Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Day, A New Dawn, A New Year


Seems like just a few months ago that I was looking at 2009 with excitement and awe, wondering what was in store. I am amazed as I look back at just how grounded I have become. I have not been on airplane in over a year, I left the state one time in August to take long-awaited vacation to Yellowstone National Park. I seem to have gotten way behind in my photo archiving but I did learn to play a violin (sort of!) and have knitted a dishcloth and a scarf. Our huge garden is now packed into various jars that bring back the warmth of summer, if only in our stomache and hearts! I now have a beatiful workspace for writing, coaching and counseling. We got the flooring in upstairs and new colors on the walls. The basement is nearly done; the boys each have their own rooms and we have the beginning of a comfy, cozy family room. to appreciate all that has been accomplished so far. It is easy to look at see all that we have left to do though I am shifting my focus I think sometimes those small victories become overshadowed when staring down the bigger picture.

One of our New Year's traditions is to write a list of all the experiences that we are ready for in the coming year. These are not necessary resolutions or goals, its more of a "dream list", though there are practical intentions included as well. I review this list each month and note the small steps that have been and can be taken each day to help materialize these wishes into reality. Some are big wishes, like traveling to Ireland, some are on a smaller scale like having a chicken coop for laying hens that I still don’t have! Some are simply to take time each day to appreciate the view off my back deck, play with my kids, or just to relax more.

So while I have a lot of experinces that I am looking forward to, no resolutions are made in this house! I realize that at any given moment, on any given day, we can start over. I can turn things around in my life that are not working, I can choose to do anything different once I make the inner choice to do so. I am excited for a new day and a new dawn. The good news is we have 365 of them coming up!
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care....


Here it is, our white Christmas. We’ve spend the day getting somewhat organized for the “big night”. I have to say, there is nothing like kids to help get one in the Christmas Spirit. I was thinking today, as I battle a bit of fatigue and last minute panic over all that I haven’t gotten done this year, this is not what I had in mind. I always have an ideal image of a perfect family Christmas; all the baking done, all the presents wrapped, sitting in the rocking chair, drinking a cup of hot tea, watching the twinkling lights on the tree and gazing out the window at a light snow falling.

BONGGGGG! The bells in my head go off , snapping me back to “what’s really here”. We have a drooping tree with the top half of the lights that are not working, we have a laundry room filled with snowy, wet caps, coats, boots, gloves in assorted sizes and colors. There are only two of the seven mountains of laundry left but several baskets with articles to fold, hang up and put away. No baking has been done. I have three more presents to finish making, I hope I can find them in my craft room. Things are pretty messy down there. Nope this isn’t the ideal I had in mind, guess I will have to work on that one next year.

Though my mind would like to have a picture perfect Christmas, my heart is telling me things are fine just as they are. My family is here. We are safe, we are healthy, we are happy, we are warm and we are together. We have plenty of food, a roof over our head, nice warm beds, and transportation to visit family when the opportunity opens. There are a lot of things un-done this Christmas so I am taking notes in my journal of what I want to do next time around. II have the same amount of days leading up to Christmas every year, so I am not sure why this one has been so unfocused and off track! I thought I had this holiday prep stuff down to a science………..guess not! Just when I thought I was so far ahead back in November, I blink at it is already almost Christmas! I am thninking it would be nice if we could put off the celebration until next week, though I would probably not be ready then either.

Tonight I will take a break from all the to-dos. We’ll sit by the fire downstairs, drink warm cocoa and read our favorite Christmas stories. We’ll read until the kids get tired of it or until mom gets tired, the later may come first! I’ll then turn it over to one of the boys and let them read to me if that happens. I am learning to share the work load. I used to be a bit of a perfectionist. My gift, this Christmas, is to realize that image no longer fits. I’m celebrating the perfectness of all my imperfections. Joy To The World!

Blessings to All this night, before the night before Christmas!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays From The Reindeer Wranglers!


Greetings Family and Friends of Reindeer Wranglers Inc.

Congrats! If you are reading this, either you are already addicted to having a computer and internet or you are borrowing a friend's computer/internet to see what the heck that little slip of paper in your late Christmas card says!

The crew and I are going “High-Tech” this year. We’d like to say it's because we are so advanced here at HQ but that would not be the truth! Actually the the dark-haired elf, hired as the HR director, flew out of here on a jet bound for Maui muttering under her breath that she’d had enough of this snow and cold weather. (Boy those elves can swear when they get mad!) North Pole Job Temps are getting more and more scarce every year. We really didn’t think we’d have any trouble hiring this year as this location is so balmy and warm compared to the Great North. Guess we were wrong!

