Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thanks V - SWP!

Many years ago I attended a great workshop at GE Healthcare in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  One of the GE mottos is "SWP" - Steal With Pride.  That said, I just read a blog entry from V who is living in London to attend school and just decided to "steal" it.  Thanks Val!


1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Bought my own house.  Spent new year's eve (2011-2012) under the Eiffel Tower with Ben.  Divorced. Went to Abruzzo.  Resigned from my job of 25 years to move to California. Attended Women's Retreat.  Took classes to convert to Judaism. Went to the Grand Old Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions.  That said, I have one this year - to make fresh squeezed citrus juice every morning.  Thanks Sandy Caribou!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Q's niece, Stacy, had a baby boy named Boston on 12/21/2012. That's right, the Mayan Apocalypse.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, my father in law, Abraham Abbott Guttman, who died in July at age 96.  His body wore out but he was mentally sharp to the very end. I am happy that he knew I was moving to CA and that he saw photos of my new home.  Rachel Maddow lost her greatest fan. I still see his clenched fist and hear him saying "You tell em Rach"

5. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More strength to stand up to bullying behavior.  Better self control.  Better memory!

6. What places did you visit?
Paris, Amsterdam, Daytona Beach, Encinitas, CA and Scottsdale, AZ (Spring Training on my mom's 84th birthday!) Maquoketa, IA, Nashville, Longmeadow, MA, New Haven (for Pizza!,) Carnegie Hall (to see my niece Laila's choir performance!,) Fort Madison, IA, Decatur, TX, Elizabeth, CO,  Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, FL (flew with Ben for the first time and saw the best Bears game of the year,) Rome and Abruzzo, XC trip #1 in RV with two Siamese cats and XC trip #2 with U-haul towing my car, and San Francisco with Q, Ben and Kenzie.  Phew!

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
3/4/12 - met my Q in person.  March Forth!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Purchasing a house, but also meeting Q, divorcing and leaving RHC after 25 years.  All very grown up things to do. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
losing my temper with resultant words spoken which I regret 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Fell in Nashville; ultimately diagnosed with compression fracture of my tibial plateau.  That's about it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My home.  Some beautiful handmade shoes in Rome.  And a Chitarra for making pasta.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My niece, Laila and my friend Mary L.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Republican Party

14. Where did most of your money go?
Down payment

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My Q, our new home, moving to CA and the ability to be in close proximity to my "family of origin" some of you will get this.  Plus being part of the BEST GROUP EVER at Palazzo Tour D'Eau Cooking School (Thanks Groupon!) in Carunchio, Abruzzo, Italy

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Carole King's 'You've Got a Friend" as belted out during a card game in the Palazzo.  Folks who went to bed early were saying the next morning, "We heard singing and it sounded good!"  Steep Canyon Rangers and Dolly Parton - Pretty Flowers.  Steep Canyon Rangers and Paul McCartney - Best Love

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter. But people tell me I look better than when I lost all that weight!
iii. richer or poorer? different. 
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Q and I stayed in all day long.  Smoked a standing rib roast for the very first time. 

21. What would cheer you up today?
less drama. 

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

23. How many one-night stands?
none.  not in 2012 or EVER. 

24. What was your favorite TV program?
MSNBC.  strange I know but I don't watch "regular" shows

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
The President's Club

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, or perhaps that's better phrased The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin

28. What did you want and get?
A successful transition back to life in CA.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
None.  Seriously everything seems to have themes of infidelity which are incredibly disturbing.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
The night before, my parents took Q and I out to Tapenade in La Jolla for a wonderful French dinner.  On the actual day Q took me to lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  We ate outdoors in 70 degree weather on 11/21!  and the next day it was Thanksgiving!  Beauty!

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Umm the white sox NOT CHOKING?  And let's not even start on the Bears. 

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Tracy Reese after seeing Michelle Obama at the DNC.  And ModCloth.

33. What kept you sane?
Dr. B

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gun Issues.  It's incredibly complex and I just don't know what the solution is.  I have 2 degrees of separation from 2 of the Sandy Hook victims and was in Elizabeth, CO when the Batman shootings happened.  I can't believe that we NEED all these guns. 

36. Whom did you miss?

37. Who was the best new person you met?
Q.  Rene', Brian, Blake and Allie.  Kathy. Ray.  Jan, Ted, Stacy, Jesse and London.  Dr. Ted and Amanda.  AmbereyesLove.  The women from the Emanuel Retreat.  Pastors Mark and Martha.  And everyone from THE BEST GROUP EVER in Abruzzo.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
Trust is earned

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Things were nice in California, 
loved our trip out to the coast.
Did I say your mother phoned us, 
you are my best love!
You look good in fancy dresses, 
wish we'd bought that one that day
I even like your old ex-boyfriend, 
you are my best love
Hardly heard and hardly spoken
Hard to talk when things are rough
Cant you hear my heart is saying 
You are my best Love?
Thanks for solving Friday's crossword
who knew! Ivan was a Czar?
And for having patience with me
You are my best love
Silence is not my intention
Hard to talk when things are rough
Forgive me if I fail to mention
You are my best love
Things were nice in California
Loved our trip out to the Coast
Did I say your Mother phoned us
You are my best love

