Inner Pieces

Figuring out my life, one piece at a time

Never

Sometimes I see someone on the street or in crowded Grand Central who looks like you.  For a fleeting moment, I want to go up to that person and ask their name.  To see if there is any recognition in their eyes. I often ponder what you might look like today; you were always so thin, would you have put on pounds?  A beer gut?  Would your blond hair have turned silver, mixing in and not really noticeable?  Would your eyes crinkle when you smiled? Would you have a beard and mustache?

Would you still have your freckles?

I sometimes wonder who you would have married.  I’d meet someone and instantly think she would make a good match for you.  If you took a wife, would I have liked her?  Would we have gotten along?  Would our parents approve and welcome her into the family? Would you have asked me to help you pick out a ring? Would you have had a big wedding?

Would you have had kids?

I simply adore my nieces and nephews from MR’s side of the family.  Time spent with each one is precious and rare and fleeting.  In my heart I am positive I would have loved your kids (even if it happened that I didn’t like your wife) because they were from you, and ultimately from me.  How old would they be?  We could have gone through all the trials together, from soccer (or baseball, or ballet, or piano recitals) to school plays to college and maybe even a wedding or two.  I would have made the best Aunt Soo to your kids.  You might have been the “cool” one, but I was older and smarter (so I liked to think).  There would be secrets and sleepovers and our kids could have grown up to be best friends.

Would they have looked like you?

Likewise, my kids would have adored you.You, being the “cool” one, would have done so much with my girls.  I can imagine you taking them on all sorts of adventures and keeping secrets from their parents as well.  I know you would have taken an active role in everything they did.  Would you have gone hunting with MR and Zombiegirl?  Would you have gone camping with us?  Would you have gone to your Godchild’s graduation from Adelphi? They probably would have been raised totally different if you had been around to referee the game of babysitting.  Mom always listened to you.

You were her favorite.

I realized that fact many, many years ago and many, many years ago I got over it.  I haven’t held that grudge for a long time but I wonder if things would have been different between me and our parents?  Would having you to talk to helped me deal with them better?  Would it have helped our relationship?  I know I would have been a better person if you were here to listen to me gripe, complain and bitch. You would have told me to suck it up and deal- and given me that look that would instantly shut me up.  You were infuriatingly annoying when you were brutally honest.  I frequently imagine us sitting on your deck (your backyard is gorgeous) drinking a beer (you brewed your own) and talking long into the night about anything and everything.

I frequently feel alone.

Today is your 49th birthday.  You’ve been gone a quarter of a century.  You’ve now been gone longer than you were alive.  How fucked up is that?  How fucked up is it that you never grew old, never had a family, never bought a house, never finished college, never knew two-thirds of my children and never met my husband?

Never, never, never.

Happy birthday, little brother.  I miss you wholly and completely every day.

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A Year of Meh

Today is the first day of 2014.  So then, Happy New Year!  As I look back on 2013, it certainly was a year of meh.  No, that’s not a typo- not a year of “me”, just a year of meh.  It had the potential to be something great, but no, it turned out to be meh.  Mediocre.  Unexceptional.  Same old shit.

I checked out my blog history for 2013 and I posted exactly seven times in 2013.  SEVEN.  I had more drafts, more posts started sitting there in my dashboard than those I actually posted.  I was not inspired and definitely not in the mood for anything last year let alone posting.  Pathetic.

Being pathetic, I watched all the episodes of Breaking Bad (except for the last 8 episodes.  Thanks Netflix).  I watched all of the first two seasons of The Big Bang Theory (including all the episodes on network TV and the Tuesday night marathons on TBS).  I watched Best Ink, Once, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Long Island Medium, Top Chef, Master Chef Junior and countless bad movies.  I sat on the couch, worked from home and stared at the TV.

It was better than dealing with what was going on in the world.

You can reread all my F*CK You Friday posts, or you can watch the news and see senseless killings. Log on to twitter and gawk the twittering twits. Look out of my window and you’ll agree I’m living in Crazytown. Follow me to work and observe the moronic. Contemplate the skies and witness wacky weather. Regard the rude, look at the liars, behold the ungrateful and note the knuckleheads.

Escaping into television seemed like a good idea at the time. Having only my yoga pants fit now doesn’t seem like such a great conclusion to 2013.

Other people in my family fared better than I did in 2013.  Beena started a full-time job in a Bronx high school teaching Math to ESL students. Yes, they are kids who don’t speak a lot of English.  It’s a lot of work for her and a hellish commute but she seems to love it and keeps us laughing with anecdotes of bad English and cute kids.   We’re in full-blown wedding mode now that it’s less than six months away and I’m seriously considering taking her to the doctor and getting her a prescription for Xanax.  She gets kind of frantic even though she has the majority of wedding stuff taken care of.

Utah is still working full time and going to school.  This past semester she pulled a 4.0 GPA for her four classes.  Today is her one year Anniversary with Kevin, one of Beena and John’s groomsmen.  MR calls her dating “Kevynning”.  He’s nice and really good for her.

She’s been looking into her future and trying to decide what to do for the next phase of her life.  She shouldn’t worry- she’ll be good at anything she does.

Zombiegirl had a few milestones this year.  She graduated from Middle School with Honors and the won the same award Utah won ($100) when she graduated from MS.  She was also Confirmed from St. A’s and got her first real job with a real paycheck at the local ice skating rink, working the snack bar.  High School is keeping her busy- honors classes and soccer and more soccer and an iPhone and a boyfriend- it’s a miracle we see her at all.  The highlight of her year was shooting her first deer.  We’re eating good in 2014.

MR and I celebrated our 50th birthdays.  Hooray.  It was a quiet birthday for both of us except for the honking of cars on my day.  Thanks to the soccer moms for bombing my house with “Honk, I’m turning 50″ signs and “50″s spray painted in shaving cream on the sidewalk, I’m constantly reminded of a perfectly mediocre birthday because the 50s are still there.

Memorable events in 2013?  A zombie 5K run (walk), a rocking good time with Ro seeing Rock of Ages on Broadway, an all-girls camping trip to Lake George, surgery for my lady parts, Amy’s sudden passing (Pastor’s wife), any time Howard the Snake sheds, the passing of Magma, Z-girl’s gecko, the Red Wedding and a major spiritual breakup.  2013 saw the usual delusionals, drama queens (and kings) and wackadoodles, but I should be used to all that.

2014? It can only get better.  I got off the couch today and I’m planning on running later and do some yoga before I go to bed.  Happy New Year to you and you and you.

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Willy Wonka and My $9.00- Day Two and Three

I’m determined to have moths fly out of my wallet next time I open it.

