Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Woo Hoo! It's Thanksgiving!

Today I will be cooking!  I am making the turkey and dressing and sweet potato casserole!  Then we'll pile it in the car and go to my sister's for our Thanksgiving meal.  On the way down we'll stop in Atlanta and be there when our younger son finishes the Atlanta Half Marathon, his first 13 mile race!  I can't even imagine.  Needless to say we are very proud of him.

I decided to write my Thanksgiving post today because tomorrow I won't get to it.  I'll be celebrating, eating, visiting with family, watching a little football (yuk), and the parade.  It will go something like that.  Probably very much like yours. 

So here are my thoughts on gratitude.  I've heard it said, "If the only prayer you ever say is 'thank you', that is enough."  I think gratitude is almost a state of being.  As we go through each day, the number of times that we are conciously thankful for something is a really big number.  Even when it's not Thanksgiving and we aren't thinking about what we are thankful for, we still are.

Me:  I am especially thankful that I am healthy, and that my family is too.  I am thankful for Larry and our two sons, the life we have, and our home.  As Jon and Kate always said, "It may be a crazy life, but it's our life."  I'm thankful for my parents and how they raised me.  I'm thankful for my sister and I'm thankful it's just the two of us sibs.  I'd be jealous if she had others.

My friends.  Oh I love them and I'm so thankful for them.  They bring so much fun to my life and so much heart.  I could go on and on but that's enough for now.  I am thankful my sister is having Thanksgiving at her house, and that she and my son are both making food too!  I am thankful I lost five pounds in October so I can eat anything I want on Thanksgiving Day.

I'm thankful for you, my invisible friends, too.  Hope this is a great holiday at your house.  Santa is right around the corner!

P.S.  My son got the job!!!  I am SO thankful for that.  Makes my season bright!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Know Anyone Who Needs A Job? LOL!

Well, duh!  Don't we all!  I bet if we all weighed in, we are either looking for work ourselves, our spouse is looking, our kids are looking, or our friends or neighbors are looking!  Since I am retired, I am taking myself, personally, out of this discussion thank the Lord!  I also know 90% of us are employed, according to the news, which totally outweighs the 10% who are not but want to be. 

Unless you are one of those 10%.  Hey, come on.  If you or a loved one are one of those 10% you feel it.  Might be your heart is aching.  Might be your relationship is hurting.  Might be your self esteem is in the toilet.  Might be you are in foreclosure.  Maybe you are struggling with mounting debt.

I'm the Queen of looking at what ya got, not what you don't got!  The list of what I am thankful for does not end.  I believe 100% in focusing on what you want, not on what you don't want.

All that said, I also believe in support and the best use of resources.  AJAB stands for A Jab At Work.  AJAB's site is out there trying to make this job process a little more fun, a little lighter, while adding value and knowledge along the way.  It's just another place to go, another action step to take, another way to support.  You know, it doesn't really matter how many jobs are out there.  YOU only need one.  Let's send all our readers to AJAB.  He'll answer their questions and maybe get them out of a rut.  Someone to talk to and coach you through the dark times is invaluable.

My son's been looking for a job since April (yikes!) and this week he had a great interview!  I'll let you know how it turns out.  Haven't heard yet but we are expecting only the good!  And then we will celebrate! Take care!  Pay it forward!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm Back! I've Missed You!

Oh it is sooo good to be back among friends!  Thanks for all the messages while I've been predisposed.  I'm emerging from  the weirdness of anesthesiology and its aftermath now.  All is well and everyday I feel even better.  A little time like this is a good reason to kick back and nurture oneself.  Whether I wanted to or not, I didn't have much choice so I decided to just make the best of it.

Five days later and I am officially out of my pajamas.  You know how comfy they are anyway and when you're a little under the weather, there's just no better comfort.  I've slept a lot, let people wait on me, eaten whatever I've wanted, and finally this morning I got dressed, put up my hair, put on makeup, and took a drive with my husband, stopping for a bite of lunch.  Normal days are so delicious. 

While I've been resting I read the book, My Favorite Wife by Susan Ray Schmidt.  It's subtitled Trapped In Polygamy and is a true story that took place in the early 1970s.  I won't tell you too much in case you want to read it but Susan married two weeks after she turned 15 and had 5 children by age 25.  Her experiences as the sixth wife of one man, and as a  young mother living in abject poverty away from her family, leave your mouth hanging open and your eyes wide.

I've seen a lot of documentary type programs on polygamy where large families live together in a huge, well appointed home in a compound setting.  With jobs evenly distributed among the sister wives and everyone being cared for, it has always seemed an unusual way of life but one that has worked for some people.  This true story gave me another view of fanatical polygamy....and made me once again extremely thankful for life as I know it. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

I truly think I am one of the most fortunate people in the world.  That does not mean everything is perfect all the time.  Nope.  But so much stuff is good that it completely overwhelms all the rest. 

