Benches Before Work

July 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm (34 Day Summer Slim Down, Big Benches, Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Getting Old, Heat, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer, Thank You, The Grass, Wasting Time In General, Zoo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Trying to be quick before work today. I have been off for several days now and I am kind of dreading going back. I like staying home. But I like money too so… This is Little Red Riding Hood. It has a back too. All of the benches have backs obviously, but some of them are decorated with something extra. This is one of them.

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This bench has texture and depth and it’s really kind of cool. The next one is kind of plain like the Snow White one, so it gets second tier post status. Aren’t I just Judgey McJudgey over here. My site. My opinions. This is Let Down Your Hair. The Rapunzel story.

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That takes care of 2 more. We are at 6/20. Next up is our intermission pictures. There is/was a Dodge, now Fiat, dealership in the middle of town that always has something we like to take a picture of. So we wasted about 15 minutes there, looking at cars, while my girl complained that this is NOT what we came here to look at! She was right. Plus it was scorchingly hot on all that black asphalt. But I still took too long to take a photo of a Super Bee Charger. 392 Hemi. $46,000. Black as night paint. Called “Pitch Black”. I’ll just put those pics here to save time. The front. And the logo. That’s all anyone cares about anyway.

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That should lead me nicely into Zoo pictures and Beach pictures. And also fishing, flowers, clouds, sky, birds, wildlife, and some landscape pictures that I teased with, but never posted. My goal in the next few days, (weeks?), is to get this “current” photo folder clear before it gets cold again, and before the kids go back to school. I haven’t even mentioned my summer slim down plan or what I am doing to achieve my goals for skinniness and less B/P medicine. Big fat nothing, that’s what. I am eating less. It’s only working a little bit. And very slowly. Cardio is the thing. At least that’s what the doctor said. It’s always cardio. Let me stop here and try and figure out the next post. I have to shower and do another load of laundry before I go. I may or may not post overnight. I have to get up early tomorrow to take my girl on her annual summer trip to my sister’s house for a week before school starts. And I desperately need my hair colored. I look old. Yucky gray roots. I miss my hair that used to grow in all the same color. Not fair. Then me and the boy are going to meet the BF for lunch at his work. Don’t we seem busy? Monday funday. Then I have to work all week. All week. Man. And the boy has his last week of football camp. Ok I think that’s enough of the list of things to do from one small woman in the world. If you are still reading, THANK YOU! I wish I had prizes or something, but it’s just this. Beep beep beep beeeep. Blast. That’s the timer. Measuring out my life in minutes. Load change. Shower up. Sprinkler switch. STOP. TYPING. !! Gotta go. Later.

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Bonus Day!

June 12, 2013 at 11:42 am (Birthday Wishes, Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Exercise, Flowers, Updates, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Still working out the kinks in my camera phone. Not all my “files” are making it through. Maybe it’s a new advanced Samsung feature when you try to send pictures through the system it automatically corrupts the file of the crap shots so you don’t even waste your time.

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That company is so smart. The first picture is a flower from my neighbors house. I have more. Of course I do. Today is an unexpected day off, so I like to call them the bonus days, in life. My plans are suddenly open and fluid. Maybe I will catch up on sleep. Maybe I will post all day. Maybe I will take a shower and remove all this excess hair from my legs. Yuck. Maybe I will sit on my ass playing Tiny Village. Now that it is my only game and play app, I can really focus on it.

*Quick side note: what do we, you, the general public, think about spending actual real world dollars on these games? I am seriously considering paying cash for crystals because I want to do stuff in this fake world faster. Leave me a note/comment when you can. Thoughts, ideas? Is this the lamest way to spend money ever? I can justify it by saying it’s an early birthday present to myself. Maybe? I got paid today and I have time to burn. These are my “for” arguments.

*Extra quick side note: I have updates on my health. Too fat. Too little exercise. Apparently I need to be doing the “cardio” kind. B/P still a skosh too elevated. I have been increased on my starter meds. But I’d like to D/C them altogether. The MD said I could if I wasn’t a rolly-polly when I come back to see him next time. Lupus titer high and positive again. (Lupus panel negative though. I may have a life-long, general, vague, comes-and-goes, inflammatory disorder to deal with for my golden years. If a face rash and some bad numbers on a blood test is all I get from this over the years, I will be a very happy camper. I can exercise and stay out of the sun. No problem.) I will be heading out to the garage to pull some of my “diet” books and revamp the current food plan. But first I need to get that shower/shave thing out of the way. And believe me I have plans for more postings about this. I already have a title for my new quest in mind. “144 by 44”. See, I will be 44 this year. And my follow up appt is after my birthday. 144 lbs might not be exactly do-able in that time frame, three months, but I can try. I hesitate to throw out my actual weight number because I am not sure if it’s fat or not. It’s a good amount under 200. It’s definitely not slim. But I am a heavy person in general. Like, heavy bones. I know that sounds like an excuse, but I’m like a deceptive bag of concrete. I might look compact and weigh what the number says on the sack, but when you go to pick me up, I-Yi-Yi!! I weigh a ton. And now your back hurts! 144 would be the least amount I have ever weighed as an adult with children. Except for the brief month, many years ago, when I weighed 138 because of a literal diet, of coffee and breath mints, when I was going through some shit. I literally could not eat food without throwing up. Not my fault. But also not a story for this bonus day either. Spoils the fun.

Maybe I will get new grass today. Literally. The village I live in tore up my yard as you may remember from ONE YEAR AGO. Almost to the day. Because of broken water mains. Click to read. Catch up here. Well they are back. Sort of. They have been coming to the house every day this week doing something to the front. Flatten it out. Dig up more. Shore up the edges. Fill in with dirt. Smooth that out. I have got to believe that sod is next. Maybe today?! I hope they hurry. I hear storms are approaching. Storms with really cool names. Derecho.

