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The Everyday Thoughts and Tidbits that catch my fancy - Look! A squirrel!

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Friday, January 19, 2018

I'm Baaaaack....

     It's the new year, when we all re-access our life, our journey, our place in the cosmos. Am I where I hoped I would be by now? The answer is usually a big, fat, resounding NO! Why is that? Are we just all lazy sots? Is it just too hard to break habits? Make new ones? Do we not have enough support? (That's right, blame someone else for our shortcomings!) Does LIFE get in the way? (I'm not really sure what that means; are we not living our life as we are trying to change it? Do we hope to accomplish something in a bubble?)

     I think it all comes down to mindfulness. We need to pay attention to why we do what we do, when or before we do it. Why am I shoving this food in my mouth, even though I'm not hungry? Why am I buying another book to put on my MASSIVE to-read pile that is overflowing the shelves in my office, living room and front hall? Why am I sitting on the couch, again, where I've created a groove in the cushion that fits only me, watching shows I don't even care for? Why am I picking out another bunch of yarn for a new project when I have seventeen large rough totes full of yarn for other projects I had planned? (Yes, 17. I kid you not.) Most of it I can't recall buying, or even what I had planned to make with it. 

     We live in a world that consumes. We are trained to believe we NEED to have these things. NOW. Let's admit it, we all resort to Retail Therapy for a number of reasons; boredom, stress, feelings of inadequacy, as well as the miracles we subconsciously believe some item might preform. (This dress will make me look twenty pounds thinner and might even save my marriage!) We are all intelligent people, but we can convince ourselves of ridiculous things, things that if we said them out loud, anyone within hearing distance would crack up in disbelief at our self-delusion. We need to pay closer attention to why we are doing this. But first, we need to actually catch ourselves doing it. 

     What is that voice in your head telling you when you see the advertisement of 70% off on athletic wear, even though you have a closet full of it that you haven't worn? "But it's ON SALE!! The stuff in my closet likely doesn't even fit anymore. And I really should start working out, one of these days, a new outfit will put me back on track..." What? You don't hear voices? Are you sure? Maybe you hear the devil whispering in one ear, and the angel in the other? Are you deaf in one ear? 

     This was kind of long lead-in to my reason behind this post: I'm making 2018 My Year of No Shopping. I'm told that making yourself accountable to others makes it easier to stay on course, though I've found that's not necessarily true for me, but I'm going to try it. Again. 

     So what can't I buy this year?
  • Books, magazines, notebooks
  • Yarn and other craft products
  • Clothes, shoes, jewellery, and accessories
  • Stuff for the house, i.e. decor items, small appliances
  • Electronics

     And what CAN I purchase?
  • Groceries
  • Toiletries
  • Replacement of broken items (January 19, and I had to buy a new dishwasher, and I know my rubber boots for the farm have bit the biscuit. They aren't supposed to have heel ventilation, right?)
  • Gifts
  • Movies/dining out (this rarely happens, trust me)
  • Yard repairs/improvements
  • Furniture and appliances, if for replacement only

     Over the last month or so, I've listened to a number of audiobooks on hoopla about minimizing and doing with less. I can't link to hoopla on my computer, but if this interests you, these are the titles:
     The Year of Less ~ Cait Flanders
     The More of Less ~ Joshua Becker
     The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ~ Marie Kondo

     Maybe you can help me stay accountable. Have you made any resolutions? How is it going for you? Do you have a back up plan?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hello? Is Anyone Out There?

