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Showing posts from June, 2008

If, if, if …

If I run the Space Coast Marathon, I have five months to train. Considering that I haven’t run at all in nearly two weeks (I’ve been walking, not running), I would have to spend the month of July getting ready to train. And since the first two weeks of July are pretty much booked, I can only imagine what August through November will feel like, training for a 26.2-mile jaunt along the Indian River.

Then, of course, there’s the husband, who thinks 26.2 miles is about 13.1 miles too many for me to run any time.

The more I read about this marathon, though, the more I think it would be perfect for my first. There is, of course, the theme. Space! Flying! A rocket launch on the Jumbotron to get you out of the gate and you can watch yourself crawl across cross the finish line on the same Jumbotron at the end.

Then there is the location. At first I thought it was in Titusville, which is about an hour north of my dad’s home. With a 6 a.m. start time, I wasn’t sure about the logistics. Upon closer …

Le projet - il a fini!

I probably could have spent the time more productively, but I’m actually very happy to report that the great CD Transfer Project is as finished as it’s going to be for now.

This (the top three shelves):

now fits on this (with lots o’ room to spare):

What remains to be transferred are my husband’s classical CDs, most of which I don’t listen to and I can pretty much guarantee I won’t need them on my next road trip. I like peppy, familiar stuff when I’m driving, and I have more than 3000 tunes (3417 to be exact) from which to choose. If I should get a hankering for something soothing, Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Beethoven’s Symphony #7 are already on the iPod.

Also on the iPod are Juno – I used an application called Handbrake to compress it for iPod viewing – and Scrabble®! I just found out that it was available for the iPod and for only five bucks, how could I resist? Tetris is available, too, but – gasp! – I’ve never played Tetris, so I’m not shelling out the big bucks until I try it.

And the winner is …


You had a pretty good shot at winning, since only three people guessed. Waaaaaahhhh! No one loves me! No one reads my drivel!

Mindy, send your snail-mail address to me at:

shrinkingknitter AT citynet DOT net (you know the drill) and I’ll get your little prize right out to you.

No one guessed all five in the correct order, though. Here they are:

The Great CD Transfer Project

One good thing about transferring music from CDs to iTunes to your iPod is that you really can’t snicky-snack while you’re doing it. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t want to get crumbs on my CDs or have something spill in the CD tray. I’m taking a chance just drinking coffee during the process.

This is going to take a long time. I’ll get some exercise doing it, though. We keep our CDs in an old lawyer’s bookcase in the house. The computer is in the upstairs of the garage. I could dump the CDs in a box and bring them all over at once, but:
it would be too heavy to carry, andI would miss out on the stairclimbing activity. I’m in the Ds now, but since iTunes alphabetizes by artists’ first names, I’m really still in the Bs. And since I’m only about a fourth of the way through the Bob Dylan collection, I’m going to be here for, oh, a while. Maybe another lifetime.

The shopping trip yesterday turned into some kind of weight workout. I didn’t realize just how wobbly one of the front wheels of th…

Hmmm … it never occurred to me

that you would have to read the previous comments in order to post your pennant guesses. But, oh well. As I said yesterday, thinking isn’t my best thing. Keep on guessing; it’s great to have comments! My name is Debbi, and I’m a comment slut.

Okay, it’s been six weeks since the great South Beachy-beach experiment began. As both of you regular readers know, I’ve had some travel-related challenges – and, to be honest, some at-home ones as well – but as of this morning’s weekly weigh-in I’ve managed to maintain that Month One five-pound loss. I’m very encouraged. However, I keep feeling like I have to go back and do two more weeks of Phase One perfectly every time I stray from the plan. Frankly, it probably wouldn’t hurt to do that.

And then I look at my calendar. How realistic is it, really, to think I can stick with Phase One during the time our guests are here? Or at my granddaughter’s first birthday party? Or while I’m waiting for my dad to get through a long and risky surgical procedu…

The First (and last) KnitRunRepeat Pennant-Guessing Contest

Sometimes I have the best ideas when I’m out walking.

If I’d been thinking properly, I’d have dreamed up the idea of a contest in the earlier post. Ah, well. Thinking has never been my strong suit.

At any rate, if you’ve been reading this blog or the old one for any length of time, it shouldn’t take you too long to figure out which pennants we’re going to hang in our dorm room. Leave a comment with your guess; I’ll toss all the correct guesses in an empty Sugar-Free Cool Whip container and choose a winner.

Also – and this is important in determining which prize I send you – in your comment, tell me if you are a knitter or not. I’ll announce the winner Saturday morning.

Absolutely no entry fee required – c’mon, what’ve you got to lose? Tell your friends! One guess per person, please. Let’s fill up those comments. Let me know you’re out there! What other enthusiastic platitudes can I throw up here?!?!?!?!?


