"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong.
The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Ramblings

Today didn't start out too well. Had a horrible dream. I dreamed I woke up all bloody, bleeding out of my pores and my skin was falling off in sheets. I knew I was dying. Strange things was that I was relatively calm. I called my parents (now deceased) to tell them to meet me at the hospital, and to call hubby to let him know what was going on. I then walked into the shower to wash off before calling 911, and then I woke up.

I wasn't feeling so hot to begin with this morning, so I skipped my usual Tuesday outing, showered and ran a couple of errands. Thank goodness I didn't wake up like in my dream.

Errands today were simple -- Post office, library, Sally Beauty, coffee, and lunch.  Everything was done by 1:30.

For most of the afternoon I read this book, What Stands in a Storm, by Kim Cross. My local librarian friend mentioned this book on Facebook and after hearing what it was about I had to read it. It was about the record-breaking tornado outbreak in Alabama on April 27, 2011. Wow. I literally could not put it down. It is a gripping report of the people, the lives, and witnesses to the worst outbreak in history. Having family and friends who went through this day, as well a familiarity with the areas affected, I couldn't not read it. I highly recommend it.

I had a niece and daughter in the path of the storms. My youngest was working round the clock at UAB Hospital in Birmingham the day of and following the storm. She was part of the kitchen staff who made box meals for the staff and families who went through the ER, etc. I also had a friend in the Dalton, GA area, whose aunt lost her home and nearly lost her life that day. She was seriously injured and in the hospital for several months.

I remember watching the events unfold on television and praying for everyone's safety. It amazes me that in this day and age that they were able to predict the chance of this weather happening days before. Yet it's sad that so many people lost their lives. Many didn't have basements or safe rooms to escape the wrath of EF3- EF5 scale storms (see the rating explanation here).

Having seen the catastrophic outcomes of severe weather with hurricane Katrina and several tornadoes firsthand, I know I don't ever want to be in the path of this weather. It truly is a miracle that many more lives weren't lost this fateful day. For that we can thank the meteorologists, the search and rescue teams, and the medical professionals.

I highly recommend this book. It is straightforward reporting that pulls you in, and tugs at your emotions. You will find yourself experiencing a range of emotions. Then again, being familiar with many of the places mentioned in this book, I could visualize the events as she described them. It's a very real account.

I am capping my day off with a good note. I've got a Butter Pecan Cake baking in the oven. Nothing soothes a soul like a good piece of cake. (Scratch that thought, it went into the disposall. The cake didn't turn out. Bummer)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Shopping Again

Forgive my hairy yeti legs

Yeppers. Look out, Jeanie is shopping again! I needed a pair of black go-fasters to go with my wardrobe. That way I don't look too out of place when I dress up. Lol! Yes folks, these are dress up shoes for me. I'm sensible like that. Got them from Zappos. Easy peasy.

Goodies galore

Last week I hit H-Mart, one of our local Asian stores to get goodies for Bill's girls. They said they miss my happy packs. So I built one up for them. I included some makeup that you can't get in the USA. Got it during my trip to Canada. I put in lots of cool stuff. I can't list it here because they read my blog. I will say that my youngest is getting ingredients to make red bean mochi for the kids at her school. She has a lot of kids from Asia that board there. I figured that would be a fun activity. I shared my strawberry kit kat bars. You know it's love when I do that!

Today I ordered a nail kit from QVC. Lord help me! I love this ladies' makeup line, and this nail kit looked like a good price, si I ordered one. While I love my fancy nail shop nails, I'm going to stick to doing my own. And for a little over $70 for up to 25 manicures, I can deal with that. When these nails wear out, I'll get them removed start this kit.

Speaking of Asian, tonight's dinner is a chicken stir fry over fried rice. Got the rice chilling in the fridge. That's my secret. I read it on Pinterest. That, butter, and oyster sauce. Yum!

Not much going on today. Just breaking in my new shoes. Life is good, y'all!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Operation Clutterbusting

Yes, we are redneck and 
have a big ole honking safe in our living room. Lol! 

It has been a busy weekend! Now I'm taking a break.

It's going to go by the door

I broke down and bought an upright freezer yesterday. It will be delivered on Wednesday. I can't wait! It's a 30" wide upright. I've already cleared a space in the garage for that. Speaking of clearing space, we really took that to heart. We've taken two truckloads to Goodwill, and several more to the dumpster. One perk for apartment life!

