Tuesday, January 31, 2012

From The Land of The Unwell

Still sick. I'm going to take a shower, dry my hair, swallow another handful of not-very-effective-medicines and go back to bed. I didn't call anyone and I probably won't today.

Take good care of yourself. The others are on their own. ;-)


Monday, January 30, 2012

Bring Out Your Dead

This was going to be a post showing the pedestal flower arrangement I did for the dining room using some tall candle holders. Turned out pretty cute, but I could have used a bit more differentiation in the greenery. I was cutting stuff out of the garden, so I was using what I had. Instead, I'm feeling the sickness. It started last night just after I'd invited 20 people over for brunch next Sunday. I hope that this doesn't last.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. I'm not dead yet.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Publish This Status

Saturday was a crazy, busy day for me, made even more so as I decided to invite my Mom and Sis over for dinner, as I hadn't seen them in a while. So I sent my sister a text message in the wee hours of the morning with the invitation and my Mom called back later in the morning to confirm. So that added grocery shopping and a bit of flower arranging to my already busy day. I'd turned the sound down on my phone because I was in meetings and then workshop, so I didn't notice that I was getting an unusual amount of calls. And when I did notice, I was knee-deep in dinner prep, whipping and spurring to get it all done on time.

I did, however, listen to one message from my cousin in WA, who seemed very concerned about my Mom, having not been able to reach her. I did call him back and left him a message saying that I'd spoken with her that morning and unless he knew something that I didn't know, things were fine. She's just notorious for losing her phone.

So cut to the dinner table. Mom and my sister had been to the stock show all day, as the weather has been just spectacular. We are having a nice dinner and I remember the message from Bill. "Mom", I say, "You'd better give Bill a call, he seems rather concerned about you".

"Okay" she says. "I just don't know what is wrong with these people. My phone has been ringing off the hook. All I did was repost on FB one of those messages thingies to "post this as your status if you are really struggling in support of my friend from Virginia I think. I met her when I posted on Name Redacted's who was talking about his new dog".

Now we've all seen those updates and many of us have complied to be in solidarity with others, but most will make such a disclaimer. Mom didn't, so now there are a bunch of her "friends" who believe she's in some sort of distress. All because she was standing in solidarity with the "friend" she met on FB, all because we used to have a Great Dane. Sheesh.

Despite being busy, yesterday was a wonderful day. Workshop was again awesome - I mean the workshop is awesome, but comedy is H.A.R.D. Today, I'm working around here a bit, then I'm going to head over to the Buddhist' place to sit and meditate for a while. That will be followed by some yard work. I'm hosting a potluck brunch next Sunday and with all the rain and sunshine we've had recently, the lawn and yard could use a little more straightening up. So while the temperature is at freezing right now, it is supposed to warm up to near 60 this afternoon, so it should be nice enough when I return from the temple.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Update your Status.


Friday, January 27, 2012

All Before EIght

This morning I:

1. Went to Spin Class (injury free)

2. Lost Two Pair of Glasses

3. Resorted to wearing Bathroom Glasses

4. Colored my Hair

5. Made my Breakfast and Lunch

6. Packed my Breakfast and Lunch

7. Left my Breakfast and Lunch

8. Retrieved my Breakfast and Lunch

All Before Eight.

Phone-A-Friend: I actually stopped in to SEE.SOMEONE.IN.PERSON! I'm counting it. ETA: I made four calls yesterday. I forgot. WOo Hoo!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Start your day early.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wood Objects

According to Wikipedia, that's the gift for 6th anniversaries. So in honor of my sixth, I'll repost my 5th.

Yesterday marked my five year quit-aversary. After smoking for thirty years, I finally and for good, kicked the habit. I'd quit before, sometimes for as long as two years, but really I hadn't quit - I just wasn't smoking at the time. This time, I've quit. I'm done. I'm through. I cannot foresee a situation that would ever draw me back in. The desire is gone. Well, occasionally it will drift back - but it's easy to say "I'm not a smoker" and the thought drifts off as quickly as it came.

I will admit that quitting was one of the most difficult things that I've ever done. Mine was an emotional addiction, to be sure, and it was powerful. Quitting left me in a puddle and it was exercise that really pulled me through it. I started running a month or so before I quit and it was running that kept me out of the pack long enough for the quit to stick. I had already taken up healthful eating habits (I'd lost about 75 pounds about seven years before) and had started working out a bit, so smoking was no longer in line with how I lived my life. It no longer made sense to me and for me.

And for those of you who have never smoked, good for you. For those of you that have and have quit, you know what this is. A thirty year, pack-a-day habit. Yet another one of my dubious achievements - dropping around 120 pounds, climbing out of a mountain of debt, and smoking for thirty years and then quitting. I go big or go home! I'm never one to nip anything in the bud! I wait until it's a challenge!

End of 2011 post.

