Welcome to my 2010 BLOG

Following the twists and turns of a non-standard mind

professional annoyance
(and very good at my job, thank you!)
and an active participant in life. Gotta love it!

If you can't take the heat, then don't read!
This is my mind,
I claim it,
I own it,
but I don't control it.
It is what it is!

Why be normal?


December 22, 2010

"Obsessed is just the word the lazy use to describe dedicated"

Interesting view of obsession. One man's obsession is another man's passion. What is the difference? Where is the line drawn between what is obsessive and what is passionate? Both require single-minded dedication, huge goal-oriented work ethics, and desire. I am thinking people use the word obsessed to describe someone's passion that they do not share. Yet another way someone can make another feel inferior or flawed. I'd rather be flawed...because my dedication and passion will get me somewhere. I am moving instead of stagnating. Yeah, something like that...

If the shoe fits....

December 21, 2010

I had a moment this morning contemplating footwear as I got dressed. The right shoes can make or break your day. Isn't that odd? My mother completely understands this theory, and she indulges me in my shoe-buying fetish. I like comfortable and unusual shoes..."Comment-able shoes" is what I call them because they attract comments from people. Today I put on a new pair of brown and plaid canvas high-tops that my mother bought for me a few days ago. Crazy, yet comfy and cool. I looked through my shoe closet and thought I'd pick out the top 8 and comment on them (I'd pick the top 10, but after #8 there was a big tie in how they rank as my favorites and I couldn't decide).
I got these a couple days ago with the pair I am currently wearing. Why do these shoes make me happy? They are FURRY inside and have no laces. Therefore they encourage the slipping on and off under my desk as I work. It makes me feel more comfy and at home if my feet can easily slide out of them. Plus who wouldn't love a shoe with a fuzzy lining that keeps your toes warm? Seeing as it was 12 degrees when I left for work this morning and the air conditioning is running in my office (don't ask, even I cannot explain this one!), warm toes are definitely necessary.

These are oldies but goodies. I like these because once again...no shoelaces! They are made up of woven canvas strips in different colors. They are a pair that are borderline granny shoes, but the colors make them cross back over to the cool side. That's always important. You know, shoes make the man, but shoes ARE the woman!. There's a quote for you to hang onto today.

Hah! Hiking sandals! They are awesome. Cool for the hot weather hikes, plenty of arch support, these neato stretchy laces that don't actually lace (hiking shoes without lace-able laces means you won't ever accidentally trip over an undone lace and go tumbling over a cliff - highly recommended). I'd like them better if they were dark brown instead of puce green, but one cannot be picky with hiking shoes (and puce green seems to be the mandatory hiking color for all articles of clothing).

Ok, I will admit it. As much as flip-flops are cool, I hate wearing them. Maybe I have ultra-sensitive inner toe skin, but they bug the crap out of my feet. that little posty thing that goes in between your toes seems to always cut into my skin and leave it raw. Yet everyone else on earth can wear them daily without problems. I don't get it. These shoes are pretty cool. I like shiny stuff, especially silver. They are made by Champion so they are supposed to be quality. That posty thing just annoys the crap outta me so I don't wear these a lot unless I am running out the door and need a fast choice of shoes.

These are as comfortable as slippers. I have no idea when or wear I got these. Probably the most comfortable shoes I own, but they just look plain weird when I wear them - they go with nothing! I wear them when I just flat out don't care about whether my shoes 'go' with what I am wearing. These are my official "I-don't-care-I-am-going-to-be-comfortable-so-deal-with-it" shoes. Shoes with an attitude! Oh yeah!!!

Yay, my fave shoes! They are shiny shiny gold and every time I wear them someone comments on them. I am treasuring them (like gold, get it?) and try not to wear them on rainy days, snowy days, sleety days, barn days, or any day that is not 65 degrees and sunny. Hey, one must have her standards, you know?

How could you not love these - black and purple zebra striped shoes. Ok, so the number of items in my closet that actually match these shoes is limited (but scarily, I do have many things that do kind of match!), but cool shoes need to be purchased even if you only have ONE item that goes with them. My theory is you only get one chance at a cool pair of shoes. Tomorrow they will probably be gone, you'll be too busy to go back to the store, or your feet will grow into a weird new size. Don't wait, always indulge in your shoe desires when they occur!

Another oldie but goodie. I know, velcro shoes are just so passe but these are really spiffy - brown, green, and pink plaid. How can you go wrong with that kind of color pattern? I like the insides of these shoes. No one ever sees them but me (right before I put them on or after I take them off) but I know they are pink inside and that's cool. I am not a pink person by any means, but every now and then I have a pink moment and it's great to have a shoe to "fill those shoes" so to speak (aha! A shoe pun!).

What's Your Motivation

December 15, 2010

I did something very teacherly and gave a lecture to my students today about how they are treating each other. I have listened to some disturbing negative comments that bothered me. It probably also stems from some very negative stuff I have received personally. I wonder about the people of this world, and they joy some gain in just being cruel. So here are my points:

Criticism does not have to be mean-spirited

Maybe the reason why people hate criticism so much is the manner in which it is being delivered. I know when I am riding Corky at Darla's, I welcome her criticism, I ask questions and she explains why I need improvement, and I feel good about it because I have a tangible goal to work towards and she has explained it in a way that makes me confident I can handle it. Criticism does not have to be mean, angry, or sarcastic. Sarcastic criticism I feel is the worst. It tells someone that not only are they wrong, but there is very little hope of them ever being right. Talk about defeating a person and pounding them down! You can correct someone and uplift them at the same time. It can be done, and the people that do this are the ones we listen to and take seriously.

What is your motivation?

WHY did you criticize? What was your motivation? Was it to try to improve that person, that group, or that situation? r was it to showcase their faults and make you look better, brighter, more accomplished? Be honest with yourself. Figure out the true motivation behind your critique. Critiquing someone behind their backs serves no one other than to enhance your own feeling of self-importance. Is that really necessary? Did you accomplish any good with that?

How do you want to be remembered?

Do you want to be remembered as that person always finding fault, always holding yourself above everyone else, always being negative? Or do you want to be remembered as that person who was well-liked, kind, and everyone enjoyed being around. Are you missed when you leave the room, or does the room breathe a sigh of relief? Take a good look around you. How many of these people will miss you and think fondly of you when you leave? How many will breathe a sigh of relief and feel secretly glad you are gone?


December 14, 2010

Ok, so we found this house on a nice piece of property (really close to the barn..yay!). the inside was trashed, almost gutted...the dude went bankrupt and stopped before he actually remodeled. So in other words it is a total fixer-upper. It was offered for sale on a short sale by the bank. We calculated how much it was going to cost us to make the house livable (which was rather extensive), and made a very lowball offer. The bank makes us wait over a month, and then comes back with their counter-offer...they drop the price a measly hundred bucks! Seriously? That's the best they could do was drop the price only $100? No wonder the banks are all in trouble. I want my bailout money back! Idiots. So they will sit on that property for the next few years, and we will sit here in the ghetto for the rest of our lives. Grrr....

The Pros and Cons of Snow

December 12, 2010

I was totally snowed in today. How's that for a ridiculously early winter snowstorm? There should be a law against having a major snowstorm weeks before Christmas. As I sit here tonight contemplating our 2-hour delay for school tomorrow, I am tossing around the pros and cons of having a significant snowfall.

  • That feeling of coziness when you are snug and warm inside and the wind is howling outside, and you have no where you have to be.
  • Shoveling is great exercise! I don't do nearly enough shoveling on a day-to-day basis (slight sarcasm here)
  • 2 hour delay???
  • Day off from work???

  • Cold weather - I HATE being cold!
  • Heavy snow keeps me indoors and I cannot go work with my horses
  • It makes a mess of my shoes
  • Driving is stressful
  • Plan get changed, altered, canceled, and things get mighty inconvenient
  • Snow days equal added days in June...YUCK.

