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Showing posts from September, 2011

Friday Quote Day

The bad news is, after my highly motivated post earlier this month, I've managed to gain seven pounds.

The good news is, I haven't stopped trying.

No matter how many mistakes you make
or how slow you progress,
you are still way ahead
of everyone who isn’t trying. 
~ Anonymous
I'm not sure you could call a seven-pound gain "progress," but I'll try to spin it that way anyway, just for your amusement.

I've often heard, and frequently said, that anyone or anything can be an example for your own life. I've met many people who have been very good examples of how not to live, how not to have a relationship, how not to behave.

I think I need to step back and look at my September self as some other person, someone I've observed, someone whose example I'd not care to emulate. That September person hasn't been on the beam, so to speak, in any way except taking an almost-daily walk and eating mostly healthful meals.

When I return from my walk today, I w…

Foreplay, the Redux

I posted an entry last year called "Foreplay." Forgot to check the stats for it, I wonder if I got a surge in traffic that day?

As I alluded to then, foreplay is a very different exercise for women than it is for men. Men think it's all about candles and soft music and … well, you know. Women? It starts with not leaving coffee rings on the furniture and ends with my husband cleaning the sliding glass doors around our house. Each room in our home, except the bathrooms, has an outside entrance. I'm not sure why that was considered important when the house was built, but there you go.

He was so damned proud of himself. Getting him to
understand that housework needs to be done and do it without being prompted  is a Big Deal around here.

And if that's our biggest deal, then we're gonna be just fine. Heh.

The house is so shiny and bright and clean. I did the kitchen yesterday. A clean stove is a beautiful thing.

Every time I do this kind of major domestic overhaul, …

Plan the plans

A saying I've heard in the rooms of AA goes like this:

Plan the plans, not the results.
So helpful, this week and, actually, in all things where one's expectations get in the way of one's serenity.
As I've gotten, ahem, older, I've found my stamina to be somewhat less than greatly reduced from years past. Planning to stretch the housecleaning project over several days seemed like a good idea when I started, but yesterday was the perfect day to just do it all at once.

Well, perfect in one way: My husband was gone most of the day and, thus, not in my way. He's most unhelpful when it comes to housework. Not his fault: He was a doted-upon only child whose family did him no favors by not teaching him how to cook, clean, do laundry, etc.

In order to vacuum, mop, dust, clean bathrooms, do laundry and fix dinner by 5:45 (when I leave for my volunteer gig on Tuesdays) I had to give up my walk. I got a good workout in, including some heavy lifting, but doing housework doe…


Blogger has something new called Dynamic Views. This blog can't be formatted to use the new templates, but photo blogs are perfect for it. Check it out at my (lame attempt at a ) Project 365 blog. When you hover your cursor over a photo, it pops out. Click on the title and the page with the photo and caption come up. Like I said above: coolness!

Falling behind

I'm a bit of a perfectionist when we have company. I want my house to look nice, I want to offer a variety of things to eat, I think the front porch should say, "Welcome!" I want to leave a treat, a couple of current magazines and a good novel in the guest room.

We're having visitors this weekend, so the week before is the week to get 'er done – the cleaning, tidying, cooking. Why is it (I'll speak for myself here, but I bet I'm not alone) I put up with dust and clutter on a day-to-day basis, and only dig in when someone comes to call?

I'm worth a shiny coffee table and freshly baked scones. Or at least I should be.

The reason I put up with it, of course, is that I'm the one makes it happen, with a little help from that guy who lives here, too. Heh. Yesterday my husband and I cleaned gutters and then swept and hosed off the back patio (which is not a small job, the patio stretches from one end of our one-story ranch-type house to the other). We mo…

C'mon, fall, hurry up!

The autumnal equinox has come and gone, but we had to run the AC last night for a little bit. It's not so much that it's hot, because 75° can't really be considered hot now, can it? It's just … stuffy. Especially in the bedroom.

To try to move things along a little, I've been making lots of soup. Last night we had a potato-dill soup I found on Epicurious, which I topped with bacon, cheese and sliced green onions. The recipe made six servings. I had one and a half, and my husband ate the rest. I think that's a pretty good recommendation; it's going on the fall-winter recipe rotation.

