One Word Says It All (2015)


It’s taken me such a long time to come up with my “one word” for 2015. For me, choosing one area of focus tends to work much better than say going with the average resolutions.

Last year, I chose “Simplicity” which worked pretty well. All of 2014 was dedicated to making things a little easier both around the house and at work. I feel as if I learned a thing or two about my busy life. One, it’s not fun to be busy all the time and no one wins any Brownie points for the glorification of busy. Two, a lot of it I put upon myself. My drummed-up expectation of my working mom self, is what’s messed with me in previous years.  But hey, I never said I was perfect! That said, things are slightly better in that area.

This year, I’ve chosen “Rethink” which sounds like a non-word but it was handed to me during a church service. Seriously, I was sitting there pondering my word and Pastor Rusty George handed it to me on a silver platter during the series titled Fresh Start. If you care to actually listen to the service, you can find it here. He zeroes in on Rethink at 8:48. Technically, he uses the term “Rethink It” but you get the idea.

This word appeals to me on many levels. I am a quick thinker, and in turn, quick to react. This works great for me only half of the time. Often, I will make an immediate decision, and then the weight of that decision will stay with me for days. Not saying it’s always the wrong decision, but my confidence over the decision is sometimes not there after I’ve made it.

Or, something will fly out of my mouth only for me to regret it later. I have trigger mouth. I can control it at work, but not so much at home.

Sadly, this trigger way of thinking also affects my health. Yep, I have Lupus and there are times when I decide to skip my meds for awhile just to see if they are doing anything. Sometimes it takes months for me to feel lousy but I almost always do.

I seem to enjoy tempting fate.

So, although I am still focusing on simplifying my life, I am adding Rethink to the mix. I’ve technically been doing this since the beginning of the year without me noticing it and it’s added a calmness to my otherwise chaotic life. Taking an extra moment to respond or act can sometimes turn a negative into a positive. It comes down to perspective and sometimes to get a clear handle on it, you have to take the time to rethink it.

That’s my plan. To rethink everything before acting. This will apply to me saying “yes” all the time when volunteer opportunities come up. It will apply to my food choices. It will apply to decisions made at work. Basically, to everything. It sounds a little daunting and exhausting but really, it’s a brief moment of reflection and with January almost behind me, I can honestly say that it’s not tough to do.

Hopefully this little bit of mindfulness will help with my simplicity kick too.

The Sunday Salon: Pulling Back the Reins

Sunday Salon

This past week has been challenging. Without going into too much detail, The Boy found himself in a pickle and then could not dig his way out of it. When a fourteen-year-old boy, a busy one at that, thinks he can do it all and then doesn’t, it’s an alarming realization to both him and those around him who are used to seeing him succeed.

This week proved to me that no matter how mature your kid THINKS he is, as a parent, you still have to reel him in, take the situation apart and then figure out a game plan to set it all right again. That is pretty much what happened these past few days. I had to pull those reins… yank them really.

Now, the house is quiet but the “setting it all right” part is going to keep me busy for weeks! And the events of the past week have taken the shine off of some good things, like The Boy landing the part of Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and his solo for Jazz\Pop (choir). I hate when you want to revel in the good, yet you keep having to remind yourself that the kid in the dog house.

But at the moment, the house is quiet and everyone is asleep except me and the Otter Pup. I am enjoying my first cup of coffee of the morning and plan to do some thrift store browsing later with the hopes of finding some costume pieces for The Girl’s ensemble costume. After errands, I will finish one book and begin another and then The Girl and I will settle in to watch Thunderball as our Bond movie marathon continues. Not sure what we’ll do for dinner. I usually like to make something really good on Sundays but I am not really in the mood!

This week should be more even and calm. Rehearsals and Open House at the school. More writing and more reading. That’s all I need to perk me up. Plus, I am gearing up for #winditup2013 which begins next week. Over seventy readers from all over the world will be joining me. Can’t wait.

What about you? Doing anything fun today? Reading anything really good?

Live Theater, Sickness, and the Broken Tooth that Never Was

Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center

See that photo? That is where The Music Man debuts this weekend. Last night was my first night backstage and I am tired but I love it. I LOVE being back there. I am on the prop team and getting those props to the kids when they need them can be nerve-wracking sometimes (like the time I had to do an army crawl to get a kid’s hat that dropped behind a set piece, or the time Dorothy from Wizard lost her Ruby Red slippers). Oh! The stories I could tell.

But, it’s been a rough week. I usually have a handle on it, but busy schedules and lack of sleep turn me into a crazy person. I blabbed about my woes  here, and on Facebook and I think I even bled a little over at Twitter, too. Because there is nothing worse than over planning and then getting blind sided by a curve ball that you didn’t see coming. When The Boy got sick right at the top of production week for The Music Man, I think I cried a little. BUT, he is getting better.


