. "What will be ... will be", as Doris Day would sing.

It is easier to divvy up the problems worth worrying over, when you sit down and think about what you can do to prevent a situation from running amok. If I take 'that which I have control over' and either deal with it or else choose not to do anything ... I feel a little more powerful.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a handful of worries on my mind. I thought there were three concerns on my mind. This morning, I can only remember two. See how wasteful it can be to worry?? We often forget what yesterday's troubles were ...

I made a conscious decision to 'do what was within my power'. I wasn't met with a lot of success. In fact, a door was quite literally closed in my face. But to say and do nothing? It makes mountains out of molehills. It is better to have spoken and failed than to have never spoken at all ...

My other concern is of a financial nature. I sat down and studied where I am' On the "You are here" map of life ... I think I am on a lifeboat out at sea. I'm not drowning. But if I spring a leak in my raft right now, it won't be good.

Every single time, I take responsibility for my financial actions and take the reins to steer myself towards a distant shore ... things have a way of working themselves out. Yesterday I drew the map of 'where I am'. Today I need to find a route to get to where I need to be. Once I get my feet firmly planted on solid ground, I will look ahead to where I want to go. In fact ... I think I will include that destination in my plan.

It is vital to look towards the horizon. Look where you want to go and 'steer into the skid'.

I don't expect a quick and simple resolution. I have hope. But I need to regain my footing so that I can let go of the worry.

When the worry dissipates ... the happy falls lightly on your shoulder.

Be happy.

I am happy underneath the worry. I can feel an inner contentment knowing that I am where I am meant to be right now. I just have to keep on swimming towards the shore. Me and seasickness don't see eye to eye.

Don't worry ... be happy. Easier said than done. Just take a little piece of your worries and try to whittle away at them.

One small step in a forward direction will take you one step closer to your destination.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happiness is in the Moment You Are In

Life is sending me little messages everywhere I look.

An inspirational email that spoke of the topic of happiness. And if you cannot be happy in the moment you are in, you will not find it when you stumble across a financial windfall ... or when you retire ... or when you go on a vacation. Happiness is now. Within you. Every moment. It is not what happens to you ... it is how you choose to react to it.

Another message that was short and sweet. It said to "Stop Worrying". "Yes ... 'you'!" It was as if someone read my mind at that very moment. I am letting everything pile up. I am worrying. I know worrying is a waste of energy. But I'm doing it anyway. It is time to do what is within my power to do. And to stop worrying. Now!

I found myself wallowing in the negativity of the moment yesterday. It was a half hour after lunch. Lunch, clean-up and 'after lunch digestion' takes a lot of time and energy. More so, when you have a two year old in the mid-phases of toilet training. I read the signs and knew he 'had to go'. He didn't. After some time we gave up on that moment. Then minutes later ... he 'went'. And it wasn't where he was supposed 'to go'. Aaaack!

I plunked myself down in the middle of the living room floor and started picking up a few toys before I put the kids down for their naps. I was quite likely pouting. I was not exuding an aura of happiness.

Then my little one-year-old sat down beside me and then twisted her body so that she was face to face with me and said, "Hi!" This little girl lights up my world. Her heart felt, eye-to-eye "Hi!" changed the way I saw the world at that moment. Then? She leaned in and gave me one of her famous bear hugs. Then another. And another.

There is nothing like surrounding yourself with one and two year olds to remind you that happiness is in the moment that you are in. And the magic of a hug.

Yes ... I am where I am meant to be right now. I need not worry about life's minor inconveniences. They all work out in the end. The big stuff is in making the little stuff matter.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Space to Call My Own

Quiet time in the morning. It has been the way the I have started my days for a very, very, very long time.

I believe the need for the solitude started when I previously ran my daycare. When you babysit, your days are noisy and busy. Nap time was my saving grace ... but I shared that time with my older kids who watched a movie while the little ones slept. The only time that I was completely on my own was the mornings. 

The quiet became what I needed to start the day. To be nothing to no one for the first hour or two of the day. It is something I need.

I have utilized that quiet time to deliver papers ... to exercise ... to read ... and to write. It is simply time that I give myself to do whatever it is that I want to do. 

Life in the morning has been changed up a notch around here. 

My Second Son and His Girlfriend have taken on a paper route. They are out of the house before 5:30 each morning. The first two days, I believe that I may have quite literally danced with joy. No more tip toeing around the house for fear of disturbing my downstairs tenants. No matter how quiet I tried to be ... it was never enough. Now, I could just be me and it would be good enough.

Then came the shifting of the morning traditions. When the paper route is finished they have developed a delightful routine of sitting down and having breakfast together. That is wonderful. For them. 

For me? It has been a transition. We like different lights on. I adapted to the semi-darkness. They turn on the radio. That's okay. It drowns out their conversation and gives them a modicum of privacy.

I still isolate myself to the world of my second cup of coffee and the computer (ten steps away) in the living room. It was okay.

Add my Youngest Son to this equation. He likes to wake up early and sets his alarm for 6:00 each morning. His teenage hormones must be kicking in, because exhaustion often overrules his desire to enjoy a few hours to himself before he heads off to school. But when he does wake up with his alarm, he enjoys some computer time as well.

Thus ... this morning, my quiet time was severely infringed upon. The kitchen was taken. I was bumped off the computer. I grabbed my Netbook and cup of coffee and headed towards the opposite end of the house. I found myself a spot in the toyroom.

I like it here. I really like it!!!

I am in the room above the laundry room. I have no downstairs 'neighbors' here. The room is in the furthest corner from all of the activity in the hub of the house. It is rather peaceful. The room has a door. I have the option of closing out the world.

Hmmmm .... I think I'm onto something here. I must find a way to turn this room into my private oasis. A place where I can find some solitude without disrupting what works for the rest of the household.

I didn't realize how much My Son & His Girlfriend were sacrificing until they started  cutting corners with their spending and started spending much more time at home. I am quite certain that they were feeling cramped within their 'space' and often simply left the house to find their privacy. 

Yes ... our house is full. Three adults, one teen, two dogs, a cat and a Daycare Family of three. Is it any wonder that each of us is flexing our elbow room and trying to find a way to make all of this work?

I think that I stumbled across my answer. I am quite comfy sitting here on the futon with our cat at my side. I think he likes this quiet little space as well.

I have become quite addicted to the Home & Garden Network and the wide variety of home renovation shows. It never ceases to amaze me how each and every new home owner is looking for an 'open concept' living space. That would drive me around the bend. Have these people not enjoyed the benefits of finding a cozy little nook to call their own?

