Monday, October 29, 2007

MM 10/29/2007

Hello friends,

I know it is late, but sometimes you have to work with what you have. I had the luxury of being in Truckee this last weekend with Lisa and Mary and didn't get home until today. It was a much needed get away, and I am back home with my emotional batteries charged, and inspired again to reach for the stars.

Lisa invited Mary and I to take off and spend some girl time together. We stayed up late, watched many DVD's.could have slept in ( but we didn't), stayed in our pajamas longer than normal, ate wonderful food (mostly healthy), shopped in old town Truckee, did yoga, hiked the hills, and drank good wine, while doing all the good that women do for each other. We all missed our families, but really took to heart that we needed this time to nurture ourselves and each other. We read from Simple Abundance by Sarah Bran Breathnach, a beautiful book to read from every single day. I found this book in a thrift store and I feel more like it found me. I am in a place of finding simplicity, and down sizing. I can't recommend it enough and hope if you seek it out, enjoy it as much as I am.

So with that, let me say how much I appreciate my marriage and family for allowing me to do what I need to do without them. It seem so easy to forget that we are individuals before we are wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, employers and employees. We need to hang on to who it is we are before we commit to all those other people we become. Ask yourself what you have done for yourself lately? What do you want to do, just for you? My suggestion is that you find a way to do it, because I feel, you will return to your busy life so much more willingly, and happy. Yes, happy.

Have a wonderful week, and take some time to to celebrate the you that we all know and love!


"Deliberately seeking solitude—quality time spent away from family and friends—may seem selfish. It is not. Solitude is as necessary for our creative spirits to develop and flourish as are sleep and food for our bodies."
— Sarah Ban Breathnach

Monday, October 22, 2007

MM 10/22/2007

Hi Friends,

Last week I ranted about groceries, eating out, and my attempt to save money. This was, without a doubt, the most responded to MM of all time. Thank you to all of you who gave me your input and I appreciate that you were honest. I know you were honest because some of you told me I was crazy, over reacting, and that I needed to "just lighten up, buy the groceries and let them eat out." Others empathized that they have gone through the same thing and felt my frustration.

Two of you hit the nail on the head with the acknowledgment that (first, my e-mail was one-sided, and) this family is not aligned in terms of our financial goals. The good thing is that reading the replies gave all of us more to talk about, and everyone felt validated on some level. For me, I just feel like I have worked so hard this year to pay off our debt, and set us up to be able to save, that to see that hard work eaten up (okay, pun intended!) by eating out, just seems silly.

This weekend we celebrated. Mason turned four on Saturday and we went to Apple Hill. We had a picnic and took lots of pictures. Ken and Dahlynn were there signing books and we just made a big deal that it was Mason's birthday. When we got home, we had pizza for dinner and then let Mason open presents from the family. On Sunday, we had a bull riding birthday party (in theme only) in the backyard. Dave barbecued, and we had a good turn out of 10 kids plus parents. Mason was especially happy to have his grandma Mary here to celebrate, too!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to a great week! I have attached a few pictures from the weekend. Enjoy!

A Thought on Service
"I believe one of the most important questions any of us can ever ask of ourselves is, 'What and how can I be of service?' … It doesn't take a Harvard degree or millions of dollars to make a difference in a child's life. … It just really takes a commitment and a will to do better."
— Oprah

Monday, October 15, 2007

MM 10/15/2007


Hi Friends,

Happy Monday. Today I want to pick your brain in an attempt to determine if I am normal. Okay, stop laughing. Normal, what is normal really? I am pretty sure I am not completely normal, but, I also do not think I am that far off of center. The subject is groceries and finances.

For those of my friends who are single, these numbers are going to seem astronomical, and those of you that shop for a family, you will see this is right in line with normal. The way I see it, if I spend $600 on a big grocery shop (big means we needed everything, meat, canned goods, staples, etc.) I expect that we will have enough food for all meals for a month. The only things we may need to buy are fresh vegetables, and breads as needed.

What I see happening in my family, is that there is such a strong desire for fast and easy, that no matter how much food is in the house, they still want to eat out. (I also think the addiction to the strong flavors of convenience foods play into this as well). It might be important to say that I queried this family about what they want to eat before I went shopping. We have cereal, yogurts, breakfast bars and fruit for breakfast. I also pre-make waffles and pancakes so they can just heat them up in the microwave or toaster. For lunch we have all kinds of sandwich stuff, salad fixings, fruit, and convenience accouterments like fruit cups, applesauce, crackers with peanut butter, and many other things like this. Dinners are planned, and not so much the issue.

Here is why all this is being discussed. The house is fully stocked with food from a big shop on Saturday. Sunday morning, Dave and Colton are leaving to go to a game tournament and as they are standing at the door, Dave makes the comment that he hopes everything will start on time. Colton chimes in, "If it doesn't, why don't we stop and get breakfast." I jumped in with the apparently insane idea that they eat breakfast now, at home! Dave said there was no time, so Colton grabbed a breakfast bar and off they went, planning to buy lunch out.