Another reason we decided to go “green” this year is because we’ve been so busy chasing, branding, tagging, wrestling and training reindeer for Santa’s sleigh team that we barely know what day it is around here. And when that HR elf stormed out, it was up to me to figure out a way to get the yearly update sent to our loyal readers! It seems in the last year I’ve been working in the world of devices and deadlines so I should be a bit more efficient but alas, I am not. The only thing I really know how to do is push buttons here and there (pun is absolutely intended, this happens to be one thing I am really good at!) I do apologize for the lateness of the RW update; at least this letter will be here for you by the time you finally get the picture!

The year has been another busy one. In the off season, the boys felt they needed to keep their skills honed by attending their first junior rodeo. The night before we had a little more rain than what mom thought. We slid down the hill and into the bottom of the canyon. Let me just say a sleigh is a lot easier to drive than a Dodge flatbed with a trailer full of ponies. The kids learned some colorful new words and I showed my NASCAR skills by maneuvering our rig out of the “sucking mud”. We made it in time. The boys are sure that more junior rodeos will keep them in shape and primed for training renegade reindeer for Santa!

All the wranglers have changed since the last issue of our newsletter. The littlest one joined elf-school this year and seems to be blossoming in the social realm. Pryce enjoys seeing other short people with pointy ears and high-pitched voices. There is no end to her impish energies, vocabulary and questions. There just isn’t a reindeer that is going to escape her eagle eyes. She may end up heading this deal after I retire, she already thinks she’s the boss. We do work hard on manners though she is very cunning in the art of adorable manipulation (we pretty much melt when she tells us she loves us!) This does not make up for trimming her stuffed pony’s main, hiding various kitchen tools and using purple marker to decorate her carpet.

Parker went toothless for quite a while this year. Several renegade reindeer tried to get the best of him. His prowess proved more than what they could handle; he's now sporting a new set of BIG pearly whites to sing Christmas songs with. His favorite is Feliz Navidad, which he sings at the top of his lungs in the shower (and yes, he knows all the words!) He keeps us laughing with his wide array of accents. As an 8 year old, he can channel just about any voice he’s heard plus… he has dimples and he knows how to use them! We’re thinking that if the Reindeer Wrangling business doesn’t work out, we’ll encourage him to become an actor……

Pake works hard every day to meet his quota of food; eating is still his favorite pastime, though we are certain he’s not even hit his stride. He announced that he is now officially 5 foot tall. He wants to be measured about every two weeks and has aspirations of being as tall as his cousin Austin, currently 6’5”. Height comes in handy when roping reindeer, shooting hoops, and trying to tackle anything that walks by. Last night it was me………I had to share with my 11 year old that mom is no longer a target. He could flatten me out one of these days! My muck boots, coat and gloves are getting double use as he’s found that its better to get my stuff dirty than his!

Chad remains the CEO of the operation (at least Pryce and I let him believe this!) He keeps the place up and running here despite continual issues with water, fences, and cattle that can‘t read signs! We celebrated his 40th birthday with a surprise party in Maywood. It was a fun, fun night with lots of great friends and great laughs. His co-workers honored the day by dressing in black to mourn the passing of his youth. They filled his office with black balloons, paper shreddings, and many “elderly gifts”! My favorite was the little vulture on top of his computer! (which is now perched on top of mine!)

We nearly finished the second level of office space, then rodeo season hit and the builder went AWOL! I’ve threatened to fire up the saw and lay that tile myself but I am not known for my measuring abilities, precision or neatness so finishing the 8 year long home improvement project is once again extended…………

As for me, I keep pretty busy. It is a full time job to keep this crew in-line, though they are a lot of fun! I’ve opened an office space here at home where I offer counseling and coaching services. I co-author the North American Journey Practitioners Association Newsletter and act as the Educational Director for the group. I’ve also taken up violin, mainly as a way to scare off stray animals. In an effort to keep warm and stylish, I am learning to knit! Everyone will be so thrilled to have knitted underwear under the tree, don’t you think?

I’ve also started writing the Crea8tive Cowgirl blog, which captures the goings-on around here, random thoughts, musings and some of the interesting ideas that floating around in my head! If you’d like, pour yourself a cup of coffee and have a look! There’s a place on the right side where you can sign up to follow blog or you can “friend request” me on Facebook where the blog is also posted! This feels like a great way to share my writing with more people. I’ve received great support and positive responses thus far, so I’ll keep posting! Who knows, maybe after the Reindeer Wranglers all graduate from college, I’ll sit down and write that book……from sunny Hawaii!

