Monday, April 30, 2012

Notes From Home

My hometown - complete with a mention of/by relative....

HR and Audit issue are done for the day.  Perfectly?  No, but done, nonetheless. 

Every Bloom Is Sacred

Good weekend.  The Grand Beast behaved with no allergic reactions this time.  I had a nice ride with the local club on Saturday and I got quite a bit done around the house.  However, I'm running into some gardening problems - in trying to save every single plant that has popped up from seed, everything looks ragged.  I've got a ton of corn poppies (think Flander's Field) that are now drying out.  I want to make sure that I have poppies next year, but I also want to lay down some sort of compost side dressing and mulch.  So I need to do that before the poppies seed out.  If the seed gets covered up, then there will be no poppies and no no poppies to produce more seed.

I also committed a serious blunder.  I'm just sick about this - There was a "weed" growning out of a large rose bush and it had been bothering me for days - so today, I went over and cut it down - only to discover that when I pulled the weed out of the rose bush, that it was an oak tree!  Evidently Prior Owner had started this growing through the tree - which was sort of brilliant, as the big tree in the front yard is a short-lived trash tree, so getting a replacement started was a brilliant idea.  And now, I've done a George Washington and chopped down a tree!  Time to get another one planted, I guess.  I did go to the nursery looking for some Mexican petunias, but they didn't have any.  Guess I'm going to need to look around for those while I'm tree shopping.

Workshop was really good yesterday - I still suck, but I'll get in a good lick every once in a while.  This group of people are very talented and so incredibly supportive.

I am not looking forward to Monday at work - I'm dealing with two things - preliminary report from the auditors and the personnel matter from last week.  Ah well, this too shall pass.  Plan on taking in spin class Monday morning.  Mr. Beautiful is leading.

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


Friday, April 27, 2012

Finally Friday

I'm off to spin class again this morning.  I'd fallen way off in my attendance over the past couple of weeks, but it's time to return to it.  If I want to get through the mountains of SE Oklahoma next month, I need to get with it.   Only a half day for me today, then I meet Pebbles and The Grand Beast at the house.  TGB is staying with me for the weekend.  I am hopeful that he will be calm and settled and have no further allergic reactions to his Gigi's house so that I can go on about my business - just popping in to let him out, etc on Saturday.  I'm doing another group ride on Saturday morning, followed by workshop in the afternoon.  I think I'm blissfully free on Sunday, so it's probably time for some meditation - probably at my local church, just to stay closer to home. 

Plumbing Doc's report says I'm a good candidate for corrective surgery and that recovery requires 3-4 weeks of no exercise.  I'm thinking of scheduling the surgery in the hottest part of the summer - late July/early August.  I just scheduled a quick trip back to WA in early July to take my Mom and Sister.  Yea, I know.  I said I was done with that.  At least it's every three-four years now, rather than every year - and it's four days rather than two weeks.  I'm good with that.  

I'm looking forward to spending some more time pruning the landscape around here.  That, more than anything, has helped "tidy things up".  It's amazing how fast that stuff will grow.  I've also learned re:  my grass issues, that I may need to go ahead and purchase a mower - that my weedeating has probably been too aggressive for the St. Augustine.  

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


Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Clipless Frock

Another great municipal ride last night.  I was iffy about going as I had some medical testing scheduled for yesterday afternoon, but I felt fine afterwards, so I went.  Had a great, fast ride.  We were flying.  Rather than peel off into a sub-group, we ate dinner with the group at a patio Mexican food restaurant.  The Honorable sat down with us and made her second comment to me that night about my cycling dress.  Said she needed to get one for herself, as she had to change clothes at the office and hated the walk out and leave in her cycling togs.

Another successful night being clipless.  I working on being able to clip out at a higher cadence - not that I would ever really need to, but I think it's helpful to get the practice.

