Friday, April 29, 2011

Fabulous Friday

  There's somethin' about a Friday. I'm working a pinch of OT tonight, 4 hours tomorrow, and have been given access to work to my heart's content from home if desired, but the fact that it's Friday still blows my skirt up.

Did not wake up at O-dark-thirty to catch the "I do's" but am curious about her dress and their titles n' stuff. Cuz I'm sorry, but I think you have to be a little dead inside to not care a whit about how those two motherless boys have turned out. How incredibly weird their lives must be, how much they have to live with and up to...can you even imagine being a newlywed in that sitch? "Right, good show, another receiving line, man, I wanna get her dress off..."

Perhaps I'm a tad crude, but c'mon folks! They're going to have to honeymoon on the dark side of the moon to get any privacy.

Mom's moving into her new place as I write this, the lucky stiff. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work from home this weekend and next week. It will give me a good sense of the conditions I can work under and what conditions would need to change if that was a viable option. I'm reasonably sure I can't make enough to live on with my company's delightful remote contract (they do NOT pay fairly in that department), but I want it to be a part-time option when we move.

Sidebar: My check wasn't as high as I expected this pay period, because I forgot that they pay PTO out at our base rate, which is a good $5 to $7 per hour less than my gross. I really would like to know how that's legal. Then again, we've also been told in the past that it's illegal to work both in-house and remotely at the same time, so me thinks any argument I could pose would fall on a brick wall, because they obviously know all the loopholes in the system...

OK, enough of that rant...looking ahead to nice weather, some organizing, and getting back to walking and the Y in spite of my knee. Damn thing takes one step forward and two steps back in recovering, which makes me wonder if I've finally slipped into a more chronic level of the arthritis. Whatever, I'm researching on the Arthritis Foundation website, watching my calories, and signed up for the Heart Walk in September. Wanted to do Arthritis Walk, but it's already past, and the Charlotte one occurs before we move. So if you're flush with tax money and looking for a good cause, toss me an email and I'll let you know how you can donate.

Image from here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This is why I'm superstitious!

Made that crack about how forest fire season hasn't been bad yet this year on my blog post yesterday...about 6 PM last night, I could smell the smoke from inside my office building and the air was thick with it when I left.

Doesn't hold a candle to Alabama's tragedy, of course...which brings up why I think social media isn't a bad thing. I stalk people on Facebook, because I care about them. It could be as simple as wondering what happened to that person from elementary school or as complex as wanting an extra rein on my besties...I like having ties with people. Funny considering how antisocial I consider myself to be...

I had two besties in high school, K and M. K I've stayed in touch with, M I lost touch with quite a few years back...and she was an amazing person, so I always think of her when I'm procrastinating and then not sending Christmas cards. All I know is she lives outside all I can do is pray. I'm sure she's fine, but the not knowing sucks.

I listen to NPR on the way into work this morning and hear about the number of dead in the wake of the storms...and then it segues to Libya and the number of dead from a recent bombing there. And I wonder how in the world we are able to take life so un-seriously when it could all be gone in an instant...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking Stock

Wow. Damnedest thing. Didn't eat chocolate last night before bed. Woke up today with no headache and clearer thought processes. The clouds have seriously fucking parted here. We'll bypass the rant where I rail about how I can't learn a lesson until it's beaten into my aching head with a fucking sledgehammer.

Outside: 80s, mild breeze, threat of rain later that won't come...haven't seen a lot of forest fire activity this spring, thank goodness. Drove through a bank of smoke near the I-95/295 interchange one day last week, but otherwise...prayers to those folks in AL/GA who are currently in their bathtubs waiting for the tornados and scratching their heads as to how summer came so quickly this year...

Inside: the guys who annoyed the crap out of me have all but moved from this area to other responsibilities. Order has been restored to Melanie's universe.