The Joys of Layering

December 9, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside! Unusually cold for this early in December. I have totally mastered the art of laying multiple sets of underarmour underneath my clothes. My current record is five sets of underarmour. Yes, I felt a bit stiff and puffy walking around and I can't say I was actually comfortable, but I survived. Isn't that everyone's most basic goal?

So today i am going to expound on the idea of layering. My life is layered. On the top layer you can see the surface person - what I look like, what I am physically doing at the time. Peeling back layers (ouch) reveals my personality, my true thoughts, and my dreams, goals, desires, smoldering angers, hidden joys, and my unconscious plans for the future. Scary! Not too many people bother to peel the layers. In fact, I can honestly say I don't think a single person in my life really peels my layers to see what I am really all about. Yeah, too much effort. It's a lot easier just to take a person at face value. That way you can make all sorts of assumptions about a person and feel smugly superior. Go for it! You'll never know what you are missing.

So many thing going on in my life right now - ending of the football season, Christmas concert quickly approaching, band fruit to unload and sort, upcoming trip to Texas, pep band starting, new weanling filly arriving in January, oh yeah and Christmas is coming also! Geeze! Breathe, Jan...breathe!

(not so) Great Expectations

November 5, 2010

Do I expect too much out of the people (and animals) in my life? I often wonder that. I hate being disappointed by people. I also hate being disappointed by my horses, by my own talent, by myself in general. I guess the only way to avoid this is to lower my expectations. That's kind of lame though. Who wants to be a low-goal setter? I wonder also about the people with no ambition. Are they more satisfied in their lives because they aren't setting goals that they can't reach? Is that the way to go? Or do they live their lives always feeling like something big is missing? Are they jealous of the high-goal setters and achievers, or do they just simply not care? If one would set low goals and not expect too much of themselves or the others around them, do they relieve a lot of potential stress rom their lives?

Sometimes reality forces a person to lower their sights. You scramble and try to find the plausible excuses needed to justify the lowering, and you use those excuses over and over again (and tell it to anyone within earshot). Does it help?

My goal for today is simply to survive and keep warm. The winter has arrived early, and tonight is going to be a terribly cold one at the football game. My smallish goal is to just try and stay less uncomfortable than normal. How's that?

Ben Stein's view

October 20, 2010

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary:

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem. We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay. (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide)

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

Adrift in a Goalless World

October 19, 2010

It's very weird to not have any big goals to aim for. Normally I have big dreams and aspirations that I am striving for one inch at a time. Right now I am feeling a bit adrift. Yeah, 2008, 2009, and 2010 have been difficult years, and the difficulties compounded every year until 2010 almost broke me in half. I hate that I am letting the bad things that happen win out over my own dreams of success, but it's hard to fight it. I guess my goal right now is to actually set a goal for myself! Something medium to large.Not a huge, unattainable goal, but something worthy of dreaming. Hmmm.... now I gotta think....

True Misery!!!

October 5, 2010

This photo is here to remind me in the future what true misery looks and feels like. Ype, this is me today - my jaw is swollen, I haven't eaten solid foods (or much of anything!) for 2 days, and the pain is constant, sharp, and jabbing. OK, all that whining I did this year about things should be thrown out the window. This is true misery. It's especially miserable since relief is at least a week away, if not longer. I never thought I'd be SO eager for surgery, but dang it man, cut open this jaw already and take care of things!

In the future, whenever I am feeling sorry for myself and maybe aching over some little thing, I will come back to this blog page and look at this photo and remind myself of what real pain is. Nothing compares to this! If I can survive this (without killing myself or someone else!), then I can survive anything, and the world is my oyster, yada yada. Oh God, just give me some damn Vicodin!

Memories - a Double-Edged Sword

October 3, 2010

Memories can be a good thing, and a bad thing. Most of what I do is either in the pursuit of a future goal, or in the pursuit if making a memory to enjoy later. You love the good memories, but hate the knowledge that it is a memory, and therefore in a way it is over and is past.

I sat tonight and watched my memorial video of Taylor. I made it last spring, but never actually watched it all the way through. It was hard. Ok, that's an understatement. It was heart-breaking. I can't believe I still feel so discouraged when I think about all of this. I just feel devoid of hope. I don't want to think about stupid old goals of 2011, I didn't get a single thing accomplished in 2010! It doesn't seem as much fun without Taylor. Weird...

While 90% of the people in my life have no understanding of my loss (and I hate how they dismiss it as unimportant!), there are a random few people in the outskirts of my life that show such special sympathy, it really surprises me. I received a painting a couple weeks ago that someone painted of Taylor and Tango's first moment together. It was amazing...and the amazing thing is that she doesn't even know me other than causally on the internet. Yet she was moved by the circumstance to do the painting for me. I look at it and am still rocked by how someone can do something that makes such a difference to me. I hope I can do the same for someone. I hope that somewhere I have randomly touched someone in that way.

Right click and save this file to your computer to watch (it's kinda long): Taylor's Memorial Video

Workin' Out the Kinks

September 20, 2010

Yup, I am changing my attitude. I do this quite often, kind of like a snake shedding it's skin periodically. Time to peel off those icky layers and start fresh with a better outlook. I know, I know, you are saying "whew, thank GOD!".

My birthday is in 6 days. Ok, so I am not overly excited. I think I am going to buy myself a new video editing program for my birthday. It's expensive, but maybe I am worth it to myself! It's actually a useful gift since it is a program I will need for my graduate credit video editing class I will take this winter. OK, so technically this is for WORK...no it's not really a gift, right? Cool! That means I can buy myself something else for my birthday! :-]

Lacking Ambition

September 16, 2010

I have been in a weird mood lately. Very odd. I think my ambitious, competitive nature has gone on vacation. That's not all bad, actually it can be kind of a good thing. Parts of me have released some stress that follows my everyday life - stress to be the best, work towards a huge goal, make plans. I am planless. Goalless. Visionless.

It does relieve stress, but it also adds a beige tint to my life. I have always gone for the big goal. I enjoyed making my dreams and then trying to formulate a plan of action to make them become reality. I toy with a dream or two but then I realize the impossibility of it and I discard them. I am giving up rather quickly, and that's not like me.

So what do I do today? Where do I go from here? Treading water is a waste of a life. Is this a permanent change? Is this now me, the new reality? I don't really care for it, but I am unsure what to do about it. It would be nice to have a bone thrown my way just ONCE? Show me that I am not wasted.

Desperately Seeking FUN

September 7, 2010

Where did the FUN go? I am looking for it, can't find it, misplaced it a while ago and have no idea where to search! I stare at my computer screen all evening at home because it's better than staring at nothing. I talk and my voice just echoes back at me, in a soundless chamber where no one is listening. My deepest conversations seem to be held lately with 4-legged creatures who listen uncomprehendingly and don't respond...but at least they listen (or appear to). I walk circles in the yard aimlessly. It's a weird life. Not one that I would have chosen, but it seems to have chosen me, so here I am.

Hiding My Negativity Under a Basket

September 2, 2010

Where have I been, you ask? Well, August was a weird month. July was also a weird month. I concentrated mostly on band stuff - writing drill, tweaking music, etc. I rode my bike a LOT on the bike path in Lima. I rode Corky a lot. I spent hours just hanging with Tango. I spent decades in front of this computer chatting with people and basically removing myself from my "real" life. it's all a big game of escapism, and it works well! You should try it some time.

I actually kind of looked forward to the first day of school this year. I have a great group of students and they are a lot of fun to hang around with. I feel like I am actually accomplishing something with them, which is good for me. I have a few outstanding students that I am watching closely to see how their future unfolds. Life is so dicey when you are approaching the college years. So many life-altering decisions to make. I thin about about my decision-making days. I wonder "what if" a few time, but not too often. It's kind of odd - you'd think with the pitfalls my life has encountered the past couple years I would be looking back with regrets on paths not taken, but I really am not. I think I made the right decisions for me in college - I was completely ignorant about money and finances and maybe that is a good thing. Money never entered the equation when I decided to carve out my life...maybe that's why my job life is good. Now that's not to say I don't have any regrets at all. I do...lots of them...but they all came much later in life. I guess I am doing my major life screw-ups late in life rather than early. I am anti-maturing!

