Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pleasant Mornings

A perfect Saturday morning would be getting up early on my own time.  No alarms, no dog whiney's, no urgent bladder moments.  I could get dressed in long pants, my favorite Tee, broken in shoes, and a comfy hoodie and hit the trail for a good morning walk/jog.  Oh yeah, with my trusty husband at my side.  We would do our six miles, come home, cleanup, maybe go out for breakfast and spend the rest of the day chilling and watching movies while snuggling on the sofa with the fur babies.

Yes, that would be great.  Of course that's not how my morning played out but the reality version wasn't half bad if you look at it from another angle. Maybe squinting on some parts and definitely stretching the blessings on others.  Thanks to a marathon reading of  'Water for Elephants', I got to bed at about 2am.  Sofie had to go and whined for a half hour before she did that annoying screeching let-me-out drama bit.  Instead of throwing on workout clothes, I pulled on okay-smelling yoga pants from the floor, slipped on fleece-lined moccasins, pulled on a fleece jacket over my granny gown and let the dogs drag me out into the crisp cold.  I was chilly and mighty nice.  Because they had to wait past 7:30, the pups didn't waste any time doing their business and we were back inside in no time.  I was still sleepy so I told them to go back to bed.  Surprisingly they did.  I pulled off my getup and got back in bed.

I slept another hour or so until my mind could no longer tell my body to stay put.  I lay there making a list in my head of all the things I wanted to get done today.  When that happens, no more sleep can be had so I rose and officially started my morning.  I put crescent rolls in the oven and the kettle of water on the stove.  Before long, the place smelled of freshly baked bread and the kettle was whistling.  I poured myself a cup of tea, buttered a roll and sat down to watch some HGTV.   I forgot to mention the husband is still suffering from a treacherous cold so is still in bed.  The cold is just a cold but he's a guy and claims its the worst cold in the history of colds.  So, I snuggle under the throw with a dog on either side. 

So it was no perfect morning but rather pleasant.  Trying to get in the habit of locating the blessings in my sometimes crazy life, I have selected just a few that made this morning worthwhile.

1.)  Crisp fall air is wonderful after a super crazy hot summer.  It's like a long exhale. Nice.
2.)  Even though I didn't get up on my own time, it was still nice to not wake until light poked around the shades on the window.
3.)  I can't tell you how much a teakettle whistle on a cold morning excites me.  It's a tea-fan thing. Strange, I know.
4.)   Freshly baked anything, on a cold morning, with good tea.  Oh yeah...
5.)  Comfy PJ's (gown), thick socks, fleece throw, swallowing sofa, and a warm dog for either side makes for a pretty good relaxing moment.

I'll take this morning any day.  If things continue this well, maybe I'll get in a workout later and scrounge up a friend or two to have lunch with (leaving the ill Baby home of course).  I'll just go where the day takes me.  Have an awesome weekend!

Quote of the Day:  “October is a fine and dangerous season in America . . . a wonderful time to begin anything at all.”  ~Thomas Merton Quotes

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some Kind of Wonderful

I had a good day.  I got system access and finally felt like I was pulling my weight around the office.  Everyone was buzzing about the threat of cooler weather.  This prompted pumpkin latte flavored coffee scents in one corner and french vanilla coffee in the other corner.  The warm cinnamon rolls waiting on the empty desk just made it all the more sweet.  Definitely a sugar and caffeine buzz worthy environment was going on.

To top it off  there was quite a conversation in the break room today.  It had a lot to do with some woman wearing a fat suit on TV.  I've tried to remember as much as I can.  It went something like this:

Co-worker 1:  'One of the Housewives are going to be wearing a fat suit.'

Co-worker 2:  'Why?'

Co-worker 1: 'To stop bullying or bring awareness to being fat or something.'

Co-worker 2: 'Huh....'

Me (sarcastically): 'Well thank goodness!  Finally someone that's going to really show what it is to be fat for a few hours and then take it off and then tell the world how mean people are.  Finally, the world will understand!'

Co-worker 1 and 2:  (laughter) 

Co-worker 2: "I've been overweight for at least 20 years.  I even know why.  No, I wasn't molested.  I wasn't unloved by my parents.  I wasn't picked on in school.  I was even a cheerleader at 195lbs believe it or not.  This at a time when thin was totally in.  My parents taught me how to respect myself but we all loved to eat.  Everything was a celebration with food.  Good grades? Food.  Graduation? Food.  Birthday? More food.  I loved it.  Still do."

Co-worker 1:  "When these people go years with a regular job that barely makes ends meet, kids that need this and that, figure out how to prepare a nutritionally balanced meal on a budget with little or no time, then tell me how unfair being overweight is. Not to mention the aches and pains that go with being overweight.  Ain't no fat-suit going to give them that.  Try working 6 months and losing 50 lbs (the hard way), getting an injury because that buff personal trainer didn't believe them when they said they couldn't do it.  Not being able to afford to have it properly looked after and the only advice given was to 'rest'.  Try doing that and gaining two-thirds of it back after a couple of months of no activity. "

Co-worker 2 and me:  (silence)

The conversation went on like this for a while.  There were some really good points made.  One woman admitted that she had never had a weight problem and would never claim she knew how it was to be fat.  Another corrected her saying fat was insulting and that she preferred 'overweight'.  This brought on a whole knew conversation.  I'd say this was one of the more stimulating break room/water cooler conversations I've heard in a while.

