Friday, December 30, 2011

Out with the old year...

Go on, kick it out.

2011 was a weird year for us.
I'm glad it's over.
I'm hoping 2012 is a bit calmer, tamer, mundane...

One can only take so many upheavals in a year.

I don't want to scare 2012, so I'm not going into the New Year with a huge list of resolutions, must-haves and how-it-will-be-in-2012-isms. I mean, there's still the possibility that 2012 is the end of the world, so my dreams, plans and goals for 2012 will reflect that possibility.

I have three things I will do every day starting Jan. 1.
Well, I've already started, but these are my New Year's goals.

I will not go to bed until I've:

Written something, at least a page
Read something, at least a page
Exercised, at least 30 minutes

That's it!

That's me in 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Day After Christmas Day - best day of the year

I do enjoy Christmas, but by the time Christmas arrives, I'm almost ready to be done with it.

One of my favoritest days in the entire year is the day after Christmas Day.

It's not that I'm a grinch. I love the music, the lights, the simple traditions we engage in with the kids every year - cookie baking, tree decorating, singing mutilated versions of Christmas carols - it adds some festivity and brightness to a normally dark time of year.

I grew up fully engulfed in the religious context of Christmas, but as history and the religious holiday don't quite match up, I'm not going to dwell on the religious. Those who truly celebrate the holiday in a fully religious capacity aren't affected by.... Santa, elves and the crushing realization that Santa provides presents solely based on your parents' economic status.

Right now, my kids love it - Santa, presents and stockings and all.

But really, Santa is us telling our kids some magical, mythical creature exists solely to bring them toys in some mythical place called the North Pole. Lets hush up about the poor, starving kids that get nothing.

I'm guilty, I really am. I perpetuate Santa.

I justify it by my belief that childhood belief in magic and myth helps kids' imaginations. It helps stave off the ho-hum reality of life and helps transition them from belief in magic to fascination in science - why no, a big fat man isn't going to come down a chimney we don't have and drop off presents, but we can TOTALLY travel in space and build a bio-dome on Mars.

I will say, though, at 8, this is their last year of belief. Mr. logic, Turbo Boy has already figured it out but is hanging on to the dream, while Bear suddenly realized that um, if Santa is magical, why didn't he get a DS? And how come Santa always brings things that Target sells? And um, the kids at school, they got DS' and consoles and snowboards and a trip to Bali and ummm... hmmm....

This is what I think ultimately breaks the myth of Santa -- Johnny Rich Kid and siblings gets snowboard and gear, a season pass, a new console - elite version - for the entertainment centers in their bedrooms,  5 best selling games to match, and a crap ton of designer clothing. Danny Dad Works The Night Shift gets 1 new game and a console for the whole family, some socks and a sled, but that's okay because hey, sleds are cool.

But that's the kids. Me? Presents? Ack! No, anything. Ask me to do anything, but do not ask me to find meaningful gifts my family will cherish every. single. year. Inevitably, I fail. There's so much pressure! Even if I had deeper pockets than I do, I can't do it. I. Just. Can't give the perfect gift.
 Get your child the best gizmo! And the gizmo games! Do something big - buy your husband a new toolbox, with all the tools, in a new workshop. Give the gift of diamonds. Spend more money than you actually have because if you don't, you're admitting you're you know... economically challenged (to be fair, being economically challenged is very 2011, and is rumored to remain the smokin' hot trend of 2012...).

The entire point of 2012 for my "economically challenged"  and so-smokin-hot-trending-2012 family is to become less 'stuff' oriented. Christmas defeats that entire purpose. It's the time of year when you buy a bunch of random stuff for people who only think they want it. Inevitably, one or two gifts are used, kept and loved and the rest become destined for basements, yard sales and re-gifts. Then, of course, there's the silent disappointment - oh, is this what you got me? Do you even you know, know me?

So here's to the Day After Christmas Day.
My favoritest day of the year.
The day where everyone is chill, the kids aren't yet bored by all their loot and the brand-spankin' New Year hangs over us all, about to come in all blinged out and optimistic, where the only thing you need to buy is some good wine and Chinese take-out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

That pretty much sums up today.

I have two weeks off. In the Corporate World, that means I'm a programmer, software engineer, or work somewhere else in tech where the idea of working the weeks between Christmas and New Year's Eve is so mind-boggling awful, they shut down and send everyone home. And mostly don't pay them. 

In the world of education, it's just you know, Winter Break.

I'm on Winter Break.


In celebration of Winter Break, I did every conceivable chore I need to do before I go back to work next year. All in one day: Bills, paid. Christmas presents, mostly bought. Appointments for everyone for eyes, teeth and whatever else, made. (Oh crap, I forgot the cats!!! They'll be February)  I spent today doing all the stupid, annoying things that I never actually have time to do any other time of... well... any other time at all.

So now I can goof off and write. quilt. swim. bake. run (after eating the baked things).

I'm soo excited.
I'm so excited, that on this cold, snowish Monday, I dug out the fine paper plates and gourmet Campbells, and made some awesome Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup for dinner.  

Woo hoo!

Happy Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Monday.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bizarro Lisa

I changed my twitter name to BizarroLisa. How cool is that?
It's because I have two twitter feeds, and it has been annoying my friends, all five of them, that follow me... 'who will you choose, will it be you, or bizarrolisa?' and that is awesome.

This by the way, is yet ANOTHER attempt to kick start my writing :)

I've got a cool job I love now, so yeah. Totes to me!

I'm sending my baby out to be published, the one I've spent so much time on, that's been done for a year and a half, but that I never bothered sending out. TROLLS!

There are those who know me who feel the only way to move on with writing is to send that one piece out.
Next up: do I do demons, biological metamorphis' or crazy teen angst?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Did I mention, I'm a runner? and my new fave drink

Three miles every other day! Woot.
I've completed the couch to 5K and now I'm just running every other day. Next month, I plan to add 5 minutes to my daily 30 minute run. I want it to get up to 45 minutes of running.

Lost a few pounds. Lost a few inches.
Feel stronger, better :).

Also, if you have never blended coconut water with some frozen berries, than you have never truly had a refreshing drink.


Seriously. Try it.

11 oz. of coconut water
2-3 frozen pineapple chunks
2-3 frozen berries


Careful you don't make it too thick.
It is more refreshing than ice cream. Than frozen yogurt. Than heavy milk or soy-based smoothies.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick update and Battle of the Content management systems

I've got WordPress.
I've got Blogger.
Now, I've got a Google Site.

I just can't make up my mind!

I think I'll be spending the next month working this out.

