Thursday, September 30, 2010

Befores, Afters and In-betweens

I decided on my von Furstenberg-esque wrap dress. It is classic in it’s design and I have a pashmina and great non-stripper shoes to match. Having the pashmina is like carrying a security blanket. I’ll save the killer dress for birthday dinner with Bick on Saturday night.

Got in a good bike ride last night that took me over the 500 mile mark for the summer. I'm pretty amazed by that. Looking forward to 1. carb loading at the state fair on Friday and 2. shooting for that 40 on Saturday.

And while I’m at it, since you are getting some “now” pictures, it’s time to bring some “before” here to G.A.R – for the first time ever. As I’ve said, there are very few before pictures available, as I would either avoid the camera or just throw the prints away, but here are a few that snuck through.


I have been looking for an entry that tells my entire weight loss history, but I can’t seem to find one. I’m sure I’ve written it in the past, but apparently I’ve hidden it away somewhere. Here and here are a couple of links that tell important parts of this journey.

Here are the highlights/lowlights:

Years (decades) of yo-yo dieting that resulted in big losses, followed immediately by even larger gains.

In December of 1998, decided to follow the whole Atkins craze. I weighed 257 at the time. I lost about 75 pounds that first pass and have pretty much tried to cut out junk carbohydrates ever since. I still have had some up and downs over the last few years, but nothing like the big swings of the past. I’ve done a lot of work dealing with my disordered eating and I am hopeful that I will never go back to solving every problem with food.

This picture was taken in November of 1998 one month before starting my new lifestyle.

This picture was taken in spring of 1998 on a ski trip to Whistler.

Spring 1997 - Pebbles first ski trip.

Christmas 1996 - I obviously hadn't started decluttering yet either.

Taken in the summer of 1993 with a show horse - I had just dropped 50 pounds I think. I would gain back 100 over the next year. I just included this because I loved this horse. I traded her for a taller horse, as she was too short, but she went on to have a fabulous and successful career as a kids' show horse.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. That's a wrap.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Not To Wear?

I've been invited by my boss and his wife to attend an art gallery reception, followed by dinner. The other couple joining us just returned from Istanbul and Mr. Bossman thought it would be nice to get us together to talk. Fabulous idea, but I am clueless as to what to wear. I will be leaving directly from the office. I just got the invite, so I've got tonight to decide what to pull from The Closet's closet.

Okay, enough of the trivial. Several people have expressed concern for my safety because I ride alone so I'm investigating the local bike club. While I would love to go on some group rides and I certainly could use some training and skill-building, I don't know if group rides would actually increase my enjoyment when I ride. With other forms of group exercises, it's easy enough to do my own thing. With cycling, if I'm dead-ass last, I'm holding everyone up. While I don't mind being slow, I do mind feeling pressured (albeit internal). I guess before I cross this off, I do need to investigate - perhaps there is a place for a woman of a certain age that does not now nor really wish to ride a road bike. I need the old and slow group! Don't know if there is such an animal.

Last night's dance class sort of got cancelled. Pre-dance party was held at Central Market, which I was thrilled with. I'd made all sorts of good pre-decisions - like tortilla soup and a honeycrisp apple for dessert. I had the soup, but the crew started piling on the shared starter plates and desserts. Ended up eating more than I had set out to. This week will be a tough one to keep a lid on - I have two meals "away" tomorrow plus celebration Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Haven't firmly decided upon a strategy to deal with it - other than a bike ride tonight and to shoot for that elusive 40 on Saturday. Oh, and at the pre-dance party, the wine was flowing pretty good amongst the other GNO's and at some point it was declared that they didn't want to go to class. As the DD, well, I couldn't very well leave them there, so we did enjoy a lovely Texas evening outside.

Did I mention that Pebbles is taking the family to the fair to celebrate my b-day? Fried stuff on a stick! I adore this idea. I love having an activity, an experience, rather than the traditional dinner, cake, etc. So I am taking the day off and taking my Mom and sister (if they don't cancel at the last minute - and if they do, Pebbles, Slater and I are going anyway) to the fair. Good way to spend some time together AWAY from the house.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. When in doubt, go for classy.


Comments on Comments:

@Brian and others - Yep, that's what I've decided that I need to be more assertive. While I wasn't riding far to the right, I could have been farther left and it would have actually been safer, I think.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Close Call

I had a close call last night while on my bike. I live about six short blocks from the trails. I normally go a certain route, but that street had traffic backed up, so I decided to go up one more block before making my left hand turn to hit the road to the park. I gave the hand signal for a left-hand turn (in plenty of time) and just as I was starting to make it, a big F250 pickup blasted past me on the left. This happened less than one block off a four-way stop. I don’t know if the driver (a young man) didn’t recognize the hand signal or thought I was waving him around me, but it did leave me pretty shaken.

Further cycling news: My dear friend Meg (to whom I owe an actual, real written thank-you) sent me the perfect birthday gift – a bike computer for Cha-Cha. While Bick was in town last Sunday, he installed my new lights, bottle cage, spoke lights, and new computer. Now all that’s left is programming! Woo Hoo! I’ll now have all sorts of statistics to track! Until you are properly thanked, a big hug goes out to my friend Meg for her thoughtfulness. I just busted out laughing when I opened the surprise.

The second close call happened to MalibuKen last Saturday night. He was sitting there looking all cute in the parking garage, when some idiots decided to do some smash and grabs. When Bick came to pick me up for church on Sunday morning, he asked me if I knew there had been break-ins. He told me the police were still in the garage, but MalibuKen was safe. I went out anyway, only to find that MalibuKen was not safe – he just has super strong windows. There were three cracked places where the idiots had tried to break the window. Seriously, I don’t know if they got smart enough to look to see there was nothing in the car to steal or if they were about to get caught or what. I will have to get the window replaced, but at least I’m not picking glass out of my behind while driving down the road.

