Resolutions Update

Why Your Plans Fail –
People are notoriously bad at planning. The worst part is, we don’t even know it. One psychological study conducted asked students to predict when they expected to complete an assignment, almost none gave enough time. Other looks into financial analysts show that few can consistently beat the market.

The real problem is that these planning failures aren’t recognized. People make wildly overconfident projections but fail to notice their abysmal track record in predicting. The question is, what can you do about this?

After reading that, and thinking lately about how journaling actually helped me maintain and assess how committed I was to the New Year’s resolutions, I thought I would update. After all, we are only a few months from the next round.

I think the part I had the most success with has been using the Curves membership for regular exercise. It has had the added bonus of exposing me regularly to upbeat interactions with other women. I’ve gone almost every week for the suggested three times… and got the t-shirt to show for it 🙂 This was a win

More time with the children. Automatically, since the family of origin drain on my emotional resources was closed off, I was a bit better, but that was offset by the fact that I have been very slow to heal from those blows to deep and important inner parts of me. I was not spontaneous, I chauffeured them more places, but did not have more family outingsThis was a neutral

Art. What art? I set up the area- which was procrastinated to a shameful degree. Stocked with supplies- which wasn’t hard because that is the part I have done for years. But nada. Maybe I am afraid – of failure, of facing who I am or the work that is involved or the change in my lifestyle schedule? ( art takes lots of time to produce -for me anyway) This was a total …ok almost total loss

I gardened more at the beginning of the season, but waned as the summer went on. I did accomplish improvement in my garden. This was a mild win

reread ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud and Townsend. Did this in spades, and shared it with others, I think due to Bonnie of Intellectuelle helping me along who was so kind and supportive ( blog friends can be just as valuable in human terms as RL friends – it is just a long distance relationship, but relationship nonetheless)
This was a strong win for me

I put it into win/lose terms because that is how I think of it: overcoming. Gaining the victories of life over negative situations and forces ( within and without).

It is good to see so much green on the accountability sheet, and the year is not done yet, I can still work on those areas that I neglected to make progress. I thank God for His guidance through all this year, His great mercies and continued love. Underneath the wins are the wings.

I’m guilty of some of the 7 deadly sins of writing, are you?

Spirit-Led Writer listed these 7 sins of writing as committed by Christian Writers:

Here are seven “sins” to confront in your writing life.

1. Diversion. Don’t take 200 words to clear your throat. The long preface about getting back to your desk after a summer holiday or a long aside from a recent sermon has to be cut. In a 1,000 word article, it’s an awkward diversion. A reader may work through it in hopes of finding real meat. But in the average, 600 word column, it’s just self-indulgence.

2. Buried Treasure. Don’t bury the gold—put it up front. Let your light shine and put that catchy zinger you planned for the last line right up front where we can find it. The first paragraph is the best place to get your reader excited that you have something to say.

3. Wordiness. Cut, cut, cut. It’s not unusual to get 1600 words from a minister who was asked to hand in 700. This is the cardinal sin of almost every preacher who aspires to a larger audience. Editors don’t have the time (or theological know-how) to identify the material that is priority and remove the dross. Opinion pieces, which are often given to clergy, are some of the most challenging pieces to write for that reason. A good op-ed piece is like a well-packed suitcase—two-thirds of what you want to bring has to be left behind. That precious Scripture verse (proving how erudite you are) will have to go. Excellent prose aims to be taut and incisive. Spare us your impressive knowledge and get to the point. That’s proof of a servant’s heart for your readers.

4. Boredom. Don’t be boring. This could be rule #1, but you’d have skipped it. Nobody thinks they’re boring. But take anything you’ve written and read your first sentence, then ask: does it deliver the passion you feel about this topic? Don’t replace that impulse with being earnest. Surprise yourself. Surprise your reader. Good writing should stop us in our tracks and question our assumptions.

5. Predictability. Don’t be inoffensive, safe and predictable. This is boredom’s closest kin. I’m so disappointed when I read Christian writers that are on auto-pilot with predictable views on abortion, teen sex, all night poker, casual drug use, etc. Reach out to me with some emotional honesty. (My only caution is not to surprise your spouse in print). Even if I think that I know where you’re going, at least challenge me when I get there.

