Tuesday, January 26, 2016

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #32


The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

I have no idea how this site came to be bookmarked - I have an idea it may have been brought to my attention by my friend Jodie, another lover of things English. I actually have the maps page bookmarked, but I backtracked to the homepage and read a little about the books on Amazon.com. I was able to find one of them at Barnes and Noble. I'm intrigued that they are mysteries, not a genre I read very often, but I'm anxious to check these out, and you can be sure I'll have the relevant map by my side for reference.

Book review coming soon.

Belated birthday wishes to the Countess of Wessex who celebrated her 51st birthday last week.


From one of my favorite Royal sites, Royal HatsThe Countess of Wessex’s soaring cream straw slice hat with lattice woven ribbon detail by Jane Taylor, worn for Ascot on June 16 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Life Last Week 2016-4


No work on Monday but it was still up bright and early to take MudLynn back to Sophia. I actually managed to catch Sunday night's episode of Downton Abbey online before I headed to the ferry. Sophia had a great weekend - two more ribbons to add to the line-up, 2nd place on Saturday and 5th on Sunday. Apart from hitting a bit of traffic on the way back, I made the 2:25pm ferry easily and was home about 45 minutes later. Time for a few chores, a little menu planning for the week and then it was early to bed as work resumed in the morning.

Work was busy which made it fly - five weeks' work in four days plus two Admin Support Team members coming to me for some training plus a long meeting on Friday meant that the end of the week was there before I knew it.

I put together the first care package for Vic - just a few goodies that I hope will get to him in time for Valentine's Day. While I was working on that, I prepped the next one. I love that 12x12 scrapbook paper fits the bottom and sides of a Priority Mail box perfectly.


The week ahead looks busy - work, a Family Readiness Group meeting, preparing for Sophia's birthday and heading up to Western's horse show this weekend. The time is flying and that's a good thing.

Here's hoping for a New England Patriots victory today!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Paper Clutter Challenge - Days 5 through 9


Step 5 - Set up your file system

I have a system, a constant work in progress it seems, but it's working. I really like Laura's system and aspire to have one like that one day!

Step 6 - Set up a finance binder

I love the Finance Kit - I currently have most of my financial information stored electronically but am thinking of changing over.

Step 7 - Organize your receipts

I have a household inventory app which holds all the details of our belongings - it's been such a help with our constant moves and handy to have for insurance purposes should we ever need it. I usually scan the receipts and add them to the details of the item in question although I also save some of them and file them in with the manuals/warranties for each item.

Step 8 - Organize your coupons

This isn't so much of an issue for me - all my loyalty cards are on a keychain (I love that stores now give you a larger credit card-size card and a couple of smaller hole-punched cards for keychains). As for coupons, since we've been on a clean eating regimen, I don't have that many - perhaps just a few for cleaning supplies and toiletries - I tend to be a brand shopper so I keep the ones for products I use in an accordion file similar to the one Laura is using.

Step 9 - Set up file structure and paperless billing

I LOVE paperless billing!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Life Last Week 2016-3


It would probably be a better representation of last week if I had a photo with the rain pouring down on the roof of a house - must look for one since the forecast is calling for rain for at least the next two weeks. Not that I'm complaining, just sayin'.

The week revolved around Vic's departure - can't share the details of course so I'll just say that he's going far, far away for a long, long time. C'est la Navy vie. I worked three days last week and then had Thursday and Friday off. I had planned to run some errands and then put together a care package for Vic to take with him but he ended up having the whole day off on Thursday as well so the care package was thrown together in the hour he tidied things up in the garage. Definitely not Pinterest-worthy but it was made with love and has all his favorite things so that's all that counts.

Friday dawned grey and wet, just about the same as everyone's temperament as we stood on the pier watching the ship pull away, taking a piece of our hearts with it. I headed to the ferry as I was driving up to pick up MudLynn for the weekend while Sophia went with the equestrian team to a two-day show in Oregon. I was sitting in line at the ferry when the ship sailed right in front of me, and then the ferry ended up following it up the Sound and actually overtaking it. It made for a great photo op but I'm going to share instead a shot taken by one of the dads on the opposite shore because it's really impressive - the sheer size is mind-boggling.


So it begins, the countdown until we are reunited.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Paper Clutter Challenge - Day 4


Step 4 - Process your Inbox weekly.

This sounds like a good plan for me to start using. I usually do part of this on a daily basis, part on a weekly basis, and part in panic mode when I find something I've set to one side and then forgotten about. No more! I'll drop things in the Inbox as they come in, and work my way through the box, probably on Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Paper Clutter Challenge - Days 1 through 3


Time for a new challenge - Tackle Your Paper Clutter from i heart planners - a great 30-step challenge to rid yourself of that pesky paper. Join me!

Of course, I didn't start when I had planned to so I'm playing catch up this weekend but in hindsight, I could have just started at any point and gone on from there. I'm rambling, I know.

Step 1 - Set up a spot for incoming paper - spot is designated, just need an Inbox tray or something. You know I need an intervention when there isn't an empty tray or box to be found in the house!

Step 2 - Gather up all the stray paper in the house - done!

Step 3 - Research going paperless - working my way through this one today.

