Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Did nothing this weekend. Pretty much absolutely nothing. Felt damn good. I needed it.

We're reaching a stage where it may be easier to just move everything and then deal with it after we've settled in NC anyway. We'll see. Gotta get a job first. And a home. And...

Actually, I spent Sunday and most of Monday feeling like crap and fighting headaches that can be attributed to bad behaviors. It's good they happened, because it helped give me that shove toward healthier eating. Today I'm finally headache-free, and the new leaf has been turned over once again.

Admittedly feeling a bit inspired by some friends who have gone vegan, but I know that's not what I need. I am however, dropping red meat and pork until further notice, decreasing chicken and eggs, upping the wild fish and veggie intake, dropping all junk food and white stuff, and praying I maintain the strength to make these changes stick. I haven't forgotten that cardio appointment.

OT is decreasing, thank gods. Hitting the Y tonight and creating fresh regimen for June. How the hell is it June already? I renewed my subscription to Vegetarian magazine, added Yoga Journal. Gotta decrease the coffee too, if not for the caffeine intake, than certainly for the sugar I slop into it.

Pouring water into my system today in a vain attempt to flush out some of the fat that went in this weekend. I'm so fucking over eating lousy.

Image from here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I seek inspiration...

In blogs and on Tumblr...I seek it outdoors and in technology, because I don't consider myself as having a whole lot of creative talent. I can write a clear, concise sentence, and possibly decorate something tastefully...don't even know about that 2nd one, because the current apartment definitely doesn't count...but I am not a skilled artist. Drawing is difficult, my knitting is adequate/average, and I haven't made the time to explore other media. Perhaps my gifts are only meant to involve the written word, but I can't settle on that yet. Not when there's so much beauty to derive inspiration from/from which to derive inspiration... ; )

I've been addicted to Tumblr lately. I have about a dozen blogs I follow, and I snitch images frequently. I go through phases and themes. I'm a fan of interior design, country living, smart humor, smart writing, NY fashion, and nature shots. Oh, and Peanuts. It's opened up a fresh Internet world to me, and as someone who's been on the sucker daily for years now, that's saying something. There's just so "much" out there!

Unrelated thought: I married Linus. It's pretty awesome : )

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taking Stock

Wandering brain today...

Does every 30- and 40-something dream of building their own home? I doubt we actually will, but I'd love a fixer-upper someday that we end up gutting in places. That pic above was one for the Tumblr, a possible concept for my "dream kitchen."

I'm not there yet, diet-wise. It's so damn overwhelming. Like all the dreaming about eating healthy, being a brown-rice-and-veggies gal just got shoved from oh-maybe-someday to now-or-you're-risking-diabetes-and-that-early-death-thing...It's scary and I'm still so angry with myself.

That said, I fully recognize the irony of reading the book Plenty while polishing off the rest of the Hamburger Helper at lunch today...and once again recognizing how frickin' easy it would be to make it from scratch, sans chemicals and processing agents...so damn tired of hindsight.

I have started the Vitamin D and Omega 3s...more progress pending...

Outside: criminally gorgeous...I wish to be outside sucking up the Vitamin D through my sunblocked Irish skin...

Inside: there are gorillas...

My phone takes seriously crappy pictures. It's part of an ad campaign for "Gorilla Online Marketing"...the images used are pretty cute actually. The printed gorilla wears blue shorts and red boxing gloves. The little guy on my cupcake has a tiny silver back.

Advertising is a very strange business.

Wearing: sleeveless black and white blouse that only exacerbates that desire to get sun on my skin...also, loving how my hair falls onto my bare shoulders...

Reading: the aforementioned Plenty, Bob Greene's Best Life Diet, and the Dragon Tattoo is still getting attention...

Creating: Brown Rice with Chicken and Broccoli tonight or tomorrow...lists and budgets for the move this weekend...

Going: NOWHERE!!! Holiday weekend coming up and no responsibilities except to ourselves. I'll be in a box if you need me...

Hoping: I get out of my grumps, shore up my strength, and do everything I need to do this weekend to change my health and our living sitch...

