Monday, November 28, 2022

In Other News...

Image courtesy of IMGBIN.

Due to the much needed rain on Thanksgiving Day, DD and I did not make it to the zoo. I'm happy for the rain, but sad we missed the Dallas Zoo. Maybe we'll go over DD's Christmas break.

Instead, we watched Enola Holmes 2, had yummy treats, and enjoyed the cozy day. Friday, too, was low key and relaxing. Sorta. I'm used to some sort of daily structure, but Thursday and Friday were just played by ear. Treated as true holidays.

Saturday was more productive with the usual Saturday tasks: thinking ahead to grocery shopping as well as the upcoming week and what I plan to accomplish. I struggled the past couple of weeks with getting stuff done as my chore chart will attest. Last week was more holiday antsy-ness and anticipation than anything, but the week before that I had some emotional ups and down that hindered my usual energy and productivity levels.

Sunday was also pretty back-to-normal. Groceries were bought, dogs were bathed, and the upcoming week was prepped for. All in all, a good four-day break.

Since I was planning on a zoo picture filled post and that's no longer an option, I've turned this into a Miscellaneous-Monday-type, in case you hadn't figured that out.


Rayna is hanging tough. She favored her front left leg a bit on Thursday, but seems to be putting light weight on it once again. We're gonna love on her until she tells us she's ready to go.


In a much-desired turn of events, we've received an offer on Mom's house. The buyers offered $5K below asking, which is fine. I had asked the real estate agent to bump it up to allow for negotiating. The buyers didn't ask for any concessions, but I need to get the property off my hands. The offer was fair and closing is scheduled for December 14th. Yee haw.


I can look ahead to a cruise. I'd promised myself that once Mom passed and everything had been taken care of and put to bed, I was going to take another cruise. It's still going be a little while, but with the house selling and me receiving some of the proceeds, a cruise is one of the things that's been ear-marked for funding. I'm hoping to take all the kids along as well. If all the in-laws want to tag along, that could be fun too, but it's going to be mostly Sonshine's ability to get time off that's going to drive scheduling the cruise.


Now that Thanksgiving is past, it's time to look ahead to--you guessed it--Christmas. I've received Christmas monies and started shopping. DD and I also have a few home-made gifts to make. I even bought new wrapping paper for this year. I'd been trying to use down the stock-piles and finally did, so I needed to replenish the stores.


In recent weeks, I've discovered a couple of new podcasts. :0) One is called Warfare and discusses various topics in relationship to war. Sometimes it's a discussion about a specific war itself, such as the WWII Battle of Midway, but sometimes it's about the abstract things that happen in the buildup to wars. It's all fascinating.

The other podcast is called American History Hit that touches on random topics of America's history including things like Walt Disney accusing former colleagues of being communist or the dark history beneath Central Park.

You might be hearing about some of these historical tidbits in the future.


I'm done rambling. I hope your Thanksgiving was all you hoped it would be. Take care and I'll be back (probably) on Thursday.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Give Thanks


Image courtesy IMGBIN.

Hope you're having or had a lovely day filled with good food and your favorite people.

We had no extended family plans this year, so we will all be enjoying a long weekend; and as DD and I did last year, we are going to the zoo again. We're checking out the Dallas Zoo this year. Pics on Monday.

Have a super looong weekend.

Catch you next week.

Monday, November 21, 2022

You're Not Bad At [fill in the blank]

You Just Need A Better System

Image Courtesy of IMGBIN.

One of the things that I've "learned" from the Atomic Habits book that I started reading this past week is that I'm not a bad housekeeper for being unable to keep my house at the level of clean I'd prefer.

(more on the book in a future post)

In reality, it's that the system I've been using isn't the best one for me. <grin>

So what did I do?

Researched housekeeping systems on Google.

And what did I find?

That our household is doing most of the things recommended...except for the regular "deep" clean. The house is mostly being kept up. Well, it was until spring of this year, but that's another story.

  • The bed gets made every morning.
  • The floors get swept on a regular basis.
  • The bathrooms get cleaned weekly.
  • The laundry is kept up with.
  • The dishes don't pile up (often).

