Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Am Authentic

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ as my inspiration, I am creating a series of life-enriching (not empowering, heh!) posts. These are to be hauled out and re-read in case of emergency when the only other option appears to be the liberal application of apple fritters directly to my ass.

I Am Authentic. Honestly, this one is still a work in progress for me. It is part of my intention for this year to try to move through/past my people-pleasing tendencies. For me, being authentic means to know myself well enough to ask for what I want. While I don't believe I've ever been really fake, I haven't been as true to myself as was healthy. So I've made great strides in this area, there is still a ways to go. The movement forward in this area is there, but I am having a hard time qualifying or quantifying it. But I do know myself better than I ever have before and with that comes more peace. And I'll take peace any day.

Had a wonderful drop-in visit from my friend Michele last night. It has been since Elvis' birthday back in January since I had seen her. She was in the neighborhood and just called to see if I was available and I was. What a nice treat! We are both working on expanding our social network/circles and activities.

I just sat down with my morning cup of coffee and realized that I have a fasting bloodtest at 10:45 this morning. Grrrr! That's five hours away. I will be chewing someone's arm off by them. What was I thinking? I am unsure if I will last until then. I should just go back to bed for a couple of hours - if I thought I could go back to sleep, I'd certainly consider it.

Food was at it should be yesterday and exercise was great. HGTV has made it's triumphant return to the gym cardio monitors, so I am one happy-girl. Oh, and speaking of HGTV - shows how far Grandma's condo has slipped off the radar. I gave my last-best a few days ago. I got a counter offer at 9pm last night. I stuck by my last best, as I think it is appropriate (and about 2k over what it's worth, as it is, IMHO). So this looks like just some tactic - I was told by my agent that there were multiple bids going in and mine was not the highest. Looks like I was given the opportunity to create a bit of a bidding war. Not going to jump at that bait. I have what I consider to be a fair offer and I'm sticking with it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. You are the best you ever.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Am Adventurous

I am Adventurous. This is one of my favorite descriptors and one I find I can apply without discomfort. I find it the most empowering! I am adventurous because: I have taken a kayak to go whale watching and got really close; I have parasailed off the top of a mountain in Colorado; I will go all kinds of places and do all kinds of things, even solo; I got nearly-nude in a traditional Turkish bath; Hell, I went to Turkey - just me and my kiddo - and not with a group. I am Adventurous.

Hmmm. That was an interesting exercise and I realized something that I hadn't really thought of before - now I did take Pebbles with me to Turkey, but every other adventurous thing I've done, I've done by myself. Not alone, obviously, but not with a group of people whom I know saying "Hey, let's go do XYZ". These little adventures have been things I've done on my own. I have always known that I find solo travel so amazing and empowering (lord, I hate that word - help me think of another that means the same thing but doesn't sound so Oprahized!).

Looks like I'm getting bad news about Grandma's condo. The seller has several offers (if I believe my agent) and mine is not the highest. So, it was not to be for me, apparently. I can now quit decorating that place in my mind!

I must confess to not getting to the gym yesterday and for having a pisspoor reason not to - it was raining and I didn't want to go out in the rain. I wasn't wearing the shoes for it and I didn't want to get my hair wet! So there will be no such excuses today!

Last night's dinner was just wonderful! Such an inventive menu and Talia is such a dear. We tend to make tapas out of everything - rather than order entrees, we are more likely to order a couple of appetizers, a couple of different salads, share all of that and then split a dessert. Last night we had: roasted beet hummus on rye bread crisps, roasted winter squash and cheese casserole on toast points, warm winter vegetable salad with cornbread croutons, roasted green bean salad with bitters, pears, farm raised boiled egg and house-made cheese curds. We topped it off with a shared banana pudding dessert. Totally scrumptious! I've got two more Groupons to this place and lots of menu to plow through. Now there's and adventure I can sink my teeth into!

Talia has taken up bike riding and just got a bike about a month ago. So on Saturday, I'm hitching up Cha-Cha to MalibuKen and I am heading out the wilds of Parker county to go on a rails-to-trails ride. I am so looking forward to it.

And I never write to inspire anyone's jealousy, but I am right now. On Friday night, in celebration of my Sis' birthday, she and I are going to fulfill a lifelong dream. We are going to see this guy in concert. Little pink houses for you and me! I must admit to always being a complete sucker for a smart ass in an FFA jacket! You can take the girl out of the country and all that.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Do something you can be proud of.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My I AM Project: I Am Active

I'm starting a new self-esteem exercise here at Chez Roxie. I have found these kinds of projects to be both bolstering and enlightening. The Day Twenty project, Ellen's Hate-Loss Challenge, Dr. Brene Brown's Gifts of Imperfection online workshop and my own February of Love Letters project have each provided me with important take aways as I work towards making peace with myself and those around me.

