June Blog

This morning I awoke hearing someone singing out on the waterway. The wind was kind of fluky this morning so I just got snatches here and there. It sounded somewhat familiar but I just couldn’t quite hear enough of it to figure it out. Then all of a sudden the breeze held still long enough for me to hear a voice singing “I come to the river alone.” Yes, I know those aren’t the correct words – but I promise, that’s what it sounded like. Now why I would recognize this is a true mystery, because I know that’s got to be a good Baptist or a Methodist hymn. I was raised high Episcopalian and it’s a given that that old song was never sung on any Sunday at our church. But it’s a wonderful hymn and I’m thinking we high churchers missed out on a bunch of good singing. I know it’ll never be for me a “Lift High the Cross” kind of hymn but it was still a mighty fine way to start a Sunday morning.

It’s funny how we each get started in the morning. My husband hops up, ready to make the bed immediately. It might be his military school training that prompts him to make the bed so smooth that you can almost flip a quarter on it. He gets dressed and that’s it.

I tend to wake up much earlier and immediately get started on tasks. Now these tasks may include checking to see if I’ve forgotten to do something on p2P, an email that needs tending to immediately, and maybe just check Words with Friends to see if I can come up with a word longer than 4 letters. I am abysmal in this game – Pixie sister Jan regularly outscores me 450 to 150 but she has hopes that my vocabulary will grow if she just keeps playing with me. And will someone tell me why she knows words like “qursh” or “umiaq” or “zarf”? I looked up “qursh”and they don’t even have a definition! But that doesn’t stop it from being an approved WWF word. Who’s in charge up there? My sentence using all of those words: “Umiaq and I are qurshed and we need to zarf it up.”

I have about 25 games going all the time with a plethora of patient people – and I confess – my scores have not improved appreciably. How do they all know those little 2 letter words? I mean really – did you learn the word “za” or “os” anytime in your schooling? When is the last time you used “ae” or “xi” in a sentence? I come up with perfectly wonderful new words all the time but they don’t seem to be in the WWF dictionary. And there is NOT an option to add them although there should be because some of them are outstanding.

Typically I digress.

Continuing with what happens in the morning around our house: Then comes chores – this week we’re down at the beach and so there are LOTS of things that need fixing, cleaning, scrubbing, moving, and putting away. Wait – I forgot to say that I still have on my nightgown and it’s 11:15 am! I know that I’m in good company staying in my nightie because a couple of the other pixies have confessed that they sometimes do that too. I will NOT be naming names at this time….

Pixie sister Kim just sent a video worth watching that shows a commencement speech that a Navy Admiral gave at UT. (No, not Tennessee – Texas this time.) Some of this really awesome speech (and the link to read the entire speech is at the bottom of this blog) was about what it takes to become a Navy Seal. One of the first things they learn is how to make their beds. So these boys who are about to be ridden hard to extremes all day first have their made beds inspected by Viet Nam veterans. The corners have to be precise, the covers so tight that you could bounce that proverbial quarter and the pillow smack in the middle of the bed. Admiral McRaven says, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”

So with this in mind, I headed off to do laundry. I didn’t even turn on talk radio because his words were rolling over in my head. You see, our old place doesn’t have a washer or dryer, so a local Laundromat works just fine and I get to listen to Maria’s soft Spanish talking to customers. Her Laundromat may not be air conditioned but it is spic and span with a cool breeze coming through the open doors. Once everything was dry, I wish you could see how I matched the corners of the flat sheets and taking just a smidgen more time, folded the fitted sheets neatly into thirds. OK, probably not as precise as a Navy Seal would do it – but it did give me pleasure to see it neatly done instead of a wad. It’s funny how a good suggestion sticks in your brain. The laundry is easy to do but taking just a few minutes to do it better really did give me a sense of pride in a job well done. Is anyone going to notice it? Probably not – but I will each time I put clean sheets on a bed.

Here’s more from that speech: “By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

One more thing about getting up in the morning. I’ve decided to do something that takes just a couple of minutes BEFORE I get out of the bed. It’s something that I can do just by picking up my phone. We’ve got a lovely-tall-drink-of-water kind a gal from down here in the south who is just so funny. I don’t remember when I first heard Jeanne Robertson but she continues to describe her life with Left Brain and make me laugh out loud every time. Her description of riding down the Colorado River or bungee jumping is priceless. I hope you’ll enjoy watching her short videos too. There is a link below – actually it’s not a true link but just copy and paste it into your browser and it will work.

So each morning, I’m rolling over, turning on the phone and watching one of her “descriptions.” My cheeks will be covered in tears but it’ll be from laughing so hard. It’s a great way to get your whole body working. And it might just be better for you than 10 sit ups.

Happy memory making and lots of LOL,


Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, at the University-wide Commencement at The University of Texas at Austin on May 17: http://www.utexas.edu/news/2014/05/16/admiral-mcraven-commencement-speech/

Jeannie Robertson:  http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=09CJC1NU

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5 Responses to Blog: Little things count!

  1. Liz Propst says:

    !My mouth is watering with the photo of your pickles and Poos! Now to check out Jeannie Robertson…I think she has performed at The Knight and Jenni says she is so very nice. Her husband is clergy!! Enjoy your day….and I’m in my PJ’s as I type this, but my bed is still unmade …. but will be soon!

    • Anne says:

      Counting on us meeting at Poo’s for lunch one day and have found another place nearby that’s got lots of vegetables! Think you’ll love Jeanne Robertson and Left Brain – so funny!

  2. debbie says:

    This is a lovely blog–totally honest and one so many of us relate to. Plus the bonus is the thought about making beds! I totally cannot get into an unmade bed in the evening. Thank you for sharing

  3. Carolyn says:

    Jan uses Trial and Error on the qursh and zarf, don’t you think? I couldn’t keep playing that game for just that reason. I’m a word lover but the “with friends” part of that game was definitely the best part! I wake up to birds, coffee From Craig, the morning Bible devotion and usually a growling stomach. :-). It’s musical too! Birds sing in the big Bradford pear outside our window and as soon as Craig wakes up, the news goes on. I read FB, my mail, p2Ps daily offering and then get up and make the bed, usually all before 7. :-). My favorite organizer, Alejandra, is also a proponent of bed making, as was my mother, which is why it stuck, I’m sure. When I was a kid, I tried to always make up my bed as best I could BEFORE I got out of it. I would pull up the covers and smooth them and then shimmy out the top. A little more smoothing and I was finished! Something I’ve started to do in the last few months is to make my first task once I go downstairs to make dinner, or do as much prep as I can. Dinner time is busy and stressful here and 4-6 PM is the worst part of the day for my natural body rhythms anyway so the more I can get done in the morning, the better my late afternoon and evening will be. On the days I can adhere with discipline to that commitment to make dinner early, we all benefit. Wonderful blog again, Ann. Yours always make me want to call and chat. But then it’s usually VERY early and I don’t want to wake you up! This morning we slept in a little bit because Craig’s on vacation. :-). Enjoy the beach! Can’t wait to see all your fun summer pages. Love you!

    • Anne says:

      Is trial and error anything like guess and hope? I guess I keep hoping that if I just drop in the letters – they will magically form a real word. The idea of planning dinner first thing in the morning is right on. I find it’s less stressful if that’s out of the way rather than waiting till 5:30 to pray someone suggests going out. My favorite meal is one that can be divided into feeding for more than one night! But now that summer is here – hoping that I can get away with tomato sandwiches and fresh corn!
      Thought about you as I took my sweet book on sea glass to the beach – it’s perfect. You do get up a smidgen before I do in the morning but not by much!! love you back!

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