Thursday, November 8, 2018

things I love that bring joy ... gratitude

This list could go on indefinitely but these are in my thoughts today....

yoga stretching.... feels so so good

a clean organized non-cluttered home (but not too neat because then no one is comfortable!)

a walk on a crisp fall day

a hot bath

memories to linger over .... preferably with a cup of coffee or glass of wine

deleting, cutting off or eliminating negative people and noise from my life

doing something kind for someone

receiving kindness from someone

meaningful conversations with friends

a hug from my granddaughter

hearing from or meeting up with an old friend

balance in my life .... something I want to think a lot more about....

Monday, September 24, 2018

more home improvements

The last week was busy and work continued. The initial landscaping, for now, is finished. New sod was installed in the front and new decking was built on top of my cement patio in the back. The indoor living room window shutters turned out especially nice and now I have more privacy... and it's beautiful.

I had to purchase a retractable ladder to be able to reach an air filter placed high up on the living room ceiling. Changing that was scary and I don't think I should be doing it alone. I did want to get a ladder that would reach it since I had no other way to get up there. Sometimes doing things like that really get to me though and I'm reminded I have to figure out how to do things by myself. This one was especially hard. Sigh.

Except for some new doors and cabinet painting I am getting to a place where I'll rest for a while and just take care of things as they are. I'm content.

living room window shutters

new sod installed

outdoor patio decking

Monday, September 17, 2018


I officially moved into my new house on July 9. That's the day the movers came and I no longer had furniture left in my old home. When I sit down to take inventory of all I have done since then it's really quite a lot!  It was only 2 1/2 months ago. There are still big things happening this week that I will post about in a few days, but I'd like to post some words and photos of what has been done so far.

There has been tree trimming and removal. New paint. New fence gate and inside blinds. There has been driveway leveling and sealing.

Granite countertops and backsplash was installed. I still plan to have the cabinets painted. Off-white... I think.

I removed the glass sliding door in the bathroom (by myself!) and replaced it with a rod and curtain.

The backyard tends to flood when we get excess rain.... which we did the last couple of weeks. It didn't seem as though grass would grow so I replaced the ugliness with river rock and extended it down the fence line where the water would gather. And I had a little garden plot installed!! Just enough to begin planting! Not sure what's going in there yet!

There are so many other things I've done like making the laundry room area more cute and functional, installing some brick stonework under the outside trash containers, working and planting in the front flower bed, and applying a peel and stick tile in the master bath. And not to mention figuring out how to use the reciprocating saw (scary!) to remove a shelf under a cabinet so my kitchen trash container will easily fit!!

Right now the landscaping in the front of the house is being worked on. The guys just kind of tore up the the soil and removed the weeds and grass that was there. New sod will be installed and old tree stumps are being ground up. The flower bed will be more defined.

As a side note, I assembled an Ikea play kitchen for my grand daughters. I can't tell you how much I hate to assemble things, but I will do it for them.

I'm still (impatiently) waiting for my front entry door to come in... and some interior bifold doors for my laundry area, but tomorrow the shutters will finally be installed on the arched living room window. 

The second phase of work by the landscaper will also begin this week. Composite decking will be installed on my back patio and extended out just a bit more. It will look nicer than the painted concrete and I think add a fresh new look to the outdoor space. I will post picture when it's done!

So this has been my life. Between navigating this move, downsizing my living space and fixing up my new home the way I like, I have been busy. There have been friends visiting and daughters and grand babies to love on. There have been lessons learned about myself, my own challenges to overcome, many prayers said for struggling friends and family I worry about. I'm always trying and often failing to take the best care of myself by eating right and getting enough exercise. 

I haven't missed the old house. Memories and love and people are always carried with you in your heart wherever you go.

But I think this... below...  is what I tend to strive to do on a daily basis and I will continue to do.
As much as possible....


Friday, August 17, 2018

New home

So much has gone on since I last wrote in my little space here three and a half months ago.

I bought a new smaller home.

I sold my large home that I had lived in for the past 10 years.

I basically moved the contents of my home little by little, day by day, in my Honda CRV for a few weeks until the movers (three wonderful strong and nice men) came and moved the big items!

