Saturday, January 11, 2014

Moving day

Okay, this will be the last post on this site for now.

In the future, please look for me at  There is a place there to enter your email address should you like to have it emailed to you, but if you have a Facebook page, it is also set to post the entry automatically on your newsfeed if you are a "friend" of mine. I am not sure about this ability. It feels like I am force feeding this stuff to everyone I know, so that might get changed in the future.

For now I will be keeping this site alive if only because it has stuff on it that I like and I don't know how to move it.

By the way, I have a headache from doing all this like you. would. not. BELIEVE!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tele-posting Sunshine!

Today I am conversing with you from a local coffee house. No, not Starbucks.  Whiskey Gulch. There aren't any sea lions out today, mom, but the ferry is in full swing.

The truly funny thing? I am sitting at one table (by the window) and Jeff is sitting at another on the other side of the room, waiting for the other half of his "meeting" to get here.  I have already texted him twice rather than get up and walk across the room or holler over the table of "ladies who lunch" next to me.

I could get used to this coffee-house blogging...good thing I most likely won't, as this writing thing is not a money maker and a Mayan mocha with a sugar biscuit every morning could put me in the poor house within the week.

So, recap of the day so far...
LOTS of wind last night. I know of at least two separate times that I woke up to the noise only to be made aware of the fact that there were three extra bodies in the bed (total of 12 extra feet or maybe 13 if you count all of Stellah's extra toes).  The alarm went off at 5 but I, apparently erroneously, assumed that with all that weather the cable would be out, so slept in until 5:45. Got two kids and one dog breakfasted, supervised the making of lunch and got them off to the bus.

Came home to the smell of microwave popcorn.

Took a deep breath (painful, it is not my most favorite smell) realized he received two bags -- two bags have now been consumed. End of story. Done.

Hid in the shower until child #3 was out the door.

I think I did okay. Good Mood is still intact.


Okay, I still have coffee left, so I'm gonna keep blathering (interesting note, I can hear Jeff explaining our life story to his counterpart in his meeting...happens to be the interim pastor of our church --wondering what kind of notes are being taken on THAT!)

So has anyone else noticed that this year the concepts of happiness and joy seem to be the New Year focus of 2014? I still see the requisite articles and magazine covers dedicated to organization and weight loss but what seems to stick out to me is the push to work on seeking personal happiness and joy in one's life this year.  I am thrilled!  In fact, I have a entry that I drafted but never finished in November entitled "My own personal happiness project".  I wish I had actually written something under it, I don't even really remember what I had intended.  But I have to say that, although I don't ever recall consciously wallowing in unhappiness, I know that I haven't given it the proper amount of conscious thought that it probably deserves.
(whew, it's getting loud in here, shoulda brought earphones)

Aside from suddenly being the surprise recipient of a subscription to a magazine devoted to the subject, some of my favorite bloggers have taken up the flag and started their own personal projects. Lilblueboo has challenged herself to writing 31 Days of Joy.  I had to laugh when she got to day #6 and became quite overwhelmed with the goal she had set for herself.  Sounded so like me.  Yesterday she posted 25 Quotes of Joy.  Okay, I skimmed most of them but certain ones stuck out, such as:

Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life; the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things.
-Kay Warren
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves
-James Barrie
and my favorite
This is is the true joy in life . . . being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one . . . being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.  -George Bernard Shaw

As I have gotten older, or perhaps more as I have watched my kids grow up and I realize what I want for them, it has become apparent to me the ultimate control we have over our happiness, life after all is nothing but choices that we must make. My children are fond of saying "it wasn't my fault that I hit him, he made me do it by being annoying/loud/not listening blah blah blah".  Some day they will  actually hear me when I tell them for the 56,800th time that it was their choice to hit rather than walk away/ask for help/stick out their tongue. Life is like a menu, your choices depend on what is available, but you will ALWAYS. HAVE. A CHOICE.  You want hot dogs and all they have is foie gras and horse tongue flambé? You still have a choice. You can eat nothing, try something new, or walk out the door with the hope of finding something better . . . or worse (worse than horse tongue flambé? Eek!).

So how does God fit in as being in control if we make all the decisions? He presents us with the menus...and the doors. He has the final job of clean up, making sure that no matter what our messes get us into, they will result in an ultimate Good.  We may not see it, but I love that I can at least rest in the surety that somewhere down the road, my poor choices, will ultimately make a positive difference in the life of someone else, even if only so that they can point to me and say "THAT is why I choose not to eat horse tongue flambé!"  Bravo for them!

