A Sentence a Day: May

I first read about this “Sentence A Day” project on Jodie Filogomo’s Jodie’s Touch of Style blog…and thought I’d give it a go in May, not knowing the direction that month was headed. So, here I go…

Warning: May was a grim month for me, so this is not going to be a perky post In the Least. I’m hoping to lift the mood with some pictures, but…it is what it is. A recounting of a difficult month. You’ve been warned. 

5.1 It was finally nice enough after work to sit on the back stoop with Caleb and the “land-friend’s” dogs and just enjoy the evening air.

 

5.2 I met friends at the diner for a quick dinner but we got so busy talking we missed the sunset!

5.3 A hot day and I tried to make Caleb comfortable in the heat, to no avail.

5.4 Before work I spoke with the vet about Caleb’s sudden decline and she said to pick up new pain pills for him and cross my fingers they’ll help make him more comfortable because there’s not much more we can do for him.

5.5 I lost my beautiful boy today and my heart is broken.

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5.6 I just drove around aimlessly today, feeling unattached from everything.

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5.7 Thankful for a friend who invited me to dinner at an outdoor cafe in town to get me out of my head for a bit.

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5.8 I buried my boy today and I will never see his beautiful face again or stroke his silky head.

5.9 Grateful for another friend having dinner with me at another outdoor cafe in town.

5.10 Went to the movies alone after work for some much-needed distraction.

5.11 I struggled to be at work then passed the time til I could go to sleep at night.

5.12 I worked overtime at our rainy 5k – walking 2 miles taking pictures was NOT good for my feet.

5.13 While I had tentative plans with a friend for the day, when I woke up with savage sore throat I opted to stay in and watch movies all day instead.

5.14 My niece, nephew and great-niece sent me a lovely locket to put Caleb’s picture in ❤

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5.15 Was a weird stormy day with the biggest thunder/lightning/house-shaking moment I think I’ve ever felt.

 

5.16 Got a “talking to” at work today and now I am an anxious mess.

5.17 Another day where I feel I am “in trouble” and I am an anxious mess everywhere I go.

5.18 TRULY TGIF.

5.19 Distracted myself with like six hours of Royal Wedding programming then movie after movie after movie.

5.20 Sobbed and sobbed when I opened a package from my sister and discovered a watercolor painting she had done of Caleb.

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5.21 Back to work today after the weekend and I’m still on high anxiety, but did a shoot on the sunshiny beach and that was fun.

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5.22 I’m back to meditating every day during lunch in the hopes of quieting my mind and heart at work (unsuccessfully).

5.23 Had a desperately-needed beach evening with comfortable temps, beautiful light, cool sand and refreshing water rushing over my feet.

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5.24 Got through the work day and met a friend in town for ice cream and a sunset viewing over the harbor.

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5.25 Early release from work today extended my weekend by a precious 45 minutes.

5.26 I escaped a beautiful sunny day today by staying inside and watching movie after movie after movie.

5.27 Grey spring rain allowed me freedom from having to go out in the world today.

5.28 Spent a lovely afternoon outdoors at the ex’es for my nephew’s birthday party, chatting and being fed.

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5.29 The anxiety I’ve been feeling is getting a little overwhelming and I just…ugh.

5.30 I forced myself to do my first solo (sans dog) walk around the block and it was weird but I did it.

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5.31 Grateful that it is the last day of this month, hoping June will be better.

Jodie has a link-up on her Jodie’s Touch of Style where other people have shared their sentence-a-day blog posts…maybe you can read a cheerier one there…

 

 

Just Keepin’ It Real

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Just keeping it real today. I have no photographer. It’s cold out. Whaa Whaa Whaa. So, I’m shooting indoors with the tripod and timer. And all the puppies. This is Muggles the Puggle. He wants to know Where is The Treat Surely There’s a Treat Why Are You Holding Out on My Treat. Caleb is staring off into space in the background. I’m sure Gracie is somewhere MacGuyvering a way to ACTUALLY get the treats.

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Ah. There she is. She hasn’t found the treats. Aunt Bettye is Very Good at Hiding the Treats.

I’m dressed for some light erranding, mud-and-poop cleanup in the yard and some photo editing. Maybe a nap. But I’ll change for a nap. If I’m going to nap, I go all in. None of this fully-dressed dozing off on the sofa nonsense. I’ll change back into my nightgown and get in bed. I don’t treat myself to naps very often as they throw off my already precarious night-time sleep, but when I do, I take it very seriously.

