Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Zoom, Zoom, Zumba

http://www.kimbellart.org/privatecollections/impressionists.asp 

For Ellen
Turns out, Zumba was fantabulous!  Great workout and I can't wait until next week.  Those salsa lessons did pay off, as some of the footwork was familiar to me.  Plus, my admin showed up and so we could laugh about our exploits for the rest of the day.  Today is another spin class with the female instructor from this spring.  Should be good.  Oh, and I introduced myself to a woman in Zumba - and turned out, she's probably the richest woman in town - I just about died when she said her name!  She was very nice.  It was her convertible Jag parked by MalibuKen.  I hope he didn't feel intimidated :-)

Tonight is another ride with The Honorable - and I've signed up for the local bike club annual ride and picnic on Saturday.  And I'm starting to second-guess myself.  Cindy, from last week, will be there (she said) but she will probably ride a longer distance with her husband - so I'm now left to find someone of my speed to ride with - I don't think that riding around the countryside, alone, dazed and confused with a cue sheet in my hand (reminder - go to LBS and get a cue clip-on thingy) sounds like fun.  Ah, Roxie - don't let this get in your head.  It will be okay.  This ride is in my "home" county and I know the area.  I can ride as long as I want to and then I can return.  It will be okay.

Tomorrow night, Pebbles, Slater and TGB (oh my clean house) are coming over to spend the night.  Pebbles is having a medical procedure early Friday morning and her doc is here, so while Slater works from my home, I'll accompany her to and from the docs and depending upon how much care she requires or doesn't require, I'll either stay here with her/them, or go to work myself in the afternoon.  The good news is that it means dinner Thursday night at my favorite Japanese place in town.

I'm still working hard at the gardening thing - last night I laid down some organic fertilizer (alfalfa pellets) with the hopes that it will help.  I'm going to be performing a test tonight on the St Augustine to determine if it's a bug issue (I don't think it is) or a fungal issue.

Gotta run - spin class awaits.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Every Day Matters.

-Roxie



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tan Lines

I'm a little curvier
So I wakes up early on Monday morning and decide to go on the Memorial Day ride with my local bike club.  After all, there is a 29 mile route available and I just rocked the hell out of a 22 in the mountains.  I sent out a couple of emails, asking for joiners, but got no reply, so I'm off on my own.  This is my first "real" club ride - the others being beginner or casual rides.  This is a cue sheet ride - never done one of those.

Anyway, there are about 6 people who had RSVP'd on the club website and I get out to the neighboring county and there are about 40 people there, but I can't seem to connect up with anyone who is just doing the 29.  The first folks that I hear of doing the 29 decide "if I can do 29, I can do 44" and so they opt out.  Right before we take off, a women, whom I later come to know as Cindy, walks up and introduces herself, asks me if I am doing the 29 and we pronounce ourselves riding buddies.  I think that Inez gives people the wrong impression - a good impression, as she does garner comments about what a nice/cute/sexy bike she is.  But Cindy had assessed our compatibility very well - we were nicely matched and rode together the whole way.

Since I was in "flat" Texas, I didn't give the hills a second thought - Texas is flat, right?  I mean everywhere I've ever ridden was essentially flat.  But not this route - OMG, I thought I was going to die - it felt like we were climbing up steep-ass hills all the time - the downhills were great, but the ups just left me depleted.

Saturday's 22 miles, at the end,  left me invigorated, assuring Talia that we could, with pacing and rest, double our mileage.  Monday's 30 miler left me almost crawling to the car and I spent the rest of the day, well, spent.  I was totally depleted and was not productive the rest of the day!

I did, however, drag me and Valerie to see MIBIII, which was surprisingly good and poignant!  Who expected that?  I'm up early this morning for my first Zumba class.  Looking at the clock, I've got to run.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Don't tan like I'm tan.

-Roxie

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tour de Fabulous

Talia, with me peeking around and Slater's backside.  Pebbles was in the porta-john.
I cannot even begin to recount how much fun was had on this weekend.  Time on the bike, time with my dear friends, time with my beloved kid(s), time with some amazing natural scenery, time on some of the most grinding hills I've ever been on, time spent with the most peppery, good, fried green tomatoes ever.  All in all, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect ride/time.  I will be hard-pressed to repeat it, but repeat it, we shall.  It was decided by unanimous decision that this will become an annual event for us, with each year going a further distance - although this year, we could have done much more.

