Friday, February 29, 2008

When You're Good to Mama

Oh, man. What a great performance! We had a lovely time. I need to see live productions much more often. I'd never been able to sit through the DVD of Chicago
but the live performance was amazing. We had nice seats and a good time. I've resumed my role of cheerleader/mentor-if-asked and I feel much better about my feelings toward Sandy.

Busy day, but I hope to get in a spin class today after being a lazy bum yesterday.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Catch a live performance of something!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wrong side of the bed

I seem to have got up on the wrong side of the bed and far too early. I'm owly and cranky. And I've got a late night tonight with Sandy. The road to hell....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Forget the stumbles

Celebrate the "get-back-ups."

It's not how many times you stumble that is important - it's how many times you get back up to try again that's important. All of life's journey, the struggles, no matter the arena aren't about being perfect, it's about being willing to get up and try again. Learning and making small changes that are doable and make it easier to do the best thing for yourself in the future.

Pebbles and Guy got home from Canada last night and came by late to pick up the GrandBeast. They seemed to have an okay time, although Pebbles just seems emotionally flat, lately. We spoke this morning about her medical issues and my recommendation that she see another doctor for another opinion and perhaps a broader view of her issues. My concerns is that she's been treating symptoms and her problem my be systemic.

Things are rolling along at a lovely, lilting pace here at Reata North. I'm enjoying the ride.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep yourself at the top of your priority list.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Perky right along

Not much going on - just enjoying life right now. Pebbles just called from Whistler and will be winging her way home this evening and will pick up the GrandBeast on the way home from DFW. Thank goodness! He's a lovely puppy, but it's time for him to go home.

Nothing perking tonight around Reata North, other than dinner (spaghetti squash) and laundry.

All and all, things are good and I am grateful for it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday in the Dog Park with George

I'm sure there was a George. I met a Fred, two Tacos, a Shiner and more Sadie's than I can count. We took Barkley and Sadie to visit the dog park on Sunday afternoon. What a fun outing! I've never seen dogs so happy - it's like every dog there had a smile on it's face. I was a bit scared and skeptical at first, but both our dogs seemed to handle it just fine. Barkley wanted to visit with other dogs and play and Sadie wanted to meet other people. It was a lovely sunshiney day and Bick and I enjoyed getting out and talking with new people and new dogs, as well. It was a grand success. Both dogs feel asleep on the way home, woke up enough to eat dinner and then went back to sleep and slept all evening and night. It was wonderful.

Lovely weekend, beginning Friday with a trip to our favorite little oyster bar in Grapevine. It's a an SPJST - small place just south of town with a good atmosphere and very nice owners. We've been there several times and the oysters are good and the regulars are, well, regular. Nice neighborhood place. We walked up and had dinner on main street and it wasn't near as good, but it was nice to get out of the house.

I'm taking Sandy to see Chicago on Thursday. I won't say that I'm struggling with my feelings about her- I just don't want to develop negative emotions that are inappropriate for me to have based upon my relationship to her. I am not her parent. So rather than isolate myself from her, which is my instinct, as she is pressing what would be all my hot-buttons if I were her Mom, I'm going to make an effort to spend a little time with her one-on-one, with no agenda. She's not mine to educate, she's just mine to tolerate. And I understand that this is more about me than it is about her and I just don't want to develop negative feelings and labels that linger. She has never done anything bad to me, period. Boundaries, Roxie, boundaries.

I just need to remember that she is not mine to raise and that she is very, very young. She seems very excited about going and I know that she will enjoy it. I've always wanted to see a live production, so she was the perfect person to ask to accompany me. She's been a dancer for years and years.

Had another go with Mom over the damned carport. Again I had to say that the carport is not a priority for me. I always feel so stinking guilty over crap like this - followed quickly by resentment at being put in this position. Again, all my stuff. More with the boundaries and appropriate behavior stuff - this living like an adult can be tough! Saw Elton John make an interesting statement about his spouse - basically that before he met David(?) that his relationships were more about taking hostages. I understand the feeling - and have been on both sides of that equation, I think.

