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Friday, August 6, 2010

Slow down, mom, don’t panic!

This morning I awoke to the best feeling ever: I was able to sleep/lounge until 9 a.m. Last night I had the bright idea that since school would be starting for the younger kids next week that I really needed a little more rest before then. (One: Because my teen is going back to college at the end of next week, and Two: Because I’ll go from rising from 6:30 to 7 a.m. to being jolted out of sleep by an angry alarm at 5:30.) So, I asked Amber, the teen, to get up with her three younger siblings this morning and get them to daycare by 9 a.m.

She agreed because, for one, she hadn’t planned on sleeping in because of plans with her BFF. Cool, I thought, and added that if she could keep them from waking me or bothering me then that would be even better. I awoke briefly when my BF heard the kids and inquired as to why I was still laying down and there was so much activity “out there.”

“Amber,” I mumbled. And we went back to sleep.

Around a little after 9 I stretched and got out of bed, threw on a sarong, took care of my bathroom business and shuffled into the kitchen. I cleaned up the breakfast remnants that the kids left (they must have been in a hurry) and munched on some grapes. I put my coffee water on to boil, threw some bread into the toaster and wandered to look out of the front window.

The van was in the driveway. I scrunched my face – perplexed.

I went back to Amber’s room and looked inside. She wasn’t there. I went back to the window thinking that maybe she had just pulled up and was sitting in the van. She wasn’t.

“Amber?”

No answer.

A little wave of panic went through my heart as my mind raced trying to figure out where she could be if the van was in the driveway. I saw my keys hanging in their spot so that meant she had been in the house…

Oh… suddenly realization dawned as I recalled what she said last night.

“I’m supposed to be going somewhere with Doneshia tomorrow morning.”

me and amber summer 2010 Just to comfort myself, I called her and was relieved to hear her voice. I explained to her what had happened. She chucked and I told her, “I’m glad you’re okay.”

In my head I thought, “It was like Without a Trace.” … “I don’t know, officer, she must have came back from taking the kids then she just disappeared…”

Yea… I’m back.

Even though it’s a little funny it is definitely a scary thought to think one of your children is missing.

How’s the rest of the day been going? Nicely uneventful, thank you.

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Cheap auto insurance in Ohio

For most individuals there are normally two major expenses: home and car. When reevaluating one’s budget it’s a good idea to take a good hard look at these two things. It can often be difficult to find a way to cut corners, or save extra pennies, but it’s worth it in the long run.

One of the things to look at when it comes to a vehicle is the automobile insurance. If there’s an existing car loan the driver has to have full coverage because the bank wants their property and interests protected. Since the driver can’t get away with minimal coverage, like liability only, then the policy as a whole along with the insurance company and the premiums can be reevaluated.

In looking at this type of information, I checked out cheap-autoinsurance.com to see how it worked and if it’s feasible for everyone. It was easy to use and didn’t take too long. When going to sites like this it is best to have the current auto policy in hand so accurate information can be provided. For instance, if you want to match your current coverage with a potential new company then you should be aware of exactly how much coverage is on the current policy.

When I got my quote, I did it with my 19-year-old daughter added, but it didn’t help me to compare because I can’t remember how  much my current company said it would cost for her to be added. Thus the necessities of comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

Everyone is more than likely in the market to find some deals and discounts that will save money regardless of where in the world they’re located. There’s even cheap auto insurance in Ohio where the winters are strong and tough. Go ahead, consider your expenses now and give your wallet a break.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

No-Go BlogHer Blog Hop participation

I was peeking off and on at TweetDeck yesterday and monitoring my feeds or whatever they’re called when I saw @ToBeThode post about the No-Go BlogHer Blog Hop. Being the curious person that I am who is slightly disappointed by not being able to attend BlogHer, I clicked over to see what’s up.

image I found the official No-Go BlogHer Blog Hop blog post. After reading about it I decided that it would be fun to participate and get to know some new bloggy friends. The only thing I need to do is answer a few question, post the link and the link up from ToBeThode or Musings of a Marfan Mom, the other hostess.

So, if this is your first visit and you came via the No-Go BlogHer Blog Hop: Welcome. Grab a cup of something tasty, prop your feet up and stay awhile. For my returning friends and visitors, I am so happy you’ve stopped by again. Enjoy reading this post and please leave a comment about my post, what you’ll be doing during BlogHer and let me know where you’re blogging so I can visit you in return. Let’s get started:

1. When did you start blogging?

I began blogging in 2006 with a different blog called Single & Celibate (it’s actually still hanging out there and still occasionally gets readers and comments). I worked on that blog for about six months to a year. The reason I started was because I had been celibate for almost six years before I got married in 2002 and I really believed in the path I took. I originally started a series, of the same name, in my church newsletter that was well received. When I mentioned to someone that I wanted to write a book along the same topic they suggested I start a blog. My initial response? “A what?!”

