Writing Prompts: Scrabble

Once upon a time, a girl set out a list of thirty-odd words to use as writing prompts, hoping that the discipline of writing 50 words and only 50 words for each prompt would help her start writing again.

She didn’t get very far.

Nine prompts and 500 words later, she returned to the list, added a few more prompts, finessed a few of the completed prompts, and re-engaged the challenge.

I present to you today 100 words in two pieces inspired by the word “Scrabble.”


Prompt word: Scrabble

Version 1:

“It’ll be fun, he said.”
Button sized rocks skid out from underfoot.
“An easy path, he said.”
The handhold breaks and tumbles down the mountainside.
“You’ll love it, he said.”
Two quick springs and a desperate grab.
“See if I…”
A final lunge over the ridge.
“…listen to him again.”


Version 2:

Edmund eyed the board with distaste.  “You’re sure this is a game.”

“Highly enjoyed by the monarchs of Shoka.”  Erain poked the wooden letter tiles.

“Spelling.  As a game.”  One eyebrow arched.

Erain shrugged. “I’m told they hosted a week-long tournament.”

“And I thought Conrad’s taste in games was odd.”


Writing these half-drabbles is an interesting challenge.  I have to choose my words with extreme care to convey the emotion and feel of the setting.  And I have to consider a broad variety of scenarios to which those words can be applied.  Plus it’s fun to experiment with styles.

What scenarios does “scrabble” bring to your mind?

 

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Gratitude Series 02

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Today, I am reminiscing friends. Realizing how grateful I am for buddies.

To all those who are close to me and see me for who I am and love me just as:
I’m so thankful for each of you. I’m even thankful for how we grate on each other. 🙂

For each of you who have been with me for over two years, extra special thanks for your patience with my apparent inability to listen well: you taught me to shut my mouth and drink you in.

My world is so much better for it.

Thank you.

Friend, I Listen

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

Friend
Breathe deep
Let me hear and let me stir
Dissolve the facade free
Our eyes delicately see

Share
Speak all
Empty your heart so I hear
Cry and sip and swallow
Pain poured out makes us hollow

Here
Right here
I listen to what you say
The galaxy of you
I dare not disturb the view

Time
Like tea
I give because you matter
I shan’t hurry us on
Even if we sit ’til dawn

Breathe
And smile
For tea doesn’t stain hearts
It is okay to spill
Be with me and please be real

Friend
Come close
Enter this quiet abode
Kneel on this mat with me
Let me make you green tea

by Keviana Elliot 3/26/19

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Intro to Leigh

Greetings, Friends!  The lovely Keviana has invited me to join her as a guest blogger.  Please do allow me to introduce myself.

I’m a daughter of the King of kings who loves reading and writing, stories and songs. I’m an accountant and storyteller, a teacher and friend. I’m a daughter and sister, an aunt and a niece. I’ll curl up by the fire with a mug of hot tea or hike up the mountains – either suits me.

You can call me Leigh Thalion.  It’s not my legal name but it is a name I want to live up to.  Essentially, it means “Steadfast shelter.”  I want me and my home to be a place of shelter and certainty for my family and friends; a place they can come when everything is too much.

I’ve long been fascinated by edged weaponry and martial arts and have recently begun formal training in Krav Maga with a side of Muay Thai kickboxing for extra spice.  I watch fight scenes in movies and TV shows much differently now.  🙂

While Keviana leans toward Sci-Fi in her writing, you’ll find I tend toward fantasy.  You just can’t beat a good sword fight (sorry Keviana).

I’m slowly learning to step out of the box I’ve made for myself and to simply BE what God has made me – and looking to really see who that girl is along the way.

So come along with me as I wander the world with wonder.

 

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Gratitude Series 01

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

 

Steps plodded into unwavering gratitude start with the realization of a 30,000-ft view.

A flyover.

Stare down into the tiny dots that make up memories and backstory and see what’s there.

If I were a commercial airliner, soaring over my life, what would the terrain be made of?

Black dirt. Green trees. White snow. A little further on, endless blue oceans and island-dots. Then finally, land filled with flowers and endless miles of flowering trees. (I think they’re cherry and plum trees… But it’s hard to tell from up here.)

Let’s divide it up.

black dirt.