My I AM project was inspired by my daily affirmations on YouTube. I've created a collection of affirmations that I watch most every day. One of my favorites happened to contain the above poster (available at so I will use it as my starting point. I don't know how often this series will make an appearance, but I encourage you to play along to build a portfolio of "attagirls". So here we go:

I Am Active. I am active. Most every day I find a way to be physically active. At 50 I am probably five times more active than I ever was at 30. I don't see myself ever going back to that. I'm not necessarily talking about workouts and sweat - I was just your basic couch potato. I came home and set up camp in the Barcolounger, surrounded by empty wrappers. And while I've been known to succumb to the siren call of an evil baked good or seven, it's no longer my lifestyle. When I was in Seattle recently, I recalled how in a former time, it was a real struggle and NOT FUN to haul my self up and down the hills. A couple of weeks ago, it didn't even phase me. I am now active - physically and socially. I don't know if I've changed or if I've just peeled away enough crap to let this "me" come out. Either way, I'll take it. I am active.

Food has been good. I've planned, prepared and packaged my breakfast, lunch and beverages. When I do those things, it gives me both a boost and some leeway when I enter the witching hours of evening times, which are the most challenging for me. I hit the gym yesterday and plan to do so again today. It feels so GOOD to be back into my office and into my routine!

Tonight Talia is coming into town to go to dinner (Thanks, Groupon) to discuss vacation plans. We just bought our tickets to NS for July.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Create an attagirl portfolio.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Manic Monday

Heading into the office extra early today. Lots on the agenda and I need an early start. I expect I'll be dragging my behind at the end of business today.

I do expect to hear something about the condo today. I'm still laying odds at about 50/50 and I'm totally zen about which way it goes.

Cold(ish) grey, windy and damp weather has rolled in and is expected to stay for the week. And here I thought spring was completely here.

I've got my food planned and my exercise for lunch. I am sorry to report that my lunch gym has removed HGTV from the menu! This is a serious issue for me as HGTV is what drags my sorry, lazy butt to the gym about 30% of the time. Sadness.

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


Saturday, March 26, 2011

On The Table

I've got my "last best" offer on the table. I think there is a 50/50 chance that they will accept it. I suspect it will be Monday before I hear anything. While I don't like the game the seller is playing, my goal is to end up with a new home and not get enmeshed in the gamesmanship of the process. I'm trying to keep my eye on my goal and not the distractions along the way. I cannot control those things. I didn't want to regret not going to my limit on this one. No matter how it turns out, it is already perfect.

When I'm in a yoga class, there is this feeling of sinking into a pose. It's usually accompanied by a sigh - not of relief, really, but more of a release of the body into the "knowing", into it's truth. I get that same feeling sometimes at a meeting when someone speaks a truth that resonates so deeply within me that it sort of makes me let out a breath - a breath that I didn't even know I was holding. I'm feeling that same knowing feeling about my housing situation. The longer I engage in my practice or the process of home buying, the more knowing I am going to get. And just as each yoga pose is already perfect, my housing situation is already perfect - it's just a matter of sinking into the right one.

Last night was quite lovely. While the drive-in thing didn't work out, the FOO's came into town and we went to a lovely little family-owned, neighborhood Italian restaurant. I won't say that the food is the best ever, but the vibe in that place is just so lovely. I don't know why I don't go there more often, but I just don't think about it. It was actually my third choice for last night, but as the other restaurants were so, so busy. But it turned out just beautifully.

We came back here and I gave the Foo's their candy and then we popped downstairs for more gelato! Now there's a habit that I cannot start :-) Came back upstairs and streamed one of our favorite movies from the 80's - Arthur. Funny how it did not look dates, as the fashions are right back now where they were then. The only style shot that was different was when Arthur's character wore jeans. And while I now find little funny about alcohol, I did enjoy the movie and the company. I am glad we were able to get together and enjoy ourselves.

I'm running late for the gym this morning and I've got a meeting at 10, followed by a drive across the county to a massage/mani/pedi appointment at noon. After that, Bick's. So I better get cracking.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Sink into your truth.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Belly Up To The Bar

Springtime evenings in Texas are a joy. Throw in some great women and some fabulous gelato and a fun time is bound to be had.

No news. Same old routine, which is just lovely. Yesterday was the first day that the entire office was back in place - the first time since October. Another week or so and things will be back to normal. Oh, I did have to adjust my plans a skosh yesterday, as the trip to the gelato bar was impromptu, so my Italian treat became most of my dinner. I had a hard time counting the calories on it, as all the counts came up really low relative to the goodness of the treat. Oh well, I'd do it again. Lovely on all counts.

No news on the housefront - nothing back from my counter counter offer. I don't expect to hear anything, really. So it's on to the next thing, when it appears.

I am disappointed in my plans for the evening. I had planned to enjoy yet another Texas spring night and run out to a small town about an hour away to go to the drive-in with the FOOs (Mom and Sister), but the movie tonight is scary/thriller and I don't like those normally. So now we are just stuck with going out to dinner and I was really looking forward to dinner in the car, with the Washington candy bars for dessert! Again, oh, well.

And I adored "expectations are just resentments under construction". Love that saying and I believe it to be so very true.

