Random Bits

I deactivated my facebook account. Everyone is just a little too nuts these days.

I am now a notary and I passed my signing agent exam. Now I need to get a good printer and figure out what else I have to do to start working.

Still loving the Zinnia on-line planner!

I am on instagram if you want to look at my photos. Right now I am doing a 30 day photo journal challenge.

I watched “The Minimalists” on Netflix and for the rest of January I am purging one item a day. Easy enough. Who knows what it will lead to.

I won’t be around much the rest of this month. I have a lot going on. Plus I want to stay off the computer more because frankly I find the state of the country disturbing and I don’t want to hear all that negativity. But I have a fun idea for February posts which I will share at the end of the month.

Turn off the news and have a good day! ūüėä

The Mixed Bag of My Life

As always days pass in a series of ups and downs.


I finally figured out what I wanted to do as a part-time job. It only took three separate people mentioning it to me! I am working on becoming a notary and then getting my signing license to do real estate closings. Will take a few weeks but I am patient.


My hot flashes have returned. I am getting them a few times during the day and one or two at night. They aren’t super bad but it is still depressing.


I started a new writing class. A little something to stretch my brain and get me motivated. The instructor liked my first writing assignment, said it made her laugh!

Directions were: In 300 words or less and using dialog, start with one of 5 phrases provided and add a twist at the end. Here is what I wrote:

‚ÄúLooking at Paris in this light makes me long for color,‚ÄĚ I said aloud. ‚ÄúIt is so monochromatic‚ÄĚ.

A nearby woman dressed all in black glared at me while she muttered under her breath, ‚ÄúAll you Americans are so whiney.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúEverything is so gray and dark right now‚ÄĚ, I muttered back.  ‚ÄúThe sky, the drizzle, the Eiffel Tower, umbrellas and raincoats.  There is not a single pop of color anywhere,‚ÄĚ I said as I made a sweeping motion with my arm. ‚ÄúNot a circus red umbrella or aspen leaf autumn yellow rain boot or unicorn pink trench coat in sight.‚ÄĚ

The woman huffed at me and crossed the street.

I looked at the gray sky again. Tarnished tea set gray? Downy owl gray? I am so depressed gray? Silver lining gray? Silver lining gray. That sounded nice. I had to admit to myself that really this weather was timed perfectly. Color would be back in my life soon enough, I just needed to get through this gray stretch.

I walked into my office and took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. ‚ÄúI will be so happy when we are done with this latest batch of paint colors,‚ÄĚ I told my boss as I stared at the wall of gray paint samples that still needed names.


I have become quite proficient at being out of touch with the world right now and maybe a little too good at taking things one day at a time. I happened to glance at the calendar and holy crap Batman Thanksgiving is next week! I didn’t notice the time of year since temps are back into the 90’s again. (Not helping the hot flashes!) So I went to the commissary Tuesday night to get a turkey and all the non-perishable foods for the big feast. And really that is all that was on my list so I skipped some aisles. But as I walked past the end of the paper products row I was shocked to see that it was nearly empty.

Apparently I missed the start of the panic buying. Why are people panic buying here? I talked to a Doc from the VA hospital last weekend and he said Tucson and Arizona are doing okay. Will this year ever end?


I am giving myself an early Christmas present this year…3 nights and two days up at Mount Lemmon in early December. By myself. Pure peace and quiet. Cold enough to wear sweaters. Long hikes amongst trees. Christmas movies and popcorn.

It will be like sleeping in a tree house!

Looking over the past week or so I certainly feel like I have had more ups then downs so it is all good.

Wishing you more ups than downs this week!

Common Sense in Uncommon Times

I know I have said this before and used the same picture* but I really feel it can’t be said enough these days, COMMON SENSE people! It is taking me a few days to wrap my head around this new “normal”. I find myself feeling rather anxious which is atypical for me. I am trying to puzzle out why.

Maybe because I have the responsibility for a child? Part of me is happy he is home safe with me and part of me worries that we will be screaming at each other before the week is out. Putting a woman at the tail end of menopause with a boy on the cusp of puberty seems like way too many hormones in a confined space.

Since we are both on a bowling hiatus I figured we could do some Wii bowling. He kicked my butt all three games!

I think the more likely cause of my anxiety is simply the unknown. How long will this last? Will we get locked-down? How many people will actually get sick? Will anyone I know get sick? Will I be able to buy toilet paper (or whatever it is I run out of first) when the time comes? How long will the repercussions last?

Ah, how long will all this last? Will school resume? When will shelves get re-stocked? Stores re-open?

Will this end up changing our lives permanently in any way? Think about how things have changed since 9/11. All the changes to security. Will the impacts from COVID-19 eventually lead to major changes concerning health issues?

