Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Stepping into the future

Tonight we leave behind another year and look toward our future. I wish happiness for my family and all my friends (blogging friends definitely included in this) in 2009.
Open the door of your heart; try new things, meet new people.Today, focus on your health. What will you eat?
Tonight, near midnight, I'll serve Italian sausage and green lentils (Italian new year food for good luck). For tomorrow I will cook Hopping John Black-eyed peas, cornbread and cooked kale for good luck and good health.

Tomorrow, for the first day of 2009, wake up and have some refreshing Vitamin C packed grapefruit. 10 minutes walking, outside if you can - on the treadmill if you have one. Nothing too overwhelming. slow and steady, I'll increase my exercise time day by day.


Nick, I love you and miss you.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Goals are Good

Have you started thinking about 2009 ? I have. The beginning of each year brings a promise of hope. A hope of a brighter future, a closeness with family and friends and a chance for happiness.
I read a Navaho Prayer a few days ago and the gist was --

Grieve for your losses, but only for awhile. Remember good times with a smile.
Comfort, care and share.
Don't live in your past and get stuck in your memories, be with your loved ones and make new memories. Friends and family need you, live every moment you get.
My goals for 2009
Exercise every day. I will start out with baby steps - I'll drag my blog through it every step of the way.
Cook more. Back to a healthier lifestyle. Eating out is easier, but cooking at home is healthier.
I will put my new eating habits, ideas and plans also into my blog.
Be more creative. I found a joy in polymer clay. I'm going to try to incorporate more design work in with my beadwork.
Take work less seriously. After all - it is a 4 letter word and shouldn't be used around the house.

My blog will change with me. It wasn't real exciting before, it may be less so now. It will be a focus on my daily life. Just a journal for me of what I did for myself. excercise and healthy eating is the foundation a strong, happy mind and body.
Follow along if you want, join in would be better yet.

We start Jan. 1 - get ready.

How about a Sunday morning blog-hop ...

A Whimsical Bohemian
Chez Sacred Suzie
Pieceful Afternoon

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stray Kitty Update

We are still feeding the stray cats that wander by.

The smallest one that I named Baby is growing up to be a gorgeous ALL black cat with gold eyes. Baby actually comes inside the house now for longer and longer visits. G bought a soft round baby blue kitty bed and the first time the kitten came in he walked over and curled right into it. amazing. The sliding door has to stay open or Baby gets extremely nervous so G make a cardboard slat to cover up most of the opening with a small cutout at the bottom so the kitty can come and go when he wants to. Our heater problem runs more often than it normally would but they are so helpless and cute.

The Cat Condo that G made has been claimed by our other favorite stray that he has named 'Chops'. shhhh... It's early morning and he is still curled up inside...Chops is older and we feel better knowing that Chops stays dry and relatively warm in these cold winter days. We think Baby sleeps under the chimney in the crawl space - we had a fire going last night so I'm hoping it was a bit warmer under there. When it's snowing or really cold we keep checking up on him and he is usually inside peering out of the windows G had smartly put into the Cat Condo. We'll be changing his sheets this weekend :) Clean towels and bedding. :)

Opening the curtains in the morning is a signal that it's time for breakfast. Meow.. I'm hungry..Yesterday during our ice storm I kept the curtains closed so they wouldn't come out of their protected spots and get iced up. Yep, see I just opened the curtains and out pops Chops...good morning Chops. Breakfast? is the coffee ready?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Silver bells, it's Christmas time in the city....

I love this season, everything about it. I actually enjoy shopping for a gift that I can give to someone else. It doesn't have to be expensive for me to feel good about giving it. Just wrapping up a fun small toy brings joy.

I love the anticipation of cookie baking day. This saturday my sister and I will bake cookies together. Her 2 sons and our niece will join us this year and help with decorating the cut out cookies. I hope it snows ALL day saturday. that will make it even cozier!

I love coming home from work and lighting up the tree, the mantel and the outside lights. I even have one of those small flicker tea light battery candles for my manger. The statues stand around it and pretend it's a roaring fire to keep them warm. What ? statues pretending? ok, I have a good imagination. It keeps me entertained.

