Monday, February 6, 2017

Ground Hogs....What Do They Know?

Today is absolutely glorious!
The sun is out, the air is warmish, well at least the wind isn't blowing, and the birds were actually singing in the trees.
Maggie and I had a wonderful walk, and it really does lift the spirits.
I have been in something of a funk for the last few days, and this break in winter was just what I needed.
I have work to do inside this afternoon but now I have the energy to do it.

Brendan and Paul are both sick right now. There is a fluish bug going around and Paul has been hit really hard. Brendan's case isn't so bad, but he still feels yucky and has no energy.
Paul says that he is feeling a bit better today, so I will put off the trip to the doctor.

Well, off to do some cleaning. I am going to change the hamster cage. At least he hasn't made any weather predictions like some other rodents that I could mention.

Monday, January 23, 2017


In one capacity or another, I have been a professional organizer for around 10 years, and for most of those years I have been organizing with Sappari Solutions, a great company run by a good friend. I have learned a tremendous amount in the years that I have worked for Nettie, and I count it as time well spent. Over the last few weeks, however, I could feel the need to make a change. I have been feeling like Sappari and I just don't fit anymore. I want to try to fin a way to work that fits my family and my work style. I have cleaned with a friend, and really enjoyed it, and I have some ideas as to the types of jobs that I can get organizing. I want to continue my certification. and I would love to work with the elderly as they transition from the family home to smaller spaces. I also want to work with homeschooling families in one way or another, as a consultant and family organizer.
I need to do a bit of planning and think about a way to put myself out there, but I know that this has come from God, and that He will carry me through to whatever He has planned.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Here we go!
If you are hitting a "reset" button in any area of your life, consider taking it to prayer, starting today.
I am looking at so many things that need to be reevaluated, revamped, restarted.
I want to do each of these things justice and give them the effort that they are due.

Last night I went to Confession, to start the year absolved and in a good place with God.
The whole family went, and as we all walk down our personal paths this year, we can each step out knowing that we are in a state of Grace. That's the most important step to take over anything else.

I have many plans and only some of them will get past the "outline" phase.
Somme of them will be shelved, but I want to listen closely to God so that the ones that He wants to "Flesh out" become sentences, paragraphs, and then complete essays.

He knows of the plans that He has for us. Plans for a bright future and great Joy!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

On The Cusp of a New Year.

This is truly a blank page.
It's 10:00, on New Year's Eve and there is a whole new brand-spanking-clean year ahead of us.
2016 was a good year, we put a few things behind us, moved forward in others.
There was education on all fronts, new jobs, expanding horizons, and love and laughter with family and friends.
Tomorrow will be another beginning.
The coming year will see a completely new and different Presidential administration. I am hopefully optimistic.
It will be a college year for two of my students. John and Brendan. Paul hopes to start at the college soon himself. Probably not next fall, but soon.
The need to pay college tuition brings me to a new horizon in my career. I still love my work for Sappari, but I am going to need to supplement that income.
There are opportunities on the horizon, and they are definitely answers to prayer. God has been putting people in my life and ideas in my mind, and I can see Him working in all of this.
The key is going to be keeping an open heart and following His lead.

God Bless this year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Breathing Space

A very wise person recently advised me that I may be a little too concerned with what I should do, based on my perception of what other people think. She suggested that I spend the rest of Advent letting go of thoughts about people's expectations and instead spend time in prayer and reflection about the One who gave me life and what He desires for me. The areas that seem to keep me running in circles are:

*Family responsibilities coming from my side of the family which I can really do nothing about, but which, when I think about how to approach and try to deal with them, make my head spin. I know that I am one of the people that needs to do something, but as far as I can see there are no real solutions. I don't see how I can just abandon the situation, but then again, I have no idea what to do about it. 

*A sense that I am not reaching the right people in my work. I love the company that I work for. I have been involved in the organizing industry for years now, and it seems so right for me. I love working with people and helping them solve their problems. I just don't think that the populations that I would be best at working with are aligned with the cost of the service that we are providing in this company. Not that it's wrong to seek a more affluent type of client, but the clients that I really want to serve are families, preferably large homeschooling ones, and the elderly as they transition from the family home to smaller spaces. I really just want to offer services by the job, or the hour, and work directly for the client, to cut costs for them. I am just not sure how to approach this in my current work situation. 

*The need to make money to supplement our income for the boy's education which leads me to needing to make money somehow, and wanting to do what I love! I really don't get any work through the company right now. I need to find the place that I am needed and can be the most effective. 

