Friday, July 31, 2009

Scenes From A Marriage

Yesterday went well. The cousins' visit was pleasant. Both the mother and daughter were very nice. However, the visit left me feeling a bit sad for all concerned. While nothing was overt and no one appeared bitter or even aware of what was being shown, it appeared to me that this couple have become parents to their children and not much to each other.

They live in the town that was evacuated yesterday. Their home and business are in the target area. The mother was worried about her dogs that were left at home and all conversations to the dad were funneled through the daughter. Very odd dynamic.

They are a successful family - business is good, both children are healthy, smart and accomplished, the older son being away at college already, and I got the sinking feeling that this was a union in trouble. What will happen when the youngest goes to school next fall? I don't know, but it doesn't look good from where I stood. I wish them well as they navigate these uncharted waters.

I'm still rebalancing after two restaurant meals yesterday. I did walk so much that I got a blister, but I think that's more about shoes than exercise. So today it's back into my grove - clean, healthy eating and some exercise. I'm thinking of a spin class today. We'll see.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Give all your relationships some attention.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hi! I'm Roxie and I'll be your tour guide today

I'll be entertaining a couple of members of Bick's family for most of the day today. They are coming into Where-The-West-Begins to attend a university tour and I've offered to meet for them for lunch and then conduct a city tour later in the day. Then we are all going to dinner with Bick meeting us. I've never met these people - it's Bick's first cousin's wife and daughter. Bick spent the first ten years living a few houses away from his cousins. One is a year older than Bick and one is a year younger and so the three of them ran in a pack as children. More like brothers than cousins - no matter whose house they were at, if one got a spanking, they all got a spanking - to hear Bick tell it. I've never met this branch of the family (this is the fancy, now rich, branch) and I'm a little nervous about being "on" for most of the day. Oh, well. I've spoken to the wife while making arrangements and she seemed very nice, so it will all be fine. Bick is very appreciative of me making the effort.

Sandy (who came over for dinner again last night!) will be joining them/us for the day, so that will be nice. I just wish I'd slept better last night. Awake at 3:30. So it's off to the yoga room for a little stretchy stretchy and some meditation.

Doesn't look like I'm going to be able to get in a workout at lunch. Darn it. I was hoping to break the 100 mile mark this week!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Show what you know.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Me Think Pretty One Day

I'm having a much better day today. I stopped into the library yesterday and picked up a couple of audio books for my commute. I'm listening to some previously-unheard-by-me David Sedaris - the entire box set. I found myself laughing like a loon on the way to work this morning and it's a lovely way to start the day.

Nothing much to add - I'm doing the same old routine stuff - packing my breakfast and lunch and planning a lunchtime workout.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Drop the curtain on your Inner-Drama Queen.


ETA: I try not to give the number on the scale too much power. It's times like this where I have to use my brain to make myself KNOW that my over-eating of appetizers on Saturday and Sunday was not enough to show a 2.5 pound gain. Because I don't eat simple white breads/crackers as a part of my normal diet, I've become sensitive to them. My body rebels and gives up normal maintenance activities.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Abby Normal

I've got The Crazy Brain. Right now it's working triple time to keep me unfocused, not in the present and generally stirred up. And it all started innocently enough. Did I mention The Crazy Brain has amazing powers of persuasion? It can CONVINCE me of the truth of something in about three synaptic exchanges. Stupid, powerful brain.

So on the way home from the grocery store on Saturday after the "can the New Boy come to dinner", I became convinced that Pebbles was going to be getting married soon. I became really emotional about all of it and started to cry while driving. I got myself together at that time, but this obsessive thought has stuck with me.

In my codependent Crazy Brain, I'm suddenly in the midst of planning a wedding and the subsequent terror - this is a mistake, why is she doing this? How in the HELL am I going to afford this? Blah, blah, blah - stupid, obsessive, untrue thoughts that have disrupted my life now for three days, robbing me of peace of mind and mindfulness and ramping up the anxiety to ridiculous levels. It's telling me that I must take action. Now. Be prepared. Overthink this. The sky is falling. The sky is falling. Good lord. And what have I done to combat this? Nothing.

So today I'm taking my brain back. I will spend some extra time in meditation. I will spend a little extra time on exercise today. I will practice my "LEAVE IT" strategy when I start down this stupid road and shift my focus to something else. I've already planned for a no-cook dinner tonight so that I spend nearly no time in the kitchen until I can get myself back on more sane ground.

The good news is that I recognize things (eventually) at a more core level. I'm feeling anxious and in the past I would have used food to try to calm the anxiety. I'm grateful that I don't have to do that today, that I have other tools at my disposal.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get back on track.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Cool Lessons

It never ceases to amaze me that some behaviors can sneak by undetected for such a long time. I really strive to stay "in the moment and present" at all times. No more mindless eating and nibbling. But judging by the way I was feeling by Sunday evening, I realized some old habits had paid a weekend visit.

First off, I think Sundays are just the very hardest days. Lucinda Williams has a song about "just can't make it through Sundays" and from my readings around the blogworld, I think a lot of other folks have that same problem. Sundays are tough for just about everyone. Don't know why that is, really.

But back to this weekend, Sandy came over(!) for an earlish dinner on Sunday. Eating time wasn't really announced and so I'd prepared some appetizers and we'd start the actual grilling when she'd arrived. And just like I'd done the day before prior to sitting down to dinner with Pebbles and New Boy, I'd ate too many appetizers - not that I realized it at the time it was happening. I just started grazing and had a difficult time stopping. Mindless eating. And this was before we even sat down to dinner.

