Saturday, April 30, 2011

Flew The Coop


Well, this is a boring morning! No fancy hats and feathers to hold my interest. I did catch a bit of the royal wedding yesterday and pronounced it quite lovely. And like the rest of the world, I am fascinated by fascinators. My favorite was the architectural ribboned display sported by Princess Eugenia Beatrice. I understand it was not the crowd favorite, however. I thought it, in combination with her understated jacket, very lovely with her coloring. Spot on, in my book.

The packing continues. I am living in chaos which isn't a fun place to be, but necessary. I've got about half of my packing done, I'd say. I just need to figure out how to live in this mess for two of the next three weeks. I will be leaving next Saturday for Florida for a week and then the Saturday after my return, I get the keys. So I do still have some work ahead of me.

My agenda today involves some gym time this morning, a meeting and a trip to a used bookstore while I'm on that side of town. I'm planning a bike ride this afternoon, but the truth is that I'm at my highest energy level upon waking in the morning, so I'm likely to not ride. That's the trouble with scheduling. I have a ten am meeting that I really get a lot out of and until it gets too hot to ride later in the day, I want to attend. Same thing with Sunday. I'm signed up for a class on Joy for the next couple of Sundays, so no rides first thing. Oh well, it will work itself out. These other things are equally important in a balanced life.

On tap for Sunday, in addition to the class on joy, Pebbles has invited me to Dallas to go on the chicken tour. This tour is in her new neighborhood, I think. She's become interested in keeping chickens. I guess you can take the kid out of the country and all that. It should be a fun day. For reasons that I can't quite explain, I slow-roasted a brisket overnight, so I'll be taking over our pre-tour meal.

I'm still reading blogs, but not commenting much these days. It's not you. It's me. Just preserving a bit of energy, I guess. I'll be back to my verbosey-commenty self soon.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't get your feathers ruffled.

-Roxie
141

Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Treasures


What a treasure. Yesterday turned out to be one of the nicest, most fulfilling days. The workshop/seminar that I conducted went off almost hitchless. I was present, engaged and in the moment and I did some really nice work.

I am grateful for the work that has been mine for the last three (OMG!) decades. In a sea of chaos, it has been my stalwart anchor. I'd like to think that I'm doing some of my most creative work these days. I've found with the job, as with many things, what I put into it and how I choose to view the process has such an influence on what comes back to me.

So this part is over. It's time to draw a line in the sand and get back to MY lifestyle which includes clean eating and exercise, something that has been conspicuously absent in this past week. I don't have any real plans for this evening, other than to shop for some more packing supplies. I've got a bike ride on the agenda for Saturday and Sunday, as well as church and a couple of meetings.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Cultivate your treasures.

-Roxie
141.5

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Benchmark


As soon as I finish up with the seminar today, I will sprint to our company's service awards ceremony where I will receive my 30 year ugly-mantle-clock. Don't they know that 30 is the pearl anniversary? I would love a little black pearl choker!

I just need to get through this day, as I will be "on" all day. And since this is my shindig, it's a pretty high-wire thing for me. My tendency, in the past, is that if something was less than perfect was to beat myself unmercifully about it. I hope that today, when something goes less than stellar, that I will resolve to do things differently the next time and just let it go. It's a learning experience, not a personal failure. Remember that, Roxie.

It's strange how many places that perfectionism can slip in. Or more accurately, for me, it's affirmation that can sometimes border on martyrdom. I went in to work last night, did what really needed doing and left it at that. In the past, I would have labored over every-single-detail and made sure everyone knew it. Now? Well, it will be what it will be.

That's one of the realizations I had yesterday regarding personal growth. I'm not taking my recent break-up personally. Oh, I feel it, but I am not automatically turning it into something being defective or lacking in me. In prior events, I would have automatically run through my list of shortcomings (which still exist) and the if-only's. If only I was thinner. If only I was smarter. If only I was prettier. If only. There are no in onlys today. I'm fine just as a I am and things just didn't work out. It's not about me needing to be better in some way. So I am very grateful for that bit of growth and self-acceptance.

I am not grateful, however, for my head-first dive into dessert-ville. Brownies just seem to be crawling out of the wordwork to haunt me these days. Again it's time to duck and cover and avoid the work kitchen. In any event, I'm giving myself a bit of slack and will be really grateful for Friday's arrival. Or actually, 5:30 this evening.

No - wait. I do not want to wish this day away. I do want to be present, be in the moment and enjoy this day with colleagues - both from within the firm and those who are traveling from all parts of the state to come to this workshop. Today is a milestone day and I need to be present for it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Show up and be present. No If-only's allowed.

-Roxie
141

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking A Breather


Just taking a quick breather between meetings and obligations. I've been in a meeting since 8AM, where the meeting room was ICE cold. The man running the meeting was much higher up the food chain and he was hot, so he had the temp cranked way down - even after asking us. What a, well, special person. I stayed until a bit after 2pm and I was just too cold. I came home and got in a hot, hot tub of water just to warm up. I'm sitting here now wrapped in blankets and my feet are still cold. Miserable! Enough whining.

I'm about to head back out to do some more prep for the big workshop/seminar tomorrow. Plus, I'm getting my haircut tonight. After tomorrow's meeting, I'm going on a house tour - it is a house built in the FLW style. I've heard about the house and I joined the local historical society just to be able to get inside to see it! And after the seminar and the house tour, I think I will just collapse!

Exercise has been non-existent and I think I've been living on pure chocolate. Not a good place to be.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take a breather.

-Roxie

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Am Curious

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Curious. No, not in that Gladys Cravitz way. That is nosy and I don't think I'm that. I am curious about how things are made, why they work the way they do. I am curious about architectural anthropology and our trade agreement with Japan. I'm curious about other countries and cultures. I want to know how stuff works. I adore Freakonomics. I rocked out on doing case studies in grad school. While I am far from scholarly, I do believe I possess a healthy, intellectual curiosity and satisfying that curiosity brings me pleasure. I am considering auditing some classes in a graduate liberal arts program - just to listen to the lectures.

What a day was yesterday. I am glad the day is over and no one got hurt. I should be more specific and say that I am glad I didn't hurt anyone. To start things off, I took an OTC sleep aid on Sunday night - one of the PMS -a single tablet at 8:30pm. I was still an absolute zombie at 11:00am. I was cramming down caffeine and sugary-carbs to try to function and formulate sentences. Oh my. There was a retirement shindig in our office yesterday, ramrodded by another woman in the office, as it was her staffer who was retiring. My coworker is absolutely the best work partner in the world, but she sucks as a party planner. I guess it wasn't her fault but there was some miscommunication between her and another person, so 30 minutes before this fete was supposed to begin, we discovered a serious lack of necessary supplies. We scrambled, and I do mean scrambled and adopted Plan C, but by the time this whole deal was over, I was exhausted and had eaten a week's supply of sugar. Totally feeling it this morning.

