Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaps and Leaks

I got an out-of-the-ordinary water bill recently.  It almost rivaled my summer highs.  There was no reason that I could fathom why this was so.  I called the water department to have the meter re-read.  I walked the property , peeked down the scuttle inside and could find nothing amiss.  I finally remembered to take a picture of the water meter reading with my phone before leaving for work and matching it up upon my return.  It took me several days of this to remember to look at the meter before using the water at home.  I finally had to use both the camera and the alarm on my phone to get this done.  No leak.  My guess is that meters don't actually get read every month and then when they do, that becomes a catch-up month.

And in other home repair sagas, I can't recall if I've said anything about it here, but I'm having some work done on my other place.  I replaced about half of the siding seven or eight years ago, and the rest of it was sorely in need of repair, so I contracted to have that done.  Hijinx ensued.  The job that was supposed to take three weeks has drug on for nearly four months.  I'm not really that worried about the time - my contractor is a one-man show and has a holiday business that took him away quite a bit.  I don't want to stand in the way of him making hay while the sun shines.  Anyway, the job is finished except for the painting.  Long time readers (and I do mean long time) will remember the saga of the Pumpkin Palace - what was supposed to be Terra Cotta ended up being more pumpkiny.  And it turns out, we've all come to know and love that which is squashy in nature.  Well, Mr. Contractor got the color wrong - oh, so wrong.  Thankfully, this can be corrected as it was only the first coat.  So I spent some time out at the other place getting that squared away. I may need to make another pass out there, but I'm betting not.

And now for me, I've had some experience with leaky pipes (if you know what I mean, and I think you do) and I'm going in to see the doc about it.  The subject came up in the fall during a routine physical and he mentioned that "I was too young to have this issue, even under exercise conditions".  Well, that was a surprise, as I'd been having this issue under jumping jack conditions for years.  (There will be no Leaping About on Leap Day for me) So, I'm going to see what can be done, as the normal prescribed "exercise" hasn't patched the leak.  Yes, I know, far too much Information, but it is done in the vein of sharing how things are supposed to work (according to my doc).  Plus, I'd loaded up the medical flexible spending account for one final cosmetic-ish dental related skin graft, but I'd certainly put that off until next year, if something can be done about Leaky McLeakerson.  There will be a Men-In-Black pen available for purchase at the end of this reading, should you need to erase knowledge of the fact that you now know this about me.

PAF Challenge:  1.  Streak 1.

FPG link of the day.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Patch your leaks.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seven Pounds

So I looked back on my records - which I keep in Fitday - and I gained Seven Pounds in February.  How in the hell did that happen?  I know I don't talk much about weight anymore, as it hasn't been an issue in a while.   And I'm not berating myself over it - I'm mostly in disbelief - while I did have a couple of bad, bad eating days - I don't recall anything that would have done this.  So, it's time to take a little closer look - ha!  Said that yesterday and I'm up a pound.  Yesterday was probably not the day to go to a wedding vendor luncheon and sample catering and cakes, no?  So the no baked goods/bad eating streak ended yesterday and today I weigh 150.  It's been two years or more (I think) since I've weighed that much.  Sigh.  Again.  Ah, well.  Nothing left to do but pull it back off.  No recriminations.  No trash-talking myself.  It just is.  No need to make it worse.

Spin class was awesome this morning.  Ran into a woman I know from the gym and got to talking with her - told her about Inez.  And I got an invitation to join her and another couple of women on Saturday morning bike rides (weather permitting)!  YAY.  Plus, this is the hardest spin class of the week and it's always a real boost to get through it.  Although I do wonder if I'll make it through the rest of the day and to swing lessons tonight.

Speaking of swing lessons, I'm arranging to take a couple of private lessons to just get a good base down.  Without a dance background and with the structure of the group lessons, I'm just not getting it as well as I should.  I think I needs some good basics so that I will have something to build upon.  So I should have some news on that in a week or so.

