Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year My Friends!!!

First, here's the obligatory celebratory fireworks image:

Now, it's time to rate myself on my goals for the year 2018.

1) Regularly write to my Grandma in Denmark. -- BIG FAT FAIL. I completely dropped the ball on my poor Grandma. She got one letter from me this year for Christmas.

2) Call my moms monthly. -- I didn't do it monthly, but we connected often enough. On the other hand, the phone works both ways. Anyway, I give myself a C.

3) Walk the dog three times a week. -- Another big fail. I don't think I walked her but a handful of times.

4) Cook and eat better. -- I think I did alright, but not the better I had been intending. And I really fell off the wagon once the holidays hit and Sonshine came home. So giving myself a B-.

5) Re-institute the cleaning plan. -- Another F. I didn't even pull the box of cards out of the draw.

6) Work on my writing career--such as it is. -- Not as much as I should have. I stalled out in the writing in February and was never able to get back into the swing of things. I tried over the summer, but then prepping for the conference in October took precedence and that was all she wrote. Or didn't "wrote" as it were. Grade D.

7) Reduce body fat and maintain current weight. -- I actually did okay on this one. Again until the holidays hit. I've only gained maybe three pounds, but too many inches. Grade B-.

8) Take dance lessons with DH. -- Didn't happen. I can't take the full blame for this because DH wanted to wait until he lost some weight and, well, that didn't happen. So we'll call this ... I don't know what to call it.

9) Do more crafts! -- I cross stitched more and expanded the offerings of my Etsy store, but I didn't branch out and do stuff other than that. So D?

10) Take ballet and/or ice skating lessons. --  Didn't do this. Didn't even research it. Grade F.

11) Attend more STARS games. -- The only thing I exceeded at and that was because DH bought me partial season tickets. So A+++ .

What a horrible report card.

I'm sure y'all made better progress on your goals.

Have a great New Year's Eve. Stay safe and all that jazz. I'll see you here on Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Happy Christmas

Christmas was, by all accounts, rather wonderful. All three of my babies are home and we had a delicious Christmas dinner with DH's family and then came back home for a cozy Christmas morning. We haven't had one of those in years and years and it was a blessing and a treat.

Four years ago, Sonshine was fresh out of boot camp and able to come home for Christmas. I shared this a few weeks ago:

Now, he's out of the Navy, although still living in Seattle. He did come home for Christmas though!!

The traditional breakfast of cinnamon roll and orange juice -- along with coffee or tea as desired -- was in place. Presents were ready and everyone slowly rolled out of bed and took a seat.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!



Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Friday!!

Who'd have ever thought I'd enjoy vanilla-flavored anything? Aside form ice cream. This sounds familiar--did I already ask this? I'm drinking vanilla-flavored protein shakes these days and they are pretty good. Not as good as ice cream....but what is? :0)

The next few days are going to be pretty crazy because, of course, Christmas is Monday. We'll celebrate Christmas Eve with DH's family as we usually do. Not sure what the game plan is, if any for Christmas morning. Will we (as in DH, me, and the kids) exchange gifts at my mother-in-law's house separately on Christmas Eve or will we gather again on Christmas morning either at home or at the fireworks store? I guess I'd better find out.

Tomorrow, I'll be hanging out with a lovely young woman to exchange gifts and do some baking. This young lady is DD's best friend and I always buy a few extra goodies for her. She's a single mom and doing a great job on that front. I know from experience how tough being a single mom can be, so I try to do a bit for her here and there. Anyway, we'll be hanging out at her house and doing some baking and other fun things. Can't wait.

On Sunday, the Brown-eyed Girl and I will be watching a live-via-simulcast performance of The Nutcracker performed by the Bolshoi Ballet. How's that for amazing? I'm looking forward to seeing the performance and, more importantly, spending some time with my oldest daughter.

In the meantime, I have more presents to wrap.

Have a wonderful weekend and a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The End of a (podcast) Era...

I'm mourning the loss of my favorite podcaster Dave Lozo from the Puck Soup Podcast.

Dave Lozo on the left, Greg Wyshynski on the right.

I mean he's not dead, thank goodness.

But he's quit the podcast, much to the dismay of many long time listeners. Including me.