Ate well, but got no organized exercise, save for a lot of dog walking. Still, I'll take it. Feeling good. Don't know what the scales are saying, but my pants are talking sweet.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Go to a dog park, even if you don't have a dog.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Thought for the day

It doesn't matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.

-From Back in Skinny Jeans blog

Pillow Talk

Barkley destroyed one of my favorite throw pillows last night. He'd never shown any interest in chewing things up at my house until last night and I assumed that Sadie Lu would keep him occupied. Guess not. Oh well. It's just a thing and at least it wasn't Bick's prized been-in-the-family-for-god-knows-how-many-generations fainting couch.

I am looking forward to a good weekend. Bick and I are going to sit down and spend some more time trying to simplify our weeknight dining. I don't know that we will be successful, and I don't know even how to define success. What is happening now is that we don't get out of the kitchen until about 8:30pm, which leaves very little time for the rest of the evening. However, if we simplify our kitchen time (which is also together-talk time) what do we hope to gain? More time to watch tv? I don't know that that is a trade off that I want to make. Hmmm. Now that I think about this, perhaps this isn't such a great idea. For what purpose will we use this extra time? More time to snack? More time to read? More time to watch tv? Movies? Are any of these outcomes that we really want? Something to think about.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Beware of unintended consequences.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The GrandBeast

The GrandBeast will be making landfall at Reata North this evening for a weeklong stay. Pebbles and Guy are going to Whistler/Vancouver for a week of boarding (snow, not water) and sightseeing. I'm really excited for them. I hope they have a good time. The GrandBeast will become the lab dog for the week as he will be going to work with his "Peepaw". Having the dog around has made Bick sure that he wants a second big dog (a bloodhound) and it has made me sure that I don't. It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.

In other news, Sandy has redeemed herself - she came over and borrowed Bick's truck and she and her friends moved her stuff back home. So moving Sandy this weekend came off our agenda! YAY!

I'm on a quest to put all my photos in books and write something down about them. Bick and I came to the conclusion that neither of our daughters would ever be interested in our boxes of loose pictures. If we wanted the photos to stand a chance of facing posterity, we needed to get off our butts. So I went through and culled mercilessly, and I do mean mercilessly, and I got most of my pics in albums. Now just to start with the annotations. But at least the boot box is nearly empty!

Things are pretty stinking sparkly right now. And I'm just going to wallow around in it for a while.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take pictures of people not landscapes!


Monday, February 18, 2008

High School Musical Reunion

Last night I dreamt that I was attending my high school reunion. When it happens in real life, next year, it will be my thirtieth. So this was set up to be your basic anxiety dream for the aged. I'm now so old that I don't dream about going to school and finding out there is a test that I haven't studied for - now I dream about going to a reunion I hadn't prepared for.

Only it wasn't so bad. I showed up looking pretty much like I do when I'm running up to the SuperSaver for a 6pack of Diet Coke. I can remember feeling a little crappy about how I was dressed - no make up, but don't remember trying to hide under a desk or anything. Very strange.

In real world news, I'm struggling with my feelings towards Sandy. Feelings that I don't want to have. Opinions that I certainly cannot share. She's been particularly unthoughtful these days. Sigh. She's 18 and she's acting like it and I just need to remember that and I need to remember this - she's not mine to educate, she's just mine to tolerate. And I need to remember all the times that Pebbles was ignorant, ungrateful and "entitled".

But most of all, I don't want to feel this way about her. I just want to move passed this feeling of irritation. I don't want to be that woman.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take the long view.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Running with the Devil

at the Jesus Gym.

