Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Start of Summer, Debbie Macomber and my 6 Weeks to Summer Challenge

Hi, there! Did you think I had disappeared?  Nah, I never REALLY disappear-- I might get lost once in a while but I am never truly gone.  So, where  have  I been you might ponder? Well, ponder no more -- I will share my incredibly mundane existence with you.

The Hubs and I are babysitting this week.  We are at my daughter's house during the day through Friday while Mom is finishing up in her classroom.  Today was an especially good day because Bean decided the thing to do was to surprise her mother by cleaning the WHOLE house -- spotless-- and she did.  I did very little and it wasn't really the whole house but enough so that Mom was quite impressed.  She thought it was fun!  Yay!  Who am I to tell her that after about the first 35 years it gets really boring?  I will let her figure that out on her own. 

Then, I finished the first book in the Cedar Cover series by Debbie Macomber.  The title is "16 Lighthouse Road".  It was a great read.  Of course, I will have to start the second one now -- another series I am roped into -- but I think it will be ok.  I enjoyed this one even though I had seen the miniseries.  The odd thing is that when I first saw the books in the bookstore I wasn't interested.  When the miniseries aired originally, I wasn't interested.  Then I watched it on Netflix and it was really good and the books are really good so what do I know?  Don't listen to me except yes, they are a good read.

My 6 Weeks to Summer challenge has gotten a bit derailed.  I sort of ruined myself on Saturday.  We went to the zoo.  It was the hottest day of the year so far.  The heat index was 103.  I wore Tieks and decided the thing to do was to carry the cooler.  Granted, it was nylon but fully packed it was like a bunch of bricks.  I walked from the car to the ticket counter and I was done -- and we weren't parked far away.  So, for the next four hours I was in severe pain with aching feet and knees, I was exhausted from carrying the cooler and I was annoyed that I was such a disaster.  So, Sunday I couldn't move or walk, I was in so much pain, Monday was a little better -- not quite so tired but still oh so sore.  Tuesday better and am just now feeling like I can actually stand on my feet.  Note to self -- next time I head to the zoo, everybody carries his/her own lunch or we eat at the cafe.  Done.

So, yeah, summer has begun for us, the weather is warm and a bit stormy right now and I am looking forward to many days of reading and decluttering and getting back to my challenge but I am not up to exercising quite yet.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 746

Here is another offering from Unconscious Mutterings hosted by LunaNina at  Check it out if you would like to play along.
     Week 746
I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Corner :: store
  2. Establish :: build
  3. Cartoonish :: got nuthin'
  4. Request :: special
  5. Disappointing ::  my diet
  6. Recluse ::  spider
  7. Anti- ::  against
  8. Jeans ::  uncomfortable
  9. Ridiculous ::  almost everything
  10. Soul ::  deep

TeamUnleasedFitness -- 6 Weeks to Summer Challenge -- Day 1

I have joined a group on Facebook called TeamUnleasedFitness and we are beginning a 6 weeks to summer challenge.  You choose your method of exercise and your eating plan and you are accountable for reporting in.  It began today so here are my photos and stats --

my mineral water and my pedometer-- sorry it is sideways

let's bring in the e-reader

and the pedaler

This is the most fun thing to do as far as I am concerned.  I am limited by allergies as to how much outdoor exercise I can get in so I try to do what I can indoors.  And see, I can read while I pedal and drink my mineral water and watch the cardinals out the back door!  It is a win-win.

I put my pedometer in the photo as well because I count walking as exercise, even if it just back and forth to the washing machine.  I like to know, at the end of the day, how much walking I have done. 

I do have a Garmin Vivofit fitness tracker but it irritates the skin on my arm and it isn't waterproof so I find myself taking it off and putting it back on all the time.  It is annoying.  I like the pedometer just as well.  My house is built in such a way that I can walk laps through it, each lap being 100 steps.  It works well for me to walk like this -- haha -- the washer is  on the circuit so I can do the laundry while I am walking. 