Insomnia is kicking my butt again, but this morning I put it to good use.  I've been up since 3AM, so I went ahead and went to the store and have made lemon curd and lemon/poppyseed scones to take to the tech team as a thank-you for a high-profile project that rolled out on Monday.  Successfully, I might add.  Unfortunately, these scones didn't turn out as well as the party ones, but hey, fresh baked scones by their very nature can't be bad - some are just better than others.  The benefit of baking in wee hours is that I am not at all tempted to scarf down all sample any of my wares - I rarely get hungry before 9:30 am.  Well, I did sample one scone, via the three second rule - I think that's a universal law of some sort.

It's time to get this stuff wrapped up and head for the office - about the time I get there, I know I'll be exhausted.  It figures.

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


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Clipless In Cowtown

Tuesday was a much better day.  I took my daily reading to heart when it spoke of "easy does it" - so that became my motto for the day.  And I mostly behaved.  I'm working on shrinking down what I think I'm responsible for at the office.  I've been taking on stuff that doesn't belong to me - and I just get very frustrated trying to deal with it. It finally dawned on me that the outcomes are a coworkers, not mine and I'm tired of the fallout that comes from it.  Rather than constantly correct the mistakes that her staff make, I'm just going to pass them on to her.  I'm tired of being the hatchet-man.  She gets to play Pollyanna while I have done the dirty work.  No more.  I've written her a suite of reports that will point out the errors her staff is making.  It's up to her to use them or not.

As for the other issue, I made a choice not to discuss it further with my boss until sometime next week.  Time and distance will do me good.

Came home from work and decided to crawl back on the horse that throwed me.  Except she was head-bobbing lame when I took her out of the barn!  Inez was not in road-ready shape.  Actually tore her up a bit on Monday during our fall-fest and had to go to the LBS to get her a chiropractic adjustment - the seat had ended up pointing north north east, the back break on the left side was sticking and her levers were askew.  I was a little embarrassed but everyone at the LBS was very encouraging - but all of them learned to ride clipless at a very young age!  

Anyway, after that rode for an hour or so with no further incidents.  Clipped in and out effortlessly about a bazillion times - but the problem isn't in the doing, it's in the remembering!  

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


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

If you have any desire to see more, leave a comment with your email address and I'll send you the link via email.  I am unsure of the analytics of flickr and I don't want any links leading back here - as I'm not "out" to my family.  They know I blog - they just don't know where and I'd like to keep it that way.  There are 70 plus pics available.

The food
Joan looked A-Mazing

The buffet line
Fine Dining
The "Spinstser" Sisters
My Costumer Friend
The Spinsters - AKA GNO Groupies
The Dowager of Menopause Manor

TeaCup In Candelabra

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

@ssholes and elbows

Yesterday pretty much sucked from top to bottom.  I have a situation with an employee at work and I talked to my beloved boss about it.  He suggested we go talk to HR together, as they had been very helpful in the past.  I certainly didn't want to HR involved in this - but since I listened to him and did, now they are involved and the situation appears to be completely out of my hands.

I'm angry with myself for even opening my mouth.  The thing is, I talked to my boss because I was afraid that the solution I was proposing might be trampling her rights as an employee.  Turns out, my solution doesn't go far enough in trampling her rights.  And now I have been told to formalize a plan and submit a copy to HR.  I haven't decided if I am going to comply.  But I did cry myself to sleep over this.  Well, there wasn't much "to sleep" to be had.  My eyelids are about a half inch thick this morning.  It's time for some cucumber slices or something.  I've always heard that Prep H works good as an eye de-sweller, but 1.  I don't have any and 2.  if I did, I don't know that I would use it.  I'll just have to be red and puffy.

So to distract myself from this emotional tornado, I decided to practice going clipless.  Talia and I just signed up for this amazing ride at the end of next month,  and I need some more time in the saddle and clipless.  So I suit up and go out to the garage and give Inez the ABC check.  Well, she failed the air check.  It was time to use the presto adapter and my pump.  The good news is that I managed to figure out how to do it - I only had a little trouble, as I think Inez' back presto stem hoochie is mal-formed.  It's like it's been threaded on crooked.  It functions to open and close the valve, but once I got the adapter threaded on and the tire pump hooked up, I thought I was NEVER going to get the thing dis-assembled.  Which led to some tears in the garage.  All things mechanical frustrate the hell out of me.  Okay, next step - practicing clipping in and out - just straddling the bike, standing up in the garage.  Took me a few tries, but I managed to be able to clip in and out with ease.  It was time to go outside.