I can't believe I let the date slip by me. I guess it really is a part of the past, thankfully.

Phone-A-Friend Challenge: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. If you smoke, please stop.


Don't Take It Personal(ly)

And don't make it personal, either. Man, the FGOs (something Grow Opportunities) just keep on coming. Work is a stressful mess this week. Part of that stress was caused by another person in another department and I was under the gun to get something out and I found myself ready to "pull the trigger". Ready to make this personal, ready to be punishing, luckily something was said to me that gave me just enough pause to rethink the action that I was getting ready to take. And seriously, yes, she did screw up, but it was not MY place to tell her about it, make her feel bad, condemn her, etc. It was not done to me or on me, it was just done and I shouldn't take it personal(ly) and I shouldn't make it personal, either. Damnit. That was a tough pill to swallow (and speaking of tough pills to swallow, I returning those damned horsepills to the Costco).

And because of the awareness of the above situation, I had this in mind when I responded to a FOO member and I was able to avoid getting hooked in and to engage in nonsense. And for that, I'm grateful, as later in the day, some not great medical news came down involving the FOO.

The mindfulness, the savoring of time and experiences is going okay. I find myself catching myself more and more often and returning to be in the "here and now" and not spinning off into the future somewhere.

Phone-A-Friend Score: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Recognize the truth when you see it.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Flying High

I hope your first day of The Year Of The Dragon was awesome!

Picture is from my birthday weekend back in the fall. Through a series of unfortunate events (Slater's kidney stones) I ended up taking his flying lesson. It was pretty awesome.

Decent enough day yesterday, other than the ouch factor. I'll be taking it easy for a day or so. I was just hopping off the bike (via the back - and forgot that I'd moved the seat way forward). I won't be doing that again any time soon.

My Saturday classes are great fun and they are enlightening - oh, did I say that I ran into my impr0v instructor at the Buddhist temple? He's pretty zen. He considers c0medy to be his philosophy. There was one thing last week that was SO difficult for me - and so unexpected - we had to SING! Just step out on stage and start belting out a song without accompaniment until someone from the troupe "rescues" you by stepping out, touching your shoulder and begins singing themselves. I so cannot sing - and thinking of what to sing was almost as hard as the singing - but the real skill to be learned was to rescue our fellows. I'm also learning that I need to slow down and not try to get so many words out so quickly - that I need to just slow it down - certainly a metaphor for my life right now. I'm getting the mindfulness message all over the place!

Phone-A-Friend Challenge: 1

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


Monday, January 23, 2012

The Flying Dismount

I thought of several titles to this post; my favorite being Hoo Hoo Boo Boo! Yep, I made an unscheduled dismount off of the spin bike this morning and I am now on IR for a while. I don't know how those who carry more standard equipment than I do, manage. Hats off to you guys!

Yep, I went to spin class again this morning. Turns out, I know the person teaching Monday's class (but certainly not well enough to confess my klutziness), so now I have two people to whom I can be accountable for getting some exercise. And really, being done with exercise by 7am? Totally awesome.

Great weekend. Lots accomplished. Art on the walls in the dining room. I actually had the perfect print already, but it was hanging in my bedroom. It was close enough to being the right size that it will work just fine until I find the perfect thing. So I switched a lot of stuff around and will live with this for a while. Pebbles and Slater recently bought some real, original art and the artist told them that she re-shuffles her artwork once a year - just to enjoy it from a different perspective. The truth is, I never see that print as I don't hang out in my room and it wasn't even visible when passing down the hall.

I also moved something from the kitchen into the dining room and I've got a gap in the kitchen, but again, given the fact that my kitchen is just one-butt, the piece will be seen more in the dining room.

Worked in the yard for several hours on Sunday - just gorgeous weather here. I've got all sorts of stuff popping up all over - it's like I need to be Gus Grissom in order to pull weeds - or perhaps Indiana Jones - it's more of a dig to try to get the stuff that needs to come out and leave the other stuff undisturbed.

Work promises to be a stress-fest today. I shall try to stay in the moment and remember to breathe.

Phone-A-Friend: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Dismount gracefully.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Should-Free Sunday

I've declared today a "Should-Free Sunday", as in "I should do this" or "I should do that. All of the folks I'd made plans with for various and sundry things canceled. It was all understandable and I choose to look at this as the gift of being able to re-start and re-plan (or un-plan) my day. I'm giving up the "I shoulds" and going with the "I wants".

I should go to church, but I want to soak in the tub longer. For today, tub wins.

I should be riding my bike because I just spent all that money on it, but I'm just not feeling like riding by myself. For today this morning, puttering around the house wins.

I should be cleaning out the garage, but I'd rather straighten up my sock drawer. For today, the socks win.

I should be working from a to-do list to optimize my efforts, but I just want to do whatever the spirit moves me today. For today, inefficiency wins.

