Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Here's to a happy and prosperous new year for us all!

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Goals

It's time once again to make goals for the brand new year...but let's revisit last year's goals first. I had ten goals. I achieved three of them. Came close on one other and completely missed the mark on the rest. I gotta admit, that's not a great track record.

The biggest problem, I think, is that I didn't make decisions on how to achieve the goals. In other words, stepping stones. For example, I wanted to ramp up my proof reading. But did I do any advertising? Nope...

Today, I'm going put the goals out there, and in the coming weeks, I'll work on figuring out how to achieve them and share a few with you.

So without further ado...

1) reach the 120lb. mark
2) read 3 million words
3) write 2500 words a week
4) get healthy and well
5) clean up/clean out the house--now that the kids are gone, gonna go through closets and cupboards and get rid of all the stuff that we don't use, don't need, don't want...
6) ramp up the proofreading business
7) work on the yard--this is vague and I'm going to decide what I want to do so that I have something specific to work towards
8) research degree programs
9) publish a book
10) do more crafts

Ten seems like a nice number, although I had ten last year and completed three and made progress on others. But as the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So taking that to heart, I'll work on a plan...

What about you?? Any goals you'd like to share before we hit the ground running in 2015?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hope you have a wonderful day, no matter how you're going spend it.

Monday, December 22, 2014

It's not what's under the tree, but who's around it...

The Brown Eyed Girl and Darling Daughter smooching on their baby brudder...

In years past, we've spent a lot of money on Christmas. More money than average folks, it seems. But this year, practically nothing. Not that we had much, but we found a bit to spend on our kids.

We went to my sister-in-law's house yesterday and had the whooooole family together for the first time in somewhere around a decade. The first-gen grandkids are all adults now. **sniff** The second-gen are barely school age and younger. And there's a single great grand running around. It was relaxing and fun to see everyone and to visit and catch up and not spend hours watching each other unwrap presents that mean less than the company we were keeping.

On Christmas eve and Christmas morning, I'll have all my kids home, and I really couldn't ask for anything more...

Friday, December 19, 2014

My bucket list...

Since I issued my BUCKET LIST challenge last Friday, I had to think long and hard about my own list...

(Image courtesy of

What do I want to do, see, or accomplish before I kick the bucket, pass away, die...?

To be honest I couldn't come up with a lot of things. I've done a bit of traveling, having visited Denmark as a child and England as a young teen. I've lived in a handful of states and passed through or visited several others. For the most part my travel bug has been quashed, but I would love a return trip to Washington  DC to do all the museums and memorials and historic sites justice.

 (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)

The one really big thing that I'd like to accomplish is a college degree. A nice associates degree in whatever I can earn one in will do. I've just always had an inner green eyed monster where college degrees are concerned. I started college, once upon a time, but it was hard. (Yeah, I know... DUH!) And then  I got pregnant with the Brown Eyed Girl and I never finished. Of course, I barely even got started...

(Image courtesy of

What about you?? Any bucket list items you'd care to share??

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Well, after conversations about Christmas plans and where we're going and on what day, it turns out our five-person nucleus will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning here at home and not in the usual locations--Christmas Eve at my in-laws' home and Christmas morning at the firework store.

Since we're gonna be at home...well, we needed the tree up after all. So with the help of a couple elves this past Sunday, DD and her BFF, the tree was put up and lights affixed. Then I spent a couple of hours hanging the ornaments.

Growing up, we bought real trees and always waited until the 15th to buy one. I kinda miss the scent of pine. Maybe one of these years, I'll convince DH. I actually passed a tree lot this past Saturday.

What about you? Artificial tree or the real deal??

Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the love of my life...

(I know, I know, haven't we seen enough of that face yet???)

{And the answer is no. :) }

Monday, December 15, 2014

Movie Monday

Last week, I watched yet another uplifting sports movie called The Mighty Macs.

It was about a small all-girls Catholic college basketball team who came from behind to win the national title. Ultimately, their success was instrumental in saving the college from being closed.

Apparently the film was too formulaic for a lot of critics, but if you're not looking for anything especially deep or angsty, it's a good film to watch while working on a craft or baking cookies or wrapping presents.

Anyone seen this??

Friday, December 12, 2014

The blink of an eye...

Where has the time gone?

There was this...December1995, six short days before his birth...

And now there's this...December 2014, ten short days before his 19th birthday.

What a difference nineteen years makes, huh??

But this isn't meant to be a post about my boy in particular, it's about time. It passes faster than we imagine.

When we're on the near side of time, it seems like we have forever to do all the things we dream about and things we haven't even imagined. And then all of a sudden, we look back and time has passed and we probably didn't do nearly as many of those things we thought and dreamt about.

But until you're dead it's never too late. This is where a bucket list comes in... I don't have one actually. Do you??

