Saturday, February 18, 2012


This is the end of The Fishbowl Chronicles. I need a new, fresh space. When I first named this blog, I meant it to be a statement that our lives are always open for others to see. Not in a stalker-ish kind of way, although that could happen. But maybe as a reminder to myself that someone might be watching so behave accordingly. Unfortunately, I got stuck feeling like the title dictated the template. Fish, or fishbowl templates are few and far between. And I will never be happy with a random template of something else, like birds, or buttons or flowers when it doesn't match the title. Therefore, I am doing the only thing I can think of to rectify the problem....I am creating a new blog. One that gives me more freedom to change up templates and not feel stuck.

The Fishbowl Chronicles is staying put for now. Its my journal, and I have loved it.
I'm not ready to pull the plug and delete it entirely. But now, please join me in my new space: Errors Have Been Made

I'll see you there! Love to all!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

These things I know...

I may not know much, I DO know this much:

-I will never EVER live in Florida. Not for ANY reason. Besides being so hot and humid that it could make you die in the summer...I just watched an hour long documentary about how many exotic snakes have been brought there, and allowed to escape and breed. Pythons are apparently roaming free, scarfing up all the other (cuter) wildlife like raccoons and feral cats. And although I had already heard about this problem, I did NOT know that other snakes, extremely venomous ones, are also slithering around in record numbers. A cable guy got bit by a green African Mamba....WTH was it doing in a Florida suburb??? Too creepy. My phobia mandates that I have a snake-free environment. At least as much as is humanly possible.

-My bangs are driving me crazy. Growing them out fills me with dread. There is a distinct possibility that I may shave my head for just a few inches surrounding my face. Could work....maybe?

-I am either reading or listening to books on CD pretty much all the time. And no matter what I am reading/listening to, I find myself thinking about how cool it would be to live a life like the ones in the novels. Last week I listened to "The Secret" about an Amish family in Lancaster, PA. It all seemed so cool and peaceful at the time. But you KNOW that I wouldn't adjust to life without electrcity at all. So funny that I would for even 1 second think it sounded wonderful. This week, it's a book about the lives of 3 women who run an antique emporium in Indiana. Hilarious how it all sounds so interesting and fun even though Stephen and Hannia practically ran screaming from that state....I guess my imagination is just particularly active. LOL

- Grocery shopping gives me sticker shock every single time here lately. I don't have the free time to run around town looking for sales....but there needs to be some way to get creative with cost cutting the exorbitant food bill. Geez....

-I am sick of election stuff already. All the Republican candidates are clowns, and the whole thing is a travesty, no matter what party you subscribe to. I view the upcoming year, at least politically speaking, with a sense of impending doom.....sad.

-This week has dragged on for far too long.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Soon, I will have my little netbook back. I hope. Bruce figured out the problem (a cable to the screen which runs through the hinged area....can you say bad design?). And after opening and closing it thousands of times for the past 2 years, it finally frayed and stopped working.
Anyway, a new one has been ordered and is on the way. A new cable, NOT a netbook. I'm not sure I would buy another one, but I still do love the size of it. But when I get my netbook back to a working state, I will get a new blog template up here. I am tired of the snowman. So tired that I can barely log in to write a post....

Anyway, we had a low key kind of Valentines evening, having celebrated over the weekend already. We didn't go for flowers or candy. But we did do cards. Bruce gave me the best card ever. It is 2 cats sitting in a car, sharing popcorn at a drive-in. It says that "we are a classic.". When you open it, it has a full pop up scene of cats in the car, the theme from Casablanca is playing (proclaimed as CATSABLANCA across the silver screen). And the screen and taillights of the car light up. I loved it immediately. LOL.

Oh well, the week is winding down, and all I want is for the weekend to begin.

