Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taking Stock & Food for Thought

Turning over another leaf...

I'm sitting in the parking lot of KFC last night, waiting on dinner because we haven't planned any meals yet this week. I'm reading the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous and chuckling to myself at the irony. Oh-ho-ho, I'm so clever.....until I realized I no longer saw humor in it.

This was coupled with the news that Paula Deen has dropped 2 pants sizes recently, thanks to portion control and exercise. Paula Deen...a woman whose obsession with butter borders on the disturbing.

Also coupled with the fact that while the tax return money has been burning a hole in my pocket (as evidenced by the number of pairs of shoes arriving in the mail that I've "invested" in), I've been looking at health books and thinking, don't spend the money, you already have the knowledge that's in them. And this from someone who never met a book she didn't want to buy.

What follows will read like some rationalizations, but I swear they aren't intentional cop-outs designed to give me an excuse to eat poorly. It's about preparation, which today I didn't perform. So lunchtime...wasn't in the mood for a Panera salad, so grabbed a half sub at Publix instead. Allowing myself this today, because we need to go food shopping. I'm well-aware I need to wean off the cold cuts and the soda that accompanied it. Today I allow myself the soda, because I'm recognizing how deprived I'll feel without some sweet (can't cold turkey a 40-year addiction, folks...I've got physical, chemical, and emotional blood sugar to reconcile with in this process), and it reminds me to purchase those Back to Nature juice pouches for my lunches. Yea, I'm rationalizing, but most of this lunch was about making better choices than normal. Like half sub vs. whole one and the ensuing discomfort that comes with it.

Then I look at the Baked Lays, and realize this will be my last bag of those for the foreseeable future. Why? Aren't they "healthy"? Yea, right...those delectable slices of dried potato also contain soy, sugar, and 3 different incarnations of corn. It's a friggin' poster child for why it's important to eat non-GMO products, because you just don't know what you're getting otherwise. I can't stand those corn sugar commercials that the food industry is desperately foisting on us lately, in a vain attempt to relieve themselves of some of the bad press...saying there's no difference between regular sugar and corn sugar. OK, true...but then why is it necessary to put regular sugar, corn sugar, maltose, fructose, and lordknowswhatelse into my store-bought granola bars? You're telling me there aren't other ways to attain sweetness....yea, nice try. Even if the corn wasn't genetically modified, my argument's valid. I'm so glad I finally get that. If it means reading every damn ingredient list before food passes my lips, then great - at least I'm going in with eyes open.

See, just writing about it here is making me want to make just oooooooone more purchase: Clean Start or Clean Food. Because Terry Walters does appear to provide excellent guidelines on how to get the hell off the processed food. So many vegetable-centric cookbooks contain flavors I need to ease into slowly...Kind Life for example, great resource, but I'm not a huge fan yet of Indian food or sauteeing bok choy and fennel with my kombu. But the Clean books by Terry have interesting recipes that I look forward to trying. Husby's a veggie guy, but he grew up eating them Southern-style...fry 'em up in fatback and where the hell's the cheese? So shaping the recipes to stuff we both might enjoy will take some effort. Should be a little easier though, because he's lost weight again, and with losing Dad to cancer, he's getting gung-ho about trying to eat healthier too.

So, now that I've bored you-all with food talk...

Outside: I can't complain. It would be unseemly. Florida shed the overcast this morning with the fog and is dumping obnoxiously beautiful warmth and sunshine all over us today. High 80ish. Feels nice.

Inside: vanilla...wouldn't mind knowing about the promotion so I can get on with my life...

Wearing: who gives a crap...think I'll ditch this topic...

Reading: see above reading material from KFC parking lot.

Creating: started a cowl, ignoring UFOs.

Going: out and about in town...OT, New Balance, the Y, Husby has a class on Saturday afternoon...

Hoping...I can get off my butt this weekend and make bread, granola, healthy meals and snacks.

