May 2018

May 2018

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Imitation Game

Just as I had hoped, The Imitation Game was extremely thought-provoking. Better yet, it had all the components for the perfect movie-going experience – good story line; good set and costume design; and good acting.

Primarily The Imitation Game is about how we really won WWII; and about the creation of the first computer. But there's a secondary storyline which, for me, made The Imitation Game even more enjoyable. Without giving too much away, it's the story of how difficult life can be for super intelligent individuals, especially if they're also different from the majority in other ways.

Yes, I'll be thinking about The Imitation Game for a long time.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Until last night I hadn't seen a single one of this year's Oscar Best Picture nominations. We used to go to the movies once or twice a month. But now, with so many cable and Roku options, we're never at a lose for something to watch at home. And nothing was released last year, such as another Harry Potter film, we wanted to see right away.

But now I'm on a mission to see as many of the nominees as possible before the February 22 ceremony. I started last night with The Grand Budapest Hotel that's currently available on HBO.

TGBH is a colorful silly film with many stars. I especially liked watching Ralph Fiennes in a drastically different role from the Lord Voldemort he plays in the Harry Potter films.

Overall I found TGBH entertaining, but I'm glad it was available through our cable plan. When I pay movie theater prices, I prefer something much more thought-provoking and memorable.

Tomorrow I plan to catch the morning showing of The Imitation Game. Based on IMDb's description I expect it to be well worth the $5.94 ticket price.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pat On The Back

I'm so proud of myself I just have to share. I started "training" for our Harry Potter trip in January 2014. That means I regularly participated in weight resistance and aerobic classes at the gym, and walked the track a few times a week. I'm happy to report all that effort paid off!

With the help of my Fitbit Flex, I was able to log just how much walking I actually did each of our three days in the theme park:

Based on the screen shots above, I averaged eight miles a day!

Unfortunately, real life will not allow me the time to keep up this pace daily. But knowing I have the capability is motivating me to workout harder and more often. I'm a Fitbit believer!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Trip Videos

You can find more videos of our trip here.

Somehow I have two YouTube channels, DailyJugglingAct and Dianne Gerken. The worst part is I seem to have no control as to which channel I'm uploading to. Suffice it to say, I'm far from becoming a vlogger – LOL!

Monday, January 26, 2015

It Was a Fantastic Trip!

More to come, but these two videos are my favorite. The first one is dark (no flash allowed) until the wand chooses the wizard. Of course, if you haven't seen the Harry Potter movies, you'll have no idea what's going on in either of the videos – LOL!

The Wand Chooses the Wizard

Getting to Platform 9 3/4

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Our Way

We finally leave for Orlando tomorrow. We being me, my daughter, and oldest grandson. We return late Monday afternoon.

I got 3-day park passes for all of us, but don't plan on it being overwhelming. I'm only interested in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If I'm up for more, I'll check out other areas of Universal Orlando. But, if not, I'll rest at the resort while Emily and Elliott have at it.

We're all very excited. Many photos and videos coming soon!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Better Late Than Never

I feel such the idiot. Many years ago, I started using for most of our OTC and vitamin needs after finding their prices were better than what I found locally. Adding free shipping and the convenience of home delivery and I was sold. But recently, before I almost placed another order, I decided to search for other sources with hopefully better prices. That was a smart move!

Amazon has long been my "go to" for many things, but never for vitamins. Boy was I surprised, and thrilled, to discover Amazon's prices for items I swear by were much cheaper than's:

Mucenix (100 count) - $34.20 versus $51.99;

Cosamin DS (230 count)- $58.41 versus $71.99;

MegaRed Omega 3 Krill Oil (60 count) - $11.49 versus $27.99.

Yes, I feel stupid for not discovering this sooner, but "better late than never." And, for sure, I'll be searching Amazon for many more items in the future.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Fitbit One
I gave hubby a Fitbit One for Christmas. I got a good deal on Amazon by using my Amazon points. While the majority of Fitbit users primarily track exercise and calories, my main objective for hubby was to have him track sleep.

For decades hubby's been complaining he doesn't sleep well. Twenty years ago he even did a sleep study, which ruled out sleep apnea. My belief is, after sleeping 4-5 hours on the couch, odds are a person will not sleep as soundly in bed. And the Fitbit, in my opinion, is proving me right.

Every evening hubby's been setting the Fitbit to sleep mode after he puts down his laptop and iPhone, and just before he start's his "pre-sleep" on the couch. Around midnight, he moves to the bed. According to Fitbit, hubby is sleeping soundly while on the couch and is restless in bed. Hah!

Will this motivate hubby to work at breaking his sleep habit? I highly doubt it. And he'll continue to be extra tired on vacations when there's no opportunity for a couch "pre-sleep." Honestly, if you're tired, go to bed!

Fitbit Flex
Recently I also joined all the Fitbit users. Looking for a little more motivation to eat better and workout more, I used my Kohl's cash to get a Fitbit Flex, which I've been wearing for five days now.

So far I've discovered I need to dedicate at least 30 minutes to intense exercise (aerobics or power walking), and keep moving (doing housework or shopping) for 4-5 hours after, if there's any hope of reaching 10,000 steps for the day. And I've confirmed what I suspected of my own sleep pattern. I get a sound 7-8 hours of sleep every night – in bed!

I was concerned I'd find the Fitbit annoying to wear 24-7. But it's actually comfortable and, most of the time, I forget I have it on.

So I feel Fitbit could push me to eat less and workout more if I give it a fair chance. Time will tell. But, one thing's for sure, I'm going to love seeing my steps add up during our upcoming trip to Universal Orlando!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Us!

Today hubby and I've been married 42 years. Reflecting on what we've been through, good and bad, that number seems right. And I feel we're now in the senior phase of our union.

That may sound depressing, but it's not. There's comfort in finally realizing and accepting that certain things are not going to happen for us. All that nonsense about getting a newer bigger house some day; taking two international trips a year; spending winters in a warmer climate; buying a new car every five years. You get the picture.

Our life is what it was meant to be. And now we only have one goal, to make it possible for hubby to retire in 2017. Our life is good and I'm grateful.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Enjoying Life Without Stress

I'm feeling so calm and at peace this morning. The holidays are over and I finished putting away all the decorations yesterday. I woke naturally at 7:28 A.M. and don't have to leave the house until 10:15 A.M. And that's for my gym class, so I'll be dressing comfortably and not putting on makeup.

Plus dinner is already planned and cooking. I soaked beans overnight for 13 Bean Chili and started the 3-hour simmer process while I waited for my morning coffee to brew. After gym class, I'll add all the other ingredients and tonight we'll have a yummy one-pot meal perfect for a cold winter's night.

And, unlike recent past years, I don't have a major trip or home remodel to research this January. This year is all about saving money and hubby building a comfortable bank of personal days. My daughter, grandson, and I are extremely excited about our January trip to Universal Orlando, but the airline tickets, park passes, and room for that adventure were decided and paid for months ago.

Before gym class, I'll pop into JoAnn's to get the three DMC threads I need for this image I purchased yesterday on Etsy. It's the perfect Valentine's Day gift for my daughter's family who are Disney Vacation Club members. Starting this cross-stitch project is my only other plan for today.

Yes, I'm truly enjoying the absence of stress this morning. I just pray it's not the "calm before the storm."