Tag Archives: writing

My Pinterest Life


When I was younger, I accumulated a lot of magazines, getting some through the mail and some at the store. Every month I would read the headlines on the cover and be eager to learn some new thing, gain wisdom in life, try to copy new styles, and enjoy the articles.  I would cut out my favorite recipes, knitting patterns, clip articles that were worth saving, and then file them in the appropriate file…patterns, hairstyles, recipes, etc.  And then I would have a stack of magazines added to the month before, and the month before, saving them for who-knows-what, and spending quite a bit for each monthly copy.  Every once in a while, I would pull out a file to find something I remembered saving but for the most part, the pages sat in the file, beginning to yellow as they aged, never be touched again.  I would get to a point where I would pull them all out, try to go through them and then discard the ones I tried that failed (recipes), or the patterns that were too complicated for my skill level, and then decide to toss them all. This cycle continued for many years.  But one day, I discovered Pinterest!

My first discovery into the value of Pinterest was when I worked as a Behavior Assistant. My job was to go to a child’s home and work on behavior skills such as self regulation or anger management.  I would work under the plan set out by the therapist and assist the child in developing those skills.  Many of these children had experienced trauma and as I learned, many of the behaviors were rooted in that trauma.  Or lack of attachment.  Or being moved from one Foster Home to the next because their behaviors were so hard to deal with.  I would be tasked with helping them form new behaviors, or to “fix” them, as many parents requested. But I digress.  Imagine sitting in a stranger’s home for 2 hours a week, trying to bond with a child, change their behavior, and accomplish this sometimes in only 3 months.  Do you know how long 2 hours can be and how much it takes to fill that time?  You get 6 state sponsored classes to do this job but they are on things like wrap-around services, DSM-5, Safety, Cultural Diversity, but no class on what do you do when you walk in the door.  But this is about the time I discovered Pinterest. And it was a lifesaver.  I have 921 pins on my board labeled Therapy.  And it covers things like Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), coping skills cue cards, the ACE test(trauma scoring test), Inside Out Feelings Chart, Feelings Go Fish, adapting simple games for social/emotional development, or Behavior Bingo, just to name a few.  And as I searched Pinterest on a daily basis, I found more and more articles, projects, story books, games, art, and collages that I could use with my youth.  It helped me to come up with a sort of a lesson plan for each visit so that I could fill the time in a beneficial way and not find that after a half hour, I had run out of things to do with that child.  Pinterest saved me and enabled me to do this job for about 7 years, until it became too physically challenging to use a cane, climb stairs if they had them, and carry all of the supplies into the house.  Because it required planning, like a teacher, and finding or making the items I was going to use, and then stocking my car with these items, and lugging them into the house.  The age range of children is 3-18 so that’s a diverse amount of supplies.        Sorry, digressing again.

I also have a Child Development Board, a Sewing Board, as well as a Living Frugal Board and this is where I saved information for the Examiner.com articles that I was writing until they went out of business.  I wrote for them for at least 4 years, posting every month in the beginning, and then a little less as time went on, but that’s a lot of information that had to be gathered to write those articles as we got paid by the number of views so the articles had to be good to attract attention. I really loved writing for Examiner and was sorry when they went out of business but Pinterest helped me do the research necessary to write those articles.

I have another board called www.acupofteaandabood.wordpress.com and I post my blog posts there to hopefully gain more followers.  I occasionally post a random picture of a tea cup and a book, but typically, it’s my blog posts.

Pinterest is also where I saved a lot of low-carb recipes as well as vegetarian recipes because I don‘t want to acquire any new cookbooks (another obsession). I have over 1000 pins for low-carb but please don’t ask me how many I’ve actually made!  LOL.  I just like collecting recipes and this is such a better way than buying the magazine or cook book, cutting out my favorites, and then saving them in a folder.  They are right at my fingertips, even if I make less than a third of them!

