Yes, I’m still here. I continue to do that “thing” where I tell myself I’m going to reward a finished to-do list with sit-down-with-my-blog time. Yea…right…12 kids, 3 grandbabies, catering business, homeschool, laundry. In light of the fact that I still have taxes to prep, I’ve decided that if I’m ever going to post again, I better sit down and do it then get on the list. Everything important eventually gets done and the things that don’t get done are the things that never get finished anyways. That being said, I’ve had A LOT on my mind! I could have 50 posts since the last one if writing was my job. I’ll get there…I won’t give up!
On my mind, recently, have been a few peeps who either are deliberately trying to hurt me or are carelessly and/or selfishly wounding my family and I. An ongoing struggle has been a family member that I sincerely wish would be involved with my children and myself but has spent years making excuses then blaming me that we don’t spend time together. There’s more to it but suffice it to say, it hurts, it’s frustrating and I’m about fed up.
Others on my mind are some folks who I once thought friends but, because they believed the gossip of others without ever contacting me to confirm that what they were hearing is true, decided I was unworthy and “don’t pay me no mind anymore.”
Finally, I am a business owner. I own a catering and custom cake design business with my family. We have worked hard to create a legitimate food service industry business. There’s a whole other blog post on what that entails but for this one, being attacked by another for no other reason than we’re competition is aggravating. The quality of my product has been questioned and even lied about and it’s been implied that I and others in the business have been trying to sabotage this person who has a reputation for playing dirty. The other thing about me is I try to be a nice person! I don’t “get” people who aren’t nice to others. And when they come after my family or me just because they’re mean, I kinda want to get mean back.
So these situations have been popping around in my head like popcorn and my thoughts have not been passing the Philippians 4:8 test, I can tell you that. Last week, as I was running errands and running amuck, I popped in a cd I haven’t listened to in a while, Jason Hoard’s The Road Ahead.
That Old Wheel came on and I had to listen to it over and over again (there’s kind of pun there – if you listen to the song, you’ll get it.) This album was released in 2011 and That Old Wheel was originally performed by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr., so it’s certainly not new but this song in particular was just a friendly reminder to hang in there; what comes around goes around. The lyrics don’t mention it but it reminded me, also, to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me” and “do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Tsk, tsk….anyone who knows us knows that we’re some of God’s favorites so I feel somewhat sorry for those who want to muck with us.
I’m going to keep hanging in there and keep my chin up. For every person who wants to see me down, there are a bunch more who keep me up and I want to do the same for them. I’m going to try to remember to focus on those friends and family instead how low those “other” people can make me feel. I hope you will hang in there with me.
Click on the album pic for the I-tunes link. You won’t be disappointed!
What’s not shared is lost,
It’s a new year and that means the title of this post probably brings the expectancy of a typical cliché New Year’s post about resolutions, weight loss goals, and new beginnings. I might get to those things later and I will be able to only because of our NEW internet service! I had all but given up on blogging again due to lack of internet and lack of time to linger at my favorite coffee shop and mull over my next blog post. I’m one of those that takes advantage of insomnia and early morning quiet to write so even when I have managed to scurry out for internet usage, it was for business. I also got a NEW used phone (LG G2) this past year and that has kept me connected with my business and some marketing. But blogging over the phone is a pain. I hate texting and I hate, loath and despise autocorrect. I’m pretty sure I have lost years of my life just fixing words that were fine until they were “corrected.” I did get a NEW Logitech Bluetooth Keyboard so I can now TYPE on my phone(I love this thing!)…SO much faster for me. It’s still not the same when trying to manage a website, invoicing, blogging, and, dude, Pinterest.