I made countless trips to Goodwill to get rid of stuff... so.much.stuff.

My body hurt every day due to arthritis, etc., but I got it done!

My house sold quite a bit over the asking price so I could not be happier with how everything turned out.

I've learned through this experience that there is no perfect house. I decided I just had to DO IT... move to a smaller home in a good location... because I was always finding reasons NOT to. And now I am fixing up this space that is my own with numerous projects going on.

Saying goodby to the home Edd and I shared was a process that lasted a few years. What once made me feel secure and safe was now making me feel swallowed up and anxious... somehow losing myself within its walls. There was space not being used. Space that didn't go with my personality anymore. Too much upkeep and work.... I wanted a home that enveloped me... yet one that was a cozy, warm and inviting space.

I am making this one just that....little by little.

I heard that the new people will move their belongings into my old house this weekend. It will have a new soul... just like this home I live in now has a new soul and energy. Mine.

Home is a word packed with meaning for me. I'm grateful that it has always meant something good. Something safe and warm and filled with love. I seek to make my new home a continuation of all the homes I've ever lived in or made my own... a refuge and a place where peace and contentment dwells.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

a new home

I just bought a smaller house nearby.  Well the closing will be in the next week or two. So now is the time to think and reflect and remember the last ten years I have had the privilege of living in this wonderful home. It's big. Bigger than I need. I always hoped it might be filled with family. Visiting from out of town or coming for holidays. That never really panned out. It has made me sad, but I won't dwell in the sadness. I will dwell in the reality of what is and all of the goodness that makes up my life. Imperfect as it is.

This was my home with Edd. The memories here are bitter and very sweet. In some ways it reminds me of all that could have been ... but never was. So much hope lived here. And lots of joy... and probably even more pain. But above all else love... commitment, loyalty and compassion. The kind that will do whatever it takes. But also ... the eventual end of a dream (with you Edd).

Am I reflecting and being introspective? I am. Is it all part of living and growing and changing and learning and being oh, so very grateful for such wonderful life moments and days and years in spite of the greiving and pain? Yes. A million times...yes. 

I have done it many times in the past so I will once again have the job of making
 a new house a HOME. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

life as it is

Ahh... emotional detachment is tough. We can't let the hurts and challenges and struggles of those around us bring us down.  Life can be really hard sometimes as we watch those we love struggling with some really huge, sometimes life and death, issues. Drug addiction, divorce, step families, aging parents, death of a loved one... or even the agony of the death of a dream....

Life hurts. Sometimes a lot.

I turned on the news this morning and saw horrible photos of people... children... in Syria... hit by a chemical attack and I just froze. Literally froze and inwardly wept. The suffering and horrors people are faced with can tear your heart right out of your chest if you have any amount of compassion and empathy at all.

Sometimes, I must admit, it's way too much for me. My heart feels broken over the things I cannot fix or make better. The choices people make that have obvious horrible consequences. I strive to surround myself with peace and serenity, making my home my fortress ... I strive to be positive and hopeful... but I have experienced hurts and I know there isn't always a happy ending.

So, I do what I can. I love. I try to be available. I WANT to be available. I give what I can without neglecting to care for myself. I hate to say 'no' sometimes, but I have to. That's hard too. But necessary.

Sigh... just putting it out there tonight.....

On the bright side.... I talked with a couple local business owners today who were so great. The plumber who came to replace my faucet chatted with me like an old friend. He also helped me with other issues I had in my home and gave me a warm (not creepy) hug when he left. They live locally and I got good vibes from him and his wife instantly and knew they were good people. I texted with his wife about how happy she was with the refinishing of her front door and she shared with me some photos and the local business that helped her out. I'm 57 years old and I must say I have always been a good judge of character... I don't know why, but I just always KNOW. I'm thankful for people like that.

As much as I hurt over the suffering I see in this world ... I am equally, if not much more, GRATEFUL for what is my life.

Sunday, March 25, 2018


I have pinpointed a definite problem area in my life. When you live alone there are quite a few since there is no one, except the dog, to hold you accountable as far as your actions and how you spend your time.

It seems when I have a good thought, it disappears before I can act upon it, because there are so many other good thoughts out there!