So, for my pedaling today here are my stats --

Speed -- 14.5 mph
time -- 30 minutes
distance -- 6.9 miles
calories burned -- 168.5

I will edit this later with my daily total of steps.  I can guarantee you it won't be the recommended 10,000 -- not even close -- but maybe I can challenge myself each day to do more. 

Whatever I do, I need to get out of this chair and move around for sure.  So, welcome to day 1 of my challenge.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Him or Me

Here is a new-to-me meme for Saturday.  I snitched it off of Joysweb.  It looks like fun.




Him or Me

Welcome to Saturday 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme! 

Saturday 9: Him or Me -- What's It Gonna Be? (1967)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, a man pleads with his girlfriend to make up her mind. Do you consider yourself decisive?  I am very decisive.  Most of the time.

Since this song is all about either/or, we're using that as our theme this Saturday ...

2) Choose a condiment: Catsup or mustard?  Mustard

3) Choose a sci-fi series: Star Wars or Star Trek?  I guess Star Wars as I have never watched Star Trek but I haven't seen all the Star Wars movies either.

4) Choose your spy: James Bond or Jason Bourne? Bond, James Bond.  Sean Connery James Bond to be specific although I do like Daniel Craig as well.

5) Choose your winter sport: Football or hockey?  Football

6) Choose your breakfast: Pancakes or waffles?  I make chocolate chip pancakes for the Bean all the time so I guess pancakes.

7) Choose your side: French fries or potato chips?  Neither.  I can eat only about three french fries and I just don't care for potato chips.

8) Choose your chore: Washing dishes or doing laundry?  Wow, this one is a toughie.  Neither?  Ok, if I had to chose one it would be laundry.

9) Choose your nextdoor neighbors: Munsters or Addams Family?  The Addams Family -- tv cast -- I like John Astin and I always like Carolyn Jones.


Thanks so much for joining us again at Saturday: 9. As always, feel free to come back, see who has participated and comment on their posts. In fact sometimes, if you want to read & comment on everyone's responses, you might want to check back again tomorrow. But it is not a rule. We haven’t any rules here. Join us on next Saturday for another version of Saturday: 9, "Just A Silly Meme on a Saturday!" Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 19, 2017


This year I had the honor and privilege of helping my daughter with her Girl Scout Daisy troop.  This was their second year as daisies and a busy year it was! There were service projects like making dog toys for the Humane Society and collecting used eye glasses.  They learned new things like compassing while visiting a nature preserve. They studied their faith during Jubilee Year of Mercy. They laughed, they cried, they giggled, they ran, they turned cartwheels and tonight...

They bridged.

 That means they completed their second year as Daisies and tonight they became full-fledged Brownies.  In order to do this certain criteria had to be met.  They had to have an older Brownie talk to them about what it would be like next year as they start their time as Brownies.  Then, in turn, they had to talk to a younger Daisy about some of the things they did during their time as Daisy.  For the most part, we could do any sort of ceremony we wanted -- it could be simple or elaborate, indoors or outdoors, short or lengthy -- but we had to have a physical bridge. 

So, here are our girls on their bridge.

And, of course, there had to be cake.

So, our girls are growing up -- they are Brownies now! One even told us that she thought she had grown as she walked over the bridge.  I wonder which one that was?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day, Church Picnic, Confirmation

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  I have mixed feelings about Mother's Day as a holiday.  I love mothers, I believe in mothers, I AM a mother and I think mothers should be honored and appreciated.  Everyday.  Not just on some Sunday in May.  To me, it is somewhat of a Hallmark holiday, like Valentines.  I guess that is a bit bah-humbuggy of me, right?

Well, anyway, yesterday was a banner day at church.  It was Mother's Day and it was so good to see families together.  It was our Bishop's annual visit and confirmation day! And, it was the blessing of our new playground and church community recreation area.

We had a picnic.  The meat was provided by Fr. Estes and the rest of the chow was brought to us by Feastivities -- a catering company owned by one of our own.  It was delish!  The congregation provided the desserts and ohmygoodness, they were good.  I never heard of making banana pudding with Chessmen cookies -- so much better than vanilla wafers.

