Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What to Toss, What to Keep

Miss Moxie is not helping me.

After staring at the pile of paperwork on my desk at home, I grew frustrated over my pack-rat self. I was determined to change my ways!! Time to shred and purge!
I clip articles hoping to read them, collect brochures from places I wanna visit, rip recipes out I wanna make, save birthday cards from years ago, etc. My Mom saved everything so I know she is who I got this “urge to save” from. And then there are the magazines and books I think I am going to read someday...

Any magazines around the house I try and toss or forward onto someone after I’ve read them pretty thoroughly. Books or magazines I haven’t read 'Im trying to be more proactive and donate them to friends, family, or a library. If I have not read those clipped articles in a year, I toss ‘em. A couple I kept and moved them from the pile to my nightstand or magazine rack in the bathroom. Ha-ha. Perfect night time or “private” bath time reading. J
With regards to all of those countless travel brochures, I think I’m going to make a running list of the places that I want to visit and keep it on my desk top on the home computer or the fridge. This way I can always glance at it, add to it, cross off, etc. No need to keep all those brochures. (OK, already going through brochure withdraw over here...)

For example, I’ve wanted to go to the Reading Public Art Museum for years and I keep grabbing brochures. I found three brochures of the same museum! Time to figure out another strategy to reduce unnecessary paperwork. Now this though, will be VERY hard as everyone who knows me, know how much I love collecting brochures since I was a wee little lad.

I’ll keep birthday cards from just my immediate family. If one is from a close friend with a nice personal note, I’ll hold onto that one too. Any other miscellaneous birthday or holiday cards, I’ll toss. Do I really need to save a birthday card from Joe-Shmo at work from  3 years ago? Nah, sorry Joe. I barely know ya.

Where do I draw the line with old bills, bank statements, pay stubs, and tax info? That’s another pile of past paper I was staring at. Most past billing statements can be retrieved online so what I do know is pay the bill, check it’s been paid online and reflected in my balance, and then shred the statement. And listen, before you question me that I am still receiving paper bills, I can’t help myself. I’m Old School baby! I have turned about half of my bills over to electronic or online billing. I’m not ready to take the full jump yet...

With bank statements, it’s the same deal. Everything can be found online these days. I kept some general info about each bank I had an account at, notices, terms and conditions, etc. The past statements have been shredded and tossed.

I’ve kept one pay stub from each previous job. Just so I have the company info if I ever need it, or the last pay rate. I embarrassingly actually had EVERY pay stub from when I started at Lehigh County over 8 years ago!!! Why was I keeping all of these papers!? I got rid of the majority and have just kept my very first one (for posterity LOL) and pay stubs from the current year.

The most depressing thing? Comparing my wages from 2009 to 2017. How sad. Now county public service careers are a great stable jobs but the ongoing financial incentives are pretty meager. Par for the course as I always knew private sector pays more than public.

Now with tax paperwork I just file away and pretty much keep forever. I’ve heard you can toss after 7 years and I’ve read you can toss after 3 years. I’m not taking any chances with the Feds. I’ll be buried with my old tax returns.

Below is a link to a great article by Suze Orman on financial clutter and what you should keep and what you should get rid of. It’s not the Bible of it all but nonetheless, a damn good guide. Hope it helps. It gave me a great place to start. 

Hmmmm…. But I don’t see ANYTHING about tossing travel brochures so I think I’m gonna still keep hoarding them. J

What paperwork or other items do you find yourself keeping?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Incredible Quote by Maya Angelou

This has always moved me. 

You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.

by Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet and activist

My Love Affair with Bugles is Exposed!

The Devil's Snack

I had a tough commute tonight. I hit rush hour which extended my normal commute of 1 hour to just under 2 hours. It wasn't an accident thank God. It wasn't construction. It was just blasted traffic! Grrr. Not even anything crazy to look at. Prior to hitting the jam, I ended up stopping at the local quick gas/coffee/convenience store right before the highway. Picked up the necessities: gas, coffee, and a snack for the ride home.

In this case, it was a 14.5 oz bag of my favorite childhood munchies, BUGLES! OH GOD I loved them!!! Well I hit major traffic and everything stopped. I had already had a handful of the Bugles. They were sitting on the passenger seat JUST STARING AT ME. I mean like just mocking me, tempting me to eat them. 

Ok I just had one hand full, then another, and still ANOTHER. By the time I hit Shartlesville.... yes that's the name LOL, I ate 90% of the bag. So what did I do, I asked Google how many calories were in each bag ... 1120 calories!!! Um. I'm feeling like a pig right now and a bit sick. I'd be seeing a different Shartlesville pretty soon. Ha-ha! 