So, back to my problem.


I read this morning that without focus you will find life becomes a blur.

There is so much noise in our society today. While it's true that we are the ones who open ourselves up to it, it's still hard to not get sucked in. It may be especially hard for a deep thinker since they tend to want answers to all the questions that get thrown around..... all the problems. My need for order makes me want to figure things out and come to definite conclusions. 

Oh, boy, does that never really work. Not for everything anyway.

I often feel distracted... like Norman does outside. Though he follows his nose there are so many different things to check out.

So what do I focus on? Without being completely specific and transparent.... mostly being the best me I can be. I've learned that I have no control over what someone else does. The time I've spent trying to solve another's problems has been a waste of time it pains me greatly to say.

I'm realizing I have enough problems of my own... and I need to spend more time focusing on things I CAN change.

Gonna start now.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Ever see a picture of yourself and just want to say "Ewww" or something equivalent?

I do.

Are my wrinkles showing? Are the dark circles especially dark today? Are my lips and hairline and eyebrows thinning? How about that double chin and neck?

I remember my mom receiving a new driver's license photo one year and expressing her displeasure in it. Afterwards she said that probably 15 years down the road she would think it was pretty good.

How true.

This is me, today, now.... and it's okay. More than okay really.

Embrace who you ... we are all just fine.


Sometimes I stumble upon a quote that fits exactly how I feel. 

But sometimes there are none.... and our own words, our own voice, our own expression is what we need to work on .... and figure out. 

To think and mediate and work to understand what's unique to us, discover where our own heart is, and what our soul is yearning for... and what our needs are at the moment.

Is it peace? It is safety? Is it reassurance? Is it connection? Is it rest? Is it trust? Is it faith?

I yearn for healing in the world. I yearn for people to be whole. I yearn for myself to be whole. I yearn for a way to communicate love when I fail so often. I yearn for a way to make a difference and be a force for good ....but I often fall short. I sometimes mess things up even though I have the best of intentions. 

But for now I just feel sad. 

I've lived long enough to realize that the sad will pass. It comes and it goes. We can count on life's ebbs and flows as much as anything in this world. It's a sure thing. Keeping our balance during the changes is the challenge. Especially when a wave hits you and knocks you senseless for a little while.

So, we do what we can, love with all of our heart, but also be true to ourselves, and not set our own self on fire to keep someone else warm... meaning.... take care of yourself too.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Ahhh. I did some stretching yoga today, two sessions on my favorite DVD, and also 30 minutes on my elliptical machine at home. It felt sooo good. I found that I didn't struggle as much so that tells me my muscles have made some progress and my strength has improved. Little steps in the right direction. That's the way to go, right?

Gosh I can be lazy though.

Sigh. I fell "in like" with a house that I seriously imagined myself moving into after going to see it with my realtor last weekend ....but it suddenly went off the market before the open house with a pending offer. I seriously need to downsize and find something more "me". One floor. Less yard maintenance. Less tax burden. I will find it. Although I am so grateful with all I have, I'm feeling less and less like this house is a future home for me.

Maybe I shouldn't, but I'm enjoying some FitVine Chardonnay now.  It's a wine lower in sugar and calories that I found. I was not impressed with the Cabernet Savignon but the Chardonnay is pretty good. I would buy it again.

I am grateful and at peace and content right now.....even though there are numerous reasons why I might let the circumstances around me ruin all that. It's always the struggle to live and let live.

Hope you, whomever might read this, let yourself be at peace too, no matter what the circumstances. If you are in that place, we could seriously be friends.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

needed change

I have needed motivation. I've been feeling old and out of shape. I have put too much weight on these aging bones and joints and I know it. I feel it. The scale has been inching up again.

But it stops now. I have a plan. And it includes healthy diet, new recipes, PORTION CONTROL, mindfulness, and exercise. And I'm making it a priority, not an afterthought.

For the last few days I've decided to reign it all in and do what is good for me. I have become lazy and full of excuses. But I've run out of excuses or else they're just not working for me anymore!

The only way to get where you want to be is to change something you do daily. What is your daily routine? How is it not working for you?

