Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. 'In like a lion, out like a lamb'...does the first part of this saying describing March weather ring true where you live?
It sure does!  We woke up to sleet and freezing rain this morning.

2. March 4th is National Grammar Day. What common grammatical error bothers you the most? 
Your and you're.  Drives me crazy.

3. William Arthur Ward says- 'The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.' Which one are you?
I think I'm a realistic optimist, but definitely not a pessimist.
 
4. What's something you need to 'march forth and conquer' this month?
My weight.  It's an ongoing process, but I have a vacation at the end of the month that I would like to look my best for.

5. An ongoing debate around here...do you dust first, then vacuum or vacuum first, then dust? Of the two routine household chores, which do you dislike the least? How's that for wording? 
I think I would have to say vacuuming.  At least with that, I'm getting steps on my Fitbit.

6. According to thrilllist.com, the ten most photographed sites in the U.S.A. are- Cinderella's Castle in Orlando, Southernmost House in Key West Florida, The Space Needle in Seattle, The Site of the Boston Massacre in Boston, The Bellagio Lake/fountains in Las Vegas, The Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Coit Tower in San Fransisco, The Art Institute of Chicago, Niagara Falls, and snagging the number one spot-The Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
How many on this list have you photographed? Which on the list would you most like to visit and photograph?
I have photographed three.  Some day, I would love to take pictures of Niagara Falls.  I can't believe that the Grand Canyon didn't make the list.

7. Fifty years ago Monday (March 2, 1965) The Sound of Music premiered at the Rivoli Theatre in NYC. Have you seen the film? Do you own a copy? On a scale of 1-10 how much do you love it (or not)? Ten=best movie ever. If you're a fan, what's your favorite scene or song from the movie? 
I think I have seen the Sound of Music at least 100 times.  I had a copy that magically disappeared as the kids started moving out of the house.  I would give the movie an eight.  My favorite scene in the movie is when the kids come out in play clothes that Maria made them from the old curtains.

8. Insert your own random thought here:
We found out that our 5th grandchild is on the way.  The baby is due in October.  We are so excited!!!

If you'd like to join in the fun, head over to From This Side of the Pond and link up.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stream of Consciousness

Babies.  There is nothing as sweet and wonderful as a baby, especially when they are your own.  I have four daughters, all grown up now.  They range in age from 40 to 27.  I loved every minute of watching them grow up.  Okay, maybe not every minute, but certainly most of them.  I thought it was the best thing in the whole world to be a mom.  That was until I became a grammy. 
 
There is something so special about hearing those little voices calling "grammy".  I have three granddaughters and one grandson.  They are the lights of my life.  I love them with all my heart.  The excitement of being a grandparent became even more special today with the public announcement that grandbaby #5 is on the way in October.  I am beyond excited.  Here is the announcement that my daughter sent out today.  It's adorable.
Wasn't it sweet of Haley to get mad just at the perfect time for a picture?  She is going to be a great big sister.  Now, she'll have a partner in crime to keep us all on our toes.
 
As I sit here and type this, I find it hard to believe that almost 42 years ago it was just my husband and I.  Come October, we'll be a family of 15.  Incredible.  I am blessed beyond measure. 
I am the luckiest grammy ever!
 
Times up.  Head over to Jaime's blog and read all the entries and please join in.  It's fun!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stream of Consciousness

 
Here we go with another Stream of Consciousness!
 

It's confession time.  I am disgusted with myself.  I had such a great streak going with exercise and eating right and then the holidays hit and a couple of stressful things happened and I let it all go to pot. STUPID!!  REALLY STUPID!!!!
 
That stops now.  I had a healthy breakfast and just got done with T25 cardio and a half hour of zumba.  When I get done with this post, I'm heading for the treadmill.  I have too much coming up to let all that hard work from before go to "waist".  I have three weddings and a vacation in Arizona that I'd like to look my best at.
 
Why do I let myself get so sidetracked when I was doing so well?  I need to get my mind back in the right place.  I gave up Pepsi, Bacardi and eating out for lent.  That has to help.  Right?  I should say I didn't give up going to eat completely.  I've allowed myself once a paycheck which comes out to twice a month.  That's way better than twice or so a week. 
 
I've stocked the house with healthy food and healthy snacks.  I've planned my workout times twice in my the day.  I'm going back to My Fitness Pal and tracking my food.  Shaun T will be my new best friend again with T25.  I've got this.  I can do it.  I will do it.
 