It was funny, we drove out there (we had our Mascot, Lil, with us, so we couldn't stay in one of the cabins close in) on Friday evening and came onto part of our route - up a killer, killer hill.  Man, oh, man - did I let that hill get in my head - I woke up in the middle of the night worrying about being clipped in and not being able to make it up that hill.  Almost totally psyched myself out over it.  We did get a lot of comforting advice from other riders, along with the assurance that "from the looks of us" we should be going a much farther distance.  The best piece of advice, however, came from a man who lives near Reata South (small world!) who told us about traversing the hill.  Serpentine Shelly. Serpentine!  I should have known about that from skiing, but didn't.  Anyway, that gave some comfort, although we didn't really need it.  


The hill that nearly kicked my ass was a long, long, long grinder.  Not that steep, but just relentless.  I kept thinking I'd get to the top and stop and rest, but each time I thought I was at the crest, I wasn't.  Big on my gratitude list right now?  Inez' gear ratio - turns out she's a climbing MA-CHEEN!  I chicked two guys on the way up ;-)  And a spot where someone who'd come along before had lost their breakfast about 2/3rds up.  


The scenery was magnificent.  Mountain, prairie, buffalo, elk, longhorn cattle, cobblestone village, art, lakes, wild flowers - this ride had it all!  


I'm back at home puttering around - waiting for time to go see the big Impressionists exhibit with some friends early this afternoon.  I'll get to see my favorite painting at the local fine art museum and spend some time with friends.  


Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  It's not the speed, it's the journey.


-Roxie







Wednesday, May 23, 2012

YES AND

The Tao Of Improv
Can I just say how much I loved that speech?  Trust me when I say that I've heard a metric ton of them and that one is the best ever - the perfect speech for those women going out into the world.

Oh, to have learned those lessons earlier in life!  On Monday, a young woman, steeped in drama and some tragedy, wandered into a meeting.  As it turned out, there were only three of us "old timers" women in the group.  I'm the one with the most time in, coming up on four years.  We are all a skosh over 50 in bellybutton years.  And we urged this newcomer to fix this now.  Don't wait until we did to address the issues that plagued us.  I do love what Jane said about accepting and embracing whatever life has thrown my way.  The good, the bad and The Demon, as she said.  It's the struggle against something that causes the most pain.  If I can accept AND address, then I can move forward.  Great, great philosophy.

Got up this morning and was faced with a choice - I had no choice in that I was going to exercise - I did have a choice in what and where.  So armed with my inspiration from earlier in the week, I chose the "more people" option and headed for the gym.  Classes haven't started yet, so I just hit the treadmill and watched some HGTV.  I can't say it was the most interactive experience I've ever had, but I smiled and spoke to all I saw.  There are worse ways to start the day.

Tonight, it's have glue gun, will travel:  The GNO Edition.  One of our group (one of the youngsters) is getting remarried in June and we are gathering together to work on her reception table decorations.  Should be fun!  She asked me if I thought it was tacky to invite people to help and I told her that most would be thrilled to offer an assist, if given wine and direction :-).  So that's on tap for tonight.  My stated goal is to spend more time creating and far less time eating and imbibing.  When they say that alcohol takes away one's inhibitions, for me, that means takes away my brakes and I end up eating far too much.  So, one glass of wine - which in my case will be what I am bringing to share.  A friend brought me chocolate wine as a hostess gift and another friend brought me maraschinos soaked in moonshine, so last night, I went out and brought chocolate cordial cups and whipping cream in a can and I'm making chocolate wine shots, topped with whipping cream, with a kicky cherry on top.  It's what's for dessert.

Tomorrow night, it's another gathering of the old work girls.  We've tracked down another of the old crew, but I don't know if she will be joining us.  It's another evening on the patio at Central Market.  I need to limit myself to some soup and salmon, and leave Grandma's chocolate cake alone.  I need to make it an early evening anyway, as I need to be rested for the OK ride.

The last two paragraphs were written to make me aware of what's ahead of me - I'm five pounds up from where I'd like to be and I can't seem to crawl under 144.5 these days.  And if I don't watch myself, with two nights of back-to-back outings, I can easily undo any progress that I've made.  So it's just a statement of intention.

ETA:  I love my city and the progress made in making this a bike-friendly community.  I'm getting a bike lane by my house!  Woo Hoo!  The city just released the new plans.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Say YES AND.