PAF - 1  SS - 0  FPG Link for the day

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Only Positivity.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Finicky or Frugal?

Today's post is brought to you by the letter F.  As in, Oh F#@&, I overcooked my muffin eggs for the week.  I set the timer to cook a strata, not individual muffin eggs, so they are all overcooked.  They are not inedible, they just are not as good as they should/could be.

 So let's take a poll:  Are you Finicky or Frugal?  Would you toss them or suffer through?  My frugality has been my downfall on more than on ocassion.  I'm thinking on this one that I will just toss them, as I want to enjoy/savor my food.  I know that I will not enjoy these eggs, so it will be back to the drawing board or the oven, as the case may be. 

Went for a bike ride yesterday - not as long as I wanted, but hey, every cycle helps.  And I did go to spin class this morning.  I'd been taking a hiatus from the scale and nearly croaked this morning when I did step on it.  Holy Shit!  I've been back on a streak for 9 days and I never expected to ping this high.  Oh well.  Another lesson learned - I'm still better off to monitor each day (YMMV).

Fast Pray Give link of the day

PAF Tally:  1

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Find A Balance.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

What A Rush!

What A Rush!

Wow - what a weekend;what a rush.  And it's only half over.  The slumber party was a blast.  We stayed up until nearly three am.  Such laughter and sharing.  It was just awesome.  It was a time of completeness.  I was surrounded by people I love and who love me.  Women who love and support each other, who are willing to be open and vulnerable and fun and funny.  It was a complete experience.

And because we'd stayed up so late, we got a later start to the day than I had anticipated.  This turned out to be a good thing.  I didn't have enough time to stress about the finale.  I barely had enough time to get home and get showered and get to the rehearsal.

Because I was tired and not "up", I made the decision not to do any of the two person stuff.  I decided to just participate in the group work.  But right before the show, another classmate asked me to do perform a "shared experience" with her.  And I agreed.  It was amazing how much I was energized right before showtime.  And the experience was incredible.  Were we good?  We were good enough - the crowd laughed and the entire finale just flew by.  I was on such an incredible high when it was over.  I am so grateful that I decided to go for the full experience - I think I would have regretted not doing so.  Anyway, I am going to continue on with this, as I am learning so much about MYSELF in this collaborative process.  Amazing experience.

The weather looks like it should hold today, so that means I am hauling out to Parker county to take Inez for a spin with Talia and her new bike.  Woo Hoo!  A chance to use my spin legs!  But first, I am taking Valerie (at her request) out to the temple for meditation later this morning.

After temple, riding and a birthday meeting, I plan to do some meal prep for next week.  The work that I did last week was such a factor in my maintaining my streak, so I want to do that again.

Oh, and I was able to totally stay with the streak all weekend (so far).  And that is such an esteemable act for me.

PAF challenge:  Didn't make any calls yesterday, but plan to today.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Develop a Streak.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Sleepover Friday

Well now, this editor is different - even though Blogger says it's the old one, I don't remember it looking quite like this.  I must have messed up some setting when attempting to remove the word verify for comments.  BTW, was that successful?

Anyway, tonight is the slumber party, which I am looking forward to.  I am in charge of games.  I'm bringing a box of retro games I bought recently - jacks, pick up sticks, and a couple of others are included.  I'm trying to decide whether to buy Apples and Oranges or Apples and Apples - I know it had Apples in it - Pebbles and Slater have it.  But I seriously doubt there will be much gaming going on - I suspect talking and lots of eating.  So I'm trying to develop a strategy for dealing with that.

