Day 3 #sol16 – Yarn and a hook has me hooked

Round and through and round and through…repeat and repeat and repeat 1000 times more.

It started when I was a little girl at Mehmere’s side wanting to know how it worked and wanting to try. She handed me a beautiful lavander hook and some yarn and we set to work.

Crocheting didn’t stick then, but fast forward 20+ years to my brother’s first deployment and all the sudden I needed something new to learn. I was visiting her one day and asked her to show me again. She pulled out the lavender crochet hook and some yarn, patiently walking me through the steps again. That day she sent me home with that crochet hook to practice.

This time it stuck. First a scarf! Then another! Then a hat! And a more fancy one!

More than some yarn and a metal hook, every project was a small escape from the realities of the situation. A distraction from the stress and anxiety. I had to count everything stitch, talking it out in my head – sometimes out loud as each project started to take shape.

I also found a way to relax which was new and exciting for me. Crocheting provided not only an outlet, but something I could do right even on my worst days. If it was wrong? It’s easy to take out and do again. Knowing there’s something you can do without question? Sort of proceless. It’s served me well.

Currently my brother is state side but I have other reasons to need an escape and relax. Stress from the day, something to do, gifts for a loved one, there are any number of ways crocheting has helped me. Mostly I just know it’s something I can DO.

If you’d like to join here’s the info. There’s even a post of ideas.

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Day 2 #sol16 – Visits

I miss them so, in many more ways than I ever thought was possible. I also see, feel, and hear them in more ways than I ever thought possible.

They come to my dreams, sometimes actively, sometimes in the place between awake and sleep. A laugh here, a whisper of loving words there. Almost daily a message of love from one if not more of them.

I see hellos from them when I’m out and about. The owl hidden in the gable, the hidden rainbow only seen when I have my sun glasses on, the wing special on a Wednesday night, finding the perfect item on sale, a broken GI Joe somewhere I’m sure I didn’t leave it…

A hundred hellos as long as I’m looking.

If you’d like to join here’s the info. There’s even a post of ideas.

Posted in Challenges | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 1 #sol16 – Cravings

solI’ve been looking for something new to do – it seems like I’m often here, looking for something new to try because I’m feeling “stuck”. I looked at the March’s BlogHer writing lab  and I didn’t really know if it was over all inspiring or interesting to me. I’m quite sure others will love it and run with it! There are some that I might try, but we’ll have to see how the words feel about coming out of my fingers.

Instead, I came across Look at My Happy Rainbow’s most recent post {solsc} Elise #sol16. He’s a former kindergarten teacher who had some of the best posts about his classroom, teaching, and life in general. He’s traded in his teacher job for a different one in a related field, but he still comes up with some gems to share. This post about his friend Elise was one of those lovely gems. I don’t know that mine will be as lovely.

Yesterday I was chatting with BatGirl about a particular craving I was having. It was one that just BOOM came out of nowhere! One second I was sitting there sipping my coffee and the next, I NEEDED to have a Burger King Chicken sandwich with bacon and mayo. I have no idea why it popped into my head, I haven’t had one in years! But there it was yesterday, the craving my mind and tongue wanted.

I didn’t end up getting one because I had a long night ahead of me and didn’t want to deal with the gluten reaction, but it was so very tempting. Had it been a different day? There may have been very different results.

Cravings are a wonky thing for me. There are days I want chocolate which I like it all that much. Other days I must have ketchup on something and I really don’t like ketchup! I know that some are possibly tied to various deficiencies in vital nutrients such as the chocolate craving-magnesium tie or the bread-selenium or amino acids tie. Some may be tied to emotional or mental needs. (a.k.a. comfort foods)

I don’t know that either was the case yesterday. I think the sun was out and I wanted something pleasing on my tongue. Today? I don’t particularly want one. I want a hotdog with relish and mustard instead.

I’d love to hear about what you’re craving today.

If you’d like to join here’s the info. There’s even a post of ideas.

Posted in Challenges, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coffee Date


With my sunglasses on,
the cloud was like a rainbow.
This in no way does the scene justice,
but I wanted to try and share it with you.

Hello Friday, it’s lovely to see you again – I wasn’t sure you were going to make it!

Dear reader(s) of mine, how are you? Did you make it to Friday coasting along and peacefully, kicking and screaming, or with a giant sigh of relief that it’s the end of the week? This week felt particularly long, but I assume that’s because it was a full week again.

What’s in your cup today? I’m thinking of skipping the Kahlua today, just don’t feel like it I suppose, but hazelnut with hot chocolate sounds great! For my Upstate NYers out there, have you seen/tried the Chocolate Raspberry at Stewarts? Oh goodness it’s delightful cut in half with regular coffee. If you get a chance, try it!

What else is new? I’m getting pretty excited about our trip to Key West. I’m hoping the weather is nice and we get to do adventurous things. I need a little adventure about now!