6. Preachy prose. Don’t tell me about religion in your life—show me the life of your faith. I suggest that aspiring writers begin by writing their testimony. All the challenges of good writing will have to be faced and it’s also a story that readers want to hear. But, whatever your topic, avoid extensive quotes from Scripture or keep the references to one or two key places for authoritative support. Too much Scripture will make the reader stumble trying to figure out what you’ve got to say. Never minimize the importance of your unique vantage point. That is what we’re all reading to find out.

7. Tardiness. Don’t submit late. If you can’t be early, be on time. Printing schedules are not flexible. Yes, the editor may be gracious and even edit your overly long article—but it’s probably the last time they will make that mistake. Once you’ve left the impression of an unprofessional attitude, opportunities to get into print will be scarcer.

I found myself crying “Mea Culpa” and lashing my ego with wet spaghetti noodles. The reason I have never had to tightly edit is because I blog.. and the blogosphere has been very forgiving of me. but if we want to improve we have to try to pay attention to what the more experienced are trying to tell us. I’m repenting, but not sure I won’t fall again… habits being hard to break, especially in the throes of writing something in the wee hours of the morning.

Then I guess I will have to read this post over again.

La Shawn Barber has points to ponder

La Shawn Barber’s Corner » Big Blue Balls and Other Stuff has some “points to ponder”.

She asks what our fav ideas are from the list, Bob Larson’s “rules for survival”. So I popped over there. Mine are:

  • 1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone.
  • 3. When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think. this one is so true- I have experienced it too many times on both sides of the equation
  • 5. Focus on what you want to have happen this is one I need to implement- a future rule for me, if you will
  • 14. Solve your own problems.

Those were my favorites, but all sixteen were nuggets of wisdom, some of which I have learned and some I wish I had learned.

I appreciated La Shawn’s observations on blogging in this article – we need to focus on providing real content of some sort, although the viral quality of news item alerts is a valid use of the blog. Sometimes you just want to highlight something, but regurgitated headlines? that is stale before it hits the page, usually. What I didn’t appreciate was her trip to get cake. It made me hungry. And I had to take my own trip to the kitchen…. so much for my good intentions to eat healthy today.

But not to blame La Shawn, I was inclined that way from the time I got up this morning. Resistance was going to be temporary, anyway, the power of suggestion only needed to be feather-lite to tip me over the edge.

So what did I eat I know you are dying to know? I had a slice of cinnamon butter pound cake…ok? With fresh blueberries.
Now you want something sweet and calorific, don’t you?
My related posts:

Continue reading La Shawn Barber has points to ponder

7×7 meme

Brian @ reasonswhy tagged me for this meme…. so here goes.

1. Seven things to do before I die
2. Seven things I cannot do
3. Seven things that attract me to (…)
4. Seven things I say most often
5. Seven books (or series) that I love
6. Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would if I had time)
7. Seven people I want to join in, too.

Before I die
I. I’d like to go on some missions trips.
II. I’d like to set up an art studio if my vision holds out
III. Make an impact on the coming generation
IV. see the last part be more than the first part, per Job
V. finally finish the renovation of this old house
VI. Understand, come to peace, with some of the events of my life
VII. Create a family legacy -especially of traditions

Things I cannot do
I. Carpentry work
II. get people to do what I want
III. Swim well
IV. Math
V. Accomplish everything on my lists
VI. Keep on target for long
VII. Give people the time I would like to

Things that attract me
I. kindness
II. good conversation without having to fill all the spaces
III. an edge
IV. decent grooming without overconcern
V. spiritual fellowship
VI. serious, but able to have fun
VII. honesty

Things I say most often
II. just one question
III. actually
IV. Could you do me a favor?
V. Thank you
VI. I think….
VII. shoot

Books I love
I. The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer
II. Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
III. Garden books by Helen Van Pelt Wilson, John Brookes, Piet Oudolf
IV. The Lord of the Rings
V. Last of the Mohicans
VI. I love the Bible, OK?
VII. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

Movies I watch over and over
I. Overboard
II. Last of the Mohicans
III. What About Bob?
IV. Tremors (my husband makes me-his favorite)
V. The Gods Must Be Crazy
VI. Monsters Inc, Shrek
VII. Indiana Jones movies

reasons why: Seven by Seven Meme

Seven people I want to join in, too :
1. Carol
2. Arethusa
3. Mark
4. Samantha
5. Kobayashi Maru
6. MoM
7. Matt