Wearing: my emo outfit...jeans, Docs, and a black top with a drapey neck...was trying to explain emo to Husby and realized I'm not sure what it means...told him I feel like I should be drinking espresso in a coffee bar and smoking clove cigarettes in this outfit, and he started snapping his fingers like a beat poet...I was like, EXACTLY! :)

Yes, I know we're special, why do you ask?

Creating: yea, OK, this is the most normal I've felt in weeks, you think I've been knitting?! I did shore up my energy and make shepherd's pie last night, which should last us a night or two and make life easier. I'm working OT today, Friday, and Saturday, and have a medical test on Thursday after work, and was beyond tired of the "I don't know, what do you want for dinner?" conversation that occurs every damn night at 5 PM. And I'm off fast food and we're saving for the move, so it's def time to rearrange and stock the freezer again.

Reading: Made from Scratch by Jenna...v...e...r...y...slowly, both to savor the ideas inside it and because I've been busy as a one-armed paper hanger lately...

Going: NOWHERE! Turtling, cleaning, organizing......yea, OK, I lied, we'll likely hit Chamblin's this weekend to empty the car trunk...came back from SC a couple of weeks ago with 9 bags of booty for that place :)

Hoping: I hear back from the NC employment nibble this week, that things are completely clear on that medical test, and that I can get apartment stuff accomplished this weekend.

Image from here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Swear to god, if I turn over a new leaf one more time, I may as well sprout roots and branches too!

Ready for some stream of consciousness?

I started waking up around 10:30 a.m. this morning. I physically woke up at 7:00 a.m., threw on the tube to glance the weather and ended up watching an old SVU on USA (the channels are right next to each other....I swear! Yea, that's bullshit; it's April in Florida, like I don't know the weather's going to be 80s with a chance of rain...). I know I should kill the tube altogether in the mornings, but these things take time, and there are worse ways to start your day than with Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay ( of the most awesome partnerships in the TV drama category)...but I digress with I make my 6 cups of coffee (and no, that's not an exaggeration...I fill with water to the 6 line and pour it into a vat disguised as a travel mug for work) WITH sugar and milk (shall we take a moment to discuss the lactose and 96 empty calories of pure cane I'm pouring into my body with the caffeine? I think not...)...and I toast a couple of lowfat Eggos, which I slather with PB & J. It's a good breakfast that has plenty wrong with it. The lowfat is an accident, a hand-me-down from cleaning out my mom's freezer...I usually get the full fat, whole wheat Eggos. The PB is standard JIF, the jelly is fairly natural, no HFCS, but still, more sugar, and I do take issue with the Eggos too, b/c I'd love to make my own from scratch and freeze 'em, but we haven't indulged in the waffle iron yet (yea, big indulgence, frickin' $10 at evil big box store)....digressing I head to work with no lunch packed, because SVU was shaking out the brain cobwebs instead of yoga or lunch prep this morning, and I hit the computer cube with a dull headache, minor leftover body aches, and a knee braced but on the mend, thanks to the dry heat I put on it last night. The dull headache is likely a blood sugar and candida thing, thanks to the brownie I indulged in too close to bedtime last night. I plan to pop some Advil to take the edge off and keep the knee inflammation at bay.....and discover that idea's trashed, because the zipper of the pocket of my purse holding said Advil has jammed and is holding everything in that pocket hostage. I down breakfast in front of the computer (another could-be-better in the eating behavior department) and chase it with a Sobe Life Water, which uses Stevia and may get more investigation, because it wasn't bad and I think the ginseng gave me a boost the missing Advil couldn't, and I had another allergic reaction to diet soda recently, so I need more options if I'm going to trim the sweet liquid carbs. And I sit at my computer and wish I felt better, and realize that how I feel is entirely in my control IF I'D JUST ADJUST MY LIFESTYLE...and I crack open Mark's Daily Apple and some other health coach blogs for more ideas to steal, more ways to teach myself I'm worth the effort...and around 10:30 a.m., I notice I'm finally waking up and I momentarily fool myself into thinking that I didn't need the Advil after all, that it's mind over matter combined with Sobe and the strength I'm developing to drink water instead of soda the rest of the day, and then I remember the 6 cups of coffee I'm mainlining, that most of my rally is just a caffeine boost that will result in a caffeine crash later and a serious carb crave, which I'd normally indulge, and I wonder how the hell I'm going to make it through the afternoon.......

