Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tis the Season....

I have lived in Texas for about five years now.  I love the VERY mild winters, spring and fall are great and the heat of the summer days is not that different from the Midwest.  Given that, it has taken me about five years to figure out the dress code here.  And it has nothing to do with the actual temperature and/or weather conditions.

This past February has been unseasonably warm.  It will probably be a record setter.  Nothing wrong with that in my book - warm is my choice versus cold.  However.  How does one dress in February for this warm weather?  Particularly when the office you work in could be likened to a frozen tundra.

This year clarified it for me perfectly.  And the answer is.....however you want.  Initially my attention was drawn to those women who would wear jackets, tights and boots (even winter boots) when it was 71 degrees out.  And I am not talking about a high of 71, I am talking about 71 degrees as I enter the building around 6:30ish every morning.

Once in the lobby, the temperature plummets to around 40 (or so it feels) but by the time I am on my floor, we start at around 65ish.  This temperature is not constant as my sweater or jacket will come off, be put back on, and then off again as the day progresses.  It is also dependent upon which meeting room we are in.

So, my observations.  Native Texans tend to dress for the "season" rather than the temperature.  While I am not quite native, I have taken advantage of this practice.

For example, in Kansas/Missouri, tights weather (along with jackets and boots) are definitely in by November but may start as early as October.  In the Midwest, we are so delighted to have a warm snap during the cold season, we instantly "dress down" to take advantage of it.

On the side of that coin is Texas. We need to have some cold weather clothes on hand for the 3-5 days each year we might actually need them.  However, those clothes will NEVER get worn at that rate. So starting in November (and sometimes as early as October), out come the long sleeve sweaters, jackets, hoodies, boot, tights, etc. which now can be worn through March.  Regardless of the temperature.

An advantage to this is you never really need to check the weather each morning, unless it is raining.  And then you just add an umbrella, swap out winter boots for rain boots and grab your rain jacket versus your winter coat.  So easy.

I know I am not the only Midwest girl who arrived here and struggled with "fitting in".  I've got it down now.

Until next time (or at least mid-March),

your pal,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Eye on the Prize

I was talking to a guy I work with the other day and he "schooled" me.  But in a good way.  He is retired military and was formerly active in the investigative unit.  He shared some things he remembered specifically while taking an evasive driving class.  He told me that if you focus on an obstacle while driving, you will hit that obstacle.  In a nutshell, what you focus on is what you make happen.

"You are a BadAss"
Of course, I needed to ponder this for awhile.  And this thought he shared reoccurred to me as I have been reading "You are a Badass:  How to stop doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" by Jen Sincero.

I am always reading (and will be glad to recommend) all types of thought provoking self-help books and I truly believe I benefit from them.  If nothing else, it causes me to think in different ways. I say "I have a book for that" like today's generation says "there is an app for that".  Name your poison and I can help.  Anyway, back to what's happening.

What IS happening in your life?  I ask this because if you believe you deserve more than what you currently have, your thought process (and subsequent actions) must line up with that belief.  I remember when my kids were young (er) and if frustrated they would say "I will never get this right...be able to do this...learn this...whatever it was.  And I always told them, "No, you sure won't. Not with that attitude.

If you believe something will NEVER happen, it never will.  If you believe you will NEVER meet the right person, you never will.  Our beliefs are like a night light.  When it is really dark, if you have a night light on - that is all you see.

So what am I believing in this year.  I believe in planning.  Because here again, if you don't plan it, (whatever it is), I guarantee you, it won't happen.  I am planning for changes in my life that will allow me to get done what I want to get done.  (one small example, cleaning out at least one cabinet or drawer every week-it's happening)  I am also writing down on the calendar what I want to do this year.  This could be accomplishments, visits to family, trips with my honey and/or piano lessons.  I am writing things down and assigning dates and times.  This is my "focus."

Sometimes it is as simple as how we might frame a thought.  Tonight will I say "I hope I get to work out?" or will I say "I am going to work out tonight."  See what I did there?

What do you believe?  About yourself?  This world we live in?  God's plan for you?

Until next time,

your pal,

Mark 9:23
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Here's your sign

Remember my blog a few weeks back (still available if you need to refresh your memory) about the guy who was so busy listening for the words, he missed the message?  I had my own 'ahhh haaa" moment this week.

Verse of the Day
Recently I have been praying about a situation that is troubling to me.  One could even say I have allowed it trouble me.  And when I pray about it, I give it to God.....yet it seems I take it back at some point throughout the day.

This isn't the first time I have felt the need to exert my control over events.  I could represent wonderfully at a "Controllers Anonymous" meeting (if such a thing existed-ask my husband).  You would recognize me because I would be fighting over the microphone to run the meeting.

And this is despite my prayers to the contrary.  Does that mean prayers don't work?

Every morning I receive a bible verse for the day.  In addition I receive "Encouragement for Today" and it was when I allowed the message (versus the words) to soak in this week, I began to see a theme.

This particular writer (Encouragement for Today-Dr. Tony Evans) talked about how when we are sick, we go to the doctor. The doctor may prescribe a treatment plan - possibly even medication and off we go.  Are we healed?  No, not yet.  As the writer explained, we must follow the plan AND take the medication if we hope to see some improvement.  It doesn't happen overnight and if we ignore the instructions we are given, we might actually get worse.

