Thursday, June 28, 2012

Riding In Cars With Dogs

Away at Summer Camp - Camp GiGi
He arrived on Tuesday night and other than him waking me up every couple of hours, it went okay.  He's a special needs dog and I do admire the patience that Pebbles and Slater have with him.  The vet gave him weeks to live back in the fall of 2009 and he's still around and doing quite nicely.  Although sometimes it takes a village.  He's staying with me while the kids are on vacay in San Diego. And I have to say The Grand Beast is very well mannered, well-behaved.  Pebbles has trained him well.  He is also spoiled absolutely rotten - some, or perhaps most of which is as a result of his seizure disorder.  He requires medication and the medication will make him throw up if taken on an empty stomach.  Plus, not only is he on a restrictive diet because of allergies, he's a pick-at-his-food eater.   Because of his medical issues, it would make some sense to board him at the vet's, but he just hates it there and it stresses him so - so staying at Camp GiGi is his first alternative.  I do an agreement in place that I can  take him and board him at his vet's place anytime this gets to be too much.

The dance is this:  trying to get him to eat something and not to fast because that makes him sick, too.  Once he gets something on his stomach (one hopes is enough) then it's time to pill him.  And then the wait begins.  Did he eat enough of the right stuff at the right speed to keep it down?  Is his food going to stay down so that it's safe to pill him?  Is the pill going to make him sick?  Will I see him throw up and know to pill him again?  Will he choose to puke all over the white tile floors (thank god it was the tile floors!)?  The wood floors in the house are covered with yoga mats as they both protect the floors and provide him with a no-slip surface. He sometimes has coordination issues.

So that was our evening last night.  Doing the dance.  And I lost.  He got sick on the tile floor and then got scared, because as the final clean-up step, I set out Iris The Mint.  So today, he's afraid of the tile floors.  Sigh.

Anyway, I knew I had to get some food and some water and his pills down him this morning.  And he was pretty uninterested in any of it.  But he does love a car ride (as a requirement of my keeping him - I get Pebbles' car too - this smelly beast ain't riding around in MalibuKen), so I put him in the car and we went for an early morning trip to McDonald's.  Aside:  as a further testament to my bad timing - I'd decided to quit caffeine - and had switched to Sprite Zero and decaf coffee - dumbass move.  Today was not the day - so I was hurting this morning - so we went through the drive-through for some McD's coffee.

He enjoyed his car ride and we came back into the back yard and I got some food down him and got him pilled.  We hung out outside (he HATES being outside - absolutely HATES it) until the puking threat had passed.  He still seems lethargic and I'm concerned about his water intake, but he did get lots of water last night when we were playing in the water hose in the back yard.  Anyway, I've given up early morning workouts while he is staying with me, as it takes that time to just get him situated for the day.

I now know why my daughter is always late.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Go for a joy ride.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Peleton

Talia and me - smiles all the way
No one looks good in lycra, do they?  As a point of reference, Talia is 5'8" and weighs 135.  Ah well, that is certainly not the point, is it - look at those smiles.  We are having the time of our lives.  When this photo was taken, Talia was traveling uncharted distances - she was biking farther than she ever had before.  And we are scheduled to push her PR even farther next weekend. 

This is what exercise should look like - it should be a pleasure.  I want to continue to look forward to it! 

There is a downside, however.  Two cycling buddies took bad falls this past weekend.  One suffered a concussion and a broken collar bone and the other four broken ribs. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Find a way of living that brings joy.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

All Good Things

Just a random list of good things that happened yesterday alone:

  • my local bike shop DIDN'T make me feel like an idiot for having trouble with my flat tires
  • I was in the bike shop when they gave away a used, but refurbished bike, to a man who I can only assume was in some sort of halfway house for what appeared to be a serious and long-term addiction of some sort - I knew I liked those folks there
  • I almost talked myself out of going on The Honorable's ride as I didn't "like" the route - but I stuck with my "always choose more people option" and went anyway - hell, as it turns out, I'd never even been anywhere close to there and it was an awesome ride
  • a new, more social and less "lycra, components and mileage" bike group is being formed - YAY!
  • I got a good report from my dentist along with a recommendation NOT to have the additional surgery that the perio was recommending - it had always felt unnecessary to me
  • Had a wonderful surprise phone chat with my dear friend Meg.  I know I jabbered her ear off - sorry, Meg!
  • This month's electric bill - $20.90.  How much do I love this little energy efficient place?  
  • Had a conversation with an acquaintance and a stranger and I was able to practice "being interested and not interesting" - it's a skill I am working on - thanks to emprov - listening and asking questions - and thanks to that strategy, I learned some new and interesting information
  • Last but not least, I am glad that the kids didn't suffer any (too much) damage from last evening's hail storm

