Showing posts from January, 2018


From the earliest age, I remember people having nicknames. My parents always had nicknames for us kids. In fact, one of my sisters I have hardly ever called by her actual name.  She has been known by a nickname since infancy. My parents also gave humorous nicknames to everyone they met.  As a little girl, sometimes I didn't even realize they were nicknames. They fit their owners so well that I thought they were their real names! This has carried on into my adulthood. My husband never calls me by my name.  My family never calls him by his name.  It has become so that until you get a nickname you're really not that intimate with us.  I even call my dogs by nicknames. At work, I have a coworker who shares this. We have nicknames for everyone.  He has taken to reporting to me every man who neglects to wash his hands after using the bathroom, and those men are all now known as Tinkle Hands. We know a Quasimodo. One guy makes odd wardrobe choices, we call him Peps. 

Morning Routines

I have always been a morning person.  My husband teases me that I start getting grouchy after lunch time.  That is an exaggeration, but I definitely begin winding down around 9pm each night, but I wake up early each day, hungry for food and goals to accomplish! I never really understood how much I value a pleasant morning routine that allows me to start my day well until recently.  Last year I started waking up an hour early once again to get my workout in before  work each day, and that extra hour at the start of my day has been an unexpected delight to the rest of my day. By the time I sit down at work each day, I've already accomplished some things, which puts a little extra gas into my tank.  By the time work starts, I usually have 50-60 active minutes on my Fitbit.  By work time, I've digested my breakfast and I'm ready for second breakfast  (I'm sort of like a hobbit with meal times!).  Oftentimes, before I leave for work, I've taken care of household chor

Learning a new Craft

I am not a crafty person.  I learned to cross stitch when I was 10 years old and enjoyed that but once I got bifocals at the age of 14 (yes, that's a fact!), and then my vision worsened, cross stitching became a headache to me, literally.  I have trouble differentiating shades of floss and my eyes just can't cope with the small details.  But, unfortunately, that is the only real art and craft sort of thing I could do. I dreaded art class in school.  For me, papier-mache  was a nightmare of goopy mess and dishevelled projects that I was ashamed to bring home to my mom and dad.  I could barely draw stick people.  I hated anything to do with sculpting or anything creative.  I'm more of a math person, as boring as that sounds. My sisters are both creative and skilled at different crafts.  In my home, I have different artwork hanging that was done for me by one of my sisters, she is an excellent painter.  My sisters can scrapbook and decorate and cook and decorate baking.  A

The Reward of Patience

"Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting."  - Joyce Meyer Even in childhood, I was fairly outspoken.  I have never been one to hesitate taking action or to say the words that I instinctively feel.  To put it simply, I have been known in the past to have a bit of a temper. The trouble is, there have been times where I have taken action or said words that, while they felt authentic to me, in the end, I regretted them.  They didn't help me achieve my goal, they put me further back.  They inadvertently created more trouble for me than I anticipated.  Sometimes, they were accompanied by the remorse of knowing I took the wrong course. I have never regretted being patient, though.  This has been a battle throughout my adult life; a battle I have chosen for myself and have exercised diligently and in which I have found great joy.  Oddly enough, while patience can be perceived by many as a passive activity, the exercising o

How Quickly We Adapt

Where I grew up, cold weather was sort of the norm.  I was an enthusiastic ice skater and hockey player (though not a good one), and in those days, our outdoor ice rink would close when temperatures hit -9°F/-23°C.  We found that frustrating when we'd have a couple weeks of weather colder than that where we couldn't go out to play.  In our youth, we were so willing to brave the temperatures to socialize and have fun. Widespread areas of the United States are currently being impacts by cold weather.  Even far south areas of the country are under a freeze.  And while it is not as cold as -9°F/-23°C, leaving my house to go to work I wonder how I could have ever enjoyed being out in weather like this when I was a kid. I think most people are pretty adaptable, and I am certainly someone who adapts easily.  Moving to the more southern areas of the United States (though don't let anyone catch me saying that because I know this isn't the south!), I have to contend with