So, I thought I would share some snaps of the big day.  Of course, there were none taken in church of confirmation but it was a beautiful event, trust me on that.  But, here are some of the festivities afterward!

So, yeah, this is our new playground with some really gorgeous play equipment.  What isn't pictured is a lovely new basketball court.  This area will be used for our kids to play, for some Sunday School instruction and for congregational gatherings like this one.  It is beautiful, the folks who worked on it this whole last year have done a wonderful job and we are truly blessed!

The Weekly Muse is posted, here, every Sunday, and invites you to participate by either (1) answering these questions, privately, in your journal, (2) answering the questions on your blog, and then coming back to link that post here in the comments at Life, Unleashed, or (3) leave your answers directly in a comment here, on that week’s post. However you choose to participate is completely up to you!

Weekly Prompts:
  • What went well, for you, this past week?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What can you do differently in the week to come?
  • List your top 3 priorities for the next 7 days.
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Weekly Muse post, or share your answers directly, right here at Life, Unleashed.

Ok, this is a new one for me and it doesn't involve anything specific, like reading or crafts or anything like that.  This could be anything so let me get started.

What went well, for you, this past week?

I stayed on my eating plan and I am keeping up with the household chores fairly well.

What didn't go so well?

I am having a bit of difficulty with my noontime main meal.  I keep forgetting to take out meat to defrost.  I prefer eating our main meal at noon -- I feel better -- but getting my head around it has been a challenge.

What can you do differently in the week to come?

I think maybe some meal planning is in order, taking out meat to defrost in the refrigerator a day or two ahead is a reasonable idea.  

List your top 3 priorities for the next 7 days.

Ha! To defrost meat.

To keep up with the housework.  We cleaned house on Saturday and it would be helpful to do a bit in between so I don't have it all to do next Saturday.

To exercise.  I really need to exercise.  I would like to walk outside but we have an Ozone day today so I won't be doing that but I can walk inside.  I have the equipment and the need -- just not much motivation.

So, there you go.  This wasn't the most exciting meme in the world but it gave me a little focus.  So, for your viewing pleasure ....


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Stealing

 Sunday Stealing: The Getting to Know You Questions

1. What is your occupation right now? How long have you been there? 

 I am a homemaker.

2. Favorite rock band. Ever.

I don't know that I ever really had a favorite.  I used to love all of them in the 60's because I liked to dance and they were mostly danceabe.  I guess if I have to narrow it down I would say the Beatles but the Beach Boys were a close second.  
3. What are you listening to right now?

The only thing I am listening to right now is the aquarium run.

4. Last person you spoke to on the phone. What was it about?

I guess the last person I spoke to on the phone was my cousin Martha.  It was just a chat.

5. How old are you today? Or make up a question. This one bites.

I have reached the age where I feel wise.  I feel like I am turning into my grandmother.  I am now old enough to feel that I am justified in doing what I want, when I want, with whom I want and I don't need to answer to anybody.  Ok I am 67.

6. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?

Not much of a sporty person.  I do like to watch some of the olympics and we do watch Texas A&M Football in the fall

7. What is your favorite drink?  All I drink is water

8. Have you ever dyed your hair? I tried when I was younger and started turning gray.  It turned green.  I had to choose between gray and green. 

9. Favorite food?  I don't really have one.

10. What is the last movie you watched?  No clue.  We don't really watch movies too much

11. Favorite day of the year?  The logical choice would be Christmas but that is a lot of work.  I think as holidays go, Easter. 

12. How do you vent anger?  I yell.  That is a vast improvement over throwing dishes like I used to.

13. What was your favorite toy as a child?  I always preferred books but those aren't really toys.  Um....crayons and coloring books.

