Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why Put Yourself Out There

I have been asked this a couple of times...."why put yourself out there?"  People are referring to my blog and the things I post on my blog.  Most are pretty boring really, just my life, things I do, or don't do and why. But for me it is important.

I can't really explain all the details of why this blog is important to me, as I don't fully understand why myself. You all know I am an introvert.  Really and truly, feel a little anxious in new situations with new people. Things like my upcoming eye exam make me nervous a bit.  It is a physician I don't know, place I don't know, new experience for me. Who will I have to talk to, what questions will they ask me etc.  All those things run through my mind.  So for me blogging is a way of reaching out there, a safe way of reaching out there.  Yes I do have people who will e mail me with negative comments.  And as any true introvert, I immediately analyze that, the post, the situation, where this person might be coming from. And yes, initially my feelings are hurt, I never want to distress anyone, and I may get angry because someone criticized my life, or my beliefs.  But I move past, after looking at how and what I post...yet again.

A friend of mine recently invited me to a "get to know you" type of event, it sounds interesting.  You get to meet someone you don't know, in a more personal way, talking, asking questions.  OK so I just felt nauseous thinking about it.  The prospect of doing something like that makes me slightly nervous, so I will graciously say "no thanks". I know other friends that embrace that type of situation....not me.  I turn to my blogging world.  I enjoy the friends I have, and I meet new people all the time.  I had a great conversation with an older gentleman in the waiting room when my son was having his eye appointment.  He has led such an interesting life, and had great stories to tell, that was an amazing experience, and even for me, it was enjoyable.  Maybe because it wasn't planned, and I didn't have time to think about it.

I feel much better when things are written down, sent out and off my mind.  It is like therapy for me.  It is like reaching out to other people, meeting people. But I don't have to leave my house, I don't have to actually take that step of saying "hello". So you will find me here, on my blog.  Feel free to send me an e mail, genant2@aol.com is my current e mail address.  Or leave me a comment.  I love hearing from you all.

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Miracle Morning Experiment

I finished the book The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod.  There are some great inspirational quotes in there and he does have some motivational things to say.  One quote I did write down in my own journal, so I would reread it again and again is "Don't place unnecessary limitations on what you want for your life.  Think bigger than you've allowed yourself to think up until this point."  I really liked that affirmation and I think it applies to so many areas in life.  So many limiting beliefs that we tell yourselves, or family or friends tell us or think about us.  A quote worth remembering. 



But the idea of the book is living a level 10 life.  And while I don't have the same priorities as he does, I think this can also be adapted to any life.  Areas where, on a scale of one to ten, you want to live at a ten.  

And of course, the title of the book The Miracle Morning. The philosophy that there are things, in his research, you could be doing in the morning to enhance, your life and bring you to that level ten life you want.  
So I will be doing those things until the end of April and see if it transforms my life.  I have been doing it for a couple of days now and...yeah...nothing transformative so far.  Many of the things on his list, I have been doing during my day anyway, just not in the morning.  So I guess it is helping me get things done earlier in the day.  Maybe that will be transformative in the long run.  A couple of the newer notions I need to "get used to".  So they become more automatic.  We shall see, I will update at the end of April.

Anyone else out there use the Miracle Morning routine.  I would love to hear your feedback, just leave me a comment.  How has this transformed your life?  Anyone NOT see any noteworthy results?  Others just on this journey, getting started?  

Love you all, to be brave enough to go inside and search out those places where you want to do better and be better, and courageous enough to really work for the change!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Photo Spring on a Foggy Morning


This is a cooperative blogging project.  To see Nancy's Friday Photo visit her blog, A Present Moment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What To Do With My Mornings



I am not sure how many of you know this but I am a morning person.  Haven't always been a morning person but it started when Ellis popped into our lives.  Yes, that cute little puppy bundle of energy that he was and, for the most part, still is.  He was always up with Jackson in the morning and FULL of energy, so I got up as well and stayed up.  My night owl tendencies became early riser habits.  So for years now I have been getting up at 5:30 with Jackson.  During the winter months it is a little harder, being in the "dark" for so long before the sun shows its rays.  But generally I like getting up earlier.  I just haven't quite figured out what to do with that time.  I have tried exercising, cleaning, meditation and other things.  I want to be energized for my day, but morning is not my favorite time to exercise, and really, who wants to clean when they first open their eyes.

