Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bringing Pine Derby-ness to Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with lots of delicious food and entertaining family companionship! My family and I had a great holiday break, and I must confess as of yesterday we were still munching on the leftovers.

Before I kicked off the Thanksgiving break last week some guys at my office held a Pine Derby Race for anyone who wanted to participate. Hubby was all over putting together a Derby car that sported his ITS Tactical logo. We actually placed second in one of the heats, but didn't make it to the finals. That's ok... it was a lot of fun anyway.
Me and the ITS Derby Car

The Official ITS Tactical Pine Derby Race Car

A Wintery Skyline as I drove home from work Wednesday
After the work day was done I headed home and noticed all of these low fluffy clouds across the horizon. It reminded me of the wintery days that I knew were headed our way. Granted, it took the climate until today to truly be chilly after the sun came up, but I'm thankful the 30 degree temperatures are here. Cooler weather is giving me plenty of opportunities to wear my Infinity Scarf! (Stay tuned... there will be more in my shop this week!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Academia: The Newest Disease

Houston, we have a problem. At least my twelve-year-old son does. He doesn't want to work at having good grades. He seems to think that studying is punishment. A's and B's don't come very naturally to him except in subjects that he's really interested in like History. Or football. Or hunting. Too bad he isn't growing up back in the days of Grizzly Adams.

So, I'm labeling Academia as the latest disease in my household.

We just overcame Bronchitis, and a small other upper respiratory infection that followed, so I'm sure we will survive Academia as well. However, at this point in my week I have had to ground my son because of horrible grades and poor reports from his Language Arts and Math teachers.

Of course he thinks I'm totally unreasonable and should still be allowed to have a buddy stay over tomorrow night. Of course I disagree and have canceled the plans.

His prescription includes some serious study time this weekend, and a healthy dose of knowing that I talk to his teachers. I email then. And I let them know they can contact me at any time. He also knows that after that I will deal with him. Like it or not.

You might be asking what is the upside for me while we're battling Academia in my house. I will get to crochet while I listen to him study. I'm really excited about that part!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

5 Ways to Regain Focus

This week I am feeling so out of touch. There are too many things whirling around in my brain; the things I need to do, the things that I'm letting stress me out, the things that are ambiguous and unanswerable right now.

I'm not a patient person. Well, I guess I can be patient, but I have a habit of not being so.

So, today I'm coming up with five things to help me regain focus on what's important for right now to help me stop worrying so much about what is beyond me.
  1. Remember who is important: me and my family top that list, but I need to remember that not everything that has to do with me and my family is in my control. My son is trying to get over some sort of respiratory infection so I'm helping him the best I can, and all I can do beyond that is watch for worsening symptoms, so I need to not worry about the what-if's at this point because he's really doing well. My husband is always overwhelmed with his work, but this is his job not mine, and I can only offer so much help; he has to figure out how to stop overwhelming himself, I can't do it for him.
  2.  Let go and let God: there are a ton of things out of my control. And honestly, why would I want to control so much? I'm not sure why I naturally have such a controlling tendency, but all it does is drive me and those around me crazy. I've got to practice letting go and letting God handle what is His. And that is really a lot of stuff. I'm confident that will bring me a ton of peace.
  3. Find the Me Time: keep making time for myself, whether it's stealing some time to crochet at lunch, or reading my favorite blogs before I hit the sack each night. I know I need to do a little more each day for myself, like exercising, but I've always hit a road block when it comes to making regular time for that one. I always need to work harder on that one.
  4. Share moments: make time to ask about what's going on in other people's lives, not just at home but at work, too. Talking to people around me keeps me grounded, especially if they are going through trials that surpass the stress level mine are at. It is so moving sometimes to just listen and not feel compelled to contribute to the conversation with my stuff.
  5. Reflect on the beauty of each day: when I put my head down at night it is so easy for me to just crash out. I need to remember what the wonderful things were that evolved during that day. I need to cherish all that transformed and all that I learned. Each day is a wonderful opportunity to learn from so many people.
Life is so much, but I have to remember that life is also just life. It is fleeting. I see that every day that I look at my son and realize how old he is. I see that each time my husband and I share a birthday or an anniversary, and I realize how much time has passed since we began our relationship. I see that each time I visit my mom since she lives so far away now, and I find myself noticing what's different about her and hoping that life will slow down just enough so that she doesn't keep getting older while we're a part. Life is so much, but it can take up so little time when we look back. It becomes just a memory.

Focus on what's important. Treasure what's mine. Pass it on to those I love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You, American Veterans!

I would like to say Thank You to all of our Veterans today. Thank you for your service to our country and to your fellow countrymen and women. Your contributions to my freedom are so appreciated.Without your active service, and without the service of those who came before you, I would not enjoy the life that I have today.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

And in case you would like to know how you can thank a veteran today, please take a moment to read this post from one of our Veterans.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's one of those nights... missing my little Sushi Bear. 

Just wanting a pup to give me some smooches. 
And this little guy is very selective with his smooches. It's got to be his idea. Unless I have a hint of turkey on my lips.

So, he sleeps. Maybe I'll get some smooches later.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Southern Hospitality 101

Yesterday I spent most of the day in a little town in East Texas called San Augustine. My grandmother passed away and my mom and some of our other relatives drove to San Augustine for her service. Grandmother actually lived about 20 miles just outside of town, but San Augustine is where she would come to when she would 'go to town.'  There was another service underway when we got to the funeral home, and since it was such a small town the funeral home was pretty little, so we needed to busy ourselves elsewhere until it was time for my grandmother's service.

There weren't many shops on the town square, but most of them were closed. It seemed to be the trend to open from Wednesday through the weekend. We were there on a Monday so the only shops to browse through were a boutique and a drug store. The drug store was not your typical one, though. It had an old fashioned soda shop along with tons of knick knacks and little gifties to peruse.

While we were walking through the store the sales clerk did the sweetest thing. She brought us these Grapefruit Highball drinks in a little glass boot. At no charge. She said they were 'sort of famous' for all the grapefruits that they grew around there. The drink was delicious, but when we asked what the recipe was we were told they couldn't reveal it.

We sat in their little soda shop and listened as the drug store personnel greeted each regular customer by name and chatted with them while their purchases were totaled up. It was sweet. I don't get to see that kind of interaction in the big city much.

My grandmother really bragged about her charming little town. Perhaps part of why she enjoyed living out in the boonies so much was when she drove into town she was treated like an old friend whom the town folk had known forever.