Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Returning to Form

I'm off to the gym at lunch for the first time in, oh, ever. It was way before the whole dental thing back in early May since I've been able to workout regularly at lunch. Then there was the whole crazy-at-work thing. I will be glad to get back to a more regular exercise schedule. Today I think I'll hit the rowing machine for some shoulder work. I did talk to a woman affiliated with the rowing club and her advice was to wait until it cooled down a bit before jumping into lessons. So that will be my fall activity. They have singles, doubles and quads, but no eights. After the rowing machine, I think I'll spend some time on the treadmill watching mindless HGTV. Sounds like a plan to me.

I'm also ready to continue with the rest of the testing requested from my spring annual check-up. Not fun, but required. I'm looking to get all of that finished up here in July. Health is the number one priority.

Birds Do It

But apparently the bees have stopped doing it. Or more precisely, have stopped doing it in the squash. Bick first reported the problem a few days ago. After snooping around the internets and watching some plant porn, it was deemed that I must boost the sex life of the summer squash. I am now acting as Viagra for Vegetables. I tried last night, but the squash were too tired and had a headache. Perhaps they prefer mornings?

So this morning, I put on my best push-up bra, my vacation panties, threw on my summer robe and my f*ck-me Crocs, snapped on some latex (gloves) and went out to entice the squash into reproducing. I did my best (bean) pole dance. We'll know if there was a happy ending in about three days. The things I do for organic produce. Sheesh.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. I'll leave the joke to you.


HGF: peppers and onions in the chili verde

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trying Something New

I'm trying something new for breakfast. It remains to be seen if it will make the rotation. I'm having Greek Yogurt with fresh raspberries and strawberries. I normally do an egg thing in the morning - a good protein source. This may feel too desserty for me. I just hope it sticks with me. I brought a couple of boiled eggs as a backup.

I fixed chili verde yesterday. Yummy! I had Bick outside with the blowtorch roasting poblanos. He invited Sandy over for dinner last night and so we ran into town to get some ice cream for their dessert. He wanted berries to serve with it, so I had some fresh berries for my dessert last night, too. I served up their ice cream, added fresh raspberries (Bick had NEVER eaten a fresh raspberry) and sliced strawberries, topped with some real whipping cream. I then toasted up some almonds and sprinkled on top. All served in a cocktail glass. I should have taken a picture.

I've got one more tough day at work today, then the tough month of June will be pretty much out the door. And there might be exciting vacation news in the offing. I don't want to jinx anything by mentioning it now. I am hopeful that things will come together in the next day or so. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Sandy's visit was pleasant. She still hasn't found a job. She's bored and broke. I would call it a teachable moment. She was talkative and hung around for quite a while. It was a nice time. Bick and I had a talk about her after she left. He's taking all of this very personally and I tried to tell him that none of this necessarily directed at him. I think she's far too self-centered (as are most children at her age) to even consider anyone else. I've had the interesting experience of re-reading my old blogs from when Pebbles was this ago. It was NOT all sunshine and roses for us, either. That seemed to give Bick some comfort.

All in all, a nice weekend.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't take things too personally.


H20: 2
HGF: some peppers for the chili verde, tomatoes for the guac.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Roxie's Lazy Guide To Life: It's just easier that way

I used to think of myself as lazy, but now I prefer to think of myself as making all my decisions in advance in order to make things easier on myself. If I don't bring the blackberries home, I won't be making the cobbler. If I don't make the cobbler, I won't be tempted to eat the whole damn thing. If I really want cobbler, I'll go somewhere and order a serving of cobbler. It's just easier that way.

The Costco decision (I am actually undecided) is part of the same thing. I went on a recon mission yesterday and found myself back in the same mindset I was a few years ago. I do not want to have all my disposable income tied up in toilet paper inventory. I prefer the "just in time" method. That being said, I do realize that there are significant cost savings to be had, as well as a big boost in quality, in most cases. My sister doesn't call me "Squeaky" for nothing, as I am known to be tight with the dollar. The question becomes can I stick to my guns and not wander all around buying stuff. As we all know with Costco, the inventory changes frequently and if you want something, you'd better buy it now, as it might not be there next week. So as I wandered through the store with my list, I found myself drawn to the very things that I'd hoped to avoid. All manner of things that would add to my "stuff" and increase my bill at the checkout counter.

