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Showing posts from June, 2014

Time to get real

I've maintained my current weight for six months. My current weight is still 20 pounds more than I'd LOVE to weight, and 10 pounds more than I'd be happy with, and eight pounds more than my lowest weight last year. Give or take a pound or two.

Today is the 181st day of the year. After today's five-miler, I will have walked 657 miles since January. If I were to continue walking five miles daily for the remainder of the year, I could still reach my 1500-mile goal.

You know what, though? I'm declaring, TODAY, the pressure's off.

Which doesn't mean I'm giving up the effort, but does mean I feel pretty good about where I am and I'm done working so damned hard at it.

I've registered for a 5K the end of next month. I did it last year and it was fun and I surprised myself and that's the feeling I want to have – being satisfied with an accomplishment, rather than every damned day thinking I've come up short.

I've spot-checked my weight a coup…

June 29 - Delight

Remembering …

Two years ago today I was celebrating the Supreme Court's decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Here's my post from that day.

Later that day, the joy turned to despair as a derecho swept through six states and the District of Columbia.

Here's my post from July 1, when I could get to a place with electricity and wi-fi … unless I posted from my phone. I honestly don't remember.

Let's hope it never happens again.

There are some muscles …

Do you water ski? I used to, back when I was a kid and my family camped along the Ohio River every summer. The first skiing session of the year always made me think, "There are some muscles you only use when you water ski."

Likewise, there are some muscles you only use when you're pushing an immobile riding lawnmower.

Yesterday was do-or-die day for cutting the grass. I kept putting it off, hoping for one more rain that still hasn't happened. The dust seriously aggravates my eyes and ability to breathe following a mowing session, but I just couldn't keep postponing the chore.

Our house divides our front and back yards, and it takes about 90 minutes to do each section. I had finished the front and was very carefully skirting the blackberry bushes, which are protected from the birds with netting.

You know where this is going, don't you? Yes, one of the mower blades nicked a corner of the netting and that corner was all it took to wrap yards and yards of it arou…

June 28 - Bed

June 27 - Loving

More gardening

So yesterday was fun. I filled the back of our pick-up truck with a variety of shade-loving perennials and then came home and started putting them in the ground.

SO fun! Heh.

I'm quite sore this morning. And I'm not at all done planting everything, not by a long shot. And I'll probably have to go back and get more plants, so I'm really not done.

The beds along the driveway will, eventually, have something growing there that will live, or at least I keep hoping. If these don't make it, I'm going to remove the rock walls and plant grass seed.

The maples on either side of the driveway keep the center section in shade virtually all the time. So I'm putting ferns and shade-loving ground cover plants there. Each end has ornamental grasses, day lilies and dwarf spirea, and I have a few other little things to fill in as needed.

Yesterday's efforts involved a gas-powered tiller, a hoe, a shovel, a wheelbarrow, a trowel, my hands and knees, and three lengths of g…

June 26 - Dreaming

I may have solved my sleep problem

At least for now, anyway.

What had been happening is that I would, for whatever reason, wake up in the middle of the night after about four or five hours of sleep. And then my brain would start churning. I wear a lot of different volunteer hats, and it seems like all of the groups I'm associated with are doing something in the next few weeks.

So a couple days ago I wrote everything down. With a pen and paper, not with an app on my phone. It ended up being two grocery-list size pages long. And that did the trick. For the past two nights I've gotten eight-plus hours of sleep, straight through, no interruptions.

It makes sense. I guess I was anxious about forgetting something that needed to be done. The deadlines are a ways off, so nothing has to be done RIGHT NOW. But it was kinda cool to cross off a couple things the same day I made the list.

I didn't even look at it yesterday. And slept well last night.

So that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. It's the KR…

June 25 - Sun flare

June 24 - What June looks like

June 23 - In this moment

About that hosta

Remember my mentioning a two-leafed hosta that I'd unearthed from beneath the fallen leaves along the driveway? Here's what's left:
So that leaves the astilbe, which is quite pretty. I'm going to wait until it stops flowering to move it.

Moving on.

I'm having some sleep issues. I haven't had trouble sleeping in a long, long time. But lately I've been conking out super early and then waking up in the middle of the night, WIDE AWAKE. My brain starts spinning and after an hour or so all I can do is get up and get going.

I woke up at 2-ish this morning. Got up at 4-ish. Because it's INSANE to get up before 4 a.m., right?