Image from here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mental floss...with an eclair


I miss New York-style eclairs. They're harder to come by down here.

I know, I know, how do I expect to ever lose the weight if I'm obsessed with bad food....? But you're listening to someone who tucked her Starbucks donut into her purse next to her copy of the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous this morning, so obviously there's still some work to be done in this area...

Strange winter in Florida...surprised people aren't grouchier here. I certainly am. We've had overcast conditions for most of February, which while totally normal north of the Mason-Dixon line, is completely out of the ordinary down here. Considering how easy it is to get used to all the damn sunshine here, I'm surprised more people aren't heading up to bell towers by now.

Side note: lousy week to make a bell tower joke. My prayers and sympathy go out to the community of Chardon, Ohio.

I'm shopping for sneakers this week and contemplating a haircut. Trying my damnedest not to buy the other 2 pairs of shoes I have my eye on, until we've bought food this week and other sundries...pretty sure they'll need to wait til the next OT check, which thankfully has been getting offered again...shouldn't get my hopes up, though; if I get the job, I switch to salary, which may not be a good thing. Wish I knew what they were willing to pay for that dang position...I'd hate to have gone through the interview process and end up turning them down because there's a chance I could make more money where I'm at. Frustrating prospect, but possible...this company is nice to work for, but the pay is still below the industry norm. They get away with it by a combination of how we produce the sites (the assembly line nature of the biz) and the fact that we're located in Jacksonville, which isn't a real city and never will be. I hate not knowing...

So I have a dentist appointment today, a bird decided to crap rather gloriously all over my car this morning, and we're heading back into the 80s tomorrow...whinewhinewhine. Hate when I get like this.

I can feel us sliding in rut territory at home. Might be just me, but I'm having another "gods, but I hate where we live" moment. We're so in-between...and I've been mentioning to Husby that if by some fluke, it's just smarter to stay in Jax even longer than December (gods please help my sanity if that turns out to be the case!), then we're moving anyway, to a rental house. So I have trouble seeing the point in unpacking any of the current boxes in the place, except for the fact that it absolutely needs to occur again, so we can purge more STUFF! I'm just restless, and not crazy about how Section 8 the neighborhood's starting to feel. I guess I don't do well in limbo.

Image from here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Regroup (and Independence Days Challenge)

I think I need this notepad for the weekends.

I have weekends where not much gets done. This was one of them.

And yes, I slacked on the Independence Days Challenge again, but in my defense, those interviews kinda sucked my brain dry. The first interview was Thursday with my boss, a VERY organized lady who I've known for years; and the 2nd interview on Friday was a panel with one guy I've known for years and 2 strangers (all directors within the company). The panel interview was actually easier, because gods bless them, they followed a script pretty strictly and I had ready-made answers in my head to quite a few of their questions. The first interview was tougher.

So now I wait. I'll be freaked, excited, and a little baffled if I get the job and a combo plate of disappointed and relieved if I don't...and I was really jazzed after that 2nd interview because I knew regardless, I'd done my best.

Worked a pinch of OT on Saturday, then relaxed. Saturday evening, the tax return arrived (hello friend!), so we went out Sunday to buy a new vacuum cleaner, bed sheets, and wiper blades. I'm stocking up on decent shoes and Husby's rifle shopping. So nice to have a little dough to work with.

Plant something: have to really rethink this category, because I was reminded this morning that the ducks STILL use our back porch as a stopping-off point and potential nesting area, the bastards.

Harvest something: myself, in those interviews this week.

Preserve something: nothing literal, but we did eat in even after discovering the tax return on Saturday night, because the food needed to be cooked. Baby steps.

Waste not: Took bins to recycling center. Old vacuum heading there too.

