Sunday Matters: A Sunday Where I Can Finally Rest!

Sunday Matters

You know how I am about grocery shopping but guess what folks? I got it ALL done Friday night! All of it. Even for the big meal on Thursday. I left work early for a doctor’s appointment, went to make another appointment for something else and the gals at the front desk told me they’d see me right then so I got two of my appointments out-of-the-way without even trying and then had time to do my shopping. So glad that is done. Now, I can enjoy my week off.

As for the appointment and the health issues I mentioned the other day, my doctor didn’t seem as concerned with my low iron or the shape of my red blood cells since my numbers in other areas looked really good. But he can’t seem to understand how I am functioning with the levels being what they are. He said my reserves are depleted and that I should be completely exhausted. Sometimes, I am but not always. He’s choosing to continue to keep an eye on it for now.

Right Now:

My coffee this morning is so good. I really look forward to that first cup in the morning and today’s cup is especially good. The weather is nice. Cool in the morning and evenings but warmish in between and I am just sitting here while the sun streams in through the window. The Otter Pup is on my lap and we are cozy, at least for a little bit. Gotta pick up The Girl from a sleepover and then we are off to church.

This Week:

Did I mention that I am off the for the week.? There will be some cooking on Wednesday and of course on Thanksgiving itself but that’s okay. The kids are not out of school until Thursday so I can tidy-up a little and hopefully read a lot.

Reading:

King!! Gotta finish Revival. I want to start The Rosie Effect and I need to finish up all the other stuff I have halfway read. I DID ditch The Slap and I got an ARC for a book written by a blogger called It Was Me All Along which is about her drastic weight loss and how she struggles to keep it off every day. I normally don’t read books like this but I feel as if I already know her since I’ve been reading her blog, Can You Stay For Dinner, for well over a year.

Watching:

I am still on a Lucy kick. Oh, and I guess I can share it now. The Teen got the lead in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels so of course we had to see the movie on Netflix even though it’s quite different from the Broadway show. We are very proud. He really wanted this part and he’s very excited!! To keep it all straight, he’s doing The 39 Steps in December, Annie in February and now Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in May.

Making:

I made tacos this weekend but have no idea what we’ll have for dinner tonight. My inclination is to keep the week simple since we will be in a food coma come Thursday.

Grateful for:

I am very grateful for being able to take this week off.

Happy Thought For the Week:

The smell of roasting turkey while watching Miracle on 34th Street. Also, I love the Macy’s parade and seeing all those Broadway numbers!

For those who celebrate, are you staying home this week or will you be hitting the road to see family?

My NOT So Reading Life

I swore, SWORE I would not allow a slump to hit me and it has. Not fully, but sort of. First off, this time of year is difficult. I’ve been given a rather large project and the deadline for said project is the end of the year, but I am taking a lot of time off at the end of the year so really that only gives me a good ten days to get it done. I’ve made progress though so there is hope but my mind is a little scattered lately which makes reading difficult.

Speaking of reading, this book I am reading is good, but I don’t want to read it! It’s The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. In theory, there is really nothing wrong with it but for whatever reason I am not eager to pick it up. It’s a library book that I have already renewed once but it’s messed up my 2-3 at-a-time book reading. I do have King’s Revival to keep me company, but I am reading that one slowly on purpose so that I can comment along with the other read-alongers.

I also have some health stuff going on. Not serious, as least I don’t consider it to be serious but my iron levels are at an all-time low. No one can figure out why and now my gluten-free diet doesn’t seem to be helping me anymore and I am not sure why. It’s made me tired and grumpy. Not good for the reading mojo.

My action plan? I am going to ditch the one book because it’s really screwing with me. I have recently gotten some really good ones, like The Rosie Effect and I’ve Give You The Sun and Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania. They all sound so good.

I go to the doc on Friday so we’ll see what he has to say about all of my other stuff. If I eat nothing, I feel good but I can’t eat nothing forever.

Anyway, thought I’d check in so that you didn’t think I fell off the planet or something.

This time of a year is a challenge for a lot of you, what do you find challenging right now?

Sunday Matters: Clearing House

Sunday Matters

It’s been an interesting week. The Teen is driving. He took his first lesson and he’s been driving all over the place with us. He’s not bad. Better than I expected him to be. I told him that if a zombie apocalypse should overtake us, he can at least drive us out of it. Progress.

