Friday, January 27, 2012

Russ' Surprise 70th B-day party

held on Boxing Day (12/26) 2011


On Saturday January 28th, my favorite uncle (well truthfully, my only uncle really) turns 70. He's not the first one to reach that milestone in our family. That would be my father-in-law who did it first in 2009. Both look pretty good for their age and are in good health, which I hope I'm blessed with when I'm in my golden years.

When thinking about that whole aging thing, I'm not sure I can picture myself growing old gracefully since my favorite t-shirt says, "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." Some days the teenager in me has control. Other days it's the old person calling the shots. I doubt I'll be a member of the 'Red Hat' club either, but I like their style.

Anyway, here's to you Russ. Best wishes for many more happy years to come!

Monday, January 23, 2012

3 Horoscopes for the New Year:

Not that I am someone who regularly checks her horoscope (only when I am reading Columbus Alive and The Other Paper), but I thought it would be fun to see what advice they had for me for the new year. By the way, I am a Pisces.

1) Go ahead and make that resolution to live a healthier life. Consider pulling together a few friends or family members and make a date to skate, play ball, or exercise together.

2) One of Alexander the Great's teachers was Aristotle, who was tutored by Plato, who himself learned from Socrates. In 2012, I'd love to see you draw vital information and fresh wisdom from a lineage as impressive as that, Pisces. In my astrological opinion, you need much more than a steady diet of factoids plucked from the Internet and TV. You simply must be hungry for more substantial food for thought than you get from random encounters with unreliable sources. It will be time for you to attend vigorously to the next phase of your life-long education.

3) This weekend you are meant to formulate your dreams for the future. While giving and receiving gifts is lovely, the chance to plant the seed of your ideal life comes only once a year. Santa can bring you a camera, but only you can decide what you want to capture with it. Wednesday is a perfect day for listening to (and singing along with) your heart. Turn off the I-Pod and make your own music.

So, how have I followed their advice so far? Like most other people, I always resolve to eat healthier. As you read in my previous post, I've decided to try not to eat more than a single piece (or two) of chocolate for dessert when I am at home. Otherwise, I find it too easy to open the cupboard and graze on whatever's in front of me, especially later in the week. I am going to exercise more willpower here. I'm not much for team sports, so no plans to do anything physical with the family. However, I did enroll in a Tap Dancing class, in which I share the floor with several other ladies (and one man!). It's a decent enough work out when you're tapping your way across the floor. Not only are the steps harder than they look, it's also difficult at times, to tap hard enough to make a sound. However daunting all this might be, I haven't given up yet, and plan to see it through to the end (by the end of Feb.).

As far as finding someone to further enlighten and educate me, until Oprah agrees to be my own personal guru and spiritual advisor, I'm still on the lookout for that person. In the meantime, I try to listen to my mother and my doctor, and even occasionally my husband : P

My dreams for the future....

To have a big enough house that I either have a walk-in closet, or enough spare rooms to convert one of them.

To publish a book, become rich and famous with no pressure to make every book an instant bestseller, and no pressure to write all the time. Oh, and to also have a Golden Retriever lying at my feet while I write, just like Dean Koontz.

To star in a hit movie - the kind that people will always look back on fondly. I'll be happy knowing I was part of it, and that it will be my legacy.

To be a famous photographer with photographs permanently on display at all the big museums around the world.

Okay, so some of these goals are more attainable than others, but if they were all easy, they wouldn't necessarily be dreams.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My New Year's Resolutions

1. Watch one old black and white movie per month.
(maybe start with "The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart).

2. Read a book a week.
(I've quite easily accomplished this task for several years running).

3. Try to play disk frisbee at least once.
(before I finally get rid of the frisbees I bought for this).

4. Write in my blog once a week.
(Okay, not making a great start so far, but will strive to be better about this).

5. Get rid of one thing a day.
(pretty easy, but I don't think food and packaging should count).

6. Learn how to actually use my Nook color.
(I'm at least reading a guide book right now).

7. Take up a new hobby - tap dancing.
(I start on Saturday)

8. Restrict my intake of junk food - don't partake of food others bring in, can only have one small sweet (that isn't fruit or vegetable) that is less than 100 calories Sun - Thurs. after dinner. Try not to overdo it on the weekends. Okay, this is fairly detailed, but I am really bad when it comes to eating sweets. I suppose I should also limit my intake of white wine since that's probably a contributing factor as well.

9. Try to go to the gym at least twice a week and then exercise at home at least one other day. (I have paid my gym membership, so hope to start back next week - I already used my stationery bike yesterday).

10. Make at least one new recipe per month.
(to justify all the cookbooks, magazines and recipes I've hoarded over the years).

My favorite two resolutions of Gretchen's are:

Act the way I want to feel, and Lighten up.

I am also going to try and follow Gretchen's advice to tackle big projects by breaking them down into 15 minute increments. I think the first thing on the list will be a photo album I've been putting off creating for several years. I am debating how much effort to put into this or do what Gretchen did - just get it done. It may not be perfect, but it's finished. She's right. If you don't think you'll look at it that often, then how much work should go into it? For me it's more a matter of choosing what pictures (from the hundreds of digital I took, and then of the ones I photoshopped) to put into it that have been my biggest obstacle. Then it will be a matter of remembering what order to put things into.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

new cat pillowcase

new cat pillowcase, originally uploaded by authorwannabe.

This is the front side of the pillowcase, which was made from a tea towel.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thinking Outside the Box

One of my favorite blogs is called “365 Dresses,” which is where young Marissa of southern California, takes outdated, ugly or damaged items of clothing, and turns them into something chic – usually a dress or top of some sort, but occasionally she'll make accessories. Being young and thin, most everything looks good on her anyway. Also, living in southern California, one of the warmest places in the U.S., certainly affects her style choices (like eliminating sleeves from a lot of the items).

In my own creative way , I've done something similar by transforming objects with one purpose into something completely different.

1) a t-shirt and tea towel into a pillowcase – I decided to make this because the t-shirt was way too big to wear (I already have enough nightshirts), and wanted to preserve the towel from getting too dingy. All I did was cut out the body of the t-shirt so it was more or less rectangular, and then sew it back to back against the tea towel. Someday I hope to learn how to create buttonholes so I can close up the open end.

2) two cloth tote bags into two pillows – Needless to say I have plenty of bags, including totes, so I decided to make them into cushions. First I cut off the handles and removed the pockets, then ripped out the stitching so each was a single square. I then pinned the squares back to back before sewing them on my machine. I think they look pretty good if I do say so myself. My cat particularly likes them too as she sleeps next to them (on an Ikea chair) in our spare bedroom.

3) The pockets I now use to hold spare batteries in my camera case – didn't do anything too them, but someday might stitch the openings to stop the fraying of the material.

4) a Christmas ornament turned into a necklace – It's an ornament in the shape of a martinin glass I believe, which I recently purchased in an after Christmas sale. Although it's a little big, I thought it would still be kind of cute. After trying different chains, I settled on a black shoelace-like string that I probably took off another necklace. Cheap and cheerful jewelry!

5) a couple keychains turned into necklaces – I recall, in the last few years, taking at least a couple of my keychains and putting them on sterling silver chains where they would get more use worn around my neck, than tossed into a box with the rest of my keychain collection. One was a miniature Diana camera I ordered from and the other was a heavy silver keychain with a picture (drawn in black) on it and some words in German below (a souvenir from Austria).