Sunday, July 31, 2011

August Approaching

August is approaching and it's time for a new "challenge" for me. I'm participating in the Be A Better Me at The Personal Excellence Blog. I don't know what this challenge will bring, but I've done things like this in the past and if I get at least one takeaway, then it is worth the effort.

I also have my own personal challenge for August and that is to smile. If I can put a smile on my face, then that so alters my experiences with the outside world. In my past, while I never felt dour, I usually had a dour, tense expression on my face and I believe it affected my interactions with people. It's funny - I had this thought on Saturday morning before going to a district meeting of a group I belong to - "Today, I will walk in with a smile on my face and I will keep it that way". At the end of the meeting, as we were breaking down the room, a woman whom I have never met said to me "You are just beautiful. I've noticed you throughout the day and you have a gorgeous smile" or words to that effect. It does sound weird to write it down like that, but she wasn't trying to pick me up. It's the smile that does it. Over the past couple of months, I've had people comment or even identify me as "that woman with the great smile". Who knew? I sure as hell didn't. So that is my personal challenge for the month - to keep aware and keep a smile on my face whenever possible.

Got through a decent food day yesterday. Did have an extra-large serving of brownies at lunch, but had a minimal dinner to make up for it, so the calories weren't horribly out of range. The desire to exercise has completely left me for the time being, but I'm chocking that up to being too damned hot. I don't even want to get out into the heat to go to the gym at lunch.

Plans for today include "mowing" the yard, some laundry, and a home mani/pedi. Plus, I've got to think of a name for my metal chicken and find a place for her in the yard. The.back.yard.

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


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicken Down on Aisle Three!

First, there was this. It went around the internet in a white hot fashion. I cannot tell you how many times I've read that post and still almost wet myself.

Then late last night, my doorbell rang.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Am Fascinating

I Am Fascinating. One of the definitions of fascinating is a strange curiousity. So, yea, if I'm fascinating it might be in a trainwrecky sort of way. I don't regard fascinating as much of a plus, really.

Fascinating too me seems far too exotic, far too out-of-the-ordinary and requires study, to be a desired outcome for me. I'll take interesting and leave fascinating for others.

Still in the duldrums, still processing some grief but have decided rather than try to distract myself from the feelings, that I will feel them, instead. Fear of feelings and the resulting avoidance causes me far more emotional upheaval than the actual feelings themself. So today, I am honoring my feelings. If I feel like crying - then I will take myself home and I will have a good bawl. My historical default position is eating to self-soothe. But maybe I don't need to distract or soothe - maybe I just need to go with it - to lean into it - to feel and process the sadness and fear. And mostly is just fear. It's not really a lack right now - but of a fear that I will lack something in the future. It's all quite strange, I know.

Trying to get back on track with food and exercise. Today, so far, so good. I will go to the gym in 15 minutes. I will cross the threshold. That's all I can promise myself today.

Take care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be fascinated.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Am Exceptional.

Well, I am. We all are. Yep, I'm still in a slump - still in the dumps - and it is okay. What differs these days is that my self-esteem is still intact or not deteriorating, anyway . No, I am not particularly happy, but it doesn't mean I am not experiencing joy. So it really is all okay.

In my prior experiences, anything down phase like this would have me serving myself up on a spit with all the things "wrong" with me. If I was only this, if I only had less of this or more of that, then things would be perfect. I took out whatever feeling I had on myself. All the less-than positive feelings I had were directly and punishingly targeted at myself. Today, not so much. These feelings that I am processing now, while they are far from pleasant, haven't been chipping away at the generally positive feeling I have about me. Trust me when I say that is a MAJOR milestone for me. Major. I don't feel like I'm a victim. I'm not playing the role of martyr. I am just processing some losses - both recent and not-so-recent. And there will be days like this. So, yes, I am exceptional. As are you. This isn't a zero-sum game. There is room for everyone to feel good about themselves. For me, that was a choice to make and a habit to break.

Bossman made it through surgery, so I've been told. I will make a trip to the hospital to see him today - and bring my usual stash of magazines, rather than flowers. He will remain hospitalized until Saturday, as it stands now.

Went to the beauty school last night for a semi-perm color and style - no more Brazilians of any kind for me ;-). Darling, sweet stylist, but I was in that chair for THREE hours. At one point, having been up since a pinch after 4 am, I do believe I fell asleep. But the hair looks nice and my pristine white bathroom doesn't look like the shower scene from Psycho, so I guess it was worth it.

