If Everything Is Coming Your Way, Then You Are In The Wrong Lane!


It’s that time, once again, which we all sit down with pen and paper to set forth unrealistic goals for the coming year. With the best of intentions, we proclaim that we will become the person that we have very little chance at actually becoming. We share our goals within our circle, so that when we fail, others can celebrate in our misery. Perhaps we do all of this so that we are guilt-free for the debauchery we cause our bodies and souls on this very night? If we plan to diet, we embrace gluttony. If we plan to eat healthy and exercise, we become one with the toxins that enter our system in one evening. If budgets are on our horizon, we spend money like its 1999. Maybe you plan to quit smoking, so tonight you will go through a carton. We won’t even venture into the abyss, if your goal is to drink less.

Regardless of which unrealistic promise that you are making to yourself this evening, let’s talk about reality. Life isn’t meant to be easy. If in 2017, you find that everything is going your way, you are very sure to be in the wrong lane. The other shoe will drop. Your New Year’s Resolution should be aligned with the stars, tides, Black Magic and Murphy’s Law. Cause it ain’t gonna be easy. Don’t set yourself up with concrete ‘rules’ for 2017. Celebrate tonight, without guilt. You deserve it for surviving 2016.

Instead of making promises, pick one word and adhere to it for all 12 months. What word? That is up to you, but make sure that Regardless follows it. Make your WORD + Regardless, be your new mantra. Your WORD will serve your personal, family, work, friends, spiritual needs, financial needs and health. Your WORD needs to be all-encompassing. There are several online areas to pursue your WORD.

For example, instead of diet, choose MODERATION and do it regardless if there are 15 Cookie Exchange Parties in January or six weddings in June. Eat healthy before you go and limit yourself to the sweets/alcohol. Instead of exercise, choose CONSISTENCY. Be consistent in your active life – join an adult league, play more WipeOut on the Kinect/Wii, play a game with your kids or do some crunches before bed, if nothing else. Instead of saying that you will volunteer more, choose SERVE. Make it a point to something for someone else every week or month or quarter. If you are seeking less stress in 2017, choose SIMPLICITY. Practice saying no, at least once a month. Want to spend more time with those you love? Choose BALANCE. See where I’m going with this?

I started choosing WORDS two years ago, and it is total life-changing. Whatever WORD you choose, it should serve in every single area of your life. In 2015, I chose Consistency. In 2016, I chose Balance. In 2017, I choose PROGRESS.

This blog is about survival and I would be remiss if I didn’t share this particular means! What’s your WORD for 2017?


I Am As Nervous As A Long Tail Cat In A Room Full Of Rocking Chairs.

So a few months ago my Facebook news feed was overrun with pictures and celebrations of little angels receiving numerous school awards. This week, it’s overrun with first day of school pictures. Facebook has led us to a point that we broadcast every praise bestowed upon us or our little petite ya-yas. We are a homeschooling family and  I just want my homeschooled kids to get their due. Since by May, I am ready to eat my young and could care less about celebrating, I’ve decided to start the year off with a clean slate and award Expectations. This is apropos since we started our school three weeks ago. The very first Monday was a teacher workday…..the first Thursday was a field trip……Friday was a half day….. Yet, another reason to do this now. So bear with me as I celebrate the ‘potential’ of my kiddos. We will stick to public school awards….Presidential, Achievement, Attendance and Overall. Ready?

As far as Presidential Expectation, I have decided that my 5th grader be awarded the Clinton Award. Regardless of evidence, he is always innocent and will only concede an ounce of guilt. My 3rd grader deserves what I shall deem the Watergate Award. He won’t know what happened to his work…won’t remember any conversations that took place during this school year, nor will he admit his own name.

As far as Achievement Expectation, I would like to celebrate my oldest with everything I have got! He is conscientious….persistent and ready to fill out whatever box I throw at him. He will absolutely achieve whatever goals that he sets for himself. Now…about the goals that I set for him:

  1. Putting laundry actually inside the hamper.
  2. Putting his dirty dishes actually in the sink.
  3. Finishing his homework on time.

In light of these goals, I give him…..a 5 out of 10.

For these same goals, plus basic everyday work, I hereby award my youngest with the infamous “Get Out Of Bed” each morning award!

English Expectations: they shall speak the language. They shall understand the language when its suits them. On certain days, they may even correctly define a noun and verb. I hereby award both boys this distinction.

