Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The picture doesn't do it justice, but the original plaster casting of the Iwo Jima monument is on display in Harlingen. I wasn't expecting much, to be truthful, but it is pretty damned impressive to see in real life. The scale is much larger than I expected and it sits on a beautiful campus of the Marine Military Academy. I think if you were a privileged, but wayward, youth threatened with boarding school, this would be where you would end up. Beautiful campus and inspiring monument.

As for Shelley's question in the comments re: Is the coast worth it? Absolutely. Not during spring break stupid time, but last week it was wonderful. Uncrowded, plenty of places to stay at lots of price points, clean beaches. Of course, as Memorial Weekend arrived, it got more crowded. We actually tried to stay an extra day on SPI, but Bick's preferred dog-friendly accommodations (LQ) were already booked up. This is what happens when you wait until the day of! From what I've seen, there doesn't appear to be a bad choice on SPI. I've heard good things about Port Aransas, as well. Longtime readers may remember that I fell in love with Crystal Beach and we had planned to make that a yearly deal. Hurricane Ike took that off the table, however.

My day ended up on a good note yesterday. I was a bit teary, off and on. Again, all okay, all normal. I had some things to do and in the midst of it all, broke a nail. So that led me to the salon/spa for a repair. My normal person doesn't work on Sunday, so I ended up with someone else. She knows I'm Dawn's client, as I've been coming to the salon for years, but in the course of conversation, she asked what I was doing for the weekend. I told her about the wedding at 5pm (my appointment was at 2:15). Long story short, she asked if I'd to get my hair styled (and a lip and brow wax - always the up sell!) and she could have me out of the salon by 3:30! So we were off to the races and the giggles! She did get me out of the door at 3:35, which gave me just enough time to run home, get cleaned up, put on makeup and change dresses three times. I didn't even wear the dress I'd bought for this occasion. I ended up wearing the first dress I'd bought (but didn't wear) for Pebbles' wedding. It ended up being the right choice. I just wasn't feeling the other dress(es) yesterday.

The wedding ceremony itself was just lovely. Wonderful, personal, elegant and understated. They chose to let the chapel speak for itself and did not gild the lily. I did, however, almost bail out after the wedding and not go to the reception. I didn't see a soul I knew. I knew people had been planning to go, but must have opted out at the last minute. The thought of spending the rest of the evening with strangers was more than I wanted to deal with, so I headed out to the car to leave from the ceremony. Luckily, I sometimes get the opportunity to talk myself into doing the right thing, even if my natural instinct is to do the wrong thing. I made myself go to the reception (stopping at 7-11 first for a healthy snack of carrots and celery sticks so I wouldn't be STARVING). Once there, I found bunches of people I knew (I hadn't read my work email since leaving a week ago and I didn't get the memo that basically said the chapel was going to be PACKED and feel free just to head to the reception instead). It was a wonderful time to catch up and share a moment or two with some long time friends. I remember when this young woman was BORN - that's how long I've been at my job! Anyway, it was a fun evening and I'm very glad I got powdered and fluffed and actually went.

Cha-Cha and I are heading out on a bike ride this morning. Some new sections of trail have opened up in the last weeks. So I'll hit some of that this morning while it's still cool. After that, I've got to clean up The Closet. It looks like a cyclone hit it. Don't have any plans after that.

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


Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Sun Has Ris' And The Sun Has Set

and here I is, in Texas yet.

I'm home. Eight and one half hours, door to door. Amazing I35 karma - cruise control most of the way there and back. I've never had so smooth a trip.

There were some lovely parts of the trip. Every morning, I took the dog and drove out to South Padre Island and walked the beach for a couple of hours. It wasn't crowded and it was just lovely. I'd never been to SPI. It was not lovely, however, to have to come back and bathe the dog. She's a real trooper, but by the third day, she was getting a bit tired of the baths. By the time we'd get back, get her cleaned up, get the sand out of the truck and me cleaned up, it would be time for Bick's return. We went to the coast so that Bick could be with a friend who is going through some rough stuff. We'd then head out the door to dinner and kick around a bit. We arrived on Tuesday and left on Saturday, today.

Too much restaurant food, not enough exercise, save the beachcombing and I indulged with Bick in his ice cream habit. So right now I've got a food and a bit of an emotional hangover happening. Bick and I do so damned well together which makes this all the more sad. He's settling in to sober and it's working well for him. He's much more "zen" about everything. This was a trying week for him, but he appeared to handle it very well. And I miss him. Which is not the end of the world and it won't kill me and it doesn't change a damn thing. I just need to stay in today, without expectations. Tomorrow will bring what tomorrow will bring. I'm right where I need to be right now, doing the work I need to be doing. By Tuesday, I'll be back into my routine that nourishes me, body and soul. Feeling this way isn't a bad thing. It isn't something to be diminished. It's something to be learned from and felt. This is a part of being human. I am happy that I can name it. I'm having a "want" and once I name it, the feeling is identifiable and it loses its' ability to make me act based upon it.

