Sunday, January 31, 2010

Time to review and reaffirm my small changes to date.

I am still on board with all of my changes.....although not being 100 % true.   

When traveling things get all de-bobbed.  

  • I have been drinking soda more than I hoped I would be.  
  • I have not written anything in my food diary all week......I have thought about it but that is not the same at all.   I know this method works.  Look at Weight Watchers all over the world.   I am happy to report I have noticed a 5-lb weight loss since I started!
  • Hmmm, for the medications and vitamins,  well I have been religous about the rx's but the vitamins I have let slide but.............considering it has been a poor diet while I traveled here and since I have been is all the more reason to take my vitameanies!
  • maybe the best.............I have said NO!  I did, I really did say....
    • No, I will be out of town and you will need to get someone else to handle that...
    • No, I have to prepare for my trip, I am sorry I can't come to your home party.   
    • No, I do not have time to help prepare for your event, I am leaving Wednesday morning for Boston.
And guess what............that world did not collapse around me because I didn't do it all.   No one thought less of me for putting up the boundaries.

So, this week, I will review and re-energize myself towards my small changes. 

Busy busy busy and no stitching to speak of!

Oh no you say.......well this is a labor of love.   I am in the Boston area visiting my daughter.  She bought a condo and I am helping her get settled.   No time for stitching because when we do stop shopping, assembling, arranging, folding, sorting, unpacking and hanging, we fall asleep!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Soft and frilly and pretty

Rebecca at A Gathering of Thoughts is sharing with everyone a beautiful hand painted frame.  Of course it is pink and there are roses involved.   Check out her giveway and all the pretty things she does and posts about.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Check our Sharlotte's giveaway marking her celebration of 100 posts!  Yeah for you Sharlotte.  Keep on stitching.


I have been up since 4:15 a.m. and only stitched a couple dozen stitches.   I have been busy cleaning up the kitchen and doing laundry for today I am on my way to New England...........bbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!    I was up past 11 chattering away with my daughter about my pending visit.   She made settlement on her first home last Friday and my other daughter and I are on our way to help her move in.   We are so excited for her and the time together.  

We should be there between 3 and 4 tomorrow afternoon.   What what what?  2 days to get there.   Oh no!  The  adventure starts today.   I packed the car last night and straight from work today, I will go directly to daughter #1's (D#1) house for the night and then in the morning she and I will start our 350 mile trek north.   I am not sure if spending the night is Philly really makes the trip any faster but it sure adds to the fun.  

I have a new Flip Video camera and hope to be able to create a montage of flim clips of the adventure and hope to figure out how to post them.   Most likely I will think about the camera after each opportunity has long since presented itself.   Like last night, I thought to get the camera out AFTER the car was loaded.

D#2 has a surprise for us tomorrow night.....when discussing arrival time....she said she has something arranged for us to do at 6 p.m.    I can't wait. 

and there are at least two stitching projects with their various and sundry supplies securely packed to the trip.   Moving aside, there will be crafting time with my two favorite stitchers!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week Four - My Small Change

OK - here it is....and if you know me, this is HUGE.......I will attempt to say NO!    Saying "No, I can't do that" always carried the omen that I was inadequate.   Growing up in an alcoholic household you didn't want anyone to notice you for not doing something.  At the same time you were the over achiever who was always trying to please because again you wanted no adverse attention....... Somehow I got it twisted in my head that I was a failure if I did not produce.   No pointing fingers at my childhood or placing blame my parents ....remember I twisted it in my head all by myself.  It is just the reality of who I am today.   I am not feeling sorry for myself.....but rather am trying to have a better self-awareness and use that knowledge to make a small change.  To continue as I have and think it will change all by itself they say, the definition of insanity.  (To conitnue to do the same thing and expect a different  outcome is insanity.)  I need a catalyst and this week, it will be to say "No" at least once.  Or maybe it is I need to overcome the urge to say "Yes" to anything that comes my way.  Same difference.

I fall into the same pitfall with my family, with friends and at work.....turn myself inside out to be everything to everyone so no one can point at me and say....."you didn't do 'whatever'...."  Others say I overextend myself .   I really don't feel I overextend myself, I just do more than most.   I do alot and it may be an overextension.......because no one sees the cartwheels I sometimes do behind the scenes to complete a task.   I can remember overhearing a friend say once.......'give it to her to do, she won't mind.' And when assigned whatever the task, I rose to the occasion.   It is just like any committee or at work, you give it to the busy person.   It is fair, no, but up to this point I have given permission to those that bring tasks to my doorstep.  Point is you teach people how to treat you and my method of taking it all on has not earned me respect but rather the perception that no matter what the job, what the cost, she'll will get it done.    I am the doormat!