One board that I Iove is Childhood Fun.  Any time that something new pops up that reminds me of childhood, I pin it.  I have pictures of so many things that I had forgotten about growing up.  Dolls that I had, our beautiful Christmas trees  from the 50’s, roller skates and the skate key, playing dodge ball and kick ball.  Love’s Baby Soft perfume, Villager skirt and sweater sets, Nancy Drew, that pink tape we used to tape “spit curls”, petticoats, Evening in Paris perfume, comic books we loved….I could go on forever with this topic.  But the point is that these pictures remind me of a time of life that holds many good memories.  Who remembers playing Heads Up, 7Up at our desks when it was raining and we couldn’t go out for recess?  I never gave this a thought until I saw the picture.

I know that some of you see Pinterest as a time-waster, and to an extent I agree. And like with my magazine cut outs, there are many things that I’ve saved that I never look at again.  But it also has enhanced by life in several ways.  I dream of going to Italy some day.  While this may never happen, I’ve now seen Italy through photos of places I never would have imagined were in Italy.  Beautiful beaches, wonderful architecture, cities, country, ruins.  It’s not as good as the real thing but it definitely has opened my eyes to the beauty of that country.  Pinterest has helped me at work, has helped me discover ways to make extra money, has shown me on-line education such as Udemy and Skill Share. I’ve saved practical advice as well as ideas for jewelry and crafts. It helped me go from long hair to short with plenty of pictures to take to the hairdresser.  It has given me natural remedies for health issues as well as ideas for another tattoo.  Whatever I think of I can find it on Pinterest.  Some of you follow me on Pinterest and I follow some of you.

I guess it’s obvious…..I love Pinterest!



I’m Back!!


I came home tonight determined to write something.  It’s been ages since I posted in this blog and it took me a long time to figure out what’s been going on with me.  Quite simply, I’ve been depressed.  Sure, I’ve been going to work, playing with my grandson, reading some books, but underlying this has been depression.  The reason….the election.  For the first few months, I didn’t know that it showed, didn’t even really know I was feeling it.  But when I got my review at work, I was asked if everything was OK and while I was saying yes, it dawned on me…no.  I was not OK.  I was scared.  Scared about the future that I have left.  If I were still married, perhaps it wouldn’t have hit so hard, but since I’m not, it’s all up to me and while I certainly have made progress and am doing OK, there aren’t enough years left to plan for a single retirement.  So, yes, I’m scared.  And the root of my fear is who won the election.  Not that he’s a Republican but because I have zero respect or trust for the guy. (gag) So every day I’m wondering if I’ll ever really be able to retire, have decent health insurance, enough money to be comfortable, to eat healthy,  and to finally get to do something for me.  I don’t know if you know but Cumberland County is either the first or second poorest county in the state so my earnings have been good for these standards, but not great by others.  And I of course stayed here because my husband wanted to.  And once my grandson arrived… well, you know. So the result of this depression and worry  is that creativity got wiped out.  I couldn’t think what to write, couldn’t sit down to write, didn’t feel like writing, but at the same time was yearning to write.  No crafts, no knitting or sewing, not much reading, just work and playing with my grandson when he was here.  He could lift my spirits but at the same time I was so tired and just wanted to sleep. (By the way, I didn’t want to turn this into a political discourse so I kept my comments to a minimum but rest assured, I could go deep on the topic. But maybe another time.) Also, physically I can’t do the things I used to do so that just added to the depression.  But today….today…I said enough.  I need to get off my ass and do something that I feel good about.  So I may be rusty but I’m typing.

And eating.  I’m balancing a bowl of homemade soup while I type, just some orzo, fresh broccoli, spinach, and broth, but I haven’t had pasta for ages and tonight’s the night!

