Tuesday, October 30, 2007

jumping in headfirst

wow! this fall y'all giveaway is leading me to all sorts of new and exciting things.
This one is HUGE for me. I am going to tackle the garage. I would like to be able to park at least one car in there this Winter. I would also like to be able to keep the door open for longer than 5 minutes without feeling embarrassed. This is the final month to get it done, because there is likely to be snow before it's over.

I will take and post pictures on Thursday.

bloom where you are planted

I LOVE where I live.
I can...
drop my daughter off at dance class and walk through the arboretum to sit by the river
buy locally grown eggs at 3 stores and the farmer's market
walk to 4 thrift and reuse stores
make connections with strangers about people we know in common

trying to win a free dyson

I am entered in this contest over at The Domestic Diva

I hope all of my imaginary readers go enter and support the contest and Dyson.
I have heard wonderful things about the Dyson vacuum.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Post A Day Keeps the Blues Away

I am going to participate in NaBloPoMo this year. I need some motivation to write. I have all these posts in my head, but I can't write them down. Instead, I have been posting lists and incomplete thoughts.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Finally on the same page

R. and I had a calm, productive conversation this morning about the state of our house. We are both frustrated. There was no yelling, blaming, or lamenting that we don't have time or money to keep our house. Instead, we both acknowledged that we do in fact have the time; we have just not been spending our time doing it. We I finally admitted that it is not money or the need for organizing equipment that is keeping our house in this state. It is the people who live here. It doesn't cost anything to put my shoes on the shelf in my closet. It doesn't cost anything for the kids to keep their clean clothes off the floor so we don't spend 20 minutes washing, hanging, and folding clean clothes when we do laundry. It doesn't cost money to use the items in our pantry before buying more, which will save money, time (additional trips to the store), and space. Right now we have the space we have, we are not expanding the space, so we need to live peacefully within our means.

One of our biggest frustrations is that the hour or two we have allotted for cleaning daily involves so much back-work that we don't get to the projects that will actually improve our house. For example, instead of just being able to sweep the floors, first we have to clear out the shoes, toys, and books that were not put away. This takes 15 minutes that could be used to clean out the closet or the top of the refrigerator. We also realize that we have a pattern of one person checking out while the other cleans. If we both cleaned at the same time, we would get twice as much done. Instead, we end up doing the work of one person not two, which explains a lot. There is also the problem of the kids—we need to get them involved. Once R. and I get in a routine, we will begin helping the kids. First, however, we need to do the work ourselves.

What am I doing right?

I am feeling down today. So, to cheer myself up I am going to list what I am doing that's good.

  1. I have drastically reduced my dryer use. I would guess I use the dryer once for every 8 loads.
  2. We have eaten out about 50% less over the past two weeks.
  3. I have gone to the farmer's market each week for the past 4-6 weeks.
  4. Turn off the TV/cable at the switch at night and during the day.
  5. Packing L's lunch on schedule.
  6. Emptied my closet of all unwearable clothes.
  7. Bought food from local stores
  8. Did not buy coffee out, even though I really, really wanted it. The tea I had instead was wonderful!)
  9. Wrote my case study which is not due until Nov. 14

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Crunchy Chicken’s New Challenge

I have committed to 65 during the day and 60 at night.

I am also committed to using other sources of heat when possible. This means:

  • Working at the library or coffee shop that already has the heat and not coming home when M is at preschool.
  • Using the fireplace more and encouraging the kids to play/read in the family room.
  • Showering at the Y after activities, so we don't have to use the space heater or heat lamp.

This will be a difficult challenge to sustain, but I have already taken one first step to help. I bought a small quilt from Salvation Army that works perfectly as a window quilt in M's room.

Other things I need to do:

  • Buy thermal underwear, slippers, and warm pajamas for everyone.
  • Find and use flannel sheets (buy if necessary).
  • Learn to start a fire in the fireplace.
  • Cover/insulate the windows, especially those in the bedrooms.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I’ve had a mixed week. I only made it to Step once, but I rode my bike to help with reading workshop. I didn’t do school work each night, but I did start a paper early. I didn’t cook or clean well, but I did go for a walk with a friend.
I have spent time reflecting and pondering who I am, who I want to be, and how to get there. I feel good about the path I am on—it is the path of consciousness. I am not working to change my habits or diet or create an extensive exercise plan. On the contrary, I am simply becoming aware of my life and the ways in which I spend my time. I am making myself conscious of my actions in relation to my goals. If I watch a Lifetime movie instead of working, it is going to be because I consciously decided to do so. When I eat dessert, it is going to be a conscious choice.
I need to increase my awareness of my life and the world around me. One of the reasons I am unhappily back in school is because I was not aware of the essence of the feelings and desires I had; all I knew was that I felt fulfilled when I was in school. I did not take the time to get to know what they were. Had I done that, I would have been able to look at my life and find opportunities for me to have those same feelings and desires. I would have seen how I what I am already doing can fulfill the needs I wanted school to fulfill. I would have spent more time looking at what I truly want to do/be in the world, and made choices based on a more accurate picture of myself, not the outdated one associated with my academic career.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Day 1

I did it. I completed a project that isn't due until Wednesday. I worked on it too much while the kids were awake and needing interaction, but this is an important first step. Tomorrow I have another project to complete a huge chunk of as well as spend one hour researching. I should be able to get it done without impacting the kids as much.



One hour research


let's try this again...

regular posting to resume shortly.

i enjoy having record of the thoughts and plans i've made. some have been successful; others not so much.

i am having some of the same thoughts i had in May. This means that it is time for action---i've got to hold myself accountable for the things I want and plan to do.

I have divided my life into 4 major areas:
school and work
family and community
home and earth
body and soul
and I am going to create challenges and plans that will enable me to support each of them.


Decision #1: I will continue to work at WCC for the remainder of the academic year. I will not continue on there during 08-09. I don't want to leave them in a lurch; I want to honor my commitment. I want to continue earning $$ to pay for school.
Decision #2: I will take one class each term, with a graduation date of May 2009. This will have the least impact on my family, and enable me to finish what I've started.
Decision #3: I will not take a particular class Winter term because it meets on Saturday and I must have one weekend day to spend with my family. Part of my discontent comes from feeling disconnected from my entire, immediate and extended, family.
Decision #4: I will spend 2-3 hours daily on schoolwork. This will enable me to complete course work without getting into panic or catastrophe mode. It is going to be difficult, and will mean working when I really don't want to, but it will ultimately make my life easier.

I will post weekly about my progress with decision 4. This is going to be hard! I am not naturally a planner or scheduler. But to finish this degree without causing my family undue stress, I have to do it. Also my mom is going to be working full-time now, which means that she can't watch M while I study. I can also use those hours (if I finish studying) to work on my house.