Monthly Archives: December 2012

Let it snow, let it snow…okay, that’s enough!

I’m sure there are plenty of people who will shoot me for this, but I absolutely love a genuine snow day. When I have no place to go, and no livestock outside, I love to curl up with a blanket and maybe a good book and just stay out of the weather.

I will even wake up particularly early on a day when school has been canceled, or we’re having a weekend break. I want to enjoy the snow day to the limit. And I’m always a little disappointed, when on days like today, the weather dies down early. I want my full day indoors…with electrical power, of course.

Once that one day is over, however, I want it to be just that OVER. I want the roads to be clear, the snow to be melting so it won’t blow again and everything to be moving normally. I don’t want to sleep through the night, listening to the weather blowing fiercely and I don’t want a second day of curlling up with a book that nine times out of ten wasn’t that great. Just one really good, authentic snow day and no more. That’s not too much to ask, is it? Unless, of course, you live in South Dakota–the state whose nickname should be “Our weather is a law unto itself.”

I baked some cookies and made some ornaments and wrapped all the rest of my Christmas gifts because I was indoors. I suppose now I have nothing left but to do that thing which I hate the most…clean!

It’s been a very difficult week but high points have included my children (okay, so my grandchildren were there too) on Skype, with no bad news to deliver and the first of the Christmas cards arriving. I love those…usually full of letters and news and pictures.

I’m still searching for that extra time, but I tell myself I’ll find more time after the holidays. I won’t be making gifts or baking or etc. However, it is my goal to find some time for exercise before the holidays..It might be hard to do, but I need to stop finding excuses to do no more than spend a few minutes on the treadmill.



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Making the pieces fit

At the exalted of (whatever age I am) I thought I knew everything there was to know about myself. I know I like chocolate, I hate exercise and I feel lucky to have my job. I sincerely believed there was nothing new to learn.

This last year has proven that wrong in several ways, but one interesting thing I’ve learned is that I am a jigsaw puzzle addict. And just like any good addict, I am fine unless I expose myself to one.

Once I have set down that box on a table and starting spreading out the edge pieces, I’m hooked until the last, stubborn, completely unrelated-looking piece is locked into the last opening. I could work on it for hours and on nights when I have work in the morning, that can be bad.

It’s such an insidious addiction. You make up your mind to put together the lighthouse, which leads you to put together the cliff it sits on and then the rocks below and the green water and the blue sky. When you work at it and get a few pieces to fit into place, the adrenaline takes hold and there you are, a helpless victim of the vicious cycle.

Today,I went to school functioning on about an hour and a half of sleep. What was the reason? Did I have noisy neighbors? Was I sick? Was I worried? No, none of those. I was simply putting the lighthouse together with the trees and lighted path near the house and I couldn’t go to bed until I had that done. Then, there were the clouds that kept turning up in my pieces so I put that together. After that, I put together the pieces that had the water spray that hit the rocks….this went on, well literally all night.

I looked at the clock finally and saw that it was a quarter to five in the morning. It seemed silly to try to get sufficient sleep then, so I put together the dangerous rocks down on the sandy shore instead.

It was very difficult to function with so little rest, but fortunately, my students are good children and made it easy. Because of this incident, I have recognized that I do have this addiction, and should never take out a new puzzle on a schoolnight. And this morning, when I was yawning sleepily as I drove to the east towards work, what was I thinking as I stared at the greenish sky, peaking through the dark cracks of the storm clouds? Well, I was thinking, “If I could find some more of those greenish pieces in the box, I could finishing putting together that sky.”

I’m going to sign off tonight, knowing that even with my jigsaw puzzle lack of sleep debacle, I am still working to achieve my goals. That puzzle and 8 hours of uninterrupted work were well worth it!

Hope the day went well for everyone. I was able to control some of my random eating by keeping a list. The high point of my day is right now, when I turn this off and sink into blessed sleep…that is, if I don’t find another puzzle….

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Day two was pretty calm…hope that’s a trend

Two days of blogging in a row when I haven’t traveled anywhere is some sort of record for me. I vowed there would be less eating and more healthful action. Half of that was done today. I was able to resist some of my usual food triggers. Now for the healthful action…yeah, that hasn’t gone so well. The most exercise I got today was going up and down the stairs to do laundry.

