Monday, February 27, 2017

So Long Feburary 2017 Life List

Looking Out My Window It is 6:20am and almost light. Cloudy but no snow.
As I Ponder The weekend was fun. We drove over to Roslyn, Washington to meet up for lunch with family we haven't seen in 10 years. It was a joyful day and it did my heart good. My ex-sister-in-law (I hate calling her ex) has a beautiful family and her daughter and three sons joined us. I'm still smiling about it. I'm glad we made that happen. It was exactly half-way for us to meet.
What I'm Learning Well, as I promised myself I would do, I took a good nap yesterday when I felt like it. It was a struggle with the voices in my head that said I should be doing something productive. I need to keep practicing this self-care thing.
What I'm Creating I've been going through a huge pile old Cook's Country magazines that I picked up at a book sale a couple of months ago. I like to tear out recipes that maybe I'll try.
What I'm Reading I'm almost done with Settle for More by Megyn Kelly. I've been too busy to read so I'm hoping to finish it this week and start a new one. Next up: Insomnia by Stephen King
What I'm Watching I watched America's Sweethearts yesterday on Amazon Prime. I love John Cusak but wasn't crazy about him in this movie. I'm also still watching Shameless on Netflix. There was a particularly disturbing episode where the mom attempts suicide on Thanksgiving. It was true drama that caused me to pause and really look at this show differently. It is dealing with every kind of dysfunction known to man. I'm hooked!
What I'm Hearing I've got one whining dog who is never happy. She wants out, then she wants in. Irritable, restless and discontent best describe her.
What's On My Camera: a selfie of my sis in law and me.
Ally and Me
What's Happening in My Kitchen I'm gearing up for the D.A.S.H. diet this week. Hard boiled eggs, salad, grilled chicken, hummus, yellow and red peppers, almonds, non-fat yogurt, and sugar free jello.
A Quote I Want to Share From Megyn Kelly's book Settle for More: "Our priest is Father Jonathan Morris, who is on Fox News sometimes. He's supportive, thoughtful, and good-looking. So handsome, in fact, that his nickname around the studio is Father What-a-Waste (God forgive us)."
A Peek Into My Week I think dog class starts back up on Wednesday. We've been trying to get a 6 week class done since December but the weather has cancelled all but 3 or 4 classes. So we're going to give it a go this week. Other than that, I'm going to focus on getting some steps on my FitBit.
A Final Thought Having lunch with my family on Saturday really filled my cup with joy. My niece's oldest son shares the same birth date with me, he'll be 5 in May. He sat next to me for 2 hours and I fell in love with him. He was that engaging. I'm not often smitten with children but he managed to capture my attention. I carry those moments with me and call on them when parts of the day get rough. In my job, my wish is to treat people with care and understanding ... to pay attention and really hear what they are conveying. People deserve that. My encounter with the little one reminds me that everyone, no matter their age, deserves undivided attention.
love, susan

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Susan's Top 10 Hawaiin Favorites


I'm not going to spend too much time reminiscing about our trip to Honolulu last week. It was nice and I enjoyed almost every minute of it but I'm over it now and on to the next thing. That's how I roll. While I love going, I love coming home just as much. They say a person should have a life they don't need a vacation from. I think I mostly do. What I need is sunshine. And, we got plenty of it last week. Here are my top 10 favorite things that happened in Hawaii last week:
  1. We ate some fantastic dim sum and chicken katsu. That alone would have made the trip worth it. We simply do not have good Chinese food where we live.
  2. Walking was incorporated several times into our days. We average 6.5 miles every day and I truly enjoy every step. The more I walked, the more I wanted to keep walking. 
  3. Naps. Sometimes more than one a day.
  4. Reading time. I did most of my reading on the plane.
  5. People watching. OMG! Honolulu/Waikiki is a melting pot of people from all over. The fashionistas are everywhere and you can't get a better seat for seeing beautiful Japanese women in high fashion.
  6. We had no agenda. No shows to attend. No dinner reservations.
  7. There was always a nice breeze.
  8. A great, affordable public transit system.
  9. No bugs. I looked for 'em believe you me! The first couple of nights, I imagined I could hear cockroaches scurrying across the floor but there were none.
  10. Sunshine.
That's about it. 
love, susan


