Tuesday, November 15, 2016


So yesterday I was driving through downtown of a nearby town I frequent.  I was on the phone with my bestie from Florida and I drove by this amazing sight.  I told her about it and she told me to stop and take a photo.  But I JUST couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time, i.e. - talk on the phone, turn the car around, park and snap a shot.  OY.

It bothered me all evening and I woke up determined to drive back and get the shot.  Rain or no rain.  I knew it wouldn't be the same because the sun was out the day before and it was a whole different glow, but I went anyway. 

Not exactly what I wanted to portray but it was pretty. And next year - I will know!  And lie in wait!  Those leaves on the ground were literally GLOWING neon gold yesterday.  Live and learn...

 And yes - I still caught JOY on Day 54.

Monday, November 14, 2016


Is there anything more JOYful than starting your day with a 4 mile hike in the woods with your dog and your bestie and ending with a Mexican meal out with your - soon to be 15 year old daughter - who actually wants to be with you?  NOTHING!  Day 52 of JOY!

Today, I was clearing my desk of the mountains of crap that accumulates there and unearthed this little gem that I forgot I retrieved from my car a few weeks ago.

It is a clam shell my daughter painted.  Well - she used markers.  But the colors!  My colors!!!

I THIS!!!!

So much so that I displayed it right behind my keyboard so I could feast my eyes on it everyday.

Day 53 of JOY.  So simple...

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Oh boy.  I'm losing it.  I missed Day 47

and Day 48

and Day 49

and Day FIFTY!!!!  - That's the halfway point!  Today is Day 51.  Well - it has been difficult to move my rear into gear and post.  I admit.  I had to analyze that and ask myself why.  The answer is that I love to blog.  I love to write.  But it doesn't give me great JOY to just blurb a JOYful moment and move on.  But I also take hours to fine tune a TRUE blog post and I don't have time for that everyday.  It's a quandary.  But I will continue with my 100 Days of JOY commitment - albeit, MY way, LOL.

Anyway - so Day 47 was election day.  I went into it with great JOY knowing my candidate would win.  And she did - Hillary Clinton won the popular vote!  By more than a million votes!  

But alas - this country's system is not to elect by popular vote but by electoral vote.  Stupid.  Yes - I said it.  I have NEVER been a fan of the electoral vote.  I understand why it's in place but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it's premise.  And quite frankly, ME don't give a shit if you disagree with ME.   

AND YES I WOULD FEEL THE SAME WAY IF THE "OTHER" CANDIDATE WON THE POPULAR VOTE BUT LOST THE RACE.  Maybe I wouldn't have been so SAD because obviously, my gal would have "won", but I would still disagree with the electoral college.  I know you don't believe me but who cares.  I know...

So where was the JOY on election day?  I voted and I took my kids to breakfast.  First thing we saw when we walked into the restaurant.  Haaaaaaa.

What???  It's not like I was the one who posted it there!  Yesh - so sensitive...haaaaaa!

Anyway - I love sitting around a table eating breakfast with them.  I made them put their phones away and visit with their mom, I laughed with them, made fun of Donald Trump with them, ate delicious food with them - it was an hour of JOY in an otherwise soon to be JOYless day.

But you know what?  I was over it by 7AM on Day 48.  The man I think is an idiot is now the president of the United States and life goes on.  I picked my sorrowful ass off the couch and made my way up the stairs into the gym and kicked that sorrowful ass big time.  I had an 8AM class to train and I was NOT going to be a pouty, miserable, bitchy "loser".  I went in smiling and optimistic and then I kicked THEIR ass!  That's one way to get it out!  

What was JOYful on Day 48?  I'll tell you what.  That I was able to turn it around and just be happy to be alive.  To be happy to have the opportunity to buckle in and watch the show for the next 4 years.  To be happy to mentor those that were fearful, devastated, unhappy, pissed, shocked - I went into the election, positive there were more of us than "them" and I was right.  I still believe he is an inhumane, socially inept and unprepared idiot but for me - what we sow at home is what counts.  And I know I can sow optimism with my family, my clients, my friends.  Is it easy?  Not always.  But if I could feel this way at 7AM on the morning after a shocking election?  I'm good and that's JOYful.  Day 48 of JOY.  Bada BING!

Day 49.  Welllll - my 3 little pigs teens had the homecoming dance at their high school.  My daughter had friends over and there's nothing like a gaggle of girls playing dress up for real life!  I caught that JOY on Day 49.

Day 50 was very JOYful.  Can you believe my daughter has never been to Costco?  

Does that mean I haven't stepped foot in a warehouse, big box store in over 17 years?  Ummm - actually?  Yes...

