Sunday, January 30, 2011

Featuring February!

I customized my Live With Intention journal to feature February so I can continue to use it as my 2011 date book.

February will sneak in the door at midnight tomorrow night.  I won't be up to greet her but I'll leave cheese, crackers, a glass of wine and two chocolate chip cookies on the table for her.  Perhaps by treating her right, she'll treat me well.  Do ya think?  

I added the birthdays and the February calendar to these two pages. 

Trusting ourselves can be a tall order, but it makes sense that doing so will uncomplicate our lives.  We needn't hesitate before making decisions.


Sorry, Terry and Jill.  My pen acted up on the "k" and "s." 
 February is plumb full of birthdays!  Just look at my list of family and friends who'll be partying and celebrating their special days.


TAMI--my niece, engaged to be married in March.

TERRY--a fellow blogger/friend and online writing class buddy.

JILL--my sister-in-law and co-conspirator from way back.

SUE--a friend and a free-spirit.

LYNN--a friend from my childhood and my make-believe sister.

February isn't leaping this year.  She promises to entertain us, but will keep both feet on the ground during the 28 days of her reign.

Renee Locks' waterpainting is a nice touch, don't you think?  I love it.

Happy February to all!

Although my mother isn't here to celebrate her birthday, I'll think of her often on the 14th.  Don't forget that the 14th is VALENTINE'S DAY.

Monday, January 24, 2011

It's Elementary

When a new year arrives, I often feel energized and upbeat, ready for a new challenge or two.

On New Year's Eve, between dinner and a movie, we stopped at Walmart to kill some time.  Of course, they're always open and ready to take a person's money.  (Could that be why they keep such ungodly hours!!!  Do you think?)

As I strolled the aisles, I came across the artist supplies.  I purchased this set of acrylic paints, a set of brushes, an acrylic pad and a few palettes.  That was the easy part.  Now I have to become inspired so I can put these tools to work.  A normal person would be inspired first and then seek the tools with which to express himself.  Normal, I'm not.  

Forty or more years ago, I briefly played around with acrylic paints.  The only painting I remember putting on an acrylic board was a cross-section of a lemon.  Yup!  It was elementary at best.  Unfortunately, I haven't set my sights any higher this time around.  I can almost guarantee that my paintings will be astonishing only in their simplicity and my obvious lack of any noteworthy artistic talent.  That's okay. 

Why bother then? you might ask.  My response if you posed that question would be:  Purely for the benefits that come of a diversion.

I am a ghastly creature of habit.  My weeks are nearly identical with my job, workouts, blogging, reading and household tasks taking up the majority of my time.

For that reason, I'm hoping that one of these days I'll open up my paints and get out of my rut, if only for an hour or two at a time.  Who knows what might or might not happen. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My No-Nonsense Nifty Organizer

I found this cool organizer at TJMaxx a couple of weeks ago.  The white base is metal and the dividers are plastic.  It's a simple system without bulk or any unnecessary parts.
 I spaced and placed the dividers to my liking.  The base is approximately 6 by 11 inches so it doesn't take up much room on my work table.

Next, I added some items I use regularly.  This nifty little organizer holds more than I imagined it would and there's still room for a couple more items.  Now I can grab the book or folder I need more easily than when they were in a stack.

I'm quite pleased with my bargain-priced ($5.99) organizer.

Getting and staying organized is a never-ending challenge.  Don't you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Reflective Moment Quotation

My friend, Sarie, gave me a beautiful Reflective Moments book, a collection of quotations and images for contemplation.

The first entry is: 

The moment one gives close
attention to anything,
even a blade of grass,
it becomes a mysterious, awesome,
indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Henry Miller (1891-1980)

Thank you, Sarie.  I'll be sharing more of these in the many months ahead.  The book has twenty-three quotations and accompanying photos so I'll have monthly blog posts featuring them for two years.  Yay!  As Sarie suggested, they'll also make good prompts for my journaling.   

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One Out of Two Isn't Bad, Is It?

A cool comp book cover, don't you think?
Since the first of the year, I've been struggling out of bed half an hour earlier than usual.  It's the one New Year's resolution I've kept.

