Sunday, September 23, 2012


Are there any good sentences with the word 'should' in them?
    " You should have known that I was not going to be there."
"Seems like you should be happy since I did what you asked."
     "I should have given her more time."
"You kids should not be watching that tv show."
     "I should have known better."

I can't come up with one.  There probably are times, but in general, I think 'should' should be left out of conversations.  Especially if you are saying it to someone else (not to yourself).  As soon as I hear the word 'should' come out of someone's mouth all I can think is "Whether I should or shouldn't, this is how I actually AM feeling."  It feels like judgement to me.  So when I find myself using it with my kids "You should be happy we have any dinner at all." I try to rephrase it.  Because no matter how true, if you annoy people in the process you are never going to get your point across.  And with my spouse, it is even worse idea.  I have been conscious of this long enough now, that when I do throw a 'should' into a discussion it is usually purposeful and meant to annoy.  It is good isn't it, when we can not just complain about other people's habits that drive us crazy, but actually learn from them?  Turn the flashlight on yourself when you are feeling annoyed and ask yourself "Do I do that?"  You don't have to admit it out loud in public or to your kids, but to notice this is a step towards self-aware behavior, which is good for everyone who crosses your path.

Try it this week.  "Do I do that?" Hmmm......


Saturday, September 08, 2012

Things that make me happy

Started this list after reading "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin for my book club this month.  I noticed the other day (can't get anything by me) that I can go back and edit old posts.  So I'm going to start a list on here of things that make me happy, and when I think of more, I'll add to the list.  My goal is to eventually reach 111 things.  


  1. White curtains blowing in the breeze
  2. making lists
  3. cooking soup on the first cool day of the year
  4. a clean house
  5. orange rolls, dillon cookies, and Frona's brownies
  6. Gull Lake Family Camp
  7. when something awesome happens to someone I know
  8. browsing in a book store
  9. sitting alone in silence
  10. driving down a road I've never been down before
  11. buying new shoes or a new purse
  12. getting a massage (duh)
  13. re-reading a favorite book
  14. writing in my blog
  15. clean sheets on the bed with a temp that includes open windows
  16. Dark Chocolate Reeses peanut butter cups 
  17. Weddings
  18. planning a vacation itinerary
  19. Beth Moore 
  20. Thinking
  21. Writing
  22. A day with no plans and no obligations
  23. picking apples at the apple orchard
  24. cutting down a Christmas tree at the tree farm
  25. baking Christmas cookies with my kids
  26. losing a few pounds
  27. a very hot pounding shower
  28. swinging on the porch swing
  29. sitting around a campfire (no camping, just fire)
  30. watching a movie at home with family, popcorn, lights down low
  31. when prayers are answered
  32. when someone new joins our church
  33. praying with friends and having friends who pray
  34. afghan, rainy day, good book
  35. thunderstorms during the daytime
  36. crunching leaves underfoot
  37. driving around to see christmas lights
  38. first day of school photos on facebook
  39. the smell of pumpkin bread baking 
  40. IKEA
  41. putting on pajamas. getting new pj's. buying the kids pj's.
  42. (9/23/12)... Award shows like the Emmy Awards
  43. Sweater weather when it is not yet mitten weather
  44. Project Runway (sorry, love the creative process)
  45. Having all the dishes done at the same time (ditto on laundry, if that ever happens)
  46. losing myself in live music
  47. Tuesday night bible study
  48. my book club
  49. my library. All libraries. 
  50. Shopping on the day after Christmas and staying home on the day after Thanksgiving.
  51. My morning walk with Sue
  52. Seeing the progress my husband has made at the flip house
  53. designing/buying/planting my garden (not weeding though)
  54. blank journals, new calendars, a great pen, Staples in general
  55. Pumpkin spice Yankee candles
  56. Little tiny trick-or-treaters at my door (we get 500-600)
  57. Japanese Iris, hyndrangea, and periwinkle
  58. 10/14/12..cont'd...breaking soil up with my hands
  59. having a 1 minute drive to work
  60. Laughing with old friends
  61. anticipation
  62. God moments or "coincidences" as some call 'em
  63. late summer afternoons with my feet in the water
  64. looking up
  65. yoga
  66. Trying new recipes for dinner
  67. hearing a tough vocab word come out of one of my kids' mouths
  68. resale shops
  69. the dog right after her bath
  70. watching old home movies
  71. Ice skating
  72. the previews at the movie theater (anticipation, again)
  73. the rainbows on the wall made by my 114 year old cut glass living room window
  74. going to bed early and sleeping late
  75. getting a handwritten letter in the mail
  76. reading blogs of my favorite authors
  77. feeling really lucky that I married who I did
  78. Anne of Green Gables (PBS version), original episode
  79. shooting stars, starry skies
  80. a trunk full of shopping bags (sad but true!)
  81. a good reason to build a new spreadsheet in Excel, my friend Excel
  82. Peoria Art Guild fall art fair
  83. 1/5/13....Birthdays
  84. Blowing out candles on a cake
  85. Chicken Scampi at Olive Garden
  86. Eating breakfast out
  87. Les Miserables now that I understand it better
  88. My Kindle
  89. New Years Resolution time
  90. A really good book title
  91. Snowflakes, snowmen (real ones), snow angels
  92. Reading a book that makes me laugh out loud
  93. Being sad at the end of a book because it was so good and I don't want it to end (have I already mentioned books here?....)
  94. Taking pictures
  95. WCIC 91.5
  96. Wrapping presents
  97. Change
  98. Buying original artwork while on vacation
  99. The Great Smokey Mountains
  100. Fort Morgan beach
  101. Christmas windows at Marshall Fields (ahem) on State
  102. Maurie's frogs
  103. A day off work with no special reason
  104. Broadway-type Musicals
  105. McNaughton park, Northern Lights, Western Tree
  106. Reconnecting with someone I haven't heard from in years (thank you Facebook)
  107. Crossing things off of lists
  108. Planning events (showers, parties, etc)
  109. Really deep breaths
  110. Having something to look forward to

