Happy Life Updates!

I figure after such a somber previous post I needed to post about some of the good and happy things that have been in my life in the last few weeks.

We had a fantastic trip to the Mayan Riviera! I love Aventura Spa Palace! This was our 3rd visit to this resort in 2 years, that’s how much we love it there. The weather wasn’t the greatest, and according to the locals that’s common there for this time of year. Lesson learned, we will return to the Vallarta side and skip the Mayan for our anniversary. I did manage to scratch off 2 things from the list of some little life goals I’d set for myself. We came home with a vacation membership to Palace Resorts after finally reaching a mutually amenable agreement. We absolutely love the Palace Resorts and have now taken 4 trips to a Palace resort and I can’t wait to start getting spoiled with the extra member perks. I’m also looking forward to discovering what deals are hidden within the RCI site, but we still don’t have all our RCI info yet. If it’s not here by Friday I’ll get in contact with someone to find out what’s the scoop. We also ventured in and made the trek to Chichen Itza. We had both been mulling over the plans to visit each of the 7 modern wonders of the world and have now visited 1, with 6 to go. We’d been to Tulum and saw other ruins on Isla Mujeres and had pretty much agreed that Mayan ruins were pretty much alike, which they are. It was a cool site to see, but I think I still prefer Tulum – smaller, less commercial at the actual ruins site and the beach is incredible.

After getting home I had thought I left the battery and charger for my SLR behind in the room at Aventura Spa. I emailed the resort and they quickly replied and said they hadn’t seen it and it hadn’t been turned in. I’d pretty much resigned myself to having to buy a generic replacement, and did actually find a generic battery and charger on ebay tonight, that would be shipped to me for $20. I figured if it didn’t work out it wasn’t a great loss. However, I went to get the cable for my point and shoot to plug it in and found the SLR battery and charger in the bag with the other cables. So, I guess I’ll be getting an emergency spare in the mail soon enough. I’m really just relieved to have found the original!

At the end of September I decided to take the plunge and sign up with Epicure to be an “independent consultant”. The big thing for me is I realized I loved the stuff and wanted a convenient way to reorder for my own personal consumption and the consultant I’d been dealing with lives over an hour away. Well, I’m loving the heck out of all the stuff I’ve tried. There’s only been one product I wasn’t too crazy about, and that was one of the salad dressings. I may give it another try and use the other recipe that goes with it, we’ll see. Tonight I made an amazing chicken stir fry using the stirfry seasoning and red pepper jelly on the veggies and the teriyaki seasoning on the chicken. It was an amazing dinner and so easy. It really makes me feel like a culinary dynamo to make these concoctions. One of the taglines for Epicure is “make every day gourmet simply by opening a jar”, and it is so true. Sales haven’t been too bad, but I’m not really in it to make money and I haven’t been aggressively promoting it as I probably should be.

2 weeks ago Socksie developed her anal gland problem again. For perhaps 3 years now she has had problems with one of her anal glands that it impacts, then abcesses and ruptures – and we don’t know it’s a problem for her until the rupture phase. She has been on antibiotics for 2 weeks and I am very very thankful for Pill Pockets. She hates being force fed pills so much and this has been the most painless ever. I wish they had these all those years ago when I first adopted her with her upper respiratory tract infection that she was on antibiotics for. We took her back to the vet yesterday for her followup and he said she has healed very well and would not require manual expressing of her gland (which I’m sure all of us were very thankful for!). I wish I knew years ago how problematic this would have been for her and I would have aggressively pushed for surgery to remove the gland completely. Now, at her advanced feline age, I want her in as little stress as possible and with her aging kidneys I’m not sure she’d be a good surgical candidate and can’t see anaesthetic as being good for her.

Other small randoms – I finally have a colour ink jet again. I needed it for the Stories In Hand online course I’m doing, and it feels great to be able to print colour text at home again. The ink seems reasonably priced too, another huge bonus. Next week we leave for our Black Friday shopping trip. I’ve been scouring the ads pretty closely and we are getting to the time when all the ads are being released. I have a small list of things I’d like to find for me, and I’d like to get some Christmas shopping done as well. This year will also be the first year Steve has watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with me, so I’m looking forward to letting him in on my own little tradition. My wisdom teeth removal date is rapidly approaching, 2 weeks to go. I’m still scared to death, but I think I’ll just be relieved once this is all over and done with for good. I just wish I was trying out these drugs they’re going to be giving me under better circumstances. My PC has still been acting up, yes since the beginning of August. I’ve finally had enough with it and will be switching everything over to my MacBook and running the hard drives out of the PC as much needed external storage. Throughout the problematic PC time my Mac hasn’t given me a stitch of trouble ever. I have paid repair guys to fix it, as well as spent an hour on the phone with microcrap only to have it screw up again, and huge. That was the breaking point. Twilight the movie comes out on Friday and I’m going with 2 girlfriends and someone I’ll be meeting for the first time that night. I’m sure the movie won’t be as good as the book, but I’m still geekily excited anyway. Back off bitches Edward Cullen is all mine! ;). Finally, I made some absolutely adorable baskets for Hallowe’en candy for Steve to give to his staff at work for Hallowe’en. I’m really proud of the final product and will post a pic here soon.

