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I hope you all enjoy my efforts here!

Sep 28, 2008

Reaping what we sow

I think most everyone has heard this saying, so many times. I actually have thinking a lot about it lately, because I'm realizing how true it really is. Time-worn phrases are time-worn, because they are so useful to explain sometimes difficult concepts and yet so true at the same time.

A friend of mine has a neighbor who spends her life trying to mind the business of all her other neighbors, calling the police on every little thing, getting upset and blowing things out of proportion. While it's never ok, more then a few young teenage boys have selected to play the most awful pranks on this home and family, time and time again. It has reached the point where as one family's boys grow up and become young men, they stop the revenge, only to find that another family's young boys are going through that stage and taking their revenge out on the family. Most recently, my friend's son reported that many of the boys in the high school that don't even live in the same neighborhood talk about this family, as their snoopiness, frequent calls to the police for everything have been shared with so many of the boys' peers as they share their frustration. The actions of this neighbor are legendary at school. Now people far outside the neighborhood travel there to just pull off their pranks.

Can you imagine what kind of a life this woman and her family are living? Some pranks are truly awful, such as feces on the door, to relatively mild, power boxing (shutting off the power from the outside using their power box) the house. My friend has never had anyone try to do anything to her house. I know that she has made efforts to be sociable with the kids in the neighborhood. She'll listen to them and admire their new toys, (motor bikes, scooters, 4 wheelers and what not, I'm sure I don't know what they all are), instead of finding any misuse to immediately call and report to the police. Most every single young boy on her block has had the police called on them at least 2 or 3 times. This is not a neighborhood of juvenile delinquents, or even close. However, the young men are being treated as if they are.

I've been hearing about the stories of this woman for at least 5 years. She carries her behavior out towards others, not just the young men. Her pettiness, rudeness, nasty comments and etc. continue to amaze me to this day.

After hearing the latest tales what's happening in that neighborhood about her life, I kept thinking, how can she not "get it". All this awful stuff that happens to her, how can she not look around and see that no one else has to live with this stuff done to them. I'm definitely not saying any of the actions of revenge are justified. However, an imperfect world has people who are imperfect, and it shouldn't be surprising that some retaliate. How can she not realize that she is sowing some pretty awful seeds of discord and they are definitely being reaped. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I think many of us never really see ourselves honestly, nor see the actions we send out and connect them with what comes back to us.

While this woman lives her life of unhappiness, aggravation, pettiness, and continues to be attacked, everyone else in the neighborhood is going about their lives in peace. She is clearly reaping what she sows. Whether we know it or not, we are all doing the same. What we put out is what we are getting back, day in and day out.

In my life renovation process, I've begun to realize that so many things I blamed on "X, Y and Z" in the past were actually what I was reaping, after some dysfunctional sowing. As I've made changes and made progress in some of the different areas of my life in the last year or two, I've begun to reap so many good things, so many blessings, so many joys.

While I'm only human and have hard times, issues popping up here and there, I'm finding that even amidst and between all this, I have so much joy and happiness coming at me. I constantly marvel now and wonder how I got to be so lucky. My perspective has surely changed from the person I used to be, who felt life was so awful, I wanted to be dead before I hit 50. Taking care each and every day to be grateful for at least 5 things, is causing me to appreciate life, appreciate what's happening to me and revel in it. There are times I have found myself starting to take wonderful things for granted, but as I struggled each day to find my 5 items to put into my gratitude blog, my ability to appreciate, enjoy and savor the joys in my life increased. I wish all of you, my readers a bountiful harvest of life's sweet joys.

Sep 24, 2008

The Purpose of Gratitude

Tonight, as I was writing my 5 items for my daily gratitude log, I realized that one of my items would make a very good blog entry in this blog, which charts my renovated life. I copied and pasted the below entry for you below:

I'm grateful for the fact I do keep a grateful blog. It really does help me to search everyday for a way to be grateful during even things/times I don't like. I was noticing today how beautiful the mountains are and really appreciating it. I was remembering one particular tree that was so gorgeous, that I remembered seeing last week, and relishing the memory of it, as it was no longer looking the same. This year is the first year I've EVER appreciated it, or taken pleasure in it. The reason is my blog. Normally I would get upset when I'd see the leaves start to change, because I hated fall. I hated fall, because winter would be right behind it, or mixed in with it. I hated winter because of the dangerous driving. All that baggage never allowed me to really see it or appreciate it. I remember when I first saw the trees changing this fall, how I struggled inside to try and find some way to be positive about it and to put that gratitude into a in a grateful entry in my gratitude blog. Now, I realize how much I've grown to appreciate something I've always hated, just because I keep the blog, and know that I need to find something in what's happening to be grateful for. Amazing! I will never forget that flaming red huge tree, set off by the small green trees all around that I was stunned by last week. It's a beautiful memory and I'm glad I could appreciate it. I saw the same tree yesterday, and it's lost many leaves, it's no longer the eye catching flaming red. All around it the trees are no longer green. As I drove down the mountain today, I noticed how much I'm observing and relishing the changes in the landscape when I drive now. How awesome it is to be able to take pleasure in things I never would have before. I'm so blessed and so grateful for this change in my life.

