Monday, March 30, 2015

Home Alone

Ornery is on a trip this week.  He left Sunday morning and won't be back until next Saturday.  I had the option to go on the driving trip to visit his mom's relatives with him, his mom and sister, but even though I will miss him sorely, I decided I had plenty to do here and would enjoy the break in routine.

Yesterday afternoon I sat down and made a monster list and a detailed schedule so I could accomplish all the tasks I wanted to accomplish in his absence.  My life is not such that I couldn't do the tasks if he was here; it's not like he is demanding or anything, but somehow we end up talking or doing something together and I get distracted.

My list and schedule give me a room each day to clean, and certain foods to cook for the freezer plus a few other tasks that keep getting shuffled to the back burner.  There is time each day for 3 hours of writing on my memoirs, and time in the afternoon for a nice little reward of writing letters. April 1st is the beginning of National Letter Writing Month, and I have committed to sending 30 letters in 30 days.  The weather is pretty nice this week, so I am also planning to spend some time in the yard.

At some point I will go back over all my Blogging A to Z posts and make sure they are all ready to go. Otherwise, I am pretty focused on my tasks.  If I get everything done by the end of the week, I plan to get my gelli-plate out and have a paint day.  I like rewards...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Signs of Spring

I suppose there are those who hate to see winter end, but I do not count myself among their number.  The signs grow more evident every day that we have seen the end of winter's frigid temperatures.  Yesterday it was 75 degrees (F) and typical for the season, windy. Here are a few of the things we saw...

Some baby bunnies in one of my barrel flower pots

Rembrandt Tulips on my back porch

Parrot Tulip-- only one is blooming as several of the bulbs heaved out of the dirt. :(

My "Fairy Garden" filled with miniature flowers.

Trays of seedlings under grow lights in my garden room...

More seedlings, or as Elizabeth calls them, "seedies." Ornery calls them "weedies."  :D

The front flower bed sporting all sorts of spring flowers; pansies, creeping phlox, daffodils, crocus, blue-grape hyacinths, violas and in a few days the scabiosa will be open! :)

And, late in the afternoon we had our first round of spring foul weather.  Tornado sirens were on and off for a couple of hours while a huge storm that went through threatened to drop tornadoes on us.  Nearby areas had softball sized hail, and parts of Tulsa had trees down. We don't have or watch TV so didn't see the extent of the storm or the aftermath, but Elizabeth said there were some big trees down near her part of town. Always sad to see that. She had golf-ball sized hail and high winds, but we just had a little bit of pea sized hail, some high straight winds and about 1/2 inch of rain. Ornery's sister said there were tornadoes in her area, and we did see some cloud rotation here, but it never dropped down. After the storm passed, the temperature sure did drop, though.  Brr!

You can sort of see the last of the blossoms on the Bradford Pear trees in our neighbors' yards. They didn't last long this year, maybe a week. All I'm lacking for the sure sign that spring is here are the flowers on the redbud trees--and the buds are nearly ready to open. THAT is spring in Oklahoma to me!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's Working!

One of the reasons I wanted to jump onto the A to Z challenge band wagon was to reestablish my writing mojo-- and it's working!  I have been spending daily quality time working on my memoirs, and the momentum has spilled over into other areas of my life. I won't set any speed records for completion, but I am averaging between one and three hours of work each day, which is a lot of time for me to sit still and do one thing!

I've also wandered around through the list of the Great Theme Reveal and found some blogs I hope to follow  through the month of April. I had forgotten how much fun blogging is and now that I'm back at it, hopefully I won't drop the habit again.

Last night Ornery and I listened to the second group coaching call and a new webinar by T Harv Eker. We got some good information from both events that will hopefully aid us in reaching our goals. We usually get up at 3:00 AM to start our day, so the late evening computer time was a serious infringement on our sleep time.

One young man shared his goal of finding some online business opportunities that would pay well, and the coach said, "Quit looking for something to make money. Focus on what your passion is. All business has the potential to make money, but if you are not passionate about it you will quit when you are faced with the challenges that naturally come to any business." Wow.  That was worth the price of the call and the short night right there!

Ornery is not really all that passionate.  He probably was as a child, but his dad was domineering and didn't give him the opportunity to explore his dreams much. Mostly Ornery was concerned with not angering his dad, and eventually learned to show no emotion at all. That's not a helpful life skill, in case you didn't know.

He is working on learning how to feel and express emotion, but 56 years of programming won't change over night.  And sometimes the concept is so foreign it requires word pictures to figure out what it means. So last night I tried to think about what passion really is. The best I could come up with was that when you are passionate about something, it can overtake your thoughts and almost consume you, but it doesn't destroy you. It's that thing you can work at for hours and hours, exhausting yourself physically but still think about long into the night and eagerly jump back into the next day. He seemed to finally get it.

