Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby steps

I always fail at New Year's resolutions. One common mistake is to make grand plans - those never work for me.

This year I am winning.

I made one resolution, and only promised to do it for one month. My resolution was to block all Zynga games on Facebook for one month.

By blocking for one month, I am taking away the temptation to play the games that used to take up so much of my time. I could play for two hours a day between Farmville, Frontierville and Cityville.

I blocked those games on Jan. 1 and haven't gone back. I still have to block related posts, but eventually those will fade away, as well. And by saying I would do it for one month, in my mind I can go back at the end of the month.

But I doubt that I will.

I just got an email about Cityville - I've been chosen to receive 10 City Cash. That's enough to purchase a new expansion area.

I deleted the email. I could have accepted the cash and then blocked the game again, but that would mean giving into temptation, even a bit. At the end of the month I want to be free and be able to say I was completely successful in this one resolution.

Baby steps.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What a week

Okay, mostly minor things. I did say mostly.

Last Friday, payday. Paid some bills, gave Kent gas money (yeah, I know, but he's been taking Cayla to school on the days she misses the bus, which is nearly every day), oh and was involved in a minor traffic accident. No apparent damage to my car, which was rear-ended at a stoplight.

Saturday, work.

Sunday, missed church, went to work.

Monday, snow storm started. I made it to work, but stopped at Hy-Vee first, to pick up a cake. It was my birthday and Sandy Mickelson's birthday (also her anniversary) and Jesse was back at work for the first time since Christmas (and the surprise birth of his son at 27 weeks). I did not get an inscription on the cake, because there wasn't room for:
Happy anniversary Walt and Sandy
Happy birthday Sandy and Carol
Welcome back Jesse

although it would have been funny.

Tuesday, day off and also a snow day. I also went into town and paid some bills and did a little shopping.

Wednesday, Cayla had a dentist appointment, after which I got some money out of the bank and put gas in my car (actually Cayla pumped the gas - go Cayla!), then on the way to the library, was rear-ended near an intersection. Again. No apparent damage, again. Now it's about time to head to church. Let's hope it will be a non-eventful trip.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I caved in

I got the cheapest microwave Walmart had to offer. It's a Sunbeam, 900-watt, .9-cubic-foot microwave. It has buttons instead of a dial, which I prefer. Amanda has already tried it out. And at least we have a microwave now.

I also looked for the pizza oven thingy - the kind that rotates the pan under heat. They don't have it in stock, but I think it's available online. I'm considering this partly because our oven is wonky and partly because it cooks the pizza in half the time.

Generally I'm not a fan of speciality appliances. I don't own a grill, I do own a sandwich maker but I don't like it. I actually bought that for Amanda to make her ham and cheese sandwiches with, but she won't use it. Luckily it only cost $7 so I'm not losing much.

And now that I think about it, I do own more of these appliances: a rice cooker, a blender, the sandwich maker, a bread machine. I have owned two different kinds of popcorn poppers in the past and was recently considering a hot-air popper. I haven't had an ice cream maker, deep fryer or food processor. I guess my reasoning is that I wouldn't get enough use out of it to balance the inconvenience of cleaning the appliance. But maybe if I had one of those things I would cook more.

Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My life isn't that bad, apparently

My life? Well, I work at a job where I don't always feel my efforts are appreciated, and haven't had a raise in a while. I support two frequently unappreciative and occasionally surly teen daughters, one of whom recently dropped out of high school and the other one apparently thinks I never know what I'm talking about. (Yes, I keep telling you to go to bed early so you can wake up in time to go to Seminary or at least catch the bus to school. There's a reason I keep telling you - it's because you aren't doing it!) I have a hard time paying my bills on time, which is made harder recently. My microwave conked out and the oven in the stove needs something - maybe the thermostat is not working, so I can't bake now either. My car has a cracked windshield that I worry every day is going to just pop - especially in winter weather with the difference between the outside temperature and the heat inside the car. My mom lives on her own, but I worry about her, too.

However, I'm currently praying for: a co-worker whose husband is recovering from hip replacement surgery but has confusion issues, another co-worker whose first child was born at 27 weeks, an online friend on bed rest to prevent premature labor, another online friend who lost her full-term baby just before Christmas, and am now adding to the list a blogger who suffers from deep depression (and she's pregnant). Of course, my list includes family members, although I need to expand that list as well.

So, while I can't afford health insurance but don't qualify for Medicaid, at least I'm reasonably functional. If my microwave and oven don't work, at least I have a slow cooker and the top of the stove. My car runs and gets much, much better gas mileage than my old car (approximately 26-28 mpg vs. 12-14 mpg), which is extremely important in a time when gas is around $3/gallon. While I may feel underappreciated at my job, at least I have one and I (usually) do it well, even the parts I don't like. And I have a roof over my head, which is also important.

And, while I have thought for a very long time that I should see a doctor to see if I really am depressed, right now that's not an option. But looking at the lives of others, I see that depressed or not, I'm not in that bad a place. I'll struggle on with my own trials and pray for others with theirs.

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care ...

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth

I should make a resolution to go to bed earlier. I admonish Cayla about it on nearly a daily basis. She doesn't go to bed early enough, so she can't get up early enough to get to Seminary, or usually even to make the bus to school. That means someone has to drive her, and that's a waste of gas. But I set a bad example.

The bed is a bundle of paradoxes:  we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.  ~Charles Caleb Colton

 I looked up some quotes on sleep.

No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap.  ~Carrie Snow

 I had never heard of Carrie Snow, but she's got a point. Yes, there are days so bad that a nap can't fix them. But naps are great.

 Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.  ~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

 Now there's some wisdom. And here's mine: When I started playing around with my blog tonight, it was just after midnight. I just checked the time: 1:21 a.m. In addition to getting more sleep, I need to monitor my computer time better. I've got a log sheet I can track my time on, see where I spend it. I need to use that.

But now, I need to go to bed.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


My one specific resolution for this year is to block Zynga games on Facebook for one month. I play Farmville, Frontierville and Cityville daily and spend too much time on them, neglecting other responsibilities.

What makes it hard is that they all have these "missions" where you complete certain tasks in order to receive a reward. I left unfinished missions in each game.

However, I suspect that by the time the month is over, I will be okay with not going back. And that was the purpose of this resolution - to free up my time and free me from the feeling of obligation to play.

I have other things I need to work on, as well, but no specific "I'm going to" statements yet. But the advice I've seen is that being specific and having a time limit are two ways to help you succeed in completing a resolution. I think this will work.