Sunday, January 29, 2023

#2828 a little change

I took a break from writing here this week, and it felt kinda good. In February, I'm planning to write here on Wednesday and Sunday. I figure that gives me a mid-week check in and a weekend check in. I want to explore some different things, and dropping writing here from three or four times a week to just two will hopefully give me a little more time to do some other stuff, while still keeping this little project alive. 

Today I had a big knot on the left side of my back and shoulder. Sometimes I still feel the twinge from that little tear in my rotator cuff and I find myself using my neck muscles to pull up my arm instead of using my shoulder muscles. The knot was pretty painful and caused me to have a bad headache. In addition, I haven't slept very well for the past couple of nights. On both Friday and Saturday night, I woke up around 3am and didn't get back to sleep for about 90 minutes. That's no good. Tonight I took some Tylenol for the back and headache pain, put the heated corn bag on my sore parts, and took a little snoozle. It felt good, just not long enough. I'm planning on getting ready for bed here in a few minutes, taking a melatonin, and snuggling in for the night.

It's extremely cold here. My computer tells me it is 19 degrees out. It snowed a little earlier today, and then it got really cold and the wetness on the road and the driveway turned to ice. There's only about a dozen steps from the driveway to the front door, but they were precarious. MT brought in all the groceries since I'm not very sure-footed on the ice. I sprinkled ice melt all over the driveway, but I'm thankful I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. I really love my work from home days, whether the temperatures are in the 90s or the teens. 

Here's hoping y'all had an enjoyable weekend. Stay warm! Talk to you Wednesday :)

Saturday, January 21, 2023

#2827 Saturday with Sandy

My day started with some much-needed self care. I got up early, around 6:00, to feed the dogs and let them run around outside for a few minutes, then we all got back in bed and slept until nearly 9:00. It felt so good! I then took a shower, washed and conditioned the hair, shaved, then slathered on moisturizer, and gave myself a facial mask. All my skin felt happy, hydrated, and smooth. My hair is soft and shiny.  I also put some thick, rich coconut  body butter on my freshly pumiced feet. So smooth. I am terrible at moisturizing. I have boatloads of lotions, but I rush past putting the lotion on, except for my face. I am developing a habit, a ritual maybe, of putting on lip balm and hand lotion before I get in bed every night. It’s a start.

After all of that activity, I made a pot of coffee and settled in with a book. There was lots of toy throwing for Stella, but it was still quality quiet time. 

Pretty soon, it was time to take T to work. I put on a pair of jeans and layered tops. I dropped T off, then went to Red Butte Garden for my monthly winter walk. It was like I had the place to myself, even though I know there were other people up there. It was cold, but I was dressed appropriately, and it was a beautiful walk. Here are some photos:

I like the different colors of the trees.

It’s me. Hi!


Those two birds are blue jays. (Trust me.)

Obligatory waterfall photo.

I love that the path is cleared.

Trees in winter.

I walked around for about 40 minutes, then my butt was getting cold, so it was time to leave. Thankful for heated seats in the car! When I got home, I took the doggos for a walk in the neighborhood, then we had some outside play time in the back yard so they could run around and chase each other and the toys. When I got cold, we came inside for quiet time. 

MT and I went out for dinner at La Hacienda. When we got home, MT fell asleep on the couch and I changed the sheets on the bed. I love having clean sheets!  I know everyone does, it’s not just a me thing. I change my sheets every other week, but I really think I would like to change them weekly. Maybe I’ll see if I can get into the habit. I only have two sets of sheets. I think I want another set. 

Now it’s nearly time to pick T up from work, then I’m going to bed. I’ve got a few things on tomorrow’s to-do list, and that includes sitting on the couch to read and listen to/watch football. 

I hope you made the most of your Saturday, even if that meant staying home and taking care of yourself, or seemingly doing nothing. It is totally allowed. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

#2826 three things: pajamas, bars of soap, and finally starting 2023

1. Pajamas. For a long time, probably most of my adulthood, I have slept in oversize t-shirts. T-shirts are soft and comfortable, and since sometimes I am a restless sleeper, I could thrash around easily in my tee. Sometime during the summer, I went to Old Navy and found a cute shorts and tank top pajama combo. I bought it, and you know what? I haven't looked back. I really like sleeping in pajamas now. I took some with me to Greece, and when I got home from that vacation, I bought a couple more pajama tops to go with the flannel shorts I had. I'm making it sound like I have many sets of pjs; I don't. Yet. The jammies are so much softer and flowy than the oversized t-shirt. I've been missing out for so many years! No more, though. I'm on the jammie bandwagon!

