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As If I Don’t Have Enough On My Plate…

Seriously. I need to be at least three people.

For those of you who know me well, this comes as no big surprise. For about the gazzillionth post, I’m trying to live three people’s lives all at once. I can’t help myself. I just don’t feel like I have enough of a lifetime left to do all that I want/need to do!

As I struggle with balance, one of the overriding issues I can’t seem to get on top of is my weight loss (or lack thereof…)

In order to lose weight, I need to focus the majority of my energy on it, and I just CAN’T. SEEM. TO. DO. IT.

My daughter and daughter-in-law are TRYING to help me. They’ve been doing a cleanse, and have encouraged me to join in. It’s really not all that challenging (except that when I tell myself I can’t have something – even though I haven’t really wanted it before – I fixate on it.)

Today it was Nutella, one of the evilest creations known to man, ever. I don’t EVER crave Nutella. And I know better than to ever have a tiny little bite, because one bite leads to another, and before I know it, I could suck down a whole giant jar. I just don’t do it. No big. So NOW, just because I’m trying to dedicate myself to getting some of the blubber off, I’m obsessing.


But let’s concentrate on the positive.

This particular cleanse is easy. It’s not a juice fast, or terribly limiting in any way. You drink a concoction of unsweetened cranberry juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and water throughout the day. I happen to love the taste, so easy, peasy.


Then it’s a matter of eating cleanly, which I do already, and staying away from processed food (which is a bit more of an issue, in that I LOVE protein bars and they will have to go.)

Here’s my lunch. And I have to confess, I LOVE it.


The only part I will not be able to do is give up coffee. I will NEVER do it for good, so going through the pain of withdrawal when I KNOW I’ll be going back to drinking it, just doesn’t make any sense. So I’m going to keep drinking it. We all need SOME small amount of vice. This is mine. I can do without the alcohol. I can do without the sweets. I can’t do without coffee.

Cheese will be an issue as well, but I’m doing my very best to switch to nut-based substitutes. They have improved SO MUCH. They aren’t low calorie, so I’ll need to be careful with them, but at least they are “healthy” fat.

And then there’s exercise. Lordy, Lordy. My 10K step program has been up and down. I did EXTREMELY well during our 6 week trip – nailed it everyday, sometimes by a lot. Then I got sick, got out of the habit, and it’s been hit or miss getting back. My, um, encouragers (for lack of a better term) are putting together an exercise program for me. Heeheehee! Apparently they haven’t met me!

But I’m going to try. I wish I could say I’m looking forward to it, but I’m not. The good news is, from all my reading and what a former trainer told me, what you put into your mouth is far more important for weight loss than exercise.

So, I’m going to keep plugging away. I’m going to walk around in circles in the house now.




Countdown to Creating

It doesn’t do much good to have a blog about “creating” if you can’t make the time in your life to actually do it!

Somehow or another I seem to keep myself distracted enough with normal life, that creating seems to go by the wayside. I’m not complaining. I am in charge of how I spend my life, and I’m doing very little that I don’t WANT to do. But sometimes I have to wonder what happened to that girl that NEEDED to create. She pops out every now and then, but she doesn’t stay for long.

I guess part of it is I have enough “stuff.” (I can’t believe I just wrote that. It seems almost sacrilegious!) I don’t need anything else for my walls, floor space is at a premium, and I have way more jewelry than I need. I almost feel like am imposing on my daughter and daughter-in-law when I make them something, for fear they’re afraid to tell me they don’t like it.

What I NEED, NEED, NEED to do is spend time every day scrapbooking. Not only do I have enough supplies to stock a small store and many, many thousands of photos that need to get put in albums and the stories told before they are forgotten, but it would, if I let it, satisfy my creative needs (such as they are these days) plus get myself organized, make me feel like I’ve accomplished something, and done something that is of value to my family all at the same time.

But how to keep myself interested?

Buying a few new embellishments used to be enough to keep me going for weeks, but I have SO MANY now, that buying more is just a waste of money. And for ME to say that means I REALLY have enough. No, more than enough.  A ridiculous amount is more accurate.

So. We just went on a month long vacation in Sunriver, Oregon. We rented a house big enough for all ten of us, but then my son and his family were unable to go, so it was just 6 of us. We spent a lot of time out and about, BUT, I took a scrapbook project and was able to spend a fair amount of time working on it. I didn’t do anything terribly creative – just got the photos sorted and put into the album, figuring I’d go back and add artsy elements later. I ALMOST completed a whole vacation (Alaska 2013.) Another few hours, and I’ll be ready to decorate.

