Five on Friday: Random thoughts from this week

imageI’m feeling scattered today. I know, what else is new? Actually it was a pretty good week for me focus wise! And sleep wise, but that’s a whole other matter. I jotted down a few things that I wanted to blog about this week but when I sat down to do it, they ideas floated away.

Instead, I’ll share my notes/thoughts that I’ve had this week. I promise there’s almost no rhyme or reason to them.

  1. My pool looks really sad and lonely without any water in it. Okay so it’s not MY pool, it’s the pool I work at, but after 5+ years I feel like it’s mine. I took that photo last night when Daddy-O and I met for some family cardio. It dawns on me that I’m so much better at getting a workout in when someone else is there to meet me. I’ll cancel on myself, but not on someone else. I also got some funny looks from some of the women up there. I think it was that they were trying to place me because they usually see me in a bathing suit, not a tshirt and shorts. Or maybe they didn’t like that I was putting a little sass in my elliptical time. Who knows.
  2. Arctic Grape Ice Breakers Ice Cubes are spot on for any one who loved Grape Bubblicious bubblegum.  (Me! No shame about it here. Purple flavor rocks.)
  3. It makes me sad that the yoga studios in this area seem to have something against people who work “normal” hours. I can find exactly 3 yoga classes to attend before work. (I looked at the online schedules that were posted for the many studios/gyms that would be feasible for me to get to in the morning.) Most of them start after 8:30 or 9am. I realize there are bunch of retired people and stay at home moms or people who don’t work regular hours, but I think the studios or gyms would find themselves with a lot more coin in their pockets if they’d do a 6:30am class once or twice a week. I try to go to the one at my gym as often as I can and it’s really well attended so I have a feeling others would be too.
  4. Sunday I’m headed to Lancaster PA! I don’t know that anyone else would be particularly excited about such an exotic location, but my cousin is getting married on Monday so Momma and I are making the trek down. We might even hit up the outlets. (Nine West, Converse, and Fossil, I’m looking at you!) I’ll report back.
  5. If you have a sense of humor about religion (or aren’t a member of a Christian denomination) then you might find this Twitter to be funny. HolyBookofBible has such gems hbobtweets

It made me laugh, that’s for sure.

That’s it for now. Did you have any fun random thoughts this week?

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Reading More: The ABCs of Yoga for Kids

A copy of The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz was made available to me by the publisher at no charge to me through NetGalley. The opinions are my own.

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photo from Amazon

Can I tell you what a lovely day it was when I figured out I could look through NetGalley’s sections and request books that weren’t sent to me? Can I also tell you it was an accident? A super happy accident, but an accident none the less.

This accident brought me to the The ABCs of Yoga for Kids and I am delighted.

Aren’t happy accidents the best? Especially with free books…some of the free books aren’t so good.

From the Amazon,

The ABCs of Yoga for Kids uses the alphabet, rhyming vignettes, and colorful illustrations to introduce children to yoga in a kid-friendly way. Each of the fifty-six different poses featured in the book delightfully promote flexibility, strength, and coordination while encouraging children to incorporate healthy activity into their daily lives. Yoga is a noncompetitive form of exercise, suitable for children (and adults) of all ages and athletic abilities. Any activity for young children is important because the nation, including our youth, is under siege by obesity, stress, and diseases like diabetes, which stem from poor diet and lack of exercise. Yoga for young kids will create good habits and a foundation for well-being. Children have a lot of fun learning new positions, new letters, and new ideas. This book will delight and bring joy to the early yoga practitioner.

I don’t know about the promise of good habits and a foundation for well-being with one book, but if you can get a kiddo interested in something healthy that’s new, then that’s a good thing.

This book was super cute! The illustrations were beautiful photos, the description of each pose was done as a cute poem and overall I enjoyed it.

Some of the rhyming felt a little forced and I could probably come up with other poses for some of the letters, but if your little one is interested in yoga, this seems like a good place to start.

Is this a book you and your kids would be interested in?

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Frank said…#93

This is part of the Frank said feature. You can see more here.

