Friday, May 27, 2011

The Clutter is Coming! The Clutter is Coming!

Where's Paul Revere when you need him?

I could see it in the distance; things that were once cleared off were starting to get piles of stuff all over it again. A thin film of dust began to gather at the corners of the room, slowly making their way like grey lava covering over my shelves and knick-knacks.

The clutter is coming!

Things start showing up all over the house in the wrong places- like the cat nail clippers in the bathroom, our new crock pot in the living room, and bath towels in the kitchen. What is going on here?

The clutter is coming!

No one can find anything. Our cats start disappearing, finding new places to hide in the boxes, bags and other stuff that was never put away. Even the carpeting is missing, covered by schoolwork and recycling papers that were never put in the bin. Keys slip between papers and disappear, dishes are no longer found in the cupboards- but wait! Here they are- in the sink!

The clutter is..... HERE!

Disaster strikes as I can no longer function in a kitchen where I can't move. My husband pulled out a drawer to fix it, but ran out of time, and placed it onto the floor. Meanwhile I spend a fortune on band-aids for stubbed toes and banged shins, because our two-butt kitchen is even smaller with this precious space taken up.

The living room and dining room are no better. Cat-hair tumbleweeds blow by and are ignored by the kids (who are supposed to be caring for our kitties), and hissed at by the cats because they think these things are other animals invading their territory. Dirty socks are strewn about like confetti, making the unseen carpet much more cushy to walk on, and giving the room an aura that would kill a goat. Especially when my son contributes to the pile. Puberty has lent him Boy Funk powers that would rival Marvel's super hero characters. Or maybe the villains?

The clutter is....everywhere!

What if the clutter is clean? Does it still count as clutter? It does of you can't get out of your own bedroom because you didn't have time to fold all the laundry! The towels alone would take a month to fold, and don't forget the Christmas wrap you never put away or the totes filled with the kids summer/winter wardrobe that you just switched out. Who wants to clean when it took you three hours just to get out of the bedroom? Forget about folding the clothes- by the time you're done, it'll be fall and you have to put them away again. It's summer- do they really need to wear anything other than a bathing suit? Nah.

I've read tons of books on decluttering. I've done decluttering. I'm still doing decluttering. But there's one thing I admit I have never done on a constant basis. Maintaining. I wait until I'm sick of looking at the mess before I do anything. It like being a bad matador- he waits until the bull is in full charge before he does something drastic, instead of keeping the beast from being ticked off in the first place. And right now, my clutter is much like a very angry bull!

But guess what? The clutter is...leaving!

Starting this weekend, I'm going to begin the decluttering process again. I won't have to start from scratch like last time, so things should go fairly quickly- maybe a few weekends. But if the family kicks in and starts to maintain with me, I might just have a neater house! Just watch though- the moment I get this place in order, we'll have to move!

Monday, May 23, 2011

When Dreams Attack

I hate nightmares.

I had one last night, and it woke me from a sound sleep around three am. Oddly enough, it was about the Rapture.

I woke up, and found my husband gone. Not just gone, but Taken by God. The kids and I were on our own. We became homeless, and no one would take us in. I found myself wandering, eventually being in a shelter, earning my keep as a cook for the food ministry. The kids wound up staying with their Nana (my husband's mom), and I was alone, afraid, and felt so undeserving of anything good in life.

Then I woke up for real, looking over in a panic to see if my husband was still there. He was. Relief flooded me, but I couldn't go back to sleep. It was just too real.

But at least this dream can be explained. It has genuine fears in it, and reality can be a scary thing! Especially when God has anything to do about it.

However, there are also dreams you couldn't possibly explain to anyone without sounding as of you were a few coins short of a dollar. Like the time you dreamed you were sailing in a boat made of cheese and you were surrounded by sharks that looked like Bill Gates. Or that you were trying to run away from something, only to find you were slowly turning into a purple hippopotamus with clown feet, doing that 'slow motion' running that gets you nowhere.
Just try explaining any of these to your loved one at three in the morning, and see just how understanding they are- Or how well their aim is with a pillow in complete darkness.

Oh sure, there are books out there to help you determine your dreams, but I think it's a lot more personal than that. I truly believe only the dreamer can decipher the dream- because it's theirs. That hippo might represent something totally different to you than your best friend- if you dared to tell them, that is. At least with these dreams you know they won't happen.

All I can say is this; I'm getting my writing samples ready to send to syndicates and looking for a good bible study group. God pretty much slapped me upside the head this morning, and I intend to listen!

God Bless, and don't let Him swat you upside the head before you listen too!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

God Has a Sense of Humor

It happened just a few minutes ago.

I'm waiting at a red light in my car. It stopped raining, and I'm under a tree with my window 1/3 open. I lean back a little in the seat, talking to my mom who's sitting next to me on the passenger side.

So what are the odds of a large, freezing cold raindrop falling from the tree, and landing right in the crook of my very warm armpit?

About one in a gazillion. I know God meant
to do that!

All my mother saw was me making a huge gasp- she thought I was having an attack of some kind! But when I told her what happened, we both started cracking up. God's funny that way.

You can't tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor. I think He made the platypus just to mess with Darwin! Just when we think we know something, God changes the rules. Like the size of an avocado pit. Or whales (the biggest mammals) who live on krill (creatures you can hardly see). Or that baby poo doesn't have an odor for the first few days, lulling us into a sense of false security. God likes to keep us on our toes; one of His best tools is humor.

So the next time something funny happens to you and it seems like the odds are a bazillion to one that it would ever happen, look up. You'll surely feel Him grinning!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

One Negative Equals Two Positives

Lately, I've been quite the Negative Nelly about things. Lots of stuff has gone wrong this past month, and I've found it harder and harder to remain in a happier state of mind. I went to my pastor for advice, since he always seems like a pretty happy guy.