I should be multi-tasking in order to get more done, but I'd rather just concentrate on this one thing that I'm doing and take pleasure from it. For today, pleasure wins.

(although I must confess to having turned Iris The Mint to let her do her thing, but I use her daily, just like she was a coffee pot).

Phone-A-Friend Challenge: 0 - stayed at a full gallop all day yesterday and I forgot all about my challenge.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Don't should all over yourself.


picture of the single pin cushion flower that is bravely blooming in the front bed in mid-January

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Spinning

Actually, there will be no spinning for me today, other than of the mental variety. I'll be leaving the house in a few minutes, and won't be home until 2:30. Then it will be a bit of lunch, a clean up and it's off to dinner and a night of comedy. Plus, I just realized that Talia is coming over tomorrow after church with her new bike so that we can ride! And my house looks like out-takes from HGTV! So somewhere in there, I've got to find some time to straighten things back up!

Spin class yesterday was interesting - and not completely in a good way. Turns out while I was on sabbatical, my life turned into The Autumn of Medical Issues. My right boob is now sort of microchipped (not really, that was just Pebbles' suggestion - along with suggesting the implantation of a gps device so that she could track me in my dotage) - it's not a microchip, but it is a titanium marker, which I've been assured will not get me felt up by the TSA. The second thing was that my cholesterol went "insane" - a direct quote from my very reserved doc. He nearly wouldn't let me leave the office without choking down some statins. So now I'm on daily meds - SAS shoes and elastic-waist, industrial-strength polyester pull-on pants can't be far behind. So anyway, while I've got to take meds every damn day (I haven't given up on getting off of these - there has to be some reason why my numbers shot through the ceiling after being consistent for years (albeit a bit high- hereditary, cause Pebbles' is the same way), I decided to add a daily vitamin. Of the senior variety.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice that those puppies are, well, the size of puppies! OMG. But I took my first one bright and early yesterday morning before going to spin class. Mis-Take. Burpy nausea to follow. So if I want to get through the COSTCO-LIFETIME-SUPPLY of these horse pills, I'm going to have to take them at night - so not only will I have meds in the morning, but now there will be meds before bedtime, which right now feels like it should be 8:30 pm!

Phone-A-Friend: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Age gracefully.


picture of some pansies and kale in my front yard

Friday, January 20, 2012

Switching Gears

Now there's some inspiration! I could try something like that - I've got some empty frames, as does Pebbles. But for now, I'm leaving it alone. Something will bubble up to the surface - I'm going to try to relax and let it happen as it will. I'm now turning my attention to lighting. While I love this house more than bacon, the lighting is poor in every room. I know that half the days I leave here looking like Tammy Faye. And the dining room is no exception - and since it didn't used to be the dining room and Prior Owner was as green as Ed Begley, Jr, there is a fan with a light kit in the DR. And I may not like having the dining room there, so I'm unwilling to do as my intrepid designer says "kill the fan and just have some cans dropped in and we can move the light to better center it over the table" all the while I'm breaking out in.a.rash. Yes, I know she's right - and yes, lighting really IS the most important thing, I'm just not there yet. So for now, I still want to keep my escape route open. So as a temporary (but not particularly inexpensive, I might add) solution, I'm going to add some plug in wall sconces for some additional light. I've got some of the DR paint, so I can paint the covers and they won't be too obtrusive - if I can find something I like. Ah, well, I'm thinking this is a never ending deal - but it's fun.

This morning is spin class. I spent last evening getting ready so that I can get up, brush my teeth, throw on a ball cap, get dressed, grab a cuppa, hit publish and hit the road.

The day is supposed to be fabulous and of course, I can't be off work. My Saturday is booked up again (funny, funny thing - a friend of mine plans her own birthday celebration each year (I recommend this practice) and she chose to get a group together to go out for dinner and then on to see an improv comedy show. Guess where? I haven't outed myself, but it could happen, depending upon who happens to be hanging around)). Sunday promises more sitting with the Buddhists, followed by a bike ride with Talia, who just got a bike like Lori's, I think.

Phone-A-Friend: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Switch Gears if you need to.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Running Out Of Options

Option Four

Option Five

I am running out of options. And I don't love any of them. It may be that this idea just doesn't work for me. It's a little too "homespun". There's no edge, no modernity, nothing about the pieces that reflect me. So, the wall may just have to be bare for a while. Or I may move pieces that I do love to that space - although the scale is wrong for that, too. Won't know until I try that one. Hmmm.

Phone-A-Friend: 0. I flat forgot yesterday. I was teaching myself a new graphic display/collaborative tool to create dashboards and I got all hung up in that - and honestly, didn't think about the challenge until bedtime. I suppose I could have called the west coast, but I decided to just read a bit to wind down and call it a night. Sleep has been fitful, as night sweats have attacked again with a vengeance. I am moving back towards my "clean eating" norm and I read somewhere a while ago about lower carb/metabolism/sleep/night sweats, but I don't seem to have it bookmarked. It was some sort of medical research/study that confirmed my anecdotal experience with the inter-relationship amongst all the players.