We were making dinner the other night and as I was chopping something, I heard Frank singing quietly…

Frank: [singing quietly] And you’ll never be royal, royal, you can call me green bean…
Me: What did you say?
Frank: [sings again, but a little more loudly] You can call me green bean
Me: I think you mean, “queen bee”
Frank: No, its green bean. She sings it wrong.

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Funkytown isn’t a fun place after all

I even feel a little guilty (which makes me feel worse in a way) writing this post because I am immeasurably blessed in decent health, work and love. I have friends with broken hearts, family and friends in poor health and others struggling to find work so I don’t want to sound like I’m having a pity party over here because damn it, life is pretty darn good (knock on wood). But for all the happy postings I do, I feel like to be real and share, I have to share the not as good and unhappy too…

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It happens time and again and I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing life’s funk. Nothing’s particularly wrong, but nothing seems right either – if that makes any sense at all. I feel like I’ve fully arrived in Funkytown* and you know what? Vacation here isn’t all that fun.

I’m not happy with myself in a lot of ways and I think it’s tainting how I’m engaging the world. Sometime last week, I mentally checked out of life it seems. Yes, I went to work, hung out with Frank, spoke with family, saw friends and had some really lovely moments, but as soon as the lovely moments were over it was back to Funkytown. I don’t feel fully engaged in my life and I am not shining right now.

I have to wonder if this damn virus I had (and still puts me in horrendous coughing fits which make me headachey) hit me harder than I thought. Or if it’s the fact that while I was sleeping pretty well for a good stretch, I’m back to fitful sleep that amounts to only a few hours of interrupted sleep and bad dreams. Or if it’s that some things going on at the pool have me off kilter. Or its a combination of everything.

I’m working on finding joy in small places to get me through the gloom that is my brain right now. These little bits of joy included hanging out with Kel taking a jewelry class (even if she had a headache and I had no idea what to do with our beads!), a friend finding a great job, pretty views, time spent with D’Lovely et al. for Em’s birthday celebration and delight in her Super Hero Tutu (even if it sheds glitter everywhere), and seeing family for hockey and drinks this past weekend.

Hugs from and laughs with friends and family help a lot too. These little bits of bright light on gloomy days are what’s keeping me afloat. I think you all for them.

I know what I have to do. I have to “keep me movin’, keep me groovin’ with some energy”(Lipps, Inc) and I’ll survive just fine. I’ll find my groove again. It’ll just take some work.

So that’s where I am right now. Where are you?

*Can we talk about how the lyrics to Funkytown might be the most inspired words I’ve read since MMMBop? Correction. I think they’re more inspired.

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Reading More: Spectrum

A copy of Spectrum by Alan Jacobson was made available to me by the publisher at no charge to me through NetGalley. The opinions are my own.

I love getting free books. I love it when I get free mystery/suspense books that I like a lot! Mystery/suspense books are one of my favorite kinds and this one even had some Criminal Minds profiling thrown in for good measure. I’m really glad I asked for this one.

From Amazon:

New York City: home to world-renowned museums, theater, restaurants, iconic sports franchises. Central Park. Wall Street. And an infamous serial killer who’s terrorized the Big Apple for decades. The year is 1995 and the NYPD has just graduated a promising new patrol officer named Karen Vail. The rookie’s first day on the job is anything but easy when she finds herself at the crime scene of a young woman murdered in an unusual manner. Vail is unsure of what she’s looking at or what it means-but it’s a case that will weigh on her mind for nearly twenty years. As the years pass, Vail’s career takes unexpected twists and turns-as does the case that’s come to be known as Hades. Now a skilled FBI profiler, will Vail be in a better position to catch the killer? Or will Hades prove to be Karen Vail’s hell on earth? The character who has captivated readers worldwide-and who won the praise of literary giants Michael Connelly, James Patterson, and Nelson DeMille-returns in a story that captures the experiences that shaped the revered profiler and made her the top cop she is today.

Spectrum was slow to start and had a slightly disappointing ending (it just felt anticlimactic after everything that happened) but the puzzle pieces were put together nicely and it contained some interesting twists and elements. There are two separate stories in the beginning and I figured that they eventually would come together, but just how they fit was interesting to see.