DSCF4884 Eventually I became a little bored with that blog. It was too narrow for me. I like to write and share a little bit of everything that’s why this blog is called It’s a woman’s world! It’s everything that goes on in my world: things I’m interested in, things I experience, things I learn and, of course, it’s all of what I’d like to share with you. It’s a woman’s world began in May 2007 so it’s 3 years old just like my youngest child. (That’s her and I pictured here.)

2. Why did you start blogging?

I guess I somewhat answered that question in question one, but the reason I started this blog is because I like love to write. It’s in my blood. I really enjoy writing just about anything and sharing information with others. I’m a journalist by trade, but I’ve been writing creatively since I was about 10 years old. Blogging – especially with this blog – also began as a emotional healing process. That same year – in May of 2007 – I was eight months pregnant with my fourth child and recently separated from my husband. DSCF4555 My other children at the time were ages 2, 3 and 16 (That’s them in May of this year). To say that was an emotional and tough time is a major understatement. The ability to blog, when I could, was cathartic and the women bloggers who reached out to me were like my lifeline to the world. They were – and in many ways still are – my only friends.

My blogging friends are always here, always available, always loving and always consistent. Sure, their lives take over and the are MIA, but they never forget and never leave. Regardless of whether it’s an email or comment it’s a community and loving connection that has been one of the best experiences of my life.

3. What is one thing you are going to do this week that is WAY cooler than going to BlogHer?

This question makes me laugh because I have no idea what I’m doing that’s way cooler. I haven’t planned anything, but the main thing is going to be getting my two middle children ready for school, which begins on Monday. One is going into the first grade and one is going to kindergarten. I’ll also be helping my 19 year old prepare to go back to college next weekend. There’s shopping, packing and organizing for that two-hour trip. Then there’s the baby, my 3-year-old, she’ll be starting 3-year-old pre-K at the end of this month (where her brother and sister both attended) so she’ll need to get her little self ready for this new adventure. Finally, I’ll be spending time with my honey. Now, time with my honey – RP – is really way cooler than anything else I can think of. :-D

4. Share a post that you think says a lot about you or is your favorite.

Wow, this is a tough one. There are so many posts that I really like and that say a lot about me. So I’m going to choose three, with a little explanation or blurb, and ask you to tell me which one you like the best. If there’s a post that you’ve read here that you like better than the ones I’ve chosen, I would really love to hear what it is.

Live like a kid again – This is one I wrote recently. I like it because it was such an unexpected and joyful moment for me that I was almost overwhelmed with happiness. I also like it because it speaks to us all – especially women and moms – to remind us to simply take a comment for ourselves and do something enjoyable.

Weight & meds managementI chose this one because it’s apart of my fairly regular health and weight loss journal that I write. It explains the chronic illness I’m dealing with and talks about my weight loss. It also links to other posts on that subject as a refresher. It’s a bit long, but I think it’s true to my personality and apart of my life.

My nightstand – It was hard to decide on a post about a book or product review because those are two things that I love: I really love to read and I extra really love trying new products (especially skincare products). This gives a little idea of the book situation around here.

That about sums it up. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my No-Go BlogHer Blog Hop post. I look forward to reading your comments and coming by your blog. See you soon…

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My grandson’s art class exhibition

Guest post written by Heidi Nieson

Most afternoons I keep my grandson and granddaughter when they come home from school so my daughter can save on babysitting fees and I get to spend more time with them.

Those caretaking duties often include taking and picking them up from art, ballet and piano lessons. My grandson has been taking art lessons for about three years now and he’s an excellent drawer so I was really excited to see his work in an art gallery the teacher had arranged for the students and their families.

I had noticed that I was getting a little hard of hearing but wanted to be able to talk well with other family members of the other art students so I scheduled a hearing test a few weeks beforehand.

After that verified that I did need a hearing aid, I looked at some hearing aid reviews, picked one out and got fitted with it before the class’s exhibition.

My grandson’s art was so impressive and they even had it matted to look like professional work! I was kidding around and asked him if someone had already bought a watercolor landscape he painted but he told me that he would give it to me just for being his grandma!

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Plus and minus – Part 1

Change is in the air

There have been a lot of things floating around in my head: Work issues, back-to-school schedules, house cleaning and organizing, relationships, college student leaving and a myriad of other events, experiences, dilemmas or activities. And all of the paperwork and To Dos that go along with it.

During that pondering, I have been trying to decide what to update you on. What is the most interesting, entertaining or creative? Guess what? I didn’t come up with the answer, but I did figure out that I was trying to relate too much at once and it was all getting stuck. Hence the lack of posts since Saturday.

