Monthly Archives: April 2013

Z is for Zero

I can’t believe I’m saying this but…today is the LAST day of the Blogging A to Z Challenge!!  I realize that I’ve been whining a bit, well a Lot.  But I’m beginning to think that it’s been productive whining and I’m ready to go.  The Challenge has been a positive experience so let’s wrap this Up!!

Z is for Zero.  Looking up the word zero I found this as the number 3 definition:

“a mathematical value intermediate between positive and negative values.”

That works for my purposes.  I’ve been talking about positives and negatives lately.  I’ve been searching for the balance between the two.  Zero is appropriate.

But I’m also thinking of Zero in the sense of a countdown…

Five…Four…Three…Two…One…Zero…Blast Off!  I grew up in the age of the Mercury and Apollo Space programs so countdowns and blast offs are dear to me in a very special way.  I’m looking at my life right now as a countdown.  I’m going step by step to reach that Blast off point.  I’m probably nowhere near Five yet, probably hovering around Nine or if I give myself a little more credit, maybe Eight and a Half.   But I’m counting down and I will get to that Zero.

Zero gives the impression of emptiness.  I am working for a type of emptiness.  The cleaning out, removal and sale of all of these things that we don’t need anymore. When the process is completed, I want to see that wonderful open space in the middle of the Zero.  Uncluttered and unencumbered. Then it’s on to the wonderful open space and unencumbered beauty of New Mexico.

A clean slate is wonderful in my mind.  Now is the time to accomplish the task, This all reminds me very much of a poem I wrote once called Spring Cleaning.  As I write this, I have no idea where a copy of it might be, but that will be part of my project today…find a copy of that and share it with all of you.  It will fit so well with my theme here.

Without further delay, I bid Farewell to the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I wasn’t sure where I was going with it.  I certainly didn’t think it would bring me to all of these revelations.  I’m glad I was here and I’m glad I have arrived with all of this new clarity.  Thank you to all of my readers for all of the wonderful, positive and supportive comments throughout this process.  Your comments have helped my thinking move in this direction and in directions I hadn’t expected.  It’s time to get on the road.

Five…Four…Three…Two…One…ZERO…Blast off!!

Happy Monday!

Y is Still for Yes…

We’re almost there, We’re almost there…Ok, it’s an old Andy Williams song and many of you are too young to remember it but I couldn’t help myself.  Next to the last day…Truly, it is the next to the last day for the Blogging A to Z Challenge. The letter for the day is Y and probably not as hard as tomorrow’s letter but I struggle none the less.

I re-read last year’s Y post.  I really liked it overall as a post, but I most liked the sentiment behind it.  I am struggling with negativity over the last few weeks.  Ok, throughout the A to Z Challenge, I’ve been struggling with negativity.  I decided that I will for this one time only, repeat myself.

Re-reading last year’s post gave me a boost.  I was saying Yes to things.  I’m trying to do that now.  Not everything is negative. Even No is not negative depending on the situation.  If I can’t do something, I’m going to say No.  That’s a positive. Especially if saying Yes is going to stress me out and burden my spirit.  I’m trying to lighten up physically (that’s been successful and a story that I’ll get into after the challenge) and environmentally.  Not world environment…My environment.  I’m feeling I will get there.  By saying No to the things around me that are no longer necessary, I’m saying Yes to a positive living situation and Yes to getting on the road to where I want to be.

Saying Yes I will do something while the negativity around me is saying “that won’t work” that is a positive.  I think I can be successful and I’m going to stick with my own intuition.  I’m not going to change the world, but I will make my own world a more positive place to live.

Perhaps I’ve started my own trend.  Every time I participate in the A to Z Challenge, I think I’ll make the letter Y stand for Yes.  I like that…it’s a positive idea.  Now I need to go out and make every day a positive Yes day.

You have the choice.  Say Yes to the Positive.

Happy Monday!!  We’re Almost there…

X is for ….X and Snapshot Saturday~April 27

I’m very glad I made a list of the things I used for the Blogging A to Z Challenge  last year.  If not, I’m sure I would be repeating myself!  That almost happened today!  I was trying to find things to use for the letter X.  I even downloaded the app to my new smarter than me phone so that I could search while Ralph and I were on a short road trip.  It’s a great app and I’m sure I’ll use it but it didn’t help me.  No fault of the app.

