Thursday, December 29, 2011


  Bone tired. Very grateful. Good trip. Dad home from hospital.

I could easily end it there in favor of a nap, but I'll attempt elaboration. I guess quite a bit of traveling, lots of stairs, and 7 hours in a car take it outta ya, cuz I've never been so grateful to not have to turn around and go right back to work. I'm off til Tuesday. I could cry with relief.

My brain is slowly waking up. We're in the 2011 home stretch, and I'm a resolutions maker. There are very specific things I want to accomplish next year. It'll be a list-making weekend. We'll recover and turtle, for the most part. Decadence.

I got some really great pressies, and there's holiday money burning a hole in my pocket. But I'll give any purchases serious thought. This ain't the time for an impulse purse. I oughta squirrel it all away, as I anticipate OT disappearing in the new year and I don't like to think about how hard it is to live on just what I make. Les will be looking again next year, but that's a part-time solution when we have some big-ass goals in mind. So much thinking and planning to occur...

I never take enough pics at the holidays, but those two just get me...the niece in all her splendor. We got her the stuffed fox for Christmas, which was a definite hit.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Contemplative...and excited about Christmas!

Yes, I called it Christmas. Yes, I'm a pagan who normally says "Happy Holidays" now. I may be celebrating the Solstice today, but it'll always be the Christmas season. I mean, really, what's in a name? Sure, it's named after a particular story in the Bible that I choose not to believe in, but Christmas is so much more than that. I hope to celebrate Yule and St. Nicholas' Day in the future as well. Why not? It's about so much more than Christianity this month...there are levels of different faiths and the beauty of the Santa myth that demand this month of quiet contemplation.

The AHA moment came earlier today, when I realized that what I'm feeling, this quiet, this wanting to live more simply, making time for more at-home work like bread making, knitting, small spurred by the holiday, but indicative of how I wished I lived my life. I want so badly to slow down a bit, to rely a pinch less on technology for entertainment (yes, I just got a Kindle Fire, but reading a book is quite a different brain activity than harvesting 4 different frickin' farms on Farmville). I have too many time sucks in my life. This solstice season is going to be about assessing, taking quiet note of my life, and writing down specific areas for this "improvement".

I've been baking this week for the holidays. I come home from work and get moving in the kitchen. It's taking away from my TV time, but not necessarily my relax time. Not a bad thing at all. While I certainly want to do the bulk of the baking/cooking on the weekends, I understand now that it can be done and it doesn't have to require a holiday celebration to happen.

Husby's family is stricken this season; it sounds like they're becoming obsessed with worry about Dad's health. I understand where it comes from, but it isn't healthy, and I wish I could counsel them on letting go a bit. Instead I'll bring my good mood to SC and try my damnedest to help out while I'm there and spread the cheer. At least this year I'm not faking it. I'm in a good place, a real holiday mood for the first time in years. I pray it sticks around.

Happy holidays, y'all! Hug your families tight!

Image of greens on gifts from here. Other two images from here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Taking Stock

The Holidays. Need I say more?

Eh, I will anyway, you know that (::wink::).....Squeezing in 4 hours of OT this week between regular work, baking, and wrapping. Actually, that's a lie; the wrapping hasn't occured yet. Trying not to leave everything til Friday night, but my energy only stretches so far.

Not doing cookies this year. Seems unnatural, but really, with the traveling we're doing and as busy as I am right now, it's not worth the effort. Instead there's pound cake, and I hope to do peppermint bark and this nutella-sea salt fudge. We'll see...

Outside: I'm hoping the overcast conditions keep it from actually cranking up to 80 today. I fear I'm fooling myself.

Inside: low chatter, boredom, little sleepy...

Wearing: fat pants, brown shoes, blue top and favorite paisley over it.

Reading: A Simple Amish Christmas...sweet story. Gotta love Kindle freebies.

Creating: Ina Garten's pound cake the last 2 nights...prob 1 more night of that, then the candies.

Going: SC prob Saturday morning til Monday, then NC (via Spartanburg hopefully) til Wednesday, then home

For a holiday of peace, and prayers that next year we're in Spartanburg celebrating our own holidays for the first time, with simpler side trips to visit family. I'm a selfish girl, desperate for a house with a backyard for my future dog and garden.

Image from here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Random Thoughts during OT

In Melanie's world, there are piles and piles of books. And Starbucks. And giant pillow chairs for sitting......

I've made myself a career as an editor. I correct other people's writing. I can accept that I haven't written my great American novel yet, because I've been too busy correcting other people's writing and earning a semi-decent wage in the process. And lack o' lithium makes me scatty and easily distracted by the shiny. And because my great American novel is still trapped on a 3½ inch floppy. And it needed a serious edit 5 years ago.

Just one thing....can we do anything about how incredibly f**king boring it is?!

My job, not the novel....novel's quite witty actually...if I can ever get it off the f**king disc!

Admittedly, my sitch is a little unique. I work for the Henry Ford of website companies. We crank out semi-decent, mostly templated masterpieces by the truckload that small to medium sized businesses snatch up for around $100 a month, because it turns out this Internet thing isn't going away, and some salesperson told them there's a chance their profits could increase by utilizing this perplexing tool.

It is perplexing to lots of small businesses out there still...the number of sites we get, with notes like: "customer does not receive email" or "customer does not own computer" boggles the mind. How the frick do you own a business nowadays without a computer? We talking paper book ledgers here or just a serious aversion to receiving spam, viruses, and chain letters? I may cringe at how technology has taken over our daily lives, but I also freely admit to loving my Kindle, my Internet trolling abilities, and my nifty new cell phone, which isn't even "smart," (thank goodness) but does have a full keyboard for texting now. Yes, Husby and I have joined the texting craze. It's rather pukeworthy in its adorableness. How 2 people can be married for (...6, 7, 8...) 12 years and still render each other squishy with little love notes isn't something I ever want to question. But I digress...

I like to think editing would be different for a news source or a book or magazine publishing company. The stories would be ever-changing, if more depressing occasionally, and there'd be more of a feeling of having my finger on the pulse of our society. Or something.

But this "production environment" is for the birds. We crank out sites by the 100s these days. Yes, it results in a nice quarterly EBITDA; handsome, if pedestrian sites; and I certainly don't disdain my daily wage, the copious OT I've been getting lately, or the holiday bonus that I pray they're bestowing on we worthy (and weary) souls tomorrow...

But it's boring as dog snot most days, and the inability of the copywriters and designers to grasp their jobs makes us editors want to lay our heads on our desks most days, if only to keep from launching our monitors across the office in frustration.

They've also hired so many of us now (copywriters, designers, and editors) that we're sitting too close to the Copy/Design section, and eventually those poor souls (poor, not just for their inadequate writing and design skills, but for the fact that they make less than I do, and I can't imagine living on less than what I make) are going to hear us bitching about their substandard work, and the animosity will build between the teams again, making constructive feedback impossible. And then management will scratch their heads, not move any of us, and demand that we fix it amongst ourselves. Asshats.

