Just Another Planning Post

I haven’t written a good planning post in awhile….

I miss my planner. It sat there for months- mocking me. At first, it mocked me and my carefully laid out plans. It mocked me with shows that I was supposed to attend, book clubs, lunches, museum exhibits…

Then it mocked me with it’s emptiness…. day after day…page after page…empty…

I don’t like when anybody mocks me. Especially my planner. Yes- my planer is a person. I call her Sheila.

So Sheila looked so sad and lonely with all those empty pages…

What’s a planner supposed to do?

So I made a plan to add to my planner…

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First off- I added stickers!

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Here’s my case for stickers-

  1. It’s creative
  2. It brings out my inner child
  3. It’s cute
  4. It makes me feel good
  5. It gives me something to look forward to

What else have I added to my planner?

  1. Movies/TV I want to watch
  2. reminder to text friends
  3. Word of the day
  4. How I’m feeling
  5. Highlights of the day
  6. Lowlights of the day
  7. Gratitude
  8. Actual reminders of things to do
  9. Blog schedule/ideas
  10. Whatever I’m thinking when I have the planner open

The hardest thing about the pandemic is my lack of control….

Shocking revelation….

Playing with my planner has given me a little control over my days- on the page at least…

What other organizing ideas have you come up with LA? (face it- I know you’re thinking this. Who doesn’t think about what I’m doing to organize my life…)

These are my chore charts. I have them up in my kitchen. One of them are all the things that must be done on a daily basis. One is things that are done on a weekly basis. The other is a list of things that get done monthly or biweekly. It is so much easier to keep track of what needs to be done. It’s also easy for my family to see what needs to be done- you know- in case they want to help out around the house…

And there you have it!

Another planner post in the books…

What’s a Marriage

My Uncle had two unsuccessful attempts to marriage. The first was to his high school sweetheart. He really did love her- he just got married too young. The second was a foolish mistake because I think he was lonely and she was desperate for a step father for her child. I don’t think that lasted six months. Then he met D, and they started dating.

And they dated.

And dated.

Never moving in together.

For twenty years.

After two failed marriages, my Uncle was wary of pieces of paper connecting people legally. Plus, he and D got along really well, except when they didn’t.

They both did well financially- he’s a Doctor and she was flipping houses long before it was fashionable on HGTV. He is a car and motorcycle enthusiast who loves a good car show and trip around an engine. He treats his body as a temple with an intensive workout routine of weights and cardio and yoga. He loves music and plays guitar in a band of other Doctors, and attends concerts whenever possible. D was opposite in many ways. She loves a good drink and a better party. As well as her mid atlantic residence, she also maintained a condo in a southern state, enjoying her weekends on the beach, meeting as many new people as she could. She was a total people person.

They loved one another, but had their moments when his quiet solitude didn’t mesh with her boisterous joie de vivre.

But no marriage. Twenty years.

About eight months ago, D was diagnosed with cancer. Stage 4 lung, with some secondary spots. You can guess the prognosis…

So in April 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, my uncle and D got married.

He wanted to be able to have full rights to care for her in the final days, which he did, until she passed two weeks ago.

Which brings us to:

I’m not a real fan of the concept of marriage. I’m one of those people who thinks it’s just a piece of paper.

But, in the end, does that piece of paper really mean something?

What are your thoughts on marriage vs a partnership?

Do you swing towards one side or the other?

Do you think it’s the same?

Do you think one way clearly is better than the other?

Discuss…

Blurb

I recently read “Silent Treatment” by Abbie Greaves. Summary: husband and wife do not speak to each other for six months even though they live in the same house. The actual book blurb basically says the same thing.

Whatever.

I enjoyed this book. Ok- enjoy is maybe not the right word, but I thought it was well thought out and executed. It would not be considered literary fiction, nor is it what I would call a beach read. What do you call a book that’s not really deep, but isn’t quite shallow either? Do we just call it a book?

Anyway.

After I read a book I mark it “READ” on my Goodreads page. And then I look at the reviews. I read reviews after the fact because I hate spoilers. I can usually rely on the blurb to see if I am going to like a book.

The blurb…

The first few reviews that I came across panned “Silent Treatment” because the blurb was “misleading” and “didn’t give an idea of what the book was about” and “was different than the actual book”.

So the question of the day is:

How much does the blurb matter to you? Would you be disappointed in a book if it didn’t tell the story you thought you were about to read?

I do read blurbs and short summaries of books. But, I think I try to decipher the “tone” of a book more than the plot. I was talking with another blogger recently and I stated that I am more interested in character driven novels than plot driven ones. I like dialogue. I like character interaction. You know, like French films which are short on story and long on nuance. I like writers who have style…

Should a blurb really give you insight into the plotline of a book?

I can probably read any story, with any sort of plotline, as long as I appreciate the style and tone which an author writes. Frankly, I like if I am pleasantly surprised by the plot going in a different direction than I thought it would.

