Saturday, April 29, 2017

Please Sir, I Want Some More

It seems everyone wants more of everything these days. I remember a time I wanted more. More house when the walls felt as though they were closing in on me while raising 4 daughters in a 1300 sq ft house. More car when I needed more room to haul those 4 delightful creatures and a golden retriever. More weekends and holidays when they were in school. More time when it seemed they were growing up way too quickly. As I've gotten older. the things I want more of have changed.

I want more of less. I want more quiet. I want more alone time. I want more creative abilities. I want more motivation. But do y'all see the problem here? I'm still wanting more of something instead of being happy with what I have been given. 

No matter what it is, it seems it is not what I want so I want more of the things I want without being as appreciative as I should of the things I have been given. How's that for wordy? Goodness.

When do I arrive at the place where I appreciate the quiet times I have as well as the not so quiet ones? When do I become ever so thankful for what creative abilities I do have and stop wanting better or more? When do I become happy with what I have without wanting more?

When does that time come when more is not even a thought because satisfaction with the gifts we have are quite enough?

It's not that I believe wanting more is a bad thing but, when we forget to appreciate the things, people, abilities, etc that we do have, wanting more seems rather silly. (My 5 minutes stopped here)

I get it. I see the better out there. I see the more out there. And I believe we somehow learn it at a very early age- do more, get more, be more... How do we draw the line between wanting more just because it seems bigger or better or the people seem happier and realizing what we have is enough for us?

Perhaps seeing the value in what we do have, the fact that these things and people are gifts will help with drawing that line and being happy right where we are and show future generations that happiness doesn't necessarily lie in having more.

I'm a day late. This is becoming a habit, y'all. This post is linked to Five Minute Friday.  The prompt this week is MORE.

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles!
There's a special running through the month of April!
$10.00 OFF your purchase of $30.00 or more! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Why We Didn't Use Schedules in the Summertime

I still keep up with the school schedule not only because of teacher daughter but also because old habits die hard. When you raise 4 daughters certain norms develop in your life that tend to stick forever. Add to that the fact that you were a full-time volunteer at their schools and when they grew up and left your nest empty you decided to take a teaching position in their elementary school keeping up with the county school schedule becomes etched in wherever it is life stuff gets etched. I was still getting up in the mornings the same time I did when my life was school oriented until a couple months ago. Now, I let myself sleep all the way to 6;00 some mornings.

Keeping up with the school schedule is beneficial especially when towards the end of the year. The practice enables you to:

  • know when the traffic is going to be less stressful at least twice each day
  • know you need to be careful around the neighborhood when driving through
  • know when your teacher friends are going to be ready to hang out without looking tense and sucking down margaritas like there's no tomorrow...just kidding, they'll still do the latter
  • know when you don't have to worry about your teacher daughter driving 30 minutes through traffic on one of the most dangerous roads in Charleston County to get to her school
  • know when the county breathes a collective sigh of relief
  • know, if you're a teacher you are one year closer to retirement
If you have school aged kiddos, knowing the end of the year schedule sparks a pep in your step because you know:
  • when packing those school lunches is almost over for the summer or a break
  • all the extra work of putting on luncheons, room mom-ing, stressing over homework and schedules is coming to a much-desired end
  • your kids' stress over testing is quelled for a couple months
  • you get a break from running yourself crazy between school and after school activities
  • no summer PTA meetings 
  • having to do the laundry whether you want to or not because the kids need to wear clothes to school
  • no worrying about which programs to join
  • no fundraisers
  • you're one year closer to an empty nest
Ahhh, summer. When it arrives all who are in any way remotely connected with the schools breathes easier once again able to relax for a minute. Unless you're one of those moms who puts their kids into every conceivable summer program out there. I was not that mom.

Kids should relax and be kids in summer. 

Summer time in our household meant slow, easy days and nights. We played the one day at a time card all summer long. We lazed around, we went to the beach (this was a daily practice since it's only 3 miles away), we went to the pool, we read, we watched movies, we had cookouts, basked in the sun, ran around the yard, visiting grandparents, went to the lake, celebrated birthdays, walked nature trails, rode bicycles... We enjoyed our summer without such joy stealers as schedules. Summer time was a time for my girls to just be kids. 

Summer busy is different from school year busy. 

I suppose you could say our summers were busy if, by busy you mean full. Of fun. Of relaxation. Because summer busy is different from school year busy. One means active, one means work. One means slow and easy, the other means fast and furious. One means smelling the roses, the other means mowing down the roses so they don't distract you. 

Summer heat is not something I like one little bit. But summer focus? I'm always on board with summer focus. Even in an empty nest. 

Surf's up, dudes! 

Are you on board with a relaxed summer focus? 

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles!
There's a special running through the month of April!
$10.00 OFF your purchase of $30.00 or more! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Showers Bring the Hodgepodge

These weeks are flying by, y'all! Goodness, I hardly have the time to read before another Wednesday arrives and BOOM! I thought life would slow down once grandchildren entered the picture but this has not been the case. If anything, I'm trying to keep the pace of a 30 or 40 something-year-old in a not 30 or 40 something-year-old body. 

It is nice to slow down and think about the Hodegpodge questions and read everyone's responses. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Not at all. Until Monday when the bottom dropped out and left everything so lush and green. I felt like I was in a rain forest. Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Most of the time I make a run for it because we don't have much rain and because when it does rain my umbrella and rain jacket are never where I am. Besides rain, what else has filled your April? This little goober:

She really gets into her books. 