During the week, this isn't an issue for a variety of reasons. Number one, we don't have appetizers and number two, there isn't really any lag time between when dinner is ready and when we sit down to eat. I start cooking in order to hit a target dinner time and when it's done, we sit down and we eat. And here is another thing I realized - during the week, I do the cooking and Bick does the cleaning up and he actually shoos me out of the kitchen. (The Engineer in him wants me no where near where dishwashers are being loaded.) No more snacking when cleaning up - a bad habit that I (later realized) had fallen into over the weekend, as he was visiting with guests and I shoo'd folks out of the kitchen so that I could clean up. Hmmm. I'd never even considered that our division of labor was a factor in successful weight management.

I'd never noticed these very small things that can add up. I surely do feel yuckaroo today. And I function much better with definite start and stop times to a meal. Even after all this time, I'm still learning new things. Now that I'm aware of this, I can take some practical steps to make it easier for me to make better decisions. I don't want to have to rely completely on willpower ALL the time.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Evaulate without judgment.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday Night Fever

So much for my nice relaxing evening with Pebbles. About two hours before her scheduled arrival, she called to ask if New Boy could join us for dinner. She's been dating NB for a couple of months and seems pretty crazy about him. (So much for spending time on her own since the last breakup). But that's her business. Anyway, she's pretty excited about this kid and I said if she wanted him to join us, it was fine by me, just expect us as we are - not enough time to plan, etc. By this time, Bick was one his way home and all would descend upon Reata North at the same time.

I set a pretty table, did a quick grab-n-stash through the house, ran the vaccuum, put on some lip gloss and hoped for the best. She's the one taking the risk.

On one hand, I'd have liked a bit more prep time and on the other, I'm glad she's very comfortable with bringing people home to meet us, warts and all. It's like I told her when she asked "this will either cure it or kill it".

So the New Boy - well, I liked him. I liked him a lot. Bick liked him a lot. He was funny and down to earth and sweet, smart and a little nerdly. I've grown to like most of the boys/men Pebbles has dated, but never right off the bat.

Oh, and speaking of Bick - he had such a wonderful weekend at the family wedding with Sandy. He said "she actually treated me like a human all weekend, was nice and loving towards me - and in front of my family. It's been years since that's happened". I do not know what's going on there, but we'll take it. I hope she has finally realized that her daddy loves her and only wants good things for her. He's not a perfect person, but his love and caring for her has never wavered.

So I guess I'll have to think of a name for the New Boy. My gut tells me he may be around for a long, long while.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Teach your children well.


camera phone pic of Pebbles last weekend while attending a "Taquee Prom" in Denver.

Skating backwards in a sequined prom dress. That's my girl.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature

Bick is in a cage-fight/death match with the birds over the heirloom tomatoes. Last week I was sent on a mission to find a hand-painted, bobble-headed owl to watch over his prizes. The birds around here are picky SOBs - they will leave the metric butt-ton of Roma tomatoes alone while feasting only on the more scarce heirloom brandywines. Drives Bick flat crazy.

We have a pretty good division of labor here at Hillbilly Haven when it comes to the gardening activities - I do the buying and the planting and the weeding and the occasional fertility dance, plus any preserving that takes place. Bick does the watering and the harvesting. By this time of year, I'm rarely in the garden, except to give the squash a *&S^-job. (I cannot believe I said that).

Now Bick is out of town. I was given strict instructions on when/how much, blah blah blah on taking care of the garden and I only listened half-heartedly. So last night I'm out there watering and pruning and trimming and generally being Mary, Mary Quite Contrary when I spotted a SNAKE. A SNAKE. IN MY GARDEN. A SNAKE. I just about peed my pants and nearly tripped over the hose, running and screaming to get away from the garden.

That Rat-Bastard Bick had booby-trapped the garden with rubber snakes! I damned near had a heart attack - or caused the neighbors' to have one with all my carrying on. Had to laugh when it was over, but I still might do Bick bodily harm for not warning me.

Got in some miles at the gym this morning and I'm heading off to the store. Pebbles is coming over for dinner tonight. I'm looking forward to that. Bick may or may not be home - depends upon how much small-talk he can stand at the family.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Beware of snakes in the grass.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Eating Crow for Breakfast

"and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it"

Exactly how many carbs does crow have when one is having it ala carte? Boy, this character-building stuff really sucks sometimes.

I attempted to make an apology to a co-worker this morning as word got back to me that she finds me intimidating and that a recent conversation with me had left her "wilted". While I don't believe I was wrong in assessing the situation, I could have errored in the delivery of the message. I can be direct and Bick tells me that I can develop a "tone". So with that in mind, I'm eating crow this morning.

She wasn't at her desk, but I was prepared for that possibility and had brought along a handwritten note containing a real apology - not an "I'm sorry if you were offended" which I don't think is much of an apology. I can apologize for the delivery if not the content.

There. It's done. I feel better and I hope she will too. More stuff to work on.

Going to hit a spin class at lunch today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Eat a little crow from time to time.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fashion Show

Skinny jeans and top are from Chico's. Boots are from my closet.

My sister says "the visual line from my hip to my toe must not be broken - so closed toe black shoes with a high vamp are a must - she says the catalog pic of these jeans is frumpy, but over the right shoe, I look leggy"

ETA: She also said the jeans on the model in the catalog were too short.

A Little Ditty About Bick and Roxanne

Two American kids doing the best that they can.

Bick is off to Houston this morning to the family wedding to which I was not invited. Am I bitter? Hell, no. Time to loll around Reata North and pamper myself. Actually, this means I get all the gardening duties and I've been given strict instructions from Farmer McGregor hisownself about how I'm to take care of the veg in his absence. Control freak!

The Bickster's absence also means that I can indulge in my fish habit. Bick loves shellfish, but doesn't love the salmon like I do. So I'll eat lots of fish while he's gone. When we're in Washington for my reunion, I'll subsist on nothing but salmon and oysters - I cannot wait. This is just practice.

