Resolutions, 2018

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I was looking back at my posts from December, 2016, and January, 2017 to refresh my memory on what my New Year’s resolutions were. It looks like I didn’t make any.

I guess I figured that living in Costa Rica, I just had to embrace the “Pura Vida” (“Good Life”). And did I, boy, did I ever.

Now, back here in Minnesota, the temperature has been hovering around 0F (-18C) for about a week. The extended forecast shows the same temps, plus snow, for the next 5 days, at least.

Back to the Scandinavian Lutheran work ethic. Pura Vida does not apply. Resolutions required.

Resolution 1: Grow my hair out.



Resolution 1: Grow my hair out. Nah, too easy. Not enough suffering.

Resolution 1: Learn to use my Canon camera.

Camera, Canon Rebel DSLR


A little embarrassing, as this was on my resolution list in 2015 and I didn’t do a thing about it. I’m taking a really big trip in the fall of 2018, so I really, really, really want to be able to take some nice pix.

If I fail at this resolution again, I should sell the camera and all its accoutrements.

Resolution 2: Start an on-line Tarot business.



I read Tarot for friends and family for free, and have read professionally in the past. I hope I can develop a professional platform, so I can create an income stream. My remaining in the USA depends on supplementing my savings with some sort of income.

True, a Scandinavian Lutheran voice in my head is telling me to get a j-o-b (can’t say the word out loud, or it might happen!), but since my background is really German Catholic, I’m going to ignore it.

Resolution 3: Create beauty every day.



I am an artist. I am an artist. I am an artist! (My #1 daily affirmation.)

I’m not going to make any resolutions about my health. It’s a one-day at-a-time, wrestle-with-the-dragon kind of thing. Resolutions are not powerful enough to deal with this monster.

Do you have any ideas about eating/exercise commitments that are stronger than resolutions? Gastric bypass surgery? Weight-loss camp? Gulag? Hard labor? Do share.

Stay tuned…





Mistress Herbalist, or 278

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I know finishing my herbalist certification was not on my list of goals this year, but the school I’ve been doing my study-from-home-at-your-own-pace course just offered an in-person add-on. That is, the Master Herbalist will teach the course 2 nights a week, and I’ll be done in 6 months.

I asked the tarot cards (woo-woo alert) what to do and they said SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS!!! So I did.

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough students to hold the class, so it was canceled. I decided that I must get back into the home study and do it on my own. I studied and e-mailed in homework 2 nights last week. After 5 years, that brings me up to lesson #12 (out of around 60).

That means I averaged 2 lessons per year, before last week. Do you think I can finish the rest of the course in 6 months to become a Mistress Herbalist?

After I finished my homework, I worked on the art studio. I picked the stack closest to the door and (almost) cleared it.

I threw away 1 box of stuff, took one box to the Goodwill, and filled a bag with recycling. That brings my bag count to 278.

studio stack

I even vacuumed the newly exposed patch of carpet.

Stay tuned…

p.s. My bag count being 278 means that I’ve removed 278 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture from my house since January, 2014.

Brainstorm- How Can I Make Some Extra Money?

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No.3 Bro is a salesman extraordinaire. He’s been to all these sales technique and marketing seminars where he learned how to brainstorm, among other things. Then he taught it to his family. Brainstorming is just throwing out every idea you can think of to solve a problem. No judgment is allowed.

For example, Mom had lost her car and trailer home in her second divorce. She wanted to brainstorm ideas on how to get another car. She came up with:

  1. Buy a car.
  2. Rent a car.
  3. Build a car.
  4. Steal a car.

Well, it just so happened that No.1 Sis was buying a brand new car, so instead of trading in her old car, she gave it to Mom. That wasn’t on Mom’s list, but the brainstorming was still the impetus for getting a car. It worked!

I need to brainstorm about earning some extra money. I earned over $100 extra in November selling my hand made jewelry. I “earned” over $100 extra in December by cashing out my change jar.


Here are the brainstorming ideas to earn over $100 extra in January.

  1. Work extra hours at my job.
  2. Get a second job.
  3. Sell jewelry on Etsy.
  4. Sell stuff on E-Bay instead of donating it.
  5. Sell lamp and dining room light fixture on Craig’s List.
  6. Do tarot readings on-line or at a psychic fair.
  7. Win big in Las Vegas.
  8. Don’t gamble while in Vegas, and save the money currently set aside for that.
  9. Find over $100.
  10. Steal over $100.
  11. Print over $100.

NOW, comes the critique of each idea, which should help me narrow it down to a plan of action.

