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.



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.

Ten Things I Will Not Do In 2012

Numero Uno:  I will not make resolutions for 2012.  We all know that most resolutions are forgotten by the end of February anyway so why would I bother?  Instead, I have my 101 Things to do in 1001 Days list (which is up in May…) and I compiled a list of goals I want to accomplish each month, with every third month a “swing” month, or a catch-up month.  I’m leaving no room for error here.  And there are certain things I realized over the past few months I should NOT be doing.

An “anti-resolution” list, if you may.  And that is #1.

Numéro deux:  I will not drink soda.  I reach for it out of desperation, sometimes.  It cuts through a dusty throat and momentarily quenches your thirst when parched.  It also pairs nicely with Jack Daniels.  But every time I drink it, I either end up queasy the next day or a migraine kicks in.  I’ve learned my lesson- no more soda.

Nummer drei:  No more second (or third or fourth…) chances for some people.  If it’s over, it’s over for a reason and I’m tired of putting myself in a position to be disappointed or angered time and time again.  I was feeling particularly benevolent this past holiday season and thought maybe some people had matured so I ventured to speak to them again or invite them to certain soirees or ask their opinion on specific matters and once again I was proved correct in severing these one-sided, sometimes toxic relationships.  My gut was right…I should listen to it more.

Broj četiri: I will not put up with  insolence from people, including family members, store clerks or soccer coaches.  I’m ready to put my foot down.  If you can’t speak to me in a civilized manner, I’m calling you out on it.  If you can’t show a little respect, I’m calling you out on it.  If you walk off the field past us parents in a huff (or worse, ignore us and talk to another set of parents (of girls not even on your team) I’m calling you out on it and I may stick my foot up your ass as a bonus.

Numero cinque:  I will not hold on to things with the hope of using it, wearing it or needing it LATER.  I won’t use it later, I won’t fit into it later and I probably won’t remember I have it, much less need it, later.  It’s time to stop hoarding and get rid of shit.  The craft classes I’ve been having (and for the next five months, I’m holding kid AND adult classes!) have been helping me get rid of some of my stuff, as well as using up a lot of Mom’s crafts supplies.  I had to buy very little to supplement the classes and the future classes even less.  I’ve become less sentimental about things so it’s been easier to let go of crap I’ve had for years.  If I’m not totally comfortable wearing something, I’ll donate it.  If it’s been in my sewing pile for more than a year, I’m tossing it.  I will not become one of those hoarders.

Uimhir de shé: I will not buy any NEW clothing this year.  My weight dropped five pounds effortlessly while Dad was in the hospital- due to worry or the lack of options at the hospital cafeteria, doesn’t matter- it came off.  I’ve managed to keep it off through the holidays and it was a really nice boost for me when I zipped up a pair of tight jeans without using the pliers.  We’re going back to the gym and I’m eating better and less frequently.  I anticipate dropping a size in the next few weeks so I may just be able to fit into those pants I’m ready to donate.   So segue into the donation part and how I’m not going to buy NEW clothing this year…I’m shopping thrifty.  My friend Eileen has been an inspiration- I fell in love with a coat she was wearing last week and she got it at one of the thrift stores she circuits.  Damn!  There are plenty of nice, clean stores in the area where I can buy some supplemental pieces at a fraction of the cost of retail (even on sale…) I just have to make the effort and go (by myself) to these stores.  I can alter and sew, so it doesn’t even matter if it’s not a perfect fit.

The exception is underwear.  I DO need to use the Victoria’s Secret gift card MR gave me for Christmas.

Numurs septiņi:  I will NOT be selfish.  My time and my body parts are precious to me, but I will not keep them to myself.  I found a blood center that takes platelets the “old-fashioned” way, and I am planning on getting tested for bone marrow donation.  I’m serving on the Green Team committee at the school and I was just asked to serve on a GLBT task force at church.  I plan on doing more with the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN) near our town both with Zombiegirl and by myself as well as holding craft classes for seniors and autistic kids.  Life has been  fruitful, so I want to give some back.

