January 31, 2011
I still need to remember the extended care check to go with him tomorrow. Sigh... Attending K5 is hard work for me
The National Weather Service is predicting a "Paralyzing Blizzard" the next 3 days. I might be a little too excited about this. I think I'm going to go out and buy a new sled tonight so I don't have to share with C-man.
Tonight is kickboxing for our workout. It kicks my butt, but I'm still pretty excited about it. I hate running or other repetitive activities as exercise, so the idea of kicking some butt sounds entertaining.
The Super Bowl is exciting stuff. But at least as exciting was when I realized last night that pitchers and catchers report in 2 weeks. God Bless America.
at 9:58 AM
January 30, 2011
Another piece of that is to work out more, which I've been doing. Today, I even swam laps while C-man was in his swimming lessons.
I said I wanted to declutter things and in the process update some bits of our house. A few closets are clean, and I'm now debating on whether to paint the living room Aleutian or Distance.
I said it was my hope to focus on my family as much as possible. And between the martial arts, baseball, swimming, and school functions, I've made it a priority.
And I said I wanted to focus on the moment more. I think I have been. I've taken the time to play Legos, watch movies (I do love me some 007), knit a sweater just for me (I'm on the 2nd front panel - only the sleeves and a neck band to go), and journal; all things that have been pretty helpful in achieving that.
Over all, the first month of resolutions has been working out pretty well. At this rate, they might even become a habit.
at 3:22 PM
January 29, 2011
Week 1 of my 12-week fitness thing is done, and I'm walking without even wincing again. We meet 3 times a week as a group, once a week with a trainer alone, and in a Thursday night conference call on our feelings. I think that I'll become busy on future Thursday nights. The fact that I'm there to relieve pain and not lose weight (although they should naturally -hopefully- go hand in hand), puts me in a bit of a different mindset.
In case you didn't know, Packers jerseys the week before the Superbowl are not cheap, but are a necessary purchase. Beerman is sporting Matthews, C-man a Rodgers throwback, and I just got a t-shirt. (That way I could justify the Greinke t-shirt, too). Go Pack Go!
at 3:58 PM
January 28, 2011
In my continuing effort to be more positive, here are a few more awesome things in my week...
- Hearing what sounds like a herd of elephants in my house while I'm in the shower, because it means Beerman has woken C-man up, and they are racing to the kitchen per their morning ritual.
- Feeling my legs move again after a week of really hard workouts
- Hugging Harry when he's all sleepy, warm and cuddly (Which, to be honest, is most of the time)
- Going over Beerman's Superbowl week "work" schedule and laughing great big belly laughs
- A great haircut
- An AMAZING 2nd quarter report card with fabulous comments and even pluses in music (first time that's ever happened)
- This video: (Maybe I'll come down. Maybe I won't!)
at 9:33 AM
January 27, 2011
But after I put myself in check about it - after all, his reading and writing is improving every day, and he is learning good study habits - I found myself marveling at how focused he can be. He gets so intent on it, that I think a bomb could go off and he wouldn't notice. And then he finishes, and in 30 seconds, it looks as if a Lego bomb actually did.
Being a kindergartner is cool.
January 25, 2011
January 24, 2011
1000 Awesome Things. It's all about celebrating those little things that are awesome in your life. So here are 10 I've recently encountered of my own:
- Walking in the door after being away 3 days to a couple of smiling faces and drooling one pressed up against the glass waiting for me to get inside.
- Getting a post-church pre-game email from Grandma about her nerves before the Packers-Bears game. (FYI Steelers - Grandma's praying for the Packers. And in my experience, the woman has some pull. Just so you can consider yourself warned.)
- The Packers beating the Bears to go to the Superbowl.
- C-man having a specific friend over because the friend has been coveting Beerman's fruit leather concoctions (made from his new dehydrator) that C-man takes to school for snack. (Oh, to be 6 again!)
- Talking about my family tree with someone else who wants to hear about it.
- Watching three 6-year old boys beating the crap out of each other in the snow and enjoying every second of it.
- Looking over at my kid during a mother-son breakfast out and realizing he's the cutest kid in the land.
- Watching my dog "whoop-whoop-whoop" with puppy dreams while lying upside down on the couch.
- Watching a movie I've seen loads of times before, but still like anyway.
