Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Not Sad (for Maya)

Not Sad                      (for Maya)                                                              

They say she died.
How sad!

But no…

I'm not sad,
because Before,
she was there
in a book
in my hand,
and her words
found a place
in my heart.

Not sad

upon further
there she is,
in my heart.

Not sad

the free bird


Hard work
was very well done.
And as lives go,
Well done!
What a run!

And now

the free bird

Jeanne Medina

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How's that 2012 Resolution List Working Out?

I'm one of those people who dreams big. Yes, I'm always biting off more than I can chew, and that results in more messes than I have time to clean up. But, I'm 49 years old so it's possible that's just not going to change.

 I'm learning to love myself regardless of what I actually get done. I'm learning to love my indomitable spirit, that just keeps on dreaming and trying no matter how many times I fail, or leave things half done. I'm learning to make something beautiful out of the mess.

At the beginning of the year I had a huge list of lofty goals for 2012. I didn't really think I'd manage to succeed at all of them, but had to laugh at myself when I only got half of them written down in the blog. I meant to go back and write the rest in a second post, when the first one got too long, but never made it back until now.

Rather than post the rest of the list, I'm going to do a check in, and see exactly where I'm at with the short list.
(here's the original post: 2013 Resolutions List

 1. Keep the weight off.  Yay! 
I have, indeed, kept the weight off. I am within my 5 lb wiggle zone!

2. Organize the garage. Well, it's no use posting another picture, because, though there has been some shifting of the piles, the overall state of navigability is about the same.  I have kept an open path to the garage door, but have somehow managed to add more stuff to the piles.

 My husband and son have taken up cycling, so there are two more bikes and helmets. Also, there are now two huge sheets of masonite, that I plan to paint one of these days. So, though it's not a win, it's not gotten worse per se, so that's practically a win in my book!

3. Clean the Bedroom. I'm going to claim improvement on the bedroom situation. I have rearranged some things so that there are no longer shin bruising obstacles on the path to my bed. And I did empty nearly an entire box of papers today, sorting it into categories: Shred, Recycle, To Be Filed Papers, and Receipts (to be sorted later). So, progress.

4. Follow Up with Clients. I am still a mess when it comes to organization, but I did take steps toward a system. I bought a bag that I keep my brochures tidy in, and it has a clear zipper pocket on the side that I can put someone's business card or filled out index card of information.

Then, when I get home, I can put them into a box that I have index cards numbered 1-31. Whatever day of the month I need to perform action on that card, I place it behind that number.  Then each day, I take out the cards that need action and either sit at my desk and call those people, or take the cards with me if I have to go out.

Any business cards, get taped to an index card where I add notes about the meeting or any actions I have taken with that client.  I have yet to feel completely at ease with the system, but it's new so, I'm going to give it some time.

5. Invest in my Business. I bought my conference ticket! I'm really excited to get to go to the conference in June. My husband is taking vacation during that time, so he can take over with the kids for me, and I can take some extra days to travel and make some more business connections along the way. He's the best!

6. Pray 5 times a day. Nope. Not there yet. It sounded so reasonable when I wrote it. Morning, Bedtime, 3 Meals.  So, simple.  Not there yet.

7. Blog Weekly. Hahahahah! Epic Fail! It has been 3 months since my last blogpost!

8. Engage online Everyday. This one is a win. I haven't been blogging, but I have indeed been engaged online. It's easy to get sucked into it like a vortex, but I've been keeping my wits about me, and trying to make sure that I'm making connections with real people and friends, and not just reading the endless shocking, funny stuff that would substitute for a real life if we aren't careful.

9. Exercise 3 times a week. This is a win.  I have a friend that meets with me once a week regularly, to walk in the mall, and I've been walking the mall with my Mom about once or twice a week also.

Other than that, I walk a bit in the neighborhood each day, as I take my daughter back and forth to school and to play at the park. The overall amount of exercise has gone up significantly over last year. I feel pretty good. I don't get winded easily at all. I take time to stretch, once I'm warmed up.

10. Visit my StepMom once a month. I'm glad I didn't totally fail at this goal, but it hasn't been regular enough. We did recently get together with the kids at her house for an afternoon. We baked some apple pies, played with the bunny, pulled weeds in the garden, and got to burn sticks in her little Mexican oven she has out in the yard. My son loved that part!  Then another time, she and I met for breakfast and then went shopping for clothes. It was fun.