The following is copied word for word from a weather news site:

A derecho, Spanish for straight, is a widespread and long-lasting storm that comes with fast-moving thunderstorms and rain, and also can bring damaging high winds, hail as big as golf balls as well as tornadoes. Weather forecasters have been warning that this rare weather  phenomenon, which last year left a 700-mile trail of damage across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, this time could hit a swath of states from Iowa to Maryland starting Wednesday.

Yay! At least I won’t be at work and then have to drive in it this time. I also need to seriously update some of the pages on this site. I noticed some old info floating around and we could use a freshening. Let me finish this quick. I’m running out of shower time before these kids get home. I will try to link the yard thing and post the new pics of the yard. And some flowers and probably birds. And lottery news. Still working on the scratch-offs, but I can tell you, so far, we are not winners. Still have to work for the money. I have 4 cards/chances left. Wouldn’t this be a great site if I could just write every day about how much money I have and how I don’t have to do anything, ever, again in real life if I don’t want to? I would just post title after title with some picture taken from my couch: Still Rich. Suckers! Oh to dream….Later.

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That would be The Truck.  And The Dig. And The Smooth. Hopefully the next picture will be, “The Grass”. Ugh. My kids have started calling me for rides and I am still hairy. Ugh. Bonus Time Shower Time. Although shower time should really be an All-The-Time. Ugh. Wasting Time. Later.

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Let’s Take It Down A Notch With My Third Pic From The New Phone

June 10, 2013 at 10:24 am (Blood Pressure, Cheap Red Wines, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Getting Old, Giant Food, High School Football, High School Volleyball, Losing the Fat, Movies, Phone Camera, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer Break) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Life is not all that serious. But you know, I get caught up in the typing and before you know it, a five paragraph essay on mortality appears. The above picture illustrates the life-shortening things we did on my last weekend off. First we went and saw Fast 6. It’s a good movie. If you like those kind of movies. And we do.

Spoiler Alert! Seriously. I will be typing info of the spoiler variety right now. If you have seen any of these movies, you know they tease you at the end. Well, guess what? There’s gonna be a Fast 7. I won’t say how they do it, but if you are like me, you might say to yourself, “You know who they should get for these movies? Jason Statham.” And you would tell all the people around you, right away, at the beginning of the movie, because it’s a British, military-type bad guy in this one, and be really annoying about it. But then you’d be totally validated at the end and all self-satisfied ’cause you’re so smart. You could totally be a movie producer person. Whatever.

After the movie we went and got my new phone. Yay! Not gonna lie again. It’s awesome! It’s a beautiful phone. Samsung Galaxy S4, in case you missed that bit of info in my last mush post. It’s all Otter Box’d up so I don’t ruin it at work or in life. Plus it’s not very recognizable in it’s case so bitches can’t steal it! Ha. I also have it functioning now the way I like it, except for a ringtone. I am still trying to figure out if I should go back to my previous one (PriceTag–Jessie J or Peace Of Mind–Boston) or pick a new one altogether. Life is sooo hard right?

Then we went to Sam’s Club for alcohol and hot peppers to bring over to the BF’s mom’s house, because she was making dinner, roast beef sammy’s, because the BF’s brother, was in town from Oregon where he lives now. Whew. Got all that? I could have summed that up better, but I have a little time here to spread my typing wings. So obviously we got wine. Apothic Red–the best mixed red, for the best price, hand’s down, in my opinion, of all the brands that I have tried, right now. I posted about it before. The other wine. Ehh. It was OK. I think we got a bad bottle. Smelled and tasted almost like it was spoiled. Compromised. The cork was really dry and it had that sharp vinegar whiff to it. We drank it though. No ill effects noted. And since we were at the big warehouse center for giant, low-cost items, and we needed more Jack, we bought the economy size bottle. I mean, come on, that’s just smart money. And the peppers. Which were tasty and pretty hot actually and pretty much the smallest jar you can buy there. And a pair of jeans for the boy. He can never find Levi’s in his size, because most stores only get, like, 2 pairs of his, per shipment. But there they were, on the giant table of Levi’s, just waiting for him to come along and riffle through the pile. If you have ever been to Sam’s, you know they check your receipt and your items before you walk out of the door. So we were all carrying something; the wines, the giant Jack, the giant pepper jar; and the lady that checked our stuff said, “Ok, you got, what…wine, bottle, peppers, OK, well yeah, it looks like you got everything you need right there, uh huh.” And off we went. Layed everything so nicely in the trunk and snapped the pic with my new toy. Then we went to the dinner (delicious) and drove the kids out to their dad’s for an overnight.

Sunday was kind of lazy but chore driven. Laundry. (Which honestly, got done, completely–folded and put away–but is now back with a vengeance. I HATE laundry so much.) Breakfast. Where I met the 102 year old lady and her younger sister, a sprightly 95. Then more laundry when we got back home. (This was a before and after session of laundry. There was a lot.) Then we had pizza for dinner and waited for the kids to get home. That was their first and last week of summer vacation. Athletic camps are now in session, starting today, and they will be busy for the duration. I believe school starts for them about August 11 or 19. Yet to be determined. I don’t have a schedule yet anyway. So it’s a mystery. Well, it’s not really a mystery. I could spoil the surprise for them by looking on the school website, but I will let them dream of long, lazy, summer days and nights for a few more weeks.

And that’s it for now. Exciting re-cap of a day-in-the-life, huh? Now do you see why I fear getting old? Boring. Laundry. Breakfast. Alcohol. Oh. Alcohol. That must be the key. Drink and you will forget that you are getting older. As I said yesterday, I really do have a doctor appointment to get to. So I need to end this. My hip still hurts, but I think alcohol could probably fix that little problem too. Hmm. I suppose exercise might achieve that same result. Build up some strength to stave off the decaying process. Maybe I’ll try both. Drinking would probably make the exercise easier and more enjoyable, with less pain. Or send me to the ER with a dislocated hip ASAP. Still, with less pain. Did I mention that I have to get weighed, along with the B/P check and whatnot? That’s what is really going to cause me pain. I will follow up. Expect a new series of exercise-healthy-losing-weight-live-forever-type posting to start appearing in this lazy space. Later.