As you can see I don’t have any answers, only questions. In time all these questions will be answered. And in the meantime the answer to dealing with my anxiety was staring me right in the face:

My word for the year is “EMBRACE TODAY”. Duh, I need to stop worrying about a tomorrow I can’t control and enjoy what I have today:

  • no sick family members
  • sloppy joes, french fries and peas planned for dinner
  • books to read (I just started “Olive Kitteridge”!)
  • internet access to all my blog and Facebook friends
  • lovely weather
  • a freshly washed dog
  • Netflix, TCM and “Poirot” to watch
  • a clean, comfortable bed to sleep in

My list could go on and on but you get the idea. Stay safe and encourage:

Common Sense in Uncommon Times

*Picture is from an e-mail from the Vermont Country Store

The In-Between Time

I always feel a little off balance this time of year.  Thanksgiving weekend is over but I am not ready to jump into Christmas.  I prefer to wait until 1  December to go all holiday.  

It is hard for me to let go of autumn, it is my favorite season.  I love the angle of the light and the smells and the leaves.  

Beautiful blue sky!

Christmas is a lot of work, a marathon of busyness.  I am already looking at what I can cut from the to-do list, scaling back the baking list and thinking about where I can trim back on the decorating.  I look at the calendar and make sure I schedule downtime, movie time, early bedtime.  

For this week I am deep breathing and sitting and contemplating.  I am focusing on how I want to feel over the next month, not what I want/need to accomplish.  I remind myself that I need to enjoy the process.  There is no sense in baking/wrapping/decorating if I am hating doing it.  I need to keep things manageable.  

I need to take care of myself.  You need to take care of yourself too.  Take some time this week to remember what is important to you.  And keep that in your thoughts as you shop, cook, wrap and decorate.

Happy last week of November everyone!                       

Three Things

Blue painters tape, a countdown to Christmas activity calendar and a Singer typewriter.  What do these three things have in common?  Absolutely nothing except this blog post.

Blue Painters Tape:  A little tip from me to you, keep a roll in your kitchen junk drawer.  I use it for two main things, labeling containers going in the freezer and putting up decorations.  No sticky residue on plastic lids, easy to write on with a Sharpie and  no damage to walls or decorations.  See that turkey above?  Blue tape making him fly on the mantle. I love this stuff!

Advent Countdown Activity Book:  Actually I am not sure what to call it but I saw it at Target and thought it looked fun but I knew my eleven year old would never bother with it.  Then I looked at all the coloring and I thought, who loves to color? Me!  So I bought it for myself.  It will provide a little pocket of peace each day during the hectic holiday preparations.


Singer Typewriter:  Early this year I got it into my head that I wanted a little manual typewriter.  Do I need a typewriter?  No.  But I wanted one.  I kept picturing myself sitting outside at my little table under the umbrella typing letters and making notes for some sort of writing work in process.   Last week I took a spontaneous two hour drive to the Mesa Typewriter Exchange and bought this little beauty.

IMG_8281It was sold under the Singer name (sewing machines) but was really made by Royal.

It was actually a pretty crazy thing to do and I was lucky Bill had any for sale, he mostly does repair work. ¬†I had four options though and tried them all out. ¬†This one felt the best and was a cool color. ¬†Double bonus, it was the cheapest of them (pretty rare as I usually pick the most expensive) and came with a smashingly smart case (pictured behind the typewriter above) stamped “Made In Holland”. ¬†My first Dutch item!


Random Rambling: True Words

True conversation at the grocery store:

Woman:¬† “Oh look dear they have eggnog! ¬†Do you want some?”

Man:¬† “Well, tis the season.”

Me:¬†“No it’s not! ¬†(Said with true horror.) ¬†That eggnog is totally going to clash with your Halloween candy.”

Woman and man both look at me and kind of laugh, and then she reaches for the eggnog and I turn back to the eggs. Oops.

I worry about Thanksgiving. ¬†That one day it will be totally lost as the world jumps straight from Halloween to Christmas. ¬†If I had to pick a favorite holiday it would be Thanksgiving. ¬†The whole weekend. ¬†Football and food. ¬†The Macy’s parade. ¬†A neighborhood stroll after dinner and before dessert. ¬†Autumn leaves and the smell of roasting turkey. ¬†The movie “Rudy” and the traditional Territorial Cup game between ¬† ¬† ¬†U of A and ASU. ¬†Leftover turkey sandwiches on good bread with mayo and cranberry sauce. ¬†The annual craft fair at Reid Park and buying my locally made calendar for next year. Playing FEAST bingo and other board games. Napping. It is my ideal weekend, a nice mix of staying home and getting out, cooking and then not having to cook. ¬† ¬†A well-balanced weekend.


IMG_8272My hat rather turned out a “fright”, just not exactly the way I thought it would.

I went inside the Dollar store to look for some “bling” to add to my Witch hat and froze with fear when faced with aisles of Christmas items! Talk about a Halloween scare! ¬†Luckily I found the one remaining aisle of Halloween stuff and a few items to jazz up my hat.

Mid-Week Ramblings

Even hormonal craziness can’t keep me from doing cartwheels over this lovely autumn weather we are having: ¬†70’s and rain over the weekend, now lovely cool air and that angular autumn sunshine. ¬†It is a huge relief to open the windows since the house has been closed up since April!

