Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2007 Post Meme

This from Minnie: a blog post in which you post the first sentence of the first post for each month of the previous year. I think I'll put mine as a paragraph just to see how weird it gets:

I was in bed at 11:00 p.m. (Central Standard Time) only to be wakened by Charka dog when the fireworks in the neighborhood started going off at midnight. The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging. (OK, I'm sorry to be doing this, but it seems a prudent measure.) The dog barked at 12:45 a.m. OK, I still have this crud. I've spent a total of 14.5 hours this past week in sorting and packing items in my mother-in-law's apartment. It's odd that a number of the blogs I usually check seem to have had a post sometime around June 23 - 26 and then no more. While in the locker room of the gym this morning I couldn't help but to overhear the heated comments on a news program that was playing on the television mounted in the room. The Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Your master bedroom has a bedside table with a pad for writing down late-night inspirations.

OK, that's January through November 2007 (November's first and only entry being the image of the women's remote control). The first post in December 2007 was a photo (which is on my home computer), or else the first line of a joke.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Effin' Snow! Effin' Cold! Effin' January!

It has been cold, snowy, and downright crappy. It has been January. One can only wait it out. My psoriasis is out of control on my hands -- I have large bandages over most of the first two fingers on my right hand just to facilitate knitting -- and all of my joints ache. We're getting cold winds out of the north with sub-zero wind-chills. The snow is dry and slick.

In the meantime, I've been working, working, working, knitting, and sleeping. I billed a lot of hours of freelance work. It will be nice to be paid.

We're still praying for Ed's job to come through.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Recurring Places in My Dreams

I had a dream this morning that brought back several locations that have been recurring in my dreams. These are not real places. They are based on or near real places, but the places do not exist anywhere other than my head.

1. A religious shrine / grotto somewhere north of Omaha. In my dreams you reach it via a lovely country road that parallels a river, but it's not the Missouri River. The grotto is a wedge-shaped area. It has a parking lot south of its location. You walk to the grotto, then you walk through it. It is primarily limestone that has been carved into religious figures (various saints and characters from the Bible), and there is one area that goes somewhat underground. It's like a large room that has been carved out. There is an ornately carved platform with walls on either side. I think masses are held here.

2. A section of Omaha just north of Dodge Street. It starts about 1 block north of Dodge and goes about 10 blocks further north. It runs from about 5th Street (East) to 40th Street West). It's like a small town with lots of houses and many little businesses, but it's a dangerous place at night. At about 10th and Dodge (in my dream) is a high school. If you can get to the high school and navigate its labyrinthian passages to the other side, you're in "downtown" Omaha, which is a city unlike what actually exists in the location stated. In my dream, "downtown" Omaha has many tall, glass buildings but is interspersed with wider green spaces. There are no historic buildings.

3. Buckingham Palace in London. This one really gets me because it's not a building I've ever visited. In fact, I don't think I've even been anywhere near the grounds. But in my dreams I'm inside and it has the most intricate set of rooms and connecting halls and secret doors. In fact, it doesn't look like much of a palace at all. It's more like an historic home of some kind you might find in the southeastern US. There are no portraits of past kings or queens, no ornate carvings or marbles. It's just a lot of nice rooms with yellow/cream walls and matching draperies. And I always seem to know the staff members who serve the meals and do the dusting.

These are just three locations. Another is a house with an addition that stands on the site where there is in reality the house I did most of my growing up in. (The addition in my dreams is never finished and stands on a patch of grass between our house and the neighbor's.) Yet another is a small village in the Pacific Northwest which is periodically transported to Italy (although everyone still speaks English). I've never been to Italy.

Well, there's always my dreams, right?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Her name is Teresa and she's Amazing!

You Should Stay in Shape With a Personal Trainer

You definitely want a better body, but you don't know where to start.
And it's all so overwhelming, you tend to lose motivation easily.
A personal trainer can help you get the body you desire - even if you have a long way to go!

January Really Blows

We're supposed to have snow again today, an accumulation of 1" - 3". After the freezing rain of the other morning, I'm really not looking forward to any of this. Well, if we get a snow day out of it, I'm all for it, but only if I'm already at home first.

January: Cold, icy, snowy; no fun lights, no sweet songs, no presents at the end of the month. The only thing you have to look forward to is February, which is more of the same for 3 - 4 weeks.

We're still waiting to hear whether Ed got the job he's so much wanting. He will call on it today. He's had no other contacts on other jobs he has already applied for. Why do I think this will be just another in a very long line of disappointments? Answer: Because that's about all we've had is a long line of disappointments.

I'm starting to feel like God doesn't even know our names any more.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

My Personality Recipe

The Recipe For Judith

3 parts Uniqueness
2 parts Tolerance
1 part Flirtation

Splash of Boldness

Finish off with a lime twist

Monday, January 07, 2008

New Year's Resolutions and Goals

OK, I'm ready to make a commitment.

Goal: Lose 30 - 50 lbs by December 31st.
  • Log food intake and exercise (starting Jan 8th)
  • Stay within calorie intake limits
  • Keep up workouts (2x per week)
  • Keep up at least 90 minutes of cardio exercise per week
  • Don't give up just because of one bad day!
Goal: Improved Self Esteem / Self Satisfaction
  • Work through the book "Discovering Your Purpose" (with Amy)
  • Regular bed time and rising time each day
  • Finish the unfinished knitting and sewing projects
  • Clean / declutter one thing at a time.

Ice Month

Freezing rain is falling on us this morning. The streets in my neighborhood are kind of slushy and kind of slick. The main roads are mainly wet, but there were some sections that looked scary in the blackness of an early morning drive.

