Monthly Archives: April 2013

P is for Peace or Piece or Peas

The Blogging A to Z Challenge comes with a built-in challenge.  Some days, I’m not looking for a challenge, but it seems that life in general poses those for us each day.

Today’s challenge is the letter P.

I seek peace and tranquility.  I live in chaos and confusion.  Some of it is my physical surroundings, some of it is in my mind.  

I have over the past year or so, found meditation.  I am not currently meditating.  For me, meditating is something I have to make part of my routine.  Before going to Florida in February, I had meditated for 106 days without a break.  I was pretty proud of myself for that.  While there, it wasn’t practical for me to do it.  No time when I was totally alone.  Since coming back to New Jersey, I have gotten out of the habit.  I hate when that happens.

I find myself longing for that serenity that I feel when I meditate that carries me through the day.  I think that daylight savings time might be part of the problem.  It used to be dark when I got up.  I sat down arranged things, lit my candle and I was surrounded by shadows except for my candle.  Now it’s getting on to dawn when I get up, the birds are doing their birdy things outside and I find it hard to concentrate.

I need to find a way to do my meditation in spite of these distractions.  I need to feel that peace in the early morning.  Nothing is really stopping me but Me.  I commit now that I will do it tomorrow morning and keep it up.  There are no obstacles except myself.  

If you’ve never meditated, you should try it.  It may not bring you the peace you seek, but it will help to calm you and give you a good start to the day.  Anybody out there with me?  Let me know if you meditate. If you don’t, think about starting.  I’ll report on my progress and you report on yours.  

 

 

Buddha-We Can Never Obtain Peace...

 

Wishing you a peaceful Thursday!

O is for Older..and WIAW!

We have come to the letter O today in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  As happens with all of the Wednesdays in the month of April, it also coincides with What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons.  But let’s talk O first and then we’ll get to the food.

Monday we celebrated Ralph’s birthday.  I won’t reveal which birthday milestone it was for him, that would be for him to share, but it is an important one.  Each of his birthdays is important to me because I love him.  We found each other later in life and I want to spend as many birthdays with him as possible.

Ralph often talks about the fact that he doesn’t like getting older.  I think most of us spend a good chunk of our lives not worrying about getting older and then it hits us and we spend another good chunk of our lives worrying about getting older.

At one point in my life I worried.  Probably at a younger age than many people.  As time goes on I worry less and less. I think the worrying has subsided because I’m feeling so good.  I’m in good health thanks to the many changes I’ve made in my routines over the years and I think I’ve got a handle on most things involved in the aging process.  I’m not young anymore, but I only feel that sometimes.  On the rainy days when everything hurts, I get annoyed that I’m getting older.  But then if I can get up and moving, things hurt less and I think less about my age.

I know that I’m so lucky in many ways and truthfully, one of the ways in which I’m lucky is that I get up every day with the opportunity to grow older.  I want to keep working on that plan.

And now to the Food!!

What I Ate Wednesday

Food this week was all over the place again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A homemade salad with spicy black bean burgers on top and balsamic vinegar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A grilled bean burrito at Taco Bell.  Grilling it doesn’t add any Points to it and give it a bit of a different flavor. Yummy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

An egg white omelette with mushrooms topped with grated cheese and sliced tomatoes on the side.  Always a winner.

Now on to the Birthday celebration!

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Blackberry tea at Ruby Tuesday’s.  Our favorite!  Cheers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Ok, I know I shouldn’t have but I did.  I ate one of the little cheese-y biscuits that they have there.  The Birthday Boy saved me and ate the rest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For me as usual, it’s the Garden Bar.  I was a little disappointed with it this time.  First of all, the plates are Much smaller than they used to be.  I like a big salad plate so that I have room to move things around.  I know I can go back as often as I want, but I like to arrange my salad to my satisfaction and that’s not always easy on a smaller plate.  The second issue is that the selection is not as good as it used to be.  That was sad to me.  I could always count on their salad bar to give me lots of choices.  It’s still much better than some other salad bars, but I was disappointed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Ok, transgression number two.  We did get dessert.  Ralph had a red velvet cupcake and I had a carrot cake cupcake.  I have to say that mine was just delicious and truly worth the Points.  My only saving grace is that this was on Monday and I have until Saturday’s weigh in to work all of this stuff off.  It was a special day and it was a wonderful celebration.

