Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All politics is local, Part 2

I filed the paperwork and paid my ten bucks back in January, but seeing my name on a ballot makes it really real. Yesterday was the last day to register to vote in the May primary, and the May primary is right around the corner, and the local weekly rag published sample ballots in yesterday's edition.

See?
No, we don't have paper ballots any more, and I've
never seen anyone bring their sample ballots to the
polls with them. But I'm sure it happens!
You can see, also, that – like Vivian in Pretty Woman – I'm a sure thing. Vote for two candidates, and you only have two from which to choose.

But still. Pretty fun!

I'm off to the not-so-local state capitol this morning to participate in a rally supporting my Congressman's re-election and denouncing the Ryan budget as bad for West Virginia. Stop by the statehouse if you happen to be in Charleston around 10:15! We'll be on the steps on the Boulevard side.

The things we do for politics.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22 - Four things

I have a thing for taupe nail color.

A spring in my step

I can't remember a nicer spring than this one. Frequently here in southern West Virginia we move straight from winter to summer, with maybe a week of moderate temperatures to mark the transition. We haven't had a truly hot day yet. It's cool enough in the evenings to need a jacket. We still keep a just-in-case blanket folded at the foot of the bed.

Yesterday might have been the warmest day – we noted it was 82 in town, but it's always a bit cooler on our little mountain. My husband and I walked together again yesterday, down by Indian Creek, and it was pretty warm there. I'd watched the Boston Marathon (congratulations, Meb and Rita and everyone who started!) while I finished up that design job and was inspired to do one of my Run Double interval trainings.

I chose the 60:30 one. I've been doing the 60:60 option (Run Double has lots of training routines), but I'm trying for a 30-minute 5K. I figured if I ran twice as much as I walked, I might be able to add a little distance.

And I did, logging 2.63 miles in the 30-minute interval phase of yesterday's workout, instead of the sub-2.5 I've been doing. Walked and ran 7.07 miles total in 1:45, which is slightly less than a 15-minute pace. The longest distance I've done recently during the interval training is 2.7 miles. So lots of room for improvement.

At any rate … it feels so good to me to move faster, even when I was dying of thirst on the way back and even though I forgot my visor and even though my right calf was cramping and, and, and … I love to run. What else can I say? I wish I loved lifting weights, if only because grabbing a glass of water is so much easier.

Maybe I need to set a dumbbell goal the way I've set a running goal. I'll have to think about that one. Your suggestions are welcome on this. I'd hoped to reach my weight goal by my birthday (May 25), but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

So … your assignment is: What can I do with light weights in the next 34 days that would be significant and challenging, but not be overwhelming or feel like punishment? Help me out here, I can't afford a personal trainer! Heh.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21 - Close

The ancient pink dogwood is soooo close to blooming.

Boston Strong. And other things.

I haven't participated in a large organized race in mumble-mumble years. I want to, again, sometime before my time is up, but I guess I don't want to enough, or I would already have registered for one, right? (I'm thinking about a fall race, but definitely still just in the thinking about stage.)

But just because I no longer participate doesn't mean I don't love race days, and the Boston Marathon is certainly one to watch. It will be on while I'm working upstairs.

We all remember last year's horrific ending. (And the Virginia Tech massacre happened on Boston Marathon day, as well.) The winners had crossed the finish line a couple hours prior to the blasts going off. The medal ceremony was canceled. Boston was mayhem.

And Boston Strong emerged from the chaos.

I remember watching the evening news right after the Oklahoma City bombing, and Peter Jennings (or maybe it was Tom Brokaw) said, "The worst in the least of us brings out the best in the rest of us." And that's what's happened in Boston and, (I hope) in the rest of the country.

The country sure could use the best of the rest of us. Sometimes it seems like the least of us speak louder, grab more attention, make more noise.

My husband and I took his mother out for Easter brunch yesterday. (I was able to stick to the paleo plan easily, having checked out the menu ahead of time. Tons o'vegetable choices, all of them scrumptious!)

Driving home past a locally owned and very popular restaurant – normally packed after church but on Easter, closed – we noted its sign: CONGRATS TO THE BUNDY FAMILY.

