Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life Changes... But It Never Ends

My heart hurts. My heart hurts when I look at pictures of him as a young child or as a teenager. Even in recent pictures as a 30 year old you can see the playful smile that made him instantly likable. Or as his best friend said at the memorial service, "To meet him was to like him; to know him was to love him." That was (and is) our son Michael.  He died last Thursday, November 1, 2012 and my heart hurts.

I remember an old TV commercial that used the catch-phrase, "the heartbreak of psoriasis". Really? I guess if you "suffer" from that condition you hurt, but "heartbreak"? I have known the pain of losing someone close, a high school boyfriend, a favorite high school teacher, my grandmother, my grandfather and my own Daddy. I have known the shock of losing a friend through suicide, or the sudden inexplicable death of the nine year old son of a friend. You don't live to be my age without experiencing the pain and loss of death. That doesn't make it any easier when death comes like a thief in the night again and steals something as precious as a son.

A pastor friend who delivered the eulogy at the memorial service last Monday used the same word to describe death, "thief". He acknowledged our pain and even more importantly, our anger, at losing Michael at such a young age. It was good to be reminded that death is not always a friend and that anger is a normal and appropriate emotion at such times. We know that anger is one of the stages of grief and if I haven't experienced that yet, I undoubtedly will sooner or later. But Gary also used the occasion to remind us and explain to those hundreds of young people who were grieving the loss of a friend, why, as Christians, we can be joyful in the midst of our pain, hopeful in spite of our grief and why we can look forward to a future with Michael, not just re-live our past with him. My prayer for everyone reading this is that you too would know the joy and hope that comes from knowing God and his son Jesus Christ. Sometime you might just find that it is the only thing that can sustain you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The End is The Beginning

First of all, I can't believe it's been two months since I posted something on this blog. Well, at least I'm consistent in my inconsistency. I might ascribe it to my general lack of self-discipline or laziness, but in this instance I've got a good excuse.  No, really.  The long-anticipated October wedding is just a few days away and I've spent many, many hours over the past few months preparing for this moment.

In February I made a vow to lose at least 50 pounds before this event.  I did it!  I also decided early on that I wanted to do a lot of the work on the rehearsal dinner myself and I did that.  I spent untold hours scouring the Internet for ideas.  I picked a theme, made the decorations and the invitations, and I canned 60+ jars of peach jam for favors. I've located various and sundry sources for the things I couldn't make.  [Thank you Etsy.]  Today we travel to Cape Cod for what I know will be a beautiful wedding and a great time with family and friends from all over the country.

In some ways this is the culmination of nine months of planning and hard work.  It is also the beginning of a new phase in my life as surely as it is the beginning of a new stage in my son's life.  For the first time, he will be a husband.  I will have a daughter-in-law. She is the little girl, now a beautiful young woman, I've been praying for since my son was born - the one that God picked out for him and him alone. 

A wedding celebrates the beginning of a new life, not unlike the celebration at the birth of a child.  This week, we celebrate the beginning of one life from two lives.  "And the two shall be as one..."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

To say that I've had a few things on my mind lately would be an understatement and while I'm certainly not the first person to feel overwhelmed by "life" I wonder how many people have nightmares about it.  Especially nightmares with such vivid, memorable images -->

Yep, that's how I pictured my brain last night. Is it any wonder I can't focus or sleep for that matter? It doesn't help matters that I'm not feeling well and I don't have time to be sick. The Wedding is 8 weeks away!!!  This past week was particularly stressful since I found out that the location for the rehearsal dinner will NOT be ready in time after all. Luckily we have a plan B, but even that is not set in stone yet. Everything that I need to do this month hinges on finalizing this. As an aside, plan B will be a little more expensive so now we're getting serious about budgeting for this event.

Oh, and speaking of budgeting . . . never, never, never ask "what else can go wrong?"  Someone [God?] might think you're issuing a challenge, not making a rhetorical statement!

So, did I mention that Lucy the Lab tore her other CCL and needs surgery again; that DH has a torn bicep tendon that is acting up and he may need surgery as well? And that's just for starters.

On the plus side, I've lost 50 lbs on my diet so far.  Of course, not being able to keep any food down helps, but whatever! Now my short-term goal for the 8 weeks before the wedding is to lose 15-20 more lbs.  Can I do it?  What do you think? All I know is that I'm not buying my dress for the wedding, or any other clothes for that matter, until mid September or later if I dare!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer Here and Some are Not!