On my way home from work, I'd spotted a deserted parking lot that looked like a good place to practice clipping in and out, but after going outside, I decided that it probably wasn't a good idea - that no one would find me if I did fall and hurt myself.  I decided to just ride around in my neighborhood - sticking close to home.  Let's just say that I'm an equal-opportunity idiot.  I've got two bloodied knees, two bruised hips and two scrapped up elbows, as I fell twice.  Once on each side.  I did manage to get myself back home and trust me, there was more crying in the garage.  I am stiff and really sore today, but I'll live.  I just need to figure out some mental trick to kick out BEFORE I hit the brakes.

Knew I needed to keep busy, so I decided to go work in the yard, pruning some wayward and all-ready-bloomed bushes.  Let's just say that the variegated lorapetulum has a big gaping hole in the back of it.  Sigh.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Don't Prune In Anger.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Post-Party Depression

Candelabra arrangement

Table Centerpiece

Not depression, merely exhaustion - but what a fun party!  I have no pictures, but Slater was snapping pictures like a paparazzi at a Lindsey Lohan sighting and promises to make them available soon.

Both Slater and Pebbles were fully made of awesome in bringing the whole thing off and have it appear effortless.  I was able to mix and mingle and visit and know everything was being handled.  Lesson learned:  whenever throwing a gathering of this size or larger?  Hire some help. 

I had an absolute blast decorating for this deal - all the floral arrangements came entirely from my garden - and I was so pleased with how they turned out.  The large centerpiece pictured at right was my favorite - it looks a little chaotic in the picture, but held it's own when set on a table outside.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and after it was over - Pebbles and Slater stayed to help clean up!!!! - I crashed.  I was going to take a nap and basically I slept for nearly fourteen hours. 

I was very happy with my food planning - I ended up with a little bit of leftovers of everything (which I packed off to Dallas with Slater) - so there was no great big overages.  One funny thing I did learn afterwards - I had figured out the champagne - but had failed to tell Pebbles that when it was gone, it was gone - so when I started running low (early, she thought) - she dispatched Slater to buy more - and it turns out that the new stuff wasn't even opened - so I've got 4 more bottles of bubbly in the fridge - the makings of the next party :-) 

The lemon curd and the scones were the absolute hit of the party - I think there was one scone left and the lemon curd compote was nearly licked clean. 

More as I remember it :-)

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Create Your Own Fun.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Hick Hop: NSFW

Oh, how I love The Gourds.  A friend had this on her FB page this morning and it just cracked me right up.  If you had any thought of me being "classy", let me dissuade you of that notion.  So while I'm polishing silver, lamenting the fact that the rain/hail this morning stripped my garden of nearly every blooming thing and that my fancy-pants garden party will be flowerless, I'm getting my "hick" on this morning.

Gotta Fly.  Bidness to take care of.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Keep Your Mind on Your Money and Your Money on Your Mind.

PS - Find something that makes you laugh at least once a day.  This did it for me already.  It can only get better from here.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

RSVP: Por Favor

I'm hoping to hear from the other half of the guest list soon.  I need to make a decision about renting chairs by tomorrow.  I can handle seating for 29 - I've got 21 confirmed, a few regrets and 24 unaccounted for.  If worse comes to worse, I'll text a few attendees and ask them to throw a chair in the back of their car.

Now is time for the panic to start - have I thought of everything?  Do I have enough food?  Truth is, I've never even come close to running low and everytime I make a last minute decision to add something, it's always money wasted.  I do think that I'm going to make some more scones - perhaps in a different shape - just because the mini scones are so stinking cute!