Times up.  Head over to Jaime's blog and read all the entries and please join in.  It's fun!   

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Last night was a very good night.  My friend Bari came into town for an overnight on her way to Jacksonville for a half marathon.  She had an early flight out of Midway and staying here made her morning commute a little shorter.
 
We went to a local beer pub for dinner.  Bari is a big beer fan.  Me, not so much.  She had two fancy beers.  I had two Bacardi and coke.  Dinner was good and we had some fun company.  Our friend Donya stopped by to have a drink with us.
We go back a long way.  Way back to the beginning of our blogging days.  It was actually the first time that Donya and Bari met in person.  This is what I love about blogging and other social media.  You get to make amazing friends you never would have met before.  The fact that I am old enough to be both of their mother doesn't seem to matter.  It's an amazing thing and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
 
While we were out, I got a text that I had been waiting for.  My best friend's first grandchild is going to be a BOY!  I couldn't be happier for them.  Their daughter is my daughter's best friend and this will be kind of like our boy too.  I can't wait to meet him.
 
Last, but not least....Happy Valentine's Day!  My husband and I will be spending ours at home because we have a winter storm warning with up to eight inches of snow and 50 mph wind gusts expected.  I've lost track of how many Valentines we've given to each other.  The first one was in 1972.  You do the math.  LOL
 
Well, times up.  Feel free to join in and link up with Jaime.
 



Monday, February 9, 2015

The Older Sister Retires

If you visit here, you know that I have spent the last year or two learning to do things for myself and do what is right for me.  It's been a journey like I have never taken before.  It's been amazing and awesome.  It's made turning 60 a wonderful adventure.
 
I have had to make some hard decisions along the way too.  I've had to put myself first in some situations that I hadn't before.  I always worried about what everyone else would think if I did the thing that was right for me.  I still struggle with that at times, but I'm getting better at it.  It doesn't seem to get any easier though.
 
I had to make one of those hard decisions last week. 
 
After five years of being a contributing writer for the website, The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans, I made the decision to step down.  I absolutely love everyone over at Shrinking Jeans.  I love what they do for people.  I love that people feel heard and inspired and motivated through the site.  I had just begun to feel like I wasn't doing my part to do those things for people.  I felt like my writing was getting stale and I was grasping for things to write about.  I owed our readers and my editors more and I just didn't feel like I was doing that.
 
I can't thank the sisterhood enough for everything they have done for me.  I got to meet people I never would have met like Alison Sweeney and Ali Vincent.  I even got to interview Ali Vincent.  I was there to cover several Self Workout in the Park events in Chicago.  I got to work out with Dolvett from the Biggest Loser.  I got to meet people from the Biggest Loser.  I got to interview an editor from Self magazine.   Little old me with a VIP press pass in the big city of Chicago.  Not once, but three times.  Who'd have ever thought it?  Not me, that's for sure. 
 
 
 
 
Mostly though, I want to thank the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans for what they have done for me.  I found them very early in my blogging days.  They made me really look at myself and begin to challenge myself.  They helped me see that I could be so much more than I was.  I think it was them that gave me the courage to have the awesome year that I had leading up to turning 60.  They helped me learn to think outside the box.  They helped me become "me" and I will never be able to thank them enough.  To go from reader to writer was amazing and I will treasure that always.
 
My editors, Christy and Melissa are two of the most amazing and wonderful people you will ever meet.  They trusted me when I wasn't sure I trusted myself to do this job.  They gave me the wings to fly and I think I did.  They have been two of my biggest supporters.  They kicked my butt when it needed kicking and they hugged me tight when I needed hugging, even though we were thousands of miles apart.  That's the truly amazing thing about that place.  I have only met a handful of the sisters in person, but I feel like I have known these people all my life.   It is truly a sisterhood in every sense of the word.  I may be leaving as a writer, but I will NEVER leave as a sister!
 
I also want to thank my fellow writers at Shrinking Jeans.  You ladies are some of the best people I know.  I don't ever want to lose touch with you.   You have always been there to support me and love me.  It means so much.  You are truly my sisters. 
 
I am going to miss my little graphic below.  As it says, "she's just old enough".  She's just old enough to know that it's time to say good bye to this chapter in my life.  It makes me sad, but it makes me happy.  I know it is the right decision for me. 
 
Good bye Shrinking Jeans.  I love you!!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Saturday


I know that I am in the minority, but I am excited at the prospect of getting 12 to 18 inches of snow over the next 36 hours or so.  They have named the storm Linus.  That doesn't sound very fierce to me though.  I guess we'll see.

