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

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I'm dawg tired. It's 3:47 and I'm sitting down after cleaning today. Major stuff. The kitchen has become a cluttered shithole. Pardon my language. I know I just lost my G-rating. Lol! But it's the truth. I got tired of everyone's stuff all over the place, so I claimed it back.

Yes, this woman is the warpath. This house has been a complete wreck since last year and adding another resident to the mess hasn't helped any. 

I read a book last night that gave me the wisdom I needed to get this done. It's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  I liked her book. While she repeats her methods and reasoning behind it over and over (sometimes ad nauseum), I found many of her tips helpful. I liked her spiritual approach to tidying up. "Keeping only things that bring you joy" -- not that I get huge joy from a set of measuring spoons or a flour bin, but you know what I mean. It's the cookies I bake using those things that bring me joy. 

I'm taking her tip on organizing by category (i.e. books, shoes, etc.) to heart. Makes more sense versus going room to room. While I tackled the kitchen today, which technically is/isn't a category, I was able to get rid of two garbage bags of stuff, recycle a few metal objects, and take a large, heavy box (16x16x16) to goodwill. I worked all day at this, starting at 9am. I've gained tons of counter space and a few drawers when our houseguest leaves. 

Tomorrow I'm taking a break. I've got some sewing I need to do. So I'll be out sewing with my friends. Looking forward to that. 

It looks like I'll be bachelorette-ing it over the weekend and into next week. Hubby is likely to be headed to TN to work on the trailer before training some clients in Pennsylvania. This gives me more uninterrupted time to whip this house into order. 

Believe it or not, I'm a slob. I admit it. I'm lazy. But I'm really trying to make some effort in being better. I've learned the hard way that when the house is physically in chaos, it is also in mental chaos. Like my studio right now. I put on my blinders when I walk by. It really stresses me out. I have tons more to get rid of in there. But I know I need to tackle other important areas first. 

Hint: Books and shoes are next, then toiletries, cleaning supplies, and linens.  After that will be all the knick-knacks in my bedroom. And finally I begin to deal with the studio as the rest of the house is done.

Pray for me... Hell, pray for everyone else in this house. Like I say, I'm on the warpath! Hahaha! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Trip Hangover

Woke up with a huge hangover... and I didn't even drink! Actually it was a migraine, allergies, and dealing with missed medicine this morning.

I promptly put on my hello kitty eye mask, took my medicine, and rolled back over. I had an audio book going, but frankly, I don't remember it. LOL! Around noon I heard hubby come in the bedroom asking how I was. Evidently the guest toilet was malfunctioning and Jamie called Bill at work asking what to do. Supposedly she knocked on my bedroom door three times, but I was so out of it I didn't hear her.

All that put a monkey wrench in my day's plans, but I'm flexible.

Right now I'm sitting out on the patio enjoying some quiet time. I can smell wisteria and azalea. Its quiet and peaceful. Hubby and I just had yet another discussion on how we are going to get the airstream back up to Washington. It's had yet another mouse infestation at the farm (common with RVs left unused) and we're brainstorming a game plan to get it cleaned and up here.

I've messaged my doctor for an allergist referral today. I think all this mess I've been dealing with is allergies. So I'm thinking a round of shots (again) may be in order. I had some relief in TN, but I was miserable yesterday. Cottonwood trees and Scotch broom weeds are out in full force.

I gained a few pounds from the last time I weighed myself. My fault. Restaurant food and sodas on the trip. I know better. I know that a couple pounds are water weight from the salt and sodas. I'll take a water pill tomorrow to get that off. So that weight is getting remedied asap. I am also starting a walking plan. Bad knees or no knees, I need to keep moving.

I had hubby drive me to the produce stand yesterday and $40 later I have stuff for the week. Tonight was a damn good dinner. I made an asian chopped salad using curly lettuce, radishes, a carrot, red bell pepper, 1/2 english cucumber, 1 minneola tangerine, a package of ramen noodles, handful of cashews, some grilled chicken strips, and a walla walla spring onion. Topped that with the yummy Litehouse sesame ginger dressing/marinade and it made for an awesome dinner for three.

I've got a menu plan written out for the week. I'm really looking forward to Thursday's plan. It's salmon with roasted fingerling potatoes and fresh asparagus. My kind of meal. I'll do the salmon up with the walla wallas I bought. They are yummy and sweet.

I bought an electric water canner and it came in. I got it because our stove isn't really good for canning. The thing is huge. But I love it because it multi-tasks. I can also use it as a cooker/steamer. My fancy knife set came in as well. I really like the feel of it. The knives have good balance. That is going to be put away for my use. The kitchen is my domain and I have a certain way I like it.