Went on the municipal bike ride last night and got to spend some pedal time with Angela as we huffed and puffed  powered our way up the hills by the zoo.  It was a fun ride, but I wasn't quite ready for it to end.  When last I saw Angela, she was flying down the very steep hill at the end of Taylor street.  I didn't want to have to power back up, so I stopped at my car, midway down.  All in all, it was a nice ride.  Our little group met at ERG where I enjoyed more of that yummy chicken tortilla soup.

I've succumbed to Mom Pressure and have agreed to keep the Grand Beast next weekend while the kids go to Tulsa for a pre-Mother's Day visit with his parents.  Since Pebbles has already invited me, my Mom, and sister to her place for Mother's Day brunch, it's only fair that I do what I can to make sure Slater's momma gets to see him.  Here's hoping for an allergic-reaction free weekend with The Barkster.  The only thing I've got planned for that weekend is a group bike ride and workshop.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Mind Your Manners.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Gratefuls

So yesterday morning while driving to work, I was thinking about the municipal bike ride today and how I really needed to get more fitness t-shirts/sports bras to wear under my Pearl Izumi cycling dress (pictured left). I swear on a slab of bacon that I no sooner got to work than my neighbor across the street FB'd me to tell me that a friend of hers had given her a bunch of clothes for her daughter and the daughter had selected what she wanted already - that there was some sports stuff in there and did I want to paw through it before she donated it?  Sure, I said.

So yesterday afternoon, while I was in the midst of my post-dx haze, she brought over two bags of stuff.  Oh.My.Christmas - seriously - a running skirt, running leggings (I wear these when cycling) and about ten fitness Ts - plus some amazing shirts and blouses - these things came from a rich woman who spent a lot of time shopping.  I've recently fallen in love with the old-fashioned lace shirts - and there were THREE of them in this batch - along with other stuff so great.  There is a Neiman's fake croc coat that I would love to have, but it's too small for me, darn it!  But there are three designer-type purses - one with the tags still on it and in it were two pair of gorgeous sunglasses.  Seriously - this is a treasure trove of fun goodness stuff.

Just a gift, supplied by an unexpected source.  And I am grateful.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Life gives in abundance.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There is Good News and There Is Bad News That's Sort of Good, In A Way

So it's not cancer.  It is, however, Hashimoto's.  Which makes the long list of symptoms I went to my doctor with back in November make absolute and complete sense.  Textbook case - except that I'm subclinical - meaning the FNA showed the attacking cells, but the previous thyroid workups say I'm "normal".  And they have for years.

However, because I lived low carb and thus, gluten free, for a long long time, I think I kept the worst of it at bay - just skirting around it- and my panels would all show in the normal range - but once I got into overload or the scales tipped in some way, I wasn't as diligent about avoiding carbs/gluten, began craving sweets, etc.  -  I got out of balance and I was down for the count.  The last six months have been a real slog for me and I'd attributed it to:  age, menopause, the breakup, early onset dementia, being batshit crazy - and all of those certainly may have added to the stress, etc.  The Perfect Storm of indistinguishable, vague symptoms.  Except when I read the symptoms, it's been there laying in wait for a long time - iron deficiency, restless leg syndrome, genetic history of autoimmune disorders, brain fog, Vitamin D deficiency, depression, low norm temperature, low blood pressure, low heart rate, dry skin, brittle hair, losing my eyebrows from the outside in, cold all the damn time, constipation, night sweats, heart palpitations, bladder issues, unexplained spike in cholesterol levels, beginnings of "lion" face, hypoglycemic symptoms, "the stupids", rapid growth of the thyroid nodules and a partridge in a pear tree.

More lab work done today to do a finer detail of thyroid panel - but the endocrinologist says that we will just "wait this out" - and I'm not so sure that I'm willing to go that route.  We'll see.

