State of the Blog – January

So a new year has arrived and with it new opportunity here on the blog to explore areas I wish to delve into.  I love this blog and want to make it something special for those who come to visit, so I will be visiting several new ideas and series over the next few weeks as I try once again to define just where Set in My Ways is going.

Yesterday’s post The Good Wife got plenty of visits – and I was pleased to see that. Which means I will most likely be writing more posts like that one. Also I will be doing a series that details my adventures in weight loss… my very first time in my life dieting. I’ve joined a focus group at work to test a new diet product one of our providers is offering and I’ll be in a three month study. I do not know yet how much I am allowed to say about my progress and the product here -but will find out when I sign my waivers this coming week. Once I know more, I’ll certainly share with you all.

I don’t really have a lot of actual weight to lose, but I do need to lose some inches… and tone the “girls” down a bit… in order to fit into my formal for our cruise this spring… Yes, I said that right – I’m going on a cruise this spring. To the Bahamas baby… yeah – life is that good. That too will be shared as it will be a bunch of firsts for me… First time out of the country, on a cruise ship, and taking a major vacation with one of my adult kids. I’m sure there will be plenty of photos to share!

I hope to be able to share some delish new recipes, as I explore healthier eating and cooking in the coming year.

Oh, and definitely look for some more Norman Rockwell inspired posts coming soon. If you missed them last time you can find them here.

Well, I guess that about sums it up. Happy 2014 Ya’ll!

Writer’s Workshop – August 15

Oh yes, I’m back on the Workshop bandwagon! Go link up with Mama Kat here:

Mama’s Losin’ It

and come join the fun! 

This Week’s Writing Prompts for Thursday 08/15

1.) 10 Things to Smile About (inspired by Things I Can’t Say)
2.) Tell us about a time you wanted to punch someone in the face.
3.) What were you blogging about last year at this time? What has changed?
4.) Share the story behind your current Facebook and/or Twitter profile photo.
5.) Bake something yummy and share the recipe!


So for this week, I’ve chosen number 4 – the story behind my current Facebook profile photo. Here’s the photo so you don’t have to go find it:

IMG_0805I do have it cropped down to just our faces in the other one… but I just love this picture. This is my “significant other”. My soul-mate, best friend, and love of my life. He has helped me understand that life is meant to be lived not watched from the sidelines. He has helped me to remember that 40 something is not old.

This was a trip we took to Triple & High Falls, it’s one of the locations used to film the movie The Hunger Games. We made the trip so that my son’s girlfriend could experience North Carolina in all it’s glory. I may be prejudiced – but I happen to think my little corner of the world is one of the most beautiful places there is.  We had a great day hiking and enjoying just being out together.

I’m so glad that we were able to get out and do this before my back started acting up, this was about a 5 mile day – my back would not like that very much.

So – that’s the explanation of my current FB profile photo, share your own post and don’t forget to link up!


Writers Workshop May 2

Wow, May already! I spent so much time focusing on the A-Z Challenge last month that I didn’t even notice the entire thing just slip away!

So… here were on Thursday – linking up with Mama Kat, for her “Pretty Much World Famous”  writers workshop!

You might think about joining the fun yourself – there is still plenty of time! Hop on over here:


Mama’s Losin’ ItOk, so this weeks prompts were:

1.) How old were you? Share one of the first news stories you remember caring about.
2.) Write a list of things you would have done differently online, know what you now know about blogging and social media.
3.) Chances are you’ve heard of the Reasons My Son Is Crying tumblr page…write your own version.
4.) Share something that makes you laugh.
5.) Refreshments anyone? Prepare a drink for us and share the recipe!


I chose 1. How old were you?

The first news story I truly remember caring about broke on my mother’s birthday; January 28, 1986. I remember it very, very well.

You see, my mom’s sister G and her husband D worked for Allied Bendix Corporation… they held the contract to do all of the tracking of space missions. They were there that day. They lived in Sanford, just a few miles from Kennedy Space Center.

I had heard the hype leading up to the mission, and was looking forward to seeing the first “Teacher in Space” right along with the rest of the world. I still have copies of the newspapers from both my home town in Fort Myers, and the ones my aunt saved from Sanford too.

Living in Florida it really was devastating to us; and knowing someone who worked on the mission… that was even more so. I have followed the news to this day about the mission. Including the conspiracy theories. (Yes, believe it or not – there are some)

I sat in the gymnasium at my school… and watched on what served as a “big screen” in 1986… as tragedy unfolded. I heard my science teacher remark “That’s not okay” when the solid rocket booster exploded… and I remember when I stopped remembering the events of the day… because they were too painful.

Growing up the coolest thing ever at school was “Show & Tell” day… of course this eventually evolved into reports about things… but I always got to bring things my Aunt G had sent me from other countries. Usually, they were ornate dolls dressed in the traditional clothing of their country of origin.  Because she traveled so much, I own several Korean dolls in various traditional dress, including Wedding Dolls. I own a chunk of the Jerusalem wall said to be constructed of sand and egg whites; also a very ornately carved wooden camel.

I had lots of cool stories to tell because each item always came with a handwritten note from my aunt, explaining where they came from, what they were made of, the significance of the clothing; or in the case of the amazingly carved bamboo scenes how long it took to hand carve…

Everything she did was amazing and cool to me, so it was only natural that I wanted to work for NASA and become an astronaut. I wanted it with everything I had. But then, I got pregnant young, and didn’t think that dragging a baby through all of that would be appropriate.