 I bought a cookbook for my brother for his birthday and snuck a peek at it. I decided I needed a copy for myself. A family member's hubby wrote it, A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen: Adventures in Cooking, Eating, and Living in the New South by Matt Moore. Matt is an awesome chef and a really nice guy. I highly recommend it. I'm not much into cookbooks these days as everything is on the web, but this one is special. The recipes look fantastic!

That's about it for today. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day. I need to take the rest of my evening and set my goals for tomorrow. Life is still good despite it's challenges.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Family Weekend

One tired guy!

This was family weekend at my brother's school. What fun it was. The school programs an awesome weekend, starting with a huge talent show extravaganza on Thursday night. Anthony was in several numbers. It was fun to see him and others performing on stage.

Friday started with an opening ceremony for a parade. Local dignitaries attend and again, the focus is on the students. tractors with flatbeds full of students, classic cars, a law enforcement vehicle, and a cool carriage drawn by draft horses. Music, family and fun.

Friday night closed with a great oldies band covering classic tunes from the 60s and 70s. By the end of the dance I had one exhausted brother, as you can tell from the photo above.

I've seen a substantial decline in his mental acuity. Like I've mentioned before, dementia like Alzheimer's is carried on the very chromosome that causes Down Syndrome. It's tough to see him age. My other brother and I had a good conversation and we are both on the same page, so I'm more comfortable with things. I think we are about a year or two away from making a decision on his next residence at the most.

I feel for my oldest brother because he is starting to come to terms that our brother's mental acuity is going downhill fast. The grief process for him is beginning. He's where I was a year or two ago. It made for a quiet drive home.

Tomorrow morning I catch a 5am flight to Atlanta to head back home. It's been a good week. Grandkids, brothers, family, and fun. Now it's time for hubby and home.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Yesterday and today I'm taking advantage of the wonderful screen porch at my brother's home. It's shaded and there's a nice breeze. Every now and then I catch a whiff of sweet sun-warmed honeysuckle, a scent that reminds me of Nashville, my home.

Here I have three fur babies to keep me company- Birdie, Bogey (pictured above), and Izzy. Also got a visit from my fourth fur baby, Lola[girl]. I've been enjoying the peace and quiet. 

I did do a bit of household work yesterday from here. Well, sort of. A few of my good kitchen knives have been abused over the years. Last straw was when my paring knife's tip was used to do something to my kitchen aid mixer (grrrrrrrr!) and it broke off. And my Santoku knife's handle fell off due to dishwasher abuse (grrrrr again). Yes, I hand wash my knives, but even after years of not-so-subtle prompts, they still end up in the dishwasher (I just gave up). Both were my prized knives. Good German ones. So I ordered cheaper replacements on Amazon for daily abuse. Yesterday I ordered myself a professional knife roll that I can hide and care for myself. If we move, this roll will go with me. I need good knives for processing meat and canning. While I will sell most of our stuff, there are few things that rank high on my keep list. Certain kitchen items are part of those...

I also ordered an electric water bath canner. Canning and farmers market season is upon us and I want to take full advantage of it. It is perfect for small batch preserving. There are a few recipes I want to try-- candied jalapeƱos, Vietnamese pickled veggies, salsa, and strawberry jam. My stove burners suck, so this is a good solution. I laugh. I ordered both the knives and the canner from Amazon yesterday afternoon and one should arrive today and the other tomorrow. I even chose slow boat shipping! Gotta love Amazon! 

Tonight is a reunion with some of my business fraternity brothers. In college I was part of a coed business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. This group I'm seeing were my alumni brothers here in Nashville from when we helped out chapters in our region. Lots of love, lots of stories, road trip mayhem, and lots of fun memories. I wouldn't trade these folks for love nor money. They are very dear to me. 

Yesterday my niece Iggy came by for dinner, so I got to catch up with her. She's the nurse. I miss not being near my girls. It still amazes me that they are grown. Makes me misty. I'm trying to get her to come visit. We need a good girls week.

Please keep one of my BFFs in your prayers. She's been very sick (as in ICU sick) and is healing. God knows the need. Also a dear acquaintance of ours with ALS. Unfortunately it's not good on his front. This makes me sad because he is an awesome guy. It would be a tremendous loss to us and the Bothell community. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

33,000 Feet Up

Greetings from 33,000 feet in the air in seat 3D of a 757! I'm currently on a flight headed to Atlanta and then connecting to Nashville to see family. It's my annual pilgrimage east. First I'll be going to the farm to see the kids, then to my brother's place in Nashville, then to KY to visit Anthony for family weekend at his school.