It's not the end of the world - lots of people have this.  I just need to decide what to do to help manage it.  I don't think I want to wait around for my own body to kill off my thyroid - although with the rate things are progressing, it might not be that long.  I've been reading up, and of course, in overwhelmed and information overload.  It's time to hit the hay.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be Your Own Advocate.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Retooling Sunday

Oh, let's see - took my Sis, Mom and daughter out to that place out in Tolar.  What a disappointment - the Peppered Chicken and Dumplings weren't on the menu - the online menu was "out of date".  I ended up with the veggie plate, which was pretty good - the green chile cheese grits were awesome!  However, the service was so bad as to laughable.  We had a good time in spite of the level of service.

Pebbles got up early (for her) on Saturday and we headed back to here.  Pebbles loved the ride as well, except that the wind was horrible on Saturday - we almost got blown into the river a couple of times.  After returning from the ride, we dropped Inez off at the bike shop for some re-tooling of her own.

I bought proper biking shoes, platform pedals (the LBS dude called them "training wheels" - what a way to make me come back there and spend more of my dollars guy), Shimano pedals, a computer for this bike, and Inez got her complimentary, but belated, new bike tune-up.  She had to spend the night at the LBS, as we couldn't wait for her, as I had my comedy workshop again, so I went back and picked her up when the shop opened on Sunday.

The new workshop group was great.  It appears to be a really supportive and creative group - most are out actually performing, either professionally or at open mike nights - and they are really funny and good.  I wish big things for them.  I talked myself out of going out to Garland to see three of them perform on Saturday night and upon reflection, I should have done it.  I just didn't want to be so tired on Sunday from being out late.

And speaking of Sunday - I need to re-tool my Sundays - they have become pretty hard for me recently - and I need to do a better job of planning activities to get me out of my own head.  It doesn't help that I woke up at 2:30 am and could not get back to sleep.  I do better when I schedule a group meditation, sitting with the Buddhists or a bike ride to start the day - it's time to get back to it.  If I have a lousy Sunday, it seems I start Monday in the "hole", so to speak.  I managed to work my way out of it and through it today by doing all the things that I KNOW work for me, but in the throws of a low, can't seem to make myself do.  So, I'm back at it today.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Re-tool.


Friday, April 13, 2012

All Hail Kale

photo from
I am so late to the bandwagon but what a wagon it is!  I finally, finally, finally made kale chips that everyone, including Pebbles, has been raving about.  Oh my, the goodness.  It's the taste I've been trying to recreate since I had a meal @Lon3some D0ve about ten years ago and had their quick fried spinach.  These kale chips were close - in that greens as cotton candy way.  Delish.  I got mine a little too salty, but I'll know better next time.

I've fallen in love with kale this year - having had it more this year so far than all other prior years combined.  Greens in general, actually.  Once I got over my dislike - due to being exposed to CANNED.SPINACH (is there a worse thing?) that tasted like, well, can - I love greens in almost all forms.  I've never met a green I didn't love - save the extra-gritty ones.  Don't like those much.  But the whole green thing is a total shift in palate.  Used to, the only green I could even choke down was iceberg drowned in ranch dressing or new peas combined with new potatoes in a bechamel sauce.  Still love that last one, but haven't had it in decades.

Back home as a kid, we leased out our acreage to be farmed and for a few years there, we'd have 30 acres of peas in the south field and 30 acres of potatoes in the north.  I'd get dispatched out to dig some small (new) potatoes and shell up some peas.  Now my mom was generally a lousy cook (see CANNED.SPINACH above), but she could rock a white sauce and we'd make the new peas and potatoes concoction by the big old potful.  There is still nothing available to me today in  the whole peas-and-potatoes realm that was as good as fresh out of the ground.

Enough waxing poetic about the food of yore.  Well, except the throwback to Peppered Chicken and Dumplings on tonight's menu at Line Camp.  I still haven't been able to get that out of my mind.  Cuz really, when you combined fat and flour and cook it up in some manner, I'm loving it (see bechamel).  I really don't want a whole order of it - just a taste - because dumplings can be all kinds of awful if they are not done right. Wonder if I could order them as an appetizer and split them between the four of us?  Hmmm.  Points to ponder.