Top image from here. Middle one's mine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Heart Monday

This image is my attempt to lighten my mood, coupled with the reality that I'll need to be eating more sunflower seeds in the very-near future. And almonds. And vegetables. And whole grains. And...

Had my "come to Jesus" meeting with the cardiologist today. Most of the advice comes from statistics and the ARNP, but the message is the same. My mood is rather black today, but it's not self-loathing per se, just an undercurrent of anger with myself, and a touch of fear.

My heart's healthy, or as healthy as it can be, given my size. Actually, I'm probably lucky in that aspect...given my diet, I should have beginning atherosclerosis, but my angio last year was clear. But now that I've had 2 or 3 echocardiograms, I'm able to see what results were flukes and what results have stuck around. Same with my blood work. It's enlightening.

It's interesting that the mere mention of placing me on another medication is what's hitting home. They're putting me on Vitamin D for 3 months, but I talked them out of the cholesterol med. I'll add a fish or flaxseed oil supplement and red yeast extract (gotta research...that may be an either/or thing...). And the diet is changing immediately.

So. damn. angry.

Image from here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday planning

Motivation's slow to engage this morning. Temps in low 90s. I'm recognizing that I need to shelve the idea of growing anything this season. Even though the money I would put toward it would be minimal, it would likely be a bust, given the growing conditions here and the fact that my free time needs to be spent on just getting us the hell out of this apartment/godforsaken state. There will be time, and land, later for growing my own food. Patience. Just wish I hadn't grown, and quickly killed, those herbs in the process.

The OT is still present, and so I push on. I'm tired of it literally...came home yesterday and crashed, which is becoming a Saturday ritual, and makes the weekend go by that much faster, because I'm rather useless after I awake. I puttered a bit, but no boxes got worked. That will happen today, once I can conjure the fortitude to hit the store for staples. I need to work in the apartment, rather than let my company loyalty draw me toward the remote work. It needs to be a me day.

Amanda Soule had her baby, a beautiful girl. Not sure why I mention this, except that it's on my mind. I know we won't have a pack of kids someday, but there's still hope for one, or even two. As we head toward a treatment for Les that may decrease his pain, a glimmer of hope alights.

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taking Stock

Hump day seems to bring an upswing in mood. Mondays are brutal by default, and Tuesdays have all the glamour of toe funk, but with Wednesdays, there's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and it may not be the headlamp from the oncoming train. I'm more focused, the coffee actually works, and taking stock can actually happen.

OT is dwindling fast at work, which sucks royally and couldn't happen at a better time. It gets seriously draining, the extra work here and there, and if you're not organized well enough, your head slips underwater quite easily.

So glad we have that little bit of extra dough to celebrate DH's birthday. He NEVER has decent birthdays; something happens to derail things or get him depressed, and this year being the big 4-0, I have my work cut out for me. Gotta run by Wallyworld tonight for potting soil (for the herbs) and some last-minute decorations n' stuff...ordered him a banana cream pie from Village Inn, and got him some nice gifties, and we're going out to dinner tomorrow night.

Darn herbs fade fast if you're not careful...just a day and a half of neglect and the basil already looks sorry. Going to transplant them tonight and rig something for the porch this weekend to keep them outside and protected. One of my last "mad money" purchases may be one of those mini-greenhouse racks of shelving and plastic...

Outside: pleasant...we have even opened the windows the last 2 nights, which is sheer bliss!

Inside: chattery...odd, how the collection agents can annoy me, but I can work fine at home with Spongebob in my left ear....

Wearing: jeans, sneaks, blue top...

Reading: Long Road to a Tomato and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...gonna need to just buy the latter and its counterparts, so I can stop worrying about library deadlines...

Creating: chicken ala king Sunday night that was met with praise...black bean quesadillas tonight, which I think Husby is skeptical about, but I'm betting the overuse of cheese will win him over ;) ... also trying a chicken piccata recipe on Friday...

Going: still weird not having Mom around wanting to do stuff on the weekends...but with OT, the weekends have become Saturday: work and then veg with dead brain and slack jaw; Sunday: mad dash to get shit done. Hopefully, can break that cycle a little while still getting in some relaxing.

Hoping: Les has a good birthday, and I get a little more organized.

