So: looking on the bright side

Vintage abstract green background with flower

image by bigstock

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And in my case, when the daily grind gets busier, chaotic, and stresses some people out, I actually like it better. I like to have a full to-do list. I like the rush when you’re working towards meeting a deadline. And yes, I really enjoy pulling ideas out of the ether at the very last minute.

I’ve always been a fan of lots going on. It’s fun.

Maybe that’s because I really try to keep things positive and not take life too seriously.

I slowed down for the first 2 months of this year. And I really didn’t like it much. Too much television. Not enough reading and writing. Definitely not enough gardening.

And that’s why it’s back to vibrant chaos. Action-packed fun. A little less sleep but a lot more living.

Today’s gratuitous dog photo is a blast from the past — our first dog:

our bulldog Daisy



So: murphy’s law


see what Scott means?

see what Scott means?

ss_CoorsLightCanMr. Murphy is no friend of mine today. I’m writing this post 10,000 feet above the earth, in what my friend Scott refers to as a flying Coors Light can. I’m heading to Northern California for a meeting, but since early this morning it has felt like every stumbling block that could crop up has.

mur·phy’s law

A supposed law of nature, expressed in various humorous popular sayings, to the effect that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Frankly I’m a little concerned that I may have forgotten something important like underwear considering I packed in a complete mad dash. You see, this morning was when the water heater decided to malfunction. Don’t get me wrong. I had a hot shower so my fellow plane passengers aren’t cringing. But after I came back after hopping in the car to leave (I forgot my toothbrush) I heard a loud hissing.

Of course, I called Bruce so he could trouble shoot via FaceTime (thank you iPhone). I turned off the things he told me to. I then got back in the car, looked over at the Urban Farm and realized that the tomatoes were still covered up and it would be 60°F today. They’d cook under the frost cloth.

So I jumped back out of the care and ran across the lawn in my work attire. I started uncovering the tomato plants. That’s when I heard it: the sound of water pouring out of something!

Damn damn damn.

You see we do not have a gate on that side of the yard. The previous owners didn’t install one. So I had to jump back into the car and drive around the house to see what happened. I suppose I could have just parked the car, gone in the house, then exited the front door, but I was already late and I was hoping it was something easy like someone left the hose on by the peach and plum trees.


If you’ve ever driven up to your house and seen steaming hot water pouring out of your roofline through a PVC escape pipe, you know exactly how I felt next. I threw the car in park, ran over to investigate, called Bruce to come home from work and help me, then unlocked the front door and ran back to the water heater that lives in it’s own cute little closet.No water in the closet. Yay!

I ran into the room that’s right below where the water was gushing out. No water ruining the room. Yay!

Next I pulled down the attic ladder. You see in Texas, they put all of the mechanical stuff in the attic, out of the way. I know. It makes no sense to me either. It’s boiling hot up there when your AC breaks in August and the HVAC guys are not happy to go up there. The cable and phone guys don’t like it either. Neither does the plumber. But still no water pouring out into the attic. Yay! (By the way, that happened in the old house and let me tell you it really sucks and is very scary to see water pouring out of your pot lights when your water heater valve explodes off the water heater on a Friday night.)

Bruce had a look, Jim the plumber called him while he was looking and together they secured the water heater and got the mystery water stopped.

Now Jim was already booked up, but he likes us so he and Bruce met up this afternoon and after $135 everything is ok.

Jim cracks me up. He’s a southern gentlemen in pressed Wranglers and cowboy boots. He calls me Mrs. and ma’am. He won’t let me help him or his assistant unless we are asking him to install a faucet that comes from Europe. He’s lectured me about my greenness and doesn’t like low flow toilets much. But je’s been around since we moved into the Mortroski Midcentury so he enjoys seeing what we’re doing to the place. Today he asked to check out the Urban Farm since that’s new to him. Bruce tells me he was impressed and it also led to one of Jim’s stories. You see apparently if you are a widower of a certain age and you live out in East Texas, there are many oil widows who love to garden. So Jim enjoys attending Garden Club meetings so he can expand his pool of local ladies to date. I’m pretty sure Jim would NOT have told me this story, but truthfully he likes Bruce a lot especially since he’s now an American.

But I digress. I was approximately 2 hours late for work. We were still knee-deep in getting stuff done for the meeting. I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten to do something there, but I figure if I keep typing my brain will remind me. Except it’s hopped up on my supplemental allergy medicine that my doctor wanted me to take so my ears don’t fill with fluid on the plane. If I wasn’t so stressed from this day, I’d probably be sound asleep.

We had to rush for the airport. I tried to make sure I brought the necessary work stuff and noticed that I was missing a power cord. Damn! It was at home on my desk. Oh well.

The TSA experience was pleasant enough, until someone spilled something all over the checkpoint. I already had my shoes out, the bins full of electronics, sweaters and toiletries. They said we could stay, but the last “clean up on aisle 4” took 30 minutes. I opted to hike 15 gates to the next security entrance with everyone else who was in line there. My sweet boss because she flies so much and is a statuesque blonde, got to Fast Pass the line since they had no Fast Pass people waiting (I bet it was a free sample to get her to buy the Fast Pass). Of course, I had to go through the regular line. At least I didn’t get the special massage and packing assessment today!

Plane was delayed by 30 minutes because we were missing the pilot and first officer. Typical for this airline so it didn’t bother me much. Hopefully with new ownership and more pilots to choose from they won’t have this as an excuse much longer.

Once on the plane I noticed two things. The fly on my dress pants had dropped, probably because I forgot to zip it at some point. And I had lost one of my favorite earrings. Hopefully it just fell into my clothes and when I go to change for bed tonight, I’ll find it. Sigh.

Two lovely friends of mine live 10 minutes from the airport. They have graciously agreed to accompany me to dinner tonight so we can catch up. I try to see them when ever I’m out here on business, but honestly, I’m not sure that they should be around me.

It seems that I have either a black cloud over my head or Mr. Murphy himself trying to mess with me. Please cross your fingers for me. Think good thoughts. Or pray. Bring me some good mojo/juju/thoughts/positivity.

Tomorrow and Wednesday need to be much less eventful, even if it makes my posts super boring.



So: make your own luck

Yesterday I received a new year’s card from a paper company. In big bold characters, it said “LUCKY 13”.

Lucky 13 2013 Happy New Year card

Lucky 13
2013 Happy New Year card

Immediately, I grabbed my trusty roll of blue painters’ tape (can’t make a mark on the new office doors in the office) and stuck it on my door so I could easily see it—and others could too.

I like the idea of a year being lucky. Full of promise. Full of possibility. Of course, every year should be thought of that way. At the beginning of a year, the possibilities are literally endless. 365 new beginnings. 365 times you can try something new. 365 do overs.  If you’re brave, that is. If you’re willing to put yourself out there. If you’re willing to stretch a bit.

But one thing I’ve already noticed is amount of stretching some people are doing—more than I remember hearing about last year. Perhaps it’s the amount of holiday time they had to slow down and really think about themselves for a change. Yesterday at the office, I heard about straw bale gardening. New workout classes. A blog about to be hatched. Sewing projects being planned. Vows to cook more at home. Assessments of relationships. Volunteer work about to be started. Technology to be mastered. Business opportunities to be created.

One thing that all of these “resolutions” have in common is that no one  is sitting back and waiting for something to happen. While some are still plotting their next move, many have already begun. A far cry from 2012’s standing back, holding breaths, waiting for the other shoe to drop. The optimism and hopefulness is in the air. And all over my friends’, coworkers’, and acquaintances’ faces.

They’re making their own luck. How about you?