Give me an old house with nooks and crannies any day! I need a little space to call my own. I think that most of us do ... don't we?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life is Fair ... Isn't It?

"What goes around comes around."
"It all works out in the end."
"Good things happen to good people."
"You get what you give."
And the list goes on ...

I have raised my children with these mantras. Life is not always fair ... but it usually works out in the end. It is only by looking back, that we understand that we had to go through life as we lived it, to get to the place we are today.

I still believe that. To an extent.

Health issues, unexpected loss and accidents? Who understands why these things happen? If you look hard enough, you can find some good that has come out of a bad situation. You may have to dig deep. But you can usually find a few morsels of goodness that come from unthinkable situations.

But day to day, week to week, year to year ... I still believe that if you live your life 'doing unto others ...', you usually find behaviours reciprocated. Even if you don't, you know that you have treated another person and situation the way that you would like to be treated. It's still good.

It is in those little setbacks that one questions all of the 'wisdom' that I have tried to live, breathe and impart on my children.

My Second Son and His Girlfriend have taken on extra jobs, have pursued any income earning opportunities that they can, they have sold off luxury items and taken on overtime at work. They have cut out extra spending, found ways to economize with their groceries and carpooled to work. You name it, they have done it ever since they bought a house to be moved to their farm in the spring.

That is why it was so disheartening to see them victimized by a random act of vandalism yesterday. My Son's truck was sitting right outside the living room window. I was home all day. There is a constant rotation of people coming and going around our home. Yet someone broke the window on My Son's truck. In broad daylight. On a busy street. With people 'everywhere'. 

They took nothing (except perhaps some house keys which no longer work since we changed all of our locks). They simply broke a window and went in and messed things up in his truck. Thankfully they didn't destroy the interior just for the sake of destroying it. They 'just' messed it up.

A few minutes out of their day destroyed My Son and His Girlfriend's belief that taking small, but steady steps towards their goal would be rewarded.

It will cost more than they made at their second job this month to replace the window. Every penny that they 'saved' by carpooling has been wasted. If My Son had driven his truck to work, it wouldn't have been sitting in the driveway to be a sitting duck for this random act of recklessness.

I struggle to find the lesson here.

One will never, ever know what could have happened if My Son had driven to work yesterday. Roads were slippery yesterday morning. One never knows the accident that may have been averted by him not being at a particular spot at the wrong time.

As a parent, I just want to make it better. As a co-struggler in life's (seemingly) unjust lessons, I know that this isn't the first ... nor will it be the last time that bad things happen to good people.

You can do everything right ... but still have the wrong things happen. Life isn't always fair. Sometimes? It just plain sucks. But we have to keep taking one forward step at a time and push ourselves through even when it makes you feel like giving up.

Yesterday .... a doctor could have handed over a diagnosis that was unfair, unthinkable and something that came completely out of left field. We could have been dealt a blow that money couldn't fix.

In the grand scheme of things ... he is still very lucky. I will fall back on one of the mottos that I still believe with every fibre of my being. If our problems are something that money can solve ... we are (still) very, very fortunate.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Reactivating My Ambition

My son and I went to see "Here Comes the Boom" yesterday afternoon. I had recently seen the review but my faulty memory had me describing it as a movie 'about a teacher that tries to raise money for his school by doing some kind of wrestling or boxing or something' ... and its star was an actor who was 'a comedian that was in some sitcom' (yes, I should definitely go for a job in writing one sentence movie summaries - I know). The motivating factor to go and see the movie was upon a friend's review "Everyone in our family enjoyed it!" So ... we went.

I don't like to pump up a movie so much that anyone seeing it after hearing my recommendation would have their sights set too high and be disappointed. But my friend's review would be the best way to describe the movie.

I expected the movie to be light hearted and worth a laugh or two. I was not disappointed. What I didn't expect was the sparkle that returned to this teacher's eyes when he became passionate about his goals and how that bubbled over into his entire life.

He gave his biology class a lesson in how one inactive cell affected all of the cells around it and they also became inactive. And how the opposite is true - when one cell becomes active, its energy is contagious and rubs off on all of the cells around it. Like when you cut yourself and how your body works to heal itself. I have completely misquoted this lesson, but you get the idea.

Immediately I transposed my own life into that inactive cell theory. The more inactive I become, the less I want to do. My ambition, my goals and desires and energy are all sapped by my state of inertia. I cannot forget the way that I used to feel when I was fueled by passion. Nothing felt impossible. I reached for the stars ... and I became more of who I was because I believed in my ability of making dreams come true.

This energy oozed all over my life. I beamed with happiness. Inside and out. When I stumble across pictures of myself taken throughout this time of my life, I hardly recognize that girl. The girl that I see in the mirror and in the pictures these days is haggard, old, drawn and worn out.

The passion. The drive. The energy. Where did it go?

I have let a few of life's lessons knock me down. I've picked myself up. But I'm crawling. I'm staying close to the ground so that I don't have as far to fall.

This weekend was a good beginning in reactivating my ambition. I did everything that I set out to do on Saturday. I treated myself to some fun and then came home and 'decked the halls' on Sunday. I can feel something sparking inside of me. I need to light the fire inside and reactivate my passion for life.

One step at a time. I think that I will start by writing some Christmas cards. 'Tis the season of reaching out and touching those that touch my world. One card at a time. I hope to make a small difference this Christmas season. To be followed by a New Year where I dust off my goals and make things happen in my world again.

It is time.

If the Grinch Had a Cat ...

... I think he would look like this:

André  ~ our very own Santa Cat

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ho! Ho!! Ho!!!

My Youngest and I went to see a movie this afternoon ("Here Comes the Boom" ~ a most excellent movie for all ages ~ it made my day!) and we came home to find my Second Son baking these:

Christmas Day is exactly one month away. It crossed my mind this morning, that I should bring out the lights today and at least light up the house in a Christmas sort of way. The lights at Christmas time are my favorite part of the decorations.

They say one's true character is shown by the way one handles tangled Christmas lights. How about plugging in said lights, only to find out that they don't work?

There are many, many years when that would have pushed me over the edge. I would have thrown the lights in the garbage with a gusto, closed up the boxes and stomped off.

