Little Blog in the Valley...

My Place of Vision


The Discipline of Saying No...for the Joy of Saying Yes
Daisies
thumbergia2001
One of the most difficult things about being an adult is figuring out time. Time to do the laundry, time to cook, time to work, time to clean, time to teach, time for us, time for me, time for them, time for you...where do all the puzzle pieces fit the best? How much white space is necessary for the layout of our lives to be full enough so as not to be boring, yet not so full as to be cluttered? Where do work and play, and scheduled and unscheduled, find their place?

I've started reading a book called "The Best Yes", and though I'm not sure about the writing style, I appreciate the concept: Say no to some good things so that you can say yes to the best things. Plan time in the 168 hours of your week to do that one thing the voice whispering inside of you is begging you to do. Know your limitations. Know your joys. Know your family. Know yourself.

My small no? I turned down a student tonight. Could I have found 30 minutes in my week to teach her? I think so. Would I have enjoyed her as a student? Probably. Would the extra income always be nice? Of course. And so I agonized. I prayed, I thought, I pondered what to say. I remembered the small number of students on an upcoming recital list, and I remembered the wonderful feeling of having time to sit on my couch and read uninterrupted while drinking a cup of tea. I remembered my budget and I remembered how I like to spend time with my husband instead of having to clean the house when he's not working. I remembered how much energy it takes to learn to know new people and remembered all of the familiar people who I rarely see anymore.

Will I use my extra 30 minutes each week to become a writer like the author of the book did? No, I don't think so. I might use it to cross a few more things off my to-do list, though. I might use it to crochet a baby blanket for or write a letter to a friend. I might just take a nap so that the responsibilities I already have really get the best part of me. And I might also really need to go start supper now.  

Joy! Pure joy.
Daisies
thumbergia2001
You know what I did today? I woke up and went to Miller Equipment for parts with my husband. But after that, I got to stay home all day. And by stay home, I mean actually be in my house ALL DAY. I didn't go to the garden to pick a five-gallon bucket of beans, I didn't hang out ridiculous amounts of laundry, I didn't even drive to my in-laws' house for a meal. Friends, this is practically unheard of, and it was wonderful. I sorted through piles of papers that still had things from 2013 in them, cleaned my kitchen table, and worked on my checkbooks. I am nowhere near caught up, but I have this new feeling of hope that maybe one day I actually will be up-to-date in my checkbook again. Maybe one day I will get farther than filling the bucket of hot water before getting called away from mopping the kitchen floor. Maybe one day more corners will be organized and uncluttered in this place I call home. 

On a roll, here...
Daisies
thumbergia2001
Yesterday, I roasted a turkey for the first time in my life. I discovered I don't, in fact, hate turkey - I just dislike eating white meat hot. The dark meat is delicious, as is the gravy that I made.

Today, I biked around the block. This was no small feat, as I left knowing that getting home might require either a phone call or a lot of walking. Why? Because I live in a valley that's somehow at the top of a hill. Leaving means going up to get out and going up to get back in. I was very thankful to learn that I could make it home again and how have a new 4.5ish-mile loop to bike whenever I'm feeling a bit ambitious. Hooray!

Tomorrow, taking all documentation of who I was to the social security office to become who I am now. As soon as I get over the hurdle of where that office actually is, I think I might finally make it official that I'm a Wagner. If I can hit the DMV in the same afternoon, I might be able to cross one more thing off of my "before we're married for a year" list :)

Old-Fashioned Dating? Yes, please!
Daisies
thumbergia2001
Just came across this article on Facebook and found it to be worth reading. And, following the reading of it, might I brag about my husband a bit? He checked off all except for #1 and #4 while we were dating...and I think we can give him a little leniency on those two if we're being fair about it all :)

The Joy and Bane of My Existence
Daisies
thumbergia2001
Good things come to those who wait, right? And this can totally include thank-you cards, right?

I just finished writing my very last thank-you card for my family shower - to my mom - and opened the door to see the mail lady pulling up to our mailbox. (I ran out to catch her and caught her completely by surprise. Hooray for laughing with the mail lady and hearing how the lady in the yellow jeep (Michele) is now our mail lady because the one in the blue jeep (Joanne) recently retired.) It is a wonderful feeling to have this checked off my to-do list after a crazy 8 1/2 months. There were less than 20 shower thank-yous still to write after the wedding, and I know I should have been able to finish them up before now, but I have this problem with writing thank-you notes: If I'm going to spend 50 cents to send them and the time to write them, I want to write them well. Why spend all that time and money to just write the same thing in everyone's card, changing only the name and gift? There's a difference between completing something and completing something well...which is why good things take time, I suppose.

