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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

30 Days of Lists 13

Things to Do This Spring

  1. Change out my winter clothes for my spring and summer clothes
  2. Get through some more of my 40 Bags/40 Days list, specifically our linen closets and my china cabinets
  3. Lose weight
  4. Continue going to the gym and actually doing something when I'm there, something that will give results
  5. Take care of my knees
  6. Pack light for my AZ trip, and my cruise
  7. Stay on top of Project Life
  8. Scrap some more layouts (outside PL)
  9. Be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend...
  10. Keep my planner up to date and really use it to plan
  11. Eat healthier
  12. Take a walk every day
  13. Cut back on snacks - a guilty winter habit!


Hmm, what have I LEARNed this week?

I've LEARNed that...
  • I get distracted very easily
  • I can get used to staying home from work very easily
  • I feel accomplished when I do something as simple as a load of laundry
  • I need to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend...
  • I want to spend more time improving me
  • any more improvement in my knee is up to me, that I've been discharged from any and all PT
  • I really don't like going to the gym
  • two men were stabbed just a mile or so from my house, by a homeless man who they knew had psychological problems - one mad died and one is being treated at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson
  • I'm getting more and more antsy to ask M about J
  • what you see in someone else's family isn't what it really is, and unless you're living it, it's really easy to make judgments
  • "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (thanks, Dad, for instilling in me your love of Robbie Burns!)
  • I'm really excited about my June vacation to AZ and my July cruise/Orlando trip, and my Miami business trip in September, and my cruise to nowhere in November (IF this happens)
  • I miss my cousin Rick a lot - and I have to make a better effort to stay in touch
  • it's a lot easier to buy new clothes than take care of old ones, hence the obscene amount of winter/summer clothing I have to change out every other season

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

30 Days of Lists 12

DIYs I Want to Try

  1. Painted wooden stools - Done!
  2. Colored backdrop on bookshelves - Done!  Obviously I need to take some photos and update these links!
  3. Wall-papered or stenciled backdrop on bookshelves
  4. Blue ceiling
  5. Built in window-seats - They're not built-in but they fit in as if they are!
  6. Make curtains out of sheets - Done!  I'm using them to cover the open bookshelves.
  7. Make a terrarium
  8. Make a container succulent garden
  9. Sew a quilt
  10. Knit or crochet a blanket - practicing!
  11. Doodle an entire wall (like Alisa Burke's), or even part of one (see her movable walls here)
  12. Paint my own napkins like Katie Bower did here
That's only 12 of them, but I know there are more - I have an entire binder full of torn out magazine pages of projects I want to try, but it's sort of unrealistic to add "butler's pantry" to my DIY list since there's no room for one in my current home...  maybe when I move to my compound...



I've LEARNed that there are only 15 more weeks until our cruise! 

We booked it last night.  Now we have a day or two to decide if we want to add on a couple of extra days before the cruise for the parks...  Which we do...  But we have to figure out which parks, other than Universal/Harry Potter, we want to go and see.  Harry is a done deal.  Period.  End of statement.

We haven't been to FL since our engagement in 1998.  I know the parks are pretty much completely new now; they're constantly adding and upgrading and changing...   AND the tickets are, I'm sure, exorbitantly expensive...

I've also started to pay a bit closer attention to my pet peeves - don't ask why.  I've LEARNed I have a few.  Here's what REALLY stinking annoys me:
  • There's more salt in a salt packet than there is pepper in a pepper packet.  And I rarely use salt, only on my eggs-over-easy, but I do use pepper...
  • When I go through a tollbooth, I give THEM money.  THEY are the ones who should be saying "Thank you," but I do, and they DON'T say "You're welcome" in response.
  • When I call a wrong number, I say, "I'm so sorry."  When I'm at the receiving end of a wrong number call, they just hang up.  Grrr.
  • People invading my personal space.  I'm very affectionate.  I'll hug you when I see you, if I haven't seen you in a while.  I can stand next to you, even close to you.  But when we're merely acquaintances, do NOT stand overly close to me and lean on me, like I'm a lamppost or something.  I don't want a virtual stranger touching me!
  • I despise people acting as if they a) know more than me, b) have been in a worse situation than me, c) are richer than me, d) are better than me...  You know what?  You're NOT.  Even if you are, you're NOT.  The minute you start acting superior to me, you've proved you're not smarter, richer, better...  AND you get really annoying...  (Yes, I work 5 days with someone like this and she's really getting on my last nerve lately...)
I'm sure there are several more, but these have popped up recently and no, they are not the result of me getting older and crankier.  They have bugged me all my life - it's just that now, I feel the need to share...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


What did I LEARN this week?

