Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10 things I REALLY want to do...

  1. Be more spontaneous. After 40+ years of planning and organizing and making arrangements and reservations and plans and scheduling everything--I LOVE just going with the flow. 
  2. Get in the best shape of my life--inside and out! Working diligently on this one and loving every minute of it!
  3. Write more. Yep. It's on its way! I have pages and pages of ideas and thoughts in my head!
  4. Laugh more! Make others laugh more ('cause I'm funny!)
  5. Get my finances in really good order.
  6. Keep learning, reading, wondering, listening, exploring... questioning!
  7. Have more adventures. More spontaneous adventures! (Oh what you can learn!)
  8. Be more generous and giving. And more sympathetic and understanding. (I admit, I come up a little short in these areas...)
  9. Be a great tennis player and an amazing bowler. Who wants to practice with me?!
  10. Constantly look at things differently. Try something new!! Eat different foods! Bowl left handed! See things from another person's perspective.
Enjoy each moment of life.

Nine nine nine nine! Let's sing a song of nine. How many is nine?*

It's been a while since I worked nine days straight. Day one starts today...and, actually, after five days off, I am definitely ready to do it. Funny thing is, of all times, I have a wedding, a bridal shower, a horse race, several workouts, happy hour dates, a family bar b que, a hair appointment and a dental appointment and I'm helping a friend move over these next nine days too!
You know me...
I'm looking forward to each and every minute of each of these next nine days.
And every one after that as well.
Let's get this party started!
*Can you sing this song?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hear Me Roar

I'll have to admit that, on most days, I am a fairly productive person.
I'll admit too, there are those days when I am downright SUPER productive...
Today was one of those days.

Rising from her bed pre-dawn (as usual) 
mild mannered Julie Hibbard is on a mission...
it's her last day off until August 9th!

Able to meet her best friend for pancakes at 6am!
Able to be at Home Depot before 8 o'clock!
Able to fill up the tank, get the car washed, pay bills, update her will, vacuum, iron and change the water filter on the fridge--
all before most people rise!  

It's a girl, it's a dame...
Yeah, well, it's just me.
On a mission to SUPER productivity!

Oh what a beautiful morning...
And oh what a beautiful day.
Super Girl is well on her way!

Following my productive morning I spent a couple of hours online figuring out the Paleo Diet. After last week's doctor visit--where he told me I needed to lose a few pounds (I cried!)--I have realized that it's obviously time for a shake up in my diet and nutrition. 

Once I had my shopping list together, I headed out to the market!
But first...a stop at the gym and quick workout for this super girl (and she IS a super girl, isn't she?!)
and then...
I signed up for 10 sessions with a personal trainer! Why not really shake things up, right?!
Oh, yeah...I start with Tamlyn on Wednesday...
and she already signed me up for Olympic Boot Camp on Friday night! (Who's coming with me?!)

Super Girl just keeps going!

After the gym, I headed over to the brand new (and OH SO beautiful) Whole Foods Market where I bought organic fruits and locally grown vegetables and lots of GREENS and a big bag of shelled pistachios and unsweetened Almond milk...and lean, low-fat buffalo meat and free range eggs and enough chicken and broccoli to get me through for weeks!!

Making my way back home, I cleaned out the fridge, unloaded the groceries, made two trips out to the trash...watered the plants, swept the porch and (kindly) relocated a couple of very persistent spiders...
And just in time to sit down, and enjoy this AMAZING Angels game...!
I've just made a HUGE fruit salad, cut up some of my friend's (delicious!) home-grown tomatoes and am ready to fry up a little buffalo burger...
and then sit down to watch the Dodger game.

This SUPER girl really enjoyed this SUPER day.
It feels so good to feel so good.

Watch me now as I take on NINE days straight.

(Is it time for bed yet?!)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.
~Taisen Deshimaru

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

'It's been said that we can't love another until we learn to love ourselves. 
Not the narcissistic love that seeks a glimpse of itself 
in every mirror or shop window we pass, 
but the kind of love that ensures that we take care of ourselves first 
before we take care of anyone else.'