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I did not “blog-ize” the apartment before shooting. Is that because a) I like to keep it real, b) I didn’t realize how messy it was til I saw the pictures, or c) I’m lazy? You believe what you like. Yes, my Christmas tree is still up. I think Monday it will come down. Sadface. It’s the least wonderful time of the year.

Janey likes to sit on the arm of the desk chair when I’m at the computer and bump me incessantly with her head or TAP TAP TAP me with her paw.

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What do you wear when you’re just hanging around your house? I’m a “get out of day clothes as quickly as possible and into my nightgown” person. Wig, bra, shoes all off ASAP. I did my time. If I’m at home I want to be comfortable. Even “comfortable clothes” are not as comfortable as no clothes.

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I know what you’re thinking. This was The Lamest Blogpost Ever. Ha. So I learned a new trick to share with you.

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It’s still lame. But now there’s a GIF. And if you, like so many, are confused about how to pronounce that – here’s some useless information. The creator of the GIF, or Graphics Interface Format, says it’s pronounced JIF, like the peanut butter. The rest of the internet/world says he (the creator) is wrong and it’s pronounced with a hard G like in the word Graphics that it comes from. You say it how you like. I won’t judge.

What I Wore:

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click on them and/or buy something as a result of clicking that link.

 

Week in Review: Week 99

The week began with snow on the ground and puppies all over the apartment. Shocker. Ha 🙂 It was a full week back to work after the holidays and being sick and snow days.

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It was still cold.

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So, for better or worse, I was super bundled up.

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In the interest of my “pamper myself more” resolution, I did get flowers from Trader Joe’s for the apartment. In case you don’t live near a field of wild flowers or your city’s floral wholesale district, I believe that Trader Joe’s is THE best source for a large selection of reasonably-priced, healthy cut flowers. For $12 I have flowers in the bedroom, bathroom and living room. I’d have split them up even more but I still have not unpacked all the vases (because there’s nowhere to put them when I do). I usually buy three different varieties then mix them all together into bouquets.

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The street I usually turn up to come home was closed off at both ends so kids could sled. How sweet is that?

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One more present under the tree. See those starburst lights? Fun, right? It’s an app called kirakira+. It was .99 but that felt worth it to me for all the Christmas pics I take.

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Still snow.

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Remember a couple months ago I did that photoshoot with Jennifer from Peanut&Pip Photography? I got the rest of the pictures and am In Love with them! These are my favorites…

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Gorgeous, right?? She does such beautiful work…if you’re local and want family portraits…she’s your gal.

That was my week. Lots of snow and puppies. Not expecting much different in the week ahead. Well, maybe mud and puppies.

 

Week in Review: Week 98

Well, THAT was an exciting week! Ha ha, just kidding. I’ve barely left the apartment since New Year’s Day. I had some sort of evil stomachey thing for two days and then we had SUPER SNOW BOMBOGENISIS so two snow days from work…and then the weekend! I HAVE to go out this morning because I’m out of everything…and to make sure the winds didn’t re-snow the car in since being shoveled out on Thursday. So, I’ve just been a hermit recluse, which is really my favorite way to be anyway (yes, I am my mother). But I really needed that. Tomorrow will be back to the real world.

So we start off with some pics from 2017 – the top nine pictures from my two Instagram accounts – the first is Fashion Schlub, the second is Bettye Rainwater Photography, in case you were interested in following.

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I started off the new year with a nice day in Brooklyn with a friend. Breakfast at Egg, then driving around a bit in the bitter cold just seeing the sights. That’s one of my favorite things to do.

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Then the snow came. I know this doesn’t look like much but I don’t usually have snow on my little porch at all. It was mad windy, yo. It just occurred to me I should find a new place to hide my spare key (I’m notorious for locking myself out) because right now it’s buried under a ton of snow. Oh gosh, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

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The puppies were not concerned about the snow in the least. I’ve been dog-sitting this week so have many puppies.

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Since it has been so bitterly cold they only go out for a few minutes at a time.

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But I love the snow. I love the quiet when it’s falling. I love that it covers everything up at a time when things are brown and bare. I love that it slows down the world. And traps you inside. I *really* love snow days (ha ha). In Bettyeland it would snow heavily right at Christmas and the ground wouldn’t be seen again until the crocuses start to bloom in March/April.

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And at the end of this week I had the surprise of being mentioned in a Ravishly feature on plus-size fashion in the workplace. That was kinda cool!

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So that was my quiet week – just me and the puppies and the snow. Real life will start barging in today when the vet comes to check on Caleb…and I have to lug cardboard and online shopping returns out to my car…and grocery shop and pick out outfits for the week…and blah blah blah. Real life. Am grateful for my little respite from it.