I’m mentioning it now because now that I’m home, I need to keep the momentum going, and SOMETIMES putting it out there to my little corner of the world helps me to follow through.

And then I see these words on the wall of my scrapping space.



See? I’m just doing what I’m reminding myself to do. There seems to be a conflict of interest going on here! Heeheehee!

Anyway, I DID make a little purchase while I was gone. Well, not so little. I actually bought a TYPEWRITER. A TYPEWRITER! I make myself laugh just typing the words! There are just some projects that are more difficult to do on the computer. Memory Keepers brought back the regular old typewriter. I tried to resist. Really I did. But I saw it come across my Facebook feed, and was instantly obsessed. I gave myself a few days to think on it, just to make sure I wasn’t making a hasty decision. And then I did it.

I haven’t taken it out of the box yet. It’s going to be my prize for when I complete this scrapbook. Good incentive, huh?

I have a few things I need to do before I pull the album out to finish. Like unpacking. But the countdown begins. Then I’m going to create myself silly. No really.

Reconnecting With Old Friends

Heeheehee! No, not the kind you’re thinking!

These old friends are “LISTS.”

We used to be best buddies. But now we’re not. I wish you would tell me why… (Sorry – I have Frozen on the brain!) Anyway. Somehow we lost touch with each other.

Then when I was reflecting on how I had become such a lazy bum, I realized that it was the loss of my friends  “the lists.”

Somewhere along the way, I stopped keeping them (well except for grocery lists – I’d be TOTALLY lost without those!) I don’t remember exactly how it happened, or even when. Was I making them and not crossing anything off so I didn’t want the reminder that I was being a slug? Or did I become a slug after I quit keeping them? Who knows?

What I DO know, is that without them, I am unaccountable to myself. And that’s not good. I really do need adult supervision (as much as I hate to admit it) even if that adult is me. And my adult me makes lists. Lots of them. And then she actually looks at them, does the things that are on them, crosses them off, then makes new ones.

I know. This is probably a dumb thing to blog about, but I’m thinking if it’s a problem for me, it might be for you, too. And besides, you guys are my therapy, and I’m in desperate need of some at the moment.

Yesterday I blogged about the feeling that I was not being creative, and ended up talking about my lack of productivity and lists. Y’all were kind enough not to mention that I had derailed my own post. But when I  re-read the post after hitting “publish” I realized I’d never solved my creativity problem and had turned it into a post about a completely different problem by the end. What a dork.

Then I woke up this morning realizing that the two issues ARE intertwined.

The fundamental problem is that I haven’t been “adulting” myself, which has led to a lack of productivity in general, which has bled into my creativity, as well.

I think the bottom line is, I have a hard time carving out the time to be creative when I haven’t done the basic things I need to do in order to have an organized, functional life. Or in other words, how can I justify sitting down and “making something,” when I haven’t even “found the time” to dust or do the laundry?

My “adult” was missing in action, and my inner child (who is apparently a lazy slob) had taken over. But she needed to justify her slobfulness, so she filled her time with Facebook and games, making herself feel “oh so busy” so she really didn’t have time to do all those things she really didn’t want to do. But what the “child” didn’t realize was that she was also cutting herself off from the creativity she needed to feed her soul.


So… my adult has reappeared and taken control. She has already started the lists (and even crossed a few things off!)


As much as my inner child would like to assert that she’s not happy about this development, she really is like a REAL child that knows deep down inside that she need boundaries, and is grateful that her adult is providing them.



Must. Create. (soon?)

My life has been nearly a creative desert since returning home from vacation. Well, if you don’t count working on photos and putting together blog posts and scrapbooking. Okay. Never mind. I’ve been creating. Just not the kind of creating that is sufficiently nourishing my soul.

And I miss it.


I blame it on not enough hours in the day, but you know what? That’s kind of a cop out. If I compare my days now to a few years ago, I am on the computer WAAAAAAY more now than I was then. Not just on Facebook, which is a MAJOR time suck, but playing that stupid game spider solitaire, which has become a mindless addiction that I justify as mind-stimulating. But it’s not really. It’s what I do when I just want to fill my time. When I don’t want to just sit, but I don’t want to put out any effort, either.

I have gotten lazy. That is hard for me to write, because I have never seen myself as a lazy person. Quite the opposite, in fact. But if the shoe fits…

Truth is, I’m not requiring enough of myself.