I have lived in northwest Indiana my entire life and I love snow.  Last year was the first really good winter we have had in a very long time.  It was the kind of winter we used to have when I was a kid.  There was snow on the ground for a very long time and I loved it.  It was pretty.  It was fun.

The shelf ice on the shores of Lake Michigan looked like mountains.  It was fascinating.  Can I just say that this man had no business that close to the lake let alone have his child that close to the lake?  That was just stupid, but it does give a good perspective to the picture. 

If this storm fizzles out, I'm going to be really unhappy.  The kid in me wants lots and lots of snow.  I'd like to be able to get out the cross country skis and see if I can still do it.  I'd like to go sledding with the grandkids.  I'd like to go hiking at the Dunes. 

Come on Linus!  I'm counting on you.
 
My five minutes are up.  Time to link up with Jaime.  If you'd like to join in, here are the rules......
 

1. Set a timer for five minutes. (Or keep tabs with your computer’s clock.)
2. Write freely. Any topic. Whatever is on your mind. It doesn’t even have to be completely cohesive.
3. Tag on social media with #SOCSaturday or #SOCSunday and link up below. You have all day Saturday and Sunday to join the link up. It closes Monday morning.
4. Click around and give some comment/blog love.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Sunday

 
I'm trying something new this week.  My friend Brooke has been doing this for awhile now and I have loved her writing.  I'm up for the challenge.  Jaime at Love Jaime hosts Stream of Consciousness Saturday or Sunday.  Here's how it goes. 
1. Set a timer for five minutes. (Or keep tabs with your computer’s clock.)
2. Write freely. Any topic. Whatever is on your mind. It doesn’t even have to be completely cohesive.
3. Tag on social media with #SOCSaturday or #SOCSunday and link up below. You have all day Saturday and Sunday to join the link up. It closes Monday morning.
4. Click around and give some comment/blog love.
 

So....what I've learned in the last half hour is that I am going to need some practice in doing this exercise.  I have written three separate posts and erased every one of them. 

Why do I feel like I can't say what I want?  Am I worried about what people will say?  Probably.  I think it's going to take some time and some practice and a little bravery too.

I'm 60 years old and I have spent the last year trying to step out of my box.  Trying to do the things that I was afraid to try or do things that I never considered trying before.  I've had a lot of fun.  So, why is this so hard?

How does that song go?  "Say what you want to say and let the words fall out.  Honestly, I want to see you be brave".  That's my goal for posts to come.  You're going to see me be brave.

My five minutes is up!  Time to go link up with Jaime.  Wish me luck for next time.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Old School Blogging / Reflections

It's time for some old school blogging hosted by Elaine at The Miss Elaine-ous Life.  If you'd like to join in, just follow the link.

