Day 31: Peace Out

Today is bittersweet on so many levels:

Today is the last day to blog.

Didn’t think I had something to write about for 31 days.

Today is the last day to blog.

No more coffee and blogging in the morning.

Today is the last day to blog.

Losing connections with my writing communities.

Today is the last day to blog.

Losing my identity of thinking I was a real writer for a short time.

Today is the last day to blog.

No more reading positive feedback from writers.

Today is the last day to blog.

No more reading slices to discover we are more connected than we think.

Today is the last day to blog.

Or is it……

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Day 30: I’m a brat

I don’t really need anything or want anything for my birthday I told my kids. Having my son in town and eating out and playing cards was more than enough for me..at least I thought.

My daughter brings out a gift bag and said they had a few little things for me. Again, I protested–you shouldn’t have done anything, you guys don’t have extra money, etc…

Well, I unwrapped the first gift. It was the best shirt in the history of the world.

Of course, I screamed and jumped up and down. I guess I really did need this. How was I to know?

Then I opened up the second gift. I blogged about this earlier in the week–a deck of cards with Earl’s picture on it.

Again, best gift in the history of the world. More squealing and jumping around. Kids must wash hands and wear latex gloves to use these cards. I didn’t know I needed or wanted these. My kids know me.

Then I got to gift number 3. This is where I turned into a greedy brat. I couldn’t wait to see what Earl item I was going to open. Well, I opened this…

My face gave me away. Earl was not on this wine glass. I turned it around and looked at the bottom just to make sure. I told my kids I should have opened this first….Oops, wish I could take that back.

Then I said, I thought you would have gotten me Earl coffee cups…. (kinda bratty) Wish I could take that back too.

Next year, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a big fat hairy, nothing. *Sigh

Day 29: Joy

I’m not talking about the joy that Maria Kono sparks when you get rid of stuff. I’m talking about the joy I get when I have something to look forward to.

It dawned on me this spring break that I am the happiest when I have people coming over or when I have plans to do something. I realized that I get restless when I have a whole day to myself. I flit around the house, start a variety of projects, and spend time on social media endlessly if I don’t have something on the planner.

Yes, I realize one can over plan and life can get extremely stressful if too much is going on but I get giddy when I have plans! Let me be clear–planning on going to the gym does not count–I’m still talking myself out of that as often as I can. I’m a work in progress.

Tonight, is date night. I’m going to a restaurant and a concert. I’m going to wash my hair (it isn’t even a hair washing day!) and I have yet to figure out what to wear–all adds to the fun.

Saturday I’m going out for breakfast and dinner at a friend’s house.

Sunday is wide open….for now!

Day 28: If looks could kill…

I’m being dramatic but still…I dropped Earl off at a new doggy day care facility for a few hours. You would have thought I sent him to the torture chamber…

Prince Earl does not do daycare. I have been fortunate to have friends come over and walk him and let him out if I have to go out of town. So when I leave, his life does not get interrupted. He is a rescue dog and has been through enough–yes I enable him but so what????

Anyway, when I had to go away for a wedding, my Earl care plans fell through and I was scrambling to find a friend to watch him. That is when I realized I need a back up babysitter (oops, dog sitter). I had to do some self-talk : “he’ll be ok” “it will be good for him to socialize with other dogs” “he will be wore out when he comes back” blah, blah, blah.

I feel I gave him the bait and switch this morning. We went for our morning walk then shortly after, I got the keys to the car and his leash and he was prancing around like a show dog–oh boy, if he only knew I was about to ruin his day….

Well, I dropped him off, he gave me the death stare as I was leaving and I’m sure he is plotting to destroy the house when he gets home.

Happy Thursday to me.

Day 27: Simple

Company is gone, putting my house back together, kinda not sure what to slice about. Walking Earl every morning, I always affirm everything I’m grateful for so I think I’m just going to write them here–unless I think of another Earl story and who doesn’t love an Earl tale?

  1. Wildlife in my backyard. Every single time I see a deer, coyote, raccoon, opossum, bird and even a skunk, I just stop and stare out the back window in a trance–While Earl barks his head off. Not very tranquil but baby steps.
  2. Opportunities for my kids. Allowing people and opportunities to come in to their lives.
  3. Health–knock on wood.
  4. Budget–that I have some money to budget–spring break has gotten me a little careless with my finances
  5. Minimalist as a focus–trying to be more with less. Let go of stuff–I’m mean my stuff. I need to leave my daughter’s stuff alone even though I know she doesn’t wear half of the clothes in her closet.
  6. Spring break-time to recharge and be a better teacher when I go back.