Got up Saturday morning with the intention of running for an hour with no thought given to speed. Just get on the treadmill and go for an hour. When I got to the gym, it was pretty empty, save one amazing woman. I would guess her to be in her mid-thirties, but she's African American and I have a hard time judging age sometime. Anyway, she's a body builder and is prepping for a competition. What an inspiration! Just about ran my fat ass into the ground! Nice woman and it was good to have some "mental" competition.

I've been eating well, but I am avoiding the scale for a while. What I am trying to do isn't about the scale. It's about developing and maintaining a lifestyle that keeps me healthy and happy. I'm doing what I need to do - working on the stuff that needs working on and the scale, well, the scale can just wait. Ha!

No big plans for the rest of the weekend. I've promised the dog a long walk, if the wind will die down some. Oh and some Daytona, of course. Go Jr.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Race hard.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Fish and apple juice

As it turns out, I was wrong about the main dish last night. It turned out beautifully. The entire dinner was quite lovely, as well. We had a wonderful time putting it all together. While it wasn't schmoopie, it was an expression of the appreciation that we have for one another.

On another front, I am very excited about my new library card. Through my association with the university, I can get a card that will allow me access to most of the municipal libraries around, which will give me access to audiobooks! While I love me some NPR, it does get a little tiresome. I could buy books on tape, but that flies in the face of my desire/life's work to have less stuff. This is just perfect. I can't wait to check it out. More ways to treat myself - trips to the library! I'm such a nerdygirl.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Go to the library.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Hallmark Day!

Or so says the cantakerous old goat that I live with. Thanks, Suz. I think old goat is the perfect description, for him anyway :-)

Finally feel like a human being today. I can move without wincing and today is my restorative yoga class. YAY! I will skip the Jesus Gym tonight as we have Hallmark Holiday plans. We are cooking in - a wrapped, stuffed trout. Bick chose the menu and I'm sorta iffy about it. My cooking failures mostly involve cooking fish, so I'm not optimistic, but he's been looking forward to this every since we saw the chef fix it on tv. The recipe is here. I know that I'm unsure of this sauce/glaze. I don't think there's anyway that it can reduce enough during the time the fish is cooking to be anything but apple juice. Plus, I don't so much care for licorice flavoring. So I'm sort of bleh on this part of the recipe.

We will add some steamed asparagus to complete the entree. Plus I got some locally produced, prize-winning goat cheese and will prepare some red pepper chutney to go with as an appetizer. Bick will have his regular crackers as a base and I will use some of the flaxseed parmesan crackers that I've made for me. For dessert, I bought Bick his favorite Pecan Diamond (single serving) from Central Market - he'll top his with some vanilla ice cream. For me, I got a good imported dark chocolate in an appropriate single serving amount and I'll pair my dessert with a nice coffee to finish.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get the good stuff.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 14, Round 2

Plan for tomorrow.

I do a pretty decent job of planning my meals in advance. Primarily this is because I almost always take leftovers for my lunch the next day. And if I don't have leftovers to take, I have a couple of fall-backs that are usually on hand. Except today. Yesterday I worked late, went to the gym on the way home and hadn't made a real plan for dinner last night, so I stopped by The Sonic and got us Fiesta Chicken Salads for dinner. So no leftovers for me. So this morning I checked the fridge and my backup cottage cheese was empty, so I had to make an impromptu lunch to bring. The good thing is that I made my lunch decision this morning, rather than just saying that I'd go to the cafeteria and see what they had. Sometimes they don't have anything that is healthy for me and sometimes they do, but I make a different and not-so-great choice.

I'm still nearly crying in pain over Monday's workout. My eyelashes hurt. My freckles hurt. Everything hurts and I'm popping Aleve like there's no tomorrow. And it doesn't even seem to phase the ouchy. I've done some yoga to try to help and I walked at the gym last night, but I still think I've got a couple more days before this dissipates. Funny thing, I really didn't feel like I was going to be THIS sore. I knew it was a tough workout, but I didn't know I'd pay for it for days. I do know that I couldn't have made it through spin class yesterday. So yet again, in a recurring theme, I need to find some balance here - get a good, hard workout, but not one that leaves me in tears for days afterwards.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't forget the epsom salts.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 13, Round 2 - continued

Overcoming cravings.