I did manage the elliptical at lunch but my cheap-ass nature bit me on the too-big ass last night. Before going to the salon, I ran by the grocery store after work to pick up some Diet Coke - and if you bought 4 12packs (which was the only way they were affordable at this store) you got a free package of Oreos. Oh, I thought, I'll take those in to the office tomorrow after having a couple just to tide me over until I get my hair did. Well, we all know how that turned out. Too many cookies - which I guess was okay, as they turned out to be my dinner because it was well after nine before I got home. Had I been totally without food, I would have gnawed my stylist's head off and probably her arm, too! Needless to say, there was an Oreo funeral. Into the trash they went. And after such a clean day, too! Ah, well. They are just calories, right?

Today will bring a visit to a bookstore for some mags, a trip to the hospital to see the Bossman, a meeting and preparation for tomorrow. The MerryWidow/Newlywed is retiring tomorrow, and I have been asked to give a speech, so I need to get cracking on that.

ETA: Blogger apparently hates me and refuses to let me leave comments about 80 percent of the time. I am not ignoring you. GAH!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. You are exceptional and everyone knows it.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Am Enthusiastic.

Unless my personal perception is way off, I am enthusiastic. I am pretty much up for anything and tend to stay positive. No, not in that "cheerleader-y" way - less obvious than that - but I'm pretty much known for being game for almost anything and excited about the possibilities.

I wasn't always that way - my judgmental nature kept me sitting in, well, judgment over a lot of things. So enthusiastic has become a life choice. I have the good fortune, I guess we'll call it - of working with several Negative Nancys. And boy does that get tiring! I was able to see these tendencies in myself - always seeing the negative, choosing to be drug kicking and screaming and pronouncing into the next thing. Choosing to be enthusiastic is just much easier and more pleasant. Giving up my superior attitude surrounding such things - especially in my work life - has been another game changer.

So while I'm no Pollyanna, I am generally enthusiastic. It's a choice I choose to make. Which, given my recent downer posts, seems at odds, but not all progress is linear :-)

Been doing a lot of work on the "stuff" that's come up recently. It's never a waste to do the work - there is always something that comes of it. There are times where I feel pretty silly and stupid to have to be processing more of the childhood stuff at my advanced age, but it does amaze me the number of things I've hung onto for years and without the examination, would continue to drag with me as I trudge through the decades. It is what it is and I'm doing my best to make peace with it, with me.

While I won't call it a binge, exactly, I did over-eat by a long shot yesterday and I did it with stuff from the vending machine that wasn't even good. So today? The purse and the money stays in the trunk of the car. This won't be a forever solution, but for right now, I'm pretty vulnerable and I will protect myself from myself. No need to make unpleasantness worse, you know? I've got my food and beverage packed for the day. I will get to the gym and then tonight, I'm getting my hair colored and a blow-out at the local beauty school. I shudder at the thought of getting hair dye all over my pretty white bathroom or on my concrete countertops in the kitchen. So we'll give this a shot. I've had the blow out before, but not the color.

So that's the news that's fit to print. Not particularly enthusiastic - except it really is. I am acknowledging that I'm dealing with some stuff right now and I am enthusiastically looking forward to living in today, to see what today will bring. As Dana showed us yesterday, each day can bring new and wonderful things. I just need to be present to enthusiastically enjoy it.

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

And I will get to the gym today.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Am Energetic!!!!

I am energetic! While I don't feel particularly energetic TODAY, I am energetic. And certainly much more so than I once was. I was a divan pomme de terre, extraordinaire! I am still built for comfort, not for speed, but I can get all Energizer-Bunny like.

My mid-thirties were probably the worst time of my life - anxiety/depression/obesity was at it's worst and I would come home from work on Friday and rarely get out of bed again until I had to go to work on Monday. The person who lived like that seems very far removed from who I am now (although the idea of a weekend of sleep sounds like heaven! - but not under those circumstances).

My discomfort continued through Sunday morning. It was not my best weekend and I'm assuming it was a perfect storm of things - hormonal, being number one, I can only assume - given how emotional/hungry/agitated/teary I was. Yep, spent some time in tears this weekend. Don't know what it is about me, but I tend to do my crying in the car. Luckily for me, my commute from work is a short one, so my tears are usually short-lived. But I dug up some bones this weekend in the form of removing pictures, etc. from FB - unconnected to the whole family incident. Being surprised by running across of picture of Bick and I together can still feel like a gut-punch when I'm not expecting it, so it was time to move those things to a more deliberate location - a task I'd been avoiding. I was up in his county this weekend for a birthday party and had to remind myself of the many times I'd returned to Fort Worth in tears over the relationship. It's sometimes easy to forget how things really were. The memory gets a bit foggy. I also read something that I thought was important when dealing with sadness or grief and that is not to define one's self with that feeling. Rather than saying "I am sad", say " I feel sadness move through me or I am processing sadness". It frames it in a way both acknowledges the feeling, but also acknowledges (reminds me) of the transitory nature of feelings. As the bumper sticker says "Don't believe everything you feel". Or another favorite thing from the weekend - the difference between a bad day and a good day is usually a day.