But he didn't answer me- instead he answered with a question- 'How can you change your negativity?' I really hate it when he does that, because I wind up coming up with a really good answer- and he winds up looking really wise and stuff. He knew I had the answer, and just needed a sounding board to figure things out.

My answer was, 'Well, I could turn one negative thought into two positive ones.' He liked that, and gave me some homework to do- for the next thirty days I'm to work on doing that, so it becomes a habit. Having homework ranks down there with cleaning the bathroom, so you can tell how excited I was. But I promised I'd give it a go.

Catching myself was the hardest part, because I never realized just how negative my thoughts were! But whenever I did catch myself, I turned it around to two positives. For instance:

'Oh's raining again.'

I turned it to:

'The flowers will perk up since they needed the water' and 'I like that fresh smell you get after a good rain.'

And you know what happened? I felt better, dagnabbit!

Even the bigger concerns I addressed the same way, with the positive turns along the line of 'I don't have an answer, but God does!' It made the sun shine a little brighter after the rain stopped.

My pastor is a wise man. This is probably one of the top five Life Lessons I will ever learn!

Even if I'm in a bad mood (for no reason, just grumpy), I say to myself 'Okay Grumplestiltskin, name two good things that have happened today', and that usually gets the ball rolling in a more positive direction. So if you're feeling all grumply one day, give this a try- it might just make the sun shine brighter for you too!

God Bless!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring! A Time For Change

I've been doing a lot lately, and was wondering about spicing up my blog with a little 'bling'.

But I'd really like your input too!

What would you like to see on Footprints? Photos, something else on the sidebar? Any suggestion is welcome!

Help me to make this blog more enjoyable for you, my dear readers!

God Bless!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Those Beautiful 'Duh!' Moments

Ever do something so monumentally silly that you just have to laugh at yourself?

I've done more than I could ever tell.

Today started out well. I got the kids to school, re-potted plants to donate to the elementary school Mother's Day plant sale, and looked in the fridge for some leftovers for lunch. That is when things turned to the dark side.

I didn't find much, but there was some leftover mashed potatoes and baked ham, so I popped the potatoes in the microwave, looking forward to having that whilst munching on cold ham slices. I have simple tastes, especially when I don't feel like cooking.

About halfway into the heating cycle, I smelled something odd emanating from the depths of the microwave- and it wasn't mashed potatoes. I looked through the microwave window, saw the stuff boiling, and quickly hit the 'stop' button. Mashed potatoes don't boil- at least mine don't. You can plaster bricks together with the stuff, it's so thick.

So what on earth was it?

Then this really sweet smell hit me, and I groaned. What I thought was mashed potatoes was really a batch of homemade Irish Potato candy. And I cooked it. At least partially.

I yanked the bowl out of the microwave and stirred it up quickly, hoping to disperse the heat enough that I didn't ruin it. But since it was already boiling, I might have created a big bowl of hard candy instead, once it's cooled down enough.

Not wanting to be negative about this (as I usually am), I've promised myself for every negative thought (if I caught myself doing it), I would try to come up with at least two positives. So here goes.

Negative Nelly: I ruined the candy!

Positive Polly: I either made the batch thicker and creamier, or possibly invented the first ever batch of coconut cream hard candy- and since it's so huge, maybe Guinness World Records will be interested!

Ah...... I feel better already! Don't you?

Other 'Duh!' moments from my past are now great stories to tell at parties. And no, I'm not telling them here, because 'm putting them in my book- so if you want to read about it, you'll have to wait until I'm published. Please let the publishers know I'm going to be ready to send them the book this year! If you do, I'll make sure to sign your copy- with hearts and kissy faces.

I'm so glad I have my 'Duh!' moments- They make life so much more interesting! Some moments need a little distance before they're funny, whether that
distance be in time or mileage, but they are still beautiful nonetheless. Like slobbery dog kisses or that finger-painting your kids did on the couch cushions- you cherish them in your mind and heart like rare jewels after the fact.

Even if that jewel is a big ol' honkin' slab of solid Irish Potato candy.

I wonder what it would go for on Ebay?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Things I Have Learned....About Cats

I've had my kitties now for just over a year, and being a dog person, there were some surprising things I've found out about my babies with fur. Here are some of them:

Cats are quicker than the average two year-old. Ever try to catch one when he was doing something naughty? They are like lightning incarnate.

Don't ever do that noisy sniffing thing that dogs do near their ears- you get a look of utter disgust and possibly a swat.

Cats can land on as small of a space as one inch.

(Some) cats like to have their bellies rubbed!

(Some) cats like beef. How can they like beef when there are no cows their size??

Cats have different tastes. One may like plain tortilla chips, and the other might like the nacho cheese flavored.

Cats have no problem climbing right over you if you're in their way.

They can love you very much, but will still dig their sweet little claws into your arms if you try to put them down before they're ready.

Cats do not like their nails clipped- especially if you wrap them up like a mummy in a towel so you don't get shredded.

Cats are polite- they will sniff your food, then look at you in thanks before they take it from you.

(Some) cats do not like ice cream.

When you dress one cat up in girly bows and bangles, the other cat won't recognize him and act accordingly.

Cats get very embarrassed when wearing girly bows and bangles, and walk funny until you take them off.

Cats love windows, and will trip you up in the middle of the night, the moment you open your bedroom door to go to the bathroom just to get to them.

Cats will scare the crap out of you by jumping on the banister right as you pass by in the middle of the night.

The moment you decide to take the cats out of the bedroom, they run under the bed.

Cats are a lot friendlier to visitors of they dip their hands in catnip first.

This is what I've learned so far, and I still haven't listed everything- that would take too long!
They still have a lot to teach me, so I'll keep you posted as events warrant. God bless, and have a great day!