Got in a lunchtime workout yesterday and will do the same today. Tomorrow's plans include an early morning gym workout, followed by a meeting, followed by a massage/mani/pedi courtesy of a very-soon-to-be-expiring Groupon. I have got to quit buying those things. The drive-in was a Groupon, too, so it will go unused. After that, I may head up to Bick's and give him a hand with his garden and flower planting. He's knee deep in his own private version of "Curb Appeal" as the realtor is coming by next week to take pictures and he's sprucing things up. His house won't go on the market until mid-April so he still has some time. I think I've got some pictures of the front of the house when I had things in full bloom which I would use, as things are still a bit barren right now. And from what I've learned in the real estate market, photos are even more doctored than online dating photos!

Here's wishing you all a wonderful, good-for-you, weekend!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Great expectations lead to great resentments.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

What's Mine and What's Theirs

Yesterday was a circus on the Grandma condo front. The real estate agent who had told me that she didn't want to submit an offer and then change lenders (this was not about pre-qualifying versus pre-approval) went ahead and submitted the offer without telling me. So while I spent the day negotiating back and forth between lenders, she spent the day not telling me that my offer was on the table.

And the mortgage broker that she had recommended called me to inform me that my credit union did not do anything but 30 year loans, blah blah blah and insisted that he had emailed me his numbers some time back. I asked him to just forward that email back to me. And I got a brand new email. Might have been a mistake on both either of our parts, but when I pulled my credit report last night, his company hadn't made an inquiry until yesterday.

So the problem comes down to my expectations. I expect people to be transparent and above board. I figure there is some sort of referral fee my real estate agent gets when I use her mortgage guy. I understand that. I get that. I have no problem with that. But I don't like to feel like I am being railroaded when there are other choices and options available. And it doesn't help matters when the mortgage broker gets indignant with me. I cannot change how people do business. It's not my job to teach them any sort of lesson.

So after spending Tuesday securing a tentative deal that I could be happy with, having Slater and Pebbles review the numbers, I made a decision about which lender to go with. On Wednesday morning I got the letter and called the agent to tell her I was sending her the information, she tells me that the seller has made a counter offer. I told her that it would have been good information for me to know that she had, in fact, submitted my offer. She said she had a family emergency on Tuesday - but here we were at 9:30 on Wednesday morning and she hadn't called, emailed or texted me and she was at her son's school awaiting an awards banquet to start. My feeling is that if she had time to submit the offer, she had time to tell me she had changed her mind and done exactly that. Probably doesn't change the outcome, but I do expect to be informed. Turns out the seller (who has the condo overpriced by about 10K according to my reading of the comps) came down a whopping 1,300 dollars. I don't think we will be closing this gap. I'm going to submit a counter today to see if they will budge. And then it will be "last and best" and let this be for a while.

The good news is that I had a long phone conversation with the mortgage person at my credit union and learned a lot of good information. I feel like I can really work with her to get me the best for me deal. So that part is out of the way. I've made some decisions that will help me in the future. A future that probably will not include my current agent.

I did attend the poli-sci lecture on the Middle East last night and it was a fascinating talk. Standing room only and unfortunately, I stood. After that was over, I made a decision based upon my knowledge of me. There was still plenty of daylight left to go for a ride, but by going home instead of just going to the gym right after leaving the lecture I actually increased the chances of me NOT getting any exercise. I just needed to make the choice and pull the trigger right there. Once I get home after an especially trying day, it is harder to get out and about. So I spent the next hour and a half at the gym. Came home and nearly collapsed, but I was happy with the way I'd handled myself in all areas of my life.

I got exercise. I got information. I minded the boundary about what was mine and what wasn't. I ate right, even when it was stressful. I put myself in "time out" a couple of times during the day (oh and I was moving back into my office yesterday as well) to get centered, stay present and not just re-act. Things are not going the way I want them to or would like them to and I'm doing okay with that, so far.

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


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letting Go of Old Postures

Because I've spent nearly a lifetime living in all sorts of fear, I've closed myself off from others. I assumed the defensive position and assumed everyone was out to do me harm. Letting go of this defense-first stance has been one of the hardest things. My fear has kept me out of so many situations and caused me so much anxiety for so long. If I couldn't control it, I wanted no part of it. If I couldn't be perfect at it, I wouldn't do it. If I didn't have all the answers going in, I wouldn't participate.

It has been so freeing and liberating to let go of much of that. To be free to be who I really am and to be authentic. The flipside of that coin is that I must allow others to be who they are - good, bad or indifferent. Learning to trust someone when I'm not in charge or in control or not the smartest in the room is tough for me. And when I get a whiff of something doesn't feel right, I really have to struggle not to cut and run. While I don't want to be a lamb led to slaughter, I do need to learn to ask questions rather than just flee or fight. There is a middle ground and I can take that path. I can say that something makes me uncomfortable or that I don't understand. I do not have to flounce off in a huff, complete with the dramatic door slam. I'm good at those things. I can pull of an exit like nobody's business. The thing is, that strategy never got me anywhere but gone. Little opportunity for growth when I return to the same spots over and over.

