B0000845I can’t remember a time when reading was not my friend. I feel like I have always been able to read. It is a part of my personality, part of who I am. I have spent many a day lost in the pages of a book, traveling to foreign land and making new friends. I have become so involved with a story that I am sad when the story ends or cried when a character dies. Books to me are very much like movies.
The first “real” book I remember reading was “Heidi” the summer before I entered the 6th grade. It took me the whole summer to get through it. And I was proud of myself! I also remember that year that my teacher, Mr. Clark, read Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.

I spent most of my days during the summers with my nose pressed to a book. I have always been a slower reader but a voracious reader. I can remember my dad making fun of me when I was younger as I had a tendency to very softly read aloud to myself. My dad would walk by and pretend to be whispering just to get under my skin! He was an awful tease.

Even now I am a reader; I love my Kindle. I love how it feels like reading a real page. And I love that I can carry more than 100 books in one slim little device. I have really branched out as far authors that I read since getting my Kindle. I’ve always been a really loyal reader to one or two authors. Now, I’ll read almost anything that sounds like it has an interesting plot and is under $5. Or anything I can get approved to read for Net Galley. Net Galley is a website that helps publishers send out galleys to be read prior to the book being officially published in exchange for providing a review. I usually review on Goodreads.

No matter how hard I try I can only read one book at a time. I get so invested in a book that I “commit” myself to finishing it before reading something else. I find that I can’t get into a new book when I have something else in progress. I am so stubborn in fact that I have forced myself to finish a book that I’ve lost interest in just so I can start another book! Crazy, isn’t it?


January 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

morning routine

I am NOT a morning person; never have been, never will be! It is especially difficult during the winter when the sunlight is weak until way later in the morning.

My morning generally starts with me groggily smacking the nightstand trying to find that awful sound that is disturbing me. I finally hit the snooze button and try to rouse myself in that 9 minute timeframe to actually drag my sorry self out of the warmth of my bed. This routine is way harsher than waking up to Mom gently tugging on my big toe and softly calling my name.

I am very spoiled in the fact that I have virtually never had to worry about getting someone else ready in the morning. When Logan was younger my mom got up with him and got him dressed and ready to run out to van with me. I always loved dropping him off at school before going to work. I loved those 10 – 15 minutes of total alone time with my boy. We had some interesting conversations and I really miss that time with him.
Most mornings are filled with making myself presentable for work – from washing my face (or just splashing a bit water all over it), brushing my teeth, and praying my hair will do something to combing the closet to decide what on earth I am going to wear for the day because I am definitely required to change out of my PJs! The brightest part of this “non-routine” routine is deciding what jewelry to wear or not wear. I have been making an effort to put on a bit of make-up these days; it makes me feel good when I do. There was a day when I would spend hours (seriously up to 2) getting ready for work. I would toil over my hair – it is so straight and fine – trying to make sure it was perfect. And make-up was an all-out affair every day – foundation, powder, blush, 3 or 4 shades of eye shadow, mascara, eye brow pencil, eyeliner, and lip stick – the works! I was a makeup diva! And, of course, I was totally accessorized, too.

I am blessed with a wonderful husband that more often than not drags himself out of bed to make sure I have breakfast and lunch to take with me to work. And lately he’s been driving me to work as well since my poor, old van now needs a new starter.

And, thus, the workday begins…

January 24, 2014 at 11:51 am Leave a comment


Gleaming Strand of Pearls

My relationship with jewelry is intimate. Boy, that really makes it sound like I’m relating to a person, doesn’t it? LOL!!

I have had a love for jewelry since I was a very small girl. I would play dress up and not only slip my feet into Mom’s shoes but I’d don every set of beads I could get my little hands on! I’ve never thought of myself as a girly girl but that term would certainly describe my young self.

My mom had her ears pierced when I was 6 years old. I thought that was the be all and end all! I begged for 3 years to get my ears pierced. Mom and Dad finally relented on a visit to Grandma June who just had her ears pierced. Aunt Kathy and Aunt Colleen volunteered to “do the deed” with some ice, a potato and a needle. I don’t remember if it hurt or not but I was delighted to say the least. I thought I was just the “it” girl. That visit started a lifelong love affair. My first pair of earrings was a pair of pearl studs. Hmmm, maybe that’s why I have a bit of a penchant for pearls today!

