Friday, September 28, 2007

Time to Play Catch Up!

A Good Word
First of all, I'd like to mention that Kerri gave me a little press over here at Aisle Dash, a wedding blog on AOL. Thanks, Kerri! Hopefully it will send traffic our way and better yet - business!

Failing the Test?

Speaking of business, the fundraiser is over as of today at the high school where we are testing this. We are crossing our fingers it's a significant amount of puzzle sets sold because the class adviser never kicked this thing off right resulting in way too few people even hearing about it. So some kids are selling but not nearly as many as we had hoped - we think. We'll see. Time to round up a new school and this time we'll make sure they kick it off right or they let us do it ourselves. On the plus side, we do have a major organization that wants to talk to our marketing rep about doing this too, as well as a PR agency that responded to a cold email she sent out in response to something she saw in the newspaper. Hopefully they'll both join the team!

Mo' Money!

In other news, children cost a ton of money! OK. This is no news flash for those of you who have them. The amount of things I have had to do for my kids lately is making me wish I had a part-time job so I can at least make money for ME! Fundraisers, cub scout uniform, birthday party's getting insane. But that is the point of my business isn't it? To make it profitable enough to become a good side gig until it can become the real deal? Still, I am starting to feel like I will never catch up to their needs and wants and I am NOT an overindulgent parent. I just like to get them what they want from time to time because good kids like mine deserve that and generally speaking I like providing for them as much as I can. So this has to be my motivation. I have to get things into gear for all our sakes. It's not like we're not trying but we really need to do more.

Awaking the Muse
I'm writing again at last. Walking in the mornings is proving good for my creativity - as well as all the writing I've had to do for work lately, among other things. It's really rough and I'm only anxious to get a first draft for the sake of my crit group. But I'm glad something else is trying to come forth. Maybe it will get me back into submitting some other stuff again. But we've been talking about finding agents lately and I would love that. Get an agent or self-publish. I'm not sure I have the time or patience for anything else. My thing is doing it yourself is the only way to ensure things get done.

Speaking of Writing
I'm CONSIDERING NaNo again this year and I ain't got the time for it AT ALL. Somebody please talk me out of it! Right now I'm sleep because I've been out late every night this week for business meetings, cub scouts or silliness with co-workers. The delirium probably has me talking about NaNo again. I can't do it.

I can't.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just So You Know...

Yes, my child is now a cub scout - wolf pack! Shoot me now. Shoot me now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Justice for Jena

The nonsense continues. As a person of color who blogs and writes and interacts with all sorts of people, I must help spread the word. Like the Paris, Texas incident (she is finally free now, by the way) and of course Imus, we see that racial disparity continues to rear its ugly head in a world where we should be more united by the fact that a lot of world would love to see us ALL demolished. But no, we still deal with places like Jena, Louisiana, which aggravates the heck out of me not just because my people of color are involved but because half of my blood relatives are Louisianians so I think of what they must sometimes face as residents there. A lot of this crap is taking place in my beloved South and that hurts too. This is life - still.

I've been listening to the buzz (and reading the mass emails) all week. Many supporters of the Jena 6 are going down there. Those of us who want to show solidarity are asked to wear black on Sept. 20th which is when one of the young men is supposed to go to court. It amazes me how many of the officials in Jena supposedly can't see how this is a racial issue. Maybe their hands and minds are tied by the offices they hold. Maybe in private they know the deal. But hanging nooses on a tree and claiming that tree (now cut down) to be "white only" should be enough to bring those private beliefs to light. The haters certainly have.

And oh, let me put it in perspective for you. These boys have the same bond (some higher!) as these 6 ignorant ********. Wonder what they'll get for torturing this woman? Wonder if she'll ever sleep again.

Only God can serve the true justice that in necessary in all these cases and I hope many of the family members get to be there when it happens, however it happens. But we stay tuned to hopefully hear these black boys with no records will not spend 22 years of their lives (down from the original 100 - not a misprint) in jail. Getting mad. Gotta go now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

OK, so I wouldn't be me if I didn't say a few words. But basically, it's just to say that I've never done WW. Liz does this all the time but this time I actually had something - thanks to my emailing brother - that fit the bill.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My son wants to be a Cub Scout. I don't know if it's truly his original thought, inspired by the flier that was sent home yesterday. Or if it's mostly influenced by the fact that a friend of his is in it. But when I asked him why he wanted to do it, his first response was he heard they teach you how to skateboard. I can't argue with this reasoning since it's rarely bad to learn how to do new things, though I have a hard time believing skateboarding is one of their activities. Having been a Brownie myself (never fully cooked to Girl Scout. Just wasn't in me.), I do see the benefit in doing something like this but should we let him? I keep seeing dollar signs and drains on my remaining energy.

