Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Shhhhh, I have a secret plan

Why is it that when you decide to pay something off let's say a car or a Sears bill that something invariably goes wrong.

Our goal is to pay off our bills except our house (even though I am very open to that) and sock away a bunch of $$ so we are ready for any opportunities that may arise in the next few years.

So I kept it quiet that I was paying off a car early because you know what happens when you do. Well sure enough on the same day I got a payoff quote my husband called and said the car wouldn't start. Of course it didn't. Well luckily it ended up being the battery but was it a warning? Don't pay off that car or the car loan Gods will be angry?

Now common sense tells you that the car is getting older and things are going to start to go wrong but can I have a month with no car payment! Just one month!!

I am not telling anybody, even myself about the next bill we will pay off. Maybe I will just close my eyes point and pick something and click "pay entire balance". I wouldn't even know which one it was. Then maybe since I'm not sending anything out into the universe to any other random Gods out there then everything will be fine. Pretty please!???


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dream house

My guess is if you are like me the dream house in your 20s and 30s looks way different than your dream house when you are in your 50s.

I used to long for houses with tons of square footage, huge rooms, wood fireplaces, sprawling yards and lots of flower beds. But then you realize that with that comes tons of cleaning, mowing, weeding and bills.

Now my dream house has a deck for some flower pots, maybe a very small yard for our dog, an open floor plan with a kitchen/family room. A master bedroom, an office and a room for Hattie. A smaller house that's cozy, maybe exposed brick and a nice kitchen. A gas fireplace as I just want to turn on a switch and not drag in logs. A cute porch out front.

I love designing my dream house in my head and wonder if this is one of those things that by thinking it, I will attract it. I can even picture the door! I need to figure out Pinterest so I can "pin" all the things I see and love. The great thing is even if we never do this it sure is fun to think about.

Home sweet cozy home.



Monday, July 29, 2013

The journey continues or starts

The great thing about being in your fifties is that you have the time to look at your life and see if you like what you are seeing.

Years ago I was a member of a weight loss support group and there was a woman whose children were grown, she was financially set, she had a beautiful house on the lake and she was absolutely miserable. She was in a very unhappy marriage that she saw no way out of.

I have carried that woman's story through the years in my heart and have always been determined to not end up in a place of being miserable with my life. We can't let the attitude of "well that's just how it is" determine where our life leads us.

Starting this blog has given me an amazing opportunity to look at the journey I am on and decide if it needs a shake up. I often wonder why I didn't make different decisions when I was in my 20s but maybe in our 20s we aren't ready for enlightenment as we are too busy doing life and not living it.

I have an amazing life with a great husband and kids, a nice home, a good job and now a new Granddaughter but it is exciting to think about maybe living somewhere else, having time to take some classes, have days free to have Hattie come over for the day and maybe bake some cookies and watch a movie together.

It is so thrilling to open the book that is my life and have the opportunity to add some chapters. Or maybe start a whole new book. What would your book look like?




Sunday, July 28, 2013

Attitude adjustment Part Deux

I am realizing that people that do amazing things in life probably do not walk around carrying a lot of negative thoughts in their heads.

My nephew is an accomplished musician and entrepreneur and my guess is this guy only has thoughts of opportunity and not obstacles running through his brain. My guess is not only does he have a ten year plan, he can also tell you exactly how he will get there.

So part of my plan is to not only turn negative thoughts into positive ones but also to take action steps to get there. In other words if we hope to move to Maryland one day I not only have to believe it will happen I have to take steps to make it happen.

So yesterday I decided I wanted to create more money in my life. I started looking through bills which led me to call the cable company and after spending five minutes (well more like 30) I had cut my bill by $50 a month just by asking. Now I could get truly annoyed by thinking why weren't they charging me $50 less all along but I won't go there. Then I glanced at my mortgage statement and realized that my payment is dropping $60 a month. Yes that's right, dropping not increasing. This folks is a miracle in itself.

So maybe just maybe all the answers are inside of us and we need to believe that. And maybe if I shift my thinking I will shift my life. Can it really be that easy?


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Attitude adjustment

I have come to the realization that I will need to work full time for at least 2-3 more years. But as I stated before, I'm sort of worn out by this work thing. I really do like my job but I am one of those people that is "in their head" way too much.

See I'm pretty much a cup half empty person and always have been. How does that happen? Was I laying in my crib thinking about how my bottle was going to be too cold and I bet my mother won't remember to change my diaper on time? But I swear for as long as I remember I am always thinking about how badly everything will go. (except vacations which I aways think will be great and are!)

So I watched a motivational speaker on youtube last night speaking about this very thing and how to take thoughts and flip them around instantly. So instead of thinking in the morning "we are three people short, we will be super busy, I am going to get five emails that I won't know how to answer and I have a list of 100 things on my to do list" I will think this is going to be the best day ever! Now just typing that made me laugh out loud with complete doubt but maybe I need to keep saying it. Maybe by always thinking how crazy my day will be I fulfill that prophecy in my head.

