Post 700…or so

I completely missed it when I posted my 700th blog post the other day.  Today’s post is actually 703.  Wow!  Thanks so much to all of you who have accompanied me on this crazy trip.  It’s been such a pleasure to get to know you, to hear about your lives, to see the pictures you share with us, to have your support, and to share a few laughs along the way.  What a blast this has been.

No, no…don’t look at me like that.  This isn’t the end or anything close to it (I hope.  I guess we never know that for sure, do we?).  I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to let you know how much I appreciate your company.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to continue this journey together for many years to come.

Of course, those of you who are with me daily know I’m going to be a little busy for the month of November (a little thing called NaNoWriMo, in case you somehow missed the excitement), but I’m still going to be checking in every few days.  You know I have to let you know how my writing is progressing, right?  Wish me luck.  Spook and Scout want you to remind me every once in a while to go buy them some more treats.  A kitty’s got to have her treats.

Spook and Scout on their perch...together...

Spook and Scout on their perch…together…

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650 Posts…who would have thunk it?

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: courosa)

Haha…650 posts published…that’s with several months of daily writing and a few months of very little writing, guess it all averages out, huh?    I’ve been at this for a while…not sure it’s helped anyone else, but I’m pretty sure I’ve received the equivalent of several months of therapy sessions from my writing…not going to complain about that…didn’t cost me anything and didn’t have to turn anything in to my insurance…not too shabby, huh?

I think writing about whatever is going on in my life, or whatever has happened in the past (and how it still affects me), or my hopes and dreams, well…writing about anything enables me to step back and view things from a different perspective.  You know how everything seems to be in crisis mode when we’re in the midst of it?  Well, taking the time to think it through enough to write about it let’s me take a deep breath and understand that most things aren’t as dire as they seem at the time.

Combine the benefits of writing with the “wisdom” of getting older (stop laughing, this grey-underneath-the-hair-color has to count for something) and I think life is somehow smoother now than it was 20 years ago, the waves aren’t quite as choppy…or maybe I’ve just figured out how to ride them out a little better without fearing for my life.

So I figure I’ll keep writing…for my own well-being, for fun, for a way to reach out to others and share a little corner of my world, and maybe I’ll eventually get around to getting those books published.  Set those goals and work toward them.  You can’t do it all at once, but you can do a little every day.

Making wrong assumptions

proverbs

After reading a friend’s blog today, I was thinking about the assumptions I make about other people.  He was talking about homelessness and how he has viewed homeless people.  I have to admit I’ve had similar views and experiences in that regard. 

 Then I started thinking about how my assumptions are sometimes wrong.  For example, I had avoided reading his blog because I assumed it would be overly religious and preachy, I mean his blog title is practicalproverbs…what was I supposed to think?  Totally  wrong assumption on my part.  His blog was well thought out, well written and very applicable to everyday life.  No preachiness at all.  How could I have assumed it would be otherwise?  I mean I’ve known this guy for years and years, I know what he’s like, I know he’s a good guy.  But I allowed my wrong assumptions to keep me from reading something that I ended up thoroughly enjoying.

So where else in my life am I allowing my wrong assumptions to keep me away from something that will be beneficial or enjoyable?  Something to think about, isn’t it?

My least favorite teacher

This was yesterday’s blog prompt on WordPress.  As soon as I read it, I knew exactly who my least favorite teacher of all time was.  First, let me say, I have great respect for the difficult work that teachers do (for nowhere near enough money, by the way).  Most teachers are extremely dedicated and sincerely want their students to succeed…not because they (the teachers) are judged by the idiotic standardized tests that have been instituted under No Child Left Behind (a joke in and of itself), but because they genuinely care about their students. 