The nitty-gritty on my life story.

The pain.
The sorrow.
The hard.
The stuff I wish each flood of rain would wash away.

Can I be truly grateful for all of it? #unsure

green trees.

Life.

The places God was gracious to grow it in me.

Through parenting poured out on me by my Mother and Father, and expounded in me through my Heavenly Pappa.

white snow.

Where I started.

With nothing.

Getting to choose nothing.

My life, placed in the hands of others at my birth, innocent brown eyes taking everything in as I aged into a girl.

endless blue oceans.

Chased by the fathomless, ravishing love of my Creator.
Wooed by His worlds.
Drowned by His goodness.
Wowed by Him. Wowed by Jesus/Yeshua. Wowed by what He shares with me.

island-dots.

Worlds for He and I to uncover, discover, and form.

Working together. This is what’s mine to steward under His supervision.

land of flowers and flowering trees.

Blessings I didn’t work for.

Gifts I don’t deserve.

Delightful beauty that is given to me to watch, touch, play in.

 

This is the overview.
This is where I start.

 

endkevianaelliot

Turn It Off and On Again

I’ll make this quick and painless.

Fix 95% of your tech issues by turning it off and on again.

You heard me.

If it has a processor for dealing with data, try a 30-second full power down.

This method works for me in the I.T. field over and over again.

It works on all models of smart phone, printer, computer, laptop, Mac, Amazon product (Kindle, Echo, etc.), movie player, music player, Chromecast, Google Home, smart speaker, speaker system, Wi-Fi booster, signal router, etc. So much so, it’s to the point of being laughable. Comical.

Forced power downs don’t break things nowadays like they used to ten years ago, so on your newer devices, feel free to unplug them, count to 30, re-plug-in, and power on.

The only time I would say not to do this is if you have reason to believe your machine has been exposed to a bug/virus/malicious attack. (Or if your machine is ancient-old.)

Hope this saves you some headaches.

 

Please Note: my data scientist Husband requests I state I’m not liable for any damage incurred to your device from turning it off and on again. So consider it stated. Thanks.

endkevianaelliot

Catted: Requested Prompt Continuation

A special request came through for some additional words written on the prompt I posted. (See it here. You might read it first for context.) I didn’t start this with a plan and I sure don’t have one now. We’ll see how this goes.

 

An hour passed by slowly. She refused to talk, and he got the hint and didn’t try. The teal-eyed cat just sat there like a loaf on the balcony’s wooden railing.

The dusty cow town quieted as those eating and talking downstairs in the hotel turned in. The cicadas and crickets were even lessening.

She squinted her eyes at the full-moon-lit yard beneath them. It would happen any minute. She shifted her weight to her other foot.

Beside her, Merrit pulled out an old pocket watch and checked the time. He let out a bored yawn.

Suddenly, the cat looked beneath them.

A barely-discernible sparkle cut the air near the ground, widening to a black, vertical oval in the middle of the dusty yard area.

Her heartbeat quickened.

Out of portal black stepped a silver-skinned being dressed in silver cowboy-wear.

She waited for the target to step away from the closing portal, then she moved, jumping the railing and flipping down to the ground. Her boot stabilizers caught the landing, but she’d forgotten how heavy the dress would be in this gravity. She stumbled forward to her knees, catching herself painfully against the ground with her hands.

“You need to work on that landing.” Merrit called down at her.

She gritted her teeth, looking up to meet eyes with the target.

The silver being pulled out a gel ball and began to smash it to the ground.

Awkwardly, she flung her bracelet, the gig-time freezer, at it.

The gig-time freezer activated when it hit, but it was too late: the gel ball decimated the signal with pulses.

She grimaced. She hated when targets were ready for her favorite move.

The target flung his gloved hand at his feet, opening a portal, vector-place jumping again.

She scrambled up and dove in after.

***

Slowed by the boots, Merrit barely made it in time to follow the two, diving head-first  into the portal.

His hands touched the incoming ground and he tucked and rolled, the motion landing him up on his feet again. They were on a night-shrouded, dusty plateau, complete with small bushes and sparse grass patches. From the corner of his vision, he saw his cat dashing forward.

Ahead of them, the Time Agent drew her weapon and fired several blue pips at the retreating silver being. The target turned and deflected and deflected- stymieing her attempts to halt the getaway.

