Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Get Happy" - attract what you really really want! & Rule Number 6

From Abraham Hicks Teachings

Throughout our journey to reclaim our thin selves, we expected to become happy if we became slim and our 'old selves' - finding Ralphie. However - we have discovered with an epiphany of our own findings that we needed to find our happiness first, and make "peace with who we have become", as Jan stated so well. We have not lost our youth, but gained our new selves, and our future is now exciting.  How did we do this? Well we did read - or Darleen did most of the readings, and tested theories on Jan - about 50 self help books (list to follow). And well someone had to test the theories - Jan is a good sport and excellent at following instructions, with the one exception that 'No she shall not become VEGAN!' - or give up chocolate!

WE NEED A NEW LOGO!!   :)  Ralphie is out and Jan & Darleen are in!! 
Suggestions welcome.

Main books that had an impact were - by Byron Katie, Crystal Andrus, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Suzanne Somers, Paul McKenna -I Can Make You Thin (and other self hypnosis and brain retraining) and our most recent Abraham Hicks - Ask and It Is Given. Of course we also read diet books, and blogs and attended Weight Watchers and drank a lot of water. We have explored it all from the comfort of our homes with books, ebooks, blogs, websites, mp3 recordings, videos and emails - along with texting back and forth between us.
Ask & It Is GivenSimplyEMPOWERED!: Discover How to CREATE and SUSTAIN Success in Every Area of Your LifeThe Power of Intention I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead

Slowly - we are that age, and our brains may be playing a few tricks on us, and require a lot of naps. Sometimes all the reading - like in the video - was too much for us to absorb. Water helped. Enjoying other activities to clear our brains from too much thinking - things like Sex And The City 2 and Chick Lit reading and knitting.

And then all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly started to move into place. 

And we got it! 
What all these many authors and life gurus were trying to tell us, all each in their own way.










And this excerpt from The Power of Intention, by Dr Wayne W. Dyer
- taken from a book by Rosamund and Bejamin Zander - The Art of Possibility

    "Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in,   apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fist on the desk. the resident prime minister admonishes him: "Peter, " he says, "kindly remember Rule Number 6," whereupon Peter, is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes, and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: "Marie, please remember Rule Number 6." Complete calm descends once more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for a  third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: "My dear friend, I've seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of the Rule Number 6?" "Very simple," replies the resident prime minister. "Rule Number 6 is 'Don't take yourself so goddamn seriously.'" "Ah," says his visitor, "this is a fine rule." After a moment of pondering he inquires, "And, what may I ask, are the other rules?"
    "There aren't any." "

REMEMBER - RULE NUMBER 6! 'Don't take yourself so goddamn seriously.'
When stress or anxiety creep in, and threatens your HAPPY!

And, for FUN  --

WANNABE  -- I'll Tell YOU What I Want ... I Really Really Want!!

...darleen & jan

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Get Happy and How To Get STUFF done!

Getting Organized and STUFF done... with interruptions

So this past week Jan and Darleen have been attempting to get to happier state by getting house organized. We made lists, schedules for each hour of the day, with goals for end of week.

Challenges: Interruptions:
  • Kids needing rides 
  • Kids needing stuff
  • Kids sick and needing care
  • Stuff we forgot we promised to do
  • Tied up 

NOTE: this is a joke
- we would never consider putting our children in a cage .. hmm might have worked tho :)

 Well maybe this didn't really happen - but was worth a shot.

Oh yes, we have read all the Time Management rules and advice. uh hum ... The 8 Minute Rule
as on how to: Get A Grip Get a grip on life
- take responsibility for yourself - be in control of your own life
"Most of the things that need doing around the house can be done in under ten minutes. That’s a really short period of time. If you have your snooze button set to ten minute intervals, you’ll appreciate just how little time that is.
BUT. It’s enough time to do LOADS of stuff:
  • Taking out the trash – 2 minutes
  • Loading the dishwasher – 4 minutes
  • Hoovering one room – 7 minutes
  • Ordering a crate of tonic water online – 4 minutes
  • Ironing two shirts – 8 minutes
  • Going around your bedroom, picking up every stray sock and t-shirt and chucking all in the laundry bin – 5 minutes
  • Paying five utility bills – 6 minutes
  • etc etc etc
If you’ve got young kids, eight minutes is about the maximum time you get to yourself anyway. Load the washing machine in your first eight minutes, and drink that gin and tonic in the second."