No more.  It is time to teach people how to treat me and my first step is to say "NO!, I can't do that."   There are GIVERS and TAKERS in this world and I know which line I am in and I can live with that.

So on my quest to make small changes, I will attempt to say "No" this week at least once.  It will not mean that the world around me will collapse.   Moreover, it doesn't by any means indicate I am a failure because I choose to say No.  But rather it is setting of the parameters of the load to be given to me............there needs to be time left for me and not the unending list of what I have become obligated to others.   

This week I will make the small change to say No instead of jumping to attention and feeling I have to be the one to fix everything.

I have updated my previous posted with pix.  Enjoy!

My Year of changes - Week Four

(EDITED/now with photos)
There are a whole bunch on the list and I have not decided which one to concentrate on this week for my small change.....I am have put some thought on which to choose......

Stitchey Stuff - WaHoo!  A finish.   A real finish.    Stitching and finishing complete.   What a fun project. 

And a little side trip to a Bent Creek patriotic.......this is a 3 motif set and I have misplaced the other two!!
I need to make up for the lost time on yesterday.   The 50 hour week plus after work activities really caught up to me.   I did finish my Huck Embroidery and then actually did the finishing!   I was doing a lot of computer work yesterday as well updating forms that I need to upload to a website I maintain for a community group and did a tiny bit of general picking up but really not a ton of accomplishment for a whole day.  Could have been the non-stop Lifetime movies I was veg-ing on.   I was in bed, asleep, at 9:15 last night and slept til 5:30 this morning!    I have not had that much sleep in years and now feel re-charged and ready to tackle that to-do list.

So, I am off to Walmart and the grocery store to get ready to the week ahead.   I will debate my choices and make a decision of my Week 4 change of the week.    These choices are sometimes based on the events of the last week and this week was full of potential.   My decision will be based on my premise that to continue to do the same thing and expect a different outcome is (one) definition of insanity!  Therefore, I will continue my small changes in order to have my different outcome and to try to eliminate some of the insanity in my life.............stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Neat thing to do!

I am joining the TUSAL, the Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long!  over on Yoyo's blog, Dragon my Needle.   When looking over the member list, I see a lot of the blogs I check out.   

This is my original Ort jar that I now have a collection of buttons in.  Then there is my current jar!

This is a fun thing and no pressure to PRODUCE countless stitching projects.   I long to stitch but seriously people it can get overwhelming with all the accomplishments some of you guys produce.   Not that others don't have a life but I work 10 hour days not counting the commute, I come home to the treadmill, volunteer committees, dinner, work I have brought home, etc., family, friends, etc., etc.......I stitch as much as I can but I seem to be diversified in my craft maybe it is knitting one night or card stamping another, or sewing yet another.  It is long ago realized....I am the Jack of All and Master of None.....point being, it can be just as intimidating out there as it is rewarding to check out everyone's progress.  

To that end, The Totally Uselss Stitch-A-Long! is right up my alley.   No pressure....other than to post a photo of my ort jar once a month.    To celebrate, I am starting a new jar.   Or maybe a mug.   I pulled out of the china cabinet a glass mug Mr.Wonderful bought me way back when on a trip to Busch Gardens.   The thing sits in the closet and is never used....til now. 
Funny, when a friend asked why I had all the trash in the mason jar and I tried to explain it, she didn't understand.   It's a stitcher's thing!  I hope to look back over the year and see the threads of my life in the jar.  Next month I'll be sure get snap a better shot without all the clutter in the background!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stitching Progress

Forgot to share my progress on Huck and Etui...

First the Huck Embroidery.    I have added some of my own stitches and am anxious to finish and assemble. 

And now my side four of my etui.    The green pearl cotton marks halfway so I calculate I am a little more than halfway.   Not bad for a slow stitcher like me in 18 days.    I am seeing the finishing line and I can make it!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Know when to hold and know when to fold.....

My tools for my mission

So, do you cut in first or follow up after?    You can see I cut in

I had to laugh when I looked up to see all three colors!  Remember those blocks of neopolitan ice cream you used to get?   The ones individually wrapped?   Seems all the mom's used them for birthday parties when I was little.   So I had to chuckle to myself at the new white ceiling, the old pink walls and new beige wall color.     Up til this point I was kind of discouraged.    The wall color looked like baby poop!  Seriously!  I was blaming it on the lighting so I needed the levity.

