PLAN IT, BY GOLLEY DO IT!

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Cowl neck scarf I finished knitting which matches my $1.00 skirt an my cute shoes.  Gina  fatfitanfab.com

Plan! Plan! An replan.  Are we more distracted than previous generations?  Are we less productive than previous generations?  I would venture to say yes, although, it is a general conclusion not based on any statistics.  Are you as productive as you like?

Personally, I feel totally sidelimed by a lack of awareness of time.  Then one gets caught up with their cellphone looking at messages an emails etc.  Time is lost an nothing to show for it.

Previous generations had more responsibilities than we do now, yet we have seemingly more stress an less satisfaction.

Life’s circumstances in many ways provided a simplified life.  There were no Walmarts, Lowes, Hobby Lobby’s etc.  It is easy to be a hoarder with two many interests these days.  Money was saved, set aside, and used practically for the families needs.  Now, credit is a sometime blessing and a many-time curse.  There is always something to buy, and good deals are seductive.

Home-made jams, soaps, candles, or knitted scarfs, or something embroidered were typical gifts when the thought was valued more.  Now, it seems the amount of the gift is a requirement of concern.  Practical gifts of building blocks or a log cabin set were appreciated.  Sadly toddlers are quite tech savvy yet building an engineering skills are being forgotten.  Mechanics, engineers and architects may become rare skills in future generations.  

Plan it! Do it!, Do it!, List it!, Do it, register it!  We go through the phases and we feel exhausted, discouraged as we relist what we want to avoid, yet need to get done.  I have many of these cluttering my conscious an unconscious mind.  Forgetfulness is a consequence of ignoring as a habit.

The standard too do list could be an off shute of our weekly and monthly list.

The standard “To do” list can be recycled into our “Got Done!” List.  I feel so much better writing down what I achieved today.  Also recording my circumstances, like a project manager or contractor on a job site will put in the Log, a start time, how many men on the job, how many subcontractors with crew size an specifics, the weather conditions such as overcast, windy, and 52 degrees, etc.  Writing my circumstances, obligations for day, health challenges, and achievements makes me feel very satisfied.  It is less likely I will judge myself unfairly.

We know what all we have to do.  Just put 12 minutes into the next step of the project and see what happens.

Living fabulously includes simplifying our lives to achieve more focus.  Our Great-Grandparents may no longer be with us yet their examples can always be reconsidered as it’s principles enrich our lives.  I call that a real inheritance.

Loser! Or Winner? How are you labeled, do you label yourself?

How do you label yourself?  How do others label you?  Should we label ourselves or others with such expectations?  Either we expect too much or we expect the worst.

Growing up, it seems we are labeled at birth to be or not to be.  My natural mother attempted to abort me twice via home methods, and obviously was a failure.  As the welfare department knew before my birth they would have me, there were the worst of expectations.  I was instantly labeled unadoptable.  In my records it states I would have many defects and would always be an expense for the department.

Growing up, there were many surprises, that I was good at structural things, creative things, math, etc.  While I was continually reminded that I was not like others, and I was not capable.   To have goals or plans for the future I was setting myself up for disappointment.

There were health problems, yet, I was a lovely little child wanting love, affection, security and praise.  The foster family whom had me since three weeks of age finally got approval to adopt me.  It was really dad whom wanted me.  I was three an a half when Dad left an moved many states away.  At three an a half, I was very saddened when he just disappeared.  Only finding out this year that he left because she was so violent to the children, including me.  Therefore, I did not feel loved, wanted, secure, or praised.

This is not such a sad tale as it appears.  My teachers really made a difference.  Mother would tell them bla, bla, bla, and I was not capable.  Then the teachers would tell her good about me, and she could not deal with it.  When I was delighten from the rewards of achievements, and the praise of teachers, she happily knocked it out of me later.  But can you really knock it out of a person?

Unsavory people in our lives may not be comfortable with our small or large successes.  What is really wrong with them?  Do we have to be underahievers or flawed for others to feel right or superior?   Some are controlling beasts that have those expectations.

Whether it is the family dynamics that keep us in our place, a mate, or friendship.  Example:   “She is the lovely one an I am the fat one”. ” She is organized an I am the messup”.  Does the apparrent winner need a few losers in their life so they can bask in the position they have placed themselves in.  An aquaintance came over an spent a couple hours talking continously about all her achievements.  I praised her as I was very impressed with her hunting, fishing, an outdoor activities.  Finally later I mentioned that I sew some, an I showed her my most unorganized yet interesting workroom  with projects on maniquins an forms.  She was looking, seemingly impressed, then she suddenly said self assaulting words an phrases such as, “I am so dumb, I do not  know how to do that. I am so stupid an useless, …” About herself.  The discomfort caused me to feel regret showing her.  It appeared to me that if she was the only capable one at anything she was happy in this belief, but she couldn’t stand us both being capable.  This would be an unhealthy relationship if I let it develop.

Friends an loved ones support each other as we make decisions that better our lives or persons.  If you start getting daily exercize an get in better shape an become healthier, family members an friends are happy for you.  Or you start keeping your car really clean an clean up your home, these are positive changes you an those whom love you can appreciate.  You do not have to be the “fat one”, “lazy one”, “messy one”, “shy one”, we can make the adjustments to be whatever we want to be.