The gist is that Dave got burnt out and hasn't watched a complete hockey game in quite some time. He went from writing sports articles from home for two different online entities and doing at least one podcast recording a week to working full time in-studio at ESPN writing for an ESPN+ sports show--along with still doing the podcast weekly.

By the time the two of them got around to recording the podcast, Dave's creative energies had been used up for the day.

I'm so glad I got to meet him and have my picture taken with him back in June when he came to Dallas for the NHL draft and the two of them did a live show.

Anyway, most of the listeners, including me, wish him the best. According to Greg, his new gig is a thing he's been after for a while, so who can begrudge the guy achieving a dream or at least climbing up a rung of the ladder on his way there??

Best of luck, Dave...

Monday, December 17, 2018

I can sleep when I'm dead...

Sonshine's here! Sonshine's here!

I say I can sleep when I'm dead because I've been sneaking a little snooze when I get from the gym in the morning--now that I am going again--but Sonshine was awake this morning so we visited instead.

He's changed a lot and he hasn't changed at all.

Also today is his 23rd birthday... Happy birthday my beloved son!!


Just yesterday -- I swear it was yesterday, he was born; he was a toddler, he started kindergarten. And now he's an adult with four years of military service under his belt.

Oh, man.

Have a great week.

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Dearth of Ideas...

Happy Friday, y'all.

T-minus two days as of the writing of this. Well. All of Friday and most of Saturday. Sonshine arrives shortly after 4PM.

I'm lamenting the fiscal year of my writing group, because transitioning board members and planning new programs during the holidays is royal pain in the keister. I'm lucky because I don't have a lot going on in terms of kids and hubster, but most other people do, so yeah...

Writing has been pretty non-existent, sadly, but I'm going to start working on character building for the new series. I want to have a good grasp of what makes most, if not all, of my main characters tick as well as some of the regular secondary characters.

I've never been one to fill out long questionnaires about my characters. It seemed a waste. Are there things you should know? Of course there are. Important things, but personally I don't need to know everyone's favorite ice cream or who their first crush was or if they had a pet as a kid--unless it plays into the plot somehow. But a lot of time those things crop up during the writing. At least for me. Each writer has their own method.

I've collected close to a dozen character sheets. A lot of them have identical questions, so I think I'm going to cull through them and create my own with questions that resonate with me. Not that I will necessarily answer every question either. Characters are going to give up what answers they want to, what they think is important for me to know, at least on the first pass. I might have to revisit these sheets now and again as I continue to ponder the character and as they take shape and develop personalities.

I've setup my small Christmas tree from home here at the office for some Christmas cheer. It even has battery-operated lights. :0)

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

100 Things...

I'm still making progress and I'm still ahead in the weeks vs. things tally.

Last week, I gave away a travel mug, a 3x5 card file thingy with cards in it, as well as a little accordionated coupon organizer keeper, and a tiny little glass candle holder with three tealights. The Rubbermaid deviled egg keeper also went, along with some more actual Tupperware. Also an old Easter basket and some plastic eggs.

I also got the back patio a bit tidied up as well, threw away a bunch of stuff that had just been piled up and looking a hot mess for years. Literally. And you know how I hate that word. The lawn guy came yesterday and he bagged leaves for me. Now I just have to pull the large weed/plant thing growing in the little planter area next to the bird bath. Things are starting to look tidier and it feels good.

And I have to decide what to do with my Chinese wisteria that only bloomed profusely the first year I had it. When it was small. I planted it and gave it a lattice and it spends more time growing its vines than it does blooming. So I have to read up on how to make it bloom better. ...reading.. ...reading... Okay...root pruning and some phosphate fertilizer to balance out too much nitrogen intake. I'll see what I can do.

Well, I hope your week is going well. T-minus FOUR days until I can hug Sonshine.

Have a great rest of the week.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Musings...

Well, Happy Monday. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was very good. Saturday was writers group meeting, but since it's December, we partied instead of having a writing-related program. My book cover bingo seemed to go over well, so yay. I got several lovely ornaments that went directly on the tree, and I spent quality time with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world.

DH came home so that was really good too. He'd been helping his mom deal with some stuff. With the help of one of DD's best friends, the truck is repaired and as DH said, "purring like a kitten." A local care care place wanted to charge us close to $600 for replacing spark plugs. Between parts and labor, we shelled out $250.

T minus six days until Sonshine arrives home. WOO HOO!!!

