December 31

Happy New Year!

And so today ends the Instagram project of 2013.

I’ve learned a lot of things this year, including that I’m not photogenic. A good selfie is hard to achieve. It’s easier to photobomb a stranger than it is to take a decent self-portrait. My good photos of anything are a complete and total fluke. Filters will help everything. My children find me embarrassing. I can never flip out my iPhone for a photo fast enough, and will therefore lose the shot of the bald eagle flying over Wayne and Middle Belt. Food porn is the best porn of all. My animals will die. My stomach is fat. My husband looks like shit when  he’s sick. The camera NEVER lies.

During this last year, I’ve managed to devote a whopping five minutes of time each day to the Instagram project. Which is amazing. Five minutes times 365 equals 1,825 minutes, divided into 60 minutes (for an hour), makes a grand total of 30.41 hours toward the project.

Obviously, I could be using this time doing something else. Like writing. So next year I will devote at least five minutes a day for writing. Maybe I’ll finish a book?

I started last year in a favorite chair with a cat.


I am ending the year in the same chair with another cat. Not the same one, obviously.

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Time marches on.

Happy New Year.

Goodbye 2013.

Goodbye My Life in Instagram 2013.

It’s time for new projects, new horizons, and right now, a new bottle of champagne.

Stay safe and sweet, and see you in the Interwebs.

Filter: Amaro

PS If you wish to follow my other exploits, tune in HERE.


December 30

I don’t like it when holidays are in the middle of the week.

It doesn’t feel like Monday. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and we’ll close early. So it’s like Friday, which would make today Thursday. But then with the holiday on Wednesday, Thursday will feel like Monday and Friday will be Friday but it will feel like Tuesday. Saturday will be a complete loss, because it will feel like Wednesday but will end early because we’re only open until 1. Then comes Sunday, which like this past Sunday, will feel more like Saturday instead of Sunday.

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Personally, I can’t wait until this week is over. Things will return to a somewhat normal work week, it will be a new year, and the sun will be out a few more minutes each day.

Is it any wonder I’m totally pooped and disoriented?

Filter: Hudson

December 27

The Very Bad Purrby has been taking most of my time (yelling at him to get off the counter tops, picking up scraps of toilet paper all over the house, preventing him from climbing up my fig tree, throwing away the croissants he chewed through, you get my drift), but there is another pet in the house.

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I give Gracie Boo two seconds and she awards me with non-stop doggie kisses.

Filter: Rise

December 24

My husband decided to make this Christmas memorable by getting a blood clot in his lung.

Obviously, this wasn’t done on purpose.

So yeah, he could have died, but he didn’t. We spent Christmas Eve day in the hospital. It’s now six o’clock and he’s been released, so we will spend Christmas Eve night thanking our lucky stars that things turned out the way they did.

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Beaumont is a pretty nice hospital. If you’re going to be close to death, you might as well be here.

Just saying.

Filter: Valencia

December 22

My friend and employee, Chelcie Lou, has been commissioned to take a photo of me decent enough for a book cover.

She’s having a problem, though. I’m incredibly unphotogenic. In fact, I’ve always been unphotogenic, but lately, the degree of ugliness has transcended normal levels.

First of all, I’m a little chubby, meaning overweight. I can see it in my face as well as on my gut. Second, my face is and always has been very angular. Angles work well for men, making them rugged and appealing, but it’s a death knell for women. Third, I can’t smile. I never have been able to, probably at first because my teeth were crooked, but even after painful adult orthodontia, I still can’t do it. I have a niece who is gainfully employed as a model. She obviously has none of my non-modeling genes.

So while the colors are good, just about every photo Chelcie Lou has taken has a major flaw. These are not the flaws of the photographer, but of the subject. I’m definitely not blaming her.

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I usually turn to my left side. It’s instinctual. I’m not sure why I do it.

Today I selfied myself from the right.

I have no good side.

Filter: Walden

December 20

I must admit that yesterday’s post was not a selfie. That’s because I was too busy with real life drama to take a photo of myself. I’m sure that would have been a picture that tells a couple million words, none of them good. Pretty sure some eyeballs would have burned out.

Today is my office Christmas party. We used to host big shindigs with karaoke DJs and food in semi-decent hotels. Not anymore. Who can afford to? The last time we had a hotel Christmas party was about four years ago. We held it the first weekend in January (after New Years’) because it was cheaper to do than before Christmas. So all we have is a ham and salads, fruit, deviled eggs (I made them), meatballs (ditto), and other things.

I’m just sitting here wondering how my hair got so thin.

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Filter: X Pro II

December 19

Throwback Thursday:


This is my bestie from high school. This photo isn’t from high school, though; it’s from my dad’s 70th birthday party (or 75, I can’t remember), and Bonnie came to say hi to my dad. My dad loved her. He liked to call her Suzie Q, but all of the girls I brought by the house were called that. Later he called her Boney. She didn’t mind though.

She still looks the same. I look nothing like I did.

That’s life.

Filter: None.

December 15

Purrby took a little trip to the vet recently to get a permanent manicure.