There are people in our lives that are superior at many things, we can almost feel inferior if we are not careful.  It is a bad habit to look at others an try to determine whom is a loser an whom is a winner.  We might even do it to our own children an label them.  We inhibit others when we put expectations on them.  Some have others expecting too much an then they get involved with all sorts of downfalls because they could not take the pressure of perfectionism and too high expectations.

Some do not expect enough of themselves an their life performance in such important areas as relationships, work, health an fitness, personal organization an habits, an money, they do fail.  This can be because of a lack of parental training, low esteem, or healthy habits.

The point of this article is that no one knows you like our Great Creator Jehovah and his son.  We can make adjustments in our life, habits, thoughts and attitudes.  It takes so long to truly know another, and never completely so.  We are a mystery to ourselves.  Imagine your better self, and then determine what is the next action to take to meet that change.  Finishing what I start fearlessly is what I am working on.  I am enjoying the rewards of that.

 

Another Year Gone By. Happy Prospects Despite:

There is so much is happening in this world, some things are frightening and depressing.  Many are personally touched by tragedy.  Yet, we have a life to live.  As long as we are alive we have a responsibility to be happy.  Some get happiness mixed up with selfishness or me ism.  It is not the same.

If we have a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in, and our basic necessities met, we have a lot to appreciate.  I am not going to depress you with facts and figures about all those whom do not have their basic needs met.  More people than you think have experienced homelessness or other sad situations.  What I would like to suggest is that we can afford to feel a measure of contentment and appreciation.  Contentment and appreciation are Happiness manufactures.  If a person only wants more and they do not see the good in their life with great appreciation, they will never be happy.  When our sons were small and life was so difficult and there was no money to pay the power bill, I still told the boys we were richer than most.  We were.

Another Happiness factor is quit looking elsewhere for what you may already have.  Invest in your mate, children, home, job, and community.  Some are not happy with their mate, what happens then.  Children grow up emotionally detached if we do not regularly communicate with them.  They can become vulnerable because of feeling unloved and lonely.  Everyday, our mates and children need us to Stop!  Look! and Listen!

What would you like to accomplish in the next quarter, 1/2 year point, third quarter?  This first quarter we definitely can start early figuring out our taxes.  An exercise routine is good to get busy with.  This next quarter I want to get some household decorative issues taken care of, finish painting, get some wood work done.

Having a schedule, and quarterly goals keeps me inspired and optimistic.  You cannot be happy if you do not have hope.  There is so much in life we have no power to control.  It is critical that we have short terms goals and long term goals.  Every day consider what step you can take to work toward the accomplishment of your goal.  A short term/longterm goal I have is the practice of productivity in my sewing and painting areas.  I am eager to get more productivity and results regulary.

Productivity restores a sense of well being to the mind.  If a person is layed off, retired, or disabled, productivity is still a necessity.  Some suffer with depression, the loss of employment or an ongoing sad situation can get us down.  Keeping a domestic schedule with some social activities keeps one from isolating themselves.  Productivity causes one to feel accomplished.  Even something as simple as cleaning out one drawer in the kitchen and organizing it gives me pleasure.  Cleaning and organizing a shelf a night in the pantry or the refrigerator creates good feelings.

Assessing responsibilities, and fulfilling them, benefits all.

Considering the application of some of these behaviors, attitudes and habits can cause you, me, and our loved ones to feel happiness.  I desire that as you proceed into this new year that some of your hopes, and goals are fulfilled.                       Gina

 

 

 

Lonely, How can a person get thru the next few days?

Do you ever feel lonely?   Why are you lonely?  Are you alone, or are you in a family and lonely?  Lonely, when there is so much to consider.  Why am I lonely, is it because I am alone?  What can I do to enrich this moment so I no longer feel alone?  Some people are alone, they live alone, and they may not live in the same community as their family.  Families are estranged too often which also contributes to aloneness.  For whatever reason, being alone is not healthy if that is a continuous situation.

If your alone because your mate works a lot or is involved in a lot of activities than have you mentioned that you would like to spend more time with them.   Mention it briefly without weaponry.   The other day, I mentioned to my oldest son whom is married and lives only about 15 minutes away that I am sad we are not able to stop in when we are in the area.  They both work full time, and their lives are so busy that they really do not appreciate people dropping by without calling ahead of time.  They are right.  I think I offended him in the way I commented about it, and he felt I was laying a guilt trip.  That was not my intention and it only further served up sad feelings and frustration that it was received that way.  Therefore, I have no recommendations on how to communicate your feelings.   Just let a person know you would like to spend more time with them and leave it at that.  If your mate is very busy, what activities can you do to be more busy?  Are you fulfilling all your personal and domestic responsibilities?  Join a knitting group or painting group at your local senior citizen center, they would love to have you there even if you are not a senior.  Each week have a day to visit local sites such as museums, gardens or parks, the library or bookstore.  Invite your mate, they may surprise you and take a vacation day off to join you.  The more busy you are, the more accomplished you become, the more you have to talk about, the more interesting you become.  Plan out the month ahead for yourself, then do them.  Keep your calendar visible so your mate can see what your interested in.  This is not to promote independence, it is only living a healthy life.

If you do not have a lot of relationships because you are new to an area then you must understand it takes time to build a relationship.  You do not have to sacrifice your morality or defraud your budget to have a relationship.  Dutch is best, your only in control of you.  Dutch means there are no misconceptions or hidden expectations.  You are nice because you go, be your own transportation.  You never have to prove how nice you are or how interesting or knowledgeable you are.  Yes, whom says you will even like the other party after you get to know them for a while.  So, do not put your morality or money on the line.  Integrity lost in an thoughtless eve can take years to retrieve.

