Monthly Archives: May 2012

Checking things off …

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It’s been a productive week here on the home front. I’ll update my “101” list in a minute, but first, a message of “what I’m learning through the process.”

I’ve decided that accomplishing these things — any things, for that matter — force me to come face-to-face with fears in my life. I’m not a fearful person by nature. But it’s funny … you put a challenge before a person, and suddenly they have to “put up or shut up,” you know? Even something as simple as riding a motor cycle again after a year, or learning a new piece of machinery.

I’ve now been at this whole seizing what I want to do by the horns and simply doing it for about four weeks. I’m doing things now that I never thought I would. some look a bit differently than I thought. But still, I’m seeing progress. And more importantly than that, I’m feeling oddly … empowered? With every next thing I accomplish, everything else seems a bit more achievable. It’s been good for me. At least, so far.

OK, here goes the updates:

My 101 in 1001 (from Monday, April 23, 2012 – January 5, 2015)

1. Finish the book I’m writing

2. Let my “writing friend” read it; gather feedback from the friend who is already looking at the first draft of what I have.

3. Compete a “Couch-to-5-k” program. (finishing week 4 tomorrow! And Bruce is on week 2)

4. Run a 5K! (We’re shooting for the “Santa Shuffle” in December here in Lapeer!)

5. Lose 10 lbs. (down 6 …)

6. Lose 10 more lbs.

7. Lose 10 more lbs.

8. Lose 10 more lbs.

9. Lose 10 more lbs.

10. Lose 10 more lbs. to obtain 60 lb. goal

11. Catch up scrap-booking — either physical books, on-line collages (on picassa) or throw insignificant photos away!

12. Graduate child #3 (Ethan) from home school (May -2014)

13. Train trip to Seattle with Aubree (scheduled this June/July)

14. Help with a family wedding …

15. Another camping trip with family for Dad

16. Move Dad into our house

17. Visit the rest of the US States: Maine, New Hampshire; Connecticut; Rhode Island; Alaska; Hawaii

18. Make home-made flavored crackers

19. Teach girls (and boys, if they want) how to can tomatoes

20. Learn how to operate zero-turn lawn mower (I did it today — 5/19 — and will be helping out regularly with it)

21. Re-learn how to hit a softball (honestly, I can’t hit anything anymore!)

22. Read through entire “Common Prayer” book

23. Get at least 2 more tattoos (I already know what I want …)

24. Travel across Canada by Amtrak

25. Take a basic drawing class @ Mott

26. Publish “at least” one article/story/etc.for $$$

27. Publish “at least” one photo for $$$

28. Learn to make home-made mozzarella

29. Clean and organize basement storage room (got a head start on this one … almost done!)

30. Write a letter and mail it once a week, every week (so far, so good … but I am counting e-mails that are to specific people with specific purpose of encouraging them)

31. Make home-made bread at least 1x a week, every week (I tried some “simple” break tonight — good taste, rough texture. But it’s my first attempt at “artisan” bread)

32. Out West trip for Ethan’s Sr. year

33. Visit New Orleans

34. Take Aubree (and whomever else in family can attend) to Harry Potter World

35. Learn to French Braid

36. Make a ring

37. Make “from scratch” pasta on a regular basis (bought a pasta machine @ a garage sale for $5 5/11/12)

38. Design and build wind chimes “cool” enough to be given as gifts

39. Build outdoor bread/pizza oven

40. Grow and maintain a successful herb garden

41. Read at least one book a month and write a review for Helium, blog, or other source (finished May’s book yesterday. Haven’t written the review yet … this week)

42. Make home-made vanilla extract (switch to using it all the time) (it’s “brewing” and will be ready in four more weeks)

43. Make home-made caramel sauce (switch to using all the time)(easiest thing in the world!)

44. Make homemade condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.) and switch to using all the time

45. Learn to knit socks (from my friend, Melanie!)

46. Get another motorcycle (we are already looking…) (bought a fabulous ’97 Shadow Spirit YESTERDAY — it’s good to be back on a bike!!!)

