Monday, November 30, 2015


Day 91.  Today is the last day of month three "Make it a Home."  Here is the round up:

I was very good at:
  • Getting rid of things that don't work - I got rid of a bookshelf, TV stand, hanging things, printer, and much more.
  • Use up what I have - I took my printer table and used it for a TV table.
  • Buy needful things - I bought magazine holders to hold my client work.  I got a Food Saver. 
  • Get rid of awful things - I got rid of the awful TV stand that was monstrous. 
  • Hang pictures that make me smile - I have been framing art like crazy.  I want pictures on the walls.  No more empty walls!
  • Make it my home - I am little by little making it my home.  People are commenting on it.
  • Let it go!  I am letting things go.  Get stuff out.
 I was not as successful at making my sanctuary.  I am still working on this.  It takes time.

But today I did very little.  I am sick.  It came on very fast.  Yesterday I was coughing a little bit and my nose has been running since August.  Then last night I didn't feel that great.  Over the weekend I would get hot and chilled but it is cold here.  Then today I woke up and felt awful.  Coughing and runny nose and chills.  I called the doc and got a Z-pack.  Don't want it to be bronchitis by Wednesday. 

Going to sleep.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 29, 2015


Day 90.  Today is my parents last day.  We went to another museum to see a watch display.  It was interesting.  Once again my parents were really interested in it.  After the museum, we went to find food.

We came back to the house and my step-father looked at my outside light and decided it could not be fixed.

We hung out a bit and then I took them back to the hotel.  They are coming back on Friday.  It was a good visit.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Day 89.  Today my parents and I went to a very interesting museum.  My step-father really enjoyed it.  It was a very mechanical museum.  Then we got food and came back to my place for lunch.  After lunch my step-father fixed a few things around the house:
  • my ceiling fan had stopped being both a light and a fan
  • my lock was sticking
  • the light in the kitchen was not turning all the way on
  • the window in the kitchen needed to be closed.
It was great to get these things fixed.   He is pretty handy.  Then we got take out food.  It was a good day.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 27, 2015


Day 88.  My parents arrived!  We decided we were going to meet at their hotel.  It just happened to be right in the middle of the shopping area.  And the tree lighting area.  We tried to find a restaurant and that turned out to be a disaster.  One place we went had a 1.5 hour wait at least. We bailed on that place and went to another place.  They were busy but we got there right before the rush.  It was a very old restaurant with some interesting items on the walls.

We went to see a sugar castle.  It was amazing.  The work that went into it. It is all made out of sugar! There are things I do not have the patience for.  I read that they have been working on this castle for four months.  Wow!

The Christmas season has begun!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Day 87.  Happy Thanksgiving!

My friends arrived around 2pm.  I had already spoken to 1/2 of my family.  They were gathered at my brother's house.

I was still cooking.  I was running behind.  We all gathered in the kitchen while I prepped and put stuff in the oven.  Dinner was nice.  Everyone got their fill of food.  After dinner we went for a walk.  We found a hula hoop.  We had a blast trying to hula.  Or is it hoop?  Anyway, it was the funniest thing to hula in the freezing cold.  After getting hot beverages, we walked back.

It turned out to be a great day with great friends.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Day 86.  The day before Thanksgiving.  Today is the day of preparation.  Yesterday I had no plans for Thanksgiving.  I was going to relax before my parents came to visit.  Maybe get some work done.  Maybe clean the house.

Then my friend J texted me to see what I was doing.  I said maybe going to a restaurant, maybe volunteering.  He said fine sign me up.  I spent about an hour trying to find a vegan restaurant that was open and had space.  No luck.  I was just about to give up and my friend C called and I asked her what she was doing.  She said nothing.  I said why don't you both come over.  One thing, you have to bring your own food.  I can't cook because my parents are coming.  They both said fine.  C started trying to find one of those "whole turkey dinner in a box" type things from the supermarket.  Unfortunately they were all sold out.  They finally settled on a platter of turkey and mashed potatoes.  I said I would make stuffing, broccoli and roasted root veggies.  I bought a vegan pecan pie.  Dinner was made.  Some call it Orphan Thanksgiving.  Others call it Friendsgiving. 

Then I got a phone call from another friend T asking me if I had plans for Thanksgiving.  I was so grateful that he would think of me and invite me for the day.  It was so sweet of him.

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Day 85.  I am very behind in my posts.  Time to catch up.  I am spending a lot of time getting my home in order.  My parents are coming to visit and I want the house to look nice.