But let’s break that down. If I pick up a book and I assume it’s going to be about a man and a woman entering a relationship when they are in their sixties, I do not want it to become a novel where they are both aliens and are going to try to bring people up to their planet for experiments…

But if I pick up a book about a man and a woman who are not speaking, I really don’t care what the reasoning is to their silence. I just care that it’s well thought out and executed.

Sooo…

Have you ever been really disappointed in a book because the description didn’t match the actual contents?

Discuss

 

Cleanssssssse

About three weeks ago I did a three day cleanse.

A lot if apples, celery and cucumber- a little beets, carrots and tomato…

It was Ok

I never felt hungry, but I never felt satisfied either, which for someone who likes food and has been starved of every pleasurable thing in life was probably the hardest part. The thing I missed the most though was not food- it was tea. Specifically caffeinated tea…

But I survived the three days.

And you know what? I actually felt better physically.

But it was hard mentally…

It becomes a chicken/egg scenario- while it might be ideal to feel better mentally and physically concurrently- what if that doesn’t seem possible?

My mind has been in overdrive since mid March- there has only been crazy running around in there- like a bunch of mice on speed are maze running through my cerebrum, distorting my reasoning and emotions. I don’t know when I will get the trap to catch those damn mice…

Physically, I’m not so great either. I can’t exercise the way I like to. We lack public restroom facilities in NYC during the best of times, so small bladder and long walks didn’t really mesh. I was eating junk to comfort myself. This is a deadly combination.

So mind- gone (temporarily I hope)

physical form- gone (temporary?)

What’s a girl to do?

I don’t know. (FYI- I’m tattooing that on my arm today because guess what- tattoo parlors open in NYC today, and I’m visiting any store that is open and I don’t know has become the catch phrase on 2020)

So- I’ve resolved to do virtual buddy walks with Claudette- 20 minutes a day.

I’m doing a modified cleanse on Mondays. I can handle one day a week.

I’m eating really carefully on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Big thumbs up to cucumber and lemon water…

I am not giving up tea. ( I mean really- how much can I take away…)

I am just trying to get by one day at a time…

 

Highlights…7/5

Hanging at the window
Empire State Building
Roof deck finally reopened
I would like some one to sing “you’ve lost that living feeling” to me

Friday Favorites 7/3

Today we celebrate Friday favorites…feel free to play along!

  1. Favorite road to travel on: The road less travelled
  2.  Favorite Animal at the Zoo: Monkeys- they crack me up
  3. Favorite Toy as a Child: stuffed cat
  4. Favorite Hair Color: brown
  5. Favorite Holiday: Christmas (but in December- not July- celebrating it too early or too often takes the specialness away)
  6. Favorite Dish at Olive Garden; I’ve only been to Olive Garden once- alas no favorite dish
  7. Favorite TV Sitcom: Frasier
  8. Favorite Style of Dance: Ballet
  9. Favorite Way to Travel: with one suitcase and a tote
  10. Favorite Type of Bear: Panda

I’m Blushing

One of my favorite museums  stores is Sephora. I love a good meander though the aisles looking at the all the make up and the products. I also love sitting at my vanity in the morning- yes- I have a vanity with a little stool, and I both begin and end my day here. I may not have a closet, but I cling to this one little thing…I schedule in my planner three spa nights a week where I masque, exfoliate, moisturize and chill out to whatever music suits my mood.

This is my idea of self care.

So last week I saw that Sephora had reopened.  They have a team outside the store- they tell you Sephora shopping law about touching (not allowed) sampling (only allowed via a Sephora employee who will make sure what you use is pristine) and that for a limited time, it’s 10% off…

I walked in and breathed a sigh of relief. For that one moment on Friday all was right with the world. Sephora still exists…

10% off! Every employee in the store made sure we remembered that…

Did I need anything?

I mean really- I hadn’t worn much make up in months…I buy much of my skincare via drugstore brands…

But…

I realized that I really needed my Orgasm…you know, the universally flattering blush color made by Nars which I have been wearing for more than twenty years…

My daughter and I walked the aisles until we spotted the Nars section…and there it was…the little black package…

As my delighted fingers went to pick up the package, a sudden realization came to me…

Do I really need blush now?

Do we need foundation?

Bronzer?

Highlighter?

Luminator (I think that’s the thing JLo wears)?

Lipstick?

With the advent of wearing masks, do women need these items anymore?

I looked at my daughter- “Will I actually put on blush knowing I have to wear a mask?”

“You?” she laughed. “Of course you will. You put on make up just because. You just like wearing it.”

“But really- no one will see it anymore. Unless I’m going out to dinner, and will it rub off on the mask and then I’ll have to reapply…”

“Well” my daughter continued “a lot of girls are putting make up on their masks… they outline lips and add bronzer and whatever…it’s a thing in some places…”

“Huh?”

She shrugged and looked at beauty blenders.

I did end up buying the blush, because I was out of it and… 10% off.

But it doesn’t mean I didn’t wonder about the fate of make up worn below your nose. If dramatic eyes will be the new fashion wave because that’s what people will see.

