Category Archives: Prompted Musings

Sometimes we all need a little inspiration

Inspiration Lacking

Now that I have had my ETSY shop open for a week, I am finding it difficult to think of items to make.  I started with monthly milestone cards and baby milestone cards, because I had some friends that were looking for something like that.  Beyond repeating those with different designs, I am at a loss on what to make.

My inspiration usually comes only when prompted.  Be it a writing prompt, a request from someone for a custom design, or the need for something to fulfill a need in my home; I am not a muse of great ideas.  One friend suggested that I make chalkboard signs for weddings, but looking on ETSY, there are a million (only slight exaggeration) of those already.  I will go ahead and start making them, until I can think of something better.  In the meantime, I will wait for more inspiration to come my way.

I guess I am not naturally a creative thinker.  I follow instructions, follow the rules, and just put my own flair on things.  Kind of depressing, actually.  Maybe it is just the rain outside.

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Strike a Chord


Music has been a part of my life from a very young age.  I remember going to my grandma's house and playing on her piano when I was in kindergarten; there are pictures of me banging on the keys much younger than that even.  In 3rd grade I started to play the recorder with the rest of my class.  I squeaked and squawked that thing to no end, and I can't imagine how annoying it must have been to my family and all the neighbors.  In 5th grade I started the clarinet, inspired by my mom having played the clarinet in high school.  The squeaks from that were much more musical than the dreaded recorder, thankfully.

In 7th grade, my passion for music really took off when I learned to play the bassoon.  I took to this unique instrument with a gusto. I started to also learn the flute and play the piano whenever I could get to a friends house to borrow theirs.  205708_5747353495_2552_n01I kept up with the bassoon through high school and in my freshman year my parents bought a baby grand piano.  This piano was my favorite instrument by far, and I spent hours each day practicing and playing.  My sophomore year in high school I joined the marching band and learned to play percussion.  I was queen of the timpani and a master of the marimba within my first year.  While in high school I also taught myself the oboe for a few specific songs that the director wanted to play.  I attempted to learn the french horn too, but I could never get the "buzz" correct.

Looking back at my long history of music, it is rather sad that my bassoon has been languishing in my closet since college.  I have an upright piano that I try and fiddle on every month or so, but if L is home he pushes my hands away so he can play.  Music has been pushed out of my life by family, work, and chores.  Maybe next year I will make a resolution to bring music back into my life; it was a formative part of my youth and I want my children to participate in music as well.

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Wrong Turns

I have this habit (bad?) of needing to know what the "plan" is for just about everything.  For events, I need to know what time it starts, what time we are leaving, where it is, what I need to bring, and if there is anyone I know there.  Traveling somewhere, I am the person that memorizes the directions before we leave so I know what turn to take next.  I have a plan for life, a plan for my career, and a plan for family.  I realize that plans are not set in stone; circumstances change and plans have to change in response.  I can handle changing plans, because a changed plan is still a plan.  What I cannot handle is wandering around with no direction.  You can imagine how stressful it is for me when I get lost.

The last time I was truly lost was in college.  It was my first day of classes at Cal Poly and I had mapped out my schedule perfectly.  I did not plan to make friends and go with them to lunch.  I ended up eating lunch with my classmates and then having no idea how to get to my next class, let alone back to my dorm room.  After a few minutes of mild freak-out, I looked at the map (this was before smartphones) in my backpack and got myself located.  Even being pseudo-lost for a few minutes made enough of an impact that I remember it.  

I have nightmares of going SCUBA diving and getting separated from the group and being lost in the ocean as my air runs out.  Or not being able to find my car in the mall and my phone being dead so I cannot call for help.  The idea of being lost is a huge source of anxiety to me, but I haven't been lost for over 10 years.  Yes, I am a little bit of a control freak (see first paragraph about plans).

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Back of the Queue

I feel like the Queen of Unfinished Projects.  This prompt was to write about something that I have always wanted to do, but have never done and the reasons for that.  I honestly can't think of anything that I want to do that I haven't at least tried doing yet.  I start something, and then life gets in the way of me finishing it.  A few of my unfinished projects are:

Quilt for R (25% complete):  This requires two hands to do, and recenly R has not been letting me set her down for more than 15 minutes.  So this project is on hold for the forseable future.

Reviews of Video Games and Books (5% complete): I have a ton that I want to write about, but the time it takes to write a comprehensive review can only be found late at night and early in the morning.  I like my sleep more.

Family Picture Collage (20% complete): I bought 12 frames at Target on clearance for this project.  I am going to put a grid of pictures on the wall at the top of the stairs and have one family picture in each frame starting with our wedding photo.  To get the frame evenly spaced and level, this project requires 4 hands, and with J working and me holding R constanly we only have 1 hand between us to work on that.

Photo Wall (50% complete): I have one giant wall of picture frames in a collage upstairs, but I have a connecting wall yet to fill with frames.  I have bins of frames just waiting to be hung up, bins that are taking up space in the office and master bedroom.  This one is just not done because I haven't felt like dedicating a couple days to doing it.  I need to create the paper templates, hang them on the wall, then hang up the picture frames.  That doesn't even include the time it will take to actually put pictures and stuff in the frames.

Blog Archiving (25% complete): I have been making Blurb books of my other (for family) blog to archive it in print form.  I am trying to make one book per year, and I have 2010 completed and on my shelf.  That is the easiet year because I had just started the blog in August and we found out we were pregnant with L in November.  No kids yet =  not many post or pictures.  The subsequent years are a little daunting to archive.

