My personal 2018 vision …

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I’m sure  you’ve heard others comment that time speeds up as you get older. It is true – it does! Maybe it’s that it takes more time to take care of yourself – medical needs,etc – or maybe it’s because the number of opportunities to attend events for grandkids, friends, family members, etc. has grown exponentially, or maybe it just seems like it is speeding up. In any case, some of us oldsters – who used to think we had all the time in the world to get things done – now realize that our time is limited.

As many know, I always have many projects going at once; many of them remain undone. In the past few months, I was so sick that it took a conscious effort for each task – standing up, eating, walking, etc.,  During that time, I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to get done and how I need to adjust to my new reality (and that is, that I can’t do everything I used to be able to do). I quickly realized – given how much effort it took to do simple tasks – that my some of my current plans were a bit unrealistic. That doesn’t mean I am giving up on many of those goals.

People have been using vision boards for many years. Some people use it to bring about change in their life – to focus what they’d like their life to be, what they want to do and how they want to feel. I’ve adapted mine just a bit to be more about what I want to accomplish in 2018. Even if I even only accomplish part of the plan, it will  affect how I feel (for the better).

My vision board is still a pretty ambitious but … The most beneficial part of creating the vision board, at least for me, is that it makes  you think through your ideas and helps you choose those that are most important to you.

My vision board was created using  the computer version of ‘cut and paste.’  First, I found photos that easily remind me of each project. Then I created a photo collage – where all of the photos are combined into one photo. You can also do it by cutting and pasting photos from magazines or other documents onto a thick piece of paper. The purpose is to be able to display it so it is a daily reminder.  I printed my photo and taped it up in an area I will see daily – the side of my computer.

Here’s a quick look at my vision board –

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Here is a very brief explanation of my board: knit a sweater for myself; paint rocks; knit lots of spa cloths; finish my fiction book (the picture with the trees); learn to use by scan’n cut machine for various craft projects, and complete various work projects. So, I will need to find some rocks. Completing the vision board will be dependent on how much time it takes me to heal and improve my health.

Perhaps  you want to try creating your own vision board? Even just thinking about may help you in the coming year.

Thanks for reading! I hope you return. 



This year …

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Just days before Christmas,

And nothing is done,

With doctors and tests,

We‘re always on the run.


So how do we get ready?

How do we cope?

We simply can’t make it happen,

We don’t have that hope …

So –

This year we’ve decided,

Will simply be green,

So those who are gifted,

Can decide what they need.


The best part of all,

We can just sit back,

And not have to wrap,

Instead we can chat.


Have a wonderful holiday season!! Thanks for reading my blog. 

That little bit extra …

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Now is the season where everyone is gift shopping – hoping to find that bargain – and, in some cases, hoping to find something special — just the right thing. I would submit, however, that you often don’t need to look for ‘just the right thing.’ You can easily accomplish your goal by taking time to enhance those holiday memories.

Here’s some ideas:

For younger children –

Make a decoration together – one to take home and one for you, Make sure you have all the supplies ready to go. This one also doubles as a treat – because they are edible. Just fill cookie cutters with peppermint candies (placed a cookie sheet with wax paper);  melt in the oven on low heat (200 degrees); remove from the wax paper, punch a hole in the top, add a ribbon – and, behold, you have a decoration or a treat.


Make a fun veggie display. There are so many ways you can do this. Here’s some examples to spur your creativity.

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Have a special treat  – one that don’t always get at home – but don’t overdo. Just a few. Simple is often a good choice. I have grandkids who would be just as happy with dollar buns.

For your ‘adult’ children –

Did you keep decorations they made as children; if so, display them. (And for those of you that have way too many decorations – consider donating your commercially made decorations to a home for veteran’s and keep only those that have special meaning to you. Then you can also downsize or eliminate the need for a Christmas tree. You can also display the decorations in other ways – on mantels, on houseplants – be creative.)

Did you keep sketches or drawings? Frame one and give as a fun gift.

For your spouse –

Some of us in the older crown really don’t really need anymore ‘stuff.’ We are trying to eliminate stuff. So, for this group, you can …

Make a meal that you don’t make very often – perhaps something that you really aren’t supposed to eat – (those pesky restrictions on salt, etc) or something that your spouse’s family used to make. I keep getting a request for klebba – a family version of potato dumplings. The dumplings are made from raw, grated potatoes that are combined with flour and cooked in boiling water; then the dumplings are drained and put in milk – along with potato pieces, heated and served (like soup). I haven’t found a recipe yet but family members tell me this is how you make it. I do remember my husband’s Aunt Agnes making them in a similar manner. If I recall, the potato dumplings have the interior consistency of a golf ball and, once they hit your stomach, they stay for a long time. However, we are going to try them – one more time (and maybe for the last time).

And for the ‘older crowd’ … 

As I mentioned, most of us oldsters have more stuff then we need. What most of really want is to have you spend time with us, make a handmade gift, help us with a chore, but beyond that – really nothing more. A little time with family and friends is the best gift of all.

