Dreams Never End

The optimistic pessimist

For The Love of Felines

I have known for many years that I am a cat person.  You know how some people are dog people, some are cat people and some people own both?  Growing up we always had pets; dogs, cats, fish, turtles, guinea pigs, even brine shrimp, a.k.a sea monkeys. The common thread throughout my life, whatever the circumstances? I have always had a good feline to celebrate and console my life’s ups and downs.

When I was very small, a buff colored female cat adopted us. She showed up at our doorstep and stayed for the next 20 years.  We named her, The Old Orange Cat. Sometimes we referred to her as the mother cat, although she never had kittens.   Friendly, furry, tough, good mouser, sweet, steadfast and loyal.   These memories of her cemented my love of cats.

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Sadly I don’t have access to a picture of her,   I found this image however, and it’s a good likeness!

Here are my current felines friends!

Screenshot_2015-09-02-05-34-37Friday – a.k.a., Frankie a.k.a, Big Frank  

Friday will turn sixteen in March and has a keen sense of reading our emotions.  He has been the poultice to many a broken hearts and dream throughout the years.  Many times his fur was tear-soaked as he comforted my daughters anxieties and fears. I think he has a sixth sense and seeks us out when we need him most.  Friday is a real sweet fellow. Recently, he’s slowed down with arthritis, but he is a love and we hope he will be around for a good while longer.

Snapchat--6804539087054573522  Chester – a.k.a, Chet, a.k.a. Boy

Chester is a young eleven years.  He has the energy of a kitten.  We rescued Chester from the animal shelter.  He is the “funny boy” in the house. Always getting into mischief, ending in some precarious situation. Sometimes perched in the crawl space between the upstairs and the basement or squished between the wall and the furnace. The term “curiosity killed the cat” fits well for Chester. Good thing he has nine lives!

Cats have been some of my most loyal friends. I’m an introvert, I spend a lot of quiet alone time. As of late, they make good writing buddies too!  Felines fit into my life purrfectly!

 

Cheers!  JustLorelei67

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Surprise Impressionism

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Water Gardens at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory – St. Paul, MN 2015

This is my favorite photograph that I captured last summer.  It was really only a snap but it turned out to be this lovely impressionist looking picture!  The way that the water rippled just right and the reflective image of the lily dancing on the pool. It reminds me of the impressionist painter Monet.  It’s the perfect picture to help chase away the winter doldrums

 

 

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Winter Break Is Over

Crazy as it seems I actually am just coming off of my last day of winter break. I work in the school system and am fortunate to have Christmas break in December, winter break in February, and spring break in April.

A majority of people that I work with traveled to some warm, sandy beach, pass the tropical drink location. For me, with two girls in college, I had a stay-cation!

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Well no, actually it wasn’t really because I  didn’t do any sightseeing in my own town. So it was more like a “my time is my own, and therefore I will do whatever the hell I want all week”.  Yes, that kind of staycation.
The first few days I worked to get some KonMari method organizing done.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, eventually I will devote a blog  post to my pursuit of tidying and simplifying my home. This weeks tidying was my books and papers.  I also cleaned and organized the refrigerator.
I devoted one whole day to preparing income taxes and the FAFSA financial aid form for college.  I had my teeth cleaned.  I enjoyed preparing some wonderful meals that normally I wouldn’t have time to do.
I visited with my husband, cuddled with my cats, Skyped my daughters, stayed up too late, drank too much wine, and enjoyed some great coffee houses. I read some wonderful blog posts, by great writers and attempted some writing as well.
It was a great break and I am grateful to have had a moment to refresh before jumping back in with my middle school students.  I know tomorrow will be challenging, we have a new coworker to train in, a brand new lunch procedure we will be rolling out, lunchtime Zumba activities get underway, and to top it off there’s a full moon!   Jumping back in with both feet!
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That’s okay it was a great break, a staycation filled with a little work, a little play and it was my time, my way and I enjoyed it!  I hope you can enjoy some of your own time too.
Be well!  JustLorelei67
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Lemon Water 101

One lemon has 17 calories, 2% potassium, 1% protein, 1% calcium,1% iron and a whopping 51% of your daily vitamin C! Not to mention they are tasty and smell wonderful!

