Thirteen for ’13

I decided to limit my goals to 13.  I could list 100 and still not address all that needs overhauling in my life.  Little by little, I feel that I’ve let things get sloppy.  There is only one way to fix it.  Fix it.

GOALS

1) Silence.  No computer.  No people.  No kidding.  I’ve always had a value for silence.  Maybe because I am an only child, I “got it” from a very early age.  I don’t know.  Whatever’s the case, I haven’t been alone systematically for months.

Looks like: setting an alarm, no matter what time I go to bed.

Start: now.

Finish: none.  Death is the ultimate meditative silence.

2) Move in my strengths.  I actually know a thing or two, and in one or two areas, I am an expert.  A couple of months ago, I had a bit of a wake up call when my brain screamed,”You haven’t accomplished [thing I want] because you have no self-confidence to try.

Looks like: *sigh* making a list of my strengths and deciding in what ways to use those resources to encourage others.

Start: today.

Finish: the list, Feb 1.

3) Rock the kitchen.  The fact is, I avoid cooking food and feeding people.  It’s unloving.  It’s irresponsible.  It’s wasteful.

Looks like:  Keeping enough food in the house for people to eat. I am bad for getting home without enough snacks.  This drives my children to eat all the chips, pretzels, carrots, celery, crackers, cheese, lunch meat, green beans. Then, when meal time comes, there is no li’l side or something.  Planning dinners but also, *sigh* lunches.

Start: Today.

Finish: I can shop today.  Menu planning needs a longer finish date.  The best idea I’ve heard is to create a number of menus and rotate them.  Gimme….two weeks.

4) Get a choke hold on the family finances.  Choke. Hold.  I hope that’s not too harsh of imagery for my more delicate blog guest.  I checked us out on Global Rich List.  I have no excuse.

Looks like: Giving systematically to God’s Work (not always strictly to the local church). Saving like a mad woman.  Possibly refinancing.  Executing a will. Aggressive debt re-payment. It might be a service like Manilla.  I don’t love being here, but I know I am not alone in the world and this is my blog and I’m collecting on the accountability, real or imagined.

Start: Today

Finish: I need to set individual times on each one.  So, today’s action is that.  By night fall tonight, I will have estimated finish dates on these.

5) Get serious about writing. I could post a “knock-knock” joke a day on the blog for the rest of my life.  I could continue to analyze my navel lint for the next five years.  Am I writing or not?  Am I any good or not?

Looks like: submitting something for publication to a legitimate source like a magazine or newspaper or a nice website.

Start: yesterday, I bought The Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Yearbook 2013*.   It has a number of websites for writers.

Finish: Submit something by the end of February.

6) Love my blog.  It seems that when the adoption was final I lost my niche. I still believe in my blog’s name.  What-We-Can’t-Explain is a part of God’s Perfect Design for our lives.  That’s the best description of my life so far.  The greatest things that ever happened were because of what looked like a slip on a banana peel or a cosmic clothesline.

Looks like: a design, a blogging calendar, guest posting, and monetizing.  Creating my own or using others daily blog checklists.

Start: Dec 28–The design is underway. January 3 or something. I’ve been invited to guest post I have to accept.  I’m shy, see.

Finish: The design stuff I have no control over…could be in a week or two.  I will accept on the guest post today.

7) Hold out for quality.  My children have developed a general expectation of life that’s mediocre. I commented to someone the other day that kids will appreciate quality if that’s what they’re exposed to.  It was like I slapped my own face.

Looks like: Resisting the “I can do that later.”

Start: When I Dress for work this morning.

Finish: When they are educated and have found a husband or wife.

8) School. I am burnt out, but I’m not giving up. At least, public school kids are impelled. This is my gig. Only the ISP headmaster gets to tell me what to do.

Looks like: Getting all my paperwork prepared so when it’s due, there is less stress.  Planning the rest of the curriculum until graduation.  Looking at college degree plans so I know what they need.

Start: today.

Finish: Feb 1.