MR and I agreed last weekend that we would think about our purchases and wouldn’t spend foolishly.  I had to remind him that buying coffee at 7-11 when it was already made at home was unnecessary.  I got a look.  Seems I’m the one who’s going to do the penny-pinching.

So I sent him to the store for milk and sauce.  He paid.

Yesterday I wrote a check (my last) for SEPTA, the special-education PTA.  I would have had to do it eventually, so I spent the $10 now.  It’s for a good cause.  Other than that, I haven’t spent a dime.  I did FIND $0.15 yesterday.  Woohoo.

As for eating up our stash, a pork loin from the freezer for the family and black beans and rice from the stockpile for me, with plenty left over for lunch tomorrow.  This week has been pretty easy, food wise.  The weekend may be harder since we’re going out to the beach house to be chased by zombies.  I’ll just have to pack smart.  And cheap.

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While I was doing the dishes tonight, I watched one of my favorite movies, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.  You know, the first one with Gene Wilder.  I was home all alone, watching this movie that I’ve seen around 100 times.  And even though I’ve seen it that many times, there are things that have always bothered me, such as:

-How did Willy Wonka know Augustus Gloop was not going to continue on the factory tour? There are not enough seats in the “Wonkatania” in the next scene.

-”Invention is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation and 2% butterscotch ripple.” Willy Wonka must have failed math.  Mrs. Teavee does point out, however that it does add up to 105%.  Was she a teacher?

-Shouldn’t Violet’s clothes remained the same while she grew into a blueberry? They should have split open and she should be round and naked.

-Willy Wonka must not have been too attentive- Charlie and Grandpa spent a considerable amount of time in the bubble room and no one noticed they weren’t there when they went into the next room

-Why are there no female Oompa Loompas? (None in the newer Johnny Depp version, either.)

-Why is Veruca Salt the only kid that gets a song?  Charlie singing “I’ve got a Golden Ticket” with Grandpa doesn’t count.

-”Children are disappearing like rabbits”.    Huh?

-Does Mike Teavee like TV because of his last name or is this a weird coincidence?  What nationality is Teavee anyway?

-Snozzberries are dicks.  Those kids licked dick-flavored wallpaper. Ew.

-There are WAY too many sexual references in this film.  Almost pedophilistic.  Yeah, I just made up that word.  Think Gobstoppers (you can suck them forever, they never get any smaller), “small boys are extremely springy and elastic. So I think we’ll put him in my special taffy-pulling machine.” (taffy-pulling small boys?), “Here it comes!  Here it comes”, as they shoot out of building and then  there’s that perverted looking Gobstopper machine- thrusting up and down. Thank goodness it goes over the kid’s heads.

-Why didn’t any of the Oompa Loompa actors get any credit at the end?

Okay, I know some of these ponderings are straight out of Roald Dahl’s imagination, but that doesn’t mean I can’t question his sanity as well.  If you follow me on Facebook, you would have seen many of these observations posted.  I got bored and lonely.  As one of my peeps asked me, “Where’s your Ebert, Siskal?”

I need an Ebert.  And a few more thumbs-up for this crazy, wonderful movie.

 

 

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Still have $9.00- Day One

I wasn’t planning on posting every day, or at least so soon, about my 28 days of No-Spending, but I was proud of myself. Still have $9.00 in my pocket, didn’t spend my allotted $0.32!  My savings yesterday were:

Breakfast- this could range anywhere from $3.50 for an iced coffee and bagel with butter to $5.00 for iced coffee and an egg and cheese sandwich, all from Nick’s Coffee Cart on 48th and Park.  Since I made iced coffee the night before and brought it with me, along with yogurt and cereal, I saved an average of $4.25 on breakfast.

Lunch- this averages about $8.00 a day since my cheapest lunch would be falafel over rice from the Halal cart and my most expensive would be Tuk Tuk Boy at $11.  Even the cafeteria lunch falls between those prices, so we’ll say I saved the $8 because I brought salad and leftovers from the night before.  Water here is free, as is coffee.  At least we get that…

Transportation- I saved $22 because I didn’t take the LIRR.  I know if I bought a weekly, or even a montly it would have been cheaper, but working from home one or two days a week kept me on a daily ticket.  My Metrocard was already paid for, so my commute- as annoying and degrading as it is- was absolutely free.

So I saved about $34 on my first day alone!  And that’s just on basic stuff.  Pretty flippin’ good!

What made this sweet revelation even sweeter was that I got a check in the mail from Optimum!  I was due a slight refund when I switched to Verizon.  This gave me an idea to check out where else I can save- I’m already looking into the car insurance situation. Maybe I can get some discounts elsewhere?

Dinner last night was gathered from the big freezer downstairs and the deep recesses of my pantry closet.  I made Kielbasa for Zombiegirl and MR and sweet potato pancakes from a Manishewitz mix I’ve had for about 5 years.  Disclaimer: I am checking expiration dates and so far haven’t found anything dangerous.  I was pretty disappointed in the pancakes, don’t think I’ll be buying a mix again.  See?  Tried something new and gained 6 square inches in my pantry.  I will have to do a small shopping trip tonight since we’re out of milk and apples and bananas.  So, if it ain’t on the list, we ain’t buying.

That being said, I just ran out of checks (yes, I still write checks) and went online to order more.  $21.00!  Screw that- I’m going to see how long I can hold out to reorder.  Not a necessity.

I needed rubbing alchohol to clean a something I was making.  I made do with vodka.  Not a necessity.

I didn’t have pink ribbon for the thing I was making. Before this challenge, I would have run out to buy pink ribbon.  I used the orange instead and it looked adorable!  See, not a necessity.

After a long commute home on the bus, I needed a little “somethin’ somethin’” to take the edge off.  We’re out of beer so I finished off the half bottle of Moscato in the fridge.  Beer MAY be a necessity, but I can make do with something else for the time being.

It’s all about priorities.

 

 

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I Have Less Than Macklemore Has in My Pocket…

I have exactly nine dollars in my wallet.  It’s left over from a rainy weekend at the beach house, a trip to Greenport with the girls (and their guys) and some last minute shopping in town.

As of today, school supplies have been purchased.  Some school clothes were bought.  An anniversary gift is on the way.

And that’s a good thing because for the next 28 days, I’m on a “no-spend” challenge.  That nine dollars is going to have to last.  Budgeted out, that’s 0.32 a day.

The “No-Spend” challenge is another blogging fad I’ve been coming across lately while surfing the interwebs (thanks, Pinterest!).  That and depression are what all the fun, popular blogs are going on about.  Since I’m not (too) depressed, I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon and try this challenge.  I have different reasons than most of these mommy-bloggers, however.

