Fiendish Friday: Positive Peer Pressure

I talk now and then about my son. He has special needs and we’ve had some learning challenges. His eyes were misaligned and he could not see correctly to learn to read until we figured this out and got him medical assistance to realign his eyes. Which insurance didn’t cover because it was a learning disability? Seriously? Whatever, that’s a post of other horse.

All of this is to explain it has taken some effort to get my son to embrace reading as a fun past time. I started with books about star wars and avengers and scooby doo. But then he quickly moved past those type of readers. Now what?

He would not try anything new.

Then I hit upon a scheme of epic proportion. I would get audio books from a new author, play them in the car without telling him it was a new author and then when he loved it, I would whip out other books from the same author and say look, more x, y, z.

But that is a lot of work. Like seriously. I do it, because he’s my kid. But holy cow batman, that’s a lot of planning and effort.

So the other day we’re at the library for a chess meet up and afterwards the kids are all looking through the youth section books. A very pretty little blond girl hands my son a book he has never read, by an author he has never read, and says “You’ll like this.”

He nods, says ok, and pulls every book in the series off the shelf.

ROFL. Guess all it takes is a pretty blond.


Kindness Challenge Day 31

Day 31: Plan what acts of kindness you will do in 2018.

I think I’ll keep on being me. I do pretty well. Except for the forgiveness thing. I’ll keep working on that. LOL

In the mean time, let’s talk about the blog. Yup. End of the year. Time to review, take stock, see what’s working and what isn’t. I firmed up into three standard posting days this year with occasional offshoots and surprise posts. Fiendish Friday, Sunday Sup, and Book Review Monday are all doing evenly well. Except….

The pure stats:

Views: 4435 (Last Year 7794)
Visitors:  1623 (Last Year 1475)
Likes: 1386 (Last Year 1502)
Comments: 452 (Last Year 761)

Most Viewed Posts:

Allison Maruska’s new book review and interview.

A funny little ditty about what it’s really like to home school

A ridiculously boring post on rebranding my blog

An amusing travelog of our time in Amsterdam

A strange little question about the nature of the Great Oz

Blog posts I thought were funny but got fat ignored:

Um. I got nothing. I spent about 90 minutes going through my lowest views posts looking for some that deserved more attention and I got none from this year. LOL. Maybe my posts weren’t as funny as previous years. Maybe I was more concerned about offending people than necessary. Which leads me to …

I think when all is said my blog has plateaued. I need to figure out how to jump start it’s growth again. I don’t have the foggiest clue how to make that happen.

If you’ve got thoughts, I’d love to hear them. Til next year my friends.


Kindness Challenge Day 29

Day 29: Do a good deed to bring a smile to someone’s day


Today’s challenge is pretty vague so I’ll use this opportunity to tell a story. Winter 2015/2016 I heard both presidents at the coop were resigning. One in March and one would stay on until the end of the year. I watched for several months but no one stepped up. I told the staying until the end of the year president that I would take on the job if no one more qualified stepped forward. Realistically, I didn’t want to. But on the other hand, no board, means the coop doesn’t function and my special needs child, the one who does not adapt to change, he loves it there. He loves it so much he’ll try new classes there because he’s comfortable in the environment. I can’t lose that. She agreed I hadn’t really been at coop long enough (less than a year at that point).

Flash forward a few months. Want to guess what happened?

In April, 2016 A. and I are elected and essentially take over the board. Along the way we divide up the work as much as possible and have a dozen member board over that first summer to keep things as easy for everyone as possible.

Want to guess what happened?

Yeah by Fall the board had dwindled to almost nothing. And I was doing six jobs easily. A. was doing another 6. But we ran that way all last year. Hoping we were improving the culture and community at the coop enough that this year we could get more people to get involved and do what they said they would do.

I unhappily but fully devoted all the time the coop needed to it’s running. When I do something, I give it everything. There is little point in not doing a job right to me. But that also means when you break my “give a f**k” there is no turning back. I am done. I reached that point this fall and gave notice I would be resigning when the president came back from maternity leave.

I started looking for people to take over portions of my job, specifically. Like “you spend all your time here on your laptop, can you take over the website?” That sort of volun-telling. And I eventually got people on board. In fact, almost all of my jobs have been off loaded to other people, just in time for my replacement to come in.

