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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Get it Done vs. Get it Right

     Lately, a few friends have told me they need a good laugh, and asked why I haven't written in my blog.

     I have been focusing on my much neglected yard and the overwhelming piles of tumbleweeds in our trees and around our outbuildings.

     I've also been focusing on my health. After dealing with knee pain ranging from mild to extreme (at least according to  MY tolerance for pain, which is ZERO) for over a year, I finally went to the doctor.  He said it is arthritis and gave me a shot of cortisone in the worst knee.  I was hoping for something easier to fix, like torn cartilage, something that didn't shout (YOU ARE GETTING OLD), something that indicated I would be back to running 5K races or even half-marathons in no time.

     I'm eating healthy, taking some supplements, and I got some prescription orthotic insoles for my shoes.  They are hurting less.

     I have gone off track (It runs in the family, Penny).  Get it Done vs. Get it Right refers to a workshop I attended about 10 years ago.  It was called "Dealing with Difficult People".  It's a great way to find out you are a difficult person!  I know I've told many of you about it, but to recap, there are four types of people:  Get it Done, Get it Right, Get Appreciated, and Get Along.  Many of us are a combination of two or more of these.

     I started out in the Get it Right group and was promptly kicked out!  After answering a few questions, it was clear that I belonged in the Get it Done group.  Just get it done!  Don't worry if it's not perfect,  just do the best you can.  This often leads to some serious regret, and some redoing.  Randy is very much a Get it Right person.  Yes, deadlines are important, but it has to be perfect!  It may not even be worth your time, and you might have saved a lot of money (time is money) by just getting it done or "gasp" letting someone else do it, but you can feel proud that you did it right!  Well, you can imagine the discord this causes in our Country Boy/ City Girl marriage!

     Just a tidbit about the other two categories.  Get Appreciated, they don't mind helping, but boy do they need constant affirmation!  Get Along, it doesn't matter if we ever accomplish the goal of a project, as long as we are all happy and getting along!  I'll just bite my tongue instead of discussing these any further.

    I'll give you some examples of our conflict.  We have had a Snapper (guaranteed to start with one pull) lawnmower since about 1990.  I can't tell you how I've hurt myself pulling on this (guaranteed to never start before the 30th try) mechanical wonder.  The grass bag is nearly impossible to take on and off and the spark plug jiggles loose and falls off.  The pretty red paint is fading and the handle hangs off to one side (could have something to do with me finally losing my temper one day).  About 10 or 15 years ago this mower started having carburetor problems and every summer Randy would have to take it apart (hours of work) and it would sort of work.  It hardly used any gas one year, I don't know how it could even run.  Another year it would only work if the gas was slowly leaking, so I had to use pliers to turn the gas on before, and off after each use. Really, this post could be titled Hoarder vs. Purger, because Randy is not about to throw this wonderful mower away, when it is quite "fixable".  The last time I was sure he could not resurrect it, he spent like 6 hours working on it (all while I'm "lovingly" saying, "It's 30 years old, and I need to mow the lawn NOW (get it done person) can I just buy a new one?"  To which Mr. Get it Right says, "That's what's wrong with this country, we are such a throw away society."  Well since I'm a Get it Done person, I'm also sometimes a "do it the easy way", "take a short-cut" person, so instead of going to find a key to the gas tank and unlocking the tank, I found I could just put the gas nozzle way down in the mower and drain the gas from the hose and it would be just enough to fill it.  Turns out when I did that the nozzle knocked something important out of the bottom of the tank.  Randy found it during the six hour overhaul, and that was the main problem all these years!

     Fast forward a few years and I was at my brother Dave's and he had this BEAUTIFUL, SHINY, RED mower in a pile of stuff to take to the ARC.  WHAAAT????!!!!!  Can I have it, can I buy it?  This mower does have a problem.  It starts easily, but once it's warmed up, when you shut it off to empty the grass clippings it vapor-locks and won't start again.  My solution?  Go inside, have a cool drink, check in on fb and when I go out rested and refreshed, Wa La, it starts like a dream.  Not only is this mower pretty, it has self-propel (like front-wheel drive) and the bag is SO easy to take on and off.

