Write more?

Well, I’ve definitely missed that mark for the first quarter of 2014.  I’ve been home quite a bit, not quite so many adventures so far this year but I’m on the edge of a long stretch of travel.

A few weeks ago I had a bit of a health emergency that required a few days in the hospital and the removal of my gall bladder.  My nurse finally gave up on my keeping my arm from bending and moved my IV to the other arm so I could knit while in the hospital.  She chuckled the next day when she saw a bit of yarn tangled up in the tape to the IV.  A girl’s gotta keep her mind and her hands busy with all that time with nothing to do.  For some reason, most likely because I couldn’t eat I watched the Food Channel non-stop.

With all of these evenings at home I’ve had time to make some blankets and knit some hats.  My goal is to ship a box of something to Parkland each and every month.  When I’m on the road the baby hats are a quick knit and mindless watching TV and unwinding sort of thing after the end of a challenging day.

Life continues to be amazing.  The surgery took me out of commission for a few days but I’m back to getting at least 10,000 steps a day and sticking mostly to a Paleo diet.  The numbers are going down on the scale and I’m feeling the changes in my clothes and even when I look in the mirror.

….all is happy in my corner of the world.


A Holiday Memory….books for the library

Two things this week brought this story to mind.  When I unpacked my Christmas decorations I found a note that my daughter wrote me last year about our secret library project.  I also had a status update from a friend who was promoting her schools holiday book fair to buy books for their school library.

It’s probably been close to 20 years.  I think it’s ok to confess, yes, it was us.  🙂

As a mom, I did my best to find creative ways to teach my children about sharing and making the world a better place.  Instead of rooting through the cupboard and finding stuff that we didn’t want to eat for the canned food drive at the school, I made it into a lesson.  I gave them each $10 and we went to the store. My thought, one they could pick out their favorite things—within their budget to make their donations. This also let them see how much that box of Fruit Loops cost, and did they want to spend that much of their $10 on a box of cereal.  They made great choices, a nice balance of what was a bargain, and what they would like to eat.  

I’m not sure how the Christmas book project came to be.  When they were learning to read, they would bring home books from the elementary school library.  These books were not in the best shape.  There weren’t a lot of books to go around, so they were well read, and showed signs of wear and tear.  I was working at the school as a volunteer and I would see the time that the librarian and the aides put in fixing the books up so they could still be used. 

I’m not sure how much we spent, or how many years we did this project—20 years later it doesn’t really matter.  I did a big craft show every year and I would take part of the money and head to the local bookstore with my daughters.  I would give them a budget and they would pick out books for the library.  They picked out books for all of the grade levels, and it was a blast to buy all of those books.  When we got the books home, they used a rubber stamp and we tagged the books, we bought a new rubber stamp to use every year.  They each then wrapped their books in Christmas wrapping paper and I would drop the books off at the school. The books were always from Santa and the bag of books was always dropped somewhere in the school for someone to find.  

It was a secret that we kept.  When they would bring home one of the books they had bought for the library home to read, it was a reminder to them, and to me, that even little kids can make a small difference.   It’s been close to 20 years.  I’m sure those books we bought have long since been retired–I hope all those kids learning to read wore out those books reading them.  

It’s a cherished family memory.  I believe that it instilled in my daughters the importance of giving back and making the world a better place.  I’m proud of the women that they have grown to be.  I’m sure they will forgive this 20 year old confession…I’m very proud of the little positive ripple we added to that tiny elementary school library.

….tis the season…

The Dash

In bits and pieces I’ve continued to make connections on the Ancestry.com web site.  I’ve managed to connect myself to 822 people and counting and on one side of my family I’ve traced back to my 7th great grandfather.  It’s interesting, there are documents and photos of graves and obituaries.  That’s all the government record types of things.  It’s great, but it’s got me to thinking that there are stories about these people.  I’m interested in that dash between the years on the tombstone photos that are posted.

So, I’ve challenged myself to start posting photos, and to write some stories about some of the memories I have of some of the people in my family tree.  I don’t have many memories prior to my parents divorcing when I was 12.  But I have enough for a few paragraphs about some aunts and uncles, my parents and a few cousins.

I have noticed that as I posted the photos today, there is someone who is connected to my family tree that has added the photos of my mom to their family tree.  I’m pretty sure the same thing will be done with the stories.  I’d like to preserve some of those memories for my children, but I would also like some of my distant and not so distant family to know much more about my family than just the technical stuff.  I want to share some of their life that’s inside of that dash.

I’ll share my stories here too.  It feels kinda nice to get back into the habit of writing more. 🙂

Where the heck do I come from?

