2020 I can see clearly now




Welcome to a NEW Year! 
       Full of NEW Hope 
  and NEW Possibilities!








September 2, 2020
I can’t believe the last time I posted was April. But then again I can’t believe 2020 has turned into what it is. My Day Care is gone. I’m learning to fill my days with other things. I have battled some pretty dark depression. And as a friend of mine wants told me “everybody has their drug of choice”. I discover strongly that my drug is food. I have fed my body some pretty terrible things to comfort it. And as a result my weight is way up. I woke up this morning with the same thought that I have had many mornings, today, this is it, get back on program. And then I remembered my page that I was so proud of, and thought maybe it’s time to come here and post some of my thoughts. I’ve taken up painting and done a lot of pictures, the days that I paint I’m very good on program, but after a while you run out of wall space. So today I’m going to attempt Optavia five and one, without sitting in a chair and painting all day. I’m going to try to be active. I don’t know what the rest of this year is going to bring, but I know the first part is nothing I could’ve ever imagined. I will survive this, I am a survivor.
COVID-19 April 11
Hello world are you there?  
It feels like in a single breathe, one deep sigh, we were ok, then we were not. 
By the thousands! In the cold light of beeping hospital rooms, around the world, people are dying, alone... Then there are those that do not have the hope of help, dying in dark back rooms while family members huddle in fear afraid to comfort or even breathe around those they loved. The divide between the upstairs and the down stairs is becoming more and more evident. At times I think we do not even live in the same house any longer. 
The devastation in the air is heavy, as mask wearing humans scurry about like rats on a sinking ship. 
I cower here in the silence, like a good minion, doing as I am told. I shelter in place. I stare blindly trying to decode the messages chattering at me from our government. America has been abandoned as has the rest of the world. I am beyond afraid. I live daily with sadness and confusion, not knowing where to turn, or who to believe. In my hopelessness as I await the silent killer of COVID-19 to come claim another victim, I have returned to old methods of comfort and safety. Food. I know in my mind that food is a lying temptress nevertheless her songs are powerful. 
How did we get to this place? Just weeks ago there was music! People were thriving. Graduations were planned. Birthday parties were in the works. There would be Spring weddings with flowers and sunshine. 
Now people are losing their homes, their jobs, their futures, their lives. 
Now I look out in horror and have to wonder, are we dead men walking? At this moment, we think we are well, but they tell us this virus can lay hidden for fourteen days before rearing its ugly head. We could be sick and not even know it. Even though we are doing all the "right" things right now, it is the last fourteen days that can determine if we live or die. I am trying to appreciate every free breath I take. I strive to look through the darkness of isolation and search for the rainbow on the other side. 
I am holding on tight as we navigate without a paddle over this rampant rafting trip on this class four river we call Corona. I hope to see you all standing when we arrive on the beach down stream.




It has been an interesting week March 13th 2020
OMG it is the end of the world as we know it! There is panic in the Costco!  People are hoarding toilet paper, schools are closed, the stock market is dropping like a rock. You can see how the people of this 
nation are not confident in its leaders by how they are handling this emergency. I 
have to admit in the panic of the day I have not handled food in the most positive way. I was very disappointed when the two spring vacations we had planned were cancelled. In this pandemic, they cancelled our cruise, and then closed Disney Land. LOL our old stand by Great America seems to still be open, we shall see how that pans out. I am hoping that the NCRD does not get cancelled. Chins up.... I have put a halt to the comfort feeding as of this morning. I am in a good place, I have everything I need to survive this. I will be fine, so far no zombies.





I am Queen! Chris is my King! March 5th

In the early spring of 2019 my husband and I went to an amusement park, I wanted to ride the roller coasters, I was turned away, at 335 pounds I was too big. 

I was crushed.

I have to admit at first, losing weight was just to ride roller coasters. 

Then it became something more. 

My friend and fellow TOPS member, Brenda told me that 2020 would be the last IRD. 

It stirred up memories of my Grammy. 

When I was 8 years old, my Grammy brought me to TOPS. 

My Grammy was a lifelong TOPS member and even named her Calico cat Topsie.

