I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I last posted here.  Facebook has been satisfying my need to share some of life’s tidbits, and affords me the opportunity to do so with very little effort, which is something that appeals to me more and more these days.  Besides chronic pain, the extreme heat has sapped me of whatever little bit of energy I might have left over when I get home from work.  Temperatures have been holding steady at around 88 degrees for several days now, and I’m not liking it one bit.  It’s much too early for this kind of heat.  Actually, as far as I’m concerned, there’s never a good time for this kind of heat.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a looooooong summer.

Speaking of summer, this will be my first without having at least one of my daughters around (since Rebecca was born in 1986).  Leigh is spending the next couple of months with Becca, and will be waitressing at Matt’s restaurant.  (Matt is Rebecca’s boyfriend, and proprietor of an Outback.)   At the end of August, she’ll be heading to SUNY Binghamton to complete her Bachelor’s Degree.  She just graduated from SUNY Delhi with an Associate’s Degree in their Veterinary Tech program, and earned a 4.0, which is especially noteworthy considering that she had an extra heavy course load (19 credits).  I’m so proud of her, and of Rebecca, as well, who earned her Bachelor’s Degree a few months ago, and is taking some time off before going on for her Master’s.

There’s not much else of interest to report… I applied to work summer school and am pretty certain I’ll be assigned to the position.  Once again, there won’t be any vacation for me.  I’m deeply disappointed about that.  I so look forward to getting away, but haven’t been able to afford to do that for the last couple of years.  The drudgery of life is really wearing thin… Oh well.  I guess I’ll be spending much of the summer in my favorite spot at home – on the front porch.

Song of the Day:  Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone

Hurray!  I finally made it to the seashore!  Leigh, her boyfriend, Eric, and I spent Tuesday night and most of Wednesday afternoon in Seaside Heights, NJ.  Wednesday morning, I went for a walk around 7:00 a.m. in search of coffee.  I found a deli about a block from our motel.  Speaking of the motel, which was only a few steps from the boardwalk, this was the view from my window.  Sweet.

Anyway, while I was waiting at the counter, a woman walked over to pay for her breakfast sandwich.  I looked up and was stunned and overjoyed to see that it was LA!   After much squealing and hugging, LA channeled Humphrey Bogart and said, “Of all the delis in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”

Heh!  We ended up spending the day together on the beach with our combined clans, and had an absolutely wonderful time.  I knew that LA was in Seaside Heights this week with Mick and Wolf, and did hope that we would be able to get together.  Before LA left for the Jersey shore, she made the comment that it would be funny if the first time we managed to see each other in so long would be when we were both 100 miles from home.  Well, that’s exactly what happened, but I never expected to bump into her at a deli first thing in the morning.  Talk about a serendipitous experience! When LA told Mick about our chance encounter, he remarked that he would have been more surprised if it had happened to any other people.  But, with the two of us, he’s come to expect wild and wonderful things.

One of those wonderful things happened when LA and I were standing at the edge of the water.  Mick came down and wrapped his arms around LA.  Seconds later, Wolf walked over and put his arms around me.  My heart melted into a puddle that mingled with the surf foam and was drawn out to sea by the receding waves.

I am reminded of the John Lennon song, “Beautiful Boy” every time I see Wolf.  He really is remarkable in a lot of ways, just like his mother.  Thanks for a perfectly delightful day, LA & Co!

Today marks yet another birthday…  I am now FIFTY-FREAKING-FIVE YEARS OLD.  I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it is for me to believe that.  Lucky for me, it seems to be difficult for others to believe, as well.

During the last week of summer school, a student was talking to two of her friends about “cougars.”  She turned to me and asked if I was familiar with the term.  I replied, “Well, yes, I guess I am, considering that I’m married to a much younger man.”  They asked how old I am, and the look on their faces when I told them was priceless.  One exclaimed, “No you’re not!”  Another demanded that I produce my birth certificate.  The third further endeared herself to me by remarking that I look like I’m in my thirties.  Now I know that’s not true (see entry title), but it felt good to hear it, nonetheless.

