10 Items or Less – April Showers

Bird in Rain

April has come and gone with very little thrill.  There were the surprises of popup trips for my daughter this summer, which is good for me because it lowers the cost for camp. Other than the usual hustle and bustle of the daily grind, things have been rather dull. Nevertheless, there is always something to be thankful for, so even though it is rather short, here is April’s list:

April Items

  1. The near constant rain that always reminds me of rejuvenation, new life, new beginnings – gives me hope
  2. The beauty of the Easter holiday
  3.  Kite flying with my daughter
  4. Tax season – the return gives my pocket a bit of a boost!
  5. The chance to break out and wear my cute open toed wedges and heels

Flower in RainPhotograph by Manuela Salzinger



10 Items or Less – March Madness!


I know I’m late with this 10 Items or Less list for March.  For me March can be maddening – and it has nothing to do with basketball, LOL!  One of the things March brought with it is the race to find and lock down a summer camp for my daughter.  All the good summer camps tend to fill up extremely quickly, and prices become ridiculously high and financially unobtainable for my budget.  So I’ve been spending a lot of time going back and forth with my daughter discussing what she would like to do this summer, what I would like for her to do this summer, and how we can meet in the middle.  It may sound like an easy discussion, but I assure you, it’s not.  Once we’ve chosen a camp, a lot of schedule maneuvering takes place trying to work my work schedule around the camp schedule, and negotiate with those who say they will help by picking her up if I have to work late on any given day – which  never works out (it’s more struggling and bartering than negotiating).  My saving grace in all of this is next year she will be old enough to get a summer job!

Then there’s the planning of the vacations and scheduling time off – which I’m definitely looking forward to!

So, without further ado – here’s the list:

March’s Items

  1. Hint of Spring in the air
  2. The beauty of the Japanese Cherry Blossoms blooming
  3. The renewed energy I feel with the change of seasons
  4. Planning summer vacations (picking the destinations)
  5. daylight savings time
  6. Purchasing new sandals ( I absolutely love shoes!)
  7. New seasons of my favorite shows
  8. St. Patrick’s Day
  9. The packing up of all things winter related (YAY!)
  10. Spring cleaning!

Japanese Cherry Blossom


10 Items or Less – February’s Loves


Like most people, the month of February brings thoughts of love and romance.  Unfortunately for me there is no romance in my life at the moment, but there is a lot of love and that is what this months’ list is all about.

February’s Items – My Loves

  1. Abundance of love of God and all His blessings
  2. Abundance of love for my child
  3. Love of imagination and creativity
  4. Loving myself and feeling proud of my growth over the years
  5. My love of chocolate covered strawberries
  6. Love for and from my family and close friends
  7. Love of personal space and being at peace
  8. Love of music


10 Items or Less – January’s 2017 Goal List


2017 is in full swing.  I have decided not to have a “new year resolutions” list this year, but rather an obtainable list of goals that make a lot more sense, and is easier to keep up with.

First thing first, I have to acknowledge those things that I will leave behind in 2016.  It is important to me that I openly point out some of the things holding me back to remind myself not to repeat them.

Out With The Old:

  1. Self doubt
  2. Putting myself second
  3. Being overly accommodating
  4. Trying to revive dead relationships
  5. Procrastination
  6. Laziness (health wise)
  7. Staycations
  8. Not opening up enough
  9. Writers block
  10. Focusing on the past

In With The New:

  1. Stepping out on faith
  2. Doing what makes me happy
  3. Making me a priority 
  4. Taking my health serious – Exercise more/Eat better
  5. Going to places I’ve always wanted to go – even if I have to travel alone
  6. Putting more time into the writing projects I’ve started/making this blog better
  7. Saying NO a lot
  8. Moving on emotionally 
  9. Make every effort to go further in my career
  10. Sticking to 1 thru 9

Last year was rough. I had more downs than ups, and a lot of it made me question my existence on this planet.  But I am not defeated. I’m still here, and I will continue to strive to be a better me one day at a time.

Happy new year readers.


A Tale of Two Brothers (This Is How It Ends) – Darkly Funny Story


This is the true story of 2 mice who met their unfortunate end on Halloween night.

This past Halloween after taking my daughter trick or treating, I decided to go and visit my sister to see my niece’s costume.  I’d only wanted to stay for a few minutes – just long enough to say hello, play with the baby a bit, then get something to eat and go home.  I wound up staying for 3 hours!  My sister is petrified of mice, and happened to see two scurrying around in the kitchen of her new home just before I got there.  When I was finally able to convince her to go back into the kitchen, I saw both mice run into the vent on the back of the stove.

*Sidebar:  Since I was nearly forced into staying at my sister’s house until these 2 mice were caught, I had to make it entertaining.  So I set traps, and narrated the whole scenario while my sister sat at the dining room table facing the window so she wouldn’t scream and scare the mice away.  I have no idea how mice communicate to each other, but I imagine their conversation went something like the following (p.s. I’ve named them Mickey and Mighty, LOL):

Mickey:  Peeps out of the stove vent.  Ducks head back in and whispers, “Hey, Mighty! The coast is clear.  Come take a look.”