I’ve been lazy lately.  I’ve been riding the Long Island Railroad instead of taking the bus.  I’ve been opting for fast-food because I can’t get up the energy to plan, shop and cook.  Tuk Tuk boy (Thai food cart) calls my name too often for lunch at a price tag of $11.  I’ve been watching too much “Big Bang Theory” (I’m trying to catch up!) instead of doing all the (mundane) things my family expects of me.

I decided to do this challenge mainly to kick my ass in gear.

I have stuff in our freezer that hasn’t seen the light of day in ages.  We’re going to eat it.  Our pantry has some odd things I bought on sale once upon a time.  We’re going to eat it.  We have 20 boxes of granola bars.  We’re going to eat them. The stockpile has an inch of dust on it.  I’m going to dust it off, cook it up and we’re going to eat it.

And hopefully, it will all last us 28 days.

Now, I’m not going to whip up that mason jar full of barley with the decrepit looking can of beans and serve it to my family for dinner tonight.  I realize that my odd assortment of food will require some planning (thanks, Pinterest!) and some shopping to supplement that barley and those beans and I will try to make something delicious that we’re going to want to eat again.  We won’t be buying anything we don’t need- no impulse purchases, no lattes on the way out of Stop And Shop and, at least for 28 days, no extreme couponing.  Just exactly what we need to get by.

I’ve cleaned out the fridge to make room for those leftovers we’re actually going to finish.  I’ve pared down my closet to see if there is stuff in there I’ve forgotten.  We’re having a yard sale fundraiser for the soccer team and my pile to sell is getting bigger.

To simplify will be a nice by-product of this experiment.

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Ponderings

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while! (I know, I haven’t done ANY posts in a while!)

I wonder…

  • if the “mock duck” in the Pad Thai I get at the “Tuk Tuk Boy” street cart is good for me?
  • if one should be eating anything called “mock”?
  • if I should join another CSA this year?  My experience with Golden Earthworm Farms was wonderful last year and I ate veggies I never would have tried, but it is expensive and I am the only one benefiting from it.  I may consider it if I could split the cost and the bounty with someone else…
  • how far I have to travel to find a blood donor center that still does two-arm platelet donation?  I really want that rain slicker, but I just can’t go through the one-arm procedure anymore.  I thought all of Long Island did two-arm, but I just got an email that my Lake Success donor site switched to one-arm.  Damn, I don’t want to have to drive to the end of the island just to make a donation.
  • how you could so non-nonchalantly open up my pay stub (supposedly thinking it was yours) and leave my open pay stub and a note (supposedly apologizing) on my desk?  How could you possibly mistake my name for yours? (Trust me, they’re WORLDS apart!)  Why were you even carrying my pay stub from one building to another?  The pay stubs go interoffice- you shouldn’t have even been TOUCHING my pay stub.  Next time I see you, I’m demanding to see your pay stub.  I’m sure you won’t show it to me…you make so much more than I do, and I’m still unclear about what you do here…
  • what kind of dessert to make with Zombiegirl next Thursday?  We’ve started a thing where we’re going to bake something every week and she’s going to take them to school for her friends.  It’s a great way to go through all those desserts I’ve pinned on Pinterest (follow me!) and it lets me a little time to spend with the kid as well as honing her baking skills.  It will be YEARS before we go through all the recipes I have.
  • why my company let us have Pinterest back?  It went RESTRICTED for a week or so, leading me to suffer internet withdrawal and minor internet depression.  I’m not the only one glad it’s back, either.  There is a Pinterest junkie sitting in front of me as I type.
  • what craft to make with our WELCA group?  The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in St. A’s asked me to do a Heartz and Craftz party with them in May.  I’m wracking my brains and surfing the web for something special to do with them- they’re all ages and craftiness levels so it’s got to be something everyone will like.  Any suggestions are appreciated!
  • how I’ve lived without experiencing the joy of Nutella for so long?  I can remember, almost to the day, when I first heard of Nutella- I was working for a tile store back in the 80′s and all the owners were from either Venezuela or Italy.  They brought in Nutella (and other stuff- sniff, sniff- as well) for lunch one day and I was appalled that this stuff could replace my beloved peanut butter.  It was foreign and I wouldn’t try it and turned away when it finally became a staple in the local supermarkets.  Fast forward years later when Zombiegirl asks me to buy it.  I reluctantly do (who can resist her?) and I try it and ***EPIPHANY*** it’s wonderful!  I have to resist putting it on everything and then licking the jar to get the very last smudge when it’s finished.  I console myself about all those missed opportunities over the past years by telling myself I would have gained TONS if I ate it all along.
  • if you’ve ever heard of  “Once Upon A Time” on ABC?  No?  Go watch it, now.  Season 1 is on Netflix, Season 2 is on Hulu Plus.  It’s wonderful and clever and terribly addicting.  If you have been watching it, let’s discuss.
  • when all these wonderful shows started appearing on network TV?  I NEVER watched network television, now I have so many shows queued up in my DVR I don’t have time to watch them all.  I can only work from home one day a week!
  • why phone companies make their bills so hard to understand?  Or maybe it’s not the bills, it’s the plans that are hard to understand?  Or (as my kids are SURE to agree with) maybe it’s just me that doesn’t get it?  And guy I spoke to on the phone yesterday at Sprint?  I KNOW your name is not “Mack”.
  • if Daryl will be the one to put Merle out of our misery?
  • what exactly makes your path of travel more important than mine?  Walking through Grand Central Terminal (and on a lesser scale, Penn Station.  I do both on a daily commute) is an exercise in raw nerve and self-control.  It’s like playing “chicken”, but with briefcases.  I usually lose because I’m a wuss unless I’m wearing my bright red raincoat.  Then, for some reason, people actually get out of my way.  Maybe I have to ditch the “New York Uniform” of black wool coat for a fire engine red coat.  If I’m wearing a red coat I may not have to step on you if you actually move out of my way and not maintain that collision course into my person.
  • if you realize that calling the ladies in the office “honey” or  “sweetie” or “girls” or “darling” went out in the 1950′s?  Someday, one of these “broads” is going to haul your ass to Human Resources.  You’re 50 years old, not 75.  You should know better.
  • if my house will ever get fixed?  Sigh.
  • why February is dragging?  I can say with certainty that I. Hate. February.  The weather, Valentine’s Day, both my mom’s and my brother’s birthday, the fact that it’s two days shorter than all the other months, that sneaky “r” in it’s name, the picture of Al Sharpton on the “Black History Month” commercials- all things that make February my least desirable month.  Add on the anniversary of Mom’s passing and you get a month that I really can’t wait to fly through.  Which usually happens- time flies by- except this month for some reason.  I feel that February has been around for 48 days instead of 28 days.  Let’s go March.  Hurry.
  • if it’s totally selfish to want go on a vacation without kids, husband or friends?  Would one have enough nerve?  Would one be totally bored?  I’m not sure if I’d ever find out the answers to these questions.
  • why T-Rex’s little arms make me so happy?trexPoor T-Rex.
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Cravings

First of all, a big “HI!” to you guys who stuck around waiting to see what’s going on here in my little crazy corner of the world.  I hate when I follow a blogger for years and they suddenly disappear and I keep checking back to see what’s what and they never, ever show up again in Blogland.  I’m so curious as to why they disappeared and so disappointed that I never find out.

