Friday, August 30, 2013

I Think I May Be Burning Extra Calories Running As I Am Simultaneously Wrestling With The Cord To My Ear Buds. Does That Count As Cross-Training?

So, running Day 3, not so bad.  The voice of the man who is talking me through this program on my iPhone sounds like an athletic Mr. Rogers, a quality I find both comforting and disconcerting.  I have to turn the volume up as far as I can on my phone though, so it sounds a little like he's yelling (which I don't appreciate), but the music needs to be loud enough to drown out the sound of my feet plodding along the street.  I know I'm still making a lot of noise by the frightened/concerned looks I get from people I pass, but if I don't hear the sound of my feet or any gasping breath, the harsh reality of my actually running seems to be mitigated.

It's actually been nice.  I do feel good, but I don't think I've experienced any of that magical endorphin thing you hear so much about.  I'll let you know if I do - sounds like fun.  I'm thinking I'll maybe shoot for a Thanksgiving Day 5K with the family - the Turkey Trot.  They always show the runners in that event on the local news and I've envied their energy level and motivation.  I usually wake up on Thanksgiving thinking about stuffing, so a 5K would be a nice distraction for me.

I'm thinking I may need to treat myself to something cute if I keep this running thing up for another week.  I mean positive reinforcement is proven to support behavioral change, isn't it?  Plus, the Farmer's Almanac is calling for a colder winter, so Mama's gonna need to beef up the sweater supply.  Maybe for motivation I'll imagine myself running toward a cute outfit while I'm working out.  Visualization can be quite powerful I understand.

I'm wearing this today.

We're going to a neighborhood gathering later, so I'll swap the sandals for a strappy heel when the time comes, and voila! the look will instantly shift from grocery store to backyard cocktail party.  Shoes are the magicians of the wardrobe.

gratitude:  the word 'enough', flowers, Project Runway, driving kids to school because I know those days are numbered

thanks and love.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Honestly Haven't Been Myself Since I Saw Miley Cyrus Emerge From That Teddy Bear On The VMAs. I've Wanted A Hot Shower And A Very Firm Loofah Ever Since.

I was going to skip a post today.  Ironically, I mentioned to Geoff early this morning (before the "day" had really started) that I was, if anything, happy to know I've been consistent with my blog posts.  Even if no one reads what I write, my regular MondayWednesdayFriday postings meant something to me.  Shortly thereafter, the Universe broke into hysterical laughter.

Fast forward six hours and I'm sitting on our back patio, welling up, and Googling self-esteem articles.  Clearly, things had taken a turn since I hopped out of bed.  And looking back none of what happened was even all that bad.  It was just the combo of events, the significance I gave to them, the place I find myself in life right now, and perhaps a slight hormonal imbalance that caused things to go off kilter a bit.

This is what went down.  JD accidentally took my phone to school.  Eliza had mentioned that she and her friends would like to come by for lunch today, but the food at our house has been labeled by many as too healthy and could she please just have some less healthy stuff for occasions such as this.  A client hasn't called me back in two days.  Plus our cabinets are really dirty and there are burnt out light bulbs all over the place.  I took all this, and turned it into a stream of personal failures.  Failures to keep firm boundaries between my kids and technology, from providing tasty food for all guests, a failure to run a successful business, and to keep my home clean and well-lit on a consistent basis.  I thought to myself, what does this all say about me?  I can't be good.

So after some writing, some articles from Tiny Buddha, and a helpful YouTube video or two I realize I'm just having one of those days.  We all have them.  If things hit us in the wrong way at the wrong time, it can be a mess.  While on other days, those exact same events at the exact same time wouldn't cause even a slight shift in inner peace.  It just happens.  And when it does, I think it's important to reach out for some help.  Read something, write something, talk to someone or listen to something inspiring.  Those activities can give us perspective and the energy and fresh insight to get back on the path.

Even if the path takes you to the frozen food aisle at King Soopers so you can buy some taquitos made with questionable meat.

I'm wearing jeans and a white t-shirt.  Hardly photo worthy, so instead, here's a nice quote by Brene Brown to carry with you today or on any day where you might need a little inner boost.

gratitude:  talks, time, the warmth of the sun, the little finch on the fence post

thanks and love.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I Have Watched An AARP Video For More Information On A Fitness Program. This Is Where I Am In Life.