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Prepared To Be “WOW”-ed!!

June 9, 2013 at 12:38 pm (Birds, Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Getting Old, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer Break, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Very first pic with the new phone. Standing in a parking lot, looking up at a light pole, and capturing that seagull, sitting there, peaking out over the top. Score! It was luck actually. The next pic I took was of the same light pole, but with no bird. I think that most of the pictures I take involve some kind of bird. That’s probably weird right? Anyway, I was testing the zoom and the acuity. Not bad. I must experiment more. In case you are wondering, it’s the Samsung Galaxy S4. (Shout Out!) And I’m not even gonna lie…it’s a realllly nice phone. It’s probably the best phone I have ever owned. My daughter has the IPhone and LOVES it. Really really loves it. Like, it sleeps on a pillow next to her head, loves it. (I am pretty sure I have a picture of this) And she is jealous of this new phone and grudgingly admits that it might be better than hers. Win!

I will bring you more, equally exciting and powerful shots, as the days go on. I haven’t had much time off since I got this phone so it’s mostly been getting used to it and putting all my stuff back on that I now need to function daily. You know, real important things, like my e-mail accounts (I have 2–Yahoo and G-Mail), Tiny Village (only game I decided to keep from the old phone–a smart move I think. Obviously I waste a lot of time with pointless other things), Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, LinkedIn (because I am a professional dammit!), and Twitter. Did I mention that I have a twitter account now? Well, I do. That’s another whole story. #justshyofpretty. Of course. I’m going to make this my thing until I die. I don’t even have a custom ringtone yet! The shame! It seriously took me, 2 or 3 days, just to get all the tones and alerts for notifications and alarms straightened out. If you pick the wrong sound it can just keep playing and playing until you physically touch the the phone. And every single separate “feature” has its own separate tone/alert/notification setting to set. I think I got everything I actually use set up. Now I figure I will just wait for something to ring or buzz on the phone and adjust it as it comes up.

Here is one truth though, that I will share about all this technology, and something that I never even saw coming: The worst part about getting this new phone is that I feel old all of a sudden. Like, “aging-ly” old. That’s not a word, but us old folks can make them up whenever we want now. Feeling my mortality, I think they say. When I had this brand new phone in my hand and I was trying to make it work, and couldn’t, I really felt like I was about to join the age train and it was going to choo-choo-chug me away to the techno graveyard for the decrepit and clueless. I never have enough time to learn the phone, I can’t see the damn screen without reading glasses, I apparently need at least 6-7 hours of sleep now to function normally (this is up from 4-5, which really irks me for some reason), both of my kids are now in high school, and my left hip has started hurting. Wah wah wah.

I have never been a person to be hit by that “mid-life-crisis” thing, but I feel as if I could be now. And sadly, I don’t even know what is going to set it off. I watched my daughter light up the room with all the employees at the Verizon store when we got my phone. She was literally like a fresh, bright, youthful presence that people wanted to talk to and be near.  And she just knew, and understood everything that was being shown and said to her. I am “the mom” now. I love love love being the mom of this fabulous little girl/mini-adult, but ouch! that hurt being reminded that I am still, just the mom, and that I need these young people to help me keep up with the times. Double ouch! I see my kids with everything in front of them, a whole wide world to be explored and be a part of, so much bigger than when I was young. There is so much more to do and see now and so many better ways to get there.

“I don’t want to be old!” Cries another 40 year-old, (plus), old person.

Well, there you go. All that from a picture of a light pole. With a bird. Mortality is a sneaky bitch. Did I also mention that I met a 102 year old lady at breakfast last weekend? One hundred and TWO. Walking. Without assistance. And no cane or walker either. She was even able to button up her own coat. She had the chicken salad. Hope springs. Now, I’m not sure that I even want to live to be 102, but it goes to show that the option is there for some. And it lets me know that I am not even half-done yet with life. So that’s what I’m going to take away from this. I will loosely hold onto my kids, while still pushing them forward, for as long as I can, and then let them go too. If I do it right, hopefully they will always want to turn around and pull me along with them once I can’t push anymore.

But these are words for the future. Right now, I have to go to work again to pay for that future. It’s Sunday. It’s beautiful in the Midwest right now. The BF is motorcycle riding for one of those charity/benefit group things, with his friend. My kids are camping with their dad. It’s quiet.  Go out and enjoy this day if you can. I will be hoping for a fast quiet night so I can have a nice day off tomorrow. Monday Monday. Summer break is over. Football camp for the boy. Volleyball camp for the girl. And I have a doctor appointment. Just a check-up. Tune-up. Blood results. Preserve the youth for as long as I can. I think I might exercise tomorrow too. Strong body. Strong heart. Hips that don’t hurt! Later.

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Stevie Pic #5! And Updates Galore!

May 24, 2013 at 10:37 am (34 Day Summer Slim Down, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, Flowers, For Amanda, For Jeff the BF, For Mason, For Stevie, Graduation, Losing the Fat, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Run. Walk. Weights., Running Stuff, School News, Stevie Pics, Summer Break, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Posting to stay in the web site game today. Trying to get hits. It’s a total head thing. Posting because Stevie takes good pictures. Posting to use up all the ideas that are rattling around in my head and driving me crazy. While, in between, doing laundry. That damn laundry.

I have actually had 2 days off. This is my third. Third. (!) Why am I not all posted and getting tons of new followers? Why do I have a giant pile of crappy clothes and never worn shoes on my bedroom floor that are supposed to be purged? Why have I not seen my new little nephew in person?? Why is the laundry NOT done yet???