I'm through exercising until Saturday's rally - the two-a-day yesterday was the last big hurrah - tapering - no - stopping - until Saturday morning's ride.  Turns out Marty will be there as well, so that will make us a trio. I still need to do some prep work before Friday afternoon - get my car cleaned out, as I am driving.  I need to hit the store for some nutrition to take with in case the rest stops are all bare by the time us slow-pokes move through.  I need to get maps, etc printed out and pack my overnight bag - including my swimmy suit!  Hotel with a pool - bonus!  Plus I need to look for a restaurant for Friday dinner.....along with the other stuff that needs to happen around here - I'll be whipping and spurring to get things done - as soon as it gets light this morning, I'm out to mow the yard.  Great thing about a reel mower - it's completely quiet - if I can see, I can mow and not disturb the neighbors.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  It's a good thing.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Are We There Yet?

Ha Long Bay, VN
I guess I should have said that the trip isn't until October, so it will be a while before pictures and the travelblog appear :-)  Traveling with my SIL will ensure plenty of pictures.

Work has been busy - staying on program and on course.

I've got a payride coming up on Saturday that I am kind of dreading - the more I hear about it....sigh.  Oh well - Even if the ride isn't the most fun ever, it will be new scenery and I'll get to spend time with Talia.  It's all good.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Revel in the wonders of the world.

ETA:  Pebbles and Slater went through one helluva hail storm this evening.  The worst she said she had ever seen. She said every hailstone was at least golf ball sized or bigger.   She had just come home from work, so the cars were under cover.  No windows were broken out of their house and she thinks the roof is just fine.  I think she's sorely mistaken.  I told her to have the inspectors out anyway... 


Monday, June 11, 2012

What In The World For?

I hear that quite often when I say I'm going to VN.  Deb asked how this came about, so I thought I'd tell the very non-linear story.

Blame it on jet lag.  I was in Dublin, Ireland a few Christmases ago and couldn't sleep.  Fortunately, despite having radio stations that only played music from the 1980's, the telly did get the BBC.  There was an episode (or marathon - it must have been several episodes) of a what I now know to be a very popular show, TOPGEER(sic).  The premise of the show is normally to show the latest and greatest in cars, etc.  The three hosts of the show were given $1000 ( I can't remember if it was UDS or pounds) to buy a motorcycle and ride the almost 1100 miles from north to south.  The scenery was spectacular and the history was interesting.  Obviously, there were some "challenges" along the way, hence the pirate ship on the back of the pink bike.

I am young enough and lucky enough to have not have been directly affected by "the American war".  It didn't even come into our home on the news every night because, frankly, we didn't watch the news or even get a newspaper - I lived a pretty isolated life in that regard, as Mom had virtually no interest in the world outside our immediate surroundings.  So I don't have any particular feeling about the place, other than some curiosity.  And the British show piqued my interest.  VN went to the top of the list of places I wanted to visit.  Until I saw a travel show about Istanbul.  Then it became "should I go here or there?  Which one first?"

And because it was a "we" at the time, VN came out the winner.  We began to make plans to go - even asking another couple - the man having served a hitch there - to join us.  And then we weren't a "we" anymore and since I was still going to make a big trip in honor of my 50th, I chose Istanbul, as it felt more doable solo.  And then Pebbles opted to join me.  But the southeast Asia trip continued to percolate.

So then came the whole humanitarian trip option - and I was onboard - until I found out the details - and there just wasn't enough time for me to see anything outside of the villages we would be working in - so that was out.  When I was relating all of the new information, along with my decision not to go, to Pebbles and Slater - it was Slater who was immediately like "I want to go.  Let's go.  We can do this."  I don't know his motivation to go, but I suspect it has to do with his desire to do some really hardcore backpacking travel through really remote parts of the world - India, China, Nepal, etc. which is interesting, as I don't believe he's been abroad - only out of the country to Mexico - oh, and Puerto Rico, but that's one of "ours".  After hearing how Pebbles fared in Istanbul, I suspect he wants to see how she will do on a trip like this, which will be a combination of adventure travel coupled with affordable luxury.  She says she doesn't think she will be as intimidated by the VN people as she was by the Turkish.  I think it will be an even bigger culture shock.  It will be interesting to see how she/they/we do.  I think she went into full blown "must protect Mom" mode while we were traveling (although I was perfectly fine and don't recall feeling really uncomfortable ever) and that played a part in her unease.  Although, of the three of us, she is by far the most experienced traveler.  Traveling with them might be the biggest adventure of them all!

Weekend was fraught with frustration - AC went out and was repaired late Saturday.  I managed to completely flatten the tires on Inez, while trying to air them up.  I think I may have an air pump that is failing, as I can't seem to get it to "latch" on - and air just seems to be leaking out from the side.  Of course, every time I try to attach the hose, I leaked out more air.  I ended up throwing the cover off of Cha-Cha and hauling her to Weatherford to ride the rails-to-trails by myself on Sunday morning.  Now I have to load up Inez and the bike pump and take them into the lbs (and face my absolute humiliation at having done this) to get this taken care of.  Sigh.

