Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Let's start tracking...

Yesterday I had another dental cleaning. My fourth in the span of a year. Yeah, because I'm extra, I get to see my dental hygienist four times a year. Really it's because I have very bad periodontal disease and my body chemistry in my mouth is not my friend. I do have an appointment with a periodontist, finally, to start addressing those issues, but in the mean time, I need to do better with my dental hygiene at home.

Don't get me wrong, it's come a long way since a year ago, but it's time to go from twice a day to three times a day flossing, brushing, and swishing...

And that's where the happy tracker idea comes into play.

I was hemming an hawing about how to implement it when my daughter handed off a teachers weekly lesson plan book she was recently given. The school year is 3/4 of the way over so it's pretty useless to her at this point. I paged through it and discovered I could use it as my tracking method, at least for the time being. I bought some stickers as a reward to track that I did what I was supposed to.

So along with several other things I want to get back to doing on a regular basis, like walking to the post office or small housekeeping tasks or going to the gym or doing yoga...

I haven't quite decided how often I should get a larger reward for completing these daily tasks and how often--monthly? semi-monthly? every other Friday? And if I do, what's that larger reward?

I do know that skipping a single thing negates the reward no matter what. I guess it oughtta be good enough to keep me motivated, huh?

Monday, February 25, 2019


As of the writing of this blog, there are approximately four more hours until the deadline at 3pm EST.

The Stars general manager (GM) got them a very nice player from New York. In his first game as a Star, he garnered an assist (on someone else's goal), a goal, and a blocked shot that broke his arm and landed him on the injured reserve list for four weeks.

The GM had said he was done after that acquisition, but now... I heard via one of the sports reporters who specifically follows and writes about the Stars that the GM has taken to the phones once again to bring in more help. Which we need/ed. We were not a "Mats Zuccarello" (the player we got) away from going all the way to the Stanley Cup. As awful as Zucc getting injured in his first game with the Stars was--was this the hockey gods' way of telling the GM he really wasn't supposed to be done?

I hope that's the case and not that the hockey gods just hate the Dallas Stars. :0)

I've been sucked into watching trade deadline programming... Well, at least listening to them while I make my way through my day.

Anyway, hope you had a great weekend and here's to a great week.

Friday, February 22, 2019

NHL Trade Deadline...


Not a topic most of you care about, but the deadline is Monday. It's a stressful time for players who don't have no-move or no-trade clauses in their contracts. It's an interesting time for fans because should your favorite player not have one of those two clauses in their contract, they could be shipped off to some other team.

The timing of the deadline is interesting. Maybe it's scheduled this way on purpose. I'm sure it probably is; I don't know the history of the NHL well enough. But we're about 2/3 of the way through the season. We're on the home stretch for the playoffs. Is a given team in or is a given team out of contention? Is the team "on the bubble"? In other words, the team is hovering around the wild card slot--maybe in one of the two slots, maybe just outside of a wild card spot. With a little luck on your part and some bad luck for other teams, you can slide in.

This  time of year is when those bubble teams can hopefully trade their way into a playoff run.

My Dallas Stars need some offensive help and badly. Meaning our general manager needs to make a good move by Monday to get us a goal scorer or two.

That also means we lose assets--whether those are future draft picks, prospects, guys playing in our AHL affiliate, or up and coming young guns who play now and who we anticipate to be great in the future. We have guys the fans would love to see go. Unfortunately, they aren't worth much in and of themselves. Conceivably they could be better in another team's system and I hope that happens for them. But we have to get them to those other teams somehow.

Luckily, our big names have those clauses in place. Other guys just aren't really on the table because no one needs their skills and they're doing a good job for us.

We have a handful of middle six forwards who are worth something. I'd hate to see them go. But I'd love for the Stars to make the playoffs this year...

As of last night, with a big win against a division rival (St. Louis Blues), the Dallas Stars remained in the top wild card slot.

Now to bite my nails (metaphorically speaking) through the weekend and see how the lineup changes from day to day and for the two games we play between now and Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The homework is kicking my butt...

I've toyed with the idea of going back to college, but if the homework from a single month-long online class about writing is kicking my butt, I can't imagine actual course work.

>>picture me grimacing<<

So this homework / instructor is frustrating me. I'm not doubting it's a good thing to be challenged. I'm trying to work through it, to ask for clarification as needed, but youch. It's still tough. And while I'm competitive, I'm also lazy and part of me just wants to quit.

It's hard...

There are some parts that really are a challenge for me, not just because I'm lazy, but because that's just now how my brain works. I don't think I'll be able to find the nuances on my own if I use this method to work on another book down the road. But I do have critique partners and fellow writers who could maybe help. But argh. Still. And I'll still have all the lessons and my worksheets. But argh.

Part of the initial struggle was that this method takes some standard plotting methods and tweaks them just slightly, starting with a different take on the meaning of certain terminology. That wasn't so bad. But then I'm doing my homework and going along with the knowledge I've had all these years and bam!

Now, she doesn't include this slightly tweaked way of looking at things in her lesson posts... Then you get your homework back with her responses and suggestions and corrections--don't get me wrong, she's very nice and respectful--but boom, you're like WHUT?? Well, I am, anyway. And I'm scratching my head. And I'm thinking, "That's not the way GMC and every other plotting method tells you to do it." Not exactly. She's slightly left of center.


She did encourage us to read everyone's work/lessons, but that's a lot of data for me to parse on top of the lessons themselves, so I haven't. Just been following along with the movie example she's using and asked us to watch prior to class, which I did.

It all makes perfect sense until I try to do it and then, I'm taking a left turn in Albuquerque and she's in Omaha or something. :0)

But I'm really trying this time. I haven't given up even though I'm having to redo lessons. And all her explanations make sense. I understand the shift in thinking and the why of it. Now if I can just figure out how to do this without training wheels, I might could make some progress on more books.