I have been doing things. Things like, helping my kids with this last week of real school. The boy’s last final is today. He is stressing big time too, trying to finish without any D’s. It’s been a tough and lazy year for this kid. His XBox is riding on this last grade. All he needs is a C. Seriously. And the girl has Algebra and her state Constitution to worry about. Math is killing her, but I told her to focus on the Constitution and forget the rest because at this point 8th grade is all about getting out and moving into high school. She needs to pass the Constitution, everything else, realistically, does not matter. No one EVER asks for your 8th grade transcripts. It’s all about the high school now. Fresh start. I may not be the best mom on the planet today, encouraging my kids to do mediocre, but at this point, on this Friday, with nothing left to lose or gain, passing is going to have to be good enough.

On a more “me” note, I exercised. Yes. I said, and typed, ex-er-cise. I did a workout AND ran a 5K. Yes. Ran. (Jogged. Shuffled. Walked a little. And maybe missed about 1/2 mile of the course…for a total of about a 3.9K) Two and a half miles at least. The course was kind of confusing and didn’t have clear markers at every point, but that’s not too bad. It wasn’t an official timed race, mostly fun. I finished in approx 40 minutes. Not a record breaker, but not last! And it was exercise. Outside, with other people as witness. My daughter helped organize a charity/community run for her school and I took the day off to participate. It was actually quite fun and I feel extremely proud and impressed by my daughter and her school and the whole event in general. There was about 60-70 runners and 100’s of spectators. That may not sound like a lot, but it is pretty damn good for Jr. High. My girl came up with the name and the theme and even designed the facebook page to promote it. Of course it helps that her aunt is a professional event planner and fixed all the details, but hey she’s only 14. Today the little village, tomorrow the big city! Check out the site here, if you like, just to get a feel for the kind of thing it was, and maybe next event you can come too! Here is my number bib as proof:

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And holy poo-poo, my legs are killing me! The tops of my thighs seem to have taken the brunt of the exercise fall-out, and they are not allowing me to walk properly, or sit and stand with any kind of grace or fluid motion. I have to push myself up and lower myself down using my arms as brace so I just don’t fall over. So stupid.

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The other thing I have been trying, “trying” being the key word in this sentence, is a new exercise craze you may have heard of called: Hip Hop Abs. More like Hip Hop Flabs for me (Sorry, that’s my one joke I keep repeating. It’s not the most original, but it usually gets a laugh.) and Hip Hop Jiggly Butt. (On another rambling side note, I have to say that when I was running, the most distracting thing was my jiggly butt. I could feel it moving. Yuk. So gross. I need to use this burst of exercise rejuvenation and keep doing it. It’s bad when you can feel all the flab actually moving. Yuk again.) My friend at work is like the new spokesperson for Hip Hop Abs or something, and texts me everyday harassing me about this shit. So I finally did it. I have discovered that I may be too old for the hippity hop, or any form of exercise that requires me to dance like a young person in a club and jerk my body all over, and into weird contortions that I probably couldn’t have done even when I was younger. My hips and shoulders don’t necessarily hip and hop in those directions. I just don’t have the rhythm or moves and ability to dance and exercise at the same time, and I never really did. Butt. I am going to try and continue anyway. If you are following along on the body pain tally, this particular tape set hurts my shoulders and arms. My abs are actually fine with this. They have probably just given up and are like, whatever lady, the layer of fat you kindly blanketed across our middle will protect us. Nice try though! Stupid abs. One day I will have a sort-of six pack and a non-30-year-old-ass. That last sentence is all for you Amanda. One day Vegas will see us again and we will ROCK that pool. We will cut through the water like sharks in the ocean. Although I will have to upgrade to a non-40-year-old-ass. Eeek. Time is a ticking.

I will continue now, to update my exercise status, again. I just re-read that, and I didn’t mean right now, but in the days and weeks to come. I even have a plan. I mean, I always have a plan. I just need to carry through. I even have a goal. Fer reals. Wanna see? I might as well just post it now, since this is already long anyway.

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It’s a pair of jeans. That’s pretty much it. My entire weight loss/get healthy plan around a pair of Hollister Laguna Skinny 9L’s. I can almost squeeze my ass into them. Literally. They go right on up, and over my legs and thighs, but then stop dead at the ass portion of my body. I can almost tuck it in but then my front poochy area tries to make a stand and it’s just all-around ugly. There is no way I could zip them up and I feel bad for anyone near if I did. The pants would suffer, my flesh would suffer, anyone who has eyes and was looking at me would suffer. The jeans seem to be made of very high quality, strong denim and fasteners, but I don’t know, wearing these right now would require a lot of tensile strength that might be asking too much of a simple pair of pants. But that’s the ultimate goal.

The goal was also to have these on by my daughter’s graduation party in, oh, 22 days. I had a slim-down plan, like I did a few years back. The category heading is still over to the right there. 34 Day Summer Slim Down. Obviously I was going to modify that to account for my new timeline, but guess what? 34 days came and went and now I have 22. I aimed for that date so I could impress my whole family, current, new, and old, with my skinniness, because that’s healthy, right? Like my daughter’s teacher just said to me at the race when we were talking about it, “Oh well as long as you are doing it for the right reasons.” HaHaHa. We laughed. No one loses weight to impress themselves. Anyhoo. I am also trying to grow out my bangs. Which is taking way longer than I want. But I was using her party as goal for that too. I figured if I could keep them longer, and survive the bad stage where they poke at my eyes, without cutting them, at least until then, I could probably make it the rest of the way to the long stage again. So far so good on that goal! I use headbands at work. I feel weird about my open face but half my patients can’t see me clearly anyway so who cares. As I always say, I look much better blurry.