When I was a teenager, it was just getting really popular to have your ears double pierced –meaning a second piercing just above your main ear piercing. It was typical to wear some kind of stud in the top piercing and a hoop or dangle earring in the main piercing or a small hoop in the top and a larger hoop in the bottom. So one day after I turned 18 and Mom and Dad were off on an adventure of their own, I ventured over to the beauty school and got my ears pierced for a second time. This time it was done with a “gun” that shot a piercing stud right into my ear and then snapped on the backing. Well, being a novice with this type of piercing, I didn’t realize that all I needed to do was loosened up the backing and the redness and irritation of the new piercings would go away. So, instead being the younger me, I went and bought a new pair of sterling silver earrings to replace the piercing studs. They felt much better and ultimately led to having a smaller sized piercing on the top than was common. And after this, I wouldn’t leave the house without wearing earrings. If I did? The first thing I did was stop and buy a pair and put them on!! So vain!

Fast forward a few years and I end up working in the Jewelry department at Mervyn’s department store. We sold fine jewelry and costume jewelry. I was in my glory!!!!!!!!! I loved making display cases with new arrivals. And I was good at it! I was also really good at falling in love with all types of jewelry. I was NOT a jewelry snob by any means! Costume jewelry, semi-precious, fine jewelry? There was definitely room for all of that in my repertoire. I was known to buy some new tidbit that I couldn’t live without and then going to buy an outfit to match. I know, I know – so totally opposite of the way it’s supposed to work! But that just tells you how obsessed and enchanted I was with jewelry. Jewelry and I were fast and good friends!

And today, I’m a shadow of that girl. I mostly wear sterling silver or silver-toned jewelry. I still will not leave the house without earrings on but now I only use my bottom piercing. I am not enamored with today’s costume jewelry although I’m noticing that there are changes on the horizon!

These days I usually wear whatever pair of earrings strikes my fancy for the day. About half the time I will wear a necklace, usually something long. I don’t like anything close or tight around my neck. I don’t wear any rings. I miss my wedding ring but the cramps in my hand are better when I don’t wear it.

My current favorite pieces are:

  • The pair of hoops Gaylord gave me for Christmas
  • My floating heart necklace that Gaylord gave me for Valentine’s Day

Special pieces include:

  • The pearl earrings that Mom gave me on my wedding day that had belonged to her
  • The pearl necklace I wore on my wedding day
  • My gold locket with Logan’s picture in it – a Mother’s Day gift
  • The tri-gold heart necklace Mom gave me for Christmas – 3 hearts, each a bit smaller than the previous and each a different color gold
  • My silver Thunderbird pendant – my 15 year service gift

I guess I will always have a special relationship with jewelry. It’s just how I roll!

January 24, 2014 at 11:48 am Leave a comment



I know this may be a bit confusing to any readers but this is really all about how I have chosen to handle my One Little Word for the year. My OLW chose me; I did not choose it. I wasn’t even set on choosing an OLW. I didn’t last year. But NURTURE is really resonating with me. And I feel this is the year that I get myself centered and focused on the important things in life.

I am committed to nurture myself this year and I have started by taking BPC (Big Picture Classes) classes and focusing on my health. These are both nurturing for me. And I know when I am ready I can come back and focus on the other parts. I think it’s really important to be honest with yourself about how much you can or are willing to do at the moment. It doesn’t take away from the things Becky (Higgins) is teaching. I know in my own way I am putting first things first. I need to focus on nurturing my body and spirit before I can take on anything else.

I have used the fact that I didn’t start on January 1st as an excuse to not do PL (Project Life)  the last 2 years. With this class, I am realizing that the week I start my album isn’t nearly as important as the fact that I am starting an album period. There are some things in life that you just need to let go. For me the “perfectism” of starting on Jan 1, is something I am willing to let go. It is Project Life not Project-as-long-as-I-start-on-Jan1-Life. Sure I had things going on, did I photograph any of it? I don’t think so, but it was ordinary life and as long as I start now or next week or next month I am still capturing that ordinary life. I just need to start – which I am going to be doing this weekend! Yeah!!