But the sight of my son's baking and the aromas coming from the kitchen made the difference. I perservered and eventually I came up with this:

It only made sense to balance out the room with some lights in the opposite corner ... so a little while later, that other corner looked like this:

You will note that our two-foot tree nearly touches the ceiling. My young daycare family was most definitely in my mind as I put anything glittery and pretty out on display. Certainly this will keep curious hands away from temptation. It looked even better when it got dark outside:

I really had no intention of going any further but I took the China cabinet apart one shelf at a time ... and little by little, bit by bit ... it ended up looking like this:

Then I turned on my angels as they sit in their place of honor on the computer desk. May they watch over my shoulder and help me focus on the beauty of the season ...

One month until Christmas ... may you find a way to make your season bright.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ahhh ... The Silence

Life has been busy lately. It has been a good kind of busy because I feel my inner happy present once again. It came when I wasn't looking. And it has remained.

The evolution of my state of mind from the Personal Day that I took for myself until today has been a gradual one.

A day of solitude grounded me. It helped me appreciate the world we have created within our home while I sequestered myself to a quiet corner of that world for a day.

The return of life-as-I-know-it the next morning helped me see just how much my Daycare Family is starting to become something vital and important to me. When I ran my daycare before, My Youngest was part of that family. I loved him. Though I made every effort not to treat him any different than anyone else that I cared for ... the difference was in the way that I felt about him. With my current little daycare-family-of-three, I care about each of them equally. I enjoy those moments of cuteness that arise out of nowhere when you are physically and mentally present in your day. This is truly where I am meant to be right now.

My weekend vacation at my mom's was perfect. I enjoy my own company as I find opportunities to distance myself from my Real Life. The drive and the overnight stay at the hotel enroute to my destination gave me the gift of time to myself. I arrived on Mom's doorstep well rested, content and fulfilled. So I had something to give of myself throughout our visit. It wasn't a lot. But it has happened far too often, that I come on 'empty'. There is a difference. It was a weekend with my mom that was light, easy and breezy. I am so glad that I went.

Upon my return home, I seemed to stumble across the energy it took to take care of a few need-to-do matters around the house. Nothing drags me down like a to-do-list that isn't getting done. I have done all that I can (afford to) do for now. Unfortunately the list never ends as I found a small puddle of antifreeze under my idling car last night. Sigh ... hopefully it is an easy (and cheap) fix. The list never ends. And that is okay. It means I have small goals to strive towards as I keep my eye on the big picture and look for bigger goals in the horizon.

I woke up to a quiet home this morning. Everyone is in their own space and it has presented the opportunity for me to enjoy my quiet little space here at the computer. My fingers can wander where ever they want to go and I can sit back and enjoy the moment before I take on a few need-to-do chores that I must fit into the day.

I can write. I can blog, I can email, I could start writing Christmas cards ...

I can begin to think of creative ways to give. This Christmas is going to be a from-the-heart kind of year. Expenses have been adding up to more than the income. The shortfall means I must utilize what ever I can find 'within' ... the quietness around me helps me find a creative outlet for this season of giving.

I could lose myself in a book. I have amassed a small collection of reading material but rarely find the energy it takes to open a book. I can start reading a book and simply forget to continue reading it. I miss reading.

Quiet and solitude. They are a gift when your life is full. Quiet and solitude. Could be my undoing, if this was the life that I woke up to each morning. The trick is in how one capitalizes on the quiet times. Quietness in my physical world means that I can pursue the 'noise' in my mind.

I love the silence ... but only when it is balanced by a life filled with work, goals, friendship, family and fun. I can tell when life is out of balance. I can often find the 'reset' button when I find a quiet little corner to recoup, reboot and restart.

Ahhh ... the silence. Life is good!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tracks in the Snow

I was somewhat taken aback at a complaint that I noticed on my flyer route last week. The complaint was "Carrier is walking on the lawn". I know for a fact that I never walk on the lawns (except on the few occasions where I saw that the resident had actually shovelled a path in the snow), then I realized that it was the day that I had someone deliver the papers for me.

I investigated the complaint (quite certain that both parties that got the job done for me in my absence knew the rules of 'Do not walk on the lawn') and upon discussion we figured out that the paper must have been delivered before the walks were shovelled (our city had received 10 - 15 cm of snow that weekend). Because my substitutes did not regularly deliver papers, they didn't know where the sidewalks were located. So we guess that what probably happened is that they walked straight towards the city sidewalk, guessing that would be where the sidewalk was located.

Mystery solved, we just went about our lives and forgot about the trivial little complaint.

The next time I delivered flyers, I specifically took note of the snow at the address the complaint came from. One would assume that if this person took the time to complain about someone walking through their snow on a day when a person couldn't tell the difference between the sidewalk and the grass, they must have a pristine yard where no one walks in the snow. Wrong.

This snow in this particular yard was completely full of footprints. Comparable to the days when my daycare was full to capacity and I had kids playing and walking through the front yard on a regular basis. Why would a person who sees such high traffic in their yard take the time to complain about something so trivial???

Yes - newspaper and flyer carriers have a small manual that reminds their employees of these small courtesies that are expected. We knew the rules. I follow the rules. To the letter. I can see the person complaining if this was a habitual matter. But it was an isolated incident. On a very snowy day ... where one simply couldn't see the sidewalk. There was an explanation.

It just makes me wonder about the stress that this person must accumulate in a day when they take the time to complain about such a trivial matter. Stress levels are far too high these days. Why sweat the small stuff??

I have given this petty complaint more energy than it deserves. It doesn't matter. It's small stuff. I am simply sad for the person that made this into 'big stuff' in their world.

I strive to live a life where the tracks in the snow are inconsequential. They mean that someone brought something and delivered it my home. Or came for a visit. Or took time to play in my yard. There would be nothing more lonely to me than to have a home where no one came to call and left 'footprints' of their presence in my life.

"Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff.” ~ Richard Carlson

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Just Plain Thankful ...

I awoke to find positive, uplifting messages where ever I looked.

Today is Thanksgiving for our southern neighbors so it was not surprising to find my daily inspirational message was one of a thankful sort. It was different than most because it dwelled on the fact that every day should be one of thanks. Not just once a year. Perhaps (they suggested) we should have an unthankful day if we are just going to devote one day out of every 365 to focus on it. And be grateful for the 364 remaining days. Good point.

I eventually found my way to Facebook (where I sit back and lurk) and found people from all corners of my (Canadian) world putting a voice to their gratefulness. From sitting in front of a fireplace wrapping presents ... to finding a loonie already in a shopping cart ... to being thankful for honest people out there ... to a montage of security videos that have captured the goodness in our world.

Even before I stumbled across a morning that was filled with gratitude, it was my plan to write a post about 'service with a smile' and recap the various incidents that I have come upon in my quest to take care of the Odds & Ends around here. 

