A Note to My Inner Critic

That's it.  I need you to pack your shit and get out.  Out of my head.  Out of my domain. Just out. I am tired of you telling me that I am not good enough. I am tired of you degrading and demeaning me and my self worth.  I am funny.  I am clever.  and most of all, I do have something to say.

*** Contains strong language***

Oh I know how you operate now.  You let me get an idea in my head.  You allow me to get all excited at how I can use this idea to reach my goals and then you let me even work on the project, figure out all the logistics and then WHAMMO! You throw up an obstacle that I don't know how to surmount.  You make sure when I figure out some way that the project won't be scalable or possible without a boatload of staff.  You make sure that I figure out that the project won't even be profitable.  You like to point out that I'll have to give up time with my husband and children to be successful.

When I was 9 year old, I wrote an essay about my dog.  My teacher told me that I was the best writer in my grade and that with training, I could be an excellent writer. How clever you were to slip in my parents' heads that evening and help them put me in my place when I told them that I was the best in my class!  Nobody makes money as a writer, they told me.  No one but a very lucky person can get published!  Your mother never got any of her work published did she? What makes you think you can get your work published?  Oh no, little 9 year old, go back to your fantasies of working in an office and forget being creative.  We aren't creative people!  Only starving artists can do that! 

Well that's it buster.  I have ideas in this head of mine. PROFITABLE ideas at that. I have ideas that will help me and others too. I have stuff in my head that will help me to reach my goals. 

I'm putting together tools and community right now. I am mapping out time and resources. I'm putting together all kinds of ways to get around you because I am able to reach these goals.  Your time abiding between my ears is over and I will only listen to the things that help me and further my progress.  I only see things that help me overcome obstacles.  I only feel things that conducive to keeping me in a happy mood.  I have plenty of time with my husband and children despite the work that will get done.

You are kaput and over. I will talk to that 9 year old and tell her to write about whatever she wants. I will tell her to be as creative as she likes.  She has some practicing to do and as she practices, she will get better and better.  She will be able to pull ideas out of her head.  You've convinced her that she can't write creatively.  I have a hunch that if she practices that she will come up with some awesome and amazing ideas.

So pack your shit.  Pack your self-doubt.  Pack your bad attitude.  Especially pack your quiet whispers of "Why do you think you're so special?"

Dammit I am special.  I have great ideas.  Now stand back and watch me.  But don't let the door hit you on the ass as you go out the door. 

March 2016 Goals

Writing Goals

  • 11 posts for the homeschool blog
  • 5 posts for the travel blog


  • Math: Finish current unit and test 
  • Reading: Finish 10 lessons with extra practice in between
  • Social Studies: Studying South America this month. I also signed the kids up for Little Passports ( and I expect the package for that to come in sometime mid-month.
  • Literature: We're spending the bulk of this month attempting the reading of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods.  We tried reading it last year but there was so much they didn't understand that I spent more time during reading time explaining why they didn't have electricity or running water or why they had to make their own butter (why not just go to the store mama?).  I'm thinking that they might have a better understanding now.

February 2016 Progress Report

Monthly Report for February 2016

Travel Agent Biz
No sales but my client who booked last month paid for her trip in full.  I also had another couple of clients pay in full.  There's a discrepancy with one of my paid-in-full client's file.  Our booking company says it's not paid and the vendor says it is.

5 posts on homeschool blog - needed 10.
0 posts on the travel blog.  I needed 10.  I have tons written.. why haven't I posted?
1 post on personal blog. 

Very successful this month.  The new reading program continues to be popular.  We took one of our mandated breaks at the end of the month.  It's nice to take a little break.

Got our tax refund and paid off all debts except the house and car.  YAY!!  I hate having debt.  Also, we paid off our own travel that's coming up this spring.  It's awesome to pay off your vacation in advance.  Then you can relax and enjoy instead of worrying about how much stuff costs.  Heck I even prepaid gratuities.

I also subscribed to Flylady Premium.  I'll post more about that in a separate post.

I finally got in to see a primary care doctor.  I wasn't able to get an appointment with my usual PC until the end of February so I went to someone who was physically closer, was highly recommended by a friend, AND could see me within a week of making the appointment.  I'm not ready to share the results of the consultation but suffice it to say, there's not much wrong with me that increasing my good habits and increased exercise won't help.  My hearing is almost back to normal and I'm getting stronger.  The whole thing has kicked me in the tail and I've already made some changes in my diet and lifestyle that will hopefully help.

January 2016 Monthly Progress

I'm gonna see how this works...

Monthly Report for January 2016

Travel Agent Biz
Made 1 sale this month.  Not what I'd like 6 months in but I'm hoping that momentum will start.  Goal for next month is 2 sales.

6 posts on homeschool blog - needed 10.
0 posts on the travel blog.  I needed 10.  Why am I avoiding it?
2 posts on personal blog.  Much improved.  I need to use this to channel some of my thoughts.

Pretty successful this month.  We started the new reading curriculum and little girl really likes it.

We stayed on budget but everything is very tight.  Got our taxes done and electronically filed.  Plans are to pay off debts and that will relieve a LOT of stress.

One of those days

It hasn't been a bad day. I got some stuff done. Kids are fine. No one is crying. But I feel it creeping up on me.

Slowly, like a predator creeping up on prey. Like a slithering creature slipping up behind me, an anaconda about to crush me in it's grip.

I'm not talking about a real creature. It's all in my head. But it's there. The elephant in the room. Oh so many metaphors for depression and anxiety.

