Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Christmas Wish for YOU!!!

My Christmas wish for you is HAPPINESS!!!

But, first...




Happiness resides in each and every one of us.  We only have to stop and take a truthful moment to consider the non-monetary "things" we have.  Once we remove the tangible "stuff" we are left with simple, yet startling Happiness!!!







Above all I think this quote sums it up quite nicely.


Happiness...this is my Christmas wish for you!!!

Merry Christmas and much Happiness.  xxx

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Old School Blogging ~ Holiday Edition

I love this time of the year, as Ebeneezer Scrooge says in the Classic “A Christmas Carol“,
I will honor Christmas in my heart and keep it all the year.”
So without further ado Elaine and Kir bring you Old School Blogging, Holiday Style!   And I'm linking up with them with my answers to the meme about December HOLIDAYS!



First things first: 1 Holy Night or 8 Crazy Ones? (Do you Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, both?)

In my family Christmas Eve has always been the night for the entire family to get together.  We have a huge meal , unwrap gifts, eat desert and sip cocktails the night through.

Christmas Eve 2012

Peppermint or Chocolate?


I love them both especially together.  Peppermint Bark anyone?

Sing us into the Holiday Season, what is your favorite Carol this time of year?





I love this song because it reminds me of ALL that we have and how much we take it for granted.  My favorite line in the song is 

"Tonight thank God it's them instead of you..."

Whenever I hear that line it completely grounds me and in the same instant almost always brings tears to my eyes.

Tell us about a Favorite Family or Personal Holiday Tradition.

Breaking Oplatek of Christmas wafer is the highlight of Christmas Eve for adults and children alike.  It's the one tradition that has passed unchanged over 6 generations.  



Each person received half a sheet of the oplatek.  We form a line and each person makes his or her way down the line breaking off a small piece of wafer from each others wafer.  A hug, a kiss, a Christmas wish, eating the wafer piece and then moving along the line.  This usually takes about 5 minutes to finish up.  In this way we all have at least 1 small moment with each person.


C'mon you remember your favorite (Christmas, Hanukkah) gift, tell  us all about it.

A radio/cassette player when I was about 12 or 13.


That magical moment?  (Your favorite scene from a Holiday movie...it's okay if you have 2)

My favorite Holiday movie is the Scrooge "A Christmas Carol".  My favorite scene is when Ebeneezer wakes at last and rushes out into the streets proclaiming Merry Christmas and then proceeds to shower all who pass in his wake with Christmas Cheer!


Kissing under the mistletoe?  Who do you hope is standing underneath?  (We know it's normally your spouse, if it did not have to be, who would you choose?)

I have no idea why, but I think Pittbull is a very sexy, attractive man. 



Swans a swimming, lords a leaping, golden rings; which gift of the 12 days of Christmas would you like most?

2 Turtle Doves 



Play Secret Santa, what inappropriate gift would you love to give this year?

It's so inappropriate I cannot share, it would be Rated R for Racy.  


Martha Stewart or the Grinch?  What is your decorating style?  (Pictures would be awesome!)

When my boys were growing up I was a definite Martha Stewart.  Now that they are grown and have flown the coop I am somewhere between the 2.



What is ONE WORD that defines the holiday season for you?  (Examples: Believe/Wonder/Bah Humbug?)

Happiness!!!


If Santa could assure its delivery, what's the first thing on your holiday wish LIST?

The ability for my loved ones to have ENOUGH.  Whatever enough means to each of them.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Old School Blogging November

I was delighted to find that Elaine and Brittany are again hosting Old School Blogging.  November's meme is a series of questions Elaine first asked back in 2008.  As Alison wrote "Wouldn't it be fun to do this again in 5 years, and see how much the answers have changed?"  

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Where is your cell phone?  Laying on the current book I am reading right beside me.

Your significant other?  Would like to remain anonymous.  I call him My Love.

Your hair?  Is growing out from yet another cut I'll call stylist's choice since it was her choice and not mine.  Aargh...when will I find a stylist who will cut my hair the way I want it, not the way she thinks I want it?  

Your Mother?  Generous, loves her family, fills many roles for many folks, and doesn't save enough time for herself.  