Unfortunately my newly 'fixed' computer is preventing me from moving at an efficient speed (I started this post a half hour ago and the computer keeps freezing and preventing me from moving about various windows as I have tried to add various links to this post). I am certain that there is a lesson on the pitfalls of multitasking to be learned from my computer's refusal to work on more than one task at a time. So I guess in a roundabout way I will find a way to be grateful for the inability to accomplish what I set out to do before my Daycare Family arrive this morning.

But for now, I will wrap up this post with the video that our local radio station posted on their Facebook page this morning:

Happy Thanksgiving!! Today, tomorrow and always...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quick to Blame ... Slow to Learn

I went downstairs to say good-night to My Youngest last night and the room was silent. Absolutely silent. This was the first time in forever that the furnace wasn't running.

My Second Son turned the furnace fan from 'on' to 'auto' last week. Throughout the time the fan has been on 'auto', I have yet to notice the furnace turn off. In fact, I have been cooler than I was before this adjustment (probably due to the fact that my son also rearranged the upstairs registers to direct the heat downward so that they don't freeze downstairs this year).

Long story short ... the furnace runs. All of the time. It has since we got it (and we ran the fan on the one we had before as well).

So when the furnace was eerily silent last night, the first thought that crossed my mind is that our furnace cleaning had resulted in a broken furnace. And so the story goes ...

I woke up to a warm room this morning. It's never warm in my room. As if my brain turned on as a result of a good night's sleep and a warm room I thought, "The furnace cleaning actually fixed the furnace!!" Finally. A positive result from our maintenance binge. I was elated.

I marvelled at the warmth within the house this morning. Then as I sat down to write this post, I was aware of a cool breeze from the register beside me. Sure enough. Air was circulating when the furnace wasn't blowing heat. After it stopped last night and this morning. What happened???

Then it came to me.

I noticed that our windows were starting to accumulate moisture at the bottom of them this morning. Last night, I checked our air exchanger to look for evidence of it being cleaned yesterday. I closed it up but I didn't check to see if it turned back on afterwards.

When I finally remembered to go and check to see if the air exchanger was running, I was not surprised to find out that it didn't automatically turn itself on after I opened it up last night. So I turned it up to its maximum efficiency and went about my day.

It wasn't until I sat still that I felt the cool air circulating. It wasn't until I started writing, that I realized that the furnace cleaning had absolutely nothing to do with the furnace running. It is completely and totally related to the air exchanger and it overrides the 'automatic' switch on our thermostat.

I was so quick to believe that nothing good could come from the furnace cleaning. I was ready to (first) blame them. Then I was ready to give them all the credit. Now I see what I (suppose that I) should have known all along.

Now the dilemma. Warm house and moisture on the windows? Or cool house and dry windows? At least we know that we have a choice in the matter now. The mystery of the cold rooms has been solved at last.

I must now go solve the next mystery of how to get the VCR to work now that the digital cable box is hooked up. I'm on a roll ...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Patchwork Fixes

I have put off maintenance around the house for a very long time. Now that I'm finally tending to a few things, I am finding that the patchwork fixes don't always work ...

I bought a used digital cable box from a Kijiji ad last week. I hooked it up and everything appeared to work okay. One 'quick' call to our cable company to do whatever-it-is-that-they-do to make the on-screen listings work and we'd be off to the races. Wrong. Strange and unusual things happened. I talked with two different technicians over the course of the hour that I was on the phone. They had never seen this particular problem before. A service call has been placed. We decided it would be best to wait until our other boxes arrive just in case we have any problems with them. Proactive thinking. I hope it works.

We bought weather stripping, door knobs and dead bolt locks for our existing doors this past weekend. We can still see daylight between the front door and the door jam. The back door doesn't close quite good enough for us to rely on the keypad door lock to do its job. The door and door jam have seen so many different door knobs and dead bolt locks in their days that (even though my son assures me that this is no problem) things just don't look as secure as they should. I would still like new doors ...

Our computer was running so slow that I was starting to feel that there was a serious underlying issue which would result in the computer crashing and burning and losing everything that is on it. So I called my Computer Doctor. He came yesterday and cleaned things up and added more RAM. He told me of the issues that were probably slowing things up on the computer, but he thought that what he did should make a noticeable difference. Well? They did. We now have no sound on the computer. Not only that, it seems to be running just as slow (if not slower) than it did before. He is coming back this afternoon ...

We are getting the furnace, ducts, air conditioner and air exchanger cleaned today. I am fearful of the ramifications. Everything that has been 'patched' has resulted in more work, follow-up and the revelation that perhaps getting rid of the old and buying something new is the best answer.

What is it about this disposable society that makes me feel victimized by the inability to simply fix what works? I am doing my best to keep what has worked for me in the past out of the garbage dumps. I feel like I am being thwarted at every turn. Are new products not meant to be fixed? Are the repair and maintenance people not capable of repairing something that is over five years old (often as a result of parts not being available)?

We went through a fairly massive renovation and repair of things-around-the-house in 2003. Everything worked. Everything felt new and improved. The downside is that was over nine years ago. Now what was new has become antiquated and effective repairs and maintenance seem to be illusive. Granted ... our doors are most likely 47 years old. They are most likely the one item on the list that could work effectively with a few minor adjustments. The rest? Is one step away from the garbage dump.

I am trying. I am truly trying. I would love to be able to toss out the old and buy new. But the budget doesn't allow it. Heavens! The budget doesn't even allow for repairs and maintenance!! But I'm trying none-the-less.

Something tells me if my dad was here, he could make a lot of these things work. At least the stuff that isn't electronic or computer related. Dad came from a generation of fixing what you had and nothing went to waste. This stemmed from necessity, but the generation who lived through the Depression years never lost that way of life. 'Waste not want not' was the motto of the day.

One step forward, two steps back. Patchwork fixes used to work. Now the patches seem ineffective and a waste of time and material. But I'm trying ...

Monday, November 19, 2012

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

Some weekends stand out from the rest. It can't be planned or expected ... but when it happens without design you just sit back and enjoy the ride. This past weekend was exactly that.

I tended to that-which-needed-to-be-tended Friday night. From delivering flyers, to grocery shopping; to cleaning the house and doing laundry. By the time I sat down to enjoy the moment at the end the day, I could barely stay awake to enjoy it. But in those few conscious moments that I had I thought to myself, "If I accomplish nothing else this weekend ... I have done enough."