Idadi nane:  I will not let my body changes wear me down.  I will not let my constant bleeding drain my soul.  This is the natural progression of things …so be it.  I’ll always be prepared, and explore other options to my beloved lost Diva Cup to help with my “irregularities”.  Acupuncture, Black Cohosh and a Xanax here and there will help with my mood swings so with any luck, my family and I will come through this alive.  Bloodied, but alive.

Dokuz numara:  I will not sit in front of the television with my feet in MR’s lap without working on some project.  I will not waste my time on mindless network drivel hoping his hand strays to that sore spot on the ball of my foot.  I will sew, knit, crochet, sort socks, fold laundry, clip coupons, paint ceramics…anything.  Watching tv is our downtime- I just feel like it could be a little more productive.  Anyway, he can still rub my feet if I twist in juuust the right position.

Number ten:  I will not forget to blog.  I will not ignore this space because I don’t have anything to say.  I will not start a blog post only to abandon it halfway through.  I will not promise to blog about something and never deliver.  I will not have any drafts in my list of posts which means I’m in the process of finishing (or deleting) all those post I started but never finished.   A physical list of things to blog about has been hand written and I will take great joy in crossing them out when I’m done.  My new phone has an awesome camera in it so even if I don’t have time to blog, there are a few good pictures I can post.

So that’s my take on the betterment of 2012, the forty-ninth year of my life.  February is only two weeks away…

Scorecard 2011 Week #1

I wasn’t going to post my New Year’s Resolutions on my blog.  Everyone in blogland is posting theirs and recapping what they didn’t do/accomplish in 2010.  I didn’t want to post empty promises to myself and get depressed when I read them over next year.  As Beena noted, making resolutions just sets one up for failure. 

But I do have four changes I want to make in my life.  And I do need to keep track of how I’m doing, so bear with me- it’s going to be a weekly thing.  By the time a few months go by and it becomes second nature, I won’t have to stress (and bore you to tears) about it.

Change #1- No more sugar- natural or otherwise.  This week, I give myself a 98% success rate.  There are leftover cookies at my house and the Frost Valley candy sale going on, but I haven’t touched any of it.  The only sugar I’ve had was accidentally when I bought a coffee at the train station.  The coffee guy knows me and put sugar in the cup before I could stop him.  Frankly, I didn’t even realize it until I tasted it.  After four days of no sugar in my coffee, it was too sweet.

Change #2- Bring breakfast everyday and three days worth of lunch in to work.  I’m reserving the remaining two days for Stir Fry at the 299 Park Avenue cafeteria and my weekly Chipotle fix. I can NOT give those two lunches up.  It’s what I live for.  I give myself an 65% success rate.  I forgot to bring lunch yesterday and forgot breakfast and lunch today.

Change #3- Follow a cleaning schedule.  A mix of Flylady and  I need to do a little each day to maintain the cleanliness and organization of the house.  Unfortunately, I crapped out by Tuesday, so my success rate is around 10%.  Reboot.

Change #4- Go to the gym everyday.  Yoga on weekends.  I love doing these things and I’m paying for them, so why don’t I do them?  Because I’m too freaking tired all the time.  I know it’s no excuse, so I’m determined to exercise every day.  I didn’t this week, though, due to some untimely (New Year’s Eve) girly problems.  This change will start Monday, January 10th.

I’m also working hard on my 101 in 1001 list.  I was a total slacker last year and I have a little bit over a year and a half to finish.  There are projects underway that are helping me meet those goals.

So they’re not really big changes but they are changes I can manage and they’ll help my health and well-being in the long run.

Okay, place your bets…

Surrogate Friendships

Last week, the stars aligned.  The message was received and I understood perfectly what needs to be done.

MR and I were discussing movies.  He ususally watches those freaky Chiller movies downstairs after I go to bed, the ones with a giant shark-topus or montrous killer snakes, but because Halloween is coming, he’s been watching them upstairs, trying to get us to watch them with him.  We were watching  Phantasm, this really bad 1979 movie (okay, they’re ALL really bad) and he asked me if I’d seen Surrogates.  Since I hadn’t, I imdb’d it and found out somehow I’d missed this Bruce Willis movie.  I loves me a good Bruce Willis movie.