Sometimes I just have breakfast curled up in a blanket on the couch watching morning news. News isn't a bad thing, but generally, in the past, I haven't been a news watcher, I just don't like starting my day with downer news stories and that is about 90% of what is on the news these days.

I heard mention of a book called The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod.  So I am reading that now.  I am really hoping it isn't an overly religious book (OK so the word miracle in the title makes me wonder, wouldn't you).  I am hoping it isn't just another "you can do this", "make your lists", "get things done", motivational speaker in print.  I am hoping that there are useful tools in there, to help jump start my mornings, something to fill that time in between opening my eyes and the sun actually rising. Something I haven't heard or read before. Or maybe I just need to put those things I HAVE heard and read before into practice.  

Anyway we shall see.  I will let you know what I think, and if I decide to put anything new into my mornings and how that works out.  Hopefully, fingers crossed, I will gain some insight and some type of morning routine will emerge.  


Monday, March 21, 2016

A "Tradition" To Eliminate

I saw a brief, maybe 10 sec, video on facebook last week.  It was a video of a child giving the dad "birthday spankings".  Everyone was laughing because this young child was imitating the father on the child's birthday, "isn't that so cute".  I mean really, so when a child imitates an adult by hitting another child, why isn't that "just so cute".  Can we expect children, especially young children, to understand the difference, when it is *OK* to copy your parents, or other adults, and when it just isn't OK.

And WHY are we still passing along this old, worn out, tradition.  I tried looking up the origins of the birthday spanking, but yet again, that is where so many seem to disagree.  One site says it "replicates the spanking you get when you are born and the doctor spanks your bottom."  Another site says the birthday spanking has its origins further back..."Some children receive birthday “spankings”, which were originally based on superstition, but are now more of a birthday prank or a joke. Hundreds of years ago, spankings were given for each year of the birthday child’s life. Beyond that number, a child received another spanking to grow on, one to live on, one to eat on, one to be happy on, and yet another spanking to get married on. At one time, it was considered back luck if the birthday celebrant was not spanked because it was believed to 'soften up the body for the tomb.'" (http://www.digitalgothic.net/Sanctuary/birthdays.htm)

But really, no matter the origin, why is this tradition something that is still being done.  Jackson and I have never done this with our boys.  It just doesn't make sense to me.  But we have never used punishments with our boys either. Why, especially in our society, where spankings are still used as punishments, would we want to introduce spankings as some sort of joke as well.  Why are we so wrapped up in this whole "spanking" thing.  Why is it so important.  Of course I think spankings in any form should be illegal, but that is another post.

I just don't see any spanking as funny, or *tradition-worthy*.  There are so many things we could do and already do, for a birthday, that are so much more fun, and celebratory.  So please consider doing away with the birthday spanking.  (and of course I would add, do away with ALL spankings).  Find something loving, connecting, that shows gratitude for the children in your care.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Photo - Linville Falls

This is not going to be one photo, I just couldn't choose, so you get to see them all.  After voting last Wednesday, the boys and I went to Mountain Burrito and picked up lunch "to go".  And went hiking.  This could have been a bust of a day, but we are positive people and we made it work.  So yes, now I have to tell you the longer story, just so you know.  Weren't you curious, you know you were.

Starting out the day, we wanted to hike Table Rock.  We have hiked it several times over the years and at the top there is just such a nice place to picnic, great 360 degree views and flat areas to sit and relax.  It would have been a perfect place to talk, and eat lunch and spend time together, with my boys.  OK so I took a quick look online, only to find out that Table Rock is closed until April 1.  Booo, and such a nice 70 degree day outside.


