Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I’ve learned this week…

I’ve been experimenting some on twitter this week.  Months ago, I started like three different twitter accounts and couldn’t figure out how to do it.  The one that I named “Tortelitha”?  Yeah, can’t figure out the password anymore.

So, this past week, I’ve figured out a few things on Twitter.

1. To get followers you have to tweet.

2. To get followers you have to follow.

3. One message = a tweet, More than one message=tweets, and when you are posting these messages you are tweeting.  Simple to some, but not to me.

4. Peeps are everyone in the “Twitter Community” that you follow.  Yes, you are part of a community here.  And a “re-tweet” is like a Christmas gift… the best one you can give your fellow peeps.

5. It’s good to follow “master peeps”…whoever they are in your world.

6. makes your superlongcrazyurlIcan’tbelieveitsthislongbutithinkyoushouldcheckitout.coms into a usable format.

7. Those things you never do in texting – Gr8 – w/ – 2- and so forth… are very usable for your limited tweet space.

8. Don’t tell your peeps every little thing you do. It gets annoying.  As does tweeting every 30 minutes. (I followed a local news channel and they tweet every hour on the hour…when you don’t follow THAT many people, it gets slightly annoying)

9. A “hashtag” is when you put a number sign # in front of a word and is a way to organize your tweets. For example if you are leading a discussion on your favorite thing to do on Fridays you might use the hashtag "#FridayFav  so you can see what others are tweeting regarding their #FridayFav also - my experience (as much as you can get in one week) is that most people don’t know what a hashtag is and they misuse the # sign to be about #anythingtheyaredoing.

10.  There is a dictionary for Twitter at – it will tell you all this and more… like if you are addicted to twitter, you are “Attwicted”, a person who talks a lot is referred to as “Chatter”, and “whoot” another word for “yeah”.

11. DM is a “direct message”.  DMs are directly to one person.  Using the @name format tags another person in your tweet, but it is still sent out to the entire twitter community.  Don’t mix those up…it could be damaging.  I’ve seen it. #trustmeonthisone.

Don’t think I’ll become attwicted any time soon.  I thought I was confused about technology before twitter…

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Things on my countertop

Right now, I’m supposed to be cleaning the kitchen.  But, the coffee isn’t ready yet.  So, I refuse to do it without at least two cups of coffee.  Yes, two. Come on, it’s Saturday!

So, I moved my laptop to the kitchen where I am sitting… working on my LIST.  You know… the list of things to clean in the house.  I can definitely tell what I have to clean by well… just opening my eyes.  But the list gives me a sense of accomplishment.  And it helps me to know how fast I need to move.  I mean, if at 2pm, only three things are crossed off the list, I know I better do as my mom used to say “get a move on”.

I was tempted to really get detailed on my list… like, instead of “dishes”.  I could say

1. wash dishes

2. dry dishes

3. put away dishes (which is an anomaly in this house)

But, I won’t.  

In honor of cleaning day, I leave you with this list. 

Things on my countertops

1. newspapers from last week

2. grocery list

3. pen

4. kleenex

5. empty milk container

6. 20 dirty dishes (I won’t list them separately for your sake)

7. empty plastic donut container

8. 10 clean dishes

9. Granddaughter’s bottle wash drying rack

10. Slumberriffic Book

11. Note from Emily asking if she can have a slumber party.

12. School lunch menu. Amazing that it’s here.  We searched high and low for it yesterday minutes before leaving to go to school.

13. tomatoes

14. empty bowl

15. tea kettle

16. plastic cup from restaurant

17. Popcorn popper

18. 12 apples (don’t get the idea that they are displayed all Martha Stewartish… they are still in the bag from the apple orchard…well…er…some of them.  The other part of them are all over the counter, spread out.

19. Bread machine

20. Inside pan from bread machine

21. Little teeny tiny plastic dough mixer thing from bread machine. Hey, i lost that once.  Better put it away before i lose it again.

22. Creamer – waiting patiently for it’s dumping.

23. 2 big popcorn bowls

24. various other dishes… clean… but not put away. Why are they over by the coffee pot?

25. empty pizza box (I wasn’t home last night so they ordered pizza.  Don’t worry. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator when I came home)

26. 3 napkins.