The walls are finished and the ceiling is finished and I am stopping for the day.   Not bad for 5 to 6 hours worth of work.   I have no sandpaper to sand the trim so I am leaving that for tomorrow (or even next weekend).   Two boo boos and I know it is time to stop.   First I ran the roller into the white ceiling with the beige wall paint.    I true signal I was tiring. 

And then there is the boo boo to my finger from pinching it in the all in one plyer thing.  Man that thing bled.
and of course the glasses got a bit of fall out too.   Need to clean these puppies up to I can relax and stitch the night away.

I really shouldn't share this but

In the spirit of the Sisterhood of stitchers I have to........The Sisterhood  is ready to travel.   Check out Carol's blog for details.

Week Three and What Will It Be?

Stitchie Stuff - I learned to do Huck Embroidery this week!  Way cool!  I already looked in my new Nordic Needle Catalog and they carry the fabric.  Huck Embroidery is Swedish and was popular in the 40's and 50's.  The special fabric has threads that 'float' and you lay you floss under them without pearcing the fabric.   Talk about a neat back. 

And what a quick stitch. I need to look online for some books and add them to my Wish List.

So if I was busy doing Huck, then maybe I didn't cross stitch too much......not so!  I am pleased with my progress but I know I need to put in my "fast key".   The "fast key" is something my eldest used to say when she was little.   If she was poking along and we would tell her to hurry up, she would say "wait a minute, I need to turn my fast key" and would proceed to pretend to take a key out of her pocket and place it in a pretend keyhole in her tummy and turn it.   Of course that was followed by her zooming all around!  So, 30 years later, we refer to the 'fast key' when we need to speed up!   I am sure this is not a unique thing but wow, just writing about it I can see her at 4 years old doing it!  Where did those years go??!!??!!!

Health and Happiness Things went well this week that is until Thursday.    Funny thing is as the week started, my calendar was empty.  As the week progressed, my evenings filled up.   The ladies from my Board came over on Wednesday for dinner and to work on our final report for our grant.  We had a change of our Treasurer during this last year and some check register's were lost. This made it difficult to figure out our actual expenses for the purpose of the grant.  Thankfully each event has a re-cap sheet and we were able to grab numbers.  The new Treasurer is using Quicken so when we need to pull numbers to next year's application and this year's final report, we will be set!  I do find it rewarding to help people and 'my ladies' as I call them, are 25 years my senior!  I can only hope to be as active and vibrant as they are when I am in my 70's!

So anyway, what happended Thursday.   Well it's like this.   I take various vitamins and a thyroid replacement hormone each morning.   7 pills - Women's One-a-day, fish oil, flax see oil, Vitamin C, etc.  Often, I grab the pills, throw them in my pocketbook and pledge to take them at work.  Some weeks I end of with 21 pills in my pocketbook.   Get the picture.  The past couple of weeks I have been really religious about taking my thyroid as soon as I get up and the others with breakfast.  Then Thursday came.    Wednesday I carried the pills to work never taking them.  Thursday I carried them to work and took them sometime around noon.   Friday I carried them to work and took early on.  Thursday and Friday I was a little more agitated than I have been.  Not bitchy or mean just I knew things were irritating more than they had earlier in the week.  Definitely not much patience!  Wednesday and Thursday I didnt' sleep well.   Could this be related?   Doesn't matter if  there is no scientific relationship, I believe it made the difference.      Look Sunday is empty!  
Oops!   Where's Friday?    This is the neatest giveway from a BC/BS healthfair.   The 'days' slips apart.  Makes it great to pop off the Friday/Saturday/Sunday when you travel.    Friday must be in the bottom of my work tote!  Oh no!

And more daughter had her offer on her house accepted.   Settlement is something like the 21st.  Her sister and I are making the trip to the Boston area on the 28th to help her move into her new place.  We are so excited and so proud.   She has done this all by herself.   I mean literally. Shopped, toured, made the deal and got the mortgage.   It is not like I could do to open houses with her when she is 350 miles away.   It was kind of bittersweet to think this means she is never moving back to Jersey.....   I just feel so bad when she is so far away and sick or so far away and we can't do the fun girls day out.  But alas, she is a career woman and she listened well.   I told my children not to settle for south Jersey.  There was so much more out there.  And two have followed that advice with the third wanting to move.

