Category Archives: Cause for Celebration
For a long time I’ve been at an ‘awkward stage’ when it comes to finding jeans that fit reasonably.
One of my good friends gave me some jeans to tide me over several months ago. It was funny because women’s sizes are so wonky that some of the smaller ones fit while the larger size was too small!
Anyway, the last couple of times we went bowling, she said my jeans were baggy. My problem was that yes, these were baggy, but the next size down was too small!
My husband and I went to the exclusive department at Walmart yesterday with the goal of either finding a ‘skinny’ cut in my current size or ‘fat’ cut in the next size down.
We ended up with a ‘W’ stretch version of the next size down in petite. (In real English this means I’m short and wide.) I actually did a happy dance (woo-HOOOOO!) in the fitting room when I actually was able to pull them up and zip them with no problem! I came out to where my husband was waiting and he gave them a thumbs up. :0)
We went back and found a second pair, so now I can wear one pair while the other is in the laundry.
Since I’m planning to lose another 30 lbs, these two pairs of jeans will hold me over until I reach another landmark.
We’ve had a good day.
The temperature is 79 and the sun is shining. There is a nice breeze.
My husband mowed the lawn while I cleaned out the greenhouse and started more spinach seed. (Always optimistic!)
Then we changed the tires on the truck from the snow tires to our regular tires. We’re glad we don’t have to do this more than twice each year, but we save money doing it ourselves. When we bought the Honda Ridgeline, we bought 4 extra wheels and snow tires and had them mounted. We keep them in the shop. In late November or early December, depending on the weather, we change from our regular tires to our snow tires. In April, we change them back.
We’re getting a bit long in the tooth for this, but my husband says each time we do it, my help is better and better. :0)
Today we celebrated all the good things we accomplished by splitting a seafood platter at The Deli for lunch!
A truly wonderful day.
I’ve been a good girl today, doing some of the things I hate most – balancing checkbooks, filing, and tax prep for 2019.
I have the equivalent of a doctorate – plus in the fine art of procrastination. For years I have paid for it and the end of the year/beginning of the next year – being buried in receipts. I HATE tax prep and my husband calmly washed his hands of it years ago. He does bring me cups of coffee every once in a while, as encouragement, but that’s as involved as he gets.
When I finally could dump all of the organized receipts for 2018 on our wonderful CPA, I promised myself I would do things differently from now on. (Truth be told, I promise myself a LOT of things, only to procrastinate until the promises become meaningless.)
This year, though, I’m happy to tell you I have just finished
- balancing our checkbooks
- filing (I can see my desk!) – AND
- converting receipts of all types for the month of March into the spreadsheets for taxes for 2019 I started at the beginning of the year.
Instead of cramming all the monthly receipts into monthly folders and then trying to make sense of things at the end of the year, I am going through the monthly receipts, listing things on the proper spreadsheet, then putting the receipts into a folder labeled for that deduction. No monthly folder anymore once the month is over. This way, at the end of the year I can simply total each category on the various spreadsheets, print them, list the information on the tax form booklet our CPA provides, already having the receipts ready to take!
I have officially finished 1/4 of 2019 now – can you see my grin?
The day isn’t yet half over and I’ve already had a super celebration of my birthday. It seems the older you get the more you get to celebrate! :0)
My celebration started yesterday at Lunch Bunch. One of my dear friends, Linda, brought me an inspired present – a pair of battery-powered LED candles. I say, “inspired” because I LOVE candles, but I almost never burn them anymore because I’m afraid I’ll forget I lit them and will leave them to cause damage to our home. These give a nice wavy glow like a candle, but they don’t get hot, won’t burn the house down, and turn off after 4 hours. I can move them to wherever I am! I’m enjoying one beside my computer right now. We enjoyed one at breakfast, and then I moved it to the table beside my chair in the living room.
I wish I were a better photographer because this picture doesn’t do them justice. I’ve seen things where there are real plants between two layers of glass, and those are lovely. These are reminiscent of that, but also look like a nice watercolor.
When I came home yesterday, I had a birthday card waiting in the mailbox from a dear friend! We chat often via email, but it’s wonderful to have a real card – personal mail – in the box.
Today I have received MANY beautiful wishes from friends on Facebook and LinkedIn. I’m really overwhelmed and thankful.
Next week my husband is taking me out for my favorite food – lobster tail!
AND another wonderful friend has told me I’ll get another present at Lunch Bunch next Friday.