Actually, tomorrow will bring the child of a coworker's wedding. And a day to get back on track. My plan includes meditation/church, a trip to the grocery store, some exercise, laundry and attending the wedding. On Monday, I'm thinking about an early morning bike ride. Oh, and I've named/renamed my bike - her name is Clementine "Cha Cha" Peddleford.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Set your cruise control.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

"I've got to lose 10 pounds by 8:30"

I heart Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, well, Rhoda may be the funniest character on tv. Thank goodness for Hulu. I had no idea these were on there! I also had no idea that my favorite moment was from only the second episode. Great stuff.

Today was spent doing stupid stuff. I made marshmallows and they are still too sticky. And for reasons that I can't quite recall, I also made caramel sauce for tomorrow's S'more extravaganza. Oh, and I toasted some coconut, too. Sampled far too much.

That was Sunday. It's now Monday. I'm now suffering from a post-sugar crash. Not a binge, just too much sugar. Blech. Actually, just too much all weekend and the scale definitely groaned this morning.

I've got a day packed to the gills and then tomorrow I'm off to the coast for the remainder of the week. I wish it was a fun trip, but it's not. Bick asked me to go with him as he makes the trip in support of a long-time family friend. It's going to be a difficult time for all concerned, no matter what the outcome. I don't know what my access will be, so you may or may not hear from me for a while.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Provide support.


Bon Voyage

My Saturday serving as the cultural ambassador to Cowtown is over. What a lovely day we had. My Sarkozy-sized guest was a very kind, very gentle young man who appeared genuinely grateful for every kindness shown him. He has been living/traveling/volunteering in Canada since September. He just purchased a 60 day bus pass ($550) and is seeing the USA. He will return to Canada later in the summer revisit a meditation retreat - 10 days, 10 hours of meditation per day, complete silence for ten days! He will return to France in September with the intention of earning some money and then setting his sites on utilizing his bio-technology degree in humanitarian efforts. Very interesting young man.

He seemed to really enjoy seeing and hearing about Fort Worth. He was, however, just enchanted by Big Pickups! We went to the horseshow and I could hardly get him out of the parking lot! This, I never expected. It was quite charming. He would go from one to the next, declaring it to be the biggest and most beautiful. And I would have to take his picture in front of it! If you've never been to a horse/cattle event and seen these puppies lined up, they really are something to see. He will have some stories to tell, for sure. He loved the horse show, as well. He couldn't believe that such beauty and pageantry was open and free to the public to just come in and watch. The particular even that we watched really was like the evening gown competition on horseback, complete with the Swarovski crystal-encrusted outfits. He was quite taken with it all.

He also liked "The Ambling Of The Bulls" tm Shelley. But he was especially enamored of the bikers! Northside always draws the Harley crowd, complete with the interesting beard accoutrements - and Guillaume had never seen the like. Imagine a diminutive Frenchman, upon seeing the bikes, beards and biker babes, avowing "Oh, the tattoos! Incredible!" It was quite fun.

Guillaume insisted on cooking dinner, so we went to Central Market to pick up supplies. He LOVED snacking through Central Market and he fixed the most wonderful rice and vegetable stirfry. I was watching him do it and had very low expectations, as to taste, but it was, as he would say, "Incredible!" Pebbles and Slater came over to join us and we had a fun evening, laughing and talking.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience. I'm glad I did it. And I will probably host again.

I did not get my marshmallows made yesterday, so I'm up to do that this morning. If I don't update my blog in the next couple of days, it's because I'm stuck to the kitchen counter. Please call someone.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Au Revoir.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Broken Homes

I screwed up this one myself. I waited too long and when I decided that I wanted to further investigate, it was already sold. I had made the "Thanksgiving House" error in thinking on this one. It took a conversation with Pebbles to help me think this through.

The Thanksgiving House error is just a personal WTH? thing. I see many couples my age go into a much bigger, more expensive, more grand house. The reason? "So the kids can come home at Thanksgiving" - my pragmatic, practical side thought is "You are going to buy, pay and insure more house just for one, maybe two days a year?" Doesn't make sense to me, but to each his own. But this related to my error on the above house - it was out of walk-to-work range. Pebbles point was made by asking me just how often I really thought I would walk to work - in the rain? No. When it's 100 degrees plus? No. When it's below 50? No. When I have a presentation? No. When I have an important meeting? No. Her point was that I was ruling out a perfectly lovely home in a nice neighborhood, 5 minute drive from work, for something that I would reasonably do 15-20 times per year.

The other thing that kept me from this house was the "no garage" - it had been converted. Her point, duh!, was that I could unconvert it! So I let this house slip through. I didn't actually see inside it, which I now know that it makes them much easier to eliminate if they aren't right. But I did learn a valuable lesson with no one to blame but my flawed logic.