Here’s this year’s birthday photo.   (My hair is a lot shorter than I’m accustomed to wearing it, but, believe it or not, this is three month’s growth after a particularly devastating haircut.)

My blog (I still have a hard time using that word) had a birthday recently, too.  I started an online journal (that’s what we called it back then) on August 21, 2001.   On September 23, 2001, I posted this entry about my reasons for creating an online journal:

Anatomy of a Diarist

Since my initiation into the Online Journal Club, I’ve been giving the genre a fair amount of thought.  Non-journalers tend to perceive the phenomenon as a “Dear Diary” sort of thing.  For all I know, some journalers approach it that way themselves.  But, that’s not how I see it. I feel more like a reporter whose subject just happens to be (for the most part) my life.  Of course, I don’t “report” in a New York Times fashion.  I don’t have that kind of training, and I don’t take myself that seriously.  I try to inject a little humor into my entries, and maybe even the occasional stab at pathos.  To me, this process is more akin to journalism or writing essays than it is to keeping a diary.  While I will discuss personal matters, it is not necessarily my intention to bare my soul.  Some things are just too private.

My reasons for writing are varied.  For one thing, I find that I don’t express myself as well vocally, having a tendency to get tongue-tied.  I like to consider what I’m going to say before blurting it out, and verbal conversations don’t afford me enough time to do that.  Writing gives me the opportunity to make more in-depth observations.  Often, writing will lead me to a better understanding of myself, and even an occasional revelation.  (R-E-F-L-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!)

Before taking the online journal plunge, I indulged the frustrated writer lurking within on a fairly regular basis in the form of letter writing.  Email is a vehicle I use on a daily basis.  I also used to exchange lengthy “snail mail” missives (25 pages and upward) with a friend in Pennsylvania. (Hi, Karen!)  Our correspondences were written in installments, and mailed at intervals of approximately every six months.  We included lots of photos, and found this a very satisfying way to stay in touch.

My writing method varies.  Sometimes my mood is light and casual; at others, it is bruised and introspective.   My entries are typically full of whining, joking, and boasting (usually about my kids).  During my darker moments, I find that writing about my feelings (and what causes them) really can be therapeutic.  This catharsis doesn’t exactly purge me of all negativity, but it does help to lessen my load considerably.  Sharing my triumphs and/or failures with an audience through an online journal lightens my burden even more.  Also, I recently read that writing lowers stress-related chemicals in the body, which is another good reason to allow myself this indulgence!

In closing, I’d like to share something Daniel told me quite some time ago, in reference to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovitch, and the staggering Gulag Archipelago.

“When Solzhenitsyn was writing in secret in Russia, paper was such a luxury to him.  Where we in the West have the freedom to scrawl haphazardly across a seemingly endless supply of paper, Solzhenitsyn literally could not waste a square inch of paper.  Every blank space had to be filled with his brilliance before he dared move on to another piece lest he run out of pages, and not transmit his profound thoughts to a world in desperate need of them.”

How humbling. Certainly, the world is not in desperate need of MY thoughts, so I am especially appreciative of those taking the time to read this.

Re-reading that entry makes me realize how much I used to depend on this form of release to manage stress.  It also makes me realize how much lighter my stress load is these days.  Oh sure, I still have chronic pain and financial burdens to deal with.  But there’s not nearly as much angst in my life as there was before.  After years of turbulence and heartache, I now have wonderful relationships with my daughters.   I am married to a kind, loving, supportive man who compliments me daily.  In short, I don’t have as much to get off my chest as I did in the past, which I suppose is why I don’t post here very often any more.

Still, it’s good to know that this place is here if I need it as a dumping ground, or even if I just want to drop in to say hello or show you some pictures.  Thanks for sticking around.  My world wouldn’t be the same without you.

Reading:  Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Song of the Day:  Celebration by Kool and the Gang

I was dismayed to wake up this morning to find that the damn headache that clutched me in its agonizing grip all day yesterday is still holding me hostage. I’m hoping Doc Bill (my chiropractor) can help when I see him tomorrow…

In the meantime, I can’t do much of anything because the pain is so severe.  I’m wondering what happened to the “break” in spring break… I sure could use one, and here is where I’d like to get it.  This place is absolutely amazing!  If you don’t have Power Point, you can follow this link, but it’s not as pleasing an experience.  For the Power Point presentation, click on the page to advance the slides.  If you use the second link, click the next page button (>).  Enjoy!  I know I did!