I'm easing back into foodie mode, which isn't necessarily a good thing.  After being dormant and forgotten, Hulu sent me a message out of the blue telling me that a Chopped special was available.  So I tuned in.  And then Top Chef came on.  And then some Alton Brown.  Throw in a little pinterest browsing, and suddenly I'm hungry!  Note to Pinterest, the company - put in a filter so that when I browse everything, I can exclude food!   Talk about triggers!  Food porn, it is.

Anyway, that's all the news for today.  I'm cleaning house this morning because Patty (the cleaning lady) comes today.  I was out in the garden until dark thirty last night, trimming and pruning.  It really is a jungle out there - I should have themed The Garden Party as Out of Africa rather than Downton Abbey.

I'm looking forward to Pebbles bringing her bike over and riding back out to the base.  And then it will be interesting to see who shows up for level 2 of c0medy.  After workshop, which ends at 5pm, I suspect it will be back to the garden.  I'm very concerned about my Saint Augustine in the back.  She looks very, very patchy.  I need to get out to Marshall's and pick up some sort of organic fertilizer to put out.  I've already missed the first window (I've heard it said to fertilize on holidays - President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day), so I'm a little late.

Time to shut up and get the day started.  Two cups of coffee down and more to go.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  It is easy being green.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bike Friendly

It Certainly Was!
What an awesome ride last night! I'd never even heard of the Car's Well h20fall, even though I spent quite a bit of time on base in the early 80's.  Pebbles was actually born there.  Anyway, it was a great ride - soon to become a favorite with me - and it was not crowded like the rides on the trail are in the other direction.  And as an added bonus, I got to meet the adorable Angela Pea (in her incredibly cute pink helmet) and her two sons - who seem to be made of unbounded energy.

I also met another woman in the parking lot - Diane - and she lamented about it being hard to get to know new people to bike with - I intended to introduce her to the people whom I knew, but I could never find myself in the same place at the same time with her again.  She rabbited out at the start, but her car was still in the parking lot when I left.  I wish I had gotten her contact info.  But that in itself is sometimes awkward.  I'll do better next time.

As a matter of fact, I met a lot of new folks last night and had dinner with several of them.  We headed into the designated dinner spot, only to find there was a 45 minute wait.  As it happened, Marti and I had met up with some friends of hers, one of whom happens to be the manager of another long-time Fort Worth Mexican food restaurant, so we headed to Northside.  It had been years since I'd been to ERG and their chicken tortilla soup may be the best in town.  Yummy!  Plus, there was this guy.  Not that he is interested in me - that's not the point - the point is that I had my interest piqued.  See, one of the lies that I tell myself is that "no one else will ever have the right combination of "hillbilly and culture"."  My country/simple folk background is a part of who I am - and that's not all of who I am - but having that shared experience and appreciation is important to me.  And so at dinner last night, when the talk turned to cattle and horses, ages and being single, well, I was curious.  Whether he was or not, is not the point.  It's all a matter of changing my perspective to one of plenty.  All in all, a really great night.  

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Bike Friendly.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Skeeter Bait

My Nemesis
I am fully made of whatever it is that mosquitoes love most.  In a group of people, I will be the first one targeted.  And last evening, mosquito season began in Texas.  I was outside working in the yard and I just eat flat up.
Bites too numerous to even count.  My bites have bites.  And of course I welt up like crazy.  So I guess it's time to break out the chemicals and get to dousin' myself with it.  And no, SSS does not work for me.  Got a whole big ass bottle of that greasy stuff that I can't figure out another use for.  I don't like using it in the bathtub because it leaves a horrid ring.  And who needs that?

I did get a couple hours of yard work done but I am still behind.  I just have to let go of the idea that I can keep this place up like Prior Owner did.  She was retired.  Plus, she had her house on the market and was trying to sell it - she was extra motivated.