After lunch we took a walk through the Mall where the restaurant is.  I forced Ralph to try something on for me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I think he looks adorable.  With or without the hat. He says that as he gets older, women seem to be more attracted to him.  He calls it the Sean Connery  Effect.  Maybe he’s right, but I think he’s pretty cute on his own!

Be sure to check out some of the other blogs both at Blogging A to Z and At What I Ate Wednesday.  You’ll find some new favorites and be sure to leave some comments.

Happy Birthday, Ralph!  Happy WIAW!!

 

N is for New

Now we have come to the letter N. Now we come to New.  The next step in my journey through the alphabet with you.  Very odd that I seem to be rhyming today…give me a moment and I’ll get over it. Today’s star in the Blogging A to Z  Challenge is the letter N.

So often on BCDC, I talk about old things, antique things, found objects and treasures bought at thrift stores and yard sales.  My life is full of those sorts of things.  Once in a while, something new actually comes into my life.

Ralph had paid a visit to Radio Shack last week and in talking with a young man there, found out he was due for an upgrade on his phone.  He wanted me to come along because he wanted me to talk with the young man because he thought I would understand better what he was talking about.

Last Friday we did that.  As it turns out I was due for an upgrade as well.  I knew that, but I was dragging my feet, not sure what I wanted to do.  I don’t like that we spend so much on cell phones and service and I was considering going to a buy as you go plan.  But as it turns out the deal was better than we thought.

For two new smart phones (which unfortunately don’t come with smart people who know how to use them!!) it is only $10 more per phone per month from what we were already paying.  Of course, that doesn’t factor in the cost of the phones, taxes, yada, yada, yada.

In my mind however, it is a great step in the right direction because this is encouraging Ralph to get into some technology that in the long run will help him.  He is so cute with his new iPhone. Especially now that he realizes that his niece, Marie also has an iPhone and they can do FaceTime together.  They’re so cute!  He can even send a text!

But back to Me!!  I’ve thought a few times that maybe I should have gone with an iPhone as well, but instead I went with a Samsung Galaxy S III.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

As it stands, I’m still not sure what all it can do.  I’m still not sure when it’s ringing because I’m not used to the ringtones yet.  But I can send a text, and answer the phone.  Now I have to do some set up things that will allow me to download apps and I need to do that for Ralph as well.  Overall, I’m very excited.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

It has a wonderful purple and pink protective case…Ralph’s case has an American Flag…he’s excited.  I’m especially excited because I love the windmill background I was able to get.  It makes me think we’re on a cross-country trip.  It even changes from day to night.

You all just need to be patient with me on this.  If you call, give me time to get it out of my pocket (it is pretty big!) and to figure out how to answer you.  But, hey…it’s New!!!

Happy Tuesday!

M is for Motivation

Oh, boy can I use some of this!!  I can’t actually believe that we have reached the letter M in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I actually just had to reference the list I made to be sure I hadn’t missed any.  Thank goodness that did not happen!

Since I got home from Florida and then had to get well from bronchitis, I’ve been trying to motivate myself.  As I have mentioned many times, Ralph and I have a home in New Mexico and we’re trying to get out of New Jersey and get out there.  It takes a lot of work, a lot of doing but the doing doesn’t get done without some motivation.

I’ve long heard the idea that if you work on something for 15 minutes a day, you’ll accomplish a lot.  Well, this project is certainly going to take more than 15 minutes a day.  I’m trying to give it as long each day as possible.  I’ve been accomplishing about 1 and 1/2 hours each day.  Not Saturday, I gave myself the day off. I’m quite proud of myself in that respect.  I’m doing what I need to do.  It doesn’t seem like  a lot when I look at my various projects each day, but I keep telling myself, each step I take is a step in the right direction.