All of this to say is that I'm a bit disappointed with my real estate agent. I got a whiff of her acting in her best interest and not completely in mine. Could be my lack of understanding or naivety as to how all this works - cut to the chase - my offer has not been submitted yet as we (the agent and I) had a disagreement/misunderstanding on the financing. She wants me to have decided on my financing BEFORE she submits the offer. Based upon what I've seen with Pebbles and Slater the financing side of the house brings forth a whole 'nother set of negotiations. I am SURE that I will secure financing - I've already pre-qualified - and it's none of the seller's business where I actually end up. So I asked for an explanation and I got an answer that I'm not completely satisfied with, but I think I can still go through with this. I am hopeful that MY financing source - my credit union will come through for me as they have for Pebbles and Slater and I will leave the mortgage broker (suggested by my agent) alone.

I do not want to not completely trust her as I want to be Pollyanna and believe that people will be straightforward and trustworthy and completely above-board. So I will move forward, but verify. This is a learning process. With each foray into this area, I learn a little bit more. Having Pebbles, Slater and Bick all in sort of the same spot makes sharing support and information much easier. As noted, I am not dreading this entire process, but instead look forward to the opportunity to learn a few things and hone my instincts.

Food was spot on yesterday. I didn't get in any exercise however as I spent what free time I had either dealing with my income taxes or house buying. Certainly spent the day in my big girl drawers, for sure.

Today brings a lunchtime workout and I think I'm going to attend an academic lecture tonight on the Middle East. I am hopeful it will be an unbiased and educational experience.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Trust, but verify - at least a time or two.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Test of Will

When I go home to the PNW, I eat for reasons of nostalgia. I like to go to the same old places and order the same old things. I seek out candy bars that were the favorite of my youth, such as these two favorites pictured here.

They aren't especially good candybars, but they aren't even available where I live now, so I am always on the lookout. I found them this time in the far eastern corner of my county and I bought me and FOOs some. I already told the FOOs that I brought them back, so that will keep me honest until Friday, when we will go to one of the last drive-in movie theaters still in business. I'm afraid of what would have happened had I not told them to expect them :-) Let us hope that these packages of chocolate nostalgia stay firmly in the freezer until movie time.

And in other news, I put in an offer on Grandma's Condo this afternoon. I am strangely at peace about it. Let the negotiations begin! If it works, great. If not, then there are other things out there for me. I love the location on this place, but it is way overpriced, I think. So we'll see if there is a way to get it purchased and re-invigorated and still make it a wise investment. Yet another real estate trick - taking pictures in bad light (on purpose)! This picture makes the bathroom appear in shades of neutral. What it is in all actuality is mauve and blue and silver foil wallpaper! Pebbles came over to see it this afternoon and pronounced it as having "good bones". We'll see how much of this I can stomach. Seriously, I think I will garner experience, even if this one doesn't work out.

Food and exercise were great until Pebbles and I decided to celebrate and our first restaurant choice was closed. We ended up diving into a pot of chips. The good news is that neither of us ate more than two bites of our dinner, so it was bagged up to be taken home to Slater. I'm sure the salt bounce alone will be scary.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Test your mettle.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Bick as Bellwether

What he said while we were sitting on the tarmac at SeaTac was "I will be glad to get home." What I heard was something entirely different. What my people-pleasing, overly responsible, everything-revolves-around-me, here-let-me-fix-it/handle-it self heard was " I did not have a good time." That's the way my brain can twist things around. Luckily, I immediately applied logic and determined (internally, of course) that he could have had the best time in the world and STILL be glad to be going home. And even if he had a lousy time, it was HIS. It is amazing how I can twist myself up in knots about what I THINK other's think or feel.

I am fortunate to have had those thoughts on Saturday because seeing my traits in a true light can help me in other relationships as well. I felt a great deal of guilt about going to Washington. This behavior is one that is the hardest for me to put down and leave alone. I feel guilty because I went and my FOO (family of origin) did not go. Should I feel guilty? No, I should not. Everyone has their own choices to make and the FOO's could go without me if they chose to. They choose not to. However, I still feel guilt and assume they are going to make me feel even worse, so I avoid them because I don't want to deal with any of it. But because of the realization on Saturday that even if Bick did not have a good time, I was not responsible for the success nor the failure. It helped me realize (yet again) that I am not responsible for the FOOs or whatever feelings they may have.

So even though I wanted to avoid, I didn't. I picked up the phone and called. And it was okay, as most of this stuff was just crap I'd built up in my own head. They get to feel however they feel. I don't need to try to change the way I feel, explain my actions or take some action to allow them to avoid feeling whatever they are feeling. All this is old ground, to be sure, but for me, it bares repeating and often.

Sunday was a glorious day, when I finally got all the time zones and time changes sorted out. I slept poorly, was up and down most of the night and then overslept and completely missed church. I headed on into the office and spent more time than I had planned, but it will certainly make re-entry easier today. I then went to an open house at one of the condos I looked at a couple of weeks ago. It's the one that truly is Grandma's condo. It has the best location, but hasn't been updated at all. I'll put in an offer that will afford me the ability to do some updating and the estate can take it or leave it. The listing agent running the open house did nothing to make me feel any better about the whole industry, however. I asked some questions, some of which I already knew the answers to, and she just made stuff up if not flat out lied about some things. Used-car salesmen with Botox and diamonds. And she's one of the premier names in town. Sheesh. I'm liking my agent more and more. At least she seems to be looking out for my best interests.