And yet more happiness.....I was asked to join a private stitchers group.   Five ladies meet every other week rotating whose house they meet at.   This is an invitation only group and I am so excited to be included.  The last few years I have grown lax about decorating my house for the different seasons.....I think the silk forsythia stayed in the large crock I place them in until August.   I will have to be on top of that if I am having visitors regularly.   Face it ladies, we do decorate for ourselves but we decorate for others to see too.

My change of the Week  - It should be obvious after my rambling above....This week I will add to my growing list of pledges to  make sure that each and every day I take my pills at the same time, the right time.    Funny thing, the aggitation and crankiness I was experiencing, I have experienced before but never found a corelation.  Maybe there isn't one this time either I am not going to chance it!  I have dealt with thyroid issues for over 30 years, you'd think I'd be more observate and figured this out a long time ago.  I liked the positive mood I was experiencing, I liked the general sense of well being, and I like to sleep good at night!  

Work   I only stayed one night late this week and that was until 8 pm!  Who would think a secretary would have so much work?   It was a week of meetings! and work still needs to be done.   Plus I had to go to PA to look at new copiers for the Company.   Why me?   because I am a high volume user I guess.   And I find out that the joking remark to my boss about being in charge of the Annual Report is not a joke.   For the most part it is a scheduling and coordination thing making sure items are circulated and approved and submitted on time.  Remembering we can rate a man on how he handles kids, dogs and tangled Christmas lights, I plan to take me time and be thorough and on top of things as I untangle the string of Annual Report tasks! 

House  I am painting the small bedroom upstairs on this 3 day weekend.   I always seem to plan a project like this on a 3 day weekend.  On Saturday I took all the furniture out, removed everything from the walls and patched holes.   There was a 3 inch wallpaper board that I got for $1.99 a roll from Walmart and what a bugger to get it off. 
Today, I hope to breeze through the room.   Forturnately the ceilings are low and I don't even need a ladder to paint them.   By end of the day on Monday I plan for everything to be back in place and all the shelves, etc. hung.   I have a really pretty blue pastel plaid polished cotton that I want to make curtains out of.   It is all the more special because it was my mother's.  I found some blue in the blanket chest and will use it to line the curtains.   When I am finished, this will be my sewing room so as I put things back in there, I want to fold my fabrics to display in the cabinet with glass doors.  I also have an antique drying rack that I want Mr. Wonderful to put up so I am display fabric on it.   I don't think I will be able to do all that AND sand and polish the floor........I need to know my limits because I have a stack of reviews I need to do Monday before returning to work on Tuesday and starting the week right will be the foundation for another positive week!

now to stitch for an hour before I get the paint and rollers out.....

Reply to Blu - My initial quick search resulted in not much on the internet and seems only one series of books on Huck Embroidery.   I think mostly pillow cases, tea towels and tableclothes were stitched this way.   I can see it looking really cute on a little girl's pinafore.   My project is a needle case.  Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!

My Color!

My color - I have a favorite color. Some of you will call if turquoise; other's may call it Tiffany Box Blue. Whatever you call it, I like it. Not only that, it is a color that I look good in. And to top if off, it was my mother's favorite color. I don't know    how long I have liked turquiose - the color and not necessarily the jewelry - but I noticed I have a lot of it around me.   Funny, I am not a big fan of turquiose jewelry. I like it, it is pretty but it not my style. So my challenge for the season, it to see what I see with turquoise and photograph it.

The Sweetheart Tree above started it bedroom color scheme was based on this piece  of stitchery.

I passed a car on I95 last week that was turquoise.  Of course, at 65 mpg I had neither the camera or the ability to take a photo!


A trip-tict (sp??) of browns, beiges and turquiose.   Great find from Target!  My new turquoise blouse from my post holiday shopping with the girls.
A strip in a favorite sweater.    

My plastic water glass.
My Vera Bradley lunchbag!
An agate coffee pot.
Some of my jewelry....even my book cover has turquoise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mid-Week Status

Health/Happiness My positive spirit continues.   I can't begin to explain how much easier work is with the right attitude.   No more of that why me, why not others point of view.   The reality that you get more work than the next sucks and I am tired of it bringing me down.   I refuse to get sucked up into worrying that I come in before them and leave after them.  It doesn't matter.   I can sleep at night.  I am respected and the blow hards who are too busy spouting their accomplishments and opinions are tolerated.  Fair - no; reality - yes; and the new me doesn't care.  And seriously if you have all that time to tell everyone what you are doing, then really what are you doing?