That’s why I told you what’s what.  Thanks for the welcome back, and your kind expressions of concern.  You’re sweet- both of you.

So, I’ve been having weird cravings lately and it’s not all food-related.

I’m craving air.  I’ve had this upper respiratory infection for a few days and all I do is cough and whine then cough some more because talking (and whining) brings on an attack.  It’s all I can do to drag my butt to work and by the time I get there I’m wheezing and gasping for breath then I cough.  What I’m NOT craving are cough drops… those things are disgusting and I’ve probably gained three pounds sucking on a mountain of them.

Now I know how Zombiegirl felt during an asthma attack.  Yes, I do need to see a doctor, thanks for the recommendation.

Cravings are weird feelings.  They’re all possessing and all consuming and sometimes you can’t function because you keep thinking about the object of your desire and won’t be satisfied until you eat/see/do/f*ck the thing(s) you want.

Foremost in my craving?  Waffles.  I. Do. Not. Know. Why.  I’m not even a big waffle eater but I am craving  those big, Belgium waffles, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, dripping with warm blueberry syrup.  And whipped cream.  Do not forget the whipped cream.

Another craving that fills my thoughts is butterscotch pudding.  One of my co-workers got it yesterday afternoon in the cafeteria and now it’s all I can do to keep myself from going downstairs and buying the biggest freaking cup of butterscotch pudding.  I’m going to have to make it this weekend just like my mom did…with a smiley face of M & M’s on top.  The M & M’s would get cold from the refrigerator and the colors would start to leech into the surrounding pudding.  Oh, and leave the pudding skin on, please.  That’s the best part.

I’m craving a party.  I scheduled our 2nd Annual Superfantastic,Totally Blinged-Out Awesome Sparkletini party for this past Saturday night and the response was lukewarm at best.  Throw in me getting sick and Blizzard Nemo (when did they start naming storms?  And Nemo?  The  little orange clownfish doesn’t bring images of snowstorms to mind…) and I realized this party wasn’t happening. I was looking forward to making all-pink martinis and serving Valentine’s Day sweets and getting together with some friends to drool over Eileen’s jewelry.  I’ll reschedule for the spring.  I need a party with some awesome people and lots of alcohol.

I’m craving my mom.  With the onset of my (un)menopause and all the girlie trouble I’ve been going through, I miss talking to my mother.  Dad’s been great, but I really don’t want to discuss blood clots and birth control with him.  I’m sure he doesn’t want me to, either.  Planning Beena’s wedding, going dress shopping with her (SHE SAID “YES” TO A DRESS!)- these are all things I would have gotten on the phone with her to dish about.  This month especially since we just passed her 75th birthday and the anniversary of her passing, I really feel a hole in my heart because I can’t call her or talk to her or wish her a Happy Birthday.  Sigh.  As much as we fought or couldn’t stand each other sometimes, a girl needs her mom.

I’m craving a vacation.  I’m working on our passports because I want to be ready at the drop of a dime to go somewhere.  Turkey is the current destination of choice right now but I’d settle for the motel down the street at this point.

I’m craving pineapple.  Fresh, juicy pineapple.  Again, I have no idea why, I’ve just been obsessing over chunks of pineapple.  Maybe I have scurvy.

I’m craving angry, loud, obnoxious music to drown out some of the depression that this time of year usually brings.  Metallica, Slayer, Pantera…it’s all queued up on my Pandora station.  Probably not the best type of music to listen to when you’re depressed, but my precious Zydeco and show tunes stations make me want to throw the phone through the window right now.

I’m craving salt.  (Maybe I should see a doctor.  There is  probably have some kind of deficiency going on.)  I put salt on practically everything lately.  This morning I salted the butter on my bagel.  Hypertension, here I come!

I’m craving companionship.  A night out with a friend.  A date with my husband.  A little time spent with one of the kids.  I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut (on the couch) and not doing anything (sitting on the couch) and not socializing (I LOVE my couch!) at all.  The wintery weather, me being sick and the world too busy to do anything has left me feeling lonely and craving human contact.  I’ve left Facebook and the craziness it spews forth so now I feel that I don’t know what’s going on in the world. (Just the fact that I wrote that is pathetic, that I have to rely on a social network to socialize.)  I’m going to try to get back to the old fashioned way of being friends- phone calls and a bottle of wine to gossip with.

Am I weird?  What are you craving?

I started this post a week ago, so I’m breathing much better today.  I firmly believe all the upper respiratory problems I’m having stems from the mold and crap I cleaned up at Dad’s house after Superstorm Sandy.  Lovely.

 

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Time flies

Yo.  S’up?  How YOU doin’?

I must have written an opening line to a new blog post a MILLION times in the last seven months.  Then I’d backspace all over it and sadly close out WordPress.  I know it’s not because I have nothing to say, or am afraid of the trolls- it’s probably because I have too much to say and don’t have the energy to sit and type it all out.

(I need that wonderful telepathic typewriter Stephen King envisioned in “Tommyknockers”.  I think it up, it types it out.  Minus losing all the teeth, natch.)

So while everyone was preparing (or not preparing) for the Mayan Day of Doom and Christmas loomed bigger and bigger every day and we were getting ready (hopefully) to ring in a new year, I realized that I was nowhere near prepared for Christmas and the holidays.  I was pretty well prepared for the Last Day According to the Mayans.  Part of my preparation was dusting off this blog, stopping by to say hello and hopefully leave a part of myself and my family and friends in the time-capsule called the Internet.

Unless there is no electricity.  Then f*ck it…

And, around December 22, I ran out of steam.

