Project: Do Me #1

There was a definite Spring tinge to the air today. I noticed it first thing this morning and promptly threw open the windows and opened the slider to the deck to freshen things up in my house.

It felt renewing on multiple levels. I have been feeling particularly stagnant (much like the air in the house) and in need of a brisk breeze to blow it all away.

I neglected some of my stitching to work on my Do Me list. (If you need a reminder on what this project is about you can click the photo above.)

My “goals” tend to shift quickly so I can see numerous updates to this Project. I look at “goals” as a to-do list sometimes. I can’t have all these long-term or huge items in the mix. To be frank, I would simply lose interest.

Daily Happiness Goal:


In times of stress I rip them savagely from my fingertips. I do well for a month and then something sets me off. I am already insecure about the appearance of my hands and fingers.

The joints are beginning to show dramatic changes due to the rheumatoid arthritis I’ve had since age 12. I feel more content with my hands when my nails look nice. When they are bitten and ragged I feel ashamed when people look at my hands.

Weekly Happiness Goal:

Go into work early each day.

Things are a little crazy in the workplace lately. There are many meetings and little time for desk work. Too many illness and home issues kept me from my normal schedule of getting into the office before the “crowd”. The hour of peaceful and diligent work before the madness starts should go a long way to lower my stress levels significantly.

I was tempted to say I was going to install a deli case ticket dispenser at the entrance to my office in an effort at crowd control but I felt that was too extreme. I might be scolded for yelling out “Now serving Number 1” on Monday morning. 😀

Monthly Happiness Goal:

Significantly cut down (or out) processed foods.

The waistband on my favorite jeans is tight. Enough said. I have felt more like cooking lately and I would rather eat my own cooking than a fast food meal anyways. If work goes well then I won’t be having to grab quicky meals here and there.

Yearly Happiness Goal:

My goal is to have zero unsecured debt by December 2011. I am halfway there already and if I stick to my plans I will achieve this easily. I would have really enjoyed having all debt paid off but double car payments are not in my scope!


ABC’s of Me

A – Age: 37…in two months I’ll be 38
B – Bed size: Queen
C – Chore you hate: Taking out the garbage
D – Dog’s name: I only have had one dog in my life. Her name was Susie and she was my buddy from ages 5 to almost 18. My pets now are a lovebird named Willow and a very large, furry orange kitty named Sparrow.
E – Essential start of the day item: My glasses
F – Favorite color: Yellow or Aqua
G – Gold or Silver: Silver
H – Height: 5’11″
I – Instruments you play: I no longer play them but I played clarinet and tried to play piano
J – Job: Purchasing Executive
K – Kids: Just the pets
L – Living arrangements: Still just the pets
M – Music you love: EVERYTHING! Show tunes, rock, country, disco, pop, hair metal, classic rock, easy listening, 50’s standards (Dino, Frank, Clooney, Doris), 60’s groups, 70’s songwriters, 80’s pop
N – Nicknames: Button
O – Overnight hospital stay at hospital: A couple; nothing major
P – Pet Peeve: Lying
Q – Quote from a movie: “I will have poetry in my life. And adventure. And love. Love above all. No… not the artful postures of love, not playful and poetical games of love for the amusement of an evening, but love that… over-throws life. Unbiddable, ungovernable – like a riot in the heart, and nothing to be done, come ruin or rapture.” – Viola, Shakespeare in Love
R – Right handed or left: Right but quite the multi-tasker with the left. Eating with my left hand and writing with my right may have been the only way I got through college.
S – Siblings: Older – brother and sister
T – Time you wake up: 5:30/6:00am
U – Underwear: cute ones!
V – Vegetable you dislike: cabbage
W – Workout Style: low impact – pilates, The Goddess Workouts by Dolphina
X – X-rays you’ve had: Chest, back, hands/wrists, neck, head, knees, elbows, shoulder, ankles, feet, um, I have rheumatoid arthritis – if it has a joint it’s been x-rayed
Y – Yummy food you make: Meatballs, Lasagna, Pecan Fried Chicken, Italian stuffed chicken breasts, chicken Parmesan, Chili, Fajitas, Meatloaf, Mac N Cheese, fudge, rice pudding, pies, um, I really like to cook

Z – The best place to visit: The house I grew up in.and now you know my ABC’s, won’t you play along with me?

Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance…

Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.
“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?”VIRGINIA O’HANLON.

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Thanks to for the clipping.

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Friendly ghosts.


I have some of the most wonderful Christmas memories. Not just of things but of traditions and love and laughter. I feel blessed to have had such an amazing home to grow up in.

I still can’t make cut out cookies without remembering the grand event of sugar cookies at Christmastime. There were glittery sugar sprinkles, colored frostings, red hot cinnamon candies, the annoying little silver balls that skittered across the table and more cookie cutter than you could imagine!

I can still see cookie dough and flour everywhere! I still see my hands grasping the red handles of Mom’s wooden rolling pin and trying to roll out dough evenly. I also see those hands shoving scraps of sugar dough in my mouth 🙂

My first Christmas – me between my big brother and sister – 1973

I was such a baby doll kind of girl. I think this was 1979.

See the old Singer sewing machine behind the jacket. Gorgeous, huh? I used to play on that for hours. It was everything from my  librarian’s desk to part of my seamstress shop to a bank teller’s counter.

Overactive imagination at play.

My first two wheeler – 1978 – in front of the house my parents still live in.

This bike was such a surprise! I went to the bike store with my parents a few weeks before Christmas to pick out ten speeds for my brother and sister. Mom and Dad told me I wasn’t big enough for a two wheel bike yet. I can remember being very sad. I was so tall for my age (as tall as my teacher!) that my knees would scrape when I rode my red tricycle!

When my parents brought “The Big Kids” outside to show them their bikes I almost didn’t believe their was a blue bike for me out there too! A Blue Schwin with a white leather seat and a bell with an American Flag on it. In the Spring we added a white basket covered with daisies for the handlebar.

I have many fond memories of tear-assing around riding my bike. There was an actual circle of houses in the center of the neighborhood and paved road around them. Collation Circle had an incline which made for some pretty fun “no hands, no feet” excursions with my ponytail sticking straight out.

My Mom and my brother. I miss that big entertainment center we used to have. I think I even miss the gold filigree mirrors. Just kidding.

I do have many fond memories of that bookshelf though. I was probably the only kid in the world who would sit and read the encyclopedias and my Dad’s old medical books. Of course when I wanted to kick back and relax I had the shelf of classics – Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Robinson Crusoe.

The thing is my Mom’s hand is a scanner. It held crystals that allowed my firefighter Dad to listen to the fire and police broadcast channels for our town. This way he could run to a brush fire or a nearby car fire. Even to dash off to deliver a baby or rescue a dog from the cracked ice of a lake. Oh yeah, all true stories btw.

Now that I am an adult I realize the real reason we had the scanner in the house. So Mom would know Dad was safe.

The real gift of the holidays is those we love safe and sound.

Keep yours close to you and enjoy them. Let them know they are the only gift you want this season.