Friday, September 07, 2012

Thinking Bee

I have a day off work and today I am devoting it to thinking.  God has assisted my plan by providing a lovely thundershower with steady rain.  I am alone in my house, something that happens about as often as an eclipse.  And when given several options for how to fill my day I decided I would think.  I would turn off the television (check) and try to avoid facebook and email (there's still time to achieve that one today) and think.

Think about yesterday -- my last day of working at the same company for 16 years.  Many goodbyes. Thinking about Monday -- the first day at a new job.  Thinking about my husband and each of my kids and where they are in life right now, and praying for any pockets of worry that I have for each of them.  But mostly just thinking about random thoughts like silence, and daydreams, and how great porch swings are.  Just thinking about thinking is giving me endorphins to last the weekend.

Thinking is highly underrated.  I'm pretty good at it.  Maybe not Olympic caliber but I could win the county Thinking Bee.  A Thinking Bee, can't you just picture it?  Yum.

 I am in the moment, grateful for peace of mind.  Enjoying my thoughts.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Year gone by

"A year has gone by since I posted."  Sadly I have typed those words before in this blog.   It means I've lost my thread.  Again.  Writing is my desired vocation but I have continued to allow life to overpower that desire.  Sometimes life needed the leading role, and sometimes it didn't. 

Interesting the last post was Labor Day weekend and here it is again, Labor Day weekend one year later.  September is the new year to me.  The time to start new habits and try new things.  Time for change.  

In my day job I am starting with a new employer next week.  After 16 years with one company, I took the plunge into new-job-hood.  My motivation to make this change is not for the usual career advancement -- more money, more status, more responsibility, more importance.  Instead it is a move toward a simpler life, closer to home (five blocks from my house to be exact), a much smaller company, a hometown company.  I don't know yet if I will be successful but I know this change will allow for new experiences, something I crave in my cells. 

Among the many reasons I have given to others for the job change, one I haven't mentioned out loud is a small hope that it will allow more time for my writing.  For actually writing something.  For typing words on a blank screen or writing letters on a yellow legal pad.  For writing.  As reasons go, it is a pretty darn good one.

So many things have happened since my last post.  And if I don't get some self-discipline, my next post will be a year from now.  And even though lovely life full of stress and joy will happen whether I write or not, I want this year to be different.  Praying for some discoveries on how I can be more self-disciplined.