Merrit stood, pulling a glowing yellow orb from his belt. He threw the earthquake miffer into the air, trying to get in front of the target. The ground shook mightily, knocking the Time Agent to her feet and felling the target into a canyon he hadn’t seen.

He raced toward where the silver being disappeared.

The Time Agent ran up beside him, yelling, “Illegal much?”

They skidded to a stop next to the small canyon, staring down to see a shimmering, black, vector-place jump right beneath them.

“Illegal what?” He took a breath, a step back, then jumped off the edge. He sensed she jumped beside him. They dropped into the portal.

On the other side of the shiny black, they landed amid cacti and brush, their legs tangled.

Merrit got to his knees, quickly pulling a cactus needle out off his hand. “Well that smarts.”

Looking up, he spotted the target running away from them, dodging in and out of larger desert plants.

Beside him, the Time Agent stood to her feet, her dress a dusty, torn mess. “That’s about enough.” She growled. Stepping forward, she pulled her range stunner out and fired it at the target. The stunner glowed lime green and glitched, zapping her to the ground.

“Didn’t count on having to run.” Merrit muttered, getting up. He took off in hot pursuit, boots clomping. He gained quite a bit, then he pulled out his laser whip from his belt. Lengthening the distance with a brush of his thumb, he turned it to max, wound up and cracked it hard. It snapped close to hitting the target, but missed entirely.

Raising it’s arm, the target whirled around and launched a Tommy bomb straight at the ground in front of Merrit, the tail fins revolving almost comically in slow motion.

Merrit realized he wouldn’t have time to slow down or dodge.

“Uumph!” His breath left him as he was pushed hard to the left, landing hard on the unforgiving dirt behind a rock. Exploded cacti and night sand rained down around him. Breathing hard, he opened his eyes, coming face-to-face with the teal eyes of his cat. “We’re going to have a rocky relationship if you keep doing that!”

The cat took off.

Merrit shakily got to his feet.

The Time Agent caught up, stopping near him, panting. Her hair had partially come undone. She pulled up her dart gun, breathing hard. She aimed and fired her sleep dart at the target.

Merrit watched as the target ducked and kept running.

“You gotta… be… kidding me!” She gasped, starting after the target again. Merrit ran with her.

Ahead of them, the target is suddenly attacked by the cat, a mechanical scream sounding out in the night. The cat yowled back with ferocity.

Merrit and the Time Agent reached the target at the same time, but he paused to let her approach first.

She shooed his cat off and knelt, slipping binders on the target. She angrily read the target its temporal rights.

“What makes you think you get to take him in?” Merrit huffed.

She gave him a dirty look. “Did you cause an un-sanctioned earthquake, cowboy?” She snarled. “I should take you in to answer for your sector’s utter denial of the Time Accords. All one-thousand-and-six of them.”

Merrit spread his hands. “I can’t help it if my sector is more street-savvy than yours.”

“Punks. The lot of you. And your justice system is flawed. The target returns with me. You and-” She looked down at the cat who is bathing it’s leg in the moonlight. “your girlfriend there can mosey yourselves right home.”

“Now hold on there-” He looked down, baffled, at his cat. “Girl? What? Did you lie to me?”

The cat put down her leg and sat, eyes unblinking.

The Time Agent rolled her eyes. “That cat clearly saved your life, so you owe it some catnip or something. Just do me a solid and never run into me again, okay?”

He smiled at her suavely. “No promises, Virginia.”

She exhaled and threw a DIME-opener to the ground to transport her and the target back to her Headquarters. It grew into a sky blue oval of fluids wide and high enough for two people. She moved toward it pushing the target ahead of her.

He took a step toward her. “What? Not going to retort with your real name?”

She whirled around. “No matter how many times you ask, you’ll never get my name, Merrit. If you were a real professional, I wouldn’t know yours.”

“Keep running, Starlight. I know I’ll befriend you one day.”

She turned on a heel and marched through the transport. It flowed into a soupy, glass-like blue ripple, then faded away to nothing.

He looked down at his cat. “Hey. Liar. Did’ja get it?”

The cat moved. Under where its haunches sat laid a small, square, brown leather pouch.

