Thursday, April 28, 2011

:-) Follow this link, because I can't figure out how to embed this video in my own blog. Krissy is a fellow homeschooling mom who was part of our TEACH co-op before she and her family moved to California. This video is about how she maintains and cultivates her positive mental attitude. Towards the end she references a book called, "The Compound Effect." The sign she made for her kids has stuck with ME ever since I watched her video the first time. "It all matters. It all counts. It all makes a difference over time. Everything I do, say, and feel matters, counts and makes a difference over time. I make amazing little choices every day."

"If only"

~Sydney Smith

Many years ago Amy and I came up with what we call the "no regret" rule. Whenever we come to a crossroads and we're not certain which path to take we ask which choice is most likely to yield the fewest regrets.

The path not chosen always bugs me. What would have happened if I'd chosen differently? What if I'd said this, or done that? How would my future have changed? Would my future have changed? I LOVE to have all the variables thought out and in my control. Hahahaha, how often is that EVEN a possibility?

Sooooo... we come to the point where two roads diverge in the wood- and one path is clear and well worn and the other is murky and shaded... which way do you go? It's easy to walk in the sun, we still don't know what's around every bend, but at least we have light to see. But that murky, shadowed path calls to me BECAUSE I don't know where it leads. What if paradise is just around the corner and in my desire for safety and security I totally miss it? On the flip side- what if hell is around the corner and I save myself because I took the sunny path?

I'm getting to know myself a little better in my old age. I find that I really will regret not seeking the truths found along the less traveled path.

It's scary to put yourself "out there." Recently I did just that. All of my cards- they're on the table. And... it didn't change anything. I could have kept to the safe and sunny path and eventually these two roads would have met further down the hill. But... I always would have wondered if they would end up in different places. I would have regretted not taking the scarier path.

I might have regretted it for the rest of my life, because "if only" is a phrase that can eat away at a person. "If only" I'd said something. "If only" I'd done something differently. "If only" I'd been braver (because saying what you really think and feel takes a whole lot more courage than I'm sure I have on most days). "If only..."

Even when nothing changes, "if only" has no power over me- because I explored that other path. Even when both roads led to the same destination I can move forward with no regrets- and that meets both the words and spirit of the "No Regrets" rule. :-) I have no regrets, I wouldn't change a thing. I won't take anything back and I don't wish I'd stayed quiet and still.

"No Regrets" baby! It's a pretty darned good rule to live by.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The end of dating

Dave and I actually only dated for about 20 months. March 6, 1999- November 3, 2000. I always say that we dated for two years- but that's a slight exaggeration.

When we started dating we were just having fun. Neither one of us was interested in a long term relationship- or really any kind of relationship. I remember about a month after we started seeing each other my friend, Kory, came to stay with me before his best friend's wedding. He left the same day that Dave was coming into town. As we were standing at the door saying our goodbyes, Kory looked at me and grinned and said, "You're only safe as long as he doesn't start bringing you presents."

It was the weekend before Easter.

He brought me the neatest box made of limestone tiles. Inside it was a little purple rabbit. He'd picked the tiles specifically because they were pieces that contained fossils. It's really one of the most unique things he ever gave me (other than children- the children are pretty unique).

I just laughed at the time (although Kory's comment did keep repeating in the back of my head) because we were NOT dating. We were just friends who were enjoying each other's company.

Fast forward a few months. During the late summer of '99 I went and spent a week in Nevada with my best friend and her husband. It was sooo much fun! My mom had surgery on her arm that week and I had been planning the trip to Amy's for a couple months... so, I asked Dave to check in on mom and I went to NV anyway (I know, bad, bad daughter). Amy and I talk on the phone ALL the time. It's not like she didn't know anything about this man I was spending time with- but not dating.

His name came up so often in conversation (because I was thinking about him) that I finally had to admit- we WERE dating. It was a surprise to me. He laughed when I told him. Apparently he'd thought we were dating for a long time.

We dated for another year while I worked in Shoshone and lived in Gooding. It was nice having a regular date every two weeks. After our fair in July I took a week's vacation and flew to Seattle to visit Kory.

I lived in Gooding.

Dave lived in Nampa.

We didn't usually see each other during the course of the week.

Somehow it was different being out of state. Also, I apparently gave Dave the wrong number for Kory's house and I didn't have a cell phone (in that ancient time period). It took FOUR WHOLE DAYS before he finally figured out the actual number (apparently my writing makes fours and nines confusing). It was horrible. I missed him SOOOO much- even though it made no sense, because I didn't usually see him during the week.

