A Don't List for 2010

From the Cozi Family Website:

A Don't List for 2010
by Martha Brockenbrough

Martha shares 15 things to NOT do in 2010
  1. Don’t forget to take time off.
  2. Don’t forget to try new things—new restaurants, new stores, new recipes.
  3. Don’t clean where no one looks.
  4. Don’t compare your house or your kids or your life with anyone else’s.
  5. Don’t hang on to things you don’t need, things that don’t work, or things that aren’t useful or beautiful.
  6. Don’t volunteer for anything with subcommittees.
  7. Don’t try to repair a bedroom ceiling with super glue.
  8. Don’t over-bake the chocolate chip cookies.
  9. Don’t stay up late just because you’re a grownup. Falling asleep at 8 p.m. can be awesome.
  10. Don’t read magazines just because you subscribed. Magazines aren’t homework.
  11. Don’t turn on the TV just to see what’s on. Read a book, have a conversation, or get some sleep instead.
  12. Don’t hang on to old jeans that are too tight, underwear with holes, or bras that pinch.
  13. Don’t offer to do something you don’t really want to do.
  14. Don’t answer the phone if you don’t want to talk to anyone.
  15. Don’t forget to nap if you need to.
Get your family organized and on the same page with Cozi, the free online family organizer.
-Martha Brockenbrough

Best Christmas EVER!!!

LOL! This is really true. This year has been so tough for me mentally, and this season in particular. Usually Christmas is my favorite holiday. As The Ghost of Christmas Present sings "Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas." This is how I feel. But, like I said, this year has been tough. Mentally, financially. You name it.


Let me tell you a little story. Christmas eve has come, and there are gifts under the tree (modest gifts, but gifts, nonetheless). We've eaten our traditional rib roast. We have company over and we are watching our traditional Christmas Eve movie: White Christmas.

Morgaine calls to tell me she's just over an hour away from home and to be looking for her. Life is good. Five minutes later...FIVE MINUTES...I get a phone call from an unknown phone number. I answer and it is Morgaine, crying. She has wrecked the car and is calling to tell me that she's sorry. I ask her if she's ok, and she mumbles "yes" and apologizes (again) for wrecking the car. I tell her I don't care about the car...I just want to make sure she is ok.

Mom and I get in the car...Pat and Steven stay home and see Frostie (our guest) off. Just outside of Mesquite...now in the state of AZ on our way to Utah, the Utah Highway Patrol calls my cell to tell me that Morgaine has had an accident and that they are transporting her to Dixie Regional Hospital in St. George, UT. About 30 minutes later we arrive there and they are just releasing Morgaine, who has a concussion, whiplash, and some bruises, BUT IS OK.

By this time it is officially Christmas in Utah, and by the time we get home, it is Christmas. What Morgaine remembers is this: she saw something in the road (an animal? we may never know and she says it gets foggy when she tries to focus on it) and swerves. She overcorrects and goes into the median, which is a big V. At this point the car starts rolling and ends up on its roof in oncoming traffic. Luckily the people coming towards her see her in time and stop. She manages to get out of the car by unhooking her seatbelt and crawling through the back. The people who have stopped get her out of the road and wait with her until UHP gets there. She used their phone to call me.

UHP decided no one was at fault, so there was no ticket issued. She had to stay up all night because of the concussion (why can't you sleep if you have a concussion?). Her eyes were all screwy until about 24 hours later, and of course she had a massive headache.

UHP, First Responders, and Emergency Room Doctors all told her that she is extremely lucky to be alive.

Which is my Christmas present. My daughter is alive and I am so incredibly grateful. And grateful is all I can feel. Part of me keeps thinking I should feel awful about this...just another straw on the camel's back. But all I feel is lucky and grateful that my daughter is here and safe and alive.

So our modest Christmas turned out awesome. Every time I tell someone how great my Christmas was, I get this look..."oh, how awful!" But, they just don't get it. I almost lost her, but I didn't.

Thank you for that, Powers that Be...