I love listening to Christmas songs. The same old songs year after year - it just doesn't get old for me. we have a station here that plays Christmas music 24 hrs a day now. they still have advertisements, but all the songs are Christmas songs.

I love writing out Christmas cards to family and friends. I don't write much in them. I just like to send them - who doesn't like getting a Holiday wish in their mailbox!

Hope everyone is enjoying the sights and sounds of the season as much as I am !!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Beating the Frizzies

It is amazing what a good haircut can do. I finally got my haircut on Friday - my hair was so dried out I could no longer control the frizzies. I looked like I was in a constant state of mess so I went to my favorite hair dresser for some hair TLC.

It feels so good when someone else scrubbs my scalp - why is that. The sensation of being shampooed just makes me smile and relax.

I love my new hairstyle. I found if you put the right kind product in your hair, you can look as good as the models in the books. I mean my HAIR can look that good - no hairstyle can make me look good enough for the movies. However, there is a cost to beauty. I almost fell over when I found out how much good hair product costs! I bought some small sizes and the good news is all it takes is the size of a pea for good quality product to get my hair to listen to me.
ok then, so I'm starting from the top down. Now, what can I do with these extra chins. :)
Fiddle de dee, I'll worry about that tomorrow.

It's time for Sunday morning blog hopping!
Wives with Knives (I just love this name)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I need a plan - yep, me and Oprah

I need a plan. and apparently I am not alone. I just saw Oprah on TV and she's a little heavier too! At least I'm in good company. We know how it happens and how to avoid weight gain. and every time I say, I'm not going to let myself gain again and go through all that torture to lose the weight - and yet... here I am. again.

I am going on a vacation cruise at the end of June and I would very much like to be 18 lbs lighter than I am now. YIKES! is it possible to lose that much in 6 short, very tiny, fast moving months. 3 lbs / mth is a lot to me !

So her conscience asks.... what have you done for yourself lately?? hmmmm??

Are you exercising ? No, not lately. I'm very much out of shape. I haven't even gone walking.
Do you eat healthy ? mmmm, not really. I fell off the healthy food wagon a while back.
Do you drink a lot of water ? uhhh, no, not enough, not even 6 glasses/day, definitely not 8/day.

Sound familiar. oh ya. I've got to find my motivation. I lost it along the way. Has anyone seen my motivation?

Monday, December 08, 2008

12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women

I found a great blogging book club to join. It will follow the book 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. If you would like to know more about this go to Jamie Ridlers Next Chapter blog. It sounds so interesting, I love fresh starts in January. I love the whole idea of getting healthier, fitter and more creative. This book club will fill me up for my Creative resolution.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I dropped off a dozen of my bracelets to sell at our local Chinese Restaurant. The owner liked mine so much, after she bought 3 for herself, she asked if I would like to sell them at her store. I hope they sell well there!!
On the ongoing kitty saga....
G finished his cat condo creation last night and just in time too. It started snowing again yesterday and continued on through the night. We ended up with 2" of white stuff.

While G was putting the last touches on his home made cat shelter, I made a huge pot of spicy chili. Then I hung multi colored lights in the kitchen window, lit the tree and lights on the mantel while G got a roaring fire going. We then took the new cat house outside and hoped someone would have sense to use it for shelter in the swirling snowstorm.

By the time we finished eating our chili in front of the roaring fire, Chops and older hobo cat that visits us daily (G named this one - tried to get him to come up with something fun but he stuck on Chops) - anyway Chops had found his way in and was tucked up warm out of the wind and snow looking out the window G had put in. It was so comforting to see.

We got Baby (the little bitty one I named) to come inside a couple times last night to warm up. The problem with that is that if you try to close the door while Baby is inside she runs out before the door can close. So we had to keep the door OPEN -did I mention there was a snowstorm going on- but we did, we kept the door open until I got too cold. Then we'd open it a bit later and Baby would come back in to warm up. Who knows - someday maybe they'll trust us enough to stay inside. At least they get warm for a bit and some food in their belly.

