Where does one start?

I have a day off, and so much to do, I can’t even start. Well, I can…It’s just tough to know where to begin. Maybe I’ll hang out with all of you for a while and procrastinate a bit. :)

Really, if I had been super intent on getting things done, I would have gotten out of bed at 7, when my alarm went off. Instead, I chose to lay around for a few hours, listening to the radio and playing on Crack Book. It was awesome, but I have been doing that in the morning way too much. There’s a lot I could get done in the morning if I just get up an hour earlier, rather than laying in bed listening to the radio and playing on Crack Book. Hmm… a new goal/good habit to be met/cultivated by the 1st of the year, I think!

In other news, I did finally find a new home for my kitty, Harley. He has been with us for almost 5 years now, and he’s part of the family, but allergies have reared their ugly head. I’ve always been slightly allergic to him, but my Flirt is deathly allergic to him. Silly man can’t help but pet him on the rare occasion when he comes over, and within an hour, his airways are shutting down. This week he gets his shots updated, and then he is off to live with an old friend in my home town. I’ll miss him, but I think he’ll be happier where he’s going. I have no doubt my friend will spoil him rotten with all kinds of people food, let him outside, and not fuss at him for getting on the counters.

In other news…my new kitchen is coming! My poor old kitchen is ugly, falling apart, and needs updating badly. I was able to get a home improvement loan, and am spending the money on a custom built kitchen. It won’t be anything fancy, and I will have fewer physical cupboards, but the way the new cupboards will be arranged will actually give me more storage, and better ways to organize. The skinny cupboard to the upper right of the stove? That is a 12 inch wide spice rack. I’li also have a built in dishwasher, which will only be 18-inches wide. Excuse me, while I go mop up the drool….I’m so excited! I’ll take before and after pictures and post them here like when I had my bathroom remodeled. Oh… the bathroom is getting an update too. It’s been 5 years…time to repaint!

What else is on my to-do list? The basement. I have accumulated a bunch of crap that needs to be gone through and thinned out, so that’s got to be done. I also need to paint the ceiling and floor come the spring time. If I am lucky, I will have saved up enough cash to get new basement windows. This on top of just keeping everything going. My regular housework is definitely falling behind.

So many home improvement projects, and so little time to get everything done. Given my Two Year Plan, it’s time to get on the stick and get stuff done.

Speaking of which, my house isn’t going to clean itself. It’s a really lovely day outside… I need to go make a choice between mowing the lawn and working inside the house. Uff-da! I guess I better hurry up and pick something. My Flirt’s coming to get me soon, as we have a whole day of activities planned. One thing we are doing is looking at mobile homes. I think I like the idea of taking my house with me wherever I go…more on that later.

I hope you all have a fabulously restful and relaxing weekend. If you have to choose between 50 different tasks, pick the one that makes you the happiest to have it done. Me…I think I’ll go putz around my kitchen. :)

A Two Year Plan

Greetings to my Faithful Readers. It’s been one heck of a year so far, and I am astonished that we are now in the fall of 2015, and I’ve not blogged since January.

Wow, it has been a ride!

Taking on a new job, which is waaay out of my knowledge zone has been quite a challenge, but is paying the bills, and I’m starting to catch on. Having said that, it’s really not my calling. I get to know way more about people than I ever wanted to, and there’s a lot of bad office politics happening. I have really great people to work with, and I will hang onto this job for a while, but it’s going to be just a stepping stone for the next good thing to come along.

In other news, I finally redid Younger Son’s room. It took me all Winter and most of this Spring to get up the gumption to make the change, but it was worth while now that it’s done. Now it is my friend place my friends can come and stay when they are in town. It’s not done all the way, but it’s functional.

I will be getting a new kitchen soon, and will make sure to post pictures of the demolition of the old, and installation of the new. It’s a big, expensive, stress inducing, joyful, exciting project. Did I mention expensive? That’s ok. I’ll get all of that back when I sell the house. I’m keeping my eye on the prize, which is to move away. To Grand Forks. Hopefully within the next two years.

At the very least, I’d like to feel like I am ready to go in the next couple of years. If I can feel like I am ready to go, that is most of the struggle. As long as I can sell my happy little fixer upper, I can go.

Part of getting ready to go is to also do some landscaping and curb appeal projects. I was forced to do some updates to my back yard and my shed this year due to skunk infestation. That’s right…skunks. IMG_5345

IMG_5370Cute little buggers,but vermin nonetheless. Luckily I got some amazing help to live trap all 7 of the babies living under my shed, and my Dad and my Flirt helped me to get rid of the extra brush around the shed that was sheltering them. It was a large adventure, and I’m glad to be able to check that off the Bucket List and move on!