When I am alone, I love projects.  What projects do I have on my agenda right now?  If you are my friend and I assume you are, I would tell you…

My dresser top which is about five feet long had everything it shouldn’t have on it for far too long.  The mirror fell behind the dresser a couple years ago, and because I am overweight, I did not care to look anyway.  Last week,  I decided to remedy the mess and took a couple piles of clothes off and put away, then I consolidated the perfumes and lotions. (Far too many) I do not need to buy more perfumes or lotions according to “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” expert Marie Kondo.  She advocates tossing most of what you have.  I do not agree with that point since I like what I have and I have the room for it.  I did access what I have with no pressure and made a mental note to use what I have.  There were a few things I chose to toss, and that I had got all the use I wanted from them.  Her program is great, I have just finished the second of  four cd’s from her series I received a couple weeks ago.

As I continued to group and organize my belongings of what was on my dresser top my husband John came in and looked at me and mentioned that ‘wasn’t it time I think about making dinner’.  I agreed that it was a good time to make dinner and that since he could see I was productively busy, couldn’t he make dinner.  Really, I did have the rice an vegetables done in the Black an Decker RC436 type 1, that our son Brock gave us for our anniversary last year.  John, he looked at me when I suggested he let me continue working.  He saw the bed was loaded up with piles of clothes, papers, and junk jewelry.  He left and went to the kitchen likely shaking his head wondering if I would get to clearing the bed.  When I went and stirred the rice which is periodically needed so as not to stick to bottom of cooker, I was pleased to see him using a cookbook trying to decide how he was going to marinate the wild caught salmon he purchased.  As I put away, tossed, or organized  I found things I had been missing.  Now the dresser was lovely again, I could see the dresser scarf I made a few years ago with a precious piece of jacquard fabric that I surged a nice edge on.  So satisfying, and the meal was very satisfying too.  He was very pleased.  The mirror is up, I feel looking into it is not so offensive.  One project done.  Is there a project nagging you to get done, make time now.

Another project is that I am trying to make a nice pair of denim sage green pants.  A good quality fabric always makes it worth doing.  Purchased pants no longer come up to the waist, and that is what I like, a hi-rider.  Do you sew?  Many men and women sew of all ages.  It can be frustrating at times, bobbins pop up, needles break or the fit is not right.  Fix it and keep sewing.  Finally the pants look like nice pants, just need to hem them.  That is not all, the frustrating part is that I have to take the yoke I designed off the back, and decrease a few inches because thankfully, they are too large at where the lower back is.  A couple darts and a zipper are required then, incorporating the lovely yoke is a creative challenge I am mentally working out.

A lot of rest I have needed in the last couple weeks due to extremely low blood pressure, fevers, and exhaustion.  When your dizzy, you should lay down so you do not fall down.  With a cut on the bottom of my left foot, whom wants to walk a lot anyway.  The infection in left leg seems to finally be healing.  Almost.  Sounds so dreary really.  Projects keep my mind busy.  Do you have projects?  Proverbs 31 suggest them greatly.

Loneliness, do you send cards?  Snail mail is the best, support our Post Offices and they will not be a thing of the past.  I value the sweet cards I receive and letters, and I send a lot of cards and letters every week.  I send cards and sometimes gifts to complete strangers.  If I hear someone does well at something, or if someone is sick, or suffers a loss, then a card is what I can do to support mankind.  Expressing commendation where it is truly due, or compassion, empathy and support, that is something any of us can do.  My handwriting suffers due to rheumatoid, so I prayerfully choose my words, and then I write a brief note.  The Tuesday Morning stores have beautiful stationary at affordable prices.  TJ Maxx, or The Ross are other department stores that also sell cards and or stationary at decent prices.  Do not wait for a card or wait for kindness or thoughtfulness.  When you send a card or small letter, send with prayers, hopes, but no expectations.  Every week cards or letters go out, and usually a few come in.  So sweet, the treasure trove of thoughtfulness can be in quiet moments.  Being alone enjoying expressions of someone now gone is also a healing.  The mother whom raised me, (some day I will explain that) sent me a letter with ten dollars suggesting I go get a dessert for the boys and I that we would ordinarily not do because of cost.  She lived far away.  We did as she suggested and that was so very sweet.  She has been gone for possibly twelve years now.  I have that little letter which I kept in a little box that I recently discarded, now it is put in a little book of knitting socks, and periodically a couple times a year I pull the letter out , read and weep.  Yes, she has no idea how meaningful the gift was then and how it still affects me now.