In my quest to live a more simple life and reduce the number of my possessions, I've all but given up shopping - especially shopping as recreation. If you don't want to buy more stuff, stay the hell out of the store. It's not making the decision when you've just seen the most perfect thing in the history of all perfect things and how could you possibly live the rest of your life knowing that such a thing exists and that this is your only chance ever to own it? It's making the decision to avoid the place where the perfect stuff lives in the first place. It's just easier that way.

I bring my lunch to work (most days) so I make the decision about what I'm going to eat after dinner the night before and not when I'm facing down the buffet or a menu. I make the decision when it's easy to make the decision, not when it's the hardest. It's just easier that way.

So while I could save some dollars by becoming a Costco member, the risk is high that I could "blow" those savings by acquiring other stuff that I don't really need. I really try NOT to test my willpower like that. It's just easier that way.

I'm really not all this rigid, but I do believe that small decisions made routinely can add up to big, big changes. Both in the positive and the negative. I'm just trying to decide in advance if I want to expose my Achille's Heel to the lure of the Kirkland brand. It's just easier that way.

Gym time was a couple of hours yesterday. Nice workout. I didn't go to the waterpark, as it was so hot that it would have been like taking a bath.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. It's just easier that way.


H20: 7
HGF: Tomatoes, onions, squash, peppers, herbs for roasted vegetables. Zucchs shredded in breakfast fritatta.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I give up

I've succumbed to the siren call of Costco. I've decided to renew my membership after a multi-year lapse. The good news is there isn't one that is that close to me, so perhaps I can stick to the once a month thing. We'll see. Until I can learn to brew my own green tea that is actually drinkable, I'll save some serious coin by shopping Costco.

For those who do brew their own, I'd love to hear your recipes, techniques, whatever. Every concoction that I've brewed up tastes, well, like witches brew. Complete with eye of newt!

I've decided to forgo the blackberry experience today. I don't need a gallon of blackberries unless I'm going to make blackberry cobbler, which I am not, so maybe some other time. Why bring that battle into my home?

Heading off the Jesus Gym this morning for a workout of some sort then I may take myself to the local water park and float on the lazy river for a bit. Don't know. Bick's working today, so I can do whatever I wish. I've got to do the menu planning for the week, plus the grocery list and then I'm off in a flash.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. If you don't want to eat it, don't bring it home.


H20: 2
Home grown food: salad fixings.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why? Part Two

When Dana asked why we lose weight, I forgot to give one of my most important answers. I wanted my daughter to know that it is possible to change a life. That my past did not dictate my future and that I could dig myself out of whatever holes I'd gotten myself into. I just had to get up off the couch. I had to be responsible for my own happiness. So another big reason? Pebbles.

Picture taken on her college graduation day - December 2005.

Salad Days

TGIF. I am glad that it's Friday. I'm hopeful that I can get to the gym today - first lunch time visit in a while. I'm thinking about going to pick blackberries tomorrow at a local farm and then hit the gym. I don't really need a gallon of blackberries nor do I want to pick a gallon of blackberries, but maybe I can do a smaller amount. Or it might just be just too damn hot to pick, even at 7am. TBD.

I was sad to hear of MJ's passing - although I think his life was more tragic than his death - and while it's sad that three more children join the AB-coined "Dead Daddy Club", I hope they are well and sanely provided for.

I'll be glad to see the tail end of June.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be grateful for good health - both mental and physical.


H2O: 2
HGF: tomatoes and herbs for lunch and dinner salads.
pic: Last night's salad before Bick's grilled chicken was added.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Dana asked why each of us wants to lose weight. I wrote a response to her post and my computer ate it, so I’m making my own post. My reason, when I began this decade-long journey, was just like all the others before it – vanity. I was staring down my 20th high school reunion and while I didn’t need to attend looking like the homecoming queen, I didn’t want to look like the homecoming float either. So I began yet another journey to drop a significant amount of weight. Over my lifetime I’d been very successful at losing weight. I just sucked mightily at keeping it off.

This journey was a bit different, however, as I soon learned that it just a bit easier if I didn’t have to fight my body all the time. If I laid off of the simple carbs and processed foods, I didn’t get cravings as bad. I didn’t have to fight as hard. I felt better and I had more energy. Yes, it was still hard, but when I wasn’t at war with my own body chemistry, it was much easier. There were peaks and valleys, but they were much smaller and the overall trend continued downward.