Reading (re-reading, actually) The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Song of the day:  Paradise By The Dashboard Light by Meatloaf

And the Award Goes To

April 5, 2009

A few days ago,  Jim surprised me by picking me as one of his selections to be awarded a Premio Dardos Award.  Thank you, Jim!

Premio Dardos means “prize darts” in Italian and is awarded for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values in the form of creative and original writing. The rules are:

1. Accept the award by pasting the graphic on your blog along with the name of the person who granted the award and a link to his/her blog.

2. Pass the award to another 15 that are worthy of acknowledgment, remembering to contact each so they know they have been selected.

Many of the online journalists/bloggers I read have already been chosen for this award.  So I am just going to refer you to my blogroll, which can be found at the bottom right of this page.  They are all good reads.

In other news, Friday was my last day at work until the 13th.  Spring break came just in the nick of time.  Work was sucking the life out of me.  I was beyond exhausted, and the pain has been very bad.

I’m hoping this break will be regenerative, although I haven’t been taking it easy so far.   Yesterday I spent the whole day cleaning the kitchen, including the refrigerator, which was pretty gross.  I was in agony by the time I said to myself, “Enough is enough.”

Today I hope to get some yard work done, since the weather is nice for a change.   The locals seem to have mistaken our front lawn for the city dump.  There are bags and food wrappers all over the place.  Grrrr.  I also have some spring bulbs to plant, and some yard debris (the natural kind) to clear.

According to the 10 day forecast, except for Thursday and Sunday, it will rain every day of my spring break, so I’d better get out there while the getting is good.

Song of the day:  Spring by Tracy Chapman

I’ve got a few things I want to talk about, but before I get to that I’d like to post the Bucket List that’s going around Facebook.  I was tagged by Penny.  (This list, by the way, is not the same as Fifty-nine Out of One Hundred.)

Things you have done during your lifetime:
( ) Gone on a blind date
(x ) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die
(x) Been to Canada
(x ) Been to Mexico
(x) Been to Florida
(x ) Been to Hawaii
(x) Been on a plane
(x ) Been on a helicopter (in Kauai, Hawaii)
(x) Been lost
(x) Gone to Washington, DC
(x) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers

(x) Recently colored with crayons
( ) Sang Karaoke
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t.
(x ) Made prank phone calls
(x ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(x ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain-naked
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x ) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating

(X) Gone to the movies
(x ) Been deep sea fishing
(x ) Driven across the United States

( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
(x) Gone snowmobiling
( ) Lived in more than one country
(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(x ) Seen a falling star and made a wish
(x ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty

( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
( ) Been on a cruise
(x) Traveled by train
(x ) Traveled by motorcycle  (It wasn’t exactly traveling, but I have been on motorcycles, as a passenger.)
(x) Been horseback riding
(x ) Ridden on a San Francisco cable car
(x ) Been to Disney World (Actually, it was Disney Land in CA)

( ) Truly believe in the power of prayer
( ) Been in a rain forest
( ) Seen whales in the ocean  (I’ve been on whale watches, but didn’t see any whales.)
(X) Been to Niagara Falls
(x ) Ridden on an elephant  (I have a picture of that experience, but don’t feel like digging through thousands of photos to find it.)

( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
( x) Been water-skiing
() Been snow-skiing
(x ) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
() Been to a Major League Baseball game
() Been to a National Football League game

On to the next item… The last time I saw Dr. What Do You Want Me to Do, he referred me to an allergist because of my frequent problems with runny nose and sneezing.  I went for allergy testing yesterday, and it turns out that I’m not allergic to anything.  I do, however, have a deiviated septum.  I also have nonallergic rhinitis, which means that I am very sensitive to irritants such as dust and odors.  Changes in weather and chronic health conditions can also trigger nonallergic rhinitis symptoms.  The Mayo Clinic notes that this condition can make you miserable.  It sure does.  Lucky me.

