Habits, Good or Bad

star

Does anybody else have their next day planed before going to sleep? How common is it being a regimented planner, or do most people get up and let their day simply unfold?

I can’t imagine doing that, not even on vacation.

Since grade school, I’ve made daily, weekly, monthly, even seasonal lists. My theory for how this started relates to my horse competing and training days.

Oh so long ago, at age seven, I got my first pony. Star, and I are pictured above.

My parents didn’t have a horse background. Check out my Bio Page for how this came about. Our family lived in the city, so the little gelding was boarded at a local stable.

I fell in love with everything horse, and by age 10, I entered my first Barrel Racing event.

Passion kept escalating, and it became apparent I wasn’t going through a phrase like people suspected. In a few years I out-grew the Shetland, and a slightly bigger gelding, an ex-chariot racing pony replaced him.

There never was money for riding lessons, so I read all I could, listened, observed, and studied others who rode at the stable. Occasionally, I would ask an experienced mentor at the barn questions. With trial and error, I began the self-taught venture of re-training my racy mount and honing my horsemanship skills.

Learning this way came with great benefits, I gained a feel, or understanding of horses. Often, I could sense changes in their behavior before they became issues.

Together, the feisty Welsh-Thoughbred and I became accomplished at showing in Western Pleasure, Equitation and Trail classes.

As a teen I worked part time and saved for a young, unbroke, registered Quarter Horse. My parents surprised me when they paid the remainder owing and had him delivered on my fourteenth birthday.

For me, this is where planning and setting goals really began. Still, without outside help the gelding and I worked hard. Together we learned, and became a very competitive and successful duo in Western and English flat classes, Jumping, Driving and even gymkhana events.

Many other horses and breeds followed in my almost 40 years of showing and training.

I believe daily goal lists began because of the need to plan and schedule conditioning and fine tuning between shows. It was vital to have horses peak at the right times while giving them their deserved down time too.

I may no longer strive to perfect a horse’s training but the habit of making, to do lists, carried into all aspects of life.

I thought this behavior might ease when we retired at the lake but it hasn’t. What has changed are items on my, to do list. They’re simpler, mostly hobbies, crafts and chores. I’m not as structured, getting distracted from a chore happens often and is no big concern. Some things remain on a list for long periods before getting checked off.

But a day without getting even the smallest thing accomplished feels like a wasted day for me.

Do you plan your day or week in advance?

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Hiding In The Hotel Bathroom

hotel-coffee

Insight into travelling with someone whose sleeping habits differ from your own.

I rolled over, reached for the cell phone on the bedside table, and silently groaned. Of all mornings to be wide awake at 5:30am. If at home it would have been fine, that’s a great time to read or write, but getting up early today meant sitting in the dark and being quiet so not to disturb Mister.

I Tossed and turned, my mind raced with things to do, I did the grocery list, the weeks meal planning, and outlined two blog posts. Too bad I didn’t have a pen and paper to jot stuff down so I wouldn’t forget.

My iPad would have worked, but it was plugged in across the pitch black room and my glasses were somewhere but I wasn’t sure where.

Eventually, I dozed off and woke again at 7:30am.

Once my eyes adjusted and I recalled the rooms layout, I snuck out of bed and stumbled about in search of my clothes and glasses. You have to love those black out curtains.

Usually when staying in Hotels I have the coffee ready to just turn on in the morning, last night I thought about it but didn’t do it.

You see, coffee first thing is a necessity for me.

Next using a sliver of bathroom light I quietly moved the little in room coffee pot and makings into the bathroom. With the door closed I opened all the crinkly packages everything comes in and brewed a coffee.

Back out in the dark bedroom I sat in the armchair with my iPad ready to write this post. Not five minutes later, Mister woke, turned lights on and opened the blinds, my stealth was wasted.

Even though it was just one night stay in the city, mainly for a doctor appointment, we got some visiting in and the change of scenery was nice.

I do love to travel, how about you?

Sorry this Monday post is so late, I should be back on track next week.

When It’s More Than A Hat

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For people living with Alopecia (complete hair loss) or the effects of Cancer treatment a hat provides warmth, comfort and can even help with confidence when out in public.

