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Showing posts from January, 2014

January 31 - Polka Dots

A walk! A walk! My kingdom for a walk!

So yes, it was only 21° at noon-ish, but I was on a tight schedule yesterday. If I was going to sing in the sunshine, 21° was as good as it was going to get.

And it was okay. Actually, I got kind of warm toward the end of the fourth mile. Ended up doing five and loved almost every minute of it. It was very cold starting out, and it was a bit icy in one spot. But SO worth that bit of discomfort to get back outside and MOVE!

My husband came along. We blinked like moles in the bright sun after being cooped up for days on end. And we're planning to do it again today, but wearing fewer layers since the temperature is forecast to rocket into the 40s!
I feel as though January has been an almost total bust as far as mileage goes. Fifty-nine so far, and with an additional five today that's far below my goal of 127 (4.1x31 – I need to average 4.1/day this year to hit 1500 by 12/31/14).

So I need to step it up! Which is just what I'm planning to do.

January 30 - Best invention ever

Was I busy yesterday or what?

Yes, yes I was.

Worked on a graphic design project and remarks for a meeting tonight. All. Day. Long. With a short break to run to town for a couple things, and then remembered on the way home that I forgot quite a few more. So I'm going back this morning.

Grrrr. I hate when that happens.


The car starts every time I turn the key, thanks to that new battery. The water has been working fine, although I think the line to the washer (which is located in our detached garage and, yes, that IS terribly unhandy, thankyouverymuch) is probably frozen. I didn't have laundry to do yesterday so I didn't check.We've had no power outages lately and have stayed comfortably warm throughout the polar vortex.We're both retired and have no need to navigate icy roads. I feel terrible for Atlantans and others in the south who've been affected by the latest winter storm.The pantry, freezer and refrigerator are stocked. There's no way we would go hungry in the event of a weath…

January 29 - Window

January 28 - Dinner

RIP Pete Seeger

May he stay forever young in our hearts and our consciences. May we never forget his strong  voice for social justice, for working people, for taking care of our environment and of each other.

January 27 - Something I bought

The temperature. It has plummeted. And the Grammys. They were great.

I watched the Grammys last night, well most of the program, anyway, so I went to bed later than I usually do. And I woke up much later than I usually do. at 7:30 a.m. it was 41°, the winds were calm and I thought to myself, "I should just get dressed and walk RIGHT NOW." Because it's not going to get nicer as the day goes forward.

Well, I didn't follow through. I scrolled through my Facebook feed and watched the "Same Love" clip, which happened after I went to bed. I tweeted and commented and generally wasted my window of walking opportunity.
And you know how the news broadcasters report that the stock market either SOARS or PLUMMETS as it goes up or down? I'm here to tell you the temperature has plummeted. It's now (two hours later) 27 with the wind chill making it feel like 16. Winds are from the NNW at 12, gusting to 24 mph.
Only 51 days until spring.

The weather was fine for a walk late yesterday afternoon, and I managed three miles after my fou…

January 26 - Fun stuff!

With any luck …

I'll be posting a photo from an OUTDOOR walk later this afternoon.

The temperature is supposed to be above freezing – in fact, it may even hit 40° – by around 4 p.m. There is a strange bright orb shining brightly from above, and according to the weather gods it will continue to do so.

Bitter cold returns tomorrow evening and lasts most of the week.

I'm sooooo over winter.

Before I take a walk (and I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much I'm looking forward to doing so) I'll be shoveling. We got another inch of snow overnight, coating the porch and creating a palette for bird and dog footprints.

I was sick yesterday. I haven't tossed my cookies (or, in this case, a Larabar) in quite a long time. I'm guessing it's been years since my stomach has been quite so upset. So I lounged around in my jammies all day and took it very easy. And even though I didn't eat much all day, my weight has ticked up a couple of pounds. I blame it on lack of activity and a…

January 25 - Taste of winter


Not only did my husband and I make it to town yesterday so I could register as a candidate, but we went on to a nearby CITY and had a late LUNCH in a RESTAURANT.

(Thanks for your good wishes about my filing, here and on Facebook and Instagram. I appreciate it!)

We found a Chinese buffet right after Christmas that has an amazing selection of paleo-friendly food. Lots of steamed vegetable choices, non-sugary chicken entrées, plenty of fresh fruit. My husband is a big eater and loves buffets. I've learned, over the years, to realize it's not necessary to eat my money's worth. (That was a hard one to learn!) So we're both happy … and I didn't have to cook dinner (I can always fend for myself without cooking) because he truly eats a whole days' worth of food – and maintains his weight.