     This post could also be titled "Magic Wand"  because Randy says I break things and then think he can just wave a magic wand and fix them.

    Recently, I attempted to mow (not with the above mentioned mowers) some tumbleweeds around our cedar trees.  Between the weeds being slightly too thick and a gopher making soft, uneven ground and my (rose-colored glasses optimism/love to take chances attitude (see my blog post about Cripple Creek and gambling) I managed to get the little riding mower high-centered and jam-packed full of tumbleweeds.  I tried desperately to dig it out and even put down a rubber car mat under the back wheel to give it more traction, this all in a hurry and in 90 + degree heat, hoping I could solve the problem without calling on Country Boy.  He showed up in the middle of planting crops and saw my beet red face and told me I should get out of the sun, to which I replied, "I would love to, but I have my riding mower stuck."  "Again!?  Where this time?  Why, would you try to mow those?  I was going to fork them out first."  Yes, we Get it Done people don't always learn on the first try, especially when wearing Rose-Colored glasses and thinking, I just know this mower can handle these tumbleweeds, and I can't wait to see if it will!"  So Randy waved his magic wand and in his nicest voice said, "Please, go in the house and try to stay out of trouble."

     A few days after this, my amazing, magic wand-wielding, Get it Right, Country Boy told me there is a Brad Paisley song that fits me perfectly and told me I'm  goofy and scatter-brained and he loves me this way, because I keep life from being boring.  Awwww.  I am so blessed, and God does know what he's doing when he puts two people together, after all, He has a sense of humor!  The song is "Little Moments" but you really should watch this video
And yes, I did back his truck into a tree once (it was dark and I didn't adjust the mirrors) and I do get distracted and burn supper from time to time.
                                    New mower

                      Old mower.  Throw it away?  Of course not.  It still "works".

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Those of you who know me, are aware that I am "directionally challenged". I get lost when driving. I get lost in the mall. I get disoriented trying to get out of the doctor's office. Unless I can see the sun and/or the mountains, I have no idea which direction I'm going. Country boy (Randy) grew up learning cardinal directions. I (City Girl) only learned left and right. Occasionally, he will send me to town for some necessary gadget and say something like, "When you go in Home Depot, it's on the north wall, just to the east of the hardware section." Well you can imagine how this kind of conversation ends.

Quite a while ago my brother, Keven, gave me his Tom-Tom GPS. With the advent of Smart Phones, he didn't need it anymore. I started to set it up before a trip and well...I'm also technologically challenged. I have my old standby GPS. Handwritten maps and printed MapQuest directions for all my relatives' addresses (especially Michelle, who moves just about the time I memorize how to get to her house) stuffed in the glove compartment. After we got lost in Denver, even with Randy driving(he seems to have a built in compass), I decided it was time.

I charged up the Tom-Tom, updated it online, and after much searching, it finally decided we live on County HIGHWAY 3, near County HIGHWAY Y. I typed in the address to Michelle's singing gig in Denver and off I went. About five miles into the trip, as I was headed West toward Boone Road, my new friend Tom loudly blurted out "after 400 yards, turn LEFT", I nearly jumped out of my skin! Not sure how to turn the volume down while driving, so this was how the trip would be. Even I know, that turning left would take me to Pueblo, not Denver, so I ignored Tom. He doesn't appreciate being ignored. "Make a U-turn AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!", he said. When I got to I-25, Tom and I were finally on the same route, and WOW!, How have I lived this long without a GPS? I love that it tells me which lane I need to be in to get on the interstate. Some places it's a left, others it's a right. I think of all the times I've gotten lost, and the time I've wasted, and I could have just typed in an address, and most often found my way.

