Monday, February 28, 2011

Window Boxes

I got my garden in this weekend. When all you've got is a window box, it takes all of about 15 minutes! I pulled out my froze-back pansies and added some basil and dill to the surviving rosemary. I also added a few purple petunias for color, but they will go as soon as some more herbs become available. One of the added benefits of The Closet is that my "kitchen garden" is readily accessible and I will throw some fresh herbs into just about anything. The picture is not mine, of course. I always forget to take pictures.

While the weather was warm (perhaps too warm) it was very, very windy this weekend, plus the big foot races were swirling around the area that I live, so I did not get out on Cha-Cha on Saturday. I do need to get an old-fashioned foot pump, as I'd just not facile with my frame pump. Clementine needs a bit of a pump up. And I think I can start sneaking some rides in after work.

Today marks the end of February and the end of my love letters to me experiment. I think I gained some things from it. Mostly as a centering contemplative exercise and a way of setting a positive state of mind. As the old saying goes, "we are just as happy as we make up our minds to be". The older I get, the more work I do, the truer I believe that sentiment to be.

And speaking of work, it's time to hop back on the bus, I think. I just paid a ridiculous amount of money for a tank of gas. I have the bus option and it's just silly of me not to use it. I'll have to adjust my morning routine a skosh, as if I was to try to catch the bus, I should be scrambling out the door right now instead of sitting in my recliner in my bathrobe and drinking coffee. Taking the bus, getting on the ground is good for me and I need to do more of it. There is a goal in the making for March!

I'm wavering between TNT class and elliptical time at lunch today. I'll chose something. Then after work it's off to my favorite independent hardware store to buy a foot pump. I'm having dinner with Barbie on Tuesday (she cancelled last night, work obligations) and then on Friday, another GNO - one of those group art class things. Should be fun.

Food has been spot on. I've dropped the travel bloat and am feeling much more normal. As usual, it takes about three days.

I'm putting together a symposium for a regional group that will take place in April and that is keeping me hopping. Planning the program, corralling speakers, getting facilities and food. I shall be the hostess with the mostess. Me and my crazy ideas. This one is all self-inflicted.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Plan(t) something.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kitchen Confidential

I ran out to Reata South last night to see the finished kitchen. Wow. Just Wow. The job just exceeded all my wildest expectations. I was so very, very fortunate. I've seen the results of a cheap kitchen reno recently, which mine was, and it was head and shoulders over what I'd seen done in for-sale homes. That whole deal worked out exactly as it should have. I put some money into it, above the insurance settlement, and I believe it was money well spent. I didn't overspend or overdo and it looks finished and a quality job.

Had a nice dinner with the family. I just really have to get in the right headspace to deal with that stuff and is usually the case with me, the dread is worse than the actual event. I continue to struggle with that trait.

I'm not feeling well. Allergies or the start of a head cold or something has me not at the top of my game this morning. I'm going to a meeting this morning but I may stick with a treadmill walk upon my return. Slept poorly all night and then slept in until 8 this morning. Not an auspicious start to the day.

Food has been good. We went to Babe's for dinner, which can be a carb-fest, but I stuck with the smoked chicken and the green beans. I had a biscuit crust for dessert! Plus, the wait was only 20 minutes and I managed to shop for and find a new pair of snazzy looking sunglasses (not pictured above) from the shop next door. Talk about a great business model - the shop pipes in the call list from the restaurant!

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


Friday, February 25, 2011

Ebbs and Flows

I am working myself back into my routine, gently and easily. Yesterday was a restorative yoga day. If you don't practice yoga, consider trying it again with a different instructor. I find this class is such a great way to get back in touch with my body, if that makes any sense. The mindful practice of poses and paying attention to the breath is such a centering experience. Not much of a calorie burn for me, the way I practice it, but the benefits are many.

Foodwise, when I'm coming back into balance, I go for the lean sources of protein. A protein-centric diet helps me to get rid of the inflammation and bloat brought on by too many non-nutrition grade carbohydrates. By Thursday, I was actually sore all over - joints were sore, hands hurt and I just felt swollen and achy - all from too many junk carbs. It will take another couple of days of clean eating to restore me to my former self. When I'm feeling the after-effects of junky eating, my energy level tanks. I am hoping to get in a good workout of some sort on Saturday morning. I did hit the treadmill while in Atlanta, but as the old saw goes "you can't out-train a bad diet". Boy, do I know that. Throw in travel-gut, and I felt like the Titanic, just taking on water. I am glad to be able to turn that around. Just another couple of days!

Not a lot on the agenda. Tonight is totally free. I hope to get back to a regular sleep pattern soon. Tired isn't helping my cause. I may pop out to Reata South to see the final product on the kitchen before it gets covered up again. I'm in a awkward place with the family and rather than avoid, I just need to push through - with safeguards, of course.