The caffeine throttle down is progressing. I think I’m in about day four. I cut off caffeine at noon. That usually leaves me with a cup of coffee and a Diet Coke or two. My sleep has improved but I haven’t learned to love water quite yet.

And I was honored AARP guest over at Jack Sh*t's place yesterday.

Coming Soon:

Before pictures! I was rummaging around looking for some old horse show pictures and ran across a few “before” shots. Before shots are a rarity, as I actively avoided the camera AND was not above destroying the film and pictures. I planned to scan them in today, but evidently left them at home. I thought I had tucked them away in my purse, but like yesterday’s stamps, they appear to have entered another dimension.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Announce Your Presence with Authority.


Comments on Comments:

@jill - Was the art game Masterpiece? I loved that game!

@Helen re: going places alone. It doesn't bother me. While I would enjoy and prefer company, it's not a requirement for me. If it were, I wouldn't get many places. Some of the most confidence-building exercises have been traveling alone to some place new. It can be exhilarating!

@Angela - welcome neighbor!

@Shelley - Come to visit the cowgirl AND me!

@Merry - the seasons last about a day!

@Ms PJ - thanks for the movie recommendation - I'll have to check it out.

@Sharon - I don't wear a watch, but I do get tired of pulling out my cell phone to check the time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Change of Seasons

As previously noted, Saturday morning's rain lasted until 1pm, so no big ride for me this weekend. At 1pm, the rain let up, so I set out on foot to explore the museums. My first stop was the old masters' museum. The above picture is a gorgeous Van Gogh on loan from a recent exhibition. Beautiful. While I know nothing about art, it always surprises me in that really good way when certain works reach out and "grab" me. This is one of those pieces.

My next stop was the Cowgirl. I have actively avoiding this place just like I avoid western movies and movies about horses or dogs. And I do so for a reason - and that reason is that I cry through the whole thing. I spent so much of my childhood riding and competing. It's a strange thing - it's not like I want a horse - in fact, I do not - but going to a horseshow or an exhibition or watching a "western" movie will move me to tears. And this trip was no exception. Silly, silly me. Oh well. It was about time I went there, as I would have had to give up my cowgirl credibility. Fun, fun place - and OMG the gift shop? I practically had to run out of that place. Good thing I've decorated The Closet already.

I next visited the community art space. I didn't even know it was there - oh, I knew the facility was there, as I've attended functions there. What I didn't know is that they display local art and artists' work, most of it for sale. They also had an area where children could come in a "decorate" boxes as houses and place them in a neighborhood layed out on the floor. Great fun and great community involvement.

I finished my tour up with a trip to the modern to see the latest exhibition. It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Lots and lots of people were out in the area - walking from place to place. I did something that I learned from my boss a few years ago and offered to be the photographer to several families so that everyone could be in the picture. The bad news is that I am a really bad photographer! It's the thought that counts, right?

So that was how I added texture and depth to my life over the weekend.

Another interesting thing happened this weekend, while performing the mundane task of putting away my summer clothes. As I told Leslie in a comment, as I put away a pair of cute white capri pants, I wondered if I would be able to wear them by next spring? That morning I'd equalled my lowest-adult number on the scale, but will it last? I don't know that I will ever be cured. What I want is to never think or use food for anything other than fuel. I don't know that I will get that. I can lament the "unfairness" of it all or I can just continue on, each day, doing my best to manage all aspects of my life in such a way that using food inappropriately is not my first reaction. Right now, all I can do is make the next good decision and let the next six months take care of themselves. Although I am at goal weight, I may never be done.

I wrote about cleaning out my purse. The first casualty in the great wallet switcheroo was my stamps. I don't think I threw them away and feel like I tucked them away SOMEWHERE, but I can't find them. Well, they are Forever stamps, so if the USPS is still in business whenever I find them again, they will still be useful. I'd bought this new wallet for use when carrying the lovely, darling purse I'd won during Leslie give-away and it worked great for use with such. I just don't know that it will work for me full-time. But it is much, much lighter than my old wallet.

Got up Sunday morning and went for a quick ride before services. I can really tell that the season is changing. I actually wore a long sleeved shirt. It won't be long before it will be too dark to get in a even a little ride after work. So tonight, I am riding while I can - with another after work ride planned for Wednesday.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Change what you can.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Real Food Wins

I'd hoped to be writing today's entry about how I rocked that forty, but the weather gods decided twas not to be today. So instead, I'm sitting here looking out The Closet's sliding-door-to-nowhere and watching it rain.

Earlier this morning, I'd come up with an alternate plan for the day and I still may manage to get work that in, but only if the rain lets up a bit or if I decide to break out my wellies. Today is free museum day and since I live in the museum district, I thought it might be nice to see them all - on foot. But the rains have continued in earnest and so I've been doing fun things like flipping my mattress and washing clothes.

I have also begun losing weight - in my purse. Dear lord, I do believe my purse is bulking up for the start of football season. Every time I turn around, the thing gets heavier and heavier. So this morning, I took everything out, including two handfuls of change that had dropped into a secret compartment. I also switched wallets to a much smaller one. I did some pruning there, which is always a scary thing - what if I left something behind that I will really need? We shall see how this works.