I did manage to get back to the vintage store and purchase my chairs. My sister had driven the farm truck to work yesterday and so I got her to swing by there and pick them up. Her smart ass remark? "When they do a remake of Three's Company, I know where they can come for set design". Oh, and "all you need now is a macrame plant hanger". Those are totally coming back in! Seriously - lots of jute and rattan and bamboo stuff is reappearing on design blogs. I got these two chairs for my front porch room. I love them!

I am setting my intention to get some exercise in today.

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

-Roxie
140

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Am Courageous

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Courageous. Hmmm. Nothing courageous comes immediately to mind. I've often felt more like the cowardly lion than courageous. I'll have to ponder this one a bit more.

My weekend was nice. I did get to go to some architectural salvage places with Pebbles. We also went to some furniture consignment shops. She bought a vintage chrome dining room outfit. Chairs from one place and the table from another. It's quite nice. I found some vintage rattan side chairs that I want, but I didn't buy them. So I went back to the place on Sunday, only to find them closed. I'll try to give them a call today to get them to hold them for me. I don't know exactly what I am going to do with them, but I'll find someplace for them. If they are still available. I was actually going back to buy two other chairs that I had seen last week and couldn't get out of my head, but they had already sold. Pebbles, being the darling daughter that she is, tells me this is just the outcome of my obvious good taste - that I bring some sort of karma with me into the shops. She says that I should hire myself out as some sort of divining sales diva. Something about me just makes things sell right around me. Anyway, it was fun.

Yesterday, I was up early and decided to go to sunrise service, but at five minutes until start time, no one else was in the parking lot and I didn't want THAT much attention, you know? So I went grocery shopping instead and came back for a later service. My plan had been to attend the early service and then a class on joy that was being offered, so I just went to the class. It was sparsely attended, as well. But I think it will be enjoyable. It's only for four weeks and I will have to miss one of those.

Bike ride on Saturday was cancelled due to wind and potential storms, so I got no real long workouts in, other than a couple of run-of-the-mill trips to the gym. Did some more packing and online decorating blog perusing. I have decided to do a couple of things - I'm going to take an upholstery class in the fall. I've always wanted to do that. And I'm going to buy myself a new sewing machine. Back in the day, I was a pretty awesome seamstress - made my own wedding dress, etc. Maybe it's time to bring that back - not the wedding dress part, but the sewing of home furnishings. I've got some great ideas for some pillows!

This week is going to be a killer - my days are crammed backed with meetings and functions and appointments. I'll do well to keep my head about water. My plan is to try to stay centered and not be swayed by what's going on around me.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. What's the most courageous thing you've done?

-Roxie
138

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Life As A House


The evidence is well-documented, both anecdotally and scientifically. People are most comfortable in, well, their comfort zone - even if their comfort zone is flawed. I’ve seen it in the weight-loss community where it takes folks a while to adjust to the new body and all the comes with it. Some people do adjust to the new lifestyle, while for others, the new body brings with it too many other issues and soon they return to their former size.

The same phenomenon occurs in abusive relationships - people stay because even if it is painful, it is known, while the unknown is even more frightening. Simplified, yes, but the fear of the new and different can be powerful.

The draw of the familiar is powerful and for me, the familiar is “we are not supposed to have nice things”. I’d changed that around a bit, to make it a bit more palatable for me to something like “I am not materialistic”. Things and possessions aren’t important. I’d already been through something similar with MalibuKen. I’d driven my trusty truck for nearly twenty years and while I was very grateful for the opportunity to do so, I wasn’t particularly proud of the truck. And I did love Mitzi, my $1,700 commuter vehicle, but she certainly wasn’t the stuff that dreams were made of, but she was such a step up for me that I adored her. And the truth is, if it had been left up to me, I would have never picked MalibuKen for myself. I would have chosen a lesser model. And I am proud of MalibuKen, but I think the real sign of growth in me is that I am considering trading cars sometimes within the next year or so, to find something that fits in the actual garage. Rather than just “making do”. That, for me, is personal growth. I do not have to make do. I’ve had a lifetime of “making do”.

And so it goes with the house. I’ve never lived in a place I was proud of. I’ve been grateful, but I’ve never been proud. I was always taught, always taught, that “pride comes before the fall”. I can see now that this “teaching” was a way of making the old living conditions seem almost, well, virtuous. And while I’ve successfully eschewed the cluttering/shopping/hoarding legacy, what was ingrained was the “I guess we can never have nice things”. So buying this “nice” house is a real step outside my comfort zone.

I’m not buying a fixer-upper. I’m buying a house that is beautiful, as it is. I’m not doing anything to “earn” this house. I’m not restoring or saving it or getting some fabulous bargain. Pebbles calls it charming and modest. I call it solid and confident.

This is not a house of chaos. This is a house where care is shown and practiced, and yes, perhaps a little pride. This might be the house where my maybe-future grandchildrens’ memories are made. This house is how “normal” people live. People have commented that I don’t seem particularly excited about this new place and the truth is, I’m still adjusting to the thought of it. I had a hard time picturing myself living in something so wonderful. It’s like that post weight-loss sensation of not recognizing yourself in a picture or in a mirror or your reflection in a store window as you walk down the street. It takes a while to recognized this new, inner core that is now being shown to the world.

This is my new house and I am proud of it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Good Friday


I am up early on my day off - getting ready to go to the gym and then prepare for what I hope comes true - Pebbles and I are off to visit architectural salvage places! Woo Hoo! Could that possibly be any funner? I am so excited. We planned to hit a few of them last Sunday, but they were closed - and they may be closed for the holiday, but if she doesn't need to work, then we are on. I've got my fingers crossed - I'd lay odds at about 50/50.

Unfortunately, she is not an early riser like her mother (ah, youth is wasted on the young) and so it will be several hours before I know if our plan is actually a go. If not, I have other things on tap. I actually could stand a couple of hours in the office undisturbed. The seminar that I'm organizing goes off next week, plus I'm giving an assist to a retirement party at the office on Monday, which will knock out my ability to do actual work on Monday.