Hubby rearranged his and Jamie's workshop space, and I got some stuff on my canning shelf sent off.

While we were at it, we reorganized the pantry shelf in the garage and moved it left to accommodate the new freezer. We took everything off the shelves and reorganized it while putting everything back. Between our canned food and emergency food, we are good if a major quake hits and we need to stay in place.

I spent today going through family photos. Took two large bins and sorted two garbage bags full to get thrown out, and the keepers were put in one bin. I also have a pile to mail out. To be honest, I would really like to get rid of the remaining bin, but my heart won't let me. I know my family has a lot of photos already. Maybe one of these days... I'm just not the sentimental type. I was in my early years, but I'm getting less so as I've gotten older.

Next culling period will have me getting rid of old tax binders. I have two or three bins of that stuff. Those can go straight to a shredder. I'll be doing that (hopefully) this week, as there is a free shredding event up in Everett. Or I may just bite the bullet and drop it off at a shredding service.

Soon I will mark that D for Done!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

More Housecleaning

Been doing a lot of physical de-cluttering lately, but I've also been doing a lot of online and mental de-cluttering as well. I've been slowly working on my Facebook feed as well. I want it to be a happy place. I get my reality with the regular newswires.

I am loving the hide button. It is doing a good job of controlling my feed so it's relevant to what I want to see. My time is precious and I don't want it to be wasted by stuff I don't want to see. So if I don't share the unadoptable pet from lower Slobodia, or comment on why a particular group is being persecuted, or  like an opinion blog post structured like a news site parsing a sound byte and blowing things out of proportion (all sides are guilty of this!) please understand it's not what I wasn't to see in my Facebook feed.  I urge you to vote with your hide button on my feed as well. It doesn't offend me whatsoever. What I post isn't relevant to everyone I know.

I urge you to exercise that feature on your facebook feed. It really does make a difference on the news you get.


Today is the first day I felt really really good in a while. I think I'm turning a corner on this respiratory crud that has been with me since Thanksgiving. I finally woke up with energy. While I may not get all my desired steps in today, I'm hopeful that things are improving on the activity front, as well. I know my knees will only get worse, but I can stave that off a bit longer. My activity has been steadily increasing.

Speaking of activity, I got Bill a fitbit activity monitor yesterday. We will be setting it up tonight for him. This will be a good way to keep us both honest with our activity.

Bad news is that hubby caught the crud. I'm hoping he's not feeling too bad today. Yesterday he was kind of puny. Bless him. I stayed home from a meeting because I knew that if I went he wouldn't eat dinner. I made sure he had a good dinner. Getting well requires fuel.


I'm trying to budget some time to work on my creative pursuits. I'm setting a timer and working until it dings. I'm hoping this will bring back my motivation. I have a large project to finish and another to begin. I consider this part of housecleaning as well, as I'm trying to limit my idle time.


The sun is shining today. But from what I hear, some weather is coming. Oh well, can't win them all. I'm just hoping it's not too bad.

Yesterday a HUGE burden was lifted. I thank God for that blessing. I'm now breathing easier on that front. My soul is a bit lighter today. That too was a result of some housecleaning.

Life is Good

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Attempt at Fashion

New nails, hair and makeup call for new clothes. Right?

In my younger years I was very "keep up with the Joneses" regarding clothing and makeup. Over the last ten years or so my interest has waned and I found myself just getting stuff to wear. To be honest, my interest in fashion waxes and wanes. 

I've noticed that a lot of more mature folks out west and in the larger cities don't do a lot of color and stick to neutrals. And frankly I love a limited color wardrobe. During my single years I had a khaki, black and white wardrobe for several years and it served me well. Over the last two years I've been growing my "neutrals" wardrobe back, sticking mainly with blacks, whites, greys, and beiges. Last year was a big year for that. 

Two of the lighter-weight sweaters I purchased
(Target on the left; Lane Bryant Outlet on the right)

I moved here with a ton of heavy sweaters. Those are in a bag to be donated. Don't need them here. Light layers seem to serve me better. That is doubly appropriate when I get my middle age "power surges". My current fashion has been jeans, tee/tank, light cardigan, and scarf. That formula has served me well.

