Think Out Loud #5

Well, every day is for thinking out loud if you don’t have a filter. But for some bloggers, we have what’s called writer’s block and we need all the help we can get to get the words out of our heads and onto paper or a computer screen.

Thankfully, Amanda over at Running with Spoons created Thinking Out Loud. Here’s the gist:

A weekly celebration of quirks and randomness! An opportunity to take the pressure and stress out of writing by sharing whatever it is that happens to pop into your mind when you begin to type — all worries about sense and structure pushed aside. A collection of random and disjointed thoughts, just because.

So, here’s what’s been running through my head lately!


We have 24 days until we get married. That’s a little over three weeks. Pardon me while my eyes bug out of my head and I take to drinking copious amounts of wine and running nekkid through the streets.

I jest.

It’s not that bad.

Really, all we need is a marriage license and we’re set. Oh, I should probably pick my dress up from the seamstress and pay for that. You know, since I want to look nice and all.

And remember to buy flowers, work on the place cards and the centerpieces, make a timeline for the week of and day of the wedding, connect with the photographer to make sure she’s still on board, etc etc etc. The list is long and boring. There is a reason why I’m not into party planning. I’m rather simplistic when it comes to this type of stuff. I’m not into the “little details” like Martha Stewart. I just want there to be good people, good food, good wine and good music. The end. What more does a person need?!?!?!?

This poem by Rumi is my new favorite. Read and enjoy and let it move your soul.

Dance when you’re broken open.
Dance when you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance when you’re perfectly free.
Struck, the dancer hears a tambourine inside her,
like a wave that crests into foam at the very top,
Begins.
Maybe you don’t hear that tambourine,
or the tree leaves clapping time.
Close the ears on your head,
that listen mostly to lies and cynical jokes.
There are other things to see, and hear.
Music. Dance.
A brilliant city inside your soul! –Rumi

Why is it that we can plan and plan and plan and plan for something and it doesn’t go the way we planned it? Don’t answer that. I know why. Murphy appears, or the plan isn’t what we’re supposed to do, or there are circumstances beyond our control, or people don’t do what you expect them to. Any or all of those things could happen. Even the most far-seeing of people can’t plan for every contingency or little hiccup or every single hitch in the get-along. They just can’t. So, things happen and we’re forced to react, rather than be proactive, which is what we were trying to do in the first place. And that moment, that little tiny moment where we react, is sometimes the game changer. Do we react with grace or anger? Hope or despair? Oh, ok, trod on my soul again or screw you, turd, never again? Diplomacy or tactless? Objectivity or single-mindedness? There are so many ways to react when shit hits the fan and some ways are more helpful than others. You see, there are these things called consequences and usually I think of consequences as things that happen when I make a BIG, wrong choice {like stealing something}, not when I do something small {like maybe say something in a hurtful tone of voice}.

Words are important. Words have consequences too.

Back to the plans. It’s great to make plans! It is! Make them, act on them and then when the cookie crumbles, just keep plugging along, allowing for various other other things to unexpectedly pop up ad we go.

Life is truly truly an adventure! :-D

~ Gratitude of Late ~

This week, I’m grateful for walks on the beach and for the finding of interesting seal or sea lion bones. The sunshine does me so much good.

I’m grateful for roasted chickens that make several meals and the potatoes and carrots underneath that are so delicious.

I’m grateful for hot tea with cream. It really is one of the most delectable things in the world to me. It’s like a hug in a cup.

I don’t have a picture for this, but I’m also grateful for good teachers who have patience and are willing to explain how to code, how to use Dreamweaver and Photoshop and are willing to explain things to me so I get it. I’m also grateful that I can learn new things and I can pick things up rather quickly. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn something new :-)

What are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments!

Dreams

For the last two nights, I have had violent dreams. Well, violent for me, which means they aren’t really all that violent. 

