Thursday, December 19, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013


Eastern Caribbean

As some of my long time readers know, I went on a number of cruises with my mom over the last few years. Well, my friend D and I are going to the Caribbean on November 23rd!  I am so excited! I loved travelling with my mom but being a single gal with no restrictions sounds marvelous!

My brother mentioned us all going on a cruise together for Christmas this year. Wouldn't that be cool?!?

In the past, the cruises incented me to kick up my game and achieve my weight loss goals. I am gonna put the pedal to the medal.

Bon Voyage!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Project Katie J

Wow, it seems longer then a month since I posted! Is anyone still out there? I sure hope so!

First of all, I am so bummed about Google Reader being gone. I know it's old news now but I feel lost without it. What are you guys using to read the blogs you follow?

I am healing physically. Still hard to bear weight with my left hand but it's coming along.  Still have a faint trace of bruising near my left eye. My weight has held steady miraculously. My issue has been not eating enough (not hungry) which throws my blood sugar out of whack.

My job was terminated last week since I did not have any more time off available. I was just not prepared to go back yet. They said I can reapply when I get clearance from the doctor but I have decided to wait a few months and then consider going back then.

I have spent a lot amount of time caring for others even to the point of compromising my own health and well being and I need to make ME a priority NOW. Why does it seem selfish to take care of yourself? Why don't I feel worthy? Why did neglect myself? Why am I settling? (whole other post!) There are no more excuses to hide behind. Face the truth and reality of it all and make the changes to enable you to be happier and healthier. I deserve it!

Since it's been awhile since I exercised I decided the Wii was a good way to start. I love music and dancing so it helped get some emotion out.

I do plan on being here more for sure so I hope to hear from you all soon. xoxox


Monday, September 23, 2013

That One Clear Call

Our Mother heard that one clear call,
Which summoned her away.
She left us for a better home,
Where there is perfect day.
She left us for a home on high,
To dwell forever 'neath God's sky.
We'll miss her so in coming days,
Through many lonely hours;
But she is dwelling up above,
Amidst God's fairest flowers;
Where there is always joy and rest,
In realms of peace, among the blest.

My mom had this in with her mother's picture from her wedding day. I thought I would share...

Peace be with you,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Just for Today

Just for today I will open my eyes and thank the Universe for one more day
Just for today I will look in the mirror and find one thing I like about myself
Just for today I will smile at a stranger in the traffic
Just for today I will greet someone I don't particularly like - and mean it
Just for today I will sing a song and not care if I am off key or who hears
Just for today I will do something I want to do, no matter what anyone else thinks
Just for today I will give someone a word of affirmation - not because I have to, but because I want to Just for today I will be grateful for who I have in my life, not what I have
Just for today I will say a sincere thank you if I receive a compliment and not joke it away
Just for today I will do each task to the best of my ability
Just for today I will hug someone
Just for today I will tell someone I love that I love them
Just for today I will appreciate having a job, a bed and food
Just for today I will appreciate the beautiful colors of the sunset
Just for today I will be grateful for one more day that was undeserved, one more day that was lived to the full, one more day to love and be loved, one more day to be me

Mandi Ducroq

Saturday, August 31, 2013


I bought a new bike on August 18th. My moms house sold that day as well.  Well, I was riding my new bike to D's house and half a block away from the bike shop I crashed the bike  and broke my left wrist, sprained my right and smashed my face up. Mary Graceful as my mom would say. I'm off work until after I get my cast off which is Sept. 13th. Life has been kicking my ass that is all I can say. I will survive though.  I have hope and faith.

 I hope to be blogging regularly again soon. Love and miss you all. xoxo

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Details Details Details

Still in the same mode of doing things I don't wanna do but I am doing them. I have been trying to take care of myself too and scheduled a massage the other day. Also went for a bike ride. Still crying everyday...

There are SO many details when someone passes. I have been getting educated on the laws, regulations and details of things and it is interesting but overwhelming to say the least. Hope you are all well. I miss you all!

Peace be with you,

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moving forward

What a blur the last two weeks have been. I am doing okay. Still crying every day....

Things need to get done regardless of whether or not I want to do them. I am not working until the 16th (in-service) then we start school the 26th. Since it summer and the real estate market is hot here, we have decided to sell the house. I know it logically makes sense but it is still a little overwhelming to me emotionally. It is the only home I have ever known. We moved there when I was 3 years old.

My brother will be coming back this weekend to sort out the items we want to keep and then an Estate seller will come in and sell everything, take a cut and then give us the profit. Like both my aunts would say "Ya gotta buck up." Thanks to all of you who reached out and offered your prayers, condolences and virtual hugs. It means a lot to know you care and are thinking of me at this rough time.