That took a bit longer than I'd anticipated, so my bike ride on Sunday afternoon was truncated, but I was glad to get it in, even if I was functioning as a human sail in the strong winds. It felt good to be out, but I sure could tell how much I've slipped over the winter. I look forward to more after work riding, now that the time has changed.

Came in from my ride, got cleaned up quickly and headed out for a meeting. Did my grocery shopping and came home and prepared the first good-for-me meal I've had in a while. It feels great to be back into my routine. I am hopeful it will turn out to be the routine that is good-for-me and not the one I've been slumping around in for the last month or so. This week marks my return to my old office, so I will be glad of that, as well. Back into my groove with my regular exercise, normal food, regular eating times and places. I'm looking forward to it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Kind, but not responsible.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I am home, sweet home. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time away, I am glad to be back home and back to my routine. The last few days have meant hours in the car and very little exercise. Bick's sister is quite a bit older and has mobility issues. My plan is to take Cha-Cha out for a spin tomorrow, as I have certainly been doing lots of carb loading. And I enjoyed every bit of it. The first part of the week, I was joined by Pebbles and Slater - which was beyond fun. They are both giddy about the house. They certainly kept me busy between work sessions. And then there was the really fun stuff!

What a pleasure to meet Diana and Grace, live and in person! As they both have said, it was like a reunion of old friends, even though we had never met in person. I hope this was not our last meeting - we chattered like magpies and our time together passed so quickly. I was honored that both women took time out of their busy lives to come in to Seattle proper for a lunch. It was great fun and aren't they just gorgeous? They are even more beautiful in person.

Not much else is going on - I'll try to catch up on blogging and spend tomorrow putting myself back into my routine. I do need to pop into office for a couple of hours tomorrow, do my laundry, and hit the grocery store.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find that sweet spot.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Well That Settles That

The condo I really wanted is now under contract. I'd decided to wait until returning from WA to put in a bid. Guess that was not to be.

I was a bit harsh in my anticipating the family reaction. First off, I don't know what will be said. Anticipating brings with it a set of expectations and in order to complete detach from their outcomes (very good point, Christine, and one that I can always stand to be reminded of) I need to let go of any expectations. Secondly, I wasn't showing much compassion. I believe her to be impaired. Doesn't mean I have to accept unacceptable behaviors, but she is acting and will always act out of her dis-ease.

I'm all packed and ready to have a good trip. Don't know if I will update while I'm away.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Hope for clarity.


Welcome To Bedrock

May I present the soon-to-be new home of Pebbles and Slater. Their offer was accepted yesterday. Closing May 6th, I believe. There is a lease back deal going on and then move in over Memorial Day. Of course, all of this is contingent upon, well, the usual contingencies. The inspection is today and Pebbles is using an inspector she knows through her professional contacts, rather than an unknown. Don't know if I mentioned that her realtor is someone she went to high school with. She and Slater were in need of representation and were going to open houses and walked into one that he was holding. Three weeks later, they have a house. So the dominoes are certainly falling down for them.

They drove me past this house the other night when I was in Dallas. It is a lovely, lovely home in a really charming neighborhood. My Miss Pebbles has come a long way from the trailer park in Johnson County. I am very happy and proud of them. It is a beautiful, just-right-sized home. And it has a raised-bed vegetable garden that is separate from the back yard, in case I need to do any gardening.

Their purchase has also enlightened some other dark corners of my mind where some other strange beliefs lurk. It is okay to buy nice things. I do not have to feel guilty about wanting or being able to buy nice things. While I won't say "I deserve", as I truly hope I don't get what I deserve, I have earned the right. I've done the things, did the ground work, paid my dues. It is okay for me to have nice things.

Pebbles' purchase will send my Mom into a tailspin. While she loves Pebbles, she doesn't like her very much and is constantly playing the comparison game between Pebbles and my sister. When this house purchase becomes public knowledge, I can just hear it - it won't be how happy or excited she is for Pebbles, her reaction will be "Poor MySister'sName, she never gets anything nice. I guess people like us aren't meant to have nice things. I'm happy that Pebbles got the opportunity to go to college and has these fine things. Poor MySister'sName just has to work all the time." So anyone with a Freud-in-a-Box Home Diagnostic Couch can see where I've picked up the "undeserving" attitude. I am so grateful that Pebbles is mostly immune to such emotional blackmail. It is also unfortunate that she doesn't have much of a relationship with the rest of the women with whom she shares DNA, but her tolerance for this kind of bullshit is pretty low. She's not without foibles, but she dodged the worst of it - or was shielded, in actuality. You can't be this close to the crazy and not get some of it on you.

Food and exercise continue to be crap. I seem to be having trouble doing the next right thing. I'm hoping a change of scenery will help. Upon my return from Seattle, I will get to move back to my office, as our remodel is supposed to be done. At least that will get me back to bringing in my own food, rather than purchasing. That will certainly be a step in the right direction. And with DST, I should be able to start riding in the afternoons some. Here's hoping.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. We all deserve good things.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Fear That's Behind It

It finally dawned on me what was behind all this angst over the condo. It has nothing whatsoever to do with money. The condo is a convenient and comfortable choice for me, monetarily. The fear that is behind this indecision was surprising when it came bubbling to the surface. Doesn't mean that it's a rational fear, but it is a fear, nonetheless.