Not that he has shared anything that is like that for him, but the closest I have seen him to being passionate was when he was renovating our first rental property. He enjoys learning new skills and working with his hands--and tools! He loves new tools!  I am going to wait to see if he comes up with that on his own, but it could be that he has other things he has yet to share or even discover.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon setting up a new journal for my own goals, writing down a few motivating quotes, adding some washi tape to page edges, and putting down all some of the things I want to accomplish with the rest of my life. I do not have Ornery's problem of a lack of passion. My problem is that I have more ideas and dreams than I could complete in two lifetimes, much less in 1/2 of one. So, I will be spending some time over the next few days and weeks honing and refining, then setting up a plan of action.

I didn't get to do any art yesterday, so that is on my agenda for today. I'm feeling the urge to get a little messy.  It will feed one of my passions.  What about you? Do you have something that fires you up?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Appreciate for Increase

(I had this up yesterday, but I had forgotten about the theme reveal, and I didn't want to confuse those who dropped by for that post. Sorry for the confusion. )
What with one thing and another we seem to already be behind on our coaching calls, and we missed both the first group call as well as the first Tough Love Mentoring call with T. Harv Eker.  Yesterday we listened to the TLM call and one of the many things I took away from that was the principal of appreciation for increase.

I have always known that you get more of what you think about. It's a scriptural principal as well as one backed by empirical data. But I never really considered it in quite the light that Harv presented; when something appreciates it gets bigger. Well, yeah!

The question indicated that the person was focused on lack instead of being appreciative for what she had.  If she ever expected to receive more (money, happiness, health, etc.) she needed to appreciate that which she already had, Harv suggested.

I've seen this in my own life repeatedly.  When I am frustrated in a relationship and focused on what is going wrong, every thing that arises related to it seems to bring more pain. Yet, when I am appreciative for the other person, the relationship sails along smoothly.  Concerning health, when I focus on pain or some area of dislike for my physical body (almost always my weight) it seems I get more pain or MORE fat!  It is a challenge to turn my focus from what hurts me and instead observe, magnify and appreciate all the good things I have going on.

But as with all behavior it is learned.  Habitual complaining can turn to habitual gratitude.  Either way I will get more of that which I focus on, so I am determined to make the things I get more of GOOD things!

It's a work in progress for sure, but I can see great benefit for being appreciative.  As the good things grow, they will crowd out the bad like a healthy lawn has no room for weeds.  My exercise today is to list five areas in my life for which I can express appreciation.

  1. Freedom; I am not enslaved by anyone. I can come and go as I please, can share my thoughts and opinions freely, have the freedom to make choices that affect every area of my life from finances to health to education, spirituality, relationships and beyond. 
  2. Health; Mental, physical and emotional health are huge, HUGE blessings for which I am grateful. I had a short bout of the sniffles last week and it made me realize how healthy I am overall that such a small and insignificant "illness" would make me so indignant!  I appreciate my ability to think clearly enough to process the information I am receiving and apply it to my life to great gain.
  3. Love; As I am writing my history, I am recalling instances all through my life that show how very much I was loved as a child. Not a single moment of the day goes by that I am not fully aware of how much my Heavenly Father and my husband love me unconditionally.   
  4. Comfort; While I am hoping to expand my comfort zone, I have to say I appreciate the fact that I have a home to live in that is cool in the summer heat and warm in the frigid winter. It is roomy enough to accommodate our possessions and aesthetically pleasing. 
  5. Purpose; At this time in my life my purpose is not as clear to me as when I was raising my children, but each day as I express gratitude for my purpose, it is unfolding to me. 

Are there things in each of these areas that are concerns? You betcha! My freedom is limited by past decisions; I have pain in my body on a regular basis; not every relationship in my life is rosy; I'd be happy to move to a different house; some days I feel adrift with no reason for existence.  BUT while I could focus on these aspects(and have in times past), I choose to look at all the good things instead.  As I appreciate the good things, I receive more of them, and slowly but surely they are edging out all the bad!

Can you think of five things you are grateful for today? Have you expressed appreciation for the good things in your life?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blogging A to Z: The Great Theme Reveal!!

Ha! If you have spent any time here on my blog you already know what my theme will be for next month's blog hop,

but just in case there was any doubt, my theme is going to be ART--more specifically Mixed Media Art, but I am sure there will be other artsy-crafty things mixed in.  My posts are coming along quite nicely, and I have some fun, colorful surprises to share throughout the month.  There will be a bit of instruction, some inspiration, and a lot of link love.

Not everyone is interested in art, so I am sure there are some people who may skate over my posts and wander off to more science-y or intellectual blogs, but if you enjoy color and want to explore a variety of mediums, I hope you will come back and visit me often throughout April.  Well, in truth, that's what I write about most of the time anyway, so feel free to wander around the archives. :)  Thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Uncomfortable: Good or Bad?

