Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Penny For Your Thoughts?

If I ever encounter extra pennies to share, I'll send them your way.

In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions on how to attract more blog readers? I try to post comments on other people's blogs, and also link to their blog from mine. I also read the little write-up on Blogger about the settings that I need to turn on, and I think I did it all.

Anyway, I'm only averaging about 12 readers per day. Am I just being too impatient, considering I just started blogging in April? Should I be writing about more interesting topics? (he he...what could be more interesting than ME?) :-)

Any tips would be helpful...

And THANKS so much for reading!


Monday, August 27, 2007

I want it back!

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short...

I'm aware that patience is a virtue, but I want my long hair back NOW. The kicker -- I'm almost ready to stick my finger in a socket because my curls are gone now too. How the heck did that happen? They were natural...where the heck did they GO?

Ugh. (By the way, my friends have always said I have "anorrexia of the hair." Never happy with it, even when there's nothing wrong with it.) Regardless, I need six inches ASAP.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Skimming the Surface Beats Sinking Any Day

Lately I'm realizing that even if I don't have the time to make something perfect, it's still worth a shot to do the best that I can, even if it's a bit rushed. At this point, doing just a little bit of what I want or need to do is better than not doing it at all.

First example -- working out. Since I had to quit marathon training a few months ago, I haven't really done anything in the way of exercise. Nada. It depresses me knowing that I won't get back to the fitness level that reached in June. But as a result, I'm not toned anymore. I'm "soft." And I don't like it. I think I will set a goal to run about 20 minutes once a week. That doesn't seem so bad. And hey, it's better than nothing, right? Skimming, not sinking.

Example number two -- Blogging. I'm averaging about 5 creative ideas for blogs per day. But it's hard to pick one, dive right in and flesh it out each day because I want the blog to showcase my creative abilities and I want the post to be really good. But I'm learning to get over the notion that every post of mine will be ground-breaking (an over-exaggeration) and I'll just get out what I can. This blog is a perfect example of a not-so-perfect post (have you noticed the lack of well-thought-out points and poor grammar? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about...

Final example -- cooking. Lately I've been working really hard at coming up with creative meals. Like instead of butter on my corn on the cob, I've felt the need to do things like mix the butter with a little lemon juice and seasoned salt for a little somthing extra. But darn it, cooking is time-consuming, and it's not the end of the world if I reach for an old-standby. Tonight, I let it go, and I just plain buttered my corn.

So, here's another attempt at skimming the surface, instead of just sinking (sinking, in this case, would be not writing about these 2 events at all). Granted, I'd love to blast my blog readers (all three of you) right out of the water with poetic descriptions. Instead, I need to get to bed, so I'll make it easy:

1. My friend Pamela in Chicago is going through a tough time. Someday I will dedicate a blog to her so you can get to know how great she is. Anyway, her family is going through a tragic event and I'll be thinking about her. She's very special to me, so even though you don't know her, please keep her in your thoughts!

2. My Happy Friend Jess turned 33 last week! Seriously, she looks 23... Anyway, when I get a chance I'll write a nice blog about the CL girls (my Denver girlfriends!), and how we had such an incredibly fun girls night this past Friday for Jess's birthday! I'll even post pictures. Seriously, so much fun!

So there. Two quick little ditties about events / people in my life that I wanted to flesh out, but just don't have the drive at this late hour. Skimming the surface = more productive in the long run. I hope!

Good night, all. Thanks for being my "floaties." With you around my arms, I'll never sink!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

"Why does Mrs. H. keep saying that?"

"I don't know, but it's kinda weird!"

"Yeah! Patience is a what? WHO CARES!"

Mrs. H., my seventh grade teacher, used to say, "Patience is a virtue" at least once a day. Now, honestly, she was an odd bird, to say the least, and when she stuffed her bra with tissues, she was always lopsided! Always! That surely didn't help her case any.

Well, to this day, I find myself repeating that same phrase inside my head at times when I'm completely frustrated. And I'm finally starting to understand the value of that phrase.

I'd like to think that I'm a farily patient person (I pride myself on it, actually) but lately, my patience has been tested on many accounts and I have to constantly remind myself to not get so worked up about things. I realize that we're living in the age of instant gratification, but I need to take a step back and learn that not everything is going to fall into place the minute that I want it to. Perhaps it's because I've been so tired lately with the extra hours that I'm putting in, and when I'm exhausted, my patience tends to jump right out the window!