My family is close.  Maybe in an odd way because Larry and I don't live close enough for them to drop by, grab a sandwich and a cup of coffee, have Sunday family dinners like I grew up with.  It's not like that.  But we are close in our hearts and that is what really matters.

My friends.  Ah, what would I do without them.  My sister is one of and friend.  How good is that?  My friends are wise women.  They are fun, beautiful, gorgeous, and smart.  Mostly they are there for me if I need them.  Again, because we live all over the city, we don't have as much 'drop in for a sandwich' time as I would like but we are working on that.

I could list the things that are bothering me in my life.  There are some.  I'm not ignoring them.  I'm realistic enough.  I've learned not to choose to think about that which would bring me down.  For years I really did not know much about choosing my thoughts, if that was even possible.  It's hard to think about more than one thing at a time so when I drift into "OMGosh Whatever Will I Do" Land, I conciouisly choose to think about something good.  Am I always successful?  No, not always.  But you do get better with practice.

Tomorrow I have a personal event to deal with coming up.  Just a little medical thing.  So today I am appreciating my healthy body and all that it has done for me and all the good that it brings me.  Perfect health courses through my veins and my cells radiate vibrant health.  My strong legs and arms are my playmates at the gym when they hurl through the air kickboxing and dancing.

I so appreciate Neto who comes and cleans my house when I need him and makes it just absolutely wonderful.  I appreciate my plants that clean the air in the house and bring nature right on inside.  My puppy is a love and is right by my side.  Good thing he is taking a nap because he and I are soon going outside to play.  And I so appreciate my taste buds which are just about to be stimulated beyond belief with the greatest stir fry I have ever had.  Yes, I made it myself!

This is not a litany of self centeredness or bragging.  Hope you know that.  I am very humbly grateful for my life and I (usually) don't take it for granted. Sometimes I wallow in what's wrong and need a kick in the butt to remember the good.  But I am really practicing what I preach today and it helps to write it down.  My vibration is high, right where I want it to be.  That is where it will stay all day.

If this isn't the best day for you, choose different thoughts.  Don't ignore your issues, but get yourself 'up' and ready to deal with them in the highest joy you can muster.  Take care!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who Am I? Where Are You?

You know, a lot of folks told me not to change my URL and I did it anyway.  Not sorry, just frustrated!  Once everything shakes out it will be fine.  Just take it from me, so easy to do, so challenging to get back to normal.

At one point I was blogging under my actual name, Sandra, and had a different picture than I do now.  I changed my picture just for the heck of it, and changed my name to Just Playin'.   So that explains that part.

Also, what is the new Friends deal?  It started appearing today and I'm not sure how that is different from Followers.  Oh my!  I will figure this out. 

Anyway, I hope you are having a great weekend, or at least a good one!  Mine has been quiet today  but lots is going on tomorrow.  Take care and thanks for being a new Follower, an old Follower, a Friend, or just a visitor!  Back at ya, whatever! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Microwave Yoga

Do you watch The Biggest Loser?  I do.  I really like watching these folks reach their goals.  Plain old exercise and diet is what they are doing PLUS loads of support from Jillian and Bob whom they love, and love and connections with their teammates.  Someone teaching you what to do, someone to hold you accountable, someone to love you through it, 15 minutes of fame,  and a monetary incentive.  It works!

Ever heard of Microwave Yoga?  Probably not since I made it up.  If you are like me, you are always popping things in the microwave.  A cup of coffee that needs a warm up, later maybe a cup of tea,  that left over Mexican from last night, dinner for your husband who was late coming in, and on and on.  What do you do while waiting for the buzzer to go off?

You've got a whole minute and a half to wait so why not put it to good use?  My favorite microwave activity is the squat.  Put your feet a little wider apart than your shoulders, suck in yo tummy, pull in yo butt. Now slowly bend your knees and squat.  Keep your head looking straight ahead.  Just stay put til the buzzer goes off.  Another one, feet shoulder width apart, reach up to the ceiling as far as you can, lean to the left as far as you can and stay there.  Then to the right and hold it.  Ooh what a good stretch!

These are my two favorite microwave stretches.  No, it's not yoga but it feels really good.   Make up your own.  You could run in place or just skip around the room.  Hey, nobody is watching!  Look out, this is habit forming.

As they say, just move more.  Every little bit helps.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Don't Look If You're Working The Crossword Puzzle

All I need is one more obsession and I will be completely worthless...and, uh oh, I feel one coming on!  For the past year or so I've been getting into the Monday and Tuesday Crosswords in the newspaper.  Never had time before but it's pretty fun with your coffee outside in the sunshine.  I didn't know for a long time that the puzzles get harder each day of the week so if you are a beginner, start with Monday and you will have a decent shot at it. 