So what do I write about?  Originally, I started this blog as a way to help me to get over the divorce, which it did, and that was its purpose.  Fulfilled.  But I can’t spend forever writing about starting over because I did, and I am.  Other than the aforementioned issue, I’m OK.  It would be like beating a dead horse to keep writing about starting over so I need a new topic.  While I’m giving this some thought, I do want to mention the class reunion.  (50th)

It was my first reunion and I can honestly say I didn’t want to leave.  I’m not real great on my feet in crowds so I wish I could have gotten around more but I enjoyed every minute of it. Carole and Jerry took me under their wing and made sure I was OK, and it was so great to be able to talk to everyone and see how we’ve changed, and how some haven’t changed.  I had some special conversations, good food, and loved the location.  I haven’t been “home” since the 70’s and as I got into Summit, I barely recognized it, except for one little area.  (I remember the first time I drove Dad’s 67 Plymouth Belvedere to Summit and had to park that boat in the lot behind the stores.  I spent ages trying to ease into a space, sweating, scared I’d hit someone, and got so stressed that finally I left.)  I didn’t do much driving around NP once I left for college and rarely got back home, and then my parents moved to the shore.  So this trip, every time I saw a landmark that I recognized, it was so exciting.  Driving down Springfield Ave., I at first didn’t see much I recognized, but then I came to Livingston Ave.(I think) and  Gale Drive and knew where I was.  I’m going to admit that I cried.  And am now.  We were so blessed to grow up there.  I of course missed the turn into the apartments and had to go downtown to turn around, and everything was so different from my last visit over 30 years ago..  I found my way to my home and the yard looked so small and the trees so huge! It felt so good to be there. Ricky A. lived down one end and Dale S. lived up the other, with my house halfway.  Safe, innocent, a good life back then. After looking like a stalker taking pictures, I moved on and ended up out by OLP and managed to find my way to Blue Star (used to go parking at Seeley’s Pond) and out onto Rt. 22.  My journey ended in Union at my sister’s house and I was quite pleased with myself for finding my way without the GPS.   I want to thank Fran and Linda for putting that all together.  It gave me something I didn’t know I was missing and I’d love to take my son there and show him where I grew up.Where I live now is nothing like that though it does have pockets that are somewhat similar.  I’m hopeful that we do get to do it again in Florida and that we all are healthy enough to go. And that if you couldn’t attend the NP event maybe you can make it to Florida.

I guess the reunion ended up being my topic for this post.   It’s been so long since I posted I hope that I can remember how to get into the blog. I guess if you’re reading this I figured it out!  I’m thinking about future topics so if you have any ideas, please send them to me.  It might just be “life goes on” unless some inspiration hits.  

Until next time….it feels good to be back.


Happy 2017!


Happy New Year! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything so I want to start off the new year in a positive way and get on top of all of the things that I’ve been letting go, writing being at the top of my slacker list. So make your tea, get comfy in the recliner, and let’s talk. It’s rainy and dreary, but I’m off from work so of course I’m in a good mood. I’ve realized that I’m really tired of the 9-5 grind, after about 50 years of doing it, and would love to retire, but my pocketbook says NO! So that’s my first topic to discuss.

Way back, when I sort of planned my life, this time of life seemed so far away. I’m sad to say I didn’t give it much thought as day to day life and survival took precedent. I worked towards better and better positions, more and more money, and finally achieved what I thought would be the ultimate goal, Assistant Director of Head Start, a program that served 3 counties, with more than 1000 children in our child care centers. I supervised staff, traveled around, and actually really liked what I was doing.  However, after being there for around 6 years, some restructuring occurred and I ended up out the door. I found another position, at 20,000 less a year, still at a good salary, but during that time my hip was getting worse and worse, and after 2 years, I needed surgery and for a variety of reasons, left the position. Since I live in South Jersey, positions that pay that well are not hugely plentiful and after recovering from the surgery, I struggled to find a good job. The end result is that any retirement money saved needed to be used for survival, and had to be cashed in. Of course, this was also the time of separation and divorce, and I know I’ve written about those struggles so I won’t bore you with all of that again, but here I am at 67, still getting up at 5AM, driving an hour each way, sitting in an office each day bored, and trapped. I’m driving 2000 miles a month, and now that great old NJ has the new gas tax it cost $25 yesterday to fill the tank and I have to fill it every 2 days to get to work. So I’m pretty much working for peanuts now and don’t see much way out at this point.