Image from here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I need a naturopath. No, I just need to suck it up and change my diet. I'm sitting here with a candida headache that I can't do anything about, because I don't have any Advil, and these headaches usually yawn in a bored fashion and then ignore Advil anyway.....I'm trying to knock it out with extra caffeine and all that's succeeded in doing is making my teeth hurt, which increases the headache. My concentration is shot, and I've already decided I'm blowing off the Y in favor of yoga, after a spot of shopping for Husby's impending birthday. His b'day's Thursday, and I can't stand waiting til the last minute, so.....

What started the headache? Krispy Kremes, plain and simple...indulged because a coworker was offering (hey, Melanie, ever heard of "no, thank you"?) and now it's hard to concentrate on work cuz of the pain...like I needed something else to distract me. Husby's been supplementing my supplements with his Align, but I say what's the point if I'm not willling to help myself? Do I really want diabetes? Insulin resistance? Metabolic disorder? NO! But I'm the goddamn poster child for all that crap if I don't change my eating habits pronto : (

Spent a chunk of the morning doing NC move stuff, and my mods numbers are going to register at suckage level today.....also found a nice, fresh pile of Tumblr sites to follow, which helped punctuate a) how very much there is "out there" to learn from, and b) how very much I need to scale back on the damn-blasted Internet. How do Waldorfers do it?! I gotta find a happy medium somehow, because way too much of my day goes into staring at a screen......

Not sure this blog will ever be more than a journal for me, but there are days I'm sure glad it's here.

Image from here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Doing Right by Us

Sunday stretches before me, full of promise. I'm grateful. Didn't even do much OT this week, but I was working later each day to acquire the privilege of OT on top of time off, plus getting back to exercising, and my brain and bod need better planning. The good news is my knee's doing better; the bad news is my brain shut down last night and I couldn't do more than stare at the tube. Necessary, but frustrating all the same.

I've started a grocery list and created a meal plan for the whole week. This is huge; we've been eating out far too much and last night was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. I stood at Dave & Buster's for a solid half hour waiting for takeout, and realized what an idiot I've been. It was a great meal, and as much as my depressed psyche could handle on a Saturday night after OT and a nap that didn't assuage my tiredness....but it was enough. We're going to do better this week.

We edge ever closer to move time...no real nibbles yet on job hunting, but I need to create some writing samples later this evening, because I have a line on a contract job. Makes things more tenuous, but could at least get us out the door, you know...I'm rather terrified of contract work, but I'm not going to let that scare me off what could be a good opportunity. Also, may be expanding the search...have a feeling Les is saying yes to Charlotte without a fight, because he knows that's a good city for job hunting, but I need to poke the bear on this, see where else he's curious about living. Just because I'm still the breadwinner, doesn't mean we have to be limited by job search parameters. The "I'll move wherever you want, because you make me happy" argument ... yea, it's great, but I'm interested in where he sees our lives headed too.

Image from here.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Looks about right.

Attention span meandering today...hoping for a rally. Gotta work OT tomorrow, but I'm not going to let it shred me. Tired today, though; gonna need a pinch of relax time tomorrow after the website fun.

Happy weekend, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Taking Stock

This is a hard week. Nothing to do but put on a smile, keep your head down, and push through it. The memories are like ocean waves, quiet one moment, threatening to topple you over the next, and all the while your feet sink deeper into the sand.....

This time 4 years ago, we knew he was dying, but he was still communicating...Les and I went home spent, numb, I rested for 10 minutes, and knew I had to get back there, so I changed clothes, grabbed yarn, and drove back, and spent a big chunk of that afternoon sitting on the floor of his hospital room, knitting a new throw for something to do, trying to will the life back into his organs with every stitch.....

Real easy to concentrate on website editing with that crap going through your head...it's a blast.

Tomorrow's 4 years since we lost Dad. Ironically, I have my annual echocardiogram scheduled tomorrow morning, and then I'm going up to the arboretum for a nature walk before heading into work. I pray the aches stay tolerable.

Outside: May in Florida and spring is leaving fast...supposed to get up to mid-90s today. Sonofabitch.

Inside: may need Starbucks and the iPod today to get any work done.

