Monday, April 27, 2015

Sometimes social media sucks

So this popped up in my Facebook newsfeed yesterday:
I have a Twitter account, which I use to post pretty pictures from my almost-daily walks. I've probably been snarky on Twitter before, but not often and not to the extent that "#1 Tony Miano" was when he tweeted his opinion about the tragedy in Nepal.

Miano describes himself as an "open-air preacher, author, conference speaker, retired 20-year LE veteran (LASD), and unashamed member of #The15. 

I'm just gonna put this out here: "LE" stands for Law Enforcement and "LASD" means Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

I think The15 are 15 fundamentalists who believe it's their duty to convert the world to Christianity. (I don't have time for more research today.) Note to #The15: It won't happen.

I'm appalled at the insensitivity behind this tweet. Apparently lots of other Twitter users are, as well. Mr. Miano has since sent multiple messages defending himself, saying there is nothing more loving than wanting people to repent and receive Jesus.

We don't all think like that. 

What Nepal needs is money. Pray if you like, send positive thoughts, healing wishes, light and love. But send some money

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Yesterday's gone

And with it, my walking streak. I'd walked at least one mile, and more often four miles, every day since March 28.

Yesterday morning I was on the road by 7:30, arrived at a conference center for a day of workshops and meetings at 9:30, and returned home last evening at 7. The extent of my walking was from my chair to a podium a couple of times, along with a trip through the line at the lunch buffet (that word again!).

I was really worried about that lunch. I ate breakfast before I left home and knew I could find something to eat when I got back, but I had no control over lunch. It turned out to be reasonably Whole 30-compliant. I'm sure the mayonnaise in the cole slaw was commercially made, but I had a scoop of it anyway. Along with pulled pork and turkey (no sauce) and a couple chips. NO sandwich bun. NO potato salad. NO cookies.

As for the walking … while the streak is broken, I need just 18 miles over the next five days (including today) to hit 122 for April, which gets me to 400 for the first four months of 2015. Right on target for 1200 for the year.
This week's forecast looks a bit dampish. But rain isn't usually an all-day event around here. If I keep an eye on the radar – and look out the window – I should be able to find a block of dry time to hit the road.

And if not … we've already established that I won't melt.

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's the little things

Our house project is winding down. The carpenter needs to come back one more time to finish repairing and painting a bathroom ceiling that was damaged by a small leak in the roof, and to install the front entrance screen door.

And, of course, there's still a lot of painting to do, which is my job and which I'm not doing very efficiently. Things get in the way. I haven't done any painting since I finished the TV room which, by the way, we still LOVE.

We didn't take into account the slidiness of the bench/ottoman on the new laminate flooring, so I've ordered some non-skid furniture coasters for that.

One tiny project that cropped up while we were having other things done was removing a trash compacter that I've never used – I don't even know if it worked or not – and installing some of the laminate flooring in that space. I then moved our kitchen trash can in there. It's close to the sink now (it used to be half a countertop away), instead of being the first thing you see when you enter the house.

My husband and I left for our walk yesterday right after he and the carpenter hauled the compacter out. Ninety minutes later, when we returned, the project was done. I'm so pleased with this tiny change to the kitchen. I hated that compacter, but had no idea what to do about it. Other than pretend it wasn't there.

The little thing I love most of all is the "click" that a door makes when you close it. A real door.  It's such a satisfying sound, solid and dependable. Our old bifold doors slipped off their tracks, were hard to close, didn't lock (obviously), and just felt flimsy. I'm thrilled to have hinged doors with latches and locks in my house.

I'm somewhat less thrilled that I still need to paint a bunch of them. As well as a bunch of walls. But it will all get done, eventually.

First priority this morning (after this; since I skipped a day, the blog is Job One) is finishing and sending the design project files I've been working on. Everyone who needs to see it has made suggestions and offered corrections. I just need to get tidy it up, convert it to a .pdf, and get it out of my computer and into the printer's.