It was definitely a better day and I walked away from work feeling like a real adult.  I actually got some work in, had good conversation, and drove home with the windows down welcoming the cooler weather. I even crooned to some Barry White, Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross.  Needless to say, I was happy to see my hubby when I got home...even if he was stuffy, sneezy, feverish and whiny.  I hugged him, made him tea and made him get in bed.  I took the dogs on a walk as the skies finally started to gray and temperatures dropped.  I was just as excited by the change as they were.  We went to the empty field behind the warehouse near us and ran and played a while.  What a day!  Can you tell I'm really loving my life right now?  It's some kind of wonder....yes it is!

I hope you found some joy in your day.

Quote of the Day:  "I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life." ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And I Smile

It's been an OK kind of day.  You know the days where it would have been awesomely spectacular if that one, itty bitty 'THING' didn't claw it's way ahead of the good crowd?  It made it's way to the front of my mind and yelled and shouted and made a bit to-do about nothing.  It was just ridiculous doubt (I call it Ricky D) that I created out of a five minute blunder.  Well, Ricky D collided with Perfection Me and there was a rumble.  It lasted all of 30 minutes before Optimism broke it up.   Took some doing but Ricky D went back to his corner and Perfection Me back to hers.  I just love it when Optimism is the referee in those matches.  Everyone comes out feeling much better.

Well, my optimism made me feel like alright.  When I'm feeling the tug o war between those other two, I have to really work at filling that space with something else.  Why not some feel good moments?  So, on my drive home today, I got to thinking about the things that made me smile this week.  I'm sure you are dying to know what they are so I will just tell you.

1.)  Sofie's crinkle 'mean' face when she's stalking a bug and Baxter's 'I'm confused' head tilt as he's watching her and trying to figure out what she's doing.

2.)  My husband's terrible attempt at telling a joke.  It almost always gets lost in translation.

3.)  A good friend of mine has twins; a boy and a girl.  She regularly posts pics of them on Facebook.  They are the most darling kids I've ever seen.  (That's saying something considering I'm not always taken with little ones.)  I have yet to meet them in person but I have to plan that trip.  I have to got see if they are really that cute or if she just has an amazing talent for capturing that 'something' in her photographs.  Anyway, I see those pics and I always smile.  Still so happy for her!

4.)  I did a DVD workout before work today and was smiling from ear to ear after realizing I finished a full 50 minutes without stopping.  Hells yeah!

5.)  Getting a text from a friend (in the middle of the workday) that reveals a very amusing fact about an old friend, a pole, single dollar bills.....

6.)  Getting out of my car, smelling wonderful aromas in the air, opening my front door and realizing that aroma is the result of my husband cooking dinner for us. 

So I'm smiling and will keep on smiling.  What made you smile today?

Quote of the Day:  "What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable." ~Joseph Addison

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tackling Terrible Traffic Tempers

I started the new job yesterday.  Don't ask how I like it yet because I haven't actually done any real work yet. Well, if you include filling out new hire paperwork, I did tons.  I can say I like the fact that there is a gym (with classes), a track and a cafeteria with an awesome salad and fruit bar.

Anyway, the new commute takes me roughly 35 minutes.  Not much of a commute to some but considering my last commute was a mere five minutes, the morning drive seems like an eternity.  In those thirty-five minute of driving yesterday, I was tense, stressed, and so annoyed that once I got to work, I was exhausted. 

Last night I vowed to made today different.  I woke up early and stocked my bag full of new and upbeat music.  I decided that if I have to sit in stop and go traffic for a half hour, I was going to find someway to enjoy it.  The traffic was even worse this morning than it was yesterday if that's even possible.  I tried to document this madness but there was a motorcycle cop in the lane next to me and I didn't want him to mistake snapping pics for texting. 

By the time I hit the freeway, I was singing at the top of my lungs.  Heck, I think I even mastered Busta Rhyme's rap from 'Look At Me Now.'  Lol.  Well...maybe not but I put in words that rhymed.  The point is that I reached my destination less stressed than I was yesterday.  I'm going to consider this my Mad Morning Meditation. 

Quote for the Day:  “There's no half-singing in the shower, you're either a rock star or an opera diva.” ~Josh Groban

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Creepy Kids

I like kids.  I really do.  I just want to make sure you know this before you read on.  Got it?  OK. So, I was in the library and came to a stopping point to read the summary on a book.  While I'm standing there, a book slides out and falls to the floor.  I look at it and pick it up and put it back. I continue reading.  Another book slides and falls.  Hm....?  I leave it and read on but by now I'm distracted and still thinking about the books.  I'm distracted because I'm a little weirded out.  Now, I don't watch scary movies because I am the biggest chicken around.  Not because the movies themselves are THAT scary but because I have a larger imagination than those writers can ever think of.  Therefore, what's not in the movies happens in my head and scares the crap out of me. So, the fact that these books keep mysteriously falling off the shelf had me thinking all sorts of October-like things.  Ghosts?  I shutter to think of them!  Again, I'm a chicken.  Keep that in mind while you continue to read.