When he returned, he looked like this:

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The plastic cone of silence doesn’t come off until Wednesday. You’d think Purrby would be annoyed, but he’s been amazingly sweet since his trip to the vet. Not only has he NOT attempted to leap onto the counters, he’s become so sweet and, well…more purr-baby. All he does is cuddle and purr.

Of course, it could be those painkillers we’ve been feeding him.


Filter: Valencia

December 14


I guess it had to happen.

Winter is here.

By the size of the snow flakes and the relentless precipitation, I would venture to guess that we’re in for at least six inches today. Still I braved the elements. I had to.12-14 amaro

If I don’t go outside and walk around the yard, my Boston terrier will not poop. Outside, anyway. She’ll wait until I’ve turned my back and lay a big surprise right by the door.

I don’t have time today to shovel a space in the yard for her. That’s for my husband to do.

Filter: Amaro

December 12

A couple of things:

One. I hate shopping. I have just returned from a harrowing trip to the Somerset Collection. It’s a collection, all right. A collection of high priced stores populated with high brow snooty people and crowded even in the middle of the day. But…I make gift baskets for the office personnel and it’s the only time I go. Besides, I had to pay my Nordstrom bill.

Two. I hate winter. You already knew that. The high temperature today is 19 degrees. This sucks in more ways than I can tell you.

Three. I’m not too fond of proofreading. I’ve had a headache since I started yesterday.

So I decided to chill out for a minute and a half before I return to the dreaded proofreading.

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This is my upside down duckie face pose.

Okay. Enough hilarity. I’m going back to work.

Filter: Sutro

December 2

Me and the Very Bad Purrby.

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I caught the Purrbs today high up in the closet. He also knocked over the supposedly spill proof self feeding dish. He chewed the paper off the steak I bought for dinner. He uses the fig tree for a scratching post. He escaped outside the other day and I spent twenty minutes in the snow chasing him around the yard. Purrby has more youth and energy than I do. I’m surprised I didn’t have a heart attack.

But… Purrby is quite the sweet looker. I can’t stay mad at him for long.

Even though I wish he’d figure out that I don’t want him on my countertops.

Filter: Kelvin

December 1

Here we are, at the final few yards of 2013 (if we were to refer to a year as a horse race that is). Thirty days after this one, and I’m done with this blog. I might return to add some pictures, but as we know, my selfies aren’t that stupendous. So probably not. But you never know. I started a WordPress blog (that I’m not going to reveal, because it was secret) back in 2007. In 2009, I gave it up to concentrate on my writing blog. Every once in a while, I’ll go back, but it’s only as a casual visitor. I don’t think I could contribute anything to that particular part of my blog life anymore.

This morning, I went downstairs to pound some metal. I do this every now and again, when I get bored, of if I’m waiting for something to come out of the wash. (This time it was the latter.)

We’re slowly but surely making our way through the chaos that was the mancave construction, cleaning the massive amounts of dust and throwing out old lumber and crap.

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As you can see, it’s still rather a mess.

My husband wants to take down the mirror tiles, but I like them. So 1970’s.

Filter: Earlybird


November 26

Just realized I have only a few weeks before the Instagram experiment is over. I’ve yet to selfie my entire self.

This is hard to do. It’s hard enough to selfie your face. A lot of pitfalls there. You want to show your best side. You don’t want to show wrinkles or fat. At my age, that’s a non-starter. You KNOW there will be wrinkles and fat. Unless your arms are seven feet long, you’re not going to get your whole body into the frame.

This is my attempt.

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The view from my head.

Of course, you can’t see the top 1/3 of me.

Nice floor, huh?

Filter: LoFi

November 18

After one day of unseasonably warm weather (yesterday), a cold front blew in from the west. What resulted were epic storms, high winds, and driving rain. It was so bad, the dog didn’t want to go outside last night for her nightly visit. It was so bad, my husband didn’t want to take her outside, because he feared an oak tree would fall on him.

A lot of people lost power, and some still don’t have any. We do, though, which is a miracle.

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Then the sun came out this morning and blinded me.

Not to worry. We got back to mostly cloudy by 10:30 a.m.

Filter: Normal

November 16

It was reasonably nice out, so I took this opportunity to dig up my sweet potatoes. I should have done it weeks ago, but what with the weather being less than cooperative, who could fit it in? I figure it’s going to snow soon, so better do it.


This took a lot longer than I thought it would, and I was covered in dirt. But here’s a thumb selfie.

Made mashed potatoes, three parts sweet, one part regular and they were to die for.

Filter: None

November 14

It’s my annual got-to-hit-up-local-high-schools-and-give-out-information-time. Before it snows.

Today I went up to Fenton. It’s between Brighton and Flint. I know. HUH? Brighton? Flint? Brighton is small (between the Big City and Lansing); Flint is a broken shell of its former self. In between are lakes and farm land.

It didn’t take me that long.

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My observation this week: the farther you get away from “civilization” the more civilized the people are. Yesterday I had to flash my driver’s license to get into the lobby of a city high school. Fenton High School is wide open, no buzzers, no armed guards, no security details.

That’s the trade off for having a corn field across the street.

Filter: Mayfair