I woke up to a perfect Saturday. A morning with My Son; and (with My Son's assistance) an afternoon tending to that one last item on my Odds & Ends list; delivering papers (the last item on my to-do-list for the weekend); then going out to a movie and refreshments with a friend.

Sunday morning quickly arrived and I was anticipating the lunch date I had with another friend when the doorbell rang and the next thing I knew, I was on the receiving end of a 'cheesecake delivery'. As I was getting ready to go out for lunch, the phone rang and the next thing I knew, I had supper plans. I came home from supper and found an email message from a friend so I replied to that message with a phone call.

One thing led seamlessly to the next. Each visit, outing, encounter was positive and uplifting. Ties with good friends were strengthened. I could fully savor and enjoy each visit without worrying about a clock ticking the time away and being committed to anything that interfered with the moment that I was in.

It was one of those weekends where an unexpected gift was around every corner. The gift of friendship. The gift of family. The gift of living in the moment with childlike innocence and feeling 'it just doesn't get better than this'. And then it does.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

You Had Me at 'Hello'

I happened to overhear the greeting between My Son and His Girlfriend upon her return from work Friday evening ...

It was simple. It was happy. It was genuine.

The happy, upbeat lilt to their voices as each of them said hello to the other. "Hi!!", with enthusiasm. "Hello! How are ya?" in a joy filled response.

I hear the tones of their voices as they come and go, make a meal or simply sit at the table and have coffee. I don't hear the words. I simply hear their tone.

They laugh together. They enjoy each other's company. There is a quiet companionship between them that goes beyond the words they speak.

Words have the ability to cut like a knife. But is it just the words? When I hear the joy in their voices at their simple greeting, I can't help but think of the way the word 'hello' falls off my tongue when I meet and greet the people I take for granted in my life. Often the word is not even uttered. If it is, it is spoken as a perfunctory word out of obligation with little regard to how the person on the other end of the word will hear it.

When a person can take a word as simple as 'hello' and turn it into a paragraph full of meaning and joy ... little more is required. And it is a most excellent way to begin a conversation.

I went to see the movie "Hope Springs" last night. A movie about a couple that has been married for 31 years and how complacent they have become with each other over the course of time (and the accumulation of small things that become more-than-they-are, when they all add up). I couldn't help but think of the simple 'hello' exchanged between My Son and His Girlfriend ... they have it right. I hope they hold onto the simple courtesies as years grow into decades.

"You had me at hello" ~ Jerry Maguire. They said it all in those few words.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Some Days Go Nothing Like You've Planned ...

... but they end up being the best day you could have ever hoped for!

I allowed myself the luxury of sleeping in until 8:00 this morning so that everyone else would have an opportunity to have breakfast and start their day before I entered the 'community zone' (aka: kitchen). Sometimes people just need a little bit of space when living under the same roof. That was the thought with which my day started.

Then ... I planned to get up and write. I wanted to update my Daycare Blog, write a few lines here and possibly send off an email or two if I had some words left over. Then I had bookkeeping work to do; flyers to deliver; a car to be washed; and one or two quick errands to run.

I had an agenda. I didn't have it all mapped out in my mind but the list was made. I had a purpose.

Then ... I wandered into the kitchen.

My Son had just walked in and had a cup of coffee in hand. Conversation flowed so I took my coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. We just chatted. Conversations like we had can't be planned, but when they unfold so easily and one thing leads to the next you know that you must follow where ever they take you.

They took us door shopping. Door knobs, deadbolt locks and doors were the last item on the Odds & Ends list that I have been tackling this week. So door-shopping it was. My Son acts like he enjoys this type of outing and I knew that I wanted a second set of ears, eyes and voice on the matter so I was pleased that he agreed to accompany me.

Doors are expensive. There are some pretty awesome doors out there. But the prices can sure add up. We talked to three different people at three different stores. We got a written quote; one is coming by email; and we got a verbal estimate from the last place.

After all was said and done, I found the words, "I think I'll settle for door knobs and weather stripping" fall off my tongue. And that's what 'we' did. Well ... I did the buying. My Son did the installing (while I went out and delivered papers)...

I returned home to a message from a friend (telephone tag is a game that I seem to be perfecting) and an email message from another friend. I returned the phone call (and left another message) and replied to the email.

Thanks to that email response, I ended up going out to a movie and an after-movie-snack with a friend.

I have now just nicely settled back in at home and I am more than a little pleased that I have found excess words in me at the end of a day. This hasn't happened in a very, very long time. By the time the sun sets, it seems my quota of words for the day has been spent and I have very little left in me.

Today had great potential. I had a purpose and a plan. The day went nothing like I expected it to go, but it went better than I could have ever hoped.

Tomorrow? I also have a 'plan'. I wonder where the day will take me ...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crisis Averted

Whew! That was close ...

One of the two items that remain untended on my Odds & Ends list is to call my Computer Doctor. The computer has been acting rather sickly lately. I can wait and prompt it through what I need to get done and often restarting it speeds it up a notch. But I think it is ill.

Last night I closed all of the programs and prompted the computer to do its updates. The little 'update me' icon sat minimized on the bottom of the screen all day and taunted me as I ignored it. So before I went to bed I remembered to let the computer take care of that little task while I slept.

I woke up this morning to a frozen computer screen. It was stuck in the middle of a 'Windows is now restarting your computer' message. This has happened before. Unplug. Wait. Plug back in. Turn on the computer. And we are set to go for another round. Not this morning.

First, I thought that I just didn't unplug the computer long enough. So I grabbed my netbook computer and distracted myself and read all of the blogs that I follow. Certainly enough time had passed to try again. So I did. Nothing. Absolutely nothing ...

So I unplugged the computer once again and tried to ignore it and pretend it would be okay when I tried again in half an hour or so.

As I sat there pretending, I thought of all that would be lost if the hard drive was fried or the computer had come down with a terminal virus. I thought of the work that I had started and would have to restart from scratch for my bookkeeping job. I thought of the chapters for my Daycare Book, daycare videos and all of the various forms, pamphlets, business cards, etc that I have amassed for my daycare. I thought of the pictures that would be lost.

Oh no. Why haven't I taken the time to learn what I need to do to back up the computer?!?!! Why didn't I call my Computer Doctor when I knew the computer was sick? Why haven't I put what is important to me on a memory stick (at least I have done that with the family history book that I have been working on)?? Why??

Then I plugged in the computer one more time as I sent up a quiet, desperate plea to please, please, please work. And it didn't. Then I hit the power button one more time. Just to be sure. And it started.


