Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

November 30, 2013

Summertime and the living is easy…

Today’s post is a flashback post brought to you via Scott Thomas’s current photo assignment, “Vacation”. I told Scott I didn’t know if I’d participate because I wasn’t sure I could show you my vacation in a way I already hadn’t. I’ve been going to the same beach every summer for many years, and I’ve blogged about it a lot! Hills Beach has a fairly large size in my tag cloud over there on the right side of this blog.

But I really hate to miss a photo assignment, and looking back at warm days on the beach in August when a nasty chill has set in here in the northeast was kind of nice. In my last blog post, I mentioned how I respond well to music, and I’ve written plenty of posts in the past that refer to music or include music videos from youtube. So in addition to this being my contribution to Scott’s assignment, I’m including a little lyrics quiz for you! Some of the lyrics, I think, are super easy, but a couple are more challenging. See if you can figure out the song title and artist without googling them and leave your answers in the comments section. I’ll post all the answers with music videos in a couple days!

1.
IMG_0467
“Vacation, all I ever wanted, Vacation, had to get away…”

2.
IMG_0424
“That’s where you wanna go to get away from it all…”

3.
IMG_0431
“Ballerina, you must have seen her, dancing in the sand…”

4.
IMG_0457
“She had her drink in her hand, she had her toes in the sand…”

5.
IMG_0369
“Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure, makes me want to go back again…”

6.
IMG_0468
“Beauty in the water, angel on the beach…I would have wished in ’92 for a mermaid just like you…”

Have fun! And you still have a few days to jump in on Scott’s assignment if you’d like to – posts are due on Wednesday, December 4th by midnight your time.

November 23, 2013

Choosing to Change

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Very recently, I read on one of your blogs (forgive me please I cannot remember whose, tell me in the comments if it was yours!) a saying that went something like, “By not choosing to change, you are choosing to remain the same.” It was much deeper sounding than this; I wish I could find the place where I read it. Anyway, I’ve recently made a decision to change something about me! I’ve done a lot of soul searching and wondering and regretting and second guessing this year, much of it brought on by the fact that my first child is now technically an “adult” and living away from home at college.

I’ve wondered if I did all the right things, wondered what life will be like without seeing her on a daily basis, wondered if I’ll like who I am when my primary focus in life isn’t being a mother on daily basis.

I still haven’t figured those things out, of course, but I have chosen to make a change in one thing that I know I can control in my life: me. I am making a new, more serious attempt at fitness. I thought if I announced it here on blog, maybe it’d help me keep myself more accountable.

Now I’ve never considered myself to be lazy or badly out of shape for a woman of my age. I’ve been dancing on a weekly basis for 13 years. I’ve always enjoyed walking. But I know I am not as fit as I could be. I’ve suffered issues with a sore back on and off for many years. I feel rather certain many of my back issues would become fewer and farther between if I made a real effort to strengthen my core.

About 8 months ago, I really fell in love with the current fitness craze “Zumba” I take classses once or twice a week with an instructor whose style works for me and that I truly enjoy.
This is Lizet, my instructor:

Ain’t she a hot ticket?

I noticed when I started doing her class on a regular basis, I felt better about myself: my clothes seemed a little looser, I felt a little stronger and even my attitude was better on days I did Zumba.

If a Zumba class could do this for me, what if I embarked on a more serious program of change? I started looking into different workout videos and talking to people with knowledge about fitness.

I found out with my Amazon Prime account, I could stream a variety of Jillian Michaels videos for free! Free is a nice place to start! This past Thursday, I started with her 6 Week 6 Pack workout. I took a picture of my belly (which I will not be sharing, lol!) and recorded what exercise I did. I’m hoping this will also help keep me on track, and hopefully be able to see some changes.

I also know this about myself: I get bored easily with repetition. I tried a different video yesterday. It was harder and had some different moves, but a lot was similar. In addition, I know this about myself: I respond well to music. I do chores better with it, I exercise better with it. Ms. Michael’s videos seem to just have that typical boring background music. So I decided to treat myself to this:
Help me Shaun T!
They arrived in the mail today. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Perhaps a combination of Shaun T. and Jillian M. and Lizet will be the right formula for a change for me.