When the boys were toddlers, there I was now a single mother with three.  With no family to turn to, no child support, loneliness was a common occurrence.  Being overwhelmed with financial responsibilities, working contract work in the field of architecture and construction, life was feast or famine.  From mid November until about February, there were little opportunities to work, so I became an expert at stretching the dough.  One time, I earned three dollars too much to qualify for any assistance.  Others seemed to be doing so well on assistance, and we were getting evicted with no where to go.  I always have had my faith and many times my brothers and sisters in our faith were the ones to come to the rescue.  For that I am so appreciative.  I found it so humiliating to be in need and strived to handle our problems on my own.  There were times I was so lonely it was almost crippling.  Having projects even then was so helpful.  I made the most adorable denim and suede coats for my sons.  Proud I wanted them to be, and I wanted them to feel equivalent to those around, and I would tell them although we did not have bucks in the wallet, we were still richer than most.  I would take them to the Home Depot classes for children to learn how to make things.  They loved it, and it built healthy esteems in them too.  As adult men, they design and build whatever they want.  Blake designed a wonderful bed, dresser, closet unit, and it even had secret drawers.  I was so impressed.  He knows he can design and make what he needs when he wants.  It saddened me when they disassembled it.  Brock designed a treehouse with an elevator that goes up.  He lives there.  When people stop in, they always want him to take them up in the elevator to see the treehouse.   Brent, he is now a plumber, and he buys, fixes, sells, and trades cars.  He designed an entertainment center the whole length of the wall in his bedroom 14′ long, that was interlocking with no screws or nails.  Now he has designed an L shaped dresser, entertainment center, that also has cubbies for ties, and a shoe organizer.  He is striving to finish that.  So proud I am that we struggled through the hard times optimistically enduring.  They are three adults, sons that have proved to be survivors.  Do you have a single parent that you work with or live near?  Can you give them a gift card for a tank of gas, or an oil change, or a Walmart gift card for new shoes an socks for all, or haircuts, or coats.  With no expectations, a gift lifts both the giver and receiver.  Commendation also goes a long way.

So crafts may not be your thing, you do not want a mess.  How many people have guest rooms set perfectly up with the hopes of company that never comes.  I am a great advocate of the futon because it folds up into a couch and is a comfortable bed when need be.  My friend Michelle let me stay at her home unexpectantly for two an a half weeks when my father died.  I had just had another surgery and felt incapable of being on my own with a rented car an a place to stay, a short term amnesia besides the sadness of the situation and unnecessary family  drama, I was happy to have her generous support and the futon was comfortable too.  This was her and her husband’s office which was occasionally used as a guest room when need be.  Turning the guest room into a multipurpose room means you can keep your sewing machine set up.  Make yourself a blouse, or a pillow for a friend etc.  Or set up a small area to make jewelry or some other thing you have been interested in.

These next few days can be rough on some, take advantage of the extra time and learn something new, take a walk, call an old friend, finish something, or clean out your cabinets.  Make a list and work it.  I am starting to read the Bible book of Acts, I heard it is inspiring.  For some of these activities, being alone is a Godsend.

 

 

 

December, the Month to Wrap it all up.

December, This is the month to think about what did we want to accomplish this last year of 2015, and what can we still do in 31 days.  Unfortunately, there are only four weekends, yet technically five weeks before the new year.

December is not always a joyful month as the sentimental pressure misguides many.  Many create debts on supposed deals, and the problems created are felt months into the new year.  Approaching this month thoughtfully and cautiously can be very freeing.

It is a good time to think about next years goals, monthly, quarterly, seasonable, 1/2 time such as June/July, and end of year accomplishments.  The master lists for the year and all these time periods can be a great guide to refer to so as to reach your goals.  I depend on them.  Is it the day planner or what system that promotes the Master list Theory?  I did not invent it and I may not even have the right words for describing it.  Years ago I learned it from one of those famous planners.  A business tool that can be used in our personal life for greater accomplishment.  Praying about them, looking at them, and working toward their accomplishment makes you feel a little more control in your life.  Living haphazardly has few rewards.

Are there debts you want to pay down?  Are there vacations you want to save for?  Are there physical exams that need to be scheduled?  Have you neglected family members that do not live near you, can you plan to see them or invite them?

If there are school age children at home, school vacations and winter days off, all can be involved in deep cleaning, changing rooms around, assessing clothes in closets and drawers.  Children keep growing and I know you do not need reminding.  If you have a grandchild, niece or nephew in school why not ask the parent if you can take the child shopping for shoes or clothes that will invest in the young persons new growth.  It will help the family with their tight budget to help with these practical needs.  Getting the kids hair cut, new socks and essentials, new school clothes and replenishing their school supplies can be a help to the family.  Being respectful of the parents standards of attire is important.  Then it is a real blessing.

This month is a great time to change things up for your kids.  Remember, the school load of homework, and chores at home can be enough responsibilities for the kids.  Extracurricular activities can burden the parent whom is running the children around, as well as burden the budget.  If the activities are decided on, keep them to a minimum, and remember, you are the adult.  Too many let their children decide on matters.  A lot of children are exhausted with all the homework, activities and long days.  They miss out on helping with chores, keeping good habits, just having good times playing in the yard.  We have been teaching a young girl age 12 how to knit, and her grandma is now teaching her to crochet.   If we can help others with their situation then that is a gift.

Getting the car serviced or deep cleaned is a great gift to self or a family member.  Check the tires, and getting a detailed cleaning on the car when you have a day off is refreshing.

This is the month for wrapping it up for me so I can start 2016 a little less burdened.  I have so many projects that are near done that have been weighing heavy on my mind instead of the satisfaction I should be feeling.  I am just going to pick up a “Near Done”, and finish it.  If you have read my previous articles, then you are aware this is an ongoing challenge for me.

My Aunt Ellie was so kind.  I had written her a letter and told her about how I get aggravated with the piles or clutter I create with all the projects.  She basically said there are people with no clutter and no projects, and their mindset is different than those of us with the creative mind.  We do things, we need the material etc. to do the projects and that is going to create some clutter.  That is very reasonable.

My husband married a writer, painter, photographer, knitter, cook, etc. so there seems to be all the matter around to support those activities.

