5 Energy Boosters To Do At Work

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As I’ve been working overtime at “The Company” the last few weeks, I’ve found myself more and more drained. Not just physically, but mentally and psychically, too.

I went on-line to try to find tips on how to get some little energy boosts in my cell cubicle country club.

Most of the tips I came across used yoga poses to generate a little energy.

yoga pose for energy


























Ha! Can you see me doing this at work? I’d fall over and hit my head on my computer desk.

Wait a minute, concussion=time off work. Nah, I’ve heard that head injuries can contribute to dementia later in life. I already have my tent pitched on the outskirts of Alzheimersville.

The energy tips I’ve found most useful?

SIT UP STRAIGHT. Slouching or craning your neck to get a better view of your computer can cause fatigue and soreness in your back, neck and shoulders. Plus (woo-woo alert) keeping your spine straight allows your chi (energy) to flow unimpeded, while slouching goobers (technical term) your chi all to hell.

STAND UP AND STRETCH. Just don’t try the pose above, for goddess’ sake. The benefit of stretching is increased blood flow (and increased chi flow).

DRINK A LOT OF WATER. This keeps your brain hydrated. Not to mention giving you an excuse to get up often to go to the bathroom.

STEP OUTSIDE AND TAKE A FEW DEEP BREATHS. Don’t do this if it’s below freezing (Minnesota from October through April). Also, don’t do this next to the back door where all the smokers hang out.

HAVE A COMBINED PROTEIN CARBOHYDRATE/PROTEIN SNACK. A combined carb/protein snack, such as apple and cheese, or celery and peanut butter, will give you a long lasting energy boost. A chocolate doughnut will give you a short energy boost followed by a big crash. Unfortunately, I’ve been going for the chocolate doughnuts. Do as I say, not as I do.

chocolate doughnut



























A woo-woo bonus tip (this should not be done at work).

ENERGY RETRIEVAL from Sarah Petruno Shamanism. This really works to reclaim a lot of the energy you spend at work and in your relationships. Go to Sarah’s blog here for instructions for this simple ritual.

Stay tuned…

Domesticity, or 304


As we got older, most of my siblings and I moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul to start our careers. That left No.1 Sis and her 3 kids in our hometown to look after Mom.

Sis would visit Mom in her palatial manse trailer, and sometimes Mom would cook for Sis and her family. My nephew would help set the table and his keen, young eyes would sometimes spot bits of caked-on food debris on the dishes. Mom didn’t have a dishwasher, and the lighting in the palatial manse trailer was none too bright.

When Sis pressed her son to help wash dishes at their home he complained, “Aw, can’t we just wipe them and put them in the cupboard like Grandma?”

No.5 Bro, No.1 Nephew, and me in 1977

No.5 Bro, No.1 Nephew, and me, in 1977

This is why I’m so proud of myself when I do anything domestic and do it well. Why, just this week I ran a load of dishes in the dishwasher and also ran a load of laundry through the washer and dryer. Where’s my gold star?

I know, I know, this is what adults do. And I have a dishwasher, and lights. Oh, and a housekeeper. Let’s not forget the housekeeper.

With all my chores done, I decided to go back into the art studio and make some headway on the next tower of crap. I got about halfway down. That netted 2 boxes and a bag of donations.

I found some junk jewelry I’ll have to go through to decide what to keep, what to donate and what might be sold. And I found a box of funny money! You know, silver dollars, mercury dimes and wheat pennies. Sweet!

Speaking of money, I made nothing extra to apply to my bills in October. However, I did get a better than expected yearly raise, and my health insurance premiums didn’t go up. Shocking, as they have always gone up every year!

And, my homeowner’s association is lowering my HOA fees by $50 per month next year! Lowering? Amazing!

I’m so grateful for all the little windfalls. And with the added 3 boxes and bags donated this week, I’ve gotten rid of 304 bags, boxes and small pieces of furniture since January, 2014. That means every week, my house is getting bigger and bigger.

I hope the housekeeper doesn’t notice.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I originally posted this on Thursday, November 12th, but accidentally put it on a different page. Reposting today, Sunday, November 15th.

Progress, or Lack Thereof

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I needed to get into a locked document while working at The Company today. Do you think asking the IT manager or “one of his minions” to help me was unprofessional?


