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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Creative ways to generate income

In response to this post I am joining the programs recommended and hoping to get good results. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I have been posting at gather.com and really enjoying the more mature atmosphere over there. Perhaps it's because I've been getting involved in politics, but I don't think so - I've met people who could be stupid and immature about politics, too. I think it's just that a high caliber of individual is writing over there.

I've also learned that it's truly NOT MY FAULT I could not find a decent job. The only jobs there really are right now are hard physical labor, "teenybopper" jobs designed for kids to work a few hours/day after school for low wages, and other perpetually part-time and low-paying jobs.

The market is saturated with foreign workers, illegal and otherwise. In South Florida although we are part of the U.S.A. at least 50-75% of the employers either prefer or insist that you are bilingual, better yet, trilingual. The myth that foreign workers only take jobs that Americans don't want is nonsense.

Yes, they take a FEW jobs we wouldn't want, such as migrant farm work. But they also increase the numbers of workers available to employers so that they can hire more people, keep them all part-time and avoid having to provide their workers with any benefits. I'M NOT EVEN LOOKING FOR BENEFITS. I have those through my husband's job, as if they were worth the paper they were written on.

The point is, we must get ever more creative and think outside the box if we do not want to end up like my friend: that is, looking for a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) instead of moving into independence.

Barter, do things that others won't or don't think about or have time for. But don't give up. If you look in my sidebar, the graphic ads you see are largely for programs that will put money in your pocket if used wisely. Give it some thought. There are dozens of ways you can do this.

Write articles, and set your blog so that it only shows one article per day. Put Google's Adsense on the page so that if you're writing about healthcare, then the ads will be about healthcare. If you write about cars, the ads will follow suit.

Give it a try, and let me know how you do! If you need help with formatting and html issues, drop me a line and I'll be happy to assist you.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Candidates@Google: Ron Paul

Long video but illustrates how well-spoken and rational this candidate is and explains some of what he means when he states his positions on the issues.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Why I support Ron Paul

Hope for America: Ron Paul 2008

Click here to visit Ron Paul's "issues" page where he makes it abundantly clear what needs to be done and why.


No rigamorale. No beating-around-the-bush. Just straight, honest answers that prove Ron Paul is worthy of my support. Americans: If you value freedom, if you do not wish to be enslaved in a dictatorship, it is vital that you support him, too.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Racism begets terrorism

In every instance of terrorism that exists, at its core lies a fundamental difference in beliefs. Okay, perhaps it is stretching the term a bit to say it's always racism... but it is a difference in religious beliefs and cultural attitudes that perpetuates hatred for those who differ. This hatred always leads to violence and in extreme cases genocide or the attempt to eradicate all of those who do not agree.

Keeping this in mind, is there any real hope for peace? Not unless EVERYONE can somehow agree that peace is in the best interest of all, and that we do not have to exterminate one another to coexist.

As long as ideologies based upon hatred continue to be perpetuated, so will terrorism. From the nooses in Alabama to the World Trade Center and beyond... it is up to all of us to choose tolerance for each other's differences and peaceful coexistence over bloodshed. Each of us as individuals must make this choice.

Nature is violent. In nature only the strongest survive. But civilization is not nature. Are we civilized creatures or just a world full of beasts?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blogrush

I have just joined Blogrush, and highly recommend everybody check it out. Seems to be the new latest, greatest tool... but best of all: it's free.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What IS terrorism?

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)

ter·ror·ism Pronunciation[ter-uh-riz-uhm]

–noun

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.

3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

[Origin: 1785–95; terror + -ism]

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

******************************************

If we are using the first definition, there is no doubt at all that the activities of the boys in Alabama who hung nooses as a “prank” are terrorists. This was a threat intended to intimidate. It is clear to me and to anyone else with any intelligence. Anyone who argues otherwise is delusional at best and evil at worst.

Americans are so hell-bent on finding enemies abroad that we fail to see the seething cancer within. Racism is the most insidious and dangerous force that we have to contend with, and if we are not careful it will destroy our country.

It is important that we do not ignore the huge beam of wood in our own eye while we try to remove a small speck from someone else’s. There is a fine line between honesty and hypocrisy and anyone who denies that the nooses in Alabama are acts of terrorism needs to have their sanity or ethics questioned.