He is still lurching around and stuff, fighting a terrible headache and worried about coughing with a live mic attached to his head but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for all of your support, good thoughts and prayers. They worked! So far, The Girl is hanging in there too. Her first run through is tonight and shows start tomorrow. They are both really excited!

The other update I have for you that the tooth I thought was broken during my last procedure at the dentist, is in fact…not. It was a clump of bonding. Looked liked my tooth had broken off and it hurt because the alignment was off but nothing major  had to be done. Just a little bit drilling and polishing. I am good to go! PLUS, I lost ten lbs because of the tooth pain and stress. A nice bonus for being so miserable.

What am I reading? Not much. Too much going on but I am listening to The Shining for the #shineon read-along. I think King’s books are great but they are even more fun when read with a group and let me tell you, this is a fun group of people!

Well, that’s it for now. Maybe after this weekend I’ll have some good backstage stories to share. There are always a few…

The Sunday Salon: Why Me?

Sunday Salon

Warning. This is probably the most pitiful Sunday Salon you’ll ever get from me and that’s because this weekend, my glorious weekend, took a big unexpected turn.

I spent Saturday morning getting my permanent crown put in. Good, right? Once I got home and the numbness wore off, I felt pain in the tooth directly above it. It’s chipped! Actually, half of it is gone. This is NOT GOOD! It’s never good but it’s really not good because I have no time for this! We are in production week for The Music Man and it’s a week of me leaving early from work and running around trying to get these kids fed and to the stage on time. There were two times where the drill knocked up against that tooth, but I was numb, I didn’t feel much besides the slip. I put a call in to the dentist but I really dread what he will say.

THEN, The Boy gets hit with sickness. On his Winter Formal night. So a night that he has been planning for ages is ruined by illness. He made a show of going, but he came home last night and is now really sick. So sick, that I don’t know what will happen with the show. There are no absences during production week but after four months of rehearsing for this part, it would be a real shame if he can’t perform by this Friday. We’ve got the entire family coming to see him. He told all his friends. Please, please think good thoughts for him. I am debating taking him to urgent care just to be seen but right now, there is nothing remarkable besides the fever that he is complaining of.

So as you can see, my weekend has been exciting but not in a good way. I am in pain, The Boy is not well and I am just irritated over all of it. I have no photos from Winter Formal since he wasn’t feeling well and well, I just feel sorry for myself. I dread the upcoming week, too. How I am going to fit more dental work in? I don’t know.

If I could concentrate on reading, I’d be reading Caroline Leavitt’s Is This Tomorrow. I have been friends with her on Facebook for a while so I thought I’d read her new one. Boy, she sure has a way with words.

Anyway, so sorry to deliver such a dour, depressing Salon today. It’s gloomy and cloudy here and with all that is going on, this is as perky as I get ;) See? That’s perky, right?

Oh, and for those that signed up for #winditup2013, we have over twenty people now! Keep spreading word!

My Friday Rambling

This has been a pretty good week. I thought it was going to be all kinds of crazy after being off for so long but all was good. Next week the kids return to school so homework will once again plague me. I know why they have it and I have no problem with THEM doing it but inevitably, I end up helping probably more than I should since the organizational skills of my youngest leave a lot to be desired. If she brings the work home, that’s always good because she usually leaves it in her desk which prompts me to send messages to the other parents trying to get the assignment.

Other things on my mind right now:

  • My broken tooth (which I didn’t even know was broken) will be capped tomorrow. Yep! A Saturday and will required another Saturday in two weeks to complete the process. I cannot stand dental work. I wish I could just wake up and have the whole thing done but that isn’t how it works. 
  • Production week for The Music Man is looming. It’s the week of January 28th but I am getting a little antsy. The kids usually do alright but I get a little wound-up with the massive prep involved and making sure they are where they need to be. Two casts schedules to juggle since The Boy is in all shows and The Girl is in three. Plus, I work backstage. That part I actually like but I worry about getting the props to the right kid, etc.
  • I am announcing a read-along next week. It’s early but hopefully with the advanced notice many of you will be able to join me.

What am I reading?

I am finishing up Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I am in the final pages.  I am also reading Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. I wasn’t sure what to expect with Fountain’s book but I am liking it. It’s a slow build for me though. I am about ten chapters in and it’s starting to get good.

That’s pretty much it. No big plans for the weekend besides the dentist and watching some football. What are you reading this weekend? Any big plans?

What? Monday already?