2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation? Digital citizenship and internet safety. Raising daughters. Topics concerning early childhood development. How to kill house plants. How to fail at vegetable gardening. Other than that, nothing. 

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood. Some of the very best times in my childhood took place in my grandmother's kitchen. Most of you have heard tales about Grandmother and her food from me many times but those are some of the best times EVER. I always stood there chatting away with Grandmother while she prepared meals and baked good including bread. She would show me how to do everything she was doing. I loved it when she was baking cakes because I would get the mixing bowl and the beaters to lick. Except Grandmother didn't believe in wasting a darn thing so that bowl and those beaters had way less goodness on them than I would have liked. I licked them clean anyway. 

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong? Hahahaha! It's not me. 

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? None. Did you feel like a tourist? Nope because I have never been to any of those places. Did you care? I wouldn't have. Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway. Myrtle Beach. And the only thing I love about it are the memories I have of it when I was growing up in the years before it got so touristy I won't go near it for anything. It's the WORST.

6. Your signature clothing item? My oversized blue overshirt. I love that thing. 

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Being a grandmother. Why? Because it's the best thing EVER!

8. Insert your own random thought here. I have to share this. It's the best family portrait EVER. Don't worry, she didn't actually hit the ground. Her mommy is fast. But I LOVE this photo! It's just perfect. 


I'm working on new coasters for the Etsy shop. I want HONEST opinions, y'all. Thanks!

Have a great rest of the week, y'all! 

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles!
There's a special running through the month of April!
$10.00 OFF your purchase of $30.00 or more! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Clean It Up

I wrote a post a few weeks back about purging the attic which hadn't been touched-- other than to throw more junk in there so it would be out of sight-- in 28 years. What. A. Mess. I didn't make my cut-off date but I am still going. I have to depend on others to go up those terrifying ladder rungs because of my knee and my fear of heights.

I do not want to leave my kids with a mess.

One huge reason other than wanting to get rid of things not needed by anyone was to clean up and get rid of a huge mess so that the lovelies wouldn't have to deal with it all when I'm not longer around. I do not want to leave my kids with a mess to clean when I should have dealt with it myself. I know they'll be so busy mourning me anyway. HA!

Simplifying my life brings me peace. 

Purging the attic made me realize I have many other areas in the house I need to get in order not only for the kids but also because it will make me feel better about the house. Simplifying my life brings me such peace. When things are packed tight and messy, this empty nester is not a happy camper.

Improving my health will make me less of a burden later. 

But what about health? I suddenly realized the better my health, the less likely I will either become a burden to the lovelies or, at the very least, lessen the amount of time they have to be caregivers. Or the less time I have to spend in assisted care. I know some of those places are nice and all but I do not relish the thought of spending my later years in one. At the same time, I don't want to but such a burden that the lovelies would have to interrupt their lives and lifestyles to accommodate me and my needs. Especially if it happens because I chose not to improve my health when I could have. When it would still have made a difference.

Hats off to caregivers. They are amazing!

I should have thought about this when my mother had her gall bladder out and I discovered I am NOT the caregiver type. Oh, sure. When it comes to a grandbaby, no problem. My issue is with adults. I am not a good caretaker of adults. I would much rather source that out to those wonderful, amazing people who do this all the time. Seriously, crowns in heaven. It doesn't matter how good a caregiver is, I am one of the most private people I've ever known. I like to keep everything private and I do not like being taken care of by others. When I find myself in that position, I feel dehumanized. I know part of it is my obsessive about privacy but some of it is because I've always been let down in a dependency situation.

I want the best quality of life for myself and my family. 

There's a huge, selfish plus to getting the attic, the rest of the house, and my health/fitness level in order--- I can relax and enjoy the last third of my life without worrying about needing to do it or leaving it for the lovelies or other relatives to deal with. I'm talking about our quality of life. And I want the best quality not only for myself but also for my family.

What are your thoughts on this?

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles!
There's a special running through the month of April!
$10.00 OFF your purchase of $30.00 or more! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lacking that Tune in the Proverbial Bucket

Lovely2 has one of the most beautiful singing voices I've ever heard. When she auditioned for high school chorus I was standing outside the door. I hear the most gorgeous voice and wondered who was singing. It was Deanie. She still sounds like an angel when she sings.

Now, for the rest of the Lovelies and myself? We can barely carry a tune in a bucket. Well, Lovely1 and Lovely3 can, sort of, but Lovely4 and me? Nope. Guess who loves to sing more than anyone else in the family? That's right. DoodleBug and I.

We try not to expose others to our singing if we can help it but we have been known to let loose when in the car together or separately. The most fun is when we're together though. We might not be able to carry a tune in that bucket, but in our hearts, we've got music. We've got soul. We've got what it takes to sing in our loudest voices. And it's not like we sound like the rocking chair on cat's tail--though we sort of get close.

When we accidentally hit a note right on key we get so excited we sing even louder. But hey, most of the time we do get the lyrics right.

No matter, DoodleBug and I LOVE to sing. We LOVE music. We love to sing together. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm a day late. Again. Goodness. This post is linked to Five Minute Friday.  The prompt this week is: Sing.

Please visit my Etsy shop, CoasterDoodles!
There's a special running through the month of April!
$10.00 OFF your purchase of $30.00 or more! 

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