I don't think I posted a picture of the pond when it was emptied.  There is a bit of water in it now because it rained a bit since I emptied it.  As you can see it is a big hole in the ground.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, November 23, 2015


Day 84.  It is cold.  Okay, not like Wyoming cold but cold for the West Coast.  So cold I got out my hat and gloves.  I have come to realize that I don't have a middle of the road coat.  I have a ski jacket and winter wool coat.  I have a fancy leather coat.  I have a 60 degree weather jacket and a rain jacket but I don't have a coat for the middle of the road.  That mid-range 40-60 degree weather when a wool coat or ski jacket is too heavy.  I think I need to go shopping to buy a coat.  The weight of my leather coat but something I can wear every day to work or run errands or walk the dogs.

I don't think this cold, wet weather is going away any time soon.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Day 83.  Today was an interesting day.  I got a frame for the art I am framing.  I moved some pictures around.  I am getting ready for my relatives visiting in a few days.  I did some food shopping, laundry, etc.  Weekend work.

Then I ate some lunch and promptly fell asleep.  I was watching the Lego movie.  Every time I watch the Lego movie I fall asleep.  It is like Ambien for me.  Last time I was on the plane to Vegas and I was 8 minutes in and I dozed off.

I finally got some invoicing done.  I had promised myself I would do some invoicing this weekend.  My clients are starting to be concerned.  I have to get up to date.  This task sucks but I have to do it.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Day 82.  I have a friend!  R came over for the whole afternoon.  We hung out and had lunch/dinner.  We talked and then we watched a movie.  We had a technical glitch when I could not get the Roku working but we finally settled on watching an HBO movie from the 70's.  Pink Panther Strikes Again with Peter Sellers.  I forgot how funny those movies were.  It was fun to watch an old movie.

I spent the morning moving my TVs around.  I had my bigger TV (of course compared to the TVs other people have it is small) in my back room which is now my office.  I thought I would enjoy watching TV back there.  I realized that I didn't enjoy watching TV in that room and in the chair I have in that room.  So I wanted to move the big TV into the living room and put the smaller TV in the back office.

TV in the Living Room
TV in the back office on a new stand
I managed to lift the big TV on to that shelf by myself.  It was not easy!  I am really happy with the switch.  My friend enjoyed watching the movie on the larger TV.  Now we can sit on the couch and get comfortable.  Now I need a coffee table!!

Here is the photo of the empty pond.  It rained a bit so there is a little bit of water in the bottom.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 20, 2015


Day 81.  It is day eighty-one of the Happiness Project.  I am thinking of more changes in the house.  I am going to move my big TV into the living room.  I want to spend more time in the living room.  Make some fires in the fireplace before it gets outlawed.  Play some Wii.

Make my office more of an office.  I will put the littler TV in there.

I also decided to put the picture I got for my birthday in my bedroom instead of my office.  I think it will look better there.

Today I bought a Food Saver.  I have wanted to get a food saver for a long time.  Today Amazon had it on super sale.  I could not resist.  I am excited. 

I cleaned out my freezer and got rid of old and bad things.  It was a whole shelf of stuff.  It was freeing to get rid of that stuff.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Day 80.  Tonight a GIANT raccoon made a hole in our lattice fence.  I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what happened.  Raccoons don't usually make holes in fences unless they are trying to get to something.  This lattice fence covers a wire fence that is covered by ivy.  The only thing on the other side of the fence is a giant tree.  I have a theory.  Lucky, the little dog, was upstairs barking like someone was trying to break in.  So I think the raccoon was upstairs on the deck and it was trying to get down and it fell.  When it fell it landed on the fence.  The lattice broke it's fall.  It is old lattice and it would have cracked if a 20 pound animal landed on it from the second floor.  I looked out the window just as the raccoon was running away.  It was massive.  Probably the same size as Happi, the big dog, but with short legs.  Happi weighs 27 pounds.  Once I put the light on it scurried away.

But maybe not.  Maybe it just wanted to tear my fence apart.  Although I can't figure out why.  Maybe the fence was so old it crumbled when that obese raccoon try to climb it.  I don't know.  All I know is that I could not let the dogs out back all night.

I can't wait until it rains and the animals get some water and food and go back to where they came from.  This wilderness thing in my backyard is getting annoying.

Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Day 79. Today I started making my holiday treats.  I am making Chocolate covered Bourbon infused Apricots.  Plus I am making Apricot infused Bourbon.  It takes 3 weeks to make this.

I put bourbon and Reisling and sugar in Mason jars.  I mixed it up.  Then I put the apricots in the jars.  Every day I shake the jars.  In three weeks I am going to strain the liquid.  I put the liquid into jars.  That is the apricot infused bourbon.  I will dry the apricots.  Then I will melt some chocolate and dip the apricots in the chocolate.  A perfect treat!  Chocolate bourbon infused apricots.  Don't they sound awesome!

Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Day 78.  I took out my little camera and plugged it in to download pictures I took.  The pictures were gone.  this is the second time this happened.  Last time I dropped the camera and all the pictures disappeared.  But here is the strange part.  My Vegas pictures were gone but the pictures from when I dropped the camera were there.  Isn't that weird?  All 92 photos were there.  My Vegas photos are no where to be found.  I wonder if they will show up later on? 

Either there is something wrong with the camera or the SD card.  I think I will put in a new SD card and see what happens.

Luckily I took 50% of my photos between my phone and really good camera.  So I still have photos.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, November 16, 2015


Day 77.  Today is the day I go home.  Can't say I am upset.  This was a fun trip but I was happy to go home.

I had my last morning of vegan french toast.  I just love that french toast.  Yum!  Then I walked back from the Encore to Paris (another 1.5 miles) and met up with my family.  We did a family photo so we could save this moment for posterity.

Then I went shopping with one of my brothers and his wife.  I needed to buy my niece a birthday present.  I got her a very trendy present.  I would never have know to get her this if I had been shopping on my own.

Then it was time to go.  My flight was a little bumpy with all the wind.

My pups were so happy to see me.  Puppy kisses all around.

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Day 76. Today was the day of the Rock-n-Roll Marathon.  No I am not running.  Turns out I didn't even watch.  But more about that later.

We went to the Wynn for breakfast and I had a vegan Huevos Rancheros.  Instead of eggs they use tofu.  It was really good.  I was starving after dancing for three hours the night before.  By the time we were done, they had started to close off the Strip.  They only close the Strip two times a year: New Year's Eve and for this Marathon.  We ended up having to walk from the Wynn to Paris.  About 1.5 miles.  We stopped to window shop and check out the Venician.  I bought a t-shirt. 

We got back and had a sorbet and it was the best sorbet I had in a long time.  Freshly made.  Then we rested.  We had been given two tickets to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower but the wind kicked up and they closed it. 

Do you see a trend here?  Closed attractions, missed opportunities, missed getting reservations, we were convinced that was the theme for the weekend!  Almost everything we wanted to do we could not do. We became giddy about it.  It made the weekend funny.

Then we started to get a funky odor in our room.  We had an odor over the weekend but now it was horrible!  It smelled like raw sewage.  I called and they said they would move our room.  Ugh!  We had 15 min to pack up all our stuff.  They sent someone to move us.  We were supposed to be watching my sister-in-law finish the marathon but now we had to throw our stuff in a suitcase and move up seven floors. 

We got a great room with an incredible view.  Our first room had a view of the neighboring hotels and the air conditioning unit.  Now we had a view of the pool, Paris bubble, Eiffel Tower, Bellagio fountains, the Strip.  Gorgeous!   We even slept with the curtains open to see the lights.

We went to dinner where I had one of the best dinners of the trip.  A vegetable tagine.  I wanted to pick up the tagine pot and lick the bowl.  I didn't. 

Then we went to our room to relax while we waited to go out again. The weather turned ugly; windy and sandy and cold.   We were going clubbing again.  My friend fell asleep.  I didn't want to go out alone.  I watched a movie for a while and then went to sleep.  So much for an exciting night! 

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Day 75.  I ate vegan French Toast!  It tasted fantastic!

Yesterday was the French terrorist attack.  It was quite devastating.  The Vegas Eiffel Tower went dark in solidarity.  It happened while we were at dinner staring at the Eiffel tower.

We took a cab out to the Vegas Sign Graveyard but found out there were tickets and times you need to reserve.  It was an hour long tour.  We had somewhere to be so we could not stay.

Then we went to the Mandalay Bay Casino to see the Shark Tank and the line was crazy long.  Another $20 to see the sharks.  We decided to skip that too.  We had to meet the family for pizza (vegan for me) and family time.