Mostly because he maintains his workout schedule. Heh.

One of my flight instructors used exercise as a way to eat whatever he wanted. He was a runner, was skinny as a rail and ate lik…

All politics is local

So I was watching Jeopardy last night with my husband – it's our after-dinner mental cocktail, I suppose – when the phone rang. On the line was a friend encouraging me to get myself down to the county courthouse before today's deadline to file as a candidate for our county's Democratic Executive Committee.

I've wanted to be a part of this committee for a long time, but these seats are kind of like Green Bay Packers season tickets. I wasn't going to throw my name in the hat and possibly step on someone else's toes.

However – my friend said both women from my district were stepping down. They'd found one replacement. Would I consider being the other one?

PERFECT! It's like winning your age group in a 5K when you're the only one in your age group.

But it's also new blood, and every county committee needs a transfusion once in a while. I hope to learn a lot, contribute what I can and help turn West Virginia BLUE!

How many times …

can one bitch about the weather?

It's cold. Again. My last walk was that lovely one in the snow on Tuesday. At least I think it was Tuesday.
I shoveled a couple tire-track paths down the driveway yesterday and actually Got Out and Did Stuff. We hadn't picked up the mail all week. We needed almond milk and bananas and BACON. Heh.

My husband has been really dedicated to his treadmill workouts during the current cold snap, while my elliptical has been idle. I'll probably have to brush cobwebs off it if I work out today.

And that's a big "if." Yes, I know I should, but wow, do I ever have trouble working out indoors. The temperature Sunday is supposed to reach a balmy 39°. You can bet I'll be outside then.

My weight is stable and I just keep thinking, "Spring is on the way … spring is on the way …"

As long as I'm not going backwards, I guess I'm willing to tread water – so to speak – until I can get back outside regularly.

I'll be going …

January 24 - Your space

January 21 (Blue), 22 (Nice!) and 23 (Bedtime)

Crafty lady

So the internet went out a couple days ago. It came back yesterday afternoon sometime, but I've spent most of the day digging the driveway out and going to town. We hadn't picked up the mail in a couple days and needed milk, fruit, yogurt and metal washers.

Because life just isn't complete without metal washers.

KIDDING! Here's what I did with them:
I'm going to a West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women (WVFDW) event Saturday, if I'm not snowed in AGAIN. We had to postpone our December meeting because of weather, and I have all these little goodie bags for the Christmas exchange. At the last minute I decided to add one more thing.

I'm like the knitter who finishes all the holiday projects and casts on for another one BECAUSE THERE'S TIME. Oh. Wait. I'm not like that knitter, I AM that knitter.

Anyhoo ... I coated the reverse (blank) side of a large conversation heart with Mod Podge and let it dry. Then I attached a magnet disk to the back. My d…

A short one today

Blogging from my phone this morning. Our Internet has been down since yesterday afternoon. I spent some time with a tech person last night, trying to reset the modem or router or whatever it's called, to no avail. They promised it would be up and running by tomorrow. Today's weight bounced back up a pound. As both of you know, I'm beginning to think this is it. Still on the plan - no reason to stop doing what has worked so well too relieve pain and clear up other nagging health issues. I took a lovely four-mile winter walk yesterday. I posted photos on Facebook and would share the link if I could figure out how to do that from the phone. They call them smartphones because they're smarter than we are. Heh. My glutes and the front of my thighs are sore from the walk. So I guess it really was more of a hike. I'm glad I went. It will be way too cold to leave the house today. I wish you warmth and sunshine, wherever you are. You deserve it!

It's winter. And it's snowing.

Because that's what it does in winter.

This is going to be an all-day event, with a predicted snowfall of four to eight inches. Four is as bad as eight if you're driving in it, I suppose.

I'm not going anywhere.

I got my car inspected and a new battery installed yesterday, and walked to Tiny Kroger while the work was being done. (After walking four miles earlier with my husband. PATTING MYSELF ON THE BACK HERE!) The grocery was jam-packed with folks buying milk, bread, eggs and peanut butter. Because the snowpocalypse! It's happening!

I bought bananas and cereal (for the husband), and said to the manager on my way out, "You must love winter weather forecasts!" He's such a nice guy. He said, "I don't, but I'm sure the company does!"

Because he has to drive on these mountain roads, too.