*Trying to stay in good graces with friends in our circle, as my own views on what is acceptable are changing. I am really not so sure that rigid black and white thinking has been healthy.

My wise friend told me to open these questions up in writing and to try to find some answers. 
This blog will be the space to do that. 
I am going to try not to dwell, but to pose questions to myself.

The first question is....

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Little Pot, A Brave New World

Sometimes revolutions sneak up on you.
You'd think that something as life-changing as a revolution would announce itself, like Donald Trump at the White House, but sometimes these things creep in on little mouse feet.

Take the Instant Pot revolution for instance.

I was only slightly aware of this way of cooking because a friend gave me an electric pressure cooker a while back, and I found out that it was pretty great for rice or potatoes. So I used it a few times, if only just to prove my culinary mettle, and that I had enough courage to stay in the same room with the spitting, puffing devil. My mom had put the fear of all things pressure cooking into us when we were kids.
 "Don't even come into the kitchen! These things can blow up and kill people! It's happened!"
I'm not sure how she knew that it had happened, because it never happened to anyone we knew and the internet was years away. Urban legends had to be handed down personally back then.

Sometime around September, some of my Facebook friends started posting questions about this new wonder; the Instant Pot.
"What is this dark magic?", I wondered.
It was one of those times when I felt like I had come late to the party and everyone there had already met the guest of honor and was on a first-name basis. One of my friends asked a question, and the replies came pouring in, and I had to google to know what was going on. So...the Instant Pot. I was intrigued. Mostly pressure cooker, partly steamer and fry pan, with a few special features that nobody needs. I already have all of those things, so I figured this was an expensive flash-in-the-pan, so to speak, and put it out of my mind. And it was expensive, very, still it kept coming up in conversations all over social media.

October arrived bringing the season of beef stew and soups, and my attention was pulled back to the great idea of something that could allow me to have the attention span of my Golden Retriever, because I never have anything thawed by 4:30, and yet enable me to get a wonderful home cooked meal on the table by 5:30.  I started paying attention. It seems everyone was paying attention. All of a sudden Amazon was putting Instant Pots everywhere I went online. A few people I know already had them, and it seemed like they were very happy. Well, anyway, I couldn't see paying 89.99 for something that was really a want, but not a need. I joined the Instant Pot community on Facebook. It couldn't hurt to watch the videos and read the recipes. It wasn't like I was actually going to become one of THEM.

Then Black Friday happened, and the revolution knocked on my door.
$59.99 on Amazon.
One per customer.
Join us, and live in a brand new Instant Pot world.

 I asked Tim. I began to repeat all the propaganda that I had been reading. I told him about saving money, electricity, saving the environment, cheesecake. I had him at cheesecake. So I clicked. It went into my cart and as I went to checkout I thought about how I could still go back. I could stop now and no one would ever know. I looked at the picture, I read the reviews, again, and I took that final step.
As soon as I did I knew that I had made the right decision.

 I wanted to share this with someone. I thought of Laura and how good this would be for her. All those kids eating wholesome food, cooked in minutes, saving the environment. So I tried to buy another one. One per customer the site said. How could we get around that? Another account? Have someone else buy it? This price wouldn't last and they would all be gone!! I looked around the internet wildly. There, on the Walmart page, I found them, at the same price. I ordered quickly and was able to purchase one for her. Nina had already told me that she didn't want one, but these things happen in families. Often times a family has to deal with the fact that one of their loved ones refuses to embrace the way of the future.

That evening I looked once more at the email from Amazon saying that my order was processing. I went over to the Instant Pot community page, and while it wasn't actually in my possession yet, I was able to announce that I had taken that crucial step and I now belonged.
When it shipped, I counted myself among the lucky ones who had a pot on the way, because several people were informed that their shipments had been delayed. I grieved with them.

When it arrived, there was no question that it was to be given prime real estate in the pantry. Other small appliances have been moved, like Woody to the toybox. I got it out, did the "water test" which everyone says is mandatory, and decided to take my first step up the learning curve with hardboiled eggs, which I was assured would be so much more perfect than anything ever boiled in a pan on the stove. They'd better be. They were pretty awesome. But they certainly aren't cheesecake.

I have now thrown myself wholeheartedly into the movement. I am learning how to use the different features, I know all about high pressure and low pressure and the timing functions. I have made a couple of amazing meals and I am well on the way to being fully integrated.
I think I may be saving electricity, I will be saving money as soon as I purchase that springform pan and a couple of accessories, and the environment is probably fine.
What's important is cheescake.

Join the revolution. You know you want to.