I’m now staring down at my 30th high school reunion which happens this August and my focus has shifted. I made a decision at the beginning of the year that I was tired of being at war with my body. I was tired of bitching and griping about what the scale did or didn’t do. I was tired of keeping my self-esteem and self-worth tied up in a dress size. And I made a decision to quit whining about all of it on this blog. And I think I’ve done that pretty well. Yes, in a perfect world, I’d like to get to my happy weight. But my perfect world might just be now. I’m working to accept the things that I cannot change. Longtime readers will remember the “flabby ass” partying shot from the Arizona lover – well, the truth is, I cannot change my flabby ass. I can make it smaller, but I can’t (without surgery) undo 100 pounds of damage. It’s there. It’s part of the journey and part of the story. I cannot believe how I let that comment derail me.

I still weigh and I post the number, as not weighing doesn’t work for me, but I try to think of it as just a number. Like, oh, look there’s a tomato. It’s just what it is. There’s no value attached to it – or I try not to let it. My focus has changed from getting “skinny” to getting happy. If I can make peace with myself, then the rest will follow in it’s own time. I’m no longer on a diet. I’ve adopted and adapted a lifestyle that includes healthy foods and exercise. I’m fit and would like to stay that way and I will do it without punishment and by treating myself with loving kindness. I’ll do what I can today to practice that intention and let tomorrow take care of itself.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Practice loving kindness – start with you.


picture taken in 2006.

Water: 4
Homegrown: tomatoes and herbs in the bean salad. Recipe in this month’s Body and Soul mag.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lack of Planning

Bringing my breakfast and lunch to work every day is one of the best things I've done for both my butt and my wallet. I'm exceptionally good at getting this done. When I cook dinner, I plan for leftovers for both Bick and me to pack for the next day. Last night, however, I went out to dinner. And while it was yummy, it did mean no leftovers for work today. And I didn't both to put together anything last night when I got home.

And I overslept. Actually, I didn't sleep very well last night at all and when I did finally fall asleep, I slept later than I normally would. So I didn't fix breakfast either. So here I am at work with no breakfast and no lunch. I did manage to throw my green tea in the lunch bag.

I went to Einstein's to grab an egg something - I throw away or share the bagel part of the deal - only to discover they have started (for a limited time) an egg-white florentine omelet wrap for under 400 calories. I ordered that (didn't eat the wrap) and it was yummy! I'm sure the sodium content was very high, however. Another reason to "roll your own". You get to control all of that stuff.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Planning gives a better opportunity to make good choices.

ETA pic of flowers Bick just sent me.


Water: 2
HGF: okra, tomatoes, herbs, etc in stewed okra.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Keeping Body and Soul Together

The grind continues. Crazy work. Not sleeping well. Not enough exercise or meditation time. I actually walked over to a picnic bench adjacent to the parking lot this morning and spent a few minutes just practicing some deep breathing. I do have some fun planned for this evening. I'm having dinner with a couple of friends tonight and I'm looking forward to good company and a restaurant that I've been wanting to try. Lebonese food.

I am looking forward to the 4th. We got an invite from the Poolville Pagans to load up the dog and hang out with them for the weekend and that's always fun.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Put something in front to look forward to.


Water: 0
Homegrown food: okra, tomatoes, onions, herbs in the stewed okra. Herbs in the quiche.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Kid's Got Talent

Pebbles is helping a friend of hers decorate her first apartment. The colors are celedon green, hot pink with black. Here is a picture of the accent wall Pebbles designed and painted. This is the place where the hot pink futon cover that she/we are sewing will take up residence in the spare room. What fun!

Weekend Update

I had a nice weekend. Got in some good exercise. Got in some good garden time. Went to a new-to-me organic gardening store down in Where-The-West-Begins where Bick bought some plants and "bacteria" for the pond. Great place.

Went grocery shopping extra early in the morning on Sunday and made that a leisurely, pleasurable experience rather than the rush-rush-rush it usually is.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get your garden on.