2. Bars of soap. Last year on my vacations, I bought bars of soap to give to my mom. MT took his cue from me and bought his mom bars of soap, too. We just went to a pharmacy and bought soap. The pharmacy in Rome had wonderful scented bars of soap. They made my suitcase smell so good. I bought another soap for my mom in Greece, and I have to say, I wish I'd bought some for myself, even though I haven't used an actual bar of soap for years. I am more of a shower gel woman.

One of my friendly co-workers gave me (and others) bars of soap from Bath & Body Works for Christmas. Mine smelled so nice that I thought, "What the heck? I'll use it." You know what? I. Love. It. The soap has shea butter in it, so it makes my skin feel really soft. I love the way it lathers up on a washcloth. It smells awesome. Shower gels are nice and clean and convenient, but I think I might be converted to a bar of soap user. The next time I'm in Europe, I'm will buy myself some lovely European soap from the pharmacy. 

3. Finally feeling 2023. I was thinking the other day that 2023 didn't feel real to me yet. Since I don't have much planned for the month, it just feels like a waiting period between the end of the holiday season and the time when stuff starts happening in the new year. It's like I was in a time limbo for those first couple of weeks of the year. Maybe it's because MT was gone and I was getting used to having a new furry friend in the house? Maybe it's because I knew there was potential for stuff in 2023, but nothing was happening and I felt stagnant?

I was listening to the podcast Vibe Check today, and Sam, Saeed, and Zach were talking about exactly this same thing. I felt kinda relieved to find out that there were other people feeling the same way about the start of the year. I think for me, thinking about planning a trip for the spring is what kind of made me feel like, "Okay, 2023 is on track, and here we go." 

How are you feeling? :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

#2825 travel Tuesday: U.S. beach destinations

Before I get started on tonight's topic, a quick follow-up to the doggo scrum I wrote about on Sunday between Mac and Stella. I'm glad to report that everyone is doing fine and living in peace and harmony. Stella gives Mac a wide berth when it is toy time, other than that, they seem to be okay. 


Sometime during the summer, I saw an article somewhere, probably either on Facebook or Twitter, listing top U.S. beach vacation spots. Of course there are a jillion places where you can find a list that may or may not include these places. I jotted the list down because you never know when you are going to want to go on vacation and leaving the country might not be feasible. Plus, it's always fun to dream. Here is the list in the order they were listed in the article I read. They seem to be broken down between Gulf Coast, East Coast, West Coast, and Northeast.

Gulf Shores, Alabama
- I don't think I ever even thought about Alabama as a beach destination, but it sure looks nice, doesn't it?

St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida - Yes please. Looks great!

Galveston, Texas - I gotta admit, these Gulf Coast beaches look pretty fantastic.

Tybee Island, Georgia - Here's a place I have been and would love to go back to! It's proximity to Savannah makes it pretty visit-able in my book. It's a cute island with a great beach.

Virginia Beach, Virginia - this beach looks nice. I like the boardwalk.

Nags Head, North Carolina - I haven't been to Nags Head beach, but I'm pretty sure I've been by there. It is on the Outer Banks, and OBX is awesome.

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina - This beach is at the southern end of the state near Wilmington. Looks nice!

Cannon Beach, Oregon - Wow! This place looks awesome. I'm sure that water is cold as hell.

Mission Beach, San Diego, CA - You can't go wrong with the beaches in America's Finest City. Mission Beach is fantastic!

San Clemente, CA - I mean, come on! Southern California sunsets are amazing, and this beach looks great.

Lake Michigan - I don't think this one would have crossed my mind. When I think of Lake Michigan, I think of a cabin in the woods on the shores of the lake. Look at the color of that water! I wonder if it is cold?

Cape May, New Jersey - Again, I wouldn't have thought of New Jersey for a beach vacation. I don't know anything about it, except for this photo. Looks cool!

Ocean City, Maryland - I don't really associate beaches with the Northeast, but I think I might have to rethink my position.