Well I should wrap this up. Hours have been spent here. I swapped a few loads of laundry, but I need to fold all that crap and put it away and try to clean up this house a bit. I defiantly told the BF that I would have all the laundry done by the time he got home. I am so stupid sometimes when I am trying to be all smart. I think I hit all the major updates. No, wait…

Thursday was my daughter’s Spring Band Concert. Done. Today is the 8th grade dance. Exciting! We had Mother’s Day. I had to work. There was the annual Crawfish Boil my sister and her hubby have every year. Fun! Here’s a pic:

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I have GOBS of bird pictures and wildlife in the backyard. The bird feeders are back. The fat squirrels are eating everything and making me mad. The hummingbirds are back too. I saw them. I have street money that I am still collecting. My niece graduated high school!! Congrats Jesse!! I have new things involving trucks with crazy stuff on them. And tires. Lots of tires. I don’t even know why. I probably have more random things that I can’t even think about because now I am trying to hurry and finish so I can do a fast clean sweep and get back to the computer. My son just texted. Geometry final is over. He’s one class away now from sophomore year. I need one last picture though to end this mish mash. And there are always more pictures. In my phone and on my desktop. Hmmm. How about superheroes? My kids are a daily reminder that you are never to old to build a blanket fort in your room to keep out the bad guys:

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Or too old to goof around in Target. Hurry up mom, and take the picture!! Come on now…

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I. Am. IronMan.

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You won’t like me when I’m angry.

Saving the world one word at a time. “Mommmmmmm.”

“Come on already.” Later.

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Speaking Of Drinking…

April 15, 2013 at 2:46 am (Drunk Posts, For Jeff the BF, Giant Food, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures) (, , , , , , , )

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You know you need to work out when you are too weak to pick up your big bottle of booze. Real time pic using the coffee maker (12 cup/full size) for reference. Hey. Don’t judge. We didn’t start at the top. We slowly graduated up to the party version. It’s more economical. Picture proof below. Although I really shouldn’t. It’s embarrassing that we even have all these bottles (we don’t; anymore) and that we took a picture. (The BF did it. I’m just posting it because we are immature.) It’s a nice shot though huh? Super sharp and clear. His new phone takes really good pictures. I’m so jelly. Later.

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Well It Sure Feels Like A Brand New Start

January 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm (Blood Pressure, Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Job Search, Losing the Fat, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , , )

I know it’s not February first yet, but according to the air temperature it’s like a whole new season. We need to come up with some kind of phrase to identify this trend in unusual, possibly alarming, weather system changes. I can do 50 degrees all “winter”.  I’ll even take the occasional one day snow storm followed by three days of melt. However my little daffodil buds are getting confused. Here’s a picture of them looking sad and sort of green-yellow in the grey and dirty dirt. The ground is not ready for them to sprout yet, but the heat says, “Come on up! The air is fine!” But it’s not.

I shall monitor their early progress for you. Via words and more pictures. Although be prepared for this site to take another sucky turn. As you know, I pride myself on posting just about every day with brilliant and insightful, meaningful, inspiring words and positive vibes and energy to you and the world abroad. Uh. huh. Well, I post every few days. And it’s almost always positive. That won’t change. The new issue is that I may actually have something else that I will need to be doing, full time, and for a good amount of money. Hint hint. Cough cough. Ahem. If I ain’t being too subtle here. Something worthy enough to give up my day job as resident blobber, blogger, desperately searching for an outside gig. I will let you know by the end of the week if I can finally change my Facebook status to: Works. Period. Anyway, February is always my lucky month for work related stuff. That’s when I got my last job too. It’s weird when stuff happens like that isn’t it?

I’m about to go get some food with the family and have a margarita. Just one. And it will be small. Well, smaller. We have an awesome place very close by. And I checked my med info. Moderate alcohol is ok. One drink every week or two will probably be just fine. And FYI, in case you were wondering, I have my next doc appt. this week to check on those meds, and even though it seems unlikely, I really think I feel better. Like, not sick feeling. Clear headed and without any throbbing or eye and temple pain. Maybe that BP was killing me. Sometimes drinking the kool-aid isn’t always a death sentence. Hard lesson to learn. In just a few days, I have tried to overhaul my sodium intake and step up the exercise regimen. We, me, everything, that you eat for convenience or that comes in a processed package is LOADED with mg’s and mg’s of that sneaky sodium. I spent my last few days buying some snazzy new jeans and t-shirts to transition myself slim again. Thanks to the new spandex and technologically advanced textile manufacturing, my jean size didn’t change! And no one will ever see the tags that say “high stretch fabric” or “extreme tensile strength materials”. Those labels are on a big old garbage truck heading for the dump. And I purposely shopped for colorful fruits and vegetables today.  I think I shall be more boring to hang out with, but, I shall be hanging out a lot longer. Alright, one more picture because I like to take pictures of the skeleton trees. Later.

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Damn Nature! You Scary!

January 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

I missed a few days there. Sometimes the weekends get away from me. And then whole weeks get away from me. I had the interviews. I’ve done all the legwork I am going to do for now. I actually started this posting before the one below it, so if it seems out of order or confusing, it’s because I failed to edit the things that already happened from the things that were about to happen. I will say that I am feeling better about the whole job thing. As usual, I underestimated the time it takes, the scheduling issues and the typical paperwork that goes along with actually getting hired for a job. It’s been well over 20 years since I had to do the whole formal procedure. So I continue to plug along.