Time for some Sunday morning blog hopping! There is nothing like blog hopping to get inspired.

A Charming Life
(ps. she's having a giveaway)
A Whimsical Bohemian
ColoradoLady (********** ps. another giveaway*** This one is BIG - very cool stuff *****)
Raised in Cotton

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Top 10 Fav's

I completed a reading challenge in 2008. The challenge was to read 52 books in one year with requirements. 26 books started with each letter of the alphabet from A - Z and 26 Authors (last names) started with each letter of the alphabet from A - Z. It was quite a challenge, not only reading and reporting on them, but keeping them all in order. It was fun, but I'm not ready to do it again next year. Out of all that reading, I've come up with my favorite top 10 books that I read in 2008. Don't get too excited, they may not be your style. After a hard days work, the last thing I want to do is get into heavy reading so I most enjoy light, chic books. Fun entertainment after heavy duty brain work for 8 - 10 hrs./days.

In this list are my favorite authors, Nora Roberts, Susan Wittig Albert, Nancy Atherton and Donna Andrews. A couple of classics slipped in, ones that I hadn't got around to reading, but proved their worth in the end.

I could easily have come up with a top 20 list! I read many great books this year, but then it wouldn't be a top 10 list !

"Aunt Dimity Goes West" by Nancy Atherton
"The Tale of Hill Top Farm" by Susan Wittig Albert
"Blood Brothers" by Nora Roberts
"The Hollow" by Nora Roberts
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
"Savannah Breeze" by Mary Kay Andrews
"The Tale of Holly How" by Susan Wittig Albert
"Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter" by Nancy Atherton
"Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls
"The Year of Pleasures" by Elizabeth Berg

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On Twilight and kitties

I've heard so much about Twilight lately that I've decided to read the series. I want to read the first book before I see the movie so I can have a better understanding of what is going on with the characters. I placed my request online from my local library. I am number 281 on the hold list. That is crazy! Guess I'm not the first one to decide to get the book from the library huh.

I'm in no hurry. Heck, I still haven't seen the Sex in the City movie. I'm planning to rent that sometime this month.
The only movie I've bought in the last few years was The Grinch with Jim Carey. I love that movie. The humor, colors and costumes make it a classic. We watch it every year and it hasn't gotten old yet.

We are still feeding the kitties outside. somehow they are spreading the news, we now see 5 different cats show up from time to time. how do they send messages to each other? It's 27 degrees outside and they are starving by the time they show up at our house. G even heats up the food a bit in the microwave to warm up their tummies a little. They eat up every morsel we give them. None of them fight over the food if more than one shows up but they won't share the bowl either - they have to wait and take turns.
It's fascinating to watch. There are 2 that are so feral, if I make eye contact, they run away..... but not for long.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Victoria Bliss

My Sis gave me a subscription to Bliss Victoria for my birthday. Perfect timing, my first month came in the mail yesterday! I'm trying to savor it, so rather than reading the whole thing in one sitting, I'm planning to only look through 4 - 5 pages/day. A treat to relax with when I get home from work. This month shows a lot of promise! We put the tree up last night so we are officially in the season. Every once in a while I would pick up an ornament to hang and it brought a wave of nostalgia. Quick glimpses of the enchantment of being young when everything was something new I hadn't seen before. I had a lovely time decorating the tree. I've even got the dining room table cleaned up - we use it for our wrapping table. Once again, Sunday morning is my quiet time. While G sleeps on I get up early to enjoy blog-hopping. Here are some fun ones I found this morning.

All About Pretty
Brocante Home
Fete Et Fleur
Make Life Sweeter
Okperi's Place

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We've started decorating the house ! Sugarplum fairies are starting to dance in my head. This is such a fun season. Even with the hustle and bustle and stress and worry of shopping, there is a comfort in this season. A wish for a bit more simplicity maybe.