So. There will be shoveling today for intentional activity, instead of walking. Or maybe in addition. I haven't walked in the snow in a long, long tim…

January 20 - To-do list

My favorite MLK quote

I  printed this out a long time ago; it's stuck to my refrigerator among other important (and not-so) ephemera of my life:
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., said many, many inspiring words during his brief time on earth. I love his passion and decency, his dignity and his commitment.

The Super Bowl, my diet, knitting, the weather, politics … all of that can wait.

It is right, on this day commemorating his birth (which was actually five days ago) – and on all days – to do for others, to work for peace.

To be love.

January 19 - Breakfast

59 Days

Less than two months and it'll be spring!

Oh, my, I can't wait. Obviously I have no choice, but SERIOUSLY! I'm so ready for warm.

Football is nearly over. College games are done and we will know tonight who plays in the Super Bowl two weeks from today. The Winter Olympics will then tide us over for a bit, until March Madness.

And then … gardening and running and going outside without a coat!

Like I said: I can't wait.

I was both a sloth (too cold to walk outside and I was unmotivated to get on the elliptical) and a hungry, hungry hippo yesterday. NOT a good combination. I can only be grateful that I don't have junk food in the house.

And that I can push the reset button this morning.

If I begin my day with a serious breakfast – bacon and eggs or a pumpkin mug muffin seem serious enough – I do well. If I begin with fruit, though … not so much. I'm not sure why that is, and I don't have to know. It's been a pretty consistent phenomenon and I'm going t…

January 18 - Happy place


West Virginia has a water problem. A coal-cleaning chemical spill has fouled the Elk River and compromised safe water usage for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.

I live a couple hours south of Charleston, the heart of the crisis, and am not affected. My most recent water problem was fixed in less than a day. Although I still hold my breath when I turn on a faucet.

Those who live in the nine affected counties served by WV American Water have not been using their water for nine days now.

To be fair, some zones have been given the all-clear. But customers are still noticing an odd odor. In some homes the water coming from the tap is green. Some are complaining about hyperchlorination. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are advised to continue drinking bottled water, begging the question: If it's not okay for them, how is it okay for everyone else?

Lawsuits have been filed, of course, and the company that was supposed to contain the chemical filed for bankruptcy yesterda…

January 17 - Tiny

A generous gesture

There was ample opportunity for dressing up and looking presentable last weekend – dinner out on Friday evening, a dance concert Saturday and football- and Golden Globe-watching with friends on Sunday. My daughter always looks good (but I'm her mother, so I might be biased), especially when she's had time to primp.

As we left for the concert on Saturday I admired her lip gloss. I have a terrible time finding products that work for me. Aging lips are wrinkled around the edges. Mine are dry and weatherbeaten, as well. And I'm picky about how lip products taste. If I had my preference, every lip balm I own would be flavored with cinnamon.
Do you know how hard it is to find cinnamon lip gloss? (Actually I just Googled and here's one I didn't know about. And there's an Ulta near my son's home. Next time I visit …)
Anyway. Hers didn't smell or taste like cinnamon, but it was a pretty color and I admired it.
Next day, when my grandson and I came home from our …

January 16 - Sun

So here's a question for you …

Continuing the conversation from yesterday, in which I contemplated hanging out here (12 pounds above goal weight) for a while.
My reason for wanting to go lower is to get to a normal BMI. Losing 12 more pounds would let me squeak into the tippy-top of the normal range. And buy new clothes. Heh.

I've done little true research into the importance or health benefits of being at a BMI of 24.99 or below. I know only that once you hit a BMI of 25 you're overweight. My current BMI is 27. Ish.

I've also read that a paleo plan isn't good for you. (The conclusions presume the FDA knows what's good for each and every one of us. I think the FDA knows what's good for Big Food and Big Agriculture. BUT THAT'S JUST ME!)

One of you anonymously commented that I've developed a new relationship with food. [And called me "pal."] Would love to know who you were, so I can thank you personally for that attagirl. You're absolutely correct. I have changed how I r…

January 15 - Black+White

I'm tempted …

to say I'm done trying to lose any more weight.

I lost a pound this week, meaning I again have 12 to go to reach my goal. I've been at my current weight (or just slightly below) since early November. I've traveled a lot in the past couple months, which has affected my exercise routine more than my meal plan.

Maybe as the weather improves – spring is on the way, right? – and I get out more, and especially maybe when I begin running again these last few pounds will slip away.

In the meantime, I'm happy-happy-happy to have clothes (and shoes) that fit and look good. Oh, my, I'm having fun wearing cool footwear. I've also started wearing jewelry and using make-up. I guess I'm not hiding any more.