Ok ... for the most part this works, except when interrupted by children (even those not living at home) or now that we have menopause-induced-memory loss, we find we often forget promises we have made and suddenly our Blackberry signals a 15 minute warning.  So,, what's next ? Do we just give up, and throw ourselves on bed and take a nap?

Darleen & Jan Solution
 Eureka!! We managed to get stuff done - a lot of stuff done with PRIORITIZATION & chocolate!
Inspiration Visualization & through trial and error what REALLY do we have to get done?? - do it.
This is not much different than prioritization in the workplace  - but we are the BOSS.
 Jan's List 
  1.  Walking 15 minutes each day
  2. Laundry
  3. Clean Bedroom that is full top to bottom in order that daughter that moved out can move back in. Should be easy, as 5 days to complete. 
We broke this down into schedule similar to Darleen's List below.
Inspiration Photos:
Imagine Laundry being COMPLETED


- chocolate yummies to be delivered from Ontario to Alberta, and also special chocolate treat specially prepared by Darleen.

Darleen's List
 8 am - walk for 15 min8:30 - breakfast and laundry started  - bed made
9:00 am - Review Bills and mail that came while away  - apply for EI
9:30 - switch laundry to dryer and get 2nd load in washer
10:00  - 12:00  - start closet cleaning - watch laundry at same time 
laundry should be completed by 12 noon
Take break at  12:00  - lunch
12:30 - put laundry away and iron anything that requires touchup
1:00  - complete closet cleanout  and reorg
2:00  -- find home for shoes in front hall closet - or possibly over door storage?
3:00 - visiting parents for an hour
4:00 - 5:00 -- make supper or put it in early in morning before starting

  -- organize computer room >> remove all books and organize or set to send to used book store

obtain bins to store computer odds and ends with labels to put above cupboards in computer room
Organize Living room with books and load up bins for  - freecycle or give away

Bathroom organize  - clean all junk out of cupboards in both bathrooms

-- remove all stuff and clean cupboards
- get rid of anything not required any longer
- clean windows
- wash floor if required
- wash out fridge if required
- organize front hall closet -- remove winter coats if can find some place to store ???

As well supposed to be spending time job searching .... hmmm

Inspirational Photos:

- One day in sun to do nothing.

SO ..... what was the Outcome ...

Please continue Reading 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finding Happiness Knitting

Finding Happiness Knitting

This is a photo of my ONE sock that I knit. Cool!!
Yes socks usually come in pairs, and usually have a heel. This one does NOT.
The pattern is supposed to be easier as does not have the dreaded heel to knit. Let me tell you, it is NOT easier. It was quite challenging, and when completed I discovered that I will never wear such a sock. So.. I will also not force myself to knit the matching sock to make it a pair.
This is one sock was completed over 2 week period. Rather than completing mate, I may need to amputate one foot, so that I only require 1 sock!

Weeks 2 and 3 of being unemployed, I went to Alberta and visited Jan (and family). It was actually supposed to be 1 week, but was extended to 2 weeks on final day of the first week, We had barely relaxed or had time to ‘hang-out’. The family still had some events for me to attend as well. With 5 children ranging from 23 to 14, there are always events to attend.

The first 2 days of my 2nd week, I was sick with some sort of stomach disorder, so feel  I did get  somewhat ripped off. The rest was good I suppose.

Jan and I discussed many topics, shared ideas on achieving happiness,  annoyances of aging,  how to lose weight, and  -if we only knew what we know now 30 years ago,
AND OF COURSE – how do we find Ralphie?

FINDING JOY (must be related to Ralphie)

Darleen being in recuperation phase looked at – Hobbies - Do things that brought you joy in past , or find a new hobbie. Hmm, I suppose that LONGBOADING is not a wise choice - Jan's youngest daughter has taken up this 'sport'.