Sep 22, 2008

My new favorite heroine!

OK guys, I just got through watching the first half of Dancing with the Stars! I can't believe Cloris Leachman, at 82 years old is competing! 82! She was so funny, putting her leg up on Bruno's desk, kneeling in front of Len, and sitting on Carrie's lap! I want to be as vital, energetic and willing to be me at 82 years old! I'm sure she could think about a lot of reasons for someone her age not to do this. Apparently she has a "can do" attitude and is willing to live life with no excuses! That's who I want to be when I grow up! CAN DO lady, living life with no excuses!

Sep 19, 2008

What's New?

Ok, nothing is really new! I seem to be afflicted by some kind of writer's block! I can't seem to think of things to write about. I started a post titled, "Writer's Block", and it was the most incredibly boring post I think I ever tried to write! Why I feel like I need to put a new entry on my blog, when I never kept a blog before starting this one last spring, I'll never know! To avoid boring anyone (myself included), I'll do a list of the things that are new in how I live my life, since my "renovation" began.
  • I choose to walk a few blocks for lunch, instead of driving, on Fridays when I have office day.
  • If I want to go out to eat, go to a movie or do something, I DO it. I don't even care what anyone else thinks if I'm doing social things alone! I don't sit home and watch TV because there was no one to do things with.
  • I wear clothes that fit, rather than that are very baggy! I don't feel a need to hide the figure, but rather enjoy showing off things, like that I actually HAVE a waist! :)
  • I will read a book, even if I haven't watched ANY of the shows I recorded that day. (Another way of saying I'm breaking the addiction!) Iactually delete shows I've not watched!
  • I an extrovert inside and out. I used to say I was an extrovert masquerading as an introvert. I restrained myself so much from just being who and what I wanted to be. The funny thing is I never really understood just how much I did that. I've surprised myself by my behavior sometimes and the fact that I'm willing to just be myself, unapologetically and fully.
  • I'm open to new people that I meet, rather than closed off with a wall up.
  • I recognize when I am bringing myself down by allowing a negative thought or two to take root. I set about immediately to fixing my thought process and changing it around. I realize it's true, "If you want to change your life, you MUST change your thinking".
  • I am HAPPY. NOW! In this moment. Not "when" I get thin, or "when" I meet my life's partner, or "when" I'm not in debt. I'm not wasting time waiting for life to be good or worth living.

Sep 14, 2008

Want a good laugh?

If you want a good laugh, click on the title above or here: http://krullfamily5.blogspot.com/2008/09/middle-wife.html

I'm telling you, this had me in stitches laughing so hard!!! I had to share this!

Sep 13, 2008

Changing Patterns

My efforts to continue to renovate my life continue onward. It's hard to NOT do the things that you usually do, without effort or without giving any thought to them. It's almost like you operate in an unconscious manner, without ever realizing that what you are doing. Sometime deep in the past, certain choices were made. Maybe they were made when tired, when down, or just because they were easy.

The problems begin when bad choices are made. Maybe they didn't seem bad in the moment, or maybe they are just choices that are only good in moderation. Repeated again and again, becoming part of our unconscious patterns of living life, they can become detrimental. We don't realize why our life is deteriorating, or why we're unhappy. We don't realize that we may be doing something to hurt ourselves.

When I began to work on renovating myself and my life some time ago, I really was doing superficial work in the beginning. I worked on changing how I ate and losing weight. Over time, as the emotional anesthesia that my food addictions had created lessened, I became more and more aware of changes I needed to make. No really huge steps, just small ones. Sometimes a small changes would occur, then as some more time passes and a new awareness dawns, a new change occurs.

Now, however, I find myself going deeper and deeper in making changes over the past few months. Believe it or not, the blogging has helped me, as I've explored ideas and written about them. I feel like a lot of changes have come just from that. My gratitude blog that I keep has also helped me to make changes in how I perceive my life, and helped me to be more positive. I'm at the point in my life now that I'm beginning to see some of my patterns and to understand that my "previously unconscious" behavior can and needs to change. To make changes, I have to make conscious decisions and act on them purposefully.

