Friday, August 31, 2018

Homemade Italian Bread. Homemade Eggplant Parmesan. And, An Old Fashioned Game Of Backgammon.

It's the last day of August. Friday. This week has been a total roller coaster of emotions, people testing my patience, lessons learned, and Lisa and I agreeing that we need to distance ourselves from a few situations and such. That's not a bad thing. With age comes wisdom. With wisdom comes the ability to live, learn, and make changes in a relatively short period of time. That includes differentiating those who keep you in their life because you serve a purpose and those who want you in their life unconditionally. And, going from there...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Yeah, Sadly, Times Have Changed...

When I first entered the world o management, back when I was 22, I received 2 bits of advice that I still white knuckle in the here and now. Over 20 years later. The first, "It's all in how you present something" and "Never ask someone to do something that you wouldn't do yourself."Both bits of advice was handed down to me from Lisa. Yeah, we've known each other for that long.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What Makes You Vulnerable Makes You Beautiful

It's only Wednesday. I'm already emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. Early yesterday morning, I learned that my dear friend Bill passed away. Later in the day, I received an email that was the cherry atop the proverbial sundae. I replied. I also had a slightly heated conversation with a dear friend that probably shouldn't have taken place at that moment. In both instances, my response was both harsh and unprofessional.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A Butterfly Bush And Spaghetti Dinner To Honor My Dear Friend, Bill

My morning routine is fairly simple. Get up at between 3:30 - 4 a.m. Make Lisa's work lunch and a hot breakfast. Prepare a cup of coffee for her to sip when she gets up and the coffee she takes to work in her travel mug. Make myself a cup of coffee. Head to our Home Office to begin my work day. When Lisa gets up at 4:30, I pour her coffee and we begin the morning routine with our kids. This morning, that routine was shattered a bit.

Monday, August 27, 2018

I Agree With Confucius...To An Extent.

Confucius once said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." I've read that quote over and over and over on my social media streams. Do I agree with Confucius? To an extent, yes. But, there's a smidgen of that quote that I would dispute. I'm a realist. I don't believe that you can love your job 100% all of the time. There are always going to be portions of your career that you dread or not exactly like. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

I'm Fairly Certain We're All Ready For The Fall Season

Earlier today, Lisa and our dear friend Kim spent over 7 hours working on the front yard. They planted hanging flowers. Pulled out most of the Summer flowers. Visited both Home Depot and Lowe's for Fall flowers and giant outdoor ceramic pots. Put fresh mulch in all of the flower gardens. It looks absolutely gorgeous!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

This Happened Today Amid Our Very Busy Day...

The week before Lisa's 50th Birthday Bash, I posted a favor request on my personal Facebook wall. Did anyone have a canopy we could borrow? It appeared that Mother Nature wasn't going to be fully cooperative that day. We didn't want to postpone or cancel the party. Canopies would be our saving grace.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Our Neighborhood Family Date Night Was Kind Of A Big Deal

This evening, Lisa and I enjoyed a spectacular date night outside of our home. But, it wasn't just any date night. It was a neighborhood family date night. For the first time since we moved here back in 2012, our neighborhood family went out. Together. It was a pretty big deal.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Out With The Old. In With The New. It's A Little Bittersweet.

In June of 2011, I moved back to New England. At the time, I had been living out of state. In a house that was already paid for. No mortgage. A lot of people in my life during that time said I had the ultimate "white picket fence life." But, I wasn't happy. I was miserable. I wasn't where I should be. Long story short, the Universe shifted. Did a few shimmy shakes. Fate stepped in. I relinquished my rights to the house, packed a few boxes, had them shipped, and then on June 27th, I boarded a plane with my suitcase, carryon, and laptop. I was homebound.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

You Can Learn Quite A Bit During Periods Of Financial Stress

Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us have experienced tough financial times. Maybe it was short term. Maybe it was long term. Regardless, during those times, several things happen. You become aware of what you're spending. You learn the fine art of budgeting. You cut out unnecessary expenses like take-out and pricey date nights. You cook more meals at home. You embrace frugality. More so, you probably realize that your previous spending habits were a little out of control.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

When Lisa Brings Up This Tempting Offer, Two Things Happen.