This summer, I did a lot of running and I don’t regret a bit of it. I wished I’d got to spend more time with my Parents, but that’s something I need to get my life reorganized around. My change in job took me farther away from their house, and it’s something I want to fix. I miss them.

I got to see some amazing concerts, one of which was Aerosmith. My Flirt took me to a small town rodeo, and it was one of the loveliest evenings I’ve had in a long time.

Boots on the groundJust for fun, I took this picture of us sitting on the hillside watching the rodeo, and it is one of my favorite pictures ever.

We did a lot of walking, a lot of just hanging out, and a little bit of traveling. It was a good summer, and I’m happy to say my Flirt and I are getting along well, and seem to be happy with things as they are.

We’ve been talking about moving in together, but before that happens, my cat needs to go to another home. He is deathly allergic to cats, and as a result he doesn’t come over to my house much. The good news is that my cat will be going to live with an old friend, and I have no doubts that he will be much happier there. I don’t believe in spoiling my pets, and I certainly don’t believe in allowing cats to get on kitchen counters or anywhere else food is prepared. I think that the house where he is going to live will find him very spoiled and allowed to do all sorts of things he is not allowed to do here. It’s a win for both he and I.Harley Napping I’ll sure miss him, but part of my two-year plan is to rearrange my life so I can travel light. Part of that is no more pets. I raised my kids, and have had numerous fuzzy creatures in the house. Now it’s time to take care of me, and not have to worry about having someone at home to always have to be home for. It sounds selfish, but I promise you I’ve done my bit for family raising and now it’s time for me.

My new work schedule is going to allow me to blog a little more, so I am hoping to make that part of my daily routine. I’m amused by some of the pre-election shenanigans, like Trump running for the Republican ticket. More to come on that. I’m appalled by this whole thing going on with Kim Davis, and I’ll have a few things to say about that too.

Until then, I wish you all a lovely Sunday evening, and hope that the weather where you are is as awesome as it is here in the High Plains.

A New Goal – Something to Hang on to

Happy New Year!

A little late in my New Year’s greeting, I know. However, it’s been one heck of a busy time for this little sparrow. Really, the whole of 2014 was a year on the run. I’m generally not given to making resolutions or predictions for the new year, but for 2015 I will make a giant exception and make a goal. A large one.bullshit

Why? Because I’m fed up. Cooked. Tired. Exhausted. Ready to move on. And five billion different other reasons I won’t bore you with.

In 2014, I mostly had good success at both of my jobs, though I ran like a fool trying to get to them both. In December, I took on working extra hours at the Big Red Box Store, so I was working 7 days a week somewhere. In October I was promoted at the Cube Farm, but I was gifted with the news that my Ex was also promoted to the same department. While he and I keep it professional at work, it’s still very wearing and stressful to have to trade emails and attend daily meetings with him. On top of that, the leadership for this job was pretty absent, and the training was horrific. Suffice it to say I’ve been pretty miserable at the Cube Farm these last few months.

So, I applied for a new job with a new company and was accepted. I took a bit of a pay cut, but they pay better for benefits so it will balance out. My last day at the Cube Farm was Friday, after working there for 15+ years, and I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I start my new job on Tuesday (more about that in a future post), and I feel like I am running full speed ahead into my future, giggling like a kid playing in the sunshine.

This is an item I can check off of my bucket list – New Job. Mission accomplished!

Previously, I didn’t really make goals for the new year, because my overriding goal every day was just to make sure I was surviving and getting the kids what they needed until they were launched into their own lives. After Younger Son graduated from high school and left home for the military, I felt kind of adrift without any daily reason to get out of bed. I’ve pulled myself back together now, and have had one thought in my mind that won’t go away:

I want to move away.

Yep, that’s right. It’s time for me to pick my nest up and move it to a happier, nicer place. Minot has been a good home to me and my family, but it’s really gone down hill. Not only is it expensive to live here, but the crime has become awful. I’m looking to decelerate, and be closer to my brother and his family. This will mean moving away from the vast majority of my friends, but that’s what email, phone and Facebook are for. I can’t wait to see my little albatross of a fixer-upper house and find a nice apartment to dwell in. No maintenance, and no extra expenses. No shoveling snow or worry that my sidewalk is too icy for the mail man. I want to decelerate in my life so I can stop and smell the roses, and that means moving myself into a position where there is less to worry about.

The good news is that this job I took has offices in Grand Forks, and there will be potential to transfer! I can transfer with the Big Red Box Store too. I feel like I’ve taken the first baby step into my future by accepting this new job.

