Day 22 – Back in the saddle


I’ve been away for a few days, and now it’s time to get back in the saddle with the exercise and blogging. I missed the blogging, but not so much the exercise. As it happens I got a lot of walking in by default while I was away, which was a bonus. Exercising is so much easier when it just happens as a part of what you are doing.  I won’t count those days here since I didn’t stop to document them, but I will resume the count.

It had been my intention to blog while I was away, but the weekend was so jam-packed with all kinds of activities that there was barely time to breathe. So, I will try to do double duty and get a couple of Travel Blogs done this week as well. I have a boat load of pictures, and tales of adventures by a Bumpkin and her Flirt visiting a foreign land. But, more about that later.

On today’s list of things to do are several things. This afternoon involves lots of housework, and laundry. It’s my last day of vacation, and I need to catch up with everything that went neglected while I was away. Tonight I need to go grocery shopping. Older Son was kind enough to clear out the fridge while I was gone, and now there’s a lot of empty space that needs filling. He even cleaned and organized the inside. Big brownie point score for Older Son!

Before I dive into all of that, this morning I will go help my Mom shave her dog.  My parents recently adopted an older dog who has some health issues. Her last owner lavished her with things like pork chops, eggs and ice cream. Needless to say she’s much larger than she needs to be, but since living with my parents her weight has come down and she’s much more active. Her former diet also caused some rotten teeth, and those will be addressed at an upcoming vet visit. She’s a hairy little beastie, and needs a little help cleaning away some of the excess.  This poor poochie (let’s call her Furry Schnitzel) has got mats and all kinds of issues with hair around her eyes, legs and mouth. Hopefully today we’ll be able to help her get rid of some of that so she can be more comfortable.

There’s a little hitch in my morning plan. In my old age I have developed a few allergies, and cats and dogs are on the list of things that make my nose run now, when they didn’t before. I don’t know why that is the case, but I love dogs and won’t let a little runny nose stop me from lavishing attention on any available and willing canine. Life is too short not to.

Here’s hoping you have a lovely day, and it finds you doing something that will give you much joy and no regrets. Blessings all!

Day 14 – Writing when my brain is empty


Some days I get out of bed with my head almost bursting full of things I want to write about. Other days, like today, I’ve got nothing. Absolutely nothing upstairs to write about.

I could tell you all sorts of things about what my house sounds like today, and that it’s surprising to see Older Son up so early. Now he is sitting across the room looking at me and asking questions. It’s hard to write meaningfully when someone’s looking at you, and you know they wish you’d put down what you’re doing and talk to them.

Clock is ticking, kiddo… Tick, Tock…gotta get this blog written, run through the shower, throw on some clothes and get down the road to work.

When I started this 100 day challenge, it not only meant 100 straight days of exercise, but also 100 straight days of blogging. I love to blog, and so that was the stick and carrot in front of my face to get me going on this 100 day challenge. So that means I have to write something, and on days when my brain is absolutely devoid of anything really meaningful, I will have to resort to blathering.

Yes, that’s my big weapon in my blogging arsenal – Blather. And now you all know the ancient North Dakota Norwegian secret to life and small talk. I’m not doing too badly today, as I haven’t resorted to talking about the weather.

Older Son ventured into the kitchen to make some coffee, and is now back in the living room asking me questions about my blog, and talking about the new King Kong movie. I think the lesson here for today is that it’s a better thing to pay attention to a person than a screen, so I will go do that.

Here’s hoping that you all have someone close by who is really interested in conversing with you. No matter how interesting blogging might be, life is too short to ignore the people in it. Blessings all!

 

Day 7 -Moderation


So the creeping crud has managed to make it to my house. Older Son has brought said crud home from work, and has missed two days of work because of it.

Yay…

This morning, I am feeling particularly tired, even though I didn’t do anything very energetic yesterday. My throat is a little sore, and my sinuses seem to be clogged more than usual.

Whoopeee… here we go. 😦

As I can’t afford to be sick right now, I am going to take things a little slower this week, and hope I can avoid it. I did walk on my treadmill this morning, but only for 10 minutes. I am hoping to get back on it when I get home today, and walk the other 20 minutes I need to get in today. However, I did get on it and walk, so Day 7 has been accomplished. I think sometimes when things get hard, or weird, moderation is called for. It does no good to cram too much into a vessel that can’t hold anymore.

Older Son wasn’t able to sleep, so he got up and made coffee for us this morning, which feels nice on a sore throat. Skipping the smoothie. Coffee will do today, thanks.

Speaking of moderation, I’m about to get a little ranty about what is going on in our government, and I have a few words for Mr. Trump:

WTH, POTUS?!