  1. Overtime hours have to be at the request of management, and they have not currently made that request.
  2. I’ve found some on-line work, but so far it seems to pay about $1 per hour, or seems to be a scam where I actually lose money.
  3. It could take a while to get customers on Etsy.
  4. I don’t have $100 worth of stuff to sell on E-Bay, but it’s a possibility for earning a lesser amount.
  5. This is a strong possibility. I paid around $400 for the dining room light fixture and $250 for the lamp. If I could recoup even one-fourth of that, I’d still make over $100.
  6. I’d have to set up the on-line readings and try to build a following. That’s more of a long-term project. I’d have to find one or more psychic fairs, but that’s a strong possibility. I should make a new sign, though.
  7. Win big in Vegas? That’s always my goal, but it’s out of my hands and in the hands of the Fates.
  8. Saving money by not gambling in Vegas doesn’t actually “earn” me any money, but even though I’ve already resolved to cut my usual gambling budget by half, I’d come out further ahead by budgeting $0.
  9. 10. 11. I just threw those in as an homage to Mom.

So it sounds like Craig’s List is the best idea. Meanwhile, I’ll research some psychic fairs and make a new sign.

I’ll also remain very, VERY open to the Universe letting me win big in Las Vegas.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to Cozy Little House, and Chic on a Shoestring.


226, Part 2

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Thursday was the big holiday potluck at “The Company” so, of course, I spent all of Wednesday evening slaving over a hot stove. Actually, even though my cooking has been improving, I wimped out. I brought napkins to the potluck. I really need to have have more confidence in myself! Next year I’m going to bring a souffle, or an etouffe, or paper cups.

I ate WAY too much sugar at the potluck, and I’m having difficulty stopping. I have at least two more parties to attend before Christmas is over. They’re both at No.2 Sis’s house, which is where I weigh myself. Maybe if I weigh myself before starting on the food, it will help me stay in control.

Why don’t I have a scale at my house, you may wonder? Because I get crazy weird obsessive and weigh myself every few minutes if I have an easily accessible scale. Paints an optimistic picture of my self-control, doesn’t it? I’m doomed.

Today, Friday, I had a manicure and pedicure appointment. I bought the mani/pedi from Groupon, because it was half price. But it was in Wisconsin! In a different state! I thought I could drive it a little (lot) for such a good deal. Penny wise, pound foolish. Including travel time, it took two and a half hours.  But my digits are ravishing in Raspberry Ripple. Note to self: Don’t buy out of state services (fool).

I should be either decluttering or starting my weekend maintenance cleaning, but I’m a little wiped out. I haven’t done this in a long time, but I’m going to draw Tarot cards to see where to focus.

WOO-WOO ALERT (Tarot reading ahead):

Should I do maintenance on the Queen bed and bath? Prince of pentacles. Slow and steady work pays off.

Should I do maintenance on the living room (which I ignored last weekend)? Sun. Brilliant success!

Should I do maintenance on the kitchen? Prince of wands. Oooh, passion and creativity. Maybe I WILL try an etouffe!

Should I start decluttering the dining room? Chariot. Bold advances will be made!

Should I continue decluttering the Studio? Priest. Inspiration.

So the answer is…..get off your full and generous bottom, and do SOMETHING! They all turn out well, but the Sun was the highest card pulled, so it’s time to do the weekend maintenance on the living room.


I got the living room cleaned, but I didn’t time it. I also sprinkled a few Xmas decorations around. I haven’t done that in years! It was a brilliant success!

Blue and silver mantel.

Blue and silver mantel.

crocheted ornaments

Crocheted by Step-Mom

ceramic Santa Claus

Santas made by No.2 Sis

Christmas ornaments

Bowl of bling

Stay tuned…

p.s. I linked this to Cozy Little House.




90, Part 2

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This morning I poured myself a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast, and as I was putting the milk away, I saw a carton of cottage cheese. Yum, I’ll have THAT for breakfast. Yes, in the split second between pouring the milk and putting it back in the refrigerator, I’d forgotten that I’d made a bowl of Cheerios. So now I have to scoop salt-and-peppered cottage cheese back into the carton. I’d will my brain to the Veterans Association, but after doing a couple of brain studies there, I doubt that they’d want it. They know too much.

VA studying my brain.

VA studying my brain.

Once my brain starts working, I have to start decluttering in the “Public” areas of my little cottage-to-be. I’m having guests over in a couple of weeks for a Stampin’ Up party, so the dining room, kitchen and living room need attention. Usually when I have a party, I just bag and box all the junk from the public areas and shove it into the private areas, hence the densely packed Queen bedroom and closet. Now that the Queen bedroom is fully decluttered and the Queen closet is almost there, I refuse to hide junk to prepare for a party. I’m going to actually clean things up, decluttering as I go.

To cut through that overwhelmed, where-do-I-start feeling, I’ll pull a few cards.

WOO-WOO ALERT (tarot reading coming up):

Do I start in the dining room? Nine of cups. Contentment. A feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Nice.

Do I start in the kitchen? Justice. Justice is a major arcana card indicating that actions can lift karmic veils and bring balance and order to my life. Major arcana cards are big ju-ju (technical term) and are disregarded at one’s own peril.

Do I start in the living room? Seven of swords. Uncertainty, confusion. So, not a good place to start.

