Happy Days

It was my birthday weekend! Yes, that’s right, weekend, not week. Two days is more than enough celebrating at this time of year. My real birthday was on Sunday, and since I started a new tradition 3 years ago of SWIMMING on my birthday, I planned to do that on Saturday. So off to the gym I went Saturday afternoon. I spent 45 minutes (10 miles) on the stationary bike (the amount of time I spend on the bike is directly related to how interested I am in the TV show I’m watching:/ ) So when I finally got out to the pool, it was smooth as glass! Yes, I had the whole pool to myself for my birthday. The water is actually nice and warm, but if there is any breeze, your head and shoulders are quite chilly. Still, I spent 20 minutes running back and forth. I decided to not swim, because I didn’t want to get my hair wet. I was going to Starbuck’s afterwards for my free frappuccino!

Sunday I had all planned out. I have started attending a church in Folsom every other Sunday–they are the church that encourages artists and they have displayed my quilts in their gallery twice now. I really enjoy this church–it feeds my soul, and fills me with thoughts of God for the week ahead. So I headed out to Folsom bright and early, so I could stop at the bakery on the way and get myself a sticky bun and a good cup of coffee for the drive. Yummmmmmm.

I had decided ahead of time that I wanted to get myself a nice pair of pajamas for my birthday. I usually have good luck finding pajamas and nightgowns at the thrift store, but I haven’t had some nice cozy pj’s for a while. So after the church service, I checked out Ross and Marshall’s, but ended up at Steinmart and got the perfect pair–pink of course, with a gray and pink rose print. And the tag claimed they were “cloud soft.” Perfect!

I saw that they had a Nordstrom Rack there, and decided to check that out. I had quite the little adventure there. I pulled forward into a parking space next to a man in a van that was full of stuff. The man did not look very friendly… and before I got out of my¬†car, another younger man came running out of the store, hopped in the passenger seat and slouched down, while the driver tried to pull forward but hit a parking bump so he had to back out of the spot. This all seemed highly suspicious, so I tried to memorize part of the license plate, and the next thing I saw was the mall security car with its flashing lights on, doing what seemed to me to be a slow speed chase. And then the funniest thing happened–you know how sometimes its hard to find the mall exit? Yeah, that van had to turn around and find a different way to get out of the mall. Well, I don’t really know how that ended, but I went in the store to give them the partial license plate, and there was already another man there showing them something on his cell phone, so I decided they didn’t need anything from me. End of storyūüôā

I looked around the Rack for just a minute–too crowded and messy. But I did find a pair of diamond earrings to replace the ones I had lost. LOL. Cubic zirconias. They are plenty sparkly for me.

I had lunch at my favorite Chipotle Grill (same thing every time–the carnitas salad,) and the first girl asked how my day was going, and I blurted out, “oh perfect. Its my birthday and this is my favorite place to eat.” So I went on down the line and the other servers said happy birthday, and I paid with my card and went to the table. And then I looked at my ticket, and they hadn’t charged me for my meal! What a nice surprise.

I ended the day with my free Pinkberry froyo–gotta love those cards where they just load the free birthday treat onto it. And I was on my way home, where I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in my big chair, taking turns holding each little girl on my lap.

In case y’all are ¬†wondering, this is a special birthday–I turned 62 this year. SOCIAL SECURITY, baby!! It doesn’t start until February, but I have been looking forward to this since I retired five years ago!

A Good Day and an Unexpected Walk

Yesterday was my birthday. I am 61 years old. How did that happen? I often do the math–how old was I when my grandma was 61? What did I think about how old she was at the time? I’m pretty sure she was still riding her bike to get around town–pretty awesome. Although at the time, I’m pretty sure the only thing I though about was that she was OLD. oh well…

me and Zoey celebrate 61!

me and Zoey celebrate 61!

Anyway, it has become a birthday tradition that I get an extra good workout at the gym on my birthday. And a newer tradition, to make myself get into the pool! So that’s what I did. It was awesome! Did my time on the bike and hit the weight room. And then I had the big pool all to myself, and even the spa afterwards.

Afterwards I hit up Starbuck’s for my free birthday drink. And then home, where I had one of my favorite salads for dinner, along with a special mini-loaf of ciabatta bread for a treat. And then I ended the evening with TOO MANY CUPCAKES. Darn free store coupons!

My knee has been feeling better lately, and between that and the awesome cool weather, I have been walking more than usual. This morning, I decided to take a different walk than my norm. Its up a hill that I used to climb but have deleted from my walks the last few years. When I got to the top, I noticed a new wide road that had been cut into the hillside, and I decided to explore that. I kept thinking that it would curve back around into my road, but it never did. It was a great walking path, but I finally had to turn around and go back. Which meant that I unexpectedly walked for about an hour and a half, which I have not done for a long long time. Mostly it felt great that I could still do that, and my knee seems to be no worse for the wear. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.