I ran into the woman teaching the Friday 6am spin class and affirmed my intention to join her class this round. Okay, so I've set myself up to be accountable to someone.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Create Options.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Year of The Dragon

I had a work event that took me to Irving last night, so I popped on over and took the kids out to dinner at our favorite Vietnamese place. It was getting all decked out for Tet, which ushers in the Year of The Dragon. It was pretty cool to see - there were these two traditional dragons and two other long, huge Chinese dragons, plus paper ones of all varieties. As per usual, we were the only non-Vietnamese people in the restaurant and Slater ordered this weird dish that came in a boat-like serving vessel. He/we didn't know quite what it was, nor how to eat it, but three different wait staff came out bearing first smaller, then larger bowls to try to tell him how to mix up and serve the dish. It was sort of like DIY Pho. Great fun. Also, there were a lot of celebratory foods being prepared and rolled into log-looking packages. We asked and it was some sort of sweet sticky rice, bean paste and pork. I would have liked to have sampled some of the oddities (to me).

No design work happened today, although I have been taking everyone's input to heart. I do like the basic design of option one, but I think I will swap out a piece or so. Plus, I like the idea of taking some of the smaller items and do a reference piece on another wall.

Phone-A-Friend: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Another New Year's Is Coming - reboot if you need to.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch

Option one

Option two

I'm narrowing this down. One thing that is bad about putting this stuff down on the floor is that there is a lot of "white space" around this. If it were to be up on the wall, I might appear more cluttered. I'm thinking some editing is in order, but I think I'm narrowing it down. Thoughts?

I didn't ride yesterday. It was just too windy and I was really enjoying working in the yard. I spent about four hours, just mindfully pulling weeds and neatening things up. What fulfilling work it was. Today, the bottom falls out of the weather, bringing a freeze tonight. I've actually got a couple of blossoms in the garden. Tonight will be the end of them, I suppose. Oh well, I got to enjoy them yesterday.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. It doesn't have to be perfect on the first try.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Dining Room ReBoot

The Collage Options

I've done nothing other than lay them out on a 6'X4' grid on the sun room floor. I have no particular love for any one piece - it's just stuff gathered up. Empty frames that I put pretty paper in, etc. I was thinking about displaying some travel post cards in the white shadow box thingies. I do think there needs to be more round shapes, as the rest of the room is pretty wooden, square/rectangular and leggy. Since it is a dining room, I might introduce some plates - I have some interesting pewter plates that might mix in pretty nicely. I'll try to get a picture of those. It is worth noting that I'm not a huge fan of symmetry. That's too formal a look for such a funked-out space.

The Blank Wall - Six and A Half Feet of Fun

Dining Room - Where the West Begins

There's Got To Be A Pony In There Somewhere

Okay, HGTVers, give me some ideas for the collage.


They don't look like much now, but come late March/early April they should be in full bloom. When I first set eyes on this house, it was awash with color, of the poppy variety (both California and Icelandic). I was so glad to see their return (actually, I had to ask the neighbor across the street to come identify them, as I'd never been successful in getting them to over-winter). I spent several glorious hours working in the yard yesterday. I mowed and pulled weeds (or at least I hope they were weeds) and generally tidied things up. I could stand to do some more of that today.

I'm hoping the wind lays down, as yesterday it was just too windy for me to ride. I am a wimp when it comes to 30mph winds. I don't mind the cold as much as the wind, so Inez stayed at home yesterday. I've got today off, so I'm planning to haul out to the local lake/state park and ride on what should be deserted roads. I vow that I will ride wind or no wind. It doesn't have to be for a long time, but I will spend time in the saddle.

Yesterday's temple experience was just lovely. Joyful, even - and I didn't expect all the laughter during the teaching. I will definitely go again. I hate it that I missed two Sundays, as the teaching this month is on basic meditation and mindfulness - two thing I could stand to improve my practice of.

I've also set to work on my collage for the dining room wall. Right now, I'm trying to use/reuse/recycle/upcycle things I already own - at least temporarily. I did buy those hanging things that supposedly don't damage the walls - I hope they work! I am using my table top to plan the layout or I could use pieces of paper taped to the wall to get everything balanced before committing to a semi-permanent solution. I think this will probably be a work in progress - however, it can't take too much time, as I have been thinking about holding a brunch on the first Sunday of February. It would be nice to have the re-boot done by then.

And can I say that I find the new Britcom, Miranda, to be hilarious?

Phone-A-Friend: 1

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


Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's An Inside Job

I've been following along with Ellen's Hate Loss Challenge. Actually, I got waylaid on the very first one, as there was some neat convergence of worlds that led me back to a certain point in my life. Ellen's challenge brought up bullying, an experience that I endured for a number of years in elementary school and into middle school. The bullying came at a time when other chaotic things were going on in my life and perhaps, if events had been singular rather than compound, it would have been easier. Anyway, I hadn't really realized how the school experiences were so intertwined with the other experiences.

