Thursday, August 30, 2012

Taking Stock

food hangover (n): the lethargy that occurs upon waking up the morning after eating naughty foods and then going straight to bed.

Yea, I'm there this morning...tired and ornery, even though I crashed by 10 PM and didn't have weird dreams or anything. On the upside, the cherry cobbler I made was edible, but damn, way too much butter! Gotta stop pulling recipes from Southern magazines....I swear any recipe created south of the Mason-Dixon needs a disclaimer and a link to Paula Deen's diabetes story.

No traveling this weekend with money being so tight, but we're planning a trip mid-September.

Doc upped my Paxil. I love my fast metabolism...already feeling the difference. I acknowledge I'll be on some form of this type of med for my lifetime, but it does beg the question that if I'm increasing the dosage to the max, am I just delaying the inevitable (time to change meds)? We're giving it 3 months.

Outside: tails of Isaac...

Inside: chilly...quiet...

Wore: more exciting than "Wearing"...yesterday was Pajama Day at work, got to wear my footie pajamas. They were a hit, but I confess I was ready for regular clothes by days' end.

Creating: handmade foods...and thinking about picking up yarn this weekend. It's been WAY too long.

Reading: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs, September Vogue, Mother Earth News, and checking the mailbox for the new issue of Taproot.

Going: see above.

It's going to be a weekend of quiet projects, of computer time spent outlining the different facets of the move, of budgeting and planning. I'm hoping to purchase more boxes, do more organizing around the house...might get really anal and catalog the boxes with like, labels and a spreadsheet. There's so much...probably a good idea, just time-consuming. Well, no time like the present, when I'm burning a pinch of PTO and have a holiday on the other end of the weekend...

Safe Labor Day, y'all!

Image from here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Navigating August's End

I'd love to indulge in more autumn shots, but I just can't feel it when we're still dealing with high 80s and more humidity than you can shake a proverbial stick at. Isaac may have largely passed us by in favor of smacking New Orleans, but we won't feel Fall here til it almost won't matter...

I ache for Asheville (or nearby parts north) and it was in that frame of mind that I tucked into projects this past weekend. Had Friday and Monday off, originally because we were going to visit Hubs' folks, but it fell through because a) really would've only been a 1 day visit because they were returning from vacations of their own, b) we REALLY didn't have the gas money to jaunt up there (and won't for another 3 weeks), and c) on the eve we were thinking of leaving, another back window motor died and there was much turmoil for a pinch because we weren't sure that sucker was going to go back up, or if we were going to be another car of several in our apartment driveway with a taped plastic bag protecting the interior from the elements. Yes, we live in a classy neighborhood (winkwink)...but hey, in this economy, people are running their cars into the ground before investing in new. We did manage to get the window up; they're both taped shut now...

It was a pokey, at-home weekend. Friday, I dragged most of our belongings out of the bedroom closet and managed to rearrange it in a manner that's slightly more organized. Saturday was laundry day. Sunday, I hit the dining room for a spell. That area's the toughest, because while I'd like to pack ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in that area, I know it's still too instead I pack a little, clear some paths, organize a bit. We did a Goodwill trip on Sunday when we went to drop the recycling, and I did purge quite a few old boxes or downsize 'em. Hey, whatever keeps me sane.

Yesterday was a rest day...I depitted cherries while watching a Mentalist marathon, made a cobbler, some mediocre butterscotch bars, and the week's waffles. Had a doc appt that involved good news (see weight loss # at lowered cholesterol, no trace of prediabetes, normal damn!). I think the minute September hits, I'll start job hunting...the stock's been dropping and a decision will need to be made very soon.

Soapbox: the Israeli court's decision in the Rachel Corrie case is reprehensible. It's a clear case of political and religious agendas overriding basic human rights. I can't care that they don't have the same freedoms of speech as we do, and I'm not learned enough on the topic to engage in debate over whether Palestine should ever become a real nation. All I know is that there was nothing "accidental" at all about that bulldozer driver running her over, stopping, and then backing over her again. She was murdered for voicing her beliefs, and I pray that her voice will continue to be heard.

Image from here.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Taking Stock

Sometimes it's a good thing that money is tight. I'm having an early autumn jones lately, and these boots above (as well as these) are on my list of potential purchases, if I can't wrangle them out of family members as birthday pressies next month. Patience, Melanie...

Been quiet is work, we're traveling this weekend, and I'm stressing because the company stock is taking a dip right when I'd like to be liquidating it and getting a move on this move.

Outside: not-quite August, that's for sure...enjoying a week of overcast that has brought with it an almost-cool to the air...

Inside: sharing room with 3 copywriters...thank goodness they're quiet workers!

Wearing: cuffed jeans and clogs because I'm just that stylin'...

