Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stringing Good Days Together: The July Edition

While I haven't taken the time to purchase beads to start my lovingkindness/reward/whatever necklace, I still plan to do so. Here are the results for July as I try to continue to wrestle maintenance:

I charted my food for 28 days.
I had a forced activity on 20 days - some days may include two-a-days.
I recorded my weight on 26 days.

I don't recall any particular NSV, although there were plenty of high-points in July.

So my bead total for July is: 74.

On June 30, I weighed 141.5. On July 31, I weighed 139. Through the month my weight has fluctuated from 145 to an all-time low of 137.

Pebbles bailed on the bike ride today, which was a tad disappointing, but not the end of the world. I went anyway and made a decision to add a little length to the ride. I was trying to get in 30, but after doing my usual out and back 22, I headed out in a new direction. I rode for a while, but it was pretty desserted and the trail wasn't very well maintained. As this was an area of town that I wasn't really familiar with, I cut it short and came home. It's probably a good thing. I don't want to add to much too soon, and I've done no riding this week at all, I don't believe.

Which may point to my sleep deprivation for the week, now that I think about it. I did opt for a chemical solution as my rx arrived in the mail yesterday. I do not like to rely on sleep aids, but after the week of lack, I needed something. So I took one and slept well last night.

As noted in the comments from yesterday, the day turned out much better than I had anticipated. Oh, the things happened that I thought would happen, but other than one minor thing I wish I could change, I handled the day with grace and joy. Had a lovely evening out with the Poolville Pagans listening to some live music, but I did get tired, so I cut it a bit short. I did three things that were really hard for me to do yesterday and I've got a couple more on tap today. But I survived yesterday and I'll survive today.

I'm going to visit my uncle in the hospital, take some paperwork at to Reata South and see if I can figure out something about the leak. And I absolutely loved yesterday's comment about "being fortunate with my daughter and charitable with my Mother".

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't let the dread be worse than the event.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Gaining Perspective

Long, rough day at work yesterday which found me at the grocery store at about 8:30 pm with a short shopping list that included a different brand of toilet paper! Goodness sakes, that Scott stuff was like construction paper. I bet I'll pay more attention next time.

I did find a solution to my "bread" problem. Joseph's Flax, Oat and Whole Grain pitas. 60 calories a pita and they only come 6 to a package. I had one last night and it served it's purpose - something different and sort of sandwichy, but not so good that I'm going to eat the whole package. I grilled 4 ounces of steak, cut up some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese and a splash of oil and vinegar. Very good.

I got another call from Mom while I was at the grocery store. An uncle has been hospitalized in pretty serious condition - she's quite upset about it, naturally. But she and I have very different views about end-of-life care. Of course, yesterday was not the time to have that discussion. As a matter of fact, there is no time to have that discussion - it's just not somewhere that we can go. And that wasn't even the point.

I was fortunate enough to see that she is just scared. Scared for him and scared for her. I need to keep in mind that most of the time, she's not doing anything TO me. She's just behaving as she has always behaved. My reaction is what I do to myself.

One of the big lessons that I hope I've forever learned since moving to The Closet is that life is really complicated, but it is possible to still find joy, peace and happiness among chaos, fear and uncertainty. Yes, crap happens, and I could choose to concentrate on that, but I could also choose to focus on other things and not stay wallowing in situations that I probably have no control over anyway. So what's the use? I by grabbing a little peace, perspective and serenity, I can recognize more opportunities for more with each passing situation.

The second point of the conversation was more about house repairs. Apparently now there is a leak somewhere in the kitchen (or has been), as the floor is bubbling up. For those new to the game, Reata South is a mobile home in a rural area on some acreage where I lived for 20 years. My Mom and sister now live there. So this particular problem has now bubbled up to the top of the priority list. I'll try to get out there and see if I can figure out what caused it.

Today promises to be difficult, as I got about two and half hours of sleep and a lot came down yesterday, but I shall concentrate on things minute by minute and not allow myself to get overwhelmed or anxious. One thing at a time, one minute at a time.

I am so looking forward to attending a concert tonight with friends and going for an early morning bike ride with my kiddos.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a way to gain a different perspective.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Boy, yesterday was a mixed bag. Or should I say, my reactions and actions were a mixed bag. Here we go, in no particular order (if I can remember it all).

Good: While comparing my blood work results to results from 2007, I was disappointed. When I dug up my results from earlier in the year, I was really pretty darned happy. My cholesterol dropped from 236 to 200. My LDL dropped from 165 to 140. So I did make some change - pretty much back to almost the levels I was in 2007.

Good: As I was leaving the office and walking to my car, I noticed the weather still looked very sketchy. So instead of just going home and not being able to ride and knowing that I wouldn't want to go to the gym after I'd got home, I just turned around and walked back to the gym at work and got in a good workout.

Bad: Got a call from my Mother telling me all the things that needed to be fixed around the property at Reata South. Along with some op-ed tidbits from her. Wanting a loan to replace the board fences, along with some other work.

Good: I managed to stay cool, calm and collected through this call. I did not react to the op-ed bits. I did say that I would take it under advisement and that she was not to hire any sort of contractor without my permission. Let's all recall the great "asphalt scam" of a year or so ago. Also good, in my working with Meg, we came up with a budget for repairs/replacement stuff on this property. I've spent most of this year's portion already, but next year isn't that far away. Some of the repairs are critical, but they are not urgent. Yes, they need to be repaired, but more damage isn't being done. It can wait until next year's budget. The fences, however, are another story. I'm not spending a dime on fences. Yes, they look unsightly, but that's just cosmetic. There are other things that are of a much greater priority.

Bad: In dealing with any sort of contracting/repair situation, I feel so powerless and so vulnerable. I am unknowledgable in these areas and that always causes me a great deal of stress.

Good: A coworker just had a very positive experience in dealing with a contractor that was recommended by another coworker. I don't know if he can/would do the kind of work I need, but I get a bit of comfort from just having someone to call. I can call him and get an estimate or perhaps acquire some more information.

Bad: If/when I decide to go ahead with the work, I will have to make it very, very clear that I make all the decisions on the job. All changes come through me. We will not be widening the door!

Bad: Sleep has been hard to come by this week, especially night before last. Anytime I am extra tired, I am extra vulnerable to eating crap to try to get an energy boost.

Ugly: 3000 calorie day. I ended up at Wendy's bacon burger, large fries, junior frosty very late in the evening. I should have gone to bed. Oh well.

ETA: I'll be adding more as the day goes on.

Good: Pebbles called and said she and Slater want to come over on Saturday morning and ride bikes again. This makes me incredibly happy. It's such a treat to get to spend time with them.

Bad: An email from Mom - this time sharing more family drama. Pseudo-cousin in jail. Family in turmoil. Yelling and screaming amongst family members. No one has any money.

Good: The above mentioned issues are not mine to solve. I was appropriately compassionate and sympathetic, but I did not respond to it as if it were a call to arms. I almost view it as good news - people will only change at the rate of pain and as a result of the consequences of their choices and behaviors. Perhaps we as a family are moving towards some changes.

Good: After last night's Wendy-a-thon, I am still not hungry. I'm not depriving or restricting, I'm just not yet hungry again.

