"Respect the earth, live in harmony with nature, spend time with your family, be good to your neighbor, and value the dedication, skill and care of the craftsman."

Ending Office Week

October 7th, 2017

This picture may not look that tidy, but it’s an enormous improvement. I filed months’ worth of papers which had been stacked on the desk, the chair, and the floor. I’m left with a stack of books I need to review and some papers I’m actively working on.

This side of the room is tidied and dusted.

I also got a start on cleaning out the closet. I need to have the light fixture put in and to fix or replace the wallpaper. I hope it won’t take me till next year’s Office Week to get it done.

In any case, I’ll enjoy working in here now.

I got no goodies or meals into the freezer, no gifts wrapped, and no extra groceries bought. I did make progress on handmade gifts (or at least on one handmade gift) and I bought some presents. Some progress, then.

No Decisions, No Excuses

October 6th, 2017

I get up at 6:00 and do my 30 minutes/3,000 steps. No excuses.

I have a no decision breakfast of high-protein waffles and berries, or a hotel breakfast — scrambled eggs, a roll, fruit.

A no decision lunch of fish and salad at 1:00.

No snacks — no decisions.

That’s what works. Even if I get off track, I know what to come back to.

But I want to do strength training and a hike each week. No particular time, so I have to figure it out, watch for an opportunity, all that. I rarely get around to it.

And I want to limit desserts or maybe stop having them at all. I’m not committed. I make up my mind every day, and often make the wrong decision.

So I think I need a no-decision no excuses plan for those remaining decision points. I’m giving myself a week to decide and commit.

Family Dinner

October 5th, 2017

#1 daughter and #1 son brought their families over for dinner. We had Frito Pie (a local delicacy involving chili and salad layered over a handful of corn chips), fruit, and cupcakes with Hallowe’en sprinkles. A kid-friendly meal. I also had carrots and cucumbers, which I forgot to put on the table.

We had some conversation and played with the baby. The idea of playing games was bruited at one point, but we had already spent too much time talking and playing with the baby. People needed to get home.

It was fun.

I Win!

October 4th, 2017

Wii Fit said, “That’s normal!” to me today, and clapped. After a couple thousand days of “That’s obese” and “That’s overweight,” I have won the Wii Fit game and I am officially no longer overweight.

I’m not slender.

I met the Art Prof today and he told me he was on a serious diet. “You don’t look like you need a diet,” I said and he told me he had already lost 20 pounds.

I think he looks normal. I am not at all sure that I look normal.

I like having the Wii clap for me. I like having won.

Wii Fit wants me to lose another 28 pounds.



October 3rd, 2017

Dreamland is an Australian TV program set in the offices of a national planning agency. There are a couple of workers who want to get things built. All around them are people engaged in messaging, launches, websites, media, and whatnot. Also technology that simply doesn’t work.

In one episode they are sending emails by writing the email on a laptop and having a secretary carry it to the recipient’s office.

Nothing goes smoothly. People go for coffee and find that the water is off. The drilling machine can’t get into place because a launch banner is going across the road. The head of the media department appears suddenly for meetings

The support staff is unfazed by all these delays and time wastings. They remain unfailingly cheerful and unconcerned. The head of the department greets every issue with disbelief, then composes himself and does his best to be cheerful and helpful.

My work is not like that. Not at all.

But there are enough moments that I can really enjoy this program. #1 daughter says that’s what’s funny — things that are just that much past reality.

The Good Ol’ Boy says that’s why he doesn’t like TV shows: they suck you in so you want to see what happens next.

Pantone Spring 2018

October 2nd, 2017

My Christmas gift and baby knitting and sewing will clearly make it impossible for me to finish my Spring 2017 SWAP, let alone do one for fall, no matter how much I like the colors. Pantone has released their Spring 2018 palette, so I figure I can plan that, start after the holidays, and be ready for 2018’s SWAP.

Pantone is sticking with the same neutrals, so I can still sew up my leftover pale gray and fawn fabrics. Chocolate brown is back, too, in the form of Emperador. My Elle pants collection will continue to be in style.

Adding some lovely rose and berry shades. This is a favorite color family for me

Vintage-feel pastels in favorite green and coral.

Back to purples, with one so pale it hardly counts.

Rapture rose is almost neon bright. Arcadia green, too. Hmm.


New York and London, again. Am I the only one who wants to pick from both?

Q4 Reset

October 1st, 2017

Q3 was filled with excitement.So was Q2, for that matter. Travel, house guests, a new baby in the family, new jobs, and lots of intriguing projects at work. Now it’s October 1st and I’m ready to recommit to good health habits, following a schedule, and using a budget.