So it's primarily the larger tasks that aren't getting done. The thorough dusting. The regular mopping. The windows.

I could hire someone to do those tasks--I'd prefer to hire someone to do those tasks--or I can come up with a new system that allows me to get things done.

Of course, the years are creeping by and I'm not feeling as spry, shall we say, as I once did not so long ago. <sigh> Some of that is not just old age, and I'm working to resolve whatever the issue is, but, regardless, I'm not up for an extensive session of deep cleaning. I have better things to do.

Alas, someone's got to do it and it falls on me. Oh boy.

We pay a guy to mow the lawn. One of these days we're gonna pay someone to clean the house.

But, sadly, that day is not today. So I need a plan. I mean... I need a better system.

So what did I do?

I bought another planner. A smaller weekly planner. One with three lined sections per day so that I can list and track whatever housekeeping tasks need to be done. There's also a small section for notes, but that I could use for reward stickers if I were so inclined.

A new-ish system is in progress. It needs some brainstorming and fleshing out, but I've taken the first step and there's time left in the year to figure it all out and be ready to go when the new year arrives.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

And if you have any tips on keeping the whole house clean, please do share. :0)

Thursday, November 17, 2022

National Adoption Day ~ Saturday, Nov 19th


National Adoption Day comes around on the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year.

A Coalition of national partners including The Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Action Network, Freddie Mac Foundation, and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption started National Adoption Day in 2000.  In November of 2000, the sponsors worked with law firms, state foster care agencies, child advocates, and courts to complete hundreds of foster care adoptions in nine jurisdictions nationwide.

Why am I sharing this? Not because I'm adopted, nor are any of my kids, but I have an online friend who adopted a five-year-old last year. Not in November, but earlier. End of summer maybe. This child was just entering school. Now for a whole year, this friend and her husband had to keep the identity of the child to themselves due to the legal proceedings.

But they'd still share anecdotes along the way. This kid is a riot.

Then this year, once things became legal and the little girl was legally theirs, they shared her with the world. I get to watch this reality show via Facebook. And it's amazing. It's not scripted. But it's real. It's heartwarming. And it's inspirational.

Now the reason I'm sharing this is because recently, this friend, the mom, shared one of the downsides to adoption--the emotional trauma response of her girl. Anger. Deep sadness. Shame. I don't know the backstory as to why this child ended up in foster care, and it doesn't matter, but things affect us. All of us. Especially a little girl who may not understand things.

This online friend also shared that adoption is often looked at through a lens of sadness--what the child may have lost, i.e. his/her real parents.

But those parents may have been pieces of trash who hurt and abused the child or been struggling with issues of their own and not fit / able to care for a child of their own due to reasons beyond their control.

So this friend's plea--and this is from her FB post on the matter:

"HOWEVER, if you have a kid? Why don't you use this post as a sign that you need to sit down with them and give a better explanation on adoption? Maybe ask them some questions and see how they explain it to you. Then point out the fact that every family is built differently and while there might be some sadness in how some are formed, that's not the main takeaway.

"Like we told XXX: Adoption is all about gaining. She gained two new families, countless friends, and lots of love while we gained a wild child daughter who loves fake blood and calls us bro on the daily.
She's not embarrassed about adoption and we aren't either. So maybe take some time to talk to your littles about it too, even if you don't personally adopt a kiddo. Because, believe me, whether you know it or not you're probably already around someone who has been in foster care or gone through adoption.
Be kind to them by not assuming adoption is some sad, pitiful thing."

This saga has been amazing to watch from afar and the main reason this person hasn't been purged during the great FB culling of 2022.

This child they got seems to be the perfect fit for their family (as my friend alluded in her own words). I know that's not always the case. But adoption gives a lot of people a chance.

Your PSA for the month.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Ups & Downs

The State of Jen


My emotions, of late, have been a bit a lot like a roller coaster. It's been quite the year and it stands to reason that I'd be feeling a lot of things.

Some of those emotions, in no particular order, are: sadness, relief, overwhelm, resentment, frustration, and longing.

Add in the current on-going saga of the dog with cancer...

Add in misc (minor) health issues...

And the end of the year is not going the way I thought it would, either from before Mom died or after she passed.