Want not: yea, epic fail, but everything we bought yesterday was needed...our old vacuum died like, 2 months ago, and with the cat's flea issues, it's not something we could go without any longer. All our sheets developed irreparable holes around the same time, the bastards, and wiper blades aren't something you can drag your feet on long in Florida...on my shoe purchases, I'm trying not to go nuts but the plain truth is I need shoes that will last me for years, so I'm trolling the web for sale prices and making investments.

Eat the food: heh...yea, really need to study these categories more. See "Preserve something". Also, eating Saturday's dinner as lunch leftovers today.

Build community systems: insert laugh track

Skill up: I wish...definitely need to study these more this week. Will keep my mind busy, maybe I won't spend the whole week worrying that I'll actually get the job...

Image from here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking Stock

Woke up this morning with no neck pain!!!

Outside: Overcast, almost warm. Bleh.

Inside: a touch noisy...they've been breaking down cubes and building 'em back up, to make room for more employees. Third floor is busting at the seams.

Wearing: beige slacks, sea green top, oxfords, awesome beige overshirt from Dad J.

Reading: not much this week...gotta renew/return a pile of library books, see where my interests are. Depending on how the interviews go, I may have to dive into Dad J's MBA texts this weekend, bone up on my business/management knowledge.

Creating: found a nice cowl pattern, and an earflap hat that's getting started as soon as I can buy the yarn with the tax return (to the detriment of all my current UFOs, of course).

Going: the recycling center. The pile's getting unruly.

Hoping...I'd like the QC Manager job. I'm pretty scared of failing, certainly, but I'm totally skilled for it and bored outta my skull. This position would give me some much-needed responsibility and a stronger role in communications. Since we got off front-facing phone work in QC, I've been a closet case...just let me do my work, don't bother me, I'm in my shell...doesn't make for the healthiest or most productive work relationships. And the company has grown exponentially in the last couple of years, so there are plenty of holes in the process that need plugging. I'm so ready for more of a role in making that happen.

Otherwise, Les is talking a bit more about his dad, which is good, and he's taking a Reiki class next week that will give him a bit of knowledge that should kick-start more study. I'm not eating right this week, but I'm thinking hard about what we can afford and where healthy and convenient need to meet at our house. Such a balancing act...realized it when I wanted to buy rice (for cooking), almond (for coffee, oatmeal), and cow's milk (for Les) this week and just couldn't justify the expense, not even for possible improved health. One day at a time.

Image from here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Random Tuesday Brain Wanderings

Since my musings on Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be rather scatty/random, I actually grabbed my paperback Roget's just now to see if I could find a synonym for "random" that started with T, so I could be alliterative with my subject line.....further proving what a big ole grammar nerd I am. Alas, Roget's crapped out on me...

Quarter past noon and I'm finally awake....all hail coffee!

Been married almost 13 years now, and for a good chunk of those years, dear Husby has spent them on the couch, because his darn head/pain issues screw up his sleep patterns, or he gets dozing and forgets to come to bed. This means I've had the big king-size bed all to myself. Comfy, but lonely.

However, his time at the family house in SC on various beds and couches brought home to him just how godawfulfriggin' uncomfortable our couch is for sleeping, and he's been making an effort to hit the sack, in the actual bedroom, ever since. This makes me over-the-moon happy (sleeping together?! like a "real" married couple?! eeeeeeeeee!!!), but also means I usually nudge awake when he finally climbs in, and my brain turns on. I don't even mind that, or that he needs to drift off with the TV on...but I'm realizing it may mean a smidge less sleep for me until we both get used to the new arrangement. Hilarious that this is a new arrangement after 15 years of living together, but hey, it is what it is...and so long as those big brown eyes still greet me every morning, I'm happy.

I'm reacquainting myself with the concept of "to do" lists. Between interviewing for the manager position and dragging my feet on planting anything (because I don't want to start anything unless I can also spend the money on a mini-greenhouse set-up that will keep out the squirrels, feral ducks, and other critters that obtain access to my tiny porch, as well as shield it from the damn Western exposure), I was a little discouraged recently about how far off my little homestead still seems. But Jenna's been yelling at us quite a bit lately in a rather "Nike" tone of voice about how nothing's gonna get started until you, y'know, frickin START already!, so I brought the Backyard Homestead to work today to read on my lunch again and get my brain wheels turning...