I must be living really well for time to go by so quickly, right?  I mean, if you are bored, time seems to drag on and on but if you are busy then you barely notice the passing of the days--you look up and suddenly almost a week has gone by since you have posted to your blog!!

Well, I actually have been posting to my blog, but all the posts are scheduled for April!  I actually have all 26 posts written, (Yay!!) but I still have some photos to take and upload.  That was quite an accomplishment for me!  So, whether or not I actually get everything finished by April 1, the show will go on, because even without the photos, I have some pretty good content scheduled!

I've spent a few hours tooling around through the list of participants, and I've been surprised (and a little sad) that more aren't "regular" (as in frequent) posters.  Some only have a single post on their blog dated around the time they joined the challenge. A lot of the blogs are a challenge to comment on--you have to sign in to Wordpress or Google+ -- or the landing page just has snippets of the posts so you have to click to read more.  I'm a lazy blog reader, and a quick one.  I don't have a lot of time to read posts that don't interest me, so if I have to click to read more, I won't bother.

Meanwhile, I've replied to all my incoming correspondence and Ornery and I are working hard on our goals--he is refining what and why, and I have begun taking one small action step per day.  Today I wrote my outline for my book.  Each day I will do one more thing and one day it will be done! I have to admit I have been a little overwhelmed by the task of writing a whole book, but there are thousands of people who have done it, so why not me?

So, today was the outline, tomorrow will be a few pages of text. I don't know why I feel like what I write has to be edited and ready for others to read when I stop for the day, but that is the thought I have been working from, so allowing myself the freedom to do just one small thing is uncomfortable for me.

I mentioned last week that Ornery and I have been reading Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and one of the mean, nasty, hard things he says is that in order to grow (rich, successful, character, etc.) we have to get out of our comfort zone. My inner self says, "But we LIKE being comfortable!!  Why you wanna mess with things??"  I have had to give my self permission to want success--more than I have already. And, I have had to decide that I want the benefits more than I want to be comfortable.  So, I'm doing all sorts of things I am not comfortable doing.  Well, that wouldn't be hard because I am most comfortable sitting doing nothing--or reading or working a puzzle or playing a card game or reading Instagram or ... you get the picture.  Those mindless, nonsupportive actions that will lead me exactly to the place I already am!

So, my goal for this week is to be extremely uncomfortable.  Do the tasks I have put off, quit overlooking that pile of stuff I don't know what to do with -- just make a decision and get rid of it! -- get in the kitchen and make some healthy food options so we don't just eat the same stuff every day... and write on my WIP every day.

We've already made some significant changes in our routine this year, and they are beginning to pay off in character development and the sense of feeling good about ourselves for even small accomplishments. I tell Dave every day, "I believe in you." He has always believed in me, but never in himself. Everyone should have someone who believes in them, right?

Last night we watched a webinar on the Ultimate Life Makeover that ended in signing up for some personal coaching.  Is that uncomfortable?  You betcha!!  It will be four months (to start) of weekly accountability to a group.  Yikes!

What do we hope to gain?

  1. To reach the end of the year with increased monetary net worth
  2. better sense of wellness
  3. personal character growth
  4. new friends who will encourage, challenge, motivate and educate us
  5. a sense of purpose
  6. tools, wisdom and support
  7. Several sources of passive income
We are both pretty hyped, and to be on the journey together is such a joy! So, while the ride may be bumpy and uncomfortable as we have to stretch and grow, at least I have a great sidekick who cheers me on and is motivating me by example. Life is grand!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Little of This and That

Life is clipping right along around these parts.  Spring seems to have settled into place, the first daffodil is ready to open any day, the clocks are all set to a new time an hour later and we are gradually adjusting our sleep schedules to match the clocks. Ornery woke up at 2:00 AM yesterday, and decided to start the day--may as well, no more sleep would be happening with the big dog barking all night right outside our bedroom window.  I finally broke down and wrote a letter to them yesterday and am hopeful they will do something about the dog soon, but if not, I am prepared to begin keeping a log of bark-fests to present to the court.  What a pain.

So, you may be wondering what we have been up to around here... Well, I've done a few art projects, finished off the last of my Swap-bot swaps for March, and written a few of my A to Z blog posts.  I decided that while I won't quit altogether, I am going to cut way back on swapping my art--it is in many ways the same as giving it for free.  I don't think I am "all that" that I can charge a fortune for my creations, but neither do I think my art has no value.  It is one of a long line of perspectives that I am working on changing, and it has always been a struggle to ask to be paid for something I made.

Elizabeth has been busily planting seeds and comes by each day to praise their progress.  It's fun to hear her sing out to them each day, "Morning seedies!!"  I confess to having absolutely no interest in gardening yet this year. My focus seems to be on other things, and I think that is okay. That said, I really don't know what she has planted...