Slept poorly again Saturday night, so I didn't feel like riding on Sunday morning, as had been my plan. Instead, I walked over to the public gardens and walked all through the gardens, up and down the steps multiple times and generally communed with nature before it got too hot. Lovely, lovely way to spend a morning. I shall go back soon with coffee and breakfast in tow. It's too pretty a place to stay away from.

Had Mom and Sister over for lunch and we had a wonderful meal and a nice visit. I managed to keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself - which keeps me a happier, more serene camper.

On a completely unrelated note, I have started taking krill tablets as a supplement today. I shall try them for 30 days to see if my bloodwork improves. My cholesterol numbers aren't where I would like them to be.

And in other really crappy news, my beloved boss was diagnosed with colon cancer. He is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. They feel like they caught it early and he should make a full and complete recovery without the need for chemo or radiation. I would crawl across broken glass for this man, so this is very distressing.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep going and going and going.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Am Dynamic

I don't feel very dynamic, especially today. I am staying close to the house today, as I am feeling rather fragile. Not physically, but emotionally. Yesterday took me where I could have never imagined when I started the day. It's not a bad thing, actually, it was just a thing. A thing that brought up BIG FEELINGS and so I spent most of the day dealing with, sorting through and trying to figure out why my part in all of this is/was.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, decades old family secrets splattered on Facebook yesterday. Part of it is funny in a really ironic sort of way and part of it is painful - or has been in the past. So I got to take that all back out and re-examine it with some tools/recovery in place. I got to think about it, write about it, meditate on it, not sleep because of it and accept that what happened, just happened. It didn't happen "at me". It just was. It was because of a series of mistakes and misjudgments made by human beings. The same kind of M and M's that I have made. No malicious intent, but that doesn't mean there wasn't collateral damage.

Sorting through forty plus years of flotsam leaves one pretty tired, but there were some bright spots. There was some honesty displayed. Things that were "not talked about" were talked about. Halos got a bit tarnished yesterday. And I got to re-examine some resentments that I'd been carrying for a long time - mis-directed, I might add. I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll get to go "there" as I imagine the fall-out hasn't had time to hit the more Luddite-ish family members - the older folks who were all direct witnesses. It will be interesting to see what happens. No, actually, it won't. I don't want to be a node on that particular grapevine. At this point, it probably just qualifies as gossip, I suppose. But if it's gossiped about, then I guess the secret does lose it's power.

I'm feeling rather like the day-after-the-migraine - where your head doesn't hurt, exactly, but there's some sort of hole where the pain used to be.

I'm off to take a nap, I think. Then I will begin preparations for attending a BBQ in the neighboring county. I only know the hosts and none of the other guests, but I will at least go and have a burger. I will introduce myself to others, practice making eye contact and listening to what they have to say. It's all good practice.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Sometimes you just need to feel your feelings.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Am Distinct

Distinct? Do they mean distinctive? Because obviously, I am distinct - at least in the physical, scientific sense. I have a shape and a form and it is me. However, if I think of this in the recovery sense, being distinct was not always a concept that I understood. While I've always been distinct in form, I've not always been distinct in action. It's that pesky old boundaries thing again - and knowing where I ended and other's began.

Before getting some therapy/counseling/recovery, I had no idea what boundaries were. Absolutely none. Mine weren't honored and I honored no one's. I quite literally didn't know and because I need things to be simple and easy, it wasn't until I heard, probably from someone on the internet - "not my pig". I could understand "not my pig". As I was raised an ag kid, I could understand that concept. "It's not my pig; not my farm; not my pig farm." And to the chagrin of those around me, that became my saying. And I still say it today "not my pig" - which is shorthand for -it is not my problem; it is none of my business, and I won't cross your fences to get to your pig.

Beginning to learn and enforce boundaries has been the single most important thing in my road to changing my life for the better. When there were no boundaries in place, I ran amok, doing things for people that they were capable of doing for themselves. I felt both resentful and overwhelmed (anxious) and I turned all that stuff inward. Resigning from my position of Ms. Universally Responsible has been the greatest gift I've ever given to me.

Food has been appropriate. Exercise has been there, but not great.

