Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine!

I am in a good mood today! The sun is shining and things are looking good for a couple of days! The only downside is, bathing suit weather is coming and I am not prepared! As you may have noticed, I quit talking about my weigh ins, actually I quit weighing myself completely. I wasn't making the scale move one way or the other so for now I am ignoring that issue in my life. I am hoping the warmer weather will get me moving a little more than usual and I will be able to make some headway on the weight front, and back for that matter! Today I have to let a friends dog out a couple of times, she lives within walking distance, so I am going to take advantage of that and get some exercise in. A little here and a little there. I am also going to move the outdoor furniture out of the garage and get the deck arranged for the upcoming good weather. I look forward to the possibility of eating dinner outside one day this week. A little pick me up. Plus, there is only room in the garage for Les motorcycle which has been back from storage for a few weeks now. I need to clear a space for mine, I can see taking a little spin this weekend. I'm sure this wonderful weather will be short lived, but it is a much needed boost to my mental health. So, Natures Prozac, work your magic and make my day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A better life

As most of you know, we have a new addition to our family. Lizzie arrived from her foster mother last week. She is adapting really well, and we are adapting to her. Les was out of town when she arrived, but didn't miss a beat welcoming her. They are officially buddies now! They play fetch, she plays with the "Claw" (his hand) and she curls up on his belly for a nap. Tiki accepted her without much fanfare. He even surprised us by sharing his toys.  She is learning to walk on a leash.. a challenge but she is getting there.  Other than that, life is good for Lizzie Poo!

Poor little Lizzie came from Grand Rapids, where she roamed the streets. Not sure how a dog gets to that point? She is much to socialized to have been born in the wild. She loves people and it shows. As the story goes, she was in the shelter for her allotted time and no one wanted to adopt her. She was scheduled to be euthanized when one of the shelter workers called her foster mother and asked if she would take her. Andrea said yes and Lizzie traveled from Grand Rapids to Shelby Township and was granted a new life. Andrea and her roommate Mara, remind me of my own children. 2 - twenty something girls who love animals and take in strays and even keep some of them. They both work at Petco, as a trainer and groomer. I am surprised Lizzie wasn't a permanent guest in their home, but I think with the brood of their own, they decided they were maxed out. Thus, Lizzies photo made its way on the internet. Where my twenty something daughter saw it and sent it my way. Well, that was it! Her adorable face and 2 different eye colors captured my heart. The wheels were set in motion and Andrea decided by my application that she may have found the perfect home for Lizzie.

It's been a interesting life so far for this little girl, but it breaks my heart to see the photo of her when she arrived at the shelter, and what must have been going through her head. She seems well adjusted now and is grateful for the bowl of food that sits on the kitchen floor. Adopting a shelter/rescue animal is very satisfying and I highly recommend it if you have room and time for one.

Laycee sent a link to me the other day. It was pictures of animals at the Oakland County Animal Shelter. She has a photography class and that was one of her assignments. The sadness in the eyes of the animals is devastating. I want to bring them all home! Hmmmm, maybe my kids come by it naturally. But let’s face it, any human being that isn't touched by their plight, just isn't human!

Take a look at some of her pictures....

And take a look at Lizzie on the day she arrived at the shelter, and the day after she arrived at her new forever home. A fabulous life includes a pet!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saving Money...

I love the thought of saving money, but it is like the Meijer commercial. We save here and we save there and then we buy something stupid, like in the commercial, an ant farm, and there goes the real money we saved. All in all, you spend what you earn! Unless you are very well disciplined, our culture begs you to spend on what you don't need. I don't know anyone who hasn't bought something that they truly did not need.

So I am sure my Magicjack savings will just be spent elsewhere. I am not going to "pretend" I am paying my monthly home phone bill and put it in the savings account. I just will have a little more money monthly that I can spend here or there. I will tell you that I am pleased with the Magicjack so far. No real complaints. I only have one line coming into the house so if I am upstairs, I have to sprint down the steps to answer it on time. Ahhh, forced exercise, maybe one line is not a problem! I ended up putting my cell phone station upstairs next to my bed, so if there are emergency calls at night. I will get them on my cell and be able to hear them. So far, so good. So let me see, where can I spend that $700.00 I just saved this year on my home phone bill?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Special Delivery

Les and I want to announce the newest member of our family. First we had to notify our kids...did so with the following email.