I am continue to maintain my Food Diary and have had soda only once.   I am not going to beat myself up for it or make excuses for the slip up.   It was a conscious decision - I was thirsty and really wanted a glass.   Unlike previous attempts to diet I have crossed that day off and moved to the next - a new day.   Besides, I am not dieting, I am trying to change my lifestyle.    I have managed to continue on the treadmill as well and that pleases me.   On days I don't get on the treadmill I am doing exercises with little handweights or with the elastic band.   Am I ever going to have a body builders physique?  No, nor do I want one.   I just want to continue to increase my activity level.  Again I am going for the realistic approach.

The best part of yesterday was stopping at my son's on the way home.   I got to see my little Gavers.   He was sanding away on his little Pinewood Derby car for Cub Scouts.  My son and DinL went to IKEA and I wanted to see their new curtains.   Struggling young homeowners who are underemployed don't have a lot of extra $$$ to furnish and decorate.   For under $150 they got curtains, sheers, coffee table, lamps and an end table.   Maybe more.   As a new little homemaker my DinL was feeling good about how the living room is coming together. 

Stitchie Stuff - I have been able to get in an hour or so each morning on my etui.   I am pleased with my progress.  Although the week started out with a clear agenda for the evenings, it has quickly filled up.  Therefore any stitching time when I finally hit the couch has been limited.   I do get my project out, however I  find myself waking hours later all contorted like a pretzel with not a stitch taken.  

I am really enjoying side four.   Funny thing is I have botched up the pattern so bad!  However, when I blogged that only Ellen Chester and I would know, I got a lovely post from Ellen herself telling me to basically go for it!   WOW the pressure is off.   Side four is truly a creation of mine!

Of course my total lack of being able to do one thing at a time has me working on both side four and the top at the same time.

That's it for Hump Day for me......another Grant Meeting tonight which is a dinner meeting at my house....quick run through and pick up around the house before I am off to work. 

Have a great day everyone and stay WARM!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I can't even wait til tomorrow

Change of the week - the resolution I want to make this week is to keep a food diary.    yeah, yeah, yeah.  I mentioned before but that was prior to my idea of my adding a new resolution each week.   I need to make these small changes in my life that will have a big impact.   So, food diary it is.   If you ever have participated in weight watchers you know this works.   I don't want all the trappings of weighing, measuring,counting points....I want to start with being aware of when and how much I eat.   I have often sat down on the couch with a half dozen cookies and a cup of coffee and the next thing I know I am looking around and thinking where did those cookies go?    Most times I eat, I am not even hungry.   I eat because it is there.   Like a person in a trance I ate the cookies but I did not even remember nor enjoy or savoy them.  No, it was more like I looked at the cat and thought.....did you eat them Baby Kat because I don't remember!   Rather than be like a robot and shovel the food in, I am hoping that if I write it down before I eat it will trigger me to think about what I am eating; to enjoy what I am eating; to savor what I am eating; and perhaps not eat as much when I look back at all I have eaten.   It is also making me make conscious decisions about what I am eating.    I really didn't want to have to look back on my list and see that I was weak and had eaten brownies at work so by thinking before eating, I didn't need to add them to the list.  I want to ask myself that I really hungry?  or better yet, tell myself "nothing tastes as good as thin feels"!  There will be no way for me to say "I don't know where these extra pounds came from!"  I just am trying to be more aware of what I am eating.   Hey is works for millions who attend weight watchers meetings!

Stitchie Stuff  Too little stitching the last few days for me.  We had our DVHSG Meeting this morning and it was a good time.   It was the annual clean out your stash and sell it meeting.   I came home with the following for $20.00: 
Just Nan - Icy Hill
Just Nan - Christmas Wallet
Sisters and Best Friends - Fruit Salad Sampler
Earths Threads - Lambs Garden
Rosewood Manor - Rosewood Manor Sampler
Rosewood Manor - Best Wishes Ornaments
Barrick Samplers - A Quaker Alphabet
Barrick Samplers - Multiplication Table
Cricket Collection - Christmas Letters Leaflet
Told in the Garden - Garden Berries Leaflet
Little House Needleworks - Something Old, Something New
Giulia Punti Antichi - English Sampler Pillow
Fancy That  - Christmas Ornaments Leaflet
Fancy That Leaflet came with 18 miniature cookie cutters - the real reason I picked it!

