Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Where is My Muse?

This is becoming a habit. A bad habit.

Blog day rolls around and I have nothing to say.  Nothing.

Having nothing to say is highly unusual for me. Typically, I can rattle on for hours about nothing, or everything. But, suddenly, trying to find something to write about 3 times a week is causing my creativity to stop.

Complete and total halt.

No ideas.

No inspiration.

No intentional topics.


My brain turns into a blank. 

A zero.

I attempt to stimulate the creative juices. I send out pleas on Facebook asking what people want to read about. I tweet about it. I text my husband.

In desperation, I watch DVDs of my favorite tv show to see if that will jump start my brain. After all, Castle is a writer.  I am a writer. That should help, right?

After a few episodes, I consider watching Julie and Julia, the movie that inspired me to begin my blog. Of course, her blog was about cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook. Um, sorry. Not even going to attempt that one. I can't do aspics. Or duck.

Oops, got distracted for a second. Back to the topic.

I need a muse. Someone or something to inspire me. To help me with that continual flow of inspiration to keep writing, to make the writing mean something, to have the words flow quickly and easily.

Yesterday, writing by the fire seemed to help. So, I built a fire. Do you know getting a fire going with wet kindling is not easily accomplished?  A topic for another day. Let's just say I have no junk mail now. 

What I do have is a roaring fire and a blog post written about nothing.  But, ideas are rolling about in my head for my novel. That is a good thing.

Now to keep them at the forefront until I can get them out of my head and in black and white. 

Where is my coffee? I need a cup. And another log for the fire.

Hmmm, I wonder if my husband will be okay if I use the fireplace this summer when the muse refuses to come?  Somehow, I doubt it....

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'll Do It.....Eventually.

That has been my mantra for the weekend leading into today. 

On Friday, I began thinking about what to write about, finally deciding to write about procrastination. Not only do I watch my kids procrastinate on a daily basis, they learned it from a master. Me.

I thought about writing it on Saturday, but I was busy. Saturday night, I put it off  to rest my weary bones. I told myself I would be refreshed and ready to write Sunday afternoon. But, then, I was tired and sore.

Plus, what is there to say about procrastination. Especially something new and witty. I thought of lists of what to do to procrastinate. Lists of how to recognize when you are procrastinating. Lists of how to stay on task so you don't procrastinate.

And, then I procrastinated writing down the lists, subsequently forgetting them.

Suddenly, in the midst of all my mental blogging, the calendar changed from Sunday to Monday.  My blog was due. 

Insert a loud gasp of despair here. 

What was a writer to do?

It's obvious, isn't it?  Continue to procrastinate.

Off to Bible study, then the grocery store. Home to unload and put away everything and eat lunch.

Laundry. Oh, my. Laundry must be done. Now. We will have nothing to wear, if I don't wash the clothes immediately. After all, I didn't do any laundry this weekend.

Then the house needed to be cleaned. The bathrooms, the beds, the floors. Ninety minutes later, the house looked and smelled great and I was tired. Who can write when exhausted?  Not me. It was necessary to refresh my mind by watching Castle episodes on DVD.

A writer watching a tv show about a writer. Quite inspirational, don't you think?

After two Castle episodes, and a nap, it was necessary to open the laptop and write something.  Somehow, someway, I managed to procrastinate writing today's blog while writing today's blog.  Diagram that sentence making sense of it if you can. :)

I think I need a cup or two or ten of coffee. I will get up and make some....later. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

10 Tips to Look and Feel Young

If you don't know me, can you accurately guess my age? Try. :)

Go ahead. I dare you. 

Most people are wrong by 10-15 years.  They are surprised to learn I four sons ages 16, 17, 20 and 21. The comment I frequently hear is "I thought you little kids. You barely look 30."

Either they are lying or I look young. Quite honestly, I don't care either way.  I LOVE hearing how young I look.  When I was 21 and people thought I was 14 it was a different matter. I was often offended.  Now, I will take any young year people want to assign me. 

I'm afraid part of staying young isn't just appearance, it is how I act.  Is that bad? Or good?  Who knows. 

How do I stay young?  Read on for my Top Ten Steps to Stay Young.