Monday, February 13, 2012

House Hunters International

I find myself getting so annoyed watching this show. These people move abroad, wanting a new life experience, which is awesome. But they spend the whole house hunting time whining and complaining. This bedroom is too small for our oversized American furniture that we insist on dragging across the ocean, for thousands of miles with us, so we can feel like we never left home. Or, this kitchen doesn't have a dishwasher, and although practically none of the kitchens in this particular country are designed for a dishwasher....I am too lazy to use soap and water to wash a plate. I mean seriously??? If you want to live exactly like you did back home, then stay the hell back home. Duh! Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

This couple I am watching right now is bitching that their American appliances won't work with the local electrical voltage. It's killing me. Like they can't buy a new microwave or learn to use a stove??? Where do they find these people? Erica has learned to do without a microwave and a clothes dryer. She left her American appliances at home, and didn't waste time trying to convince the city of York to change the whole electrical system to accommodate her.....and she is making it work without a car. Take that stupid people who don't understand what it means to experience a different culture. I just need to stop watching. How stupid am I to sit here getting angry when all I have to do is turn the idiotic thing OFF! LOL.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Woman in Black

We went to see Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) in The Woman In Black this afternoon. It wasn't the most astonishing movie ever....but it was a good, solid ghost story. Very creepy, with lots of apprehensive moments. Radcliffe did a great job of it too. I never thought of him as "Harry Potter" at all, until Bruce said, "why doesn't he just whip out his wand and fix this?". LOL. That was my biggest concern....that I wouldn't be able to see past Harry Potter to enjoy the movie. But it was good, and I enjoyed it.

Anyway, this weekend rushed past us all too quickly. Saturday was all stuff, errands, and laundry for me. Poor Bruce worked on his car all day. He had to replace the fuel pump....ugh. Stephen came over and helped him, but it still took a long time. And it was exhausting. We felt like we deserved a day to take it easy....

One thing that is bothering me right now...I can't post blog pics from this iPad. Apparently people are waiting on a good app for blogger. I can write a blog, obviously. But the "add image" option is blocked out. Frustrating! And my netbook is not functioning at the moment. Bruce is working on it, but whether he can fix it or not is up in the air. The screen isn't working unless you bring it down to almost the hinges are causing a loss of connection somehow?? I don't know. I had pics to share, but until we get this figured out...either on the iPad or my netbook is up and running, then that will just have to wait. Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The trouble with lottery tickets

The trouble with lottery tickets is the extreme letdown, the crushing disappointment when you don't win. LOL. But I agree with my son, you are not only buying a chance, no matter how slim and far-fetched, you are buying a chance to dream wildly for a few hours. Or days. It's fun. Bruce and I have our plan. The jackpot winning plan. We are taking off immediately for a celebration trip in Atlantis. First class all the way. Just for a few days....and then we will come home and start making plans, figuring out what we need to do next. These plans include such things as sharing with family, and random acts of kindness just because it would be so much fun.

But ok, I realize its a long shot. I haven't failed to pay bills or run up my credit cards waiting on a lottery win to bail me out. In fact, we basically rarely buy a ticket. Whenever there is a particularly large jack pot coming up, we break down. Like was at 250 million. Bruce bought a couple of tickets in hopes that we would be enroute to Paradise Island today. We went to work instead. At least nobody else won yet either....which means that I may take another shot at it for Saturday. Who knows? Maybe I will be on my way to my celebration dream vacation by the first of the week. Somebody has to win so why not me, right?

Monday, February 6, 2012


Not too much going on. Jeanne came up for the weekend, and we all went out for dinner with our friends, Chris and Jessica. We had a very nice time. I said this to Jeanne, but it always seems life gets in the way of seeing people and just getting together to have fun. Never enough time. But when it happens, it's great. I just need to figure out how to make more time for it.

And then, Stephen made homemade doughnuts for our Sunday breakfast. Really nice of him, too. So yummy. But absolutely none of our festivities included the Super Bowl. Not a fan. I just don't care anything about it. I did watch part of Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl". My favorite part is Kitty Halftime....LOL. That's about all the sports that I can handle.

So it's a brand new week. Hopefully it will be a good one, for ALL of us.

Friday, February 3, 2012

News from UK

I thought I would send out an update on Erica for the family. She has settled in and has figured out the basics of city living in the UK. She bought herself a bike to make getting around town easier. We Skype at least twice a week, and yes, I made her drag her computer around the apartment so I could see her place. LOL. I am sure there was some eye rolling, but she did it. She just sent an email this week that struck a chord....apparently, science in the UK is the same as science in the US. Department meetings and politics take up so much time that Erica feels like there is never enough time to work on her actual project. And budget concerns are basically the same too. They were just informed that due to budget cuts they were losing a lab technician and would have to absorb the extra busy yeah. Same stuff, different country.