By choosing a condo, it feels like I am resigning myself to being old and alone with too many cats.

Pebbles asked me last night why the condo would feel different than this apartment. Well, this apartment was always meant to be transitory. I was only to stay here a year and then I was going to buy a house and/or Bick and I would somehow magically figure out how to fix everything. Secondly, this apartment is in the hottest spot in town. And while that wasn't part of my reasoning for being here, it certainly has a fun, vibrant cache.

Buying a stand-alone house feels independent and well, stand-alone. The perception that I have about how it looks to others keeps creeping in. What the hell? Because actually I think it would/could be isolating. A stand-alone house would keep me tied to it and not out amongst people, other than those in the aisles at Home Depot. The less time I spend on home maintenance is more time I can spend being engaged with other people in one form or another. One of the things I've enjoyed most about living here is having people around. Even my company the other night remarked about how isolating living in a house was for them and how much more they enjoyed "communal" living. I do know that is true for me - it's one of the reasons I would consciously choose a multi-family setting would be to have humans around. I've lived in relative isolation for years and moving into this place has been eye-opening in that regard. So why the fear/irrational fear?

As far as the old goes, well, it is what it is. I will age whether I live in a house or a condo. I've never really had a huge issue with aging so this surprises me a bit. And it's not really about age so much as being vital and vibrant - two things that I very much am. And the ironic thing about this particular feeling is that I want the condo PRECISELY because it does support an active, involved, non-solitary lifestyle!

And probably the biggest factor coming into play in the condo versus house decision isn't condo versus house at all. It's rent versus buy. And it has nothing to do with deeds. It has to do with relationships. I'm closer to buying the condo, as I haven't found a house that would work nearly as well. The real fear/hurdle is making the real move into another home. It feels like shutting the door on my relationship with Bick. Perhaps I'd always harbored some secret thought/belief/hope that we would find some sort of geographical solution to a non-geographical problem, but neither of us appears to be interested in doing that. I think with our individual real estate decisions, we are both saying this is changing - and while I know it needs to change, the unknown is well, unknown. So we will be challenging ourselves to forge a new place for ourselves as we both move out of limbo. How that will look, I don't know.

So that's the plain, unvarnished truth as I've uncovered it so far. It has far less to do with real estate than other stuff. I don't plan on making any decisions until after returning from vacation. At that point, I'll bring Pebbles over here to look at the condos and I'll spend more time just wandering around the condo complexes, just to get a feel for the place (and the number of cats! ha). I'll sit for a while with these truths exposed to light and logic and see what comes of it. Once I see what the real issues are, I can deal with them, rather than have them bleed over onto everything else.

As always, I appreciate the wise counsel, both in comments and in emails.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Say it with me "The truth shall....."


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Feeling Flat

I enjoyed my company last night, but certainly wish I could crawl back into bed this morning. Today feels like a great day for a mental health day, but my schedule is already too packed to readjust it. I'm scheduled to go to Dallas for dinner with the kids tonight and even that sounds like a beating right now. But I am not my feelings. My feelings are not truths.

So I will get on with it this morning. I'll spend a bit of extra time in preparing myself for the day - mentally, physically and spiritually - and go forth with the intention of being gentle with myself and all those around me.

The house versus condo? Which house? Which condo? Do I act now? Do I wait? What if I make the wrong decision? All of these thoughts are on continuous loop in my head and last night's discussion only added fuel to the fire - actually it did more to confirm the condo decision. My guests had carefully tracked their housing versus renting expenses and established their breakeven point. For them, given the house maintenance issues/work required, it was worth even a premium to rent. I think a condo would mitigate that somewhat.

Gah! But I also worry that I will make a decision just to make this loop stop. Whatever it is, I need to work to set aside my obsessive thoughts and worry. Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking hard. It expends energy, but one doesn't get very far. I need to get a little peace about this.

Food and exercise are pure crap as of yesterday and I have a luncheon that is a must attend today. I shall try to make the best of it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Know when to protect yourself.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

High Tea

I'm having guests over tonight for snackies, a visit and a tour. My supervisor from about twenty years ago and her husband, who is legally, but not literally blind, are looking to move into the same complex in which I currently live. They own a house in the very area that I would like to live and want to wait for the housing market to bounce back a bit before selling it. They have been able to rent it out and have been living the "urban" lifestyle for a couple of years and just love it. They want an insider's view of this place, so I'm having them over right after work for a chat.

Which reminds me, I've fallen down with entertaining here at The Closet. I'm trying to remember the last time I had someone over. I guess it was Barbie. I need to remedy that. It is just so easy to fall into the habit of NOT entertaining - NOT engaging others. And yes, I think it is a habit. And I wonder how closely it is tied to internet usage? Or is it just a sign of the times? Are we so busy that we don't entertain, even on a small scale?

I know for me, it is just so difficult to make social calls. I just don't do it. I'll text, for sure, but it's hard for me, even to call my Trusted Advisor. I don't even do that as often as would be beneficial. I need to continue to work on this area of my life. People bring me pleasure - it is important to continue to cultivate friends with skin, in addition to friends with keyboards.

