Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coffee and a chat

Good morning! It's been forever, I know, and I've missed you, but so very much has been going on and I am still trying to work on this schedule - figure out when to do all of the things I need to do. Here is a view of my schedule on a normal day:
4:20AM: Wake up, get dressed for boot camp, fill water bottle (sometimes I am moving quickly and I fill the dishwasher or something.)
4:40AM-6:15AM: boot camp (plus commute time)
6:15-6:45: make lunch, pack stuff, start a load of laundry, maybe start dinner in the crockpot (all while son is using the shower)
6:45-7:10: shower, get ready for work
7:10-7:30: breakfast, glorious coffee
7:30-8:30: commute time
8:30-5: work
5-6: commute time
6-7: make dinner, eat dinner, sometimes get girl to softball, or another activity
And here is where we have the problem. Generally at least 3 evenings a week we have some activity or another (and some are for me - book club, yoga, Relay meeting, etc.) Sometimes we don't and I'll take time to clean something, or do some work for my client, or something, but by 8:30 I am so wiped, and I can be dead to the world by 9PM. Trust me, I realize I actually have a significant amount of time in the evening I could be productive, more so than a lot of people. And now that the boy is driving, he can run errands, and I don't have to take him anywhere, as long as there is a car available. The point is not that I have less time, just that I'm having trouble adjusting to what I have. It was funny, I was talking to a friend the other day about scheduling, and how when I was home with the kids I rarely got anything done. My house was no cleaner, and I would love to take a whole day off, by myself, and just knock out the whole house. Then I remember what I did when I was home - I often would take the whole morning over at A's and play with the nieces and drink coffee. Which was glorious, but accounts for the fact that I got nothing more done then than I do now :) When the kids were little, I liked taking them places like the zoo. I could spend hours at the zoo. I can still spend hours at the zoo. I kind of want to go right now.

Yummy. I do enjoy my coffee.

Ok, let's move on. Weight loss efforts are going pretty well. When I think about posting here, the updates are generally boot camp related. It's funny, I used to make fun of some of my friends for being so "Melody-obsessed" as I called them (the boot camp is called Melody's Boot Camp and Lifestyle Fitness,) and now I am a total Melody-evangelist. The instructors get me to do things I never think I can do. I'm stronger, I have more energy, and I haven't had a panic attack in months. I've also lost weight, of course, but it's funny how secondary that feels. It's not, though, since I really would like to put less stress on my body, so I joined the latest "6-Week Challenge." No pop (again, I did drink some over the past month, although not nearly what I was drinking, and I never keep it in the house anymore), no fast food, move everyday, 5 servings of veggies everyday, etc. The pop really does make a huge difference, and yesterday I didn't get my veggies in, only fruit, and I felt exhausted and gross all day. It's really amazing what a difference I feel in my body depending upon what foods I eat.

That was an awkward sentence.

I haven't had as much time to read lately, which is sad, but I certainly don't give it up completely. Right now I'm reading "Joy for Beginners" by Erica Bauermeister, and it is delightful. A nice complement to all the "serious literature" I have been reading.
Yikes, it's already 7AM! I have about 105 things to do before 9AM, so I had better get a move on. It's been a pleasure, as always - talk to you soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Millions of peaches...

One of my favorite things about early summer is that it's peach season. I love peaches, and there are millions of peaches. Peaches for me. You're going to sing that now, aren't you. I know I do, every time I go to the grocery.

You know what Saturday night means to the most awesome of us? Pajamas by 5:30, and marathon watching of Game of Thrones in bed with my guy. Of course, now he's asleep, and snoring, and I can't fall asleep, even though I was up at 5:30AM to go to kickboxing. Sigh.

So it's been over a month since I last posted, and life is pretty nifty. The kids are out of school, which means they're not whining quite as much about going to school as they were. They were both at camp for the first week, which was quite lovely, as the Guy and I were able to spend some quality time together. Which was when the binge Game of Thrones watching started, and I am thankful for that, because that is one freaking awesome show. Holy crap, tell me you have been watching this...

Some cool news - I was promoted! I am moving up to the Cincinnati office on July 7 to be the Senior Coordinator, Division Office Support, Ohio. Which means, basically, admin stuff, but I will no longer be the absolute lowest on the totem pole, and that's a good feeling. I'm excited and I hope to be challenged.

Let's do some thankfuls, since it's been awhile. Today I am thankful for:

1. Peter Dinklage. Seriously, I don't care that his English accent is kind of bad. He's the most excellent character. And I want to be Daenarys Targaryen, and not only because she's hot. Well, after her brother dies, anyway.

2. Tammy's blog, She did this great Mason Jar salad tutorial a few months ago - changed my lunches forever.

3. Relay For Life is over for the year. Yes, I love being a part of it, but it is a lot of work, and I am getting too old for this staying up all night stuff. I have to sleep for two days to recover. We had to move the event inside, unfortunately, but the energy was good. Our money is down, but we still have two months to fundraise.