On our way home from Vancouver, I made a stop at Lane Bryant Outlet and the next day I went to Target. Target has this new adorable plus size line called Ava & Viv.

From Target: Pants on the left; Maxi skirt on the right
(I'm hoping those pants fit! Those are a splurge.)

I love the separates and how they mix and match. The pieces are clean and simple. Blacks, whites, greys and beiges. I can dress in the dark. LOL! I laughingly call it my Garanimals for adults.

Tons of tops from both places
Love that striped blouse. 
I bought that and the white blouse larger  
so I can use it over tees and tanks (the layering thing). 

Now I got a lot of pieces for my money (as I did at Lane Bryant), and I'm able to work these in with my existing stuff from Target last year and Wally World. I think I'm set for a while. Oh, and I got an adorable lightweight rain jacket from Target in that fun clothing line. A must for Seatttleites.

I've had two of these bags for years 
(in different colors)and I love them!

All this shopping called for some closet culling. I really took a look at stuff I had. My old work suit is going. Yep, it's over ten years old. Still in style (classic lines), but someone else can use it. That was a very emotional parting. (I don't know why). Two large shopping bags of blouses, scarves, tees, costume jewelry, and sweaters are going as well. Next up are denim, purses, shoes, and coats. I've got some old big honking vintage coach leather bags I never use. I've become the smaller Baggalini cross-body purse wearing gal these days (above).  They pack a big huge punch in a small space. They are much easier on my back and shoulders. If you've never seen their bags, you're in for a treat! They are designed by women who travel extensively and are great for organizing.

My style has always been on the simpler, more classic side (minus a few errant years in the 1980s -- LOL!). I prefer more solid colors near my face versus prints. Smaller prints are okay. The larger ones not so much. they tend to bring out the worst in my complexion. Again, it's the simple aspect.

I fell in love with these simple slides from Target. Supposedly they have them in white and metallic silver as well. I'll be stalking them for those in my size, I won't be able to trip and fall from those. LOL! And I'm getting a black pair of athletic shoes, since I need to be on the sensible side these days. That's the bummer part about a recovering broken foot and bad knees. I guess I won't need those kitten heeled cocktail shoes anymore. It's not like I go anywhere that I need them anyway.

What's your fashion strategy? Do you head straight for comfort? Do you follow trends to a T? Do you sit somewhere in the middle? What's your one big piece of fashion advice? What works best for you? Do you have a fashion formula that you follow?

Please share!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rest and Relaxation

This weekend we took a short vacation to Vancouver. The exchange rate is favorable for the U.S. dollar. This enabled us to get a swanky mini suite on the downtown harbor. We stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel on the waterfront and had a blast! It was a very nice hotel!

We had a panoramic view of the sea plane terminal, heliport, and shipping lanes. Hubby brought his portable radio with him so we could listen to the air traffic control and marine frequencies. The seaplane port is the sixth busiest in Canada, and also contains the highest air traffic control tower in the world. Betcha didn't know that.

As a result, hubby was in hog heaven! We basically didn't leave our room, except to eat.

On Saturday we booked a reservation at the four star restaurant adjacent to the hotel, Five Sails. Ohmyeverlovinggosh, what a wonderful meal! We started off with the chef's amuse bouche, which was a small tasting -- tuna tartare and parsnip soup. I'm not a raw fish eater, so hubby had my tuna. He said it was good. The parsnip soup was to die for! It was savory, but had a subtle sweetness to it. It left me wanting more. I think he added cardamom to it... Not sure. For an appetizer I had the butter seared weathervane scallops with puréed celeriac and butternut squash. Hubby had a cold seafood trio-- a lobster salad with green apple and avocado, cold octopus, and a special raw salmon. My entree was veal tenderloin wrapped in pancetta, with sweetbreads and lobster. The veal was divine. Hubby had grain encrusted venison with a fresh plum sauce. It looked divine. We both followed up with the gran mariner soufflé for dessert. Heavenly! The surprise was the mini scoop of rum raisin ice cream that came with that. It was foodgasmic. Then at the very end when the check was presented, we were also presented with a mini chocolate and linger cookie. The cookie was about 1" round and so cute! The chocolate was a square truffle about 1/2". Very creamy.