So I'm issuing a challenge--think up and then share some bucket list items or share items from your list. Due Friday, the 19th.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Traditions

For the last--oh, I don't know...twenty-six Christmases--I've given my children ornaments. Actually--I don't think it started off that way. In fact, I'm sure it didn't because we had to fill in a few early years for the girls. Okay, so not twenty-six years, although they do both have 1st Christmas ornaments, hand made by Mommy dearest.

My girls, especially my Brown-Eyed Girl for some reason, love this tradition. In the lean (and missing) years we've gone with hand made ornaments. In the more prosperous years, they've been store bought. Hallmark can always be counted for something cute. (Sonshine has an inordinate number of Scooby Doo ornaments...)

I love the tradition as well, although, I'm down to only Sonshine's ornaments and after this year, they'll be packed up separately for him to take. I'm really going to miss the mish mash and memories.

This year, I'm making ornaments again. It's a pretty lean year and I have what I need to craft and create.

So this year, more cross stitched ornaments...

 T for Tim...

I for Isabel, Tim's girlfriend...

They're not done yet. I'll trim them down and then affix some felt or something to the back to hide the stitching. The girls will both get one and I may just make an extra for myself.

What about you?? Do you have a favorite thing to collect at Christmas??

Monday, December 8, 2014

Congratulations, Sonshine!

Just sharing some images from Recruit Training Command Graduation, December 5, 2014...

Tim's division during Pass & Review.

Tim and I played a bit of peek a boo... If he saw me lean left to look at him, he fought his own smile. He's there, just to the left of the guy in the foreground.

 He also earned sharpshooter during weapons training.

In addition to spending his post-graduation liberty with him on Friday, we were at the airport at the same time (for a bit) on Saturday morning and got to spend another hour or so with him.

Too many goodbyes in a short amount of time, but with any luck, we'll be saying hello again shortly before Christmas. And now that he's out of boot camp, he can have a cell phone again, so I can reach out with a text at any time.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Anchors Aweigh!

Hello from North Chicago, Illinois once again...

Today, Seaman Recruit Sonshine officially becomes a member of the U.S. Navy.

I couldn't be more proud although the choice of the Navy still makes me scratch my head a bit... Seven members of our immediate family were or are in the Air Force. Sonshine's high school JROTC program was Army. Go figure. But I'm not complaining at all. And I digress...

Sonshine received his orders right before Thanksgiving, and after a thirty-day or so stint in Florida for a bit more basic seamanship training, Sonshine will be on his way to Bremerton, WA and be stationed aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz to take part in an apprenticeship program before he chooses his actual job track. At some point, he'll go back to "A" school to actually learn the job he decides he wants.

(Image courtesy Wikipedia)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

So You Think You Want To Be a Hotelier, Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the show I'd been watching with DH--Hotel Impossible. Then I travel to Chicago and stay in a budget motel and, well, I bet you can guess...

Don't get me wrong--for the price, I knew what I was getting. The bed was comfortable and the location was perfect. But...

The room had been freshly painted as evidenced by the overwhelming odor upon opening the door. Of course, the fact that the heat was blasting probably didn't help, but considering the temperatures, I'm not really complaining. As a bonus, there was a microwave and a small fridge. I was close enough to the lobby to be able to get hot water from the industrial grade coffee machine any time I needed a cup of tea.

However, despite the fresh paint job, the room and the hotel cold use some updating and work. Other rooms were being worked on and maybe timing wasn't in the management's favor, but still, this was not acceptable.

Yes, those are unfinished cable boxes behind/between the TV cabinet and desk. In fact, I could see through that box on the right into the next room.

The outdated furniture and TV were tolerable, but there was no clock, alarm or otherwise. There was one picture over the bed; the rest of the walls were bare. Not that wall art is a necessity, but with the proximity to the base, they could have gone with a Navy or nautical color scheme and decorating theme for cheap.

The thing that got me the most however was the lack of precision or cleanup in the painting...

I'm sorry but, if I were paying someone--ostensibly a professional--to do this work then I want the best job done for my money. And if I were painting this myself, I'd do the very best job I could. In fact, I love to paint and decorate the rooms in my house and I gotta say, my living room looks way better than this.

Anyway--overall, my experience was fine, but the situation was too ironic to not do a followup post on.

What about you sometimes imagine yourself as the proprietor of a hotel or B&B or restaurant and think, "I could do better than this."?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Looking good, Sonshine!

As you probably know, DH and I traveled to North Chicago, IL to see our boy for Thanksgiving. We picked up Tim and a division mate, Marcus, took them to a local super center and bought food then took them back to our hotel room for some down time. We just lounged around and talked and visited for the entire day. It was awesome to see Tim.

Of course, the end of the day came way too soon. I'm glad we hugged at the hotel before leaving as there seemed to be some sort of kerfuffle at the entrance gate, and even though we left early to get them back with plenty of time to spare, the boys ended up hopping out of the car and double timing it back to where they needed to be. We were lucky and really weren't that far from the gate, but there was a huge line of cars as we drove back to the hotel. I imagine many many of the recruits had to do the same.