Saturday, September 26, 2015


It's been 3 months to the day since I last posted. Fall has arrived, a favorite time of year for many of us. I'm down 30 pounds and still walking 30 min a day almost every day. 
I finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and have completed 2 of the 5 "discards" - clothes and books. I've just started papers tonight. It IS life-changing. The process starts with gathering together one category at a time -  clothes, books, papers, "komodo" (everything else) and keepsakes - and discarding those that do not "spark joy". I got rid of a lot of clothes that I didn't truly love to wear which left me with a very neat closet and dresser -  half of which both are empty. It's just a pleasure in the morning when I get ready for work or go out as I don't have anything in there I wouldn't want to wear. I love to open my closet and see all the good things so neatly places. 
I also completely gave away all but a few books. I had a large 5 shelf bookcase full of books I liked but either had already read and liked but found I never read again, or books from my childhood or my daughter's childhood that I was holding on to. I have about 1 1/2 shelves of books now and a good portion of that is our Bibles, some cookbooks, and a few keepsake books. I am using the top shelf as a sort of "shrine" with a couple of mementos on it - I plan to display picture of my parents and my husband's parents in stand-up frames. The bottom shelf has our fireproof important papers box.There's a currently reading shelf which has a couple of Sunset magazines, my "tidy" book and a set of my daughters Star Trek paperbacks that I am reading. It's a joy to behold. 
The exhilaration of getting rid of things, sometimes referred to as the Konmari (play on the authors name) process cannot be easily explained. It's like a burden has rolled off my back and I am free to be me in the present again. I am looking forward to this same rush after I finish the papers. I am a big advocate of Kondo's philosophy. 
Meanwhile I've made the decision to retire / start Social Security when I am 66 - June 2017.  I had previously thought I would just keep working as long as they would let me, but now I realize I need to let that go. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fitbit and Music this week

It's been a great week and it's only Friday night. I'll be going to see Inside Out (woo hoo!) finally this weekend.
If I wrote about all the good this week it would be too much so I'll just stick to two topics this time.
FITBIT: I just got back from walking Heidi and my Fitbit buzzed that I had made my 10,000 steps for the day. It's the first time this week, although I've come close one other day. I've grown addicted to the music on my phone (see MUSIC).
The Fitbit has changed my life by being the catalyst, along with the MyFitnessPal app,  for me actually making progress in getting more active and eating healthy. It's a great use of technology.
For the first time since I started wearing my Fitbit (Apr 1 2015) two people on the same day asked me if I was losing weight. I've lost about 15 lbs since I started.
If you do Fitbit and you want to friend me I'm game :)

MUSIC: As I've mentioned before I am a Google Play subscriber. Today I discovered a new artist that I really love - Diane Arkenstone. If you are familiar with New Age music you've probably heard of her ex-husband, David Arkenstone. I had no idea she was also a composer and musician. She's described as a multi-genre artist and also works with her husband on albums. Right now I'm liking her Echoes of Egypt album - check on The Secret Chamber -

This week brought so many other great discoveries on Google Play - I hate to take up space listing them but
Top Three this week would have to be::
The Film Music of James Horner (sad how I didn't know about him till he died)
Disney/Pixar Greatest (Yes I love soundtracks)
Wings at the Speed of Sound (I forgot how much I love this album)
And last but not least the track I enjoyed the most was the long version of Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells ( I've heard the radio version plenty of times buy how have I not ever heard this version - turn it up around the 2 minute mark). Brings to mind that feeling back in the 70's on warm summer nights. Crystal Blue Persuasion will always be my favorite by Tommy but I like this too.

My favorite way to listen to music has always been driving in my car by myself and now I can add listening to music on my phone while walking.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I love my birthday gifts

Last Friday was my 64th birthday. It turned out to be a very good day. I love my gifts.

It started out with my husband getting up early to give me my presents. He gave me some things from my Amazon wish list which surprised me.  I love wish lists - it's a win-win in my book. He chose a variety -

Library of Flowers Parfum Crema True Vanilla  - a very subtle creme perfume. 

Rock & Roll: The First 50 Years: The Late Sixties - music CD (I still buy a few of these) - I graduated from high school in 1969 so these are very well-loved songs. 