My favorite times were going to Recognition Days with her.

As a child I would sit awe struck while the song candles on the water played with all the KOPS surrounding us in their circle of light, My Grammy would whisper in my ear, some day darling you will stand in that circle. It brought tears to my eyes, still does. I wanted with everything to someday join them in the circle.

Over the years I have gone to many Recognition days, even a few International Recognition Days. I always stood humbled and honored before the Queens and Kings of these events, dreaming of my day holding that yellow rose. 

The closer I got to my goal, the more I realized if I graduated at IRD I would be far from home and my beloved TOPS pals would not be there. I chose to graduate at NCRD, I want the people that have stood by my side no matter what to be with me. So, here I stand with those I care about by my side and in my heart.

I needed to make this childhood dream come true. My Grammy believed in me.  

It was been a long trail, with life’s rivers and mountains along the way. 

I made it, through the darkest nights, the warmest days.

We cannot change our past, but we can create a beautiful future.

 I know my Grammy was always by my side, now she is smiling from heaven,

saying well done child as I stand here before you shining OUR light. 








Fun weekend in Seattle February 14th - 17th
We flew out of San Jose Friday afternoon for a whirl wind fun time in Seattle with James, Cherie and our girls. It is so nice to get on a plane now without the fear of seatbelt drama. I fit again and even had a lot left over.  Cherie had set up a lovely guest room that was so pretty and comfortable, I loved it. 
It is supposed to rain, but we all know it never rains on Grammy. 
Saturday was an early morning, so much fun stuff planned. We started with an amazing breakfast at the oak house. This is James getting ready to dive into his apple pancake. 
Then off to a  Ferry ride from Bremerton to Seattle. I love the ferries in Washington, Poppy and I got snacks for all of us to munch as we cruised across the sound. 

Once in Seattle we went to the science museum and had fun exploring all the hands on exhibits. We saw an awesome laser light show and BIG IMax show. This place is just so much fun. 
I especially loved the naked mole rats. Cherie got me a stuffed one, he is so sweet. 

Then off we went to the waterfront area and ate Dinner at a place 
called Ivars that Chris chose. really good food, Chris loved the clam 
chowder while I opted for steak. 
After dinner it was the Seattle Giant Wheel. This thing is huge and so much fun, you can see forever from the top.Then back to the Ferry and home. 
It was a fun filled day and we are all tired.

Sunday we went to breakfast at Red Apple Cafe and met up with Chris's brother Patrick. I love the food at the red apple cafe, it is very retro and just plain good. 
Then off we went to the North west wilderness trek to see animals. Had a great time walking around, and no rain. Then on the tram to go out into the woods and the meadow to see the free roaming herds. We got to see a bison so close you could touch him. Awesome experience. 
After our animal packed day with was off to the pub with Cheries brother Dominic. Great food and fun getting to know more family. After dinner we all went as a family to Mass.  Once home Cherie ordered 3 pies from Shari's cafe and we all indulged, so yummy.  It was a super nice day.


M
onday came way too fast and  it was time to say goodbye. 

We had breakfast at the red apple diner again, then thrift store shopping and the airport.  
I told Cherie how much I loved the bed in the guest room, I seriously wanted to buy a mattress like they had. To my surprise Cherie ordered us one and it was on its way to our home. That was such a nice surprise.










Birthday weekend Hurrah!
Got the chance to go to San Francisco with My Son Paul and his wife Eileen to use the wonderful gifts given to me by Bonny and Brenda. We went to my favorite Cliff House for Breakfast with Pop Overs and Jam!  Then off  to the San Francisco Zoo. it was a wonderful day, the weather was perfect, the food was excellent.
 It was just a nice time.





















And the birthday continues!

Feeling very spoiled as the celebration of my birthday continued tonight with my TOPS group CA1340, Seaside!
Thom De La Cruz brought me a perfect yellow rose, 3 wonderful pens (you know I love purple), a sweet card and subway gift card so I can go get my favorite salad.

Such kindness from Robin Kimball, the most amazing t shirt with the phrase "Actually, I CAN"! A wonderful card and a shopping spree in store for me with an AMAZON gift card. I loved that the I CAN is the same as my tattoo.