And by plug along, I mean that I went to the doctor, and as I expected, he would not clear me for a few weeks. But he gave me drugs. And rescheduled me for next week. I am sure he does not believe that I will follow through with my care, but time will tell. He said the meds should make a difference within the week. I will let you know. I think my BP machine is way off from what their machine says, so when I go pick up my new prescription I am going to try the BP chair that they have in the drugstore. Don’t worry, I still had some pills left from my last attempt at controlling this problem, which I failed miserably at doing, so I am pilled up times 2. Last night and this morning. I guess I feel fine. I have to drive today so we’ll see how that goes. I was also given orders to eat low sodium. Watch that salt. Typical. No junk. The usual. He didn’t really mention the weight thing, but we both know…

The best part was the activity/exercise thing. He said I need to get active and get moving. But not crazy, strenuous, over-the-top, crap like I have been doing. Walk. He said. A light jog. But do not get yourself huffing and puffing, because guess what?? NOT GOOD for the BP yet. It’s too much. I have been given the ok to take it a little easier. It does no good to skyrocket your heart rate and BP when you already have naturally high numbers. I guess I could burst a blood vessel or faint at the very least. Once the BP is better, you can go back to the big stuff. I really do feel kind of stupid, because I should know better. But the cliches are true. I definitely stink at taking my own advice. But let’s move past this, because I hate dwelling on my own idiotic mistakes and I have other things to do today. One of which is returning some women’s blouses that make me look like a flowing pregnant middle aged dump. And unfortunately, I have to break down and buy some new jeans. I very nearly ripped the belt loop off of the one pair that is supposed to be stretchy. Now I have a big hole where the front pocket meets the loop and I am flashing the people with my white, pasty, roll of blubber that is trying to escape from the waist band. Not pretty.

So as you know, we had some snow over here. Came down on Friday and tapered off, leaving the cleanup for Saturday morning. We went to bowling and when we got home, at about noon or so, Stevie and I decided to go walk in the woods. We were just there, and we figured the trail itself wouldn’t be too snowed over because of all the trees. We were excited to be the only car in the parking lot, which was plowed so we thought that was a good sign. And as we started there was a set or two of footsteps, not brand new but visible, so we thought someone obviously already walked the trail and if we just follow their path we will be fine. As an extra precaution we made sure to make a huge mess where we were walking so we could always just turn around and follow our own steps back out. We were even careful not to veer off the set path too much so that we didn’t get confused later. Good thing.

We made it to the pine trees before we started losing the path. Above is the picture of the first bridge and the small boardwalk you have to cross before you get to the creek that Stevie was playing on last week. The creek is totally covered in snow now. Or it was. It didn’t even have any animal tracks yet. The creek is below. One with Stevie, one without. We liked the way the shadows were laying across the fresh snow.

As we continued to walk, the snow was thick in places and I’m sure we weren’t exactly on the path that the nature preserve people laid down, but it was close. When we got to the pine trees the footprints really got dim. But there’s only one way to go through and we knew where we were going forward so we kept at it. I’ll just throw in all the pics, as I type so I can use them and you can kind of see and compare from past photos if you can remember or care to search.

Just past the pine trees is an open area. It looks much bigger as you peer through the trees but when you get up to it, it’s not really open at all. The way the trees have grown and then appear to have died out there, they look like they are reaching for the pine trees. Kind of bending towards them with outstretched arms. The limbs were covered in snow and gave the scene an even more desolate feel.

It was so bright and sunny though, it was almost blinding. It should have seemed clean and happy. The sky was blue behind the trees and the air was warmer in the open areas. But it was really cold and shadowy under those pine trees and it felt heavy and dark. I was hoping we would not have to walk back through there because the way the snow was laying it was hard to see our tracks even though we were right there, practically still standing in them. As I look at the picture above now, I think of hula dancing and I can see, what looks like a face, in the tree that is right in the center. The more I look, the more faces I see. It didn’t look like that standing there in front of them. It looks like there are faces in both waving trees and then another one on the left side, along the edge of the picture, maybe a third of the way up.It kind of looks like someone is hiding behind the tree, peering out.

So we took the pictures, but we didn’t really see any of that as we were walking. We kept going to our favorite picture spot: The Path! The path of tall evergreen trees! This leads to a lake, which then leads to a nature out crop that goes into the marshlands that are really tucked away inside the forest preserve. Luckily we were far too lazy to walk all the way through. Another good thing. I am sure the next time we go, when I can wear gym shoes because the winter boots I have hurt my feet and ankles really bad, we will have pictures for you. Can’t wait huh? Yeah I know. Here’s more trees:

Well that one takes up alot of space. From here, if you go directly to the left, there is a very long boardwalk that takes you through the next part of the woods. And here is where we had our trouble. It seems who ever walked before us decided to stop just at this tree line and go back. At least that’s what we are guessing. No more tracks. But since the boardwalk can only go in one direction, we figured, what the hell. The path will probably be pretty clear as it kind of goes in a big loop. WRONG. Once we got to the end of the planked path, we followed the treeline to a little sitting bench that sits at a turn. We continued on for maybe 100 or 200 feet when we decided we were not on the path anymore. We were walking over branches and stumps and trying to not fall or twist an ankle. There were footprints, in single lines, going here and there, so we picked one set that looked like they were heading for the creek and started to follow them. We were now very careful to make as big a path as we could and to NOT veer off or change directions. At this point we could not see the bench anymore and we could not tell at all where we were in relation to the original trail. We know that there is a huge, brand new bridge structure that was just completed before winter, somewhere in front of us, but even going forward, we could not see any sign of it. And it’s really huge. Like, way bigger than it needs to be. It actually looks too big for what it is going over. And it’s a bright yellow, fresh wood color, that sticks out in all that pure white we were surrounded by. If I was cold before or my feet were hurting in those boots, those feelings were totally gone and being replaced by anxiety and a nervous feeling that we are truly lost in these stupid woods. I knew we had our footprints. And I knew we had hours of daylight left. But still. Standing there, looking around, trying to find anything that looks even slightly familiar, and finding nothing but more trees and no clear path, is a sick feeling. Far off in the distance we could see movement that looked like deer running. And they were. Because they were being chased by those same two dogs we had come across on the path last week. They approached us fast and friendly, sort of, but wary at the same time. Kind of like they thought we were going to try and catch them. They were German Shepard’s, brown and gray, and when we first saw them they really looked like wolves, or at least coyotes. But even though these dogs had tags, they still didn’t look healthy or domestic. They were skittish and briar tangled and looked wild a few days ago. They are either lost or they get to roam. Either way, they stayed away from us on this day.