-Roxie
144.5

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Current Inspiration

Best Commencement Speech EVAH! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Am Inspired

ayearwithoutmirrors.com
On of my "truths" is the belief that what I focus on expands.  So if I am focusing on lack, it grows.  If I am focusing on the chagrin I feel when I step on the scales, it grows.  If I focus on fear, the fear gets bigger.  On a path that only my crazy brain can follow, this lead me to thinking about ways to incorporate the positive into my daily life.  I began to look for a "slogan" - specifically a response to the oft-asked question "How are you today?"

The options ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime and in the sublime category - INSPIRED.  I am inspired.  So for the foreseeable future, when asked how I am, I will respond with "I am inspired". 

I am inspired to make sure I get in some good exercise five days a week.  I've been listening to Younger Next Year for Women, not that I feel the need to be younger, but I do want to remain healthy and fit for as long as possible.  And to that end, I got up and ran this morning - not for very long, but long enough to get my heart rate up and to start dripping sweat.  Speaking of aging, I absolutely adored The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  I now want to wear only linen and go to India.  It was also interesting in how the movie studios market to the silvers - I've never enjoyed the previews of coming attraction so much as I did yesterday - no big action blockbusters, but small, little films that will appeal only to a certain demographic.  And speaking of demographic - I'd venture to say I was one of the youngest people in the theatre - and we all clapped and cheered when it was over.  Note to movie makers - we will go see movies depicting people our age, wrinkles and all. 

I am inspired to do some creative tasks - namely to "doll up" my front porch - without doing any shopping.  I'm to use the things that I have on hand.  Right now, I've this this trash-picked wash tub that is painted a mint green.  I'm thinking it could become a planter.  I've got a regular bed pillow that I am going to sew in half to make a bolster pillow and I'll cover it with something - and perhaps even break out the sewing machine and applique something on it.  Hmmm - I'll check my pinterest boards - I'm sure there is a saying or graphic that I will find appealing. 

I am inspired to read some more of the A Year With

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

-Roxie


Sunday, May 20, 2012

When Faced With A Choice:

Choose The Option with the Most People.
On Saturday morning, I had the choice of going a ride that promised a longer, more miles, more calories ride with a couple of people OR another community ride with more people (much more people) but way less miles.  I chose the option with the most people and I rode both there and back.  I still got in a decent ride and had a fabulous time.

On Saturday evening, I'd tentatively planned to go see a movie, but on the ride Saturday, Marty invited me to join her at a  community festival.  It was the perfect evening for such an event.  We walked through the venues, people watching, looking at art and stopping for a few demonstrations.  There is an glass blowing studio there and they were giving demonstrations.  Wow - it was mesmerizing!  I could have watched that process for hours.  We topped the evening off with Indian food while listening to a punk bluegrass band.  It was fourteen shades of awesomeness!

I'm planning on getting in that longer mileage ride this morning, followed by some yard work.  I've got some compost that needs using!  By the heat of the afternoon, I'll see if I can rustle up some folks to take in that movie.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Choose More.

-Roxie




Thursday, May 17, 2012

Coming Attractions

While perusing the summer schedule of classes at my gym, I was T.H.R.I.L.L.ED to see a 6am class.  I've always wanted to take a class, but it never seemed to work with my schedule.  So my new schedule - starting May 29 - will be spin three days a week and the fitness class one day.  As an added bonus, they have some yoga classes immediately after work - something to remember for rainy days! Woo to the Hoo!

I got the information on the aid trip to Vietnam.  The trip goes into villages with nearly 100% of population infected with TB and look away right now if you are squeamish worms/internal parasites.  I just don't know that I'm up for such a trip.


I am looking forward to seeing The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but it is not even showing in my town.  When they said limited release, I guess they meant it.  This movie - the story line, location and cast is so appealing to me, however, that I might just have to make the trek over to Big D to see it.  Note to self:  Check to see if it is showing at that theatre by the train station. 



And in "its-a-damned-wonder-I-find-my-way-home-each-day" news, I've pulled a couple of headshakers in the past couple of days.  Everytime I would get into MalibuKen, I'd think to myself, "This car smells funny".  So finally, I proceded to head-down-butt-up search every nook and cranny of MalibuKen but could find nothing that would cause such an odor.  After nearly a week, I finally remembered that I'd stopped off at the nursery and bought a bag of compost and put it in the trunk. 


