Happy Chinese New Year!

Okay, I started 2016 with the notion that I would be posting every week, and here I am four (actually almost five) weeks later with finally a post. First of all Happy New Year 2016 (at least in time for Chinese New Year). This year will be a great year in spite of it not being the year of the goat; it is actually the year of the red monkey.

The year 2015 was a year of change, sadness and mourning for this Garden Goat. My mother passed away, as did my mother-in-law. Many of you know that I also hold down full-time employment with a large corporation, well that has also come to a close. The office where I worked for almost 13 years closed, and, therefore, I am now seeking other employment.

A terrible crisis happened to one of my children, suffice to say prayers are welcome, and this goat’s faith in humanity has been shaken. Now you know why it has been a little quiet at my end.

A new year, 2016 I believe will be the best year ever. So no time like the present to hop (cavort) back into entertaining and communicating with my faithful, although likely estranged, readership.

Best Year ever 2016 GG

Those of you just joining the conversation today, I moonlight as a goat and comment on just about everything. I am secure in the knowledge that this pseudonym allows me to be me (goat self) reporting from my home and still have the teenagers that dwell here acknowledge me, at least monthly (and more often if I disconnect the Wifi).

I am humbled on Facebook (and also in reality) by everyone’s commitment to their New Year resolutions, which appear to be a cross between getting fit, losing weight (I thought that they were both the same…apparently NOT) and putting more meaning into their lives.  I on the other hand, will be happy to know that I have survived yet another day, possibly showered and kept the kids I preside over, alive to see tomorrow. I am hoping to overachieve on this front, this year!

Other New Year’s Resolution fans are working on great plans for cruise vacations, shopping and home renovations (never to be ever compared with a vacation). I am living for today; tomorrow is just too complicated.

As of February 2nd, I am competing in the open market for a day job. Some of the interviews I have had with prospective employers are all again about New Year’s Resolutions.

Happy Hours glass wine1

One such potential employer prides themselves on having the best work environment including running an “exercise boot camp.” At my age, not a selling point. I was hoping more for maybe a “Happy Hour” afternoon, where those that imbibe can and then perhaps not notice that those of us not indulging got to leave a little early.  Another potential employer offered a health bar resplendent with vegetable smoothies. In spite of my goat attributes, a definite no. Now searching for a company similar to one I worked for years ago, where chocolate came to the office by the truck load, and we the employees, were encouraged to graze.

“There is nothing in this world that prayer and chocolate can’t handle!” –Unknown-

Given that I am out of practice regularly writing this blog I think I will pace myself and save some stuff for next week.

So those of you pursuing Greek-God-like bodies, go for it, I will be in my corner “grazing” on chocolate and counting down the hours until chasing it down with a little Baileys is more socially acceptable.

Love,

The Garden Goat

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Hiatus

Okay; don’t die of shock to finally hear from me, the Garden Goat.

I realize it has been a while. I thought the word “hiatus” might be applicable to describe my absence, naturally I used internet to look up the definition just to be sure.

On the first site, this is what I read…

hiatus

hi·a·tus

hīˈādəs/noun

  1. A pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.”there was a brief hiatus in the war with France.”

This first definition was a little strange. It seemed to imply that I had a break from something like a war. Meanwhile the truth, I had a break but I felt like I was fighting a war.

Then below the definition was the list of synonyms…they are fun.

Let’s see:

Synonyms:    pause, break, gap, lacuna, interval, intermission, interlude, interruption, suspension, lull, respite, time out, time off, recess;

  • Pause: Nope (that sounds intentional…and my absence was anything but intentional).
  • Break: NOT (it infers I needed a rest, and perhaps lot of caffeine was served)
  • Gap: Maybe (I am sure my readership might agree with this one).
  • Lacuna: Hmmm (sounds too close to “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King and      insinuates “No worries for the rest of your days”)…Definitely NOT.
  • Interval:    Sort-of (though more musical than what actually happened)
  • Intermission: Well, lots of drama (but no popcorn or rave reviews), so NO.
  • Interlude:    Sounds romantic and musically planned (and that did not happen), but NO!.
  • Interruption:  I do believe we are getting closer
  • Suspension:  If as a reference to my sanity, then a definite maybe.
  • Lull: While I like the sound of this, one might think I was catching up on sleep…I will have to decline as this definition would be very misleading.
  • Respite: Insinuates that I got a rest and some poor devil took my place to give me said rest. A RESOUNDING NO!
  • Time Out: I would love to have one; however, I am usually the “Time Out” specialist at my house…so again, Nah.
  • Time Off: NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH
  • Recess:    Implies either that I am back in Grade School or that I am in a courtroom, neither of which are applicable.

Then in researching the term “hiatus” in a more modern definition I stumbled upon the following definition:

“A temporary gap, pause, break, or absence can be called a hiatus. When your favorite TV show is “on hiatus” it means there are no new episodes— not forever, just for a little while. The key thing about a hiatus is that it’s an interruption of something that was happening, but it’s not a permanent break.”

SO yes, HIATUS in this sense seems to fit the bill. The only difference is there were many new episodes just not written and published.

