Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lora who?

To say I've been busy lately is an understatement. Life has been moving along at break neck speed and I'm tyring to keep up withall the changes!

We are (I repeat ARE) finally in the new house! Moved in December 17th. Just in time for Christmas. At 4 am December 23rd, hubby was still installing the molding in the dining room. 10 minutes before the family arrived on Christmas Eve we were hanging the kitchen curtains. I felt like I was the star in an HGTV show - pounding to meet the deadline before the big reveal. But we did it! We were tired (read: exhausted) but happy and proud and relieved all at the same time. Everyone loved the house....the tree looked phenomenal (bigger than it did when it was growing out back in the yard...) Hubby had to chop the top off and then run out and buy an over-sized gold start to make it look even. The house was full of people and good food and laughter and love. As a house should be.

The next morning all the kids came back over for breakfast and I got to use my first ever dining room! The woodstove was bathing us in the kind of heat only a wood stove can give, cinnamon rolls were baking in my new stainless steel oven, and the boom box (okay - the stero didn't get hooked up in time) was supplying Christmas melodies. It was Norman Rockwell morning!

Two weeks later my youngest daughter and her hubby produced a beautiful 7lb 6 oz princess they named Shea. My first grandaughter and I am totally and indescribably in love with her! And come next June, middle daughter and her hubby will give us a grandson! Patrick (after my late husband). Can life get any better?

And to top all of that off - I have managed to shed 30 pounds! I said I would do it before I moved into the new house! And I did it! Still want to lose another 20...but in time. Right now I am reveling in all the newness of everything here. I wake up each morning and marvel at all I have been blessed with.

I will post pics of the house...and the baby....very soon. And I will try to post more regularly. if anyone is even still checking in here.

Happy 2012 to all my blogger friends! It's good to be back!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Groovy Musings!

Before you wonder what decade that pic is's last weekend. We were invited to a 60's theme party to celebrate my broher-in-law's 60th birthday. (Egads - Am I old enough to have a brother-in-law that old??)

It's almost Spring! At least that's what the calendar says. I live in Upstate New York so it's anybody's guess what season we're really in right now! Only here can it be blizzarding one day and finding daffodils poking out the next. Yesterday it was snowing. Today it's supposed to be in the 50's. Kind of like that new fitness craze called "muscle confusion" only here it's weather confusion.

That said I'll be heading off to Fort Myers (where the sun always shines) in 13 days. My 2 sisters, sister-in-law and a friend are accompanying me as we head for a little well needed R&R (sans the hubsters) for a 4 day vacation. While I'm still not at all happy about donning a bathing suit (or anything that will show all my winter-white skin) I am excited that my weight watchers experience is paying off handsomely. I joined on January 12 (8 weeks ago) and have tipped the scales at a negative 15 pounds so far! I'm finding the new Points Plus Program to be very do-able. I still have a long way to go to reach my goal but I've been aiming for 5 pound increments and finding that to be a very acheivable way to hit the marks.

The new house is actually getting somewhere. Hubby has been working hard and the end is truly in sight. I estimate we'll have a working kithen in about a week. I'm going to pick out the carpeting this weekend. Yay!

I haven't been attacking the gym latley - mostly due to my daughter's new work schedule which has me scooting right home after work to watch junior. Aside from the fact that I really need to get in there and tone these muscles - it's also killing me that I'm paying $30/month for something that I'm not using. I hate gym memberships. They muscled me into a 2 year contract and now I'm stuck. Unless I move or become incapacitated.

Note to self and others: if you decide to join a gym - find one that doesn't have a contract!! My daughter pays $10 a month for a "pay-as-you-go" membership. I should've shopped around...

Speaking of daughters - youngest told me yesterday that she & hubby have decided to start a family! I promised not to tell anyone but the blogosphere doesn't count. (does it?)

Ciao all and I'll try to be back sooner next time!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Well Look Who's Here!