I am paying this year for my lack of pruning at appropriate times last year.  That, plus no real winter to speak of has left things growing out of control.  But if I get after it now, I will lose summer blooms.  So, I'll just be more diligent and when whatever's out there finishes blooming, then it gets cut back.  Speaking of cut back, I have several stands of asters that bloom in a gorgeous blue in the fall.  I do know that I need to keep them cut back but oh my goodness, I didn't know I would need to be cutting them back every.week.  I guess I wasn't nearly aggressive enough with the snips.

Planning on another ride with the municipal leader tomorrow night.  Her cousin called me today to see if I was going - plus we are all going out to dinner after the ride.  I need to remember to pack dinner money!

On Friday evening, Pebbles is coming over and we heading out west of town to a new restaurant for my sister's birthday.  I just saw Peppered Chicken and Dumplings on the menu.  I don't know that I can resist.  I haven't had dumplings in forever.

Pebbles is bringing her bike with her and we are going to ride on Saturday morning, then do a dry decorating run for the party.  For some reason, that's important to here.  It's not that she wants to spend this much time with me, but I offer a convenient excuse to get her out of a couple of gatherings that she doesn't want to go to.  I'll take it any way I can get it.

After that, the next level of my workshop begins.  I'm sort of on the fence, but I think I'll go ahead and sign up again.  I get a lot out of these exercises, so I just need to go on.  I'll be unable to continue soon enough.  Okay, well.  I've talked myself into it.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be Somebody's Dumpling!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In It Up To My Neck

Neck As Pin Cushion
Warning:  This post contains squeamish things.  I recommend you stop reading now.

My trip to the endo was a bit unnerving.  Nodules that had been there, but dormant for 25 years, have sprung to life and doubled in size.  Clusters that did not exist are now a 3.5 on a 1-4 scale of blood flow.  After the scan, he said "Let's just work you in for your biopsy today.  We won't get to use the prescription numbing medication, but we'll get through it with the freezing spray."

Ten aspirations later, I look like I've been attacked by: 1.  a love sick hickey monster and/or 2.  someone intent on strangling me and/or 3.  a deranged acupuncture student.  It's a good thing I like and have lots of scarves because I don't own a single turtleneck and I'm going to need to cover up the bruising for a few days.  The only not unnerving thing was that he didn't put any kind of a rush on the labs (if there is such a thing).  I go back next Tuesday for the results.


Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.

—   from positively positive dot com
Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Black and Blue is no one's color palette.


Monday, April 9, 2012


Spent the night Friday with the kids so that we could get up early for the Tour.  It was a scramble out the door, followed by the discovery of a flat tire on Slater's bike - so I got to witness first hand the changing of a tire.  He got that done post-haste and we headed off for the train station.  I was probably as excited about this as I was about anything - taking Inez on the train!  It was so cool - the train was chock full of cyclists heading into downtown for the race.  Pebbles took care of all the logistics, so I was just along for the ride.

The weather was perfect - and the people were jovial - all except my darling daughter - who I am discovering - is daunted by crowds.  I had flashbacks to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul - with her weaving her way through the crowd as quickly as possible - looking for an exit - and looking at nothing.  So that part was not as I expected, as I had to treat the thing like it was a Nascar race in order not to lose her in the crowd.  And riding in that much traffic (other riders) was a challenge.  Sailing through traffic lights and stop signs with no vehicular traffic to contend with was wonderful.  Great support on the ride.

Our plan all along had been to do the 30 - which took us within a couple of miles of their house - and then ditch the rest of the ride and just go home.  And that's what we did - about mile 17, I was cramping up like crazy, both calves and my neck - so I called "calf rope" and we headed out for breakfast tacos!  All in all, we got in a bit over 25 miles.  I'll know what to expect next time.

After that, we went to a bicycle maintenance clinic at ARE EEE EYE - which was quite good.  I think I can change a tire when the time comes :-).  My plan was to head home after the clinic and drop Inez off at the LBS for her tune up and for a fit adjustment.  I don't know that she causes my neck pain, but I think the fit does make it worse.  And given the traffic I had been riding in, I had no opportunity to really ride more upright to stretch out - I had to keep my hand on the brakes at all times - so I rode pretty "out there".  But we decided to go for Thai food instead!  So I missed the bike shop.