1.  Good genes. 

I must give credit where it is due.  My parents look younger than their years.  My grandparents did too.  So, part of my youthful appearance is genetics. I can take no credit for winning the genetic lottery.  But, I'm thankful for it every day.

Okay, so this step was unfair as you have no control over your genetics.  But, you can work with what nature gave you. 

2.  Eat Right.

Truth:  We are what we eat. Fuel your body with good nutrition on a daily basis and it will give you energy, keep you healthy and ultimately help you feel younger.  I strive to eat a healthy diet most of the time. To me, this means eating food which has been processed as little as possible.  Fresh meats. I love going to the butcher shop. Fresh fruits and veggies.  If fresh isn't possible, frozen works. If it's canned, I want it to come from my parents garden, canned by my Mother. I know what goes in those jars...and it's all good.

3.  Get enough sleep.

Yes, I know. Easier said than done. I have decided it's a matter of routine for me. Also easier said than done.

I am trying to go to bed at 10:00 every night. I fail most nights. But, when I do get to bed on time the next day is so much better as I am rested and ready to take on the world. Darken your room as much as possible. No tv while falling asleep.  Instead play white noise, music, a fan, etc., as you fall asleep.  Reading is a good tool too. Darken your e-reader though so it isn't giving off the dreaded "blue light".  No computer.  Put down the phone. 

4.  Moisturize!!

From the inside out. 


In other words, drink plenty of water. Your body needs it. Your internal organs are thirsty.  Go get a glass and start sipping.  Plus, the more water you drink, the better your skin looks.  Trust me.

And, while you are at it, use a good facial moisturizer.  Preferably one with sun protection. It makes a difference!

A good body lotion is good too. Why have dry skin if you don't have to?

5.  Don't Sit Down.

My parents are in their 80s and are two of the most active, youthful people I know. They don't sit down.  They have too much to do! They are working in the garden, growing vegetables. My Mom has an incredible flower filled yard. They cut and haul their own firewood! They are up and out and about, staying young by doing. What a great example they are to everyone who knows them. 

And, if my Mother sits down, she's piecing quilts and then quilting them by hand, sewing intricate patterns into the design.  Or, she is crocheting. Or cooking.  Or reading cook books for something new to make for dinner.  She is always busy.  Always.

*When Daddy sits down, he sleeps.

6.  Keep Learning. 

Just because your school days are over doesn't mean you should stop learning.  Our brains need to remain active too. Read.  Watch the news.  Stay current with what is happening locally, nationally and internationally. Take a class. Stretch your horizons. The more you open your mind to new thoughts, ideas and experiences, the younger you feel.

7. Relationships! 

Invest in the people around you, building and maintaining healthy relationships. Life isn't meant to be lived alone, but in community. Family, friends, acquaintances all have a place in our lives. In person, over the phone, on-line.  Reach out and reconnect with those you care about.  It is worth it.

If you are one of those people who "hates people," fine.  Get a dog.  Or a cat.  Something alive.  It's not good for people to be alone.

Haven't studies shown that people with a pet live longer, fuller lives?  Hmmm... Sounds like "Relationship."  They may not talk, but those furry four legged babies make a difference.
8.  Healthy Habits.

We all have habits.  Some good, some not so good.  Work on developing healthy habits. Like eating right, exercise, not smoking, etc. You know the drill. 

Add regular doctor's visits, medical and dental. 

And, positive mental habits. Stop talking to yourself in a way you wouldn't talk to others. Life is hard enough without being mean to yourself.

9.  Faith.

My faith is an integral part of who I am.  I know in whom I have placed my trust, who has saved me and cares for me.  Daily. Hourly. Sometimes Jesus is the only way I make it from one minute to the next. My faith sustains me through hard times and keeps things in perspective during the good times. I can't do it alone. I don't have to because I have a higher power carry me.

I'm not saying you have to believe as I do.  My point is humans are physical, emotional and spiritual beings.  To be truly healthy, we must care for all aspects of ourselves.

10.  Age is an ATTITUDE.

If you think you are old, and say you are old, you begin to act old.  Next thing you know, you are old.  Stop it!  You are only as old as you feel. 

