Category Archives: flylady

Channeling my inner Flybaby

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Today, I’ve been trying to channel my inner Flybaby by getting back into old Flylady routines that will not only help me, but our suddenly larger family. I found this great Daily Flying Chart at The Flylady Way—it’s a one-page visual checklist of daily Flylady reminders and routines. I love it. I printed three and put them all in plastic sleeves: one for me, and one for each of the twins. I introduced them to a morning and before bed routine and showed them how to check each thing off with a dry erase marker. Of course, I’m doing the same. {I’m also getting back into an exercise routineI really slacked off over the holidays!}

I’ve followed Flylady for many years now, including listening to her weekly podcasts. She helped me to get rid of a lot of clutter that I’d been carrying around for yearsactual things, but mental clutter too. The new website looks great: If you need to get organized, check out Flylady.net.

Here’s somebody who has combined Flying + Vegan: Vegan at Heart. Very cool.

Point of convergence 2011

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I hardly know what to do with myself. For the first time in two months, I got up today not having a daily writing or blogging challenge to fulfill. In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo. As November was drawing to a close, I discovered #reverb10, so I chose it for December. All of these challenges kept me motivated daily, were a great way to kickstart my writing habit again, and were a great inspiration for self-reflection.

Now I’m sort of hooked, so I was on the lookout for a writing challenge for January. Instead, I found #mindful52: Year of Mindfulness * 52 Weeks of FOCUS. This challenge is with a much smaller group of people and will concentrate on both journaling and blogging around a weekly thought*concept*practice. Focus is exactly what I need this year, and I’m excited about having a continual reminder to work on my mindfulness. I think I’ll still try to blog every day, however I’ll also make sure that I’m writing outside of the blog as well.

This week, #mindful52 encourages us to work with the concept of new beginnings occurring all the time. As you remain hopeful contemplating the year ahead – make lists and think about what you’d like to achieve.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, since I’m naturally adverse to anything that seems cheesy, false, or forced. Normally, I’m resistant to structure and discipline and in favor of winging it and spontaneity. But something is different this year. I’ve begun to realize that some things are never going to change if I don’t make some goals and structure my life so that I’m making daily progress towards small, achievable things.

I have outlined some general goals on this blog over the last month and have privately been crafting and sketching out some more. Here’s my progress so far.

As I outlined in an earlier blogpost prompted by #reverb10, I made a short list of my most important daily commitments (one of the suggestions in The Power of Less, see below).

  • Family (hubby and animal family)
  • Vegan advocacy
  • Reading, writing and other creative pursuits
  • Fitness

What do I do each day that doesn’t contribute to one of the above — and can I eliminate it?

  • Day Job: No
  • Piss around reading various social media threads: Yes
  • Worry: Yes, in theory
  • Multi-task: Yes
  • Stay up too late blogging, sleep in too late the next day: Yes

New habits that I’d like to establish in 2011. (I’d like to think of some great rewards for myself for sticking to these):

  • Be 15 minutes early for everything for an entire month. This means leaving 1/2 hour early to anything around town.
  • Go to bed by 10 p.m., get up by 6:30 a.m. every weekday for a month. No more late night blogging. This one is a big challenge for me. I’m naturally a night owl and for the most part I make my own consulting schedule. Additionally, I hit my stride mid-afternoon and on into the evening as far as productivity goes. Also, I have a really hard time getting up in the dark during the winter. And yet, there are certain advantages to conforming to a “normal” workday schedule. Also, I’d like to exercise and write on a regular basis before other distractions and commitments take hold, and since these are on my short list, I need to make them a priority. I’m curious to see if I can stick with this for a month. At that point, if I feel that my productivity has taken a hit, I will reconsider. Part of me is really rebelling against this because of all the self-righteous “morning people” who have created this cultural myth that you’re a bad person if you’re not an early riser. But it’s not like I’m trying to get up at 4:30 a.m or anything crazy like that, so it should be doable.
  • Write every day for ½ hour, not including blogging.
  • Blog early in the day. Not sure how this is going to fit in yet.
  • Start over with Flylady’s baby steps to keep my house clean and decluttered.

