Tuesday, April 28, 2015

55 and STILL Alive...Brenden's 5th...And Limoge

                        The Grands!  Honorary and Natural:  Brenden, Emma, 
                     Jasmine, Aiden, Hannah and Kaylee (missing: Preston)

                                               My Birthday Morels

                                     Card, Roses and Cheesecake

Pearl Earrings and a Faux Fur Trimmed Winter Coat I had been Coveting

The Gift of External Speakers...Teavana Whte Peach Tea and Teapot...One Absolutely Perfect Bakery Cupcake with a candle....A Motivational Decorative Sign...A DQ Card and some extra "gardening" cash.

Yeah it was kind of like this! 
And since the neurosurgeon (in 2008) predicted I would end up in  "The Marble Orchard" by 2009...I have to admit I feel pretty damn good about turning 55.

Beginning with a luncheon with several good friends...a birthday brunch thrown for both Judy and I. Her birthday was the 22nd.It was wonderful! There were two cakes (one chocolate and one white) Then Tina and Chris showing up very early on my birthday proper for a visit...a call and Skype from Lennon...and later in afternoon a tap tap tapping on the door opening it to ALL my grands (...save Preston...) and Nicole, Tanya and James. Happy Chaos! Melissa showed up with her nearly here (June) baby bump...so suddenly we had 5 children under ten, two infants and a baby bump out back. I was waiting for one of the neighbors to wander over with birth control literature.

Saturday, Pam & I were finally able to get together at Red Lobster for what would be our 42nd Annual Birthday Celebration together. Her 56th and my 55th. We have started a new tradition of naming our "intended" lobsters. Which was kind of entertaining in a "freak the waitress completely out" kind of way. Her's was Clarence. Mine was George. And they were stuffed and delicious I might add. Celebrating not only birthdays, but 42 years of friendship together! We had a 3 hour lobster brunch and chat that was so nice! Oh and cake, of course.

Then....because you can never ever ever have too much cake ...or parties...

James scooped me up on Sunday to join them for Brenden's 5th TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) Party.

Nicole absolutely did an amazing job pulling everything together! So CREATIVE!

                                            (...make a wish...)

                              (Grandma Rose's Temporary Tattoo Booth)

                                               Sewer Slime Green Cake!

And wonderful to see Joey and James back together after all these years playing guitar just like they used to as kids. Joey, who like his brother Richard- and about a dozen other kids that used to hang out with the boys, and call me Mom, too!

And so lovely to see Joey and Ashley and the boys...now two young sons of his own.

A Wonderful time had by everyone!

Still found a bit of time to continue my Virtual France while recuperating from all the family, friends and cake. Checked out Limoge, France.  And when I finished with the area I picked up this as a souvenir (online)

For a rings/earrings trinket dish in my bath.

As soon as there is a warm up in the weather here facilitating gardening I will check the many famous gardens of France, and especially Provence and Giverny!

You have to have a plan!

More anon...

Happiness (and love) is good friends and family!

(....and maybe a long nap...)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Update: The Fast Diet Maintenance....First Year of 6:1

If it seems like forever since I've checked in...well I guess it has been a long time. I have been on the 6:1 Maintenance Plan of The Fast Diet for a full year, now. Just celebrated my 55th birthday yesterday!

And one again please pardon the "selfie"...I really AM terrible at them. But I wanted to reassure those who did stick with the 5:2 that when you move on to the 6:1 the weight really does stay off!

The 6:1 makes it easy to make minor adjustments if you see you have gained a pound or three back...you simply go back to a week or so of the 5:2 until it is gone. 

So if you are doing The Fast Diet- 5:2  Or have dropped to your desired weight and want to maintain it through the 6:1...the bottom line is that it WORKS!

The Lifestyle Change that ended yo-yo and fad dieting!

Happy Fasting!