I have read many claims about the benefits of drinking lemon water.  My brother sent me some delicious organic lemons,  so I decided to put this into my morning routine.

It has been four days of drinking a morning glass of iced lemon water.  Although I enjoy it iced I have read many articles suggesting you drink it at room temperature or slightly warmed.  I am not sure I will enjoy it, but will try it warm eventually.

I have picked five things that I am going track to see if I can notice any effects.

  1. Weight management and craving control – I don’t have weight to lose but will see if it helps to maintain weight and stave off cravings.
  2. Improved skin condition – The claim is that vitamin C is good for your skin and tissues in both aging and also as an antioxidant.
  3. Aid in digestion –  I have struggled with digestive issues, partly from the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen that I am taking.  We will see if this helps.
  4. Strengthen your immune system – The vitamin C should help.
  5. Energy boost – Who wouldn’t like that in the morning? Energy even before my first cup of coffee!

Warm lemon water vs. cold? According to my researched,  either will provide health benefits! If you decide to try a lemon water regimen you should know there are some warnings about tooth enamel damage.  The suggestion is to drink the lemon water before brushing your teeth, evidently your teeth are protected by the morning tooth fuzzies! Who knew??

I will keep you posted!

Cheers! JustLorelei67

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Sunrise On Lake Superior

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I thought that I would miss out on the sunrise this morning when I saw this huge cloud bank at the horizon.  Suddenly a fireball appeared and the sunrise did not disappoint!

 

Lake Superior is a beautiful sight every morning.  The -7 degree temps did not keep me or half a dozen others away from chasing the 7:07 a.m. sunrise! The perfect way to start the day!

Cheers! JustLorelei67

 

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A Puzzle of Games

Winter break is here and decided to take a break and work on a jigsaw puzzle.  The first time in many years.  I started it a couple of days ago and it is a great thing to do in between cleaning and errands.

I woke up this morning thinking about the puzzle.  The picture features classic board games and it is called “Games We Played”.  Here it is I am sure you will see some of your favorites in the picture.DSC_0374

A Puzzle of Games, isn’t that a great analogy of life? At the same time that we are trying to make the pieces fit we are also in the game.

What is Life  about?

Hands Down it’s the craziest Battleship Operation you’ll every man!

Happy Days will come, but many times it will be more like Roulette.

Life will not always be a Candyland or a Hi-Ho bowl of Cherry-O’s.  Instead, a series of Chutes and Ladders, somewhere Lost In Space only to end up in a Twister.

You may get caught in a Mouse Trap and not have a Clue.

Days spent being Sorry and Mad maybe stuck in a real Traffic Jam.

I think we’ve all been to a few Donkey Party‘s (don’t be an ass), just remember it’s all Spin the Bottle. It will take a lot of Concentration to assess the Risk in the Dating Game,  maybe you’ll bypass the Old Maid.

One day, however, when you’ve tired of flipping Tiddly Winks, you’ll toss a coin in the Wishing Well. Bingo!!! The Domino effect may occur!

Who knows if it’ll be a Dukes of Hazzard, a Jackson Five, or an H.R. Puffin Stuff kind of life?

At the end, Hands Down it is your Life, your Monopoly, your jigsaw puzzle!

 

Cheers and best of luck fitting your pieces together!

JustLorelei67

 

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Attitude Adjustment Day

Yesterday was a low  point for me.  Now it isn’t because it was Valentine’s Day, I am no hater, it is just that this was the day that the “mean reds” crept back into my mind.