47. Make home-made body butter and lotion

48. Learn to play “Blackbird” and “She talks to angels” on the guitar (Thinking about “Margaritaville” too)

49. Sell some old Victrola records we don’t listen to for extra $$$

50. Make MI History book (and others I have from Grandpa) to Lansing bookshop with Dad for appraisal.

51. Get Grandpa’s coins appraised in Lapeer

52. Learn to make skirts for girls (bought my material …)

53. Make all pajama pants for Christmas from here on out

54. Make Christmas ornaments for kids and others from now on

55. Try at least 1 new thing from pinterest and blog about it each week (I’m tired of just collecting stuff; I want to DO some of the cool stuff I see) (I’m doing this weekly …)

56. Re-finish dresser

57. Micro-roast coffee at least once

58. Vacation with friends

59. Visit my friends up North at least twice a year (They came down this weekend! Now it’s my turn to head North …)

60. Write Dad’s book

61. Make home-made butter all the time

62. Visit/tour Memphis TN

63. Visit/tour Austin TX

64. Meet Anthony Bourdain

65. Convert old picture CDs to computer to storage hard drive

66. Finish cleaning out/organizing Kara’s room (she’s home now & has taken over)

67. Finish cleaning out/organizing Wesley’s room

68. Covert family videos to CD & store on long-term storage

69. Learning to sync my ipod myself and update regularly (there is soooo much good music I have yet to discover and own!) (created my “running” playlist Wednesday! It’s not as tough as I thought …)

70. Call my dad at least once a week (right now, I’m so inconsistent) (just celebrated his 84th birthday with him here yesterday!)

71. Organize my curriculum for the classes I teach (it’s always in disarray this time of year) and KEEP IT ORGANIZED THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR!

72. Plant seeds and start my seedlings for the garden (that’s a “today” project!)

73. Keep a food journal for “at least” one month (I’ve started this 100 times … May June 2012 is my projected attempt to actually DO it!)

74. “At least” once a month go somewhere I go all the time, but take a different route and see what I find! (I have been doing that … it’s fun, and like a mini-adventure … I’ll start posting some of the photos from my wanderings)

75. FINISH THIS LIST BEFORE THE FIRST OF MAY, June 2012!  (finally completed 5/8/2012)

76.  Eat at a world-class restaurant

77. Make a cheese press & make “real” cheese

78. Test drive a mustang

79. Try acupuncture

80. Take a week-long tech hiatus (no TV, no computer, no phone)

81. Get our will done

82. Milk a cow

83. Make homemade tamales

84. Learn to geocache

85. Go see a Tiger’s game

86.  Take a cooking class

87. Redo my bedroom (not the painting – I love that)

88. Learn to spin

89. Paint a “real” picture

90. Try a “crazy” food on the 100 most unusual food list

91. Buy my sewing machine!

92. Take a cake decorating class with the girls

93. Perfect my pie making skills (I bought a pastry sock today … hopefully that will make me love pie crust more)

94.Make homemade pickles — dill and bread and butter

95.Write a family cookbook (I have the bones of one, but do a “real” one)

96. Learn to tie a tie and a bow tie

97. Say “yes” whenever I can! To opportunities, to experiences, to adventure! (practicing … good way to overcome your fears!)

98. Make chocolate bacon!

99. Return to making weekly menus — saves time and $$$ (this week …)

100. Get my back worked on by chiropractor (fix the year-old problem)

101. Do my first pieced quilt (even if it’s a lap quilt)

So as you can see, I’m well on my way! This is fun, and if you haven’t done your own … you should! It’s challenging, but stretching and is adding confidence to my life!

Today …

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Today …

…I am the mother of a college senior.

…My youngest son began Segment 2 driver’s training … only a few months until he’s an independent driver.

…my oldest daughter comes home from her first year of college.

…we will all be home together tonight.

…is the evening of a wedding that will be the first among my son’s friends.

…I watched my boy take absolute responsibility for his own insurance, and “figure it all out.”

…I talked to a friend and realized what a good friend she is.

…I woke up to the same man I have for almost 25 years, and he still makes me smile.

…I spent time watching wedding dress fittings with my youngest, and it hit me how soon it will be her.

…I rode my bike to driver’s training, and didn’t get winded.

…I cleaned out a bunch of old pictures, and organized my stuff to do my “official” wedding scrapbook (about time, wouldn’t you say?

…I sit quietly, realizing all the good in my life.

 

Self discovery and the art of sticking to it …

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I woke up feeling miserable today.

I won’t go into the gory details. But it was enough to discourage me from running. OK, I’m not really “running” still … I’m doing the “Couch-to-5-K” program, and I was to start week 3 today. But it involves 3 minute runs, which to someone who runs sounds ridiculously easy, but for an overweight, looking 50 in the eye in a few years — a few short years — woman who is prone to not follow through on all things physical … well, it was enough to make me sick, if I weren’t already sick.

