The List

imagesD1IV97G4Are you a list person?  Do you spend hours each week creating, modifying, marking off, and moving your lists?  If you are, then you are one of millions of List Makers roaming our streets, teaching our children, and organizing our homes.

I make lists for many things.  There’s the annual Christmas list of things to do, gifts to purchase, places to go.  The Christmas Card List gets copied and modified each year.  It also seems to grow shorter each year as I age and discover who really are friends, and who aren’t.  Many people love to go to parties this time of year and need a list of when the parties are, where they are, what to take, and what to wear.  There’s the Decorating the Christmas Tree List.  What to put on it, what to leave off it, what needs bought, what needs stored.

Every year on New Year’s Eve, I make a list of things I have accomplished during the year, things I want to improve the next year, and things that surprised me and warmed my heart.  It helps me know what I need to improve on and grow with, and what I need to eliminate from my life altogether.  Surprise visits from friends, phone calls, and “Thinking of You” cards in the mail go on this list, because they usually make me happy.  Both happy times and sad times go on the list.  It’s not only to spur my memory, but to give me inspiration for the new year ahead.  My list of what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year, what I want to do to the house, and what personal goals I want to set all go in my notebook.

Each week, I have a grocery list, to-do list, pet food list, and sometimes what I want to watch on TV list.  Sometimes, I think I need to have a list of my lists just to keep track of all I have listed.  It helps to keep them all in one place, like the $1 notebook I carry around with me.  Otherwise, my lists end up disappearing and don’t resurface again until I’m cleaning out my handbag or wallet, and sometimes that’s not for a long time in between.

Then, there’s the book list.  What books have I read, what were the best ones, what were the not so good ones, and what do I want to read in the future.  I keep telling myself I will one day have an up-to-date list of all the books I own, but so far that hasn’t happened.  It’s on my to-do list.

I have lists I’ve never even used yet, like the cleaning list I downloaded from the Internet.  The list of how to organize my closets and lists of cleaning products I need to have on hand.  The list of ingredients for homemade laundry detergent I want to try is waiting on me in a drawer.  These all need to go on a Someday I Wanna Do List.

Are you an accomplished List Maker, or an aspiring one?  What kind of lists do you make and do you organize them?

 

The Best of Ink Blot Jots – Week One

Just in case you may have missed one of these posts…

  • Emergency Makeup
    • Keep an emergency kit of makeup to go for one of “those” days when you’re running late.
  • The Power of a Card
    • How this simple act of kindness can make a difference to someone’s day.
  • What’s my Dream?
    • A personal dream of mine that has stood the test of time and getting older.
  • It’s Weenie Weather!
    • You’ve got to love autumn and a good old fashioned weenie roast!
  • Gratitude
    • One way to help you keep on track with an attitude of gratitude.

For more in-depth information on Gratitude and its benefits, check out Suzanne Beveridge’s Blog.

Don’t miss a single post on Ink Blot Jots….enter your e-mail address to the left and SUBSCRIBE!

It’s Weenie Weather!

 Say what you will about summer barbecues, picnics, and cookouts, but there’s no better time to roast weenies than right now in autumn!

The leaves are just beginning to change into their autumn best here in southeastern Ohio.  We’ve been enjoying temperatures in the low to mid 70’s with plenty of sunshine.  Evenings and nights are falling into the 50’s and 40’s.  There’s a crispness in the air that only autumn embraces correctly.  It’s the perfect time for roasting hot dogs over an open fire!

I have always loved a good old fashioned weenie roast!  Memories of childhood and my dad going to the woods to find the perfect roasting sticks.  He would sharpen the ends just enough so the wiener would glide on smoothly.  It had to be a special wood; not any stick would do, and I wish I had paid more attention to what he chose.  But they worked wonderfully!  Nothing fancy.  A couple bales of straw to sit on, or lawn chairs.  My brothers and I would hold our hot dogs over the open fire and watch carefully as they cooked to a darkened brown.  Unless we caught one on fire, then someone was going to be eating a burned hot dog, but no one cared.

Home canned ketchup and mustard were the only add ons to our dog and bun.  Sometimes, we didn’t even have a bun and used a slice of mom’s homemade bread to wrap around it.  No matter what kind of bread, I was sure they were the best hot dogs I had ever eaten.  Mostly, because family was gathered together and sometimes there would be a little laughter, especially if some poor hot dog fell off its stick and became a burnt offering in the ashes.

Drinks were usually Kool-Aid and apple cider.  I didn’t like the cider but I loved the idea of it gracing a weenie roast.  Dessert was S’mores.  Oh my gosh, what gooey wonderfulness of hot roasted marshmallows on melting chocolate between two graham crackers!  I had never tasted anything more decadent!

The smell of wood smoke is filling my neighborhood this evening, stirring up memories of weenies, flannel shirts and corduroys, and the sound of laughter around an open fire.  The smells of autumn; changing leaves and ripening field corn, final cuts of hay in the hay mow.  The sounds of night in the country,  field mice scurrying through corn husks, barn owls hooting, cattle settling in the field for the night, and the occasional bat swooping around the barn.  

It was simpler times when I was too young to worry about paying bills and keeping gas in a car.  There was one black rotary phone in the house, and one black and white TV that got three channels.  Our family had meals together and worked hard in between.  There was no time to get into trouble.  And it was good.

The picture above was taken at our church weenie roast last year.  It’s a celebration of autumn and pastor appreciation week where church family gathers together, laughter happens, and great food is shared.  I think it’s becoming a tradition, and that’s a wonderful thing.

What’s My Dream?

Sometimes, I have to sit down with myself and have a talk. It could be a short discussion about the donut I ate, or it may be a much lengthier discussion about my morals, values, and visions.  I seem to have forgotten them.

  When I was a teenager, I had so many dreams and aspirations.  I was concerned about the environment, pollution, conservation, saving the whales.  In fact, I was going to save the world one day!
Well, stuff happens, and what I ended up doing was getting married at a young age to someone I should not have, and working at a dead end job I didn’t like for most of my life.  A brief word of advice:  don’t let that happen to you.

I stopped dreaming.  I settled for less than.  I even forgot what it was I wanted out of life.  Blame could be put on any number of life circumstances that happened over the years, but the truth is I dropped the ball.  I gave up on my dreams.

How do I regain those dreams and visions I once had?  I won’t.  A lot has happened between the ages of 18 and 56.  The whales will have to have someone else help them.  My priorities have changed, and so have some of my dreams.

One dream has remained, even though I hid it in the closet for a few decades.  Writing.  Everything else has changed; my body is bigger, my mind is forgetful, my knees are bad, and my toe touching days are numbered.  But this I can do…write.

And so I shall.