Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tossing spring? Nah....

Not tossing spring, just getting rid of a few spring things that I don't use anymore. This is a set of tulip decorations ~ a basket (makes a great candy dish!) and a pillar candle base. I bought them together, so I'll count them as one.

Here's a close-up of the tulips. It really is a cute set. It just doesn't go with any of my decor at all.

I did make one purchase today. Technically it is for Bailey, but I'll count it. It's a spray adapter for the tub to make bath time easier.

In return I am getting rid of this lightweight robe. It used to be part of a set, but the nightie has long since gone away. I have several lightweight robes and this one never gets worn anymore. I'm packing this to take to Ireland and will leave it behind at the end of the trip. It will make a nice lounging robe for mornings and evenings.

That will do it for today. Good night!

Spring is springing

March is coming to a gentle close tonight, and April will be coming in with sun and showers and hopefully warmer weather. It has been a busy month. I have been working hard in the apartment, bagging up stuff to give to the Rescue Mission and the women's shelter, organizing the "guest" room, pulling spring things out and packing away the winter frocks. I have also been working outside (Bailey loves that part *grin*), raking and weeding and clearing out the pots in preparation for the flowers (and maybe even some veggies this year).

March was designated as the month of beginning more exercise, and that has been going pretty well. The calorie counting and healthy eating has become a way of life after just 2 months. I gained 18 pounds when I quit smoking (7 months ago ~ hooray for me!!), and as of this morning, I have lost 9 of those pounds. WooHoo!!! I'm truly appreciating the flavours of really good food. Seafood and lean meat, fresh veggies, chicken, salads and soups made flavourful with the right seasonings. Low calorie doesn't have to be low taste, I have discovered. And eating breakfast really does help. And when I exercise, I have enough spare calories for ice cream. That's always a plus!

The past three months I have set a goal for myself that has been practical and sensible and "good for me" in a very obvious way. In January I started this blog and began the project of getting rid of the excess stuff in my life. In February I began counting calories and being aware of my eating patterns and habits. In March I began consciously moving my body more.

For April, I have decided my goal is exploration. I want to get out and find places that are nearby that I have never been. I want to take pictures of nature that I drive by without even really noticing. So, from now on, I am going to try and plan (or not plan) and just go somewhere at least once a week. After work, on the weekend, before work if I'm in late, on my off days. I want to do fun and different (and cheap) things. I may have some different pics to post here from it; we'll see. It's time to be good to me not just in body, but in spirit and soul. It may not always work out to once a week, but I'm going to do my best.

Now a bit of a side note ~ For those of you who have been following all along, thanks for your support, your comments and your overall presence. This has become much more than I anticipated when I first thought up the plan and began the blog. It really means a lot to me to know that there are other people interested in my little life. You all inspire me to be better; I hope in some small way, I can do the same for you!

For those of you who have just stumbled onto me recently, I hope you enjoy the ride; it's been fun so far. :)

p.s. ~ the pictures in today's post are flower shots I took while in Ireland in 2003. Hope you like them. They make me feel like spring is really here.

It's all about the convenience....

The question was where would I get my news if newspapers went away...

I do read the news on the Internet. I admit it. I don't subscribe to a newspaper. Personally, I don't think my local fish wrap is worth the cash. I am thinking of subscribing to the Syracuse paper, but I haven't yet. And if I do, it will be weekends only, so I can get the coupons.

I read my news on the Internet. Does that make me a bad person? I don't think so. It makes me efficient, I guess. I am already on there, might as well read the headlines. Sometimes I even click on a link and read a whole article. It really doesn't take me long. I only read the score for sports, and the occasional article or editorial if it pertains to my team. I have very little interest in pop culture, and the new movie times and reviews are all available on my iPod. It's mostly the main US and World news; let's face it, I don't really want to read most of it. It's too depressing.

I get most of my favourite columns in either email or RSS, so there's no loss there. That way I can read a week's worth (or a month's worth) in one fell swoop without a month's worth of papers piling up. (It's bad enough I let the magazines sit there until the piles topple over.)

I also subscribe to several newspapers vie email. They are all from Ireland, Scotland and the BBC, though. What can I say, I'd rather watch the BBC shows and movies, too.