Well, there you have it the 2009 Reindeer Wrangler Update. Seems like I got just a little bit windier since I am using virtual space (guess some things don’t change!) Here’s wishing you and your Reindeer Team a joyful, peace-filled, blissful Holiday Season. If you are ever down in these parts, please know there is a comfy bed waiting for you, warm cider, hot salsa, loud kids, lots of dogs and plenty of entertainment! We love to have guests and hope to see ya’ll in the coming year. Thank you for being part of our lives and our hearts. We’d love to hear from you so send us a message anytime and let us know how you are doing. will get it there. Merry Christmas~ Chad, Robyn Pake, Parker Ray and Pryce
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Newest Addiction


So I am totally addicted………………..

I see what all the rave is about in the knitting world! There are so many fun yarns, colors, styles, and items one can make with a couple of sticks and some yarn. Color me impressed. I had several errands to take care of in town on Friday but what I really wanted to do was sneak into the knitting store and visit Vickie for a few more lesson. A couple of hours later I walked out with a huge grin, a finished dish cloth, a glob of bright yellow year and “fat” kindergarten size knitting needles (I like to call them sticks!)

I nearly blew off driving by the bank to drop off a payment and pick up a perscription at Shopko. I completely skipped getting those last three Christmas gifts in lieu of learning how to bind off and a refresher for casting. My priorities are clear. I have visions of knitting sweaters, caps, mittens, and felted purses, that latter really trips my trigger and makes my heart flutter. Ok. Deep breath, this is pretty exciting stuff!

Parker requested a bright yellow scarf, which I am working on now. I’ve also started another dishcloth. I am a multi-tasking knitter, if only I had a couple more hands. I also realize I've quite innocently found a new addication. There,I admitted it.

I am ready for a bumper sticker that reads, “I’d rather be knitting”.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm Back and its Cold Outside


After a couple weeks of frustration and a lot of bucks (green ones, without horns!) I am finally back on-line. Being unplugged was a strange experince. I felt disconnected at times. I hate to admit that I may be slightly addicted to the ease of the internet. We do everything from paying bills on line to choosing movies, finding recipies, and reading other blogs. Emails, texting and facebook make it really easy and fun to stay connected to others and that is what I most missed. Can we do without internet, yes. Would we want to? Probably not.

Its nice to be able to blog again. My computer had to be completely rebuilt and even now it is still not restored to its former glory. There is much to do. With Christmas just around the corner, I can feel overwhelm creeping in. I choose not to acknowledge it today. Who cares that I have case studies due, a newsletter that needs to be written, ki readings to be done for next month, presents to craft, gifts to wrap and oh there's that little thing called supper tonight. Yep, back in the routine...........I'm on the computer putting off what is here and contemplating pulling the plug myself. Somehow it is easier when I choose to unplug versus when the unplugging happens by an unknown, outside force that cannot be controlled.

I want thank my very sweet, loyal readers for the support and encouragement to get back into the blog. Like many things, blogging would be easy to let slide and put off 'til later if I didn't love it so much! Your kind words were deeply appreciated and I am delighted to share with you once again. We have much to catch up on!

I found this picture as I was redownloading picasa today. Our view looks similar to this one taken in 2006 with the exception of the ice. We had a terrible ice storm that wiped out power across the state that holiday season. This holiday season the news has been on the freezing temperatures. This morning it was 2 below. Let me tell you, it took Myah only seconds to pee and poo and she was barreling to the door. I wasn't far behind her.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness Rock


I've been especially looking forward to Monday and Wednesday mornings as this is about the only time that I have to myself! Pryce now goes to pre-school which gives me a few, uninterrupted hours to work on computer or working with clients. Today I decided I'd take the morning off. I was going walk Myah but I haven't made it outside yets, its a bit on the chilly side!

I was savoring the delight of the approaching holiday season by picking up the mess of toys, ornaments decorations from our tree decorating party the last couple of nights (why is there always clean up after a party?!) when I received an unexpected gift in the form of a phone call.

This simple message was something out of the blue that just made me smile! It lasted no longer than five minutes but had the impact of brightening my entire day. Most importantly this call didn't have to be made; the sweet soul on the other end didn't have to take the time to share. She could've easily noticed, observed and kept the observation to herself and going on with her busy day. She took took a few minutes to share something that deeply touched me, both the message and action. I am so blessed to live in a place where people take the time to call and share something with me just because they want to!

I am going to go back to my decorating now. I have just under an hour before my little helper returns. I finish my tasks with an even bigger grin on my face. Sincere gesutres, thoughtful phone calls and random acts of kindness the greatest gifts to give and receive. What's been your favorite? Let's spread the cheer!
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