De-clutter House (1% complete): This one is pretty self explanatory.  I just haven't done enough towards this yet.

Unfortunately, I actually have more projects that I have not listed.  These are just the ones that are in the forefront of my mind as my maternity leave is rapidly coming to an end.  I am hoping to finish a few of them before I go back to work, that way I can work feeling a little less stressed about all the things I would rather be doing at home.

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Kids are Messy

Being a mother, I find myself caught in poopy messy situations quite frequently when in public.  It could be milk spilled on my toddler's pants, pasta sauce on his shirt, peanut butter in his hair, or even the baby having a diaper blowout.  It never fails that when I am out for more than a couple of hours, something happens and we run out of one of the diaper bag essentials.  Sometimes we forget to refill the bag.  Sometimes it is just one of those days where the baby goes through 6 diapers in two hours.  Regardless of the reason, there are times when I desperately need another diaper, some wipes, or a fresh article of clothing.

If there was a vending machine with basic kid supplies my life would be just a little bit easier.  Single pack diapers in a few sizes, travel wipes, plain white onesies in different sizes, and maybe even plain white T shirts for mom and dad.  They could be put in airports, theme parks, and shopping malls (basically any place that would not sell these basics normally).  I am so in love with this idea that I even made a picture… yes, the baby was taking a nap and I was avoiding chores.  Yay for crappy computer drawings and procrastination!

Vending Machine

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The Scent of Summer


There are many scents that could be associated with summertime: chlorine from a pool, the ocean, watermelon, strawberries, beer, and campfire to name a few. In my pale existence, there is one scent that is tied with all of these forever. Sun block. Nothing reminds me of summer so much as the scent of sun block. Applying that creamy and greasy white paste multiple times a day for the entire summer has forever associated that smell with warm weather to me.

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Verbal Ticks

I have many phrases that I find myself overusing on a daily basis (sometimes houly).  Some of the phrases are expected and come with being a mother of a toddler with "I do what I want" syndrome, others are my own personal brand of frustration and lack of imagination.  Normally, I would resolve to add more variety to my verbal interractions, but I do not think that is a practical goal at this time.

Awesome – This is my go to phrase when something is good, neat, or I just like it.  I seem to have no synonyms for this in my vocabulary.  I find that this is my go to comment for any Facebook posts as well.

L, NO! – I am a mom. It is pretty self explanatory.

L, Freeze! – This is the only way he ever stops moving.  I use it about 8 times every diaper change since his new favorite thing is to bounce his butt all over while I am trying to wipe poop off.  Most. Frustrating. Thing. EVER.

L, take that out of your mouth RIGHT NOW! – I thought kids were supposed to get over this by the age of 1, but I guess not in our case.  He is contantly putting toys, fingers, rocks, wrappers, paper, crayons, play-doh… the list goes on… into his mouth.

Finish your damn sentense! – Yep, I say this all the time to J.  He has this Captain Kirk-like ability to pause in the middle of a sentense, and I get tired of waiting for him to finish his thought.  Doesn't he realize that there are about 5 seconds of short term memory in my brain, and if he takes too long I will forget what he was even talking about?

I probably say "hella" and various curse words more than I should as well, but L hasn't picked up on them yet, so I am in the clear for now.  #winning

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City Planners

I will never forget when I went to Paris with my high school marching band.  We actually took a 10 day tour of Western Europe, but it is Paris that made the biggest impression on me as a teenager.  I was warned that Parisians are rude to Americans, especially if they don't speak French; I found this to be quite untrue.  Armed with my 2 years of German, wandered the streets of Paris with a couple of friends one afternoon.  We spent hours at the top of the Eiffel Tower, just taking in the scenery.  We explored to the Notre Dame de Paris, gazing upwards at the weathered gargoyles and saints.  We ate at various cafes along the sidewalk and explored small shops down the side streets.  It was a beautiful time in a city that quickly became my favorite.

If I could, there is one thing that I would bring back to my current city; I would bring back the boulanger and the patisserie.  The bread was the most delicious I have ever tasted; it was pretty much all I ate while I was there, with some cheese on the side.  We would just go to a bakery and buy a baguette with some turkey, lettuce, and butter on it for lunch.  As we walked down the street, we saw mothers and children stopping by to pick up bread for dinner.  This availability of fresh, artisan, bread really made an impression on me.  It was a little bit of the past right here in the present for us to participate in.  No big grocery stores with harsh lighting, just a family selling their baked goods behind a counter.  Friendly and welcoming to each person that came into their shop.

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Low Tech Layover

Back when I started flying as a kid, we did not have smartphones (or even cell phones), laptops, or various other electronic forms of entertainment. During long flights and layovers I entertained myself with coloring books, novels, and playing cards. My carry-on backpack was always heavy with books, books, and more books. It was the end of the world if I ran out of books to read on a trip!  (I am a reading addict and I always have been)

Now, I always have my smartphone and my Nook with me on flights, but I always remember to bring one low tech novel just in case. I have been stuck in airports before, having forgotten my charger, and stuck with the newsstand book and magazine offerings. I have to admit, I love having a e-reader for traveling. As someone who would regularly pack 5 books of 400+ pages for a week long trip, the lightening of my load has been much appreciated.  Yet, ever since that one trip with a forgotten charger, I will never forget to bring a backup book to read.

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