Mondays are great days to start anew.  I imagine most diets, exercise programs, and self-improvement projects are started on Mondays.  And today I'll be using all the that fresh start Monday juju by kicking off my own little personal project.  Today I will attempt to launch and (hopefully) maintain a running program.  So there it is.

I've always wanted to like running - it just isn't something I could truly embrace, not unlike my experiences with goat cheese and Dave Matthews.  I want to like those things.  Liking those things would feel kinda cool, even.  I just don't.

So the other day I was rewriting a proposal, and for background noise I had some YouTube videos playing.  They were mostly from a strange little channel I found on YouTube that featured a British woman interviewing authors in her kitchen.  They even made cocktails before each interview.  What's not to like, right?  One interview was with a woman who had just written a book about fitness for people in the 50+ category.

I was going to turn it off assuming she'd suggest chair aerobics, Prancercize, or using canned vegetables instead of weights for some toning work.  But she wasn't much older than me and looked fabulous - she also drank her cocktail with gusto and appeared to be loving life.  I was intrigued.  She noted yoga, with its emphasis on balance and flexibility, is a very important part of fitness as you age (round of applause), but also that running (gasp) is a good way for people to maintain bone density and cardiovascular health.  I thought the cardiovascular thing was obvious, but the bone density thing caught me by surprise.  I grew up with a grandmother who suffered with osteoporosis and as a small boned woman who's calcium intake doesn't extend much beyond triple cream cheese and calcium supplements, I thought yoga was enough to keep me out of the osteoporosis woods.  Perhaps not.

She suggested a run/walk program that would work you up to being able to run a 5K.  That's all I want to do.  I'm not looking to run marathons (though I have quite a lot of respect for those folks), I just think that anything taken to an extreme loses some of its charm.  A 5K is great.  As a workout, it shouldn't take too long, it can be done anywhere, and if I wanted to actually participate in a formal event, there are a ton available and most offer pretty cute t-shirts just for participating.  So, after some research, I found an app for my iPhone that is actually a run/walk program.  It has you run/walk three days a week for however long it takes until you are able to completely run a 5K.  It tells you when to start and stop each run/walk portion of your workout, it plays music to match your pace, and the guy who created it apparently gives you encouragement throughout each run.  This should be interesting.

I'm going to try to keep this up in addition to my yoga practice.  In order to fit it in though, I'm having to cut back a bit on yoga so I'm hoping I'll still get the great calming and energizing result from this that I do form a nice vinyassa session.  Here is a link to the app if you agree misery loves company you're interested in starting a program yourself.

I'm wearing this day.  When I'm not blazing a trail in my running shoes.

I love a simple grey tank - such a great basic piece.  It always looks good.  The boyfriend jeans?  Basic too, but meh.  Maybe running will make me feel like I look better in them (do you hear me Running?  I'm expecting a lot from you!!!)

So for Meatless Monday, we'll be rocking a chopped salad with Ina Garten's blue cheese dressing.  Because sometimes if you are eating only veggies and white beans, covering the whole thing in a bit of blue cheese creaminess, makes it just a bit better.

gratitude:  technology, athletic tape, Eliza's return to sports, pumpkins in our garden

thanks and love.

Friday, August 23, 2013

When I Have An Epiphany, I Need To Write About It. However, I Also Seem To Have A Huge Desire To Write About Poop, Cocktails, And Parenting. There Is Clearly A Reason This Blog Is Named Minutiae.

You've heard the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, I'm sure, "Comparison is the thief of joy."  Right?  I'm so working on getting that into my head.  I'm a comparer by nature.  I think most women are.  I'm mean, comparison shopping is actively encouraged.   We write comparison/contrast papers through school.  We start young, comparing the length of our hair during recess - please tell me I wasn't the only one who tilted my head back just a bit to make my locks appear ever so slightly longer than they really were.  And certainly Field Day is a childhood comparison-fest we actually look forward to - no one really enjoys the rainbow ribbon events, do they?  There's no winner.  Thankfully though, Field Day is designed to give everyone an opportunity to succeed as even I, not one too keen on running events, could find my time to shine during the hula hoop competition.  All these youthful comparisons are fairly benign, almost fun I think, because they are done externally.  And with good sportsmanship.  It's when we start to internalize our comparing that things start to go a little wonky.