11. Clean Desk every day. I think I only manage this about once a month. So, needs improvement.

12. Take care of my nails everyday. Epic Fail. I have spent more time with bandaids on my fingers this year than all last year. Why? I even have the solution. The Jamberry Nails work to stop it, but only if I actually put them on. Why do I not get around to this most basic need for self care? I did just recently put in an order for some more of them, which should arrive soon, so having more colors may help. I was often thinking I didn't have the right color to go with whatever I was wearing, so having more choices of colors should help. This is another instance where I put every squeaky wheel ahead of my own basic needs. It's got to change.

13. Paint at least one day a week. Totally Bombed on this one. I let everything get in the way of my painting. I even put it on my calendar two days a week, but I shove it aside every time. I even made a date with my walking friend to meet here, and she worked on something she'd been putting off while I was supposed to paint. It was overcast, and I blamed the light. I did clean the art room the whole time she was here though, so I got something done, anyway.

(I did meet an artist this week,from my neighborhood, who doesn't have a studio, so I may set up some paint dates with her to come paint with me, and perhaps that will get me painting again. )

14. Write Poetry at least once a week. Well, I haven't written poetry, or blogged (until now), but I have been writing! I joined a writing group. We meet once a week to do writing exercises. It's been so fun! I've been writing in a completely different style. I like it a lot. I'm not sure if I'm ready to share it here yet, but I may later.

15. Be in the Pictures. I'm not remembering to do this. I did end up with this one shot of me, only because I attended an event where another Mom had a camera, and posted the shot online.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Resolutions List

Okay, here it is the middle of January and I'm just getting around to posting this. So, obviously time management is one of my big areas for improvement.

Some people just make one big resolution and focus on that change for the year, but I somehow ended up with a list of 25 things!

 I know better than to think I can succeed at everything all the time, but with such a long list, I'm bound to get something right eventually! Right? I'm not just playing the percentages here.  I'm learning to fail a lot, on my way to success, instead of letting myself get stuck by fear of failure.

Here goes, My List for 2013!

1. Keep the weight off!  (I lost 35 lbs in 2011 and kept it off in 2012
I want to continue to keep the weight off for the rest of my life and that takes some commitment. I weigh every single day in the morning after waking. I write it down in a date book. I don't sweat a 5 lb. variance, but if I'm on the high end, it's a wake up call that I need to remember what's been working, and do more of that, and not slide back into old bad habits.

2. Organize the Garage  I know I'm not the only one who's car has been banished to the elements in order to make room for stuff I don't really want anymore, or stuff I only need once a year and, said stuff, is strewn about so haphazardly it's become a daily obstacle course, when I leave the house. (Okay, I have worked on this goal, so now there's a clear path out of the garage! Yippee! Baby steps)

3. Clean the Bedroom  Inevitably, there's a mad scramble to clean up the common areas, because someone is on their way over to my house. Where to dump the stuff I can't reasonably put in it's proper place in time?
My bedroom. Consequently, said dumping ground, is yet another obstacle course I get to navigate, after staying up way too late on the computer, in the dark, because I don't want to wake the hubs, who has to get up early.
 I often awaken him anyway, with crunching noises of stuff I stepped on, or shouts of pain, when I misjudge the location of the furniture, or with the ominous sound of a paper avalanche, sliding off one of the perpetually buried surfaces I manage to brush up against, when I'm careening off the furniture.

 (Sigh. I can't believe I'm showing you this.)

4.  Follow up with clients. One of my gifts is that I can be fully present with people. I listen really well, and when someone has been with me, they usually feel they've been heard.

 The flip side of this lovely coin, is that I live in the present. Out of sight, out of mind. With my poor organizational skills, this translates to not getting back to people as quickly as I should, and that means my business isn't growing as fast as it could be. So, baby steps for this resolution will involve organization and tech support.

5. Invest in my Business. I have spent many years being exceptionally frugal, so that we could dig our way out of loads of debt. Medical issues have been keeping our family in the red for years, but thanks to frugal living, and by the grace of God, we have managed to make our way back into the black.

 I'm not used to spending, but I have a unique opportunity right now to make a substantial amount of money, if I go ahead and invest in my business. I want to take advantage of some very critical timing. I plan to do some business travel this year and attend at least one conference.

6. Pray 5 times a Day. At first I thought this sounded excessive, but then decided it's very reasonable. I already pray first thing in the morning. My feet don't hit the floor, without thanking God for my family and asking to be guided throughout the day.

 Then, if I say grace at each of my three meals, and then remember to say my night-time prayers, I'm all set! I have not come anywhere near close to meeting this goal regularly, at any time in my life. So, it's a stretch for me, but it's one I'd like to undertake.