Beck gives behavioral techniques for fighting cravings/urges/the wheels coming off the wagon. These techniques are the most important thing that she teaches - for me, at least. This is the skillset that I need to practice over and over again to try to change my behavior, in many areas of my life.

On a sidenote, I was watching Oprah's show on decluttering your life to lose weight and I came to realize that decluttering was an important part of the journey for me. I can't tie it directly to weight loss, but I can certainly tie it to making it easier on oneself to do the best thing. There is so much emotional weight attached to too much stuff.

Back to Beck:

Behavioral techniques to overcome cravings:

1. Distance yourself from the foods you crave. My problem is that it usually isn't a specific food that I crave. If there is food, I want to eat it, whether I really like it or not. One of my saving graces yesterday with the cookies was that the container was taped shut. I did manage to get it home unopened, where Bick and I opened our Valentine's Day card from my sister and Mom and we looked at the cookies. I asked him if he could take them to work today to make them disappear and he said he could. That way, if he wants to have a cookie or two, he can and I am not tempted. So I did manage to distance myself from potential disaster. Big sparkly credit for me on that one.

2. Drink a no/low-calorie beverage. I'm trying to use this one more. Of course everyone who knows me knows that I mainline Diet Coke, but last night, I was exhausted from my strength training class yesterday (110 push ups! - ONE HUNDRED and TEN push ups! - and that was only one circuit!) and knew that I was vulnerable, so I stopped by Sonic on the way home and got a Diet Cherry Limeade. Just a few calories, but it felt like an indulgence and kept me on the straight and narrow. A Diet orange drink or diet root beer will fit the bill here too.

3. Relax. This one is huge for me. Just coming to understand that I function, at best, with a low-level of anxiety humming in the background just waiting to be fed after midnight has been a big help. Just naming what is going on sometimes helps in combating my urge to eat in a maladaptive manner. "Roxie, you are just anxious. You are not hungry."

4. Distract yourself. This is a good technique for me in many areas of my life. I know now that I can be obsessive, that I have a tendency to engage in thought-churning and monkey brain. Again realizing these traits that I have and giving them a name sometimes allows me to shut them off. Distraction does help. My fallback crosswords aren't working so much, as the NYT changed their big books, so I'll have to find a new source that's just the right amount of doable vs. impossible to keep my interest. I've started keeping a couple of books to read around as well. And as an absolute fallback, there's always laundry. Seems like there is always a load of clothes that need to be folded and put away.

I'm feeling a little encouraged, as I've had a few days of clean eating and I'm beginning to feel better. I'll try to keep up with the exercise and I'm looking for my next thing to boost my motivation.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Name your pain.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Thought for the day

It's easier to say no to the first cookie than it is the second.

Beck Diet Solution: Day 13 Round 2

Overcoming cravings.

How timely. My sister is on her way to my office with a Valentine's Day basket of cookies that she baked for Bick and me. I tried to talk her out of it, but she's insistant. This will be tough - I haven't figured out exactly how to handle it. If I can get them home intact, there is always the neighbor boys - a 13 and 14 year old, each with that teenaged-boy tapeworm and hollow-leg - the perfect dumping ground for cookies.

Had a lovely, lovely weekend. Spent a great deal of time in the sunshine. Worked in the yard some, worked in the garden doing some prep for the spring garden and generally just enjoyed the hell out of the weekend. Bick's birthday was low-key, but nice. We had a lovely dinner with Sandy on Friday night and I didn't over indulge. I reviewed the menu before going to the restaurant and made my menu choice ahead of time, so I wasn't faced with a last minute decision. I managed to avoid dessert, as well. Actually, my eating was good this weekend - probably the best weekend I've had in a while. Unfortunately, I didn't get any forced exercise. I was on my way out the door on Saturday morning when I phone call came from Reata South regarding a gushing plumbing problem, so that nixed that idea. Got that resolved, thankfully.

