DIMPLES DIARY – January 2024

Happy New Year! I know it’s the end of January, but the year is still pretty new. Do you think so, too?

A QUICK CHRISTMAS REVIEW

But before we get into the first Dimples Diary of the year, let me back up and tell you we had a lovely Christmas that lasted for several days. The only toy we gave our Littles, we gave as a family gift. They all loved this axe-throwing set.

But their big gift was a gift card to a local family fun center with bowling, arcade games, go-carts, etc. We took them all together on the Friday after Christmas to enjoy it with them. It was fun to see each one play the games and even help each other; some even paid for another to do an activity with them once the others’ money was gone.

We started January exhausted but were fortunate to have a quiet New Year’s weekend.

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WHERE I WENT

I headed to Tennessee in mid-January for my niece’s baby shower. This will be my sister’s first grandchild; her daughter is my only biological niece, so it was important to me to celebrate with them. Of course, it was bittersweet without my mom, but before she passed, my niece was able to share with her that she was having…. a GIRL!

WHAT WE DID

My cute little nephew. “Paging Dr. Cutes.”

I picked up my baby sister, her 14-year-old stepdaughter, her 21-month-old little guy, and her two Goldendoodles in Cincinnati, and we traveled the rest of the way together. It was car full and still bears the french fries that prove it.

It was a super quick trip because of the forecasted winter storm heading into Tennessee that weekend, but before my baby sister and I headed home, we “cleaned out” my mom’s clothes. Her closet wasn’t empty when we left, but we took what we wanted, and the rest will be cleared out over the next couple of months as my sister, who lives there, donates and consigns most of the stuff.

I spent an overnight with her on the way back and traveled the rest of the way home in a polar vortex so I could be home to keep my grandkids the following day.

WE NEED IDEAS

My mom was the neatest hoarder you ever met. She only hoarded a couple of things. But her love of Karen Scott’s prairie-esque cotton blouses could definitely be called an obsession. They were her signature style! We have her 83 “down-collar” blouses, not including the corduroy and printed ones, that my youngest sister would like to “do something” with.

What do you think; perhaps we could find someone to incorporate the collars into a quilt? Have you ever seen anything like this done?

IT’S FUNNY CAUSE IT’S TRUE

A lot has happened since we last spoke, but the scariest and funniest has to be that I have peed and pooped my pants since then, and not at the same time. Ugh! I was home both times, so at least there’s that.

Friends, even in my worst ulcerative colitis flare-up, I have never had a bathroom accident like I did over Christmas break. I was trying to finish a game we were playing with our grandsons, but I took it too far, and it was too late. I was so freaked out that I couldn’t hold it that for a couple of weeks afterward, I was crazy fearful, thinking, what if this happens to me in public? My mom always carried a change of clothes in the car “in case she messed herself.” Is this me now?

What is not new to me is peeing my pants. Last night, I was laughing at an extremely funny part of a John Crist standup set about foot-washing at a wedding. Hilarious until I had to change my pants. That will teach me to try to hold it while watching something funny.

WHAT ARE THE GRANDKIDS UP TO?

What’s a Dimple’s Diary without talking about the Littles?

A couple of boys are playing basketball, and a couple are wrestling. I’ve got to say that wrestling may be my favorite. First, every wrestler gives it their all. And, it makes me so happy when the volume reaches fever-pitch as they cheer their teammates on, congratulates them, or console them after their match.

We’ve also had a snow day or two. It makes me crazy that we don’t technically get “snow days” anymore, but they are now called eLearning days, and they must do schoolwork online.

GIVE THE KIDS A SNOW DAY!

We usually finished schoolwork by lunchtime and had enough time to pull out the fuse beads again. These boy’s creations are getting bigger and better. My oldest grandson (on the left) started his when he was here a few days over Christmas break.

WHAT I ATE

I made these delicious chocolate cookie bars on the last snow day. The boys devoured them! They are soft and chewy if you don’t overbake them and are much quicker than making individual cookies.

WHAT I’M WEARING

Shop this look: Pant-1X for preferred fit (but could wear XL) || Top-XXL fit’s slightly looser than the 1X

TOPPlus Size, Misses || PANTSPlus Size, Misses (fit notes in photo caption)

When I’m not in PJ’s, I still wear elevated loungewear like a uniform. These separates from Kohl’s have become an absolute favorite; they feel like pajamas but look a little polished. If I wore them with smoking slippers and held a cigarette in one of those long holders, you could pop me into a 1940s movie as the at-home diva. 😉 These are still available in some sizes and colorways for you to try – the lounge pieces, not the slippers.