Several factors contributing to this latest AHA right knee going to hell on me was a biggie. The damn thing got progressively stiffer as the weekend wore on and started to swell on the outside. Didn't think I was doing a whole lot of bending and lifting, but I was on my feet and working hard for large chunks of both days this the knee thing is like my body clearing its throat and saying " do remember that you have arthritis, right?"

My brain could easily short-circuit over this, because it brings conflicting arguments to the forefront of my how losing weight could help greatly by easing the weight landing on my joints, but how in the hell do you exercise when the lack of cartilage in your knees makes them weaker and more prone to injury, never mind the residual aches/stiffness/decreased mobility that come from exercise when you have arthritis. I fear doing more damage to myself by not being educated well enough in physiology, but I'm too frugal and stubborn to go back to PT or an orthopedist. The aches/stiffness/decreased mobility...that's a non-argument; that's a "suck it up, Melanie" mo. But I can't not exercise certainly, so I'm educating myself in the best ways I can, by picking the brains of the exercise consultants at the Y, sticking to low-impact cardio, and trolling the Internet and culling the good advice from the bad.

And I'm finally (FINALLYFUCKINGFINALLY) realizing how very much my food intake needs to change.

The research is the hardest...that's where deciding I'm worth the effort comes in. I used to think Dr. Dean Ornish's recommendations were extreme, until I started reading about Primal/Paleo. Primal sounds like Atkins on organics, and I put zero stock in the effectiveness of Atkins in the long run, but Paleo living tries for a more well-rounded approach. Minor digression: after this weekend though, I think I'm over the minimalist footwear urge; there are certain things that are out of my reach, thanks to my body type, so I'll accept that...and write down the date of this blog post so I can look it up in my archives when I need reminding, because I do NOT learn lessons easily. I'm instead looking forward to my new sneakers arriving, and thinking of investing in a pair of Dr. Scholl's orthotics, because unfortunately, the WalkFit's that Husby got me recently just aren't right for my foot type and have been causing me pain. They also suck for comfort when you're not wearing socks, and the weather has brought me back to no-sock wearing, big time. I still have my custom orthotics too; they're showing their age a bit, but still functional, thank goodness...b/c I don't want to hit the podiatrist again until after we move either...

They say that finding the diet plan/lifestyle change that's right for you is key. But how do you find what's right for you when you're pushing toward healthy from a lifestyle that embraces inhaling Junior Mints by the box and grazing until you're uncomfortable? Cold turkey changes may be best for me, to shock the bad carbs out of my system initially, but I need to make REALLY sure I'm prepared for that food-wise, because it's too damn easy to throw some pasta on to boil or inhale a box of mac when I'm at loose ends.

Headache still lingering...grabbing Chipotle and Aleve for lunch. More planning and research this afternoon.

Image from here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving Monday

Whew! Mom's on her way.

The days run together when you're negotiating a move, even more so I think, when the move isn't yours. I know I went over to Mom's after work on Wednesday for some reason and after work Thursday for some reason, and then there was the retirement party at her work on Friday. We got the evening off after that, because Meara had come into town and there wasn't much to get started on just then. I'm glad for that time off, because the next two days ran together pretty fiercely. My body just isn't used to that level of physical labor and it was yet another delightful wake-up call. Couple that with receiving my blood work back from the lab and seeing in black and white the areas where I need to improve my health, and I'm looking on things with new eyes, as soon as they stop crossing from all the activity, that is.

The retirement party was delightful; she was totally surprised! She was expecting Meara to be there, but certainly not me, Les, and Cyril; and there was cake, punch, and a lovely pass-the-hat gift from her gang.