So this leads to my next thing on the slacker list.  I have quite a few ideas for small businesses I could start from home, some good and doable, some not, but my mind is always working and coming up with ideas.  Am I doing anything with this, to help my work woes?  Well, no.  By the time I drive home, highway all the way, in the dark with my old lady eyesight, stressful high speed driving since I can’t just do 65 because I want to get home, I’ve been gone for about 12 hours and I’m drained. And did I mention that I leave in the dark at 6:30 AM and work in an office with no windows? So I come home and sit in the chair, on FB or Pinterest, or playing with my grandson, or reading, maybe warming up something for dinner, and then all I want to do is go to bed.  So nothing is happening but the same, every day.  It’s so tiring.  I’m trying to put my nose to the grindstone and DO SOMETHING, but I haven’t been able to maintain it.

Now, this post is not for your pity. I’ve come a long way, with pitfalls I haven’t even mentioned, and won’t, but I know the clock is ticking and I have to break free of this rut.  My income has improved since the divorce and I’m doing repairs on the home that I managed to hold on to, I have new friends that I socialize with, and I’m proud of my progress and love that I’m not a quitter.  But I’m so sick of working like this.  Getting up at 5 is no joke!  And I’m bored with my job but it pays ok and I can’t do anything physical so in this area, it’s somewhat limited to look for something else as this is a big fast-food/retail jobs area. So that means I have to create something like I did before (I taught chair exercise to seniors in nursing homes) but the planning means getting out of my rut and doing something.

This blog post is the first day of changing the rut.  I’ve signed up for an email tutorial on free lance writing to expand my writing possibilities, I’ve looked into courses I can take on Udemy, and am looking into getting my Master’s in Psychology, to work as a therapist instead of Behavior Assistant, though since the election I don’t feel very positive about taking on that debt at this time of life. I have a few other things I’m considering too, all dependent on breaking the rut, with the point being that a person is never too old to start over, start something new, and reinvent themselves. I’ve gone through 4 major reinventions, just in my professional life, and have also had to do it in my personal life.  If I can do it, so can you.  If you follow my blog and are floating in the same boat that I’m in, perhaps reading about my struggles and determination to overcome will assist you in your journey. Or perhaps not.  I know I’ve made mistakes in my life plan and have so much to give to a do-over, but since that isn’t going to happen, I’ll just keep plugging away.  I don’t feel “old” and if it wasn’t for arthritis, feel healthy and whole, so I’m blessed in that regard. Some of my choices are somewhat limited but working around them the best that I can is OK.

My goal is to write a post once a month.  I have several posts started from previous months that never got completed so that gives me a head start.  I want to start back with some sort of craft, and I’m going to follow through with what I mentioned above.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and won’t say “or lack of progress” so as to stay positive.

One last thing: for Christmas, I finally had my dad’s old home movies converted to DVD’s and many of my grade school and high school friends, old boyfriends(you know who you are!), etc. are featured in those films.(Remember marching in white boots and green uniforms?) There are a lot of family Christmas celebrations, family vacations, and faces of loved ones. Watching was so moving and somewhat sad to see all who have passed on, but I loved it too.  Some of you who have reconnected through Facebook are in those movies and it was wonderful to realize that we still have a connection. So thank you for being in my life.

My teacup is empty, and the next project calls.  Have a lot to do with this day off!

Happy New Year to everyone!  Stay safe and healthy, keep growing, loving, and being you. Until next month!



Snowy Day Musings


blog pic snow day

Isn’t this a perfect day to have a cup of tea and curl up on the sofa with a book?  I think so. In the picture is the last blanket that my mother crocheted for me and I treasure it.  Anyway, it’s great to wrap up in it on the couch and read.  So I took a break from my lounging and Facebook viewing, and Pinterest, to do some writing.

I recently got some news about the ex-husband, good news for him of course, but sad and somewhat depressing for me. I’m not going in to any details but I will say that once again I have to bounce back, “get over it”, and move forward.  So how do I do this?

First, I always give myself permission to cry, get angry, or whatever emotion is welling up inside. I’ve found that holding it back causes my heart to swell, my head to hurt from holding back tears, and there is a hollow feeling in my belly.  Not good.  So I go with it.  And get it all out so I can move past it.  Of course, not indefinitely, but long enough that the pain begins to fade.  I give myself permission to mourn.  And then I work at putting it out of my mind.