Pondering Life's Questions

July 17, 2010

Life and people are confusing. I often sit and ponder the mysteries of the human mind and what causes people to partake in the actions that they do...

WHY do the redneck gangstas in my neighborhood still insist on blowing off firecrackers when the 4th of July was 2 weeks ago? Though it could be gunshots, but I am too chicken (and lazy) to go outside and look to see what exactly is being blown up. Either way it's downright annoying.

HOW much influence to you really have on those who share bits and pieces of your life? I often wonder about the thousands of people who entered my life for a brief time - some just for a day or two - and then were gone. Am I remembered? Forgotten? Never even considered? Did I, by an action or a word, change or affect the course of their lives in any way? Or am I just as inconsequential as I have always believed?

DOES God punish people who are bad? We are always taught that this is not so, but I don't see how God could resist throwing disasters in our path to teach a lesson that needed learned. If so, then what is this major lesson I just am not getting? If you write it down in small words, maybe I can learn it?

IS "Plan B" ever a good idea? I mean, if it was such a great plan, wouldn't it be plan A?

ARE people as selfish and self-serving as they all appear to be? Does anyone really do things for people that is completely unselfish? I am learning that it seems every favor and gift has a large string attached. Um...Make that a heavy steel chain attached. You find someone who seems so nice so giving and generous, only to find that all this generosity has a price and you'd better pay up or the niceness vanishes quickly. Really, it's true. Think of something you did for someone that was really nice, helpful, or generous. Did you not have a small purpose in mind that you hoped got accomplished by this favor - a small purpose that served you?

CAN you force yourself to be happy? Can happiness be manufactured in your mind? Can you make the conscious decision to choose to be happy, and then you are?


July 4, 2010

I read though my AQHA Journal today and found Taylor's obituary was finally published. It made me very sad...still so raw even after 2 months.

click to enlarge


June 30, 2010

Have you noticed that I am much more inspirational and rah-rah goal-setting in the winter? Once the summer hits and I actually get into my show season and get smacked with failure, I tend to lose my deep thinking. I've had several years of garbage...pretty much every year since my dream year of 2007. Weird how that happens.

OK, here's a fun little ditty I stole of of a plaque:

The Equestrian Alphabet:

Always practice

Be patient

Canter a 3-beat

Develop good habits

Exercise daily

Fall gracefully

Gather your reins

Heels down

Inspire others

Jump the course

Keep trying

Learn quickly

Muck your stall

Never drop your hands

Overcome your fears

Posting trot

Qualify to compete

Remove your boots

Speak softly

Take risks

Uunsaddle your mount

Venture forth

Wear monograms

eXpect the unexpected

Yearn for success

be Zealous about your sport

When it rains, it pours, hurricanes, typhoons, and floods.

June 29, 2010

My summer optimism has gone down the tubes. I think it was washed away, because for sure it is FLOODING with bad news in my area!

I had a tire blowout hauling my trailer home from Michigan last weekend. It was scary. Good news: no one got hurt and I made it home safely with pasta and Corky. Bad news - lots of damage to my truck, and big expense to fix. Then 12 hours later the purple truck breaks down. It was a water pump issue, and in fixing it the mechanics managed to screw up some other things. Right now I am vehicle-less. I am also penniless, and have pretty much cancelled any major plans I had for this year's show season. Yep, for another year multiple disasters have forced me to give up on more dreams. Gotta love life...

Hey, things aren't all bad. Corky and Tango are healthy. Pasta, though crippled with arthritis, is healthy. Kevin is healthy. I am healthy (although this depression is causing me to eat a LOT of junk food, which ain't good). I am trying very hard to feel and think positive, but I failed miserably at it today. I am so down in the dumps and I can't seem to lift myself out. I hate that...being down is such a weakness of character. I don't like having any weaknesses. Maybe that is a weakness in itself. Hmmm...now I am chasing my tail LOL!

This too shall pass, this too shall pass

It's PURPLE season!

June 4, 2010

Today is my last "official" day of school. Just teachers meetings and whatnot today, but once I get home tonight the purple comes out and into my hair, signaling the start of summer and time to recharge my creative juices! Purple, to me, is the color of creativity. It is a sign of optimism and looking forward to something I have anticipated for months. Purple means happiness for no other reason than a lack of anything to be sad about. Purple means free time, busy time, ME time. Purple means standing out, enjoying my uniqueness, and not hiding anymore.

Shopping Cart Philosophy

May 19, 2010

I have this weird philosophy about shopping carts. Maybe it is more of a personal phobia? Anyways, when I am unloading my groceries into my truck, I always take the cart to the cart corral in the parking lot when I am done. Often I am tempted to just leave it and go, but then I have this almost panicked feeling that karma will strike me down for not putting my cart away. Weird! I like Wal-Mart - they have cart corrals everywhere so it is easy to find one right near where you parked. Meijer's isn't so convenient. I unloaded my stuff this afternoon at Meijers and saw that the cart corral was pretty far from my truck. Instantly I got this weird feeling that I had better get that cart on over to the corral right away or something disastrous is going to happen to me. Man, I am twisted up. I can't blame anything in particular for this because I have felt this way for years. I am so paranoid that every little bad thing I do will come back on me tenfold. Maybe it does! I don't know, but in the meantime I will continue to truck my cart over to the corral every day.

Bored with misery

May 11, 2010

Misery can be so annoying, and depression can be so boring! I mean, really...I am sick of it myself. I bore myself to tears lately. I can't imagine how I am to other people. I'd like to ignore myself and walk away but can't seem to do it LOL! I am creating a great persona that I carry with me and whip out whenever I am around other people. Look - it's the happy, interested, confident Jan! Yeah...right.

Life Goes On (or does it?)

May 8, 2010

Day by day I slowly enter the world of the living again. OK, so I tried to enter slowly, but other things grabbed me and pulled me kicking and screaming into real life again. Work and bills, bills and work. We had our big spring concert last week. It went awesome, better than I had expected. The vet bills are pouring in, my accounts are depleted and I am not sure where my May living expenses will come from. Oh well, God will provide, right/ Yeah, right. Can't really count on the big guy now can I? I think he's pretty much written me off and is done with me.

One thing about a tragedy is that is really shows you who your true friends are. People surprised me with their caring and concern. Others surprised me with their decided lack of it. Strangers have come forward with help and words of encouragement while a few people that are supposed to be close to me have all but ignored me. I don't think people realize how much a word or two really can mean to someone...a quick e-mail, a note, or just a conversation in passing. People also don't realize how much it can hurt when they ignore the situation and natter on about their own trivial life without a whiff of concern for anyone else. Take note: I have watched and listened, and I know who the real people are in my life. the rest of you can just GIT because I have no use for you!

Spare Me The Details

June 1, 1998 - April 27, 2010

Rest in peace, my dear friend. You saw me through some of the biggest moments of my life, some of my lowest points you helped me through. You made me into a real rider, you took me places I had only imagined going, and you helped me achieve successes most people only dream about. I bred you, I dried you off when you were wet from birth, I watched your first wobbly steps all the way to your last wobbly steps. I taught you to lead, to ride, to love people. You taught me to ride, you taught me patience, and you taught me how incredible a riding partnership can be if you forge a bond. Everywhere you went, people exclaimed about how beautiful you were, how talented you were, and how sweet you were, and I was proud. Life goes on for me, but it will never be the same. I don't like this new reality, I regret that I had a hand in your death by breeding you, and I will carry that guilt and responsibility for the rest of my life.


Good Times

April 24, 2010

Last night was our final jazz performance of the year (SCCJE). They are a great group of guys (most of them, anyways!). This is my only personal musical outlet. Kind of weird that I went from spending my entire life surrounded by music, performing in every type of musical group available in college, to an outlet of only once a week. Maybe that's what is wrong with me. I am frustrated with my diminished ability...knowing what I was back then and what I am today. Maybe I need more playing time and a bigger musical outlet? Hard to say...

