Friday, December 20, 2013

December Fly on the Wall



Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 16 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.



If you were a fly on my wall you'd see... well, not much.
I disconnected from multiple social media platforms.  

And I've not written a thing.

Admittedly I'm in a funk.  I want to pull away from everything.
I'm having an Ecclesiastes moment and rather then fight it I'm going to embrace it.  
Because in truth... social media is just a social disconnect. 


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:


                                    Baking In A Tornado

                                Just a Little Nutty

                         Follow me home . . .

                              The Sadder But Wiser Girl
                                    Menopausal Mother
                                       The Momisodes
                      Spatulas on Parade
                              The Rowdy Baker
                       Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others
                             Juicebox Confession
                                Writer B is Me
                         Dates 2 Diapers
                                              Kiss My List
                                        Moms Don’t Say That
                           Adventure into Domesticland


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lessons in Value



Thanks to the creation of DVDs and Netflix a parent can now allow their kids the freedom to watch their favorite princess or superhero without the bombardment of commercials.  For those without kids this means very little.  To those of us with kids it means no more; “I want that” while watching cartoons.  This is big, especially when you flashback to our own childhood when Saturday morning cartoons were simply a way for vendors to hawk their wares on little kids and stress their parents out with the latest and greatest play sets and dolls.   

So you can imagine my surprise when my oldest comes running to me to ask for some random toy from some random movie that we’ve not even seen.  “Mom, I have to have this.  It’s so cool!”  I asked what the toy was, what its purpose was and why she felt she ‘needed’ it.  In the end it was simply another piece of plastic that was overpriced and required I also buy the companion video so she’d better understand the character.  

“Child, you don’t even know this character.  Why do you ‘have to have it’?”

There was a long pause and feet shuffling; “The man in the commercial said so.”

“The movie you’re watching also says you can walk on rainbows.  Can you do that?”

“No.”

“I think you have enough stuff.  Perhaps at Christmas, if you’re still interested we can get it.”

“But I want it.”

“And I understand that.  But you don’t need it and right now we have to focus on need.”

“Then I need it.”         
            
I laughed at the quick response from my then 4-year old.  She smiled back and thought she’d just won the argument but it was then that I realized she was old enough for me to explain the difference between wants and needs.

You can read the rest at Joy Comes in the Morning...

Friday, December 6, 2013

December Secret Subject Swap


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.  






Your “Secret Subject” is: 
It's time for reflection. 
What has 2013 taught you and 
what are your hopes for 2014?

It was submitted by: The Momisodes







I don't reflected on years and I don't make resolutions.  The point is lost on me.  The idea that you can summarize the year or set goals a year in advance.  Chances are I'll mess up before the end of January.  Then I've just set myself up for failure.  Never good.  ;) 
 
That's not to say I'm not a planner.  I do love to make notes, write lists and set daily and weekly goals, I even budget two or three months in advance.  But after 40-years I've realized that there are too many variables in a year to try to plan around.  

Maybe that makes me a bit pessimistic or perhaps a realist; either way I don't see a year worthy of reflection.  I see the day to day struggles as milestones and the daily or weekly goals met as small triumps.  

So as for my reflection of 2013 and my hopes for 2014; I don't want to look too far back or too far forward.  I'll stick with the day to day and be happy in those.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
                                Baking In ATornado
                                    TheMomisodes
           Moore Organized Mayhem
                              The Sadder ButWiser Girl
                                     Crazy AsNormal            
                   Searching for Sanity
                           Follow me home . . .
                              Evil Joy Speaks
                   The Bergham's Life Chronicles
                                Juicebox Confession
                         Dates 2 Diapers
                      The Insomniac’s Dream

Friday, November 22, 2013

November Fly on the Wall

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.




 Well I've been working on my NaNoWriMo Challenge and am on target, but that means my blog and pages are being neglected.  But just one more week.  <squee!>  

I have been working on the house.  I finished painting the master bedroom, the one wall I couldn't get to because of our big bed on risers.  The husband moved it for me and I was able to finish it.  But then we had a plumber come out and fix a leak... so the closet wall was cut.  My next project is to repair that with an access panel and then I'll paint the closet. 

But my big project this month was the kitchen.  I loved the terracotta orange, but I wanted to 'steampunk' it up.  So I went with a darker orange and then glazed the walls.  I have a simple tutorial for those curious what glazing is.  I did it to a vanity about 8-years ago and loved it.  A friend of mine started doing it to all her furniture and helping others. She showed me her technique and left me with a pint of glaze.  
Now I'm glazing EVERYTHING.  ;) 







I didn't want to pay for new switch covers and I needed to paint the gears anyways so...