Instead of lying awake and being lazy, I'm getting up at 6:30 instead of 7:00.  I shower, dress for work and then sit down with a pen to journal in one of my notebooks in my plentiful collection.  Presently, I'm using the Comp Book in the photo at the right.  I think I paid fifty cents for it.  As you know, I buy goodies off the clearance shelves at Staples.

I write with a gel pen, printing each word neatly.  I enjoy forming the letters almost as much as I enjoy expressing myself.  Occasionally, I journal in the afternoon or evening if I feel moved.

I hope to continue this habit and gradually get up even earlier.
I'm on page 18 already.  Yay!  I wonder how many notebooks I can fill in a year.

********************************************************************************** ******************I haven't done nearly as well with my other New Year's resolution.  I resolved to focus on the positive and downplay the negative.  After my first day back to work in 2011, on January 3rd, I complained without ceasing to my husband regarding work for at least ten minutes.  When I realized what I'd done, it was too late.  I'd broken my resolution and then some, already.  Good grief!

I'm really, really "trying" to be good.  I'm looking at the positive side of things by being thankful for keeping one of my resolutions.  One out of two isn't bad, is it?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do I Look Puzzled?

I can't stay away from Staples.  Fortunately, I am a wise shopper when I stroll the aisles.  If an item isn't clearance priced, I don't pay any attention to it.  Really, I'm not interested in paying Staples' extravagant prices for items I can buy at a reasonable cost right across the street.

Before I started writing regularly, I worked crosswords puzzles frequently.  I'd gotten away from them until I found this "posh crosswords" book which caught my eye and then winked at me from a clearance shelf.  I picked it up, admiring its flirty cover.  At half price, I had to have it.

It fits nicely into an outer pocket of my purse so it can go everywhere with me.  I may get into the habit of spending at least five or ten minutes exercising my brain beside the fireplace at NorthPointe after my body workouts.

Are you a sucker for cute things?   

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Going to Heaven Tomorrow

My son, Jared, gave me a gift card for a massage and a facial at NorthPointe's spa.  The card was in that pretty netting sleeve with the spa services brochure.  I can't imagine a more wonderful gift. 

Tomorrow, I'll work from 8:00 until noon.  From there, I'll drive straight to NorthPointe for a workout.  After exercising hard, I'll shower.  With some time to spare before my 3:00 massage appointment, I plan to sit with a book by the fireplace in the main lobby just outside the spa.  (I've never allowed myself that luxury before).  

I absolutely love massages and can't wait for an entire hour of total relaxation.  I've had maybe two or three massages in my life.  I can't explain the heavenly sense of peace and well-being that I've felt.  It feels so, so, so good to be pampered and treated like a queen.  The only thing I won't like is when it's over.  I won't want to break the spell that massages put me in.

I foresee that when my masseur is finished with me and tells me I should get dressed, I may just ignore her.  Instead of cooperating, I'll just lie there.  She'll be sweet but insistent and I'll make a deal with her.  I'll promise to leave without making a scene if she promises to find someone to carry me from the spa all the way to my truck.  I doubt my body will be up for the long walk.

I really will be as close to heaven tomorrow as I'll ever get while still here on Earth.

Twenty-four hours later:  I've had my massage and if you'd like to read about how it went, please go to the 5th comment below. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Psst. Let Me Share Something With You About Norwegian Lefse.

This is better tasting than the one below.
 If you're Norwegian, I'd venture to say that you've probably had lefse.  Mom always made it for Christmas.

The only way I'll eat it is with butter spread and sugar sprinkled on it.  I can't explain why, but I absolutely love lefse.  

I've helped Mom make it and I've made it myself, but it's quite a project.  I have so many other interests that draw me away from the kitchen that I can't bring myself to make it anymore.  

Although, this is good too.
Over the years, I've seen lefse in grocery stores but couldn't bring myself to buy it.  I've always felt that it's sacred.  It really doesn't belong anywhere but in the home and stomachs of genuine Norwegians.  I can't tell you why, but lefse looks foreign to me when I see it sealed in plastic, labeled and promoted as if it were just another edible item for sale.