I celebrated 12 years with the company this month. I'm just blowing off steam here....I'm on OT and a little brain-tired. In spite of my bitching, I'm immensely grateful for the experience I've gained at the .com and hope I can continue working with them, even if we move out of state. Economy doesn't play a role in my gratitude for employment (yea, OK, that's bullshit, no one's indispensible and unless you're the 1%, you're scared of the state of the economy right now). What I mean is we have a brilliant CEO at the wheel and he's surrounded himself with the right people. We've managed to grow exponentially in the last 5 years, when plenty of other website companies were passing away in the wake of Republican economic policies. That's nothing to sneeze at. It's a good place to work, albeit with the same frustrations you'll find at any office environment. I ain't that special.

But I am a good editor. And that knowledge has helped me recently, helped me let up on myself for not publishing before I was 30....or, ehem, 40 for that matter. I can't measure myself against those I admire who have managed it, to publish amidst careers, farms, small people, dreams (like Jenna, Ashley, you guys!). They have brains that produce lithium, as far as I can tell. I don't know when I'll be fully medicated again, but I do know that my reasoning for not being fully medicated right now is sound, and wrapped in far too much hope and prayer to sway from, until we are certain that all natural or scientific methods have been exhausted. Man, I'm digressing tonight...just shifted to babymaking, if you didn't catch that.

So I accept my scattered personality. That ain't easy, when you were raised by a perfectionist, but by the time you're my age, you also have to stop blaming personality quirks on your parents. I've been out in the world plenty, plus parents that die before their time in my eyes get an instant pass on the bullshit they passed onto you. It's only fair. Didn't put him on a pedestal, actually; just brought things into perspective. Shitty way to learn a life lesson though...if there is a god, she and I are going to have a serious chat when the time comes.

If you stuck it out through this post, you're a true friend and I appreciate the support. My addled psyche needs a release occasionally, and y'all know I'm just journaling here. I won't cure cancer with this blog, or win bloggy awards for my insight. But I enjoy the heck out of giving you, my loyal 6½ readers, glimpses into Melanie's world...reminds me I can still write, when it feels like the only writing I do lately is correcting grammar and punctuation on yet-another frickin' auto repair or construction site.

Images from,, and respectively. Links stopped working for some reason...must be telling me my post is too long ; )

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Taking Stock

The days start to rush now. How the heck is it mid-December already? We're brainstorming about gifts and have almost everyone figured out, but I fear the shipping issue will trip me up if things don't come together quickly.

I'm too much of a former musician to ever wrap my pressies in sheet music; just liked the pic. I do like the simple wrapping ideas...may broach the subject with Husby, because butcher paper with some stamps on it and a pretty ribbon would be more my speed. The middle pic just reminds me that I really need to own a pizelle maker, cuz those cookies rock!

Outside: warming up...trying not to let in the ache that comes with that...

Inside: scattered today, but Chipotle will hopefully help.

Wearing: comfy sweater, best pants and shoes on the planet.

Reading: the occasional sociology text (man, i love my Kindle Fire!), but mostly websites with gift potential.

Creating: pound cake and cookies this weekend...and hopefully outfitting wrapping paper with my own touches.

Going: nowhere til we have to.

Dad J went back into the hospital, then back out again. The chemo is definitely causing the latest symptoms, not that they're getting straight answers out of the docs to that affect. His lymphatic system can't drain the fluid fast enough, so it builds up in his body cavity. Not fun. It'll be a fast and quiet Christmas there, hopefully. Prayers that his quality of life improves. Grandma's hanging in there. We'll travel to SC Christmas Eve, stay til Monday, then head to Mom and Meara in NC til Wednesdayish, I'm thinking. Gotta nail that down. Lil Bro offered to check on the cat for us, and we'll take him up on it, but still don't like leaving her that long; plus we'll both be travel-fried by then. I am taking us through Spartanburg on the way to Charlotte. Just haven't told Husby yet >: )

Have a great week, y'all!

Images from here.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Taking Stock

Yea, I'm a day late...apologies to my 6½ loyal readers.

It's been a good week, really relaxing. I've been burning PTO, because at my company, it's use-it-or-lose-it on an annual basis. Spent the last 3 days mainly puttering around the house enjoying my new Kindle Fire. Downloaded a pile of free books, a couple of apps and games, and finally figured out the WiFi with Husby's help. Gotta thank Mom J for that sucker several more times; I'm having a blast!!!

There's a delightfully blonde story behind my WiFi woes. I had connected the damn thing last week, but for some reason it wasn't working. I had originally hoped that we could finally move the computer to another part of the apartment, thanks to the WiFi. However, the first discovery was thanks to Lil Sis, the fact that our computer's so old, it doesn't have a WiFi card. OK, no biggie, we can just hook it up for the Kindle. The diagram in the instructions was fairly idiotproof, but I still wasn't getting a working signal...

Sidebar: you know how it is with new electronic toys nowadays.....there's no paper instruction manuals anymore; they just give you a manual that's already loaded into the machine, that you can fetch up whenever you need to. So when I got the Kindle, I gave that a hard skim, but quickly disposed of a more thorough perusal because a) I wanted to play, and b) I'm pretty computer literate, even if this was my first touch-screen mechanism. Ego, thy name is Melanie.

So on Tuesday, after Husby had arrived home from SC and caught up on sleep, he took a look at my setup and deemed that it should be operational. But upon picking up the router, he made discovery #2...the tiny "Wireless" button that was covered up by one of those plastic sheets they put on screens and stuff...yea, wasn't pressed in. When you're looking at the router from a distance, it doesn't look like a button; it looks like a port for something, like earbuds or something. Don't ask me why I took the button to be an earbud we all know, routers don't exactly have "play" capability. I was doing a lot of OT last week, and the brain had definitely hit a wall.

OK, so after those discoveries, it should work, right? Wrong, still wasn't bringing anything up when I tried to access the web on the Kindle. So I begrudgingly admitted that it was time to give the User's Manual another perusal. It took maybe 2 minutes to discover that the reason it wasn't working on the Kindle was because I hadn't turned the frickin' Kindle's WiFi on!!! A quick trip into Settings, the clouds parted, my husband shook his head and sighed deeply, and I laughed at my idiocy for approximately 5 minutes...

That one's not even worth blaming on the lack o' lithium...Mom was blonde; it's a gene thing. Still pretty epic for me though, that level of dipshit.....

Outside: bliss...temps dropped last night, should be reasonable this weekend.

Inside: distracting...will be glad when people start leaving around 5 p.m., as I'm staying late tonight.

Wearing: my uniform (blue sweater, jeans, most comfy shoes on the planet)

Reading: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Plato's Republic, and a pile of other social theory-type books...def going through a phase, want to come up with an idea for a thesis, once I've plowed through a bunch of preliminary texts. Kind of going back to college again, without the college.

Creating: Did a fast knit last week of a Kindle case, and have ideas for a better one that will require the sewing machine. But my main creating this weekend will be holiday prep: pound cake, sugar cookie batters, and lists and crafting ideas to narrow down what needs to be made for whom.

Going: nowhere...really enjoying being at home right now.

Dad J starts feeling better. He's back in the hospital again. His symptoms flared up and it was time for his 2nd chemo on the new regimen, so they checked him in for pain management and monitoring. Sounds reasonable, but his quality of life ain't terrific right now, and they're talking about adding a pain pump outside the body, so any prayers are welcome...

My holiday spirit is growing slowly...we'll buy holiday lights and decorate a bit this weekend. I'm looking forward to being a bit more crafty this year. Normally I have great expectations and end up doing very little, but I really want to shift a bit away from the material and toward more handmade items for family. Baby steps, I know...and there are some family members that that just will never work on. Some people don't even get that baked goods should be considered part of the gift; they consider it "extra". But a girl can try.

