Death, taxes and CHANGE

Hi Everyone,

Yes, it happened again. My post day got away from me last week. I did start it, but before I could finish the day was gone and we were well into a busy weekend.

We are slowly settling into new routines all around.  Mine seems to be the biggest struggle right now because of the overwhelming amount of paperwork and appointments I have to make in the process of settling J’s estate and getting Miss L’s benefits and other life stuff in place. Yesterday was an entire day of driving to different meetings only to arrive home late in the evening feeling like I only made two tiny drops of progress in a ocean of red tape.  

Danny and Miss L have worked out a complex schedule for who gets to sit in the King Chair (the recliner with the best view…outside to watch horses for Danny, the TV for Miss L) what day. I just stay out of that whole thing. They seem to enjoy the debate process!

The food buying and meal planning is also under adjustment. Our health nut food ways are not completely pleasing Miss L. She has the family genetics for an amazing metabolism and she does not waver on her likes and dislikes. I am compromising on allowing some junk food and she is attempting to try new food. I will admit that I have missed Kraft Deluxe Mac & Cheese. 

Sweetie Pie, the cat, had been stuck in confinement while awaiting her spaying surgery. Unfortunately that was not sitting very well with her and she jumped at the chance for escape while Miss L and Danny were cleaning her crate. The surgery appointment got cancelled and we are hoping that the now invisible Sweetie Pie does not appear in the future with a crate load of kittens. 

Princess Dinah, the dog, it adjusting very well and we are slowing introducing her to my pups. She will be getting her surgery next month and if the budget allows, a professional haircut. Her Princess title isn’t matching her wild child look at the moment. 


The chickens have had to give up the free range life as the Thing In The Thicket has increased its chicken consumption. We lost two of our little girls in the past two weeks. There will be an upgraded chicken coop in the Fall. 

Our oldest horse, Christy, carried her last rider this week when she gave Miss L her first riding lesson. Christy’s hip is causing her lots of pain so Danny decided to let her enjoy a rider free retirement. Now Bob is in major training to take over Christy’s job. 

I believe the quote about death and taxes needs to be changed to, “the only thing you can count on in life is death, taxes and CHANGE.”  Lots of change sometime. None of it bad here, just different and all of the elements of the quote are in play with our changes. A death brought about the changes and those darn taxes will be paid at the end of all the paperwork!

I have gotten a good start on a commission piece and hope to show at least some of it next week if not the finished piece.

Embrace the changes this week!

Hello 2017!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to 2017. Did you send 2016 out with a bang, or like me, with a whimper?  Sorry for the delay getting this posted on time.  I wrote it way back on Tuesday, but things came up…like a big snow storm…that required attention to little details like getting deliveries to customers before the roads were slick, fighting the crowds in the grocery store before we ran out of food at our house. img_3800

I did, however, start out my 2017 pretty darn well. Historically, I spend my New Year’s Day in my pj’s, curled up on my sofa, under a blanket with a good book.  Admittedly, this is not a bad way to start a new year, but this year it is not in line with my pursuit of Hygge. I am trying my darnedest to foster a better relationship with Old Man Winter.  You will find throughout this blog, my whining and complaining about winter, the cold, the grayness of it all.

In the U.S., our state parks have First Day Hikes lead by Forest Service rangers. I now live very near Hanging Rock State Park that includes a couple of nice mountains and good hiking.   Yes indeedy, yours truly, managed to drag herself out of her nice, warm, cozy house and out into the chilly morning air of January 1, 2017 to go hiking 4.7 miles with approximately 20 people she did not know.   Uphill, no less!

It honestly took extreme will power to overcome my aversion to cold AND my introvert personality. Guess what! It was awesome!!   Perfect not-too-cold weather, considering the number of layers of clothes I was wearing.  The views were magnificent even with some cloud cover.  The company was friendly and the rangers had lots of information and a good sense of humor.

