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Showing posts from February, 2011

No quote this week …

At least not from me.

I walked early this morning (finishing up in a pouring rain), showered and started packing for a short trip to the beach. I drove all afternoon (mostly in a pouring rain) to get halfway there, and will be a passenger for the remainder of the trip tomorrow.

I'm going to unplug, as much as it's possible, for a couple of days. I'll have my phone, to stay in touch with my husband, but I'm going to try to back away from the laptop. We'll see how that goes. If our hotel has wi-fi, all bets are off. Heh.

Since I'm not going to be around in the morning for a Friday Quote Day, I thought I'd ask for your favorite quote. Who inspires you? What motivates you? Do you have a favorite thought that gets you through the tough times, or helps you appreciate the life you love? I'd love to come back to an e-mail inbox full of great thoughts and words.

I'm turning into my mother

The miracle of growing up in my childhood home was that my mother could put a good meal on the table every night - as well as pack our school lunches and serve us a good breakfast - with the food she had on hand. I remember comparing our, er, her food cupboard to Kroger's. She never bought one of anything, and therefore never had to run to the grocery at the last minute for a missing ingredient.

Finally, after many years of living in the Middle of Nowhere, I have turned into my mother. I do make trips to both Sam's Club (once every four to six weeks) and Tiny Kroger (every 10 days or so) for essentials, but I can put a good, healthy meal on our table every night by "shopping" the pantry, freezer and/or fridge.

I couldn't do this when I lived in Ohio. Meijer and Target were within walking distance; if I needed something, I didn't think twice about running out to fill in any culinary gaps.

But out here in the country? With gas well over $3 a gallon, and heading…

Peas, please!

Despite the grey, cool weather we're not enjoying this week, I'm getting ready for spring. I cleaned the shelves I used last year for all my seedlings to grow on and brought them in the house, near the south-facing sliding glass door where they'll get filtered sunlight most of the day.

Well, if the sun ever comes out again, anyway.

I also planted peas.

According to the WVU Extension Office calendar, I could have put them in the ground last week, but I was too busy then. Yesterday felt just right. I slipped on my garden clogs and gloves, grabbed a hoe, a rake and the seeds (left over from last year), and went to work.

It felt good. I finished planting a short row, replaced the straw over the two rows of garlic and felt like a farmer again. Heh.

I have lots of seeds left from last year, and from everything I've read they should be viable for several years. I haven't even decided what I need to order to fill in the gaps. I probably have enough squash in the freezer th…

I shoulda been a plumber

My husband told me a joke yesterday.

The neurosurgeon was shocked when he got his plumber's bill for a simple sink repair. "That's more than I make for an hour in the operating room!" he cried. The plumber replied, "That's more than I made when I was a neurosurgeon, too."

For the past few days I've been handwashing the dishes, thinking the garbage disposal was in need of repair or replacement. I found the problem – and solved it – thanks to the internets. I love Google.

Since I thought it was the disposal, I started there, first hitting the reset switch (all disposals have them and I've had to reset mine in the past), then using an allen wrench to clear any potential jam.

All of that resulted in a still-slow drain. A little more sleuthing suggested I probably had a clog in the line leading from the disposal to the septic system. That was easily fixed by applying a plunger to the sink drain.

Like I said up top: I shoulda been a plumber.

And I shou…

Friday Quote Day

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. Maya Angelou
That's what KOKO is all about, right?

Sometimes I do feel defeated, mostly when I'm tired, and I'm really tired right now, even though it's 7 a.m. and I should be bouncing off the walls.

I'm defeated by that darned little program on the BlackBerry that I'm supposed to be using to track my daily food intake.


I'm defeated by that piece of paper in my office with the strength-training moves on it.

But I'm not defeated. I have been through all of this in the past and come out swinging, and I will again. So why am I so tired? Too much driving, too much thinking, too many people. But I'd do it all again tomorrow if the opportunity arose.

I spent the day yesterday in our state capitol with 100 other Democratic women and more than a few legislators (who are, at their cores, politicians). (A couple of iconic photos here.) West Virginia is holding a special election to install a new gove…

Compulsive? Who, me?