And a really cute Mickey Mouse Christmas oven mitt - I love retro ornaments and the little bow.

My sister-in-law (thank you Cynthia) also shopped my wish list and chose the following.

The book I wanted - I've enjoyed dipping into it already - the life-changing magic of tidying up.

Two glycerin soaps from - the scents are so interesting and I love the silky soapy feel (great in hard water like ours). Not to mention how cute they look.  I bought my very first one this past April at Disney's Grand Floridian when Amber and I stopped in for a visit to the Basin store there.


Lily of the Valley

Just in case - here's the link to their  Summer Basket Giveaway .

and last but not least a new pair of cool summer cotton knit pajamas from my daugther Amber. She wants me to throw away my threadbare nightgown and dorm shirt :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

WDW Bonsai update

Red Maple Bonsai seedling 2 weeks since sowing seeds

The directions say to wait until they are 8 weeks old to replant them but I don't see how they are going to stay inside this little pot that long. We'll see.
It looks like every seed I planted has sprouted. I'm hoping I can find homes for them It's like having kittens.
Time to watch Endeavor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

St. Vincent (movie review).

Tonight we watched St.Vincent which was good. The best part was just seeing Bill Murray again. I don't know why, but I've liked him since Groundhog Day.
The movie was about a recently divorced mom and her young son who move in next door to a "grumpy old man" (Bill Murray) and the resulting developments. I found it charming, sometimes the story seems unlikely and slows down a bit, bu comes together at the end.
I liked during the credits when he is singing along with Bob Dylan on his Walkman (I think that's what that thing was). He did a great job acting in this movie. There is also some good music.
I'd give it at least a 6 out of 10 stars. I wouldn't call it a "family" film.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Weekend Lists

I better hurry up and post this list without pics before the next weekend rolls around again.

Farmer's Market buys:
1. Arugula - $2.50 several bunches with roots, first time trying
2. Baby Kale - $2.50 several bunches with roots, also first time trying
3. Rosemary plant - I've failed in my last two attempts
4. Chives plant - looks easy but we'll see
5. Cilantro plant - I failed with this too, 2nd try.
6.  Jade plant - hoping this makes it too, I grew up in CA with large bushes of these around

  1. Gone Girl Fast paced stream-of-consciousness genre that always grabs and keeps my attention but it leaves me feeling empty afterwards. I would not recommend this book as it uses frequent sexual references and obscenities to keep things agitated. The climax to the story happens way too early in the book and the ending just stops.
Checked out:
  1. Soul Space by Xorin Balbes - I finished the intro last night. Still on the fence.
  2. The crocheter's skill-building workshop by Dora Ohrenstein - I've crocheted doilies and afghans but I want to do more. I just have eyesight issues and I know I probably need a lamp but I don't want a hot one. 
New recipe try-outs
Chicken and Snow Pea Stir-fry - easy, low-fat, good flavor

New-to-me TV shows
Flashpoint  - Swat TEAM drama, loved it and looking forward to more. Thanks for the tip Debra.

Shopping at JCPenney ($10 coupon and sale)I got some really good deals on some knit tops.  This is my favorite.

I didn't have time/energy for the "dollar store" but will check it out
next weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Exploring again

I see the phrase "reinventing myself" bandied about amongst people close to retirement. There seems to be a lot of people standing in the wings ready to help us oldsters make the best of our last couple of decades. I'm not that impressed and I pretty much avoid them if possible.

But I DO feel something stirring inside. It's like in the song "Something There" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast when the enchanted objects notice the Beast has changed after his time with Belle -

"There may be something there that wasn't there before."

Green & Blue
 I am interested in fashion in a way I've heard described for years but was never true for me. Go with your gut - wear what you feel reflects you etc. I'm shocked to find myself looking at shoes online - I've always hated shoe shopping (I wear a size 11). I don't mean high heels - I am a fan of flats 24/7. I don't wear dresses. Yet.
Some of my old interests are resurfacing like reading fiction, homemaking, gardening and crochet and embroidery - the denim shirt kind. 

The best way I can think of to describe it is that I am open to change.
Life seems fun again.
I am back to exploring again.