Who's Dumber Than?
Me.

And hammer number two - I was cooking myself a hamburger patty on my petite George Foreman.  As a matter of practice, I set the thing on a cutting board and kind of cantalever the whole mess over the sink.  As I took my burger out of the package of pre-formed burgers, I decided that I needed to go ahead and cook the other three before they turned.  So I ate my patty and then cooked off the other three, one at a time.  I leave the GF there to cool off.  Time passes.  True confession:  I did not do the dishes that night, so the GF was still on the counter.  I awaken in the middle of the night, thirsty, so I go to the kitchen for a glass of water.  I turned on the water, grabbed a glass, filled it up and stood there to drink.  I noticed that the sink wasn't draining.  Then it hit me - I'd clogged my own sink up with grease!  When cooking one burger, all the grease was contained on the cutting board.  When cooking four, it dripped off the cutting board, into the sink, and down the drain, only to create a plug at the bend.   Fortunately, Roto-Google had the answer - salt, baking soda and boiling water.  I got the distinct pleasure of unclogging my sink at 3 o'clock in the morning. 

Got out this morning and went to the track.  Tonight's a meet up with a former co-worker from the Dark Ages. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Know your Limitations.

-Roxie
145.5

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Red Pencil

Editing The Garden
I feel like I am finally making progress in restoring the gardens to their former goodness.  The secret?  Editing.  Culling The Herd.  Yanking stuff out by the roots in amazing quantities.  Pruning with abandon with the knowledge  hope that it will grow back next year.

Last evening was a particularly satisfying red pencil session.  I began with "tidying up" a shrub that was going wild, which started to bring the whole picture into focus.  I realized that the stonecrop had run rampant over the last year and so I began transplanting it down to the bottom of the slope.  Well, I got tired going up and down the stairs and so I just started tossing the stuff, willy-nilly on the empty space down the slope.  What grows will grow - what doesn't?  Well, there's plenty more to take it's place.

I also discovered that the self-seeding 4 o'clocks are too prolific and block the view of some of the other, more interesting plants, so out by the roots they came.  I left only a few for accent.  In thinking back, there were only about six of them in the front last year.  It was also time to bushwhack all the plants that were encroaching on the pathway - I've got a beautiful stone step path through the garden, but it had all but become invisible - so I re-blazed that trail last night, as well.

The garden's are not back to their prior glory, but I am discovering some of Prior Owner's secrets.  She was a ruthless bitch of an editor.


Tonight I'm participating in this and hope to get in a little pre-ride before hand, schedule permitting.  Tomorrow, I'm having dinner with Valerie and a former co-worker of ours from 30 plus years ago that she dug up on FB.  Should be interesting!  It will be interesting to see how Justine has changed.  Friday evening, I'm going with a emprov friend to see a comedy show - so I'm looking forward to that.  I don't have anything planned for the weekend - but I am hoping to get in a long(ish) ride on Saturday.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Less is more.

-Roxie
144




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Endogenous Morphine

Available from Amazon
A big thanks to my friend in Florida who listened to a snot-slinging me for an hour on the phone last night.  Jeez Louise.  Rather cathartic, I suppose.  I knew this morning that I wanted a big shot of feel good first thing - so I pulled out the running shoes and headed for the track.  Didn't have a lot of time, but needed to get sweaty and out-of-breath, so I did some HIITs - walking, sprints, jogging - all an intervals that were spaced enough to get a good sweat and heart rate going.  I was careful, however, to try to prevent injury as my cardio fitness level far outweighs my muscular-skeletal fitness level for running these days.  The last thing, the very last thing, I need right now is to be laid up with injury - or even slowed by intense muscle soreness.

Came back from the track and stretched out in the garden some, while doing a few small little gardening chores.  Good start to the day.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others. Give yourself the best chance to be your best.

-Roxie
145.5

Monday, May 14, 2012

Right Where I Left It

I don't talk about him much anymore - here, or to anyone.  After all, who really wants to hear about a 50-something with a broken heart.  So I keep it to myself.  Keep hoping that this grieving will pass.  That there will be a day that goes by where I don't cry at least a few tears.  And I know this isn't a real "loss", doesn't in anyway compare to death and disease or the end of relationships lasting decades, but I miss him, I do.  I find myself in that "seeking" mode that grief counselors talk about - unconsciously scanning the crowd for their face - except that for me, it's seems to be scanning the sea of vehicles looking for that one Texas Edition greige  4 door Silverado (of which there about a bazillion).  And I will still admit to being a bit bewildered by how it all went down.