Well I knocked out 10 miles yesterday in two five-mile chunks, one in the morning and the other mid-afternoon.

The morning walk included enough jogging that I averaged 3.5 mph. The afternoon? Not so much. But I still came in under 100 minutes, which is my dragging-ass, I'm-so-tired-I-need-a-nap-not-a-walk time.

The walks were bookends to a trip to town in which I stopped at my library and signed up for a NetLibrary account. If you're interested in audiobooks, check to see if your state's library system is hooked in to this resource, or if there might be another way for you to borrow them. I'll be canceling my account soon, and taking full advantage of NetLibrary!

I never thought I would enjoy listening to books as much as I have. I can barely make it through half a dozen print pages in a book or magazine before I'm nodding off. (If that's a sign of old age, don't tell me about it, 'kay?) And because I'm listening while I'm walking, t…

If you live in Charlottesville …

and I know a couple of you do, you might want to check out this event Saturday.

Wish I lived closer, I'd offer to pick you up!

I met Tate and Faith during the holidays and hope they are very successful with their new business. I've been keeping up with Faith through her blog, and am inspired by her youthful energy and her beautiful photography.

They're fun people and they're on a mission. I hope you'll join them.

About those goals

You may have already guessed I'm woefully behind on the weight-training goal. I was going to do a 10-minute workout once a week. Well, here we are in the third week and the only weight-training I've done is some heavy lifting of furniture – definitely not what I had in mind.

I told a friend I need an attitude adjustment about weight training. I know all the benefits, and I've even experienced some of them, in a previous life (the one where I was working out in a gym for two hours every day). Maybe I associate weight-training with the insanity of that time period in my life. It will take time, but I know I'll get over it. Someday.

To hit my 110 mile goal for February, I need to walk 4.3 miles every day for the rest of the month. I won't be able to work out tomorrow at all (will be out of town all day). I've been doing a five-miler every day I can get outside (it's amazing how easy it was to bump it up a mile per day – I don't think I did an outdoor five-…

Not much time today …

Now that I have a laptop and highER speed internet (it's not truly high speed, but much better than dial-up), I'm spending more time web-surfing, not less, as I'd thought I might. It's just that there's so much more to look at!

I have a couple things on the agenda for today, including a long-delayed haircut right in the middle of the day. I'd rather walk earlier than later, so I'm heading out in a bit to get that done. It's chilly – I can still see frost on the grass – but not windy, as it was yesterday.

I took a picture of the wind yesterday and then a couple hours later saw the power of it when the clothesline blew down.

I'm kind of liking the way my hair looks two weeks after its original appointment to get chopped. Am thinking about maybe letting it grow longer again. We'll see. There's a point in the growing-out process where I know I'm just going to whack it all off again.

Mid-month goal check: 48 total miles (a little short of the …

Ever since the party …

my life has been pleasantly busy. It's kind of like the busy-ness of prepping for my mother-in-law's event, having my husband's son and family here, all the planning/list-making/shopping/cooking hasn't stopped, but the attendent stress has vanished. I'm doing something almost all the time, but there's no deadline.

Love it.

We had a great weekend here in the Middle of Nowhere. We got a call Saturday morning from friends who were traveling nearby, asking if we'd like to meet them for coffee mid-afternoon. Of course we would! And the number-one priority before we left was to get a workout in. I hopped on the elliptical while my husband did his errands, and then he worked out on the treadmill while I went to get milk at Elora's. By the time we did all that and took showers, it was time to hit the road.

The visit was lovely and much too short. Afterward, since my husband and I were more than halfway there, we went on to Sam's Club (I keep a running list o…

Friday Quote Day

You don't stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing. ~ George Bernard Shaw
In the book I'm "reading" (the Audible version of Born to Run), this quote is amended to read:

You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.
Does that mean if I start running again I'll get younger? Well, maybe.

I've been pretty lucky in my pursuit of running in that I've had very few injuries. I've had one painful bout with plantar fasciitis and I've purchased a couple different knee straps to wear when minor twinges show up. Not bad for five years of off-and-on running.