I'm all caught up with social media, Pinterest, and Craftgawker. I've updated my Daily Mile stats. I worked on an ad and found a YouTube video I'd been looking for and nailed down some information I want to use on Twitter.

It's now 5-ish – I'll probably go watch a little television and knit a bit. Once the sun comes up I…

June 22 - Growing

Wow, what a long day

Hah.

I saw so many Facebook posts yesterday humorously referring to the summer solstice, such as "looks like it's gonna be a long day," and "this day goes on and on."
But you know what? It was still just 24 hours, like the one before and like today. I hope you spent yours wisely.
I did not walk. I had a lot of trouble getting motivated to do anything yesterday for some reason. Maybe because the day just stretched e-n-d-l-e-s-s-l-y ahead of me. I finally got outside around noon to work on the perennial beds that line our driveway.

Those large maples in the yard on either side of the driveway drop their leaves, as maples do, and I hadn't yet raked from last fall. I like leaving them there over the winter, offering a bit of protection to the plants. But I gotta be honest, the driveway is the last garden area on my list of beds to tend. Maybe because I don't look at it every day.

At any rate … both sides (about 100 feet from one end to the other, so 200 fee…

June 21 - Here I am

The longest day

This is it, folks. We now begin the gentle descent into full-on summer – heat, humidity, pop-up thunderstorms, weeds and more weeds.

Hmmm. Sounds a lot like what we've been experiencing for the last week or 10 days.

BUT GLOBAL WARMING IS A HOAX! Oh, and there's no such thing as climate change. <snort>

We had a lovely storm yesterday that dropped four-tenths of an inch of rain on my very thirsty garden. I sat outside as the wind began to push the storm our way. Hershey was nearby; ever since the derecho in 2012 she's been a little nervous during stormy weather.

Once it began raining I left the porch and just watched it pour. The first shower didn't last long, but another one came through and stuck around for a while.

I walked yesterday in the late morning, a little more than six miles. I'm up to 621 miles for the year, which is 130 short of where I should be. OH WELL. Ever since I had that leg cramp Monday I've found that four miles is about my comfort lim…

June 20 - Yay!

Happy birthday, West Virginia!

I'm not a native Mountaineer, but my dad was born in Huntington, so I'm halfway there. My husband, who was born 12 miles from our current home, is a full-blooded native son. Hershey was born in Kentucky but we call her a West Virginia Brown Dog anyway.

West Virginia attained statehood on this date 151 years ago. It's a state holiday – county courthouses and state government offices are closed to celebrate West Virginia's independence from the Confederacy.
Huh?
Yes, it's true, despite the Confederate flags you'll see adorning front pick-up truck bumpers and flying in front yards around here. Virginia was part of the original Confederate states, but union sympathizers in the western part of the state worked valiantly to break away when the Civil War began, finally succeeding – and seceding – in 1863.

The Rev. J.T. McClure offered the state's inaugural prayer 151 years ago:
We pray Thee, almighty God, that this State, born amidst tears and blood and fire and de…

June 19 - Habit

Dinner – Two of two

Quiche.

Maybe not technically a quiche, because it doesn't have cheese in it and hey, quiche Lorraine – the quintessential quiche – is all about the cheese.

But this one is close enough for paleo purposes.

I decided to adapt the recipe right from the get-go this time, instead of making it as directed the first time. I've made plenty of quiches and frittatas in my day, and felt pretty confident that it would all work out.

The beauty of this version is it has a crust, of sorts. My paleo quiches are crustless, so this was a real treat and not much extra fussing was necessary.

The mandoline made short work of slicing a small white sweet potato, which I layered in the bottom of a tart pan. I then started piling on the ingredients: thinly sliced onions, fresh mushrooms, piles of spinach, cherry tomatoes and browned pork sausage.

A quick turn with the stick blender and the eggs and coconut milk were ready to pour over everything.

Then I edited these photos and began writing this post w…

June 18 - Quirky

Dinner – One of two

So this week is turning out to be hot. Summertime hot. And I've gotten into a summertime routine of getting the must-do stuff done early, so I can lounge around in the heat all afternoon.

On Monday that included walking and laundry and weeding, which are almost daily must-dos. It also included making some mayo and throwing some chicken breasts in the oven to bake so I could make this oh-so-good chicken salad for dinner.