I enjoyed the changes, spontaneity, and liberty I’ve been experiencing, and obviously the reasons for the disruption — starting with a trip to Paris and ending with a grandbaby — are wonderful But I also know that the ordered life is more peaceful, more wholesome, and more conducive to happiness.

“Be steady and ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.” — Gustave Flaubert

One part of my well-ordered life is the Holiday Grand Plan. This week we are to clean kids’ rooms, which I will interpret to mean my office. That used to be the boys’ bedroom.

Our holiday prep tasks:

  • Make one batch of Holiday Goodies. I made banana bread yesterday for Master Bath week.
  • Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL. I haven’t done this at all this year, but I hope to get started this week.
  • Buy two canned food items from menus (get 2 of each item, one to use and one to donate to food drive). I’ve stocked up on mandarin oranges and cranberry sauce, as well as flour.
  • Buy 1/8th of TO BUY gifts. Save all receipts, note return policy before buying. Ask for gift boxes. I bought a selection of books last week
  • Wrap and label packages. I haven’t started this yet, either.
  • Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts. I’ve been working on the Little Girl’s gift.
  • Check smoke detectors and clean them, change batteries if needed.
  • Make “goody basket” for guest bath, from samples found in abundance in stores right now.


September 30th, 2017

We’ve had #1 son’s dog visiting for a couple days. His fur is thick, glossy, and so black that it swallows up the light and makes him look like a shadow. A shadow who is currently chewing on my tape measure.

He and I are having a low-key weekend. Lots of knitting and reading. He’s a cuddly dog, even though he’s enormous, so these actions include a side of cuddling.

He’s also chewing things up. He has devoured the cats’ beds and a couple of books so far.

I blog for a dog breeder and sometimes, as I’m writing about the joys of having a dog, I think that we should get a dog. But dogsitting might be even better. We’ll have #2 daughter’s dog next week, and we often have #1 daughter’s dog for a weekend.

This way we get the walks and the petting and the unconditional love for which dogs are justly famous, without too much of the noise, mess, and naughtiness, for which dogs are also justly famous.  The dogs go home long before the inconvenience begins to overshadow the pleasant parts.

The best of both worlds.

Happy Healthy Life

September 28th, 2017

I met with Polymath on the lovely downtown square. She asked me to tell her about my weight loss journey. I have discussed this topic a little bit with my daughters, and of course ad nauseum here at my blog, but this was the first time I’ve actually had this conversation with anyone else.

It was actually fun. At one point I told her that I didn’t really feel that much different, even though I’ve lost a lot of weight.

Then this evening after a meeting the pastor said, “Are you thinner?”

Last time I saw the Art Professor, he said, “I don’t want this to be weird, but you look great.”

I guess perhaps I actually am thinner than I was.

I need to lose nine more ounces to win the Wii Fit game. I will at that point be “normal” rather than “obese,” as I used to be, or “overweight” as I am now.

I have been within a pound of winning since I returned from Paris in June. I’ve just been traveling, visiting people, having visitors, and adjusting to/celebrating all the wonderful events in the family. So I’ve lost, um, two ounces a month since then.

Time to step it up a bit, maybe.

Master Bath Week

September 24th, 2017

It’s Master Bath week on the Holiday Grand Plan.

I still need to scrub the bathtub and clear the drawers, but I’ve cleaned all the cupboards and scrubbed at least half of the master bath.

I also put away nearly all the little bits and bobs I decorated with when we moved in. I had a tiny plate and a golden doll shoe and vintage packaging with Art  Nouveau designs. I didn’t throw most of them away, but I put them in a box. I organized the cupboards logically and will finish up the scrubbing in the evenings this week.

We’re also supposed to tidy the linen closet nd spend an hour  day o handmade gifts, so the evenings this week will be pretty full.

Here’s the rest of the list for the week:

  • Make one batch of Holiday Goodies.
  • Make one extra meal for freezer again labeled HOLIDAY MEAL.
  • Buy two canned food items from menus (get 2 of each item, one to use and one to donate to food drive).
  • Buy 1/8th of TO BUY gifts. Save all receipts, note return policy before buying. Ask for gift boxes
  • Wrap and label packages. If needing to ship, get some shipping boxes now and store packages in them.
  • Work at least 1 hour a day on homemade gifts.
  • Take toys and books that are outgrown, clean them up and prepare them for donation to toy drives.
  • Make list of toys and books that children would enjoy and that would fit in their rooms and that would work with what they have. Keep it hand for telling family what they would like.
  • Inventory clothing and have another list of clothing items needed. Measure the children and put measurements on this list.

I don’t have any children at home, so I don’t have to do those things.  I have yet to put anything in the freezer or to make any goodies or wrap any gifts, so I have quite a bit to do.

I’m well started on the Little Girl’s scarf.

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