I have more, but it was a short walk….

Day 26: Kings Corner

One of my favorite childhood memories is playing a card game called Kings Corner. It is a simple game much like solitaire but 2-4 people can play.

The game itself is not so memorable but playing with my mom is . My mom was addicted to the game and would corral anyone that passed by the kitchen to play with her. We lived very close to aunts and uncles and cousins so we were always having a house full of family. We also had a pond and some random horses too–maybe they came for that instead of us!

My mom would literally keep spiral notebooks so she could keep track of the scores she played with various relatives. The game ended at 500 points. Lowest score wins. When she saw you coming, she’d pull out your spiral and she would wait at the kitchen table with a cigarette and a cup of coffee…you knew you weren’t leaving until you played a few rounds or until she won….

One rule of the game is that you would knock on the table when you were done with your turn. That rule came about because my mom would catch a play that you missed and we would complain that we weren’t done with our turn and we would have caught the play. (Big fat hairy lie…) That rule took the hostility out of the game.

I had my two grown kids with me this weekend. My kids got me a deck of cards with my dog’s (Earl) picture on the back. I love my kids!!! Anyway, we played several rounds of Kings Corner in honor of my mom!

My kids better not bend the cards or get food on my Earl deck!

Playing a round of Kings Corner. Earl in the background trying to sneak a piece of French silk pie that Matt left on the table.

Best deck of cards ever!

Day 25: Amazon

I love having the Amazon app on my phone and laptop. If I need anything, and I mean anything, I just do a search, click on the item, click on 1-day delivery cuz I’m a prime member and continue on my day.

This is verrrry convenient if you are a teacher and you realize you don’t have enough glue sticks or dry erase markers to last you to the end of the week. You can email parents for more supplies-that works once or twice. Parents are over it buying the class pencils. (maybe if the students would stop gnawing the erasers off and chewing up the pencils I wouldn’t have to beg. I think I have a class of beavers in there)

However, I just opened my bank statement and my mouth dropped. There were at least 10 -I stopped counting, Amazon charges. How could that be? What in the world did I buy? Did someone log into my account?

After taking the time to go through all of the charges, it actually was me buying “stuff” I thought I needed for school and home. I keep thinking I save more money buy just ordering the things I NEED through Amazon. I think I’m going to have to rethink my thinking–and delete the app off my phone.

Day 24: Airports

I haven’t been in many airports, but traveling this weekend made me reflect on the few that I have been to.

I love Midway airport only because I know it well and I love flying Southwest. No hidden fees. You can bring 2 bags . Life is good.

Bob Hope airport on California gets a big thumbs up. It is small. You walk off the plane on the runway. Go through a tiny airport and the 2 luggage carousels are in the front of the airport where you get picked up. So easy.

Chicago O’Hare-thumbs down. Way toooo big. We were fortunate to have workers in the United section give us some shortcuts to avoid longer lines–it meant going outside to a different terminal but it saved us some serious wait time. That was just the one airline terminal. Insane.

And last, we just got back from Virginia. I’m in love with the Charlottesville airport. It is small. No long lines. I actually got my boarding pass the old fashion way–a human printed it for me.

The next time I travel, I’m going to be looking into these smaller airports. I know it may cost a little more for a ticket. but you can’t put a pricetag on sanity.

Day 23: Leaving…

I’m leaving, on a jet plane…don’t know when I’ll be back again.. (an old song)

Ok I do know when I’ll be back. But I’m heading out to Virginia for a wedding.

I love weddings. I love seeing the bride walk down the aisle. I always see the look on the groom’s face when he sees his future wife (thank you glam squad)

I love the beautiful flowers. I love that everyone dresses in their nice clothes.

I love that we are witnessing the beginning of a commitment and a new family uniting.

I love that we end the church ceremony with a big party with food and drinks and cake!

I love spending time with family. I’m only going to be gone overnight, but I’ll be coming back with a suitcase (thank you United for the extra charge) full of memories.