I finally decide to move to another row.  A third book slides and falls.  This time it's directly in front of me.  At this point, I get a chill.  No, it didn't suddenly get cold there. I was just sort of freaked out.  I decide that was all I could take.  I went to put the book back in it's place and there is a face there.  A kid.  OK?  I decided to ignore the kid.  But the little freakish face kept appearing in every gap.  Finally I had to tell myself to calm down.  The only way I was going to get over this was to speak to the kid. I looked back down (it was a lower shelf gap) and she was gone. I turned to leave and discover she's just standing there at the end of the aisle staring at me.  She looks to be about 8 or 9 years old.  Then she finally speaks.  She says, 'Am I freaking you out?'  I immediately say, 'Hell yeah!'.  She giggles and runs away. 

I lost interest in finding a book and went in search of my husband with that kid still on my mind.  As I was searching, she came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. I yelled an expletive (luckily at a whisper) and turned around to see her and another girl. She introduced herself at Journey and her sister who I can't quite remember.  They said that I was the only one that indulged in their little game.  She actually said 'indulge'.  She also asked if I was really scared.  I 'indulged' and told her yes, they were freakishly, creepy kids.  They seemed pleased, and said it was nice to meet me and ran off.

Yes, I like kids.  Kids seem to like me.  But I've since learned that some kids freak me the hell out!

Friday, October 21, 2011

WBE 11th Annual International Fair

Last night the husband and I participated in the Community International Fair held at the Elementary School.  It was our first time so we didn't know what to expect.  It was quite awesome!  I was pleasantly surprised.  The community was so supportive that the turnout was huge.  So many different countries were represented and the children were blowing my mind with their knowledge.  They had a 'passport' in hand to be stamped for each booth they viewed.  Surprisingly some of the kids were telling the parents where the countries were on the map. Ours label showed Ivory Coast but on the map it showed Cote d'Ivoire.  A lot of parents were searching for Ivory Coast but the kids quickly let them know the map labels it in French.  I was so tickled.

My husband did most of the talking and let me tell you, he was a freakin' superstar.  He surprises me with something new each day.  He was so passionate out making sure everyone learned something about it when they stopped.  And so many people commented to me about it.  If they learned nothing else, they learned that Cote d'Ivoire was the leading producer of cocoa.  At one point he left me alone to go and give his music to the people in charge.  Well, this had me nervous because I didn't have the knowledge he did.  What really surprised me was when people would come up and say, 'Your husband's dancing was awesome!'  I had no idea he was somewhere dancing.  Again, he surprises me.

I was so impressed with every booth.  Some to note were the Japanese Dragons and their Sushi Bar, India and their impressive Henna tattoo artists, Italy and their pizza dough tossing, England and the fabulous hot tea, and Mexico with the great food.  As I said, I was impressed by them all. 

We look forward to doing it again next year. These are just a few photos from last night. Enjoy!

Cameroon guy and my husband (Cote d'Ivoire) soccer debate.

Can't get this pic to flip. But the tea was awesome!

My hubby doing his thing!

India was very popular. The girls all loved the henna.

South Africa was very informative.

No, I didn't try the shrimp chips.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Challenging Morning

Some mornings just start off going in the wrong direction.  Those are the mornings when I rise and just feel an irritation for darned near everything.  This morning it happened again.  I woke up feeling pretty good and noticed light peaking around the curtains.  I looked at the clock to realize it was 7:30 and the dogs have not even so much as whined.  The husband is not there so I'm guessing his killer cold is still keeping him awake. 

I finally got up and found him watching the news.  He said good morning with a smile (an indication that he is feeling pretty good).  I asked if the dogs had gone out and he said no, he forgot.  I was immediately annoyed and silently slip on a sweatshirt over my PJ's and some shoes and head outside.  Sofie decided she'd rather play with a ball than do her business.  Frustration for me.  I had to chase her to put the leash on to come back in.  Baxter decided he would only be forced out of his crate.  I had to pull his blanket out (with him still sitting on it) before he grumpily and slowly (deliberately) walked to the door.  Then the little fart took his time to find just the right spot.  Needless to say, I was beyond annoyed with him.

When I finally got back in realized I was hungry and decided on toast and tea.  I put on the kettle and for some reason decided to put my toast under the broiler at the same time.  While waiting on the whistle, I went to check my email.  About 2 minutes later, the smoke alarm screams.  Not thirty seconds later, the kettle whistles.  Baxter bolts for the bathroom, slamming his little head into it because it's closed.  Sofie starts barking because Baxter's yelp freaked her out.  When it was all said and done, I had burnt toast (my final slice of bread), a whimpering dog and one that wanted just as much attention.  Through it all, the ailing husband who had since gone back to lie down, stayed in bed.  *Sigh*

After scraping my toast I sat down to a pitiful looking breakfast.  I tried to improve it by squirting whipped cream in my black tea.  That helped a little.  The look of cream floating on a hot beverage does something to soothe me.   Anyway, knowing I had a lot of things to do, I headed out early to get gas because I was almost on empty.  Sadly, my frustrations for the morning were not over.  I used my ATM card to pay for the gas and I always choose to receive the receipt.  Well, I don't know that I've ever mentioned that I have a longstanding grudge against any station that is too lazy to fill the receipt dispenser.  It blinked asking if I wanted the receipt, I pushed yes and it rudely reads 'Clerk has Receipt'.  I hate this.  I hate it with a passion.  If  wanted to walking into the store, I would have payed with cash!  Fill the stinking receipt dispenser!

