Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Everyday Happenings

*In my attempt to be more purposeful I have actually seen and felt results.  Going to bed earlier, drinking lots of water, and eating wisely have made me feel much better.  I've almost finished my January book.  (my goal was to read one book a month....sounds kind of pathetic, but that's a lot for me).  I still have two days and only a few chapters left.

*If the Special K diet promises you you'll lose 6 lbs in 2 weeks, can I expect to lose 12 lbs in 4 weeks?

And, can I substitute the two healthy snacks for one can of Pringles?

**I played two of my favorite games this week.  The first was Scrabble with Billy.  We had to play quickly because we were heading out the door for an appointment; otherwise I'm sure the words would have been much more impressive. (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)

The other game I played is called the Time Life game.  Have you ever seen those infomercials from Time- Life selling CD's of different kinds of music?  Well, whenever I see that's on TV I make Bill stop his channel surfing and indulge me in the game.  I close my eyes and guess the song and artist when the snippet of the song comes on and he tells me if I'm right or not.  I LOVE it.  I know, I'm weird.  Then I make him promise that if he's ever on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and there is a trivia question about music,  I MUST be his Phone-A-Friend Lifeline.  I'm THAT good.

**A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway contest on Elizabeth Ester's blog and I WON!!  How exciting.  It was for Votre Vu lip balm and hand cream combo.  The top part of the lid flips open and holds the lip balm and a mirror; the bottom part of the lid is the hand lotion.

Isn't that fun?  It smells really good too, like almonds.  The lotion works great on my dry hands.

**I have spent the last five days obsessing about what to do in the powder room.  I am the most indecisive person I know.  At least I think I am.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day Two-Powder Room Redo

The wall paper is off.

Tommy says we should leave the blue and just paint fish on the walls.

At least he has some idea for what to do next.  I have none.  I don't know what I want.  I pretty much know the kind of faucet I want, but other than that I'm at a loss.

Here are my dilemmas:

Do I leave the slate floor in there?  This is the foyer floor that continues into the powder room.

If I leave the slate floor, will I be able to replace the vanity without damaging the floor?  I guess people do this all the time.  I may be worried for nothing.

Should I paint the vanity and just buy a new countertop?   

What about that chair rail?  It's odd.  Do we get rid of it?

I asked Bill to go with with me to peruse a few home improvement stores tomorrow. 

He's very excited. 

I'm very sarcastic.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day One - Powder Room Redo

The time has come.   It's long overdue.

After living here seven years it's time I bring our powder room into the 21st century.

Here are some before photos:

Yes, that was wallpaper on the cabinets, in case you were wondering.

So today I asked Matthew if he'd like to help me pull off the wallpaper.  He was more than happy to oblige.

After an hour of not getting very far, I remembered we had a steamer in the garage.  I watched a how-to video, and then I knew exactly what to do.  Matt poured in the water and we got back to work.

Vader supervised

And this lovely color was underneath....royal blue painted on with the sponge technique.

Hello 1989!

The steamer works like a dream.  We had fun.  More demolition tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sundays At Hillside

Who would have thought that a song on a mattress commercial could send me all the way back to my childhood, to a Sunday on Hillside Avenue.

Faithfully, every Sunday our family would head out the door at 8:55am to drive the two blocks and attend the 9:15 Mass.  Once we returned I have memories of how the day typically played out.

It might be the sound of  the CBS Morning News with Charles Kuralt on TV....I found a clip; see if you remember.

Or (and this is why the mattress commercial jogged my memory) Breakfast With The Beatles playing on the radio.  It was on every Sunday.  We had a stereo in our dining room that looked something like this.

While we all listened I would read the "Funnies", a.k.a. the comics.  Family Circus was my favorite, followed by Blondie.  Soon it would be lunchtime and my Mom would be in the kitchen making bacon for BLT sandwiches.  Every Sunday she did this.

Most Sundays my Uncle Bob and my Grandmother would come over after having gone to a later Mass and they would have lunch with us.  My Grandmother talked a lot.  At least I thought it was a lot.  I was only 13 when she died.  She had blue hair too. She was super sweet and loved chocolate popsicles, and  I really wish I was old enough to appreciate her before she died.

My Uncle Bob loved old movies and searched the TV guide (not the TV Guide magazine but the free guide that came with the newspaper) for old movies that would be on that afternoon.  He'd give us the review, say something funny, and be on his way.  Now when I see an old black and white movie on TV I stop to see what it is and if I can name the actors....something Uncle Bob was good at doing.