I'm looking ahead and forward to 2023 much like many of us did after the first year of COVID as well as after the second...

As if the transition of one year to the next will magically mean better things. If nothing else, it means leaving behind the drama and/or trauma of "last" year.

Some of it is mental, absolutely -- the old year passes and the new year equals a fresh slate.

That mostly works for me. My fresh start goals each January are for the new / current year.

Doesn't work so much for emotions. They aren't ruled by the calendar as so much of life is.

Some of my current emotional disquiet stems from Rayna's illness, and some of it stems from a general worry over the economy and global strife.

Eventually, I'll find my emotional footing and things will look a bit rosier.

But for now, I'm not 100% okay. And I know it's okay to not be okay for a bit. :0)

I'm giving myself grace, but it is time to start thinking seriously about my goals for next year and beyond.

Take care and have a great week.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

My Clifton Strengths

Here we go yet again.


Yup, I'm gonna attempt this again in 2023. :0)

As I read back through my posts related to my Strengths, I promised twice to explore them, once for 2021 and once for 2022. And twice my intentions were derailed for one reason or another. You all know what happened in 2022. Not sure what the hurdle was in 2021. Not that it matters.

At some point in the fall, I compared DH's and my Strengths, to see if we have top-ten overlap. And surprisingly, we do. We share three Strengths: Relator, Restorative, and Focus, although not in the same positions.

Two of his other top-ten Strengths come in at 13 & 14 for me, one other of mine comes at 17 for him, with everything else in each of our top tens falling to the bottom half for the other. Oof that's tough.

For a few years, we really had trouble communicating. We'd go round and round about something until one or the other of us would say something and we'd realize that we meant the same thing, but were coming at it from a different direction and, of course, using different verbiage.

We've been able to work around that particular issue a lot better since the realization. But since taking the Strengths test and knowing the results, the communication issue all made sense. 

One of my goals, I think, for 2023, is going to be studying Strengths a bit. Finally. There are a couple of books specifically about the Clifton Strengths, so I'm going to do some reading. I want to work on growing and leaning into my (top-ten) Strengths a little more, especially the ones that I struggle with.

The plan is to share a few tidbits here along the way.

Short and sweet today. Have a great weekend. Take care.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Miscellaneous Monday

Decluttering's been kind of slow going due to other things going on, but I'm still working on it. I'm up to a total of twenty-nine items now. Only seventy-one more items to go!

*Should I set a random goal of accomplishing this before the new year?

And I've successfully resisted bringing more unnecessary items into the house. I've seen things I've wanted, but absolutely didn't need, and I didn't buy them.

I've also been on journey to not spend money and to funnel any extra funds I scrape up toward some credit card debt, so that goal helps me not buy stuff. :0)

* * * * *

Let's Recycle

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

I discovered that my toothpaste tube is now recyclable! I'm very excited about this because in an effort to keep my chompers in as good a shape as possible, I go through more toothpaste than probably most people.

Did you know that only 10% of recyclable items makes it to the recycling center!! I was really bummed to read this.

I've also been trying to reduce my usage of plastics as well as recycling everything I can. Toward that goal, I switched to using paper lunch bags for disposing of cat poop when I scoop the box instead of the plastic grocery bags.

And did you know a lot of misc packaging is recyclable at the store drop-off?? So things like bread bags, grocery bags, and bottled water packaging can be taken to the store and put into their recycling bins usually found at the front of the store.

* * * * *


Several months ago, before my crackdown on spending, I splurged on a shirt for my beloved Snoopy. I've had Snoopy since I was a kid and he needed something on. He sits next to a Dallas Stars Build-a-Bear and was feeling a little under dressed.

* * * * *

Halloween Costume Idea

I know I'm a few weeks late with this, but it made me laugh and probably only experienced hockey fans will understand this on sight.

This is a tweet I captured from my Twitter-feed.

The Iron Man moniker belongs to the hockey player who's played the most games in a row. Without missing a single one. And that doesn't include playoff games.