So, I don't know where June went. Really. It was a crazy, hectic month but with no commitments so I expected to get lots done. I did, in fact, get a lot accomplished, but not the things I planned on doing. 

Just about the time that my commitment to the family next door ended (they moved to CT at the end of May) we decided to buy all new carpeting and hardwood floors for the house. This involved a lot more work on my part than I ever imagined. At the same time we decided that some rooms needed painting before they got new floors, so DH and I took on that project as well. We got everything done and the house put back together (for the most part) by July 4th. A lot of stuff is just piled in closets waiting for me to organize and also to get rid of more things we don't need or use anymore. We already have a garage full of furniture waiting for a good home - someone else's home!

On July 9th following a whirlwind visit from our oldest son and his fiance, I started my new "job." Here's a picture of my new "boss." Yep, I'm crazy. I'm keeping a friend's baby now that she's gone back to work full-time. I've always been a sucker for babies and I was thrilled that someone would actually pay me to watch over their precious little one. So far this doesn't feel like much of a job, but I'll keep you posted.

In addition of course there's the wedding planning. Thank goodness I'm only responsible for a rehearsal dinner, but since a lot of the decor, etc. will be DIY there is much to decide and much to do and only 12 weeks to do it in before the big day. I do tend to obsess about these things and I know that I could probably go on Etsy and buy someone else's handmade place cards and table decor and favors, but I've got to have some outlet for my creativity and this year, the wedding is it! Most of my time so far has been spent researching, gathering ideas and making samples. I'm just now starting to purchase my supplies. I promise to post pictures after the big event. But this week the work begins. My daughter and family will be here for a week and she and I are making peach jam - about 60 jars. Yikes! Hope everyone likes peach jam!! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Motivations and Milestones (continued)

It's been a while since I mentioned my personal weight loss program. I say 'personal' because I'm not following any commercial programs, like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig.  The only requirements on my plan were: no alcohol, no candy, no bread and exercise 3-4 times per week.  I started this plan at the beginning of Lent, but early on I decided I would continue the regimen after Lent and until I had lost at least 50 pounds.

Well, I have lost 30 pounds so far!! Woo Hoo!!  But, I can tell that I am at a crossroads of a sort.  There are too many days that I am tempted to NOT work out and while I have stuck with my diet restrictions, there have been days that I have eaten too much, or things I should not have.  I know it is not uncommon to reach plateaus on a long-term journey like this.  And I know that I can't allow momentary lapses and temptations to derail my plan.

So this week, I've decided to step up my work-out schedule - go to the gym more often, increase the length of time I work out, etc. and kind of start over with the diet, you know, go back to what was working in the beginning. I know that I can do this, I just need to believe in myself again and not lose sight of the long-term goal.

What have you found that works to move you off the plateau you're on in your own journey?  It might not even be a weight loss journey.  Maybe it is a spiritual journey or a self-improvement program of another type.  If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

More 'Stuff' or Anyone Up for Some Spring Cleaning?

[This was written yesterday but I was not able to post it until today when our network/TV/computers were back up and running. Well at least something is finally back up and running!]

I’m sitting on my back porch as I type.  Luckily, it’s a beautiful day to be outside.  Sometimes summer can come early in May, but this year we’ve been blessed with cool temperatures and low humidity.  I wouldn’t mind if this weather continued until July 4th, but alas, the hot and humid days of summer in the south will probably be here all too soon.

But not today; and that’s a good thing, because I can’t really be indoors today.  The new carpet is being installed and there’s nothing I can do to help. We spent the weekend removing everything we own from all the rooms upstairs and putting it all in the living room/dining room (with the help of our daughter and grandsons).  We’d already emptied furniture in the downstairs rooms for our new hardwood floors and in my last post I talked about all the “stuff” one accumulates in 28 years of living in the same house.  Well, that was nothing! 

So I’m looking at 90% of everything we own, except clothes, piled up in the living room and dining room and, on the one hand, it doesn’t look like that much really.  I mean, shovel out those two rooms and we could make a clean start!  On the other hand, it seems like a LOT of stuff, especially when I think about having to put it back where it came from.