I had intended to make a quick stop at the grocery store to get bread, milk and butter but after this, I decided I should just come back home and do a start-over.  So now I'm sitting here watching Good Morning America and they are showing the 'My Dog Is Better Than Yours' contestants.  Because the dogs aren't cooperating, they now have little kids in Halloween costumes fetching the balls. It's amusing.  I'm sipping lemon tea.  It's good.  My shoulders are no longer bunched in frustration.  I'm starting to relax. 

It's going to be a good day.  I just know it!

Today's quote leads me to believe that I'm not average at all.  Most of my mornings are rather pleasant.

Quote of the Day:  The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible. ~Jean Kerr, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, 1957

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cover Preference

I've discovered something about myself.  I'm not the best person to ask if you are trying to recall who the artist is on the radio.  You see, I don't follow actual artists.  I do like the songs.  More often than not, I know the song and can probably sing it word for word but have no idea who the actual singer is.  Sadly, there is an even larger issue at hand.  I like covers.  Sometimes I like the covers much more than the original artist version.

I learned all this while listening the radio on my mp3 while trying to complete an hour on the treadmill.  I've come to a point in my journey where music track/treadmill workouts were no longer working.  If I'm tired and have little motivation, listening to the same songs over and over only serve irritate me.  Of course that never actually moves me to change the tracks. *Shrug* 

Anyway, I was tired of the same songs and of walking and getting nowhere.  Knowing getting off the treadmill will surely get me nowhere with my milege goal for the week, I decided to try listening to the radio.  This is when I figured out I actually knew the song but it just didn't sound right.  I was thinking they weren't singing it correctly.  Then it dawned on me.  I only knew the cover version I heard on youtube.  I listen to youtube a lot when I'm writing or just bored.  Seems I've gotten attached to it.  But on the chance that I ever end up on a gameshow needing to know the original artist, maybe I should consider listening to the radio a little bit more.

Oh well. It is what it is. I'll leave with one of my favorites. Karmin.

Quote of the Day: "There's no half-singing in the shower, you're either a rock star or an opera diva." ~Josh Groban

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh Yes It's Ladies Night!

I admit it. I'm a recluse.  OK...that's a bit dramatic.  But I stay home a lot.  Why?  I just don't have a lot that interests me right now.  OK...that's not really true either.  I'm just lazy.  My husband is surprised that I stay home so much.  He never really noticed it before because while I was at work, he was gone and then when he was in school at night, he didn't realize I was lazying on the sofa.  Well, now he knows.  I think he was beginning to believe I was suffering from depression.  I quickly squelched that idea.  I told him it's not really depression but more like laziness.  Yes, I can be very lazy if given the chance. Luckily, I have him to make me at least feel guilty for it.  He doesn't have to try.  In fact he discourages such talk.  To him me telling myself that I'm being lazy is an excuse for not doing something.  Well?  Isn't that lazy?  

The cupcakes. Pretty huh?
What I do know is that tonight I got up and socialized and it was good.  There was a Ladies Spa Night event being held here at the complex.  I didn't even know about it until yesterday.  Guess I should have actually read the flyers, emails and postcards the complex sends out.  Anyway, I read it and called to get information on it.  They said they only invited 20 ladies and I was on the list.  Hm...?  It just so happens I was dying to try a new cupcake look and this would be the perfect place to get rid of the trial run.  Perfect!  It said to bring your favorite wine and/or an appetizer.  Mine wasn't exactly an appetizer but what woman can resist a chocolate cupcake?  None that I know.  So I went with it.

Unfortunately, I didn't time my day correctly and I ended up rushing around to finish it. I picked up a bottle of $5 wine (that they all seemed to know and love) and found a reclaimed sandwich tray to put the cupcakes on.   I took a couple of snapshots and was out the door 15 minutes later than the start time. Luckily I had a swipe key to go in through the back door.  I showed up and everyone ooh'd and ahh'd over the cupcakes.  I must admit, they were kinda cute but I knew they weren't my best so I couldn't even bask in the to-do.

Cupcakes aside, I had an awesome time.  I met several ladies, got my hands exfoliated and moisturized, sampled too much wine before eating and got roped into catering the next ladies night.  Oh!  I also hit it off with a new Mom there that had so much in common with me that we had to make sure we weren't somehow related.  I found out she has a down syndrome daughter and they will be doing the Buddy Walk Sunday.  They same walk I've been excited for all month long.  We are even planning to do the Komen Race together.  It was so crazy but so much fun.  I'm glad I went and was very proud to announce to my husband that I have 2 new events on my calendar.  He beamed with pleasure.  Or maybe that's just what the wine made me see.  I'm no longer tipsy so I think he's quite happy that I actually got out and had a good time.  Or maybe he's glad he's off the hook from going everywhere with me.  Humph!  All he has to do is say no.  Ha!  Yeah.  Even I don't buy that I would be OK with that.  Oh well.

I guess I will go and spend some time with him and the puppies before I settle down with a book in bed.  Hope you all have a wonderful night.

Quote of the Night:  A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. --Coco Chanel

Monday, October 17, 2011

Good Endings

So, I finally cheered myself up. Sort of.  I decided to concentrate on other things.  I'm listing five things I'm very thankful for today.