I had planned to take Saturday off from walking, but I ended up bagging the whole weekend. Two days of rest felt good to me. I'm not out there killing myself training for a marathon or anything, don't get me wrong. It would have been fine to get a walk in yesterday morning, but I felt a little under the weather and decided to respect those feelings, rather than push myse…

Friday Quote Day

The most courageous act is to think for yourself. ALOUD. ~ Coco Chanel
Live out loud. That's a scary thought for a woman like me, raised in a home where children were seen and not heard. Of course, I'm not a child any longer, not by a long shot. And since both my parents are gone, it's not like anyone is around to remind me that I'm still someone's child.

But living out loud carries risks, no matter how old you are.

Fourteen-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer lived out loud, with the support of his family and a small circle of friends (Phil Ochs, where are you now when we need you?). Bullying eventually drove Jamey to commit suicide – a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Politicians, red and blue, live out loud, offering themselves up to ridicule and judgment daily with some of the crazy things they say.

We bloggers, especially we who are small-time, not-popular, not widely read bloggers, live out loud a few times a week, throwing up a few paragraphs of what's on o…

Love one another

I woke up this morning with the words "love one another" going through my head. I was riveted last night by DemocracyNow's coverage of Troy Davis. And I'm grateful my takeaway from the tension and disappointment is "love one another." From some of the comments I've seen on Twitter and Facebook, it could be much worse.

One comment I ran across last night basically said the death penalty isn't a fence-sitting issue. You're either in favor of it or you aren't. It can't be okay to oppose it under one circumstance, as so many had for Mr. Davis in Georgia, but not in another, as so many of the same people had for Mr. Brewer in Texas. (Notably, Mr. Brewer's victim's son is opposed to the death penalty, even for his father's murderer, in one of the most horrible hate crimes on record.)

My work as a volunteer in a minimum-security federal prison doesn't give me much insight into the death penalty. (It has, after all, been called &…

I'm grateful for …

my sobrietymy husbandmy familymy dog (it was really hard trying to prioritize these first four items! Heh.)my friendsmy healthmy gardenmy cooking skillsmy optimismmy tolerance
Happy World Gratitude Day! Now it's your turn. Either in the comments or on your blog, what are you grateful for?

Perfect timing

If you were here beside me, you'd be able to hear the steady patter of rain, rain, rain falling outside. It's the kind of rainsound that makes you think it's never going to stop. Like the Nashville flood in 2010. (I was there.) Also, if you were here beside me, we could have a back-and-forth, meaningful conversation instead of me just throwing words up on a screen. And we'd have coffee.


I had quite a to-do list yesterday, and I'm happy to say I did it, including a three-mile walk. It was a slow three-mile walk, but I checked it off the list. At this stage of the renewed commitment to fitness, getting it done is more important than getting it done faster.

After the walking and before fixing dinner was this line item:
Pesto The advent of cooler temperatures has slowed the growth of the basil, and I decided it was time to harvest and preserve the remaining crop. I had just enough parmesan for one last batch of homemade pesto. (Note to self: Add "parmesan&q…

Wow, what a weekend

I'm a liberal Democrat, a progressive, and proud of it. It's hard to be a liberal Democrat in West Virginia, as you might well imagine. We used to be a solidly blue state. Now we're kinda purple, turning red, and it was certainly on the minds and hearts of those attending and speaking at the convention I went to this weekend to turn us back to blue.

I'm president of my county Democratic women's club, part of the WVFDW, and was attending my first state convention. We heard from Lena C. Taylor (D-WI) who, along with 13 of her colleagues, left the state of Wisconsin to prevent bad law from being railroaded through the legislature there. (It slowed the process, but the law was still passed.) We heard from many union organizers. West Virginia's former first lady, Gail Manchin, spoke, as did my Congressman's wife, Melinda Rahall, and the Congressman himself. (She gets top billing; she's a hoot!) West Virginia is having a special gubernatorial election Octobe…

It's all relative

I guess in mid-September, a wind chill in the 40s is "extreme cold."

I might be the only first-time attendee at this convention of the West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women. Everyone else seems to have plenty of blue wardrobe essentials, red/white/blue jewelry and people to talk to. I'm the only member attending from my county, so I got my picture made with the Governor's wife and our Secretary of State all by myself! I'm so special. Heh.