Creating: nada...I have ideas for knitting a winter set (scarf, hat, fingerless gloves) out of the Ireland yarn, but have yet to cast anything on.

Reading: Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs and the September Vogue

Going: SC tomorrow for the weekend...Labor Day weekend will be spent purging apartment.

I have some days off coming up for this trip and Labor Day weekend, and I don't intend to waste 'em...this weekend will be relaxing, visiting, and doing laundry, but next weekend...I need to start making lists.

Stuff rolling around the ole brainpan....
I've been enjoying The Mentalist on repeats this summer, and last night, I realized something...I relate to Simon Baker's character, because he tends to say what he's thinking without appearing to give it enough thought first. I do that too (thank you, lackolithium), just enough for it to keep me from getting supervisor posts at my company. But the difference is that he does it to gauge people's reactions to what he's saying, because he's a people watcher and profiler, and their reactions help narrow down suspects in an investigation. I do it because of this subconscious need for the people around me to live as authentically as I've decided to live. But most folks need a level of deception in their lives, whether it's office politics or family secrets, and so my way of communicating becomes off-putting. If I can study my communication and learn to measure what I say when I say it, I may not come off as brusque as I actually am....and I'll still be living authentically. So that's my new area of study...cuz I'd like to make some friends when we move, without having to apologize for how I speak...

Have a great weekend, y'all! Be safe!

Image from here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Taking Stock

Went quiet this week. Nothing wrong, quite a bit of good actually...we're healthy, Hubs hasn't lit up in over a week (!!!), we're visiting SC family next weekend...just lots going on in the ole brainpan. When you're looking ahead to a move with a VERY mediocre credit score, it brings up quite a bit of worry. I can't just sit back and rely on prayer that everything's going to work out OK...because I've done that too many times already and had the move fall through on us. We're older now, and smarter, and we have a nest egg (hopefully), and it still may not be enough. But you can be damn sure I'm going to exhaust every alternative before I'll think about us staying in Florida any longer than December.

Brazenly stealing from Ashley's Friday format this week, because it just feels right. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? More importantly, there are things I discovered online that bear notice, and that I want to remember.

Stuff that caught my eye this week...

• Got reacquainted with Habit and it's SUCH a nice respite...has me wanting to dig out the camera. And since there are a TON of guests who contribute to Habit, there's more new blogs to check out!

• This step-by-step almond butter recipe that is so timely...I'm switching over from peanut to almond, but the price for the over-the-counter stuff makes me want to burst out crying in the store...

Ashley's been gifting us with recipes to celebrate and promote her new book, A Year of Pies. Her Lattice Top Triple Berry and her Peaches & Cream Crumble Top are both making appearances in my soon as I can find decent fruit. Thank the gods it's payday!!!

• Furthering my quest to make food from scratch, found what looks like a simple recipe for corn tortillas (like I need an excuse for another kitchen implement...brainstorming a tortilla press using stuff around the house this weekend...maybe the Corningware electric frying pan?).

I inherited a serious pile of Corningware blue flowers ceramics when Mom downsized homes; they're's OK to be jealous...

• Tucking into the latest issue of Mother Earth News and can't wait to have the space and vegetables to need this article.

An extremist's viewpoint, but still an excellent reminder of how even my beloved Chipotle has its flaws, and how far I still have to go to get off processed food...

• As if I wasn't drooling over Asheville enough, I found out this place exists. Thanks again, Ash!

This harvest time has me thinkingthinkingthinking...about how I'd like to be pulling things out of the ground, out of pots, canning and freezing...I can't enjoy eating out lately, because it's a lazy stop-gap for us, when I'm learning to make better at home. Learning to recognize how my body feels after a salad vs. say, the proverbial pint of Haagen Daz. Plus, I read stories that the media puts out there about how food prices will go up thanks to the drought conditions the farmers have endured this year, and it brings home hard, how very much I don't want to have to rely on others for my food. There's a lot of facets to that soapbox...that's a post for next week maybe.

I've plateaued this week on the weight loss, because I'm not watching portions, and I was dealing with another complex ovarian cyst, I think, so I had to take it easy for a week. But my time at the Y is already changing my body for the better, and that feeling just slops over to everywhere else in your life when you let it. The energy, the kindness toward yourself...I may be stressing over how the frick the move is going to happen, but I'm in a really good place right now.

Image from here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Making Lists

Learning to make lists in the world did my strict Virgo nature fall out of that habit? Organizing my thoughts into a list of things to do...actually doing those things...crossing things off the list...there's such a sense of accomplishment, especially for Virgos, I think. Anyway, I'm seeing how frayed around the edges I get when things go undone.

