Monday, December 08, 2014

sparkly...

A few years ago, as things became a little bit busier in my life, I caved in and started using a planner. Yes, I did. 
And I found it helpful! Yes, writing something down helped me remember the stuff I had to do/get done etc, and when I didn't remember, well…it was written down! Now, my problem with planners, however, was how much they cost. Tried finding something at the office stores…minimum was 20 bucks. For a planner. Hmm. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, for something you'll be using on a regular basis, it's not that much, but still, it irked me. Not only that, but I didn't need one to schedule my days down to the minute. I needed something I could write notes in, but not necessarily schedule my full day out. So, I kept searching and searching...
Until…
Until I stumbled in the planner section at B&N and they had these really cute planners- with different designs and different sizes. They have some that look like composition books, some that are 5x8, some that are even smaller. I prefer the spiral bound (with plastic cover) that is just a bit smaller than a notebook. And I've been faithfully buying one each year since (Last year, I tried the 5x8…too small…I kept losing it!)  They usually come out in August (my only gripe is the time span- they go from July to December of the following year. That's way too much of an overlap. You end up with a partially empty planner when you switch.)
Anyhoos, I had bought mine for this next year back in August or September this year. And, now that I wanted to start using it, do you know I couldn't find it? I looked in boxes, on the shelves, here and there, and nope. Cannot find it. So, still needing my planner, off to B&N I went. And got myself a new one! I don't think it was the same design I got back in Aug/Sept…but this time I got one that is purple and sparkly! It's got birds and butterflies and flowers and nifty designs that look a bit like fireworks!  I like it! So, as 2015 quickly approaches…I hope this fun planner is a harbinger for the year!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

computer issue

I couldn't get online yesterday. Or, rather, I could, but it took a really long time to load any page (we are talking dial-up speeds here…close to 120 seconds just for the home page). And, then, the internet would intermittently drop to no service and I would have to turn the wi-fi off, then on again to get service again, and then reload the page. I tried to go to the speedtest, to see what was happening. Pretty difficult to do a speedtest when the page won't even load!!  After 10 minutes of this, trying to get on to one website, I was ready to scream. Or smash something (which I realize is not useful in any way shape or form, but oh, the frustration just gets to me.) I just don't have patience for crap like that. I turned the computer off and walked away.

I'm not a techie, but I am pretty sure it should not be happening. The wi-fi is in the center of the house, and should reach this room quite easily (as it's doing now.) I have a sneaky suspicion that it is the carrier, as they supply both tv and internet and we have the same ridiculous problem when watching the  tv (connected through the dvr.) I realize there are worse problems in the world, but I get quite irate when I'm watching a tv program, and the screen goes black for a few seconds. Or a few minutes. Or, as has happened a couple of times, a few hours. Seriously.

We've called the company. They have come out several times, and each time is a different technician, who does something else, and assures that the problem is solved. Until it happens again. And each time, they charge a lovely $40 service call fee. For their equipment, that bites. (sigh.)


Monday, December 01, 2014

Welcome December

Well, here it is…December.

I didn't blog all 30 days of November, but it's got me blogging again (see? Here I am, not November and I'm blogging!)

Now, on to December. It seems strange that it's already December. Honestly, the year just started, no? Yeah, no, not so much. I realize we are now in Christmas Season, but that is one thing in South Florida that is lacking. Yes, the malls decorate, and people decorate, and all the stores have all their Christmas stuff out, but, I look out the window at palm trees swaying in the warm and sunny air, and uh, it just doesn't seem like Christmas (at least not until people start to decorate the palm trees!)

Of course, today is cyber monday- and Friday was black friday. All the sales etc. It got me wondering though- if the stores actually make a profit by those deep discounts, then what the hell is going on the rest of the year? How much are we overpaying? Is it the volume of sales that make it worthwhile? I understand the stores have to make money, and overhead has to be paid before that, but it just seems a bit weird to me that "Black Friday" is supposedly the 1st day of the year in which these stores are finally in the black. That means that every day until black friday, they are operating at a loss? That can't be right, can it? That would be a horrible business practice, as far as I can tell. Or is is just another mass marketing scheme? Anyone out there have a clue?