Peace be with you,

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What Can I Say

What Can I Say by Brandy Carlisle
Look to the clock on the wall
Hands hardly moving at all
I can't stand the state that I'm in
Sometimes it feels like the wall's closing in

Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I'm so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?

Trap all my troubles away
Drown my sorrow the same way
Seems no matter how hard I try
It seems like there's something just missing inside

Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I'm so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?

Oh, Lord, what can I say?
How many rules can I break?
How many lies can I make?
How many roles must I turn
To find me a place where the bridge hasn't burned?

Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I'm so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be

Oh, Lord, what can I say?
I'm so sad since you went away
Time, time, ticking on me
Alone is the last place I wanted to be
Lord, what can I say?
Oh, Lord, what can I say?
Music is very therapeutic to me. I just love the rawness in her voice.
May peace be with you,

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Final Goodbye ~ July 25, 2013

We had the funeral for Betty on Thursday, July 25th at 11:30 a.m. There was about 30 people in attendance which was just the right amount of people. It was a closed casket ceremony, however we did have a private viewing (Bob and I) and we actually wrote letters to her and placed them in a drawer in the casket.
I spoke at the service but Bob did not. He and my mom did not speak at my dad's service but I felt compelled in both cases. Here is a synopsis of what I said:
When we were growing up we didn't really hug or say we loved each other but all the cards we exchanged had the same sentiment ~ that we loved each other but never said it. After my dad passed in 1999, we started saying it to each other every time we talked. So out of a tragic event came a positive.
My mom had a great sense of humor. Even towards the end she gave me zingers like "Oh you look familiar" when I know she knew who I was. Well on of the other stinky things she did was there are years of photos that she never organized and told me that Bob and I could deal with them after she passed. The other thing was some Hummel figurines that her mother collected and she never really liked them so she said you can deal with them when I am gone.
This is a collage I put together of her life. I got the frame on sale at Kohl's and it held 27 pictures. I got a lot of compliments on it. In fact one of my neighbors said I should start a side business doing them...
This is a gorgeous plant that the neighbors bought. This pic does not do it justice.  My mom lived in the house for 44 years. Some of them have known me since I was 3 years old!

These are from a dear, sweet man I met through D. He is 84 himself. He told me he would keep me and my mothers soul in his prayers until the day he dies.

Peace be with you,

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Prayer

"The Prayer"
I pray you'll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe
I pray we'll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When stars go out each night
Remind us where you are
Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
We ask that life be kind
And watch us from above
We hope each soul will find
Another soul to love
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child
Needs to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe
Need to find a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe

This song gives me comfort and I played it at the service yesterday


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Goodbye Momma

My mother passed away this morning at 5:14 a.m. I am doing okay but obviously in shock. I have a feeling I will be posting a lot more in the coming months. I will keep you all posted. May peace be with you

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Catching up

How is everyone doing? It's been awhile. I miss blogging daily but I got out of the habit not being in front of a computer like I was before.

Weight is stable. I got my summer schedule. I am working 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. or 90 minutes a day. I tried to look at the positives. It gets me up and out of the house. I have time to spend with my mom. I can work out and actually use my gym membership. They did offer me another hour but there would be a 3 hour break in between but I respectfully declined. It is too much driving back and forth for me.

My mom will be going home tomorrow. She is stable but has declined. She will be 80 on June 30th. I have been a ostrich lately. Just trying to hide my head and wait for the fall out. It is not a healthy way to handle things and I am pushing forward to start making some changes.

The visit with my eldest bio brother went okay. I will write another post about it but the one thing that blew my mind was the fact that he said I looked like Sandy the most and that I had her mannerisms. Seems so strange to me that someone I never met had common mannerisms but then I think well my bio sister and I sound alike so it kinda makes sense. Still processing it all...

The fuzzies are all doing well.

Bogey Chillin

Cindy aka Babycakes

Otto and Cindy napping
Until next time...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brother from the Same Mother

The other day I got an email from my brother Fred. Fred is the eldest of Sandy's children. He is 4 years older then me. He lives in Alaska and even though I was in Alaska a few weeks after I discovered that I had siblings, we did not meet up at that time, even though it was just a few hours from where he lived.
That was July 2010.

I have talked to Fred a few times on the phone but we've never met. He decided to do a road trip and drove to Eureka to see Tess, our sister.  Michael lives there too but there is bad blood between them. Well, we are going to meet tomorrow! Fridays are my half day so he will be coming down to meet me in the afternoon. I'm excited and a little nervous but I'm sure it will be fine. Since he is the oldest, I'm sure he has a different perspective on everything. We will go to dinner and then on Saturday, we will go to Santa Cruz to meet up with Uncle Steve. 

