Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rover is in da House!

I think my blog posts have become  a little heavy and deep lately. 

Although not a chore to post something cute and whimsical .... LIFE as I know it has changed and I don't have the 30+ hours a week to play like I used to!

Without further adieu, I would like to introduce our new addition to the house .... his name is Rover!

Isn't he cute???

On Pinterest and other places I've seen a lot of metal art for the garden. 
I saw this 'rivoting' doggie at Hobby Lobby last week, and thought we'd make a perfect fit!!! He was the last one on the shelf, even the sales associate commented that I got the last one!!!
There were dogs and cats and frogs and chickens and owls..... but having another doggie for the yard was something I knew I really wanted.
He's tiny.  Only about 12" tall.  Almost eye to eye with Tucker, the wonder dog!!!!

I was hoping to post him basking in the sunlight, but alas.....Spring has not completely sprung here in the Midwest .... so you get what you get!!!!  He still SHINES!

What kind of trouble can our new doggie get in to?????  Two things I know for sure.... he wont be bringing me any baby bunnies to 'play' with.... and he wont be wondering into the neighbors yard!!!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lowering the Shield

A few weeks ago I blogged about my birthday. 

Since it still is my 'birthday month' I thought the dogs would help me share another discovery I had that relates to the time I was born into this world.

According to The Guide of Chinese Horoscopes by Gerry Maguire Thompson I am a wood dragon

Dragons are often depicted as horrific, fire-breathing monsters.  Cooper and Tucker are not so sure what is in front of them!

I hope I wont be thought of like that... but I do agree with a lot of the trait characteristics ....  impulsive, authoritative, energetic ....

My birth date is April 13 which means that out of the 12 lunar months, my animal sign makes me a Dragon.  The earth element (water, fire, metal, wood) that prevails with my year of birth 1964 is wood. And it's all about the interpretation of yin/yang!
The Dragon born under the influence of the Wood Element is a more creative, imaginative and artistic type, while at the same time retaining the down-to-earth qualities that the fixed Earth Element already endows.
Wow, I really can relate to that!
Again, I don't live my days according to my horoscope.  But I do believe the day and time that I was born .... the world ... was at a certain point that when I arrived it was pre-determined the path and journey my life would take.
Wood Dragons can be innovative and creative in the executing of their plans.  Aware of their own shortcomings, these Dragons are more realistic than other Dragon types and are able to keep one on the risks involved in each of the options available to them.
I really feel in the past few months that I am understanding why I like the things I do. I feel good about how I handle certain situations.  I'm feeling more complete, even though there may be more uncertainty.
I will share more insights that I find about being a dynamic and bold type 4 person, different ways I seek a healthy striving life force and new reasons I can share and spread SHiNE ... on future blog posts. 
But I will make sure I take a breath mint after I breathe a little fire!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Eat at Joes

So, the birthday week continues...

My sweetheart wanted to take me for lunch.  After the busy birthday weekend with the college boy here, friends in town for a volleyball tournaments and my parents not wanting to miss out on their 'baby' turning 50 ... it was time just for the two of us.

I like seafood!

Here we are taking a selfie so we could pass it along to the college girl and let her know where we were! 
Jealous yet???? 
Of course, right at the moment we snap the picture of ourselves... the wind decides to kick up!!!! Lovely hair flip!

Love the 'shack' feel. 
I'm not sure if they really made it to 'feel' old... or this one in Gurnee is really starting to get old with peeling paint and doors that stick! 
The food was good. 
I guess the very first time you go.... the excitement of it all.  Breaking the crab legs with no proper tools.  The mess. The taste.  The atmosphere. 
(But to be honest with you ... I think my husband makes better steamed crab legs from Sam's Club!!)
I love the bib!
After we had our lunch on Easter Sunday ... we went out for our first Geo Cache excursion of the year, and were 3 for 3.
It really was a beautiful day, and I am truly blessed. 
Next time.... I think Chef Jeff will be cookin' me some crab!! :0)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tiny Paws

I remember naming him ... I'm not sure how we landed on his name exactly... I just recently looked up his name's meaning ... it fit's him to a T (sometimes!)

Sissy found him on-line at a shelter for Pomeranians.  It was a mugshot with his name below ... Elfie.