Anyway...back to my homework.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Monday...Happy Tracker

Hey there! Yeah, I missed Friday. Life happens sometimes. :0)

But Saturday was writers group day and I had a wonderful day with my writer peeps as I usually do. I have been friends with these women for close to ten years now and I can't imagine my life without them.

One friend--I'm going to call her Grace--has what she calls a Happy Tracker. Grace is no where her real name but she's so smart and beautiful and wise that it fits her.

Now Grace has this tracker and this tracker has six (I think) sections where she tracks stuff. This includes things like going to the gym and tracking data for a medical condition she has. This also includes writing.

She's been reporting in to us for many many months now and I'm always so impressed by her diligence in the tracking and the progress she's made that I'm thinking of instituting my own. Not only would it keep me accountable to myself, but if I have to show my progress or lack thereof to these gals, I might make better progress in certain areas. Surprisingly, I have a somewhat competitive nature. :0)

So I'm going to ponder this idea a bit more, decide on the things I want to track and be accountable for. I can think of three off the top of my head: exercise, house keeping, and writing.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's a Misty Moisty Morning and Cloudy is the Weather

It's been drippy and dreary all weekend, but on an UP note, the temperatures are warmer. Not complaining.

Yesterday, I did something I've been wanting to do for awhile--ice skating. DD and I went yesterday. We only lasted about 15 minutes though as DD's feet were hurting bad. Not sure if it was the skates or what, but also it was her very first time on ice skates. We made it around the rink maybe five or six times--her with a stack of buckets for balance--before calling it quits. I tried with some buckets once around, but managed better on my own. Despite the fall I took on the first lap. Oops. There was also an under-10 birthday party going on so there were a lot of other unsteady skaters milling about and it's harder to manage your own unsteadiness when you have to navigate others. We're planning to keep going as schedules allow.

There's a donut shop along the main drag in my neighborhood. Rest assured I haven't stopped in there in quite a few years, but I can't now, even if I wanted to. It's apparently closed for good. This makes me kinda sad, although I definitely get it. The guy who owned and ran it--just the one guy--had been there for probably 50 years. One time or another, when I bought donuts occasionally, we'd been chatting and he mentioned he'd been there about 40 years. Ten years ago for a donut purchase sounds about right, so I'm sticking with the theory that he owned and operated that place for 50 years. I hope he's enjoying his time off now that he's not up and working in the wee small hours anymore. And I know that because he was already in there (plate glass windows all around) when I'd pass by on the way to the gym at 0345...

Hope you had a good weekend no matter what kind of weather you had and here's to a productive week. Take care...

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Oh say can you see...

I've selected a new template. For now. Though I loved the other one, it was time for a facelift, so those of you who visit the blog directly will see some changes as I try out various templates and see what feels right. Bear with me...

What I really wanted to talk about today is hockey. Sort of. DD and I have gone to about fifteen games at this point.

One of the things I enjoy about hockey as a sport and attending games is that the fans actually sing the National Anthem. Across the county. I don't know pro about football or basketball games, but hockey games--yes.

As you can see, a digital rendition of the flag is shown on the jumbo-tron as well as on the digital screens on either end of the arena. A real live American and Canadian flag hang on either side of those "end-cap" digital screens in the American Airlines Center. If the Stars play a team from Canada, both anthems are sung. I do try to sing along to the Canadian anthem too, where I know the words. I think I've mentioned that in Buffalo, both anthems are always sung because they are so close to the border that a significant number of people in attendance are Canadian.

Back when Sonshine was in marching band and we attended Friday night football games--NO ONE sang. I thought it was a shame.

This past Monday, DD and I attended a game we bought tickets for. The game wasn't part of our partial season tickets package, but it was bobble head night and so we bought some cheap tickets and went. Two things that have never happened to us happened at this game.

The first was that our section was chosen for the "Dr. Pepper Minute" -- where if Stars scored a goal in the designated minute, everyone in that section would win free Dr. Pepper. The Stars didn't, in fact, score a goal during that minute, but they pulled out a win. I'll take a W over free Dr. Pepper, thank you very much.

The second thing that happened was that DD ended up on the jumbo-tron. Mostly the cameramen move around the lower bowl and our usual seats are in the upper bowl. But tonight we got found. We just smiled and waved and the guy moved on. It was kind of exciting for as much as I had been dreading it.

While my 100 Things Give Away has sputtered a bit in the execution, my binge-watch of Maria Kondo and her take on keeping things has spawned a shift in thinking for me in regards to the things I think about buying. Many times in the past few weeks, I've opted to not buy something. Mostly it's been Stars related merch, because you really only need so much. And I went a little crazy at Christmas. But the thought process is not limited just to over-priced fangirl purchases.

Last night, I needed to get out of the house and DD needed to go to Dollar Tree. So I tagged along. We ended up on a jaunt through Target as well. While I didn't leave empty handed, the things I bought were a birthday present, a new shower curtain liner, another pair of magnifying readers (because, like Chapstick, you need a pair in all crucial locations), and a treat I promised a friend. I did come across things I could have used or wanted, but had that second and third thought of "Do I really need this?" or "Do I need to spend money on this right now?"

So while, I'm not getting rid of stuff, I'm not accumulating much either. I will get back to purging soon.

Have a great rest of your week.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Thank goodness I live in Texas...

If you know me, you know that I vehemently hate the cold. Anything below, say, fifty degrees displeases me. I can tolerate anything lower better on some days over others, but seeing such negative temperatures in other places around the country or the globe--well, it makes one think and be thankful even if North Texas still hovers around the freezing point.

Have a great weekend and stay warm, where ever you are.