Friday, February 17, 2017


If you are having a bad day, save this post for another time. I'm breaking the silence, I'm sharing, and it's not all puppies and rainbows. 

I've heard from other friends that they've avoided Facebook. They've avoided the negativity, the name calling, or even the constant reminders of the love others have and they've lost.   We all have a protection mode. 

Recently it's been encouraged that we post/share about depression and suicide prevention. The past week a classmate of my son committed suicide at the age of 23. The press is constantly posting, analyzing and speculating on our new leadership in Washington, and in Iowa a bill was passed effecting state employees including educators. It's very scary. 

For a person like me, it's stressful. Sleep is a distant memory as I attempt to empty my mind of all the new worries each night. 

1.  I've mentioned on previous posts about my battles with depression. We can post all we want on Facebook, the real help is action. 
  I was a senior in high school when I first was diagnosed. I was missing a day or three of school a week. No one called to ask why I wasn't at school. No one told me they misssed me when I was at school. It was as if the world didn't need me. Whether I got out of bed, left the house, etc. nothing changed. Even now I plan things, I truly want to do them, then cancel as they draw near so I can hide. 
  I encourage you to notice and talk. If a friend, student, colleague or relative is often sick tell them they are missed. Let them know it wasn't the same without them. When they do conquer their mental challenges and attend-let them know you are glad to see them. Spend time catching up. Try to make a plan to see them again soon. Follow up.  Communicate every few days. If you are close let them know they can tell you anything. You won't judge or try to fix it, you'll just be there for them. 
  I often feel I have to paint on a smile or act excited. It is exhausting. Depression is very frustrating. 

2.  Politics (especially the bill in Iowa this week). How do I continue to encourage my sons to follow their dreams to become teachers, when the profession is looked upon so negatively by so many?  Teachers are to blame for everything according to many. Teachers only work 8 hours a day for 180 days...they don't need a raise,many believe. Every year teachers are to ready students for future careers & to be productive members of society-with less money, & less support from parents and community. Teachers teach because they love children. They aren't in it for the money. But lack of funding and support drives many quality educators to leave the schools to seek a career for more money, less stress, and better hours. 

Wait didn't I say teachers work only 8 hours a day for 180 days...they can't get better hours. I call bullsh$$!  A quality teacher arrives to school early to prepare or assist students. They stay late to do the same. They answer emails all evening from parents or even helping students on homework via email. Some use Snapchat to actually work step by step on homework with students. They attend sporting events and musical events at the school to support the students. When students request some even attend non-school recitals, etc. They research while off the clock for new lessons to spark interest, new strategies to help students, or seek the help of other educators to reach/assist a child. Then they plan lessons, they decorate, they hang bulletin boards, they grade papers, they fill out reports, they update grades...these can not be accomplished while on the clock educating students. Many teachers have students in their room before school, during recess, during lunch, during planning time, and after school. They use every minute they can to help each child they can. So these other tasks occur off the clock. Yet many think it's an easy profession. It's just babysitting right?  Not many could handle five students for a day-let alone thirty. 

3.  As I lay in bed trying to sleep my mind ponders...
President Trump, money, my sons, am I a good mom, what can I do to exercise more, I should plan a visit with family, wonder what Peyton's grades look like, I hope Carter finds a job, I make my grocery list, I scroll through Facebook to catch up on happenings in my friends/families' lives, I wish I could be a politician with enough support to make changes, I should invent something, I open Pinterest and immediately close it-I'd never sleep, I set reminders on things I need to do tomorrow, I try to catch up on my DVR shows, I binge watch Netflix, I read, I snack, I vow to start a diet tomorrow, I search for fool proof AKA Gretchen proof recipes, I stare at the clock and vow I'm getting off all devices so I can fall asleep. I spend hours in the dark on all these-no wonder I'm exhausted all day. 

Life is messy. No one's perfect. We do the best we can with what we've got-this is my plight. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Red, Red Wine-when I wanna Paint it Black

Earlier today, I took down some shelves in the office, so I needed to touch up a few areas. For those who don't know, our office is Red. 