My brain is stuck somewhere in my mid to late 20s.  I still feel that age.  Frequently I am surprised when I look in the mirror. Really! What do I do? I put on some make up, fix my hair and smile.  It's hard to look and feel old when you think you are young.

Anti-aging tip: 

Please don't make the mistake of thinking you can dress or act like someone who is 16 - or like you did when you were 16. Nothing ages you quicker than trying too hard to look young. Watch re-runs of What Not to Wear. When dressed age appropriately, with appropriate hair and make up, the "victims" suddenly looked younger!  Amazing! 

Bonus:  Forget Diamonds - Make up is a girl's Best Friend. 

I can't believe I am sharing this, but here goes.  Pictures of me today before and after make up. 

I use minimal make up.  Moisturizer, foundation, mascara, eye shadow and brow pencil.  Sometimes light pink or coral lip stick.  That's all.  But, what a difference, huh?

Youth is wonderful.  Looking and feeling young are great.  But, I wouldn't change my age, the wisdom I have gained, for anything. As I have aged, I have learned to accept the changes and the challenges, with grace.  I hope you are learning this too.

Much love, and another cup of coffee,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rewind That, Please

I love my DVR. 

I'm talking, seriously love my DVR.  

I can pause tv if someone is talking so I can pay attention to what they are saying.  I can rewind things I missed, or didn't hear because someone was talking, etc.  I can pause a show and begin watching it 15 minutes in to skip commercials.  I can set it to record so I don't miss any of my favorite shows. 

The case could be made that I am addicted to my DVR.  Considering what I did this morning, I would be found guilty and convicted of this addiction.

Let me set the scene. 

It was 7:30.  The two teens and I were in the car on our short 2 mile drive to their school.  The radio was on.  We were talking.  Traffic was heavy and we were behind a bus.  Traffic was moving slowly, as usual and we were stopping at every light.  Every.  Single.  Light.

"Did you hear that?" I say, looking at both boys.

"Hear what?"  Patrick looks up from his cell phone.

"No," Daniel says from the back seat.

"The bus in front of us has crazy loud brakes.  Listen,"  My hand fumbled around the console looking for the remote. 

So I can rewind what just happened.

Yes.  That's right.  I was trying to rewind real life.  While driving.  In traffic. 

I felt silly. 

I admitted what I had done. 

We laughed about it and the teens admitted they often attempted to do the same thing.  Either to replay something great or something incredibly stupid. 

Technology is a great thing.  I love technology.  It makes my day so much easier and more enjoyable in many ways. 

But, this morning made me question how technology has taken control of me being "in the moment" with my family, friends, and life in general.  Am I only half way paying attention because I am so accustomed to being able to pause, rewind and replay practically everything except real life? 

I don't know about you, but I am committing to being present, truly present with the people in my life so I can record all the wonderful, silly and everyday moments in the dvr of my heart and mind.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Great Lost Art of Conversation

Valentine's Day was Friday.  A day for love, for romance, for spending time with the person you want to be with.

Some call it a "forced" holiday.  I've have frequently lamented the commercialism of the day.  But, I have never discounted taking a day to recognize someone special in my life.  And, I admit I enjoy being the recipient of Valentine's Day presents.  Like the ones in the picture below.

 I left out the candy and card from my husband.  But, aren't these bears adorable? 
The flowers are so pretty and fragrant.
Ahhhh....  Bliss. I do love a mixed arrangement. 

If Valentine's Day was the ONLY time he ever acknowledged our love, I would not be a happily married woman.  But, he shows me every day how much he cares and treasures our relationship. 

It's in the everyday things, like taking the trash to the curb, getting up early on Saturday morning to take a teen somewhere and letting me sleep in, making coffee and bringing me a cup in bed on Sunday morning to help me wake up, the kiss goodbye before he leaves, the kiss hello as soon as he comes home or a surprise hug while I am cooking.   

But, most of all, he takes time for me.  To talk with me.  To really listen.  We have great conversations.  It's one of the many reasons I fell in love with him.  I love talking to him, listening to his ideas and sharing mine.  Talking about our hopes and dreams.  Sharing our past adventures and misadventures. 