Quick update: still here, still carrying on.

June accomplishments: Finished the Couch to 5K, can now run 3 miles in 30 minutes, and do so about every other day. Garden is blooming like crazy. Still missing: job. Will find, now that I can run three miles and have become quite the proficient gardener, the only thing left undone is the job, which is still in progress... waiting, waiting...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Vegebaconarism, Day 3

Still going in there!

We made it through Day 2, despite a late-night crisis revolving around Husbear's belief that there is an actual, super-secret special Healthy Man Food that doesn't involve brown rice, celery, veggies or other normal healthy food.

This resulted in a trip to the grocery store at quarter to nine at night to discover that, no, health food is health food, and there's no secret, yummy tasting man health food.

We left with ingredients amazingly similar to the ones we already have in the refrigerator: celery, lettuce, cucumbers...

Yesterday was a yummy bagel breakfast, a Greek luncheon platter of cheese, olives and tomatoes with an olive dressing and crusty bread, and dinner was tuna skewers. Yep, Tuna. It isn't bacon, but I made an allowance.

Today, we did have bacon, lunch was a BLT sandwhich, and Hungry Husbear only had one sandwhich today, since two is ridiculously fattening and defeats the entire purpose of trying to lose weight/eat healthy, and so filled up on a salad with veggies.

Dinner is a treat for tonight: Taco Pizza, ala The Pioneer Woman. Wednesday is mid-week, and so it's really important that everyone go to bed happy tonight, because tomorrow's dinner is Risotto... just sayin'!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Vegebaconarian week

Have I mentioned this yet?

The whole family is going meatless for a week, with the exception of bacon.

Left the bacon in to reinforce the 'I promise I'm not trying to make everyone vegetarian' notions.

The idea is to learn to enjoy other flavors besides meat, and to discover recipes we can eat so that not every night is a meat night.

I'll let you know how it goes, with pictures!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Cool weather crops ripe for picking, and I totally rock the Couch to 5K

This is going to be mostly about my garden. Just warning you. If you're not really interested in gardens, could care less about turnip greens, and don't like long-winded explanations about how a garden grows, then just click away :).

Although, I am starting Week 7 of Couch to 5K on Monday, yep, WEEK 7! And I still don't have a job, which kinda sucks, but I got some good advice, made some changes to my res and CV and got a couple of leads, nothing hot to trot, but leads lead somewhere... which is why they call them leads... and it goes with my motto, if you follow a path, you'll get somewhere. And it's true.. for instance, if my garden is a path, look where it's led me, not only to a bountiful spring harvest of cool lettuces, radishes and other greens, but to a new appreciation of fresh greens... I've been devouring chard, turnip greens and spinach all month for lunches. And if the Couch to 5K is a path, it's gotten me from not running at all since I first moved here, to running for 25 minutes straight without a break (that's Week 7!!) and to 3 miles in Week 9. So the job path, it's a bit longer, but I've already learned tons of stuff about me, about what I want to do, and about how perseverance is essential. Not all paths are short, or easy, but it's not about the end of the path, it's about what you do while you're on the path.

And now, it's the beginning of summer, my spring crops are in, my summer crops are mostly planted and ready to fill the bare spots when the spring crops are done, and I can run a goodly distance!  

All my spring weather crops are in and mostly being happily harvested. See those tall shoots reaching for the sky? Garlic! Can't wait! I love fresh garlic. When I prepare the garden for winter, I'll plant more along the sides. I want enough garlic to braid next year.

This photo isn't that great. I discovered after I took all the photos, I had them on the super close up setting. That's why the cilantro is so in focus.

I have a mini-field of cilantro. We eat it THAT much. When my tomatillos and peppers come in, I will be making my homemade salsa verde with the cilantro, tomatillos and peppers, and lime. I need to figure out how to grow a lime tree in Colorado. Maybe I could winter it indoors. Hmm. Guess what I'm going to google after! I already googled Kholabri. 

This is one of my tomato plants. It's in a bit of a sad state, so I'm concerned. But so far it's holding up. The problem is after I planted it, we had a cold front come in. We didn't get below freezing, but I think the cold weather may have stunted its growth.

I love chard.

I planted bright lights. I love the variety of colors that particular chard has. I also planted green chard, and out back on my patio, ruby red. See this chard? See how cute it is? I've already been harvesting baby leaves. I can't help it. Fresh chard is one of my favorite greens.

Field of Romaine. I planted some spicy salad mix on my patio, too, but this is for the non-adventurous eaters in my family, mainly everyone except me and Turbo. Turbo is my mini-soul mate. He's my running partner, my gardening cohort -- he's growing his own eggplant out back -- my yoga-buddy and my mini-BFF. He eats radishes with me. His brother, Bear, is adorable, and my baby, but he hates gardening, can't stand running and gets bored with yoga... so we bond in other ways. He's an artist, so as long as he's got art supplies he's happy. Turbo, though, genuinely shares the same interests as me. Right now Bear is leaning against me cuddling and fiddling with his skeleton ring that he picked out of the 25 cent toy machines at the Safeway. I told him it would turn his finger green, and after, his finger would fall off, but he is still wearing it.  

See all those blurry carrot tops? Can't wait to harvest these! I got bunches of multi-color carrots... white, purple, orange... I thought it'd be fun for the kids to help pick them when they are ready. Last time I did carrots, nothing happened, so this time I made hills. See, what happened last time is I planted them, forgot where I planted them, then all these crazy tops appeared way late, and around November i pulled one and found all my carrots, too large to eat. Oops.

This is my strawberry plant, from last year, at least. Aren't those some crazy large leaves?

I can't wait til these babies ripen. I only have two strawberry plants.  One of the peeps in my hood has a bed which is half strawberries. I suspect it's an abandoned garden bed, so will probably snag some of those strawberries. I refuse to have more than two strawberry plants though. They spread like crazy! If I had a third bed, I'd probably do strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. But three beds is a bit excessive. I'd feel like I was hogging a chunk of the community garden...

I love our community garden. I love that I look out my window, and see the garden. I love they are making a better fence to help the garden look better -- right now it's surrounded by chicken wire. I love that most of the beds are taken, and being used. I love that empty ones eventually get cleaned out and suddenly, used by people who have a spare plant or three they can't fit in their garden.

Not that I'm keeping an eye on any of the abandoned plots. No sirreeee. I wouldn't want to be greedy.

My green beans are probably done for, but these sugar snap peas are happy sugar snap peas.  I didn't thin them out, but they are still doing fine, so I'm excited. I love fresh snap peas, but never buy them at the grocery store. This was this year's garden treat. 