That's when I knew- I wanted to marry him. It took another month and a half to convince him. Seven weeks later we were married. :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One month

One month until sheep weigh-in :-) We're getting close. Tonight we got to go play with lambs for our 4-H meeting. The kids all got to feel and evaluate the three lambs we did catch, and look at many, many more from the fence. It was our first meeting of the year involving actual animals. Chris enjoyed it and he remembered quite a lot from last year. It's easy for me to think we're starting over each year- but we're not. He retains a LOT of information.

Here's to building for the new year!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall. ~Mexican Proverb

You would think that in our lives we are faced with ONE big challenge. ONE huge jump to get over... and then after that the course is clear and smooth.

Yeah, how many of you are already shaking your heads? Life's not like that.

Let me begin by saying that I love my life. I really do. With all it's challenges, all it's tears, all it's craziness- it's my life- and EVERY difficult thing has been balanced with amazing good.

People frequently ask if there's anything in your life you'd go back and do differently? No. Not only no, but HELL NO! Every experience helps build who I am today. Are there events I'd change if I could- of course there are. I'd love to grow up with a dad. My husband- still miss him every day and probably will for the rest of my life. Choices I've made- those I would never trade or take back. I could choose differently and I might have saved myself a lot of tears- but I might have missed out on the best parts of my life.

At this point in my life I thought that I'd be settled, my life would be not only planned out, but falling in line according to the plan. Let's just say that I never expected to be a widow. I worried about being a widow. I worried about it a lot. My mom's a widow (and has been since she was 27). That's what I grew up with.

My husband and I had a remarkably peaceful and smooth marriage. There were very few fights. I ALWAYS had it in the back of my mind that if he died I didn't want our last words together to be less than loving. EVERY time I left the house I told him I loved him. If he left without coming in and hugging me and saying, "I love you," I'd call him as he was driving away (he stopped leaving without hugs and kisses pretty early in our marriage).

Keep in mind- I'm far from sweet and kind and easy to live with (it's ok Mom, you can comment if you want to). My husband had to be a pretty special (and patient) man in order to put up with me and my constant, compulsive need to make sure that our relationship was solid ALL the time. There was ONE day I almost left home without kissing him goodbye. We were in such a hurry. It was the night of our 4-H enrollment meeting and we were running late and I had sooo much I needed to do. Backing the van out of the driveway I just couldn't pull out of the driveway- I HAD to go kiss my husband and tell him I loved him. What if I never saw him again?

I'll remember that night for the rest of my life. It was October 1, 2009- and he was dead before I returned from that meeting.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you.

What do you do when those ideas come into your mind and you just can't get them to go away? What does it mean to keep having recurring thoughts that just seem totally unlikely? Do you pursue that odd, random line of thinking? Do you ignore the illogical? Assume it has no basis in YOUR reality and turn away? Or do you push beyond what is comfortable?

And... when your worst fears seem likely... and you have a choice to walk away... avoid those fears... don't get involved... be a stranger. Do you walk away? Do you RUN away? Or do you stop, turn around, shake it off, and start to fight?

Huh, I'm a fighter. Who knew?

I'm also incredibly insecure, not about myself or my self esteem (good heavens, no- I should probably have a little LESS self esteem). I would very much like security in my life. I want to know what is going to happen, when it's going to happen, where it will happen, who it will happen with, and why it will happen. ("It" being life). I want to know what variables will change the results. I want to know which variables are available- whether they'll change the results or not. I want to KNOW. More than that, I WANT CONTROL. Life is scary. I should be able to exert some influence on my own destiny.

Yeah, quit laughing and shaking your head. I know that I don't actually get to control the big things in life. I KNOW that. It doesn't mean that it's easy for me to accept that. I hate being a passenger. Who's steering this thing? I hate being scared. Hate= fear. I hate, hate, hate being scared.

Guess what? Life's not about easy. The things we value most are NOT the ones that come easily or that we gain without taking big risks.

Oh look! There's a huge hurdle ahead! The worst part of jumping is knowing that if it doesn't all come together "just right" it's going to hurt like hell. You know going in- that the possibility exists that you're not going to be able to walk away if you fall. Yet, we jump anyway.

When all of your feet are off the ground and you hang in mid-air- faith carries you. So, deep breath, put on the big girl panties, shoulders back, chin up... and... crap! I DON'T JUMP!!! I like my horse on the ground! I like to be safe! What am I thinking???

Oh yeah, now I remember... I've hit the part of the course where my only choices are to turn around and go back or to learn how to fly. I don't think I can live with turning around and retreating so I guess I'd better settle myself with a deep dose of faith, trust, and the belief that I will land on my feet after clearing this jump.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

defecation. defecation. defecation. defecation. defecation. defecation. defecation.


Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
not so much to be understood as to understand,
not so much to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we awake to eternal life.

--- St. Francis of Assisi

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room