Water 2
Homegrown food: tomato, pepper, herbs in the quiche.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bick is a Premature Evacuator

There. I said it. Bick is far too quick to yank plants out of the landscape if he thinks they are not performing. I planted three fig trees (He doesn't like figs - I think this is a key plot point)and they started out great. We got a couple of late frosts here in Texas and it caught all the green growth. So yes, they did look like sticks for a while and, yes, I think 2 were actually dead. But Bick yanked them all out of the ground. Pissed me right off. And he didn't discard the evidence so a when I wandered around the back of the house, there was one plant starting to leaf out again. Pissed. Again.

He did this to our tomato plants last year. We didn't get much in the way of a crop before it got to hot and so he yanked the plants out of the ground. Everyone else in the free world had a nice fall tomato crop except us.

I was reminded of this when I went to the plant show yesterday. We should have entered! I'll show these Texas gardeners what some green beans are supposed to look like! Anyway, there on the park grounds was a beautiful and loaded fig tree. Pissed me right off again. I had a "come-to-Jesus" meeting with him about the green beans. Yes, they don't look as stout as they did a few weeks ago, but they are still blooming and what are we going to plant in their place anyway - just leave them the hell alone. We'll see.

If you put money on us staying home last night, you won.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Practice patience.


Water: 6
Homegrown food: zucchini for the breakfast fritatta, tomato and basil for the caprese salad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Like Steve McQueen, All I Need's A Fast Machine

This morning's work out was awesome. I spent a little more than two hours in the gym on various machines and got in a good and enjoyable workout. Came home and picked more green beans. I'm just in from the garden and getting ready to take a shower and head off to the county master gardener show. Turns out there is a competition! It's like my old county fair, except it's in the middle of June instead of later in the growing season. Oh and they don't accept pickles. That's strange. Anyway, looking forward to that.

Picked the first vine ripe tomato today, so I may go buy some fresh mozzarella and pick some of my basil for a caprese salad. Bick and I are supposed to go out to a fancy-pants (for this area) dinner tonight, but I'd be just fine with having a first course here. And I know the ingredients couldn't be fresher! If I were a betting man, however, I wouldn't bet that we'll make it off the porch. I'm a homebody and Bick makes me look like a jet-setter. We NEED to get out more.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Avoid getting pickled.


Yesterday's water and homegrown food:
Water 2 (I've had 5 already today!)
onions from lunch fajitas. I had dinner out after meeting.

Friday, June 19, 2009


No, not that kind. This kind.

This is a much better explaination of what's been going on with me than I could ever articulate. I finally came to this realization/understanding/ephiphany some months back and once I understood it - a definite turning point. I no longer have to do things the way I used to do them.

It's because of this realization that I've come to believe that I left a lot of my authentic self back there. I didn't have the skills to preserve who I really was and survive, so I adapted and adopted strategies that helped me get through it.

Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, I can see all of this from a much clearer perspective and I can make the necessary adjustments to go back and claim my authentic self. Last time I saw her, she was standing under the cherry tree at the farm in Washington. I've missed her for a very long time.

Uncluttering My Life

One would think that growing up in a house with a compulsive shopper would cure one of trolling for objects. Turns out, it took me a long time to realize that I sort of had the "there's nothing to do, let's go shopping" thing going on. My personal weakness was housewares. Dishes, platters, pitchers and the like. Really, anything that could be used to set a table, actually. Tableclothes, chargers, napkins, and placemats spilled out of every container. The ironic part of this was that I was an awful housekeeper. Horrible. Horrific. Embarrassingly bad. And I never saw how all of this was connected. Of course it's tough to clean house when you've got no place to put stuff! Too much clutter and it all seemed overwhelming.

Enter flylady. Changed my life. I started pitching things, hauling stuff to the thrift store that benefitted the local womens' shelter. I pared down to a minimum of stuff. I only kept the things that I truly, truly loved. Now I still enjoy putting together a tablescape, but my options are more limited and I must trust in my creativity. The above picture isn't one of my best, but it was just something I put together when the girls were coming over.

I was using my big harvest table for the sewing project, so I drug out Bick's parents' first dinette set. On it, I placed my yellow fiesta pitcher that was in the house my parents bought in 1965. I did add the yellow Riviera plates before the purge and I kept them as I do love them. On this trip, I used them as chargers for my own set of "good dishes". I made the decision a few years ago to always use my good stuff. Now I don't own any fine china, as I'm not that kind of gall, but I'll use this. And when I use them up, I'll buy new. No more holding back.

