The Present Participle List for August

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life44 Comments
Getting everything in order for Aidan’s impending departure for her new college life and this includes buying all of those little necessities to make her dorm cozy and awesome.

Navigating life with a now 15-year-old son, which isn’t exactly what one might call simple.

Drinking a lot of red wine.

Finalizing a new class that I think is pretty awesome. Registration opens on the 28th of this month and more details will be following soon.

Thinking this big news in the scrapbooking world is pretty cool and also thinking it could mean great things for my classes going forward.

Tolerating a lot of hot flashes lately and collectively thinking they kind of suck.

Using this personal cooling fan sent to me by my BFF Tara, and feeling grateful for it (and her) every time.

Devising a plan for taking better care of myself. I’ve been focused on family and work and not so much on doing what is needed personally to be a healthier adult. And one less Weeble-shaped.

Planning to write a long post about the state of my fitness and hoping to not to make it annoying and bitch-y, but I can’t categorically guarantee that will happen.

Wishing someone would invent a bra that didn’t feel like torture. Either that, or wishing that a bra-less life was more socially acceptable.

Savoring this last month of summer and Zielske life as we all four know it.

Knowing it will never be quite the same.


What’s happening with you?







Cathy ZielskeThe Present Participle List for August

44 Comments on “The Present Participle List for August”

  1. #1

    “Wishing someone would invent a bra that didn’t feel like torture. Either that, or wishing that a bra-less life was more socially acceptable.”

    I’d like to suggest that you find a Jockey store and have them do a professional bra fitting on you. I did this a year ago after dealing with poorly fitting bra’s since I was a teenager (I am 44 now). Because I started working in an always cold office setting a few years ago, I found the need to get something with a little more padding and the only bra’s I could find with more padding also came with underwires – ugh. I had tried many and always ended up with bruising and sore spots (no, they weren’t too tight. The way they were made, they would just dig into me). Anyway, I happened to go into a Jockey store with my husband and saw they did custom bra fittings, so I thought “what have I got to lose?” (Um, bruises, sore spots….) So, I did it and it was the absolute best personal thing I have ever done for myself. The bra’s are expensive (good ones are never cheap) but I wish I had found this solution before now. The past year has been great, no bruises, no sore spots and I actually don’t mind wearing a bra now. Oh, bra-less will always be the best but when you have to wear one, knowing it will be so comfortable that you wont even be reminded it is there, is the best thing ever. I recommend Jockey’s professional bra fittings to everyone who mentions hating their bra’s.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Jockey Store? Never knew they had one. I will have to see if there is one in Minnesota. Maybe at the Mall of America?

      1. #1.1.1

        I just googled it and they have Jockey Stores in MN. Ours is at an outlet store here in GA. And the beautiful thing is, once you do the fitting and know the size you need, you can order them online when you need replacements, which is especially helpful if your Jockey store is far away. Before you make a long trip if one is not close by, call and see if they do the bra fittings! Again – definitely worth it and the drive to do it would be totally worth it too. Hope you find comfort soon!

    2. #1.2

      I am also a bra hater, even after getting fitted at VS. The bras fit and are supportive and the girls look great in them, but I am ALWAYS aware I’m wearing one and can’t wait rip it off every day.

      Anyway, I recently learned about True& Co, which us a company that let’s you try on 5 bras at home and you only pay for what you keep. I liked their extensive bra survey and am planning to order soon. Wish I could report back already, but…$$$. Anyway, it’s an appealing option if you hate dealing with stores, malls, and y’know, leaving the house.

      1. #1.2.1

        VS doesn’t do a very good job on fittings, sadly. When I went there they swiped a tape measure around me clothed, over my existing bra, while I stood in the store. Then they told me the closest size that they had in store, which was not actually my correct size. When I got my bra fitted properly I was 1-2 band sizes down and 1-2 cup sizes up from what VS told me. Try Nordstrom, if you can, which carries a very huge range of sizes in store and has an excellent team of fitters and a return policy that allows you to return things even after you’ve worn them (so if they itch or pinch or stab you in the boob after a few weeks, you can take them back!) Yes, it’s uncomfortable to have a stranger see your boobs, but not as uncomfortable as wearing a bra that doesn’t fit day after day.
        It also helps to try on a lot of different styles because different styles fit and feel very different. I got a “leisure bra” as-seen-on-TV style, and that is awesome for at-home days to keep everything reigned in without the wires and structure. The Genie bra even worked for my small band/full boobs self, which was quite the miracle.

