Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I just read an article in the paper that said you should have those close to you make your New Year’s resolutions, and then work together on periodic progress reports during the year to see that they are achieved.

I gave up making resolutions years ago, as they were always the same and I never followed through with them……….paint each day, be more gregarious, etc., etc.  In general I am quite happy with my life, so don’t feel this great need to change it in anyway.

Now, the question is, what would those close to me suggest for my resolutions?  I am sure the first one would be to not be such a PITA (I am sure you can figure out what this acronym means) about food, clutter, etc.  I am working really hard on this as I have achieved a diet that works for me and I have a house that is clutter-free and I enjoy being in it, so my PITAness comes from trying to make others want to follow my path.

I think another suggested resolution would not to be so critical of others.  I have been working on this one too, and it has been quite successful.  I have overcome many problems in my life and I somehow expect others to do the same.  It doesn’t work that way, and I know it.  I constantly hear my beloved daughter saying “Mom, it is not your concern.”  And this is the voice I am listening to and trying to be more open in my judgment of others.

So, as the New Year approaches, I look forward to a year of many exciting changes (hopefully) for me, and to a better me, that is open to change.  And you, what would those close to you suggest for your New Year’s resolutions?

Saturday, December 24, 2011


                                                   MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Want to Smile?

This is a video that my daughter posted on Facebook of my 6 year old grandson, Eli, when he was 3.  He is always in some sort of outfit, so the gloves and hat are very fitting to his personality.  I laugh every time I watch this.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Are You Warm Enough?

As I sit here right now, I have on a Cuddl Duds long sleeve shirt, a long sleeved cotton shirt over that, and then a turtleneck, an old cashmere crewneck and a wool cardigan.  I do not turn on the heat in my Maine apartment.  Fortunately I am on the second floor, so some of the heat rises from my downstairs neighbor.   Julie’s house is always freezing, so I dress prepared…..seeing the kids running around half naked (or fully) sends shivers through me. 

At my house, I have a wood burning stove, which pretty much heats the entire area that I habitat.  I have a wonderful old wool sweater that Julie brought back from a trip to England that I wear around the house.  It is thick…..when I wash it, it takes days to dry.  It is really an old geezer sweater, but I love it.

One knows whose house is warm and whose house is less warm and whose house is downright freezing,  and dresses accordingly.  With several holiday parties coming up, one must take this into consideration when choosing which outfit to wear.  The worst is when you have dressed for cold and it turns out to be very warm and you have to excuse yourself and go to the bathroom and shed a few layers.

I see they sell fleece sheets in the stores.  The thought of crawling between those on a cold night is appealing…....but wouldn’t you be roasting by 3 AM? 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Small Pleasures

During the night, I was thinking about the small pleasures in life.  What started this line of thinking was I was too hot and I put my leg on the cool side of the bed and it was such a wonderful feeling.  And then my thoughts went to how wonderful that first cup of steaming coffee is in the morning. I got up and got that cup of coffee and am reading my book Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and serendipitously come across this line….

"Whatever setbacks he had faced in his life, he said, however daunting or dispiriting the unfolding of events, he always knew that he would make it through as long as when
he woke in the morning he was looking forward to his first cup of coffee".

And yesterday the day was filled with many small pleasures.  Julie, the kids and I went on the carriage ride around Portland, then had an early supper at Flatbread Company, followed by a drive around Portland to see all the wonderful lights.

It is hard to see the driver, but he was wonderful and it looked as though he frequently stopped for a bit of grog to keep warm.  And oh how hard it is to get 4 kids to smile a natural smile or to get me to not look like I weigh 300 lbs.........those puffy down jackets don't help!

I would love to hear some of your small pleasures.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday ramblings........

I just read that the hot new color for 2012 is ORANGE!  I look dreadful in orange.  I love how the fashion industry just decides what color will be the featured one, not taking into account that we all have different coloring.

I remember years ago going with some friends to a “Color Me Beautiful” session where they matched up the best colors for you and assigned you a season.  They would drape big swatches of fabric on you and you could immediately see what looked good and what didn’t. I still have that little folder somewhere with swatches of all the colors that were suited to my coloring. I used to carry it around in my purse.
It doesn’t really matter to me what the new color of the year is, as I do most of my shopping at this Goodwill in Maine where people donate these incredible clothes.  It is fun to get dressed and realize that my entire outfit may have cost me $10.  

OK, let me put on my Goodwill L.L. Bean jacket ($7.99) and take the dog for a walk!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Mixed Bag

A very busy day yesterday with our annual holiday yoga brunch at my house in the morning and then to a wake for a man that I grew up with who died at age 66 of cancer. 

The brunch was fun with lots and lots of delicious food.  It gave us all a chance to chat more than the usual few minutes before and after class.  I made the dish that Christina mentioned in my blog entry asking for brunch recipes.  It was very good but I couldn’t get the olive loaf, which I am sure would have added a bit of zing to it.

The wake was unbelievable.  My brother came over from Massachusetts to go with me.  There were 11 children in this family so we all were friends/classmates with one of them and it was nice to see his siblings, even though it was a sad occasion.  We waited in line for an hour and a half.  There were hundreds and hundreds of people there.  He was a very charming and gregarious man which was evidence by the attendance.  It really hits you when someone younger than you dies and this has happened far too often in the last months.

On a happier note………..I dabble in watercolors and have made cards and gift tags from my paintings.  While the supply last, I will gladly send my Gray Zone readers a set of my gift tags (specify holiday or general-see picture) if they comment on what they are doing charity-wise this holiday season.  Just email me your address and I will get them in the mail right away.  You can see that I am not expecting an overwhelming response as I think there are about four people at this point who read this blog!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


OK, all you magazine publishers out there.  I want you to send me a renewal notice WHEN my magazine subscription is about to expire.  I don’t want any notices telling me that if I renew now at this special reduced rate, I can get your magazine for the next 2 years.  Nor do I want you to tell me that if I renew now, I can sign up umpteen people for free.  Nope, I want you to send me a notification one month, well, OK, two months before it expires.  I want no other information from you until then…………DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Think It's Thursday........

My daughter, Julie, has been trying desperately to get a Christmas picture with all four kids looking decent or even looking at her.  I LOVE this one and think she should use it and just stick in another picture of the baby.

By the way, if you want to smile, go to her blog and watch the video of the 3 ½ year old telling her age.  I know I know they are my grandchildren and I think they are the cat’s meow, but they can be so amusing.

Otherwise, a foray “out among um” for a few items yesterday about did me in.  Not so much the crowds but that all the aisles are packed with merchandise so you can barely move.  I did get some fake evergreen for $2.45 for my little mantle and my beloved candle chandelier.  This morning Grayling and I gathered some greens from the property and I stuck them in my outside pots.  Just in time as the soil was just about frozen.  I got wreathes from Trader Joe’s for $6.99, so will decorate them with natural materials.  Et voilĂ , my decorating is almost done.  I don’t normally do a tree, just a few branches with the little lights on them. The reason for getting this done now is, as I mentioned yesterday, I am hosting the annual yoga brunch on Monday.

I have been doing Anusara yoga for the past 10 years with the same teacher and same group of women.  It has been such an incredible balance in my life.  I do it 2-3 times a week and it takes place at my neighbor’s, who very, very generously lets us use a large room in his house.  I am at the point where I don’t know what I would do without yoga.