One origin of his name states that Tucker is ... to torment.  Yes, he does that sometimes!!
Another name origin is what a towel maker is in German.

I was in the back of the SUV keeping him company and calm on the drive when we brought him home.  We were going through a list of different names for him.  I must admit ... I have to go back and look on a calendar, I can't remember how old he is going to be this year ... I'll confirm.... but my tiny fluffball is going to be at least '6' years old!  I remember saying Forrest Tucker.... we had recently got back from a volleyball tournament in Kentucky.... Tucky.... Tucker!  Too, too, too ....cute!
He is very photogenic.  I'm not always the best photographer.  He moves quickly and blurs the picture. I think he's got quite a personality.  He sure has brought a lot of pep and vigor to our somewhat quiet house.
Fuzzy, Fluffball, Fozzy Bear, Tiny, Tuckman, Fluffy, Pee Pee Boy .... it's amazing what a little dog can bring to your life!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Frank Aries

A HOROSCOPE is a forecast of a person's future based on the relative positions of the stars and planets at the time of a person's birth.

I was born on April 13, 1964 at 2:07 PM. 

I'm an Aries : (meaning "ram") is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac.

Typical positive traits: Adventurous, Courageous, Versatile, Lively, Positive, Passionate
Typical negative traits: Arrogant, Stubborn, Impulsive, Indisciplined, Confrontational

Source: Google Images

Now, if you don't believe in Astrology, Chinese Horoscopes, Numerology or a guide to living your TRUE nature .... there is no way that I can convince you to change your mind on this 'stuff'.  And that's okay.  I'm not blogging here about this topic to switch anyone's opinion, one way or another. But rather, share my experience with some recent information I've read about.

Most of the time, I will read my horoscope and feel it really relates to what is happening in my life. All I'm saying is that I love to read about the planets and their alignment to the day and time I was born. It's fun and entertaining!

I share my birthday with approximately 19 million people, so I'm not sure if we are ALL experiencing the same things, at the same moment ... but I do feel that the day, year and time I was born, I was given unique traits that shape my personality. Maybe it's an excuse ... but I'm starting to understand why some things are so hard (or so easy) for me, because it's 'just my nature'.

I'm a Monday's child, fair of face....It was used in the poem to refer to a person who is attractive, good looking, cute and easy on the eyes.  Oh, that one is sooooo true!!!!

Individuals with an April the thirteenth birthday tend to prefer a humble existence and value the simple things in life that money simply cannot buy.  Last year was, LIFE'S simple pleasures!

Another trait of an Arien is that we like to learn.  That is true for me!  I'm learning that some of my personality traits make me, uniquely me...and I'm really liking that person!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's NOT a surprise

Outside my window to the world!

Although our calendar has said 'spring" for almost 3 weeks, I'm not surprised we got snow yesterday April 14.  I often tell people I had many birthday's growing up and either I was in my Easter dress or I was wearing a winter coat.  The weather... is truly unpredictable.

Here is my view off the front porch this morning.  I think it's quite pretty to look at.  At least the sun is SHINING!!!!

This week I'm going to focus on my birthday and how my actual birth date, time and year really describe who I am. 

And now that I hit this age milestone, I'm truly starting to understand that I have gifts to offer, not burdens to bare.  I'm an Aries and I need to keep physically busy.  Aries accomplish many things simply because of their restless energy. Personality traits, adventurous, versatile - jack of many trades, lively, stubborn, arrogant, indicipline - scattered, need to harness energy to be disciplined, lively!

I could complain about the snow. 

And everyone in the Midwest has certainly had a reason to complain about our winter, with record snowfalls and temperatures high in the  minus teens Fahrenheit.  But, I'm tired of the complaining from myself and most of all from others.  It's not that I have any control on the weather what-so-ever.  So, I'm trying really hard to adopt the philosophy to find things that SHINE, despite the obvious.

