Windows and Doors of Venice

January 23, 2014

As promised DOOR AND WINDOWS OF VENICE, ITALY:

So…What happened was that we all went ( my mom, sister and me ) on a gondola ride.  We were serenaded by the  handsome young driver. My Mom loved it!  At first my sister said, no I don’t want to pay for that. I said….Are you kidding me?   We HAVE TO TAKE A GONDOLA RIDE …that should be on you bucket list.  Everyone does that when they visit Venice.  We will totally regret it if we don’t’.  I won the fight and we did go on it.  SO glad we did.  The sights were amazing!  We traveled through all of these small canals, you would never get to see the things we saw because you could only see them from a boat. The door and windows of Venice homes …were something.  I LOVE to take photos of door and windows wherevever I go.  SO I WAS SUPER EXCITED!!

Enjoy the gondola ride through the water streest of Venice:-)

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Picture sharing

January 22, 2014

Life is all about sharing right?  So…. I realize that I haven’t shared my photos of my wonderful trip to Italy.  I went with my sister Ellen and my Mom last year. A dream come true for my Mom.  Simply amazing!  We went to Rome, Florence and Venice.

I have been hogging all the memories.  SO here you go…..We had so much fun!  Life time memories!!

Enjoy….VENICE

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Tomorrow:  Windows and doors of Venice

BRRRR

Tues January 21, 2014

So ….Do you think chicken soup is good for the soul?  I DO!  Because every-time I eat it I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  But of course it has to be the home made kind.  I just finished a large bowl of my very own home made chicken soup. It’s a pretty basic soup..but I love it!

~  Lots of chicken

~  Broth made with this chicken based bouillon broth I love by superior Touch, It is made from natural juices and …still has a ton of salt but it’s more natural than cubes for broth.

~   A veggie of some sort, I usually choose broccoli

~    Rice or some type of pasta… This particular time it is rice

OH YEAH… Yummy in my tummy !

Me…being the weather girl is wondering what the heck is going on this winter.  St. Louis is having record-breaking cold more snow than usual and this crazy up and down weather.  It is not just the Midwest, as I write this Massachusetts (where the rest of my family lives) is having yet another blizzard with about 6 inches predicted.  It’s not the snow they worry about–it is the winds.  I worry about my Mom, last snowstorm she lost her power for a while, and that includes the heat…. WAY too cold to not have heat.  My brother lives by here, which is great…. he is always checking on her.  He is such a good son!!

It is currently 15 degrees and the high will be 18 today…. BRRRR…  Last night, I was awoken a number of times with the wind. It was cRAzY!  I went out this morning and all the trash barrels in the neighborhood were spilled over. It will get to about 30 degrees tomorrow and then back down to a high of 15 degrees on Wed

 I told you I should have been a meteorologist.  Ha-ha

I have this great weather station, don’t really remember where I got it …but I look at it every day.  The best part of it is that I can set my favorites and look at them everyday.  So I have listed:

St. Louis-Chatham, MA-Springfield, MA-Denver, CO  (My family areas) This way I can see what the weather is there also. CORNY I KNOW!!

St Louis MO
St Louis MO
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Cape Cod Massachusetts
photo-57
Springfield Massachusetts
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Denver CO Where little bear is !!!
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Hawaii…….I Know where I would choose!

But you can instantly look at other states too it is set for the U.S. Yup check out Hawaii, where would you rather be today…here or there??  SIlly question.

 

Healthy Living In The Nest

January 18, 2014

SO This year I have decided it’s time to focus on my health. Not that I wasnt before but I’m kicking it up notch. I am weight training 3 times a week instead of two and doing cardio on those days.  I love yoga and haven’t gotten back into it after I hurt my shoulder-but time now to commit to a weekly class 🙂  My body is missing those downward dogs, inversions and tree poses.  Also there is something definitely to the spiritual aspect of it.  I feel centered all week-long and I love that feeling.