I keep motivating myself with the thought that if I work hard and try to keep Ralph motivated, then we can get this done.  I keep saying, “I want to be in New Mexico by…such and such a time.”  Well, that’s not really motivational because then I just get discouraged when we’re not there by that time.  I’ve spoken that statement enough times, now.  I’m not giving myself a deadline now.  My plan is to just work as hard as I can and see how it goes.

I’m sure that our yard sale in June will be a motivating factor.  When I get rid of all of those things, I’ll see space and that in itself will be motivational.  Everything is going to sell (how’s That for a positive attitude?!) What doesn’t sell is going to a local thrift store.  As I said before, I’m working on being as unsentimental as I can, here…it’s the only way it will work.

If any of you have any sure-fire tricks for how to motivate yourself with cleaning out and moving on…please share them because Boy oh Boy do I need them.

I’m feeling Motivated already!

Happy “M”onday!!  Happy Birthday, Ralph!!

L is for Light and Snapshot Saturday~April 13

I have seen the Light!  The Light I’ve seen is the fact that I am forging ahead with the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Today is the letter L and my topic is Light. I’m also linking up with Snapshot Saturday started by Alyce at At Home With Books.  Be sure to visit both sites and check out what other bloggers are sharing.

As I write this, the light is just coming up through the windows on my side porch which serves as my office.  I can look through the door to my living room to see the light also coming through my leaded glass window.  I had shared a sunrise through that window in this post from January.  I love the morning light and I love to share it in photos.

However, I thought I’d share a few more photos from The Tampa Theatre to go along with the ones I shared last week.  My slow camera ( I swear I’m going to start using my new one Very Soon!)  sometimes makes it hard to get photos in low-level lighting.  In spite of that I did get some good ones.  Here are some of the lower light ones that I thought were pretty interesting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Initially, I wasn’t that happy with these particular photos because I thought the Light wasn’t right.  As I review them with a more artistic eye, I realize that the Light was just right.

Look for the light in your day.

Happy Snapshot Saturday!

K is for Kin or Kindred

One of my new (from this years’ Blogging A to Z Challenge)  blog friends, Dana at Waiter, Drink Please! mentioned that we are now one third of the way through the challenge.  One third is good.  Perhaps soon I’ll finally feel the direction I felt last year.  Perhaps I’ll have to wait until Next year to feel it!   Regardless, I’m diving in again, this time with the letter K.

Today the word is kin or kindred.  Dictionary.com defines kin as “a person’s relatives collectively; kinfolk.”  Interestingly, kindred is defined the same way when used as a noun.  But when used as an adjective it is defined as “having the same belief, attitude or feeling.”   I never realized the words would have the same definition. But you didn’t come here for a vocabulary lesson.  Neither did I.  I just realize as I get older that looking up words might give me a clearer picture of what people are saying and in truth, a clearer picture of what I’m saying.

Last year in the A to Z, I talked a lot about family members.  That might be one of the reasons I’m having trouble this year.  I used up all of the good topics last year.  That’s not true of course, but I did a lot of family posts.  I enjoyed doing them and they were well received.

I’ve always thought of kin as the family that we are given; our parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  I was blessed with wonderful, caring parents who left us too soon.  I was blessed with grandparents who I was blessed to have in my life much longer than some other people.  I will always be grateful for that.  My sister, Ele is always my biggest supporter.  She takes me as I am and loves me anyway.  I am so lucky to have her.

As life has progressed, so has technology and thanks to things like Facebook, I’ve been able to get back in touch with cousins both near and far.  It’s an amazing thing and I’m so grateful to now have them back in my life.

I’ve always thought of “kindred” as the people who you choose to have in your life.  Friends.  People you’ve gone to school with, people you’ve worked with.  Some people you find by accident, running into them in a store or a Weight Watchers meeting or even on-line.

I have friends that I’ve known my entire life and I do mean my entire life.  They are my age and we’ve lived through the same things together.  We’ve supported each other through easy times and through difficult times.  We know each other well.