If I don't spend the day with Pebbles, I will probably hit the one salvage place here just to look around. And perhaps a little bike ride. Talia and I have a 30 miler on tap for tomorrow. She is a machine! Looks like the weather has given the fires a bit of dampening, so it will be possible to head out - unless things change. Ash was falling from the sky a couple of days ago in our designated ride area.

I haven't made any plans for Sunday, other than meditation practice.

I plan to do a little more packing over the weekend. Just a few boxes here and there. And I need to start thinking about what I'm taking to Florida in a couple of weeks. I'll need to have a plan in place for relaxation (how stupid is that!) or that week will drive me crazy. I need to do a little advance planning, I think. Books and journals and walks on the beach - I may have to rethink this whole thing. I was trying to save $$ and use my miles to make the trip - which means that I have to stay a whole week. I think that I should probably just pay for the return trip and come home on Thursday, rather than Saturday. Something to ponder. I do feel bad, however, for leaving the condo unused for the remainder of the week. I'll talk to my friend this weekend and see how she feels about that.

Time for the gym and to see what's on HGTV at this hour of the morning. There are so many good diy/designer/decorator blogs that they make HGTV look old and staid.

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

-Roxie
139

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tears For Fears


I’ve been facing a good many fears recently. Fear surrounding the purchase of the house; fear surrounding the loss of the relationship. Fears masquerading as facts.

1. Relationship - Missing him and all the fears around that. What was swirling around in my brain was not so much that I was missing him, but that I was missing out. Yes, I do miss him. I miss him a great deal, but what was causing the most angst was not about him at all. My brain was quickly moving from missing him to the “fact” he was my last opportunity to be partnered. I wasn’t really missing him so much as missing the idea of a him. My fears were telling me that I would be alone forever. That I am unworthy and unlovable. To see what was at the root of this really surprised me. And so to face down the fear, I had to not run from it, but turn and face it and try it on for size.

What if I am never partnered again? What would that mean? What would that feel like? Would I forever feel less-than or lacking? Would I forever be trying to balance the ledger against that perceived deficit? Am I really that woman?

And after I tried it on for size, this is how it fit - I may or may not spend the remainder of my life unpartnered. I do not know. I have no way of knowing what is in store for me. If it turns out to be that way, it will be up to me as to how I choose to see things - if I look to others for validation as I have in the past, then my life will be out-of-balance. If I choose to view my life as full - full of many things - people whom I love and who love me back - activities that I find personally fulfilling and exciting - then there will be no room for lack. If I choose to concentrate on the lack, then that lack is all I will see. If I concentrate on the lack, then the lack looms large. The choice is up to me on how I view my circumstances, whatever they might be.

To put this in perspective, my day on Saturday (ATV tour) was not a day of lack. It was a day of completeness. It was a day of fun. And if I am completely honest with myself, it was a day that was better because he wasn’t in it. This part is a little tricky, as I can’t say if this is him or if this is me - and I’m thinking it’s me. If he were with us, I would have been concerned about him having a good time that it would have affected MY ability to have a good time. I think it is precisely in this arena where our neuroses collided - his tendency to be negative about things I thought were fun and my tendency to feel responsible for his good time. I don’t know if that was him and me specifically, or me and men, in general. I tend to think it’s our particular issue, as I felt I was in constant “search” mode - looking for attention, affection and affirmation - things I felt he withheld. I will spend some more time thinking on this.

Coming Soon: My Life As A House

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. What masquerades as truth for you?

-Roxie
139.5

Deconstruction


I got all my loan ap paperwork completed (I hope) and turned in yesterday and then I set into deconstructing The Closet. I packed and labeled two boxes, two bags of excess linens, created one bag for Goodwill and one bag for the rubbish chute. Closing in 28 days.

I also managed to bring a spot of rain to North Central Texas yesterday, as I took MalibuKen in for a wash and interior vacuum. That's another thing that will be wonderful about The Manor, as I can pull the car unto the pad in the back and wash my own car!

This week has also brought with it some new insights on a couple of fronts and I'm still formulating my thoughts on those. Future post, probably.

Food has been decent. Exercise could be better, but considering the upheaval, I'll take it any day of the week.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Winnow down.

-Roxie
140.5

Monday, April 18, 2011

Redneck Family Jubilee

The ATV tour was a BLAST! I expected some mamby-pamby Disneyfied ride and what we got was two hours of what seemed like some pretty interesting terrain. So "interesting" that my arms and shoulders ached this morning from wrestling the machine into submission - but in that really good way. If Slater ever edits it into a manageable form, he got some really good video of our day on the range in Texas. Totally awesome experience. I would go again in a heartbeat. We didn't do the zipline, as I think I may only have one of those in me this lifetime and I'm hoping to get to do that in Costa Rica one day. But we did ride through as others were walking the course - didn't see any actual zippers, however. It was a great day and we had lots and lots of fun. Exceeded my expectations in every way.

Good news on The Manor. The seller has agreed to address the issues that came up during inspection. YAY! So I think all the negotiations are done. All that's left is the paperwork - the mountains of paperwork. So I'll get started on that tomorrow.

On the diet and exercise front - I've been faced with a couple of situations that have led me to make some interesting decisions. I'm pretty good at tracking my food - even when I'm eating "off program". On Saturday, my sister brought us cupcakes that she made. Red velvet with cream cheese icing that is heavenly. Then for lunch, we went to this great place for chicken fried steak. I enjoyed a reasonable portion of all of these things - but given their caloric-density, I'd run out of daily allotment by 3pm. So on Saturday, I made the decision to be done with eating for the day. And you know what? It didn't kill me.

It did, however, seem to make me hungrier all day on Sunday - but it could have been unrelated.

Today I ended up doing pretty much the same thing. Late this afternoon while rifling through my desk looking for a nail file to catch a hang-nail, I ran across one of those damned fund-raiser candybars that I bought last week from a co-worker's kid. I intended to pawn it off on our office intern, but he wasn't in, so I just slung it in the desk drawer and forgot about it - which was a miracle in itself. But today, at nearly 4pm, when I'm at my most vulnerable, I was ambushed by dark chocolate and almonds and I succumbed. And I had a little chat with myself about being done with eating for the day, since I chose to have a 550 calorie candy bar!!!! And I wondered how I would make it. Would I be hungry? (Always considered an emergency) Could I do it? Could I make it until bedtime without eating more?

Luckily for me, I had a couple of meetings to go to and so here it is right now - after 9pm at night. I survived. I didn't get hungry and I managed to stay within a normal calorie range for the day. Now I am not saying that this is going to be my new norm, but I did manage not to turn it into an overeating day - even though I made a crappy choice - I didn't continue to make it worse. I found myself in a hole and I put down the shovel.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone.

