At the Moment

Turkey Dinners, Black Out Curtains, All Aboard to Chicago!

What am I doing today?

OMG! I’m SO glad you asked!


Kevin and I took a carload of crap, er, goodies to the Goodwill today. Okay, honestly, it was good stuff: coats, home decor, clothes, board games … I would never dump crap on the Goodwill – crap goes in the garbage.

Kevin cleaned out our front closet to make room for more crap, er, Christmas goodies. And I’m so glad he does that!! There’s no telling what our house would look like if he didn’t keep me organized.

What warmed my heart though, was seeing about ten cars there at the same time – apparently, we’re not as original as we THINK we are.

And that’s awesome – more gently-used things for people who need them.

Carving Turkey!/writefromkaren/status/153949548061007872

I told you about Kevin’s sleeping problems, right? Well. The latest theory he’s trying is blackout curtains. Because now he’s convinced he’s waking up because as cars pass our bedroom their headlights illuminate our bedroom.

Which. I suppose it doesn’t help the situation, any.

We went to JCPenney’s today and bought some blackout curtains for our bedroom.

We like these because they’re a bit more “modern” looking and we already have a set in our living room that we love. And they really make the room darker. They are Chris Madden® Draperies, Mystique Grommet Panels and we bought the same color that is in the picture above. I’m hoping they match the purple in our bedspread.

(They’re also on sale right now!!)

And of course, I’m hoping they help Kevin stay asleep for longer period of time.

(But I’m not holding my breath on that one).

We’re taking a trip during spring break in March.

To Chicago.

On Amtrak.

I KNOW! Doesn’t that sound like fun?!? We’re inviting the boys. (If Dude has a job by then, hopefully he can take off. Otherwise, we’ll have an extra seat … ).

It’s SUPER cheap. Seriously. I just figured it up: all four of us, ROUND TRIP, from St. Louis to Chicago is $192.00!!! *squee* Of course. That does not include the price of gas for us to drive to St. Louis. And the rental car in Chicago. Or the hotel room. Or the food/entertainment factor. BUT STILL.

It’s much cheaper than flying there, that’s for sure.

It’ll take about six hours to ride the train. That sounds like a long time, but I’m betting it goes faster than we think it might. The train we will likely take (because it offers the times that we need), doesn’t have a dining car, which, bummer, but we’ll just take some sandwiches – I’m sure it will be fine. *chews lip*

We’ll go up on a Thursday, spend two days in Chicago (doing God knows what, I haven’t researched things to do in Chicago yet), and come back on Sunday.

Remember when I talked about traveling being one of my New Year’s “treats”? Well, I wasn’t kidding about that.

After I iron out the details for this train trip, I will be planning a trip to New York. I’m thinking … May? It’s unlikely we’ll go anywhere during the summer months – so that leaves September.

I’m thinking somewhere on the western coast …


Hello 2012, It’s Nice to Meet You

So. Resolutions.

They’re useful … if you stick to them.

But let’s be honest – how many of us really stick to them?

Maybe it’s the whole “resolution” stigma. It’s become so passé that no one really takes them seriously anymore.

“I’m going to make some New Year resolutions!” chirps one overly-enthusiastic friend.

“Sure, sure,” another friend answers while stifling a bored yawn.


So. Let’s spice things up a bit, let’s not call them resolutions, let’s call them “treats.” Let’s picture these treats dangling from a sturdy rope above our heads. And these treats are TASTY. They are SCRUMPTIOUS. They sparkle whenever a breeze gently pushes them into motion in bright sunshine. They smell heavenly. And we know that once we reach these treats, they will be satisfying and oh so worth the effort.

That’s how I picture them, at least.

So here goes — I’m displaying my personal treats, in a very big, clear display case for all the world to view, analyze and criticize.

Feel free to hold me accountable.

Manage my energy levels. Which is really a round-about way of telling you I need to exercise. (Hey! I saw that yawn!!). Now that I’m working full-time, I must, must, MUST get control of my energy levels. My new job (I’m a scheduler for eight neurosurgeons – I know, you’re impressed, stop denying it), is mentally EXHAUSTING. It doesn’t SOUND like it would be exhausting – how hard is it to schedule appointments?? But. BUT. It’s so much more than that. It’s making referrals, it’s pre-certing tests with insurance companies, it’s answering calls from patients, it’s answering flags (requests) from nurses … well, you get the idea.

So, I’m tired. All. The. Freaking. Time. And my body is breaking down. Day. By. Day. Since I sit all day, every day, my body has grown stiff, and unused. Body parts are creaking, popping and groaning and I know it’s mainly because I’ve been physically inactive. Sure. Some of it is age, but most of it is because I’m not USING it.

Use it or lose it.