Image from here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Image says it all

I'm so fickle. Can't stand how quickly this year went by, but I'm really digging that it's December.

Feels like a time of beginnings, for some reason. In truth, it oughta be the time of endings, of reflection and powering down a bit...but with Solstice marking the return of the Sun, I find myself looking ahead as usual, instead of looking back. Certainly, we can learn from the past; but I'm definitely in "go" mode right now.

Thinking about decorating a bit...have some small tasks to do around the house after OT tomorrow. We're completely out of Christmas lights, which sucks, as I'd love to string those around the apartment, but have to wait til next check. So I'll look thru the holiday box and grab stuff outside from nature for displaying.

Dad J improving. Husby comes home Monday. I'm off most of next week, burning PTO so I don't lose it. Gonna be a much-needed-and-deserved break.

Image from here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Taking Stock.....or Seriously?!?!

I get that I can be antisocial at times, but there are about 14 different reasons why tomorrow's a lousy day for a team potluck:

For example:

1. It's too fucking soon after Thanksgiving and no one wants to cook.

2. We all just paid rent with the last paycheck and have no funds for feeding others. Yea, OK, that's especially me...Husby's not gonna be back in town til Monday and I'm thinking of going stag to the company holiday party just for the free food....and I don't even like the food at TPC Sawgrass!

3. We're working so much OT, we don't have time in the evenings to be creative in the kitchen. They're gonna have to settle for edible.

I could go on, but I'll try to keep this rant under control. The boss threw 10 sites in my lap for completion by COB (an hour before my quitting time) and then told us 10 minutes later that the potluck was still on. Like the fact that I haven't signed up to bring something yet isn't an indication that my culinary juices are a little tapped right now...never mind that now I'll be in the office til at least 7 p.m. because I lose track of time in the evenings and don't know when to stop working...which isn't exactly a bad thing when you've promised them 10 hours of OT, but still...

There's also the irony of buying the ingredients for potluck pot pie along with a box of mac & cheese for myself, because I'll be too busy making my covered dish to feed myself properly...

Outside: blissfully, deliciously chilly!!!!! Not that I'm loving it or anything...

Inside: tech support's too noisy and i'm too ornery to put my iPod on...

Wearing: jeans, brown oxfords, favorite sweater, black scarf....if you look up me in the dictionary, I'm wearing this outfit.

Reading: Little Women on the Kindle Fire : )

Creating: a knitted case for the Kindle Fire

Going: to TPC Sawgrass Saturday night for the company holiday party...should be VERY weird without Husby : (

Dad J is headed home from the hospital as I write this. They loaded him up with antibiotics, drained a disgusting amount of fluid out of his body (seriously, you don't want the details...), and showed him the door. He was in there a full week, and I still don't think they got a straight answer about what caused all his ill health.

Husby's sis broke her foot this week. Grandma can't be left alone anymore. Husby's been a little busy up there. The fine line between your own life and your life within your family...that sucker would be a lot blurrier if we lived closer. Cheapest train he could get was Sunday/Monday. Good thing, cuz we're tapped here.

So, hoping I can figure out the Wi-Fi SOMETIME this week, get some small tasks done around the house before he comes home, and get my OT done by Saturday noon.

Image from somewhere on Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random distractions

Finally thawing about the holidays, I think....was listening to Bing's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas while we were buying our new phones on Saturday, and didn't have the urge to punch a baby.

Also starting to crave candy canes.

Can always count on the web to provide some truth, ah, I mean, snark about the holidays...

Have also discovered Pinterest. While I've yet to make it off their waiting list, doesn't mean I can't snitch stuff in the meantime...

What did I say?

Heh...practically have that now...

Sounds about right.....if being independently wealthy doesn't pan out, that is.....

Nerd porn, or a glimpse of the future? Time will tell....

And quite possibly the best crafty idea for the holidays.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks

I think this will definitely be a "count your blessings" holiday season. The economy demands it. You look around and think, at least I'm still employed, in reasonably good health, same can be said for most family and friends.....

We did go up to SC. By late Thursday, it was evident in the family tone that they'd benefit from our presence. Poor Husby fought it like the dickens, but he came around...and then fought staying like the dickens too. But he had to; Dad J's in the hospital at least another couple of days while they nail down what caused such a strong reaction to the latest chemo (was it the chemo itself, an infection on his immunosuppressed body, or something else?). While we wait for answers, it's good that Les is up there, as Mom's the only other driver in the family, plus Grandma can't be left alone anymore. They need the extra hand.

Trying to reconcile with the fact that in spite of how badly we need to be up there, closer to them, that it isn't going to happen fast. Especially if we're lucky enough to engage in IVF or some other form of fertility treatment.....I need to be realistic and patient. Not my fort├ęs, but I'll manage. I plan to drive us through Spartanburg @ Christmastime, and I'm also planning a trip up there next May.

So the first part of Thanksgiving was normal, but by the end of the night, we were packing and planning. Friday and Saturday were full of shopping, puttering, and hospital visit trips in Augusta. In anticipation of the heinous post-Thanksgiving traffic heading south, I was in the car before 12 noon Sunday heading back to Jax; but naturally, since I was driving, traffic was a dream...only 2 slowdowns, no major backups. We've had trips back before though, where I-95 is a parking lot the minute you get on the sucker, so the early escape wasn't unwarranted.

I miss the Husby, but the cat and I will survive. I have a spankin' new Kindle Fire to play with and plenty of OT to keep me busy this week. Head's screwed on pretty straight, and I'm taking days off next week to burn PTO. Something to look forward to.

Image from here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a start.

First, the good news: while Dad J was admitted to the hospital last night, he's doing a lot better. He had had biopsies last week in 5 different areas of his belly. Those spots are healing, but quite painful. Add chemo and he wasn't keeping down any pain pills, so he was f**ked. They checked him in, got the morphine going, and 10 minutes later, the ole life quality was improved considerably. They'll keep him there to stabilize him and release him hopefully later today. We may not even have to go up there; we're playing it by ear. I don't mind, of course; I'm most concerned about the car (we need an oil change and 2 new tires, which probably can't be addressed for one more check) and the cat (she's holding her own, but still her own little flea factory).

There are times when being mildly bipolar is a pain in the arse. When it mucks up my holiday mood is definitely one of them.

Thanksgiving is hands-down my favorite holiday. I spend the morning and afternoon cooking. I like to have the Macy's on in the background and the dog show after it. We don't travel; I just made it that way several years ago and we've stuck with it. Les smokes a breast out on the grill, I do a couple of side dishes and that pie. We visit family at Christmastime; Thanksgiving is for us.

Having those plans possibly mucked up, it nose-dived my mood last night. I brought myself back up by cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out the fridge, and baking some banana bread; my brain was settled after that. But I feel so selfish for even feeling mopey, even if it's normal for me, and not something I can completely control. Dad's fighting for his life, and I'm whining for possibly having to travel this year. There's a lesson here.

We're waiting for my Lil Bro and his wife to stop by before they go to their respective works, the grill is lit, and I'll start on the sides as soon as I post. Santa just made his trip down Herald Square. I guess the holidays are here, whether I like it or not. Can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Hug your families, folks; we're all pretty damn precious.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Stock

There's a saying that the Christians lean on in times of crisis: God never sends you more than you can bear. I wonder.