Bad: I wasn't paying attention and I bought the wrong toilet paper!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Some days are diamonds; some days are stones.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Patience, Grasshopper

Boy, the opportunities for growth just keep coming. The hours I spent yesterday and last evening turned out to be for naught. Ended up in a tangle with a bureaucratic agency. Had to reboot and come at this cleanup in a different way. Spent some more hours on it today. I am still unsure if my resolution will be accepted. I did manage to keep my peace through it all. I do believe I was still pleasant today, even after hours of data massaging.

I am hoping not be deterred from a bike ride this afternoon, as I was derailed early by a piece of lemon blueberry cheesecake that was BEYOND phenomenal.

More news on the medical front:

Chest x-rays came back fine. The NP wanted to get a baseline on me, as I was a thirty year smoker.

Blood test: to be run again in six weeks. White blood cell count down.

Vitamin D results: Very deficient. Now on VD3 2000 IU per day.

Disappointing news: Cholesterol numbers are elevated to what they were in 2007. Slightly. The recent weight loss and dietary changes didn't budge the LDL. Medication is not being advocated, but it's probably just a matter of time. Darn it!

The next work week should be even more opportunities for growth and patience.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Develop grace under fire.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Have A Choice

It still amazes me how much choice I actually have in my life. I use to think that life just happened to me (and really only me) in such a way that required my full-blown, drama queen response. I didn't know that I had a choice in how I viewed or reacted to certain situations. How I chose to see things has changed over the years - thankfully. I am certainly not Zen over everything, and I am still a reactor, but much less so than before.

I had a glimpse back at my past today at the office. There is a woman with whom I've worked for a long time and quite like actually. She's a real go-to person. And today she threw a hissy-fit because another coworker moved a piece of paper and then couldn't remember where she moved it. She came into my office ranting and raving about how she would be so glad when she could retire and wouldn't have to put up with X anymore. And so on. I probably should have kept my mouth shut, but I did say that I hated to see her so upset over something that any number of people could have done. In truth, her behavior today is a good deal like mine has been in the past.

At work, we are in the midst of a chaotic remodel and move and there's not been much leadership exercised. I've made a decision that I do not have to jump into every leadership-vacuum and I do not have to lead every charge. I'll give other people the opportunity. When I do have to make decisions, I try to make them with the attitude that this is the best choice I know to make today, given the information that I have. Tomorrow, I may make a different choice. When I choose to view things in this manner, then when things do change, I am far less defensive and judgmental. And because of this strategy, I'm keeping my panties untwisted, while others drawers are pretty bunched up. This is much more comfortable.

And then it was 4pm and I got an email pointing out a problem that requires hours of my time to repair; but rather than put on a Lady MacBeth-ian performance, I just decided to go ahead and come home, eat, change clothes, get comfy, unlax for a few minutes, then go back up to the office and just knock it out.

So I just finished some nice grilled salmon and some oven-roasted brussels sprouts (set of the smoke alarm on that one). I'll enjoy the Diet Coke that I'm having (I'm still doing great with the cutting way, way back) and then I'll head back to the office, in the peace and quiet and knock this stuff out.

Unfortunately, this means no ride in the park tonight, but such is life. I did spend a bit of time on the treadmill today, so that will just have to suffice.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. In most cases, I can choose to stay above the fray.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Running The Numbers: The Sixth Sense

Sometimes I just need to be distracted from eating, thinking, ruminating, obsessing on whatever is bring me down. That being said, the distraction shouldn't be destructive - first, do no harm. I don't want to turn to food if I'm obsessing and I don't want to turn to excessive shopping to distract myself from over-eating. I don't want to acquire "stuff", so recreation shopping isn't an answer - it creates clutter AND reduces your finances. We all need financial freedom and power in our lives. There are, however, ways to spend a little something on an item that is actually useful, so I've included those here. Here is The Sixth Sense:

51. Create a vision board. While I don't have a vision board, I do have a "book of me". It's just a hardbound journal that I've created ala Sarah Ban Breathnach's Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self. I journal in this book, I paste pictures that I cut out from magazines. I paste mementos. It's an "old school" scrapbook - like I used to keep in junior high. No Cricut was harmed in the making of this vision book. Really, it's just a fancy tin in which to store ego biscuits in case I need them later.

52. Sweep outside. Sweep your porch, your stoop, the common hallway outside your apartment. Get out and do a bit of "sprucing up the place", even if it's not "yours". A little good for the common good.

53. Plant marigolds. Or whatever blooming annual that works in your part of the country. Zinnias, marigolds, begonias, sweet potato vines - doesn't matter. Just add a little color to your life.

54. Take Photos. Go out and try to take "artistic" photographs, suitable for framing. Most of us have digital cameras these days. Poke around on the internet for an photograph you like and go see if you can recreate the look. Have it printed and frame it. Look at you, you're an artist!

55. Repot or divide the plants you have. Either increase your own inventory, or give to friends and neighbors. Most people are happy to receive such gifts.

56. Buy a new pot for that houseplant. It might be time to move it out of the black plastic container it came in. Get creative - many things can become charming containers for plants if you are handy with a drill. And if you are not handy with a drill, get one and start practicing. Power tools are easy enough to use. It just takes practice.

57. Reconfigure your clothes. I tend to fall into ruts re: this goes with that. I never think about pairing this with that other thing. Spend an afternoon with your clothes thinking about them in different groupings. Refer to an online color wheel for what goes, contrasts, blends, is close enough - if you aren't sure. BTW: Red shoes go with everything!

58. Handle your recycling.

59. Update your "To Buy" List. In order to keep recreational shopping and impulse buying to a minimum - I keep a list of "to buys" - it's in the same little notebook where this list resides. It goes with me all the time. By putting something on the list, I've given it some thought and also permission to buy it if I run across it. I am a long-time buyer's remorse sufferer and this helps with that. Plus, I want to be thoughtful about how I spend my money and acquire stuff. I don't want to fritter away financial freedom/power on gee-gaws. Again with finding the right balance. Right now my list contains: a floor lamp capable of providing decent reading light, another running skirt in black, a pair of comfortable but chic shoes, and a bottle cage for Clementine "Cha-Cha" Peddleford.

60. Go to a zoo/aquarium/nature center. It's hard to think about peanut butter when you are watching gazelles!

I was talking to someone about my "list" the other day when I realized I hadn't finished posting it. Again with that pesky old attention span.

Had a wonderful, wonderful weekend. Had dinner and a good catch-up with some friends on Friday night. These are an amazing group of women and we all met via the internet about nine years ago. It's interesting to see how much we've all changed and grown in the last near-decade. Ended up with just the salad from Pei-Wei - it's a huge portion.

Saturday morning the kids came over for a bike ride and that was wonderful. We ended up going to The Movie Tavern afterward to see Despicable Me and having breakfast/lunch there. I had the fruit and cheese tray, which was quite nice.

I did have a tough time recovering from the ride. We rode, at what for me, was a pretty fast pace and it just took it out of me. The kids left and I took a nap for a couple of hours. Even then, I was just wiped out. Went up to Bick's and proceeded to hold down one of the recliners for the rest of the evening.