Here’s the better news: My Flirt wants to go with me! Moving to Grand Forks means he will be that much closer to family and friends as well. We will be kind of in the middle of everyone, which is a good thing.

Moving away has become the new thing I hang on to every day. It’s the thing that motivates me, and helps me get my priorities straight. I’ve got a long road between here and there, but I’ll make it.

Here’s to hoping that you have a lovely and prosperous 2015, and that you can decelerate (or accelerate) to a speed of life that makes you happy. Happy New Year!

We, the People of Retail…

I just arrived home from my 2nd job at the Big Red Box Store, and I have a bit of a rant to share with you, my Faithful Readers.

This is supposed to be the season of giving, sharing and treating each other with kindness. I’m happy to say that I witness that a lot during my time at the Big Red Box Store. However, there are a some people who have some bad shopping habits. I mean, REALLY bad shopping habits.

I witnessed a boy, about 6 years old or so, try to fold a shirt and put it back on the shelf like he found it. His mother, in her haste to get on with her day, said to him: “Son, just put that down and don’t worry about folding it. They have people that do that.”

Ahem…We, the People of Retail, would like to share some things with you about that. Yes, I said “we”. I feel pretty confident that the people I work with, and many thousands of others who work in retail would agree wholeheartedly with what I have to say below:

1. People who work in stores of all kinds do have the duty to clean up, or “zone”, their areas every day. However, that doesn’t give anyone the right to shop in a sloppy manner. Not only are you making a mess for the people who work there, but you are also leaving the place messy for the other shoppers who come behind you and try to shop in the same area. We, the People of Retail, can’t be there right behind you to clean up after your sorry butt, and have many other duties as well to get done.

2. For the love of all that is Holy, do not teach your children to shop in a slovenly manner. They will shop how you shop, so please teach them to shop nicely with your words and your actions.

3. Please do not leave your garbage lying around, or try to hide it behind items on a shelf. Every store has multiple garbage cans. Please find one, or ask for help to find one.

4. If something spills or breaks, please notify one of the store employees immediately, and keep others from rolling their carts through the mess while waiting for one of us to grab some cleaning supplies. Once I was helping someone in the grocery area, and I heard a wet sound of glass breaking. Sure enough, I went around the corner to find that someone’s kid had thrown a jar of salsa onto the floor. That happens, no big deal. What was disturbing about the whole thing is that they just drove their cart through it and tried to act like it wasn’t there. I asked them to please hold still while I cleaned up the floor and the wheels of their cart, but they just ignored me. Not cool to track salsa through the store and be a dick about it.

5. Do not let your kids play with things in the store, sit/stand on the shelves, climb the shelves, play hide and seek between the clothing racks, or any other obnoxious play that belongs outside. And for the love of God, do not let them get on the bikes and the skate boards we sell just because it keeps them busy and keeps them from distracting you from your shopping. They are your kids, you are responsible for them.

6. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, drop your young kids off at a store and leave them there for hours. Eventually they get bored and get into trouble. It’s not nice to do to them and we aren’t your babysitters.

7. Please have patience when we explain that we are out of stock for the particular item you wanted. We can’t help that you waited until the end week, after that popular item has been on sale for several days, to come in and try to buy it at the last minute. Pouting about it and asking what we think they are supposed to do now because we don’t have that item in stock is not an appropriate way to act.

I know that my Faithful Readers wouldn’t ever shop sloppy, or let their kids run rampant through a store without supervision. I bet you know some people who do though. Please feel free to share the aforementioned items with them, if you think it will help.

Overall, I guess I just need to ask that general public think before they shop. Treat people how you would want to be treated, and don’t be a dick. Be nice. Not only will We, the People of Retail, appreciate it, but so will all of the other people shopping around you.

Here’s wishing you all a happy shopping experience this Holiday Season!


It’s amazing what a little success can do for a person’s attitude. empty-bulb-and-exclamation-mark

I’ve just started a new job at the Cube Farm, and it’s been like nothing else I’ve ever done. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, it’s been so overwhelming that it’s a little like trying to take a sip out of an open fire hydrant. Today, though, I had a giant light bulb in by head flicker to life. I think I am finally getting some of this stuff, and it feels good.

It was a nice offset to some crappy news I got from my new lawyer at the end of the day. I won’t go into the details right now, but suffice it to say that my ex husband is up to no good again, which gives me no end of heartburn and causes my B.S.-O-Meter to ping in the red zone.

I felt kind of cranky while working my 2nd job tonight thinking about some of the crappy things I have to deal with, especially my ex. Then I got to work with two really great young ladies, one of which I’ve just decided to adopt. If I were to have a daughter, I’d want one just like her. Her mom left their family, so she doesn’t have a good mother figure around. We have good talks and I know she helps me. I only hope that I am as good a help to her. It’s kind of great that she gives me a big hug every time I walk into the store. Today I sure did need it.