4. My classics book club. I would never read some of the books I've read without it, and I finished The Awakening this past week. It was excellent, if you've never read it. The language alone was worth the read.

5. This is rather obvious, but Melody's Boot Camp. I'm still boot-camping, and loving it. Everyday I discover something else I am able to do that I didn't think I'd ever be able to do. I'm down 22 lbs from my starting weight, and I haven't had pop in almost two weeks. I feel strong and excellent, and I never thought I'd wake up this early on purpose, and keep it up. And, most important, no panic attacks in months.

I'll try not to stay away so long this time.
Movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Softball and superheroes, oh my.

I just sewed a hole in my winter coat. It took me all of 10 minutes, but the hole has been there for 3 years. The coat has been sitting on the floor next to the door, and my cats have been sleeping on it. Now I can wash it and wear it again. Of course, it is 86 degrees out...

What else is new...?

I mentioned in my last post that things, they are a-changin' on the professional front. I have started doing some administrative work remotely for an executive coach, which has been an interesting change. I have not done much yet, but I look forward to learning a lot. Also, and this is pretty huge, my job at the American Cancer Society will be changing in the next month or so. They are eliminating my current position, so I applied for several in the Cincinnati office. I have had a preliminary phone interview for 8 of the positions, and today I had a second interview for one of them. This position is several steps above the one I'm in right now, but I am confident I can be an asset. We'll see what's what over the next week.

Still doing the boot camp. Still loving the boot camp. Seriously, my friends, I am feeling so much cleaner and healthier. I quit pop cold turkey on Friday. I am missing it, especially when I drive, which kind of cracks me up, as my mom always said that was when she wanted to smoke the most. I'm always reaching for snacks and drinks while I'm I keep an enormous bottle of water and drink from it constantly. Which means that, by the time I get to work, I have to pee like a racehorse. But I haven't had a Pepsi...

So much softball.
All of a sudden, this week, practices and games galore.  She is enjoying it, though.  The girls on her team are great, and they have a great time together.  So much evidence to support the benefits of team sports on a young girl - she is definitely a more confident girl than I ever was.

Went to see the new X-Men movie yesterday - the most aesthetically pleasing movie I've seen in awhile. 
Be still my heart.  And there was this one scene...with Hugh Jackman...sigh.

Ooh, my left eye is all swollen today.  I woke up this way.  Kind of gross, but not seepy, so that's good.  The doctor says it's just allergies, but it was a weird way to wake up.
Okey doke, 4:30 comes early, so I have to get to bed.  You all take care, kisses...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

What happens when you leave your kids home with your camera...

One of our many snow days. I went to work, the Girl grabbed my camera. This is a big "corners of my home" post.

In other news, I'm still doing boot camp 4 days a week, and enjoying it. My son turned 17 (yikes) last week. I'm in the midst of yet another career flux (I'll update another day.) Laundry needs to be done and I'm reading a lot (not news.) I hope you all have been enjoying your spring...

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Friday (Favorites)!

I am in the most cheerful of moods lately, which makes me want to write cheerful things (when I write, that is, which is not much.)  So today I will share my favorites of this week:

1. Favorite healthy-living blog right now - Organize Yourself Skinny.  The name is a bit of a misnomer - this is not about being skinny, but about reorganizing your life in small steps in order to live more healthfully.  Tammy, the author, lost her own weight, and shares what has worked for her.  It is well-written, fun, and real.  She is very big on clean eating, which is something I'm working at.  I love her tutorial on Mason Jar salads - went out and bought mason jars last week - ready to start making those - as soon as I have a working fridge again (ugh, that went out yesterday.)

2.  Favorite place to go at 5AM - Melody's Boot Camp!  They do boot camp classes, and kickboxing, and running clubs, and healthy living lessons, and support groups...and they're very affordable.  I've always been a little scared of "boot camp" classes, but they're so supportive I find myself wanting to do more.  When Mel decided to do a 5 year anniversary special rate, I decided this was the time to jump in.  I've only done 4 classes so far, but I'm loving them.  They are so hard, but I feel so good when it's over.  I feel like I'm really committed to this healthy living this time - I don't want to undo all that hard work from the morning!

3.  Song I've been listening to over and over - "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic.  Yes I know it's mainstream and played constantly on the radio, but I rarely listen to the radio and it's really good, so shut up.

4.  Favorite ASMR-talker lately - Fairy Char.  She's adorable, and I get all kinds of good tingles from the hair play.

5.  Favorite book I've read over the past few weeks:  Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  It was so heartbreaking, a very moving story.  I started Under the Dome by Stephen King today.