Having said that, I have to admit, there are teachers who should never have entered the profession.  Unfortunately I had one of those teachers in high school, 10th grade world history.  I lost what little respect I had for the “teacher” when he forced a young guy to stand up in front of the class and attempt to read out loud, knowing this kid couldn’t read.  Let me say that again… The teacher knew this student couldn’t read and decided to humiliate him in front of everyone by forcing him to stand in front of all of us, struggling to make sense of words that made no sense to him.  (In retrospect, the kid probably had some sort of undiagnosed reading disorder).  What possible thoughts could this teacher have had that made this acceptable behavior on his part?  How was this even remotely teaching?  Even I, as a sophomore in high school, could see that this was a blatant attack on this kid.  There was certainly no attempt to help the student overcome his problems.  This teacher just didn’t care, had no compassion at all.

I think many of us forget that not everyone has the same skills or ability to learn in the same way. I’d be surprised if this teacher ever knew (or cared) this in the first place.  Wow…I’d completely forgotten about this teacher…I don’t really care what became of him, but I sure do wonder what happened with the young man he so horribly mistreated.  I do remember that he dropped out of school shortly after this incident…wish I’d been courageous enough to have called the teacher out on his behavior.  The lesson in this for me, stand up for those who are mistreated and abused so I don’t have these same regrets 30 years from now about someone else.

Finally…Friday

Like A Bird On A Wire

Image by Bruce McKay~YSP via Flickr

Ahh…a rough work week is over and the weekend beckons me, tempting me to sleep late (which for me, is usually around 7…I well remember the day that crawling out of bed at 7 am was considered getting up way too early), relax, and sit outside listening to the birds.

However, the reality is that I have so much I need to get done…errands to be run, housework to be done, planting to be taken care of, bills to be paid (why does that always have to be on the to-do list?), and yard work that’s been put off way too long.  So I’ll try to make an early start of it in the morning so I can make it back home in time to get outside to try to accomplish at least a little before the heat hits…looks like mid 80s the next few days.  Sheesh, this turning the heat on for a few days, then the AC a few days later is ridiculous.  But, after living in a house for several years with no AC, I certainly appreciate it.

I definitely plan to make the time to sit outside and enjoy the birds, flowers and scenery though.  I’ll take some pictures of whatever strikes my fancy.  Weekends off work can’t be all about working at home, can they?

Taxes (and thankfully, no death today)

Logo of Internal Revenue Service, USA

Image via Wikipedia

While waiting around for the flooring guy to show up today, I decided to tackle my taxes.  I have a bad habit of putting it off until the absolute last-minute.  No real reason for me to do that either…I do usually manage to get a bit of a refund (and yes, all my CPA buddies, I know that’s not ideal…giving the government my money interest free is kind of silly…but those old habits die hard).   I suppose it’s just the fear of doing something wrong…you know, the dreaded IRS audit…hopefully that won’t happen (please keep your fingers crossed for me…I think everything was done correctly…used tax software this year).  Of course, general procrastination is also a factor.

So, the deal was the floor guy was going to come in and put new tile in the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen…coming around 10 am…well…that deal was a dud!  He showed up after 3 pm and his work order showed that he was replacing the flooring in both bathrooms!  Now, there’s nothing wrong with the downstairs bathroom…it was completely renovated just about a year ago.  I called the maintenance guy back (oh, probably for the fifth time today) and he came back by.  Said the deal was both bathrooms today, the kitchen in a couple of months, which is really interesting since he told  me earlier today that the guy would move the fridge, stove, washer and dryer outside onto my patio…hmm…But the guy only has enough flooring with him to do the bathrooms today, so what can I do about that?  So, at some point in time, I have to move the furniture back into the kitchen…but decided to blog before tackling that totally unnecessary project.

(old flooring in upstairs bathroom)

(new flooring in upstairs bathroom…hmm…is this worth all the trouble?)

I guess, on the bright side (yes, there is a bright side), I did clean the walls in the kitchen since I had everything out of there anyhow.  I mopped behind the washer and dryer (I’m so bad about not doing that very often) and cleaned the dryer vent and hose (just did that a couple of months ago, but figured I might as well do it again since everything was disconnected).  And now I’m thinking about not  putting everything back into the kitchen..I didn’t realize how much stuff was in the kitchen until I started pulling it all out…so this is the perfect time to do a little decluttering.  I always feel so much calmer when my living space is uncluttered and clean.