The weekend brings another meeting, some outdoor exercise (hopefully) and then it's up to Bick's. Sandy has invited us to Sunday lunch (and also announced she is going back to college) and then I'm having dinner with Barbie on Sunday night. I will need to prepare and adjust for that.

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


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early Bird Special

I don't know how I used to do this. I went to a show last night. Carll didn't even come on until eleven o'clock! I didn't make it through the whole show. At one point, he said he was going to play for three hours. Actually, I was game, but the rest of the crew wasn't, so I came home. It was a fun, fun thing. Too bad it wasn't on a weekend night or a matinee. I know I will sleep through yoga.

I am very glad to be back at home. I am hopeful I can slip back into some routine. I pretty much tanked in Atlanta. Actually, I normally tank the last day, but didn't this time.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Step out of your comfort zone.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Edited For Clarity

Edited For Clarity

I love words. I admire wordsmiths - those crafters of a well-turned phrase. I am a very verbal person - a storyteller. Ask me what time it is and I’ll tell you the funniest story I know about clocks or being late or that time my wristwatch got hung up on the saddle horn. And while you wouldn’t know it from the way I mis-use words around here, I scored off-the-charts on the verbal portion of the GMATs. I am, in short, verbose. I love words. I adore verbal sparring (but not the sarcastic-laden, mean kind). Witty repartee makes me seriously hot. Speaking in front of a group? No problem. I can work a room like a Vegas lounge singer. Asking directly for what I want? Has me cowering.

When I am trying to describe something, I want you to know the backstory, what led me to think the way I think, to better understand why I feel the way I do. But I also use words as my most serious weapon in manipulation. Yes, that’s hard to admit, but as a person with codependent traits, I have to acknowledge that I can be manipulative. I would spend hours having conversations in my head with someone. Thinking that if I put together just the right combination of words into the most persuasive of arguments, I could finally make them see the error of their ways. If I could string together the perfect sentence, I could stop compulsive spending or even hoarding, affairs or alcoholism. I thought it was within my power to do so and I kept trying. Now I know that my words are useless against such foes.

And I am also coming to know that less is sometimes more. I have used words as a shield, as a buffer, as a way to keep my partner/foe/foil off-balance and away from the real issue. I could deflect anyone who got close enough to see my vulnerabilities. Now I’m trying to live an authentic life and that means distilling things down to their very core.

I have a particular issue with Bick. It’s not huge, but it could lead to some resentment on my part if left unchecked. So I know I need to talk to him about it. I need to ask for what I want. Well, that is so difficult for me. Luckily, I’ve been able to strip what was a half-hour explanation that would cause only eye-rolling, and would-you-please-get-to-the-point sighs down to two sentences. It was very simple, once I edited for clarity.

I'm at a conference. Exercise and food have been okay - not stellar. I had the fortunate or unfortunate, depending, experience of finding a lovely little Turkish restaurant near my hotel. I've eaten there TWICE! And of course, I had to have dessert! I have been getting to the gym every morning but I'm suffering a bit from travel gut but I will be right as rain once I return home tomorrow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Cut to the chase.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Continuing the Ironic Hillbilly theme, Bick is a pee-bee-ess contributor and as a reward, we have tickets to see this guy over the weekend. Followed by some Thai food, if all goes as planned. Then I fly to Atlanta on Sunday morning for four days for a conference.

I'll be glad to get away to the conference. I use them almost as little mini-retreats. I tend to do exceptionally well in the eating and exercise department and I could use a little jump start. Last night was a GNO and we went to a Komen Foundation fundraiser thingy and had a great time. I was okay with my food choices - I had a lighter lunch in order to leave some room for the dinner. I didn't leave enough room, but I'm okay with it.

Overall, yesterday went great work-wise. I followed my plan and did not allow myself to get caught up in other's issues. This shared space is temporary, as our current offices are being abated and remodeled. We should be in this configuration for about the next five weeks. Luckily I will be in Atlanta for most of next week and then in mid-March, I will be off to Seattle (Hi! Grace and Diana).

My willingness to exercise has been nil, however. I'll need to ease my way back into that. I haven't seen the gym all week - which adversely affects my anxiety level and I KNOW this. I will figure something out - I'm bringing a pair of tennis shoes to the office, so even if I won't go to the gym, I can put on my shoes and go out for a walk in this beautiful weather and let Mother Nature do her magic on me.

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


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Off The Beam

Took a hard dive off the beam and into the fridge yesterday. Looks like I don't do well with the negativity that is swirling around me at the office. The constant griping about "the move" and the bitching about this, that or the other just hikes my anxiety level up and yesterday I binged to stop it. I cannot stand five weeks of this. So I've got to come up with a different plan.