Some great trumpet players (and me LOL!)
John Harner, Reg Richwine, Wayne Bergeron, Brian West, ME, Andrew Aldstadt


April 21, 2010

I am still waiting on Taylor...no word from the breeding farm! I should have gone there tonight like I had planned. I let myself be guilted into coming home instead, so here I sit blabbling on my computer and wasting time. I am angry with myself - should have stuck with MY plans. Stupid me...Oh well. Hopefully Taylor will hold out until the weekend, that would be awesome. Friday night really late...how about 2am on Saturday? I wish I could just schedule her. Last year she was such a good horse - she knew I was leaving for Florida with the band for a week so she foaled early so I could see the baby before I left. She is nice like that...very accommodating when she can be.

Expect it, baby!

April 20, 2010

What do people expect when they make snarky, rude, sideways comments? Do I appear so weak to others that they think I will just roll over like a cheap rug and be walked on? I don't think so! Come on, I have some self pride...I am NOT going to take offhand comments that are meant to be dagger-digs. Expect the retaliation, because it will come! Expect that if you challenge me personally, I will rise up and hit back. You will know I am here and I am strong. That's just me, so get over it.

Clear as Glass

April 16, 2010

Lately I have been having that invisible feeling. You know the feeling am talking about - where you really don't exist to the people around you. I feel like I am disappearing molecule by molecule. One day I will be completely gone, and no one will be the wiser. I hate feeling invisible. Sometimes it's better to be hated than so unimportant you don't even rate a blip on the radar. I want to be more than just a blip. I'd love to be the whole freaking radar to someone. It's a tough road to walk...lose myself completely or lose the world around me.

Waiting to Meetcha!

April 13, 2010

Check out Taylor:

She is getting big! By my calculations, she has about 12 days to go. I am really getting excited...I am scared and am worrying about things but I am also anticipating the birth. I can't wait to meet the newest member of my equine family! I wonder...will it be a colt or a filly? Will it have white? Wait and see...

It feels good to anticipate things in my life again. Things are so topsy-turvy all the time (part of that is my own fault). I have decided that this spring I will focus on the good. If someone wants to start a conflict with me...let 'em. They can start it all they want, I will let my mind and my energy go elsewhere. I am going to try to stop expending so much wasted energy on CRAP. My energy is destined for the good parts of my life!

Surprised by Good

April 8, 2010

Some times I am pleasantly surprised by an unexpected good thing done by someone else. Usually surprises (in my life at least) are bad. Generally a surprise comes along and it's something disastrous, depressing, or stressful (Surprises can be VERY stressful!). I like it when the rare occasion occurs and someone does something nice for me. I don't expect niceness from most people. I think most people are inherently selfish and a tad mean. I think most people are only out for their own gain, and usually favors done for me have strings attached (with a 90 pound boulder on the other end). I am sad that I am so cynical and jaded. What made me that way? I am curious - is everyone else also like this? Am I just paranoid, or have I been screwed over just a few too many times? It's hard to tell.

Having low expectations is the way I tend to live life. Yet it certainly doesn't relieve the disappointment I feel every time someone lets me down. I thought that being jaded and cynical means that I am protecting myself from disappointment. I guess I am not too skilled in that department yet.

Contemplating my Failures...just a few of them

March 29, 2010

If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.

Failure is so frustrating. How can I consistently fail when I work so hard at things? I keep hanging around, waiting for God to throw me a bone. I guess true failure would be if I gave up and quit trying. Believe me, the thought has flitted across my mind...but I am just not a quitter by nature. Quitting means I really failed. That would make me a loser!

I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan

Try, try again. One more week, one more month, one more year...onward!

I don't believe in failure. It's not failure if you enjoyed the process. - Oprah

So true. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the process. Even facing failure after failure, I still look forward to the next series of attempts. I plan, hope, work, and throw in another good attempt. When I stop enjoying the process, then I will stop trying. That's all there is to it!

Staying Strong

March 23, 2010

Doing the right thing is always hard. In a perfect world, the right thing would be so easy we would all do it! God throws these big challenges at us while we are on Earth in order to test our mettle. What exactly is mettle anyways? Let me go google it...

1 a : vigor and strength of spirit or temperament
b : staying quality : stamina (equipment that proved its mettle)
2 : quality of temperament or disposition
synonym - courage

Ok, that explains it. I wonder if I have mettle? I like to think I do. I like to think I stay strong in the face of adversity. I like to think of myself as a tower of strength but deep down inside I know I am fooling myself. get discouraged easily. I get frustrated. I get depressed. I often feel weak and helpless to make my life into what I think it should be. Maybe it is what it should be already, and I am just looking at it a little askew?

I, of course, am having second thoughts about going to the Tom Powers. Do I really want to spend that money for a bad ride? Ohhh, the discouragement I am feeling. I want to go back to 2007, please!

Making Plans to Exceed My Goals

March 18, 2010

I got the Tom Powers Futurity entry booklet in the mail today. Yes, I think I am going to do it. It's time for Corky and I to go back and take a stab at some ultra-tough competition. A week-long horse show...pretty crazy. I am excited. It will be the only thing horsey I get to do the entire month of June, so I need to make it a good one since June is supposed to be my month off of work and my month set aside for ME. Unfortunately, this year June is not at all about me, but I will take that last week and make it awesome.

It's kind of fun to plan the summer's events, and to look at all these zillions of horse shows and decide where I want to go. The sky is the limit! My favorite part about summer is the heat and the horse shows. It makes me happy! Any time I get to work on my passion and get better at my sport I am excited, happy, and optimistic. Go 2010!

Aim Higher

March 17, 2010 - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.

I often wonder about the emotion of jealousy. What purpose does it serve other than to cultivate bitterness and unhappiness? Why did God even invent such an emotion? The hard thing about jealousy is that it is virtually uncontrollable. We can try and squash it but it is always there and it is impossible to get rid of. If you feel that spark of jealousy in your heart for someone, no matter how you try and bury it you always feel that stirring...hoping you can best them, almost wishing for something bad to befall them. You can smile and say hello, but inside you are poisoned with those black, rolling waves.

Amazingly even with what little I have, I do have people in my life that are jealous of me. It's very strange. Do they have NO idea what really goes on in my life? Do they know how hard I struggle, personally and emotionally? Do they have any inkling of the work I put in...the MILLIONS of hours of blood, sweat and tears only for a few milliseconds of success? Jealousy causes you to focus on that one nugget of good fortune that someone has, and it blinds you to the realities of their life. My life is real. Very very much so. I struggle, struggle, fight, and struggle. Don't envy me, and don't pity me. Can't you just enjoy my successes with me and commiserate my falls alongside of me? Why does it have to be so nasty? Rise above your mediocrity, come join me!

All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.
(I like this one!)

Zero Control

March 16, 2010

I have zero control over my emotions today. Probably due to the feeling of zero control over my life right now. My emotions are going up and down like a roller coaster. It's weird. One minute I am optimistic and looking forward to something, the next minute I am angry for no apparent reason and feel like a victim. Then in another minute I am feeling down, and with nothing to look forward to. Why is this? Maybe today's sunshine that is coming will help me regulate my mood. I feel fried, personally. Not necessarily in my job or horse life, but just fried in my personality, like I have nothing left to give to make life interesting for someone else. I don't know. It's a weird, weird mood I am in and it makes no sense (kind of like this blog entry). I just want to go home and sleep all day, but I won't have a day to do that for about another month or so. Not that I'd do that anyways...way too much to do now to spend the day lying around. But it sounds nice, doesn't it? In my mind I am laying on the couch with a good book and a bag of pretzels.

What do you want?

March 10, 2010

Believe. Believe that what you want is already yours. Have unwavering faith. Believe in the unseen.

I want to be great. No, I want to be the best. I want to surpass any expectation I might have had in the past, and the expectations of those around me. I want to blow the doors off of reality. I want to be more than what I should have ever been. I want to be great. Incomparable. Unquestionably number one.

See the things that you want as already yours. Know that they will come to you at need. Then let them come. Don't fret and worry about them. Don't think about your lack of them. Think of them as yours, as belonging to you, as already in your possession.
Most of us have never allowed ourselves to want what we truly want because we can't see how it's going to manifest.