This made me examine my prayer life.  As noted in paragraph two, I have been praying ABOUT a situation.  That struck me as funny after I reflected on it, because God already KNOWS what is troubling me.  And while he rarely reveals his direction on a highway billboard, He is always present.

Though he has been known to be that obvious before - at least to me.  When I was contemplating buying a house for the first time, I worried about whether or not this was the right move.  Financially it made me nervous to make such a big commitment.  Then I started praying FOR guidance.  One morning, as I was driving to work, I passed a sign in front of a church that said "God will not guide where he does not provide".  I made the decision that day to go forward with the house.

Now I don't always believe I get that kind of direction so clearly, nor should I need it.
 But as I study God's word on a daily basis, whether it's the Verse of the day or other articles that share how God can work in our life, I am reminded that praying ABOUT and praying FOR are two different things.

If you find yourself praying ABOUT or sharing God's word as Gospel, and after careful examination you find your representation doesn't accurately reflect the message, it's time for a change.

So until next time, I am praying for ALL of God's people and that His Will be done.

He knows the circumstances.

Your pal,



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bruised but not beaten.....

It should not be compared to "riding a bike".  You know that saying, "it's like riding a bike.  After a few minutes all your skill comes back to you."

Getting ready to go!
Terry and I went skiing this past weekend.  We were bit by the skiing bug after Madison went on a ski trip sponsored by her school.  We reminisced over the beautiful pictures she shared and decided we did miss this snow - if it was productive.  For Iowa, Missouri and Kansas fans - we don't really see a point to your snow, but in Colorado there is a life that revolves around it.

So, it was decided.  Skiing, dog sledding and snow mobiles were on the agenda.  Plus a sleigh ride up to Beano's cabin - a very exclusive mountaintop restaurant with five course meals.  WOW!  

Now, I did do some preparation in anticipation of the reunion with skiing.  Have y'all ever heard for YouTube??  What a plethora of instructive videos that had for me.  And since I have been skiing before (albeit 37 years ago -to Terry's 40) and I had taken lessons all three (3) times I had been skiing, I was fairly certain that the videos would serve as a useful reminder of what to do.  Mainly - how to stop!

Dog sledding Monday
So off we go.  We arrived Saturday and it was gorgeous weather.  We became familiar with the area, bought our lift tickets for the next day (how do you spell highway robbery) and were fitted for all the ski paraphernalia.  We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Terry's sister Kathy at her home in Eagle.  Very nice.  (I tried not to think of it as our last supper).

Sunday dawned clear, bright and cold but we were ready.  After donning all the winter garb (which almost took as long as the first ski run) we made our way to the  multiple choices of ski lifts and gondolas.  I was anxiously looking for the "bunny hill" as the other ski resorts I had been to in the past all had them handy in the lower areas.  After consulting with one of the workers, he enlightened us to the fact that all the green (beginner) slopes at Beaver Creek were located at the TOP of the mountain with their own set of ski lifts higher up.  O.M.G.

Did I mention it was a very big mountain?  So after stalling for a few minutes longer, Mr. French asked if I was ready to get on the lift.  Sure.

Once at the top (and we did have to transfer from one ski lift to another) I became reacquainted with skiing.  My Norwegian roots were bursting with pride.  I almost immediately face planted about half way down what looked like Pikes Peak to me.  No worries, all good.   I was back up in (practically) no time and decided on a new tactic.  Instead of looking all the way down (VERY OVERWHELMING) I decided to narrow the scope as I made my way down.  VICTORY.  We made it to the second ski lift we rode up and I did not fall again.  Let's do it again!!  Up we went and down we came.  This time when I fell, the impact was more focused on my right side (think knee and abdomen).  Practically the same place (possible someone should look into safety issues here).  But again, I was up and on my way.

This time (after no additional falls) we decided to continuing skiing down to the next level.  I was really getting the hang of it and was almost to the lodge (1/3 down the mountain) when my poles got caught under a ski and derailed me.  Well.....it took so long for me to get my skis back on (try doing that quickly when you are on a down hill slope) that I finally scooted to the bottom of small dip I was on and then got the #$**@ skis reattached.  The lodge was in sight.  So was Terry, who apparently had been waiting for quite some time (had taken off skis, put them back on and was making his way back to find me).  My keeper.

After a much needed break, the option was to continue down the mountain or to feign a broken bone so the medical team would put me in a basket and take me down.  After much consideration, I decided I CAN DO THIS!!!!

It was a slow go and involved one more major delay when I knocked a ski off, but I was doing okay.  The most unnerving part for me now was that I had to make sharp turns to the right to stay on the beginners trail.  It seemed like a very narrow path (perception could be off) to turn on to or end up falling down a ravine or accidentally getting on a much more skilled trail.

Snowmobile French couple in the middle
One hour and 30 minutes later I reached the bottom.  Towards the end, I was faced with a choice of continuing on Cinch (our trail name and what I hoped it would be) or going taking the remainder of a blue trail.  At this point, I just wanted to wrap things up and get in the tub for a hot soak.  Yes, I took the blue trail and in record time (so much faster going straight down versus all around) I made it with NO FALLS OR SKI LOSS!!!   WHOOHOOO

What a day!  Now as far as Mr. French goes - it was like a bicycle to him.  He was whooshing around like an Olympic hopeful.  And that's okay.

As far as dog-sledding and snow-mobile tours - non events compared to skiing.

Sign me - #backinthegame!!!!

Until next time,

your bruised in all areas pal,

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