2011 Goals (I need to break these down into small steps):

  • Learn to tell better stories—out loud and through my writing.
  • Write a story worthy of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine.
  • Learn to make people laugh (besides myself).
  • Laugh more daily. Things that make me laugh out loud: Bizarro & Awkward Family Photos.
  • Create some art outside of the computer—painting, drawing, more mosaics? (Where do I start?)
  • Go birding & hiking again (miss this).
  • Expand my front yard gardening knowledge.
  • Grow my career in a creative and satisfying way.
  • Interview some people who intimidate me.
  • Take more photos: of myself (because there are very few), and of my hubby and animal family (because the days are short).
  • Open myself up to making new friends. Maintain current friendships.
  • Plan and take a road trip with my husband.
  • Start a regular yoga practice again.

Things my life doesn’t need in 2001 and how I’ll work on eliminating them:

  1. Mental clutter—write more, multitask less.
  2. Things clutter—keep purging, keep flying.
  3. Fear & worry—write daily, keep choosing to do new scary things, express and explore through writing and art.
  4. Indecision—write, and hope that things become clear.
  5. Guilt—don’t set myself up for it.
  6. Stress—create structure, leave more time between appointments.
  7. Envy & jealousy—working on 3-6 will help.
  8. Grief—impossible to eliminate, but here’s hoping for a year without more loss— if grief, then write.
  9. Pneumonia and/or bronchitis—closely tied to grief: express myself through writing, keep fit, do yoga, meditate, get acupuncture.
  10. Cynicism (but keep critical thinking).
  11. Negative people—avoid when possible, counteract with compassion.
  12. Money issues—closely manage, but let go of 3, 5, 6, & 7.

Ideas for theme months:

  • I’d like to have one month where I create something every day (not writing and preferably not on the computer). This could be part of learning to draw or paint or craft, or to pick up mosaics again, etc. If anybody knows of a group of people who are doing this as a challenge, let me know.
  • February will be my Light Box month. It’s typically a hard month for me because it’s the month my mom died, and as of 2010, the month my old friend Connecticut died. Usually, I let it sneak up on me and end up getting physically ill. This year I’m determined to face it head on by reading, writing, and blogging about grief, illness, and mortality.

That’s about it for my lists; a work in progress. Please let me know if you have ideas and suggestions for helping me to focus.

Some books & resources that have helped me to start thinking about goals this year:

Like a capuchin monkey – recap 2010

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Capuchin Monkey

Is the painting done yet?

Apparently, another year later, I’m still one of those annoying people who starts a blog and then rarely updates it. Significant events since November 2009:

  • Kicked my VegNet Bend volunteer efforts into high gear, becoming a key board member and helping to plan and lead group events. We’re doing a lot of vegan advocacy, and having fun.
  • Continued to thrive on a Vegan diet and consequently lost 15-20 lbs (and a lot of inches) over the last two years. I’m now back to approximately college weight/size, which is nice. And I’m very rarely sick, only my once a winter lung issues.
  • Got into a very regular workout routine. Jonathan (NoExcuses) is such a nice guy yet tough virtual coach – I recommend listening to his podcasts for inspiration and following his free program. Regular workouts helped to keep the weight down and keep me healthy. (I was working out before becoming vegan, but wasn’t yet seeing any weight loss, so I think nutrition has more to do with the weight loss than anything else. Yeah, I know they’re both important).
  • Did regular yoga for a long time. This summer my yoga teacher moved away to the Bay Area for new adventures (I’m so happy for her), and because I didn’t immediately click with the new teacher and the price went up significantly, I stopped going. I liked the ritual of yoga every Saturday morning and I feel that yoga helped me manage my stress levels and health. I really miss it and hope to figure out a way to fit it back into my life.
  • Survived a very rough fall and winter with a lot of personal drama.
  • My oldest friend in the world, my cat Connecticut, died February 13. She was nearly 16 years old and had been my constant companion through relationship changes, animal companion flux, and many moves since she was a pet store kitten. She is greatly missed.
  • Grieved hard for Connecticut, making myself ill again with Pneumonia/Bronchitis and a deep depression.
  • Dug myself out of the above.
  • Went from never seeing my hubby because he worked nights, to seeing him all the time (unemployed, like much of the rest of the country).
  • In April we had to put Big Kitty, originally meant to be a foster and always in slightly ill-health, to sleep.
  • Reluctantly got used to not seeing my step-kids and having a lot more free time on weekends (long stupid story, out of my control).
  • Went to Portland a bunch of times this summer after a few years away. Attended a bit of the Let Live Conference over my birthday weekend and all of Portland VegFest. VegFest was fantastic – excessive amounts of yummy vegan food both at the fest and at local vegan eateries like Blossoming Lotus, Bay Leaf, The Bye and Bye. And getting to stop by Food Fight and Herbivore on several different trips was definitely a highlight.
  • Got my cholesterol tested at VegFest – a great number. Go Vegan!
  • Started mountain biking with friends from yoga. A great group of ladies and very supportive. I definitely surprised myself with my guts a few times.
  • Started a vegetable garden after a year’s hiatus. Doubled the size of the beds from the previous attempt. The kale, beans, peas, carrots, and zucchini did great. Hope to plant a bigger variety next year and keep learning.
  • Stopped mountain biking to do gardening and paint the house during my weekend free time.
  • Finished painting the outside of our two-story house that I had started last year. Got my “tree legs” on the super tall ladder and then was scrambling up and down it like a Capuchin monkey.
  • Painted the two-story inside foyer of the house. Again, with the Capuchin. Unfortunately, the color is rather Twinkie like.
  • Got a radio show approved at KPOV, our local community radio station. Our first Powered by Plants (working title) show will air Dec 17. It will focus on vegan issues and my friend Judy and I from VegNet will be the hosts. Pretty excited about this.
  • Began volunteering with KPOV for practice being on the air leading up to the show. Have done a couple of pledge drive spots, some DJ mentoring, and interviewed two authors. I enjoy interviewing the authors and will probably continue to fill in with those when something especially interests me. Kind of a nice way to combine a love of literature, reading, nature, and animals. If I can’t write it, I can review it and give other people a way to share their ideas and creations.
  • Read a zillion books – nature/science, animal issues, people and animal memoirs, veganism, scifi, fiction…
  • Listened to hundreds of podcast episodes while painting, most of them vegan related, but also Jonathan’s, Flylady, Chaos Chronicles, The Moth
  • Met and worked with a lot of compassionate, creative, motivating, and interesting people.
  • Oh yeah, and that SharePoint thing.