Top Topics In My Book

Human Trafficking

IrishLaw – Blog from a Domer in D.C. (via Ohio State Moritz Law)

Selling women

I’m usually fairly dismissive of the Lifetime cable channel (“television for women” – not so much) but they are currently running a miniseries called “Human Trafficking,” about the global sex slave trade. It’s an extremely important topic

Supreme Court Decision on Abortion Rights



~ what I care most about in the nominees of the Supreme Court is that they get this country back on track with operating the court in the proper balance that it was intended. That it revisit Roe vs. Wade and Kelo, and all other large scale decisions that have eviscerated this country and the foundations of its freedoms.

How And Why People Think As They Do

North Western Winds

S[u]perstitious Minds

Good bloggers are golden. I hope Bill Vallicella has plans to write for a long time.

Bill on Superstition:

Is there a difference between religion and superstition, or is religion by its very nature superstitious? There seem to be two main views

~This is a perenially interesting topic to me… it covers religion, intelligent design, science, logic, just all sorts of interesting avenues

===have to go, but I think I will list more top topics later=====

Last Post and then I’m Outta Here

Today is obsessive day, so probably not- but I will try.. I will try to be good, to control myself- BUT FIRST! There is always that… while on the blog mentioned previously there was a meme with so much ego feeding potential that of course I had to do it.

You take your name, put it in quotes with the word ‘needs’ and google it. Here is mine:

“Ilona needs”

First, some coffee. I think especially Ilona needs it.

Ilona needs a standard way of naming files

Ilona needs to raise $200.00.

I decided Ilona needs leggings!

Ilona needs me, and of course I will be There.

Ilona needs to secure a date for her First kick-off

Ilona needs our prayers at the moment as her job is very hard

clearly Ilona needs forgiveness

~how eerie. The internet knows me….
segue out to x-file theme… overlaid with echoes of The Twilight Zone

You are supposed to pick the first five or the five funniest, but I did my own thing as always… there were only two pages of results to choose from.

People With the Most Clout – Diversity 2005: The Most Influential – Full List


People With the Most Clout
They could make the cut on almost any power list—so why spotlight the most influential African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and others with roots around the world? The nature of power is changing, and people of color are flexing their muscles like never before.-Fortune Magazine

Just thought you’d like to know. Color, Culture, and the transmutations thereof interest me.

Books Galore

Sozo, a good read himself, has tagged me with a book meme.

Total books owned, ever : I have a floor to ceiling bookcase, boxes of books, bookcases upstairs, piles of books in my room…. I have no idea how many I own, or how to count the ones I’ve given away ( I always give the best away:”you have to read this, here….”) I confess that I have huge numbers of childrens books….. multiple copies of A Wrinkle In Time, The Hobbit, ….

Last book I bought : 1.Tales of Edisto by Nell S Graydon ( beach reading;)
bought on a whim

2.The Lord of the Rings (the really beautifully illustrated one -trilogy in a single volume)
by J.R.R. Tolkien
bought deliberately

Last book I read :
the book I bought for the beach…

Five Books that mean a lot to me :

* the Bible ..the one necessary book for me
* the Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer,
* three small ones: The Lord of The Flies, Les Rhinosceros, Tale of Three Kings
* Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend
* The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Tag 5 people :
no, no, no…ok.

Matt, Rodney ( and see his fab new look !),John of Hootsbuddy.

That last appellation almost sound like a Renaissance name, doesn’t it? For a Renaissance man;)

It is too hard to choose any more, just 3.
I would love to see what’s on their bookshelves.

ABC’s From Golden Gods

That almost sounds idolatrous doesn’t it? It’s just a meme. Because I don’t want to get heavy over the holiday….. ( little pun, little fun)