I keep forgetting to write about something that happened last weekend while Bick and I were at the dirt track races. We decided to just grab some "fair food" at the track. When we got there, we weren't ready to eat, but an hour or so later, we went down to grab a bite. Now let me say right here that if you can fry something, I will love it. All of that weird sounding fried stuff coming from the State Fair of Texas? Sounds like pure heaven to me. I've never met a batter that I didn't love. I am no snob when it comes to heart-attacks-wrapped-in-yellow-paper. And I was hungry. But as I surveyed the offerings (and I'd ridden a long ride that morning so I had calories to burn), I thought "it's just not worth it. I'll eat some real food when I get home and for now, I'll just have to be hungry". That, my friends, is something odd for me. I've always considered hungry to be pretty much an emergency that must be solved - with the choices on hand. Depending upon how "good" I was being - take the batter off the chicken strips, throw away the bun on the cheese burger, peel off the batter on the corn dog, etc. Deciding to just be hungry and somehow not feeling all deprived about it was huge.

I can remember reading something about hunger not being an emergency in the book (which I recommend) Beck's Diet Solution, but I can't say that I really believed it. Nor do I accept that I've somehow been changed forever, but on that night at that time, I just decided that it wasn't worth it. I wanted real food and I would just be hungry until I got it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Real food wins.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Harvest Moon

Well, that was a few days ago, but it was beautiful. I finally managed to get some sleep last night. Came home from a meeting, fixed myself a bite of dinner, took an A and was in bed by 8pm. Slept til about 4am, got up and puttered around for a while and then went back to bed after realizing I couldn’t have any coffee or anything this morning. Went in to have some follow up blood work done, so it was after 9:30 before I had any caffeine or breakfast. I finally made the connection (AGAIN) that my Diet Coke consumption had gotten out of hand (AGAIN) and that was a contributing factor to my sleep issues (AGAIN), so I’ve been throttling back(AGAIN). It was the caffeine-withdrawal blistering headache that woke me up this morning. Time to be aware (AGAIN). I’ve packed my purse with packets of Crystal light flavor packets (as Shelley called them my “gateway” to water) and will make an effort to cut way back (AGAIN).

My goal for tonight is to shop for supplies for tomorrow’s ride. I’m looking forward to trying this coconut water that I’ve heard you all speak of. I’m shooting for a forty! We’ll see how it goes. I will start other preparations today as well, including adequate nutrition and hydration. I still have to install my new bottle cage and bike bag, which head the line-up for tonight’s comedy of errors.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Throttle back.


Comments on comments:

@M Pax – I love that! Turns out when I’m in the midst of something, I cannot remember complexities, so simple slogans help me. “Lumps in the oatmeal” my become a new favorite, alongside my personal creedo “Not my pig, not my farm, not my pigfarm”.

@jill, @erica @susan @Ms. PJ Geek re: Eat Pray Love – I loved the book, but last read it a couple of years ago, so it wasn’t fresh on my mind. That probably helped my enjoyment of the movie. I would recommend it – it felt like a 2 hour 40 minute guided meditation, if that makes any sense. Yes, I can see the faults – it’s a bit self-indulgent, it’s a bit travelogue, it’s quite a bit crunchy granola and I loved every linen-wearing minute of it. And on a very trivial note – I have long passed the stage of swooning, but OMG Javier? Indescribably delicious.

@Lori – I agree with you about respect. For me, it is the highest privilege.

@Cammy – Fast Copy was probably my least favorite Jenkins novel (I have an autographed copy – went to his book signings). I prefer the “adventures of Billy Clyde and them”!

@Brian - thanks for the tips on what to take on a longer ride. I wish that I could stop mid-ride at a convenience store, but I’m riding trails and there isn’t a 7-Eleven around! I have been taking some cash, my cell phone, tire pump (that I can’t use) but I will add ID and some ICE information.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eat Pray Breathe

What a lovely day this turned out to be. I did manage to keep myself in the game and not let my anxiety overtake me. Everything is not a crisis and I do not have to react like it is. I met with the contractor and he was on time. I liked him immediately and he answered my questions and didn't add to my worries. I won't see the bid until sometime next week and I continue to be hopeful that we can come to an agreement on the financials. I left our meeting feeling like a weight had been lifted. I also came to some answers on some other issues that had been bothering me about scheduling, where and how to put up the family while the work is being done. It's not like I thought up these answers - it was more like I finally got quiet enough to hear them - if that makes sense.

I was able to get a couple of errands done on my way home from the meeting - got MalibuKen's tires rotated and gave him a bath. My plan was to come home and go for a bike ride, but because of the aforementioned car wash, the sky darkened and it looked like rain. I had the brilliant thought of heading to the dinner and a movie place and Eat Pray Love was starting in ten minutes. I walked over, bought a ticket, ordered soup and a salad and spent a small, quiet and relaxing evening watching the movie, breathing and smiling (with my liver). I came out of the movie to find that it had been raining, so I made the perfect call.

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


Wednesday White Out

I've been dreading today - assuming my usual defensive stance. As I was drinking my coffee and journaling this morning, it occurred to me that I could change how I choose to view today. Yes, I am anxious about the contractor meeting because of the unknowns. But am I willing to believe that things will work themselves out?

Haven't things worked out so far? Can I exercise that much faith? Must I turn everything into a BFD? No, I don't have to let fear and anxiety rule the day. The contractor may choose not to take the job and if that is the case, that's his privilege. It's not reflection on me. I don't have to take it personally. I might be disappointed, but I can choose to believe that things work themselves out.

I can also choose to believe that the contractor WANTS to work with me, wants to make me happy, wants to line up the work and that it will be up to us to work out time and budget issues to both our satisfaction. This is a puzzle to be solved, not a battle to be won. Easy on up, Roxie. Take a breath - everything will work out. The only question, the only thing to be determined is when. So now that I know it will all be okay, I can calm the hell down and be present for the process.

