Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome Autumn!

Welcome Autumn!
It is the summer's great last heat,
It is the fall's first chill: They meet.
–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Today is the first day of Fall.  Well, it will be at approximately 4:44 P.M EDT. Here in Pennsylvania the leaves will change vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange, there will be a crispness to the air and the scent of log burning fireplaces.  The World Series will be played (Go Pirates!) and many a Sunday afternoon will be spent with family, good food and the Steelers on the tube.
It’s time to decorate the porch with colorful Mums and hang a fall foliage wreath on the door.  Time for apple picking, apple dumplings, apple cider and jumping in piles of raked leaves.  Time to get out sweatshirts and heavy sweaters.  Time to start baking.  

Ahhhhh, Fall, welcome back.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

High Cholesterol

I have it.  Just had my annual exam on Friday and when the Doc's office called early Monday morning, I knew it was not great news.  The thyroid is sluggish (AGAIN!) and that explains quite alot in terms of my mood(s) lately and weight gain. I am already feeling the effects of the "upped" dosage and that's GREAT!!! I have more energy and just feel so much more happier and calmer.  Now, to tackle the cholesterol.  I've been given six weeks to get it under control with diet and exercise or else I get to add another pill to my day. The issue with exercise is that I also had a MRI done on my left knee Friday as I had fluid drained in June and its building back up again.  I have not gotten the results from that as of yet, but if its not good news then that will hinder exercise.  Luckily, I was given a Gazelle (not the animal) and will be able to "walk" to my heart's content, rain, snow or sunshine.
As soon as K heard, she googled cholesterol and gave me a list of what I should eat.  She's my girl!  I will be doing more research and creating new menus and shopping lists and in six weeks, I hope to report back a significant weight loss and a lower cholesterol number.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Morning of Reflection

I have been participating in Shimelle’s Learn Something New Every Day (using
Instagram) and Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life, two projects I always look forward to.  I have realized two things: 1. my weekdays are pretty much the same, seriously.  It’s Groundhog Day (good movie) Monday through Friday; and 2. I do not take many every day photos.  On the weekends when the kiddies are here I tend to take more.  All that got me to thinking about how I like September (the going back to school month) because it’s like a chance to make major or not so major change/changes in my life.  And that got me to thinking about how and where I can make change and how I want to live my life from this day forward.  Now, my oldest son has been living with me for the past year and a half.  Before he moved in, my life was pretty sedate (QUIET) and, well, good, much more calm before he moved in.  He is moving out this weekend (it’s time) and my routines will again change.  I am looking forward to it.  And that got me to thinking "what are my priorities?"  What is working for me, what is not.  So, I made a list.

1.         God – We go to Church on Sundays and I am participating in an on-line Bible Study.  Since the boys were born earlier this year, a good part of my family now goes to Church and we are all getting involved in little ways.  Mel and Brian go to the Sunday night Youth Get Togethers.  Kayla will be helping in the nursery during Church hours.  Amanda has shown an interest in joining the choir and K and I will be hosting the Second Sunday Social in November.

2.        Family/Entertainment – I spend every weekend and a few weekends with my most of my family (some more than others).  I host the kiddies’ birthday parties, the Halloween and Christmas parties and Holiday dinners (everyone is always welcome).  But I am also pleased and I encourage them to make traditions for their families as this is what memories are made of.  I should/will send more snail mail as the little ones love that.

3.        Career – I love what I do. Absolutely. Recently two co-workers left to go to other firms, which also had more openings, and I was asked by each to come see if changing firms would be something I’d consider.  Well, it was an eye-opener!  You know how you always think the grass may be greener on the other side??? Well, here it’s not.  Both places made an offer and I am flattered but I realized that not only do I make a good wage, our firm is flexible and understands that sometimes family/personal/health needs have to come first.  I am staying right where I am and am going to continue to give 110%!

4.        The House – My house is a total work in progress.  This year the roof(s) (there are 3 of them) have been replaced.  That was the major.  Next will be the plumbing.  The house will be 100 years old in about 2 years.  It’s a landmark!  It’s huge, I love it, it needs work. I need to get back into the routine of using the doable housekeeping list I modified from FlyLady so that my house is always company ready. 