Sunday night’s dreams included sleeping in a haunted house where calloused hands tried to pull me from my sphere of light into the dark. The family that was supposed to come for me never did. I cleaned the patio table in the eerie morning fog and dumped the leftover water from the goblets from the previous day’s lunch onto dead or dormant roses.Last night’s dream included a tour of Boston, where Cowboy, the boy and I visited a cathedral. We toured the brick apartment buildings nearby in the twilight, finding the one where my dad lived, unbeknownst to me. There was a table in the bedroom with fishing rods and reels, and firearms in various states of assembly. We went to leave, and they made it out the door, but I was put under some sort of spell by my cousin, Cara (unknown person to me, I don’t have a cousin named Cara) and deposited in a tub full of water to drown. She proceeded to beat me with a slab of mirror. Somehow, I woke up and we went round and round the apartment, me fending her off, her chasing me. The tables turned when she plugged in the curling iron and she wanted to burn me with it. The dream ended with me sitting on her chest, applying the curling iron to her face, but with absolutely no effect. Cowboy finally came to get me, lifted her up, set her in a chair, draped an American flag over her shoulders and we left. I had no visible wounds.  I rarely, if ever, remember my dreams and the ones I do remember are never violent like this. What the heck is my brain processing?????

Cow Poop + Alfalfa

Folks, it’s been years since my clothes have been splattered with cow poop. It’s also been years since I’ve had alfalfa hay down my shirt and cow slobber on my jeans.

Ahhhh, the life of a ranch kid. It’s not glamorous, but it certainly is enjoyable.

This is a very happy me, after luring the cows in the background to the next pasture with flakes of alfalfa hay. Win-win for the cows and me.

For those who don’t know, this is what alfalfa looks like. We tried some and it actually tastes pretty good. It’s kind of sweet and it tastes a little bit like green tea.

It’s so easy to glamorize the life that I don’t have, but when I take a step back and actually look at the life I”m currently living, I realize that rose-colored glasses aren’t the way to go. Enjoying every moment I have on this planet is the way to go. No, not every moment is amazing and wonderful and sparkly with fairy dust and glitter. Some moments downright stink. But, and yes, there’s always a but, I consider it my mission to make every moment count and to make the most of every crappy situation.

For instance, we weren’t counting on some of the cows going over and through the fence, rather than through the gate while we were moving them. So, we got to fix fence. No, it wasn’t on the agenda, but it’s what we had to do. So, we did it and I tried to help and I tried to make it as fun as possible.

And you know what? We had a great time! We worked hard and then we ate some delicious home cooked enchiladas and watched Top Gun. It was simple and fun and it was lovely to be outside in the sun and wind. And covered in alfalfa leaves and cow poop.

Maybe it’s not for everyone, but dang it, life is an adventure and I want to enjoy it :-)

Think Out Loud #4

Well, every day is for thinking out loud if you don’t have a filter. But for some bloggers, we have what’s called writer’s block and we need all the help we can get to get the words out of our heads and onto paper or a computer screen.

Thankfully, Amanda over at Running with Spoons created Thinking Out Loud. Here’s the gist:

A weekly celebration of quirks and randomness! An opportunity to take the pressure and stress out of writing by sharing whatever it is that happens to pop into your mind when you begin to type — all worries about sense and structure pushed aside. A collection of random and disjointed thoughts, just because.

So, here’s what’s been running through my head lately!


I saw this quote earlier this morning and it really hit home. I spend far too much time thinking about the future or the past and as a result, I don’t allow myself to enjoy the present. Note to self: Ask self, “What will make you happy right now? What to you need or want right now? What are you feeling right now?” Go from there.

I think this is the first time I have used gold glitter anywhere in my life. Generally, I avoid glitter because I think it’s messy and too loud any not “me,” but I decided to branch out and try something different! And you know what? I love it!

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day and I noticed how dark and almost metallic it was. Well, it wasn’t very cheerful and just looking at it made me feel rather dreary. So, I set about to brightening it up using some new apps and filters. Voilà! Insta-happy!