Last year I did X marks the spot because I couldn’t think of anything else!  As I looked back at last year’s post, I realized that most of my photos disappeared.  Not happy about that, but this is a new year!  I won’t let that happen this time because I’m also part of Snapshot Saturday today, and photos disappearing just wouldn’t do! Snapshot Saturday is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books so please be sure to check out some of the other great photos posted there.

This year I’m making a different use of the X. The X is used to cross things out, to remove something added my mistake, something not necessary.

That’s what I’m doing right now.  I’m making great use of the letter X in my life.  I’m crossing out the unnecessary things, objects I no longer need…literally cleaning house.  Trying to clear out some emotions I don’t need at the same time.  I think I’m getting there bit by bit.  Thursday was a good day and helped in that regard.  I’ll talk more about that when the Challenge is over.  So I want you all to think of me this weekend and in the coming weeks putting a great big old X across a lot of things.  So much needs to be accomplished and I’m starting to have confidence to believe that it will.

Now to my snapshot for the day.  I was just talking about clearing things out. Well, this is an odd segue but how about a beautiful clear blue sky and some trees.  This was taken at the Revolutionary War battlefield park that is in our town.  I love taking photos there.


I don’t know why I like this one so much.  I just do.

X some of those negative things out of your life and allow yourself to see the clear blue sky!

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

W is for When

Moving along in the Blogging A to Z Challenge!  We have gotten all the way to the letter W.  I must admit that there were times during this challenge that I wasn’t sure I’d make it this far but, hey, I believe that anything is possible and here we are!

But What to do with the letter W??  I had one idea but then nixed it.  Too emotional and I don’t need more emotion right now.

Wisdom would be a good topic.  I value wisdom but at times feel I possess very little of it.  I seek wisdom and many times don’t find it in myself.  I find it frequently in others and I gravitate towards those people.  But then as it often does, life gets in the way and I no longer have that source of wisdom.

Water would even be a good topic.  Water is a big part of my life through Weight Watchers.  I used WW for W last year so I can’t use it again. (Dang…)  That would be easy.  I talk about it all the time anyway.  Oh, you haven’t noticed?  How nice of you to say that.   😉

Wonder would be good.  As  I sit here typing this post, outside my window are so many birds, flitting from branch to branch, coming in for landings on the ground, tweeting and having a great time in the early morning sunshine.  I am always in awe of the fact that there are so many birds in my yard.  The sound of them doing all of their bird things is very comforting.

But, When?  When will I accomplish my task?  I work toward it each day.  Some days possess more momentum and enthusiasm than others.  Those days are great! Other days, not so much and I have to be satisfied with what I have accomplished.  Trying not to be negative is an important part of this process.  Get up every day and get Something done. When will come.  Say When!

I do seem to be asking a lot of questions during this Challenge.  I hope to have an answer by the end.

When?  As Soon As Possible.

Happy Friday!!

V is for Vision

Blogging and Blogging and Blogging for the Blogging A to Z Challenge!  We are truly in the home stretch and I’m feeling better about the whole thing as I see the finish line in my sights.  I initially didn’t feel I was being as successful as last year.  But many of your comments have helped me to feel that I’m doing just fine.  I appreciate all of the support.  I guess I would say that the fun is challenging ourselves (those of us doing the A to Z) each day to come up with something to fit in.  Today is V.

V is for Vision.  There are several ways to “look” at vision.  Someone is usually said to have vision if the come up with innovative ideas that make the world a better place.  Some are said to have vision if they can see into the future (cue the Twilight Zone music…)  Vision can also mean just seeing the things around you in a new and unique way.

I could show you all the vision of my new haircut.  That’s a great idea, but I Just got it cut on Monday and we all know it takes a few days for a new haircut to look good.  I’ll share photos in a few days.  Now That will be a vision!

Having the vision to see into the future (Twilight Zone aside) can also mean seeing what you want to achieve in the future.  I am slightly stuck at the moment, but I see the future.  I’m sure and I know what I want.  I will achieve it.  I see a year of ups and downs in my future, but I feel that I will be able to achieve my vision of the future and I will end up…well, Up!  Lots of sorting and packing and tossing is going to have to take place.  But I know I can do this.  WE can do this and our vision will be complete.