Water bill came in and I am relieved. It was more than the electric bill, but still far less than the horror stories I've been hearing from others. I now know that I can keep things alive, even through a heat wave and still afford to eat.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Mind your own pigs.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Am Determined.

I am determined. Now this one is interesting. I don't know that I am determined anymore. Oh, I've been that in the past - jaw-clenched, white-knuckled, scorched-earth, steel-spined determined. I'm no longer convinced that going through life with that mindset works for me.

I have been determined in the past, and experienced some "success" with it, but somehow, now, it feels so brittle and harsh - at least in the way I chose to apply it. I suppose I took things to the extreme and it became grim determination, rather than the more fluid intention. For me, moving from teeth-gritting determination to a softer, gentler kind of self-care takes things from practicing perfectionism into practicing progress. Putting down General Patton's riding crop, metaphorically speaking, has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself. Determination kept me in the future, while intention keeps me in today.

Food has been good. Exercise has been okay. Self-care - doing the things that are good for me - has been good. I've been reading and writing and getting a few things done around the house. In a deliberate and meditative fashion.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be determined to be self-loving.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am Dependable

(picking up on a series I started months ago)

Dependable. As boring as it sounds, yes, I am dependable. People can depend upon me. I am doing a much better job to make sure that they don't do so inappropriately.

This post is also dependably boring. Nothing much shaking around here. It's hot. It will be hot tomorrow. And the day after, and the day after.

I am going to be a little more scarce around these parts. I'm giving up my morning internet time in favor of more productive pursuits in the early hours of the day. I start out with the intention of "checking me email" first thing in the morning, which is stupid, unless I have a whole cadre of friends from the other side of the world furiously sending me important email. Which I decidedly do not. This will be a difficult habit to break, but morning is my best time and I need to spend it in the ways that make me most happy, healthy and productive.

Gym at lunch. Started on the elliptical, but in order to preserve my sanity, I moved to a treadmill to escape two young women discussing the drama of their life (get a blog! don't bore people in 3-D ;-)).

Tonight is some more housework and perhaps a trip to the track in the late evening.

Food has been good. Exercise decent. No big complaints there. A bit of post vacation let down, I suppose, but I will perk up. I am grateful for a good night's sleep last night. A couple more of those and I shall be right as rain.

Netflix: Walking and Talking - indie comedy. Keener is a fav of mine.

Reading: Don't You Forget About Me
- almost done. Not Great Literature, but an okay read.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Strike while the iron is hot.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Lost In Space

I'm pretty much settled in, here at the Collinwood-Smythe House. I'm still amazed at how well suited this house is for me. I couldn't have built one from scratch that suited my needs any better. My electric bill last month? $70 and my gas bill was $13. Less than The Closet. Of course, my water bill is gonna kick my butt - but I haven't had to do a lot of horrible, manual labor around here to keep things up, either, so it's all time or money. And right now, it will be money in the form of water. And there is a slight chance that I might be awfulizing ;-).

Weekend was nice. I got many small things done. I did the "mowing" and my laundry. I still haven't purchased a dryer - so I'm using the too-small-garage as a clothes drying station. I'll remedy that as soon as it gets to be a PITA to deal with things the other way.

That's the really good stuff. Now for the stuff that didn't make it here or has been lost. Universe, I'd like these things back.

1. My bike water bottle. I had a really nice water bottle for Cha-Cha. I don't know what the hell happened to it. It's gone. I've looked high and low and around here, that's not that many places. Just gone. I supposed it could have fallen out of the cage, but that's highly unlikely.

2. My cuff bracelet. This one is even a greater mystery. I do not wear jewelry that much. Hell, I don't own much jewelry. I have TWO pair of earrings. One that I wear constantly - the pair that my sister calls "The 80's called and it wants it's earrings back" small gold shrimpy loopy things and the pair of crystal earrings that I won when Janell was de-exing that I wear for special. Back to the cuff - now I do love me some cuff bracelets and I do have about three of these, but this one was the bracelet I bought in the best resale shop in the whole world in Princeton, New Jersey. It was such an unusual thing and I had no reason to believe that it wasn't in the jewelry case, until I went to get it to wear the other day. Not there. And I don't have a clue where it went, but I LOVE it and want it back.

Food, exercise and self-care has been very good. Sleep, however, is doing yet another weird thing. So I'm not getting much of it this past week because the queen of nightsweats is now getting COLD at night. I keep bumping up the thermostat and I still keep waking up cold - not clammy cold, just cold. And then it's a wicked bitch to get back to sleep.

