May 2018

May 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2012

End of March

I have mixed feelings about March coming to an end.  Business is picking up, which is good.  But that also means my husband is now working 12-hour days.  It's always "feast or famine" with the pest control business.

The end of March also means there's no more putting off yard and garden work.  Earlier this week, the garden centers were not fully stocked.  But when the plants do come in, there will be a shopping frenzy as there is every year.  And I suspect this spring it will be worse than ever because it's been warm for weeks.  I don't have the gardening "bug," yet, but expect I'll get more excited when I start seeing all the plants.

But the last day of March also means the last day of school is just weeks away now.  And that means the close of Grandma Daycare for the summer, which means sleeping in and more time for hobbies.  But I do hope to see the grandsons more this summer than I did the last two when I was managing bathroom remodels.  It'll be nice spending time with the boys when I can leave the heavy lifting and tantrum managing to their mother.

So, while I'm a little sad to see the end of March, I'm mostly happy to welcome April.  Happy April Fools' Day everyone!

March 1- 30 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Too Loud!

I just re-watched the first episode of Mad Men's fifth season, which aired last Sunday.  And, once again, I could barely hear the dialogue during the party scene because the music was so loud.  Why do shows do that?  And why don't the writers complain?  Or, maybe they do, but no one listens.

We have a Bose sound system, so are not dependent on the simple audio built into the television. Nevertheless, we often find the music on shows overpowers the dialogue.  If anyone knows who I can email to complain, please let me know.

March 1- 29 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk pushing Jonah.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Harry Potter News

Elliott is reading better everyday.  Right now he's engrossed in a second-grade-level book.  At this rate, he'll be reading the Harry Potter books by summer 2013.  And I'm looking forward to rereading them with him.

Earlier this week, finally made all the Harry Potter books available as ebooks.  Best of all, they're available in English US as well as English GB.  Now I will always have the series with me on my iPhone, and as J.K. Rowling originally wrote it without the English US edits.

And there's more Harry Potter news.  On Saturday, Warner Bros. will open up the Harry Potter studios in England for public tours.  Now there will be even more to see when we take Elliott to England for his 10 birthday.  Although Elliott is campaigning the trip happen for his eighth birthday.  I suppose it all depends on Elliott's maturity level at the time.  But whether it's in two or four years, we're looking forward to visiting Great Britain again.

March 1- 28 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk pushing Jonah.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Race to Retire

I've hit the age when a lot of my friends are retiring, semi-retiring, or planning to retire within a year. It all seems a little strange to me because I don't feel that old.

Nevertheless, I would love to no longer have to work.  But only if I still had enough money to travel and enjoy all my hobbies.  I also wouldn't mind having more time to spend with family.  I just don't want to be a retiree who's always worrying about making ends meet.  Especially if I could physically and mentally still be working.

And that's why my husband and I have no immediate plans to retire anytime soon.  Besides, for crying out loud, we're only 60 years young!

March 1- 27 - No "junk" food.
30 minutes on stationary bike.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arrival of Spring's Gunk

Pollen has arrived a month early.  I hate this part of spring.  It's absolutely disgusting.  Everything outside is covered with yellowish green gunk.  And we don't dare open the windows or it'll be in the house.  Fortunately, I'm not allergic to pollen.  Those who are must be miserable.

At least with pollen's early arrival, I won't be battling it when I'm setting up the patio furniture in late April.  With this year's weather pattern, however, I'll probably be sweating in 90+ degree heat instead!

March 1- 26 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk pushing Jonah.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gifts That Keep Giving

Elliott (6)
Spring Break is over.  I got a lot done, but another week would have been nice.  Now I'm just hoping Jonah remembers how to take good naps at grandma's house.

Jonah (2)
But I am looking forward to seeing Jonah tomorrow. It's been my experience the boys grow and mature substantially when I haven't seen them for a few days.  I already noticed an increased maturity in Elliott this morning.  We only had a short time to talk before the bus came, but Elliott definitely seemed more like a first grader today than a kindergartener.

I feel blessed to be such a big part of my grandsons's lives.  Grandchildren are special gifts.  Best of all, they are gifts that keep on giving.

March 1 - 25 - No "junk" food.
20-minute walk.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Farewell Old Friend

It's incredible how much HD televisions have dropped in price.  Today we scored a LG 42" LED HDTV with 1080p for $475 at Best Buy.  It retails for $599, but ours was the display model.