On another note, my office is in a state of chaos right now. Two women announced their pending divorces on the same day, plus there's another one in an adjacent office. Must be something in the water. It's going to be one helluva summer around here.

As for the recipe for the sweet potato black bean chili, I cannot tell you the recipe as I am constitutionally incapable of following a recipe. I adjust (heavily) to what I like, what I have on hand, what might work, etc. So just do as I did, google it up, look at a couple of recipes, determine the "best of" parts and add your own level of kick. BTW - it didn't kick back too badly ;-)

In other news of my inpetitude, I went to the gym last night, but forgot my headphones. I am also constitutionally incapable of using the elliptical/stairstepper/treadmill without the distraction of SOMETHING! So I bailed after about 20 minutes of sheer boredom. Today I will do better. Some cardio at lunch!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Re-examine your truths.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Holy Frijoles!

I am so looking forward to both my breakfast and my lunch! I thawed out some of the sweet potato/black bean chili that I made a while ago. I spooned some of it into my eggs as an omelet filling this morning. The remainder, I will nuke for lunch and pour over the big ass container of spinach that I brought. I was kind of scrounging around for something to bring, as I've managed to deplete my veg supply too early in the week! But I am happy with this freezer treasure. I'd actually forgot that it was in there. And given that I will be eating back-to-back bean meals, it's probably a good thing that Guillaume will be delayed a day! So my turn as tour guide starts on Saturday, which probably works out better, anyway. He decided to stay another day in NOLA, and really, who wouldn't?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Stay downwind. ETA: Upwind. Always Upwind.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Just take a deep breath and do something different. On Friday, I'm hosting a French traveller who is on a year-long tour around North America. He (yes it's a he and he's young enough to be my son) arrives on Friday morning and I'm showing him the sites. Pebbles and Slater, who hope to do a similar year-long trip through Europe and Asia, are coming over for dinner. They hope to gather information about his travels, meditation stays and his volunteer efforts. Let me just say - this is certainly out of the ordinary for me, but I believe that we can all learn from one another. This is just me, doing my part, paying it forward so that when my kiddos are across the world, some other mother will take them in and show them around.

I've got some Texas-centric things planned - touring "old town", watching the cattle drive, visiting the American/Western art museum, in addition to the other world class museums - and what I hope will be the highlight - I'm taking him to a horse show - and not an ordinary horse show, but one that showcases the skills necessary to be a ranch horse. If it's cowboys he wants to see, then I am just the old cowgirl to provide color commentary. Anyway, I'm nervous, but hopeful that he enjoys his short stay in Cowtown.

I've got a workout planned at lunch with maybe, just maybe, some weight work thrown in.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Joie de vivre.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just a Bit Of Gratitude

Spent some time doing some recovery (make that discovery) work tonight. Just felt the need to make note of things for which I am grateful today. In no particular order.

1. The Dollar Store - what fun for just a few dollars. I always forget what stuff they will have there. I got the supplies to make homemade marshmallows on Sunday for s'mores for the boss' birthday on Monday. Sadly there will be no campfires at the office next Monday, just using the microwave. I thought about a torch, but I don't want to own a torch. I also got a night light, a bike lock and a shower caddy. And yes, these things were on my list when I went in to the store :-)

2. That I can look back and see growth.

3. I ate one serving of a treat tonight and threw the rest out. If I were perfect, I could keep it around and have another serving tomorrow night and another the night after that, but, alas, I am not. So there was a "trail mix" funeral tonight.

4. I'm grateful for every moment that I spend "in the moment".

5. I just made a guilt-free phone call to my Mom.

The One Thing A Week Challenge

Every single success I've ever had in conquering mountains of: 1. fat, 2. debt, 3. clutter, 4. emotional crappage began and continued by making small, incremental changes. Every day raised the question "Is what I am doing today moving me closer to my goal?"

My next set of obstacles is overcoming procrastination, fear, dread, whatever to become a more complete, responsible adult. Specifically, I have some fiscal tasks that I need to complete - getting a rider for an insurance policy, increasing liability insurance, getting a new policy for Reata South, get some legal paperwork cleared up, take some other actions outlined in my financial plan, and a few other odds and ends. I've been postponing this. Or ignoring. Whatever. So my public challenge this week is to write down (in no particular order) the actions that I need to take in the coming months. I just need to get all of these things corraled and in one place so that I can start culling the herd.

In tackling these things, what I am really doing is assuming complete responsibility for my own actions and life. No one else is going to do this for me. No one else cares about it as much as I do.

Action Item for this week: Rather than fret about all those things floating out there that I need to do, I will quantify it. I will make lists so that I have a starting point and a reference point.