Instances lately when I'm feeling extra-impatient:

1. Getting to know people

Normally, I love the "getting-to-know-you" process. It's new, exciting, mysterious, etc. But in this instance, specifically, I'm talking about my co-workers at my part-time job. Now, it's not that I want to be best buds with them, but I do want them to realize that just because I'm learning the ropes and asking questions, I'm not a complete moron. I'm older than most of them, have more experience than a lot of them in other areas, but sometimes, I forget to give away the free gift with the fragrance purchase. Seriously. Shoot me now. It will come with time, I know, but I wish I could fast forward a few months and just be done with it.

2. Starting the new school year

At my school, we're open year-round. We have open enrollment which is a very appealing quality to a busy parent with a tight schedule. So, some of the kids in my class have moved on to kindergarten. Some of the kids are still in my room this week and will move to a different school next week. Some of my kids will move on this Wednesday. And still, some others have been gone since May. Basically, there's not one "last day of school" with closure for all of the kids and teachers. Nope. I've grown attached to these kids (my first class!), and for the past few weeks and the next few weeks, emotional limbo it was and is. I really want to just meet my new kids and have a "first day of school" with my new class. So, needless to say, I've been frustrated and impatient and emotional and not very happy about the state of my classroom. Ugh, what's that virtue again? What do I need to remember?

3. Traffic

Ok, so although I live in Denver, I'm still a Chicago driver. Denver drivers are the worst (too slow! below the speed limit!) and way too overly careful. And I need to accept that the drivers here aren't going to miraculously speed up or actually pull into the intersection before making a left turn (now that would be a total miracle!) But lately, I've been swearing, yelling, (not honking though, thank goodness) and gripping the wheel in angst at the slow-ass drivers who don't speed up to make it through a yellow light to give me a chance to get through an intersection to avoid making me a few more minutes late to work. Is it that much to ask people?

Ahhhhhhh...anyway, a virture. Patience truly is a virtue. And not only is patience a virtue, but time is also very precious. And currently my lack of it is completely compromising my coveted, virtuous patience! Boy, Mrs. H, you were a smart lady.

I only hope that during all of the years that have passed since my seventh grade class, you've been smart enough to have patience with yourself and your tissues until both sides are equal and balanced! Because balance is really what it's all about, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2007


A few days this week have been pretty emotionally hard for me (see this post.) I kept it vague because nowadays I have no idea who is reading my blog, or who will in the future. But anyway, for years now I have most definitely felt "stuck" in regard to said vague situation. Perhaps someday I will elaborate.

Well, as new blogging friend Lisa very intelligently brought to my attention, I think I am beginning to unstick myself, simply by talking about being stuck. I don't think I'll ever be completely stick-free, but I'm working at it.

Mark has helped me come to terms with the sticky situation, and we had a fabulous chat a few nights ago and more and more I realize why I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with him! He's my one and only lifelong adhesive remover.

Anyway, I'm moving on for now, fully aware that being stuck is perfectly ok, and I'm not proving anything to anyone, even myself, by beating myself up over trying to unstick. And by realizing that, as Lisa mentioned, I just might be unsticking without even knowing it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This Nanny's Diary

As if two weren’t enough…

I’ve signed on for yet another job. Number three. Seriously. Although my experience as a nanny for 4-year-old twins this past winter was a complete and utter disaster, I decided to give it another try. You know, I’ll watch these kids during my spare time. All of that fabulous free time that I have when I take naps, read books, exercise and spend time with my fiancĂ© and dog. You know, that imaginary peaceful and relaxing time that I’m willing to sacrifice for the sake of a few more bucks per week.

Today I was approached with the opportunity to be a once-a-week nanny for two sisters (three and five years old) who attend the preschool where I work. Just one day, most probably Monday, every week. It’ll be after school, in the evening, and hopefully not past 8:00 p.m.

Hopefully I’ll have nothing but positive experiences to write about in regard to my second go-ahead as a nanny. Stay tuned, and wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Letting go...

Does everyone have it? That one thing that they simply can not forget? That one situation in their life that makes them feel stuck? Does it anger you as much as it angers me? To work so hard at moving on from something and feel like no personal progress has been made? Is it just me?

It makes me feel like such a failure...that I simply can not move forward. I question if I ever will. Can I simply wave the white flag and accept that I will always be stuck?