We live in a little bowl of a valley and all attempts at internet service, thus far, have ended in disappointment. Our first internet was dial-up. Nuff said. Next was Bridgemaxx which worked great at first but then bogged down. They kept coming out and resetting things and troubleshooting. We realized later that we had it installed in the winter and as leaves grew in on the trees that surround the giant dip we live in, connectivity was comprised. Bridgemaxx had great customer service and refunded us everything we had paid for our attempt. They were also straight up honest when they came out again a few weeks ago to see if their new tower they put up would work for us. The apologized and said it wouldn’t work for us rather than tell us, “Oh, yeah! You have a signal! That’ll be a $50 installation fee with 6 months of customer service headaches.” Kudos, Bridgemaxx! We tried the Verizon Mifi Hotspot after that first attempt with Bridgemaxx. It kinda worked but the terrible customer service, overcharging and terrible customer service were enough for us to willingly pay the early cancellation fees and rid ourselves of that pestilence. The other problem with Verizon was the terrible customer service. Did I mention that already? Boo, Verizon. The last service we employed was Frontier. It was adequate but it was SO slow all of the time and EVERY time I called they said it was because we had reached our data limit so our data had been toggled. It could have been day two of the monthly cycle and they still told us that. Finally, we were told that it did appear that we might have an alignment issue but for an additional $6.99 a month, they could come out and take care of that for us. Say whut? The dish is on our roof. We didn’t cause any alignment issues but WE have to pay for THEIR alignment issues. Sorry, we don’t pay for sucky service like that. Boo, Frontier.
FINALLY, after the Bridgemaxx tech failed to get a connection for us that last time, he recommended Exede. If there are commercials for this service, I missed them as we don’t get TV. I’d never heard of it! We had it installed Saturday on a cold, windy, rainy, cloudy day and it worked great from the get-go. I’ve been holding my breath waiting for it to stop working…. It’s still working…and it’s FAST! I have yet to have to deal with customer service as it’s still early in the game but they did assure me that all of their customer service representatives are in the U.S. Suweet! Nothing against anyone outside of the U.S., it’s just hard to work out a problem when neither person can understand the other. If this continues to work, I will put up the 12 or so blog posts I tried to post through my phone but…did I mention my phone signal in our giant pothole is a little slow, too? SO, unless my propensity for jinxing technology (as anyone who knows me knows I have) shorts out our service, you can look forward to (or dread) NEW posts during this NEW year. I’m back!
What’s not shared is lost,
After a big housecleaning day yesterday and 4 consecutive nights of inadequate rest, sleeping in a bit this morning was a welcome change. The lack of scheduled events today (for a change) prompted my husband to welcome the morning with a breakfast date for the two of us at Cracker Barrel (nomnom). I don’t usually eat much for breakfast so it wasn’t difficult for me to stuff myself. I’m usually in too big of a hurry for such gluttony. I rather enjoyed it.
To continue with the theme of spontaneity, I asked The Man if we could take a peek at the auction for the Gennett Mansion. Every city has its historic buildings that hold within their walls some of the legacy of that city. For Richmond, the Gennett Mansion is one of those buildings. Richmond is the birthplace of recorded jazz via Gennett Records and so we have The Gennett Mansion. And a beautiful house it is! I have delivered food there before but today, I was able to explore and gawk and wonder what it would have been like to live in such a place and then, who could resist imagining the movie CLUE being filmed here? It has a conservatory, for crying out loud!
I love auctions. I usually hit the restaurant auctions which draws the foodie professionals. This auction had artwork, antiques, furniture, catering equipment & supplies, kitchen goodies, tons of china, flatware, glassware and linens, holiday decorations (especially Christmas), decorative pieces, books, a boy’s bike and even a high chair. SO, combine the variety of items to bid on, the landmark location and the fairly pleasant fall weather and the auction drew a great plethora of hopeful bidders. Some bidders didn’t need hope or luck; they just had money. You dealers know who you are. o.O My favorite part of events like this; meeting friendly, amazing people. Yep, that happened today. Richmond is home to some pretty dang, interesting people.
I don’t score as much as I usually do but I did bring home:
1 brass, steampunkish candle stand $15
2 cross castle-worthy cross candle holders (my living room has been evolving into a castle room of sorts so I
needed these) $7.50
Christmas stocking holders (accompanied by other Christmas goodies but the holders are what we wanted) $4
Stemware & dessert glasses $3
Sherlock Holmes set $15
Not bad. Tag on my Goodwill triumph of a Castle-worthy couch and loveseat that I secured this week and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself and my house is much prettier especially after cleaning all day yesterday! The attainment of pretty couches to replace our dilapidated hand me downs (which we have been grateful for but we wore them out!) prompted us to reclaim the living room. Our whole house has been a wreck since our laundry room leak several months ago so it is refreshing to have a sanctuary, a room uncluttered and pretty. Now, if we can just get the rest of the house done…..