Today is restorative yoga and I've had trouble making the class. Last night there was only one person in water aerobics, so I just went to the gym instead to log some frequently tired miles.

About the wedding, I feel sure it was an oversight or lack of understanding on how to invite Uncle Bick's live in girlfriend whom they have never met. Benefit of the doubt. They've got no reason to snub me. Not worried about it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Indulge yourself, but in a good way, today.


pic: 2008 Ireland, outside the Rock of Cashel. Two American kids see the world.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sisterhood of the Revolving Pants

I trust my sister's taste in clothes without question. She has a near perfect eye for proportion and fit. She sold better mens suits for years and worked as a personal shopper for a select few. She's also a multiple-breed world champion horse judge as a youth, plus won every major stock show around. She's still an active judge and can look at a steer, a donkey, a chicken, a horse or a kitchen chair and tell you whether the proportions are right. She is not, however, much of a fashionista - she knows what one's flaws are and dresses people to accent what they got and hide what needs hidden. She's not going to suggest the latest if it isn't going to look good. She's never steered me wrong (so far).

And she took me shopping for reunion garb this week. I'm wearing skinny-legged black jeans. She assures me that they are stunning. I told her I haven't worn skinny-legged pants since 1983. She tells me that these pants do things for my legs that exercise can't.

So, while I'm keeping the pashmina, the other stuff - a pair of jeans and a shirt that tries to hard - that I bought are going back to the store today. She's never let me down before - I'm skeptical, but trusting.

Exercise today was a faux-row plus some outdoor walking, as today was a nice enough day. After work I'm going to my water aerobics class (if they have it). Then it's home to hillbilly haven to leftovers for Bick and whatever I can scrape together without cooking. So much for the meal plan.

Bick leaves in the morning for the family wedding in Houston, so I'll be on my own til Sunday. I'm going to get a massage, I think.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get leggy.


Loving Kindness

I got the idea of themes from my friend (and soon to be married! YAY!) Meg. My theme this year has been to treat myself with loving kindness. I've spent too many years, decades even, beating myself up over every thing, both big and small. Self-awareness is a good thing, but when I expect perfection out of mind or body, badness happens.

So back to the theme - loving kindness, I give you this link to Jen, The Comfort Queen. She practices and preaches loving kindness and taking good care of yourself. She describes her life as:

“I help women remember they get to choose their lives.”

Exactly how cool is that? We have choices.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. And in my best Jamie Lee Curtis voice: Make good choices!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When Life Hands You Gators....

Turns out the workshop wasn't as bad as I'd feared. I actually learned a few things and the lunch provided had some healthy options. I was able to fashion a nice salad with a decent protein source. What a concept! The speaker was good and we got out EARLY! So I just got validated, jumped in Mitzi and headed back home to Hillbilly Haven.

I changed clothes and headed back to the Jesus Gym for some miles. That gym is way too hot in the afternoons - again with the bikram biking. But I logged some miles and now I'm home - still an hour ahead of schedule. Yee Haw!

I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today

Yikes - is this Monday? Rain and storms and such made my morning commute a blue blazing bitch. I get to work only to find that I'm not even supposed to be here today. That I have a workshop to attend downtown. I am so not dressed for this. But, I'm gonna pack my stuff back up and head off to find parking, etc.

So, no lunchtime workout today. I'll try to fit it in sometime.

What was I saying about planning? Didn't set up Outlook right on this one for sure!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Especially clerks.


Monday, July 20, 2009

This Leg of the Journey

I hit "happy weight" this morning. I'm making this post with a lot more humility and a lot less bravado than I did when I was hitting low marks a few years ago. It's been nearly three years since I was in this weight class. It was at that time I'd reached my all-time low adult weight, but it was an unsustainable weight for me. I still considered myself a successful maintainer, but I had some trouble finding the right balance. And I struggled and bitched and whined about it until the beginning of the 2009. There was more work to be done.

At the beginning of 2009, I really put forth the effort - not to lose the weight, but to think about things in a different way. I would try to focus on the positive things that I would do - eat clean and healthfully, no more starving, I would eat enough food, no more exercise as punishment. I would do fun and different and challenging things, but I wouldn't spend Thursday and Friday dreading the run I "needed" to perform on Saturday. No more wars. I struggled to put down the rope in this tug-of-war that's been going on for years between me and my body.

I don't have all the answers. There is no One-Size-Fits-All solution. We all get here for different reasons and our journey to regain our authentic self must be individual, as well. I still have The Crazy Brain that wants to lead me to ruin - it whispers on me to cut back, to further restrict to get "there" faster, to push harder, that I'm a total slacker. I tell The Crazy Brain to Shut The F Up and try to refocus my attention elsewhere.

On this leg of the journey, I did some emotional/mental health work. Last week I received my One Year chip as a member of CODA. I made some important discoveries about what motivated me in the past, about how driven I was/am by external validation. I was letting my past drive my future. Recognizing this fact has been huge in squashing that inner hunger that I used to over-feed. I've got a different set of tools now. I am both hopeful and grateful and possess more inner-peace and security than I ever have.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Treat yourself with loving kindness.


pic: Photo taken in July 2006 of me and my first boyfriend. I wore those pants this weekend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Planning Adjustments

Came home with a Costco-sized quantity of asparagus yesterday, so I changed up tonight's menu. Instead of poblano grilled chicken, we had allrecipe's chicken and asparagus fajitas. They were extra good. I bought corn tortillas for Bick to use and since we had them in the house, I fixed a special treat this morning - migas. Yummy.