9) Take better care of myself.  (See #1)  I am a big girl.  No one is going to take care of my body and mind and spirit.  End of discussion.  Sure, I’d like to call this one exercise and eat right, but there might be one or two things I need before that.

Looks like: List of needs.  Plan to execute.

Start: When I started writing this post.

Deadline: one week.

10) Make a house that I’m not ashamed to have in the background of my photos.

Looks like: Fill the space in the attic that I gained access to when I was in there.  Give away junk.  Throw away trash.  Plan for Renovation work.

Start: this isn’t rocket science.  Tomorrow’s Saturday.

Finish:

11)  Stop waste in the house.  I think this is redundant, but, it is a mindset.  Instead of seeing my goals in terms of their worth in sacrifice, I get in the habit of medicating my feelings with a “pass”.  Well, $#!@’s out of hand.   Money, Time, Food, Utilities, Late Fees, Brain cells (we have watched some really stupid stuff).

Looks like: setting the example myself.  Shut up.  I hate my life.

Start: with shorter showers and not using the fixture with six bulbs unless I am putting on make-up.  List other areas and work on them.

Finish: When kids can run their own homes.

12)  The organization thing– create systems that make the obnoxious work easy.  Then USE THEM.  Even if it is a to-do list.  Making the list isn’t the objective.  It’s coming under the authority of the list that counts. Looks like: starting that list.

Start: in a minute.

Finish: when I no longer rely on a pile of paper to know what I need to do next.

13) Trust God– I’ve been mad at him over some things that happened really close together that we didn’t get a good outcome on.  But even before that, I was going on the feeling that He wasn’t really showing up for me.  I was having to do this all myself.  I know better.  I wouldn’t be even so much as alive without Him.  If He doesn’t have me now,  none of this really matters.

Looks like: Being joyful when I feel down and discouraged.  Not in a fake way, but acknowledging my feelings and listing what is still good or given in the midst.  There’s a blog challenge, but I think I might do it privately.

Start: ASAP

Finish: Every moment and start again.

 

*It’s a magazine… not Writer’s Market.  I couldn’t find a link.

 

 

 

Writer’s Workshop: Back In Time

1.) Recycle a favorite post from July of any year that you have been blogging.  This post is actually from the ‘now defunct’ adoption blog, with updates per the ones that are accomplished.

There are 100 things I’d like to do before I celebrate my 100th birthday.  Well, quite number more than that, and the fun stuff more than once.  But you know…I have to digress in some direction(the jury is still out on whether I need some meds for the ADD)  [In 2012,I have not one, but two doctors opinions.  It’s not ADD.  I’m just annoying]  .  Since encouraged to take a moment to contemplate the future’s starlit canvas ( what?), here is the list of things so I have it written down in a place I might be able to find it to mark things off.