I’m going to be doing something interesting this afternoon that involves vision.   I don’t know much about it as yet and I look forward to sharing some of the things I learn there.  It’s always fun to try something new…to see things in a new way.  I guess to get a clear vision, I’d better clean my glasses.

Look around you and see what you can see.

Happy Thursday! Happy Birthday, Mom…I love you and I miss you.

U is for Unusual and WIAW

This will be the final post for this year’s Blogging A to Z Challenge where I get to combine with What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by Jenn at Peas & Crayons. Please be sure to visit both sites to look around and leave some comments.  We all love comments!

U is for Unusual.

Those of you who read BCDC prior to the A to Z challenge will understand that many times I would be talking about food when I use the word unusual. Yes, I come up with unusual…ok…Strange foods.  Today’s collection is pretty odd.

But my life in general has always seemed unusual to me…bordering on Odd.  I’ve kind of hopped around job wise.  I did stay with being a travel agent for 24 years but during that time I worked at 4 different travel agencies.  I realized after a while that I never really liked the job and wasn’t really suited for it. I loved learning about the places where I was sending people, studying up on what there was to see and do in places filled with history.  But I could never really relate to the trips to the beach where all you did was turn red in the sun and drink.   A lot of people never wanted to hear about the history they just wanted the beach-y stuff.

None of this or any of my other jobs had anything to do with what I studied in college.  I was a speech and theatre major.  Actually the only job that ever really made use of that training was when I was a Weight Watchers leader.  Standing in front of the meetings, I felt I was doing what I was meant to do.

I suppose it’s unusual for someone to pursue jobs other than what they were trained for.  So many times jobs just fell into my lap.  That’s how I became a travel agent.  It’s too long a story for this post…perhaps I’ll tell it sometime.  It was unusual.

This topic doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for me, so I think it’s time to get to the Food!!

What I Ate Wednesday

There always seems to be an omelette!  I had breakfast on Saturday with two of my WW buddies and another new friend.



This was a different diner than usual, but the omelette was good just the same.  Egg whites with mushrooms, sliced tomatoes on the side and sprinkled with black pepper and Parmesan cheese.  It looks a little anemic, but that’s because we were sitting right next to the big windows and there was a Lot of light.  Still tasty!

We went out to lunch on Sunday with Ralph’s family to celebrate his birthday.  We started at our usual restaurant and we realized that none of us had remembered to make a reservation for the 15 of us. There would be over an hour wait!

Our niece, Marie, who is wonderful in all respects whips out her phone, while juggling her 1-year-old, calls a diner about a mile away and is told they could seat us immediately.  We gather up cakes, flowers and balloons and all head to our cars for the short trip.

We get there and they are ready for us.  It’s an unusual diner for us, not one we go to often, but trust me, we’ll definitely use them again after the great first impression and the great service we received.

I must say that my dinner fit into the theme of unusual, at least for me.

It started with a salad, nothing unusual there…



Good size for a side salad and I was very happy that I could get plain balsamic vinegar for my dressing.

Here comes the unusual part, odd combo…



Eggplant parmesan, baked sweet potato and pickled beets.  Each was delicious.  This was a Huge portion of eggplant so I didn’t finish it all, tasty though.  The sweet potato was cooked to perfection and with just pepper added it was delicious.  The pickled beets were obviously freshly made there. You can always tell by the spices when they are made right there at the diner. Pickled beets always remind me of my Grandmother.  She would have been pleased with them.

Last but not least…



Birthday cake!  This was delicious.  Ralph’s sister, Maddie always gets these and they are so good.  How did I end up with such a Huge piece?!

Of course, this would not be a WIAW at BCDC if it didn’t include a salad in my Big Purple Bowl!



Basic Salad with Morningstar Farms tomato basil pizza burgers all cut up and  romano cheese sprinkled around for good measure and of course my current favorite, plain old balsamic vinegar.  Very delicious and very filling!

That’s it for me for today. Please be sure to check out Blogging A to Z and Peas & Crayons.  You’re sure to find something interesting at one or both!!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Now what’s so unusual about that?!

T is for Try

It’s time to give this another Try!  Yes, the Blogging A to Z Challenge rolls on and today’s letter is T.