I LEARNed that no matter how hard I try, I do not like working out in the gym.  I had my free one hour with a trainer.  I warned her up front that I wasn't going to sign up for training sessions, no way, no how.  I just wanted her to show me how to work the machines I haven't used yet, so I don't hurt myself if and when I decide to give them a try.

She insisted on a short, 15-20 minute work out, as part of my hour. 


SHE didn't LEARN that I know my own mind and that she can't in any way make me change it.  Well, actually, I guess she did LEARN it, to some degree, but she really doesn't believe in her heart of hearts that in two weeks, when she checks in with me again, I'll still not want to sign up for sessions...

I LEARNed in those very loooooooooooooong 15-20 minutes, that I can work out hard and not have a heart attack and pass out or die.  My God!  What she made me do!  I can't even believe I did it!  Sure, I admit that I felt proud of myself for having stuck to it, and not flipped her the bird and walked away, but did I enjoy it?

No, no, a thousand times, no.

I even cheated in PT yesterday and did fewer of one of my least favorite exercises and totally skipped two others.  I added two new ones into the rotation so I feel like it wasn't an entirely bad session, and it's the first time I did that in four months...  I just couldn't face them, I just couldn't.  I'll try to do at least one of them at home before next week's session, so hopefully that one will become a little less intimidating and painful...  The other two I can't modify at home, so I'll have to struggle through them at the gym on Monday...  I suppose I could try to do a couple when I go in to the gym, for non-PT time, but do I want to do that?  No, no, a thousand....  You get the picture...

This was probably not one of my best posts, but it's what's on my mind and I've LEARNed to just let that stuff out, once in a while...  even if it's not the most fascinating content on the face of the earth...

Tonight we're going to Eataly for dinner, me and a few coworkers from this office, and a few who were let go during the reorganization.  Looking forward to it, but I really wish it wasn't in NYC.  I really don't like the city...

30 Days of Lists 11

Books I'd Like to Read This Year

Some of them are older, some of them are newer, but they all made their way onto my iPhone "Book List"

The Longest Ride, Nicholas Sparks
Eat That Frog!  Brian Tracy
Linger, Maggie Stiefvater
Forever, Maggie Stiefvater
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
The Last Dead Girl, Harry Dolan
Hope in a Jar, Beth Harbison
Oath of Office, Michael Palmer
Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, Barbara R. Vance
The Shadow Patrol, Alex Berenson
Death Benefit, Robin Cook
Cell, Robin Cook
The Drop, Michael Connolly
Throne of Glass, Sarah H. Maas
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Matthew Dicks
The Light Between Oceans, ML Stedman
Every Day, David Levathin
Origin, Jessica Khoury
The Dog Who Lived, Teresa Rhyne
Monarch Beach, Anita Hughes
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?  Maria Semple
Crazy Salad, Nora Ephron
The Last Letter from Your Love, Jojo Moyes

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

30 Days of Lists 10

I carry a black Coach bag, this one here.  The awesome thing is I got it for $91.00 at the outlet store in Atlantic City!  I got the matching wallet, here you go, for only $57.00 at the same sale.  Yea, never before in my life have I ever spent that much on a wallet, but considering list is $228, I think I did okay!
Here's what's in my bag...