Anyone want to clean it? I’m taking bids.
What’s not shared is lost,
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess that lived in a castle with her brothers and sisters and as she grew, she would daydream with her sisters about the man she would someday marry and they would talk up a storm about wedding plans and what kind of man each of them would marry. Okay, so this princess and the castle lacked servants so she had to help her siblings with the chores.
My oldest four girls washed a great deal of dishes together and would use those times to sing with favorite soundtracks, rock bands, dance tunes and the occasionally, Sharon, Lois & Bram to relive childhood memories. The singing (and dancing) alternated with the brainstorming sessions and discussions on what defined a prince charming. I remember thinking those times were precious but had a hard time wrapping my brain around the idea of seeing my daughters walk down the aisle. They’re my little girls, for crying out loud! This past Sunday, I watched my eldest daughter, Lenae, walk down the aisle and lose the name, “Fecher.” I’m still having a hard time wrapping my brain around it. She’s my second daughter to be married. I don’t feel old enough for this to be happening! It doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle wearing the same veil Lenae wore six days ago. This is my little girl…she’s not little anymore….
She doesn’t belong to me anymore and that’s okay. This is part of what all the effort was for, Heaven and the Lord being the biggest part. From the time she was born, I prayed for the man she would marry. I also, selfishly, pray that my children will marry someone that lives nearby so we can see each other without a road trip. So far, so good.
I am so grateful to God for my family and the precious memories that were made at Anthony and Lenae’s wedding. It was a beautiful day.
It was also an emotional day!
Our whole gang! And we’re just getting started on the grandbabies!
The creep that stole my daughter’s heart. Just kidding, Anthony. We love ya!
The girlies of this shindig…
….and the gents.
A sophisticated bunch….or are they?….
….yea…they are classy.
Just a couple more…
Rosemarie would like everyone to know that this is a happy day
Here’s to a beautiful couple! God bless your precious family!
What’s not shared is lost,
Normalcy may never return. Life was crazy before but the insanity that comes from children becoming adults, having a big family, owning a business that is scraping by, a marriage that isn’t picture-perfect* compounded with health issues is oppressive. I’m sure my perspective would be greatly improved if I weren’t neglecting my spiritual walk a.k.a. my relationship with Jesus. I would love to blame my lack of blogging on the fact that, yet another, of my computers crashed a few months ago and is irreparable, BUT God saw fit to provide us with another laptop (a later post of God’s provision) so I’m gonna have to come clean and say I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve literally been waiting until we get our act together and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. (I’ve also been waiting on spare time…a laughable prospect). Yea, so, that’s not any time soon and the “holy nudges” to “get back to it” have increased in their nagginess so here I am.
“I don’t know where to begin” is a phrase folks use when attempting to introduce the start of a tale. Well, my blogging tale began long ago in 2003 on Homeschool Blogger (my earlier posts are long gone) so I’m just going to say “I don’t know where to middle.” We have been on a ridiculous roller coaster ride that sometimes seems to spiral endlessly downward then swoops up a steep incline then plateaus barely long enough for us to catch our breath. I’m not sure I will try to “catch up” here but I know our family enjoys many adventures, experiences trials a.k.a. “growth opportunities,” playing in the kitchen conjuring up scrumptious recipes and edible works of art, has great taste in music, has a house in such a state that I will have DIY and organization projects to provide an endless supply of post material and does too many weird things to not share. In other words, whether I post retroactively or not, my life is way too entertaining and educational to not write about; the good, the bad and the ugly, it makes life…interesting.
SO…if you’re still there, I’m still here. I’ve posted several times about not posting so at least that’s consistent. I will try to do better and provide some variety. I really do have a ton of recipes to share so once I find a recipe plug-in I’m happy with, I will get right on that.
Have a great weekend, y’all!