This is the treasure of my garden. Turnips! I love turnips. I really do. I love them mashed. I love them roasted. I love them lots. And, after reading some stuff about how you should eat turnip greens, I love turnip greens. I love turnip greens so much, I planted a variety of turnip grown specifically for the greens. I haven't harvested any of the actual turnips yet, but I'm so excited. I am sure they will be ready soon, maybe another two weeks, at most. Most of the seeds took, and I was really bummed about having to thin them out, but I ate the greens so it wasn't all a loss!

Turnip greens are packed with nutrients. You should eat them. This one has holes in them. Aphids. I've got a pocketful of ladybugs that'll solve that problem... well, I will... soon.

This is the other end of the garden. Radishes and carrot tops galore. There are some onions in the middle, and my poor ridiculous green beans. Next year, I won't transplant them, and next year I'll buy those nitrate packs they sell at the garden shop to help green beans. I've got some squashes sprouting up, which is exciting, because I love squashes. Mostly, I love how they start out ridiculously teeny and you think, I've totally got room for like, six, and then realize your garden can only fit three because my August they have overtaken everything. See those radishes and carrots? They will be harvested just in time for the squashes to overtake everything. Oh, and those leafy things? Celery. I'm a bit nervous about the celery, but Bear wanted to grow celery and I was so excited that he showed an interest, I got him some celery. He has not been in the garden to see how the celery is doing, but I'm sure when we harvest it he'll claim it's all his.

So that's the spring garden. It's just totally rocking. Along with my running. And the best thing about the garden is now most of my lunches are ridiculously healthy. And my breakfast. Nothing beats an egg with greens and radishes for breakfast. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Week 5 Couch to 5K!!

Okay, it's really coming along.

Today, even though it was cold and rainy and I have to run by my neighbor's house on my route, and I know she's home, and fully stocked up on chai tea, and all I ever have to do is knock and look pathetically deprived of a good cup of tea, which is easy for me, I didn't.

I ran through the cold misty rain and completed Week 5, Day 1.

The most motivating part of the run was the older woman with pure white hair that sprinted past me with these huge, gazelle-like steps with no noticeable breathing issues while I was hunched up in a ball running and gasping slightly for some air.

I saw her and did that thing where you pretend you're not really about to fall over into the grass and roll into the creek because you have no stamina, and I stretched up real tall, well, for as tall as I could manage, held my breath, and took five long(ish) gazelle-like strides until she was past me.  I figure, if I keep this up, then in 10 years or so, I'll be able to run with gazelle-like strides, too!

The best part is now that I have the stamina to do this, ie., I can walk after I complete the run, I am now eating healthier too. Especially breakfast and lunch.

Lunch I love though, because I just walk on over to my garden, pick some spinach leaves, turnip greens and radishes, and make myself a nice salad topped with an egg. I am a huge fan of eggs lately. Easy protein. My current dream is to have my own urban chicken coop.

Yes. I said turnip greens.
I was meh on them, but check out their nutritional value!

Later this week, I'll have some awesome pics of my garden. To be honest, I haven't been posting pictures because I lost the do-hickey that lets me upload pictures directly from the camera. Sad, I know. But I found it!

So the garden pics are coming!  It's doing really well! The beans, alas, are not doing well. Nor the cucumbers. But everything else! Turnips! Spinach! Radishes! Lettuce! Swiss Chard! Peas! Cilantro! It's crazy good happy spring garden!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I love it when friends visit

We have had a couple of friends drop their bags here now and again, passing through here to somewhere...  and this past couple of days, we got a visit from some Seattle weather and a good friend from Seattle. He left the weather on his way to Wyoming, for which we thank him, because rarely do we get rainy days out here... and a belated apology for sticking him in the 7-year-old boy room with robots on the wall, but hey, it's a full bed...

He's just been laid off along with just about everyone else at SOE (Okay, not EVERYONE) and is taking some time to figure out, really, is games where it's at? Which seems to be the question Husbear and I were faced with. We have already come up with an answer to that, but our friend seems to be still in the exploratory stages of '...maybe I can do something else...'

But while he was here, shooting the shit with Husbear, talking about cars. He spent some time working in Detroit, land of cars. We talked some more about cars, some more cars, and cars, and while all that car yakkity-yak was going on, we introduced him to some of Colorado's finest offerings and he talked about what he could do, might do, should do and wants to do.

Turns out, there just comes a point when you think, wow, there's got to be more than what i just left... there is. There's always more. It's just having the perseverance and the courage to go after the 'more' rather than settling for the 'what i just left.'

So I hope he finds his way into either a brewery, or the automotive industry, because those are, from the brief visit, two real passions of his.

I should send him to her, the brazen careerist, because if anyone is in the place to leap and start their own business, it's him.

But now he's off, exploring Wyoming, life at higher altitudes, and the rest of his life, it's time for us to hunker back down and get on with the business of getting on with our own lives.

Husbear and I are still going after 'something more than what we had' because frankly, what we had was kinda crap, and what we're going after is pretty awesome.

We just need perseverance. And possibly an ocean. That would be nice. It's a stretch, but it would be nice.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The tooth fairy is not dependable

The tooth fairy has been flaky lately.

It's not her fault, really.

What with the dodgy reporting habits of boys who occasionally forget to inform the tooth fairy that they lost a tooth, or forget to put their tooth under their pillow, or worse, put their tooth under their pillow two days after losing it, and neglect to inform the tooth fairy, is it really her fault that occasionally, what with all the tooth losing in this house, that she forgets or doesn't know to replace the tooth?

And then there's the teeth that get lost! How is she supposed to use her magic to, as Turbo Boy explains, wave her wand and turn the tooth into money, if the tooth goes missing?

Why, mom, why did the tooth fairy not come?
Why did she forget?
How come she came so late in the morning? After we were all up?

These are hard questions.
And the answers even more difficult. For the boys didn't know that there were rules with the tooth fairy, that they can't just PUT a tooth under their pillow and MAGICALLY expect a magical creature to magically know it's there.
But she's magic?
Well yes, but there's soooooo many kids losing teeth this time of year.....
(Yes, it sounds weak even to me, but I was desperate)

See, it's not so much me or the tooth fairy. It's the boys. When they first started losing teeth, they thought it was so cool, they didn't want to give the teeth to the tooth fairy. Now, they think money is cool. But I missed the memo on 'what's cool' -- money and 'what's not' -- collections of baby teeth.