Several times a year, Lisa offers to book me a luxury hotel room complete with services. Alone. Usually, this happens around Mother's Day, my birthday, or towards the end of the Summer season. As a Work at Home Dog Mom, I don't get a break from our 5 kids. Ever. Each time Lisa brings up this tempting offer, 2 things happen.

Monday, August 20, 2018

If You Really Want Something, You'll Find A Way. If You Don't, You'll Find An Excuse.

An old friend of mine reached out over the weekend. He reads my blog posts and checks out my personal Facebook wall several times a week. Amid his lengthy emails, he always brings up various things I've written about in my blog columns or posted on my Facebook wall. His last email was no exception.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Happy 6 Year Gotcha Day, Coco!

Today, we're celebrating our Coco's 6 Year Gotcha Day. We can't believe it's been 6 years already. Wow. We remember the day we adopted him as if it were yesterday. The difference between then and now is extraordinarily remarkable. It's amazing what lots of love and patience can achieve.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Our 2018 DIY Wooden Bodacious Country Pumpkins Are Done

Our 2018 wooden DIY Bodacious Country Pumpkins are done! Like with last year, we only made a limited amount. This time around, our wooden pumpkins are thicker, freestanding, and much different than last year's. As it should be. Because every year, you want something different to display. That's exactly what we did.

Friday, August 17, 2018

There Is A Lot To Learn When You Take A Stay-Cation...

Lisa has been on vacation this week. It's her last day. The week turned out to be busier than we had anticipated, but it's been a great week overall. We worked on a lot of projects together. Some, separately. We did things at our own pace. There wasn't much of a schedule. There were no deadlines. The kids enjoyed having us both home together and all of the extra playtime and family snuggle time.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Our DIY Freestanding Desk And Shelf Decor Pieces Almost Sold Out

I have a tote that I keep under the work table in the Bodacious DIY Dog Mom Project Workshop. It's filled with pieces of wood that Lisa has cut and sanded. When I'm not working on custom pieces, I'll grab 6-12 pieces of wood and start the process of making DIY Dog Mom Projects. Today, I did just that. But, instead of grabbing pieces of wood for hanging signs, I opted for something else.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

I Need To Get A Monkey Figurine For My Desk To Remind Me

It's Wednesday. It was hot and humid outdoors. Lisa's vacation is half over. We've been up since 6:30 a.m. Lisa embarked on the tedious task of painting the bathroom. Although the bathroom is very small, it took most of the afternoon to complete. There's a lot of trim. Plus, a lot of the wall space can't be painted with a roller.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It's Time To Set A Few Boundaries...

When Bodacious Biscuit Love was in full swing, we learned first hand that no matter the amount of good you're trying to do for others, people will stoop to low levels. During this time, we made homemade dog treats and sold them to the public. We had a few displays in various locations as well. The money we made from the dog treats were used to purchase ingredients, supplies, and cover shipping costs so we could provide our homemade dog treats and much-needed items to our local animal shelters. We also provided raffle baskets for shelter and rescue organizations and hosted a few fundraisers.

Monday, August 13, 2018

We Are Tackling Our To-Do List At Our Own Pace. Because We Can This Week.

Lisa is officially on vacation this entire week. We have no big plans. There's a lot of stuff we want to get done this week around the house. What's nice is that we can sleep in a bit, sip our coffee in the living room with our kids, and tackle our To-Do List at our own pace. This is a luxury we don't often get.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Lisa's 50th Birthday Bash Turned Out Spectacular. We Made A Lot Of Memories.