Of course this isn’t easy but I take it one day at a time, and usually am able to diminish the effect over time. You see, my head knows that I’m better and happier now; it’s just my foolish heart that still dreams about old love.  (Because we did have many good times.)

Anyway, forward I go. Another strategy that I’ve added is to be grateful every day, to stay positive, to laugh, and to stay busy.  All of this helps.  Time spent alone and brooding is not the way to get back to the “happy place” in my head.

I also have done some reading such as “The Law of Attraction”, “The Secret”, among others, and I try to be mindful of what I’m attracting to myself with my thoughts. Even if you don’t believe in this theory, I figure it can’t hurt.

The last and best thing that helps is talking to my son and playing with my grandson, who is very demanding about MeMa’s story telling. It’s hard to stay sad while he and I are hanging out in the bathroom while he sits on the toilet and I have to tell the story about the hippos lining up to go potty in the jungle, where there is only one toilet….don’t ask for more details, please! He loves for me to make up stories and sometimes the well is pretty dry!  This little boy keeps me happy.  He loves to come in my room and climb on my bed, will still occasionally fall asleep in my arms, and tells me regularly “that’s not fair MeMa!”, something I have thought many times about the ex’s latest escapade as well as some others.

Anyway, the pendulum is swinging back up; I’m getting over it, and life will be fine again soon.

So now, back to my snow watching, as it hasn’t stopped yet, Facebook and Pinterest, and reading my book.  Hope your day is as good as mine!

My Son


My son is an amazing human being.  He has been my rock throughout this whole starting over process and I would give him the credit for helping me get back on track and not fall further into the abyss.

My sweet two year old

My sweet two year old

He was born almost 34 years ago and was a beautiful, loving little boy.  I have always felt blessed that he is my son and we went through very little of those “bad” stages as he grew.  No terrible two’s, no mouthy teen!  Of course, he had his moments but mostly was a joy.  He and I were very close as his dad always worked long hours, leaving the two of us together all of the time.

When he was very young, he developed a passion for sports, starting with a baseball card collection, playing his first basketball at the Y, Little League Baseball, high school basketball and then college basketball.  He was a tall boy, athletic, and natural on the court and field, who dreamed of playing for the NBA.  We tried to keep him grounded in reality, but at the same time, encourage him to follow his dream.  He had many noteworthy moments in sports and his proud mom kept all of the newspaper clippings.  His grandfather was a coach, phys. ed. teacher, and Athletic Director and was thrilled to see the success that my son had, generating a bond between them that was wonderful to see.  His dad and I went to every game and sports became our social life.  It gave us a chance to meet new people, travel, and spend hours together as a family. We had a lot of fun and many wonderful, close moments, and totally enjoyed this time.

Just so you don’t think that my son breezed through life and fulfilled his dream, there’s more you need to know.  When he was about 14, he went through a growth spurt.  During that time, he always carried a heavy backpack full of books, usually on one shoulder as we later found out.  And over time, his body shifted and he developed scoliosis which necessitated his wearing a brace for 23 hours a day.  It was under his clothes but you could tell that he was wearing it, a devastating experience for a teen.  It straightened him from armpit to butt, made of stiff, heavy plastic, with indentations in the areas that had to push his body back in alignment.   I used to cry at his distress but he faithfully wore that thing for a very long time.  He still has it, a symbol of winning over adversity, and he managed to straighten out his back without surgery.  I have to also give credit to his school mates because no one picked on him and his teammates were supportive, which I’m sure helped him comply.



Fast forward to college and at the end of the school year, he was involved in a situation  which was life-threatening, traumatic, and life changing.  We had to make him come home and deal with post traumatic stress disorder and he lost his chance to start as Point Guard in his last year of junior college.  He would most likely have gotten a Division 1 scholarship to finish his BA, as this school produced a team that all went D-1, but his mental health had to be a priority.  The result was that he met a wonderful therapist but lost the chance at his dream.  There just wasn’t time and resources at the local college and while he continued to play, it did not give him the same opportunities.