The other neon flashing arrow came from a recovery book I was reading and it asked the question: "When did you start believing that you weren't good enough?" So here was the burning bush. It was at the aforementioned point in my life when I started to believe that I was not good enough, that I was flawed in some horrific way. And while I forgave the bullies and did the whole "best revenge is living well" thing, I had not directly confronted and refuted and expelled their assertions to myself. I just wanted it to stop, but I completely accepted and internalized what was being said. Because parts of it were true and therefore, it all must be true. There was just no core of self-esteem to shield it from me. I needed to go back and dispel each of those beliefs that I'd taken on as being true.

And over the years, I latched on to every external reason that I wasn't okay. I would be okay when/if:

I was skinny
I was popular
I was a success professionally
I was pretty
I got asked out a lot
I had a nice car
I had a boyfriend/partner/spouse
I had money/out of debt
I had a nice house

And as I achieved/attained most of those things, it did nothing to change my core relationship/beliefs about myself. I had no real foundation upon which to construct my self-esteem/positive self-beliefs. It's only been with in the last few years that I've began to understand and espouse "take good care of yourself". It really means, for me, if I get myself right with myself, all the rest will follow.

And none of this protects me from life's trials and troubles. Life happens. To everyone. There is no protection or way to control it. Good things as well as painful things are a part of the human existence. My default position was to view pain as a deep personal failing, that if I was better,different,less this, more that, if I had said this, if I had done that, all things that my unhealthy self tries to tell my healthier self, when the truth is I have NO control or power over the situation - but I do have some control, through doing the work, on how it affects me. To learn that I can be sad and that is not a personal failure is huge. To not internalize everything thing that happens, but to just feel whatever real thing it is.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Shore up your core.


Timing Is Everything

Yesterday was a pretty busy day. I seemed to go from one thing right to another without much break. I was away for almost 12 hours and it sort of was unsatisfying. We had a substitute instructor at class last week and this week our real instructor returned to teach his first class. And the whole energy and vibe was very, very different. The sub had us doing all sorts of exercises, moving from one to another very quickly. That strategy seemed to help us get creative - get in a groove. Today's guy, while a sweetheart, I felt he talked too much and no one really found their rhythm. Oh well. It would have been hard to beat last week's class anyway. The sophomore slump is sorta expected.

The "meh" continued when I met friends to see the J0yful n01se - what a stinker. I think I may have even fallen asleep. But tomorrow is another day. I'm still on tap for a trip to the temple followed by a bike ride. If the weather is as nice as it was yesterday, Inez and I will be very happy.

Phone-A-Friend: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Timing is everything.


Saturday, January 14, 2012


The long weekend is shaping up nicely. Later today I get to go back to the playhouse for more improvisational fun. After that, I'm joining friends to go see an early movie, and after that, I presume we'll all go grab a bite to eat. I'm hoping to grab a garage-ride in the morning for my exercise.

Sunday, my plan is to go to the local Buddhist temple and attend a meditation for peace. It will be my first trip there and I have no idea what to expect. So that will be an adventure. After that, I plan to get Inez out for a spin. I haven't decided if I'm going to haul somewhere or just ride locally. I do have some chores I need to get done and some errands to run, but Monday's main even will be another bike ride. It's supposed to be near 70 degrees, albeit with strong wind. I'll have to tailor my ride so that I will have a tailwind on the return trip.

I'm still puttering around with the redecorating, but no new brainstorms of creativity have overtaken me.

Phone-A-Friend: 1

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


Friday, January 13, 2012

Charting Progress

This says what I am and where I am so much more eloquently than I can. In writing this blog, the difference between authenticity and transparency has tripped me up more than once.

I have noticed this shift in me - I believe that I am living more true to the authentic plumb line, but with less transparency. And I believe that last part is a good thing, on the whole. As a recovering over-zealous-discloser, I am moving from needing/wanting validation for every move I make - that's a big change for me. I'm giving things less "traction" in my life. I don't retell stories as much. People in my life are still doing the same old stuff, but I suffer less if I don't their behavior purchase in my life. In my past, if someone asked me a question, no matter how inappropriate, I would always provide an answer, no matter how inappropriate. These days, I've placed some boundaries around me and around other people. I still struggle with how to enforce those boundaries gracefully, but they are being enforced.

Pebbles said something very touching to me the other night. She was asking me about my improv class and I was telling her about it and she said, "You are not the same person you were when I was 18. I think you have changed more in the last ten years than I have. I couldn't have imagined you then as you are now." So when it comes to measuring progress, there are always yardsticks available. Even when the progress is slow, there is progress.