Think that’s about it.

Blogging again… after 14 years

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Well, I’m blogging again, sort of. Back in the early days, shall we say ’94ish, I used to publish a website with frequent updates, very much in the same vein as a modern day blog. I had just spent most of ’93 in Madrid, Spain as an au pair (story for another day), with no computer and no car, and returned to the states right about the time that CompuServe was popular for connecting to the Internet. Details are fuzzy, we may have had some other service before or after (Prodigy, AOL, Earth something…), but I have a vague recollection of connecting in Portland, then definitely in New Haven (no, I was not at Yale: another story for another day). Those were the days when it felt like you could find every website that existed with just a little poking around.


At the time, one of my passions was talking about Motherloss (still recommend the books Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers), and connecting with others who had lost a mother at a relatively early age (I lost my mother to Ovarian Cancer when I was a 20yo immature college student). I also ran one of the only fan sites dedicated to the works of John Irving, one of my all time favorite authors.

But eventually other things drew my attention away. I started teaching myself graphic design and worked for a couple of small businesses in New Haven before starting my forensic science based consultancy and eventually moving to the Bay Area. That basically sucked the next 8 years of my life away. No time for blogging (or vacations) when you’re maintaining a website that provides online training 24/7, plus wearing all of the small business hats that one must with a 3-person company. Don’t get me wrong, during my forensic time I had a lot of unique experiences, met many very interesting people from all over the world, made a life-long friend, and got in a little travel to places like Australia. But it was exhausting – and it ended badly, as business with ex-spouses often do.

So why blog now? What’s kept me from blogging or similar endeavors over the last few years is that I’m now in IT consulting and I spend every day in front of the computer. Often the last thing I want to do is sit in front of the laptop for my free time! But I’ve been having fun with Twitter; it has sort of revived me. With Twitter, you have to be short and concise – and there’s really not a lot of room for perfectionism. Twitter doesn’t take up a lot of my time, so I’m hoping combining it with blogging will be manageable and fun. And I’ve met some other bloggers in Bend that seem to manage their blogs and lives just fine, and have inspired me. I’ve also learned to let go of a lot of my perfectionism in the rest of my life, so I don’t feel the need to take massive amounts of time creating the perfect website, or the perfect blog (OK, I do feel the need, but I’m resisting it). As Flylady says, “Progess, not Perfection.”

So who knows where this will go? You’ll probably find me talking a lot about my man (also referred to as my honey, my dh, etc.), my animals, my step-kids, my vegetarian lifestyle, animal cognition, books, and animal rights. And maybe a little about work here and there, i.e., SharePoint, UI Design, etc.