Here are some things I can do:

1. Spend less time at my desk by:
a. longer gym sessions
b. not eating at my desk
c. take some vacation hours in the afternoon
d. use this time to visit other people at work
2. Know that other people's issues are not mine by:
a. Repeating the Serenity Prayer
b. keeping my headphones on
3. I will stay away from the office kitchen (I sit right by it)
a. I will close the door between the kitchen and my desk
4. I will plan my day so that it keeps me fully engaged all day.
5. If I want something to eat, I am always able to walk over to the grocery store and have some fruit if I am really hungry. I don't restrict, I only re-direct.
6. I can take a break and step outside with my cell phone and make calls if I feel myself getting sucked into the vortex of whining.
7. Keep repeating the Serenity Prayer

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Re-assess and Re-balance.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Redneck Wednesday

Since I've already posted the Hayes song. I might as well go whole hog. Today is Redneck Wednesday where I cater a bit to my hillbilly side. I like my hillbilly with a big old side of irony and a graduate degree.

The setting for Baja, Oklahoma is closing.

Junior wins the pole at Daytona on the tenth anniversary of this. For those playing along at home, I'm the NASCAR fan. Bick is more of a drag racing kinda of guy - of the Pro Stock ilk. He's a big engine, burning rubber kinda guy.

Another love song for the hi-tech, redneck hillbilly couple.

I'll be spending a lot of time on youtube as I'm now sharing a conference room with a half dozen of my co-workers. Thank goodness for earphones.

ETA: And sadness fell across the Junior Nation.

Our Theme Song

This is what happens with the left (me) tangles up with the right (him). Seriously, I adore this artist.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

House Hunting

What a difference a year makes! I am cautiously optimistic about the new realtor. She seems straightforward, honest and a real advocate for ME to get the house I need in the price range I want to pay. So far, so good.

The Corner House turned out to be a huge disappointment. As the old saying goes, "Never judge a book by it's cover" - never judge a house from it's pictures on Realtor dot com. The house, if left untouched, would have been okay, but there was a patio that had been "converted" into one ugly mess. And the newly redone kitchen? Had no place for a refrigerator and had the upper cabinets installed all the way at the ceiling. I could barely, and I do mean barely, reach the bottom shelf of the uppers. The two car garage had a vinyl floor in it and hadn't seen a car in decades. There were all sorts of built ins in the garage that would have to be torn out in order to get two cars back in - which is fine, as I only have one car, but craziness. And that doesn't even begin to address the bathroom that was added to make it a master suite. Can you say contact paper on the counter tops? All of these additions would have to be subtracted and at substantial cost. No thanks.

The Park House wasn't without issues. The house itself was just fine. The newly redone kitchen's cheapo cabinets at least didn't give me splinters and all the drawers opened, which is more than I can say for The Corner House. While I loved the location, I didn't love the neighbors. I could totally fix every little thing with this house, but I can't fix the neighbors. So that one is off the list.

And I feel okay about it. Something perfect will come along. Or something that I can make perfect. I told Jerri, my realtor, that I would prefer an un-updated kitchen. I have an interior designer for a kid and I have a contractor/remodeller guy who does fabulous work. I'd rather do it myself and get more for my buck. So we shall see.

I was off-kilter yesterday and the food followed. I haven't been sleeping so well lately, and so night before last took an A to help me sleep. Didn't keep me asleep past 3:30 and it left me with a wicked hangover. I kept trying to caffeine and sweet my way out of it, but it didn't work. Ah well. Today is a new day. I slept well last night and I've got a spin class today. Food and beverage is packed for the day and I shall do my best to stay away from the vending machine!

I received a gorgeous flower arrangement from Bick yesterday. The card said simply "I choo choo choose you. Google it." I'd have included a picture, but I forgot to take my camera to work with me - because who would need a digital camera on the day they were going to look at houses? Doh!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Things are not always as they appear.


Monday, February 14, 2011

My Secret Valentine

It’s Valentine’s Day and many our thoughts turn to relationships - the ones we have or the ones we want. Hearts and candy and flowers and Hallmark cards abound. In honor of the month of Love, I have dedicated February to writing love letters to me for the entire month. Each day. Just a sentence or two, but with salutation and closing. My relationship to me is the most important relationship in my life. How I think about myself, to what level of esteem do I hold myself - that is the basic question. And no amount of relationships, candy or flowers can heal that. It’s an inside job and it’s up to me to do it. Without that core foundation being solid, everything else is just a patch job.

I’ve all heard it said a thousand times before - I must love myself first. And I don’t know that I’ll ever get to the love part down 100% all the time , but I’m working hard on the self-acceptance/self-esteem part . And I feel I’m getting it. Slowly, surely. Somehow I thought it was sort of magically happen. Turns out, this, too, is a practice. Learning to make decisions that are in my own best interest. Living for myself, not in a selfish way, but in a self-nourishing way. Putting myself first. Asking for what I want. Speaking my own love language.