I was very blessed that I had my sense of taste back for the meal. It's been transient this weekend, coming and going. I count my lucky stars for that bit of grace.

DeHavilland Otter
Long nose and round tail

We basically saw four types of planes take off from the seaport. The most notable planes were the DeHavilland Beavers. Those are not made anymore. They feature a radial engine, versus a standard turboprop engine. DeHavilland has two other sea planes we saw-- the Otter and the Double Otter (has two turbo prop engines).you can tell a DeHavilland by the tail. It's a larger, more rounded tail. The Beaver's radial engine is larger, shallower, and round, making the front of the plane by shorter than the standard turboprop planes. We also saw a couple of Cessna Caravans. All of these planes had the built in pontoons for landing on the water.

It was fun to watch them take off and land. What made it even more fun was listening to the control tower talk with the pilots. A much more casual environment than standard airports. The control tower staff was very friendly and helpful. They even gave one pilot directions to a nearby school!

When we left the hotel on Sunday, hubby drove to the seaplane port and booked us a short excursion. We were lucky and got to fly in one of Harbour Air's Beavers. There were five passengers and the pilot. Before taking off, he explained the flight plan and what sights we'd see. I've never been in a sea plane. Oh my gosh, it was so fun! The day was crystal clear. We could see the shorelines, the mountains, and the city from above.

I sat behind the pilot to the right, so I could see him adjusting knobs and stuff. I'd ask hubby questions (hubby was a former private pilot) and he'd explain procedures to me. Even down to the fuel mix.

The coolest part was taking off. DeHavilland planes have a certain sound as it is. I can always identify those commercial planes when they fly over our airspace, but the radial engine is even more unique. It has a buzz and a bit of a deep roar. Hard to describe. And couple that with being on water versus land, it was a triple treat! I'd do this again!

So there you have it. A perfect weekend in Vancouver

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

You have boyfriend?

It's 1:21am and I can't sleep. A big jet from the Boeing assembly plant just flew over. One of their Dreamlifters. While it was over 7000 feet above us, it still creates occasional noise. Tonight's dinner isn't setting well either. But that's short lived. My home remedy of baking soda water is doing its thing. Goes down nasty, but works every time.

Yesterday was a day of errands in the rain. I laugh. Pick a day you have a lot of stuff to do and it pours! It was also a girls day out. Our guest's date went well. She's had three dates with the young man. I've met him and he seems nice. She suggested spending the day doing girly stuff. Who was I to argue about that? Number one, it will boost her confidence. That's important.

I needed to finish my purchase for an online fabric exchange, so our trip started at a local shop for that. Not having much luck we drove further to another shop. Had much better luck. We also went to the Japanese dollar store (Daiso) to pick up wrapping paper and trinkets to make the package more fun. I came out with some other stuff. Some cute vinyl zipper pouches I use for sewing and stuff, some cute Washi tape, a rice paddle, 2 strainers, and some Hello Kitty pineapple marshmallows (love them!). Everything but the marshmallows was $1.50. Can't beat that!

After that came a trip to Ulta for some bronzer/blush, and we headed home to drop off our stuff. My skin is fairly light. And finding a bronzer is a challenge. Luckily I found one that isn't going to make me look orange or dirty. This is a much lighter, more pale friendly shade, and also has a highlighter and blush to boot. Can't wait to try it!

We then stopped for sushi. I had my six baby California rolls (two green plates) with lots of wasabi. This girl was hoping to taste again. I lucked out and was able to taste a few bites. My sense of taste is coming back, but ever sooooo slowly!

Last but not least was a stop at the nail place. Jamie wanted her nails done, so I tagged along to watch. The folks at the shop talked me into getting mine done, too. I have to say that these places scare me. But I swallowed my fear and gave in. Hope I didn't make a mistake. After that I got a brow wax (about time to get those brows out of the 1990s).

The nails feel funny. This will take some getting used to. I almost busted out loud when the nail guy asked me if I had a boyfriend. "You have boyfriend?!" My mind immediately went to this comedy sketch. I had to contain myself to keep from being rude. (You really need to click on the link for a good laugh!)

The beautification continues on Thursday when I get my "hairs did".  I found a cut I'd like. By the end of this week, I'll be all buffed up for Spring!

And, yes, I have boyfriend. His nickname is "hubby."