Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pity Party

I'm throwing myself a pity party right now.  I guess it is due to the overwhelming feelings burying me under.  I have a pan of brownies baking, the ones with peanut butter cups baked in.  Perhaps a whole pan will help me feel a little better.  Or give me a stomach-ache.  We'll see which happens first.  I'm betting on the stomach-ache.

Life has been very chaotic summer, and back to school time has only stretched limited time even thinner.  I think I need a day to clean.  My house is a tornado recovery zone, one that could be considered a federal disaster area. There just isn't any desire, nor much time to dedicate to the amount of work it will take to get it on track.

How do we do it?  How do we think we can handle it all, mothering, work, extra-curricular activities, school, and church?  I'm not sure anyone can.  Something always falls into the neglected category, and more often than not, it is my house.

Anyone want to invent a cleaning robot, or better yet, know the number of a good cleaning fairy?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let the Games Begin!

On Saturday we spent time at the Highland Games, where Ab competed for the very first time in Highland Dance.  I am so very proud of her, because she did spectacularly well for her very first time! 

All of the tears and gnashing of teeth finally paid off with her dancing to three of the four dances in her category.  She hasn't learned the fourth yet, but hopefully soon!

She was beaming with pride and accomplishement as she was awarded a first place medal in the Scottish Lilt, her favorite dance.  There were only three girls in her age catagory, but to be honest, she did pretty well considering they were 15 and 16 years old!

Now, to the costume.  It was amazing.  Thanks to Daniel, his mom Aneta, and his sister Becky, they were able to outfit her in style.  Take a look at the vest!

 So, we got the patterns a little late and had to rush to make everything.  Unfortunately, the vest pattern was sent in the wrong size, and Daniel and Becky learned how to alter a pattern.  Two days of intense sewing and trying to get everything fitted correctly, six muslin mock-ups latter, that was the fantastic result.  I think she was one of the best dressed, but I'm biased that way!

We spent six hours in the sun, and basked in the whole experience.  I think her smile is worth it in the end:
A First and Third!  Way to Go!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yesterday was a bad day....

I’m putting this out there.  I really don’t care that it can be chalked up to an embarrassing moment, but really, one is having a bad day, when around 6:00 pm, I finally realize, I’ve worn my underwear inside out all day.  Yes, all day. 

*Image from Google*

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Bit of an Obsession

I have a new obsession....Pinterest.  Just take a look:
My dream library..in my home.  Yes a dream.

I want to make these.  Right. Now.
Umm, Duh.  Of course it is.
Much better than my yellow ones in Uruguay
I've spent far too much time pinning and pining over pictures of darling things.  Things to make.  Things to dream on.  This that are beautiful.  Things that are disturbing (although I don't see too many of those). I've been having a blast adding to my boards, a plethora of items to make and create.  Pure eye candy.


A couple of weeks ago, as we drove home from dance, Abbie and I had a long talk about commitments and the decisions she is making now, that will affect the rest of her life.

Dance has been a spot of contention among us.  I want her to dance, something I always dreamed about doing, but either never felt coordinated enough to pursue, or confident enough to attempt.  Abbie on the other hand, talks as though she wants to dance, and enjoys her lessons.  Practicing is something entirely different.  She abhors the structured time and I wonder if the fight is worth it.

She told me she was committed to dancing in a competition this summer.  I am a bit concerned, because to be ready, practicing will play an enormous role in the achievement of this commitment.  Will she make choices to attain her goal?  At this point, I hope and pray that she does.  Not just for my sake of seeing her in kilt and ghillies, dancing a lovely fling, but because at the same time she talked about the other commitments she has made in her life.

Abbie knows my expectations of her.  She knows good behavior from bad, and knows her limits.   I can't take all the credit.  She is an extraordinary child and has a good head on her shoulders.  Many family members and friends have made choices and she sees the consequences.  That right there is a teacher of some import.

From the time she was small, I would joke with her father, "Abbie won't date until she is 30!"  Partly for my own sanity, as well as to tease her.  She has taken up the mantra and committed not to date until she is 16, nor to have a boyfriend until then.  She spoke of these things lightly and I wasn't sure how they had sunk in, until a conversation we had, just last week.

There is a boy.  In her class at school, who told her she was looking pretty cute.  Oh my.  I'm not ready for this.  She asked me what she could tell him if he asked her to be his girlfriend.  All I had to say, "What are your commitments, Ab?"  She recited them, and asked me how to tell him nicely, they could just be friends.  I won't pretend that the conversation will not get harder as the years go on, but for now, I'm glad she knows what being committed to something means.

