Life and Everyday

Nearing the Holidays


I know, I know, the holidays are coming up quickly.  I used to like them all at this time of year but have become more cynical, no that’s not the word I want to use.  I am more and more hurt by the actions of my family of origin.  When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, there seemed to be an unwritten rule in my house that bringing someone with for the holiday was ok and great.  The more fellowship the merry.  If someone has no place, bring them home with ya….mom and all of us will make the food that will fill the tummies of a lifetime.

Somewhere along the way that unwritten rule has gotten questioned and wrinkled up noses to me.  I still  have friends that don’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving let alone the Christmas season.  The older I get, I am still a single person (well not right this moment) but was single with a kiddo, and me wanting to bring a friend or two with for the warmth and joy of good food and some fun, was certainly ok. But…….ok.  I am now in a relationship.  He is an amazing man.  Sure he has his struggles, just any of the friends I brought to our house before.  But he is my boyfriend and I want him to be around for longer than just a few months.  I can see me and K getting used to him being around for awhile.

When I asked mom if it was ok if I bright Robert along for Christmas, I got the hem haw.  I told her that she was going to have to get used to him and me because we are together.  He loves K.  He is very good with her, for her.  I know he cares about me as well.  I know that we have fun together, even quiet times, that are comfortable and crazy times, where he continues to tell me to breathe or take one thing at a time.  But come back to my mom…..what happened to the open door policy for those who have no where to go or no one to be with?  Did that go out the door when dad died too?  There seems a whole lot of things that flew out the door when dad passed.  It’s just not fun like it used to be.  It’s like things are strained and my brother and sister and their families and my mom and probably me too, struggle to find a commonality that we can just talk about together.  Bringing up anything that has to do with mental health or chronic pain, is a NO NO. We just on’t talk about that stuff anymore.  No one cares.  Except for me.  I miss that.

Robert is coming to the Olson Crhistmas this weekend and he will be coming to Thanksgiving if there is one planned.  If not, we will cook up a storm here, making Thanksgiving here with just him and me and K.  That is just as good.

We will see.


Life and Everyday

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.  Be safe in your travels today and through the weekend.  Much love to you…..

♥Julie and K

I wanted to give you something to think about today and for the next few days or weeks.

Here are some of those numbers that should make us realize how blessed we are:

80% of our brothers and sisters on this planet live in poor living conditions
70% are illiterate
50% are uneducated
1% have computers
1% have higher education

If you have a reasonably healthy body, you are in a better position than the one million persons who are ill and will leave their bodies in the next seven days.

If you are not living in war or in prison or in hunger, then you are much luckier than the 500,000,000 who are living in such conditions.

If you have food, clothing, a home and a bed, then you are in a better position than 75% of the souls incarnated on this planet.

If you have a bank account and money in your pocket, then you are among the lucky top 8% of humanity.

So much of what we have taken for granted, simply is not so for most of the humans on this planet. There are so many souls living without much of what we could not imagine being without.

Gratitude is the acknowledgment of the love that we are receiving from the Universe in the form of loved ones, belongings, comforts and abundance of all forms.

Acknowledging the abundance we already have is the first step towards attracting more. If we are ungrateful for what we have or are unhappy, complaining or bitter, then we are sending out into the universe a negative message, which attracts more negativity; more of what we do not want and less of what we want.

Gratitude is directly related to love and happiness; we experience love when we feel grateful and are grateful when we feel love. The same is true for happiness. We are happier freer beings when we acknowledge how lucky and blessed we are.

For my parents who supported and cared for me until I was able to survive on my own, and then let me free.
For my siblings with whom I have shared and experienced so much.
For my – and all – children who give me such joy with their innocence and wonder.
My life partner with whom we mutually support each other and share in life¢s challenges – and even more so life¢s joy and laughter.
For previous friends and lovers with whom I have shared and learned.
My relatives, friends and acquaintances with whom I have shared friendship.
Coworkers, employers and employees, with whom I have shared the common goals of our work environment.

(I am grateful to all of the above mentioned people with whom I have chosen in this life to have a special relationship, not only for those positive moments, but also for those moments where their behavior has given me the opportunity to see my fears, attachments and weaknesses, and to learn to put myself in the other’s position and to understand, forgive and love.)