This is what I've come up with so far:

The group is meeting at a local Mexican restaurant.  I'll probably join them in progress- I'll have someone order me a grilled chicken salad.  Every restaurant has some version of that.  I have a Friday night meeting that I like to attend, so I'll do that first.  The less time I'm in front of chips and hot sauce, the better I will do.
Back at the house, I KNOW there will be all manner of treats, so I will use my coffee trick.  I'm going to bring some prissy decaf coffee to make sure that I have what I need - and of course, enough to share with the others.  I've weaned myself off of creamers of any kind most of the time, but I'll bring some ff half and half and  it will make it feel dessert-like.  And I may just leave before breakfast in the morning.  I'm thinking this will give me all that I need, but limit my exposure to the things that I don't.  I've got a streak running and I don't want to break it!

No spin class this morning, as I have to be on standby to test a new software upgrade in about 15 minutes - and it's a good thing, as I just got an email that I'd dropped my work and gym ID at the 7-11 yesterday when I stopped to buy gum.  Oh, yea.  Need to make sure I'm stocked up on gum for tonight.

Phone-A-Friend Challenge:  1

In the planning stages:  I'm beginning to pull together some ideas for hosting a dress-up garden tea party, ala this.  Complete with a British friend to be the tea barista - I'm thinking of suggesting everyone dress up, including hats and serving prissy food!  It will be a BYOC - bring your own vintage tea cup!  Now just to figure out some Sunday afternoon, as my British friend works on Saturday.

Today's Fast, Pray, Love Link.  Love it!

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Enjoy the pleasures of childhood.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

Went to spin class today and was surprised to find a substitute instructor. I've been acquainted with this young man for about fifteen years and it seems he just keeps popping up in my life. I stumbled in to his family's place of business after moving into town. He attended a single day of workshop a few weeks ago and I see his name around town a lot - he's a mega-volunteer and community activist. And he is the most beautiful man I've ever seen. This is not about sex appeal or youth or gender. This is not me being all cougary (or whatever the next step after cougar is) - he is an absolute work of art. He is one of those people who is like the pied piper - everyone, it appears, knows him and everyone seems to love him. He has that ability to be super-positive and uplifting without being saccharine - to be personal without being smarmy and never seems to forget a name or a face. Anyway, I think he's going to be someone really important someday - and it was a treat to spend this morning with him - a double boost to start my day.

Journal Update: I wasn't paying attention when I purchased some new stickers for my journal. Turns out, they weren't stickers at all, but rub-on transfers of the floral variety. So now, I'm adding a little doodling artwork to my journal each day in the way of leaves and vines and other little do-dads. Great fun! Plus, I've started adding "streak stars" - an extra star each day to reflect the streak - clear as mud, right? Well, this morning my streak status earned five sparkly stars!

 So the journal has the following elements:

 1. My 411 (four things for which I am grateful, one thing that is the most important thing I accomplish for the day and one behavior that I would like to correct - so that I may be aware of it through the day)

2. Thoughts on readings - I read several daily-type readers, plus a bit of other life work stuff - and if it triggers some insight, I'll write it down.

3. Critical Self Care Rub On Flower (if earned)

4. Meditations for others - I write out those I am holding in my thoughts.

5. CHASE - Calls? Honesty? Ask Questions? Evaluation? Just short answers here.

6. *****Streak Stars*****

7. Affirmations to finish out the page.

 PAF Challenge: 0 - will do better.

 Fast, Pray, Love link for the day.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Art is where you find it.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fast, Pray, Give

I found this this morning and I will look at it each day for Lent. While following the Lenten tradition is not in my spiritual practice, there are many things about the time for reflection that I admire.

Dance lessons went a little better last night. We are taught new steps and moves in pretty rapid-fire succession and I find that I can only absorb about the first half of the lesson. The rest of it just adds to my confusion. So next time, I think I'll learn what I can as well as I can and if I start to get lost, then I'll just step out of the "partner circle" and practice the basics on my own. I tend to do better when I have time to practice the basics solo without worrying about dancing with a partner. I don't know, however, if this will make my desire to "lead" a worse problem than it already is!

Nothing much more to add. Planning some bike rides with friends and with groups. Plus a bike maintenance class next Saturday!

