musings, words


Every once in a while, a word takes on a literal meaning.

I’ve been trying this new “diet thing” called Intermittent Fasting. It’s really not as hard as it sounds. Fasting sounds hard. The trick to Intermittent Fasting is to eat for only 8 hours a day. So if you start eating at 11 AM, as I do, you have to stop eating at 7 PM.

Another trick is to go to bed earlier, so you don’t think about the fact that you aren’t snacking all evening.

As it gets closer to 11 AM each day, I start thinking about what I will eat when the clock strikes. Today, it will be my greek yogurt. My cherry greek yogurt will break my fast today. Breakfast.

Oh, and one final trick to this Intermittent Fasting is to forget everything you were ever taught about Breakfast. It’s NOT the most important meal of the day. In fact, if you do skip out on breakfast, you will be surprised at how not hungry you actually are come lunch time.

I do love breakfast foods, though, don’t get me wrong. And having breakfast for dinner is a real treat. Ask my kids!

And, yes, to answer the question I know you are asking right now, this Intermittent Fasting is working! I’m down 10 lbs since I started about 4 weeks ago. Not bad!

So, my new breakfast is actually an action. What food will break my fast tomorrow?


It all starts with a shiny sink

Happy New Year!  And here’s to shiny new beginnings.  There are so many ways I’d like to make improvements and promises for the new year, but I want to make this year’s resolution one that is possibly attainable.

dream, believe, achieve

In years past, I’ve mentioned the broad sweeping “get organized”, the hopeful “lose some weight”, and the ever popular “get in shape”.  But this year, I want to make just one promise to myself, and that is to go to bed each night with a shiny sink.  Well, not literally WITH my sink, but you know what I’m saying.

It’s not an original idea, mind you.  Followers of the FlyLady will understand where shining the sink can lead.  and it’s all good! 😉

Sounds pretty easy, right?

The days that I really get the dishes done and “redd up” the kitchen before turning in make the mornings really shine!

Let’s hope that this polish on the morning will start each day of 2017 with a smile and a positive note.



Are New Year’s Holiday Cards a Thing?

Seems like no matter when I get started on the holiday prep, I’m never quite ready when they do roll around.  wp-1482939507460.jpgThe purchase of a new Christmas tree this year gave me a jump start.

My family was so impressed when the tree was up the day after Thanksgiving.  That truly NEVER happens in this house.  We are lucky to be decorating the tree sometime before Christmas Eve, and in fact, two years ago, the tree never did see an ornament.  Pretty sad tree that year.


This year, I tried to make an online joke of it.

But the fact of the matter is, I’m a procrastinator through and through.  Not sure how to correct this character flaw.  It has been part of my psyche for 50+ many years.  May take 50 many more to reverse!

That’s why I’m wondering if New Year’s greeting cards are an actual thing (and yes, of course they are!!)

The Christmas cards?  Never did make it out the door this year.  Truth be told, they never even made their way out of the box they came in.  Felt sort of Grinch-like, as each card arrived in the mail from all the usual suspects.  I didn’t stop Christmas cards from coming, they came all the same!

Decorating the house for the holidays?  Thank goodness for lazy lights!

Christmas cookies?  Let’s start a new tradition and make them during the week between Christmas and New Year. (Yea, how’s that new tradition going?)

We have the perfect surname (Auld) for the excuse that can be a New Year’s celebration.  So I’m gonna do it this year.  This will be the year of the New Year’s cards.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, for auld lang syne.





A flower for France.

yellow iris
yellow iris

I sit here this morning trying to understand what was happening in France last night, but I cannot.

In this increasingly global world we live in, it seems that we are becoming closer to those everywhere.  Today, Paris feels like a city across the river, not an ocean away. Today, we all feel a little closer to France.

One of my favorite bloggers, Cecelia from The Kitchen’s Garden, is currently hosting a young man from France.  Hugo is about the age of my youngest, and I’m following his experience on the farm in Illinois through the camera lens of Celi.  Last night, he was following the horrific events in his homeland via his laptop.  I cannot imagine his horror.

My own son’s friend from high school recently took a job in Paris.  We pray that Molly is safe.

Senseless killings, and they could have been right across the river.  They could have been right here.  But why?

I cannot pretend to understand.

world trade center
We feel your pain


Can you hear what I hear?

I was terrified of spiders as a child.  In fact, I don’t like them much as an adult either.  But my world would stop at the sight of one when I was small.  My little sister was barely able to walk, and I would set her wobbly self in the direction of one of these feared creatures on the sidewalk, and tell her to step on it for me.  She was barely 2 at the time! Baby sister to the rescue!

I would react to pictures of spiders – I hated looking up words in the dictionary that started with SP, I would have to turn to THAT PAGE that had a huge tarantula on it.  Why would they put a picture of a spider in the dictionary?  Just to make me jump, I’m sure.

The nightly ritual.  Mommy would come in to tuck us in.  Shake the curtains, check under the bed, look behind the toy box.  Are you sure?  None there?  OK.  Good night.  Lights out.  Wait – what’s that?  Under the windowsill?  I see one, I know I see one.  MOMMY!!!  How did you see that?  I can see his eyes glowing.

MOMMY!  There’s one in the tub!  How can you see it, it’s so dark in here.  I can hear it – climbing up the side of the tub.  Really.  There was no way to convince anyone of this.  Even me.  Was that real?