This week promises to be a busy one. I have events/meetings every night this week. My next totally free day is Sunday.

Photo: Random photo of a Tshirt I took for Helen back in the spring.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Reclaim your stuff.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Slow Ride

Photo is of St. Paul's Something Church in Sackville, New Brunswick. Beautiful, beautiful college town.

Back in from a short and frustrating ride. I was probably dehydrated a bit to start, had no legs and Cha-Cha has a low tire and sounds like Fred Sanford's truck these days. It's time for some Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance, I think. I have found a LBS that I like, so I think after I get home from a meeting, I'll load her up and get her tuned up. I may, just may, talk to them a bit about a couple of things - an upgrade - although I am not in the market yet. I just haven't reestablished my habit enough to justify a new bike. And secondly, I think it may time to try to find a bike club where I would fit in. Talia is in the process of moving her 85+ year old parents to her property to better care for them, so our riding time will be cut even further. I just need to get some more accountability for exercise.

A did do a scary thing this morning - I rode over the bridge that crosses the freeway! I decided to take a chance on the high-traffic short-cut from the trail to my house - figuring that early one Saturday morning would be a lot safer than a weekday. It would be this path that I would take if ever I chose to ride to work. And it was an informative route. I did find some ways to snake through all but one of the worst/perceived least safe riding areas, so it is doable. And on my way back, I saw a cyclist headed the other way, and I've seen them before, so I assume most make this shortcut.

Also on tap for today, returning some clothes I purchased at Ross' the other night. I'm still on the hunt for an appropriate "house dress" and made another purchse, but it is both "too much" and "not enough". So back it goes. I also bought a really nice skirt/suit set, but when I put it on, it looked way too "Mother of The Groom", so back it goes. I bought another work-appropriate pants suit, but I don't like how the fabric feels, so back it goes. I am keeping one work pants suit that will go three season around here - but it was a battle. As Shelley mentioned in her recent post, fat fashion phobias die hard.

The jacket has a lot of detail - think military/jungle fatigue look - four patch pockets - 2 up and 2 lower. Too much detail violates the "simple is slimming" rule that I've harbored for so long. And while "simple IS slimming", it isn't a requirement. So I am keeping this one, as I only have one other real work suit, and it's my "funeral" suit.

Better get cracking, now that my plans have changed. I may try to find some time to hit the outdoor pool at the gym today. Or not.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Take care of your maintenance.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Bird Bath

This morning I sat and watched the birds playing in the sprinklers. It is so hot and I know that all the animals must be suffering. Yesterday, the squirrels were playing in the sprinklers - about four of them. While I have no love for the fuzzy vermin, I hate the thought of them being without water. The Previous Owner had a multitude of bird baths but evidently took them with her or gave them away. It hadn't really dawned on me until I was sitting in the den, in the "Three's Company" chair looking out the window, that the fauna in the neighborhood had probably grown to depend upon my backyard as a water source. I did set out a vessel with water, but I probably need to investigate some other options. Being able to sit and watch the wide variety of birds that come into the back yard is a gift that I'd like to continue receiving.

So I bit on yesterday's Groupon: a two hour yet ski ride on a local lake. It's on a jet ski built for three, but I think I just might make this adventure solo. I think an early morning run around the lake would be a blast!

Last night's Netflix: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
. I quite liked this.

So back to vacation: From the beautiful lakeshores of Baddeck, we traveled off of Cape Breton to Antigonish, where the Highland Games were just kicking off. I have to take a moment to say that it has been my experience that the service level one receives in a restaurants are bound by the geographical norms. What is perfectly acceptable and normal in some parts of the country wouldn't fly in others. The dinner service (and the food) in Antigonish was the worst I'd come across. We missed most of the opening ceremonies, as our waitress/kitchen was SO slow. But we made it anyway - what a grand evening - there were pipers, and Gaelic choirs and step dancing and men in kilts ;-). All in all, a glorious evening. And I did opt out of the late night entertainment. Talia and her husband found the temporary pub set up and stayed out until past 1 am! They had a great time - and told me that I had really missed out. That The Piper with whom I'd had an interaction earlier in the evening was there, along with his mates. Ah, well.

My camera batteries were pretty delicate at this time, so I got very few pictures of the goings on at Antigonish. We stayed at this lovely B&B/Inn. The service was quite nice and my little attic room was beautiful - the pictures do not do it justice. Of course, I'm a sucker for those roof lines! We had a wonderful breakfast and watched the parade from the dining room, as it had started to really rain. The first bad weather in our entire trip. We had planned to see more of The Games - we all wanted to see the men in kilts running jumping and climbing trees or throwing heavy things - and the actually band competition, but didn't want to wade through the rain and the mud to do so, so we set our sites on Halifax. Which effectively ends our travelogue. Great trip. Wonderful friends. A nice blend of travel and vacation.