Languages of love - My love language need is words of affirmation. “I love you’s” are nice and important, but I NEED to know the reason behind them. I want to hear specifics - I need to hear specifics. So for the month of February, I’ve been writing myself a love letter each and every day, using specific words of affirmation. I am actively exposing my old habit of negative self-thought to logic and replacing it with the affirmations of the positives in me. It’s not an exercise in ego, but an exercise to increase. A practice. A learning.

I work better on increasing the positives rather than decreasing the negatives, if that makes sense. If I can frame something in a positive, rather than punitive way, I get less rebellious, I feel better and more successful. I respond better to positive actions rather than avoiding negatives. It keeps my headspace more positive. That’s a lot of positives, but that’s how I want my life to be.

Write/create yourself a Valentine today. Get out the scissors and some paper, the crayons and some stickers. Glitter is always good.

What would you tell yourself about yourself? What's your love language? Is it affirmations? Service? Gifts? Quality time? Physical touch?

Happy Valentine's Day

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. It starts with me.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Accidental Valentinist

I am having a deeply peaceful, deeply wonderful weekend. So many blessings to count - for things big and small.

Where to begin? Saturday started with an open AA meeting - while it's not my program, my sponsor suggested I attend. Pretty amazing experience. Following that, I met up with Bick and we headed out to Poolville. Wonderful lunch and visit with our friends. Talia and I girled up and walked through the woods (the live on a lot of wooded acreage in a very secluded area), visited and started planning the Nova Scotia trip. Talia has been before and has some interesting ties to the area.

While out there, we also saw the rural internet working with the n3tflx streaming dvd thingy and Bick decided it was a must have. And so when we got back into town, he headed off to the electronics store to get one. He decided that he would hook it up here for the weekend so we could use it on Saturday night. And while in the process of hooking it up, discovered that while my tv has the necessary slots to plug in whatever, his tv does not. So this great deal wouldn't work on his set up. I suggested we just box it back up and return it and he said "Not after I've gone to the trouble to set it all up. Happy Valentine's Day." So now I've got streaming n3tflx options so I may never be productive again!

Today we did our usual Sunday morning routine of, well, Sunday Morning.
I used a Groupon and treated us to a great breakfast with fabulous bacon at a local cafe and then we went to look at houses. Nothing do Bick but we get out and explore and he was able to point out some real down sides to the house I had liked initially and some real pluses on another option for just a skosh more dollars. He headed off back home and I hopped on Cha-Cha for a ride! Temperature? 76 degrees. It was fully made of awesome.

I rode Cha-Cha over to look at the Corner House. It's about three blocks from the Park House. It really does have a lot more to offer that Park House. Funny thing, one of my best friends had already pointed out Corner House to me. I'd already scheduled both places on my review for tomorrow, so I'm anxious to see inside. Corner House has some "interesting" elements. I don't know how they will look in real life.

And speaking of being on the same page - as you know, my Valentine to Bick spoke of bacon. His Valentine card to me contained the wording on the badge. Bacon synchronicity.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Bacon. Just Bacon.


badge: etsy

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Not enough continuity to make a thematic post, so this is a bit of everything.

Ellen asked how I managed to stay on the elliptical for two hours and not be bored out of my gourd? "Hi, my name is Roxie and I am a HGTV addict". I don't have cable tv and I rarely watch tv at all. Now I'm not trying to be all highbrow and Prius-er than thou - I spend my time numbing my brain on the internet. TV doesn't do enough to promote shorter attention spans. So when I go to my gym here at The Closet, I can turn on cable tv and indulge in a little HGTV love. And I am sort of have Hs and Gs on my brain lately, again.

I've contracted yet another realtor (fingers crossed) and am going to look at about three houses on Monday. One that I am really interested in - the other two, not so much. We will call it Park House. As it is one block from a park that connects by trails to my normal biking trail. This house is priced right - but that may be a red flag - is pretty non-descript, but appears to be a lower maintenance property. The really big deal is that it is a house in a location that would help promote an active lifestyle for me.

The truth is, on my quest for fitness and health, almost any little thing can and will become an obstacle. Several people have suggested keeping Clementine Peddleford chained up in the parking garage and out of The Closet. The truth is, I wouldn't ride nearly as much! Out of sight, out of mind and those extra steps to go get her each time I thought about riding would deter me. That is just how lazy I am. So in determining my priorities, at least for the short-term, I want a house that defends me from myself. So we will see. I'm taking in a couple of open houses on Sunday as well.

After the last fiasco, I am trying to do a better job of managing my expectations. Plus, I don't love, love, love this house the way I did that one. It's not nearly as cute, but it is solid.