Note: yesterday's cake picture was not of our actual cake. I just like the idea of a Rickrolled cake!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Cherry-picked spirituality is better than none at all (my opinion, of course).


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cake or Death?

So, I did have some cake at the party yesterday and I'm still counting it as a streak day. I accounted for the calories and made an adjustment in my dinner. So there that is. My review of the Costco Red Velvet cake is that it is a good cake. I'd like the filling/icing to be a bit more "cream cheesy" but overall, it's of good quality. No chemical taste that one gets sometimes from store bought cakes. Still, my former MIL made the best red velvet cake in the world (and I have her recipe!), so I am pretty picky with my RV cake and cream cheese icing. I've passed on the recipe to my sister, who is turning into a great baker, but suffers from having my Mom as a taster - and things just don't get too sweet for Mom.

Tonight is swing dance lessons and our numbers are growing. We've got another friend joining us tonight and that's always fun. I'm going to a sleep-over on Friday night. A co-worker has invited a few of us - some current and some former co-workers to crash at her house to visit and catch up. It should be a blast. The problem is, it's the night before my "showcase of comedy". Yep, my classes are coming to an end.

I have enjoyed these classes and they have offered me some really great insights into me and offered some opportunities to work out a few things. One of which is to sit with uncomfortableness, as I am not very good at this. There are a few ringers in this class and by contrast, I look really bad. But that's okay - I'm still getting a lot of learning out of it. There is another beginner class that I sat in on last week that is about half way through. It is taught by a different instructor and I'm going to ask to join that class. I think I could benefit from his teaching style, but there is no guarantee that he will let me join in progress. All in all, I will be sad that they are over (for now). While I have told a few people about what I am doing, I have not told anyone about the finale, nor do I plan to.

I can perform decently with most of the class, but I tend to get "stuck" (mostly by my own inability to act in my own best interests) with what I have to assume is a mentally-challenged (or heavily drugged) classmate. Hence, my uncomfortableness. It is nearly impossible for me to let this person hang out on stage, awaiting someone to choose to perform with them. So more often than not, I step in. And it is always a dissatisfying experience. I struggle with what is mine to take on and what is being a decent human being. I didn't know comedy was THIS hard!

Phone A Friend: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Cake or Pie?


Monday, February 20, 2012

Pulling Weeds

I did not make it to group meditation. Instead, I did the You Tube version. Found about 40 minutes of good stuff. I did, however, have a nice, productive day. Spent quite a bit of time in the front garden, pulling weeds, or at least what I what are weeds. I ended the day with a walk in the public gardens close by and from what I saw there, I might be pulling up what I thought were weeds may not be. It is a risk to pull this stuff, but I am afraid if I let it get ahead of me that I'll never catch up.

I hope by the time this is being flashed on the internet that I am in spin class. I've set my spin alarm for all four days. In addition, I made muffin tin egg things for the week. I bought a Costco chicken, de-chickened it and packed that in lunch-sized servings, along with roasting brussels sprouts for the week. It's a good thing that I don't get bored with stuff that I like.

The egg things (riffing off of Leslie) were of the "kitchen sink" variety - I'd purchased a take-away meal for two from Central Market, threw out the Spanish rice (sob sob) made three meals from the salmon for two and used the leftover spicy vegetable medley to throw in with some spinach, cheese and a pinch of bacon and a dozen eggs. Breakfast is done for the week.

I've also watched Kingdom on streaming Netflix. I do love me some British television - and I missed the season finale of Downton Abbey. I'll have to wait until season 2 is available on Netflix.

PAF: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get rid of obstacles.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mistaken Identity

Yesterday was a good day. Day 1: Critical self-care goal accomplished! Did not dip into the 6 bags of candy that I have in my car. I'm going to get rid of that today. I was asked to volunteer to help provide candy for the hospitality suite for a local non-profit conference this weekend and the coordinator never got back to me on the pickup - even after me calling her. So while it has been calling my name, it didn't win. At least not yesterday. I will be taking it to the public candy bowl at work TODAY, as I have to drop off a cake for a celebration tomorrow. Another opportunity for restraint :-).