In other news, we are going to pick up our new car today. Our current vehicle is a 1995 Chevy Cavalier.   It’s getting to the point where we are putting more money than is fiscally responsible into a car that is fourteen years old.  So, we looked for the cheapest decent car we could find and decided upon a 2009 Hyundai Accent, ranked number 17 out of 35 in affordable small cars by US News & World Report.  The color is charcoal grey.

We’re going to have to be even more creative in our budgeting now that we’ll be adding a car payment to our monthly expenses.  Our car insurance has gone up,too,  but it’s not as bad as I had feared.  Daniel called around (including Geico), and the best deal we got came from Liberty Mutual.  They also offered us a better deal on our home insurance, so we switched that over, as well.  Wish us luck!

Besides picking up our new car, we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with take-out food.  I don’t want to go to a restaurant because they’re too crowded and you get the bum’s rush on holidays such as this one.  Take-out Chinese will do nicely.  Not having to cook is a beautiful thing.

After dinner, I will snuggle up with my sweetie, savor my Lindt Lindor Truffles,  and watch a romantic episode of The Sopranos.  We don’t have HBO, so we’ve been getting the DVDs from Netflix.  We’re almost at the end, and I have to say that I can see why the series was so popular.  I’m really loving it.

Speaking of loving, go on and kiss the girl (or guy, whichever the case may be).


Reading: Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Song of the Day:  My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart


January 16, 2009

Our schools are closed today, and I can’t figure out why.  Unless pipes are frozen, or something like that, this was a ridiculous call.  It’s zero degrees, so I can see having a two-hour delay.  This is a walking district, and some of our students have a two mile hike.  But closed?  This means that we’ve used three of our five snow days, and it’s only the middle of January!  I don’t want to give up any of our spring break.  (One year, we lost the entire break!)  Grumble.

I wish I had known about the closing before I had already been up for an hour and drank two cups of coffee.  Getting up was very difficult for me this morning.  After work yesterday, I went to the Ikea in Paramus, NJ, and didn’t get home until 9:00 pm, which is past my bedtime.  To make matters worse, I had a bad night (which always happens when there is any deviation from my usual bedtime routine), and woke up just about every hour.  I’ve been dealing with a flare-up of severe pain (which is one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet here), and nights like last night sure don’t help.  It would have been wonderful to sleep a bit later this morning.

My Friend and I are going to try to get an appointment with the chiropractor, then go to lunch, followed by a trip to Sam’s Club to return the red pea coat I bought Leigh for Christmas.  Even though it’s a size small, it’s way too big for her.   It’s too big for Rebecca, as well.  So back to the store it goes.

Before I head out, I’d like to share something that Sasha brought to my attention. Performing artist, Neko Case, and Anti record label will donate five dollars to Best Friends Animal Society for every blog that reposts Neko’s new single.  Click on the link below (under the Song of the Day) for this free downloadable mp3 and please visit Antilableblog and Best Friends Animal Society for more information.

Reading:  The Three Junes by Julia Glass

Song of the Day:  Angel by Sarah McLachlan (I can’t watch that animal cruelty commercial without crying, so I don’t watch it at all.)

People Got A Lot Of Nerve by Neko Case

Before I get to today’s Holidailies prompt, I’m going to do the Letter meme that’s going around.  I first saw it at LA’s place.  These are the instructions:

You leave a comment on this post, and I’ll assign you a letter. You write about ten things you love that begin with your assigned letter, and post it at your place. When people comment on your list, you give them a letter, and the chain continues on and on. (Don’t worry, you can leave comments without fear of commitment.  I’ll only give out letters to people who ask for one.)

I have been assigned the letter “R.”

1. Rebecca, my firstborn daughter, has a sunny disposition and a big heart. She has brains as well as beauty.  I’m very proud of her.  Here she is with her boyfriend, Matt.

2. Rachmaninov (or the variation, Rachmaninoff ) – I fell in love with the music of this Russian composer/pianist when I saw the movie “Shine.”  In this Youtube clip you can hear Rachmaninov play his Piano Concerto 3.