40. What is next year’s horoscope?
2012 Overview for all Scorpios. Changes to your personality and needs this year are subtle and yet significant, dear Scorpio. For one, you're more willing to learn from others and to accept support offered. For another, your tastes in romance, recreation, and the arts are slowly but surely refining and blossoming. Relationships continue to figure strongly in your life this year. You are finding more joy in others, and they are more responsive to your needs. Partnership opportunities increase, particularly until June, in direct proportion to your generosity of spirit. Romance and casual relationships are unusual and exciting. The last quarter of the year brings less focus on pleasure and socializing. Increased personal responsibilities are likely with Saturn's entry into your sign, where it will transit until 2015. It's a time for keeping a lower profile and working on solid, long-term goals. Getting your life into order is the focus now. You'll be tending to those things you've left unfinished or neglected - matters that suddenly become pressing at this time. It would be wise to prepare for this cycle that begins in October by carefully considering practical responsibilities that you've let slide and tending to them, slowly but surely, so that  you are not overwhelmed. In 2012, there is likely to be increased attention to alternative health methods and lifestyles. Keeping daily life running smoothly (busy but not hectic is the goal) can be a challenge. While you're likely to find that financial support is easier to come by than usual this year, you will need to carefully watch your spending and borrowing habits. This comes more naturally from October forward. While the last quarter of 2012 can bring some sobering realities into your life, it's also a period conducive to turning dreams into reality, particularly creative ones. Your personality toughens up, but your powers of persuasion run high.
2012 Details.
From May forward, Jupiter graces your solar seventh house, and you may enjoy benefits through marriage, serious partnerships, common-law partnerships, business partnerships, negotiations, and/or contractual agreements. This is a period in which you are more likely to establish, or solidify, a significant partnership; or you could be enhancing an existing relationship. You can negotiate more successfully than usual, and, if applicable, you are that much more likely to win in legal matters or other forms of official negotiations. Financial benefits could possibly come through partnerships. For most of you who are already partnered, you are likely to find more joy in close relationships due to a more easygoing and tolerant attitude towards others and partnering in general. Legal matters or challenging relationship problems from the past might more easily be resolved now, and even more casual disputes are likely to be settled during this cycle. The need for freedom in your social relationships is strong, however, and if it is not forthcoming, you could feel caged in and restless. You may find yourself taking on the role of consultant or advisor, or you could benefit from help from same. Good publicity may come your way. If your work involves the public, you can safely expect increased popularity now, or you might receive good reviews, feedback, or word-of-mouth opportunities. Relationships and partnerships benefit from expansive, warm energy, or successful new ones are entered into this year. These positive circumstances won't necessarily fall into your lap, and are unlikely to come all at once. You need to keep your eyes open for opportunities in these areas of life. Also, although Jupiter is generally considered a positive and happy energy, close relationships could end during this cycle, but if they do, it's generally in order to move on to a happier, healthier, more tolerant relationship. A warm, open, and honest approach to others wins you positive new relationships, or enhances existing ones.
The most favorable periods for these matters occur while Jupiter is in direct motion in your solar seventh house, from May to October 4th.
During this Jupiter cycles, your sense of security and/or wealth can increase through a relationship with someone special or through a partner. Sources of income might also come through counselling work.
Saturn transits your solar twelfth house this year. Saturn turns a critical eye to all that lies beneath the surface, and you are forced to do some serious "spring cleaning" of your psyche during this period. You are facing your own demons - the vague yet haunting fears that undermine you. We all have skeletons in our closet. What we don't always realize is that they can seriously undermine our happiness and well-being. Saturn sweeps through your "closet" (the twelfth house), and demands that you take a hard look at what's been hiding in there. Is this process uncomfortable? For many of us, it can be. But getting rid of outdated attachments, and examining and discarding irrational fears, is not only necessary for further growth and development - it's ultimately a huge relief. Health issues, generally of a psychosomatic nature, may have come to the fore. Do your best not to dwell on past failures or guilt for what you haven't done during this cycle. Detach yourself from these things as much as possible.
Saturn enters your sign in October 2012, but will not reach a conjunction to your Sun until 2014.
The influences of Uranus and Neptune are similar to that of last year. Neptune continues its transit of your fourth house, perhaps bringing some confusion about your connections to your past, family, or home life. Uranus continues to transit your fifth house. During this cycle that has already been underway for many years, you tend towards unconventional ways of expressing yourself and your creativity. Your hobbies can be out of the ordinary, and so can your relationships with children and lovers, depending on how this cycle is affecting you. Sudden developments or surprises in your romantic life are par for the course with Uranus here. This is a time when you free yourself of personal inhibitions and a time of more spontaneous expression. This is a playful, somewhat eccentric, position for Uranus. Casual love affairs that have grown stale may be left behind now. You may also attract unusual romances or romantic partners into your life during this cycle. This long-term cycle is nearing completion.
With Pluto, Scorpio's ruler, in Capricorn for the last few years, Scorpios are more ambitious, practical, and security-minded. This trend continues in 2012. Your ruler squares Uranus in June and September this year, and this can bring a rather rebellious streak into your personality. You don't take kindly to others telling you what to do and when to do it. From June to September, it would be wise to guard against risky financial moves. You might find some conflict involving your pursuit of pleasure this year. Unsettled financial matters could get in the way of your desire to indulge in extra-curricular activities. However, your strong sense of responsibility should get you on the right track.
Eclipses in 2012 fall in your solar first and seventh houses. Issues of personal courage, confidence, and independence come to the fore. Eclipses also alert you to the need to interact with others--either the public, or through a close partnership. For some, marriage or divorce will be an issue. For most, carving out a personal identity that includes a significant other who furthers their own personal growth will come into focus.
A positive connection between your sixth and second houses in March suggests that practical matters are a large focus and are very strong. More security in your job is likely. You are more willing than usual to work diligently for money, and your natural talents are likely to be utilized more in the work you do, and appreciated by others. Creative partnerships might be formed during this period. Partnerships can be enhanced with increased communication and involvement.

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