I had a meeting in DC last week at the Dean Wood Community Center & Library. While in wait mode, I took a walk around the facility. To say I was impressed with it is the least I could say because the place truly blew me away.
I kept asking questions because I couldn't believe it was free to the public with minimal fees for use of services like the fitness center and the pool. There was a full blown senior center with a VERY active senior population, meeting rooms, quiet rooms, computer room, etc.
And it was all free.
I walked outside and walked around a bit stopping in my tracks when I saw this:
Do your kids have a reading nook? You know...a comfortable, quiet, well-lit space to curl up with a book?
When I was a kid I did. It was called the big tree out back. I'd climb up in it and relax on this perfect Y shaped branch which held me perfectly. I took a flat piece of plywood up there and positioned it in arms reach to put my stuff on and I'd spend HOURS in that tree reading.
If it rained, I posted up in the corner of the living room between the wall and the sofa right under the window. They always knew they'd find me there trapped in the world of the book I was reading.
Robby used to read in his bedroom or in the living room.
The thing that stands out is that both of our families respected the qiet needed to really fall into a book.
My sister put a big bean bag in my nephew's room near the window so he could curl up with a good book and she says when she passes by and sees him there...it makes her heart smile to see him reading and not playing video games.
Do YOUR children have reading nooks? Do you have regular reading time for your kids? Do you have to force them to read?
A friend told me that she's pays attention to what I eat when we're together and eating. She said it was an eye opener that there are so many healthy choices that taste good and that she's been shaking up her weekly menu at home in her weight loss journey.
She made me wonder about some of the other conversations I've had with friends about how we all have regular rotation menus during busy work weeks and I thought...hmmmmm...maybe that's it. Maybe people kinda get stuck with making what they make weekly and never change up.
During the week I go for quick dishes but still healthy and flavorful. You know...fast food at home. Everything in moderation.
So I'm going to make a quick video (shooting for under two minutes) of some of the foods we eat all week.
Do you find that YOU stick with the same menu during the week? Or do you mix it up too?
This is Chicken Piccata. It takes a full 20 minutes to make and it's delicious.
Any dishes you'd like to see made into a quick video?
You can't let anyone tell you what you can't do and take that to heart. No as a final answer when it's the first time you've asked is simply unacceptable. Don't be disrespectful about it...just politely move on to another option. Always have a plan B.
You can't let your past dictate your future no matter what. Even if you were raised with a silver spoon in your mouth, please know that the times we live in are volatile and that spoon can be snatched with the swiftness. You need to always be prepared for something out of the ordinary to pop off. If you've towed a long, hard road...that doesn't have to be the way your life has to continue to be. You can do anything with proper planning and putting in the work.
If my mommy was alive I'd probably have picked her up from the airport 'round 'bout Tuesday. She'd be all excited and jittery about coming and she'd be in new stuff from head-to-toe in that simple, country folk way she had about her. See...when she was going somewhere she considered "big time" she believed in wearing all new stuff. If it was just jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt I bet it was brand spanking new right down to her sneakers cuz baaaaaaaby...coming to visit her only baby girl and son-in-law all the way up in the DC area on a plane was BIG.TIME.
I adore Royce's Daughter. She's one of the people I always say I need to spend more time with. She's always so joyful and lovely and always has a smile going. She's smart, fun and funny and has a heart of gold.
Well...she's leaving us for Cali and we couldn't be more happy for her even as we're sad she's going.
Here's the thing about RD...she wanted a change and always thought California would be a good place for her and well, it is. She's a Cali kinda girl even as she's been on the East Coast all of her life. She didn't just jump up and roll out...she wrote it down and made it happen.
She didn't HAVE to move and she wanted to do it the right way, of course. She started applying for jobs and would go out for interviews and voila...she was offered the perfect position for her. She's moving in the most responsible way and for the best reasons I've ever known of from a person and we're so, so very proud of her.
My advice to her when she stated her fears of leaving her comfort zone was simple..."You can always come back home."
Good luck and I'll see you on the West coast soon! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. That's a dress from my closet that I've never rocked. One down...more to go. SO THERE ERICA B! LOLOLOLOL!
Do you have anyone in your life who is constantly in a negative place and yet
you love them?
Like...they are family, framily (friends who are more like family) or a friend
and you want the best for them so you continue to try and be there for them but
it's proving to be a challenge because their brand of negatively can take a toll
on the most patient and loving person?