Besides, the sense of accomplishment when you cross stuff off a "to do" list is so satisfying...I may not have fresh eggs or even a backyard yet, but I'm still on my way.

This was brought home to me early this past weekend as well, on a different topic. I've been wanting to get back into sewing, maybe quilting, maybe garments, maybe home decor stuff, who knows. I have 2 frickin' sewing machines collecting dust and quite a few books on the subject. But reading about quilting, you quickly become aware that that line of thought has its own language attached, and I realized I needed to re-educate myself, because with the exception of the occasional hem or patch job, I really haven't studied or performed sewing, oh, since my 7th grade Girl Scout sewing badge, for gosh sakes! So the idea would get set aside, again and again and again. Until my inner voice said, hey dummy, don't you already have books on the subject? Like The Sewing Bible, which is rather perfect for reacquainting oneself with the craft?

Pull from shelf, crack open, sigh, self-flaggellate some more, finally get reading...

Why is it that most often, WE are what's standing in our way...?

Image snitched from here.

Monday, February 20, 2012


That's how the weekend looked. I had no idea how badly I needed it.

The TNT and USA networks aided and abetted my slackerism with the usual marathons, the Kindle got so much use on Saturday I'm pretty sure my continued neck ache is caused by Mah Jong, and I napped both days and was still tired at the end of the night. My body needed a recharge badly, and thanks to my Husby's enabling attitude (go relax! take a nap!), I did just that and feel better for it.

We Lyons' don't do relaxing well....always gotta be goinggoinggoing...the Energizer™ neurotic. But the kitchen still got tidied, the laundry still got done. There's a lesson there.

I completely blew off the Independence Days Challenge on Friday. Not going to make that a habit, but also not going to even try to record what, if anything, occured in that arena last week. My body was still going through the shingles recovery process, and my heart wasn't in much of anything. This week will be busy; I'm interviewing for a promotion so I doubt there will be much to report this Friday either...but I'm thinking with a clearer head this week and that's what counts.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Image from here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Taking Stock

Food photography is evil. And apparently I'm in the mood for self-flaggellation. Dear gods, those look good!

Outside: overcast, threatening rain next couple of days. Determined to ignore thermometer.

Inside: boring. Blogger is sleepy.

Wearing: beige slacks, red sweater, oxfords.

Reading: Backyard Homestead, Amish Knitting Circle series, Clean Food, Rodale's Whole Foods Cookbook...list not comprehensive. Nose in book or magazine constantly these days.

Creating: nada...juju has been temporarily misplaced. And this is also practically the first day in 2 weeks that I've wanted to lift my arms anywhere.

Going: nowhere. For at least a month. Hibernation time.

Wow, is this the first time I've taken stock since Dad J. passed? : (
This section had taken on a theme of prayer for him in recent months. Reminded me of the nightly prayers I'd say as a kid, that roteness: God bless Mom and Dad and Cyril (pre-Meara)...and Grandma and Grandpa and Nanie...and all my relatives and friends...and help me to be a good girl tomorrow with school...
What do I hope for today? I hope I'm there emotionally and physically for Husby whenever he needs me, as his brain processes his loss. I hope the shingles continues to heal, and I can get back to more activity. Energy level is still sapped. I hope I can get back into yoga and meditation; those activities have slipped big-time. I hope I can dig into the apartment without it making me too nutty. Such first-world hopes, I know, but that can't be helped.

Image from here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The random ramblings of a shingles-addled web editor

Valentine's Day. It's definitely easier to handle when you wake up to yellow roses, a box of chocolates, and the sweetest guy in the world in your house. SO good to have him home!