Yesterday we celebrated Lisa 50th Birthday with a huge bash that I've been planning for weeks. Originally, it was supposed to take place in the backyard, but Mother Nature was proving to be a little unpredictable. Instead of moving the party to our rain date, we decided to take our chances. I'm glad we did. Not only was Mother Nature kind, Lisa's 50th Birthday Bash turned out to be fabulous and a night to remember.

Friday, August 10, 2018

I Was A Bit Spoiled Today...

It's the day before Lisa's 50th Birthday Bash. It's been a stressful and busy week between putting the final touches on Lisa's party, stressing a bit about the weather, finishing up custom orders, and other odds and ends. I spent the entire day prepping for the party tomorrow. Cooking. Baking. Cleaning. Transforming the DIY Dog Mom Project room into the party food room just in case we need to utilize indoor seating.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Rain Or Shine, The Party Will Go On. We Are Not Rescheduling It.

Lisa's 50th Birthday Bash is only 2 days away. I'm trying not to stress about the weather. It's gone back and forth all week from a 20% chance of rain to now, a 100% chance. We have a rain date for Sunday, but I'm not rescheduling the party. Something is telling me not to. A good portion of that resistance is what happened last year for our Backyard Anniversary Party.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

These Frozen Dog Treats Are A Huge Hit!

Every Summer, we make ice cube treats for our kids. I fill ice cube trays with water and crumble in some of our homemade soft baked peanut butter treats. Then, I pop the ice cube trays in the freezer. Several times a week, I pop a few out of the trays and give one to each of our kids. They love them! The ice cube trays make the perfect sized frozen treats for our kids.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Moment Like This Will Instantly Alleviate My Stress

Today was one of those days. My To-Do List for this week is a mile long. This morning, I sat down at my desk and asked Coco, who was perched up on my leg, "Where do I start, buddy?" He gave me the look of, "You can start by rubbing my head and letting me slather you with juicy kisses." That's my boy.

Monday, August 6, 2018

8 Things That Happen When Lisa Is On Vacation

A week from today, Lisa will be on vacation. This year, she decided to take the week after her birthday off. Like with every vacation Lisa takes off from work, and when the news gets out that she's on vacation, I'll be bombarded with the same questions...

Sunday, August 5, 2018

We Finally Have Railings On The Side Steps! Great Job, Ladies!

Our home has 2 entrances. The front door and a back door. Before you get to our back door, you have to enter the side door. I've always hated the side door for a few reasons. When you enter, you have to close the door before getting to our back door. If there are multiple people going in, you have to pack in like sardines against the back wall in the hallway in order to shut the door.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

No, Mother Nature. What I Said Should Not Be Taken As A Challenge.

Today is one of those days. We had torrential downpours all day. All the work that Lisa had planned on doing outside was postponed until tomorrow. We hunkered down. I got some work done in the home office and the DIY Dog Mom Project workshop. Lisa tackled the laundry and ran a couple of errands. It was a productive day. However, there was one pitfall. I found myself telling Lisa something I shouldn't have...

Friday, August 3, 2018

We Choose To Not Take Time For Granted

This morning, I had an emotional moment. It stemmed from 2 sources. The first source, a dear friend of mine who I have known for well over a decade. She's my best critic. She reads this blog. Occasionally, she'll send me a message asking about this or that. The email I received early this morning included a bit o' feedback about my decision to retire from Independent Living Tutoring. It was positive and included the following...

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Apparently, I'm The Only One Who Is Head Over Heels For These Two Printed Fabrics

I finished a couple more Bodacious Doggy Tote Bags this week.  I have 2 more that are almost finished. I'll be posting those over the weekend or I may just keep them and use for the door prizes for Lisa's 50th Backyard Birthday Bash.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I Was Reminded That Lisa's 50th Backyard Birthday Bash Is Just 10 Days Away...

At 7:28 this morning, I received a message from our very special friend. Tracy. She's the incredible lady that I went to school with over 30 years ago. And finally, after over 3 decades, got to see, hug, and share a meal with back in June. Tracy and her son, James, will be attending Lisa's 50th Backyard Birthday Bash.