I did not act in my own best interest food-wise yesterday. I know where my achilles' heel is and I chose not to guard it. I was feeling a bit down about a couple of things and I knew my resolve was weak and I should have waited to pick up the food stuffs I needed for tonight, but I did not. So, I violated my rule about shopping when impaired. I did not stick to my rule about making decisions when they are easy.

Work is crazy busy and will be until early May. The seminar that I am organizing for my professional colleagues is coming along, but is a ways from being completely planned. I've got my work trip to Seattle coming up on Saturday and I have not even thought about what to pack. But first things first, I guess. What can I do today that is in my own best interest?

What will you do today that is in your own best interest? What will further your goals? One of mine would be to quit buying Groupons! I've been amassing them like crazy - only the good restaurant ones, but still.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Have people over. Relatives don't count.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Open House

The Happy Couple, after submitting a bid on a second house. They are just too cute. I'm going over to have dinner with them on Wednesday to celebrate their recent promotions/raises/house-hunting. They are supposed to hear something today on the latest "most perfect house".

My own house hunting continues. I went to three open houses - two that were more house than I wanted/could afford, but I wanted to see what houses looked like at that price point. There was one house in my desired neighborhood and at my price point, but much like online dating, the in-person meeting left a lot to be desired :-). Again, the more data points that I can put together, the more informed I will be about whatever decision I try to make.

I did attempt to put a dollar value on the convenience of condo living - which meant dredging up some skills from finance classes from grad school long ago. NPV of this, future value of that - left my brain fuzzy. I am pretty confident that I was able to do some best guestimating and projecting. I'll re-affirm part of this with Slater on Wednesday, as this is his actual career. My plan, as it stands today, is to wait to see what spring will do to the houses that are available in my desired neighborhood. I think that by May 1, the majority of places that are coming on the market this season will be there.

Food was good(ish). Bick came into town on Saturday night and we went to dinner. We stopped and picked up some dessert to take home, but didn't eat it that night. I sent the cookies home with him, but he wouldn't take the Ben and Jerry's. I had single serving on Sunday, but conducted an ice cream funeral for the remainder of it. No need to tempt fate. Hit the elliptical for an hour and forty five minutes on Saturday, so that was good. All in all, I'm pleased. It was nice to start Monday with no guilt, no regrets, no remorse over bad choices.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Work your plan.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Fall Back Position

The house was a non-starter, but I found two condos that could really work and a third that was a close second. I really liked the entire condo complex. It was right next to the park that leads directly into the biking trails. They were all bigger than I'd imagined 1147 sq ft, two bedroom 1.5 bath. The kicker on my favorite one was that it was upstairs, with no easy way to store my bike, other than hauling Clementine Peddleford up the stairs myself. There is a lovely little room that would work for bike-on-trainer/gym area, if I wanted to portage up.

The thing that I didn't like was that all utilities, etc were bundled. The fees were right at $500 per month, which included electric, basic cable, trash, water and sewer. Which is great, except that I tend to be very frugal with those things and would be subsidizing someone else. The all-inclusive, while very convenient, may not make the most economic sense for me. However, there is a lot to be said for living pretty maintenance free, but I would be tied to whatever someone else thought of as good maintenance. Gah! I need to break that down to try to figure out how much is actual maintenance, because it does seem kind of steep, although the place was huge. And because I saw it during the day, there were a lot of little old ladies milling about. Including one you could tell would be a Nosy Parker. Which, might not be all bad. As with everything there will be goods and bads. These were three viable options but I'm not ready to jump just yet.

My friend Barbie hadn't gone back out of town to work, so I asked her to join me on this look, as she lives in a condo in a different part of town. She has a great eye and was helpful. So I ended up with two restaurant meals yesterday, both chicken tortilla soup and side salad. No exercise yesterday, so I've failed at March Madness, but I will continue to do my best.

I'm on a six-month watch-and-see for my right breast, so I've got another diagnostic mammogram and who-knows-what-else scheduled for today. So I'll hit the gym at lunch, as I've got another outing tonight. The GNO crew is doing one of those byob art classes, preceded by dinner at a local BBQ joint. I'll try to take a picture of my creation. Mine will be the sober sunflower. Should be fun! After that, I don't have much on the agenda. Bad weather moving in on Saturday and Sunday, so no outdoor riding, although I did manage to buy a floor pump that I can actually use. So I'll try to get up early on Saturday, get in some exercise, run some errands and then head up to Bick's, I suppose.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Give yourself some options.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

That's Life In The Big City

My Pebbles got one of her feelings hurt as the seller didn't respond to their offer. To quote her "I'm over it". I know the feeling. Welcome to the Real Estate Roller Coaster, Sweet Tart! I don't know what today will bring for she and Slater, as that was yesterday. They will find their own way, as I hope I find mine and gain some confidence in this process.

I'm going to look at houses/condos today myself. I'm still liking my real estate agent. Bick is putting his place on the market, as well. His agent will be coming out to talk to him about marketing his place next week. We will all be up to our ears in real estate roller coasters pretty soon.