Monday, April 20, 2015

Send in The Clowns

The BEST quote I have seen regarding the state of the US 2016 Elections was already given by Stephen King who tweeted:

"Cruz, Paul and Rubio, all running for President. Hey, I thought I was supposed to write the horror stories."

Unfortunately, not this time, buddy.

But let's not stop there...also Jeb Bush...Chris Christie...and a wide assortment of other crazies that make Hillary Clinton look like a prize...and that is pretty tough to do.

Admittedly, I am no fan of Hillary, either. She comes with a LOT of baggage of her own. And Bill's baggage...and NOBODY wants to revisit the Starr Report...and Monica has surfaced...already. Climbed out of the primordial ooze. Seriously, enough is enough. I wanted to see Elizabeth Warren run...or at the very least be Hillary's VP pick. Add a little balance to The Force.
We'll see what happens when the dust settles.

The recent crop of GOP wannabe's is so fanatical...so out there...that the best thing I can say about the GOP Presidential Primaries is that they are going to be REALLY entertaining. I'm going to watch all the debates...'cause folks you can't PAY for that level of comedy.

(...actually as taxpayers, we are...try not to think about it..)

And so glad that Mike Pence committed political suicide early on in the game...because, ironically, he could have been a real contender before the RFRA gaffe. I kind of want to send the three ultra-right-religious fanatics, that shoved him right over the edge, "thank you" notes.

And while our people go hungry and our infrastructure crumbles both sides are poised to spend a gadzillion dollars to get elected.

So there is that.

You do have to love President Obama's stroke of brilliance in the days of pre-pre-election for saying that it might be a good idea to make voting mandatory. 

And all the Republicans immediately yelled

"He can't MAKE us VOTE!" 


"Well played, Sir. Well played."

Still busy researching the candidates and their positions on the issues. Yeah...I know...what a concept. 
It's how I roll.

More anon...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Writing...Gardening...and Spring Plans!

Awaiting my "proof". Release date coming soon. The last book in my Zen Living Trilogy. I decided to go with the originally designed cover. 

And currently working on a small book of poetry

that is a Journey of The Heart for me. On completion, this one will not be made available to the general public.  
This one I am doing for myself.

A satisfying, creative day.  Pulled together the front/spine/back cover art for "The Ashes" and the Dedication page with Photography. 

Played in the plants a bit.

The Spring baskets and pots in full bloom now, and the smell of Hyacinths fills the air. The patio smells like a day at the Flower and Patio Show!  Nice to get back to morning coffee and sunrises after the long cold winter.

And only

more days until "Idgy" arrives...and "real hugs", morning coffee and chat and yes...even the "bonfire cake"!

Definitely a trip to Metropolis together and maybe Cox's Nursery for a rose or two to pot together. Oh...and wine. And chocolate, of course. Can't WAIT!

This year's plantings include

A Couple of Heirloom Climbing Roses for the Arch.

Container Roses for the patio.

A small Goldfish, Tadpole and Water Lily "pond" in a half-barrel.

Several water plants in Apothecary Jars for indoors. Mini water lilies and the like.

Herb baskets including Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Sage, Garlic Chives, Parsley, and a potted Bay Laurel.

A few Annuals. Something bright and colourful to attract both the butterflies and the hummingbirds.

And a couple of large "Air Plants"

Okay...and maybe a hanging Boston Fern.

It will be fun to be planting things together again!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


The Edge.

Yeah...it is a lot like this.  A friend/ buddy/long ago lover of mine (now deceased) and I used to call it "de-evolution"...which it was.  He battled the long term after-effects of a bad motorcycle wreck and I was just getting used the slow deterioration of my abilities, that we would find out later was a result of FRED (glioma/astrocytoma).  Yeah...we were a mess. But we laughed and called it "De-Evolving" and when my gait first got to the point I required a cane for assist , Bill and I picked out a really great Dragon handle

And my friend's advice...with a grin...when this time came, was to purchase Leather Trousers and a Harley tee-shirt...which I did.