The kitchen's piled up again, and I'm actually looking forward to tearing into it when I get home, if Hubs doesn't beat me to it. He's home all day, but if his head's hurting, I cut him some slack. I've had pain of my own the last 24 hours...the Wednesday workout did a real number on my stomach muscles, so much so that I'm taking an extra day off, my first break in the regimen in 2 weeks. It's easing up, the discomfort, but it's been a good reminder of just how out of shape I am, and just how my body reacts when I overdo it.

Hubs quit smoking! He's easing into it, using electronic cigs for now, but I realized I'm already noticing the difference in the air around the apartment. Granted, I don't think we'll get the smell out of all our stuff until we a) move, and b) steam clean everything to within an inch of its life (which he's planning to do end of month when we borrow his Mom's cleaner)...still, it's a welcome change, and I'm trying to be supportive...y'know, without exclaiming "oh thank GOD!" every 10 minutes.

I'm making more homemade stuff here and there, to get us off the processed food, and I'll be diving into more recipes this weekend, for variety. He's worried about gaining weight as his body adapts to the not smoking, and I want us off the junk food anyway. But we def need variety. He LOVES those energy bars I make (from Terry Walters' Clean Start), but I'm making them every other week so we don't get sick of I need more recipes, and they need to be soft stuff, since his teeth are still a nightmare.

We have tickets to the Jags tonight, first preseason game, but I'm pretty sure we're blowing it off. Money's tight and parking could be a prohibitive expense, never mind drinks while we're there, never mind the gas to get downtown. I'd like to thank OPEC for forcing me into that kind of thinking, because it's only going to help us travel smarter. They're still douchebags though.

The plan this weekend...mainly reorganizing the dining area, making it a little more manageable. I'm opening boxes, going through them, getting serious about purging. Have 2 full book boxes already for Chamblins or the library, and I know there's a lot of desk-type stuff that really needs to go, and binders full of paper to be recycled because I can find the material online (and if I haven't gone looking for it before now, how badly do I really need it?)'s hard, the purging, and there's some stuff that's just gonna have to take up space, because we will use it once we have a house and more room and a presentable place to perform social functions, holidays, inviting people over...but it's still a real project of reckoning.

Left the TV off this morning and read in the quiet while I enjoyed breakfast. Definitely gotta make that a habit.

Image from here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Taking Stock (on an itty-bitty soapbox)

Don't know how I can manage it, given the money we need to stay afloat, but I think my next job maybe doesn't need to involve a cubicle. Just a thought...

Outside: beats windows here. I'm determined to survive the dog days of August by acknowledging the outdoors as little as possible. Also explains my recent image shifts...not that I'm ready for it to be autumn yet, but it's my fave season, so I'm indulging some early enjoyment.

Inside: resembles a Lucy sketch...every hour or so, the lights go off in my little office and I have to wheel to the middle of the room and wave my arms around....gotta love technology.

Wearing: capris, sneaks, large shirt...having pants fit loosely again...there's nothing like it!

Creating: energy bars...which the Hubs gremlin dug into with zeal last night :) Later in the week, I'll split the holycrapit'sstillgood cauliflower in half and roast one half for me, while souffle-ing the other for Hubs. Last night's dinner was so crazy simple and tasty: roasted, diced sweet potato over green leaf with ginger dressing. I'm so frickin' in the zone right now.

Reading: Bare Bones when the mood strikes, but mostly blogs and starting to sneak onto the employment search engines...

Going: SC in 2 weeks for a family visit...

The current strength and good mood I'm enjoying stem from several places. It's the exercise, the smart foods I'm eating, the B12, the possibility of the move. It's taking time for me in the mornings while I eat breakfast, as well as in the evenings when I'm winding down with a little tube or Kindle. There's more I could be doing...after the first month of every-other-day working out, I plan to integrate yoga into the off days, and I should be meditating in the mornings instead of turning on the tube. But I'm headed in the right direction.

Oddly, this surge of good feeling and strength is occuring during my moon cycle...very unusual for me. Normally, I'd be mainlining McD's french fries by now and giving myself permission to grab their chocolate chip cookies for the afternoon slump. But when you break down exactly what goes into those things, how much better those things would taste if you made them yourself, using less ingredients.....well, let's just say I'm drinking Michael Pollan's Kool-Aid right now, and damn, is it tasty!

Most important right now is maintaining that consistency, because as history has shown, once I let one thing slip, several other things are close behind ready to fall. I don't want that. Right now, there's no danger of it...because these food and lifestyle choices I'm making have more behind them than just the benefit of losing weight. I'm choosing kinder foods, more whole foods, and steering away from the food industry's idea of what I should be eating. There's so much great information on the Web about this; you just have to know where to look.