-Roxie
142.5

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Take Me Home, Country Roads



Today is the big ATV ride (again with the Groupon). I bought four tickets six months ago to celebrate my birthday, but we could never get scheduled. So today it is, as part of my sister's birthday, so that works out just right. We'll head down here, about an hour a way, do some muddin' and then go to downtown Grandview for lunch at the local cafe.

The winds here are horrific. It is hazy and you can smell that west Texas is on fire. Actually, it's not just west Texas. There are fires in neighboring counties. Hell, it might be on us from overnight, as I haven't looked at local news today.

The latest house news is positive, I think. According to the email I received from my realtor (after my prompting) was that the seller was upset with the inspection report - not with the report, but that work that she had hired to be done was not done properly. So she was having contractors back out to either fix or give estimates for the work. I felt in my heart that's the way she would react to the broken deck boards on the roof. It was a two year old roof from one of the premier roofing companies in town. They had a 20 point inspection (I saw the report) but nowhere did it talk about inspecting the roof from the attic. So knowing how well this woman maintained this property, I bet there are a few guys back there to correct work she's already paid to have done. I continue to be hopeful that these few things will be corrected. I do have my next step in place in my mind.

And there is a reason I stopped buying livestyle porn. Dwell, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Coastal Living, Southern Living, Wisteria, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Pier One, and a whole bevy of DIY home decorating blogs - I'm looking at you. And you guys are right - painting is on the horizon. I don't like the lilac bedroom and I don't like the coral color in the bathroom. They do not match the other colors in the house in terms of intensity. These room colors are too saturated and are jarring. It's not that the colors are bad, necessarily, they are just the wrong tone. So, when I can get back in there with my designer and her color wheel, I think I will make two, maybe three paint changes.

For the bathroom, while I thought there were coral and turquoise old accent tiles still left in the bathroom, I was mistaken. The rest of the tile is just white. The only original tile is the turquoise hex tile. I think I'll pick a lighter version of that turquoise for almost a tone -one-tone with the white trim pieces. Something a bit more subtle. Nothing that would shout "I'm turquoise", but would still have some color to it. And I'm thinking about going ahead with that same paint in the small bedroom.

The sitting room still has me up in the air. It's white now and could stay that way, but I was thinking about something in the yellow family - again to match the color intensity used in the remainder of the house. I do have a lot of stuff in the Tuscan palette, and this would help tie it in a bit better. This house calls for a cooler, almost Scandinavian scheme, I think. In fact, I'm leaning towards "Swedish cottage". I love the cottage look, but it can get "too shabby" too quickly. The Swedish influence gives it simplicity and some structure, I think. And a more peaceful, serene look as opposed to a romantic one. Am I succeeding at all in articulating my vision?

Well, I've got to hit the gym before the off-roaders converge here at The Closet.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Articulate your vision.

-Roxie
142

Friday, April 15, 2011

Funky Finds: The Fantasy Friday Edition

No news on the request for repairs, but it's still a bit early. I did, however, give my 60 days notice to The Closet management. I fully expect this deal to go through, but if it doesn't, well, I'll put stuff in storage and make some temporary arrangements.

I've been amusing myself by doing some online catalog window shopping for some new pieces for MM. Pebbles created a CAD floor plan that I'd like to post, but I'm unable to figure out how to post or link to a pdf file. Ah, the life of the technologically-challenged.

I thought I'd throw out a challenge - give me your best "alternative" headboard to go in the lilac room pictured above. I'm not going to do any room painting the first year. I'll live with lilac and see how I feel about it. The issue is that my designer has forbidden me from bringing my current bedroom furniture into this space. She says it's too dark, too large and all wrong for MM. Actually, it's her bedroom furniture (long story) and she's moving into a house that has room for it. So that brings me to today's Friday Funky Find - what would you do for a headboard? Send me pictures and links. I'm also going to need bedside table(s?) and a chest of drawers or dresser. Poke around the internets and help me decorate. I can get pretty Martha if I need to. I have power tools and I sorta know how to use them.

ETA: Thanks, Grace. Here's the floor plan for The Manor.

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

-Roxie
141.5

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alarmed


Attending a home inspection was like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose. There was a lot of information being put out there and after a while, I was just overwhelmed. None of the news was particularly bad - well, except that my car will not fit into the garage. MalibuKen is not a huge car. He would not have to buy two seats to fly, but he is about three inches too tall (long) for the garage. Sadly, sadly disappointed on that one. The other news wasn't bad, although there are a few things I will negotiate (or try) on. Seriously, both inspectors were very impressed by the condition of this house.

And Pebbles, well, she was amazing. She took measurements, sketched out a quick floor plan and began to make notes on this plan of what the inspector was saying. She figured out a spot for the dishwasher (which I've already decided against, for now) and basically served as interpreter and cataloger as the information came from the inspector. It took almost four hours and I was nearly exhausted by the time it was over. I got a call last night from Pebbles that she had CAD'd the whole thing up and she would have it to me today.

So now I talk to my real estate agent for some advice on how to proceed - not that I feel she will offer much - again, I'm not too impressed with her. But I just need to get this deal done.

So after all of this, Pebbles and I went out for a celebratory dinner - she is flat-out in love with MM. Says she likes even more than her house. The quality of this house really is amazing. I just hope I can keep up. And I do want to meet the seller - she left the nicest note, along with all her files pertaining to the health and welfare of the house. Certainly helped with inspection and gave me a much better feel for what was going on "under the hood".

So after dinner, Pebbles and I talked some more, she went home and I went to a meeting. Came home and went to bed. I'd been asleep for about two and a half hours when the fire alarm started blaring. I was sleeping so soundly that it took me a while to awaken enough to remember where I was and find my street clothes to put on. I ended up going out into the parking garage and sitting in MalibuKen for what felt like ever. At one a.m., there isn't really any place to go. I was so tired that I was afraid I would actually fall asleep in the car, but of course, I had trouble falling back asleep after we got the all clear.

It's rather ironic, since when asked how I am feeling about the house, etc, I always say that I guess I must be doing something right, as I am still sleeping peacefully through the night. Last night, I sure didn't but it wasn't worry that kept me awake. My behind is dragging today.

I'm attending a group lunch with a former co-worker today, but tonight should be free. I am planning on getting in some biking tonight. This week has been pretty light on exercise. Thursday I am taking my Mom and Sister out for Sis' birthday, then I've another restaurant meal planned after the ATV tour on Saturday. I am hopeful that Sunday will bring a long bike ride.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't be overly alarmed.