I will be calling my Computer Doctor today. I will ask for specific instructions (and perhaps pay him to do it for the first time) how to back up the computer. I will bite the bullet and do this before I regret it.

Even though the world would go on spinning if I lost everything on this computer, I would regret losing that which can't be replaced. This computer has become an extension of my brain. It holds hundreds of thousands of my words and memories. I have made a mess of the computer's ability to neatly and efficiently file those words, pictures, videos and documents ... but I know I can find what I need. Eventually.

What if it was all lost? I would simply have to reboot and start over. I would have a fresh slate to organize that-which-is-important-to-me and back up the system as I went along.

Sometimes starting from scratch is the best place to begin. As I correlate this minor computer crisis into Real Life, I can see how the excess clutter is weighing me down. I need to cull through my 'files', organize them, delete that which is obsolete or unnecessary and keep what is important in a safe place.

I've got some work to do. I think I'll start with the computer ...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Forgive, Forget and Move On ...

"To be angry with someone is to let them live 'rent free' in your head."

I read a quote to this effect decades ago and made up my mind not to give anger or that other party such control over my thoughts.

I thought that I had absorbed and lived this little nugget of wisdom until I recently attended a Women's Encounter retreat. When we hit the section on 'forgiveness', a recent conversation found its way to the tip of my consciousness and I had one name to write on that little slip of paper that we ceremoniously burned (after a lengthy discussion on how to find that forgiveness in your heart).

I have little contact with this person so it is very easy for me to file my thoughts into the 'forget' portion of my brain and let it go. Forgetting isn't the same as forgiving.

When a person has a history with someone, a few words can hold a great impact. I would be lying if I said that I am not guilty of unleashing words that have had the power to hurt the other party. There must be something unhealed and vulnerable to let these words penetrate the walls that have been built.

I have no desire to fuel this fire with a conversation. We have talked ourselves in circles. Each of us has a valid argument. Yes. We have been hurt. It has been mutual. I have yet to find the beginning and apparently the end is just as illusive. I simply want to agree to disagree and let it go.

Life is not always as simple as that. Lives intertwine with other people and other activities.

A phone call from a completely innocent third party fanned the flames for me yesterday. Why? Why does it matter? Why can't I just let it go and forget about it? Because it involves an activity that I used to love.

Words have been cast into an arena that used to bring me great joy and I let those words and that person be an obstacle that I have little or no desire to overcome. At one time, this would have been a challenge that I would have gladly faced and conquered. Lately ... I would rather just give up.

There is no excess cash to follow that dream at the moment. I can't find a goal to persue in that area right now. The social aspect that was such an integral part of what I came to love within that community has changed. It is a whole new world ... and I honestly don't know if I have the passion to follow where that road may lead. Even if it didn't cost a penny.

Shame on me for letting another person's words stand in the way of walking through a door that has been opened. Double shame for letting that be an excuse. I must own up to my own fears and apprehensions and either overcome them or decide that this isn't where it is at for me right now.

I am leaning towards just letting it go. The passion is gone. I don't know if I am going to find it there any more. The saddest part? I don't even care to go and look for it. And that just may be my undoing ...

My dreams have died. I've been here before and I know I'll work my way past this. Walking through the door that I was invited to walk through yesterday could be a start. Or the end. Maybe I have to forgive, forget and just move on ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Odds & Ends

I have been berating myself for the number of odd little things that need-to-be-done that are simply not getting done. I did some calling today and tended to three of those things on that odds & ends list. I now remember why they weren't getting tended to. Dollars and cents.

I cannot remember the last time the furnace and ducts were cleaned. Our 'new' furnace is now seven years old and it was the previous furnace that was cleaned to give you a vague idea. I set up an appointment for the furnace to be cleaned. And while they are here I asked if they could clean the (interior workings of) the air conditioner and air exchanger as well. Neither of these have been cleaned since we got them either. We bought the air conditioner in 2003 ...

I suppose one could say that if you average the cleaning cost over the course of the nine years of neglect, the annual cost is under $50.00 per year. But today? The grand total is uncomfortably high.

Then there is the carbon monoxide detector that we have with our alarm system that I was told should be tested/replaced. Once again, it is something that has been neglected. Supposedly an alarm will sound when it becomes ineffective. The alarm hasn't sounded yet, but apparently they should be replaced every five years. We got this nine years ago. Did we get four years 'free'? Or have we simply unknowingly been at risk?

Again, if I average the cost over the four years we didn't tend to this and consider the fact that we would have been replacing our second carbon monoxide detector within the next year, I suppose we got a bargain. But for now? It is yet another unbudgeted expense.

Finally ... our cable company sent us a letter which advised us that within the next month or two, none of the optional tier packages (that we pay extra for) will work without a 'digital box' for each TV. Of course most of my favorite shows are on the channels we would no longer receive. As are my son's.  We have one digital box. We have four TV's. I searched Kijiji and found a bargain for one of the three will 'require'. I ordered the other two today. Thankfully because our TV's are so old, we will not require the 'high definition' box (which is over three times the cost) ... so we dodged a bullet there.

It is frustrating to have to pay close to $150.00 simply to receive the cable channels that are part of our cable package though. If I was in an argumentative mood (and willing to give up my and my family's favorite channels), I would have downgraded my cable package for only the channels which we would receive without the digital box. But I just can't do that right now. I'm lovin' my channel selection far too much these days.

So today ... I did not step outside the house and I spent a small fortune by letting my fingers do the walking (dialing). Yes, we can rest assured and know that we will be breathing clean and safe air. Yes ... I can continue to enjoy the luxury of our current cable channels (plus the bonus of an on-screen TV guide). But it was far, far cheaper for me to sit back and ignore the odds & ends that were adding up around here.

I need to add a category onto my current budget. Odds & Ends. I may need one more job to take care of that simple expense.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home Again, Home Again!

It does not matter how much or how little I have enjoyed being away ... there is simply no place like home! I am (as always) glad to be back.

This past weekend was ... easy.

I wasn't craving a weekend away. I didn't feel a need to be alone with my thoughts. I would have been just as happy at home. But I'm glad that I went.

I didn't contact any friends while I was at Mom's. They didn't even know I was in the city. I simply 'gave' the weekend to my mom. We visited with my brother & his family a few times ... and we went with the flow. It was pretty close to perfect.

The winter driving conditions weren't as ideal as I have grown accustomed to. Almost any time I've travelled that path it has been almost summer-like driving conditions. Even in the winter...