Dear Kids-

Your Dad and I have been very lonely since you all left home. We miss the pitter patter of 8 little feet though the house. After much thought we have decided to adopt a little girl from China. We passed our home visit and have been blessed with Elizabeth. Your new little sister is 18 months old and adorable. I have attached a picture, we fell in love with her at first sight, and we are sure you will do the same. We can't wait for you to meet her.

Love Mom and Dad

Took less than 2 minutes before the first phone call came in. Would have loved to been a fly on the wall when they all read the email. Now I want to share the photo of our new baby girl with you...

Click on her name....

Elizabeth Schmidtke...AKA Lizzie

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Winds of Change.....

OMG- I have just crossed over the line! I color coded my closet! All my shirts are hanging in a beautiful color coded spectrum. From not being able to find anything, hangers tangled, too many clothes to a closet that looks like it belongs to a gay guy. Success!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

Every once in awhile I daydream about all of my favorite things- It's kind of a bitter sweet thing since I long for them.

Things I love..... (besides my family)

Waking up and having coffee on the deck. The sun shining on me and the birds singing.....

Walking in the warm sand and feeling the oceans cool waves hit my feet for the first time......

Eating dinner outside anywhere....but my favorite is fondue under the banyan tree at DaDa's in Delray Beach Florida. My dream restaurant.

Smelling the wisteria on my front porch when it is in full bloom. A beautiful sight and the smell is awesome for about 3 days.

I love when Tiki curls up with me and he sticks his nose in the crook of my neck and takes a nap.

Chocolate, no need to explain that one.

The first frozen custard of the season at Bob Jo's. Just let's you know that summer is here.

In the spring when you wake up one day and the tree's have leaves on's like a big dose of hope!

A pedicure!

Those are a few of my favorite things....what are yours?

Enjoy your day and take some time to daydream......

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Little things go a long way

Just want to share a few things that I have been doing that make my life easier, I hope they will help you as well.

1. I have done this for years, I always make my bed in the morning. It literally take me about 30 seconds and it makes such a difference.

2. Trying to go through the mail daily so it doesn't pile up. As soon as I bring it in I discard all the junk mail and file the bills. I have fewer paper bills since most of them I pay on line. If you don't participate in bill paying on line, I highly recommend it. Saves money on stamps, paper checks, and time it takes to get there. They can no longer say it arrived late in the mail.

3. As I talked about yesterday, I put the laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This had eluded me for years, I always had a basement full of clean clothes and more times than not, if you wanted something you had to venture down there to find it.

4. For everything I buy, I am trying to make 5 unwanted things leave my house. I have a clothes basket in the basement that I am putting clothes in for charity and when it fills up, I call for a pick up. Other items, I try to go through and put aside for recycling or trash if broken or unusable. 1 in 5 out is a good rule.

5. Don't read the Sunday Paper inserts. What you don't know won't hurt you. I use to thumb through the circulars and find oodles of things I wanted and didn't need. That would send me off to Target, Kohls, etc. for the one thing I couldn't live without, only to buy 3 more things I really didn't need, but they were on sale and I was saving money. Target isn't a weekly stop anymore. Really don't miss it. Plus I now read the paper on line so the newspaper doesn't pile up anymore.

6. I keep the living room coffee table clean. It use to pile up with "stuff" Magazines (which will be #7) reading glasses, nail file, etc. Now I try to have it cleared off every evening and it just makes things feel better. Weird but true.

7. This is a new rule I imposed on myself over the last few months. It is very easy for magazines to stack up with no where to go. I bought a cheap magazine rack at the Christmas Tree Shop and I keep them in it until the next one arrives. I figure if I haven't read it completely within the 30 days between arrivals then I won't. So when the new one comes in, the old one goes out. I try to share with friends or give to my friend who takes them to her waiting room for others to enjoy.

8. Wipe down the bath sink and mirror 2x a day. I keep a role of paper towels and cleaner underneath the sink, and since I am the last one to use the bathroom both in the morning and evening, I do a quick wipe down and a clean mirror and water spot free faucet makes a difference.

9. Unload the dishwasher as soon as it is done. This helps keep dirty dishes out of the sink. Unless a pot has to soak, no dishes in the sink overnight. My friend Joyce taught me this one. Waking up to a clutter free sink in the morning feels good.

10. I put a little basket next to my microwave. Anytime I come across something that needs to go live with it's owner (ie- Marcy, Karlee or Laycee) I put it in the basket and when they come over, they look through it and take their stuff home. This works well with mail, jewelry, pictures, what ever I find laying around.