Older runners have done some remarkable things, and despite my husband's misgivings, I hope to be one. And I hope that being one will keep me active and healthy for the rest of my life, no matter how long that may be.

The biggest obstacle to my running is, of course, my weight. It stands to reason that if I weighed less, I could run more …

Sticking with it, no matter what

So, G.G. said something brilliant and worth repeating yesterday:
It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit (and keep moving forward).
Of course I had to Google to find out where the quote came from. It sounded familiar, I knew I'd heard it before, I recognized the inspirational quality of it. The older I get, the more relevant this thought, these words, are.

So who said it? Whoever wrote the script for Rocky Balboa. And that would be Sly, himself, Sylvester Stallone.

I loved the first Rocky movie, and apparently a lot of critics did, too, as it won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1976. The sequels were entertaining, but just didn't have the same inspirational quality (for me) as the first one did.

Or the last.

I was training for that very first half-marathon when Rocky Balboa was released, and I was the only person I knew who wanted to see it. So I went by myself. I don't know if watching the movie translated into stronger training session…

Coupla things, and more than a coupla links

Good morning! Go here to see what I saw not five minutes ago. Already the sun has diluted the drama! Elora, who has both a better view and a better lens than I, will probably post her version here later today. If she didn't get the shot, it's because she was in the milking shed and didn't see it! I know she would do a much better job than I did. But at least I got my daily photo posted. And I'm only on my second cup of coffee. Heh.

While I'm pointing you to interesting places, go here to see how one family is doing on a diet of a different kind than the one we usually talk about here. (Truly, I'd like to get out of "diet" mentality as far as food goes, and I'm well on my way. I love knowing that nothing is off limits.) The aforementioned Elora and her husband are on the Dollar Diet, by choice, most of the time, not even spending the $10 per week for milk and produce that the News & Observer blogger spends. (See aforementioned milking shed.)

I …

Chocolate & Vicodin

What a great combo, eh?

Sorry for the second post du jour two days in a row. (I'm just trying to increase my blog hits, heh. Not really!)

My friend Jennette has written her second book and it's nearly ready for release. I pre-ordered it in November, and can't wait to read it, even though I don't suffer from constant, unrelenting headaches.

I bought her first book because we had something in common: We were both trying to lose weight. She was much more successful than I've been, but I don't hold that against her. I ordered her second book because I like the way she writes and because I want her to be successful. Not that my one little book order is going to tip the scale, but every purchase helps.

Anyhoo, she wrote on her blog today about the process of creating the book trailer for Chocolate & Vicodin. I will confess right here and right now that I've never watched a book trailer before. It never occurred to me to watch a video in order to convince myse…

Winding down

It's sooooo quiet around here.

My husband's grandsons, two-year-old triplet boys, filled the house with life and energy and laughter over the weekend. Their six-month-old sister giggled and smiled and is without a doubt the sunniest baby I've ever known.

Yesterday was a day of laundry and putting things back where they belong, so I was pretty busy. And I noticed the quiet, something I don't usually pay much attention to.

I'll admit there were times over the weekend when I looked forward to silence. Three toddlers can take a toll on an old lady if she's not used to it. But they were so much fun and now that they're gone, well, maybe it's just part of the general letdown after you've completed a big project.

Got out for another five-miler yesterday. It was a really nice day here. Today, however, the wind is whipping and the temperature has dropped a lot. I think I'll be good to myself and use the elliptical.

I need to pay closer attention to what …

Just out of curiosity ...

I totaled this month's activity minutes. Sixty per day would be, obviously, 420. I'm 38 minutes short, not bad considering that I ended up not walking or using the elliptical on Thursday or Saturday.

I'm not exactly where I need to be, but I'm within spittin' distance. Feels pretty good.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

The party's over …

No sad music from me, though! I was happy to plan it, happy to execute the plan and am now more than happy to get back to my other life. That party had a mind of its own.