3. Radiohead – I love Thom Yorke’s voice and “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” is one of my all-time favorite songs.

4.  Raspberries – When they are in season, there are not many fruits that I like more than raspberries.  Eating them is a tactile pleasure as much as it is a gustatory one.  There’s something velvety about the feel of a raspberry on my tongue.  I also love raspberry sauce.

5. Red – My favorite color.  I love red autumn leaves, red barns, red nail polish, red lipstick (even though I can’t wear it), red tomatoes and red cherries, cardinals and red-breasted robins, the red flesh of a ripe watermelon, painting the town red, walking the red carpet, Red Rover, etc.

Photo from hi5layouts

6. Reading – It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader  – always have been, and I suspect I always will be.

7. Repose – I love to sleep.  After a draining day of trying to carry on in spite of constant pain and fatigue, it feels so good to tuck myself in and drift off to the Land of Nod.

8. Repast – I really like to eat.    Stuffed sole, penne a la vodka, Buffalo chicken wings, calimari fra diavoo, pad thai , homemade pizza, pastichio,  falafel, chicken francese, filet mignon, lobster, peanut sesame noodles, ziti al forno, king crab legs, crabbies (see below), etc.  The only food I’m not crazy about is ham.

9. Respect – Find out what it means to me.  Seriously, the lack of respect these days is alarming, and I’m not just talking about young people.

10. Retirement – I love the thought of not having to go to work anymore.

Okay, here’s today’s Holidailies Prompt:  Share a favorite recipe that you like to make (or persuade someone to make for you) at this time of year.

This appetizer has become a family favorite at Christmas.


2 (6 pkg.) English muffins
2 sticks butter, softened
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 jars Old English cheese spread
2 cans crabmeat
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Beat all ingredients except crabmeat together. After ingredients are smooth, fold in crabmeat and spread over the English muffins. Bake at 400 degrees until bubbly.  Cut into quarters. Note: They may be kept frozen for weeks before baking.

By the way, it’s becoming too much of a chore to try to come up with an entry every day.  The holiday  season is hectic enough without putting any more pressure on myself, so I’m calling it quits with Holidailies.

Song of the Day: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

I’ve always liked the idea of Holidailies and decided to give it a shot this year.   I don’t know if I’ll be successful  – the thought of posting an entry every single day until January 5th is a daunting one.  But, what the heck.  It’s worth a try.

Today’s prompt:  Introduce yourself

I am 54 years old but don’t feel or act my age.  One of the things to which I attribute my youthful attitude is the fact that I am surrounded by teenagers five days a week (while school is in session).  I work in a computer lab in what is classified as an inner city school.  For the record, this is the same high school I graduated from in 1972.

I have two daughters – Rebecca, who will be 22 years old on Sunday,

and Leigh, who is 20.

Both girls are presently in college, which means that we are really feeling the squeeze financially.  Rebecca will earn her Bachelor’s degree next year (after finally settling on Sociology after switching her Major six times), so the money situation should improve somewhat.  (The girls are on their own as far as Master’s degrees go, and, in Leigh’s case, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  We’ll help them as much as we can, but they’re going to have to take out large loans.)

Daniel (my 2nd husband) and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary in March.  Being married to someone who suffers from chronic pain is not an easy row to hoe, but Daniel is very helpful, patient, understanding, thoughtful and loving.   I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

Speaking of chronic pain, I have Fibromyalgia (accompanied by Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic fatigue), Degenerative Disc disease, a herniated disc in the lumbar spine, pinched nerves,  Anticardiolipin antibody, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (mild), and a persistent pain in the right shoulder blade that drives me out of my ever loving mind.

Our nest is pretty close to empty.  Rebecca lives at her father’s place, and Leigh is away at school.  On the other hand, we do have dearly loved “fur children,” Eleanor Rigby, a cockapoo, and Penny Lane, a dachshund.