According to Touchstone Pictures;

People are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic surrogates — sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. It’s an ideal world where crime, pain, fear and consequences don’t exist. When the first murder in years jolts this utopia, FBI agent Greer discovers a vast conspiracy behind the surrogate phenomenon and must abandon his own surrogate, risking his life to unravel the mystery.

MR didn’t want to go into the plot and ruin it for me, but he did say it reminded him of the Facebook situation.  Watch it, he said.  You’ll see.

Since I’d given up our Blockbuster membership and I don’t have Netflix, I figured I’d have to wait until it came on cable again to check it out.  Two days later, I went to the library to pick up some books I’d reserved.  The way I walk, you have to pass half the library to get to the front door, and the half I pass happens to be the DVD section.  From the sidewalk, I glanced at the shelves and what jumps out at me?

Bruce Willis. Surrogates.  Star number one moves into place.

That night, while MR and Rob are downstairs watching their freaky, scary movies and after Zombiegirl goes to bed, I curl up on the couch with my cup of tea and watch Surrogates.

Whoa.  MR hit the nail on the head, when he said it’s just like Facebook.  At least like my Facebook situation.  Star number two slides to the left.

The next day, my friend Eileen and I went back to the ‘hood to go to my old church’s Rummage Sale a week ago.  (Ei shares my love of thrift sales and she’s just an awesome person to hang out with.  Hi Ei!  Mwah!)   One of my Facebook friends had mentioned the sale was that week, and another had mentioned that I should come.  Since I needed a few things (flannel shirts or sheets, spoons and silk flowers- don’t ask.) I told the girls, invited Eileen and informed Dad I was going.

The Rummage Sale was totally my mom’s thing.  I have literally gone to every Rummage Sale since I was born, with the exception of the last few years.  Mom and the other church ladies would work all weekend sorting through clothes, shoes, bags, glasses, home decor, toys and jewelry, pricing them and putting them out on tables.  When I got old enough to help, I would organize the books and the toys.  We would put stuff aside we wanted and at the end of the day, Mom would settle up with Liz, the church secretary.  I remember leaving school at 3:00 with my brother Robbie and walking the block to the church to meet Mom and get a snack- usually a brownie or the oh-so-coveted jelly apple, which Mom made hundreds of but still had to put two aside since they always sold out within hours.

When Beena and Kansas were little, Mom still worked the sale, and would bring home bags of clothes for the girls.  They would try them on and if they liked them, Mom would settle up.  If not, back to the tables they went.  I rarely had to buy clothes for the kids when they were small.

So coming back after all these years was a little hard.  There were a few hard feelings held against those so-called friends of Mom’s who never visited her or contacted her when she got sick.  Or those friends who never kept in touch with me after I had moved.  And all those memories-  I wasn’t sure how I would react.  But I did have Eileen at my side, and besides- I’m friends with a lot of these people on Facebook.  We’ve kept in virtual touch and surely, they’d dispel and uneasiness and uncertanty.

Pfft.  Yeah, right.  The minute I stepped in the hall, I was flooded with memories.  They came at me full force.  But wait- there’s a Facebook friend!  We comment on each other’s statuses.  Hi! How are you?

Facebook friend looks at me, turns around and walks away.

Hmpf.  Okay, go a little further…another Facebook friend.  This one had surgery- we’ve heard all about it.  I’ve sent good luck and get well messages to her.  I greet her with an enthusiastic HI!  How are you feeling?  How’s it going?

I get a blank stare and a small hello.

Hmmm.  I’m expecting a little more here.  After all- we’re Facebook friends because we’ve touched each other’s lives, right?  We’ve been friends for a long time, now we’re keeping in touch in the virtual neighborhood of Facebook, right?

Okay, continue on.  Shop, shop, shop.  I run into old church ladies who show us pictures of their new grandchildren, tell us about their hairdressers on Long Island and ask about Dad.  Down the next aisle, I hear a distinctive voice- another friend I’ve kept in touch with through Facebook.  I turn around, we recognize each other and… she holds a nice catch-up conversation with me.  We compare ages of the kids, and I leave feeling FINALLY! A Facebook friend who actually ACTS like a real friend.