Anybody care to join me? What's your vision for your future? And is what you are doing today moving you towards that goal?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Create a vision and the follow-through, with small, easier-to-manage steps.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Reminder: It All Works Out For The Best

Bonus post. My Monday got off to a wonderful start. I was standing at my bus stop this morning looking off to the west when all of a sudden, my bus came into my line of vision. Which means, it was driving right passed me. Just passed me right up standing there at the bus stop. Didn't hit the brakes, just kept on trucking. I just sort of stood there, not believing what had happened. BTW, the evening busdriver is the friendly one. So I had to turn around and walk back home, get in the car and drive to work!

And then I went to a funeral.

And then I went to the gym. Except that on Friday it had started to rain so hard that I wore my workout clothes back to the office from the gym and wrapped by work clothes up in towels, since I failed to bring an umbrella. That worked well, except that I forgot to replace them, so I got to the gym and had no workout clothes.

I looked up the yogurt place and this is the yogurt-heaven. I wouldn't have tried taro on my own, but Pebbles said it was yummy and she was right. So was the avocado that I sampled. I've only heard of taro as the main ingredient in poi, which every says is all kinds of ungood. Trust me, taro flavored fro-yo is DEEVINE.

Now for the working out bit. Cut to this afternoon. At straight up 5pm, the bottom fell out of the skies and a Texas-sized cats and dog rain torrent started. Luckily for me, because I drove today, I didn't have to 1. stand in the rain and wait for Mr. Friendly and the bus and 2. walk home from the bus stop in the driving rain.

More on the bus situation - I do sit at the back of the bus and I don't engage. I only respond in mono-syllables, but this guy does not pick up on the "I'm not interested" signals. There's a big fail in the ability to recognize social cues going on here. I do not feel unsafe, I just don't want this kind of attention. The bus service schedule changes next week, so it may be that this problem goes away on it's one. In the meantime, it will be the iPod and moving to seat that doesn't face forward, but instead, to the side. I can handle a greeting and a good-bye. I just don't want to have to be rude nor do I want to hurt feelings.

Nothing Compares To You

I can say for certain that the Open House idea was not good. Nothing even came close to what I had. So this venture was more like salt to the wound. I did, however, find a realtor that at least liked. Don't know if she's a decent realtor - she's a reformed artist - she might be a total flake! But we shared a few laughs during my tour of the house she was showing.

And about open houses - Home Owners, do you not watch HGTV? Get that crap out of the house. I'd like to see the house and not your years of accumulation! Seriously, I mean it's one thing to put a house that you are living in on the market and have it be shown, but an open house? My word.

And I did learn that it's not what you've got but how it's put together. I went downtown to look at some high rise condos (think the bank building that the tornado got ten years back). I looked at a condo that was 925 sq feet compared to The Closet's 604. For usable, livable space, The Closet won hands down. Even with the spectacular views, it was so strangely laid out as to become unusable. So I guess that is another "win" - I know I don't want to live there. Of course, I sort of knew that already. Mostly that was a lookilu trip.

Managed to work in six miles yesterday and I'm a little ouchy today because of it.

Saturday was wonderful - I rode the train to Dallas and back, which was as efficient and easy as could be. On my way back, I got on the train at 4:07 and headed up the elevator to The Closet at straight up 5pm and that's with a bus transfer! Just wonderful. And speaking of wonderful, the aquarium was just delightful. We spent several hours going through the exhibits - much more than fish. Their marketing department does a poor job letting people know what is there. I had low expectations, and while it wasn't the aquarium at NOLA, it was still quite nice.

Lunch on Saturday was at my favorite Greek cafe followed by taro (I know) flavored yogurt at this amazing yogurt place that Pebbles knew about. Basically it's self-serve - they have about 12 different flavors loaded into machines and then you go through this amazing topping bar. Every since TCBY went out of business here, I've let go of the frozen yogurt, but this place Yummilicious was the name, maybe? was fabu.

I've got to get around here and find my iPod. The busdriver on my return home trip is getting far too friendly. It's not like I am trying to engage him, but reading a book doesn't deter him. Perhaps reading a book, listening to an iPod and generally ignoring him will. I love my bus rides and I don't want to be uncomfortable. Darn it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Clear out your clutter.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blame It On The Rain

Looks to be a rainy, rainy weekend, so most of my plans have changed. Lord knows they changed yesterday. The rain started coming down in buckets yesterday so even the back up lunch plan needed backup. Unfortunately, it was either leftover donuts that someone had brought in as a treat for breakfast or the dreaded vending machine lunch. I succumbed (several times) to the call of the coin clink. One granola bar, one pack of snack crackers and one package of trail mix later, I was still unsatisfied but had consumed nearly 600 calories. Oh well. Came home and had roasted broccoli and grilled salmon for dinner. I did hit the gym for another treadmill session and did so again this morning.

Today's plans include riding the train over to see Pebbles and to go to the aquarium. I'm unsure of what I will do this evening - perhaps chain myself down to a chair and force myself to read an actual book. I'm still having trouble concentrating.