Well those are my top ten for now. Have a great day...the sun is suppose to shine today.

Monday, March 22, 2010

There is a monster living in my house.

One of life's great mysteries is what in the heck is going on. I put 4 socks in the washer and when the dryer buzzes, only 3 survive? Where does that 4th sock go????? Since we are empty nesters my laundry has been cut down to about 1/8th of what it was. After years of doing at least 3 loads a day, I'm down to maybe 3 loads a week. Amazing! Miss Marcy used 3 towels per day, and they could not touch her body more than once so add that up....21 towels a week! Until that towel can stand up on it's own, I'm using it. :) Remember, Marcy is the same girl who sleeps with iguanas, cats and dogs? Priorities I guess? So now it is so easy for me to do a load and immediately put it away. It's a great feeling! Always clean under ware in the drawers, and the socks...the socks. I wash them all as pairs, that is how they go in, and I have the pile of mismatches starting all over again. Monster I tell you, he is stealing them. There is no other explanation!
Speaking of Monsters, I have another one, the Tupperware Monster! I can't seem to tame him. I have a large cupboard in my kitchen where I continually have to re arrange and sort the Tupperware. Same thing as the socks. It goes in with a lid, and low and behold the lid is missing???? The kids are gone so I can no longer blame them. Monster, I tell you!
My favorite thing is when it is stacked so precariously in the cupboard and just a little movement and the whole thing comes crashing out of the cupboard all over the floor. This has been happening all my married life, I just don't know how to remedy it. I use most of it, so thinning it out really doesn't make much sense. Besides, gotta love the pickle holder, bacon holder, and saltine holder. Hmmm, I guess that is what the pickle jar and bacon package are for? And I can't remember the last time I bought saltines???? Maybe I don't need them after all, but I paid so much for them. I'm working on slaying those Monsters, if you have any suggestions short of pinning the socks together and buying all new stack able Tupperware on a spinning holder, please pass it on! Just a mystery I can't seem to solve, I need help!

PS. My friend Rose is doing a great job organizing her home. I am so proud of her. She has worked on her bedroom, office and now her kitchen. I can't wait to go over and see it! Yeah Rose, keep up the good work. xoxoxox

Friday, March 19, 2010

Working 9-5 and trying to make a living....

I have had a busy couple of weeks, that is why you haven't heard too many rumblings coming from my way. My yearly civic duty has finally ended. I am a member of the board of review and we hear the tax appeals for the township. There are 4 of us and it consists of 5, 9-5 days and 2, 5-9pm days and a few more hours here and there to make all the decisions. Sprinkled in throughout those 2 weeks I was doing some other odd jobs that filled my days to the brim. This left me with very little time to get anything else done. I have not had to punch a clock or rise and shine and be ready before 9am daily in about 28 years. Mind you, my days over the years have been filled with many important tasks, but having to stay put in one place and stick to a time frame that isn't flexible, hasn't been the norm. All my friends who have been doing this for years and have managed their households, children, and life I admire you for pulling it off. I'm sure at some point I would find a groove and get my life in a pretty regular routine, but it's hard to get an old dog to do new tricks. Being a Gemini with ADD, I can't imagine weeks, and years working 9-5. So my hat is off to you..... :).
Anyway, I am hoping to get back to the lifestyle I have become so accustomed to. Although, it doesn't pay anything, it is what I am good at - Lol. Wouldn't you know, the 2 weeks I had to be couped up indoors, were the best days of winter! Could have been catching up on my Vitamin D. Anyway, the sunshine streaming through my filthy dirty windows made me think about all I need to get done before I can venture outside and start working in the yard. My goals for getting the inside of my house in order are still abundant with very little time left. I need to kick start myself and get moving, because soon I will be drawn outdoors. Finish removing wallpaper in my kitchen and getting a fresh new fun color in there. Finally getting my computer room set up and all my work related documents destroyed or re-filed. And last but not least, a quick run through the basement to get the last of the kids stuff packed up and taken to it's new home. So Spring....bring it on, I'll be ready soon and I can't wait to get outside and get my windows washed!

Life as it goes on-

*I was very saddened by my old neighbor and friend Tracy's death this week. She was a very kind, quiet person who had severe depression. Her death would not have surprised me, but the way it happened did. I can't imagine her choosing that way to end her life, and wish she was still my neighbor so that just maybe some of us would have been given the chance to try to talk her out of it. My heart goes out to Christine, Brianna and Rowan for the loss of their mother and to Mike, who is a good man, for the loss of a wife he tried so hard to get well. I hope she has found peace because she really was a lost soul, who acknowledged her depression and tried to get back on track, but just couldn't.