5.        My Blog – This is my favorite thing as it’s more than just a blog, it’s my calendar, my memory, my daily planner.  It’s where my kids can go to see what happened on such and such a date or keep up with what other family members are doing.  For now, I am the memory keeper in this family.  My hope is that either my daughter, niece, or one of my granddaughters carries on. 
Now, as I said, my blog is my personal memory keeper.  But I am ALWAYS behind!  I need to set a schedule for posting by creating a routine that works, stick with it.

6.        Exercise – Well, the solution for this is easy.  Schedule the time, turn off the t.v., the computer, the phone and just do it.

Well, that would be just about enough reflection for one day.  Time to go to work!

Friday, September 6, 2013

I AM GRATEFUL!

I am so grateful for ALOT! When I am in my car at the start of the new day, I thank the Lord for it [the day].  I am grateful for my parents and to my parents, my children, niece and nephew, my career, my co-workers, my neighbors.  I am grateful for the farmers, the servicemen and women who protect us, the police (especially my friend MW who is on the force), firemen, doctors, nurses, well, you get my drift.  I am GRATEFUL for everyone who touches my life.
I am especially grateful to the gal who sends me these texts, my lovely daughter-in-law, Tina.  She is truly one of a kind. Always smiling, laughing, totally enjoying life.  She makes my middle son SO HAPPY and that I am truly grateful for.  AND whenever she is over the house for a party, lunch, whatever, she always, always follows it up with a thank you text.  I am so grateful that she and Jay "found" each other after so many years. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

LSNED #5

The LSNED question today was focused on whether you planned or were spontaneous.  I didn’t have to give this much thought.  I know that along with being a procrastinator on many occasions for the most part I am a spontaneous planner!  
I mean that in the best sense possible.  When it comes to big events like, the baby’s baptism, birthday parties, holiday dinners and our annual ornament exchange, I plan everything from the decorations to the menu.  I love making lists and have even saved the Christmas lists for quite a few years now.
But I am also super spontaneous.  I love having my family over and will call them the night before to come over the next day for lunch, or bring everyone together with breakfast at a local restaurant.  I’ve called my kids and said let’s have a picnic at Overlook, whipped up brownies, made lemonade, packed an old fashioned wicker basket with sandwich fixings and been on my way.

Planning is good for the big stuff and sometimes for the little stuff, but the spontaneous stuff – those are some of our best memories made!!!

Big Idea Festival Begins!

Today is the launch of Big Picture Classes' big idea festival. The festival is being held from today, obviously, through September 15th and promises to be chalk full of goodies and ideas.  Today's Challenge has adorable List It cards free for downloading.  The big idea festival is FREE! So get on over there and check out today's Challenge!!! and those cute cards, too.
Now onto what I learned on Day 4 (LSNED). Actually, this was not so much a lesson.  I love my bedroom. It's my favorite room in the house.  I have a huge house with many rooms, but I chose the very top floor (the third) as it is peaceful and roomy and I like the view.

As for the bed, my Mom always says if you make your bed the whole room will look cleaner.  This is true, but I have been guilty on many occasions of not making the bed and, truth be told, I do not like climbing back into a messy bed. So, earlier this summer I decided to use the 28 day method to a good habit.  It's worked so much so that I've been keeping my room spic and span, too.
Today is also a big day for one of my little men. Brendan begins his first day of kindergarten.  My wonderful daughter keeps me in the loop of the children's milestones with texts and photos.  Here is Brendan this morning waiting for the bus:
Way to go BB!! Enjoy your day!   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Taste the Season!