I tell myself that I should be over this.  That enough time has passed.  That it's in my long-term best interest, and I believe that to be true, but I just don't know how to move past this.  I feel like I am stuck and I don't know how to get unstuck.  I've tried time, distraction, trying to manufacture interest in someone else, wallowing, ignoring, stuffing.  So I am trying something different - as embarrassing as it is, I am acknowledging exactly where I am.  I know my focus is off, but I seem to be unable to shift it.

I've ignored texts and phone calls - I've spoken to him exactly once in the last year - back in the early fall, I think.  I was determined not to be the one to do the  emotional "heavy" lifting anymore.  If he wanted me, then things had to change.  Nothing changes if nothing changes.  I was and am, doing my best to act in my own self-interest; however, standing still and not responding to those things is like, well, it's just tough.

He came to mind several times yesterday, on Mother's Day - I wondered how he was doing on this Mother's Day, his second since his mother's death.  I thought of him on the way to Pebbles' when I passed Reunion Tower, where we went for Sandy's 18th birthday.  I thought of him when I drove past the site of our first real date after meeting - it's just a few blocks from Pebbles house.

So last evening, when he called again, I took the call.  He wanted my advice on a graduation gift for a foodie relative.  And he's right where I left him.  And I got the gift of "playing the story out to the end", as they say in recovery.  He was impaired.  He spoke of being in a deep depression since his Mom's death, but isn't taking any action.    He advised me to do whatever I could to maintain a good relationship with my Mom - which coming from him, is odd - as he always felt like she took major advantage of me.

I don't know if taking the call was the right thing to do, as I certainly don't feel any better but I did get the reminder to play it all out - to remember ALL of it.  The uncomfortable drive back from Reunion tower, after he and Sandy got into it.  The horribleness of that first real date, when he got drunk and obnoxious (albeit not directed at me - none of this was ever directed at me - it would have been easier if it was) - a healthier person would have walked away right then and there.  I was so naive.  I'm not so much anymore.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

HALTER

  • Hungry? 
  • Angry?
  • Lonely?
  • Tired?
  • Exhausted,
  • Really. 

WHINEY?  


I'm in full blown HALT today.  Tired doesn't begin to cover it.  Exhausted is more like it.  Late, late night.  Too geared up to sleep.  Fewer than four hours until I was back at the desk again.  At war with the body that is craving something, anything, for enough energy to get through the day. 

This, too, shall pass.  I did finally get a good breakfast in a few minutes ago, but all that did was make me more tired.  I've been mainlining caffeine, to no avail.

I've got a few errands to run after work and my house needs picking up, but after that I'm hitting the hay.  I've got plans for tomorrow evening (going to see an open mic night) with a friend from emprov class and a bike ride scheduled for Saturday morning.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Know your weaknesses.

-Roxie

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Women Want

So Pebbles has been pestering me about what I want for Mother's Day.  She says she's drawing a blank this year.  Historically, my response to any such question re:  birthday, anniversaries, etc.  was always "Oh, don't worry about me".  And while I really, truly don't care AT.THAT.TIME, I find that such a response sets me up for being taken for granted in the future and I begin to resent that.  (Not from Pebbles - she's always very good).

And this year, I'm drawing a blank - so help me out....

What should I ask for?  I feel comfortable asking for something up to $75 dollars.....

Because I don't tweet

Need a record of this: 

"If we would only listen with the same passion that we feel about wanting to be heard."  

From Brene Brown and Harriet Lerner. 

Also from Brene:

I've been trying to practice passionate listening for the past couple of weeks and it's been a challenge. When I really listen rather than thinking and formulating my response as people are talking, the entire conversation takes on a new cadence. It's slower and there's more white space between exchanges. It's a little weird at first, but it's also very powerful.


This is an integral part of "The Tao of Improv".  It's part of what I am learning. 

Gearing Up

source:  a rider from last year
 We are gearing up for some end-of-the-month fun!  Slater and Pebbles are joining Talia and me for the pay ride in OK.   I believe they are opting for a longer route than we have chosen, but that's okay.  After my last pay ride with Pebbles, I'm not really anxious to do it again.  We don't stand in agreement as to how these things should be done, so each of us is probably happier being with our own riding partner.  I want to enjoy the scenery at a pace that I am comfortable with.  It's a ride, not a race.  I am, however, thrilled that they are joining us.  They are actually going up sooner than we are, but will be sharing a room with me.