I am simplifying my Chrismas this year. Buying less, savoring the music and sights more. I'm even cutting back on my cookie baking. I'll enjoy my baking time more and enjoy the ones I eat more. I've decided to only make 3 kinds - ginger snaps, oatmeal w/chocolate chips and almond crescents. All yummy with tea or cocoa. Can you hear me humming ?

We even talked about putting up the tree today. I hope so. I love lighting the tree at night, playing Christmas songs, and sitting by the fire reading a book. ooooooo, I can't wait.

The mantel is lit, I can't find the snowI usually put on it. Maybe it's packed with the tree stuff.
My foyer is decorated.
David welcomes everyone dressed and lit up for the season.
The snowflakes are up.
and the corner is welcoming.
Next the outside lights and the TREEEEEE!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I've Done

Since it's late at night and I'm ready for bed I thought I'd do a quick post that I saw on The Lavender Loft blog. If you want to play along just copy this and then bold - I blackened - the things you've done.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
Visited Hawaii
Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
Had a pillow fight
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
Been on a cruise
Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

45 !! I feel like I've accomplished a lot. There was a lot of different stuff in that list !
that was fun.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feeding the kitties

it's terribly cold out and it started to snain, raow, ok snow and rain.
We saw a cat hanging around our house and the neighbors a couple of weeks ago and started leaving cat food and water outside. We are now feeding 3 strays who stop by our back door for some kibbles. Poor little things, they are starving. They scarf up everything we put out.

One is the cutest little all black kitten ! I've named her Baby. She comes close and looks in the patio door but if you move toward her, she skits away like a frightened rabbit. I'm going to be worried about her all winter.Gary is going to make a small food shelter that one of them can hopefully crawl in and warm up when they're cold. It'll keep the snow off the food when we start getting some accumulation here. I keep thinking of the blizzard last winter with 2 feet of snow. Oh Baby, just come inside.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello World - I'm BACK !!!

I have missed my blog soooo much. I was so overwhelmed with everything I was doing, it took me away from some of the things I love doing most. Like blogging , exercise, cooking and photography.

It feels like I've been in a fog since the last time I blogged in August.
I did have fun though. One favorite was apple picking at a local orchard.
There are a few things I know for sure that I am cutting back on that had taken over my life.

Emails for one -I had joined a yahoo group that was so email prolific it used to take one to two hours every night just to keep up - and half the time I was just deleting most of the emails. So I've unsubscribed to a lot of emails including that group.

I've decided to cut back on my jewelry hobby. I got so caught up with the whole Etsy thing that I was spending hours making things and enjoying less of my other hobbies. Cutting back to working on my art a couple nights a week will give me more time for other things and I won't feel guilty about it because it's a planned cutback.

I've completed all 4 book challenges I signed up for last January. Even that was extremely time consuming. 52 books in one year. I won't sign up for any reading challenges for awhile. I hardly read any magazines I liked because between the emails and required books, there wasn't time for any more reading. Now I'm only going to read the fun books that interest me - not because I've got to fulfill some requirement.

I've decided to use my blog to keep me focused on my goals for the year ahead. So if your not interested in following what and how I'm doing with my goals you may want to just swing by to say hi and keep going. But that's ok with me. I'm just happy to be back here.

I'm going on a cruise in June - so I've got to get back in shape.
1. I'm 25 lbs overweight so if I can lose 15 lbs by June - I'll be a tickled pink. That means cutting way back on junk food and less alcohol. Eating healthier - more home cooking.
2. Exercising - I've got to start over and just do walking for the first month - maybe two months of walking until I feel ready to start jogging again.

AHHH, doesn't it feel good. Just like an old friend... and now I'm going to do some hopping around and see how some old friends are doing in their blogs and just say hi.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Universe

While my sisters and I were planning our short beach getaway we found a cute cottage that would have fit us perfectly. The realty agent said we had to wait to request it because we didn't want to stay the whole week and only wanted to pay for the days we stayed there.
When it was time to request the cottage - it had been picked up by someone else.So I said to my sis without the slightest doubt - don't worry, the Universe will find a place for us. It's there, we just can't see it yet. And sure enough - we looked a little harder and found a condo that may be a bit smaller but we will fit in it just find AND it costs less than the cottage.