All in all, though, she sounds happy. People seem to go out and socialize a good bit. She has joined a gym, and is working towards some event in the fall. Maybe a marathon...? I have forgotten exactly. One thing is this physical race where you crawl through mud and tunnels and all kinds of crazy stuff. Looks positively AWFUL to me, but Bruce is thinking its cool. But training for that and work, and being social has left Erica with zero free time. But she is enjoying herself. One thing I am disappointed in is the lack of pictures. My daughter just does NOT enjoy snapping photos around town. Oh well, I plan to do plenty of that when we visit. And even better, Stephen and Hannia are visiting in March, so I feel sure Hannia will remedy the lack of pictures dilemma. They are not only just visiting Erica in York, but the 3 of them are then traveling on to spend several days in Barcelona, Spain. We will get pics from both places, I hope. Bruce and I considered traveling somewhere else as well. But I decided that I wanted to get really familiar with York this first visit (we are going in April). I like to be able to picture the environment my kids are in. It makes me feel better somehow. I want to not only do the touristy things, but I want to see the university campus, the places she likes to shop....get a feel for how her daily life is there. But anyway, things seem good for Erica in the UK. Same headaches with the job as here, but I know she is enjoying being in a new city. She is planning on going with friends to Munich for Oktoberfest.....and the ability to just pick up and go to another place so easily there...I know she is happy to have this experience. And although I AM missing her, Skype makes it better and seriously? I am glad she took this chance to experience all of this, too. Now, if she would only take some pictures....LOL.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ice Cream

I've been thinking about ice cream a lot lately. Is that weird? In Jan-Feb.? Well, it WAS in the low 70's here for the past few days. But I think it has more to do with trying to eat healthier. It triggers some kind of craving every single time. So I was thinking about ice cream, and how the BEST ice cream I have ever eaten was the home made, hand churned kind my grandmother used to make every now and then in the hottest part of the summer. She had this huge front porch and it seems like everybody did most of their living out there when days were warm. She had lots of rocking chairs and a big sturdy porch swing. I think I'm getting nostalgic... I do remember the churn being loaded with ice and rock salt. And that hand churning was a long involved process. The churn got passed around so everybody had a turn, but once it started to set up and get thick, my Grandfather took over as it got harder and harder to turn the crank. Maybe one of the best parts was the anticipation...? It always felt like we waited an eternity for the churning to be done. But it was SO worth it. I remember vanilla, and occasionally chocolate. But my favorite was banana. I think it was the same basic vanilla recipe, but if there were a couple of ripe bananas going to waste, they got thrown in to the mix. So delicious. I have often thought about buying an ice cream churn. Probably an electric one. But fear always holds me back. For one thing, I am always afraid that the memory of that ice cream is better than the actual thing. How disappointing would that be? OR...what if it truly is as delicious as my memory says that it is? And I have a churn to make it whenever the mood strikes? I don't want my family to find me weighing over 500 pounds wallowing in sticky puddles of melted ice cream. For now, I think I'm better off thinking about it instead of eating it. Maybe this summer I will break down and buy one.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Sign of Things To Come.....

I was ready to put last week behind us. The cat, Stephen being so sick, car issues for both Stephen AND us...... Who can blame me? So I spent the weekend shaking off the bad vibes and started gearing myself up to welcome a fresh new week. A girl can hope, right? And so out the door I went this morning, feeling refreshed and ready for my day.....and that's when I spotted it. A FLAT tire. First thing on Monday morning. What a way to start the day. NOT!!! Oh well, I have another car that I used and thank God for that. I WAS late for work but no one seemed to notice. And by the time that I got home, just a few minutes ago, Hubby had repaired the tire, pumped it up, and had it ready to go. It had a nail in it..... So now I'm torn. I feel like I should be grateful that it didn't really slow me down all that much. A spare car and a handy husband made it only a slight inconvenience. But I still have this nagging fear in the back of my mind that this week will be a repeat of the last one. It can't possibly be that, can it? No, I am NOT going to give in to negativity. It was just a bump in the road and everything will be just fine. Fabulous, even. Right? No seriously...I AM right.....right?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Diets...sort of