I am taking this class (Project Real Life) specifically to help figure out what kind of photos I “should” be taking. These photos and journaling will be in a PL album and I will maintain my LOM (Library of Memories) as “regular” layouts happen. As far as the weekly topics go, I plan on doing a mini album with just the cards for this class and my thoughts and maybe a photo here or there if it seems to fit. I want my mini album to end up being more of a reference book or journal for keeping myself on track with “cultivating a good life and documenting it”.

I am also discovering that I am a storyteller! This is really revealing to me. I have never thought of myself as a storyteller. Last year I took a BPC class called i.Scrap. That was a heavy journaling/storytelling class and I told a story that really surprised me. It is kind of heart wrenching but cathartic. Right now I am also taking a class called 31 Things taught by Ali Edwards. I read her blog every day and really admire her writing style and how easy it seems for her to write about her daily life and make sound worth documenting (which of course it is but tell you think your life is super interesting so much so that everyone wants to read it!). I’ll be sharing my stories for the next 29 days. I hope you enjoy my journey.

January 24, 2014 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

Thought for the day

goodier quote

October 29, 2013 at 3:55 pm Leave a comment

ImageI have never in my life been ashamed to be an American until today! I am simply appalled at what is happening to our military families who have lost their serviceman. It is truly disgraceful that funding has stopped going to these families. They have given the ultimate scarifice for our country and the government is turning its back on them.

I don’t want the Affordable Healthcare Act any more than the rest of the 70% of the nation that are against it. However, you people in DC need to get your act together and get this resolved! It’s time to man up, walked across the hallway and get to work!

I am heartbroken by what is happening. The greatest nation on this earth is faltering and nearly on its knees. It’s time to stop spending billions of dollars on relief aid to other countries. It’s time to take care of our own. And that starts with our military.


October 9, 2013 at 10:37 am Leave a comment


So, last week I was on vacation or staycation or whatever you call taking paid time off and staying in your house – learning how not to manage your condition! I wish I could say that it was a great time, but it wasn’t – although I’ve learned a few things. And I am confused by a few things. For instance, why is it that I can manage to work 40 hours a week (and actually spend 45 sitting behind my desk but that’s another story!), come home and help with dinner ( as often as possible) watch TV and collapse into bed only to get back up the next day and do it all over again. But I can’t manage to go shopping for a few hours one day without sitting around on my behind all day the next day. Granted, after working all week I am a slug on the weekends. It’s very hard for me to find the motivation to do anything on the weekends.

I thought I had some doable goals for the week like clean off the corner of the dresser. Of course I had some pretty lofty goals as well like move the bedroom furniture! But I didn’t either of those things. I don’t know I just felt tired last week and I had the opportunity to give in and sleep so I did. And I haven’t decided if that’s a good thing or a bad thing yet. I guess, it is what it is, but I need to figure out how to get some joy back into my life and sleeping isn’t going to do it!

Now in all fairness I did get some things done that I feel really good about. I finished a book (Bellman and Black, review coming) and started a new one (The One I Left Behind). I moved all of my pictures to the external hard drive and I started moving my digital layouts into folders and years. And I’ve decided to print them and use pocket pages to include any additional photos I might have. And I’ve deleted some duplicate digital files. I uploaded a bunch of pictures for printing for Mom and have worked on scrapbook pages for an album she is working on. I combined a few albums and I am working on an idea for a class!

But my prevailing thoughts centered on the things I really wanted to do (like move the furniture or go to IKEA) but knew I couldn’t. My heavens! I was barely able to make dinner on Monday while my poor mother suffered through agonizing cramps and vomiting. Whoever thought that making spaghetti could take so much effort! It would be awesome if there was a scale somewhere that could tell you how much energy you needed to do a certain task and a meter to tell you if you had it in you!

 Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, said, “Fibromyalgia represents an energy crisis. You’re spending more energy than you can make.”

Amen to that!

October 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm 1 comment

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