Last night's dance class was fun, but with nothing new to report. "Things" were staid and calm. The pre-dance party was held at a local restaurant, where I ordered the soup - thinking it was more of a broth-based tortilla soup. Turned out to be much more chili-like -so yet another evening of too-heavy-dining prior to all the salsa-ing.

And after getting to work, I also realized I'm wearing white after Labor Day. I have decided not to care - when it's still over 95 degrees, those rules don't apply.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Chill out.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Trip Down Via Memoria

While rummaging around in the credenza in my office, I ran across a CD I had purchased while visiting Pebbles in Florence. I was trying to remember where I stayed and it was overlooking the Piazza della Republica in a quaint hotel. I peeked back at the review of that trip and the surrounding months. Talk about an eye opener. It was a mere six years ago, but it feels like a lifetime. A lot of things have changed. I am a good deal more calm these days. And as Pebbles told me a week or so ago, she was glad to see that I am finally really comfortable in my own skin.

I listened to the CD of classical music sold by street performers who were attending a Russian music academy in Florence. This quartet (if I remember correctly) would just set up in the piazza, play and hawk their wares every afternoon after their classes. According to my online journal (it wasn't a blog back then) I also purchased a CD by a classical guitarist playing in the square as well, but I don't recall anything about him at all. I'd lamented the loss of this CD for a long, long time and am thrilled to have it come back into rotation. Oh hell, I just remembered what happened to the classical guitarist CD, I sent it to Mac in AZ about three weeks before breaking off our relationship. Anyway, it was fun to re-trace the steps on that trip - even the mis-steps and there were a few of those.

I didn't go out to Reata South. I received an email telling me that no one would be home. So I just left it at that and went for a bike ride instead. I could have pressed the point, but chose not to. I will wait and see what the contractor says on Wednesday as to scheduling and downtime. Mom is strongly hinting again that she really doesn't want this work done, but I must have this taken care of. I will try to be as considerate as possible, but the work is going to get done. But I do believe I need to spend time with them without this being the main focus. Something to think about.

Since I had a free night, I came home and took Cha-Cha out for a spin. It was a beautiful evening for a quick ride. Rode about an hour or so and got in ahead of nightfall. I drove down to Target and picked up a bottle cage and a bike bag. Step one. Step two will be finding an allen wrench to install said cage. Actually, I think we've got several at the office. So progress on that front.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Memories fade.


Monday, September 20, 2010

There Are No Accidents

In a recent conversation with a trusted advisor, she commented that "there are no accidents". I was discussing how I came into this part of my journey in response to Bick's alcoholism, but really felt that I was brought here to learn to deal with my family issues. I have been given this opportunity, this insight and this help from a variety of sources to allow me to create a new relationship, while there is still time. I don't know whose time will run out first, but what a gift this is.

I can be contemptuous and I haven't taken great pains to hide it. How would I feel if Pebbles suddenly developed that attitude toward me? It would kill my very soul. How would it feel knowing that the people around me wished I was someone else? It's time I changed my perspective. And by doing so, doesn't mean that I'm in any sort of denial or that keeping appropriate boundaries is wrong. A change in my perspective can bring a little peace to all involved parties.

I have been given this opportunity to learn to accept my family members as they are. I get the opportunity to let them pursue their own journey, just as I have pursued mine. I hope that I can put down my gavel, because if I continue to look for reasons to be judgmental, I will always find them. No one will be perfect, including me. It really is a frame of mind, a choice. And everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are. I can love without condoning or enabling.

I have two relationships in my life that are healthy (at least for me). My relationship with my daughter Pebbles, where I have tried to recognize and enforce role appropriate boundaries from the start. And amazingly enough, my relationship with Bick is a pretty healthy one - and not necessarily because of me, but because of him. He's always been fierce about enforcing boundaries and not letting me encroach. He's a smart man with a BS detector that is legend. He can be bracing, but he lives his truth - be that in active alcoholism or in recovery. He's deliberate and I have a great respect for him - and I had that when he was drinking and I have it now that he's not.

So the lesson becomes: How can I take these two of my healthiest examples and apply to other areas and people in my life?

I am incredibly humbled by this gift, this opportunity. It is up to me to make the most of it.

Lovely weekend - very low key.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. No one likes to feel "less than".


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Piecing Together A Life

Last night's sleep was pretty non-existent. Grrr. Perhaps tonight will be better. Today's ride was wonderful. I rode farther than ever before - 36.6 miles, according to the internets. I was hoping for a full forty, but I didn't have the legs at the end of it to add any insurance mileage. I have got to work on getting adequate hydration and fuel for these longer (for me) rides. I don't eat anything in the morning and don't pack anything either. I would have stopped along the way, but there isn't anyplace to stop. I didn't pack enough liquid either and by the time I was headed down the home stretch, I'd stopped sweating. Which is just stupid and dangerous on my part. The goal this week is to buy a bottle cage to augment what I carry in my back-pack thingy.

I did have a lovely evening leading up to the Marathon Toss and Turn Sweat and Chill session of last night. It was about 8pm when I discovered that I also failed to pick up cream for my coffee in the great failed grocery run of Thursday night. And while I don't ride after dark, I've also got out the habit of walking after dark as well. I live in a safe and well-lit area. Last night was so nice, I just turned around in the parking garage and left MalibuKen sitting right there and walked up to the 7-Eleven to get some cream. I then walked back down through all the action here at this development. I have not been out on the streets nearly as much as I should. So last night, I ducked into the fro-yo shop, asked them to make me a serving about a third the size of normal and enjoyed a treat al fresco. People watching is just wonderful.