The only thing I added was a handful of quartered cherry tomatoes, because I happened to have them on hand. I wouldn't have minded having a little crunch, and I think next time – and there will be a next time – I'll throw in some chopped pecans.

I served part of it on a bowl of chopped salad. No dressing needed, but I did mix the greens with a little olive oil. I also stuffed a couple coconut wraps with some of the creamy, delicious chicken salad and they were perfect.

A nice, cool, summertime dinner that was fairly easy to throw together (once the mayo was …

P.S.

Since my muscles still hurt, and since my sleep was so rudely interrupted, the current walking streak will end at four days. Snort! Time for another day off, one in which I will hydrate with both water (thanks, Jeff!) and vegetable juice. (Jeff left a great comment on my earlier post.)

But I'll be back out there Wednesday, giving it another go. I'd love to get a really long streak going, but apparently I don't really love the idea of it enough to make it happen.

Maybe next year. Heh.

Again. It happened again!

I went to bed and to sleep early last night, as I usually do. I'm definitely a lark. Ben Franklin and I would have gotten along fine. My husband is an owl. Or a teenager, I'm not sure which. He comes to bed well after midnight (so he says) and loves to sleep late in the morning.

I had a post all ready to publish (well, it was in my head and I have pictures!) about last night's dinner, which was DELICIOUS, but it's going to wait another day. Because of this.

I was awakened from a sound sleep around 11:15 p.m. by the most excruciating pain in my right inner thigh, right above my knee. This is either the third or fourth time it's happened in the last two years. It started in late May, 2012.

Dr. Google hasn't done much more research about this condition. Last night the cramping also affected my left leg. When it hits, you literally cannot move your legs, it hurts so bad. I was screaming in pain, but because my husband was on the other side of the house and I had th…

June 17-Peaceful

June 16 - In the shadows

It could just be my age, I guess

I'm doing much better the last few days, energy-wise, than I did last week, although I do tumble into bed pretty early. But given that I'm in my 60s and pretty active during the day, I don't think that's anything to worry about. I'll have my thyroid checked in November, when the hospital offers a low-cost screening to the public. If I went now, I'd have to pay full price because I haven't met my deductible.

And I hope I never do. But I guess as one gets older, the likelihood of having something wear out or go wrong increases. For most older American's, it's inevitable.

I believe, however, that if I continue to move my body and nourish it appropriately, I can delay the inevitable. Maybe forever! Heh.

My walking goal is still within reach, even after missing a few days. I need to log 4.575 miles per day, every day, for the rest of the year to get to the magic number, but since five miles seems to be my minimum daily requirement, and I occasionally go …

June 15 - Lovely

But pass the butter

So yesterday I referenced a NYTimes article about sugar and fatty liver disease.

Our copy of Time magazine came in the mail yesterday afternoon, and if you haven't seen news stories about the cover story yet, you must be one of those weird hippies who doesn't watch television.

Because it's been all over the news.

Pop down to your local library to read it, if you don't subscribe. Or heck, go out and buy a copy. Basically it says fat doesn't make you fat.

But it also says that our collective psyche is ingrained with the message that fat is the enemy, and it's going to take a lot of 'splainin' to convince some folks that eating cholesterol doesn't raise cholesterol.

That food pyramid from the early '90s is toast. Literally! The supporting plank was grains and more grains. And for 20 years prior to that we'd been advised, sans graphics, to avoid fats and oils and red meat, oh my.

The thinking at the time was that folks would replace fatty foods …

June 14 - Cross

One more reason to avoid processed sugar

An article in today's New York Times is pretty alarming.

The reporter discusses non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, for which there is no treatment other than lifestyle changes – diet and exercise. A more advanced condition, known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), wasn't even seen 30 years ago, but now threatens the lives of about 5 million Americans.
What's alarming, in addition to the rapid rise of the condition among children and teens, is this final paragraph of the piece: “A lot of times when I see a patient with fatty liver,” he said, “the first thing out of their mouth is, ‘Well, is there a pill for this?’ And there’s not. There just isn’t. You have to make lifestyle changes, and that’s a much more difficult pill for people to swallow.” The desire and willingness on the patient's part to medicate him or herself bothers me a lot. Patients are quoted in the article as saying, "It's hard," referring to giving up sugar and eating more vegetables.
W…

Nothing to worry about, right?

Friday the 13th.

Full moon.

Nothing could possibly go wrong.