CRAZYBELOVED ONE HUNDRED THINGS I WANT TO DO BEFORE I TURN ONE HUNDRED

  1.     Be debt free–all debt: credit cards,
  2.     Home
  3.     Auto. Did it, paid one off.  Bought a new one on Monday.
  4.     Save to pay for College,
  5.     Weddings
  6.      And retirement.
  7.      Be finished with this house, by renovation or evacuation.
  8.      Participate in the Neighborhood Christmas Tour of Historic Homes.  I volunteered, again.  Got my fill.
  9.     Find a vacation rental we can return to year after year…we are thinking Outer Banks.
  10.     Be well-read instead of just a reader.
  11.     Finish the story that lives on my shoulder and never skips a day of asking to be written.
  12.     Publish.
  13.     Become known for my hospitality (don’t think Martha, think iced tea in mason jars and laughing until 3 a.m; not moving from the dining room to the living room because it might break the spell).
  14.     Learn to like feta or some other objectionable trendy food.
  15.     Become a REALLY good cook.  Not a gourmet chef.  A Good Cook.
  16.     Own a little neighborhood coffee shop.
  17.      Enter the Pillsbury Bake-off.*
  18.     Figure out a way to share with others in a way that meets needs that are beyond shelter and food.
  19.     Get consistent with my nutrition and exercise.There are not really days off in life.
  20.     Lose 10 more pounds. Change this to twenty.
  21.      Be organized. Real life, finished singing the same old tune, once and for all.
  22.      Have a house that appears to have been decorated with any amount of deliberateness.
  23.      Have 15 minutes of fame for something pleasant.  Not for being a stupid idiot.
  24.      Be a good listener.
  25.      Visit the following: Grand Canyon.
  26.      Philadelphia
  27.      Washington D.C.
  28.      Alaska
  29.      Mount Rushmore
  30.      Kenya
  31.      Spontaneously jump into the car and take off for the beach.
  32.      Get an slr and learn how to use it*
  33.      Kick a bad habit– TV, caffeine, sugar.
  34.      Go geocaching*
  35.      Farm (you know, a garden and a goat and some hens)
  36.      Dress Fabulously
  37.      Have a “signature scent”.
  38.      School my kids to graduation. To the option to go to a really good college.  If they choose.
  39.      Get through this “teen” stage with my girls and move through to a fun healthy relationship.
  40.      Be the mom who has the fun ideas and executes them simply and economically.
  41.      Be the good grandma.
  42.      Have enormous great holiday celebrations.
  43.      Meet some of my favorite bloggers in person*  Met Shell, at Blissdom; sent by Jennifer.  Found a ton of new faves.
  44.      See some important relationships healed on both sides.
  45.      Invite my cousins, SILS, and nieces & nephews to come visit and have them come or want to come.
  46.      Get a cabin in the mountains for Christmas
  47.      Be the family with season passes for the good stuff (not the living history museum).
  48.      Have the courage and wit to stand up for the right so well that people are persuaded without being angry first.
  49.      Learn to scuba dive (from Lance who promised it to us for a wedding gift).
  50.      Learn to climb rocks.
  51.      Get proficient at some sort of textile related craft.*
  52.      Dance in the rain, again.
  53.      Take Mickey to see the Yankees.
  54.      Buy him a(nother) ’65 Mustang.
  55.      Be better at my job.
  56.      Hang out with the Fergusons, again.  Did it.  Last Mother’s Day…Already time to put it back on the list.
  57.      Win something big.
  58.      Own an RV.
  59.      And the big @#$ truck to pull it with.
  60.      See a miracle.
  61.      Visit Boston.
  62.      Know someone who eventually becomes REALLY famous.(Every Oklahoman who knew Mary Hart when she was on Dannysday.)
  63.      Help my kids search their heritage when the time comes.
  64.     Go snowskiing.
  65.     Spend Christmas in New England.
  66.     Do something that would make my aunts and cousins proud.
  67.     Raise beautiful flowers.
  68.     Keep a journal.
  69.     Have another transcendant friend.
  70.     Be really old and have people asking what the secret is and saying crazy stuff like eating bacon, smoking tiparillos, going without sunscreen, drinking a shot of cheap tequila every time I go #2.  Or whatever.
  71.     Build a home in the plan of either the 83rd street house or my Grandmother’s house.
  72.     Not skydive. So far so good.
  73.     Watch the sunset over a rocky shoreline, drinking wine, while my flat stomach peeks out the bottom of my camisole over the comfortable expensive jeans.
  74.     Visit all the amusement parks so my husband can ride all the roller coasters(I like a day at the park, but don’t particularly care for coasters.  Mickey and Diva E’s joy would be enough).
  75.    De-clutter my house.
  76.    Learn to speak Chinese
  77.    Stand-up at an Open Mic Night
  78.    Enter a Chili Cook-Off.
  79.    Win.
  80.    Love.
  81.    Help.
  82.    Sing.
  83.     Rejoice.
  84.     Be a cause for rejoicing.
  85.     Encourage others.
  86.     Teach my kids the same.
  87.     Teach my kids our family history and theirs.
  88.     Get the Thank Yous out in a timely fashion.
  89.     Get a niece from China. 
  90.     Move the washer and dryer downstairs to the right spot.
  91.     Have a collection of something interesting (-er than coffee mugs and cookbooks).
  92.     Have good hair and skin (please God, one time before I die).
  93.     Not end my 15 minutes of fame by being a stupid idiot.
  94.     Never EVER meet Tom Cruise (or Angelina Jolie or Kate Gosselin or Meredith Viera or Nicole Kidman).  Right on schedule.
  95.     Be prepared in case of an emergency.
  96.    Get a boy’s room ready with a cowboy theme.
  97.    Finish raising the funds for this adoption.
  98.    Pack well.
  99.    Fly to China.
  100.    BRING MY SON HOME!!!!