As of this post, Dad J is probably spending Thanksgiving in the hospital. The latest chemo is shredding him.

I had two epiphanies in the last half hour. One is that there really oughta be a 10-year gap between any parental units leaving us. Dad J's not dying, per se; thanks to modern medicine, he could be with us another couple of decades...we just don't know. But even with 4½ years having passed since my dad went ethereal, I'm still gonna be pulling from my reserves to be strong for Les during this time. You don't get over a parent dying, you learn to live with it. It still sneaks up and knocks my wind out. I always joke that I'm superwoman, working a full-time job, supporting us both, above and beyond is my middle name. It's why I try so mightily to take care of me, because I don't mind being that strong and don't want anything to interfere with my ability to be it. But damn.....the bravado gets rocked sometimes.

The other epiphany is that I simply can't let the next lease be the goal for us moving. We need to be up there now. Les needs as much time with his dad as possible, and our credit is just gonna have to suck it, because I'm getting serious about the move. I've targeted Spartanburg for its small-town appeal, mountains, proximity to both families.....just gotta find work. I get that that ain't exactly easy in this economy, but fuckit, it's gonna happen.

Outside: supposed to drop tonight, thank goodness

Inside: i'm at work, whaddayou think...

Wearing: Thanksgiving outfit: beige slacks, brown shoes, green top, excellent autumny necklace with a big-assed maple leaf at the center.....

Reading: Spartanburg Visitors Guide

Creating: sock

Going: SC, probably Friday

Hoping: anybody who reads this says a prayer for Dad J.

Hug your families. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm sorry, what now?

Got some serious short-timer's syndrome going on here this week. Relishing the thought of 4 days off in a row, and it's making it hard to get stuff accomplished at work. And a 5-day weekend, the week after that, to burn some PTO! Gods, but I'm ready for those breaks.

Pretty sure I'm not the only one with this problem...still...

I'm going through a phase where I get tired very easily of dealing with people. It started a couple of weeks back, with that crazy crowd when Santa landed at the Avenues...and mushroomed when I hit Publix for odds and ends last night. Hadn't brought my Thanksgiving shopping list, and glad I didn't, because I may have stuck around to do the full shop and only fueled my stress level.

The. place. was. mobbed. Aisles full of tired parents lugging equally tired kids, because for some inane reason, they didn't get the shopping done on the weekend and so were doing it "early", after work, school, ballet lessons, but before they were probably over-buying out of hunger and the kids were whining...

They should do studies about the emotional purchasing going on this holiday season, as people try to convince themselves that they're not as bad off as the economy is making them. Results would probably be rather sobering...

So I got home last night and said, there's no way I'm doing a repeat of that for our Thanksgiving shopping. But I work a regular job, and don't necessarily want to go without the car on a work day just for the luxury of having Husby do the's a control thing. So I got up early and hit Publix when they opened this morning, and I'm so glad I did! Place was dead, and now I can look over the menu plan for Thursday and see if anything's missing, and that's that.

I struggled with buying the turkey breast this year. Next year, we're going organic or not at all. Don't tell Husby...I'll break it to him gently. Nah, JK, he won't mind...I stood over the freezer, staring at rock-hard blob after blob of factory-farmed breasts and birds. They were quite a few mishapen ones, which could've been the way they were frozen, or could've been the way they were raised. They were larger this year too, in weight...I remember from year to year, because our grill can't handle much larger than a 6 pounder...and the breasts I was looking at were too damn big. Which is the crux of the damn factory farming argument, that we're breeding these poor animals to be so large that by the time they hit the chopping block, their legs can't hold up their bodies.

I'm finally reaching a point where I'm going to have to budget our food money much more carefully. Because I would much rather have purchased an organic turkey breast, but I didn't plan well enough to pull it off this month. We're talking $1.79 a pound versus $5.69 a pound. Worth every penny, but still....

But I also need to find the extra money for little differences in our diets, like almond milk for myself and cow's milk for Les; organic almond butter for me, JIF for him; Applewood's Organic Sunday Bacon over Publix pre-fried, microwavable. (we'll both appreciate that last one). I can't do this piecemeal organic thing anymore; my conscience has a real problem with it, and besides, the good stuff's way better for me/us and the environment.

So it's a pensive week, here at Chez Johnson. I'm cooking up some naughty and nice side dishes, and the apple butter pumpkin pie has been requested (demanded) again. The weather's giving me an incredible gift in lower temps that day. We'll relax, keep the windows open hopefully, and go nowhere near the stores on Friday. There's time for all that later.

Image from The Laughter Ward on FB...can't get the link to work.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I really didn't work all that much extra this week (8 hours), but the weekend has been feeling decadent in its lack of structure. I got back from work yesterday, ate and forced a nap, then made that hilariously easy and tasty McCormick's Chili. It was a puttering evening. The cat grabbed my lap for at least an hour and taught me something about sitting still.

Actually, there's plenty of structure to my day today, but the fact that I'm able to do what I want rather than work is what feels decadent. I'm going to the Y in just a bit; it's been far too long since my last workout. I'm planning a grocery shopping trip, mainly for Thanksgiving. I'm planning a fresh workout regimen and modifying my eating habits again. All that OT helped me fall off the wagon big-time, from eating red meat again to grazing on bad stuff. Changes have to occur.

My doc appt revealed good news and bad news: the cyst resolved itself, thank goodness, but the fibroids are growing. I'm ready to see a fertility specialist, made an appt; but eating a mainly vegetarian diet and exercising regularly have to improve things down there too. Making that appt for the fertility doc was such a shot in the arm, a ray of hope that I have no business rejoicing over, since my insurance likely won't cover it. But the people who say don't believe statistics...they need to remember that the damn numbers came from someplace scientific, and those numbers are saying I only have a 5% chance of conceiving naturally. I heard that number and something clicked finally. I'm a shark, always moving, always looking for the next step. That's the next step. How potential hormone injections will act in my already lithium-deprived brain isn't something I can worry about right now. It's worth it if it brings a child into our family.

It helps, having another reason for not trying for the supervisor position. In my boss's mind, I'm probably an obvious choice; been there almost 12 years, certainly have the skills. But I know I wouldn't be happy in that job, and that's what matters right now. This time, it isn't fear driving my appearance of cowardice; it's knowing I wouldn't be a good emotional and intellectual fit for the position.

Looking forward to the 3-day week. Will be nice to only work 8 hours at a stretch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taking Stock

I love polar bears.

Outside: Not November. Mid-80s and damp, muggy.

Note from after lunch: Not damp and muggy, but rather hot and breezy. There's a stiff wind out there and the sun's pouring mid-80s warmth onto my arms as I walk out to my car at lunch today. I must begrudgingly admit that it's gorgeous out, that I'm quite spoiled, and that I might as well suck it up and enjoy it while I'm marooned here another year. Still wouldn't mind seeing snow though.....maybe in the Carolinas @ Christmastime......sigh.....

Inside: Nose. Meet grindstone. Hello OT.

Wearing: short-sleeved sweater, jeans, most comfortable shoes on the planet. They're brown, they're butch, they're me : )

Reading: Crazy Sexy. Join the Reboot.

Creating: Harlot's plain vanilla sock. Pictures soon.