    3. #1.3

      Professional bra fitting is a must! As a “big” girl I will only go to Nordstrom’s bra department. They do the fitting and spend hours working with you to fetch and fit the bras until you find the best one(s). I used to shop at VS but their sizes are limited. My favorite bra is Panache SuperBra. They are beautiful and fit like a dream.

  2. #3

    I tear up everytime you mention sending your daughter to college. sending hugs:)

    ps 15 yr old boys gets better and easier:)

  3. #4

    Watching: you prepare to let Aidan leave the nest. Reminding: myself to savor my little guy in all of his toddler ness because if watching Aidan grow up is any indication, it goes too damn fast! 😉

  4. #5

    Remembering-Weebles! That word brought a great memory. I’m just shy of six feet tall. Therefore, I have big feet. Not an issue now but back in my jr high/HS days, size 12 womens shoes? Not so many. Unless you were a 99 year old grandma. I was whining about it one day and my dad, trying to be helpful, says “if you didn’t have big feet you’d be like a Weeble. You’d wobble and fall!” Not very helpful to a 13 year old drama queen but a good laugh at 49. Thanks for sparking it.

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      And of course, you should document that memory. With a Weeble photo! Side note: i ADORED my Weebles. I loved having toys in the 70s.

  5. #6
    Jenny B.

    Yay! I found you again! 😉 It occurred to me this morning that I hadn’t seen a post from you in a while, and then I remembered about the site change and how that I had forgotten to update the link in my blog list, and so… Yay! Here you are!

  6. #7

    I hate bras as well. Some days I just can’t wait to rip them off! I’m all for establishing a bra-less society.

  7. #8
    Audrey V

    I went college shopping with my older son yesterday, it was kinda fun, but I had to keep pushing back the memories of back to school shopping for kindergarten. As for 15 year old boys, that seems to be the beginning of the “snarkyness/sarcasm” age, or at least it was in my house. I don’t know what it’s like to raise girls, I have two boys. It was a little hard at first to transition from my sweet little boys to these foreign teenagers, but hang in there, they grow out of it, just keep looking for the little reminders of your sweet little boy. And lastly, let’s be the first to start a bra-free society! Think about it, who really wants or likes to wear a bra? How many of us take our bras off as soon as we come home? I’m like you, I work mostly as home, so I have many bra free days, which just makes the other days that much more painful. We could be trend setters!

  8. #9

    Hey, I recognise that bottle….not sure what that says about me and my drinking, but HEY! Isn’t Apothic Red something else? I love the maple-y undertones….almost like they poured syrup into the bottle. Note: The white is nowhere near as good, IMHO.

  9. #10
    Samantha Chapman

    I LOVE that you have a bottle of wine in a camping chair.. Hahaha that rocks.

    I did a little scrapbooking last night with a bottle next to me too – it just makes the idea flow 🙂
    I’m excited to hear about your new class too! I did “Live well, Move more” this spring and loved it.


  10. #11

    Another vote for having ones daughter go to school locally. One day she said ‘Mom, the dorms open today’ and I said, “ok” so we threw her stuff into the truck and took it across town, spent the day getting her moved in, and then we went home for dinner.

  11. #12

    Gosh, Cathy can I relate to you and your blog entries! I also have two kids, my daughter is going off to college and I have a son a few weeks away from turning 15, and I am very weeble-ish!
    We just finished dorm room shopping last night, and I think I am still in denial of the reality of what the future means…it sounds so dorky, but where the hell did the time go? One minute I was dropping her off at elemtary school, and now it’s college tuition payment time! A good dose of chocolate is helping me cope, along with looking at pictures of her as a little girl, and realizing the we cant stop them from growing…

    Thanks for all that you do to keep me entertained and scrap-inspired!

  12. #13
    Christine K.

    I am into week 8 of my 5k runner app. I recently bought the TaTatamer II from Lululemon. Love this bra for running. Does the job without torture.

  13. #14

    Another nod to True & Co. I tried them recently and had a very good bra shopping experience. And I hear ya about the “15 year old boy” — I dealt with that for 2 years. Mine are now 16 and 17 — it does get better, but it’s a long, slow process with boys. A friend told me they don’t really “come back” until they are in their 20s!!
    My theory is, their behavior is a meant to allow you to look forward to their departure from the home.

  14. #15

    oh — I just have to say I am shocked at all the people who hate wearing a bra. You people must not have boobs. I hate NOT wearing a bra — I feel so fat and sloppy with the girls just flopping around!