It seems as though for this A to Z Challenge, I am really flying by the seat of my pants.  I always loved that phrase, even though I’m not sure of the history of it.  I could look it up.  In these days of Google and all manner of search engines, we can always look it up.  I may do that later.  I’m going to throw my vote in for it coming from either World War I or II.  Sounds like a fighter pilot saying.  I’ll let you know how right I am after.  I guess I’m just like Wikipedia.  They’re not sure either!!

Today I want to talk about trying.  Now the reason I brought up the whole “seat of your pants” thing was because just before I started to type this, I decided on try as my T word.  I thought and thought all yesterday and last night through another difficult sleep night.  Perhaps the T word should be Thought.  As you can see, I’m all over the place with this.

The old saying is If at first you don’t succeed, Try, Try Again.  That’s probably the way I view life.  I keep trying.  If one thing doesn’t work, I try to come up with something that will work, trying and trying until I finally accomplish what I set out to do.  This makes me sounds so ambitious and tenacious.  I’m not really.  I would have gone farther in my various jobs if I had been.  But I survived.

I suppose that one of the best examples of me trying until I got it right was my weight loss journey.  Through my adolescent years, teen years and throughout college and after, I tried.  I tried to lose weight and control my weight.  Something would work for a while and then it wouldn’t so I’d try something new.  It took me a long time to find Weight Watchers.  From what I knew of it, which admittedly wasn’t much, I didn’t think it would work for me, so I didn’t even try it.

My friends and I saw a special in the newspaper that WW was having free registration.  We’re always up for a deal! So we headed to a meeting to sign up.  Of course in the WW world, just because there’s a special doesn’t mean that the special is going on here.  Weight Watchers International has different promotions running at different time from the franchises.  Our area is a franchise.

But we decided to give it a try even though it would cost more than we’d anticipated and Ta Da…it worked for me.  26 years later, I’m a WW Lifetime Member At Goal (actually, Under goal) and it has made a true difference in my life.    There’s another old saying…You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.  In my case you can lead the horse to water a bunch of times (the many times that people suggested WW to me) and finally he’ll eat.

Even though it took me a long time to take the chance and actually try it, I feel it has been one of the most successful things I’ve ever done.  I realize I talk about it a lot, but it has changed my life.  If you’ve thought about it and never tried.  Try it now.  If you’ve tried before and not been able to succeed at it, try again.  Sometimes it takes finding a right leader and a right group to make the difference for you.  Keep searching and keep trying. I can make all the difference.

Happy Tuesday!  Happy Tries-day!!

S is for Sure

I was getting excited.  I thought I was getting close to the big finish with the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I’m at the letter S.  Now I wasn’t excited to be close to the finish line because I’m not enjoying the challenge this year.  Just because.  We all have those just because days.  We’re moody or grumpy or just too funky to get out of bed.  I was excited, when I realized I still have more than a week to go.  Will I get there?  You bet I will.  Even though as I type this portion of my post, there is no title in my “enter title here” spot and I’m not sure what my S word will be just yet.  Give me a moment.

I just found it…Sure.  I could have fun and see how many times and how many ways I could use the word Sure.

Sure has been a difficult week both in the world and in my own little circle.  Sad almost became my S word, but although I am sad in many ways at the moment, that’s not really how I like to conduct business here at BCDC.  I surely have spoken of sad things in the past and I fear I will speak of them again in the future. But I don’t really want to go in that direction at the moment.  In truth, I am so down in the dumps that I need to bring myself out and I only share those things when necessary.

Share could have been a good word as well.  I share a lot with all of you, perhaps more than is necessary sometimes (at least according to my roomie…)  I personally feel that I share just enough.  I think for the whole blog thing to work, we need to share about our lives.  In truth, during this A to Z, I’ve sort of suspended my usual chatter about my usual topics, only sharing things that are necessary.  I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the Challenge.  So I’ll be sharing more as of May 1.  Hopefully, by then there will be something exciting to share!

I need to give you a list of sure things.  Ok…give me a minute…

1. I sure am tired right now.  Sleep is not my friend (again) at the moment.  As it has in the past, it will turn around…just have to get through it.

2. I sure am happy that it looks like it will be a sunny day.  Hey, I have to find my joy where I can.  The dreary rainyness over the last week has not helped my mood.

3. I sure am lucky to have the best husband, the best sister and the best friends possible.  So there, I said it.  We all make each other crazy from time to time, but we’ve got each other and that’s a sure thing.