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wishful Inking

I had SEVERAL people email and text me today regarding the tattoo post from yesterday. MOST wanted to know why (the hell) I got a tattoo to begin with. Others, very kindly, reminded me that it could be worse (in terms of size, location and subject matter) and still others thanked me--profusely--for sharing the story of the pain in hopes of helping others NOT go there.

So, why did I get (a ridiculous 6"x4", four-color, CRAZY) tattoo? Well, honestly, everyone was doing it! And, at the same time, I was dipping my foot in the (beautiful) pool of independence. It was not even a month after I left my marriage...and a bunch of the kids from the college group were heading over to get a tattoo. Feeling young, free and knowing that I was able to make my own decision for the first time in my life...I gladly designed something up real quickly, borrowed $200 and tagged along with the group. I was the first one to pull up my tee shirt, pulled down my jeans and let them have at it.
I will say I liked it for a few months, but within a year, I was looking into getting it removed. The first estimate for removal was $4000. I decided to go to Europe for three weeks (and take the tattoo with me) instead. I lived with it for another couple of years before I took the plunge and started the removal process. It cost me $2800--more than TEN TIMES the amount of the original tattoo. And, of course three years of treatments...and we're still going on that.

And YES oh YES...it could be SO much worse! I am so grateful that it is in a spot that very few people have to see! I am thankful that it is not on my arm or leg or somewhere that I would have to keep covered at work as Montage, in general, is not a big fan of tattoos.

I have asked the nurses at Dr. Tattoff if there is anything else they can suggest to help speed up the process...unfortunately, the only thing they can come up with is having another tattoo inked over this one at this point. (Are you f*cking kidding me?!)

I know that people LOVE their tattoos...but I never really did. I share the removal experience so that people can understand that, though it is an option when you are tired of your tattoo, it is certainly not easy. Or cheap. Or pain free. And it will take YEARS.

Think before you ink. If you really LOVE something--buy the tee shirt or paint a picture of it on a wall. That way--IF you ever get tired of it--or have a job where they are not as fond of it as you are--you can get rid of it quickly.

For me, at this point, getting rid of the tattoo is a QUEST! I eagerly go back each time now knowing it's faded just a little bit more, but I don't sit in the waiting room with the brand new patients anymore. I don't have the heart to tell them of the time and money that I have spent and the pain I have experienced there. They will find out soon enough.

By the way, I have NEVER been there when the waiting room is not packed.
I call it the room of regret. And I can't wait til I never have to go back.

But honestly, I totally look forward to posting pictures of my beautiful, ink-free back.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Persistently persevering

"As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. 
 And when that happens, she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, 
buckle up and just keep going!"

Thirty three months of laser tattoo removal treatments...!
Yes, those are blisters on my back today, an excruciatingly painful reaction to my treatment this past Thursday. It was difficult to sleep last night, and honestly, it's hard to even sit here and watch the game. If you know me at all, you know I had two babies with no medicine whatsoever, have never called in sick one day in 35 years of working, and I pride myself in NEVER complaining about pain. 

But this is killing me today.
I've been taking four Advil every four hours (all day), have gone through multiple ice packs, am wearing the softest of my soft, non-irritating jammies and thankfully, I am off today, so there are no pantyhose to rub against it. 
All of that, along with big doses of patience and persistence--and an AMAZING Dodger win--will help me get through the next few days of gradually fading pain with the GREAT hope that one day it will completely disappear!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

web hosting

As I got ready for work this morning, for some reason, my mind was spinning. 
I was thinking of ALL the things I want to write about...all the things I just keep thinking about!
 I turned off the blow dryer at one point,  grabbed a pen and began a list of the things going through my mind. 

First on the list, why does everyone say, "Actually" so much these days? I've noticed it's the first word in nearly every answer to every question. I ask how dinner was and you say, "Actually, it was nice." Or, I ask how your vacation was and you say, "Actually, we really enjoyed it." How is the weather? "Actually, it's quite nice..." Have you noticed that too?
What does that mean?

Secondly, I have several ideas for a book I'd like to write. My mind is bursting with thoughts on this one...my main idea these days would have something to do with having a personal life--and loving every second of it belonging to just me. No blogging about it...nothing on Facebook about it. Yet, continuing to tell the world every (other) move I make and post photos of everything I do...except the things that bring the most joy of all--cause they just belong to me. 
Or something like that.