I’ve been working on a project at work and it’s coming together. It taps my creative side so it’s nice to use that part of my brain. However, my eyes! All that close computer work is really getting to my eyes which affects my reading, to a degree. I just load-up on eye drops and tough it out because let’s face it, the act of reading must continue or I’ll lose my mind. It’s my only break in the day.

Right Now:

As I sit here enjoying my first cup of coffee, I am pondering my house and all the stuff in it. TOO MUCH STUFF. Which is why we ended up in debt, no sense trying to hide it. I used to buy stuff all the time, especially when the kids were younger. That stopped years ago when furloughs hit and my husband’s business started to tank. I’ve learned a lot from the experience. Mostly, that I am happiest when I don’t have a lot of stuff. Sitting here, warm, under a blanket with  my family around me is really what makes me happy. Not the stuff that I’ve accumulated throughout my life.

Live Simply

Source: Pinterest

I hate clutter. Hate it with a passion so I am always tossing stuff out but I am thinking there is a lot more than can go. Especially since I’ve come to terms with it all and accepted that I will never be a “spender” again. I see all of the waste and it makes me physically ill. After church today, I plan to go through the garage to see what can go. It’s not all that relaxing but it makes for a satisfying day.

Also, if any of you struggle with simplifying, like I do, check out this awesome post on how to become ‘unbusy’.

This Week:

Not a whole lot going on this week. Same old rehearsal stuff but no extra meetings or anything that I know of. I guess I will be picking up a few things in preparation of Thanksgiving. The Girl wants to pick out another puzzle to do that day. We sucked when we tried to do the last puzzle. It was a Titanic theme, so cool, but it was all blue and dark and there were too many pieces, it was too large and the pieces were too small. I kept having to get up close to it to see it and that was a major pain. The eyes. Them again. They betray me these days.

What else? I have a door that needs painting. Exciting, huh?

Reading:

A group of us are reading Stephen King’s Revival for #ReviveMe2014. It is so hard to pace myself when reading this book. It’s not like we have a schedule or anything but usually King’s books have some heft and this one does not. It’s relatively short, for him, so I find myself rationing out bits to myself here and there. I am really liking what I’ve read so far but where is he going with it? It has been advertised as his return to true horror but as of yet, I don’t see it. It’s a good story though. He always tells a good story.

Watching:

I did end up watching Snowpiercer. The first hour totally sucked. Good premise but it was weird and strange and dark and seemed way over the top with some of the acting. One of my friends said she walked out of the theater, it was so bad. That first half was horrible, but the second half was pretty good, or at least I feel it redeemed itself.

American Horror Story continues to be all about Dandy. What a strange character. I find myself loving his Man Child ways. When he loses it, I lose it. I find him so interesting.

The Walking Dead fizzled out a little with the last two episodes but I know how it works. Back story for any of the characters always slows it down but then it picks up again. I am expecting a lot of action tonight.

Still watching a lot of I Love Lucy and yes, Chrisley Knows Best and Kendra On Top. I think I just lost bonus points with you all for admitting it but those shows, along with all their drama is what entertains me at the end of the day.

Making:

After attending the Newhall Old Town holiday lights kick-0ff  last night, I opted to enjoy a cheese tamale and did not go to the market. That means I have nothing in the house to cook. My family abandoned me for church this morning so maybe if I go to an earlier service, I can hit the market on my way home. Still not sure what to make tonight though.

Grateful for:

Very grateful for our beautiful home. It may not be perfect but it’s cozy and with this red-flag wind warning, I am very happy to be inside, nice and warm.

Happy Thought For the Week:

This week I am saying goodbye to the glorification of busy. I know lots of people who thrive on a full calendar but that’s not me. I am going to start blocking out time in my planner that is just for me.

What are you doing this week that is just for you?

Holiday “Creep” and Keeping it Real

Give Thanks

What is it with everyone this year?

Christmas began to creep into stores early October and now it’s full-blown Christmas everywhere you go. I used to love waking up the day after Thanksgiving and seeing the stores transformed into a Christmas wonderland. It signaled the arrival of Christmas and it was so exciting!

This year, I am struggling with it. I love Christmas for a lot of reasons but I love Thanksgiving too and I feel as if it’s getting the shaft big time this year. How do you avoid the holiday “creep”? Or do you? Maybe you just give into it. I feel pressured to start my shopping but you  know what happens when I shop early? I forget how much I’ve gotten and I end up with a lot of extra stuff and really, none of it is needed. Sometimes, I even forget to wrap stuff and find it later! That has happened to me at least three times.