Good News!  We have been getting some house maintenance issues attended to.  It feels great seeing things get done.  The addition needed painted and a friend new to the area needed a small job.  To the dismay of my mother-in-law, I chose the lightest of tan for the siding, and true red for the trim.  It looks wonderful, although it is only the first coat.

Brock, our 23 year old son has painted and stained the steps and railing.  When I chose terracotta red for the risers, pecan stain for the treads and a cool white with a hue that complements the reddish tones everyone was concerned about the outcome.  They all thought I should stick with the standard of stain it all or use the white on the risers.  It really looks so inviting and tasteful.  Being that the floors are all terracotta, our eyes follow the color right up the stairs.  A visual treat.  It would be nice to have the exterior finished and our minds unburdened.  That is one thing to finish up this month.

Unable to do these things myself, I kept putting them off hoping I would get well enough to do them.  It has become a help that I have accepted that I will not be capable of doing this work on the house and am hiring it out.  This is giving me much relief.

It would be unreal if I did not mention that in this world there are people whom are suffering due to circumstances out of their control.  If there is a family member, workmate, or neighbor that is dealing with illness, caregiver responsibilities, loneliness, hardship, tragedy or loss can we do more than just give them a passing thought?  Besides taking a few moments to say a meaningful prayer for them, is there some practical thing we can do to make their load a little lighter?  Send a card, make a meal, call the power company and pay their bill for the month, call them, give a hug, or offer to spend time with them.  In this age of selfies and instant communication it seems people have lost touch.  Touch someone’s life in a practical way.  If someone has been kind to you, send them a card and thank them.  A text is a bit tacky when someone takes the time to do something kind for you.  Making a card or buying one is a worthy way to express appreciation.  There are still post offices in most towns, and they sell stamps, let us support our post offices by sending a little love and kindness in the mail.  Snail mail is a misnomer.  Mail processes quick enough to delight the person that is surprised when they open the mail box.

Using our next few weeks wisely can enrich our lives as we step into the new year with optimism and joy.

 

 

 

 

November, only Four weeks long, what will we do with our time ….

November, so much to consider.  Seasons changing, time changing, attire changing, does anything stay the same?

Some things are good to keep the same, it is nice to be able to depend on a few things.  Five Sundays and five Mondays, do not be blue about Mondays.  We have five Sundays to catch up on rest, or chores, or projects.  Mondays are known as the start of things, what can we start?

Before it gets too late into the month we can call family members an see how they are doing.  Make time to visit long distant family members or send a card.  Has there been an estrangement?  Forget the issue, there are many reasons why, and they are not important as the years fly by.  Things can be misrepresented, misunderstood, misadvised, and just totally misdone.  Likely all feel sorry.  Yet, all miss out when there is an estrangement.  Reach out, remember the good, heal the breach, reconcile.  My ex father in law called Sunday and it has been years, I did not even recognize his voice until he laughed.  Nice visit on the phone.

Movies at this time of year are all so inspiring regarding spread the love, be kind to strangers, etc.  Love your neighbors, love your family and love strangers, put it into action.  Yet, be safe, do not be unwise.  People experience all sorts of fraud at this time of year because they want to be “good deed doers..”  as said on Wizard of Oz.  We can be responsible humans, considerate to fellowman, and if we consider ourselves Christian than Be that Christian the scriptures describe regarding the New Personality.  My father said, “Be what you say.”  His 7th grade education was weightier than an expert in a said field.  If you feel you are honest, then be honest, if you feel you are moral, than be moral.  If you feel you are loving, be loving.

Think of a goal, such as consider your prime responsibilities in life, are you a Husband, Wife, Father or Mother?  Consider how you can be better at that.  It is easy to assume we have it down pat and there is no need for improvement, but there is always room for improvement.  All can be more loving, more helpful, express love more often and show appreciation.  Help out with the expenses by not being so expensive to maintain.  Contribute more to the household by doing chores to help your mate with what they would normally do.  If there is more than one, than one alone should not be fixing the meals and doing the cleanup.  Help, do something, help with the dishes, or sweep or clean the bathroom.  Surprise your loved one with an unexpected card or a small gift, or meet them for lunch.  I met my son for lunch and we only arranged it an hour before.  It was so nice spending time with him at a restaurant close by his work.  He will be 23 this month and I cannot believe my middle son has grown to be such a wonderful adult.

My goal for November is to improve my part of all relationships I value.  Allot can happen in November, you can warm up your life.  “Be what you say!”

Faulty Memories, Painful Recollections, When to Quit Reliving The …

There are times I have talked about painful events when I learn the other half of the story.  It changes the reasons or understanding of events.  As a child we understand everything in relation to ourselves and we take it personally.  As a mark of unloveableness when something is not the way it should be, or we are a victim of abuse, or our parents divorce, or ….

There are times I have brought up specific occurrences and the other party says that it never happened, I did not do that.  When I was a child I remember a whole fish, head an tail being put on my plate, and I cried that the fish was looking at me.  She was angry as she took the fish, slammed down the cleaver and then again slammed down the plate, and everyone angrily looked at me with a firm silence that held for a bit.  similar occurence when I got upset about the lobster.  I must have been a sensitive child or a real brat.

I learned how to knit, crochet and embroider as a very little child but I sadly do not remember whom taught me, this distresses me.  I am suspicious that my oldest sister may have taught me, I wish I could ask her.  It just shames me that I cannot remember.  I should remember, it should be a pleasant memory.  It was kind of the person to teach me so much.   I would like to know if I was easy to teach or was I a slow learner.  I remember my sister knitted a couple tunics for me, the pink one I loved to wear.  She was in Germany with her husband whom was in the Army, and she knit these.