This old fan of mine was just a rusty brown.  I 'steampunked' it up.  ;)


These are just a few gears and flywheel I snagged at my parents place.


So I got my hair did on Wednesday and at the salon saw the Pinterest Pallet Wall (coat) Project and thought, I could 'steampunk' that up.  So the next day I cleaned up one of the many pallets I have and decided to try to stain and chalkboard paint it. 

 





Hoping to hang the pallet and add the steampunk elements tonight.  I'll do a little more staining and another coat of chalkboard paint.  The copper pipes will hold mason jars from copper wire and hold candles.  The gear and pulleys will also be added and a few other junk pieces.  I'm excited.  I'll post as soon as possible.  :)
*I'm also ordering hardware for the drawers and making a hook and chain light figure.  I'll do a blog on the fully finished kitchen.  It may take awhile since nothing is free.  Okay a few things are free, but I have to come up with money for the not free stuff.  ;)


Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

                                     Baking In A Tornado
                                Just a LittleNutty
                         Follow me home . . .
                  Stacy Sews and Schools
                           The Sadder ButWiser Girl
                                     MenopausalMother
                Moore Organized Mayhem
                                 The Momisodes
                      Spatulas on Parade
                              The Rowdy Baker
                       Sorry kid, Your Mom Doesn’t Play Well With Others
                            Moms Don’t Say That
                      Juicebox Confession    

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dry Bones

It’s a beautiful fall day.  The windows and doors are open and the twins are outside playing.  It’s been like this for a week.  I’ve needed this, sunshine without the sweltering heat of a Texas summer.  Fresh air with a hint of cooler weather to come; it’s still not cold enough to keep the mosquitoes and flies away, so we’re not to my weather nirvana, but we’re close.  And close is good.

Close means soon the garden will be tilled and the dirt allowed to rest till spring.  It means the yard won’t need mowing every week.  The weeds won’t need pulling.  The outside work will be set aside for another season, and I can rest from that work.  That’s not to say more won’t start.  The holidays are close at hand so projects inside need to be started and completed in the next few months.  List made and items checked off.  But it’s different from what I’ve been doing and that makes it exciting.

It’s in the everyday activities that I find rest.  And though resting while I work doesn’t seem possible, for me and many others it is.  Doing the same thing every day makes a good life seem dull.  Change, even subtle, can help transform a mindset that has grown bored with life.  It still requires the person to see the beauty in the everyday, but it is possible.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens

Recently the husband made a decision that will affect the whole family.  It didn’t come to him easily...

You can find the rest at Joy Comes in the Morning.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

November Secret Subject Swap


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 12 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 






 Your “Secret Subject” is:

If you could be any animal in the world, 
what would you be and why?


It was submitted by: http://www.menopausalmom.com


That's easy; I'd want to be a horse.  I mean people talk about 'all dogs going to heaven', but the Bible doesn't mention dogs in heaven.  The Bible does however talk about horses... I'd like to be a horse.  ;)





Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

                      Baking In A Tornado
                      The Momisodes
                    Just A Little Nutty
             Follow me home . . .
                     The Sadder But WiserGirl
                            Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
                                    Crazy AsNormal
                   Searching for Sanity
                           Dawn’s Disaster
                              MenopausalMother
                          Evil Joy Speaks


Friday, November 1, 2013

National Novel Writing Month; Day One - When I Wake Up



If you've read my blog before you know this is a recurring dream/nightmare of mine.  The book I intend to write for the NaNo Challenge is on organizing, but also how I do it in my day to day life.  And those days usually start with adrenaline filled mornings.  Here's a look inside my head: No Edits...  :)



Organizing in the Mayhem

Ahead of me the road stretched out for miles.  The area was so remote that street lights were few and far between.  We were currently driving in the middle of a National Forest.  I’m not sure which one, but the trees lined up right next to the street leaving very little space to pull off if you had an emergency.  Not a single car had passed me in the last thirty minutes so when the headlights of one came rushing towards me I was startled.  The kids were in the back asleep.  Their movie had ended an hour before and the steady hum of the road and the warm air from the heater had lulled them to sleep.  I had lost myself in the quite, not even sure if I’d been thinking anything or just resting my mind for a change.