Do we really attract to ourselves the thoughts and beliefs in our heads? Supposedly studies show that we do so maybe I need to try a mental shift as soon as these thoughts pop into my head. I will try it. I will let you know how it goes. Of course that is only if my IPad doesn't break, or my Internet doesn't go out or I don't get malaria in the next few days.

***So here is an update. I wrote this post yesterday and tried this at work and overall it worked really well. There were a few times those thoughts started sinking in but I was able to turn them around. It must just take practice. So I had a great Friday and then when I checked my phone after work there was this picture of Hattie. Life really is great and I guess it's all how you look at it.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Packing for a new life

I am realizing that one of the benefits of blogging is saving a ton of money on therapy.

I had started this blog post talking about our intention to move out east at some point and that we have accumulated a bunch of "stuff" that I would gladly part with. I went on to state how most of our things would be donated or trashed except for a few things that mean a lot to us.

So I saved the post, took a shower, was getting ready for work and thought "why have I surrounded myself with a bunch of stuff that I don't care about"?

But it occurred to me that since we moved every few years in the military and odds are when they packed up your stuff and threw it on the moving truck that many of these things you treasured were bound to be lost or broken when you arrived at your new location. So, I never got attached to things and our family has always been what has made our house a home.

Around 19 years ago my husband retired from the army and we settled down in Minnesota. Our kids grew up, moved away and now I am left with the "stuff" when what I really miss is what always made our house a home, my kids. I see my daughter, son in law and Hattie as much as possible and we see our son often but it is always a few hours here and there. I of course love my husband and love our life now but our home feels somewhat empty since we have gone from four to two.

So now the appeal of living near Hattie and my daughter and son in law and having them come over and fill the house with noise and love is so strong. I also want my son there too so I am hoping that the same thing that has occurred to me occurs to him.

I want a real home again.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fur ball #3

We adopted Lexi a few years back when we had to put our sweetheart CC down.

We went to an adoption day specifically looking for an adult cat that just seemed like a laid back, loving and easy going cat that would fit in our family. Luckily that was exactly what we found in Lexi.

She had been found by animal control missing part of her tail and ear due to frostbite and was adopted by a family who later on had to move and couldn't take her with them. So again up for adoption she went and after a long wait for a new family we found her. She was just beautiful and I immediately said to my husband "what about this one". Well the rest is history and we have never looked back.

Her favorite things are:

  • People. She loves and adores everyone. She would lay on top of you all day and just purr if you let her.
  • Leaving surprises around the house if her litter box is even a little dirty. This is her one bad quality but it is kind of a big one. We tolerate it because we just love her to pieces.
  • Greeting us at the front door. No matter where she is at in the house if she hears you unlocking the door she will run to greet you.
  • Our dog and cat Bella. She loves our dog even though he is way too rough with her and also loves our cat Bella even though she is too rough with her too.

So here is Lexi and we just think she's the cat's meow. BTW, I looked up what "the cat's meow" means and it said extraordinary, special and loved.




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hump Day

I can't believe it's Wednesday already but in a way I'm not surprised as the weeks lately just fly by.

I am still battling a cold but I think I'm finally winning. I feel like not much is going on in my life to blog about right now which might be a good thing as that means:

  1. Nobody died.
  2. I didn't break anything (bones, hearts, household items).
  3. I'm not in jail even though at my age maybe that could be exciting.
  4. None of my family members including pets have broken anything or are in jail. At least not that I have gotten a call about.
  5. I don't owe any one person massive amounts of money. I also haven't won the powerball either and that would be something really exciting to blog about.

So I feel kind of boring right now. I have no new updates on Hattie, no trips on the horizon, no big weekend plans. I got nothing really. Maybe I can find a picture of Hattie at least.

Here you go. She even looks kind of bored.



Monday, July 22, 2013

Still sick around here

So there's not much to blog about as I am still blowing my nose and coughing and feeling just plain low. I hate summer colds because while you are inside being sick the world is outside enjoying a beautiful summer day.

I did manage to drag my sorry soul to our favorite ice cream place for a sunset splash which is an amazing blended combo of sprite and soft ice cream which sounds so good right now. I swear if they were open at 6am I would get one on my way in to work.

I will at least post a new picture of Hattie on her way to her cousin's first birthday. How can my daughter stand the cuteness!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sick as a dog

So I was so looking forward to a nice weekend, cooler weather, drinks on a patio and what happened.......I got Hattie's cold and feel like crud.

I don't exactly get the saying "sick as a dog" as I have never seen any of my animals blowing their noses and coughing up anything but a hair ball but I'll go with it.