Friday night, he left his phone in the car, mine stayed in my purse available if the boys had a cooking question or emergency.  As we waited for our turn to be seated in the restaurant, we held hands and chatted and enjoyed one of our favorite pastimes, people watching. 

We noticed something about almost every couple there.  They walked up hand in hand, looking so loving and happy, wearing their Valentine's Day best.  Almost as soon as they sat down in the waiting area prior to being seated in the restaurant, they separated almost turning back to back as they pulled out their smart phones and began to "talk" to other people. 

Once inside, we watched people at the surrounding tables.  Almost, without exception, the younger the couples, the more likely they were to have their phones out and less time was spent talking with their real live, in person companion. Not only were they not engaging with their date, they didn't seem happy. 

However, the older the couple, the more engaged they were with each other.  The happier they seemed.  And, no phones or other electronics were seen.  They talked to each other.  They seemed to enjoy each other's company.  They smiled more.  They looked in each other's eyes while talking.  They were having a great time together. 

My hubby and I watched and discussed what we were seeing around us.  It made us glad we have made it a point to ban our phones and other electronic devices at certain times, not only with each other, but with our family as a whole. 

How do we do this? 

We have an electronic free dinner table. We sit at the table, eat and talk together as a family, discussing our day, politics, religion and everything in between. 

Some days we will gather in front of the tv for dinner, but those are generally few and far between.  And, even then, the tv is the only electronic device allowed.  We still engage each other in  conversation. 

Our weekends aren't electronics free.  But, we do make an effort to spend less time on-line. It's our family time and we guard it closely. 

Do you have times when you ban electronics from your life?  How do you continue to grow with your family?  Do you feel like conversation is a lost art in your home? your relationships? you life in general?  Do you plan to make changes?  How?  When? 

Time for a cup of coffee and conversation.   

Friday, February 14, 2014

Breakfast, the Meal of Champions?

Happy Valentine's Day! 

In thinking about the people I love most, my family, and remembering I had an idea about feeding them waiting in my drafts folder, I wrote this last night.  Since then, I have been to the grocery store, read labels and cooked a "from scratch" breakfast this morning.  Chocolate chip scones and scrambled eggs.  It was a perfect "Valentine's Day" way to wake up.  Not necessarily the most nutritious, but it was at least not pre-packaged and totally filled with preservatives....well, except for the ones in the flour, sugar and chocolate chips....  Great, I have failed in my objective already.  But, onto the post!

As usual, a few weeks ago I was scrambling for a blog post when I saw a Facebook status that sparked my interest.  I didn't write the post that day, but I did save it for future reference.

With permission, this is what it said: 

"Thought I had this morning as I had a few cookies for breakfast: Momma would fix pancakes, waffles, toaster pastries, or biscuits and Karo syrup, but wouldn't let me eat a piece of cake or pie for breakfast because it was too early for sweets.  LOL!"

Sandie's post made me think about things I frequently make for my family for breakfast.

I know you are curious about what you will find on my breakfast table.  Here is a partial list:

Breakfast Sandwiches - English muffin with Canadian bacon, eggs, cheese and bacon
Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy
Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Hash browns
Muffins - chocolate chip, blue berry, strawberry, wild berry, lemon
French Toast Sticks
French Toast
Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast casserole
Kolaches with sausage and cheese
and, on special occasions, Donuts 

The meal I make most often is bacon, eggs and biscuits.  It is quick and easy to fix.  Everyone likes it.  Very little left, so I feel pretty good about sending them off for the day.  At least, I did until I took a good look at the list and realized a lot of the things on there are from pre-packaged mixes (muffins, gravy) or cans (biscuits, cinnamon rolls) or a store/restaurant (kolaches, donuts, yogurt, cereal) or frozen (hash browns, French toast sticks) or full of preservatives (sausage, bacon, Canadian bacon). 

Suddenly, I'm not feeling too great about what I serve my family.  What is a Mom to do?  Especially one who refers to herself only half jokingly as "Susie Homemaker?"