Recently, since I haven't had a church for awhile, (remember, I told you about that), I have been tackling the Sunday Crossword for some strange reason... and am slowly but surely getting addicted to it.  It is way over my head so it's quite a challenge.  I don't finish it unless I cheat a little which is not fair fun.  Today I was 'Google cheating' just a little for the first time.  Yes, I've been away from church too long.  Turning into cheating scum.

I like actually working it on the newsprint with my blue ballpoint pen.  I can't stand the way it feels to write with a pencil on newsprint!  If I'm not sure I just write lightly and then go back and darken it when I am sure.  Accidentally, when I gave myself permission to cheat, I ran across this site, a blog actually (!) of all these LATimes Crossword Puzzle Workers.  Oh boy.  That was a God-send.  So I know He is not mad at me for the church thing.  So after many cups of coffee, half a banana, and an apple, I am done!

Just had to share my excitement with you.  What are you excited about today.  Tell me.  I'm waiting to hear!

PS:  Bob and Bess, I'll be glad when you get back so I'll know you're okay and the weather didn't get you!

Speaking From The Crib, I'll be glad when you get back too. I think you said you'd be decorating for awhile, or maybe it was a birthday trip? At least that's a fun thing and we want to see pictures.

Andrea, I'll be glad when you get back too. I know you are enjoying the mountains and the alone time up there. Priceless.

TaterTotMom, I'm not worrying about you cause I know you are typing your fingers off on your novel. Can we read it when you're done?

Marsha/Marcia, Come back soon. I miss you and I know life gets tough. You are loved from afar.

Janice, Stay in touch. Get wise counsel.

Dayne, Where the heck are you?

Alice, Take care. Be strong.  XOXO

Sarah,  I've miss you too.

Lots of others.  I know I left off some other regulars I've missed lately.  I'll think of you later and kick myself for leaving you off.  Pre-forgive me, please, but do come back soon.  I've moved so find me, huh?  This new neighborhood is a little lonely!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Love The Ones You Got

This has to be the most beautiful day ever made! So far we've had a leisurely breakfast of coffee, bacon and grapefruit, read the paper, worked on the crossword puzzle, and washed the dog.

Larry is a great dog groomer. After his bath Buddy, the dog, sits on the bathroom sink counter and Larry blows his hair dry, just like he used to do for the boys when they were little. They preferred their hair 'au natual' but dad would really spruce them up if it was a special, or halfway special, occasion.

One Christmas we took the kids to the Alliance Theater in Atlanta to see the play, Scrooge. This was one of those times they had to get all dressed up with the hair and everything. In a former job, a former lifetime, Larry would occasionally get freebies to things going on 'downtown', hence, the tickets. Younger son was about 5 and older brother around 8. Part way through the performance, younger son was getting a little restless and couldn't see as well as he'd like, so he lay down in the aisle and propped up on his elbows with his head in his chin for awhile. I can't believe the ushers let that happen but I guess they weren't strict back then. Now? No way.

After the play we went to another downtown Atlanta landmark, The Varsity. If you haven't been there it's hard to explain. First you slide on in cause it's all grease! Then you hog up to the counter with the other 100 people. They say "Whadda ya have?", and you yell out your order, something like '2 slaw dogs, rings, fries and an orange frosty'. That was back when you could eat like that without feeling like you had commited a cardinal sin against your body!

Patrons of the Varsity range from evening dress people to the homeless, all in there together having a grand ole time. It's huge. You can sit and overlook the city or you can go in a TV room and, you guessed it, watch TV. You can even get curb service but then you miss all the fun! I think that was the first experience my kids had with homeless 'type' people. Another post, another day.

All of this came up just from washing the dog this morning. We really miss our kids. We are close in hearts but not in distance. So we substitute the dog. He does the best he can, bless his heart, but, he is 'just a dog'. We forget that most of the time and shower him with love like he was our kid. He just takes it in. I've noticed if we are 'on the love. He always returns the favor.

There are many ways I could go with this post but I'm stopping here. No matter which way I would choose to go, it is really still all about love isn't it.outs' with each other (imagine that), we both shower the dog with even more

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Edgy Aging Keeps You Young-er

Yesterday when I was bloghopping I came across the words just stay current.  I don't remember where I saw it or the context, but since it has been my personal mantra for some time now, I decided to write about it today.  It's for everybody but for those of us gettin' on up there, as they say, take notes!

