Sunday, November 29, 2015

Old House Love

Adding another old house to my collection of dream houses.  I do wonder if I will ever be brave enough to own an old house.  We are not handy, nor do we have extra money to spend on a fixer.  I do love the idea of an old house, though.  Time will tell, right?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fall Favorites

Fall just oozes coziness from the cooler days to the smells of pumpkin pie.  This fall has been especially wonderful.  I thought I would share some of my favorite things about this fall, here.

My youngest son has developed a love of decaf coffee this fall.  We have decided to stop our school work at 10 o'clock and enjoy a cup while watching a Bob Ross video, another of his obsessions.  These little breaks are very special to me.  He is 14 and growing up so fast.  I am honored that he wants to spend this time together.

We have had warm enough weather to ride our bikes this fall, which is one of the best things I know.  We get to ride around our neighborhood for half an hour, enjoying the fresh air as we go. The wind can be brisk, but we are bundled up and cozy.

Another fall favorite has been curling up on the sofa of the evening with a plush blanket while watching classic TV shows like Emergency.  We are currently enjoying a made up game of Emergency Bingo, a game that my 16-year-old daughter invented after discovering a love for that show.

We have reawakened our love for baking.  Who does not enjoy the smell of pumpkin pie spice wafting through the air?  My daughter is an accomplished baker and we enjoy her efforts most of all in the fall when ice cream no longer seems as interesting.

It has been the fall of apples, so many apples. I set out to try as many new apples as possible this year.  I have been blessed to live near a really nice orchard.  I think we have tried more apple varieties than ever before.  So far my favorites have been the Jonagold and Pink Ladies.

Fall is a time of preparing for winter, as I see it.  Preparing our hearts for the cold to come.  This certainly has been a fall to remember!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Know Thyself

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's book, Better Than Before.  In her book, she categorizes people into four groups, Upholders, Obligers, Questioners, and Rebels.  Each group has their own motivation for getting things done, maintaining habits, making decisions, and being productive.  You can read more about the categories, here.  You can even take her short quiz to see where you line up.

I happen to be an Obliger, the most common type.  As an Obliger, I find external forces most motivating. This is why I have been successful at exercising consistently for the last couple of years.  I have linked my exercising to my family and by using apps like Myfitnesspal.  I love getting feedback and I need the accountability.

Being an Obliger has its downfalls. I am not motivated to keep promises to myself.  This frustrates me.  No matter how I try, I am always more motivated if someone else is counting on me to follow-through.  What I learned from Gretchen Rubin to help me past this is to work this to my advantage.  She doesn't advocate trying to change your nature.  She says you will get farther if you work with your tendency.  That is brilliant.

So, I need to set up some accountability measures.  One thing that has always worked before is to have a checklist.  I like to see the boxes checked off.  Also, having people come over to my house regularly gets me cleaning my house weeks in advance, like for Thanksgiving for instance.  I have already started doing some of the little nagging things that I do not normally do, but will do if I know someone is coming over soon.

Another area I have seen fruit from accountability is our homeschool.  Now that my kids have actual online teachers, they are getting a lot more work done and they are actually enjoying the process.  I love having this external force pushing us along.  I am no longer the only one prodding them.  We did pretty well on our own keeping on task, but it was a major effort for me to pull it off.  That energy can now be used for other things.

As an action point, I am going to start looking at my weak areas and see if I can set up some external accountability measures.    I am not sure that I need an actual accountability partner.  I need to do some thinking about what would work best.