Blog Archives

It’s Not as Bad as it Seems (alternate title: yes, I am a wee bit dramatic)

As much as I loathe & despise the circus that passes for administration of our government lately, and no matter our opinion on this type of hunting (if it angers you, it IS worth researching that what, why, & how of it all, and to keep in mind that we must do the best we can with the mess we’re given),  it is worth it to look further than the headline and dig down far enough to look for what actually happened.

When I first saw the pictures and headlines (they were not from TMZ!- I have standards! 😂), I was sickened, I was saddened, I was disgusted, I was angry. I wanted to say “what do you expect with a last name like that?”

But I waited, I looked further. I’m glad I did. I still have opinions; on the “administration”, and on hunting ethics. But  I am reminded that things are not always quite as bad as they look.   And from that I am reminded that:

in the entirety of our lives, things are not always as bad as they look.

When I get a terse text response from my husband, things are not always as bad as they look. He is not angry with me; or disgusted with me; or wishing he hadn’t married me; or wishing I had never been born; he is very busy working hard to take care of me and my children and he doesn’t have time for a long flowery text!

When I realized that I scheduled a grocery pick up smack dab in the middle of my daughters photography class, things are not always as bad as they look. I am not going to be banned from ordering groceries online for pick up; I am not going to be excommunicated from the cult of Walmart; I am not going to have to skip the photography class and waste tuition money;  I can just reschedule my grocery pick up and wait a day or two for the bank to sort out which charges need to be refunded.

When I realize that I have completely lost the intentionality I used to possess in my ventures and have become lazy and I am allowing myself to be driven rather than taking control, things are not always as bad as they look.   Yes, I became lazy. But I have not ruined the rest of my life and the rest of my children’s lives; things are not so hopelessly messed up that there can be no recovery;  it is not time to give up in despair; I can start where I am, realize that just as I got into this mess gradually, I will have to take time and baby steps to get out of this mess  gradually;  I can start here, start now, and keep moving forward.

So I think my lesson to myself today is that I can always learn something from any given situation, no matter what my opinion of the characters in the situation is. I can always find ways to learn more, grow more, be better.  Maybe someday I will grow to be able to love those I despise.

(I see the arrogance and the ugliness within me that is at the root of me thinking I can despise anyone. I am not wallowing in that, or gloating in that, or thinking that it is right and good. I am confessing it honestly, and truly hoping I will grow beyond it.)

C’mon People Now! (or: siblings cleaning their shared bedrooms)

Ay yi yi.  It’s that time again. Every day, around 4 or 5 o’clock (depending on how the day has gone), I call out “redd up time!”

This is the signal for the children to clean their room as well as their “zone”  for the week. I have divided the house up into seven “zones”, one for each child still living at home. They are responsible for their zone for one week at a time. When I say “redd up”, they need to put away anything that is out of place in that zone,  dust or wipe down or clean certain things that apply to that zone (there is actually a list of instructions posted surreptitiously in each zone), and then vacuum that zone.

This brings next to zero problems. They know the drill quite well, they know the benefits we all reap from having a tidy house, and they know that I will tolerate no nonsense about not doing your job well.

Their bedrooms, however, are, for some reason, a different matter. I think it’s because they consider their bedrooms “their space”, and to an extent, they are correct. I try to give them as much ownership as possible (even if we disagree about what looks good 😉). But I require certain things that we still need daily reminders and practice on. One of the biggest problems we have in the shared work spaces is the division of labor. Who is responsible for what?

At first glance, it seems simple: each of you clean your own things and whatever mess you are responsible for. That leaves the pile of dirt, trash, and odds and ends that no one wants to claim responsibility for. AND the arguments about “yes, that is actually mine, but I’m not the one that got it out/left it out”. If any of you have the answers to this, feel free to let me know! For today, I chose to play this song. LOUDLY.  😝

People Don’t Suck

Some days, I am peopled-out and I kind of think “people suck”.

Not really, but I just can’t people anymore.