I've got a busy day ahead of me today. I've got a meeting to go to, shopping for a washer and dryer and then out to Poolville with Bick. I've already put together our hostess gift - I bought some mini-scones and some artisan raspberry jam to put in a basket that Bick is bringing me. Plus I've got some dates, some french sea-salted carmels (lord how I want these) and a few other tidbits to add in. I've made my bow, packaged each little thing for maximum cuteness and all I have to do is arrange the stuff in the basket.

Other orts:

The soft restaurant open was here. A soft opening is when a new restaurant is opening and wants to train their staff in a production environment, so they issue invites to friends and family and in my case, residents of the building. The meal is usually comped or heavily, heavily discounted. In this case, your first margarita was free, along with the food. Since I opted for coffee, my entire experience was gratis, except for the tip, of course.

And that's all the news I've got. Busy week with more office packing. Bick and I are seeing this guy, next Saturday eh, followed by dinner in Big D somewhere. I'll love it, Bick will be itchy in the big city. We haven't decided where to go as of yet, but I've got my eye on a couple of places. Then I fly out to Atlanta for a conference for four days. Which reminds me, I need to get to the dry cleaners today!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know yourself. Act accordingly.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Name That Tune

I just had an offer for 5 free iTune downloads and I think I'm going to take advantage of it. I just don't know which 5 songs to choose. That's where you come in. Give me your top five play list for exercising. I need to create a new playlist for my spin time with Cha-Cha and Trainer Joe. Give me something that will have me moving and grooving!

My office is being remodeled yet AGAIN. So today I am unloading my files and packing everything up to be ready for Tuesday. I'll be in a conference room with six other people for the next six weeks. Sigh. Oh, and I'll be right next to the office kitchen. Think good thoughts for me. This will be tough.

I'm off to Half-Price books after work to try to find some travel books to Nova Scotia, as the first planning meeting kicks off tomorrow.

I'm waffling between gym at lunch and lunch with a friend. I should go to the gym, as I did not spin this morning. But I am working on a more active social life, so there is that - finding the balance is tough. Tomorrow morning I'll shoot for an early trip to the gym, followed by a meeting, shopping for a washer and dryer and then out to visit and plan. I plan on attending a couple of open houses on Sunday, as I'm just about over getting snakebit over that last real estate fiasco.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get jiggy with it.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pretty Pensive

I did have another ice day yesterday, although it turned out to be much ado about nothing around here. Parts farther north and east weren't as lucky.

I was determined to dedicate this day to self-care and while I did spend some time surfing, I kicked the day off with three hours at the gym, as I know I won't get in my big workout on Saturday. I spent two hours on the elliptical and then an hour on the treadmill. By last night, I was feeling it for sure.

The remainder of the day was spent, in large part, journaling and reading literature. I woke up far too early and had some difficulty pacing my meals out through the day, but I managed. All in all, it was a productive, albeit pensive day. I feel like I can start today with my feet and head firmly planted on the ground. Well, that didn't come out quite right, now did it? Let's just say I am feeling centered and leave it that.

Oh, and I did get my lease situation sorted out. And I am turning back my "rented" washer and dryer. Due to a snafu with the electrical meter getting yanked back out by the city three days after I moved in (not properly permitted, the city said) and it taking about four days for that mess to get all sorted out so that I could move back in - I negotiated the free use of a washer and dryer for what I thought was my stay here. Management feels like it was the first year only. So, okay. I will not pay $480 per year to rent and washer and dryer, so these are going back and I am going out to buy a new set. Which would be fine, except that I expect to buy a house within the next year and given where I want to live, I expect I will have a gas dryer. I thought about just buying a used set, but I am leery of that, if I don't know the provenance. What I've come down to is that I will buy a new electric set. If it turns out that I need a gas dryer in the future, then I'll take the new one out to Reata South to replace the dryer out there and sell that one. I'll then buy myself a new gas dryer. Whew - that's a lot of machinations just to get my clothes dry!

Not much on tap for the day. I've already got my spin on this morning and I'm planning on taking my sister out to lunch today. Tonight I've got a meeting, but I'm going to try to get in a little more Cha-Cha and Trainer Joe time this evening. No plans for Friday, yet. On Saturday, Bick and I have been invited to lunch out at the Poolville Pagans. Talia and I are planning our trip to Nova Scotia in July.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make good use of your time.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just For The Halibut

The restaurant was wonderful! I think it will become a "go to" place for me. It's not Tex-Mex - it was much lighter and fresher-tasting. I was truly pleased with my ability to navigate a Mexican restaurant menu, have a wonderful meal and still eat sensibly. Again, I used coffee as a shield against chips and hot sauce. I ordered it immediately upon being seated and somehow it made me nearly immune to the siren call of the salty, fried tortilla. I did have a few chips between courses, but I did not eat the whole basket before even starting my meal.