I am 72 today, and very happy to be celebrating yet another birthday. I have a wonderful life, sharing it daily with a man I fell in love with 58 years ago. (We’ll celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in June). We have a son who is living his dream, yet takes time to tell us he loves us and thank us for our support. What more could anyone ask?
I’ll also celebrate by playing in my art room today. I’m working on a painting I started yesterday. I’m having great fun experimenting with techniques. :0)
THANK YOU for giving me such a happy celebration!
I’ve told you I absolutely HATE tax time – the whole trying to make sense of my records, feeling overwhelmed, etc.
When I finished these and dumped them on our wonderful CPA around the 15th of January, I promised myself I would start a different way of keeping records so that I didn’t hate this time of year so much.
When I created spreadsheets to summarize our receipts in each category, I copied each of them, labeling them “Whatever Category – 2019”. I promised myself that I would take time at the end of each month, enter the relevant numbers into the spreadsheets, and then file the receipts under the appropriate tax category, rather than the month as I have always done.
I just finished entering the information for February – hence the pat on the head and bowing cardinal! :0)
If I can keep this up, at the end of the year I SHOULD be able to just total the categories on the spreadsheets, print them, and bag them up for the CPA.
I’m a bit embarrassed that I have moaned/griped/whined for years about this – never coming up with a better way to attack it until this year.
Someone should say something memorable, such as, “Better late than never….” don’t you think?
Can you see me dancing around the room?
I FINISHED my part of the tax prep! Now the envelopes of organized information wait for us to add our stuff from Schwab to it and then we can dump it onto our wonderful CPA. YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I just finished renaming the spreadsheet I created to open them for 2019 records. My GOAL is to update things once a month, adding the needed information, then filing the paper records according to deduction categories, rather than months. I think – if I can keep it up – this will save me a lot of time, effort, and tension next year.
Now I’m going to celebrate with a cup of coffee, at least one animals in my lap, and a good conversation with my husband.
My face is split ear to ear with a huge, goofy grin.
Our son is HOME.
I’ve received three good hugs so far – one at the airport and two when we got home.
He took the ‘short’ flight from Chiang Mai here – 28 hours all told – (8 hours waiting between flights). He flew from Chiang Mai to Incheon, South Korea, waited 4 hours and then flew from Incheon to the DFW airport. Waited another 4 hours and then flew from Dallas to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
He said the OTHER option was one which would take 58 hours.
He was in shorts, sandals, a tee shirt and a hoodie. He said when he left Chiang Mai, it was in the high 80s – night time, and he was sweating the minute he left the house. He never has to wear a hoodie, much less long pants, heavier shirt, full shoes and socks, and maybe even a coat, hat and gloves…. It woke him up to have to walk with us to the car in short-term parking.
We tried to prepare him for Amber, our 94 pound yellow lab PUPPY, but the reality of Amber is a ‘whole-nuther-thing.’ She finally calmed down enough for me to get her to go to her place and THEN Brian could get to know her a bit. Molly remembered him, even though it has been years since he ‘disappeared.’ I thought she would wag her little stubby tail off. She cried, trying to get closer and closer to him. (I know how she feels.)
I’m smiling all over knowing that he’s upstairs sleeping now. We’ll plan to eat some beef stew together tonight, talk a bit, relax, and then regroup for tomorrow. We need to get supplies for the smoothies he wants to make and other food, plus get his driver’s license renewed before it expires on his birthday. (He needs one when he’s here, but not in Chiang Mai.)
We’ll play the next three weeks by ear, open to whatever he would like to do. I’m hoping we can talk a lot. And I’ll sneak in as many hugs as he’ll allow…
Our son is coming home today for a visit! He’s been in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this time, for over three years.
Thankfully, he’s a really good communicator, so most of the time we can ignore the fact that he’s across the world from us. We have a secure chat program he set up so we can either message each other or ‘talk’ real time. (He let me know he’s at the DFW airport now waiting for his flight that will bring him here.)
His flight has been really awful – not a lot of plane changes but the whole flight from his place to our airport will have taken 28 hours! Needless to say, he wants to come straight home and hit the bed for several hours before sharing some beef stew with us tonight. Just knowing he’s up in what is now the guest room will have me smiling all day long. :0)
He will stay about three weeks – celebrating his birthday AND Christmas with us!
This photo of our son, Brian, and me was taken at Christmas in 2007. It’s still one of my all-time favorite photos.
