Resolutions for 2014

Word of the Year

So here are the some of my goals for this year:

#1 Write a novel

I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. I wrote my first story in the first grade. I wrote it out by hand, bound it with construction paper and decorated the cover. I still have it. I probably ought to take a picture…

Later, I got in trouble in English class for writing a book, instead of reading the class novel (which I’d already finished).

It’s high time I finished something. And perhaps even published it…

#2 Close up shop

I sold my web design and hosting business in 2009. But I continued to hold onto providing those services to other markets. It’s time to let go and focus elsewhere. I do have a couple of clients I will keep pro bono, but everyone else has to go.

#3 Rely on God

It’s easy for me to read all the educational and political blogs I follow and get angry. It seems corporate reformers are trying to dismantle our public education under the guise of choice and competition. This cognitive dissonance is hard to live with. So I need to just turn it all over to God and keep doing in my classroom what I know I’m supposed to do.

These are my top three resolutions for this year. We’ll see where I’m at in 12 months….

Grass Fire Gets A Little Too Close

Wow. I’ts been a long time since I’ve posted. I haven’t really had anything interesting to say or show you.

That is, until yesterday.

Wednesday started out like any other.

I lounged around in the morning, then prepared to go to the bank in the afternoon to pick up a new check card.

I opened the front door of my house around 2 p.m. to see this:


I dragged my husband out of bed (he works nights, so sleeps during the day), rounded up  my cellphone, purse, novel-writing bag, two dogs, and loaded everyone and everything into the Suburban so we could evacuate.

By the time I left the house, it looked like this:


The dogs and I headed out of the neighborhood, but stopped to shoot a few more pictures:

From A Distance

I contacted friends from church, and they let me house the dogs in their kennels. I don’t know what I’d done without them!

When I came back, the police weren’t letting anyone in the neighborhood, so I waited at the top the road to find out where the bus would drop of the kids. This was around 3:30 p.m.


We saw several fire trucks from surrounding communities, including Slaughterville, Little Axe and Purcell. Steve said he saw even more firefighters out, including Dibble and Pink. Thank the Lord for these men and women who risk their lives to save our neighborhoods!

For the record, on a normal day, seeing more than one or two cars on the road is considered high traffic. This amount of traffic was nuts!

Anyway, while I waited anxiously at the top of the road, my husband remained at the house, watering the yard and getting a couple other items at the house ready to bug out, if necessary. While he was there, he had the once in a life-time experience of having a Chinook helicopter drop a load of water on his head. Er, nearby…


You can see the blade of the helicopter to the right of the sun. And that’s the water falling out of the basket carried by the helicopter.

I believe that basket of water put out this lovely little blaze right across the street from our house:

Fire Near The House

Sometime after this, I picked up the kids at a nearby gas station. One of our neighbors called us to let them know where the kids were. Thank the Lord!

We finally returned home around 9 p.m. — just in time to put the kids in bed!

I took a few pictures today of the areas that burned:

Scorched Land

Smoldering TreeYou can see more grass fire photographs in my Flickr account.

Working With Early Risers

Trying to live with an early bird can be hard at times. But working with them isn’t always a walk in the park either. Of course, I’m sure they’d say the same thing about us.

So what can you do to make things work out for both sides?

1. Early birds and night owls need to realize that there is a place for both sleep cycles. For example, when I ran my web design and hosting company, I would hire assistans who were early risers. They would start the day bright and early helping clients who were also early risers. And they could take care of all the projects that I’d come up with the night before. With this understanding, we complemented one another.

2. Realize that a sleep cycle alone does not a lazy person make. That said, if a night owl is sitting up all night watching Letterman, yes, that’s a problem. But if she’s writing an ebook, doing laundry, building websites, answering helpdesk tickets, mopping, rocking a not-very-sleepy child and generally keeping herself busy, then NO, she is not lazy. Seriously.

Understanding and accepting one another are the two main things you can do to work with the early bird in your life. Of course, it really helps if she returns the favor…

Night Owls Get Such A Bad Name

You’ve heard it all.

  • “You’re lazy if you don’t get up by 6 a.m.”
  • “You could get up earlier if you didn’t party all night”
  • “You must be anti-social, disorganized, impulsive…”

You get the picture. Night Owls really do have a negative image with all those larks running around out there.

I feel your pain. One of my roommates in college was a die-hard lark. She would go to bed at 9 p.m. and wake up at 6 a.m. Not only was she awake at this time, but SINGING. Loudly. And totally chipper. Like nails on a chalkboard to a night owl who’d just gone to bed three hours earlier.

I’ve been a night owl for as long as I can remember. Waking up in the morning has always been hard. No matter how much sleep I’ve had the night before, I’m dragging until after noon. (One semester in college, my roommates wouldn’t even talk to me until after my first class. LOL!)

Fortunately, after I graduated from college, I worked for a newspaper on the 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift. This was perfect for me. I’d get up at noon and get ready for work.

After work, I’d spend some time reading, perhaps straighten some things up around the house and then go grocery shopping at 3 a.m. NOt only were my husband and I the only ones in the store, the night staff got to know us by name. That never happens during the day!

After we had kids, I just followed along with their schedule. Since I ran my own business, I didn’t need to be up at the crack of dawn. Later, when I felt like I did need someone awake at that hour, I hired an assistant.

My sleep schedule hasn’t always worked out so well. I’ve spent years trying to flip my schedule around so I could get up and enjoy a sunrise. I mean, I can get up early and get the kids to school when needed, but I have trouble being as productive as I am when I’m working at midnight. (This could be that their are more distractions during the day. But I also know that I’m more creative and can focus better later in the day.)

I can remember as a kid, going to my Granny and Granddad’s house. They used to run a small town grocery store and their parents had been farmers. So they were die-hard larks as well. As a matter of fact, my Granddad would wake up at 4 a.m. without an alarm clock. He’s the one that thought I was lazy because I was still snoozing at noon.

Of course, he didn’t realize I’d been awake half the night thinking or writing or generally waiting for sleep to arrive.

For the longest time, I think I believed him. It wasn’t until after I had kids and started my business, that I realized that just because I wasn’t awake at 6 a.m. didn’t mean that I was lazy, unmotivated or unproductive. If I work with my natural rhythms, I can get a lot done. Just not when everyone else thinks I should do it.

So how about you?

Do you struggle with your sleep patterns? What have you tried to change things?

Do you have people in your life who think you just need to go to bed at a decent hour and that will straighten you out? What have you tried to get them to understand you?