14. Living arrangements? (Of course your pets count. Geez!)  I live in Maison Brinkley with the husband and a fish.

15. What was the last thing that you cried about? yuck, I don't cry.

16. Who is the friend you have had the longest?  I would have to say my husband or Joy Lynn.  Actually Joy Lynn has been around longer than my husband but she is a blood relative.  Oh, I don't know.

17. What did you do last night?  Helped my granddaughter with a sewing project.  Then I watched Agatha Raisin.

18. What are you most afraid of?  I am afraid of something happening to my children or grandchildren.  Things like kidnappings and plane crashes and car wrecks.  On the whole, though, I am not a scared sort of person.

19. In how many areas of your country have you lived? What's your favorite? I have lived in Texas.  How boring.  I have however visited other places and I think, besides Texas, my favorite was Arkansas.

20. What is your favorite flower? (Ugh. Quite the note to go out on. But hell, we steal the questions. I guess you get what you pay for.)  I don't have a favorite flower.  I always liked roses for corsages when going to high school dances so I guess I would have to say roses.  With that said, the begonia I got last night from my grandchildren is pretty nice too!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

So Over It

I sound like my daughter -- "I am SO over it"!  But, I am.  My allergy situation is beyond any help whatsoever.  I am fed up with sitting here feeling bad, giving into it and just generally having a big old, sniffly, snotty pity party.  So, I decided yesterday to just ignore it (hard to do but....) and get on with things.  I have a lot of things to do and I am tired of dealing.

So, what is any sane, grown woman to do under these circumstances with this mindset?

Clean out her dusty, over-stuffed clothes closet, of course. (Not really a good idea with the dust and all.)

Yesterday I started pulling out everything and throwing it away.  Yes, throwing it away.  I have about six knit shirts that have been hanging on the hangers for so long (yes, I know, fold them) that you can't recognize their original shape.  I have a number of blouses that have embroidered details that just scream "middle age".  I am middle aged -- no, I am older than middle aged -- in my body, not my mind and I just can't handle sweet little embroidery.  Out! In the pile.

I have found slacks I forgot about that have never been worn.  I found jackets I forgot about.  It was a mess.  Marie Kondo would have been in decluttering heaven.

So, I got to thinking -- AGAIN -- about wardrobe, body type, personal preference, comfort, climate, who I admire as a fashion role model.  All those things and I have finally come up with an answer.

I shall buy a box of 33 gallon garbage bags, cut appropriate holes for head and arms and be done.  A cute pair of flats and some pearls for church should work, don't you think?

Ok, maybe not.

So, I have decided that a neutral wardrobe is best.  My options are obvious -- denim, black, gray, beige, white, navy and taupe.  I think solids are good for tops or geometric prints -- stripes and polka dots.  I have several pairs of slacks and capris that fit in these categories so I am good to go.  I am overbought on jeans so I won't be buying any more.  In fact, I have just purchased a pair of white ones and black ones so I think I am done on the pants.

Tops seems to be my big problem.  I don't like short blouses or shirts so I have to opt for the longer, tunic style.  I can't wear t-shirts because I am an "apple" and "apples" just look dumpy in t-shirts.  I don't mean to offend but it is true.  I have had to be brutally honest with myself during this little exercise and that is my conclusion.  I also don't care for these "fitted" or "shaped" shirts that are popular these days (thank you Lands End).  I have several and will keep them as they are practically new and in very good shape due to the good quality (thanks again, Land's End).  With that said,  all those seams to bring the shirt in and fitted are  where I go out and are uncomfortable. I am high waisted but it seems like the waist of the shirt is still higher and I keep wanting to pull it down.  First world problems, what can I say.  Be thankful I have a shirt -- lots of people don't.  Shame on me for complaining.  Anyway, think I have narrowed down the style of blouse or top I need.  My daughter doesn't care for my choices but I am not the tall, willowy person with the gorgeous flowing locks that she is quiet.   I have to work with what I have.  I am a shrinking, apple.  Not an easy thing.  As far as color goes I am sticking with neutrals there as well -- white, black, ivory and blush.  Now, I have a lime green shirt in my closet and I don't know why.  Oh, I bought it.  It is a solid.  It is a good brand is lime green.  I don't "do" lime green -- what was I thinking but since it has been worn possibly once the idea of just tossing it is giving me pause.  It is in my "dazed and confused" pile.