Who do you idolize?
I don't really know that I idolize anyone.  I have lots of people I look up to though.  The one that I look up to the most would have to be my mom. 
Here she is in a four generation picture last January at my granddaughter's christening.  Isn't she beautiful?  She just turned 89 last month.  Would you ever guess that?  I don't think I would if I didn't know her.  She is the head of our family of over 30.  She has been widowed twice and just keeps on going like the Energizer Bunny.   She still insists on having the holidays at her house.  She's amazing and I love her.  I couldn't be more proud to call her my mom.
What is something you are really proud of that you have accomplished?
Hands down, it has to be the beautiful family that my husband and I have raised.  We have four awesome daughters who all are leading wonderful and productive lives.  They are all through school and the last one will be married this summer.  We are a family of 14 now with I'm guessing more to come.  The fact that my husband and I pulled this off and after 44 years still love each other is definitely an accomplishment to be proud of.
What is something that you are not so proud of?
My math skills.  I feel accomplished when my checkbook balances.
Who was your best friend when you were 5, 6, or 7?  Tell me something about them.
My best friend when I was in 1st grade was Debbie.  We remained good friends and she ended up being the maid of honor at my wedding.  We still keep in touch mostly through Facebook.  We don't see each other in person nearly enough.
What is one thing you wish you could still do but may seem impossible right now?
One thing I know is any kind of tumbling.  I tried to do a backward roll to a pike a few months ago with the grandkids and just about broke my neck.  Maybe if I keep trying I could do it again.  I don't like to think of anything as being impossible.
If you could chose it, what would be your last meal?
Oh, that's a hard one.  There are lots of things I like.  First, I would want a big, tall Bacardi and coke with Lime.
Then, for an appetizer I would want either fried pickles or firecracker shrimp.  Next, I would want the Craft House salad from a local restaurant / bar in town.  It is to die for.
For my entrĂ©e, it would be a toss up between a really good steak or some really good pizza.  Finally, I would want some cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory for dessert.
What are two or three jobs you’ve had that you liked?
Both have to do with children.  Back when I was a stay at home mom, I did in home childcare and I loved it.  I brought in some money and I was able to stay home with my kids at the same time.  My present job that I have had for 22 years now is working in a preschool.  I love it.  It can get crazy sometimes, but I love these kids and they make me smile all the time.  It's the best job ever.
What is one job that you did not like?
My very first job aside from babysitting was doing filing and sorting at a local camera shop.  I did not like it one little bit.
What is your least favorite chore around the house?
I have two.  Cleaning the bathtub which is just hard to maneuver and putting away laundry which is too many times up and down the stairs.
How tall are you? Do you wish you were taller? Shorter?
I am 5'7', but my husband says I am shrinking.  I've always been happy with my height, but if I'm really shrinking I'd like to be taller.
How old are you?  What is something you have learned in those years that you want to share?
I am 60 and very proud of it.  I know too many people who weren't afforded that privilege.  The one thing I have learned and would like to share is that it is so important to put yourself on your to do list.  It is so easy to let everything and everyone be ahead of you on that list.  Be good to yourself too.  Take time for yourself and try to eat well and exercise.  I came to that realization really late in my life, but I totally embrace it now.
What is one of your favorite quotes on love, life or motherhood (choose one)?
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Thanks, Elaine!  I really enjoyed this one.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Knockdown

I have neglected blogging for far too long.  I miss it.  If nobody is around reading this anymore, it's my own fault.  But, I'm going to try to be more regular with my posts and I want to start with some of the fun things I did over the past year before I turned 60. 

I made it my goal to try and do as many "out of my box" types of things that I could, as well as doing some fun things and improving on old things.

One of my biggest adventures was to be a nonspeaking extra in an independent film.  The film is called Knockdown and it is in editing right now.  The opportunity came through my future son-in-law Myles whose degree is in film.  He was a camera man on the film.  Here we are waiting between takes.  Sorry this is your back Myles, but it's the one where I look the best. 
 I was only there about an hour, but it was such a great hour.  One of the actors was from the movie Divergent and several others were from the tv show Chicago Fire.  Some of the other actors were actual Chicago policemen.  My daughter Abby had a speaking role.  It was amazingly awesome.  Knockdown will be entered in film festivals.  Who knows, maybe even Sundance.  I just know that I can't wait to see it. 

There was a really special man I met on this day.  His name is Paul D. Morgan and he was the writer/director/producer of the film.  I knew when I met him that day that he was special, but it wasn't until later that I really found out how special.  He's the man in the middle of the picture below.
Paul and I became Facebook friends and comment back and forth.  Reading how he lives his life and treats his friends and coworkers is inspiring.  His faith in God is uplifting.  He has a work ethic that everyone should have.  He's just a great guy and I'm happy to have met him. 

This really was an amazing day.  I never thought that I would ever be in a movie of any kind beyond our own home videos.  But, I was and it was all because of this guy.....
Myles has been a part of our family for almost nine years now and we will "officially" welcome him in July when he marries our daughter Abby.  To know Myles is to know joy.  He has such a zest for life.  You can't be around Myles and not smile.  He's just one of the best guys you will ever meet and I get to be lucky enough to have him as my son-in-law. 

To Myles and Paul, thank you so much for letting me be a small part of your wonderful film.  You made an old lady really happy.  It is an experience I won't soon forget.  You two are the best!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dear Me

Your happy place!
 
As many of you may know, I am a contributing writer for the website The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.   Every now and again, we have posts that require the reader to do a little homework.  This just happens to be one of those times.

Ann is one of our contributing writers and she has brought back a fun assignment from a few years ago.  She would like us to write a letter to our future self about how 2015 turned out for us.  Our job is to think ahead a whole year and what we would like to have seen happen to ourselves in 2015. 

So here goes.....future self, please make present self really happy.  I think you can do it.

Dear Present Self,
   You are going to be amazed at all the things you accomplished in 2015.  Your 60 year old self was awesome.  You are going to be so proud of yourself.  Check it out.