Taking responsibility of our choices is--wow, it is SO hard.  SO HARD!  It is also key to becoming a happier person.  The quote from George Bernard Shaw about recognizing your purpose and being a force of nature versus bing a "feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances" just may end up being written on the walls of my house (note to self, USE THE CHALK BOARD).  I love it and it is so apropo for my family.  And me.  How often do I sit and bemoan the fact that all I do is sit in parking lots and argue with kids over food rather than use that time to read great books and let them make decisions for themselves; skip the gym because I never got around to making dinner first; vacuum the house instead of do something fun because I feel that the concreteness of a clean floor has more tangible worth than my personal delight in something. And how much happier am I when I break through that barrier and do the "happier" thing? But most often I am that whiner. I'm a "feverish selfish little clod".

So not a pleasant picture.

My goal from now on is to be a force of nature.

I want my actions to result in the happiness of others and yet at the same time I want to remember that my happiness is not dependent on others making me happy, but rather, my happiness is dependent making others happy, not through my misery and self deprivation but rather by being joyful in and of myself.
I want others to see my joy and derive joy from that!

Funny, I just realized that this is the same way I want to announce my faith. 
I will not go about clonking people over the head with a happy stick/Bible. I can only hope that they see me as a force of nature, are drawn in by my actions, and spun off with a positive charge that they can sustain in a positive force of their own making

I think I have some work to do.
Okay, a lot of work to do.

A LOT of work to do.

This little cloud break needs to get worked up into a sustained period of...
okay, no weather similes are forthcoming right now... dangit.

Let' go with this for now...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

E-mail Update

I am still trying to figure this site out.

As such, I erased the setting that forcibly e-mailed new posts to certain people, whether they wanted them or not.  You can still sign up for having it e-mailed to yourself.

As for comments, you do have to sign up for Google something or other. To my knowledge, I have not been spammed or otherwise bothered by having done this on other blog sites.  You can also just feel free to email, call, text, Facebook or knock on my door.  I have no issues with you sharing at this point, either.

This is going to be a learning experience to say the least.  Right now I have just learned that I think I need to find a new blog page...

Forcing a Re-do


I'm grumpy today.

I just erased an entire diatribe on the disgusting eating habits of one of my children and how he is trying to make it my problem.

It wasn't making me feel any better to rehash it and I was only talking myself in circles as far as trying to make it his fault and not mine but acknowledging the fact that I didn't help matters by getting mad about it.

I actually started out my day great! Woke up at 5, prepped breakfast for the two kids who will actually eat what I make them (albeit, sometimes not without a face or three), made a cup of coffee and DRANK it while reading my latest issue of LiveHappy magazine.  Seriously, there is such magazine, and I get it for free. It's working already!

Then I took two kids to the school bus and came home to the question of "can I make my popcorn for breakfast?"  That absolutely derailed me, and at the risk of going into my rant again, can I pose the question here as to whether or not it is okay to allow kids to make crappy food choices so long as there are good ones available?  Seriously, there is peanut butter and jelly (the peanut butter isn't sweet enough), bread, cheese, Spam (at his request), eggs, sausage, bananas, there was smoothie already mixed and in the blender, lunch meat, cereal (both hot and cold) and any number of combinations there of...and according to him there is nothing else worth eating but his theater-style, yellow lard-iced, salt-soaked, nasty-ass popcorn.

So I told him to pop it.  I also told him he was an idiot.  

Well, actually I told him that there was absolutely nothing in that entire bag of popcorn that made it a good choice.  The only thing it had going for it at all was the whole grain, but that due to everything else in that bag, he would be just as well off eating the paper sack.

He cared not at all. He just glared at me.

Because it is my fault that he can't have frozen corn dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Honestly, at this point, I would love to stuff him with nothing but twinkies and hot dogs for a month except for the fact that  (a) he probably wouldn't suffer and (b) CPS might get involved.

Crap, I just rewrote my whole negative rant again.  And again, it hasn't made me feel any better to get it out. It just made me relive it. Okay, Katie. So fix it. How do I relive this in a positive light?

Well. He ate the damn popcorn and there is no more to bug me about tomorrow.

Yay! I win!

So on a totally unrelated note, I read in my magazine today that the positive effect that pets have on our health is so powerful that the chief cardiologist at one British hospital actually prescribes a dog for men who have just had a heart attack.  As a result he has found that the chances of a second heart attack in these men are cut by 400 percent!!!  Which leads me to wonder how absolutely horrible my life would be without Floki, and even the cats (who actually cause a good percentage of my stress on any given day).  The amount of stress I can generate in a day by simply being me can be pretty disgustingly ginormous.  I can't imagine how intolerable it would be if I didn't have at least one entity in my household who would come when I called without saying "just a sec" or else say "coming" only to arrive 10 minutes later...if at all, eat everything I give him gratefully, want to be in the same room as me without saying "I know!", "Can I?", or "Why not?", and not need much more other than about 15 minutes of my time either throwing a ball or sitting still so they can simply sit in my lap.

Why did I have kids again?