- Eating Beerman's potato-leek soup.
at 12:40 PM
January 23, 2011
I discovered that MyHeritage is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. I really, really wanted to ask the woman if she'd ever met Gabriel Allon, but didn't know if my humor would translate via videochat.
C-man has off school tomorrow, so I have off work to be with him. He's got an eye appointment in the morning. When your not even 6 year old asks to go to the eye doctor for new glasses so he can see better, I'm pretty sure it's time. It just breaks my heart that his eyes suck so bad.
I've been working pretty steadily on knitting my kimono sweater, and am working on the front panels now. The yarn I'm using has acrylic in it, which I usually don't love, but the knitting store owner assured me it wasn't going to look cheap. So far, I think she's right. And I'm loving the cream color I chose, which is nice. I hate spending a ton of time knitting something and ending up feeling so-so on the color.
Tomorrow starts the beginning of my 12-week fitness thing at the health club. I can't believe I'm doing this again. It can't possibly be as intense as the 16-week bootcamp thing I did before, though. I just refuse to believe it. And it's in the evening instead of at the butt crack of dawn. But I decided that if we're going to take a trip this year, I can't be fat and in pain. And since the arthritis medication isn't doing a darned thing, that means I need to get ruthless about how I push my body again. Sigh... Even though I need to do it, I'm still dreading it. Well, that, and that they're taking the pre "fat girl" photo.
at 3:39 PM
January 21, 2011
In other news, if you have the Discovery Channel and feel like watching January 30th at 7 p.m., look for Beerman on "How Beer Saved the World". They are in his brewery. We'll see if he gets any interview time or is in the shots.
January 20, 2011
So now I'm here in Kansas City, or thereabouts, to teach people stuff the next 2 days. Besides work stuff, I'm really hoping to make it to the Harry S .Truman Library in Independence. It's only open until 5, but with any luck, I can make it a quick class day, and make it before it closes. Not that I'm in love with all things Harry S. Truman (although I did see a museum dedicated to him in Key West once), I just like being able to say I've been to weird stuff like that. Plus, I actually usually do enjoy it.
So wherever you are, enjoy your Thursday. And if you don't know how to drive in the snow, stay home, because that'll help me enjoy mine.
January 18, 2011
Another thing I kind of like is my new practice of writing in a journal. I haven't been in the practice for years, but recently got inspired by another blogger who was talking about how she does it. I know I have my blog, but this is different. This is me writing down whatever comes to my head. Grocery list, innermost thoughts, what I'm happy about, what I'm worried about, something I need to remember, what I want my dream kitchen to look like, a vivid dream I woke up with in the middle of the night, story ideas, gift ideas... you get the idea. Sometimes it's words, sometimes it's pictures. And while it sounds chaotic, it's really quite cathartic. And while it seems illogical, it is helping me put order to the clutter in my head. It's definitely not something I'd planned to do for 2011, but just sort of fell into. And it's shaking out to be a pretty good thing.
So enjoy your Tuesday. Coincidentally, today's challenge on my month-long food/lifestyle improvement plan was to wake up happy. Check.
at 8:43 AM
January 17, 2011
Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Last night over dinner, we had the conversation, "If you could go to any time to see something, where would you go?" (The conversation was spurred by our having gone to see The Magic Bicycle earlier that day, a play about a time traveling bicycle.) C-man's answer was, "To see Martin Luther King make his big speech."
Now I know a large part of that was because they, obviously, have been talking about him in school. But it made me smile for a few reasons. An important one being that at 5, he knows enough about him to think he would be interesting to see. But also, because this child is 2 generations removed from that time in history. A time I didn't see either. Sitting on that bus Rosa Parks bus in Detroit (conveniently located in the Henry Ford Museum if you ever care to see it for yourself) was as much a tourist event for me as it one day will be for him.
It also made me happy, because this is a time when the left and right continue to get more extreme in this country. (If I hear one more person blaming Sarah Palin for a guy's crazy shooting spell, I'm going to scream. That woman is beyond batshit crazy with her "refudiating" and all, but she never forced someone to pick up a gun and go postal. She and the other talk show extremists can be "inciteful" all day long, and I'm still not going to shoot anyone because of it.) It's a time when we reach back 20 years to something someone said or did when 22 years old with the intent to prove why she's a flip-flopper or liar today. It's become a day in age when we look for every petty detail to prove why I'm right and you're wrong instead of trying to actually work together and recognize one another as human beings. It's a time when we hate even the party of our own allegiances when it gives a little to get a little in the name of a compromise.