Now wouldn’t it be fun to pass your list to the person on your right and help make each others lists happen?

 

This is my first time to choose a Mama Kat prompt to write on.  It is a load of fun. [I try to link up often.  It’s still fun.]

I am linking this post to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop, still.

 

 

*some of these need to give credit to Jennifer @ Momma Made It Look Easy.  These are the ones I might not have remembered if I hadn’t read her list.  Any other duplication is because we seem to look forward to some similar things.

F-5: The Finger of God

image: trailer addict

If you follow me on Twitter, you know we watched Twister last night.  For those of you who are not from Tornado Alley, I should clarify that it is to weather forecasting what Star Wars is to manned space exploration.  Just. About. Nothing.

 

Except gorgeous.  Not only does Helen Hunt’s hair NEVER look bad for one second, and there are so, so, many beautiful views of the prairie.  The film takes place in the middle of where I lived from birth to age 27.  Mountains and beaches mean nothing to me, compared to the beauty and power of a storm rolling across the prairie.

While talking with my friend, yesterday, I came to the realization that pretty much everything about life has changed.  I am still married and still have my kids. We are still healthy. We still live in the same place.

But.

The bills are paid.

I don’t lay awake worrying.

Neither does he.

Mickey has new shoes.

So do I.

So do the kids.

Shoes, y’all.

Mickey even got some socks.

We replaced this pump on the HVAC unit.  With no fear.  No resentment.

There is discussion of joining a pool this summer. (???)

He hadn’t been at the new job too many days, when he became combative when I expressed the slightest difference from his thinking.  He’d been effing miserable, but it had been more of a “we’reallinthistogetherIamsorrythissuckssomuchtoobeatdowntocare” thing.  This was different.

We kinda worked through that.

Then, last week, we were both out of balance.  Feeling a dread we couldn’t identify the source of.  A little bicker-y.  Then it dawned on me.

It was the end of the pay period.  Our bodies were accustomed to going around in fear and anxiety, but this time there was no reason to panic.

Our bodies.

Our minds.

Our relationship.

The second half of the pay period (or half our lives, whichever you please).  For years.

Once I pointed this out to him, things have settled a bit.

Did I mention?  The bills are paid.

The last shot of the movie Twister is supposed to be an aerial view of the path of the storm.  I haven’t ever seen a real one, so that’s what I have to go on.

It’s like that.  Scoured and razed and fresh and alive to see it.

And kiss before we go back to living the dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Magic

The office Christmas party?  Dull, but no one showed their girdle. Big boss had walked in the office with a big smile on his face the day before and I had just cut him a look (not the right thing to do at all, but I had just drawn my hands out of a stranger’s commode.  My rubber glove had torn, so the toilet water had touched my hand and by the time stupid boss guy flashed his giant grin, I was in no mood to pretend “it’s all good”.).  I thought I could sort of tell he and his wife were treating me differently, but whatever.  I can only re-iterate that we aren’t really friends(I have spent more time with the tellers at my bank this year).  He feels there has to be a party and we feel compelled to attend.  Fortunately, the other partner hosted with her new husband.  The food was great, they had a gift for each household (beyond the ornament exchange)and Mickey and I brought home the gag gift, per usual.  On the way there, we realized we had forgotten to pay the mortgage, so I never really entered in, anyway.

Anyway.