The dinner party last night was interesting. Turns out, I only knew the host. I recognized several of the other people there, but only by sight - I didn't know them. They were all quite nice, but it wasn't what I was expecting. My friend who knows the host better than I do was also invited, but had other obligations. I could have stayed home, I suppose, but that would go against my goal of being more social. I do (think I) know that I was invited only because I was standing with my friend when the host invited her - but I decided to let the host be responsible for inviting me and go! I know that doesn't make much sense - it's just a bit of me giving up trying to read other people's mind and motives. I got a personal invitation and a follow up phone call, so I went. Period.

It was nice - and I got the opportunity to see Midnight in Paris yet again. It was just as delightful the second time around. I did make the decision to leave soon after the movie and made what I hope were the appropriate good-byes. I really need to take an etiquette course, as I was taught nothing growing up. I'm sure I commit social blunders all over the place. Anyway, I did my best and I came home.

At home, I was doing my best to quell my tendency to second guess everything that I said and had done - so I decided a nice cup of decaf would divert my attention. I had just purchased the fully leaded and unleaded version of Slater's fancy-pants coffee, so I brewed up a pot. And enjoyed it. And realized it was the fully-leaded variety. Sigh.

So, not much sleep for me last night. I got up about 3:30 am and piddle around for an hour or so and then went back to bed for a while. I'm feeling okay now, but trying to talk myself OUT of going to meditation. It remains to be seen how that turns out.

PAF: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get the lead out.


Friday, February 17, 2012

A Hoot, A Holler And A Burp

Well, now this
was a hoot and a half. We had a spectacular time and all my GNOs survived an overdose of plastic - both in dinnerware and tupperware!
I am, unfortunately, still suffering the lingering F's - and it's Friday. So it's now a 5F day. Yuck. But I do know how to turn this around.
I need to clean up my diet. I've been eating crap and consequently, I feel like crap. It's time to invoke the three day rule.

My three day rule is that anything and everything can look and feel differently in just three days. If I am all Gloom, Dispair and Agony on Me, and I choose to practice CRITICAL SELF-CARE, I can turn that frown upside down.

What CRITICAL SELF-CARE looks like for me:

1. Treating myself very gently - no internal trash talk
2. Throw out the to-do list
3. High protein foods - no restricting on how much, only what kind
4. Nature - get outside for a walk if at all possible - I'm just a hop and a skip from the public gardens.
5. Get Creative - find someway to get creative - re-arrange furniture, set a new tablescape,
6. Organize Something
7. Pamper and Spoil - self manicure or pedicure - get my brows done - by a new pair of panties (I'm only buying red ones this year)

So that's it - this weekend will be an CRITICAL SELF-CARE weekend. By Monday, if I practice what I preach, I'll be well on the road to being myself again.

Phone-A-Friend: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. The Future Is in Plastics.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Feeling Frumpy

I'm having a 4F day. Today is a lesson in not letting feelings set the tone for the day. I have a lot on my (figurative) plate today and I am feeling all frumpy, flat, fat, fluffy and otherwise fatigued. I've got meetings scheduled for the rest of the day, a potluck dinner at my house right after work and a GNO to the theater.

I know that I'm off my game when I cannot muster up the energy to set a cute tablescape for company. I thought I would do it last night, but didn't feel like it. Thought I would do it this morning, but couldn't muster up the juice. So my girls will be dining off of paper plates with paper napkins tonight. Oh, the humanity. Ah, well. Those that I care about won't care and those that I don't care about, well, I don't care what they think.

None of this is serious - It's a post-holiday sugar hangover. I'm hopeful it will be over soon.