Since the truck is drive-able once again, I have my car back. Meaning two things. 1) I no longer have to be stranded at the office when one or other of the employees takes the company vehicle to a client and doesn't make it back by 5pm. 2) I can go back to the gym now.

Which I did this morning. I did not dive right back into wherever I left off, instead just focusing on cardio and burning calories, with a short focus on the abs.

Apologies for missing Friday's post...if you even missed it at all. I tried several times to get something written and just couldn't seem to find a good topic or any sort inspiration.

Confession time...I've been eating atrociously and as a result have gained two pounds. So along with heading back to the gym...I will be trying to get back on track with my eating habits, although I will enjoy the treats of the season. Just not as much of them. And getting back to the gym on a regular basis ought to help a lot.

Gas prices have dropped a little more, which is nice. Down to $1.89 close to my house, which is rarely the lowest of the wider local area. I wonder how low they will get...

As it is Monday, I guess I ought to get my work day started...

Have a great day and I'll see you Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The NHL is on its way to Seattle!!

The NHL's Board of Governors--basically the owners of all the other 31 teams--voted this past Tuesday to award the 32nd franchise to the city of Seattle. They won't play until the 2021-2022 season because facilities there need to be upgraded and renovated. If that was already in place, the timeline would probably only be a year sooner because there are still behind-the-scenes NHL nuts, bolts, and cogs to deal with to prepare for the birth of a new team.

I'm really excited for hockey in Seattle not just for hockey in general but because it's happening in Seattle and we all know what else is in Seattle...


Sonshine's enough of a reason to go to Seattle, but add hockey to the mix and I have even more impetus to get my butt up there for a visit.

I'm still hoping to make a game--any game--in Vegas. To that end, I submit a Dallas Stars sweepstakes entry everyday. Keep your fingers crossed for me. :0)

Speaking of Dallas Stars...

A) DD and my streak is still in tact: the Stars have won every game that we've attended.

B) We got a bobble head on Monday.

We got the one on the right--our goalie, Ben Bishop. You might remember I mentioned the other one, John Klingberg, some time last year.

Hope you're having a great week!!

Catch you Friday.

Monday, December 3, 2018

I'm Feeling Froggy... And some other random stuff...

My head has big plans, but my body is saying, "whoa, girl, slow down!!"

This 100 Things Challenge has jump started my desire to fix things up. Not that I have the money or probably the long-term energy to do much, but it's there.

The back yard needs a good, thorough going over and that's probably the least expensive thing I can get away with doing. The old gray mare, aka, my back yard of old, ain't what she used to be.

Remember this:

Yeah...those areas don't look like that anymore...

Taking care of the yard is more elbow grease than cash or, at most, a couple of extra twenties to the lawn guy even though things won't look like ^^that^^ again.

The shed is another disaster area, and I can only do so much in there. Most of that stuff belongs to DH and he needs to decide what to do with it. For now, I can clean get rid of the dead leaves and cull through some random other stuff.

As for my 100 Things Challenge, which I didn't post much about last week, and for which I'm a few weeks ahead on... I cleaned out an old dresser in the garage that had been relegated to random storage and cleaned out another half a dozen+ things. Those things include some strings of Christmas lights and a couple of Christmas garland swags, a couple of 8x10 picture frames, a random assortment of craft stuff, a bunch of old ink pads from back in my rubber stamping days, a dozen empty candle jars, sewing machines that I'm selling to a friend, and some random sewing projects.

That puts me at twenty-two things now. :0)

I even took the latest pile to the donation station.


Gas is under $2 in many places across North Texas. My local Quick Trip is at $1.95. It's funny that this happened because a mere week ago or so I was thinking that I'd never see gas under $2 again. Low and behold!


So DD and I watched the original Yours, Mine, and Ours yesterday. The oldest  child in the film looked but especially sounded so familiar to me, so I looked him up and it turned out to be a very young Tim Matheson.

Some might remember him from The Virginian, Bonanza, or Leave It To Beaver. Possible as the voice of Johnny Quest. Some might remember him from The West Wing, Burn Notice, or Hart of Dixie.

Anyway, once I figured out the voice, I couldn't help grinning every time young "Mike Beardsley" was on screen.


Also Saturn has been visible here in North Texas. I spotted it to the east both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

How was your weekend??

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Best Christmas Ever, Third Verse

Sonshine is coming home for Christmas!!!