I purposely chose pics that didn't shows gobs of people on the beaches. I am kind of past going to a beach to lay on the sand. I really like to walk on the beach, though. I'd love to spend time at a cute little place near a beach so I can walk, get my feet wet, and hear the sound of the water. I had fun imagining while I was posting these photos. Anything look interesting (besides California?)

Sunday, January 15, 2023

#2824 weekend wrap-up

It’s been a pretty good weekend. Yesterday might be my favorite day of the year so far. I slept in a little, then took the dogs for a walk and some outside playtime in the backyard. I went to a coffee place that is new to me, Brew Monkey, and it is so cute! 

It looks like a place I might like to go just to read and have a nice coffee and a change of scenery. The coffee, by the way, was quite good. Each month they have new specialty coffees. The one I had was called a Mocha Borgia, and it was a mocha flavored with cinnamon and orange. Yummy! I didn’t drink it there, though. I brought it home and enjoyed it with a sweet roll from Beardall’s Bakery. I was supporting the Magna small businesses! 

After breakfast, it was time for art. I am in a group hosted by Jill the Artist. Each month, she does a workshop for members through Zoom. I was unable to attend the live workshop event, but Jill records the workshops and posts them for the group, so I did that on Saturday around noon. It was a lot like some of our workshops in Crete in which we did some writing and some sketching and painting. It is good and fun.  We did a couple of sort of Valentine’s-related sketches, then we messed around with still life sketches and paintings. 

Drawing clusters of objects is a challenge for me. I have learned that it is easier for me to take a photo of a thing and sketch from the drawing rather than from the actual 3D reality. I didn’t take a photo of my collection of things that I drew. Maybe I will do that tomorrow and try it again. Anyway, here’s what I came up with yesterday:

It was kind of cool, because I painted the background first. The colors are kind of muted here, but it was mostly pink and orange. I let that dry, then I sketched in the candle, the mug and the plant. I decided to use my watercolor marker brushes to “paint” the objects.  

I can’t get over how enjoyable the “arting” is for me. Even when the results are wonky, it’s fun to try. Painting with watercolors is great. 

In the evening, I made myself a pizza. Using pizza dough I’d purchased at Trader Joe’s, along with marinara sauce and quattro formaggi cheese blend, I cooked it up in my cast iron skillet, and I thought it was good. Simple and tasty. I also took the dogs for a walk and had more outside playtime, and everything was working out nicely. 

I picked T up from work, and a couple of hours later, I picked MT up from the airport. It was nice to have everyone home! Stella even came up and slept on the bed with us. Yes, we had all three dogs and both MT and I in the bed. It was mostly fine. Stella would yip on occasion if someone got too close, but mostly, she was really good. I wonder why she decided that last night would be her first night on the bed? I could tell she was feeling very comfortable during the day because she had come up to my room while I was getting ready for the day or whenever I went upstairs to use the bathroom. Here’s a photo of Stella watching Harley wrestle with Mac: 

This morning, we all had a nice lie-in on the bed. MT was telling me about his vacation, and the dogs were being so good and everyone was calm. I took them out for a walk, and it was drizzling. By the time we got home, it was starting to snow, so we cut outside playtime short. I went to the grocery store. We had some inside play time, and then Mac and Stella got into a big scrum. They were fighting over a toy. Actually, each of them had their own toy, but they put them down near each other, and then got all territorial over the toys when they picked them back up to play again. It was awful. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid to reach for them in case they got confused and tried to bite me. It was very noisy and seemed to last forever, although I’m sure it was less than a minute. 

Now it is really quiet at my house. Stella doesn’t even want to play. She is up on the bed with MT, staying far away from Mac. The behavior is so unlike her, it breaks my heart. I was thinking that we were all getting along so well, now I feel like we are back to square one. The trust between them is broken, at least for today. They did go out for a walk with MT this evening and had their dinner, then Stella went right back upstairs. Mac is staying with me down here in the TV room. I hope we can get back to fun play times. At one point today, each dog had their own toy and I was tossing toys all over the place, and each dog was being very good about playing with her own toy. It was fun and it was so cute. Harley likes to have a ball rolled so she can chase after it. She then wants me to take it out of her mouth, and she gives it up pretty easily. Mac likes to have a ball tossed in the air so she can catch it, then she wants me to tug it out of her mouth, if I can catch her.  Stella likes to run after her toy and bring it right back for another throw. 

