Anyone, anywhere

Can I say something?

 

I just want YOU to know, YOU, whoever you are, whatever choices you’ve made, whatever wrongs you think you have done, whatever you think you are to the world out there:

 

I LOVE YOU.

I THINK ABOUT YOU.

I PRAY TO GOD/THE UNIVERSE/WHATEVER THERE IS FOR YOU.

AND I AM WISHING YOU ALL GOOD THINGS.

 

 

I am not perfect.  No one is.  No one has the right to judge you, in your situation, for the things you have done or the things you intended to do, but didn’t.

 

KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED.

 

It’s all I have to offer.  And I want YOU to have it.

 

Love,

ME

Mental Health Day (a cross-post)

I am starting to think that what I really need is a mental health blog.  Or to combine all my little blogs into one big blog so I can stop repeating myself from different angles.  Who knows.

A friend of mine committed suicide this weekend.  We weren’t close lately, hadn’t been for a couple years, but once upon a time I lent her all my books about depression and gave her my number and talked to her about my experiences with therapy and brain chemicals that just don’t work right . Through her, I lent her husband the book “How to Help When Someone You Love is Depressed” that I’d gotten for my husband ages ago.  She still had a few books that hadn’t made it back to me.  I guess they never will.  These aren’t the thoughts one generally shares, I know, but somehow they are the ones my brain is holding onto right now, instead of blubbering insanely about how sad it all is and how hard I tried to help her and how I failed to keep up and how I regret it and how I am never ever the person I mean to be when it comes to other people and how I should have kept up with her when she went silent.  Because once I get started with them, the tears start, they don’t stop.

THIS YEAR.  I CAN’T TAKE THIS YEAR.

One of my good friends from junior high died this last year: breast cancer.  My ex-boyfriend from high school was accused of sexual misconduct with a student and I can’t quite bring myself to admit that I really do think it’s something he did, because then I’d have to admit out loud to my family and other people how awful he was (in college I had girls email me out of nowhere and ask me to join their therapy group because ….) and they don’t need to hear that.  Then there was my mom and the hospital last summer. And another ancient friend’s husband died unexpectedly from pneumonia.  Another one’s brother died and I somehow totally missed it and I feel awful about it, but don’t know what to say now.  Another friends son had a terrible car accident months ago and is only now walking.  And then the husband of a girl here in town that was one of those friends-of-a-friend that you always hear about that you feel like you know even though you’ve actually never met them?  The one you’ve heard dozens of stories about?  Yeah.  Her husband died trying to save someone after a car accident. And now this.

I told my spouse that I needed a Self Care day.  He was busy, of course, because we are NEVER not busy these days, and said the wrong thing and that made me cry more.  He apologized and said the right things later but I ….well…  I am broken at this point.  And thanking God or the Universe or Whatever I’m Believing In This Week that I asked the doctor for those anti-depressant, anti-anxiety meds way back in October.  Because I don’t know what or who to believe in these days, but SCIENCE seems like a good thing.  Quantifiable, you know.  I don’t, I just don’t know.  Nobody is available on a Saturday to talk, so I’ve been making due with a bunch of movies (The Decoy Bride I need to own and Wild Targets I’m going to rewatch and A Good Woman I’m in the middle of, but it’s kind of bland so far despite good reviews – I’m thinking I just don’t like Scarlet Johanssen) and a bottle of wine and a box of chicken quesadillas.

Thank you for listening and thinking about me.  I know we don’t see/know each other in person, but you mean the world to me, you really do. *big big hugs*

Merrily I Roll Along

I’m adding to this post as I go on today.  Seemed like fun!

  • My bedroom & bathroom before (the parts I’m working on today only):
  • 9am

Bathroom before: the sink is rusting and I can't figure out how to stop it from dripping short of a bathroom renovation.  So I'm constantly having to wipe up down there.
Bathroom before: the sink is rusting and I can’t figure out how to stop it from dripping short of a bathroom renovation. So I’m constantly having to wipe up down there.

The tall cabinets before: Not too bad, but could be better.  The towels definitely need help and it'd be nice if my shelf were better organized.
The tall cabinets before: Not too bad, but could be better. The towels definitely need help and it’d be nice if my shelf were better organized.

Most of this stuff does not belong in my room, but it’s where stuff gets dropped when the kids can’t find other homes for stuff when they’re tidying other parts of the house. If I can’t find new homes for this stuff by end of day, I’m taking stuff to Goodwill on the way to pick up the kids.