You have four years ahead with which to shove whatever your hard-right Republican backers want you to do down the rest of our throats. Please stop trying to cram it all in the first week. For crying out loud change is good, but not the pull-the-rug-out-from-underneath-everyone-all-at-once kind of change. Please take a freaking break, so the rest of us can take a breath and try to make sense of all of the carnage left in the wake of your 1st week in office. A little moderation is called for, probably more than a little, and we’d appreciate it very much if you would just slow the hell down.

Here’s hoping that you find your day nicely moderated, and if you have someone zooming through it wreaking havoc, let them know. It’s ok to speak up when someone is acting crazy. Blessings all!

Taking over my little Universe, one room at a time!


So much to talk about, and I don’t know where to start!

Well, I promised pictures from my bedroom makeover, so I will start there.

My beginning inspiration was the new bedspread and curtains:

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After I had those picked out, I chose a nice light gray paint, so light it’s almost white, and a super bright white for the trim.

I started out with a room that was painted two crappy colors of brown, and here are the before pictures. You can see where I started cutting in the new paint, and the contrast of the two tones of the brown. I think my room had been like that for 10 years or so. How freaking depressing !

You can see the new bed spread and curtains don’t look like much with the brown paint.

After a few coats of paint and a bunch of elbow grease, I was able to take this after picture. I still need to get a matching curtain for my closet door.

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Now add the new night stand and head board:

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This last picture is a little dark, but trust me, it’s like waking up in a cloud. My new room makes me so happy, and it took very little to make it happen. Sure, I had to spend some money, and there were some late nights spent trying to get it done, but it was so worth it!

So what else is new in my neck of the woods?

My new job continues to be awesome, and I have a lot of job satisfaction. I know it won’t always be this way, because life doesn’t ever stay static, so I am enjoying it while it lasts. Hopefully it will last a good long while.

Younger Son is coming home after being out at sea for 8 months. I got to talk to him on the phone for the first time since November, and it was so good to hear his voice. Just that simple act of speaking with him on the phone let off a lot of steam I didn’t realize had been building up. It appears that I was kind of holding my breath all of this time. Even with email, mail, and Facebook, it was so little contact. I don’t know how loved ones did it in the days before social/electronic media, when their kids joined the service and were gone for long stretches of time. He comes home soon, and it will be so awesome to have all of my chicks back in the nest again.

Older Son has been having a stretch of good luck in that he was able to replace an old car with a newer, cheaper-to-run vehicle. He even got a break on his insurance. Fabulous!!

The city is gearing up for the State Fair which begins next week. This year, I think we will just go for one day. Usually we go for multiple days, but it gets expensive, and doesn’t change much from year to year. I still get excited when it starts up, though. Older Son will be in the Parade this year, so I may just go watch it. This will be the first Parade Saturday that I haven’t had a prior commitment for a long time.

Well, I’m working on my 2nd cup of coffee, and I think I will finish that up and get to work on my house. The laundry needs to get going, and everything else needs picking up and scrubbing. After chores are done, I think I will go shop for a new BBQ, and plot my next home improvement project: Kitchen Part 2 – paint & floor! I feel like I am finally taking over my own little universe, one room at a time!

Here’s wishing you all a lovely, relaxing Saturday, with which you can plot how you will take over your universe! Blessings all!

Success…finally!


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!


Well, hello there!

I’ve had two weeks off to do what’s needed to get ready for Younger Son’s graduation, which is tomorrow. Unfortunately, work reared its ugly head and I didn’t actually get the time I was expecting. That’s ok… I will survive this too.

One of the things high on my to-do list this week was to sit down to my blog and actually write something. Today, even though I have more housework to do than God, and laundry backed up for miles, I decided to ignore all of that and take time for myself. If my house isn’t perfectly dusted…whatever.

I miss you guys and think of you often. frequently throughout the week I will have some very interesting thing crawl across my brain, complete with a blog title, and then my day carries off with me. Some day I will be able to get back to my regular blogging. It’s one of those things that looms large in my bucket list of things I want for me.  Right now, however, many things appear to need my attention and so I run hither an yon making things happen as requested/needed/dictated.

Soon, my time is coming.

Younger Son is graduating tomorrow.  I’m very proud of him…not only is he going to graduate on the honor roll, but he scored well enough on the ASVAB test that he is going to be able to train to be an aircraft mechanic in the Navy starting in August. He took the oath back in January, and I think he is looking forward to moving on. Life in our fair city is more than  little stifling for him, I think. I will miss him very much, and I am pretty sure I will be lost without him for a long time after he leaves. But I can’t say I’m not ready to be on my own. It’s been a long haul, and I need to rest.

Yes, there will be much in the way of new beginnings, including a new beginning for me. Once Younger leaves home, I will mostly just be looking after myself. Older Son Still lives at home, but he works and is busy with his life. Many times I don’t even get to see him but a few minutes a day. And that’s ok…he’s 21 and doesn’t need Mom hanging over his shoulder. I’m pretty happy to not hang over anybody’s shoulder any more. I’ll be pretty happy to just live for me for a while. Sweetie and I on the bike

Just me and what I want to do…or not do.