We have been trying to eat healthier. Not diet, exactly. And we are also trying to minimize carbs. Again...not LOW carb exactly. Just lower carbs, smarter carbs. I refuse to give up certain things like fruit. But I haven't had bread in weeks. I guess you could say we are doing something more like the "no white" diet...but we are minimizing even the whole grain breads, cereals and pastas, too. Within reason. The idea of never eating pasta again is positively obscene to me. I am perfectly fine with the whole grain pastas...but NO pasta just ain't happening.

But ok, lower carb for us. I have been doing some checking online for ideas, tips and recipes. If you have any to share, it would be greatly appreciated. But one thing I kept coming across was a recipe for baked make a crispy "chip" substitute snack. I decided I had to try it. I did it this morning and Bruce was immediately suspicious. It looked weird. It made the house smell a bit like collards. But at some point this morning, about half of the plate of kale chips disappeared and he decided that they were actually "OK". And they are. Surprisingly tasty. I bought more fresh kale at the grocery store this afternoon to try again. I added too much salt the first attempt. And I cooked them just a bit too long. Now, I know, and I will be making another attempt soon.

Anyway, if you want to try these, it is extremely simple. Take fresh kale, making sure it is completely dry. Rip it into smaller bite sized pieces, discarding the stems. Toss in a bowl with just a spritz of olive oil and salt to taste. Place on a baking sheet with no overlapping, and bake at about 250 degrees for 20-30 minutes until crisp. Some people were experimenting with garlic and other seasoning, but the flavor is delicious without it. No carbs, very few calories in a wonderfully crispy snack. Apparently you have to pretty much make only what you will eat in a day or so, as these don't really keep well. They lose the crispness.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cancer in Cats

I thought that I would share some of what we learned from this sad experience with Brock. I did some online research, but also our vet called BOTH of us separately to discuss what happened. It wasn't her fault anymore than it was ours, but I think she felt bad for not preparing us for a diagnosis of cancer. She really did think it was a problem with a tooth, or teeth....?

But anyway, here is what I found out. Cats have a lower rate of cancer than dogs overall. BUT, cats have a much higher rate of oral cancer than almost any other animal. It is the most common cancer in cats, besides mammary (breast) cancer in cats that have not been spayed. It is believed to be caused by the grooming that cats do. Really, can you think of any other animal that does that? And while cats are certainly clean animals, it means that everything that touches their skin or fur eventually ends up in their mouths. Flea and tick treatments are being suspected as a leading cause. Also, second-hand smoke, household cleaners, lawn chemicals and pesticides as well as air pollution. You can't possibly monitor everything your cat comes into contact with, but indoor cats will be exposed to fewer toxins. Assuming you don't smoke, and assuming you make greener, less toxic choices for cleaning solutions.

I just thought I would pass this info on. It leaves me really torn about the flea treatment we use. It's a multiple purpose topical that also protects against heart worms. Our cats do go outside, but only in a protected enclosed area. We live too close to a busy road to let them free-roam. But Mosquitos are a problem. I may talk to the vet some more about it. Toxins from chemicals versus threat from heartworms....???

Of course, even in the most sheltered environment some cats are still genetically prone to cancer. There is no way to know as all of our cats are rescues. I can't exactly check their family medical history. But I will be more aware of what they are exposed to now though.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I am trying hard to keep everything (bad) that has happened this week, perspective. It is my tendency to get so overwhelmed by negativity that I get mired in it, unable to let it go. This is one of those things I intend to work on this year. I either see the bad things as having happened because of something that I did, or failed to do. Or that there is some cosmic conspiracy set in motion to make me suffer as much as possible.

I just have to figure out how to step back, take a breath and realize that sometimes things just happen randomly. People get sick, pets get sick, things break, and most of the time? It has absolutely nothing to do with me, with what I did or didn't do, with what I said or thought. And more likely than not, I am not important enough in the cosmic scheme of things to warrant a huge conspiracy. It MIGHT be karma, but I try to be a good person, well most of the time. I haven't tortured any babies or murdered any nuns, so?

