Wednesday, March 5, 2014

20 Precious Minutes.

At 6:10 AM I get 20 precious minutes.



I get up between 5:30 and 6:00 AM every morning. It is a habit that developed because of my previous job and it is one that I have chosen to continue. Caitie also gets up at 5:30 so she can shower before Tim gets up. Their bus comes at 6:50. It is nice little routine they have established. Caitie gets out of the shower at 6:00 and Tim gets in.

When I first get up I get online and see what is going on with Facebook and what not until right at 6:10 and then I go into the kitchen start the coffee and make Dan's lunch.

And then it happens ... Caitie comes out of her "cave". She hops up on what has become her spot on the kitchen counter (I know right, ON the kitchen counter) and she talks. Usually first about why it is too early and why she doesn't want to go to school that day. But then, about other things. The latest bands. What her friends are doing.  What she is thinking. For 20 minutes it is just me and her in the quiet of the morning and we TALK. Do you have any idea how wonderful that is.

At 6:30 I have to say that it is time for her to hurry up and finish getting ready. Then she usually has to rush to make the bus. Tim will say something like "You get up at 5:30 how can you not be ready" (insert huge exasperated 16 year old sigh). But it is worth the last minute hassle to get that time.

She is 13 almost 14. I have no idea how much longer these mornings will last. These 20 precious minutes that I wouldn't trade for an extra hour of sleep for all the money in the world.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Good Bye February

So what did I accomplish this month? Pretty much what I set out to accomplish so that is pretty amazing. In words my hustle was to do something productive every day. But in spirit it was to quit sitting around feeling sorry for myself and make a plan to get my life back on track which was what I  knew the result of being productive every day would be. It worked.

I have had 2 job interviews, turned down one job because of pay, have another interview today and looks like one next week. I went to two classes on searching for a job and read 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.

48 Days to the Work You Love


I have started to dream again and my husband and I talked about how we could work towards our longtime dream of living a more self-sustaining lifestyle. It is fun to dream a dream with someone you love. We decided to start a blog about our Journey and I am having fun getting that ready to launch.

I made the decision to help with the AWANA group at church (this was a bigger one than you can imagine as I did it for years at our church before we moved and said no more) and am begining to form community a this church here.

I made some big decisions about the food I choose to put in my body and changed the way I think about exercise because of a few good people on here who have talked about getting fit. I am going to choose to exercise because I love my body not because I hate it. (That was a big one for me but I don't remember who posted it) and I have found a beginners bike trail I can ride on and identified a safe walking trail near my house.

WOW! When you list it all out like that I would say February was quite a month. So come on March BRING  IT ON!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hustle Report

So for the month of February I joined Jon Acuff in the 30 days of Hustle Adventure. The point behind this is simple. Take 30 days, set a goal, work towards it. Okay well it sounds simple anyway.



So here we are at the end of the first 30 (which is technically 28 because it is February) and I thought I would answer today's challenge question here and talk about how the month has gone.

I picked what I am sure seems like a simple goal for this first month. My goal was to do something productive each and everyday. Now that really wasn't as simple for me as it sounds. I had found I was having more and more days where the dragon won and less and less days where I was able to fight him off. I decided that for me to truly set a goal and be excited about it I had to dig myself out of that pit first.

It hasn't been an easy month and I wasn't 100% successful. Some days I just didn't have the energy or will to fight but most days I did. Most days I felt more like me and that is a good thing cause truth be told I kinda like myself. Through out the month I adjusted what it meant to be productive. I began thinking about what I was moving toward not what I was moving away from. I found ways to do what I needed to do versus what I felt like doing (which most days is nothing BTW).

But this month was important. I was reinforcing the foundation for my real Hustle. Making it strong and preparing it to build on. I am pleased with what I accomplished on the inside even if it doesn't look like I accomplished anything on the outside.

I know it was a success because I am excited about the next 30. I am ready to make something happen. I am dreaming again. Feeling hopeful again. I feel like I am on the right track for the first time in probably 7 months because the truth is I shut down months before the company I worked for did.