Dinner last night was yummy. A little too much cream brulee, however. I may still be in a sugar coma.

Phone-A-Friend - 0. Work function went until too late to call. I'll do better tomorrow.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Progress, not perfection


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today Me Is Tomorrow Me's BFF

I was reading an entry in an online forum I frequent where a woman was talking about her Tonight Me making her Morning Me happy because she was setting up the coffee pot so that she could wake up to freshly brewed coffee. I love this concept! One of the things that I am working on is "being my own best friend" - I don't have to rely solely upon others for affirmations, acceptance and esteem - I am responsible for those things myself.

So yesterday morning, when I was still in bed and didn't want to get up to go to the gym (and I didn't), as stupid as it sounds, I told myself that Morning Me needed to make Today Me happy. So, while I didn't go to the gym, I did pull a Helen and headed out to the garage to get in some exercise. I've got Clementine (Cha-Cha) Peddleford up on a trainer and I spent some time and some sweat there. And then Noon Me decided to make Tonight Me happy and go work out at lunch, and again, I did something different - the weather was so beautiful that I decided being out in the sunshine in January was more important than sweating. So I treated All-Of-Mes to a wonderful walk through the neighborhood. Oh, and I got a prize or three. Someone had thrown their Christmas tree out to the curb with some decorations still on it! They had these darling little disco ball looking sparkly ornaments, so I tree-picked three of them! Score!

I got the new rug down in the dining room and re-engineered some very nice dupioni silk curtains Pebbles took out of her house. They were a bit short, but I managed to rig up a solution that looks nice. I think I need to add two upholstered chairs to the mix and I'd seen some in the World Market catalog that I thought I'd like, but after seeing them, I don't think the scale is right. I'm now toying with the idea of doing a collage of items rather than a single piece of art for the blank wall. I'll have to drag out what I've got and see if I can put it together in any coherent way.

I've got a busy evening tonight - a vendor is taking me and several other people out to a fancy steakhouse for dinner and since I'll be in the area, I think I'll take in an improv "jam" session - not to participate, but to watch.

Phone-A-Victim: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be ready to hand off the self-esteem baton to Tomorrow Me.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trying To Make Sense Of It All

It may have been the saddest, oddest service I've ever attended. Every loss is tragic, certainly, but this was sad for a different reason. From what I could gather, the deceased had estranged himself from most everyone in his life. He had been wildly successful financially, to be sure, but really the only words that were spoken without qualification came from an eleven year old child. It certainly gives one pause.

I worked from home yesterday, awaiting the arrival of the new rug. I should have gone to work. I wish there was a better system of notification, for sure. I'd have it held to be picked up, but it is too large. It finally arrived at 6:30pm out of the back of a Budget rental truck, but too late for Pebbles and Slater to come over and do more moving about. Oh, well. It will keep.

P-A-F: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others - they just might have to speak for you.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Light A Single Candle

Light A Single Candle was the name of a book I read in sixth grade, I think. I don't recall what it was about specifically, but I think it involved a blind girl. Just popped into my head when searching for a way to symbolize a memorial service in the picture. Later today I will be attending a funeral for the son of a friend. Every parents' nightmare. It's the second of these within the last couple of years for colleagues' children.

I went to my first ever bike club meeting. I think I skewed the average age downward - I suspect that the younger crowd was home watching the football game. It was interesting. The talk was on bike fit. I learned a great deal about bike geometry. I'm now hoping that Inez isn't too aggressively styled for me! She leans a bit towards the racy side, rather than being all endurance. While I'd read and done some research, I found nothing that was as concise as the way things were explained tonight. Seems like a good group.

I've about convinced myself to hit the spin class a couple of times a week. I need to shake things up a bit. After years of being pretty faithful in getting to the gym, I've just gotten out of the groove and it's so hard to get it back. I understand that exercise is vital to my health and well-being and I've suffered because of my lack of motivation. I am a morning person - my energy level is at it's peak when I wake up - so I'll give this a go. I have the option of going five days a week, but I want to be realistic and not set myself up for failure.

Phone-A-Friend Scoreboard: Two Strikes

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


Monday, January 9, 2012

Rearranging Furniture

So neither of the rugs worked. Both were too small (as I knew they would be). So I went off-road and ordered two new rugs (without the expressed, written consent of my designer). The runner arrived last week and I like it alright. I don't have so much money sunk into it that if I find something I like better somewhere, I can move it to some other location in the house. I ended up selected a chunky jute for the dining room. I'm worried that I'm getting a little bit too "natural" - too much wood/natural fibers. I need to get some other elements in there.

