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Sunday, September 4, 2011

On a Side Note & Wine in Lodi

I am a bit over due for my monthly post about my journey through the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. You may ask why the odd title. Well, I have been remiss in posting for several days, so this will be a real catch you up post. Then I also have a lovely bit of exciting news, and thus everything else including the happiness project is on a side note. 

I do however plan to do the exciting news at the end! Yes, I do intend to make you wait a bit! So let me get started with my side notes!! The recap of August and what is on tap for September as far as my own personal happiness project(s).

August in the above mentioned book was titled "Contemplate The Heavens...Eternity". I often have a hard enough time contemplating the hear and now and the near future, so I simply skipped August and nearly all the "assignments" , with one exception, I continued my gratitude journal. Even when I have a hard time adding to it nightly, the act of doing so for the past several months has been so valuable in my current journey...I highly suggest it. Even if you simply write down that you are grateful for a birds song or a flower that bloomed whose scent you stopped to take in, it is making you appreciate all that the world and your life has that is worth showing gratitude for. I have found it is often easier to be grateful for small and simple things when the bigger things seem frustratingly out of reach.

When I skipped following the book for August I read Bonjour Happiness. I have shared with you all over the last month what an impact that book had on me. That it has even lead to a budding friendship with the author Jamie Cat Callan. Have you had a chance to run out and buy it yet? I truly do suggest it. And shall continue to do so over and over. I did a post a bit ago about books I was reading and there is all the info there. If you look under labels, click books, you will find all the posts.

With that said, let's move on to September shall we?? It is another month I think I have already mastered, so it truly is rather part of the heading "on a side note."  Chapter Nine, September,Pursue a Passion ...BOOKS . See what I mean?? But the bullet points are these just in case you have not. 

  • Write a Novel
  • Make Time
  • Forget About Results
  • Master A New Technology

I know what you are thinking. "Ruby has not written a novel has she?" The answer is, not quite. But if one considers how much I have blogged, what I have blogged about, and if I were to print it out, then to me it rather is the same. I am even published...I push "publish post" after each and every time I write a blog post.*giggle* Make time. That is pretty cut and dry. Make time for books. Make time for blogging. Make time for doing what you enjoy and love, have a passion for, no matter what it is and well make time for giggles. Been doing that for sometime now, what about you?? Maybe you are further along the happiness road than you thought! 
Forgetting about results. This is often so very hard for people. I have noticed bloggers especially worry about it. I gave up that bit of worry long ago when I started looking at my blog as my own personal journal that I simply share with the world. I of course adore all my followers. My heart goes pitter patter when there is a comment. But I have let go of the notion that it must make money, that it must grow to numbers that so many other blogs have. That it must be of a certain length, how many photos are appropriate, or if I even follow a narrowed down subject matter. When I did that, simply forgot about the results, I was released from that burden and my happiness levels raised. Nothing wrong with breaking rules, and not being predictable as to when and what I post. 

The act of forgetting results can be applied to so many things in your life. Letting go of just this one thing could make life so much more fun! Think about it. If you began walking just for the joy of the experience, and forgot about the results to your health, body, spirit, and those were just bonuses, would you be more inclined to do it?? What about forgetting about the results of cutting down on portions, just concentrate on enjoying life and food, savor each bite, soon you would forget the portions are smaller, and start to see so is your dress size! I could go on and on. I think I really will work very hard on this one for September in all areas of my life. 

Mastering a new technology. Um, that is nearly daily as I figure out changes to Twitter, blogger, my phone even the darn GPS system. Though perhaps this is not what the author meant exactly, I think I am always working on this. What about you???

Now that I have gone over the things I skipped as far as The Happiness Project. What are the other side notes in my life right now? Well health wise, all that is going on with my hormones are still a mystery. I have been to the doctor, though I was thoroughly unsatisfied, discouraged and a bit angry when I left. What I did gain was a determination to do my own research. I have decided to wait two or three months on the biopsy that was suggested because Mother Nature has been plaguing me with visits that last nearly two weeks. I am trying to regulate my hormones naturally first before jumping to a conclusion of death and gloom that doctors seem to go to first. My thyroid is fine. I am anemic...I need loads of iron that I am loosing each month to be replaced. So been on iron pills again. I pray that doing so will also help thicken my thinning hair, strengthen my brittle nails, help with sleep, and of course I know it will help with energy. As stress reduces, as I work on not flipping out when something goes wrong, or when major changes happen in my life, I think it may help as well. If I am very lucky working on all this naturally will level me out again. I have been on a high dose of NSAIDS for the last 5 days, and will repeat each time Mother Nature comes back to see if that works at regulating things as well. Apparently it can take 3 months for that and up to 6 months for the iron. I have a while. A practice in patience of it's own.
Some ways of helping myself, as I mentioned, and can also lead to more happiness is not freaking out about everything, and if I can not help it, allowing myself, but then nipping it in the bud before too much more than a few hours have passed. Recently I ordered a dress online. I was so exited. It was a 1930's reproduction, made from an original pattern. I was so very excited. It was custom made for me. It arrived quickly, and I popped it on right away and did not look too closely at it....