Even purchased some new exercise clothes to further limit my excuses:
new exercise togs

Yes, I am starting this right before the holidays. Bad plan? I don’t think so. I’ve always enjoyed whatever I’ve wanted to enjoy for food and drink at the holidays without much worry about it. I don’t have a tendency to overindulge in much (Christmas cookies being an exception to that, lol!). Six weeks from now will be New Year’s Week. I’ll try to remember to update here on what I’ve been doing and how I feel it’s been going. Do I really think I’ll have 6 Pack abs in 6 weeks, or even beyond as I continue? No not really, but I do hope to be feeling stronger.

What are your feelings about fitness and exercise? Tell me in the comments!

November 17, 2013

Big job complete…for now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:34 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

I finished the big job of cleaning up after the awful sycamore tree yesterday.
clean yard

I really should have taken a “before” picture to show you, but I gave you a small idea of what the job is like last week in this post. That tree is nearly done dropping all its leaves, but some still cling to the branches:
sycamore, almost done

I believe I’ve done enough work on the front yard for this fall. More leaves will certainly fall before we are covered in snow, but I’ve cleared away enough (10 tarp loads including last week!) so that I won’t have a horrible clean-up of giant, soggy, 8-inch wide, slimy leaves in the spring.

After spending my day cleaning up the yard (by myself, by the way!) I rested my tired self in the hot tub and admired the sky, brightly illuminated by the full moon. As my eyes adjusted, it almost seemed close to day light it was so bright, and I got the idea in my head that maybe I could show you some pictures of my lovely view.

Still wearing my bathing suit and terry robe, I grabbed my camera and put on the nifty-fifty lens, then kneeled down next to the hot tub. I was too lazy to get the tri-pod out. Thinking back now, that would have been the intelligent thing to do! The shots I have to share are quite blurry, of course, since it wasn’t really daylight. But maybe I can still give you a glimpse into my view last night:
night sky 1

night sky 2

I played with different shutter speeds and apertures, and holding my breath and firmly gripping the camera as my elbows rested on the side of the tub, and in the little LCD of the camera screen the shots didn’t look too bad. Really did need the tripod though!

night sky 3

night sky 4

I would try again tonight, but a steady rain is in our forecast. We’re still enjoying warm-for-November temperatures around here, so at least it is rain and not snow! How is your autumn progressing? Cleaning up? Looking forward to Thanksgiving? Tell me in the comments.

November 12, 2013

Sharing My World with Cee’s Questions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am

It has been a while since I did a Cee’s Share Your World post, so since I had this Monday off from work, it seemed like a good time to share another batch of answers.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?
Central Park, NYC
I’d like to say I have a great time being spontaneous, and honestly wish I was more spontaneous, but reality is that I seem to have a better time when I have a plan. My sister and I have taken several bus trips in to New York City for the day, and I think we really have a good time with a plan in place for a great spot for lunch, a broadway show or specific attractions we’d like to visit. On trips when we’ve decided to “just wing it” we spend an awful lot of time getting turned around and trying to figure out which way to go!

joyful
I’d say that’s true for cruise vacations too. Although our entire cruise last April was fabulous, the best day by far was on our planned excursion to swim with a dolphin in Mexico. The stop in Key West was nice, but I think my family got rather annoyed with me saying “let’s just try walking a little further this way….”

Do you play video/computer game? Which one(s) or most recent?
Words with friends

I’m pretty much obsessed with Words With Friends! (Anyone want to start a game? Let me know!)

row2
We have a Wii, and although I don’t use it as much as I’d like to, I really like the active games available on the Wii like “Wii Fit” and “Just Dance”.

In a car would you rather drive or ride?
IMG_5787

It depends. In my own car, I always want to drive. I feel I know my car best and don’t care for the way my husband drives it. I don’t mind being the passenger in someone else’s car, as long as I can sit in the front seat. Long distances in the backseat can make me feel a little nauseated. I took that picture up above from the passenger seat of my sister’s car on a trip with her, returning from a weekend in Pennsylvania. I remember what an odd feeling it was for me to be on the western side of the Berkshire Mountains.
US-1122294 may20011

Since adolescence, in what three-year period do you feel you experienced the most personal growth and change?
mom n grad

I’m definitely in that period right now. I had no idea what an adjustment it was going to be being the mother of a high school graduate/college student. With one daughter away at school, life is very different, and I question myself on a daily basis about whether I’ve done the best I could, given her all I could give to help her make the best decisions, hoping she understands all that she means to me. I contemplate what things will be like in two more years when my youngest is also away at school. Will I like who I am when I’m not doing the things of motherhood on an everyday basis?