Not a very exciting birthday report, I’m afraid. But I am feeling quite awesome these days, and enjoying my calm life and my good health. Wishing the same for all of you.

The Queen demands equal time.

The Queen demands equal time.

Satisfaction

I’ve been thinking for a whole year what my theme for SIXTY should be. I can’t remember what started this quest, but I think it was a discussion on the blog. And I finally came up with the word Satisfaction.

When I turned fifty, a funny thing happened. I got this whole “you’re not the boss of me” attitude. As in, I’m this old, I really don’t have to do what you say if it doesn’t make sense. I noticed that some of my friends and even my mild-mannered brother had this happen when they turned 50. So I wondered if anything would happen when I turned 60.

And Satisfaction seems to be it. I’ve mentioned a couple of times on here how it bothers me more to see the wrinkles on my face than almost anything else. So I decided a couple of months ago that I was going to make a point of looking at myself in the mirror a little more often, and learn to be content with the face that I now have. Because what is the alternative? Nope not going that direction!

I wrote a little bit yesterday about being satisfied with my physical size and appearance.

I am more content with the life of being an artist that I have chosen.

And I am more content with my spiritual life.

I’m not sure how much sense this makes to anyone else, but for me Satisfaction¬†signifies a life of peace moving forward into the next decade. Care to join me?

The face of sixty (at the end of a long day, sans makeup, but with soft lightingūüôā )

Photo on 12-3-14 at 7.40 PM #2

A Sixty’s Eve Birthday

I’ve heard some women say that turning 60 was quite a shock. And some women I know even admitted to being quite depressed by the fact. So I decided to embrace the coming decade, and celebrate my 59th year as my 60’s eve birthday. That means I can celebrate for a whole year, right?

To turn things around a little, I decided to treat some of my friends to lunch on the eve of my actual birthday. That was fun. I started the day  by playing around with some new quilt block ideas.

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And then headed to the gym for my “sandwich workout” (20 minutes bike, 20 minutes weights, 20 minutes bike.)¬†Had a fun time at lunch, and then headed straight home for some lap time with my other “friends.”

Oh, and this picture fits into the “aging gracefully” category. A couple of days ago I started worrying about not having enough pics of me and Mr. Monk together, so I grabbed him and snapped that picture sans any makeup or hair fixing.

Photo on 12-2-13 at 8.07 AM

I ended the day with my other friend, Noah, on a twilight walk. I felt so good I ran a little bit. That seems like a really good way to celebrate your sixty’s eve birthday.

Do These Shoes Scream Happy Birthday, or What?

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I didn’t order these shoes for my birthday, but they arrived the day before, and they were the perfect way to celebrate! (They are Saucony Kinvara 3’s. My previous pair were Kinvara 2’s, so I knew I would like them before I ordered them.)

I had a great day, starting with breakfast with a good friend. A good friend, I might add, who was willing to split a breakfast with me! Score–one way to cut the calories a bit!

Went to the gym for a really good workout. I am only doing upper body exercises on the weights, and throwing in a few ‘core’ exercises as well. And I am doing HIIT on the bike now for a better aerobic workout.

Then it was off to the movies, where I saw “Life of Pi.” I will not say much about it, except that it kept me on the edge of my seat, and I have no idea how they got some of those shots with the animals. They looked real, not computer animated, but I don’t know how they did it. Anyway, if you can’t tell, that is two big thumbs up for that movie.

So it was a great day. I ended the day with one pre-planned piece of birthday cake, most worthy.

And today I went right back to my “diet plan.” I am so pleased with that.

Taking One Hat Off, Putting the Next One On

I do feel like I’ve been wearing a few too many hats the past few weeks, or actually, wearing one hat at a time, but switching them frequently! Here’s a few of the things I’ve been working on:

The Singing at Church Lady: that’s the hat I get to hang up. I was asked to sing at the ladies’ Christmas event. It wasn’t high stress, but it does take some work and it is kind of always there in the back of your mind. The event was last night, and it was a success. And best of all, I previewed all the homemade goodies, and I didn’t take one!

The Good Patient: Going twice a week to physical therapy and doing all the new exercises he gives me every day. I do think it is starting to make a difference.

The Art Quilter: I continue to work on the quilts for my exhibit coming up in January. I set myself a goal of creating 20 quilts for this exhibit, and it looks like I will be close!

The “Healthy Quilter Blogger”: ¬†for a little while, that was consuming me. Now that we’ve got it started, and I have posted several times during Thanksgiving week, it will just be a post once a week or so. (This is for The Quilt Show online community.)