When we compare ourselves inside our heads, nasty things like insecurity and doubt creep in.  We feel "less than" - instead of the alligator's mouth opening wide at our number, we get the sharp, pointy end facing our direction.  And so I found myself this week, a fully grown adult, feeling smallish because my comparison reflex was triggered.  It's so silly looking back on the experience, but I felt like I wasn't as good as a person because she did something I couldn't do.  However, in order for her to do it, she had to live a life that wouldn't make me happy at all.  So it was an apples to oranges situation.  How could I envy an achievement that came from a lifestyle I wouldn't want to live anyway?  It was ridiculous.  So after feeling bad that my joy for her accomplishment came in second place to my insecurity, I made a conscious effort to stop that behavior.  And I feel much better as a result.

In fact, I feel like I understand now that we aren't even apples and oranges.  We're snowflakes.  Or fingerprints.  Truly unique beings who have no place using anyone else as a measuring mark.  We can only live our life and strive to live it in a way that makes us feel great.  By focusing on living in a way that truly makes us feel happy, instead of wasting it on external comparisons, I think we'll find we actually have more fuel to live our lives with gratitude, joy and love.  And we can celebrate ourselves and others with equal enthusiasm.  So there's that.

Since it's Friday, we need to all find some time to sit outside and sip something delicious.  Here's a suggestion, a Pimm's Cup.  It sounds tasty, refreshing, and you can work on your English accent while you enjoy it.  Here's the how-to:

Fill a pitcher with one cup seltzer or lemon-lime soda, one cup of lemonade, and three cups of Pimm's No. 1.  Mix that up and pour it into highball glasses that you have filled with ice and lemon slices.  Cheers!

I'm wearing this.

Some days you just feel best wearing a tie-dye tunic tent.  With a necklace, of course.

gratitude:  insight, decor magazines, Ted Talks, cash in my wallet

thanks and love.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Had A Learning Moment With A Soggy Pastry Covered In Stone Fruit. How Did You Start Your Day?

So a few days ago, I bought the family a lovely peach and blueberry upside down cake from Whole Foods.  It was tiny.  I don't know if it's the midwesterner in me or what, but those Whole Foods upside down cakes are miniscule.  I'm used to something more the size of a cast iron skillet which is how an upside down cake should really be prepared (extra points if the skillet belonged to your grandma), but that's not the issue here.  Suffice it to say, it was a very small cake and it was delish, but we only had about half the thing for dessert.  Shocking, considering the kids' great love for all things sweet, but now the door was open to some future cake enjoyment.

Last night, while everyone was watching TV and doing homework in the great room, I busied myself in the kitchen cleaning up dinner and getting ready to shut it all down for the night.  While wiping the counter I came across the box holding the peach cake.  As I peeked though the cellophane window on the box, I was so excited to see no one had eaten more of it during the day.  I thought to myself maybe I should have a sliver - I mean, I was the one doing all the work in the kitchen, right?  So I sliced a little off and popped it in my mouth.  I kept cleaning, but was nagged by the thought that that piece of cake was really much smaller than I intended it to be - it hardly qualified as a slice, really.  So I convinced myself that I could have a second small piece to make up for the skimpy size of the last one.  I ate it over the sink.

This morning, the kids were off to school and Geoff was upstairs preparing for the day.  I thought I'd sit down, have a little tea - we are forced to drink tea instead of coffee right now because Geoff broke the carafe on our coffee maker (another story completely) - and maybe finish off have a slice or two of the peach cake.  I figured I'd have to throw it out today regardless, so why not eat the rest rather than waste it, right?  

I was pretty psyched.  I had my iPad ready for a nice Pinterest session, my tea had steeped, and I was blissfully alone.  I sat at the counter, fork in hand (I intended to eat straight from the box without shame) and lifted the lid to reveal my tasty, moist, peachy breakfast treat.  Milliseconds after the lid reached its full extension, I saw something on the cake.  A spot.  I thought maybe it was a crumb from my snack session last night, so I looked closer.  NO!  It was a tiny, but very obvious, speck of mold.  I considered cutting around the mold and still feasting on pastry, but I'd watched some show on TV that explained the mold we see is just the tip of the iceberg - there's actually a lot of invisible mold nearby - so there was no way I'd be able to block out the voice of that TV scientist and forge ahead with my meal plan.

