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Showing posts from February, 2014

February 28 - Reflection

February 25, 26 & 27 Photo Posts

Moving backwards

I guess I've officially taken a paleo break. I'm not happy about it. Paleo worked for me in so many ways. And it will work again, I'm sure of it.

This horrible winter and the dead refrigerator have conspired against me, sending me to the easiest and most comforting sustenance available: saltines and either butter or peanut butter.

Pretty much the opposite of a clean diet.

I'm dizzy this morning, lightheaded and shaky. I've had a banana and the aforementioned crackers. And, probably, too much coffee.

I'm back up a pound this week. At the beginning of the year I needed to lose 12 pounds to reach that magical "normal" BMI. Now it's 17. And that's definitely discouraging.

I'm the only one who can turn it around, though. And I will. I'm confident that lack of daily exercise + not-so-clean eating = crappy mood, extra pounds and, yes, a return of that nagging hip pain.

ALSO moving backwards: the state of West Virginia, where a bill passed the…

February 24 - Half

Here we go again

Another round of cold weather settles in this week. Yesterday was soooo lovely – warm enough to walk outdoors (six miles!) in a short-sleeved t-shirt and without a jacket.

It's 24° right now, though, and only supposed to hit the 40s later. I have a meeting this afternoon; waiting to walk until later might not be an option. We'll see.

Over the next few days we will again see the wintry mix and the cold temperatures, along with jackets and mittens and caps, oh my.

We moved the old dead refrigerator out of the kitchen yesterday. My, my, that was a chore. Refrigerators have glides on them and it moved easily across the hard surface of the kitchen and hallway. But the only door on the back of the house wide enough to get it through is the sliding glass door in our bedroom, and that meant pushing the appliance over the carpeting. And the doorway was just wide enough. Maybe an inch to spare.

At any rate, it's now decorating the back patio. We look just like real West Virginians.

February 23 - This is were I relax

Gotta run walk

Oh, the weather outside's delightful! Already 60°, mostly sunny, a gentle breeze, birdsong … what am I waiting for?

Since a baby polar vortex is coming through in a couple more days, I'm waiting for nothing and am totally going to get out for a long solo walk today.

My husband is at church, and his church is having a congregational dinner following the service. So I have lots o'time to get this walk done, but I'm not sure exactly why I'm procrastinating. It's really quite perfect outside.

We're bumbling along with the baby refrigerator still upstairs. It hasn't been totally awful, just mostly. Nine more days until delivery of the new kitchen-sized one.


In addition to skipping a couple days' worth of posts here, I've also skipped a couple photo prompts. I found nothing 'funny' to shoot Friday, nor any 'act of kindness' yesterday. In fact, it was a stretch to figure out how to illustrate today's prompt: 'this is where…


When we last met, I was … oh I'd have to go back and read it to remember and seriously? I just don't have time.

I'm glad you have time to stop by today, though. Even if it's just for a minute. Which is about how much time I have.

My "busy-ness" is cyclical. Lately, and for the next month or so, it'll feel like I have a Real Job again. I have several design projects lined up, and the weather is mostly improving. I'll be ready to get the garden going just about the time the garden will be ready for me.

I love when it works out like that.

Thursday I was in the state capitol all day with a large gathering of Democratic women from around the state. It was our annual Lobby Day. The legislature is in session, and we're peddling our influence at least as hard as the right-to-lifers are. Except I think the RTL group has more money than we do.

Why is it we're still fighting the abortion fight again?


Yesterday I realized I had an afternoon meetin…

February 20 - Peace

February 19 - Feet

What a difference a day makes

It's no big secret that I've been struggling emotionally this winter. I put on a happy face, most of the time, but there've been days when that just hasn't been possible. I've never been so affected by cold, grey days as I have this year.

The good thing is I know I'm not alone.

And the good thing also is:

I'm not ill (our patient was released yesterday and we are very encouraged by her rapid recovery – IV anitbiotics are miracle drugs)My house hasn't burned to the ground (as happened to a friend right around New Year's) andWe have enough savings to replace the dead refrigerator (even though we hadn't planned for a new major appliance purchase this year)
We had a couple hours to kill prior to the hospital discharge yesterday, and began our walk here at home. It was far too icy to even get down the driveway, so we drove to town and walked there, a little more than four miles! Oh, my, was that ever good for the soul.

The robins are fat and sassy and…

February 18 - Magic

And then there's Plan D

OR: That's a helluva way to clean the refrigerator.*

So yesterday's schedule got all discombobulated and the "walk" ended up being less than half a mile outside the hospital while our patient was undergoing a test. It was, indeed, nice enough to go further, but we (my husband and I, because Lynne and I had to bag our plans because of my discombobulated schedule) needed to get back to the room.

