Thursday, June 30, 2011

Any Better?

OK, so is this any better than the one below?
The tan line that shows through does not show up in person.

Personally, I like this better. Not purty but it is functional.

At least the middle pic is better than where I started
in this little "need a footstool" project!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Home Craftiness.....

You are all going to be so blown away by my home crafting skills that took place today! After I accomplished this clever creation I happened to walk through the TV room and heard these words as Hubs was clicking the TV through multiple channels at the speed of light.

"...even for you NON-crafters..." 

The lady on the craft show said this with such disgust and loathing that I took it personally and told her to shut up. Yep, I did.

And now I will show you my inventive home decor.....

Remember this pic of my new writing space? I talked about it here.

After a few days in there I realized that I really needed a footstool and we did not have one, at least not one that could be spared for that room. So here is what I did!..........Ta daaa!!

Hahaha! Like it? It works!

I did redo this! For reals! 

Well, in my defense, that beautiful dresser you see here used to be a work bench in my father's garage when I was little. It was painted LIME GREEN! So ugly, guess that's why it was out there. After we got married Hubs noticed it and saw beneath it's ugly paint and asked if we could have it. My parents gladly let us haul it away and we sanded it down to it's true beauty. It's been a staple in our home for 33 years now!
So there Crafty Lady!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tips For Saving Money While Unemployed...

  • Sleep in as late as possible thereby skipping one meal of the day.
  • Wash and reuse plastic baggies. (Not really funny cause I've done this for years anyway.)
  • Go to Costco at lunch time and eat the samples.
  • Have dessert by visiting ice cream shops and asking for samples.
  • Cut your own hair and get your friends to call it "edgy".
  • Share your refilled coke at Taco Bell. (Is that cheating?)
  • Be a vegetarian and grow your own food, unless you know how to grow a cow.
  • Decide that "day old" is ok.
  • Trick your marriageable kid into attending a young millionaires club meeting.
More to come I'm sure!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

A very Old Mommy Blogger Never Shuts Up....

Check out my friend's brave and courageous mommy blog, by moms and for moms, The Secret Mom Competition. It's  a place for moms to tell it all, the good, bad and the ugly! And she asked me to be a guest blogger, here's my 2nd post.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Leave Me Alone So I Can Write!

I am going to cheat a bit and post the same thing here that I posted on my other blog with some additions to it just for you special people in my life........

Hi Friends, I think of you all as my friends even though I've never met the majority of you. You have been through some tough times with me this last year. My family has seen huge shifts and loss and we have also seen the goodness of our God in the middle of it all. His presence has not always been as big and obvious as I would choose, but it is there, in a deep and quiet place.

Personally I have made a very real and definite rearrangement of what I want to do with my life and my mother's death has only reinforced my determination to pursue this old dream of mine. Something about her stubborn tenacity to learn new things and be creative in brand new unknown areas has challenged me stop waiting passively for my "ship to come in."

The photos you see here are a sign of my intentionality to pursue writing and freelance writing with greater aggressiveness and purpose. I am smiling as I look at them because they look like the opposite of "aggressive and assertive"! But you are looking at my newly arranged Writing Space, just for me and just for serious writing. This is back in our spare room rather than in the living room where I usually write.

I won't check out Facebook in this chair and I will not normally write a blog here even though I am doing so right now. Blogging is my fun-time relaxation between my serious writing times. I know, blogging IS writing but there is a difference. You are not paying me!

I have two paying writing jobs right now. One of them is guaranteed $$ with each article I send in. The other has conditions and I will not always be paid $$. I am on the hunt for more of the guaranteed $$ type! 

But I have learned that I must set aside the time to go to my Writing Space just as if I was going into the office to work as I have done for the last decade. Sitting around my home without an outside job and only writing when the mood hits is not going to cut it anymore.
Think I need a footstool though!