Sunday we finally got around to doing some actual planning/making reservations for the Colorado trip coming up. Should be fun! We are taking a rafting trip and were instructed to wear swim gear. I cannot imagine anything more "uncomfortable" than sitting around in my swimsuit with seven other strangers, so at Bick's suggestion, I went to the Wal-Mart and got myself some mens' swim trunks. I think I'll be much happier.

Lastly, thanks for the good wishes on the milestone. I am unsure if it's a sustainable weight for me. Right now, I am in the perfect storm for weight loss and it's unrealistic of me to think that I have this/my food issues "solved". That sort of thinking/arrogance has led me to folly in the past. This number on the scale is just that, a number. It was a number achieved because 1. I live alone and am in complete control of what comes through these doors. 2. I live alone and so I can cook whatever I want, how ever I want. 3. I am in a "honeymoon" phase with cycling and so I am willfully and cheerfully and enthusiastically riding at every opportunity - and that "pink fluffy cloud" is probably unsustainable. I would like to maintain somewhere in this neighborhood, and so we'll see how that goes.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Visualize your future.


Saturday, July 24, 2010


120 pounds gone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pei(ving) The Wei For A Healthful Choice

I'm meeting friends for dinner tonight at a popular chain Asian-food restaurant. Which is fine, as I like the place, but this weekend promises to be back-to-back restaurant meals, so I decided some planning was in order. Lordy, how did people watch what they ate BEFORE the internet? I popped over to the website to take a peak at the nutrition information. Holy Smokes - it would be easy to think one could get a healthful meal easily in such an establishment, and I think one would be wrong. First off, you get two servings (minimum) of the counts given, so right away, there is math involved. The calorie count is bad enough and the sodium content is through the roof! I guess the good news is that I'll retain plenty of water to stay hydrated for my long ride tomorrow. Anyhoo, back to the menu. My goal was to stay in the 700 calorie range for dinner, because we are all gathering back at my place for dessert - which will be sliced fresh fruit, topped with Fage, and a dark chocolate Pirouline garnish, all served in a martini glass.

So here's what I've chosen to eat at Pei Wei:

1. Vegetable Spring Roll (1) 110 calories, 290 mg sodium
2. Asian Chopped Chicken Salad (1) entree, no dressing, 340 calories, 320 mg sodium
3. Side Order of Vegetables, 35 calories, 30 mg sodium
4. Thai Peanut Sauce (on side) 2 oz, 160 calories, 360 mg sodium

Totals: 645 calories, 1000 mg sodium.

I don't expect to use all 2 oz of sauce, but ordering sauces on the side is a huge help for all dishes. I've written my choices down on a card (new plan for me - I can just read my choices off the card), so perhaps I will actually stick with it! And it may be too much food - I don't know, I've never ordered these items.

The next restaurant meal with follow tomorrow morning's bike ride. The kids wanted to come over and ride - or at least Slater did, so I've promised to feed them after finishing. I've become a fan of the Groupon, so I've got a couple of options in my pocket. After a 2-3 hour ride, I think I'll be able to "afford" just about anything that I might want.

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


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Violet Beauregarde

I think I just may turn into a blueberry! They are just wonderful this year. I've never, ever really liked them until now. This year's crop must be extraordinary. I'm going through a bunch of them - for breakfast in my steel cut oats, for lunch in my BASS (Big Ass Spinach Salad) and with Fage and flax for dessert. I shall miss them when they are gone.

I also had some of my beloved Rainier cherries today. They may be what I miss the most about home. I personally planted two trees on the old place about 15 years ago and always looked forward to being home in time for harvest. I'd just stand under the trees and pick and eat.

The news from the return visit to the breast center was inconclusive. They took another set of pictures. I spoke with the radiologist and he put me on a mammogram every six months schedule - "watch and see what happens", so I guess no news is good news. My boobs are going to glow in the dark after this is over. The bit that I am uncomfortable with is that the radiologist that read my initial pics was not the one who read yesterday's.

Had my consultation for the routine colonoscopy, which I scheduled for early September. It's the first time I could fit it into my schedule. I'll be glad when all my "routine" tests are completed. It's a good thing I'm so "healthy". Had another nurse comment on my low blood pressure, but this one called me an athlete! I think I love her.

Had a great ride this evening and enjoyed the abundant wildlife visible in the park - tonight's special guest was the beaver in the river, along with the usual suspects - geese, ducks, egrets, not-quite feral cats and their companion, the raccoon.

Random Notes:

I bought a Turkish language CD. I have no ear for languages. God only knows how I will butcher this language. I wanted to speak Spanish in France, Italian in Puerto Rico - who knows what I'll mangle this time.

The picture of me and my bicycle from 1968 - the bike wasn't a Stingray. I got the bike for Christmas in 1967 and I guess my Dad must have "pimped my ride" when those pictures were taken. Kinda like the the time in 6th grade when I wanted to wear jeans to school, so my Mom sewed me some - just not quite the real thing. Shasta Cola, I'm looking at you!

In one of my many Doh! moments - Brian mentioned evaporative cooling in a comment. I'd been wondering why in the hell I wasn't sweating on my rides, but in the elevator ride from the parking garage to my floor, it's like it was raining on me. I just thought the elevator was extraordinarily hot. And I have a master's degree. Jeez Louise....

Lori's comment about keeping dough in the fridge made me laugh. Not at you, Lori, but how that would NEVER work for a breadkiller such as myself. I poked around for the Dave's Killer Bread that Grace mentioned, but it isn't available in Texas - not that a little thing like fiber could scare me. No, the only real safe, healthy bread solution for to ensure that I only eat an appropriate amount is to have the grain field in my back yard. That way, I would be required to harvest the grain by hand, pound it into flour with a mortar and pestle and then begin the baking process. Between that and a full-time job, I don't know that I could get myself into too much trouble. Seriously, I have a really big problem with the breads. I cannot tell you how many diets hit the skids simply due to bread and butter.

And in the "this ought to be fun" category - Sandy's birthday is coming up and for her birthday dinner, she wants Bick to take her, her beau Aloisious, her mother and me to dinner at the S'mores place downstairs from me. Joy! It will be fine - Bick's ex and I don't have any thing between us, but it will be our first gathering with such a small group.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be French - have fruit for dessert.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Going Greek

I am loving my new egg salad experiments. Today's version takes us to the land of Aristole and tzatziki. Rather than using the traditional mayo, I made up my own version of tzatziki. I had a taste this morning and I think it will be very good. Since I cut up the cucumbers to put in the mixture, I'll just be eating it as is today. I do need to think up some whole grain breadish/cracker type thing to serve with/on.

And here's the deal - I find that I am unable to keep any bread products in my home. Bread or crackers and their ilk have some sort of beacon that call to me all hours of the day and night. So while there are plenty of decent options on the market, I cannot bring myself (frugal) self to buy a whole loaf and throw away all but one serving. So I need to figure out how to make, from scratch, one serving of whole grain whatever. Something to ponder.

Had a nice ride through the park last night and a nice ride to the store to pick up my evening treat - kiwi. I've never been much of a kiwi fan, but they must be extra special this year, as I am loving them! Kiwi - definitely not Greek.