Her list is long.  I don't mind.  Every commitment is a good one, and one that will enable her to have a life that both she and I pray for.  She will not be burdened by undue hardships such as substance abuse, pre-marital sex and those consequences, or irrevocable body piercings or other bodily markings.  She will grow up and be mature and ready for the opportunities that come her way, unencumbered with the baggage these choices could bestow upon her.

I'm sure there will be times when these commitments will be tested and tried.  Boundaries will be pushed, but the choices have already been made.  There will never be the need to make them again if she sticks with what she had already decided.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Some Photos I Love

A couple of weeks ago, the Young Women's group decided to head out to the bird refuge that is just a couple of miles down the road from my house.  The weather was perfectly sunny, the evening cool, and it was just nice enough to avoid the rabid mosquitos that frequent the wetlands.  I was attempting to take some cool pictures, and tried to focus on some depth of field shots.  It was a blast as I walked through the different areas.  The birds are just now coming back for the summer months, so no fabulous bird pics.

I was enthralled with the scene.  Dead, decaying foliage, gray from the winter, with shoots of green peeking through, as if to say, "I'll triumph over winter bleakness yet!"

It felt good to stretch my legs and feel the wind on my cheeks.  Of course, the girls were rambunctious and their laughter carried on the breeze.

As a family, we have taken time to walk the boardwalk around the sanctuary.  Various birds call to each other and the buzzing of grasshoppers and bees, as well as my nemesis the mosquito, join the chorus.  It is nature and as such, to be enjoyed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Climbing Aboard My Soapbox

Photo from Google Images
I normally do not get involved with these types of issues…you know, the ones that make headlines.  I figure there are enough people willing to sling the mud back and forth, that I keep my opinions to myself, and share only with those when asked.  Don’t get me wrong, I cast my ballot with the best of you, and will even speak out when necessary when morality and human rights are violated.  The fact that four unarmed employees were able to take down an armed individual, and were let go by the company they were protecting, makes me angry and I need to do something, something for me.

There has been quite a bit of media attention since the firing of four Wal-Mart employees in Layton, UT the past few days.  I only live a hop, skip, and a jump from this particular store, and have shopped there frequently due to the locality and convenience of it.  It’s easy to jump in the car, and in one minute I can shop for a gallon of milk that is reasonably priced.  Today, that stops.

I no longer feel safe to go there.  A man held a gun against the back of an employee, less than a mile from my home.  The store fired this employee and others who helped disarm the man.  How am I to feel when the store advocates that nothing be done?  The man could have been left alone, as Wal-Mart’s policy seems to suggest, to brandish his weapon on any shopper in the store.   Apparently, the safety of the company’s customers and employees is farther down the priority list than they state.  It angers me.

I am lucky I have a husband that can protect me and my children by his own training and demeanor, but not everyone has that luxury.  Regardless of your view, or mine on gun rights, it angers me to know that I am no longer safe in a store so close to home.  No, the gunman should not have had access to a weapon, but the fact is he would have found some way to access one.  He was caught in the act of committing a crime, and decided to brandish his weapon to get away.  To keep us safe, four employees took him down, keeping him away from customers until police could arrive and arrest him.

I read another article today in the paper.  Another employee was fired from a different location for protecting another employee from her abusive husband, WHO WAS ABUSING HER IN THE STORE!!!  In front of customers!  So apparently, the employees of this chain are such a disposable commodity, their personal safety in the workplace is of so little value, everyone should stand back and watch crimes being committed against them.  I think not.

I feel that these employees are heroes.  They protected the consumers, the employees, and the public at large.  If the store is so “concerned” why not start a training program on how to disarm gunmen, or deal with abusive spouses?  Better yet, why not have those they just fired, teach the program?  They seem to have it under control.

I will no longer be shopping at the store less than a mile from my home.  I will gladly make the drive across town to a competitor, pay higher prices, and embrace the inconvenience of it.  I won’t spend my hard earned dollars at a place where the safety of employees and customers is rewarded with job loss.   I know this isn’t the answer to solve the problem, but for my own peace of mind, it is what I need to do.  Off my soapbox now.  Phew.  Thanks for listening to my rant. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I can only hope Phill is right....

I love this movie.  It cracks me up, every time I see it.  Living the day, over and over again is hilarious.  Of course this is a testament to my age and what I loved during my earlier years.