What's going on in Jena isn't an isolated incident. To treat it as such is an insult to all who would try to make our world more civilized.

Friday, August 24, 2007

No wonder I don't like to trip... I AM a trip!




Your Personality Is Like Acid



A bit wacky, you're very difficult to predict.

One moment you're in your own little happy universe...

And the next, you're on a bad trip to your own personal hell!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blockbuster Video pulls a "Bait & Switch"

I have been a member of Blockbuster Online for two years, maybe a bit more than that. In that time I have been a relatively satisfied customer until recently. They made one mistake after another (I won't get into detail, but...) to the degree that they first sent me a coupon for a free video rental and then gave me a free month of service.

However, the price I pay is all I am willing to allot for this, and they want to now: give me a lower level of service for the same price... or charge me more to get what I already have. I am not willing to accept this!!!

In addition to that, they want to charge me for videos I kept too long. Even if I return them, they want to charge a re-stocking fee. This too, is unacceptable. With NETFLIX this would and could never happen.

Blockbuster Execs - I hope you read this and alter your plans before you lose THOUSANDS of customers who were providing your company with STEADY MONTHLY INCOME.

Netflix doesn't make people come into a store where they're likely to spend more than they needed to on junk food alone... they let you watch movies on your computer. The catch? You need a decent enough computer and monitor to do that. But perhaps Netflix execs are reading this too and will offer a deal to their customers to purchase just such a system at a discount... or at least a nice big HD monitor.

The battle of Blockbuster and Netflix is by no means over. If Blockbuster does not agree to "grandfather in" those of us who were already getting what we had for the price we originally agreed to pay instead of raising the price on US... we will en masse switch to Netflix who will be quite happy to have us all.

I wrote Blockbuster regarding this situation but don't expect to hear back from them until the weekend is over, since I sent it to "corporate." I want to make it clear in this post that I am not asking Blockbuster to capitulate FOR ME ALONE but for all of us who have supported them from the beginning. They need to show some loyalty to their long-term customers!

Go ahead and charge new customers whatever you wish, BB... but beware of insulting those who put bread in your larder.



Added at midnight on August 31st,
the deadline to choose a new plan or say goodbye:


This is the letter I just sent them, after returning the last of the videos at 11pm. I won't even go into one of their stores for as much as a soda or candy from now on.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lydia Shelley
Date: Aug 31, 2007 11:55 PM
Subject: Please cancel my account
To: Blockbuster Online Customer Care < blockbuster@custhelp.com>

Dear Blockbuster,

It's been a swell ride, but when the fat wants to get fatter it's time to cut it loose.

You see, movies are not a necessity to me and many others. They're a luxury. One which I(we) once rarely afforded myself(ourselves). Prior to joining Blockbuster Online two years ago I personally seldom took the time to watch any movies.

Your service was convenient and we were happy with it as it was... but then you spoiled us with the unlimited in-store exchanges and another coupon each month on top of that. We did not ask for this, you bestowed it upon us like a gift.

However, unlike a gift, you want to change the terms now... on US, your loyal customers. Granted, I am not a big fish for you to fry... but there are a great number of us, the "little fish" who together represented a significant portion of your income.

You already controlled how many movies we got per month by controlling the rate at which we received new ones in the mail. Do you think we really believed it took a week to get our next selection to us? It never did before we had the in-store exchanges. Like Netflix, you used to pop them out to us pretty quickly.

Where you have gone wrong, dear people, is this:

Prior to this disastrous choice you had STEADY MONTHLY INCOME from those of us whom you've insulted. I predict that Blockbuster stock will CRASH by Christmas unless you admit you made a mistake and do some serious sweet-talking.

You assume that we will all start paying more or accept less for our money. This is not tolerable to those of us who are leaving you. (I'll bet 90% or more of your online customers... but even if it's less, you still lose) My budget does not change, nor do my plans for spending money. I have allotted what I have allotted and that is all I am able to spare. Likewise with many on fixed incomes, etc.

I averaged my total number of rented movies over the two years I've had your service and got a figure of 8.5/month approximately. Granted, that does not factor in the in-store exchanges I received... but even if I had that privilege for the full two years, that would equal 17/month total. So figure my 8.5 + 5 at the same price and I am brought down to 13.5/month. But that is only if you don't slow down the number you send me even further - which I have no confidence you wouldn't.