  • After:
  • 10am:

I took  the old art bins to use as a cleaning bins for the bathrooms.  I moved out the unnecessary  sharps bin and extra cleaning supplies.  Tidy!
I took the old art bins to use as a cleaning bins for the bathrooms. I moved out the unnecessary sharps bin and extra cleaning supplies. Tidy!

I separated out mine and Nick's hoards of extra supplies into two bins up top, then tidied up the other three shelves below.  Then I put a different shelving unit in for the towels.
I separated out mine and Nick’s hoards of extra supplies into two bins up top, then tidied up the other three shelves below. Then I put a different shelving unit in for the towels.

  • noon

My spouse is home for lunch, but he is very busy preparing things for dinner. Apparently it is multi-step and I will need to assist as well. Yay?

  • 1:05pm

I just mashed potatoes for the first time ever. It was smushy. Then I added stuff to them. They smell good. 🙂 I am supposed to wait to eat them for dinner. Hmmm….

  • 1:30pm

Look: you can see the floor!  And the stack of linen-filled hat boxes have been emptied into a basket and put in the linen closet.  And the boxes of my grandmother & great-grandmother's china from the top shelf of  the linen closet got emptied into a cupboard in the kitchen and that cupboard in the kitchen got emptied into the donate-to-Goodwill box.
Look: you can see the floor! The stack of linen-filled hat boxes have been emptied into a basket and put in the linen closet. And the boxes of my grandmother & great-grandmother’s china from the top shelf of the linen closet got emptied into a cupboard in the kitchen and that cupboard in the kitchen got emptied into the donate-to-Goodwill box. I also drilled holes and installed the iron curtain tie-back things.

  • 2pm

If you look back at the day I was working on David's room, you'll remember that his closet top was very full of mess.  I cleared a bit out.
If you look back at the day I was working on David’s room, you’ll remember that his closet top was very full of mess. I cleared a bit out by moving stuff in the big bin into the little boxes that used to house china in the linen closet. Now it houses the pile o’ pants that used to be in that empty spot.

  • 2:45pm

No before picture, sorry.  I cleared out my magazine racks, filled them with the piles of Nick's magazines from the floor, and put them on shelves.  Then I cleared out the top shelf of the closet and put all the empty boxes from up there in the recycle bin.  Don't ask why I had empty boxes up there.  I don't know.
No before picture, sorry. I cleared out my magazine racks, filled them with the piles of Nick’s magazines from the floor, and put them on shelves. Then I cleared out the top shelf of the closet and put all the empty boxes from up there in the recycle bin. Don’t ask why I had empty boxes up there. I don’t know.

And last but not least, I started spraypainting Nick's side table.  It used to be blue and silver, but it was very scraped.  I say "started" because I used to have half a can of that paint and when I started spraying I realized that someone else must've used it for something because it was mostly empty. *sigh*
And last but not least, I started spray-painting Nick’s side table. It used to be blue and silver, but it was very scraped. I say “started” because I used to have half a can of that paint and when I started spraying I realized that someone else must’ve used it for something because it was mostly empty. *sigh* Anyway, I have a new-to-us alarm clock-and-Iphone-charger-player thingie to put on top of it. The younger kids are getting our old alarm clock-cd player and David is getting their old one, which doesn’t have readable numbers, but does have a CD player for him and then I’m going to hand him all the Weird Al CDs.

And that’s the end of that, because I’m having weird back spasms now.  I have definitely overdone it today.

More organizing

I promised more organizing for the next day’s post and many days have gone by and I can’t remember any more what I organized, so I’m looking through my pictures to help me remember:

See, now my three-tiered shelf can be for pretties again!  (Temporary display for now; first things my hands came to)
See, now my three-tiered shelf can be for pretties again! (Temporary display for now; first things my hands came to)

010
This is our new art storage cart. I like that it has many drawers, so pens in one, markers, crayons, pencils, etc… I also like that it’s on wheels so it can live there in peace during regular life, or move to the kids room when Greg is on an art spree, or move into my room when we have guests over for dinner. 🙂

009
This doesn’t look as tidy as I’d like, but for a $3 over-the-door tie-and-belt rack, it does the job. No more lost belts & ties! Woo hoo!

008
Shoes are always going missing in this house, but NO MORE. Bottom two rows are Greg’s, next two are Ben’s, and next two are next-size-up for each of them (for those days when Daddy is impatient).

Honestly, I’ve gotten nothing else done since then, except a tiny bit in my makeup & hair boxes.  Steph and I did a writer’s retreat this weekend, which I posted about here(from a writing standpoint) and here (from an RA standpoint).  Since I’m still working on last month’s holidays, I brought her her family’s gifts, and she sent some home with me for the boys as well.