Friday Quote Day

You must be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
I'm off to be an activist this weekend, or at least learn how to be a better one. And if that turns out to not be on the agenda, well, maybe I'll start a new conversation. Heh. I bet you'd never guess I could do that, right?

The West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women is holding its annual state convention this weekend, and I hope, hope, hope it's not a weekend of preaching to the choir.

As y'all know, I'm on Facebook. The pages I've "Liked" all lean to the left and they all, every day, many times a day, bewail the state of the nation, especially the state of the nation's politics. And we Facebook followers all "like" and "share" and "comment," but we already know things are scary and bad and weird and crazy. I mean, when Mitt Romney says he'd like his Veep to be someone like Dick Cheney? Way to get nominated, Mitt!

I'm packing my kni…

The pride of West Virginia

Former new-car detailer from Logan, WV, hits the big time, winning this season's America's Got Talent. (Personally, I have trouble watching the show because the audience is so very obnoxious. But hey, he's from West Virginia and he's pretty amazing. So I watched the last couple weeks of the competition.) West Virginia is full of pride for Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.'s accomplishment!

The snake relocation project

So, my husband and I have been walking together this week, and we noticed the black snake that had moved into the perennial bed at the end of the driveway was back in residence. I still have some work to do in that area before winter, and neither of us were comfortable with a snake that close to the house.

For all we know there's a nest of them in the crawl space, but at least we can't see them. Seeing this guy was making both of us, um, nervous.

Yes, I know they're good for mouse control and they're not poisonous and yadda, yadda, yadda. But still. It's a snake. It was my husband's idea to move it, I wouldn't agree to killing it. Not that I've never had a snake killed, but this one wasn't threatening to come in my kitchen.

(If you've ever entertained the idea of living an idyllic life in the country, remember: There are snakes.)

So, back to the project. We first moved the rock under which it was resting, and teased it out onto the driveway with…

Three in a row

I walked three miles Saturday and Sunday mornings when I was out of town, and four miles yesterday morning. Yay, me!

Because Saturday was the one-year anniversary of my dad's death, I spent a lot of time thinking of him and the obesity legacy. And because the retreat happens only once a year, and I don't see any of the attendees during the interim, I thought, "How cool would it be if I came back next year at or near a healthy weight?"

The only way to do that, I decided, is to continue to eat healthful meals and to be consistent with exercise. (Not that it's worked before, but maybe this time will be different. Maybe if I sprinkle myself with glitter before I go for my walk. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.)

Duh. (Current studies show that exercise isn't that helpful in losing weight. But it's so helpful in other health-related areas that I think it's a good idea to continue moving, especially as I get older. And I was going to link to one or two st…

So much to say ...

and even this somewhat anonymous blog isn't the place to say it.

I have opinions that are probably not politically correct. To get the heaviness off my chest, I will just say I'm really glad it's September 12th. There, I feel better already.

I have sad personal news that I will never share here. If I haven't met you in person, you don't need to know. No, I'm not ill and I'm not getting divorced. I would definitely share that here.

The weekend retreat we went to in Kentucky (an AA event) was great. Good speakers, lots of fellowship, too much food. The planners make sure we're not meetinged to death; there's a lot of free time built into the schedule. And since it's early in the college football season, we have a tailgate party and watch a game or two.

A large group of Ohio State Buckeye fans always arrive from Columbus, Ohio, but the OSU game wasn't televised. Thanks to modern technology, one of the group was able to find an animated play-by-…

Remembering …

I know I could schedule a post to be published tomorrow, but I seldom blog on the weekends, so I'm not going to. Daddy died a year ago tomorrow. Today, I want to post a few pictures and publish a quote I found that says so much about him.

He got his pilot's license when I was 18, soon to be 19. I was in labor with my first child while he was taking his flight test. He was also on alert that day – May 4, 1970 – due to the riots and shootings at Kent State University.

He'd made a career in the Ohio Air National Guard, but not as a pilot. He'd been fascinated by airplanes all his life (he took his first airplane ride when he was five, with a barnstormer, in southern Ohio). He was a mechanic in the Guard, and then an inflight air refueling technician and, finally, a recruiter.