I’ve been a Scrooge, basically, since then because my heart wasn’t really in it. Our son decided several years ago that in order to really learn Mandarin, he needed to live where it was spoken. He packed up and went to China, attending an American language school there, leaving just before they had a terrible earthquake. He came home, but then went back, this time living in Shanghai.
Then he decided that he wanted to live somewhere more quiet, so he went to Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has made it a point not only to continue learning Mandarin, but also to learn Thai. He participates on a regular basis on an app where people can call in for translations between Mandarin and English and Thai. This allows him to get more and more fluent as he tries to help others.
A friend and his wife joined him in Chiang Mai several years ago. They work together doing computer stuff for various clients in the U.S. Before he left the last time, he set up a secure chat program so that we could leave messages or type at each other real-time. We do that on almost a daily basis. He also set up a program called ‘appear.in’ which he and his friend use in conference calls. We can see each other real-time and talk, like Skype or other similar programs, but MUCH better quality.
It’s been three years since he’s been home. We communicate more than a lot of families who live in the same city, so he hasn’t really seemed a world away, though he gives wonderful hugs, and my ‘hugs bucket’ has been empty for a long time now.
Recently he talked about MAYBE coming home for a visit. I put it out of my mind because a lot can happen in a short space of time, making it impossible – although intentions are the best.
He is actually coming home! We will pick him up at the airport on the 10th of this month!!!! He can stay until January 2nd, when he will fly to see other relatives and good friends before returning to Chiang Mai.
I am definitely feeling the Scrooge in me thawing this year. This morning I got out the two Christmas wreaths I kept after my purge of ‘stuff’ in our home and put them up. I then got out one bag of decorations that I’ve put up in the past, when I wanted to look at least a little bit festive. These are up in the dining area now. (I’ll take some pictures to share a bit later today.)
My husband and I decided that this year we would decorate a Christmas tree and get out all the decorations we haven’t used in years. This means we will need to move furniture in the living room to accommodate the tree – plus haul the huge Tupperware bin of decorations and the tree up from the basement – something we haven’t done in a long time. I’ve decided to wait until our son is home to do the tree, so we can do it together as a family.
As the fact that he has his tickets, and we have a flight arrival time now (the trip from Chiang Mai to here will take a total of 28 hours with layovers, etc) the fact that he’s REALLY coming home is starting to sink in. My heart feels full, plus lighter and lighter. I keep finding myself smiling.
The very best Christmas present we could have – except for when I gave birth to him 40 years ago on Dec. 13th…
I’m only halfway to my weight loss goal, but a few TANGIBLE things are helping motivate me:
I showed you several weeks ago that I am finally able to wear a sweater/jacket top that I’ve moved back and forth between closets for several years now.
Today I was finally able to wear a snuggly, soft, furry vest that my husband bought me years ago in the Grand Canyon Gift Shop.
And I’m actually able to zip it up without a problem! It has coyotes, bears, moose, evergreen trees, half-moons and other things all around the bottom third of the vest. I loved it when he bought it for me, and now I feel as if I have a ‘new’ vest. I love it again!
We were talking about our efforts on the way to town to do our errands this morning. I pointed out that it was a big deal that my husband has been able to change his 38/30 jeans for 34/30 currently, and soon will need to go to 32/30! TANGIBLE differences make you feel as if your efforts are worth it.
AND I’m going for a gold star on my calendar today for doing my session of yoga! :0)
If you have things that have motivated you in your efforts to lose weight or exercise, I would love it if you would share them with me.
I found this sweater/jacket 5 years ago or so and simply loved it. Sadly, it was too small, but I TOLD myself that I would lose some weight and finally be able to wear it. I’ve moved it back and forth from the guest closet to my closet, trying it on once a year since then, with the same result. Even with my determination to get rid of things all over the house, including clothes that don’t fit, I just COULDN’T part with it.
Deep purple is my color. Whenever I see a group of things, all the same except for color, I’m drawn to the dark purple one. The fact that this sweater-jacket had leather on the front, with cut out flowers, made me drool (though I was careful NOT to on the sweater!)
This is the back. It can be worn as a top or added as a jacket.
Here’s a close up of the flowers.
I haven’t lost poundage or lardage this week. The scales are still flirting with 30 pounds off, but I’m not there yet. My measuring tape is unimpressed, showing the same as last week, even though I’ve been working, cleaning, and exercising. The one thing that stands out is from my switching from summer to winter clothes and trying things on.