There were cards & gifts from another friend in there as well.  :)
There were cards & gifts from another friend in there as well. 🙂

The kids were out of school on Monday, so we had a quiet, fun day:

Greg pulled out his science kit and we spent quite a while trying out all its tricks.
Greg pulled out his science kit and we spent quite a while trying out all its tricks.

I remember playing on this with them when they were all babies!
I remember playing on this with them when they were all babies!

This sign on the door of the bathroom at the park cracked me up!
This sign on the door of the bathroom at the park cracked me up!

and worked in the garden. Ben had scouts in the evening. I don’t know that we should call it that anymore, as he’s the only one that ever shows up any more. *sigh*

Yesterday I didn’t have to work, but I did have a bunch of errands to run: a Goodwill drop-off where I spoke to a man named Ram about how God changed his life, a grocery store run to buy lunch makings since the kids had eaten them all up over the weekend, and then my book study on Raising Resilient Kids over at the PDC. After school Ben had dance, so Greg and I hit the dollar store so he could use some of his Christmas money. Then off to piano lessons, where we got a lesson on what goes on inside the piano and how all the pedals work. It was awesome!

Our teacher is super interesting!  :)  We love her!
Our teacher is super interesting! 🙂 We love her!

Today I was hoping to sub, but haven’t gotten a call, so I’m going to go off and work on some stuff in my bedroom, which has all the boxes of “doesn’t live here” from David’s room cleaning last week. It’s pretty scary and I’m tired of looking at them! Once I get done with that, it’s time for fun stuff: writing! 🙂

Working life is full of fullness!

I was talking to a friend today over “coffee” (I had chai tea and she had lemonade, actually, but we will still call it “coffee” because I can’t think of anything better right now) about the challenges of working a non-specific schedule.  I had had all these plans to organize the whole house this week, but got called in to substitute three half days this week in Kindergarten-land (which is more tiring than a whole day of other grades, let me tell you).  It was good to get back to work, as I didn’t work at all in December, but it was still hard because I’d had all these mental plans and didn’t get to most of them.

Here’s what I did get done, though.  David’s room, before:

Drawers of randomness, part one
Drawers of randomness, part one

Drawers full of randomness, part two
Drawers full of randomness, part two

This is the desk after D "cleaned it off" for me.  Hahahah
This is the desk after D “cleaned it off” for me. Hahahah

Bed area (which sadly looks the same today)
Bed area (which sadly looks the same today)

Bookshelves of messiness (I wish you could see the bottom shelf better, it was scary!)
Bookshelves of messiness (I wish you could see the bottom shelf better, it was scary!)

The closet of doom.  I don't know if those clothes down there at the bottom are dirty or clean.
The closet of doom. I don’t know if those clothes down there at the bottom are dirty or clean.

During:

I sorted everything into categories: Rocks, Office, Ships game, Lego instructions, Nerf Darts, Things Which Do Not Belong To Me, etc.
I sorted everything into categories: Rocks, Office, Ships game, Lego instructions, Nerf Darts, Things Which Do Not Belong To Me, etc.

Again with the Flylady process.  I filled everything  at least once and took it out.  The trash went out three times.
Again with the Flylady process. I filled everything at least once and took it out. The trash went out three times.

Currently, I’m still not done, but we’re getting there:

The bookshelves now hold books!  They're not organized yet, but they are all on there now.  :)  And no, I have no idea why he's collecting root beer & cream soda bottles.  None.
The bookshelves now hold books! They’re not organized yet, but they are all on there now. 🙂 And no, I have no idea why he’s collecting root beer & cream soda bottles. None.

I put up the art he brought home from Art Camp (his teacher sketched these).  They've lived in a pile on the floor since July.
I put up the art he brought home from Art Camp (his teacher sketched these). They’ve lived in a pile on the floor since July.

I found school work in EVERY SINGLE DRAWER.  No wonder he never can find anything.  I bought him an expanding file, sorted his work into classes, and have sent him off to make labels and shove things into the sections.  Now he has no excuse not to be organized.
I found school work in EVERY SINGLE DRAWER. No wonder he never can find anything. I bought him an expanding file, sorted his work into classes, and have sent him off to make labels and shove things into the sections. Now that he has been taught to use it he has no excuse not to be organized.

Drawers labeled: Small Toys, Lego Instructions, Memory Stuff, Organized bits of Lego, Office supplies, School stuff, Art supplies.
Drawers labeled: Small Toys, Lego Instructions, Memory Stuff, Organized bits of Lego, Office supplies, School stuff, Art supplies.