I had a lot of little things on the fridge door held on with magnets…but now I”m thinking about going with the clean look and not putting anything back on it.  I also had several candles sitting on the stove along with a spoon rest and a tea kettle…how about just one candle, the spoon rest and the tea kettle?  Those are things I use every day and I really don’t have a lot of storage space to put things away.  And now I’m thinking about going with a fairly cleaned off counter top too…I think we often don’t see how our houses really look, maybe because we see them every day.  It’s always surprising to me to see pictures I’ve taken of something in my house…that’s when I notice how things really look…isn’t that odd?  Why should what’s in a picture be more real than what we actually see every day?

Well…things are changing while I’m blogging…he’s not going to be able to finish everything today after all.  My boss is going to love this.  I had today off, but am supposed to work tomorrow.  However, I just don’t like to leave these guys in my house when I’m not here…yes, they’re bonded and all that…but why put temptation in front of them when I can simply be here to make sure everything goes well?  Plus, I have my cats to think about…both are inside only cats…one of them is such a little scaredy cat, that I’m always afraid she’ll run out the door if a stranger is here and leaves the door open (and I’ve seen them do that at other places)  But I’ll have to talk to my boss and see what he thinks of my reasoning…I have plenty of vacation and personal time left so that’s not an issue…it’s just that tomorrow will be a busy day (but at least no corporate visitors or auditors…all on vacation).  I always feel guilty when I take an unplanned day off.  I don’t know why.   I don’t think most people feel that way, but I always hate for people to have to do extra work because I’m not there ( I also hate coming in to a pile of work that no one had time to finish…I think I may hate that more…).

Alright, another update…we’ve got a truck coming in at 5 am tomorrow, so I’m going to go in and work until 8 to help with the truck.  I’ll still be able to make it back home before he gets here…shoot, if today is any indication, I could probably work the entire day and still beat him back here.  Not going to risk it though.

Happy St Patrick’s Day from Spooky…oh, and from me too!

Wasted day? I think not!

Monkeys Blogging

Image via Wikipedia

I had all kinds of housewifey things planned for today…cleaning, cooking, planning a shopping list and gathering coupons.  However, I’m afraid I spent a big part of the day at the computer.  I was playing around with the appearance of my blog, changing things, moving things, adding things, deleting things…and then doing it over and over again until I came up with something that was at least semi-pleasing.  It’s still not quite what I’m looking for, but it’s getting there.  I guess this is something that I’ll continue to refine, probably forever!

I have joined a blogging community at blogfrog.com (click on the button on the left sidebar to take you to my profile there).  I feel like such a newbie in the world of blogging…oh wait, that’s because I am!  There’s so much I don’t know, but I’m doing my best to learn something new every day…hey, today I learned how to put that blogfrog button and the facebook badge on my blog, so that’s two things!!  I’m ahead of the game!

I did get up and ride the exercise bike, lift weights and take a walk today…stepped on the scales this morning (yikes) and lost 3 pounds!  Not a bad way to start the day considering I was exhausted from my 5 am truck on Tuesday.  Ate fairly well today…still need to get in more fruits and veggies tho….but I’ll get there! 

Kale chips..yum…that’s on the menu for later in the week.  These things are seriously delicious and oh so easy to prepare…and a whole lot better for you than potato chips (although I will admit to eating my share of potato chips, have been buying the Kettle brand chips lately…still a lot of fat and calories, but really tasty options).

Clean Eating chicken and dumplings (all the credit for this goes to The Gracious Pantry…amazingly good recipes…if you get the chance, check out her blog)…when the temps drop, I’m going to make this again…in the slow cooker, of all things!  How cool is that?

So, no I didn’t accomplish everything I intended to today, but the day was far from wasted.  I learned something new, worked on my health and fitness, and finished the day with a sense of accomplishment.  Not bad, not bad at all.