So, basketball, playing overseas, his dream-gone.  I worried about him all the time because he just couldn’t find another dream to replace that one.  He worked, went to class, met a girl, but what would come next?  What did he want to do with his life?

B & Sabrina

B & Sabrina

I’m happy to say that my son has finally “found his future”, which coincidentally is the name of the book that he wrote and is getting ready to self publish.  He has come to believe that the things he went through directed him down this new path to become the man he was meant to be.  He is passionate about life, about helping people, and works in two non-profits while working to create his own programs and ideas.  He is positive and believes in the law of attraction, attracting good things to himself.  He is a wonderful father to my beautiful  grandson and mate to my daughter-in-law.  And he is a son who has worked hard to understand his father’s issues and still maintain a relationship with him and who saved his mother from a depression that had me sitting in a chair, not eating, not working, not doing anything for three months.  He wouldn’t let me keep crying and mourning.  He made me get out of that chair and start to live again.  And he moved in with me to help me save my home and keep a roof over my head.  He’s the reason I  started this blog and the reason that I have happiness back in my life.

I love you, Baby Boy!

My son and grandson

My son and grandson

I’m a Writer!



photo “Write” by Sara Reid

Who would have thought  that I would be a writer?  Certainly not me.  My  essays and term papers were usually well written, but I never did  any other type of writing. (Note:  I credit Ms. Ester Benz, High School English, for instilling good writing habits in me and many others.)

Anyway, a few years ago, I was sitting in Bogart’s Books in Millville, NJ, knitting with a group called Ripping Yarns, when one of the women mentioned that she was going to be writing for Examiner.com.  She was talking about what she was doing to get started and a tiny seed sprouted in my brain.  She was already a writer, a ghost writer with a blog, but I was a total newbie, never having  written a journal or anything.  But this idea stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave.  So I asked if I could do it too and was given all of the assistance that I needed to get started and accepted, and was made the Child Development writer for the Atlantic City area.  I was so excited!

Each article that was written had to be researched, written and re-written before I would publish it, and pictures had to be found.  It took me hours but I loved it.  It didn’t pay much but that was OK.  People were actually reading my articles!  This was going on during my marriage separation and it was also one of the things that I did for the “new me”.  It gave me a lot of satisfaction and I made sure that my ex knew that I was moving on and doing new things (petty, right?  Ha Ha)  I shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook and promoted every article.  I also shared  them on Pinterest and often see my articles repinned, some at least a year after they were written.

So now it’s two years later and I’m also the Frugal Living and Sewing Examiner writer.  I had one article featured on the lead page and have gone from about 1000 views the first year to about 1000 in the first four months of this year.

So, with this under my belt, I let my son convince me to write the blog. (He’s my greatest supporter!)  He helped me get started, proofreading and encouraging, and urging me on.  Thank you BJ!  I’ve also been encouraged by my blog readers and prize your comments on the blog and Facebook.  You are my peers, many of you people who “knew me when”, and I’m thrilled that my blog has touched you in any way.

So what’s next?  Twice I’ve started a book about my experiences but so far, haven’t found the right way to share this.  Again, I’ve received a lot of encouragement and I believe that one day, all will click into place and I’ll write that book.  I will definitely keep you posted.

OMG!  I’M A WRITER!!(Happy dance!)


No Words!


ImageSince my last post about my father, my mind has been totally blank and I haven’t been able to write. That was a very emotional writing for me but I didn’t expect that it would be a block to my creativity. It’s been like having all of the words sucked out of my brain and having it shrink smaller and smaller. I feared that no words would come back but I think they are beginning to slowly seep in and I’m thinking about writing again. I wrote for Examiner.com today and also this post. Phew! Thank goodness!!

I just recently discovered that I like to write and losing it so abruptly was scary. So, I’m getting back in the groove and topics are coming to mind again. I have a lot I want to talk about and I’m feeling good about getting back to it. I’ve got my next blog post written and it just needs some fine tuning.

So, I’m going to pour a cup of tea and get started. Talk again real soon!