My sister is coming to stay at my house that night and will keep The Grand Beast for them here.  She won't drive to Dallas so still gets the paying job and TGB doesn't have to be kenneled.  Win for everyone, except my floors!  Ah well!  It should be interesting as TGB doesn't really like her, but Pebbles and I both agree that when it comes nighty night time, he'll change his tune.  Pebbles thinks he thinks she's wearing a hat and he hates people in hats.  She's not actually wearing a hat, but has her hair did all up all bright red and piled on top of her head.  She's five foot twelve barefooted, so I could see how TGB, even as big as he is, could wonder!

And speaking of dyed hair - I gave mine a dip last night.  Lordy, that mess looks like the cats has been chewing on it - even though I am pretty sure I got the same color as normal - I look remarkably like the love child of Elvira and Albert Einstein this morning.  Let's just say my hair grabbed the color and ran with it - as far away from my actual scalp as  it could go.  I'm considering wearing my bike helmet to work today.

There promises to be a fun benefit ride with The Honorable tonight, along with great food and drink from Central Market apres pedal, but tonight is my semi-annual all-nighter at work, so I have to miss it!  Boo Hiss!

There was a cool front that blew through yesterday, but, alas, no rain.  The good news is that I'm getting ready to gear up to go back to the track this morning.  The bad news is that I just realized I forgot to charge my iPod.  Dammit Janet!  I guess the birds will have to provide my soundtrack this morning.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Gear up for fun.

-Roxie
144.5




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Leg Up On The Day

It's no big secret that I've not been feeling up to par - physically, mentally, health-wise, financially, spiritually - you name it.  It's not horrible or anything - I'm just not at my best.  So I sat myself down and asked myself "What things do I do when I am feeling my best?  What gives me the best chance of being my best self?"  I know the answer.  I know that I function best if I get my exercise first thing in the morning.  More often than not, it serves to carry me nicely throughout the day.  Starts my day off with some endorphins for breakfast.  What amazes me is how often I've been letting that truth slip by unacted upon.  So this morning, I was up early - killing time (wtf!) and just decided to go back to doing what I know is the next right thing for me - get my butt out of the chair and out of the house.  Spin classes are over for the time being, but the gym still opens at 6am.  So this morning, as a gift to myself, a leg up on the day, I headed out to the car.  And then I took a detour - rather than drive to the gym, I just walked down the street, in the still-dark morning, to the track at the local school.  How long had it been since I was down there?  I cannot even remember - but it felt really good to be there this morning, in walking meditation, awaiting the sunrise.

I hadn't been there very long until the neighborhood started arriving in solo walkers, folks with their dog and a bootcamp of 20-something grunting guys.  I spent about an hour just out walking, thinking, and enjoying the morning.  As I was leaving, a young man came with a bird dog.  This dog was something - the track/park area is lined with trees - and earlier I'd marveled at how many birds there were in these trees, squirrels, too, I imagine - and when this pointer was unleashed - she made this big, fast sweeping loop, going from tree to tree to see what was there.  So much fun.  So much joy.

It wasn't about the calorie burn - it was, however, about setting the mood and the tone for the day.  I've given myself a good start - a leg up on the day.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Get your best start.

-Roxie
146.5

Sunday, May 6, 2012

CSI: MyFrontYard

I'd been looking at the situation all wrong.  I'd reviewed the evidence and I just couldn't figure out how she had done it.  Had she booby-trapped the place before she left?  Was that niceness all a facade to get me to believe and trust her?  Did she come by after she sold out and do some guerilla gardening - stuffed vinca major into every possible space?  Just how had she pulled it off?  Things were not as they seemed, especially with the vinca.

I'd spent hours tirelessly pruning away at the vinca that seemed to appear out of nowhere this spring.  I didn't remember noticing it last spring when I was visiting the house - both pre-sale and after purchase.  Somehow, this kudzu-like plant had just appeared this spring, ready to cover up anything in it's path.  I cannot even count how many bags of the clippings I've set out at the curb.  All I know is that I purchased a Costco-sized bale of lawn refuse bags at, well, Costco, and I think I have two left.  The vast majority were full of vinca major.