  15. #16

    Having survived two 15yo boys (now 31 & 19) and two 15yo girls (now 23 & 17), I will say that 15yo boys are HARD (kind of like 13yo girls are, but different). At least girls talk. But the boys do come out of it and if all goes well, there is nothing more wonderful than a 20-something son! Hang in there, give lots of love (even when it seems unwelcome) and it will get better (but not for about two years!).

  16. #17

    I’m excited to hear more about your upcoming class. I love Design Your Life and Clean & Simple!

  17. #18
    Veronica Zwiers

    As our final son closes in on being 20 years old, we now are free of the Sub-Species we call the teenager. Don’t doubt me, I have loved every age bracket to its fullest (three kids in 2.5 years), however I AM THOROUGHLY ENJOYING THE YOUNG ADULT STAGE THE MOST!!!!!!

  18. #19

    Another bra hater here – and at this point in my life they are large. UGH! I’m listening to all the advice. Hehehe – I have a funny story about one time in a store (not clothing) my underwire broke and started poking me – it really hurt! – if I did a twisty, shakey thing it would move and not poke for about a minute. the sales lady thought I was totally nuts and a customer looked at me kind of scared!

    My dd is a senior in HS this coming year so I’ll be crying and moping this time next year….. It will be hard for me. We are school shopping at the moment.

    WEEBLES! I loved the roley poley part.

    Love your classes – can’t wait to here more.

  19. #20

    Hi Cathy, I’m a weight watcher (as in Weight Watchers aka points programme) from way back and believe in their approach as in good healthy food and allowing some yummy treats. As we get holder it appears to be harder and harder to lose weight and as you know we are usually losing the same 10kgs over and over again. I’ve just read Dr Libby’s book “accidentally overweight” which is an amazing read (when I say that I know I’m not accidentally overweight because of what I put into my mouth) however the scientific and holistic information in this book is great. She says if it was all about calories in and energy out we wouldn’t have any weight problems so it’s more than that. I highly recommend you getting it and also the Rushing Womens Syndrome book as well. (there is no scientific syndrome called rushing women) but it is a title she refers to women these days. She is just promoting another book called “The Callorie Fallacy”. I heard her speak about 2 years ago in Brisbane and she is an amazing lady. I have no links to her, her books or anything just a person who struggles with her weight and knows all about doing weight watchers but still struggles with my weight. Check your library if you don’t want to buy them but it was very interesting reading that’s for sure. Also it talks about menopause as well amongst heaps of other things. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  20. #21

    Weebles – loved them so! Thanks for the flashback! Wish they were still around…

    Bras – hate them too! Finally got fitted at a Maidenform store and found out my correct size is a cup and a number larger than I’d thought (38D is my new normal) so I got a couple of new ones. They do fit a bit better, I still detest the underwire. So, one day at Big Lots, last place I’d expect it, I spot some stretchy, wireless (so high-tech!) comfy-looking bras. Indeed, they are. They provide just enough support, but don’t make me feel like I’m going insane on a hot day. I could sleep in them..oand have. I’ll go so far as to say they’re a bit life-changing. There, I said it.

    They came in two-packs of S, M, L, and XL, I believe. I grabbed the L and XL, and the L worked great. Still have the XL in my car waiting to return. Probably too big for you, but I’m tempted to send them, so you can share in my relief, lol!!! Seriously, I’ll send them!

  21. #23

    I can’t help with the college thing and I only have girls.
    I too hate bras, especially when I WANT to take it off, but the daughters boyfriend is on his way over. Sigh.

    But the fitness thing? It is a journey. A puzzle. One step forward, one step back, one more thing you learn you either can and will do or that you don’t feel is worth doing. Bitchy posts are a-ok for venting, keeping it real so others can maybe motivate you, as well as entertaining and often SPOT ON baby. Just don’t beat yourself up too much, ok? One step forward, one step back, one more thing you learn you either can do or don’t feel is worth doing.

    But here are a few cheesy quotes to think about that ring true to me, and have kept me going on my journey this summer (even though I may not have finished writing much in your awesome class album, ahem):

    “What you eat in private, you wear in public.” I am NOT about shaming, and it truly takes very little calories to maintain an above-ideal-for-you-weight. It is just that the quote makes me think Am I actually hungry? Do I really need/WANT that chocolate chip cookie, just because I made it with my girls? The malt just because we all went to the ice cream shop? This coming weekend *anything* on a stick or deep fried at the Iowa State Fair?