We packed Saturday and Sunday, gathering up loose ends, consolidating, recognizing that point where stuff needs to go into a box and you're quickly running out of boxes, so you improvise...good practice for something that could be here before I know it. I got a teeny nibble from one of my first potential employment searches last week; we'll see how it pans out. Meantime, my right knee is a mess, the apartment is a disaster as usual, and it's finally time to look forward to our own move for real. If I can just remember to breathe...

Image from here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rambling Tuesday

I think, if we ever renew our vows, I will carry a bouquet of chamomile flowers and lavender.

And now, on to other seemingly random topics...

Bringing a bookshelf and 1 box up from the car after working at Mom's Sunday, seems to have given our apartment the final shove into horrendously cluttered. I could've left the bookshelf for Mom to move up, but why make her store it, just because we don't have the room? She's already moving the drill press up for us, gods bless her, so that we won't have to; we'll take possession of that (and likely, Dad's rolling tool chest) once we move to Charlotte too. But it's good that we have that's a symbol of sorts. It's a small one, will be perfect for a stash of books in a bedroom, like my knitting or pagan stuff. We'll need to buy at least 3 or 4 good-sized bookcases when we move, so it's also a symbol reminding me of some of what we're moving toward.

The box was an unexpected goldmine...I thought Les would find the slide projector neat, but his face lit up as he explored the original steam tables and slide rules that Dad had, some of which were probably handed down from Poppy and thus date in the early-mid 20th century. Dad learned engineering practically before calculators, and he wasn't as book smart as he wanted to be, so he had all kinds of tools for calculating the nitty-gritty of pump equipment functions (Dad worked in the pulp and paper industry). I'd also forgotten Mom did secretarial work for Poppy too, back in the day...found a letter requesting several copies of a particular table that she'd typed for him.

We discovered a leak under the kitchen sink on Saturday. Wasn't a surprise, just a nasty inconvenience, complete with standing water and probably more than a little mold. We've lived in that godawful apartment for 12 years now; we've been through several management companies in that time who exercise various levels of maintenance, and it's falling apart at the seams. By some miracle, the guy who came to assess the craptastic situation under the sink (the last guy thought jerry-rigging ill-fitting pipes and adding duct tape would do the job)...REPLACED the garbage disposal and all the pipes and said he'd be back today with fresh wood for where the old has basically rotted away in the cabinet. After we were revived from the shock of actual maintenance occurring, we took turns using the garbage disposal, as it's been years since that sucker's been functional. I'm not a huge fan of disposals, would rather have a compost heap; but for city life, it'll do.

Thinking of boxing up the PS2 again...pretty sure I can do other things in the time suckage that I've been indulging in with that thing...

We're working our way back to eating at home...I'm making a broccoli-cauliflower souffle tonight to use the organic stuff that's been languishing in our crisper for the better part of a month. I'm determined to keep the savings account money where it is, but have a feeling that little things, like getting my bangs cleaned up, may snitch a bit from it down the road. Plus, Les's birthday is coming up, but I'd already planned on throwing cash into dinner at a crab house for him. No clue what to get him, present-wise yet...

If this post is any indication, I'm having trouble with attention span at work again...they put me back in QC, so my mind wanders, but it has the feeling of a good week here. I'll get back to the Y tomorrow night. I'm trying to make lists. I'm testing different postures and walking barefoot a bit on purpose, seeing how my body reacts, which brings small sorenesses that I think will prove helpful down the road.

Image from here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The good news is...

I stayed outta the not-quite-there place this weekend.

Not quite sure how it happened either...just made a pinch of effort to remain present. I stopped work a bit early on Friday, because I could tell my brain had shut down. Then I got a full 8 hours of sleep before hitting the OT on Saturday, and didn't have to go to Mom's until Sunday, so somewhere in there, I managed to relax. And the work we did Sunday at her place was good, got my muscles waking up and saying, "what the hell...?!" So that this morning, I was sore, but good sore, and I'm in a good place going into this week. Getting some doc appts taken care of this week, will hit the Y a couple of times, and I'm researching minimalist footwear (like Vibram Five Fingers, but not so pricey), seeing if it's even feasible for flat-footed folks like myself. Yes, I know I should get a podiatrist's opinion; we'll see how it goes.