Going: nowhere til the December holidays

Some excellent news on the inlaw's homefront: Dad J's cancer was approved for full VA benefits! They're retroactively paying them from the point of diagnosis, back in June. Dad J's a Vietnam vet with 2 Purple Hearts, so this is the Marine Corps. way of saying thanks and sorry about the Agent Orange. Also, they're finally zeroing in on the point of origin of the cancer, which means changing up his chemo for something that will specifically target the bad cells at their source. Grandma's out of the hospital and hanging on, but starting to fade a bit more, so some special prayers toward her are appreciated.

I'm not taking good enough care of myself this week yet, but the wheels are turning in my head and the shift is imminent...

Image from here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Doing Right by Me ( infinitum.....)

My totem animal in the north, my earth guardian.

My wheels are turning today, and I'm headed back to the straight and narrow path that is veganism. I see that I have to make the effort. That the decrease in inflammation alone will make me feel so much better about myself, and allow me the energy I need to get exercising daily again. These dry spells of no Y time have to stop. OT or no OT, I'm certainly organized and intelligent enough to exercise and work an extra hour here and there without it shredding me. It takes effort, is all. I have to want it enough.

My foot's finally doing better, a combination of orthotics and good shoes. Plus I think I had a ganglion on one side that was causing the worst of the pain, because since I iced it down last week, the difference in mobility/pain has been marked, thank goodness.

So I'm running out of excuses again. I found another website, two actually, that combined with Kris and Alicia's books and the spare dough we're enjoying these days, really blow all my excuses out of the water. And you can really only realize that so many times before you get completely sick of yourself.

It's time to get juicing!

Image from here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Full of Promise Monday

Was determined to start the week on a good note.

So naturally, my sleep cycle sucked last night and I had to blow off working out in the morning, so that I'd still be useful at work and not inclined to mood swings of raging bitch.

Still, it was a good weekend, filled with small tasks and a bunch of relaxing, and I feel almost prepared going into what hopefully will be a heavy work week.

I joke about being a gaming widow, but I'm not really. Husby's time in Skyrim this past weekend was peppered with breaks and signs of gratitude. I'm not neglected.

Besides, that game looks so frickin' awesome, I'm thinking of checking it out...and I'm not an RPG player. Puzzles are about my limit...mah jong, alchemy...

I picked up an ancient UFO of a sock and turned the heel this past weekend, using the Harlot's plain vanilla pattern from Knitting Rules. FINALLY, an idiotproof heel-to-gusset pattern that doesn't make the sock look like it was knit by an orangutan when I'm done with it! Looking forward to casting on the 2nd one before SSS sinks in, because the yarn's comfy looking and self-striping, and will go great with my new shoes...

Poor cat still has fleas. We took her to our remarkably fairly priced vet, and are taking the appropriate measures to make her comfortable while she heals.

Bills are paid and there's mad money to spare, but 2 new tires on the horizon and holiday gifts to start gathering...

I'm thinking about the holidays without letting it overwhelm me. I'm not ready for Christmas music yet, that's for sure, keep changing the channel when those damn materialistic and overblown commercials come on. But I want to feel the season more this year and am hoping the gradual working up to it helps with that.

Also starting to brainstorm for Thanksgiving. It's my fave and I usually try a new dish or two.

Here's to a good week!

Image from here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Full of Promise Friday

Could be. Hard to tell. We don't have much planned, but things are shifting in my head in a good way.

I might be looking at SC again. Spartanburg offers town life, mountains, and good proximity to both families.

I'm thinking about soups and stews that will appeal to Husby. He's been eating less because of his teeth, and that's unacceptable.

I actually made a list last night! Could be the start of a trend.

Light-ish OT tomorrow, so planning lots of food prep and some more book unpacking this weekend.

Dad J's chemo is changing, hopefully in a good way. Grandma's back in hospital.

I'm going to walk this weekend. I'll hit the Y at least once. I'll be kind to myself.

Thinking of my favorite veteran today: my dad.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Taking Stock

I'm over at Dark Meadow today bitching about my fate, as usual.....lots of "time to make this happen!" talk and a really nice-looking sheep there, if you're interested...

Monday, November 07, 2011

A fan of Mondays?

I know, radical thought, huh? Like switching to decaf...or thinking of letting someone else in your party have that last piece of bread at the dinner table...crazy talk!

In my defense, I did wait until we were halfway thru our entrees before I snitched that last piece of bread Saturday stop looking at me like that!

ehem...digressed there, sorry.

My mornings are spent digressing...after I wrote that, I edited a FB page, found a lost blog and started catching up...and then realized I really should be working the next site, but it's hard because Jenna's post from this weekend really yelled at me in a good way that I want to reread and think hard about, if only I didn't have to earn me some money this morning...and wait, what was I originally writing about? Heather's line at the end of today's post...

:: Ready to start a new week, I'm such a fan of Mondays.

A fan of Mondays?!

::scratches head::

It's a good thing the coffee's kicked in today, or that line could have really annoyed me.

I talk about my weekends being "full of promise," but what about the promise of a new week? Harder to look at it that way when you're chained to a cubicle and a computer 8+ hours a day, but then again, isn't that when it's most important to shift your thinking in a positive manner? Especially when the weekend was taken up with important stuff that took me away from home.

I didn't get nearly the "me time" I'm used to getting on the weekends...but am I going to let work fluster me and set me spinning, or am I going to reclaim some "me time" this week and organize myself? We need decent meals in the evenings and a clean house; and in the past, the activity of this past weekend would serve as an excuse to blow the whole following week, with meals thrown together and devoid of care in planning, nutritional value, etc., and evenings spent in a TV fog. Bullshit.

The weekend was kinda wonderful. The OT fried my brain a little, but I got home at a decent hour Saturday, did some laundry and grabbed a nap before heading down to St. Augustine. We enjoyed a decadent dinner at 95 Cordova in Casa Monica for C's birthday, slept late the next morning, and dragged ourselves slowly out to a midafternoon lunch at Gypsy Cab before I headed back to Jax. It was a GOOD visit. She broke away from a long relationship this year and has a pile of healing to do, but getting settled down here, such as she is, is a really good start. I'm so proud of her!

Random thoughts: Floridians all suffer from seasonal affective disorder...give 'em more than 1 day of overcast, and they get all whiny. Also, I'm thinking I want to learn to play piano...I think it would really help my guitar playing, help bring my hands together on one instrument.

K, back to work...

Image from here.

Friday, November 04, 2011

This weekend..... a little packed, but I'm not going to let it throw me.

OT tomorrow morning, then St. Augustine in the afternoon. C has to work, but we're dressing up and going out to dinner for her birthday. Fancy hotel, scrumptious food! I'll sleep over and head back midday Sunday. Tonight I gotta do laundry, and in utopia, I'm baking zucchini bread to take down there....but I'm pretty sure that's a pipedream. Rest of Sunday will be chilling, prepping some food for the week, and thinking about the holidays.

I want to get back to eating healthy. Halloween completely smithereened any semblance of intelligence from my eating habits this week. We're still plowing through the leftover candy at work, and it's amazing how quickly you can slide back into the yuck habits. I even ate red meat! As if it was reminding me of how my beliefs need to push past my cravings, I bit down on a tiny, hard bit of something in my McD's double cheese, totally giving me the willies and reinforcing my desire to get off meat entirely, unless it's humanely grown.