This year, I pushed past the boundaries of my comfort zone.  I picked up a package of lefse from the grocery store cooler, eyed it suspiciously, took a deep breath and finally added it to the contents of my cart.  It looked so fragile there among the meats, fruits and vegetable.   

At home, I put the package on the counter.  I still wasn't sure I hadn't sinned greatly by bringing commercially made lefse into my home.  I even poked it with a fork and when nothing happened, I threw up my hands.  I had no excuse not to try it.

I spread butter and sprinkled sugar on a sheet of it and rolled it up.  I took a bite, chewed and swallowed it.  I'll be damned I said to myself.  If I hadn't bought it myself, I wouldn't have known it wasn't genuine, made at home lefse.

Discovering an easy way to get my hands on lefse is one of the best things that happened to me in 2010.

(By the way, I'm half Norwegian).        

Monday, January 3, 2011


Ahem and ahem again.  Is everyone here?  Hey!  You in the back; listen up.
I promised to announce birthdays on my blog this year.  Do you remember that?  With patience and persistence, I collected birthdates from a whole bunch of you, my faithful followers.

Guess whose birthday falls in this first month of the year.  Guess whose birthday is in Janjuary (an intentional misspelling).  As much as I'd like to recognize and announce everyone else's special day before getting to mine, I can't.  Besides, you're considered to be my followers in the world of bloggers, right?  By definition, it's up to me to step up and show the rest of you how it works.  

Don't let me kid you.  If I couldn't be first, by golly, I would never have come up with the birthday announcement idea.  Most of you know I'm competitive so I doubt you're surprised by my confession.  And yet, more than my competitiveness, I'm driven by my strange sense of humor.  For me, this is kind of funny.  Hey, you in the back.  What'd you say?  You fail to see the humor?  (Good grief!  Somebody haul him out of here, would ya?)       

There's another way to look at it.  Many of us are writers.  Literally, if you're my followers, I'm obligated to be a leader.  To lead means I have to pop out first. 

So without further ado, I'd like to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, that is, to Shaddy, Cher, Cheryl, Cherie and some other names I'm called, but would rather not mention at this time.

Grab your sunglasses, a plate and a fork and gather round my birthday cake.  I'm not happy about my age, yet I'm not afraid to admit it.  Trust me, that's not a forest fire.  It's the flames of sixty-two candles stuck in the frosting that are threatening to singe your eyeballs.  It's a mighty blaze and a sight to see, if I do say so myself.

I hope you've had fun at the party.  Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Seriously, I can't think of my birthday without remembering this.  Every year on my birthday, Dad would recount that when I was learning to talk, if asked for my birthday, I'd say "Janjuary Chuneeuth" which in English is January 20th.  I miss hearing that and enjoying the cakes Mom always made.

I can't close without saying that I appreciate that you (who actually lead me) put up with my shenanigans, year after year.  I wish you loads of your favorite things throughout the month of January.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Come On Kids. Cough It Up!


As you may have noticed, I'm in the habit of welcoming the months of the year here on my blog.  Beginning this year, when I introduce a month, I'll announce the names of my followers whose birthdays are within that month.

I know this news is terribly exciting for all of you and unless your birthday is in January, you'll have trouble sleeping nights as you wait the many days before your name appears in this most honored place. 

I've collected nine of my followers' birthdates.  So far I have:


I'm lacking the birthdates of the persons listed below:


(If your name isn't here, forgive me and please join in by leaving me your birthdate.  Family members need not speak up as I've got your numbers!!??)

I realize this is a very busy time of the year, so I'm cutting you some slack.  When I get an idea and adopt it, I'm relentless in bringing it to fruition.  Thus, I'm making this second appeal to those of you who are holding back to COUGH UP YOUR BIRTHDATE.  Please make my year, won't you? 

I don't care how old or young you are.  I'm not asking for the year when you made your very first showing on this planet.  I won't benefit in any way by knowing your age and revealing it to my wide audience, huh.  In most cases, I'm older than you so I can't even give you a bad time regarding your accumulated years.

I thank all of you for sharing my days over the years we've been acquainted.
My wishes for you today and throughout 2011:  Do what you should; be kind; do what you enjoy; be kind; and you will be HAPPY!