This whole holiday thing has really been on my mind lately. Has it been on yours? When I get  like this, it helps to jot stuff down that makes me happy and I invite you all to join me. I’m grateful for so many things and taking a moment to focus on Thanksgiving keeps it real.

Things to look forward to between now and Thanksgiving:

  • Slowly planning the holiday meal. Usually I make the same things but there are a couple of new dishes that I add to mix it up a little. This recipe, was a new dish that I tried when I went gluten-free and it became a staple.
  • Time off! I am taking the week of Thanksgiving off. I try to every year, but this year with all of the job changes at work, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to. I’m looking forward to the time off.
  • Coming up with my Thanksgiving reading list. I’ve got the week off, I must have stuff to read. I don’t always stick to the list but it’s fun to make one.
  • Sitting down with my December calendar and having a come to Jesus moment. Mapping out December can be a little stressful for some, but I take comfort in knowing what I’ve got coming up. I geek out when it comes to my planner.
  • If the weather cools down, it will be nice to take some walks with the Otter Pup. It’s been warm so I’ve left that job to The Hub but as the decorations go up, it’s fun to walk around the neighborhood.
  • Coming up with my holiday playlist. For both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I tend to not listen to music all that often. Weird, but around the holidays I really like it.
  • Movie watching! I watch a lot of movies this time of year. A must-watch movie: A Miracle on 34th Street (1947). It puts me in the mood for Christmas. We usually watch it on Thanksgiving day.
  • Spending Thanksgiving day with my immediate family which is just the four of us and the pup. We lounge around in our pajamas, eat and eat and just enjoy each other’s company. I cherish this time together.

Your turn! What are you looking forward to between now and Thanksgiving?

 

Sunday Matters: Countdown to Thanksgiving (I think)

Sunday Matters

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love it so. I’ve been thinking about the meal and our day-long pajama party. What could be better? The fact that Christmas has been pushed upon us so soon, really gets to me! Just a few years ago, you’d wake up the day after Thanksgiving and everything would be transformed and you’d be anxious for Christmas. Not now. Sigh.

Of course, time seems to be flying by too. Tuesday, The Teen takes his first in-car driving lesson. He’s also looking at colleges. I think The Girl has skipped over the Tween stage and gone right into Teen. She’s been a real treasure lately. Smirk.

Last night we hit the ice rink. Everyone was bundled up in coats and scarves which was funny given it was close to ninety degrees yesterday. Us West Coasters try really hard to create seasons for ourselves but it’s not working out that great.

The first shot is The Teen and his girlfriend. The second is The Girl and her friend, The Girl is on the right.

Ice Rink

Right Now:

Sitting here with a cup of coffee as the rest of the house sleeps. It’s a beautiful day and yes…sunny!

This Week:

Driving lessons, Annie rehearsals and some doctor stuff.

Reading:

  • Driftwood by Elizabeth Sutton (REALLY enjoying this one)
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (at a suburban BBQ a man slaps a child who is not his own. Drama!)

Watching:

The same two shows that I always watch, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead. Both happen to be really good this season. I saw that Snowpiercer is on Netflix instant view. I’d love to sneak that one in today,

Making:

Even though it’s warm out, I am craving chicken noodle soup. Yes. NOODLES. I’ll use gluten-free ones which won’t quite be the same but so be it. When you’ve got a craving, you gotta satisfy it. I think biscuits are called for as well. Mmmmm.

MS soup

Grateful for:

I am grateful that I am able to take a good chunk of time off for the holidays. I’ve got Tuesday off for Veteran’s Day but I will be taking Thanksgiving week off and a couple of weeks around Christmas. I LOVE and need this time off.

Happy Thought For the Week:

Stephen King’s new book comes out on Tuesday. Revival is said to be his return to TRUE horror and of course I am hosting a read along for it. If you want to read it with us, you can check out the details here:

ReviveMe 2014

 

What are you grateful for today?

Sunday Matters: Finally, a Fall Weekend with Clouds and Everything!

Sunday Matters

How was everyone’s Halloween? Ours was great. We had quite a bit of candy left over because guess what…it rained! Yes! Not much, but it was cold and breezy and a little wet out there so I think a lot of families opted to stay home. The Girl had her friend over and The Teen had his girlfriend over and it was a really nice time. We watched The Tingler and The Teen and his girlfriend watched Psycho. Pumpkins were carved, seeds were roasted and plenty of candy was munched. All in all, a good night.