My mother-in-law was very appreciative. Her niece, who is 72, asked if I would throw her a 90th birthday party. I reminded her that in 18 years I would be 78 – probably not up to the amount of effort it took to pull this off. But I did offer to take her to lunch. Heh.

As promised, here's the cupcake cake. The batter was baked in a small mixing bowl and then I carved the lower portion to make the whole thing look like a cupcake. I pressed the back of a knife into that portion of the frosting to make it look pleated.

And here's the table, which really was lovely, if I do say so myself.

All the out-of-towners left yesterday. I took a nice, long (five miles) walk and didn't do much else. Today will be a big push to put the house back together. (We moved and rearranged a lot in order to give our two-year-old tr…

Nothing ...

beats a walk outside to reduce the stress level on Birthday Party Eve.

I'm so glad I don't do this for a living!

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Friday Quote Day

We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
~ Calvin Coolidge

Today's quote is brought to you by the word "busy." Man, have I been busy.

The thing about party planning, unless you're a pro, is that you don't do it every day, and therefore you have to think-think-think and make lists-lists-lists and, if you're me, if you think about it and don't put it on a list (or do it right away), you're going to end up with no cream or sugar for the coffee.

I bet that didn't make a bit of sense, did it? Heh.

Yesterday was tough.

Yeah, baking cupcakes all day is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, right? And since my husband is less-than-handy in the kitchen, it was up to me. These are Snickerdoodle cupcakes with penuche frosting. Martha's recipe called for seven-minute frosting dusted with cinnamon-sugar, but I couldn't have pulled that one off. I hope this is a good combination.

This is half of what we're serving to my moth…

I keep meaning to ask …

are any of you watching the new show on NBC called Harry's Law?

I don't watch much 'regular' television. When my husband worked out of town I had a few faves I'd never miss (Biggest Loser, Nip/Tuck), and I love live sports (that's my reality TV), but now that he's retired and taken control of the remote, we watch a lot of MSNBC.

A. Lot.

He's a left-leaning news junkie, and MSNBC meets his needs. It meets mine, too, mostly as non-annoying background noise to accompany my knitting. Heh.

Anyway, back to Harry. My husband was intrigued by the teaser commercials prior to the premier January 16. We decided to give it a try. I was visiting my daughter in Tennessee then, and got to watch it at 9 p.m. Love the Central time zone!

I liked it a lot, he was so-so about it, but gave it another chance. We've watched all three episodes now, and are enjoying the quirky characters and interesting story lines very much. It's not real; you have to have a willing su…

January wrap-up, February goals

Although I'm verrrrry tempted to forego the goal setting this month, I see the value in it and I'm OCD enough that I don't want to quit doing it so soon. Setting goals doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to achieve them, but it does seem to provide a bit of a push to keep on keepin' on.

And I'm all about keepin' on, as both of you longtime readers know.

One of my long-term goals was to eat from the USDA pyramid. I have done that pretty well. I think I exceeded my calorie goal only one day in January. (The other long-term goal is to run a full marathon this year, and, um, let's just say I'm still not ready for that.)

I had a couple of monthly goals, neither of which I fully achieved.

I thought one of my monthly goals was to do at least 60 minutes of intentional daily activity, but I don't see that in the post where I declared my goals for January. But since I went all month thinking that was one, I'm happy to say I achieved it. Not technic…

A new toy

Well, I didn't have time to add up the January numbers yesterday. UPS came earlier than I'd expected, and I found myself taking time away from party preparations to sneak over and play with my new laptop! There was no time for math.

I'd been wanting one of those baby laptops for a long time, just because. I'm a techno-freak, a gadget girl, and a longtime Apple Mac user. Those commercials for the MacBook Air had me lusting for one of the sleek little machines.

Of course, I couldn't afford one, and I really didn't need one, so I just tucked the thought away for, you know, someday.

And then someone wanted to do something nice for me (I don't want to share the details here). After a couple of back-and-forth e-mails and phone calls … UPS showed up with a very light package and here we are, laptopping away.

Since it's a Mac, there's not much to learn – it's very user-friendly and nearly all my computer experience has been on Macs. The one thing I find…