My freaking hormones decided to have a party and invite all their hormonal friends over and surge my body and shut down my ovaries.  Closed until further notice.  These over-exuberant hormones, however, forgot to turn off the tap when they left, and I was left for dead (and bleeding) at work a few days before Christmas.   This sapped the life out of me and Christmas definitely suffered.  Zombiegirl called this past holiday “The Year Mommie’s Uterus Fell Out”.  After a few zappy procedures, a round of hormones and an upcoming two month course of birth control (hah!) the faucet is slowing down (I need a new washer, it’s still a little drippy) and I’m hopeful that my body has been kicked back into whack.

One thing that turned up in the blood test was that I haven’t even STARTED MENOPAUSE yet!

Swell.

I’ve been eating meat occasionally just to get my Iron back up and I started exercising (okay, I got off the couch) and I’m feeling a little better and actually felt like posting on this here blog.  It’s almost the end of January and I feel the need to recap 2012 and catch everyone (all .5 of you) up to speed…

I have to honestly say that this past year, 2012, was probably the most monumentally compound and memorable  year in my life.  The year 1997 takes a close second- that year I bought a house, got married, started a new job and adopted a cat all in the later part of the year.  This year celebrates the 15 year anniversary of all those things with a few monkey-wrenches and blessings thrown in besides.  Let me work my way backwards in time by quickly telling why this year rocked. ..

  • I’ve been at my job for 15 years (December 9th).  We’ve had our ups and downs, this job and I, but for the most part I’m comfortable and extremely good at what I do.  Am I challenged?  Not much.  Would I like to earn more money? Yeah, of course.  Yet I stay because I can work from home when I want, do my needlework, Christmas cards and anything else I feel I need to get done between running my routines and answering emails.  They let me work from home once a week which means I’m back on the couch in my pajamas…how cool is that?  So I’m employed and I’m thankful for that.
  • Superstorm Sandy hit the East coast early in November.  Sandy knocked out our power, rocked our trees and caused long gas lines on Long Island.  Dad and everyone near the water fared much worse.  He had Jamaica Bay in his first floor and lost everything in the basement as well as three cars, his backyard, his shed and his camper.  I’m not going to go into all that he’s gone (going) through in these weeks after the storm- it’s too painful and I’m I don’t have that much time.  I will say that the FDNY, the NY Sanitation Department, neighbors, friends and perfect strangers were wonderful in helping us deal with the aftermath.  FEMA, not so much.  We’re still dealing with mold, contractors and insurance companies but every day it gets a little cleaner and easier.
  • Zombiegirl made the Junior Varsity soccer team for the High School (remember, she’s in Middle School) and was one of four girls picked to move to the Varsity team when the JV season was over.  Varsity made the playoffs and needed more players but they were defeated after their second playoff game so Z-girl’s Varsity career was short-lived.  MR and I breathed a little sigh of relief, however.  High School soccer is rough and our slender little Zombiegirl isn’t.  It was a great experience for this kid and she’s looking forward to playing for the HS next year.
  • Staying with Zombiegirl’s accomplishments…she’s planning on taking over the world, starting with her school.  She was elected Student Council President as well as the school’s National Junior Honor Society President.  She’s doing great in her classes, everybody loves her and some of her teachers told me that she is their best (or favorite) student EVER.  Parent/teacher conferences got a little embarrassing after awhile because they kept gushing about how wonderful my kids are.
  • Did I say kids?  Yes, I did.  Beena is still working at the Middle School (although not in Z-girl’s math class) and still loves it.  She just got hired to teach her OWN period, pulling kids from Math classes that have low averages and she’s still tutoring SAT Prep and Math at the Learning Center.  Over the summer she taught High School Geometry and Algebra and brought two kids who were going into Math Honors in the Fall up to speed so they wouldn’t fall behind.  At Parent/Teacher conferences, I heard how well she’s doing (deja vu, definitely) and how much SHE’S loved as well.  Praise never gets old…
  • A little out of order but staying on subject with Beena…she got engaged!  John popped the question to Beena in June in Atlantic City, he asked me (on Facebook, smh, lol!) a few weeks before.  The ring is beautiful!  We had an engagement party for them in Roe’s (John’s mom’s) backyard in September- it was nice merging the two families.  I was a little freaky with the party planning but everyone said it was a great party.  They received a lot of beautiful gifts that they can use in their NEW APARTMENT!  Yes, it hurt a little to say that.  She moved out in July and we all still miss her.  The apartment is nice (and an exact replica of my first apartment with their butt-head father) and they’ve decorated it and bought their first Christmas tree.  I took them down to the beach house one day in the summer and did my first photo shoot for their engagement.
  • So Beena asks Utah and Zombiegirl to be her Maids of Honor.  John’s got two Best Men, so it all worked out well…so well that they all hang out together and now one of his groomsmen is now dating Utah!
  • Speaking of Utah, she’s still working (and still liking her job) and going to school at night.  She’s doing really well- she moved into Beena’s old room (giving me the opportunity to move my sewing/craft/office into her old room), getting A’s in all her classes and she’s reconnected with two good friends from High School and she’s doing all the normal things a 22-year old should be doing…going to the bar, going on a pub crawls and dressing like an elf for free drinks.  It’s nice to see her smile and be happy!  And we like this boyfriend…
  • This summer the girls and I drove down to Disney World for a week.  We stayed on Disney, ate in Disney and walked 12 miles a day in Disney.  We got on each other’s nerves but had a great time.   I never have to go back- we saw it all.  I’ll leave the Disney experience for another post.
  • MR and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary with Thai food and Hamilton watches.  We were sitting in the car waiting for my train a few months before and we were talking about anniversary gifts.  I said it would be funny if the 15th anniversary “modern” gift were watches…I looked it up and it was!  You may know this watch from Men in Black, or if you’re an Elvis fan.  I got one for him and he got one for me.  Surprise!
  • We lost two pets within two weeks of each other…Our cat, Maggie Maggee went outside and never came back.  She was, remember, 15 years old.  She passed away quietly under a bush in the side yard.  Spencer-boy, our stupid drooling mess of a dog, developed a cancerous lump in his neck (possibly due to the use of a bark collar when he was young) that over the course of a few months moved behind his eyes and blinded him.  It was humorous at first when he’d walk into walls or think I was the stove, but after a few days of not going out (and “going” in the house) we took him to the vet to determine if he was ever going to get better…he wasn’t.  We miss Maggie and Spencer every day.
  • I donated my soccer van to the Veteran’s Association.  We are now a one-car family (with the benefit of a work-van, occasionally).  I walk a lot and we’re saving a ton of money in car insurance.  I miss my soccer-mom van though.  That car was another member of the family.
  • Due to the economy and the restructuring of the bank, I lost a few good co-worker friends and experienced a shift in the make-up of my department.  It was sad to say goodbye to people I’ve worked with for years- and right before the holidays…
  • Lastly, our world reeled with the passing of Jim Starace, MR’s business partner and long-time friend.  Even as a few months passed, I’m crying as I type this.  Jim was diagnosed about six months ago with lung cancer (F*CK CANCER!) but his death in November came sudden and unexpected.  My heart is torn in two for Lia and his son, Arlo.  You may remember me posting a few videos Jim and MR did.  I don’t remember if I blogged about how they would go to Boston every year and build a convention space for a local seafood company at the International Boston Seafood Show.  Jim was truly a special guy (and the only one allowed to call me Suzie Q) and I know he’s rocking out with his fellow band mate J, (Marlboro Man) who passed away almost two years ago.  MR will say something then catch himself because he knows it was a “thing” him and Jim would say.  It’s truly sad and I don’t expect we’ll ever find another friend like Jim again.