I will say, though; I miss the comics. They are just not the same online.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A whole year of Irish

The question was if I could only have one type of food for a whole year, what would I choose....

In 2003 I spent just over two weeks in Ireland with several other women. And did we ever eat well. Fresh seafood, fish and chips, Guinness stew, beef and ale pie, fresh cheeses and good ale, solid pub food. Even the breakfasts were delightful ~ whether a full Irish breakfast for those action packed days of climbing castle towers, or yoghurt with fruit and muesli for the lighter days of city exploration, it was always fresh and delicious. Yeah, I could happily eat for a year the way I ate in Ireland for two weeks. Of course, I'll have to walk everywhere and climb a lot of stairs to equal the calories I burned exploring the Emerald Isle!

These boots are made for....

Well, actually, they are made for someone other than me. They fit. But they just are uncomfortable to me. Maybe I am just too much a girly-girl. I don't think that's it, though. I like getting down and dirty with the best of them, and I don't mind getting messy when at work or play. I have just never liked work boots. And now they even make them with little spike heels. Ridiculous. Like that's fooling anyone.

Anyway (sorry about the rambling aside), here they are.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A crazy week and we're back to Sunday

This was quite a week. Crazy busy at work. A fantastic night at the theater to see The Drowsy Chaperone. That's a terrifically fun show that I highly recommend for any musical fan. Then there was the week in NCAA Basketball. *sigh* Well, the Big East has 2 in the Final Four, but my beloved SU Orange are home and awaiting next season. Ah well. Go 'Nova! Go UConn! Go Pitt... Wait, yes, that right, Pitt lost, too. *smirk*

Ok, I have a whole week's worth of stuff to give away, plus one for a gift. More on the gift in a minute. For the week, I have decided to give a handful of DVDs to the library. There's eight of them, for a full seven day week. A fair trade, I think.

They aren't even opened. They have been sitting, collecting dust, in my living room for ages. They have lately been doing duty as the stop for my exercise ball. They do a bang up job of keeping it from rolling around the room. I guess I can find another ball stop. Maybe my hand weights; then perhaps I'll remember to use them. :)

I do have one acquisition to make up for this week. I actually received it 2 weeks ago, and promptly forgot to log it. I got it home and hung it up right away. Here it is:

It is a doily my grandmother crocheted in 1978, just before her death. My mom framed it for me, and that's why I hung it up immediately. I just love it. Enough to part with a pair of shoes, even.

These are nearly new. Very cute. very comfy. But they have little gold buckles and I never wear gold. So, out they go.

And that's it for the week. I'll try to get back on track and do a better job of regular reporting. No promises, mind. Happy Sunday!

A million stars upon which to wish

Wow, a million dollars. After taxes, I am assuming. :) It seems like such a tremendous amount, and yet with all of the pundits tossing around totals in the billions and even trillions....

The first hundred thousand would go to my nephews. Actually, a hundred thousand each. For college, I hope. They wouldn't be able to touch it before then, but I'm not sure I'd make college a requirement. Then a hundred thousand to my parents. They've done so much for me; maybe I could get them that much closer to a comfortable retirement.

One hundred thousand to my church. The people, the peace, the sanctuary and the joy has gotten me through times both terrible and exhilarating.

The East Syracuse Free Library would get one hundred thousand. I knew as soon as I started working there as a page, at the age of 16, that I was going to be a librarian.

My current library would get 200,000. There would be conditions. Some would be dedicated to Children's services. That is my specialty, after all. Some would be earmarked for an addition. We desperately need a programming room/auditorium. The rest would be in trust for the general operating budget.

The Red Cross helped to get me through one of the most awful times in my life. I had a house fire and lost just about everything. They deserve $50,000.

The last $150,000 would be split between different cancer research. Ovarian, esophageal and lung.