1.)  Waking up after an awesome night's rest. Compared to my suffering husband it was awesome.
2.)  Finding the will to find things to keep myself busy.
3.)  Still being able to look at my husband and have my heart skip a beat. does that on the regular but still...
4.)  I'm very thankful for the way I was raised.  My parents did a hell of a job.  I'm feeling very grateful after having witnessed a strain of family ties regarding my in-laws.  So very lucky I was raised in a family that believes in ironing out problems w/o so much drama.
5.)  And finally I'm thankful for an uneventful day.  Sometimes we say we want excitement but when that excitement brings problems you weren't expecting, it's not so shiny and new.  Again, I'm OK with a simple, quiet, plain and to some, boring, day.

Have a heck of a good night!

Pity Party

I'm sitting here having a small pity party.  Just me and Baxter.  The other two (Hubs and Sofie) are in a benedryl induced slumber after having suffered all night.   I'm anxious and patience is lost on me. When I get this way, I just want to lie around and give in to it.  This morning I'm struggling to pull myself up by the bootstraps, trying to shake off the dust of worry and get back in the saddle of optimism.  Life can get to me sometimes but I know from experience I need to just get over it and look forward.  'But it's hard,' whines my spirit.  I tell that spirit that having peace and happiness is worth the struggle.  Yep....

Quote for the Morning: When you find yourself overpowered, as it were, by melancholy, the best way is to go out and do something. ~John Keble

Sunday, October 16, 2011

32 Candles

Before I got to sleep last night the husband and I decided to have an early morning 'date' and go out for breakfast.  Sometimes things just don't go our way.  He was up at 3a.m. pitifully sniffing,sneezing, coughing and sighing (which is his way of whining).  In other words, being a man. I did finally get up and get him some cold medicine, nasal spray and checked him for fever.  Lord knows this might be the reason I don't have kids.  God gave me someone to look after in the same way.  Well needless to say, we didn't make the date.  In fact I got up and put the kettle on and made us both toast, tea and egg whites.  He went back to bed and I (being one who like to avoid illness) made myself comfortable on the sofa with a book I picked up yesterday.

The book is 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter.  I started the book at 8:30 am and finished by 12:30.  It was that good.  It's been while since I've read anything that held my attention like this one.  The book was smart, funny, and honest.  Davie is the Afro-wearing, educated, southern, nerdy type that I can relate to.  The only thing I didn't like about it was that it had to end.  This is Ms. Carter's first novel but I have her on my list of authors to read now.  So Ernessa, please, please hurry up and write another book!  I may have to seriously consider crossing another 'To Do' item off of my Mighty Life List.   That item being to host a book club at my home and this book will be the first to review.

Now that I'm done reading, I guess I should find something else to keep me busy.  Hope you all have a great Sunday!

Quote of the Day: You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Feets! Don't Fail Me Now!

Since I've been feeling a little anxious about jobs, money and being bored, my workouts have been inconsistent and half hearted. Every now and again I will get all motivated and pull a 45 minute workout but let me tell you, they are usually far from hard. When I do them it's usually out of guilt. Sad...I know. The husband is working all day and then playing basketball or his petanque with some new guys so that has been taking him away from our evening workouts. This leaves me sitting at home doing everything but working out. So when he suggests a workout I'm usually up for it.

Today he decided we needed to go back to doing our 6 miles.  The summer reduced our walks down to three or four due to the extreme heat.  Good thing too because in that heat, two miles felt like five.  But with cooler temps comes his motivation and I just follow right along.  He came home and asked me if I wanted to walk.  I said yes without even thinking about it.  I think I mentioned before that I rarely say no when he suggests any sort of workout. Sometimes I can just kick myself for answering without thinking.  Actually I was thinking but it had little to do with the workout.  I hadn't seen him all day and just wanted to spend time with him.  This turned into a grueling type of togetherness.

This walk started out harder for me than I care to admit.  You know how it is when you just really aren't into it and have to force it?  That was me.  I kept thinking things like, 'I wonder how long this will take?' or 'Am I really this far out of shape?' and even 'I think I feel my butt giggling more than ever...I've gained a ton of non-working-weight.'  With each new thought the distance ahead seemed to stretch further out of reach.  I did not want to be doing this.  We got about 2 miles into it when he said, 'Let's stop by to see Kathy.'  Kathy is the friend who's dog and rabbit I've been tending.  She came back last night.  Since it was on the trail, we stopped and chatted with her.  I would be lying if I didn't admit that I only wanted to stop to take a break.  Fifteen minutes later we were back on it.  He wanted to continue on the path that we never take.  I said yes only because my mind was not calculating the distance correctly. I thought it would be shorter than retracing our steps. 

Seems he must have misjudged his fitness level because by the time we hit four miles, he was just as silent as me and I could hear his exhale with every step.  Just when I thought it couldn't get any harder, we hit freshly laid gravel.  Thick and loose and ridiculous.  We trudged ahead and all I could think was, 'My feet are going to fall off.  I wonder what I would look like with no feet.'  Yeah...this mind of mine gets weird when I'm tired.  The thing about an outdoor walk-out is you always have to keep going.  There really is no turning back so you've got no choice but to keep going.  By the time we hit the park, we were at 6 miles and had a decision to make.  Earlier we'd agreed that if it was dark by the time we got there, we would take the sidewalk along the main road as it had the streetlights.  It was out of the way and would add probably a half mile to the trip.  We were so wiped we just looked at each other and pointed to the opposite direction (pointing because we were too tired to talk).  This meant we would have to walk the trail lit only by those pitiful little guide lights. 