Because I never had a real dorm room

I have about two years’ worth of college credits to go with my life experience, which probably doesn’t count for much on a transcript. All of those credits were earned by taking random classes here and there, while also working and/or raising a family. Thus, the only dorm room I’ve ever been in was my son’s during his freshman year.

My husband and I spend a great deal of our time on the second floor of our garage, which is an office/family room combo. Since his retirement, we’ve taken to calling it our dorm room. We have a couple areas dedicated to our political activism (note the dorm-sized refrigerator; it’s filled with Diet Lime Coke and A&W Diet Root Beer – we’re such party animals!):

Here’s a close-up of the bumper-sticker wall:

No dorm room is complete without a couple posters:

And a set of plastic stacking drawers:

My desk area, which is only clean(ish) because we’re getting ready for 4th of July company:

And finally, a bit of sports stuff. My husband did his post-grad work at WV…

Mad, glad, sad

To someone who eats compulsively – that would be me – it really doesn’t matter what the occasion or emotion is. Mad, glad or sad, food is always the answer.

I’ve had varying degrees of all three (and more) of those emotions lately, and food has been my go-to response. The only time I’m not thinking about eating is when I’m concentrating on some kind of project. Lately the project has been cleaning out bookshelves and the yarn closet.

My yarn closet long ago overflowed its confines; what didn’t fit into that 5- by 10-foot space got tossed into six huge lidded plastic tubs, all of which have been stacked (and ignored) in the ground level of our two-story garage for quite a long time. Until this weekend. I now have two empty tubs and the other four are considerably pruned. One of our garbage bags this week will be filled with odds and ends that no one would want. The rest of it goes on eBay after life calms down again in July.

Beginning today, I’m going to be busier than I like to be. This …
Yesterday I said that food had not been good. I don’t mean to pass judgment on food. Food is inherently neither good or bad; food is food.

My response to food, or my use (or abuse) of it, is another story.

Let’s start by acknowledging that I eat when I feel pressured, anxious or – I really dislike this word – stressed. And let’s further acknowledge that the past month has been nothing but pressure, anxiety and stress. When the most relaxing thing you’ve done in several weeks is fold laundry, you can bet that tension is high.

Let’s throw another wrench in the works – a bit of family drama, say – and sticking to a strict Phase One of South Beach was beginning to be more of a burden than a blessing.

I do fine for a while, and then I reach my own personal tipping point. It happened Tuesday evening, when the Universe handed me the three things I needed to go on a bender, of sorts:
TimeMoneyOpportunity I had a little extra time prior to my volunteer gig at the prison, I had my purse with me and …

Wanted: Moderate temperatures, low humidity, all year round

Running in our current weather conditions could not be more perfect. I don’t have to get out early to beat the heat, I go farther and faster (well, faster for me, not faster than you) without pooping out and I enjoy it so much more than when the number of degrees equals the percentage of humidity.

I know some of you can walk this fast, but I can’t – the combination of short legs and advanced age precludes it. Any day I can break a 12-minute mile is a good day. (I walked the last third of a mile. Just so you know I wasn’t dying on the fifth lap.)

Anyone know of a place on earth where it’s 70° and around 50% humidity all day, every day? If you do, I’m moving!

Food has not been good the past two days and I’m afraid to look at the scale. So I’m not going to.

So there. Heh.

We are the champions … again!

I've been a Boston Celtics fan for a long, long time. And last night was a long time coming. The game was an almost total blowout over longtime rivals the Los Angeles Lakers (the Lakers enjoyed a four-point lead early in the first quarter). I’m not sure the boys from L.A. quite knew what hit them. It was such a blowout, and I was so seriously tired, I considered going to bed at the end of the third quarter. But I persevered and enjoyed the trophy ceremony almost as much as if I’d been standing on the parquet floor.

I remember the high hopes every fan had when the Celtics drafted Len Bias in 1986 – their last championship season. Bias was a star player from the University of Maryland; acquiring him pretty much guaranteed the continuation of the dynasty, at least for a few years. Twenty-two years ago tomorrow, however, Bias died of a cocaine overdose.

The circumstances of his death were the catalyst behind the draconian cocaine drug laws which are just now being reformed. We have a lo…

Check this out!

This may very well be the week I begin training for a fall race. Could these conditions be any more perfect for running?

Well, yes, that is a lightning bolt there for tomorrow. But it never thunders or lightnings all day long; I’m sure I can squeeze a run in in between the raindrops.

I had intended to begin training for a fall race on June 1. However, I found myself in hot, humid, sunny Florida June 1, so training – hell, any running at all – didn’t happen. And the Florida weather followed me home, so all I’ve done since then is walking. Slowly.