So Christmas came and went in our house (or should I say the OLD house) and I didn't even decorate. Well, almost. I gave in begrudgingly the week before Christmas and stuck a 2 foot fiber optic jobber in the front window. And lit a snowman candle that I got as a gift the week before.
You see, hubby promised me that the new house would be finished by this Christmas. When did he promise me this you say? Why, last year as I was taking down the decorations. The very same decorations that I swore I would not put up if we weren't in the new house LAST year!
It's not that I'm this nagging prima dona who throws a hissy fit if she doesn't get her own way. Truly I'm not. I'm actually quite patient. And for those of you who have following my blog for several years - you will recall that I have been waiting for quite some time!
So this year I stuck to my guns. When October rolled around (the month he said he'd start working on it again) and nothing happened....I began the subtle threats. When November arrived and he still had not lifted a hammer....I laid out the stakes. No Christmas in the new Christmas here either. (Not really no Christmas) just no Christmas decorations.
You see - I have been living out of boxes for 2 years. My walls are bare because all the decor has been taken down and stored. My living room has no furniture because we gave it to my daughter because hubby said we would be moving soon. We had to go to my middle daughter's house Christmas morning because this house wasn't suitable to entertain in. It hasn't been in 2 years.
People are beginning to cite me for sainthood. They want to know why I'm not going crazy over all this. Well...ahem...I sort of am! It's not that one can't have Christmas without all the trappings. One can - and we did. Jesus is the reason and we managed to remember and embrace that fact. It was just!
Fortunately for all concerned (mostly him because I was ready to toss him out in a snow bank) he has finally (FINALLY) found his groove again and is working on the house. I am not making any claims as to when we will be in there. But at least he's in there doig something!
Other that that - life has been busy. Now that I'm working (it's been a whole year now!) I just don't find the time to blog like I used to. (But I think about it a lot.) And I'm not ready to hang up my keyboard just yet. (I guess there has been a lack of motivation in more places than just one in our household these days.)
So I joined Weight Watchers last night. They gave me this cute little blue calculator the size of a compact to track my points. I get 29 a day. I have one left for today. Not bad. I am cautiously optimistic this may be the ticket. I've proven to myself time and again that I need accountability.
Anyhoo....that's what I've been up to. I'll try to be more faithful! (oh and yes...I have been going to the gym. Now and then...)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Joy and Tragedy.....

So where have I been? I don't know! The time has been flying by faster than can keep track of. Days slip into weeks.... Weeks into months... And now it's autumn already and I didn't even notice summer. Well, that's not totally accurate. Summer was awesome - the BEST weather I can remember in years! And I did manage to eek out a few extended stays at the lake. And I did manage to stay faithful to the gym and lost 11 pounds and a bunch of inches!
But mainly - this summer was focused on THE WEDDING. My oldest tied the knot on September 18th. So the past few months have been steeped in wedding plans. Now I am finally breathing a sigh of relief that it's all over and I can focus on....finishing the house in time for Christmas! (I know. I know!) To those of you who have been with my for the past several years - we have been trying to finish the new house in time for Christmas since 2007! But this year (you heard it here folks!) it WILL be done!

The thing is...I'm not all that consumed with it. Used to be, I was re-arranging the yet to be purchased furniture in my head....determining where to hang all the new pictures my kids have been giving me as gifts the past few years in anticipation of the big move...and nagging hubby to just (as the Nike commercial says) DO IT! But as of late...I'm not in such a hurry. Because life is happening all around me and moving into the new house is just another chapter. And to be honest....the pages have been turning much too quickly lately. The frailty of life has been knocking at my door and I right now - change is the last thing on my mind.

Five months ago my brother-in-law took his own life. It rocked us all to the core. And this past week - his brother's wife was stabbed to death - by her own son. The boy was in his early 20s and was schizophrenic. never any indications of violence...and he truly loved his mom. We can't understand it and will probably spend the rest of our lives trying to wrap our minds around it. After killing his mom - he stabbed himself several times in the neck. He is in the hospital as I write this. Poor Bob... In the span of 5 months he lost his brother, his wife and even his son - who, though he will recover from his wounds - will ultimately be locked away somewhere for a very long time... And Mark - his son. He found them. He's only 25. How does one that young recover from such a the grace of God.

So I've been thinking a lot lately. And realizing that awful things don't just happen to other people. And I'm feeling a lot more compassionate to the nameless faces I see in the news now. And realizing that everyday - in some way - someone is hurting. Makes me want to spend a lot more time on my knees. And a lot more time looking up. To the only One who truly has the answers.

Please pray for Bob and Mark....their very foundations have been shattered this past week. And pray for Kurt. He will live with what he did for the rest of his life. I can not judge. I will not judge. Only God can do that. I can only pray and continue to praise the One who holds all things together... in the midst of this terrible storm.

On a happier note (because in spite of the sadness - there have been some happy times....) I've posted some pics from the wedding.

hugs *

Friday, July 30, 2010

5 Weeks Later....

So it's been 5 weeks since I joined the gym and I can proudly say I have been attending faithfully! Except for the week I spent at the lake (well...10 days there actually) I've gone at least 3x a week and sometimes 4. And the week at the lake I did a lot of walking and swimming (actually swam across the lake 3 times...with my noodle of course!) So I've been pretty active ~ more so than in a long time!

I've only managed to drop 5 pounds, but my shape is changing. Not dramatically - but enough to encourage me to keep at it! I have to drive right by the gym each afternoon when I leave work so it's hard to not go. Yesterday I drove right by and then turned around and went back. Good girl, Lora!