27. I paper plate.  used. ick.

28. Salt shaker and pepper grinder

29. half eaten caramel apple.  She HAD to have that thing at the apple orchard…would NOT share it with me… and now, there it is. Half eaten.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I went out this morning just as the sun was coming up and took a few photos around town.

My Hometown Fall 2010 016B

My Hometown Fall 2010 018B

My Hometown Fall 2010 019B

My Hometown Fall 2010 022B

My Hometown Fall 2010 028B

My Hometown Fall 2010 043B

My Hometown Fall 2010 063B

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

some things aren’t meant to be photographed

Lately,  I’ve been messing up a lot with my camera.  I have been absent-mindedly deleting pictures before I save them… or not taking them when I think I am … or other bizarre photography behavior!

This morning, I was holding my granddaughter and she gave me the biggest smile.  It was absolutely beautiful.  I could barely see the dimple on her cheek form and the sparkle in her eyes.  It was one of those moments that I couldn’t wait to get to know her and she what her personality will be.  Instantly, of course, my reaction is to want to grab my camera.  I resisted.

Yesterday, my mom called to tell me that someone I don’t know died.  As she described the event, my mind raced back to when Shawn’s grandmother passed away.

We had been called and told that she wasn’t doing very well.  We went to the nursing home she was living at the time.  We went to her bedside and kissed her frail cheeks and held her thin hands.  Her eyes were closed, but I knew that even if they were open, they would be glass-like. 

Not knowing what else to do, we gathered around her bed and took some deep breaths.  We began to pray.  We prayed for her comfort, thanked God for her long life and the lives she touched.  As we opened our eyes, and ended our prayer, it was only a few moments later and someone said “she’s gone”.  Passed from this life to eternity in a moment.  We don’t have any photos of Leola during this time in her life.

I don’t need photos for these memories.  They are deeply etched into my mind.  They are always there.  Smells I can smell just by closing my eyes.  Sounds I can hear in the distance in an instant.

There are many of them. My wedding day. The birth of my children. Riding bike with my friend Chris in high school. Kissing my husband.  Sitting under the deck in the rain storm. Talking with the girls late at night. Watching my daughters dance. … and many many more.

Yes, photos are important.  I take tons of them.  But, they are to share with others.  The things that God desires for me to experience, He etches in the camera of my mind, never to be edited or deleted.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dad’s Pimped out blue truck

My Dad’s birthday is in November.  He will be 70.  We all say he’s 70….going on 18. 

He’s funny.  In his retirement, we always joke around that he can’t do more than one thing a day. Like, on Monday, he’ll go to the bank.  Then, on Tuesday, he’ll head to the grocery store. Wednesday he might go to the post office to see what it costs to send something to Trinidad from here.  Then, on Thursday, he’ll go back and get the stamps. 

And yet… when he goes to California to visit family, he still likes to get out the boogie board and try his old tricks.

My brother Todd and I have been discussing what to get him for his birthday.  I usually rely on Todd for the gift ideas.  We decided to go in together and get him a new truck box for his truck.

For a girl, a truck box as a gift is really. really. dumb.  Dear husband, do not ever buy me one for my birthday.

But, for dad… it was good times.  Todd found the truck box on a swap sheet.  He bought it, sanded it, painted it, and then he and dad installed it.  (I just wrote a check and took the photos.)

We’ll officially celebrate his birthday in a month or so…and I will have lots of photos from the party.  But, before the snow flies in the midwest, we decided the truck box gift had better get installed.  I didn’t take “before” pictures.  Because they were too fast for that.  But, here you go… dad’s pimped out truck.

Dad's Pimped Out Truck (1)

 Dad's Pimped Out Truck (7)

Dad's Pimped Out Truck (8)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Road Nobody Knew Existed…

I have several people that I’ve been praying for lately.

Big stuff going on in their lives… huge things.  Not just your everyday little issues.  Life changing.

This morning, I read Psalm 77:1-20. 

The Psalmist cries out to God.  He is in deep deep trouble.  He prayed all night long.  He was not comforted.  He was overwhelmed with desire for God to rescue him.