Looking at the photos in this post, they both lean to the left. Which is the name of the newsletter I'm sending out today. Coincidence? Perhaps.

But I don't think so. Heh.

Days 22 and 23 DONE! One more week of Whole 30. After that? Whole 30 + almond flour. And honey. Occasionally.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Paint-free. Again.

It's SO EASY to not paint after everything's been cleaned up and tucked out of sight. I didn't do any painting at all yesterday, mostly because the design project was sosososoclose to being finished that I concentrated on that. Corrections/revisions this morning, final proof, and then it's off to the printer.

The walking happened, because it always does (unless there's lightning. And how cool is it that I just wrote because it always does. Since it always didn't. Heh.). The redbuds are stunning. And popping out all over the place. My husband thinks they should be called purple buds. He's wrong. They should be called magentabuds.

And then we went shopping. Food shopping and lamp shopping. I love the lampshade, and the lamp itself, being tall and thin, works very well in this tiny room.

We also went out for dinner, to one of those big buffet places where my skinny husband could load up on all the cornbread he could eat and I could have … salad. I've finally gotten out of the mindset that when you go to a buffet restaurant you don't have to eat all you want. I don't care for buffets, in general. When I eat in a restaurant I want to be served. That matters not a whit to the husband, however, and he's been very understanding and patient with all my redecorating and remodeling. Compromise, doncha know. So cornbread it was.

And salad.

Day 21 DONE!

P.S. Our friend Lucky updated his trail journal and is doing well. He's in the Shenandoah portion of Virginia now. It would be about a three-hour drive for us if he needed anything.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wonder of wonders …

My original plan to finish painting and get our little TV room put back together by yesterday actually happened. It took very little time to roll paint on the walls, and I only needed to do one coat. Yesterday was lovely, for the most part, so I aired out the drapes on the clothesline while I finished up the painting, washed the sliding glass doors and replaced the furniture.

This is my corner. I haven't brought my
knitting bag back in yet. The other corner
looks remarkably similar. The television
is on a black wooden stand on one
opposite wall, and the drapery-covered
sliding glass door is on the other.
This photo isn't really a good representation of the wall color. It's dark in there. Really dark. Like chocolate-milk dark. Which is great for TV-watching. We're very pleased with it.

The next owner of this house will have to paint those walls three times to lighten them up, however. NOT MY PROBLEM. Heh.

I love having nothing decorative on the walls yet. Eventually we'll hang a certificate and a piece of embroidered Chinese silk, both from my husband's father's army service during WWII, as well as two pieces of pen-and-ink art that I did about 30 years ago. 'Twas in another lifetime.

But right now … it's clean and serene.

I'll be doing something with that green lamp. More than likely yard-saling it. I think the lamp in this room needs to be brass, so I'm on a hunt to replace it.

Today I'll cut in the edges of the hallway outside this room, go for my walk, work on the design project (it's an eight-page newsletter; five done, three to go), and then we're going to Lowe's for … stuff. Maybe I'll find my lamp there.

This remodeling has been a lot of work, but it's turned out to be a great decision. The timing is a little off … we should have been replacing doors and painting stuff in the winter, when we couldn't get outdoors. My gardens are terribly neglected. But one does what one can, and right now the interior of the house is a priority.

Having real doors, as opposed to louvered bi-folds, makes us feel all grown up, like we live in a real house instead of a beach house. And the front door – life-changing. Seriously. We are slowly but surely becoming shiny happy people in our shiny happy home.

Day 20 DONE!

Monday, April 20, 2015

A day off. Sort of.

I didn't paint yesterday. I had cut in the edges and corners Saturday, with the idea that I could finish the walls in the TV room and put it back together sometime today, but after I removed all the blue tape I just ran out of enthusiasm for more painting. All I have to do is roller the walls. Shouldn't take long. But still …

I'm working on a graphic design project, and that's way more fun. For me, anyway.