  • The wallet itself, containing cash, gift cards, credit cards and insurance cards, along with a picture of my hubby and me and my dad's obituary
  • My checkbook with 2 checks to be cashed (one insurance check and one dividends check)
  • My personal cell phone and my work phone
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses
  • 2 pairs of readers
  • My "real" glasses - we have an eye doctor appointment after work today
  • My Kindle Paperwhite
  • My rosary beads
  • Coupons
  • My book of top secret passwords to all my websites, accounts, etc.
  • 3 pens
And an orange Orla Kiely etc. cosmetic bag (yes, I know the Target photo looks red...  trust me, it's orange!) that contains...
  • 3 lip glosses
  • 1 lipstick
  • a comb
  • 1 pack of HotHands
  • Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia perfume in a roll-on bottle
  • Boroleum ointment (I never leave home without it!)
  • Blink eye drops
  • Neosporin
  • hand sanitizer
  • a hair clip or 3
  • an emery board
  • a black eyeliner
Then there's my Vera Bradley tote bag which, today, contains...
  • My analog computer (which is a book of folders where I sort paperwork I use on a regular basis)
  • My check envelope where I put current bills after they've been paid (today was a bill-paying day)
  • the newest BH&G magazine I haven't started reading yet
  • my Sigma makeup brushes
  • my makeup
  • my Naked 2 and Naked 3 eye pallets
  • my Skindinavia makeup finishing spray
  • a pair of winter gloves (just in case the snow comes tonight like they're warning us it might)
  • a bunch of last month's bills that we have to burn in the fireplace this weekend, if I remember to bring them with me to the lake
And that's about it...



I've LEARNed that I REALLY need to work harder in the gym to get fit.

I've been going to PT since my knee surgery in early December and have seen a marked improvement.  Hubby is worried, though, that when we go to Florida this summer on our vacation, I won't be able to keep up.  He keeps making comments like, "We can't be just going to the parks for a 1/2 day" or "There's an awful lot of walking in the parks" or "Are you going to be able to walk around the parks?"

I've told my PT therapist that that's my goal, to be able to walk easily and without pain, able to keep up with my Energizer Bunny of a husband in Harry Potter World.  Yesterday we sat and reviewed my current PT plan, and tweaked it a bit.

We removed the balance work - no more balancing on one leg while I throw the ball at the trampoline and catch it on the return.  No more standing on the balancing ball and circling clockwise and counterclockwise.

My lunges were removed - thank you, Jesus!  BUT then he took me out to the gym and showed me a way to do lunges and squats using the arm straps on the big swing frame.  He added a modified way of planking, something I had planned to try "someday" - now I have to lay face down on the floor, support my weight on both arms and bring each knee up to the corresponding elbow, 3 sets of 20.  It's supposed to work on my core and on my upper body.

I've LEARNed that it's hard.  And I've LEARNed that muscles you didn't know you had can still hurt, almost immediately after you've stopped doing the exercise!

I've LEARNed that I want to do nothing more than cancel my Thursday training session, the free one I get with my gym membership.  Brendan, the PT doctor, said he'd be surprised if the trainer wants to do any more than just try to sell me training lessons, but I reminded him who he was talking to - I'm in sales.  NO one can sell ME something I don't want, but it's likely I'll be able to get what I want from them!  And what I want from her is a brief rundown of how the machines work that I'm planning on using to get a bit more fit than I am now, even if I'm the turtle:  slow and steady.

On a side note, I've LEARNed, too, that I might be allergic to citrus/orange juice.  I'm not really into OJ but every once in a while, during the year, I crave it, and it's been that time.  I've been drinking 14oz of Tropicana Orange Tangerine Juice 5 times a week for the past 2 weeks.  Back when I was about 16, Dr. Bierenbaum (mom's cardiologist, who I used as a GP) told me to listen to my body.  He said if I all of a sudden crave oranges or orange juice, it's likely I need some vitamin C and I should pay attention to these cravings.  (He also taught me that when I'm sick with a stomach virus of some kind, if I crave something it's unlikely that something will make me sick, even if it seems to fly in the face of medical reason!)

On Saturday, I got that neck thing again:  bright red flush in a square-ish spot on the front of my throat.  No itching, no swelling, no pain.  Just color.

Then on Sunday, a new symptom - a rash of raised bumps and redness along the side of my neck.

So I called my doctor and took Monday off so I could see her whenever she had a minute or two.  They called me to come in at noon, so I went.  No, I didn't change perfumes, soaps, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, hairspray, mousse, volumizer...  I didn't eat anything different, drink anything different...