Sunday is the Sting concert.  It's at 8:00 pm. I'm not sure if I'm going to go. Originally, I thought we would be out of school but we're in session until June 6th which is next Thursday.  I feel like a fuddy duddy but it's hard to get up at 5:45 am after a night out.  I'll decide tonight and then most likely sell the tickets. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

You Can Go Your Own Way

Tonight I'm going to see Fleetwood Mac at the HP Pavilion in San Jose with D. I'm looking forward to it and even took 1/2 day off to go.

Funny, I surveyed my coworkers and many of them did not know who they are. Mostly anyone under 25 years old.  Some had heard of Stevie Nicks. Makes me feel old. D bought the tickets since she is a big fan and she's 10 years younger then me.

We are also scheduled to see John Mayer and then Sting after that. What's cool about seeing Sting is the venue is brand new AND Sting is the first artist to play there. Should be lots of fun!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fat Cat?

Ever since I've had the kittens, I have been free feeding them, meaning they have a endless supply of food. I could not imagine feeding them all separately. Otto is the alpha when it comes to food and I guess it shows.

Otto: 12lbs.
Bogey: 11.6 lbs.
Cindy: 10.8

They are active and I play with them morning and night. They are still growing and have been eating enriched kitten food so maybe that makes a difference but we shall see.

Do you have an overweight pet? Should I be concerned?

Until next time...


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stretching Me Out

The kids have been extra rowdy since school is almost out.  I had three different kids make comments about my belly - the little ones think I'm pregnant and the Kinders know but they asked me why I have two chins and why is my face so round. I know there just kids but it got to me last week so I had to excuse myself from the classroom and cried. I have still not come up with a suitable response. I'm going to ask one of the nicer teachers how I should respond.  They are SUPER smart kids but they lack on social skills.

I have been making a point of stretching daily. What a BIG difference in how I feel and it helps my aches and pains.  I also have been using my foam roller. It reminds me of the evil bands. It hurts to use them but they make a big difference in stretching out my sore muscles. I experience leg and foot cramps from all the walking at work. Plus it is a time to relax and just breathe. I spend so much time over thinking things that its hard for me to calm my mind so this has really helped me to stop for a few minutes and just breathe...

Yesterday was hard. My mom has gone downhill and it's getting harder to see her like that. I think she may have had another stroke because she is weak on her right side. No one has confirmed it but she is exhibiting all the signs. I  going to follow up with her doctor.

I think she's just done. Honestly, I don't blame her and plan on telling her that its okay. That my dad will be there to greet her. I don't want her to suffer anymore and be in any more pain. 

Until next time...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bogey 1st Birthday

I found Bogart on July 5, 2012 and I brought him to the vet that day. He estimated he was about 9 weeks old so I decided his birthday is May 5th.

The "kids" dressed up for the occasion and there were party favors too.

We'll celebrate on July 5th too 😺

Capt. America

Minnie Mouse

Party favors

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring in my hood

My complex is full of beautiful flowers. Here are a few of them.

The last two are new to my porch. Don't you just love the purse!!!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Crazy Cat Lady?

I was watching Big Bang Theory last Thursday and Raj had a stroller (pink) for his Yorkie, Cinnamon. It made me look at Kitty strollers and this is what I bought. Am I a crazy cat lady? I am hoping it will be fun and I will get exercise. I will get it next week so I will let you all know how they liked it?
I have had laryngitis all week. One of the 4 year old preschoolers asked me what happened to my voice and I told him I lost it. His reply was "Do you know who took it??" Too cute eh? Until next time...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Make Me Up

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I wore makeup. Raise your hand if you remember blue eyeliner lol. Then I kind of grew bored with it and didn't wear any for years.

Over the last few years, I am noticing more and more lines and wrinkles and redness from rosacea.  I prefer powders vs. liquid makeup but I felt like it was messy and time consuming. I also have dry skin so wearing powders seem to accentuate the dryness. I decided to try Bare Minerals again. I used it before but it was expired. I went into their local store and they made up my face and showed me exactly how to apply it and what products would address my issues.

Well the day after I visited the store, I tried the new techniques and was actually told by one gal at work that I looked "radiant" and another said "how beautiful my face looked"  Who knew that a little makeup could brighten me up and make me feel less self-conscience about my eternally red face.

It isn't cheap but I feel good about the company, the product and the contents of their makeup

Next time I visit them I want to learn how to do a smoky eye!

From their website:

bareMinerals Makeup and bareMinerals Skincare were created to enhance your skin from the outside in.*For years, we’ve researched the power and potential of minerals to nourish, energize and renew—our 24-hour mineral care system is purposefully designed to continuously bring these benefits to you. Every mineral in our proprietary formulations is carefully selected to deliver proven results. bareMinerals Makeup utilizes naturally derived minerals to give you exceptional long-lasting coverage, breathable lightweight wear, rich pigmentation with creamy blendability, and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. ActiveSoil Complex, the exclusive ingredient in our bareMinerals Skincare line, incorporates a comprehensive blend of potent macro and micro minerals to increase cell turnover, improve luminosity and help your skin defend against environmental stressors. Best of all, we created all of our mineral formulas to work together in harmony to improve your complexion instantly and over time, day and night.

