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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Marvelous March

March 31 - One more quick post from Marvelous March before we turn the page to A to Z April and April Love, two of the challenges in which I will be participating.

Here is the full moon from March 23:

It was a lot clearer than last month's full moon, at least at the time I saw it.  Something magical about looking at that bright circle in the sky.  I always try to make a wish or ask the Universe to help me on my latest endeavor.

This year my wish was for a good result when I had our taxes done the next day.  I don't know about you but every year I have the butterflies in the stomach until tax time is over.

My intention worked!  We are getting quite a nice refund from both the Feds and the State (of course the fact that we had only one income so to speak and are putting our daughter through college probably had some effect on the outcome)!

At any rate, that is over for the year and, as always, I vow to be more organized with my paperwork (or at least start organizing now for next year so I am not doing it the day before I go to the accountant).

How about you?  Make any wishes on the full moon?  Hope they come true for you!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Marvelous March - 2016

March 26 - About 22,300 trips around the sun...

That's what I have taken in my life to date.  March 10 was my 61st birthday.  Here is my selfie for March.

I definitely feel older but I am not feeling old.  In fact, I am getting a sense of new beginnings.  So much has changed in just the last year or so and there are many more changes coming soon.  Bill is about to get his official diagnosis of being permanently disabled, which while that sounds bad, is actually a good thing.  He is disabled in that he cannot be a maintenance mechanic or a packer at the chocolate factory for which he worked, but not so disabled that he is actually helpless.  He still has trouble reaching things in the back of the fridge or getting a pot or pan off the bottom shelf but he can do the dishes if there aren't a lot, or empty the dishwasher.  He can still fix some things around the house, just not the big, heavy stuff.  The main thing is closure for the Workers' Comp situation we've been going through since 2009!

In addition, all the kids have moved out of the house.  Rachel is in college now and is just finishing her second year.  She has gotten the taste of living on her own and does not want to come back.  I am a little sad about that but am so proud of her for being an independent, strong person.  Isn't that what we try to raise our children to be?  Jeff and Amanda are doing well on their own too, so while the parenting job is never really over, it is definitely not my primary function anymore.  

I am increasing my activity in my crafting business by signing up for craft fairs and getting my Etsy site more productive.  At the same time, my transcription business is getting more portable so our plans for travel may be able to happen as well. 

All in all, not bad for 22,300 trips around the sun!  

Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Challenge 2016

March 21 -

I have been wanting to make an Abecedarium for a while now and I just read on Deborah Weber's blog about the April Blogging Challenge that she participates in each year and I decided to put my feet in the water and try it myself.

Today we are asked to reveal what our Abecedarium is going to be about and I have chosen Music for my theme.  Our concert season is rapidly approaching and we already have tickets to five performances and are seriously contemplating buying season tickets at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California for this year.  It is one of our most favorite venues and the seats they are offering us are pretty good.  Plus, there are added perks (of course) to being season ticket holders (free VIP parking for one).  My husband and I have worked hard for a lot of years and I think it is about time we reward ourselves just a bit.  Of course, we may not be able to buy groceries for a while but one of the other perks at the Winery is free hors d'oeuvre's so as long as we go to the concerts, we won't starve!

This is the Seventh Annual A to Z challenge and there are lots (I mean hundreds!) of participants.  I am looking forward to reading some new blogs and interested to see if anyone else takes on the Music theme.  Of course I'll be on the lookout for craft/scrapbooking related ones as well!

I  hope you follow along with me and I'd love to hear your comments on my musical alphabet!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

March 8 -- Book Five!

It didn't take me long to read the book "Night."  It probably could have been read in a day but I usually only read before I go to sleep so it took a little longer.  I also didn't realize until I was posting my completion of the book onto Goodreads that the book is actually the first in a trilogy.  "Dawn" and "Day" follow.  I'll have to put them on my to-read list.  Not so sure I can take any more depressing stories at this point.

However, for now, Book Five is going to be...

"The Summer That Saved Baseball."

This is the story of the two Stanford grads who decided to take a road trip and see a game at all 30 major league ballparks.  That is our goal for when we "retire" and I remember reading about Brad and Dave when they were on the trip in 1998.  They were under some time constraints and made the trip in 38 days!  When Bill and I go, we will not be so limited in our time frame and it may even take more than one season, but I wanted to read this to get some ideas.  Also, since the book was written, several of the old ballparks have been torn down and rebuilt.  

Brandon Crawford

We've actually already been to three parks together (four if you count Candlestick, which has since been demolished), AT&T, Oakland Coliseum and Anaheim Stadium, where we went on our honeymoon in 1984.  Bill has also been to Dodger Stadium.  I'm looking forward to seeing the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hunter Pence

There have been others who have made the pilgrimage I'm sure.  I know of one couple who went to every one of the Giants games, both home and away a few years ago.

 It takes a lot of planning and organization, but that's what I'm good at.  I think we may even need to get passports if we go to the stadiums in Canada!  I figure I have a few years to get the logistics down, but it will be interesting to see what the boys had to say about their experiences.  They even went to the "Field of Dreams," Cooperstown and a couple of other notable spots.

Since baseball season is about to start, I thought it would be the perfect time to read this book.  I'm going to use it to fill my book about a road trip category.

Are you ready for some baseball?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

March 6 - Book Four

Finished the book of poems by Mary Oliver.  I still can't say that I really like poetry, or that I understand it all, but there were a few passages in this book that I did appreciate:

From the poem "When Death Comes:"

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

When it's over, I want to say:  all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.


I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

From the poem "Magellan:"

For what is life but reaching for an answer?
And what is death but a refusal to grow?

Those lines spoke to me and I haven't given up on poetry altogether just yet.

For Book Four I chose the book "Night" by Elie Wiesel.

It is the story of the Wiesel family in the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.  I am using it to fill my "book less than 150 pages" category in the challenge.  

Of course I know the story of the concentration camps but I have never read anything other than "The Diary of Anne Frank" that was written about them.  I've read a few chapters in "Night" so far and I cannot imagine the horrific experiences of being forced to run naked for hours and not having enough to eat or drink each day, not to mention being separated from from the rest of your family.

Between the poems about death and now this book about the concentration camps, I think the next book is going to have to be something a little lighter.  

How about you?  Ever read this book?  Taking the challenge this year?  Love to hear about it!