ETA: The weaning off of the Diet Coke continues pretty well.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get some variety in your life.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peaches and Hamburgers

There's a story in the family of my then three-year-old cousin. She was sitting in her Grandma's lap, hugging on her and said "Oh, Grandmother, you smell so good, just like peaches and hamburgers." From that moment on, really good things, really good days were not salad days, but peaches and hamburger days. Every day can't be a peaches and hamburger day, and this wasn't isn't.

While I was writing that, the phone rang. My day just got a bit more worrisome. Just got a call back from the mammogram. A "cluster" that they want to take another look at - and not on the problematic left boob. This time the right boob wants some extra attention, apparently. These things always cause me stress. So far, I haven't had any real issues, but with each new find, I seem to go a bit deeper into the process.

What I was going to whine about was that after a great doodle in the park on Cha-Cha, I slept like a log and did not want to get up this morning at all. I was also going to gripe about having this whole construction crap dropped on me at the office, right at the same time I'm pushing out a new software upgrade company-wide. Oh, well.

I've got a follow-up dental appointment this afternoon to assess how successful or unsuccessful the pain and suffering and expense I endured last year turned out to be. I am not looking forward to that. And with that, I think I'll shut up whining.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. May your day be peachy.


Monday, July 19, 2010

With Six You Get Egg Salad

I'm a good cook, but since living by myself, I haven't exercised those muscles much lately. After last week's revelation, I'm trying to spend some time and creative energy putting some ZIP-ZAP-POW into my food. So borrowing from Lynn, (I can't find her recipe - so I just made up my own) I've made egg salad two times using egg beaters.

I cooked 8 oz of egg beaters and set to cool. I chopped some red onion, lots of fresh dill, 1 tsp mayo, some dijon, some horseradish and added in say a tbl of Fage and mixed that up. When the egg is cool, chop it up and mix all together. Top with some good smoked paprika - not that stuff that's been in your cupboard since before our butts fell. I will eat my egg salad today as a canape, served on cucumber slices instead of bread/cracker. Oh, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Other variations I'm anxious to try are here at this fabulous website (photo credit for above picture). Lori has an excellent curried chicken salad recipe that I am going to try to adapt. Also, I'm thinking wasabi!

Got in 25 miles on Saturday. Had a really wonderful ride, but wasn't able to fit in another ride last night. Just ran out of daylight. I hope to remedy that this evening. I start the litany of medical tests (all routine stuff) as prescribed by my well woman check up last week. This afternoon is the boob-smasher - which for me, is pretty much like taking a tube sock full of bb's and putting them in a vice. Always fun!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Scramble some egg (whites).


Saturday, July 17, 2010

One Thousand Posts

One thousand posts on this blog. One thousand pictures of life on this leg of the journey - from May 2007 through today. I did have another blog that I peek back into that ran from August 2001 through May 2007.

This journey, much like blogging, is about consistency. Every day can't be a mountain top experience. Mostly, it's just getting up, putting one foot in front of the other and trying not lose ground. And sometimes it is hard to see the progress in that. But when you get enough distance away, you can look back and marvel at the experience. What lessons have been learned and what changes have been made. Of course the path hasn't been linear. How could it be? Linear would imply that one could see the light at the end of the tunnel; that one could actually see what it would be like to reach a certain destination. With non-linear progress, it stops being about the destination and starts being about the journey. And it's in those twisty, turny, can't-see-around-the-corners-but-you-just-keep-going curves that lead you to the bestest places.

I still have a lot of work to do, a lot more discovery that needs to happen, but that doesn't mean that I can't rejoice a bit in the progress that's been made so far in discovering who I really am. Boy, does that sound stupid, but it's the truth. I feel like I'm actually developing or discovery who I really am. I didn't really know that before. Not really. Turns out, a lot of the things I thought were true about me were not true. I am not always sober, sombre and aloof. I can be warm and friendly - hell, turns out I'm not much of a loner after all! Who knew? Not me and not until recently. I'd taken habits and turned them into character traits!

There is joy finding it's way into my life. Or more accurately, I think I am opening myself up for the possibility, if that makes any sense? And I find myself almost giddy at times - not in a middle-aged-crazy way (or at least I hope not), but at a much deeper, more resonate level. And all of this with some situations staying exactly the same - my Mother is still being my Mother and is spending money at an alarming clip and that only the stuff that I hear about! But I am learning how to deal and to still try and keep the good parts of our relationship. I'm not always successful, but I'm sick and damn tired of being resentful, so I had to find another way. I'm cutting both of us a break.

I am incredibly fortunate, I realize. I've had and continue to have lots of blessings. I had no idea, in 1996, when I was at my lowest point and serious self-harm was an option I was considering, that by 2010, many, many things in my life would be vastly different. So if you are reading this and things seem daunting, know that change is possible.

Thank you for reading and being a great part of this network of friends. I hope the energy that circulates through us feeds you as much as it feeds me.

Take good care of yourself. It all starts there.



Friday, July 16, 2010

Practicing Reverence

The more I thought about yesterday's post, the more clear it had become. I'd stopped treating my food prep and meals (and myself) with any real mindful reverence. I had begun to just throw things together without much thought and that lack of reverence began to show in my enjoyment and satisfaction with what I was eating. I was slamming together my meals and I was shoveling it down, all while thinking of something else rather than being in the moment with my food. All very crunchy, granola, hippie chick, right? Well, no. I think it's more than that - deeper than that and for me, perhaps forms the basis of what other's call mindful eating. Perhaps this is what Geneen Roth is alluding to? Hell, I haven't read her book - maybe she spells this out directly in Women Food and God?. Don't know.

So last evening, after a great meeting and some shopping (more on that later), I got home, hopped on Cha-Cha and rode to the store. I picked up a few things, came home and spent some time and thought and prepared my lunch for today. It is still basically the Big Ass Spinach Salad (BASS), but I roasted some vegetables, mixed up a little dressing, and this morning added some fresh raspberries. I know that I will love this lunch and it will keep me satisfied. I gave myself a break from the eggwhite omelets of blandness and instead had some flaxseed meal hot cereal topped with some more raspberries. By preparing my lunch at night, rather than in the morning, I give myself more time to treat myself to better food.

Now back to the shopping - I remembered yesterday that I had an Old Navy GC in my purse since Christmas. I'd basically been surviving on Pebbles' hand-me-downs which had reached a stage of worn-flat-out. So it was time for some new casual pants (I've got nothing for serious business attire, but that will be for another time). and Old Navy was having a sale. I bought three pair, in navy, stone and khaki. My favorite pair, the navy, were only $2.97 - last fall's models - but alas, I bought the last lone pair of those. I like them better than the other two pairs, but this should get a long way. I wear my clothes for a long, long time. My GC covered all but about $3.00 of it, so SCORE! Also, I'm now done shopping for my trip in the fall. Pebbles and I decided we are only taking a carry-on. So my britches are all taken care of.

I love, love, loved riding to the store. I did learn, however, that I must leave home earlier than 8pm, because even with just quickly picking up a few items, it was too dark for me to safely ride without lights. So next purchase will be some lights for Cha-Cha.

And last, but certainly not least, my thanks to Jo for the blog award.