Well - she was mesmerized.  And the fact that she is so much fun anyway, made it such a great day walking the aisles for 3 hours of "stuff".  She couldn't believe her eyes!  And much to my surprise, I found some really worthy deals and wondered why I had been paying full price for a lot of groceries for all these years.  Back in the day...I went regularly and just purchased specific items I knew were a great deal.  I took note as we journeyed through the place and I WILL be back.  Now my boys are intrigued! 

And here's a great thing - did you know the Costco brand (Kirkland, I believe) of ice cream is made by Haagen Dazs, the wine is Kendall Jackson and the vodka is Belvedere?  I'm told it's true because someone who knows someone who works there declared it's true!  Take it for what it's worth, people!  Decide for yourself!  After writing this last paragraph, I decided to google it myself.  Hmmmm - check this out:  


Anyway - the JOY didn't end there on Day 50.

Later that evening I found myself alone in front of the fire sipping on a nice, icy martini - opting to skip the volleyball and football games that my family went to.  It was a Hallmark Christmas movie night for me, baby!!!  But then a text came in from a bestie who wanted to meet for a drink and I was like - yea!  

Meet here, baby!

So, with holiday music as the background, in front of my fire, two BFF girlfriends had an unexpectedly JOYful evening, catching up and toasting to awesome, carefree lives evenings.  That was Day 50 JOY.  Does it get any better than that?

Here I am on Day 51 - the first day of the last half of 100 days of JOY.  (Say that 5 times fast).  Sometimes you just need a free day with no obligations and that's just what I am experiencing.  In fact - I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my free afternoon.  Haaaaa - KIDDING!  

Yea - that's the JOY of Day 51.  FREEDOM!

Monday, November 7, 2016


Can you say - DISTRACTED?  Not only have I not posted since last Wednesday which is Day 41, Day 42, 43, 44 & Day 45, I didn't even recall that I needed to post.  Yea - I caught JOY - trust me.  There were some wisps on each day.  LOL.  But I'm not going backwards cuzzzzzzz - this is MY blog.  I make the rules!  Yup - I'm cheating.

But seriously - is this election a drag or WHAT???  I can't watch the news, I can't look at my newsfeed on Facebook; I just want it to go away!  But that is so not happening.  When Hillary wins?  

So yea - that's JOY on Day 46.  THAT thought...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


I saved $481/year on my car insurance today.  What-is-UP-with-THAT???

I have literally NEVER insurance shopped until my son got his Learner's Permit.  When my insurance company quoted me almost $3000 to insure him when he gets his license?  I went ballistic.  I mean - I get it.  Teenage driver?  Yea - I get it.  But that's just INSANE.  

The first company I priced was even higher!  The second - dramatically lower - relatively speaking.  The 3rd company?  OMG - they wanted $4553 to insure him!  A two car, 3 driver family!  $4553.  How is there such disparity???


Then yesterday - I stumbled on a company while price comparing on some on-line thingy site and................they cut my car insurance by $481 and quoted adding my son for another $800.  I do not need to look further.  I'll let you know - if in 3 months when he gets his license - I get what I was quoted (or close) or I get taken for a ride.  In the mean time?  481 dollars BABY!!!!  Joy on Day 41!


Damn!  Missed Day 40!  But I didn't miss JOY on Day 40.  I went to the "store" with my $10 coupon and got a free chicken!  ANDDDDD - I got my legal senior discount.  How about THAT?!  I was legally a senior and I saved $5!  So I saved $10 + $5 + a $4.99 rotisserie chicken.  That's 20 bucks!  I was gooddddd on Day 40 of JOY.  

Monday, October 31, 2016


I don't even need to say a word...

 Day 39 of JOY.  Such a gift!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

All Hallow's Eve!

I always thought All Hallow's Eve was tonight.  You know - MISCHIEF NIGHT!  The night before Halloween?  Apparently, I am wrong (a rarity - LOL!)  See below:

Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of All Hallows' Evening), also known as Allhalloween, All HallowsEve, or All Saints' Eve, is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day.

Growing up Catholic I should know this.  The night before All Saint's Day.  Halloween is always the night before All Saint's Day (which is apparently All Hallow's Day) and I will never forget having to go to church that evening after Halloween be
cause my pockets were always filled with goodies collected the night before and that entertained me during mass.

Anyway - lesson learned at age 59 years 4 months old.

Anyhoo - every year we carve a bunch of pumpkins.  We spend a whole evening as a family carving away and drinking rum ciders roasting pumpkin seeds and creating masterpieces.  THIS year we could NOT find a span of time where all 5 of us could be together.  3 Teenagers in the house is INSANE!  Sports, jobs, social engagements...the list is endless and I finally shoved 2 hours into our Sunday late morning schedule and made everyone create masterpieces.

