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??