We went to church on Sunday and that was nice, came home and spent the rest of the day outside. It was comical, actually. Bick and I were working outside and the wind was blowing so much that I had to stop working in the garden and go in the house and put on a do-rag to keep my hair out of my face. Bick decided at that point to stop work and go fly his birthday kite. I got him a box kite for his birthday. For reasons that I can't explain, a woman has a kite stand out near Justin and everytime we would pass this place, Bick would comment that he'd always wanted a box kite - so I got him one. Anyway, I'll kiss your foot if as soon as he went inside to get his kite, the wind would just stop. This happened about three times. The wind would die down and he'd take the kite back in the house and go back to work. Then the winds would pick right back up, be sustained enough to fool him into trying it again. But he seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself and his new kite. And of course, a couple of the neighborhood men had to come over and check it out - Bick was only to happy to show off his new present.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Go fly a kite!


Friday, February 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bick

Not that he will see that, as he doesn't read this.

Sandy and I are taking him to dinner tonight to celebrate the fact that he's now as old as me!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 12, Round 2

Practice Hunger Tolerance.

In the summer months, I practice this almost every weekend. Actually, I hate the sluggish feeling I get after eating and so my preference is to get whatever done that needs doing before eating. Which actually ties into what Beck says. I'm using distraction to keep from feeling hungry. Temporary hunger isn't an emergency.

Gratefuls: Yesterday I received a surprise raise, effective immediately. Blew me away and it was significant enough so that I will notice the difference on my paycheck at the end of the month. Wow. This isn't the time of year for raises - those happen in June, not February. And if they happen now, they aren't effective until June. This was effective February 1. Damn.

Had a bad eating morning. I went to the doctor with Pebbles. She's got some recurring health issues, while not threatening, as it turns out, do impair her quality of life and she's been battling with them for over a year. It doesn't seem to be getting any better. I go to her appointments with her both for moral support and in case she has to have any blood drawn. The last time she had blood drawn, some man found her laying in the parking lot of the lab, having passed out. It's probably the fifth time or so that she's done such a thing, but never just out in the parking lot. So now I go, just in case. Anyway, she was feeling pretty down, so I took her to breakfast and ate crap and continued to eat poorly the rest of the work day. I'd missed the morning at work, so I didn't take a lunch or go to the gym, just grabbed some crap out of the vending machines to get through the day. Which sets me up for more bad eating, but I managed to stall the urge to binge and actually stopped at the Jesus Gym on the way home, only to find that I hadn't packed any pants. Those Jesus Gymmer's frown on no pants.

I've had to face down my urge for chocolate this morning, having gone to all the trouble to dig out change from the bottom of my purse to feed the big.ass dispenser, but managed to put down the change and start doing this.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be grateful.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pebbles and Bamn-Bamn

Pebbles and I had our annual smackdown over the weekend. Actually, it wasn't a smackdown on my part, I just refused to take her crap and stood my ground. The aftermath was that I got my feelings good and hurt (she's since apologized profusely) and had a core meltdown.

Bick was sort of caught in the crossfire, trying to provide comfort, wisdom and tea, while ducking. Not my finest hour.

Gratefuls: the 15 minutes spent in the sauna at work yesterday calming myself.
The lovely flowers that Bick sent me, knowing I was still feeling like crap on Monday.
A kid who knows she's been a butthead and will apologize for it.
Glad this shit only happens about once a year.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

As I try to be more mindful as I go through life, everything I've read talks about being grateful and acknowledging those things that are good, both small and large.

I have a job that I enjoy performing and work with people that I adore. I am very fortunate.

I have an economical, comfortable vehicle that brings me to this job.