Maybe I used to be braver. I just had visions of sliding into a ditch and the inconvenience of having to tow and fix a car ... not to mention the inconvenience of phoning for help, making arrangements and waiting to get towed to safety. There were a fair number of cars in the ditch. It just made me very aware of the fact that one minute I could be driving along at highway speeds and in a heartbeat I could be sliding into an uncontrolled skid.

More than ever, life has made me very aware of how life-as-we-know-it can change in a millisecond. It has helped me appreciate life's little blessings on a regular basis. It has also made me become more fearful than I remember being before this hyper-awareness.

I need to let go of the fear so that I can savor the moments at full capacity.

What did I see as I travelled down life's icy highways this past weekend? I saw little more than cars in the ditch and the safest path down the long stretch of road before me. I saw the highway signs as I counted down the miles to get to my destination. I was mindful of my speed and ever aware of the clock ticking down my time.

This is eerily parallel to the life I am living right now. I'm sticking to the safest route as I watch life at a distance. I am so aware of all that can go wrong ... that I am not fully appreciating all that is going right. I walk through most of my days with blinders on. I don't see beyond where I expect my day to go. I am ever aware of the clock ticking down another day.

This isn't the way to live a life. It is safe. It is easy. But it isn't living life to the fullest.

Yes ... I am home again. I am safe. From this nest of contentment and safety, I must muster the courage to start living a life that I feel passionate about. I miss the passion. I miss the dreams. I need to push myself out of this place even though it is my most favorite place in the world.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Taking a Break

Sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. I am more than safe. I am savoring the little oasis that beckoned to me as I sat and drank a cup of coffee one hour away from my Final Destination yesterday.

I have been craving 'alone time' for quite some time now. After the Personal Day that I granted myself last weekend, the need had passed. But when life presented me with enough doubts about the roads, darkness looming and a hotel within arm's reach at a time and place when I had to make a decision ... I decided to stay.

I am glad that I did.

I don't have to be anything to anybody here. It is just me. I don't have to worry about tiptoeing around and waking anyone up. I don't have to provide a meal for anyone but myself. I don't have to clean up after anyone else. I don't have to talk. I'm not governed by a schedule, responsibilities or the needs of anyone else in the world right now. 

And it feels good.

It is so easy when you don't have to worry about anyone else's well-being but your own. What is that person thinking? Is this in their best interests? Are they hungry? Are they happy? Are they upset with me? Am I doing all that I should be doing?

It can be hard to be one in a family living under one roof. Everyone must be considerate of each other to make it work. Little things become bigger than they should. Your life is not your own. It is a delicate balance of give and take. Give or take too much and the equilibrium is threatened. 

Sometimes everyone just needs a break from the routine. It could be worse. I could feel alone in the world. It is a gift to feel the need to be 'somebody' to someone else. I know how fortunate that I am. 

But sometimes? I just want to take a break from all that is so good in my life ....

Friday, November 9, 2012

Decisions, Decisions ...

The day sits before me and as yet I do not know where it will take me ...

I have a rather lovely dilemma on my hands. I have today off. Plus the weekend. And a holiday Monday. Four days. Hmmm ...

I have developed the most awful habit of wasting time. Four days at home could be catastrophic. But maybe it would give me an opportunity to turn a corner and start to change this time wasting habit.

My plans are to head out to my mom's. It is a five hour drive. Their city was snowed under a few days ago. Heavy snow is in our forecast for tonight. If I am going to leave ... today would be the day.

I have frittered my time this morning, checking out the Weather Network's highway forecast. According to weather conditions, my most opportune time to travel would be to leave by noon today and travel  half way today. Then (the Weather Network's highway forecaster predicts), I could leave by 11:00 a.m. tomorrow morning and complete the last half of my trek (making it to my destination in plenty of time for my 4:30 hair appointment!).

I need to deliver flyers this morning. I should complete a bookkeeping task that I have been putting off. If properly motivated, I should be able to accomplish both of these challenges by noon. Then I would actually feel like I deserve this trip.

If I stay home and have four days at my disposal, I am afraid that the time would slip through my hands and I would have nothing to show for it. I am leaning towards going while the going is good ...

But then ... I have to get back home. But if I stay ... I'll have to entrust my hair to someone I don't know.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I think I need older friends. I have adopted the attention span of a one-year-old.

I start things and walk away.
  • A blog post sits unfinished in my drafts from yesterday morning.
  • An email to my sister sat minimized on the bottom of the computer screen for the better part of two days.
  • I abandon cups of coffee.
  • The kitchen table is strewn with things that need to be done or read or put away. 
  • My to-do-list and phone calls that need to be made sit on the computer desk.
My brain is one long list of incompleteness. I can't hold onto a train of thought, let alone stick it through to the end.

I started taking some multivitamins and Omega 3 supplements on the advise of Dr. Oz in the hope that it will help my brain function better.

My Daycare Days are ten hours of distraction. I start one thing but cannot complete it because I hear something that must be investigated. From meal preparation & clean up ... to diaper changes ... to refereeing and overseeing one & two year olds at play ... to nap times ... to our much anticipated walks ...  to simply the general way the day flows when keeping your eye on such young, little people ... my attention span is pretty short these days.

I cannot believe that I wrote the entirety of this post without interruption. My one-year-olds are napping and my very tired two-year-old is watching "Toopy & Binoo" (in lieu of a morning nap). The phone hasn't rang. I haven't received an incoming email. I haven't been distracted by the Internet (except for referring to it to find out exactly what it was that Dr. Oz said about Omega 3 & how to spell "Toopy & Binoo").

There is truly no substance to my message today but I think that I may post it anyway. This is just the way my mind is rolling lately. I'm feeling distracted and a little bit flighty. No weighty issues are on my mind (except my weight ... I have officially graduated to my next new pant size ... "Yay me!").

I have a four day weekend ahead of me. I think that I must seek out and find ways to stimulate my brain. If the weather conditions keep me close to home, I have things to do and people to talk to. If weather permits, I shall go and visit real live adult people (and get my hair cut ... I am really hoping that I get my hair cut at my new favorite hair dresser)!

Now I must go make the most of the time that I have left as my young ones sleep. There is a leaf (that my one-year-old plucked off of the plant that has been sitting in front of me for at least an hour), that I must go throw in the garbage. I am wondering how many ways I will be distracted on the long trip to the kitchen ...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Just Write!

I'm not going to over think this post. I am just going to write. There is a great chance that it will wind up being a post about nothing. But this is the way my mind is clicking these days ...

My hair has hit a spot where it is driving me a little bit crazy. The scariest part of all? I know it needs to be cut and I am afraid to go somewhere, where they will start the downward spiral of a haircut-gone-bad. One bad haircut begets another. And another. And so on and so forth.