4.  I sure wish I was Harry Potter at the moment.  I could use that magic wand.  Please don’t think that I’d be selfish and use it just for myself.  I would wear that baby out using it for other people.  I know many people right now who could use a little magic and  I would love to share it with them.  I’d only need a couple of waves of the wand for myself.  Three would do I think.  Everyone else could have the others.

5.  I’m sure I can have fun making something from nothing. This sure wasn’t much of a topic to start, but I guess I turned it around.  If I turned this around, I’m pretty sure I can turn the rest of it around.  Sadly, not All of the rest of it, but I sure can try to work hard and improve the things I can improve.

I wanted to end this on a happy note.  My best friend, Gail sent me a picture of Grumpy Cat dressed as Queen to commemorate my Queen of Nothing post. Well I truly am the Queen of Nothing because try though I might, I can’t get the darned thing to copy.  I found another picture on-line and will use it.  Keep in mind that Gail’s is funnier.

But I’m Sure doing the best I can.

Happy Monday!


R is for Ralph and Snapshot Saturday~April 20

In the Blogging A to Z Challenge there are letters that are easy to write about. On Snapshot Saturday hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books it’s easy sometimes to come up with the photos I want to use.  I’m combining the two today and I will be brief.

For those of you that were reading BCDC last year, R for Ralph might seem like a rerun.  Well, I suppose it is.  But, Ralph is first in line in all things for me.

That’s why he IS the snapshot today.  The photo is one of my favorites.  Ralph standing on the deck of our home in New Mexico, with the sunset behind him.  Possibly one of the best photos I’ve ever taken.


We’ll get there soon.

Happy Snapshot Saturday, “R”!

Q is for Queen of Nothing

I’m so glad I’m participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I’m especially happy because I find myself going back over my posts from last year’s challenge and some of them are pretty interesting.  I just re-read last year’s post for the letter Q.  Sometimes I’m much more clever than I remember.  Last year my issue was that I accidentally skipped Q in deference to R.  I wanted to get to R for Ralph and I rushed ahead.  But that confusion lead to what I think was a pretty clever post.

I’m not making that mistake this year…well at least not with Q and R.  I still have eleven posts to go…who Knows what sort of trouble I can get myself into!

Today, Q is for Queen.  I am the Queen of Nothing. In my mind to be Queen of something, you have to be really good at it.  I’ve pondered and thought and wondered and I can’t find anything that I’m really good at, thereby clinching royal standing.

I am CERTAINLY not the Queen of housekeeping.  I’ll leave that comment right there and move on.

I am not the Queen of making money.  I’ve scraped along most of my life.  Now I’m not playing poor here.  I’ve supported myself nicely through some tough times and together Ralph and I are doing Ok.  We’ll be doing much better when we sell these two houses in NJ and finally get to New Mexico.

I am not the Queen of organization and initiative.  If I was, I’d be overseeing my Queendom in New Mexico right now.  But that will come in its time.

I am truly and certainly NOT the Queen of math.  Two plus two…I’ve got that down, but beyond that…I’m lost.  I love a t-shirt that I saw that said, “English Major…You Do The Math!”  Very appropriate for me.

Of what could I consider myself Queen?  I’m often joking called the Grammar Queen, but more often Grammar Nazi.  Am I always right? No, but I can usually tell when something sounds wrong even if I’m not sure what it should be.

I feel that I’m a competent writer, but I’m certainly not the Queen.

I like to think that I’m the Queen of Thrifting, but I think my friend, Margot really holds that crown. Or possibly my blog friend, Marie at Feeding Five.  Now that girl knows how to thrift!

I am not Queen of the kitchen.  As it stands at the moment, I barely have a kitchen, due to circumstances, but I’m becoming a better cook all the time.  Perhaps by the time I’m 90 I’ll have it all under control.

But I suppose there is one spot where I am Queen.  I don’t say this to pat myself on the back.  I feel that I am the Queen of Ralph’s heart.  He makes me feel that and know that every day.  I know how lucky I am to have him and he makes me feel that his thoughts on this topic are the same.  We’re a match.  We just have to make our way to our kingdom.

Ralph andFran on Deck in Silver


It’s waiting for us. We just have to get there.  Then I get to shop for my Crown!

Happy Friday from your Queen!