And it's working! Today is Thursday. On Monday I came in here and pumped out three articles. Tuesday I sat in this comfy chair and wrote two articles and Wednesday I wrote  two more. This will be a $$ making week if I can continue this way. Can I do it? Why

My life has been turned upside down this last year (job losses, both our mom's passing) and it is not fun to feel like I am (we are) starting over again in our mid fifties. But, maybe the job loss was the only way that I would ever consider going after my old dream of being a writer? I'm not saying that God did it, but He is helping me to find the silver lining and the support from Hubs and my friends has been wonderful! Actually Hubs JUST recently began to see that I could really do this. He has watched me go after it relentlessly since last June when we first lost our shared job, and he sees that I can really bring in some $$. Because I have! I so want to tell you the numbers but that seems crass....oh whatever!.....I'm about to hit $1,000 coming in from my freelance writing! Yay me! But that is spread out from last June to this June and it was while I was working every day (at our interim job which has now ended.) outside the home. So now..........I am home all the time and shifting into full-time writing mode! 
Here I go!!

Thanks for listening and thanks for letting me have this one-sided conversation with you. Feel free to make it two-sided and leave me a comment!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Do Your Dishes Talk?

Have said it before but I am saying it again! I LOVE my empty nest. But it does get kind of quiet and boring every once in a while. ...I know that those of you who are currently chasing little munchkins around your house and yard are wanting to cuss at me after that statement.....Sorry, but your quiet, boring moments will come, they will.

As I was saying, it does happen around here, but not so often that I wish they'd move back home! Nope, that is not happening (knock on wood). But I really do love it when they come spend the evening or day with us. I never knew how fun it would be to be around my sons and their Loves as adults.

For a small peek at one of the best things about their visits, hop on over to my latest post at GoodBlogs, called I Think My Dishes Are Talking To Each Other and help vote it to the Top Posts for me won't you?

Thanks friends!,

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm A Weight-lifting Wimp!

I finally found the perfect way to put my teeny tiny weights to some good use. They make perfect book ends don't they?

Those little three pound weights and I do not have a pleasant history. No, they are not too heavy! But even light weights (ha!) can do damage if they are used in the wrong way. About a year ago I bought these little cuties because I read that I needed more than just yoga to get fit. 

I had saved a magazine article that described the best moves with small weights and it included diagrams so I thought I was all set to get firm arms. Some time in the first few weeks of using them I did something wrong and then spent several months with a super pain-filled shoulder on my right side. It messed up my sleep, holding my hair dryer and about a million other things that you use your arm for but never realized until it makes you grimace with ugly pain. The doctor recommended physical therapy to keep the muscles from "freezing up" out of dis-use. 

Going to physical therapy did not work out for me and even though I really thought I was moving my shoulder a lot to keep it limber, it did freeze up and I could no longer hold my hand up in the air or zip up my clothes in back. It was as unmovable as if you tried to bend your knee the opposite direction. This also eliminated my favorite (and ONLY) exercise; yoga. I know that downward dog can be done with one arm but, not by this woman!

But, inexplicably, all the pain, stiffness and immovability went away several Sundays ago as I sat in my church listening to one of the leaders tell about some arm healings that he had been a part of recently! He was up there literally swinging his arm all the way around as he described what the healed person had done after being set free from pain and I did not associate it with myself at all. Not at all! I knew I had pain and needed healing but I had been there, done that, for nearly a year already.

They had no altar call for healing, no "put your hand on the pain as we all pray together," nothing. He was just reporting what had happened when he prayed for someones bad arm. I did not even know I was healed until that night in bed. I was talking to Hubs and suddenly realized that I was leaning on the "bad" arm without pain! 

Now I am pain free! So, coming back to those pretty little baby blue weights....they are holding up my treasured books while I get back to my favorite yoga workout videos! 

Thanx God!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time For Work

I've got about five more minutes on my blogging timer for this morning! I have been getting more INTENTIONAL with my writing and the way I use my time. Since I am out of work and we've had some pretty major family issues lately, I have fallen into the bad habit of staying up late, sleeping in and vegging out all day online without producing much of anything. Not good! (C'mon spell-check, "vegging" is a word now right?) 

So I have had to get tough with meself and set a timer for morning blogging, then exercise, then shower, then serious writing and market research. The serious writing may sometimes include blogging, but not every day.

I have kept that schedule for a whole 3 days counting today!! Ta-daa! Ha!