Fit can be complicated. It shouldn’t blow off in the wind but it shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight either, and the wool needs to be soft so it doesn’t itch and irritate bare scalps.

Many women like their earlobes to remain uncovered so they can wear earrings, and the brim can be annoying if it rides low and rubs off penciled on eyebrows.

Proof that persistence pays off.

After my “Proclaiming Defeat” post, the above yarn and pattern sat on the arm of the couch, taunting me.

Days later, I picked it back up and my seventh attempt was the charm. By changing hook size and altering the number of stiches and rows here and there it’s no longer a place mat but a wearable beanie, a style our daughter prefers.

She developed Alopecia a couple years ago. It came on fast and was traumatic to go through, but her courage and how she handles the situation makes us proud. She’s still the same beautiful person without hair as she was with hair.

At first she hid the condition from friends and co-workers by wearing wigs, but after mere months she came to terms with her new look, as much as a young woman can. Since then, she mostly wears caps, beanies or goes with nothing depending on weather.

She enjoys having a variety of colors, weights, and styles of head coverings, and I’ve been having fun making her favorites, wool beanies. This particular pattern was an exception, but now that it’s done I’m pleased with the result.

Have you heard of Alopecia?

If you enjoy crocheting or knitting and don’t know what to make consider a hat to donate. Many medical centres accept and appreciate these as they offer them free to people in need. 

Questions & My Answers

quiz

I was tagged by a fellow blogger to partake in this quiz. I hope my answers shed a hint of light as to what makes me tick. Check out Living Lighter in Atlanta for her answers.

What was your highlights of 2016?

This question seemed easy as three things shot to mind. The accomplishment and pride I felt holding a print copy of my novel, “Signed Love” published in February. Sharing a summer trip to the beloved Oregon coast with my brother and his wife, and of course, Mister’s results showing that his radiation treatment is still keeping the cancer beast at bay. But, 2016, had many highlights. The Great-Granddaughter’s birth. Watching our daughter after surgery a couple years ago finally able to ride horses again. Seeing how much the son enjoys his new Doberman puppy which he has wanted for years. Constructing our new shed which might sound boring, but I love building, these are just a few others. Don’t get me wrong, the year had its share of worries and woes, but with every year I age it seems easier to let the good push aside the bad.

Name one thing you are likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time?

Is this a trick question? (Smiley Face) The years pass and blur together more each calendar change so truthfully I have a hard time remembering what happened what year. (Smiley Face again) This is why I journal, make notes and take pictures. I will be interested in the answer to this question myself.

Sum up 2016 in one word.

Short! Time flew.

Name one pearl of wisdom from 2016 that you will carry into 2017.

I can only control my own actions and reactions, not what others think or do.

Do you have any new year resolutions?

For details check out my new-year post My Messengers. I don’t make resolutions for things I want to change. I set broad lifestyle standards to maintain like, be kind and appreciative.

How did you ring in the new year?

Work schedules, driving conditions and other commitments meant we couldn’t be with family, but the cold snowy night didn’t stop our good friends T & E from walking over for an evening of card playing and laughs. At midnight, we were in the middle of a hand, so when completed we paused for the traditional hugs and kisses before continuing playing well into the new year.

What are your goals for 2017?

Stress less and enjoy more. Travel and visit as much as possible. I have so many hobbies and planned projects so I also hope to be productive.

Anyone is welcome to join in, and share your answers or thoughts to the above questions.

I tagged a few bloggers that I enjoy following and look forward to their answers if they wish to take part. Check out their blogs.

threesaherd

ididnthavemyglasseson

backfortyfliers

brokenbarnfarm

Proclaiming Defeat

beanie

This little project has gotten the best of me. I hate to admit defeat but this crochet beanie pattern has me frustrated. I have tried five times and it will not dome once I stop increasing stitches. It insists on being a place mat. It stays flat, and just gets bigger. 

Lately, I’ve made three different hats for the girls with no issues, until this one.

I picked this pattern because it was different from the basic double crochet with its swirl, but gee whiz, 3 days and it’s all ripped out again with nothing to show for my time. I crochet for a stress reliever so this isn’t working well.

If anyone knows of a tried and true beanie pattern  for #5 wool, I’d appreciate it.

I know deep down, I will try this again because I hate giving up 🙂