 Think of the cool clothing I could get for this sport!! AND SHOES!!

Brainstorming Ideas ... safer ideas
Jan and Darleen share many of the same hobbies & interests:
  • voracious readers and both have Sony eReaders;
  • Crafts – sewing, knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, etc etc
  •  Music
  • Movies
  • Walking
  • Cooking
We noted that Darleen has not done any of her craft hobbies in a very long time., due to excessive work hours with previous job. We had discussed this before Darleen went to Alberta, and decided that knitting was going to be the best choice.

“Oh and bring something to work on at craft morning for Wednesday.” Jan so cheerfully told Darleen. “ACK… you do realize it has been 24 years since I knit last - maybe I can fake it? ” Darleen responded.

And thanks to cousin Cyd, who gave  an unfinished project that only requires straight knitting to complete - Darleen almost did get away with looking like an expert knitter. But, alas chose to be honest and take a stab (with knitting needles) at being a ‘real’ knitter. I purchased yarn beginner ‘how to books’, needles and a few patterns for SOCKS.

YES SOCKS!  I did want to present myself as an expert knitter after all. Jan did attempt to get me to start with dishcloths. “I am NOT 10 years old!” I informed her. I did however allow myself a practice swatch to get back in the track – or more to manage to keep the stitches suddenly decreasing or magically increasing. I discovered some very interesting stitches in my practice to find  my way to knit  and purl.  Now I must emphasize that this was with 2 needles, NOT 3 as required for knitting socks.

I did however manage to complete – 1 sock!!

And contrary to blogging and many of my computer oriented pursuits, knitting is more sociable as can knit everywhere - well except airplanes.
(apparently knitting needles and fondue forks are considered lethal weapons)
I cannot really eat while knitting, without taking a break. Or cannot smoke. Or drink much.
So ...
I did lose weight, and did learn how to smoke more in between
-- yes well working on one bad habit at a time :)

Did I find Happiness! Yes indeed. It was a challenge, something different. It got me away from the constant computer, allowed me to just be, at the same time as creating something. I will continue and look forward to doing more of the sewing and other crafts that I was once known for - and enjoyed as an outlet.

My advice 
- find a hobby that you enjoy, and you will find more happiness in your life.

More tomorrow on our Scheduling & Inspiration to 'get things done, log of our weight loss findings... and when it all falls apart due to INTERRUPTIONS!! 

...darleen & jan

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My Fondue Forks 
- are still in Alberta.
I returned home, but the forks were not allowed on the plane. I forgot about the forks that were packed in carry-on bag with the chocolate fondue set. Oops!!

I had 4 options:
1) Have fondue set transported through checked baggage
 - Cost $50 as over the 2 bag limit
2) Store the FORKS in airport at $1/day until retrieval
 - MUST have copy of documentation to retrieve
3) Call Jan and have her collect
 - if she has not left the airport parking area
4) GIFT the forks to airport staff and forget them.

I managed to successfully complete Option #4 - as Jan was just exiting the airport parking garage, and could swing by the departure drop-off area. I met her there, and quickly tossed the forks and the fondue candle in through the open window!! Mission completed, and now could return through Airport Security once again, and make it to my gate on time.

Therefore I am home from Alberta, but Fondue Forkless.

Fondue forks are very tiny forks, and not very sharp, and made in China made out of material that is metal-looking material that bends and breaks easily, how much damage do you imagine they could cause? Most likely a pen could cause the same damage, but we are allowed to carry pens aboard.
Go figure.