For these I am truly thankful and blessed:

For my eyes and the ability to see and get so much pleasure from this beautiful world.
For my ears and the ability to hear so many pleasing sounds.
For my nose and the ability to enjoy smells of all kinds.
For my taste buds that allow me to enjoy delicious tastes.
For my skin that allows me to get pleasure from so many sensations.
For my brain and mind that allow me to receive and enjoy all of the above.
My home, which protects me from the sun, rain, snow and elements.
My bed – where I can rest and rejuvenate.
Clothing that protects my body.
Shoes that protect my feet.
Food that sustains my body and mind.
My stove where I make good food for K and me and others in my life.
My computer, which gives me much enjoyment and is a tool for creativity.
My car that gets me where I need to be.
Running water in my home.
Electricity in my home that allows me all the comforts of all the appliances and machines that serves my needs.
All of nature – the trees, flowers, butterflies, rivers, beaches, forests, mountains, seas and oceans, which give me so much peace and pleasure.
Special places in nature that I especially love.
All animals and other beings on this planet that beautify our lives.
My education which has helped me understand the world more clearly.
My books as sources of knowledge and enjoyment.
The internet – as an invaluable tool of learning and communication.
All the teachers and guides who have lead me to true myself.
Music of all kinds that relax, inspire and uplift me.
Groups of people that I share time with, because through sharing we experience trust, acceptance and love.
For all doctors and psychologists who are dedicated to helping me in my search for health and happiness.
For my telephone so that I can communicate with those I love.
All of the spiritual teachings, truths and wisdom that set me free from my illusions and fears.

For the love I give and receive from my friends and family

For my mind that serves me all day long and enables me to understand and function in this world.

For life after death and my immortality.
For Christ who has enriched and inspired my life with His teachings, but even more so through the examples of those who live through Christ and show me how I want to be.
For women and men who, with their examples, have given me courage to face life’s difficulties
For those who have tested me with their behavior through the years and helped me to know myself, my weaknesses and fears, thus giving me the opportunity to transcend my ego and understand, forgive and love.
For people’s mistakes and weaknesses that have also enabled me to see my own.
For difficult moments in the past and present that have strengthened me and increased my self-knowledge and inner strength and peace.
For all the wonderful moments of love, happiness, laughter and play that have deepened my trust and love for my friends and family.
For those peaceful moments of sharing with loved ones.
For the support, acceptance and forgiveness I have received from others throughout the years.
For all of those who share the same interests with me.
For those who have been born into other religions, races and nationalities, and allow me to discover our innate oneness behind all those superficial differences.
For life and health and daily needs, I give you thanks Lord.


Holy Moley!! Days 16 and 17

How in the world did these 2 days fly by and I didn’t get in my thankfulness???  I think that I will roll 16 and 17 into one….it’s a biggie!!











I am so very thankful to GOD and my family.  Today my great aunt was hit by a train.  YES  A TRAIN!!!  It happened in a small town in north Iowa.    This little town has tracks that run right through the middle of the town.  Population maybe 50.  Anyways, there were a couple cars ahead of her and they drove right on through.  She thought it was safe to go as well.  She looked and didn’t see the train nor did she hear any whistles.  The train caught her back bumper and twirled her around.  I think my mom said it hit the car in 3 places as it spun around.  The ONLY place that was not bunged up on the car was the place where she was sitting.  God and his angels were definitely watching over her.  Also, her son was just coming into town and he saw the little red car but not thinking it was his mother, he went to her house.  She wasn’t there.  He headed to the tracks.  Another miracle.  He was there for her at the right time.  911 was called, and she was taken to a local hospital to be checked out.  She has bumps and bruises.  She has a very hurt ankle that she can’t walk on.  She is 84 years old.  Holy cows, I am so glad that God was with her and around her.  It could have much much worse.  She is home tonight with her other son and daughter -in-law.  She may have to go to a nursing home for some rehab until that ankle gets better but she is good.

I am also so very thankful for my mom.  I miss her some days somethin fierce.  I am only nearly 2 hours from her, but not seeing her is hard.  I love my mom.  I can’t imagine my life without her.  It’s hard that my dad isn’t alive too.  I miss him too.  God has got them both tho.  In heaven my dad is watching over us.  On earth, my mom is watching over me and K.  I wish I could give her more.  More love.  Repay the money I owe.  Win the lottery and give her retirement that she surely deserves.  For now, I will continue to love her and tell her that I love her everyday.


Day 15 of Giving Thanks

Day 15……I am thankful for red velvet cake.  I think I am in love.  LOL  I found a candle tonight that smells just like it!!  I LOVE IT.  it’s the little things.  LOL  I am thankful for being able to make red velvet cake.  to be able/knowledgeable to bake just about anything.  I am lucky enough to get to make cheesy hashbrown potatoes and a pumpkin dessert for my co-workers for Monday.  We are celebrating our Thanksgiving at work on Monday.  All the fixin’s.  I can’t wait!!  Yummo.

