Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to All!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Future Is Looking Bright....

Kirk and I were reading the story of Louis Braille tonight. It starts out with a heartbreaking accident that causes young Louis to go blind. Then it goes on to explain that at that time, early 1800s, most blind people had miserable lives.

Since blind people couldn't communicate with others by reading or writing, it was considered useless to send them to school. As a result, they were cut off from such professions as teaching, law, and medicine. Many blind people had to live in poorhouses. Others begged for food and money on street corners. The lucky ones found jobs shoveling coal or carrying bricks in exchange for food and a place to sleep.

The story goes on to tell how Louis was determined to find a way to read and help others do the same. There was at the time a cumbersome system of raised letters, but it was time consuming to read, expensive to produce, and would never truly open the world of books to the blind. At fifteen, Louis Braille created the Braille system - though it was not accepted during his lifetime, this gift he gave to the future lives on today to millions of blind people.

When we finished the book, Kirk and I talked about how sad and troubling things we now accept will one day likely be changed, perhaps by one person, dedicated to solving that particular problem. In the future, we may not be able to imagine hungry children, ill children, people dying in wars or being sent to prison. All it takes is that one person determined to find a way. Good wishes! Eileen

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NO complaining 21 day challenge. Hit or miss;-)

One night, browsing the internet, I read about a person trying to improve his marriage by not complaining for three weeks. He referred to a 21 day no complaint challenge that eventually led me to the website

I LOVED the idea. And I was successful for almost three hours. Then, ironically, I found myself complaining to a friend about my kids' complaints pertaining to four of the five food items on their dinner plates. Following the suggested practice, I switched my bracelet (my own though the site offers one) to the other wrist as a notice to myself I'd have to start the 21 days over again.

And thus I've gone on, once going three days before the switch. I will be delighted to hit a new high of four days but am benefitting from the mere attempt. The very process of editing the complaints, negative descriptions, griping, and whining from my communications makes me realize two things. First, negative talk is a complete bore. Second, when I talk about the "bad" stuff, I "re-infect myself" by reliving the situation and just bring myself and whomever I'm talking to down.

This challenge has made me very aware how much I complain to the kids ("Yuck! Can't you please close your mouth when you chew!"), about the kids ("You wouldn't believe how much the kids were fighting today!") and around them ("I can see why the postal service is going broke with those inconvenient hours").

So if you take out all the negative, what's left to talk about? I've started asking "So what's the good word?" when we sit down to dinner or I call my parents. I really enjoy hearing what's going well in others' lives. And talking about the good in my day: a hug from the kids, a perfectly toasted bagel, a kind check out clerk, the blue jay up in the Oak tree, the fact the kids ate all their veggies (even if open-mouthed), brings my mood up, reminding me of the myriad of happy moments in each day.

So far I've made it to 9:02, Wednesday morning, keeping it on the up and up. I had to start over again last night....not that I'm complaining...;-)Good wishes!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


As I got more and more behind on my blog, I was too embarrassed to even check my last post date. Finally, tonight I took the plunge, wow, almost two months!

To anyone kind enough to have checked in during that time, thanks and apologies for being so slow. It has been a wonderful few months. I made huge progress on my book. I have worked really, really hard to be a better mom (not always successfully) by listening more and being more in the moment. I got a lot done in the yard, finally tackling the weediest areas. And of my list of all the projects I wanted to tackle by October first, I made serious progress, including getting the 1980's wallpaper out of two bathrooms after living here for 14 years with plans to do so;-)

I'm enamored of the Happiness Project and get her daily postings. A recent one I really took to heart was about making the life you want. She wrote "If I've learned one thing from my happiness project, it's that if I want my life to be a certain way, I must be that way myself. If I want my marriage to be tender and romantic, I must be tender and romantic."

I love that line! I copied it and emailed it to myself as a reminder to create the life I want, I have to be the person I want to be and do the things that person would do. I get it wrong a lot, and get frustrated when I do something the person I want to be wouldn't do (over eat at the Chinese Buffet, yell at the kid over minor stuff, ignore my family, not call my parents regularly, let the dishes stack up till the ants all come back, etc. etc.) But I make baby steps to be that person and when I do something she would do, I pat her/me on the back;-).

I hope all of you are striving toward goals that will and are bringing you joy. Best wishes! Eileen