Somehow I have got to figure out a way to stop the negative things that happen, presumably to everybody at least once in a while, from taking up all of my attention. Good things happen too. I just need to remember that more often.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not So Good

This week has not been so great. We lost one of our cats. He had been struggling, and not doing so well. We have made multiple trips to the vet, and once to our emergency clinic. It appeared as though he had an abscessed tooth. We scheduled the surgery for yesterday.....and our vet found a large cancerous mass in his jaw. There may have been tooth problems as well, but this was the main cause of why he was having so much trouble with eating. This was inoperable and there was nothing anybody could do. We thought it was a simple dental procedure, and then we lost him. We are still sad and shocked. It just sucks, and we both hate it so bad.

And although that was by far the worst of it, Stephen has been really sick, and we have ALL had car issues. And the cherry on top? I am having a bout of insomnia. Not every night, but enough. Anyway, the first month of this new year has left me very underwhelmed. I just hope things improve dramatically soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Downright UGLY

The Good:

-Kitty is getting better.

-We have gotten a lot done this weekend, and I will start my week feeling halfway on top of things (always makes a difference).

-Its gonna be almost 70 degrees here tomorrow.

-We have a townhouse lined up in York England for March, and I can't wait to see my daughter!!!!

-I have done well with my healthier eating so far this year, and have lost a few pounds (although I am trying NOT to make it about weight loss).

-The new season of "House" starts tomorrow night....yay!

-Stephen has had some job offers, and a really good interview, but I don't want to go into detail and jinx anything right now.

-Erica is really making a go of it in her new job and new town. She seems content, and although I miss her, that makes me happy.

-Loving the new airline laws that forces prices to INCLUDE taxes, and makes them HAVE to change your ticket, or give a refund if you give them at least a days notice. Because seriously, all of that is such a pain in the rear. A ticket from RDU to London is $300...but oh wait....its really over a thousand once you add in these arbitrary taxes. If the price is a thousand, then so be it but SHOW it instead of making me feel ripped off.

The Bad:

-We have had nothing but gray days and rainy weather for what seems like weeks now. (I realize its probably not that long, but man oh man, it sure feels like it).

-My little netbook is slowly dying. The screen blacks out, sometimes flickers....and while I LOVE my iPad, typing something like this blog is harder with the touch screen keyboard.

-Speaking of this blog, I so want a new template, but just can't work one out or find one online, free or otherwise. I would be willing to PAY if I could just find something new, fresh, and easy to install. And a simple layout would be nice too.
Something that would allow me to change/use my own photos would be ideal......Anybody got any ideas?

The Downright UGLY:

-Tomorrow is Monday, and seriously, it just can't GET any uglier than that. I am trying hard to hang on for 6 more years until I can retire. I am practicing positive thinking, trying to view my job with a different viewpoint. I am trying to feel gratitude to have a job in a rough economy....everything that I can possibly do to make it tolerable. And still....on Sunday evenings, a feeling of dread so deep and dark just overwhelms me.

Oh well, at least the Good outweighs both the Bad and the Ugly, so I guess I can feel like I am ahead of the game. Right?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Precious Weekends

I have been playing around with the template again. I just can't get exactly what I want. I may explore blogger's new templates and try to customize something. I am not so good with html code, so it takes a lot of trial and error for me. Which means it is time consuming. But maybe I will eventually get it like I want it. Until then, I guess the snowman remains. I attempted a few templates with a Valentine theme, but it never came out quite right.

Anyway, we have been really busy this week with a sick cat to nurse back to health. There is improvement, though, so we are hopeful. It has been like having a baby in the house. Even Erica finally sent me email asking if we were still "alive", since I hadn't had time to bug her on Skype lately. LOL. We are having a quiet weekend. Its semi-rainy (although incredibly warm for January), and we just want to hang close to home and take care of kitty.

I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend. When you work, weekends are extremely precious.......There never seems to be enough of them to go around.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


You know those weird, extremely vivid dreams that feel sooo real? I was in the middle of one of those when I woke up this morning. Bruce and I had bought a condo at the beach. It was on a peninsula, so we had ocean views out of the front and the back. The front was total sandy beach, but the back was strangely just grass right up to the water, more like a lake. The condo was kind of old inside. A great porch with fantastic views, but the inside was going to need a major overhaul.