Have I really admitted to myself before what I really want in life, what my real goals are? Probably not, because my true goals are so high and far-fetched, they seem unattainable. But why? Why are they unattainable? Who decided they were impossible? No one did. Therefore, I have just as good a chance as anyone else of reaching my goals. Remove the doubt, and know that it is soon going to happen, it just hasn't happened yet. Yet.

One small step for mankind...

March 4, 2010

Remember: Two steps forward and one step back is still a full step forward!

I hate taking steps back...going backwards in progress and losing ground. It frustrates me and makes me angry with myself for not being a success at my endeavor. I hate to remind myself - one step back does not equal a complete and total failure. The two steps forward outweigh that one step, so keep in mind that even though my progress might not be two full steps, it still is progress.

I got a new cover for my cell phone. I paid a whopping $1.45 for it on Ebay. It's totally cool - purple and black zebra striped. Hah, is that me or what? These little things excite me.

Things that make you go CrAzY

March 2, 2010

I am sitting here, it is 5:30pm. I should be home eating my soup right now. Nope, I am at my desk at work (stomach grumbling) listening to the piano tuner guy tuning the gawd-awful band room piano. It is SOOOO out of tune, even the cheerful tuner guy got crabby when he saw what he had to work with. Now I am listening to him hit each note repeatedly...over and over again as loud as he can...while he tweaks the strings. I am slowly going mad. Scratch that - I am going mad rather quickly!

Things that drive me mad, batty, and insane...a fun new list to compile as I wait:


February 24, 2010

It is still February. I am sick as a dog - sore throat, lethargic, all the makings of a nice old flu bug. Yay. I thought I might escape the winter without getting sick, but alas, I was wrong.

This morning when I went outside to head to work, I heard birds chirping! For a brief moment it almost felt like spring. The 25 degree air brought me back to my senses.

At times, life can feel so cruddy, even though I feel physically awesome. Today I feel like a truck ran over me, yet I am optimistic and forward-thinking. Amazing what a few good thoughts can do to your day!


February 23, 2010

Consider the following. We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others' actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others' activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.

We are all so interconnected and dependent. yeah, you can feel so self-important with your own supposed independence, but in reality you need someone. Chances are you need a lot of someones. One's very existence is dependent on a large network of relationships - spouse, friends, family, boss, co-workers, even the garbage man who picks up your trash every Monday morning. I hate having to need somebody. I hate being needy. It seems so weak. I HATE being weak. Yet, I am one of the weakest persons I know. I am weak-willed in a lot of areas, and I cannot make myself change. Do I really want to become that independent and self-sufficient? It's not that much fun. Relationships, when going well, are much more fun! I am just not very good at them. I've had a lot of practice, but in the past I've managed to bail when I didn't like the way things were going. I am done bailing, unless it is a last resort. Time to get to work!

Finding Inspiration...Thanks Bob!

February 21, 2010

For fun, let's throw around some Bob Ross quotes.

We tell people sometimes: we�re like drug dealers, come into town and get everybody absolutely addicted to painting. It doesn�t take much to get you addicted.
Water�s like me. It�s laaazy� Boy, it always looks for the easiest way to do things.
Trees cover up a multitude of sins.
That�s a crooked tree. We�ll send him to Washington.
Maybe in our world there lives a happy little tree over there.

...and the BEST quote...

We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.

For more inspiration...go here

Random Questions...again

February 18, 2010

Questions are good. They make us think. You have to think a lot harder before you type, whereas when you speak a lot blurts out and gets misconstrued (by the speaker or the speakee!). It's worth a shot, right? OK, so in the spirit of questions, here are some personal random questions answered by me. They are meaningless and really don't say anything other than I am freaking out-stressed right now and am using this silly exercise to make myself relax and think of other things.

Weathering the Weather

February 17, 2010

I shoveled snow this morning before work. Amazingly we got an additional 6 inches on top of the two snowstorms we had last week! Normally these things are spaced out a little better. I am fine with it - get it all over in one swoop and be done with the snow.

Shoveling snow is such a clear-cut task. You dig, lift, and the results of your efforts are clearly visible in the open path you created. There is something very satisfying about this. Think of how many other tasks we do each day where we have no clear-cut vision of what we accomplished? Sometimes you work at things and see no progress and feel like you are just spinning your wheels. Weeks later, you look back and realize that yes, you did make progress and your hard work has finally paid off! That's a nice feeling. It's also a reminder to myself that even if I don't see the results immediately, perhaps in the future I will look back and be proud of the progress I made...inch by inch. Like most people, I am a fan if immediate progress and immediate feedback on accomplishment. Of course, that's not really realistic, is it?

Here's to progress! May we all eventually look back, view our baby steps forward, and be proud of ourselves!

Dreaming of 1988?

February 17, 2010

It's so weird - this morning I woke up from another dream where I went back to college. This is the third or fourth dream I've had about going back to BG and dealing with marching band and band stuff. I wonder what it means? In all of these dreams, I am not going back in time, but rather I am the age I am today, but for some odd reason I am going back to college. I can't tell whether I am going back as a student or a professor. I do know it was a huge change, and it made me nervous, but I was really optimistic and looking forward to things. So, so strange! I wonder what that means?

Change vs. Dollar Bills

February 16, 2010

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Change is difficult. It is time. I cannot exist without change...the status quo has no status. It is time.

"Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change."

I can sit here like a weakling and be afraid of change, or I can make it mine by choosing it myself and taking control over my own life.

"If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself."

I am trying this...have tried it for several months without any improvement or change. I am completely and totally sad. Broken. I am just so sad. Mainly because today I have given up. I just can't keep making a fool out of myself for no reason. I am so sad. I just can't do it. I feel completely inverted, inside out. My skin is gone, I am raw, and I have nothing left inside of me because it all spilled out and got thrown away. I just cannot combat the sadness anymore. It's not anger, it's just all sadness.

My G.P.A. of Life

February 15, 2010

I give myself an A for Effort. I can travel with my head held high and the knowledge deep in my heart that I did try, I tried over and over again. I kept coming back, kept giving it another shot, putting my feelings aside and dismissing them as best I could. I went onward. I gave it my best effort. I have so many flaws that I tried to conquer, often trying to conquer all at once (which never works well). I tried to be the listener, the sounding board, the comfort being sought. I tried being there. I tried making my schedule work so that I could be available. I tried doing little things to make a difference. I thought that sometimes a big effort coupled with a lot of little things could make a difference. Did it? Only time will tell! Right now it is status quo without much change, but I am the eternal hope-FULL(fool) and I truly believe that in the long run my efforts will make a difference. I am going to keep trying until the day I wake up and decide I am done. I will give it my all...and wait for one good word. I feel that I can make it work. Maybe I can? Or maybe I really am just a moron and I am just spinning my wheels and staying motionless. We shall see! 100% until the end...my new mantra!

What I must realize is that regardless of the grade I am getting for effort, testing, or accomplishment, there comes a realization that sometimes it just is what it is. I cannot create a masterpiece out of thin air without any materials whatsoever. I cannot paint a portrait when all the paint is dry. I am salvaging the paint, adding water and mixing it well and pulling out every bit of pigment in the far corner of the tube. Do you have any paint left?

One. Good. Word. That's all I am really seeking! Bring it! Tell me! OK, so the painting isn't quite finished, the paint isn't dry, and maybe I didn't get the shading of that color just right. But just tell me that the effort is appreciated, and find something good in the painting that can be brought to light. Every painting has something good to mention, even if it is just the use of the entire canvas. Go ahead and give me a C- for execution, but please give me my A for effort!

Happy Valentines...Day?

February 14, 2010

There is no greater power in the universe than the power of love. The feeling of love is the highest frequency you can emit. If you could wrap every thought in love, if you could love everything and everyone, your life would be transformed.

I have always thought that love is more powerful than any other element or force on earth. Love is power. Love empowers us, and the withholding of love weakens and destroys us...both the withholder and the withholdee.