I remember the story, but who can hear a spider?

Last night, well actually quite early this morning, I woke at 4:30.  My usual early morning off and on slumber was interrupted by a tiny click, click, click.  Was the dog in my room?  Did he somehow figure out how to get in here?  No, can’t be the dog.  Maybe nothing.  Click, click, click.  Great, a mouse in my room.  How am I going to get THAT out of HERE at this hour?  Nah, it’s too soft to be a mouse.  Light, reach for the phone that has a flashlight app.  Nothing.  Click, click, click.  Are you serious?

There it is . . . on a small plastic bag that was left on the floor.  Click, click, click.

I can hear spiders.


Earth Day 2015

I can hardly let April 22 slide by without it’s rightful recognition – today is the 45th anniversary of the very first Earth Day celebration.  At the very least, it’s a day to reflect a little on how you live, and if there is anything you can do to help save our planet!

earthday google

I use Google on a regular basis, and they posted a little Earth Day quiz out there today that was pretty meaningless.  Not sure what describing myself as a cuttlefish has to do with anything, but there you have it. To their credit, is offering to match any donations made today to a few well deserving charities.

The Guardian posted a quiz that let’s you know how much (or in my case how little) you know about the history and current state of Earth Day.  This one really let me know that I’m very average when it comes to knowledge of Earth Day.  I scored a 4 out of 10 on that quiz.

I like to think that I do what I can to eliminate waste and encourage recycling.  Composting, vanpool to work, active recycling of newspapers and plastics, donating and repurposing clothes rather than tossing them.  Not that I have much to do with it, but the very building that I work in every day is considered a green building.  We use rainwater in the lavatories, there are rooftop gardens throughout, there are windows in every office, the thermostats and lights run on motion sensors.

I wanted to find out if there is anything more that I can do that I maybe never thought of before.

The most useful quiz I found was on  It calculates your personal footprint and offers suggestions on how you can personally do just a little more.  It eventually tells you how many planets it takes to support your current lifestyle.

If everyone on the planet lived like me, it takes 4.5 planets to support us.

The two suggestions that came up for me were buying more local, and paying attention to packaging.  By buying local, you eliminate the travel that it takes to move product from one end of this country to the other.  I guess if there’s a choice in products packaged in recycled product, that’s the way to go.  Make sure to support the retailers that are conscious stewards to the environment.

It also happens to be my oldest son’s birthday – so I’m off to make his favorite birthday treat – Dirt Cake!

What can you do to make a smaller carbon footprint on our precious Earth?

musings, weather

The Smell of the Rain

On my way into the office this morning, I heard one of the students complaining about the rain.


Rain is good – and today it sure beats the snow!  It was so gorgeous yesterday – at one point in the day my weather app informed me it was 80F!!  And that is just fine!


The smell of the rain this morning took me back a few years to the days we walked to school.  Who could spot the longest worm!  Up Livingston Road, across the highway, along the path that skirted the Lebanon Jr. High practice field, back down across the same highway, through the back drive to the elementary school.  There were two crossing guards that kept us safe on that trek.  Crossing Guard Ernie always had a stick of gum for each of us on Friday.

I wonder how far it really was.  I’ve always thought it was at least a mile.  And that’s how we stayed in shape in those days.  We walked to school.

Imagine that.

I would like to take a trip back to Livingston Road and walk the walk to school one more time.  And measure the walk.

My kids can’t believe it was that far – but it was only uphill one way!

challenges, flowers, In a Vase on Monday, musings

Mailorder Flowers

I’m going to sound like a real ingrate here, so be forewarned!

I have to tell you that my initial response to the very idea that my husband actually ordered my Valentine’s Day flowers online was one of disappointment.  I’m not sure they are even considered mailorder, but I guess the same amount of effort went into ordering these lovelies from than would have taken to pick up the phone and call the local florist.

Valentine's Day '14

But part of me really hates the idea.  We remark all the time how the local florists don’t really seem to exist anymore.  Same way the local bakery went.  And I guess we are contributing to the demise.

I had to stifle a laugh on my weekend trip to WalMart last Sunday.  The entire produce department was piled sky-high with bouquets of roses.  A dozen roses at WalMart went for $15.99.  Can’t beat the prices at WalMart.

And there’s the conundrum.  With the current state of affairs in the US, most people are working far more for far less.  And when you have less to spend, you really start looking for the best deals in town.  Unfortunately, those deals come from the closest WalMart.  I hate shopping there, I really do.  But the prices truly help put food on the table for this crew of 5 that I feed.

So back to my flowers.  They arrived a day late, due to a snowstorm that actually sent our township into a State of Emergency.  So the extra day led to my flowers arriving on Valentine’s Day, but not in the best of shape.  The kids were home when the box arrived, so they did their best to prep the flowers.  They cut the stems and placed them in water, just as the directions stated.  They looked pretty sad when I got home from work that day.

But they soon recovered.  On day 2, the alstroemeria perked up – I had thought they were dead – and the roses started to recover.  I do not know how but they look better today (day 4) than the day they arrived.

So I will take it easy on my husband – he works very long hours and seriously does not have the time to stop in at any local florist – even if there were any around.  And he knows I love flowers, no matter where they may have gotten their start in life!

And aren’t they gorgeous!

At least he didn’t buy them at WalMart!