More details on our experiences from the 2 weeks to follow regarding our walking adventures, craft events, shopping events, family events, retail therapy, laundry challenges, early morning and late night chats and of course healthy food and beverage choices.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Alberta
  1. Problems follow you to Alberta - apparently are allowed on the plane.
  2. Family pets do not care if you are allergic.
  3. Laundry can always wait - buy enough undies and socks to last a month.
  4. Picking up after teenagers you share bathroom with is optional
    - however necessary if you want to actually use the bathroom
  5. If you are hungry cook enough for at least 8.
  6. Beer, wine  and other alcoholic beverages appear magically from the basement.
  7. Being caught between multiple televisions playing is good test of your hearing.
  8. Naps can be taken anywhere and anytime.
  9. If you want to save money, don't take the children with you when shopping.
  10. Sneaking out to the Dairy Queen without the family makes you feel young
    - like a teenager!
  11. Check the door is unlocked before closing and avoid locking yourself out.
  12. Learning to knit again is hard work.
  13. Last one up is responsible for locking doors, shutting off lights and pets requests.
  14. If you see something that needs to be put away - do it.
  15. Finding time to have chat privately may be required to be done by texting.
  16. Retail therapy is mandatory for all women.
  17. Chocolate is a major food group - is too!
  18. Motherhood is not easy.
  19. Mall walking does count as exercise.
  20. Saying goodbye is NEVER easy!

Tomorrow - story of KNITTING ONE SOCK Adventure... and what knitting can do for your state of happiness and your sex life.

...darleen & jan

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Do We Expect Instant Gratification? YES!!

     Life Is Amazing ... but we are still unhappy

    Gotta agree, that we all take our lives for granted and expect instant gratification and instant responses to little effort. We have the technology! This tends to carry over to our self improvements of ourselves - in getting rid of bad habits, changing our lifestyles and taking better care of our bodies. We exercise twice and if no results throw in the towel. Studies have shown that most people that enroll in gym membership cease going within 90 days. Good deal for the gyms, as they only require to have full staff for January to March, due to New Year's resolutions, and remainder of time, they just rake in the monthly dues. Maybe I should get a gym franchise!

    This attitude is seen more in the younger generation? Not really, it appears to be a human trait to accept and take for granted what we have NOW, and expect more. You can never go back - they say, and that includes backwards. We don't accept less easily, after we have been to the top of the mountain. If we manage to have the mansion, it is exceptionally difficult to go back to the trailer park. In the video he does mention that possibly we need to go back to having just a donkey - sort of a RESET.

    There are places within the world that do not have the luxuries we have in North America. Although surprisingly many have faster service for Smart Phones that within North America - cell phones appear in the poorest homes and have become a priority.

    Studies are currently being completed regarding the benefits and adoption of cell phones in low-income countries. It is not 'silver bullet', and these people still walk more, have less technology than we do, and often appreciate life more than we the privileged.

    How Mobile Phones are Transforming Africa
    "Six out of ten Africans have access to a cell phone, and many people hope the phones will transform development on the continent. In a new paper, non-resident fellow Jenny Aker and Isaac Mbiti separate the hype from the reality."

    Many countries still use animals for transportation, such as the donkey and mule on Hydra Island.(small Greece Island)
    HYDRA ISLAND......
    NO CARS allowed on Hydra 
    • we use the time-honoured method of animal transport. Individually owned donkeys and mules are stationed on the main port where the boats arrive. You will have to negotiate the price to your hotel/pension/villa with the muleteer. It is part of the fun! A single donkey/mule can carry two large suitcases and two carry bags. If you are travelling with an elderly or invalided person or just want to try it out yourself for a laugh, you can also ride on the back of a donkey/mule to your accommodation.

    I can just imagine if we implemented areas in our cities that are animal only transportation!!

    I have experienced rather humourous (to me) in regard to technology, and Internet Service Providers - people want speed, and more speed and no downtimes. oh my. I have been on the internet since 1991 with a 1200 baud modem, and dialup. If we could get connected and did not receive a busy signal, and managed to stay connected - we were THRILLED!! There were no photos, images, youtube, music - it was text and connecting to people all over the world through searches, newsgroups, and forums. When images became available it took at least 5 minutes to 'paint' as downloaded and rendered to the web browser. Chat rooms and other interactive games sites were text only. As each new feature and functionality was added - we were THRILLED!! Now - we  expect more and more and better and faster and no glitches.

    - similar to 'stop and smell the roses'.
    RECALIBRATE - not everything needs to be INSTANT - AND - not everything is instant.

    We need to go back to putting in the EFFORT - to get RESULTS.
    And maybe  .. just appreciate the wonder that we are here.