Botox? Will people who have never plunged start to fill in those pesky forehead lines because now they will be highlighted? (when I posted my mask  pic the other day, I did wonder for a minute how noticeable my 56 year old forehead would appear- so I can’t imagine I’m the only one)

Will BIG hair make a comeback?

Or will cosmetics fall by the wayside? Will people just toss on a mask and be done with it?

So…

To make up, or not to make up…

That is today’s question…

Recycling and the Pandemic

I think recycling took a big hit during the pandemic.

NY had just instituted a ban of plastic bags right before the pandemic hit. People were expected to bring their own bags when they went to a store. I had no problem with this rule- I always bring my own bags when I shop. I think it’s better for a variety of reasons.

But…

After the pandemic hit, this new law pretty much went up into smoke. Stores did not want you bringing your own bags: they feared cross contamination. If an employee touched your bag and got sick….full body shutter at that thought…Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood actually forbade it. Customers had to stand five feet away from the register as the clerk packed your food in paper bags… TJ has backed off slightly on that policy though. When I passed a Trader’s the other day, it appears that if you want to use your own bags you must exit the store with your cart, and bag your groceries outside on tables provided…How many rainy days will that last? or, a New York winter?

Disposable masks are being, well, disposed. Everywhere. Some make it to the garbage, others not so much. And who is going to pick up an errant mask off the ground?

Some stores are handing out disposable gloves to patrons as they walk in. See disposable masks for what’s going to happen to these…

Straws are back in vogue because you can wear a mask and sip a drink…

Outdoor dining establishments are sometimes using disposable plates and glasses…

Things are being wiped down with fresh new wipes every time. No one seems to re using sponges or rags because of cross contamination. Clean something- throw out the cleaning tools…

I’m on a reading facebook group. There are many people who are afraid to use books from the library. One post reminded people not to wash their library books because the pages will stick together (true story). Libraries are instituting sanitation protocols including holding books for 48 hours before relending. How long till physical library books are a thing of the past?

Thrift shops. I happen to live in a neighborhood that contains about five donation/resale/thrift stores. Only one has reopened. Along with budget shortfalls, some of these stores are worried about taking in and selling used items. Does a second hand store have the budget or means to make sure that every item is safe? More importantly, are people willing to buy used items? The stores near me banned taking in anything to do with children (toys, furniture, baby items) years ago because of safety and liability concerns. Now how’s it going to be? I cleaned out some stuff during quarantine and I want to donate it. I asked the woman at the thrift store if they were taking donations…”Well…sure….she nodded.” But she hesitated just long enough to wonder if I should actually bring over the stuff that’s been hanging out in my living room corner…

So…

How do we work around out new need for cleanliness and sterility with an attempt to go to zero waste?

How do we reduce, reuse and recycle now?

I Wonder

Death touched me in many ways last week- not closely, but sometimes particular deaths hit you harder. None of these deaths were corona related: all were deaths that probably would have happened regardless of the peculiarities of this year. The death I’m going to speak of today has a different sort of point…it just may take awhile for me to get there…

Back in middle school I had a good friend S. (- you will see that for some bizarre reason, I have an abundant amount of S, J and M named friends and acquaintances)

but anyway

So, S was one of my really good middle school friends. At some point in sixth or seventh grade she began dating this guy J. They would continue to date through high school. They broke up when she left for college and he went to the navy.

I hadn’t seen S in about twenty five years when I ran into her at my daughter’s gymnastics lesson. At the time she was a Nanny for a boy attending a make up class. She was on her second marriage at that point ( so was I so I’m not judging just stating fact) and she seemed as happy as anyone else.

After playing catch up, she looked at me and said- “Wonder whatever ever happened to J?”. She sort of had a wistful look at her face and we came up with some scenarios…

About a year or so later, I joined Facebook. When I started to connect with middle school friends, guess who sent me a friend request? J. The very same J that S had been thinking about.

We caught up. He was married. Had a job he really liked. Fixed up cars on the weekends… Guess what one of the first things he said to me was?

“I wonder how S is doing?”

I then regaled him with the story of how I had run into her, blah, blah, blah. He asked if I had a way to contact her. (she hadn’t, and still has not joined the social media revolution)

He seemed really bummed when I told him I didn’t have her email…

A few years ago J had a stroke. He made a solid recovery but wasn’t able to go back to being an EMT.

Last week he suffered a fatal stroke.

The first thing I did when I heard was facebook message the sister of S- I figured that S would want to know…

I don’t know what my point is. Take care of yourself because life is too short?  Just have a great time because life is too short? Tell the people that you love that you love them because life is too short? Don’t tell them because life is too short and you don’t want to ruin what you have?

I don’t know.

Life has thrown way too many curve balls lately.

I’ll leave you with my new code of conduct:

  1. Don’t be afraid to love and be loved
  2. Spend some time prepping for the future, but live your life in the present- no one knows what their timeline is.
  3. A clean house is the sign of a misspent life