Anyway … as the day progressed, I had absolutely zero motivation to do anything but laundry and dishes. I attempted to find a friend’s family funeral, went without directions, thinking “Oh, it’s a small town.” Even stopped to ask for directions (which lead me the wrong flipping way). Gave up. Took a few pictures. Went home. I couldn’t even bring myself to cook a descent dinner. And for those who know me … I always love to cook.

The “baby” had soccer, so I took her. On the way, got a call from the Big Boy, both of which made my evening. So as I was sitting, watching soccer, I made a decision.

I made the decision that I felt well enough to run. And  If I felt well enough to run, I best get off my butt and go do it.

It was a beautiful night. I thought it might be cold, so I took my jacket. But that was my only mistake, ’cause when you run you do warm up fast. The sun was setting, the wind dying down. Traffic was past rush hour and the music (Relient K tonight) was perfect.

As I was doing my thing, I realized that it was the first time in a long time I have actually stuck with an exercise program. I use to walk, but since leaving and moving to our new place two years ago (almost) I have been unable to stick to it. I am the queen of beginnings, but the jester of follow through.

Then I reminded myself that it is all up to me. Whether I get out and “do” this thing … whether I become a runner or simply add to my quitter repertoire, it’s in my court. And I can make a thousand excuses (being as sick as I was this morning would be more than enough to discourage me before). It’s up to me.

So, it’s also up to me to beat this attitude of defeat. It’s up to me to continue to tell myself I can do this. I’ve had a ton of support from friends, but the actual execution of getting off my duff, lacing up those shoes, and plugging in my ipod rests completely in the hands of the person typing this blog.

So now, I’m feeling pretty accomplished. Got back from the walk, cleaned the kitchen, folder laundry, and now am catching up on the trinkets of technology I let slip today. I’m making plans to check some things off “the list” tomorrow … well, we’ll see.

Right now, I’m enjoying the feeling of actually doing something. Knowing that I fought off the first big enemy of lethargic temptation, and this time, I was victorious. The next time might be a different story, but right now, I have discovered that I CAN DO THIS THING. And for tonight, that’s all I need.

 

I still haven’t (totally) found what I’m looking for …

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Here it is, May 3rd (almost the 4th!! — Start Wars day). I still don’t have my list complete! Who knew this would be so hard??? Maybe I just don’t have high enough aspirations …

Well, I thought I’d put up what I had. And, while I haven’t “completed” anything yet … I am on a running/walking schedule … and I’ve already got my book for my May review (and it’s over half read). I’m going to make vanilla next week, I think, as well as get my seedlings going (OK, I said that this week … too much stuff comes up!).

My 101 in 1001 (from Monday, April 23, 2012 – January 5, 2015)

1. Finish the book I’m writing

2. Let my “writing friend” read it; gather feedback from the friend who is already looking at the first draft of what I have.

3. Compete a “Couch-to-5-k” program. (already talked to Bruce about joining me … I started Tuesday 4/24/12!)

4. Run a 5K! (We’re shooting for the “Santa Shuffle” in December here in Lapeer!)

5. Lose 10 lbs.

6. Lose 10 more lbs.

7. Lose 10 more lbs.

8. Lose 10 more lbs.

9. Lose 10 more lbs.

10. Lose 10 more lbs. to obtain 60 lb. goal

11. Catch up scrap-booking — either physical books, on-line collages (on picassa) or throw insignificant photos away!

12. Graduate child #3 (Ethan) from home school (May -2014)

13. Train trip to Seattle with Aubree (scheduled this June/July)

14. Help with a family wedding …

15. Another camping trip with family for Dad

16. Move Dad into our house

17. Visit the rest of the US States: Maine, New Hampshire; Connecticut; Rhode Island; Alaska; Hawaii

18. Make home-made flavored crackers

19. Teach girls (and boys, if they want) how to can tomatoes

20. Learn how to operate zero-turn lawn mower

21. Re-learn how to hit a softball (honestly, I can’t hit anything anymore!)

22. Read through entire “Common Prayer” book

23. Get at least 2 more tattoos (I already know what I want …)

24. Travel across Canada by Amtrak

25. Take a basic drawing class @ Mott

26. Publish “at least” one article/story/etc.for $$$

27. Publish “at least” one photo for $$$

28. Learn to make home-made mozzarella

29. Clean and organize basement storage room (got a head start on this one … almost done!)

30. Write a letter and mail it once a week, every week

31. Make home-made bread at least 1x a week, every week (I tried some “simple” break tonight — good taste, rough texture. But it’s my first attempt at “artisan” bread)