This is off subject but I just want to say that I don't understand how parents allow their eleven or twelve year old kids to be on this trail at night.  We saw three of them and apparently weren't the only ones commenting.  This couple stopped and told them it was not safe to be on this trail at night and maybe they should be heading home.  Bravo for them! 

Back to the walk.  We finally made it home and I'd say the last half mile we picked up our pace and felt pretty good by the time we made it inside.  Surprisingly we completed 7.5 miles.  I claimed the shower first and it didn't want to get out. When I finally did, my skin felt wonderful having gotten rid of the sweat and trail dust. But one thing I've learned is the water washes away the sweat and dirt but it is quickly replaced by achy feet, sore calves and stiff back.  I'm sure I'll feel the relief of having done it tomorrow. 

It's a terrible thing to finish up a walk and not feel that refreshing energy.  Or maybe it's just my negative mind overriding the high.  Probably. I see now I need to get back on a schedule quick, fast and in a hurry.  I know another desk job is on it's way so I had better learn how to hit the gym at 5am again or else the desk chair will again add a spread I never asked for.

It's off to bed for me.  Bed at ten o'clock on a Saturday night never sounded so good.

Quote of the Day: “You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” ~Dr. Seuss

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Bright Side

There are some days when you just need things to go your way.  I would prefer this happen everyday but I know better.  I always appreciate when things go right, so I gotta have some of the go-wrong days to get that.  Anyway, I just want to rant a little bit about some of those unfortunate days.

First let's discuss this navigator business.  I've complained so much about how much I hate being lost.  Seriously I get lost coming out of Walmart if I don't take the time to note in which row I'm parked.  It makes me anxious.  If I'm invited to an event that happens to be in a location I've never been, I began to research it days before.  That's how anxious I am.  In the past I've googled, mapquested and memorized directions so that there is no chance of me driving around aimlessly.  That's good right? Well, more often than not, I still end up lost.  Sometimes I'm not even lost.  I just lose my nerve before the destination and convince myself that I must have missed the exit.  I must have made a wrong turn.  Google and MapQuest didn't tell me that Loop 1 and Mopac were the same. 

Yep.  I'm hopeless....or am I?  Recently I broke down and got a new cell phone.  I finally hung up the good old flip.  Don't laugh. It served me well.  Luckily, I'm the thrifty sort and realized it was not necessary for me to over pay for a phone only to have to turn around and pay for a data plan.   I went with a no-contract company and purchased a $69 phone with a $45/month plan. At the time I was only getting it because it had buttons (I'm not keen on the touch) and looked easy to use.  Well, wonder of all wonders, this one had a navigator. 

I have used the hell out of that function.  So much so that it gave me new confidence when going places I've never been.  Well let me tell you, this is not the best thing.  Why?  Well, sometimes a person can become overconfident due to the added ease of technology.  When that technology fails, what's an overconfident person to do?  I'll tell you what they do. They end up listening to the navigator repeat over and over 'Take the next legal U-turn.'  And where does that U-turn take you?  To the same damned field of nothing.  Yes there I was talking to my dogs who had since lost interest in this trip of ours.  I was trying to find this pet store that was offering low-cost vaccinations and heart worm preventatives.  I didn't bother printing out the directions I googled because the navigator seemed to be following the same route.  Oh!  Also, my sister was coming from out of town with her puppies too and guess what?  She called me saying her navigator kept telling her to make a U-turn and it was taking her nowhere.  See how technology can fail a person?!?  Luckily, we finally found it with the old school method of stopping at a gas station and asking directions.  I would have liked that to go my way from the get-go but in the end it turned out well.  My babies got vaccinations (including Bordetella) and six months of heart worm flea preventative for only $100.  I'd say that deal was worth the drive.

Well, that story went longer than I expected so I will just keep the remainder short.

I've been looking at $3.17 gas prices for the past few days but I wasn't in need of any so I just kept going. Since I've been making 2 trips a day to my friends apartment to walk her dog and feed her rabbit while she's away, my gas gage was dropping faster than usual.  Well, I decide to fill up today and everywhere I passed said $3.25 or more.  I'm very disappointed in the rise and the fact that I need it now.  I'm stubborn so I'm riding on a quarter tank right now hoping it will drop again.  I need it to go my way before I hit 'E'.

I finally decided to sort my clothes and donate.  This resulted in a very large and heavy bag of clothes.  I dragged it to the car and took it to the Donation Station.  The clerk was sitting outside.  I asked her if I needed to take the bag in or would she get it.  She pointed to the metal box saying I could drop it in the shoot.  Well, I looked at it and then at her.  She was not budging.  It didn't look as if it would fit. She said it would.  I struggled to lift it (she's watching) and guess what? It didn't fit.  But you know what else happened?  I remembered I'm suffering from shoulder bursitis.  The burning, shooting pain triggered my memory. The clerk said, 'Oh. I guess you can bring it in then.'  I got pissed and dropped it and told her she could take it in.  She looked surprised when I drove off.  That all should have been nice and easy and went exactly as I thought it would.  But it didn't.  On the bright side, my closet looks fabulous now.