Mine's the best Aren't they great!

So that was pretty JOYful.

But my Day 38 of JOY moment today was returning to the ice rink tonight after a 7 month break from team skate and hooking up with my fav skating moms.  I love my moms!  I have lost a few across the years and I miss those who have moved on.  But us "elders" are still here and even after 7 months, it was like no time had passed. 

Come to think of it?  That 7 months went fast!  Time is going speeding out of control!  What the heck???  Anyway - but for 1 season in 2014 that I wish to forget, my Brooke has been skating team since 2010.  It's always a JOY to walk into Wesleyan University Athletic Center each Sunday night all winter.  It may sound crazy - after all - who wants a commitment every Sunday night, October - March??  

Venturing out into the cold and dark on a night everyone else is holing in and getting their last licks of the weekend before the school/workweek starts all over again?  I guess I do.  I found JOY tonight like I always do and that makes me happy.  I get to watch my girl skate and I get to blab it up with my moms.  Yup - JOY and I know I will miss it when it's all over in 3 years, so I am holding on to every moment.

PS - Apparently, since it's mischief night, there's some mischief going on because I can't get this post to appear normal so bear with the messy up top.  No clue...HAPPY HALLOWEEN TOMORROW!!!


I had it all planned.  I had all intentions - and then that darn Hallmark Christmas movie came on...

Anyway - as you may recall - I am the Winterberry Bandit in the tri-town area.  I stop EVERYWHERE and cut Winterberry.  I now know the spots in 3 towns and hit it up early before anyone else can get it!

So I'm walking Daisy on my own dirt road that runs in front of my house and...


Day 37 JOY!

Friday, October 28, 2016


You know what I love?  Beating the system once in while instead of the system beating me.

My clients often bring me great coupons - like I'm talking GREAT! I can't even get a coupon for 50 cents right to save my life.  I am THE worst coupon person.  But when they bring me $10 coupons or TWENTY DOLLAR COUPONS!  You bet your ass I figure out how to make it work.  Double time in this case!

TWO clients brought me 5 weeks of $10 coupons to a local grocery store.  That means I had 2 $10 coupons/week for over a month!  So I had to go into covert operation mode to take advantage of this $100. 

Yup - that was me buying $40 worth of groceries, using a $10 coupon, bringing my groceries to my car and then sneaking back in with my other $10 coupon.  I was the one using the furthest check clerk the first time and then avoiding her area for the next hour as I shopped so I could use my 2nd $10 coupon at the furthest check out station from the first go round self checkout.  Yea - like EVERYONE is watching this little old lady doing something so criminal...LOL!

This is the 4th week I pulled this little coup off.  Boy was I nervous the first time!  I mean it does say 1 per family...But I have my convincing lie story all ready.  I'm shopping for my elderly neighbor!  Come on - that's good, right?

I mean - seriously?  What was I thinking?!  After 3 weeks I'm a professional criminal.  Today I just strode right in like I owned the place - both times!  Yea - I'm cool.  No one's arresting ME!  Catching Day 36 JOY - breakin' the law breakin' the law.


Thursday, October 27, 2016


It snowed!!!!!  Need I say more?  

BTW - this is my Beauty Berry - in the snow!  I mean like...beautious.  

Day 35 of JOY.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Well HELLOOOOOOO nature!  Just stumbled upon this bad boy while waiting for Daisy to do her business...

 Isn't he - SHE? - a BEAUT?!  (Pretty sure this is a boy - teehee)

But sadly - as I am saying hello to nature - I am weeping goodbye as well.  BIG freeze forecasted tonight and I don't expect to see these beauties again until 2017.  So sad, but SO JOYful for the show they gave me this fall.  Thank you nature.  You bring me JOY everyday.

 And then there's this discovery.  An amazingly resilient pumpkin trying, trying, trying.  I fear it will not survive the night so I plan to pluck it from it's nest and bring it inside to admire as long as possible.  

Day 34 of JOY.  Nature JOY.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DAY 32 and 3

Yup missed a day. Ooppsy. WhatEVER.

I may have missed Day 32 but I woke up to this message on Day 33 and it was pure JOY. 


See you on Day 34 of JOY!


Sunday, October 23, 2016


Ummmm so - I know NOTHING about television shows.  Actually - I don't even know how to use the tvs in our house.  I KNOWWWWW - Right?

I can get to the guide - sometimes - if I have the right remote handed to me in my hand...

So, I'm working out with my 6am class Thursday morning and my cousin - who happens to be in the class - says she's going on vacation - to Waco, TX...