I'm heading over to the local quilting guild's annual show this afternoon. I've got several friends who are exhibiting their handy work. I was fortunate enough to attend the international show a few years ago in Houston and I consider some of these works to be fabulous art pieces and not just fine craft.

After the quilt show, I'm heading up to Bick's. We are indulging our hill-billy leanings tonight and going to watch some dirt track races. Should be loud and fun!

Tomorrow I'm going to cheer on a friend who is doing the Jailbreak. Should be a fun event to see, albeit a hot one.

Re: the book I talked about yesterday. A few have mentioned reading it - so here's the warning - It's not great literature. Jenkins can turn a "Texas phrase" like no other and I love it for that reason alone. Plus he's from here and writes about things that I recognize - therefore, you probably won't enjoy his books as much as I do.

Activities all over the map, it seems. The good, the bad and the dirty! Should be fun.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Venture off course.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Baja Oklahoma*

Things here at Chez Menopause are a bit wonkier than usual. This week, I've been doing a fierce battle with The Change and I fear it may be winning this time. I've had night sweats for years and have pretty much learned to deal, but this past week has brought a new wrinkle (ha!) to the Throwdown. My history has been that if I'm upright, I'm freezing cold, and if I'm horizontal, I'm too damn hot. This week has brought an infuriating mixture of the two - cold sweats. I'm both too hot and too cold at the same damn time. I've tried reading, meditating, breathing deeply, crossword puzzles, more fans and less fans, increasing the thermostat and lowering the thermostat, more blankets and less blankets, more clothes and less clothes, forays in the middle of the night for hot beverages and cold beverages and nothing is helping. I've resorted to popping an A a night or two. Doesn't even phase it and just leaves me feeling even more groggy in the morning. Suffice it to say, I'm not firing on all eight cylinders these days.

I had a high-stress afternoon at work that involved auditors, me and near-panic and I decided my best strategy after work was to "first, do no harm", so I took myself to a meeting - just to sit and listen. That worked, but it didn't make me much smarter, as I went to the grocery story afterwards "to pick up a few things" and a very few things it was. I staggered out of bed this morning to prepare my food for the day and wondered what the hell I'd been thinking in the grocery store. Evidently, I bought some Flat Out Bread and two very small zucchini.

I keep the grocery inventory here in The Closet pretty lean. This is mostly by design - it keeps me from having too much stuff around in case I get an attack of the "hominy oatcakes" and it keeps my walking or riding to the store for most of my day-to-day supplies. I'd let those supplies run very thin. So even with the influx of squash and cardboard bread, my options for today were meager.

So the menu for today is: fish tacos made with grated zucchini and pacific cod tacos, topped with pesto, lemon zest and some queso blanco. And that includes breakfast.

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


*Baja Oklahoma popped into my mind somewhere around 3:30am. I was wishing I could re-read it, as it's one of my favorite books, but it disappeared a few years ago. I would not have decluttered this book away, as I've read it bunches of times (along with Heartburn by Nora Ephron). I'm now on a quest to replace this tome as it has brought me great pleasure in the past. Used book stores, here I come.

What books do you read and re-read?

**PPSS I figured out my camera timer, so I'll post some bedraggled pictures of the dress that I took after returning home from the "grocery" HA! store last night. Watch this space.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mutton Dressed As Lamb

I feel pretty much like Snooki this morning, all I am missing is a bumpit! I am wearing a new dress that Pebbles picked out for me a few weeks ago and insisted that it "looks just like you, Mom". I asked her at the time if she was sure I could wear this to work and she said "Of course". She picked out a pair of my highest gladiator heels to go with. And that's how I started out this morning.

I realized very quickly that the dress is too short for me. Not too short, just too short for me and the bare legs and heels just emphasized that fact. So those shoes went right back into the closet. I grabbed a pair of black tights and my black booties and that's what I wore today, but I am still uncomfortable.

In speaking with Pebbles this morning, I was telling her of my discomfort and she said "Well just because you CAN wear something to work, doesn't mean you should". Sometimes I'd really like to pinch her. This is one of those times. Anyway, we shared a good laugh about it.

This morning I tried to take some pictures using the new tripod I bought in Colorado, but in the "mutton dressed as lamb" theme, I've forgot how to use the timer on the camera, so no pictures. Which is probably a good thing - no need to document my shame!

Last evening's ride was very nice. I was out for about an hour and a half. I can really tell that the days are getting shorter as there wasn't enough daylight to safely get by the store, so my food is pretty sparse today.

Take note of the sidebars: I'm giving away a few things - some clothes, some books, whatever that filters it's way to the top. If you want it, email me and I'll send it to you.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Dress comfortably.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shuffle Ball Change

Dance class was far less titillating last night. I placed myself on the third row, directly behind another dancer and hardly saw the instructor at all - and certainly not in much, um, detail. The class was a bit easier last night as we were dressed for it this time. Although next week, a couple of us have decided that we want some dance "costumes" to wear. I'm actively looking for a banana to wear on my head along with the promised petticoats. I also learned that Tex-Mex food prior to dance class is not a good thing. Those who downed a couple of margaritas suffered even more. I'm going to propose a softer, gentler pre-dance party for next week.

Spent some time on the elliptical today at lunch and I hope to get in an evening ride tonight. If I don't report that I've done so tomorrow, call me out. It's been a while since I've had a mid-week ride and I need to get back to it, while there is still daylight out.

Personal growth work this morning consisted of asking this question "Is It Important?" In an effort to not react to every stimuli that comes my way, I'm trying to work in some CBT techniques to help gauge my reaction - or lack of reaction - my goal is a measured response and not a knee-jerk one.

