Category Archives: Day to Day Living

FRUITY FRIDAY BLOGGING EVENT

fruitA social experiment examining six virtues.

This event is open to everyone.

Since there are misconceptions that quitting smoking starts with the quit date, which it doesn’t, I’m inviting at least ten smokers to join this event.  (Don’t worry, you won’t quit by the end of this 6 week event!  Your merely collecting information.)

Directions:

  1. Follow this blog to receive an e-mail for the event of the week.
  2. To start immediately and to connect with others partaking in the event, introduce yourself in the comment section.
  3. On Friday go to your blog and write a post that pertains to this event and link to this one to create a ping back.
  4. Check your e-mail to receive your next fruity virtue.
  5. Repeat for 6 weeks.

Now, while you are waiting for Friday, take a step back and get into observation mode.  Watch your world and the people in it, at work, at home, in line at the store, or on the road.  On your first Friday write an introductory post on your blog with your first thoughts and expectations.

Think easy.  Don’t put forth any change except for hanging back and observing.  As you go about your day think about how you normally interact with others and watch for people who react the same as you would.

No one needs to know what you are doing.  If anyone happens to remark about how quiet you are, wait for them to ask, (don’t beat them to the punch) then tell them you are battling insomnia.  That excuse should get you through this six-week Fruity Experiment.  After that you go back to normal and you talk about it if you want.

The virtues will be in a different order than presented in the picture above. You can jump in anytime with the virtue presented for that week.  The event will roll over seamlessly to get you back where you started.

You may participate in the event more than once.  You don’t have to do anything but keep on going.

Happy Observing

Happy Writing!

Blog On!

On Writing

Writing is one big, long prayer.

Whether it is non-fiction or dressed up as fiction, writing tells it how it is, demonstrates what is going on, shows how it could be.

It admits guilt, addresses hate, pride, fear, and calls for change.

It celebrates the good in the most profound way.

Similarly it’s perfect in its imperfection.  Could always do better, use another word, … always an incomplete sentence or an incoherent thought.  You only know if you’ve done a good job if you’ve come away both spent and energetic, purged but full, and nothing has changed, but… yet, something has.

Homework 1Hour

Slide07 An hour or more for homework.  Does anyone remember teachers announcing that if there wasn’t any homework, to make some up by re-reading the chapter, or to run through the times table, or just open your book and study. Now grown up, it didn’t go away. If you have children of your own, you still have to make this time to stay on them to get it done AND be available for homework help.  Then of course you’ll run into something you barely remember and will have to research it before you can teach it. OR, if you bring work home with you, your still carving this time out for homework …and wouldn’t matter if you have children or not. Even still, this isn’t about the typical homework we are all familiar with.  Recently the collective is laying it on thick with making time for reading, puzzles, brain teasers maintain brain health. How long does it take you to do a crossword puzzle?  20 minutes?  How long does it take you to do a crossword by a different author? Then also, how tempting is the word Jumble and Sudoku right next to the crossword? Does it take you an hour to do all the puzzles in the daily paper?  When I started doing crossword puzzles, it’d take me all day.  (I’d put it down and go back to it.)  It didn’t take long before I could finish some puzzles inside an hour. If all this doesn’t matter to you in the grand scheme of things, it’s one more thing to think about when the collective brings it up and nags about another thing to do and that “nagging feeling” is what we are talking about here.  So for this exercise it’s an hour no matter what you’ve got going on. (if you caught it, I got turned around, so, yes, pink/travel time is missing here and mint/homework suddenly appeared in the last installment.  As of this posting we are at 17 out of 24. I view homework as more important than travel time, but travel time is one of those that happen because it is going to happen such as sleep, or eat, or getting ready, and as for cleaning … eventually you’ll get thirsty and have to clean a glass, or wash a shirt for something to wear.  Homework although more important is something that you have to remember and make the time to do it.  Hence the unintentional flip-flop. In the end when it is all stacked up, one way or another it doesn’t matter.  Follow this blog to find out why.  As of this posting we are at 17 out 24 hours.)