Headed out for spin class this morning with Mr. Beautiful, followed by a busy week at work.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Adventure is out there!


Take good care

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Weight Up, AC Down

Weight is back in scary range again.  Usually, I can guess within a couple of pounds what the scale will say.  I was off by four pounds this morning, and not in that good way.  So for the first time in a long time, I'm back on an actual "program" - a prescribed method of eating (my usual) with the goal of losing ten pounds.

Speaking of weight - we are packing for Vietnam in backpacks :-)  It will be ultra-light travel, as we will be moving from place to place quite often.  It is too hard to backtrack to the hotel as we need to leave town, so when we leave a town, everything we are traveling with will be on our backs.  This should be an adventure.  The good news is having laundry done is cheap and available.  I got my gear together last night, just to see what it would be like - and I took a picture - but my damned POS phone won't upload anything.  I don't know what is wrong - phone calls don't come through, texts take 27 hours to arrive, I drop calls all over the place.

Two weeks worth of clothes
Sorry for that rant - the list is:
in addition to what I will wear on the trip over -
one pair of drawstring linen pants (bought them at Goodwill last night:)
cotton pegged pants
2 quick drying/wicking strappy T's with built in bra
2 100% cotton tunic/overshirts
1 strapless dress that can double as a long skirt
1 pair running shorts with built in drawers -as shorts, bedclothes,swim bottoms
1 pair footie socks (probably only worn on the plane, as my feet get cold)
1 pashmina - which is blanket, pillow, sleep mask, temple covering, sarong, skirt, dress, tote basket.
2 pair Patagonia panties

all fits neatly into a casual backpack.  Other supplies we will share between us or buy there.  We'll see if I can stick to this :-)

Got home last night to find the AC had gone kersplat again.  So, called the repair people back and hung out all day awaiting their arrival.  They got here at 4:15, finally, but I am now cool.  Hopefully, that's the last I will see of them :-)  Thank goodness for that home warranty - it's so worth the piece of mind to just know who to call.

I did spend some time in the garden this morning, doing more cleanup work.  A little trimming here and there - it's starting to come together again.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Lighten up.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hey Diddle Diddle

Eat Mor Chikin
If you are looking for my house, I'm three doors east of the Chik-Fil-A.  This is what I saw when I came out to leave for work on Thursday morning.  How funny is that?  That house is home to a local artist of some renown.  I love it that my neighborhood has a little bit of funk to it.

Downpours of rain and high winds canceled the municpal ride last night - which was sort of okay, as I was really wiped out, even though I took it easy at spin that morning - but I did work really hard on the climbs.  This morning, spin class was an absolute grind and is coupled with some plyometric exercises.  I predict I will be in tears tomorrow :-)  and unable to rise from the toilet seat due to total fatigue of my quads.

In other, very, very exciting news - guess who is going to VN?  Me, that's who.  Along with Pebbles and Slater - for two weeks in October.  Bought the tickets this morning.  Let the detailed planning commence.  Woo and Hoo! 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Expect the unexpected.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mowed Down

I never expected it would go like it did.  Elapsed time from sitting down to uncrate the machine, putting it together, mowing the lawn and ensconcing "her"  (needs a name - and it can't be Troy - I hate that name) - FIFTY MINUTES!  Fifty minutes of wonderfulness - my coffee didn't even get cold.  Who would have expected all I would need to do would be to assemble and attach the push bars, adjust the height and I'd be ready to roll? No tools required!  Woo Hoo!

Here's my review of the Troy-Bilt  TBR 16 (I didn't get the bagging attachment).  Easy, easy, easy to put together.  Cut through the Saint Augustine like butter.  I did have some less-than-optimal results when mowing the "hell strip" in the front yard, as there were some single, tall weed/straw thingies it would miss.  It was difficult to get to the edge of my flower beds, as I have the edges dug out, so I will have to come back with the string trimmer to neaten it all up.  Lightweight and ergonomic - at least for my postage-stamp sized yard.

I made an interesting discovery in Zumba yesterday - I can follow along better if I am looking forward and to the right at my instructor, rather than from the left.  It was the exact same routines as last Tuesday and I did much better following along the first time than I did yesterday.  I don't know why that is - everything just felt "off".  So next time, I will muscle that co-ed who took my spot while I went to put my water bottle up!  I really don't believe in "my spot", but I'd never experienced the difference in learning (or at least I'm hoping I haven't lost that many brain cells in merely a week).