The Best Christmas Ever, first verse was twenty-three years ago when my beautiful boy was born a week before Christmas.

The Best Christmas Ever, second verse was four years ago when the picture above was taken and Sonshine was able to come for Christmas after he'd graduated from Navy boot camp.

Of course there have been good Christmases otherwise, but the best ones are always when all of my babies are home with me.

He'll even be home for his birthday. :0)

In other news, it's Friday--but you know that. I have so many things I've wanted to do all week and few of them were work related. So I'm really looking forward to the weekend and making some progress with various projects. I have a list and it's quite lengthy at the moment, so hopefully two days is enough.

Also, I have no idea what happened Wednesday. I could have sworn I posted something or at the very least written something but forgotten to post it. But nope.

Anyway, hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Careening into December and heading for Christmas...

Hello There!

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Mine was low key with just DD and me and her BFF, who came over after a very trying Thanksgiving meal with her family needing some love and cheer. DD and I watched the Star Trek reboot trilogy too. I love those movies.

The weekend as a whole was also low key and I accomplished almost everything on my to-do list. The tree now has ornaments. Garland decorates doorways. The number of wrapped presents under the tree has increased.

I binged watched both available season of Victoria. I found and unpacked a box of books from my shed--guess what I want to do now. :0) I completed gifts for my very dearest writer peeps. The usual weekend chores got completed too of course.

I've spent some good quality time with DD, and not just over the weekend, which I'm so grateful for. One of these days she's going to get her own place again and I'm going to miss her terribly.

Speaking of DD, our record is intact. What record you ask... Well, the one where the Stars have won every game we've attended in person so far this year. They even won the one game we had tickets for but didn't attend--I passed the tickets on to one of my employees, so the seats were still filled by us. :0) Unfortunately, they lost the following day, although they played a heck of a game. When they win the Reunion Tower Ball lights up in green and white.

(Image from Twitter)

You know, I meant to post Friday, but I was at home and working on crafty things, out of the normal routine of being at work or getting ready for work and it just didn't occur to me. But you were busy enjoying your own long weekend and didn't miss me I'm sure.

Have a great day and a great week... See you Wednesday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

100 Things Challenge

So, on Monday, I shared a picture of my car full of stuff that I took to a donation center. A lot of that stuff had been piled up before I started this 100 Things Challenge, especially the bags of clothes, but can you believe that I've only culled TEN things from my house during the course of the challenge so far???

Yup. Only ten...because I've lumped like things together: cups and glasses, DVDs, curtains and tablecloths, board games. If I counted each item individually, I'd probably be well over 200, but that seemed sorta like cheating so I didn't.


Seems a bit paltry, but I shall persevere.

Next items to go: all the tote bags I don't use and won't work for groceries, a rather large bubba keg, a DVD player, and a Dance Dance Revolution mat.

Now we're up to FOURTEEN!!

Go, Jen, go!!

I had thought to post some other stuff, but there's not much going on because of the holiday, so I will sign off now.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with those nearest and dearest to you. But if you can't be with those folks, then I hope you're with the next best thing, whatever that means for you.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Let the holidays begin...

I do still have to work today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, but I image it'll be fairly slow since I bet many of our clients will also be slow and / or have shut down their offices for one or more days. Which is good because I have a couple of projects to work on. I had a really good weekend though--

As I mentioned Friday, I went to a Stars game. The antics to get there as early as possible were Keystone Cop-worthy, but DD and I made it in time to score a pair of tickets to a game in January that I don't already have (partial-season) tickets to, so YAY! Also, the Stars won against a really good team in which there was only one goal--ours in overtime--and three fights and a ton of penalty minutes during regulation play. They also won Sunday afternoon's game which I did not attend as it was in New York. :0)

While watching Sunday's game on TV, I wrapped what Christmas presents I have and placed them under my new tree with colored lights.

It's been a while since I've had colored lights on a tree and it takes me back to my childhood when we always had colored lights.

At this point, the poor tree only has two ornaments and only because one never got put away last year and I came across it in a drawer when I was looking for something else and the other is an ornament I made for Sonshine a few years ago and kept hanging in my office for some reason.

I didn't make the trek out to the shed this weekend to find the rest, but that'll happen sometime between now and next Monday.