Have you found anything that works? Any tips? Any of you been that negative
person before? What ended up being the reset button for you?
Yall know we're in the middle of some serious cold here on the East coast and I feel like pretty much everyone is sick of it. The sun can be out but it's freezing outside and really...I'll be honest when I say I totally get affected by the lack of outside time in the winter.
The kid is struggling.
When Nintendo contacted me and asked if they could come out and throw a game playing party with some of my friends, I said heckie yeah just to have some fun cuz again...I'm struggling.
So they sent out two awesome guys, Dewan and Devir, with healthy platters from Whole Foods, beer, wine and water (cuz that's all we drink at 13700 other than coffee and tea) and my friends rolled in and BAAAAAAAAAABY! You'd think we were in a park playing kickball with chicken on the grill the amount of fun we had.
There were prizes and crazy laughter and MAJOR competition. I ain't saying no names...but somebody was up in here turned up to SUPER SERIOUS when it came to the Luigi's Haunted Mansion on the Nintendo Land game.
Again...I ain't saying no names.
And somebody ELSE was up in here dancing like they were on line pledging all over again.
Again...I ain't saying no names.
The poor kids barely got a chance to play anything because, as we've shown time and time again, the adults I know...KNOW HOW TO GET DOWN AND HAVE A GOOD.DARN.TIME!
Now...there's this one game that I love and, of course, neither E nor The Robinator would ever play it with me cuz they're wussies. It's called SiNG Party. Now...when E and I first tried it out...I saw that the song, "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus was on it and I tortured him by singing the EN-TIRE-SONG super loud with swaying and my rendition of faux ballet dance moves.
He almost died. You know...cuz he's 14 and cool and I'm 43 and cool-ER.
SIP: That's your story huh?
N E WAY...
So I didn't know about the party mode of the game. See...when you're having a party...one person gets to sing karaoke style. The other people watch the television screen and does what it says to do on the screen. So there's dancing and background singing that I didn't know about. YES! YES! YES! And it's not like sway dancing...it's serious cardio dancing. Getting your EN.TIRE groove on! We were like...OH YEAH! LET'S GO 'HEAD AND GET THIS WORKOUT IN TOO!
Most of the kids declined to join us because they are evil and un-cool. LOL! It's not their fault...we're just of a cooler, funner generation. LOL!
So, you'll notice that our WiiU is in the family room where I'm usually posted up. That was intentional cuz I LURVE this gaming system! When you're child-free, as we are, you don't normally have games, etc. going on in your house but we figure...hey...why should parents get to have all the fun? LOL! So yup...we play it and have a BLAST!
I loved all of the information Dewan and Devir gave us about the system. The biggest hit was when they told us that if a kid or Monnie was playing a game and their parent or Robby walked into the room and watched to watch the news...all they had to do was switch it so the kid could continue playing on the game pad only and not the television. That has probably saved lives in households all over already. LOL!
Thanks to all of my friends who came out! The party was supposed to be from 2pm - 5pm. Of course the last of the guests didn't leave until 10pm. LOL! Why? Cuz that's how we get down-T. We had a good dang time.
Thanks to Nintendo, as always, for sending me a free gaming system and games. Thanks for the catered food and thanks for not weirding out when I was adamant about no sodas and only healthy food options in my home.
Thanks to my friends and framily who all came out and had a good time. Yall rocksie! Yall can come play anytime and, when you get your own, let's hook up online and play. Well...everybody 'cept TravelDiva. She be in full combat mode! LOL! Talking 'bout zombie apocalypse and whatnot and why we gotta run faster. My rested heart rate just sped up just THINKING about it! ROFL!
Do you have a WiiU? What games do you suggest we pick up? Do you play with your kids?
Nothing starts my day off better than waking up to an overnight text of a dear friend getting engaged! I just LOVE LOVE! We met Tee's beau for Thanksgiving this year and adored him instantly! He truly cherishes her and it made us so happy to see her well taken care of. AND HE HAS EXCELLENT TASTE IN BLING!!!!!!! WHOOOOOHOOOOOO! LOVE A MAN WHO KNOWS HIS WAY AROUND A JEWELRY STORE! LOL!
This is truly a full circle moment for her. I'm so very, very proud and happy!
Sometimes I get really sad but I always reckon that's the way it is for a lot of people who've been through difficult times in life. Something hits you in a certain way you know? Like...a song comes on and that chord is stuck again and yeah...you're stuck in that moment, transported by your memories and it washes over you.