I never (check your records if you believe I'm fibbing) rented movies in a Blockbuster store prior to the "in-store exchange" program. So you're not really losing money by giving me those freebies, unless you ASSume that it's because someone else WOULD have rented it and paid for it if I had not had it. However, this may or may not be true. It certainly doesn't make you any money when it's sitting on the shelf.

IF you had initially offered the unlimited in-store exchanges as an option for a higher price, or indicated that it was a "free trial" then perhaps we would not be so irate. But the deal you offered was no deal. The price increase was too vast (nearly 40%!) and the exchanges too limited if we chose to continue at the price we were already paying. And what guarantee do we have that you won't pull this nonsense on an annual basis?

I recommend that you keep your new pricing structure, but ONLY FOR NEW MEMBERS. Grandfather in your loyal subscribers or lose us all. Many are choosing Netflix as I've found in multiple forums by doing a web search on "Blockbuster Price Increase" but personally I plan to eliminate that monthly fee altogether in favor of utilizing your tax dollars at the Public Library which will cheerfully order any movie I choose if they don't have it... and only charge me if I don't bring it back on time. Free is good. And if I do keep them past due, I don't mind putting more money into my public library. Not at all.

Greed does not elicit loyalty. GENEROSITY does. Chew on THAT fat for a while, y'all.

Sincerely and with the greatest of regrets, as I really did enjoy what I got from you while it lasted...

Your formerly satisfied customer.

--
Lydia Shelley

Monday, July 09, 2007

Update

June was a very good month for me, and July has not been too shabby so far either. I have been building websites and playing music... gave up on corporate America. If someone comes looking for me with a steady paycheck offer, I'd take it, but I'm not going out there to be rejected any more.

Monday, June 18, 2007

You can't legislate peace

Nor will peace ever be achieved through competition. Only the opposite of competition, COOPERATION can achieve true peace. Competition insists that there must be a winner and therefore, by default, a loser. Competition stirs up a lot of adrenaline and perhaps testosterone as well... but when you do this it has a natural tendency to lead to incredible violence and corruption.

Forced peace is no peace at all. Just because you call it so does not make it true. I can say "we are at peace" while bullets fly and bombs explode, but there can be no reality to it until ALL believe it is time to love instead of hate, give instead of take and build up instead of tearing down.

It is unfortunately unlikely that we, the human race, will ever all agree sufficiently to pool our combined strengths and achieve what might be possible given supreme cooperation. I would love to peek into an alternate reality in which it actually did come to pass: Nirvana? Paradise? Utopia? Things that make you go "hmmmmmmm"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pining away for Gilmore Girls

I think that since all of the former cast of Gilmore Girls is now free, that Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband should change the name and continue the story. They have created a world which the witty and intelligent among TV viewers sorely miss. If they act quickly before the primary actors are committed to other projects, the spin-off would undoubtedly be the most successful spin-off ever.

Since Rory's going off to seek her fortune and Lorelai married Christopher... even though they split back up again, Gilmore Girls would have been an inappropriate name for the continuation of the saga anyway. A new name would bring freshness to a series that never seemed to lack it, until it's creators were forced to leave the show, which no doubt hastened its demise.

I have no doubt that this could be one of the best casts ever to have been assembled, and would hate to see it broken up just yet if a smart network would urge Amy and Dan to pick up their characters and return them to their rightful place: in our living rooms!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Personality Type and Job Satisfaction?

I took this personality test, and the results say that only 4.4% of the population are like me. I guess they're all unemployed too?

At any rate, I took the results, and color coded my response to what they said:
Jung Type Description:

INFP


creative, smart, idealist, loner, attracted to sad things, disorganized, avoidant, can be overwhelmed by unpleasant feelings, prone to quitting, prone to feelings of loneliness, ambivalent of the rules, solitary, daydreams about people to maintain a sense of closeness, focus on fantasies, acts without planning, low self confidence, emotionally moody, can feel defective, prone to lateness, likes esoteric things, wounded at the core, feels shame, frequently losing things, prone to sadness, prone to dreaming about a rescuer, disorderly, observer, easily distracted, does not like crowds, can act without thinking, private, can feel uncomfortable around others, familiar with the darkside, hermit, more likely to support marijuana legalization, can sabotage self, likes the rain, sometimes can't control fearful thoughts, prone to crying, prone to regret, attracted to the counter culture, can be submissive, prone to feeling discouraged, frequently second guesses self, not punctual, not always prepared, can feel victimized, prone to confusion, prone to irresponsibility, can be pessimistic