-Roxie
142

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Fought The Fries

And the fries won. Ah, well. Yesterday was perking along just great. I was living in the land of unicorns and rainbows and fluffy white kittens when the good faith estimate came back from the lender. Threw me right off that unicorn and into a pile of poo! Looks like the rates are creeping up a bit due to some legislative changes that went into effect on April 1, as well as overall market uncertainty. Couple that with the fact that my last quote for was for a ten year mortgage rather than a 15, and I was in for a nasty surprise. Read: I thought I had this all figured out, but I didn't. Grrr. Went out and checked the daily rates, and sure enough this is what the reality looks like today. But it still smacked the glitter right off me.

I'd been working late and realized that in order to get to my meeting, I wouldn't have time to get home and cook beforehand, so the drive-thru it was. And I fought the fries and the fries won. As did the frozen custard (that was not worth it for the calories OR the price) I had on the way home. Okay there, Roxie, this is not the way to deal with your frustrations and a cramped time schedule.

As I remembered much later something I learned in Beck's Diet Solution - hunger is not an emergency. I would not have starved by waiting the one hour until my meeting was over. In fact, waiting until I was less anxious, which I was bound to be AFTER the meeting would have been a wicked smart thing to do. Ah, well. It's done now and not paying too big a price for it - but the thing to remember is that it didn't help. It didn't change the mortgage industry, it didn't drop the origination fee, and it didn't automatically bring in offers from other lenders to compete with this first offer. It did nothing to help what the real issue was/is.

I'm not suffering from guilt or self-loathing this morning, I'm just trying to assess where I failed to make a choice that served me best and what I can change about that in the future. Because fries happen.

Today is inspection day. It's the first time that Pebbles will see inside MM. My hope is that if there are things wrong that they are easily found. And in any event, whatever comes up can be treated as a simple item for negotiation. And we all know how much I love negotiation! Batten down the drive-thrus! ;-)

Health plans for the day include my normal southwestern-style egg-beater omelet. Lunch will be a lean, thin-cut pork chop with some vegetables and dinner will be where ever Pebbles wants me to take her, I assume. Exercise will have to wait until late this evening or not happen at all.

Work is bringing me a good deal of personal satisfaction these days. I am creating/planning/organizing a professional workshop/seminar to be held the latter part of April and the response has been outstanding. I've already had to change facilities once as we outgrew our first one. I'm acting on an idea that I've had kicking around in my head for a couple of years and finally sought and gained approval to host it. I'm sure as it draws near, I will want to kick myself in the head with pointy-toed boots, but for now, I'm loving it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Fries will not fix it.

ETA: I will be present at the inspection, as well. I hope to learn a few things.

Roxie
140.5

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bright Spots


The view out of the dining room doors into the back garden.

I had a wonderful weekend. I got to spend time with friends - biking on Saturday with Talia and lunch with Valerie on Sunday - plus a bonus hour plus talk with Meg. Everyone is very supportive and oohing and aaahing over the house. Of course, it still has to pass inspection, appraisal, I have to actually secure a mortgage with all the paperwork that is involved with that. And while I do own a piece of property, the prior owner carried the paper on that, so I just signed a contract and I was done. I have a feeling this will be a whole different ballgame. And it is still not a done deal, something could still go awry and my attitude about that is if that's what happens, then it was not supposed to be my house anyway.

In addition to asking about the house, all my friends have asked how I am doing. And I am doing okay. I am okay. At times, I am very sad. When the agent called me to tell me that I had got the house, he was the first person I wanted to call. And when I called Pebbles to tell her that I got the house, she asked if Bick was excited for me.

No, I hadn't told her yet. The timing just wasn't right. The weekend before when she had been over here it was to celebrate her birthday - so the weekend was about her. And yes, she calls me every morning while I am at work and she is out walking her dog, but I knew that I would cry, and so I didn't tell her through the week. And while we have a wonderful relationship, I am still her mother. We are not BFFs. But she knows now.

I am doing okay. I am appropriately sad at times, but I've had some real bright spots, too, over the last couple of weeks - and not even house-related. I guess that part is where I feel I'm exhibiting the most growth - this is not all-consuming. I'm not obsessing over the woulda/shoulda/couldas. If I start down that path, I just repeat my little saying about releasing us both to our own paths and that helps. At some point, I do have some things up there that I will need to get (before he sells his house), but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. No need to let my mind live anywhere but where my butt is. And while this is sad and painful, it is not the end of the world. I do not believe I am destined to wander the moors and call his name. But I used to be that dramatic (I started to write traumatic! ha). I feel like I am processing all of this evenly and in a healthy manner.

I think I'll do some cardio at lunch (HGTV has reappeared on the tv in the gym) and perhaps another topographically challenging ride this evening. Tomorrow afternoon is the inspection. Pebbles is coming over and bringing her inspector, one she has both a personal and professional relationship with - he's doing her/me a favor by coming over into this territory. This will be the first time that she has been inside the house and knowing her, she will be all up in this house! I am very fortunate to have her to advise on this project. I just need to be careful and not lean too much. I need to keep it on an appropriate level.

Nothing else on tap until Saturday when my sister, Pebbles, Slater and I head down south for an ATV tour! I am so excited and hope the weather is good. I bought this trip (hello Groupon) for MY birthday back in October, but we didn't get it scheduled. Now we will use as part of my sister's birthday celebration. We'll do our tour and then have lunch at a country cafe where the waitresses still "Honey, what'll you have" you! Should be a blast!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Let the bright spots warm you.

-Roxie
140

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Better Homes and Gardens


Living room facing front door


Other side of living room



Dining room - what you don't see are the glass doors overlooking the back garden


The tiniest kitchen known to man. Here in the health and fitness community we judge things on how we fit into our clothes. My new measurement will be how I fit into my kitchen!


The only thing was a mis-step for me is the color of the bedroom.


The bathroom of a woman who obviously doesn't wear makeup! Yep, those are original turquoise hex tiles on the floor. Most of the other tile has been replaced with white subway tile, except for a few tasteful original elements in peach and turquoise.

Had a great bike ride yesterday with Talia. I don't know that it was much of a workout, but it was wonderful and pleasant. I've already been out on a quick run this morning. I needed to scope out a safe route to the trails from Menopause Manor (yes, it's under contract) and I think I found one. But ohmygoodness, there are topographical variations! I won't call them hills, but from Chez Nouveau Roxie to the trails is a coasting job. From the river back up to MM is an up-terrain workout! But the good news is that I can route myself through the public botanical gardens - just how cool is that! Or else I can just hitch up Cha-Cha to MalibuKen. If I am planning a ride in the morning and I do all the hookup the night before, that will reduce the barriers of entry for a morning ride.

