Seven Quick Resolutions

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— 1 —

It’s that time of year again, and although it’s been a few years since I actually made New Year’s Resolutions this seems an apt year for it.  I’ll start with what I’m doing right now – writing. I intend to write every day, be it blogging here or at MomPro or working on my current novel. My timer is my friend, and I’ll rack up writing time in fifteen-minute chunks.

— 2 —

 I read like a fiend, but not always what I need to be reading. This year I’ll finish one book per month that deals with running a small business or writing. I can do that lying down, so hopefully I can handle it on all but the worst pain days.

— 3 —

As always, I’d like to implement some sort of Fly Lady type cleaning and organizing schedule. My house is the perfect example of chaos, and even though there’s a lot I can’t do surely there are more things I can figure out a way to do. Having a cleaner house would dramatically decrease my stress level, so I’m going to figure something out :)

— 4 —

After scrambling right up until Christmas with hand-made gifts this year I will select and make at least one gift per month. Yes, those Pinterest boards are finally going to actually be used!

— 5 —

As my pain has increased my activity has decreased. And I’ve gained weight that I had no business gaining. I have to lose it to decrease the weight load on my lower back and help with my high blood pressure. I’ve even looked into gastric banding, but I’m not sure that’s the correct option for me because of my mobility issues. Anyway, I’m going to lose ten pounds a month no matter how it has to happen. That’s a huge goal even for someone who can exercise, but it’s a ‘go big or go home’ sort of situation.

— 6 —

I’m also setting big goals for my Nerium business with Michael. I’d like for us to find one new customer per week. Again, a big goal, but it’s such a supportive company and the products are beyond comparison (literally!) that I think it’s possible to make it happen.

— 7 —

My final goal is to get John to New York for his band trip Spring Break. The final payment due date will be coming up soon, so I’ll be doing any sponsored post I can get my hands on, searching for things to sell, and saying yet another novena for divine intervention.  He’s missed out on so much because of our financial situation, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get him to New York to see a Broadway show and perform at Carnegie Hall with his best friends. 2015 will be better than 2014 for our family!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Christmas: Was Yours Fancy, Frugal, Fun, Fabulous, or a Fail?

Our Christmas was littered with potential landmines this year, but we made it through. The worst part was that Mom and Greg didn’t get to come in for Christmas Eve. He had the nasty flu that’s going around – you know, the one the flu shot doesn’t protect you from :( We did a quick, germ-free present exchange with my mom, though, and they seemed to like their gifts, even though almost all of them were handmade :)

That was another of our themes this year: handmade and frugal. It was out of necessity since I’m still battling to get disability benefits. In fact (drumroll, please) my appeal (Oct 2013) of my August 2013 disability denial was refused. As in they “refused to review it”. Now, mind you, someone reviewed it enough in October to let me know it would not be “fast-tracked”, but then it took fourteen more months for them to decide not to review it. I received that tidbit of information in the mail on December 23rd. Merry F-ing Christmas, huh? Anyway, that frees me to apply again, so I have a call in to my attorney. My case has gotten much stronger with the long wait since this is a degenerative condition, so my only real concern is the long wait times in this county.

The high point of Christmas was having Aaron, Catherine, and Tabby (my grand-dog) in from Austin for Christmas. The dogs got along great, the boys turned the dining room into a computer gaming room, and they put so much thought into our Christmas gifts it makes me cry just thinking about it. Of course with every high must come a low. Tabby, slim and quick, ducked out the front door and led the guys on quite a chase before I finally caught her by standing still and holding things she wanted. In the chase Michael messed up his ankle, so John got one day of courier duty and I helped out another morning.

We had a scrumptious supper Christmas Day at Dad and Edie’s, even with four large dogs in attendance. I suggested leaving ours home, but you’d have thought I’d suggested leaving the kids home from the way Michael behaved. It’s all about the dogs around here, which actually makes things easier. You can’t tell if a house is clean or dirty with dog toys strewn all over and a hundred-pound furball in your lap :)

I managed to enjoy Christmas immensely this year, once again without setting foot in a mall, sending a single card, or baking a single cookie.  Some lessons take a long time to learn, but I’m finally learning that how I spend my time and both my physical and emotional energy is 100% up to me, and I’m going to choose the people I love every single time. I hope you did, too :)

Stop the Countdown!

— 1 —

I can’t take any more Christmas countdowns. It’s coming too quickly and I didn’t start early enough on my DIY stuff. It couldn’t be helped, though, because I didn’t run across the right things until after Thanksgiving. Maybe next year I can do better. It will involve spending more time on Pinterest and perhaps subscribing to a few more up-cycling blogs, but I can do that ;)

— 2 —

 To add to the stress level John is sometimes gone fourteen hours a day because of some Christmas thing at a neighboring church his band director volunteered the drum line for. Child labor laws were instituted to prevent this sort of thing, but now we all think it’s reasonable that our teens are chronically sleep-deprived because of extra-curricular activities or extra homework and projects in AP classes. I’m not buying into it. Teens actually need more sleep than adults. Some girls and all boys are still growing!

— 3 —

I was at my breaking point the other day when I’d cut tons of fabric and was ready to start sewing, then my sewing machine wouldn’t work. My husband, who’s never been within three feet of a sewing machine in his life, offered to look at it for me. It took him about five seconds to find the problem. At some point while it was sitting in the bottom of my closet the rod for threading a bobbin had been moved. Crisis and meltdown narrowly averted.

— 4 —

Believe it or not, I don’t have any Christmas decorations up yet. I like the house to be really clean before the decorations go up, because it’s impossible to clean while they’re up. But Michael’s been working seven-day weeks for months now, and I just can’t bug him about cleaning when he’s home. And I’m truly afraid of what would happen if I tried, since last time I tried a simple grocery trip (with John to help) I ended up using a cane for a week when I got out of bed, which was rarely. So the decorations may just go up over the dirt at the last minute. Who cares, anyway?

— 5 —

The most important thing is that Aaron and Catherine will be here for Christmas, and we get to meet their new dog, Tabby. Many cute pics will ensue!

— 6 —

I have a new favorite show. I’m totally addicted. It’s called Threads, and it comes on after Project Runway All Stars on Lifetime. It’s ten-twelve year-old kids designing and making clothes, and these kids are jaw-droppingly amazing. They get to bring an adult assistant with them, but only one kid so far has actually had a parent who sews professionally. One poor girl’s mom hot-glued her zipper shut, but the kid fixed it and won!

— 7 —

Lastly, Michael and John informed me the other night that neither of them would vote for me if I ran for public office because I’m too extreme. Can you believe that? I have some wonderful ideas, but if I can’t carry the vote in my own household perhaps I’d better re-think my platform.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

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