What I did do this weekend was load up all those "things" I've been clearing out the house and staging in the garage into the car and take them to a local donation spot. Man--that felt really good.

Getting rid of stuff is rather addicting. One hallway closet is pretty much purged now. Remember I said I'd gone green and was using tote bags now instead of plastic store bags? Yeah, I went through the rest of the tote bags I had--(I'm a tote bag ho.)--and picked out the best ones for holding groceries and, with three exceptions, got rid of the rest of them since I can only use so many tote bags and have my favorites. The other hall closet needs to be culled still, but, honestly, there isn't much left in there either.

I had to start a new pile in the garage, however. :0)

Lunch on Saturday with my dear friend, N, was delightful as usual. And she made me this--which was perfect even though she didn't know about the hockey tree when she chose designed the pattern...

I also got to visit with DH's family on Saturday and specifically with that family member with the medical issues and she's better. There's a ways to go and hurdles to surmount, but she's better. If you're the praying sort, please lift her up.

And that, my friends, is all for today. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful week and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Gone green... and other random stuff...

And, surprisingly, I'm not talking about the Stars. :0) Although there is a game tonight and I will be there and I will be wearing green.

But I'm talking about the environment... This past Sunday, I took tote bags with me to the grocery store and used those for toting home my food stuffs. It was a little bit of a challenge to utilize the bags in the sizes I had. I mean, you do your own scanning and bagging for long enough, you develop a system and preference on how to sort and bag the groceries in those store-provided bags. It'll probably take me a week or two to get a new order to things and I might need to dig around the closet to see what other sizes and shapes I have to trade out with and see what happens. :0)

Speaking of the closet, as promised on Wednesday, I did remember to find the next 100 Things Challenge item. Which turned out to be a couple of boxes of DVDs that no one has touched in a couple of years. I also found a box of VHS tapes, but those are going straight into the trash.

I culled carefully through the titles and pulled DH's favorites for him to take down to the fireworks store to keep there. Many of these are not available on Netflix.

Speaking of Netflix Amazon Prime, I finally got around to watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and it was wonderful. From Wiki: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an American period comedy-drama web television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, that premiered on March 17, 2017. The series stars Rachel Brosnahan as the titular Miriam "Midge" Maisel, a housewife in 1958 New York City who discovers she has a knack for stand-up comedy.

What they don't say in that succinct write-up is that she'd been supporting her husband for years in his attempt to be a standup comedian and one night he completely bombs and when they get home, he walks out. She gets stupidly drunk and ends up at the club in her peignoir (wearing a coat though) and gives a hilarious drunken monologue.

Once DD and I binged through the eight eps of the first season of that, we started on Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, another Amazon Prime original. From Wiki: Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, or simply Jack Ryan, is an American action political thriller web television series, based on characters from the fictional "Ryanverse" created by Tom Clancy.

I gotta say... John Krasinski, who plays Jack Ryan, is also very easy on the eyes.

 If you've seen The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, and/or A Clear and Present Danger, then you should be familiar with Jack Ryan. This series serves as a sort of per-cursor to Jack Ryan's roles in those films but set in the present day (cell phones were not a thing in 90, 92, or 94). I've not seen the more recent offerings of The Sum of All Fears (02) or Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (14).

Aside from the premises and plots of the new original series on both Netflix and Amazon Prime that I've watched, one of the things that intrigues (not the right word) me is the format of eight (Mrs. Maisel and Jack Ryan) or thirteen (Grace & Frankie and The Ranch on Netflix) episodes per season.

As a viewer in general, I'd like more of the shows I enjoy. But as a fan of actors, I think it's a great opportunity for them to be able to do other projects rather than being tied to one show for years on end--like Ellen Pompeo in Grey's Anatomy and Mark Harmon from the original NCIS series.

And that's about all I have to ramble on about today. Hope you have a great weekend--

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

We're going for POTPOURRI today!

Let's start with the fact I have a cold. It doesn't happen often and it's probably been years since I've had a full on cold last. And it's not even really that bad. The thing that hurts worst is my nose from blowing it and using toilet paper. I had a bit of swelling down in my throat at first, but that's gone. Now I'm just riding it out.

The thing that really has me peeved this week is my stupid Charter Spectrum business account. We have a business account at home because of the business and static IP reasons. Anyway, up until about a month ago, I was able to watch replays of Stars games. At live games, there's no commentary, so sometimes I like to re-watch--well, listen more than watch--the games so I can learn stuff.