After about an hour of jostling through the crowd, I manage to snare a flannel sheet, some spoons, a dog toy and a few shirts for Z-girl.  Eileen makes out with some pretty, sparkly Christmas ornaments, some vintage elves and an old Nativity set.  I run into two more Facebook friends, one of which doesn’t make eye contact (she’s the one who invited me) and one who gives me a half-hearted greeting.  We talk a little about Mom’s jelly apples (which they don’t sell anymore since she stopped making them).  At this point I don’t even want to talk to anyone anymore.  Maybe I was too anxious to make the connection, and maybe they were all tired of working the sale all day, but I went away from the Rummage Sale a little disappointed.  Star number three slips into place.

(What does all this have to do with the movie?  Move it along, girl!  I’m getting there, trust me.)

In the movie, the characters all interacted with each other through robotic versions of themselves.  They created an image, oftentimes prettier, or sexier than what they really looked like, and they controlled these robots from their homes, sitting in their pajamas, unwashed and pale.  Through these versions, however, they got to act anyway they wanted.  The face they put on in public was much different than the one they really had.

I’m finding that the faces my friends put on Facebook is much different than the ones I meet at Stop n Shop.  Certainly different than the ones I encountered at the Rummage Sale that night.  I’m guilty of it too.  I post clever (or what I think of as clever) statuses all the time.  I post pictures of vacations, or Z-girl, or things I made.  I’m looking for a reaction, a validation.  And I apologize to my friends for doing so, because I know how annoying it is when I read some of my friends self-important statuses. 

Facebook friend, I know all about your job, your kids and your drinking habits but when I meet you on the street we act like we don’t know each other.  

Facebook friend, I’ve known you for years and years.  I know your kids and their likes and fears but the picture you paint of them online totally doesn’t jive with what I know as the truth. 

Facebook friend, we didn’t talk in high school but you seem to think I need to know everything about you now.

Facebook friend, you tell me you saw I had a headache the other day on Facebook.  If we talked to each other more often, you would have known that without having to read  it online.

Why did I post that status anyway?  Why do my friends care if I have a headahce?  There’s a lot of stuff my friends post that I think I should be blissfully unaware of.  It would probably make me like them more if I didn’t know EVERYTHING about them.  So I’ve decided to disconnect and reconnect.  I’m keeping my Facebook active for a little while after I clean house.  Just because we’ve crossed paths doesn’t mean you’ve touched my life or I’ve touched yours.  It means we’ve crossed paths somehow and ended up on each other’s friend list.  I have your email address in case we ever have to get in touch. Buh-bye, no offense.

The stars align.  Disconnect.  And I will reconnect.  I don’t want to keep in touch with those that matter to me through Facebook or email.  I want to sit with Eileen more often and drink coffee or cry with each other at church.  I’m going to get together with Jeannie and relive when the kids were little.   I’m going to eat lunch with Vivian more often.  Why are the happiest people I know NOT on Facebook?  Star number four nudges into the line.

I took the first step last week after watching Surrogates.  I took the Facebook app off my phone.  The weekend went by and the only time I visited Facebook was to read a message from one friend to check on another friend because that friend un-friended the first friend.  Okay, really?  Disconnect. 

I’m taking my surrogate offline.  I’ve seen the stars align and they’re going to make me happy.


The Party’s Over

Christmas and New Year’s. Sigh. The celebrations are over. Christmas dinner with Dad, an impromptu New Year’s Party with a few friends and last night we had the camping crew over for dinner and gifts.

And I’m feeling melancholy. And maybe a little hungover.

Someone asked me if I made any New Year Resolutions. Hell, I’m still working on finishing last year’s resolutions. I think I’m going to use my 101 in 1001 days as my resolutions for the next few years. I think they pretty much summed up where I want change in my life.

So why am I melancholy?

I had a dinner last night for 21 people. And two crazy dogs. In my little house. And I was so totally stressed out by the end of the night I ended up drinking too much, and paid for it today. Dinner parties like this are history. Cooking like that is finished. And I can’t drink like I used to. And it’s upsetting because I love to entertain and I love to cook and I love to drink. Even though I pretty much suck at all of it.