Please ignore the lack of make up to hide my poor health...never planned on sharing, but wanted to show dress.

The dress was so adorable on. I had to wiggle some to do so. Once I went to take it off, the dress ripped at the shoulder, and then I started looking at seams closer, the trim...well sadly the reason I received the dress so quickly was because it was done in a very rushed manner. I was upset. But quickly turned it around. I asked for my money back, a brave thing for me to do. However, I did not ask for it all back, I paid for the materials. I decided that between myself, my youngest daughter and her friend, we could fix it. Make it work as Tim Gunn always says. I knew I would never own a dress such as this and truly wanted to. We doctored the shoulders, using the belt to make cute shoulder straps to hide the stitches from the mends, new buttons added to those,now pearl trim on the front and even side snaps to try to make it easier to get on and off. I had nearly put back in what I had received back from the seamstress. It looked amazing, better. Then I went to put it on. The snaps did not hold, and so there was no point in taking them all the way down the side. There was not enough material to put in a zipper, and though I could take to an alterations place to try, it would cost me more money. This would be making it a very expensive dress with no guarantees of working. I had to stop, take a breath and make a decision. Here in my arms was 30.00 and a lot of personal time, cramped hands and neck ache. Knowing I had made a mistake, I at first was very upset and angry with myself for not just returning the whole dress in the beginning. I took a deep breath and decided I would let go of that. What was done was done. I had learned a lesson. So now the plan is to save my quarters and eventually get a clothing mannequin, and dress "her" in it, then draping my jewelry on the dress, or pinning pins. That old saying, "No point in crying over spilt milk" as my Grandma used to say, suddenly came to my mind. She was very correct. 

Ok I have made you wait long enough. What is my exciting news? Well most of you know that myself and my hubby go wine tasting quite often to m2 down in Lodi California. We are wine club members, and friends with all the owners. When last we had gone down for a club pick up, there was a contest to name the wineries soon to be bottled dessert wine. I of course had to throw my hat in. I am very happy to announce that I won. In a few short months m2 will will release Ruby's Muse dessert wine. Now it was to be named after my blog, and be called Ruby Musings. Ruby is a style of Port, which if not made in Portugal and with Bandy and well following all sorts of rules, must be termed a dessert wine. After dealing with the powers that be that approves names and labels in the industry, Ruby's Muse is the final title. I am beyond thrilled, of course honored and even felt a bit like a movie star or celebrity of sorts when it was announced yesterday and a crowd of people there at m2 got so very excited. We were there for another wine club pick are a few photos to share with you.... 

There was cheese and olive oil pairings, and there was also quite the crowd as you can see, everyone was having a wonderful time ....Layne Montgomery, the wine maker and one of the original owners part of the name, is in the yellow shirt...he always entertains the crowd and is the heart of the winery.

 The following photos show Layne talking about the new desert wine, and using what is called a "Thief" to sample it out. My hubby is the one in the black and white top...he could tell you as much about it as Layne *giggle*, and he will try!

Next are photos of myself and Layne discussing the Ruby's Muse. the showing off the print out of the approved label and name....The print shows blue, but it will be white on a dark bottle.

Now to show off my outfit for the day. it officially being September meant I can start wearing gray...never quite in the mood when it still says August on the calender. What do you think of the shoes?? Of course there is my daycation white purse for Summer(seen above, hidden below). I would love to carry one of my more dainty lady like bags, but when you need a camera, a note book, make up for touch ups...well the purse does have to grow.The blouse is a black silk like number with a front ruffle I adore.I bought it at Wal Mart during the holidays of all places. The skirt is from J.C.Pennys, bought a year ago,a small gray & black hounds tooth print. I am wearing black bead 7 silver earrings that dangle, and have a deco look...they are from Target. I have bangles on from Wold Market, and then am wearing stockings with a black back seam from Nordstroms. The shoes, ordered online, are a new pair for me. They are reproductions of 1920's style shoes and I adore them!


 Well, I think that is it for today. Blogger as always has made loading photos such a chore. I do hope they fix that issue very soon! What should take a very short period of time takes me all day to complete. But it is ever so worth the frustration...I hope you think so too! Time to rest and plan out what is for supper tonight....


  1. Hello, stranger! It's been a few posts but we had a sudden death of a very dear friend last week and I just had to catch my breath. I LOVE that you will now have a wine named by you! How wonderful and exciting, and look forward to it on the shelves. (Please let us all know when that happens.) Love the 30s dress. You look great. {{{HUGS}}}

  2. That dress is simply divine.
    And you are so correct, about not results not being the goal, when the journey is so much more.
    There is so much wisdom in this post, thank you for sharing your story.

    beks xx


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