And I'm not afraid to try new things. I'm not much of a raw tomato eater, for example, but they had organic grape tomatoes for an OK price at Native Sun yesterday, so I grabbed a box on a whim. Trying them in my salad today, I realize I'm still not a raw tomato person that much, but that dicing those for an impromptu salsa will lend such fresh flavor to meals...and I know they won't go to waste. I was all set to toss the old romaine when I was cleaning out the fridge yesterday, because I haven't been in the mood for romaine in weeks for some reason. Instead I examined it, 86d the bad layers, and ate the rest at dinner.

Dad used to crack wise about the Army's attitude on food, the "take what you want, but eat what you take" mentality. But after so many years of letting the food in the fridge go to seed and then emptying it out and giving your garbage disposal something to do (because we're still city-apartment bound and can't compost yet)....and shelling out my hard-earned dough on food we end up wasting....I'm finally developing respect for food, I guess because I'm finally developing respect for me. When you overeat as I do, you don't even think about what's going in usually, just about stuffing your face and the good feeling it's going to give you, however temporary. Learning to appreciate food, how it's grown, how it gets to us when we're unable to grow it forces you to slow down big-time, and be present in the process of preparing food and then consuming it. Not quite a Buddhist-style meal yet, but I'm getting there.

Image from here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Things I'm learning......

In no particular order.....

I totally dig working in a room by myself. I don't need to work in PJs, just in quiet.

I feel much better when exercise is a consistent activity in my life. Like, seriously. Only 2 weeks in, and I'm feeling the difference, especially in my legs, knees, feet...I feel stronger, I'm in less pain, and the relief extends to other areas of my life.

Easing into it through moderation appears to be working fine, which is also a relief. Had to knock out grocery shopping last night after work, and I could tell Hubs didn't expect me to have the motivation/energy/etc. to work out after that, but I wasn't letting my program slip, so I threw on the workout clothes and hit the Y. Still glowing with pride on that one...

There's no way I'm cutting dairy out completely. But I am, quite thankfully, hooked on almond milk.

I may be (once again) weaning off coffee, due to studies that suggest that it, and other fun foods like peanuts, spinach, chocolate (SIGH!!!) actually leach minerals out of your body, and that these foods are therefore contraindicated for folks with arthritis.

When you suck on fruit leather, it fools your brain into thinking you're getting a sweet treat...proving to be a surprisingly effective afternoon snack.

Terry Walters' Energy Squares from her Clean Start book are awesome! Hubs was blown away!

I'm completely off pork, unless it's humanely raised. Bacon be damned, I can't justify that indulgence anymore against the food industry's reprehensible growing techniques.

The urge to stuff my face isn't quite so vehement when the scale starts dipping a bit and my jeans fit. That most recent pound loss took me to my first goal, which has me quite motivated, over the moon, annoyingly cheerful, etc.

I'm developing an aversion to packaged, processed food. This is not a bad thing. Realizing you can make something better yourself, without all the scary preservatives of processed food, is hilariously mind-blowing. I didn't have waffles made recently, and still walked past the Eggos section, because I knew mine would taste just as good, cost less, and be better for us. Hubs likes 'em too!

Not going crazy about it yet though...example, planning to grab a Boca burger for dinner after tomorrow night's workout. And there's some tater tots that need to be purged from the fridge. We'll call it toddler steps.

Image from here.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Taking Stock

Mediocre week, hence the lateness of this post.

Was working in a made-over conference room with a couple of newbies, and they got new desks yesterday. So today I had the room to myself. I'm sure it won't last; space is definitely at a premium right now as we hire so many new folks. But today. was. AWESOME! It was quiet, I got more work done than normal, and for my socially awkward self, it was HEAVEN not having to deal with people, even teammates. I know that probably sounds a little anti-social (a little, Melanie? def time to revisit how well the Paxil's actually working), but I still have a warm-fuzzy feeling from it.

My workout goal for the next 3 months is consistency. I'm working out every other day; cardio 1 day, strength the next. My food intake still needs work, but I'm not as tired, so it's definitely a win.

Outside: Grumbly...we're gonna get rain.

Inside: snoring...Hubs is headachy. Disney on the idiot box. Me contemplating as simple a dinner as possible, because I did weights tonight and my body will crash soon.

Wearing: sweaty workout clothes.

Creating: lists...

Reading: Bare Bones by Kathy Reichs and the latest issue of Mother Earth News.

Going: RAM and Native Sun...determined to get fresh veggies and fruit this weekend. Thinking about canning. Going to the grocery store lately is an exercise in frustration, all the foods I shouldn't be eating or don't want to be eating because they're part of the problem (read: food industry, not my obesity).

I have grand ideas for this weekend. No OT thankfully, and the organizing and planning for the move is officially ON!

Image from here.