I'm also a Type #4 according to Carol Tuttle It's Just My Nature.  These are just a few words that she uses to describe my portrait: articulate, black & white, bold, calm, classic, conservative, efficient, focused, perfectionist, respectful, self-reliant, theatrical.  The list goes on.  More about my nature on another blog post.
But, also, too.... I am reading the book The Guide to Chinese Horoscope  by Gerry Maguire Thompson and I am a wood dragon: The dragon born under the influence of the Wood Element is more creative, imaginative and artistic type, while at the same time retaining the down to earth to input and ideas of others.... Dragons want to get things done and find it hard to tolerate menial or insignificant work....
I find this all very interesting.  In a blog post there is no way that I can fully convince anyone who is a 'non believer' that the day, time and year I was born, I was created with.... strengths and weaknesses, positive and negative energy, yin and yang, gifts and talents, and certain traits that make me uniquely me!
One of my natural gifts (or maybe a curse) is perfecting!  That word to me has become an insult in my mind.... "Here's how we can make it better!"  I like to term it, now as Healthy Striving.  Nothing surprises me, everything surprises me... the only constant is change!
Stay tuned!

Monday, April 14, 2014

#hello yello

Yesterday was my birthday.  And I turned 29 again.... for the 21st time!!

As you know I love quirky.  I love whimsy.  I love unique.  And I love to SHINE!

So when the opportunity knocked I not only talked the talk, I walked the walk!!!!

I got invited to the REAL House of Shine and I felt some yellow coming on!!
1. give out a bright light
2. be very talented or perform very well
How does this relate to my birthday, you might ask?  Well, I'm getting to a point in my LIFE that I'm actually 'getting it'.  Don't ask me what 'it' is.... but recently things have been clicking.... I see the light. I'm having aha moments. I like to read my horoscope, it sometimes makes sense to me!
My horoscope reads.... As you focus on mutually fulfilling exchanges and possibilities that make you happy, success is yours over and over.
It's my year of POSSIBILITIES ... and I am open to anything that comes my way.  Thus the reason I was excited to visit the House of Shine in Texas ... and learn more ways that I can brighten my corner of the world.
How can these pictures with yellow everything not make you happy?
Yellow things to write on and write with ....

Yellow things to put in a Box of Shine and send to some very special people who somehow made something in my LIFE possible.
And finally, to finish off my March Shine Girl Project.... I was instructed to honor the people who have somehow helped me to become the incredible Shine Girl I am today.  Release a yellow balloon in each of their names from a meaningful place somewhere in your neighborhood. 
How lucky was I to release some Yellow Balloons in the neighborhood of the  real House of Shine and continue my 50th year by SHINING both inside and out.
Be Thankful.
Do Something Uplifting.
Share it with the Universe.
I am totally getting my purpose to power the planet with SHINE!
If you haven't yet.... go visit to find out more!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Purpose to Re-Purpose

Sometimes ideas come quickly.

Projects turn out exactly how you wanted them to.

On time.

And then you literally wrap it up and give it away....
Thank goodness for my iPhone and having my 'camera' with me at all times.  It is much easier to let it go. 
I found a clearance/broken box frame at Hobby Lobby for $2.96 and a huge paper clip with a chip out of it.  Dang, I should have taken a picture of them before.... hmmm, maybe I do have it somewhere on my camera roll. 
I didn't know what I was going to do with that hot pink box frame and bright clothes pin.... and one day I was in my craft room and I saw them sitting in my stash of 'stuff' and I knew exactly how I wanted to re-purpose them.
Oh, I was giddy!!

With paint, scrap paper, mod podge, pre-punched letters .... a little inspiration (from Kelly Rae Roberts) and some imagination .... I turned two clearance items into some personalized pieces of art that made into a great gift for an awesome friend!
And directly from the House of SHINE....
Choosing to SHINE is a decision you make......

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Thumbs Up!

Anything is POSSIBLE, right???

I am celebrating my Year of Possibilities for 2014.

Who would have thought that just a mere two months into the year I would have a job at a very special place.  Just the name of the organization works perfectly with another special place that I am proud to be a part of.

Goodwill and House of Shine.

Personally ... I am still struggling with the fact that I am working at Goodwill. 

Because I thought that the people who worked there were/are different.
I admit that!

But let me tell you that in the two weeks that our brand new store has been open to the public ... we certainly are all very hard workers.  Our store is beautiful and clean!

It's the customers now that I believe are different!

I also admit that I would not be able to support my family with my earnings of minimum wage, but I am very fortunate and blessed how Jeff and I chose our path to where we are today!