In fact, if the skies are clear this evening, the rising moon could be a spectacular sight. Yet another opportunity for me to wish I'd bought a long lens for the DSLR camera. But those times are rare, and others are much better photographers than I.

I remember one time I wanted to get a shot of a super moon rising over the Appalachian Mountains, which I can see from my back porch. I thought driving to a nearby church cemetery on a hilltop would give me a better view of it, but when I got there it was nowhere to be found in the sky. I'd seen it from the back yard, but less than half a mile away the angle from the hilltop provided no view of it at all.

Weird. Anyway, I'll be checking the sky tonight and hoping to get a glimpses of the Honey Moon. A full moon on Friday the 13th won't happen again in my lifetime unless I live to be 98. I guess that's possible, but as far as I know no one in my family has liv…

June 13 - Simply

June 12 - Pastel

June 12-Pastel

June 11 - The Beginning

Nothing like an Eric Cantor defeat …

to improve your mood.

Yes, I know a Tea Party guy beat him and yes, I know it doesn't look good for the general election in November. That district (VA-07) is heavily Republican and has been gerrymandered to make it, um, mostly white. There's no other way to say it.

So the Democratic challenger – an unknown colleague of Cantor's primary opponent – has his work cut out for him.

Which means Virginia Democrats also have their work cut out for them.

Last night, though, when I first heard the news, I was grinning from ear to ear, and the only thing raining on my parade was rain.

Real rain. Lots of it. Good-for-the-garden rain. More than half an inch!

So the November elections in next-door Virginia just got verrrrry interesting. I'm hoping we'll learn that lots of Democrats crossed over to vote against Cantor and will go back in November to turn VA-07 BLUE. (Virginia voters enjoy open primaries.)

If that's not how it happened, this country is in worse trouble than I …

June 10 - Flying

I'm not as young as I used to be

Nor are any of us, obviously.

My Sunday began early, after a somewhat sleep-deprived Saturday night, and ended late, as I knew it would. It was a long day of driving, driving, driving, lunch, long meeting, driving, driving, driving. The second driving part was fun because I had the company of a real live adult who talks (unlike my husband, who is more, um, contemplative when we're traveling together). The morning drive went fine because I caught up on the Moth. (My husband's contemplation isn't enhanced by podcasts when we're traveling together.)

The lunch was basically make-your-own sub sandwiches accompanied by cole slaw and cookies. How very not paleo. I skipped the bun, naturally, and ate lots of processed meat, something I'm not used to at all. Another member of our group has also been following a more natural, gluten-free diet and we agreed we did the best we could.

Both of us were ill yesterday.

I'd love to, sometimes, go back to my younger days when I c…

June 9 - We live here

June 8 - T is for

Swing … and a miss

Missed my 35-mile goal by three this week. Yes, I could go out right now, and I thought about it. But I'm really not very awake.

I'll be on the road for much of the day, and there will be no opportunity to work it in later. But it's fine. I'm more than a little compulsive about this, wouldn't you say? Heh.

It's been a good week, all in all, even missing a couple days of walking. Food has been fine, and I'm accomplishing a few little outdoor projects that have been on my list. The garden is completely weeded unless something has popped up overnight.

I started cleaning out the perennial beds lining the driveway yesterday – a HUGE job and one that will take several days to complete. But the nice thing about starting is the gratification I get from looking at the cleaned-out section, and looking forward to seeing all of it done and ready to plant.

I also cut back some kind of shrub that was blocking our view of oncoming traffic as we exited the driveway … would…

June 7 - Pattern

June 6 - Adventure

Time for an update

Knitting
I've been working on Yet Another Doll from a pattern in one of Vogue's "On the Go" series of books. I've made many of these dolls, and they all seem to be well-received. This one is going to a little miss who was born three months ago … it's not like I didn't know she was on the way. But it'll be a nice little surprise well after the initial welcome-baby gifts have been opened.

I'm using an easy-on-mama machine-washable cotton-wool blend. I hope to finish the project tonight and deliver it this weekend.

Running
National Running Day was Wednesday, and I meant to post then but the days just kind of get away from me when I'm not NaBloPoMo-ing. It's been a nice break, actually, this posting-when-I-feel-like-it instead of posting daily.

I missed a couple days of walking/running when I was in Nashville last weekend, so in order to make the 1500-mile goal for the year I'm back to needing 4.5 miles every day the rest of the year. Just t…

June 5 - 11:00

June 4 - Ordinary