Why is it people get sicker after admission? Hospitals are no place to be when you're sick, lemme tell ya. We're certainly hoping for some improvement today.

And we're certainly hoping to take a longer walk today. The forecast high temperature for this afternoon is 51°! Hope springs eternal, ya know. Heh. I said "spring."

So we finally got home yesterday and I fixed bacon and omelettes for dinner (because Plan D didn't include eating out) and while we were eating I heard a loud POP from the kitchen. Hershey heard it, as well. She stood stock-still, hac…

February 17 - Vegetable

Plan the plans …

not the results.

Church was cancelled due to weather/bad roads yesterday.

Plan B
Go shopping. We're slowly moving our bulk staple purchases to Amazon's "subscribe and save" feature, but we still have a Sam's Club membership and we need a few things from there. Plus my husband needs a new phone, and there was a huge clearance sale advertised at Christopher & Banks. And we'd planned to eat out, as well.

However … we ended up with

Plan C
Spend the morning and much of the afternoon at the hospital with a family member. The issue isn't life-threatening, but an admission through the Emergency Department was deemed necessary. Fortunately I had a knitting project ready to go (you saw it if you saw yesterday's photo post), as my role was mostly chauffeur.

We left too late in the day to make it to the phone store, so we'll try again this morning. My husband will be able to make a hospital visit later while I … get ready … I'm almost afraid to say it ……

February 16 - Create

If ...

you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life,
what would it be….and why?

On this morning after the Jordan Davis trial ended with a hung jury on the count of murder, I'm tempted to listen to rap or hip-hop music – LOUD – for the rest of my life.

I can't do that. I'm a fan, but I'm not A FAN, if you know what I mean. I like old-school hip-hop – Ton Loc, Outkast, DJ Jazzy Jeff. Although … Pharrell.

If I had to pick just one song, it would be the old Johnny Mercer tune "I Remember You." It's been covered by Ella and Frank Ifield and Tony Bennett and Slim Whitman and Art Garfunkel and, and, and. It's a beautiful song and I never get tired of listening to it.

Now as both of you know, I"m a Bob Dylan fan through and through. And while Bob didn't cover the Mercer tune, he did come up with his own lyrics and music using the same title. And it happens to be from one of my two favorite albums, both of which were rather obscure releases from the &…

February 15 - My drink of choice

Three days

Today will be the third consecutive day I haven't walked. I shoveled snow Thursday and I shoveled a lot more snow Friday, and during the Friday session tweaked my right knee and left ankle.

And even if my lower limbs were functioning perfectly, we're in the midst of that old familiar wintry mix, accompanied by very cold temperatures and very gusty winds. I can barely see the top of the mountain a half-mile to the west.

This winter has worn out its welcome.

And it's also worn my psyche and emotions down, down, down. I haven't felt this out of sorts in a long time. I want to dive into food, and I'll admit I've done a bit of that. Fortunately the food around here is pretty clean and on plan, but still. I'd rather just eat food, and not use it.

It's going to take some effort to get back on track. The best way for me to do that is to take a matter-of-fact attitude about the whole thing.

Yes, winter sucks.No, there's nothing I can do about it.So, I might a…

February 14 - Heart

February 13 - Perfect

At least we didn't get any ice

Sometimes you have to reeeeeeeeallllllly stretch to find something for which to be grateful.
As both of you know, I'm pretty darned sick of winter. Our winter storm warning doesn't expire until this evening. The snow began to fall shortly after 3 yesterday afternoon and it's still snowing. We have nearly a foot of it right now. I'm going to have to exchange the plastic ruler for a yardstick soon.
But. I'd sure hate to be in Georgia or the Carolinas today.
Our electricity is still on. The heat pump is pumping, the water is running, THE COFFEE IS DONE!
And I have everything I need to make this. Heh.
The walking streak ended yesterday, after just 13 days. I simply couldn't force myself to walk outdoors when it was only 20° and I also couldn't force myself onto the treadmill or the elliptical. I'll be shoveling (and shoveling and shoveling) today, but there's not much point in starting that job until the snow moves on. 
Jen left a most sympathetic commen…

February 12 - Out+About

None of my grandchildren …

have school today.

Which would be no big deal if they all lived in the same place. But their homes stretch from the Nashville, TN, metropolitan area to the Triangle in NC. We are all (including southern West Virginia) enjoying(?!?!?) yet another Winter Storm Warning or Watch or Advisory or Special Weather Statement.

Yesterday was lovely but cold. Lovely enough that the sun lured us outdoors for a walk. Cold enough that we made it a minimum-distance trek on Indian Creek. But: Four more miles added to this month's total; I'm up to 52 for the month now. I need to average 4.3 miles per day, every day, for the rest of the year, to hit 1500 miles.

Which sounds rather daunting when it's 20° and we're expecting another half a foot of snow.

Winter doesn't last forever, though.