My brain is shooting ahead once again, thinking of organizing and the move. I managed to acquire a few more items from Mom's (I swear I'm not a hoarder!) it's really time to figure out what's staying and what's going...Mom moves next Monday, and this year's picking up speed.

Read a disgusting article about what goes into fast food french fries and I think I'm FINALLY off fast food. There are 2 exceptions: Chipotle and Five Guys, and Five Guys is only going to be for when I'm really craving red meat. Hey, it's a start! Meantime, we def have to start eating at home more again. I placed a nice chunk of the latest paycheck right into savings, and I'm going to see how well we do on what we used to live on.

Trying to plow thru library books, but keep getting distracted by Jenna's Chick Days. That's a good thing; it's a delightful beginner's look at raising chickens, and a different take than Ashley's Keeping Chickens, so that I'll be happy having both of these on my shelf someday and not feel like there are redundancies.

Image from here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taking Stock

I'm actually making myself post, which is funny when you consider the 6½ people who read this blog ain't exactly on tenterhooks waiting for my next illumination. But usually I don't need a reason to post, I just talk. Not so today. My brain is somewhere between me and not today, and if I'm not careful, I will slip back into the lost place where I was last week, which I don't really want, in spite of the OT crowding in on my free time. I want the OT, but I don't want to lose me in the process, so I need to be a bit more attentive. And this whole paragraph probably ain't supposed to make sense to outside readers. Just have too much going on inside my head...working extra tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday; helping Mom pack up her place; wishing the move was past already while simultaneously not wanting her to leave; worrying about the time that is slipping away from us (Les and I) while we (read: I, because I take on the whole silly thing in my head) don't do enough to plan for our own move.....really need to turn off that part of my brain until April 25th.


Outside: I live in a tropical paradise. It would be bad form to whine. Actually, I am embracing it and trying to get outside just a pinch more (she said begrudgingly, lest anyone get the idea she likes it here). Gotta start wearing sunscreen, I'm going to get that driver's tan on my left arm. Plus my Irish skin practically stings from the first hard rays of a Florida spring...and don't get me started about the sunspots on my face.

Inside: One of the irritants of my work environment is moving to another department. Relief. Now to shut up his coworker...

Wearing: Loose clothes, stretchy pants and new pink top, because my jeans weren't dry yet and the washer ruined my old pair, so I'm down to one again (thank the gods for OT $$$)...

Reading: Better Off (a real thinker)...and I should get Jenna's books today or tomorrow! C'mon, UPS man!

Creating: Nada...but gods bless establishments giving out coupons nowadays to reel you in...Lowe's just sent a $10 gift card, which may go toward my much-needed greenhouse rack for the porch this weekend, if I'm possibly able to give any time to ME, that is...

Going: Work, Mom's, repeat...

Hoping: see paragraph #1.

Image from here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just a Hi!

That last picture was starting to depress me. I'm buried in OT and workouts lately, but wanted something new here. Will take stock later this week...

Pretty sure this pic is like, my dream office...usually not so into white, but all the organizational STUFF! Oh my! And that chair and those baskets and.....

Image from here.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Taking Stock

Yea, OK, so I'm still in a mood. It's half hormones and half realizing I really need to kick the move plans into gear, but can't because my spare time lately is either at work, helping Mom with her move, or engaging in a brown stare in front of the idiot box playing mah jong.....something's gotta give soon.

Outside: Cranking up to low 90s this weekend. I'm ready for it, but doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

Inside: I'm still writing copy instead of editing it. Try being original in your prose after your fifth contracting site in a row and lemme know how it turns out...

Wearing: jeans and favorite earrings...that's not normal, but nothing I own matched my mood today...

