When I’m the Problem

I was listening to a podcast in my car today.  They were interviewing this world renown speaker and he caught my attention.

He talked about people getting stuck.  People get comfortable where they are and they get stuck.  Moving out of your comfort zone is scary.  And when something is scary, it is easy to find reasons not to do it.

2017 is my year to get out of my comfort zone.  Sometimes I feel like I’m failing miserably.  Other times, I feel a bit more inspired.  I’ve actually been thinking about starting an “I’ve Done” list.  “I’ve done” is the opposite of the “To-Do” list.  The “I’ve Done” list has come in handy in the past.  In the past I’ve done the list for those days where I work and work and work and I don’t feel like I’ve made any headway.  I sit down and write my list of things I’ve done.  For now I’m thinking I need to do a list like that for bigger-than-daily items!  When it is staring at me there on paper; I can’t help but agree that I certainly have done some things.

I’m good at working hard . . and excessively.  However, like anything in excess, my capacity to stay busy and work, work, work is not healthy.  Yet, it has become my comfort zone.  I can remind myself that all my work, work, work was with good reason.  And it was!  Moving forward, I’ll definitely stay busy!  But I need to slow down a bit!  The good news is that if I am the problem . .  I am also the solution!

The winds are changing and I am still working on changing with those winds!  At the beginning of this year, I certainly didn’t think that six months later this would be such an issue still.  And my slow pace at changing gets frustrating at times.  At times I feel like a bumper car moving down a lane – those bumper cars don’t steer very well, so you bump one side, bump the other side, and back and forth again and again while inching forward.  The thing to know is that those cars end up surging forward at some point!  And they would never surge forward if the driver stopped the car, just because it was bumping in to the sides of a lane!

Tonight I am thankful for moving out of my comfort zone!  I’ve made some big steps in both of my businesses this week!  And I’ve made some big steps so far this year – some have panned out, some have not.  I’ve also made some baby steps on healthy personal things this week . . and baby steps are just as good as big steps some times!  Big things are coming!  I know it!  And I intend to be ready!




There have been a string of break-ins in my neck of the woods.  Several people I know have had their barns broken in to and items stolen.  The latest were just down the road from me.

Good or bad, I told the kids today.  I told them for a reason – kids are creative.  I asked them for ideas.  What did they think we should do to the barn to try to catch a thief?  I got a few ideas.  I think the best one was to catch the skunk that lives by our barn and put her inside to wait for sneaky people 🙂

I told the kids that my idea was to take the cot out there and sleep with the .22 under me.  I heard, “Mom!  You can’t kill them!”.  I assured them, No I wouldn’t kill anyone.  But a bullet to the leg would keep the intruder from running off and stealing again, now wouldn’t it?

I told the kids, this isn’t anything to be scared about.  I told them that Mom isn’t scared.  Mom is fairly mad about this.  Unfortunately, not everyone knows that the number one rule in this house is “Don’t make the Momma mad!”.  Seriously, that is the rule.  I didn’t make it.  The hubster made that rule.  I found it slightly offensive, like I was some kind of volcano.  But I haven’t been able to stop the reciting of this rule for a few years now.  So I guess I’m stuck with it.  Fortunately for my family, I can be a fairly patient person.  Unfortunately for a thief, I won’t be patient towards someone who has stolen items, upset several families, and decides to walk on my property.

Tonight I am thankful for the right to bear arms.  I am thankful that I am a good shot.  And I am thankful for a few other fun ideas from the kids . . . one involves fire . . . probably can’t pull that one off 😉


Sometimes I feel like a wonderful mother.  Other times . . not so much.

Take for instance, take my youngest child.  It has taken me most of his life to know what color his eyes are.  Seriously.  I figured it out about a year ago.

It seems so cut and dry, right?  I mean, my eyes are brown.  They turn green when I get very emotional.  But most of the time, they are all brown.  My first three children have brown eyes.  Their eyes are always brown.

But . . my youngest child . . . I thought perhaps he had chameleon eyes.  Sometimes they seem a light shade of blue.  Other times they are green.  And still other times, they are mostly brown.  Sometimes there is almost a gold color in his eyes around the pupil.  I seriously have had thoughts of this child growing up and struggling at the Secretary of State for his driver’s license when he had to fill in “Eye Color”.  I mean . . which one would he pick??  They always change!!

Then I read about green eyes.  Did you know it is fairly normal for green eyes to turn different shades?  I didn’t.  Did you know that brown circles around the pupil, followed by green for the rest of the iris is typical for green eyes?  I didn’t know that either.  Did you know that sometimes that brown circle looks amber or gold?  Nope, I didn’t.

Here we are, just a bit shy of a decade old and I finally know my child’s eye color.  There goes my Mother of the Year award!  Ah well, I’d gladly trade it in to be able to answer my kiddo when he asks me, “Mom, what color are my eyes?”  For years I’ve given him different answers.  Fortunately, this has never seemed to bother him!

Tonight I am thankful for knowing what color my children’s eyes are!  Seriously, I know.  It sounds so simple.  But, if someone doesn’t know how special green eyes can be . . well then, someone (me) wouldn’t know what green eyes are!  Now I know!  And I am thankful!


Wild Trouble

The kids have found two wild baby birds in four summers at this house.  This first bird was a little older.  We happened to have an unoccupied bird-cage at the time, so we brought the bird inside.  The bird went crazy banging itself against the cage trying to get free.  So we took it back outside, put it up in a tree and hoped for the best.

Today’s bird was a little smaller.  It had feathers, but it still needed its mommy.  When my kiddo saw the bird, it was in the mouth of a cat!  My daughter got the bird away from the cat. Miraculously, the bird was in good shape.  We found the nest and put the bird back.  In the meantime we dug in the dirt and fed it a little grub.  That seemed to make the bird happy.