So of course, we won’t be putting it all back where it came from! J  This seems like a perfect time to clean out, give away, sell or toss those things that just aren’t that important to us anymore.  It will probably take a month to go through this process, but we are committed to trying.  There are still a lot of things we’ll keep, partly because we do have room to keep them and partly because we do have children who might want them someday.

Here is my problem though.  I’m not a very organized person.  I try, God knows I try, but I just can’t seem to find a way to store things that make them easy to get to when they’re needed or that prioritize what I need and use and what I don’t.  Our daughter is very good at this and I’m hoping that she can help in this process but otherwise I may need a professional.

Got to practice on this stuff though, ‘cause the basement and all its "stuff" awaits!

UPDATE:  So the beautiful spring day on the porch meme has been shot to heck!  Come to find out: 1) they didn’t include the downstairs bedroom in the carpet quote and contract, 2) said bedroom has dry rot in one corner which has to be repaired before any carpeting is installed, 3) installers didn't bring enough carpet to put in an additional bedroom and the front stairs and finally 4) Lucy the lab needs to have her teeth cleaned, has a few “masses” that need to be biopsied and is getting cataracts – oh and 10 weeks post-op from surgery on one of her knees, she will probably need surgery on the other knee sooner rather than later.  Hmm, I think that’s all. 
As my DH would say, “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Let me just say that I am not a hoarder! I can still see the surfaces of my dresser, desk and coffee table.I can see my bed and chairs and dining room table. I can make my way from one end of my house to the other without a map and without injury! So, I am not a hoarder. 
  >>>THIS is a Hoarder>>>>

I will admit to being a “collector” of beanie babies (cough, cough), music, books, magazine articles, photographs. I will acknowledge that I have accumulated a lot of STUFF in my lifetime, but everyone does that, right?

You probably won’t even be surprised to know that there are over a million and a half Google results for the search term ‘Psychology of Clutter’. Even before I knew that there was such a term, I spent a lot of time trying to psychoanalyze my clutter issues and my disorganization disorder.

I recently read a blog post by Jane Brody at the New York Times. She has been writing a series about her own de-cluttering efforts, “Making Progress Against Clutter”. The motivation for her attempt to control her clutter was the scheduled re-carpeting of several rooms. I can relate! We are finally getting new flooring after 27 years in this house, and I am faced with the prospect of moving a lot of stuff in preparation for the installation. In the process I am looking at things that have been stored in drawers and china cabinets and have not seen the light of day in many years, and I’m thinking as I examine these things: Why did I buy this?  Why do I still have this? Will my kids want this?

Many of these items are pretty – which is why I bought them – but I never use them. Many items were handed down to me by family members – but they’re not much in style these days. Do I need 8 moving boxes full of old photographs when I only display 15 or 20 photos? How many glass vases or candlesticks does one household need? Why do I take things that other people are getting rid of – even though I don’t need them? Sigh!

These questions are worthwhile to ponder, but alas, I don’t have time. I’ve got to move a lot of “stuff” from one room to another these next couple of weeks. I do promise that I will examine everything carefully before putting it back where it was stored. At this stage of my life I think a lot about what my family will do with my stuff when I’m gone. I don’t worry that they will give it all away. I worry about what they will think of me for having kept so much stuff for so long. I’m reminded of the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21). Do I really want to spend my time and my money and my energy building bigger barns to store my stuff? 

How do you deal with clutter?  Is it an issue for you at all?  Let me know your secrets and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Twenty Years Ago

Last week I took my NIV Study Bible to a bookbinder to be re-bound. [The original binding, genuine faux imitation leather, was showing its age]. So tonight, when heading out to my weekly Bible study, I had to find another Bible. I grabbed one of my favorite translations, the Good News Bible, from the bookshelf. I have not used this version in a long time, but I remember buying it and using it for some of the first Bible studies I participated in as a young wife and Mother.

I flipped through the familiar and well-worn pages of this paperback and found the usual assortment of papers, bulletin fragments, etc. that I often stuff in my Bible. A couple of those were dated - 1992 - so I guessed that was the last time I had used this particular Bible. Because I'm a whiz at math, I quickly realized that 20 years had passed and of course I was immediately struck by the thought of how quickly they had passed too!