So I took him to the info meeting last night, to his surprise, since we were on our way to the library when he tells me the flier sent home mentioned the meeting would be that very night. (Thanks for the advanced notice, guys.) But when he comes to me with reasonable requests, I have to find a way to honor them. Going to a meeting was the least I could do.

Since I didn't have a flyer but there was a sign conveniently posted near the library (with no address), I figured out where the church was that it was to be held. Eons pass with us listening to the den leader - nice guy if not a little loquacious. They build cars, they sleep over on battle ships, and oh yes, older kids do have some sort of skateboarding badge they can earn. Say what? It's not expensive - to register - but I see now that signing him up for Cub Scouts (Tiger Cub for his age) is like enlisting the whole darn family! They expect up to - gasp! - par-ti-ci-pate!

I already have a job and other stuff to do. I already promised my 3rd child to the PTA this year by actually putting myself on a committee. (Parental guilt is probably how the ranks of the PTA continue to grow.) The scouts want me to be there too! fundraising and helping and stuff! Groan! And some troops meet EVERY WEEK! Oh yes, that is what I was told. That's not including the monthly meeting with the larger group. Are they nuts? Am I for even considering it?

But I asked him again.

"Do you REALLY want to do this?"



"I can learn things, and make new friends, and it will be fun."

Now he chooses to get logical. Darn it. There is a meeting on the 19th so Son can see who his den leader would be should we decide to go through with this. I told Husband he needs to go because he would be as integral a part of this as I would be. I'll let you know what we decide.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Version of "Footprints"

It's amazing how little time and money there is in my life when there is such an overwhelming need for them both, whether I want there to be or not. We won't go off on the money tangent right now. I'm just sick of every freaking payday lately being a day of infusing money into the latest must-pay-yesterday, must-have-this-item-today situation thereby setting my savings plans and desire to occasionally get some "wants" further and further on the proverbial back burner.

And time? Well, as usual, if I only had to work and deal with family, then I'd be set. But when you need to make time for a business and friends and reading and writing and exercise and get the picture. It's frustrating but I've been determined to keep to my plan to reign in my time a little better and literally I know it all starts with one little step. So here's my little bit of encouragement for YOU all today with the little bit of time I am stealing from continuing to work on one of 3 huge projects at my job and a bunch of smaller-but-no-less-important ones.

Simply put - Change for the better is closer than you think.

I had a shorter version of that phrase as my message once this week on my IM window. A friend IM'd.

"What's closer than you think?"

"Any change you want to make!"

I explained to her that my experience has been that when I do something for a while and then stop, I hate it. I feel guilty. I know I need to start it up again but before long it's been a month, 6 months, a year and now I'm so far gone I just don't see how I'll ever get back. But when I resolve to go back, I simply turn around and so far it has always been quicker to get back than I thought it would be and I rejoice in the knowledge of that.

"Ah! I needed to know that!" she said.

And so I was happy to give that to someone that day.

In my case, God and I were a little too distant for my taste. I allowed life to get in the way and I know He knows that's to be expected when you are in my line of work - wife and mother - but that doesn't make it any better because most times He is the only one who truly understands when no one else does but I hate to bug Him with the bad stuff when I haven't been just chillin' with Him for the heck of it. (And before anyone gets a little stressed by what I just said or suddenly feels bound up by some religiosity that ingrained in them, know this. God WILL NOT ignore you for ignoring Him. He's bigger than that. Literally. So speak up and let Him surprise you.)

Always I'm promising to start spending time with Him again, reading my Bible - outside of church - for the relationship of it. But it never quite happens. My recent time management work has brought Him back to the forefront as well as my need to do any kind of exercise and to save something, anything, every single day.

So I save. Daily. And recently I needed it so I'm almost wiped out again but I had it. Good feeling.

And for now I walk in the mornings. I've been amazed how I've had the desire to get up and do it. I missed it. Used to do it all the time on my treadmill but my treadmill continues to stay at MIL's house for now so I walk outside for that "Waking Hour" Don Wetmore encourages. Before long I felt myself longing to walk a little longer, a little further and it came back to me how I used to do that and get a little high from it. I'll have to get my treadmill back though for those times when going outside that morning just can't happen.