During my childhood, we had a number of family hobbies: antique cars, camping and boating, horseback riding. When my siblings and I complained about the camping taking us away from our friends all su…

If it's Thursday, it must be Thanksgiving

As I mentioned yesterday, we had Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, September 9, 2010. The last time I'd had Thanksgiving dinner with my dad was in 2008 at the rehabilitation facility where he was recovering from septicemia. 2008 was the beginning of a long illness for him, one in which he had many ups and downs. The biggest up was that he and I saw each other more frequently than we had in previous years.

So, since he and his wife and her cousin were all visiting last year, I got all sentimental and decided to have a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Everything was homemade, and lots of our food came from the back yard. We invited another couple with whom we were very close at the time. (Six months later we're not speaking. Long story, and I'm still kind of sad about it, but the truth is I had been feeling the fabric of our relationship tearing.)

Last year, though, it was fun having them share our table. Dad was fascinated with their homesteading lifestyle, which wa…

And the grand total is …

3.2 inches. That's the amount of rain that has fallen since Monday morning.

Reminds me of May, when all I wanted to do was go out and throw seeds in the ground. Now I'd like to get out and clean the garden up (well, not that I'd really like to, but you know what I mean) and there's no way that can happen with all the mud.

We're getting a bit of a break today, and maybe even the rest of the week. Chance of scattered storms, temps in the low to mid 70s, should be nice for outdoor walking, if not for garden maintenance.

September is a busy month around the Middle of Nowhere. My husband and I are getting ready to go to our annual AA retreat in Kentucky. So many good memories from these events over the years. In addition to the many friends we've made, we got our little dog Hershey on one of those trips.
Next weekend I'll be attending the state convention for our Federation of Democratic Women. We then have a free weekend to get ready for guests who will arrive …

On Labor Day, I labored

It rained all day yesterday, and is still raining, as a matter of fact. Wanna see what 24 hours of rain looks like?
Two and a half inches and counting.
And the forecast calls for … more rain. Thank you, Lee! Where were you last month when the now-shriveled baby squash plants needed you?

I mustn't complain, though. Rainy weather outside means it's a good time to putter in the kitchen, and that's what I did yesterday.

First, I made a few jars of pickles from the okra I bought on my way home from North Carolina. I also bought a few raw peanuts, but no apples – organic apples probably don't sell as well as perfect, sprayed-with-pesticides ones do. I didn't explore the whole market, so organic apples might have been available, but I didn't find any.

When the pickles came out of the canner, I started emptying the pantry. Threw away a lot of stuff (one box of something had a Use By date of 2007 on it) and re-packaged and rearranged the rest. Everything fit with room t…

Friday Quote Day

I've learned only that you never say never. ~ Marina von Neumann Whitman
I'll tell you right here and right now that Marina von Neumann Whitman was not the first person to never say never.

Case in point: I'm tempted to say I can never lose weight again. My metabolism is so screwed up, my age is working against me, I'm post-menopausal, blah, blah, blah. But … I lost a pound in August.

So there. Never say never.

The Fat2Fit guys would be so proud of me. Slow and steady wins the race and all that.

A pound doesn't sound like much, and it isn't really. My weight can vary by a pound or more from morning to night. Not that I weigh myself morning and night. (I used to. I'm so over that.) During the month of August I weighed myself twice: the 1st and the 20th. I'm not sure why the 20th happened, but I recorded my weight in the FatSecret app on my phone, so there you go.

(Aside: One of the diet tips on FatSecret is: STAY AWAY FROM CAKE. Heh.)

I weighed myself yest…

Oh, my aching _________

Fill in the blank.

I don't know which muscle group hurts the worst this morning. Shoulders? Back? And, frankly, back can be divided into upper and lower, even quadrants! Speaking of quadrants, the quadriceps are kind of ouchy, as well.

I'm too old to be slinging bricks.

And I was too busy yesterday to even think about how bad I hurt. I got a short (three miles) walk done mid-morning and was working on "stuff" the rest of the day.

Stuff included laundry, a couple graphic design projects, watering plants (oh, how we could use some rain; I was wrong about it earlier this week), making cottage cheese – nothing special or overwhelming, just a continuous flow of projects.

I like days like that. But I like days like today, too, when I can sleep in a little and all I have to do is go to a march and rally on Main Street in Beckley, WV.

I'm learning more and more about the NookColor, and honestly I would recommend it to anyone in the market for an ereader. The biggest diff…