Signs of Spring

When the weather girl said there was a Nor’easter coming and we possibly might get snow (again), I was tempted to cry.   But I saw something that gave me hope that Spring was near.

These daffodils didn't get the memo that a Nor'easter is coming.
These daffodils didn’t get the memo that a Nor’easter was coming.

Last Fall, I finally got tired of arguing with myself about planting some bulbs for the Spring.  What kind do I pick?  What color?  How deep would they go in the ground?  What if nothing blooms?  This yearly argument has always ended with me say, “Maybe next time…”

Determined, I scheduled “Bulb Project” on my planner and just did it. I planted 100 tulips and 100 daffodils in my front yard.  The bulb-planting gadget that I got from Home Depot conked out around Daffodil #28.   So I ended up using a shovel and plain old elbow grease to finish the rest.

So here it is, Folks!  Signs of Spring!

Four (or 5?) tulips peeking out.
Four (or 5?) tulips peeking out.

Even though it’s still freezing outside, I’m hopeful.

Tell us, what signs do you see that Spring is near?

Project 333

Could you live for 3 months with 33 pieces of clothing?  Before you exit out, let me give you the elevator pitch of Project 333.

Picture paring down your wardrobe to 33 items, then using these items for 3 months.  Underwear, pajamas, workout clothes are all exempt from the number.  That’s the short version.  

My slogan for the year, Lean in 2014, led me to Courtney Carver‘s Project 333.  I did some more googling and Pinterest searches and found there are hundreds of people who are successfully participating in this project.

So, in January, I cleared out my closet to 33 pieces BUT kept everything that was in my drawers and other closets (my jeans, tshirts, sweaters, purses, shoes, and coats).

So what DID I actually clear out?  First to go, anything that restrictred my breathing or accentuated my muffin top.  Next, blouses, suits, dresses, and items that always seemed to get put back in the closet after trying them on.  Last,  duplicates — sometimes triplicates — (black slacks, black blouses, denim shirts, etc.).

Something amazing happened these past 3 months:  it was actually easier to get dressed in the morning.  Everything in my closet fit and I liked wearing them.  Interestingly enough, I also found that I dressed less in tshirts and sweats (which is often my uniform).

I am actually looking forward to the next session that starts on April 1st.  But, as I learned in a marketing class once, I’m a laggard (slow to enter the market, dislikes change, etc).  So, I probably still won’t be able to go ALL in.  However, I will actively work on the drawers and other closets to see what else I can put away (or donate).

I posted this early so that you guys can look into the project or your closets to see if you want to join me.  WHO IS IN?    

Lunch date with my girls

One of my many fears is that I am becoming a recluse.  So every week, I make plans to see a friend.  Today, I ventured into the city to meet these two gals – Estela and Anita.

Estela and Anita meet me for lunch!
Estela and Anita meet me for lunch!

Estela is my sister.   Anita is my sister from another miss and mister.  We always meet at this place called Ayza  because they never rush us and their chocolate martinis ain’t no joke.

I’ve read several articles that write about the importance of women friends…and I truly believe in making the effort to maintain these friendships.  Here’s a well-written post by Rachel Anne Ridge that expresses this idea:

It’s so easy to get caught up in work, the kids, husbands, etc.   But I find that when I make time to be with these girls, it really makes my day 🙂

How easy is it for you to maintain close friendships?  Please share with us your efforts.

Decluttering Projects

My dad spent summer afternoons working in my basement.  I’d bring him a snack with a glass of water, and he would shake his head and say, “Where’d you get all this sh*t?”  Still, he methodically broke down boxes, put the kids’ outgrown clothes in bins, and made things neat again.

When he died eight years ago, my world fell apart.  Yes, there was the deep sorrow of losing my beloved father…but now what?  Who would keep my junk in order?

My husband’s early attempts at throwing stuff out always played out like a scene from that show “Hoarders.”  I would start fidgeting then eventually screaming, “Don’t touch my stuff!”

I’ve found some useful sites that have kept me afloat.  By following the simple routines and missions of the Flylady, I was able to invite company to the house again.   I dabbled in Feng Shui, but it seemed too hokey and I never really knew if I charted the areas of my house right.

Last summer, the family did a “10 x 5 project,”  courtesy of the Happy Family Movement blog.  We gathered 10 things (per person) for 5 days and then donated or tossed the stuff we collected.   A painless project with great results.

I am currently trying this “40 Bags in 40 Days” project for Lent.   In theory, I work in one specific area each day and get rid of one bag of stuff per day for 40 days.  I started off strong–making a list of the 40 areas that I would cover, tying up stacks of saved Travel & Leisure and O magazines, throwing out old travel pamphlets from scrapbooks never started, and bagging outgrown clothes and shoes.  To be honest, I haven’t been working every day, but I’m trying.

