Body Maintenace or Spa Day

My mom and sister called it Body Maintenance, you might call it a Spa Day. Usually once a week on the weekend my Mom and little sister performed Body Maintenance. Body Maintenance starts with a bath, includes shaving, and tweezing your eyebrows if needed-all the stuff we do to make ourselves “purty”, but because we like to do it. It might also include polishing your nails (feet and/or hands). Sometimes it even included hair color or a facial. But the gist of it is this: Pamper yourself every once in awhile, you deserve it.This afternoon after 2 hours of sweating at the gym, I pumped up my shower time with a pedicure and a facial mask.

I’ve been trying to make time to polish my toes for awhile, but a pedicure takes an hour or so, whether you go to a salon or I do it myself and this was the first chance I had in awhile. I prefer to do my own, not to save a few buck$, but because I do a better job than they do at a salon and I do it on my own schedule. I know there’s a lot of girls who have no idea how to or give themselves a Mani or Pedi and cannot polish their own nails and to you I say Shame on you! This is part of a woman’s basic skill set. If you’re a girl, you should learn. If you’re a mother, you should teach your daughter. Do I need to point out that the 2 best bonding opportunities mothers and daughters are shopping and a trip to the salon? And if the salon happens to be in your living room, even better.
I was fortunate enough to have a mom that was a beautician, and she taught me what tools to use and how to use them.
Basic supplies: file, nail clippers, cuticle remover, cuticle clippers, exfoliating brick, heel cream

Lotion, Bath Salt for soaking and softening. You don't have to spend a lot of $, store brands will work fine too.

When I my daughters still lived at home, sometimes we would have a Spa Night. This was a night when Dad was out of town. We would watch a Chick Flick, eat ice cream for supper if we wanted and give each other massages, polish each other’s nails, braid hair or whatever. I miss those nights but hope that someday I’ll get to do it again with a granddaughter or two.
I chose a light pink and topped it with some Glitter-natch!
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Manifesto Progresso

So, according to the scales I lost 3 pounds between Thursday and Friday morning last week. If you believe that, I have some beach front property in Arizona. Of course I did not believe it either, but I did make note of it just in case the Scale Gremlins jack with me later, I’ll be ready for them. Where was I? Oh yeah, progress (on my Manifesto). I lost 1.5 lbs. and 1” of waistline last week. Yeah! This is definitely progress. I am on track to make my goal of a 5 lb. loss for the month of January. As of today, I’m one, ONE pound away!

I have been making daily appearances at the gym and most days I actually work out! I am tackling this just like a 12 Step Program – One Pound at a Time. Sometimes, it’s one sit up at a time. It’s working too. I’m not looking at the Finish Line, just the next step in front of me, whether it’s the next lunge, sit up or minute on the bike. That’s the best I can do. I go to the Doc’s tomorrow for a test (not serious or related to this). I can’t wait to see if the Dr.’s office scales have been in cahoots with mine!

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He's Mine!

I celebrated my birthday earlier this month and not like those of earlier years, there was no cake or gifts to unwrap.  But--there was a dinner out with my family, a very nice dinner.  Best of all, I got the one gift I really wanted, my Reggie.  This is the new Little Man in my life:

My daughter came through and realized he was well taken care of and most of all Loved. When we picked her up for dinner, she told me I could keep him! I had a feeling my husband may have played at part in this decision because I had blocked her from the link to my blog post where I gave 12 very well thought out reasons why he should be mine and was fairly certain she had not read it (thank God). My husband of course, being the Good Guy he is, told her that Mom really loves him and wants to keep him. On Thanksgiving, my 14+ year old Huzzy died  
and I really did not want another animal, at least not this soon but you can't help it when you fall in love.  Besides, if she came to retrieve him some day, I didn't want to have to lie (and I would have) and tell my daughter that Reggie wasn't here, he had been abducted by aliens or he had ran away with the circus or had gotten a Big Break on Animal Planet.
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You're Celebrating What !?!