I've spent some time trying to remember what was happening in my life and in the world that year. You can go to any number of websites to research the latter. I will only share a few of the former memories with you. I do have a written journal, but alas, I didn't start that until 1997, and of course "blogging" was a thing of the future. [In fact, in 1992, the phrase "surfing the Internet" was first coined, but the White House did not yet have e-mail servers and you could not order pizza on-line!] In 1992 my boys were 12 and 10 and I had been selling Discovery Toys for 10 years; plus my Daddy was still living. I'm sure 1992 was a good year, although I can't remember many details, but the next year my world would fall apart.

Three events occurred in 1993 that changed my life - my Father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died within four months, my husband retired from IBM after a 27 year career and our children left private school and began attending the local public schools. I might have been able to deal with one of these things, but the combination of these three events sent me into a deep depression. In thinking about them now, I realize that all three events had something in common:  they were a full frontal assault on my sense of security.

Of course my Daddy represented the security I'd known since childhood. He was still a powerful force in my life, and I was very close to him (and my Mother) even as an adult. My husband's IBM career represented our livelihood, our financial security. We weren't close to being able to retire permanently and our children were still young. How would we survive economically? And although I knew that private school was a luxury that we probably couldn't afford for the boys indefinitely, I was not prepared for the move to public schools in 1992 - with one son in 5th grade and the other starting middle school. Private school had been a safe and secure cocoon for me and the kids for 7 years. I wasn't ready to leave the nest!

Eventually, of course, I was able to come to terms with the new circumstances of our life. I still miss my Daddy, but mourning cannot and does not last forever. We experienced several years of financial  uncertainty as well as some new job situations that were hard on our family in other ways. I went back to work, first part-time and later full-time. The boys did not adjust immediately to their new schools, and there were many days when we all cried, but in hindsight, at least one of the boys adjusted very well. I still have guilt feelings about the other son in light of his subsequent difficulties with school.

But, all-in-all, we coped. We adapted. We survived. And maybe we were a stronger family as a result. One thing is for certain, God brought us through all the changes and upheaval. He always does. And I know that He is the real soucrce of my security. I may not have known it then, but I know it now! It's never too late to learn that lesson is it?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Diet Update - Motivations and Milestones

I promised to post a few milestones on this journey - what I'm calling my "Last Chance Diet". My first milestone was giving up three food groups for Lent: bread, candy and alcohol.  [What? Those aren't food groups?] This has been easier than I thought it would be - only with God's grace I know. Then, DH and I joined a fitness center at our church.  Since both of us have been off this treadmill, so to speak, for a while now, it has been somewhat painful to start exercising again, to be sure. I also wanted to be diligent about writing down everything I ate, but hey, two out of three isn't bad, right?

The result: I've lost 12 lb. since the beginning of Lent.  Now that's what I call a motivation! My next challenge is continuing my Lenten diet restrictions even after Easter. I plan on continuing at least until the fall family wedding, but I guess the real question is, can I make this a life-long commitment and should I? Specifically I'm asking, can I give up bread, candy and alcohol for the rest of my life? Should I? I can make arguments both for and against. If I can give them up for a season, surely I could learn to live without them forever, but do I need to be legalistic about it? I'm sure there are other things I should give up eating too.

One consideration is whether I can simply limit my intake of these things. For example, I knew when I gave up smoking in 1979 that I could not ever smoke even one cigarette again. I knew how addictive that habit was and that I would never be able to stop at one cigarette. I'm afraid the same might be true for at least two of the things I've given up for Lent! [Can you guess which two? Ha!]

One more thing that I will put in the "motivation" category - I was riding in the car with one of my grandsons about a month ago when I told him that I was giving up alcohol, among other things, for Lent.  He immediately looked up at me with the biggest smile on his face and said, "That's what I've been praying for Gran."

Really? Really? How can I disappoint that boy? Sigh!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life's Lists

I've posted on the topic of "lists" before - in relation to New Year's resolutions and bucket lists for example. But lists aren't just something we make once a year are they? My DH keeps a running list of groceries to buy on a small post-it note next to the coffee maker. Certainly when I have a big event to plan [can you say "wedding"?] I really start making lists! But even when I'm just feeling overwhelmed with the number of things I need to do, I make a list and then try to prioritize my "to-dos" to help motivate me to start somewhere!