It only seems like it.

Last night was my volunteer gig at the prison. Take a guess as to what the best part of prison is … if you picked the inmates, you would be right. The women who come to our Tues…

February 11 - Mistake

Double your … pleasure?

So I said I was going to go one mile, just to keep the streak alive. I'm kinda weird, though.

I can still see my house at the half-mile mark, and that just didn't seem like far enough away to count. So I ended up doing two miles yesterday instead of one, and the streak is still going.

Interestingly, I thought yesterday about using the elliptical for the sake of continuity. Glad I haven't released it from my clutches yet. It's sunny today and the mid-afternoon temperature will be decent enough (low 30s), but by Thursday we're supposed to have lots o' snow again.
Which is WAY depressing.

Forty-eight miles so far in February. I'm pretty happy about that. And I'm happy that my focus is on keeping the streak going rather than on losing weight. It makes a huge mental difference. I know walking 1300 miles last year contributed to the weight loss I was able to achieve. I know I will, eventually, hit that magic normal BMI if I keep on doing what I've been do…

February 10 - I am …

Making progress

My computer helpfully purged all my e-mail for me yesterday as I was going through it. All my husband's, as well. THANK YOU, LITTLE MAC!

Seriously, I've no idea what happened, but all of a sudden all of it vanished. And it's still gone. So yay for that, I guess. Saved me at least another hour of scrutinizing pleas to give money and offers to save money.

My e-mail isn't wasn't very exciting.

Today's walk certainly will be. With a predicted high temperature of only 31° and a 50 percent chance of snow, I think the yaktraks will be put to good use. As well as multiple layers of clothing.

My general rule is a four-mile minimum, but I'm willing to suspend that rule for today. I want to keep the streak going, but it really will be too cold (I think, since it's also supposed to be cloudy) to go the distance. I think I'll take a page from Roni Noone and make it a mile on inclement days.

(I only just began reading Roni's blog late last year. Don't eve…

February 9 - Details

Purging emails. Again.

I'm not sure why I can't seem to keep up with my inbox any more. It's a fact, though. I can't. Yesterday afternoon I noticed the number of unread messages had swelled to more than 600. Again. And I haven't even been traveling lately! (I rarely check my email when I'm on the road.)

So I began deleting. I still have nearly 400 to wade through.

I recently signed up for Lifehack's e-mail subscription, and while that accounts for less than one e-mail a day, it takes a little time to read it and a little more time to decide whether to click a link and read one of their lists or not. I should probably just mass-delete (not just Lifehack, but all of them) and begin anew.

That said, I'm glad I read this one.

Lifehack, in case you're not familiar with the website, offers advice. On just about anything. Much of the advice comes in the form of lists. 10 Things You Need To Do To Be A Gentleman.21 Things You Are Doing Wrong Every Day. Not every article is in list…

February 8 - Water

Stayin' alive

Nine consecutive days of walking, with a couple runs thrown in there, as well. Yay, me!

It's funny how much better – and how much less! – I eat when I make that daily walk a priority. Although when I walk I have 90 minutes to two hours LESS time every day to stuff my face.

So there's that.

And I've had so many meetings lately, all related to graphic or web design projects. Nice to be needed, but wow, I'm not used to being in business.

As soon as I finish breakfast I'm going to clean up my desk and clear some space on a nearby bookshelf to organize my various projects. I try to not have much in the way of paperwork, but some is inevitable and I don't want to lose anything. Right now the desk is pretty much buried, with a tiny space carved out for the laptop.

A little laundry, a little tidying and a whole lotta Olympics are on tap for the rest of the day. Hope you both have a nice, relaxing day, free of stress and discomfort and full of peace.

February 7 - Utensil

So that went well

I spent a good part of yesterday gathering together, in print and digital form, examples of my past graphic design work, as I would if I were applying for a position. The meeting I went to turned out to be not like that at all. I didn't have to show a thing (all those nerves for nothing!). I'm an appointed member of the committee, and I'll be working with another woman designing a local foundation's annual report.

Without "auditioning" at all. Yay!

The nice thing is that by prioritizing what needed to happen yesterday, I was able, after all, to take a short walk. Yay again! It was too cold to go much farther than two miles, so I didn't. But as I posted on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter – two miles is better than no miles.

Six days of February walks/runs = 32 miles – half the total distance for January. Which gives you some idea of just how brutal January was here in the Middle of Nowhere.

Looks like a mid- to late-afternoon walk will happen today, when the te…

February 6 - C is for …

A bit overwhelmed today

Too much to do and too little time to do it. And I hate to say it, but the thing that's going to get left out is the daily walk. I'd probably make time for it if it were a bit warmer, but it's not, and it's not going to be, and, well, you both know how I feel about the elliptical! Heh. I've walked 30 miles so far this month, so even at the end of today, if I don't walk, I will have averaged five miles/day for the month. I'd kinda like to keep the streak going, though.