Barry’s Irish tea. One of my Instagram friends sent me some of this tea in exchange for a couple of bags of candy corn awhile back and I’ve been enjoying this tea since. It’s smooth and it just makes my soul smile. I’ll trade candy corn for boxes of Barry’s tea any day of the week!

And those are my thoughts this morning!

Question of the Day
What’s your favorite tea? Share in the comments!

~ Gratitude of Late ~

Remember when I did my 365 Grateful challenge? I do and it was lovely. I wondered at the end of the challenge if I would lose my sense of gratitude a little, since it wasn’t a daily focus. You know what? I did, sort of. I still am grateful, of course, but the daily focus isn’t there.

I miss it.

So, I want to take a page from Today’s Letters and post weekly gratitude posts. Her posts are here and they’re lovely.

As you see by the title, I think I’ll call these my “Gratitude of Late” posts.

Here’s the first installment!

You canker blossom! Shakespearean insults are the best. They’re totally worth the chuckle and I always smile when I read them. *Note to self: Read more of his works.

I’m grateful for Madelyn Moon’s 4 Weeks to Body Freedom course. It’s been difficult, but so very good and I feel like I’ve ironed out quite a few things about myself. One of the tasks for this week was to write a letter to whatever I’m afraid to let go of. Um, yeah, I have always run from admitting fear in the past, but I sat myself down at my computer, opened up a blank Word doc, put my fingers on the keys and closed my eyes. And I started typing. And boy, did the words just start pouring out. Through that exercise alone, I realized so many things about myself that I never wanted to admit because I thought it made me appear weak. No, actually, I’m all the stronger for having brought them out into the open and worked through the feelings. I’m so, so grateful for this course!

On a similar note as above, Summer Innanen‘s podcasts are awesome. There’s no fluff, no bologna, no junk. It’s just real and there are a few curse words {so maybe don’t listen at work}. Yesterday, I listened to her podcast with Louise Androlia and was floooored. I feel like I must go back through that one and take notes because there were so many lightbulb moments in there where I wanted a piece of paper and pen to jot notes. I wanted to just soak it in and listen to it the first time through though, so that’s what I did. Anyway, the podcast can be found here and it’s the one from 5/11/2015. It’s all about letting go of control.

Good, loose leaf green tea. And Photoshop tutorials. Need I say more?

Stay tuned for more posts on gratitude! Yay!

Man Lessons

As a mom, there are things I can’t teach my son. I can’t teach him how to be a man, for instance. That’s kind of a big one, isn’t it? Thankfully, he has a few good men {ha ha} in his life who show him how to be a man in a few different ways.

IMG_2796

I can’t teach him the things men know how to do, like basic car maintenance and home maintenance.  I can do a few things, but not as much as Cowboy can. Basically, my knowledge in home repair and oil changes is limited. On Saturday, he had what I affectionately call “man lessons” and he learned how to use a jack, remove lug nuts, change brake pads and change the oil. Thanks to Cowboy, he now has a decent working knowledge of these things.What’s more, he had fun! And to top that off, I learned something too! I can now change a tire and change the oil in my car.

But, that doesn’t mean I won’t ever ask Cowboy to change the oil in my car again. That’s one of the things about men…they like to be useful and helpful and kind. ☺️ Or, at least Cowboy does anyway. I hope the boy learns a whole bunch more!

Mornings

  
Mornings are for hot mugs of coffee with milk, for toothy smiles and slow wake-ups.

Mornings are for sleeping in a little and for warm baths. 

Mornings are for new, fresh starts and for cheesy omelettes and buttery toast. 

Mornings are for fresh, sweet strawberries and for holding hands. 

Mornings are for listening to little snores and for warming my very soul from the inside out. 

How do you take your mornings?

Think Out Loud #3

Well, every day is for thinking out loud if you don’t have a filter. But for some bloggers, we have what’s called writer’s block and we need all the help we can get to get the words out of our heads and onto paper or a computer screen.