I do have these two rusty candle holders that are about two and half feet tall and I like to figure out how to put a floral topiary arrangement on top of them in place of the candles. I'd like to develop a "system" so I'd know exactly what I'd need to go cut from the garden (greenery only, of course) to be able to create fresh arrangements - like 6 pieces of traily stuff, 18 inches in length, 14 branches of this at that length - you get the picture - in order to create something like that depicted on the photo I found on the knot:

I also spent some time re-optimizing my storage space. There is the teeniest of medicine cabinets in the bathroom and a pedestal sink, so I have to use the hall coat and linen closet for well, coats, linens and all things bathroom. I shuffled things around to make better use of the space. The thing is, there is space that I am not utilizing, but it is so up and away, that it's hard to get to and I'm afraid I'll forget whatever I stow up there.

So I schlepped the two too small rugs back to the store (Marshall's) but instead of the store in which I bought them, I chose to take them back to a Home Goods/Marshall's combo store. Oh, my. There is just so much to see. I wandered around for nearly two hours and came away with nothing house related except the gift card money this whole adventure started with. I did, however, find the very shirt (a Jones of New York no-iron) - a crisp, white shirt that I was going to buy at Macy's for twice the price, so I just bought two of them. I fell in love with it when I tried it on and I'll probably regret not buying a third. I am a firm believer that one cannot have too many perfect crisp, white shirts. But I'll believe that bit about no-iron when I see it. Of course, since I've chosen (at least for now) not to install a dryer, it's Sunbeam City for me.

Phone-A-Friend Tote Board: 2

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


Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's Electric

Wow. That was like the best party I've ever been to. This is going to be all kinds of fun. Now I just wish my brain had an off switch that would active upon exiting the theater. It took me a while to come down.

I came home and took Inez out for a spin.

Phone-A-Friend Count: Plus One

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Jump Start Your Creativity.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

All The World's A Stage

And all the men and women merely players. And come this afternoon, I'm a player. I've enrolled in a seven (or eight, I forget) week improv workshop. I'm gonna see if I've got the chops.

This isn't a "face your fears" kind of thing - this is just to see how it feels to be "on" and creating in a collaborative energy.

Phone-A-Friend 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Shine the spotlight.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Not A Lot To Say

Yesterday was filled with bad news - not for me personally but to people I know in varying degrees of separation. Tragic, tragic accidents, loss of life, troubling medical news and cancer diagnoses all hit around me. Whatever I might worry about or consider "problems" pale in comparison.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Things can change in an instant.

Did my deal.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Spin Cycle

I've been toying with this idea to take a spin class a couple of times a week. No biggy, right? Well, it's at 6:10 am - and who wants to get dressed for work at the gym? Not me.

Yesterday, I ran into one of the instructors, a woman about my age, whom I know casually. She's an experienced cyclist and it would be nice to have another source to go to for info. In fact, she was kind enough to tell me (very graciously, I might add) that I was mis-pronouncing Inez' given name - Allez. Turns out, Inez is French - who knew? Obviously not this hill billy.

So she invited me to join the class. And then it dawned on me - I live so close to the gym that I could just come home and shower and change. I wouldn't have to schlep my clothes and make-up and I know, just know, that at least once a week I'd end up wearing my tennis shoes with my work clothes because I'd forget my real shoes. I don't have to go to the locker room and change - I can just park really close, sneak in, do the deal and leave. And god knows that I get up early enough. Plus, I really am a morning person - my energy level is at it's peak first thing in the morning.

There are actually classes 5 mornings a week, but if I were to make 2 to 3, that would be stellar. So, I'm toying with it. I've got some free passes I can use for the first week, just to see how it goes. I'm sorta, kinda excited.

Now on to the hair - it's cute and it's shorter than he's ever cut it. It's not as short as I've ever worn it, but it is a nice cut. I just hope that I can fix it. And it wasn't weird this time - I think he was just going through the whole break-up thing the last time and was a little manic. He was back to his old self tonight. Whew - I don't want to have to find another stylist.

And can I just say that I love my daughter - she's one helluva gal. Yesterday morning, she noticed a bouncy spot in the floor of her guest bath - so at lunch, she came home and crawled.under.her.house to take a look. She thought she might have a water problem. She decided that she didn't have a problem and it was just something about two sub-floors and spanning distances.

Phone-A-Friend Scoreboard: 1

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


image from strivetosimplifydotcom

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rough Re-entry

Well, that was rough. Tensions ratcheted right back to the levels they were before the break. There is a situation with a woman at work, not in my office, but works with me, that is coming to a head. In the past, I've been involved, inappropriately, I might add. But several months ago, I mad the decision to step out of it and the fall-out hasn't been pretty.

I've always had this motto "I/we can make this work". I would twist and turn myself into little knots trying to make everyone comfortable in all situations. I've done this for a life time - hand me your lemons and I'll hand you back the business plan for a lemonade franchise. Except that a couple of bad things happen in the process - the other person in the deal doesn't get to experience the opportunities for growth and I completely lose sight of what I want - I just think "I'll figure this out" or "I'll make this work". No more. What's yours is yours. The positives I gained, and there were some, don't outweigh the long-term negatives.