When a person remembers something, the fact is our memories can be very limited, even blinded by feelings, and how we felt afterward.  We do not always understand events that surround situations.  I asked my father why he had left my mother and he told me something quite healing.   Only this last year we discussed it.   He left her because she was violent.  He loved children and he opposed such violence.  He had begged her to get help.  When he was called home from work because she thought she had killed this child, that was the last straw for him.  He left, he left four of  us behind, his kids.  He left the Midwest and returned home to Maine.  Men did not have rights back then.  She did not beat everyone, but I became one of her victims and it would have saved years of sadness and pain if he would have addressed the issue.  I believe my older siblings were equally scarred by him leaving as he did, and likely they never fully understood why.  Yet, all knew about the violence.  They pretended it did not exist.

So many years of feeling unlovable, and believing I was marked for abuse and mistreatment.  It caused me to run from love, and run into what was ugly and violent.  When I learned that she had personal problems and that she was not capable of loving me safely this helped me to quit taking it personal.  As all children of abuse do, we return for more, I moved back when I was 21 hoping to be apologized to, hoping for love and approval.  It just was not going to happen.  It must have been painful for her to even look at me.

It is called post traumatic stress, when it still comes to your mind, and you still feel like that vulnerable little kid, and you keep experiencing the same events, and in great detail.  I can see, feel, and smell the events and feelings, and my heart races, and then days later I feel as I did then days later.  My family and friends I have alerted, when I start talking and get in that mode, to help me move onto healthier happy topics.  Against popular beliefs, it just is not healthy to live in dark places,  if we choose to stay there.  It could hurt those we love.  Some things just cannot be explained or reconciled.

We are all damaged goods anymore, most have not been raised in ideal circumstances.  Even if someone had a loving family, they were not wealthy enough, or pretty enough, or athletic enough, or they did not have the opportunities, or sadly they were a victim of some sort.

It is not to be taken lightly what ever our situation, it is just we must continue to live today, work towards a better tomorrow, and make good choices.  Take opportunities to enjoy nature, write a poem, send a letter, take some pictures, eat a fruit, clean a closet, donate some clothes to a shelter, go to the library, and take a positive action toward something that needs done.  Call a loved one you have not talked to in a long time.   Just to see how things are going for them and what they have been doing lately.

When something in the past gets us down, we have to realize we just do not know all the circumstances.  My adoptive mother died over twelve years ago, and I cannot talk to her about any of it.  Yet, I did learn some things about her and I felt compassion.  I learned she was not capable of some things.  What good does it do to mull over the disappointment and pain?  Some people almost refuse to heal.  Having compassion for her does not make what she did right to do.  It is just good to move on into the future.

Confronting pain and issues is not always as healing as once believed.  I was told by a grief counselor to write everyone a letter and unload my feelings about them, confront the issues.  The only thing accomplished was the permanent severing of relationships, delivering them pain.  I have regretted it these last two decades.  There is no healing from that.  People are too quick to advise, but they do not have to live with the loss or other consequences.

Be peaceable, this does not include leaving yourself open to be a victim.  That is not being peaceable to be vulnerable, hurt, and allowing for mistreatment.  It is better to live life with integrity, doing healthful activities, and having some joy.  Do not rehearse painful recollections in your mind and heart, do not burden your friends with the retelling of events.  It does not help anything to keep reliving it.  I have made the mistake for most my life, it does not matter how many times I talk about it, the pain is not erased and I never feel better.  Joyful living is worth striving for.  Map out a new kind of life for yourself.  It is important to prayerfully look back on your life for some good memories and start telling others about them.  That is the healing secret.

My mother was a wonderful cook, I loved the beef stew and yeast rolls she cooked.  I wish she was here to teach me how to do it the way she did.  Unlike me, she was a perfect homemaker, the house was immaculate.  I would have liked to learn more from her.  I tried so hard to be different than her, that I missed out on observing how she accomplished so much.  I miss her.

By freely forgiving we unload the load that keeps us weighed down.   Jesus talked about that a lot.   Sweep out the unhealthy and breath in the refreshing.

What Month of Your Life are You Living?

20151113_164955Months can be compared to stages or time periods of our lives.  I believe my sons are in the March period of their lives.  A young couple around their early thirties may be in the April of their lives.  I feel I am moving into the September/October of mine.  Why is this important for us to consider?

Earlier this evening my son Brock said, Mom, are you going to downsize?  What does this mean I asked?  He referred to the size of our home and all it’s contents.  Although a couple hairs of defense bristled, I quickly understood that my loving son was asking a natural question.  Really, I shouldn’t expect my children would want to live out the rest of their lives here in this big old house.  I mentioned, “you boys could move your wives in here with you”.  His eyes got very large.  He said, “Really Mom, are you ready to get rid of all this and move into a smaller home?”.  I said, “Yes, when we need to.”  This all requires much consideration.

The fact that I like life the way it is now does not mean I should not consider the future.  I have to think of others, which brings to mind a friend named Albert.  Albert was an acquirer.  He collected whatever he felt he needed, abandoned cars, old paint, parts and just about anything, he even built a storage building to house it all.  His basement was full of it, and his garage and yard.  Albert was an enterprising man and he had built up a great fortune.  Yet, when he died he left so much work for his widowed wife to do the stress made her sick.  She had to go through all this, striving to figure out what was valuable, what was salvageable, and what needed to be taken to the dump.  It was so sad to see Barbara going through all of this.  Eventually Barbara made her way through it all, sold everything and she bought a modest little home.  No clutter, no darkness, and she radiated.