Probably so I can appreciate my pets more.  I think I hear a Chuck-it calling my name.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mind the gap

So I have no illusions of grandeur with this blog. In fact, I know for certain that my mom is the only one who is reading it right now (good morning, mom!)

And that's okay, because I know (a) knowing she is reading it will keep me grounded,  (b) at least she will love me anyway, and (c) her comments will at least be nice.

I have spent most of the morning trying to revamp and update this blog and boy am I learning some things. Namely that I need to have someone else do it for me.  For the life of me I can't get an Instagram gadget on here (mainly for my mom, 'cause I know she won't access it regularly otherwise) but for those of who might, for now it is and if you know how to help be get the gadget to work, please speak up. I am afraid it is something to do between Google and Instagram for the moment.

As such, I haven't gotten much else done today other than get two boys to the bus stop on time. Ugh. Seriously, it is 10:19 and I have done nothing else but drink coffee, get two of four kids to school, and play on my computer.  But I think I am going to decide to be okay with this for today. One of my favorite bloggers, Ashley Hackshaw of posted today that "nothing is more real than nothing".  So nothing is something. Sometimes the gaps are wherein lie the seeds of your next big thing. So perhaps sitting here on my bum, trying not to think of all the things that my brain thinks I should be doing (i.e. planning dinner, vacuuming this disgusting carpet) will bring forth an idea of something my heart wants to do.  No i.e. here. I'm still waiting to find it.  I think that is the mystery of the gap, though. Looking won't get you anywhere when there is nothing to look at. Nothingness brings its own ideas and my job is to simply receive it when it is given.

I can hope, though. And I hope it brings me something awesome. Something that I can be excited about despite the work that will be involved. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed the labor as much as the result. Don't mistake that for appreciating the labor as much as the outcome. I did NOT enjoy the experience of childbirth as much as I love my son. I appreciate it. I would do it again. But it does not equal the excitement of having him.  No, I am talking about having a goal that requires work that I love to do, that I am excited to get up and start every day, that I enjoy so much that even if the attaining of the goal seems so far off, it doesn't really matter, because the process is so much fun and so rewarding.  Gaah, it sounds like I want to be a perpetual college student!  But truthfully, maybe that is what I want to be. I want to find something that I love so much that learning about it on a full-time basis will be ultimately fulfilling.

OooooO! I can't wait!

I have exactly 30 more minutes of gap to wait for it. I hope it comes today!

**claps hands and hops up and down**

But if it doesn't, I will just try harder to look for more gaps in the days to come and be sure to mind them!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Little piles everywhere, including in my brain.

(PS I am writing this at 6 am, before anyone else is up. So I at least get that gold star...)

So, I'm having issues with organization. I can't believe that "just writing" can end up being such a complicated issue? For instance: Paper or computer? If I do paper, well, all i have to do is haul a notebook around with me, but there will be no way to share should I feel that I have something share-worthy to write. How do I attach photos? Do I want to attach photos? Small problem, but seems to be an issue for me. If I do it on the computer, do I use a journaling site? A blog? Do I automatically set it to share EVERYTHING? Can I set it to do otherwise? And do I really feel like doing all of that research?

Well that's an easy on to answer. Hell no!  No research, that would assume that I knew what I was doing to begin with. And here is where I become frustrated with myself! Why can't I take the time to do research and do something right? Why do I feel that all it ever does is bog me down. It makes me feel like I am simply skimming along in life, not really bothering to get the most out of any experience, but rather rushing ahead to simply get the gist so that I can get to the doing part and check it off my list as "been there, done that". But in the end, I haven't! Half of the doing of something can often be the preparing, the learning of it, the knowing why and how so that you can get the fullness of it while it is being done.  I would think that raising chickens, for instance, would be much more interesting, not to mention successful, were I to do some reading up on them. Learn what breeds do better in certain circumstances. Perhaps there are REASONS they need that special roost and not just because it looks better in the back yard. Maybe there are simple ways to prevent common problems that could develop into real issues.  My gut reaction is to buy the chickens, THEN build the roost, then possibly learn from everything I've done wrong, but most likely just give up because it all seems hopeless and pointless as they make a mess of yard, annoy the neighbors, and start keeling over from mystery illnesses.

To be fair, why I don't like to research is that it takes TIME. Time that I would rather spend enjoying the outcome, that in my imagination will be rosy and perfect and all work out for the best if it is meant to be. I also seem to get easily bogged down. The first "option" that comes around will throw me for a loop. How do I know which is better? Do I have the time to try them all? What in the heck does that word mean? Is it important? Does it matter? DO I JUST CLOSE MY EYES AND PICK OR JUST IGNORE AND JUMP IN?

A vicious cycle. Which results in, half the time, me not doing ANYTHING, researched or not!

I need to be more dedicated to the journey and not just focus on the destination.