As many of you know, I do work full-time while also playing parole officer, financial wizard, health inspector, game warden and laundress to a multitude of minions that share parts of my DNA. I rang in the New Year 2015 with more responsibility at work.  I went from a 37.50-hour week to an average of almost 50 hours per week. I get to take this extra time earned as paid time off in the future. None of this changed my bank’s impression of me for the better but did change how much “free time” was left to get anything done, blog included. Then my husband, who was on a two-year waiting list, received the news that his shoulder replacement would now be in Feb 2015 (as opposed to waiting until 2017 in pain). You guessed it, the patient’s recovery, plus the herd of kids, the full-time job (and extra hours)…and let’s not forget the laundry; yep…weeks blurred into months. I now find myself having arrived at mid-May 2015. Sadly, this is my first post for this year (!!).

The update on the patient is that he is making an awesome recovery and will be headed back to work shortly.

This goat hopes that “the HIATUS” is now over, and the laughing can resume!

The Garden Goat

New-JCA-Goat

Happy New Year 2014…Resolutions? …Only ONE!

I think 2014 will be a totally amazing year

I think 2014 will be a totally amazing year

Every year at this time it is always the same. Everyone is thinking about the past year and making a list of New Year’s resolutions (something I have never been a big fan of). I am not too sure why I have never been hung up on New Year’s resolutions…I just have not. By nature I dread anything that is too structured. I think a part of me thinks that if the item is carved in stone, I will feel terrible if I fail and then the rest of the year will be a write-off. (And, no…this is not new… I do NOT like lists of any kind…although as I approach “older goat” status and find myself frequently forgetful …I may have to relent and become more list friendly.)

So, I sit with pen in hand (okay keyboard…) and think what my New Year’s list should be.

… and think what my New Year’s list should be.

I am not a big fan of the process involved in change although I very much love the notion that change is possible. I do enjoy realizing how sometimes the smallest steps can make the biggest difference. So, I sit with pen in hand (okay keyboard…) and think what my New Year’s list should be.  If I look at most people’s lists they are centered on healthy living …I guess I could start with that. Many of the items other people seem to list touch on stopping some habits and starting others. So this is what my list started to look like:

  • Stop being fluffy (gained 20 lbs over the last two years …2014 I need to say goodbye to the flab!)
  • Stop living in the past (love to remember how things were as a denial of how things really are)
  • Start drinking (yep…WATER…a confirmed, self-confessed Diet Coke addict over here)
  • Start walking (with the little dog that lives here…at least)

BORING!

Then I thought about a list of things I wanted to make sure I did.

  • Reconnect with a special friend I very much miss (hope this happens ASAP)
  • Sort out the miles of family photos and do something with them (even if only copy to a CLOUD)
  • Publish a book (Yep…watch for it)!

BETTER!

I then realized that there are other lists I had not thought about.  Recently I learned about “Bucket Lists.” These are apparently lists you make of the top 100 things you want to do before you leave this planet. I have always been too busy to even think about what I might do in the next five minutes far less what I might do over my lifetime. I decided to give it a try. It was scary. The first five things looked like this.

  • Speed race a car on the Indianapolis raceway
  • Take pictures from the Eiffel tower
  • Walk through Central Park, in New York, at midnight…maybe stay the night!
  • Design a tattoo
  • Spend overnight in an igloo and tour the Arctic (read that as sneak away anywhere where my kids won’t go!)
...sneak away where my kids won’t go

…sneak away where my kids won’t go

Then came the realization I have the potential to be a lot wilder than I ever imagined. Figured I had better stop at Number Five as I was worried that developing the other 95 items might lead to my inner child to hyperactivity! Besides, taking care of the brood I preside over does not lend itself to the extra financial freedom required to avail oneself of a casual trip to the Eiffel Tower on any given day. All kidding aside, I thought “what is one thing that I can have as MY RESOLUTION for New Years?”

I reasoned that coming up with just one BIG item would get rid of the list, the remembering, the guilt …it is perfect. It is even green …I won’t have to even use paper to write it down.  I can keep my resolution to myself as who would bother making a list of just ONE item to post on a fridge! (??) (Who am I trying to kid…forget the kitchen fridge…this goat publishes a blog!)

Now the quest to find that one item; it is not easy to compress all those points into one item. This one item will have to transcend ALL items. It must be ONE thing that makes everything else excellent. While lost in thought while checking my email (multi-tasking). There I found a blog post of a friend I come to know through social media training, PJ McClure. There in his blog, on Linked-In “Do What Is Right, Not Just What Is Allowed” (http://pjmcclure.com/blog/do-what-is-right/#!) was exactly what I was searching for.

I found my one item for the New Year 2014…make all decisions in 2014 by the highest standard available…DO WHAT IS RIGHT irrespective of the freedom to make other choices still considered as lawful and acceptable.

I reasoned that coming up with just one BIG item would get rid of the list...

I reasoned that coming up with just one BIG item would get rid of the list…

THE BEST!

The Garden Goat’s RESOLUTIONS for NEW YEARS 2014:

1.            DO WHAT IS RIGHT…always…in everything. Choose the very best option                in every circumstance so I can live my BEST LIFE!

That will cover the fluffy, the water, and the photos. That may change the bucket list as “design a tattoo” may move much further down the list.

I hope I can live up to that! If I do… I think 2014 will be a totally amazing year!

I wish you all a very happy, blessed and exciting New Year 2014.

With love and best wishes to you and yours for 2014…

The Garden Goat

I hope I can live up to that! If I do… I think 2014 will be a totally amazing year!

I hope I can live up to that! If I do… I think 2014 will be a totally amazing year!