Rest of the weekend was non-descript.  I got the silver stuff from the other place and spent quite a bit of time polishing silver.  Oh, and speaking of posh - the housekeeping help?  Spectacular.  She did so many nice things - it was wonderful to come home and find the floors done, the bathroom done, everything dusted, front and back porches swept, front walk and sidewalk.  Best money I ever spent.  And if I wasn't polishing silver, I was sleeping.  I pretty much napped off and on all day yesterday, which is unheard of for me.  And I slept last night.  I guess I must have really needed it.

This week has some challenges - first up this morning - appointment with the endocrinologist.  Thyroid scans came back questionable.  Then, internal auditors at work - plus some serious employee drama going on - thankfully, not my direct employee - but today promises to be fraught.  My hope is to be where my butt is and in the moment and not spinning off into something else.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Take time to enjoy where you are.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happiness Is.....

Happiness is..... after noticing a spot on the chest shelf of your hot pink sweater 15 minutes before your meeting/grilling with the internal auditors, you realize you left your pink scarf at the office yesterday.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Weather Porn

Trailer Up

In case you can't tell, that's a trailer from a semi that is several hundred feet up in the air.  Several of these were lifted up and blew across the highway and crashed on houses.  Needless to say, yesterday was a wild ride of tornado sirens and everyone's new favorite obsession, watching weather porn.  At work, we were told to take shelter immediately, and everyone in my building huddled in the basement.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, I already work in the basement, so I spent the time at my desk, on the phone with my mom.

Fort Worth proper was spared, but it was a wild ride at my other place in Johnson county.  No damage, but more severe weather than here.  Everyone in my family is okay.  And from what I understand, there were no fatalities yesterday and few serious injuries.  Always something to be grateful for.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Stay Safe.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Pain In The Neck

I've been suffering for almost a week with severe neck pain that seems to be getting worse.  Last night I rustled through the stash of "old pills" and found one lone muscle relaxer and so I'm feeling better this morning.
I don't know if cycling is causing this or making it worse or all the yard work that I've been doing - but this is a killer.

I also realized that it was my neck that was really bothering me the day I had such a bad ride around the lake - and the day of the group ride, my neck felt fine.  I do know that I have some osteo-arthritis in my neck - I need to get this checked out.

On the last Wednesday ride, my neck was hurting and it's been hurting ever since.  On Friday, I felt it kind of "pop" and I got some relief but yesterday at my desk, I started getting muscle spasms and by nightfall, had lost a lot of range of motion.

So this morning, I overslept and am still feeling groggy, but I'm the manager on board today, so I've got to pick up my heavy head and make for the office.  Guess I need to add this to my list of stuff to be seen about.

Talk to me about chiropractors - I've always been sort of scared of that voo-doo that they do.  Are you?

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Hold your head up high.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Open to the Possibility

I’m declaring myself open to the possibility of dating again. I’m not taking any action - not doing anything about it, don’t even know of any potentials - I am just putting it out in the universe. I am open to a new experience.

It’s been a year and an amazing year at that. Not mountain-top amazing, but the opportunity for a good deal of self-realization and personal growth. I’ve learned so much about myself over the past year - most of it good, all of it helpful.

I see my view of the world shifting - to one of abundance. So much of my life has been lived in fear of losing what I had. If was the fear of losing that was most acute - not the actual loss.

I will not define happiness as being coupled. I will not focus on this as a “goal” - lord knows I’ve been around the block to know that attaining a goal doesn’t always make one permanently happy. I’ve hit enough goals throughout my life to know there is not always the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I know enough to know that one can be coupled and be miserable.

I will not put boundaries on what happiness, peace, joy and contentment can look like. It’s all here right now as much as I am open to receiving.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Dwell In Possibility.