Your Father?  Volunteers for Meals on Wheels and Hospice, loves soccer and his grandkids.

Your favorite thing?  My Google Chromebook.

Your dream last night?  Cannot remember.

Your favorite drink?  Coffee with hazelnut creamer and an Old Fashioned for a cocktail.

Your dream/goal?  To be happy for all the  days to come.


The room you are in?  The dining area at the kitchen table, my favorite place to be.  It's the hub of this house.

Your Fear?  I'm claustrophobic, enough said.  


Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Back up north in a charming home with land, making a comfortable living, and with my 2 boys and their families close by.

Where were you last night?  Making a large pot of sauce with meatballs and sausage over spaghetti with a large bottle of red wine.

What are you not?  Artsy or creative.

Muffins?  Oh my, I can't go near them for fear of devouring each and every one I see and smell.

One of your wish list items?  A new watch.

Where you grew up?  Bridgeport, Connecticut

The last thing you did?  Booked our room for our weekend visit with family in Palm Bay, FL.

What are you wearing?  Ivory t-shirt, jean capris and flip-flops.  

Your TV?  If not for My Love, I would never turn it on.

Your pets?  Sadie May ~ Dog, LuLu Belle ~ Cat, Dossee ~ Snake

Your computer?  Optiplex GX620

Your life?  Busy, busy, busy...

Your mood?  Anxious.  We just bought a car this afternoon and now have another car payment again.

Missing someone?  My grandson.  I have a slight cold and couldn't see him today.  Didn't want to pass anything on.


Your car?  Just bought this afternoon.  Mercury Milan.

Something you are not wearing?  My glasses or contacts.

Favorite store?  TJ Maxx or Tuesday Morning.

Your summer?  HOT and sweaty.  Thank God for the pool and rain!


Like someone?  I like loads of different people.

Your favorite color?  White.

When was the last time you laughed?  A few minutes ago, My Love with his nutty antics always crack me up.

Last time you cried?  Sometime last week...just because.

What is one thing on your to-do list?  De-clutter the house.

I'm thrilled that Old School Blogging is back.  It's a fun way to get to know more about me and the others that participate.

Won't you join us?  

Friday, November 15, 2013

I'm a featured host for Lovin' the Weekend blog hop



Welcome to Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hops with your co-hosts:
Karen from Tots and Me, Rena from An Ordinary Housewife and Angie from Snack Cups and Smiles.

Thank you to every one who has stopped by, whether this is your first visit or you have been a faithful ongoing participant! 

We would love for you to stop by each of the co-hosts and follow us, then feel free to add your links to any or all of the following linkies.

 We also randomly choose a Featured host each week from the Lovin' The Readers linky. This week we are featuring Barbara from All My Lives Now.
Here's what she has to say:

"How many lives have you lived? I feel like I have lived many. Different branches reach out to touch each other, yet never meet. I am still me always evolving and growing. This is all my life now. A peri-menopausal woman looking to share the ups and downs of ageing gracefully.

I created my blog site and wrote my first blog on March 20, 2013.  It has been a wonderful time and I am learning more about myself as I write each post.  It is uplifting to imagine that you may touch the life of someone across the world with your thoughts."

Don't forget to link up to the Lovin' the Readers Hop if you would like a chance to be a Featured host next week. Please comment with a way to contact you, especially if there is not an obvious way mentioned on your blog. We would love to include a little write up about you and your blog in the next week's Lovin' The Weekend Blog Hop post, including a link to your blog. And you will get to include the linky codes on your blog. Sound fun? We're looking forward to getting to know our readers better.

Here's how this blog hop works. We would appreciate it if you would follow Tots and Me, An Ordinary Housewife and Snack Cups and Smiles. And please don't forget to visit our Featured Host. If you no longer have GFC please follow in some other way. After that there are three different linkies you can link to. Whichever one you choose to link to, please grab that button and share it on your blog (the codes are on Tot's and Me's sidebar). We'd love it if you could tweet or in some other way share about this blog hop, the more people who know about it, the more potential visitors and new followers of your blog. We'd love to meet some new friends this weekend.  