*It makes you feel good when it is warmer and sunnier here than in you a little boost!

*Might get to go to NYC in the next month. That was on my bucket list. Since I have never been there, I am looking forward to that opportunity. I think I will go see Martha and maybe be one of those silly people who stand outside of the Today show. Sounds like fun to me.

*Talk to you next week, when winter returns :(

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gazing into a crystal ball....

...For more years than I can remember, I have been seeing a woman who gazes into my future! I usually go when I feel unsettled. She tends to de-stress me which is a good thing. I know, I know you thinks it's poppycock. I have had too many things happen to dismiss it. Years ago...almost 27 to be exact. I visited and was told I would be having a brown eyed, brown haired baby girl after the first of the year. Being pregnant at the time, but not showing, I smiled and said....oh no you are wrong! I am pregnant right now and I am due on Dec. 13th. She also told me I already had a blue eyed blond haired baby boy at home. Brown eyes are so removed the odds are slim! Les maternal grandmother and my maternal grandmother were the only brown eyes in the family. Didn't do well in Miss Scheibers bio class when we were doing the gene exercise, but I was pretty confident she was wrong! No she said, definitely after the first of the year~ Little brown hair, brown eyed Marcy Rae was born on January 11th!
When we had an offer on a house on Rucker Road and needed to sell our home, I sought her wisdom. "Not moving there" she told me, so get it out of your head. "The people who will buy your home are not looking yet, but when it happens, it will be 1-2-3, just that quickly". So we waited almost a year and boom- we found our current home, while we were writing the offer, someone made an appointment to see our home, and the next day they made an offer on it and 1-2-3 it was done!
One of the more shocking things she said to me was when I visited back in 2001.... I sat down and she said, I see you standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon! She did not know I was leaving in less than a week for a family vacation out west that included a stop at the Grand Canyon! Gave me chills!
Over the years dozens of things have happened that she mentioned so when I feel the need I give her a call and we visit. I made the trip last summer because rumblings at Les' workplace were hinting that his department may move to NY. So again....unsettled, have to de-stress! I shuffled the cards.... she laid them out in her usual squares and began to tell me what my future held. I let her talk and rarely interject unless I feel it necessary to get her back on track. She brought up Les job uncertainty and pretty much nailed it. I asked if unemployment was in his future and she reassured me that he would have 2 job offers and he would have to choose between the 2 and would choose the one that was best for his family. I have to hold onto that because the clock is ticking and and unemployment is looking us square in the eyes. She has assured me that things will work. He has gone from termination dates of 12/31/09 to 3/31/10 and now possibly into May 2010. So I'm counting on Les avoiding the unemployment lines, but it is sure getting down to the wire. I have run all the scenarios in my mind...the best one relates to an old neighbor who chucked it all and went down to Key West and became a glass bottom boat captain. We all thought he was crazy to uproot his family and do something so unconventional. Not so sure he was crazy after all. Sounds like a life I could get very used to.
PS. She did tell me one day I would win the lotto big! I hope it's with my lotto club so we can all enjoy it together.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just another day.....