A place for everything and everything in its place, part one
A place for everything and everything in its place, part one

A place for everything and everything in its place, part  two.
A place for everything and everything in its place, part two.

I also got some more things organized elsewhere in the house, but that’s a post for tomorrow!  🙂

January Projects

As you know, I go crazy in January and start cleaning and organizing everything in sight.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the cold, rainy weather.

 

Yesterday I tackled my hallway bathroom closet, which I guess could also be called my linen closet.

 

Before:

Okay, so it doesn't look quite so bad as my brain says it does, but it was making me crazy.
Okay, so it doesn’t look quite so bad as my brain says it does, but it was making me crazy.

 

During:

There's a method to the madness. One box is labeled "Another Room," one is "Keep," one is "Donate," and one is "Toss." The "Keep" box is the giant pile in the middle.
There’s a method to the madness. One box is labeled “Another Room,” one is “Keep,” one is “Donate,” and one is “Toss.” The “Keep” box is the giant pile in the middle.

After several hours and possibly a billion interruptions (Next time I’m putting a Do Not Enter if You Value Your Life sign up.):

 

Done!  I filled one of each other above labeled boxes (except "Keep" which was the stuff that went back in).
Done! I filled one of each other above labeled boxes (except “Keep” which was the stuff that went back in). I took this photo before I labeled the shelves, but they are labeled by what’s in each bin.

Secret surprise if you look in my linen closet: preschool graduation photos of each of my kids!
Secret surprise if you look in my linen closet: preschool graduation photos of each of my kids!

 

Today I’m tackling David’s room as part of my Flylady plan.  It won’t be done in 15 minutes for sure, but today the desk is getting organized.  I’ve been at it an hour now and it’s finally empty. I’ve filled one trash can, one keep box, and one another-room box already.  Now I can see why he can’t ever find his school papers.  There were a few papers in each messy drawer.  AIE!

 

Weeeeeeekend!

I guess I should catch up with the rest of the week first.  All righty then!

 

Wednesday I went to the doctor for my physical.  We talked about many things, like my meds (they’ve changed), my blood pressure (it’s happy), my anxiety (lessened by meds, yay!), weight loss (uh, yeah), and my heart condition, which was the surprise topic.  Apparently I have one?  Or might?  In any case it led to more blood tests on Thursday.  We’ll see what they say.  As I was leaving there the nurse from the school called and said Greg’s shoes had exploded and could I bring new ones?  I could not, so he borrowed some from her.  My mom took him and Ben out and got them more shoes that afternoon while David was at meetings at school.

 

Thursday was a sick-kid-at-home day, but my mom watched him while I was out.

Pathetic Greg.  This was in the morning while he was still feverish.
Pathetic Greg. This was in the morning while he was still feverish.

By mid afternoon he was doing all right and we watch Sofia the First on the Disney channel, which he loved, while snuggling.  🙂 That evening we went over to my parents house for dinner and a game of Cargo Noir, which went on for hours and hours.  I don’t even remember who won.  It went on so long that Ben and Greg both fell asleep, so Nick and I had to carry them home while David carried all our stuff.  I’m sure we made quite a sight on the street.

 

Friday I had a sick Ben at home…or rather, at Grandma’s house in the morning so I wouldn’t have to miss my coffee date with the neighbor yet again (we’ve been back and forth and back and forth with changing dates due to sick kids.  We live 4 houses away from each other and have not managed to see each other since Thanksgiving).  It was a lovely morning with muffins made by a different neighbor.  🙂  Friday afternoon I brought Ben back home and he was much recovered.

 

We learned to play Bakugan, which he got as a post-Christmas present. :)
We learned to play Bakugan, which he got as a post-Christmas present. 🙂

 

Friday afternoon we had the Scouts over from our Pack and taught them Fire Safety in our side yard.  It had rained enough this week (all week long) that everything was nice and wet and safe, but we still made them clear the ground cover before starting the fire.

Ben and S. work while M. reads the newspaper.  How is this fair?!
Ben and S. work while M. reads the newspaper. How is this fair?!

 

Then they and their siblings all jumped on the trampoline until it was too dark to see anymore and the other mom dragged them all off.  🙂

See the children.  See the children jump and play.  Jump, children, jump!
See the children. See the children jump and play. Jump, children, jump!

 

Then that evening we had my parents over for dinner, as it was our last evening together before they had to go back home and my dad had to start teaching again.

Yummy yummy cheese platter.  I'm getting good at throwing those suckers together.
Yummy yummy cheese platter. I’m getting good at throwing those suckers together.