We got lots of boring life junk done over the weekend, not a lot of fun stuff. But not every day is full of Rainbows and Unicorns here in the Land of Adults. I'm good to go for the week - I've got my meal planning done, so I'm setting myself up for an optimal week.

Stewed tomatoes and okra didn't make it to this week's menu, so I froze the harvest. I cannot believe how much we love this dish. It sounds yucky, but it is really, really good and the okra isn't slimy at all. The truth is, we could eat this just about every night and love it.

I don't know of anything extra pressing that's happening this week and I'm hoping for no drama of any sort. I'll happily stay in my rut, thankyouverymuch.

Inspired by Laurie over at, I did however, buy myself a new carry-on sized suitcase. It is my goal to pack in a carryon wherever I go. I will look at my shiny new suitcase and will think about logging miles so that I can get some travel on the books.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Give yourself the very best chance of being successful.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

What's For Supper?

Supper this week:

Saturday: Steak and grilled asparagus
Sunday: Poblano Grilled chicken with stewed okra and tomatoes, green salad
Monday: Baked scallops and broiled tomatoes with cheese and basil
Tuesday: Easy Chicken Parmesan with pasta (Bick) and shredded zuccs
Wednesday: Pork lettuce wraps
Thursday: Grilled chicken salad

Good workout this morning. Now I'm off to have a great day.

A Day of Possibilities

I don't know how this day will go. I haven't heard any more from Sandy on the water park. Either it happens or it doesn't. I have a Plan B, A, C and K. Plus a Plan U and P.

First up, the gym. I haven't decided what to do at the gym - although it might just be a great morning (it's cooled off here a pinch) to head out to the nature trail and go for a long walk this morning. Hmm. Must remember to leave a note for sleeping!&^%$ Bick.

After that, any of the plans could kick in - returning the shirt that I bought a couple of weeks ago, going to Costco as my weekly grocery run - but I need to sit down and menu plan for the week and I'm completely uninspired right now - or I could go to the second-hand book store in Denton, pick up a trashy paperback and take my own damned self to the water park for a bit. This is a municipal water park and it's dirt cheap. The possibilities are endless. What's a definite - dealing with tomatoes. I may just freeze them and be done with it.

Still tired, but have a little more understanding of what's happening. PMS without the M. Makes sense.

I think I'll hang around for one more cuppa joe and then it's off to get some miles in.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. What's possible for you today? What will you do to take you one day closer to your goal?


Friday, July 17, 2009

Cleaning out the Carburetor

Sometimes you just need blow the soot out of the carburetor. Instead of just riding a stationary bike today, I went to spin class and I went all out. It felt good to have the endorphins kick in. I'm feeling much better and I am hopeful I will sleep better/longer tonight.

When Things Were Rotten

Things aren't rotten, but I'm a little funk-y. Lack of sleep for three days running makes it a bit more difficult to maintain a high-energy buzz. I'm accepting that I'm not up to par and I spent some extra time meditating this morning, using a guided meditation. That certainly helped me feel better. My intention for today is to treat the world with loving kindness, knowing that I'm in need of a bit of extra TLC. It's my belief that you get back what you put out there. So I'm crawling out of my own head to pour out caring in my universe.

I think I'll hop on a bike in the gym for my exercise today at lunch. Tonight I have a meeting, so that will lift the spirits, as well.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Acknowledge, without judgment, how you feel.


PS: Thanks to Jack and Anne , I'm renaming every song I hear on the radio - This morning's medley: California Rolls (Beach Boys) and Tira Miss You (The Stones). This stuff is addictive.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Down By The Lazy River

Get your earworm here. You're welcome.

Will wonders ever cease? I got a call from Sandy last night asking me to go to the local water park on Saturday with her and her visiting cousin (on her Mom's side). Now I understand that my function will be that of snack lady and ATM, but that's not even the point. She's reaching out to both Bick and I on a regular basis and we are enjoying that. We remain hopeful.

I'm still sleep deprived but am staying propped up with Diet Coke, rather than risk another coffee violation. I'm dreading today, as I'm chairing a meeting this afternoon that promises to be contentious. I stopped by the store and bought Blue Bell Ice Cream Sandwiches - I'm hoping a little treat with soothe the savage beasts. I'm not partaking, but I'm not above bribery if it will help my cause! Tempers will be short as it will be darn hot this afternoon and everyone will have to walk out in the heat to get to the meeting place, so a little something cool just might help.

Today is restorative yoga at lunch and I'm looking forward to it. I haven't been in nearly forever. It logs no miles on the Frequently Tired Chart, but it's still very good for what ails me.

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


Here's a little zen today from Leo.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Travel Bug

I've loved Laurie's writing ever since I ran across her on the internet - I don't even know how long ago. She's such a fabulous role model in the whole-changing-your-life thing. I especially admire her willingness and ability to travel alone. She's made travel a priority in her life and has made the necessary financial sacrifices to make that happen. She's a real hero of mine.

Pic: December 2008 -Ireland, The Cliffs of Moher.

"Hey MuffinTop, Back Away From the McMuffin"

Last night I woke up at about 2am and couldn't get back to sleep to save me. Bick is a snorer and I routinely sleep in both a sleep mask and earplugs, but neither helped. I finally went out to sleep on the couch, but I got an attack of Monkey Brain. Didn't get to sleep until close to wake-up time and when Bick startled me awake this morning, I darned near punched him in the pecans.

I've given up my weekday morning coffee, but I was ready for a big cuppa joe this morning. Except no cream. So on my way to work, to keep me awake, I decided to stop at McD's to give their new coffees a try. About the time I was headed into the drive-thru, Pebbles called me regaling me with stories from her long-weekend in Denver. She was an absolute Chatty Kathy and I did want to hear what she had to say without interruption, so I just kept circling the McDonald's until it became clear that she wasn't shutting up any time soon. I finally found a shady spot in the parking lot and just stopped to visit.