And if my brother Bob was playing that day, you might here the distinctive beat of the Beatles song Ticket To Ride when he played his drums upstairs.

Here at my house over the last two Sundays I made BLT's and homemade soup.  The BLT's were shortened to B's...apparently no one likes lettuce and tomatoes here.

If you're still here reading, thanks for walking down my memory lane with me.

Do you have a childhood memory anything like this one?

To hear the Beatles song In My Life, click here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Snapshots of Joy

I really need to start taking my camera everywhere with me.  I don't know if it's because everything I see now is a potential blog post or what.  On second thought, yes, everything for me now is a potential blog post.

Just in the last week these are some of the things I would have taken pictures of if my camera was with me.

**Shoe shopping with Ann and Mary.  So THIS is why it's so fun to have daughters.  (I did manage to snap a photo with my Blackberry.)  Their giggles and smiles were the best!

**A young man who had stopped to help an old lady whose car had broken down.  It was cold, the hood of her car was up, and he appeared to be waiting with her until the tow truck arrived.

**The grandfather in McDonald's Playplace with his 3 year old granddaughter.  She got a little hurt and ran right past her mom to receive a big hug and kiss from her grandpa.  You could see the love in the squeeze he gave her.

** The blurry billboard sign.  It reads, "Maybe it's time for an eye exam."  It makes me smile everytime I drive by.

**Icicles on tree branches.

**Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament- In the chapel at my parish; a baby in a manger at the foot of the altar, the crucifix on the wall, and the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament: Life, death, and resurrection in a beautiful display.

**A Cardinal

**And perhaps my favorite- Dark clouds in the sky that let rays of light shine through.
 What goes through your mind when you see that happen?

What snapshots of joy have you noticed this week?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Welcome 2013

It has been over one week since I published my last post.  The family video was a great way to end the year of blogging.  I will admit I watched it a hundred times.

However, with previous posts and after I did that video post, you might think that my family and I have cartoon hearts coming out of our eyes for each other;  that the children are just like the Brady's or that I am as perfect as June Cleaver.

It's just not true.  I just don't write about it here on this blog. 

The truth is I have really bad days.  In fact, two days after I posted that video I took two naps, flipped out on every kid, checked out by 8pm and went to bed.  So we are not like those icons from TV, but it doesn't mean I don't aspire to be.

In the blogosphere there are many women out there choosing to pick a special word to keep them focused on how they want to live this year of 2013.  For instance the word might be Joy, or Love, or Organization, Or Service.  I wasn't planning on participating in picking a word, but one word kept creeping into my head this week so I'm going to go with it.  I think it will help me a lot.

Want to know what it is?  It is.... drumroll please......


I was in the produce department at the grocery store and I had this sudden urge to buy more than the usual bananas, apples, and potatoes.  Same old, same old.  I said to myself that I need to start being more purposeful in what I buy and what I make my family to eat.  Then I thought it was strange that that word came into my mind since I don't think I've ever used it.

For the rest of the day that word stuck with me and made an appearance in my brain with every decision I was making and action I was doing.

What I ate for lunch;  why I was logging onto the computer;  what after school snack I had ready for the kids; what time I went to bed;  when did I make time for prayer?

So, for 2013 this will be my mantra :   Purposeful.

For all of the resolutions I might have made, being purposeful will hopefully help me accomplish some or maybe even all of them.

Be purposeful in the time I go to bed -- More rested and healthy.
Be purposeful in reading one chapter a night before turning out the light-- Desire to read more.
Be purposeful in NOT hitting the snooze button a million times-- Make time for daily prayer.
Be purposeful in what I eat-- Desire to lose weight.
Be purposeful in what I drink-- Less dehydrated means less hungry and hopefully no more kidney  stones.
Be purposeful in walking Vader--Exercise plus making the greatest dog in the world happy.
Be purposeful in cooking--Get Bill and kids to eat healthier.
Be purposeful in logging onto the computer--Spend more quality time with my family.
Be purposeful in watching TV--Why do I even waste my time?

It's a start, and the last few days have been quite productive, I must say.

As I write this last line I see that it's 9:59pm.  Time for bed!  Oh no wait...Chicago Fire is coming on.

Dang, this is going to be hard.