You cannot harm another with your thoughts, you will only harm YOU

The Secret is such a cool book. A little wacky in spots, but probably because I still have areas of my mind that are closed to the possibility that I can have my own power and use it at will. I feel so powerless at times, and I forget that I truly own only myself and my own thoughts, and that's all I can really control. Control = Power. I can only control me (and not very well at times!). I worry all the time about love, who loves me, do they really love me? In reality, I cannot ever have the answer to that. All I can answer with absolute truth is who do I love? That's all I should concern myself with, because the only thing I can really hold power over is my own emotions and feelings.

Love life and life will love you back. Love people and they will love you back.

Love goes both ways...you can't get it unless you give it, right? Here's a GREAT quote to end my Val Day Blog entry:

If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.

Love yourself first! Love your own uniqueness, your own thoughts and mind, your personality, your thoughts that make you giggle, your humanness, your mistakes you learn from, your joy in the silly little things. Love who YOU are, not who someone thinks you are or wants you to be. Love yourself first, and then pass a little love around. This is a lesson I am trying to learn this week - to love myself. Stop getting angry at my failings, shortcomings, and stupidity...love the things about myself that make me ME!

Life as a Traffic Jam

February 11, 2010

I was driving to work this morning (surprisingly on time for a change!) and thinking about all the traffic lights I have to go through. Some mornings I seem to have great karma and everything in life aligned, and I hit nearly every light green and I cruise on through. Some mornings, like today, I seem to hit red light after red light and spend my commute stopping, starting, stopping, and starting. Other mornings I hit the yellows, and find myself gunning though a lot of "pink" lights in order to save time.

I guess my life is kind of like my commute. Some days I am really prepared and have everything in order, and I cruise through the day with all green lights, flying from one task to another and getting a lot accomplished. Other days I am disorganized, late, and ill-prepared for my tasks, and I keep stopping and starting, finding things I forgot to do or things that I need to backtrack and take care of before the next task. At the end of those days I see very little accomplished because I spent most of the day dealing with stupid little things that I forgot (or procrastinated) and had to deal with. Other days are Yellow, caution light days. I am less prepared than I would like, but the stars align and I am able to fake my way through some tasks and rush through others where I actually find what I need and get the job done that I had initially forgotten about. At the end of Yellow days, I am exhausted from rushing, but I feel pretty good about what I accomplished.

I wish I had more green light days. My life is so stressful and disjointed because of my own disorganization. Procrastination is also a terrible disease I suffer from, and I have yet to find that magical cure.

Hey, but it's been 6 weeks and my desk is still clean...that's something, right>

Snow, snow everywhere

February 10, 2010

I feel so slovenly and slothlike. I've had two days off in a row due to a major snowstorm. It was a very welcome respite! This was supposed to be the busiest, most stressful week of my life and suddenly Mom nature swooped in and wiped away my schedule! I am disappointed in myself because instead of spending these two days working on stuff that I need to work on, I did more of a work-play. In other words, I did the tasks and jobs that were fun, and totally skipped over the ones I just have no desire to do, namely paint. I have no muse or inspiration, and ZERO desire to paint. Where did it go? Yikes, and I need the money, but I just keep procrastinating. I am so bad...

Well, my two days of relaxation are over and it looks like I am back to reality tomorrow...long day at work, jazz rehearsal in Dayton, then work on Friday, basketball game Friday night, and a rescheduled basketball game Saturday afternoon. Why on earth must they reschedule a game at 3:00 in the afternoon?. Right smack in the afternoon means I can get nothing done before nor after the game, which is mighty inconvenient.

Ok, rant over...it's my job...love it or hate it, it is what it is and I gotta do what I gotta do.

A Kind Word

February 3, 2010

You have no idea the power of words. Remember the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword"? Well, words spoken are far mightier than a semi-automatic rifle! One small kind, complimentary phrase this morning set me up for the day. I left for work in a positive, good-feeling attitude. I felt GOOD! How often does that happen at 7am on a workday? Pretty awesome! It makes me realize how incredibly powerful the spoken word is. You can make or break someone's mood, someone's day, maybe even someone's life by a carefully chosen set of words. I vow to be more careful of my own words and phrases today. I will pay it forward, and pass on my good feeling from this morning to some other people today. Hey...it might just be you!

Another Day in Paradise?

February 2, 2010

Yep, it could be! It all depends on you. Do you choose to be an angel or a devil? Your choice makes your surroundings what it is. You can choose to make things good, or you can make a conscious choice to crap up everything just because. Because why? Because of the power it gives you? Or because the devil has won out again?

Right now as we speak I am working on trying to be the angel and make it right. It's a lonely job. How about joining me? I bet we would be amazed if for once in our lives we were mowing in the same direction!!!

Great Expectations

February 1, 2010

It's really so simple. "What am I attracting right now?" Well, how do you feel? "I feel good." Well good, keep doing that.
It is impossible to feel good and at the same time be having negative thoughts. If you are feeling good, it is because you are thinking good thoughts. You see, you can have whatever you want in your life, no limits. But there's one catch: You have to feel good.

Both quotes are from The Secret. OK, so in essence, your thoughts and your mood control what you think, and what you think controls what happens to you. So, it is a matter of overcoming the negative thoughts, the anticipation of badness, and expect something good to happen. I see that. OK, so from this moment, through tomorrow, I will expect good things and a good outcome to everything that I do. It's all good! My relationships will be good because I expect them to be good, and my expectations automatically become realizations.

Opening doors

January 31, 2010

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Now there's a thought! How often do we find ourselves looking back at something, someone, some event, and regretting our actions or inactions...wishing we had done things different? Every mistake we make causes a door to close, but another one to open. How often do we completely miss the newly opened door because we are bemoaning the past? So often we use the past as an excuse. The past did not create us, we created the past and are responsible for it regardless of blame or fault. WE are responsible for our past. We are also responsible for our future and what it holds. Blaming the past for today's faults shows weak character. No more blame! Look at that open door and anticipate the new challenges and potential successes it might hold.

Psychic Powers

January 31, 2010

Yep, I am psychic...I sure predicted this morning's ickiness, didn't I? I hate being clairvoyant about bad things. Does that mean I have a naturally negative personality? NO! I don't want that! I fight negativity daily...it's an ongoing effort. There is so much negativity that swirls around me, and most of it is directed at me. It's a never-ending battle to remain positive. So, in order to help me achieve this goal today (which is a very low day for me), I will list a few things that are positively going positive in my life:

OK, that was something, at least! Now how to remove the anger in me. I am still so upset and angry about things, it is eating me alive. I need to work on my anger management. I need to not care so much when things are unfair, one-sided, or I am being bullied. So what? Focus on the parts of my life that do reward me!. Focus...focus!

Distance From Anticipation

January 27, 2010

I am sitting here this morning letting my truck run. Windchills are below zero, and I am hoping my truck thaws by the time I have to leave for work in 5 minutes. I am sitting here just perusing the horse forums on the internet and thinking to myself that I am really lacking in anticipation lately. I don't see anything in my near future that I am really looking forward to or working towards. Sure, I have goals and plans for this year that I am working at day by day - showing at Tom Powers, Congress, etc. Those are many many months away. I see nothing in my immediate future that gives me a little bit of a sizzle in my mind, nothing that makes me slightly excited and anticipatory. Maybe I need to plan something...some little trip or event that will be fun for me? Let's see...my next free weekend is March 13. Whew, that's a long wait! That's also Daylight Savings Time, and that is my official "first weekend of spring" because once we gain that extra hour in the evenings things get better and better for me.

I feel pretty good about myself and what I am doing right now. (*note: this is a self-complimentary section that is needed since WHO ELSE IS GONNA DO IT? So you might want to skip this part*) I have been riding consistently and Corky (and I) are getting better and better. I have kept my desk and the house very clean (even everyone else's stuff!) and have done it quietly and efficiently. I am saving money (kinda LOL!). My job is going well, I am doing the best I can with everything and getting stuff done. The only thing I haven't been good about is working out and getting more fit, but that is all changing as of this moment...I came to a rude awakening today and am turning things around. Plus, no one has attacked me verbally in 4 days! Woo-hoo! I've been a good girl LOL! You know, I am not such a complete loser after all.