Award Rules:

1. Thank the person giving the award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.

4. Let your nominees know about the award.

Roxie's Rules - I've thanked Jo (and solicited handbag advice) and I shall try to think up seven things that you don't already know. I haven't been poking around the edges of the blogging world too much recently, so I will invite you to tell me who I ought to be reading and am not.

Okay, here's the Seven Things You Need to Know Before You Go:

1. Shameful admission: Sometimes when I'm in MalibuKen, I listen to Cosmo Radio.

2. I hate bananas.

3. My ex-husband wanted to name our daughter Selena.

4. I took piano lessons for years and cannot play a note.

5. I'm getting the urge to throw my leg across a horse again. I rode for years and it has been years since I've ridden.

6. I can kick your tail at Boggle, which is surprising, given my lack of wordsmithiness around here.

7. I was afraid of the monkey bars when I was a child. As a youngster most uncoordinated, I was 15 years old when I taught myself how to do a cartwheel as a requirement for a PE class.

So there it is. The Friday post. I'm going to try a new adventure with Cha-Cha that I've been contemplating for a while. I'm taking Cha-Cha by bus to another part of town, ride through there a bit and then hit my normal trail from a different entry point. I'll get the benefit of a different view, plus the opportunity to try to do the bus load on what I hope is a less busy day. Wish me luck, as I think this will require perhaps more coordination and fluidity than I possess.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Respect Yourself.


Top pic is of a Josef Frank designed fabric. Yesterday was the 125th anniversary of his birth. Fabulous designer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Time for a Mid-Course Correction

So I'm a little slow on the uptake. It's time to change up the foods I'm eating. I'm bored with them and I don't enjoy eating them. I've fallen deeply into a rut of eating the same thing over and over and over. It just hit me immediately after eating my lunch of the big as spinach salad that I was completely unsatisfied with my food. I'm tired of assemblying it and I'm tired of eating it. And consequently, I'm always looking around the next thing - hence all the snackiness as of late. Couple that with working through lunch do to project upgrade deadline and I've got extra time here at the desk to be snacky. I think I've got the evening "hominy oatcakes" tm POD under control - I can in fact cruise on Cha-Cha and get a fresh fruit for dessert.

I'm so over eggbeaters right now. They are easy and I've fallen into the same old, same old. Gotta think of a different, more spicy way to fix them.

I like the idea of the big ass spinach salad as the basis for lunch, but I've got to get some other interesting ingredients to go in it that aren't calorically dense. And I may be over being a primary pescatarian for a while. I'm hungry for a burger! Or something spicy! It's time to revamp the shopping list and crawl out of this dietary rut I'm in.

Any ideas?

A Little Pleasure, A Little Pain

A little pleasure, a little pain, a little sunshine, a little rain

Check up went well. Enjoyed the bit of extra time that the NP seemed to have. Came away with an interesting diagnosis, that while I don't know if I completely agree with it, it certainly does explain A LOT. According to the NP, I have low blood pressure. Before taking my bp, she asked me about it and I responded with "It's stellar". She took my reading and said, "Well, I don't know about stellar, I think it's low". There's nothing serious about having low blood pressure and it does sort of explain a few of my symptoms - excessive thirst, cold all the time, other symptoms that I'd attributed to perhaps some blood sugar issues, even some depression, although that was pretty far down the list. Anyway, nothing to be concerned about, just interesting that it is just now coming up. I am scheduling the rest of the recommended tests ASAP. I failed to complete the routine last year and I need to do all that is required this time. I did go in for my fasting blood work yesterday.

The insurance company totaled my friend's car. She is devastated, but refuses to accept anything from me, says it was completely her deal, says I tried to get her to go a different way and she refused. Said her husband is being very supportive. I am still pondering my options here.

I have been snacky as all hell - and craving the sweets. While I have been practicing moderation, I have to question if it's worth it. Feeding me a bite of chocolate is like kicking the lion's cage. We'd all be much happier if that sleeping monster stayed asleep. Yes, I've enjoyed the indulgences, and I am trying to move away from "bad" and "good" thinking, I just don't know that the aftermath is worth it. I don't miss what I don't have, ya know?

Had a follow up phone call from my dear friend and certified financial planner, Meg. I'd have to give myself a D+ - a barely passing. I've done a lot of the major stuff, but have dropped the ball with the next phase - mostly my Tuesday Challenge stuff. The follow up was a loving, gentle reminder to get with it. Bonus - it was a fabulous visit. Neither she nor I love the phone, but you wouldn't know it from our recent conversation.

Again, I'm going into the weekend with not much in the way of plans. Well, I had some plans to go to East Texas with Bick and those got changed. I had some plans to get our camping gear back from Pebbles, but she's flying to Boston this morning to visit her college friend, Bailey, for the weekend. I've got a meeting tonight and I'm going to try to spend some time with Cha-Cha after that.

And speaking of Cha-Cha, she now has a bike lock so that she can go to the store! I've figured out a way to ride to the Super Target that doesn't involve spending time on a major street, as I'm still not comfortable enough nor fast enough to ride with traffic on the streets. I am looking forward to being able to hop on Cha-Cha for a quick ride to the store. The heat doesn't bother me nearly as much when I'm riding as when I'm walking.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Finish what you start.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Life Is Indeed Good

Thanks to Leslie for the bloggy. As I do with these things, I make my own rules. I award it to all of you to answer the questions and/or think about all the good things that are going on in your life. That very thought has been one of the most important things that I've learned on the city version of my journey is that I can still be very happy and fulfilled, even if my life is not perfect. I do not HAVE to completely fixate on what's wrong. Those things can still be wrong and I can still experience happiness and joy and peace. I never knew before now that those things could all coexist. Thanks Leslie for the award and I look forward to reading all your gratitudes.

I'm going to hop on Cha-Cha for a bit this morning and then it's off to the doc for my annual well woman check up. Although this time, I elected to see the NP, rather than wait for my doc. So I will leave you with my answers to this awards questions.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Focus on the POSITIVE - Life is good.


1. What would your perfect day consist of?

I’ve actually been thinking about this a good deal lately. My perfect day would consist of an early morning cuppa outside with nature. Followed by a walk or bike ride through said nature. I’d come back home to a wonderful breakfast of eggs benedict with just a smidge of hollandaise sauce. Then maybe a swim. I don’t know why it is, but I ALWAY have an urge to swim after eating and NOT wait the prescribed time. Is that just an legend, anyway? And then I’d like to set the big old farm table for the evening’s gathering of friends. I love to poke around and try to come up with something new and interesting on the tablescaping front. Setting a table is my absolute favorite creative endeavor. I could spend hours pouring through my stuff, both indoors and out, trying to come up with a statement set-up. I’d probably follow this up with a trip to the (fictional) market(s) to gather things for a casual dinner for friends (think The Barefoot Contessa). And then we’d spend the remainder of the evening laughing, talking and perhaps even playing a board game or somesuch. The evening would end by my falling into a freshly laundered (ironed and lightly starched) set of favorite, well-broke in sheets. Some good sex would be nice, followed by the supreme luxury of a good night’s sleep.

2. How would you describe yourself if you were an item of clothing?

I am a classic white shirt. I can be sporty - with a popped collar, with jeans and killer heels. I can be professional - worn under a blazer and a no-nonsense suit. I can be girl-next-store - tails out, worn over a pair of 501s. I can be earthmother - sleeves rolled up, cooking or baking or gardening.