The part that was so real was my Mom. She was visiting (my Mother passed away almost 8 years ago). We were going through room by room (it was a small 2 bedroom so not so many rooms) with ideas and paint colors. I remember that the kitchen appliances were really cheap and old and we decided that would be the first thing to change.

And then suddenly, it started to look stormy and we saw that huge waves were brewing on the backside ocean view. They started rising over those weird grassy banks and before I knew it, water was pouring in windows and doors on the back part of the condo. I remember Mom asking me if we had signed and finalized the closing in hopes that we could still get out of this thing, but I knew that we had. We were stuck with it. I woke up so disoriented, feeling like I had just talked to my Mom, but knowing I hadn't. Feeling like I had made some huge error in judgement....oh well. If dreams are prophetic, I think it's safe to say I probably shouldn't buy any beachfront property today. So weird. I am still shaking off the feeling.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It goes like this.....

Every week day morning our alarm goes off at precisely 6:20 am (giving me the time necessary to make it in to my office by 8:00 with precious few seconds to spare). Consequently, our preset coffee maker is set to brew at 6:15, because waiting for coffee at such a rude and unseemly hour is just unthinkable. And every day, as that annoying buzz begins (our alarm clock has a torture feature that makes the buzzer grow progressively louder to make it harder to ignore) I have come to realize that a very similar string of thoughts play out in my head.

1. Buzzer goes off at a halfway civilized volume. It's not too threatening yet. I can ignore it and incorporate it into my dream....what's that? Maybe it's just my phone buzzing in the latest text message from Johnny Depp. Mmmmm, yeah. Definitely Johnny again. What? Didn't I tell you that Johnny texts me constantly in my dreams? LOL.

2. Buzzer begins to invade my consciousness. I WOULD regard it with growing concern, but obviously it's Saturday and we just forgot to NOT set the alarm. I only have to feel mild annoyance instead. I really must speak to my husband about not using the alarm clock on weekends. Its just the force of habit. Because it IS Saturday, right? Or Sunday? Really, I will gladly take either one. But surely that alarm has GOT to be a huge mistake. Right?

3. Buzzer is becoming increasingly obnoxious. Vulgar even. I feel offended by it. More than that, I feel positively violated by it as I begin to realize with dawning horror that
it is NOT the weekend. My mind starts racing....I could call in sick and
then snuggle right back into my dreams. Ooops, wait, already did that
LAST week when I was really sick. It probably wouldn't go over real well with the boss to do it again so soon. Damn it.

4. Buzzer is now screaming loud enough that the whole county is probably wide awake by now. I still lie, immobilized with dread, as I wildly grasp at mental straws and last ditch efforts. We could sell the house. After all, the kids are all out on their own now. We could sell everything and go be beach bums somewhere in the Caribbean. Buy a small shack, pick pineapples for a would be great. Stress free, care free. I could just go
Back to sleep right now, at this one moment, and then...after we both get fired from our jobs, plan our great escape, call a realtor, google how one actually does harvest a pineapple.....

5. By now, the buzzer is deafening, so I finally reach over and shut it off. And all of this brainstorming over how to avoid starting my day has stirred up a HUGE craving for coffee. And then, oh well. Since I am up and have caffeine in hand, going on and getting ready for work seems suddenly like a whole lot less work than planning an escape. The path of least resistance, I guess. Maybe tomorrow I will come up with a more ingenious plan, or maybe it really will be Saturday. Who knows....maybe tomorrow will be the day that I wake up to an actual text from Johnny Depp. I like to believe that anything is possible.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Down, but not out

The year is young yet. Realistically, it is way too early to throw in the towel on it. But right now, my high hopes and optimism for the new year is waning a little bit. I can't seem to shake this crud. I am better, but so! Very! Tired! Not back to normal yet. And work is being it's usual beastly bitch-self. Add to that the gloomy weather...rain, and more rain, and it just hasn't lived up to my expectations.