My plans for today include a workout at lunch, followed by a dip in the pool at the gym (I brought my suit today) and a meeting tonight, which may or may not include dinner with a friend afterwards. Tomorrow, I think I'll get up early and hit the trail on Cha-Cha before it gets too hot. I'm shooting for a couple hour ride. And then I need to do some yardwork, but given the temperatures, that will probably be handled in fifteen minute chunks.

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


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Queen of The Mountain! No, Queen of The World!

After leaving the poet's house, we traveled to Cape Breton and spent a glorious afternoon on the grounds at the distillery. We took the tour and had a fabulous dinner out on the patio. We started with the smoked salmon tapas plate, I followed with the spinach salad (with the blue cheese that I'd fallen in love with) and I don't remember what I had as an entree - I think it was the seafood chowder. I do know that I finished with a much-too-large bread pudding. It is that bread pudding you see giggling around in my "Titanic" pose above - in the photo taken the next day.

After a wonderful night in one of the distillery's chalets, we left for a scenic trip to the Bras d'Or Lake region. We arrived in Baddeck just in time for a wonderful lunch of yet another spinach salad and steamed mussels. We had enough time to tour the Alexander Graham Bell museum before our sailing excursion was set to begin. As far as beauty goes, this was probably the most gorgeous place that we saw. The weather was beautiful and Baddeck is a lovely, lakeside town.

Our sailing vessel
was beautiful and the tour was very, very interesting. Very laid back and calm. That is really how I would describe the entire vacation - laid-back and calm. Truly wonderful.

Next stop: Antigonish and The Piper

Meanwhile, I just returned from the best non-bike workout I've had in ages. I just hadn't felt much like pushing myself and that wasn't my intention today, either. But I happened across the Tour and ended up climbing the mountains with the cyclists. I was on the elliptical and didn't realize that I was trying to keep pace until I looked down and saw my heart rate! After I conquered the Pyrenees, I switched over to some VH1 Classic and finished with some rocking Mellencamp.

I'm still not in set-it-and-forget-mode with food yet, but it does appeared to be worse at certain times of the day. First challenge is around 10:30-11:00 am when I'm already thinking about my lunch. Truthfully, that's why I haven't been as faithful about going to the gym is that I wanted to stay at my desk and eat my lunch rather than waiting until returning from the gym at 1! The second time is about 3:30-5:00. Not much to do about this, as I am not good at "holding" snacks until this time. I will just eat them at lunch. My solution for the near future is to try to schedule my actual meetings in these timeslots, when I have an opportunity. Why not let my hectic meeting schedule work FOR me?

I've got a meeting tonight and I do need to do a bit of housework, plus watering, off course. Nothing else on tap for the next few days. Trying to decide if I need to change it, or just wait to see what happens.

Recently watched Netflix: Brief Interviews With Hideous Men 2.75 stars, however I choose not to be so cynical about men, or even humans, in general

Currently reading: Water for Elephants On page 292. I don't love it as much as those who recommended it to me.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be the Queen of your own world.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meanwhile: Trifling Truffles

Walked in the morning. Did the elliptical at lunch. Food was good until the dreaded Office Party. This celebration started out to be healthy - a breakfast yogurt bar. But due to some scheduling conflicts, it changed into an afternoon yogurt parfait/ice cream sundae bar. Cause it's damned hot around here. 87 degrees at 4:18 am. Ain't no way to live. Anyhow, I was doing the prep work - had already accounted for my planned yogurt and berry treat. And as I opened a bag of truffles, Oh my goodness. I wanted to dive in face first and I suppose I did. I ate enough truffles, calorie wise, to be my dinner. And so they were. I did have a small snack later in the evening - some cucumber canapes, but I did keep myself busy and out of the kitchen.

I took myself shopping for a baby gift for a friend and for a "house dress" for me. Something that I can just slip on first thing in the morning and parade around outside before work without alarming the neighbors (and something that looks decent without a bra). I didn't feel like trying it at the store, but I brought it home and it isn't right. Too low cut, so back it goes.

I had a late night visit from Jimmie Dale last night - the first time since my return. I was battening down the hatches when I saw her lying on the front walk. I guess the sidewalk was cool, as I'd been watering the front area. We had a nice little getting to know you again meeting. I took a couple of melatonin and went to bed. Didn't help. Still awake at 3:30 for the second night in a row. Lack of sleep makes maintaining anything close to a normal life an extra challenge.