    “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” Yup, been there, started that, felt that. Looking back 5 years? Just gave myself a high-five. I could do better, but I done good. However…

    “Would you rather be sore tomorrow, or unhappy/sad/mad at yourself tomorrow?” I know my choice. Sore. But in the past (say…a year ago?) there HAVE been other things that took precedence. Make that choice out loud, and let it be ok. Do what you have to do: spend the time with your daughter, husband, friends, surly or moody teen. You won’t regret it.

    “Nobody cares about your excuses. Nobody pities you for procrastinating. Nobody is going to coddle you because you are lazy. It’s YOUR ass. YOU move it.”
    Well, my girls might bring me a chocolate chip cookie if I am not exercising and moaning about being sore! But really, this is SO TRUE! No one else cares. My once a month splurge on a trainer? More monthly appointments for him. My kids? My husband? Not as long as I am not at risk of keeling over. My friends with the same struggle? They have their own issues dude.

    I’m moving my ass again tomorrow (but damn is it ever sore.)

    This was supposed to be a pep talk. I think I failed. sorry!

    1. #23.1
      Cathy Zielske

      No, not a fail! Thanks, Michelle. I posted about this today. This is a choice I need to make, rather than just keep it a problem in my life.

  22. #24

    I’m a day late to comment but…I so relate to how you feel about Aidan leaving for college. So here’s my present participle list:
    *Enjoying photos taken in Kentucky of my new grandson and his big brother.
    *Treasuring the moments I spent with my son – he’s such a good daddy!
    *Remembering that I love air travel and adventure even when I felt anxious and claustrophobic in a smaller plane and driving from Nashville to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
    *Dealing with being a long-distance GiGi
    *Reminding myself to not feel sad but to savor that time and those memories.
    I wanted to share these two links with you since you picked me to win Scotty Girl Designs summer collection (thanks again for that!). Here is baby Chase and his big brother Chance:

  23. #25

    Thanks for the link to the Weebles commercial! I just spent the last half hour (only because I finally had to say STOP!) watching commercials from the 70’s and 80’s!

    I am interested in your posts about how you feel about your fitness/health. If anyone isn’t they can just skip that one. It’s as easy as that!

  24. #26

    grieving over dad’s unexpected death
    unpacking years of emotional/family baggage
    celebrating the announcement of our little newman
    welcoming the reconnection with old friends and family who are excited by the news
    watching my belly start to curve (not too much yet :))
    stressing over drywall and spackle yuck
    anticipating lots of family and friends visits for the rest of the month
    playing the new family guy game
    reading The Influentials- it needs to start influencing me to keep reading
    processing lots of digi supplies so Im set up to keep creating when the baby comes
    wishing for an all clear on our upcoming genetics testing
    craving fruit- mandarin oranges, strawberries, watermelon anything.
    appreciating how good jay and I have it together
    thanking so many people for their kindness with dad and baby.
    Wondering if there is some other type of work I can do on my own that would make money and be fulfilling.

    Long, but thanks so much for this series of posts. It really helps me a least get a snapshot of the month, even if I am so “behind”

  25. #27

    greiving over dad’s unexpected death
    unpacking years of emotional baggage
    celebrating the announcment of our little newman
    welcoming the reconnection with old friends and family who are excited by the news
    watching my belly start to curve (not too much yet :))
    stressing over drywall and spackle yuck
    anticipating lots of family and friends visits for the rest of the month
    playing the new family guy game
    reading The influentials, and not finding it informative at all
    processing lots of digi supplies so Im set up to keep creating when the baby comes
    wishing for an all clear on our upcoming genetics testing
    craving fruit- mandarin oranges, strawbeeries watermelon anything.
    appreciating how good jay and I have it together
    thanking so many people for their kindness with dad and baby.
    Wondering if there is some other type of work I can do on my own that would make money and be fulfilling.

    1. #27.1

      I meant to say thanks for inspiring me with this series. I love the bits of journaling that are capturing my feelings of a month, rather than just what photos I snap.

  26. #28

    Weebles!!! Oh my gosh, that made me LOL!!! My sister had those. At least they only wobble, but they don’t fall down.

    Loving the Present Participle List. May have to give it a whirl.

    I’ve read your blog on and off for a long time and am having fun catching up. I always enjoy your writing – the good, the bad, the fun, the terrible, the authenticity. It’s fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

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