While I walk, when I remember to think - because this is one time I can actually NOT think of a single thing and be perfectly content - I talk to God and we don't actually "stroll" together because I do walk at a good clip. But He keeps up! Imagine that! And we talk - yes, out loud. I don't really care how crazy I look at 5:45 in the morning - and despite the lack of time and seemingly insufficient funds, I know I am quite blessed so I just thank Him for being Him and for all the grace and peace in my life and for reminding me of something He has often reminded me of: No matter how far away you get from Him or from a regular fitness routine or from saving regularly or from spending quality time with family, etc., it's just a matter of stopping and going back to that forgotten but important aspect of your life and suddenly you will be right back there, as safe as always. I know for a fact that the miles you accidentally put between yourself and God can be eradicated in an instant just by turning around. You take one step, He takes the rest. I believe wholeheartedly that applies to all the other lapsed things as well.

So I take comfort and choose to share that change, life improvements, renewed relationships are all closer than you think. It's simply a matter of choosing to embrace them again.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Praying for Sleep

Another hectic week has passed. My mother brought the kids home Tuesday. My father drove up so he arrived on Wednesday. Son started school on Thursday but we figured there was no sense in sending Daughter back to preschool for a 2-day week so we waited until today to send her back. My father's 60th birthday was the 30th so we were able to celebrate with him for once. They left early Friday morning and Son's best friend literally since birth spent the night Friday night because as of Sunday he was moving to North Carolina with his father to start school while his mother and baby brother stay here to sell their house so they can go too. Sad times. Labor Day weekend was quiet and filled with bowling and eating out.

That brings us to 4 o'clock this morning when I awoke to the sound of Son's bedroom door opening. It sticks so you can't help but hear it. I thought he was going to the bathroom but then I noticed Mr. T wasn't next to me so when I saw Son go back to his room, I figured he was waiting.

I hear Son moving again and this time I sit all the way up and peek around to see no one is in the bathroom but Son's door is still open. So I lay myself back down and wait for Son to show up and tell me he had a nightmare or he's itchy or he's coughing a lot or he wet the bed or something. But nothing. I check his door and it's ajar but the only light is the light of his galaxy lamp I finally got hung up in his room. I fall back to sleep and am hastily awakened by my bright bedroom light overhead.

"Mommy, there's a praying mantis in the living room."

"What? Huh? Kill the light!" He does. "What are you talking about?" He's calm so I'm thinking he's just living out whatever dream he just had and he's sleepwalking a little. "I went to look for bugs and there's a praying mantis in the living room."

"You went to look for bugs?"

OK. I don't know much about these bugs but I do recall a praying mantis getting into some hotel I was at once with some other students years ago and someone saying something about never killing one of these things but getting it out is no easy fete. In our case, however, I was not quick to believe it could be the real thing. Still, what did he see? Wait a minute.

"Son, the living room has no light in it." (We haven't bought any lamps for that room yet and there's no light fixture so when it's dark outside, it's dark in there.) "How could you possibly see anything even if there were something there?"

"It's green and over by the TV."

He looks awake. He sounds awake. But I'm not convinced he can see a green, practically invisible-to-the-eye bug like a praying mantis in a dark corner like where that TV is currently located.

"Boy, it's 4 in the morning! Why on earth are you up looking for bugs?! Go back to bed!"

By now I have to get up and investigate because, well, I'm awake and you just never know. And where the heck is Mr. T, anyway? If there IS a praying mantis about, he's got a job to do. I see the kitchen door that leads downstairs is not only closed but locked. And now I'm really wondering because Mr. T is nowhere upstairs so downstairs is the only place he can be but he wouldn't close the door and lock it behind himself. I peek outside the living room window and all the cars are accounted for. I take a look over by the TV and Son has come in by now to see what I found but nothing. I open the kitchen door and Mr. T is soon upstairs wondering why so much walking is going on. Daughter has heard the commotion and now my whole house is up at 4:30 in the morning and all I can do is think of the sleep I am not getting. Mr. T finds a toy in the corner and tosses it over.

"Is this it?" He laughs. "No more cartoons for you!"

This morning I ask Son if he remembers getting up. He tells me he got up to watch TV. (So this must have been like 1 or 3 in the morning, is my guess. Time to unplug that thing.) He locked the kitchen door when he saw it was open and he said, "I smelled food so I went to see if there were any bugs." Yes, this is what he said exactly.

I don't know. Is it just me or are little boys just the oddest creatures alive?