Interesting, learning how your body reacts to stress. Yesterday I took the day off to recover from the driving back and forth to SC. I puttered, watched the tube, read, played, and reveled in the fact that Husby was home. Neck and shoulders felt considerably better, both when I initially woke up and as the day progressed.

Today I'm back at work, the sledgehammer is back resting on my right shoulder, and it's making me grumbly.

I'm pretty sure if I cut repeats out of my TV watching, I'd be down to 2 shows: House and NCIS. And House is done after this season. Food for thought, to be sure...

I'm definitely a student of religion right now. Glad I've reached a point where I accept the Christianity of others without feeling like they drank the Kool-Aid and need to try out free will sometime. But I'm definitely a Unitarian in my own beliefs. Been researching Hinduism, because I've watched/read Eat Pray Love one too many times, and my Lil Sisinlaw's study of the craft has me digging back into the works of Scott Cunningham and Margot Adler, while also keeping a hold on my Buddhism studies, seeing how I can blend Hindu/Buddhist meditation into a daily practice in my own life. This kind of needs to occur, I think. I'm in the right place for it right now.

I couldn't make it into Heather's workshop in time. Was disappointed briefly, but it's OK. That money can be spent buying Terry Walters' books, maybe another whole foods cookbook, and investing in kitchen appliances that will assist me in my clean, healthy food endeavors. Like an electric rice cooker, so I can stop having to steel wool my medium-sized pot, because I've become rather skilled at burning rice, beans, anything I'm not steaming, b/c I'm too scatty to keep an eye on it.....sigh.....also want an air popcorn popper, one of those easy onion choppers, and I'm hopefully inheriting a waffle iron from Lil Sisinlaw. There's some serious weekend food prep and menu planning in our futures.

Been having delusions of grandeur about the dang tax return, thinking of ways to spend the sucker. I know how precious the extra dough is though (OT is a faint memory here unfortunately), and it'll probably go right into the savings account once it arrives, until we determine what things we need vs. what things we just want. I'm getting a lot better at that, and the purse moratorium I declared this year helps. Still...

Image from here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Independence Days Challenge Week 1

Man, pancakes on the brain this week! Still haven't made 'em...hopefully Monday...

Oh nutterbutters! Amazing how selective our memories can be. Was just saying that to Lil Sis today, because I was craving one of those heavenly artisan sandwiches from Starbucks. I've been trying to remove dairy (or switch to organic) and factory farmed foods from my diet and I've had at least one of those suckers this week. Habit is a serious bitch.

So I kind of already forgot about Independence Days, though in my defense, it's been really hard to focus on stuff this week; so I'm giving myself a half-pass on account of the shingles. My shoulders and neck have been a new experience in pain for me this week, and not much home preparedness has been occurring at all. Still, gonna go through the motions, because it'll be good for me to see all the places where I want to improve.

Plant Something: not a darn thing, but thinking about a pizza garden to start...tomatoes, peppers, and basil. Cuz I heart pizza and REALLY want to be making it from scratch rather than via Domino's. Supply buying hopefully next week.

Harvest Something: hmm...kind of have to have stuff planted to harvest anything. I'm counting the purchase of carrots and cukes under here, because I did juice with them this week, which is a step in the right direction.

Preserve Something: not yet. Until the Florida strawberries show up, I'll content myself with reading Ashley's book to learn how, and buying the needed supplies (the Ball beginner's kit, more mason jars, etc.).

Waste Not: I did pack lunch at the beginning of the week, then backslid (though I count eating @ Chipotle as a good step too), but again, the damn shingles has me barely wanting to lift my arms, let alone cook for myself. I have been working from the cabinets...only thing I bought this week after the big shop was shampoo. I'm determined on this one though, and I have plenty of beans, rice, and veggie options in the larder to feed myself with right now.