We'll see.

I have to put together a portfolio to present to a group this afternoon. I should have worked on it yesterday, of course, but I walked and cooked and internetted (that's a word, right?) until the day got away from me.

I have to make or, more likely, buy and mail Valentines for the grandchildren. All year long I pin ideas for handmade Valentines and every February I end up buying cards and mailing them at the last minute. It's not like I don't know Valentine's Da…

Old Thomas knew whereof he spoke

The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is best. … No one knows, till he tries, how easily a habit of walking is acquired.                                                                                   ~ Thomas Jefferson As both of you know, I'm a walker. I used to be a runner. I'd love to be a runner again. I try to pick up the pace a couple times a week and I do like interval training (I use the RunDouble app) very much.

But most of my 1300+ miles in 2013 were one foot in front of the other at about a 3mph pace.

Which is fine. Better than fine. Those 1300+ miles got me where I am today, which is within striking distance of a normal BMI.

And wearing size 10 jeans.

FOR ME, the combination of finding a way to eat PLUS all those steps resulted in the progress I've made. Just walking or just eating a paleo diet wouldn't have yielded the same results. I'm convinced of that.

For 2014, I've set a goal of 1500 miles. I…


It's not quite this bad. I wanted to lose 12 pounds this year and now I only need to lose 14. But clearly I'm going in the wrong direction.

And I'm to blame. I'm not going to lie: I had ice cream a couple nights ago and I've had more dark chocolate than is good for me lately.


HOWEVER … my favorite jeans are a little baggy and my wedding ring is looser than it's ever been. So, while it would be nice to report another stay-the-same week – or, even better, a loss – I think I'm okay with this little wake-up weigh-in.

It reinforces that what I've been doing – eating protein, vegetables and fruit; taking a daily walk, and doing some bodyweight exercises most days – works. It certainly works better than eating sugar.

I noticed when I got in the car after yesterday's walk/run that my right hip was a little achy, in the same way it used to hurt before I began the paleo plan. I never want to go back to limping down the road or, worse, choosing not…

February 4 - Childhood

Some catching up

I love the symmetry:
I've been quite neglectful at responding to comments this week. With all our infrastructure problems lately, I've been lucky to even throw a post up. I'll try to amend my ways this morning.

For Annie B., who asked a week ago about a side dish in a photo, those are vegetables are just a combination of orange and white sweet potatoes. I'd never heard of white sweet potatoes until a friend who started a Whole 30 told me about them. They're a little more expensive than the orange variety, but they look like regular potatoes. Although they don't taste like them at all. For my friend, they were a little more husband-friendly. Heh.

At any rate, I baked one of each ahead of time. I diced them while the bacon was frying and then dumped them in the skillet, sprinkled them with freshly ground pepper and sea salt and let 'em cook. That dinner was a two-skillet affair. Good thing I save bacon grease. I could have added chopped onions to the potatoes…

February 3 - Something orange

Six months until pre-season!

Well, my team lost. BIG-time lost. But I held up well, I think, and enjoyed Bruno's halftime show and many of the commercials.

And that's what the Super Bowl is all about, right? Heh.

The big surprise was Bob Dylan's Chrysler ad; the Dylan purists are accusing him of selling out. I was thrilled to know he could actually speak. In fact, I think he spoke more in those 60 seconds than in the dozen concerts I've been to combined.

News flash: America is a melting pot. We are a nation of immigrants. We didn't sprout here. We arrived here, from Europe and Asia and Africa.

We all loved it, back in the day, when Coca-Cola wanted to teach the world to sing. Coke is, after all, an international product. But last night? Coke's social media accounts were hate-bombed following the "America the Beautiful" ad, which was sung in several languages. Instead of 'Murican. The tweets and comments were filled with misspelled words, poor grammar and vows to switch to Spri…

February 2 - Favourite

Yesterday was, in a word, pretty perfect

I need to go backward a few days to illustrate exactly how perfect yesterday turned out to be.

I called my husband as I was leaving a meeting Thursday evening, to let him know I was on my way home. The meeting had gone really well, and I was on a post-good-time high. He acknowledged my excitement and said there was something wrong with the water pressure.

Way to deflate my balloon, honey!

When I got home I agreed that the pressure was, indeed, a little less strong than it normally is. It worked, though, and we even ran the dishwasher with no incident. We called the man who works on our well and he said we probably had a tiny leak in the water pipe. Which, of course, would have to grow into a major leak before we'd be able to find it.

Have I ever mentioned just how much I love country living?

We went to bed, hoping we'd still have at least a little water pressure by morning.

Late Friday morning we decided to take our Indian Creek walk. We opened the garage door and found … a fl…

February 1 - You