Sunday, March 29, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - Changing Landscape

I'm back at it - pulling thoughts from my cluttered head & putting words on a page.  Such a bizarre week - an unexpected death in our extended family.  A father, only 50, who had been diagnosed with stage 3 Colon Cancer, but most likely due to fatal complications from chemotherapy & a genetic heart condition he was called home way too soon, leaving behind a wife, three kids, his parents, his 2 siblings & a myriad of friends & family.

Others in my circle have experiences heartbreaking losses, or are dealing with a family member with disease diagnosises requiring aggressive treatment. It never seems fair or just, it just is.  We are left to do what we can to support our friends & loved ones as best we can.



So here's my 5 minute brain dump...

SOC Sunday 2015

Spring is arriving sooner than normal for Minnesotans.  It's barely April & my husband has already played his first round of golf.  I have high expectations for this year's growing season, the efforts more planned & calculated than ever.  

When we moved into this home coming up on 10 years ago, the lansdcape was beautifully done - the work of the previous owners, who left behind meticulous records of everything planted on the property.  It was overwhelming to say the least - I knew nothing about maintaining landscapes or distinguishing between a dozen differn't types of fertilizers. I still don't.

So since Hubby had proclaimed the outside of the house his territory to maintain & the inside was mine, I let him go at it.  But outside of lawn care & anything other than trimming hedges back or cutting back hostas at the end of the fall, he was just as lost as I was in that department,. As he slowly started to decontruct the existing landscaping, attempting to make it a lower maintenance effort from year to year, my love of gardening started to emerge.

I started with filling pots with colorful arrangements of flowers to brighten up our front walkway & steps, then branched out into the world of container gardening on our deck. Over the years, my love of growing has blossomed. Last year 27 containers filled our deck & each year I am anticipating more & planning how to do things better, getting more yield from my efforts. Our landscape continues to evolve. Last fall, I planted new tulip bulbs, a Mother's Day gift from my MIL last year. Blanket Flowers, Zinnia, Lillys & strawberries will edge our home again & for the first time I'll plant more Blueberries in the yard & grow a couple patio varieties along with a few strawberries on our deck.  I intend to plant some wildflowers on the edge of our marsh. A peek at this year's seedlings...



This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Mid-Life. The Here & Now.

It's almost 3:00 pm on Sunday - much later than when I'm normally sitting down to write this post. While online late last night I noticed Fadra had not yet done her writing so I gave her a little shout-out on Twitter & found out her internet had been down, plus she had simply forgotten to write her own post.

All is good now - she & a few others have linked up - but after I do there will still be plenty of room for you to do the same - so get after it.

So here's my 5 minute brain dump...

SOC Sunday 2015



So Munchkin Hockey is back - for a short while. You don't realize what a huge part of your life it is until you are away from it. Ran into an association mom who is on a different team in our game league and she claimed to be going through withdrawal - in only a week found herself missing the comraderie & conversations with other Hockey Moms. I know exactly how she feels. 

Wouldn't call it mid-life crisis, but things are changing - priorities shifting from my own to that of my son's as has my sense of self worth. Haven't spent as much time on myself as I do making sure my son's life is in order. Beginning to think that needs to change. That saying "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"totally applies here.

Someone posted on Facebook last night 2 questions which had to be answered in 2 words: 

  1. Are you happy?
  2. What made you answer the way you did above?

My answer was - Yes, Gratitude

I did not lie - I'm extremely grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon me, but I would be fibbing if I didn't admit that I had an answer for the "No" too. Sometimes we are so careful to project outward all the fun & what we deem to be the things that others in our social circle will deem interesting & light. Who wants to be around a downer?!

As the washing machine & dishwasher slosh & whir while the tea kettle whistles - I think of everything I should be doing besides writing. 

But at least for this 5 minutes I was able to take my mind off of all those things that remain undone for work, for this home & for me.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - Rituals


A rare weekend without kid sports is coming to an end. Last weekend was the finale of a really fun & busy kid hockey season so I didn't find time to do any free writing.  I'm back - once again at the end of the day when I should be logged into work right now, but I'd much rather chill for just a few minutes more...

So here's my 5 minute brain dump...

Rituals.
SOC Sunday 2015

Our snow is almost gone... a bit early for Minnesota but we're not complaining. Everyone has seasonal rituals. Call it New Year Resolutions, Spring Cleaning, Fall Back whatever you prefer, we all have certain things we do when the change of the seasons come along.

The want-to-be interior designer & personal shopper craves changing things up in our home for the Fall, the holidays & now for Spring. It started out as something for my kid, to create life-long memories & traditions - but now I realize it's exactly those things, but for myself. Often times we wish for things we saw other friends have but didn't...and for me it was family rituals & traditions. 

So when the forecast called for sunny skies & temperatures in the 60's, the rest of the winter decor had to go. Out came the bunnies, the Easter eggs, the linen pillows, a lighter throw for the living room couch and the gardening decor. The look is fresh, much lighter, more crisp, a bit eclectic but still warm. I planted my second tray of seeds & did a little shopping... incorporating a few new pieces of decor into the mix. 

My favorite go-to places for the finds are HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Zulily & sometimes Marshalls. Check out my Tumblr blog & you'll see a few of the fun things I spot.

Overall it was a great weekend, it actually hit a record 70 degrees today - but I'm curious if I'm the only crazy mom who lives for the seasonal switch?