Want Not: yea, this is kind of a biggie...the impending tax return has me thinking about shoes, big time. Again, this can be explained though, and it's not really a rationalization...I want to spend more money on shoes now that will last me for several years, rather than spend money on crap shoes that will last a year at most and make my arthritis worse in the process (a cycle that has been the norm up until now). I have my eye on more Eastlands and a pair of dress sneaks from LLBean, and I'm planning to call the new podiatrist and spend the money on fresh orthotics, so I won't have anything to bitch about as it gets warmer (my current orthotics can't be worn for long periods without socks, because the top's separating from the bottom and could cause blisters...but this is Florida, where socks are barely worn, so...). I'm also planning to register for Heather's workshop the minute the tax return comes in...I'm SO ready for her knowledge in my life!!!

Eat the Food: yea, another one that won't be worked until the planting and preserving really begins...

Build Community Systems: thoughts only, no action. I am thinking of calling RAM on the carpet for advertising Reed's Groves as a "local" farm source; pretty sure the only thing local about them is their citrus - they're really a distribution company.

Skill Up: nothing...blame the shingles...things on this list for future attention include bread baking that doesn't produce a brick, the preserving (salsa! strawberry jam! tomato sauce from scratch!)...hmm, what else?...refinishing the Dad cabinets, that's been on the back burner for like, ever...

Man, I'm so glad I'm doing this! Great ideas and progress in store this year! Have a great weekend, y'all! Kidnapping the husband back to Florida this weekend, yay!

Image from here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Taking Stock

Comfort food. Could def use some of that.

Outside: pleasant, not too warm.

Inside: meh.

Wearing: remember the crazy patterned sweaters that Cosby used to wear on the Cosby Show? Inherited one of those from Dad J. So. Comfy! Jeans and oxfords.

Reading: Clean Food by Terry Walters. Def need to own both of her books.

Creating: not much this week, shoulder/neck pain heeding desire/progress.

Going: prob SC to pick up Husby this weekend.

So rash plus neck/shoulder pain equals shingles. Fantastic. I'm sitting there in the doc's office, not surprised by the diagnosis really, but when he said it was a mild case, I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "so you're not going to give me the good stuff, huh?" I haven't been with this doc office long enough for them to know I'm not normally a drug seeker, so I stayed quiet. Being the spouse of a pain management patient, I'm used to the dance that's required with medical professionals, the need to tread lightly if you're gonna get any relief from them. But goddamn, the pain sucks! He did give me antibiotics and steroids, and I have some supplemental sources of relief beyond ibuprofen that should get me through the next few days. Say some prayers that this resolves itself quickly though. I'm annoyed, grouchy, and mopey.

Image from here.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Coming back to me

I hate when it seemingly takes me forever to ramp up and get moving on a day, but damn, it feels good once I'm there. Coffee and vegetables...

Today's shaping up nicely. I'm eating healthy (well, except for the coffee, but baby steps), because I'm tired of feeling like crap. My neck's still sore, but I'm taking Advil and getting the hell off the foods that could be causing excess inflammation. I know I can't stop arthritis from traveling to other parts of my body, but if that's what this neck pain is, I'm over it already! Gotta slow that shit to a crawl...and pondering a Sobakawa pillow purchase too, cuz I'm curious about the hype.

Vitamin E appears to be helping the pain of those weird sores on the back of my neck at the hairline. I'm getting off dairy and simple carbs. I'm reading Clean Food by Terry Walters (another one for my bookshelf someday soon), and I'm hoping Heather will accept late admissions to her workshop, because I want to register for her course the minute the tax return comes in.

I've been trolling the web for a decent menu planner page to handwrite on weekly and place on the fridge or other common area. I'm sitting here at work with at least 3 ideas for dinner, but by the time 5:30 p.m. rolls around, I'm so emotionally hungry I always look for the quick feed instead, regardless of nutritional value. So the OA books that I bought and have been ignoring have to get some read time tonight. Also, working the menu plan before the week arrives may help Husby, since he gets way indecisive on food with his sketchy appetite, plus the fact that I'll be trimming the amount of meat I eat again. Unless it's grass-fed/organic, I don't want it in me, so that cuts a LOT out, given our budget. And planning on the weekends means more food prep on the weekends, so I can grab stuff out of the freezer or jars for quick heat on the weekdays.