I took a picture from the back of my Flirt’s motorcycle. Going for rides is something I really like to do…

Unfortunately, he’s trying to sell his motorcycle. I will miss it, but he’s looking to eventually buy a new one and I am hoping it has a nice squishy, comfy back seat for my extra curvaceous backside. 😉

I would also like to travel. I generally don’t go too far, but now I’d like to start branching out. Vegas is looming large in my Bucket List, and I am dropping hints to my Flirt now. He’s never flown before, and it’s going to take some fancy talking to get him in a plane. I think I might be able to, though…I just might. Flights from here to Vegas are really cheap, so it’s a doable getaway once I get my post-school-aged-children finances stabilized.

I’d like to work on my house. It needs a lot of TLC, which there isn’t a lot of budget for. I’ll start with paint…the trim throughout the house needs a fresh coat, and my bedroom absolutely needs to be painted. It still has the paint on the walls that my Ex chose. Blech…

When Younger leaves home, I think I am going to redo his room for me, and use my bigger bedroom as an office/craft/storage/spare room. New paint and curtains will make a huge difference in both spaces. It will be just the change I need.

Speaking of changes…mostly, I’m not a girly girl. I am not a huge fan of pink, I don’t wear makeup and I hate wearing heels. However, I find my taste in decorating is beginning to lean that way. I have really plain curtains throughout my house, and I suddenly feel a need to jazz things up a bit. For a while I ignored the urge, but I think I am just going to give into it and see where it goes. I was not born with the Martha Stewart gene, and I am no decorating pro. However, I have had success making my own curtains.  Trying to find interesting curtains in the stores has proven to be not fruitful, so I decided to widen my horizons a little, and I found this lovely scarf at Target:

Curtains I am so looking forward to turning this lovely material into my new kitchen curtains…it will be awhile before I can get to it, but it will be worth the wait.

Speaking of waiting, I need to get off my butt and get some more stuff done in preparation for tomorrow. Lots to get done before family comes in tonight, and the graduation and party tomorrow.

Here’s to new beginnings!

 

Cat Herding Rule #1 – Provide Structure


I have been given a task at work, which is a project that will last about two years. Essentially, the whole point of this task is cat herding.  Yep, you read that right. For the next two years my biggest daily responsibility will literally feel like I am trying to get a whole group of cats to go in one direction.

In trying to get my arms wrapped around just how I am going to organize people from three different countries, via computer and phone, I have come to the conclusion that the first thing I need here is structure. Well, let me rephrase that. My Cats at Work are the ones that need structure, so I will provide it.

You might ask, why would I compare cats and people so flippantly? Cats are interesting creatures in that they have ideas. Sometimes if you look carefully into their eyes, you can see the gears turning. Let’s use my real cat, Harley,  as an example:

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Harley, who is thinking naughty thoughts

As you can see in this picture to the left, Harley has some thoughts rolling around in his head that probably add up to no good. Frequently he will look at me, and I know that he’s got ideas about something. The other day he took a nice long look at Older Son’s new girlfriend, as though she looked tasty. Luckily, I snatched him up just before he pounced. Needless to say, he spent the rest of the evening in the bathroom, in “time out”, to make sure he didn’t try it again while she was there.

Harley reminds me of people at work who have too much time on their hands, so much so that they have nothing else to do but think up ways to make more work for other people. Yeah…that doesn’t work for me.

Georgette

Georgette, who didn’t have a naughty bone in her body

I had another cat once, Georgette, who was a sweetheart and never caused us a bit of grief. Well, very seldom anyway. The only problem we ever had with her is that she had a penchant for eating plastic Easter grass, and anything that looked like it. The problem with Easter grass, and most anything that looks like it, is that it doesn’t digest. The net result is that you end up with a cat trailing “processed” Easter grass behind them through the house.   You’ve not lived until you have chased a cat up and down a flight of stairs three times in a row, trying to catch her because she’s trailing Easter grass from her backside.

Some people at work remind me very much of Georgette in that they mean no harm, but don’t know what they are doing and make a large mess while others trail after them trying to clean it up.

You get my point. People have ideas, and most times they don’t mesh with what other people in the group want/need/think they need, etc. The end result is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen, and nothing is getting accomplished.

I think the first rule of herding cats has got to be that structure needs to not only be provided, but also adhered to. It will be my job to crack the proverbial whip and get all of these cats going in the same direction, rather than each chasing their own catnip mouse into corners where random ideas propagate like rabbits.

Not that having ideas is bad, but this group needs to THINK about what they bring to the table for discussion and make sure it is actually with in the scope of the project. Scope creep is rampant, but that is something I’ll expound on in another post.

Here’s hoping that the cats, and the people, in your life stay out of the real and proverbial Easter grass. Have a fabulous weekend!