ON THAT NOTE

Let’s clarify; if you don’t know me for real, I don’t smoke. My grandmother let me smoke a cigarette when I was in middle school; luckily for me and her, I was not too fond of it. 😉

THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW YEAR

Are you a perfectionist? Do you research everything and anything so much that you do not decide because you’re paralyzed by confusion and TMI?  That’s EXACTLY me!

A couple of weeks ago, in my Instagram Stories, I shared some thoughts and encouragement for the new year but forgot to save it to a Highlight, so I decided to reshare it here today.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, locked up, or beating yourself up for not wanting to set goals or leap into this new year with zeal and a mile-long list of goals, this is for you. Let’s take the pressure off ourselves to choose a word, make resolutions, or do everything perfectly. 

I love you, my friend, and I want the best for both of us. ♥ Until next time…

*I apologize for the janky format; as this was part of a story I shared on Instagram, it was filmed in the Instagram app, and it’s never the best quality.

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4 Comments

  1. Patricia Holihan
    /

    Hey Paula, thanks for the video. First time I heard your voice and I feel like I know you so much better. Thanks for “Just do it.” Helps a lot. Too much info is really emotionally overwhelming. I will follow your lead. Love, Patty

  2. Robin
    /

    I think making a quilt with your mother’s beloved blouses is a great idea. I have seen quilts made with handkerchiefs, t-shirts and baby clothes so making them with your mom’s blouses wouldn’t be much of a stretch. It sounds like there are plenty too so you and your sister could each have a quilt as a remembrance.
    Since you shared your yummy looking picture of the chocolate chip bars, I thought I would share a recipe I have for Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip bars. They are easy-peasy and a favorite when my family gets together.

    Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip bars

    -2 rolls of chocolate chip cookie dough, softened (I buy the Walmart Great Value brand, but feel free to use whichever brand you like)
    -8 0z pkg cream cheese, softened
    -1/2 cup sugar
    -1 egg
    – 1 tsp vanilla
    Pat out one package of the cookie dough onto an 11×15 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray(best to use one with edges). I usually sprinkle a little flour on the dough to make it easier to pat it out without sticking to your fingers.
    Mix the other ingredients with a mixer until smooth and spread it over the cookie dough.
    I pat some more flour onto the remaining cookie roll dough and put it between two pieces of plastic wrap and use my rolling pin to roll it out into a size roughly the same as the cookie sheet. Afterward I cut it into manageable sized pieces that can be lifted and laid on top of the cream cheese layer.
    Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes until cookie layer is firm. I usually check it about 12 minutes in to make sure it is cooking evenly and almost always rotate my cookie sheet because it isnt!
    Cut into bars after it has cooled.
    * The original recipe I have called for just one cookie roll divided and made 9-12 servings. You could always double the amount of cream cheese if you wanted that layer to be thicker.

  3. Nancy
    /

    Thank you. I’m very glad you’re back!

  4. Paula!!! I have been praying for you almost every night. Your family is so big (compared to mine), and you are so blessed. I love the matching PJs! How sweet is your niece! I’m glad you were able to get to TN and back before that snow hit.

    As far as your mom’s tops, I think a quilt is a beautiful idea. I’ve also seen pillows made from men’s shirts. That would be a nice way to make sure everyone gets one or two of these. I had to laugh at the Karen Scott reference! For years, that was one of my go-to brands for tees and shorts.

    I loved your video. I have fallen into that same pit of I don’t know how to do it all so I just won’t do anything. I have gained so much weight over the last now four years. When I had surgery this summer, I asked my gynecologist for help losing the weight. I don’t think doctors are trained in this at all! Her response was that intermittent fasting was what most people had the most success with. I’ve been doing that lately and am finally losing some weight. But, girl!!! I am hungry to the point of hangry! The husband and I have started chair yoga because we are just not flexible. I have been amazed at the difference it has already made in my flexibility.

    Your video also made me think about how I’ve been feeling about my blog. I was recently turned down for a collaboration because my numbers aren’t high enough. That disappointed me, and I was feeling all “woe is me.” Then, I stopped to think about what I wanted for my blog. Sure, I wish more retailers would be interested in me and send me good PR. But, I also don’t want to put in hours on Instagram pushing those things. Does that make sense? I hope so!

    Ooh, I like the idea of blaming menopause for my ADD, but the truth is I’ve had it for years.

    I hope the rest of your month and year go wonderfully!

    Marsha
    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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