The tray on the far right has been planted the longest (almost a month), the two on the left are just from this past weekend--so those little bits of green were seeds three days ago. She bought a LOT of new flower seeds, and quite a few herbs. I hope she maintains her enthusiasm for the garden, because mine is still hibernating.

Last Wednesday when we were snowed in, Ornery and I began reading aloud Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker. We spent several hours that day, and have continued to work our way through it a bit each day since then.  We should be done reading it for the first time by this weekend. We have also signed up and made hotel reservations to attend a Millionaire Mind Intensive seminar, and been faithfully following the advice in the book, in as much as we are able.

It is time consuming and emotionally intensive to address long held beliefs and take the steps to alter those thought patterns.  However, it is another step in the progression of the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and we are both on-board with the plan.  It seems when we are both in agreement with anything, we make serious progress, so it is exciting to consider the future and what it may hold in store for us.

 Our ultimate goal at the beginning of the year was to replace Ornery's income at his job with self-employment and/or passive income.  We thought to do it with real estate, but it requires much more investment capital than we have been able to secure, so we are taking some different paths.  So far we haven't made any money, but we have learned a LOT and I think we are moving in the right direction. Time will tell, but we aren't quite through with the first quarter of the year and we can already see that things are aligning to bring about the changes we seek.

We have both continued to maintain a lot of the routine we set for ourselves in January. We know that success in the financial arena will require that we have good health and stamina, so part of our daily routine has been to spend time doing the sauna, exercising and eating for health.  We have gone a couple of weeks now without eating wheat, and Ornery says he has lost about 5 lbs. so far.  We are also still having a quiet time each morning, reading from the Proverbs, Psalms and two different Bible study books depending on the time we have.  We are fairly consistent (more so lately) in our nightly journaling exercise wherein we track the daily activities that will bring us closer to our goals.

One of the quotes by Jim Rohn that has really helped us to focus is, "If it's easy to do it is also easy not to do." Doing those little "easy" things every day makes change and will create the lifestyle we seek. But it isn't possible to just do something once and establish a habit or change core beliefs--it is by repetition every day that will achieve success. Easy to do, but easy not to do. And life is so DAILY!

This is the longest period of time we have been able to maintain our momentum, and that is really encouraging to us both. We have been able to remind each other of the potential benefits, and have had some really deep discussions and addressed some heretofore unknown issues in ourselves. I would say the last month has been one of the most rewarding times relationally we have ever had. And that is saying something because we have always had a very close relationship!

Mom came over yesterday to work a couple of jigsaw puzzles.  I had intended to write blog posts for April all afternoon, but it was good to spend time with her. One never knows how long we'll have with family, so it seems wise to use the time we do have to build good memories. I know she must get lonely, as well.  It is unimaginable to think how I would cope without my beloved Ornery.

So, now you are up-to-date with us! The days are rushing along like a speeding train, and April will be here before we know it.  My goal is to have all my blog posts for April written by Friday, catch up on all my correspondence over the weekend, and begin in earnest to write my book next week. I realize how important it is to carve out large blocks of time to work uninterrupted, so I have decided to treat it like a job. I ordered new business cards to take to the Millionaire Mind Intensive, and for my profession/title I listed artist and author.  I'd like to have a good body of work under my proverbial belt before I have to face someone and claim my titles face-to-face!

Monday, March 2, 2015


I haven't been out of the house for over a week--maybe two weeks, I can't remember the last foray I made into the cold, cruel world. Well, maybe not so cruel, but it sure enough has been cold!  Which explains my absence from the public eye. It has snowed or showered us with some form of wintry precipitation every weekend for a month, so I haven't been doing a lot of venturing out.

Over the weekend Ornery bundled up and worked on the couch table out in the garage while I stayed inside and tried to keep warm while I worked some puzzles, one really hard one and then a super easy one to let me know it was the puzzle's fault it took two days to finish, not mine.  :)  Really, that is about all I did all weekend. Today, however, I have done quite a bit of arting in my studio. (Arting isn't in the dictionary, but it's my blog, so my words. You get the gist, anyway.)

I started a double page spread for a friend's art journal, (no photo yet) created two mostly-identical altered Rolodex cards, one for a swap, one for moi:

Theme is Spring

made this awesome Butterfly Koi from washi tape for a Swap-Bot swap and I really like how it turned out:

and after signing up for a handful of new swaps, created this ATC for a series of Months of the Year.

It is a shaker with little hearts in the jar and the background has all sorts of cool texture on it.  The fiber is metallic DMC floss, and one of my favorite additions these days.

We survived the week of no wheat, and in fact never ate out a single time last week--which has to be a first for us in a really long time! I am pretty sure we aren't eating enough vegetables, but at least we cut out the wheat. So, that's about all my news these days.