Jacobson made you feel for the Greek family’s tragedy after tragedy and the other characters felt real and a bit gritty as I think they should in a police based suspense book. I don’t love Vail, but I liked her well enough. The often snarky comments she that she was thinking made me smirked or smile but I don’t know if they added anything other than making her sound like a smart ass.

I would read more of the Vail books but save them for a time when I knew engaging for longer times would be difficult. It’s good for a reader who has little time to read, but still wants a good story. The chapters are short and the details stuck with me so I didn’t have to go back and re-read parts. I would absolutely pick up another of this series for traveling or the beach.

LITTLE SPOILER: I will give you a heads up that there was a scene where Vail watched the planes fly into the Twin Towers on 9/11. I wasn’t expecting it and it brought back a slew of emotions that I wasn’t ready for.

Do you love mysteries/suspense books? What’s your favorite kind? Do you have a favorite mystery author?

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Beachy smells, a bagel, a burger, Bangarang, book for review, a “bang it out” day, and #blogtober14)

It seems that this post was brought to you by the letter “b” today. I didn’t set out for it to be the case, but sometimes these things happen. First of all, my sweater smells beachy, like sunblock*, which I’m okay with because I could see my breath last night as we packed up the Dexters after a long day of house workings.

I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have the Dexters, let me tell you! They arrived yesterday around 9am and in a “bang it out” 12 hours we not only had a brand spankin’ new hot water heater but a new gas line and installed gas stove. I can’t even being to say how thankful I am to have those guys. They’re kind, smart, funny, and hugely capable guys and the world (and certainly our home) are better for it. Rumor has it, next up is a refreshed bathroom. Dexter D. has put it on the list next because doesn’t like the toilet. Not to worry, Dexter P has a recommendation on a toilet for replacement.  Truth be told, I’ll likely just go with that one or something similar.

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Two Dexters working

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A Dexter on the hunt

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A Dexter in training
He said no when I asked if I could get a torch

Unrelated to new toilets but about this weekend, can I tell you how nice it was not to go to the pool Saturday? I had taken the day off to have house stuff done but then the day got changed so I kept it off anyway. It’s a good thing I did, I had such a lovely day. I had a bagel, read some of my book that will be reviewed tomorrow (Spectrum by Alan Jacobson), I did some crafting for the show, I did some yoga, had lunch at 5 Guys and watched Hook with Frank. Then we cleaned out the garage so the Dexters had some room to work. Don’t get me wrong – love teaching and problem solving for Saturdays, but man. It was nice to not be cold and wet.

The last “b” for today is #blogtober14 with Taylor and Helene prompts from this weekend.

Oct 4 – Favorite Instagram Photo(s)
Oh heck, I don’t know. I mostly Instagram stuff for Court is Crafty with randomness thrown in for fun. Here’s a few I like a lot.

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Reward for frustrating traffic

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A pattern testing.

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A Christmas gift for Momma

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For the Littlest Dr. Who Fan

What’s your favorite Instagram from your photos?

Oct 5 – Fall bucket list.
Most of it’s here and here. How about yourself? What do you want to do this fall?

Oct 6 – 10 Things I’d Tell Myself When I Started Blogging.
I don’t really have 10 things I’d tell myself 10 years ago. I don’t really have any regrets or wish I’d done differently-s. I think it’s because I really view this as a hobby – something I like to do without making anything off it. I’ll tell you what I think I was most surprised to find out: How long I’ve stuck with it, how many connections (locally and otherwise) I’d make, and how some of the hobbies I’ve developed because of it are influencing other things in my life. How about you? What would you tell yourself back when you started? Alternately, what were you most surprised about?

That it. The “b” from this weekend. Sometimes it’s the little things and this weekend was filled with lots of wonderful little things (and a couple of big ones too!)  How was yours?

*At some point, my sweater got sprayed in my suitcase with sunblock. No matter how many times I’ve washed it, it still has a hint of SPF 45.

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Frank said #92

This is part of the Frank said feature. You can see more here.

We were watching Dancing with the Stars the other night and Frank decided that he doesn’t like Bethany…

Frank: She looks like an anime doll and she was just discribed as “relentlessly upbeat and bouncy” and “a virtuoso of positivity”. Thats the worst possible way to describe someone. I’d rather hang out with Rick Santorum.