Phone-A-Friend: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Feelings are not Facts.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


This post is all over the map - just reporting on a few of my favorite/new things.

1. Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Creme is amazing. I bought some last night at Costco and I can already see/feel the difference.

2. There really is a difference in dry cleaners. I have used the same dry cleaner for nearly 30 years. When I moved to the CSH, I received a coupon for the "fancy-pants" cleaners in the adjacent "rich" neighborhood. So I gave them a go. Oh.My. I had no idea that there was so much difference in the level of service/results/presentation. And for not that much more money.

3. Two men at dance class last night: Doug who served as a human metronome and counted for me so that I could finally get the basic footwork down and Rathavon, who was about Pebbles' age, but much more stern in barking orders, but I learned quite a bit from him as well "Stop looking at your feet" and "keep your hand up" and the all important - "stop trying to lead". I need to embroider that last one on a pillow! For more reasons than just dance.

4. Spin class was great, but after spin and dance class yesterday, I'm glad today is a rest day.

5. Love Day was nice - I reached out to a lot of my friends, did a couple of good deeds and had a great day. I did succumb to some amazing truffles at work. But that's behind me now.

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


PS: Groupon may have jumped the shark. A Groupon for nail fungus removal? Ewwwwww.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Day

Happy Love Day!

Went to spin class today - what a workout! Came home so spent that I didn't remember going into the sitting room when I got home. I finally discovered this later in the morning when I couldn't find my keys (theme?) and finally found them under the laptop!

Dance lessons again tonight - and I could use a little practice at home. It might be time for You Tube!

Dinner last night was lovely. I made an impromptu dessert of blueberries baked in ramekins and topped with a little granola. Yummy.

Phone-A-Friend: 0 - I'll do better today.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. See the love that is all around us.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Snowflakes In Streetlights

I came out of a meeting last night to find huge, big, wet, fat snowflakes falling like crazy. The view of the falling snow in the streetlights was just beautiful. I sat and stared for quite a long while - it was one of the things I savored over the weekend. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 60.

What a great weekend! The exhibit at the museum was spectacular. Amazing things - truly works of art in design and structure. Got my creative energies flowing, for sure. My friend, Lisa the costumer, and I just swooned at each fantastic creation. I never knew until Saturday just how much I want a crocodile bustier/corset. Seriously.

I did not go to spin class this morning, as I had to have more blood drawn (routine wellness draw). I had planned to go, but when I was asking Dr. Google if I could have sugarfree gum when doing a 12 hour fast, I found out that I shouldn't exercise before a draw, either. Who knew? Anyhow, I am just now having my first cup of coffee and I will be a better human in about a half hour.

I'm having Mom and Sis over for dinner tonight. I'll already be with Mom, as I am going with her to her cardiologist appointment. She is either getting conflicting information from her prior cardiologist and her PCP or she is confused herself. Either way, her PCP referred her to a new person and I'll tag along to try to learn something. Since Sis will be at work (in town)until we get through at the docs, we'll just have an early Valentine's Day dinner. It won't be too fancy, as I didn't make it to the store, so dinner will consist of a crustless mushroom, ham and cheese quiche and some sort of baked blueberry thing that I'm going to create with ingredients on hand.

Phone-A-Friend Weekend Score: 3

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Swoon Regularly.


Photo snagged from

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fun And Fashion

Today promises to be another jam packed day. I've got a meeting at 9, followed by my weekly dose of fun at 11 and then I take off for a tour of a local costuuume factory by a designer/seamstress who works there. And for even more fun and fashion, a group of us are then headed to Big D to catch the final weekend of the Goat-eee-AAaA exihibit at the Modern. Should be a great day - I am looking forward to it.

Last night, I went out with Valerie to dinner and then introduced her to emprov comedy, as she had never seen a show. We had a great time. Big laughs and fun.