Any Andy Griffith Show fans out there?  Notice the mountain in the distance with the big rock formation on the top?  That, my friends, is Pilot Mountain.  Below it is the town of the same name except in the show it is Mt. Pilot.  Yep, there really is a Mt. Pilot and I have known a few folks, who move to North Carolina from other parts of the country/world, call the town by its fictional name.  There is also a thriving little tourist business there thanks to the show.

So, yes, I felt like I rocked January 1st this year and gave myself a big ‘ole pat on the back.  The hike was over by noon and I quickly got home, changed back into my pj’s, settled in on the sofa with the dogs and a good book and all was well with the world.  For the record, D. had to work and probably was not convinced that his winter hating wife would actually go hiking until he saw photographic evidence.  

This year my goal is to add meat to the pitiful bones of have existed on this blog for a while now as I got through some big life changes. More creating, more thinking, more exploring.  MORE than what I have been giving you.  Thank you for hanging in here with me if you have been here a while.  Welcome if you are just landing here and wondering what goes on.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about a book I found and promised to write about it. I’m going to try and not make this too long or you will never come back.  So here is my book story…

From the time I read my first Dick and Jane book (for younger readers, these were our first grade reading books) I have been a voracious reader.   For years and years I normally had three to five books going at once and would panic if I started getting low.   Up until my mid-twenties I generally read novels and then somewhere after that started reading primarily non-fiction.  I noticed a phenomenon happening.  It seemed like I often had just the book I needed to work through a work or life problem virtually fall into my hands.  It could be fiction or non-fiction.

Now I know that I am not the only one to have this experience. Yours may be a podcast, radio show or a person who shows up. God, the universe, spirit, whatever your word for the mysteries of life, shows up just when you need it.  If this has not happened to you, then you need to slow down a little and pay attention.  You are not being ignored.  You are doing the ignoring of what is around you.

This happened so often to me that I got in the habit of wandering around the library saying a little prayer of “God, which one do I need to read today.” Not every trip to the library was life changing, but it made the search much more interesting.

I had strangely gotten away from reading books all the time for some reason (uh, ipad maybe), but I stopped into the local library to find reading material while I am stuck at our shop without wifi. Now, I’m not going to tell you the name of the book that I picked up.  In all likelihood it wouldn’t do a thing for you because you aren’t dealing with the same stuff I am.  But, I picked up a book by an author I had read before.  I thought it was about organizing and downsizing into a smaller home.  Yeah, we still have lots to minimize yet at our house.

What I discovered it was about was clearing out your mental and emotional stuff! Nah, I wouldn’t need that.  Cue the belly laughs from off stage here.

For a couple of months I had been getting crankier and shorter tempered by the day and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why.   Life is good!  What the heck?  As I started reading the book it started talking about how to change old patterns.  Old emotional patterns set up when life held different circumstances and people.  Old coping skills that are no longer working.  Well smack me in the head!  It began to dawn on me that I was trying to use old coping skills for entirely new situations.  I no longer needed the defenses and walls that served me well a decade ago.  I no longer had to pretend to be tough and completely in control like I did when I was a single parent with teenagers.  Thank you Lord!

We get so stuck in our thinking and reactions. The brain gray matter makes these patterned grooves that seem permanent, but they aren’t.  We just have to pay attention to what we are thinking and doing and dissect it down to the roots.  It’s not necessarily easy, but it makes all the difference.  I’m pretty sure D. would tell you that I have been much easier to live with the past couple of weeks.  I haven’t completely broken old habits and patterns, but when I feel a strong reaction coming on I take the time to figure out why instead of just blowing a gasket.  Breathe, breathe, breathe.

So now you have my book story. I would love to hear yours.  Seriously, I think they are some of the coolest human stories when solutions present themselves in mysterious ways.

Have an awesome week!!

Photo credits…all taken by yours truly.