I'm looking forward to these two little faces that will be greeting me in Nashville.

Yep, I splurged for a 1st class ticket. Didn't want to be crammed in a seat sized for kindergartners. i laugh, because 1st class is like the way coach used to be in the old days. Remember when it used to be a big deal? We'd dress up and look forward to the excitement of flying. Now it's like boarding a greyhound bus. Hey, at least no one is wearing their pajamas as far as I can see. Tee hee.

It's been a busy week in our house. I've been trying to get stuff orgnzied in my studio. not even half done, but I did unload a lot fo fabric. Several boxes went out this week to various parts of the world. I say world, becuase two sizeable boxes were shipped to the middle east to a nice lady I met through blogging. Quilting fabric is hard to come by over there, so I knew my gift was welcome.

I went out for two sew days this week. Didn't get much done. basically spent the time catching up with folks I haven't seen in a while. Hubby's been busy with work.. Rumor has they have a huge order coming in. So it's looking like another banner year for them. Good.

Eldest just finished her first year of law school on Thursday. One down and three to go. What makes this special is that she's doing this with a full time job at a local law firm AND having two toddlers under tow. I know she's looking forward to some light reading versus studying constitutional law. LOL! Youngest is still chef-ing for the monastery.It's fun to read the menus she posts online. want to go eat at her place. Lol!

My nieces are on the last day of their Caribbean family cruise. This was a well-needed break for them. Eldest is still nursing and youngest is still doing product development.

I started my new inhaler this week. Hoping it works. As of now I'm pleased that I'm not getting the rebound spasms with my breathing after using it. Now I just need to remember to use it.

Today I'm sure I'll be getting my fitbit steps in. Lots of walking. That is good. I need to be moving more.

Well, going to sign off here... Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, stepmoms, and moms at heart. Thanks for all you do!

See ya on the flip side...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hold the Ponies!

Nope. Not moving just yet. Just thinking about retirement years. That's a way off. Our dollar doesn't go very far here. Not like it does in TN. Plus, retirement is years away. Lol! Let's not start any rumors. It'll upset my friends here.

It's just an if/when conversation we have.

We'll be here for a while. It's just that that conversation pops up more, especially since property is so freaking expensive here. New starter homes begin at 400k in our area and we'd have to get way out in the boonies to get what we can afford. I mean waaaaay out! Plus one story homes in our range are non existent unless it's a double wide in a senior community.

Dragging my butt outta bed. I slept past the alarm. Then some thunder rumbles went by. Perfect for sleeping. Gotta be somewhere by 9:00. Good thing I don't have to fancy up with this group. It's 7:30 and I gotta hit the shower.

Monday, May 4, 2015

This will be busy!

I've got goals set for every day this week. One per day. And this week I will not get sidetracked. I can't afford to be. Too much to do. I'm traveling over the weekend and I hope to have some things in ship shape before I go.

My studio is a huge wreck. Today's job after I make a batch of pasta salad and brunch, is to make a huge dent in that. That task includes packing two boxes of fabric to go to an online friend who lives abroad, and I'm still pondering unloading two machines. That is top of mind. Plus I want to make some room in there for my printer and some paper crafting supplies.

Hubby and I had that talk again... You know, the one we have about selling it all and moving back east? Yep, they are getting more frequent these days. And yes, it would hopefully be us back in TN. And yes, it would be us living in our airstream full time. It's just this damn health insurance thing holding us back. He qualifies for VA benefits, but my insurance would be through the roof and eat up my retirement funds.

I guess it's okay to dream. Hell, we even mentioned moving further Northwest to Alaska. Like I say, dreams are free.

I'm sitting down with my power brunch meal right now. It's 10:30am. Just finished making this week's pasta salad and am enjoying a bit of last week's plus cottage cheese over a head of romaine. It's mostly romaine. This plus my extra shot venti latte should give me enough protein and energy to last the day.

I bought coffee for the car behind me. Made my day. Two guys in a white work truck. I got a happy wave. Perfect payback.

I've started a new breathing med today. The coughing will hopefully go away. I had a bad day yesterday, almost passed out a couple of times from coughing so hard. I know the gray-outs/fainting spells are a typical autonomic response, but it shouldn't occur after using my old inhaler. I know I come by this genetically, as I'm not a smoker. My mom died of lung issues and an unrelated cancer. But I know it was the lung stuff that killed her. She died during the middle of  a respiratory therapy session. That was in 1989, and common sense tells me we know a hell of a lot more these days. It just gets discouraging knowing I have similar issues and I'm nine years from her final age.

Enough whining. I know I have it easy compared to most. So I'm counting my blessings.

Need to shovel down the rest of my salad and get to work.