So unless I move (which is not an option according to Zombiegirl) my parties are limited to eight people or less. Twenty-one people crammed into my house, kids running full steam upstairs, screaming and falling down stairs while stupid dogs barked incessantly while trying to escape their confines does not make for a relaxing evening. And I always end up cooking too many dishes so nothing comes out the way I expected (except the eggplant rollatini, which came out awesome, if I do say so myself…) And I use EVERY plate, cup, mug, fork, knife and spoon in the house. Without a dishwasher. Yes, you read correctly. I don’t have a dishwasher. It’s currently the home to my Tupperware and not usable.

MR and I decided- no more parties and back to cooking basics. Which, for me, is actually reading the recipe all the way through, TWICE, before I actually start cooking. What did I fuck up yesterday? The Croque-em-bouche for the second time, the red velvet cupcakes which had tiny lumps of baking powder in them, the quinoa which turned out tasty, but gloppy (very unappetizing) and the second lasagna. Which I left in the oven while we ate. Which didn’t make a difference last night but when we went to eat it tonight it was as hard as a shoe. I was told I don’t pay attention while I cook, and I walk away. Literally walk away, says Zombie-G. Yes, she said “literally.” So, yeah, back to basics. I’m going to take one dish at a time and perfect it. Over and over until I get it right.

Hey- was that a resolution? Yeah, I guess it was. Back-to-basic cooking skills. At 46 years old.


But… if I’m not having anymore dinner parties…why do I have to perfect my cooking? My family eats everything I make. Who do I need to impress? Hmmm? Yeah, okay, I’ll try to cook better for the family. They deserve it. I guess….

I’m hanging up my party platters. I’m putting away the good silverware. I’m packing up the entertainment pieces.

Yeah- these next few weeks I’m cleaning house. No, I’m clearing house. I’ve said it before- we have too much stuff. So keeping in mind that I won’t be having any more of these crazy parties, I’m going to go through all our stuff and either eBay it or put it on Craigslist. Or donate it. Or Freecycle it. I’m going to list here some of the stuff I’m getting rid of. Maybe you want it?

Maybe my crazy cousin’s crazy husband has it right. He won’t let her buy anything and bring it into the house until she gets rid of something she already has. (Okay, yeah, they are crazy. And not because of that.) I’m NOT buying anything until I’ve cleared out some of the stuff I don’t use. Out with the old. THEN in with the new. New year, fresh start.

So much for not making resolutions!

Yes. I’m rambling. Sorry. Blame the bourbon.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
so dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

I had to learn this poem by Robert Frost in Junior High School. Then, when I read “The Outsiders” I came across it again. I think it’s a fitting poem for how I’m feeling right now. September came and FLEW by, and I feel like I didn’t, once again, get what I wanted to accomplish done. I had such high hopes for this month and here it is the last day and my good intentions sank to grief.
So I continue into October with the projects that I didn’t get to in September.
To recap from here:
  • I didn’t get to St. Andrew’s renovation. The weekend I wanted to do it, MR went bear hunting. Then I got a migraine. So hopefully this weekend the last two pieces will be glued in.
  • I’m going to work on St. A’s website this weekend. My deadline for giving Pastor a template is Monday.
  • I finished the ceiling in the hallway…BUT…when I took the blue tape off the wall, it took pieces of the finished wall paint with it. So now I have to touch that up. ETA- tomorrow (Thursday.) After that it’s sanding the stairway wall and steps.
  • My alteration pile yielded me 3 pairs of capri pants, a fitted shirt and a new skirt. Still left to do are two backpacks that ripped and two pairs of Z-girl’s pants to be shortened.
  • The sewing room has been organized but not cleaned. There are piles stacked everywhere- I have to invest in more bins. I did clean out the closet and was able to store more crap in there.
  • I have not touched my credit report for fear of blowing up my PC. How would I explain that to my boss?

So here I am again. I’ll be trying to make these things work out in the next week or so. Then it’s clear sailing through my 101 in 1001 goals.

Unless i get kidnapped by aliens.

I Never Finish What I Start…

“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
– Helen Hunt Jackson, September, 1830-1885

So I missed the last day of August blogging. So sue me. Things came up.