Finally we finished our conversation and I circled one more time to get back in the drive-up line. I ordered my hot latte, with non-fat and sugar-free vanilla syrup, medium and proceeded to the pick-up point. The worker told me there was a problem and could I please pull forward and wait.

So I pull forward - all the time thinking that somewhere I've been reported for stalking a McDonald's.

"Lady, please step out of the car. You are in violation of your lifestyle agreement. You are not to be within 1500 feet of where potatoes are frying."

Don't know why it took them so long to get my coffee, but I finally got it and made my way to work. Now to stay awake for the rest of the day.

On tap - gym at lunch - probably rowing again.

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


HGF: green beans and sauteed squash

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pretend I'm With It and Hip

Treat this like a Twitter/Tweeter/TwitWit: I'm off to the gym to row, row, row my faux-boat.


I got a thank-you email from Sandy last night. Could have dropped me to the floor. Said she'd had a great time and wants to go see the new cooking movie with us when it opens. I ran out to the garden to tell Bick and he was as floored as I was. In the past, she's not been good at saying thanks for much of anything. In the nearly four years that I've known her, this is the first time that I recall getting an express thanks for anything. Longtime followers know that I have struggled with this part of our relationship. I'd throttled way back after I began to develop some resentment over it. Perhaps things are changing - hell, Bick got a thank you text from her Mom last week after we sent home some garden veg last week. It would be such a wonderful thing if these relationships could smooth out. We remain grateful and hopeful.

I did not get to the gym yesterday. It's difficult to get a habit restarted. But I will perservere today. I just need to get The Office used to me being unavailable on my lunch hour again. Between the dental stuff and the June Work Craziness, everyone, me included, has let me schedule slip. It's time to spine up and reassert my own schedule.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Gratitude is the salve that heals.


Home Grown Food: tomatoes and okra, herbs for the tenderloin and barley risotto
H20: I suck
MLG: I suck more
Cumulative MLG: 11.2

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Gruntled Worker's Day!

My hope is that you are all very gruntled today. I know that I am and am grateful for that.

Now to set an intetion for the week:

Despite letting it all hang out on the internet, I'm a pretty closed person. I'm not always comfortable with people, and as a result, have a reputation as being cool and aloof - and not the good kind of cool. So this week, partly as prep for my reunion, I am going to work on being more outgoing in my real life. I will speak to people that I know and that I don't know. I will make phone calls that I've been avoiding. I will work on increasing my one-on-one communications.

Exercise plans today include some rowing machine at lunch. I spent some great time on the yoga mat this morning - both in mediation and in practice.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Stick your neck out.


pic: The front garden at Reata North and yes, that is a bathtub and yes, that is a sink. Bick is a man of eclectic, um, taste.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Tour

I headed up to the gym this afternoon to get in some more miles. The AC was humming and the Tour was on the TV. It's an amazing event. The ride through the hills with the onlookers just right there with the banners and flags made me damn near claustrophobic just watching. I cannot imagine being strapped to a bicycle and awaiting some idiot to step out in front. Yikes!

I put up squash and okra today. As Bick says, this garden is like having a part-time job. It does require work to take full advantage, although I think we've given away as much as we've frozen this year. But that's fun, too.

I'm off for a bath and then fix dinner. Time to take it easy for the rest of the evening.

MLG: 5.2
Cumulative: 11.9

Steps: Forward and Back

The blackberry picking was fun while it lasted. We got to the farm at 7:17 am only to find about 20 other cars already there. Because we were prepared with long sleeves, we took the row of vines WITH thorns. That kept the competition at bay. We finished picking our short row and together had picked only a bit over a quart of berries. Still, it was fun to be out on a farm. The morning was coolish and there was a little breeze blowing. Sandy spent some time with her fancy-pants camera taking pictures. All in all, we had a nice time.

So it was off to the Kroger to buy some additional blackberries. We did that and came home and headed off to Mom's, home of the Pentecostal Waitress, for breakfast. I passed on the biscuits and gravy, hasbrowns, etc and just had eggs and bacon.

Next stop home and baking cobblers. We made two cobblers, side by side. It was a different method than I was used to, but it was the recipe Sandy chose. Then she wanted to make blackberry sorbet. Sorbet is a new one on me, so we started on the straining of the berries and putting together the ingredients. We got that put in the freezer and Sandy went to take a nap. (I don't have an ice-cream maker.) I headed to the gym.

I went to the gym with the intention of just logging some miles on the bike, but the AC was out at the gym. I stood bikram biking for about thirty minutes and then I was done. Came back home and poked around on the internets for a while.

Sandy slept until about three and then was hungry, so we went back into town to her favorite Asian restaurant. I ordered the lettuce wraps and while they were good, I can tell this morning that they were LOADED with sodium. Oh, well.

I'd thawed out salmon for dinner (but alas, no more blackberries for sauce, as she'd wanted to make sorbet) and then at about 6:30 she decides to go home. Kids, who can predict? So we packed up her cobbler, the sorbet, some sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil and herbs for her Mom, some other veg from the garden and she went home.

I was still full from lunch and so Bick just ordered a pizza for dinner.

Now for the cobbler - I tried it. I prefer my traditional cobbler - this was too sweet and tasted more like blackberry muffins. Bick will have some today, I imagine, and the rest of it will go to work with me tomorrow.

We thoroughly enjoyed Sandy's stay (although Bick admonished me slightly for thinking I needed to "entertain" her) and I feel pretty decent about my abilities to make the best of what I was thrown. I did manage to make a way to get a little exercise in and I ate moderately, although with two away-from-home meals, the sodium was way out of whack.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Do the best you can with what you are handed.