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That feeling that the world is closing in on you and it really makes you feel hopeless. It is where the pessimist in me shows up. The anxiety is about all the things you cannot control in your life, but wish that you could.   In this day of social media we are reminded daily sometimes hourly of what others are accomplishing and winning at in life.  I think it really makes it difficult to perceive things in there actual state.  All things look rosy, it’s the way everyone wants to be portrayed.  Everyone posts their best! With even their worst looking pretty damn good!  Although I know this to be true, I have to say it does add to my mood of the “reds” and then of the “blues”.  This only adds fuel however, to the mad, sad, anxiety I am battling.  It is not the cause of it.  Today I decided, I need to come up with five things to be thankful for right now.  A different blog perhaps, I will be more forthcoming with what specifically is darkening the corners of my mind, but today these are the things I will focus on to adjust my thinking.

  • My feet have touched the floor for the day, which means I can choose to do something productive.
  • At this time I am cancer-free and have been for 1 1/2 years.
  • I have a warm house and food in my fridge.
  • Both of my parents are still living, as are my brother and two sisters.  I have a husband and two daughters.  Although family is a huge anxiety ridden stress, I wouldn’t want to not have any of them here.  With more time there can always be a change in them and in me too.
  • I am writing this blog on a Monday morning, when I would normally be headed to work but I have the week off for winter break.  I can get this attitude adjustment at the top of my week and maybe the rest will feel more hopeful.

For today I will remember to have a heart of thanksgiving.  If I can recite my list in my mind then my mood will come to pass.

Seeing Audrey Hepburn in the Gif made me smile!  I love Breakfast At Tiffany’s and any other movie of  Audrey Hepburns.

Be Well –

JustLorelei 67

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Ten Favorite Foods

 

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I am a self-proclaimed foodie.  Food brings people together, holds tradition and memories and is a life-sustaining need.  So for today these are 10 of my all-time favorite foods. I have included, obvious from the picture, all food not just ‘what’s for dinner’.  Although, I will admit I have eaten a cookie or two for breakfast, lunch or dinner on occasion. And you have too!

Minestrone Soup –  This makes my list because not only is it tasty, but I love the process of making it.  All of those fresh ingredients herbs and veggies that need to be chopped and diced it is therapeutic for me to make and healthy to eat!

Bread – Pretty much bread of any kind but I particularly love crusty baguettes, focaccia, or a good hearty wholewheat sandwich bread.  I know this is definitely not a weight watchers favorite.  But I am a carb lover!

Spaghetti and marinara – Carbs aplenty here too!  I love pasta of any sort actually, but really enjoy a good chunky veggie sauce with the longest spaghetti noodle possible, and a good dosing of fresh Parmesan cheese.

New York Strip – For the meat lover in me, there is nothing as tasty  as the perfectly done tenderly prepared steak.  I will take that medium well please, with a sour cream topped baked potato!

Cheese pizza –  Whether it is the very thinnest of crispy crusts or a thick pan style pizza, I love it all.  This would be a perfect meal paired with a tasty garden salad and a rich, dark micro-brew beer!

Spinach salad – Fresh baby spinach along with fresh sliced strawberries, just screams springtime!  I also like a bit of blue cheese and some toasted pecans.  If you top it with a nice lite vinaigrette it’s so yummy!

Coconut Shrimp – This is one food I confess that I haven’t actually prpared on the list, but I have ordered it out many times.  Jumbo shrimp crusted with delicious coconut flakes, dipped in some pineapple dipping sauce, what’s not to love? Tropical and so delish!

Frosted sugar cookies – The picture here are my own cookies I made for Valentine’s Day. These have an extra bit of vanilla in the cookie and  almond flavored icing. To me, the flavors together are the the perfect dessert after any meal.

Bread pudding – Here is another high-carb addition, this time a dessert.  I do not have it often but think that it is wonderful. A real comfort food.  I make mine with raisins and a warm whiskey sauce to top it off!

Brownie – Really? Yes, probably the best all-around, perfect last bite, or possibly even the first bit sometimes.  I love the thick cut, extremely chewy, pecan laden variety!

What are some of your favorite foods?  I would love to hear from you!

Cheers JustLorelei67

 

 

 

 

 

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For The Kindness of Strangers

Today’s blogging challenge was suppose to be about my favorite vacation.  But I alas, while Skyping my daughter, who is studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I decided I needed to write about some of her adventure instead!