Sunday's plans have changed as well. I have no desire to wade through the mud or sit out in the rain to watch kites, boats or lanterns so that's off the table. I did see three houses in the area I am interested in are having an open house, so I think I'll check it out. While these homes are out of my price range, becoming more familiar with what's available will help me. I'm really beginning my realtor search more than anything. So that's the plan for Sunday. Unless it starts to snow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Sometimes you need a Plan C.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined

The musical was a riot. Raunchy and funny and great fun. Andrew Lloyd Webber needn't worry - this is low down, low brow stuff. But I'm a fan of the tacky.

And on the other side of the cultural divide, Pebbles attended this last night.

Today's plan includes a longer workout at lunch. There are no group classes going on right now, so it's treadmill city. But I think I'll take a bit longer today at lunch. I'm shooting for a two-fer today, as I know I'll come up short over the weekend. Plus there's that issue of a little too much sushi - actually not to much sushi last night, just my reaction to the sodium in soy. I notice it even more, now that I've cut my salt consumption down.

Unfortunately, I am a lazy slob that didn't prepare breakfast this morning, so I'll have another boost in salt intake by heading over to McD's for my back up breakfast. Egg McMuffin, no cheese (that stuff isn't cheese anyway) and ditch half the muffin. I'll add some apple dippers (no dip) and call it breakfast. And since I have no leftovers, I'll have to buy lunch as well. It may be vegetable soup from Potbelly's or perhaps the McD's classic chicken grilled sandwich (ditch the top bun and the mayo) and some apple slices. Either way, it will take a couple of days for the sodium (yesterday and today's) to right itself.

New plan for Sunday - watching this.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't worry, be tacky.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blast From the Past - Stihl Magnolia

Don't have much new and exciting to add, so I reached back into the archives from May 13, 2003. Let me just say that I'm glad to be living in The Closet and enjoying a maintenance-free lifestyle. I need to remember things like this when I start getting wistful for homeownership - although I will choose wisely, this time. Oh, and I was so excited for Raffy - I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Yesterday didn't turn out as I planned. Pebbles was sick and came over to see her doc, so I met her for lunch. First she wanted soup, then she decided that her favorite college haunt for fish tacos was just the cure for what ailed her. So I got to face down my 10 chips again. No lunch workout, but I made sure I went last night to make up for it. Tonight is the musical and I'm still mulling my options for Sunday.

March 13, 2003

I'm getting so much better at this weed-eater thing. I know it seems silly to keep harping on this particular piece of equipment, but it just drives me nuts if I can't get the property properly trimmed. My place looks bad enough as it is without unsightly, tall weeds appearing around the edges, under the fences, in the bar ditch. So, this weekend I made further progress in my attempts to fully master the gasoline-powered straight bar Stihl FS 85. I've learned how to create the proper gas/oil mix to fuel the thing, I can add .8 line to the spindle, tap and go, and on Saturday, I managed to do all of those things in addition to starting the f*r about a million times!

In addition to my weed-eating prowess, I also managed to paint about twenty percent of the roof on my barn. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. I am hopeful that I can get the remainder painted next weekend. After the barn, my wood fences are next on the painting agenda. Navajo Red - full coverage stain - the stain is already purchased and just waiting for me to get to it.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do and how to afford the new siding that I need for my home. Actually, I have decided that I am going to use vinyl siding. Yes, I know it can be boring, but I have to consider maintenance. It is the maintenance issue that is killing me now. Trying to keep up with everything around the place takes almost all my free time. Just the mowing and the weedeating takes me almost a whole day to complete. So, something as maintenance free as vinyl siding has some real plusses. Now, I just have to figure out how to afford it. And of course, I'm going to do it myself. I've decided that I'm going to start with putting up vinyl on the back of the shop. (Yet another of the projects that Bubba failed to complete - he resided the shop on 3 sides, but left the back undone.) It's a small area and should be an easier place to start than the side of my home.

In other news, I was at the Ballpark in Arlington when Raffy hit his 500th jack. Quite exciting.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Master a new skill every once in a while - it does wonders for your confidence.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Skirt Alert

Well now, there's a great picture of my toothbrush holder and matching drinking glass, my new jar of Tums and a piss-poor picture of my new dress! At one time I knew how to turn off the flash, but in my haste to catch the bus, I couldn't remember this morning.

Today is promising to be a better day. It is, however, a very windy one. Probably not the day to wear a dress that "swings". Good thing I'm wearing the world's best panties that stay where you put them. While this dress isn't short, it is a skosh above the knee and it feels rather daring! Anyway, I was disappointed to look down (after I got to work) to see that I'd chipped my toe nail polish after this weekend's home pedicure. Ah, well. What are you going to do?