Travel Time 1 Hour

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I explained this to my daughter once. Even though I thought I did my fair share of driving everyone to accommodate their plans, she was mad that I didn’t do it more often for her and her friends.  As we left the driveway, I pointed to the clock on the dash and said we will time it. It took 10 minutes.  Then I explained that it is going to take 10 minutes to get back home.  That is a total of 20 minutes.  Then, when I go pick her up, I have to take another 20 minutes to do it all over again.  A total of 40 minutes. Then add time for each kid to pick up or drop off along the way.

A total of 40 minutes!

Actually I enjoyed having “car-time” with my kids and I love driving.  What I didn’t like was how much time it actually took just to make a short jaunt.

…Plus all the stopping and starting, to get home to start something then stop and pick everyone up.

…And… that it seemed to happen when I wanted to eat.  (we usually cook once then fend for ourselves for two days.)

For travel time, that is just dropping kids off at the skate park, movies, or at a friend’s house.  So what else is there:

  • to work and back
  • to school and back
  • multiple schools …with different start times?
  • errands
  • do you work out at home or at a gym?

If all this traveling takes more than an hour for you, we probably already have it covered with something I overshot with eating or cleaning or something.  By the way this is just the travel time to do errands, not the errand itself.  That is coming up later.

If you have ever got home and marveled at how long it took just to make a few stops; this is why.  It all adds up.

TGIM: Thank God It’s Monday

source unknown

source unknown

Today’s lesson in Blogging 101 is to participate in a blogging event from the Community Event Listings.   I chose to take part in the Thank God It’s Monday event from TASTE & SEEeven though it’s Wednesday and not Monday.

Why?  Well it doesn’t really make a difference anymore.  In our 24/7/365 lifestyle the weekend up and disappeared.  Poof.  We have days off now and they don’t always line up with Saturday and Sunday.  My Wednesday might be your Friday and your Monday might be my Tuesday.   For those who work 12 hr shifts they may have a Saturday and 2 Sundays.  The communal routine to get off work on Friday, get smashed, go to church on Sunday and ask for forgiveness to start the grind all over again on Monday is no more.

I chose this blogging event because I actually experienced what it is like to truly enjoy Mondays.  Things were so bad, that I wanted to put the week behind me and get fresh start.  Days off meant a stasis in the status quo.  I was trying to prevent things from getting worse and I had to work to get out of it.  The present sucked.  I was fighting, clawing, and pulling, to drag the future towards me.  With that I suddenly loved Mondays … couldn’t wait for them to get here.  Forget “the future is now” I wanted the future to be yesterday.  Mondays meant new opportunities, new chances, another step in the RIGHT direction. I wanted MORE of them.

Today, I have a less obsessive and more balanced outlook on Mondays.  If I love my job, (the biggest cause for hating Mondays) if I love my family, if I relish life, shouldn’t I love Mondays?

After the break of the weekend, shouldn’t everyone look forward to meeting the people they work with?   Shouldn’t I enjoy working with them.  Everyday is another day to experience family life, not just the weekends.  Everyday is another day to produce who I am to my family and their opportunity to produce who they are to me.  That is not dependent on a Monday or a Friday.

Day 4 Blogging 101: Dream Reader

I would absolutely love it if an agent or publisher would read my blog.  That is my dream reader.  Plus, of course, anyone else out that we’d marketed to after they signed me.

Except at the end of the day, if no one is reading, when there has been a lack of stats; the people I’m really talking to is my kids, and possibly my future grand-kids.  That’s who I think about.

Conversations are sometimes frustrating.  Probably one of the worst things I do to myself is I follow what other people are saying and get involved with contemplating their opinion that I forget my point.  Then of course, there is the usual “I should have said that,” because the best things are always thought of after the conversation.  Then of course there are all the interruptions.  They come from the people themselves, to the phone, to animals, or even an emergency.  Big or small, light or heavy, there are always interruptions.