But in the end, now that the boys understand the magical rules of the magical tooth fairy, she rarely misses a tooth.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Just some thoughts

So I've been doing this couch to 5K thing. I think it's part of my personality make up. If things seem out of my control, I take stock of things I can control, and then focus a lot of energy on doing that. Oh, and I really want to lose some buh-ooty.

Week 3, Day 1 of this program just about kicked my butt, but I'm glad I did it today instead of postponing it until tomorrow.

My waist is already down a couple of inches, and I can do the full program without cheating! It reminds me how much I enjoy jogging and being physical. Who knows, after this, maybe I'll spring out some kart-wheels...

But it also helps me clear my head, and move forward with other projects and plans that have been put on the back-burner, for far too long. Running, exercising, just being physical has a strong effect on my thinking. Now, I can't fathom missing a run. I have to have my 40 minutes of running and walking! I have to have my outdoor time. If I don't, I get grumpy and restless. If I do it, I am clearer, focused, more set and determined on whatever path I'm following. What became a goal to keep me focused during this unfocused time, is now a necessity.

I'd really like to dictate the time, circumstances and place of my next place of work, but since I can not do that, I can do what I can do, and when I've done that, live my life.

So to that end, I'm practicing agent cover letters for my first unpublished novel. Mostly it's to go through the exercise, but also, because if anyone is a bad judge of their work, surely it's the writer who wrote it! But while I do that, I'll continue on my second novel, of which already has a beginning, middle and an end, it's just not written ;).

I don't know my future, I can't pick up a crystal ball and visualize it in it's entirety, but I do know that I'm headed in the right direction finally, and not just me, but Husbear as well. What we're doing, it's changing our future by making hard decisions now. By refusing to do the easy, well-trodden path. It's scary, it's exhilarating, it's nerve-wracking, it's hard. But the struggles of today pave the success of tomorrow.

So here's to tomorrow!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Thursday before the Friday

Can you feel it?

The frost... it's... gone. For good. And won't be coming back til Fall. I feel it.

Spring is truly here, finally!

For some parts of the country it probably feels like summer, but for us? It's all spring! I can bring my crazy tall green beans outside and plant them. I can put squash in the ground, and hope my loofah growing experiment goes well.

Today I discussed with HusBear the paths we should take. I'lll take the high road, you'll take the low road...

Listen to it, you should, really... I'll be in Scotland afore ye...

Right. So while I'm here on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond... we sat out with our iced tea and Azure Blue skies, and just had a nice afternoon in the sunshine, talking.

The conclusion we came to, is, retirement is gonna be a lot of fun.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Lickety Lime or Zombie Green?

I have a nail thing.

I love nails that are polished, and even better, neatly manicured and polished.
Neatly manicured and polished nails do not, and have rarely ever described my nails. I don't have the patience to wait for nail polish to dry, and even if I did, I don't have enough nails for the polish, since I bite them so far down the nail bed I can't even get clippers underneath them.

The only time my nails could be described as manicured and polished was when I was pregnant with my first-born, 20 pounds heavier than I'd ever been in my life, and high on pregnancy supplements that had the lovely effect of giving me strong, fast-growing nails. Such beautiful long nails never before seen on my hands! Then Drama Girl was born, and the brief glory period of my nails ended.

So after my neighbor showed off her shellac'd nails, looking all posh and cute and well, polished, I thought, hmm, neato.

Then I found myself at one of those end shelves at Target staring at Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry nail polish.

And saw a bottle of Lickety Split Lime. The image doesn't do it justice. It's spring! it's lime! It's lime spring! It's lickety split springtime in a bottle! It's happiness incarnate, as far as nail colors go. And who knew, you could buy nail polish on Amazon?

This is the color of my nail polish. 
The refreshing citrus zing is how it makes me feel. Does this look like Zombie food to you?

And it's only one coating needed, insta dry!

Then. Out in the Garden, with Posh Shellac Nail Chic:
Why do you have zombie green nails?
They are not zombie green, they are Lickety Split Lime! A bright, spring, sunshine-y color of joy!
Looks like zombie green to me.
What do you know?

In the house... what do you think of these nails dear Drama Girl?
Reminds me of Zombies.
Zombies? Cool! Oh totally, it's like, zombie green mom, says Turbo.

Yeah. That's so cool... then Turbo starts kinda drooling at the bottle, because zombie green to a 7 year old means something, man...

It's... it's Lickety...
Zombies, Mom, it's Zombie Green.

Fine. I like Zombie Green. Zombie Green reminds me of spring and makes me happy.
I like it too mom! says Bear and Turbo in unision.
It's kinda creepy, says Drama Girl.
It's  braaaainnnnssss....

It's a powerful lesson on perspective really.

One person's lemon is another's lemonade.
One person's junk is another man's treasure.
One gal's Zombie Green is another's Lickety Split Lime of Happy.

It's all in how you see it.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


I Still don't believe it.

My weather forecast says cloudy and does not mention snow, however, this may be April saying, yo, hey, it can totally still snow in April, even sometimes, in May...

We'll see.

But that means I can't put my beanstalk out, the one I'm growing so I can climb into the clouds and steal a Golden Egg. This one:


It is totally exactly the same as the one I have in my windowsill waiting to be planted.

I'd take a picture of that one, but I lost my camera card. 

This is why gardeners in Colorado don't plant anything that says 'wait til last frost' until Mother's Day, just to be safe.

Climbing the beanstalk is partly why I'm doing the Couch to 5K. Once I get to the top, I'll have to run away from the big mean giant, and I can't really do that if I can't run a block.

So it's the end of Week 2 of the Couch to 5K, and I've faithfully run/walked three miles, for 30 minutes: 15 running and 15 walking, alternately every 2 minutes. I had to jump ahead because I'm using my iPhone clock as a timer since Turbo stole my running watch and neither he, Bear nor myself can find it, and that timer doesn't have a 90 second option, just minutes. 

In other news, there is no other news. I blew off yesterday's networking meeting because I just wasn't up to it, because the secret of networking is based on building relationships, not just attending events, and while this group does help build relationships, I haven't really found the right mix for me, and trying to build relationships while you're trying to redefine just about everything you've ever believed about work and career and home life, is a bit exhausting. So I'll pop in next week, hopefully with a better definition.

Also, yesterday was gorgeous, so Husbear and I popped out to Home Depot and lunch. This, I have to admit, is a nice thing. I'm beginning to see my husband again. Anyone who's ever been married to someone who was solely defined by work will understand what I mean, because being married to a job is really crappy, because jobs as personality goes aren't exactly nurturing, loving, or fun. And people who are their job tend to not be happy. Do I need to quote more happiness data?  So everyone should endeavor to be anything but their job. Of course, we all need jobs, because doing something every day is good for us, just as long as you remember that hey, it's just a job.