This breast cancer thing, really gets on my nerves.  I read all these different places that you need to walk 30 mins a day, some say one hour a day to lower you risk of BC.  Well, had that been there!  I’m not sure I believe the stuff  I read that says all of this will reduce your risk of recurrence.  I THINK IT’s ALL A CRAP SHOOT.  I know people who based on their diagnosis should never have a recurrence and DO.  And…I know people who for sure are at higher risk and have not had a recurrence.  I breast-fed all of my children, I was at a good weight…I didnt even think I was at risk of getting Bc but I did.

Just when you are feeling good, something always comes up to remind you that you had the BIG C .  Like going to the dr for a yearly check up, the mammos, the vitamins I take daily to counteract all those crappy side affects.  Ok I’m starting to get negative…Have to stop that !

I feel really good when I exercise. I love my trainer.  So why not right?  I want to be like my Mom who is 81 years old and very healthy.  She walks every day.  Even when she’s here visiting she goes up the hills in my neighborhood, which are difficult for me.  She just takes her time….

You see I was a tomboy when I was younger.  I loved to climb trees, fences and play baseball.  My favorite shirt when I was about 12 years old was a navy blue sweatshirt …..wait for it…. with the arms cut off.  I loved that sweatshirt!!!  On most days you would find me running around the yard or neighborhood, on my bike where I always felt free.  It was a safe time back then.  I would be wandering around all day ( summers of course)  on my bike, going here or there and never having to worry about too much.  I found myself always going to the park.  It was called Marshall Roy Field…..Oh how I loved that place.  I spent a good deal of my childhood in the field.  I had always wanted to be on the girls softball team.  I saw them play and was too intimidated and did not feel good enough to join.   SO, instead I would hop over the fence which was right across the street from our house and enter the park and sit and watch the girl’s team play.    I would also watch the older boys play baseball.  They were probably like High school age but they looked so big to me.  Yup….I would sit on the sidelines just waiting for a ball to come my way.  I am smiling right now just remembering this.  Then when the game was over, I would run the bases with my sister who was probably there with me ). I loved to pretend that I just hit a home run and would run so fast around those bases, all out of breath when I got to home plate.  Then I would go to where the batters stand and I would try to outstretch my legs wide enough to fit into the deep indents left there by the many batters foot prints.  I was small because I could barely do it without doing the splits.  Haha

My Dad was a big baseball and basketball fan.  Most summers the black and white TV was on what seemed like 24/7 with baseball on.  Yup…he was a RED SOX fan..back in the day when Carl Yastrzemski was the star. My Dad built us a very small basketball hoop in the backyard……I am talking small for like 3 and 4 year olds.  So we started back early.  He always would joke to us that he I had enough kids for a basketball team ( I have 5 sisters and 1 brother).  We advanced to a basketball back board hoop on the garage.  There were many days/evenings spent playing HORSE ….aw  memories!  To this day I have fond memories of those games.  I wish I had said Yes more times when he would ask me to play.

Going back to my days in the empty nest…..Most days I am living in my comfy clothes, most mornings anyway.  I love the store ALTHETA and think I’m going to go there and get something new today.  I love going into that store it makes me happy 🙂  My typical workout outfit…..comfy stuff !!

Comfy & Cozy

Black yoga pants:  Patagonia

Orange t- shirt:  Life is Good

Salmon colored fleece coverup:  Eastern Mountain Sports

Sneakers:  Fleet Feet; St. Louis, MO

Down Vest:  Nordstrom, Bernardo Brand

~  EXERCISE ……..It’s good for the soul, the mind and the body better....SO I BETTER get going!!

XO S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being at the Top

IMG_2100I love this photo from Switzerland.  I visited there 3 months ago and still can’t believe that I was actually there.  I took this photo from the very top of the mountain.  I felt wonderful up there.  It makes you think of God and how this whole world began …the beauty, the details, all so inspirational.  It’s no wonder that I found this at the top.  AMAZING!!  I don’t know what the signs say because it is written in what I think is german and maybe Italian.