Okay.  I think that is it.  I need to spend more time thinking and learning. I need to SLOW down. God, that raises my blood pressure just thinking that.  "I CAN'T!" my brain screams, "I have only a set amount of time before the kids take over my life every afternoon, and that set amount of time has to be shared with house work, food prep, errand running, "me time" (aka The Gym), exercising the dog, getting dressed, trying to play at cleaning my house so that I am not distracted by my seeming failure to be a good mom/wife. If I'm gonna have chickens in this lifetime, it needs to be now or never! (why chickens? No idea. I do not want chickens.)

Bingo, herein lies my problem.

I am distracted by all that I have and trying to keep it from falling in on itself. I am distracted by the clutter that is house and my life. My house is too small for all that I find important to have. My life is to cluttered up with what I think it should be to see it for what it is.  However, we are not in the market to up-size (at least, not seriously) and I know for a FACT that all that I have is not truly that important to my happiness. And I know that what my life IS, is perhaps just what it should be at this point in time.

So lets start on the concrete for now. My house.  Maybe, instead of quitting something every Thursday, like Bob Goff, I need to quit my house of something every day.  And there must be a distinction between getting rid of, and putting away. This house has no closets. The floor space is maxed out and all chests, drawers, boxes are full. So where do I start? A room a day?  A wall? A corner?

Knowing me, this is how it will go. I will start in a corner of the living room where there dwells a rolling cart we use as a coffee table (we do not need a coffee table, nor do we really have room for it, but it was a project I had to do, and far from selling it as I had hoped, it now resides in said corner). It is covered in crocheting supplies and coffee table books that I thought it would be fun for the kids to go through. The kids have not noticed the books at all. I will stuff the crochet stuff back in the suitcase. There, easy, done. I will then pick up the books and stand there in the middle of my living room for several minutes, books in my arms, perhaps turning in circles as I eye the glutted armoire, the packed-to-capacity bookshelf, the matching pile of coffee table books that exist on the chest/end table of the other couch (yes, three couches in this room, getting the picture?) Will I bite the bullet and return ALL of these books to Good Will, whence most of them came? Most likely I will try and rearrange the bookshelf at the other end of the room. This will lead me to wonder what to do with the treasures that also reside on these shelves. I have read most of these books and keep them because I love them and would like to be able to have them to share with others. Some of them I have not read yet. They called to me once, but have been silent since taking up residence in my house (I do not know why that is, it is weird. But if I do not read a book immediately upon it's purchase, it quickly loses its voice and I forget it is there and why I wanted to read it in the first place...reason #359,493 not to hoard. Except - I really like those books. I actually have hopes of a large bookshelf someday. And isn't hoarding books just another way of saying "I have a library"? And what is so bad about that? Maybe I should start with the box on the bookshelf instead...) There is a really cool wooden box on that shelf that upon opening up I will most likely find a whole bunch of "Stuff" that was too cool to throw out or give away last time I cleaned off this shelf, but that I have forgotten about for at least a year, meaning it should be gotten rid of now...but --- it's probably sea glass, or cool shells, or lavender wands from two years ago or some stupid Pinterest craft that I made and spent too much money on to simply throw away.  So I will gather it up and take it out to the shop, where I will try to incorporate it into my crafting drawers...and so on and so on and so on. By the time I have to leave for spin class, I will have never gotten around to eating breakfast, I will have left a path of destruction through my living room and out to the shop and will have only one or two books in my Pile To Be Gotten Rid Of.  Which I will promptly place back on the cart in a neat pile with hopes that I will remember to grab them to put in a Good Will pile when I find a bag.....

Wow, that was fun.

Of course, now I know the warning signs, maybe I can plow through it without all of that drama.

Maybe I should start with breakfast.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2nd.

Why is it such a struggle to sit down and write. I want to write but it is so much easier to sit and think about about writing than to take the time to sit down and do it. Mainly because I like to be able to multi-task. I believe my MO is to get as much done as possible. Not because I want to have time to do other things, because let's face it, there will always be more to things that seemingly need to be done than there will ever be time to complete them in.  I fall into the trap of "I will do X/fun/enjoyable thing once I get Y/not so enjoyable/chore thing done", but I pretty much have myself convinced that as long as there is something that needs to be done, I will never be able to enjoy doing what I would like to do.  What a waste.

What. A. WASTE!

There was a time when I would get up in the morning and spend at least half an hour doing a Bible study reading. I cannot put into words how beneficial this was for my day. There was nothing more positive that could be done to put my day in a positive light from the get go. It didn't really matter what the reading was about. And even better if it required me to put something into writing. To think and produce thoughtful insight, first thing in the morning, was a beautiful thing. It was nothing like sitting down at the keyboard at 4a.m. and typing up dictation - words form someone else's brain; someone else's product.  No, it has to be mine.

Tomorrow, I wake and write.