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Coffee Date #41 with some #blogtober14 thrown in for fun

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Are you sick of fall colors yet?
Good, neither am I.

Hey there! How are you today? Did you survive the week unscathed? I was pretty sure it was going to be the slowest week ever, but Wednesday afternoon really picked things up for me.

What’s in your cup today? I went with the usual! Kahlua (flavor) and hot chocolate mix. It’s Friday and I made it to and through 6:30am yoga class so I feel like I earned it. Speaking of yoga, I went twice this week already and if I’m free tomorrow morning, I might go again. Tomorrow’s isn’t my favorite teacher, but I’ll deal. Maybe this time she won’t be a ninny about me declining a strap and block.

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Isn’t she pretty?

Yes, you read that correctly, I said, “If I’m free…” I took the day off from the pool to have the Dexters install our hot water heater, gas line to the kitchen, and new stove.

I realize it’s in the living room, but they’ll need to get in the stove space to do work.

I’m flipping excited to have a 5 burner gas stove. I feel the same way about this that I felt about my polka-dot Steve Maddens. It’s entirely possible I’m more excited about this.

Grown up stuff is super exciting. Please tell me I’m not alone here.

What should I bake first? I’m thinking banana bread or brownies.

So that’s my weekend: maybe yoga, work around the house and feeding the Dexters. What do you have planned?

I might schedule some of the #blogtober14 with (Taylor and Helene) posts if I have some really free time. Today’s is One Thing You Can’t Live Without and I have no idea. If you don’t count people, I feel like I can survive if just about anything is taken away.Sure I get twitchy without my phone, but I don’t get super anxious. I really like the internet, but I have books and paper to write on. Maybe my lip balm? I love it, but rarely can find where I put it so that’s out. I really don’t know.

I will say though that the day I thought I lost Mehmere’s purple crochet hook I was devastated for several reasons. 1. it was hers. 2. it’s a versatile size and has a good hook and 3. it has a “good feel” to it.  Luckily I found it again and joyous crocheting could resume.

Is there something you couldn’t live without?

I have to run and grab some more water, but I hope you have a great weekend!

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I’m a little late to #blogtober14 but it’s better than missing it completely!

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Loving the October colors

So Taylor and Helene are hosting #blogtober14 and because I’m a few – er several days behind in reading, I didn’t know it. I could do a “Goals for October” post or one about how there are “90 days left in 2014! How My New Years Goals are Going” but I don’t particularly feel like it.

Instead, let’s play along with Taylor and Helene.

Oct 1: If I won the lottery -

It would depend on how much I won. If I won $50 from a scratch off, I’d put it in my “play” money account and use it for a couple of pedicures or sushi lunches probably or some new spiffy boots. If I won a huge sum of money (say $26 million), no joke the first thing I’d do is hire a lawyer and accountant I could trust. I wouldn’t tell a soul that I had done so other than Frank. Maybe a few close friends who I know can keep their mouths shut.

I wouldn’t quit my job though – at least not right away. I’d let them know I had once stuff was in place, but I’d still work until they could find a replacement and some of my bigger projects were done. Or even keep working part time and just do the parts of my job that I really like. If I did leave though, I would set up a steady volunteer schedule with a group like Habitat for Humanity. I’d likely still teach at the pool too. I would start my day with tea and blogs, a crossword puzzle and something creative each day.

“Work” gives me purpose and some scheduling which without I get bored and mischievous.

I’d ultimately invest half, pay off the house and Frank’s student loans, travel each year, set up a trust fund/foundation with grants that could be applied for different reasons, and totally redo our back yard.

I’m really quite boring about that, aren’t I? What would you do? How much would you have to win to say PEACE OUT to your job? I’m thinking $10 million might be enough.

Oct 2: My Dream Job Then/Now -

When I was a kiddo I wanted to be a doctor because no one should have to lose their grandpa like I did. (No joke, I told Daddy-O that one day.) While I likely have the brains and the interest to do so, we know I don’t have the focus. Instead, I try to help the world in my own ways.

As for now? Well, I haven’t thought about it in awhile because I like what I do well enough and it gives me lots of time to do most other things I love doing (crafting, teaching, baking etc.)