Today's purchase replaces the pre-flat screen model that used to be in the playroom.  The old television is a huge box that weighs a ton.  We'll be donating it to the upcoming garage sale, but don't expect to sell it for much if at all.  More than likely, we'll end up taking it to the electronic recycling center.

I loved that old TV for years and it served us well.  We even remodeled our entire family room to accommodate its size.  But now I'm glad to be rid of it.  Farewell old friend and thanks for many years of entertainment.

March 1-24 - No "junk" food.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shopping Day 2

Today's shopping wasn't nearly as much fun as yesterday's.  I had a nice visit with my friend, but neither of us purchased much.  We just felt most things cost more than we were willing to pay.  In the past, we always found great sales at the mall, but not today.  Maybe we just hit an off weekend, but more than likely it's a new reality.

One thing's for sure, today made me feel even better about shopping online and taking advantage of sales at Kohl's.  In comparison to what I found at the mall today, online and Kohl's are definitely the cheaper shopping options.

March 1-23 - No "junk" food.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shopping Day

Today was a shopping day.  I started with Joann where I used my additional-25%-off-everything coupon to get Easter decorations and gifts as well as treat bags for the April 7 bake sale.  Next I went to Kohl's and used my Kohl's Cash for an Easter tablecloth and Christening gift.  And, lastly, I shopped Target for basic household items.

I'm exhausted and tomorrow I have a date with my shopping buddy at the Saint Louis Galleria.  I need to spend the rest of the day and all evening recharging.  Sounds like a movie night.  Thank you Roku!

March 1- 22 - No "junk" food.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More Purging

Today I'm tackling the basement, looking for garage sale items.  Since my son-in-law was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over five years ago, he and my daughter have been holding a fundraiser garage sale every year on the Saturday before Easter.  It's a great opportunity to get rid of useless stuff.

This year, however, I don't have nearly as much to donate, which means I'm doing a good job of not holding onto things we no longer use.  Unfortunately, that's not a good thing for the garage sale.  But since I'm also the sole contributor to the bake sale held the same day, I can make up the difference with more cookies and cupcakes.

Whatever the reason, I love purging.  For me, it's the only thing that makes spring cleaning fun.

March 1-21 - No "junk" food.
20 minutes cardio; 10 minutes hand weights.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Long Live the Skort!

My latest skort
purchase from Kohl's.
I've been wearing skorts for over 40 years.  I loved them in high school and still do.  Essentially, a skort is a skirt with shorts hidden underneath.  It allows me to wear a skirt without worrying about showing too much when I sit, or having to deal with my inner thighs rubbing together. What's not to like!

I watch reality fashion shows, however, and subscribe to several fashion magazines.  Therefore, I know true fashionistas would *never* wear a skort unless they were playing golf or tennis.  But I'm not a "slave to fashion."  If a style looks good on me and fits comfortably, I'll wear it, whether it's trendy or not.

And I'm guessing other women like skorts, too, because every year I thankfully find a few in the stores.  Long live the cute and practical skort!

March 1-20 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring

Today is the first day of spring and it's in the 80s.  In fact, the high temperature has been in the upper 70s or 80s for a few weeks now.  It feels and looks like the start of summer.  People are wearing crop pants, shorts, short-sleeve or sleeveless tops, and sandals.  Plus the flowering trees have already bloomed and are now shedding their petals, and the daffodils are finished.

So we really had no winter to speak of and now it looks like we won't be having much of a spring. Who needs to retire to Florida!

March 1-19 - No "junk" food.

Monday, March 19, 2012


According to the dictionary, to be obsessed means to have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic.  Being around people who are obsessed can drive a person crazy!

I have several relatives who are obsessed with watching sports.  Currently it's basketball, but it doesn't really matter, any sport will do.  Watching sports seems to be all they enjoy or can talk about.  Even worse, their schedules seem to revolve around the time of "the game."

Elliott is currently obsessed with Pokemon.  He slept over last night and that's all he could talk about.  When he wasn't talking, he was watching Pokemon episodes online, which at least gave my ears a break.  But Elliott always seems to be obsessed with something.  I'm just hoping this is one of his shorter obsessions because I'm already tired of it.

I just want to remind everyone that "variety is the spice of life."  And for those sports fanatics, variety doesn't mean different types of sports!

March 1-18 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Taste of Retirement

No word from the painters, yet, as to whether or not they'll be tackling the basement this week.  I'm not at all anxious about it.  Except for a Wednesday morning appointment, my week is flexible.