I think my dad would be proud of the progress I’m making.

So tell me, how do you manage the clutter in your house?  What blogs or sites do you follow?  Help motivate me with your ideas.


Not found

NOT FOUND – It looks like nothing was found at this location. Maybe try a search?

That’s the error message I’ve been getting all morning.

Do I call my computer genius big brother to quickly bail me out?  I read somewhere that’s like asking a dentist friend to quickly give me a root canal.  My writer/director friend, Patrick, once posted on fb that he hated it when people asked him to quickly “read their scripts.”

So what now?  Do I deactivate this blog and call it a day?  Go finish the laundry?  Walk the dog?  Empty the dishwasher?  Find my pile of almost-due bills?  Cook dinner? These are all the things I’ve neglected today, while trying to solve this problem.

Did I check the FAQs on the WordPress sites?  Of course.  They lose me as soon as they start talking about FTPs and Permalinks and deleting and re-installing plugins.  Huh?

So bear with me as I figure this out…or help me come up with a way to sweet talk my brother…OR if by some blogging magic you see a “Tell me something good” box at the end of this post, then please tell me how to fix this thing!

**UPDATE:  Since I only had 6 posts written, I just decided to cut and paste them to new posts and magically, they’re fixed.  I don’t know how or why…but I found all the posts.  Yay Me!

My Workouts

I’d like to get healthy.

Surely I can’t finish this last half of my 40s in worse shape than I entered.   Can I still be carrying “baby” weight when my baby is almost 13?

I am motivated by my friend, Glenda, who is consistently training for these “mud runs” and “warrior dashes.”  But something about running through fire then climbing a wall scares me.

I think I was in shape once.  I ran a 10K and reached my goal to NOT come in last.   As I ran through the streets of Rockville Centre, praying to God that I not pass out, I vowed that would be my last race.  So what can I do to get some exercise?

I must make some real changes…and buying new bras that say, “Eliminates Back Fat” is not the way to go.

Any suggestions?  Please tell me, how do you stay in shape?


Spring starts tomorrow, but my car was covered in frost this morning.  It’s been a nasty winter.

I’d like to start a compost bin.  I’ve found so many “easy” ideas on Pinterest.  I wonder if it’s something I can actually do.

Will there be bugs…ewwww..or worse – rats?  Can I find a spot that in the yard where the sprinklers don’t hit?  Will Bojangles be able to leave it alone?

This is the summer that I’m going to try.  I’m not going to let fear or negative thoughts stop me.

Now if only I can learn how to use a drill…

Does anyone have a working compost bin?  How easy is this really?

**Here is the site for the easy composting project:

Let me know how it goes!

(Lack of) Time to read

I’d like to read more…let me rephrase that…I’d like to read something other than my Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest newsfeeds.  I can’t seem to finish a book…and my latest excuse is that my eyes get so tired.

So I’d like to write about some fabulous books that I am going to read…or maybe I’ll realize that I just can’t read as much as I used to.

I’m currently reading Amy Tan’s “The Hundred Secret Senses.”  I’m loving the dialogue and detail.

Have you ready any good books lately?  Where do you find time to read?  How do you fit reading into your schedule?


I’ve spent almost 16 years filling my house with stuff — gifts, the kids’ artwork, clothes on sale, gadgets, paperwork, appliance manuals, books, and junk.

I’ve tried Feng Shui, the FlyLady, and monthly donations to Big Brothers/Big Sisters…and yet the stuff always seems to come back.

Recently, I’ve subscribed to a few “Minimalist” blogs.  The theory is that the less stuff we have, the less stuff we are responsible for and, therefore, can live freer, happier lives.

Anyway, I’m going to see how much of the house — specifically the basement and garage — I can empty out.

Have you heard of minimalism?  How do you apply it to your lives?  Have you recently cleared space in your house?  Inspire us with your success stories.

For a much more detailed explanation, go here:

Where to?

I love to travel.  I wish we had done it more when the kids were younger because now travel competes with school, sports, music, etc.  In two years, Jackson will be going to college and then it’ll really be a challenge to make it happen.

So I am making a conscious effort this year to travel as a family.

The next trip I’m planning is a roadtrip to Louisville, KY, so Bojangles can meet his Aunt Joanie and Uncle Jimmy– planned stops include Pittsburgh, PA (home of the Steelers); Terre Haute, IN (Del’s old stomping grounds); Chicago, IL (to visit my niece Emily at DePaul University); and Cleveland, OH (not really sure why).  We’re saving money by using up some of Del’s Hilton Honors points and crashing at my brother’s house.   I’m looking forward to crossing some states off of Elena’s Bucket List.

I would love to know how others juggle family schedules with travel plans.  Have you recently planned a family trip?  Do you have any tips for traveling with a dog?  Please share with me.