Frozen...in more ways than one

January 26, 2010

The ground is frozen again. Our lovely little respite from the hardcore winter we had last weekend is definitely over. Personally, I am a bit frozen myself. I can either let my ice be chipped away, or go thaw myself into a liquid. Thawing sounds a lot less painful! I think that's what I need to do. Easier said than done...but I have accomplished much bigger things so I should be able to handle this one. Thaw! Get warm!

Happy Birthday BUBBLE WRAP!

January 25, 2010

Did you know that today is the 50th anniversary of bubble wrap???

"The term "Bubble Wrap" was coined in 1960 by engineers Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding who came up with the stuff in Hawthorne, N.J., with the intent of creating a trendy new textured wallpaper."

I totally want some wallpaper made of bubble wrap! How cool is that? Oh, go ahead and pop them. You know you want to! Go on....

Virtual Bubblewrap © www.virtual-bubblewrap.com

Know your bubble wrap!

  1. Snappers - these are the good ones - fairly easy to pop, and loud.
  2. Hardcores - these seem to flatten yet don't pop without Herculean effort.
  3. Duds - these just flatten with a disappointing and unfulfilling 'fffssssss' sound.
  4. Buddy Bubbles - these reinflate a neighboring 'buddy' bubble when squeezed.
  5. ABP - Already Been Popped. These come in 2 categories: * flat, wilted and obvious ones * deceptively rounded and full-looking ones
  6. Edges / Partials - these are the bubbles at the edges which are 1-99% intact, having been cut when the sheet was cut.

Methods and Styles of Popping


January 25, 2010

In-service meetings are such fun. We had one this past Friday, and the afternoon dealt with diagnosing ADHD students. For fun (and to stay awake), I took the quiz to see how I rank. Here are the points that I scored high on:

  1. Fails to give attention to details or makes careless mistakes - Oh definitely! The little details often escape me because I am always rushing. Careless mistakes are the bane of my existence.
  2. Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. - Unfortunately, anyone who knows me knows that I am terrible at organization. I think it goes back to that "careless with details" thing.
  3. Loses things necessary for tasks and activities. - Haha, yeppers! Those damn car keys always wander around the house. So do my glasses, my cell phone, and my shoes!
  4. Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli - I find lots of things in life interesting, and my attention is always being drawn to something that I might find interesting.
  5. Is forgetful in daily activities. - Unless I write it down on my hand, I forget it. Even when I do write it down, if it is smudged, or if it is one of a number of things written down, I forget. I have a lot going on, so give me a break!
  6. Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. - I am a fidgeter. If I am nervous or stressed, out comes the Play-Doh and I mani[pulate it with my hand to calm me. Keeping my body in motion has a calming effect on me.
  7. Runs about or climbs excessively in situations when remaining seated is expected. - I don't have a lot of situations where I am expected to remain seated, but I do dance a lot in jazz rehearsal when I am supposed to be standing still counting my rests. Oh well...
  8. Is "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor". - LOL! Oh yeah, baby...that's me! My motor is revved up and ready to go...zoooooom!
  9. Talks excessively. - I don't think I talk too much, but it was a unanimous consensus among those around me that I asked that I do...so I'll go with the majority opinion :-]
  10. Blurts out answers before questions have been completed. - I'll agree with this, since Kevin does complain a LOT that I do this.
  11. Has difficulty waiting in line. - That's just dumb, I mean who likes waiting in line for anything?
  12. Interrupts or intrudes on others. - Yep, another Kevin complaint (stay seated, there are plenty more LOL!).
  13. Loses temper - OK, sometimes. OK, a lot of times at home. I have no patience after a long work day where patience is required. I can't help it.
  14. Is angry or resentful. - *sigh*, let's not even go there today, OK?
  15. Is spiteful and vindictive. - Only in my mind, does that count? I plan all sorts of revenge tactics but can never ever go through with them. Either that makes me very weak, or having a very strong conscience. Not sure....
  16. Is fearful, anxious, or worried. - Yes, at home I am all 3. I tend to worry a lot, I get that from my mom, who gets that from her mom. It's genetic...that's my excuse LOL!
  17. Feels worthless or inferior. - Just in case I ever lose that feeling, I am often reminded of it by people in my life, so that feeling is a keeper.
  18. Blames self for problems; feels guilty. - Sometimes my greatest anger is pointed towards myself - I am so mad at some of the things I do, the mistakes I make, or the decisions I make. My guilt makes me constantly trying to atone for everything I have done wrong, and it's an impossible task.
  19. Feels lonely, unwanted, or unloved; complains that no one loves them. - Yep, I do wallow in that pit of self-pity quite often. Hey, feel free to tell me different! I'll take a good word every now and then. Just forgive me if I don't recognize it right away LOL!
  20. Is sad, unhappy, or depressed. - Geeze, this quiz sounds more like a diagnosis for depression rather than ADHD! I can answer yes to this, but only in certain areas of my life. In other areas it doesn't apply. So, do I count this one?

So there you have it (in a condensed version)! I have 23 out of the 35 signs for ADHD. Amazing, whoda thunkit? Yeah, pretty much everyone that knows me!

HopeFULL and HopeLESS

January 24, 2010

The sections of my life seem to be at polar opposites. It's very strange. I am filled with hope and optimism for my horse show season in 2010. I feel incredibly positive and am envisioning a lot of great moments ahead of me. Yet I feel nothing but pessimism in other areas of my life. The two never seem to bleed over into themselves. It's like I live a bipolar life, and the two halves have never met! It sounds weird, but maybe it's a way for me to stay mentally healthy and keeping some areas from poisoning the other areas of my life. Hmmm...that's a thought!

It's nearing the end of January, but the long winter still looms ahead of me. Today we had a brief respite from the freezing temps, and it actually reached 50 degrees! Back to reality and sub-freezing tomorrow, dropping down farther and farther all week. What is the point of me giving this weather forecast? None really, other than to sit and contemplate how much of my life is really run by the weather and temperatures. I sit here planning my clothing for work, and my barn clothing - how many layers will I need, will I need my waterproof boots, are my big jeans washed (the ones that can fit several pairs of long underwear underneath them!)? Oh, such things I contemplate. Boring? Yeah, maybe. But really...you don't really want to know what is going on in my mind right now. I typed a huge paragraph and promptly deleted it because it was a bit too revealing, a bit too depressing and negative, and I really don't think it's necessary for you to read my crap thoughts at this time. So, instead you get a diatribe about the weather. Enjoy.

Pay attention and DRIVE, dammit!

January 21, 2010

I think I have ranted about this before, maybe last year? But seriously, folks! There is this stupid old man that drives west on Rt. 309 at nearly the same time every morning that I do while going to work. He drives with his dome light on and a newspaper sitting on the front seat next to him, and he reads as he drives. He weaves on the road, occasionally going off on the berm, occasionally crossing the yellow line in the center. It is frustrating to me...this idiot is going to have an accident and is going to tie up Elida Road so that I can't get to work on time some morning, I just know it! Just so you all know, his license plate is Ohio FOE 2064 and he is a true idiot. I'll let you all know if I find his wreckage at the side of the road some morning.

This is MY rut!

Just past Midnight, January 16, 2010

A rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.

Sometimes living in a rut isn't so bad. You have walls on two sides which gives you a modicum of security along with open paths in front of you and behind you that you can move freely while staying in the confines of the rut. You have the illusion of freedom, while in reality you are safe and guided in only two possible directions.

Believe me, I left my rut many times, and always seemed to pay a dear price. At this point in time, at this moment only, I am staying in my rut where it is safe and sheltered. I have to...

Oh what a week, what a month. Lots and lots of people are putting expectations on me - be here, do this, go there, pay this, take care of that, etc. *poof* They disappear when it's my turn. Interesting!

OMG, I just looked at the calendar. Taylor is due in 3 months!!!! Wow. I can feel excitement building but I am fighting it. NOT letting myself anticipate. Just stayin' in the rut until it's safe to come out.