February Post Tropical Vacation List: Jet Lag and All

Looking Out My Window I see there is a bit of frost on the windows and a clear sky full of stars. All the snow has melted and there is a promise of spring. And, layers of dog poop to pick up after the month of snow that finally melted.
As I Ponder My vacation is here and gone. I'm a former future tripper so I hadn't thought about our trip until just a week or two before we left. I tried not to have big expectations but still ... it's over now. Time to give a little thought to the next trip. Nashville in April.
What I'm Learning Jet lag is real. I don't remember experiencing jet lag before but after traveling the entire day until midnight on Tuesday, I woke up yesterday with a terrible foggy head. I called in sick and slept it off. I like to think I'm wonder woman and immune to such things but it turns out I'm not. I'm still dragging a bit this morning but I'm going to hit it hard today. I can't imagine how many 100's of emails await me at work.
What I'm Creating Well, physically I didn't create a thing last week but mentally I created some space for resting my mind. We walked an average of 6 1/2 miles every day while in Hawaii and it really helped clear my mind. I did a lot of thinking about how I need to take better care of myself and slow down a smidge. Not an easy task.
What I'm Reading I'm 2/3's finished with Megyn Kelly's Settle for More. It's an easy read and enjoyable.
What I'm Watching On the plane over to Hawaii, I watched the movie The Accountant starring Ben Affleck. Loved it!
What I'm Hearing As little as possible. I'm a little tired of the noise level in my life. While on vacation, I recognized that I need to be the controller of my filter. Negativity needs to live somewhere else.
What's On My Camera So. I dragged my Nikon 3200 over to Hawaii and about 3 days in I was ready to pitch it into the ocean. Just too heavy. I ended up using my cell phone for the few photos I took. I got some nice shots. Lesson learned.
What's Happening in My Kitchen I'm gearing up to go on the D.A.S.H. diet for two weeks to get my blood sugars under control and get on track with eating salad daily. My doctor recommended this plan several years ago and I've done it before.
A Quote I Want to Share From Megyn Kelly's book Settle for More in thinking about her job with a prestigious law firm where she was working too many hours:  "I enjoyed my colleagues and had many fun times. But it's fun swimming in the ocean, too, until suddenly you realize you might be about to drown. It's still beautiful, and the water's as blue and warm as ever, but it's up above your lips and climbing, and you quickly find  yourself desperate to get back to shore."
A Peek Into My Week This is Thursday. I just need to make it through today and tomorrow so I can regroup. I'm hoping we are going to take a road trip on Saturday to see someone special. Sunday, rest.
A Final Thought I've been running pretty hard this winter. I heard the truth when my dog trainer said my dog can sense it and that's why she's a little crazy. I serve no one well when I'm in such a hurry. My key words from here on out will be 'slow down Susan'.
love, susan

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mid February: Signs of Life List and Ode to Mr. Kitty

Today I went outside seeking signs of life. I found it.
As I Look Out My Window The sun finally came back. The snow is almost all gone and the forecast is promising.
As I Ponder Last week was just downright weird. I had a couple of days where I thought I might actually 'lose it'. February is my least favorite month for the weather and darkness. If the weather wasn't bad enough, I came home from work Friday and learned our cat died. He was 16 years old but still. He was really my husband's cat and he will miss him the most. Mr. Kitty lived a fat cat's life and provided us with entertainment money can't buy. That little 'sack-a-shit' (as he was fondly nicknamed) was up on the counter, lounging on the dish drying mat on Wednesday. I know. My hubby and I agree that we both want to die like he did. He just laid down under the kitchen table for a nap and didn't get up.
What I'm Learning The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to take vacations. For lack of a better term, my emotional and spiritual cup gets empty a lot quicker than it used to. When I'm tired, I need to not keep pushing myself past my limits. It serves no one.
What I'm Creating I made 55 Valentines for co-workers this week. I handwrote various quotes on every single one of them. Whether or not they are appreciated matters not to me. I enjoyed making them more than I can even say. I love V day.