As the mineral experts, we believe makeup and skincare should not only make you look good, but they should also be good for your skin. That’s why we started the mineral makeup revolution with our award-winning Original SPF 15 Foundation, and it’s the reason minerals remain an essential part of every innovation that we develop for your skin. Experience the transformative power of bareMinerals.

* affecting surface layers of the skin


Color Me Surprised!

I wear a lot of silver jewelry. I love gold but don't have the budget for it. With silver comes tarnish. I have used the cloths that come with the jewelry and also a few different polishing solutions. They worked okay at best. I have my Tiffany jewelry cleaned by them but they send everything out to NY.

I decided to Goggle a local jeweler that I could use and found a forum where a gal named Kat had posted the following recipe:

  • Warm tap water
  • Rock salt/table salt/baking soda
  • Strips of aluminum foil

Put the above ingredients in a jar with a lid. Place items to be cleaned in the jar. I placed two necklaces that were pretty tarnished. Just shake the jar intermittently and watch the tarnish disappear. There is a chemical reaction between the foil and salt. For heavily tarnished items you will need to treat them longer. One item I did in the first test was pretty bad but was good to go in about 20 minutes.

Small Jar

Small square of foil

Tear into small squares

Add salt (or baking soda)
Add hot tap water


I also tried it on a few more chains and pendants. I was a little concerned about the stones but they came out wonderful! I also had did a pair of earrings that I've had for over 10 plus years and they came out great too. I will show you pictures soon.

Until next time...

Friday, April 26, 2013

When Did I Become the Adult

Back in December, I alluded to the fact that there was a tragedy that happened. It really rocked me to my core. First, my best friends mother passed away from lung cancer on December 1st. Then, 3 weeks later, her husband died on Christmas Day. They did not discover he had passed until the 27th. We got there right as the coroner was leaving. It was a very disturbing discovery to say the least. That's how I came to foster the kittens. My friend has a senior cat that would not be able to tolerate the "kids" and they are only 3 months younger then Bogey. They have totally bonded with. Bogey :-)

Needless to say, it was earth shattering for D. Fortunately, we have a good group of friends that helped with the moving and closure of their residence. It was an eye opening experience for me and it also prepared me for what I will need to do when the time comes. There are so many details to attend to!

We put together a memorial for both of them last Sunday. I wrote the obit for D and got the word out for her. We went shopping and a lot of people brought food too. It turned out beautiful and I was so glad there was a big turn out. I got pretty emotional though and left in the afternoon. I did not want to upset D so I felt it was better to excuse myself.

I know that I am an adult and have dealt with adult things but it seems like all of a sudden we became the next generation. Being in charge of my moms affairs and then helping D has really made me feel stronger about how I'm handling my life and affairs.

My weight is still in a holding pattern. Still 255 which I have been for way too long. While I'm glad I'm maintaining, I really need to start focusing on weight loss again. I recently lost my Fitbit so I upgraded to the Fitbit One. I will do a full review soon but it has the same capabilities as the previous version but this one updates via Bluetooth to both my laptop and my phone! Up to the minute data helps makes make it easier to know how to manage the calorie bank.

I miss you all tons and wish I could blog regularly like before but I can't seem to get in a grove with it. I know I am better emotionally when I can come here and vent. Thanks for sticking in there with me.

Until next time...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

After Awhile

After a while
you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't always promises
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and you learn
with every good-bye you learn.
Veronica A. Shoffstall
Goodbye Gail and Tom. We will always have our Memories.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Light Me Up

I have always lived in apartments in Santa Clara that lacked proper overhead lighting. Lamps help but it always seems to be an issue. The other day while shopping at Costco, I found a set if 6 LED lights that came with a remote and 20 batteries. I have tried Tap lights but the never seemed to stick or did not last for very long. These lights are guaranteed for 100K hours.

I put four of them in my bedroom closet and two in the hallway closet. Up to 24 of them can be controlled by one remote. I think I will pick up another pack of six to brighten up the bedroom closet more. If they are not at Costco, I also know I could get them at Amazon.

Tonight I'm making 48 cupcakes for my coworkers for Spring/Easter. I am just using box mix and Frosting creations. The base is plain and then you add the flavor you want. I got Strawberry shortcake since it is pink. We have Spring Break next week so no school. Wahoo!!! Plus my Fridays are half days so the countdown begins. Until next time...