7. Blog Weekly. If anyone looks, you'll see that I have not posted in this blog since November of last year. I have two pretty good excuses. First, I've been really busy, growing my business, and second,
I think I was running away from thinking about my Dad.

On this blog, I shared so much deep gut wrenching stuff about the experience of losing my Dad to a brain tumor last year, that I just needed to stop thinking about it for a while and just live. I didn't decide that consciously, but now that I'm wondering why I stopped posting, I think this is at least half the reason.

8. Engage Online Everyday. I'm on Facebook everyday, (who isn't? Well, a few.) But I'm really talking about my Fanpage. I started a Fanpage in order to really connect with other people, who are wanting to lose weight and maintain healthy eating.

 Last year, I only posted when I had something specific to share, but this year, I'd like to turn that page into something more interactive, like a support page, where people share and support each other to reach their goals. To do that, I'm going to need to be on there every day, starting conversations. So, please come visit and like Weight Goal Inspiration !

 9. Exercise 3 times a Week.
My normal routine is to meet a friend at the mall, once a week and walk around for an hour or two, before the stores open. We talk, so I don't really notice I'm exercising. It's the only way I can do it. I need talking and pretty things in the store windows to distract me from the fact that I'm exercising. It works really well.

I can't do it alone. So, I'm going to get two more walking buddies for the other days.

10. Visit my Step-Mom once a month. We've talked about this. We both have avoided each other, because seeing each other brought back the pain of losing my Dad.

 I've decided the only cure for this problem is to just have a set, regular time that we see each other, and just make our own new memories, until we have more happy memories, than sad ones.

The trouble is, that she and my Dad had only been married a year, when he was diagnosed. For that first year, I had pretty much stayed out of their hair. I didn't want to butt in on their honeymoon. Plus, they lived in her house, so I felt awkward inviting myself and my kids over. I don't regret that now. During his illness, we were there a lot,  but because most of our time there, was spent going through such awful times, it leaves us with mostly painful memories between us.

So, my goal is to overwrite them with new memories, because this woman was the love of my Dad's life. We are each a part of him, still here. His daughter. His grandkids, His "Great Love".  She made him truly happy for the first time in his life, and I will forever be grateful to her for that. That's something I didn't even know I needed. It resolved something for me, a sadness in myself.  I needed to see my Dad happy.

11. Clean Desk Everyday. If you could see the piles of would know what a gigantic proposition this is for me. But my desk is in the kitchen, so keeping it clean, and dealing with every item that needs to be handled, is a huge goal for me this year. I'm going to need a system...

12. Take Care of my Nails Every Day.  I have one OCD issue and that is, that I'm a cuticle biter. Yep. I gnaw my own flesh. It's completely unconscious, so if I become aware that I'm doing it, I stop immediately. However, pretty soon I'm at it again.

It's worse if I'm really distracted, like when I'm watching a movie and there's a tense scene, or if I'm reading a book. It's worse in the winter, when my hands get dry. Lotion helps, but not for long. Carrying a nail grooming kit helps a bit, if I can catch myself and quickly smooth them. Then last year, I discovered Jamberry Nails , and they have made all the difference!

 Let me preface, by saying that I clean up nice, but I am not naturally a girly girl. I don't primp. I've gone most of my life without applying makeup. Now that I'm older I do more. But last year I was invited to a Jamberry Nail Party at a friend's house. I was due for a girl's night out, so I went.  It was intriguing and actually quite fun! So, I tried them. Those nails stayed on for two solid weeks and I did not pick, or bite my cuticles, the entire time!!! Noel's Jamberry on FB

Here I am drinking peach mango tea,
wearing my Teal Sparkle Jamberry Nails.

13. Paint at least One Day a Week. My Dad was an artist.  When I was little, my parents gave me art supplies. It's in my blood and in my brain. I see the world with an artist's eye, and when I close my eyes in reverence of the most meaningful moments in my life, I see paintings forming there in my mind. However, these images rarely materialize on the physical plane.

 Why? Good question. That's a whole other post. Suffice it to say, that I now have an art studio built onto my home, (here's how that happened: Art Studio! ), and I plan to make good use of it in 2013. Since it was built last year, my daughter has used it way more than I have. That's about to change!

14. Write Poetry at least Once a Week. I've been a poet since I was twelve years old. I've rarely shared my poems with other people, but when I have, they've been well received. Like the paintings I see in my head, I hear poetry sometimes.