What I'm Reading Up next: Megyn Kelly's Settle for More.

What I'm Watching We are still watching Shameless on Netflix. We watched two movies over the weekend ... Frankie & Johnny and American Experience X. Both good movies.

What I'm Hearing The temps finally warmed up so I'm hearing other things than the heater fan. I can't wait to see my electric bill for January.

What's On My Camera I went out today and found signs of life. It really cheered me up to see the crocus coming up and that my cactus made it through this harsh winter.

What's Happening in My Kitchen Nothing to write about.

A Quote I Want to Share What you seek is seeking you. ~ Rumi

A Peek Into My Week The weather will be turning tropical for me.

A Final Thought Want what you have.

love, susan

Mr. Kitty

Monday, February 6, 2017

Early February: Life List

As I Look Out My Window We still have snow on the ground but it warmed enough that I wore my flip flops out last night. I have an "above-freezing" rule. If it's above freezing, my feet deserve some air. I was born to have my feet free.
As I Ponder Saturday night we went out for pizza with some great friends. Winter has us all suffering cabin fever so when someone mentioned going out, I got on it and everyone we invited showed up. Apparently, everyone else in this city had the same idea as the local pizza place was jammed with families. We squeezed our group in and it really lifted my spirits. My friend's 16 year old daughter sat at our table and we had a great discussion about all the books she's read. There is hope for our future!
What I'm Learning Perseverance is my strong suit. I finally finished organizing my photo collection and I'm mailing out the last envelope today. I have heard back from many people who I sent old photos to and they are happy to have them. I underestimated how long it would take me to get through all of them but once I had them spread out, I made myself see it to the end. I'm not a quitter.
What I'm Creating I have a stack of envelopes for a month long project to send out a card every day to someone. They are already addressed so all I have to do is write notes. Writing is a love second only to photography. Since this is February, some people will be receiving a valentine.
What I'm Reading Still reading A Little Life, which is not a little book. I got some reading time over the weekend and I think I'll be able to finish this book by end of the week. The next book in line is Megyn Kelly's Settle for More.
What I'm Watching I watched about half of Finding Dory on Saturday. Love me some Ellen DeGeneres!
What I'm Hearing Pretty much everyone I know loved the Super Bowl game yesterday and half-time entertainment by Lady Gaga. I saw her interview on CBS Sunday Morning and couldn't wait to see what she'd bring to the show. If you missed it, you can watch it here Lady Gaga Interview on CBS Sunday Morning
What's on My Camera Remi and I chilled all of Sunday. I rarely have days where I don't leave the house at least once to run an errand or to take photos but I made myself sit still yesterday. I even took a much needed two hour nap, guilt free. Remi got to go down to the park and run off some steam on Saturday. Here we are chillin' and watching the game. Often times when I am at work, I think about Remi and wish she was sitting next to me at my desk. I really get the whole service/therapy dog thing. My dream job would include an office dog.
What's Happening in My Kitchen Lots of leftovers. We'll likely have sloppy joes for the 3rd time to finish it off. Tomato soup. It's going to be one of those weeks where we eat what we've got since I didn't make it to the store yesterday.
A Quote I Want to Share Do with what you have. (I think my mom said this a lot)
A Peek Into My Week I'm going to finish that book I'm reading, come hell or high water. Write some letters. Go to lunch with a work friend. Dog class on Wednesday. Work hard.
A Final Thought It was nice to take a break yesterday from the political shit storm that has reigned down on us the last two weeks. When Face the Nation came on yesterday morning, I listened for a minute and promptly turned it off. The Super Bowl was a nice distraction. I'm glad I watched it. I hope America felt the relief as much as I did. We'll see.

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 ...