So I missed the first day of the month to update my 101 in 1001 Days. Things came up. So sue me.

I can never seem to finish what I start. Crafts, home improvement, life improvement and, recently, books, all seem to never…quite…get…finished. I have the best intentions then BAM! I get bored or sidetracked or distinterested. So I said here that I was going to use September to be anti-procrastination month. A new beginning or rather cleaning up some of the things I never finish.

So, audience who complains that I don’t blog every day, here is my update on my 101 in 1001 Days. I’ll only comment on stuff that I’ve accomplished/started:

3. I started back at the gym (yay!) I’m sore, but it feels so good. I actually laugh when I hit that rep that makes me feel the muscle work. This is a good start. I’m not afraid of the gym anymore. And a bonus! I have 17 training sessions! Seems they gave me 12 instead of 6, and I had 5 left over from two years ago. The manager that helped me was a total tool and told me the past training sessions were expired. So this will bring me into October working out 3 days a week! Bring on the sexy Halloween costume! Oh, and my trainer’s name is Mike, and he’s awesome!

4. Three days a week at the gym is a go! Just need to maintain it.

6. So far no cheating with any meat.

7. Have been having some sort of greens once a day.

8. I’ve only had one veggie burger at Cheeburger Cheeburger so far!

17. Am getting quotes, but haven’t made a decision. Seems that our home isn’t eleiglbe with a lot of insurance companies because of our closeness to the ocean. We’ll keep trying…

21. The arrangements have been made to scatter mom’s ashes and place the rest into their vault at Pinelawn. We’ll be doing a beach thing on their 50th Wedding Anniversary and then two days later do something out at the cemetary. I have to find some pieces to read besides the one Mom requested Beena read from Desperate Housewives.

22. Been spending time with Dad- about once a week!

29. Made this week’s meal plan and have been sticking to it. Just enlisted MR to make the meatballs for tonight. I’m going to make the meal plan every Saturday, so I can shop during the weekend.

33. Went camping with the soccer familia. Still need to blog about it.

41. I sold something on ETSY! I will definitely blog about the conclusion of this!

46. Started cleaning out sewing room. Yard Sale!

67. Got one tattoo.

90. I started my 100 list. Soon to be posted.

93. I started my sketchbook while camping. Notes on recipes and drinks as well as sketches.

I think this is a good start. And I’m going to try to post everyday, but at least I won’t feel guilty if I don’t. That was the whole point of NaBloPoMo. To get used to blogging every day. I have a lot of crap in my head I need to get out so there is enough fodder for a fresh blog post on a regular basis.

Now back to work…

NaBloPoMo #5- My 101 in 1001

I recently found this awesome idea on this blog. Y’all know how much I like making resolutions and how much I like NOT keeping them! But I’m going to try this and roll all of my resolutions into one list. I think my problem is not setting a deadline. My resolutions are more like life changes, but life moves on and I “forget” or become preoccupied with something else. This way I have a list, and a deadline to think about. I think I can clean up my life in three years!

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: August 5, 2009

End Date: May 12, 2012


1. Lose 30 pounds (0/30)
2. Fit into old pair of jeans- the ones in my bottom drawer.
3. Complete 6 sessions with Tameko, my trainer. (0/6)
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.
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.


14. Build up savings account to equal 6 months of salary.
15. Fix credit report.
16. Refinance the house.
17. Get quotes on new insurance for house and car.
18. Secure 2 more years of student loans for Beena.
19. Sell stuff on Ebay.
20. Transfer coupon savings into ING account. Try to save $700 a year.

Family and Friends

21. Arrange ceremony to scatter Mom’s ashes.
22. Spend more time with Dad.
23. Attend Beena’s college graduation.
24. Attend Zombiegirl’s 5th grade graduation.
25. Have Communion party for Zombiegirl.
26. Celebrate Beena’s 21st birthday in a big way.
27. Be active in PTA for 5th 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.
33. Yearly camping trip or rent a house with soccer families.
34. Yearly “Mom’s” overnight trip. (0/3)
35. Go out with “Mom’s” once a month. (0/33)
36. Plan MR and my 50th birthday party.
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}


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. (0/3)
43. Make 50% of all my Christmas gifts. (0/3)
44. Make enough merchandise to rent my own table at craft sales.
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.