(Photo courtesy of Photobucket)
Remember me? Probably not. If you do, you must have figured I was abducted by aliens, or perhaps moved to a third-world country where I lost contact with the civilized world as we know it. But believe it or not, I gave up blogging to focus more on my writing. And I HAVE been writing. Just not as much as I had hoped to have finished. But I did manage to start many more writing projects;-) I'm very good at starting, but need to work on the finishing part. That's one of the reasons I've come back to my blog. Accountability. I'm going to pretend that my followers from my woe-be-gone days are still out there, hanging on my every word:-) 
But I'm not only challenging myself to finishing a number of my writing projects. I'm facing the challenge of going back to school at the ripe old age of 46. I start next week. I'm beginning the AHT (Animal Health Technologist, otherwise known as Vet Tech) online course through Olds College. Hopefully those Bio classes I took in University twenty five or so  a few years back, come in handy. Why did I take those Bio classes all those years ago? Because I wanted to work with animals, and that was the closest I could get to them at university. But now the wonderful opportunity to get the training I always wanted to is available to me in a very accommodating manner, and I'm jumping on it! I will be at the College for 6 weeks this summer for labs and some hands-on training, then continue the remainder of the fall semester online. Very convenient, considering I'm still working the farm. (Did I mention I wanted to work with animals SO BAD that I married a farmer? I'm sure there were a couple more reasons...)
AND, if that isn't enough, I'm also going through The Artist's Way  twelve-week program yet again. I'm feeling separated from my creative self, therefore I feel compelled to recharge the battery. Julia Cameron's Artist's Way has helped in the past. You are welcome to join me, just follow the link. I will post on my weekly Artist Dates, which are basically play dates with my inner child. Let's see what kind of trouble that little brat can get into!
Have you had any long-time dreams/bucket list items that you still feel the need to pursue? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Long-Anticipated Sequel! Out in Bookstores Today!

The title everyone's been waiting for:
(Info obtained from Amazon:)
This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended-Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer-one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack-and the man-she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.

About the Author

Andrea Cremer lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she's a professor in the history department at Macalester College. Wolfsbane is her second novel. 
The wait is over!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Serpent's Coil: Prophesy of Days Book II by Christy Raedeke

The Serpent's Coil: Prophecy of Days Book II by Christy Raedeke

(Info obtained from Amazon)
After discovering that Uncle Li betrayed her and the Fraternitas Regni Occulti burned down her family’s house, Caity Mac Fireland retreats to a boarding school that allows her to travel around the globe. With the murderous Fraternitas hot on her heels, Caity continues to mobilize the planet’s young people as she attempts to fulfill the Mayan prophecy. Helping—and sometimes hindering— Caity in her quest are her best friend Justine, boyfriend Alex, and new classmate Jules D’Aubigne, an intriguing French boy.
Can Caity end the devastating global reign of the Fraternitas and save the world?

About the Author

Christy Raedeke is many things, among them an award-winning writer and avid adventurer.
Raedeke's love of mysticism and thirst for ancient knowledge has taken her around the world. She has trekked in the Himalayas, floated down the River Ganges, explored the catacombs under Paris and Rome, studied feng shui in Kuala Lumpur, cloistered at an hermitage in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, spent Halloween in a 16th century Scottish castle, and gone looking for shaman among the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan.
Raedeke was the 2008 recipient of the Edna L. Holmes Fellowship in Young Readers Literature from Oregon Literary Arts and her writing for young adults has earned several awards and accolades. She is a member of the PEN America Center and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
When not globetrotting, Raedeke lives with her family in Oregon. Prophecy of Days is her debut novel.

I have to gush; Book 1 Prophecy of Days: The Day Keeper's Grimoire was one of my most favorite books. And Christy was my first Interviewee!
Don't walk, run to the bookstore and get this one! It's out on July 8, 2011!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Letters to Heaven

Dear Uncle P.,

Your first cradle was a shoebox on Grandma's warming shelf on her wood stove. You fit in Grandpa's hand, your tiny feet only reaching to his wrist. Though it wasn't the name you were christened with, they called you Thom Thumb. (Which became your alias in years to come:-)
Perhaps it was because you fought death from the moment of birth that you had no fear. Crazy stunts and wild disregard for rules - any rules - were common fare for you your whole life long. You lived life in every moment, laughing and joking and loving every minute, no matter what trouble came your way. You taught me not to worry about tomorrow - right now is where I need to be.

Dear G.,

You expected nothing but 110% from yourself and everyone around you. Having built yourself up from an uneducated immigrant to a well-known businessman, you knew that hard work and persistence would get you ahead. Though we rarely saw eye-to-eye, you taught me that when you get knocked down you just get right back up, as well as how to stand up for myself.

Dear C.S.,

You made an impression on everyone you met. Humorous, ambitious and hard-working, you still always had time to lend a helping hand. We didn't know you for very long and your time here was cut tragically short, but your family's loss was also felt by ours. You taught me to make people important - not accomplishments. The 800+ people at you service had all felt touched by you.