She has been abroad for two weeks getting used to Buenos Aires and her roommate. This past weekend she took a 12 hour bus ride to a lovely place called Mendoza.  Although she speaks Spanish pretty well, she had a bit of trouble when there was an issue with her travel arrangements and she ended up separated from her travel companions.  But for the kindness of strangers, first in the form of an elderly woman who asked if she was okay. And later a guy who spoke English fluently and gave her some advice on where to avoid and what to see while in Mendoza. They both told her that she should be entitled to get some of her bus money back because of the mistake and helped her at the station with filing a claim.

Eventually she met back up with her travel mates.  They enjoyed touring some vineyards, and hiking in the Andes Mountains.  The scenery is beautiful there and there’s beauty in the people as well.

Having your offspring so far away is off-putting to say the least.  With a language barrier,unfamiliar countryside and some botched plans, this could have been a recipe for disaster. But knowing that there are good, caring people all across this big world of ours, is encouraging. A bit of my confidence in mankind has been restored.

 Mendoza, Argentina

Boy, don’t you wish you were here?  Unless you are of course!

Cheers!  JustLorelei67

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What’s In Your Bag/Wallet?

One could only imagine what sorts of things I have stowed away in this purse. The bag itself, a Christmas gift from my brother.  The two animal decorations? The raccoon is a hand sanitizer holder, the panda, a lip gloss holder!  Shout out to Bath and Bodyworks for these cute accessories!

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And now for the goods……

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In no particular order –

  • Four pens, three black and one breast cancer awareness pink. I can’t use them all at once but let’s hope one of them will work when the time comes.
  • Okay this may be more than excessive but one lip pencil, three lipsticks and two lip glosses. Well, “on a bad day there is always lipstick”. Three chap sticks and one homemade pot of lip balm are also included. One might think I should carry a small side pack just to house the lip items! (shaking my head)
  • I have one eyeliner and one cover stick as well, I guess I know how my eyes and face measure up against my lip care.
  • One mirrored compact, so I can see to put all that lip stick on, you don’t want a mistake, when it comes to lipstick application!
  • Two pocket size hand creams. A hair pick.
  • There are two packs of gum one Dentyne Ice peppermint and one Extra bubble gum, both sugarless. And one pack of Listerine breath strips for the days when gum won’t cut it.
  • In the drug and medical area I have one large bottle of Advil for really big headache days, one Zyrtec for allergy days, one bottle of eye drops for the “I was up too late writing my blog” days, one tube of neosporin for the “oh drat, I just cut myself” days and one tamoxifen tablet for the “oh drat, I am at work and forgot to take my cancer therapy drug before I left!
  • My billfold, sunglasses, reading glasses and car keys.  I can’t think of anything that interesting here except I have a rhinestone lanyard for my keys in hopes of not misplacing them.  However, I had lost them the other morning and they were actually in the ignition yes, all night.  This is really helpful if you intend to have your car stolen by the local night prowler.  Not so great when you are running late and are crazed trying to find your keys!
  • The papers I have are a hotel receipt from a few weeks back when my oldest daughter headed off to Argentina to study abroad.  I also have a metro ticket stub from the bus/train ride we took to the airport.  And a restaurant receipt from TGIF’s from the dinner we had the night before she flew out.
  • That pretzel card thing is some kind of app you can get from The Pretzelmaker,  a chain of mall stores that well, make pretzels.  I don’t know why I would need the app.  And now as I am remembering they shorted us one pretzel when we were there last time.
  • And finally, I have a thank you note scribbled on some torn notebook paper from one of the students I work with that reads as written:

Thank you so much your the nicest person that I’ve ever met hope u have a wonderful Christmas. Your always there for me your just about the only one I always listen to and trust of course.

Thank you so much

A sweet note to reread on crazy days at school.

I have since moved the thoughtful note to my keepsake journal, along with the metro stub.  I should downsize that lip stick assortment but for now put everything neatly back in the bag.

A very good way to clean out my bag and discover some finds too.  It was my ninth blog post theme.  I wonder what is in your bag or wallet? Care to share?

Cheers,

JustLorelei67

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