The reason I bring this up again is I just found the most wonderful website: Lists of Note. It is a website devoted to lists made by notable people and it is funny, profound, surprising, mundane - depending on the list and the list-maker. Here are a couple of examples:
  1. William Safire's Fumblerules of Grammar - rules of writing which are humorously self-contradictory.
  2. Woody Guthrie's illustrated New Years Rulin's for 1942.
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald's list of Things to Worry About [and things not to worry about] written to his 11 year old daughter Scottie. 
  4. Wartime Golf Rules - an incredible list of rules at the Richmond Golf Club in England during the Battle of Britain. The first rule is "Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the mowing machines."  They get better!
I'm serious; if you have even 15 extra minutes, check out the website and just browse through the archives.

Now unless we're famous our lists probably won't make it onto this website, but if you keep a journal and if you are in the habit of including lists in said journal, someone someday will probably read them. Don't you wonder what they will think?

A currently best-selling book called One Thousand Gifts [and the website by the same name], is described as "a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude" and has inspired many people to contribute to online collaborative lists or to make their own. There is even an "App" for it! At the recent funeral for a good friend I learned that she was inspired by this book, and in the last few months of her life kept a list of all of the things for which she was grateful. Truly inspiring and as you might imagine humbling to hear the simple, everyday things that she knew were really important. And don't you know that her family is grateful to have this list and to be able to pass it down to children and grandchildren to help them remember an amazing woman?

If you don't need to make any lists at the moment, go check out the websites above for some inspiration, and happy list-making!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

There's Never Enough Time

We say it all the time, "There are just not enough hours in the day," or "Where did the time go," or my personal favorite "I'm sorry, I'd love to help you but I just don't have the time right now." Time is money, time is fleeting, time is a human construction, well not time so much as clocks.

So what if you had more time? What would you do with it? I thought about that a lot last year when I retired. So much more time. What would I do with all that extra time? Ha! Well, do you know what today is? It represents 24 hours more in 2012 than you had in 2011, and you've already wasted seven hours of that! [Speaking for myself, of course.]

I saw a reference to this the other day on the Internet, but I can't remember where. Something about people planning to do some one special thing on this day, February 29, 2012 that they might not have done yesterday, something they had been meaning to do and just hadn't gotten around to doing. I think in this case it was about driving to an old home place that they remembered from their childhood but had not visited in decades.

It did get me thinking about time and more specifically this day in time. I feel like I should do something special. I don't want to let this extra day slip away. I don't want to treat it like a normal day, like yesterday or tomorrow. This day is special; it's a gift that we only get once every four years after all.

What should I do? Should I call a friend that I haven't spoken to in months or one I haven't touched base with in years? Should I go to a park, take some time to smell the roses, so to speak? Should I make a special meal or bake some bread for a neighbor? Should I make a pledge not to turn on the TV today, to read a book instead; or practice the piano, or tackle a big project I've been putting off?

So many choices. And then I thought - I have those choices to make every day, not just today. Every morning that I wake up in this world, I have the choice to do the same thing I did yesterday or to do something different, something special. Something that, if I didn't do it, I might regret it.

We know that our days on the earth are numbered, and, if you believe the Bible, that God knows the span of our lives. I'm pretty sure that He has even taken into account all those February 29ths, no matter what His calendar looks like.

But I still think today would be a good day to do something different - then again, so would tomorrow!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Diet - Motivations and Milestones

Ok, so I've posted about my need and desire to lose weight and the fact that my son is getting married in October being my prime motivation - this year anyway! I figured out that I have 33 weeks until the big day.

I was also motivated in the short-run by the fact that the season of Lent started this week. A perfect time to start a diet. I couldn't decide what to give up for Lent - alcohol, bread, candy - so I gave up all three! A bit of an over-reach, maybe, but it speaks to my seriousness about this diet! Instead of alcohol, I try to reach for water or diet iced tea; instead of bread, vegetables or salad; and instead of candy, fruit. So far - almost 3 days - and I've stuck with it! Now, that doesn't mean I have eaten only things that are good for me. I did eat some Girl Scout cookies and a few corn chips, but . . . NO alcohol, NO bread, NO candy. Woo hoo!!