I was pretty much done with taking pictures and kind of sorry I brought the stupid camera with at all. Now I had to carry it and we needed to make a decision. Keep plowing ahead hoping to somehow run across the creek and one of the bridges, and possibly running the risk of crossing back over tracks that we already made and following them in an endless circle, or just going back the way we came before we got even farther into the trees. Since we really had no idea which direction we were going and we had no map of the trail to generally guide us from the bench point, we decided the best way was to just go back. Even that felt nerve-wracking because it occurred to me that if it started to snow again, or the wind started picking up, our fresh new tracks could be brushed away in a few minutes. So we tried to go fast but in a controlled fastness that did not lead to panic. Here’s another picture of the trees with the nice blue sky that doesn’t look scary at all.

Usually it takes us about an hour to walk all around the 3 mile loop. Even with starts and stops. We were already out there for over an hour when we got past the boardwalk. The snow was pretty deep and it is a workout to walk in. Going back we were trying to hurry but we were getting tired and our feet and calves were aching in the same way they do when you walk on sand for a long time. Our pants were wet above the boots and starting to soak through and it felt colder and breezier. You would think borderline freaking out would keep you warm, but you’d be wrong. You don’t really think about being cold, but it’s not the same thing. Once we got to the boardwalk, we felt better. It was easy to follow the path we had made. Then we just walked, without stopping, all the way back to the creek and the first bridge. Finally. Now we could take a minute to stand there and laugh about how dumb it is, and easy, to get “lost” in the woods. Oh, and here were the people! Now they come. Here’s a man and a woman. Here’s two more guys. Here’s an old man and a woman. And here’s a whole family! Three adults and two little kids. All of them had cameras hanging around their necks like I did. We told all of them how far we went and how if they follow our tracks all the way until the end, they will abruptly stop in the middle of what seems like nowhere, and unless they are braver than we were, they should turn back at the bench. We practically ran out of the woods once we saw the nature building, but stopped long enough to take one more picture, before Stevie swished all the snow off the top:

So that ends my gripping tale of being lost in the woods for 2½ hours after the first major snowfall of our Midwest winter. FYI, in case you don’t live in this area, the next day it rained. And rained. We had about 45 degree temps. Thunder, lightning, the whole shot. All the snow got melted away. Except the really tall snowplowed piles. They just look like gray, dirty mounds of disgusting, scattered all around the neighborhood. Then it snowed lightly, again, to add a fine white powder to the top of the crap piles and dust the grass one more time before it warmed up (yesterday) and misted a fine rainfall over the whole mess, trying to melt it away for good. It’s sunny and bright right this minute and I am going to look outside… right now… and tell you that the snow that remains, is piled on yard corners, next to the driveway entrances, or hiding in the shade.

As usual this took way too long to type and is probably way too long to read all the way through. So, if you stuck with me this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel a story can’t be told in just a few sentences. It needs paragraphs and pages and many many run-on sentences to drive home my pointless points. Be glad that you don’t have to actually listen to me tell the tale. At least here you can just click off the site and be done with it. Good golly! Maybe I should put a quick sum-up at the bottom of the page for the people who skipped the middle and are just looking to see if we made it out alive.

For the scrollers:

STOP HERE!

Long story short version: Big snow. Went to the hiking trail. Followed a set of previous footprints until they disappeared. Took some pictures. Went off path. Then had no path to follow. Got lost. Saw some potentially rabid dogs. Backtracked. Saw more people. Made it out safely.

Does that short version seem too long? I don’t know anymore! I just want this to end! I must get up and get out. Later gators! The End.

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View From the Trail

January 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, For Linda, For Lorraine, Skeleton Trees, Thank You, Unemployed Posts) (, , , , , )

The Nature Trail, that is. In my quest to exercise every day, but not do the same thing every day, and because I can be lazy and not feel like sweating or jumping around for an hour, I walk our local trails. Sometimes I run them, but it was kind of snowy and slippery and I didn’t want to be carted out of them on a stretcher. So embarrassing when the ambulance and firefighters have to come to the Forest Preserve, hike a mile into the woods, with all their equipment, to find me, and then basket me out like some dumbass who was running in the woods and slipped and fell and broke her ankle. Or leg. Or neck. This is suburbia! They didn’t sign up for that!

Anyway, this is the creek, above. And below are some trees. I will resist posting all of the pictures I took or that my daughter took. Apparently she shares my love of photographing bare branches as much as I do. I find walking to be the easiest exercise ever. This is Monday. Tuesday was The Firm (that makes 3 workouts now if you are keeping track–still looking mostly the same–still trying to curb the appetite and eat better). And I walked yesterday too, just around the neighborhood. Just to get outside. It was cold and deceptively slippery. The sun was melting some of the snow but not all of the snow. Just enough to leave that slick of ice that will drop you on your ass in a heartbeat, while also simultaneously wrenching out your back as you try to prevent the fall. I made it safely back home but only because I was very careful to NOT walk on anything that even looked like ice.

In other news: I still haven’t heard from the hospital. I can call tomorrow. I have two interviews next week that I’m pretty excited about. I have been trying to stay positive and concentrate on losing the chunk because it will help me in the long run to not feel negative about this silly stuff. I’d like to say I didn’t post yesterday because I was all up in the social and political censorship internet issues. Doing my part to keep this a cutting edge, raw and real website, filled with black humor and gripping information about life and the occasional boozing and swearing. Protesting to keep it free and available for you to read. And to protect my right to type any and everything that flows out of my brain into the atmosphere no matter how ridiculous or irrelevant. Even if no one actually wants it or reads it. I think the day was a success. I think the internet made its point. I never know how these things go. Smarter folks will have to argue that one for me. In the meantime my little site will be here if you change your mind. No. I was just seeped in the gloom of winter and joblessness. Feeling the UN-love from HR departments everywhere. At least everywhere in the Chicagoland area.