I think kids are the best barometer for this. Watch how kids play. I'm looking at my kids now, and yesterday's school day is a distant memory. They are engaged in the moment right now. We should all play like children!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April showers bring May flowers, the theory

I like to think that all the job seeds I've planted and have been nurturing will explode in May, sort of like those turnip seeds I planted. I went out to check my garden and they are just everywhere. I've thinned most of them out, and learned to trust that seeds, when planted, want to grow, and will overcome most normal garden challenges to grow, and despite all concern and worry on my part, most will sprout and burst through the ground suddenly, creating a layer of green buds across the soil. It makes me giddy.

I think of my job search like that, and it sets me off on the right mood to go on with the day.

I have a new policy for my search, because two months in I'm seeing how easy it is to let the search become stagnant, which makes me feel stagnant, which drags me back to the days when I stayed home and watched the kids and hung out at the parks and reservoirs and such, which sounds nice, and then I think, oh I should do that... and then I realize I'm only saying that because the job search is stagnant, and then I drink some coffee and analyze the situation.

I came up with a new idea that isn't new or original, but hey, what idea is new or original?

Every week, I do something new. This week, it was go check out every good job-guide book from the library, re-do every cover letter to make it more impactful, change my resume to highlight skills over titles, and my most favorite, to start seeking out jobs in the industry and career I actually want to be in. I took the husband to the library... BOOKS! all the books!! -- I can assure you the career section is now mostly empty, except perhaps for the career books from 1983. They really aren't going to be helping anyone anytime soon.

This one is a big one. I'll go into it some other day, but one of my minor regrets (I don't believe in regrets, because the things you regret are the things that often teach you the most) is not pursuing the industry and job titles I really want in exchange for the easy-to-get job.  It's probably the biggest change I made, and I'm hoping it will pay off.

April, now that we're at the end of it, has also brought some serious spring fever to the children in the house. Bear, in particular, can barely make it through a day at school without some sort of attack of spring fever affecting his mood and behavior. They are all up earlier, more energetic and filled with a longing for summer. Kids are a great reminder that life is more than just work. Kids excel at balancing work and play. The moment that school bell rings, they've forgotten they've just spent a full day working, and with full abandon, run off and play. More adults should be like that.

It's the sun and weather, though, that are making them so well, springy. They only have 4 weeks left of school and they know it. Homework is lagging, kids are staring out the window and when the bell rings they are gone. I remember these last days of school during the school year -- that happy place of daydreaming in math and running across green fields and feeling giddy at the first warm, not rainy-wet day -- nothing beats it. **Unless you live in a place where it's really hot, then I imagine every day is like this, except maybe January**

Ah as April ends, May should be a blooming month full of goody jobs, or turnips. For certain, radishes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Two months in and still going

During the past two months of my job search/not-working/alligator-wrestling/fairy hunting, I discovered a few things I think would be worth sharing:

I love being outside. I'm giddy about my garden, the Couch-to-5K program I started on, and my new love of my rollerblades, which I'd be on today if it weren't for the rain thing going on outside my house right now.

The best job hunting and career advice can be found from this blogger, who has the added benefit of not being a professional career advisor/job hunter. Reading this blog has helped me create the most effective CVs and Resumes, and her blurbs on people finally making it are really inspirational. So much of job advice and career advice is a series of All The Things you Must Do that you're Not Doing and Your Life  Must Be About this Search. Which is untrue, unwise, and soul-crushing. Especially if you do not want to be your job.

I love Pocky, but not the creepy, weird cheesecake flavored Pocky.

I stole this directly from the Asian Food Grocer's website:

Pocky Sticks and Pretz

Pocky is a delicious, fun biscuit dessert from Japan. The name "Pocky" is derived from the sound that this crispy snack makes when eaten. At Asian Food Grocer, shop the many varieties of delectable Pocky treats from traditional favorites like Strawberry and Chocolate to more unusual flavors such as Chocolate coverd Coconut. Not only are Pocky sticks covered in a diverse assortment of frostings, but they also come in a broad array of styles and shapes. Give Glico's Pocky bits a try for a fun twist on an original favorite. For a more grown up taste, try Pretz - the same mouthwatering Pocky without the sweet outer frosting.
Satisfy your sweet tooth, check out more of our Japanese Snacks & Candies.

Penelope Trunk says you should never be your job, too. I agree with her. The best keep-it-real advice comes from this woman. She's funny, and does a great job reminding people that hey, your life is your life and you shouldn't stress because you try new things with your career and you don't care about moving constantly upward. I don't care about moving constantly upward. I care about being in a job where I love what I'm doing, can advance should I choose to do so without bumping into a ridiculously low advancement ceiling, and working with a good team.  I need to take care of my career path, not follow an archaic set-path.

The best way to get what you want in life is to be who you are, do what you must do as yourself, to get what it is you want, to have the things you need to have to be happy. This from Gawain's popular book on Creative Visualization. Even if you don't buy the theory, you can't argue with the truth of the statement. Most people do this backwards, they try to make a lot of money, or do a bunch of things that go contrary to their nature/who they are in order to get the things they want, so they can be happy. So what you have is a lot of people working very hard at things they don't enjoy, because they aren't looking at who they are, doing things that fit with who they are, to get the things that will really make them happy.

This is why, despite my complete lack of employment, I spend so much time writing about my garden. I love gardening. It started when I was really young, trying to grow a rubber plant in my dorm room when I was in the military, to my attempts at container gardening in my apartment in Virginia, to the awesome garden I left behind in Washington, to today, in my community garden plot conveniently located right across the street, the view from my side-windows. It's also why I write about Pocky, Children, Writing, and my constant attempts to become an Avid Runner. It's also why I spend so much time reading the Pioneer Woman. For the longest time, I thought I was the only one who entertained the fantasy of living a life on a cattle ranch blogging about gardens, photography and children. Then I checked her comments page.

If I were an Avid Runner, I would have been able to apply to a job at a company where that was one of the qualifications. However, everyone I spoke with agreed I was not an avid runner, but given some time and effort, I could become one.

There are entire studies on "happy" and they all point to the same thing: stuff, money and jobs do not for happy make. The How of Happiness pretty much tells you how to be happy, but if you're not pre-disposed to being happy, it'll require work. People mix up jobs and happy all the time. It's what helps people be unhappy, this belief that the right job will make them happy. A good job you enjoy will help your happiness, but won't make or break it. That's why instead of being unhappy while looking for work, I'm only mildly stressed and panicky.