Walked to the store last evening to do my shopping. I need to remember that I am not Chrissie and am not used to taking long jaunts in for more serious shopping. I should have brought my backpack instead of my eco-friendly shopping bag. I ended up buying too much stuff (canned tomatoes, etc ) and it was far too heavy to carry comfortably. Next time, I'll bring a "rucksack" :-)

Also did some journaling regarding my mood as of late. Got really honest with myself and got a bit of clarity on a few things, and thus, feel better. I do need to remember that when I'm most "in the feelings" is probably when I'm being most reactive. And if I recognize it and can get to the bottom of what's triggering or causing such a reaction, then I have the opportunity for growth and understanding. Feeling blue isn't a bad thing. Feelings like I was experiencing are just signs that I have some more work to do. I am grateful that I chose to deal with them rather than ignoring, numbing or glossing over.

Plans for the rest of the week include lunchtime workouts, gym tonight, musical tomorrow and another potluck gathering on Friday where I won't really know a soul. Saturday brings a fun day with Pebbles. I've decided to ride the train over to see her and I think we are going either to the zoo or the aquarium, plus a picnic. Sunday is still undecided. I'm thinking about logging some miles on the bike, which means an early start and missing meditation/church. Or I may do the church thing and then head out of town. There's a little town about an hour and half away that supposedly serves the state's best chicken fried steak! So my choices are to clean out my arteries by getting in a long bike ride or clogging them right up with a CFS from Mary's. Decisions, decisions. Or I might do something completely different.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get back into the swing of things.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bits and Bobs

Over the weekend, I also broke down and bought some "real" perfume. I'd been using body spray from this, that and the other gift set for nearly ever. I cannot remember the last time I actually went out looking. But my final gift set was getting low, so it was time. My new stuff smells yummy.

I finally broke out the PC Spritzer yesterday. I bought it over a year ago and had never used it. It was time to quit spending the money on Olive Oil Pam. Plus, less packaging. I've used it a couple of times and it works well. Cool!

I also had another bright idea yesterday. I cannot style my hair (round brush blowout) as well as I would like. And I certainly don't want to pay $30 (plus tip) to have my stylist do it. However, there is a beauty school in the area and for $8 (plus tip), I can get a shampoo and a style. Now there's something I can afford on ocassion. I'm going to check it out. They also have late evening appointments! Very cool - another sign of aging - I'm looking to get my hair "done" every week. Please pass the Geritol!

Did not make it to the gym last night. Stayed in and was snacky, instead. If I make one decision to go to the gym, I won't be faced will all those other snacky decisions. Make the easy decision, Rox. So today, I'll try to get in two walking sessions - lunch and after work. Although I need to go to the store, so my evening session may just be a walk to the store, which works as well.

As for the blues, well, I've still got them, but have a better handle on what's going on. I think it's just more grief processing - Bick, the house. I don't know that there is anyway to get around it. I think it's a requirement that I work through it. As for the house, well, I had a little more closure on it yesterday. TheMerryNewleywed (who recommended the realtor) finally mentioned something about it - I think she'd been actively avoiding me. We discussed the situation and we are going to be okay. And I did take a peek at the real estate ads yesterday. I didn't find anything that I liked, but I did see some things that weren't horrible, either. So that is progress and lead to some feelings of closure. Plus, while "my " house still has a for sale sign in the yard, it appears to be off the online sites. So it is indeed gone. As for Bick, well, getting to a final resolution there will not be without some hurt. It's time again to insert a bit of space, I think. Time for me to become busy with other things, other activities. And while he is doing well, it's still too soon to think that anything has really changed. I need to continue on with my mission. Focus.

I think I'll take some time within the next couple of weeks and head up to SE OK and rent a cabin on the river for a couple of days and just tromp around. Hmm, if I swap MalibuKen for Pebbles' Trixie then I can take the bike as well.

ETA: Just as soon as I hit the post button, I found this article from ZenHabits. Very appropriate for today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Discover (tm) - anne h.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Nose? Meet Grindstone

It is Monday and back to a more comforting routine. Boy, I can tell I am getting old, as I do find peace, comfort and stability when I can stick pretty close to the middle of the road and the bus.

I was planning to go off on Lori's limb this week sometime to try the custard steel cut oats. However, I didn't read the ingredient list very well at Costco this week. Yea, I'm now shopping at Costco for ONE. But with as much organic baby spinach, fresh broccoli and mushrooms that I go through, it just makes sense. And I found they sell egg whites. Turns out, it's the Costco version of Eggbeaters. And I don't know how that will work with the oats. Anyone? I think with the added salt and spices, it won't. Oh, well. There ARE egg whites only products that I can buy. And perhaps the Costco quantities aren't the right purchase for some untried breakfast plan.

Other than that, it's just a Monday. I'm a little blue for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on so I plan to deal with that in some healthy way. It's not anything major but I'm just not up to snuff. On a looking forward note, Pebbles is planning a day of fun next Saturday, plus I'm going to see this on Thursday, which may just be the story of my life set to music.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep It Fresh.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I no longer wish to be angry or resentful. It's probably not possible for me to completely stop wishing things were different, but I can try to detach from that as well. One of my big realizations this week having to do with my family is an obvious one, but it bears repeating until I can remember it.