And finally, as I said earlier, I'm dog and rabbit sitting for my friend.  Her dog is spoiled and I just trained it to walk on a leash.  The rabbit is good though.  Show it a banana and it comes running.  The dog?  He's coming around.  After a week, I was confident that he was starting to like the walks and was getting the hang of a poop and pee schedule.  Well, I was in a hurry yesterday and had to rush our walk.  He pooped early on and I only had the one bag so I used it.  I guess he wasn't done because on the way back, in the middle of the sidewalk, he decided to give in to nature once more.  I had no bag and I couldn't just leave it there.  I had to run with him dragging to a poop station for a bag and run back before anyone noticed.  I'm seriously ready for his owner to return.  My dogs are so smart and well behaved compared to this dog. Pooping on the sidewalk?  Seriously?

I think I've complained enough so I will try to work on the bright side.  The phone is great and the functions even greater.  The navigator has helped me find my way home on more than one occasion.  I have no control over the gas prices and no amount of complaining or delaying will stop my car from needing it, so I will be thankful that it's not higher and I actually have the funds to fill up.  This dog situation has been a challenge.  It has made me realize how good my dogs really are.  Some days they drive me crazy but if they were anything like this dog, I don't know what I  would do.  So I'm grateful for the go-wrong days because they clearly help me appreciate the go-right days.

Quote of the Day:  When things go wrong, you'll find they usually go on getting worse for some time; but when things once start going right they often go on getting better and better. ~C.S. Lewis

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Birthday

I've been stuck in a funk of sorts the past days.  Not down but just odd.  I've no energy to do much of anything all of a sudden.  Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I'm sitting around all day.  I stay busy.  Aside from the lack of motivation, I've actually had a few good days.  My birthday was awesome and laid back.  The days following were just as good and just as calm.  Forgive me but I'm just going to keep writing what's on my mind until I figure out how to say what I'm actually feeling.

Let me back up.  My birthday morning brought the surprise of a love note on my nightstand from the husband.   He also also made me breakfast.  He did the same thing last year but this time the letter came without any prompting from me.  He had to leave for the day which left me alone. Since my only non-working friend here had left for the airport earlier that morning and everyone was working, I had no companion who could help me celebrate.  I got an email from AT&T not to long ago that gave a free movie so I watched Bridesmaids. It was cute and mostly funny.  Then I got bored and restless and ate cookies.  I used the excuse that it was my birthday so I should be able to eat anything I wanted.  Smh....I know...I know....

About an hour or so after I finished the movie and the entire bag of cookies, my phone rang.  It was THE job I interviewed for.  Not the 'I-hope-they-DON'T-call-me' job.  It was the one I knew I wanted and could do well.  They wanted to know if I was still interested in the position?  Uh....hells yeah!  It was a conditional offer of course.  Backgrounds had to be run but I barely heard any of that.  I got THE job offer on my BIRTHDAY!!!  After I hung up, I didn't really know what to do with myself.  I couldn't sit still.  I danced around the living room with the dogs.  They didn't know what the deal was but I could tell they were having a good time. 

My husband came home early to my dancing.  I told him the news and he made me a lunch of Tilapia, Attieke, Tomato Ginger Sauce and Alloco which is basically fried fish, cassava couscous and fried plantains.  It was delicious and obviously more satisfying than the cookies.  We planned on going out do dinner later but when the time came, I wasn't hungry so we ended up going to The Yogurt Cup with friends instead.  It was just what I needed.  The company was great and there were plenty of laughs.  The poor clerk didn't know what to do with people our age hanging out and acting much younger than we were.  The place was dead and we had it all to ourselves.  A couple came in and ended up joining us.  It was an exceptional night.  As fun as it was, I was happy to get home and spend the last few minutes of my day with the husband.  He lit a candle and had me make a wish and blow it out just before midnight.  That was cute, creative and surprising so I told him so.  He said he saw it on T.V and thought that must be something American women liked.  Lol.  Sweet man but we need to talk about this 'do as they do on tv' thing. 

So yeah. That was my birthday.  Pretty awesome huh?  I like to count my blessings on this special day.  I got a love note, a free movie, me time, a job, a nice date (w/friends), a midnight wish and....I think you know. Lol.

Hm.  Seems I've just talked myself right out of that funk up there.  I always say even when I'm not looking, God just keeps on blessing me!  I'm very thankful.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Growing (B)Older

In a little less than 12 hours, I will be saying goodbye to another year of my life. At exactly 9:04am, I will be standing at the door of a new decade, raising my hand to knock (not quite crossing the threshold yet).  It's been another good one.  They've all been good I suppose but some better than others.  With each new year I get to look back once more at the past and see all the mistakes I've made, all the lessons learned from them, and how I've grown just a little bit more.  And no, I'm not talking about expanding waistlines.  Lol.

Up until a few years ago, I had a tradition of pulling out my journal and reading what I had been through the year before.  What I found was a lot of bitching, moaning, woe-is-me type crap.  I don't know what made me finally see it for what it was but one particular birthday it just occurred to me that's what it was.  Each of those entries seemed to be blaming something or someone for all the problems I had or all the things I didn't have.  But it was all me.  For all the blaming, there was not one entry made that mapped out a solution.  Not one. 

So I vowed to make a change and I did.  It was not easy changing habits that had been with me for years but the struggle was worth it.  It was the best move I could have ever made.  Since that day, I can honestly say I am a happier person.  Part of that change happened when I learned to start trusting myself and stop being afraid of failure.  I'm not as hesitant, I take more chances and I'm just a bit more verbal about important things.  My good friend Myrtle T. (who was 80-something when she told me this) said the older you get, the bolder you should be because at some point in life you just won't give a damn what people think.  I laughed at it then but oh how right she was! 