Wearing: jeans, wannabe Birks, favorite shirt

Reading: Long Road to a Tomato, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Whole Foods Market Cookbook

Creating: a fitness regimen that works apparently! Looking forward to the Y again tonight, not overdoing it, knee feeling OK.....

Going: OT Saturday, then closing myself in the living room until we pare at least 6 boxes down to 3...

Hoping: Dad knows we're doing OK.

Image from here.

Monday, May 09, 2011


I've been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster with my knee...not wanting to shell out a co-pay, just so an orthopedist can tell me what I already know: that I need to lose the weight and that RICE alternated with heat and ibuprofen are the basic treatments for osteoarthritis...while also wondering if I'm being a know-it-all. I probably am, but after one too many visits to my general practitioner for one thing or another where she ends up confirming what I figured out online, it becomes harder to get off my high horse. And I know my body...I'm not enjoying significant pain, just aches and stiffness with intermittent weaknesses; and after skipping the Y for like, April, I'm not ready to think it's something else until I've been back at the exercise for a month or so.

So I laid out a fitness plan for May, and I'm actually trying to follow it. There's stuff planned out for basically every day, but there's wiggle room...the yoga days are becoming off days too frequently already, but I am back at the Y, in spite of the delicious/damn OT at work. However, no one should have to suffer through the Y on a Monday evening...it's packed to the rafters with guilty yuppies who just had naughty weekends...makes it hard to even get on the machines.

So I declared Monday my walking day. It's been too damn long since I've been in the fresh air. Had to walk to the store on Saturday, because we had a flat tire and needed quarters to top off the spare, and it was like getting reacquainted with the outdoors, in all its glaring splendor. Felt good and lousy at the same time, because I didn't think to wear my knee brace, so my knee gave me nice stabs of intermittent pain there and back that had me wondering just how much cartilege is left in the damn thing...

Also, I signed up for the Heart Walk in September. I'll beg for dough for that in another post. My reasoning: a) I wanted to sign up for the Arthritis Walk, but they already had Jacksonville's this year and Charlotte's happens before I move, b) the AHA may deal more with heart attacks and strokes, but I can always hope that some funds go to research to prevent/detect aortic dissections better, and c) I needed a goal. I don't buy that you've necessarily walked 2 miles if the elliptical machine says you have, so I knew this would get me outdoors more.

I set out tonight with just enough daylight left to get me up to the Episcopal church and back, which I thought was 2 miles (Daily Mile says it's 2.67...hot damn!). The brace changes my gait, and this isn't a bad thing. My stride can be long, which snaps out my legs and doesn't do my knees any good either. With the brace on and my knee's current inconsistencies, it's a much more careful gait that follows my posture better. I don't break any speed records right now and I'm fine with that; was still a good cardio workout. I don't wear an iPod either, because while I feel safe in my neighborhood, it's not the same thing as trusting your neighborhood to be safe. Plus there's quite a few cyclists that time of night, who can't safely use the access road; and we have a homeless guy who rides in our area too...appears harmless, but also talks and sings to himself. So I like to have my wits about me.

So I watched for people and traffic and my wheels turnedturnedturned in my head about how deeply furious I am with myself for letting my body break down like this and how important it's becoming that I get healthy. If anybody tried anything while I was out and about, I wouldn't be able to break into a run right now. When you're big, you feel invincible, even if it's flab; you develop a hearty ego and feel like you can handle anything. That's not the case at present. I'm developing an empathy for Les and Mom, understanding a bit better the frustration that accompanies disability. The difference is mine is avoidable and can be remedied, at least in part.

My knee wasn't stiff this evening; the day's stiffness had been lubricated away by the walk. That was a powerful lesson, because it's very easy to not want to exercise when it's aching or stiff; but remembering that with care, you can do some good, is vital.

Tomorrow's healthy lunch and snacks are prepped, and I'll hit the Y after work. I feel proud and strong.

Image from here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Taking Stock

So. Whatever barely-worth-mentioning weight was lost a month ago has been gained back and then some, and I am finally back on the Y horse...or bike or elliptical or whatever.