He thought of the days gone by… when there was joy.  He questions “Has the Lord rejected me forever? Have His promises forever failed?  Has He forgotten?”

He decides this is his fate… God…forgetting him.

Then he remembers God’s deeds from long ago.  He can’t stop thinking about the things God DID do.  He redeemed His people, the Red Sea…he parted….the earth…it trembled and shook and He made a path through the treacherous waters.  He made a path through a way that nobody knew existed… and then, He led His people along that road… the road nobody knew existed before.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

I’m mad at my car.

My husband says it’s an absurd thing to be mad at.  But, I have to blame someone(thing) and I don’t want the blame.

This week I went to my daughter’s home…two hours away.  It was blasted hot in the beginning of the week. And the AC in my car didn’t work.

I came home on Wednesday and drove the whole way… 70(ish) mph down the interstate with the windows down. (It was hot.)

That evening, I discovered that Kohl’s had sent me a 30% off coupon for the sale that started Wed.  I met Shawn at church… and told him I was going to go to Kohl’s…. instead of church.  AND… I was hot…so I was taking his truck instead of the car with no AC.

I found some great deals at Kohl’s…it was a lot of fun.  And, just in time to pick up Shawn and Em at church, I departed the store.

And I couldn’t find the keys.

At all.

I dumped my purse out. Twice.

I retraced my steps. Thrice.

I inquired at the service desk. Frice.

I searched the carts. Fiftice.

And I even looked to see if the ‘secret’ key was hidden.


I had to call Shawn…who had to get a ride to Kohl’s (from the pastor nonetheless who now knows I decided to go to Kohl’s instead of church).

We searched. Again.

Then, we had to call Joe…who had to go home (20 minutes away) and get the extra keys and bring them back.

And all this…. because my stupid AC doesn’t work.

So, I’m mad at my car.

Friday, October 01, 2010

where the coffee’s always hot….

A while ago, I mentioned that I was starting my own business.  I decided this morning that I should finally blog a little more about that.

Throughout the last 23 years, I’ve worked, stayed home, worked, stayed home, worked, stayed home…it’s been a fluctuation between working outside the home, and staying home with the kids. 

For the most part, I’ve been blessed to be a part of a family that has a home building business.  So, the majority of my work has been for the family business.  But, I’ve also worked… at an insurance agency,  McDonald’s, several nursing homes as a nurses aide, a hotel as a desk clerk and auditor, church, as an after school nature program coordinator,a rubber manufacturer’s plant, and a medical billing office.

All of these places have taught me things.  I could go on and on about the lessons I’ve learned in my employment.  Both good and bad, my bosses, coworkers, supervisors… have all played a part in who I have become.

Last year, we did a book club on the book 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.  Dan challenges his readers to "LOVE MONDAYS”.  To not just “work” but to “live”….to not just go through the motions and be a part of a story…but to create your own story.  It was very challenging for me personally.  I knew that I was not living the way that I should be, could be, wanted to be….

For several years, I’ve wanted to start my own coffee shop.  But, there are lots of things that stopped me.  The biggest of these was that I didn’t want to be away from my family for the hours that I knew it would take to build a successful coffee shop.

But the things that I love… the things I enjoy… continued to beckon me to start my own business.

Strange as they may seem, these things I love: organization, structure, strategies, planning… these concepts define me in a lot of ways.  As I was driving home the other day with Emily, she said “Mom…. why do you just LOVE organization so much?”.   Even my family knows this.

My business is taking shape.  I spend a lot of time working on planning, details, structure, strategies…. and I have four clients.  Four. 

Speaking of four.

That’s what I do.  Four things. 

Small business bookkeeping, Marketing strategies for small businesses, Business structuring and procedures, and Event planning.

With the help of my great friend, I even came up with a name…. Fore Agency.

I’m not so sure about the “agency part”… because it sounds kind of like a detective or a government entity.  But, at the same time… it’s influential…right?

So, I have become a part of those known as the “Barefoot Executives'”… I roll out of bed in the morning…sometimes get dressed, sometimes not… I walk into the other room where my office is located… and I work. Right here. Right where I want to be.  Where the company is good… and the coffee is always hot.