The special soft-opening menu was a four course meal. I opted for ceviche as my appetizer. I want to like ceviche, I really do. I continue to order it and I continue to be disappointed. Until last night. Last night, the ceviche was exactly how I thought it should be. Fresh, clean, spicy and not so acidic as to be inedible. It was wonderful. And a really light start to the meal. I opted out of the soup/salad course and went straight to the main course.

For my entree, I chose the seafood poblano. It's not on the menu listed above, as that is for the cafe in Dallas. This restaurant has a slightly more upmarket menu, I think. The seafood poblano is a seafood mixture - shrimp, scallops and red fish (I think) seasoned with herbs and stuffed into a baked poblano pepper. The pepper is plated on rice (which I did not eat) and surrounded by a spicy, slightly creamy red sauce. The dish did not have a any cheese nor was it overloaded with heavy cream sauce. It was flavorful and wonderful and light.

It was so light that I opted for dessert - tres leches cake, of which I ate about 1/3. It was absolutely divine. It was all wonderful and FREE! The staff sure got a trial by fire, as the place filled up pretty quickly. I tipped well and left feeling very, very satisfied, but not stuffed.

I've had several restaurant meals in the past few days and I feel very good about my choices. I had dessert at two meals - either leaving a goodly portion of it, or sharing with five other diners as I did with Sunday's bread pudding.

I came home from dinner and had an Aleve chaser. My TNT (tighten and tone) class on Monday was a killer and Tuesday's spin class was lung burner. I'm sore right now and have another TNT class on tap for Wednesday - which may be another ice day (yes, I'm writing this on Tuesday night, which may explain why the tenses might be askew). I will know on Wednesday morning if I got hit with a sodium bump and an ice day, both of which are possible, if not probable.

If I get another ice day, then I will try to venture over to the gym for some treadmill/elliptical and some cable tv. This time my fridge is much better stocked, so no more olives and frozen fish. I'll have proper food this time. I have, however, given up cream in my home coffee due to the great ice storm of eleven. Turns out, I don't even miss it that much. Oh, and I am enjoying drinking my Sleepytime tea as my nightcap, as recommended by commenters. It just puts a nice bookend on the day.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Order the fish. Just for the halibut.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stringing Together

Not much new to report. Good days are being strung together. I'm practicing good self-care in lots of ways: Eating well, exercising, spending time on my spiritual life, spending time doing recovery work, journaling, and keeping the wallet closed.

I have an opportunity to go to a "soft" opening of a restaurant tonight, so I will need to adjust for that. I'm pretty sure some planning and a spin class will do the trick.

And yes, I did have the oxtail at the Conoco and it was wonderful. All six of us ordered something different and the oxtail and Sandy's pot roast were declared the winners. It was served in what was called an "African spicy sauce" which wasn't particularly spicy, but was very, very good. Sides included some awesome velvety mustard greens and coconut rice.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Build momentum.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Planning For Success: The Cliff Notes

Nice weekend after it finally warmed up. I will be glad to get back to work and to my routine after four days of cabin fever. Birthday lunch at the Conoco was wonderful!

I did my grocery shopping last night and did food prep for the week. I prepared a egg frittata for breakfasts and salad kits for lunch. I also prepared a menu for the week so I know what I am having and when. I also cooked up chicken breasts for the week. Dinners are already mostly almost done!

I've also planned my clothes for the week, as well.

I'm continuing with my 15 minutes of soul/self work each day along with a special side project that I will talk about later. I have my exercise planned out for the next week - along with my rest day.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make decisions when it's easy.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Trip Down Memory Lane

Due to the weather, yesterday's dinner became a late lunch. It was just delightful and lasted about four hours! We had a lot of catching up to do and we did it. She is doing well. She's been clean and sober for seven years and is working a sales job that I could never do. And she's bought and paid for a condo in five years while doing it. She basically knocks on doors asking people to change 3l3ctricity companies. Said the pickings are getting slimmer so she is out of town a lot working less-mined territory.

The lunch didn't leave me feeling like I'd over-shared, but as mentioned, there is something freeing about someone who knows everything in lurid detail. And it is very nice to look back and see that for the most part, I've left a lot of the drama in the dust. We thrived on chaos and drama and feeding obsessions back in the day.

And she is still as pretty as ever but the real interesting thing was that I didn't feel the least bit inferior to that. All in all, our time together left me feeling good. We still care very much about each other and there is the potential to renew our relationship as healthier people with a view towards the future and not just because of a connection in the past.

We did walk to the restaurant yesterday. Finally found one that was open. All of that iced-in time I spent telling myself that I could always go downstairs and eat was a pure lie. None of the restaurants were open, but we did find one closer to the stock show and tucked in for lunch. I still haven't had the car out. Yesterday was cold, but the sun shone brightly melting some of the ice, so last night I braved crossing a busy street to make it over to Wendy's for some chili and a half chicken/pecan/blue cheese salad sans dressing. You know, as fast food goes, there are much worse things to be had. I still haven't made it to the grocery store and there is officially nothing edible in this house. Not enough condiments to make Laurie's suggested soup!