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. (0/1)
53. Play “tourist” in NY once a month. (0/33)
54. Try five new restaurants. (0/5)
55. Go to new Citi Field and new Yankee Stadium. (0/2)

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.
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. (0/3)
65. Learn the basics of Photoshop.
66. Learn how to make a blog template using html and Photoshop.
67. Get my 2 tattoos. (0/2)
68. Organize my computer files. Including flash drives.
69. Find a therapist.
70. Read the newspaper everyday.
71. Watch Gone With the Wind, Doctor Zhivago, Great Expectations, The Maltese Falcon, La Dolce Vita, Casablanca , North by Northwest, Rear Window, 39 Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Notorious, Dial M for Murder and Spellbound. With popcorn. (0/14)
72. Re-read Sherlock Holmes.
73. Blog about each completed item.

Greening my life

74. Make net produce bags.
75. Compost.
76. Collect rainwater- ask for barrel for Christmas!
77. Grow herbs every year.

House stuff

78. Balustrades and newel posts for the upstairs stairwell.
79. Replace the ceiling and tile in the upstairs bathroom.
80. Change the theme of the upstairs bathroom.
81. New baseboard molding in the kitchen.
82. Start cleaning out the basement for TV room.
83. Start demolition on the downstairs bathroom.
84. Make the fountain for the backyard.
85. Finish walkways in backyard.
86. Follow Flylady everyday.


87. Renew relationship with St. Andrew’s.
88. Engage in 25 random acts of kindness. (0/25)
89. Read the Bible.
90. List 100 things that make me happy in a blog.
91. Participate in 5 community service activities. (0/5)
92. Maintain St. A’s website.
93. Sketch and doodle in new sketchbook.
94. See beauty everyday. Blog or put it down in sketchbook.


95. New digital SLR camera
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
101. A new hybrid car

Bear it and Grin.

Remember my Resolutions post? That rambling nonsense where I bravely put forth all that I would do for the coming year 2009? Here it is, the end of February, and I’ve decided to take stock on the situation. What have I accomplished in the last two months?

Have I been a duck and let things roll off my back? Have I stopped caring about how stupid people are, and stopped letting them get to me? Umm, no. Okay, I think I still have to work on that one a little. I still gripe and complain about work-related issues to my co-workers and MR. I still get ticked off at people on the bus. I’ll make an effort to fix this.

Have I looked around at my surroundings and try to see the pretty? I think yes to this one. I’ve been more appreciative of my surroundings. I’ve become alert, and right now register colors more than anything. In my bleak, dreary world, I see pretty colors. It’s a start.

Reslolution 3 has seen me bringing my own breakfast, lunch and tea to work. I’ve made my own granola (still a work in progress, but not bad) and saved about $5 a box. I’ve been taking the bus and train everyday. I did use the LIRR when Zombiegirl and her friend Suzie came into the city to deliver Girl Scout cookies. And I used it today. But I’ve had good reasons to. I’ve sold stuff on Etsy and Ebay, making it possible to feed my weird passion for fabric. I will start going to the gym. I feel good about this resolution.

Resolution 4- I need to take off my sneakers. I’m doing it right now, okay? And I’m going to put on makeup, even if it is 11:30 am already. This would be so much easier if my office wasn’t so cold…

Here comes Resolution 5. This is where I said 2009 would be about getting me and the family to healthcare. Well, so far I’ve had a mammogram in January, and MR and I just started at the dentist. Dr. Harutunian is great- she’s non-judgemental and not a sadist. We both needed periodontal work (me more than him) and right now I’m sitting here with ropes of hard antibiotic goo between my teeth. And aching after all the novocaine. But once this procedure is done, I can get my front crown replaced, implants for my missing back teeth, my braces on and my teeth bleached. Watch how many pictures I take then! With me actually in them! Next on the list, after I’ve paid for most of the dental work is an acupuncturist and dermatologist. I’ll make them March’s priority.

I’ll check back on this subject in another two months. I have to go and pick out goo.