Just a few reasons why it made me pretty darned happy to hear C-man want to be a part of something good. So thanks, Dr. King. Because I truly believe love always triumphs over hate in the end. Here's to hoping our kids keep that spirit strong.
at 10:02 AM
January 15, 2011
January 14, 2011
And tonight, I'm going to enjoy that quiet. Because Wednesday night, the neighbor called inviting Beerman and C-man to tonight's Wave game. And by twist of fate, my monthly wine club (of which I haven't been to in months) was canceled. So it's going to just be Harry and me. In the quiet. Maybe I'll finish painting over the drywall patches. Or maybe I won't. Whatever. Ahhhh...
January 13, 2011
- When you send a good bear to school, he just might come home as a ninja.
- One day, a kid will go to the school lunch line with the choice of mini corn dogs that he knows he likes or a lunch lady made hot pocket with egg, cheese, and bacon. And even though he knows he doesn't like eggs (even though he's never tried them), he will pick the egg option and discover he actually likes them.
- On that same day, that kid's parents will learn of said choice and rejoice with an astonished conversation over the phone and rounds of hugs once everyone's home.
- Later that day, those same parents will laugh at the fact that they never thought they'd be celebrating over someone finally choosing to eat eggs.
- As crappy as the insurance system in the US is, a good doctor is invaluable. I have found an excellent rheumatologist who listens to me when I tell him something isn't right. And for that, I am super thankful.
- Stepping on the doctor's scale after 2 weeks of a wheatless-dairyless life isn't so scary. Almost enough incentive to keep on with this. (Then I eat dairyless cheese, and remember why it sucks.)
- Which might change now that I'm back on loads of prednisone. Which to the normal person sounds awful, but to me, is like giving an alcoholic a gift card to the liquor store. The only time I've ever felt decent is on the stuff. Weight gain and constant needing to pee be damned. I'll feel decent!
- I'm only on it until my doctor gets the test results to figure out if I am a candidate for daily self-injections, though. While thrilled at the prospect of a new medicine, I'm scared out of my mind at having to inject myself every day. Maybe Beerman can do it for me. He's good at that kind of stuff. (Except watching me put my contacts in. After all these years, it still grosses him out.)
- Getting a passport for a 6 year old is a real pain. You have to apply in-person between 10a.m. and 3 p.m., and provide copies of the parents' passports, along with the parents being there in-person. Apparently because of the influx of 6 year old terrorists?
- Then again, a 6 year old boy CAN make anything into a gun. The other day, he was pretending the banana was a gun. It even had its own catchy song to go with it. But bottom line? Everyone was dead from the deathly banana's rays.
- I've been watching a lot of bad movies lately. And by bad, I mean movies that are truly awful, sappy, teenage-angst love stories, but I love them anyway. When I asked why Beerman didn't love them too, he pointed out that they were all Canadian-made. It figures.
- A 12 year old car with 150,000 miles is really not that reliable. I'm afraid we may need to buy a new one shortly. Which while that will be incredibly exciting, I hate the idea of a payment on a car for the next 3 years.
- I kept getting notices that I was late on my 365 project. I figured out how to stop getting them - actually upload my photos to the site once in a while. Amazing how that happens. As a side note, I'm tired of this project. Some days, I just don't feel like it. And posting crappy photos doesn't feel good. But since I started it, I'm going to finish it. And then I'm not doing it again.
January 12, 2011
January 11, 2011
Goodness is the only investment that never fails. -Henry David Thoreau
As a part of my New Years "purging of the yuk from my life", I'm trying to replace the yuk with lots of good things and habits. And that's come about in a lot of different ways: Eating more vegetables, even when I feel like I'm going to choke on that piece of broccoli I really don't like or want to eat. Scraping the snow and ice off the random cars next to me at work so the owners won't have to. Refusing the tasty donuts someone brought in to work because I know they are horrible for me. Putting down the iPod and not recharging it, because I'd gotten too addicted to Angry Birds. Picking up my knitting, because it's simple, and easy, and actually results in something good. While not perfect, I've made a real effort to complain less.