I miss you all and feel like I have been letting this blog slip into last place. I love this place a lot though. It is my no rules, say anything place that I still need very much! I want to thank you all for sticking with me through all of the death themed posts of recent weeks. I am sure there are more to come and I know you understand.

Thank you for all the kind and encouraging comments! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Business Meeting or Popcorn? Hmm

Our church is conducting a business meeting to change some items in the church constitution. The meeting began one hour and nine minutes ago and I am sitting in my cozy living room browsing through the blogs I follow and doing a bit of writing while munching on a big bowl of popcorn.

One of the great perks of no longer being on a church staff! Yes!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Living Wholeheartedly

I keep trying to write about other things but my mind and heart are so full of my mother that I guess I will just go with the flow and see where it takes me. We did not talk on the phone every day or even every week, but we did talk daily in my head. Mothers are more powerful than they feel or know. I feel her "votes" on everything I do. Sometimes I agree with her and sometimes I do not, both are valuable lessons. 

Here are the words I shared at my mother's memorial on May 28, 2011...

...My mother had a great gift for going overboard. It used to embarrass me as a kid and teenager. But in later years I came to realize that the better word for her was “whole-hearted”. She did nothing just halfway or half-hearted.

When my mother became interested in painting ceramics, she took ceramic classes, began buying the molds and then for several years taught her own ceramics classes and 'fired' her student’s creations in her own kiln in our garage! She also loved to oil paint and so for as long as I can remember there were numerous oils of great old barns around our home.

She loved card games, we often found ourselves sitting in a circle late into the night for hours and hours when visiting. There is an entire drawer in the dining room full of playing cards! I have played Shanghai for many hours while longing for my bed!

My mom loved to garden. Did she just do some pretty yard planting and leave it at that? No way! She went to classes and became a Certified Master Gardener and displayed a garden scenes at the fair, she also created and sold some beautiful planters called Hypertufas, for several years. Her yards are a lush and inspiring place to walk or sit and enjoy the scenery. My mom's yards have "rooms" divided by greenery that have distinct themes and colors and moods. 

When Mom became interested in photography, she again attended classes and my first-born is embarrassingly THE most photographed kid in the world! This was 28 years ago, before the digital age and everyone's phones included a camera. She would show me pictures of him in outfits I had never seen because she had her own little fashion shows when she babysat him! 

But her best time for going overboard was the holidays. The boxes and boxes of decorations were brought in from the garage and "Decoration/Craft Room" and the house was thoroughly transformed top to bottom. Curt still talks about his first Christmas in our family. Walking into my parent's home had him wide-eyed and a little dis-oriented! No room was left without holiday cheer and adornment. I remember him coming to me and quietly saying, "Umm, there is a Christmas Tree in the bathroom!” My response was, "Yah, so?” 

But my mom did not confine her decorating to the house and yard. Every job she held in my growing up years was another opportunity to "brighten the place up". At the hospital jobs, the dry cleaning and office job, and our home church; her holiday decorations changed the atmosphere for the better. And I would not be surprised to hear that she has been decorating for her church functions and women's clubs here.

Mom’s gift of doing everything with her whole heart will be missed.... 

Another thought that I will add here but was not appropriate at the service is that my mom made me crazy and she also kept me sane. That gives me great hope for my own children's sanity!

PS If you're not tired of hearing me blather on go here and vote me to the Top Posts! Thanx.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thank You Friends

I hope you are not going to tire of hearing about my mother because she seems to be consuming me lately. She passed away on May 19, 2011 in her home state of Washington. Yesterday we returned home to California after a week there to celebrate her life and help Dad with the house a bit.

My heart is full. Good memories, bad ones and sweet ones. I have always wondered why people seem to go on and on about their deceased loved ones good traits as if they never did anything wrong. Now I know. As much as my Mom drove me crazy and made me frustrated, all of that just suddenly shrunk in comparison to her good qualities when I no longer had her. It just did not seem important anymore.

I have much to share with you and I'll be back soon, but I just wanted to say thank you for your kind and understanding comments during this time in my family. Your words mean so much, especially for a word lover like me and coming from my great circle of word-o-philes out there!