So, I'm challenging myself for a week to try to do better. To cook nutritious breakfasts for my family.  From scratch, as much as possible.  Here are the "rules" I will follow over the next week.

1.  No canned stuff - biscuits, cinnamon rolls
2.  No eating out - kolaches, donuts
3.  No pre-packaged food - cereal, French toast sticks
4.  "Reasonable" portions of sausage and bacon. 
5.  No packaged mixes - muffins, gravy

I'm wondering if this change will make a difference in how we feel this week.  Will the kids feel better?  Will we have more energy?  Will we be mentally alert?  Will we stay full until lunch or crash mid morning?

Anyone willing to join me in this ambitious challenge for a week?  Sign up in the comments below and report back next Friday how you felt after a week of "real" food for breakfast. 

Take a deep breath, a big sip of coffee and join me in this challenge!  Cheers!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Behind Schedule...

Is there anything more delicious than finding out at 9:00 pm that school is delayed 2 hours the following morning?


Sleeping in two extra hours the following morning! 

This was what happened here last night.  It was great to have a leisurely morning, making pancakes for the family before realizing we were *this close* to being late. 

What is it about school starting at 10:00 that puts you behind schedule?  You sleep in, you feel like you have all morning ahead of you and then suddenly, you are in a rush, trying to get ready to go in time. 

Once home from dropping the boys at school, I realized this now put me 2 hours behind for cleaning and writing.  What to do... 

Stick to the schedule!  Instead of sitting down to Facebook and Twitter this morning, I did a quick post, closed the Kindle, put down my phone and got busy. 

Laundry.  Beds.  Vacuum.  Kitchen.  Bathrooms.  Shower.

Now, I am finally kicking back, finishing my second bottle of water, watching pairs figure skating which I DVRed yesterday.  It's time to grab some lunch, take my vitamins and have a second cup of coffee. 

Then, I can move onto the rest of my schedule:  making dinner and writing. 

Thankfully, dinner is basically ready.  We had roast last night.  After lunch, I will shred the remaining beef and warm it in the crockpot this afternoon.  I will cut a green pepper and onion to saute before time to eat. Last I will grate some Swiss cheese and split the rolls I bought yesterday.  All we have to do, is build our sandwiches and broil them a bit to melt the cheese.  Yummy! 

Writing.  Wow, I am so behind there.  I have been working on writing Chapter 11 for a while now.  Actually, I haven't been writing, because I wasn't sure how I wanted/needed it to end.  It took a few days of letting it marinate in my brain.  Now, I know what needs to happen to take me into the next chapter.  Whew.  Now, to write it.  :)

Hope you are having a fantastic day.  I need coffee....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rainy and Monday....How to get thru it, Susan Style. :)

Cold cloudy, rainy days make me want to do certain things.


Cook!  Especially baking yummy desserts or bread.  Don't you love the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or warm bread.  Ahhhhh.....  I can practically smell them now.

Read!  I love a good book on a cold rainy day.  There is something so satisfying about curling up in front of the fire with a book and a dog or two and reading.  Add a cup of coffee and a freshly baked cookie and I am in heaven. 

Stay in my jammies!   As soon as I don't have to be anywhere else for the day, you can almost be certain to find me wearing my comfy jammies as I sit in front of the fire, drinking coffee and reading. 

Write!  Writers are readers, but we are also writers.  After a reading vacation, sometimes my fingers are itching to get back to my story.  Plus, the laptop actually in my lap helps me stay warm.  Win win!

Eat!  Well, if I'm going to cook, I am certainly going to eat.  Comfort foods are the best.  One of my favorites is breakfast for dinner.  Yummy.  Love pancakes with maple syrup, sausage and bacon on a cold winter's evening.  Is there anything better?  Other than a pot of soup, that is?

What do you like to do when it's cold and icky outside?  Comment and let me know.  You can be sure I'll be drinking coffee and reading as I wait to find out.  :) 

Sorry there are no pictures today.  For some reason, I couldn't get them to load.  Maybe Wednesday.  :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Housecleaning, Susan Style

Okay y'all, today I am keeping it real. I am debating including pictures.  Not sure I want it to be that real.  :)

Today's confession:  I love a clean house.  Squeaky, sparkly, wonderfully clean.  Once, long ago, I had one.  My mantra was "A place for everything and everything in it's place."  Always.  I lived alone with no pets.  Not even a fish. 