    -- the only method that works successfully. 
    Photoshop CAFE TV- Instant Weight Loss with Photoshop CS3 | Adobe TV

    The instructor of tutorial admits that if we could apply this to real life, it would put gyms out of business.


    GO Article - Instant Weight Loss - Myth or Reality?
    "Most instant weight loss programs are scams at best and dangerous for your body at worst. If you really want or need to lose weight here's what I recommend: Get on a proven low calorie diet plan that suits your lifestyle. Use a safe and reasonable exercise plan. Support your diet and exercise with a few carefully chosen supplements. This won't provide instant results, however, you can lose 12 to 20 pounds in two months time while building a happier and healthier you!"

    So ... HURRY UP AND WAIT!!
     Make a fuss over the small stuff that we take for granted and appreciate how amazing our lives are.
    Or we will send you a donkey!!

    ...darleen & jan

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Sex and the City 2 & Happiness Project

     Estrogen has left the building ...

    I am in Alberta visiting Jan. Tuesday we had a girls night out to the movies to see Sex and the City 2 (SATC2). We loved it! Against all reviews and even some personal recommendations that it was nothing special - we found it deliciously special, and just the boost we needed. We laughed until we cried and found it great fun. Better than hormone replacement!!

    How is our review of the movie so different from the many official reviews? Maybe because we evaluated it as  a story of fantasy while relating to REAL life issues faced by women. The point of the story has to do with marriage, motherhood and menopause in a humourous albeit exaggerated portrayal. Some of the comments are not different however to our experiences.

    Watch CBS News Videos Online
    Marriage -
    Where does the sizzle go? How can it be captured again? Is 2 days off occasionally so ridiculous?  
    Of course we are not married to millionaires that buy us black diamond rocks and fall at our feet - that is the fantasy. And admit it or not, I strongly believe most women love to dream about our men loving us in this manner - and it doesn't have to be a huge diamond, but we desire the sentiment.

    Motherhood -
    Motherhood is rewarding and we love our children dearly. Yes, most of the time that is true - except for the reward part that is often not appreciated until they are grown. Motherhood is a pain in the ass, wrecks our bodies, creates havoc with our sleep and hormones, and the children often drive us NUTS. There we have said it. And then there is 'mother guilt' for even mentioning these facts. We fight our needs to be a good mother and our own selfish pursuits and struggle with the life changes. The physical and chemical changes to our bodies is difficult. We do often dream of escaping - even for 2 hours, let alone 2 days. So yes we could relate to the movies expression of the difficulties of motherhood.

    Menopause -
    Ahh yeah baby. Samantha's portrayal of her menopause challenges were real and honest. Yes there were some exaggerations, but really the movie hit it right on for us. Many reviewers are either out to lunch or don't have any expertise of menopause. Some were caught up in fact that Samantha is a breast cancer survivor so could not /should not be using hormone replacement - huh? Estrogen has left the building - yes we are right there with you. Biodentical hormones, magic potion creams - bring it on!
    We do want to feel like 'ourselves again' and wish our bodies would still function as previously in the bedroom department - our minds and physical attributes and desires appear to be playing tricks on us.
    We definitely could relate, and appreciated the humourous over the top expressions of real life challenges with the menopause maze.
    Overall, this movie was a joyous event to laugh at our own follies and experiences as women.
    Sometimes you need a girls night out. Sometimes you need an escape. Sometimes you just need to know you can escape. Sometimes it helps to know you are not alone with challenges.

     It made us feel HAPPY and ...
    CELEBRATES  being a woman and all that goes with it!!

    Be Happy!!

    ..darleen & jan

    RALPHIE is right here with us :)

    Thursday, June 3, 2010


     Darleen is off to visit Jan in Alberta 
    -- in meantime here is an interesting video :)  
     and exercise ideas!!

    All those that are my age will remember - the Hoola Hoop

     Well ... It's BACK!!

     Other Interesting finds regarding Hoola Hoops:

    THIS may be an idea for Darleen's new career?
     - "Professional Hoola Hooper"

    And I can combine it  with YOGA and join the CIRCUS!!

    Or maybe not ....  
    New Blog update soon !!

    ...darleen & jan