I’m also pretty excited because I’ve booked my ticket for a work trip to Chicago. Getting out of dodge is exciting enough – even for work, but I have the added bonus of being able to see my friend’s show! He’s in Chimerica and I’m stoked for a few reasons. The first is that I get to see a far away friend. Second, I get to see him perform which is always wonderful. Third, I’m going to try and talk him into going to Lady Gregory’s with me so I can get the gluten free lobster mac and cheese. It was so good!

I’ll likely have some time to kill before I check into my hotel so I’ll see about a trip to the Lincoln Park zoo since it’s pretty much on the way.

The work program won’t be what many would consider “fun” necessarily, but there are some great people and they’ll have good work info to share. Also, a lot of them are really funny.

Speaking of work, I should get showered and off to the office. I hope Friday treats you well!

Posted in brain chatter, coffee date | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Good things 2016: Week #7


It’s not easy to tell from this angle,
but I got between 4-6 inches cut off my hair.
Love it.

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

This past week was a little foggy due to cold meds and feeling unwell. I slept a good deal of the weekend.

Good Things

  • Crabbie’s Hard Ginger ale
  • House flipping show marathons.
  • TRX yoga was fun. Challenging, but fun
  • Long weekends
  • Texts of thanks from someone you never thought you’d hear from again
  • The right person seeing someone’s behaviors aren’t all in your head.
  • NyQuil and cough drops
  • Trip to Key West getting closer!
  • Chatting with my bro and confirming Brody will be with us for the month of March.
  • Hot baths with the bath bombs I made. Working on a new book The Skeleton Garden (one of the sequels to The Red Book at Primrose Garden it seems there was one in between, you don’t need to read it to know what’s going on here.)

Good reads

Favorite Photo:



Fluff and crunchy peanut butter
My inner 5 yo was pleased.

Favorite Song:

I can’t tell you how incredibly sad I was to see that they are not coming close to us on this tour.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

Posted in Stuff I loved this week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reading more: Paris Hop (children’s book)

book squareParis Hop by  Margie Blumberg was provided to me at no charge through NetGalley. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s entirely possible I missed my calling as an elementary school teacher or librarian. I absolutely adore children’s books, stories, and literature. I love the pictures, the story lines, and the cadence of some.I love asking my little swim buddies what they’re reading and loving these days so I know what to look for next.

Because of my love of kiddo books, I jumped on the chance to review this book and I wasn’t disappointed.

From Amazon:

On a visit to Paris for just one day, Grandma Goldie is eager to show her granddaughter, Aimee, how the city sparkles in the sun from the top of the Eiffel Tower. But the other joys of “Paree” create delightful detours along the way. Will this peppy pair make it to the tower before sunset? Find out in this charmingly illustrated rhyming tale about the City of Light . . . and happy surprises.

The pictures were beautiful and the story was cute. While it it wasn’t the best lyrical book I’ve come across, it had some super cute parts and sprinkled French for good measure.

I would definitely purchase this book for a child who had connections to France, Paris, or was interested in it.

Is this something you’d read? Why or why not.

Posted in Reading is Fundamental! | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good things 2016: Week #6

Fotor_145540450549831It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I can’t possibly convey how special this past week was in welcoming a new addition to my friends family. I’m truly honored to be invited to join D’Lovely’s family in welcoming their new little one in the first few hours of his life and a wonderful day on Saturday. I’m truly blessed to call these lovely human beings friends and to be included in such wondrous moments.

While welcoming such a delight and being able to be there for a friend was wonderful, there were many other good things last week.

Good Things

  • Coworkers who bring me a slice of William Sonoma GF Lemon Poppy quick bread – It was amazing. I will be going to WS to get this mix.
  • Custom work inquiries
  • Getting word that one of my work trips isn’t going to happen. (It’s good because it was causing conflict in my personal schedule.)
  • Getting approved for more books to review
  • An extra copy of my license and a few bucks in my jewellery box for when I leave my wallet in Frank’s car.
  • Finding things to be excited about
  • Hearing a rumor we’ll have Brody back for a month!
  • Pics and video chats with my nephew
  • Last day of lessons going well – can be a crap shoot.
  • Keeping up with my good thing every day notes.
  • Replying to old posts on the “On This Day” in facebook. Makes me giggle.

Good reads

Favorite Photo: (One of them. I got some really good ones.)


Favorite Song:

Totally not a new song, but it will always be one of my favorites. I sang it a few times to E on Saturday when I was snuggling him.

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

Posted in Stuff I loved this week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thursday Three: 100 word reviews

book squareA copy of these books were made available to me by the publisher at no charge to me through my partnership with the now defunct Red Letter Reads. The opinions are my own. You can see other books I’ve reviewed here.

I’ve been going through drafts and realized I don’t think I ever shared these. Let’s make the reviews quick. 100 words…AND GO!

Rosarito Beach, M.A. Lawson.

Mystery/suspense is a favorite genre and Rosarito Beach ultimately didn’t disappoint.

It was slow to get started, but things got moving quickly with an unexpected twist. Once the action started, I didn’t want to put the book down and read the rest of it in one sitting.

Kay Hamilton was tough to like. Hard-nosed characters don’t read well for me. When she softens a bit, the book has a much better feel.