I’m so excited that I finally got the front, outside water spigot on this week! I found a handy-water-valve-opening-tool.

handy-water-valve-opening-tool 2

I went in from the front, instead of overhead, twisted the head of the broom under the half-opened valve handle, and pushed it the rest of the way up. Sweet success! No more linking three hoses together to run the water from the back of the house.

Rocky 2, the maple tree in front, is responding very well to the consistent watering. This is the first time since I planted (that is, paid someone to plant) him six years ago that I’ve seen real growth. The day lilies are doing well, too.

The window box, um, not a huge success. The celosia died a while back. The sweet potato vine has spread across the box, but it refuses to vine.

The petunias are still blooming, but the foliage looks very skimpy.

And the irises I planted look great, but there seems to be something foreign mixed in with them. It looks like corn. I’m going to wait and see how that pans out.

On the herbal study course, I’ve definitely made a lot of progress. I’ve turned in 11 lessons since the beginning of July, and I have 2 more that I just need to type up and send in. Unfortunately, The Master Herbalist hasn’t had time to check them and give me feedback. He’s in the process of moving his clinic to a new location.

I did take a seminar with him a couple of weeks ago, though. He called it a “Wild Plant Walk”, but I called it a “Weed Walk”. He took us to a park and pointed out various weeds native to Minnesota that have healing properties. I’ll tell you all about that later.

The worst news I have about my progress, or lack thereof, is about getting out of debt. My chiropractor, Dr. Doogie, is leaving the practice. She bought into a clinic in another suburb. So I went to Dr. Touch-Feely instead.

Dr. Touch-Feely is the owner of the chiropractic practice that I’ve been going to for years. I really like him, because he has an incredibly healing touch, and he knows his stuff! I haven’t been able to see him much because he’s semi-retired.

Now that Dr. Doogie’s leaving, Dr. Touchy-Feely has increased his hours, and I’m going to be seeing him. Twice a week. For six weeks. At $80 a pop. So, I’ll be another grand, give-or-take, in debt. Sigh. A Queen’s gotta do what a Queen’s gotta do.

Oh well, at least I won’t have to buy groceries for Thanksgiving dinner in a few months. My two sweet potatoes and three ears of corn should ready by then.

Stay tuned…




233, Part 2

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I cooked fajitas on Sunday and it still smells like a Mexican cantina today. Good thing I like the smell of Mexican cantinas. Although it does make me want a cerveza con lima.

I’ve been working 10 hour days since I returned from vacation, and my urge to declutter is dormant. I had to force myself into my art studio turned storage room. I promised myself I would go through one box. This box.

Box, before and after.

Box, before and after.

I found a 3-hole punch, 2 calculators, 3 expired credit cards, a box of outdated business cards, a crap load of CD’s and an even bigger crap load of floppy disks!

There was also a folder with my entire work and education history. I hope to never need that again, as I’d like to work at “The Company” until retirement. I’ll keep it just in case, though.

There was a large stack of used, but serviceable file folders, paper tablets, and hanging files. There was also a bunch of printer paper and another box of envelopes. I must have found a dozen boxes of envelopes during my decluttering. Did I buy a new box every time I needed to mail something?

I also found a large envelope of photos from a vacation taken in 2003. Where the vacation was taken is not immediately apparent. I should be able to figure it out with further study.

I started another donation box, and added to the garbage and recycling bins. Nothing came up to a full bag or box, so I’m still at 233, but progress is being made!

Stay tuned…





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I went to see Dr. Doogie, the chiropractor. She told me that my continuing back pain is caused by poor posture at work. No doubt, she’s right. I told her I’d stick a post-it note on my computer screen to remind me to straighten up.

I started thinking though, a post-it note isn’t really motivating enough. Maybe I can MacGyver up a laser beam at my desk. Every time I lean forward and break the beam, it would set off an alarm. Ooooh, I’ve got it! An Invisible Fence! I’ll have to wear a shock collar, but I’m sure they come in lovely fashion colors.

Meanwhile, it’s time for my weekly reading list, and I’ve read absolutely nothing all week. I’ve been glued to my television with my Amazon Fire TV running. Oh my goddess, the cool shows I never knew existed!

“Sherlock” is my newest addiction. Awesome! And I love to watch old faves before bed time, like “New Girl” and “The Big Bang Theory”.