I'd also love to write on getting your home--and thus your LIFE--in order! How to simplify, organize and lighten your load.  And, oh, I'd love to write about doing everything in moderation...eating, exercising, even working! 

How about something on how to LIVE? How to continuously ENJOY life? Truly enjoy it!
How about something about constantly trying new things? New foods, new routes home, new activities?! Bowling with your LEFT hand! I love thinking differently and seeing something in a whole new way!
How about a whole book on how much you DON'T know and loving learning!!
How about thoughts on NEVER acting your age--and loving every minute of it!

I also want to write about sharing past experiences to help others learn from YOUR mistakes. Why don't people share their failures more?! I swear, it would help so many people from making the same mistake, thus, to some extent, making them successes, right? I love to share the things I wish I'd done differently...the things I'd do over...the things I'd never do again! (Think TATTOO for starters!)

Yep, my mind this morning was BUZZING with thoughts...
But tonight it is consumed with one thing: 
The spider that has meticulously and oh so cleverly built his beautiful web across my front door. I was stunned to find it as I opened the door this afternoon--and mezmerised in wonder on how he was even able to do so. (Allison, you will NOT want to come over tonight!)
I let him know that, though I greatly admired his beautiful hard work, if he could perhaps pick up and rebuild somewhere else...I would appreciate it.
I went out through the garage to go get the mail. 
That was about 5 hours ago. 

I just peeked out the front door...and he's still there. 
So patient, so peaceful. 
I know he worked hard today.

And now he's resting. Perhaps I can help him move tomorrow.
He's actually very inspirational...
(correct use of the word "actually", in my opinion, of course.)
If only I were so creative and so naturally talented.
And so patient.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh what a beautiful day...

As I sit here tonight--watching baseball game #2 and eating jello with (lots of) whipped cream,--I am smiling BIG knowing what a great couple of days OFF I had.

It has been RARE for me to have two days off IN A ROW this whole last year...so when I do, well, let me tell you...I don't waste one minute of them! These were two of the BEST days I can remember in a very long time!

Yesterday, I spent the whole day with my sweet, wonderful friend--breakfast, lunch, pedicures, bowling, talking, laughing, breathing...
LOVING LIFE...smiling, feeling good...
it was luscious!

And TODAY--well, look out! I MADE myself STAY IN BED til 6am...which, I must say, was delightful! I could hear the birds singing outside and SMELL the coffee which was waiting for me in the kitchen...and I just laid there, dreaming and smiling and knowing how very lucky I am.
I finally got up (At 6:10--slacker!) answered email and posted pictures and sent birthday greetings on Facebook. I caught up on others' blogs, checked my investments online, made payments for my home owners insurance and one to American Express and paid other bills
...and checked all my bank accounts. A couple of times...
And then went for a long walk.  A LONG one! These days I am working SO hard to get in shape. I have so many things providing me incentive! And 50 is just 10 months away! I want to be THE healthiest and happiest person EVER to be FIFTY years old!
After that, I went to the bank, to the doctor's office, and drove through Chick Fil A' for a GIANT (and fabulously delicious) Diet Coke! At that point I was off to get my oil changed and tires rotated. Of course I brought my calendar and phone and made several appointments and calls while I waited for my car. I also brought all the magazines and catalogs that had come in the last couple of weeks, and quickly thumbed through them while I waited for my car--leaving them all for the next guests to enjoy, of course.
A quick stop at Target for a cute new dress (and a perfectly colored kitchen rug!) and I was ready to meet my cousin Christina at Wendy's to give her the treasures I'd found in my parents' storage for her! On the way home I stopped for gasoline and a drive-through car wash and came home to start laundry. (You can imagine at this point, I am feeling like Super Girl!)
Once the washer, dryer and dishwasher were going, I sat down to write and address the remainder of July's birthday cards...which are all now signed, sealed and ready to be delivered!
I can't tell you how GOOD this was all feeling!

Plants watered, patio cleaned and set back up, laundry folded and front porch swept, I was ready to shower, put on that cute new dress and go meet my sweet friend for (a very) happy hour! 