It is my hope that I can stay grounded and focused, patient and less fearful this time around. My perfect place is out there. It will make it's way to me, somehow, someway. I mean really, hasn't everything worked out perfectly so far? Seriously, I wouldn't have missed a thing. Everything that has gone before came with a lesson that was important for me to learn. I feel like I'm the heart of those lectures right now - just to be patient, not add to the drama, one day at a time.

Food was spot on yesterday. I rode the bus to work and walked to the grocery store last night, in addition to some gym work at lunch. Today is all booked up - lunch with my sister, home tours and a meeting. I won't be home until after 7. In order to stay with my March goals, I will have to exercise when I get home. That will be tough - but necessary! I will, however, be getting a lot of walking in today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Every roller coaster is not worth riding.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

There's Proud And Then There's House Proud

Yesterday was a red-letter day in Pebbles’ life. She got a stellar, and I do mean stellar, raise. Far exceeded even her expectations. Between she and Slater, they’ve seriously increased their income in the past two months - don’t know if I mentioned he just scored a promotion/raise.

I also don’t know if I’ve mentioned that they, too ,have been househunting and yesterday, put in an offer on a house. It is a beautiful, amazing home - judging from the pictures, but it sends me into near-apoplectic shock. She’s come a long way from Reata South. I don’t know that they will get this house - it appears to be a pretty hot commodity right now, but just thinking about it sends ME into fear. I mean it’s not a McMansion or anything, but I’m just not used to the housing market over there in Big D.

And then I realized a couple of things - they are professionally employed - and there are TWO of them. They can, if they choose to do so, afford a lot of house. And to be sure, this is a lot of house (IMHO), but it isn’t nearly at the top of the range they “qualified” for. So I just need to breathe and enjoy the moment and know that I couldn’t stop her, even if I wanted to. If she’s determined to have that house, then Katie bar the door!

I’m also scheduled to look at another house on Thursday, along with a couple of condos. I’m still so unsure about going the condo route. I’m not even convinced about the whole buy-versus-rent thing and I’m certainly unsure about real estate as an investment. I guess my main goal would be to “lock in” my housing costs. I’m seeing now by renting that my “costs” would go up each year. Granted, there would be taxes, etc, but at some point (at least so far) some taxes are by-in-large capped when one reaches age 65 around here (I think).

Certainly a lot to think about. I could buy a one bedroom condo right now in a location that I like for not much money, knowing that I would probably have some difficulty selling it in the future. But in the meantime, I would have gained the flexibility to save/invest the money that I’m NOT spending on housing - as the one bedroom certainly would not be viewed as an investment vehicle.

As for the Italian dinner, we split the asparagus appetizer and I had the heart of palm salad. I should have asked for the salad dressing on the side as it was dressed a little too heavily for my taste, but it was good. Again, I used the decaf coffee ordered immediately upon being seated to counter act the bread basket. I feel like I was able to stay well on plan. I ate whole, real identifiable food, but because it was restaurant food, I did expect a sodium bounce, but it didn't happen.

I rode the bus yesterday and went to the gym at lunch. Experienced great excitement over my daughter's news and enjoyed a lovely dinner with an old friend, Barbie. All wonderful, wonderful things. Life is good.

March Goal: Exercise and Tracking? Check.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Allow yourself to feel joy, completely.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


This article.

ETA: Another courtesy of a FB post by Suz.

This is darned near a guide for living.

March Forth

I think I’ve been shorting myself on my breakfast. I just end up being too hungry all the rest of the day. Over the weekend, I started upping the quantity of my egg white omelets to a more satisfying level and I think it’s working a bit better. There’s always some tweaking to be done around here. I bought the southwest version of EggBeaters (they were on sale) and I really like them much better than just the plain egg whites. I’m sure it has to do with the sodium. But if I watch it the rest of the day, I’ll be fine.

Went to the gym at lunch for treadmill time. About a half hour in, I got hit with waves and waves of nausea. I wasn’t working that hard, so I don’t know what was going on. Went ahead and went to lunch, thinking some food might help. That was a mistake. Ate a few bites and had to leave the restaurant. While walking back to work, the nausea stopped as soon as it started. Very, very weird. And then I was hungry, as I’d bought and paid for lunch, but only ate a few bites. Ended up at the vending machine in the afternoon, but didn’t overdo it calorie wise. Normally, when I start with that junk, I’m like your Grandma Nettie playing the slots in Reno - just feeding in coins. Yesterday was different.

Today it is back to the gym at lunch, followed by the postponed dinner with Barbie. We are going to an Italian restaurant tonight, so that will be a challenge. She says she’s trying to eat more healthfully, so perhaps between the two of us, we can steer clear of the worst of it. I’m leaning towards the chilled fresh asparagus appetizer and perhaps the soup of the day, depending, or maybe just the grilled chicken and vegetables. There are good, clean choices to be made here, if I choose to make them.

And just when I make the decision to get back on the bus, the temperature drops by 25 degrees! Oh well. I’ve got enough warm clothes to deal with it.

I am loving my streaming netflix dvr thingy. Last night, I watched Roxanne. I am one of those silly people who will watch a favorite movie over and over.

Goals for March: some form of exercise and track food every day

Looking over the above menu, what would you choose?

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