So… yeah, Challenger is the first news story that I truly remember affecting me.

Join the fun! Follow the link above and post your favorite of the prompts.



Writers Workshop – February 7, 2013

Mama’s Losin’ It


Yep, it’s that time again to join the Writers Workshop with Mama Kat!

This week I have chosen the prompt Inspired by Pintrest. 

Yes, I have gotten on the Pinterest band wagon. I love, love, love the site and spend hours just clicking and pinning. Everything from inspiring quotes to awesome nail art…  I am a Pinterest junkie. So it should be no surprise that I chose this prompt.

My youngest daughter, Jackie, is an aspiring cosmetologist. She wants to get into all forms of hair and nail art. As such, she loves, loves, loves to paint our nails. Imagine how wonderful it is to have this budding artist in my house! I go get my nails done, and she paints them and makes them beautiful!!!  Here are some examples of our “Inspired by Pinterest” nails!

Sparkly Purple

Sparkly Purple

Black and Chromes

Black and Chromes

Take Me To The Sea Teal

Take Me To The Sea Teal

I Love You Purple

I Love You Purple

Sparkle Sunset

Sparkle Sunset

Tuxedo Style

Tuxedo Style

My Hero – My Teacher

Yep, it’s that time again! Time to link up with Mama Kat for the  Pretty much world famous writers workshop! If you haven’t been there before use the link below to swing by and check it out!!

Mama’s Losin’ ItThis week I chose prompt 5. Your second grade teacher.

The funny thing about this is that my second grade teacher is the one I remember the most vividly. Maybe because she was just so cool. Her name was Miss Maas, and she was a first year teacher, fresh out of school. She was full of new ideas and very enthusiastic. I think our school board did her a grave disservice, in that her first class room was a room full of  “problems”.  She had all of the kids that the first grade teachers had labeled as “trouble”. We were the emotionally disabled, autistic, ADHD kids. And boy did she take the task on admirably.

I had an issue with talking, not paying attention, and disrupting the class. She knew that I was not a malicious child, but rather that I was boredShe is the one who suggested that my parents get my IQ checked to see if I needed to be in gifted classes. She also suggested that I be tested for ADHD and recommended the 365 club.

My parents took me in, they did the testing, and sure enough… not only was I ADHD but I tested 3 points below brilliant on my IQ test. After diagnosis I started on Ritalin and Cylert; drugs not commonly used anymore for kids. A lot of teachers would have let it go at that – I was medicated and less trouble in her classroom. Not Miss M. Nope, she took it a few steps further. First she provided me with a learning environment that was better for me. She also fostered my love for the written word by providing me with books. When I finished all of the second grade reading level stuff, she got the third grade stuff for me, then the fourth grade stuff.. and so on, by the end of the year I was reading the sixth grade books, and could have been on a higher level if we had had time.

She also sent notes home from school, every single day. These were just mini progress reports, to let my parents know how much I had read, how I had behaved, and where I needed to improve.

Miss M took the time to help a little girl understand that just because she was different didn’t mean she was bad. She made me proud of my accomplishments and triumphs. She helped foster in my a love for reading and writing that has lasted to this day. I will be forever grateful to her.

Where ever you are, whatever you are doing now Miss Maas – know that you touched this life in a way I can never repay. Thank you!

Do you have a special teacher in your heart? A teacher who showed you a love for learning that has lasted a lifetime?

Oh and don’t forget to vote for me over there in the top right corner, just click the Top Mommy Blogs button!


This is the final post in the series based on Mama Kat’s workshop prompts for last Thursday.


the quality of being creative;

the ability to create.


A few years ago, I was into making jewelry. I made all kinds of necklaces, bracelets, and other things. I really enjoyed it – and my creative self was free and happy.

Now, I don’t do that any more… I became discouraged, and after losing everything I had and over $1000 worth of completed work I just gave up.

So often we do this in other things… for example – my youngest daughter grew up with a couple of kids (I’ll call them H & A for privacy reasons) that she was very close to. Now all them are in their 20’s and both H & A live a pretty “wild” lifestyle… two days ago, after posting a very dark poem about suicide on his FB page – A took his own life. He gave up. Obviously, he wasn’t being heard. He tried to reach out, but nobody listened. But, that’s no excuse to give up. If you’re passionate about music – you keep making music – it doesn’t matter if you’re the only one who hears it – you do it for yourself. The same goes with writing, singing, or any other creative talent.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t being heard… you cannot give up!

I know that kind of sounds hypocritical given recent events in my life. But there is a big difference between giving up, and letting go. Letting go is the act of releasing from your life negatives that are not forwarding your well-being. This is what I did. If I was planning on giving up, I would have done so long before the 10 year mark. I would have quit 2 years in – because it was hard.

Letting go is one of the hardest things you can do. It means admitting that even though you did your best, you still were unable to make it work. It means putting that project in the proverbial can and leaving it alone. It means a lot of things, and not all of them are pleasant.

So, no matter what you are doing right now remember – don’t give up, but do let go when the time comes. To hold on to destructive things, relationships, or anything else is to stifle your creativity.