So that brings me to today's questions:

If you do another 30 days of hustle, where do you want to be after the second 30 days?

That is hard for me to answer today because I am so excited. I need to narrow down my focus a bit and choose my main hustle for next month. I have a few more days to do that so I am going to bit a bit vague here. After a second 30 days I hope to have continued to strengthen the foundation but I also hope to have clarified exactly what my goal is and to be working towards that.

 If you hustled for 12 months, what do you hope is true of your life next year?

This one is easier for me to answer. What I want to be true of my life next year is to be working with purpose towards my goal not floundering to figure out what my goal even is. I want to be working in a job I enjoy. I want to have formed community here where I live. I want to enjoy the present while I build the future.


So here's to the next 30 days!

Monday, February 10, 2014

And we thought she was crazy.


So when was the last time you paid attention to what is on your television? I mean really actually paid attention. The language, the sexual reference, the inundation of unbiblical principals and lifestyles that are both subtle and unsubtle; it is everywhere.

It is in the commercials, the sitcoms, the dramas, even in the game shows. The idea that the abnormal is normal. That sin is not so bad. Values and morals are presented as old fashioned and silly. Faith is presented as fodder for those intelligent enough to realize how silly it is.

I remember when I was a very little girl my Great Aunt Ruby pronounced TV as evil. She, and her church I think, believed television was from Satan and she wasn't allowed to watch it. Now keep something in mind here, I am from Texas where football is king.  So every Sunday everyone watched the Cowboys play ball. I remember everyone sitting around in the living room of my grandmothers house watching the game and there Aunt Ruby sat. In the room with us. With her eyes closed because she was not allowed to "watch" TV.

We loved her but we all thought she was a little bit crazy. There wasn't really anything "bad" on TV in the 70's so none of us could see what was so wrong with it. Now in hindsight I realize that was the deal wasn't it. It took 30+ years but here we are. Right were my "crazy" Aunt knew we would be.



It happened slowly. Kind of like the old how do you boil a frog analogy. Very slowly our very ideals and values were replaced with an alternate view of what is acceptable. Slow changes to what a family looks like. Slow changes to what justifies bad behavior. A slow normalization of things we know are wrong.

By showing us everyday that EVERYONE else believes these things are good and proper the media turned a majority into a minority. Even if we still have the numbers we don't have the platform.

I don't have any solutions. I am worried about the direction we are headed. I fear it is like a snowball already headed the mountain. It has momentum and I don't know how we can stop it. Especially when it has so much support behind it. All I do know is that while I don't really know that much was gained by sitting in the room with her eyes closed, I don't really think she was Crazy after all.


Shell




Family watching television, c. 1958. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sounds Yummy!

Herbed Seafood Mac & Cheese
8 oz. elbow macaroni
2 tbl butter

½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground fine black pepper
2 cups milk
2 tablespooons fresh chopped mixed herbs OR mix your own: dried thyme, sage, chives, rosemary, basil
1 package 5.2 oz. Boursin Cheese with garlic & herbs (in the gourmet cheese coutner)
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (2 oz.)
1 cup soft breadcrumbs (make your own from day old bread)
2 cups of your favorite seafood: crab, lobstah, shrimps, etc.
2 tbls. buttah
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2-1/2 quart baking dish. In saucepan melt 2 tb butter over med-low heat, add the flour & stir (over low) until well blended and bubbly. Add salt & pepper, milk. Cook, stirring until thickened. Add the herbs, Boursin cheese & Cheddar & Parmesan cheeses. Cook stirring until cheeses have melted. Stir in raw seafood and sauce into the cooked/drained macaroni. Spoon evenly into baking dish. In a bowl soss the bread crumbs with the melted butter & sprinkle over casserole. Bake 25-30 minutes until macaroni & cheese is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Serve with (garlic, if adventurous & both eating it, lol) toast.


Sandra Jackson Lewis's photo.

Thanks for the recipe Sandra