After fighting with the app and trying a different app, I finally called Charter and asked what was up with this turn of events. I was politely told that business accounts don't get that feature, for lack of a better term.

Wait, what???

I've had this feature available to me for at least a year--I watched a Stars game from Denver in October of 2017. I even upgraded my TV package well over a year ago to get the Fox Sports Southwest channel on order to be able to watch Stars games on TV and now I can't watch games on the go or re-watch the following day anymore?? I mean--what the hell do they care??

BFF Jenn suggested there was an update that maybe finally fixed a bug that had allowed it? I don't know that I buy that though. Originally we had residential service, but then upgraded to the business grade and I'm thinking they just missed the tick box to turn it off when that originally transpired. But you know what?? I want my access back!!

And last but not least...

How 'bout this crappy weather??? It's been at or below the freezing mark overnight for the last two nights and the freezing temps last well into the day. I've had faucets at a trickle for two days. This morning it was TWENTY-FOUR DEGREES with frost on my windshield!!!!! It's not time for that here in North Texas. That's January and February weather, not November weather.

I know I need to did around my house and find something else to get rid of for the 100 Things Challenge, but I've been so busy collecting new things and being lazy that I haven't done so. I'll have something by Friday, I promise.

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Outlaw King

DD and I watched Outlaw King this weekend. From Wikipedia: Outlaw King is a 2018 historical action drama film about Robert the Bruce, the 14th-century Scottish king who launched a guerilla war against the larger English army.

I do like history and I like Scottish history, but I opted to watch it because Robert the Bruce is played by Chris Pine of the Star Trek reboot fame, which as you know, I love. The reboots, that is, more than Chris Pine, but here we are. Also I'm planning a series for Medieval Scotland at some point, so that was also motivation.

I enjoyed the movie, but I warn you it's not for the faint of heart, there's a lot of graphic violence. And for good reason. I mean--it's the Middle Ages and it's men fighting for what's theirs against huge odds.

 I give the film a movie rating of nine.

If you've seen it, what did you think? 


Friday, November 9, 2018

Let's talk about HOCKEY today!!

I was back in the American Airlines Center last night to watch the Stars take down the Sharks. Okay, so they didn't really take them down. But they won and it was a good game to watch. Mostly. There were a couple of  major "WTF?" moments, but they pulled out the win, so yeah.

The young man above is Devin Shore and he scored two of last night's four goals.

My boy Tyler Seguin ended a 12-game scoring drought, so that was very cool to see. Let's recap, shall we??

 First--he steals the puck. That guy behind him is one of the defensemen in the league.

Then he shoots and he scores...see that little black circle in the net?? Yeah baby. At this point in it's trajectory, it's bouncing back after hitting the twine of the back of the net.

Seguin lifts his hands in celebration. He finally got one after a lot of shots on goal these last 12 games that pinged off the goal posts, the cross bar, or off the goalies.

And here he yells "YEAH" as he accepts fist bumps from his teammates on the bench.

So congrats to Tyler Seguin for getting back on the scoreboard.

Joe Thornton, a player for the other team, played in his 1500 career game and Dallas fans gave him a standing ovation, so that was classy of us.

And that was a fun night with DD, my favorite person to go to games with.

Be loud. Wear green. GO STARS!!!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Let's talk about food!

I had this conversation the other day and it seemed like a good blog topic, so here we are. :0)

My employee went to a small privately owned fast food restaurant in the business park that our office is located in. He came back and of course I asked what he got. He showed me his burger.

That's one of my favorite meals, I said.

A good juicy burger. I leave off the bun these days, but still enjoy onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup or A-1 Sauce. Sometimes I eat them smothered in baked beans.

That led to this thought.... If I could eat anything I wanted for the rest of my life (and not count calories or get fat, of course), I'd live off of burgers, cereal, pizza, and pumpkin cake.

Who doesn't love a good juicy burger?? My sister-in-law made the best burger I've ever had.

From Wikipedia; author: Hongreddotbrewhouse

In case you don't know me, I love cereal...all kinds, "healthy" and not-so-healthy. I don't buy anything but Cheerios these days and I buy them for DH and not for myself, although I confess I do eat them. More often than I should. But not with milk. This might sound "ewww" to some of you, but they taste really good with the caramel flavored protein shakes I buy.