One such pattern was how I choose to use my free time, when I'm off work. Many of the patterns I've spent my life engaging in started from isolation, living alone, and most certainly from years before my cochlear implant, and before technology came along that allow me to be able to contact people anywhere anytime.

When I moved into my first apartment, living alone, 200 miles from home, I didn't know anyone. I was 18 years old. I couldn't use a phone, due to being profoundly deaf. This was back in 1976. There was no personal computer to send email, no instant messaging, no relay. There was me at 18, alone in an apartment, going to a technical school 3 hours a day, far away from home and anything I knew. Lots of time was left over when my homework was done. I couldn't call someone up and talk. I grew up on a farm in the country. I wouldn't have thought to go window shopping, or find ways to entertain myself. My only entertainment was reading and watching TV. Heck, there weren't even captions on the TV at that time, but such was my boredom, I'd spend hours doing it.

I can remember one particular afternoon watching out the window at an quite elderly woman walking slowly down the street. I remember thinking that I knew how isolated and alone she and other elderly people probably felt. I felt at the young age of 18 that I knew what kind of isolation the elderly probably felt. That's a sobering thought. No 18 year old should be living that kind of life. Many years of isolation continued to occur, even though I ended up having some years of roommates. There were more years alone. More years without the technology that makes the life I live today possible. What were my patterns? Sleeping until noon or later on weekends or during time off work. Sitting in front of the TV or reading. I read more before captions came along. After captions came along, I became very addicted to TV.

Thirty years down the road. How did I use my time when I was off work? Same patterns that developed at an age that I wasn't aware of different choices made back when I didn't have/perceive a lot of options, and in a strange city where I knew very few people. (I did have two sisters here, but they were busy with their lives, were far apart in age and we never really hung out.) So here I was, thirty years later, sleeping through much of the weekend. Eating a storm, addicted to TV, doing nothing else really. When I became a teacher, it got even worse. Over the course of the summer my schedule would evolve to where I slept all day when people were up and about, and was awake all night when no one was around.

I wasn't as isolated though. I knew people, I had a career, I had friends. I had lots! Technology entered my life. TTYs and relay entered my life about 20 years ago, but weren't too widely used. First I had a TTY, and could only talk to people who had one. At the time I bought my first TTY, my sister and my mother were the only people I could talk to, and they were long distance. One of my best friends who was also deaf, eventually got one, and that was nice. However, relay took another few years to come out, or for me to know about it. Even once it was there, it wasn't a habit to use a phone, so I often didn't.

Email pagers entered my life about 10 years ago, computers, and instant messaging entered my home around the same time. Also around that time, I got my first implant. I had/have a huge fear of the phone. I'm getting better and better at getting past that. It's funny that I can listen to tons of audio books, without even reading the book first, listen to the radio, and yet a phone scared/scares me. Eventually I got my second implant and life was even sweeter sound-wise. I'm expected to use the phone a bit in my current job, and my work let me pick out one that is compatible with my cochlear implant. Finally, I'm starting to talk to people on the phone and get past that fear.

Wholesale changes of technology and the possibilities with them would be going on in my life, but through unconscious living of patterns from the past, I'd still revert to patterns of old in the use of my free time by 1) sleeping and 2) watching TV. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that I'm not living life. No wonder I once wanted to be dead by 50. I wasn't living, I was existing.

I've done a lot to change my patterns, just by living with people. Moving in with my niece and her family helped me to not sleep through the summer. This past summer, I did more with my time than I have during any summer since I first became a teacher 15 years ago. I had a great summer.

As readers of my blog may know, I work two jobs, thus I work 7 days a week. I rarely get a day off. However, through a quirk of how the post office works, temporary employees (non-career employees, which I'm not since my career is teaching), get fired periodically every 3 to 6 months. We're fired for 5 days then "hired back" if they like us. We call them our "5 day break". So wonder of wonders, I've got a 5 day break!

I decided that as part of my changing of my life, I was NOT going to spend my time off engaging in the typical patterns of the last 30 some years. I did sleep in about an hour or more than I am used to, but that is ALL! I'm proud to report that I LIVED today, and had a great time. I started off taking my great niece, 3 year old Dalia to the fair. It was enjoyable to spend bonding time with her at the fair. Soon after I took her to the home, I went out with 4 of my deaf cochlear implanted friends. We planned our trip for next March, when we are all going to Anaheim to "Cochlear Celebration". We had a great time chatting up a storm as well. After dinner we went to the mall shopping, window shopping and just hanging out! We stayed until the mall closed. I came home started typing my blog.