MLG: 4.2 bike
Cumulative mileage: 6.7 miles

HGF: nada
Locally Grown Food: Blackberries!

Menu for the week:

Sunday - salmon and stewed tomatoes and okra
Monday - pork tenderloin and sliced tomatoes with couscous
Tuesday - Baked Teriyaki chicken and green beans
Wednesday - Orange Roughy and chopped veg salad
Thursday - Spinach stuffed chicken breasts and sliced tomatoes
Friday - DYOT (do your own thing - I have a CODA meeting)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Setting My Intention For The Day

I'm giving up long Saturday morning workout to go berry picking today. In the long run, I'll certainly remember the day in the berry patch longer than I would a morning spent on the treadmill. So no exercise, plus there will be cobbler. So I need a plan.

If I can make some decisions now, I'll have a plan in place to deal with cobbler. Today's theme will be blackberries, obviously. So I will make cobbler, but in very small batches and I will send them home with Sandy. Cobbler freezes very nicely. I suspect she will stay for dinner tonight, so they can have cobbler and ice cream as dessert and I'll have berries and cream as mine. I think I'll make a blackberry sauce to go with the salmon. I've never done this, but Pebbles says it's divine.

As for the exercise front, well, that will depend upon how the day goes. If Sandy doesn't spend the day, I'll hit the gym - I need to log some MILES! Houston is 282 miles from here - Tena, I'm looking at you! (If you are closer and want to do lunch or something, email me!) If she stays around, I'll try to think of a joint activity that will give us both some exercise. I need to be creative. If it just wasn't so blooming hot!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Develop a plan of action.


MLG: 2.5

HGF: nada

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pleasantly Surprised

A week or so ago I'd mentioned to Sandy, Bick's daughter, that I was thinking about going to pick blackberries. I decided against it, so didn't go a week or so ago. Sandy called Bick and asked if I was still planning on doing this and if so, she wanted to go with. So, guess what? Sandy and I are going blackberry picking tomorrow. I told her that it would work best if she just came over on Friday night, as we would need to leave the house at 6:45 am in order to get to the field by 7am. So that was the plan. She said she was looking forward to it. And she wants me to teach her how to make cobbler.

Fast forward to last evening (Thursday). Bick's phone rings and it's Sandy and she wants to know if it's okay if she just comes over early. Bick, of course, tells her to come on over. This has never happened. She's never been this spontaneous with us. She came over, had dinner, laughed and goofed around. Saw the community college catalog that by happenstance had arrived in the mail that very day, grabbed it up and just plopped right down and planned out her fall schedule at school. I don't even know what to think. I'm hoping for good things and I know that her daddy went to bed last night a very happy man.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Enjoy things as they are today.



Mileage: 2.5 mile walk at lunch

pic Sandy on the left, Bick on the right on the beach that is no more (2008)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Motivates You?

I've been thinking quite a bit about motivation lately. I'm sort of in a "maintain" mode with my exercise. My eating had been clean and good, I'm sort of in "set it and forget it mode" which I am grateful for, but I don't have any real big goals in front of me enticing me to increase my intensity. And I'm okay with that. I don't think anyone can sustain a "balls to the wall" mode for a lifetime. Like with most things, it sort of ebbs and flows. I'd prefer my ebbs to be less and my flows to be more. I'm sort of just here in the moment, maintaining (sort of) my current level of fitness and awaiting inspiration and/or lightening to strike. I've set goals of participating in races - 5Ks, 5 milers, a ten-mile-without-stopping-run by myself, and a half-marathon walk/run. I've done that. I've got to find something to engage my mind before my ass will move. Right now, this blog and the blogging community are keeping my mind in the game.

And then I had this crazy thought about what motivates me - and travel is it. As I said in a comment on a blog recently, I tend to think of airline tickets as a unit of measure. For example, the yearly cost of cable television can be translated into airline tickets. Casually (or not) drop a hundred bucks, and that's a half to a fourth of a plane ticket to GO SOMEWHERE. Could I possibly combine my love of travel and my need to move?

Would it be weird to decide that I want to visit my favorite bloggers (whom I am friends with, if only in my head) as a reward when I've covered enough miles either by rowing or walking or running or biking or crab-crawling or line-dancing to reach their location? And this doesn't mean that I would come STAY with these people (you), I'd just come to visit your part of the country/world when I'd logged enough miles (and we'd have lunch!). Frequent Exerciser Miles Rewards Program - god, it needs a better title than that....

Hmmm. Something to ponder. And I'd need a tool to track miles.....Hmmm.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep your head in the game and your ass will follow.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Have Pashmina, Will Travel

I've solved my reunion wear dilemma. I'm going to wear this really cute (I think) bright colored paisley skirt with my orange sandals. I was wearing this outfit yesterday and told my sister that I was thinking of it as reunion wear. She told me it was very cute, but to lose the Librarian's cardigan (apologies to any librarian's reading this, she said it, not me). So after thinking about this a while, I decided that I needed a hot pink pashmina as a cover. Turns out Target has them, so off I went to get one.

Backstory: I felt awful last night and I took some allergy/sinus/cold meds that leave me in a stupor and damned hung-over and unfit to drive. Bick asked me this morning when I knocked the trash over last night. I told him I didn't remember knocking over the trash and just leaving it askew in the kitchen. He told me that I must have done it because he'd asked Sadie if she did it and she said no. (For those new here - Sadie is the dog - and I actually believe him and her. If she'd done something stupid, she won't hang around wagging her tail, she hides.)