Even with the slow start, I liked this book. I did feel that Lawson was trying too hard for Kay Scarpetta, but I would read the next one.

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things: Mister Max 1, Cynthia Voigt

What an adventure for a 10 year old to be on! Max’s parents leave him to fend for himself while they run off to parts unknown.

Max fends for himself using his ability to act and being a resourceful kiddo. He does have the help of his grandmother but is more interested in doing it on his own.

There are different mysteries, ones Max is solving, how he’s going to care for himself, and the larger mystery of what happened to his parents.

I generally love Cynthia Voigt’s books, but not this book. Maybe reading the next one will help?

Delia’s Shadow, Jamie Lee Moyer

Delia’s Shadow had an interesting premise I suppose, but there was very little to knock my socks off and keep me glued to my reader for hours.

There was really quite a bit of potential that failed to develop and I had a hard time keeping my mental picture in the right era. I liked it well enough, but found that the plot was a bit predictable. Ultimately, this was just too flat to really catch my interest.

It was Sixth Sense meets Zodiac Killer and might be one of those books that might actually be better as a movie.

Are any of these something you’d read? Why or why not?

Posted in Reading is Fundamental!, Thursday Three | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good things 2016: Week #5


We miss him terribly, but it helps to see how much fun he’s having at college. There’s snow there! And lots of space to run!

It’s important to remember the things that are good in life. It reminds me how blessed I really am and also helps to ease the sting of the bad. I’m incredibly lucky, there’s more good than bad (Knockonwood!) and I want to document how thankful I am for it.

I don’t wish to jinx it, but I think my mood is leveling off a little. It seems an initial adjustment can be needed when starting thyroid meds. (Also not to jinx it, it’s helping my my energy levels and weight coming down with less of a fight.)

I’m teasing out what I want for this year, but first up I have to decide if and what I’m giving up for Lent. (Previous years have included peanut butter, meat, doing nothing, and something else I’m not recalling right now.) Are you giving up something for Lent? It starts Wednesday.

Instead of sadness in giving up something, how about we think about last week’s good things?

Good Things

  • Friends who check in on you when you’re off grid
  • The M.J. Rose book I’m reading – The Witch of Painted Sorrows
  • Dancing with Frank to the Lumineers in the kitchen while dinner cooks
  • Watching Zombie House Flipping and interacting with the cast on Twitter.
  • Sammiches on Against the Grain pita shells and Udi’s hot dog rolls (for “subs”)
  • People to believe in and encourage you when you’re not sure if you’re good enough for something.
  • Pretty stamps to send snail mail with
  • Understanding swim parents when you need a day off because of germs (who are understanding because they don’t want your germs given to their kids)
  • QVC easy pay options!
  • An IT person who knows what tech I’m looking at and can honestly tell me if it’s for me or not.

Good reads

Favorite Photo:


Wondering if can grow a garden…

Favorite Song:

This one is particularly meaningful knowing them as I do… Pete, you’ve nailed another one. (Go for a Ride is also a favorite of mine.)

How have you been? What made you smile? Tell me about one of your successes? Read anything good this week?

Posted in Stuff I loved this week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coffee Date


Brodyman is back up North with my bro.
They have snow there.
Brodyman loves the snow

Hey there! What’s in your cup today? I have the usual Friday Kahlua Coffee hot chocolate blend. Today though? Oh it’s exciting. There are marshmallows in my hot chocolate!

Can you even handle life at that speed?

It’s been a quiet week around here, in my head, and in life in general. I took a sick day this week and slept a good chuck of the day because I felt like crud. I’m feeling better though now so I guess it worked.

While I was awake the other day, I purposely removed social media icons from my home screens on my phone. If I want to go look at something, I have to go find it in the whole list of apps on my phone. Is that hard? No, especially since they’re alphabetized, but it’s an extra step. I’ve already seen a decrease in the mindless browsing I’ve been guilty of lately.

Instead of mindless browsing, I’ve been going to my phone or tablet’s kindle app and reading the M.J Rose book I recently discovered I never read. This is part of an experiment I’m doing for myself that I’ll do more of next week.

This about this question for me: if you had all sorts of extra time, what would you do with it?

So, I’m going to have to find a different breakfast option. Lately I’ve been making smoothies but I broke my Magic Bullet Blender this morning. I’m looking into if I can fix it because it seems the “spinny clips” broke off, but honestly, that thing owes me nothing. I don’t recall when I got it, but I do know it was in the Summit Ave apartment with me so it goes back at least 7 years, probably more. I will look into fixing it – there’s little sense in throwing it away (or going through the hassle of choosing a new one) if it can be easily fixed.

Speaking of throwing away…I’ve been purging again, shoes, blog feeds, and random stuff that I just have no use for. Maybe Sunday before our plans I’ll tackle the undies/socks and tank top drawers!

That’s it for today, I’m off to grab another cup of coffee and try not to think about how chunky and icky the texture today’s smoothie was. Blech. The food processor doesn’t do the same job and I currently don’t know where the blender is.

What’s your favorite smoothie? Would you toss or try to fix the little blender?



Posted in brain chatter, coffee date | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment