Tuesday, November 24, 2015

December Bucket List

  • Make a date with my friends for lunch and a Saturday stroll through Uptown Mall
  • Take hubby to dinner for his birthday
  • Eat a Cuban sandwich at a place recommended by local peeps
  • Travel to Tacoma to see relatives for a weekend
  • Get through the entire month without baking sweets
  • Get on treadmill every day
  • Buy Gene some new glasses
  • Make some art
  • Line up at least two photo shoots
  • Clean out all six closets
  • Think of theme word for 2016
  • Write every day in my journal
  • Send a letter to each of my pen pals
Thank you to the lady over at Mama's Losin' It for the inspiration.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Write It Down

Do you ever have a conversation with someone and they remind you of something they've told you before but you completely forgot it? That happened over the weekend. At the moment he told me, I made a mental note that it was important for me to write it down somewhere. Here.
I'm not even sure how we got to the topic but my hubby reminded me that his mom enrolled him in the Arthur Murray School of Dance when he was a kid.
Now, I do remember him telling me that before but that little factoid was buried somewhere in my mind and if he had never brought it up again, it's a piece of information that I would forget about him. He told me that back in the day his mom  loved all things free. We got a good chuckle out of that.
Maybe it's because we attended the birthday party of a 6 year old yesterday at the arcade. All last week I kept thinking our friends' son was turning five. Time does not stand still for anyone.
I'm here to encourage anyone who reads this to write stuff down. Take a picture. Print it. Write about the day it was taken. Leave it somewhere you can see it later. Our lives get full and these wonderful facts about our loved ones get buried. 
Listen to people. Really hear what they are saying. Take it in. Enjoy it. Remember it.
love, susan

Monday, November 16, 2015

Have Fun Having Fun

Accountability. I've always hated that word. However, I have learned to use it to my advantage.

I have an accountability partner who helps me lean into the word and not hate it so much. We have an agreement to stay accountable to each other when the abyss of winter sets in. After a brief text this last week, I knew it was time to check in with her and it worked for me  and I think for her as well.

When I have too many things to do, I get overwhelmed easily. I've found that making a list is what works best for me. I love lists but they are only as good as the paper they are written on if I don't complete the tasks.

To Do List:
Laundry - sheets, towels, work clothes, jeans
Make both beds
Pay bills
Put away all stuff laying around
Meal prep: bake chicken, cup up veggies

I sensed my accountability partner was feeling the same way so I texted her a photo of my to-do list along with photos of the worst areas of my castle that required my attention. When I didn't hear back from her right away, I knew she was sleeping in but as soon as she woke up, I was sure she'd be on board. She was! And, she sent me her list. We both got busy and texted our progress. We always encourage each other to do something to reward ourselves in between all the chores. Yesterday she watched Project Runway while I did a little reading on my Kindle. I had decided to make noon time my cutoff for my chores. After 12, my hubby and I planned to take a Sunday drive.

In one of her last texts, she said have fun having fun. Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head? For me, having someone who understands what I need in order to get things done is fun. I enjoy the process. It doesn't matter if it's work or play, it's all about the process for me. So, this morning I'm enjoying knowing that I have a great lunch packed for today, chicken all ready for tacos or Thai fried rice for dinner. I slept in clean sheets last night and all the laundry got folded.

What is fun for you?

love, susan

Friday, November 6, 2015


Last night we attended a special screening of the film, "Unbranded". I normally wouldn't go to a movie on a work night but a friend had posted about this movie on FB and they needed to sell at least 80 tickets to get the movie here for screening. They doubled those sales and moved it to a larger screen. Yeah, Tricities!
This film is worth seeing. It is an entertaining documentary of four young cowboy friends fresh out of college who act on the idea to adopt a dozen wild mustangs from the government adoption program, train them and ride them from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. And, they take us along for the ride. The jaunt takes them six months.
WHAT I LEARNED is that the growing population of mustangs is causing a problem not only for ranchers in the west but for the horses themselves. There simply is not enough ground food for free range cattle and the wild horses. There are groups on both sides of the issue and this film does a nice job bringing that to the public eye in a careful manner that doesn't evoke hate or controversy. It left me thinking about how difficult it must be for both ranchers and horse lovers who don't want to see these beautiful animals locked up in corrals, which is the only thing they can do right now to remedy the problem. There was very little talk of a sterilization program. The solution was not what this film intended to portray. I think the producers did a great job going right down the middle of the problem, laying it out there for people to look at and talk about. I definitely will be paying more attention when I hear people talking about this topic.
For me, the movie was filled with beautiful scenes and moving photography that made me envious of the film makers. The ride through the Grand Canyon was a nail biter and I had to cover my eyes in places because it was harrowing. But it was gorgeous!

Bottom line:  See this film when you have a chance.

love, susan

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

An Ode to Angie

November is gratitude month for many of us. I'm not going to go on and on every day about all the things I'm grateful for but I can't help writing a bit about someone who has made my life so much better.  My housekeeper, Angie.
I hired her about a year and a half ago. It was an anxiety causing decision. I'm sure, as a woman, she probably knows that. Who invites another woman into their home to see all their dirty laundry? And pay them for it? Yeah. I could hear my mother's voice. What's wrong with you? Can't you clean your own house? Nobody is ever going to marry you. Why would you pay someone to do what you "should" be doing? I've annihilated that voice in the last 18 months with the help of Angie.
Angie visits my home every other Tuesday. I'm a better person for having her come and do the things I am terrible at doing. She leaves my wood floors so soft that the first thing I do on the day she comes is take my shoes and socks off and just walk on the floors. She's not here to hear me giggle about that. My bathroom sparkles which is something I've never accomplished, not even once, in my lifetime. I try to always send her a text to let her know how much I value her but I feel it's never enough.
She's also given me some good ideas. One idea early on in our working relationship, she asked me to find a place to hang my ironing board to get it up off the floor and out of the way. Simple idea that never occurred to me. She arranges my pillows so sweetly that I'm a better bed maker because of her. Last month, she suggested I find a book shelf so I could have a place for the few books I intend to read someday and a place for my plants in my home office. I finally found what I was looking for last weekend.
I'm still a terrible housekeeper butI'm not afraid to admit that any longer because of Angie. She's an expert at what she does. I'd rather spend my time doing something else that I'm good at.  It's a relationship I hope lasts a lifetime. Angie, thank you!
Who are you grateful for?
love, susan

You Made My Day, Dude!

A couple weeks ago while I was driving back to Portland after spending the night on the Oregon coast, we came up on some road construction ...