Now that I have that figured out I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a lot of change in the air. That shouldn’t have been so hard to realize since I am doing some business and personal coaching with Rick Sherrell – a longtime friend, client, my old editor when I worked in magazine and founder of ProSpeakers Bureau – and he immediately determined out of all that I said regarding what was weighing me down was that I want things to change.

Those changes are resulting in the addition of some things and the deletion of others. One of the deletions was the termination of a contract. There were a lot of reasons I wanted to discontinue my business relationship with this particular client, but the main thing was I wasn’t having any fun and I didn’t enjoy doing her work. Now before you berate me for that let’s review what I’ve determined I want to do with my life as well as my business. I want to enjoy it, I want to control it and I want it to be pleasant and as stress free as I can make it all while making money.

Another deletion, which leads directly to the addition, has been the continual removal of clutter and stuff around the house along with my attempt to get things organized without spending money. I’ve been inspired by Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting who recently shared a few things changing around her home and her progress to loving her space. She also shared some superbly creative blogs and the bloggers who run them. These folks are designing, organizing and creative geniuses, and if I could obtain half the feel and beauty in my home that they have I would be tickled red. I’ve also maintained my “commit to changing my space” mentality by perusing magazine articles (particularly those in ReadyMade, All You and Real Simple).

Thus began my quest to turn my office into a place I didn’t mind walking into or working out of each and every day. There was a 28-Day Organizing Challenge (that link is to a post I wrote about it, which includes pictures of my office then) in February that I signed up to do, but I ended up falling flat. I’ve got it started now and I was going to wait until it’s 100 percent done, but – honestly – when you’re decorating, changing or organizing is there ever a real completion? So without further procrastination, let’s take a look at the office. The pictures start to the right of the door and move around to the right. …

BEFORE
Some of these were before and others were after I was in the midst & remembered I was supposed to be taking pictures.

AFTER

As I’m looking at the after pictures I still see quite a few things I’d like to do, but at least I’m making progress. What do you think?

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The rug that was rolled in the corner was put on the floor instead of being used in the living room where the kids were messing it up.
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The paper for the printer is placed handily on the shelf near where it would be needed.
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I took this picture after I had cleaned off the bulletin board.
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This is the desk my teen uses. When I first cleaned up the work area was clear.
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I removed the lamp, which I’ve had for almost 19 years, and the little round table and replaced it with a floor lamp my son broke. A little black tape should make that top light as good as new.
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When the teen and her BF were cleaning out the storage area they “found” my grandmother’s sewing machine. It still works and now I need to find a home for it.

That stack of papers next to the basket on the left still needs to be filed.
DSCF4823 DSCF5075 I’m still not quite sure what to do with those things on the right side. There are some pictures that need to be put up and a few things that I can still use.

The papers on top of the blue storage thingy need to be filed in there – that contains the kids past school work, drawings and projects.

Look at all the boxes and whatnot that needed to be put, given or thrown away…
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It’s the little touches that count…

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The trio of photos, a Florida keepsake and a bright basket on top of the cabinet that greets you as you walk into the office.

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A ceramic piece that I made in 1994. My instructor said I have an art deco style! :-) Notice the “A” over one groove – that is my way of dedicating to my then 3-year-old daughter Amber.

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The pictures of my children, ceramic animals they painted and souvenirs (including chopsticks form Korea).

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That picture on the bottom right is Amber when she was almost a year old. On the top shelf are pictures of (from left to right) my brother when he was 18 and recently enlisted in the Army; a family photo of myself and my dad, mom and brother; another photo of my brother who I think was about 9 there (that’s right around the time I was born) and a collage of photos my mom put together for me after my dad died. Oh, the “vase” in the back is from a crystal lamp that was my grandmother’s. The younger children broke it.

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I love this little spot on my desk. There’s the rubber band ball RP started that I keep going; a framed “Daughter I’m so proud of you,” which my mom gave to me long before I had four children; the paperweight my 6-year-old son gave me for Christmas – it says “I love you;” and a couple of little boxes that used to contain notes and note cards. A little repurposed shelf that holds lovely gifts, souvenirs and memories.
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The Little Doughboy (Poppin’ Fresh) and his wife (Poppie Fresh) that my grandmother gave me when I was a young girl. And (below) framed cards, gifts and artwork.
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Sharing this with you gave me the chance to take a deeper look at some of the things I’ve kept that cause happy and nostalgic memories. I’m happy those things have been given a spot in the office where I can enjoy them and where they hold spots of honor. I look forward to finishing the office and making the rest of the house into a home that I love.

That includes repairs, painting, hanging photos and artwork, cleaning, etc., etc. It’s going to be a slow process, but as long as I keep up a steady pace and go with the flow of ever-occurring changes then I think it will be a success.

In the next few weeks or so, I’m going to share with you another addition that’s in the works. Here’s a hint: Remember when I told you about my jewelry-making aspirations? Tune in next week for Part II of Plus and minus.

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