At the last U of A football game we went to I noticed three things:

  1. ¬†Oddest item I have seen to date (now that we have to use clear plastic totes): ¬†a woman had a pack of post-it notes. ¬†Still can’t figure out why you would need post-its at a football game.
  2. Two rows in front of us a middle-aged woman’s shorts split from waist to hem, a really big tear, at the beginning of the game. Fortunately she was wearing “granny panties” and we didn’t have to see more than that and she did try and keep her t-shirt tugged down. ¬†Still, kind of odd having to look at that the whole game. ¬†(Of course I tried not to look but it was like a car wreck, you just couldn’t help yourself.) ¬†Luckily she didn’t stand up too much.
  3. I saw a woman with a clipboard and she had pictures you color on it. ¬†But she didn’t color them, just kept adding details with a black pen. ¬†At first I thought she was designing pages for people to color but as she put in more and more details I sort of doubted it. ¬†And the first picture she detailed said “Have a nice day bitches”. ¬†Seemed a strange thing to do at a football game but to each his own. ¬†And it was a nice night to sit outside and color. Or not color in her case but add doodles to a picture.

This is what it looked like most of Saturday!

When it rains it pours.

Getting rain where I live in the desert southwest is a rare and wondrous thing. ¬†I love rainy days but I love them best when I can enjoy them from inside the house. ¬†I don’t like to drive in the rain here as it can be quite hazardous. ¬†Because of the terrain there is usually a lot of ponding on the roads and some actually turn into washes when it rains hardish. ¬†Plus most people here suck at driving in rain. ¬†They don’t slow down or allow extra stopping distance or avoid that huge puddle which has now blinded the driver in the next lane. ¬†And yes they will tailgate you if you slow down.

That being said now that I have the Subaru I don’t drive my Saab in the rain. ¬†My Saab is not replaceable and I really love that car. ¬†Plus the Subaru has more ground clearance and all wheel drive so it just makes sense to drive it in the rain. ¬†Unless of course your husband’s truck won’t start.

It was pouring rain (rare) and an equally rare Saturday where we had to be in two different places.  So I told my husband to take the Subaru and I would take the Saab.  Only one problem, the truck is in the driveway behind the Saab in the garage.  So in the pouring rain we had to push the truck out into the street.  Ever tried to steer a truck without the power steering?  I ended up pushing because it was easier!  At least we had a tiny slope to work with.

And then when my husband got back he tried to start the truck again that afternoon and it started. ¬†He left it parked on the street as I was still out in the Saab. That night he was going up to Phoenix to a hockey game and I told him to take the Subaru just in case. And ¬†when he got home he went to move the truck back into the driveway, no of course it didn’t start. ¬†So we called AAA on Sunday who confirmed it wasn’t the battery (my original diagnosis was the starter, we’ll see if I am right) and we got it towed to the shop up the street where the Saab was already scheduled to get a new tire (slow leak that has been driving me nuts, they already tried to fix it once) on Monday.

So now I am worried, things happen in threes so I take that to mean something should go wrong with the Subaru.  At least that car is under warranty.  And my husband will be driving it until the truck is fixed so hopefully if something does go wrong he is the one that will be stranded.  Wow, that was mean but really who wants to be stuck on the side of the road?

But life is good, cooler weather is here!

Picture is from Toronto this summer, a lovely autumny orange color though.




Mid-Week Ramblings

The mac and cheese incident

I don’t want my son to be one of those kids who gets to college and has no idea how to feed himself so I am slowly helping him to learn his way around the kitchen. ¬†We have started small (he’s only 10 so we have time) and he can now make scrambled eggs. ¬†The rule is I have to be in the kitchen when he does this.

And I also supervised him making single serve mac and cheese.  The one that comes in a cup and you add water and microwave, not too difficult (or so I thought).  The first few times I supervised but last week-end I was in my office upstairs and he yelled up asking if he could make some.  So I said go ahead and kept on working,  with one ear open but not really expecting any problems.

“Mom, there is smoke coming out of the microwave!” I hear a small panicked voice yell. ¬†The spouse goes down first and I follow expecting to find a dying microwave (it came with the house and I am guessing it is at least 15 years old). ¬†Instead it smells like burnt popcorn and my husband holds up a melted plastic cup. ¬†Turns out small child forgot to add the water. ¬†He will not be appearing on “Kid’s Baking Championship” anytime soon.



Frankly the grocery store being full of Halloween candy already really irritates me. ¬†Who needs to buy candy two months early? ¬†Especially here where it will be all melted by the end of October. ¬†Do people fear a dearth of candy? ¬†That there won’t be enough for everyone? ¬†Seems to me there is plenty of candy in the stores year round.

I was sharing these thoughts with a fellow blogger and had an epiphany.  For Halloween this year I can dress up as Mrs. Claus or an Elf and hand out Christmas candy, which I am sure will be quite plentiful in October.  Maybe we should put up our Christmas decorations along with Halloween? NOOOOOOOOOOO!

I feel like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” now occurs every year. ¬†I want to enjoy each season, each holiday in it’s own time. ¬†It is August, still triple digit heat, still swimming, popsicle and shorts weather. ¬†I don’t want Halloween being shoved in my face until October.

Dying zinnias do a look a bit autumnal. (no…bad tracey, still summer, at least wait until after Labor Day to start thinking fall thoughts!)

Have a good week (if you want to, no pressure)!