And the amazing thing? I've got more energy. I feel happier. Maybe it's the better diet. Maybe it's the letting go of bad stuff. Maybe it's fresher air after I cleaned out that disgusting closet the other day. But maybe it's a culmination of all those things. Whatever it is, I'm going to do my best to keep going with it.
at 8:54 AM
January 10, 2011
C-man has been studying bears at school. Bear stories, bear habitats, bear cave building... So today, they got to take their bears to school for show and tell. It was a huge decision which one to take, because, well, my kid has got a zillion stuffed animals (I wish I were exaggerating), and about a quarter of them are bears. He started with Care Bear (with the mark of evil - a small heart on his bum) in his backpack, exchanged him for "Speedy" the orange bear a restaurant server won for him while we waited for our food, and then finally settled on "Sam" the bear he got at a holiday event at my work a couple of years ago. I sure hope Sam likes school. His big adventure is to hang out in the bear cave today. Which while it sounds cool, I'm really not sure how he'll feel about it, considering he usually spends all day in a cozy bed.
at 8:48 AM
January 8, 2011
I'm going to take the rest of the day off, now.
at 3:02 PM
January 7, 2011
Some good news I have is that our master bathroom is stinking a bit less now. And I don't think it's because I've gotten used to it. Apparently our dearly departed mouse under the tub is rapidly departing. It makes me nauseous to think of taking a bath on top of that little skeleton, but even more nauseous to think about the cost, time and dust to tear apart the spa tub and corresponding tile in the bathroom that took us 4 years to finish the first time. So, I think it's going to be Mr. Mouse's final resting place while we continue to light enough candles to hold high mass. May he RIP.
I learned a new grammar tidbit this week: You HONE your skills, but HOME in on something. For 34 years, I've been saying it wrong, saying "Hone in on". Who knew? Well, some grammarian, but certainly not me. I love learning new grammar tidbits.
In looking through my closet this week, I decided that I need to spruce up my boring wardrobe a bit. I haven't really done that in, well, forever. But when I look for some cool shirts, they all have puffy shoulders and go down to my knees. The other day, I had to actually cut shoulder pads out of a shirt. I felt like I was in 3rd grade again. Who EVER looked good in shoulder pads?!? Then again, maybe there's a reason my wardrobe is so boring.
I got a gift certificate to my favorite local yarn store for Christmas from my Mother-in-law. So of course, I had to race right to the store the second I had some free time and pick something out. I have officially begun knitting again after about a 6-week hiatus. It's such a good time of year to do it. I could spend days in a yarn store. They're always filled with such happy people, beautiful soft colors, and are so warm.
So after poring over the books by the fireplace with a coffee in my hand (it relaxes me just thinking about it), this is what I settled on to knit, in cream. I'm debating whether to trim the front and sleeves in a different yarn to spruce it up a bit. I suspect I will, since this is a LOT of stockinette, and I'm going to be super bored if I don't.
It's supposed to be single-digit weather this weekend. Perfect for getting some painting done over all the drywall patches. It's just an excitement a minute over at 8920.
at 11:07 AM
January 6, 2011
Not in his goals, but in his transitions, is man great. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
In case you hadn't noticed, it's a new year. And things in my life are going to change. They've got to change. I've been feeling too miserable, too low, too worthless to let this continue.
I have a special appointment with my rheumatologist next week. And while I'm not guaranteeing I'll go off medication entirely, I'm not sticking with what I've been doing. I just can't. Things are worse than before, because now there's this crazy mental aspect to it from the drugs, both in forgetfulness and depression. And as smart as he is, it's not his body.
I was at the health club yesterday for C-man's swimming lessons, and they've set up a 12 week fitness group. I'm going to join it. As crappy as I'm feeling, the best I've ever felt was when I was insane about exercise and diet. And while I love a tasty donut more than just about anything, it's time to get off my ass.
And, of course, the house is getting shaped up. I've been decluttering a ton of crap, as well as things are getting spruced up with the new half-bath renovations and more goodness to come.
Take that 2010. 2011 is already better than you.
at 8:59 AM
January 5, 2011
- It's day 3 of my wheatless, dairyless life. So far, so good. 11 more to go.
- It's also day 3 of being back to work. Whew. I can barely keep my eyes open. Which is why I continue to NOT be coffeeless, too.
- I located the elusive stench of our master bedroom/bathroom. It's coming from UNDER the tub. What once was a mouse crawled into our subfloor and died. So gross. So now we wait a couple of weeks to see if the stench goes away. Still gross, but way less expensive and time consuming than ripping the whole thing out when Uncle Rusty comes back in a few weeks for more work on the house.