So, shoes.  I have arthritis.  I can't wear heels.  I never wore really high heels but I did like dressing up and can't now.  So, I have settled in on flats.  I have a couple of pair of Clark's that are really comfy.  One is black and one is camel.  I have a pair of Tieks in taupe that I wear all the time.  All. The. Time.  I need to buy another pair (or four).  I also recently bought a pair of New Balance flip flops.  Being the sort that needs to have her shoes strapped to her feet I was hesitant but they are so comfy and they don't fall off my feet and I haven't tumbled over yet so I say they are a go.  Shoes are problematic as well  -- one foot is a medium and the other a wide.  I have my dad's high arches and really can't stand anything going across the top of my foot (trainers are torture) so flats it will be.  Plus, heavy shoes make me feel like I am walking through quicksand so the Tieks are great.  My husband is just going to have to cope.

I only carry one purse -- a Longchamp nylon zipper tote -- LePilage -- in gunmetal gray, the medium size.  I have other options but that is the easiest to deal with and comfortable for me.

I used to love jewelry but not so much anymore.  I wear the same things every day.  I guess I am like my Aunt Linnie that way.  She had some "signature" jewelry that she wore all the time and didn't deviate from it -- I am the same way.  I guess I am just not very creative.  I am thinking of buying something turquoise to compliment the taupe and white stuff that I am planning on wearing.  If I think about it.

So, as I ride out the allergies I am determined to make my closet look like it belongs to a member of the human race.  I have discovered that I am going to have to start ironing again.  That doesn't make me happy.  I don't like to iron.  But, I am going to like being able to go in and get dressed!

So, yeah.  Now I have to clean up the bedroom floor where I dumped everything.  Bother.

PS -- In case you are wondering who my fashion icon is -- well -- hee hee -- Judi Dench.  She is short, roly poly, wears long, loose blouses and shirts and has gray hair -- what's not to love!  And she has a wicked sense of humor from what I have read.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Ok, So I Lied! I Didn't Mean To!

In my previous blog-- a meme -- I said I didn't have any pet peeves.  I didn't really think I did but now I think I do.  I guess I lied although I didn't mean to. Ok, listen up, it is like this.

PBS and BBC have done a nasty thing.  A DANG nasty thing!  When they first aired "Home Fires" I started watching it and then didn't.  A few weeks ago I picked it back up and was really into it.  Last night was supposed to be the season finale.  It was, however, the SERIES finale.  Yes, it just ended.  No storylines were concluded all neat and tidy.  The characters were going about their business like it would continue. just stopped.

There was supposed to be a season 3 but BBC and PBS decided to just not do that.  So, nobody knows how anything ends.  After a little google search I learned that the author who wrote the book the series is based on is going to write three more books to bring it to completion.

So, I went to B&N today and bought the original book that the series was based on.  I figured that I may as well start from the beginning.  The next book is due out in July.  This is so annoying!!! 

Ok, rant over but honestly, HOW RUDE!!!!!

Sunday Stealing: The Chicago Crazy Questions

Here is another bare-all, confessional sort of meme  called Sunday Stealing.  It is fun and if you would like to participate please go to to participate.

1) What was your dream growing up?

Don't know that I really had one.  Thought I might be a writer.

2) What talent do you wish you had?

 I wish I could draw

3) If I bought you a drink what would it be?

I don't drink alcohol so I would be a cheap date -- water
  4) What was the last book you read?

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  

5) Worst Habit?

Well, let's see.  I have given up cookies and soda and practically all caffeine.  I don't smoke, drink or cavort -- so I guess I don't have any.  Maybe not taking all makeup off before I hit the sack.  Oh wait, I have given up makeup as well.  Well,blah. I guess I don't have any.

6) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?

If I knew you, of course.  If not, sorry, who knows who you might be.

7) What is your favorite sport?

Not the sporty sort but I like watching gymnastics and Texas A&M football.

8) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?

Freak out.  It's not you, it's me -- don't care for elevators for that exact reason -- the possibility of getting stuck in said box attached to a rope.

9) Worst thing to ever happen to you?

I would have to say losing my parents.

10) Tell me one weird fact about you.

I have had what I feel are visitation dreams from my father. Also, a couple of disturbing recurring dreams.

11) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?

I would ask you in.  But don't ask for refreshments as I haven't really fully grocery shopped for about six months.  It is not that I can't grocery shop but rather that I really, really hate grocery shopping -- not my idea of good time.  I might start ordering online.

12) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?

I would be thinner.  You would think I would be with my grocery shopping situation.

13) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?


14) Ever been arrested?

Ha! No.  But I did get a traffic ticket once for something my husband did -- or did not -- do.  It involved license plates.  I had to go to court to dispute it.  I made him go with me and I made sure everybody within earshot knew it wasn't my circus or my monkeys.  Still a bit miffed about it but you probably can't tell that.

15) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?

I would  put part of it in the bank and use the rest for a good cause.

 16) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I could say reading or cross stitching or watching British tv  -- all viable options --but with the amount of time I spend on the computer I guess being on the computer is what I do the most.  That isn't good, is it?

17) Biggest pet peeve?

Eh, I am not a peevy sort of person.  Is that a word?

18) In one word, how would you describe yourself?


19) Do you believe in/appreciate romance?

Oh, sure, I suppose. Not terribly realistic but makes for good movies.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

May? Is This A Joke?

How could it possibly be May?  I know that time passes quickly as you get older but it seems to be going at breakneck speed for me!  Somebody posted on Facebook about how many days it is until Christmas!  No, no, make the madness stop. 

In other news, we have had two cold fronts which have make our temps cooler than they have been in a long time.  I mean turn-on-the-heater-and-grab-a-sweater cooler.  Very jolting to the system for sure.  I can handle it but somebody needs to do something about the gale force winds and the pollen swirling around our heads.  I know, complain, complain, complain -- I will try to refrain.

On the reading front I have finally finished "This Side of Paradise" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  "Paradise" was his first work and quite notable.  I enjoyed it and thought it outstanding for a first work (many first works are quite forgettable) but I did have to read more slowly than I am used to and pay more attention to what I was reading.  It is definitely a book to be read, not glossed over.  It isn't as finessed as "Gatsby" but still quite enjoyable with it's main character, Amory Blaine, going through life's loves and losses.  I think my favorite female character was Eleanor Savage -- wild, free, lover of literature -- so different than the other female characters -- social debutantes living under the social dictates of the time. I recommend to anyone, especially somebody wanting to experience literature of a bygone era -- much different than today's offerings.

I have now picked up the first in the Cedar Cove series by Debbie Macomber -- "16 Lighthouse Road".  I rejected this series early on because it just seemed so predictable.  I even refused to watch the television program.  However, during one particularly lean tv viewing time, I did start watching on Netflix and enjoyed the series a good deal.  So, now I have picked up the book (it has been on my Nook forever).  So far, so good.  I doubt I will read the entire series at one time, I tend not to do that, but rather shift between several series that I am reading "at".  I also want to start the Hamish MacBeth series by MCBeaton.  I have listened to one or two on audio book and think I would enjoy the series.  The Agatha Raisin series and the Elm Creek series are due a revisit as well.  I see this being a "very reading summer". 

For now that is all I have.  Our little Daisies are bridging to Brownies later this month so there is a lot to do for that.  I will post pictures of the ceremony to be held on my daughter's driveway. will involve a real bridge.  And balloons.  And cake.  It will be glorious.

So, for now that is all.  Hopefully something exciting will happen soon -- not TOO exciting though -- I am too old for TOO exciting! Ta!  Later.