Yeah, still procrastinating on the Santa thing with the boy.  He is keeping his mouth shut after his sister who cares not about anyone else’s feelings hollered, “There’s no Santa,” at him. I think he thinks she is wrong.  He and I need to discuss it.  We were out the other day and there was an instrumental recording playing and Mickey asked me what the song was… It was ” I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”.  He got a look on his face like “Eeew, how completely inappropriate.”

In the meantime, I am beginning to doubt my stance.  Occasionally, that little inner voice has whispered, “You hate fun,” since I posted in September about my kids making their own fun, then about not Trick or Treating; I have more an more often seen myself from the outside looking in.  It looks like we haven’t had much fun with the kids or each other or anything else.

In spite of all this, Christmas is coming anyway.

Somehow, friends have come alongside.  We could not have done anything without their help.  There will be presents under the tree.  We are total charity cases this year, but God has reminded me that He sees.  His people are His hands and His feet.  It is irritating to be humbled.  It is humbling finding out who cares most about you and who either doesn’t care enough to know or knows and doesn’t care enough to just squeeze a hand.

By His grace:
-bills are current.
-there will be something under the tree.
-stockings will be filled.
-Mickey is still employed. (They haven’t done the holiday firing. Yet.)
-friends have gathered around to encourage us.
-there is plenty of food in the kitchen.

Amongst all the emotion and the fight for fun…  I realized that last week marked the anniversary of Mickey’s mother’s death, 2 years ago.  6 years ago, this week, my grandma and great-grandma passed away within 27 hours.  Gah, no wonder we struggle to enjoy the season.  So that is filed away.

This afternoon, we are going to “Market Square” to the Holiday Ice Skating place and a friend and I will visit while our children skate.  See.  I am fun.

The girls got to go Swing Dancing with college friends on Monday night.  See? Fun!!! Right?

I don’t know what tomorrow holds.  But I can’t prove that Santa didn’t put me back in front of Jesus again this year.

Durn It, Ree.

Nine years ago, I was in an email discussion with an online friend with whom I shared an fascination with the tough gals of the old west, who did the same job we did, without the benefit of indoor plumbing and electricity, to say nothing of telephone and television.  Which is how I found myself searching for photos of the Pioneer Woman Statue in Ponca City, OK.

The second or third result yielded a “blog” (whatever that was) of a gal who had moved from the big city to the “isolated” country somewhere.  I rolled my eyes, thought,”kwitcherbitchin'”, and moved on to locate the object of my search.  The “real” Pioneer Woman.

I didn’t tell anyone about it.  Didn’t read all that much of it and didn’t think of it again until last Saturday, when I got my birthday present.

Shut up.

I have always been the girl who bucked the trend.  If someone said, “You have to…”  I would say in my snotty little heart, “Do I?”  I still haven’t seen the movie, Titanic.

So I get way down in the middle of memorizing every word reading my shiny new cookbook, and she tells about the day a few years ago when she started her blog.  Oh.  That Pioneer Woman.

Shut up.

Ree Drummond got the life I wanted.  Ranch, cowboy, basset hound ( I don’t want hers; I want my own.). I am from Oklahoma and I knew I wanted the dream life when Ree was in L.A. spending too much on shoes. She also happens to have collected on my current dream.  Her little simple blog grew to the point that when she published her cookbook, her fans went out and made it a #1 bestseller.  And demanded more.

Worst of all, I couldn’t find a single thing to criticize about the book.  It’s great.  I am a cookbook snob. I spent the entire weekend trying to find something to dislike.  There was nothing*.  It’s like she wrote it for me. Thanks, Pioneer Woman.

*Nothing I wouldn’t ask of every cookbook ever published. Is there a law requiring that every cookbook ever published include a recipe for artichoke dip?  I mean it; I need to know.

Yeah, and no, I am not being paid for an endorsement.  Or a review. Duh.  There is just not really anyplace but the blog where you can say you love someone you want to hate (ya stalker) and someone somewhere will go, “I’m cool with that.”



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