I did manage to make time for some weekend maintenance.


Queen bathroom: 10 minutes to pick up jewelry, clothes and toiletries.

Queen bedroom: 10 minutes to pick up clothes and magazines, and make the bed.

Living room: 20 minutes to pick up Christmas gifts and wrappings, mail, clean laundry and miscellaneous accumulated junk.

Kitchen: 15 minutes to clear counters and do dishes.

I collected a bag of recycling. I also sent my BFF “G” home with the big box of draperies that has been cluttering up the hallway for quite some time. That brings my bag count to 233.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!


Choosing a Career, Part 3

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The detox diet is going well, thanks for asking.

So after dropping out of art school and washing out as a waitress, literally washing out, I had to look back at my oh so useful career testing. I’d lost faith in the interest test after it revealed I was interested in being an artist, writer, musician or Merchant Marine officer. I looked at the test that questioned me about my work environment preferences, and dismissed those results. Assistant pastry chef. Not even head pastry chef. Harumph.

Ah, the Queen of career testing, the guidance counselor’s gold standard, the aptitude test. Let’s see, I showed a strong aptitude for Mechanical Engineering…or Chemical Engineering…or Electrical Engineering….or Facilities Engineering…or Aerospace Engineering… Okay, okay, you don’t have to beat me over the head with it.

I didn’t want to go to a four year college, because I was pretty sure that meant four more years of not being able to afford food, and food was kind of my main motivation to find a career. So I went down to the local technical institute and signed up for a two year Mechanical Drafting course. Engineering Lite.

And to my surprise, I did have an aptitude for it! I was tied for the top of the class, which I was none too modest about. I got a LOT of crap from the boys. It was not fun. I mean beating them was fun, but the harassment, not so much.

I couldn’t wait to get out of school, and I took the first job offer I got. It paid $4.50 per hour and I  jumped on it. The top guy got a job for $8.00 per hour, but whatever. $4.50 sounded like enough to buy groceries.

The supervisor interviewing me warned me that I’d be working with shop guys and manufacturing guys, and well, sometimes they can be a little crude or rough. I assured him that nothing could be worse than the way the guys at school treated me. I was right. I’ve never encountered that level of hostility again.

A couple of years later, I moved back to the big city, Minneapolis, because I could afford an apartment in a nice neighborhood AND food! I’ve been here ever since, and I’ve never looked back. Okay, I often look back, but the point is, I’ve had a good career. I’ve been a Mechanical Designer for 35 years, and I have less than 10 years until retirement. Then…. I’m going back to art school.

Stay tuned…

Choosing a Career, Part 2

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Before I continue my story about choosing a career, I have to tell you that there’s a downside to clearing 17 boxes out of the garage. Pain. Intense, debilitating back pain. But I know the drill: Ibuprofen, ice, heat, repeat. Move as little and as slowly as possible. Then, in a day or two, back to normal life, but with a cleaner garage.

After I dropped out of art school, I returned to my home town and spent several months looking for the perfect job. I was mooching off No.4 Sis, with an occasional handout from Mom. My boyfriend took me to see Rocky. I was so inspired, I went back to see it two more times. With “The Eye of the Tiger” playing in my head, I applied for a waitress job and got it. The world’s second oldest profession was my new career. Farming being the oldest profession, of course.

The biggest drawback of being a full-time waitress (35 hours per week, so they didn’t have to offer benefits) was the food. As in, there’s food all around, but I can’t afford to eat. You see, we didn’t get free food just because we worked in a restaurant. We worked seven hours, got a 20 minute break, and could order a meal or a dessert at 10% off. Oh, did I say no benefits? That was it, our only benefit was 10% off a meal OR a dessert.



With tips, I made about $300 per month. My rent (I was no longer mooching off Sis) was over $200 per month. Waitressing did not afford me a luxurious lifestyle, but I didn’t expect it to. After all, that was Mom’s career after my parents’ divorce, and, well, let’s just say the trailer park was not my idea of a good neighborhood.

But I was so thin! Sure, I would sometimes black out when I stood up too fast, and I was dizzy a lot, and the blood bank rejected me because I was anemic, but I WAS SO THIN! So many compliments, so much male attention. Ah, those were the days.