Another great batch of questions, Cee! Thanks for asking!

November 11, 2013

November is trying, but not really winning any points with me today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 1:22 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A moment of pretty….
last color

Ahhhh!

…discovered while dealing with the ugly….
UGH!

Raking leaves today. That photo above shows but a fraction of the 4 giant tarploads of leaves I’ve hauled out of my front yard today from the dreadful sycamore tree. I really dislike that tree this time of year! I mean really, look at the size of these leaves:

Obnoxious leaf

And there is exactly 9,786,584,001 of them! I counted! 😉

November 9, 2013

Just wanted to share…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One evening this week I was taken aback by the beautiful light and color I saw in the sky.  After running an errand to the grocery store, on what had been an unremarkable, cloudy sort of day, I saw the trees across the street from the store lit up by a gorgeous light, but the light was almost “cut off” at the top if you can imagine what I mean.  Looking toward the west, a dark cloud cut a horizontal line across the sky, but the great, golden orb of the sun was sinking just below that line.  I admired the amazing, golden color before me as I drove home from the market and hoped there would still be some nice color for me to photograph when I got home.

When I got home, color had changed but it was still beautiful.  Surrounded as I am by the things of suburbia, I have no clear view of sunset and the horizon, but I was able to capture these shots.  I haven’t adjusted anything in Photoshop; these are SOOC using my 50mm 1.8 lens.

IMG_0570

IMG_0573

IMG_0574

IMG_0575

IMG_0576

I’ve never been a big fan of November: no leaves, no flowers, No-vember; however, this colorful sky was a lovely exception to a normally colorless month!

November 3, 2013

Zen Kitty

zenkitty
I’ve borrowed this photo, as well as this blog title, from a Facebook post of my sister’s. This kitty in a state of uber-peacefulness is a nice representative of a mostly awesome week around here.

It started last Saturday when my wonderful posse of long time friends arrived for a murder-mystery style Halloween party.
IMG_0567_edited-1
The theme of the mystery was “Murder at the Millenium” and each of us was supposed to be one outstanding character from each decade of the 20th century. There’s yours truly over there on the far right as “Scarlett Harlot” an actress from the 1930’s.

The directions that came with the party game suggested decorating with something made to look like a time machine. Meghan, a great fan of the BBC series “Dr. Who”, said we should make our time machine look like a T.A.R.D.I.S. (For the un-Whovian initiated, click here for more information) We decorated the front door like this:
IMG_0562
so that each of our guests had to pass through the time machine to arrive at the party.

Our fabulous party was followed by a fabulous Red Sox World Series win on Wednesday night.

Our jack-o-lantern was carved, and I happily enjoyed the roasted pumpkin seeds:
!cid__IMG-20131028-00268

Halloween blew in windy, wet and warm. Only a scant few trick-or-treaters came to my door. When it seemed the doorbell would no longer ring for the evening, I settled in to spend some time here:
IMG_0569

Saturday arrived again and provided another thoroughly enjoyable day. My sister, our best friend Renae and I made another pilgrimage to our favorite New Hampshire lunch spot, Pickity Place. Pickity was the place where the photo of Zen Kitty was taken.
How’s that for bringing a post full circle?

Okay, I did say it was a mostly awesome week back at the beginning of the post. That seems to suggest there might be something that wasn’t so awesome. Before heading out with my sister for the day yesterday, I dropped my car off at our Ford dealership to have a dashboard warning light checked. The result? A hefty repair bill:
!cid__IMG-20131103-00270

There’s always a sprinkle of bad in there to remind us how we need to appreciate the good!

November 1, 2013

I couldn’t have said it better myself

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:02 pm
Tags: , , ,

koji

This photo courtesy of MLB’s Facebook page. I thought this was expressed beautifully. It has been great week of friends, Halloween fun and Red Sox baseball. What an October!