Thankfully, Amanda over at Running with Spoons created Thinking Out Loud. Here’s the gist:

A weekly celebration of quirks and randomness! An opportunity to take the pressure and stress out of writing by sharing whatever it is that happens to pop into your mind when you begin to type — all worries about sense and structure pushed aside. A collection of random and disjointed thoughts, just because.

So, here’s what’s been running through my head lately!


  • I haven’t worked out in over a week. I don’t care and I’m absolutely NOT giving myself a guilt complex over it and I’m not worrying about it. I’m listening to my body and right now, my body is telling me to sleep and take it easy. So, that’s what I’m doing. I removed my exercise calendar from my phone too. I’m not, surprisingly, panicking about whether or not my belly is flat or whether or not my wedding dress will fit or whether or not my work slacks are tight {they aren’t, by the way}. It’s so wonderful to not have a workout dangling over my head all day if I don’t get it done in the morning because I wanted to get my 8 hours of sleep, or knowing that I won’t get enough sleep if I have to get up and work out in the morning. SUCH freedom and joy, I tell you!

  • I’m kind of proud of the above picture. Not bad of an iPhone, right? The boy had his purple belt test earlier this week and is now very proud of his new purple belt. Being a purple belt means sparring gear!!!! He’s very happy to get the chance to kick, punch and generally pummel his karate friends. Boys….

  • Sometimes a cupcake is exactly what’s needed. Or, rather, the frosting is what’s needed. I’m all about the frosting.

And that is what I’ve got for you today, lovelies! Enjoy your afternoon!

Question of the Day
Do you prefer the cake or the frosting? Leave me a comment!

Ugh + Self-Love Practices + Ham Hocks ‘n’ Beans

I sit here staring at this blank page, with my cursor blinking at me indignantly. It seems like it’s saying, “Gosh, you have a lot to say, don’t you? I know you do, but you can’t seem to type anything. Use me! I’m waiting for you and I’m here to help!.I have a purpose and you aren’t using me effectively!” But I just can’t seem to get the words out.

I’ve been doing a lot of this lately.

  • Coloring flowers in my adult coloring books.
  • Practicing gratitude with Miss Skinny Genes’ Gratitude MadLibs {aforementioned here}
  • Working on my 4 Weeks to Body Freedom course {also aforementioned here} – this week we’re practicing rubber band therapy. I have yet to find a rubber band that will give me enough of a snap to snap out of my current train of thought in regards to my body and food! I guess that’s what I get for having a rather high pain tolerance. I need an industrial strength rubber band, like the ones you get when you buy heads of broccoli. ;-)

This has all been wonderful and I am happy with the amount of self-love I’m doing. It might not seem like self-love, but it is. I have made a habit in the past of rarely taking a moment to check in with myself and see what I want or how I feel or if I need anything. It’s always seemed selfish, even when I didn’t have a child.

I’m oh-so-slowly learning that it’s not selfish of me to take myself into consideration, to take some time for myself, to spoil myself a little or a lot, depending on what I need. It’s been difficult, but so worth it.

Tonight, we are having ham and beans for supper and I cannot wait. A coworker gave me some gigantes beans {think giant butter bean} some time ago and I just happened to have a ham hock in my freezer, so I put the beans on to soak yesterday before I left for work. Last night, I drained the beans, added chicken stock, hominy, roasted green chiles and the ham hock to the crock put and turned it on low to cook overnight. This morning, I added spices to taste and put it in the fridge.

Supper will be easy peasy since all I have to do is warm the beans up and serve. Making and eating ham and beans brings back so many childhood memories of having a similar meal {using pinto or Anasazi beans instead of gigantes} as a family with my mom’s homemade tortillas. I can’t get her homemade tortillas as we live too far away, but I can get some decent substitutes.

I’d better get myself going! Do enjoy your evening, lovelies!