But the headlights were coming fast, they didn’t seem to see me, or they had some expert driving skills they were about to execute or hit me.  I wasn’t prepared to test their skills so decided to look for a pull off.  None was in sight and I estimated within the next few seconds my kids were going to be rudely awaked by the impact.

There, on the right was a pull off, if you could call it that.  Maybe half the car would fit, but it would allow the crazed driver behind me room to pull around in case he took the double yellow line as an excuse to push me off the road so as not to have to pass and break the law.  Seriously, what was this guy’s problem?  

I turned my blinker on, not sure if the driver would even notice and I did my best to ease the car to the small shoulder and timed it just right so that I was out of his way when he drove even with me.  But he didn’t continue, instead I could see his break lights flash and I heard his tires squeal, during his 180 degree turn I caught sight of silhouettes, at least two other people were in the vehicle, I could see now it was a black SUV with no visible identification.  Were those guns I just saw? 

My heart raced, what do I do?  Their vehicle blocked my way and I couldn’t turn my car around fast enough to avoid whatever they had planned with those weapons.  Before my mind went in to full panic mode I reached for my own weapon.  Never having had to use it, but being well trained I checked the magazine, the safety and placed it in the back of my jeans.  “Kids, Kids!  Wake up.”

I never took my eyes off the vehicle in front of me.  No one seemed to be moving.  “Kids, I need y’all to take your seatbelts off and get out of the car.  While speaking I made sure to turn the interior lights off so when they opened their doors it wouldn’t spot light us.  I told the oldest, “You hold their hands and you don’t let go.  This turn off means there’s a house or some building in the vicinity.  You run till you find it.  If someone is there call 911, whoever lives or works there will know the address, let them know there are three people in a SUV that tried to run us off the road.  If no one is there, find a safe place close to the building and I’ll find you.  Is that understood?”

I heard her meek, “Yes ma’am.”

“Don’t let go of their hands.  I love you.  Now RUN!”

She slid out the back door, followed by her brother and sister.  They were still sleepy and stumbled.  “Baby, shut the door.”  I was hoping the people wouldn’t realize anyone else was in the car.  Or at least it would take them awhile to figure it out.  I watched my kids as they walked away from me into the darkness of the forest.  I couldn’t tell if they looked back, but I mouthed I love you one last time.

When I felt it was safe and the kids out of sight I turned the interior lights back on.  I wanted to make sure all their attention was on me.  At the last second I remembered the map and pocket knife I left in the car for emergencies.  Surely nothing as dire as this, whatever this was, but anything was better than nothing.  I filled my pockets with these items as well as my cellphone, even though there was no connectivity maybe there would be at some point.  I knew it was unlikely, but I had to take the chance.

Still no one in the other vehicle moved.  It was now or never.  I opened my car door; I took everything in my power not to look to see if my kids were visible. I just wanted to run after them and take my chances, but then they’d be a target.  That wasn’t an option.  I slid out of the car, making sure to pull the keys from the ignition.  I might come back.  This might just be some stupid prank.  But it didn’t feel like it and that was good enough for me.

The moment my shoes hit the pavement three doors opened; I didn’t stop to think at that point.  Instinct took over and I ran the opposite direction as my kids.  Away from them, feeling like I was abandoning them to the elements, but praying I was keeping them safe from these men.  I knew they were men now.  They raised their voices in shouts and orders.  I didn’t understand the language which frightened me even more.  What if they were saying everything was okay?  What if I was leaving my kids to fend for themselves because of some irrational fear.

But the voices didn’t sound nice.  They weren’t pleading for me to wait, but orders; it was definitely orders being shouted.  At first I heard the gun report.  Then I felt the wind rush past my arm.  The sleeve of my shirt was tugged tight against the back of my arm and a hot pain cut across my bicep.  Shots had been fired, at me.  At me I repeated while in a head first run.  Not my kids, me.  That was good.  I mean, it was bad, but I was the target and that was the objective.

Just run, run, don’t look back, don’t hesitate, just run.  And ran I did.  I knew branches were ripping at my clothes and face, but I didn’t care.  I could feel the moisture that was a mix of sweat and blood but I didn’t care.  I had to run.  Another shot was fired, this one hit a large rock near my thigh.  I could feel the pieces hitting my leg, but I kept moving forward.  I was getting further away from the car and the kids.  I wanted to make sure all three men were following me.  I didn’t want a single one off looking for them.  