Some people are more interested in just increasing their numbers, while others really want people who appreciate their blog and want to keep up with their posts. So, there are two separate blog hop linkies. 

The third linky is for you to link up your giveaways.

If you are interested in increasing the number of followers to your blog via GFC, Linky Followers, email, Twitter, Facebook or Google+ link up here. We will follow you back if you follow us (just note which one you are linking to):

Tots and Me


If you are interested in gaining followers to your blog who will read and comment and truly find an interest in your blog, link up here:

Tots and Me

If you have family friendly giveaways to link up, here's your spot. Please make sure to include an end date for your giveaway.

Tots and Me


We are so glad you stopped by. Please leave a comment if you link up and we will be sure to stop by and follow back.

Don't forget to check out my "Blog Hops" page for other great blog hops!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Traditionally Built

* Excerpt from Alexander McCall Smith's novel
The Miracle At Speedy Motors



"Mma Ramotswe had never been able to understand that, and considered it one of the very worst features of modern society that people should be ashamed to be of traditional build, cultivating instead a look that was bony and positively uncomfortable.  Everybody knows, she thought, that we have a skeleton underneath our skin; there's no reason to show it." * 

"All women knew that traditional build was something that could happen to anyone, and would not abuse another for it."  *






This is book 9 in a series of many.  If you've never had the pleasure of reading a book from the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series let me introduce to you Mma Ramotswe.  Precious Ramotswe is a remarkable woman - resourceful, amusing and intelligent.  She is also traditionally built, which means overweight.  

The above quote resonated with me.  It's simplicity makes a powerful statement.  As a society we value looks and body image over mind and soul.  It's a distressing thought and one that I have bought into.  I'm sure most folks have, as it's thrust in our faces 24/7.  

So how do we make peace with our traditionally built bodies while embracing the idea of less is more?  I know there is a happy medium that we can all achieve.

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Clean Eating

New recipes to try this week.








The last few weeks I'd tried to eliminate most carbs only to realize I can't and don't want to live without them.  The above two recipes use carbs, although natural and clean.

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Workouts

So the cyst on my knee is actually a rare non-cancerous tumor.  I am scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday to find out where the tumor begins and ends.  Surgery is in my future.  At this point I only want the tumor excised so that I can get back to doing the simple things I have taken for granted;  walking any distance, bending, kneeling.  I never realized how much the knee joint is used in every day activities.

Upper body workouts only.

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Total weight lost ~ 9 lbs ~ down 1 lb from last week



Sunday, November 3, 2013

How do you Unstick the Scale?

 Do you ever feel like this?  Just plain and simple STUCK!
  


I know that the scale is just a number, but do you, like me find it difficult to see past it? 




Remember the Non-Scale Victories.  Do you have them?



An apple a day keeps the Doctor away...and shrinks the fat cells.



Exactly...




So enough with the images.  I think you get my drift.  There will be times when you have done all the right things...clean eating and exercise...and yet the scale won't budge.  Here I am.  Reflecting on the week I know I followed my Healthy Lifestyle plan.  

What went wrong?  As I have researched probably nothing.  Just the body doing what the body does.  No matter what I'll keep up the good fight and trudge along.  In the end I know the results will come.

Speaking of results, what results are you striving for?  For me the result I am in search of is to be and look healthy inside and out.



A new week begins and a new opportunity for success awaits.  

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Clean Eating

New recipes to try this week.











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Workouts

If you have been following along you know I have what I thought was a cyst on my knee.  Dr's visit and a biopsy later along with stitches and no moving, bending of my knee later, we know no more.  Visit next week will confirm the pathologist's report and decide the course of action to take.  It is hard for me to absorb the impact this will possibly make on my knee.  Lost two days of work to it.   More to come next week.

Workouts upper body only.  Which is okay since I need more definition in my arms, although my legs are the area that needs the most work.  Isn't that true for most women?


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Even though the scale didn't budge I had a healthy week.

Total weight lost ~ 8 lbs 



Friday, November 1, 2013

Ageing Gracefully...Maybe NOT, but I'm trying!

I am in crisis.  A mid-life crisis I suppose.  