So when I pass on some wisdom to my kids and I can tell there was no impact, but then later maybe had given it some thought … or if they have ever wondered what in the world was I thinking … then they know where to go. Or at least I’d like to think so.

I like writing and I love editing.  When I am writing on here i really hone in my point of view for the way life is.  In most cases, it takes me a couple of days to complete so I have time to think of things to include.  It’s nice that I can get a whole and complete thought out there and in the end I hope my children benefit from it.

Introduction: Blogging 101

Hello Everybody!

I can just about guess that you found me through the June 2015 Blogging 101 class.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting to get started all last week, so welcome!

Our first assignment: Introductions.

Q: Who am I and why am I here?

A: I am a writer and I need to promote. (check side bar) Someday, I hope I can afford to pay someone for a grand/multi-faceted marketing scheme, but it starts here.

Q: Why am I blogging publicly, rather than keeping  a personal journal?

A: Because the things I write about (er um, hash out) need to be said publicly.  I grew up in the seventies and eighties, where everyone was trying to put into practice this massive change from the 60’s.  I don’t want to reverse any accomplishments we made, but I do think we need to run back and pick up some tools we lost along the way.

Q: What topics do you think you’ll write about?

A:  A favorite post that sums up this question is here.  Mostly how to get a handle on life.  How we need to stop hating the term Homemaker, or even housewife, because if you reside somewhere, you are making yourself a home.  Like it or not a working woman is a homemaker.

Q: Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

A: I would love to connect with others like me. But I recognize the need to communicate with others who aren’t.

Q: If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

A: Longevity.  By doing this introduction, I recognized that I am pretty happy with this where this blog is going and do think of it as a permanent fixture that will last long into retirement.  Last month I thought my answer would be to replace my measly income with a measly writing income.  This month something may have happened where I might be able to blend my career and writing a little more than I do now, with an increased income.  I think I am hours away from finding out.  (fingers crossed with prayers on top)

Good Luck and hope to meet you in the commons and don’t forget to hit follow before you leave.

24 Hour Day: Getting Ready 2 hours

Slide05 I know I have spent two hours on just getting myself ready for the day.  To shower, shave, and do the 3-step beauty routine.  Get out of the shower, dry off, and lotion up.  Then comb, add product, blow dry, and style my hair.  Then on to a complete make-up routine, which, by the way, grows with the addition of serums and primers.  Nails? Mostly get done outside of this two-hour block of time. If they get done at all because I can’t wear nail polish at work. The routine continues on with choosing what to wear, along with jewelry, and accessories.

Okay, okay… I don’t get into choosing a handbag, but I do love a good WoW factor for a shoe.  … wait, maybe it’s a seamless transition to the shoe.  …BUT!  With a good pop of color.   (See what I mean.)

Needless to say I also have a short routine … and a shorter one.

Have you tried “going all out” in your beauty routine to see how long it takes? I write this because I imagine you have.  If not for vanity then at least to test some limits.  To create some boundaries of enough is enough.  How do I choose what to do and what not to do?

Okay, this does not plague me all day long, but there is a struggle between vanity and short-changing myself. I may brag about my 10-20 minute A.M. beauty routine, but throughout the day something less assure creeps up on me.  Especially when catching glimpses of my reflection here and there, “Would my hair hold it’s shape if I had just spent a little more time this morning?  Am I throwing out signals that I neglect myself?”

This segment was another one that was hard to pin down while keeping everyone in mind.  I know not every one has kids.  I’m not sure how many people get their spouses ready, as their might be some.  I do expect that both spouses and kids are constantly interrupting as they need to find something, get an opinion, or need a shoe tied. Yet, my husband gets ready faster than I do, and then scrapes my windshield. I’m guessing that anyone trying to set a comfortable pace for getting ready are going to find things, like scraping a windshield, to use the time up.

I’m getting carried away here and need to remember that for this specific time segment a half hour is allocated for bedtime.  Yep bedtime — brush teeth, wash face, put jammies on.  For those of you who allow three hours before work, don’t forget we allocated an hour for breakfast in the last segment.