I debated with myself over posting this, but then I won and so here it tis. A few years ago seeing a void in the celebration season between Christmas/New Years and Hell is Freezing Over Day I created a wonderful week of joyous jocularity known as Joannza
Joannza is celebrated during the week in January that contains my birthday, January 16.  Commencing at sunrise on Sunday and ending at midnight on Saturday, to celebrate or commemorate Joannza all you have to do is ask: WWJD (What Would Joanne Do?) and do it. Like any holiday, Joannza involves decorations, special music, a special dinner or feast and of course sending checks, cash and your winning lottery tickets to me.
To celebrate Joannza here's how to get started:
Clothing: Wear pink. Hot pink. All Week. It's even better if your clothing has flamingos on it. If you just can't stomach the pink thing (and some men have a problem with this)--wear something sparkly and shiny! A lot of people wear their platform shoes and satin shirts, dress like this and you're definitely on the right track. Think disco and clowns!
Music: The week of Joannza just isn't complete without, watch for it...Disco Music! For sure Disco has been around for decades, but the peak of its popularity was in the 1970s. So just remember you can't go wrong with Bee Gees, KC & the Sunshine Band or Boz Skaggs.
Decorations: Decorating for Joannza is where this holiday really gets fun. It can be as simple as the prominent display of a photo of me in your bathroom, to a tableau of flamingos, boas, and perhaps a photo of me walking on water, surrounded by hot pink flashing lights. At my house, we tend to take the more subtle approach with a display not unlike a shrine using smaller flamingos, feathers, sequins and photos of me of course!

Then there are those that like to go all out and fill their yards with flamingos!

Food: Here's the easiest part of Joannza, the only mandatory food for a Feast of Joannza is eating chocolate as the first course. It's really that simple. Whether it's a Hershey's Kiss, Chocolate Mousse or a box of Godiva, you make the call. Add your favorite culinary delights and you have yourself an official Feast of Joannza!
So A Joyous Joannza to all! Go out have some fun, wear pink, wear sequins, play some Get Down Tonight-

 eat some chocolate and don't forget to send the cash, checks and winning lottery tickets! 

PS: A major + for celebrating Joannza is that it discriminates against no one.  This holiday is not religion-centered, but more of an equal opportunity holiday for all!
A Joyous Joannza Y'all!

(yard of flamingos image courtesy of: http://www.imagerygroup.net/blog/go-ahead-flock-your-friends/)
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Best Birthday Card Ever!

Happy Birthday to me!  From a friend that knows me well.

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12 Reasons I’m Not Giving the Cat Back

My daughter Andrea (who does not live with us) adopted a 6 month old kitten, Reggie, while on our Christmas visit to Oklahoma. The car trip home was uneventful and considering he was an outdoor stray, he was very well behaved and quite loveable.
On the trip home we noticed his eyes were watering and he sneezed a lot. Andrea took him home to her apartment to live with her 6 month old hound mix puppy and boyfriend. On Day 2, Day T-W-O, she called her dad crying, telling him Reggie scratched the 50+ pound puppy and asked if we would keep him till he got well and declawed (or something like that). So my husband goes and picks up the cat and takes him to the Vet the next morning. The Vet says Reggie’s got a URI and/or a cold, gives us some antibiotics and eye cream and it might take him a couple of weeks to get better. After 2 days with us and meds, his eyes looked better and he wasn’t sneezing much at all. Now it’s been a little over 2 weeks and although I was adamant about not getting another cat anytime soon, my 14 yr old cat died on Thanksgiving, I’m keeping him. This must be how it feels when a birth mother gives up her baby for adoption and in less than a month the birth mother wants her baby back. Well I love him, he lives here now and here’s 12 Reasons why my daughter’s not getting her kitten back: 1. Our house is “cat friendly”—she has a rowdy dog (‘nuf said)
2. Reggie likes it here
3. We love him
4. He loves us
5. We’ve bonded
6. We finally figured out how to give a cat liquid meds getting most of it in the cat versus us.
7. Her boyfriend doesn’t like him anyway (I think he’s scared of the little kitty). I forgot to mention, there was no blood when the kitty scratched the puppy.
8. He doesn’t have to hide (from the dog or boyfriend)
9. He knows where the food bowl is at our house
10. Our resident cat doesn’t eat his food
11. We’re going to move and not tell her where
12. Possession is 9/10ths of the law!

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Happy Tuesday All!

I'm really excited about Today! Don't know why, still have to work, sun is shining & God is Good! Hope Your day is great too! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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2012, My Manifesto

I’ve never made New Year’s resolutions before.  But because I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching and inner reflection this last year, I feel it necessary to not just resolve, to make changes, but to publicly declare my intentions via my 2012 Manifesto. I think Manifesto sounds fierce and definitely serious as compared to “resolutions.”  So I thought about what needs to change (in/with me), I wrote it down, I’m hanging it up on the wall and (even though it scares the hell out of me) posting it on the Internet.  I present to you my 2012 Manifesto:
I am borrowing the format from the Holstee Manifesto and Aileen’s at Creating Clever. I made mine with Adobe Illustrator, but if you wanted to make one could also use WORD, or you could even get artsy with it and do one by hand. I printed mine on colored parchment paper and plan to frame it, hang one in my home office and one at work. I figure, when I’m out of sorts, feeling a little lost or out of control, I’ll just look at my “2012 Road Map” and make adjustments to get back on course.
I don’t want to change the world (at least not anymore), just my little corner of it. None of these declarations are so unrealistic that I’m setting myself up for failure before I even start.