Pocky doesn't just come in chocolate, it comes in a bajillion other flavors! This makes me happy, because you can only eat so many chocolate-covered biscuits.

And those are the few things I've learned so far.

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where'd this come from!

Here I was minding my own business dealing with my least favorite thing of all time, job hunting/alligator wrestling/lion taming, when I stepped on the scale, and saw the number had increased.

By five!

Now, this isn't a huge deal, except maybe that I was well on my way toward losing (thinking about losing) ten!

So that was not fun, and led me to decide that yogurt breakfasts and salad lunches are pretty much going to be the standard until I get down ten pounds.

With some slight deviations to account for Pocky. Be sure to spell it Pocky, if you're googling it, and not pokie or pockie. Two completely different sets of results, trust me.

Pocky is this Japanese biscuit-treat dipped in chocolate, and now that I've found it, I just can't let it go. Look, you can buy some here. Or you can just go to Sunflower Markets. Or Safeway, really. But with only 90 calories, I'm justifying it.

Except the salad flavor ones. Not really sure how those are appetizing.

And really, I don't know if I wanted to share my new weight loss plan, or just talk about pocky, because I ate all the almond chocolate pocky and am resisting the chocolate ones.

Or maybe I'm just procrastinating life, and pocky is the means by which to do it.
Because if you're going to procrastinate, you might as well enjoy some pocky, while you're at it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gardening and hunting

It’s early spring, and I’ve got my plants started indoors. Zone 5 means you really should start seeds indoors, or risk losing them to the mid-April, end-April and early May snows that rarely fail.
See, here are my happy seedlings.

They only took up one windowsill, yes, they, there are more trays than just the one above. But I had to put some of the seedlings in bigger pots. So now this other kitchen windowsill is taken up to.

These are ready for the garden.

Of course, I’m not really gardening. What I’m doing is looking for a job. Only, I love gardening, and my seedlings needed to be put in bigger pots, which reminded me, I need to sort the flowers for my sons planter. And anyhow, the past two days haven’t been really great job hunting days for me. So I pulled out his planter and set it up for him.

Turbo built this ALL by HIMSELF. Hammer, nails, yep, all of it. Painted it too, each color represnets a crop! Turns out Home Depot has a kid workshop on the first Saturday of every month. Everyone knows this, of course, except me. I only sorta knew it, in the way that there were signs out occasionally and on some Saturdays, I noticed kids in little Home Depot aprons with pins stuck to their chests like medals wandering around. But I mostly ignored it, until a friend of my son’s ran up to him and showed him the planter he made.

So now my son has a Home Depot apron with his very first pin: the planter pin, and I have instructions to make sure I take him to Home Depot every first Saturday of every first month.
The liner in the planter is coconut liner cut to fit. I never knew planters were often lined with coconut hair.

So of course, I’m looking for a job, but first I had to garden. Then I had to take pictures so I could share them.  Then I had to make sure everything was ready for my boy to plant his flower seeds tonight.
He already has some flower seedlings and eggplant seedlings. But for his planter he wants flowers. 

Also, he and I are  the only ones who’ll eat the eggplant he’s growing. No one else will touch the stuff.

And now I’ll commence job hunting. I’m not sure if you can accurately call it ‘hunting’ however. It resembles more of a casino visit. If you hang around long enough, and wander around enough of the games, and play enough of them, then eventually, you’ll win something.

But no one ever admits that. Everyone talks about targeting your search or networking (yes, I realize that's an e-how article, that's the thing, the only people who know how to network don't actually need to network... ah, cruel irony) or guerilla hunting (It has a certain appeal, the same kind of appeal that say, alligator wrestling has...). But really, it’s doing a bit of everything, tossing some salt over your shoulder and considering that maybe a career in retail isn't all that bad... until you land somewhere.

And since, my friends tell me, I am SO MUCH MORE than just a job, I am doing my best to maintain all the other parts of my life that while I enjoy, don’t actually provide income. Vegetables and herbs, perhaps, but not actual income.

Speaking of vegetables, here’s my garden bed:

And look, radishes!  And a pea!

And daisies (I think)!

And my friend’s garlic. Really, that seems to me an excessive amount of garlic. Makes me wish I’d thought to put garlic in the ground last year.  

And so that's how my job hunt is going. 

Some peas and radishes sprouting, a bit of luck, some fertilizer, a targeted cover letter and resume, and hopefully, in May, I can have a yummy salad with a side of salary.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Early Spring

Is it still early spring?

It feels like it. I see tree buds ready to blossom and my seedlings are just beginning to emerge. I've got some late spring transplants happily growing indoors waiting for the end of the month when I place them in the garden.

I was going to take pictures of the start of my garden. I love taking pictures of the garden throughout the growing season to see how it starts, all neat, tidy and almost empty, through the end of the season when everything has grown in full and takes up all the space in the garden, however, I forgot to charge my camera battery.


So there's no pictures.
But I assure you, the spring garden is sown, the seedlings developing lovely, and I'm hoping there's no sneaky frost coming before May, because some of these babies need to get into the ground soon!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Garden time -- but first a digression

This weekend I'll posts some pics of my newly planted garden.

I only planted early spring crops, because we're not past the frost date. I did have some success with seedlings I planted inside, and yep, I'll have pics of those too!

But today I had the weirdest morning ever.
I've been kinda in a reflectory mood lately (reflectory may not be a word, but it should be) and have been thinking about how to structure my days, how to create a plan moving forward, and how to hunker down and prepare for the ups and downs I'm going to end up going through, it's just how it is.

My biggest thing is my weekly networking group meeting which I have a love-hate relationship with.

I love this group, I really do, but I'm not quite sure how to actually truly be a part of it. They are a pay-it-forward group, which is great, and they do help, all you have to do is ask. The trick is, being specific about what you're asking for, and I'm not good at this. It's so... forward.... and direct... but it's key to the success and the entire point of the group. You ask, you receive, someone else asks, and one day, you can help. I'm a forward and direct person, I am even a pay-it-forward person -- but not when it comes to just me... I figure I should do things on my own, without help. I'll go do it, fix it, solve it... but that's not the point anymore.

So while I love the group, I alternately dread it, (see, me as an introvert) because it requires me to step out and do all the things I hate doing. Mainly, putting myself forward, being very specific and asking total strangers to help me out on all those tricky things... contacts, resume reading, how to handle situations, mock interviews... etc etc.

Igads. So this morning's meeting is done, and I have a couple of things to do, that bring me waaay out of my comfort zone, but must be done. And for some people, these things are ridiculously easy, and they think, what is your problem? I wish I was one of those people! Igads!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

Today's little affirmation.