We all know this evening routine is a struggle.  That’s why those wet facial towelettes were invented! If there is anyone who still thinks two hours is a ridiculous amount time for primping, let’s go to the gym and get ready for a third time after our sweaty work-out. Seriously, my exercise routine didn’t become more routine until I got a handle on this getting ready stuff. Why? Because when you think of doing an hour workout, you think of 60 minutes.  It gets discouraging when that hour becomes an hour and twenty minutes before you get a chance to be involved with your next demand.

In the end, my seeking to find a comfortable time frame became even more uncomfortable.  When, I allowed too much time, it was really hard to not pack more stuff in.  The effect quickened the pace and increased the feeling of, “not enough time.”  I kept at it and worked through it, but it was tough going because the running total is at 13 out of 24 hours.  We have used more than half a day, and we really haven’t even walked out the door yet.  We’ve talked about it, but with a bed time routine, sleep, three meals, and getting ready for the day, it’s possible that we are still home.

Kickstarter Updates

funnything

Risks and Challenges (update 5/16/15)

When building a campaign, Kickstarter asks to describe the risks and challenges to your project. The risk that it takes me forever to develop a quality book as people are looking for help to quit smoking is what drove me to Kickstarter.

All I want is to take one year to be a writer and completely immerse myself in my work to see what I can accomplish. That is what gets my heart racing. That is what tantalizes my hope. That is what feeds my American Dream.

I don’t want to get meticulous over creating a half-assed cover when I can pay someone who enjoys the work and will put out an excellent cover. Someone else can do that while I am writing.

I want to have deep discussions and near arguments with my editor over structure, grammar, and continuity. I want to pay my editor for a job that she loves and IS so good at. We, in our writers group, tease that she should have wrote the “Nitpickers Guide to Star Trek.” Yeah, she is that pedantic. Exactly what you want in an Editor.

Most of all it is excruciating that the book is not finished yet. Everyday I do something toward the completion of this book. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing a side project so I can learn what I don’t know, or strengthening my marketing muscle, or working on the book itself. A day goes by and another day goes by and most are productive for the time I am able to put in and another day goes by. Five years worth of days have went by. I have allowed that to happen because this is what I want to do. The risk of not meeting my Kickstarter goal is that my status-quo will continue and that is just sad.

What is failure?

That I didn’t do enough to write full time in 2016 and that I have to go back to dividing my attention. Doing that has no bearing on finishing the book and all rewards will be honored, albeit the high-end rewards would be post deadline.

I have 3 days left of my campaign to take one year and finish my book on quitting smoking. I’m going after it.

What are you going to do? Back a sure thing? Or are you looking for a risk? It only takes a dollar for you to be part of a sure thing. That is the beauty of Kickstarter.

Quit Smoking App (5/11/15)

Watching the release of the Apple watch has got me thinking about my quit smoking app again. It would be full of information that the user enters.

The next False Quit Date
The current issue
solutions for that issue
a place to take notes and jot down epiphanies
The user could choose from exercises and prompts from the book or choose to enter their own. Most likely four words or less. All the user needs is a reminder to flash across the screen a couple times a day to keep their focus. With two or three reminders set at different times, their day is pretty much full without being dominating.

I suspect the user would start off with topics in the book then quickly take off with their own notes and ideas. After all, this process is set up for the user to rip it apart and make it their own.

If smokers are reluctant to quit, how are you going to get people to read your book? From that, it sounds like your niche market is a bunch of reluctant readers. (update 5/5/15)

Oh yeah. Definitely. My first BIG hurdle in getting people to read the book is backlash against controlling them, their smoking, and their quitting. I have to overcome this immediate threat that I’m the one who will take their smokes away.

I have been writing this for a little while now. In the meantime I have been building multiple marketing platforms.

This past year I took Chapter 3, “The Fruit of the Spirit” and expanded it into a six book series that targets non-smokers as well as smokers. I call these short books “commuter reads.” If you are a passenger on public transit you can download the book and have it finished by the time your flight or “commute” is over. I hope these readers return to buy the quitting smoking book for loved ones. I also continue to build platforms with social marketing and my blog.