School was busy and I do enjoy what I do, but right now, I would prefer to be doing more writing. The closest I’m coming to that lately, however, is when I do this blog.

I love to look at Christmas lights. I put up a Christmas tree for no other reason. I wouldn’t need the ornaments at all, as long as the lights were plentiful and multicolored. Somehow, those lights make me smile; it’s a compensation for the days going dark so early. I think that’s why I’m so melancholy when the lights come down. But for now, I just turn off the room lights, kick back and grin from ear to ear at all those lights.

You understand, they really have very little to do with the point of the Christmas season, but they are a nice candle in the night during the winter days. Sometimes, I admit, I deliberately go to bed and leave them on, but I find all too often that they stimulate my mind too much and I can’t sleep in their glow.  It’s well-worth the loss, however; except at 2:30 the next afternoon, of course!

The high point of the day today was a nice, quiet lunch in my classroom. That might not seem like much of a high point to you, but a few quiet minutes in the middle of my hectic day is a welcome respite.

I’m going to start searching the days for two things in my plan of self-improvement: Both things involve time. I need time for a little (light) exercise and I need time for the characters of my books. They visit me in dreams if I don’t spend time with them in the day. I truly love them and unless I pay attention, they may never make it into print.

Day two and I’m most satisfied!


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And so it begins…

Okay, okay, so I’m a little late with my New Year’s Resolution. I resolved a lot of things in January and I haven’t done as well with them as I wanted. That doesn’t mean I’m giving up, though. On the contrary, as the year rolls down, I resolve more than ever to work at my “less is more” event.

I’ve decided that the best way to achieve any success with my resolution, is to give it a day-by-day evaluation. Since we don’t do nearly as well on our own, I will go public with my year’s evolution. I warn you, some days will be darned boring, but I plan to go forward with my plans anyway. If you wonder how I’m doing so far, you should know that I resolved to start this blog on Dec. 1…so much for less procrastination!

I plan to analyze my own philosophy on a lot of things, but it isn’t my plan to excuse my own beliefs to satisfy someone else. I know a lot of people out there, both Democrat and Republican, would not appreciate my political ideas. In addition, my religious views don’t coincide with many people. I used to call myself an agnostic, but after looking at a thorough definition of that idea, I realize that I’m just a rather “homeless believer.” I have compelling evidence of the existence of an active God and on my lucid and calm days, I feel the presence of Jesus the Savior, who is my brother as well as my lord. I’m jealous of people like my husband and my daugher, who have foundation in their faith, but it will take some  doing for me to achieve connection with a particular church. I’ve always been okay with this, but I think if you want to know me at all, you must know these things about me.

I heard a man speak today about a hunting trip he took to northern Canada to hunt caribou. I felt compelled to ask him why he undertook such a trip, as he admitted his age had made it difficult. I expected him to say that he had always wanted to shoot a caribou, but that’s not his answer. “I wanted to watch the migration of those mighty herds,” he answered, “I think that would be an awesome sight.” 

How much I understood this! I’ve sat in a chair on the front porch of Jefferson Davis’s home in Biloxi, Miss. It wasn’t because I was so anxious to spend time in the home of the only Confederate president, but because the view of the Gulf of Mexico from his front porch was the beautiful in the world. Our motivations aren’t always what they seem and yet they satisfy something inside of us.

It was a high point of my day to be able to see my grandsons and their parents on Skype. I had to laugh, though, when I realized that two-year-old Royce has begun to associate his grandmother with particular things. During the summer, we sang a lot of “Head, shoulders, knees and toes.” Since then, I have reminded him of the song by repeated singing and acting out. Tonight, as soon as he saw me on Skype, he grinned and grabbed his head immediately as though to say, “Okay, Grandma, here’s my head; now get off my back!”

I’m not sure I’m making any sense here at the beginning of my blogging journey, but I’m hoping all my thoughts will come together. I think my goal is self-improvement, but that’s really just a disguise. If I can improve my attitude, my habits and my relationships, I’m working towards being an even happier person than I am. And that’s a goal I can truely focus on!


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