The real root of my family issues come from (IMO)Mom's unexamined, debilitating lack of self-esteem. None of the outcomes were meant to hurt me. None of it was "against" me. Yes, I was in the overspray. Yes, I got caught up in it, but it wasn't intentional. I just need to let it be hers and my end of the tug-of-war-rope needs to stay where I discarded it. God grant me the serenity.....

The day was a fun, a bit sad and enlightening. I discovered that even when I'm trying to be in recovery, I tend to fall back into old patterns and behaviors that were established decades ago. It's a sing-song chorus that I've been actively participating in for years. It's hard to change those behaviors and it makes other's uneasy when you don't do what you've always done.

I've said here before that my sister has always been my fashion consultant. She's got good eye and I trust her judgment. It never dawned on me. until yesterday that those exchanges between us might not be good for her. The three of us were having a great time. We'd gone to see her new property, had a great lunch (so much for my healthful ways - hello, sweet potato fries!) and then went shopping at "our" favorite store in my old stomping grounds - all old patterns. I needed/wanted a new dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks. So I asked her to help me look. And she picked out three stunners, two more work appropriate, one summer wedding appropriate and each under $20, so I bought all three.

She went with me to the dressing area, hanging out by the big mirrors, as she always does. She makes friends with everyone in the dressing room trying on clothes, as she always does and before I can even get out of the room, she's helping others with their clothing choices, as well.

But those people aren't her sister. I am. And when I come out of the dressing room, it hurt her. I could see it in her face. Not that the dress doesn't look good, because it did. With the recent weightloss, this dress was made for me. And she took one look at it and turned it all inward. I could recognize the signs. Been there, done that. Picking out a dress for me became a weapon to use on herself.

She is beautiful. Drop dead, always dressed to the nines, eye catching gorgeous. As she is. Right now, today. She's a six foot tall red head with blue eyes the size of saucers, pearly white teeth and dimples. She's 35 years old with a wicked wit and I suspect she's close to 300 pounds, if not over. Her weight doesn't matter to me one whit (save health reasons), but it bothers her in that way that most of us know about. And I know, or think I know, that it the weight is just a symptom of other stuff. I just hope that she can find a way to be happy with herself.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make peace.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mind The Gap

I'm off to the gym this morning, then I'm heading out to Reata South to hang out with my Mom and Sister. I imagine we will end up eating out and shopping. Not good for the waistline nor the wallet, but what are you gonna do? I'll just be on the lookout for potholes and will make it a great day. I get a lot of pushback when pursing a more healthful lifestyle from these two, so I will need to watch it and not let it get to me and remember that their reactions aren't really about me at all.

Speaking of food, I did hear the food network is going to be right across the street filming a new series and they would be serving food. I'm sorry to have to miss frog legs from a catering truck!

I loved reading everyone's favorite movies - some of my favorites were in your lists as well. It may be time to figure out how to hook up the DVD player and rent some old favorites, both mine and yours.

That's all I've got this morning. Have a great Saturday and Happy Mother's Day to all.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Stay alert.


Friday, May 7, 2010

"The Rose Goes In The Front, Big Guy"

And other pieces of sage advice. I don't have much to blog about today. It's TGIF and I got a decent enough night's sleep that I'm not slurring my words this morning, so that's a plus.

I still need to do laundry (boring) and give myself a pedicure (also boring) tonight. I may nix that and go to a meeting instead, as I'm planning on spending the day with Mom and Sis instead of my Saturday morning meeting. I'm going to try to get in an early morning workout. Plus gymtime today.

So you tell me - what's the best piece of advice you ever got? And if you can't think of good advice, tell me your favorite movie? I simply adore Bull Durham and I'm thinking maybe it's time to watch it again. Or maybe not.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know your cliches.



Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sleepytown: Population Me

Spent a late night at the office last night. Got back to The Closet at about 1 am - wired from working late and unable to fall asleep immediately. So today, I'm dragging butt, for sure.

The bossman brought in dinner, which was nice - Tex-Mex, which was also nice. There were no pescatarian choices available, so I settled for the grilled chicken salad. It was quite good. But along with that came my nemesis - Salty, Crunchy, Carby - CHIPS! The good news is that each of us got our own hot sauce/salsa/pico de gallo/whatever you call it where you are! YAY! I could then double dip my ten chips to my heart's content and enjoy the salsa by the scoopful!