Honestly though, we have little idea what we are doing.  We need more information on how to handle these situations!  With plenty of barn cats, my compassionate kiddos have their work cut out for them to save baby birds.  I wrote out some questions on a pice of paper and handed them to my daughter to do some research.  She is currently being assisted by her sister, as the internet searching on wild baby bird care can be difficult.

Tonight I am thankful for the World-Wide-Web.  I hope my girls find some good information.  More than that, I hope the baby birds stay in their nests with their Mommas, where they belong!!




In A Pinch

I have a tent, for events, with the open sides and just the top cover.  I bought it two summers ago for my first “booth” at an expo.  It has come in handy!

I think the last time I used it was in the fall.  We had a game booth for the cheerleaders at the Homecoming football game.  I know we used it then.

Today we had a booth for Ethos Real Estate West at the Mason Outdoor Expo and More.  I hadn’t gotten anything out beforehand.  I knew it would all be where I had left it . . . right?  Wrong.  The frame was there.  The canopy was not.  I looked all over this morning.  I searched the basement, the attic, the garage, the barn, even the laundry room.  I cannot find it!

I was prepared to sit the entire time out in the sun.  Then the hubster remembered a patio sun shade we had in the attic.  It is a nice sun shade.  It really doesn’t do too well at our house.  We usually have a pretty nice breeze going here, which I love.  The sun shade isn’t made too much for the wind.  But it could work today!  We threw it in the truck and were off!

It was ok.  I ended up taking it down after the first few hours.  The poor shade just couldn’t handle the wind at our booth well either.

I’m starting a search to see how much a replacement canopy is.  There is a slight chance that it got thrown out.  I have kept it in a trash bag because it is big and doesn’t fold well.  And a trash bag is just a big bag!  I didn’t think I used a trash bag the last time we used it . . . but who knows.  Ugh.

Tonight I am thankful that the patio sun shade worked fairly well in a pinch today!  I am thankful that I wasn’t in the sun the entire event!  And I am thankful that the breeze at least felt nice today, even if it diminished the utility of the sun shade!


Police . . Again


I have been appraising houses for 12 years now.  In that time I have lost count for how many times people have called the police on me.  And there was that one time that I tripped a house alarm . . . twice . . . Lansing police had excellent response times that day.

Anyway, it’s been a kind of funny thing.  I mean, sometimes when people call the police on me, it is a little weird.  But I know that I’m not doing anything wrong; so it has become a bit, with humorous how many times it has happened.

Until today.

After the whole CPS thing several weeks ago, I really didn’t think how this would affect my sense of humor with houses.  Today I had the police called on me . . . again.  Because, ya know, 4:30ish on a Friday, a woman in dress clothes with a clip board, entering a home utilizing a lockbox with a code that she knows, seems awfully suspicious!  Right?  No?  I didn’t think so either.  Luckily, the officer didn’t think so either.  He did go over and chat with the neighbors.  Hopefully to tell them that it’s 5 o’clock somewhere and they should chill out!

Tonight I am thankful that the police don’t think I’m a bad guy!  A whole bunch of other people seem to think that I am!!  Fortunately the people with the guns and handcuffs believe otherwise.

Here is my mug shot . . . er, how I looked today that seemed so suspicious.


What We Deserve

There are several times when I repeat to myself, “Bend, but don’t break.  Bend, but don’t break”.  It’s important to remember when things get stressful that it’s ok to have moments where you just can’t be strong anymore.  I had a few of these at the beginning of this week.

Today was another long day.  As I was out running from store to store for certain needed items (7 stores in 4 different cities/towns to be exact) I was looking for the good of it all.  I did have some house assignments in two of those cities, so it was convenient to get my work done and check stores.  But, man . . . when I was walking out of the last store before they closed at 10 tonight, I just wanted to be home.
I thought of years ago when I first started working too much.  I was crabby.  I was not happy with how I spent my days at all!  I had lots of other things I wanted to do!  I remember complaining to someone who listened to me, like really listened.  They listened with a straight, but caring face.  And just the look on their face made me stop and think.  Because the person I was complaining to had also worked that hard before.  And they had less to show for it (just life circumstance stuff).  My perceived self-importance left a bitter taste in my mouth.

We set such standards today for ourselves.  There is so much research for how a person should divide their time in a day between work, family, and self.  We hear all the time how we “deserve” the relaxing and fun moments.  But the truth is that no one can tell us what we need or what we deserve.  And no one can set the standard for how we spend our time.

I work so much because I have big goals – for my family and myself.  Yes, I would love to take a couple of weeks off and run away with my family.  But it just isn’t our time for that in life.  I know this without a doubt and without bitterness or jealousy for those who get to do that.

Believe me, I am still working hard to work less than I have been!  And I will get there!  In the meantime, I have spent a bit of time this week reminding myself that this effort is not in vain.  Yes, I have a lot of work to do to get myself to a place where I can relax a bit.  And I’m working on it.  I will be there soon.  I actually made some *hopefully* good strides towards newer/better processes today to give me more time.

Tonight I’m thankful that on a day like today when my alarm went off at 4:30 and I didn’t end up home until after 10; on a day like today I have so much to be thankful for.  I took a few hours out today and took the kids berry picking.  We had a good time!  On my drive home tonight there was a beautiful lightning storm.  And I had the opportunity to look out over a dark field and see fireflies lighting up so beautifully, it looked like God tipped over a container of sparkles on the Earth.  I would have missed all that if I hadn’t been driving home!

P.S.  I know this picture doesn’t come close to capturing the beauty that I saw tonight, but I tried 😉