I don't handle things that exist outside of my control well, and when life gets a little out of control, some people batten down the hatches, grab their stash of library books, comfort foods and a blanket and hide out until some friendly soul practically beats down their door to let them know it's all right, it's over.

Not me.

No. I grab large rations of coffee, put on my beat something up gear (metaphorical, I don't really own beat up people gear) a rain poncho (because if my life is out of control, the weather's probably crappy, too) and whatever weaponry I feel I might need (metaphorical again, the closest thing I own to a weapon is my tween daughter's attitude).

Then I go looking for the thing in my life that is not being controlled by me, the person who SHOULD be controlling it and I don't care if there are things that exist out of my control, if there are, I will find a way to contain it, explain it, put it in a place where I can you know, control it somehow, even if by avoiding it... forever.

And all I have found currently, is that it is raining (literally, now), I haven't gotten things under control, and my plan isn't going as well-orchestrated as I had hoped.

So all I can do, to borrow a phrase I saw at Target, cuz it's AWESOME.


Keep Calm and Carry On.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

This little boy, eternally 13

There was this little boy, who was only 13, who decided, for whatever reason, for whatever pain, that enough was enough and he couldn't take whatever it was, anymore.

He killed himself the last day of school before Spring vacation. 13. He would have been 14 in May, but now, he is eternally 13.

Now, there are only 200 kids or so in Drama Girl's 8th grade class, so she knows him but she wasn't a close friend, just an acquaintance. She said Monday, at school, will be really hard. There will be an assembly. There will be counselors. There will be tears. There will be kids who are confused, kids who are devastated and kids who don't know what they should feel because they didn't know him, but for some reason, are still feeling like they did.

Suicide is such a harsh word. Killed himself. Took his own life. Whatever or however you phrase it, I wish there was a less harsh way to convey that there was something in him he couldn't reconcile with. At 13. And the people around him couldn't reach him, couldn't reach through this barrier... whether it was grief, depression, anger... it all reads as a barrier of pain and for some reason that barrier was too much.

And now a little boy is lost.

I can tell you he has a baby face.
I can tell you he looks happy in the picture they chose.
I can tell you he had friends.
I can tell you a bunch about him that is the stuff of typical 13 year old boys.

I can tell you I look at my girl, who's 14, with a baby face, and her 14 year old girlfriends, with their baby faces, and the 14 year old boys she hangs out with, and I can't imagine that any one of them would be lost that way.

The truth is, we cannot imagine that someone so young would be in so much emotional pain that it would drive them to act in such a final way.

And then I look at the picture of that smiling boy, eternally 13, and I mourn for him.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

H&M... online in the U.S..... next year....

There's a lot of talk about this little Swedish shop that doesn't provide online shopping in the U.S. and only exists on the East and West coasts, and in Minnesota.  (Seriously, how do you miss out on the most consumer-obsessed nation in the world?)



Michelle Obama wore a $35 H&M dress.
Natalie Portman wore a $50 H&M dress.
Kate Middleton, who's marrying some prince or something, is said to shop H&M for some of her tops.

So what is the big deal? Why are we so excited about the fact that Natalie Portman and the First Lady, and the future Queen of England shops at H&M?

Because the clothes at H&M are affordable. Because most of the clothes that stars and celebrities and First Lady's and Queen's wear make them look amazing, and cost a lot of money, more money than most of us spend.

So if our fashion icons (all three are said to be stylish, sophisticated dressers) can wear outfits that cost less than $80, well, by golly, we can too! And... and maybe we'll even look as stylish and sophisticated!

But not yet.
Because I'm not anywhere near an H&M store.
But next year, when they pop up online in the U.S, I'll be as addicted as I am to BodenUSA.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So okay I'll write a post

My hoodie, DeNice, said she wished I'd write more in my blog.
I think she said it because I talk a lot about my blog, and about how I might write in it eventually, and she said, I wish you'd write in it.

So I'm going to write about my job search, and how my personality, INTJ, is directly at odds with the personality needed to do a successful job search, mainly the E part.

Oh, I can do the charts of jobs I applied to, track which resumes are getting pings and call-backs (keep those resumes, and apply to jobs of similar nature) and force myself to go out and talk to people I don't know because we all have to be nice and network.

But I'm an INTJ.

Which essentially means I like systems and processes and order and if those things are missing, I will create them. From scratch, enthusiastically. I'll hide myself away, come out occasionally to get information from other people, and then I will scurry back into my little world, and find solutions. That's me.

The other me likes to take something new, something shiny, an idea, and help it through to it's forever home, whether it's a product, a kid (still working on my three, they have some years left before they can fly away) or an idea.

I like to talk about both, systems and processes, and shiny new things.

Enter the screening call. I write good cover letters, well, I like to think I do, anyhow. I consider any cover letter that is accompanied by a call, a good cover letter.

So I get a screening call for a job I think I want at a company I've scouted out and done some research on, because I can't apply for a job unless I know who the company is, what the product is, and then, what other people think about said company and product. I like to be thorough. The person calls me.

Before the person calls me, I think, wow, I have to talk to someone, about a job that I want.

The thought makes me nervous because I'm an I, and not an E, and that pretty much sums that up, but it's not just the talking. I can talk. Anyone who knows me knows that talking isn't the problem. It's the stop-talking bit, and the interrupting-bit, and the nervous with strangers when I'm not the one in charge of the conversation bit. And the fact that I am fairly certain this would be a good company to work for, even if it's 40 minutes away and not a 9-5'er check-in/check-out job.

So I read that walking is good while doing a phone interview, because, well, I'm not sure why, but it's supposed to be good. But I forgot that I walk fast, and then realize I sound a bit too loud, a bit too short of oxygen, and I slow down. And in the end I think, wow, I totally blew that one.

But then the person who called said they'd schedule another phone interview.

I think, for that phone interview, I will pace slowly.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Date with Creativity

My personal theme for 2011 is Foundations, creating a life defined by me. Part of this is being more than someone who goes to work, comes home, puts dinner on the table and then collapses in front of crazy throw-back sci-fi shows from the early 90s, as enjoyable as that is. To accomplish this, it's important to ensure that when I do have time, I use it to do something I think is fun.

And so, Sunday, I worked on a little wreath project. I have a newly developed affection for wreaths. Drama girl made me a great fall/Thanksgiving wreath. For Christmas the year before last, I made a plaid holiday wreath.

What I was missing was a winter wreath.

I believe in having a wreath for all seasons. It's a new thing.