I'm about ready to put on my walking gear so that I can hit it when it gets light. I will try to get in a workout at lunch and I've got nothing else on tap, at all.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't trifle with truffles.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

0neArt - Midtrip

One Art
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
-- 3lizabeth Bish0p

I stayed in the above's childhood home. It was an 165 year old house - cobbled together over several lifetimes, as time and money allowed. The rooms were small and warren-like, but very charming. This retreat has been owned by the "consortium" as a retreat since 2004. Prior to that it was home to a distant family member of said poet for over 50 years. The stairs were the narrowest and the steepest I'd ever encountered. Unfortunately, I did not take a single picture of the place. It was not grand, nor fancy, nor museum-like in any way - but it did feel homey and comfortable.

The whole experience there was interesting. Talia's co-consortia member is an independent scholar. I heard someone describe her as "making a living out of air". She is very well educated and absolutely devoted to "the cause" - of furthering the mission of the poet and her works. She was recently interviewed on the Canadian equivalent of the BBC about her work and recent book - a biography of sorts of the poet. Of which, I now have a copy. Prior to the trip, I'd also read a good deal of the poet's work (she was not prolific) and it was very interesting to put the actual place to the work. I actually had the option of sleeping in HER room, but chose the larger bed :-) But anyway, I was intrigued to view a woman of my approximate age, who eschewed all of what is considered normal for women, to devote herself to her calling. Of course, it was not the life for me, but I do admire her dedication and her ability to do this for quite literally years.

I fell ill on this trip - wicked allergy attack at the end of my first full day in Halifax that quickly morphed into something upper respiratory. Luckily, the meds and laws are different in Canada, so I popped into a pharmacy, spoke with a pharmacist and he recommended something that got me back on track after a couple of days. Talia's husband teased me that because during my first walk through the very gorgeous Public Gardens, that I'd stuck my nose into every flower in the place, and he's close to being right. So for the next couple of days, I didn't participate in a full day's activities - I'd opted out of some of the evenings and stayed at home and read. One of the poet's fans is also an author and left this book in the library.

I quite enjoyed the book, which was set in Nova Scotia and I read it during my "down time". There were some similarities between the themes in the book and those in the poet's own life (not the author's). Highly recommend.

Our late evenings consisted of sitting around the kitchen table, noshing on various local foods. The strawberries were in season and one day we went to a working farm, where this is produced. That Damned Dutchman produces some damned fine cheese. We chased down more of this - it appeared on some menus in Halifax! Great stuff. I'd love a bit of it now. Blue gouda. Yummy. Oh, and ketchup flavored potato chips! Who knew? Oh, and I also tried and loved - dulce. Who knew?

The time at the house was leisurely - with daily visits to the bay, being either "at home" or "away". If the tide is out, it is said that the Bay of Fundy is away. Away is big in Nova Scotia - The Piper asked if I was "from away".

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

Meanwhile, life after vacation goes on. I arrived home on Sunday and spent the rest of the day getting settled in. My sister did a wonderful job of watering the place in this horrid heatwave, so everything survived. I haven't seen Jimmie Dale Gilmore since I returned, but I have to assume she is hanging out and staying cool. It is very damned hot and dry here. I shudder to think of what my water bill will be. I did get my first full electric bill and am happy to report that the CSH appears to be quite efficient - of course, this was pre-heat wave.

There were some downsides to the vacation. Talia and her hubby really like to eat - not that there is anything wrong with that - hell, I like to eat, too. Far.too.much. Far.too.often. I did okay the first couple of days, as I got a lot of exercise, but the mid-trip was a face-plant into a pile of either 1. baked goodies or 2. fried stuff. There was a run there where every meal included some form of fried potatoes. After an especially bad day of over-indulgence (day 5, I believe), I just had to cut back, hard. And so I did. I managed a Friday, Saturday and Sunday of "clean" eating, but I am still struggling with quantities.

It is almost like my mind has settled on food to obsess about, now that other things are less in the forefront. As I was pondering this last night, it ocurred to me that I've never been in exactly this position before. I don't really know how to live with just me. I mean, it's exciting, but it's a little strange, too. It's like I don't really know what to do with myself now that I've given up worrying/obsessing about others? As I try to give up "control" of others and let everyone else live without my interference, what do with all this space left in my head?

I feel fortunate not to be experiencing any yearnings to be in a relationship of any sort. I have the opportunity and the skills to create and live a very fulfilling life - no without people, but certainly sans any romantic connection.