I will be baking during the week too next week.  Getting ready for Thanksgiving down in Iowa with my relatives.  Not sure if I am looking forward to it or not.  I think it will be ok.  Life is weird.  And I LOVE red velvet cake.  🙂

Life and Everyday

Holiday Hype and other things (and Day 14 of Thanks)


The holiday season is approaching once again.  You will find all sorts of articles and “other things” to help manage the “stress” of the holidays.  Isn’t it ironic that this time of year is designated to bring peace, strengthen your spirit, and enjoy the company of friends and family.  Instead it seems to cause more imbalance, disharmony and stress than any other time of the year.  I suppose I could blame commercialization or the media or anything else that has nothing really to do with me, right?

Well, I was thinking (uh oh) and my holiday stress is totally just me.  It’s what I am thinking or predicting about what this holidays are going to be like.  It’s the choices that I am making about where I am going and who I am spending my time with during these next couple months.  Retail stores and media play into this and raise expectations such as “you have to have this….or bigger that…..or brand new this….etc. etc. etc.”  I have a choice though, whether I will follow the crowd like a sheep or do my own thing.  Sometimes I guess I assume that I will do what is EXPECTED of me.  That is the way it’s always been.  But what if I don’t?  What if I quit doing all the things people EXPECT me to do?  What if I don’t make the cheesy hash brown potatoes?  Or the mountains of cookies and other goodies?  Or my “famous” cheeseball with crackers?  Will the world fall apart?  I don’t think so.  I am sure some people will be upset because I am breaking tradition. hmmmmmm…….  

I love my kid.  But she is one of those kids who wants and wants and wants.  I know she is a good kid.  She likes to help and do things for others, but like any other kid, she doesn’t want to be left out.  Doesn’t want to be the kid who doesn’t get the iPad or iPod or DS3 or whatever else it hot this season.  I want my Thanksgiving and Christmas to be simple this year.  But I don’t think my relatives are going to let me have a more simple time.  But I will!  I am going to limit the amount of time I am on the road visiting.  I will send out my cards and pictures from the year.  I will travel for Thanksgiving to my aunt and uncles….free food!!  and yes, I will make the cheeseball and cheesy hash brown potatoes.  I will go to the Olson Christmas and the Koster Christmas as well.  But I don’t have to spend days at my mom’s this year.  I want to be home….in my own bed….in my own house…..with my own kiddo.

I really do love the holidays.  But this hype is really getting to me.  Expectations are getting to me.  I wonder if I broke ALL expectations, what would happen?  hmmmmmmm

Giving thanks on day 14…….I am thankful for all the kiddos I tutor everyday.  I am losing on guy tomorrow because his family is moving.  But I have also gained another.  I hope that I will be able to impact his life as well.  There are so many smiles and laughter in my office.  There is some struggle but we work through it.  They are getting better.  They are liking to read more and more.  Parents are impressed at how the MRC interventions work.  They tell us that their kids love to spend that extra 20 minutes each day with me and the other tutor.  That just makes my heart smile.  I believe that all kids are good kids.  They all have some good in them.  They all have a space in them that wants to learn and be and do better.  As I write this, I think about my daughter.  She is struggling…not with reading, but life in general.

She is still getting used to being home with me.  She is struggling some at school too.  It’s hard to stand by and see her like this.  She has another ADHD evaluation coming up on December 3.  The doc that is going to evaluate her is a specialist in ADHD in Minneapolis. (CALM clinic) I am actually looking forward to get some insight from him.  I want to know what to do next.  She will come out ok.  So will I.  God will keep us safe.  I know it.


Life and Everyday

Thankful Day 3


I am so thankful for my place to live.  The people in my building are quiet and nice.  There really isn’t any fear living here.  I can let K go out and not be afraid that someone will nab her.  People who live here watch out for one another.  I like living in Hastings.  Beautiful town.  Beautiful people.

It’s been a regular Saturday here.  My friend Angie’s cancer benefit was today. I wasn’t able to go, but I have hear it was awesome.  My sister had her Crop for the Cure today in Carpenter Ia too.  I got T-Shirts from that too.  Mom still has them, but I can’t wait to see them.  Someday I will get my scrapbooking stuff together and get working again.  Still haven’t gotten K’s baby book done yet. That is how far behind I am.  I need a room just for craft stuff, I think.

Tonight we set clocks back one hour.  One more hour of sleep.  Woohooo.  I hope K sleeps in.  I would  could use another hour.  Don’t know that it will make any difference with her tho.  She is usually up at the same time everyday.  

So anyways….hope your weekend is great.


Life and Everyday

8 weeks til Thanksgiving Mission

Procrastination. This one word could describe most of my existence. I’m convinced I would get nothing accomplished if it weren’t for the very last-minute.