Last night was not restful and I didn't feel like preparing my meals this morning (rarity for me), so I'm McDing it today. Breakfast : Egg McMuffin, no cheese; Lunch: Classic Grilled chicken Sandwich, no mayo and 1/2 bun. I need to get to the store today for some more fruit, Flat Out bread and vegetables. I may include a trip to the store in my bike ride tonight.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Learn new steps.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I've taken the next step. I've got a meeting with a potential contractor a week from tomorrow to get a bid on the work at Reata. I am hopeful the bid comes in and this becomes doable with this guy, as he comes with two personal recommendations. I've just got to stay focused on the next thing and not get all caught up in trying to predict how this will go and "awfulize" the outcome before even getting started. The truth is things usually turn out to be better than I expected and that my dread and fear build up until it's almost unbearable. I shall try to keep my eyes where my butt is - in the here and now and not running amok amongst the what-might-happenings.

Tonight is dance class. I suggested rather than meet for happy hour (I'm the DD) that the GNO crew all meet at Academy Sports and chip in for a jockstrap for our instructor. That suggestion was shot down.

I'm hoping to get in an evening ride tomorrow. I've got to reschedule a meeting with my insurance agent and continue pursuing life as a responsible adult.

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


Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Mélange

Growing up, my Mom would always ask me “Am I as big as Sis?” It could be in comparison to a woman we knew (Sis) or just a random woman walking down the street, but the question came often. I don’t know if it was actual body image disorder/distortion or a need for validation, as she placed a lot of importance on her looks. While I’ve never traded on my looks, I guess I do have some of the same issues. I still do not have a good idea of “what I look like” or how much space I take up. The picture above was taken of me in the spring of 2006 while on a ski trip. When I saw the picture, it took me a while to recognize that it was me. That normal sized, regular looking woman was me. So I’ve been content to see myself as that, without much fuss. I don’t think about it much, but something happened this weekend that is giving me something to think about. In a good way, yes, I’m aware – but there is still some cognitive dissonance going on.

On Friday, Pebbles brought me most of her “career wardrobe”. She no longer works in the interior design side of the business and her client meetings are usually held on constructions sites, complete with steel-toed shoes and hard hats. She has little use for these clothes any more. And I can remember when we/she bought them. She had just graduated from college and just secured her first job. Her start date was January 31, 2005. She used part of her graduation money to buy some really nice career pieces by Anne Klein. And I can remember it like it was yesterday – tracking down every piece of the collection and going to Macy’s all over Dallas and Fort Worth and spending time with her in the dressing rooms and how great she looked. Today I am wearing a pair of those pants and they are too big.

Weekend Notes:

To Helen, the first step in freezing pesto is to not put the cheese in. It doesn’t freeze well. The second step is to recognize that it is going to oxidize a bit. I freeze my pesto in small snack size plastic containers and put a bit more olive oil at the top to help with the oxidation. I also use a bit of lemon zest and lemon juice. When ready to use, just thaw and stir in the cheese. I ended up with about 18 containers. There will be sharing, I think! And I got tired of producing pesto before Bick ran out of basil.

We enjoyed some great joy riding in Farrah this weekend, although no real ice cream was had. We drove out to the lake and to a park and I bought a “Push Up” for nostalgic reasons, as I remembered liking them as a kid. Turns out, I do not love them anymore. Yuckaroo! Went right into the trash.

Tonight is another night working at Reata. My reading for today included this very important passage that I think sums up where I am and what I am worried about as I work to re/create relationships within my family.

Am I knowingly building a wall between myself and my ******? Is it being made of stubbornness, self-will, self-righteousness and a desire to punish? Such a wall can be hard and unyielding as though it were made of real bricks. It would leave no space for me to grow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Have room to grow.


Saturday, September 11, 2010


I think yesterday's comment by Tammy may have been large part of my issue. While I am still completely responsible for my behavior, perhaps I need to watch the HALT a bit more closely. My blood sugar probably had tanked. I'd been up for hours, etc. Both Bick and Pebbles commented that they could tell by looking at me when I was bitchy and needed food. Which actually causes me a bit of a dilemma - evidently I have difficulty telling the difference between anxiety and a physical issue. I knew I was experiencing anxiety, but hesitate to feed that monster to soothe it. And while I've never been diagnosed with any blood sugar issues, I do know that I can "get stupid" and evidently I can "get mean", too. Oh well, as commenter Annette so wisely put it, I can start a day over, even at 8pm - which is exactly what I did.

Pebbles and Slater came over about 8:30 to bring Cha-Cha home from being overhauled in Dallas. As a reward for being such good kiddos, I took them out for a bite. Slater wanted a burger, so we went down the street to new burger joint in town. It was spectacular! I'd been to another location a year or so ago and was unimpressed, but I would go back to this place daily! It's hard to beat a good burger and this was fabu! They offer all their specialty burgers in slider form - meaning I can get a wonderful, small burger with all that great taste. Plus, it's mostly outside and a good singer was playing. It's hard to beat the good company, good food and good music combo. Ended up with a bit of extra fuel for my ride today.

And speaking of which - OMG - Cha-Cha is now fully made of awesome. She is like a completely new bike, worn out shocks and all. The combination of her overhaul and some fresh legs on my part - WHEEEEEE!! Greased Lightning, she is. Great ride this morning, even after over-sleeping by about two hours! I took some new routes today, which was hit and miss. Hermine and her rain really did a number of some of the trails and paths. There were a lot of rough spots and in some cases, some complete wash-outs. I had to re-route myself on a couple of occasions, as the trail was just gone. I don't know how far I rode, as a lot of it was on the streets, but I do know that I did some hills early on and that was fun - and Cha-Cha's now smooth gearing made that a whole lot easier.