And pizza...who doesn't love pizza?? Pepperoni, meat lovers, veggie, there are few traditional things I don't like on pizza. Not a big fan of anchovies or mushrooms, but I'm game for just about anything else.

From Wikipedia--no attribution needed.

Who doesn't love cake?? These are my favorite pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. There's been a dearth of these in my life because carbs of course, but also, my oven doesn't work, so...


 What about you?? What few foods could you happily live off of for the rest of your life??

Hope your week is going well. :0)

Monday, November 5, 2018

I want to write, I should be writing, but...

I'm just feeling out of sorts. DH has been gone supporting his family during a tough time. I haven't been to the gym in a while and I'm feeling the effects of the lack. We're trying to keep the mileage down on the car I have so I haven't gone. When I don't go, I have a hard time being diligent at home, but my body has finally put its metaphorical foot down and I am spending time on the treadmill morning and evening.

But I still keep having thoughts about wanting to write even though the act of sitting down and opening a file had eluded me until Friday. I read through a book I'd written and which is not 100% complete, but close. (story of my life) I wanted to see how close. I spent Friday and Saturday reading and tweaking. Then I exported it to MS Word and now I'm formatting.

I'm still not writing new stuff, but I'm in my work. Not in the manuscript I should be working on either, but at least I'm working on something.

The good news is, there's not much new read in my fandoms and I'm pretty caught up on my various shows. So there's no shiny things to entice me away from writing, even though, again, I do want to.

It's just that when I contemplate it, I suddenly feel wiped out from all the other stuff going on.

At least it's sunny today which will go a long way towards lifting my spirits and keeping them up.

Which is also contributing to the blah...I'm feeling down in the dumps.

Saturday with writer peeps was refreshing and uplifting as it always is when I hang out with these ladies. Sunday was productive in terms of those crafty projects I mentioned a few posts ago. I even finished one...

Hope you had a good weekend.

Friday, November 2, 2018

So I have this now...

It's the hockey tree. It was DD's idea and I liked it, so here we are. It has three ornaments at this point, so hoping for a few more come Christmas. I'm thinking of opening up my box of hockey stick candy canes and adding little loops of thread to hang them with.

I'm going to create a Stanley Cup tree topper out of a toilet paper tube and aluminum foil. :0) Maybe some sort of garland out of I-don't-know-what. (Here I come, Pinterest--again!)

I'm gathering with my favorite ladies and writer peeps tomorrow. I haven't seen these women since September and I've missed them terribly.

So hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This years swag haul...

Since I was a supporting author and had my own events to attend, I didn't have as many opportunities to see other people's stuff. I did attend the Featured Authors Signing to scope out some of this year's swag. It was a lot of the same. Some people had So. Much. Stuff.

This is my haul...

I saw a lot of goodie bags... (not pictured) Just cellophane with candy and maybe a pen and notepad or something. Which is all well and good, but people have such different taste in candy. Or they don't like chocolate. Or are allergic to nuts. Or don't like caramel. I don't know. It seems like a waste to me.

Books are given away as prizes in almost every workshop and reading and q&a session. I came home with a handful this year. I definitely want to read two of them. I haven't read the back cover blurbs of the others yet. They'll all be donated to the library at some point because I keep very few physical books these days.

I did notice, though, that rainbow anything was very popular, so my brain is whirring... I'm thinking small little cross stitch something or others. Heigh ho, heigh ho, off to Pinterest I go. I'll let you know what I come with later.

On the 100 Things Challenge front, I cleaned out the glass and mug cabinet and am getting rid of this:

Making progress. A trip to the donation station is in order soon.

Have a great rest of your week.

Monday, October 29, 2018

What makes you happy?

Aside from rainbows and butterflies or whatever, what does it take for a person to be satisfied or content with their life?

Last summer (2017), while on our retreat to Lake Conroe, one of my dear writer peeps brought a worksheet that listed twenty-five of the most common vital needs. Most people have 5 to 7 seven needs requiring fulfillment on a regular basis, whether daily or weekly, monthly, etc.

personal time doing for others recognition for achievements movement sleep
approval and acceptance order and closure time alone territory financial security
one-on-one attention group relationships empathy humor spirituality
touch having a project variety of experiences structured time unstructured time
being with people anticipation competition learning something new listening to music

When my girlfriends and I first talked about these, a few jumped out at me right away.