So ... I booked an appointment with the person who cut my hair when I was on holidays this past August. Yup. I'm travelling five hours to get a haircut. Oh ... and I will also have a chance to stop in and visit with my mom.

I can't believe how hard it was to decide to make this trip. What is my problem?!?! I think it is because I was planning on being a tag-along-girl and just go along with my Oldest Son, if it happened to work out. The unfortunate part is that he doesn't make definite plans. So I sat in limbo. Mom sat in limbo. I do not like being in limbo. I really, really don't like being in limbo when I have Mom along with me for the ride.

So yesterday morning, I decided to go. I phoned Mom and said, "I'm coming ... I will drive out in my car so that we have a car available to go wherever and whenever we want to go. And oh ... do you remember the name of the lady who cut my hair when I was out the last time?"

There are still a few details to be ironed out - will My Youngest join me or not? How will Sunday's papers get done? But I made a decision. And I'm getting my hair cut!

In preparation for the big haircut occasion, I colored my hair last night. No more roots. No more pretty 'sun kissed' hair either (I really liked the salon hair color that I got this past summer). I'm just a plain little mousy brown again. Ahem, let me correct that. I am a 'dark golden blond'. But on top of my hair? It is kind of mousy brown. Oh well. At least I don't have roots ... and a good haircut will detract from the mousiness.

Yup. This is the drivel that is overwhelming my thoughts lately. This is what is taking up space in my brain! Yikes. Now I just need to find a new pair of jeans that fit ...

Life is like that. When you have a (what feels like an unending) list of small things racing around in your head, you tend to forget how inconsequential any one of those things are. When you are faced with life and death and important life altering decisions ... this little stuff goes away.

I have been quietly accusing myself of creating a need for drama in my life. When the need for a hair cut becomes all-consuming, something is out of kilter.

Once I get my hair taken care of, I will be ready to take on the world. Just wait and see!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Personal Day

Back in the day when my family depended on me, my personal day would have been called "a strike". Since my children are all quite independent and self reliant, I can take the day off and no one really notices a difference (sad to say). As my morning started to slip into afternoon and I had not yet left my bedroom, I consciously dubbed the day one of a personal nature.

I made my breakfast smoothie and coffee and took it to my room. I grabbed my (netbook) computer and took it along with me. I had the phone, my cell phone and Internet access to the outside world. I closed  my door and gave myself A Personal Day.

It all started because I slept in. I basically slept around the clock. From 8 p.m. until (almost) 8 a.m. By the time I felt ready to get up, I could hear the rest of the house stirring and I didn't feel sociable. I just wanted to cocoon myself with my computer and see what words fell out of my fingertips. I wanted to watch inane TV movies and see if I could find something within them that spoke to me.

I wrote. And wrote and wrote. I didn't find any major underlying thoughts when I let my subconscious mind speak freely and privately. But I did find a few small ah-ha's in the midst of the chaos within my mind. I think that I just needed to write without censoring myself. So that is what I did.

As the day progressed and I kept myself insulated from the world within our home (the outside world was more than welcome, as I could check emails/answer the phone/receive text messages), it slowly but surely progressed to a point where I knew that I would not make a habit of this. But it felt good to commit the day to myself. I made supper for my Youngest Son and we each went our separate ways and ate alone.

Yes, this was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I spent the evening in my room and when I found myself starting to doze off to sleep, I came out one last time to say good night to My Youngest.

He was slightly curious as to why I stayed in my room all day so I explained that I just took a Personal Day. But as the day progressed, I started to think of him and the way that he spends entire days in his room. Granted, his room consists of a sleeping area and a living area. He has a TV; X-Box live; a phone and a cell so he is not entirely unconnected with the outside world ... but he is not connecting with real, live people face-to-face either. And this is not good. I ended the day with a message to My Son. "This is not a healthy way to live a life. You must come out and interact with people ..."

I live in a somewhat virtual world. I am attached to the computer and I am continually checking the blogs that I follow; updating my own blogs; sending emails (not nearly as much as I used to); writing; (will soon be) working at my bookkeeping job; and researching whatever little thought or idea crosses my mind. I thought that I was utilizing the computer and the virtual world in a healthy way...

But after one day of no face-to-face contact with the people in my world, I was starting to feel lost. I was detached, depressed and extremely unmotivated to change the course of the day. I am reconsidering my priorities.

People need people. Real, live people. It is far too easy to live in a virtual world.

I was concerned about the way this would affect my Monday morning coping skills. Amazingly, it turned my regular old life into technicolor.

I had a short conversation with my Middle Son before he left for work. As my Daycare Family started arriving, I was genuinely happy to see them.

I sent My Youngest off to school with a cheerful, happy demeanor. Not much different than any other day ... but it felt different. He was walking out the door into the real world, with real, live people. He would interact, socialize and physically take part in his day. I was so happy to see a technicolor day before him as well.

I am glad that I gave myself a Personal Day. It was a nice place to visit ... but I wouldn't want to stay there.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


We woke up to a full fledged winter morning yesterday ...

Initially, I wandered outside to check to see if my flyers had arrived. The thought of delivering them on a mild, snowy, winter day sounded like a good one.

The flyers weren't there, but I just had to take a picture of our dark, snowy morning. So I wandered back into the house, put on my winter boots and snapped a few photos. Then I grabbed the shovel ...

I was wearing my pj's, a sweater and my Sorel winter boots. And I was warm enough to continue shovelling for a good half hour. My Son came and joined me and soon our home looked like this:

What a beautiful, peaceful and enjoyable winter morning ...

We have been making the most of our winter thus far. It is kind of fun to have an excuse to go out and make a snowman. My Youngest said that coming home to our chubby cheeked little Frosty the snowman after a day at school just made him feel happy inside.

Obviously, this picture was taken before our recent snowstorm. This is now what Frosty looks like:

My Second Son went out and bought a snow blower yesterday afternoon. I wish that I could have captured the expression on his face when he proudly walked past the living room window and caught my eye. Suddenly he was 10 years old again, with an expression that said, "Look at me, Mom!! See how much I love my new toy?!?!"

Yes, winter has arrived in Our Fair City. I love that we were eased so gently into this season that can be so beautiful ...

Was I happy to be safe, snug and warm inside of my home for the day instead of out there battling icy streets and new winter driving conditions?? You betcha!!

Winter is ever-so-much-more enjoyable right in our own back yard ... can I say it again?? I am so happy to be working from home!