There. A million dollars, a million dreams, a million wishes. Piece of cake. So, who's giving away the cash? ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Where the Red Fern Grows" still makes me cry

I signed up for a new site today; Plinky. It's writing prompts, blogging ideas, inspiring questions ~ that sort of thing. I don't know how many of them I'll push over here; I may start a new blog for them if I like it that much. But here's the first one. (And I know I am a week behind reporting on discards. I have been busy this week, but I have been following the plan and documenting things all week. I just have to sit down and get the pics up to the blog. Tomorrow. I promise.)

It was fifth grade. Everyone (all 3 classes) was reading "Where the Red Fern Grows" in study hall. We had a sub; her name escapes me. I think it was the gym teacher. So, there we were. 60 or so fifth grade kids reading quietly. Then one of us started to cry. And then another. The next thing you knew, the whole room was in tears. Sobbing hysterically as only a dramatic fifth grader can. And there stood the teacher. A class of crying kids with no idea why and no idea what to do about it. And so she stood there and cried.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Settling back in

I have had a great time these past few weeks, shopping and collecting necessary things, getting rid of extra items all along. But now it's time to settle back in and focus more on the pount ~ de-cluttering my house and my life. Plus, I am going to Ireland in 59 days, so I need to focus again on saving spending money.

This was a great weekend. Well, part of it; I did have to work through Saturday. It's March Madness, though, so basketball has taken over much of my life. More on that in a bit.

I have had time to select a few choice things to donate and give away.

For Thursday and Friday, I have the pillow shams that match the comforter I no longer have. and a hair color stained bathroom rug that I haven't used in a long time. I'm actually not sure ahy I have held on to them, but they are going now.

Saturday was a great day. Well, once work ended it was great. My Dan came in and he and I had a double date with my parents for Celtic Thunder. It was crazy and loud and funny and packed with teeny-bopper girls who screamed (remember the Beatles and Elvis? Like that), but it was a great show and it was wonderful to spend the time all together. So, for Saturday, I have a wonderful coat that I just don;t wear any more. I have been thinking about giving it away for a while now, and it's time.

It's washable suede and lined with some kind of fake fur. Very luxurious and soft and rich-looking, and I wore it a lot for several years. Now it's time to let someone else enjoy it.

I may regret this one (first time I've felt that way), but if someone enjoys it as much as I have, it will be worth it.

Today was a kind of lazy day. My Dan and I planned more of our Ireland trip. The tickets and vouchers came in and we selected our top 3 B&Bs for each stop. We watched SU win the second round game ~ WooHoo!!! And just bummed around for the day. So it seems apropos to give away a t-shirt for today.

I actually gave it to Mom last night. It's in perfect shape; it's just shorter than I like my t-shirts.

Okay, confession time. I have another t-shirt that I need to give away (also went to Mom last night).

Isn't it cute? It's also a bit too short for me. And I had an extra thing to give away because I did make one purchase this week. I bought the SU Marathon Men shirt. I just couldn't resist; it's a once in a lifetime thing. I can't take a pic as I am wearing it right now. :) So click here and you can see it.

Go SU!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Must stop shopping....

I had another shopping spree this weekend. The stuff I got is all pretty boring, and most of it is practical. A lot of it is even helping me to organize and economize.

Let's see, I bought: 2 rubbermaid tubs, 1 plastic storage chest with drawers (for craft stuff), an extension cord, an adapter for the car so I can plug my iPod and cell phone in a the same time, a little organizer for coupons, a set of solar lights for the yard and a set of cushions for the kitchen chairs. That's 8 things. Plus I have Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (today) to account for. A total of 12 things. So, here we go....

I'll start by saying that I have a multitude of tote bags. I'm willing to part with these three for now. This one is from the Book of the Month Club.

This one is from a library vendor, JanWay.

And this one is from a NYLA annual conference.

Next we have this collection of hangers that I never use. Note the funky tops. They all came with 2 piece clothing sets, and I was so sure I'd use them. Nope.

These are ponchos. Four of them; a blue one, a cream one, a purple one and a black one. I used to wear them all the time. Not any more.

My old motorcycle helmet.

And finally, three never used stuffed friends that are being donated to the local women's shelter for any kids that may be there. It's a scary world, and a stuffed friend can make it seem a little softer. I know; I still have the one that was given to me after my fire.

That's it. Twelve things out the door. Now I am going to stop shopping for a while!