MR and Jim (right) on the set of Killswitchengage's "Save Me"

MR and Jim (right) on the set of Killswitch Engage’s “Save Me” video

RIP, Jim

See you soon.

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Looking Over My Shoulder

I know it’s coming- the bad luck, the sickness, the accident or the tragedy.  It’s how my life rolls, where there is good, evil is usually not far behind.

Life has been so good lately that I’m half expecting a tsunami to come through my living room.

School is wrapping up today and Zombiegirl has once again done us proud.  She had perfect attendance again this year (that makes TWO years in a row) and was put into three honors classes for Eighth Grade.  She received a few High Achievement awards (English and Physical Fitness) and she took a state physical fitness test and was cleared to play soccer at the Varsity level (that’s High School- she’s in Middle School).  She’ll try out for the team in August and we’re pretty confident she’ll make it.  She wrapped up a season playing softball with the MS and won a few of the game balls (free balls!).  She’s managed to avoid most of the middle school drama and only catches that teen attitude on days that end in “y”.  (She’s not really that bad…)  She loves her soccer team players and all her friends.  Life with this kid is good.

Speaking of soccer, the girls had a great season and a nice tournament in Gettysburg.  The most exciting news is we managed to overthrow our soccer dictatorship.  The soccer coach, K, took a season off for personal reasons and so J, MR’s hunting buddy and assistant coach, stepped in as Head Coach.  He did a great job- the team won more games than the last two seasons and the girls really started to click on the field.  Just when we’re looking forward to another great season, she wants back in.  Really?  She’s very close to opening her own business, I find it hard to believe she’ll find the time to be a coach as well.  She barely showed up to the practices when she was Head Coach and she hardly came to any of her daughter’s game last season.  Plus, the girls don’t like her- she’s egotistical and competes with the girls on the field (Look at me!  I run fast!  I’ve never played soccer before!)  The parents got together and composed a letter stating they wanted things to remain as it was.  THE GIRLS got together and composed a letter stating they didn’t want K and her husband (who was another assistant coach, treasurer of the soccer board AND team treasurer) back as coaches at all!  Twelve out of 16 girls signed that letter.  If I were K, I wouldn’t show my face on the field ever again.  But, egotistical as she is, she fought for the position and DUN, DUN, DUNNNN, she lost.

Who did they make Head Coach?  J?  Nope.

My MR.  He was the only one who didn’t have any complaints (or red cards) against him and besides, he’s the only one who ever really played (and plays) organized soccer.  So now we’re looking forward to an even BETTER season because all the ex-coaches have to stay on the parent’s side of the field!  I know for K and her husband, it’ll be for the first time.  He said early on when the kids were young, “No one coaches my daughters except me”.  LOL!  Sucker!

This has done wonders for MR’s ego.  He truly cares about these girls and their soccer situation so it’s a win-win all around.

Speaking of MR, he’s been really busy with the business.  He’s adding more clientele weekly and has big ideas for growing the business.  He sees every opportunity, every person he meets as a bonus to the business or as a new client.  He even asked Utah if she could get them referrals from her company.  He’s happier, which makes us happy.

Speaking of Utah, she’s doing really well in her job.  With the stupidity of the Hut behind her, she says she likes her new job and she’s making “normal” friends.  I know this kid is smart (okay, she’s not a kid- she’s going to be 22!) and I know she’ll do well in anything she does.  She just has to find her right pathway.  And pay attention when she’s driving so she doesn’t drive down the path the wrong way. (lol!) I love having her home most nights, we really have to plan more things to do…like go to the gym…it’s just been busy around here lately.  She and Beena have a standing date to go out to dinner on Fridays.  I love that they’re finally all on the same schedule so that they can do things like this.

Speaking of Beena, she’s still loving her teaching position.  Although she didn’t get hired to teach summer school, she’ll still have a busy summer tutoring and working at the Learning Center.  She came through her first year teaching with high commendations and students (and teachers) loving her.  She still cracks us up with tales from school and I’m so glad it’s been a positive experience after the rough start she got.

Me?  I find myself smiling all the time.  Remembering the impromptu kickball game between our soccer girls and a rival team while they waited for a thunderstorm to blow over in Gettysburg.  Picking up my CSA vegetable bounty every Tuesday and actually looking forward to trying these beautiful new vegetables.  Connecting with a long-time neighbor and finding out you have so much in common (music, lacto fermenting, gardening).  Acting onstage with a group of wonderful teenagers and youth leaders.  Planning fun things to do with our newly formed Youth Group.  Counting points and eating healthier than ever before.  Listening to Dad talk about his day without a hint of sadness in his voice.  Watching people stop and look at my herb/vegetable front lawn.  Rocking on my porch and talking to neighbors after being inside all winter.

Waiting for that tsunami.

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101 in 1001- A New List

I can’t believe my due date for my 101 in 1001 list has come!  Back when I started in 2009, 2012 seemed so far away!  My start date was August 5, 2009, and the end date was May 12, 2012.  Before I post my new list, let’s see how far I failed on the old one:

Body
1. Lose 30 pounds (2/30).
2. Fit into old pair of jeans- the ones in my bottom drawer. 
3. Complete 6 sessions with Mike, my trainer. I’ve completed 24 sessions with Mike, and I’m now on my own.
4. Maintain a workout schedule of at least 3 days a week at the gym.
5. Practice yoga at least 4 days a week.
6. No cheating with bacon. Or meatballs. Unless it’s deer. 
7. Have a green salad once a day.
8. Cut back the pre-made veggie burgers to once a week.
9. Buy and use the Diva Cup. (Done! 09/09)
10. Continue going to the dentist to have my teeth fixed.
11. Take my vitamins and herbs daily.
12. Put makeup on everyday. At home, before I leave. Not at work or on the train.
13. Blog about the progress of these Body items on the first of every month.