Merrit leaned down and picked it up. “You are unreal, Mister. Uh, Missy… Whatever.” He opened the pouch and peered in. Seeing the powerful Corsecan item within, he tied the pouch and pushed it into his pocket. “Thanks for saving my bacon back there.”

The cat ‘mrrred’ up at him, lazily blinking teal eyes.

Merrit grinned. “You think she’ll come after us now that we have it?”

The cat licked her paw and wiped her maw twice.

“Hn. You’re right. We best stay ready.” Merrit opened a Di-jump for them with a wave of his hand. “If we’re lucky, maybe she’ll find us before we get a chance to use it.”

 

 

endkevianaelliot

Eye Socks – Who Knew?

The I.T. Girl Hack for your week: eye socks. You’re welcome.

THE STORY

I thought I was going blind.

Looking at my computer screen at work, there was a persistent blurring of the image. I’d rub my eyes, it’d shift or go away for awhile, then return.

My eyes had history of burning after long hours of screen-work, but the blurring was new and scary. And since my eyes were burning to the point of pain, I booked an appointment with an ophthalmologist quick-like.

The ophthalmologist did a full examination of my peepers, being sure to let me know what she found along the way. (I had so many questions. Remember, I thought something serious was going on.) Turns out, my eyes were secreting tears just fine, but the oil ratio in them was troubling.

And there’s a name for that. It’s called meibomian gland dysfunction. Also called ‘meibomianitis.’ (Click here to learn more.)

And yeah. That was my diagnosis.

The cause? You’ll love this.

I wasn’t blinking enough.

So, basically, people who work with computer screens/ smart phone screens/ television screens all day blink very little. (You can read on that here.)

When a person blinks very little, the meibomian glands (the oil-makers of the eye) aren’t able to push out the oils they are meant to.

And if the meibomian glands don’t push out the oil, the oil turns to wax.

Yeah. I had a freaking wax buildup going on in my eyes because of my line of work.

To quote Beth Moore, not a blessing.

But the ophthalmologist had a solution! (Supposedly made easier by my age and the severity.) Warm compresses (for two solid minutes per eye) four times a day for two weeks, then two more weeks of M-W-F treatments, then as needed. for. the. rest. of. my. life.

…Or as long as I planned to keep working with computers and screens. Cue tears now.

I’ll sum up.

The treatment worked, but it was a pain to pull off. (Who wants to be dousing their eyes with heated water four times a day?)

This took place five years ago.

RESULTS

Nowadays, I just use a sock filled with rice, microwaved to perfection, for two solid minutes.

It works so well, I’m writing this post to share for all those out there who are experiencing burning, itching, blurring eyes due to too much Pinterest Facebook Instagram Fortnite screen time.

Especially for the poor souls like me who work with screens, relax with screens, and then call their mom with FaceTime. (Hi, Mom!)

My eye sock saves the day anytime the burning sensation starts up again.

This is my current eye sock, who I’ve lovingly named “Sockie The Christmas Gift To My Eyes.”

sockiethechristmasgifttomyeyes
Sockie The Christmas Gift To My Eyes

I stand by it as the best I.T. hack I’ve ever known.

I like this hack so much, I think every high school student should have one when they go off to adulthood, every young person should have one when they enter school, and every parent should have one for when the kids leave and they watch too many shows or sports on their phone.

You don’t have to use a Christmas sock for yours. Just sayin’.

So here’s how you make your own.

DIRECTIONS

Simple to a fault.

  1. Find a sock made of fabric that won’t let rice dust escape. The sock can be as big or small as you wish. I liked mine to cover both my eyes well at the same time.
  2. Fill the sock with rice, leaving room to knot to opening of the sock. Don’t over-stuff. The sock needs to contour to your face. I recommend pouring the rice over a 13 x 9 baking dish to catch what falls. Especially if you aren’t using a funnel.
  3. Tie the sock opening in a knot so rice won’t escape.
  4. To use: microwave the rice sock for 60 to 90 seconds, then touch it to see if it’s hot enough. Add 30-second bursts to achieve correct heat level for you. (If you do 120+ seconds at one time, you risk burning the rice, which is a travesty and will make you cry. Okay, maybe I was the one that cried. Still. Don’t do it unless you want to start back at #1.)
  5. Without burning your face, hold the rice sock on your closed eyes for 2 minutes. (Your target is the eyelash line.)
  6. Done. Put the rice sock away in a dry location until you need it next. You can use the rice sock until something looks or smells off. Then make yourself a new one.

If you spill rice everywhere and are tempted to yell my name in frustration, don’t. Use a vacuum and try again. Your success with bless your eyes. (Also, don’t let the dry rice go down your kitchen pipes. It’s just not a good thing, you know?)

Hope this saves your I.T. / Programmer / Gamer / Video-Streaming eyes.

endkevianaelliot

During Grief: Sharing Chores with My Husband

This is what I wrote on sharing chores with your spouse before the miscarriage.

This is what I’ve learned since the miscarriage.

It’s so different doing life while inside grief… I wish I’d known all this before it hit. I could’ve saved my Husband and I some tearful discussions.

1. Stuff is going to fall

Let it.

When dealing and muddling through grief, the priority is letting out the pain. Don’t hold back a good cry because the kitchen is a mess. Just cry it out beside that sink full. It’s healing a bit of you that’s bleeding inside.

2. Give grace

You and your significant other need some room to be yourself.

You need room to do you.

Whatever your mourning/lamenting style is, whatever your spouse’s mourning/lamenting style is, embrace it and give grace.

He didn’t get the grass cut? Hire a guy to do it and tell your man you love him.
You didn’t get the towels folded? Shove them where they go unfolded and take a relaxing bubble bath while you’re so close to the tub.

Grace.

3. Communicate softly

When speaking to each other, pick the softest time. Maybe not early in the morning before the first, comforting cup of coffee, or late at night when emotions are so near the surface. No one wants to hear about the garbage can before bed when they are sad.

Pick the softest place to communicate. Maybe not over text. Maybe not over the phone.

Pick your soft tone when speaking to your spouse. Be careful with one another while you are both so sensitive.

Pick your words carefully. Be extra soft. You both need it.

Chores don’t go away, but your spouse might leave the room crying if you are harsh. Be sweet. Be kind. Be soft.

4. Give more grace

When you wanted the chore done oh, so badly, and it isn’t done, weigh it in light of the future.

Will this mildewed basket of clothes bother me in a year?

Will this messy car hurt me in a few months?

Sigh and just let it go. (Or shed a tear and walk away.)

5. When you can, ask for help

If you can get a little help with your chores, consider it during the roughest grief period.

A house cleaner, a yard man, a chef service, a drop-off laundry service, etc. are a good decision while you and your spouse are distraught.

A friend or a family member might be willing to pitch in, too.

Ask.

It’s temporary and might ease the burden you both feel so you can focus on you.

6. Understand grieving may take a long time

For our recent miscarriage, one friend said the discombobulation could last 4 months, another friend said years.

My Husband and I determined it varies from person to person, from couple to couple.

If you expect grief to take awhile, it just makes everything… more… okay.

After the first two months, I’m writing this after having another crying spell this afternoon. I have to tell myself to slow down still and not be in such a hurry to “be better.” Guilt is not allowed anymore. Why?

It may take a long time.

And no one can tell me (or you) exactly how much time it will take.

7. It’s temporary

Things will get better. They will not go “back to normal,” but they won’t hurt like death forever…

Just keep saying it: this is temporary.

Feel the feels, sob the pain, cry the anger, lament, grieve, but know it’s not forever.

Take it day-by-day. – Kalla L.

I agree with my friend’s saying so much: take it day-by-day.

For example, on a simple day, no work was needed at my job, just a meeting of a creative writing church group for a few hours. I’d planned all week to go, excited to write with my friends, but, the night before, I cried so hard, I nearly vomited. That morning, I woke up with a stuffy, swollen head, exhausted, my heart as heavy as a rock. My Husband encouraged me to forget it all. Scrub the plans. Scrub the pending chores. He’d go to work, he wanted me to stay in bed or on the couch. He proceeded to check on me every two hours. And I needed it. This was weeks after the miscarriage. Weeks.

Just when I thought I was getting “better,” everything would crash again. Week after week.

When one or both spouses are going through times of “okay” then “not okay,” it’s a scary roller-coaster. All you can do is pray, cry, sing to God, cry, pray, sleep- out of exhaustion, rinse, repeat.