Yesterday, I dropped Turbo off at his birthday party, and hung out at Michael's.

The ingredients to my wreath.

I wanted it to reflect that beautiful cold, glittery winter, but also capture the hint of spring that we all look for sometimes on a really cold day.

I used a moist paper towel dipped in snow tac to make the wreath all snowed-on looking.

Then, I placed all the pieces on the wreath haphazardly, in a way I thought I might like.

It looks awful tacky. But it's a good start.

Less gaudy, still too much of everything. Nothing has been glued on or weaved into the wreath yet, so I can make lots of adjustments.

By the way, nothing beats a clearance sale at a craft store.

This is the outcome. I only used a 14"wreath because I knew I wanted to use a lot of sparkles, blues and silvers. It sits on my door very nicely. I love the red cardinals and butterflies.
It is a bit blingy, but in the cold days of winter, bling is good.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Coffee Table chat

Literally, a chat about coffee tables.

In a large living room, they are the centerpiece. The furniture your guests can put drinks on. The place to put pretty art books and cute candles. For those with children, the place children color (preferably coloring books and not the table), climb all over and generally help create the aged, distressed look so popular nowadays.

We had one of those. We still do, hiding out in the basement until we get have a living room large enough to contain it or children old enough to not destroy it. Coffee tables. Currently, we don't have one. We use an ottoman. This way, we don't have to get angry when the children sit on it.

This is our current coffee table.

(I'm not taking a picture of YOU honey, I'm taking a picture of the ottoman.)

Mother never lies.

But for real, are those not some of the scrawniest gangliest legs ever? I think that's all he is now, scrawny chicken leg boy. There really isn't much else to him. Just bones and knees and elbows.

Anyhow. It's not just an ottoman. It's an ottoman with Purpose.

We're big Mario fans in this household. Except Super Mario Galaxy. We find that one mostly frustrating. By We I mean my Turbo Boy. Not me. I have gotten to be quite an expert at catching the bunnies and star pieces...

Anyhoo. The point is, this is our coffee table/ottoman/storage because it's the only thing that works for us.

One day I like to imagine the children will be beyond distressing our furniture.
One day we'll be able to lug the ole distressed coffee table out.
One day, I will have a blog filled with pictures of lovely living room covered in white upholstery and decorated with delicate candles and art books.

Until then, I'll have to accept that most of my household decor is faux-everything from Target, our candles are big lugs of wax that mostly no one gets hurt by and our upholstery is a washable twill that is not white.

This way, we don't have to be angry when the children distress it.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Heart of Winter

I always view January as the Heart of Winter.
It is often (where I live) the coldest month.
I always find January to be extraordinarily long.

But it's not just that it's the midst of winter, or the longest month.
It's also a time I view as sacred to the growth and energy spring brings.

It's a time to go back to the ground, back to earth. A time to stay quiet, reflect on the past seasons and prepare for the rebirth that spring brings every year. January is the time to reflect, plan, and store energy.

Soon, sooner than we think, the snows melt. The days lengthen. The winds change. Green sprouts through muddy ground. Birds sing through sunrises. Children run wild with the first scent in the air.

Now is the time to withdraw just a little within, to slow down and savor the time of solitude, using it for yourself, for your spring.

We're in the heart of winter.

Embrace it!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

2011 - Building a Foundation

One of my fave friend bloggers came up with a word to define this new year, 2011.
She, the newly-stay-at-home-mother of just-turned -1-year old twins chose the word Nurture.

I loved this idea, and had to come up with one of my own. I love other people's ideas!
The past year I would best describe as react. I simply seemed to do things based on things that had happened. Nothing was really chosen by me, but by the things I needed to deal with.

This year, I'm choosing the word, the vision and the path:
My word for 2011 is Foundations.


This year I will set the foundation for the next 20 years, probably more, but Ilike the number 20. It took me 20 years to get where I am now, and so i'd like to focus on the next 20.

This year will be dedicated to setting up the basis for me to achieve and live the life I want to live, a life dedicated to meaningful work I choose and a life filled with time for
family, friends, husband, prosperity, happiness and the things that come when you choose your life.

So this year I work toward those goals. Of course every vision must have defined specific tasks to help reach that goal of creating a year of foundations. I have the standard life-long goals: taking care of myself healthwise, the constant battle to get in optimum shape and stay fit, to lose the eternally present 15 pounds, but for my vision, my word, Foundations, I have three major areas to work on throughout the year that will build my future, each with tangible goals I'm in the process of writing out now:

Financial improvement (notice I didn't say freedom, I don't see that happening in one year ;)

Adding creativiy daily - a focus on not only writing my novels, but incorporating the creative process of into my life every day not just writing, which is now a part of my daily existence, but taking a picture from a different angle, making a wreath. Doing something small every day that is crafty, creative, unique, and requires a sense of play.

Choosing my work -- I never wish to be marked by life's circumstances, unless those circumstances happen to be the ones I am hoping for. Sometimes, life does mark us, does create circumstances we aren't prepared for, and we have to face it and revise and adapt. But there
is much about our life we can choose and make our own, and work is often one of those. My work
will be an extension of me, a part of me. So the work I choose to do, that will pay the bills while still helping me achieve the life I want, doing the work I want, will be work that I choose.


I will build the rest of my life on the foundation
of the choices I make this year!

Anyone else have a word for 2011?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Bored Children Requires Project

Answer: Caterpillars and Ladybugs.

Question: What to do with two bored kids, a cold winter day and an egg carton?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2011, the year before 2012

...and the year after 2010.

I think most of us have some very strong opinions about 2010.
It wasn't exactly our best year yet.
Certainly not my best, but it wasn't the worst, and here's to hoping that 2011 is a step in the OTHER direction.
To be quite frank, to be one-hundred percent honest, the entire decade was a bit shaky for me.

So I look to 2011 as a chance to move toward a better year, a better future, a better life.
I wrote something similar on my other blog, so no need to go into details here, but I expect that 2011 is going to be a busy year for me, because I'm making it about me.

2011 is all mine baby.

Yeah yeah the kids, I know, I'll take care of them.
There's the job, yeah, I'll show up there.
Husband, yup, I'll take care of him.
But... but there's more... there's... ME!

And 2011 is going to be all about me being me. It will make me a better worker, a better mom and a better, yes me.

I have no hard and fast goals for 2011. It's not like by 2012 I expect something concrete. No.

What I expect, is that by 2012, I'll be living a life defined by me, for me, that benefits my entire family.

Wish me luck!


p.s. okay I lied... I'm also going to try to blog regularly again...