Long Distance Friendships

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about the challenges and benefits of long-distance friendships.  He has been struggling with the fact that his best friend recently moved far away and it has affected the connection between the two of them.  I can easily sympathize with this because some of my oldest and closest friends are long distance.  Not only that, but I was in a long distance friendship/relationship with my husband for almost seven years right up until the day I married him. I explained to him my own personal theory on it, which may not be true for everyone but has proven true in my experience.  Some people are not cut out for long distance relationships.  Some people are very hands-on, and out of sight is out of mind for them.  This is not a failing on their part, it's just the way they are and we cannot change other people.  That is rule number one! It is frustrating though, which leaves those of us capable and willing to put forth the effort feeling

Planning a Party

One of my very favorite episodes of Frasier  is in season six, episode sixteen, called Dinner Party .  In it, Frasier and Niles prepare to plan a dinner party in order to better get to know some friends.  While planning, they encounter a hilarious series of events that cause them to question the normalcy of their closeness as brothers, and in one scene prompting Frasier to say, "why don't we get on a bicycle built for two, ride over there and ask them what is so strange about us!?" This scene has always reminded me and my sister of each other. However, I was thinking of this scene for a different reason recently.  This spring, I will celebrate my 35th birthday.  And for several years now, I have proposed that for my 35th birthday I will have a "Snakes Alive I'm 35" birthday party - another nod to Frasier , as Niles references that Maris once had this for her 35th birthday. I have often daydreamed that perhaps my childhood friends would be able to come


"When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? - Pam Brown My sisters and I have similar mantras to this, some of them slightly more colorful, but always true.  I was trying to think of areas where I could be considered an expert, and then realized despite my work history and education, I wouldn't call myself an expert in very many things.  However, for over three decades now I have been a sister, and I would say I have become an expert in what that means. Sisters are the childhood we get to keep forever.  They are our most critical judges in private, and our greatest defenders in public.  I can tell you now, it would not matter what my sisters were guilty of, I won't stand to have someone accuse them to me or to make snide comments about them.  Whatever happens, they are my  sisters.  And I know they feel the same about me. I am the eldest of my parents' children, and I'll only speak for myself saying that I am a true oldest

My Childhood Best Friend

Originally, I'd been thinking about funny ideas to write about regarding Mr. Burns from The Simpsons .  He is one of my all time favorite characters.  But as I thought about him, I started to think about the best friend I had throughout my childhood, a woman I am friends with to this day, and someone I am certain knows all of the words to Mr. Burns' song, "See My Vest." I met KJ, as I will call her, when she was not yet eight years old, and I was three years older than her.  Most of us probably have that certain friendship we can mark as the first one that truly began to shape us.  I had friends throughout elementary school, but until I met KJ, I had never had a friend that truly began to make that significant impact on my life.  She was the first true best friend that I ever had.  I am fortunate that I can look back on that with not just nostalgia but a thankfulness that I still have her in my life. Being a teenager is pretty much the worst, so it was a blessing

The Crown: A Review

I have recently watched both the first and second seasons of The Crown , a Netflix original series that chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II.  I am late to the party with this series, as usual.  I tend not to watch a series until it's done airing.  It saves me the dreaded end of season cliffhangers and waiting months to find out what happens next. I also hesitated with this because I love history and I prefer my history to be a little more aged than this.  The fact that many of the prominent characters in this series are still alive was off-putting to me.  However, my apprehension faded before the first episode was over. Clarie Foy is a wonderful Elizabeth.  She captures the queen's modesty and dignity very well, acting with her eyes more than anything else.  Queen Elizabeth is not the most captivating of female English monarchs, but she stands alongside them as successful figureheads that presided over long reigns of peace and prosperity.  Two English queens that I ha

DNA and Ancestry Test Kits

I've sort of taken up DNA home test kits as a hobby.  It sounds weird, but I was fascinated.  I first became interested in this in March of 2016 when I began building my family tree on  At that time, I had DNA test kits done with my sisters and my mom to identify our different genetic heritage, and I wrote about it here . In March of 2017 when I began building my Day Zero Project list, I included completing a 23andMe DNA test kit.  Aside from doing the ancestry piece, they also test for genetic health risks, which I find interesting.  A friend of mine got hers done a few months ago and it was so interesting to see her results.  When the kits went on sale after Thanksgiving, I decided to give it a whirl. At the same time, just to see the differences in the kits, I ordered my husband a Vitagene  DNA kit.  The Vitagene kit is geared more toward how we are genetically predisposed to metabolize food components, food sensitivities and so on, and given my husband's