Just remember – gifts are okay but memories last forever. This year, remember to make some memories.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 

Faith, Love, Hope and Joy …

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Dreams can be strange things. Sometimes they are simply bizarre – like the one I told you about in the last column. Sometimes I can’t remember them at all. But last night, I had a dream that seemed like it went on for hours — simply showing me the phrase “Faith, Love, Hope and Joy” over and over, in various ways. There were different scenes were the words showed up on the wall, on a mantle, etc. There were also scenes where people kept telling me that I need to remember them – over and over. So, what does this mean?

So, off to the internet I go to be enlightened. I found a lot of articles about recurring dreams but nothing much about words being repeated in the context of one dream. I didn’t really understand what the articles were saying – I am not much into Freud.

That leaves it to me – to either figure it or just let it go.

As you know, I am recovering from heart stent surgery and I have a lung disease. The recovery has been slow – which is hard for me because I am used to being on the go — as in being busy, not being athletic. And, really, I am not looking for sympathy or anything like that – I just want to get better.  But I also tend to be anxious about it. So —

I think this phrase is a message for me to lighten up and let the healing progress as it will. The message is …

Faith – Keep the faith.

Love – Let love help you heal.

Hope — There is always hope.

Joy – Find joy in each day.

I have listened and I will try to remember these four words  guide me as I heal. I think it’s a good list for everyone to remember. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you return! 



Still healing … and sleeping

Tomorrow it will be three weeks since my heart stent surgery. It seems like it has been much longer … healing is slow, very slow – complicated by my lung disease. I’m sure I am getting stronger each day – although some days are spent mostly sleeping – whether I want to or not. However, that’s better than in the beginning  . . .

After the first few days, I simply could not sleep. So, I decided to take matters in hand and took two benadryl tablets to help me sleep. Well, that may not have been the best idea. Soon I was in a state of delusion. For whatever reason, I thought that I must sleep sitting straight up. If I moved and did not keep the position, the clock would turn backward and morning would never come. And it appeared to work!  When I slide down in the chair, the clock appeared to move backward. When I sat up straight, the clock moved forward. So, there I sat – straight up – waiting for morning to come. It seemed like many hours had passed but the clock never seemed to move past 5:00 (am). Finally, morning came and it was 7:00 am. For several days following, I tried to stay awake as long as I could, hating the thought of watching that clock all night.

As for sleep medication, I will not be taking a double dose of benadryl again. Interestingly, however, I told this story to one of the nurses during my remicade infusion treatment this week. She said that sleep-deprived people can become delusional – without any help from medication. So, perhaps the delusion was just me. In any case, no more benadryl.

I am surprised about how weak I am. Never would I have imagined a time where I was too weak to knit !!!!! – or – too weak to read !!! I have finally started to knit a little – and read a little — so progress is being made.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return.

Another garage sale season …

Another garage sales season is coming to an end.  Sales are few and far between now. With health issues, I wasn’t able to get to as many sales as I would have liked, but I did manage to get to quite a few. And then add in the trip to Herrschner’s Warehouse sale in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (overnight with a friend) and a day long thrift store marathon (I think we went to 11 or 12 stores in one day!).

Most of my ‘finds’ this year were lower cost items – nothing big – but fun and valuable to me. Below are some of my finds. You will see a theme here — teapots and paper crafting supplies.

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Of course, I am always interested in how people conduct their garage sales. I’ve written several blogs that give tips on how to have a successful sale (see links at bottom of this blog). Signs directing people to sales should be colorful, easily read, use arrows, include distance (if possible), and consistent – all your signs should be the same. This makes it easy for us shoppers to find your location. My favorite sign for this year:


And since I am a city planner and have to administer zoning rules, please remember to pick up your signs when the sale is over. Below is a picture of one of my colleagues with ‘old’ signs that were collected. Note, however, the balloon – a good attention-getting device to add to your garage sale sign.


So, that’s it until next season.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return.

Here’s are links to  my previous blogs about garage sales:

Plan B it is …

Well, I finally met with the cardiac surgeon. Once again there was a delay, so overall – we waited over two hours. The question was whether I would have bypass surgery or not. Well, it turns out not. Because of my lung disease, I have taken prednisone – on and off – for many years. That leaves me with a significantly enhanced chance of infection after surgery. And then, of course, there is the lung disease which is now being treated with remicade and methotrexate (since the disease has worsened over the years). Chances are good that I would have a long, difficult recovery. So, with all of this, and at the advice of the surgeon, I am not having bypass surgery.

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What is Plan B? In the next few weeks they will try putting in stents (angioplasty) again. (I already have two stents). They are pretty sure they can stent one area – and one area is a maybe. I also have narrowed arteries and a bundle block – neither of which can be fixed without bypass surgery. The stenting will not correct all of the issues but it should make it better. Chances are that I will never become a world-famous athlete because I won’t be able to do things that require a lot of exertion – but, then, I have never been a athlete in any sense of the word. And I can find plenty to do when sitting …


So, that is the plan.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.