I am not a very private person ordinarily, although like everyone I have my secrets. I do not like the rain because it causes humidity, but I like that it cools the world off a bit… and I always try to be punctual: IF I show up at all.

favored careers:

poet, painter, freelance artist, musician,writer, art therapist, teacher (art, music, drama), songwriter, art historian, library assistant, composer, work in the perfoming arts, art curator, playwright, bookseller, cartoonist, video editor, photographer, philosopher, record store owner, digital artist, cinematographer, costume designer, film producer, philosophy professor, librarian, music therapist, environmentalist, movie director, activist, bookstore owner, filmmaker

I’ve written poetry for many years, and I am a musician and writer. I teach (tutor) but not the subjects suggested herein: computer-related topics. I’ve been a songwriter since I was about 12 years old… and performing since I was a teenager.

I would love to one day write/produce/direct and possibly act in plays and/or films. I will be writing my first script in June. (Part of a program, while I have an outline, etc. I'm not allowed to begin writing until June 1)

disfavored careers:

business professional, manager, executive, administrator, business owner, supervisor, office manager, business analyst, financial analyst, public relations manager, ceo, executive assistant, judge, event coordinator, lawyer, office worker

I just dissolved my failed business. I work as somewhat of an executive assistant, but the guy I work for is accustomed to my gritty personality. I’ve tried (and failed miserably at) coordinating events… and have not done well as an office worker apparently, despite thinking I did just fine. My perceptions are not always “on the mark” and I guess those around me saw a different picture than I did.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sometimes you have to stop searching...

and just turn around!

It looks like my luck may be changing. Of all the many jobs I've interviewed for, one stood out above all of the others and is the only one I really wanted. Without saying too much it's close to home, steady paycheck, full benes and free candy every Friday. Sounds pretty nice, huh? I could really dig working close enough to home to buy a BICYCLE and get some EXERCISE on the way to and from work rather than invest in another petroleum-dependent insurance-expense-prohibitive motor vehicle. Say a prayer, keep your fingers crossed for me... I had really begun to depair that God would allow me to have a regular paycheck. I signed up with a new temp agency last week and was planning to look for only musical gigs because my tolerance for rejection has long been surpassed.

Well... hopefully I'll know soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bouncing back

I continue to apply for jobs, but do not see the likelihood of obtaining one. The truth is that there are far more people unemployed than the statistics account for, due to the fact that the statistics are based on those who are receiving benefits which means first that they must qualify for those benefits.

There are many more of us who never qualified for benefits but are still perpetually employed less than 30 hours per week. If I did not have my husband to support me, I'd be living under a bridge. My heart goes out to those who have nobody to support them, who are homeless AND jobless.

It's time to count my blessings and act accordingly. If I don't forget that five minutes from now.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Officially a loser

Well, it was going to happen sooner or later, but color me really stupid. My van was repossessed last night, and because I didn't back it into the driveway, they dragged it on its tires until one popped... then dragged it on the frame. Brand new tires my husband bought a few months ago, Michelin Hydraedge tires. I suppose he thought if he bought me the good tires I'd try harder to pay for the van, but no matter what I have done I have been unable to secure steady work for the past two years. Even if I COULD come up with the money I wouldn't want the vehicle back now that they've damaged it. It was only worth paying $550/month for a vehicle in tip-top shape.

Actually, it was probably NEVER worth paying what I was. Like I said, color me stupid.

I'm really pissed off at myself for not taking all of my stuff out of the vehicle because it will cost me $125 to retrieve any personal items from the repo people... and I don't even have enough money to pay my cell phone bill, much less pay them to retrieve my meager possessions. (Car charger for said phone, various music CDs, booster seat for my kid, Sunpass, a couple of beach towels, a book or two, etc.)

I'm feeling exceptionally hopeless at this point: useless, worthless and incompetent. I have no idea how to turn that around. It's a good thing I don't have a bottle of Valium lying around, and that I'm a baby about pain.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Say no to drugs. Here, have some drugs!