What’s not shared is lost,
*(I’ll expound on that later but no worries, we are not going separate ways – we’re just flawed people still learning to live with each others’ flaws…and if that doesn’t work, we’ve made a bargain to kill each other because that’s easier on the kids to deal with than divorce).
I saw Skillet for the second time last Friday. Mind. Blown. I took photos so am posting some because some of us people like concert pics. I have more but this is all I had time to edit. Enjoy if you are a Skillet fan!
If you enjoy melt-your-face, palate-cleansing rock and have not heard Skillet, DO check them out at http://www.skillet.com/ and get your bum to a show. Crazy awesome!
Yea, I know, I haven’t been posting…again…taxes, working backstage for a play, being a theatre mom, homeschooling, trying to keep a business afloat and being too dang tired to stay up and blog. I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog.
What’s not shared is lost,
Michelle, the Zookeeper
Yea, this is rather random and immature but I really thing I’m onto something here. We don’t have broadcast television of any kind and, until recently, did not have internet so any TV shows we get to enjoy, we have had to wait until they are on DVD. Upon the arrival of internet, we hooked up the PS3 so we could watch some Amazon Prime shows on the telly. First order of business – BBC’s Sherlock. I have been sherlocked. 😉 So addicted! Anyhoo, I couldn’t help but notice that Andrew Scott‘s voice and his character development of Moriarty smacked of the Thermian, Mathesar, in Galaxy Quest played hilariously by Enrico Colantoni. It may be a stretch but I think Moriarty is even crazier than he let on. You be the judge:
Life-changing, isn’t it? Yes, this is how my mind works (or doesn’t work, as the case may be) sometimes. It made me chuckle so I thought I’d share because, as I’ve mentioned before,
What’s not shared is lost,
If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably forgotten that you were doing so as I haven’t posted in eons. I have come close to giving up many times and just deactivate the account. BUT, there is something very motivational about investing dough in having my own domain. Also…I REALLY love to write. However, being an inactive blogger, I can now offer my expertise on how to overcome the need to write and, maybe, even lose interest in writing:
- Never read any other blogs. There are so many gifted bloggers out there, you may receive encouragement or inspiration to write from them so, whatever you do, don’t read other blogs.
- Don’t read books. Duh. For the same reason listed above. Readers are leaders and leaders tend to WRITE STUFF DOWN! Spare yourself. The solution for the temptation to read is to keep a to-do list so huge that you’re constantly exhausted and fall asleep every time you start to read…anything. I’ve made a habit of this and it really works!
- Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT read the Bible. Being that it changes you, convicts you and confounds you, it will compel you to write stuff that may benefit others…or just really annoy others which will also a boost your enjoyment of blogging.
- Avoid contact with your children and do your best to not enjoy their company. Especially if they have changed your life for the better, are beautiful people, are geniuses, are adorable, and/or are hilarious.
- Do not become a foodie. The thing about foodies is that they not only enjoy food but they enjoy the effect food has on everyone else. That is why they have this compulsion to take 23 photos with commentary of the one recipe they have to share with the world because they know that the world will not be the same until at least 28% of the world’s population have tried, what they know is, the best recipe for Macaroni and Cheese.
- Write off writing. This is a problem if you homeschool or teach writing in any capacity because there is something contagious about writing assignments. Just reading a kid’s book report can cause an irritating itch to write something. Writing a thank you card or even a tweet has been known to trigger an irrational urge to write more. Sometimes, 140 characters are not enough. Writing anything is like practice and practice makes…well, you know. And whatever you do, DON’T read about writing! You’ll just be shooting yourself in the foot.
- Don’t make memories with family or friends. They are precious and you’ll want to preserve them by keeping photos and journaling. Celebrating any type of birthday or holiday would fall under this category.
- Turn off the radio and get rid of your I-pod. I call music “the rhythm of the soul.” It touches places within us in a way nothing else can. Of course, that would be counter-productive for one trying to shake the addiction to writing as listening to music will bring to light things from within that will move you and move others should you feel constrained to write about the things that move you. Music has access to our love, anger, sadness, joy, dance, courage, fear, betrayals, loyalties and worship that absolutely nothing else has. You know what else happens if you listen to music? You develop favoritism for types of music and the artists that God has endowed with this aggravating gift then you attend a concert or two which creates and appetite for more and a devotion and desire to show your support and an unexplainable need to take way too many photos at said concerts then you find out other fans (as well as the artists) love concert and gathering pics so you feel obligated to get them posted so others can enjoy them and, well, you can see how this can be a problem.