10% of the proceeds go to the Guild.   Some of us get new stuff.  Stuff of get rid of some things.  All the patterns I pulled from stash returned home with me!

Stitchie Progress - Busy week and I didn't get much time to stitch......hope to make up for it on Sunday after
brunch with my sister for birthday!

Happiness and Health - I have been trying to stay on track with the exercise and staying more active.   Today, for instance, I didn't sit down until I sat to check my email and blog posts at 7:30.   I had my meeting as I mentioned before.  I took down all the Christmas decorations, packed them up and took them to the garage.   I have the trees left that I need Mr. Wonderful to help me with.  I went with my DinL to the local state park and let the dogs run.   (Not to worry, we haven't let Gavers run on the ice.....this is a low spot where the rainwater collected and then froze like a pond.)  The only problem with that is that they are on the leash so Troy, the german shepherd, had the pleasure of pulling me around for an hour.   I didn't make the treadmill but I think it was a fair exchange.   I was a good day. 

Exercising this week has been difficult - Monday dinner with a friend, Tuesday worked late, Wednesday Board Meeting, Thursday hair appointing, Friday my son, DinL and grandson showed up for dinner and game night.   I have kept up with the stretches in the morning and have started a very good morning routine that I don't want to mess is up with tring to get the treadmill in before work and not after work.   We shall see.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Small changes

Stitchie Stuff  I did get in my morning stitching and stitch again tonight as soon as I am done posting.   Turned the corner on the border.   (1-7 Not much stitching time but here's the progress.)

Heath and Exercise  I did my stretches and workout with an elastic band this morning.   It was different but it was something and definitely more movement than my old morning routine.  I maintained my food diary all day so that was good too.  I had a dinner meeting tonight - ice water and a half Applebee's Grilled Chicken Oriental Salad.  I was good for me and my diet and it was yummy too.  

On a bad note, I received very bad news about my best friend.   A mass was discovered in her lung.   The doctor said it is early and is surprised they found such a small mass.  I am mad!  A mass is a mass is a mass damn-it!  He said her prognosis was good but she has a hard road ahead of her.   She cried, we cried.   I told her I would be her shoulder to cry on, her ear to listen to her vent, her transportation to her treatments but I didn't know if I could shave my head for her.... and then we laughed through the tears.  My heart aches for her and her family tonight.

Happiness and other stuff - There is a change in the air.  There is a change in me. It is nothing to be immediately seen.   Something has changed and I am not sure how or why I have come to this point but it is a good thing.  I feel energized.   I feel like the old me from years ago it back.  The me that was lost through years of downward turns, caretaking of sick parents, marital stress, work stress, illness of children, overload, etc.  Through this I have slowly accumulated a bunch of bad habits.   I read somewhere that it takes you 19 days (I think it is 19) to create a new habit.    

In reading other blogs I am in awe of the stitching accomplishments some of you have made.   Being totally realistic I know there is no way I could ever imagine coming close to some of the total projects completed.   But I know something I can do......I can challenging make small changes that will become good habits.   I think this fits right in with my striving for better health.  A recipe for failure is setting your expectations too high.  Small changes are attainable.   I can make small changes to create my new habits.  I don't know if I can possible come up with 52 changes! but I hope to post my change of the week each Sunday.   I think it more realistic to have a change a month or a fortnight!  Yeah!  Let's bring back the fortnight.  Please share with me any small change you can think making will change your life.  The wheels are turning and I can already thing of a dozen little things filling up a mental list that I could do to improve my life, my health, my sanity!

Change of the week  - This one is easy and had already been stated.   The change I strive to make this week is to eliminate soda from my diet.   Silly, maybe, but not to a pepsi addict.   Drinking water is so much healthier.  I hope it will reduce my caloric intake and relieve the 'bloat'.  And just think if I do decide to a when I do decide to have a Captain and Coke, it will sure taste good.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Only a bit of stitchy time

Stitchie Stuff - I did manage a half hour this morning before work and hope to get in more later tonight.

Health/Exercise -  I wrote down every morsel I ate today.  I am going back to the weight watchers credo.   It is amazing how much food I put in my mouth when I am not even hungry.  Even worse, I have noticed I eat ravenously and am often done before I know it.   I think the maintenance of a food diary and slowing down will help the overall effort to loose weight.   This week the efforts will concentrate on no soda and exercise more days than not.    If I can make one small change each week I think I can be successful.  There is some formula out there that says if you do something so many days in a row it becomes a habit and that is what I am striving habits, good habits.    That and the ringing in my ears that says......nothing tastes as good as thin feels.......hmmmm, I remember how good it felt when the waist band of the jeans was baggy!   And I will be there again!