January
   You started your year out with the 21 Day Fix and found out you loved it.  You started on January 5 and when the 26th came around, you were inches and pounds lighter.  You jumped right back on for another 21 days.  You were without your Fitbit for a week and it was really hard.  You hadn't realized how much you counted on it for motivation, but after a week it was back and all was good.  You made another climb up the 3 Dune Challenge and loved it in the snow.  It was still hard, but so pretty.
February
   It was another Polar Vortex winter in northwest Indiana, so all of your exercise was inside.  You pushed ahead and did your best.  I know how you hate the treadmill, but you still did it.  Your eating was going really well and you kept up with the 21 Day Fix and were still losing pounds and inches.
March
   The weather finally started to break a little and you got to get back to your outside walks that you love so much.  Your first 5k of the year was Runnin with the Irish and you did great.  Spring break took you to Arizona with your daughter Abby and you had a great time.  The highlight was hiking in Sedona and of course, a Cubs spring training game!
April
   The weather was getting nicer and nicer and that took you out to the Dunes State Park more and more.  Your beloved hikes on the beach looking for beach glass and hikes in the dunes with your camera were high on your list of ways to exercise.  You were buckling down more and more on your eating and exercise with your daughter's wedding approaching in July.
May
   The first weekend in May was amazing.  You walked the Indy Mini with your husband and you had a wonderful time together.  You made a weekend out of it and you were so proud of each other.  Bravo!  The warm weather has brought back your self challenge from last year to walk at least a mile a day outside.  You do love your walks.
June
   Well, June brought mother of the bride dress shopping and you were thrilled to find that you were two sizes smaller.  That brought a huge smile to your face.  You tried running once more and it still was too hard on your joints.  With the tendonitis in one foot and the arthritis in the same foot and other knee, it just wasn't going to happen.  With age came wisdom and you knew it was time to stop trying.  You walk faster than you run anyway.  June also brought back the daily five and six mile walks that you loved so much.
July
   July brought the proudest moment of your year as you watched your husband walk the last of your four daughters, your baby down the aisle.  There was no holding back those happy tears as you watched them walk toward the man of her dreams.  With all the wedding pressures over, summer became about relaxing and having fun and you remembered how much you enjoyed exercising in the pool. 
August
   You relished in the last days of summer with play dates with the grandkids and long walks at the beach.  You knew school was starting soon and you enjoyed every last minute you could.  The pounds were still coming off and you were getting a little worried about how you would keep up the walking time and pace once school started again.
September
   You were back in school and things were going okay.  Your plan to walk as soon as you got home from school was perfect. Working out in the pool wasn't happening as often though.  By the time you got home from walking and got dinner on the table, it was getting too cool out. 
October
    You went on a 42nd wedding anniversary trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes to hike and for the first time ever, it didn't rain on you.  It was perfect!  The colors were beautiful.  Your walks at home were equally as pretty.  The colors of fall were breathtaking.  You had to rethink your meal plans now that the weather was beginning to cool off and grilling almost every night wasn't an option anymore.  You figured it out though and stayed with healthy meals.
November
   Last year, you came in first place overall for the lady walkers at  the Run Baby Baby Run 5k.  This year, you did the same thing, but with an even better time.  November brought the start of the holidays and your fears that you'd let them get the best of you with food and drink.  You devised a plan to stay on track.  Your walks had pretty much gone to the treadmill and you tried to do it without whining.  You borrowed T25 with Shaun T from your son-in-law because you really love that work out.  You asked for your own copy for Christmas.
December
   December brought your 61st birthday and you loved it.  You have always loved birthdays, but these days you truly appreciate them.  Too many people don't get to be that age and you know how blessed you are.  You made it through the holidays with no weight gain.  You were really proud of that.  You had lots of other things to be proud of too. 
1.  You made it through a whole year of getting up early and making working out your first priority of the day. 
2.  You gave up caffeine in January and you were still off it. 
3.  You walked just over 1000 miles in 2015.  That was awesome.
4.  You dropped three dress sizes.
5.  You have increased my stamina so much.  The last time you did the 3 Dune Challenge in October, you only had to stop once to rest.
   So there, aren't you proud of yourself?  You had an awesome year and don't show any signs of stopping.  Look out 2016.  Nancy is coming in strong and healthy.   She's ready to take you on and she knows how to do it.  Your 2015 was fantastic and I can't wait to see what happens in 2016.
Love you,
Your Future Self

Keep on climbing girl!  You are definitely going places.