There are moments where I feel completely out of the loop and this is one of them. It’s not that I have too much going on. Yes, there are cross country meets and rehearsals and other dates to keep straight, but for whatever reason, I just don’t feel like keeping track of any of them. My calendar is in an awful state right now. The word “neglect” comes to mind. So tonight, while hanging out in my car for yet another rehearsal, I will get it all straightened out because the alternative it to just run around with my head cut off and that’s no fun at all.

That said, this weekend was busy:

Homecoming 2012

The Boy is in ASB (associated student body) so they had QUITE the week planning the homecoming festivities. There were late nights. There were late, late nights and then a lot of other stuff like float building, setting up for the dance, etc. In the end, he decided to actually attend the dance. Yes, he actually thought he might skip it after all that planning, so I am glad he decided to go after all. The football game was fun (we won!) and then during all of this, he had a cross country meet. Running on so little sleep is a challenge, but he did great and managed to take 30 seconds off his previous run time.

Then this past Sunday, it was The Girl’s 9th bday:

The Girl's 9th Bday

The Girl’s birthday always falls during Fall break so we’ve never had successful parties due to no shows and it conflicting with family vacations and the like. This year though, the Girl decided to move her birthday to 10/21 so she can have a party. You know how that goes. You tell the kid, “Okay, we’ll celebrate on 10/21″ and then what ends up happening is that she gets more than one celebration. So yesterday, we ended up at breakfast to celebrate her 9th birthday and then hit Six Flags, you know… to celebrate some more. It was a great day! Great weather and no crowds!

Fright Fest 2012

Maybe The Boy was in a really good mood from the successful dance and his great race time or maybe he was just feeling all warm and fuzzy but he was really nice to his sis for her birthday. He purchased this photo which is evidence of course that the two CAN get along after all. I was grateful because by the end of the day, I was passed out on a cement bench staring up at the blue sky. Theme parks wipe me out and I don’t even go on the huge coasters. However, I don’t do dizzy and one ride did me in. I was done at that point. The Hub thought it was funny that a little kid ride did that to me but it did.

I had no time to read this weekend, but I am on the final pages of The Lighthouse Road and I just started (for real) 1222. I finally finished IT. So, SO glad I am finally done with that one.

I am swamped at work with this looming, black cloud of a deadline so I may not be able to get to my Google reader today, but I am thinking of you all and hoping you had a nice relaxing weekend.

BTW, in case anyone wants to know.. the kids got parts in The Music Man. The Boy did not get Harold Hill but ended up with Marcellus, Harold’s friend so he has a great dancing and singing part. The Girl did not get what she wanted, but she got a part as a majorette. I’m not sure what happened as they said she did really well but she is now a majorette instead. She’s okay but every now and then, there is some drama. Fitting, isn’t it?

Summer? What Summer?

I know that summer is not over just yet, but it feels like it to me. We didn’t get to take a vacation this year and I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. It’s made me a bit blue and well…rather crabby but I’m trying to rise above it.

Last week we did the back-to-school clothes shopping and although The Boy is pretty easy, The Girl is anything but! She is very particular with sizing. It has to fit just so and so we tend to get into it while in the dressing room. I don’t think that her jeans need to be painted on but apparently I am un-cool and don’t know.  Oh and the shoes!! How many shoes do kids need??? BOTH of my kids have really large feet and they just keep growing and now with cross country for The Boy, I have running shoes to invest in as well. I need a second job just to pay for these shoes!

And during all of this, my husband who was walking behind me stepped on the heel of my shoe (flat tire) and broke my shoe while we were shopping. Who does that??? I had to buy shoes for myself while my shoe was just dangling off of my foot. I felt like an idiot. Of course, the shoes I bought have given me nothing but blisters all week. That’s what happens when you buy shoes out of desperation. You get the shaft.

The good note?

All of this fall shopping has made me anxious for fall. I love fall. Warm sweaters, candles, the holiday drink menu at Starbucks. I love it all. So although I sort of skipped over summer, I am looking forward to fall and my son’s first year in high school!

Book Stack

What about reading?

As for reading, my summer list never really looked much like a summer reading list anyway but I’ve read five out of the original nine listed and a bunch of other books in between.

This stack that you see above? This is what happens to be staring me in the face at the moment. Two of those books are for tours and I have checked Divergent out four times and still haven’t gotten to it! It’s due next week, with holds, so if I don’t read it this weekend, I will once again be turning it in.

Right now, I am halfway through Gone Girl and wondering where the WOW is. Well, I might be a little further along than that but I keep waiting for the WOW that everyone talks about. I am also reading Norwegian Wood. I am nearly done with it. It’s definitely one of Murakami’s quieter novels. I am enjoying it for its peaceful simplicity.

Not much going on this weekend. I’d like to just watch a bunch of movies and read and maybe grill something but other than that, I don’t plan on doing much. Sounds just fine to me. Do you think it will happen?


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