I tossed the cake in the trash, the box in recycling, and a piece of bread in our toaster with an air of disappointment tinged with concern.  It's not so much that I didn't get to enjoy my cake for breakfast, but I can't stop wondering if it had mold on it last night, and I ate it without knowing because the kitchen was a little dark, and now I'm living with peach upside down cake mold in my system.  I'm sure there is a lesson here, maybe about not eating cake in the dark?  Or the pitfalls to using food as a reward?  Clearly I have much to ponder while I Google signs of upside-down cake mold poisoning.

I'm wearing this today:

I think the plaid speaks to the 'Back-to-School' theme of the our week, and the white pants address 95 degrees and knees that look kinda funky.

gratitude:  the return of morning chaos, open kitchen windows, sunrise, the smell of clean clothes

thanks and love.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Every Year At This Time, I Find Myself Longing For A Trapper-Keeper. And Feeling A Little Sad That Pee-Chees Are No Where To Be Found. School Supply Shopping Can Be Very Emotional For Me.

It's Back-to-School Eve!  Such an exciting time for oh, so many reasons.  I must say, this is really the first summer I've had post-school age children where I wasn't just a teensy bit burnt out on kid time 24/7.  My kids are older now and all of a sudden they have stuff to do.  On their own.  Like nannying, lawn care, hanging out with friends (walking most places, but quite a few pals can drive now too), sports, etc.  This summer I wasn't really in charge of filling time and providing entertainment as in years past.  Certainly, the late nights and constant stream of teens in and out of the house has been a little exhausting, but not to the point of massive annoyance (petite annoyance, maybe).  So I'm heading into the school year less focused on the peace of a full school day, but rather on embracing the fabulous FRESH START energy the back-to-school season brings.

I've picked out a lot of reading I want to do once we go back to school.  Not necessarily fiction, although there is always a bit of that happening on my iPad, but instead more in the "ways of thinking"/"what do I want to be when I grow up?" categories.  I'm really hoping this Fall will give me the focus I so crave.  To aid me in my quest I'm going to read Danielle LaPorte's Firestarter book.  It's kind of a work book, so it really feels back-to-school to me.  Which I like.  And Dani Shapiro's Still Writing.  I've read some articles she's written and I really like her style.  Also, Brene Brown's Daring Greatly.  A few days ago, I watched a YouTube video of her on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday and her theory of 'leaning into joy' is life changing.  Especially for someone, like me, who claims to want to embrace the joy of the present moment - you must listen, so here's the link.

The High House has been very well-loved this summer and, as a result, could use a little spa time I think in coming months.  If our house were a human body, our basement would be a clogged colon.  Therefore, it's very clear to me that I need to commit to a regular Goodwill drop.  I'm going to try to do one trip a week to Gdub and eventually (God willing) I will successfully clear our charming Fred Sanford basement.  And I'm looking for a housecleaning crew (this isn't a job for one person) to give us a DEEP clean.  I'm thinking maybe someone with some crime scene clean-up experience who might be looking for a project with less emotional weight to it, but that is still be a good test for their power cleaning skills.  Taking suggestions.  And, of course, the pigeon clean-up and attic reclamation project will be completed and not spoken of again until I am able to do so without developing a facial tic.  We're not there yet.

It's Meatless Monday, but I think I'm going to reschedule for Tuesday.  Since this is our last night of summer, we absolutely must grill cheeseburgers.  There will be veggies and a dessert, but those plans are still a little murky at this point.

I'm wearing this today.

I've been seeing a lot of butterflies in our backyard lately.  This one's for you Mr. Monarch.  Plus, my arm bruise is still obvious, so tank tops and most t-shirts are out for now.

gratitude:  talking in our room last night as a family before bed, kind of a cool breeze this morning, school supplies, new boots

thanks and love.

Friday, August 16, 2013

This Is For Tickle.

I had a terrible experience this week.  I wasn't able to write about it before - waaaaaay too upsetting.  I was cat and turtle sitting for about 10 days for a family that was taking an Alaskan cruise.  The cat died.  Its name was Tickle and I found it in the corner of the guest room in their basement on Monday.  It was awful.

Here's what happened.  I was told to come by once or twice while they were gone.  There was lots of food out and water too, so the cat wouldn't really ever run out.  And there was a good chance I'd never see the cat because it was a cat and sometimes they don't want to interact.  I came by every other day or two.  On the first visit I never saw the cat.  It didn't seem to have eaten much, but since there was so much food, it was hard to gauge for sure.  The next time I went, the food consumption still seemed a little low, so I wanted to make sure I saw the cat to confirm it was okay.  I found it in the master bathroom behind the door.  It seemed fine, kind of like I'd woken it from a nap, so I gave it a little scratch on its back and left feeling all was well.  Before I left I smoothed out the food in all its bowls so I could tell exactly how much it was really eating and eliminate that confusion.  I came back after a couple days and it was dead.