And on we go….

 

It’s Almost December!

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So! I have been toying with the idea of doing another 30-day challenge in January – which is challenging myself to wear a different outfit every day in January, but now I’m thinking that, instead, maybe I’ll do Vlogmas (vlogging every day in December leading up to Christmas)! I’m SO not prepared for that, but I’m a big believer in just jumping in first and figuring it out later…and vlogging Every Single Day will help me get up-to-speed on All Things Vloggy pretty darn quick!

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It could be awful..for me AND you, ha! But I think I’m going to give it a go…if I can’t do it, I can’t do it…but I’ll certainly give it the old college try. They’ll be short, maybe 5-10 minutes a day, more or less. So…I know you’re excited, ha ha! If you want to witness this, just subscribe to my Fashion Schlub YouTube channel.

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That aside, this is another day of tripod/remote shutter selfies. On this day, a man walked his dog up to where I was shooting and proceeded to ask questions about what I was doing, including “would you like to take a picture with Miss Wiggles?” Uh, OF COURSE!!!

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Then a town worker truck pulled up, and they knew one another, so THAT guy got out of the truck and started asking me questions about what I was doing…and then they both stood there watching me. AWKWARD. Suffice it to say I didn’t get too many pictures that day. And they’re really not doing this outfit justice, because I LOVE this potato sacky dress from ASOS Curve (their plus size section) and faux leather jacket by Chelsea & Theodore via Gwynnie Bee…and I loved them together. But I didn’t get to check my car window reflection between shots so my wig was wacky and the jacket was askew and my tights are dirty. But that’s real life, so. There ya go.

Speaking of Real Life, I’ve just uploaded another video, “Switching Out My Plus Size Wardrobe from Summer to Winter: Part 2,” wherein I get all my cold weather clothes out of storage, cull through them to decide what stays and what goes, and add the “stayers” into my closet. It’s scintillating stuff, be sure to watch.

What I Wore:

* Asos Navy Ripple Stitch Dress, size 22
* Chelsea & Theodore Taupe Drape Front Faux Leather Jacket, via Gwynnie Bee, size 2x

Today I’m linking up with A Labour of Life and her Labour of Fashion link-up party!

Week in Review: Week 86

After my week of feeling cranky, then my week of getting out Every Damn Day…the pendulum swung back to the middle this week and I just had a nice quiet week and enjoyed it.

Peeking. Always peeking.

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This is what I’m currently reading. It hasn’t really grabbed me yet but I read so many good reviews on it that I’m trying to stick it out. I never read “The Jane Austen Book Club.”

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I puppy-sat a couple days this week.

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Last show of summer…

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First show of fall.

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This lil guy found a warm spot in the sun.

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I came home Friday to a leafless tree.

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And now it’s weekend. Continuing to feel a little better every week. Taking it easy today, tomorrow I hopefully have plans with friends. And you??

Bettye xoxo

New Beginnings

Well, this weekend I moved into the new place! That was H-A-R-D, between not feeling well while packing, having chemo two days before moving, etc. Fortunately I had a lot of support on moving day and we got’er done in record time. Unpacking is another story, but at least everything I own is in one place again. More or less 🙂

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I’ve felt a little disoriented all weekend – sleeping in a new place, not knowing where my things are (I mean, they’re all in boxes, but WHICH boxes?!), feeling more tired than usual. It’s making everything feel a little surreal.

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Everyone keeps asking “aren’t you excited for your new beginning?” And I AM, I just can’t really FEEL it yet, if that makes sense. I have to come out of this disorienting fog and exhaustion first – new beginnings are great, but they’re also hard. Big changes and all that. Change is exciting but exhausting.

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My honorary niece, Gracie The Warrior Princess.

My daughter is coming over shortly with some groceries (and a garbage can!) and to help me get a little unpacked, so I can locate things like underwear and a pot to make soup in. I’ll feel better once I REALLY know where things are, not just “here somewhere.”

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This was the first time I wore this dress – and THAT was an easy “new beginning.” Another loose and easy-fitting dress, which was a blessing at this time. It’s a Style&Co dress via Gwynnie Bee, in a 3x. Lightweight blue Tencel, my favorite dress fabric, with a subtle white bandana print – you can see the print best in the last photo. On my head I’m wearing a vintage silk scarf that belonged to my mother. And my favorite Superga velcro sneakers.

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I found the Halloween decorations, I’m so relieved!