Helen Chambers knows I love to write, I love to journal. She put such thought into her kind gift of a journal with one of my favorite phrases on the front " She believed she could, so she did". I loved the card she gave me and will treasure it. I cannot express enough how amazing it feels having someone know the things that bring me joy.

And lastly, My life long friend Brenda Roush, who probably knows me better than anyone, got me something that made me jump up and down and scream with excitement! A year long pass for me and a guest to the San Francisco Zoo! She has been many times there with me and knows how much I love that place, it makes me so happy to have a friend like her. 

I love these people, and thankful to have them all in my life.



Happy Birthday to me!
It was a wonderful day. I got to spend my birthday with some of my favorite little people celebrating Lunar new year.

When I got the mail today my Welcome to KOPS letter came. On my birthday! how perfect is that?

 Then as we were all in the toy room building with blocks, the littles got excited as they spotted a man walking to the door with a birthday cake! The squeals and giggles of 'WE GOT CAKE! SOMEONE SENT YOU A CAKE!" rang out through the room. When I answered the door, the delivery man was laughing out loud, and said, sorry guys not the kind of cake you can eat, it is a flower cake. I smiled. I took the "cake" and then everyone was excited for me to read them the card. The flowers came from a local florist Swenson and Silacci, and the card read Happy Birthday! We love you Paul and Eileen. It is the perfect "cake" for someone trying to stay at goal.

There was a flood of happy Birthday well wishes on Face book that made me smile, calls and texts from friends. It has been a good day.




Then at the end of the day this!  WOW! I am blown away!  This is one of these moments where you go
"Wow, they were really listening!" My friend and Coach Bonny Toy sent me a gift certificate for my favorite place on the planet to eat!

The Cliff house in San Fransico.  Aside from wonderful food, this place has a special place in my heart. My Dad would tell me stories of this place. When he was a boy and he would go there and climb the cliffs to watch the "fancy" people eat. He never got to eat there because he was poor. In 2012 when he was visiting us from Oklahoma, I helped him join that club of the "fancy" we took him to the Cliff House to eat. It is one of my fondest memories.






January 18th It is time for the Lunar New year, My favorite holiday


This is the year of the Golden Rat! 

We went to San Fransico's Chinatown to get ready and celebrate with our friends Robin & Brenda.

The Lunar calendar has a five-elements each 12-year zodiac cycle has an element, producing: Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. It’s believed that people have different characters and destinies according to their birth year’s zodiac sign and element.

New Year preparations begin weeks in advance. How you enter the new year sets the tone for the 12 months that 

follow, so it's crucial to start off on the right foot in order to enjoy a year of luck, health, and prosperity. 

 



In China, the Lunar New Year festival is a 15-day event and is considered to be the most important holiday of the year. All measures are taken leading up to and during the celebrations to increase the odds that as much good fortune as possible is bestowed upon the household.

 

Traditionally, the house is swept, cleaned, and decorated for optimal feng shui. The deep cleaning that is done before Chinese New Year is usually the most thorough of the entire year, so clean out those old drawers, throw out dead plants, and tidy up all that clutter to make room for better things to come.  It is critical that you finish all of your cleaning before the holiday arrives. Sweeping the house the day of the Chinese New Year is considered unlucky, as you could be sweeping the fresh, incoming good luck away. Even taking out the trash, doing laundry, or washing your hair on the day of the lunar new year is considered taboo.

 

Using sharp objects during the entire New Year celebration is believed to cut out good fortunes for the coming year, so get your hair cut and trim your nails beforehand. 

 

Food: Groceries for the festival dinners and regular meals need to be purchased in anticipation of the holiday. 

Fish — an Increase in Prosperity. ... 

Chinese Dumplings — Wealth. ... 

Spring Rolls — Wealth. ... 

Glutinous Rice Cake — a Higher Income or Position. ... 

Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness. ... 

Longevity Noodles — Happiness and Longevity. ... 

Good Fortune Fruit are oranges — Fullness and Wealth.

