Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Baby, it's hot outside!

Is it hot where you live? It's hot here. Not as hot as it has been, but it's still pretty toasty.

Add to the fact that we live in GA and we have humidity on top of it all.

People say humidity makes it hotter.

Does anyone really believe that?

 Sauna or over, hot is hot!

Being that it has been so hot, I haven't been keeping up with my walking like I should. But, I've decided that hot or not, I need to walk. During the winter and fall times, I don't walk with water. During the summer, I cannot walk without my water. So, I've been drinking quite a bit  more than I usually drink. And because I'm drinking more, I'm noticing how much my family is drinking. Which isn't a lot.

The Man Beast was really starting to notice that Baby Girl hasn't been drinking hardly any. He wanted to create a chart to help her chart her water.

Today, after coming home from my walk, I did a quick search for some charts that I could print out to get her started while TMB solidified his idea of a water chart.

And I found this one:
photo credit: Kids Food Fest
 It's absolutely perfect! Here's how I made it my own:
  • I added The Boy and Baby Girl's names to the chart
  • I labeled each glass of water for the days of the week
  • For the last glass of water, I labeled it "weekly total". The person who drinks the most for the week gets bragging rights
  • I added an over-all goal of 8 glasses of water a day/56 glasses of water for the week
Here is my personalized version:
But I've already altered it - even after putting it on my fridge!

It dawned on me that the cup TMB uses to drink his tea (now water, because tea doesn't count) is different than the cup I use to drink my tea (now water, because tea doesn't count) is different from the cup the kids use to drink their milk at dinner.


We're sticking with ounces. We are all going to try to get as close to 64 ounces a day (eight 8 ounce cups) with our own cups. That means that the kids technically only have to drink four of their cups a day. The Man Beast and I have to drink a little over three. If we go over - great!

Why the game/competative aspect? Shouldn't water have it's own rewards? Why would a non-competative family choose to do something so...competative?


Baby Girl gets a kick out of bragging rights. She's not a braggart, but she does enjoy winning.

As a family, we all need to drink more water. But as a family, we're supporting Baby Girl who isn't drinking hardly any water at all.

I can tell right now that The Boy and I are just along for the ride. We're going to settle for our four and three cups a day, respectively, and call it a day.

But it's on with the other two.

Until next time...
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Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Day I Cleaned Up My Friends List

Today, I went through my friends list and cleaned it up a bit.

 I unfriended a few - but not many (at least, not yet).

 I also played with a few Facebook settings. 

 You see, you can not only categorize your friends (so you can post content specific to that group - useful if you're sharing information with co-workers or family that is not pertinent to everyone on your friends list) and you can also choose to follow and/or get notificatoins when your friends post something.

 This is useful if you have a friend who is a heavy Facebook user who might flood your page with pictures and videos, preventing you from really seeing any other content from your other friends unless you scroll aaaaaalllll the way down on your page.

 And since it's a general consensus that Facebook can be a huge time suck, this feature is very beneficial.

 But I went through my friends list for a different reason. It dawned on me, that while I have over 350 friends, I rarely interact with any of them outside of Facebook. I can count on one hand the number of people who text me or call me. You might wonder why I would keep 300+ friends on my friends list if I only get contacted by five.

 There's a very real purpose.

 This is the breakdown of my friends list:
  • Family
  • Church Family
  • Co-Workers (Past and Present)
  • Friends (elementary, high school, and college)
  • Scouts
 It would appear that Facebook has become more of a bulletin board of happenings. Birthdays. Weddings. Prayer meetings. Yard sales. 
 It is not for social interaction. In fact, I get more social interaction from the groups I belong to than actual interaction from human beings I actually know. It's networking.
 That's not to say that I don't have anyone interacting with me on Facebook. I do. Especially when I post about hot button topics or ask hot button questions. Which is good. I have a wide range of friends - liberal, conservative, believers, non-believers. It's good to get discussions going.
 But it is not the platform to hold a conversation that could easily be held via text, over the phone, or (even better!) in person.
 So, while it's true that I have 300+ "friends", I don't *really* have 300+ friends - and that's okay.
 Family and friends are there when you need them. And some connections are stronger than others. If I had a flat tire, I know who I would call. If I needed help for other things, I knew I would call. Different friends serve different purposes and I think that's okay.
 So, I will keep my Facebook active because it's a great way to stay in touch with people (especially those who live far away). It's a great way to share pictures, recipes, and cute/funny/sad/emotional stories.
 I'm not dissing Facebook.
 I just need to be a better friend.
 Until next time, 
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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Keepin' It Real: Emotionally Raw {New Series}

Today, I took off from work to take The Man Beast to a doctor's appointment out of town. He doesn't drive anymore. The 45-minute drive each way gives us an opportunity to talk. Real talk. Undisturbed. Up close and personal.

While the nature of the doctors visits aren't exactly positive or something that either of us look forward to, the drive is something we both cherish.

Today, we talked about many things. Our talks usually involve the heart-to-hearts. Sometimes, we just talk about stuff that annoys us, in general. They are good talks and I enjoy them.

But as we were driving back into town, we got on the subject of distractions. I don't think he'd mind me telling you that his distraction is video games. My distraction is reading.

My distraction used to be writing, but with the hustle and bustle of life in general, I've gotten away from it.

And I told The Man Beast as much.

"I look back at older blog posts and they're pretty good. Not great by any means, but good. I look at more recent ones and they are lacking something."