I know I have to make some changes, but I also know I can't deprive myself of certain food groups. I have to make mealtime enjoyable. Eating well is a form of self respect. I've made realistic goals. One is to create healthy habits not restrictions, although that includes portion control. It takes time to get where you want to be and I'm realizing what an impatient person I am.  So.... I have a plan.

I have a plan to lose one pound a week. If it's more than that fine, but my goal is one pound. If I do that for 20 weeks, I'll lose the 20 pounds I want to. Sound simple? Sound easy? It's only as simple or easy as I make it.

For some people motivational quotes get old, but for me they often keep me going. A word aptly spoken cuts to the quick and can change my perspective in an instant.

So here are the things I'm going to dwell on and remember.

First and foremost FOOD IS FUEL, NOT THERAPY!

Note to myself: When I eat like crap I feel like crap.

A little progress each day adds up to big results.

"What I know for sure is this: The big secret in life is that there is no big secret... There's just you, and this moment, and a choice." Oprah

Three months from now you'll thank yourself! And actually you'll thank yourself each day, because you'll feel better about the choices you're making.

Eat for the body you want, not the body you have. This doesn't just mean outward appearance. It means healthy organs and bones, and joints, and muscles. We only get one body to hold our spirit and soul. Treat it with care.

What have I done so far?

I made a chart. I'll weigh myself every Friday. One pound a week. Very doable. Sticking with a 1200 calorie diet.

I signed up to receive meals from HelloFRESH. The portions are large. One can easily be halved and eaten for another mealtime. But I keep track of all calories. HelloFRESH is just for fun and convenience and to give me good ideas, not to purchase all the time.

I'm looking at websites and InstaAcounts that have great ideas and motivation and recipes.

I've exercised. Walking is one of the best for me right now. I've walked for an hour the last few days. When I set out I didn't have any expectations, just to walk. The more I walked the more I WANTED to walk. If I have too high of expectations for myself I am less inclined to begin.... so I'm just concentrating on BEGINNING. I read that "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

I must say that I haven't figured anything out yet. I'm on a journey and it's not a sprint to get and stay in shape. All great achievements require time. Mostly, the people who look like they have it all together are not even close to being motivating to me.  They are irritating. I guess I'm a bit rebellious.

So I am leaving myself with one more thought.

"Stop letting food (or anything) be the boss of you".

Saturday, January 27, 2018

mid-winter thoughts

Well, hello there again little blog of mine. It's been a while.

I skipped over the whole holiday season without checking in and now here it is the end of January. Winter has been a tough one here, but I guess not half as tough as most of the country. We have gotten snow on three separate occasions... and that's something for Austin.

This winter is also a horrific one for the flu. Numerous cases of the disease all over the place and very severe in many cases. It's been a bad winter for me as far as colds and viruses. I seem to get a different strain every few weeks with a stomach virus or norovirus thrown in as well. I read a few articles today that indicated that grandparents often get a worse case (and more frequent) of what their grandchildren are exposed to. The kids bounce back quicker and the parents often fight it off. Seems to be what's going on in my world. I sure love my grand babies, but have not liked being so frequently sick this season.

It's refreshing right now as I sit out on the back patio. This morning was foggy and soggy and warmish for a change, but now clearer, cooler, fresher air has blown in. The wind chimes are gently tinkling and it all feels peaceful. The herbs have survived the cold night temperatures that plummeted down into the teens thanks to their plastic dome covering. Tiny seedlings and bulbs are eager to meet the warmth that so far doesn't want to stick around for long.

I have continued getting rid of unnecessary stuff around my house, in the closets, in the drawers, in the attic.... and it makes me feel more free and lighter. Less bound to things. I heard it said, "If you want a cleaner house, own less stuff!"... and it's true. How I love when I can clean up an area and make it feel more calm.... with less busy energy surrounding it.  Maybe I'm just looking for serenity wherever I can find it these days. Trying to create it where I can in a world that seems wounded and bleeding in so many ways. My prayers lately seem to revolve around healing. Physical, emotional, spiritual... healing... for so many. It's a crazy world. Maybe even more so for introspective types. But I'm learning how to let go of things that aren't mine to worry about, or are too heavy to carry.... and yet to help where and when I can.

Just some mid-winter thoughts....