Today, I am peopled-out because I planned a week full of people. But it’s been really really good. I’ve had good times with good people and really enjoyed myself. I had something pop up and force a cancellation of some people-time, and even though I have used up all of my people-ing (& it’s only Wednesday!), still I am bummed because I just know some good people!

I’ve had calls, texts, comments, and conversations this week that were so comforting, or encouraging, or someone sharing their needs and fears that are so similar to mine, or someone taking the time to give me helpful information… and it makes me wonder how I’ve ever thought that people suck.

People are great! And sometimes it’s that very greatness that exhaust me so thoroughly.

I remember the first time that I came across the phrase “theory of mind” and looked up what it means. I was completely gobsmacked. Totally. That’s just CRAZY!! I went around for the next few days dumping all my newfound information about Theory of Mind at people I knew and finishing off with “You can DO that?!? Just whenever you want?!? It just… HAPPENS?!?”

I’ve had moments of it, they stand out in my memory as startling, blinding flashes of epiphany. It boggles my mind that people walk around like that all day. It’s like having x-ray vision, or like that movie where Mel Gibson can hear thoughts… it’s got to be mind-crushingly overwhelming!

Which brings us back to the exhausted part of knowing so many really great people. Now that I know about Theory of Mind, it’s something that I try to intentionally implement in my interactions with people. (We won’t speculate on my range of successfulness.) I do think that understanding about Theory of Mind has helped me understand why I get peopled-out and makes me realize more that it’s not that “people suck”, it’s that my ability to process people-interactions sucks.

So. Thank you for your patience with my overwhelm, and thank you for trying again to connect with me. 🙂

Am I Counting Calories Right?? (or: What Do You Eat?)

Really- I’m asking: am I doing this right?

I have an app, I put in what food I eat and the amounts, and it calculates how many calories I’ve eaten and what percentage of my food is carbs, fat, protein, and so on. I read a lot of reviews when choosing an app, and this one was one of the top few. I chose it over the other top one because it syncs with my activity tracker.

The reason I’m unsure if I’m doing it right is because, as far as I know, the average amount of calories consumed by an adult in one day is around 2,000. I have a weight loss goal and the number of calories I’m supposed to eat is just over 1,300. But on a pig-out day when I’ve overeaten at every meal, I’m still just around that, and on regular days when I just eat til I’m not hungry I can’t get over 1,000 calories.

If I’m doing something wrong, I’d like to know it so that I can do it right and reach my weight-loss goal. If I’m doing it right, I want to know: what in the world do people who eat over 2,000 calories eat?! I’m not being ugly, just really curious! Is it restaurant food? Does it make that big of a difference? Or is it soft drinks?

For example, today was a piggy day. Here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: english muffin, sausage patty, large egg, cheddar cheese, mayo, 3 cups coffee; 530 calories

Lunch: 17 oz coconut water, 2 slices honey roasted ham lunch meat, 8 cucumber slices; 162 calories

Dinner: southwest rice pilaf, steamed broccoli; 269 calories

snacks through the day:

shot of whiskey: 64 calories

red wine: 300 calories

1 oz colby cheese: 110 calories

That adds up to 1,435 calories but I can’t imagine eating any more than I did today and alcohol adds a LOT of empty calories (I ate more than I wanted and drank more than I should’ve) Yes, I was over my 1.300, but I ate way too much and still not close to 2,000!

So either I’m missing something, or I just have a really tiny stomach and a really slow metabolism.

How about you? What do you eat and how many calories do you eat a day? Am I doing this wrong?

Not So Pretty

One (more) not so pretty thing about depression is trying to figure out how to face all the things you’ve neglected because of it, without letting overwhelm drag you right back in. :/

I have all these emails and projects (that involve OTHER PEOPLE) that I’m working my way through, and I so much feel like giving each person an explanation of WHY I am so behind and just now getting around to things, and that it’s not that I don’t value them, or see my commitments as important, but that I’ve just simply failed, and that I’ve been hiding from that, and that now I’m “back” so to speak, and trying to tackle things and get back a bit of control…

And THAT is overwhelming, and a bit too “bare” emotionally for me. I really don’t want to discuss it at all, and I know that offering explanations like that will open the way for conversation.

