Category Archives: fruity project


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.)


  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!


Travel Time 1 Hour


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.

Fruity Friday

Blogging University Day Fifteen:  Create A New Posting Feature.

I talk about many things on my blog.  My motivational series about not waiting for motivation to strike was popular, but the source of that was my fruity experiment.  My quitting smoking and sharing my idea of the False Quit Dates are important to me, but don’t garner much attention.  Quitting smoking is how I happened upon my fruity experiment.  I’m in the middle of my 24 Hour Day series and I am eager to get back to that.  The foundation of that series is also the result of my fruity experiment.

It is not lost on me that I created this Fruity Friday feature yesterday; a monumental day where the government legalized same-sex marriage and I might attract some unwanted attention from some rude people.  Let me assure you that this is not what my title is about and I see the derogatory term archaic anyway.  If you had thought that, I’m not going to apologize for you thinking that and I’m going to continue.  Besides, it maybe rather aloof and utopian but I can see how sticking with basic manners can put a huge dent into bullying and racism.

For my introduction of my new feature I will take the time to define the word fruity as something nourishing, healthy, and light and smells good.  Something produced such as:

  • the fruit of the spirit
  • the fruit of my labor
  • the fruit of my manners

I’m excited because on Thursday I found something that inspired me to write and by the time the assignment came around I already had my first 5 topics written down and ready for edit.   This will be an awesome testing ground.

Man, next week my life will be totally different.  New job, new feature, new routine.  YES!

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.

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


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

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.

A 24 Hour Day : SLEEP 8 Hours (3rd in a series)


I start with sleep.  Not because it lops off our biggest chunk of the day, but because if you go long enough sleep is uncontrollable.  Sleep will literally overtake your body without you knowing it.  Ironic, as sometimes your body doesn’t go to sleep when you want it to.

We know we’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep and we are repeatedly told that sleep:

  • promotes weight loss
  • restores and repairs our bodies
  • creates more energy
  • is a stress reducer
  • promotes optimal hand eye coordination
  • promotes higher cognitive thinking

What it comes down to is that sleep makes us wake up brilliant, beautiful and productive.

I don’t know about you, but when approached with this topic, I used to get protective of my waking hours.  I would get defensive at the mere mention of “supposed to” or “required” when it comes to talking about sleep. Besides, I wanted to believe that I’m a better built human, who does more on less with that extra hour or two gained from sleeping less. Plus, look at the image.  A third of our day?  Isn’t that a lot to ask?  I feel like I’m running out of time just talking about it.

Now that I get a full nights sleep, of course it is easy for me to say that I can tell the difference.  I certainly like myself a lot better than I did when trying to survive on four to seven hours a night.

I remember the first time I conquered a night of tossing and turning.  I was in bed after a long day and mentally preparing for the next day of running non-stop.  Of course one doesn’t want to be caught off guard by being unprepared, so, I was trying to remember what I needed to remember.  You know, reviewing mistakes so I don’t repeat them, trying to make the schedule fit, and plan for the fallout that always comes from a tightly packed day.  … The usual stuff.

Then suddenly, I’m mad I’m not asleep yet.  Immediately, I’m stressing because I know that people who slog around from not enough sleep aren’t prepared.  Panic caught me when I realized, I am screwing it up before I even get started.  I moaned and bit my lip hoping I didn’t disturb my husband.  I needed him asleep, so I could get some sleep.  “Why, oh why, is reviewing my day and seeking some comfort and satisfaction in the plan, so I can drift off into blissful and competent sleep, not working!”

Isn’t that what we want?  To go to bed at night, bold, competent, content.  Isn’t that what ending your day as a success is all about?

All this stressful crap means something’s not right and needs fixing.  Right?

In the crux of my anxiety, I caught my breath and paused until I could feel my skin tingle and I had to remind myself to breathe.  In regret, I’m wishing and praying for some peace and quiet in my overtasked day because, MAYBE, if I had a moment’s peace I wouldn’t get myself into these stressful situations.

Then it occurred to me that it IS quiet.  Memories of what was and the way it should be, is that evenings are peaceful.  Night is quiet.  Most humans settle down for bed.  Even the animals settle in and restore themselves for the next day.  I caught the wonderment that, IT IS peaceful in the middle of the night.  Well then a train whistle went off and later an ambulance drove by to remind me that people are busy with both work and causing trouble in the middle of the night.  But still for the most part, this is the quiet moment that I’m always wishing and praying for, and I’m wasting it on stress.

Not anymore!  Here it is and I’m going to enjoy it.

Whenever a stressful thought crept in, I put it on hold.  Nothing I could do about it, so I quit thinking it and went back to marveling over the ambiance of my room.

I felt powerful controlling my thoughts.  I thought I’d feel careless.  Irresponsible.  But I didn’t.  I was in my space and I loved it.  I enjoyed myself so much … I fell asleep.