Happiness -  What made me happy today?   I have a major reprieve at work on the loan applications I am working on.   Apparently because of snow days and flu days, the state's extending the filing deadline until the 8th!  Of happy day, I wanted to do the happy dance but there were too many people nearby.    I am 98% complete and all the exhibits are copied and is just those nagging few tidbits I need.   I was so happy I didn't even open them to work on them today.   Tomorrow I will tackle them and complete and have them delivered to the ODW early. 

Giveaway - Check out Julie  at I'll Cross That Leg and her give-a-way!    And be sure to head over to see what Kristi at Calico Prairie is offering up on her site.

Other stuff/progress - I managed to sort my paperwork for my two meetings I have in the next 10 days.   I reviewed my notes and the minutes for both will be easy and I plan to do them each this evening. I even brought home a binder from work to organize all my handouts from my EGA.  I also managed to work on some of the updates for the website I manage.  The Director of the Arts Board I sit on has a ton of forms she would like updated and linked.   I crossed a few off the list.

So I am feeling good about myself and my progress.  When the task is overwhelming, I remember the saying do you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Positve Posts

That's what I decided to do.   Since blogging and following blogs seems to be an obsession with me, I am thinking I need to put a spin on it to get benefits! so I will be posting the positive things that happen in the 24 hours (or week) proceeding......

Stitchie Stuff - Good progress made on Side Four of my Etui.   I am pleased with the compensation stitches so far.   Got my hour and a half in this morning and hope to stitch again this afternoon.  I am amazed (so far) at how fast I am working this up.  It is all about quality and not quantity!   I was spending so much time with my stitching in hand but not stitching......watching TV, being distracted, etc.

Family - Talked to me sister yesterday and made plans to lunch together today.   She is having such a time of it on her limited retirement funds and her need to have double knee replacement.   We need to resurect our monthly Saturday antique and junk shop crawls.    Problem is, they always lead to spending money and right now money is tight for her.

On a better note, my daugher made it home safely by 5:30 last night.   It is a 350 mile drive and I was happy to hear she was home and snuggling with her kitty and knitting on the sofa.    It was bittersweet to have her leave.  It always leaves a hole in my heart.   On the other hand, I am immensely proud that she could move that far away and not know a soul and not to mention to be doing so well at her job.   Yes, another promotion was announced in early December.   She has bought her first home - all by herself!!! - and I will be trekking to Massachusetts when she makes settlement to help with the move.

Cleaning/House - I managed to box up the wrapping papers, gift boxes and all the trappings of wrappings!   I have several boxes ready to go outside to the attic storage in the garage.  I also filled two yardsale boxes to go to the attic.   Better yet - I am thrilled with the sorting of my dressing table and everything from my scarves to socks in my walk in closet.   I am ashamed to say, before yesterday, you couldn't see the floor! but with the holiday rush, something has to give.  I also managed to sort a huge pile of mail and junk mail.   I have a larger stack of filing to take care of but that is not for today.   I need to pick a few week nights and sort the file cabinet and all the files in prep for the dreaded tax return time.   So much of what we do is electronic, I don't need a lot of the paper anymore.  Along with that is the binder of owner's manuals for items that have long since been out of here!   Yeah, this is a more than one night project but boy with it feel like the house is lighter when I am done.

Health/Exercise - I managed to maintain my vow to drink no soda.   I really paid attention to everything I ate yesterday and eliminated a lot of empty calories.    When I really put some thought into it, I eat when I am not hungry, I eat because I can.....which is the reason I have the 25 extra pounds that I'd like to shed.   I drank move water, ate smaller portions and did the treadmill TWICE yesterday.

As I sit and recall all I did yesteday, I don't know how I fit it all in one day.   What remains for today is to keep my kitchen clean!  It looks so nice without that stack of perpetual dishes and stuff cluttering up the counters.   I am off to the grocery store for a quick trip of what I need for the week.   I have two meetings this week and will push to get all my paperwork in place today and not wait til the night before when I am tired after a day at work.  And need to log in to work later to get a jump on the week ahead.  But I will do what I can, one day at a time, and not be overly critical of myself if I can't to it all!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I did it! I broke out of my shell, kind of

I was on a full tear to gut and clean every inch of my kitchen.   I cleaned, sorted and purged the coffees, the teas, the spices, the snacks, the cereals, the pots and pans and had a general mess all over the counter.   I was about to head to the tupperware and my DinL came in.   She wanted help hemming and hanging curtains!  Boom!  I was out of here.   So I can be spontaneous.  At the same time I was diligent....I could have stayed and would have liked to have stayed at my son's house for longer but I knew I had left a mess and that no one but me would clean it up and if I didn't leave when I did, the mess would still be there this morning when I woke.   I think I have stumbled across something.........I don't allow enough time to do what I have to because of what I want to!  and therefore I wake up and feel like I am already behind the 8 ball before I step one foot on the floor.   