The last thing you need is to be demanding of yourself or your spouse. It just makes the season 400% worse. (Yeah, I know 400% isn’t a thing. I’m married to a data scientist. That’s just how it felt.)

Keep reaching out to good support sources. (You know who they are.)

You’ll get through this.

I’m not even all the way, but I’m seeing some daylight now.

I believe it for both of us. Me and you.

You’ll get through.

Then you and your spouse will toast that sparkly clean toilet. And on that future day, you’ll say it.

I’m going to be okay.

 

endkevianaelliot

 

Bible Museum in Washington D.C. and Our Visit

My Husband and I visited Washington D.C. during the Fall of 2018. Such a beautiful and diverse city, rich with history and heavy humidity.

The brand new Bible Museum was easily the highlight of our trip.

We first heard about the Bible Museum from our Pastor, Robert Morris. He mentioned that he’d visited it and recommended that we all get out to see it. Our Pastor is a grammarian, so he described it as detailed and beautifully as he could, but it still didn’t do it justice! It was so much more than we could’ve imagined.

They have 6 floors full of exhibits, and a lower floor where they host exhibits (they were hosting a Jerusalem and Rome artifact exhibit while we were there). 

To give you an idea of what we saw, I am listing the floors with what their website describes for each:

  • Floor 1: Grand Hall – Visit the long-term exhibit from the Vatican Museums and Vatican Library, as well as Courageous Pages, an experience just for kids!
  • Floor 2: The Impact of the Bible – Perhaps no other book has had more impact than the Bible. Discover the Bible’s influence in many familiar though sometimes surprising places — often hidden in plain sight.
  • Floor 3: The Stories of the Bible – Walk through the stories of the Hebrew Bible, immerse yourself in first-century Nazareth, and listen to the story of how the followers of Jesus grew into a thriving community.
  • Floor 4: The History of the Bible – Discover the Bible’s history, from handwritten scrolls to mobile devices, as it was embraced by many communities with different traditions.
  • Floor 5: Special Exhibits, World Stage Theater – The 5th floor features “The People of the Land of Israel,” a long-term exhibit from the Israel Antiquities Authority, as well as a rotating slate of special exhibits.
  • Floor 6: The sixth floor houses Manna, Chef Todd Gray’s newest fast-casual restaurant, as well as stunning views of Washington, D.C.’s iconic skyline.
  • Floor B1: The basement level at Museum of the Bible hosts a variety of special exhibits exploring the Bible’s history and impact.

Don’t let my pictures fool you. There were a lot of people there. We were just doing the introvert thing and dodging them! (And we purposefully went during weekdays during hours when school was in session.)

 

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We went back a second day to finish seeing what we missed the first day. We agreed that if we’d dedicated three days of 4-5 hours each day to the Bible Museum, it would’ve been an even better pace. There is just too much to see and do there! It’s fantastic.

My Husband and I weren’t the same after the trip. We talked for hours about what we saw and what it all meant. From the sheer number of manuscript copies that survived the ages– regardless of greedy men attempting to use the Bible for power, to the impact the Bible had on history around the world, we were blown away and shocked how solid the Bible’s past really is.

Returning home, I couldn’t un-see the room lined with books representing the languages that still do not have a Bible translation, or the beautiful walk-through Genesis experience (extremely state-of-the-art; was like walking through a movie.) My Husband further researched the man who died a martyr’s death for translating part of the Bible into English so the common folk could read it.

We were sadly under-educated about the Bible and how it’s here for anyone to access. People gave their lives for me to be able to read about what the God of Creation did for me.

We are so grateful we had the opportunity to visit the Bible Museum and learn.

My Husband and I highly recommend the Bible Museum to anyone, any religion, any background. It’s well-run and very family-friendly. (HSP’s and those with Special Needs might want to take along noise-cancelling headphones. Some of the exhibits can be rough for those prone to over-sensitivity due to sound/sight stimuli.) 

If you’d like to support what the Museum of the Bible is doing, or maybe want to plan your own visit, you can learn more here …And you can shop their eclectic store by clicking here.

 

endkevianaelliot

Sharing Chores with Your Spouse

Every couple must work it out.

Not working it out means there will be heated discussions g-a-l-o-r-e to look forward to.