The linens were a recent gift from Bick's mother. They belonged to Bick's Aunt Sister. Family lore has it that Aunt Sister travelled the world and these are fine linens from somewhere. The "flowers" were just some stuff I picked out of my flowerbed, save the thistles - I had to go to the field next store (with gloves) to pick the them. For whatever reason, I think thistles are beautiful.

I plan to hit the gym tomorrow, then, speaking of housework, hit the house. I'm sure there will be stuff to put up from the garden.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep only what's important.


Water: 2
Homegrown food: Turnip greens from the freezer. Onions for the fajitas. Neighborhood eggs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I've been doing very well with cutting out the weekday coffee/cream concoction. I haven't even noticed it's gone. I've also been doing pretty well with cutting back on the nectar of the gods, Diet Coke. I'm down to about three a day and I've upped my consumption of green tea. All this is good. Except yesterday when it wasn't.

I start each morning with a Diet Coke, have one more when I get to work and one more in the afternoon - with green tea in between. No soda after say 3 in the afternoon. Yesterday was different. There were no Diet Cokes in the soda machine so I opted for Dr Pepper - twice. And then last night with dinner, I decided to have a Diet Coke. Guess who could not sleep? Well, if you posted a blog that I read late last night, you'll know because I was insomniac-commenting in the wee hours. I feel like my behind is dragging this morning and I've got a long day ahead of me. While I don't know that Dr Pepper has more go-juice than Diet Coke, it has a tendency to jack me well up. Grr.

Water aerobics was fun last night. A little too much for the shoulder after the first half hour, so I modified to fit my needs. A couple of Aleve last night and it all feels good today. And by good I mean the shoulder doesn't hurt any more than normal.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Power down.


Water: 2 glasses yesterday (you laugh - this is huge for me - I NEVER drink water)
Homegrown food: neighborhood eggs and green beans

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Splish Splash

I've finally got my head above water and am going to participate in the dive well water aerobics class tonight. I've heard that there is a good deal of swimming, so I don't know how my shoulder will handle that. Plus, I'm a poor swimmer, at best. The hillbilly hills of the PNW isn't known for turning out fine swimmers.

I'm excited about getting to a group exercise class for the first time in what feels like forever.

Girls' Night Out

Had a blast from the past last night. Went out with three work friends to a bar that used to be close to our job nearly THIRTY YEARS AGO. I first wandered in to this bar mid-April 1979, when I was visiting Texas on spring break. After I moved here, I did go to this bar on occasion, along with several other in the owners' stable of nightclubs.

The old bar did not reopen in the same place, but it did reopen with hundreds of old pictures both on their website and in the bar itself. Disregard the Wet T-Shirt type photos (I never saw any of those contests) and just look at the people. What a blast from the past! Why did we ever, ever, ever think any of those looks were attractive?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a way to have a few laughs.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Raggedy Roxie

The work stress continues. A friend of nearly thirty years told me her devastating health news. All in all, I'm feeling pretty ragged with not much of end in sight. But the good news is that I am treating myself very well during this time. I am spending some extra time doing relaxation/yoga/meditation. Came home from work last night feeling drained and I told Bick I'd see him in a bit and headed off for my yoga mat.

The work issues are a challenge for me. In the past, I have been an impatient person. I've also had a lot of ego tied to anything I put my hand to. This was a lethal combination. Now, each day, I am setting the intention that I am in problem solving mode. How I feel about myself is not tied to the outcome of this project. I don't need to defend to the death each decision that I made. Chances are, I made some mistakes right in there with the good stuff. I need to cut myself and everyone else a break. These are not my character strengths, they are my character flaws and staying in the present and not reacting in my usual way flat takes it out of me.

It just dawned on me while I was writing this that my reaction, my character flaw, is really an attempt to suppress conflict. That's probably a larger portion of this than I had previously thought. As a life-long people-pleaser, I don't want there to be conflict and if I could stop it by the sheer force of my personality, I would. Hmm. An insight worth pondering.