I have a full leaf bag now of tops that are too large AND my sweater/jacket finally FITS. YES!!!!!!
I’m about half way to my goal in weight loss and inches now. It may take the rest of my natural life to get there, but I’m on my way!
My husband and I went for our quarterly checkup by our primary doctor this afternoon. We got blood tests last week and were hopeful that we would see some changes for the better.
I’ve told you my husband is a Type II Diabetic. His A1C last quarter was 7.6. (This was down a bunch from his original count of 16+, but still wasn’t normal.) Today it was 6.2 (the goal for diabetics is <7). HOOORAAAAAAY! We had essentially given up ever getting a normal reading again, and were just concentrating on eating right and getting the numbers as low as we could. We practically danced around the room!
The big difference in my numbers was in Lipid Profile (Fats in the blood, I think)
- Cholesterol was down 107 points
- LDL down 57 points
- Non-HDL down 70 points
- Triglycerides down 61 points
She said that since my husband and I are essentially eating the same foods, my exercise was the cause of my improved numbers!
She was so pleased she said I could wait to come back for SIX months. I’ve been going quarterly for YEARS, so this was super good news. If my husband keeps his good numbers in November, HE can go to every six months, too!
Tonight we’re going bowling with our good friends and having our FLEX snack for the week, a scoop of ice cream from Braum’s. We celebrated by having a FLEX lunch, as well, enjoying a couple of pieces of fried fish from our local grocery deli. We haven’t had that for almost five months now, so it was a joyous celebration, even though we’re supposed to spread the flex meals out – one per day.
We knew we had lost weight. We knew we had lost inches (though my husband won’t measure, he’s losing his tummy)
It was wonderful to have the doctor confirm with objective numbers that we’re improving our health. She said, as we were leaving, “I wish all my patients took an active interest in their health and worked as hard as you two have.”
A wonderful pat on the head! :0)
I’m having so much FUN this afternoon! About two months ago I saw an ad on Facebook (I know, but there it was) for a “light box” or “LED tracing board.” Since I’m currently trying to learn new techniques for adding fur and feathers to animals, being able to trace a few outlines and distinctive features of drawings or pictures I like and then being able to concentrate on the techniques for making feathers and fur more realistic in various media seems like a wonderful idea.
It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to try to draw the animals and birds from scratch as time goes on, but – to be honest – I’m intimidated and it will take a while to work through that. With the light box or tracing board, I can bypass my insecurities, learn, and have fun!
This gives you an idea of what I ordered. It came today and I’m like a kid in a candy shop. It’s ultra thin and you plug it into your computer. There are three intensities of LED light settings.
I hooked it up, then ran upstairs to get my sketch book, tracing paper, carbon paper, pencils, plus my “Keys to Painting Fur & Feathers” edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf, and plopped down in front of my computer. I’ve now traced a bird and am now using carbon paper to transfer it to my sketch book. I have the outlines of two drawings I did years ago already in the sketch book. When I get several sketches (tracings) added, I can then concentrate on the suggestions for adding feathers to these beautiful creatures in colored pencils, watercolor, pastels, acrylics, pen & ink, and mixed media.
Here is my drawing of a kingfisher
And my drawing of a parrot
and this is the first step in the tracing of another bird I found that I like. This is being transferred to my sketch book using carbon paper.
I know this isn’t easy to see, but you can get the idea of what I’m doing.
I have to stop and get lunch for us now, but I’ll get back to this ASAP. :0)
We just got back from Fort Smith, where my husband took me to celebrate my 1100 blog subscribers with a lobster tail dinner.
To tell you I savored every bite just doesn’t do this meal justice. Each bite of the lobster tail was dipped in the melted butter and then accompanied by a groan of pleasure as I put it in my mouth. This is truly my favorite food.
My husband had a grilled chicken salad and a Corona.
We both had a Red Lobster biscuit
It was a wonderful celebration lunch.
On the way home we were treated to another wonderful surprise –
I tried to find an image as close to what we saw as possible – an older doe, a young one without spots and a fawn. They were on the left side of the road as we turned on the curve. The oldest one went across the road first, kind of lackadaisically, as if she wasn’t worried at all. The younger doe and the fawn waited on the left. We stopped the car and watched. Finally the younger doe jumped and ran across the road, followed very closely by the fawn. Once they got on the other side, they turned to look at us.
It is truly hot outside right now – 95 degrees, 50% humidity = a heat index of 105. Add full bellies to that and a couple of people I know may take naps this afternoon –