It's all a matter of positive attitude.So when I say to the Universe that I am ready to win the lottery -
and I did this week
I WON Seven dollars in the Mega-Million lottery.

So when I say to the Universe that I am ready to win the lottery -
I mean the whole bundle in the Mega-million lottery. All $45 million in the Mega million lottery.
sheesh - how explicit does a girl have to get !!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alphabet Wednesday D

This is my D entry for Alphabet Wednesday. It is DEW!
morning DEW. Fresh and promising.
The garden is coming in strong. I've started handing out tomatoes and jalepenos to all the neighbors. Since jalepenos and been outlawed in the grocery stores, my neighbors are happy to see my bumper crop coming in.
Plenty of salsa around here ! YUM.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Summer Fun

We've been making the most of the hot summer weather that finally arrived.
Playing putt-putt, enjoying ice cream and riding bikes !Sis and I went to see the 3D movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. Very cool 3D stuff but the cost $11 to get in. I wouldn't go see 3D on a regular basis because the cost is too high but it was a fun movie - no heavy drama - no serious violence - no sex. good summer fun.

We went for a quick breakfast at Burger King this morning. I don't recommend it unless your in a hurry. I think their coffee is instant out of a machine - definitely not good brewed coffee.
Here's where I stopped in my Sunday morning blog-hopping:

Days missed on a Hammock
For the Love of Cottage
Homespun Living
Plum Water Cottage
Pottery Blog
The Happiness Project

Friday, August 08, 2008


Work is a four letter word lately. I was actually asked to pick up another project - and since I'm already overloaded was asked if I would do it in my free time !?!!? what , does that mean when I'm home cooking dinner, riding my bike , what free time - I'm overloaded in projects while I'm at work. I said it wouldn't be free time, I would have to work longer hours. I received no response.

how much longer to I have to wait until the Universe answers my request for enough money to not have to work anymore ?
still waiting...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Alphabet Wednesday C

I found the letter C in my own backyard again this week. While pulling weeds I noticed this catepillar crawling on my parsley plant. He was such a vivid green I didn't think he was real.
Yes, I left him there. how much can he eat , really...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Planning a vacation

A vacation has popped up into my near future. The 3 sisters are at it again! We're off to the beach for 3 days of sun and fun.

We leave in about in 2 weeks - I'm soooo excited. I love getting up around sunrise to watch the world wake up over the ocean. The little sand crabs go scurring back underground. The gulls start plucking bugs out of the sand. The waves roll in and out and leave pebbles, shells and beach glass laying around for good scavengers (me). I love collecting buckets of shells and glass. then we make castles in the sand. Here are a couple we made last summer.

and some late Sunday blog hopping :)

Among the Hedgerows
Autumn's Meadow
Tales of Inglewood

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are you ready for August 1 ?

August 1 is Lammas Day, (loaf-mass day), the festival of the first wheat harvest of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop. Also traditionally observed as the Feast of First Fruits, a harvest festival. One of the Scottish quarter days.

So buy some fresh flour - make up a small loaf of bread and enjoy with some fresh veggies.

August 1 will also bring a new moon. The new moon is the birthing cycle of the moon's various phases. The new moon phase is an optimal time for planning and seeding your intentions. Setting aside a few minutes each month during the new moon phase to focus on yours wishes and desires will help give you clarity of mind and fill your heart with promise.

The saying "Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it." is fair warning whenever setting your new moon intentions into motion. The moon is strong - your words are energy - energy moves matter. You are a powerful person through your thoughts and words.
The best time to make your list of wishes is in the first 8 hours of the new moon.

PLUS, talk about a day of strong energy -- there will be a solar eclipse on August 1 that will be a TOTAL eclipse of the sun with a magnitude of 1.039. I don't know what the magnitude means but it sounds serious. hang on to your hats! but don't look up.