I do so hate it when things go uncomfortably at work, as work has always been such a place of peace for me. But things and people change and I can remove myself from the fray, do my job and let others do theirs.

It's back to the hairdresser again. Let's hope it isn't weird this time. If it is, well, the hunt is on for someone new.

Phone-A-Friend Challenge: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Breathe deeply and let it go.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Return to the Real World

My holiday break is over and I return to work today. I do believe this is the best break I've ever had. I practiced mindful self-care the entire break and Mother Nature was an absolute blessing - the best weather that I can recall. The unseasonable weather allowed me to get outside and work in the yard, or walk, or ride most every day. I didn't create for myself some monster to-do list that couldn't possibly get completed. I did a few things every day. I sort of took my life in 15 minute increments. If it was a task that I didn't want to do, I only had to do it for 15 minutes, then I could stop. I got a lot done with that strategy and felt good about the process.

Work has the potential to be a real stress-machine and I hope that I can deal with that as it comes - and not anticipate trouble before trouble actually arrives.

Phone-A-Friend Scorecard: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Practice extreme self-care.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Walk Tall

A shot of my closet the other day during the big re-arrangement. I am still unsure about the sitting room - I mean, for me alone, it's great, but it might feel too cramped for company. It might feel more open

As it was the first day of the new year, I set out to do the things yesterday that I would like to do for the entire year. I took the Grandbeast for a walk in the glorious sunshine, I went to church service - complete with drum circles and fire, spent my first dollar(s) of the year in the form of a charitable donation, saw three dear friends, attended a new year's day open house at another friends, took my Mom and Sis to dinner, gathered with some other friends, ate greens and wore red panties. Again, the weather was beyond spectacular. I feel so blessed to have had this time off and such unseasonable weather. Mother Nature did her share of nurturing me this break.

I plan on riding again today, my last day of vacation - I haven't decided where. I'm still not entirely comfortable taking Inez on the route to the river - I have to do some off-roading in order to get there and Inez ain't an off-road sort of gal. She's a bit more particular than is Cha-Cha. I've just decided to leave the bike rack permanently attached to Malibuken, so I can just load up and go at a moment's notice.

After my ride today, I need to rake some more leaves to get ready for garbage pickup on Tuesday. Then it will be putting together my work clothes for the rest of the week, which entails ironing. When I start talking about ironing, it's probably time to hang it up for the day and just get on with it.

Phone-A-Friend score: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Walk Tall.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 is Brought To You by the Word Savor

My intention for 2012 is to be more mindful, to be more present, and to savor all manner of people, places and things. Rather than rushing through everything to get to the next thing - the next task, the next bite, the next whatever, I will attempt to be grounded in the moment.

It came to my awareness that I had been considering this part of my life as "in between" something - and not entirely relationship-focused. Upon reflection, I prefer to think of this phase as the "pause" - the point at which enlightenment happens - when one chooses different options rather than just being reactive. And so rather than being something to "get through", when viewed in this new way, this part of the journey becomes the path. I know it doesn't make any sense - but rather than something to be endured, it is something to be savored, as this where the really good stuff happens and I need to be in the present enough to see it and extract the joy that is there for me to see - if I'm not rushing headlong into the next thing.

The change to mindfulness is showing up slowly, and in strange places. When I first contemplated buying this house, my first thought was that it didn't have a dishwasner. Pebbles spent a lot of time figuring out a way for me to get a dishwasher installed here in this space-challenged space. As it turns out, washing dishes by hand while looking out into the back yard is one of my favorite things to do (if done mindfully). And then other times, it's a PITA, especially if I am rushed. Progress, not perfection.

So savoring is a fine and lofty goal, but how does it translate into real life? What does it look like? Well, when I am eating at home, I will set the table(bar), complete with placemat and all the silver. I will light a candle, if dining after dark. When doing my phone-a-friend challenge, the goal is not only to make the call, but to be present and to really listen to what is being said, rather than rush through with me interrupting to get in MY next thought (a horrible habit that I will curb this year). The only downside to this is technology - oh how I hate my smartphone. The service is lousy - I can hardly find a place in this house that gets good reception.

So that's the basic intention for 2012 - to stay mindful, to stay present and to savor all manner of things.

So on to the re-decorating. Neither of the rugs I bought work, so they need to go back. And while I do love the new dining room, the new living area is pretty small and cramped, due to the large furniture pieces that I have. So I am undecided about everything except the driftwood horse. I love that piece. The console/buffet I'm not totally in love with, but I am feeling some guilt about all the trouble Pebbles and Slater went to to get it all over here and re-arrange everything. That being said, I ALWAYS suffer from buyer's remorse, so I need to separate those two feelings to get to my real truth and I've got some time to do that.

Phone-A-Friend Score for yesterday: ZERO - I had plans to call a couple of people and then got wrapped up with the redo. Today I will do better.

Happy New Year!

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