Overwhelmed

I’m wondering if writing a blog is like Facebook.  Is it supposed to be all “perfect world” posts?  The fact that I have started this at 4:45 am might be a clue that this one will not be one of those posts.

You don’t have to stop reading.  I promise not to be Debbie Downer, but if I’m going to write this every week I have to be honest that every week is not sunshine and roses.

For several mornings in a row I have been wide awake at 4 am.  Historically that means my poor brain is trying to cope with some overload and the fact that I get up and start work means I manage to accomplish something before exhaustion sets in around noon.  I figured out about a decade ago that tossing and turning in bed for hours accomplishes nothing and I’m still exhausted by noon.

So what exactly is going on?  1) I have some big changes on the horizon and I’m working through that transition.  2) I’m having some time management problems.  3) I’m just dealing with general life aggravations like we all do.

I’m going to work through these backwards.  If you have suggestions, I am happy to hear them.

money jar

#3 – Life aggravations.  It’s the end of October.  The holidays are looming.  It’s pathetic, but I do not enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas insanity.  I do not enjoy shopping. I don’t really enjoy cooking either.  So here I am at the end of the year with my gift lists and my budget and never the twain shall meet.  I just bought new tires for my car two weeks ago which was a hit to the saving but not dreadful.  My son calls yesterday and his truck (my truck actually) needs over $800 in repairs.  If you noticed an odd repeated “thud, thud, thud” sound yesterday, that was me banging my head on the wall.

This is NOT my desk! All my unfiled papers are neatly stacked inside two large boxes.
This is NOT my desk! All my unfiled papers are neatly stacked inside two large boxes.

#2 – Time management. Overall I am decent with my time management skills, but I have a couple of problem areas.  First, I have a tendency to be a workaholic IF I have work I enjoy.  Give me a project that excites me and I will work through meals, meetings, date nights, etc. You caught that right?  My kids will tell you as will my fiancé that if I’m into something I have no clue what is going on around me.  The dogs will be banging their water bowls and I don’t hear a thing.  I resent being interrupted and they all resent being ignored.  It’s a problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, if there is something I hate to do, I become the Queen of Procrastination.  Three months of filing that needs to be done?  Darn, there is something I need to go research on Pinterest right now!  My patient readers, please pray that I will find the intestinal fortitude to face the two large boxes full of filing that must be done so that I do not have to spend a week of sleepless nights doing taxes this year.  Have I mentioned that my accounting is about two months behind as well?

This is not my stuff, but it's an accurate depiction of my stuff.
This is not my stuff, but it’s an accurate depiction of my stuff.

#1- Life changes.  I believe the saying goes “There are only two things you can count on in life, death and taxes.”  I would add “change” to that list.  This coming Spring I am getting married.  That is a big, YEAH!  But, I have been a divorced, single parent for 13 years living in a suburban area.  Come summer I will be a married, empty nester living in a very rural area.  I’m beginning to believe that adjusting to being married will be the easy part. The logistics of moving my storage unit and all my stuff, beginning to remodel his house, finding my way around a new area, having a 25 minute drive to the nearest grocery store, merging two of EVERYTHING and deciding what stays and goes, adjusting to an hour commute to work from an 8 minute commute, and making my business fit all this without losing customers is making me lose some sleep.

It’s just life.  Messy, inconvenient, overwhelming.  I’m not complaining. These are normal, even good things.  I just need to feel a little more in CONTROL.  That is what it usually comes down to, right?  We need to feel we have some control over what is happening in life.  My conclusion is that we don’t have much control over anything, but what we do have we need to embrace.  I’m going to go make my coffee and breakfast, set the timer and tackle some of that filing and accounting before I start back on my recent fun project which I will show you next week.

Have a wonderful week!

 

 

messy desk photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31437555@N00/1950409800″>World’s Messiest Office Cubicle Discovered in Colorado</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

money jar photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7027604401″>Money</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

moving photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/97321205@N00/2885703454″>Moving (2)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;