Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Dock

Sheldon and I had a date night last night and it was so nice. First I met up with him and some of his co-workers at a local Irish Pub. There was live music and the bar was crowded but not packed. His co-workers were hilarious and they loved listening to me tell stories on Sheldon. After a few more beers for them and a yummy whiskey sour for me we parted ways and Sheldon and I headed out to dinner. One of our favorite restaurants is The Dock in Lansdowne. One of our first dates was to this restaurant and I have loved it every time we eat there. It isn't frou frou at all, but the food is original and completely, completely, completely YUMMY! If you ever come to my area, I highly recommend you give it a try. Sheldon always seems to choose the same meal, pork chops, but I have had something different every time. Last night I ate jumbo sea scallops with a chile lime glaze served over pasta with marinated tomatoes and lobster sauce. It was the perfect amount of food, I could have eaten more, but I wasn't still hungry. I would have gladly licked my plate if I could have gotten away with it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Cost of College

Being back in school AND being the mom of a teenager, I am keenly aware of the cost of college tuition. The X and I invested in the Virginia Pre-paid College Tuition program when Miles was in 2nd grade and I am so glad we did. Paying for college is still an issue though, because we still have to pay his room and board and if he goes out of state we'll have to pay anything over the highest virginia tuition. Since his college years are only about 30 months away I have really started thinking and talking about this topic with Miles. Today I found a link on that gave the list of the ten most expensive schools in the nation:

Sarah Lawrence $55,788

Parsons School of Design $52,400

Georgetown $52,161

NYU $51,993

George Washington University $51,775

Johns Hopkins University $51,690

Columbia $51,544

Weslyan $51,432

Trinity $51,400

Washington University in St. Louis $51,329

This list made me curious as to what the schools in Virginia were charging these days. I am a student at George Mason Unversity, but I am only taking one class at a time (which runs almost $1,000) but I needed to see the full time tuition to compare. I clicked another link on that took me to a site where you can check the tuition of most any school in any state. I found the Virginia list pretty shocking for its disparity. I guess I never really knew the difference between the costs of the private schools in Virginia vs. the state schools. We are so lucky here in that we have so many fabulous state schools in our lovely commonwealth. After reading this list, I'm just not sure why anyone would go to one of the private schools, unless it was in their own backyard, or their parents worked there, or they had a full boat scholarship. I mean seriously, Ferrum and Bridgewater each cost 4 times as much as Va. Tech or Mason. Are you really getting a better education?

From my own family, I know that personality and school size are important factors too. My sister wanted a small school, it just fit her personality and learning style better. She went to Roanoke College which happens to be where my father went as well. It is a beautiful school and Roanoke is one of my favorite areas of Virginia, but I personnally would not be able to justify the cost. My sister reads this blog so let me say right now that I am not passing judgment on her decision but I'm curious as to how she feels about it now that she's out in the "real world" and having to pay back student loans? Katy? Feel free to comment...

BTW, Katy has her own blog now so skip on over there if you'd like to follow the life of a young single girl in Brooklyn!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guard Your Energy

The raw material of personal performance and productivity is contained in your physical, mental and emotional energies. Your body is like a machine that uses food, water, and rest to generate energy that you then use to accomplish important tasks in your life and work. When you are fully rested, for example, you can get two time, three times, and five times as much done as when you are tired or burned out.

One of the most important requirements for being happy and productive is for you to guard and nurture your energy levels at all times.

From the book “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I read this post today about letterwriting and it so took me back to my teen years and my Ziggy stationary. I thought you might like Vicki as well. I think she writes so eloquently.

I used to write letters all the time. I had penpals in Korea and England that I got in my Girl Scout Magazine. I saved all the letters and cards I ever received for years and years, but cleaned out a closet during my divorce and pitched it all.

I get my stationary and pen fix now by finding beautiful notecards at museum shops and sending thank you notes to everyone for everything. I have even taking to writing to my favorite novelists after every good book. My handwriting has always been atrocious but my ink and notecards are delicious!

How Much Would YOU Spend?

One of the blogs I read every day is Give Me Back My Five Bucks, which is written by a young Canadian girl who paid off all her debt and is living a wonderful debt-free life. She posted this list of how much money she would spend on certain things:

I found her list facsinating and thought I'd post my own list...but I'm adding what I usually spend as well as my limit:

Purse: $10 - $80
Wallet: $5 - $35
Winter jacket: $85 - same
A pair of knee-high boots: $50 - $80
A casual but not formal dress: $30 - $60
Formal dress: can't even imagine buying such a thing but I guess I'd spend $150 if I had too.
Pants (inc. jeans): $35 - $60
Computer: $1,500 - 3,000
Sneaks: $25 - $150

My limits are quite a bit lower than Krystal's but I think that is at least partly because I buy a lot of stuff at thrift stores and so pay much less. I went for years never paying more than $8 for jeans because I always found perfect jeans at the Salvation Army store near my office. I also have gotten purses for years and years at KMart for $10, but this year I found a darling purse I had to have at Filene's basement downtown. It cost $80 which almost choked me and will prolly horrify Sheldon, but I have loved it each and every day and I get compliments on it all the time.