I plug in my earphones and watch Dr. Phil while I'm on the treadmill and then move on to the machines. There are people bigger than me and smaller than me so I don't feel all that self-conscious. Back in the day when you went to the gym it was a fashion parade. You know - the high cut leotards, tight, leg-warmers and headbands. (see pic!) Thanks goodness we've progressed to being more dedicated to our health than our outfits!

Yesterday I read a quote on Spark-People from a member that said "I am a work in progress...and if I want to progress - I have to work!" That's gonna' be my new mantra!

Last Saturday I went to the beach with my youngest daughter. It was so much fun! We brought some lunch and spread out our towels and soaked up the sunshine in between dips in the lake because it was so hot! Tuesday night I went out to dinner with my 2 sisters and sister-in-law. We found a nice restaurant overlooking the lake and ate outside. I just love summer! And last night I went yet once again to the lake with 6 of my old high school friends to a nice outdoor restaurant that overlooked the harbour. I grew up less than 10 minutes from Lake Ontario and yet never seem to get there enough. And now 3 times in one week! Yoohoo!

I can't believe it's almost August. Where has the summer gone? I ave 2 more trips to the cottage (this on a smaller lake - not one of the Great Lakes!) my class reunion and then my daughter's wedding. And then the night air will start getting a nip in it, the leaves will begin to turn color and I'll find myself wearing a sweater to work. I love fall too - but fall always comes with winter on it's heels...and we all know how I hate snow!

But until then - I'm going to enjoy the sunshine!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Dad's Day and other ramblings...

It's Father's Day and guess where I am? Sitting in my office at work.....killing time. I had to visit a church today on this side of town (1/2 hour from home) for a volunteer recruitment gig and had a big lapse between services so I came here.

It's quiet...and it's nice to get to visit with the volunteers that come here on weekends. I never really get to meet the folks who come during the hours I'm not here except on the phone - so this is nice. Except that I'm wearing a skirt and high heels and all I can think about is getting them off and jumping into my shorts and flip flops!

We're having the family over for a picnic this afternoon. Hubby is setting up the big blowup water slide we bought last year for the kids and the weather is supposed to cooperate!

So.....on Friday I drove past the gym that is down the street from where I work for the umpteenth time and decided this time that I would stop in and check out that special they have going for summer. An hour later I walked out with a 2 year contract and a promise from the 102 pound gal that talked me into it - that in 4-6 weeks she's have me seeing results.

Heaven knows I certainly have some motivating factors in my life to make me want to do this. Um...wait a minute. I think I've been saying that for several years now.... but really - I do! My Class reunion is coming up in August and I can't possibly skip it. It's being hosted at my house! We have the big yard - pavilion - outdoor bathroom and kitchen - so we can easily accommodate everyone.... So there's motivator #1. Then there's my daughter's wedding in September. When the other 2 got married 4 years ago (in a double wedding) I vowed I would lose weight. I thought I'd lost enough to at least look okay - but when the pictures came back - I looked like a giant blueberry. So the Sept. wedding is motivator #2. Moving on to #3 - this one is a ways off - but I'm hoping that it will keep me accountable for any weight I do manage to take off. My sisters and I are going to Florida again in March. To celebrate another milestone birthday like we did last fall.

So I'm hoping to keep me relationship with afore mentioned gym. I'm in it for 2 years - so I'd better! Besides - flashbacks from my traumatic shopping trip last week to buy a swimsuit should keep me going.

I swear....I'm getting to the point where I should be needing to take a Valium before that kind of a shopping trip. Not that I take Valium - but it sure would've helped! Anyway - found a suit that helped camouflage my lesser features (or maybe "greater" would be a more fitting desciptor?) forked over the money and left. That probably explains the reason my car turned into the parking lot of the gym last Friday.

I'll keep you posted.

Happy Father's Day ~ enjoy!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye When You Don't Want To....

Shortly after I wrote my last post one of those life altering events occurred in my life...the kind that causes you to mark time in a before and after mode. As I get older my life seems to get categorized into chunks of time. Like before and after the month I lost my parents. Or before and after my husband died. And now it's been divided even further. Into before and after my brother-in-law took his own life.

No one knew the pain and torment he was going through. Until it was too late. The saga began with his disappearance..a week of searching....and my sister finding him moments before he put a gun into his mouth and ended his torment.

And now we are all left with the all of the unanswerable questions that plague the survivors after a suicide. Our lives have been shaken to the core. We walk through our days in a fog as we try to manage our grief. So many emotions. Guilt... Sadness... Anger... Denial... My brother-in-law was my late husband's best friend. Way before my sister and I came into their lives.

This is one of those time where words aren't flowing as easily as they usually do. I just felt the need to explain my absence and ask for a few prayers. For my sister. For her three children.