I hated that job, but I hung in there for a year, until the whole area was flooded. My income source, my slightly discounted food source, had a river flowing through it, with a nasty undertow to boot.

The county set up assistance for displaced employees. I applied for unemployment, and was told it would be 50% of what I’d been making. Are you kidding? $150? I couldn’t live on that. The county worker just shrugged her shoulders. Not her problem.

Oh yeah, definitely time to look for a new career.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I was telling my nieces about this time period when I couldn’t afford to eat. I told them that’s all changed now, I can afford to eat whatever I want. I waggled my fat underarms at them and said, “That’s prosperity, baby!”. Have I mentioned that they call me “The Inappropriate Auntie”?


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Yesterday, I found myself ready to go to work early. Early! That’s rare enough that I had to ask myself a series of questions.

  • Did I brush my hair?
  • Did I brush my teeth? (Different brush.)
  • Did I put on deodorant?
  • Did I take my morning medication?
  • Did I eat breakfast?
  • Did I bring a lunch?
  • Are any of my clothes on backwards or inside out?
  • Am I wearing pants?

Nothing makes you feel closer to the Alzheimer Unit at the nursing home than forgetting to wear pants. But, I was good to go. Got to work early. Amazing.

Then, last night, I found more clothes! Every time I think I’m finished sorting through all my clothes, I find more. I was putting an afghan in the leather hamper by the leopard chair, and there was a stack of summer clothes in the bottom. I must have put them there when I was going through the fall/winter stuff. Here it is, mid-August, and I haven’t missed those summer clothes once. I added them to the Goodwill bag I had already started. Boom. They’re outta here!

Today I went to Stillwater, a lovely town on the St. Croix River, for a little touring/shopping/dining with BFF “C”, BFF “B” and No.2 Sis. I bought the cutest little birdcage.




I used to be able to walk all the way down main street and back, but now I can only make it one way before my wobbly knees give out. The girls left me on a bench with a bottle of water and the hope that somehow I’d find my way home. Then they walked back to the car. They were joking….I hoped. Indeed, they stopped to pick me up on their way out of town. Although “C” did pull forward a little bit every time I reached for the door handle.

I was so tired when I got home that I laid down for a short nap. I woke up 4 hours later. Oh dear, I hope I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Somehow, I think I will.

Stay tuned…




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We’ve had a remarkably high staff turnover this spring and summer. Are engineers migratory? Even though it’s been crazy busy at work, I needed to get some decluttering done. My weekend is totally booked, so tonight was a good time to go at it. I took this “before” picture of the garage. No.2 Sis and I put in some work on it last summer, and I got many of my first 27 boxes out of here when I started the blog in January. So it looked much worse before I took this photo tonight.

Before, sort of.

Before, sort of.

I was at least able to park Gypsy Blue in here before I turned the open space into a paint booth.

I just started pulling random boxes out and went through them. I filled 5 bags of recycling. I packed my large, recycling wheelie bin to the top! It’s embarrassing that there was that much useless paper and cardboard being saved. A lot of 10 year old magazines, clip art for collages and old journals. Dr. Ima Shrink says I should keep those journals to show how far I’ve come. I think tossing them shows how far I’ve come.

By the way, I also filled one box of donations and put it in Gypsy’s back seat for a Goodwill run. I was hoping to fill the back seat, but unless Goodwill wants my old journals….no, I couldn’t inflict those on the unsuspecting public.

Stay tuned…

P.S. While I said it’s been crazy busy at work, maybe I should’ve just said crazy. This afternoon I finished a 7 sheet drawing and then:

  • Sent it to (non-migratory) engineers for review.
  • Started a new drawing.
  • Noticed an error on just-finished drawing.
  • Fixed it. Wrong. Fixed it wrong.
  • Fixed it again.
  • Saved it.
  • Computer crashed during save.
  • Fix gone.
  • Fixed it again.
  • Computer crashed before save.
  • Fixed it again. Wrong. Fixed it wrong again.
  • Fixed it again, saving after each. And. Every. Command.
  • Computer crashed.
  • Fix was saved.
  • Relief.
  • Sent it to engineers again.
  • Went back to the new drawing I’d started.
  • It was gone. Just…gone.

Do you see why I get frustrated with my work? I know, I know. Quit complaining. Do something. Harumph!






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…