Trauma makes for some bizarre situations.  Because I couldn't reach the family right away, I needed to do something with Tickle until I heard back from them.  At one point, after finding the cat, I was standing in their guest bathroom holding a Minnesota Vikings towel, knowing the father is a fan, and actually thinking to myself, "Would this be good to wrap the cat in?"  Then having to search the owner's house for Duck Tape because, while placing the towel wrapped cat and 20 lbs. of ice in a styrofoam cooler that was last used at JD's 6th grade Field Day, one entire side of the cooler split in half.  I have a delayed response to shocking experiences which is great if I'm to be depended on to help during high stress events, but terrible for whomever has to sit next to me on the couch two days later while I cry and relive every moment and analyze every decision I've made during the crisis (thank you, Geoff).

Looking back I see I could have noticed some things.  And hindsight is a bitch because once you have come through an experience, you know more, you know differently.  Except you're judging your former self based upon what your current (more informed) self knows.  Now I know that cats don't show any facial expressions when they don't feel well.  I've never had a cat, only dogs, and our animals have all been extremely dramatic when in pain using panting, whining, and terrified eyes to tell you they are not okay.  I shouldn't have taken the cat's expression as a sign that all was well.  Also, I didn't know to ask where the cat usually stayed.  If I had known the bathroom was not it's special place, I would have seen this was a sign that something was different.  I just assumed this is where the cat liked to spend time.

I have come to accept that I did the best I could.  At the time.  Based upon who I was and what I knew, I did the best I could.  Now, I'd handle myself differently.  But that's now.  And we can't go back in time.

I always tell the kids, nothing is a mistake if you can learn something from it and use that new knowledge to improve yourself.  I feel like this event is a lesson to me that even though I'm working to be "present" in each moment, I need to try to bring some quality to that presence.  It's not just about "being in the moment", but rather being our best in the moment that counts.  And I may never pet sit again, but if I do, I'll ask all sorts of questions and I'll come every day regardless.  It's the best way.

And I'm working on forgiveness.  Forgiving ourselves can be so much harder than forgiving anyone else.

I am so sorry for the family's loss.  I'm so sorry the cat was alone when it died.  I'm so sorry I didn't understand that it was very sick.  I will never forget this experience.  Ever.

Considering the theme of this post, it seems weird to share what I'm wearing.  Suffice it to say my fashion choice today is based upon whatever is clean and will cover up the weird bruise on my upper arm.  Tres chic.

gratitude:  Brene Brown, nice employees at the Vans store, laughing with Geoff, good night kisses from the kids even when they come home at midnight

thanks and love.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And This Week, I'm Teaching My Children Why It Pays Not To Procrastinate. Let This Line At American Eagle Be A Lesson To You, Kids.

Just a quick post today - did you know school starts next week?  Really, I think we need more warning. The county should send out a blast email or something in mid-July as a helpful reminder that we are halfway through summer and maybe nudging us a bit to schedule some appointments.  I could have used that.  So now, we're a week out and I've managed to squeeze every doctor appointment, dental checkup, closet cleaning, clothes shopping, supply gathering and backpack emptying into four days.  This leaves time for little else.

Quotes can soothe us and direct our thoughts as we maneuver our way through life and back-to-school shopping lines.  Here is one I'm enjoying right now - perhaps you will too.

"Every day brings a choice:  to practice stress or to practice peace."
- Joan Borysenko

I am trying to practice peace.  Really working on it.

I'm wearing this today.

The patterned top will be used to distract other shoppers so I can sweep in for the last 12-pack of black and blue pens at the Target School Supply Thunderdome.

gratitude:  understanding, kind words, homemade pastry dough, animals

thanks and love.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Speak Softly And Carry A Flappy Piece Of Plastic.

I've mentioned before my great love of animals.  And also that this affection for living things extends even to our insect population.  I may have misspoken.  When it comes to flies, I discovered this weekend, I'm a cold-blooded killer.