I'd love to hear it because I can't seem to wrap my head around this concept.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Day...

Today, we started a new tradition- eat out (chinese and sushi buffet- loads of food and no cooking and cleaning at home tyvm) and then movies (Hunger Games Mocking Jay Pt. 1- Oh SO good!). Needless to say, hours later, I'm still very satiated and sleepy.  But I figure, why not post some to the things I am grateful for? I probably won't hit everything, because it does seem my mind goes blank after a while although if someone were to ask me, "what about _________?" I'd be like, "YEAH!!!"

So, here goes. I am grateful for (in no particular order)…
  • Having been able to live in various places and have different experiences
  • Moving back to South Florida (although there are things about those other places I do miss… must visit)
  • My family (part of the reason I moved back, after all. didn't mean for them to have to take care of me like this, and for that I am extra grateful and hope to someday be able to repay the favor!)
  • My friends (who are like family to me)- some are near, some far, some very far, I am so very happy they are in my life!
  • Having been able to spend 10 years with El Gato- (I still miss her, still wish she would come back but it's nearly a year now so chances of that happening are slim. Still glad I was able to give her a good home and spoil her rotten while it lasted.) (and grateful for the new furry babies that are at my sis's right now…3! completely adorable! but ssshhh!!)
  • The beach…more specifically, a beach with warm, blue water for most of the year…
  • My doctor and his nurse…they are awesome and getting me fixed up! 
  • My physical therapist…also getting me fixed up. (even though apparently she takes me somewhat seriously when I say, how about a 3 mile run today? haha. As if!)
  • Being able to drive…even though I can't right now, not until my knee is better, but ooh, I love driving
  • TJMaxx and Marshalls 
  • Sunsets and sunrises…my favorite times of day (even though I'm usually sleeping through sunrise…but when I do manage to get up for it, mmmmm….)
  • My house…it's a work in progress, but hey, so am I!
  • Color! Oh, I love color! love love love!
  • Music…all types of music. Those people are geniuses (or should it be genii?? ohp, nope, just looked it up and apparently, genii is equivalent to a genie-which means a genie is a genius, which kind of makes complete sense if they can do all that they can!)
  • Having met certain people…still miss though
  • Chance encounters… 
  • That I've been around the past few years to help take care of the bird-we have a 77 year old parrot. She's blind in one eye, half blind in the other, crotchety, but she lets me near her and I am happy to be able to take care of her. 
  • Sunshine…mmmmm
  • That I live in a place that allows me the freedom to screw up and start over, despite my age. That's one amazing thing…I can be older and start a whole new thing and it's fine. Other countries, not so much.
  • Along those lines, I'm also glad I come from one of those other countries and have had other experiences, and see that no one place is totally perfect (like living in different places, each has its own fabulousness)
  • being relatively healthy despite screwing my knee up several times
  • possibilities…what comes next? what will happen? I am an optimist for the most part, and would like to think that despite having been through some rough patches, things will get better!
  • Books and stories, and the people that write them! thank you for providing me with information, and entertainment!
  • Along those lines…movies! Let me tell you, I was on the edge of my seat today! Wow! And now, have to wait a whole other year for the final part! Oh the sweet torture!
  • Food. And drink. Yum.
  • Travel…and meeting people while traveling! You just never know…
  • For the people I have met traveling. 
  • Actually, for FB- I was able to reconnect with some of the people I met while traveling. 
  • Life…I'm not that old, but not everyone makes it even this far
  • Things that make me laugh…how could you not be thankful for that? It's one of my favorite things!
  • Speaking of laughter, I'm grateful for those moments of pure hilarity where you laugh so hard you nearly cry, and gasping for air, or someone laughing so hard they (nearly) pee themselves, which makes the whole thing even funnier!! 
  • Cooler weather…love those days when it's cooler and the sun is shining… mmmmmm…
hmm…that's all I can think of for right now. As I said, I'm sure there is a lot more, but I am tired and it's nearly time for bed now…just not thinking straight (oh, there's another one, grateful for a comfy bed!) What about you? Anything for which you're particularly grateful?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Day Before...