- Don’t own a business. Being a business owner just offers way too much material for writing. You meet so many interesting and amazing people, you have a plethora of problems, and have way too many adventures. You don’t need this in your life if you’re trying to stop writing.
- Don’t be clever. Creative people come up with all kinds of DIY projects, home improvements ideas, organization tips, etc. It’s really hard to not share ideas that someone else could use. You take a pic of some brainchild you come up with, the next thing you know, you’re posting it on Facebook and someone asks how you made it which encourages a how-to blog post and the next thing you know, it’s all over Pinterest which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and you are encouraged to post again. Subdue the urge to be artsy fartsy. There are plenty of other people out there with…shudder..ideas.
- Lose the camera. Just don’t get into photography. I’ve already addressed this in other areas but you’ve seen the blogs and websites. People who take pictures can’t just leave them there on the memory card. What’s not shared is lost, remember? So just stop taking pictures. Nuff said.
- I mentioned being tired before but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being overcommitted and exhausted. It helps if you don’t have a regular routine that includes time to write. If you simply hope that when you sit down at the end of the day, you can jot down a few words to post before your eyes clamp shut, then you have a great formula for successful avoidance of blogging.
- Procrastinate. This is THE sure-fire method for making sure writing doesn’t happen. It’s self-explanatory. Acquire this skill if you lack it.
I have some of the items on this list down-pat. I have too much to do; my to-do list is never done. I get up early and stay up late. I’m always tired. Oh, and I DO have the spiritual gift of procrastination. I know there are things I need to change so I can stop writing; I need to sell the business but that event alone, should it occur, would still provide writing fodder. We should have never started it in the first place. It’s made life way too interesting. I either need to put the kids up for adoption or hunker down for the years to come but, darn it, I have grandkids. Maybe I should just become a hermit. But then boredom might be a issue. Bored people look for something to do and the mind might wander to then thought may occur that I could write about where my mind wandered. Then there’s the food…darn it, I love food. I love cooking food and eating food.
I’m in such a quandary! This writing thing is a pesky problem. Any suggestions are appreciated. This time-consuming addiction has got to stop.
My name is Michelle and I haven’t blogged since…. October 16, 2013.
This one doesn’t count, right?
After receiving the news that my 2-Terabyte External hard drive with all of my photos since 2004 is toast, I find myself looking for a back-up plan for any and all photos I’m able to scrounge to save somewhere. I *had* backed up my photos on the Creative Memories Digital Center site. Creative Memories rewarded their loyal customers, some of whom had been with CM since it was Shoebox to Showcase over 20 years ago (ahem, I for one), by claiming bankruptcy (again) and giving us precious little time to purchase any needed supplies for finishing projects (I’m broke so a moot point) and precious little time to salvage any photos or finished digital albums saved on the site. From what I could tell when I did check the site this summer to see if my photos were still there, my only option for saving my photos was purchasing photo CDs. Again, broke. No option to download my own photos and albums for safe-keeping? Thanks a lot CM. The way I understand it, they are “reorganizing” and have “great things in store.” Newsflash Creative Memories, your consultants and loyal customers are ticked off. Good luck with that.
Anyhoo, enough of me venting. The finality of pictures of births of my precious babies, vacations, cute candids, birthday parties, zoo trips, road trips, homeschool field trips, crafts, messes, cooking together, lego constructions, Christmas, concerts, starting our business, foodie pics, friends, family gatherings, et al. being gone forever provided for a restless sleep as I quietly cried myself to sleep Monday night (okay, I whimpered a little). I keep telling myself this world is not my home but I am sentimental and I’ve seen my kids pour over the scrapbooks I have completed. It’s a huge way to pass on the story and the love. I am the curator of the museum of memories and I have failed.