OK, so far today, I have stitched for 1 1/2 hours (would have liked to continue but see below), I walked on the treadmill, vowed to eliminated all soda from my diet, I picked up the living room and kitchen.  I am now off to conquer my bedroom and my spare room upstairs and I feel good!    OK,  ok, let's not get carried away.....2 days does not a success story make. 

Stitching continued:    It was time to stop.   I have too many stitches in to frog and have found out my count is off.   I am doing some compensation.   Once I vowed to compensate and not frog I have convinced myself only myself and Ellen Chester will ever know the difference.  Somehow even after counting three times, the central stem is too short and then I don't know what I was distracted by, but the flower pot is about 5 stitches too wide.   Like I said, since I have already started the border, I am compensating!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Let's start at the very beginning

A very good place to start......can you tell I watched the Sound of Music last week?   Since Mr. Wonderful and I have never been ones to party on New Year's Eve.....I mean why relegate it to one night; party all year I say.....but I digress.   My New Year's tradition starts in my kitchen and has for the last dozen or more years.   I remove everything from the cabinets - especially the spice/flour/sugar one, the pots and pans and tupperware closet!  I sort and match and purge.  Life is so hectic that it is easier when you are in that mad rush that things are where they belong.   I scour and streamline the countertops and after the clutter of the holidays this is alway so refreshing.  After the cabinets, I will move to my Hoosier.  All my bowls and cook books and serving dishes are in my Hoosier and I need to think of a better layout.   Right now, I need to remove everthing off the front to get in and either get something or put something away.....which is why bowls stay stacked up outside the Hoosier waiting for me to go through all the manuevers. 

I hope to get upstairs and sort out the room I used as my staging area for presents and wrapping.   This is the smaller bedroom and last one to be painted.   My DinL will be helping me paint on Martin Luther King Weekend.   Money being tight for my son and his wife, I told them helping me paint a room or helping me weed the garden in the spring would be present enough!   Seems like a double prize to me.   I get a room painted and I get to spend the day with them as well.

What no crafting?   I did put in two hours of stitching with 3 cups of coffee this morning.  Well, the thing with us OCD people is that hours of cross stitch in the evening can be enjoyed much more when you don't have all these other things hanging over your head to be done. 

To my New Year's Resolution. The new year is like when you get a new planner or journal. All is pristine, crisp and clean and full of promise. I will forego the ....I need to loose weight, I need to execise more, etc., etc. because they go without saying. My resolution is to be more spontaneous and to be more structured. Sounds convaluted hey? Well, I have never been on to be able to be spontaneous. Everything is planned, Every detail is obsessed over. I have missed out on things because they don't fit in my little 'schedule'. Every possible tangent is thought about. Exhausting! Boring! Something I need to change. So for the structured part......well it seems I have identified that I get into an obsessed mode and can only work on one thing at a time. I am not talking WIP's because heaven knows I have a ton. I mean I become obsessed with stitching that I block out all the other things I should or need to be doing. I find myself walking in the door, talking off the high heels and panty hose, donning the sweats or pjs and plopping on the couch to stitch. Yes, it's a great life but other things don't get done. Things like filing tax papers, laundry, letter writing, updating websites, minutes for my Board Meeting.......stitching has always been my sanity, my santuary, my escape and I think I have been using to hide from things I need to do. When I stitch I don't have to think about any unsavor task like changing the litter box.

I am thinking that all I need is a better balance. I hope my my need to be more diligent it going to overwhelm my desire to be more spontaneous! I am thinking to be diligent on my tasks will allow me the freedom to be spontaneous! Like those things you told your kids that have come back to haunt you.....I always told them you have to "do your have-to's before your want-to's". Yes, I have eaten those words over the years. It is all good and now after writing this all down and having the therapeutic benefits of the thoughts flowing out of my body and onto paper (so to speak), I resolve to take one day at a time!