But it feels great out there this morning. The combination of good weather, a good night’s sleep and the race motivation sounds like a perfect training storm, doesn’t it? Well, it does to me, anyway.

Which fall race? I’ve been thinking of the Space Coast Marathon, so my dad can watch me cross the finish line (he has said he will go anywhere in Florida to see that happen). However, my husband and I enjoyed our time there so much that we’re actually…


Or, rather, catch up.

Now that I’m an eBay enterpreneur, I spend a lot of time at the computer but very little of it has been spent blogging. You obviously know that, since both of you were checking up on me over the weekend. Heh. I find myself obsessively watching My eBay to see how many items will sell and which ones have too high an opening bid.

In between those demanding tasks, I check and respond to e-mail and play solitaire or Scrabble®.

I did find time this weekend to complete the little knitted doll I’m giving my granddaughter for her first birthday next month. Even my husband pronounced it ‘sweet.’ Each time I’ve made one of these I’m convinced it’s going to be too small. She turned out to be 12 inches tall – half an inch shorter than the pattern original and just the right size for a year-old baby.

I’m back to working on the triplets’ sweaters now. The first of six sleeves is about half finished. Six sleeves sounds daunting, but baby sweaters are so little that it really hasn’t …

I did it. Sort of.

Thanks to all of you who, ahem, weighed in on my ice-cream obsession.

The first two or three days of the Florida trip were fine as far as meals went. Then I started needing something, one special treat each day. I won’t post the food porn here, except to say that ice cream was definitely on the list, and I didn’t ever get around to having any when I was there.

That one craving just kept lingering. When I went to the grocery yesterday I tossed a half-gallon of Breyer's Carb-Smart Vanilla into my cart. Ninety calories per half-cup serving, and no sugar.

With the price of gasoline these days, and the fact that going out for ice cream is a 24-mile round trip out here in the Middle of Nowhere, a $3 sundae now costs $7. And, yes, I'm worth a $7 sundae but I'm cheap thrifty by nature.

I really enjoyed my little dish of guilt-free ice cream last night. It helped that I hadn’t eaten much all day – it still amazes me how filling a morning omelette is. I forgot to eat lunch and had a Gre…

Stress eating …

or, How I Expect Too Much of Myself.

Today is my third day home from a traumatic trip to Florida. While the outcome of the trip ultimately was the best possible one – my father didn’t die – the stress of the 14-hour nonstop drive down, the waiting, the worrying, the not sleeping, the inevitable family drama, the two-day trip home and my everpresent still, small voice telling me how fat I am has taken its toll.

I’m quite a wreck. I want to eat everything, in sight or not, especially if it has salt in it. And I’ve also had ice cream on my mind for, literally, days!

I had to visit an Urgent Care while I was in the Sunshine State to treat a rash on my forehead that started spreading to my eyes. (If I were a True Blogger I’d have taken a picture of my little piggy face to show you just how bad it was. Believe me, if I went to an Urgent Care, it was bad!) I’m still on steroids for that, so I can blame some of my current agitation (and puffiness) on drugs.

My dad has improved enough that he can …

Home isn't exactly where the heart is

I love my home, really I do. It’s beautiful here in the Middle of Nowhere. My dogs are here, I don’t have to figure out where to find a size 3 knitting needle (as I did in Florida, since I forgot to bring one with me), food is easy to prepare and we don’t have to tip the wait staff.

But my dad is almost 800 miles away, and that’s where my heart is.

He’s doing much, much better – amazingly so, actually. He’s been moved out of ICU into a step-down unit and is getting both occupational and physical therapy. He sat in a chair for a little bit yesterday and is eating regular meals instead of broth and Jell-O and pudding. Blood levels are returning to normal, which means less confusion and no more dialysis!

Thank you all for your good wishes for his continued recovery. We have a long way to go, but he could actually come out of all of this better than he’s been in several years.

If ever I needed a wake-up call to not take my health for granted, this situation with my dad is it. All of his curre…

Sunny night in Georgia

Don't you just love people who quit posting to their blog, start a new one and then quit posting to that one, too?

I learned last Saturday as my husband and I were getting ready to go to a luncheon that my father was critically ill in Florida. I live in West Virginia. That call came around noon; we were in Florida by 4 a.m. Sunday.

He was in septicemic shock due to an infected knee replacement; the infection was throughout his bloodstream and was attacking his vital organs. Kidneys first, which meant dialysis. Then his heart - he suffered an MI Sunday or Monday. He needed surgery to remove the infected knee appliance but was too ill to have the surgery.

His doctors eventually decided to sedate him, scope the knee and flush it with antibiotics rather than put him under a general anesthetic. This is a stopgap measure; he will eventually have to go through the surgery but not until after he's been on IV antibiotics for three or four weeks.

I consider myself a spiritual person, althou…