So far, I'm really enjoying Spring Break.  I love not being overwhelmed with appointments and chores, and having so much time to myself.   Plus I've been sleeping late everyday and going to bed later.  It's a schedule I definitely could get used to.

I'm thinking this might be how retirement feels.  If so, I hope I'm able to enjoy it someday.

March 1-17 - No "junk" food.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wardrobe Purge, Again

Yesterday was the first day of Spring Break.  I spent most of it purging my wardrobe.  There are now five full trash bags in the dining room waiting for the first charity that calls.  How does this happen?

I absolutely hate clutter and disorganization.  So I go through my wardrobe several times a year, getting rid of items that no longer work or I no longer like.  It stands to reason, therefore, I shouldn't have much to toss at any one time.  Yet, somehow, every wardrobe purge produces several bags for charity.

But I did expect this purge to be bigger than most.  I got rid of several summer styles I'd been wearing for a number of years.  I'm ready for a change and just in time for the date with my shopping buddy next Saturday.  Out with the old, in with the new!

March 1-16 - No "junk" food.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Special Six-Year-Old

This week, we learned our suspicions about Elliott were well founded.  We now know for a fact he is far above average.  He scored 133 on the IQ test, which is better than 98.6 percent of the general population and considered "very superior intelligence."  As a result, Elliott will be in Rockwood's Center for Creative Learning program next school year.

Elliott at his school's Science Night.
In addition, at this week's parent-teacher conference, Emily learned Elliott excels at math and is reading at nearly the second semester of the first grade level.  No doubt, once he masters reading, Elliott's knowledge base will explode.  He loves learning and already appreciates the power of books.

But the best thing we learned from Elliott's teacher is everyone who works at the school loves him.  Elliott's a caring, outgoing, and polite six-year-old, which is why I'm proud to be his grandma.

March 1-15 - No "junk" food.
45-minute walk.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Paris Revisited

Paris from Notre Dame Cathedral.
In January 2008, we had our 35 wedding anniversary.  We celebrated with a trip to Paris, France the following month. In January 2013, we will be married 40 years.  And, once again, we're going to Paris.  But, this time, we plan to go several weeks before our actual anniversary to see Paris in a different season, fall instead of winter.

By November, my nephew will have been living in Paris for nearly six months, which is our primary reason for returning. Jonathan is a French major at the University of Chicago and will be studying in France for a year.  

By the time we arrive, Jonathan should have the public transportation mastered, which we plan to use this time.  On our first trip, we did too much walking for my arthritic feet.  I was in pain for months after we returned home.

Also with Jonathan's help, I want to visit a number of street and flea markets.  I didn't attempt any of Paris's outdoor markets our first trip because I don't speak French.

In 2008, we were in Paris five and a half days.  This time we're planning to be there seven and a half days.  With the extra days and already having seen several of the main attractions (Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Musee D'Orsay, Louvre Museum), we should have time during our second visit for a couple of day trips outside the city.

It's all extremely exciting.  And now, in a lot of ways, is the best part of any trip, the planning and dreaming.

March 1-14 - No "junk" food.
45-minute walk pushing Jonah.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Decreased Appetite

Something weird is going on with my diet.  I'm simply not craving my normal amount of food.  I'm still eating, but finding it unusually easy to stick to my daily recommended caloric intake for losing one pound a week.

I'm wondering if it's because I haven't been eating sweets.  I did some research but can't find anything about sugar increasing appetite.  All I found was the more sweets a person eats, the more they want.  But I'm not only not craving sweets, I'm not needing as much food in general.

So I have no idea what's causing my decreased appetite.  But I'll happily "ride the wave" as long as it lasts!

March 1-13 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy 2 Birthday, Jonah!

"Nothing Runs Like a Deere"

Happy birthday to grandma's sweet boy who loves "projects."

March 1-12 - No "junk" food.
30-minute walk pushing Jonah.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Upcoming Spring Break

This Friday is the start of Spring Break.  That means a week and a day of not watching my grandsons, and an opportunity to get a lot done.  Unlike last year, however, I'm not feeling the pressure to tackle a number of chores.  I think it's a combination of the house finally getting to a point where less needs to be done, and a new attitude of not taking on more than I can easily handle.

Hopefully the painters will be able to paint the finished area of the basement over Spring Break.  It all depends on their schedule.  But I'm not at all anxious about it.  If it doesn't happen next week, there's always the summer.

Besides getting the basement painted, I plan to decorate the house for Easter, which will only take a couple of hours. I also need to gather information for the accountant to do our personal taxes, which also will only take an hour or two.