So after I sobered up this morning (and after I called in) I decided to take a trip into Target to get my pashmina. They didn't have pink, but they had orange, so I'm all set. And it turns out I'm going to need that outfit again before the month is over. Friend and sometime poster Meg is getting married at the end of August and I am going to the wedding. Already booked. And I'll be wearing my reunion outfit to Meg's wedding in New Jersey.

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


Too Much Navel Gazing

Patty must be psychic. By the time I got home last night I realized that I wasn't anxious, I was sick! Seems like allergies morphed into some sort of upper respiratory something or other. I find this incredibly funny - in a post-enlightenment ironic sort of way. Geez, Rox, if you hear the sounds of thundering hoofbeats, stop looking for zebras!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wanted: Decoder Ring

I've spent the last couple of days feeling generally anxious. I can't seem to pinpoint a particular cause and while I've applied exercise and meditation, that didn't seem to eradicate it. This general feeling of anxiety manifests itself in my chest and throat. In my previous eating-disordered life, this would be a binge trigger - anything to quell whatever is causing this anxiety symptom.

These days, however, I'm using a different skill set to get to the bottom of whatever this is. Something is out of whack, out of balance and my body is telling me so. All I have to do is sit still long enough in the feeling to figure out the message.

Safety Pants

No, not Safety Dance. I bought some backup pants last night to wear to my reunion if I can't find anything else I like. So the pressure is off. The potential reunion pants are a trouser-cut dark denim by Kenneth Cole. They were on sale at Marshall's and fit really nice. So that's one less thing to worry about. I also bought a blouse, but it may be "trying too hard", so I might return it. My sister usually serves as my clothing consultant, so I will await her review. I'm wearing a cute skirt and shoe combo to work today that I might just take with me to wear to the reunion and be done with it.

Heading off to the gym in a few minutes for today's exercise session.

Review of Costco trip: I spent $119. Bick had the bright idea to go as soon as they opened on Sunday morning and it wasn't too bad. I came home and re-organized our freezer to get a better handle on what we have. We have too much chicken! And I bought more!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Have a backup plan.


H20: 2
HGF: Purple tomatoes, purple peppers, orange peppers and herbs in a chopped veggie salad.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Gym

I was heading out of the building to the gym when I realized it was a gorgeous day. Not too hot - and given the heat we've had around here lately, it was wonderfully cool. So instead of staying inside and working out in the gym, I dressed out and headed outside to walk in the sunshine and enjoy a not-too-hot Texas day. Was it the hardest workout I've ever had? Are my muscles still aquiver? No, they are not. But I got in some hill work, a bit of climbing through the tennis courts and through the neighborhoods and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I always opt for the exercise where I enjoy it! Yes, there will be days that I just have to "do it" - just gut it out, but today wasn't one of them. It was a great day and I got out there and enjoyed it. Soon it will be too hot to commune with nature and the gym will be my only option. But just for today, I took a little detour and I got the most enjoyment out of my exercise.

It's a Marvelous Night for a Moondance

The weekend is over and it was lovely. I got some stuff done around Reata North - the porches are all stained and pretty looking. Got in some good exercising. Ate well from the garden. The weather has broken so it's a bit cooler and the bees have apparently ended their strike. I went out to do my garden fertility dance over the weekend and damned near got chased out of the garden by the very busy bees. That's good news for sure!

I was doing some thinking during my "wax on, wax off" porch staining zen time about staying in the moment and focusing on the here and now. Remembering to breathe deeply - and being open to what's being thrown my way. Remember to practice the fine art of doing nothing. Spent some good time on the yoga mat this morning.

I'm scheduled to hit the gym at lunch and am setting an intention of getting back into that routine starting with today.

All and all, it's a good time.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Spend some time in the moonlight.


HGF- Weekend Roundup: The world's best tomatoes - Cherokee Purples, just sliced up in big old slabs as a side with dinner. Summer squash, herbs and onions grated into a stove top casserole. Home-made pesto and sun-dried tomatoes as a sauce for the fish. Stewed tomatoes and okra.
H2O: 2 or more each day.

pics: Moonflowers at Reata North.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Hangover

I spent most of Saturday staining the front porch. I have an even deeper respect for Brianand all his many home improvement projects after spending just a couple of days doing manual labor around Reata North. I don't mind painting or staining and Bick absolutely hates it, so I do most of those tasks around here. Bick did laundry instead. I think I won. He also smoked some fantabulous ribs. Key ingredient? Coffee grounds. Yea, I know.

It was too hot to do anything else after we finished, so we made our semi-annual trip to the movies. I wanted to see either The Proposal or The Hangover. Bick chose the obvious and all I can say is, well, OMG. I think I'm still slack-jawed over it. I was, however, royally, and I do mean royally, pissed off. We'd decided to go to the movies early in the afternoon and all the while I was finishing up the deck I was thinking about the popcorn. Since I rarely go the the theatre, I always consider movie popcorn a treat and I always get some.

I was happily thinking about my large Diet Coke and small popcorn WITH butter on the way to the movies when it hit me. My dentist said "No popcorn". No popcorn! Pissed me right off. And then to add insult to injury - Bick ordered a LARGE popcorn and the bastard sat right by me! Good thing the movie was such a wild ride. I hardly noticed the missing treat. I did learn that it is possible to go to the movies and not eat popcorn. I did learn that I am getting very old - for a large drink, a small drink and Bick's Tub of Popcorn? $17.50.

Had the Gym to myself on Saturday morning. Got in a nice workout. I was a little sore from all the bending/stretching/crawling around on the deck and I still am today. I'm getting ready to pop in a Netflix yoga tape and get myself a bit more bendy. Today is an off day for me, exercise wise.