Oh...a Pear Martini at Opah was JUST what the doctor ordered...
that, with an Angels win and a GREAT Dodgers start, and the JOY of my friend's presence
...put a HUGE smile on my face.

It's been a wonderful day. I accomplished everything on my list...and more.
And now, I'm watching a guy named 'Fife' pitch a GEM for the Dodgers against the (phucking) Phillies! I am not sure if his first name is Barney (you know that's what I'M calling him!)
--but he certainly has a few bullets in his pocket and is a JOY to behold.

Just emptied the dishwasher, folded the last load of laundry and put my jello bowl away.
I'm sitting down in my quiet, clean home...and, most importantly, the coffee is ready to go--set to start brewing at 4am.
Enough. I am enjoying the fruits of my OH SO enjoyable and HIGHLY productive days.

I am oh so ready to go back to work.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
―Eleanor Roosevelt 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Seven and a half years later...

Not that I keep track...but, for some reason, I can't help but know:
I have now lived on my own for seven and a half years.
I was just telling Allison today, that's longer than I lived at our home in Rancho Santa Margarita.
How crazy is that?

Where am I seven and a half years later?
I am sitting out on my sweet little patio, with a fabulous (might I even say PHENOMENAL!) salad and a glass of wine. It's a beautiful evening as I smile and breathe...and thoroughly enjoy the peacefulness.
My feet are up...my mind is clear.
And I just keep smiling.

This is SO very nice and I appreciate it SO much.

Interestingly,  pre-seven and a half years ago, honestly, I never ONCE sat in my big beautiful backyard (with a pool, built in barbeque, TV by the jacuzzi, view of the world...) and enjoyed a peaceful night with a salad and a glass of wine (and a big smile.)
Never once.

Now, oh so gratefully, I do it quite often.
I sit and breathe.
I relax and listen to the quiet.
I can't stop smiling as I drink in the peace (and the wine) and enjoy this life.

Yep, deep into my EIGHTH year of being on my own, I know I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

A girl at work read this post and mentioned to me her very interesting thoughts...
She said, "If you had been 18 when you became single, you'd now be 25...
and probably just ready to start thinking about 'settling down'..."

Friday the 13th...ehhh

  1. I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.  Thomas Jefferson
  2. Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. Diligence is the mother of good luck. Benjamin Franklin
  4. Luck is merely an illusion, trusted by the ignorant and chased by the foolish. Timothy Zahn
  5. The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself. Douglas MacArthur
  6. The worst cynicism: a belief in luck. Joyce Carol Oates
  7. We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like? Jean Cocteau
  8. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
  9. Luck, bad if not good, will always be with us. But it has a way of favoring the intelligent and showing its back to the stupid. John Dewey
  10. Luck is believing you’re lucky.” Tennessee Williams
  11. People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have. Anne Tyler
  12. There is no luck except where there is discipline. Irish Proverb
  13. Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure. Earl Wilson
  14. Things happen to you out of luck, and if you get to stick around it’s because you’re talented. Whoopi Goldberg
  15. One-half of life is luck; the other half is discipline – and that’s the important half, for without discipline you wouldn’t know what to do with luck. Carl Zuckmay
  16. I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it… The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.  Samuel Goldwyn
  17. To the soldier, luck is merely another word for skill. Patrick MacGill
  18. In the long run, you make your own luck – good, bad, or indifferent. Loretta Lynn
  19. Inspiration is one thing and you can’t control it, but hard work is what keeps the ship moving. Good luck means, work hard. Keep up the good work. Kevin Eubanks
  20. What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient but restless mind, of sacrificing one’s ease or vanity, or uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully. Victor Cherbuliez
  21. Luck consists largely of hanging on by your fingernails until things start to go your way. Aaron Allston
  22. The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. Harry Golden
  23. True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home. John Hay
  24. The day you decide to do, it is your lucky day.  Japanese Proverb
  25. It's hard to detect good luck - it looks so much like something you've earned. Frank Howard Clark

Sunday, July 8, 2012

On the road again...

My friends, Lorraine and Kelly, and I are heading up to San Francisco for a few days next month.
Not for any reason except that...well, we can!