Talia is coming into town to join me on the The Honorable ride tonight.  I'm hoping it's not too darn hot at the start, as there is no shade on this route at all.  But it is out to the waterfall, which is fun.  Tomorrow night is another evening of helping a friend with her wedding reception decoration prep - all courtesy of the GNOs.  Don't have anything on tap for the weekend.  I was going to a payride out a ways from town, but Talia had to bail, so I don't know if I'm going it alone - Marty may go, so if so, I'll hang with her.

Today's Affirmation:  (paraphrased to suit me) Listening to my authentic self helps me keep my life uncomplicated.  

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Life:  Some Assembly Required.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Affirmative Action

Not my kind of affirmations
Last night, I went to a meeting where the topic was affirmations.  I bought the piece of literature that was being used - a small booklet of affirmations.  I've grown to use and like affirmations over the course of the years - not because I believe they (it?) has any "magic" power, but because they affirm a view that I want to have - a lens through which I see the world.  It's a way to re-program that tape of negativity that used to be on constant playback in my head.

For me, affirmations are the action step for the belief that what I focus on grows - in any area of my life - physical, spiritual, financial, whatever.  Affirmations (or at least the kind I use) help to keep me centered and in-the-moment, which if I can be where my butt is, things are just so much better.  I have a choice as to how I see things.  So from time to time, I'll share an affirmation from the booklet - a statement affirming how I choose to see the world, my circumstances, myself - just for today.

Today's affirmation from the booklet is:  Being myself is glorious.  I  thought of Miz and her tagline (affirmation?) of being "unapoligetically myself".  There is such freedom in learning to be/choosing to be who I am wherever I am.  Not to go into people-pleasing mode at the drop of a hat.  Just to be who I am, as authentically as possible, as much as I am able.  It's just easier that way.

On tap for today, more Zumba, followed by an at-home wait for the AC repairman to come and finish the work from the weekend.  While waiting, I will attempt to put together the reel/push mower I bought yesterday. Or perhaps it might be better to mix up an organic solution for my plant problem (I think it's scale) in my new sprayer.  That might be the best/less frustrating option, at least for today.  I can leave the construction for later.

Sending love and good thoughts to Ellen today.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be an friend to yourself.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Fear of Filing

File Under A for Assumption
The things that I am afraid of, or that are fear based, are many and varied.  This morning, I realized that I am afraid of filing!  I've had a stack of paperwork that I've needed to go through, handle and file and I'd been actively avoiding it (Hello Pinterest!) for several weeks.  So this morning, when I noticed that I had two minutes before I was to walk out the door to spin class (Hello Mr. Beautiful!), I made myself drag my two portable files out from the kitchen cabinet.  Yes, I keep my files in the kitchen in an open shelving unit.  I do this because if I put them away, I will avoid them even more.  I have to make things as easy on myself as possible to make the good-for-me decision.

As I realized the negative feelings that I have about filing, I thought it important that I look at what, exactly, causes this fear.  Upon reflection, I realize that it's almost like the Butterfly Effect - that something adult and business-like is going to happen and I won't be able to handle it - or more to the point, it will make me feel angry and frustrated and I don't want to feel those feelings!  Now let's shine a little bit of The Logic Lamp into this situation - subconsciously, I am afraid that some part of my life - home, auto, insurance, taxes, medical files, etc - will somehow go awry (Assumption One) and I won't be able to handle/fix it (Assumption Two) and  it will make me angry (Assumption Three) and I won't be able to process that anger/frustration (Assumption Four) and the inability to process that anger will kill me (Assumption Five).  All because I have a couple of pieces of paper to file.  Those tracks in my head lead right to Crazy Town.  The good news is that when I really look at what I'm avoiding, filing, in this case, and bring these crazy-assed thoughts and beliefs to the Light Of Logic, then they become silly little puffs of nothing that I can just blow away.

It really makes me wonder exactly how many of those crazy-assed beliefs still exist - how much do they affect my life in ways that I am yet unaware?  Ah, I just thought of another one!  Holy Conclusion-Jumping, Batman - my life is one negative belief right after another -

So my neighbors next door moved out over the weekend - their year lease was up and they are expecting a baby (was due May 28!) so it makes some sense that they would move to a larger place.  Anyway, upon seeing the moving trucks, my head immediately went to - there will be new people moving in and they will be horrible.  Horrible?  Horrible?  WTH?  There are just as many reasons in the world for the new people to turn out to be The.Best.Neighbors.Ever. - but I seem to go negative.  I've already built up a resentment towards them and they haven't even moved in!  Not quite a resentment, but some sort of something.

Other Items of Note from the weekend:

  • AC went out in the house this weekend.  It's fixed, but only temporarily - they need to come back and install a new fan switch.  
  • Worked in my flowers and I'm finally seeing progress that I like
  • Created an antler "sculpture" and placed it in an empty spot in the yard
  • Went to meditation
  • Bought a silk hippy maxi skirt
  • Went to see Moonrise Kingdome - loved it
Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.