More life updates and stories to come in future posts. I have the blog bug again!

Catharsis – and more writing…

For many years, whenever my thoughts would get jumbled or there was ever anything I needed to sort (plans, finances, etc.) I could always do it if I just sat down and wrote it all out. I’m now doing an online course that is scrapbook focused and intended to help to develop the stories that go with all the pictures and memories glued to those pretty papers. I have a number of writing assignments to do, and I will be blogging a lot of them here – until I get the notebook I want to use and then record them on paper. There is still something uber-special to me about writing with a great pen in a great notebook. Of course, I want to decorate and pretty up the notebook too before I start writing in it, so that will probably take a bit.

The other part of this for me today, and this is totally unrelated to the course, is something I’ve been mulling over for a while, and has been a great source of irritation to me for a while. This last year I’ve learned there is tremendous value in having good true friends. I’ve come to this lesson through a very very difficult loss, and through some happy discoveries too. Unfortunately, it has also exposed to me those that I believed in to be a “friend” but are truly much less. It disappoints me a lot, but it again also helps me to value the good ones even more. Admittedly, I have focused more on the sources of irritation than on the rare hidden gem treasures.

I need to learn to move on – which is far easier said than done. I know my “friends” aren’t being malicious or deliberate by creating unnecessary distance, just ignorant. And ever the pacifist, I choose not to bring it up. I guess there is more to it – I don’t want a friendship borne of a sense of obligation, I would rather they gave of themselves, rather than expecting me to be the only one to give. Also, lately I’ve just been too angry to be able to address any of it in a calm and rational manner – what can I say, I’m hurt. At the core, it is a 2 way street and I can’t give freely, knowing they would never give of themselves as freely as I have been and would continue to do if there was even a teeny ounce of reciprocation. Today this is it, I am making a choice to focus on the gems and dwell on that goodness rather than direct unnecessary energy towards someone who hasn’t directed anywhere near that much energy towards me in a positive manner. No more fighting it, just allowing it to be and going with the ebb and flow of life. It won’t be easy, but I will do it.

I will end with sharing a blurb that my trainer sent me this week that was a part of putting these thought wheels in motion.

Friendship is one of those intangibles that cannot be measured and
often goes unnoticed. Yet it is one that requires as much nurturing as
our own bodies. It is so easy to lose track of friends in our busy
world, and the loss of a friend is like a loss of part of ourselves.
If you don’t make time for your friends, how do you expect them to
make time for you. How can a friendship remain alive if the very
things that created the friendship – the bonding, the interaction,
the connectivity – are no longer there.

What Have You Done??

I’m still on the getting around to it part of updating this and my other blog. I am inspired to answer yet another list by my friend, Christyne as she posted this on her blog today.

How many have you done? I have bolded the ones that I have…

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when youʼre not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (both)

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangeloʼs David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someoneʼs life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Need to blog more

I realize I’ve neglected both my blogs a lot, and it’s not for lack of things to say, but more the motivation to sit down and actually type them out. I plan on making more time for that very soon – more than likely on Tuesday when the cleaning lady is here.

Up until yesterday I had been obsessed with moving State-side. However with Obama winning the election and wanting to tax the hell out of my income bracket I don’t see that happening until he is at least no longer in power. I took a quiz online to find where it would recommend for me to live in the US based on a bunch of survey criteria. I found the answers quite interesting. My top 24 in order are:

1. Tampa, FL
2. Phoenix, AZ
3. Orlando, FL
4. Charleston, SC
5. Houston, TX
6. Augusta, GA
7. West Palm Beach, FL
8. Jacksonville, FL
9. Tucson, AZ
10. Austin, TX
11. San Antonio, TX
12. Las Vegas, NV
13. El Paso, TX
14. Norfolk, VA
15. Dallas, TX
16. Chesapeake – Virginia Beach, VA
17. Atlanta, GA
18. Memphis, TN
19. Fort Worth, TX
20. Charlotte, NC
21. Baton Rouge, LA
22. Oklahoma City, OK
23. Brownsville, TX
24. Nashville, TN

Very interesting.. I guess I need to move south and hot. Not much of a surprise there. But there were a lot of places on the list I’d never normally consider.

Interested in taking your own quiz? Find your spot!