I'm heading off to get cleaned up and then to church/meditation. I've got some errands to run and then nothing much else on tap for the rest of the day.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find your path.

-Roxie

Friday, April 8, 2011

Presenting: Menopause Manor


Obviously, I changed my mind. I prefer to think of it as flexibility.

I Am Confident

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Confident. Certainly getting more so, but with some work to go. For me, I would define confidence as the feeling that I can and will handle anything that comes my way. It's the basic premise that I am safe. For me, maybe the best definition is the absence of abject panic and for me, that's a victory right there. The kicker here is, I always used to be very confident about what other people should do. Now, the more I let go and let other people manage their own stuff, the more confident I get about my own. Strange how that works!

Well, real estate was a roller coaster yesterday. And I will admit to getting my ticket punched a time or two. This time, by my daughter. I saw five houses yesterday. The Enchanted Garden house was exactly that - an enchanting, amazing garden. Very little lawn and all flowers. Obviously an amazing gardener lived there. It was beautiful. And the house was small, but exquisite. Perfect conditioned and perfectly maintained. It was at the higher end of my price point and the location wasn't optimal re: access to trails. And I was just fine with walking away from it. And then I got the real estate updates last night and they dropped the price 20K. And Pebbles was like - "Buy this house" - and so I shot off an email to my realtor.






And then I went to bed. I woke straight up and remembered that I hadn't seen a dishwasher in the tiny and I do mean tiny kitchen. And I am spoiled and lazy enough that I want a dishwasher, even for me. I hate washing dishes with a white hot passion. And while I could probably install a compact dw in the space, it just isn't ME. There was only one room in that house that felt comfortable and it was a study/second bedroom. My gut it telling me this is not the house for me. So I'll need to eat some crow with the realtor and the kid and tell them nevermind. For reasons that I can't fully even articulate, the house didn't call my name. It should have, but it didn't.

Food was better yesterday and exercise was good. Don't know what I've got on tap for today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Develop confidence by honoring your "gut".

-Roxie

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Am Caring

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Caring. Caring. This one would seem like a no-brainer, right? Except for me, caring is a real sticky wicket. Caring or caretaking is where the worst of my dependencies come out. Caring is all a jumble of sometimes less-than-pure motives so I have to really watch it.
I have to make sure that I am clear on my motivations and boundaries before "caring". I never, ever want to even think the words "after all I've done for you" about someone that I have a relationship with. There is a slogan that asks the question "Is it fun or is it free?" It is a way to help evaluate the motivation behind any action. If I am attempting to "take hostages" by caring, then it's not free and I'm not doing it right. I am learning to be caring - the kind borne of freedom, without expectations. We all now know that expectations are just resentments under construction. I practice resentment-free caring.

In the "I can't believe this category", got a call from my real estate agent asking me if I was still interested in Grandma's condo. Um, no. We had another discussion about what went south in that transaction and what made me uncomfortable. I expect I will probably end up in a condo at some point. I just don't think it's where I want to be right now. And yes, I know I'm a total flip-flopper on this one. As long as I live small in an active neighborhood, I think I'll pocket the monthy maintenance fees to hire my own maintenance work done.

I'd forgotten a wonderful piece of advice given me by my friend and financial planner, Meg. She has known me for a lot of years and knows how the maintenance issues of Reata South just made me so uncomfortable and anxiety-ridden. Her suggestion was just to earmark a maintenance fund. And then when something came up, just hire it done. It does give me a sense of control, as in "I've planned for this breakdown of the whatchamajiggy - I just need to make some calls". Eases the panic, a bit.

Let's just say yesterday was not my best day in the food and exercise department and leave it at that. And speaking of such, I have never watched Dancing With the Stars, but became interested when I heard that Kirstie was 60! When did she get to be 60? So while I don't watch the show, I do watch her clips on YouTube and have begun to root for her. Which led me to Fat Actress, which I streamed last night. I don't know how I feel about the show overall, but there were parts of it that had me both laughing my ass off and nodding in complete agreement. There was one episode/scene where she's trying to find her "fat pants" and realized that she's outgrown them. Oh my. I cannot tell you the number of times that I've been flopped down on the bed with PLIERS trying to get my pants on! Now granted, these were cowgirl jeans and we wore them tight, but PLIERS? I shudder to think....

Today is Real Estate Thursday. Who knows what it will bring? I shall not think about "the house that got away" I shall think about this as look, there are many perfect things out there at the price I want to pay. I just have to wait for the next one. The fact that there was ONE says that the perfect solution for me DOES exist. I just need to wait for it to come to me (and as Brian suggested - carry a contract in my purse!!!)

I don't have anything on the books for Friday evening, but have another ride planned with Talia on Saturday. Sunday I plan to go to church/meditation and then maybe another ride or some Open Houses or both. We'll see.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. The best care is good self-care.

-Roxie
142.5

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

After A While, It Just Becomes Laughable

This house had been on the market two days when I drove past. I made an appointment to see it and two others on Thursday. I drove past this one about three times this evening and had pretty much made the decision to buy it, if it looked nearly as good on the inside as it did on the outside. It was a total gem and priced very, very well. I came home tonight to look at the interior again online and all three properties went under contract today. Can I pick 'em or what?

The Universe must have something really awesome lined up for me the way I keep losing these houses. It's kind of hard for me to see what the lesson is here. I know there is one here somewhere, but I can't figure out if I'm supposed to just sit and be still or continue to do the legwork and kick things up a notch.

The first mistake I need to correct is that if I see something come on the market, I need to see it THAT day! And even when I'm the first one in (remember last year) I don't always end up with the house.

I did get in a good lunchtime workout, but food was not good today. I need more protein/more food at lunch. My lunch isn't getting me through the day very well and I am ravenous by the time I come home from work.

I'm going to a roundtable discussion of journalists tomorrow who are scheduled to discuss the new media. Should be interesting. And then I'll pour over real estate ads.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

-Roxie

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Am Capable

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 capable. We are all capable of much more than we've ever dreamed. I know that is true for me. The issue for me sometimes is that I get overwhelmed. And when I get overwhelmed, I tend to just shutdown and become capable of very little. To combat the tendency to be overwhelmed, I need to take things in little bitty bits. If I focus on the next little thing, then pretty soon, I can turn around and see that I can be capable of a lot. I am capable.