They'll just assume you've been in a bad bike wreck!"

I sure could have used his perspective, yesterday.

I shouldn't whine.

I have been a Gypsy all my life. Travelling for me is like breathing is for other people. I have done/seen more in my (nearly) 55 years than many people do in their entire lives.

But yesterday...those facts didn't ease the impact. 

After a several day recovery from The Easter Weekend...then on Wednesday a trip across to Greenwood necessitating about an hour and a half both ways...and the following two days spent in severe pain and absolutely exhausted...feeling as though I was never going to bounce back...I realized that my ability to travel out of state for even 2-3 days was now completely beyond my capabilities.

Followed closely by the realization that I already had a trip planned and paid for to meet "Idgy" halfway in only weeks...and that my eldest had asked me to accompany him, his wife, and two of my grandchildren on their vacation in August. 

Yeah...bummer...doesn't really seem to cover it, you know.

But after a short "pity-party" 

A Bakery Cupcake.
(...to be fair...I would have eaten this anyway..)

And a few tears...I had coffee and chat with "Idgy", who immediately kicked my well-deserving pathetic ass, and let me know that

"You Aren't Getting Rid of ME that easy...You are STUCK with me...okay?"

And then proceeded to make plans to come HERE for the weekend we planned...and suggested if Greyhound actually did refund my ticket...that I should use the refunded cash to invest in a bit more wine and chocolate for our celebration in May...and maybe a fire extinguisher for the cake...lol!

 And that we were just going to adjust/adapt to the situation. 

You know what is wonderful about real friends


Just like the September DS Gathering...here...this year.

So..."Idgy" thanks for having my back...and to my DS Family...September means more to me than you can even imagine...and James and Nicole...I will always treasure the invite...and take a million pictures and share them with me. It is your turn now to Show Your Children the World!  
                                          (...see...there it is!)

 And Wednesday's trek to Greenwood was good despite the set-backs. Once again spent with Loretta, Gail, Gina, Sharon, Eric and Don. Real Friends. People who understand and care...who look past the difficulties and just enjoy life

An early morning together at Starbucks sipping Cappuccino and enjoying Almond Pastries.  Perusing the shops at the mall...smelling the new Spring Scents at Yankee Candles including Cotton Candy and Salt-Water Taffy. Two of MY favorites. Picking up Peach Bellini foaming hand soap at Bath and Body and a small bottle of shimmery Diamondesque hand gel (sparkly)  Loretta surprised me at lunch with an early birthday gift of beautiful matched 6 mm pearl earrings from the jeweler's. They go perfectly with my 6 mm necklace. We laughed. Shared Chinese. Enjoyed a treat of "Cookies and Cream Dippin' Dots" and planned Sharon's Birthday (at my house) this year. Judy and I, are celebrating ours at Loretta's later this month. 

So curtailed travel, and pain aside. Still many more good days than bad....and those days are filled with Real Friends and Family. 

And THAT is EVERYTHING, people.

Have a wonderful Weekend!



Monday, April 6, 2015


I woke up to coffee and blooms...but the kids woke up to THIS!

After spending an evening hunting these.

Plastic Easter Eggs with Glow Sticks in them.

And a Pre-Easter Afternoon with Tina and Chris (and Neville & Bennie; their Rat Terriers) complete with Easter Treats for "The Boys".

Swooped up on Sunday to spend the day with James, Nicole, Johnnie (one of my honorary sons from a lifetime ago), Brandon and Summer and their 3 kids, Aiden, Brenden, Jasmine, Hannah, Kaylee and Emma...and of course Katie (Their American Bulldog)

Listening to the guys play guitar and sing.

And fixing brats, dogs and burgers on the grill...and having an outdoor feast because it was so perfect outside!

And playing with the kids...

 and later a bonfire...by then it was getting a bit chilly out.

A Wonderful Weekend of Family, Friends, Food and Fun!