3. What hobbies are you currently working on?

I am lacking the hobby department - although I guess cycling counts as a hobby. I’m looking into jewelry-making, but only as a one-off thing. I don’t seem to read much anymore. My ability to concentrate on anything is rather limited these days.

4. Walking in the woods in wellies or bare foot on the beach?

Yes. I could not possibly choose.

5. Have you ever hugged or sang to a tree?

No, but I’ve moo’ed to cows I’ve passed.

6. Growing your own veggies or nipping to the supermarket?

I no longer have any room to grow my own anything except some basil.

7. Have you found anyone exciting in your family tree?

Nary a soul.

8. Slap up meal in a posh restaurant or fish 'n' chips from the wrapper?

Again, I can’t choose. While I consider myself a bit of a foodie, fish and chips is one my favorite comfort foods. I associate it with home and nostalgic eating. When I travel to the PNW, I eat it almost every day.

9. Which element do you most resonate with, Earth, Air, Fire or water?

At heart, I think I’m an Earthy person.

10. Do you believe in fairies?

Nope, can’t say that I do. I do, however, believe in the magical power of Nature.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cross The Brazos At Waco

I am both incredibly happy and stunned to get a phone call from my sister yesterday. She drove to Waco on Saturday. Down I35. She was just so proud of herself and I am so proud of her. Waco is about 75 miles from Reata South, so this is longest drive she's ever made. I decided to commemorate the grand accomplishment this morning by taking a couple of fruit parfaits from McD's and swing by her office on my way to work to tell her in person how pleased I was for her.

Evidently there was some sort of snit brewing in the family, which is pretty par for the course, and the regular rides evaporated and Mom wanted to go to an older brother's birthday party near downtown Waco and so they crawled in the car and went.

I'm still in cut-down mode on the Diet Coke and that's going pretty well, although I am drinking one now, my plan is for it to be the only one of the day.

As a fun aside, I carried my LeslieBag to meeting last night. The Sunday night group has a lot of textile artists and they spotted the bag and swarmed me. Leslie, your bag was the hit of the meeting!

I assume I will find out the verdict today on the whole flooding car/insurance deductible incident. She's not in the office yet, so I am assuming she's doing something car related. I pray that I can navigate these tricky waters ethically and with integrity. I shall take the long view here - if it was just my friend and I, I'm sure things would be just fine with whatever is decided. However, I think she's in an awkward position - her husband - well, let's just say I've never cared for him - and I think it's pretty mutual. So I am sure she's caught all kinds of grief over the weekend. I've got a long term personal and work relationship agitating around in this big old washing machine we call life, so I need bring all my tools to bare/bear?. I am really unsure of how to procede - my thought is that I just need everyone to ask for what they need.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Ask for what you need.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Hills Are Alive

I was in town this morning and decided to get in a recovery ride before heading off to meditation/church for the first time in a long while. My legs were still feeling yesterday's ride a bit, but not bad. I just decided this morning that I needed to take advantage of being here on a week end morning and to hit the road a for a bit.

As I was biking through the park, I decided since it was pretty early on a Sunday morning, I could bike through some of the more heavily-traffic areas, as there would much less traffic given the time and the day. So instead of staying to my usual path, I took a veer off and headed out to ride to the zoo area. It was a fun, near area to explore. Until I made it to the first hill. What for me was my longest, out of the saddle slog up a pretty steep hill. Thankfully, it wasn't long and I probably wasn't in the right gear, but it was took forty strides to get to the top. I have this weird habit of counting strides or steps when I am trying to shift my focus away from being discouraged and thinking about how much more there is to go. Forty isn't a lot, but I don't know that I could have done much more. So with that uphill, came the "WHEEEE" and a ride back through the back of the zoo, near the monkeys from the sounds of it! I also came across a public park and huge swimming pool, closed this summer due to municipal budget cuts - but it would have been a fun place to swim this year. I'd only been to this pool one time, probably close to my first summer in Texas, nearly thirty years ago. I'd completely forgotten it was there.

And then came the next hill, another out-of-saddle 40 strider. This put me back up on top and just a bit away from my workplace. I decided to ride around there for a while. And what do you know? Another damned hill. One more saddle-clearing 40. By this time my legs were just shaking! So much for my recovery ride! The good news was that I had gained so much height, that my ride back to the trail was all downhill! I was a sweaty mess when I got home. Legs feel worse after the recovery ride...oh, well - that's what Aleve is for!

Had a great day yesterday. Bick came into town and picked me up and we went to the neighboring county to their annual one-day Peach Festival. We walked around and looked at all things peachy - I indulged in some home-made peach ice cream which was just yummy on such a hot day. Knocked around for a couple of hours and then headed back to Fort Worth. I finally got around to asking an assist from Bick to get my hand-me-down DVD player hooked up and my remote programmed. Gotta love those ee guys! So today I stopped by Redbox and picked up a couple of movies to watch this afternoon while I lounge around. I've got a meeting, perhaps two, tonight. And that will put a cap on an interesting weekend.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. You can't coast through life.


Pic: Me, 1968.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tour de MudPants

Just in from a wonderful, albeit muddy ride this morning. Cha-Cha ain't got no mudflaps and I'm sporting the stripe to prove it. Actually, I'm a pretty muddy mess as it was wet out there. Lots of places where water had been over the trails and left debris and mud in it's wake. Cha-Cha just might be a mudder, although I might need a few more mud lessons. Hitting patch of mud can get kind of squirrelly. I really wanted to see what everything looked like after so much rain yesterday, but everything was pretty clear. The river was up some, but I was still able to cross at the dam to get in the complete 22 plus mile out and back ride.

It started to rain while I was out and while I could see the raindrops rippling the river surface, I couldn't feel any discernible drops, so I just kept going. I'm sure the rain will get heavier throughout the day, so I'm glad I got my ride in when I did.

I still haven't made any firm plans other than to finish up the laundry, complete with muddy biking clothes, take a soaky soaky bath. SHIT! Just remembered - still haven't bought shampoo. Another fro day for me! Now where was I, oh, I think I was on my way to Dallas to go to the Farmer's Market and pick up the camping gear from the kids. And a trip to see the kiddos usually translates into Mom buying pizza! Now that sounds like a plan.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Earn your stripes.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Through Hell and High Water

I've known her for almost thirty years. As the old saying goes, "We've been through hell and high water together". We were party girls together in our youth and we have seen each other through lots of ups and downs - the hell. Tonight, we got the high water part of this. Right at quitting time, it started pouring buckets and I had ridden the bus. Several offered to take me home and asked her since I live more in her direction than that of other offerers. We were heading towards The Closet and it was pouring, park flooded, roads in high water on the outer edges. A couple of cars stalled out. We get closer to The Closet and I say "Let's go down a little farther" and she says, "No, I want to turn here" and so turn we did. And we followed another car right into deep water. Car in front stalled and so did we. Her car started floating and filling with water! There was no place to go but crawl out the windows and push the car out of the thigh deep water. So that's exactly what we did - much to the obvious delight of onlookers. While the other guys were sitting in their stalled cars, she and I were pushing her floating car out of the high water. Her car ended up with ankle deep water in the floor board. Oh, and she had her iPhone in her pocket while she was pushing the car! We sat there for a few minutes, stunned. And then she turned on the key and we drove away. And pretty soon, her phone rang! All because I didn't want to get wet standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus. I feel horrible about it and of course have offered to pay her insurance deductible. I hope she takes me up on it - she actually reports to me at work, so this has the potential to be very awkward. Oh, and she's had her car for about two months. Sigh. Oh, and I can also tell you that sopping wet white pants are see-through. And one other thing, pouring rain will calm even the biggest fro.