I do not have an issue with a day out for the boys, enjoying time together and having lunch out. What I do take issue with, is that we have worked really hard, all year, budgeting and watching our pennies. We just spent $595.00 stocking the house with anything you can imagine to eat, and they still are not eating it. Colton spends all of his weekly allowance on food from Taco Tree and the gas station. He needs to be saving money for snowboard gear, and he owes his mom $95. I am thinking, is it not responsible, and a bit on the selfish side to be eating out, and in turn, letting good, fresh food go to waste at home. Let me also mention that eating out includes energy drinks, snack food, and the like when you stop to get gas for the car.

Eating out is expensive. I would like to teach both of the boys (all three) that they could use their money in a far wiser fashion. So here is where I would like to know what you think. Do you think I am being obsessive about this? Or as Dave puts it, "You have issues." What have you done to try to tackle this issue with your family?

The reality is, as a mom, I care very much that my boys are eating as healthfully as I can provide for, and enforce. I also want them to have the other things in life that they want, and if they are piddling their money away two dollars, five dollars, and fifteen dollars at a time on convenience food, how will they ever achieve financial freedom? My best defense is that Oprah Winfrey, a gazillionaire, takes her lunch to work. She can afford to buy anything she wants, and understands the waste of money that eating out is.

SO, what do you think? Please reply to not only me, but to Dave as well. If you agree with him, and I need to lighten up, please, don't hold back!

Lots of love to all of you and have a great week!


"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." George Washington

Monday, October 8, 2007

MM 10/08/2007

Happy Monday,almost Tuesday!

It is late, but I have good reason. My mom was visiting this weekend and just left early this afternoon. The last time my mom was here to visit was May, 2003 when we lived in Dutch Flat. This is the first time she has seen our house in Auburn and it was nice to have her here spending time with Mason. Well, spending time with us,too,but it is more important to me that Mason get to know and spend as much time as possible with his grandparents. We didn't go anywhere or make a big to-do about anything, we just stayed home and enjoyed each others company. Mom left today to visit with Aunt Jeannette in Hayward, before she makes a brief stop in Portland to see my brother, and then back home to Utah.

On Friday night we had a blast having dinner with Ken and Dahlynn. Dave went all out with a meal of homemade Caesar salad, tri-tip with a burgundy peppercorn sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus with cheese sauce, and fresh green beans and baby carrots. Dahlynn made a pumpkin pie and Ken baked cookies. As wonderful as that all sounds (and it was!), it was nothing compared to the good time we shared sitting around the table laughing and telling stories. Next month we will do it again at the McKowen homestead and I am sure we will have as much fun, and as many laughs!

Have a wonderful week and let me leave you with an empowering thought: You perceive the world through an obscure window of beliefs, interpretations, and associations. The world is therefore a reflection of your mind. As your mind clears, you perceive reality simply as it is. What does your experience of life reveal about your filters of perception?

Lots of love!

Monday, October 1, 2007

MM 10/01/2007

Hello friends,

Happy Monday! Is it raining where you are? It is here. I love that we are having this early rain to welcome fall. My neighborhood has the most beautiful trees and one in particular is already completely, magnificently red! I know we still have plenty of warm days ahead of us, but this just really puts me in the mood for the coming holidays.

This weekend, Mason and I stayed home and laid low. Is that right, laid low? Anyway, we went through all of Mason's toys and made room for birthday and Christmas time, and I did the same in my room with clothes and stuff throughout the house. It feels so good to let go of stuff and de-clutter. I am finding that home is not so relaxing when I have so much stuff all around me. Not to mention that I keep stuff because I know I will need it, but when I do, I can't find it so I go out and buy what I need again anyway! It is a vicious cycle and I have vowed to break it. Let go, I say! Laughing.

Go have a wonderful week. Today, write down something you want to do before the end of the year. Plan it, and make it happen. Dave will be home today and we will be making plans for the rest of this year to create next year. I am excited and know the seeds we plant today will grow tall and strong tomorrow. Have a great week!


Banish Doubt

When doubt is banished, abundance flourishes and anything is possible. We all tend to use our thoughts to create the world we choose. If you doubt your ability to create the life you intend, then you're refusing the power of intention. Even when nothing seems to indicate that you're accomplishing what you desire in your life, refuse to entertain doubt. Shakespeare declared, "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt." And Ramana Maharshi observed, "Doubts arise because of an absence of surrender."

You may well choose to doubt what others say to you, or what you experience with your senses, but banish doubt when it comes to knowing that a universal force of intention designed you and got you here! Don't doubt your creation from a field of energy that's always available to you.

Wayne Dyer, from The Power Of Intention