 I am a little afraid of heights but I really wanted to go see the Matterhorn up close.  I mean everyone knows what the Matterhorn is right?  It’s that great ride through the mountains and the “matterhorn ride” at Disneyworld. Only kidding, not really.  There is nothing like the real thing.  I guess I never gave it much thought back in the day.  I NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS THOUGHT I WOULD BE ABLE TO TRAVEL TO SWITZERLAND …..you see – DREAMS DO COME TRUE .  ~ Believe~

Bruce and I take the Glacier Express to see the top.  There are a ton more people also coming on the gondola most all dressed in full skiing ensembles.  There was a group of kids…I wonder if they are like contenders for the Olympics.  Because shouldn’t they be in school?   Or maybe this is school for them? Well, it sure is a wonderful place to ski.  I have NEVER seen such large mountains and ski slopes  in my life!  OMG – I, AM IN THE SWISS ALPS.  I think really….Are you kidding me…can life get  any better than this?  Right now at this moment I am loving where I am and all that I am thinking about.  I am so grateful and will never ever forget these moments.

We make a stop at what I thought was the top and was ready to get out and Bruce said to me where are you going?  ME- I thought we were here, aren’t we at the top?  B-  No—— we are going up there.  He actually points straight up…we have 2 more stops he said.  OMG.  Really  I look down and then straight up and wonder how this gondola can make it all the way to the top.   Now- I have skied many places in the Northeast and never, ever have I ever been up this high YIKES….My heart is starting to beat faster……I  would look down the rest of the way up. 

We are at the third stop, the last and final stop.  We get out, walk a little bit and I get dizzy, and a little SOB ( short of breath )  Wow I have never felt this before.  Weird feeling but tried to just take small breaths.  The views were amazing and so worth the trip….Afraid of heights or not….

It’s the most gorgeous day, sunny blue sky and in the 50’s.  There is not very much wind either considering we are way up so high.  I look around and think I am in heaven……Breathtaking views.  How can I capture all of this on my camera?  I probably cannot.  So-I stand there and just look, breathe and take it ALL in !!

 

 

We only live once and I really wanted to have this in my memory bank….so when I am having a down day…I can remember that I was on top of the world !   Why can’t I have this feeling every day?? Ummmm ……. LOVE THIS QUOTE

LIFE HAS GOT TO BE LIVED-THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT.                                                            ~Eleanor Roosevelt  

Tea time in the nest

 January 15, 2014

I love the light that comes into this room at dusk.
I love the light that comes into this room at dusk.

I love this time of day in my nest  (I’m still using this word because I still feel the emptiness of this nest) aka….my home.  This is my kitchen/hearth room area in my home.  This is where I spend most of my time.  Especially in the morning and late afternoon.  In the morning I usually turn on the TV, then the  fireplace when it is cold because it makes me happy and I feel cozy.  I watch the Today Show, have some coffee, yogurt, and plan for the day.  I love to have Monday and Friday be mornings that I can linger a little longer in my cozy area.  For so long I had to get up every morning very early and rush around to get out the door in time for work.  Well…..No more and let me tell you I do not miss it at all.  I am now onto bigger and better things 🙂

The afternoon time is a great time for me to settle in after a day of whatever and have a cup of tea, once again by the fireplace if it is cold.  And by the way it has been cold in the Louie this winter.  The high today was like 28…not too bad.  As I write I am sitting by my fire with a blanket over my legs…I am very cozy.  The sun is coming in the windows in such a beautiful hue ( see above picture ).  I think I am right where I should be at this moment in time. I think coziness is really underrated don’t you think?  To me the words safe and cozy go together.  Anyway my little bird Beca used to have tea with me almost every afternoon after she returned from school.  Nope……no more.  Remember she is off to college.  My little baby bird.  SO I sit here warm, cozy and feeling safe…but something is missing and that is the love and comforted feeling knowing that my baby bird was safe and sitting next to me.  You see I am my happiest when all of my baby birds are just with me. Not saying anything, or doing anything, but just there .  It doesn’t happen much because they are all flying solo, but when it does I truly treasure it and always long for more.  I tell you this empty nest thing is really difficult.  I like it and I don’t like it.  I’m sure my perspective will change but for now….I will continue to write about how I feel.

I just bought this carpet over the weekend at Costco’s. Its like a rusty color, and I love it with the browns of the table and the brown floor. I always find things when I am not really looking.  A good deal…… I thought and I like how it cozies up the room.  I know my dogs like it because when I first brought it home one of them snuggled right on it and stayed there.