Yes, here in the US, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day- a day meant to be grateful for all you have.  If you're not familiar with this tradition, it goes a bit like this…

First, families come together, from all over. They drive, fly, walk, crawl (ok, slight exaggeration there…) from all over to get together with their families. And then, they eat. And eat. And eat. And eat. Until they can't eat anymore. Traditionally, this involves turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, something with greenbeans (usually casserole), other sides, pumpkin pie,  sweet potato pie, uhm…and then, many people watch football, or play football, drink beer, and eat some more.  (The lovely part is everyone coming together to celebrate and give thanks…)

Then, the next day, people will wake up at some ungodly hour to go stand in line for a store to open at 4/5 am. (well, this has changed…now many stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day itself, or at midnight. I mean, really, people?? Get some sleep!! Do you really need all that crap?? After just giving thanks for all you have???) because stores have massive sales, because-oh-my-gosh!-only a month before Christmas and we must buy!!

So, it's the day before…Snowstorms are hitting the eastern US (not sure about the mid and western sides…didn't see anything on the news about that), on what is considered the busiest travel day of the year. And although I am lucky enough to live in South Florida and I don't have to go anywhere, I am looking out the window at gray, stormy weather. I should be taking a nap. However, I am thinking that maybe tonight is the perfect night to watch one of my favorite movies…Home for the Holidays! I just love that movie and the fabulous family dysfunction on glorious display!!

The main character (named Claudia btw) gets fired just before getting to go home to New Jersey for Thanksgiving weekend and all sorts of shenanigans happen. Some of the characters...Holly Hunter plays Claudia. Anne Bancroft is the mom. Robert Downey Jr. is her gay brother. Claire Danes is her teenage daughter, who goes to spend the weekend with her boyfriend and tells her mom they're going to do it that weekend! There is also a quite uptight other sister and her family. And so on...It's quite a cast and it makes me laugh. Every time I see it!

Here are some fabulous quotes from it…

"I'm calling you a product of baboon lovin'"

"That's what the day's supposed to be all about, right? Torture."

And one of my favorite… "I'm giving thanks that we don't have to go through this for another year. Except we do, because those bastards went and put Christmas right in the middle, just to punish us."

So, with that, I wish you safe travels if you're going anywhere.

Happy Thanksgiving…


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Snippets of.. clarity?

Today I was watching a recording of one of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, and she was interviewing this lady I'd never heard of, Barbara Brown Taylor. So, she used to be an Episcopalian minister, but gave it up to go teach and has written a number of books. Of course, if you've watched any of Oprah's SSS, the main thread is about soul… and living. I always learn something, but, at times, someone says something that really touches me.

Today's session did that. Ms. Taylor told Oprah something along the lines that we (all of us) need to start at the red x under our feet (rather than always yearning, searching for more, or something else.) Start with what you've got and do the best with that. That hit home for me, because it makes things… easier?  Well, maybe not easier but it does take a certain paralyzing pressure off. That idea, of looking at the immediacy and what I have in my power to do right now, calms that inner critical voice telling me that I should be doing this or that, or that I should be further along, or better or whatever it is that it's prattling on about at the moment. And I felt it when she said it. The inner anxiety just chilled out.

That idea is freedom to me. It's freedom to move forward-in any direction you'd like- because you are starting right here. You're not looking where you've been, where you want to be. It's immediate. I'm here. Right here. Right now. And what can I do from here? What can I do right now? It might not be much, but it's something. (Of course, what you can do might be a lot…everyone is in a different place, no?) 

While it's a great idea to challenge yourself to do better, to move forward, you also have to be happy with who you are, where you are, and start from there. I've had that insight before. I had forgotten. I hope to remember.