 I got sick December 12 with the flu. For 10 days, I had the flu but it wasn't THAT bad. 

Fever, body aches, headache, sneezing, coughing, oh my God the coughing.

On December 22, I felt a lot better. The fever was gone. The coughing was subsiding. I had slight pressure in my sinuses and ears but I figured that would resolve itself in a couple of days. And then it didn't.

On December 23, I was awakened with an earache. A very bad earache in my right ear. After 12 hours, my ear "popped" and then it was completely stuffed up. I went to Urgent Care, got a course of antibiotics to deal with the double ear infection, upper respiratory infection, and a "little" pneumonia. 

Later that night, the left ear started up and did a similar thing, but this time, my ENT thinks that when it "popped" at 3am, that it actually ruptured.

I lost most of my hearing then and Christmas was horrible. I couldn't sleep because the tinnitus in my ears was so bad. I couldn't hear what people said to me so I mostly remained silent. I went to see the new Star Wars movie but didn't enjoy it because I couldn't hear it and didn't know what was going on.
My hearing is getting better. My ENT is pleased that the infection in my right ear is nearly gone and is mostly gone in my left ear. My hearing is still impaired in my left however due to some "debris" on my ear drum as a result of all the yuckiness. 

It should improve and we're watching but still.. just ugh.

Bad things happen when I retreat into my head. I get paranoid. I turn into a hypochondriac too.

Things are getting better with my ear but I'm still in my head.

Money is tight with all the doctor visits and medicines. Then I went for a follow up with my gastro doc and she changed my medicine so there's more expense I wasn't planning for.

There's just a lot of stress right now and I'm wigging out and feeling out of control.

 I know things will get better soon. I just have to hang on.

How I organize a year's worth of homeschool lesson plans

I wanted to show you how we are planning our next homeschool year.

This is my homeschool file cabinet showing you folders labeled 1-180, folders for each of the months (placed roughly where I think they'll hit) and a few resource folders at the back.

We have co-op days, Girl Scout days, and other appointments and interruptions.  This way, even if we have to skip a day, we just grab the next folder which contains all the instructions and worksheets for the day and keep on going.

We can get some school work done on days with interruptions but anything that we can't get to goes into the catch up day folder and I'll see if we really need to do the work. Every TEN school days, I have a catch up day. I schedule art for catch up day too and we'll work on a project from Home Art Studio or something else.

I totally stole part of this idea from the blog Meet Penny.  The catch up day was my own invention.

I had a couple of illnesses this past year that totally wrecked my schedule and I got tired of erasing and rewriting my planner so I decided this year to schedule the physical stuff and use my planner for what we actually accomplished each day.  I keep a separate box for books and I still have to put holds on books at the library.  I also need to gather materials together for art and science (although I'm thinking of bagging some of that stuff up to and putting it in the folders) each week, but I'm not digging through workbooks and printing stuff last minute.

A Whole New World

I jumped before I meant to.

Last time I posted, I was talking about how I was going to finish my training, get my certificate, and then start looking for a host agency.  Well the host agency found me.  Sort of.

Like most people of faith, I pray a lot for direction and/or validation.  One morning, I was praying for validation for my chosen career path and a few minutes later, I got it.  One of the host agencies on my short list of agencies announced that they were looking for a few new agents and that anyone interested should send an email for more information. When I saw it, I felt like I HAD to send an email.  Within 24 hours, I was an independent agent for World of Magic Travel.  Just like that, everything changed directions and instead doing all this some time in the next few weeks, it was here now.

Within a few more days, I was completing my Disney travel agent certification and poof, I'm in business.

You can find my business website here: and my Facebook page at:

Checking in...

Summer is here and I'm in the middle of a whole lot of stuff.

First, I'm finishing up my travel agent course.  I have three units left before I take my TAP (Travel Agent Proficiency) exam: Cruises and Rails and Cars, Computers and Travel (should be easy), and Computer Reservation Systems.

Second, the kids have ONE day of school left. We're not gonna get it done today because I don't feel well and I had a doc appointment this morning but tomorrow for sure.

Third, the doctor appointment was a follow-up visit.  Back in February, I was having some severe stomach pain.  Turns out the anti-inflammatory meds I take for my neck was irritating my stomach.  The meds, combined with a hiatal hernia, led to some pretty nasty gastritis.  I'm much better, but I'm not well.  I can't eat citrus fruit at all (which are my favorites), salsa is a big no-no, and I have to put a lot of milk in my coffee to offset the acid.

Next, even though I haven't finished my travel agent course, I've already started my business.  I joined World of Magic Travel a few days ago as an independent travel agent and I'm training there for the various vendors and suppliers.

Lastly, we finished up our second year of Girl Scouts last month but there's planning to be done for next year.

Back to School

Every now and again, I’ve gotten the urge to start a business.  I’ve played around it.  I’ve even written about it, but I haven’t done anything about it.  I think that it’s time for that to change.
So a few months ago, I decided to go back to school to learn how to be a travel agent.  Yeah, I didn’t expect that either.
I need to work.  I need to keep busy. I need direction. If I can do all that and have a good time, then I’ll be doing something significant. 
My plan is to finish my class, get a professional certification, and then find a nice host agency.  In travel, your host agency is kind of like how a hairdresser rents a chair. I’ll get to take advantage of their infrastructure, but I’ll be bringing in business.  How?  I don’t have a clue.  I’m still working on that.