Feel the coziness of the season, enjoy the weather, the crisp air, and put out some bird food for the little birdies 🙂

Feathers in the Wind

January 14, 2014

We are all Feathers in the Wind

I went to a coffee shop yesterday because I wanted to work on my book.  It was lunch-time, and the coffee shop was very busy.  The only seats that seemed to be left were at the counter.  So I took a seat next to a gentleman at the counter.  I usually don’t like to sit near other people because I don’t want to be bothered when I write.  But…this day.  I had no choice. I like the view of the outside from the large window that the seats look out to. As far as working on my book and getting anything done….It just wasn’t happening.  I never was able to get into my “zone” for writing but I did learn a few things about life.  You see this man I will call him Jerry, is the one that told me that we are all just feathers in the wind.  He said he learned that in  the movie Forrest Gump.  I saw the movie but did not remember this part.

 At first I was a little annoyed that he started speaking to me.  But then I really started listening to him.  Because you never what you will learn from others.  You see…. I really think God puts people in our paths to either learn something about them or about ourselves.  Life is all about experiences right?  We shared stories, travels and experiences we both have had.  I learned that he is a writer but has never been published, and that is totally by choice.  He seems like a free spirit and is starting a travel adventure to other parts of the world.  Wow….I thought he must feel really secure and safe in his own skin.  He travels all by himself.  He says hi to a lot of people coming and going.  He must come in here a lot.  We both spotted an eagle flying by. We talked about that for a bit.  The conversation really wasn’t going anywhere, but Jerry was interesting.  In fact I think he reminded me of Forrest a little bit.

 I started to get antsy because in-between our talking I would attempt to get back to my writing with little success.  I think next time I will have headphones just in case (but if I do that …will I miss out on the experiences that God has intended me to have)?  I am half into my book right now and am getting a little frustrated.  I just cannot get into my groove, and I leave shortly after this.  I am not that happy because I didn’t get to accomplish what I set out to do.

Fast forward to today I am at the health club walking on the treadmill and out of the window….OK be ready because this may sound weird.  But I see a white plastic bag flying around in the air.  Then…it stops because it gets stuck in a tree.  I immediately think of the “we are all feathers in the wind thing. Um….Is this an analogy of what I learned yesterday?  This bag or as I am seeing it now this feather could that be me?  Could that be Jerry?  It could be anyone really.  So….. Now I am not taking my eyes off the bag.  It stays there for bit and then the wind takes it and it ends up stuck in another tree very close by.  It really didn’t get very far.  Have you ever felt like that?  When you keep getting blown around, getting stuck here and there?  And can’t seem to get any momentum going?  I have!  What are we supposed to be learning when this happens? 

So finally this white bag flies off this bare tree. It is blowing in the wind.  It is tumbling and turning. It looks really happy.  That sounds silly right …a bag looking happy.  But I tell you it did.  It was tumbling and turning over and over again.  I am still mesmerized by this and watch it as it passes my window to out of my sight.  It is gone.  I smile and thought oh what fun ride that bag has had.  I wonder where it is off to now and where it will end up.  I could think of some wise quotes…but this one comes to mind:

 ~It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop

                                                                                                          ~Confucius

                                                              

 

 

Weekends in the Nest

Normal day in laundry room
Normal day in laundry room

 

 

So let’s talk about weekends in the nest.  I start off the day with an espresso drink of some sort or a large cup of coffee.  Santa Claus gave me this awesome espresso maker…I’ll have to tell you more about that later.

No baby birds around so I find myself wandering around and wind up in the laundry room.  You san see the before picture of what is normally look like.  It’s funny the photographer in me likes to take pictures and I always see things differently through the viewfinder….So I see through the viewfinder that…oh it looks messy.  Let me tell you about my laundry room…..