The Executive Assistant: I tell Wendy she is the President of The Bridge, our sponsorship program for the children of Carrefour Poy, Haiti. I guess that makes me the executive assistant. Whatever. It has been a busy week for The Bridge, and has involved some meeting, consulting, and writing. We are having a shoe drive to bring nice shoes with us for the kids. It will be fun to see them piling up under the Christmas tree at church! (We are going to Haiti on January. I’m not even THINKING about that hat right now!)

The Magazine Writer: ¬†Yes! Related to the healthy quilter blog, I was asked to write one column for each issue of The Quilt Life Magazine. They have a cooking competition in each issue, and my job is to comment on that. So they each sent me their recipes, and I wrote about my take on them. And, I had to get a high resolution picture taken–that was the most stressful part. First, as I told my neighbor, make me look 40 pounds thinner. Second, could I even get a good enough pic for the magazine with my little camera? And third, who do I know that the dogs will be calm enough around that we can get a picture? So, as I mentioned, my neighbor who babysits the dogs was the perfect solution. I wanted a picture of me with the dogs on my lap while I was quilting, which is my real life almost every evening. I set my camera on ‘L’ so it would take the picture with the most pixels. Here’s the picture we got. I was very pleased with it. That’s not how the dogs are in real life. In real life they are all sound asleep under the quilt that I am working on. But it does the job. And I was so happy when the editor said that it would work! I kinda hope she knows a trick to get rid of the ghostly doggie eyes.

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And lastly, the hat I am putting on today–The Seriously Dieting Birthday Girl! Yes, I am dieting–5 whole days-but you’ll have to wait for another post to hear about that. And today starts my birthday celebrations. But I have a definite plan food-wise for each day. If I veer off course, I will just pick up the Dieter Hat on Friday and continue on.

I think the best thing I am learning AS I AGE, when I have a lot going on, is a deeper understanding that I can only do what I can do. I don’t stress as much about ALL. THE. THINGS. I. MUST. GET. DONE. I just do them one at a time, as time allows. And I am okay with that. And you know what? Just as much, or more, gets done without the hurricane of worry and stress that we are so prone to put ourselves into.

And now, I must leave my Blogger Hat behind, put on the Birthday Girl Hat, and go out and celebrate!

The Birthday Season Ends, Now for the Rest of the Week

Oh my goodness.  As I told several of my friends, having this much fun is exhausting.   I do believe I will be satisfied with a simple single birthday celebration next year!  Two birthday lunches out.  I am very happy with the choices I made and how I stuck to the plan once I got to the restaurant.  Plus.  At Pinkberry, a small original with no toppings?  Go me!

Yesterday was shopping in addition to birthday eats. ¬†Mostly I scored some great food items. ¬†I left my friends at Home Goods and ran across to Trader Joe’s to get some supplies. ¬†Got their gingerbread coffee, the only flavored coffee I still like. ¬†Some almond breeze–I’m using a lot of this these days. ¬†That egg nog protein smoothie is really good! ¬†–205 calories and 33 grams protein!) ¬†At Costco I got some blueberries and pears, some of that yummy goat cheese with cranberries on the outside, and some new little lettuces to try. ¬†Cause tomorrow? ¬†Another party! ¬†This one is our sewing day party. ¬†I am making a salad with the baby red and green lettuces, green onions, corn, mandarin orange slices, cranberries, and chicken, with an oriental ginger dressing. ¬†Doesn’t that sound yummy? ¬†My plan is to go heavy on the salad, and have ONE COOKIE. ¬†Okay, you read it here. ¬†Now hold me accountable!

Oh, I got two fun items. ¬†Nabbed one of those lap desks at Costco–you’ll laugh–its to eat my dinner off of. ¬†My BFF does this at her house and it is so convenient. ¬†And, at the last store, Marshall’s, I was heading to the check out counter in a daze (I am really done shopping before 3pm, unlike the guerilla shoppers I was with) and I spied a technical shirt that looked very much like a swim shirt! ¬†At $19, it was a heck of a lot cheaper than the $70 swim jacket that I had been contemplating. ¬†Even if it doesn’t work for swimming, it will work great for mid-winter walks. ¬†I bought it without even trying it on. ¬†When I got home I tried it on and it fits and feels great! ¬†Score!

I am still fitting in some exercise, although not to my stated goal. ¬†With such a busy week, I am giving myself some grace. ¬†That said, I think I will end this and get out for the long walk with Noah this morning. ¬†Maybe I’ll give that technical shirt a try on dry land. ¬†Swimming is on the agenda after the party tomorrow!