Sleep--check. Minimum six hours a night with occasional naps to make up what I need.
Personal time--check. I am an early bird and get up super early to enjoy the peace and quiet of the house.
Movement--check. I always feel better when I get my exercise in. I definitely need to get back on track with regular exercise.
Time Alone--check. Early mornings and working from home Tuesdays and Thursdays give me that time.
Listening to music--check. Everyday. In the car if I'm alone. At the office via YouTube. My iPod is docked in my home office.
Humor--check. My Puck Soup Podcast is a staple. I get new content seven times a month, but I often re-listen to a favorite episode.

As I look at the list now, some other things that didn't strike me then, now do.

Having a project--as you probably know by the number of posts there are about cross stitching in this blog, I generally have a project. Usually the cross stitching, but I occasionally do other crafts or work on the house and yard. Also writing.

Doing for others--I've volunteered forever in various groups that I've been a part of. My writers group, the PTA, Band Boosters, my daily chat room.

Structured time/unstructured time--I don't like having my day so structured that everything is scheduled, but I do live by a fairly regular routine and I have a lengthy TO-DO list that keeps me productive each day.

What about you? Any of those needs strike a chord with you??

Friday, October 26, 2018

How is it almost November...

...and there's no rest for the wicked or the weary in sight.

Isn't this the time of year when life is supposed to slow down? The weather changes, the holidays approach, clients and customers don't call because they've used up their IT budget for the year. (oh, wait, most of our clients are on contracts)

I've got lunch with a friend or two. There's a possible writer peeps gathering. And then there's Thanksgiving. A couple of Stars games are in the mix too. That's just November.

December means prepping for Christmas and fireworks season. There's my writers group holiday party/meeting. There are more hockey games. There's even a chance I'll get a visit from... (drum roll lease) ...Sonshine!!! Please keep your fingers crossed. :0)

In the everyday, there's being with DH and going to the gym and reading and cross stitching and maybe even some writing. I really need to get on that. I need a new book or two out by next October.

On top of all of that--as if that isn't plenty--a dear family member is having some severe health issues, so that'll continually be on the radar.

Hope you're all doing well...

I'll see y'all on Monday. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Old Towne Portsmouth...

Last Friday morning, I took some time to get outside and enjoy some fresh and get the blood circulating. I love history and as you can guess, Portsmouth was full of it. I didn't do much reading of the history, just enjoyed the sights. Namely in the form of buildings...I love old buildings. I love imaging who lived in them, what they looked like on the inside once upon a time, as well as what they might look like now.

So just a few pics from my jaunt around Portsmouth.

 I find these interesting with the stairs going up the second floor, which presumably is the main level of the house. Meaning the bottom level was probably for servants at one time.

 I like these too, with the front porch.

 I like the bay windows on this one.

 This is obviously a two-apartment house, with the porch/balcony on the upper level.

 Here's another with the stairs going to the second floor, but it also has two chimneys.

I'm pretty sure this one also has a basement level floor that is hidden from view. I wonder if that top-most window goes into an attic room or if the middle bedroom and the second?/third? floor has super high ceilings and the window belongs to it...

I saw one house (no pics) that was, I think, four levels (basement, two regular floors, the attic). With all kinds of random stairs attached, it had obviously been divided up into apartments. It would be so interesting to see the original layout and then how and where they added bathrooms and kitchens when they divvied it up.

And then here are the few other pictures I took...

The sunrise view of my 9th floor room. That ship there in the middle of the frame is the USS Bataan--in for some repairs or upgrades.

The river is the Elizabeth River...

My roomie and I took the water taxi across the river for lunch on Friday.

Here is a random boat sailing the river one day.

On Sunday I took a partial scenic route back to Raleigh...through the countryside of southeastern Virginia and north central North Carolina. It was a truly lovely fall day with cool temps and a brisk wind. The trees were all sorts of lovely colors and the small towns were so charming.

I passed cotton fields and a gin along the way...

 I'm used to seeing hay in humongous rolls like this--not cotton!!

 And that concludes my pictures...

I had a busy but wonderful time and am definitely glad to be home and back into the regular routines of my life--that even includes eating and exercising. :0)

Have a great rest of your week. See you on Friday.