I posted the first picture on Instagram and got a comment back from a former work friend that a friend of hers gets that same flush when she drinks wine.  I don't drink wine, but two weekends ago I did have a glass of sangria...  I checked with Dr. Internet and one of the symptoms of a sulfite allergy is that sort of flushing.  Dr. C. sent me for bloodwork and added an allergy screen to it, just for $hit$ and giggles.

But then I went to my sister-in-law's house.  It was Monday, after all.  The first question out of my niece's mouth was, "Have you had any citrus lately?"

Well, yea, the OJ - WHICH I never thought about when my doctor asked because it's normal to me to drink it at random times during the year.  But I never paid a bit of attention as to if I get this condition around the same time as I drink a lot of orange juice...

So even though it's fading fast today, I'm back to my OJ drinking to see if it gets aggravated again...

I'm LEARNing to be my own experiment!  Will keep you all posted!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Wow!  I've almost LEARNed how to style my hair in this new, straight style!  (Yea, not so erudite, but this is HUGE, people!  I'm 53 and I'm not curling my hair!  I'm styling it straight, without any Jersey poof!)

On the more serious, brain-oriented side of things, I was 42 before I LEARNed that I had even a little bit of artistic talent.  Growing up, my dad could draw, my baby sister could draw (in fact, she almost exhibited in a gallery!), but me?  Not so much.  Oh, sure, I could recreate a mean version of the gastrointestinal system for biology class, or draw and color a picture of the human heart, but artistic?  Me?  Uh-uh.

Then I lost my job.

And I found scrapbooking.

And I LEARNed that I could create some semi-decent pages!  Create!  Who'd have thought I could create anything?!?

Years went by and I realized one of my scrapping idols was actually a mixed media artist, and I started watching and paying attention and attending her classes when she was local, and guess what?  I can art!  (My friend E and I refer to making art as "arting," in verb form...  I'm sure that will get annoying and wear very thin very soon!)

I've done some backgrounds, done some watercolors with stamped images, but do you think even one of them is hung up in my house?  NO.

I have a couple of scrapbook pages displayed, but no art.  And that's going to change soon.

You may not know this, but I am addicted to Instagram (krys72599).  And I've found so much more art on there and I'M BETTER AT IT THAN SOME PEOPLE THAT ARE SELLING THEIR ART AND PUBLISHING BOOKS ABOUT THEIR ART.

Okay, art is in the eye of the beholder, we all know that.  But there are a few artists who I've seen post images of their art, and sure, it's modern, it's mixed media, it's theirs.  But in my humble opinion, I can do better!  I may not be able to draw but I've LEARNed that I need to stop being so hard on myself, that I need to start giving myself more credit, and finally, I can art!

I'm going to stop being so critical of what I create.  I'm going to create something that I can frame and hang, even if no one else ever sees it, in my office or my scrap room or somewhere.  But I'm going to do it.

I've also LEARNed that I'm a visual LEARNer.  I can't recall if I've mentioned that here before, but I just recently changed my way of entering things in my planner.  I use a Franklin Covey printed planner and I've started using different colors and boxing tasks instead of just listing them line after line.  And I SEE my accomplishments.  I SEE that I'm really and truly doing a lot each day, not just a couple of check marks off the list.  And that makes me feel so accomplished!

Here's an example of my new way of planning - and it may be messy but it works for me!

So no big revelations today, but still, LEARNing is forever, and it's good to know I still can!

30 Days of Lists 9

Just thought I'd give you a look at Today's To Do List.

Here you go:

  1. Post my LEARN post
  2. Post my 30 Days of Lists post
  3. Send a sympathy card to my cousin's wife, who recently lost her mom
  4. Make a hair appointment - trim and roots
  5. Start filing taxes
  6. Call L and wish her a Happy Birthday
  7. Call NYSC about our memberships
  8. Cancel tomorrow's free personal trainer hour
  9. Nail appointment 6pm - pick up Mom no later than 5:45
  10. Check MegaMillions winners - retire? 
  11. Check UrbanOutfitters website for scratch off world map
  12. Lake pillows from urbanfarmgirlandco site - still available?
  13. Download new books to Kindle
  1. 10am Marketing meeting
  2. 11am AEC meeting
  3. Call customer in MN re:  500c order Beekeeping FD
  4. Call customer in Phila re:  account and discount
  5. Call customer in Phila re:  account and discount AFTER lunch (since you woke him at 9am!)
  6. Send proformas to EF
  7. Call KH re: e-books for course adoption
  8. Follow up with LJ re: e-books never ordered
  9. Track SFDC opportunities and update