I'm grateful that I am starting to be able to see patterns in my life, to realize more and more the things I need to change, in order to grow and continue to renovate my life. I'm so grateful to enjoy living now and be excited about life and all the possibilities ahead. Today is a sweet victory for me I realized my pattern, made sure to find and choose other alternatives to govern my day. A day that at one time I would have spent in bed or in my recliner, was instead spent mostly on my feet and active. I feel such joy to succeed in my efforts to break a self-defeating pattern!
Here's my great niece at the fair today posing as a "carrot head"! See who I was lucky to spend my time with today!

Sep 9, 2008

Too Cute for Words

Aren't these the cutest bookworms ever? I have the best roommates! ;)

Sep 7, 2008


OK, my niece, Cami tagged me by name last month to do this! I was extremely busy, with returning to the 7 day a week work week and many of my committees, and organizations resuming regular meetings. So I got a free pass for a while! Generally, I hate to do tags! However, reading on how parents do things for kids on her blog today, and her "reminder" to her sister on her sister's blog as well today about the "tag", got me thinking! Number 1, I never had kids to stretch me and get me to do things I don't want to do! Sometimes it's good to do things you don't want to do for other! Number 2, I'll let Cami (and my other nieces and any nephews that might want to join in ...though I've never seen them here) be my kids by extension and I'll volunteer to do things for my "kids" that I might not have done otherwise! Hehehe! It's time I reward her patience, and help her egg her sister on by replying to the the last month's tag. :) You're on Ang!