I already confessed this to Helen in a comment, but the funniest thing happened the other night. I was stepping out in the hallway to set my trash out and right across the hall was a dozen of the most gorgeous cookies ever! I recognized them from the "welcome wagon" as being a gift to new residents. There was not a soul in the hallway and the neighbors wouldn't even know to expect them and so they certainly wouldn't miss them! And after a diet of fish, olives, okra and cardboard, I was sorely tempted to resort to petty thievery! I think it might have even been entrapment!

Today's plan involves some time on the trainer or a trip to the gym. I'm leaning towards the gym, just to watch some cable tv this morning and see a different set of walls. Obviously, I have to go to the store, but I may just wait until Sunday when I come home from Bick's. Speaking of, he has water now, but may have something going on with a frozen pipe under the sink. When I last spoke to him last night, he was cogitating on how to remedy that situation. Anyway, dinner at Big Al's tonight is canceled, but tomorrow's Conoco run is still on. I don't know what we will do for dinner tonight. Normally we would grill something, but it is still awfully cold to be out there grilling. I'll have to think of something. I want to keep it pretty light and clean because of Sunday's planned comfort/southern/soul food outing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Having a shared past doesn't a future make.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Looking Back

We met over 31 years ago, right after I first came to Texas. I was 18 and she was a bit younger. And we stayed friends for years. She stood up for me when I married Pebbles' dad. I was her matron of honor in a hideous purple hooped thing, six weeks after giving birth to Pebbles. Suffice it to say, we've been through a lot together. And while my character defects/addictions were legal, hers led her to some difficult ends. It was through those times that I pulled back and we lost touch.

She dropped in on me when I still lived at Reata South - oh, say about six years ago. The exchange left me feeling bad about myself for some reason and so I never contacted her again. About a year or so ago, I ran into her dad at Central Market and we had a nice chat. She is in recovery, he said. Doing well. Being successful. He gave me her email address, but, again, I never contacted her. Well, two weeks ago, she pops up asking to friend me on FB and tonight we are going to dinner. I am really looking forward to catching up.

I know that my reluctance had more to do with wanting to leave my past behind me than it did about my feelings for her. I love her and always will. I certainly don't want to return to any of those behaviors that seemed at their worst during the time in my life when I was closest to her, but I'm unlikely to take a header off of the deep-end these days. I am not that person anymore - except that I really am. Those old parts are still a part of the fabric of who I am today. And perhaps I've made a little more peace with myself and forgiven myself for the myriad of mistakes I made.

She knows where all the bodies are buried. All of them. And so do I and I no longer flinch in pain/embarrassment/shame (much) when I think about it. It should be an interesting evening.

And in my real-life version of Ground Hog Day, Day Four of the Great Inclement Weather Sit In. Seriously, it's getting all Donner Party up in here. Today, more snow is on the way, but I am OUT OF FOOD. I think I have one piece of flat out bread left and some olive oil and spices (plus the usual condiments), so I have got to venture out today. Probably on foot to pick up a few things. And seriously, I live on top of about six restaurants, one of which I'm having dinner at tonight. I won't starve starve. I'm just trying to steer clear of restaurants, as I have several meals away scheduled.

Work is canceled today because of a busted pipe and flooding in the computer/phone center. This is NOT GOOD. Looks like the disaster recovery plan may be tested to it's limits.

So tonight is dinner with Barbie. I'm thinking that I won't be doing any cycling with Kathy tomorrow. Exercise on Saturday will be a quick trip on the trainer I think, and then I'll head up to Bick's. He was coming here to stay on Friday night, but he's decided to head home after work tonight with a 5 gallon bucket of toilet-flushing water so that he can get an early start on leak-fixing Saturday morning. I'll get my exercise out of the way and head up there - I can at least be the Home-Depot runner. He said he was going to take a shot at fixing it himself, if unsuccessful, then call in a plumber. If he gets water by Saturday evening, then we are going over to Aloysius', as he and Sandy are fixing birthday dinner for Bick. So sweet, that is.

Then on Sunday, I am taking Big Al, Sandy, Pebbles, Slater, Bick and myself to the Conoco gas station for some oxtail. This is the closest thing I could get to throwing Bick a 50th bday party.

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


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Olives and Fishes

It is Snow Day: Part The Third and I am bored (still). I did venture out on foot yesterday, but everywhere is still a solid sheet of ice. I don't think anything has really melted and I do not want to hurt myself. Bick fell in the parking lot of his motel yesterday when taking the dog out. He's okay, but bruised up a bit.

