Following instructions

I’m back in action with blog posts, after a long intentional, yet accidental break from my thoughts spilling out of my head and into this space. I realized that I was tired of hearing myself talk a couple of months ago. If I was tired of my voice, then surely my readers / friends would be too. There was a time when I had to force myself to schedule out posts ahead of time so that my rambling had specific boundaries and I didn’t appear too eager. I wrote willy-nilly about every which thing, whatever crossed my mind ended up as post, or so it seemed.

Then I got really sick (a still lingering side effect from Chikugunya), the move became a reality and some other time consuming things happened all at once. At about the same time, I took a really amazing course on blogging and making money. I have fought this money making blogging mess for a long time because I truly felt that it would take the joy out of it.

[Tweet “Having rules to follow (especially if not self-created), means kissing spontaneity goodbye. #egads #entrepreneur “]

I often say that I never want to work “for” anyone again because of those rules and expectations that naturally come from the responsibility of a job. So instead, I’ve been exploring ways that I can bring in some income for our family without sacrificing time with my littles and my desire to still retain my ability to be a homemaker. I’ve decided to participate in some affiliate/commission opportunities as well as getting my real estate license.  In the middle of this, I decided to finally bite the bullet and ask someone to design my site so that it was simple, classy and functional (thank you Bethany!). Because my old (most recent) blog design was done by me, it was a veritable disaster and horribly non-functional and so, with all things considered, I decided I would just stop writing.

I promise I’m going somewhere with all of this. I am back to a regular posting schedule and I’m excited about what’s to come here in this space. I really love that I can make up my own rules, without having the responsibility of following instructions. You see, I’m not that good at following instructions. Are you? I have never been patient enough to read the manual before diving into using a new piece of equipment. I would rather pore through the pages after I discover I have no idea what I’m doing. Raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about?

We recently bought a new vacuum cleaner to clean up the remodel mess of the house we just purchased (by the way? This bad boy from Dyson about broke the bank BUT it totally rocks). I spent almost an entire day vacuuming and re-vacuuming to make sure I got every last bit. As a result, the canister was nearly overflowing with dead bugs, drywall dust, more dead bugs and general grossness. Also, now that we have dogs in this house, hair is taking over everything and I needed to start fresh with an empty canister. I grabbed the vacuum handle and tilted it to the left. Hmmm.  I rocked it back on its haunches and looked for an obvious latch that would magically release the canister. Nothing. Not until I twirled it around to face me, did I figure out how to free the canister. Perfect! There were two buttons … one that seemed to go with the filter and one on the bottom to open the canister. I pressed the filter button so I could wash it at the same time and realized – too late – that it was actually the mechanism for the container to release the contents of the canister. All over my feet and my freshly cleaned and scrubbed floor.


When I took the time to look at the manual, the process for emptying the canister is quite simple.

One of the realities about living in the country is that you are most likely “on septic and well.” No more city water and no sewer availability. The well is located on your property, as is the septic tank, which is buried. I started dinner prep the other night after Mia made cupcakes. Into the disposal went the egg shells as well as the potato skins. We later finished up dinner and I ran the dishwasher. Big time disaster. Both sinks (our kitchen is kind of weirdly wicked and has two sinks, two dishwashers and two ranges/ovens) began to fill up as the dishwasher cycled. No amount of plunging or clearing the disposal would do the trick, even baking soda and vinegar yielded no results. We had to call a plumber out the next day and after writing a check for $313.00, I had functional sinks and pipes again.

You might remember that I started eating Paleo last year and was able to lose about 25 pounds by changing my eating habits alone. I didn’t ramp up my exercise and continued drinking wine. Lately though, I have stopped following the rules and yesterday, the culmination of a few months of falling off of the wagon means that my scale — as of this morning — read the same number I started at last year. Completely disheartening.

Although I grew up in the country, I forgot just how prevalent the fly community is. They love spending time with you, buzzing right by your head and landing on your legs. After several days of aimlessly swatting at the annoying pests, I found these fly bait traps at the store. They look great, right? They blend in on the window, kill flies quickly and you can put away the fly swatter. I opened my first pack and set to work sticking them on the window. Except, I screwed it up and instead had the fly poison all over my fingers instead. Frustrated, I crumpled the sticky mess in my hand and attempted to throw it away to start fresh on the next pack. Three packs later, I finally was able to correctly position and get the proper side of the adhesive on the window and the poison facing out for the flies to devour (those babies work AMAZINGLY! I’m stocking up).

See the thing about following instructions is sometimes they are there for a reason. They exist to provide boundaries, and education from someone who has gone before you. They serve as directions for a successful outcome and sometimes (ok, most of the time), they allow order and remove confusion. The requirement to follow instructions is something I tend to balk against, so I’ll go forward with living a life of not following the rules, but when it comes to operating machinery, emptying a vacuum cleaner or using my plumbing system, I’ll toe the line as the manuals state.

Are you a rule follower or one who tosses the instruction manual out the window?

Want a “you don’t have to follow the rules” recipe for a delic and easy salad? Add whatever veggies you’d like, or even ramp it up a bit and throw in some grilled chicken or even shrimp or salmon!


Heirloom Tomato Salad

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 1/2 pints small heirloom tomatoes, halved

1 bunch of fresh basil, coarsely chopped

handful of mixed salad greens

2 T olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)

Sea Salt (to taste)

Cut up the peppers into the size that will make your mouth happy, toss it all together and devour.




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  1. says

    The redesign looks great! As for rules . . . I am somewhat like you. . . I tend to notice them and look at them later. But I do appreciate that they’re there! I’m no fan of reinventing the wheel. It seems like so much effort sometimes to read the manual though.
    Nina just shared …Announcing My Newest ProjectMy Profile

  2. says

    Naomi- Reading this was like hearing my own voice talking. .. I don’t like rules arbitrarily imposed, and usually read the “back of the book” to see how the project ends and do it my own way to get there.

    I’ve also, oddly enough, over the last few weeks been going through one of those same phases where I have avoided posting because everything sounds like a rant to me. And I try to/should spare my readers a rant on Russia everytime… or not, if I get started on some cultural similarity idea.

    Thanks for speaKing for me today. Can’t wait to see you tonight!
    Jonelle Hilleary just shared …Travel Is Not A White Boy’s Club (And Never Has Been) Dispatch: Moving BlackMy Profile

    • says

      It was so great to meet you both! There is something to be said about finding your community, even it means going outside of your neighborhood a bit!