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - Under The Wire


It's late on Sunday night & I could just as easily skip this task and chill. It's been a busy but a productive weekend, but 5 minutes of writing will do my mind good. So here it is:

This week's 5 minute brain dump...

SOC Sunday 2015



When you're a working mom, you can find yourself living for the weekends. All week long you are racing against the clock. It's not easy to work an extra hour or two here & there anymore in the office. You squeeze as much as possible into each day, then drag your laptop home at night or for the weekend & using whatever little bit of energy you have left, usually in the wee hours of the night, you try to focus on what there wasn't enough time for.

But it's hard, so hard to squeeze that time away from my child, the housework, and all the other family obligations that we all have. I was a very productive mama this weekend - mountains of laundry washed, folded & put away, floors vacuumed or swept, bed linens stripped cleaned & replaced, grocery shopping done, bathrooms cleaned, plants watered, family time - lots of it with an outing on Friday night, hockey on Saturday & church activities Sunday morning. 

Meals for the week have been planned, the kid has started his homework for the week. It's going to be Spring soon, so I started planting a few seeds. My hubby asked if I intended to start my entire garden from seed this year & I hope to be able to get a good portion of it started from seed vs buying starts. Every year there is so much more to learn about the art of gardening.

So I didn't blow this off - I'm finding time to do the things that matter, the things that re-charge me & make me relax a bit more going into the next work week, even if it means getting things done under the wire.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - The Volunteer Society

Every time I get through an exceptionally stressful week, it feels like there should be a break where I don't have a ton on my plate, but that never happens. Being a parent presents you with so many additional responsibilities...those things that no one tells you when you are discussing starting a family. 

It's been both good & bad that we have only been blessed with one child. Given that between work, church & personal agendas there are an amazing number of opportunities available to give of your time for charities of your choice. But when kids are in the mix, you come to realize that things seem to have changed significantly since we were school-aged.

So here's my 5 minute brain dump...

SOC Sunday 2015

They start you out easy with kid sports. It all seems so low key - relatively inexpensive and manageable. You fill their preschool days with as many activities as you can, wanting them to try everything & figure out what they really enjoy. There's swimming lessons, t-ball, soccer, gymnastics, tumbling, skating lessons and here in Minnesota, there is hockey. The list goes on & on.

From the first open house for elementary school you figure out that not a lot happens in the schools unless parents are available to give of their time & talents. The long table of sign-up sheets was so intimidating. Looking at the names of the events, you have no clue what any of it is, or what you are getting into if you volunteer. 

The easiest route to take is to volunteer in your kid's room - that you can handle, knowing that you'll have to bite the bullet & find at least a couple more things you can take time off to help with in the course of the year.

You feel guilty after the first year of school when you figure out that the majority of the go-to volunteers are the stay-at-home moms - and that doesn't work for you - a working mom.

Then comes the sports leagues, where they have you write the checks up front - one for the fundraiser & the other for volunteer hours.  There is a minimum & your motivation for getting all your volunteer hours in is the threat of that enormous check getting cashed. You are after all a parent living in a volunteer society and they have you at hello.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Late to the Party

It's Sunday evening & I'm not the least bit stressed for a change because it's a holiday weekend & I know I get to spend tomorrow at home with my family. I have some work to do from home, but knowing I don't have to rush my child out of bed, off to school, then race through rush hour traffic to get to the office is a rare treat. So here we go.


SOC Sunday 2015

5 minutes seems like an eternity & a heartbeat - all at the same time. Finding 5 free minutes to write shouldn't be difficult, right, but it is. My 2 boys, the big and the little are both fast asleep napping, so continuing making dinner can wait. 

I admit it, Fadra, I miss the writing prompts. So many things racing through my head as I sit inside the warm house, thankful this Minnesota winter has been crazy easy so far. A shortage of snow & bitterly cold days makes me appreciate why we love to live here & not the East Coast given the hell Boston has been delivered in the past several weeks.

I worry about the fact that we can see the grass in our yard & the days it warms up I'm afraid the tulips that I planted in the backyard might get a bit confused & start to bloom way too soon. Spring planting is not that far away.  

Last year I started with quite a few plants from seed, but I was a bit late to the party & could have started that process much earlier.  Excited to get planting in only a few short weeks this year, I have a wonderful collection of "Grow Journey" seeds from South Carolina's Tyrant Farms.  Google them if you're curious. I'll be blogging quite a bit about my gardening adventures in the months to come.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Letting Go

So, technically it's not Sunday yet here in the Central Time Zone, however I'm pushing hard to get back into the habit of blogging at least once (or twice) a week. It's been an eternity since I was in a writing groove, but I'm determined to let the words flow once again. There's no better way than this to oil the gears, so here it goes.


SOC Sunday 2015

The office. 

It's always been my downfall, my Achilles heel, my torture chamber of disorganization. It's the dumping ground for mail, catalogs, magazines, crafting supplies, wrapping supplies, scrapbooking supplies, mountains of books, gifts, Munchkin school papers, etc. I could go on for hours. It's the one place I toss things in to be dealt with another time, were I shut the door & say "don't go in there." 

There is sentiment, worry, doubt, fears, fabulous memories & not so fabulous ones. Old photo albums, old cards - all those things which I am afraid to let go of. But it's time... beyond time for a cleanse, a massive purge, a new start.

Before I can change my mind, before I have time to question if I'll need it someday.

Three bags of shredding & garbage taken out in the past couple of days. It's a small start to letting go.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Link your new posts to All Things Fadra (feel free to use her SOC Sunday graphic).