Dairy continues to be a sticking point. When I was allergic to milk, I felt deprived, and when I outgrew that allergy in my early teens, I developed an appetite for what I'd been missing. I'd even go through phases in college where I craved it...literally ordered it at lunch once when everyone else was ordering their first adult beverage of the day. Granted, my eating habits were just as lousy back then, so it may have been my body telling me where I was lacking, but the point is I've enjoyed the flavor and fullness of cow milk for years, so weaning off it has been a seesaw at first. Plus, almond milk is it becomes a question of wanting to do right by me, enough to spend the money, and that motivation's not always there.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Taking Stock

November. Already.

This GD year's going by like frickin' lightening.

Outside: tolerable, almost. Open windows @ night, low 70s during the day.

Inside: Was noisy earlier...not so bad right now.

Wearing: jeans, coupla shirts, silly-lookin' brown boots...strained my damn right foot last night, so needing the comfort shoes : (

Reading: The Dragon Reborn. Thinking of rereading Animal Dreams. Still in Crazy Sexy.

Creating: yea, well...

Going: Down to St. Augustine Saturday night to celebrate growing older with best pal from CT days. OT Saturday morning.

Been pretty in-between this week, not quite up, not quite down. One big factor in the seesaw is the mainlining of processed sugar and corn syrup like it's going outta style tomorrow. Can't remember the last time I was this gluttonous, and that's saying something. Glad we're past Halloween, now just gotta get past the leftovers.

I did perform a ritual of sorts on Samhain. I spoke from Spiral Dance, and then I just talked out loud to the gods, about how I want to treat myself better. It was centering, and I've been feeling better. In the coming weeks, I hope to revisit some of my pagan books to refresh my mind about the basics and then some.

Image from here.

Monday, October 31, 2011


"This is the time...when the veil between the worlds is its thinnest..."

"The Mexicans call it 'Dia de Los Muertos'...they visit the graves of their ancestors, the children crack hard candies shaped like skulls between their teeth and clutch marigolds in their fists...running to sprinkle the petals over the graves....."

(Paraphrased thoughts from Starhawk's Spiral Dance and Kingsolver's Animal Dreams)

I'm truly a solitary witch. Much as I dig the idea of the spiral dance and get comfort from drumming around the fire with my friends, I am definitely a solitary. I'm at work today, but inside my head, I'm so looking forward to tonight, to lighting candles, working with salt and water, sitting very very very still and listening to the earth as I ground and trance. I'm surprised at how it speaks to me today.

I'm quite the lapsed pagan.....if fair-weather Catholicism means catching the Christmas and Easter services and skipping the regular Sunday sermons, then lapsed paganism must be waking up on Halloween and realizing how desperately you need to practice again. How your very soul is aching to hold a wand in your hands, call the quarters and your guardians, ask their help in celebrating this beautiful turning of the Wheel, and if they have any spare time, could they help you get your head screwed on straighter too?

It's the Celtic New Year. I'll spend time tonight thinking, and I'll write some resolutions. I'll read from my books about the rituals of Samhain ("sow-in"), and incorporate parts into my own ritual. I'll punish my pancreas today with my sugar intake, and start fresh with my lifestyle changes on Tuesday.

Mostly, I'll enjoy gratitude for the life I have. It ain't perfect, but it works.
Images from here and here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm glad the weekend is coming. My brain is here (above) and my wheels are turning.

Image from here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And your crybaby, whiny-assed problem would be what now?

I'm a little tired of myself.

I've been reading other women's blogs and come to a conclusion: there's some seriously funny women out there. I used to be one of them.

I have my moments (I will nod regally still, when referred to as the Queen of the One-Liners by my local friends), but they damn sure rarely show up here (the one-liners, that is...pretty sure my 6½ friends show up here on occasion). I can only guess that the funny blogs I've happened upon are all written by stay-at-home moms (who haven't a care in the world, since they don't "work"). Yes, I totally know that doesn't exist, that SAHMs are as busy or busier than I am in an average day (and I don't have a job cleaning up poop or puke in an average day, like they do, so I really need to stop bitching...).....but there's gotta be a reason they have the time/energy/sanity/coherence to exercise wit. Like they have husbands who have jobs making "real money" and children that are delightful and well-behaved, or at the least, the mothers are all on Xanax and keep a bottle of Bailey's in the toilet tank for emergencies when they need to hole up for a moment's peace.

Disclaimer: Blog author ate healthy food for a solid week and a half before indulging in sugar with a side of sugar...this post could be the result of a sugar high. Maybe. Just sayin'...

Hmmm...speaking of Bailey's......

OK, I'm back.....damn, that tastes like Christmastime.....where was I?

I guess it's because I spend my day working with words. Mundane words. Seriously repetitive, redundant, poorly written, grammatically questionable and correct-spelling-optional, mundane words, selling products and services that for the most part, people don't need. I give myself fully to that, because I have to, because my DH has physical issues that put me in the familial driver's seat, being Superwoman, bringin' home that bacon.....

(such that it is, and on a bad week, it ain't much dough...but I am so silly-assed-in-love that I gave up resenting the sitch ages ago)...

And then there's very little left at the end of the day to give elsewhere, to myself, my writing, my/our dreams (yes, the "my/our" is deliberate...I'm incredibly lucky to have a husband who'll pretty much follow me like a puppy dog within reason...reason being the Carolinas, that is). I get home and my body's still going in 10 different directions (because a) I just sat on my arse for 8 hours, 2) in spite of my size, I have the metabolism of a long-distance runner, and c) we are a family of sharks, the Lyons', always gotta be DOING SOMETHING), but my brain goes into a brown stare. I want to knit/read/plan all at once, but my brain's oatmeal, going cold.

And that makes me nutty.

While I do recognize that I have a chemical imbalance, that sometimes the lithium deficiency literally keeps me from focusing on things...there's a fine line between recognizing that as an excuse, and using it as one. And that's where I'm falling lately...wondering how much the latter is used over the former. Which blows, and reeks of self-flaggellation, which I said I'd try to limit here, but if you're still reading this, then you already know how reliable I am about promises like that, so we'll just move on.....

Yes, that cartoon's completely irrelevant to today's rambling...just made me laugh out loud...

So anyway, what was my point?


Right, gonna work on my creativity in the coming weeks...stay tuned. I know y'all are waiting on tenterhooks, so I'd recommend settling in with a box of wine and the remote...I'll get back to ya.

Most images obviously snitched from here. Office park funny snitched from here. Last one snitched from here. All with thanks....needed help bringing the funny tonight.

Taking Stock

Grandfather Mountain in NC has a FB account, and they've been recording the fall color this month. I adore these shots, mostly by Helen Moss Davis.

It's annoying, how all the energy and great ideas and planning occurs in the back of my brain when I'm at work and can't do anything about it. Just took 5 minutes to write appointments down in my calendar and feel a little more settled, but still.....

I'm going through one of my phases, the "what's stopping you from living the life you want" phase. It's coupled with other voices, spouting stuff like "if you want to live more simply, why is your home still filled to the brim with crap?" and "if you want to live a different life so badly, how come you can't take the time on the evenings and weekends to work toward that, to budget and plan, so you can get your credit in order and quit frickin' whining about living somewhere you absolutely hate?".