Who gets to do which chore?

Each couple is unique, each career situation different, each living space varied. So I can’t really speak to which ways are best or most needed for you (or for the future you), but I can tell you how we worked it out. And I can end this post with the disclaimer you should know from the start: we are still working it out. Changing life seasons are delightfully punctual, and what worked last year won’t cut it this next year.

SETTING CHORES UP:

So let me describe us. I am a part-time, remote I.T. Project Manager. I’m at home 95% of the time. My Husband commutes 45 minutes to his full-time job. And right there is our biggest difference on what energy each of us can dedicate to chores. Yeah, both of our jobs are mentally tasking, but not physically. Our weeks are peppered with church items, but not much more typically.

We took our situation into account. And in taking it all into account, here’s how we started: a discussion.

  1. I listed out the chores.
  2. We discussed each item on this list, with he and I discussing what % we disliked each.
  3. We discussed how often each chore needed to be completed. (Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?)
  4. We divvied them up: his and hers.
  5. I picked what days I’d try to get mine done, Husband did the same with his.

It amazed me that when one of us hated a particular chore, the other didn’t mind it. That helped tons. It might not be your situation, but it helps when it happens.

For us, the chores divided out almost equally between him and I, based on energy allotment per day. In the areas where it was uneven, the load had to be discussed additionally. We needed to be honest about where we were willing to stretch some. Both of us made a small sacrifice at that point.

We ended up with a chore list that didn’t just represent what we were fine handling, but containing a chore or two that showed we loved the other person. Sacrifice-like.

That brought us to a place where we were set up for the season.

PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL LIMITATIONS:

Physical situation should be discussed as often as it changes, right? If you’re taking notes for your own household, be sure and grasp this. Sometimes one of us can have emotional strain/physical sickness/injury for a season. When that happens, discuss it. It all affects the other spouse and how they feel about their part of the chores load, which can end up being a disagreement in the future.

KEEP YOUR BEST FRIEND IN MIND:

We learned that when discussions (disagreements?) arose over chores, sometimes it was one of us needing a little rest. That really flips the switch on chore time.

A stressed spouse who is attempting to rest over doing chores should be praised, not shamed. The more OCD spouse will groan a little, but they will soon realize they can’t pay anyone to be their best friend.

You can’t pay anyone to be your best friend.

You can pay for a house cleaner, a yard service, a launderer, and math tutor for the kids.

Likewise, no one can be your spouse’s playmate, your spouse’s best listening ear, your spouse’s intimate lover.

Chores shouldn’t stress either of you out.

Chores should not keep you from being ready to laugh, love, hold.

If they are, start searching for the reason they are. If it’s pace, have a heartfelt discussion over what gets cut from the calendar. If it’s stuff, consider going minimalist. If it’s activities for the littles, consider boundaries. Boundaries are also the answer if it’s family drama or outside relationship forces.

And if chores are a “land mine” for you or your spouse, I highly recommend counseling. (“Land mines” are topics strongly tied to an event in you or your spouse’s past that makes you/them explode. Think high-resistance happening at even the mention of the topic.) Many “land mines” are so deeply embedded, they require professional help to disarm them for good. There’s no shame in that. Getting past the past ensures a more loving and healthy future.

Well, I hope you don’t get stuck with the toilet cleaning, but, if you do, invest in a good scrub brush and a cling gel that doesn’t fail.

Disclaimer: we are still working this out. Hope this helps you some regardless. 🙂

 

endkevianaelliot

 

Introducing SweettheMi

So, I’ve discovered one of the most calming bakers on all of YouTube.

One night while struggling to fall asleep while my Husband was away, I stumbled across this talented woman.

Her name? Sweet The MI.

This is what I saw:

Of course I was intrigued by the “No Oven Cream Bun” and how it is made. But what really fascinated me, is in this video, and in 99.9% of her other videos, she says nothing.

Nothing.

It’s just sounds.

Sounds of her mixing and stirring and cracking eggs.

And it’s beautiful.

I love it.

It’s so calming.

Like being invited into a friend’s kitchen late at night, where no one speaks. There’s just comfort and welcome and good smells.

Ahhhh.

Thank you, Sweet The MI! ❤

Enjoy!

endkevianaelliot