I KNOW that turning a calendar page to a new year can't possibly just make everything all rainbows and fuzzy kittens. I also KNOW that being sick is depressing for anybody. Maybe I just need some sunshine. Not gonna happen for me tomorrow (rain here ALL day long). Good Lord, what I wouldn't give for a sunny vacation right about now. But whatever....things will look up eventually. Right?? It can't be rainy and gloomy forever........

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Ok, so just this one last whining post about being sick and I will shut up about it. I promise. I just had thought I would be so much better today, ready to go, get things done...but then after I took a shower and got myself dressed to go run some necessary errands, I was so tired that all I wanted to do was take a nap. I didn't, and I managed to drag through what had to be done, but still.....I had a lot that I would have loved to get done and I didn't. It made me so angry at myself. Impatient. Frustrated.

This is exactly the kind of thing I want to work on this year. I always have the feeling that I am a couple of steps behind the pack. Like I just KNOW that everybody else has a clean, organized home where the laundry is always caught up. The fridge and pantry are always stocked. The family photo albums are organized neatly by the year with everything labeled. Everybody living these magical lives always has plenty of time to relax, read the latest bestseller, keep up with all the news in the world, take a nap, and whip up some gourmet meals. And here I am feeling exhausted just taking my darned library books back and picking up a few things at the store, enough to get by for a couple of days when, hopefully, I will have more time to make a plan as to what we really need. Please tell me my imagination is overworked. Does anybody else out there feel as though there are too many things to do and never enough time? Does something as common as a little virus have the ability to set you back to the point it feels like you will never catch up? Maybe my expectations are just too high. I always feel stressed on the weekend because I feel like I have to get it ALL done before the week starts all over again.

Oh well, hopefully I will be back to normal tomorrow. I am going to work either way, and would prefer to NOT feel like death warmed over on a Monday.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is going on?

After feeling sick as a dog for the past several days, I woke up this morning feeling pretty decent. I got all ambitious. Not only did all of the Christmas decorations come down, we dragged out ALL of the Christmas stuff. Some of this stuff hasn't been used in years. I got it all sorted out...some is going to Goodwill, some just has to be thrown away. And the rest is neatly organized and labeled so I can know what is what without digging through boxes and piles of stuff. I think I reduced it by a third.

Now, though, after working hard for most of the day, I feel yucky again. Headachy, and exhausted....maybe I over did it. Oh well, this stuff needed to be done. Hopefully I will feel decent again by morning. Tomorrow I plan to take it easier, so I will be fine and dandy for work on Monday. I really don't want to waste any more time off. I have to make sure I have plenty of days left to go visit Erica this spring.

One thing I wanted to mention, Bruce gave me a membership to Simply Audio Books for Christmas. I listen to books on CD while I work. I go through a lot of books that way, and our library has a limited selection. Has anyone ever tried this before? You know, the sets of CD's come in the mail just like Netflix. You go set up your list of selections pretty much the same. My first 2 books came, but I don't know if it was the holidays getting in the way or seemed to take a while to get here. Not nearly as fast as Netflix. Still, I think I will really enjoy this a lot. Even if I have to supplement CD's from the library occasionally. I am excited to try this out.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

So, I was planning to try and work through this cold crud bug, but I am not ashamed to admit that it finally got the best of me. I am taking a sick day off to try and recover. Lots of liquids and rest, and hopefully I will feel human again in a day or so. Right now, my voice is so scary that Bruce thought he had dialed the wrong number when he called a few minutes ago. LOL. But anyway, while I am home, sitting here doing nothing, and until I go nap again, I might as well write a blog....

I had a list of New Year's goals. Sounds less daunting than resolutions somehow. More of a guideline than an order. There are the usual things like exercise more....and compared to these last few months, ANY exercise can qualify as "more", so I think I got that one wrapped up. Actually my goals can be separated into 2 categories. One is physical, things that have a concrete physical action attached to it. And abstract, or more of a mental component. For example, my "eat healthier and exercise more" has a definite action I can take. Whereas, my goal to "be happier" and "be more grateful" is more mental or emotional. I do believe in expressing gratitude. It brings happiness as a by-product, so there can never be too much of it.