Then I got married.  But it was easy to maintain my high standards. I planned to work, but we found out I was pregnant.  Together we made the BEST decision of my life - to be a Stay at Home Mommy.

Over the first 6 years, one month and seven days of marriage we added 4 sons to our family.  No joke.  Our 6th anniversary was Dec 21, son #4 was born on January 28.  Nice, huh? 

The not so nice part:  The house went from sparkling and squeaky clean to a dirty disaster zone.  It was a slow, but steady decline.

Me, the girl who prided herself on having a spotless home, was now barely able keep the dishes washed and a clear area in the floor for the kids to play.  I tried, spending all day, picking up stuff and fussing at the kids.  Or yelling in frustration.  Or crying. 

I was as big a mess as my house.

Enter a good friend who saw me struggling, trying to keep things clean and basically losing my mind in the never ending chaos of my life.   She asked if I had heard of The Flylady and suggested I check it out her website,  So, I did. I didn't think it would work for me. But, what I was doing wasn't working, so I decided to try it.  I printed a bunch of lists and cleaned my sink.

Long story short, the routines worked. It took a while to turn my chaotic, messy house back into a clean and happy home.  But, it happened.  Slowly, but surely. The kids even got involved.  It was fun. 

What?  We were having fun cleaning house???

Yes, indeed!  Turning on music and making it a game changed my perspective.  Racing to beat the clock?  Genius idea.  We would work for 15 minutes then play for 45.  The timer became our best friend.  The house was clean.  I was a nice Mommy again. 

Fast forward 15 years.  What does my house look like now?

It is relatively clean.  Certainly not the spotless abode of my early years living alone, but it's acceptable.   

The bathrooms are clean, the kitchen is clean enough.  We have dogs, so fur adorns our furniture and clothing.  We have clutter.  Laundry is on-going, but not overwhelming.  The baseboards need cleaning.  My refrigerator is clear of science projects, but has drips that need cleaned.  There are finger prints on walls, doors and light switches.  The furniture is dusty.  The carpets are okay and the tile has been swept, but needs mopped.  The beds are made.  Stacks of clean laundry need to be put away.

Told you I was keeping it real.  :) 

How do I keep my home in this state of lived in "clean enough?"  This is my daily routine when I get home from dropping the kids at school:

Gather any stray dirty clothes, sort and start a load of laundry. 
Patrick's bedroom:  make the bed, vacuum and leave. 
Daniel's room: make the bed, vacuum, feed his fish and leave. 
The office (our guest room):  vacuum, straighten the desk and leave. 
Hallway bathroom: spray the tub.  Clean toilet.  Wipe the sink and counter. Wash  hands and leave. 
My room: make the bed, put away clean clothes and vacuum.  Deal with clutter and leave. 
Living room:  Clean out the fireplace and sweep the hearth.  Start a fire.  Pick up the dog toys.  Pick up and deal with any clutter.  Vacuum the carpet, concentrating on the area rug where the dogs lay most of the time.  Fold the afghans, put over the back of the couch.  Put my purse, keys and sunglasses by the door so I can find them when it's time to leave again.  Think about dusting.  Laugh.
Grab the broom:  Sweep the kitchen, bathrooms and hallway. 
Kitchen:  Put away clean dishes from the counter.  Stack dirty dishes in the sink.  I have people (teens) who load and unload the dishwasher and hand wash.  Clear the clutter from the breakfast bar and table, tossing trash and putting things where they belong.  Think about dinner.  Start it in the crock pot or check for ingredients for later.
My bathroom: clean the toilet, sink and counters.  Take a shower. Spray shower with cleaner.  Put on make up and do hair. 
Laundry room:  Move clothes to dryer, start washing another load. Take folded clean clothes to boys bedrooms, add to their stacks and leave. 

By this time I have done the above it is between 11-12.   The house is reasonably clean. I am showered, dressed, hair is done, make up is on and I am ready to write.  I still need to dust and mop.  But, we do those on the weekend with everyone pitching in. 