I have friends that are young enough to be my children or in some cases even my grandchildren.  They are no less friends just because of the age difference. Friends come in all ages, all colors, all shapes and sizes.  I feel that I have developed real friendships with on-line friends as well.  Just because I’ve never seen them in person, doesn’t mean I can’t feel that connection.  I believe there is something in that person that clicks with something inside this person and it all works.

I believe in being open to new friends.  Some people are more cautious with making new friendships, they are wary of getting involved with new people.  I figure that I can never tell where that new friendship might lead.  I could learn something new, discover some wonderful opportunity.  If all I get out of it is a new friend, then that would be just fine with me.

Kin or Kindred?  Whichever you are, Thank you for being a part of my life.

Happy Friday!

J is for June

Welcome to J!  Yes, I’m still sticking with the Blogging A to Z Challenge even though I’m still without direction.  I guess I’ll just keep poking at it until it’s dead!  I am enjoying it although I feel as though I face each new letter with sheer terror.

J is for June.  I’m not really a Summer person, so that’s not my reason for choosing June.  Summer will be starting, but I hate the whole heat and humidity thing so I really just want to cover my head.

Two good reasons for looking forward to June.  Our grandson will be graduating from high school.  That’s a very exciting thing for him and for us.  After graduation, he’ll be going into the Army.  If you knew this young man, you would have known that this would happen since he was a little boy.  He’s been in the ROTC for the Air Force for the last three years and has been to two leadership boot camps during that time.  We’ll be attending a special award ceremony for him this evening and I’m very excited.  Of course, please don’t talk to me in August when he actually leaves.  But that’s another story altogether.

The other reason I’m looking forward to June comes at the end of the month. You’ve all heard me talking about sorting and packing and working toward a yard sale “some time” this summer.  I just found out that the town wide yard sale will be at the end of June.  It’s great because the woman organizing it always advertises it.  People come armed with a list of all of the sales in town.  People are out and looking so I have a much better chance of getting rid of things that way.

I can sometimes drag my feet if something is coming at some vague time in the future.  I work much better when I have a target.  I’m so excited that I can now put my plan into action.  I’ve been doing well and sorting things out and being very unsentimental about it.  That’s the only real way to get rid of this stuff.

You’ll be hearing lots more about this as the weeks go on.  Hope it doesn’t make you too crazy.  I think I’ve got that covered anyway!  Looking forward to June!!

Happy Thursday!

I is for Instant and WIAW

We’ve come to the letter I and again, there was much hemming and hawing in deciding what word to use.  I decided that Instant would be good since I’m again attempting the very difficult double link up. So food again enters into the discussion.

To start with, don’t forget to stop by to read some of the other blogs participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  Everyone loves when you visit and leave comments.

I’ve picked instant because I’ve always been sort of an instant gratification person.  If I want to watch a TV show, I want to do it Now (Thank goodness for On Demand!) If I want to go somewhere I want to go Now.  If I want to eat something, I want to eat it Now.  There are times that I plan ahead and think things out…You’ve heard me talk endlessly about my crock pot and of course that involves some waiting. But if I plan it out, I can have it NOW as soon as it finishes cooking!  😉

I even started Couldn’t Be Quicker on BCDC because I love quick meals.  I haven’t been doing it much lately, but I need to get back to it.

Regarding the whole Instant thing…I’ve often said that if you believe in reincarnation and the fact that we come back life after life in order to learn a particular lesson, my lesson for this life is patience…I need to learn that I can’t always have things the instant I want them.  I need to wait my turn.

Link up number two is the always fun and exciting What I Ate Wednesday.  Hostessed by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons, these folks love if you visit and comment also.  Here we go!