I'm like - WACO, TX?  What the HELL are you going THERE for????  I mean - isn't that the place where that whole Branch Dividian thing happened so long ago???

Well, apparently - I'm the only one in the whole world that doesn't know about... 


Ahhh - not a clue...I'm like WHOOOOOOO????????  Oy.

So the class proceeds to fill me in on this really famous couple who do fixer upper something etc. in Waco, TX and I was like - okkkkk...  

But seriously, I-DON'T-WATCH-TV.  It's on like 24/7 in our house but I never sit and watch, per se.  I tune in and out as I am doing whatever, but I'm pretty clueless and tv deaf most of the time.

So now I'm all filled with house design intelligence and I go about my day and within 24 hours...I see Chip and Joanna EVERYWHERE!  How did I not know about these two???  They're on the talk show circuit, my niece is posting their book on Facebook (or maybe it's a magazine - not a clue) and then I casually mention my ignorance to my girlfriends who I was with all weekend on Martha's Vineyard and they - stunned - turn on HGTV. 

HGTV?  What's THAT?  I mean I have heard of that dream house thingy (pretty sure) but anyway, who the hell is on???  Yup.

Can you say...

And that Chip???  Yea.  Hooked...

Chip and Joanna JOY on Day 31.  I think I'm going to be doing some re-decorating.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


So I was searching for a JOY moment in my photos and I stumbled on this. I just love this pic. It's the colors of trout if you can believe THAT!

Yes!  Each frame is a close up of a trout. Omg!  So GORGEOUS!  Weird, huh?  Ok, weird JOY then!

 But so cool, right?  FISH!!!!  Idk - I caught JOY...lol!

Anyhoo - I'm on the Vineyard and look what I caught today. 

 Yea - not too shabby. Day 31 of JOY!

Friday, October 21, 2016


There's a certain quality to time spent with girlfriends you've know for 52 years.  Things become so clear. 

 Day 30 of JOY. Surely, girls weekend is just that. 



Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Couple of JOY moments today.  

Riding in the car with my 14+ year old daughter and oohing and ahhhing over all the beautiful colors this week.  Talking about trying to hold on to the beauty and not miss it due to the busyness of our lives.  

We used to ride together to the skating rink almost every weekday afternoon for 6 years and Fall was huge for us.  We got to watch the progression and just catch such JOY over the colors.  Last year we weren't skating much so we kind of missed the whole show.  This year - we are working at it and holding on tight.

Then Daisy and I went hiking with my son and his girlfriend.  

Day 28 of JOY.  Catching those wisps.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


What a freaking  GLORIOUS DAY!  It hit 80 degrees in Southern New England and it's October 18th.  What a gift!  A Day 27 of JOY gift.

Started my morning with...Glorious Morning Glory JOY.  Still coming in strong.  Truly the JOY of my mornings.

And then I hopped in my kayak with my friend Erika and paddled an hour to the beach, had a few Glorious beers and a hotdog and paddled back an hour.  Check out the color!  Glorious paddle!

Look at these Glorious Bunker fish.  They just boil the water.  We are on a river so they are obviously escaping the big bad bluefish!  They actually look like piranhas!  It was a bit spooky at first!! They boiled the river the whole paddle!

Glorious Indian Summer color was everywhere.  I have to laugh at the people every year who proclaim the leaf color isn't going to be very good this year because because because and EVERY year it's BEAUTIFUL!!!

And look at these Glorious Montauk Daisies!

So much JOY to catch this Day 27 of JOY 18th of October.  And I went after it!

Monday, October 17, 2016


So - now I know something about Alexander Hamilton because I just finished this.

As you may be aware - there is quite a lot of hype about this founding father due to only THE hottest show on Broadway right now.

So - ummmm - he wasn't a President...you know that, right?  Yea - I thought he was a president.  LOL!!!!  Actually - I never even gave him 1 thought, EVER!  But when a totally Hamilton obsessed client talked about the musical in strength class - non-stop for hundreds of months, I kind of figured that out.  OY!!!!  So glad I never mentioned that in class...So bad at history...(Oh and Jan?  Thanks for bringing Hamilton to Renee's ATTENTION?!)

Anyway - so I finished the book, I LOVED the book, I love that I know stuff about Alexander Hamilton and I am NOW ready to see the show!  If I could only afford tickets.  If I could only freaking RESERVE tickets!   

So that was Day 26 JOY.  I finally finished this book and I loved it. You should read it.  It's historical FICTION but it is VERY informative for lack of a better word and the author states it is as faithful to history as fiction permits.  And THAT is close enough for me!

Yeah Aaron Burr!  I'm REALLY mad at you.  Jerk.