Mighty:  Manages to squeeze his little body in the same vent opening next to Mickey. “Your right.  Let me sniff around.”  Brave little Mighty pushes himself out of the vent opening and takes a few steps over to the left back stove burner.  He sniffs the burner, then hesitantly climbs up onto the cool frying pan sitting on the burner.  The soapy water in the pan takes Mighty by surprise, and jumps off quickly.  He looks back at his brother, who is still hanging halfway outside of the vent opening.

“I don’t know if you should come out here, man.  Something doesn’t seem quite right.  I thought I smelled…” Mighty stopped mid-sentence when he spotted the dollop of peanut butter sitting to his far left in the middle of a pool of melted butter.

Mickey:  “What man?! What did you smell?  What is it?”

Mighty:  “Peanut butter!  I’m going for it!  Come with me, it’s safe.”

Mickey:  Pushes his way through the vent opening, and crawls midway down the middle of the stove.  He stands next to Mighty, but is hesitant to go any further.  “I don’t know, man.  Seems like a tra-” Before he can finish his thought, Mighty took off running.

Mighty:  Stops cold right in front of the sticky trap.  He seems to be re-thinking his current path, but just as it appears he may turn back, he goes for it.  Mighty’s two little front feet go up in the air as if reaching for a quarterbacks’ pass, and come down hard on the sticky trap just inches away from the peanut butter.  “Mickey, it’s not melted butter!  Help me!  I can’t move.”

Mickey:  “Oh no!”  He turns around and heads back to the vent opening, and climbs back in.  He comes back out with a look of determination; ready to set his plan in motion to free his brother.  “I’m coming for you, Mighty.  Don’t worry, I’ll get you free.”  He jumps out of the opening, and quickly runs to the left.  He stops about 5 inches from the front of the trap and begins to walk around it, slowly taking it all in.

Mighty:  “What is taking so long!  Get me off this thing!”

Mickey:  Mighty’s look of desperation and hopelessness is painful for Mickey to see. Mickey’s thinks back on the time they spent together, and how quickly this situation escalated. *If only he had listened to me and just waited we wouldn’t be here now* he thinks to himself.  “I’m coming, Mighty! First I gotta figure out the correct angle to push you off.” Mickey walks around the trap and stops when he reaches Mighty’s right side.  He feels confident that this is the best side to push Mighty off the trap and free him.

Mickey gets up close to Mighty, and lifts his little body just enough to put the force he can muster onto Mighty.  He manages to push Mighty and the trap over just a tad – and – stopping for a moment to catch his breath – he lets his body fall – right on trap.

Mighty:  “Can you get up?  Can you try again?”

Mickey: “No, man.  I can’t move.  I’m stuck.”

Mighty:  Defeat overcoming him, “This is it for us, Mickey.  I’m sorry my greed led us to our end.  We’ve overcome a lot, and I’m grateful for that.  I love you, man.”

Mickey:  Tears break-forth choking each word he speaks, “I’m grateful for you too, brother.  I love you.”

It is at that moment that I picked up the trap, and bagged the brothers.

My sister now calls me the mice whisperer, LOL!



10 Items or Less – December Joys


December, 2016 is here!  The end of a very trying year.  There were so many things that I’d hoped would come to fruition this year that unfortunately did not.  But there were also many joyful moments that made pushing through bearable, which I will share in my 2016 Round-Up list.  For today, I will focus on what makes December joyful in 10 items or less:


  1. My daughter’s joy of both giving (food and clothing) to help the less fortunate, and receiving the gifts she gets on Christmas Day
  2. Holiday movies
  3. Snow (When I don’t have to drive in it or shovel it)
  4. Decorating
  5. Holiday music
  6. Holiday parties
  7. The festive nature of people
  8. The feeling I get walking/riding past all the houses with lights and scenes in their yards
  9. The surge of optimism I feel looking forward to the year to come
  10. The gratefulness of knowing how blessed I’m am to make through another year




10 Items or Less – November Thankfulness


In keeping with my “Wake up and smell the sunflowers” initiative, below is the list of things that I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience this month.  This list is definitely in the “or Less” category because most of my time in November is spent preparing for Thanksgiving holiday; as I usually host and there is a lot of preparation:


  1. Thanksgiving – not just for the food (although that plays a big part, LOL), but for the fellowship with family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  The story telling and the laughter.  Being in awe of how quickly the little ones are growing, and feeling grateful for life.
  2. Sweet potato pie
  3. Relaxing in front of the fireplace
  4. Shopping for holiday decorations
  5. Trying new recipes
  6. My daughter and I keeping our tradition of putting all the Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving
  7. Her smiling face when were finished
  8. Sweaters