After I got back from my walk though, I really did feel better. There’s studies about the effects of sunshine on depression. I won’t bog down the paragraph with details, but if you feel bad, and you normally don’t, try going outside for about 10 minutes. It’s an easy, free, painless way to see if maybe you just need a re-boot. Nothing medical here. No belittling any real problems that you have. I always like to try the path of least resistance first before I drag out the big guns. I aim for 30 minutes and see how I feel. I would have stayed out longer, but I had to pee really bad and I didn’t want to risk the hold. Too much? Anyway, when I got home, I got the surprise interview phone call and then it was time to go to watch my daughter play volleyball. Too busy too worry then.

Here’s another thing that my cousin will love. The match was an away-game, and held in a gym that was so freaking hot I thought I was going to pass out. It was in one of those really old schools, the kind that look big from the outside but are even bigger on the inside. Three stories high and a basement, with painted, cinder-block walls, long hallways with high ceilings, and lots of recessed doorways and narrow staircases that give it that old-timey, asylum feeling. The gym itself was a compact room of shiny, wooden planks, with the bleachers hanging over the gym floor balcony-style. One wooden door, set into the back wall, lead into another little gym, with another set of balcony bleachers that you could access from the top or bottom. We parked on the wrong side of the building and had to walk through the whole school and then back outside again to get into the gym. No, not the gym, the “GYMNASIUM”. Carved into a giant stone arch, above a huge wooden, double door with leaded glass and black iron fixtures that we reached by climbing up, not one, but two, flights of concrete stairs, flanked on both sides by red brick, shoulder-high walls. Heat definitely rises. My palms were sweating. And I was wearing a T-shirt. Before we go chucking it up to menopause, let it be known that we were ALL dying in there. I’m counting that too for my exercise log. It’s like the sauna part after a good workout. I feel cleansed.

I might have more to type for later. But I’m making Jambalaya and it takes time, so I have to go. I already made brownies. And biscuits are in the hopper. I like to cook when I feel bad. It calms me down and gives me something exacting and tasty to focus on. When I post about rice pudding, you’ll know it’s time for an intervention. That’s my go-to, can’t-drag-myself-out-of-the-house food savior. It takes hours to cook and slowly bake and it becomes something more than just rice and milk and sugar. It’s like Bondo for your soul. It fills in the cracks and holes and keeps the bad stuff out until you can figure out a way to get it whole again. I haven’t made it in years and years, thank god. But the last time I did, these cousins of mine, the ones I speak of, were there with me. To sit, and wait, until it got dark, and share it with me. So I didn’t have to eat it all alone. I think about that sometimes. It was a moment that I truly needed help and they were there, like magic.

Sorry about that. This is what happens when you type every random thought that spills into your head. That had me tearing up over here, and it’s beautiful outside, and I’m happy and I’m all better now. On a funny note, now that I really think about it, all our names begin with the letter “L”. How weird!! Anyway, I love you guys. And if I never said it before, I’ll say it now: Thank you!! You guys are awesome.

Alright, really done now. I have food to cook, not so much because I feel bad this time, but because the weather is supposed to turn on us again and a big pot of food just feels safe and secure doesn’t it?? And I need to take care of a squirrel that won’t get off the bird feeder. He will B-BE taken “care of”. How can I get all my fab bird pictures with squirrels hanging around eating all the seeds? (Bird Alert! A blood-red Cardinal and a sky-blue Blue Jay are in my air space. Trying to get them in my camera and out to you. Spent an hour yesterday but I need more!) Also, my kids aren’t home yet so I should probably go see if they left me any messages on their whereabouts. Later Gators!

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What’s that old saying? Feed a fever and starve a fat cell?

January 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm (Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Giant Food, Losing the Fat, Run. Walk. Weights.) (, , , , )

So hungry!! Why is food so tasty?? FYI, I am not eating that right now. That was last week. When I was unhealthy. Remember? I talked about finding the giant chip? Well, that’s it. I put it next to the remote for perspective. And that’s the 16 oz. dip container. Which I threw out yesterday because it does not need to be in the house anymore. I am trying to be good. So far, I am averaging out to about 1500-2000 cals a day. Which I also already said, but thought I would say again so I can lead into the whole starving myself thing. In the days leading up to my big interview (No call at all today. Is that Friday the 13th good luck or bad luck? We’ll never know) I tried to drink buckets of water and eat minimal food quantities. Well that plan backfired on Wednesday because I felt sick as a dog when I finally did eat. I was so hungry that as soon as I started eating some food my stomach cramped and I thought I was going to throw up. Plus I had a raging, pounding, piercing headache because I drank coffee in the afternoon like a dumb ass. I have been trying to limit my coffee drinking to about noon. I have been getting heartburn and headaches if I try and drink it all through the day like I used to. At one point I was even drinking it on the ride home from work at 5 and 6 at night. That’s crazy right? Anyway, I notice it more now, especially if I stop for awhile in the morning, like to exercise or shower, or drink more water and eat. If I try to have coffee on an empty exercised and watered stomach in the afternoon, I feel like someone is trying to stab me in the head with a knife. That’s probably NOT a good thing. So that’s one more thing to add to the “old” list.

Anyway, that’s it really. Just wanted to talk about the correlation between food and exercise. Definitely works better and delivers more results if you do both. Eat the healthy way. And in evenly spaced increments. No starvation tactics. And exercise every day. 30 minutes plus, if you can. I also needed an excuse to post these potato chip pictures. The other one is below. The giant potato chip is sitting over the top of the dip container! We are the party people. Dinner is on the way so I gotta go, but keep reading if you haven’t today and find a related post below that! Eating less+ exercise = Bones! Later!

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