Kitchen it is. I started (and ended) in the kitchen when I last attempted to declutter the house, about a year ago, so the cabinets are in pretty good shape. They’ll be quick to go through again. I don’t think they’ll yield a lot of stuff for donating, but that’s okay.

I need to start on the ledge between the kitchen and living room anyway. The ledge has a tendency to collect things I don’t want to lose in the clutter. I need to find logical homes for those items, so when I need them, they’ll be retrievable.

The ledge, before.

The ledge, before.

The ledge, after.

The ledge, after.

It’d be more impressive if I’d cleared the counters behind the ledge, too, but the ledge is cleaned off. As predicted, no donations, just a bunch of stuff to put away. That still leaves me at 90 bags.

Stay tuned…





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“You’re not funny”, my BFF “B” told me. We had just gotten our checks after a dinner out, and I noticed I’d been charged with both our beverages. I waved the waitress over and told her, “I bought this woman a drink but she won’t put out. Can you move the drink to her check?” “B” was annoyed and the waitress was confused. I guess sometimes it just has to be enough that I amuse myself.

I couldn’t decide which area to declutter tonight, so I did what I usually do when I need to make a decision. I pulled tarot cards.

WOO-WOO ALERT: Tarot reading coming up.

Card for continuing working on the Queen closet: Death. That’s actually a great card. It means the death of one way of life and the birth of a new one. That’s exactly what I’m trying to create, a new way of life, so I could have stopped pulling cards here. Of course, I didn’t.

Card to start the Queen bath: Ace of Wands, reversed. Can’t make a decision and move ahead. Well, I knew that. Aces are new energy though, so a reversed ace can mean loss of energy. I don’t want that.

Card to start the dining room: 7 of Cups. Too many choices. Getting spread too thin on too many projects, so I don’t see progress, so I quit. That sounds like one of my top self-sabotage techniques.

Card to continue working on the studio: 10 of Pentacles, reversed. Waste of available resources, lack.

Wow, it’s like they all mean the same thing (except death). Quit wasting time and energy doing lots of little things all over. Stay focused on one area until it’s done. Don’t change horses in the middle of the stream! It’s back in the closet for me.

1 bag. It’s not much, but it’s progress.

Stay tuned…





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I wanted to tackle a little project in the art studio, so I decided to go through these three shelves. I picked them because they’re the only ones I can reach.  I was able to pack up 2 boxes of books to donate. There were some craft books on making jewelry with seed beads (too tedious), calligraphy (my BFF “T” is an excellent calligrapher if I ever need some lettering done) and some new age psychic yahoo books that are so low on my reading list that they’ve been wasting shelf space for years. The other books I got rid of were organizing books. They haven’t helped yet, in fact I find their presence damn annoying, so it’s time for them to go.





I kept most of my drawing and painting books, most of my jewelry making books, and a few tarot books. Not bad for about 15 minutes of work.

Stay tuned…

Work v. Play

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Aren’t I supposed to be feeling light and care-free with all this decluttering? Why am I so cranky? I used my entire year’s allotments of f-bombs at work today (under my breath,of course) and it’s still January. Here’s a philosophical question for you: If an f-bomb falls at work, but nobody hears it….oh, never mind.

Maybe I’m cranky because I didn’t eat much at all today so I have low blood sugar. Or maybe I’m cranky because I looked up Clutterer’s Anonymous. Why does the “Are you an alcoholic?” quiz have 12 questions and the “Are you a clutterer?” quiz have 25? Do we just have to have more of everything???

WOO-WOO ALERT (Tarot reading coming up):

Present situation: 10 of pentacles (wealth)

Whatever we sow, we shall reap 10 times over. There is abundance of all kinds in my life, but because I constantly doubt it, I fill my house up with material things that I don’t really  need or value.

Challenge: 9 of wands (preparation)

I have a very hard time laying a foundation and preparing ahead of time. I tend to jump into things half cocked. For example, I needed to change a light bulb but didn’t want to go to the garage and pull out the ladder. I had a rickety chair and a rickety footstool near the light fixture and I figured 2 rickety pieces of furniture equals one solid piece, right? So I put one foot on each wobbly piece, they each moved away from each other, and I did the splits and fell. I did not see that coming.

Path: prince of cups (creativity)

I need to take a young lover. No, no, no, that’s not what it means. I have been so sick of doing the decluttering in the bedroom, and I’ve been wanting to do some artwork for above the dresser, but I’ve been denying myself the pleasure until the work is all done. Maybe I need to indulge in some artwork, or should I say artplay? Then I can go back to the work part of this home make-over.

Outcome: The Star

Ah, sweet. The conscious self coming to know the sub-conscious self. Learning the truth about myself and my destiny. What a relief to see this card. It’s more than okay to play and express myself through my artplay, it’s an absolute necessity. Have fun girl, let your light shine!!!

Okay, I might have gotten a little carried away there.

Stay tuned…