Dear Mr. W.,

You scared the crap out of me that morning I found you stretched out in your hay field next to your truck. You were just taking a nap, you said. With cancer ravaging your body and the chemotherapy literally knocking you on your butt, you were still plucking away at your chores, even if you could only work for a few minutes at a time. You taught me that there are no reasons to not get the work done - only excuses.

You all inspire me.


What valuable lessons have you learned from others in your life?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Getting My Rocks Off, a.k.a. My First Artist Date

In case you missed last Monday's post, I started the The Artist's Way: The Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity  (post)Twelve-Week Challenge. (Want to try it yourself? Click Here.) One of the required Tasks is a weekly Artist Date.
Artist Date: Basically, a play date with your Inner Child. Otherwise known as Filling The Well. Must be performed solo; no buddy/child/significant other. ME-Time. Well, Me and Inner Child Time;-)

Artist Date Week One:

Inner Child: It's time for our play date!
Me: But I have all these errands to run. How about later in the week?
Inner Child: (whining) Tomorrow you have plans, Thursday is Alison's grad, Friday you have to drive her all the way to the airport in Calgary, and you hate being in town on the weekends...
Me: Okay, okay.
Inner Child: Yeah Me! You know where I want to go. We're going shoppin'! We're goin' shoppin'!
Me: Just don't let this get too expensive.

Ten minutes later at Josee's Hand made Imports:
IC: I wanna see the rocks.
Me: Let's check out all the new items they have in. Look at these fairy sculptures; aren't they cute? And these carved wood dragon statues. They're gorgeous! These metal sculptures - is that what they refer to as 'steampunk'?
IC: I wanna see the rocks!
Me:You have lots of rocks at home. You filled that crystal sugar bowl, plus you have them scattered all over the house.
IC: I just wanna look...
Me:Just for a minute.

Half-an-hour and $50+ of stones and crystals later:
IC: See? That lady likes rocks just as much as I do.
Me: Maybe she just likes selling rocks to chumps like me.
IC: But these are so pretty! Let's go check them out in our book at home and see what POWERS they have!
Me: Properties. What Properties they have.
IC: POWERS! Powerspowerspowers!

At home at my desk with new purchases spread out in front of me:
(In walks my youngest daughter:) "What'ca doin'?"
Me: (Scurrying to cover up rocks.) "Nothing."
YD: "OOh! New rocks! Can I  see?"
IC: But they're mine!
Me: Play nice.

Ten minutes later:
IC: She took my pretty green malachite and my lucky soapstone elephant!
Me: Green is her favorite color, not yours. Here. This sodalite wand is a real pretty blue...
IC: I bet she took my Jade Buddha.
ME: We gave her that. Look at the time! I forgot to take meat out for supper. Let's go get some frozen burger patties out of the deep freeze.
IC:(whining) But I wanna play with my rocks!

Another ten minutes later:
Me:(Finding myself on my haunches in the driveway) What did I come outside for again?
IC: Somethin' about burgers in the freezer in the garage. But look at these cool rocks! Right here in our gravel!

*Tisk.* Kids.

Where does your inner child take you?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If I had a Rider...(Repost)

Riders are basically negotiations that actors and musicians attach to their contracts; you know, like only blue M and M's in the dressing rooms, etc.
That got me to wondering what I would need in order to perform my job as a fantabulous and uber rich and famous (and prolific) writer WRITER. (Let us not forget the capitals;-). I have just one question; who do I send it to?

1) A lakeside cottage with the above aforementioned view, or one similar, in a forested mountain setting.

2) A personal trainer, one with the physique of the actors in '300'. (The better to motivate me...)

3) A personal chef, one schooled in my personal desires and quirky expectations.

4) A stash of All-Dressed potato chips, preferably a closet full.

5) A second storey office in said cottage, with windows on all four sides that open to the mountain breezes.

6) An extensive library of an eclectic variety of books, also in said cottage.

7) An awesome SUV, with all the bells and whistles, to take me to and from said cottage.

8) A Mac computer (I'm told this is necessary) to do my writing on.

9) Hours of uninterrupted bliss to follow my wondering mind.

10) Blue M and M's on the left-hand side of said Mac computer.

I've actually picked out the cottage I want, but dagnabit, someone already lives there;-)

What would be numero uno on your rider?