To And Fro

Let me say that I am not really making fun of the late, great Bob Ross, because I adore him. Today, however, I am sporting a hairstyle that is very close to the white woman fro. The time to discover one is out of shampoo is not when one is already in the shower. Even the hunt for brought-home hotel shampoo proved fruitless. So this morning, I washed my hair in Target's vanilla body wash. Couple that with the humidity and you have me with the Rossette!

I've let the weekend sneak up on me and don't really have much in the hopper in the way of plans. I think we are under flash flood and thunder storm warnings all weekend, so I don't know about getting a ride in, but I will do my darndest.

In other news, I'm on day two or three of my attempt to cut back on the Diet Coke. I've done really well cutting my normal consumption of at least eight (yea, I know) down to two. I haven't switched over to water yet, but instead am using the crystal light packets dumped into water. And I'm drinking a lot of those - probably not any better for me than the DC, but certainly less expensive and I am hoping, a gateway to just plain water.

I'll probably catch a pilates class today at lunch and save my legs for what I hope is a longish ride tomorrow.

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


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back On Track

The whole mind-body-spirit connection and inter-connectedness never ceases to amaze me. It's so curious that exercising the body will help clear the mind, along with proper nutrition and some sleep, of course - all part of the Emergency Self-Esteem Repair Kit. Attention must be paid to all elements, including the spirit, to reach optimal health and peace. I continue to be amazed that after decades on the couch, that I now REQUIRE exercise. It's as necessary as breathing (most of the time) and I am even more amazed at how much I enjoy cycling. So after riding the bus home and futzing around a bit, I hopped on Cha-Cha and headed for a doodle in the park. My legs remembered that I'd ridden the day before, but still, it was good.

I am starting to recognize the regulars at the park. The man who asked if I was okay the day I took a fall a few weeks back, rode up last night to ask how I was doing and how far I was planning on riding last night. He was out for a forty! On a weeknight! Anyway, I was riding along about 3/4 of the way through my planned outing when I remembered I had wanted to see the PBS special on The Orient Express, so I left the park and came home. I missed the first 15 minutes of the special, but it was still interesting.

The Orient Express most famously ran from Paris to Istanbul, giving the rich and famous a ride in style. This particular special centered around the Agatha Christie novel Murder on The Orient Express and was very interesting. Unfortunately, the train no longer goes to Istanbul. In fact the train doesn't run at all any more - a victim of super trains and low-cost airlines. But what a fantasy! And although the train doesn't travel to Istanbul anymore, I will.

I'd been awaiting the okay from Pebbles' boss for her vacation, as I've decided to take her with me. She desperately wanted to go when she was living in Italy and I put the hammer down on that, unfortunately, ignorantly afraid for her safety. The okay came yesterday, and I bought the tickets. So now, she and I will make the trip together later in the fall as my big landmark 50th birthday gift to myself. I am looking forward to this trip with her, having made crystal clear my expectations. I think with it being just the two of us, we shall do just fine.

Recipe Bonus: Bick gave me some okra from his garden and I made Easy Indian Style Okra from last night. Yummy! I will probably make it again tonight.


3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound sliced fresh okra
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender. Stir in the okra, and season with cumin, ginger, coriander, pepper and salt. Cook and stir for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until okra is tender.

My modifications. I didn't have an onion, so I didn't use that. I used 1TBL of olive oil instead of butter. I didn't use cumin - instead I used about a quarter teaspoon of: garam masala, ginger, tumeric, red pepper, white pepper, whole coriander seeds. And I didn't cook a whole pound of okra, but when I was eating this, I wished I had! Okra was very tender and NO SLIME!

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


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cycling Through My Emotions

Cycling Through My Emotions

On the 4th, Bick had a cookout at his house. He invited his daughter, her new beau, some friends of hers, me, Pebbles and Slater, Debbie (a friend from high school) and her son and his girlfriend. I'd never met Debbie in person but I know that she and Bick talk regularly and have shared meals. She is dating someone who lives on the coast, but was he ill this weekend and didn't make the trip up. And when I met her - she's quite pretty, very fixy (as we say here in the South) and looks younger than me and I was immediately flooded by feelings of inadequacy. That just doesn't happen to me, but it did on Sunday with a vengeance. Now I know that this isn't about her, it is about me. I felt jealous and possessive and inadequate and filled with the urge to EAT anything that wasn't nailed down. In my past with other relationships, if I got the sense that someone else was interested in someone that no longer held my interest, I would run right back in. There was absolutely nothing that indicated that this was the case, but I was projecting all over the place. I've seen it happen over and over when I was fully immersed in codie behaviors. So when this trigger hit me on Sunday, I wanted to turn to behaviors of the past that included seeking validation, manipulation in order to get it, and number one on my personal hit parade, something I like to call project management.

Project Management is my attempt to patch together, prop up, provide distraction, reel back in a relationship. The projects are attempts to distract myself from the real problems of the relationship and focus on something else instead. Pebbles' boss, an architect, says this is a pretty common thing. He sees it all the time - a couple in trouble launching into a new house, extensive renovation, something, anything to take the focus off of the fact that they don't have two words to say to each other across the kitchen table. And when the project is finished, so are they. I did this in my marriage to the ex-Bubba and when we ran out of projects of our own, I started us on Other people's projects. And in my most recent case, I think my desire to buy a house was a part of this, as well. I wanted to get away from sitting in and feeling my real feelings. I was looking for a project, a distraction.

And as for validation, how much is too much? How much is healthy? That's the fine line I'm trying to find. While I do believe that people should encourage and support one another, they are not props or crutches. So my emotions left me feeling the need for some validation. So when Sandy emailed Bick a thank you note, I launched into her whole need for validation from her Dad. Which may or may not be true, but it was none of my business. I was projecting my own needs onto Sandy. That smarted when I figured that one out.

My future with Bick is nebulous and it needs to be. We both need time to sort through our junk drawers. But the impatient me wants answer. I want this solved. I want to declare it fixed and move ahead. Except that it is not like that. There hasn't been enough time for each of us to do the work we need to do. I don't know how this will turn out. I don't even know what to wish for - and that's good, I think. What I need to do is let this play out however it is supposed to and not try to engineer it to something that it shouldn't be or decide that if it can't be decided now, that's it. As a reforming control-freak, this is hard.