I have basically not left the sofa for two days except to run grocery shopping just now and I felt awful the whole time. You know how when you are sick and someone insists on trying to chat with you and you want to yell "stop talking to me". But you don't and you just pray they realize it's a one way conversation and move along.

So I'm home now and back on the sofa and hoping that I feel better tomorrow as it looks to be a brutal work week ahead. Yuck.

The only thing that cheered me up was getting this picture of Hattie and her sweet cheeks and knowing in a few months I will get to see her again. That's the best TLC I could have gotten. Is she the cutest or what!



Saturday, July 20, 2013

I have a plan Stan

I love the weekends for lots of reasons but one of them is that it gives me time to think. During the work week my brain is so full of work, errands, paying bills and laundry. What to have for dinner, what to watch on tv before I fall asleep from being exhausted from work, running errands, laundry and paying bills and then it's the morning and you start all over.

Most times I feel like I am in the middle of the movie Groundhog Day and just waking up and living the same day over and over. And honestly, I'm tired.

I've realized I don't really like the path I'm on right now and it's time to start on a new one. I don't know why it has taken me this long to figure it out but I finally am and I'm truly excited about it. Maybe that's why the fifties are so great as you can finally stop and realize what is really important. You realize that the life you have isn't going to last forever so you really need to make what you have left amazing.

Why I feel like I can bare my soul on a blog when I barely say these things out loud I don't know. But it's time to start making a plan and putting it into action. Of course there will be bumps along the way but what great plan doesn't. My husband is totally on board too so with both of us determined to make this happen, it will.

I don't even know what the end result looks like but I know what I do and don't want.

  • I do want to work at something I truly love and not worry about how much it pays or if it pays anything.
  • I don't want to live somewhere where it gets to -10 in the winter and the lakes freeze over thick enough you can drive on them.
  • I want to have more time with family and friends. I don't want a few days here and there that I get to spend with Hattie.
  • I don't want to have so much "stuff" that I don't really need or want cluttering up my life anymore.
Basically I want a simple life with a simple place to live. Clutter free, with some books to read. A bottle of wine here and there and good food. Time with family and friends and time to really see the world. I don't mean trips to Europe but time to see the world right around me. Time to just drive and stop when something looks worth stopping for.

I want to wake up in the morning and look forward to what I will be doing that day. Know at the end of the day I did something I loved and I worked at something worthwhile.

So 2013 seems like a great place to start and I feel like I am breathing easier already. I have a plan and I like it.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Furball #2

My son's cat is very sick. And that is a part of letting these guys into our hearts and lives. And it hurts, a lot.

They can drive you crazy and make you wonder why you ever took them in. But they also make you laugh, listen to you when you are mad and love you like no other when you are down. Then one day you are faced with losing them and you swear you will never get another animal but you do. We did, several times.

And so I introduce Bella. She became our cat when my daughter moved to Maryland and she had nowhere to go. She is one of the best cats we have ever had. Her favorite things are...

  • Eating. Often. Even popcorn which I discovered yesterday.
  • Our dog. Most times.
  • Our other cat. Most times. Unless they are fighting over something which is often. But when they are getting along they adore each other and will curl up next to each other and lick one another. Until a few seconds later when the licking turns into biting.
  • Curling up in your lap and just being near you.
  • Eating. Yeah I said that already but I really can't stress it enough.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Random thoughts from the weekend

I had such a great time on this trip and realized there is a reason women usually don't give birth in their 50s. I am exhausted and only had to get up one night with Hattie!

I am just so proud of my daughter who has turned into an amazing woman and mother. She will be going back to work in a few weeks and I can only imagine how hard it will be to drop off Hattie at daycare that first day.

I realized that Hattie has changed so much already and the time goes by way too fast but then I think about all the fun things to come. Birthdays, Holidays, her first words, her first day of school, trips to the beach. I hope to be there for as many as I can and possibly even be there for all of them. I'm sure working on it!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A trip, a visit and an epiphany

I just got back today from my visit to Maryland and as always it went way too fast.

But with that said, I had an amazing time and got to spend hours getting to know Hattie again at 7 weeks old. She definitely has such a personality already and I left with these thoughts of her:

  1. She is growing so fast and I swear she was so much bigger when I left after just five days.
  2. She has a smile that will melt your heart.
  3. She loves being sung to and I realize I need to learn a ton more songs as "If I only had a brain" from the Wizard of Oz was the only thing I seemed to remember the words to.
  4. She still adores falling asleep laying on your chest.
  5. She has the best most patient Mom around.
  6. Nobody rocks a wardrobe and especially sunglasses like she does.

But as I said in the title of this post I also had an epiphany on the way home. Maryland, particularly the Eastern Shore feels like home to me now. Since I grew up on the east coast when I am near the ocean I am the happiest. I miss Maryland more and more every time I come back to Minnesota.