Just so you can see how cluttered my area is, here is the evidence:

And that's just one corner of the office!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #31

Home of the Choir of St. George's Chapel
The Choir of St George's Chapel comprises 23 boy choristers and twelve Lay Clerks singing alto, tenor and bass. The boys are educated at St George's School which is situated in the Castle grounds, and the Lay Clerks live in the Horseshoe Cloister, just to the west of the Chapel, and on Denton's Commons.
Source: http://www.stgeorges-windsor.org/worship-and-music/music.html

St. George's Chapel is the site of many royal weddings, burials, and celebrations:
The Wedding of Lady Helen Windsor and Timothy Taylor, 1992
The Wedding of Sophia Rhys-Jones to Prince Edward, 1999
The Wedding Blessing of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles, 2005
The Wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, 2008
The annual Order of the Garter Service
The final resting place of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Monday, January 11, 2016

RIP David Bowie

RIP David Bowie
Such sad news this morning - David Bowie, an icon, such a part of my teenage years, an amazing artist.

Life Last Week 2016-2


Back to work on Monday - wow, that 4:00am alarm bell was tough to hear. The only good news about work last week was that it was busy and that meant it was Friday before we knew it. Vic was on leave all week and worked his way through the honey-do list as well as accomplishing a lot of woodworking. He is welcomed at Home Depot and Lowe's with open arms! Sophia went back to school and is enjoying her new classes. MudLynn is still doing her thing...eating, sleeping, etc.

The Whole 30 is going well and I have been faithfully drinking my 64 ounces of water per day. Is this the year that I finally get the weight dragon under control? I certainly hope so.

A board meeting for the Navy Wives Clubs of America and our monthly meeting were the only business items on the agenda for last week. On the fun side, Vic and I went for pedicures; it was so hard to get out of the pedicure chair.

Countdown to Vic's departure begins - this is number seven for us and it never gets any easier. I'm thankful that work will keep me busy and that Sophia and MudLynn are close enough so that I can pop up for a visit from time to time. I'm working on a neat project to make tags with special dates (dates as in date nights, not dates as in numbers on the calendar) on them so he'll have some interesting outings to look forward to when he returns. They will look something like this with the details of the outing instead of the Christmas decoration:


Number one will be a trip to the Boeing Museums in our area - one of the places that we just have not gotten around to visiting yet.

That's my week - prayers or good thoughts or fingers crossed or send good karma or whatever works for you would be much appreciated right now. Saying Au Revoir is so tough.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #30

Photo courtesy of  What Kate Wore
Looking ahead to January 9 and wishing Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge a very Happy 34th Birthday

Monday, January 4, 2016

Life Last Week 2016-1


It was supposed to be a quiet week but we packed so much into it, it just whizzed right past us. Sophia stayed with us for a few days longer than she had originally planned so we were able to finally make it to the cinema to see the new Star Wars film. It's not really my cup of tea but I know they really enjoyed it. Vic was on leave and I was off work for the whole week so we spent some time using up some gift cards from Christmas and watching a lot of DVDs that had been under the tree. I got my hair cut, we took MudLynn to the vet, and I wrapped up my therapy appointments. I didn't think they were necessary as thank goodness there were no lasting effects from my stroke and the therapist agreed and cleared me. I did, however, get the bill from the hospital to the tune of $26,000. Thank goodness it was just the insurance statement showing that I owed -0-! No wonder people who have health issues and no insurance lose their homes and end up bankrupt.

We took Sophia back to school and as her car was making a rather alarming noise when you turned the steering wheel, Vic drove it back and we spent the weekend having it looked at and then driving it back to her. Alarming noise - gone!

The grand finale to our week was the premiere of Season 6 of Downton Abbey which we thoroughly enjoyed. Back to work for me on Monday although Vic has another week of leave so I'm looking forward to his culinary skills taking care of dinner each night during the week.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review

As promised: the 2015 Year in Review

January

Here's to 2015 and living a healthier lifestyle - physically, emotionally, financially - and to blogging regularly!  Happy New Year!
Wreaths Across America December 2014 - January would be the month of the 31 Day Blog Challenge and Grow Your Blog
February

Fave Inspirational Quote: I love this one and I wish I had followed it when I was younger.
The month was consumed by Fab-ruary
March

First, I must say that although life has been just about the same level of crazy as always, my time has been further consumed by my addiction to The Great British Bake Off.
Exploring Lake Crescent
April

A is for Anacortes, a seaside town on Fidalgo Island, a gateway to the San Juan Islands, a haven for visitors of all interests. 
The Ladies of Leisure trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in between Blogging from A to Z
May

Caroline at Mrs. M's Meanderings has tagged me and Jenny from My Life in Flip Flops to share the love in the form of two good reads.
Whisked Vic off for a Maifest weekend in Leavenworth
June

Following Caroline's example over at Mrs. M's Meanderings with a new-for-summer, shortened version of Life Last Week and decided it was time for a new photo as well.
Loved the old Poldark and the new one grew on me after the second episode - can't wait for more
July

Week One's (July 1-4) theme is Color and let's start out with Red and Gold.

August

A great second week at work which ended with my first payday in many years. #$$laughingallthewaytothebank$$ (I don't tweet but I couldn't resist putting that in there!)
Rockin' that safety helmet!
September

Vic is home! 
And Sophia moved into her own apartment
October

Time for a new photo and hopefully, more regular posting...still trying to get my work life and home life onto some sort of schedule.
Vic, Sophia, and MudLynn waiting for crepes for lunch
November

Kicking off November with 30 Days of Thankfulness.
First horse show of the season, first blue ribbon - so exhausted from the day's events, she couldn't keep her eyes open!
December

It was dark when I left the house this morning and dark when I got home this evening so my view today will be from where I'm sitting now - in my chair in the family room gazing at the fire and our tree.
Always my favorite photo in December - our Christmas tree full of memories