BUT. Today is the Boston Marathon. Elite women start at 9:32. I love watching marathons, even though I'll most likely never complete one. (However, my motto is "never say never," so who knows?) And while I won't be able to watch closely, the TV is hooked up and working, and I can sneak a peek between brushstrokes. Or whatever you call running a roller up and down a wall.

So … walking, painting, graphic designing … sounds like a repeat of nearly every day for the last week, doesn't it? Along with meat and vegetables and fruit, which is still going well, but I must admit I am getting a little tired of the same-old, same-old.

Not that it'll be much different when this Whole 30 ends … but a pumpkin muffin made with almond flour sure sounds good.

Day 19 DONE!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Have you ever been so tired you couldn't sleep?

I have so much going on right now, it's crazy.

And when I go to bed at night, my brain keeps working. I was in bed by 9, but awake until midnight, with various and sundry plans and projects churning around in my head.

I got a little more than five miles in yesterday, which is good because I only got three today. It's raining now, and will continue to rain for the rest of the day. Glad I walked early.

It's Amish church day. Several buggies passed me going the opposite direction. The two communities take turns every other week hosting services. The men and boys are all dressed up in their whitest white shirts, the women and girls have their sweet little bonnets and plain, solid-colored dresses. They wave and call out "Good morning" and probably wonder why I'm not at church.

My church is on the road. My commune with nature is sufficient, for now, for my spiritual growth. And should I feel the need for more, I know where to find it.

Day 18 DONE!


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Same as it ever was

Today will be more painting and more walking, with the addition of some graphic design work.

Sometime.

Yesterday's walk happened much later than I'd anticipated, and was cut short due to a lot of right-hip pain. And climbing up and down a ladder for six hours with a paint brush didn't do much for my stamina either. I was both achy and tired at … in the afternoon, and only did a mile.

I only need 27 more miles to get to 100 for April, but in order to make up for February, and get 400 by the end of this month, I need to do 66. Not sure that can happen at this point. That's five a day and I won't get any at all next Saturday.

At any rate … walking is happening earlier today, because the painting WILL get done, whether I walk or not. The walking, apparently, is optional. Or at least four miles is.

Later …

Day 17 DONE!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Twice the busy-ness, half the miles

But still … miles! Two instead of four, late in the day instead of early, and I was pretty tired instead of pretty peppy. Done is done, however, and I can still hit my goal if I do two or three longer walks the rest of the month.

And if I don't hit the April goal, I'm in good shape to make 1200 by the end of the year.

I had a long meeting in town yesterday, followed by a couple errands that didn't get me home until late afternoon. I threw some bacon-wrapped chicken tenders in the oven and did one mile, then came home to toss a salad (to be topped with the chicken). Did another mile after dinner.

And was oh-so-ready for bed by 8 p.m.

Lunch was at a restaurant, but I find lunches the easiest thing to eat out. I had an antipasto salad loaded with vegetables and meat (asked them to skip the cheese), topped with plain old oil and vinegar.

Two salads in one day … that hasn't happened in a long, long time.

Today I paint. Need to finish the woodwork in the TV room, and then the walls in there so we can put it back together. I'll do that hallway and bathroom next and the guest room after that.

Here's a very rough floor plan of my house:
Each of the living room sides of the hexagon has sliding glass doors looking out toward the Appalachian Mountains. We really do have lovely views. (Each bedroom also has a sliding glass door, looking toward the mountains.) We replaced the slider in the kitchen (which is on the left side of that wall) with a French door. There's a hexagonal brick fireplace in the center of the house.

I painted the center section and the master bath a couple years ago, while the wings have remained dingy and ugly. Once the guest wing is finished, I'll do the master hall and finish the master bedroom last. We need new carpet there, and I plan to get the painting done before that happens.

We're loving the new doors. And we're anxious for everything to be new and shiny and DONE. This is one time I'd trade just about anything for a painting genie.