And as much as Hattie is of course pulling at my heart strings it's more than that and something changed with this visit and I started picturing myself living there and I liked what I saw.

Unfortunately if we decide to make this happen it might be a few years as we need to be in a better financial situation then we are now. But I know too well that if it is to happen I have to start planning and believe it will happen and I know in my heart it will.

So overall I am not sad like I thought I would be on my first day back home. I am excited for the possibility of what is to come.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Go!

Well after waking up every hour last night it's finally time to get ready to go to the airport. I will keep this short as I'm sure I am forgetting 10 things I need and somehow I have to figure out what those ten things are.

My daughter texted a picture of Hattie last night and she is smiling in it which is the first time I have seen her sweet smile. Even with her cold I think she is so adorable and just can't wait to see her in a few hours.

I'm coming Hattie!!!!!!




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One more wake up

It's officially only one more wake up until I leave for Maryland tomorrow. I will probably sleep horribly as I am always afraid I will oversleep and miss my flight. Hey, it could happen.

It sounds like poor Hattie is getting a cold but snotty or not I just can't wait to see her and hold her.

I also just booked tickets to go to Maryland for the holidays as there was just no way we were going to miss this sweet thing's first Christmas. I am already envisioning her in her Christmas outfit chewing on ribbon and having way more fun with the wrapping paper then the tons of gifts she well have.

But that is five months away and in less than 48 hours I will be holding Hattie in my lap, sucking stuff from her nose and for that I couldn't feel more blessed.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Well now I am down to one day and a wake up before I leave for Maryland and get to see Hattie again.

When she was born she had adorable, kissable cheeks and all but certainly nothing over the top.

But then I get this picture and I swear my daughter is altering her cheeks just to lure me back to Maryland. I mean come on, I will be there in a few days anyway. And then I notice that she is trying to get Hattie to look over to the side so it looks like she is searching for............ME!!

I wonder if I can change my ticket and leave this afternoon.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer countdown

Here in Minnesota we had a very late start to summer and it feels like we are a month behind to where we should be.

Not to be a Debby Downer but once it is the 4th of July you blink and it is Labor Day weekend. But honestly that is still 8 weeks away so there is still lots of time to enjoy this........

And this........

Before going back to this.......

But then I am thinking maybe we should fly off to Mexico in February when it's -10 here and sip tropical drinks on some beautiful beach and then come back to three more months of.........

Well you get my point.



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Four more days & POTD

So four more days now until I get to see Hattie. Just thinking of seeing her and my daughter at the airport melts my heart. Plus my son is coming on Saturday and will meet her for the first time and the thought of that melts my already melted heart.

Now for my second photo of the day. Duncan. We adopted him last year and he is a pit bull/pointer mix. We adore each other.

His favorite things are.

  • Laying on top of you. Not next to you but literally full body on top of you.
  • Eating. Anything, any time.
  • Other dogs. His problem is though he loves them too much and doesn't pick up on cues of when to stop loving them quite so much.
  • Buffalo rawhides. I try and take it away from him when he gnaws it down but he has figured that out. So now it takes a bribe of several dog biscuits and pepperoni slices to lure him close enough to get him to drop it.
  • The cats. The feeling though isn't always mutual especially when he drags Lexi around by her head.



Saturday, July 6, 2013

Five more days!

Only five more days now till I get to see Hattie. I don't even want to wish the time away as I know the five days I have there will fly by. But no worries, I will just come home and start planning the next trip!

Since I won't always have new pictures of Hattie I thought I would also post pictures of things that are around me. I figure it is a great way to stop and take notice as we tend to just march through life and only stop when things hit us right in the face. So I will be posting these random photos of the day.

So here is the first one....

The other day I was standing in the living room and heard this loud crash and a huge tree had fallen in the woods across the street. It was about five feet in diameter so we aren't sure why it just fell. Sadly the city has tagged another large tree next to it to come down as they are probably worried that will also suffer the same fate.








Friday, July 5, 2013

Just six more days!

I am leaving to see my Maryland family in six more days and I can't stand it.

Not only do I get to see Hattie,


I also get to see my Granddog Norman AND.....................

I get to have an orange crush (or six) and seafood! Yeah baby!!



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!!

My husband and I had no plans for today but after listening to everyone at work ramble on about what fun they were going to have I started searching for ideas.

So, wait for it.....we went to the zoo. They were having free admission for veterans and half price for spouses this whole week. So off we went and we had a fabulous time seeing this guy....

And then after a great morning of walking all over we ended up at the butterfly exhibit which was my fav part of the day......

And just when I thought it couldn't get any better I get this picture of Hattie on her first 4th of July........

Happy 4th all!





Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hanging with Dad

I was going to do a post about our fur balls but then my daughter texted me this picture of Hattie last night.

Just hanging out in her t shirt and jeans with the guy that she obviously already adores, as we all do.

Her Dad.