Right Now:

At this moment, I am looking forward to my first cup of coffee. A little dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and I am good. Oh, can’t forget the cream. After coffee and a quick bite, we are off to church which I am really looking forward to. The series we are in right now is on family and how it’s not always perfect. The timing of this series could not be better. The holidays are coming up and there are some issues with my side of the family that tend to bring me down. They are out of my control but I can’t help it.

This Week:

Not much going on this week. There are a few rehearsals and book club but I think that’s it. I went to the mall yesterday and it FELT like the holidays were right around the corner. Honestly, if the kids were not with me I would have picked up a few gifts but they were, so I didn’t. This week, I am going to think about my strategy for this holiday season. I really want to tone down the commercial aspect and focus on family.

Reading:

I haven’t started anything new. I am still in the middle of several books. I really want to start The Rosie Effect though. I may, but only if I can make a little more progress in my one reading club book, Five Days at Memorial. My club meets to discuss it this week so I really need to finish it.

Watching:

As I mentioned above, I finally watched The Tingler, a classic horror movie starring Vincent Price. It was good and campy. With the weather the way it’s been, cloudy and cool, I’ve been getting my Lucy fix and watching back-to-back episodes. I DID manage to watch Halloween and Halloween II as well, I love those movies.

The Walking Dead is on tonight so I will for sure be watching that. A word about last week’s episode of American Horror Story, so sad. I almost shed a tear!

Making:

Not sure yet. The Teen made pumpkin bread. Yep, The Teen! He really gets into Fall. Last night I made a chicken stir-fry for dinner but tonight? I really don’t know what we are in the mood for yet.

Grateful for:

This week, I am really grateful that my immediate family is healthy. I battle health issues related to Lupus but I have been pretty good lately. Recently, The Teen heard about a friend with some health issues and my parents have a lot of health issues and it’s just scary to think how fragile we are. You don’t think about it often and honestly, who wants to dwell on it? But as I get older, so does everyone around me. So for today, I am grateful for the health of my family.

Happy Thought For the Week:

My happy thought has to do with a book that will be out soon. Sign-up to read it with me!

ReviveMe 2014
What are you up to today?

 

Sunday Matters: Rest, Regroup, Reflect

Sunday Matters

Sundays are special. They’ve really become my favorite day of the week. Friday IS hard to beat. I mean, at the end of the week I am so drained that Friday is like a breath of fresh air, but Sunday is special. Usually my errands are taken care of. Usually I get to go to church and usually, we get together as a family, at least in the evening to spend some time together.

That said, I’ve re-structured my Sunday post a little bit. My goal is put the past week to rest and focus on what makes me happy.

Right Now:

Right now, I am enjoying my first cup of coffee and let me tell you, it is gooood. I’m also enjoying coconut Greek yogurt with sliced almonds, dark chocolate shavings and toasted coconut on top. It’s my new favorite breakfast. I love it. I will hit church and then it’s me on the couch with a book.

This Week:

Nothing much going on this week. The Teen’s drama competition is over so those rehearsals end and the ones for The 39 Steps pick-up again. Annie rehearsals continue as well. I really do love that my kids are involved in theater. It’s a lot of work but it always pays off.

Friday is Halloween and The Girl has a friend coming over for trick-or-treating and possible a sleep-over. She’s supposed to spend the night but there is talk of a cross-country meet the next day so I need to confirm. The Teen and his girlfriend may come over to carve pumpkins and watch a movie. Hasn’t been confirmed though.

Reading:

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
    • For a read-along and we are almost done!
  • Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
    • For book club. All about a hospital and how it managed during Hurricane Katrina.
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
    • Really, really different from what I thought it would be. It’s kind of good.
  • Driftwood by Elizabeth Dutton
    • Also very good. It grabbed me just a few pages in.
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
    • Took a break from it but I am back to it now.

Watching:

I finally got The Hub hooked on The Walking Dead. Still working on The Teen. He watches it, but claims that he is not into it. Yeah. Okay. Movie wise, I am lining up my horror flicks and trying to get them in but with The Girl around, it’s difficult.

Making:

I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes last night which will be enjoyed in lunches this week as well. Tonight, we will probably have turkey tacos.

Grateful for:

I am grateful for a lot these days. The roof over my head, my family, and that I was able to finally find a church that fits me.

Happy Thought For the Week:

This Friday I am announcing the details for #ReviveMe2014. Can you guess what it’s all about? REALLY looking forward to this.

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