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Sandy and her “formative years”

formative yearsWho am I?  I am a middle child of three.  I grew up in a middle-class family, and have lived in the same town all my life.  

What I have been told, and what I remember is that I was a rather curious, spunky, and mischievous child.  I don’t remember ever being bored with life during my very young years. I was always out there looking for fun and excitement much to my parent’s dismay.

One of my first memories was when I was about four or five, we lived in the upstairs of an apartment house close to downtown.  My mom had to go to the basement to do laundry.  The other tenant’s son who lived downstairs from us had rabbits which he kept in the basement.  Well, you got it, they stunk.  My mom would complain to me because I was usually with her as not to get into trouble, and she would complain that she didn’t appreciate those rabbits being down there.  So, being the cooperative child that I was, when no one was around I went down to the basement and let them all out.  I don’t remember how many there were, but it seemed to be excessive.  I must have had a reputation because while sitting on the steps out front of the house with one of my friends, the owner of the rabbits, sought me out and scared the crap out of me.  For some reason, he just knew that I had to be responsible for this.  Imagine that.
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A Summary of ‘Chelle

summary

Watching my hero with her hamster

Of all the Sidetracked Sisters, I’d consider myself to be the most logical or systematic one…  That being said – I’ll start from the beginning and briefly tell my story.  Additional details will come later.  I’m the youngest of 2 daughters to Art & Sandy.  For as long as I can remember, my older sister (Lisa) was my hero.  I followed in her footsteps in everything (almost).  She played flute, so did I.  She was a cheerleader, so was I.  She learned Spanish, so did I.  She went to college in Eau Claire, so did I.  You get the idea.   Continue reading

Lisa Hoffman, an Introduction

I am an onion. Well, you know, not a REAL onion, I’m just talking metaphorically here.

As I age, each year wraps around and over the previous. Year by year memories are formed and covered with new layers.

I know, this whole onion person metaphor is kind of weird, but I really like onions, so work with me here…

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Once Upon a Time…

once upon a timeOnce upon a time in a small city in Mid-Central Wisconsin, there lived a family with three daughters.  The youngest daughter was born prematurely and weighed only three pounds.  When she came home from the hospital two months later, her two sisters asked if they had to keep her? They were so hoping for a brother. 

Over the years, their wish was kind of granted.  Their little sister was quite a Tomboy. She played cowboys and Indians with the neighborhood kids and was happiest when she was playing basketball or football with her classmates. Continue reading

Sidetracked Legacies

Now that I’ve left teaching (and my kids are back at school (no more Covid shutdowns–I hope) I am in the process of reinventing my life. 

Specifically, I’m working on developing a new career plan…and that begins with strategic daily routines and new avenues to create and contribute. One new addition to my life is something called “Sidetracked Legacies”.

My morning starts with getting up, putting on my exercise clothes, and spending a few minutes with my kids before they head off to school. Then I head out for a “momma jog” with the pups, Stella and Evie. I use this time to listen to podcasts. The two that I regularly tap into lately are “The Life Coach School” by Brooke Castillo and “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” by Cathy Heller. These are timely and interesting since I’m on the road to becoming a certified life coach and launching my own podcasts…soon! They hit me right where I’m at. Continue reading

What’s So Special About a Silly Apron?

Did you know that there is a day dedicated to “aprons” (November 24th)? I couldn’t help but reflect back on a very special apron that I have. I really don’t usually wear an apron, but way back in the day–like 1961–I was going with a guy (he is amazingly, still, my husband today)  that had a surprising skill that changed the way I will forever view the humble apron.

 

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Midlife MasterClass–Trailer

Midlife MasterClass

You will be able to tune into the podcast beginning January 2022.

I’m starting a podcast called “Midlife MasterClass”.

A couple of weeks ago I asked for help in choosing between two podcast covers. One cover was a bold graphic design and the other was more personal with a picture of me. The overwhelming choice was the more personal picture. Thank you to everyone who commented and messaged me with encouragement.

Now I’m on to phase 2…the trailer for my podcast. Continue reading

Fall Gardening…NOT for the Faint of Heart

As previously mentioned in this prior post, I love, love, LOVE to garden! But not all seasons are appreciated equally. You see, I have a problem with fall gardening.

fall gardening

I have a very large perennial garden and after all the thought and work I’ve put into it, the end is so sad. In Wisconsin, we call it “fall”. 

So many people love the changing colors of the trees and bushes. But why does no one but me notice our dying gardens? Arghhhh. I look out at my backyard and see brown ferns, the leftover stems from phlox, and  weeds that were previously hidden. Don’t even get me going on the  holes from when my grand dogs visited.

Here are some sanity strategies that I’ve come up with (instead of just mowing everything down and planting grass seed). 

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Starting Over (One More Time!)

starting overI thought my time for “starting over” had passed.  That idea turned out not to be true. At the end of April, I went back to work. I decided to re-evaluate what I was doing. Retirement was great and yet I felt the need to fill some gaps. This time, I chose a completely new field. It was the right thing to do. My work was going well. It was time to stop the drain on my retirement funds and to add a new purpose to my life.

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Gratitude or Appreciation? You get to choose..

gratitude or appreciationGratitude or appreciation…

When I was a little girl my parents taught me to always say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate. I can remember if I forgot, Mom would say “what do you say?” and the correct answer was ”thank you”.  When we learn these words, often the true meaning and importance is lost on us. As children, we don’t necessarily understand the emotion of appreciation that is supposed to be tied to the words. Now as adults, we still bypass the simple, daily act of thankfulness. But being grateful is a habit that will always serve us well throughout our lives. Always.  Continue reading

Are Grandparents Obsolete?

grandparentsWomen over fifty (and of course, men also), are all so excited with the prospect of being grandparents.  I go along with this as it gives us a second chance, or tries to make up for some of the mistakes that we made with our children.  Most of us were probably young and did the best we thought we could, but as our children will most often advise us we often screwed up at some point.

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Gray or Nay?!

I have been dying my hair since, I don’t know, about fifteen (I think). It feels like I HAVE always colored my hair and WILL always color my hair. However, it seems like I have been fighting with my daughter, Lisa, for years about the whole concept of “going gray”. She fears that I am continuing this procedure way past the time it is cool or attractive for me. I believe she SHOULD continue to dye her hair.   

The question is, when is the proper time to just let it go gray?  (Hopefully, when I say gray I mean a wonderful shade of white/silver-gray that complements my features, brings out the green in my eyes, gives me perky breasts, makes me look 10 pounds lighter, lengthens my legs …) Continue reading