I used to make long, exhaustive lists, then work my way through them, crossing off each task as it was accomplished, and I got a lot of satisfaction from drawing the lines through each as it was completed. Then to look at it at the end of the day and see how much I did… I found it very rewarding. And it wasn’t all just work. My lists OFTEN included working on/completing creative projects that I really WANTED to do, not just the mundane tasks necessary to keep a functioning household.

I haven’t made a list in ages. It’s been way too long since I’ve experienced the pride of looking at all those crossed off tasks.

So. What’s it going to be, Janet? Are you going to slide into permanent slugdom, or get off your LAZY bum and get back to yourself former productive self?

Productive self. Yep. I’m going with that.

Step one. Close down that game app. Excuse me. I’m going to do that right now.

K. Done. I didn’t put it on a list, but I mentally crossed it off. No more stupid games. I really do have better things to do.

Next up. A list. Actually, more than one. I need a master list of unfinished projects to start hacking away at. I need a list of things I need to do around the house and yard. And I need a list of daily things I need to do to take care of myself. Now THERE’S a novel idea – actually PLAN to take care of myself.

This sounds almost too good to be true, which usually means it is. So, don’t hold me to it. It’s an idea, the beginnings of a plan. It’s not set in concrete.

So while I contemplate, I think I’ll go to my happy place.





London #2 – and then some

Both the last post and this one are titled “London,” but in reality they both include photos from the surrounding area, as well, not JUST London.

Another twenty photos for you to wade through, and my last trip (or at least the part I’ve subjected you to!) is complete! Whew! Thanks for putting up with me! You’ll now be free from travel photos until late fall when we go to Cuba…







































And last, but not least…



And there you have it. London (well, southern England) in 40 photos. Thanks for hanging in thee with me. It was a long 6 weeks, for you anyway. For me it flew by!

We’ll do it gain soon.







London, Our Home Away From Home

Felt so good to get back to London. As much as we thought Barcelona might replace her, it didn’t.

As many times as we’ve been here, you’d think we’d run out of things to do and see, but we don’t.

Granted, there were some repeats, like the Big Bus overview of the city, Stonehenge and Bath (although it’s been many years) and Camdentown…but there were also a lot of new things we did for the first time, like FINALLY getting to the Portobello Market, going to Southwold, Sutton Hoo, seeing parts of Hampton Court we hadn’t seen before, a walking tour of downtown City of London…

Somehow two weeks just flew by.

I took MANY fewer photos on this leg of the trip, but I still got some nice shots.

I was hoping to get this wrapped up with today’s post, but I’ve had such a hard time narrowing the photos down that I decided to break it into two. Bear with me, we’re ALMOST done!











































Next up, York, England

After three days in Edinburgh, we took the train down to York. I love York.

It’s a repeat for us, although it’s been many years. The last time we were here it was with our kids and their spouses/significant others back in the “before grandchildren” days – lots of good memories.

We had another three days and needed every one of them. Once again, so much to see, and lots we’d not seen before.


Got time for a quick story?

We’d stopped at Pret for lunch, and before taking off, I went upstairs to use the toilet and struck up a conversation with a young woman in line. Just light conversation – I don’t even remember what we talked about, but she was nice.

Fast forward an hour, and I found myself out and about alone, wandering the streets.

I had seen signs saying “no busking.” I had no idea what busking was, so I asked, and was told that buskers are the street performers found all over town. They add so much to the atmosphere.


So, I’m walking around, and I hear the most angelic voice singing and headed toward the sound, to find a lovely young woman, named Rebecca Newman. She’d just finished one song and was about to do her last and asked the crowd which they’d prefer, one from her new album, or “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. The lady next to me and I clapped loudly for I Dreamed a Dream and that’s what she opted to sing.

It was so beautiful I actually got misty eyes…

When she was done, I purchased a couple of her CDs which she offered to autograph, and I accepted. She looked up with a puzzled look on her face, then said, “Oh, wait! Didn’t we meet in the toilet at Pret?” We both laughed out loud. I hadn’t recognized her! So my potty friend turns out to be “The People’s Soprano,” a platinum English recording artist who began as a busker, and returns to her roots as she can to thank her fans!


How’s THAT for a story!?

So back to York. It’s a pretty good-sized town. Our last time here, we didn’t see nearly as much as we thought we’d seen. We’d walked the downtown area, but since we didn’t take the Big Bus (I don’t even know if there WAS one back then!) There was much we missed.

Even this time we didn’t see it all. The Viking Museum was closed due to flooding in the early spring, which almost assures that we’ll be going back!

It wasn’t easy to pick which photos to show you! Please enjoy.











































Once again, three days was not enough, but we have to take what we can get! Best to leave wanting more, I suppose!


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