I started this out all energized and ready to write and now I feel like I'm out of words.  Ooh, I'll post my favorite cat picture from the past few weeks - I used it on the Relay Facebook page, and it made me giggle every time I looked at it:
Still slays me. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring updates and a really good read

Good evening and a very happy spring, finally.  I want to start by sharing this picture of my cat, Eddy.  That is his favorite wall.  He stares at it, often.  I'm not sure what he senses in that wall, but maybe you all can see it.

A lot has been going on lately...working plenty, getting closer to Relay, Odyssey of the Mind State competition, and so very many books.  But I specifically want to talk about books.  More specifically, the book I finished today.

Anyone who knows me knows I read a lot.  So many of my friends respond, when I talk books, "oh, I wish I had time to read."  Honestly, I say, stop saying that.  If you really wished that, you would do it.  Because I'm working full time, running my kids all over the place, having a life, and I read more than your average bear.  I make time for it.  I don't watch much TV.   I don't spend enormous amounts of time playing games on my computer.  I don't have a smart phone.  I don't really clean my house...

My point...I read a lot.  Dude, I've read the dead Russians, and everyone knows there's nothing quite so depressing as a dead Russian.  Except, maybe, a live dum dum...

No really, my Russian friends, I'm joking, I love the Russian people.  But I also really love a happy ending.  And today I finished one of the most charming and enjoyable books I've read in a long time (gentleman readers, you may want to stop now, I don't think you'll enjoy this book.)  I adore Barbara Samuel-O'Neal.  She writes under the name Barbara O'Neal and Barbara Samuel, and I love both, but today I finished The All-You-Can-Dream Buffet, by Barbara O'Neal, and I felt so bouyant of heart at the end.  The stories follow four women, Lavender, Ginny, Ruby, and Val, who meet through blogging (hey!) and travel to Oregon to celebrate Lavender's 85th birthday.  They are all different ages and colors and styles, and they are all lovely in their own way.  I wanted to spend days with these women.  They all face down their challenges and find joy and I truly would like to crawl into this book for a few months.  I ended the story with happy tears in my eyes, a little melancholy that it was over. 

My husband hates happy endings.  He seems to think great writing only comes from pain, and all stories should end in death and despair (not that he's read a book since college.)  Hence his love of the dead Russians.  But I love a good happy ending.  I read to escape, and I certainly don't need someone else's fictional problems.  I like to fall into my stories, and let them wrap me up and make me smile. 

What are your thoughts?  Do you like happy endings, or do you need your books to be depressing "art?"  Have you read any good books lately?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five Favorites this Friday

What, so I post drunk and then don't get back on here for two weeks? Apparently that is the way I roll.

I really don't have much to write this week - I'm getting a lot more work at my job, and life is good and crazy. I haven't gotten a workout in since Sunday, which is stupid, because I have had the time, but I'm adapting to this time change like a neurotic 2 year-old. Which is to say, I'm not. I've been tired all week, which I could fix by waking up and exercising and then eating healthfully, but why would I want to fix what's wrong. Being a grown-up is dumb sometimes.

Since I'm not feeling all that inspired today, I shall incorporate a Friday Fabulous 5 - all the things I'm loving this week. Because I may be old and grouchy, but I still have some things that make me smile. They may as well make you smile, too!

1. Tammy is a busy mom who has lost weight and blogged about it. Lots of people have done this; I like her blog best.  Organize Yourself Skinny

2. My girl and her Odyssey of the Mind team came in 1st at Regionals! They will compete at the state level in two weeks. I'm so proud of them. You've never heard of Odyssey of the Mind? It is a fantastic program, all about problem-solving and independence and creativity. If you are looking for a non sports-related activity for your kids, check this out. Homeschool groups can have teams, too. 

3. If you're here from Facebook, you know I do Relay. I Relay big, and I Relay hard. I post on our Relay Facebook page, and I find it difficult to find something interesting to post on there as often as I'd like. Cancer Man's mom, Cassi, writes a blog and maintains a pinterest board of all things Relay, and she does a good job of finding Relay ideas, and sharing them with the rest of us.

4. My Gaiam green Metro Gym Bag. I bought it to take to Zumba and yoga, kept putting things in it, and now I carry it everywhere as a purse. It's water resistant (which is a good thing with all this snow we've been getting,) it's big, and it's GREEN!

5.  You know how I've mentioned before that I like watching videos on YouTube?  Not videos about doing interesting things, or parents embarrassing their kids, or music, or playing video games.  No, my videos are usually people speaking softly, describing the jewelry in their jewelry box.  Or pretending to give a pedicure.  Or, and these are my favorites, brushing someone's hair.  They're called ASMR, it really is a thing, they even featured one of my favorites on ABC World News and NPR.  The soft speaking and (pretend) focused attention are very relaxing for me.  They make my scalp tingle, and not in a weird way, in a relaxing way.  The same way Bob Ross's voice would affect me.  You all know how I love Bob.  Here is a link to one of my favorites -  Ilse.