But I digress....the goal I wanted to blog about today is one of the physical ones. Make less trash destined for the landfill. And that led me to do a little research as to the recycling guidelines for our area. First of all, there are definite guidelines for your specific location, and I discovered that its quite easy to find online. Google it. I got a very specific listing that leaves nothing to doubt or chance. And it does vary from location to location so its better to check and be sure. A plastic that your waste system does NOT recycle, that ends up in the recycling by ignorance or mistake, will still eventually end up in the landfill anyway. But it will use up a lot of resources, having taken the scenic route, to get there. In that case, it would have been far better to just have been thrown away at the source. So, do take the time to educate yourself as to what can be recycled by your local waste management.

Another thing I learned.....keep it clean. Rinse it out. A glass bottle with a pool of salsa in the bottom will still be recycled, but your tax dollars will go towards the cleaning. Much cheaper to just give it that rinse at home, don't you think? And as for paper and cardboard....if its soiled by grease or food it will take that long convoluted, and expensive ride to the landfill, so just nip it in the bud and throw it away. A few dry crumbs are ok. Baked on greasy cheese can't be cleaned enough to make it reusable.

I was a little surprised to see how limited our recycling was here when it comes to plastics. Numbers 1 and 2 are all the ones that are recovered. Some areas recycle more, so please check to be sure. The number should be listed on the bottom of the item in question surrounded by the recycling triangle arrows. Also, although we do recover aluminum here, aluminum foil and pie plates are NOT accepted.
Seriously, there is a whole lot of progress to be made. So much more could be done.

But beyond all of that recycling.....Don't buy it in the first place, and it won't have to be thrown away. That one is a little more tricky. Thats the "Reduce" part of the recycling triangle. It takes more of a conscious effort to decide if this purchase is a "need" or a "want". If it is necessary, the next step is to decide if there is a better choice. I talked about this one with Lori when we were in Asheville. Say you need a dozen eggs.....take notice of the options. Eggs in a corregated cardboard carton that can be recycled would be the best option. Of course, I know people who find interesting uses for the styrofoam cartons, and if you can use it for something else, then more power to you. Some people use those things for mixing paint, or starting seedlings...etc.

And thats the last part of what I wanted to say....recycling uses fuel and energy. Can you figure out another use for it? Old tshirts make great rags. Clothing can be donated. Old toothbrushes make great cleaning tools. The creative side of trying to figure out new uses for old items is kind of fun. I am making it into a challenge. The goal is to reduce the amount of trash we send off to the landfill.
There is so much information out there to help figure all of this out. I am collecting new ideas with every article that I read.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seems like...

Seems like I am sick. I felt a little bit off yesterday, but it hit me like a ton of bricks about lunchtime today. Not sure if I will try to work through this or take a day off. Guess it depends on how I feel in the morning. Anyway, I'll be back as soon as I can.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Home again

We are back home again after a lovely weekend in Asheville with the family. I would definitely recommend New Year's Eve at Biltmore. The decorations were beautiful, and dinner at The Stable House was spectacular. We all had such a good time. I WILL have pics as soon as I unpack and find my camera....but I am a bit disappointed that no photography was allowed inside the house. I should have remembered that but oh well.

One thing that happened that upset everybody was that as we all got to Greg and Lori's house and were unloading cars, somehow their cat Galileo got out and ran away. Everybody spent a lot of time searching for him to no avail. But he finally decided he had had enough of an adventure just after midnight last night (after being missing in action for about 48 hours) and showed up, meowing at the garage door. We were all so happy and relieved to see him. It felt like an omen foretelling a wonderful year ahead. We all agreed that putting 2011 behind us was good. I swear, it was just a sucky year for most everybody that I know. I think we are all due a good one now. Right?

Anyway, we had the opportunity to meet up with an old high school friend for lunch on our way home. Lin lives in Spain now and we literally haven't seen her since our wedding (almost 30 years ago....yikes!). It was so nice to see her even if it was all too brief. And now we are home again. Apparently just in the nick of time as Lori just texted me that it's snowing pretty good in Asheville right now. It's cold here, but clear. So I do want to post again. With pictures of the fun we all had...with hopes for the year ahead, but it's time to chill out and relax tonight. I hope everybody had a wonderful holiday!