Of course it wasn’t that simple.  These things take practice.  Actually… I thought going to bed stressful and changing my thoughts was going to be the norm from then on, but it wasn’t.  In fact, if I have an odd night stressing, I can forget my new tools.  Eventually I remember so the entire night isn’t wasted.

Also there are nights where I just don’t sleep.  Instead of being angry I just lay there and try to keep myself as peaceful as I can.  I constantly tell myself, if I’m not asleep at least my body is in a state of rest.  This is not a fix, but I am more rested for the next day than if I had thrown a fit all night.

After that first night, I came up with a series of things.

  • If it’s that important, I’ll remember it.  If I don’t have that much faith in myself, then I think, if God wants me to remember it, I’ll remember it.  Sometimes that takes a little convincing but usually it works.
  • If it’s that important, and there is something to do about it, I should get out of bed and go do it.  If not, I have to quit harping on it and go to sleep.
  • I try to keep my eyes open in the dark, and watch the shadow play on the walls or ceiling.   Yes, that is freaky for some people, but it works.  When an invasive thought enters my mind, I refocus on a new shadow.  It’s as if the longer I keep my eyes open the faster I fall asleep.
  • I will also use my hearing.  Believe it or not, silence isn’t really silent.  Between sounds I try to see if I can hear the air.  It is pretty cool when you are away from the refrigerator humming or the DVR whirring.  Sound disappears into the night so I’m always seeking out a new one.  When I go to bed I’m usually asking, can you actually hear silence?

When you are laying there, in your own bed, in the middle of the night, you can come up with anything you want.  Just ask how yourself how you can clear your mind long enough to get to sleep.  It takes some practice.

Over the course of time this practice taught me how to deal with fear.  Nothing major, just normal everyday pesky fear that induces stress.  Fear that I am going to be late.  Fear that I am going to do it wrong.  Fear that it is going come to fruition ..  or not, for that matter.  (Whatever “it” is.)

I also learned about submission.  And how submission is not failure or giving up. When it comes down to it, nothing is going to get solved right there in the middle of the night.  If it was, I would still be up and taking care of it.

The problem is the effects aren’t noticed until the sleep you deprived yourself over the years is restored.  For me this took about three months.  Hey, I pushed the limits for a very long time.  Now I can say I won’t go back to my old ways.  Now I can handle a short night sleep and be pretty close to my best, as long as I don’t make it a way of life anymore.

My first entry for outlining the daily pressure of “I should” is sleep 8 hours.  Please stay tuned for the next entry coming soon.

Update …  May 18th 2015

A daily post prompt on something I already wrote about!  yay! 🙂

24 Hours In A Day: 2nd in a 13 part series


Here is a twenty-four hour day.  It is the same twenty-four hours as my Grandmother’s, her Grandmother’s, and her great-grandmother’s.

It is the same 24 hour day that we ALL have.

I was in my twenties with two children when I took a breath in my hectic day and asked, “Shouldn’t something be different?  We have all these machines, a dishwasher, a washing machine and dryer, vacuums, all to make life easier.  Why isn’t this easier?  I don’t have five and ten kids like my grandmother and great-grandmother before me.”

I can argue, “These days women work?”

Okay.  Well, my Grandmother worked and she had it more put together than I did, with more children.

Although relevant, the history of working women is a debate for another day.  There are so many variables it’s easy to get distracted from the topic.  The purpose for this series is the state of contentment, happiness, and capability for all women of this generation.  It doesn’t matter if you work or stay home.  It doesn’t matter what race you are.  It doesn’t matter if you have children.  It doesn’t matter if you are married.  We all have the same 24 hour day and something is wrong.

It wasn’t until my thirties when I had it with all the repetitive striving to get through the day, when I had put the two thoughts together:

  • humans in the past are presented as happy and got mad.
  • In this age, we’re all searching for happiness.

If today, we are all searching for happiness what are we trying to switch from?  Anger? Disgruntled? Depressed?

I couldn’t accept that people in the past had less stress?  Or, different stress?  They had the Great Depression and their kids died on them all the time.  During an epidemic, my great-grandmother found two children in one day and that was after two others had died earlier in the week.  And I think waiting in a doctor’s office is stressful.

Like. Seriously?

I think we may have lost some tools from that generation to this. Something that made us unflappable against adversity.

What is relevant; I was always trying to put family first and no matter what I did, It felt like I had actually put my family last.  In the meantime my kids grew up and I’m not sure if I taught them how to properly wrangle this 24 hour day.

I had to figure it out.  I got out the timer and went through all the mundane daily goals I could find. I had to learn how to protect my good day.  These are things we feel pressured from both outside sources and internal wants and needs.

You are not going to agree with me on some of these points.  You are going to fight for your own specific wants. You will compete with me and think it won’t take that long and you can do it faster.  I say this, because I created the dang thing and I still fight myself on this.  Basically, at the end of this scenario, is where we would part ways and become individuals.  So if you can do it better than I can, you will have more time for that.

Also keep in mind if you are single there’s probably some room for comfort.  The more people involved in your household the more pressure you will feel.

Stick with me to the end and you’ll see what I mean.

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