Sometimes I get really sad.
I guess my dog being on her last legs was the beginning of it this time for me. Then...we had death in the family and well...death in the family brings along a complete other set of pain for me and then...I'm stuck.
I start focusing too hard on internal scars from external scars which have since healed. I stare too long at the scar on my left breast. I sense the scar from my myomectomy even while fully clothed knowing exactly how long it is end to end and knowing what it cost me/us or...what I believe it cost me/us.
I tear up at pictures of babies. I choke on deep breaths watching adult daughters with their mothers. I focus too much on being far up North away from everyone and everything that has truly mattered for a lifetime.
And I get really sad.
I dwell too long on the one negative thing on a call instead of focusing on the fifty positive things. I get stuck. I worry about things out of my control. Things which could affect the long term. Things I couldn't do a thing about if I tried.
If you know onefromphilly...you know she's serious and gets done what she says she's going to get done.
Since she shared that mantra with me, I'll find myself doing something and binging all over the place and then I picture her standing there with a pair of pink brass knuckles with bling yelling...FOCUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I focus. LOL!
STOP YELLING AT ME!!!!!!!!
Do you have any areas in your life you need to FOCUS on?
Name three and, from today on remember...when you write it down...you need to FOCUS on making it happen. Imagine onefromphilly standing there yelling...FOCUS!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at 13700! I like to put a bit of Christmas in every room so I'm working my way from the bottom up. LOL!
The mancave looks like Christmas spit up in there. ROFL! Someone grumbled about Santa staring at him while he was watching a game. I have a feeling I'm going to go down there one day and Santa will be turned to the wall.
I'm still working on the mantle but it's getting there. I'm going to use the peppermint ribbon on a small sugared fruit wreath to put on the mirror. That mirror came from upstairs where it was replaced with the new mirror. GO ME! RE-PURPOSING ISH!
The tree is "light" this year. I was about to start putting bulbs all over it but then The Robinator said he liked it like this so I stopped. LOL! Seemed only fitting to use Magnolias again this year. :)
I like how it doesn't look all matchy matchy. Makes me smile.
That's just a garland with a piece of ribbon woven through it. I might attach some snowflake glitter ornaments to fish string and attach with white thumbtacks to give the allusion of them floating up there. Let me tell yall how dusty it was on that ledge above the door. I was shame.
Poinsettia stems in a gladiola vase along with a cinnamon broom that I bought at Trader Joe's for $3.99. They smell soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! GO ME!
This lil guy brings me joy. He's chilling in the powder room. LOL! I love his smile! He's a tea light holder and he's holding a puppy. LOL! Makes me smile.
I hope to be finished this weekend. I have a few more fun things to do that will include glitter, glitter, lots 'o glitter and I want The Robinator to do a few things outside. He quickly veto'd putting lights on the holly tree for me. Something about being pricked to death, scratched up like crazy or whatnot trying to put lights on a 10 foot holly tree. Ninny. LOL!
Have you put up your tree yet? Are you in the Christmas spirit yet?????
And Best Indie Hustler! LOL! That one cracked me up. I guess showing up sick, passing out flyers, talking people up and making a mad dash to catch the last flight out is indicative of a HUSTLER! LOL!
We are always so very excited to watch our film with an audience. I mean...there is truly nothing like the feeling in the world. They liked it...no...loved it and the Q&A afterwards turned into a straight up Venus Vs. Mars verbal brawl. ROFL! Like...people walked away arguing with people they came with still. ROFL!
Poor Roslyn sent me an email telling me that even she and Whit fell out behind it. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! THAT.BRINGS.ME.JOY! LOL!
So yeah...we won. So excited. So exciting. And can't WAIT to be able to share more news with you guys regarding the project.
I made a transformation in my life from being mad at the world to being the me I love being today in the midst of a storm. Turns out it was the midst of several storms actually. Thunderstorms which hadn't fully stopped raining. Winds that were still blowing debris in my path which I simply chose to step over and ignore not realizing I'd have to deal with one day in order to see the sunshine.
I used to be a roamer. Like...I loved to get in my car and drive at odd hours of the night on a long winding road with nothing but the darkness and music. I'd drive much faster than I should drive hoping, wishing, praying that my painful memories would be left behind. Her smile, his laughter, her laughter, his smile. Their love. Our tragedy.
And I'd drive faster, seemingly, without a care in the world and I never, ever, out drove the pain.