Then it occurred to me...This is just like when I try to navigate through life without God's guidance!! How many years I wasted before I became a believer! How much time I waste as a believer, when I choose to ignore: reading his instruction manual (the Bible); listening to His instructions (by listening to sound, biblical advice from a friend, or a message at church, or on the radio); and especially ignoring His warning (the Holy Spirit saying, "Yvonne, make a U-turn AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!") Just as I program my trip into the GPS before I leave, I need to ask God for directions each day, and let Him tell me what to do, what to say, and where to go.

 I searched for some Bible verses related to this idea and here is what I found:
A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.Proverbs 16:9

 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

I went to the beginning of Isaiah 30 to find out who this verse is speaking to, my Life Application Study Bible has the following notes:

30:1 The rebellious children are the people of Judah. The negotiations for an alliance were underway, and Isaiah condemned their twisted plans. The people of Judah sought advice from everyone but God. When we are driven by fear, we tend to search everywhere for comfort, advice, and relief, hoping to find an easy way out of our troubles. Instead, we should consult God. Although he gives emergency help in a crisis, he prefers to be our guide throughout our life. by reading his Word and actively seeking to do his will, we can maintain our bond with him who provides stability no matter what the crisis.

30:15 God warned Judah that turning to Egypt and other nations for military might could not save them. Only God could do that. They must wait for him "in quietness and confidence". No amount of fast talking or hasty activity could speed up God's grand design. We have nothing to say to God but thank you. Salvation comes from God alone. Because he has saved us, we can trust him and be peacefully confident that he will give us strength to face our difficulties. We should lay aside our well-laid plans and allow him to act.

 30:20 The Lord gave his people adversity for food and suffering for drink, but he promised to be with them, and guide them during hard times. God expects a lot from us, and many times following him can be painful; but he always acts out of his love for us. Next time you go through a difficult time, try to appreciate the experience and grow from it, learning what God wants to teach you. God may be showing you his love by patiently walking with you through adversity.

 30:21 When the people of Jerusalem left God's path, he would correct them. He will do the same for us. But when we hear his voice of correction, we must be willing to follow it!

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6 (This is my favorite verse. It has helped me many times.)

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.Psalm 25:4-5

 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

I guess I will always be directionally challenged. Thank you, Keven and Angie, for my new friend, Tom !

Navigating through life, now that is the big challenge!  God bless you today, friends and family, and may He keep our paths straight!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


The unexpected death of my brother, Kelly, was such a shock.  I wrote these words to work through my feelings.  Maybe they will help others who are mourning.

 Kelly Don Hollis


I wonder if you knew...

I wonder if you knew
how much we all loved you

I wonder if you knew
how your smile lit up the room
(without it you looked kind of mean)

I wonder if you knew
just how talented you were
not to mention: intelligent, generous, hilariously funny and sarcastic, the list goes on and on

I wonder if you knew
people thought you were amazing
I wonder if you could ever believe that of yourself
You set the bar so high

I wonder if you realized
that those nieces and nephews that you loved so much
adored you in return

I wonder if you knew
how proud we were of you
 of all you had accomplished,
of all you'd overcome

I wonder if you knew
you were sick
and that if only you had called...any one of us would have driven all night
 just to be by your side
 We would have held your hand
  We would have held you close
  We would have tried to help
You wouldn't have been alone

I wonder if you had any idea
how many tears we'd cry


I wonder if you knewyour absence would leave
such an incredible void

I wonder if you knew
our hearts would break without you

I wonder if you knew
God loved you no matter what

I wonder if I had seen you at Christmas
if this would hurt any less

 I wonder if I would have been brave enough to ask you
about your deepest thoughts and fears
  Would you have answered? or given me that look?
Would I have been able
 to talk about God?
 and make sure that you understood  He loves you
even more than we ever could
 and that He has prepared a place for you
 and you'll never hurt again?

Oh Kelly, I wonder if you knew...