BUT … thanks to my newfound energy and motivation, I'm ON IT, doggone it!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Just a walking' in the rain

I've gotten my shoes wet the last two days, for sure. But I've also logged eight more miles. As long as there's no lightning, I'm good with walking in the rain.

There was a time, not that long ago, when I would have used steady rainfall as an excuse to play Dots. Not now. The last time I felt this committed to reaching a mileage goal was two years ago, and the last time I remember not even considering the weather a factor in my outdoor activity plans was when I was training for my first half-marathon. Way back in 2007.

And if I didn't walk in the rain,
I would miss raindrops on dogwoods!
I can't explain this mind-shift. To tell you the truth, I haven't tried too hard to figure it out. I'm going with the flow, and right now the flow is April showers. If I'm going to walk this month, I'm going to get wet. My April mileage goal is 122, and I need 52 to get there.

We had dinner with friends last night, at their home. I didn't know what would be served. And I had to give myself a pass for one night of this Whole 30, in order to be polite. The meal turned out to be mostly on plan, except the main dish was paella, which is rice-based.

Salad, sides, even dessert – fresh strawberries – were great. I passed up the bread, but I did eat a little rice. No ill effects, and it's not like an alcoholic slip where I have to start over. (Is it? Heh. Oh, and THANKYOUGOD I've never had to do that!) I'm just back on the horse today.

The reasoning behind the strict Whole 30 rules is to do a reset – body and mind. And I'm pretty sure 15 days was enough to accomplish that for me, although I intend to stay on plan for the remainder of the month. I'm feeling so much more energetic. I still have a little hip pain occasionally, but not every day and not nearly as bad as it was over the winter. Could be food, could be weather, could be that more activity – and more regular activity – is just what I needed. Who knows?

All I really know is that when something needs to be done – taking something upstairs, pulling weeds, painting, moving furniture, whatever – I do it, right then and there, no dilly-dallying, no excuses.

It's a great feeling.

Days 14 and 15 DONE!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mileage goal: On track

Except … it's raining today. And will continue to rain. All. Day. Long.
I have 17 days to walk 60 miles, which certainly sounds manageable, at 3.5 miles a day. Sixty more miles will get me up to 100 miles per month for the year, and that, my friends, is exactly on track. I hope to bank miles over the next several months, in case November or December turns out to be iffy for walking, weather-wise.

One thing all this rain is good for is softening the garden beds for easier weed-pulling. I've spent a lot of time working on that chore the last three days, but there's so much to do this time of year.

Food continues to be fine. That little spot-check yesterday reallyreallyREALLY motivated me to stick with the Whole 30 for the remainder of the month.

But I'm still pinning treats to Pinterest for May and beyond!

Day 13 DONE!

Monday, April 13, 2015

I cheated

No, it's not what you're probably thinking. My marriage is fine. Heh.

And no, I didn't sneak a forbidden almond-flour muffin or skip my walk.

Yes, indeedy, there is such a thing as
a paleo lemon bar.
For the past couple days, my Pinterest "Paleo-friendly" board has been filling up with treats. Lemon bars, anyone? Chocolate caramels? SNICKERDOODLES?!?!? I could tell I was getting kinda bored with the same old-same old paleo template.

So I weighed myself. Which you're only supposed to do twice during a Whole 30 – once at the start and once at the finish.

And while doing a Whole 30 is much more than weight loss, it is most definitely part of it for me. The only way I've been able to drop any pounds since I hit my 60s is by eschewing grains, legumes, dairy and sugar. Probably since I hit my mid-50s.

The feeling good part has been, for the most part, exactly what I expected. My right hip hurts much, much less while I'm walking, and I rarely have any pain at all otherwise. (I did have one of those intense muscle cramps yesterday while I was on the riding lawnmower. WOW do those hurt.)

But in order to continue the boring food part, I needed MORE. (More has always been my drug of choice.)

I've lost – are you ready? – seven pounds in 12 days.

Pass the bacon.

Day 12, DONE.