Go SU!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sweaters, shoes and suitcases

This was a fairly uneventful week. Well, except for the late nights watching the 'Cuse win in OT at the Garden all week. Go SU!!

I have 4 days (plus a purchase) to select things for. I have started going through my winter clothes in prep for putting them away and getting the spring stuff out. So I have three sweaters, a pair of shoes (yes, shoes) and a suitcase.

First the sweaters:
A red one that is very cropped.

A purple striped turtleneck that I haven't worn is a few years.

And a fuzzy baby blue one (enough said, I think).

Plus, I have this lovely pair of green shoes. What was I thinking, you ask? I have no idea. They look like leprechaun shoes!

That catches me up to today. Now for the purchase I made.

I have always wanted a purple suitcase. And the other day, while I was in Marshall's, I saw this one:

Isn't it gorgeous?? And it's a Nine West bag!

Listed at Macy's for $280!! Well, I told myself no and left the store. (I did get a new set of sheets, and packed an old set away to donate, more about that later). That night I had a dream (I know, very cliche) that I was in an airport luggage pick up surrounded by black suitcases and couldn't find mine. Hey, it was a sign. I figured if it was still there... So, after work that day, I stopped by on my way home and bought it. I have a few trips coming up, so it is a practically necessary purchase. :)

And this is the one it is replacing:

It's not in terrible shape and is still usable. Just a little banged up:

Here's what I am going to do. I'm going to use the old suitcase to pack away any household goods and other items that are still useful; and when it's full, I'll donate it all to the local women's shelter. That's where the sheets will go, as well as some towels I have replaced and other goods and clothing.

That's it for today. I'll probably be back on Monday with more. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shopping Spree (part 2), paying the piper....

And so the time has come to pay for the shopping in which I indulged this past weekend. At last count, I have 17 items to select to be discarded, including today. Here's what I've got:

Four belts. A black one, a wide brown, a silver southwestern one, and a sparkly silver one:

Four purses. A silver one, a blue one and two biker saddlebag style.

A "bitch" bracelet from my days on the back of a bike. Seriously, what was I thinking?

A little bitty pair of dolphin earrings.

A broken dragonfly necklace charm.

A broken necklace. I liked this one a lot. I have no idea how it got broken or where the missing parts are.

Two gold pins, in perfect working order, but they are gold. I'll find someone to give these to, I'm sure.

A broken thistle pin. This one isn't from my travels or anything, it was just a pretty pin that broke.

Ditto, this Irish horseshoe pin.

A southwest style necklace that I have rarely worn, and not at all in the past several years.

And, finally, a tiny hummingbird charm. Very pretty, but hummingbirds just aren't my thing.

This brings me to a grand total of 17 items, some to toss, some to gift, some to donate. I'm now caught up to today. Huzzah!

Shopping Spree (part 1)

I can't believe it's Tuesday already! I know I have some real catching up to do, but first I have a confession to make. I did something this weekend that I haven't done since this project began at the start of the year. I gave myself permission to shop. I went to Target and a few other stores (I even went to Amazon.com) and allowed myself to buy stuff. And you know what? It was really hard. *grin* I found myself making excuses to myself about why not to buy something. Forever it has been the other way, and now I have broken the habit of justifying purchases.

Now, don't get me wrong; I did shop a bit. Let's see, I got:

A new DVD to add to my musical collection. One of my favourites, too!

A CD at a concert (a night at the pub, actually, with live music) on Saturday night. Great night, great music, fantastic food and drink ( a bit too much of both of those...), and wondrous company! Poor Ould Goat rocks!

Two journals (one to take to Ireland in May, the other just because)

A water bottle for home and travel (to go with the new Brita filter pitcher, of course *grin*)

A neat travel mug for tea. It has a place to put the tea bag or loose tea, then you pop it down into the hot water and pop it back up when your tea is steeped. I just couldn't resist!

A new travel hair dryer and a new hair brush.

And finally, five (yes, that's right, five) new pretty t-shirts.

So, that's 13 things. Plus Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. A grand total of 17 items and I'll be caught up. Stay tuned for part two to see the discards.....

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