That leaves a lot of time for exercising, crafting, cooking, and just relaxing.  Sounds like the perfect break.

March 1-11 - No "junk" food.
40-minute walk.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jonah's Birthday Party

Jonah will be two on March 13.
Yesterday was Jonah's second birthday party and, thankfully, it was a warm sunny day.  The theme was John Deere Johnny Tractor, and papa and I gave Jonah a pedal-powered tractor.  I think it was a hit because Jonah kept saying "fun" every time he sat on it.

It was a good day.  And I even got through it without eating any cake or ice cream!

March 1-10 - No "junk" food.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New JCPenney Ad Campaign

I'm loving the new JCPenney commercials with Ellen DeGeneres.  With all the DVR devices now available, catching the viewer's attention has to seem like a nearly impossible task.  It's simply too easy for a consumer to never watch another commercial.  But JCPenney has successfully caught my attention with this latest campaign about their new fair and square pricing.

I can't remember the last time I shopped at a JCPenney store.  However, I do remember the company fondly as being the first retailer to trust me with a credit card.  Maybe it's time to visit an old friend.

March 1- 9 - No "junk" food.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Epiphany

As mom's Alzheimer's Disease worsens, dad is doubting, more and more, the existence of God and heaven.  Nevertheless, last week his acceptance of mom's impending death changed so drastically I believe he had an epiphany.

When mom was bedridden with the flu last week, dad could not get through a conversation without crying.  I was extremely concerned, especially since he wasn't sleeping.  Then, all of a sudden, there was a noticeable change.

Dad now says he'll be sad when mom passes, but realizes death will be the best thing.  And he's able to say it in complete control of his emotions.  This drastic change happened after dad finally got a good night's sleep.  I'm beginning to believe he had a spiritual visitation that night.

In all honesty, however, as I age, I too have days when I doubt my faith.  Nevertheless, there are still many times when my faith is the only thing getting me through the day.

March 1-8 - No "junk" food.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stressful Time

This week seems to be full of nothing but stress.  On Tuesday, I saw mom for the first time in a month.  She's lost an additional 18 pounds and now weighs what I did in high school when I was fit and trim.  Mom's 5'10"; I'm 5'4".  She's so severely malnourished now her skin is breaking down.  No one at the home gives mom more than a couple more months.

But before I visited mom, I got a call about my mammogram.  The doctor found a "suspicious" area in my right breast and wanted more images.  I had a second appointment yesterday afternoon and, thankfully, it was a false alarm.  But, of course, I had a worrisome day and night as a result.

In addition, the family business is operating on a "shoe string."  For most Missouri pest control companies, the first few months of the year are extremely slow.  But business usually explodes in mid-to-late March.  After 23 years, I should be used to it.  Nevertheless, early March is always a "nail biter" for me.

It's a lot to handle all at once.  Why on earth did I pick this month to go on a "junk" food fast!

March 1-7 - No "junk" food.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Saving Money

ELLE Flora Pleated Shopper
Isn't she pretty?
According to my Kohl's receipt, I saved over $500 this morning.  I just love that marketing gimmick.  Kudos to the ad person who thought of it.

Of course, I still spent over $200, but I scored some great bargains.  Sale prices with Early Bird Special pricing plus a 30% off coupon is definitely the time to shop at Kohl's.  I got several necessities, such as under garments, summer pajamas, and activewear tops and bottoms.  But, of course, I also treated myself.

My biggest splurge was a new handbag.  I've been a handbag addict for as long as I can remember.  But I've yet to spend hundreds of dollars on a single bag because I'd rather have a variety.

Today I fell for this silver ELLE bag.  I prefer totes and love the little white flowers on this one.  The tag price was $89, but I only paid $24.92.  That's a good deal, especially since I now have my Easter outfit.  To me, it doesn't matter if my clothes are old as long as I have a new handbag.

However, I did get $40 in Kohl's Cash today to use next week.  Maybe I'll find a new outfit to go with my new handbag.  For sure, I look forward to seeing how much more money I save!

March 1-6 - No "junk" food.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Retail Therapy

For the last month, I've been donating a lot of clothes to charity.  Most of the items I no longer liked or hadn't worn in several years.  And some pieces were too worn looking for my taste.  Whatever the reasons, I now have room for new clothes.

I, therefore, was excited to recently get a 30-percent-off-my-entire-purchase coupon for the Kohl's sale that starts tomorrow.  In addition, tomorrow morning there will be Early Bird discounts that will further reduce the sale prices.