I picked up a Grandé Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks on my way to the office this morning.  Although it is still SUMMER, the first sip of this fabulous, hot, creamy drink had me tasting the spicy goodness of pumpkin pie, feeling the briskness of a fall day, seeing the red, yellow, orange and brown hues of the leaves falling gently from the trees, and hearing the crunch of the brown leaves under my feet.  Yep! I got all that from one sip.  The temperature this morning plays in part, a breezy 53 degrees on my walk to the office, which cooled off my hot drink considerably, so that I had to reheat it and taste the season all over again!  What a good start to what will hopefully be another fine day!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Back Story - LSNED #3

It's back to work as usual. Which for me is okay.  I like my job. I like the money I make and I like spending
it, too. It rained for a bit last night.  I mean torrential downfall.  It started with warnings of thunder. I lit candles as soon as I heard (just in case though I've rarely lost the electricity). The sky was lovely, eerie, as it lightened considerably as the storm rolled in. Then it poured!!! And the earth smelled GOOD! The rain stayed for a few and then moved on to other parts of PA.
Today is the third day of LSNED.  I am pretty much going to participate through "Instagram" and adding scrappy touches with Elsie and Emma's "A Beautiful Mess" app and then having the photos printed at the end of the month and binding them into a little book.  At least that's the plan so far.
Today's lesson was about steps, i.e., moving forward, the steps it takes to get from point A to point B (for example, I want to vacation in Daytona next year but I need to plan now, so I'll write down the steps I need to take to get there), steps taken, not just the literal.  However, at the end of the day, my photo reflects the more literal.  I was cleaning out my entryway and came upon six pairs of shoes (not including those I am wearing and a brown pair of boots that didn't make the photo).  My entryway is NOT THAT BIG.  Where did all these shoes come from?!  There has to be another 20 pair in my bedroom and at least three pair under my desk at the office. When did I become such a shoemonger???? BUT, I realized that each of these pair of shoes has their own stories of where we have been.  Those brown sandals have been to Florida and New York.  The UGGS were a gift from Mister and have been worn in every type of weather.  Those Sketcher teenies logged alot of miles when my only solace during my sister's illness (she is with the angels now) was walking, walking, walking. Those flip flops I am wearing are my granddaughter Jade's.  I tell my granddaughters that this is a wash and wear house.  If I wash it, I'm gonna wear it. Anyhow, that is the story behind my photo for Day 3 of LSNED.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

Hmmmm, happy work day?  Doesn’t seem right, but the office is closed and the only laboring going on around here today is, well, a whole lot of wonderful nothing.  Except for a little Bible Study, tidying up around the house, laundry and cooking, and learning something new, that is.
With the arrival of two brand spanking little boys to our family, we have renewed our worship practices by going to Church on Sundays. As a family. My niece and nephew(s), my daughter, my grandchildren and, on occasion, one or both of my sons and their families.  I love this!!  We either go out to eat afterwards, but I am of the mindset to prepare a little something beforehand and have everyone to my house for lunch.  My Mom drives in to join us.  Sundays are now shared with family, like they used to be, like they should be.  Speaking of worship, I was searching on-line for some sort of bible reading groups and happened upon Good Morning Girls.  Their Loving Like Jesus Bible study begins today, a class I immediately signed up for and downloaded the course materials.  My life has its hurdles (who’s does not?) but I tell you, I really love my life, it’s good.  So thanking God for all that goodness (and the hurdles) is in order for me.
Enjoy your un-Labor-day.  Unless you are having a baby today, then labor on!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello September!

It’s September and that means it’s time to get out the Apple Bowl!!  Apples, what a treat! From Apple Soup, to apples cubed in a salad, or sliced and spread with peanut butter or brown sugar cream cheese, or dipped in caramel, or baked in a cake, or just plain eaten by itself, apples are a wonderful, nutritious treat!

Today is also the kick-off for Shimelle’s Learn Something New Every Day.  I have been so looking forward to the start of this class as I am feeling like I need to do something.  Creative.  Pretty.  Memorable.  With two new babies added to our family this year, I want to remember everything!  Plus, I love to learn new things, so this project is perfect to start off my absolute favorite four months of the year (Yes, I LOVE summer, because I LOVE the heat, the sun, the long days, but I ADORE the crisp and coolness, the bounty, the filled calendar, the overall AWE that September, October, November and December bring to my life.