What's a gym rat to do? Well work it off. But why oh why did I do it in the first place? 

I'm HUMAN. I love salty snacks. I had a tough day and needed some comfort food! Don't give me Oreo's or chocolate (unless it's dark chocolate). Give me salty crunchy snacks! That's my thing! That's my craving! It's crazy right? I guess not really. We seemed to be programmed to go after snacks which we LOVE like sweet or salty. I like crunchy and salty. Chips, peanuts, chips, more chips. etc. 

The guilt came over me. I've been SO GOOD. And I threw it away with over 1000 calories of snacks in a single serving! First off, remember I said we are human? Gotta accept it. We break down, even the craziest of us gym rats. I need to forgive myself. I am trying. 

Now what to do about those friggin' calories? Well washing dishes helps. LOL So does laundry. Maybe a little yard work... does sweeping the deck count? 

OK, I know, I am putting it off. I hit the gym at 7pm with a belly full of Bugles. They were SO GOOD but I knew I needed to get on top of this fast. 

I spent an hour at the gym on the elliptical and worked off  500 calories. Good start. Again ... I (WE) am human. I (WE) will have minor setbacks. Wrestle with your conscious but physically MOVE on that sh*t! Get on top of it before it becomes an unwieldy weight. I know it's tough and it means more work out. You gotta just work through that guilt. I'm with YOU! It sucks! 

I hate myself for eating an entire bag of BUGLES! LOLOL I laugh just thinking of it. But I gotta work it off. I'm halfway there. I'll have a couple of tough workouts. On days I spend only doing weights, I'll throw in cardio to work off an extra 100-200 calories. It'll be worked off by the next week. 

I ended up having a very light dinner due to my snacking. I enjoyed a Progresso Tuscan-Style White Bean soup at 260 calories. That helped. A little more sodium than I'd want for my intake but more water diluted that as well. 

It's tough people! I've been eating so healthy these last couple weeks. I got a craving and I satisfied it. Remember, 4th time, we are human. I beat myself up. You need to hold yourself accountable. But don't beat yourself up too much. Just hold yourself accountable and make changes to correct the missteps. 

Establish a social network of friends who also work out to keep you in check. I have that. But I decided to call the Bugles instead. LOL  GOOD LUCK on your workouts. I am with you in your highs and lows. :) 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tiny Tales, Part Two

"Miss Moxie"

The writing contest for the "Marvellous Tiny Tales" has a second part which I will be entering as well. Remember from the first part, the story has to be 3 sentences long, the more odd and quirky the better! Even if I don't win, it has been a fun writing exercise. Here are the selections I have been tooling with. Let me know which ones you like.

"Miss Moxie's Other Plans"

While I was immersed in a favorite novel, Moxie the Cat had other plans for me that bedtime which included lounging on my chest. The book shall wait until another evening as Miss Moxie apparently is not a fan of Hemingway. She has won again.


"Country Drive"

Driving with windows down through the countryside on a sunny September day, Barkley passed old stone houses, farms and fields as far as the eye could see. Up and over meandering streams and through bends in the road,  he slammed on his brakes to avoid a rickety cart filled with pumpkins. Welcome to Fall!


"No Chocolate for You"

For the umpteenth time on another Halloween night, young Jacob made the rounds of his neighborhood dressed up as a hobo. No matter, he thought, for his trick-or-treat bag was filed with dozens and dozens of chocolate bars! After fastidiously counting the many candy bars in various shapes and sizes, he ate to his heart's content ... only to ironically discover as he broke out in hives, that he was severely allergic to chocolate.



Dozing at the beach on a warm summer day, Nigel buried his feet into the pearly white sands by the water's edge. Stubbing his toe on something sharp, he pulled free the most beautiful tiara of gemstones and gold. "Thank you for finding my crown!" yelled a young mermaid, frolicking in the waves before a disbelieving Nigel.



We sped off for the Coast on a humid summer evening, me and Zeb, in his old clunker of a Chevy with rock-n-roll on the radio. As the car zoomed forth, I felt free and alive, smoking a cig in one hand and the other waving out the window through the rushing air. After an hour on the open road, Zeb exclaimed "Oh man Bud!" for the trip was abruptly cut short by a herd of Jersey cows blocking the highway.


"First Date Chaperone"

Breathless, clammy, and excited, Peter met Claire at her house for their very first date. They sat quietly in the parlor searching for something to break the ice when suddenly Claire blurted out, "Well aren't you going to address the pink elephant in the room?" Peter spun around coming face to face with a large pink elephant squeezed into a petite settee sipping on a large martini.