I think of estate sales and auctions.  There is so much there, and the children do not want 95% of it.  It amazes me when I see all that is being sold, what was purchased and prized now being cheaply disposed of.

When you see you have a lot, why go looking at more?  There is a lot I really do not need.  There are books, clothes and other items all of us in our house could do well to rid ourselves with.  Yes, I do not want to leave my husband and children in a bad situation.  Thankfully the situation I referred to is an extreme one, but we need to think about these things.  Yet, it still applies and I want to show appreciation for my sons feelings on the matter.

My friend Michelle, she has her home nicely arranged, a cheerful décor, and it is easy to manage.  It has a pleasant atmosphere and as I strived to recover physically and emotionally after the death of my father it was the best place to be.  I would like to have my home reflect the same sort of atmosphere.

If I am in the fall of my life, I have more to think about then just myself.  We affect more people than we realize, especially our loved ones.

What about August?

July quickly swam by, in the extreme heat of this month all planned for was likely a challenge to fulfill.  Now we have August quickly approaching us.  August represents a putting away and a start for me.

As we are still enjoying our summer attire, the stores are presenting us with Fall Fashions.  We look with great anticipation at those cool colors, and some are already opening their wallets for these purchases.  Hold On!  Pause….

It is almost August, and there is five months to enjoy before the new year.  August has 31 days, five Saturdays, and five Sundays.  What can this mean for you?

Not only is fall fashion a concern, most children start back to school, and it is a great month to get some extra fun in,  some extra life maintenance work done too.

To help the children focus on the new school year, we might consider our children’s changing needs.  Maybe their tastes have changed, maybe the décor of two years ago feels a little silly for them now.  Of course I am not a big advocate of spending money unnecessarily.   It is not necessary to buy new furniture unless you feel that there is.  A deep clean and a coat of paint may be enough, yet, teddy bear comforters may be old hat for the fourth grader.   There are a few things that can and possibly should be done on one of these August weekends.

Talk to the child about their room, how do they feel about their room.  Although children can be big dreamers about things they would like, if we can accommodate without great expense of time and money why not. Yet,  laying the criteria out there is essential, you do not want open ended negotiations with children.  By giving children authority, it sets unrealistic expectations for them of what and how the real world will respond to their wants and desires.  We want them to be happy and it is important to let them be part of the decision making process.  Also, it takes a work plan, it means this is not being done for them, it is being done with them.

With an limitless criteria, a child could end up with a black bedroom, flashing lights, and glowing electronic gadgets providing most of the light.  A black bedroom can put your child in a state of gloom and doom.  If the child is already in the state of gloom and doom feeding into this is not responsible parenting.  When my son had his windows covered with heavy black drapes, and his room black and dark, it was truly considered his cave.  It did not take long to see he was now in a deep depression.  Not easy to pull a teenager out of that.  It is important to remember whom owns the house and pays the bills and is the responsible party before law.  A parent still makes the rules or sets the guidelines for an offered activity.

I would say to one of my boys, which color do you like and if it were a light color, what would you choose?  Our preferences do not matter.  It is good to check out the psychology of color, like pale blue can put some in a blue sad mood.  There is what I call “institution blue” or green which in the 70’s and 80’s  was a common color used in some hospitals, prisons, schools, institutions, for the purpose of keeping people calm.  Of course if you have a manic child you may choose for them to put the color in their room, but by having silver accents and silver picture frames it can keep it optimistic.  A red throw pillow can keep it inspiring.  If painting a room is something you are considering, take said child to hardware store and have them pick out a strip that shows the color they like with a couple compatible colors on the strip so if you decide to buy a comforter and new curtains, using the strip as your guide may prove effective.

If your life is already overwhelmed and complicated, then I would not broach the subject with the children, I would just say, Saturday we are moving all the furniture to the middle of the room, and while your sheets and curtains are in the wash, we are going to wash your windows, woodwork, walls, and furniture.  Then, if possible we will rearrange your room, take out some pieces that are no longer age appropriate, and reassess what your needs are so we can keep our eyes open for some special deals out there.  This teaches children to take part in clean up efforts that the world is not going to do this for them.  A three year old can wash base boards. Cleaning together is a great opportunity to ask them how they feel about their new school year.  What are they looking forward to?  What are they worried about?  What are they excited about learning?  Is it Math and Science?  How about a trip to the Zoo?  Is it a teenager going to take a home ec and sewing class?  Do you have a machine you can pull out of the basement and let them practice on it?  Cleaning together is a great opportunity to find out what weighs their hearts down and what is going on in their young worlds.  Their lives are more serious than ours were.

August is a great time to find summer comforters on sale, a famous weekend with great sales is coming up.  There is no better décor than a clean one.  If the budget is already stressed because of school expenses, than the clean up and organization is a great start.  Never forget, a yard sale is a great way to clear out some household congestion, and attain a few dollars to help with some of these needs.  You can always mention to family members and friends what some needs are.  You would be surprised how family likes to pitch in and help for a true need.  They may have something you could use.  Once, friends of mine Rochelle and her Aunt, neither having children of their own, were very loving to my children.  They came over and took a look at the boys bedrooms.  I will never forget how they surprised my three young sons and I.  They purchased all this great top of the line character bedding, sheets, comforters, curtains, and new pillows.  Wow, this was such a boost to my boys and it was a boost for me too a single mom seeing my children be loved like that.  My friends were very thoughtful and generous.  When I looked at all we were throwing away I was so shocked at how drab and worn out it all was.  Life was so stressed and complicated, how did one of their needs go by me unnoticed.  I was so happy that they exercised such love and care.  The boys started the new school year beaming.