Looks like I pretty much failed on everything except putting on my makeup every day and buying (then losing) my beloved Diva Cup.  I suck and I’m fat.

Finances
14. Build up savings account to equal 6 months of salary.
15. Fix credit report. (Done 1/18/10)
16. Refinance the house.
17. Get quotes on new insurance for house and car.  (9/10.  Got the quotes, now in the process of changing insurance companies.  Buh-bye old insurance.)
18. Secure 2 more years of student loans for Beena. (Beena’s in grad school, and has secured her own payment for the year.)
19. Sell stuff on Ebay. (MR has become our eBay guru.  He has more time to put stuff on and ship it out.  He’s put a ton of stuff on for me, so I’m getting rid of things and I don’t have to do the work!)
20. Transfer coupon savings into ING account. Try to save $700 a year.

Didn’t save, didn’t hit lotto, either.  I did manage to pay off all my credit cards, fix my credit report and have modified my mortgage into easier payments.  Money, for once, is not an all-consuming worry.

Family and Friends
21. Arrange ceremony to scatter Mom’s ashes. (Done 10/25/09)
22. Spend more time with Dad.
23. Attend Beena’s college graduation. (Done 5/18/10- Congratulations, Beena!)
24. Attend Zombiegirl’s 5th grade graduation. (Done- 6/24/10- Congratulations, Z-girl!)
25. Communion for Zombiegirl. (Done 4/11/10)
26. Celebrate Beena’s 21st birthday in a big way.
27. Be active in PTA for 5th grade. I really don’t like the PTA board/participants this year, so I’m revising this to read “Be more active in PTA in 6th grade.”
28. Write or email my aunts regularly.
29. Make and follow family meal plan. Remember to keep it healthy.
30. Meet a long lost friend for lunch.
31. Have a “no reason” dinner party.
32. Go shopping more with the girls. (Coats, Shower gifts, birthday shopping)
33. Yearly camping trip or rent a house with soccer families. (2/3)
34. Yearly “Mom’s” overnight trip. (1/3- Vermont with one of my “Moms”)
35. Go out with “Mom’s” once a month. (2/33-Texas Roadhouse, Nails with J)
36. Plan MR and my 50th birthday party or vacation.
37. Send handmade birthday cards to everyone in my calendar. And NOT late.
38. Do not gossip or rant about friends to friends.
39. {Private}

Ditched a lot of relationships in my life therefore didn’t do half the things I had planned.  It’s all good, however.  I’m happier and less stressed.

Craftiness
40. Finish all the alterations on that pile of clothes in the sewing room.
41. Build up my Etsy shop and sell something.
42. Make all my own Christmas cards. (2/3)
43. Make 50% of all my Christmas gifts. (2/3)
44. Make enough merchandise to rent my own table at craft sales. I decided to NOT do any craft sales in 2010.  I’m going to concentrate on getting all my unfinished crafts done so I can book lots of sales in 2011.  This will also help in #46…
45. Make an article of clothing and wear it to work.
46. Clean out and organize sewing room.
47. Make mirror for living room using broken Fiesta pieces.
48. Learn how to crochet a granny square.
49. Finish MR’s Christmas stocking.  (the cross stitching is done, I have to sew the stocking together.)

A change of direction leading me to a new business venture caused a lot of this to be put on the back burner as well.  The main accomplishment was finishing MR’s Christmas stocking as well as some fabulous new crafts.

Recreation
50. Visit 2 states I’ve never been to before. (0/2)
51. Hike 2 more sections of the Appalachian trail. Overnite. (0/2)
52. Take a “real” family vacation. (1/1- Done!  Trip to Puerto Rico in August 2010)
53. Play “tourist” in NY once a month. (1/33 Howe Caverns/Albany trip)
54. Try five new restaurants. (5/5- Ted’s Montana Grill, Cool Moose Cafe, 4/21-Brick Lane Curry House, 5/1- Texas Roadhouse, 5/18- Carmella’s in Franklin Square- Multiple restuarants in PR)
55. Go to new Citi Field and new Yankee Stadium. (1/2- Let’s Go Mets! Citifield 5/10/10- Mets vs. Nationals)

Not too shabby- we did manage to go to Puerto Rico and I did get to try some new restaurants.  It was tough doing anything due to some minor money issues…

Just for Me
56. Get my Pistol Permit
57. Upload all our CD’s into our hard drive
58. Scrapbook 2008 photos in 2011.
59. Scrapbook 2007 photos in 2010.
60. Scrapbook 2006 photos in 2009.   Since this didn’t happen, scrapbook 2006 photos in 2010.
61. Finish Beena’s school scrapbook.
62. Help dad get the Mustang on the road.
63. Get passports for the whole family.
64. Cross 3 things off my bucket list. (1/3- Swam with Bioluminescent Plankton in PR)
65. Learn the basics of Photoshop.
66. Learn how to make a blog template using html and Photoshop.
67. Get my 2 tattoos. (2/2) I might actually get one more…
68. Organize my computer files. Including flash drives. (Done 8/6/09)
69. Find a therapist. (I’m changing this to Acupunturist. I don’t need a Therapist. Everyone else does.)
70. Read the newspaper everyday.
71. Watch Gone With the Wind, Doctor Zhivago, Great Expectations, The Maltese Falcon (it was okay- I liked Humphrey Bogart but didn’t know what all the fuss was about the movie.), La Dolce Vita, Casablanca , North by Northwest (didn’t like), Rear Window, 39 Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Notorious, Dial M for Murder (liked!) and Spellbound (it was okay). With popcorn. (4/14)
72. Re-read Sherlock Holmes.
73. Blog about each completed item.

Okay, a few things accomplished, mostly involving needles…

Greening my life
74. Make net produce bags. (Done!  08/11)
75. Compost. (Produced my first batch of good compost Spring 2010)
76. Collect rainwater- ask for barrel for Christmas! (MR bought me a barrel for my birthday 2010)
77. Grow herbs every year.

Wow! I completed everything on this list!  Go me.

House stuff
78. Balustrades and newel posts for the upstairs stairwell. (Done! Thanks Dad!)
79. Replace the ceiling and tile in the upstairs bathroom.  (Done 10/10!)
80. Change the theme of the upstairs bathroom.
81. New baseboard molding in the kitchen.
82. Start cleaning out the basement for TV room.  (Almost done.)
83. Start demolition on the downstairs bathroom.
84. Make the fountain for the backyard.
85. Finish walkways in backyard.
86. Follow Flylady everyday.