There are other hikes we can do that are close by.  I have been wanting to take the boys on the Little Lost Cove Cliffs Hike, maybe this was a sign. This hike is similar to Table Rock at the top, just great views all around and a nice place to sit and picnic. Jackson and I have hiked this one once, and the boys have never been.  It is more isolated, not many people, if any, would be there today.  We drive all the way out there, it is on a dirt road quite a distance out, and there are really no parking spots, you just have to pick a place where the road is a bit wider and park.  The small wooden sign at the trail head was GONE.  And this trail, the last time Jackson and I were on it, was covered in leaves, and harder to see outright.  I was like 97% sure I had the spot, but with no sign I couldn't be 100% sure.  And I was nervous about taking a trail, I wasn't sure of. If it was the wrong trail, no one would no we were out there.  And there is no traffic out there or cell signal anywhere around, so it would be hard if we needed help for anything.  I know what you are thinking, OF COURSE I am overthinking this, it is what I do.  Phil was nervous about taking it as well, as he didn't think it even looked like a trail.  But to be honest, when we took it the first time it didn't look like much of a trail then either until we hiked further up the mountain.


So we back tracked and decided to try the North Harper Creek Falls Trail.  This one was well labeled and well worn.  We hiked that for about 15 minutes and ran into a place where you cross the creek.  Well it was wide, deeper than our boots, and rushing quite fast.  Looking up and down the creek, the only other crossing, which someone had made was a tree across the creek.  The tree, maybe I should say sapling, was about maybe 6-8 inches in diameter.  I just said, ummmm NO.  I was not crossing on that.  So we turned around and back tracked, again, to the car.



Not giving up, I just suggested we go to Linville Falls.  I knew we were only a few miles from the visitor center.  This hike we have done many times before, we knew it is beautiful, although we also knew there would be more people hiking this trail.  The trail is well manicured, wide, and there are a few places to stop and get a great view of the falls and the gorge.  It took us less than 10 minutes to get there, we hiked, stopped at every viewing spot, had great conversation, a few laughs and had our lunch listening to the water rush around us.  Beautiful, warm weather, spending time with two of the people I love most in this world, priceless.  So even tough this could have been a frustrating day, it was a beautiful day and I am so glad we took the time and let things roll.










This is a cooperative blogging project, so if you would like to see Nancy's Friday Photo this week, pop on over to her blog, A Present Moment, and tell her Pam sent you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Voting

It is such a privilege to vote with these wonderful, informed, young men.  Yes they are my boys.  And as they have grown they have become more curious and informed about the political process.  Now they are both voting age and are both voting.

It is nice to see how thoughtful they are with their vote, how seriously they take this responsibility.  We spent a couple of hours the day before we voted, looking over the web sites of the candidates.  It was amazing that they not only looked at the candidates stand on different issues, but they critiqued the web site as well, spelling errors, typos, grammatical errors, how some had so many "words" on a site without saying anything, without telling you, the reader, what their opinion was on the issue.  Informed voters are a GOOD thing.

And their curiosity on the process has really led me to dig up the facts about voting in North Carolina.  I know in some states, if you are registered as unaffiliated, you can't vote in the primaries.  Well, not the case in NC, you can choose the party you would like to vote in.  Also I did find that you can register on the day of early voting.  So here, if you vote early, you can register and vote in the same day, which I think is great. The state needs two days prior to votes being counted, to verify your residency.  Different from many states.

I enjoyed seeing my boys vote for the first time.  Go through the process.  We voted early and voted last Wednesday, absolutely NO LINE.  None....walked in, verified ID, and voted.  We have a touch screen system, so it is simple, and takes only a minute.  AWESOME!  And of course, the "first time voting photo". I remembered doing this with Dallen.  And again, brought tears to my eyes, to see my boys voting, participating in the process and taking responsibility.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Spring Cleaning...aka...Major Purge...aka...GSC2016

OK so spring feels like it is approaching, the temperatures outside are rising, I am eager to get into my garden and start working.  But first, I have this need to purge.  So I am actually participating in, what I am lovingly referring to as, "The Great Spring Clean 2016"  or GSC2016.

For my GSC2016, I am not just cleaning windows and screens, I am purging. I accumulate things, like clothing I don't like any more or no longer fits me.  I always seem to find more interesting more productive, things to do with my time.  I will say, as a positive, I really don't form attachments to things, so getting rid of "stuff" feels easy for me.  So I have done a little research on decluttering your space.  I really like the flylady, techniques.  I am a Queen of list making, so having todo lists suits me fine. Flylady has really helped me refine my daily/weekly/monthly todo lists. But I am not sure about going room to room with the decluttering. Have tried that in the past and it feels funny as some of my things are in more than one room.  For example my herbal supplies/remedies/tinctures in the making etc, are in 4 different rooms as well as craft supplies/stuff.  Those are in three different rooms.