I had to find higher ground.  I needed to see what was going on and maybe find that lost cell tower signal.  I could see to my left a rise in the forest floor.  Not much, but it might help me do a head count.  I hugged a row of trees and made the quick trip up the hill, finding a large tree that had fallen ages before I hide and took the time to catch my breath and check my weapon.  How far was I now, a mile, two maybe.  Could the kids have gone the same distance?  How long would it take me to get to them?  Were they scared?  I could feel the pressure behind my eyes and knew tears would make aiming harder.  And I didn’t have ammo to spare.  Three men, I had a few shots a piece.  Could I do it?

I saw the first man come in to site, he’d lost me and was looking around.  Another man was close behind him.  They spoke in that foreign language.  They were angry words.  The third man showed up soon after shrugging his shoulders.  Was that shrug because they couldn’t find me, or did they know about the kids and couldn’t find them?  Either way I counted three men and that meant no one was after my kids.  My job was done… or was it?  

If I doubled back would they hear me, I couldn’t be quiet with dry needles layering the ground and by the time I reached the kids the men could be back at their car.  How could we escape and still I had no idea why they were following, much less firing at me.  I had to decide what to do.  And the conclusion I kept coming to was making me sick to my stomach.  But they were sitting ducks.  All three had their weapons ready, they came after me, and in the process my kids.  I didn’t need to think any more.

I laid flat on my stomach; I had had time to catch my breath as the men planned their next move so I took aim.  One last calming breath, I’d need to fire off at least three shots, maybe more.  It wouldn’t take them long to figure out where I was hiding and their weapons held more ammunition and judging from their attire and behavior, taking human life came easy to them.
I said a quick prayer; I didn’t ask for forgiveness, I asked for perfect aim. 
My first shot took us all by surprise.  The four of us jumped in unison, the one I aimed at landed on his face.  The other two looked down at him in shock, I didn’t let mine take over, I shot again, this time I hit his the man closest to me in the neck, it was a good shot, he’d bleed out in seconds.  The third man, finally realizing what was happening to his companions tried to duck and run, but I caught him in the leg.  He stumbled and tried to get up, by my forth and finally shot stopped him for good.  I waited a few minutes to make sure no one moved.  

I said a prayer of thanksgiving and I got up and ran.  I had to find my kids.  Nothing else mattered.  Who they were what they wanted didn’t matter, I needed my kids in my arms and I needed to get us to safety.  I felt the same branches again, this time I could feel each cut, each pump of my heart, the ache in my back from laying so still, I worried they’d gotten off the path or that maybe there was a fourth man who didn’t jump out of the car with the other three.  Was there a trap waiting.  Dear God were my kids okay?

I saw the road, both cars still in the same place, no signs of life.  I slowed down to make sure no one was watching as I crossed the deserted stretch of highway.  Once on the other side I spared a glance into the car to make sure the kids hadn’t gone back and that the men hadn’t check on our things.  The car seats might still have been warm or their DVD player.  Did they have time to check?  The fear started to flood my emotions.  I couldn’t stop the tears, they stung my eyes and flowed into he cuts on my face.  The physical pain was nothing compared to the thought that my kids were scared or worse.

I ran harder, my lungs screamed for me to stop; my throat was so dry I could feel my esophagus was sticking to itself.  But I wouldn’t stop, I couldn’t.  I had to find them.  In the distance I heard something, at first it was faint, I couldn’t make it out, but I opened my ears up and focused, but never stopping my pace.  That’s when I heard the voices, so clear, almost melodic. 

It was hard to focus with the rustling of branches and the crunch of dry leaves, but finally the sound of music penetrated my thoughts.  In the background I heard call letters; maybe the kids had run to a radio station tower.  The music was louder now; I could almost make out the lyrics when I felt a hand gently brush my back.  How could that be?  I was running, no one could gently rub my back. 

Suddenly I was pulled from the forest.  The ground, the trees, the cuts the aches, all were gone and I found myself in the my bed, my husband telling me the alarm was going off and it was time to wake up. 

I wiped the tears from my eyes and took a deep, shaky breath.  “The kids alright?”

He didn’t respond, I rolled over, “Are the kids okay?!”

“I just heard the youngest yell she’s hungry.  So I’m assuming so.”

I exhaled the breath I’d been holding… and stretched. 

“I guess my job here is done.”

The husband didn’t ask.  He usually doesn’t.  My dreams tend to vary from the bizarre to the mundane.  But nothing else mattered, the kids were okay and three bad guys laid dead in the forest of my imagination, never getting their hands on my family.