The upstairs hallway project took longer than I expected, but with the exception of a few touchups, the hallway and bathroom is done. 

Spirit
87. Renew relationship with St. Andrew’s. I’m revising this one too. I need to go back to church. I don’t necessarily NEED to go back to St. A’s. I’ve been going on and off (mostly off) for a year now. Has anyone contacted me to see how I am? Noooo…
88. Engage in 25 random acts of kindness. (3/25)
89. Read the Bible.
90. List 100 things that make me happy in a blog. (Done 10/2/09)
91. Participate in 5 community service activities. (0/5)
92. Meditate every day.  Try not to fall asleep.
93. Sketch and doodle in new sketchbook.
94. See beauty everyday. Blog or put it down in sketchbook.

Not feeling very spiritual, I guess.

Purchase
95. New digital SLR camera (Done 10/26/09)
96. A pistol
97. A drawer dishwasher
98. A dual flush toilet for the downstairs bathroom
99. A sink for the downstairs bathroom
100. A new refrigerator for the basement (Bought a freezer instead. 10/26/09)
101. A new hybrid car

No big purchases except for the camera and the freezer.  No money, no buying…

So starting next Saturday, my new list is as follows.  Here goes:

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific with a result that is either measurable or defined.

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows several months or seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: May 19, 2012

End Date: February 14, 2015 (Valentine’s Day!)

Body
1.    Lose 30 pounds (0/30)
2.    Find a hairstyle and color I love.
3.    Maintain a workout schedule of at least 3 days a week at the gym.
4.    Practice yoga at least 4 days a week.
5.    Run every day.
6.    Continue going to the dentist to have my teeth fixed.
7.    Take my vitamins and herbs daily.
8.    Drink more water.
9.    Continue a “crunchy” lifestyle.
10. Visit the acupuncturist regularly.
11.  Do a yearly “cleanse” (0/2).

Finances
12.   Build up savings account to equal 6 months of salary (0/6).
13.   Pay off one of Beena’s student loans.
14.   Make Heartz and Craftz Parties official.
15.   Have at least 4 Craftinistas onboard at Heartz and Craftz Parties.
16.   Put coupon savings into ING account. Try to save $1,000 (0/1,000).
17.   Continue to be credit card free.
18.   Revamp my 401K.

Family and Friends
19.   Make and follow monthly meal plan. Remember to keep it healthy.
20.   Try a new recipe once a month (0/32).
21.   Teach Zombiegirl how to cook.  Let her cook once a month (0/32).
22.   Practice OAMC (0/32).
23.    Make grape jelly from scratch (using the grapes from Dad’s grapevine).  Enlist the girl’s help.
24.   Meet a long lost friend for lunch.
25.   Throw an annual “Sparkletini” party.  Build it bigger every year.
26.   Go shopping more with the girls.
27.   Plan MR and my 50th birthday vacation.
28.   Plan our 15th Wedding Anniversary celebration.
29.   Do something special for Zombiegirl’s 8th grade graduation.
30.   Send handmade birthday cards and greeting cards to everyone in my calendar. And NOT late.
31.  {Private}
32.   Run a mini-marathon.
33.  Attend school board meetings regularly.

Craftiness
34.  Finish all the projects in the sewing room.
35.  Make all my own Christmas cards. (0/2)
36.  Make 50% of all my Christmas gifts. (0/3)
37.  Promote the new business at craft sales and fairs.
38.  Make an article of clothing and wear it to work.
39.  Clean out, paint, decorate and organize sewing room.
40.  Learn how to crochet a granny square.
41.  Make more Halloween props for Halloween. Fix/upgrade the old ones.
42.  Make Christmas tree skirt (ties? quilt?)
43.  Finish Zombiegirl’s Christmas stocking.
44.  Finish my Christmas stocking.
45.  Learn to quilt. Attend quilting class at St. A’s.
46.  Finish putting together dollhouse and electrifying it.
47.  Finish two felt Advent calendars (0/2).
48.  Start refinishing and repurposing old furniture.

Recreation
49. Visit 2 states I’ve never been to before. (0/2)
50. Hike 2 more sections of the Appalachian trail,one of them overnite. (0/2)
51. Take a “real” family vacation.
52. Play “tourist” in NY once a month (0/32).
53. Try five new restaurants (0/5).
54. See a ballgame at Yankee Stadium.
55. Visit Homer Laughlin China Co. in Newel, WV.
56.  Go to the Wadefest in PA with Utah.

Just for Me
57. Get my Pistol Permit
58. Upload all our CD’s into our hard drive
59. Work with Beena to get our scrapbooking done.
60. Finish Beena’s school scrapbook.
61. Plant vegetable garden and herb garden.
62. Can, preserve and/or freeze homegrown vegetables and/or vegetables from CSA.
63. Keep a garden journal for home and beach house. Include herbs and herb usage.
64.  Put all our VHS tapes onto DVD’s.
65. Help dad get the Mustang on the road.
66. Get passports for the whole family.
67. Cross one more thing off my bucket list (0/1).
68. Learn the basics of Photoshop.
69. Learn more about DSLR Photography.
70. Learn how to make a blog template using html and Photoshop.
71. Become conversational in Spanish.
72. Write more. Finish a few chapters.
73. Watch Gone With the Wind, Doctor Zhivago, Great Expectations, La Dolce Vita, Casablanca , Rear Window,  39 Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho and Notorious. With popcorn. (0/10)
74. Blog more.

House stuff
75. Make basement into family room.
76. Start construction on the downstairs bathroom.
77. Replace dining room floor with ceramic tile
78. Paint living room floor
79. Spackle and paint foyer
80. Re-upholster couch and chairs.
81. Make the fountain for the backyard.
82. Finish walkways in backyard.
83. Follow Flylady everyday.
84. Fix TV cabinet and rewire for DVD player.

Spirit
85. Keep a dream journal and/or synchronicity journal.
86. Read the Bible daily.
87. Revisit my happy list in the blog. Frequently.
88. Count my blessings in a blog post.
89. Build St. A’s youth group up into something phenomenal.
90. Sketch and doodle in sketchbook.
91. See beauty everyday. Blog or put it down in sketchbook.
92. Volunteer at assisted living home.
93. Comment more on the blogs I read. Tell people how much I like their writing.
94. Accept.

Purchase
95.      A pistol.
96.      A new laptop.
97.      A canner.
98.      New stair runner and carpet in upstairs hallway.
99.      A dual flush toilet for the downstairs bathroom.
100.   A sink for the downstairs bathroom.
101.   A new hybrid car.

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