I have learned to treat people differently because of it. I have learned to swallow my pride. I have learned to demand respect and to act in a way where I, in turn, respect others. These are good things... Great lessons to take away. But that one thing...that one situation still makes me feel so awful and I'm so sick of it!

Do you have one of those?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fun Food Four Word-er

To set it straight. Not four letter words. But four word sentences. In this entire post. No foul language here. Only my random thoughts. In only four words.

Have new exciting friends. Work at Food Network. Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray. Sandra Lee, Giada DeLaurentiis. Learning many foodie tips. Cooking meals from scratch. Creativity has been soaring. Excitement in my kitchen! My meat needs work. All types of meat. I can do sauces. I can do dressings. I can do soups. Love to mix things. Without scientific know how! Out of the box. Is the best way. For me to cook. Ha ha, not literally. Creatively speaking, I mean. Not packaged boxed foods. Except for Sandra Lee! You'll see I'm right. Watch Semi-Homemade some day!

Risotto tonight was excellent. Just ask my Mark! What to make Jill? When she comes Thursday. For dinner with us! Have too much dressing. Made from Helen's cucumbers. Gazpacho didn't work well. Turned into salad dressing. Also made cucumber salsa. Veggies from Rubin's garden! Thanks Rubin and Helen. For being so neighborly! Please no more cucumbers. Though yours were great. I'm just cucumbered out! Grow any more zucchini?

No more marathon training. Cooking all the time. Not a pleasant combo. For my waist line!

Ugh, sheesh, oi vey!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Balance of Thick and Thin


“The big book is thicker because it’s bigger!” “No, the little book is thinner than the big book because it has a paper cover and the other cover is hard!” “No no no, my hair is thicker than yours because it is brown.” “Well, my daddy is thicker than me because he is taller.”

How exactly do you teach thick and thin to a preschooler? You can’t use words like “height” and “width” because you’re bound to hear crickets. You can show them the spines of two different books like I did, one thicker than the other, but most likely, they’ll say the book that is larger in size (not necessarily with the most pages) is the thicker book. What on earth can I say to make them understand?



My friend Jill has been doing a phenomenal job of balancing all areas of her life. This will explain it all…. I am so proud of her, and I’ll admit, a little envious! There’s a definite reason why I’ve chosen to be Denver’s Tumbling Leaf…twisting and turning, tumbling and fumbling through life…constantly trying to start over and get myself grounded. If I were Denver’s Balanced Leaf, perhaps there would be no point to my blog at all.

My life has been chock full of “thick and thin” lately. New second job, lack of exercise, applying to grad school, missing Chicago and friends and family, planning our wedding, dealing with anxious dog. As always, I need to do a better job of evening the thins and thicks. When life throws Webster’s Dictionary on one side of life’s scale, I find myself tossing a People Magazine on the other and crossing my fingers that it will somehow, in some way, balance. My my my, how DOES Jill do it? Intuitively place The Devil Wears Prada on one side, and The Nanny Diaries on the other? As cheesy as that sounds, as silly and girly that analogy is, it fits her, and um….well…did I say that I was proud of her? She amazes me.



My Mark has the balance down pat – he always has. He understands what it takes to easily glide through the thick and thin. Especially lately, as he’s creating a monthly budget for me to help with my bills, working a second job doing freelance database work in his spare time, walking the dog in the morning when I can’t wake up because I’ve worked until 10 p.m. the night before, and washing all of my dishes from the burnt, crumbly cookies I attempted to make right before I left for my second job. Not to mention the great big hug that I got from him as I was in hysterical tears because the house was all smoky from what should have been the cookies. The definition of thick and thin, in this instance, to me, is synonymous with unconditional love. And to him, it comes so naturally – balancing his life and our relationship and making it all work. I love that about him.



I realized, clearly, that teaching thick and thin doesn’t necessarily have to do with what I say, but what I do.

“See kids, you can have a really BIG book with THIN pages on one side of the scale, and a really SMALL book with THICK pages on the other and they will balance. I promise!”

So I plopped both books on the scale and we all watched as the scale balanced itself and most of the kids said, "Now I see it!"

And right then I made a mental note to listen to myself when I try to simplify things for the kids. To force myself to physically see the balance, just like the books on the scale, before I finally learn to work through the thick and thin. If I can remind myself to visualize the balance, my thick and thin, no matter how big or small, will surprisingly begin to even out.

Until then, this leaf will twist and tumble, but enjoy the ride along the way.

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