This is the very reason why I’m asking for help. I need to put out a distinctive book and persue a quality marketing campaign to transcend this reluctant outlook.

If you’re looking to back a project that promotes health and well-being, then awesome, I’m looking for you too and I’m so glad you stopped by.

Why do I think it’s odd that I got a life on the way to quitting smoking?  (5/3/15)

Most of the information that surrounds quitting smoking pushes the idea that life improves after you quit. Your heart rate slows down. Your blood pressure lowers. Lung health improves. More oxygen and less chemicals in your blood stream. You’ve heard it.

Before I finally grasped the concept of the the False Quit Dates, it occurred to me that if you present both a smoker and a non-smoker with the same agitation, a smoker would stop and go smoke before they could get a handle on the situation and a non-smoker would have to just deal with it.

All of the sudden, smoking didn’t sound so tough anymore. Although, I always came back and dealt with the problem, it was still quite disturbing and shook at the core of what I thought was my character … my identity. Furthermore, life would always throw something in the way of my goal to quit. It was the recurring theme of every quit date I ever attempted.

I’m not the only one. Life continues being life and doesn’t stop just because a person wants to quit smoking. You’ve heard it … “something happened, it was overwhelming, so I went and bought a pack of smokes. Now is not the right time. I’ll try again later.”

I had to learn how to deal with that before I quit smoking and that is how my life improved on the way to quitting.

Why Kickstarter? (4/30/15)

Because that is how I believe the world works.

I believe in giving a leg up.

I believe an untested talent is a waste.

If you think it? I believe you need to create it!

I was putting my own failed project behind me when I found out about Kickstarter. Even with my wounded and bruised ego, I still signed up to be a backer. As broke as I was, I knew I could participate in putting action behind a person’s idea. All that was needed was a dollar and a status update and that would mean the world to the project creators. To get another person on board that says, “Yes! I like that idea. Go for it!” is heartwarming. It’s exciting! At the time, I had to believe that still existed. Kickstarter is an ongoing example that it does.

24 Hour Day: Eating 3 hours (4th in a series)

Slide04

Check it out!  Both eating and sleeping create fuel for our bodies and we spend ELEVEN hours on it! That’s one hour shy of half a day!

Now hold on … don’t get competitive with me and start thinking you can accomplish all that faster than me.  I can be quick about it too, so bear with me here.   The point is, if we did the mundane-everyday, the way we wanted, without short-changing ourselves, what would our day look like?

To start I focused on one meal; supper.  My first calculations were 30-40 minutes cooking … If that is true, then the same amount of time had better be spent enjoying the meal, then and additional 20-30 minutes cleaning up.  Allowing for fluctuation, I figured roughly 40+30+20=1.5 hours.

I knew I was on to something because I hit a nerve.  My friends let me know I did.  Let me tell ya, my curiosity brought on some huffy conversations.

They exclaimed that it would take up their whole night.  If they’re off work by 5:00; home, settled in, and start supper right before 6:00, it’s nearly 7:30 when it’s all done.

I understood, in their minds, this meant they’re still working …still up and moving around.  At least until they sit down to eat.

Then if the children’s bedtime is 8:30-9:00?   That doesn’t leave much downtime before getting ready for bed.  Where did their evening go?

Their point was, supper blows their whole evening.  Hence my curiosity and quasi-research.

Now mind you, I was talking about the ideal supper, figuring that every night we’d want to hit that ideal as close as possible.  Along with a few cheat nights squeezed in-between.  When we say the word supper, a vision appears.  A table is involved, people are seated, there’s a table setting, and a more elaborate meal, which involves more time, more expense, and creates more dishes.  Realistically, we know this goal will only be reached a few times, but we would be doing pretty good in the process.