I’m on a quest to find my roots.  Not so much for myself, but for my two daughters.  I’ve had a family life filled with divorces, disconnects, relocations. I really didn’t have much of

a connection to where I came from or how I got here.  Both of my daughters know quite a bit about the paternal side of their roots, the maternal side–frankly it’s a hot mess.  My oldest daughter, Shelly started to try to put things together on Ancestry.com. She connected there and was able to find a photo of my mother’s parents on their wedding day.  I remember my grandmother, she was always in the kitchen cooking.  My grandfather, I don’t remember much at all.  But the names were familiar and I encouraged my daughter to continue and even offered to pay for a gift membership for her to continue the research.  But she’s working full time and going to school part-time and her plate is pretty full.

I’m not sure what nudged me this week to pick up this task and continue on. Maybe it’s having a birthday, maybe it’s seeing friends dealing with medical issues and knowing that life can be short and can change in an instant.  This week I decided to do the DNA testing on Ancestry.com and I ordered the kit.  I am not sure how much information I will get from that.  But decided that one day I want to visit Denmark, where my family is from.  When I visit, I want to know where they lived and visit that part of the country.

My parents divorced when I was 12.  My mother’s mother disowned her for divorcing my dad, so ties with that part of the family were severed.  So I have to go back 45 to 50 years in my brain to try to remember names of aunts and uncles and cousins.  I have some fuzzy memories, and family lore to go by.

Like most projects it starts with that first step.  I filled in the blanks that I could remember. That wasn’t all that much.  I’m on the 14 day trial of Ancestry, but will probably continue on until I find some more pieces of the puzzle.

So far I have discovered:

  • My paternal grandparents did not come over from Denmark, they were both born here in the US.  Their parents did travel here and one of them was born in Lonstrup, Denmark
  • My maternal grandparents, who I always thought came from Germany actually had roots in Romania.
  • My older sister who I haven’t seen in years died in 2010.
  • I was able to track down information by looking at obituaries of favorite aunts that had died. It made me sad, but I know that all three of them would approve of this project that I’m working on.

It’s like a giant puzzle.  As you snap in a piece the little leaf lights up and you see more clues and more pieces to the puzzle. I’ll see familiar names and memories will pop into my head.  Most of the families were larger than I remembered.  It’s so much easier to do all of this online with the technology.  As a name comes to mind, I enter it in, or do a Google search and another layer of my family, my background appears.

I like to think that my legacy to my children will not be measured in dollars and cents, or large parcels of land.  I know that I’ve shown them some things by example.  They both have a creative streak, a giving spirit and are both strong independent women.  That’s a trait that was handed down to me by my mother.  It’s important to them, this family connection.  I’m realizing as I work on this it’s important to me too.

As time allows, I plan to take some time to upload photos and to share stories that I remember about my relatives.  You know I love to write… I think what is driving this is that so many of them are gone, and sadly their stories gone with them.  I want to be sure to leave a footprint when I am gone so one day if my great great great grandchildren decide that they want to find out more about me, it will be available.

Hey…it could happen.  🙂


Write More Inspire…

I’ve been home quite a bit this spring.  I have realized that while I’ve been filling my time with lots of things that I love—dancing, knitting, doodling I’ve not been writing nearly as much as I normally do.  I tend to write when I’m feeling inspired, I don’t write well under pressure.  But I also know that when I write it makes me feel better.  There’s something about putting those words out into the Universe that makes me feel good.  I honestly never write with the intent that there’s an audience or even one person reading what I write.  I write for me.  🙂

I had a reboot kind of moment over the weekend and worked on taking everything off my vision board and deciding where my head is at the moment.  It’s probably the least amount of things I’ve ever posted to the board, and most of them are not things, but thoughts, plans and goals.

Vision Board

Be Healthy—I am sporting a fitbit flex and I am loving the motivation that I am feeling at the moment.  I’ve even started getting up 30 minutes earlier to get in a walk before work.  I’m looking at this as one step at a time and moving in the right direction.  So far every day I’ve met my goal of 10,000 steps.

Expand and Learn – Learn one new thing a month, do one new thing a week I like all of the possibilities this goal opens up for me.  Hmmm..something new I think I’ll try this combination pear/apple.  It’s nudging me to try new things.  (I’m not going to get all crazy with the green stuff just yet.)  I’m still pondering my new thing to learn for June.  It doesn’t even have to be a big thing–just something new is a good idea to continue to grow.

Be Positive ~ Joy ~ Gratitude ~ Abundance – These are the words that I need to focus on a whole lot more.  I’m a very upbeat and positive person mostly.  But there are times when even I fall off the happy cliff.  I’m finding that the yoga classes I have been taking along with the time out walking give me lots of time to ponder life, and to be amazed for all that I have.  A year ago today I was in Australia, two years ago today I was in Ireland.  Never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would get to experience so many new and amazing places.  I have a trip to Houston on the horizon and a long weekend at Big Bend.  I love more chances to see more of this amazing state of Texas.