Mac and Stella both just went outside together, and although I can see that Stella is super wary about Mac, it looks like Mac wants to be friends again. She is wagging her tail at Stella and giving her space. I’m glad I’ll be home tomorrow to monitor their behavior. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for peace amongst the doggos. 

Friday, January 13, 2023

#2823 nothing much to say, but there are dog pics!

I’ve been wracking my brain for something to write about tonight. There are a dozen thoughts fluttering around in my brain like…

                Why is my tummy still so upset?

                              Wait! Lisa Marie Presley died?

                                         I did some stretching exercises today and it didn’t go well. I was tired and kind                    of sore. It was ridiculous.

   How is it possible that books I start at different times always seem to get finished at the same time?

       Does Bad Bunny make that air gulping sound on purpose? I’m gonna go with yes, but he figured it out to cover up bad breathing technique during singing.

           Stella is a non-stop playing machine.

I gave the dogs calming chews last night since they were all hyped up from playing and having fun. Those chews worked beautifully. We all slept soundly. I can’t give them those chews every day, though.

                    The Martian is one of my favorite movies.

                                  I HAVEN’T HAD ANY COFFEE TODAY (see first thought about tummy)

  MT will be home tomorrow night!

              I took a 30 minute snooze on the couch this evening and it was wonderful.

                   Mama and I had a nice chat tonight.

See? Lots of randomness, but nothing to really write about.

Here’s something: I managed to take a pic of the dogs while we were out walking this afternoon.

Also, we are all friends now:

And finally, a solo shot of Mac, because, why not?

Have a happy weekend!


Wednesday, January 11, 2023

#2822 Wednesday vibe: horror movies

This week on the Vibe Check podcast, one of the things the guys talked about was the new movie M3GAN. You have probably seen the commercials. A creepy-ass AI doll is created for a little girl, then the creepy-ass AI doll starts to do scary, murderous stuff to protect the girl. The film is doing huge box office, and the Vibe Check point of the story was that horror movies are universal. Comedy might not play the same in another country as it does in the U.S., but scary is scary no matter where you are. The fellas also say that the best, and maybe the only place, to watch a horror movie is in a movie theater where you can share your fear with other movie goers and laugh about the jump scares with the crowd. 

I have never been a big fan of horror movies, or at least the slasher flicks. I don’t know that I’ll trot over to the theater to see M3GAN, even though Sam and Zach totally recommended it. Maybe if I was with Lizzie and she really wanted to go see it, I would go with her. I don’t think MT would be into it. He doesn’t like scary movies, either. 

What’s been keeping my vibe right this week is Emily in Paris, season three. I watched all ten episodes over the course of a couple of days. Let’s be honest - there is nothing intellectual or highbrow about this show. It’s total mind and eye candy. Paris looks incredible in every shot. The people are all beautiful. They wear interesting, over-the-top clothes and do interesting, over-the-top things. It’s total escapism, and I am here for it. I have loved every season. 

With MT being away from home, and T working in the evenings, I have been hanging out with the dogs and taking it easy. Tonight I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t even fix anything to eat. I’ve been taking the time to lay on the couch and read a book. Sometimes I have a YouTube background on, but like right now, it’s just quiet. Even the doggos are chillin’. Maybe I’ll go to bed early, or maybe I’ll watch a show on Netflix called From Scratch.  The thing about that show is that I read the book and I know it’s a tear-jerker. It’s a limited edition series, and I watched the first episode. Yes, I cried. That’s why I’m not sure if I want to get involved with it. I don’t know if I’m in the mood for crying. I actually feel pretty good and maybe want to keep it that way for awhile. 

The journal prompt today is: If you could live inside any movie, what would it be? For me, the first movie that popped into my head was Something’s Gotta Give. Erica’s beach house is so dreamy, and she’s a playwright, and she goes to Paris. Really, just about any Nancy Meyers movie would be great to live inside, right?

Okay, I’m done here. I’m going to draw something, then I think I’ll go back to the couch and read a little more before I go on to bed. 

Listen to Vibe Check! It’s fantastic!