NaBloPoMo Day 21 – Getting Ready for Family

Our family is in the last throes of a Mad Dash household cleanup. You know the fine tooth comb, white glove, dusty corner type of clean up. It is harried and busy but well worth the effort once we get together with family. I wish everyone who is traveling to spend time with their loved ones a safe journey.

Tomorrow morning we’ll be running the Turkey Trot so we’ll wait to celebrate until after the run.

NaBloPoMo Day 20 – Volunteering

Over the weekend the homeschool co-op where our sons participate in sports was vandalized. Broken windows, broken doors, tagging and general mayhem seemed to be the end result of the vandalism. It was bad enough that it happened but especially disappointing because the co-op had just completed renovations which began in April 2007.

Thanks to the donation of material and time of many volunteers the effort to upgrade the facility was done. It was a sad thing to see all the months of hard work by volunteers laid to waste in the course of a weekend.

The call went out for prayer to place a protective hedge around the co-op as well as for volunteers to help in the cleanup. Our family has been greatly blessed by all the folks we have met and the opportunities in which we have been able to participate because of the co-op. It was a no-brainer that we would offer up a few hours to pitch in.

Here is what I learned. Having a dedicated group of volunteers come together for a purpose makes all the difference. While the clean up may have seemed daunting at first, it was easy because of everyones combined efforts. This incident did not unravel our co-op family. Instead I feel it strengthened our faith and increased the bond we have for our families. So, while I went to go help out in the cleanup, I feel that I got so much more out of the time spent volunteering. Time to reflect and appreciate the place and the people who make it special.

NaBloPoMo Day 19 – Cutting it Close

I’ve noticed that each day, I’m waiting until the 11th hour (literally ) to place both my NaPodPoMo & NaBloPoMo posts each day. I happen to be a bit of a procrastinator by nature so it comes as no surprise that this is the case. However after doing this for 19 days in a row and only 10 more days to go I have to wonder if there is some self-sabotage happening.

I sure hope not. I give myself excuses because I do wait until the day unfolds before I have a good topic to discuss. Since I’m more of a night owl and not an early bird it makes sense that I would not be a day poster. No not me. I post at night. So far, this late night posting is working for me. I’m getting all my posts done in time (sometimes with only minutes to spare).

The real crunch time will be Wednesday-Saturday when my family will be in town. Oh yeah, we’ll see what kind of stuff I’m made of with a house full. Stick around. Should be interesting.

NaBloPoMo Day 18 – Contributions

My youngest son is in a Christian Youth Band at a local church organized by his guitar teacher. Over the course of the last 2 1/2 months, I’ve watched this group of young musicians go from individual players to a harmonized group.

It’s been an amazing transformation especially consider that they only practice together 1x per week for an hour. They have their first “concert” next month and will be playing two of the six songs they’ve learned together as a group. They seem to be taking this in stride and don’t appear to be nervous at all. Of course that may change when the audience changes from a few parents to a whole congregation.

Tonight they spent their time fine tuning and tweaking each persons specific musical contribution. We, as the audience, were asked to offer up our own critique. Suggestions were made for reducing certain instruments sound and increasing others in order to create a more balanced sound.

There was a moment when the young man on the drums was seeking guidance for a good alternative intro section to give the other musicians a more prominent focus. My husband, who had not been to any of the previous sessions but happens to drum as a hobby, turned to me and asked, “Should I offer my suggestion?” I said, “Yes, you’re definitely someone who could offer guidance.”

As a result of the contributions of the Music Director, the young musicians and their parents the newer tweaked version of the song is a better fit. Sometimes we need to know when to offer contributions and other times we need to know when to seek it.

NaBloPoMo Day 17 Shopping

I was at the grocery store today and was overwhelmed by all the Thanksgiving items prominently displayed throughout the store. Turkeys in carts made me realize that on Thursday it will be Thanksgiving.

I’m having a hard time coming to grips with the time of year. Not sure if its because of the busy schedule or the hot weather. Earlier this week we were in the high 80’s and the cold front that blew in didn’t do much to bring in the holiday vibe.

Granted we’re in Central Texas and we’re not known for our cold winters, but still it would be nice to be able to bring out the sweaters or something. I’m sitting here in shorts and a t-shirt.

We do have family coming into town for Thanksgiving so I’m sure that will help to bring the holiday spirit. Just wondering if it will be a shorts and sandals Thanksgiving or a light jacket and mittens Thanksgiving.

NaBloPoMo Day 16 – Rock-n-Roll Marathon San Antonio

As you may or may not know I have participated in two Half-Marathons (13.1 miles). The first was the Inauguaral P.F. Chang’s Rock-n-Roll Marathon in Phoenix, AZ 2004 then it was off to the Greater Hartford Marathon in Hartford, CT 2006. Since the pattern so far has been to do one of these every two years then it should come as no surprise that with the recent announcement of Elite Racings newest Rock-n-Roll Marathon San Antonio 2008 I’m set to go again.