You see I have always wanted a real “Laundry Room”, I’m talking with a sink, real counter top, closet room, and plenty of room to fold clothes.  I remember in my 20’s and 30’s I had a laundry room that was 2 floors down in a dark basement.  Oh how I hated to do laundry then.  I remember I had to carry my son, when he was a baby, and the laundry basket at the same time all they way down and then bring it all up again.  So you can understand why I love this space…it makes me happy.  I love my laundry room.  It has all of that plus more, 2 windows so it is always sunny and bright.  ( who cares right ….well I do ) I decided when I moved into this house in St. Louis to bring some of New England with me so I have a Cape Cod/Martha’s Vineyard theme going on in there.  I love to go in there and look at my pictures…laundry never feels like a chore.  When I am folding clothes ….I am somewhere else 🙂

Its saturday and I finish laundry, feed my dogs and then let them outside.  I then water my plants and start online shopping for a carpet I want for the kitchen area.  I guess I am Nesting!!  No more baby birds to take care of …so I find my focus changing.  I am focusing on my own nest and making it cozy for me.

There...that's betteraw….that’s better!

These pics make me happy
These pics make me happy
Love these prints together
Love these prints together

The photos of the light house and seashells were taken by me.  The frames are from Michaels Store.  Nantucket style.  These pictures were used in a play based on Martha’s Vineyard by a small St. Louis company.  I felt honored that they were used.   The signs are from a place on Martha’s Vineyard called Sanctuary ( my fav place ) They sell all kinds of signs and the best shop I think in Oak Bluffs.  Do you like the large clothes pin?  I thought it was so cute when I saw it …purchased in Pottery Barn.  I just added a print of pink roses that grow EVERYWHERE on the Cape.  Also love these  🙂

 

Above my washer and dryer

The pics that are above the shelf   L   A beach scene taken during the winter near my Moms house.  It is Sesuit Harbor in Dennis, MA.  M A view of the Aquinnah cliffs on Martha’s Vineyard. R  The ” Emily Post House.”  This is such a great home with all the flowers in the summer.  On Martha’s Vineyard…..I think Edgartown.

So ….Bruce and I have a nice rest of the day….we venture out and end up at Costco…where I find a carpet for my kitchen…..Yeah and I wasn’t even looking.  We went  to Deweys for pizza and a beer.  We watch a little football, head home and watch more football.  After all the New England Patriots are playing….Yeah and they won.

Sunday was sleeping in late….Relaxing..  Hanging with Bruce is always my favorite thing to do on weekend mornings….I feel so grateful that I have someone who loves me and whom I love dearly in my life.Reading the New York Times and a couple of espressos.  We watch football and more football.   After all it is play off time.  Sunday night is usually of fav Tv night…good shows on Showtime!!
SO weekends now are now all about figuring out what to do in my big empty nest….After all this nest used to be filled with 3 beautiful little birdies.  They are flying on their own and I love to watch them….
Talk Later……..

 

 

 

Happy Friday

January 10, 2014

Happy Friday!!  There is something about Fridays that makes me happy.  It is not uncommon for me when I talk to people on Fridays to begin my conversation with ” Happy Friday”

I am hoping that I didn’t day this same thing last Friday on this same blog.  I am becoming forgetful…..becoming??  Well maybe I am a little forgetful.  You be the judge 🙂

 This morning I set my alarm for 8 am (most days I get up around this time…just 1 of the perks of an empty-nester) But I was really tired.  I had stayed up past midnight and wanted to sleep just a little longer! So when my alarm went off a little past 8 am,  I reset the alarm for another 10 minutes of shut-eye. SO it’s 10 minutes later, it goes off again and THEN I reset it again for another 10 mins.  OK… so the third time is the charm I guess…It goes off again, I shut if off and grumble. I finally rise and walk to the bathroom.  The whole time I was thinking I really, really, wish that I could stay in bed today just a wee bit more! (Sorry I couldn’t resist the Irish in me)

 You see I thought today was Thursday and on Thurs. mornings I weight train with a trainer at 9 am.  It takes me about 10 minutes to get there.  It is like 8:40 now and I rush to throw on some work out clothes. Because I still have to eat something and then make some coffee. I don’t usually plan what I’m going to wear. NOPE….I am not one of those people in the gym that have matching outfits on.  You know the ones I’m talking about. The women that do not look like they just go out of bed like me. These are the ones with the latest in work out gear and sneakers to match, the perfect work out bag, full makeup on…. I think you get it. NO REALLY I AM NOT JUDGING-JUST MAKING OBSERVATIONS.  I like to sweat when I go to the health club; I usually do ½ hour or so of cardio after my 1-hour of weight training and never wear any makeup.