- I'm glad Rusty is coming back to help us work on the house. But I'm already tensing up over the dirt and debris that's going to happen.
- C-man has been frantically putting together all his Christmas Lego sets. He's amazingly good at it.
- He's so good at it, he loses time. Sort of like last night when I forgot to feed him dinner until he said he was hungry at 8 p.m.
- I can't believe I'm saying it, but I hate not having any snow. It's cold and crappy, but there's no sledding, no good photos, no nothing. Yuk.
- When I work from home, Harry only lets me type for about a half hour. Then he comes and bumps my hands off the keys until I pet him. Spoiled puppy.
- Usually January is slow and blah. This month, somehow, C-man has it crammed full of stuff - baseball camps, martial arts classes, school stuff, and I've got a few trips to hither and yon. So much for a slow ease into 2011.
at 1:51 PM
January 4, 2011
Last night was the first hitting camp practice. C-man is almost as young as you can be to play in Little League (May 1 is the cutoff to be 6, and his birthday is March 21), so we figured we'd sign him up for the camps to help him out this season.
The best part was his comment on the way out: "I knew that kid wasn't going to know how to set it up right, because he was wearing a BEARS jersey." Ahhh... what a smartie. Especially since he was right.
January 3, 2011
That's why I'm skipping official and tangible goals, and going to have this year's resolutions surround the concepts of "Focus" and "Presence". That's kind of new agey, I realize, but it's a real problem for me. The medications I'm on make me scattered. I can no longer remember names and places and specific things. The meds also make me depressed, which means I don't sleep, and when I do, it's that tortured sleep that doesn't help a whole lot. Mix in the baseball camps, school things, and general daily life of groceries, bill paying, laundry, and work travel, and I get overwhelmed. On those days I can barely see beyond the pain, I come across as completely inefficient, scattered, and unwilling to pay attention to what's going on around me. Which isn't true in intention, but true because I'm unable to focus.
So this week starts a no-wheat, no-dairy diet. The plan I'm following calls for it to be one solid week, but I'm going to try to do it for at least two, since it takes that long to have any effect. (I'm ignoring the no-coffee part of it. I'll work on that later.) And, of course, it means I need to move a bit more than I have been. Because, well, I haven't been. Not with the complete intention to lose weight, although that would be nice, too. All this is in hopes that I'm able to focus better, feel a little less pain than I have been, and just have more energy to build Lego ships and play stuffed animal catapult.
I'm going to do a purge of all my unnecessary stuff. My plan is to designate a room a month until I get the clutter purged.
I'm also going to purge the negative relationships and situations from my life. I've had multiple people lie to me lately, and totally knew they were lying, but moved on and acted as if it didn't happen because it was too incomprehensible. But it did, and I'm having a really hard time with the lies continuing to go on unacknowledged. It won't happen again. Neither will allowing people to be passive-aggressive toward me. I teach whole communications classes on how to get out of these traps, and don't practice what I preach. I'm going to change that.
I'm going to focus on my little family. We don't have a strong support system outside of the 3 of us, and it's time to stop being annoyed about that and embrace the goodness and fun that we have.
We're going to travel this year, and I'm going to enjoy that thoroughly.
And most of all, I'm going to try to enjoy the moment while it's here. Something I forgot to do too often in the muck of 2010. Because 2011, you're going to be a fun one, whether you like it or not!
at 11:23 AM
January 2, 2011
But this past week, our house has been a complete mess. Drywall dust, Durabond 90 spackleish stuff in my carpet, mud tracked everywhere, and saws going off constantly. (And sewer gas disgustingly backing up in the master bath and therefore bedroom, which nobody can explain, but I refuse to believe is a coincidence with all the work having gone on) So at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve, I was zonked out in my bed after having made a bunch of trips to pick up stuff for the workers, and after having eaten take and bake pizza with C-man in a less than celebratory way. And then this weekend, we went to Chippewa Falls for "Christmas", so we spent 10 hours in the car with New Years being lost into yet another Christmas.
All of that together means internal clock and new year celebration is way off. I haven't decided on any resolutions, haven't been able to start the fast I'd wanted to, and certainly don't feel "renewed" and "refreshed" like I'm supposed to when I'm getting ready to go to work after having been off for 10 days.
But enough with the grumbles. Just know that's why I'll be declaring my resolutions later this week. Right after I dig out from all this dust and debris.
at 5:27 PM