As is my wont, I keep the larder pretty lean around here. However, I certainly wasn't prepared for the iceman to cometh and take up residence on my sofa. I've been bored and tinkering. Yesterday's cheffing included: muffins. I didn't have any flour, so I put Wheatena into my spice grinder to make some. I made mini-muffins out of that. Ate one. Threw the rest away. I would have been better off to just spread some butter on the pasteboard box it came in and been done with it. Then I got a hankering for something sweet, so I made caramel sauce. It was good, but really, after two big spoonfuls, there's not anywhere else left to go with it, so it went into the trash as well. That little experiment used up all my cream, so I'm now drinking coffee without it. I probably should just keep it that way moving forward. It's not bad. Last night's dinner consisted of an egg-fu yuck pizza - shredded zucchini with chopped green onions, a little egg beaters and some garam masala spice all on a toasted Flat Out bread. It wasn't as bad as it sounds. The eggs are done for. The home-frozen spinach was freezer burnt and inedible. I've made okra soup. I wouldn't recommend it. Hell, this is sounding like a Shel Silverstein book!

So what's left in Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard? Frozen tilapia and a jar of olives. Olives and Fishes. I hope that shit doesn't multiply.

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


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day 2: The Blackouts and The Boredom

Pipes busted at Bick's. Apparently outside near the meter. 1. He can't get a plumber out there and 2. if he could, the plumbers that he's spoken with say a fix won't hold in this weather and to 3. Shut the water off at the meter. So he's done that and is packing up the dog and heading for a hotel. I hope that the SuperBowl hotel creep hasn't made it's way up to Lewisville. He'll bunk there for a couple of nights, as it's close to his work. He can bring his dog to the lab during the day. He'll come over here on Friday evening and then Saturday morning we'll head back up to Reata North. He hasn't decided how he wants to proceed with the fixing - whether to call in help or do it himself. He's got the skills, it's the "want to" that's lacking. I can't say as I blame him.

My lease dilemma is improving. Part one is solved to my satisfaction. Part two involves a negotiation from an early electricity snafu from my first week here. Because of the inconvenience, I received the use of a washer and dryer for my stay here. And now they want to charge me for it. I'm sure we can get it worked out. So far, so good.

I am bored spitless. Blackouts are rolling through every couple of hours so I hesitate to even go next door to the movies. That wouldn't be much fun!

Between blackouts, I've been doing some internet shopping. Here's Bick's Valentine's Day card. Here's more from the etsy seller.

Flexing My Muscle

Another one of those situations that I hate/dread/create anxiety around has cropped up. I negotiated a new lease rate sometime back and it takes effect this month. I couldn't remember exactly how much it was, so I went back and looked at the lease papers. And it is wrong on the papers. And I signed it. So today, I get to go back to the man I dealt with for the negotiations and hope he remembers this. And yes, I did sign it. So, I may be SOL. All of this triggers my "awfulizing" character defect BIG TIME.

So the muscle I need to be flexing is my problem solving muscle - not my big, bad, bold, brassy muscles - those actions don't get me to what I want. Problem solving skills do. So I just need to sit in this for a bit until the office opens so that I can go in and talk to them about it.

I've already been through one set of rolling electricity blackouts this morning so I am kind of scared to even leave, as I'm unsure of how my key fobs will work to let me back into the building should I leave. I do think I'll wait until other businesses in the area are open in case something happens and I can't get back in. I'd hate to be stranded out in this weather for any length of time.

I am also practicing not saying "I told you so" this morning. Bick and I had a discussion about pipes freezing and keeping water running. He doesn't do it - says that it is an "old wives' tale". I say old wives or not, better safe than sorry. We were having this discussion last night, as I am concerned about Reata South and the water still being turned off to the kitchen sink, as there is no counter top/sink yet installed. His advice was just to make sure that all the cupboard doors were open and with no countertop on, that area would be even warmer. He assured me that running water to prevent pipes freezing is just a myth. Myth or no, his pipes are frozen this morning while Reata South (where the water was kept trickling) seems to be perking along just fine. Of course, this whole deal is far, far from over. Obviously, I'm on another snow day today and bored out of my gourd.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Old wives' are sometimes right.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The In Crowd

I'm so with it and hip these days! Photo: NYT

On an unrelated note, we think something might have been "off" about Sunday's dinner. Bick, the dog and I have been less than 100% since our meal. I cannot imagine what it could have been. I'm leaving it up to him to ask to the rest of his family. I hope they fared better than we have. I think I probably had the worst of it. And yes, he does feed his dog plate scrapings. Not my dog. Not my deal.

In an about face from the absolute perfection of last weekend, bitter, bitter cold (for this area) is headed this way. We will have lows down in the low teens, upper singles through the end of the week. Oh, joys. The ice storm cometh - that's the real killer here - these bad ice storms that will knock down trees and powerlines. Could be serious. Many businesses have already announced closings. Don't know if there will be work tomorrow or not. I better like fish, eggs and spinach because that's about all there is in the house right now if I get iced in.

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