Older Son had the day off and was fabulous and cleaned up in the kitchen today. It’s nice to have him to come home to. Our schedules don’t match up very well, but I usually get to see him at the end of the day. We had a nice time on Friday, going out to lunch, and to a movie, on a rare day off together. We saw the 3rd Hunger Games movie: Mockingjay. It was really good, and I recommend it highly.

So, I had a nice end to my evening. You can’t get away from the bull shit in life, but it sure is nice when you have so much good happening around you to tip the scales to the positive side of things. It’s a great thing to have so many blessings.

Here’s hoping you all had a great end to your evening, no matter what other crappy stuff life is dishing out. Blessings all!

Ok, I’ve arrived! Now what?!

Greetings to you, my Faithful Readers…

I know it’s been a while, and I have been away for a long time. To say that I have been busy would be a bit of an understatement. Not only did Younger Son graduate from high school and then join the military after a nice long summer, but I have also been occupied with my two jobs, as well as trying to have a semblance of a personal life. I have also been caught up in shenanigans from my ex husband. All in all, it’s been quite a wild ride this year, most especially this last half.

Recently, the thing that has struck me the most is my inability to “get it together”, as it were. I’ve kind of floated through life this last year half freaked out, and half numb, not quite understanding what my problem is. I’ve felt a general sense of being paralyzed in my thoughts and ability to function. It’s a little like walking through life where there’s no color, no passion, no real living…there’s been a whole lot of existing.

In the last couple of months I’ve had some epiphanies, and just now I’ve been able to piece together in my head what my heart has been hollering at me for quite a while: I’ve really had the terrible feeling of not having a purpose.

What?! How can one not have a purpose? Well, let’s define that a little better. I can’t find a meaningful purpose for my daily existence. I haven’t had a goal of what I want to do, or be, or where I want to go. My sole purpose for the last 5 years has been to get my children through school, and launched into the world as productive, self-sufficient human beings. Older Son is working, has successfully financed his first vehicle by himself, and really doesn’t need me so much any more. Younger Son, as I earlier mentioned, is off learning about the world via the military. He will learn a skill that is marketable in civilian life, and is pretty self-sufficient. I miss him terribly, but I don’t worry for him. At least not yet. In short, I’m here…now what?

What about my work? Do I not find a purpose, or a reason to get up in the morning for that alone? Yes. Just barely. In the last month, I have been able to get a new position at the Cube Farm. It did come with a little bit of a raise and the people I work with are nice, with the exception of my Ex. Yes, he also got promoted to this new department. It’s been more than a little stressful having him in close proximity, especially now that he is dragging me through court…again. Even though that makes it uncomfortable, the work is so boring and overwhelming at the same time… so much coming at me at once. It’s a little like trying to take a sip out of a wide open fire hydrant, and not terribly inspiring. At least my last position was something I believed in. I loved the people I worked for, and therefore worked harder.

Between some pretty awful changes at work locally, and at a Corporate level, and my lack on anyone to take care of, I feel cut loose and rudderless. I don’t feel like I have a stable platform to stand on every day where I know what I am about, and what I need to do, other than just to go through the motions of getting through the day.

Quite frankly, I feel a little as though I’m on a big highway to Nowhere.empty-highway-road

How about my love life? I’m ok with it. However, I know that it can be better. This brings me to my first epiphany. I think I might be ready to move in with my Flirt. It will take some sacrifice on both sides because we are both somewhat set in our ways, but I think we’ll do ok once we get there.

Younger Son said something to me this Summer, just before he left, that inspired me. He encouraged me to move away, and get a fresh start. My brother is busy trying to get me and my parents to move closer to his family. We’ve missed out on a lot of each other’s lives being so far away, and I’m ready to have more family around again. Second epiphany: I’m done with this place, and I would dearly love to have a clean break from it and go somewhere new and interesting.

How do I get those two ideas (moving in with my Flirt, and moving away) together and moving in the same direction? It helps that my Flirt was present for that conversation with Younger Son and promptly agreed, saying “yeah, let’s go“. No hesitation, no worry about what to do when we get to wherever it is that we are going. That’s one of the things I love about him. He brings a spontaneous sense of adventure to my life.

dancing-flamesJust this last few months, I’ve felt a fire growing in my belly that I’ve not had in a long time. I’ve spoken about having a fire in one’s belly before. This fire isn’t so much the comfy campfire kind. It’s more like a conflagration, raging out of control underneath everything else that is stressing me out. It’s not something I built consciously, but it just kind of sprang up out of left field. I can see in my head what I want, and where I want to be, and when I want to get there, but I don’t have a clear path yet and it’s frustrating. As such, I’ve almost avoided thinking about it, while still getting ate up by it.  This is the sense of purpose that I have been missing, and I need to get a choke hold on it and not fear it, or worry over it, or obsess on it. I need to prepare to be ready to jump on a good opportunity when it becomes available.