I do have an issue with exercise motivation right now and accountability. Not that I was ever accountable to Bick, per se, but at the end of the day, it was always part of the convo - "I did x miles, I went to this class, I did that thing" and I seem to be floundering a bit in that department. I did get up and walk this morning, just as a way to try to re-establish the habit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just need to remember that tomorrow.

And I don't talk a lot about weight around here, as my worth and happiness cannot be determined by the scale. That being said, I am moving in a direction that does not make me any happier, so I will attempt to deal with whatever is driving me to want to eat all the damned time.

I am six pounds over my redline and eight pounds over my high mark. And I need to address this using the tools that I have, while not letting the scale numbers determine my day.

So those are the thoughts that are clanging about in my noggin.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Adjustments, not admonishments.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Halifax, Nova Scotia

So I did the sidecar tour and it was fabulous! The weather was grand and the guide, Vickie, was very knowledgeable about both the city and the machinery! I felt very safe. And the deal with the sidecar is that they make everyone happy. I had more people wave at me - it was just grand. I am so glad that I did it. It was a 2.5 hour private, interactive tour and history lesson and I loved every second of it. My boss always recommends a hop-0n-hop-off tour as a first stop in a new city to get the lay of the land, so to speak. This introduction served me well. Vickie is a radio newscaster for 24 syndicated radio stations and this is her new side business. I got background and history and the opportunity to ask questions - I can't imagine a more thorough

The rest of the day included walks through the Public Gardens, up the Citadel, down to the harbor and through the maritime museum. I know I had fresh strawberries from the farmer's market for lunch, but I do not remember what I had for dinner, nor where we ate that night. Oh, yea, it was someplace down at the wharfside. First night dinner was fish and chips at a pub after our late arrival into Halifax.

The dorm experience proved interesting. I didn't expect the dorms to be quite so "retro", but they were clean, functional, quiet and well-located. Oh, and did I mention cheap? So two nights of that - with the bath down the hall :-)

So that's basically arrival and my one full day in Halifax. Oh, and the Queen Mary 2 was in dock, so there were cruise people swarming the harbor. And it's McLobster time!

Next Stop: Great Village. And the poet's house.

Forever Plaid

I'm home. It was a wonderful, relaxing trip. I saw a great many sights and enjoyed all of them. I read three books. I learned a great deal about a part of North America that I knew very little about. In addition to Nova Scotia, we snuck in some New Brunswick, too. And on Friday night, I got to hear a bunch of bagpipes, as we attended the 1ongest running Highland Games outside of Scotland (148 years, I'm told). I am decidedly in the bagpipe camp. And that was even before one in this trio began to flirt with me! (so I had to be told).

There will be more pictures and more stories, but let me just say that this is what vacations are supposed to be. Apologizing to Pebbles yesterday for my lack of communication, she said "No worries, Mom. I knew you must be having a great time - you weren't calling to vent!" And she's right, the three of us got along very well - I never turned on the iPod one time.

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


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Something To Ponder

Something to think about while I'm away.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others.

Friday, July 1, 2011

One Fat Lady

I don't know if I can make it work with everyone's schedule, but I am going to do my damndest to take this tour in Halifax. Doesn't it look like a total scream? It probably won't be possible given the short notice (I just found it) and I'm sure the weekends are pretty busy, but I will give it a shot - if it works with my companion's schedule. Perhaps I'll opt out of dinner or somesuch - in any event, if I manage to do this, I'll get pictures! Woo Hoo! I'm so excited about it all.

Talia and her husband (what the hell did I name him? My word association synapse is failing me this morning) will be by to pick me up tomorrow morning to head out for our adventure in cool.

This will be the first time I've ever traveled without being the one with the travel folder, the plan AND the (self-imposed) responsibility to make sure everyone is happy. We shall see how much I like not being in control. hmmm.

I'm packed, got the iPOD loaded (I had decided to go with Meg's recommendation on Beck's Finding your Own North Star but it was not available in audibook format) with Cammy's suggestion of Beck's The Joy Diet. Plus some Wait, Wait podcasts, as well as The Splendid Table. So I should be good to go. Since we are so mobile this trip - hopscotching over the province, we are all packing light - a carry-on. I think I've got it mostly covered and there will be stores in case I don't.

Food has been very good this week, but my body is refusing to cooperate. Sleep has been less-than-stellar, but again, that will change. This, too, shall pass, as they say.

Results for June: C-. I did pretty good about being "present", but I didn't fare as well with the exercise. I logged my food for 26 days and I exercised on 17 days. Ah, well, onward.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Play nice while I'm gone.

Loving this link: TED