So yesterday, while sitting out in the yard with pruners, going over every memory I had and every picture I'd taken, it suddenly hit me.  She wasn't pruning this stuff, she'd been ripping it out by the roots!  Or at least by the encroaching runners!  That's why I hadn't seen it - she kept it limited to just a certain area by yanking the crap completely "out" and of course, it can't be completely eradicated, but is slowed by extreme heat - so it was not an issue at all for me last year.  So I chucked my pruners and took after that stuff with nothing but brute force and gloves.  Extremely satisfying.

I also had had enough of the "drying poppies" on the stem, so I harvested a gallon jug of seed pods and yanked up all the dead and dying in the front yard.  I'm leaving them in the backyard for now, just in case I was a little premature - although I don't think that I am.  I believe this year everything is about a month ahead  of schedule, due to such a mild winter and I remember there being poppies in bloom in early April last year when I saw the place for the first time and by my walk-through on May 15, I remember seeing a glass jar full of seed pods sitting on a side table.  Plus, I know that PriorOwner gave several neighbors poppy seeds before leaving town.  So I really think I'm okay - even though most of the online gardening forums say wait until fall to cast the seeds about.

I put down some mulch in the front yard and transplanted/thinned a bunch of blue spruce stonecrops (sedum reflexum) down to the bottom of the "hill" in the front yard.  I'm actually surprised that the prior owner didn't do that, as there is an over-abundance of the stuff and it would look good trailing a bit over the rock edging - plus it would hold the soil in and keep it from draining down unto the sidewalk.  I also made some of my first plant purchases  - I bought a dozen dwarf Mexican petunias (ruellia brittoniana) and a couple of silvermound artemisia to set out.  This was, of course, before I read how easy the petunias are to propagate.

Spent some more time pruning shrubs and, again, realized I haven't done it nearly as aggressively as I will need to early next spring.  I'll know better next time.  A good hard pruning in the spring will make things a lot easier to maintain in the summer -  much like it was last summer - just a few easy trips in the morning with the pruners in one hand and coffee in the other.

At the end of the day (it was 93 degrees here), I drug out the hoses and sprinklers and gave the front yard a really good drink.  I don't know if a good water will fix what ails it, but I thought I'd try that.  I still think that I need to hit it with some kind of fertilizer.  I'm leaning towards a foliar feeding of fish emulsion, but lordy, that stuff does stink to high heaven.  I don't know that my city neighbors would appreciate that - but it's a good thing.  Another option is to pop down to Reata south, visit the horse's stall and load up on some supplies for some manure tea.  That may be next week's project.

So ends today's segment of "Gardening with Roxie".

I couldn't find any takers for today's planned ride - the usual suspects all have other plans - so I think I'll just head out alone - back out to the lake.  It's a nice 20 plus miles and it's usually busy enough that if I get into difficulty, it won't be days before they find the body.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Weigh the evidence.

-Roxie
147


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Day! May Day!

Driving Blind
Note to self:  Do not attempt to take off headband while driving and wearing sunglasses.  The headband will get caught on the sunglasses and become a blindfold.  To stop the whole blindfold thing from happening requires two hands moving in opposing directions and when one only possesses two hands mean that one is letting go of the wheel.

Went out on a quick ride Tuesday evening, since I lolled around in bed on Tuesday morning and didn't go to spin class.  I won't be going riding with The Honorable, as I've got GNO tickets  to some funny.

It's now Wednesday morning and I am feeling puny.  GNO looks iffy at this point.  I am hopeful another couple hours of sleep will fix whatever ails me.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Keep your eyes wide open.

-Roxie
144.5




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Focus Pocus

http://thoughtquestions.com/archives/2698





So far, what has been the primary focus

of

your year - 2012?



I love shifting to a new page on the calendar - it feels like a fresh start, the opportunity for a "do over".  April brought some new challenges, but also a renewed focus on what I choose to eat - not from a weight perspective, although that will be a benefit, but from a health focus - how to best manage Hashi's in the present while I determine what I want to do about my future treatment and management of self-same.  I've kicked wheat to the curb and am feeling better because of it.  I don't know that it has any effect on the thyroid, but I do feel better. 

I'd also lost my focus on finding and savoring joy in each and every day.  In the recent past, I'd found myself smiling much less frequently than I was, say, this time last year.  It's time to refocus on looking for all the goodness that is around me - and get the hell out of my own head. 

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

-Roxie
145.5