 

Clothing: Chinese New Year is a time to look your best. New wardrobes are purchased for family gatherings, temple visits, and public celebrations. Red is the color of choice, but white and black clothing should be avoided during Chinese New Year as they are associated with funerals and death.

 

Gifts: Small gifts and tokens of love are exchanged during Chinese New Year, so purchase candies, small cakes, trinkets, and candles. Children typically receive money or sweets placed inside of red envelopes. Tea, fruit, flowers, and sweets make great gifts.  

 

Settle Old Debts: In an act of good karma, old debts of all kinds to friends and family are repaid prior to the Chinese New Year. This is the time to return borrowed items, so give your neighbor back that tool you borrowed months earlier. If a friendship has worn thin, reach out to that person. Forgive grudges and give people who have wronged you in some way a chance to start anew.

 

Prepare for Good Luck: The whole point of Chinese New Year preparations goes beyond getting ready to enjoy feasts, fireworks, lion dances, and dragons. It's a time for family reunions, new beginnings, renewed romance, and fresh potential for the year to come.Since your actions during Lunar New Year may determine the outcome for the entire year ahead, it's important to make all the necessary arrangements before and during the celebration, down to the most minute details. But with some simple preparations, you'll have no trouble attracting all of the luck and good fortune you'll need.

 

The associated zodiac animal for My birth is the 狗 Earth Dog.  

The Dog symbol has Yang Earth as the linked element.  The lucky numbers linked with this zodiac animal are 3, 4 and 9, while 1, 6 and 7 are considered unfortunate numbers.  The lucky colors for this Chinese sign are red, green and purple, while white, golden and blue are the ones to be avoided.

Chinese zodiac general characteristics:
There are several traits that best define this symbol: excellent teaching skills, results oriented person, intelligent person, excellent business skills.  This sign shows some trends in terms of love behavior which we present in this short list: faithful, passionate, judgmental, emotional.
A few aspects that may best emphasize the qualities and/or defects related to the social and interpersonal relations of this sign are: takes time to open, often inspires confidence, takes time to select friends, has trouble trusting other people. Strictly referring on how a native ruled by this sign manage his career we may conclude that: always available to learn new things, proves to be tenacious and intelligent, usually has mathematical or specialized area skills, always available to help.
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January 15th Some days it is just about the pens...
I love fountain pens, and brilliantly colored inks. This is my newest a purple Asian Calligraphy Bent Nib Fude Pen. by Duke. It is called the Charlie Chaplin.

Next to it the gift from my amazing hubby a Moonman C2 Fountain Pen with a fine Nib.
to complete the happiness Concord Grape purple ink by Bay State






January 10th, 2020 visit with my son

Wonderful visit today from my son bearing gifts from him and his wife Eileen. They recently made a trip to New Orleans. And brought me back a beautiful piece of art that I just absolutely love and hung near my coffee maker. And I told them over and over about pralines and how delicious they are. I was tickled that he brought me back a real praline from New Orleans. 

And if that wasn’t sweet enough he also   
                 brought me a gingerbread cookie from Disneyland. We all know that Disney gingerbread is the best. Super sweet visit it was wonderful.




January 6th a visit from Licensing

Joe from Licensing came today! We passed with flying colors!
 Joe was happy to see the children again. 
He has got to watch them grow up over the last 3 years
 40 years on the books.












































































































January 4th, 2020 coins!

Every year since 2008 Brenda and I have gone in search of this coin stamp machine so we can create a coin for the year.
It started in Santa Cruz at the Beach Board walk.

and we now go to the Winchester Mystery house in San Jose. It is always a fun time.

2008 It is my choice

2009 Feeling fine

2010 Not if but when 

2012 Hells Bells

2013 Smaller jeans

2015 Getting Lean

2016 Be my best

2017 Feeling keen

2018 Keto 1220-20-60-120

2019 KOPS

2020 Not today


We are feeling younger and stronger than before.















My Journal is ready! It is yellow this year. 
The yellow rose symbolize KOPS status and being below goal. I will write in purple as usual, because Purple represents Power and ambition.
The stability of blue The fierce energy of red. Purple also represents creativity, wisdom, dignity, peace, pride, & independence.











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