Happy [Insert Holiday Here]

Happy Holidays! We are getting ready to celebrate a non-denominational Christmas here. That is to say, we celebrate Christmas, but not really in a Christian type way. We do believe in a higher power, but are not so completely convinced of all the Christian hype. I guess you could say we are kind of agnostic, but maybe not. :)

We are desperately trying to get our finances in order here. We have stopped using the bank, which at times is extremely inconvenient, but since our income has been so reduced, it is really a very visual way of keeping track of how much money we actually have. I have hardly been working (kind of by choice, though) through the holidays--I am still writing for the paper, but I've backed off of Demand Studios a bit. I will probably write a couple of articles this week to cover my son's allowance, but I am building myself up to a new start as of Jan 1, 2010. This is also with our food consumption.

I have been struggling with depression for the last 4 years (almost exactly--since Dec 2005), and I am trying to find a way to "snap out of it." I am tired of feeling like this, and I am hoping I can muster up enough strength to change what I can change. As far as diet goes, that means mostly vegetarian--which isn't really a problem, because I like this lifestyle--it has just been easier to fall back on easy meat meals, because they mostly involve throwing something in the oven (which works when I can barely function). My goal is to get a bunch of meals in the freezer so that I have the same option of throwing something in the oven.

Money. Well, we are in the process of filing bankruptcy. This isn't someplace I wanted to go, but it seems to be the only way I can get my mortgage company to pay attention. So, we are doing a Chapter (whichever one allows you to pay back--not just clear the slate--13, I think). The point is that we are paying our bills--we are just trying to get a bit of relief. Hubby has been working, although only 3 days a week. Actually, he has mostly been working 5 days a week except for the holiday weeks since September. But only 3 days a week for the 9 months prior. And perhaps it was folly for me to quit my job at the bakery, but honestly--I truly believe that staying would have killed me. My blood pressure, which has ALWAYS been on the low side jumped to the way high side, and I am sure it was the stress of my job.

Anyway, for me this is normally a great time of year, and while my emotions have been fluctuating by extremes, for the most part it hasn't been too bad. And I am hoping that everyone else's holidays aren't any worse than mine. So Happy Holidays to you. May your days be Merry and Bright.

I probably won't "see" you until next year, but let's get together then. And start fresh.

Oh, That Darned Economy

You know, in the 90's, when we were in a recession--I don't really remember feeling stressed or strapped. This time around, though, things seem so much worse. Two of our family friends have filed bankruptcy and are (or have already) giving up their homes and moving out of town. One has already moved--where there was a job available. The other couple is moving when school gets out--closer to their families.

We are still struggling along with our mortgage company, who seems to lose our paperwork on a regular basis, so we have to keep sending in new paperwork. We have been trying to workout our payments with them, since my dear husband worked reduced hours for 9 months out of the last 12. He is working full time right now (thank goodness!), but we got behind on all of our payments in that time.

We had our Christmas Cookie Swap this past weekend. It was kind of bittersweet because it seems like time together with these friends is coming to an end. And of course, we missed the ones that have already moved away.

I don't know what is going to happen. I am plugging along with my writing, which helps, but is (so far) not consistent in its money-making qualities. The Christmas season is upon us, and I am feeling--not sad, exactly--more like melancholy. We are lucky in that several years ago we sat down as a family and "reworked" Christmas. One gift per person (from each person). Not loads of gifts. Sometimes that has been hard--but this year I am thankful for it. Money-wise it has taken some stress off of the lack of dollars in our home this year.

I guess I'm just rambling. I am already missing my friends, and they haven't even gone yet.

Carol of the Bells

or What I Did Today.

The Lost City Museum had its annual holiday open house today. I was assigned to cover it for the newspaper. It really is one of the coolest places around. It really is one of the reasons that I love living in a small town.

But, anyway, the high school choir performed one of my favorite songs, and I happened to have my handy, dandy, camera--thingee which also videotapes handy, so I taped it.


Merry Christmas. Or Happy Holidays. Whichever you prefer. Have a lovely Winter Solstice...