We've gone back and forth on whether we should fly or drive and, though I've never driven up there personally before, I have such a desire to do so!
How much fun would it be to get in the car and just start driving?
Adventure awaits! 
Good music, great stories, much laughter...
And how much fun will it be to make lots of little stops along the way?

Isn't it about time we had something from a bakery (or two) in Solvang?
How about a quick pee stop--I mean PEA stop-- (and a photo) at Anderson's Split Pea Soup?
A walk on the beach in Carmel or Monterey?
Fresh baked pie at the Apricot Inn (which also just happens to boast the world's largest collection of metal lunch boxes!)
A quick wine tour in Santa Barbara?
A little browsing and snacking at Casa de Fruta?
How about a little time out for  old fashioned buttermilk biscuits slathered in gravy??

Of course once we get to San Francisco we have LOADS of good stuff to see there!
Ghiradelli, my son, a Giants game, my sisters, Beach Blanket Babylon, James Boyd?

Of course then there's the ride home...

Let me know YOUR suggestions!
I am SO excited!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Get back!

I think I FINALLY understand why my mother says time goes by so fast...
When you're not working...time really does FLY!
I have had the last SEVEN days off...and, though it went by WAY too quickly, 

 it's been HEAVENLY!!

 I didn't have to:
  • get up at 4am
  • wear pantyhose or
  • put on a suit

What I DID do:
  • Slept til AT LEAST 5am every single day! 
  • Wore sundresses and flip flops most of the time. (And yoga pants...don't tell Allison)
  • Helped my folks organize their storage...and found lots of buried treasures.
  • Talked to my son on the phone from his first solo apartment. In San Francisco. (He's so happy!)
  • Helped a friend move into her new house...and enjoyed a whole day with her and her mother and her daughters.
  • Went to breakfast with my best friend...TWICE! (So delicious!)
  • Went to Happy Hour THREE times (that's a whole lot of HAPPY hours!)
  • Went out to dinner THREE times! (Lots MORE HAPPY hours!)
  • Went to a VERY silly movie (Ted...it could have been the Martinis, but DAMN was it funny!)
  • Took a ride out to visit Sweet Juju...(the ride is always my favorite part.)
  • Baked (from scratch) four DELICIOUS zucchini chocolate chip breads!
  • Spent a WHOLE day with my best friend
  • Played tennis (I LOVE playing tennis!)
  • Went to the Pageant of the Masters
  • Did a little browsing in the Laguna art boutiques
  • Had friends over for dinner...twice!
  • Laid by the pool and read.
  • Finished one book and started another.
  • Began updating my will. What can I leave you?
  • Watched several episodes of Will and Grace. (If you've never seen the 'Von Trapped' episode, PLEASE find it on Hulu and watch it immediately...you'll be glad you did!)
  • Ate (and THOROUGHLY enjoyed) nearly a HALF of a loaf of (incredible) zucchini chocolate chip bread, an (always delicious) Breakfast Jack, (mouth-watering) biscuits with (fabulous) apple butter, (phenomenal) strawberry shortcake, (the BEST) buttermilk pancakes, (never disappointing) bacon, (fabulously fresh and magnificent) Italian bread with butter and anchovies, (fantastic) home-made peach cobbler with ice cream, a (simply perfect) red velvet cupcake, (very tasty) barbeque chicken pizza and a (MOST decadent) chocolate old fashion donut. Dare I mention the wine, Margaritas and Martinis?
  • Smiled, relaxed, napped, cried, breathed, talked, laughed, shared, hoped, dreamed.
  • Enjoyed life...and loved every second. 
Yep, I have to return to work tomorrow at 6am. I'll have to get up at 4am, and I have to put on a suit... and endure nine hours in pantyhose...
But, let me assure you, though the time goes much slower during a work day, I will be smiling and laughing and talking and sharing and helping and hoping...and probably even enjoying bacon!

I've absolutely enjoyed the last seven days immensely...
but, really, no matter where I am--even back at work...
I'm enjoying life...and loving every second.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I haven't had to work since Saturday. 
And it's been LOVELY!
I don't go back to work until Sunday.
And this time--for some reason--
I'm loving every single minute of this time off... 
Pursue happiness with diligence! 

Monday, July 2, 2012