Peas and Crayons

A bit of an odd food week, but that hasn’t stopped me from sharing before!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The ever popular cottage cheese on caramel rice cakes topped with cinnamon. Tasty lunch when I want something Now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

A big tossed salad at the local pizzeria when Ralph says let’s go out to lunch the  day before Weight Watchers!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

French toast at the diner…the day After Weight Watchers…of course!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Apples and bananas for the second course of breakfast one day this week.  Lots of cinnamon of course.  I never thought of cinnamon on bananas before, but it was tasty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

My new favorite breakfast…egg substitute and egg whites with defrosted frozen spinach cooked in the microwave.  How’s that for a meal, Now?  Topped with some Romano cheese.  Delicious!

So that’s it for me on both sides of the link up madness!  Try to visit some of the other blogs and leave comments.  That’s the only reason we do this! 😉  Well, that and the instant gratification!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

 

H is for Hedgehog

Today I have a plan and I’ve actually known what I was going to use for the letter H since I started the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I can’t say that about many of the other letters.  I’d better get started before this slips my mind, too.  😉

H is for Hedgehog!

I’m not really sure why I am so fascinated by hedgehogs.  They’re spiny and from what I’m told they don’t smell very good if you have them as a pet.  I just think they are so adorable.

I saw one in real life for the first time when we were at Colette’s birthday party in January.   If you’ll look back at that post, you’ll see a photo of my first in person meeting with a hedgehog. That was when I learned that apparently they roam freely in London and there are actually provisions made in case one is injured…bring it to a veterinary hospital and it will be treated.

Since at the current time, I have no home critters to keep me company, I keep thinking about the possibility of a hedgehog.  They’re small and I think pretty well-behaved.  But Ralph says no pets right now.  I keep thinking of bringing in a secret kitten and then saying something to the effect…”It must have gotten in the house on its own, Dear!”  Yeah…that would work.

Until the time that I get to have another pet-a possible hedgehog, I’m comforting myself with these little guys.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They’re pretty darned cute and they keep me company, usually on the shelf above my computer, as I write each day.  They don’t ask much more than an occasional dusting (a shaking, really…)  and they like looking at me almost as I like looking at them.

Be sure to follow the link to the Blogging A to Z Challenge and read some of the other interesting blogs.  I’ll just bet that there’s another hedgehog in there somewhere!

Happy Tuesday!

G is for…

Ok, I’ve been moving along fairly easily and keeping up with my posts for the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I feel I’ve done a fairly good job so far.  I’ve been pleased.  Today we get to the letter G.

As I begin today, I really have no idea where I’m going with this which explains why there is an incomplete sentence as the title for this post.

Perhaps I’ll go with Green.

Sounds like an appropriate topic for a vegetarian, right?  Yes, I eat lots of green foods.  They are healthy and filling and…it’s what vegetarians do.  So for that reason it’s a good idea.

I love the green of the Spring.  This year, it seems that we’ve been waiting Forever to get to the green.  I think we might actually be getting there and I for one can’t wait.  I need the Spring to be here and the Winter to be gone.  I’m not that big a fan of Summer heat so in truth if I could combine the green of Spring with the reds and golds of Fall, I would be a happy person.  You can keep Summer and Winter for all I care.

Green also means Go.  A green light means it’s my turn to go and I usually like that.  I’m often frustrated when the light turns green and someone further up in line dawdles before moving ahead.  I’ll have to warn you, if the light turns green and you don’t move out, you’ll probably be on the business end of my horn.

Green is also for money.  I’m not always in search of money, but I’m always in search of getting the most for my money.  I love a deal.  It must be hereditary. My sister, Ele and I are always sharing when we’ve gotten an especially good deal for something.  It makes Ralph crazy.  He doesn’t really appreciate a deal as much as I do.  That’s also why I love yard sales, thrift stores and Goodwill.  I want a deal.  I’ll search through until I find just what I want.  The more I go to them, the better I get at finding things I need.  Much of my house is decorated with thrift store finds and of course, by bookshelves definitely are!

I suppose I could go on and on about Green, but I think I’ll finish right here.  I feel pretty sure that as soon as I finish with this post, I’ll find ten more things that fit my topic.  But for now, I’ll just say…go check out some of the other bloggers participating in the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  You never know what you might find!

Happy Monday!