So, I think I’ll just jump back in, do what I can, and hope people will forgive me and allow me another chance.


Seeking Sponsors!! (& a chance to win free stays at a bed & breakfast in Maine!)

I’ll be right up front and let you know that this is a selfish endeavor, not for charities or medical research or anything otherwise philanthropic*, so if that turns you off, feel free to click away- no hard feelings 🙂

*(unless you consider making an effort at acquiring more financial security for my family to be unselfish and philanthropic.)

I am entering this contest, it’s an essay contest and the winner becomes the owner of a beautiful & successful bed and breakfast in Maine. The current innkeeper won it in the same way, by winning an essay contest, and felt that it would be fitting to pass it on in the same way, now that she is ready to retire.

I have lived many of my dreams. I have joined the Amish and lived sans electricity and learned to drive a horse and buggy into town to buy my groceries. I married the man who has the key to every portion of my heart and mind within months of meeting him. I have lived, with a rapidly growing large family, in a travel trailer for approximately 4 years. I have 8 children, that I’ve birthed at home and that I homeschool. I have a vibrant friendship with my 19 year old daughter. I am successfully teaching myself coding and have already designed one website as a business woman.

I have another dream, that I have dreamed since childhood. I have long fantasized about running a bed and breakfast, as a way to support our family while working together in a homelike atmosphere and simultaneously teaching my children business administration, work ethics, and hospitality. I get warm, goofy smiles thinking of being a facilitating part of many people’s happy memories of enjoyable vacations. I get excited at the thought of being in a situation that would enable me to offer love, comfort, good food, & comfortable rest to so many people.

I want to live this dream. I want to use it as a part of helping others live their dreams.

There is a $125 entry fee to enter this contest. I am writing my essay, and scraping together my pennies. I want to ask you to join me in dreaming my dream, and offer you the chance of sharing the joys of dreams coming true if I win. For every $10 contributed, I will, if I win, grant one free night at the bed and breakfast every year for your lifetime or as long as I am innkeeper.

Click here for a chance to win!

Click here for a chance to win!

Bawling and Remembering What’s Important

Yesterday was rough.

I was cranky, the kiddos were still off-kilter from the lack of schedule over Yule and Christmas, the house was a mess…

Last night I was able to “gear down” and plan today and remind myself to respond not react.

This morning was a little bit of a challenge, as I woke up with a very distracting headache, but one of my kids helped me SO much by playing this song for me. It’s one I really like to listen to when I need to remember my priorities; I like to listen in the mornings, or when things get rowdy.

From what I understand, “Ronan” was a little boy who died of cancer and Taylor Swift wrote this song after reading his mom’s blog. I cry every. single. time I hear it, but it’s so good for me. I really cannot imagine going through watching your child die, and I want to see the precious in every minute I get with mine – even the hard ones!

Random Fact About Me

If I wasn’t up to my eyeballs with being a homeschool mom with 8 kids, I’d be a car mechanic AND a quantum physicist.
And a web designer/developer on the side because coding is just fun.
The Mr. & I have talked about me maybe going to college to learn about physics once the tiniest monkey is far enough along in school to not need me right there beside him all the time. But that’s years and years away.
It’s nice to think about though 🙂

Ooolllllld Song

I’d totally forgotten this song. It’s been over 20 years since I heard it. Tonight, I played it by pure serendipity and I just had to sit down and close my eyes.


One of Those Days (Weekends? Weeks? Months?)

You know those times when your awesome husband holds down the fort & sends you away for some blissful quiet time to do your own thing, and you get to be alone and think and accomplish some things that have been nagging you from their spot on the back burner? How you feel all refreshed and rested and efficient and accomplished and ready to go tackle the rest of your busy day and weekend?
Then you go out to your beloved truck to go back home all happy and free of overwhelm and discover that your headlights have been merrily shining all this while and your battery is deader than your energy was at the beginning of all this & every bit of that drains away and you feel “behinder” than ever…
Yeah. That’s today.