Monday, March 10, 2014

30 Days of Lists 8

Favorite websites and blogs, in no particular order

  1. Young House Love
  2. Bower Power
  3. Organized Jen
  4. Alisa Burke:  Redefine Creativity
  5. Enjoy It by Elise Blaha Cripe
  6. The Pioneer Woman
  7. The Mossy Nest
  8. Ali Edwards 
  9. Just Me and My 4 Little Chicks
  10. My life...just not on the road I expected 

LEARN 10 & 11

Oops. I've LEARNed that while it takes 28 days for something to become a habit, it can take only 10 weeks for me to mess up and ruin my resolution to post once a week about my OneWord... SOOOO I'm posting last week's and this week's LEARN posts together, as one.

What have I LEARNed lately? Well, this past week or so has been a LEARNing time for me, but it's been more of an emotional LEARNing experience...

On Friday 2/28, Mom called me at work to tell me a house in my hometown was on fire. I commented, half jokingly, that it had better not be mine (Thank God it wasn't!). We left work our normal time, around 3:30, but took our sweet time going home. We stopped at Walmart, Sam's Club and Lowe's, and ate dinner out, then got home around 7pm.

As we got closer to the bottom of our street, we noticed it was closed off; a police car was blocking it and a power company truck was parked there. We chatted with the police office stationed on the next block, where we wanted to turn and when we told him we lived on (our street name), I noticed a funny look on his face, but when we told him where on the street, he said, "Oh, okay, you can go on up (next street over). Have a great night."

Normally on Saturdays we go to the lake, but that weekend we decided to stay home for various reasons. I got to sleep in - I got up at around 9!!! - and took a shower. I had plans to meet E for lunch. I heard J talking very loudly outside but couldn't make out the words. When he came inside, he was quite agitated and loud. He told me the neighbors just told him that a house had burned down at the bottom of our street. He was leaving to go to Harbor Freight and would see me when I got home later

I finished getting ready, and then let E know I was going to be a few minutes late, that I wanted to go look at the house.

It was horrible.

The entire back of the house had collapsed and all the windows were blown out. I took a picture of it to show E (and to put in my scrapbook) and went to lunch.

On the way home J called to find out where I was. I told him I was a minute or two away and he told me to come down the street and park down there, that they were tearing the house down! I parked and walked over and we stood and watched them turn this home into a pile of rubble.

Here's the LEARNing part: I watched the owners stand there and watch their home be destroyed. They were not allowed inside for anything. He had been at work, his wife was out and their 2 children were at school. Their tenant called the owner at work to say the house was on fire and he left immediately for home. It was fully engulfed by the time he got there. All they have are the clothes on their backs and the "stuff" in their pockets, purses and book bags.

 I was so choked up about it all. I LEARNed, much more up close and personally, that it could be so easy to lose it all, that we need to forget about the "stuff" and concentrate on the people.  I LEARNed that I have too much, that I want to get rid of the "stuff" that weighs me down as much as the extra pounds I'm carrying, even more so, in some ways.  I want to get the important things into a safe place.  Sure, some of the things I would want to save are simply "stuff" but most of it I could stand to lose.  I can always get another pair of black pants, or another tchotchke something-or-another that's on my end table.  I can't get another engagement ring or that one picture of my dad and me that I could never stand to lose, or all those important papers and account numbers, my wedding album and video...

I LEARNed that I need to let go of the things, I want less, and I need more:  more appreciation for what I have and how easily and quickly I could lose it.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

30 Days of Lists 7

Weekend Goals - at the lake
  1. Clean the bookshelves in the sitting room
  2. Clean my scrapping desk
  3. Purge extra scrapping supplies
  4. Check the computer and see if it works
  5. Straighten out the linen closet
  6. Plan what organizational tools I need
  7. Go to the movies
There aren't a lot of things there, but there's a lot of work to be done!  We haven't been there in a few weeks, so while I didn't put "dust" on the list, or "clean bathrooms," they would be numbers 8 and 9.

And perhaps number 10 would be "relax and read."