So I'm back on with the Costco thing. Bick and I plan to be there when they open the doors this morning. I am hopeful that it won't be crowded. I'll get around here this morning and put together this week's and possibly next week's menu and throw together a shopping list. I do know if I walk in there and they have some cute patio/bistro set that I am a goner. I'm getting the urge to "decorate" the front porch/deck.

I didn't get the other batch of sun dried tomatoes done. I'll do those tonight. Oh, and the sun has no part in it. I just quarter the plum tomatoes and place in a low, low oven. Mine goes down to 170 degrees. Place tomatoes on a cooling rack for about 8 hours. When you wake up, you've got oven dried tomatoes. You can use salt or herbs, but I didn't use anything. I let them cool, placed them in a zippy and put them in the fridge. I'll probably freeze this next batch.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Hope you don't have a Hangover this morning.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Me In A Swimsuit....

I'm on the left. This was a 4th of July photo from forty plus years ago.

I'm in the midst of a fabulous weekend. Our plans to visit the Poolville Pagans were dashed, as family illness on their side intervened - so good thoughts out that way, please. I decided that I would stain the porches this weekend, so I got up extra early yesterday and spent a couple hours at the gym. Came home and went to work staining the back porch. I got it done and today I face the front porch. It's much larger. But it is enjoyable work. I'm off to the gym here in a few minutes and will come home and start staining.

I also made sun dried tomatoes last night for the first time ever. It was so easy that I think I'll try another batch tonight. Cause god knows we have got a bumper crop of Italian tomatoes. I think they would make wonderful gifts - pack them in a little olive oil and add a few herbs. I know I would like to receive something fun like that. Hmmm.

I made the decision to go to my 30th reunion. I'd been on the fence about this for a while. I got some good advice about regretting opportunities for experiences like this, so yesterday I pulled the trigger. Now watch all my good work on being positive, etc go right down the tubes as I struggle with what to wear! ha. Truthfully, I'm having a touch of anxiety (and a bit of guilt about making the trip home without Mom), but I've got time to expose my strange thinking to logic and the light of day, so it will all be okay.

Bick is smoking some ribs for our 4th and he'll take the two neighbor boys off to the fireworks stand to pick out some fireworks for shooting off tonight. I'd best get cracking. It get's pretty hot pretty quickly around here.

Have a wonderful 4th.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Journeys And Travels

I had a very nice, albeit unexpected, day. Pebbles called me bright and early, said she had an appointment in town and wanted to meet for breakfast. On my way to work, my sister called me to tell me she had some important mail for me and I also realized that Mitzi's tags had expired the day before. All of this led me to blowing off yesterday's work schedule, taking an unscheduled day of vacation and taking care of some business.

I had breakfast with Pebbles - she looks amazing and seems to be doing well. I still had some time before business' opened up, so I headed over to my Aunt's house for coffee. Spent some time with her and then headed out to Reata South country to take care of some gas lease business. Took care of that, called Mom and asked her to lunch.

I struggle mightily with this relationship. This is where the worst of my character defects come in - and many times I end up feeling angry, resentful and frustrated. And the more I work through these issues, along with a bit of grief for good measure, I come to know that I can choose not to go down certain paths. So prior to picking her up, I stopped and took some time to make some decisions about what I would do and say IF things were to get dicey. I had some thoughts, made some decisions, said the serentity prayer a time or two and got on with it.

In many ways, I focus on the negatives - what I perceive she lacks, her flaws, etc. and I fail to realize, understand and accept that she, like me, is an imperfect person and is doing the best that she can. Always has. Was it what I needed? Hell, no. But there are a lot of times that I just need to cut her a break and focus on the good stuff. Does she love me the best that she can? Absolutely. And I need to be damned grateful that I still have her. Many people are not so fortunate.

The intersting thing about that particular revelation is that I apply my distorted logic to feelings about fathers - mine being long-dead and all. But yet I discount the very fact that she's still here. More stuff to ponder.

We had a lovely lunch and a nice afternoon. I neither did nor said any that I regret today. I artfully dodged any potential landmines and tried not to feel guilty about not being in Washington for the 4th. It's the first time in years I've not taken her and my sister back for the celebration.

Bick and I have decided upon and booked our winter vacation. Our original plan was to go to Viet Nam. Yea, I know. Where the hell did that come from? Well, it came up while we were in Ireland and watching some travel show about Viet Nam. We came home and checked out flights, sights, etc and decided to go. We did not, however, book our tickets. They have increased 1k per person since that time - that coupled with my dental expenses just put it out of the running for this year. So we kept looking.

Bick wanted to go some place warm and beachy which leads to the obvious choice of Mexico. I, however, don't want to do the all-inclusive thing, or go to a resort or stay in a hotel for a week. Doesn't appeal to me. Bick was uncomfortable, given the recent unrest, with going on our own to, say, Todos Santos. So we were stuck.

Long story short - no wait, that's no longer possible given my ramblings. Bick and I have rented an apartment and are going to PR for the holidays. We are about three blocks from a great beach (reportedly) and I get to shop at markets and do a bit of cooking and feeling "local". There appears to be enough to do and see to keep my entertained and engaged and enough down time on the beach to keep Bick happy. Plus, it was pretty darn reasonable. We will be flying direct out of Houston - visiting his family prior to Christmas and dropping off the dog - and it's just a 4.5 hour flight. And it's affordable. It may turn out to be a bust, but it may turn out great.

Dinner last night was fabulous - I made a faux-tabouleh - which I consider a technique more than an actual recipe. Instead of bulghur, I used grated squash and added tomatoes, herbs, peppers, etc. It was incredible and fresh. I've got leftovers today.

Exercise today will be restorative yoga at lunch and I cannot wait.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Enjoy the journey.


pic from 2006 trip home - Ladder Falls