I know what to eat when I'm hungry and I don't miss what I've chosen not to have.

To be brutally honest, I miss cheese sometimes. But I've been able to add a little feta or parmesan or goat cheese to a salad once in a while with no ill effects. And even…

January 14 - Three things

January 11, 12, 13 photos

I hardly even opened the laptop

It's so much easier for me to blog from the computer than from the phone. As I promised last week, I took photos, I just didn't post them here. (They're on Instagram.) I'll get those up later.

My original plan had me leaving Friday and returning Sunday, but I ended up staying an extra day. The trip began with a dead car battery. THANK YOU, COLD WEATHER! We jumped it, drove to our local-ish service station and determined it was still holding a charge, but it's the original battery. Probably ought to replace it. Sooner rather than later. So, a late start, but no harm done.

The purpose of the trip was to watch my older granddaughter's winter dance concert, which was amazing and wonderful and beautiful. It was a great visit, one of the best. My daughter is low-carbing and we made some great food while I was there, especially this soup, which we modified by eliminating the tofu and doubling up on the pork and mushrooms. Oh, my, was it ever good!

The trip home was lo…

January 10 - Manmade

January 9 - Natural

The purge continues

I've managed, over the past few days, to whittle 14 magazine holders (12 issues each) down to this:
A less-than two-inch-high stack of patterns I want to keep, including three complete issues.

Just three more holders to go through and I'll be done.

My husband took two boxes to the library yesterday and will drop the remaining box off over the weekend.

In addition to preferring single-color, classic designs, I find I'm drawn to cabled patterns and lighter weight fabrics. I saved some patterns for summery things – swimsuit coverups and tank tops to wear with skirts.

I haven't needed swimsuit coverups or tank tops in quite a while.

I've asked my husband several times if he liked this or that men's pattern, and he's just not interested. He has a plain grey pullover and a dark green cardigan that he wears occasionally, but he's just not much of a sweater guy. And he's definitely not a vest wearer.

I do believe, once the current pair of socks for a guy ar…

January 6 & 8 Photos

I couldn't come up with any brilliant ideas for yesterday's prompt, which was "upside down." I saw some good interpretations on Instagram later ... including one the photographer took of herself in the reflection of a spoon. Very clever! Wish I'd thought of it!

No alerts. And a date.

For the first time in a week, we are not under some kind of dire weather emergency. No advisories, no warnings, no watches. It's still cold, but the wind chill is finally above zero. So yay for that.

Remember yesterday when I wondered where the deer were? Well this warm (cough, cough) weather has brought them out of the woods. I just chased half a dozen of them out of my front landscape bed. I think one of them was snacking on the bark of the redbud tree.

I don't care if deer go hungry. Really. I don't.

The birds are back, as well. I do care if the birds go hungry, and am now filling the feeder just about every day. Wonder how long 40 pounds of black oil sunflower seeds will last?

Apologies to you if you follow me on Facebook, as I shared this Daily Mile Year End Report graphic there yesterday:
This makes me think my 1500-mile goal for 2014 is absolutely within the realm of possibility. I only need to up the weekly distance by three or four miles, and while I haven't d…

News flash!

It's cold here in the northern hemisphere. The morning temperature at 6:30-ish was -8°. I've never experienced anything like this since moving to West Virginia nearly 17 years ago.

Then again, it is winter, after all. We expect it to be cold sometimes between Christmas and Easter.

But this is some serious cold.

The good news is the water pipes didn't freeze and the electricity stayed on. More good news: We have wool socks and sweaters. That's a little fringe benefit of having a knitter in the house.

There really is no bad news, as long as we have heat and water and warm clothing. Too many people  don't.

I haven't seen a deer in a couple of days. I'm assuming they're all hunkered down in the woods, sheltering in place. My bird feeder is full, but the birds aren't pecking at it this morning. I'm sure they know what they're doing, opting for warmth over food.

I'm making great progress on the knitting magazine project. I've decided to do…

Later's better than not at all

STILL dealing with the remnants of this cold, which invaded my body nearly a week ago. Begone! I'm tired of it!

There has been a bit of improvement. I am generally more comfortable in the evening, thus giving me the false sense that I'm over it. But I wake up stuffy and congested, and I have NO energy for accomplishing anything. I have a to-do list. I just don't have the get-up-and-go to to-do it.

I also had a problem with my right eye being very watery, to the point that the skin around it was red, painful and irritated. Dr. Google had me convinced I had a blocked tear duct, but I'm fine now. Sometimes red, watery eyes go along with a cold, right?