Now when I look back at the last birthday entry, I see words of thanks, some sadness, many challenges and tons of humor.  I gotta say I've had a wide range of emotions this year but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  I'm loving this here life and hope I'm using it up as much as possible.  Happy Birthday to me! 

Quote for MY DAY!:  'I wanna spread the news that if it feels this good getting used, Oh you just keep on using me.....until you use me up!' ~Bill Withers 'Use Me'


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Snug Returns

Don't you just love it when you go shopping for clothes and realize the last size you wore is a little more snug than it use to be yet the next size up is baggy and shapeless?  Oh you don't love it?  Well neither do I!  Not even a little bit. 

My husband convinced me to go shopping yesterday.  Anyone that knows me well, knows I am not a big fan of shopping for clothes.  I would have turned him down had he not pointed out that if I'm to be going on interviews, I should probably purchase something a bit more business casual.  He also added that I shouldn't be looking for jeans because I have more than my share of them.  I'm not sure if I've noted it before but when it comes to fashion sense, my husband is far better at it than I am.  I told him I have plenty of nice clothes and pointed out that he liked my last interview getup.  His response was 'It was nice but it kind of looked like your 'Sunday Best'.  I was speechless at first, standing there with my mouth hanging open.  Before I could speak, he added, 'It was good for the joy you were interviewing for but now that you have the time you should consider re-doing your wardrobe.'  I really couldn't argue.  That dress actually was my Sunday best.

So we went shopping.  I picked out some things and went to the dressing room with 5 pieces. I left with one.  Unfortunately, the size that I thought I wore no longer fit me the same way.  It was snug in all the wrong places. I grudgingly replaced it with the next size up.  Sadly enough, that size was just bad.  Every piece looked like it was swimming on me, too baggy or too long.  I tried to recall TLC's 'What Not To Wear Rules' for short, thick women but I couldn't find anything that looked just decent.  To please the husband, I ended up with a shirt and slacks (that he never got a chance to see on me).  I later learned that he didn't choose a pair of pants because he had the same problem.  We discussed our snug problem and decided we really need to get back to our schedule or else the next time we try on clothes, the next size up will be snug instead. This unemployment business is trying it's best to push me in the wrong direction.  I refuse to go back to the weight I was.  It's just too hard trying to lose it again.

I woke up this morning with a better attitude.  I worked out, ate a sensible breakfast and decided I really didn't like the shirt after all.  It was meant to show the waist and all it did was hang on me.  After the hubby left, I bagged it and returned it.  I tried a different store.  It was definitely a better experience.  I found a nice pencil skirt and a tailored shirt that looked interview worthy.  To make it even sweeter, I got them both at clearance price!  I still need shoes to bring it all together but I'm convinced I have something that will work. Well, that and I my stomach was clouding my judgement because I was so hungry.  I figured I had better call it a day before I decided it was OK to treat myself to a drive-thru meal.  I was good and came home and made a pretty delicious lunch .

I felt pretty good about my accomplishments today and have told myself that I will work on reducing the snug problem. 

Quote of the Day: "There is a way to look at the past. Don’t hide from it. It will not catch you–if you don’t repeat it."


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sheriff's Extravaganza

I got up this morning determined to take advantage of the nice cooler temps and do something outside.  At 7:30 I was running late.  I got up, took the dogs out and then got dressed to do some walking.  The husband had been up since 4am so he declined.  Instead of going outside, I ended up on the treadmill.  It was a good 3.5 uphill workout.  I like the inclines when I don't really want to spend too much time inside but still want a good sweaty workout.  It was good.  Later we had to run some errands before my husband left. By noon, I was prepared to spend the day doing much of nothing (so much for being active). 

Fortunately, there was the Annual Sheriff's Extravaganza going on across the street. The husband reminded me that I said I might go.  So I went.  It was OK.  I got a lot of information from the vendors there.  There was free food and swag bags.  I'd say it was very interesting.  Who knew the sheriff's department had so many modes of transportation?  No me!  And just a side it weird that there is a burn ban (including barbecuing) and there was a giant barbecue pit spreading delicious aromas there?  I guess no one was worried seeing as how it was next door to the fire station and there was a fire truck there for the kids to ooh and ahh over.  I had a good time.

I like to see these just like this as opposed to seeing them in my rear view mirror. 

 If they don't catch you by bike, they'll see you from above.

Then there is the speedy and sleek cars. 

   And if we ever get enough rain to fill a lake again, this surely would come in handy!

Then there is the super truck for the S.W.A.T. Team.  Impressive!

 Bet you didn't know there was a Safe House on wheels.  Me neither but it sure was interesting to learn.

Blurry demonstration of a sheriff challenging some kids to push-ups.  Pah!  He should have guessed the kids would beat him.  They have insane energy!

 Isabella the Search and Rescue Dog was sweet as she could be. 

I said there was food. I only sample a little.  This was fried oysters.  They were OK but I'm no fan of oysters.

There were several free drinks from vendors.  This one was one of my favorites from Genesis Today  which just happens to be here in Austin.

This was some type of spicy chicken ball from Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine.  I was pretty good. 

And let's not forget about the blood suckers.  I was not able to give blood but I was happy to see there were several people waiting to give.

So, I got my workout in plus got some sun and gathered some free informational loot.  I consider that a very productive Saturday.  Now to relax and get something in my stomach.