Making the Decision to Become a One Car Family

We made the decision to be a one-car family. This is why and what we learned from the experience.

Late last year, the lease was up on one of our two cars. We decided to delay replacing it.  We turned the car back into the dealer and became a one car family. This was not an easy decision and only happened after intense discussion within the family. We live in Texas for goodness sakes!

Continue reading “Making the Decision to Become a One Car Family”

Old School: 7 Habits

Over the years, many friends have mentioned that the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey literally “Changed their life!” It has even become a popular culture reference with people referencing what it takes to be a Highly Effective Person. (And if you click the link above it is quite the marketing machine as well.)

I consider myself to be driven and effective at getting things done but right now I am uncertain of my direction.  I do not know what I really want to do career wise.  I had made many plans but they aren’t really working right now and my momentum is decreasing.  So, what better time to read a book?

In the first pages, the author talks about how his relationships with his children have given him insight into his own immaturity and foibles. I can definitely corroborate that finding. Every day when I talk to my kids, I am humbled by how great they are and how easy it is to make mistakes as a parent.  They are also so accepting of me and worry when I worry. The other day my oldest told me “You don’t need a job. Being a mom is a job.”

I know that my kids are the reason that I am in my current indecisive crisis. In the last two years, I have become accustomed to being there when they have something at school.  When I worked in an office, I needed to be there for my coworkers and was always torn between the two obligations.  Also, it could take hours after the work day to let the happenings at the office go so I could enjoy being with my kids.  Sometimes, it didn’t happen until they were already asleep and then I would log back in to work to make sure everything was still okay.

My brain resonates with the words as Mr. Covey describes the difference between the Personality Ethic and the Character Ethic.  I feel that the world is very focused on Personality. I hope and think that people still respond to Character.

It is definitely not fashionable to be reading this right now but it is the right time for me. This is going to be a good mental journey and I am glad that I started this little detour.

Gratitude for a Pinch of Hunger

my life is great, waking up hungry in my world is a privilege

I am so lucky because a pinch of hunger is all I feel and it is self induced hunger.

A few weeks ago, I started the practice of not eating after 6 PM.  This is not because I believe that 6 PM is some magic number that will help me lose weight.  I stop at 6 PM because on most days I consume 1,400 calories by this time of the day.  Based on my lifestyle, 1,400 calories is what I should eat each day in order to lose a pound a week.  Since stopping at 1,400 has not worked for me; I have set a schedule and stick to it.  In the past few weeks, I can stick to the plan 5 out of 7 days which does reduce my consumption.

My body seems to be good with the plan.  I do not go to bed feeling hungry.  If I do feel like I need a little something, a glass of water or a teaspoon of honey into a cup of tea is satisfying. I wake up in the morning ready to eat but not uncomfortably hungry, my body just lets me know it is time to eat.

Through it all, I cannot help but have gratitude. I need to lose weight because there is so much food around me. I need to eat less and exercise more because I am privileged to work inside sitting at a desk with air conditioning instead of wearing out my muscles in physical labor.  I am privileged to only feel a small pinch of hunger that is easily remedied.

I continue on my health journey but am grateful for the life I lead.



Rosetta Stone – Slow Repetitions

Has anyone else tried Rosetta Stone? I bought the Spanish packet years ago – possibly 8 years ago.  I admit that I have been working on my Spanish for that long and have only slowly been improving.  Regardless, I have this program that I started and just want to finish.  However, they are focused on repetition so you look at the same pictures and the same phrases for several lessons.  I think this does help with vocabulary but also becomes boring very fast.

My online subscription is done in May so I need to finish it in the next few months.  Over the years, I have made it to lesson 10 of 20 so my fingers are crossed that I can get through the next 10 in 3 months.  It’s a goal though.

An application that I really like is DuoLingo.  Progress is so much faster.  The bad side of it is the simplicity of the levels.  It feels more like flashcards.

Mango Languages is offered by my library for free but I have not had a chance to really use it.  I shall add it to the list of things to do in the future.

So many tools, so little time… especially if you like to check through the boxes one by one.

(Re)Learning a Sewing Machine

I have two growing boys.  I have become accustomed to buying them pants and having them folded up in inch increments and hemmed two inches high because they will undoubtedly need to have them pulled back down at the next growth spurt.  It’s $10 for each pair of pants.  However, I know my mom taught me how to do this but I just do not remember how to do it.
IMG_6311So, when I was visiting my mom this weekend, I asked her to help me remember how to use the sewing machine.  Luckily, my mom is accustomed to my engineering curiosity so she gave me a detailed tutorial on proper setup of the machine and the necessary tension for different fabrics. She then went through a detailed demonstration of where setups can go wrong and cause unnecessary anger and frustration.  She laughed as she told me that she has done all of it too many times and if she can help me avoid the issues even once, the world is a happier place.

End result = 3 pairs of little boy school pants properly hemmed and two adult shirts fixed.  It was a victory day for spending time with my mom and (re)learning a skill.

Diet while Visiting Mom

Two weeks ago, I got very serious about my calorie count.  When I hit 1300 calories in a day = That’s It!  No more food or drink goes into my mouth.  It has not been super hard, although in most cases it means I am done consuming by 6 PM.  However, yesterday, I flew home to visit my mom.

My mom loves to take care of her kids.  She bought special food for the house so I had my favorite things available.  I told her about my diet and she changed up plans so we would have less calories.  Somehow though with freshly grilled chicken, delicious cheese and a huge salad with olives and walnuts and so many good things, I am already at my calories for the day.

I know that I should be focused on my #longtermgoals and should walk past but how can you do that with fresh food made by mom?  Short term happiness is sometimes the key to long term satisfaction.

I will just try to eat smaller portions.  🙂

Potential Employment Scan?

Today was going well until I received a strange email from someone I thought was a potential employer.  I am not going to put any details because I am not 100% that they are scamming me but reading over the information after lunch, I feel scammed.

Here is the story:

I have been applying to jobs that look interesting.  This has been helping me to arrow in on the type of jobs that are most appealing whether I am fully qualified or not.  As this is an exploratory search, I have not been keeping a detailed list.  Then, I receive an email in December – “Thanks for applying.  We are interested.”

I was traveling so I did not follow up until January when they told me the position was still open.  However, as part of the application process, they had a 5 week training that everyone goes through with a test each week.  I thought it was weird but figured it was a good way to know who could work remote and who could not.

So for two weeks, I have been in correspondence with a guy that has sent me new material each day and a quiz on Fridays.  I received a call from Sweden, theoretically an interview, but they never asked any questions.  Then today, I received an email that asked me to buy things on my credit card and have them delivered to somewhere else!  WTH?!?

Luckily, I have other opportunities but I can see how this scam could work.  As it stands, I was experimenting to see where it goes but now am mad at myself for letting this go as long as it has.