Who am I?  What is my purpose in this my life?  Who is that looking back at me from the mirror?  Oh no, I think it's my Mom.  How did this happen?

I'm searching to find Barbara, but she has left the building.  At least in the sense of being who she once was.  Who she recognized as herself.  I always knew I was vain.  Until about 3 days ago I never realized how much of me was based on my looks.  Not that I'm a super model or perfect, just perfect to me in my mind and in my mirror.  

So much has changed this year, my 48th.  Changes of vanity.  Thinning hair, sagging jawline and eyelids, skin mottling, weight gain...I could go on and on, but I won't or I will cry a river and never finish my thoughts.  

My hormones run amok in my cells and wreak havoc on what I once knew about myself.  Nothing feels right.  Everything is new and I don't like it, though like it I must.   This is what I am becoming...middle aged.  

Somehow, some way I must find the courage to enter this stage of my life gracefully with poise and confidence.  

I am a woman who has overcome obstacles that seem like fiction. Thrived when the going was tough and insurmountable.  Raised two wonderful boys to the best of my ability, oftentimes on my own.  Kept the faith that their futures would hold magic and wonder, and they do.  

Ageing is an ongoing process and I am in the midst of finding my new self.  An older yet wiser self.  If truth be told I am frightened.  This is new territory, pages unwritten and it terrifies me.  

In my 48 years I have climbed many mountains.  I became a mother,wife and widow at age 16.  Life moved on.  A mother again at 23 and alone again at 34.  Yet another relationship to end in tragedy after 7 years.  Another chance at happiness again and celebrating 7 years of unconditional love and acceptance.  Dare I hope that I may have found the one?  I often wonder when this relationship will end...or will it?


It's what I have...HOPE...



Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dieting's Vicious Cycle

I have struggled with weight loss for most of my life.  Dieting is an every day mantra for me.  I read a quote that resonated for me.
  
"Don't diet...Go for permanent weight loss instead..."

After much thought I realized that constantly being on a diet is a crutch for me.  A crutch in the sense that once I take off the weight I'm free to re-gain it over and over. I can always diet again and again to lose those same 10 - 30 pounds over and over.  It distresses me to think about all the time I've wasted on the roller coaster and merry-go-round.  

This is exactly what happens to me...every time.

While cleaning out my desk I came across a sheet of lined paper with several questions on it from several years ago.  I'll share the first question and my answers with you.

Why are you overweight?

1.  I love food - I don't eat to live, I live to eat.
2.  Cut back so much I have intense cravings - compounded by binge eating.
3.  I am not rewarding my body by exercising & taking care of it.
4.  I have become lazy about getting up early to exercise.
5.  I don't know when to put my fork down & say it's enough -NO- let me rephrase I DO know when to put my fork down -but I don't- I continue filling my face - even when I'm full!

After all these years this list still applies.  I've never tried for "permanent weight loss".  I've never tried to change my lifestyle.  I've never held myself accountable to the damage I'm inflicting on my body.  The damage of excess unhealthy calories and inactivity.

All this is changing for me.  About 11 weeks ago I committed to a New Healthy Lifestyle.  This means "clean" eating and exercise most days of the week.  As noted I will allow myself 1-2 cheat meals per week.  Week 10 was a bust, see The Vicious Cycle of Weight Loss above.  BUT...I didn't gain all the weight back and got right back on the wagon.  

YAY ME!


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CLEAN EATING

This week was all about getting back on the wagon.  For me eating the same foods for breakfast and lunch works, not sure why it just does.  

Breakfast - 2 whole eggs with 2 egg whites, 1 slice of fat free cheese, in an omelette, with a tangerine.  I ate this for breakfast every day this week.   

Lunch - Coleslaw mix with canned chicken breast and dressing made with low fat mayo, apple cider vinegar and Splenda.

Dinners are where I express myself. Here are 2 recipes I will be making this week.







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WORKOUTS

Much to my dissatisfaction my knee is acting up again.  The cyst is becoming larger and very painful.  Even walking is a challenge.  Off to see the Dr. again.  Unfortunately surgery to remove the cyst seems to be my only option.  We'll see how that goes.

I did manage to get in 2 upper and lower body workouts this week.  No cardio but the lower body workouts get my heart pumping.  