And so I am being compared to the standard of cousins and friends who also got married last summer and are already sending their baby shower thank-yous out (within 1-2 week's time of the shower), and I'm still saying, "Where'd I put that list we wrote of gifts and people who gave them to us?" Okay, not really...I've known what corner I stuck that list in the whole time, I just avoided looking there while I struggled to keep up with the cooking and cleaning and laundry (mountains of it! the man has a talent for creating dirty laundry like no other...but he's cute so I put up with it ;) ) and paperwork and getting enough sleep so that I don't fall apart during my waking hours and need to stay awake longer to do the things I was supposed to accomplish but wasn't focused enough to really do.

All of that to say, I really like writing thank-you notes, because I really am thankful and want to express that, personally, to each and every person who gave us gifts. And also to say that you probably won't be getting a wedding thank-you note tomorrow, but you will definitely receive it before our one-year anniversary, and probably even before we get around to looking at all of our wedding photos. One more thing I know: That anniversary cake in our (my mother-in-law's?) freezer will be eaten in triumph, freezer burn or not! Anyone who survives a wedding and its aftermath deserves a cake to eat at the end of it all.

(no subject)
Daisies
thumbergia2001
Today I'm thankful that Tuesdays are the morning we can turn all alarms off and sleep until 10. Don't worry, that was still only about 9 hours of sleep, so we didn't over do it ;)
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Conclusions of the day
Daisies
thumbergia2001
1) I love being married for many reasons, one of them being that I get to be a passenger a whole lot more than I used to.

2) I like grocery shopping a little too much...but who could pass up a 5'x7' rug for $20 at Aldi? Apparently not me.

A Trio of Tuesday Blessings
Daisies
thumbergia2001
1) Weather warm enough to wash windows (60s in March!)
2) A mother-in-law to help wash windows (and clean my upstairs bathroom...spoiled much?)
3) A brother-in-law kind enough to re-install the window that came apart while being cleaned


In other news, our cat, Kitty, has passed away. I adopted him as "ours" because he was cute, tended to like our front porch area, and was wild enough to disappear when he saw us coming. He also looked like he had been through the war and had been around long enough to remember that people sometimes throw food scraps in the field across from our house. I suppose he's a good example of why we shouldn't ever get a dog...we live too close to the road. Guess we'll just stick to having spiders for pets for now :)

A passing glance at St. Valentine
Daisies
thumbergia2001
B: You're all I wanted in a wife and more...and a few things I didn't even know I wanted* :) Love you!


We celebrated around 11:30 last night, with non-existent cards, a homemade gift from the metalworking shop out back, and a grateful appreciation for both of us being perfectly content with a low-key Valentine's celebration. Good thing we didn't wait until this morning, filled with rushing to put on Carhartt bibs, shovel off the outside ramp, and eat a champion's breakfast of ring bologna and Gatorade before heading out to plow snow in the one skidloader** that's still standing.




* I'm sure he's just referring to doing puzzles and buying 5 cases of tissues from Sam's Club each year...but we won't push the subject ;)

**Having a pair and a spare is a great philosophy when you're in the middle of almost 20 inches of snow and both parts of the pair are in pieces across the shop floor, including the one with a heated cab. That spare is getting a workout this week!

6 Months...6 Things
Daisies
thumbergia2001
We passed the six month mark last week, that wonderful husband of mine and me. I figured it was time to consider what we've learned about this whole being married thing in that time, so we did some brainstorming. This is what we concluded:

1) Relationships take time. And that means a lot of talking...because talking is how you get to know each other and make sure the other person is okay and say, "I love you". A lot. Because that's important.

2) Half-rotten pears are the key to a perfect date night. Seriously. Three bowls, two knives, and one big bucketful of bruised, wormy pears on a front porch on a summer Saturday night. Add in the sound of a distant kitchen radio playing country music from years gone by, and the slow kind of conversation that gets strung out over several hours, and you'll get both a full freezer and a happy heart. And when you invite guests over for Sunday lunch in February? You'll have pear sauce to serve on the side. Sweet!

3) Houses don't clean themselves. Dirty laundry can multiply as fast as rabbits. One can learn to be okay with sharing a bed with soybeans, corn, and silage, among other things. Vacuuming a dirty rug can still make it seem like everything else is clean, even when it's really not. Bribery is a wonderful way to accomplish housework...and drinking a cup of tea at 11:30 at night its most popular form.

4) Grocery shopping (and couponing!) is a fascinating game. This is good because a well-fed husband is a happy husband. A well-fed husband also means a well-fed wife...which means a tired wife...who may need to buy new pants soon because she found all of the weight she misplaced at this time last year.

5) We will indeed prove my mother wrong...all of my "stuff" will fit in our home. It's not there yet, but it will be sometime in the next six months. Give us a few days (weeks?) to get over not seeing the carpenters on a daily basis, to get used to the look and feel of our finished new-old upstairs space, and we will eventually get a piano and two rooms-worth of belongings toted across our beloved Valley.

6) Ax Men can be a good thing for everyone. It's good for the husband who wants to relax and watch TV, and it's good for the wife who wants to be next to him and read a book or catch up on e-mails or write a substantial blog post for the first time in...6 months?

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