I am an avid reader. Knitting is a more recent obsession, having learned how to do it only about a year and a half ago.  Music has always played a very important role in my life.  My tastes range from The Beatles to Linkin Park to Mendelssohn to Modest Mouse to Conor Oberst to Broadway soundtracks to The Talking Heads to U2 to the B-52s to Elvis Costello to Radiohead to The Clash to The Shins to opera, and so on.

To sum things up, I yam what I yam.

Reading: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Song of the Day:  I Yam What I Yam from the Popeye Soundtrack

These Vagabond Shoes

November 30, 2008

We had a really nice Thanksgiving with The Ex and his mother.  (She was on her best behavior, by the way.)   It was a very low-key holiday, which suited me just fine.   I was especially grateful to not have to listen to the Obama bashing I’m quite certain was spewing forth from the mouths of my father and brother-in-law.

I’ve been off work since 11:30 on Tuesday.  One of the best things about being off is sleeping late.   For me, “sleeping in” means 6:00 am, or 7:00 if I’m really lucky.  Therefore, I was shocked when I woke up yesterday and saw that it was 10:00 am. I could easily get used to this.

I could also get used to evenings like the one I’m enjoying right now.  After spending seven hours on my feet in the kitchen a couple of days this past week, my body and mind needed to rest.  So, I’ve been sitting here in the family room, knitting in front of the fire, and listening to tunes on my ipod, which is set to “shuffle.”

It’s a hoot to listen to songs that jump from John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” to Cher singing “It Ain’t Necessarily So” (from “The Glory of Gershwin”), to Elvis Costello’s “Oliver’s Army,” to U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love), to “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” by The Temptations, to “Don’t Worry About the Government” by The Talking Heads, to “I Want You,” by Marvin Gaye, to Elton John’s “Burn Down the Mission,” to Radiohead’s “Street Spirit,” to “1999” by Prince, to Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea,” to “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra, to “Invisible” by Modest Mouse,  to Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” to “Jump, Jive and Wail” by Louis Prima, to “Jigga What/Faint” by Jay-Z with Linkin Park, to “Oh Darling” by The Beatles, to Joe Jackson’s “It’s Different For Girls,” to “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, to “Sea Legs” by The Shins, to “Requiem, Op. 48, Pie Jesu.”

This is the life.

Song of the Day:  This is the Life by Amy MacDonald

“And the songs they get louder
Each one better than before

And you’re singing the songs
Thinking this is the life.”

A couple of you mentioned MonAvie in the comments section recently.  That was the first “unnecessary” expense I eliminated when it became apparent that we would have to do some serious belt-tightening.  Since canceling my “autoship,” I’ve returned to the Land of Deep Fatigue.  Believe me, there are a lot of places I’d much rather revisit, Hawaii, for instance

Seriously, I am so tired by late afternoon, I can barely speak.   One upside to this is that I fall asleep almost as soon as I close my eyes. After all the nights I’ve spent tossing and turning and longing for Morpheus to cradle me in his arms, I have to say that it’s a wonderful thing to slip into slumberland so swiftly.

Unfortunately, I have a problem staying asleep.  I wake up quite a few times throughout the night, for a variety of reasons including pain, my bladder, doggie disturbances and a snoring spouse.  Consequently, I don’t feel rested when I wake up.  Non-restorative sleep affects my pain level, as well.

Anyway, back to eliminating expenses.  Monavie isn’t the only casualty in the budget-slashing massacre.  My Christmas list has been cut almost in half.  Last year, I gave gifts to thirty-three people.   Besides family, there were friends and co-workers (including a Secret Santa) on my list.  This year, the number of gift recipients has been whittled down to eighteen.  (That’s still a large number, but bear in mind that there are twenty-one people in my family.)   Six of those people will be receiving knitted items.

My Friend, mother and cousin are getting a “sharf.”  (I’m keeping some of the shawl/scarves shown below for myself, by the way.)  As you can see, they can be worn in several different ways.

My father, grandmother and ex MIL are getting afghans.

Speaking of Christmas, I’m going to the Christmas Tree Shop in Danbury, CT with my mother early tomorrow morning, so I’d better hit the sack.

Song of the Day:  Goodnight by The Beatles