Late on Saturday night we went to a club.  It was really cool.  The dance floor was on the roof under the Eiffel Tower.  We had a ton of fun.  I danced until the wee hours.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 13, 2015


Day 74. Today I flew to Las Vegas!  My siblings and I met up in Vegas to watch my sister-in-law run the Rock-n-Roll Marathon.  So far it has been a bit of a challenge to find vegan food.  I thought it would be much easier but I made a bit of an error by staying at the Paris Casino.  French food is nothing but cream and butter.  I found one vegan meal in all the restaurants in the casino.  I will have to get food elsewhere.

Tonight we went to see Zakara, a Cirque du Soleil.  It was good.  It is funny to see the performance on a little stage and not the touring production under the big top.  It is very different and smaller.

It was a long day since mine started at 4 am.  Night!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Day 73.  Just one more day until my trip!  I am nervous and excited all in one.  

I picked up my last picture from the frame shop.  Then I dropped off four more.  I finally found my deceased friend’s art and am having it framed.  I also decided to frame a favorite coat.  It is a Peter Max coat.  It is mass produced but I really like it.  Over the years I refused to get rid of it but I don’t wear it anymore.  I took it in and they said they could frame it in a box frame.  I am super excited.  It sounds like a great way to show a keepsake.  I will soon have more art donning my walls.

Until tomorrow…

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Day 72. Big day today!  We cleaned out the pond.  We took all the water, plants, muck out of the pond.  It took 3 hours but there is nothing left.  It is a big hole in the ground.  I decided that until the drought is over, it was better to empty it.  The raccoons and other wildlife were not going to stop trying to hunt for food so it would be futile to fill the pond back up and restock it with fish.  I would be back to ground zero in a few months.  For now the pond stays empty.  The neighbors will appreciate that the smell has gone away.  Pond muck smells like rotten eggs.  Not that I know what rotten eggs smell like but it is what I assume rotten eggs smell like.

I also had dinner with a new friend, R.  I was happy to hear from her because we seem to get along so well.  Unfortunately she is moving away in a few weeks but she swears she will stay in touch.

Until tomorrow…

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Day 71.  I am excited for my impending trip to Las Vegas.  I am meeting my brothers and their spouses in Vegas for the weekend.  My friend A is coming with me too.  It is great to be seeing my siblings for the first time in a very long time.  I have to get everything organized; dogs, bird, fish, house.  Everything takes time.  Sometimes this doesn’t seem to increase my happiness for the moment but in the long run I know it will.

Until tomorrow…

Monday, November 9, 2015


Day 70.  The Happiness Project has been something that has changed my perspective on my life.  I have worked really hard to change my surroundings to make my home a happier place.  A place that I want to be and others want to visit.  New pictures on the walls, a functioning guest room, a new office with big windows, and cleaned up backyard.  I have found it is true that you can change your level of happiness by changing your surroundings.  

Until tomorrow...

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Day 69.  Today I didn't do much around the house.  I went to help a friend for much of the day.

Then I made soup.  It is really good end of the summer soup.  It has asparagus, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, carrots, onion, corn, beans, and basil.  It was really good.

I stopped by the pet store and bought gravel and a plastic plant for the bottom of the aquarium.  I think the fish are happier now.  The seemed calmer as soon as I fed them.

The day just went by so fast.  I like watching the fish swim around.  I can hear the water in the aquarium from my bedroom.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Day 68.  Today was a day of errands for the house.  I bought sheets and mattress cover for the guest room.  Why are sheets so expensive?  Just asking.  The room looks great with the bed made and comforter is on the bed.  It really ties the room together. 

I returned the shoes that I bought for Halloween that were so high that I could not walk in them.  I don't know what I was thinking!  Four inch high heels.  Those days are long over!

I went to the pet store and decided that dragging the goldfish from the pond in and out each day was becoming a drag.  The raccoons were not going away.  The best thing was to buy a cheap aquarium and put the fish inside.  So I did.  I got a 5.5 gallon aquarium and now the fish are inside.  They are a bit freaked out but I am sure they will calm down.  It is a pretty nice set up.

I also bought a Star Wars shirt.  It is sparkly and says May The Force Be With You.  I am excited because I am going to the Star Wars movie on Opening Night.  Yeah!  I am going to wear my shirt.  I am also going to bring it to see my brother.

I then bought my favorite movie: Inside Out.  I want to be able to watch Joy whenever I want.

Happy 91st Birthday Mrs. H.

Until tomorrow...