Phil Kessel, pictured there on the packaging, broke the record on October 25th. The record had stood only since Kieth Yandle broke it in January of this year. But before that, the Iron man record had been in place since December 1984. Yandle retired a few months ago, allowing Kessel to catch up, and since surpass, his number. Not only did Kessel break the record on the 25th, but he scored his 400th goal as well.
And the reason this is all so amusing is because Phil Kessel, as beloved as he is by teammates, is not your quintessential nominee for hockey Iron Man. He doesn't train or work out during the summer--he plays golf or poker. He doesn't drink a lot of water. And he's got more of a "dad bod" than a hockey bod.
The whole thing amused me and I have a soft spot for Phil, so I thought I'd share with you and just archive it here for posterity...

* * * * *

There's a new Buc-cee's coming to Texas... and it'll mean the largest Buc-cee's resides in Texas once again. There's currently a store in Luling, Texas--the first ever Buc-cee's as a matter of fact--but they're building a brand new one right next door and will be adding 200 new jobs. :0)

And you can bet that DD and I will be making a trip there at some point to check it out...maybe even a before and after...

* * * * *

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Are Sports Diverse Enough?

Image Courtesy

For the last handful of years, maybe longer, the NHL has been on a crusade to will into existence the reality that "Hockey Is For Everyone." 

Now this seems to be from a purely marketing / fan base standpoint. There are Pride Nights and, in different markets, there are theme nights that include, for example, things like Celebración del Día de Muertos (a Beanie giveaway) by the Anaheim Ducks a couple of weeks ago and Mexican Heritage Poncho Night here in DFW next March to encourage and entice people of Hispanic / Mexican descent to attend a game.

A couple of teams acknowledge Lunar New Year, but call it that instead of Chinese New Year--which, I guess, considering what's been going on in the world. But I don't know if that's gonna draw in the Asian Americans that way... But maybe?

I researched a handful of other teams, but honestly couldn't come up with too many other themes directed at people other than white people.

A few teams are acknowledging mental health, which is great. Many have military and fan appreciation nights. Also nice. But that's not what we're talking about.

Last year, I'd watch the in game promo video about being a fan. Every person depicted in last year's video was white. In a metroplex that is only 50% white... 

Hmm... I emailed my season ticket rep last year and asked her to pass along my suggestion that they include more people of color... And, surprise, surprise...they did.


"Hockey is for everyone"--it's not a reality at all. On any level. Not on the surface and certainly not behind the scenes. Not at any level...

The idea for this post was sparked when I saw that the NHL had commissioned and released a report regarding the diversity within the League--from players to management. The result--hockey is still a predominantly white sport.

You wanna know why?

In my opinion there are three main reasons--the order is debatable:

1) hockey is tremendously expensive to play

2) there's not enough ice

3) and if you want the ugly--and hockey's had a LOT of ugly lately--racist white people are the gatekeepers

Too many accounts of derogatory remarks aimed at players of color have come to light in recent years, and only now in 2020/2021/2022 are coaches and other players being held accountable (to a degree).

That's utterly ridiculous and downright shameful.

The other thing that disgusts me about some of that name-calling--I've read articles over the years that include accounts of parents of white players in the children's leagues are saying these things to young impressionable players of color in front of the kids. IN THE CHILDREN'S LEAGUES.

Excuse me, what?? That's appalling and disgusting and so so so sad.

* * * * *

On the other hand, I read an article about that report regarding the diverse make-up of the NHL...and there was a specific point that I have often thought myself when the topic of hiring more diverse people comes up...

Namely: does skin color matter more than a person being right (or not) for the job?

If three white people and two POCs apply for a given job, and a white person is far and away the most qualified--then hire him or her. If it's a dead heat, well, there are other factors to consider.

Another point the author of this article made, which can be found here, is that the NBA doesn't claim it's not diverse because it's 73% Black...

If POC aren't applying for these jobs, what are leagues or businesses supposed to do?

I realize that POC may not be applying because they aren't qualified because they couldn't get those qualifications because of...being POCs. It's a vicious cycle and one that needs to be broken.

* * * * *

I know, a fraught topic this week, but it's been on my mind, both from my hockey fandom perspective, as well as from my writers group perspective.

Anyway...have a great weekend and I'll try to have something more fun and/or lighthearted on Monday.

Take care.