The Czech word for January is "leden," which means "the ice month," an odd piece of information that managed to remain glued to my brain despite two years of studying the language and yet being able to do little more than to introduce myself and to order a beer. The Czech names for the months are rather poetic in addition to being true to the character of things meteorologic.

I hate the ice. I hate freezing rain. It is impossible to predict when you'll slip and when you'll have traction. Sometimes it is merely gravity + mass that causes a skid; no movement required on anyone's part to initiate the uncontrollable slide.

I'd rather be at home and in bed.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Waging War on the House

In the fifth Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or OotP as we call it), Harry and friends find themselves in the home of his godfather, Sirius Black, which is located at 12 Grimmauld Place somewhere in London. Sirius' family were strong supporters of the idea that the only magical people worth caring about were "pure blood." When Sirius got himself banged up in Azkaban prison, and after the remaining family members died, only the house elf Kreacher was left to look after the house, and he didn't do a very good job of it. Thus, Harry Potter and the Weasleys took to cleaning up the old house, but it was tough work because the things they would find weren't just icky things to clean up, but poisonous and full of nasty hexes and jinxes. Ron was almost strangled to death by some old robes in a closet, and they had to kill some poisonous doxies that were in the curtains, to name just a couple. Harry described it as "waging war" on the house in order to get it clean.

Well, that's how I feel about my own home. I have to wage a war on it because no matter how I try to clean things up, more stuff comes at me. I swear, my yarn would probably strangle me, as would the fabrics and other crafting stuff. And then there's the general levels of junk throughout the house -- boxes that need throwing away, old pots and pans that should be discarded (except Ed can't part with them). It's kind of a nightmare.

Too bad I don't have a wand.

Or a house elf or two.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

At least I'm not 14 any more

I woke up late this morning. Actually, I woke up when the alarm went off, then I reached over and turned off the alarm before falling asleep again. So, I woke at about 8:15 a.m., got my act together in a hurry (gym clothes in the bag, flash drive around my neck, clean clothes for me, brush teeth, run brush through hair, find wallet, run back into the house for cell phone) and was on the way to the office by 8:30 a.m. On the way out of my neighborhood, I punched in my boss's number and, having reached her, let her know I'd be late. She hadn't had any coffee yet, but she was just fine about it.

So, I punched the "off" button the phone and I ..... started crying.

And then I remembered that I'd not taken my meds yesterday. Or the day before that.

So, it's official: I'm hormonal. Or, more accurately, my body is having a bad reaction to not having the regular hormone flow it used to have before the hysterectomy. I've been on Premarin (yep, Pregnant Mare Urine) and, if I missed a few days in the past couple of months, it's been no big deal. Now, I miss 2 days and I'm having a hormone storm.

Remember in the original Star Trek series when they would encounter an ion storm? "Keptin," Scotty would say over the intercom, "we canno' beam them oot. It's an ion storm an' she's blowin' oot the cupplin's" -- or something like that. And then Mr. Spock would concur, "It would seem the ion storm is interfering with all communications, Captain. Fascinating."

Well, that's what a hormone storm is: It wreaks havoc with all systems and you just have to ride it out. All communication that isn't shut down ( "Don't talk to me!" ) is impaired somewhat ( What did he really mean by saying "It's OK" -- was he being sarcastic? ), and very little of anything else gets through.

But, if I take my pills as I should, I don't have this problem.

I know, I know — everyone (or, I should say, every woman) has her own theory of how to handle these things with nutrition alone: Eat more soy protein! Eat less refined sugar! No white sugar and no white flour! Reduce your caffeine intake! Less carbs! Less fat! While I accept that what I eat has an effect on how I feel and how I perform, the fact of the matter is that I believe more in taking my medications regularly instead of attempting to medicate myself through food. Let's face it: I've been attempting that since childhood and all it has done is give me about 100 lbs extra on my big old frame.

OK, I still believe that chocolate will ward off the effects of the Dementors ("Chocolate is an effective first aid to mild cases of contact."), but other than that I don't see much else that has worked.

So, to my list of New Year's Resolutions: Take the !@#$%!@@$!ing pills every day.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I resolve to make better resolutions

I'm trying to think through my New Year's resolutions so that I commit to behaviors instead of merely to outcomes. Unfortunately, my behaviors are the problem. They are unpredictable, no matter how often I try to get them to toe the line.

I'll think them through and then post next Monday.

In the meantime, the weather is as cold as one should expect around here in January, and it could get colder still (it usually does) by the end of the month. It's the part of the year I hate the most: Icy cold and dreary. Well, maybe I can spend these next 8 weeks getting some exercise in so that I'm in good shape to kick up my heels when spring finally comes around.

It would really help if Ed could get this one job in particular that we're hoping for.

Please, God? Please? Please? Please?????

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Resolutions Revisited

In 2007 I resolved to . . .


• I will clean out/reorganize my sewing/knitting/craft room.
Well, I did clean it out twice and cleaned it up once, but it's still a mess.

• I will finish up all of the UFOs, or I will undo them and rewind the yarn. The goal is to get to the end of 2007 with all of my currently unfinished projects resolved.
I finished up one UFO, I rewound one or two, but several things are still unfinished and glaring at me.


• I will take my vitamins/supplements every day, just like I take my medications.
On a scale of 1 (being worst) and 5 (being perfection), I scored a 2.

• I will get 100 to 120 minutes of cardio exercise per week.
On a scale of 1 (being worst) and 5 (being perfection), I scored a 3.5.

• If I feel like overeating, it will be on "real" food with nutritional value, not junk food.
Let's not even talk about it, OK?

• I will track my food intake and make every effort to stay within limits. The goal is to get to the end of 2007 with at least 50 lbs lost.
Well, that sucked! I did track my food intake a few times. I ended up gaining about 10 or 15 lbs (I don't want to check the records -- it's that depressing).