People continue to compliment me on my writing. I suppose I have nuggets of genius. Well, more like tiny flecks. But they are there.

In the moments of silence, I wondered what changed between my writings three years ago and my writings today. Logically, I should have more to write about today than I did three years ago. But the truth of the matter is that I'm so overwhelmed with the emotion of the past three years, that I think I'm paralyzed in my writing.

Much of it I cannot share in a public forum. At least not yet; if ever. Other parts are so incredibly raw that I'm afraid of sharing. What will people think? Especially people in my real-life circle of influence who know me - or at least know of me?

But writing has always, always been therapeutic for me. As a child, there were times when my mother and I couldn't talk to each other without eating one another alive. But we could write. And we did. I don't even remember who began the trend, but if it was her, it was a stroke of genius on her part.

Writing letters to one another allowed us to say our peace without fear of the other interrupting us. I don't ever remember writing hateful things (she might be able to tell you differently), but my writing was always honest.

And I think I've gotten away from that honesty.

For four years, while I finishing my degree (the second time around), I wrote a research paper every week except for holidays. I usually took one class, every eight weeks. On occasion, I took two.

Very few of these papers had emotion in them. The closest I ever came to  emotional writing was when I explained my teaching philosophy. And even then I had to back it up with facts.

How can you support emotional writing with facts?

You can't.

Emotional writing is just that. It's not necessarily based on facts, except the ones you perceive from your point-of-view. Not everyone's truth is your truth. Exposing your truth is what makes writing great.

Even fiction writing has an element of truth in it somewhere. It has to. Otherwise, it's flat.

Emotion makes writing, all writing, come alive.

So, I'm attempting to get back to me in my writings. To do this, I'm starting a new Rambling that I'm going to call Keepin' It Real. And I'm going to do exactly that. I'm going to expose my heart and my mind and put myself out there like I used to.

I am what is missing in my most recent writings.

I write for me. I don't write for you. I let you read it, but ultimately, I need to write for me. If what I write can inspire you - fabulous. But I need to write. I just need to.

I don't need to write a book. I've done that. Maybe one day, I'll flesh it out a bit more and consider publication. But right now, it's one of those things I did to prove to myself I could do it.

I don't belong publishing anything until I can get back to who I am as a writer. I've lost it, but I intend to gain it back.

So, periodically (read: when the mood strikes), I will write a raw piece. It will be truthful. I will hold nothing back.

One day, I hope to share everything. But until then, I'll share what I can doing the only thing I can.

By writing.

Until next time...


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lazy Sunday Post

An amazing thing happened this week: I was actually productive, getting everything I needed to get done, done with "tie" to spare on my calendar. 

What this has enabled to me to do is those little projects that, when I pass them, I utter, "I really need to do that", but never have time.

Take yesterday, for example. I was able to not only clean out my hutch, emptying all its contents, washing them, drying them, dusting the shelves and replacing the items, but I was also able to clean off my desk (complete with paper decluttering), clean off the bookshelf in Mom's room (that I've been meaning to do since December!) and clean off all three shelves - which are also in her room (notice the trend?)

What that means for me today is I get to sit, quietly and do absolutely nothing if I choose to.

What a wonderful feeling.

Instead, I will cut and organize my coupons, finish my Bible study for the week, and continue reading the book I'm reading.

I am ready to tackle the week - and what a busy week it will be. But for the first time in awhile, I look on it, hopefully, instead of filled with dread.

May you all have a pleasant week ahead.

Until next time -
PS - Only 6 more days until Spring!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Starting out the week with good habits

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While many of you are snowed in (or at least have a snow day), here in GA, it's raining and warm(er). It's also a furlough - meaning no work. (Or, not getting paid to work. I HAVE work. Today, is a work day.)

A couple of days ago, I shared how I came to have a panic attack. I outlined why it happened, how I got over it, and my game plan to prevent it from  happening again.

Well, logically (there's that word again), I know I can't prevent it from happening. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen.

But I can put routines, strategies, and habits in place to put the odds in my favor that I'll be able to handle overwhelming thoughts (as opposed to completely shutting down).

So, here is what I did right (so far) this week:

Monday - Laundry Schedule says, "Wash sheets and blankets" So, I did. Everyone's sheets and blankets got washed, dried and put on beds. Baby Girl's pillow saw better days, so I went out and bought her a new one. (And because I couldn't get one for her and not The Boy, I got *two*).

I worked from home in order to prepare for the upcoming week.

I went to work and got quite a bit accomplished, all things considered.

Last night, I decided to tackle my coupons. They should have been tackled Sunday night but I didn't. The point is, not only did I organize my coupons from last week and this week, I had a Wal-Mart bag beside me so I was able to gather trash as I cut. It took me awhile - about an hour - but at the end, everything was picked up, organized, and I was happy.

Today - Laundry Schedule says, "Wash your clothes." So, that's what I'm doing. I brought out two baskets full of clothes, convinced that it is going to take me all day. Well, the first load is in the dryer, the second load is in the wash, and I have one load of whites to go. Three loads. Not seven. (I'm a bit dramatic when it comes to my to-do list).

I feel pretty confident about the upcoming week. It's going to be busy, to be sure! In fact, pretty much swamped with work, cookie booths, and life until March-ish.

But that's okay. Despite it all, I enjoy my life. I enjoy all the craziness of my life. More importantly, I understand that this super busy time is only for a short time. This helps me put things into perspective.

Not to mention there is an awesome Girl Scout trip awaiting me at the end of this craziness.

Until next time...