No cardio for a while and it looks like it will be a while for any serious workout happens, but I'm sticking close to my eating plan and feel good about that.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Live an examined life.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bella Vita

My work has required a lot from me over the past couple of weeks. I'm reorganizing an area, both in the physical sense of furniture, work stations and the like, in addition to changing around and reassigning job functions to fill a spot by a recently retired person. I think the team will be stronger with one less person as I believe we are about one FTE overstaffed, but with any organizational change, I'm facing some opposition from below and from peers.

I'm rewriting manuals, establishing new scheduling and procedures, waking up in the middle of the night with "Oh, Shit" thoughts. All in all, it's been and will continue to be stressful. And I've been feeling a bit ragged this week and in need of some special Roxie time.

Time one was to have a pedicure. I normally do this for myself because, well, let's just say I'm thrifty. But this week, I opted for the spa pedi. It was wonderful. The shop wasn't crowded and I just shut my eyes and stuffed my feet into hot wax. Yummy. My feet are as soft as a baby's bum.

Time two was spent at the library. I needed to get some more audio books to accompany the commute from hell, so I popped into the library. This time, in addition to getting the CD's, I went into the reading lounge and sat down with some magazines. I must have spent nearly an hour in the lounge paging through some great mags, reading an article here and there. Lifestyle porn AKA magazines were one of the toughest things to give up when I transitioned into a less consumer-based lifestyle. I had numerous subscriptions, stacks of magazines and bought more everytime I went to the store. They just tended to feed my consumer monster, so I cut them all out. Now I do have a couple of subscriptions, gifted and not, but they are more about yoga, meditation, graceful aging, etc rather than stuff to buy. Anyway, I enjoyed reading all sorts of esoteric yoga journals, Mother Earth News, etc. and I didn't have to pay for them and I didn't have to store them nor did I have to feel guilty about disposing of them. A win all the way around.

My last stop was Friday evening. A friend and I were on a mission to go see a friend of ours who lives in the Hill Country, so 400 miles later, I returned to town in time to go to the Kimball to see an exhibit of Italian love objects. The pieces were those created and given at the time of marriage and the birth of a child, for example. Turns out, birthing trays were a popular option. Large wooden trays were painted with artful scenes of the family, the birth etc and were given to commemorate the event. In addition, Italian pottery was commissioned for such events, as well. Large, beautiful, colorful footed pieces showing couples in love - and in the R-rated exhibition space - couples in the act of love! Those crazy Italians. Anyway, it was a lovely time and I'm glad that I got to see the exhibit before it closes today.

I got the green beans in the freezer and the laundry done. This morning I've got to give SadieLuWho a bath because she found something nasty-assed to roll in. Just when I thought she was made of class she goes and acts like a dog. Silly girl. Then it's time to do some weeding before it gets too hot to move around here. Yesterday the heat index was 109. That's too damned hot.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Live a beautiful life.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Odds and Ends, Tips and Tails

Dentist appointment went well. He said I am healing beautifully. Next check up is in six weeks. I've been cleared to eat anything I want except chips, nuts, popcorn and crusty bread. Save the nuts, I try not to eat any of that anyway, so I'm good.

Work=Busy. No gym time. No lunch time. It will get better. I've been trying to up my yoga/stress relief time at home during this patch. Seems to be working.

Bick is away today, so I've got the day to myself. Unfortunately, I think it will involve laundry. I know it will involve tipping, tailing, blanching and freezing about 7.5 pounds of green beans. The garden (which is not that big - 4 4X10 raised beds total) is producing green beans at a blistering pace. So I've got to get these in the freezer today and be ready for more to come on soon.

In other news, a while back Meg mentioned the Martha Beck article in the latest Oprah magazine. I'm assuming it's the issue when the article about relaxing your way to thin/health/whatever. I hope it was health, as thin isn't necessarily healthy. Anyway, it was a very interesting read and one that I agree with. If I can stay less stressed, more relaxed and more in the present, the less likely I am to make less-than-optional choices. My feelings of well-being are more positive when I'm relaxed, etc. This year I've made an effort to increase my meditation/yoga/deep breath time and I think it's made a big difference in how I feel, which in turns, makes a big difference in the choices I make regarding my physical lifestyle.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Spend five minutes today breathing deeply.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Take a Dive

Exercise has been poor this week. I've been lucky to snag a couple of minutes to wolf down my lunch here at work. The rest of the month will still be chaotic, but nothing like the first two weeks. I've just got a couple of more days and then, perhaps, I can see my old routine from where I stand.