So, what’s the plan? Good question. There’s a lot to consider, and it’s more than a little overwhelming. I have a tendency to get lost in the weeds, so I have narrowed my goals down to a few items to try to keep it manageable:

1. Get my house ready for sale.

That’s right. I’m ready to dump my happy little fixer upper. First, I have a little fixing up to do. Hopefully most of it will just be cosmetic, and stuff I can do over the next year.

2. Get my finances under control.

During the last two years, my Ex decided that he didn’t want to pay what the court ordered him to pay me, and I have been robbing Peter to pay Paul. As a result, I’m trying to dig out, and get my suffering credit score out of the dumper.

3. Get healthy

I back-slid something fierce in the health department, having gained 25 lbs in the last year. I know most of it has to do with stress, because there’s nothing like the crunchy fabulousness of chips and dip, or the velvety goodness of ice cream, when the world is falling down around your ears. I’m pretty miserable carrying all of this extra weight, and I want to feel good again.

4. Get the situation with my Ex under control for good.

I’m tired of him thumbing his nose at me, and at the court system. They command him to do something, “or else”, and then he just does what he wants anyway without repercussion. I’m hopeful that this will be the last go-round with him in the court system, and that it will be done by the time March rolls around.

5. I need to get my spiritual life active again

What does this entail? All sorts of things that I just haven’t engaged in for a very long time. At this time in my life, though, I don’t feel bound by any one religion, or spiritual practice. I’ve come to realize, having been raised a Lutheran, you can take the girl out of the church, but you can’t quite take the Lutheran out of the girl. Much of who I am comes from that upbringing, even though I don’t agree with a bunch of what I was taught. I was also a practicing Wiccan for several years and, though there are some things about that mode of spirituality I don’t agree with anymore, there is much of value I can take comfort in. There’s a whole world of spiritual goodness out there, and I want to get back to being a seeker.

6. I need to learn how to live simply and decrapify (yes, that’s a word. At least in my world)

My house is full of crap I don’t need, and hardly use. My next dwelling will most likely be an apartment, or something I can rent, and I want to be able to pick up and go with as little drama and effort as possible. That means getting rid of things that don’t serve any immediate or lasting purpose.

7. Start writing again

I missed writing, and I missed interaction with you. I have had a habit of thinking in recent times that I didn’t have anything to write about that anyone would be interested in. The truth is, I have loved writing this blog for me. I found healing in it, and it’s something I need and want to get back to.

Well, I think I might have exhausted myself with all of this blather. I guess it’s been pent-up for a while and it feels good to write again. I missed it, and I’ve missed you guys.

I hope you all have that thing that lights a fire in your gut, and that makes you feel like you have a purpose. If you don’t, come walk with me and we’ll find it together. Blessings, all!

Sleep…where the heck is it when you need it?

My son sent me a picture today of our cat, Harley, and I must admit I was instantly jealous.


What? Why would I be jealous of whatever my cat is doing at any given moment of the day?

You see, I received this picture on my phone during a pretty dry meeting today. If I hadn’t had my laptop open and actively working on something while trying to pay attention to what was being said, I might have fallen asleep myself. Looking at Harley taking a nap in the sunshine just about did me in.

Sleep is something that I am badly in need of, and constantly find myself chasing after. There are rare occasions where I can just lay down and sleep falls softly on my head like fog moving in. It’s stealthy, calming and comforting. Most times, though, I have to trick myself into falling asleep. There are so many things to think about and keep track of that the inside of my head looks like a million internet browsers open and running all at one time.

When I was a kid, I remember hiding in my neighbor’s garage because I knew my mother wanted me to lay down and take a nap. There was no way I was tired, and didn’t want to have to lay still all afternoon. Looking back, now I realize the poor woman was so tired from keeping up with me and my brother that she just needed a little shut eye. Whoa…lesson learned there. I now understand the magic of taking an afternoon nap.

It’s almost midnight, and right about now I catch a second wind. I’m kind of a night person and don’t mind staying up late. The problem is having to get up in the morning!

That said, perhaps I should go find my pillow and talk my brain into shutting down for the night. Here’s wishing you all a good, solid night’s sleep!





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