My plans for the rest of the day include getting cleaned up, finding all the parts to my Cuisinart food processor and heading up to Bick's. He's attending a funeral this morning up in his old home town, but later this afternoon, I'm going to harvest all his basil to make and freeze some pesto. I need to stop by Costco and pick up some olive oil and pine nuts. I hope he will let me get in Farrah this evening, as I know I will smell like a pizzeria after all that garlic and basil. I've been promised a ride to the town square and some ice cream and I'm going if I have to ride on the trunk!

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


Friday, September 10, 2010

Everytime I Open My Mouth

Everytime I open my mouth, bitchiness comes out. Boy, I don't know what is up with me today - other than being up since a bit before 4am. I just cannot seem to keep the Bitch Beast contained today. I have put myself in time out. I have walked myself around the building. I have done deep breathing exercises. I have done other exercises. And almost everytime I open my mouth, fire comes out. I have pissed off a couple of coworkers, I'm sure. I have tried to minimize everyone's exposure to my toxic self today, but short of just packing up and going home (not an option), I don't know what else to do. This behavior/feeling is getting to be far too common with me. I need to do something, but I don't have a damned clue as to what.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know when to keep your damned mouth shut.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

No Regrets

I've seen this "No Regrets" logo plastered about, advocating a sort of balls-to-the-wall aggressiveness in living life. I think it is supposed to be about living a big life. And hey, I'm all for that. But in my readings yesterday, the theme was brought down to a very small, very personal level. Just for today, I want to have no regrets about my personal behavior. I don't want to do something for which I have to either feel badly about or apologize for. It certainly helped me get through my yesterday with no regrets. I wasn't perfect by any means, but I continued to stay MY course.

Went out to Reata last evening even after getting a phone call asking me not to come, that they had been working all day, had got almost done and were too tired to do anymore. I said "Great, I'll bring dinner and see you in a bit". I could see that nothing had changed since my last visit out there last week. And sinking into accepting the fact that both are incapable of even basic truths around this issue makes it easier. More scientific study and ready makes it easier for me. Detaching allows me to try to maintain the relationship - quite honestly, with a new level of understanding. Doesn't mean I don't get frustrated, because I do. It also means that whenever I start to have fantasy conversations in my head, searching for just the right words to say to "snap everyone out of it", that it is still me trying to control others.

So, I just went out, worked a bit more, but did cut it short because of a pretty wicked squall line that was developing to the west - I didn't want to be caught out. It seems to take me quite a while to decompress after these sessions - I come home and reflectively start cleaning, straightening up and organizing! And I tell them of the next step - contractor out for a bid by next Wednesday. So one more week. And I just hope this contractor will take the job and that I can afford him.

And as for the no regrets motto, it worked pretty darn well yesterday - up to a point. Our office received a cookie basket from a client. I knew it had arrived and told myself "No" before even seeing it. That helps - I'm less likely to be able to turn away if I'm surprised by food - weird as it sounds. The second victory was someone brought in lunch food as well. Again, I was able to tell myself how difficult it would be to moderate and that I would be happier (no regrets) just eating the lunch I'd prepared and brought with me. I was on a roll (ha!) until picking up dinner. I'd decided to go to a grocery store that has lots of ready made stuff - an entree and two sides of real food for $5.99. So I went in and got us salmon, a spinach salad and that wonderful grape, walnut and blue cheese salad. And then I decided to get a little something for dessert. Still not a problem, as my calorie count was low for the day and I'd exercised at lunch. I didn't want to get too much dessert, so I settled on a smallish container of brownie bites. And my only real regret of yesterday is that I ate too, too many of those after dinner last night. Next time I will make a better decision in the store, where the decision making is easier.

Today is restorative yoga. Sigh. I cannot wait. It's my favorite hour of the week. I've got meeting after work and nothing else scheduled for the weekend. I'm hoping that Pebbles brings back my bike on Saturday, as it is supposed to be done.

More on Cha-Cha - I misunderstood about the shocks. According to the guy, they are just worn out and to replace them with REI-quality shocks would be $150. I don't have a dollar into this bike, as it is on loan from Pebbles and she only paid $150 for the bike itself. So if I had the new shocks put on, plus the tune up, I'd be over $200 dollars - which would go quite a ways to buying my next bike - which I estimate to be about $400. But I've still got 500 miles that I want to put on Cha-Cha. I want to firmly establish my intention to continue this sport/habit/hobby before plunking down serious coinage for a new ride.

I've been promised an inaugural ride in Farrah on Saturday night. To the square, to get ice cream - weather permitting. I hope the weather holds as Bick leaves tonight to trailer her home tomorrow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. No regrets.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This one time, at dance camp

Well, that turned out to be more than I'd bargained for! I left dance class last night sweating like a pig and nearly gasping for air. Somehow, I'd expected something a bit more instructive and not so aerobic! But this was pretty darned Zumba-esque! Which was fine, but next time, I'll be dressed for sweat. I suspect that next week's class will thin by about 50%.

And there is the instructor - he's a very good dancer, but I think he ought to wear a cup or something. There was just too much flopping in the breeze - it was almost hypnotizing! Honest to goodness, my GNO friends pushed me up on the front row when we started while they cowared behind me, but I had to leave for the other side of room the because I kept getting distracted by following the bouncing.....well, you get my drift. And it wasn't distracted in that good way, it was like a train wreck that one can't look away from.

When the GNO group finally caught sight of ..... they hurriedly joined me on the other side of the room, all with WTH looks on their faces. Let me tell you that the jokes flew after we left class.

All in all, it was a fun and energetic class. Our final lesson (our recital, as it were) will be held at a Latin dance club!