 

Saturday morning we hung out with my parents again and made them play Creationary with us.  We’ve discovered that it is supremely hard, even using just the basic cards.  David’s the only one that’s any good at it.  Our church had Teen Day that afternoon, with all the kids in the Teen Group serving in places that adults normally serve, like being Greeters, Ushers, Song Leader, Prayer Leader, and Pianist.  It was pretty cool seeing all our kids do that stuff.

David is counting all the people in his section as part of his duties as Usher.
David is counting all the people in his section as part of his duties as Usher.

After services were over was our church’s Mexican Potluck and Variety Show. (I still need to offload videos, but some of them are pretty shaky.)  Our congregation has been hit pretty hard with the flu, so two of our major performers/accompanists were out sick, which left us with some holes in our program.

The Pre-teen Group sang Old MacDonald.  We had zero rehearsal time; this was just for fun!
The Pre-teen Group sang Old MacDonald. We had zero rehearsal time; this was just for fun! They’re even wearing flower pots on their heads as hats. One of the animals on our farm was a hippopotamus   The snorting was SOOO cute!

 

Davidplaystrumpet
David played an excerpt from the William Tell Overture on his trumpet right after doing a skit with all the other kids.  I don’t have a picture from that one, but it was a hilarious scout skit and the high point was David running off stage with a roll of toilet paper in his hand.

 

The Teen Group sang God Bless America as a finale. Photo Credit: Joanne Gonzalez
The Teen Group sang God Bless America as a finale. David waves the flag from our house that we put up at holidays.  Photo Credit: Joanne Gonzalez

 

Right after the Variety Show, we headed straight out so David could make it to his friends birthday party/sleepover.  He was sooo excited!  🙂  They stayed up all night and played the Wii and DS’s and had Nerf gun wars.  He came home and pretty much went right to bed.  🙂

 

The rest of us have spent our day cleaning house and getting ready for the next week.  And that is that. Hope y’all are having a great weekend!

 

Quantifiable things

1. I have exercised this week.  I’m stretching each morning and trying not to fall on my face. I’m following the Workout Trainer App on my Android and while I’m not in love with it, it’s better than nothing for a free exercise course to get me started.  Also, my friend Monaca and I agreed that we’re not getting any skinnier meeting for sweet rolls and floofy drinks, so we’re going to try walking in the future around Rose Rudman trails instead.

This is not Rose Rudman, but a walking trail close to home that I can use in the evenings. And these are the sweet kids playing there.

2. I have figured out a better daily schedule, but it includes me getting up at 5am.  Umm.  I’m not getting ahead on that plan, so I re-revised it and now I’m getting up at 5:30 and doing the aforementioned exercising in the comfort of my own room. Whee!  I’m also writing a bit more, not fiction yet, but daily stuff and a little poetry that’s rattling around in my brain lately.  Also taking care of the kids and trying to make life more sane.

3. I’m doing a Bible study off the YouVersion app and answering its questions. Not as good as going to one with other people, but way better for scheduling.  For real people, I’m going to a weekly book study on Raising Resilient Children (that’s the authors website).  It’s a really good book and has challenged me to respond better to my children.

A good book about child rearing.  Go, read it!  :)

4. Today I’m booking our trip to the UK for June.  Thursday night Nick and I are discussing our hotel options and more detailed itinerary.  Whee! (Two goals for the price of one?)

5.  I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app for the iPhone, since the SparkPeople app cost a ridiculous amount of money for the update (it used to be free).  So now I have two fitness pals (one a very skinny lady indeed and one person who I don’t remember at the moment) and I can track my food weirdnesses.  Whee!

See, we're eating healthier already!  :)
See, we’re eating healthier already! 🙂

6. There is never going to be a #6.

7.  Scaling back on the internet, I figured out how to add people to my acquaintances list on Facebook, so they practically never show up.  It even suggested people.  Some of them I didn’t acquantintize.  Yeah, not a word.  Whatever.  Also, set all my newsreader subscriptions to Mark All Read so I’m not tempted to try to catch up and so am just starting over.  I may dump some, we shall see.  I also set my FB notifications to archive immediately so I’m not having to see them all the time.

Greetings world!

I’m working on the blog over the next day or so.  I got some really icky comments from some really icky seeming people this week and I’m rethinking the blog format and how to keep my little family safe and secure while still sharing with y’all some of the fun and crafty and book reading that goes on here.  So for now, my posts are mostly private.  Come on back in a week or so and I’ll have a big unveiling.  🙂

 

-L