I've got another follow-up visit with the Dentist today. I'm hoping for continued progress. After that, I think I'm going to attend a water aerobics class. This class is held in the dive pool, which should prove interesting. I don't know how the shoulder will handle this, but I can always stop if I don't think it's the right thing to be doing.

ETA: Interesting article in the NYT on the joy of less. What did you think you could never live without and now you do?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Swim in the deep end.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Take a Look at your Toes

Stacey, over at Create a Balance, wrote a fabulous series on authentic happiness. Part one talks about self-care. I think that most of us on this journey are actively trying to increase our self-care and I think it's a hard balance for women (and men, although I've had no personal experience with that one) to attain.

Self-care is the first thing to go when there are others to consider. We put others needs and wants in front of our own and pretty soon "she's let herself go". I think the outside of the body is pretty much a manifestation of what's going on inside.

So take a peek at your toes. Is your polish chipped? Do you feet need a good sand-blasting? If you don't polish and even if you do, when was the last time you gave your own feet a good rubdown with some great lotion? Do your feet look cared for?

Stacey had some really great tips on how to begin or enhance our self-care practice:

Today’s exercise focuses on self care.
I invite you to picture how self care falls into your ideal lifestyle. Assume money is not an issue and don’t worry about how you are going to get these things into your life. For now, just dream (and dream big).

Self Care Questions to Ponder

How often would you go to the spa?
How many massages would you like per week?
How much water would you drink per day?
What would your exercise program look like?
What would your eating habits look like?
What would refuel you?
How much time would you spend outdoors?
What would your peaceful moments look like?
How much sleep would you get each night?
Would you have daytime naps?
What would your wardrobe look like?
What would your time management look like?
What would you do for “me” time?
How much “me” time would you have each day?
How would you relax?
What would your vacations look like?
What would your relationships be like if you took time for self-care?

Head over to Stacey's blog for some other great ideas. I'm going to spend some time answering these questions to help set an intention for my self-care practice.

Work is still crazy busy and will be that way for the next month or so. I was working at the kitchen table last night until bedtime. Not a lot of time for self-care, but I can't let it fall away completely. Today it will be possible to get in an exercise class and I will do that.

Gotta run. Work is calling.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Polish with a hot pink passion.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm Your Ice Cream Man

While I was running on the treadmill yesterday, it occurred to me that time spent exercising and time spent in meditation and yoga are very opposite. For me, in order to get in a good run, I've got to get my mind off of my body and go somewhere else where I am not thinking about how boring this is or how much this part of my body hurts or not gazing at the display thinking "I've got to do this for HOW much longer?". When I'm running, I need to focus on something else to keep my mind off of the now and when I'm doing yoga, my focus is on my body. I just found this an interesting comparison.

My workout plan was just to get in some walking on the treadmill. I haven't pushed myself lately, as I just wanted to make sure that I enjoy the experience as much as possible. I want to look forward to exercise and not to consider it punishment. Been there and done that. So I got to the Jesus Gym and there was only one other man there. He was probably a bit older than me and he was jogging/running on the treadmill. After a few minutes, I decided to see how it felt to run again, so I pumped up the speed (relatively, speaking for sure). It felt pretty good. So that I decided to see if I could run as long as the man on the far treadmill. Turns out I could hang with him for a couple of miles. I decided to see if I could run until he left the gym. Turns out I could.

It had been a long time since I'd logged any real running time and I didn't want to injure myself, so I dropped back to a walk. For my next mind game, I needed to involve my old running buddies - Eddie Van Halen and Ted Nugent. Pebbles loaded up Turq, my Ipod, with a lot of Van Halen. And I added some select Ted. These make up the core of my "running songs". I have 1024 songs on my Ipod. So I set it on shuffle and made the mental deal with myself that I would run with intensity anytime a running song came on. Now the odds would be that I wouldn't run that much, except that I am a channel-changer from way back. If a song comes on that I don't like, I hit the forward button. Didn't take long to run into a slew of 70's rock (I wonder about how random that shuffle really is?). I got in some good sprints and I will say that some of the live albums nearly killed me. They can take a normal song that lasts three minutes and Eddie will through in a guitar solo in the damn middle of it and I was a huffing and puffing trying to get through it. All and all, a great workout.