Write More Inspire – Like anything in life, if you do something for 30 days, it can become a habit.  And if you don’t do something for 6 months apparently it can stop being a good habit.  I can’t promise that I’ll write something every day.  But I feel better when I am writing, so I’m going to work on the effort to put at least some rambling posts out there about what I am experiencing at that particular moment in time.  I’m not traveling as much, but I’m still out there enjoying life and experiencing new things.

My goal that never leaves my vision board….

Help someone achieve a dream.
Inspire someone to catch the giving spirit.
Make someone smile each and every day.

I’m not sure if these are measurable goals, but I know when presented the opportunity I do all that I can to make these thoughts a priority.

Reboot completed…let’s do this!

Looking toward a new year…some new steps on the path.

At the end of 2011, I took some time to reflect and decided that instead of making new year goals or resolutions I would focus with gratitude on all that I have in my life each and every day.  Feeling that abundance…yes, that’s my word.  If I were to ever get brave enough to add a tattoo to my body, I would have that word tattooed in white ink, probably on my wrist.  Not that I forget to savor the abundance of my life.  I do it every chance I get.

I started searching for images with the word abundance to post as my page topper on Facebook.  I found a few, but then realized that I had taken some incredible photos in 2012.  I was lucky enough to get to go to places from coast to coast and I also spent 4 weeks in Australia.  Really? This is my job? I’ve said since the beginning of this adventure that I get all of the best offices.  That’s my attitude when I walk in to a new place every week.  I think that’s my attitude about life, I have the best life.  My life has been filled with all sorts of roller coaster up and down events but I’ve held on for the ride and life is very darn good.

I started a list of resolutions.  But today, when it comes time to put those goals out there for the universe, they seem pretty small in comparison to being grateful, being happy, knowing that my life is filled with abundance.  I’ll still do that list of resolutions, and put it on my vision board.  A reminder of things I plan to make happen this year.  *If you see a skinner me, tossing out a little Spanish now and then sailing off into the sunset…I have probably accomplished a few of those goals. :)*

My theme for 2012 was: “What will you do today that will make you proud in a year…”  I think I did lots of things that I am very proud of.  My theme for 2013: “This is my year to shine…” no sure why that popped into my head, but I will find ways to make it happen.

Ask…believe…receive… Right?

If your still trying to decide on some goals or resolutions for 2013, these might come in handy.

2013 Funny


…and these are never a bad idea..and will be on my list for next year too.


My 2013 will be filled with abundance…


Yep, there’s that word again 🙂

I sit in the hotel lobby writing this post just outside of Melbourne, Australia in Bundoora.  It’s Sunday morning, I’m waiting for my room to be ready and I’m just passing a little time while that happens.  It’s August 5, 2012.

Zip back in time to 4 years ago, August 5, 2008.  That was my official cross the border Texas citizenship day.  I had driven from Ohio across all those flat cornfield filled states on my way to a new life in Texas.  I had no idea 4 years ago just how much my life would have changed.  I would have never in my wildest dreams predicted that in 4 years I would be in Australia–for the third time.  I chuckled about that on the cab ride from the airport this morning.  How easy my trip was from Dallas to LAX and then on to Melbourne.  It’s a much easier adventure than my last trip here.  This time I have one hotel, one office and it should be a very easy week. 

An easy week…half way around the world.

I marvel at that person who got in her car, loaded down with her most prized possessions and started the trek across country to Texas.  I had a job, a place to live, and I knew one person in the Dallas area, Carol.  I stayed at her house that first night, and spent many weekends there when I first moved to Texas.  Gradually over the last 4 years I’ve made so many new friends.  Coworkers, dancing friends–people who add so much to my life in Texas.  My world has expanded out bigger than I could have ever imagined. 

I’ve worked with 50+ offices all over the US, Canada, Australia and Ireland.  According to Trip It I’ve been on 73 trips to 123 cities and traveled over 175, 000 miles.  I could not have imagined that would happen in my entire lifetime, let alone in just under 2 years time. 

Abundance, appreciation of all that I have done, the people, the experiences, the wonders of this life in Texas.  I shake my head in pure amazement.  I am so happy for all of those who add to my life on a daily basis.  Making so many major changes in a person’s life can be stressful.  For those of you who knew me 5 years ago, you will understand the monumental shift in my life this has been.  There were lots of growing pains, lots of challenges, but I also had so much support along the way from people who care about me.

I truly believe that I lead a charmed life.  I think in part because of my attitude of gratitude, and realizing how full my life is of wonderful joys and experiences.  Abundance is so much more than numbers in a bank account.

Tonight at dinner I plan to toast my 4 year anniversary of becoming a Texan.  It was an incredible leap of faith and wow, just wow what an amazing life I lead.

“Leap and the net will appear.”