 I try to keep a pad of paper handy to catch them. But when I let myself get so busy, I can't hear myself think, it drowns out the poetry. So, my commitment is to make more time for quiet with a pen, which may mean that some of these nights I'll have to cheat on my my Main Squeeze, (the computer!)

Exceptions to the rule. A couple of poems I shared on my blog:


The Gift

15. Be in the Pictures. With my Dad passing away, it fell to me to put together photos for his memorial service. Thankfully, I found quite a few, which is wonderful, since he spent so many years living in other states and other countries. I feel so blessed that people sent me photos they had of him,  and that I got some shots of him when he was visiting. Some are downright priceless to me!

I am always behind the camera taking shots of the kids and goings on. When I was heavier, I regularly deleted shots of myself. So, there are very few from the past 10 years. I regret that now, because my kids and my husband saw me just like that, and loved me, just the way I was.

 I deleted reminders of my kid's childhood, just because of my insecurity about my looks. It was undeserved shame. I was a loving mother and nothing is more beautiful to a child and a husband. I never judged other mothers so harshly. Why did I hate the sight of me?

I  look better now, so I can't say for sure if I'd be so ready to be in the picture without the weight loss, but thankfully, I feel great about how I look now.  I'm not going to be shy anymore.  I will get into the pictures and I will delete fewer shots!

I do feel physically fantastic these days. I used to be tired all the time and had to nap nearly every afternoon. Now, I can do anything! I love feeling freedom of movement again. I felt squeezed all the time, when I was heavy. Even when I wore nothing at all, my belly just got in my way!

The weight of my belly used to throw my back out, when I'd lay in bed, on my side. The weight of it pulled on my low back and I'd be sore every morning.  I know excess weight causes inflammation and I was aching all the time. Really, that was the biggest reason I decided to try and lose the weight, because I was in pain.

That's all gone now. The weight, the big belly, the joint and muscle aches, and the shame, even though I know now, that I didn't deserve to feel that way.  Now I know it wasn't my fault that I got so heavy.  I had a lot of misinformation about what to eat,  a lack of information about how to eat, and no real support.  Now I have learned so much,  and I want to share it with anyone else who wants it.

I'll be on Facebook every day at Weight Goal Inspiration  and that's where I'll be discussing weight loss and healthy eating.

 I'll be posting here, (hopefully) once a week to blather on about everything else.

Oh dear! Here I promised to share my 25 posts and I'm only up to 15, but it's after midnight now, so I'll have to put the rest off until the next post.  Otherwise I'll have to add another resolution, to not stay up all night when I'm blogging!

I'd love it if you'd share your resolution/or list with me in the comments!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thank God for Speeding Tickets

Last year I was running errands, a couple of blocks from my home. I was driving the speed limit,  (30mph). I came around a curve, when suddenly, a toddler appeared right in front of my car!

 I hit the brakes, and a very young girl, (she looked about 3 years old), came out from the hedges, and ran out into the street to get her baby brother. Both of them could have easily been killed. Lots of people tear around that corner at 45 mph, and would not have been able to stop in time.

 I don't want to judge people. Whoever's children those were, may not have been able to care for them. They live in an apartment complex with no fenced areas to play. I don't know their circumstances.

Should the parents keep them in the dark apartment all day? Probably not. Perhaps the mother is single and has to work for food and rent, and there's no one to watch them, but a careless teenaged sibling. I'll never know.

 But, I thank God that I was the one on the road that day, when that baby toddled out into the road, and that I was paying attention to the speed limit. Why did I obey the sign?  Because I got a speeding ticket on that road about a year before.

I thank God for that ticket, that sent me to traffic school, that cost me money, so that I'd take my speed seriously.

Now, I take it seriously not only to avoid the money and hassle of a ticket, but because the look I saw in the eyes of that little girl is seared into my consciousness. But it was the ticket, that slowed my speed, and kept my mind on the road signs, instead of my shopping list. It was the ticket that made that moment,  one of gratitude, instead of tragedy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday & Favorite Things

It's Thankful Thursday! and since that hop is tiny, I'm combing that with Favorite Things. I'm going to be posting what I'm thankful for on Thursdays, and one favorite thing that I'd like to share with you.
 What a great way to round up the week, being reminded of all the ways we are blessed!  

I'm grateful for my children's good health. Yesterday, my rambunctious daughter decided that hopping onto the side of the tub might be fun. She found out it was, indeed, not fun. She smacked her head into the wall.