Jan, an old friend, and I were talking a few years ago about aging....we were really talking about our hair, how we were wearing it, the color and things like that.  It is so very easy to get stuck in a hairstyle, right ladies?  I mean you will still see us walking down the street with Farrah Fawcett wings, especially if we hit our stride in the 80s.  Dorothy Hamill hair is still out there.  Helmet hair is out there.  Sprayed hair, permed hair, and fixed hair are all still out there.....and a lot of these folks have had it that way a loooooooooong time.

So here's my take on that. We all want to look as young as we can, go on, admit it,you do, surely.  But we don't want to look like a teeny bopper.  I mean, we don't buy our clothes in the junior department do we?   What I am getting at is what we really want, I think, is to look current.  Even if we don't have the latest and the greatest fashions, makeup and hairstyle, we want to look like we are at least in this century!  We want to stay current.  Not young, really, but current, maybe even a little edgy.

Think of other areas of real life.  Like scanning your groceries and checking yourself out.  I'd much rather someone check me out and "take care of me", but I do it every now and then anyway because I want to know how. I want to be able to. Train the brain while it is trainable :) and learn all you can, while you can.  I don't want to look up one day and find that I no longer know how to navigate this fast moving world because I just haven't kept up along the way. 

Think of the ways older folks can get left behind.  Using the Internet to communicate is a huge one.  Have you noticed how your land line doesn't ring as much as it used to?  That is if you even have one. My mother has a terrible time with that one.  She doesn't understand it.  Why are the grandkids only emailing, texting, Facebooking, and  Tweeting instead of calling and writing lettters!  Do they not love me?  "No mom.  It's not that."

You can dig your heels in where you are or you can get out there, learn, and change with the rest of the world.  You can insist on writing checks if you want to, but pretty soon you'll be the only one doing it.  Go ahead, get with the flow early on.  Learn it while everybody else is learning it, while your brain is spry and it learns fast.  Folks who are set in their ways even have trouble watching TV these days.  Back in the day you just turned on the TV and watched.  Now, those remotes, OMGosh!  You need an MIT grad to operate them!

So, older folks, like me, hang out with some younger folks who speak the new language and learn it.  Don't just always get them to do it for you.  Learn how.  Pay your bills online.  Scan your groceries.  Get an Ipod for Christmas.  Have a digital camera and learn all about it. Maybe even a smart phone.  Find out all the stuff your cell phone will do.  And if the same person's been doing your hair for 10 years, try someone new! 

You bloggers are all over this, I know, so I don't know why I'm preaching to the choir. But I bet you know someone who is aging too fast, stuck in the past.  Nice place to visit.  Don't pitch a tent there.  Learn something new.  Stay current or be left behind!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Version Of A Sex Change

Announcing The Birth Of

"Real Life In A Minute"
5'5''    135 lbs. (Weight Watchers)
Blonde Hair (Nice 'N Easy)
Blue Eyes (Lasik in one eye)

Here's what happened.  Sometimes you're just not sure who you are anymore.  Have you ever felt that way? 

Lots of people have and when they do, they usually make a big change in their life.  Some get married, some get divorced, some lose a lot of weight, some go back to school, some quit their job, some get a sex change.  Well here's my story.   I retired.  Then I decided I should keep doing a little teaching, and there's always someone needing help with math.  So I became a math tutor and I started this blog to use with my tutoring students. I called it Real Math In A Minute!  Every morning I woke up and wrote some really great math stuff for those kids.  It was a very exciting time of change....for me.  Only for me.  That was the problem.

After a few months, I was really getting over the math myself and everybody else on the planet was like, "No way" am I reading that!  That's what my son said and he was right.  So I started sneaking in a little art and a little technology and other things I like.

That felt good for awhile and then I started getting a little itchy again.  It was my first operation and I cut off  cut out the math.  It's still back there in March, April, and May if you need ever need a fix.  This was very freeing!

Next stage was a name change.  I changed my name from Sue to Sam.  Not really.  I changed it from Real Math In A Minute to Real Life In A Minute.  Oh, that feels so much better.  I am really coming into my new real self now. 

My final change was the big one.  There's no turning back if I do this. I'm shaking!  Now I will change the URL.  Scary!!! Everyone says, "Don't do it."  "You'll regret it." "You'll wish you didn't!"  "No one can find you."  "You'll lose all your friends!"  But you've gotta do what ya gotta do.  So I took the plunge anyway!  Old URL,, is gone.  Don't go there.  It doesn't work!  New URL is

It's not that you would ever really notice but, ah, it's like a breath of fresh air to me.  I'm being real now.  The real me is out of the closet, oops, I mean out of the box.  I'm in my own skin now!  Let's see what happens next!
Real Math In A MInute
Please fix your blogroll or whatever to make sure you get back here to the right place.
Thanks for your help with the birth!  It was really quite an easy one.