Speaking of Groundhog Day, I am thrilled to note that Punxsutawney Phill didn't see his terrifying shadow, and spring should be just around the corner.  Can you guess why?  The weather here has been interesting at the least. Either we are socked in with an inversion one could choke on, or snow and sleet line the roads.  Of course the past couple of days have been clear and bright.  Notice I didn't say warm?  This morning I woke to the temperature being a balmy -1 degrees outside.  Now, this I would expect in North Dakota, Alaska, and parts of the frozen tundra, but in a desert such as Utah?  Yep, and we were warmer than a lot of other places.

This is not weather I'd like to repeat for the next while.  I can't imagine living this day over and over again, especially due to the frozen extremities (toes) I seem to be sporting.  Terrifying.

Spring is just around the corner.  I am looking forward to those days when birds will nest in my back yard, and the grass perks up from it's wintery slumber.  I can't wait for the daffodils.  Nothing says spring to me than bunches of daffodils trumpeting in the season.

Stay warm!  I plan to snuggle in my bed and hope today doesn't repeat itself tomorrow!

Thanks to Google Images for the picture!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just Plow Through

The weather has been pretty nice the past few days with the sun shining and skies clear.  That is, until this morning.  After getting to work, it dumped about three to four inches.  I've been watching the grounds crew try to keep up with onslaught, plowing the sidewalks again and again.  I think the walk that passes my by my office window had plows at least seven times this morning.  They are extra diligent today, and I started to think about plowing through.

I live in perpetual state of guilt and stress.  It may be my type-a personality, or genetics.  It could be environmental, or self-inflicted.  Truth be told, it is probably a combination of each of those factors.  Such as my lot in life is, I worry about every little thing, and in the end, make myself guilty and sick over things outside my control.

Case in point: I've wanted to sit down and write the story that keeps running through my head.  I've brainstormed, I've simmered, I've jotted down notes, but nothing seems to take shape.  So, I am mad at myself, because it is a dream, a desire, and a wish.  I have notebooks with scribbles, a blog of entries, but when it comes down to it, nothing substantial.  So, starts the guilt.  I must not want it enough.  If I did, I would just write and get it done.  Then, the other guilt starts.  So, how do I find time, working full time?  Being a lackluster mom on most days, how do I carve some writing time?  After a long day, who wants to write?  I can barely keep my eyes open by 9:30 pm, so over and over the excuses and guilt, and sickness takes over.

Yesterday seemed to be a tipping point for me.  I've been trudging along, trying to keep it together for a lot of those who depend on me.  I knew if I fell apart, I would feel guilty about it later, for causing stress to those I love.  I was feeling alone, unappreciated, and unloved.  Not true in any way shape or form, but when one is in a funk, feelings and reality don't line up very well.  Plowing through was the furthest thing from my mind.

Watching the plows make the various passes across the sidewalks, it was like a light went off in my head.  Why aren't I plowing through, time after time, no matter how much snow accumulates?  It made me feel like a dunce that I need something to hit me over the head to get me to realize that I can do it if I just plow through.

I wrote today.  I got almost 1000 words down.  I'm sure it is crap, but it's a start.  If I just plow through, I will make some progress.  If I just plow through, I can get back to the happy person I should be everyday.  If I just plow through, I may see the cement!

Thanks so Google Images for the photo!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Bee in my Bonnet

This past week I've had several "bee in my bonnet" episodes.  It started with painting both of the bedrooms my children use.  First, they had to be shoveled out and fumigated.  I don't know how two young children can create so much garbage!  Of course the majority of it was paper.  I think our elementary school has single-handedly killed off a forest with the number of notes that come home.  But, after several days of sleeping in the family room, Abbie and Nigel have finally returned to their bedrooms.  Of course cleaner and better painted than before.  I am thrilled with how the rooms turned out, and both children are excited to have a sense of "owness" that wasn't there before.  I will not make too much of a commentary as to the wall of the bedrooms before.  Everyone has an individual style and I can't judge, but only say it wasn't mine.  I just feel badly about taking so long to get around to doing the job.
"Before" pictures only--will have "after" pictures later.

Next up, my sister-in-law Becky and I had a sewing weekend.  We accomplished quite a bit and completed 7 rag quilts with four more designed and ready to be sewn.  We make a pretty good team as she designs and I sew.  Hopefully she can sell them and we can get more done soon!

Lastly, today I decided it was time to change up the ol' blog.  I tried my hand at designing a header and what-not.  I'm not sure I like it, but thought it was time for a change.  Perhaps it is just a learning experience that will morph into something else in time.

So much has happened over the past few weeks, as we rush to and fro, that time seems to drift between cracks in my sanity.  The next thing I will know, the school year will be done, summer time activities will be in full swing, and I will be wondering where January went.  At least one thing is for certain, I accomplished quite a bit during the month, even if my dishes don't get done!
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