While I’ve made my personal intentions public, I am keeping some of the measuring indicators private. For instance, no women likes to talk about weight so until I meet my goal or have some real statistical proof, I won’t be writing about it. I feel like everything I want to do with the rest of my life is contingent on being healthier, so weight loss naturally is part of that. But being a woman, I’m not going to tell you how much or say I want to lose 20, 30 or 50 pounds. But I will start going to the gym, everyday. I will remove temptation foods from my house, AND when I lose (my personal goal), I promise to tell you, and show you my horrible before and awesome after photos. I will tell you this, the weight is definitely doable within 6-12 months. I am going to take the AA approach to the weight loss and all my goals: one pound at a time, one day at a time. I already have a small hoorah too: I joined a gym last month and as of today, I’ve been in the gym 8 days out of the last 9!

Writing is catharsis for me and I can tell you that pretty much every one of my goals is fodder for my blog or journal. So I’m pretty excited actually about that too. It makes the “Write More” goal easier.

Finally, as I ‘work on me’ this year, I hope you’ll follow along and hold me accountable for my declarations and if you’ve embarked on a similar journey, I’d love to hear about it and help cheer you on too.
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Black Not Required

I've noticed a trend in the last few years. In lieu of a funeral commonly 3-5 days after a passing, families in the US are waiting weeks, sometimes even months to have a Memorial Service or Funeral. Delaying or planning a funeral are good ways to insure all family members and friends can make time in their schedules, as well as financial preparations to attend. Another trend is to have the Memorial Service, Funeral, etc. in the evening, after normal daytime working hours, another way to make it convenient for people to attend. If you are closely related to the deceased and a service has been delayed for weeks or months to allow people (including you) to plan to attend, then you should do everything in your power to go. No, your deceased loved one will not care whether you attended or not, but you will, and so will your siblings, children and others. Over the course of time, it will help you in your personal grieving process too. In the past 9 months I have had a neighbor, 3 neighbor’s parents, a friend’s parent and a former co-worker die. Of the 6, I attended 5 of the 6 Memorial/Funeral Services. Each service (or party) was different. 3 were delayed weeks; 2 due to holidays and for the convenience of attendees and three of the six were held in the evening.

Many have the preconceived notion that funerals are the 'business' of the undertaker, Priest or Minister and whatever they 'say' is what should be said and needs to be said at a funeral. Sure, members of the Clergy have standard scriptures they recite and refer to, for example, the 23rd Psalm is the most commonly recited scripture at a Christian funeral service. But more times than not, a minister presides over the service of someone he does not know. The minister might spend 20 minutes to an hour – tops, talking to the family about the deceased. How well can you really learn about a person and their life of accomplishments and adversities in such a short time? As an alternative to a minister saying a few words, often about someone he doesn't know, families are dispensing with the traditional eulogy and some are even writing their own. The eulogy often falls to one person, someone like me (I've written two, one for my aunt and one for my brother), as many people are uncomfortable with the task or don't know what to say. Speaking from experience, I think you would do yourself and your family a great kindness to jot down a few thoughts about your parent(s), an elderly family member or even yourself. Gathering some of the ideas now, while you’re clear headed, before you need them will eliminate that burden during those few days immediately following a death when there are so many decisions to be made.

The newest trend in memorial services is a Celebration of Life party. These Celebrations are as unique as the families and the deceased themselves. Sometimes a minister will preside and attendees may come forward to share a story or thought, while in other cases someone presides over the event, seeing to all the details, from photos, music selection, as well as designating speakers. I attended 3 of these parties last year and the most unique Celebration I attended was held in the evening, several weeks after the death. There had been a cremation and the family brought the deceased’s bike, cycling shoes and helmet, as well as photographs to be displayed. At the beginning of the service Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody was played, music the deceased loved. That’s what I call “personalizing” a memorial service!

Because of number of deaths and funerals that have occurred around me in such a short time, I felt like maybe I too should do some reflection and personal preparation. With the exception of fatal illness, we really don’t get much warning about death. I lost my beloved kitty (14+ years) on Thanksgiving day. I had no warning of her death with the exception of that morning, she was lethargic. I do not mean to compare the loss of a human with a pet, but only to reiterate, we never know when which day will be our last.

RIP 2011: Chris J, Ms. L, Mr. E, Mr. B, Grandma PattyCakes, Larry M.

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