Thankfully, her ear padded her skull and the only real casualty was her exuberance. My normally sunny girl, was decidedly sad for the rest of the night.   As I look back over the course of their lives, I can see that both my kids have pretty much steered clear of the emergency room, and have robust immune systems. I'm very, very thankful!

I'm grateful for financial security. I have made the choice to be a "stay-at-home" Mom for nearly all my children's lives, and some days caring for my disabled aunt. More recently, in the past year, I was blessed with the opportunity to become a Boresha distributor, sharing the blessings of weight loss and better health with others, and starting to earn a good income from that now. 

I'm grateful for my parent's good health.  I lost my father this year, so the reality of that loss, only increases my joy, at seeing my Mom and Step-Dad regaining their health.  My Mom lost 40 lbs. using the fat burning tea, and her doctor took her off the diabetes medications, she'd been on for 17 years.  I feel down deep in my heart, that this change in her health will mean having her with us, for so many more years than we would have, had her health continued the way it was going.

I'm grateful for a functioning car. My sister-in-law, who has three kids, ended up with no car. So my husband loaned her his car. That can be an inconvenience at times, but compared with having no car, it's nothing. I'm grateful we had one to spare, until she can get transportation again. 

I'm grateful for this cool weather we have been having this week, and all the rain, that was badly needed.

I'm grateful for  good friends who keep in touch, pitch in, or just let us know they are thinking of us, even though all our lives are busy.  I'm also grateful for so many new friends, that I've made as a result of my business and blogging. You have opened up my life! Thank you!

For Favorite Things, I'm going to have to recommend a blogger, Jason Good. He consistently gives me deep belly laughs.  I'm  thankful for writers who make me laugh.

I'm thankful for blog hops because they let a "stay-at-home" mom reach out to so many great people, that I otherwise would never have met. Off to hop!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Most Important Lessons

No matter how hard a parent tries to teach their children Life's important lessons, the core values that you hope will stick, and carry them through, it seems like the mundane, repetitive stuff won't even get in there.  "Look both ways!"..."Wash your hands!"... "If it's not a toothbrush or food, DON'T PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH!"..."Don't yell."... "What do you say? Excuse me. Thank you."

Then, sometimes, without any sort of prompting, they just blow you away with what they know.

My daughter and I went out to do some Back To School shopping. She's going into third grade.  Long ago I learned to just buy the PTA packet, rather than spend many stressful hours running all over town to get the best deals, or find that elusive drawing paper the art teacher wants. Plus our school always pools supplies, so it's just heart breaking for them to pick out special stuff they like, only to have it confiscated and put in the supply closet.  But we always go find a brand new backpack, and lunch box to start the new year. Any special supplies get kept on her homework desk at home.

Well, she picks out a backpack.  Yay! Her favorite was only $10. Matching lunchbox. Check. Cute pencils. Check. Then we spot some pretty pink calculators, and some erasers. Check. Check. We load all this up into the backpack, because we forgot to get a basket.  We go check out. I pay. The cashier puts everything in a sack and hands her the backpack.

She stops me and says, "Mom, this is still in here." The pink calculator. We turn back and I get out some cash to pay for the dollar item.  As we are walking away, she says, "I know that it would have cost us less money not to say anything, but it's worth it, because I want to feel that feeling in my heart, being close to God."

Uh, yeah. What she said. I don't know when or where she learned that, because I don't recall giving her a specific lesson about it, but I know plenty of grownups who don't get that.

I'm also going to sleep a little more soundly, knowing that my girl is going to be okay in her life. She's got "that feeling in her heart", and that can teach her better than I can, any day!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dad's Home

We took Dad's ashes to New Mexico, to be interred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. It was a clear day, blue sky, puffy white clouds, and just enough breeze to keep us from noticing the unusually high temperature. In attendance: His wife, two of my Dad's sisters, myself, my husband and two kids. The Honor Guard stood on either side of him and after we had spoken some words, they opened the flag and then folded it again, in a triangle and presented it to his wife. She then gave it to me. I put a photograph of my Dad, in his military uniform, into the box that held his ashes.

We went to lunch to wait for them to finish the burial and then visited the site. My daughter gathered some wildflowers to place on the grave. He would have liked that so much more than a florist arrangement.

Dad wanted to be buried in Santa Fe, because he lived there a long time, and from the moment he arrived there, he'd felt it was the home of his heart. He traveled extensively throughout the world, and lived in many places, but no place did he feel more "at home" than New Mexico.  I love New Mexico too, and will probably visit this gravesite many times, when we travel there. I know he's with God, but am comforted to know that his remains are exactly where he asked for them to be, now.