I managed to make 4 days of spin class last week - extra sparkly star for the streak! The sing and spin ended with some ab work on Thursday and my goodness, are those girls singing to me this morning. Ouch-eee. Hmmm - perhaps it wasn't all the good ab work on Thursday, but the raucous laughter last night. At any rate, they are letting me know they are still there.

I've been in the market for an LBD (little black dress) for nearly ever and can I just say that I think the one by JPG from his spring 2009 collection is spectacular? I need to get something designed along those lines, as it would accent/cover all the right stuff. Open at the neck to show off good collar bones and add length to my neck, but with upper arm coverage! Score. I'd like the bottom to be a bit more flowy, as I have legs like tree trucks, so a little trompe l'oeil (to fool the eye) might be in order. Of course, the chances of me ever finding something along these lines are pretty small - but back in my ultra-poor days, I used to design and sew my own stuff out of a bag of fabric I was given. I kept Pebbles and me dressed out of that bag for a long, long time. Maybe it's time to give it a go again. I ended up taking a nice sewing machine in trade last year from the same friend who gave me that garbage bag full of fabric nearly thirty years ago.

Phone A Friend Challenge: 0 Did not have a free moment to make calls yesterday, but plan to remedy that this evening.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Have fun with fashion.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Self-Care: The Journal

I keep a written journal. Each day, I begin my entry with what I call my 411 - four things for which I am grateful, one personal challenge/behavior that I am working on improving and the one most important thing that I need to get accomplished in the day.

Right now, I am concentrating on listening more and talking less, on asking questions, not interrupting and focus on being interested and not interesting. And I give myself a sticker if I've been particulary successful. If I've been particular successful in providing myself with exceptional self-care, I get a big, sparkly sticker :-) It is amazing how great it feels to be able to add my stickers to my journal each day. And for those days where I don't hit the mark, well, there's no recrimination about that.

Made four spin classes this week. Woo to the Hoo!

Phone-A-Friend: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a way to reward yourself.


pic from elum designs.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Glee with Gears

Well that was an experience! I went to spin class again this morning and it was a sing-and-spin. Great fun! We didn't sing along with every song, but there were a few sprinkled throughout the class. I've been to a lot of spin classes but never one that allowed me to get my Bon Jovi on! I'll be going back, for sure. So it's looking like I'm looking forward to exercise again. Hallelujah! I'm glad to be approaching that zone again.

And as an added bonus, when I return home from spin class each morning, I spend a few minutes doing what I call "yard yoga". I spend some time stretching while pulling a few weeds here and there. I can see that the beds look a little neater. Score!

After the Winter-Of-My-Discontent, I am looking forward to being flung into Spring with my energy peaking. I need to get back to the schedule of cycle events and pick out a couple of group rides to focus on. Yee Haw!

Phone A Friend: 2

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Sing until you are breathless.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Two Left Feet

First, the bad news - I have two left feet. This is not news to me. I also have very little dance experience, so my swing dance lesson didn't propel me very far. I need to master the basic step before moving on to anything else. So, I'll practice at home this week, because I am totally going back. Secondly, it was great fun and there is a lot for me to learn there.

More on yesterday's spin class. Most of the spin classes I've taken were from either fitness instructors or casual cyclists. Yesterday's instructor was a racer. A serious competitive racer. Man.Oh.Man. It was a workout and I was not coming close to going all out. We pretended like we were doing the short but steep mountain course in the Tour de France. It was a serious workout. I went at probably 80 percent and that was enough to keep me hurting the rest of the day. I'm declaring Wednesday a rest day - which is good, as there no early morning spin classes anyway.

Phone A Friend Challenge: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get a teacher with experience.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

But Wait, There's More

I just had to share this link this morning. I'm especially fond of Number 8.

May you only have good days.


Dance Lesson Tuesday

Tonight is my first swing dance lesson - although I haven't heard any more from the group - but that may come today. I've got to spin class two mornings in a row, however I haven't worked that hard because if I get overheated, then I cough. And that's no good. I am just trying to get back into the swing of things (ha!).