Thank you all for the kind comments and emails. I really am doing okay right now. I know that I will be on a bit of a roller coaster for a while, but even over the last week, I've managed to smile a good deal and have some wonderful times and experiences. I've got things to look forward to - including three more house visits on Thursday. I've expanded my search to a different part of town where I've located some little gems in my price range. I will be okay. I AM okay.

This event, while sad, hasn't come close to knocking me down or out. And I don't mean that in an "I Will Survive" disco-anthem militant way. Nope, this is just a quiet knowing. When I feel sad, I will feel it and when I don't, well, then I'll enjoy that time as well.

Food has been a little bit salty as of late but I've been consistent with the exercise. Today is a lunchtime workout and maybe a little bike ride, if this wind dies down. It was blowing so hard on Sunday while I was riding that at times it just stopped all forward momentum.

There was a thunderstorm that blew through yesterday morning about 5 am that rattled the windows so hard that my bedroom curtains and curtain rod flew off and into the living area! Now that is no way to start a day. I'm hoping for something a little calmer.

And speaking of houses, I did have a talk with my realtor yesterday and discussed how I would like interactions between us to be handled as we move forward to view other properties. I was able (I hope) to be clear about my expectations without being aggressive, which is my fall-back position if frustrated. Feel pretty good about that, too. I am still in no hurry on the house thing. While I do love some of the houses in this new area, the trails aren't quite as accessible as I would like them to be. But the area warrants the research.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Capability builds confidence.

-Roxie
143.5

Monday, April 4, 2011

For A Reason Or For A Season

We said goodbye about a week ago.

I made a decision that in 2011, I would live more authentically. I would ask for what I wanted in clear, concise, and in unambiguous language. While I wasn’t concerned about the nebulous nature of the logistical characteristics of our relationship (i.e. where we lived and whether we lived together or apart), I did consider us to be in a “forever, romantic” relationship where the specifics of what that might look like would make themselves known over time. I talked about my needs that weren’t being met and I asked for what I wanted out of the relationship. What I got was that he just wanted out.

And while I didn’t frame anything as an ultimatum, I knew there was a risk and I was willing to assume that risk. So the long goodbye is here. And yes, I am sad. But I am also proud of me, of us, really, we had an obviously painful discussion and we did it with love, dignity, integrity and grace.

Beforehand, I evaluated my needs and requests very carefully, trying to understand the line between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. I wanted to be sure of the differences between healthy support, affirmation and intimacies and those wants borne of desperation and neediness. After careful soul-searching, I came to the conclusion that my needs were and are valid, real, reasonable and healthy. And I wasn’t willing to go on without us making an attempt to get those needs addressed.

I was not expecting him to pull the rip cord, so while the breakup outcome was possible, I thought I would be the one who might be making that final decision sometime in the future, if it came to that. I was surprised by his response and do feel a bit rejected. However, I always knew that alone was a possibility and I’d already decided that if that’s the way it turned out, then so be it. Same resolution;different path.

And now I stand at a very critical juncture - at the same point in the de-partnering process when, in the past, I have made bad mistakes worse, although I do not consider this relationship a mistake. Historically, I could always recognize when it would be in my best interest to be sans partner, but had trouble sticking to it. If there was even a hint of rejection, I would become like a horse when the barn is on fire. Instead of trying to escape, I would run back into the burning building - and fight, claw, scratch, manipulate or wait myself back into the same situation I’d wanted to leave. I’ve done it twice before, with disastrous consequences. I remain hopeful that recognizing these tendencies will let me guard against attempting such a futile and unproductive thing.

There is a saying that people come into your life for a reason or a season or a lifetime and while I wish that this could have turned into a lifetime, it was not to be for us. I do not regard this relationship as a failure, however. I firmly believe that we were supposed to spend this time together - for him and for me. I have unloaded so many things over the past five years, some because of him and some in spite of him and I have a much clearer vision of myself and who I am and what I am capable of. So even without a forever ending, I cannot ever see myself regretting this relationship; too much good came out of it. I needed him to move further along my path and while I do feel sadness for the loss of “what might have been”, I feel gratitude for having had the opportunity to travel this section with him.

I Am Brave

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Brave. Brave. I don't think brave is the absence of fear. I think brave is acting in spite of the fear. This is one that I continue to work on. Fear crops up in so many areas of my life and in my past, has kept me nearly paralyzed. Fear is at the root of many of my unhealthy behaviors. One thing I have found is that if I take the time to inspect what is going on with me and acknowledge that I am feeling fear about something, the Kryptonite-like power it has over me dissipates somewhat. Brave. Something I am not, but it is something I'm actively working on. I have made much progress in recognizing and overcoming fear.

The best laid plans - sigh. Pebbles and Slater came over yesterday to ride bikes and go to museums and have birthday brunch. We headed out on the bikes and got about three and half miles into ride and Slater developed a flat tire. He wasn't carrying a repair/patch kit. So there went the ride. We quickly formulated a plan which involved he and Pebbles (she hated his new mountain bike) walking their bikes back off the trail to try to catch a bus home. In the meantime, I was to haul my behind back home and pick up the car and go SAG.

But the wind - OMG! It was hard to stay on the trail, seriously. I did get some high intensity wind sprints in trying to get home.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Brunch was awesome and we spent some time looking at houses in a different area, but still offered adequate access to the riding trails. Found two that I wanted to see further and wouldn't you know it, turns out both are under contract.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find the fear.

-Roxie
144

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Am Bold

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Bold. Hmmm. While this is a word that I would like to use to describe me, I'm hard-pressed to think of an actual example. I'm probably not bold when it's about self. The only time I can recall getting bold is in the defense of others. I can remember calling out schoolyard bullies when they were harassing the shy kid in our class. Oh, and I do remember another situation. Looking back, I'm not sure it was bold or perhaps just fool-hardy. It was years ago - Pebbles was probably under ten years of age and we were in a fast food restaurant out in Burleson. We were sitting in a not-too-crowded taco joint when a man, woman and boy, maybe ten came in. The man and the boy were in boy scout uniforms. I cannot remember how all this went down, but the crux of it was that this man started yelling at the boy and the woman. They started to cower in the booth across from him. He wouldn't shut up. Food was dropping out of his mouth. This guy was rabid. The management of the restaurant did nothing. He was out of control. I sent Pebbles out into the car and told her to lock the door and not to open for anyone except me or the police. And I confronted the guy. I don't really remember what was said, but you can bet that my weight came into the conversation - because boy, that's always an easy target. Another woman in the restaurant came to assist and I don't really recall other details than that. Other than the very next day, I got on the phone to the boy scout association and reported this guy. No way in the world he needed to be a boy scout leader. I don't remember if there was a name on the uniform or if I just gave a description. Burleson was a small town - if the BSA wanted to figure out who he was, they could.