Attendance Expectation. Let us just go ahead and call this award what it is….the Pulse Expectation. In public school, if they show up, they get a mark. In homeschool, we have much more room to move. I don’t mind counting field trips but I refuse to count a day that every participant is comatose. So for our school, both boys shall win the Pulse Expectation. And to add my expectation…thats 3 out of 5 days of school work that they ACTUALLY complete to the best of their ability.

Overall……let’s stop with the rear.

Speaking of rear, allow me to offer their rewards for the entire school year. My 3rd grader shall receive, with all the dignity and pride that comes along with, the Rear of the Year Expectation. If you need a description of this achievement, please look in Wikipedia for a Person that could give two shits about school.
Now my 5th grader has his own distinction. He shall be proud to receive the Mother Theresa Award, because he cares. He cares about his school; he cares about my sanity; and he cares about what others think.

Soooooo…..I’m excited that my boys will meet my wildest expectations for this school year. Wildest being…..they will participate, learn something and not hate me for the rest of their lives!

What are your expectations this year for your young ones?

Don’t Start An Argument With An Empty House.


I had so much fun writing my eBook on Mountain Notes to Grant-writing, that I have decided to make it a series. Mountain Notes is an off-shoot of Cliff Notes, designed to give you a brief synopsis of the facts. Of course, I started it with something that I know how to do and so the next book will also be in my realm of experience. The next volume in the series will be Mountain Notes to Parenting and catered to us mountain folk. Now, I don’t claim to know it all, but I have learned a thing or two.

This blog post will preview the first chapter of this book and focus on Lowering Your Standards.  After a decade in the field of parenting, I can truthfully say that this is the most important step in good parenting….or at least in surviving parenting. I have broken down this chapter into five key sections that will help you in the key areas to lower your standards.

First, we will address schedules and the need to throw them out the nearest window. Preferably into the eye of a tornado that will take them far, far away from your lifestyle.  From inception on, we are told to stick to rigid schedules in feeding, sleeping, meals and other nonsense areas. My advice: figure out what your kid is going to do and acclimate the best as you can. If your kid wants to sleep all day, then nap when you can and plan some productive things to get done in the wee hours of the night. If your kid is crying for a meal, give it to him. Why not? Is the schedule so important that you would give up sleep, cleaning or whatever and wait to feed him at a more appropriate hour? Who wins in this scenario? Our kids will dominate our every area of our lives for the next twenty years. Any resistant is futile. We might as well start training ourselves to be at their beckon call. Again, this may be the easier path to travel, but let’s be honest. We are essentially too tired to care.

As for bedtime and all of the nonsense spread by our elders, it’s just another part of the day that we can adhere to the schedules of our real masters. We can spend endless hours hearing the screams of our children, only to fall asleep with one eye open. What if they choke? What if they get hungry? What if they get kidnapped? What if they get their adorable little heads caught between the cribbing? What if they have a bad dream? The only thing certain in this scenario is that you are not sleeping. Sleeping is good. Sleeping is necessary. Sleeping helps us be better parents. If co-sleeping works for you, then do it. The end. Seriously, this one needs to be above argument. Eventually, I PROMISE that your child will want his or her privacy and will not be spooning with you when they are teenagers.

Rules. Obviously, there are rules that should be enforced if the child’s safety is at risk. Other than that, who gives a big shit? You may have sworn to limit TV time before you were a parent, but who has time to entertain their child 24/7? TV becomes a godsend for those of us that have other shit that needs to be done – like sleep, cooking, cleaning, decompressing,etc.

Humor. I realize that kids do the darndest things and we should be ready and willing to correct, as necessary. But if it’s funny – laugh. Who cares?! You can address the issue before or after your hysterics. I can promise you that if God didn’t have a sense of humor, he wouldn’t have allowed procreation. Just as I can promise you that if Pixar and Disney didn’t have a sense of humor, they wouldn’t name their leading men, Woody. When your son is running around in his new big boy underwear and screaming look my woody…laugh. That shit is funny.

Punishment. I know that some of us may have sworn on a stack of Bibles that we wouldn’t whip our child….but if that is the only thing that gets his attention. Do it, and do it often. My sticklers are unsafe issues and manners. If my boys violate either of these, they get deft punishment, without quarter. However, all other offenses may or may not elicit exact punishment. In a way, this keeps them on their toes. They never know when I’m going to blow!

So it all comes down to these ridiculous standards that we shared with others and ourselves about how we were going to parent and how we were going to ensure that our kids turned out perfectly. Myth!! Not happening, no matter what methods you employ. Why not have a little fun in the raising of our children? My personal goal is that if my children end up in front of therapists that their therapist have to bite their tongues to keep from laughing. Yes, we may warp our kids. However, we have to option of doing it with style.