Yesterday was our ribbon cutting ceremony as we were welcomed into the City of Crystal Lake Commerce.  I am in the picture too!   I'm a little blue.... well I'm really the blue mascot of Goodwill on the very left.  I have no proof that that is me!  I can suggest if you don't believe me to come visit the store and ask the store manager Jeff.  On second thought ... he might deny that ... ask for Cassie.... she was my handler!
G. Willikers!!!! That's 'its' name.... Cassie didn't want to be the mascot.... I jumped at the chance and volunteered to do it!  Why not???? My kids weren't around me ... so they couldn't be embarrassed.  And it was actually quite fun!  (Hot, but fun)
I have tiny little arms .... so I couldn't do too  much animation.... but I did thumbs up!  I waved .... a lot .... I did funny little dances!!! I made the kids in our 'special' work program laugh.  They are the ones in the orange t-shirts.  I was trying to *spread SHINE!
So, with a little more *perspective ... it is quite possible that I found a place that I can *use some of my strengths that I have been practicing throughout the past few years.  I can really try to help *bring out the best in others ... and just quite possibly... each day I go to work.... I can Brighten Someone's Day!
I didn't know how I could make this possible.... can you imagine where I could go from here? I guess you will just have to stay tuned to creative greetings and see what I can *create!!!
*some of the 10 Principles of Shine

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Whew.... I have to take a breath. 

It's been over 15 months ... but I'm happy to report...

...that this is how I looked on my first day of work a few weeks ago. 
It's a weird story, but one day about a month and a half ago on a Monday morning I got an email from the dog center that I was training at (to become a puppy and basic obedience trainer) that is was closing that coming Friday.  This was due to the fact that the owner was having severe health issues and she had to close the doors after 7 years of operation. 
Good thing is, I got a certificate that I completed my training .... bad thing was that there wasn't any opportunity for me to teach any classes.  So I took drastic measures and looked at for a job.  It's a long story and sort of interesting .... but I'll just say that 'indeed' I did get a job!!

One of the very cool things is that I get to dress like this! ↑ One of the downfalls is that I am on my feet for my entire shift.  So totally not used to that!!!

Brand new building.  Brand new staff.  And a grand opening at.....

This will be a very interesting part-time job for me.  I'm sure I will have lots of stories! 
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Star vs. Shine

We're just popping in to let you know that our mom is going on a ......

vacation!  She's going to visit the House of Shine in Texas!
We'll miss her bunches.... but she deserves a get-a-way for a few days.
Come back here and visit real soon to hear some real BIG stories about the Lone Star State.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

*Final Four

Hey there blog friends!!! 

Yes, I've been missing for a few days.... very soon I will blog about what's been happening.... spring has arrived ... and with that, there are some changes. 

Today, I want to update you on the SHINE Girl project for week #4.  As part of my BE. DO. SHARE... here's what I did!!!!

BE. Quiet

For the length of time it takes  birthday candle to burn, sit silently with a journal and leisurely doodle your responses to this prompt:  When my life is ideal I am ....
Seeing LIFE, simply .... and appreciating all the 'things' GOD has blessed me with.
I'm glad it was only ONE candle!!!!  My birthday is coming real soon and I'm hitting a mile stone.... if I had to doodle for that many candles to burn ... I might have been doodle for like 50 minutes!!!
DO. Something Daring
Start a conversation in a public location, using sidewalk chalk.
I admit it!!!  I started lots of new conversations .... but sorry to say without sidewalk chalk!!!  We still had snow and ice on the ground last week ... no excuse .... but alas, I was unable to complete this task!
Share. Your Photos.
Photograph everything you see this week that Shines. Post them for others to see.

Can't help but see the mantra SHINE.... everywhere!!! {Michael's}

We finally got some warmer weather.  This flag "Lovin Life" was so bright in my front yard.  It's not the best photo ... but it was beautiful standing outside taking the picture!!!

Here is a whimsical card I sent out in some FuN MaiL!  I sure hope it brightened someone's day!!!!
That's a recap of week #4 and my SHINE Girl projects.  *March actually has 5 weeks in it!  I will have a few more things to share with you real soon!!!
There are secrets to be revealed and a few surprises too!! Who knows what else....
....come back and visit real soon!!


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