So it was 29 degrees this morning at around 10 a.m. Dropped to 16 by noon and now, at 5:30 p.m., it's a bitterly cold 5°F. It will probably be 10 degrees colder than that by the time I wake up tomorrow. And the wind chill factor will take it down to -20°.

We're keeping the heater on in the garage and both cars are pa…

December 5 - Found

She's okay, but …

her home, its contents and her car are total losses.

My co-volunteer for the Tuesday night meeting at the prison just called to let me know her house burned to the ground last week. I've been in her home one time, probably four years ago, and I still describe it to people, as it was filled with antiques and memorabilia.

All of it lost.

My friend is a musician. All her music, her violin, all the busts of Beethoven that filled the nooks and crannies of the house. All gone.

She's an animal lover. Her dog is okay, and her horses, but she can't find the cats.

She lost her mother several years ago, and her father just last year. All the photos … gone.

All her clothing. Her identity. Her books.


I'm at a loss for words.

But I do know where two too-big-for-me sweaters will be going. I just wish it were for a different reason.

January 4 - Word to live by

I. Don't. Like. Being. Sick.

I wonder if my food indiscretions over the holidays helped set my system up to allow a cold germ to invade my body. Doesn't that sound absolutely crazy? But seriously, I've had just one or two sick days in the past eight months (since adopting a primal diet). I'm now on Day Four of Being Ill.

Oh, well. "They" say a cold lasts seven days or a week, whichever comes first. The combination of feeling under the weather and not wanting to be out IN the weather (so, so cold) kept me indoors and in my jammies all day yesterday.

Today, though, I have a walking date with my friend Lynne at 2 p.m. We haven't walked together in a very long time. And while I love walking with my husband, he's not quite as chatty as she is and the miles don't quite fly by as they do when I walk and talk at the same time. He's more of a meditative walker, I suppose.

I've either been ravenous (the first couple days) or had no appetite at all (yesterday) since I caught this co…

January 3 - My town

Cold x 2

It is freakin' FREEZING outside! Way below freezing, in fact: 8 degrees, winds gusting to 30 mph, wind chill makes it feel like minus 9.

And I have a cold to go along with it.

It was chilly yesterday, but not so bad my husband and I couldn't walk. Even with a cold I felt like I could get some miles in. It began raining before we got to our halfway (two miles) point. I'm thinking walking in the rain probably wasn't the best self-care strategy I could have employed.

We knew this winter storm was headed our way, so when we got back to the car we went straight to town to fill up the gas tank and pick up cold medicine. And bacon. Because you can't survive a winter storm without bacon, right? Heh.

This is the third day I've felt bad, and the worst so far. I'm going to spend the day resting and drinking chicken broth, supplemented with Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus and vitamin C. My house could use a good cleaning, but the dust bunnies can wait another day or two.

I got…

January 2 - Begins with G

If my dreams have anything to say about it …

my knitting intention will be cleaning out my knitting magazines. I ripped out or copied patterns in my sleep all. night. long.

I'm not sure which method I'll choose. Ripping out means discarding the remaining periodical, because I wouldn't feel right donating it if it wasn't complete. (Although there is a local group that might be willing to take them.) Copying favorite or potential patterns is a lot more work, and uses toner (if I use our copy machine) or ink (if I use the printer).

I'm leaning toward ripping.

I've been collecting knitting magazines for years and years – Interweave Knits, Knitters and Vogue Knitting are the big three, plus many, many, many other single issues that I haven't subscribed to but thought I couldn't live without. So many patterns are now available digitally; I store them all in Dropbox. Much better to have them in the cloud and instantly available, I think, than taking up all that physical shelf space.

With Dropbox, I also …

January 1 - Lunch


I was going to call this post Good Intentions or Worthy Intentions or something equally lofty and pretentious. In the end, though, plain old Intentions is enough.

During the flurry of channel-hopping we did last night (I'm still astonished I stayed up until midnight – haven't rung in the new year since 2000!), I heard someone say that instead of resolutions, s/he made intentions. It worked better for that person, and I do believe it might work for me.

Setting reasonable, achievable goals for myself last year was just what I needed to do. I was clear about the goals and about the steps I would have to take to accomplish them. The weight-loss one, especially, was well-thought-out. When my plan (counting calories, eating healthfully, walking consistently) didn't produce results, I changed the plan. And lost the weight.

It's actually a little difficult to remember how I felt when I set the 1000-mile goal. I can't even find the post where I said that's what I wanted…