At first we just had a couple flies in the kitchen and one by Spike's cage in the mud room.  Then there were a few in the living room.  That was weird.  Then two more in the kitchen and another couple flying around the bathroom near the the garage.  It became clear to us, after sighting almost 20 flies, we were under attack.

We trapped a couple in the sliding windows in our kitchen and attempted to flatten a few more with rolled up magazines, but our results were somewhat disappointing.  It seemed with every fly we sent 'to a better place', another two or three would pop up in their place.  Geoff ran out for some coffee (we needed our strength) and when he returned he brought back a three-pack of fly swatters.  I could not have been more excited had he come home with a dozen roses and a gift card to Anthropologie.

The fly swatters were game changers.  We were racking up kills like nobody's business.  Two on the coffee table, a few on the counter and one right on the trash can.  We were taking them out two at a time, even back-to-back with one swat to the left and one to the right.  We carried our swatters around with us like you'd carry a rifle during a zombie apocalypse - never letting our weapons out of our grasp should the need arise to take out one of the enemy.

I don't know what started this nasty invasion.  It's better I not let my mind linger too long on the possibilities.  Could be the pigeons, could be a dead bird outside, maybe something that passed away in the open space behind our house, or that we have a guinea pig who produces twice his body weight in poop every day.  Either way word seems to be out within the fly community that any further pursuit of the High family is not recommended.  And, after our brilliant defense, I find I'm walking with a bit more swagger today.  Victory is sweet.

How was your weekend?

It's Meatless Monday and, since we'll be at a golf tournament for JD who has a tee time of 2:42, when dinner rolls around I will be enjoying whatever interpretation of a Caesar salad or veggie wrap this course offers.  I wish you all more control over your Monday meals.

I'm wearing this.

My black eyelet dress from Old Navy has been on of my favorites.  Here it is being used to cleverly hide the hole in my jeans as well as cover up legs that could use a bit more time in the sun.

gratitude:  cherry pie, fly swatters, afternoon rain showers, tea

thanks and love.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Oh, How I'll Miss The Forgiving Aspect Of Outdoor Entertaining. The Cooler Temps Will Force Guests Inside And The Fact That You Can Write Your Name In The Dust On Our Dining Room Table Will No Longer Be Quite So Funny.

To cap off our week, we'll be heading up to Red Rocks tonight to catch the Brian Regan show.  I've never seen a comedy performance at Red Rocks before and I'm not sure what to expect.  Is there an opening band?  An opening comedian?  Will it rain?  Do you tailgate?  Will there be a drunk guy stumbling down your row asking if you've seen his friends?  So many questions.  My approach to events at Red Rocks have changed a bit since my youth.  Instead of a bag of Taco Bell for dinner and a trash bag poncho for rain, we'll be entertaining friends at our house pre-show with some nummies (tasty) and beergaritas (dangerous) and we'll take along a nice golf umbrella in case it rains.  I suppose I could bring a trash bag just as easily, but I bought the kind scented with Febreeze and I'm not sure I want to spend an evening soaking wet and smelling like Glade's interpretation of a Spring Meadow.

I'll be wearing this:

The top is a new little number I picked up at TJ Maxx while looking for a floor lamp for a staging job.  Multi-tasking at its finest.

gratitude:  stuff from the entheos website, our car charger for cell phones, pesto, tasty and affordable wines with screw tops

thanks and love.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Story Of Me Putting My Foot Down. Of Course When I Did, It Was On A Dead Mouse, But I Digress.

I'm sharing my mouse story today in an attempt to walk the line between crabby and enlightened.  I stood on the little guy while sorting through a few client-owned garage units in Broomfield in search of salvageable pieces to use in a staging.  We had been misled about the number of (five vs. three) and conditions (think: Hoarders meets a Hanta virus study) in said garages. It was a Sunday, my whole family had come out to help, and it was very hot.  The situation felt bad, but when I looked around and realized my loved ones had been laboring for hours under ridiculous conditions, something in me snapped.  I put a halt to all activity and contacted my client to inform him we would need to take another direction.

It felt good to stand up for our little group of workers - kind of like Sally Field's character did in 'Norma Rae'.

I had that vibe, but I texted my message.  The sweatiness and facial expressions, however, were identical.