So I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  Easy read, I highly recommend the book.  And even though I have more than one room to clean, I think the principle can be applied on different levels, from a child or young adult living at home with their parents, to parents of young children, and empty nesters that maybe have a collection of a lifetime.  So I think I am tackling this job one section at a time.  And jumping right in.  

I am hoping it won't take me six months to accomplish, but who knows, I will have to update periodically, so you all know how it is going.  My clothes are almost finished.  I purged all clothes, shoes, bags, down to what brings me joy, what I use regularly or need.  Donated 4 large leaf trash bags from that, as well as one bag of trash.  Whew!  I already feel lighter.  Dishware is up next for me.  So pots/pans, cups, dishes, bake ware and the like.  

I will say, my husband tends to be more of the "keeper" type (I won't use the *H* word to describe him). So we will have to do this together, and I will be sensitive to his needs as well.  I am not even going to think about touching his things, his clothing, sports stuff, tools etc.  Those things are his and I really have no business there.  So I am sticking to my stuff and our/family stuff.  I think I can make this work for everyone and we will all reap the benefits of a decluttered home.  More updates will follow.  And PLEASE all those who are working through this process, have worked through a major purge, or want to go through this with me.....PLEASE leave me a comment.  I would love to have support in this process!  Love you all!

Maybe I need to rethink this and start with paper stuff?  What do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sunshine and Blue Skies


Friday photo and little Ella Fitzgerald so start your weekend!




If you would like to see what Nancy has in store for her Friday Photo, hop on over to her blog, A Present Moment.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

When My Feelings Just Spill Out Of My Mouth

I love being with friends, sometimes it exhausts me and sometimes it energizes me.  Neither is good or bad, it just is what it is. I treasure all time with friends. We do some really cool and creative things, we sit and chat, we have tea and goodies.  We do whatever.  This past week we were talking about something that I have gone through before.  This was an experience of the other women there.  But the same situation has happened to me in the past with other people of course.  I know what it felt like to be "on the other end" of the situation/circumstances.

In those instances I wish I could just sit and keep quiet and support my friend.  But my feelings just won't let me.  Like playing devil's advocate, I feel this need to speak up, input my thoughts.  But I know, in that instance my friend just wanted support, wanted to be listened to.  And I didn't provide that for her.  That is something I need to work on.  It isn't that I didn't feel for her, and it just breaks my heart that she is going through this.  I wish more for her.  But I can feel the other side as well, because I have been the one on the other side before.

Not sure there is an answer for any of this, but for me, I know it is something I need to work on.  And of course, as any introvert does, I went over and over in my head, on the way home, everything I had said. And questioned what I said, how I said it, and if I should have said any of it.

The good thing is that I am not pushy, in that I will say my peace, and back off.  I don't feel a need to "be right" (if there is such a thing), I don't feel a need to change anyone, or any situation.  But speaking my peace is exhausting for me.  After a minute or two I then feel a need to say nothing for a while, like my brain is in recovery mode.

We did make these beautiful sun catchers/mobiles, not sure what to call it.  But I love it.  A friend had the idea, and has done this before, and brought the beads.  It hangs right beside my computer.  It just has such a nice whimsical quality.  Great addition to my space, and reminds me daily of that connection with that friend. LOVE IT!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Child's Spring Sweater

This is such a cute sweater and easy peasy to crochet.  I made this for the daughter of a friend.  The directions are really a novel, but are made for two sizes a size 3 and 5.  I also did not follow the instructions for the sleeves.  In the pattern the sleeves are each different, but I didn't care for either one.  So I just alternated a few double crochet rows with a row of *dc, ch 1, sk1*.

You can find the pattern on this page at Magic with Hook and Needles.  Read all directions first, even though it is a book (learned that the hard way).  Great for spring, have FUN!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Aerial Acrobatics at the Bird Feeders

Photo Friday...If you would like to see Nancy's photo, please visit A Present Moment.