A is for Age – old old old
B is for Booze – Too much… to nothing…. to the occasional, now. Spanish red wine
C is for Cookie you crave – I’m into cookies…. lessee, favorite is kifli, with cream cheese dough…. I want one now.
D is for Dating tip you’d give your son or daughter – I’m one of those “don’t date” parents. but if they do they know the rules, so “remember the rules”.
E is for Essential items to bring to a party – why, *me* of course, with my x-tra sparkly mood.
F is for Favorite song at the moment – I just listen to whatever the kids have on at the moment….
G is for Goof off thing to do – blog mostly
H is for Hometown – Cowtown
I is for Instrument you play – Piano, voice, zills, own and try the bodhrán ( but I’m no good) .
J is for Jam or Jelly you like – Maine wild blueberry.
K is for Kids – Yes, it is. ( I liked Worship Naked’s answer,but I’m like the old woman in the shoe)
L is for Living arrangement – cluttered/ always working on it
M is for Mom’s name – it morphed through different phases of her life
N is for Name of first crush – Robert Wallace. really. 5th grade I think. He had this dimple in his chin….
O is for Overexposed celebrity? – They are all overexposed.
P is for Phobias – don’t like heights
Q is for Quote you like – “O senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm and yet will make Gods by the dozen!” — Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)
R is for Relationship that lasted longest – marriage.
S is for Siblings – Two.
T is for Texas, ever been? – Nope, husband developed allergy during his hippy years.
U is for Unique trait – I actually try what lots of people talk about trying… but that isn’t really unique, just unusual.
V for Vegetable you love – I generally like them, but I love lettuce. I stuff my mouth with lettuce when nobody is looking…but it has to be mesclun or baby lettuce mixes…..
W is for Worst trait – I’m critical. I’m not very humorous ( you pick)
X – is for Xtra Credit, did you ever do it in school? – yes. I also took the coming years history in summer school so I could add more credits to my school year.
Y is for Yummy food you make – holiday dinners
Z is for Zodiac sign – Ursa Major

taken up from someone who Worships Naked….


Hope everyone is having a great Memorial weekend. I think this year we especially remember so many that have given their lives in military service. I remember my Uncle Archie, a WW2 veteran who earned a purple heart. He was patched up on the battlefield and had problems with that leg all his life.

He was the uncle who my mom and I went around Hungary with. He was very stoic about the pain and difficulty from his leg, too much so, so that I got to see the medical institutions of Eastern Europe first hand on that trip.

He was a brave guy.

Good things come in three’s

It’s a 3 meme:
..and I spent about three days writing it…

3 names I go by:
ilona, Ilona, Mom

3 screen-names I’ve had:
ilona, FireForNow, IEE

3 physical things I like about myself:
nothing today…. some days my face, my ‘presence’, …that’s it everything is going to pot

3 physical things I dislike about myself:
my aging, my middle section, my eyes.

3 parts of my heritage:
Hungarian, Scottish, English

3 things I am wearing right now:
draw string pajama style pants ( don’t laugh) , new gray henley type shirt with lace trim, underwear ( that is all you need to know)

3 favorite bands/musical artists:
Delirious!, Sting ( stop laughing), Flyleaf (excellent stuff), Bonus: Matt Redman

3 favorite songs:
“Ill Be More Undignified Than This”, “Fields of Gold”, “Believer”-Matt Redman

3 things I want in a relationship:
love, trust, some fun

3 physical things about people of the opposite sex that appeal to me:
little bit bad boy look, blond-types usually, tallish

3 of my favorite hobbies:
gardening, computer stuff, reading

3 things I want to do really badly right now:
go out to eat, keep on going to South Carolina to get warm and sit on the beach somemore, hire a housekeeper ( will never happen, but hey)

3 things that scare me:
heights aren’t good, I don’t like dark alleys, probably hungry lions-but I don’t think about that

3 of my everyday essentials:
coffee, toothbrush, lipstick

3 careers you have considered or are considering:
paralegal, something art related, landscape design

3 places you want to go on vacation:
SC, Ireland, Maine

3 kids’ names you like:
chucky-I’m kidding OK? You mean one I haven’t used?
Isolde, Aidan, Christian

3 things you want to do before you die:
Go on a missions trip, be able to say “I’ve finished my course”,

3 ways I am stereotypically a boy:
I tend to think logically, Climb trees, keep my cool in a pinch

3 ways I am stereotypically a chick:
I like beauty treatment stuff, I can’t build things, I plan alot

3 celeb crushes:
Johnny Depp, Sting ( s-stop laughing), James Marsters (Spike)

3 people who I think might like doing this:
Roberta,Radmila, Vashnevskaya( but I’d bet good money that she’s forgotten her password and can’t blog)
but I’m not tagging and I wasn’t tagged- I learned my lesson, but if you want to do this meme, be my guest and then you could be nice and link me;)