I have a personal goal to run the Big One (Full Marathon 26.2 miles) within the next 2 years.  Since we typically use the runs as an excuse to get in shape and travel the RNR-SA doesn’t qualify to be the Big One. Being in my backyard will make this a fun event. With no travel involved it will be a great way to get in shape for my Full Marathon goal.

Want to join me? Race Day is November 16, 2008.

NaBloPoMo #15 – Tamale Pricing Brings Inflation Realization

Image by Stephan Maloman

Today my sister received a rude awakening as to the true cost of inflation.

Here in our region of the world, Texas, you can find a dozen tamales for around $5-6. That’s a pretty typical price range. My sister had pre-ordered 3 dozen tamales from an acquaintance last week. When she went to go pick them up today she was stunned to discover that the $20 she had with her would not cover the price of her 3 dozen tamales. Nope she was short $10.

Turns out that tamales now cost $10/dozen. Or at least they did today. The reasoning for the steep price? The cost of the meat had gone up considerably hence the price increase. The reason the meat had gone up was because the cost of the grain the cow eats had gone up and so had the gas used to transport it to market.

Now here in San Antonio there is an area of town where Tamale Factories are lined up and down the street. Great selection and competition keeps the price in the $4.50-5.50 range. Or at least that was the cost earlier this year. Now after hearing my sisters tale of inflation, I wonder if we will see a similar jump in cost per dozen.

I have the urge to go down Tamale Road to check prices in anticipation of the upcoming holidays. Maybe I’ll test out a tamale or two to make sure the quality hasn’t changed even if the price has.

NaBloPoMo Day 14 – Knowledge Seeker

As a kid I was always a curious gal. I wanted to know why things were the way they were. I tore through books at breakneck speed soaking up they knowledge they contained. I wasn’t the brightest in the barrel, but I could definitely see daylight.
I was a pretty fast learner and enjoyed studying new things. I guess you could say I was a knowledge seeker. The library was my favorite place to visit. If I discovered something interesting, I would find out everything possible and either expand upon it or move on to another subject. To me learning was fun. Now testing? Oh that’s another story altogether.

Times haven’t changed that much since then. The big difference is that now I can immerse myself in a topic of my choice via the internet. However I haven’t given up on going to the library to complete my studies. On the contrary we consider ourselves regulars at a few of our local branches. We visit the library so much that sometimes I think our late fines could have paid for a new wing. Well…. at least a bookshelf or two.

NaBloPoMo Day 13 – Start

Sometimes I’ve got so many ideas for projects in my head that I wonder where  I should start. What should I do first? When would be the right time? Who can I get to help me? Where will I get the funding?

These questions roll around my head with no clear answer in sight. Time passes. I kick these ideas around and around. They pop into my head randomly. Reminding me that while I have this great idea for a project, I haven’t done anything to bring it into fruition.

But the timing isn’t right. The idea isn’t fully formed. The partners aren’t in place yet. The funding hasn’t been finalized. And…….I could go on and on and on.

There will always be stumbling blocks in front of any project. There will always be funding and timing issues. However if I never take that first step towards making my idea a reality it will never happen. No amount of thinking about it will cause it to materialize unless I start.

Start what?

Start putting it down on paper.

Start making those calls.

Start asking for partners.

Start asking for the funding.

Yeah, I know. It’s hard. The Starting.  What if I start and it doesn’t work out? What if I start and I’m not able to finish? What if I start and no one comes along to help me finish?

It is entirely possible you may start something and your project falls flat. Yep. It could happen. It is also entirely possible you may start your project and it may succeed.

How will you know whether your project will succeed or fail?

You won’t.

Unless you start.

NaBloPoMo Day 12 – Cooler Heads

We have all heard that old sage advice given to all newlyweds, “Never go to sleep angry”.

I think this applies to a lot of things. Like “Never Eat Angry… because you’ll get heartburn” or Never Drive Angry…because you’ll get into an accident” or even better “Never Send an Email Angry….because the person you sent it to will have proof you’re an idiot.”

I kid, but in some sense the “Never _____ Angry…” is sage advice in just about any situation. Like “Never Post a Blog or Podcast Angry…because after you cool down you’ll realize just how harsh you sounded” While your anger may very well be for a just and noble reason. It is always best to wait for a calmer moment to correctly phrase your response. The saying, “Cooler Heads Prevail” is so very true.

There have been times when I’ve been tempted to fire off a quick and angry response and have been so glad someone was there to be the cooler head. Then there are times I’m the cooler head for someone else. Whatever the case if you find yourself ready to fire off a blog post or podcast or email, take a deep breath and go find a cooler head to talk it over with. Better yet, be the cooler head the next time someone else needs one.