32. Out West trip for Ethan’s Sr. year

33. Visit New Orleans

34. Take Aubree (and whomever else in family can attend) to Harry Potter World

35. Learn to French Braid

36. Make a ring

37. Make “from scratch” pasta on a regular basis (bought a pasta machine @ a garage sale for $5 5/11/12)

38. Design and build wind chimes “cool” enough to be given as gifts

39. Build outdoor bread/pizza oven

40. Grow and maintain a successful herb garden

41. Read at least one book a month and write a review for Helium, blog, or other source

42. Make home-made vanilla extract (switch to using it all the time)

43. Make home-made caramel sauce (switch to using all the time)

44. Make homemade condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc.) and switch to using all the time

45. Learn to knit socks (from my friend, Melanie!)

46. Get another motorcycle (we are already looking…)

47. Make home-made body butter and lotion

48. Learn to play “Blackbird” and “She talks to angels” on the guitar (Thinking about “Margaritaville” too)

49. Sell some old Victrola records we don’t listen to for extra $$$

50. Make MI History book (and others I have from Grandpa) to Lansing bookshop with Dad for appraisal.

51. Get Grandpa’s coins appraised in Lapeer

52. Learn to make skirts for girls

53. Make all pajama pants for Christmas from here on out

54. Make Christmas ornaments for kids and others from now on

55. Try at least 1 new thing from pinterest and blog about it each week (I’m tired of just collecting stuff; I want to DO some of the cool stuff I see)

56. Refinish dresser

57. Micro-roast coffee at least once

58. Vacation with friends

59. Visit my friends up North at least twice a year (They came down this weekend! Now it’s my turn to head North …)

60. Write Dad’s book

61. Make home-made butter all the time

62. Visit/tour Memphis TN

63. Visit/tour Austin TX

64. Meet Anthony Bourdain

65. Convert old picture CDs to computer to storage hard drive

66. Finish cleaning out/organizing Kara’s room

67. Finish cleaning out/organizing Wesley’s room

68. Covert family videos to CD & store on long-term storage

69. Learning to sync my ipod myself and update regularly (there is soooo much good music I have yet to discover and own!)

70. Call my dad at least once a week (right now, I’m so inconsistent) (doing better the last two weeks … we visited once, and I’ve called twice)

71. Organize my curriculum for the classes I teach (it’s always in disarray this time of year) and KEEP IT ORGANIZED THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL YEAR!

72. Plant seeds and start my seedlings for the garden (that’s a “today” project!)

73. Keep a food journal for “at least” one month (I’ve started this 100 times … May June 2012 is my projected attempt to actually DO it!)

74. “At least” once a month go somewhere I go all the time, but take a different route and see what I find! (I have been doing that … it’s fun, and like a mini-adventure … I’ll start posting some of the photos from my wanderings)

75. FINISH THIS LIST BEFORE THE FIRST OF MAY, June 2012!  (finally completed 5/8/2012)

76.  Eat at a world-class restaurant

77. Make a cheese press & make “real” cheese

78. Test drive a mustang

79. Try acupuncture

80. Take a week-long tech hiatus (no TV, no computer, no phone)

81. Get our will done

82. Milk a cow

83. Make homemade tamales

84. Learn to geocache

85. Go see a Tiger’s game

86.  Take a cooking class

87. Redo my bedroom (not the painting – I love that)

88. Learn to spin

89. Paint a “real” picture

90. Try a “crazy” food on the 100 most unusual food list

91. Buy my sewing machine!

92. Take a cake decorating class with the girls

93. Perfect my pie making skills (I bought a pastry sock today … hopefully that will make me love pie crust more)

94.Make homemade pickles — dill and bread and butter

95.Write a family cookbook (I have the bones of one, but do a “real” one)

96. Learn to tie a tie and a bow tie

97. Say “yes” whenever I can! To opportunities, to experiences, to adventure!

98. Make chocolate bacon!

99. Return to making weekly menus — saves time and $$$

100. Get my back worked on by chiropractor (fix the year-old problem)

101. Do my first pieced quilt (even if it’s a lap quilt)

OK, so I have  three more things to put on here until the list is “done.” But I’m on my way … and it does add a lot of focus to my life.

Tonight, it’s raining hard, and the thunder and lightning are spectacular! I wish I were out on a covered porch watching the storm roll by. Hmm … maybe I should put up a covered deck??!!??