The brunch on Sunday was very fun. There ended up being 12 of us, which was a nice number. The food was wonderful and I couldn't get people to take home much of their stuff, so after making care packages for a friend who just had knee replacement surgery, the rest of it went the way of the trash can. I just can't have all of that stuff around - so if I can't control me, then I have to control my environment :-).

I've also bent to peer pressure and jumped on the Downton Abbey bandwagon. I haven't caught any of the new episodes, as I'm whipping and spurring as fast as I can to catch up on the old ones that are available on Netflix.

Phone A Friend Challenge: 1

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a way to move that is pleasurable.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dance Lessons

Guess who is taking swing lessons, starting Tuesday? What a blast! I only got to dance once, as everyone is pretty coupled up and takes this whole dancing thing seriously. I got asked more than once, but only one brave young man offered to teach me the basics - so we danced a couple of dances and ended with a surprise dip! Boy, did that bring back some "fat" memories - as I figured out what was happening, the first thought running through my head was "there is no way in hell that junior here can hold me up". Obviously, there is some technique to this and obviously Junior knew what he was doing.

On the first Friday of the month, this wonderful facility brings in a big band, and I do mean a big band. Wow - just listening to them was an evening unto itself - and to watch the dancers of all ages. It was enchanting! There were six of us that actually showed up and we decided to return on Tuesday for some lessons. Should be fun!

I need to get a move on - today is Saturday, and it's a bit busier than usual with Brunch-prep going on - although since it's potluck, I'm only making a couple of dishes. I am, however, getting a bit concerned about the seating, as it appears this thing may have grown. And this is always the danger - I will have a plan and right at the last minute, decide that it's not enough and I will do more and I am wrong. Completely wrong. I just have to keep this whole deal right-sized - for my health and wallet's sake. I do NOT want to end up with a bunch of leftovers. It's not like this is being held in the Antarctic. There is a grocery store a short way a away. Repeat after me - I will not over plan.

I've been on the phone a bunch, but it's more about brunch than the challenge, so the count will resume on Monday.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Find a way to have fun.


Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm Putting On My Dancing Shoes

I've been invited by a group of friends to go swing dancing tonight. While I don't feel much like dancing, getting dolled up a bit might just be fun. My understanding is that one is not allowed to dance on their first trip to this joint, so I'll be just fine with my swirly skirt and Levity pumps. If I was really feeling froggy, I'd pop over to Pebbles' and borrow a dress from her - she's got a couple that would totally fit the bill. But it's not worth that much effort. It has been years, perhaps a decade or more, since I've been out dancing. I will always miss the ex-Bubba when it comes to dancing, as he was a marvelous dancer and loved it. Anyway, this is a fun group and it should be a good time.

ETA: I do not know how to swing dance. The closest I get is the "Texas Push".

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. I hope you dance.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's Groundhog Day

I just realized it's Groundhog Day. It's not that I have any special memories attached to this day, but I have a lot of memories attached to the movie. When Pebbles was 12, she developed pneumonia and spent about twelve days total in the hospital. Of course, I stayed with her 24/7 and this was before the days of cable tv. The hospital had some sort of closed circuit tv and during our stay, it was playing this movie on continuous loop. It was like we were trapped within our own groundhog day - every day was the same. Reliving the same day. Day after day. Sort of life imitating art imitating life imitating art. Over and over again. Caught in some sort of double-helix dance with this movie.

I'm still under the weather, but trending upward. I expect to be back amongst the living tomorrow. I'm considering going to spin class just to free spin through the entire thing, but I'm unsure of what my cough will be like, so I think I'll just put that off until Monday.

Phone-A-Friend Challenge has been suspended temporarily. No one wants to talk to a woman who sounds like she's got a three-pack habit with whisky chasers.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Nothing changes if nothing changes.