Creative Memories did drive home several points that I did take to heart and need to put back into practice:
- Print your pictures. Even if you can’t get to scrapbooking them, print them before you can’t. I took this more seriously when I used film and became lax when I went to digital. I either need to get those digital scrapbooks done or get those photos printed. Backing up isn’t enough. I backed up my back ups and my pics are still gone (did I mention one laptop crashing and then next one being reset to factory settings? I didn’t think so.)
- Back up. Nuff said.
- Journal. We all have a story to tell and no one else can tell it. Pictures in an album aren’t enough. Example #1: I have a photo of my great, great, great grandmother in one of those old, pretty but deteriorated albums. She was a Cherokee who walked the Trail of Tears, married a white man and here I am. All I have is a photo, which is awesome but I’d give anything to know her story. I wish someone had written it down. The hard times in which she lived and how she overcame would be a story of bullying this culture can’t appreciate. She had to have been a strong woman. I just wish I knew the tale so I could pass it on. Example #2: I have another old scrapbook that I believe my grandmother made. She did some pretty creative stuff, cutting photos into shapes, arranging some on one page into a star shape, but rather than journal who’s in the photos and what’s going on, she cut quotes and captions from magazines and pasted them under the photos. I look at it and get so frustrated because I don’t know why the pictures were taken, who’s in them, what’s going on. SO many cool pics, and I can tell who my dad is and his siblings and parents, but that’s about it.
Back to backing up, I’m now reviewing all of the reviews for best photo storing/sharing sites and I will come to my own conclusions and get back to you. If anyone out there has a favorite, let me know! In the meantime, learn from my mistake. Back up your backed up back ups.
What’s not shared (and thank you, God, that I have shared photos on Facebook and my blog) is lost, lost, lost… 😦
In order of priority of things that need to get done, writing a blog post is at the bottom of my list. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” (Awful grammar, I know, and the report has precious little to do with this post but no one expresses the sentiment better than this gal.) I still repeat that wise quote, “Ignore the urgent, take care of the important.” This is one reason why I decided I was way overdue for laying some words down. It is why I did NOTHING yesterday because rest is important and we worked our butts off this past week and we needed to recover. (The boys did help our friends by moving their horse’s corral fencing yesterday, not a small job, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find you can teach kids to enjoy hard work. They said they were glad to have something to do and got to do something we certainly don’t do around here. Plus the horse was happy to have fresh grass!) It is important that I fit in laundry and school and feeding my crew and reading to my children and cleaning at least some of my house and, and, and….
Here’s the thing; as a business owner, that urgent/important thing morphs into a gelatinous glob and there are things you urgently NEED to take care of because it’s important they happen A.S.A.P. because the health inspector could show up any minute OR, if you don’t enter sales into QuickBooks, you can’t file your sales tax and don’t get me started on that, OR, if you don’t return that call that potential client will find someone else OR, if you don’t post something on HootSuite, people will forget you’re there OR, if you don’t update the website OR, if you don’t test a recipe OR, the bills (need I say more?) OR, OR, OR… All of these ORs monopolize my days and I have only fragments of time to get anything done. One of my husband’s mantras is everyone is given 24 hours in their day. Any homeschooling mom and/or mom of many will read that and wonder how many times I’ve punched my husband. Throw in running a small business and I wonder myself, “how long until I have to hide the evidence?”
I learned a long time ago that I need to take time or myself, to do something that recharges me or I don’t function at optimum levels. My enthusiasm and energy are depleted; I can’t focus and am easily discouraged and overwhelmed.
SO, before I am engulfed by these post-it notes of urgently important things I have to do,
I decided to sit down and just write. It’s not very creative but it’s writing. I miss it when I don’t do it. I need the practice plus it’s where I think and it scares me to consider the possibility that when I go a month or more without writing I haven’t been thinking that whole time!! That should scare everyone. I keep thinking that I will write or read like I used to before the business: at the end of the day when I finally sit down with my feet up after a hard day’s work and sigh and relax with my laptop, notebook or a good read. That was before the business. Now, the end of the day ends with me collapsing too exhausted to read more than a paragraph, a page at most. Forget writing. By that time, writer’s block has become writer’s rigor mortis. Maybe it’s time I became a morning person.
What’s not shared is lost,Michelle