I like to go the extra mile for a job.  I think if you're going to do something, do it well.  But when you realize something is amiss, you need to put your foot down.  That hasn't been easy for me in the past.  If it would have just been me and my mom working that day, we may have simply applied the stiff upper lip and forged ahead (unhappily).  Fear of losing a client would have kept me silent.  But maybe as a mother, when you see your loved ones, especially your kids, in a situation that you know isn't right, something in you snaps and gives you courage and conviction you wouldn't normally have.  I think that made a big difference for me.

The lesson I'm choosing to take from this is that it's okay to maintain your standards while on the job (or anytime, really) - whether or not your kids are involved - we need to do it for ourselves.  Of course, standards must be maintained politely and with good manners, but you need to speak up if things aren't right.  In the end you'll feel better because you did.  I do.

For what it's worth, stepping on a dead mouse feels like standing on a very soft rock.  Firm in a muffled sort of way.

I'm wearing this today.

The white jeans say 'I love you, Summer', but the denim shirt says, 'Is that you, Fall?"

gratitude:  affirmations from Gabby Bernstein, Whole Foods pita chips, paying school fees online, a cloudy day

thanks and love.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Yesterday, I Stood On A Dead Mouse. Today, I Hit A Blogging Milestone. I Wonder What Tomorrow Holds?

This is my 100th post and I just want to thank you all for reading this blog.  It was such a spur of the moment decision to start sharing things this way, but it has exceeded my expectations in almost every aspect.  Typically, I like to include some gratitude items at the end of each post, but today I think it's important to make gratitude the entire focus because I am grateful for all of you.

I'm grateful that you take time to read this three times a week or as often as you can.  Or maybe only when the headline is especially weird.  Or if you are really curious about what I'm wearing or maybe you have no idea what to serve for Meatless Monday or how to make a French 75.  Either way, thank you for reading.

I'm grateful that you comment when you do.  It feels good to hear from you.  Sometimes blogging can feel a little bit like writing in a vacuum and it means a lot to me to hear your voices too.

I'm grateful so many of you share this blog with your friends.  I hope to spread the notion that there is humor in so much of life, that we can choose to see things beautifully and make them so ourselves, and that it's important to find things to be grateful for each day.  No matter how minute.

I'm wearing this today.

I feel jazzy.

It's Meatless Monday and Geoff is away on business, so breakfast for dinner it is.   Pancakes with peanut butter and syrup will be topping our menu tonight.  If you haven't tried peanut butter on your pancakes you have not lived.  Plus, it's a handy form of protein when the stringent requirements of Meatless Monday eliminate the sausage option.

gratitude:  blog readers, friends old and new, humor, YouTube

thanks and love.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I Really Can't Believe I'm Writing A Blog And Complaining About How My Cell Phone Talks To Me. Before You Know It I'll Be Whining About Teleportation Speed Or How My Hover Craft Responds To Heavy Traffic.

I spend a lot of time in my car.  Between the child-centric jaunts to sporting events and the like, to staging projects, appointments and meetings, I find myself regularly exploring what feels like the entire front range of Colorado.  I rely on my iphone's mapping feature a lot to get me to all the new places I go - and to some places that should be familiar to me, but because I have no sense of direction I cannot seem to locate a second time.  In order to go hands-free I use Siri to read the directions to me as I drive. I don't like her very much.

She constantly interrupts me when I'm speaking to someone in my car.  She has terrible manners - nary does she use a 'please' or an 'excuse me'.  I want to scream "What's the magic word, Siri?"  And she's incredibly demanding.  If I need to turn in 500 feet, she gives me no less than three reminders in 10 seconds that I need to turn in 500 feet even though my signal is on and I clearly have every intention to make the required direction change.  Got it, Siri.  Plus she mispronounces things all the time.  Perhaps I spend too much time in the car.

I think we should be able to choose different voices for our direction giver.  I hear this is already a possibility so I'll need to find a young person to see if I can make the change on my phone.  I'd like John Cleese to give me directions with a Monty Python vibe.  Or maybe Oprah could do the honors and finish each trip with some kind of affirmation.  The possibilities are endless, really.  But I need to make a change soon because me and my fragile ego cannot take another trip with Mean Girl Siri.  It makes me want wine.

I'm wearing this today.

These pants are ill-fitting, so while I'll enjoy the look of a crisp, white jean they will also serve as a silent reminder that a "roomy waist" may seem like a flaw you can live with comfortably, but will eventually leave you with a serious case of suspender envy.

gratitude:  time management experiments, crusty bread, jammies before dark, music

thanks and love.