We still have five months to get in shape before the new year.  Why not start walking today?  Or doing bicep curls with four pound weights every other day with a few squats.  Any physical activity done regularly is beneficial.  I meet people all the time that are in shape, they do not dream about getting in shape.  They work out now, and it is part of their life.  I appreciate the good examples, keep it up!

Right now, I am not even going to expound on the Runners World magazine cover.  You look at it and you will see why I am very pleased.  I feel like going out and getting a copy.  I will be expounding on it this week.

Why shouldn’t you just run out and buy new fall clothes?  First, start going through the clothes you have.  Do they still fit you?  Are they the same fit as last year, tighter, looser, why would that matter?  If the clothes are tighter, start walking now so you can fit in them in eight weeks or so.  Then you can celebrate with a small addition to your wardrobe.  If your clothes are looser and you needed to lose those inches or pounds, then Good Job!  And only you know your budget.  As we do laundry we need to look at items as we fold them, how do they fit, what condition are they in, will they truly be suitable for next year?  Why mindlessly stick back in the drawers.  Repair, replace or just toss.  By setting a dept store bag in the laundry room it is easy to put a couple items in for local donations.

We also want to keep in mind our budget, there are always more expenses as the winter rolls in. Higher power bills and heating costs will be here quick.  We want to keep the room in our budget because as there is planned activities in the winter season, there is always the unexpected expenses.   Our heating system, if we did not get it serviced then if it should have a problem, do we have the money to get it fixed.  Our car, getting it serviced.  We may want to invest in those new tires we have been needing, Winter is hard on our cars.  Our home may need some winterizing.  Weather strips are not the only things to check, we may need new filters for our hv/ac system, we may need to caulk windows, etc.  Do a general checklist of household maintenance you want to achieve before the end of September.  Start looking for the wood for your fireplace, you may need it.

The budget is something to seriously consider, how did the last year affect you the beginning of this year?  Are there debts you are only now paying down?  Talk to family about the expectations, maybe the needs and wants are a little extreme when compared to the household financial demands.  Can some of these things be saved up for?  It is great to finish the year in better condition than when it started.

If we give in to every media manufactured need and want, then our children or mates can develop a materially generated greed that is unrealistic.  This can put stress on their relationships as they grow into adults.  Whom has the right to expect such things from another?  Love and happiness are free.  Time spent together is the most valuable of gifts.

August, August, how busy you are.  Thank you for the extra weekend that I can spend doing something productive with my loved ones.  August is not the end, it is still a byway which I can use to get a few things refreshed to make the next few months easier.  August, known for it’s heat and some consider it the end to a favored season.  I appreciate August as an opportunity to still enjoy summers heat, and enjoy times at local zoos and museums.

Neglecting You, I am sorry,

Dear Friends,

I have been neglecting you.  Last Sunday an emergency room visit revealed a double hernia.  Last fall I had surgery for a hernia, and I just hadn’t gotten my stamina and energy back.  Strange pains made me wonder was it MS or an appendicitis.  The pain was so bad I felt like I had contractions and was having a baby.  My husband took me right to the hospital.

Because I have had 27 operations in my young life, I have some scar tissue, and with the hernias pulling at the scar tissue, well, that causes serious problems and pain.  On Monday I go to the surgeon and he will let me know how soon I will be getting my surgery.  It is a bit discouraging and revealing.

For a couple months now I have just been totally exhausted and quite irritable.  So when my son and his wife expressed that they were irritated with me for not doing as well as they thought I should be doing with my domestics I felt really hurt.  They really expected I should be progressing.  I thought I was progressing and my husband thought I was too.  I do have a long way to go.  My daughter in law is a great worker and helper, and I hired her to help me.  Many times she was here I would have to go lay down for a bit.  When I tried to help, I could not keep up with a fit,  young 20 year old. I did not know I had these hernias.  You know how it is, when you do not feel good, you do not always receive things well, and it is easy to misunderstand.  I have been handicapped for a few years with other problems.  Never the less, they had great intentions thinking they would help me to get it together once and for all.  Wouldn’t I love to have it together, to stand on my own, to never need a thing, I do have pride.  The body just does not cooperate.  Today I had a few things I needed to do to prepare for surgery, and a few things I wanted to do.  I have only reclined because I do not feel good.  I am sad because I really wanted to do these things.  My son and his wife are so organized and they do not have one extra thing in their house.  I am very proud of them for how they keep it together so wonderfully.  It saddens me they are disappointed in me.

Being hurt, I spouted off, they are hurt too and greatly disappointed in me.  I am totally confounded.  Physically hurting, and now emotionally hurting, I cannot sort out my own problems.  I am not a good example for others, I am so sorry to all of you that take the time to read my posts.  I write because it seems to be the only thing I do well.  It is your choice if you want to continue on with me.  Now, I do write about what I know, and I am always working on what I suggest.  Let us continue to help each other and continue progressing.  It looks like I will not be able to write every day, but do not forget about me because if I can write, you know I will.