My Weight Loss Journey, Part 1

img_0518-1.jpgThis is the time of year that many people are trying to lose the weight they found the rest of the year. Thankfully, I am not on that journey this year.

I have struggled with weight most of my life, and at most times I have been 10-20 pounds overweight. My weight struggles started when I was a teenager, although at that time it was more in the 5-10 pounds overweight category. Continue reading

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Sparking Joy!


After “Sparking Joy” in my home and closet, Mike and I made a business trip to NYC. And amazingly so, the Rockefeller Christmas tree is still up!

With credit to Marie Kondo, who says if an item does not spark joy, get rid of it, I spent a day in my home and closet yesterday doing just that. After putting away Christmas for another year, I decided to cull some clothes and stuff. I must say that doing so was quite cathartic.

First, stuff. I have had dining room table pads that I do not use because they have several breaks in them. Instead of keeping them, I decided to heave-ho them to the dumpster. I also let go of some Christmas decorations that I did not again use (again) this year. Then into my closet, I went.

I went through all of my clothes, although I did not take everything out of my closet as Marie Kondo and other organizers suggest. But I did touch every item and tried on those items that I did not know if they would still fit. If an item did not feel right (spark joy!), I put it aside to donate or consign. While there were some things that could be altered to fit, I decided that enough is enough about that, and unless the item was really important to me, I let it go; regardless of how much the item cost or if I had never even worn it. (You know that you have those items in your closet also!) While I do not think that I will ever get to the level of Project 33, I made major progress. My closet is definitely lighter and so am I!


A wonderful plan!

Next, I will go through each room and do the same, especially drawers and closets. I have many flower vases that I have not used for years (or never ever used!) and realize that although I like them, it is unlikely that if I haven’t used them, that I ever will. It will be much harder for me to do the same with my massive collection of china, glassware, and other kitchen items. I am the queen of multiples, and it is impossible to ever use all of the kitchen and cooking stuff that I have, even at Thanksgiving when we have many cooks in the kitchen. You would probably be amazed at the number of kitchen hand towels that clog my drawers! While I have begun to sort and cull some of those, there is much more to do.

What is the goal of this, you might be thinking? While I am not totally sure, I do have some ideas.

It has become clear that our children do not want our stuff! While I have not consciously been saving all of these items for them, there is lots of stuff in the attic that has been residing there for more than thirty years, waiting to be given to our daughters, who clearly do not want any of it! I found some lovely letters sent to our oldest daughter, Tara, when she was in Italy on a study trip, (almost twenty years ago!) and thought that surely, she would want them, and decide what to keep. Her comment, “Mom, just throw all of that away,” almost made me physically sick! I have not thrown those away yet, but I will. Why should I hold onto her stuff when she does not want it? A more important question is why am I holding onto lots of things that I do not use or obviously want?


My afternoon treat is now Cappuccino.

We have lived in the same home since 1988. It is easy to let stuff accumulate in drawers and cabinets when one doesn’t have an easy process to go through such periodically, such as a move to another home. Too often, we just put more stuff on top of what is already there, until the drawers and cabinets will no longer open easily. Or maybe you do not do this, but clearly, I have.

A harder toss will be the multitude of physical photos that clog my drawers and cabinets. Several years ago, I organized photos for Mike and both girls, yet I have never given them to them. I think that I am afraid they will throw them away! So, what if they do? Again, why am I holding on to their stuff? Goodness knows I have plenty of my own!


A wonderful thought at the beginning of the New Year.

Enough writing about it; I must get up and get back to it! I will keep you posted on my progress.

Now, how about you? In this new year, what are you holding on to that you need to get rid of? Your stuff may not be physical at all, but mental or emotional. Regardless, just get started. You do not have to have an endpoint to get started. Trust the process, and just begin.

Patti name

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Do NOT Make New Year’s Resolutions!


Mike’s tradition of personalized ornaments he has been creating for our family since 1983. We have lost or misplaced a few.

It is December 31, 2019. Not, you say! Well, it was when this was being written, although it posted a few days later; today, January 3, 2020. I am settled in comfortably in my PJ’s, so thankful that I have long since let go of the need to go out partying or even to go out to dinner on New Year’s Eve. I have not decided if I will stay up to ring the New Year in, but probably not, for I am sleepy already, and midnight is three hours away! But before I turn in, I want to write a few of my thoughts before the clock turns to the New Year. Continue reading

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Oh, What Joy!


Patti (Nana), Mary Grace (14), Elsie (12), Drew (22 months) Mike (Dr. Danks), and Virginia (7)

Another Christmas is now in the history books. It is too late to lament over what was planned and not done. It is too late to wish that we had more time. Christmas 2019 has passed, and with it, all of our unmet expectations and desires have also passed. We can now rejoice about what we enjoyed, received (and I am not referring to tangible gifts!) and experienced. Christmas 2019 will live forever in our hearts. Continue reading

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“Help Me” Means Do It My Way!

IMG_1271 (1)A friend and I were talking recently about different things, including how ready we are, or aren’t, for the Christmas holiday. We commiserated about the fact that with only a week to go, both of us are still finishing decorating! One of our challenges is receiving and accepting help from others. While in the past we were more than able to do what we needed to do ourselves, for different reasons, this year we need help from others. When we receive the help, it isn’t always to our liking! In essence, sometimes the other person wants to do things their way, instead of just doing what we ask them to do. My friend made a profound comment about this. She said, “Help me means do it my way!” This was great insight to me; I had not connected that before. But her words rang so true. Continue reading

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!


Our neighborhood entrance.

Mike and I are spending most of our time at home in Raleigh since his ankle fusion on November 20th. Due to his surgery and needed recovery, Mike is non-weight bearing on his right foot for 8-10 weeks. Although he is non-weight bearing, Mike is still working digitally and has as many conference calls as when he is ambulatory. Continue reading

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‘Tis the Season


A photo of one of our Christmas trees in 2017. Where did the past two years go?!

‘Tis the season for merry and bright. ‘Tis the season for trees, tinsel, and toys. ‘Tis the season for carols and cookies. And, if we are not careful, ’tis the season for overwhelm. The challenge is to enjoy all that the season has to offer, without being consumed by it. Continue reading

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