We live in a truly schizoid society. Where else do we have a slogan telling us to eschew drugs, while at the same time the pharmaceutical companies are trying to get us all hooked on their poison?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You can't have what you want 'til you know what you want...

Warning: major rambling and introspective crap follows:

In September I wrote a post entitled "What I Really Want."

I honestly believed that to be true. But the intervening months have led me to understand that it is not nearly as simple nor cut-and-dried as all that.

What I want changes so constantly that every time I set sail for one destination, by the time I am a fraction of the way there I have lost interest and may wish to go in the opposite direction entirely.

My needs are probably a lot easier to base my actions upon: food, clothing, shelter... companionship and a little sunlight? Very basic.

I have never been comfortable with the pursuit of wealth nor with attempting to maintain a position within society. Does this make me crazy or saner than most? Or is it all part of my overall condition?

As I have seldom truly felt happiness in my life except for fleeting moments whose ethereal quality always left something to be desired, I don't really know what it feels like to not live on the edge - waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It amazes me to see the vast differences between people's lots in life. Leonard Cohen, for example, never truly had to WORK a day in his life. He lost his father at a young age, and his inheritance subsidized his life to give him an unparallelled freedom. I can not imagine how different and beautiful my life might have been under such circumstances. However, at the other end of the spectrum we have those who are born in filth to live their lives and die as loathsome and hated creatures - barely acknowledged as even human.

What a dichotomy there is between the lowest of the low and the priviliged few who often don't even realize just how fortunate they are.

Where does that leave me? Pondering, as always: more than I should be... more thoughts go through my head than there are travelers at JFK on any given day.

My husband is still largely a stranger to me after nearly 23 years of cohabitation. We have very little in common and most of the things he enjoys bore me to tears. Or worse, things such as the type of humor he enjoys really disgust me. My children, likewise, enjoy things that I do not - and neither my husband nor my children come to my gigs or really care much about my music or the things that are important to me.

Could it be possible that the time is approaching when I should leave my family and accept that it is not my future... but my past... and that my grown children will likely seek out their father more often than me, so they probably won't be needing me for much longer: if they really need one such as I to begin with.

I am uncertain of my contributions, the only certainty that I have is in the fact that I did not stop with one or two children as most people do. I chose to have quite a few kids despite being a poor role model and less-than-nurturing mother.

I breastfed them all, some longer than others... but most of them weaned of their own accord when they were ready. I wonder if the age at which they chose to wean has any implications regarding their future, such as whether they'll be young when they leave home or wait until they're a little older. I suppose that remains to be seen and will be interesting to look back upon in retrospect.

My children are generally well-behaved, honest, kind and decent. But when they are not I am ashamed and feel that it is my fault. Maybe it's not, but it feels like I have failed when they do not act the way they are supposed to... and I have. I failed on many levels, while succeeding in a hit-or-miss fashion on others.

I don't feel like a failure, per se... but I do feel like a perpetual loser. Losing, losing... losing. It is hard NOT to lose things when you live your life in a bubble, in your own little world - often completely oblivious to everyone and everything around you. Some of my neighbors feel that I am rude when I neglect to wave or stop and chat... but I honestly don't even see them most of the time. I see my internal world instead. Sometimes I'm so deeply involved within my own thoughts that it's nearly impossible to break through to me.

I wonder if a time will come when that 'nearly impossible' will become 'completely impossible' and no one will be able to reach me any more at all?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Gallbladder

I finally had my gallbladder out this week. For better or for worse, it had begun to get infected and the whole ordeal was unbelievable. I may tell it here one day... who knows?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

An Open Letter to Leonard Cohen

I wrote the following on a poetry page online, but feel it falls far short of what I really meant to express.

"I don't know how I made it into my 40's before discovering Leonard Cohen's awe-inspiring work. When I watched 'I'm Your Man, ' at first I thought he'd died, and this was a tribute to him: the artists all brought such obvious emotion to their performances. But the further I got through this movie, the more I understood why these people were so intensely gripped by the songs they were sharing... because I felt it too. I feel as though his music has opened up a tightly capped wellspring within me, and the tears pour forth as I write this. I will never be the same again after experiencing his lyrical passion - and I pray for his continued health and well-being, that he may continue to grace us with these priceless soul-feeding jewels. Mr. Cohen: if you ever read this, thank you."