Yea, they're long-winded little bastards, these internal voices...highly critical too.

Outside: supposed to hit 80 today, but it's overcast, which means muggy. Terrific.

Inside: warm

Wearing: a shirt that makes me feel huge, pants that are too warm, shoes that don't fit orthotics well and need to be disposed of.....whinewhinewhine.....

Reading: Crazy Sexy and The Dragon Reborn.

Creating: Plain vanilla sock (Yarn Harlot), wishing I had a good idea for a Halloween costume...

Going: n/a

Dad J's hanging in there. We can't afford to visit, even with the OT, so I'm grateful for the holding pattern.

I'm having trouble sitting still lately, can't just relax and veg in front of the tube in the evenings...I have to be doing something else too. This bugs me, so I may force a little meditation this week. Or turn the tube off and focus on just one thing, be it planning or reading or knitting. My brain could use some focus.

Monday, October 24, 2011

So far, so good...

All I can say is, thank the gods that I like the little gems shown above, because I'd never make it as a vegetarian otherwise. Without beans, I'm pretty sure my craving for protein would have me driving to the nearest Five Guys within a week of this regimen.

I managed to have a really relaxing day yesterday. Woke up craving peanut butter, so fixed myself a PB&banana on whole wheat for breakfast. Almond butter's just too expensive to invest in right now, so I switched to Smucker's, because they claim to have a whopping 1 ingredient in their peanut butter: peanuts.

From 12 to 3, I switched on the OWN network and enjoyed Crazy Sexy Cancer. I'm definitely hooked on Kris Carr....though I've got a ways to go before I'm downing cucumber/celery juice for breakfast or buying a wheatgrass kit. For the first hour, I peeled and cored a bag of Macoun apples to go in the crockpot for applesauce. Next time, I'll use my rotary peeler and then core the apples, but for a project in front of the TV, hand-peeling proved quite the centering task. I also set 2 pans of beans to soak, and made myself a green smoothie for lunch. Def like the greens at Native Sun better than Whole Foods. Whole Foods may have more variety in places, but the shipping kills their freshness. Glad the prices are comparable, cuz Native Sun is closer to home.

We took the recycling to the center mid-afternoon, then settled in for the night. I made myself a big salad and munched a couple of rice cakes when the hunger snuck back in close to bedtime. The applesauce came out great! Has pretty much ruined me against what's sold in the supermarket, and I'm totally itching to learn to can now. May invest in that starter kit by Ball, next paycheck; cuz I gotta make me some more of that applesauce! Cooked up a pan of northern beans plain for on top of salads this week, and made the Yummy Pintos from Heather's website for over brown rice...the latter is going to be dinner tonight with some steamed broccoli on the side.

My bloodwork (cardiologist) showed improvement in key areas. Losing weight and lowering the LDL number are on the agenda. Pretty sure my new regimen will do that on its own, but I'll hit the Interweb for ideas on specific foods to target to get that sucker down. Other goals include starting the caffeine wean later this week and continuing to wean off dairy. Almost there.

Image from here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend planning

The weather turned, night before last. Dropped down into the 40s and we've had the windows open ever since (well, not sure about's mid-70s out there, so Les probably closed up for a piece...). We're supposed to keep this weather easily the next couple of days, 40s at night, low 70s during the day. I'll take it.

I can feel my thoughts turning inward. Usually this means I'm turtling, not in the greatest place emotionally. Instead, this time, it's about listening deeply, listening to my body and what it tells me. This week's doctor's appointment (podiatrist) was illuminating, and the two I have next week (cardiologist and GP) I expect will be the same. I think I had a hypoglycemic incident right before dinner last night, and it has me thinking about just how pre-diabetic I am...and how I never want the "pre-" to be lopped off that word when describing my health. It's about how this body really needs me to go hard-core vegan, no dairy, no critters, and drop the caffeine. Why the caffeine? Because I enjoy it with white sugar and cow juice, that's why.

How ridiculous that we don't listen to our bodies until it's almost too late.....I can't even look at Halloween candy now, and last night wasn't that bad, just a noticeable blood sugar drop. But my brain got the message, and I'm going into this weekend with a clear head, wheels turning...

A clear head...I remember one of my New Year's resolutions for 2011 was snitched from Jenna. I wanted to be able to start and end each day "with a clear head and able to touch my toes." As we slip quietly toward All Hallows and the Celtic New Year, I realize I haven't done very well on that score. Rather than self-flaggelate, I'll just turn over the leaf. Just because something didn't happen yesterday doesn't mean it can't happen today. The key is making it happen each day, and not berating yourself when you slip. And a slip doesn't mean start over tomorrow, it means start over right afterward. It's the only way I'm going to make any progress on losing weight and getting healthy.

Tomorrow I have a pinch of OT and a trip to the Y planned. I have recipes in mind that will make next week's eating easier and tastier. I don't have a handle yet on food prep/planning under this regimen, and it's vital to our bank account that I do get a handle on it. Can't be eating Chipotle every day...the gas I burn getting there negates the good the food does for the environment, and we can't afford it anyway. So Saturday afternoon and Sunday will be spent in the kitchen, finding my vegan legs. I think Husby will join me on some of these endeavors, for different reasons; he has a sensitive system and crummy teeth, so healthy food of the soup/stew variety may be right up his alley. I'm so grateful to be finding my way here once again.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Taking Stock

Outside: if it decides what it's gonna do, I'll let you know...mostly cloudy, wants to rain, holding off...temps dropping @ night starting tomorrow! I won't believe it til I'm breathing in that cold air.

Inside: noisy tech support agents annoy me.

Wearing: jeans, Docs, green shirt

Reading: Kind Diet, Crazy Sexy Diet in stops and starts...

Creating: nice idea, but not this week. Def hoping to experiment with recipes this weekend though...

Going: OT and doc least the doc visits are preventive for the most part. I'm grateful.

Dunno...that OT continues, because the bills are kicking us these days. That Dad J.'s health remains on the upswing. That I continue to lean toward healthier eating. That I get my fat arse back to the Y. That my Lil Sis has an amazing birthday next week (even if the scintillating presence of her Big Sis is absent...winkwink). That I can come up with something nifty to wear on Halloween at work. That I get knitting more. Amazing the many things that come into my head once I start thinking this way...that I can find my guitar instruction books. That I can get back to meditating.

Image from here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday rally

Good afternoon and welcome to another session of Melanie's Getting Healthy...this morning we watched as Melanie thanked her boss for his kindness in bringing the Krispy Kremes to work, but did not partake in one of the delectable, sugar-drenched calorie we watch as she downs her 2nd bottle of water for the day while munching on hummus with carrots and multigrain chips. The chips are a treat, because Rome wasn't built in a day and she's too damn hormonal to go cold turkey on the processed foods just yet.....

I hope to head back to the Y tomorrow morning. The podiatrist diagnosed significant arthritis in my right foot, showed me on the X-ray, the distinct lack o' cartilege...yay. I hate my brain sometimes...I have been thinking bone spurs or a stress fracture for months now, but as soon as I was in his office, reading his literature, my brain went....y'know, it's probably arthritis. Dumbass.