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Overall it was a great week for me.  How did your week turn out?  Do you have a go to recipe that helps you stay on track?  Please share.

Total weight lost ~ 8 lbs

I just couldn't resist!!! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

postcards from paradise ~ through magnolia eyes




 magnolia looking up reaching for the sky




constitution in heart and soul





 climbing vines love  magnolia shade



  
cherub watches over the land we live on




vines hugging magnolia trunk


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pictures of my beloved magnolia tree

i bought this as a tiny sapling

now it's branches seem like they can touch the clouds

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linking up with recuerda mi corazon

postcards from paradise






Sunday, August 18, 2013

postcards from paradise


the view of our pool

water so calm and still

not for long once friends and family arrive

a peaceful moment before the fun and energy begin


the first little fish

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beautiful sundays
postcards from paradise
with recuerda mi corazon


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fabric ~ Five Sentence Fiction



Cut from the Same Cloth


I watch Gramma Sophie raise the sweat soaked cocktail to her red-stained clown lips, wondering to myself how she continues to have the desire or energy to replay this scene over and over.

Humming a melody she watches me through slit eyes, fear and excitement clouding her delicate features.

Gramma Sophie leans back in her chair, the hint of a smile on her lips savoring the knowledge that Earl has come back, just like she knew he would.

Winking at me she whispers, "Earl, you've always known this is my favorite song, shall we dance"?

I rake my fingers through my hair and wonder if she'll ever remember who I really am.




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What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word.
The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week: FABRIC


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Old School Blogging ~ August

Well kids, we are changing things up here a bit this month and asking for pictures (and words, if you like) of your FRIDGE.  What is on that bad boy?  You got pictures?  Lists?  Kid art that is just TOO fabulous to toss?  Christmas cards from two years ago?  Birth announcements of kids that are eight years old now??  

 Now if you are one of those crazy people who keeps their fridge CLEAR, first of all I bow down to you, second of all, show us what is inside your fridge or even your purse or medicine cabinet instead.  SOMEthing that let's us know more about you!    ~  From The Miss Elaine-ous Life    ~

My fridge has vinyl panels and so I am unable to hang stuff up on it...much to my dismay.  SO, I decided to take some pictures of my bulletin board.  I pin up all sorts of things as the mood strikes me.  The bulletin board is currently sitting on the floor in my "Quiet" room.  Recently I moved my computer and desk to another room in the house.  Yay me!!!  Unfortunately the bulletin board still sits on the floor, oh well...








Pictures of My Loves




Memories from Christmas past, a hand-painted ornament by my love along with a Christmas picture.  My hanging Diva of Love




These are two of my hand-made Valentine's Day cards.  On our very first Valentine's Day he made me a card because he said he couldn't find one that said what he wanted to say.  So he created his own.  It was more special to me than a store bought card for obvious reasons.  This tradition has continued for the past seven Valentine's Days.  I've kept each card and rotate them out.




These are my lady friends.  I love each one.  Especially Marilyn Monroe, she was a healthy Size 12 in this photo...overweight and fat by our standards today.  Marilyn reminds me that sex appeal and attractiveness is all about confidence!!!




My Gramie was Polish and for as long as I can remember she referred to St. Anthony as her boy.  No matter what troubles crossed her path, whether her own or someone in the family, you could count on Gramie to pray to St. Anthony.  This belief has carried through the generations to my Mom, my siblings and my children.  It's all about faith.




Two Goddess Angels of Love and Queen-her-ship.  Also an origami elephant My Love made for me.




Quotes I love.  The quote on the index card reads "Sometimes divine revelation simply means adjusting your brain to hear what your heart already knows."




These are My St. Jude Kids.  I donate monthly to this wonderful cause and in return I receive a picture along with a synopsis of that child's medical treatment.  I call them My Kids and I love knowing that I can make a difference no matter how small. 




This picture was taken almost 3 years ago, I can hardly believe it.  We were at the Pumpkin Patch.



This has been so much fun and also a sentimental trip down memory lane. 

 Hopefully, now you know a little more about me.  

Thanks The Miss Elaine-ous Life for thinking outside the box.