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).

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Almost Spring Cleaning

It's been months since my last post - June of last year - gasp... it's true. This blog has been on ice - literally, stone cold as I am super busy with the normality of daily life. Work continues to be a constant challenge. Downtime is non-existent in the world of overlapping campaigns.



So while everyone else was busy making New Year's resolutions, I was trying to hold my head above the water - meeting deadline after deadline. In what little "downtime" I can squeeze out, my goal for 2015 is to dig out of my world at home. Reminders are everywhere about purging. There are how-to books, professional organizers, blog hops, magazine articles, infographics - so many ideas.

I started with a few trips to sell both Munchkin clothes & then my old Maternity clothing. A Goodwill run followed with old clothes, kid underwear & white socks & old tennis shoes - things I did not want to end up in a landfill. I have another trip to PRISM planned with a ton more maternity clothes that are in great condition, but were not new enough to sell as well as excess toys that I decided not to give Munchkin for one reason or another. I went through old cosmetics & purged things I've held on to since we moved into this house & tossed a ton. I went through our pantry to remove expired items and cleaned the shelves on the door of the refrigerator. I've rounded up all the vases from around the house & organized them all into a single location.

In the office a frequent tossing of catalogs is due for attention as well as the mountains of mail that needs to be sorted into toss & shred piles. The mountains of papers & receipts are so overwhelming at times, but I'm determined to tackle a little at a time until everything is manageable ongoing.

The needs are endless and this Full-Time working mom is determined that 2015 will be the year I finally conquer the clutter.  What are you doing to make strides to purge & keep your home organized?

Need some tips to get you started? Try this Pin from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine: " Expert Advice to Tame Clutter": https://www.pinterest.com/pin/34762228350008561/

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wishing on a KitchenAid Mixer - a Kitchen Dream

I just ran across a fun giveaway posted on Dagmar Bleasdale's blog. http://www.dagmarbleasdale.com/2014/06/kitchenaid-mixer-giveaway/#more-17345
I follow Dagmar on Instagram & she had a tease about this sponsored post for PartSelect.com.

The rules: 
  • "How to Enter: choose from one of the blogging topics, write a post on your blog about it, and send the URL of the post to contests@partselect.com. Easy!"
My chosen topic:
  • "Do you long for a dishwasher? A double oven? Beyond a KitchenAid Mixer, tell us about your top three dream kitchen appliances!"
So in the slim chance that I actually win one of the 3 KitchenAid Mixers they are giving away, I'm sharing my top three dream kitchen appliances.

1. If cost wasn't a factor I'd chose the Thermador PODC302J.  Each oven is 4.7 cubic feet! I miss the double ovens I grew up with at my parent's home & when we are hosting large family gatherings, the two ovens is almost a necessity. As long as there were no strings attached & I had my choice, it would be a loaded package like this one.

See Photo on http://www.warnersstellian.com/product/11016/thermador-podc302j

2. My second choice would be a much larger refrigerator. We have a very small opening today & I was sad with how tiny we had to go to replace our current refrigerator.  This Electrolux EI23BC35KS would certainly work for us with the double doors, double wide shelves, ice & water in door, plus shelves & baskets in the freezer.

See Photo on http://www.warnersstellian.com/product/10009/electrolux-ei23bc35ks

3. Choice number three would be an upright freezer.
The Electrolux EI32AF65JS has some great features. An alarm system to alert you of a power failure or if a door has been left open. With 18.6 cubit feet of space I would be able to go prepare meals in advance and have plenty of storage to hold it all. Shelves would be wide enough for full size pizza boxes. I could even make homemade ice cream or Popsicles.

See Photo on http://www.warnersstellian.com/product/10505/electrolux-ei32af65js

One day when we remodel our 80's era kitchen, I hope to add at least one of my dream items to our plans. One can certainly dream, right?!

I was not compensated for this post, but I sure as heck hope I win a brand new KitchenAid mixer... I know you're jealous of my old school hand mixer. 


(And yes, I still keep it in the original box.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring in Minnesota...Finally!

Each year about this time I do an obligatory gardening post. This past winter was an extrordinarily horrid one. So many hashtags emerged to help us all deal with the day after day of frigid cold. A sampling...

#PolarVortex
#Coldmageddon
#BlameJerrid

One reward for having an abundance of patience is gardening. It allows you have a place to strategize, plan, retreat & relax...to nurture, to escape.

It is a few days away from June and most of us only started the serious in ground & container planting this past week. I started with sowing seeds. Being a complete amateur at growing things from seed did not deter me from giving it another go. Last year sowing pea seeds was a rousing success & the herbs were a huge flop.

This year I have two indoor trays going... 2 kinds of Swiss Chard, 2 kinds of carrots, green onions, 2 varieties of tomatoes and a sweet pepper mix. This time everything has sprouted except the peppers. Outside I am direct sowing seeds for peas, sugar snap peas & green beans.

Growing tomatoes is a treat here in Minnesota. Summer & Fall's home grown tomatoes make up forball the cold months of suffering with bland hot house tomatoes. Come October, we actually start coveting the last few ripe tomatoes which can be picked & saved before the threat of a hard frost.

Along with Mr. Stripey Heirloom, Sweet 100's, Roma & Wisconsin 55 Heirloom starter tomatoes I've planted cucumbers, 6 varieties of peppers, tomatillos, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, mint, cilantro and rosemary. Oh...and Strawberries. Can't forget those.

The front of our home is well shaded by mature trees, so the selection of annuals is always slim pickings. The Fushia is a new choice, but it's quickly growing on me.











Previously Unpublished Reflections: Take Me Out To... Target Field



Stumbled upon this draft post from forever ago. Not only do we have funding for the new Vikings Stadium, but construction has begun, plus they were awarded the Superbowl in 2018. How times have changed in such a short time! 

Finally it was my turn to visit Target Field with my Hubby & Munchkin.


It's truly a sight to behold.






Although we didn't win I now know: 


We are truly blessed to have been able to build this fabulous home for our Minnesota Twins.


(Now if only the Minnesota Vikings could get their act together & sell the legislature on rallying around funding for their new stadium)