Why the hell am I nicer to others than to myself? ROFL.

Anyway I told the new vp all the things I offloaded. It made her day. Possibly her week. LOL

Kindness Challenge Day 28

Day 28: Forgive someone and look for their good points


Ever heard the phrase holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die?

I try really hard to remember that, so I don’t hold onto that sort of cruddle. It can be struggle, of course. I find venting it really well, usually let’s me let it go. By which I mean complaining in detail to a girlfriend over wine.

But just because I forgive someone doesn’t mean they should get another chance to mess with my life. Protecting oneself is not the same as not forgiving someone.

I would argue that the greatest challenge to forgiveness is when the repercussions are still making waves in your life from something someone else did. I’ll give an example.

A parent at the coop set up relationships with vendors a few years back. And when the board tried to change or cancel those relationships, this parent fought us, and because this parent had set up the relationship, the vendors ignored the board. We refused to sign contracts with vendors and they came anyway on this parent’s say so, without a contract. We had to get legal involved. And then we had to pay for services we hadn’t agreed to, that we hadn’t signed contracts for, to the amount that legal arbitrated with the vendors. Money the coop didn’t have. Money that gave the coop a fat deficit in the budget. Now the coop is being audited.

It’s very hard to forgive this person when their actions are still jacking with my life on a daily basis. I’m working on it. I am. But mostly I think it’s a good thing this parent no longer attends the coop because I think my head might explode if I had to look at them twice a week. LOL

If you don’t know what I am talking about with the whole Kindness Challenge, you can find the calendar here. All normal posts will resume in January. Enjoy the time off. Enjoy the kindness. Practice a little yourself.

Kindness Challenge Day 27

Day 27: Get out into nature and feed the birds today


Bwahahahahahha. I always wonder things like this calendar are written. We’ve got 6 inches of snow. There ain’t no birds here. LOL.

It started snowing Christmas Eve and by Christmas morning it was sledding deep. Not to mention a ton of people crashed into ditches or each other or simply abandoned their cars in the middle of the road on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day we were definitely snowed in. I mean we could have gotten out for an emergency, I think, but….

It was Christmas and the kiddo’s best friends live next door. They spent the whole afternoon outside.

Yesterday was tricky. All those cars still abandoned. We stayed home and played more.

Still got snow today. Neighbor kids are coming over in 15 minutes to play in the snow. LOL

Tomorrow I think we are going to a nature event day at the river watershed. Maybe I’ll find birds there to feed. LOL


If you don’t know what I am talking about with the whole Kindness Challenge, you can find the calendar here. All normal posts will resume in January. Enjoy the time off. Enjoy the kindness. Practice a little yourself.

Kindness Challenge Day 25/26

Day 25: Be good to yourself.

I took the day off.


Day 26: turn off electronics and really listen to people.

This is one is a little offensive because it assumes I don’t. When I am with my people, I am there, with them. I suspect I do a reasonably good job of this because the number of people who will admit they tell me things they could never tell anyone else is quite high.

But since the calendar demands it, I’m going to turn my computer off now and go walk the dog in the snow. LOL

If you don’t know what I am talking about with the whole Kindness Challenge, you can find the calendar here. All normal posts will resume in January. Enjoy the time off. Enjoy the kindness. Practice a little yourself.

Kindness Challenge Day 24

Day 24: Give Money to a Good Cause for every present you wrap….

um, all my presents are wrapped. Dude, I’m a planner. A mad planner. Been done for eons.

But I gave plenty of money this month.

Maple Valley Food Bank

Operation Gratitude

Foster Kids

World Wildlife Foundation (kiddo’s pick)


An Elves Program (I won’t say which one because it would tell you where to find me and my child, just in case one of you is mentally unbalanced)

And an Equine Therapy Program for Special Needs Kids.

Look, the truth is, I grew up without money. I mean really without money. In fact, some would call it poor. Not anyone in my family, we were lower middle class, really. cough-cough.

I married well. I have a very easy life. I am fully aware of that. I haven’t forgotten how much it sucks not to have though. So I give, cause I can.

If you don’t know what I am talking about with the whole Kindness Challenge, you can find the calendar here. All normal posts will resume in January. Enjoy the time off. Enjoy the kindness. Practice a little yourself.