Next week things should quiet back down to a dull roar at work. I've got no plans for the weekend, save trying to see my Mom sometime. Pebbles is going to OK to visit Slater's parents for the holiday. And no, I am NOT keeping the dog. She doesn't have to be with me on Mother's Day, but she doesn't have to punish me by asking me to keep the dog :-)

Yoga is on tap for today and I may just lay down on the mat and take a nap instead of saluting the sun or any other thing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Dip 'Em if you got 'Em.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Driven by The Numbers

A few of you have asked about my recent weight loss, so here's the story. I have made some dietary changes but not really with the intention of losing weight. I was pretty fine with where I'd landed. However my health wasn't optimal. My LDL numbers were too high and I do not want to go on meds, so I decided to make some changes to see if I could pull the numbers down.

I've been eating low-carb for the better part of ten years and I still think that getting off processed, high-carb, baked goods, frankenfood, sugary crap is the way to go. I could write volumes about what it has done for me. That being said, as a lover all things marbled and cheesy, my diet was too high in saturated fats and probably too low in fiber. So it was time to make some adjustments. It is also important to note that I am a volume eater, hence the big ass salad at lunch, the big ass omelet at breakfast and lots and lots of roasted vegetables. It's more important to me that I can eat 100 calories worth of roasted broccoli than 100 calories of brie, as an example. I remember something Diane wrote about a while back about "add ins". "Wouldn't this be better if I just "added" this or that?" Yes, it would be, but pretty soon I'd added too much crumbled bacon, too much Gorgonzola, too much whatever. So I scaled back to basics.

None of this is rocket science. When the scale started dropping (and I wasn't hungry) I began to chart and track and of course, this is a matter of calories. It always is. There are no magic shortcuts. And while I don't do well on calorie-restrictions, my goal here is to cut back on saturated fat and boost my fiber - the calorie reduction is just a bonus. I am unwilling to be hungry.

Those are the dietary changes - now for the lifestyle changes. More sleep. I'm not getting up extra early. I'm not working out in the morning. I'm trying to get as much sleep as I possibly can. My alarm is set for 6:30 and I need to leave for the bus at 7:40. That's cutting it about as close as I can. I rarely, if ever, sleep until 6:30 - more like 5:20. But when my alarm was scheduled to go off at 5:00 am, I was routinely waking up around 3:45. This is so much better.

And there is another factor at play - working a program of recovery - mind and body - to the best of my ability. I'd been partnered with an alcoholic who recently began his own program of recovery. It seemed pretty damned hypocritical of me to sit around "knowing" how his recovery should look, when I hadn't been willing to devote myself to mine. This is not a competition - this is about me keeping my side of the street clean. Stepping away from the cheese can't be as difficult as it is to step away from the bottle.

So here are the highlights:

1. Gave up morning coffee punch most mornings
2. Substitute Eggbeaters Omelet chockful of vegetables for eggs most days
3. Have become a pescatarian, most days
4. Olive oil is the fat of choice
5. Olive oil is the salad dressing of choice
6. Fage and Fruit – best thing ever
7. Big Ass Spinach salads for lunch
8. Only eating hard cheeses
9. Testing out steel cut oats as a breakfast option a couple of times a week
10. Lots and lots of roasted vegetables
11. More Superfoods – salmon, spinach, blueberries, flax
12. Lots more sleep
13. Season with herbs and spices, not salt

So there it is. No one is more surprised than me. Oh, and the level of exercise has remained about the same. I'm getting daily exercise, mostly of the walking variety.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make Adjustments.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It Only Hurts When I Laugh

I've pretty much processed through the house stuff - or I am picking it back up less frequently. So that is good. The bad news is that I pass it on the bus every day. So I guess when I start to pick it up, I'll try to put it off until I actually see the house on my way home.

I've heard and said "Everything happens for the best" and while this snafu doesn't rank up there in terms of life's true troubles, I don't know that everything does happen for the best. Upon reflection, I tend to think that we humans have an amazing ability to adjust to a new set of circumstances, if we choose to do so. And then as time passes and we get comfortable in our new surroundings and in our situations, it's hard to imagine anything else - and suddenly "this" became the "best". And that's not a bad thing, to be sure.

I had a nice day on Sunday. Bick invited me up for dinner. We hit the remnants of a big auto meet and test drove a clone of the above pictured car. Bick has always wanted one, but the guy was asking too much money.

We then took SadieLu and went to the dog park. I've made a discovery - if one is feeling a bit down, just go to the dogpark. It really is the happiest place on earth. I mean, SadieLu is an old girl and is completely uninterested in any dog or anything except swimming in the tank they have there. She forgot to bring her suit (towel) and her daddy wouldn't let her go without. So she just found a shady spot and watched the action. But all the other dogs were running and playing and would come up and say "hey" and get an ear scratched. Lifted my mood by about a billion tail wags. You don't even need to bring a dog.

So this week, I'm leaving the drama behind. Back on the bus and back to my routine. Luckily for me, I love where I'm living and I would have missed it. So I am back with a renewed determination to enjoy the amenities that are here.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Got your ears on?


Sunday, May 2, 2010

I'm Sorry I Missed Her

This appeared in the local paper. I'm sure I would have loved her.