AND we did this little photo shoot at the new apartment! There’s a little new apartment tour at the end of this blog post, which is WAY less embarrassing than the old apartment post from last week – be sure to watch and “like” on YouTube!

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I *know* this is a good new beginning for me and as soon as I feel better I will jump up and down and shout HUZZAH! Well, maybe I’ll stand up and say Huzzah. But I will definitely FEEL like jumping up and down.

And let me know if you want to see further apartment adventures along with the outfit posts…I’m going to be videoing anyway so I can easily share if you’re interested.

Hope you’re all enjoying your week!

Bettye xoxo

Week in Review: Week 76

This was quite a week. Emotionally more than activity-wise.

I had a far-away friend surprise me by showing up Sunday afternoon and saying LET’S GO OUT! I jumped in the shower to wash my hair and THIS happened. I KNEW it was going to happen but I still wasn’t really mentally prepared for GOING OUTSIDE. I’d been looking at head covering options for so long but really hadn’t prepared myself.

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But she’d driven a long way and I couldn’t bail, so…fortunately we were going to a beachy venue and I was able to wear the floppy beach hat my sweet niece had given me in Florida.

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Then the next day I had to go to WORK. Bandanas and head scarves are not all made the same…and I’m a spazz at things like this, so I just tried to keep it very simple.

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A so-very-thoughtful parent at the school where I work surprised me with these two cute embroidered bandanas. I have the perfect outfit in mind for the green and black one!

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This kimono came from Gwynnie Bee but was way too loosey-goosey so it went back. Please ignore my messy apartment, I’m still in the throes of packing.

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I loved wearing this vintage silk scarf that belonged to my mother. Some people thought I looked piratey…some thought I looked patriotic. My vote was for pirate. Next time I’ll wear one big hoop earring to make my intentions clear.

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Had this week’s pre-chemo appointment with a substitute dr. on Tuesday. I ALWAYS miss the Caring Canines, boo.

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This happened. Read all about it here.

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We visited the new house/apartment. This is not my kitchen. But these are Caleb’s now live-in cousins 🙂

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With everything going on this week I forgot to put on real shoes when I left for work Thursday. At least it was just a half-day because I had chemo in the afternoon.

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Kinda getting the hang of this.

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Around the house I don’t wear anything on my head. It’s very cool. Caleb stares at me. A LOT.

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I intended to be very productive with packing this weekend but I feel like crap and am headed to the sofa. Sorry for such a boring Week in Review!

Week in Review: Week 59

It is a sunny but still windy and cool day here on Long Island. I have a day filled with running errands, cleaning out my disgusting car, taking the dog (and me) somewhere for a walk and change of scenery, then a quiet evening with a movie and early to bed. The best news this week, I doubt I’ve ever mentioned my ^&%#! insomnia here, but it’s been EVEN worse since the surgery – as though things have shifted around and when I lay down something presses on my bladder and makes the worst ache if I do not wake up immediately to get up and pee. And getting in and out of bed is still enough of a process that it wakes me up even more, UGH. But the GOOD NEWS part is that just two nights ago I was actually able to lay for a little bit on my side again! I’m a side sleeper, but I’ve only been able to be on my back since the surgery 3½ weeks ago, so WHAT a relief to finally have a little bit of normalcy and comfort. In Medical-Land, so many things seem to take so much longer to return to normal than you think they should. So Yay.

I went back to work this week for a full week. My wonderful officemates Tori and Jen had decorated my desk with balloons and banners and there was a little “nest” of goodies on my desk – they are just the sweetest. I’m so fortunate to get to spend my work days with them.

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While I’m not feeling especially energetic, I’m powering through and trying to walk every other day. My baby step regimen is:

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back for a total of 10 minutes

Week 2: Walk 6 minutes out and 6 minutes back for a total of 12 minutes

Week 3: Walk 7 minutes out and 7 minutes back for a total of 14 minutes

You get the picture. Monday will start Week 3. I’m very slowly working up to walks of 20 then 30 minutes. I may back-slide during chemo, I’ll just have to wait and see how I feel then. But at least it’s a schedule that I’m adhering to. And I am walking S-L-O-O-O-W. My heel still hurts and that keeps me slowed down as well. Caleb likes the walks when we’re somewhere he can be offlead and sniff around at his leisure. In his old age he’s gone pretty deaf so I can’t let him offlead when we’re anywhere near anything, like a road or people or other dogs, cuz he just doesn’t hear me calling him. And I think there’s a little senility as he just sort of wanders off and then loses track of where I am. Because it doesn’t seem to occur to him to turn his head to the right or left to look for me. It’s sad to watch someone you love get old.