Besides when it comes down to it, I’m one of those people who feel that while it’s nice to make some money doing what I love, once I HAVE to make my money doing that I’m not as interested. It’s why I’ll never go full time being crafty/baking. I’m absolutely sure I’ll lose interest. Some money is nice, mortgage payment money is too much pressure.

I’ll keep my job thanks.  [Knock on wood they don't have other plans for me. I don't think they do.]

Okay, how about a few Goals for October since it’s stuck in my head now…

  1. Yoga class 2+x a week and walk/run at least once a week.
  2. Eat more veggies  (preferably ones with iron) (We’ll talk about this later.)
  3. Have a gathering at the house so I have an excuse to use my new oven.
  4. Do Fall like things that I love. Apple picking, taking photos, wearing cozy sweaters
  5. Get prepped so my craft show isn’t a big fat huge flop!
  6. Start Christmas shopping/crafting.

Now it’s your turn to answer the questions:

  1. What was your dream job when you were little? What is it now?
  2. What would you do if you won the lotto? How much would you have to win to say PEACE OUT to your job?
  3. What do want to get done in October?

And GO!

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A full decade later.

(Whoops this got long. Oh well.)

When I was leaving the painting event Saturday, I looked at my dashboard clock and it hit me that I had received news of Lance’s passing 10 years and 1 hour before that particular moment. There are some moments you never forget and I have a feeling I’ll never forget the moment I read Matt’s away message. (Thinking about it still requires a deep breath.)

A full decade ago. And sometimes it still feels like yesterday.

As I drove home, I got to thinking that I couldn’t have imagined that day, that life would turn out how it has.  I was a little lost, figuring out who I was and wanted to be. Looking back, I don’t know that I liked her very much to tell you the truth. I think it’s worked out okay though.

I’m incredibly lucky to say that some of my best friends are still by my side sharing our experiences, wine, laughs, and lives. I am beyond grateful to have them in my life and that they share their lives with me. I’m thankful that my family and friends are doing well and are healthy and safe. My parents are alive and healthy. My family (extended, genetic and generic) remains close. I absolutely love that some of my cousins are my very best friends.  I’m proud to say that I’m still touching lives and teaching people to swim and trying to make the world a little bit better for others one moment at a time.

There are other differences though. I mean we’ve traded AIM for Google Chat for crying out loud! Google quickly took over my life, how about yours?

Bigger changes include the fact that our grandmothers are watching us all from above instead of across the room. I left a job I loved (working for someone I didn’t) to go to a job I don’t love always but work with someone I respect and really like. The job change allowed me to explore my creative side more and as trite as it might sound, I feel more grounded and well rounded because of it. (And not just because I bake a lot more!) I’ve added some amazing people to my circle and can’t really remember life without them. I found someone that I trusted enough to let into my heart and find myself married, with a house and working on the kid part.

Smaller differences though might be more interesting to think about. Technology has reshaped our lives and communication. I was blogging, but it wasn’t in any sort of community interactive sort of way. Now, I’ve made incredible friends through blogging and I’m glad I kept it up.

My main mode of communication now is texting or a quick email. It’s more convenient, less intrusive if you will, for something quick. It isn’t without it’s faults though and there are miscommunications, scary hour texts and those that when received from certain people at certain hours, I get scared that something is very wrong.

Perspective changes a lot in 10 years, too. For instance, I would have been making a concerted effort to eat more sensibly and shed a few pounds not for my health and for the possibility of bringing a new life into ours, but to fit in my favorite bar jeans. I’m both more (house bills) and less worried (stable jobs, more skills to use to make more if needed) about money. Emails are still great don’t get me wrong, but snail mail is even better. I think I’ve come to understand what I’m worth in this life, but I try to give more.

There have been a lot of moments in the last 10 years that have shown me what really matters – love, family and friendship, good deeds, letting go of hurt and anger, being kind to both others and myself and putting more good into the world than bad. I can honestly say that I’m thankful for both the good and bad that life has handed me over the years because it’s brought me here to my life today.

Not to brag or tempt fate to take it away, life is pretty good and I’m thankful to be in a really good place. [Knock on wood.]

How have the last 10 years changed for you?

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