Sculpting Your Life

January 13, 2010

You want to become aware of your thoughts and choose your thoughts carefully and you want to have fun with this, because you are the masterpiece of your own life. You are the Michelangelo of your own life. The David you are sculpting is you.

I am the artist of my life and I am creating this great piece of artwork that I live in, that I breathe and consume. My best and worst piece of art is ME, the me that I created. I occasionally change the shades of colors, mute them or make them more vibrant. Sometimes I throw away the brushes and use an artist knife...sometimes I only have some blunt crayons. Thankfully the canvas is still intact and whole and is holding the paint well. I am creating myself, and recreating daily as I struggle with who I am (the eternal question that even at age 40 I have no freaking clue!). Am I a good artist? Only God knows for sure and my artwork will be judged and placed in the gallery on judgment day, I guess. I don't do very well with being judged. I feel like a fake artist. Like maybe haven't an original bone in my body, and instead of really drawing it, I just traced the image?


January 12, 2010

You are where you are today by the choices that you have made, or have ALLOWED others to make for you

Well duh! Everything that happens in your life and the lives of others is the direct result of the tiny, minuscule choices you make on a daily basis, or the choices people make around you that slightly changes the course of your actions, or thinking. Choose wisely, people! You are directing the flow of the lives of people around you. Kinda scary to think that the general people in my life are making decisions that will alter my course. I know some people specifically have a ton of power over me and my choices, and I hate that...because more often than not the people with that power abuse it to their own advantage. People don't realize that changing the course of my stream can be risky, dangerous, and can definitely backfire quickly. Choose wisely!

Low Hopes = Less Disappointment

January 9, 2010

Ok, honestly, is that any way to live...keeping your hopes and expectations low as to not be disappointed? In most areas of my life I do not do this. Nope...for instance in my horse life, the sky is the limit when it comes to dreams and hopes. Nothing short of a Congress or World Champion pinnacle for me! I do not share this philosophy with the rest of my life. I expect little...I expect nothing, and yet am still disappointed when that is exactly what I get.

Your mind thinks thoughts and the pictures are broadcast back as your life experience. You not only create your life with your thoughts, but your thoughts add powerfully to the creation of the world. If you thought that you were insignificant and had no power in this world, think again. Your mind is actually SHAPING the world around you.

That is another passage from The Secret. OK, I get the idea that your life story is basically your own perception of the events that happen. I can see how my own mind shapes what has happened in my own mind. How can my mind shape events in reality...how can my mind MAKE things the way I perceive them?

Though you know, since I came back with Corky from that show in Cloverdale 2 1/2 weeks ago, I came home with a great feeling and the expectation that things with us and our performance under saddle was going to be different and better, and you know....it has! I have NOT had a bad ride since coming home from the show...not a day has come by where I left unhappy. Is this because not a day has come by that I went to the barn dreading it or expecting a problem? Hmmm...Something to think about....



January 8, 2010

In case you did not know...
Women are angels
And when someone breaks our wings
We continue to fly....
...on a broomstick.

That struck me as very funny...true, but funny. Go ahead, break my wings! Then you'd better run....

Enjoying the Little Things

January 6, 2010

I am in positive mode today. Working on my attitude is never a very fun task, but it's gotta be done!

Black Play-Doh is very cool, you know? When I was young, Play-Doh came in 4 colors - red, blue, yellow, and white. Kids had to mix their own colors if they wanted variety. I remember discovering the exact proportions of red and blue needed to make my favorite shade of purple. Kids today have it so easy, they can buy all these weird and wild colors. Do kids even mix Play-Doh colors anymore? I love the smell of Play-Doh, it makes me so happy and relaxed. Yep...

Ok, lots happening today. Due to students waiting till the very last minute to prepare for solo and ensemble contest, I will be trapped at school till late both today and tomorrow. Once again, others' lack of prep has become my issue. I guess that's all part of my job. I am not shining, really I am not! Solo and Ensemble practice is inside which makes me very happy!

I should have made a New Year's resolution to quit procrastinating. Maybe I'll put that off till next year. That's one resolution I am doomed to fail!

Teeter-Totter revisited

January 4, 2010

My life is officially a teeter-totter. It never fails, when one part of my life is up, another part of my life is down down down. It's so weird, because I can predict it like a genie. Up and down, down and up. You know, the problem is that I am just not satisfied with the teeter-totter balanced at a straight level. I want both sides to be UP. that's impossible, unless your teeter-totter is shaped like a "V". I'd wax poetic a little longer on this topic, but it's time for bed...gotta go to work tomorrow, you know!

Self-Awareness and Mirrors

January 3, 2010

Mirrors, they are handy little tools aren't they? They are the rare true personal reflection. You can skew your perception but you cannot change what is looking back at you in the mirror. Some people have amazing powers of mental manipulation and can convince themselves that they are seeing something in the reflection that isn't really there. I will just sit here, noncommittal, and wait for the self-realization to dawn. Until then, my mode of choice is self-preservation.

Grudgingly Holding Grudges

January 2, 2010

OK, this is just stupid. Holding grudges over dumb $hit is, well, just plain dumb! Seriously, life is short. Holding grudges for someone else's imperfections is a bit hypocritical if you yourself are not perfect. I often mull over this thought...who among us is so pristine that he can pass judgment on everyone else? My goal this year (yeah, another one!) is to be less judgmental and less critical of other peoples' motives. It's so hard, because other people can be so two-faced when it comes to personal mistakes and slip-ups.

The major block to compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment is the mind's primary tool of separation.

Being judgmental blocks your own personal relationships, their chance to grow and improve, and your own credibility. No one can take seriously a person that is blind to their own faults.

There is no man so good, who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the laws, would not deserve hanging 10 times in his life.

Ahhh, so true! If you look objectively at your own thoughts and actions you would see this. My goal (another one, will they every stop?) is to look at myself much more objectively...see the reality.

You do not define anyone with your judgment. You only define yourself as someone who needs to judge.

AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH? No one is impressed by the judgmental people. You aren't fooling anyone into thinking you are more perfect than the next guy. Back to my original thought - I will be less judgmental starting today. Likewise, those people who choose to stand on their imaginary pedestal and judge me can Get Over It!

Why am I Constantly Amazed?

January 2, 2010

I think I am constantly surprised and amazed because I am not very smart. Seriously! The smart people don't take things at face value and believe everything they hear. Smart people doubt, fact-find, and wait for the truth to rear it's ugly head. Smart people are cynics. OK, I am somewhat of a cynic. I tend to disbelieve 80% of what I hear. The 20% that I do believe always always comes back to bite me in the butt. I need to remain noncommittal and just wait for things to unfold, remove my expectations completely and expect nothing. Yep, that's what I gotta do....

Welcome to 2010

January 1, 2010

Ok, it's that dreaded, yet hope-filled time...RESOLUTION TIME! This is a chance to make all these grandiose plans of self-improvement in which I fail miserably by December 31 and get all depressed. Cool!

  1. STAY POSITIVE! Seriously, stop looking at the glass-half-empty, look at what is great and awesome in my life and SCREW the crap!
  2. Stay fit. Try to find some sort of consistent workout that I can stick to throughout the year and not just the winter months. End the year at the same weight (or less) than I started the year.
  3. Develop my own self-confidence. Stop letting outsiders in my life demean me, put me down, and belittle me. Let them blather all they want, but believe in myself and be true to myself!
  4. Live true to my mantras: This too shall pass and It is what it is. Stop trying to change the unchangeable, stop panicking about dumb things that will blow over in a moment, and keep looking at the big picture instead of the tiny pixels.
  5. Earn at least $2,000 with my artwork and digital work. I need to advertise more and set my prices to a point where I can actually turn a profit!

Good luck, Jan. You're gonna need it! Here's to 2010! I swore that 2009 was going to be MY year, but it turned out to be a year of learning and realization, but very little accomplishment. I am entering 2010 much wiser, smarter, and a better plan of action (I think!). Here we go!

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