Long Overdue Tag Response
1. Where is your cell phone? Turned off in my purse! It's really a work phone, which is a good excuse not to use it! However, if the truth be known, I'm still scared of phones, so I tend to try and avoid using them. Data communication is more my comfort zone. I've been good and made some calls though in the last month!
2. Where is your significant other? Significant other? Wahhhhhh, I want one! I'm challenging anyone that knows and loves me to look at the men in your life and see if there's anyone you think would be a great match with me, then line me up!!!
3. Your hair? My hair, hanging on my head (and needing a dye job)! Nope, I didn't curl it or fix it up today, as I wanted to just head to work as soon as I could after leaving the comfort of my bed.
4. Your mother? Well, her body is residing in a grave right next to my father's in the Riverside -Thomas Cemetery near Blackfoot. Her soul? Heaven? Here, there, everywhere. I'm sure she checks in on her loved ones at times.
5. Your father? OK, I could copy and paste the answer in number 5 above, substituting where I said "father's" in the first line to "mother's", and changing the pronouns to masculine. However, I let you just read above comments and make the changes yourself as you read!
6. Your favorite thing? Spending time connecting with and doing things with the people I love and the friends in my life. Laughter ranks very high on my list next to being with family and friends. I guess the desire to be with people/doing things with them comes from too many years living alone and being in or feeling isolation.
7. Your dream last night? Did I have any? I know we all dream, but I never seem to remember them with RARE exceptions. One dream I remembered back in 1987 about being given a job in Denver and moving there came true! I was remembering it that morning as I got ready for work. All of a sudden I realized that this job in the company in Denver office would probably be mine if I asked for it. So I went to work and asked for it. Within an hour or so of asking, I had the job. The Denver General Manager was sooooooo excited I wanted the job, he couldn't "pick him self up off the ceiling". The CEO had me up in his office almost immediately after he got the call from the Denver General Manager about my inquiry, making plans with me. All I did was have a dream! I'm hoping for a dream that allows me to see my some possible next big steps....The Everyday Face of Jenny Craig? Motivational speaker for ???, a speaker for Cochlear Americas and how to get there. Who knows?
8. Your dream/goal? Uh....guess I kind of answered this in number 7 above!
9. The room you're in? My downstairs living room.
10. Your hobby? I need some! So far in my life, solitary ones have been about all on my list, like reading and watching TV, with the TV thing taking over way too much. I'm happy to report that has drastically decreased in the last couple months or so. To me the most important things in life are people, so it's hard to find a "thing" that interests me. All I really want is to be with people, hang out with people, connect. However, we are all busy and that can't happen much....so I need to branch out and find "things" that interests me. Anyone that knows my personality and thinks they know something that would "fit" let me know! :)
11. Your fear? I don't fear much. I spent years being afraid of social situations, because I might not be able to hear what people are saying to me, or I've had bad situations when I didn't understand what people were saying. With the cochlear implants, that fear is really gone, and with my self-renovation and increased confidence, I know I can handle anything that would have scared me socially before! I think my biggest fear is always finances, paying all the bills, and then health issues would fall next for either me or anyone I love/care about. I don't entertain thoughts along these lines though. I live in the now and enjoy the now. No sense worrying about what might one day happen (or not happen).
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Number 1: Happy! Down on the list is financially secure, in a career that utilizes my strengths with public speaking, connecting with people, and inspiring others. Ideally there'd be some travel involved in that career! I'd love to be married to the person I've searched for my whole life. However, if that doesn't happen, I know I'll still be happy and finding joy in life.
13. Where were you last night? It was one of those nights where I came home from work and didn't go anywhere. Doesn't happen as much lately, but it does happen.
14. What you're not? Moody. When I was in my 20's I realized I had some tendency to be a little moody. I worked on that consciously for a few years, as I believe no one else should be punished just because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed one day. I believe I was successful in that effort, as I've discovered some people in my life now who are surprised to find I've ever been moody.
15. One of your wish list items? A group of single friends to hang with, have fun with and meet other people via activities.
16. Where you grew up? Blackfoot, Idaho
17. The last thing you did? Downloaded a free application to my iPhone that allows me to read books on it. The original classic novel, "The Last of the Mohicans" over 1100 pages and Tarzan of the Apes, over 700 pages were already on it! Maybe I'll spend some time reading those...
18. What are you wearing? jeans and a shirt and a hoodie jacket that I got on Catalina Island a year ago (it's cold in the basement).
19. Your TV? It's on the news right now.
20. Your Pet? Haven't had one since my parents got rid of Chipper (my dog) when I was in high school without telling me. Apparently she was seen joining in with the neighborhood dogs chasing sheep (and killing them). So they had to take her to the pound. She had 3 legs and we got her when I was VERY young. So I grew up with her. I was devastated. Since that time though, I've developed allergies, so I don't keep pets.
21. Your computer? Sitting on my desk not being used. I'm typing this on my work laptop, from my couch!
22 Your mood? Pleasant.
23 Missing someone? I miss some of my friends that are so busy with family, or live far away, that I don't get to hang out with them much.
24 Your car? It's a 2004 Suzuki XL7, which is a 4WD SUV. I hate the mileage in this day of steep gas prices. I do love the color of it. It's a very beautiful shade of blue. I love the 4WD part of it when the roads are bad, since I travel in the mountains a lot for my job. I want my next car to be a hybrid 4WD.
25 Something you're not wearing? Makeup. I rarely wear that much anymore. I used to wear it all the time when I was younger. However, mascara tends to flake under my eye, early in the day, the liner smudges and the foundation flakes. Don't know if my skin has gotten drier as I aged or what. However, I found I look so much better without it, than with it looking smudged and flaky. The only time I put it on is for special occasions, which are currently once in a blue moon. I stick with moisturizer and that's about it for every day wear.
26 Favorite store? I've liked the price and some of the offerings in recent times at Shopko, and have been just as into Wal-Mart, Target and K-Mart at various times in the past. I've moved beyond pure thrift store shopping to getting some sales with "thrift store" prices at "Van Heusen's in the Outlet mall in Park City, Christopher and Banks at Fashion Place mall, and TJ Maxx near me. With my size always changing, I have to keep myself in clothes, so my biggest favorite is ALWAYS a bargain.
27 Your summer? Vastly different from any other I've ever had. I traveled a little, lived with a family of little ones, spending lots of time with them, and didn't isolate or sleep through the summer AT ALL. Yes, I have been guilty of that in the past. It was a great summer just because I LIVED, not HIBERNATED.
28 Love someone? My friends, family, children of my heart and etc. and etc.
29 Your favorite color? Green, the color of nature!
30 When is the last time you laughed? I think it was a couple of weeks ago when I had a girl's night out with several of my friends from when I taught in the high school.
31 Last time you cried? Geez, I don't remember! I guess aging brain cells are good for something!

Sep 3, 2008

Public Speakers 'R Us

Just had another fun day with public speaking today. I spoke for a "too short" hour to 100 2nd graders in Kamas! What fun. This despite being asked why I have a bad voice! I even asked how many people thought I had a bad voice, and almost every hand went up! What!!!???? Then I asked how many people understood everything I said? Every hand went up. Hahaha! I told them I figured I had a "great" voice for a deaf person, and if all of them understood everything I say, then I'm doing a superb job! The fact I still loving public speaking after such a tough audience shows I'm a dyed in the wool public speaker!

Looking for a public speaker at your next event? Look no further ladies and gentlemen! I'll wow even the toughest critic! Of course, like all my audiences, by the time I finished with them, they were all my best friends and eating out of my hands! Come one come all! I dare you to see if you can help me fill up my calendar with public speaking events!!! :) Yep, you're right, I did say I believe in dreams. Here's one waiting to be filled!