And my luck continues because Jonah goes to daycare on Wednesdays.  So I'm kid-free tomorrow until Elliott gets off the bus at 3:45 P.M.  Let the retail therapy begin!

March 1-5 - No "junk" food.
35 minutes pushing Jonah around the neighborhood.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Zest of Life?

This morning, while I was waiting for my annual mammogram, I noticed cards defining each decade of our lives.  The 60s were described as "the zest of life."  Wow, that sure sounds like fun!

So far, however, my 60s have been more full of stress than "spirited enjoyment," a definition of zest I found online.  On a daily basis, I'm dealing with mom's health issues and dad's response to the situation.  I'm also regularly caring for my two grandsons.  In addition, I'm co-running a small business during challenging economic times.  My life is indeed "spirited," but not enough of it is pure enjoyment.

I have heard 60 is the new 50.  So maybe the cards need to be revised and "the zest of life" will happen in my 70s.  If that's true, I hope I'll still have enough energy to enjoy it!

March 1-4 - No "junk" food.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Time To Burn More Calories

I've been counting calories, again, for the last few days.  I'm also staying away from "junk" food.  I haven't weighed myself recently, but suspect I gained at least five pounds last month.

I don't plan to weight myself anytime soon.  Too often I've felt good about my diet and exercise regimen, as well as how I looked, only to slip into a "funk" by a number on the scale.  I don't need that kind of pressure right now.  Besides, I'm doing all I'm willing to do at this time, except for working out more often.

That's my goal for this week, getting back on track with regular workouts.  Yesterday I cleaned our workout room, which had still been a mess from the sewer repair.  I also recently connected a Roku player to a new flat screen in that room.

So there's really no excuse now for not regularly logging time on the stationary bike.  Unless, of course, I just have to spend so much time online.  Nope, that's definitely not a good excuse.  Gotta go!

March 1-3 - No "junk" food.
30 minutes cardio; 15 minutes hand weights.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Frustrated Crafter

March is National Craft Month.  I think the timing is perfect.  It's too cool and early to start lawn and garden work.  And, by now, winter is getting a bit boring.  It's the perfect time to do more crafting, or it should be.

Unfortunately, I continue to be a frustrated crafter.  There's never enough time.  My biggest obstacle is watching my two-year-old grandson three days a week.  There's absolutely no way to craft when he's awake.  And, since he sleeps in the bedroom next to my hobby room, nap time is out also.

Next school year, Jonah will go to daycare three days a week, which hopefully will give me more free time.  But, for now, all I can do is dream about the day I can say -- I'm a happy crafter!

March 1 and 2* - No real "junk" food.
*Had some fat-free sugar-free ice cream -- yuk!

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Junk" Food Fast

Except for a regular daily dose of "junk" food, I feel my diet is generally healthy.  I eat several portions of fruits and vegetables everyday.  And, for protein, I typically eat lean meats, such as poultry or pork loin, eggs, or soups that also include vegetables.

Yep, my downfall is definitely the "junk" food.  I've decided, therefore, not to eat "junk" food for the entire month of March in an attempt to break a bad habit.  In my world, "junk" food is chocolate candy, ice cream, cookies, and pastries.  But it is not all foods that contain sugar.  I will still eat bread products and add a little sugar to my morning oatmeal.

Looking ahead, the toughest time will be Jonah's birthday party.  I'm making the cake and it will be hard to not taste the batter and icing.  Maybe chewing sugar-free gum while I'm baking will help.

Without a doubt, this is a tough challenge for me, especially with my current stress level mainly due to my mom's condition.  In all honesty, odds are I'll end up simply deciding life is too short not to eat a little chocolate everyday.  Nevertheless, this morning I'm happy to report I made it through day one!

March 1 - No "junk" food.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rough Time

Mom hasn't eaten for a week.  She also is getting very little liquid, only what the staff manages to drip down her throat.  In addition, mom hasn't been out of bed since Monday.  She's just sleeping all day and night.

Fortunately, mom is not in pain.  Unfortunately, dad is falling apart before our eyes.  He's not sleeping and can't get through a conversation without crying.  I won't be surprised if dad ends up in the hospital due to exhaustion.

I also won't be surprise if dad passes within a few weeks or months of mom's death.  I knew he would be upset when mom passed, but never imagined the level of distress he's now displaying.

And just when I dared to think things couldn't get worse. . .