Reading: Twelve by Twelve and Better Off...sometimes I really love our library. Also this publication and this Hobby Farms, and waiting on the UPS truck to deliver Made from Scratch and Chick Days :)
Jenna planted a seed of thought in our heads earlier this week, about writing down your farm dream. It's encouraging some interesting thoughts about what I want, what I'd compromise on, and how I really oughta share all these thoughts with the husband ;) And how I want all 4 of Ashley's books for my next birthday, if I don't win them from Cold Antler, that is...

Creating: it's been a meh week in that department.

Going: 4 hours of OT tomorrow, then Mom's to pack most of her belongings...she moves in 2 weeks.

Hoping: I can get some good exercise in that packing and dig outta this latest rut.

Image from here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


"Many women would trade a year of life to be thin."

~ Headline in today's teaser section of's Health

I spent a whopping 2 seconds thinking how asinine that header is, before it dawned on me that since it will take a year for me to get back down to what I would consider "fighting weight," that I basically am trading a year of my life in order to be healthy. And when I think of how many years I've already wasted at this weight.....well, let's just say I'm back in a healthy frame of mind.

Part of it is the shame of going to my annual cardiology check next week weighing exactly the same as I did last year. Part of it is doing a little research about what I normally consume at Zaxby's and discovering that I probably should've already enjoyed my first heart attack (dear god, the calories and sodium!!!). Part of it is spending the last 3 days retaining water like a sponge, because god forbid I alter my diet for the better when the PMS rolls around. Whatever the reasons, this morning dawned a more positive outlook and I packed my gym bag for after work today.

And while the very idea makes me ache and fear for our prospects as parents, I think I need to chill on the idea of baby making until we're moved. I don't give a damn how good the anti-discrimination laws are; interviewing with a belly has got to lower your odds. And if my PMS is teaching me anything, it's that I'm a little nutty when the hormones are in flux. Can. Not. Imagine how I'd be, negotiating a move out of state and new job while lugging a belly. I always talk about knowing my limitations; it's time to give this to the gods for just a tiny while longer. If it's meant to be...

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Taking Stock

Dang. It wasn't even a week, but it kicked my arse. I took Monday off to decompress from the SC weekend, but since they've been offering unlimited OT at my work, I wanted to make up that day, because the only way you earn OT is by working 40 regular hours first. That meant 10-hour days all week. I haven't been to the Y in about 2 weeks, and my diet is for shit. I'm feeling the difference and will hit the Y tomorrow morning before heading over to Mom's.

All I could do was plow forward. Is it because I'm older? The brainpan missing the lithium when I strain like that? All I know is I would get home at the end of the day and want to crawl into the sack. I did center in the evenings a bit by knitting on Cozy, but the rest of the time it was a brown stare in front of the tube and early to bed. And the question becomes, would it have been any different if we hadn't gone to SC, if I had had the weekend to prep food (lunches and dinners for the week) and myself better for the busyness? And I know the answer, and it pisses me off, because I have it in me to be that person and all too often, I sell myself way short instead.

Tomorrow I'll hit the Y, then head to Mom's after a shower, so we can look at her place and do some assessing...she moves to Charlotte in 23 days (the lucky little...ehem...). Her place is small and will be fairly easy to pack, but she's so ready she'd walk up there if she could leave early...I can relate. April means we're 6 months out from our own move, and I need to start some planning. But not I'm just getting my head back on straight. Then tomorrow evening, dinner with Mom, Lil Bro, the wife, and the nephew...will be great to see the blond stringbean again, and I'm looking forward to picking Lil Bro's brain about muscle confusion exercising.

Outside: pleasant, getting stupid warm again tho'...

Inside:, dark, fairly unlivable...

Wearing: PJs cuz I'm lazy...

Reading: Farmer Jane and Peanuts mainly...

Creating: Cozy! Something about having to do 8 rows at a time gives me focus...

Going: see last paragraph...

Hoping: I can get a pinch more OT next week and get clearer in my head. I'll start meditation and yoga again this week, and get to the Y at least 3 times. It's a necessity. I miss it.

Image from here.