So I find the paint can in the basement that the previous owners left for us. I sang TSwift song as I stirred it. "Shake, Shake"

If you have ever painted red on a white wall, you know it starts off looking pink, and takes many layers. This my plan for the day is to paint the areas every two hours. 

So after four layers, we are getting closer. 

At 3:30 we now have five layers-


Stopping for tonight, will do more layers tomorrow. 
I hate not finishing a task-probably won't sleep because I will keep thinking about it. Gotta leave for KC tomorrow by 3, we have a showing on Saturday, I gotta get this done. 

It would be easier to paint it black!

6 years never really noticed...

I went to watch Carter coach his 8th grade game. Then we went to eat. I got home at 7:45. My plan touch up a couple paint spots then relax and watch the Chiefs. As mentioned in last post, I have been working on spots in the office. 

"Measure twice cut once." I've heard that many times. 

Calling all painters- Is there an old adage for painters?  Test twice-paint once?  If so, I wish I heard it prior to 8:30pm tonight. 

So we have been in this house for six years. There are some spots that need touched up in the upstairs bathroom. 
So I pulled the paint can out of the basement. I'm thankful the previous owners left all the cans in the basement. I stir it up many times. I take a small brush and paint a small area under the sink. It matches perfectly. I even let it dry and it matched. 

So the Chiefs are on, Carter is in the living room nearby, I start on an area.
I cuss out loud. I call Carter in to prove that it matched where I tried it. For the first time in 6 years we notice the walls in this bathroom are two different colors!  Crap!  What to do?  I leave at 3 tomorrow. We have a showing Saturday. I don't have time to paint the entire room. 

I scramble to garage. We have brushes, edgers, painters tape, and only a mini roller. I decide I'll edge tonight, run to store tomorrow for a roller, and paint in the morning. Another unfinished urgent task, no way I can sleep good tonight. 

Here are the two walls. The paint matched the section next to the mirror.

I get to listen to the Chiefs while I trim the bathroom. 

From now on I will check paint matches in 2 different areas. 

I can't believe we never noticed the walls were different in this room. 

My life is NEVER boring!  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Lady MacBeth

I am asked many a time, what I do to keep busy everyday.  I assure those that ask, that there is always a lot to do.  I would rather lay on the sofa and read for hours, surf the net all day, or take a soak in the tub everyday...although that is what many think I do all day (a.k.a. My mother) my life is a lot more messy. 

For instance today, I planned to clean, do laundry, walk Nala, run errands, and box up the mudroom all before 3pm. 

I started picking up, started laundry, and walked Nala. When I went to change the laundry, my day and all plans were derailed. When I opened the dryer I found ink everywhere.

One of my sons will be upset when they see the laundry they did over the weekend. An ink pen exploded. "Be sure to check all pockets."  Moms are always nagging and I am no different. 

Standing at the stained dryer, I began my search. Google had too many so I started trying items myself. 

 Wipes didn't work. Hairspray works on clothes and carpet but not dryer drums. The wine stain remover works on carpets and clothes but not dryers. So I went back to Google. 

 At last fingernail polish remover did the trick. My drum is now clean and I am high as a kite!  

 I am small so reaching in to clean meant climbing partially in the drum. Of course there is no air vent and it is a confined space. The fumes were strong. Now clean, I had to ensure all alcohol was removed so as not to set the dryer on fire. So I rinsed the drum. 

Now I can switch the laundry and try to get my day back in track. It took over an hour to de-ink the dryer drum. 

Of course half my list for the day is still incomplete as Jamie arrived home. As I drive to KC tonight, I made the to do list for tomorrow in my mind. 

Fix Jamie's headlight, unpack wardrobe boxes then flatten them in my trunk, drive to Des Moines, run errands, do Laundry, box up mudroom and office closet, walk Nala, cook dinner for Carter and me, etc. let's see if Tuesday goes as planned. (I won't hold my breath.)

Friday, November 11, 2016