The thing is, I LIKE to exercise. I know. That makes me even MORE weird, but there you go – I like to sweat. As long as I’m in a position TO sweat (pre-shower, dirty hair, no where to go, time to get cleaned up), I’m COOL with the whole notion of abusing my body. I like how it makes me feel. I like what it does to my body. My problem is, finding the time to devote to it. Because if I’m going to do this, it has to be done right. If I’m going to exercise, then I want to EXERCISE. I don’t take the half-ass route, I’m in it to get results. Because if I’m going to devote the time to do something, then damn it, it BETTER pay off.

I ordered Zumba Fitness 2 for the Wii yesterday. I’ve heard a lot of cool things about Zumba – I work with a gal who is actually a Zumba instructor. It sounds fun. I DIG the workouts where I get to punch, dance or kick my way to a healthy place. They’re fun. I’ve used the EA Sports programs for the Wii in the past, and they’re fun, too. I just want something I can mix things up with because it keeps me interested and shakes things up a bit. I still plan on using my treadmill … actually, I plan on doing BOTH. Before work. Every other day. Because I know me. And I know I’ll be too tired to do anything when I get home from work.

And that’s the key to a successful workout program, my friends. KNOWING YOURSELF. Find something that you can enjoy, or at the very least, tolerate. Do you like the water? Then do some aqua therapy. (I’ve heard good things about aqua therapy from our patients). Do you like to dance? Try Zumba. Do you like to walk? Invest in a treadmill and watch your favorite programs while walking.

In other words? Try different things and find out what works for you. THEN? Reward yourself whenever you meet a personal goal. It’ll give you something to work toward. As I tell Dude, ALL THE TIME, humans need goals. They need something to work toward. Otherwise, we get fat and lazy. Both figuratively and literally.

So. Improve energy level. Check.

Write. OH MY GOSH. I’ve done so little writing this past year, it actually makes me sick to my stomach. The problem is? It takes MENTAL ENERGY to write. And MENTAL ENERGY is something I don’t have a lot of right now. (See above point). How do you squeeze more juice from an already dry and withered tomato??

Exactly. You don’t. So I need to find a way of re-hydrating that tomato. I need to find a way to replenish my mental reserves, reach deep down into that reservoir that I KNOW has to be there somewhere and coax those creative juices to the top.

Maybe I’ll try writing on the mornings that I’m not exercising, because again, it HAS to be before work because I’m completely brain dead after work.

Hence the reason you get bombarded with posts on the weekends and it’s a graveyard in my neck of the blog-o-sphere during the week.

Take more pictures. I really enjoy reading blogs where they take pictures of small, everyday things. Because life is not only about the big things, it’s about the small things, too. I want to start a habit of reaching for my camera at every turn.

Like last night, for instance. When the clock struck midnight and we all drank sparkling grape juice out of wine glasses and went outside on our front porch and pulled party poppers with confetti inside … the little moments are worth remembering.

Travel. Which seems impossible since Kevin and I both work full time. But I earn some pretty awesome time off hours through my job and Kevin is self-employed, which equals flexibility, and I don’t want to grow old and look back on my life and say, “Wow. I really worked way too much and didn’t experience life NEARLY enough.”

You know? I’m sure ya’ll can relate.

And since we earn frequent flyer miles and have quite a few saved up and the company we have frequent flyer miles with (American Airlines) has filed bankruptcy and the likelihood that we will lose our frequent flyer miles is looming over my head (though Kevin seems to think American Airlines will honor them, and they SAY they will honor them, but let’s be real here), I want to cash them in before we lose them.

Use them or lose them. (Seems to be my mantra lately).

And it’s now January. Which is the month that Kevin and I start planning where we want to go for our vacation. We could do another cruise, and we might, (we’re big cruise people. Seriously. It’s not as expensive as you might think, especially when you take all of the “extras” into consideration – ports, food, etc), but I’m thinking something a little different this year. I’m thinking of taking some long weekends, like just me and Kevin. The boys … are getting older and don’t seem as excited about taking vacations with us anymore. I mean, they’re 19 and 16 – would YOU want to hang out with your parents for a solid week at that age??


And taking long weekends to a few places might be more fun than taking a solid week to cruise somewhere. At the very least, it’s different. I’m thinking of taking two, possibly three, long weekends (and I’m talking Thursday to Sunday) to: New York, Washington DC, and maybe someplace west, like Seattle or possibly San Francisco.

At any rate, we’ll end up doing something, I’m just not sure what yet. And I’m excited. Because I look forward to these trips every year. (See? Working toward goal equals a happy human).

And I think I’ll stop there. I’m feeling full. And we all know that when you feel full, you should stop eating.

These are my personal treats dangling over my head for 2012:

  • Manage energy levels
  • Write
  • Take more pictures
  • Travel

Now. All I need is a step ladder.

(Because no one said anything about keeping it honest. hehe).