He gave me a Rx gel sample (that's crazy expensive normally, so naturally it's working wonders), and I'm back in my custom orthotics, which are working better than the blankety-blank Dr. Scholl's, of course...I get so pissed at myself when I forget things that would improve my health/quality of life, etc. The only thing wrong with my custom orthotics is the top is coming away from the bottom, so wearing 'em barefoot rubs annoyingly, but we're going into winter, so I can certainly live with 'em (and socks) until the flexible spending kicks back in, in the new year. Oh darn, a reason to knit more socks...winkwink. He also gave me a Rx for New Balance that should give me 10% off at their outlet here in town. Gotta look at the finances and start saving for that, cuz the sneaks I've been using are dead and then some...

Recognizing that for my physical and emotional health, it would behoove me to save money and buy decent shoes...that's a toughie. I try to spend as little as possible in the shoe/clothing department. Interestingly, I don't think good shoe prices have gone up much (Birks are still a little over/under $100, same with Danskos...), while garbage shoes have definitely increased. Was trolling Walmart recently and laughing at what they wanted me to spend $35 on....pure crap that was glued together by some Indonesian kid. So why not shop carefully and buy stuff that will actually last AND keep my feet healthy...gods, but I'm a twit about my own health sometimes.

Can't believe how the pain has decreased, just from a little gel and the orthotics. Lesson learned. Self-flaggelation ceased on the subject for now.

Bought Crazy Sexy and Kind and rereading 'em rather voraciously... they are my current gurus and lifestyle bibles. Letting the knowledge sink into the ole brainpan and open me up like a flower....

Image snitched from here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday ponderances

Is that even a word? Gotta look it up...

ooo, fancy word even! One of those words that goes beyond the Merriam-Webster free trial ; )

So yesterday was a back from OT and couldn't muster any motivation. Tried to nap and failed, thought about knitting, didn't happen...

I think back to that amazing week, the one where I ate mostly plant life and felt like a million and a half bucks. I think about my current moodiness, how it's tied to my hormones and what goes into my body. I think about the shame that's tied to the cardiologist appointment I have in a week. I think about the things growing in my female plumbing. I think about Crazy Sexy and Kris Carr. I think about how I've been eating since I got paid on Friday. I think about how out of control I've been feeling about my body, how I've been afraid of exercising because of my right foot, yet I can tell the rest of my body has been aching for the activity. I think about how I really have reached a point where I can't eat certain things anymore, because the reactions that occur may as well be allergies, for the ways my body responds.

I was all set to grab Zaxby's on Friday at lunch, but my brain turned the car toward Chipotle because I couldn't stand the horrible lassitude, the complete evacuation of energy that would have occurred if I'd eaten that crap. Didn't stop me from grabbing it for dinner though. Guess it's OK to treat myself like crap if I don't have anything planned afterward. What unbelievable bullshit.

Today's being planned in my head and on paper. I'm cleaning out the fridge and doing the dishes before I go shopping. I'm checking out recipes online and making a list. I'm hitting Whole Foods, Walmart, and Publix probably, shopping for the best prices and the best produce. I'm prodding Husby for ideas on the evening meals, because I'm straying from normal and he probably won't want to go with me on some days. Ironic when you consider he ate healthier than me coming into the relationship...but he's a meat and veggies guy, while I'm going cold turkey again, vegetarian.

Gotta get moving...

Friday, October 14, 2011

The comfort of money

There are bills to pay this weekend, and there's projecting to do. Told Les I'm not paying or buying anything until after work Saturday, after I've had a chance to budget; so we don't piss this beautiful almost-surplus away. It's a hard thing to do, lemme tell ya, the being responsible thing. Even after 2 solid weeks of eating crap with a side of crap because we couldn't afford serious essentials, like fresh veggies or meat, there's still that little voice in my head, whispering "don't you wanna buy that scarf you saw at Walmart?"

Not if that's $7.99 that could go toward something more important, like my Omega 3 supplement. Or an almond milk stash, so I can wean off dairy again. Or even some hair color so I can stop referring to myself as "tinsel top"...

Isn't this the way adults are supposed to act? I didn't learn this in school, and we've never had kids; and when you're only responsible for yourselves, the levels of hedonism can get rather high, the drive for instant gratifications...

Never even frickin' mind that the holidays are coming up do you adjust your holiday spending when one side of the family is quite materialistic? I need to step up the quality of the handmades this year, if they're going to pass for "real" presents. And how much should I be worrying about that, what others think vs. how I feel they're real presents because of the effort and intention that goes into them? If they don't see them as real presents, isn't that their burden? Still makes you feel like you came up short though...

One thing I absolutely want to do this year is have the holidays feel like the holidays, instead of some damn burden. When you're pagan, it's hard enough finding the meaning in all the bastardized stolen rituals of the season, but when you have very little dough and two families to travel between, it's very easy to just put your head down and slog through it..."hi, we're here, merry christmas, see ya..." I've done that the past 2 or 3 Christmases; we haven't put up our own tree in years. But the holidays are so much more than having gifts underneath the tree. I'm going to work on that this year...

Anyhoo, 4 hours of OT tomorrow and then relax time...thinking, puttering, cleaning, planning. Been trolling the photos of Grandfather Mountain in NC on FB for my autumn fix, and it's motivating me about the move, about reassessing what-all is going to be required to pull it off. It's a tall order, but no less doable.

Image from here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Whiny week

So Lil Sis left work early and I have no one to talk to : (

Granted, I shouldn't be blogging when my earphones are on...cuz there's always that danger of a manager sneaking up and surprising you while you're goofing off. They're on though, because it's about the only way I can concentrate on work, now that Tech Support, bless their fuzzy little, Red Bull-addicted hearts, is back on our side of the building. This motley group of mostly guys really needs to grasp the concept of "inside phone voice" the meantime, I'm listening to music more.

But the stupidity has been running high today, so I bring you this vent:

Dear Copywriters/Designers,

The following errors are getting really old and must cease and desist, or you're going to force me to start drinking coffee in the afternoons as well as the mornings, and accompanying it with a shot of something that's likely not approved for consumption during work hours....

1. Stop linking the words "Call" or "Visit"...unless you've figured out how to Skype our sites or teleport the readers. This is especially annoying when you link the word "Visit" and there is NO LOCATION page.

2. Repetitive and redundant text...I like to flesh out my text as much as the next writer, but the laziness of  "...our inventory includes several makes and models, including...." is just silly. Also, companies are not "efficiently organized", they're just organized; prices are affordable or competitive, not both; and something can't be both "unique and one-of-a-kind". I'm beyond tired of shrinking your sentences to half their size and then having to adjust design, just because you can't grasp the concept of succinctness.

"Our expert team comes to your home to check the level of insulation as well as to check to ensure we are able to install additional insulation if necessary." Seriously? I need a white board for all the things wrong with that sentence...

3. We changed our headline format 2 weeks ago. You are not exempt from this change.

4. Punctuation is more than a suggestion. So is proofreading. They're job requirements, not nice ideas.

5. Something that is a nice idea: confirming correct spelling of things like brand names, cities, words...oh, wait, i mispoke; that's a job requirement too!

6. Passive text ... just stop friggin' doing it.

7. If you (copywriters) are trying to break some record for the most dangling modifiers found in a given day, you are succeeding admirably. Please do not mistake this statement for praise.

8.  Prepositions are not interchangeable. It's also butt-ugly when they are at the end of a sentence.

On second thought, forget everything I just said...I'll never be without a job as long as there are writers and designers out there like you. Keep up the mediocre work.