I was expecting bad news on the scale, but it still stings; and the latest concerns with my right knee had me torn as to what the hell I could do exercise-wise...torn being an appropriate verb, since I'm worried about tearing something. It's weaker since the move (and the frickin' month off I took from the Y) and gets stiff easier; but thankfully the ache is minimal still. So it's time to get back on my machines and suck it up, and while I'm at it, start journaling food again...because I'm so a candidate for insulin resistance and metabolic disorder. Who am I kidding, I'm already there...

Outside: mild, 60s to 80s today...

Inside: vanilla

Wearing: the most comfortable outfit on the planet...my blue-green paisley shirt, beige SOFT Lee slacks that I need 10 more pairs of, and black flats....seriously, I could be buried in this outfit, if I weren't being cremated...

Reading: The Garden of Eating, Goat Song, keep picking up and putting down Made from Scratch...which is why I'm so glad I own it now :)

P.S. Goat Song really graphic...if you ever wanted to know about goat nookie, this is the book for you. I wasn't a fan of goats for my future farm before starting to read, but I'm pretty certain they aren't an option now. Practically made me squeamish, and I'm not normally one of those girls...cockroaches make me weak, but otherwise, I can stand ankle-deep in manure, if you know what i mean...

Creating: still dry in this department....do To-Do lists count?

Going: hopefully nowhere special...too much to do at home.

Update: The most recent medical tests were fine. Have an echo next week, just an annual check, so not expecting any surprises, but the blood work should result in a come-to-Jesus talk with my cardiologist later in the month. Meantime, I'll start that food journaling and I am scheduling Y workouts in between my OT time.

Image from here.

Monday, May 02, 2011


I'm a Buddhist. I may be just starting out in the study of the philosophy, I may not have the ole monkey mind settled by any stretch of the imagination yet, but I can safely say I've become a Buddhist.

Upon seeing the news this morning that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by our Navy Seals, my fleeting response was relief...the boogeyman was no more, Voldemort was conquered. But I say fleeting, because immediately following that news, the pictures came up on the web showing people dancing and celebrating in front of the White House, and my relief turned quickly to repulsion, to sorrow for a mankind that would celebrate another human's death, no matter how much destruction he had perpetrated on our soil. And I'm afraid to say much more because then I'm welcoming comment from folks questioning my patriotism or sanity.

I understand the need to celebrate. I do. I sat in my office at 8:40-whatever on 9/11 and watched in horror as the towers fell (the company had wheeled in a couple of giant TVs so we could follow it, because even 10 years ago, TV was better at reporting that stuff than web vid...and we're a website company!), and I spent the morning in fear, dialing through jammed circuits to ensure that my friend on 5th Avenue had been nowhere near the destruction. She was fine, had a bird's eye view of it, as it turned out. I plain couldn't watch any of the 9/11 movies or documentaries that were made, because it was just too chilling...hearing the tapes, the "let's roll!" of the PA flight, sends chills down my spine to this day...because I understand the love of country that would bring those people to fight their captors. As time passed, I read the first-hand accounts of folks who lived through it, and the NY L&Os did a nice job of highlighting the health ailments, PTSD, and other issues that have befallen NY's police and firefighters in the wake of the tragedy. Yes, I know that's fiction, but it gives you the nudge to learn more...and the more is heart-breaking.

But I can't accept an eye for an eye.

Pause while my old College Republican buddies pass out cold from the shock...

Even with the thousands of deaths that occurred at the hands of this man, even with the monumental suffering he has caused in our nation and around the world, the level of hatred and destruction he has encouraged and created...it doesn't justify his murder. All I could think after that first wash of relief was "where does it end?" They talk of the threat of terrorism being heightened in the wake of his death, and the US just laughs, because this act has proven, once and for all, that you don't fuck with us, that whatever suicide bombers come our way, we can handle it...and the wheel keeps turning, pointing us further from peace.

I get that peace won't occur in my lifetime, I'm not an idiot. But free will gives me the ability to feel this way. Beyond this, I'll keep silent on the subject. I know my thoughts and they're unpopular, and I'm not a debater when it comes to personal philosophy.

P.S. Snitched from my friend A. with thanks:
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Images from here, here, and here.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Thoughts of a Sunday

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
~ John Wooden

Image from here.