I found this to be a very interesting should try it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weightloss Plan (again)!

I have been struggling with 30 pounds for 3 years now. I put it on when my doc put me on a medication for anxiety. I gained 30 pounds in 6 months. Even the doc was shocked because as she said at the time "You NEVER gain weight!" Yeah, I know. I never had, other than when I was pregnant. I never had to worry, I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and nothing stuck. So when I visited my doc in a panic about the gain she changed my meds and I stopped gaining, but I also never lost.

30 pounds is a lot. It is two jeans sizes. It is more than that though. It is pride, it is self confidence, it is sex appeal. For 40+ years of my life I wasn't worried about any of those things in a physical sense, but now I worry about all of the above. I have tried to lose the weight, but nothing I have done so far has made a dent.

Last night I started reading "Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy and came up with a plan. Brian says to take every goal and break it down into smaller pieces, see what you can accomplish on a daily basis to make your long term goals happen. So here is the math that I figured out to make my goal happen:

I want to lose 30 pounds in six months, which the same rate at which I gained it. That comes out to 5 pounds a month or .166 pounds a day. There are approximately 2.5 ounces in .166 pounds.
There are 3500 calories in a pound so to lose 2.5 ounces I need to burn approximately 550 calories. Riding a bike for 10 minutes burns 80 calories so to lose the 550 calories I'll need to ride for one hour a day. Since I invested in a recumbant exercise bike last month I actually already have the equipment I need. Now I just have to force myself downstairs EVERY DAY for one hour to make this happen.

I actually did ride the bike every day the first week I had it, but then I started my second job and just didn't have enough energy to keep it up. After three weeks at the new job, I think I have stabilized my schedule and my energy output enough that I can get back on the bike. If the bike was in the family room or the bedroom instead of the basement I don't think I would have an issue, but to actually make myself go downstairs and set up the computer so that I can watch tv usually takes more effort than I feel like expending. Sigh.

Here's the thing though, it is totally do-able. I can ride the bike for 60 minutes a day. I watch at least 120 minutes of tv a day, I will just have to force myself to do it in the basement, alone. Cause I will beat this! I will!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have been enjoying tv in all my busyness thanks to the glory of DVR! Have y'all seen:

  1. Glee
  2. Sons of Anarchy
  3. The Closer
  4. Saving Grace
  5. 18 Kids and Counting
  6. Big Bang Theory
  7. Two and a Half Men
There are more but that was all I can remember...lame-o, I know...

crochet girl

As if I don't have enough on my plate I started a crochet class at my day job today! It was so much fun. I love to crochet and I love to teach others. I think needlework is such an important thing for all of us on a cultural level. It is also so so SO relaxing to work with your hands. I think of crocheting as therapy with a gift at the end. I enjoyed spending an hour with 4 of my co-workers that I didn't know very well. One of them I had never met before. We laughed and talked the whole time.

It is an ongoing class, every Thursday at noon. Today we only did chain stitch, that was all they could handle. :)

Baby Sis

So my Baby Sister moved to NYC!!! She also started a blog, so if you would like to read about her adventures you can go HERE!

I am so proud of her because she is not the type to run off on wild adventures.

I am also jealous because I absolutely adore New York and would love to be living there myself. I even dreamed last night that I had moved up there with another friend to help her and her roommate pay rent until they both had jobs.

I can't wait to load Mama in the car and take her up there to visit!!!


Hi Peeps!
I know, I know, I haven't written in a while. Sheldon has been complaining about my lack of posting and he lives with me so he knows how busy I have been! I am now working two jobs and taking a horrible, horrible math class. I'm not even sure where to start with my updating...

1. Job number one is fabulous. I am a receptionist for a Aerospace Engineering company. I took the downgrade in responsibility so that I could take classes and finally finish my degree. I love it! I love just being able to sit and answer the phone and sort the mail and be nice to people all day long. We are a 24 hour facility so I can even get overtime. The bad part is that I took a 45% paycut. Ugh.

2. Job number two is a retail job at an upscale women's clothing outlet. It is physically exhausting but fun. My favorite spot is folding/hanging clothes in the dressing room. I can stand in one place (which kills my back but is so much easier on my feet) and help the women who are trying to make decisions. I took this job to earn extra money to pay for repairs on my car and tuition.

3. I'm back to taking classes at my college of 26 years. I only need 9 classes to get my English degree. I love being back at school, but I hate my class. Unfortunately for me, Sheldon decided to go back for his second masters degree at the same time so although I thought I'd have my own personal math tutor, he is too distracted by his own homework to help me with mine. I am the oldest person in the room each week by at least 10 years and that includes the professor!

4. Due to all of the above I am physically and mentally exhausted. To make things even worse I have been having trouble sleeping.

This is a very whiny post...sorry! More to come!!!!