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A dear friend did this cross-stitch for me, “What Cancer Cannot Do.” That was a lovely surprise to get in the mail this week.

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Caleb: Master of His Domain. He needs a good bath and haircut. But he loves the big tuffet that his Uncle Russell got for him.

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And just to keep this at least a LITTLE fashiony…here is a try-on of an outfit I ordered from Old Navy…that sadly will be going back. Old Navy plus size sizing is so all-over-the-place. Sometimes things are ginormous on me and sometimes they’re way too snug. These are really soft rayon blush cropped pants in a 3x and I couldn’t even zip them up. Part of that could be a little vestigial swelling still left around my abdomen and hips, though they’re feeling pretty normal again. And the top was also snug around the same area, while too loose in the bust. I’m really short on warm weather outfits and the flurry of ordering and returning continues until I hit on a couple wins.

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My niece sent me this book by Sarah Addison Allen – has anyone read it?

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This is a pic my daughter just sent me from while she was here and walked down a bit of beach to see the sunset. It’s just a nice memory of being with her and being OUTSIDE after being cooped up in the hospital for so long.

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So, in other news, I have had both the radiation and chemo consults with my “original” team – the doctors associated with my surgeon’s office. On Monday I have a consult scheduled with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to see what, if anything, they would do differently…and then I have to make the decision of who to go with so we can get this show on the road. It’s hard to make the decision because I can already see that I will not necessarily be comparing apples to apples. So wish me luck!

And Great News – I’m actually doing a photoshoot tomorrow! Yippee. Will feel good to be “blog productive” again. So you can look forward to a springy outfit post later this week.

Thanks for all your comments, emails, and kind words – I really appreciate them.

Weeks in Review: 45-53

I promised you a Week(s!) in Review, and here it is! Don’t worry that it’s 8 weeks long – I really mostly hibernate in Jan/Feb every year. It’s cold, it’s dark, bleh. Most days I’m home from work by 4:30, I take off my bra (OH, THE JOY), put on comfy clothes and just relax alone at home.

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In yesterday’s Catching Up  post I mentioned my highly technical “tipsy tripod.” I forgot I had a pull-back shot of it, so this is what I’ve been using when I shoot in the apartment. Fortunately Caleb usually naps  supervises from his sofa vantage point or I’d be afraid of him just touching these tables and toppling everything over. They’re very lightweight.

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A sample shot from “the studio.”

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I just thought this was a good message to be driving around in the world. Sometimes I can use a reminder. I was actually on the way to a friend’s birthday meetup that day and it *was* a good day.

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And then we went to Maine. It was supposed to be a 2-night stay, but due to WINTER it became a 4-night stay. So I wore this outfit A LOT. I had my long silk underwear on underneath so I was super sweaty cozy on the flight, but I was grateful when we got to 9-degree Maine.

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We discovered an awesome vegan restaurant called Green Elephant right around the corner from the hotel and we ate there two nights. You have no idea How Nice it is to actually have MULTIPLE OPTIONS in a restaurant. I had the Chocolate Orange Mousse Pie. It was UH-mazing. If you’re ever in Portland, even if you’re not vegan, you should have a meal there. My traveling companion is a confirmed carnivore AND amazing cook and she really raved about the food.

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The view out our hotel window. It was ALWAYS snowing. Sometimes harder, sometimes softer, but snow was falling from the sky the entire time we were there. Which is why our flights kept being cancelled.

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Good thing I brought activities!

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There was a cute lil park right outside our hotel with these fun lighted trees.

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Caleb (the tiny one) was hanging with his cousins back on also snowy Long Island while I was away. The ex sent lots of pictures so I could see how he was doing.

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And FINALLY there was a non-snow day on Tuesday and we hightailed it out of Maine by rental car. Just in time because they commenced having snow-storms again the very next day.

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I was happy to be home AND HAVE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO WEAR. I had a Gwynnie Bee package waiting for me with this and another sweater in it.

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The kids were happy to be home as well.

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And yesterday, I finally got to a sunset for the first time in ages. It was windy and freezing and we only stayed long enough to take a couple pictures…but it was nice to see the sky again.

I was *supposed* to be blog photo-shooting this morning but I woke up to dense fog and misty skies…so we’ve rescheduled for tomorrow. So I *will* have some outfit posts up soon – one top I am IN LOVE with…and it’s even a TREND item and that’s not usually my thing, but. I’m excited to share with you.

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend.

xoxo Bettye