Yes, my baseboards and dirty and the tops of my doors would not pass a white glove inspection more often than one day a year.  The house could use a deep cleaning.  That's what a week of Spring Cleaning is for, right? :)

And, we live here.  We really LIVE here.  We laugh, we love, we play games.  We talk.  We watch football.  We eat.  We sleep.  You get the idea.  This is our home.  It isn't a museum.  It isn't a model house.  It's a comfortable place to be.  And, we like it this way.

So, if dirty baseboards, dusty blinds and fingerprints bother you, don't come to my house.  But, if you can overlook them and want to enjoy some homemade brownies and conversation with my dogs snoring under our feet, come on over.  I have a freshly brewed pot of coffee ready and waiting. Come on over.  :)

Um, yeah, I thought about it.  No pictures.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Last night, I was reading Facebook status updates and comments and noticed a trend.  People have trouble drawing boundaries....

...with our friends.
...with our co-workers.
...with our families.
...with people on-line.


Why do we try to please everyone?  To make them happy at the expense of our happiness?  To always let them win?

Is it ever okay to do those things?  Sure.  Sometimes.

When it doesn't really matter. 
When it isn't a priority. 
When it doesn't hurt someone else. 
When it doesn't hurt you or make you feel less than. 

When is it NOT okay?

When it matters, deeply, to you. 
When it is a priority. 
When it hurts someone. 
When it makes you feel less than, or not good enough, or unwanted. 
When you feel like you have to be perfect to keep them from saying nasty things to you. 
When you walk on egg shells afraid of setting them off.....again.

I don't know about you, but there are people in my life who require me to put up boundaries.

Many times these people do not know their words or actions affect me negatively.  Or, if they do, they think it's okay because they are "just telling the truth" or if I tell them they hurt me they say I'm "too sensitive."

So, I have drawn boundaries.  


Depends on the situation, person, etc.  If it's Facebook, I unfriend or block them.  Remember, you don't have to accept friend requests.  And, if you do and it turns toxic, you can delete or block them.  If you have people who are there to get information so they can talk about you behind your back. 



Seriously. Clean up your friends list.  I promise, you will feel so much better.  Just. Do. It.

In real life it's more difficult, but it can be done. 

If it is a friend or family member who doesn't live with you, be unavailable. 

"Sorry, I can't go."  You don't have to say WHY.  You just say no.  Don't invite them over.  If they arrive uninvited or without calling, either don't answer the door or keep them at the door.  Seriously!!  Chat a moment and then say goodbye.  Close the door.  Unless they have a key, they aren't getting inside.  If they do have a key, ask for it back.  People who hurt you do not get an all access pass to your home.  Ever.

Keep conversations to a minimum and over the phone.  It's easy to get off the phone.  You hang up!  If they call back, you don't have to answer.  Especially if they are being mean and nasty that day.  If you have to see them, go to their house. You get to decide when to leave. 

Master the art of
*walking away. 
*refusing to discuss certain topics. 
*changing the subject. 

If they live with you, I'm sorry.  Walking away, changing the subject and leaving the room aren't always possible.  Or easy.  You may need to consider counselling either together or separate.   

About 10 years ago I had a situation and needed guidance so I spoke with my pastor.  He listened.  He let me cry.  He asked questions.  Then, he pulled a book from the shelf behind him and handed it to me.  

The book was "Boundaries" by Drs. Cloud and Townsend.  When I got over being angry at the pastor for not telling me what I wanted to hear, I read the book.  I thought about it.  I read it again.  Then I put it into practice.  It took 2 years to truly establish them, but now I have healthy boundaries. 

And, the pastor did say if the book didn't help, counselling might be in order to learn how to set boundaries so others will respect my feelings, my emotions, etc.    

Whew, I need a cup of coffee now. 

*This is not a paid endorsement.  Also, I am not a doctor, counsellor or otherwise authorized to give emotional, personal or relationship advice.  I'm simply telling what worked for me.*
**For the curious people reading this, the person requiring a boundary was not my husband or one of our sons.  It was someone outside my home.**