Y'know that sound effect of a needle scratching across a record? Yeah, that went through my brain. That's a pretty overt message to see in our little town. I know we're in the middle of Redneck, WV – the Confederate and Don't Tread on Me flags are ubiquitous – but still. For a business to display such a message is unprecedented here.

So. No more coffee at Kirk's. No more women's meetings around a big table. No more family reunion breakfasts. I won't support any business that so loudly and proudly spouts views opposed to mine.

Good thing I like to cook, right?

And I guess, in the end, it's a somewhat effective way for the best of the rest of us to respond to the worst of the least us.

I happen to think cheering those runners on today is another one.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20 - Egg

Not having little ones around who might want to find decorated eggs,
today's prompt ends up being … a plain old egg. But I like the angle.

Happy Easter …

Today also would have been my dad's 84th birthday. He died in 2010, and I miss him still. I always will.

Interestingly, he was born on Easter Sunday. The last – and only other – time he celebrated his birthday on Easter was in 2003.

Here he is at about age 4, I'm guessing, in the Ohio River.
I hope you have a good day today. We'll be doing the church and dinner out thing, and then I'll … you guessed it … take a walk in the afternoon.

'Cause that's how I roll.

Oh, and it wouldn't be Easter if I didn't post my FAVORITE image, now, would it?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19 - Money

The coin jar, from above.

TIme flies

… when you're busy.

There've been days – I kind of remember them – that stretched endlessly ahead of me. No plans. No goals. No agenda. Days when I could watch trash tee-vee or read an entire book or lay in the sun. Remember tanning? I haven't "laid out" in years!

Which explains my v-neck, short-sleeved tan lines. Also known as a farmer's tan.

I used to have some tank tops, but I donated all of them to Goodwill a couple years ago, when I realized (at the time) I wasn't ever going to be in good enough shape to sport a tank again.

Fifty-ish pounds less now, and I should probably look for some tee-to-tank tutorials, 'cause I've got way too many tees.

Anyway. I've been pretty busy lately, even finding myself – at times – too busy to eat! That's a rare occurrence for a food addict, but I've actually missed a couple lunches lately. I'm finding I really need breakfast to get the day going. And, um, bacon. The husband really needs dinner, and since I'm the cook, I don't miss many evening meals. (He takes care of his own food during the day, and does that crazy thing known as "eating when you're hungry." Then he has a bowl of cereal or a container of yogurt.)

But it's been kind of interesting to just work through the noon hour and not even realize how much time has gone by.

I've been putting an annual report together for a local foundation, working at the computer until early afternoon. I take a break to walk, having a banana either before or after, and then get back to work until it's time to make dinner.

It's almost like having a job again. Heh. I have a couple other design projects lined up and am really getting into this groove.

Mind you, missing a few lunches hasn't resulted in any weight loss. I've stayed the same weight during this entire Whole 30 (which I started April 6). I still weigh six pounds more than I did last November, when I hit my lowest weight in, oh, probably 15 years.

But the benefits of eating like this trump the number on the scale. I have energy, most days, to do everything that needs to be done. And accomplishing what needs to be done motivates me to do more. It's one of those never-ending cycles that keeps me feeling good about the way things are going.

I don't think I'll be stopping any time soon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18 - Good

Seeing the phlox begin to creep = good! I love spring. 

Reassessing the walking goal

So Tuesday I calculated I'd have to walk 4.59 miles/day, every day, the rest of this year to hit 1500 miles. Three days later …
MAKING PROGRESS!

Yesterday was hard, though. I totally could have bagged it. I wasn't feeling well and didn't even want to go. But you know what? Having that goal made the difference.

I have to think that reaching it will make a difference in my health. And whether I do or not, walking as much as I do sure can't hurt. Usually I feel great about it. Yesterday was an exception, and I'll have days like that.

I hope I remember how glad I was to have done yesterday's walk the next time I don't feel like heading out.

I have some design work to do this morning. The plan is to work for a few hours, grab some lunch (the last of the turkey salad) and walk five more. I'm already dressed for it (yoga pants and walking shoes instead of jeans and Chuck Taylors).

NO EXCUSES.

Haven't heard from Joe. I guess he's not taking advice from political underlings like me. But he totally should. Heh.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17 - Something I learned

I actually like canning my own food. Yes, it's a lot of work. But seeing
a pantry full of my own jars is extremely satisfying. A skill worth learning.