I'd really like to record my rendition of "Bird on a Wire" one day, God willing and the creeks don't rise... with permission of course. This song touches me more deeply than any other I've ever heard. It's almost an apology, but more of an explanation. I change a few of the words when I perform it... but the song itself, including the melody, is likely to be my anthem for a long time... if not forever.

Friday, February 09, 2007

R.I.P. Bill Goldfarb

I just received a call from the sister of my friend Bill: he passed away this morning.

Bill had AIDS and had been HIV positive since 1986 - the year I became a mother for the first time.

I met Bill while we were both working at Telephone Takeout, and we remained friends after we both quit working there. He had recently begun to work there again.

I got Bill set up with a computer through Freecycle, and obtained a desk for him as well. Then I began to teach him how to use it. In the past year he went from being completely unable to use a computer to learning how to burn CDs and download music, pictures, etc.

In the past year, he spent more time being sick than he did being well... and we thought he was going to pass away on several other occasions. I am ashamed that I never visited him in the hospital... and even more ashamed of the times I did not take his phone calls because I "could not take the time" to chat. But what makes me more sad than anything is that he followed me down to my car when I was leaving last time I saw him - on Saturday - to get a hug. Before I could hug him, a neighbor came and said he'd called to have my car towed and I'd better hurry and leave before they get there... so I never got to hug him.

Hug your friends, your kids, your loved ones today. It may be the last chance you have to do so.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Next "Sweet Ladies" gig

The "Sweet Ladies of South Florida" Musician's Showcase has been invited back to the stage at Club M for a second appearance. We will be there on Saturday February 24th... and should have the same lineup as January's show, give or take a person or two.

I'm really thrilled at the response, and seeking a donor to sponsor us with a larger and more powerful P.A. system... mine FINALLY proved insufficient DUE TO THE LARGE CROWD we had on January 19th. It's the first time I've had such a huge turnout that my 150 Watt P.A. was not enough to let my acts be heard over the hubbub.

Maybe I should take a cue from Christina Marrs of The Asyslum Street Spankers. She actually hushes the crowd, and I don't think it's out of line for me to ask that people show respect for my Sweet Ladies. If they want to talk they can go outside!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Club M gigs this week

Ed just called a while ago and said that the guy who normally has Monday nights at Club M is still out of town, but now that Monday night football is over the owner wants music... so Ed gets Mondays until further notice and therefore I'm gonna go play with him a bit tonight. (10ish)

Tomorrow, of course, we have our usual open mic. night, which starts at 9 due to popular demand... we used to start at 10. If it gets much earlier we'll be into Happy Hour!

And Friday I have my "Sweet Ladies of South Florida" Musician's Showcase at Club M, also beginning at 9. The lineup is:

The Rosytones
Sister Sunshine (me)
Lina Marquez
Christine Luther
Upside-Down Jenny
Consider the Violet
and a special late-night break time appearance by B.O.B. band member Sheryl Munoz!

I expect to have an electrifying evening, and lots of fun. Here's to some of the sweetest ladies South Florida has to offer!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

So far so good

I know it may not seem like much, but since the turn of the New Year I have been taking great pains to keep the dishes washed and kitchen clean.

To those who have spent any time in my house, that probably comes as quite a shock... but it makes me very happy to walk into my clean kitchen and not have to wash dishes or otherwise clean it before I fix a snack or meal.

Prior to this the mess would pile up until I forced one of the kids to clean it and wash dishes... the dishes were always put away haphazardly, and different kids cleaned with differing levels of actual success. Sometimes the dishes were so poorly washed they had to be re-washed.

I decided that I'd rather just do it myself, to my own standards, and put things away where I want them and the way I want them... so I won't have anything to complain about. When my kids have school, they get up at ungodly hours to catch the bus or other ride, then come home exhausted to nap. In the evening when they awaken, hungry for dinner, they have homework to complete. So I try not to burden them overly much with the chores. After all, I'm barely employed: why should they do chores so I can sit around watching movies and eating bon bons?

Okay. So I don't eat bon bons... but when I get my kitchen clean it gives me such a huge sense of accomplishment each time... I'm hoping I can gradually spread this to the whole house. Baby steps, as the flyladies say...