If, and this is a big if, I can get through six weeks of Lent sticking to this diet, it will be a huge jump-start to the other 27 weeks. In the meantime, I'm spending a lot of time looking for recipes and menu ideas that I know I will eat.  You can actually find a lot of great recipes - even healthy ones - on Pinterest.  I'm also seeing a lot of beautiful people and beautiful clothes there which is definitely motivating me to stay on this diet.

UPDATE: This post on my diet mentions in passing the practice of giving up things, in this case food, for Lent. I've actually only done this a few times in my life, almost always it was for a very 'temporal' reason, such as a diet. As an adult Christian I've become more aware of the 'spiritual' reasons behind this practice. In addition to giving up certain food items, I am also trying to pray more often, to meditate on the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord and to recognize that it is only with God's help that I will be successful in this and all other endeavors.  I'm no theologian and my understanding of the season of Lent  may be simplistic but I think the ultimate goal of these six weeks for me is to focus on God not self.  Do you observe Lent?  If so, how?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It Is Written

So does anyone ever actually write anything anymore? Not type, but write - in longhand? I believe I read recently that some educators were recommending that cursive writing no longer be taught in school. Could that be true? 

I "wrote" [actually I "typed"] a letter to a friend the other day. I knew it was going to be a long letter and I didn't feel like writing it out. I hate to make mistakes and then have to cross out words. You don't have to do that with word processors. So, we tweet, text, post on Facebook and comment on blogs; we email, communicate online with people we know and people we don't know. Handwritten notes, even thank you notes? Please! An email will do. Some people even have their names printed on Christmas cards. They don't even include a personal handwritten "Merry Christmas".

I thought about this recently because I'm in a Bible study on the New Testament book of James and one of our assignments over the course of the study is to write out in longhand the entire book of James. Now it's only 5 relatively short chapters. It's not like we were asked to do this exercise with the Psalms or anything! I do a little bit each week. I'm not rushing, but I'm not exactly being meticulous either, and yes, I have crossed out one mistake already! Rats!! 

What has made this exercise especially interesting is the fact that there is an exhibit in town called "Passages". Coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, this is an exhibit tracing the history of the Bible as it exists today. It includes such antiquities as Torah scrolls, early Biblical papyri and manuscripts. Highlights of the exhibit are a fragment of the Dead Sea Scroll, some of the earliest surviving scriptures in Greek manuscripts, a Wycliffe New Testament and early rare translations from many countries prior to the presence of movable typeset printing in the west. There is a full-scale reproduction of Gutenberg's printing press, a first edition of "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis, a handwritten letter by Martin Luther, and many other manuscripts, rare books and first edition Bibles.

Equally fascinating is the fact that the exhibit includes interactive rooms from many different periods of history where young and old alike can try their hand at scribal writing, copying scripture by candlelight; and typesetting. [This is a brief overview of the Passages exhibit and I encourage you to check it out on-line if you would like to know more.] 

I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibit and I'm even more excited for my grandchildren to see it. I want them to know the painstaking effort and commitment that went into recording and preserving the spoken word before there was such a thing as a printing press, much less a computer. With any luck, maybe cursive writing will be taught and practiced for at least another generation or two. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

About Those New Year's Resolutions

No, I haven't broken any of my resolutions - yet, but I have had to re-think them.  It's amazing how much life can change in just a few weeks.  What seemed so important just before Christmas, now takes a backseat to other more pressing concerns. One child gets sick, one loses his job and another almost loses his as well.  Lots of reasons to be on my knees these days.  But in the midst of bad news comes happiness too as I learn that I am finally going to be the "Mother of the Groom" sometime later this year!! So back to those New Year's Resolutions . . .

One of them was to "spend less".  That will be important right up until the time we start having to help pay for a wedding!!  Another was to "eat less".  Now can I just say that this particular resolution has become, as it must, my only real goal for 2012!  If a son's wedding can't motivate me nothing can, right? 

I'm sharing this, not because I intend to keep a weight loss journal here. [I know you're relieved about that.]  But I do need all the encouragement I can get - even if it's just from my imaginary friends out there on the Internet. Writing about this just might be the one way I can be accountable to, well, to myself.   So I may share some insights and some milestones, some stumbling blocks and some tips.  Who knows, I may even share some recipes! But don't worry, the one thing I won't share - pictures!!