LOVE how strong I feel once I make some healthy choices! Today I juiced my lunch and followed it with a banana, and I think I can steer clear of the vending machines and rampant chocolate nearby with the snacks I still have to go through (orange, baby carrots).

Image from here.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Homesteading, Independence Days Challenge

LOVE those bread bins...

Full of promise Monday...been a while since I've felt one of those...

Weekend was OK, almost satisfying. Relaxed quite a bit, enjoyed some loneliness without my man. Watched Super Bowl last night, ate lousy food. Today, another leaf body's actually craving healthy after all the crap I ate yesterday, I'm drinking water instead of soda, packed my lunch. Gotta love the seesaw.

My thoughts are's early, but given I've never done some of the projects I hope to do this spring, not inappropriate to plan ahead. I read Sharon Astyk's blogs; her brain intimidates me, but her stuff is interesting as hell, and she started up the Independence Days Challenge again. Feels right, so I'm going to try it. I'll report on Fridays how it's going, and hopefully have more to report than: "still recycling." See link on the right for more info.

Reading glasses take some serious getting-used-to...was thinking I didn't need them for standard computer work, until I started to get a headache that went away almost immediately when I put the damn things back on. Highly annoying.

Image from here.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Full of promise...for sleep?

So I'm back. Still feels like the coward's way out, having to get back to real work, earning money. Les hasn't been home for 2 very long and hard weeks, and is staying for 1 more, to make sure Mom's OK and hopefully get another member of the family driving in that time.

The service was beautiful. My stupid cold made me start hacking right in the middle of it, so I missed some parts while I was outside trying to keep my lungs inside my body; but it also meant I was outside for the Marine corpsman playing Taps, which was easily the most beautiful rendition of that piece I've ever heard. The weather was perfect, low 60s and sunny. We had a reception afterward, and spent the rest of the week attempting to slip back into something that resembled normalcy. We purged quite a bit of Dad's side of the closet and inherited a bunch. The fact that I fit into some of his shorts and 1 pair of his jeans is alternately disturbing and hilarious, depending on where my self-esteem is at the time.

I'm tired, rather bone tired. Slept fine last night, felt great to be back in my own bed, but today's rather fuzzy around the edges and I ache to be outta here. Also ache in my left shoulder, did something weird that has me aching all along the left side of my neck. Quite annoying, and 5 hours with a seatbelt RIGHT THERE didn't help yesterday. Whinewhinewhine...some truly weird breakouts/rashes in that area too that I'm guessing are stress-related...

Came back to find another boss has flown the coop and the job's up for grabs. I should really try for it again. I talk a good game about getting us up to SC before the lease runs out in December, but I know my head's up my arse where that's concerned. Just not feasible. So why not take a chance at earning more money at a job I'm practically overqualified for? Let the internal self-sabotage talk commence...

This weekend...I'm making a list. Or two or three. Being in SC for a whole week is a bit like being off-grid; I unplugged a bit and for the most part, didn't miss it. There are so many other things on my plate beyond the Internet. I want to start planting. Stocking up on mason jars for strawberry canning in another month or so. Eat well, get to the Y or out for walks. Open up the house and scrub the yuck spots. Purge more belongings. Mostly, I just want to recharge, think, study. This year can't just fly by like the others have; at the end of it, I have a very solid goal in mind.

In spite of the reason for being up there, I felt more at peace than I have in a while. I love SC, the rural/suburban simplicity of the towns and how surrounded by nature they are. Winding among the hills in the car, driving back with the windows down, breathing deeply...tucking away the memories for when the city starts getting to me.

Image from here.