The truth is, I can’t stand this about myself.  I often do what I need to, at JUST the right moment, not leaving any extra in timing.  This just shows complete lack of responsibility in me as an adult. That is what I am…or at least pretend to be. A GROWN-UP.   I have my doubts on a daily basis, though I see the amount of candles on the cake increasing every year. It’s pretty hard to change a habit that has taken 39 years + 3 years’ experience to perfect. In high school and college, I was always that person that was up the night before a final or big project, cramming every last bit of info in that I could before the sun came up. I am still in college and still procrastinating. I am taking two 5-week courses in this term, 2 classes in the next 5-week term and one class in the last 5-week term this semester.  Maybe I thrive on the thrill and excitement of sliding in at the last-minute. Maybe it’s the rush I enjoy. No matter how you look at it, all it reveals about me is that I am an idiot. A hopeless procrastinator that desperately needs to grow-up and start living among the “responsible adults” who actually think past lunch into the near future and come up with a tentative plan. For dinner even. We should start with baby steps.

The entertaining thing about my procrastination is that I have no excuse. I’ve given myself plenty of time to work on time-management skills. In one of my classes this term, we even spent a great amount of time talking about time management.  Even though I wait until the eleventh hour, I am also an eternal list-maker. I make lists for everything…from daily household chores, to errands that need taken care of, to phone calls that I need to return. What do I do with these lists, you ask? Well, that’s simple. I change my mind about what is priority. Dinner plans change. I get started house-cleaning and end up messing up rooms and starting projects that weren’t even on the chore list. The “errand list” gets thrown to the wayside. DISTRACTIONS…and maybe a tad of ADD, but the jury’s still out on that one. Either way, when I end up waiting until the last minute to pay the fines at the library (yes, forgetting to take back my kids’ books), changing my driver’s license from Iowa to Minnesota, complete homework assignments that are due tomorrow, or forget to shave my legs on the last hot day of fall.  The consequences can be quite costly (and somewhat embarrassing). Seriously!  Grow up, lady!

I intend to do just that today—GROW UP.   This year I have officially graduated to a different box on the questionnaire form, the middle-age bracket. Though I am a bit closer to being able to claim “Alzheimer’s” for my forgetfulness, or CRS, my ongoing talent for procrastination is something that should finally be dealt with.

After all, I’m turning over a new leaf today, mainly because “someday” is not a day of the week. It’s time to turn my mountains of To-Dos into bucket lists that are completely attainable. And I don’t want to wait until I’m almost dead to get them accomplished. I want to be able to scratch things off my list daily. I want to learn to be a better manager of the time on this earth. I’m realizing just how quickly that time is slipping right through my fingers. I’m ready to acknowledge that there are a million ways to waste a day, but not even a single way to get one back. When it comes to my future, my daughter, my life–I don’t want to barely make the deadlines with one minute to spare. I want to learn to be wholly present and active in every minute of every day. I want to plan. To be intentional. To be responsible. To live “on purpose”…and not just by the skin of my teeth.

With that said, I have given myself a deadline. “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”  Earl of Chesterfield.

There are some things I’ve put off for some time (this blog, for example) and I want to tackle these things NOW. A short-term “bucket list”, if you will. I’m calling it my 8 Weeks til Thanksgiving Mission.  I decided to post about it here, so that I can’t turn into a big, fat loser and throw the plan out the window this time. I’m hoping for a bit of accountability and encouragement. As ridiculous as it sounds, I’ll definitely need a few verbal or written “jolts” along the way to help me out and keep me going. I’m relying on YOU. (NO pressure, of course. LOL).

Along the way, over the next 8 weeks, I’ll be sure to post about my progress. I also promise to blog about my crazy kid, some incredibly random situations I’ve gotten myself into recently, and of course, my sarcastic two-cents about EVERYTHING I encounter on a daily basis. I hope you will tag along with me through it all. Kick my butt in gear about the 8 Weeks til Thanksgiving Mission, but more importantly, learn how to laugh and enjoy life right along with me. I’ve already waited until the night before it’s due to write this blog post! (go figure!) The procrastination train stops here. Laziness may pay off right now, but pursuing life on purpose will bring about abundant future rewards. I just know it! Let the journey begin!

8 Weeks til Thanksgiving Mission

1. Do 8 random acts of kindness.
2. Try 8 new recipes.
3. Workout at least 8 times a week (including my daily walking).
4. Write 8 blog posts.
5. Do/visit/eat at/try 8 different places, restaurants, or things to do.
6. Memorize 8 new scripture verses.
7. Do 25-10-25 study technique every day.
8.  Learn to be happy with who I am.