Yesterday was an absolute treat! My very bold and brave friend Talia rode 22 miles with me yesterday. We took it slow and easy, but she had never been farther than 7. It was so very cool to see her sense of accomplishment and wonder. She was just awe-struck at her own awesomeness. She was just giddy. "I can't believe we did that. I had no idea I could do that. When we started out today, I had no real plan but I can't believe I rode to Garner and back."

Her husband was waiting for us in the parking lot when we arrived and there were high-fives and hugs. It was a thrill to be a witness to someone just realizing what they might be capable of. And oh, we had fun. Except for the snake! Holy Crap. I am afraid of both frogs and snakes.

We were on a rails-to-trails ride and thus were able to ride side-by-side and talk the whole way (except for the uphills) and just as I was riding by what I thought was a fallen branch of a tree, I could see it was a head-up coiled snake! OMG! OMG! OMG! Talia said she looked over as I was screaming (so much for bold! ha) and it looked like I had my feet up over the handlebars! Later she asked me what kind a snake it was.

"Was it a rattlesnake?"
"I don't think so, it didn't look like any boots I've ever owned."
"Well, was it a copperhead?"
"Talia, I don't know. I'm not from around here."
"I'm getting you a snake identifying book."

I thought of Kelly and knew if she had seen that snake, she could probably identify it. And she probably wouldn't be screaming through the woods with her knees up around her ears either. I consulted the Googles after I came home and have id'd the snake as a racer - a non-venomous snake of the region who routinely travels "head up" to be able to see through the tall grass. Very creepy and sort of cool at the same time.

But apart from the snake, it was a perfect, perfect outing. I cannot wait to do it again. No crowds. No traffic. No strollers. No MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra) to ride by in stealth mode at a eleventybillion strokes per minute and startle the crap out of me. Nope, this was a hard-packed trail, so no road bikes.

I'd love to take the kids back out there today, but Pebbles will be on Slater's vintage road bike, while he'll be on his new mountain bike, so the trails it is for us. I know Pebbles would prefer the rails to trails, as she hates riding by the river. She's sorely afraid of landing in the drink. Today promises to be a wonderful day, as well.

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

-Roxie
143.5

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I Am Beautiful

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 Beautiful. You know what? I am beautiful. I used to think that "beautiful" was a contest and for someone to win, someone else had to lose. I always viewed myself as one of the losers. I have since decided that beauty, like most everything, is a choice. If I choose to think of myself as beautiful, to treat myself as if I'm beautiful, then I am beautiful. It's not a weight or a haircolor or the lastest thing from Sephora. Beauty is a choice. I choose to be open. I choose to make eye contact. I choose to smile. I choose to be beautiful.

Can I just tell you how much that concert just rocked my socks off? Man, oh man, the guy still has GOT IT! Played for two hours and twenty minutes. Worth every cent. There was no sign of the new squeeze, however. No obvious ones, anyway. Great time! I think my sister really enjoyed it. We sat with some great folks and had a great time.

I am so excited about hitching Cha-Cha up to MalibuKen and going to the country for a ride this morning. Getting out of dodge in about an hour. Woo Hoo! Talia's husband, Emmett, has agreed to pick us up at the end of the trail, so we don't have to do an out-and-back (if she feels up to it). That will be awesome.

Tomorrow, the kids are coming over for a bike ride, followed by birthday lunch and then take in a couple of museums. Should be fun.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Choose to be beautiful.

-Roxie
142.5

Friday, April 1, 2011

I Am Awesome

* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) 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 awesome. Well, now that's uncomfortable. Awesome causes me some difficulty. But here goes (and you should, too). I am awesome. I am a skirtful of sass, compassion and tenacity.

And speaking of awesome. It's Pebbles' birthday today. I cannot believe she's twentyeight. Hardly seems possible. She's having a bit of a freak out over it - somehow thinks she's not quite as accomplished as she should be for thirty. Yes, thirty, she's an overachiever! She's already rounding up. She is such an inspiration and in my darkest days, she's what kept me going. Parenting her has led to my deepest regrets and to my greatest joys. I haven't always been the best parent to her and I would love to be able to do a large portion of the early years all over again. I'd do so many things differently. I have acknowledged my failures and shortcomings to her and continue to try to be the best person that I can be. But I could not be more proud of her - and not for her accomplishments, though they are many, but for the great person that she is. Smart, dedicated, with a good sense of boundaries, boatloads of common sense and so funny, so witty. I love her and I like her a whole damn lot, too.

One of my favorite pictures of her: skirt-tail in hand, hauling ass backwards!



Back to yesterday - what a mess! I got up at the buttcrack of dawn, sat down with my first cup of coffee and then remembered I was supposed to fast for my bloodwork at 10:45. I wrote about just going back to bed. So that's exactly what I did. No need to suffer needlessly, right?

So I get up and start getting ready for work. Hop out of the shower and start to dry my hair. Blow dryer self-destructs. Well, crap. I don't have a back up and the local stores don't open up yet. The only other heated thing I had was a flat iron and I knew I couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't attempt to dry my hair using a flat iron. So the Laura Ingalls Wilder method was for me. I air-dryed and then tried to tame down the SOS pad into a Roxie-approved style. More like the wild woman of Borneo.

We have a saying in group about HALT - Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired and I was three out of the four - but was worst was decaffeinated. I was really unfit for human interaction, so I just decided to putter around home until appointment time. So I did that. I get to my appointment and the check in staff said "Oh, we haven't been busy at ALL today. Sure wish you would have come in sooner!" Well, you know what, if I'd known I could have, I surely would have. Grrr.

But the rest of the day was uneventful. I didn't take a lunch break, since I didn't get into the office until nearly noon. So no exercise yesterday, but food was good, even though it was sort of off schedule for the day. I went to a meeting and then came home and settled in for a little streaming Netflix - Thanks, Ellen, for the IT Crowd suggestion. Right up my alley. Loved it.

So today I will spend watching the clock and waiting for quitting time. And then it will be just me, my sister and that badass from Indiana tonight. Woo Hoo! This is actually her birthday present from me, as she turns 36 in a couple of weeks. Pebbles b-day celebration comes on Sunday.

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

-Roxie
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