Obviously, I haven't reached a lot of clarity on this, but I am beginning to see some themes make themselves known. I am grateful that I didn't have to act on this stuff. I have some tools in place to put some space between what I sometimes think and what I do. I am grateful for the speedbumps, even though I took them a little faster than I would have liked, I still recognized them before too much real damage was done. I am also grateful for the opportunity to recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done. On me.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep peddling up the hills.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Failure Stinks

Janell's hilarious story story reminds me of Pebbles' adventure from March, 2004. Go read Janell's tale of tail NOW if you haven't already.

From the archives:

Pebbles works for a very prominent family as a babysitter/petsitter/housesitter. She got the gig on a fluke and it appears that she lost it the same way. It's a tough deal because they paid her very well. And I, for one, appreciated their generosity. She's worked for them for about 8 months. The deal went sour last night.

It was late last night, the boys were asleep and Pebbles needed something out of her car. She and the dog went outside and that's where things went bad. Duke, a Dachshund, made a mad dash for her car and there met up with a skunk. The two tangled under the car, with the skunk spraying Duke and the underside of Pebbles' car with a liberal amount of skunk juice. Pebbles yelled at Duke to get out from under the car and she tried to catch him, but failed. He made a mad dash for the doggie door and made it back into the house. So, you guessed it, spread the stank in the lovely home in VeryPosh Heights. Expensive sofa? Check. Turkish carpets? Check. The couple came home. Pebbles had locked the dog in the garage, as there was no outside holding pen, but the damage was done. The husband was totally pissed; the wife was a little more philosophical.

So, Pebbles had to drive home with her head out the window because the smell was so bad in her car. She stripped down to butt nekkid in the front yard, came inside and jumped in the shower. I gathered up her clothes and they are in the washer this very instant.

Honestly, all I could do was laugh my ass off. I'm sorry that she might lose her job over this - I don't know what else she could have done. However, I can certainly understand why the family is upset. They came home to an expensive, smelly disaster.

The really bad news is that she was getting ready to ask him for job information/leads/recommendations, as he is a developer and knows TONS of people in the business.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Failure stinks.


Playing Hooky

I was jonesin' for some time with Cha-Cha and so I called in late to work this morning and hopped on for a ten mile doodle in the park. It was glorious. And just what I needed. I am very fortunate to have a bit of flexibility in my schedule.

I had a really good weekend. Great ride with the kids on Saturday - until Pebbles had a little gravity check. She's okay, just road rashy and bloodied knees. She has a history of just riding right off the trail. Actually, she was turning around to talk to me and ran off the path and was heading for the river. She over-corrected, caught the edge of the path and kissed the pavement. Unfortunately, I think this spill may have severely dampened her enthusiasm for riding - that and the fact that she scratched her new iPhone.

There was more goodness to the weekend and one really interesting incident where my response caught me very off-guard. I'm still processing on that one and will write about it when I get some clarity. There's a saying in the rooms that "if you're hysterical, it's historical" and while I was a LONG way from hysterical, my strong reaction to a particular situation merits some closer investigation.

In other news, Cha-Cha is going to Colorado! Bick and I are taking a camping vacation in Colorado next month. Tent and everything! And Cha-Cha is coming along. Bick proposed this outdoor extravaganza and I was like, well, shocked! On tap: rafting, a bit of hiking and some biking for me. I'm excited. This is such a departure from the usual. I'm thrilled to see a bit more activity make it's way into vacations.

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


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Will Wonders Ever Cease?

I just got a text from the kiddos and they are on their way here from the Big D to join me on my bike ride this morning! I mean Pebbles said they would yesterday, but I've heard bees fart in the wind before. I told myself I would wait until 7:30 and then I would head out. Instead, I've got company! Now we get to see if group biking is as fun as I think it is. There are some things that look better in theory than they do in practice.

So it's time to get Cha-Cha out of bed and let her know that company is on the way!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Let yourself be surprised.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Sugar Crash

Hell's Bells. My little "candlelight supper" read dessert turned out to be more than I bargained for. My boss' wife collapsed on the street within minutes of leaving The Closet. Unofficial cause: sugar crash or sugar spike. I served a local bakery's Italian cream cake and it was divine. She certainly didn't gorge herself - didn't finish her serving, but I guess it was too much.

I wasn't there when it happened, just them and another co-worker. It was the co-worker that called me later to tell me what had happened. I felt horrible about it, worried about her and didn't sleep well myself. As hosts, we've all become concerned about serving alcohol to guests, but I never thought I would have to worry about too much sugar in the dessert.

Kind of puts a damper on things. She's okay this morning, which is good.

I'm hoping to get in a ride tonight and tomorrow, but it has rained off and on all week. My 4th plans involve tagging along with Bick as he shops for furniture and fireworks. Other than that, I've got nothing. Kinda on a sugar crash/under slept thing myself.

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


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stringing Good Days Together

I've had this idea bouncing around in my head for a while. Remember that scene in Working Girl when Melanie's character is asked to explain how she came up with the idea of getting Trask Industries into radio? No? It's one of my favorite movies and I've seen it about a hundred times. Anyhow, Melanie explains that she's reading the gossip column about the radio station owner's daughter becoming engaged AND she's reading the business pages about some other company looking to fight a take-over. So she begins thinking Trask Radio, Trask Radio. Well, this idea is like that. First, a part of this came from Karen who was counting down her days until her big birthday - there are 94 days until mine. Part two came from a combination of Helen and Leslie talking about stringing together good days. Part three came from me and my results from June.

During the month of June, I had:

25 - number of days I tracked my food
17 - number of days I had purposeful exercise
26 - number of days I recorded my weight
68 good things

Bonus good things:

3 instances of Mindful eating (2 that I wrote about yesterday and one last night that I'll detail later)

1 instance of weighing the same 141.5 June 1 AND June 30 without obsessive vigilance. There was a variation of 139.5-145.5 throughout the month, but overall, I'm calling this maintenance and a damned fine maintenance it was.

Total = 72 sparkles for the month of June

So I've got 94 days left until my birthday. How many good things/days can I string together? How about I make my own 50th birthday necklace of sparkly goodness as a manifestation of the lifestyle changes that I've made? Would that not be the coolest thing ever? I'm making my own kick-ass birthday present - a multi-strand necklace of some sort - with each bead representing some good thing that I've done ask an act of practicing good self-care. Some bonus things will be worth bigger, prettier beads.... I obviously haven't worked out all the details and I don't have a clue as to how to make jewelry, but we ALL know someone who knows how. And even if we don't, it can't be that hard, can it? Care to join me? Let's let our jewelry tell our story! Doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just meaningful.

Last night's dinner with Sandy was very nice indeed. She seems to be pretty happy these days - there a new beau in her life - first one in several years, I believe. We had a lovely chat and a lovely meal. I ordered exactly what appealed to me, sampled this and that and then sent the leftovers home with her. And I left the restaurant feeling this side of full and very satisfied. I'm showing a scale bump today, but I am even more susceptible to sodium now that I've virtually quit using it at home. It may be several days before it dissipates, as I've got another restaurant meal ahead of me tonight.

Oh, there was a bump in the road last night. I had looked online at the menu and had made my choices only to get to the restaurant to discover they only offer a portion of the online menu on any given day. So that's what led to the "sampler platter" rather than the grilled fish I'd planned to order. Still, it all turned out okay.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get some love beads.


Necklace is by Bounkit via Golightly Blogs