Good's March 5th. Just another day? For some it could be their birthday, a family members birthday, an anniversary. It always creeps up on me and for 13 years it has been an anniversary Not one to be celebrated, but one I always think that after time it won't affect me as much, but if I admit it - it does. No it's not my wedding anniversary :) - It's the anniversary of my mothers unexpected death. The month before her 58th birthday she died of a brain aneurysm. Many of you have lost your mothers, and for me it was life changing, and I can not imagine for anyone else that it has not been as well. I saw the dynamics of my family change. Guess who mother's my sisters and my dad, whether they want me to or not- lol. That is part of my strong personality. The days following my mothers death, my dad had to be taught how to make coffee, do the laundry and the other household responsibilities that he never dealt with let alone knew how they got done! I witness the sadness of my children at the loss of a doting grandmother who did her absolute best to treat all 10 of her grandchildren as her "favorite" and really what that does to a child's spirit. I hope one day I can pull that one off. I see the pain, to this day, in the eyes of one of my children at the profound effect her grandmothers death had on her. I wonder sometimes if it might have been better that she didn't have that, but in my heart I know that she was lucky to have had it for only a short time.
Everything you expect ends.....just ends! Expecting to go to her house for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving dinner is gone- expecting a daily morning phone call is gone- expecting her to be there for the milestones in your children's lives (so you can beam with pride and share your experiences of mother hood with your own mother) gone. Expecting to hear her opinion on how you are running your life is gone. I was in my late 30's when my mother died- my heart is sad for those women who lose their mothers before they are married or have their children. My heart has a feeling of envy for those who still have their mothers and for those who did not lose her until she had a chance to share those milestones with them. We all get dealt a separate hand of cards that we have to deal with. I realized just after she died, that I had no control over what happened and had no guilt over our relationship and I think that helped me get through the initial mourning process. Besides, for those who know me well- she's hanging around and when the lights blink on and off for no particular reason- I know she's saying Hi.
What would life be like today if she was still here......very different I am sure. The beautiful perennial gardens around my dads house would still be blooming proudly. The awnings would have been replaced. The carpet in Florida would be at least 10 years old by now (I have been trying to get my dad to replace it for years- The 3" lime green shag that has faded to yellow- he has gotten his money's worth and more out of that one!) Let's just say, he doesn't have anyone, but me, to nag him about these things and I don't count!!! I know she would have been proud of all her grandchildren and they would have known it. My ex-brother-in-law would have been chewed up and spit out during that divorce and most likely would have been living naked on the streets. I just know, things would have been different!
So every year when the anniversary of her death and her birthday arrive, I think it will be easier and I will live it as just another day....but that never happens. I never visit the cemetery, because to me it is just a plot. Although, I must say, my dad had a heartwarming headstone made. For 13 years I have wanted to go out and do a rubbing of it and frame it on my wall. Sounds weird, but I think it would be ok. My sister's visit, polishing, leaving flowers and trimming back the grass. That works for them. On March 5th, I have my little cry and try to carry on. On her birthday, I raise a toast and try to imagine what she would be like at that age. As I approach the age I remember her most - sometimes I will look in the mirror and be startled by how much I look like her as I age. Things change and some things don't. I went over my dad's house looking for something yesterday and her belonging are still there after all this time. Her reading glasses that sat on the counter for about 5 years have made their way to the junk drawer...Hey, I think I could use those now! Her perfume, curling iron, shoes, coats, etc. are still in the place she left them. Time stands still, but goes on. I have to go now....I need a Kleenex!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back in Business

I'm back! The computer arrived back from rehab, refreshed and ready to go. I now have windows 7, which I haven't really found to be much different. I know the new hard drive is running as fast as a Toyota. I get very impatient waiting on the computer so that is a good thing. They say a habit is formed within 3 weeks, so living without the computer for that amount of time, I figured I had broken the addiction. I thought I would be able to just check email and a few sites every day, not spend as much time on the computer. I am finding I am right back to the routine of checking my horoscope (on 4 or 5 different sites, hoping to find one I like) reading several newspapers (and commenting if I feel the rest of the world needs to hear my view) and checking my emails. I am connected back with the information highway. :)

I am trying to get things finished around here. My goal was to get the interior of the house in order before Spring arrives. I am making progress, not as quickly as I would like, but Rome was not built in a day! Speaking of Spring.... I can not wait! Last week when the weather warmed up a bit, I was outside and I could smell Spring! Life! I saw a few flying bugs, boy were they fooled, and a Robin. It gave me hope that it won't be long! So I better get going, lots to do before I can enjoy my morning coffee on the deck. How are you coming on your goals? If you need help, give me a call and I will come over and we can tackle a room. Sometimes a friend can help jump start you! I always read that when you get organized and clutter free, it lifts a weight off your shoulders. I found that to be pretty extreme. I can tell you, it IS a great feeling! They are right! Those of you that are clutter bugs, I want you to feel that too.


I have a new rule.... for all the magazines that pile up, As soon as the next issue arrives, the previous issue finds a new home. I also decided that I would not renew or bring any new publications into my home. Most of the magazines have websites so if I want to see what is new I just visit them.

Cutting down on the paper monster. I pay most of my bills online so this has cut down on my mail. I don't have the piles of bills stacking up to be paid. That also was a stress inducer seeing the actual bills piled up. Now I just go on line twice a month and pay them. If I only have to deal with them twice a month, it is better than looking at them everyday. Saves trees too! Especially that cell phone bill! I don't have to buy as many checks either, all in all a good thing!