Today was an interesting drive into work - I did a little mudding in MalibuKen, as a huge oak tree had fallen over three lanes of traffic blocking all sorts of progress. While I KNEW I wasn't going to go through any high water, I did have to go over the median mud to get out of the blind canyon the tree put me in. Hermine is keeping is soaked today. Bick sent me a picture of SadieLu up to her elbows in his front yard during her afternoon constitutional. Poor girl needed some water wings!

Tonight is another clean up night. Not looking forward to it, but did some extra reading work this morning to prepare me. Tomorrow I want to have no regrets about my behavior.

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


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

Cha-Cha is in the shop getting a tune up. The tuner-upper says her shocks are bad and it's not really worth the money to replace them, given her overall worth. I'll see how she rides when I get her back. My hope was to put 1,000 miles on her before moving on to something more. I wanted to make sure I had the habit before going out and buying more expensive stuff. I don't believe in disposable stuff and when I get something, I use it for a long, long time. She's supposed to be finished on Saturday. Which turns out to be okay, as Hermine is keeping us all wet and will for several days. And I hope wet is all we are, as a tornado was just spotted in Reata South's home county.

One of the things I failed to mention and give proper credit to in a prior post about decluttering was Flylady. Flylady, while annoying, taught me how to get a handle on the clutter than was taking over my life.

And speaking of decluttering, I was able to share a bunch of clothes with Pebbles. I was happy to have them out of the closet and somewhere that they will be used.

I'm also going back to nature. Yesterday, I went to the nail place and had my solar nails removed. I've decided to give it a bit of a rest. I've worn fakes for years, but I think it's time to do something different. And I've made the decision to begin to go grey, as well. Pebbles tells me that if I start using only semi-permanent hair color then overtime, it will just wash out gradually all over rather than have such a grow-out skunk problem. We'll see how gracefully I handle these changes!

Yoga today was one of those rare days when my body just wants to sink into the poses. I adored it today and really got a good workout (yoga-style). I may regret really working at it, as I start salsa lessons tonight. I'll keep some Aleve on hand!

MalibuKen's other windshield wiper shredding this morning - while I love this car, something is not right with the windshield wipers. Car is one year old - unless someone is shredding them in the parking lot for pure meanness.

I don't think I've weighed in the last week as things have been far from normal. Weighed this morning, expecting to weigh much, much more than I do. Obviously, I cannot go by how I "feel".

Turns out the shoes I bought for travel are a complete bust. They are not comfortable for any length of time and they make my feet sweat! FAIL. Back to the drawing board.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep a clear view.


Monday, September 6, 2010


She will be Bick's on Tuesday, pending bank cooperation. He'll then make another turnaround trip down to Kemah to pick her up.

The weekend was lovely. We headed out Saturday morning, took a leisurely drive down, dropped the dog off at Bick's mom's house and headed for the boardwalk at Kemah. (The car guy was at a race until early evening) I'd never been to Kemah, other than an attempt a few springs ago. We were returning from Crystal Beach and decided to stop by and see the sights, but we had the dog with us and no pets are allowed on the boardwalk. Bick had promised me a roller coaster ride, but I really didn't hold out much hope. While I do love amusement parks, I don't love crowds, the heat, or lines. Saturday conspired for us to bring us the perfect, and I do mean perfect afternoon of thrills!

The weather was unseasonably cool - mid-80s, I think. A near twenty degree drop from the norm. And right on the water, it was even nicer. No sweating! And the second best part? No crowds or lines! We ended up buying the all day pass for $20 bucks and just walked on rides with no problem. No lines. No waiting! Granted, this isn't a huge park, but it was just enough to allow me to get my scream on and that tickled Bick. Yes, I love these silly thrill rides and I scream like a school girl the whole way. This was our first amusement park experience together and we'll be hard pressed to ever beat it! And then we went to look at the car.

She's really clean, straight and as she should be. I learned to drive in an early 70's era model, and she sits and rides just the same. And I decided that she needed a name.

Bick thinks my naming of things is well, stupid. He doesn't realize that it's a gift! Sort of like I'm a "Name Whisperer"! Vehicles just seem to whisper their name to me, if I listen long enough. Some of the thought-of and discarded options were:

Goldie, Blondie, Zia Padora (she's a Zcar), Zsa-Zsa, plus some others that I can't think of right now. But last night as we were driving home, late into the night, it hit me. Her name came to me and it was perfect! She's a honey-gold blonde and she's from the Texas coast and she's damned pretty.

Her name is Farrah! Perfect, no?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Slow Ride

I will be test driving this today. Anybody got any Foghat? On cassette?

One of my goals for my 50th was to learn how to "burn out"! Do you suppose Bick would mind?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fast Asleep

Yesterday went fine. Lab results back next week, but no real cause for concern - so I've been told. And also as I was told, the prep was the worst of it. Although I'm still not feeling that great. I have a rather delicate constitution and such shocks to the system will take me a while to return to feeling normal.

My plan for today was to sleep late. Well, that obviously didn't work out very well. I do have the day off and I plan to just putter around here. Doc said no real exercise for the next couple of days, so I actually sent Cha-Cha home with Pebbles who will drop her off for a tune-up of her own. I'll be gone with Bick to Houston for the next couple of days - both to visit his Mamma and to look at some more mid-life-crisis sheet metal (a car). Plus, I've been promised a day at Kemah, although I don't know what that really means.

Spending the day with Pebbles was quite nice. Just ran some small errands, watched some movies, and colored our hair. I bought a cute dress at her urging, but did pass on a garnet-colored fedora. It was adorable and was so suited to my face, but would I really wear this hat? I don't know. I'm still thinking about it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Regain your balance.