Except, I’m not talking about goals. I’m talking about time.  How much time does it take to eat three meals a day.  And remember this is not a race. We can all whip out some ramen noodles, eat, put the dish in the sink and be done in fifteen minutes.  But, that too is part of my point.  How do you get a realistic time, when, cooking, eating and cleaning up, take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour and half?

Eventually, I went with an hour for each meal for a total of three hours a day.  You can do all sorts of stuff with that. You could have a forty minute breakfast and lunch and spend an hour and ten minutes on supper.  You could eat breakfast and do the dishes for later.  If work only gives you a half hour for lunch, you can make it up on other meals.  Hey, on the weekends you can spend two hours on just cooking.

Anyway, trying to mishmash ideals with realism is a pain in the butt.  So three hours a day to cook, eat, and clean up at an enjoyable pace.  (Can you tell I’m fighting the urge to change it again?) In the end of the 24 Hour Day you will see why it is useless to quibble over a few minutes.  Please bear with me.

Just like sleep, the focus with eating is about making us brilliant, beautiful and productive.  In other words; healthy.

Currently there is a push towards eating healthy, but think about it, eating is healthy.  If we don’t eat, we die.

Cooking healthy seems so hard …  cooking from scratch sounds like a lot of effort.

I wanted the prestige of, “No one can beat mom’s sweet potato pie … beef stew … pumpkin bread.” But one day it dawned on me that cooking from scratch is one of the easiest, healthiest, and fastest ways to cook.  Get this …

… there is nothing faster nor healthier than broiling some pork chops or chicken with some salt and pepper, steam some broccoli, and then serving a salad for supper.   No kidding.  Nearly faster than the microwave.

Okay, I put the pork chops on the broiling pan and turn the oven to a lower temp than broil, so maybe it isn’t that fast.  But, it is fast enough.

As a feminist this is what gets my goat.  In the 80’s there was this real push for men to do part of the housework.  It was all about 50/50 and a two-way street, and if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours.  Well, not only did the men step up and take on cooking duties, they proved they were better at cooking.  (At least in this household, my husband gets all the ooh’s and aahs’.) The men went ahead and made it fun.

when men enjoy cooking

What happens when men enjoy cooking  www.flickr.com

They moved the chore outdoors and built these beautiful and elaborate outdoor kitchens.  I mean come on will ya!  How DID they have the time to do that!

Okay, my goat is got, I’m moving on.

The point is, we need to eat.  If we need to eat, we need to learn how to cook.  If not for our families than at least to take care of ourselves.

Some really positive things come out of eating two or three meals a day.

  • If you know when your next meal is coming there is less cheating on your diet and less compulsive eating and smaller portions.
  • Healthier choices are made when thinking through a meal plan.  Planning ahead = good choices.
  • Fewer mood swings. Body functions such as blood sugar levels stabilize.  Plus feeling of contentment from a constant full feeling.
  • Of course eating regular meals makes us brilliant, beautiful, productive with a steady infusion of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and oils.
  • Quality time with the family is a bonus.

In the past, I would often exclaim that I forgot to eat.  One of my biggest challenges was recognizing that I didn’t forget to eat, but “I forgot to allow time to cook.”

We don’t forget to eat.  Eventually we start scrounging for something.  Once I put allowing the time to cook to practice, it was much easier to “positively procrastinate” with some items on the Things To Do list.  It was then, I learned that cooking and eating wasn’t a chore or demand to take care of others.  It was a means to take care of myself.  Taking care of others is a bonus.  Sharing myself through a meal is a joy.  Not a demand, or something that gets in the way of living life.  Nor!  A guilt trip for something that I didn’t get done today.

I should enjoy taking care of myself just as I do any other time with selecting a style and a beauty routine.  Cooking is not only for those who have the talent.  It is a necessity for the fuel of life.  This outlook won’t take away from those who do, in fact it will probably lend more support.

There was an impact from the men who have fun with cooking, what would happen if the women had fun with it?  I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who do and I’m not sure if we truly celebrate it.  We need to let go of the fear that a women’s time in the kitchen is going to hurt the cause.  In reality, anyone’s time in the kitchen is a celebration of life.

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