Pebbles and Sandy are coming over for dinner tonight. Pebbles is coming over because she wants some help on a sewing project she is doing (read: She wants her Momma to do it for her) and Sandy is coming over to see Pebbles. I am making polenta from scratch for the first time today and I keep telling myself - it's just grits!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. The mind pretty much controls the size of the ass.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Quick Shout Out For Mindfulness

Great article over at CNN on mindfulness. I'm a big fan of the practice. I started about three and half years ago and the more I practice, the less visits I take to Crazytown. It's good stuff.

Garden City

I came home from a meeting to find Bick picking our first heirloom green beans of the season. These are "tarheel" beans that I got from friends back home in Washington. They grow these beans every year from seeds that they save. They were gracious enough to give me some "creasy" non-pole requiring seeds. Actually, they gave me seeds from four different varieties that they grow.

I tried the pole beans last year and got six beans. I think I waited too late in the season to plant them. This year, I lost the first batch to late frost, but got them back in the ground asap. I cannot wait for dinner tonight! Bick also harvested ten summer squash and four zucs. The tomato plants are LOADED! This is the best garden we've ever done. Oh, and there was a solitary okra pod. I accidentally planted a dwarf variety of okra and they are less than knee high! I noticed my error and planted the regular ones in another bed. Don't know if they cross-bred or not. That remains to be seen. But the little ones are a bloomin'.

The longhorn topiary goes in the ground today. This is another of our "yard art" projects. Bick, being a proud Texan and purveyor of the tacky, has a set of longhorns that were festooned with white lights that served as Christmas lawn decor. He won custody of this herd in his divorce, but the lights have long since vanished and the metal structure has begun to rust. He has decided that they will make the perfect topiary. He wants to grow morning glory up and around them. So he's popped the biggest one into the center of the fire ring we purchased at the Tractor Supply, thank you very much. Bick, smart dude that he is, decided after a few tries that starting a fire, even for fun in a fire ring in drought-ridden North Central Texas doesn't make him the sharpest tool in the shed. So the fire ring is to add more of that rusty patina that we both love much and serve as center stage for the new lawn art exhibit here at Hillbilly Haven.

I've got coffee perking (it's the weekend!) and I'll have a cup then hit the gym for a workout this morning. After that, it's off to the mulch depot and garden center to get this party started.

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


Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Friday Dance Party

This just makes me smile...

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Release your inner hippie.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Crazy Busy

I'm doing my job, plus that of two subordinates this week. I barely have time to think.

Food, albeit soft, is good. Exercise, albeit gentle, is good. Mood, albeit still pissy, is stable.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Just live through it.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'll Be Posing Like This Tonight

Wall pose is one of my favorite "chill" poses. If I'm stressed or overly tired, this pose is one of my go-to poses. You can do it almost anywhere without any props or mats. Just pose and breathe. Pose and breathe. Sink into the pose and breathe.

Sticky Wicket

I can, if unchecked, elevate petty to an art-form. And right now, I've got an opportunity and I'm sitting on myself not to take it. I've got my feelings hurt a bit and throw in a little shame for good measure and soon I'm in the soup.

The story goes like this: Bick's nephew (whom I've never met is getting married in late July in Houston). "We" received a Save The Date, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Bick, although we are not married. Bick considers this wedding to be a "command performance" family event and we'd begun to make other plans around this date - wedding first, followed by a weeks' vacation seeing our favorite band in an Hill Country Honky Tonk, a few days of R&R and Bick's favorite dude ranch, plus an overnight stay at the kitchiest of motor courts.

Yesterday the invitation arrives. It is addressed to Bick only. Not Bick and Roxie, not Bick and guest. Just Bick. In my view, I am not invited to the wedding and I will not attend. I've asked Bick not to "talk to someone about this" as that only makes me feel worse. Today I would like to scrap the whole damn thing - meaning Bick can go down and do the family wedding thing and I will find something else to do in this part of the country. Which punishes Bick, as he had nothing to do with me not being invited.

So today I'm wallowing in F%CK YOU. And I wouldn't accept an invitation even if proffered.

It's amazing how quickly all this new-found peace can go away.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take time to behave like an adult.