Lots to do today. Gotta run.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Top of the Morning

Just returned from an hours' walk with the dogs. The GrandBeast is over for the weekend, as Pebbles and Guy are in Austin again. I feel sure that fitday is wrong with the calorie count, as wrestling with a total of one hundred and sixty pound of dog on the ends of strings has got to count for some sort of core workout.

I had planned to attend the recently revealed pseudo yoga class at the Jesus Gym this morning, but got up to find bright sunshine and no wind so I decided to take the pups out for a walk, even it was only 36 degrees. I overdressed and was peeling off clothes before I'd traveled a quarter mile.

The rest of the weekend looks to be nice as well. Sandy is coming over later in the morning and the three of us are going into Fort Worth for lunch and a visit to the Carter Museum and possibly the Modern, if time permits. Tomorrow will be church in the morning and a big wad of nothing, save some puttering around the house, on Sunday. Sandy is moving back home with her Mom at the end of February. She told her dad that she just couldn't afford to live on her own. I think she's making a wise decision. It is my hope that she's focused on school stuff, and from everything that she's saying, so far, so good. So, she asked us to help her move and we are happy to do so. Since the big school fiasco, her relationship with her Dad seems to be improving very nicely. She's now calling him, just to chat, check-in; all good things and he's just as pleased as he possibly can be. I know that all progress isn't linear, but I'm hopeful that they are moving in the right direction.

Sparkles: Eating well. Getting exercise. Didn't get to the gym at lunch yesterday, so I dropped by the Jesus Gym and put in some jog time. Boy did my calves, hip and neck fuss at me last night. I should have been smarter and taken some Aleve before bedtime, but I didn't and I was achy all night and it hurt my sleep. But some stretching and exercise this morning and I'm feeling better.

Cavelettis: Dining out today could be a pothole, but I will eat in moderation, even if it's not my food preference. Need to plan for some exercise tomorrow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get in the sunshine.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Beck Diet Solution: Day 11, Round 2

Differentiate between hunger, desire and cravings.

Beck writes about confusing hunger with the desire to eat. I know that I fall into the "desire to eat" category much more often than the "actually hungry" column. And if I stay mindful, rather than choosing to ignore my actual brain, then I'm much more apt to eat when and what is appropriate for me than going off on a food bender.

I am getting better at naming what's going on when I have a desire to eat. Beck advises that whenever you know your stomach is full, or should be, then name that feeling as a craving, rather than hunger. I've experienced some success with this - if I actually take the time to engage in some self-talk or even to whisper aloud that this is just a craving, sometimes it loses it's potency. Not always, but that's why I am working and reworking the book - to increase my skillset and to increase the number of times I do "the best for me" thing. Progress, not perfection.

I'm also trying to move away from labeling things as good or bad. In most situations there are many decisions to be made, some move me towards peace and some don't. I want to think in terms of "better for me" decisions rather than I'm good or I'm bad. I'm still trying to flesh out this idea into a more concrete and easy to use format, but anything that moves me away from self-inflicted wounds is better for me. More peaceful.

Sparkles: Had a lovely dady with Mom yesterday. I needed to run some errands that would take me in the vicinity of the Mango Hut, so I arranged to spend the day with her. We had a lot of fun. She has made what I consider to be a brilliant decision in regard to our property in WA and has hired our former tenant to serve as property manager. She's raised the rent by 40%, so this allows her to pay for this service, which helps our the former tenant who is need of a little help and still affords Mom a raise, while getting some eyes-on help up there. And based on my idea of using Craig's list, rather than an expensive ad, she had 15 inquiries in one day and pending passing a background check, has the place rented out again, starting March 1. So, she handled this very well, and I told her so.

Cavelettis: No exercise yesterday and my eating wasn't as clean as I would have liked, but I did eat in absolute moderation, so I'll take that. I felt good about my decision to enjoy going to one of Mom's favorite places and I love the food, too. I just kept it in check and sent home half of my lunch to be my sister's dinner. Today, I plan to do a spin class, followed by some weight training for upper body at the Jesus Gym.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Let others surprise you.