Anyway…I throw on a jogging bra or top that has a build in bra in it.  Grab items from my closet:

~   Black yoga pants

~   Salmon colored tank top

~   Light blue with yellow writing on it LIFE is GOOD t shirt, over my tank top

~   Black and blue sneakers oh yeah & grey short socks & wait for it…..

~   A bright fuscia colored fleece that I bought in Switzerland

~   Brown and tan calf height cheetah print UGG boots.  It was a pleasant sight…really. 

 Also I forgot to tell you my yoga pants this morning were just below the knee….cropped ones…that I usually wear in the nice weather.  But it seems like all my other yoga pants were in the wash.  Looked super cute with the boots….  Ha-ha

 SO I arrive at the fitness place, finish the rest of my coffee in the car; grab my stuff and head into the door.  Right away I sense something is wrong. My trainer just finished training someone and he was leaving the same door I was coming through and I am usually right after him.  But… there was a woman standing next to my trainer.  I think oh-oh too many people in here right now.  It was 9:05 am.  My trainer raises both of his arms up in the air, smiles and says:  Morris I thought I said 10:30 today.  Me:  you’re right you did.       

OMFG OH MY FREAKING GOD…. you are kidding me?,  I say Oh I thought it was Thurs…..duh it is FRIDAY!!!!!

Do you mean that I could have stayed in bed for another whole hour?  I was so bummed out.

I get in my car call Bruce and tell him that I am losing my mind. We discuss that he will be finished with work today around lunch and he asks me if want to have lunch with him today. I’m excited we hardly ever to get to do this during the week.  I told him to call me when he is finished.

I head home and have some oatmeal, let my dogs out do a little online shopping.  I’m looking for a carpet for under my kitchen table and a tabl -cloth for another table that has glass on it. I browse and it’s time to leave already to go back to my trainer.

I finish about 12 pm.  I am thinking about lunch.  So I head to Panera and order something to go.  While I am filling the glass with my fav hibiscus tea, Bruce calls me.   He says what are you up to?   ME:  I just finished working out, got gas in my car and now I am at Panera.                                                                 HIM:  What are you doing there?  I thought we were going to lunch? How could you forget that? we just talked about it?  yada,yada,yada!  OMG….really how could I have forgotten that? We just discussed it less than 3 hours ago.  Oh MY…. I am feeling bad and tell him just tell me where to meet you and I wil         (now remember my lovely outfit….and no makeup)  we meet up, have a nice lunch in a new place near by. It’s a new winery and eatery, so we each have a glass of wine and then head home.  I take a nap (another perk of the empty-nester thing)

We head to an early movie and end up having a really nice evening. I think he has forgiven me for forgetting earlier.  The food from Panera sits in the refrigerator. 

I think I better stock up on sticky notes.  I may have to start using them more than I would like to.  SO you can judge for yourself…. if I am losing my memory…but that’s ok you don’t need to share with me 🙂

 

 

 

Optimism

 

January 9, 2014

OPTIMISM …..What a great word huh?  

To me Optimism resides in people that are positive thinkers and always looking at the best in people.  They expect the best and strive for the best that they can be.  Never being deterred by a curve ball thrown their way.  Being hopeful for the future, being confident that good things will happen.  Why oh why would someone really want to be a pessimist?  

Sounds like such a sad, lonely and dark place.

I am so optimistic about the future and love each day that I am here and able to share with others.  I am truly grateful for my life, am excited about where each day will take me….Um……Think of the possibilities.  One of my fav responses when someone asks me “what are you doing today”?   is ” the possibilities are endless”…..SO TRUE !!!

Join me in being totally OPTIMISTIC…..No matter what.

 

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09f2e290ec9b256601127d1667327293Sparkle ON……:-)

BELIEVE IS ANOTHER ONE OF MY FAV WORDS .….More on that later !